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Nasser M Al-Kharafi passes away in Egypt Kuwait mourns loss of leading entrepreneur, philanthropist from the editor’s desk

A tribute to a great man By Abd Al-Rahman Alyan


osing a family member is always a difficult thing for any person with a heart. I know how it feels to lose a father and I wish there was anything I could say to the Al-Kharafis to ease their sorrow over the sad demise of Nasser Mohammed AlKharafi. May Almighty Allah bestow His mercy on his soul. I pray to God to give his children and loved ones the strength to see through this difficult time. The passing of Mr Nasser Al-Kharafi is not only a loss to the Al-Kharafi family, but it is also a loss to Kuwait and

the Arab world as a whole. Throughout their history, the Kharafi family has always had Kuwait’s best interests at heart and Nasser AlKharafi (Bu Marzouq) was no different. Business tycoons always think of their own investments and you will find that many of them decide to ignore the difficult opportunities in Kuwait. However, Nasser Al-Kharafi always made room for his beloved Kuwait and its people. His recent business deals have injected well over $10 billion into the Continued on Page 4

Nasser Al-Kharafi, chairman of Kharafi Group, is seen in this file photo.

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KUWAIT: Nasser Mohammad Al-Kharafi, head of the wealthiest family in Kuwait, died of a heart attack in Cairo yesterday. He was 67. Kharafi founded and chaired The Kharafi Group which has stakes in major Kuwaiti companies, including Zain Telecom, and has business interests in 11 foreign countries including Egypt, South Africa and Syria. The conglomerate encompasses an extensive range of businesses and fields including engineering, construction, maintenance, and other services related to spheres as diverse as oil, water resources and management, chemicals, power and energy and food. Kharafi was also among the founders of National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), served as member of the board, and was also member of many companies’ boards of directors. He was awarded many honors including Jordan’s Independence Medal by King Abdullah II in 2004 in appreciation of his many contributions to Arab economy and business and his leading role in encouraging investment in Jordan. Kharafi had also been honored by the Federation of Arab Engineers in Damascus in 2007 in recognition of the group’s key projects across the Arab world in the fields of development, economy, tourism, and engineering. He was also a holder of an honorary doctorate from the American University in Beirut in recognition of his status as a pioneering businessman and figure in the field of economy and investment. Forbes magazine placed him among the wealthiest businessmen in the Arab world. He was ranked 77 on the world’s list of billionaires in 2011 with an estimated wealth of $10.4 billion. He is the brother of Jassem AlKharafi, who has been the speaker of the National Assembly since 1999. The speaker yesterday left for Kuwait from Panama, where he was heading a lawmakers’ delegation participating in the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s assembly. His sister, Faiza Al-Kharafi, is a chemistry professor and was the first female rector of Kuwait University from 1993 to 2002. — Agencies (See Page 4 & 5)



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NA panel demands investigation of CP diwan misspending allegations Moves to put forward workable proposals KUWAIT: The parliamentary public funds protection committee is expected to submit a request when the National Assembly resumes business to form an investigative panel to look into allegations in recent financial reports concerning expenditure by His Highness the Crown Prince’s diwan. At present, the parliamentary committee lacks the authority to force certain figures to attend its meetings for questioning concerning points raised in State Audit Bureau reports. An officially sanctioned investigative committee would have the ability to do so and to formally summon any individual for questioning, as well as being able to impose penalties if the individual or body under investigation is found to be responsible for the actions under investigation. According to a source close to the parliamentary committee, the audit bureau’s latest report stated that a number of financial and administrative violations had been perpetrated by staff at the Crown Prince’s diwan, with the committee vowing to put forward workable proposals to bring these violations to an end. In another development a separate parliamentary investigation committee, which was looking into alleged violations committed by state bodies in awarding the tender for a major 2007 Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) project to increase productivity levels. According to one committee insider, committee member MP Khalid Al-Tahous is currently preparing a separate report which he hopes to finish shortly so that a vote can be taken on either his report or the committee’s being submitted to parliament for debate on further action. The insider also indicated that the committee’s report includes recommendations to prosecute the staff at the MEW and the Central Tenders Committee (CTC) who are held responsible for their involvement in awarding the tender, as well as taking legal action against the State Audit Bureau for its failure to address the violations. The committee did not recommend any action against other bodies involved, including the Fatwa and Legislation Authority, the Environment Public Authority and the Ministry of Finance, however. — Al-Qabas

No cancelation of expat teachers’ allowances raise KUWAIT: Education minister Dr. Moudhi Al-Humoud has denied rumors that the increased financial allowances approved for expatriate teachers working in the state education sector are to be cancelled. Dr. Al-Humoud said that the Ministry of Education (MoE) has no intention of cancelling the payment of the teachers’ allowances or of adding any new groups of beneficiaries to the list of those eligible to receive them. She explained that the formalities of organizing the payment of the increased salaries and allowances to all teachers, Kuwaiti and expatriate, are currently being finalized by the MoE in coordination with the Civil Service Commission (CSC). After this is completed, she said, the funds will be placed in the teachers’ accounts. Asked about the demands put forward by the unofficial Expatriate Teachers’ Society, Dr. Al-Humoud said that the ministry only deals with one group representing teachers, the Kuwait Teachers’ Society, since this is the only such official body in the country that is authorized and officially recognized. —Al-Anba

Local Spotlight

Spoiled meat: Threat to public health!

Muna Al-Fuzai


KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah holding talks with His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah yesterday.

Kuwait must combat corruption, warns campaign group KUWAIT: A nationalist group lobbying for rationalization in using the state’s wealth has urged the upcoming cabinet to focus on the development process and increase the country’s non-oil income, in addition to fighting corruption which it warned has led to Kuwait’s status in the international corruption index falling significantly in recent years. The ‘G26’ group said in a statement released on Saturday that all issues related to corruption in the country must be promptly addressed, warning of the central role played by corruption in “wasting public resources” and “increasing projects’ costs,” as well as in “damaging noble and positive social values.” The statement from G26 also reiterated its earlier point about what it said was the connection between recent revolutions in Arab nations and the widespread corruption practiced by the administrations in the region. “The volume of widespread corrup-

tion and misappropriation of the people’s wealth was exposed after regimes in these countries were toppled,” the statement said, warning that if the Kuwaiti people were to reach a point at which they decided to “erupt against corruption,” the resultant “price would be too high.” Kuwait’s cabinet and parliament have the capability to put an end to cor-

ruption, the statement added, although it cautioned that “negligence and the possible involvement of some officials is causing corruption to spread.” The G26 members urged the new cabinet to reconsider priorities for expenditure in the state’s annual budget “in order to avoid wasting the state’s wealth on spending without long-term planning.” — Al-Qabas

Kuwait Red Crescent to host Arab meeting KUWAIT: The Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) is set to host the two-day 38th Arab Red Crescent and Red Cross Organization (ARCO) consultation meeting on May 23. The meeting will discuss humanitarian issues in many countries, particularly for Libya, whose people require extra efforts for the transport of various aid assistance, KRCS Chairman Barjas Al-Barjas said. On this basis, the meeting will discuss unifying Arab aid efforts for the war-torn North African country. Reports from international organizations such as the International Red Cross and the UN General Secretariat on the region will also be discussed.— KUNA

ecent reports have revealed that spoiled meat is either being sold on local markets or being confiscated and destroyed by the municipality. However, this issue has yet to be clearly discussed, even with continuous statements and press releases from the Minister of Municipal Affairs, and the subject remains vague and doubtful. I think this issue is very serious and should not be dealt with secretly because it is a threat to the public’s health and the identity of those responsible should not be hidden from the public. I am sure this act is not being committed by one man. I assume such crimes are being committed by crooks wanting to make quick money, regardless of the damage it may cause to the public. Planning a crime and getting away with it is different than doing something wrong and not being informed. There is no reason that either of these things should occur considering we have special freezers and authorization certificates from countries of origin and the municipality. When something goes wrong in one of these two authorities then an investigation committee must track down the cause of the crime. I believe that if it is the fault of the origin then an immediate ban must be placed on that country. However, if it is a mistake of the municipality then other urgent actions must be taken. Those responsible for participating in the mistake and those who benefit from it must be arrested and sent to court. I also think the Public Authority for Agriculture, the Ministry of Health and the General Customs Department should play a role in this matter. It is a critical issue and although Kuwait is a small market, supervision of that market should not be less than adequate. A few days ago about 1,300 sick African sheep were confiscated and stopped from entering Kuwait due to its danger to the public. Such an intervention was essential and appreciated. The people’s health is not only the responsibility of one official body but everyone. Unless we act quickly and seriously on this matter, with lots of transparency, then the public’s health will be seriously threatened.



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‘Nuke plant will save Kuwait billions’ KUWAIT: Kuwait will be able to save an average of $32 billion in oil revenues by the year 2030, if it goes ahead with the construction of a nuclear plant to reduce current electricity use levels, according to a leading scientist. Dr. Ahmad Bishara, the Secretary General of the Kuwait National Nuclear Energy Committee (KNNEC), made the claim during his latest meeting with the parliamentary environmental committee to discuss the latest developments concerning the country’s peaceful nuclear energy program. Dr. Bishara said that, given the predicted rise in population figures, Kuwait’s average daily electricity consumption level is expected to rise from KUWAIT: The team of volunteers posing here for photograph after the beach cleanup Saturday. —Photos by Joseph Shagra

280 kg of rubbish collected in Sulaibikhat beach clean-up Marine conservation initiative By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: The official launch of Dow’s Marine Conservation Program in partnership with K’S PATH (Kuwait Society for Protection of Animals and Their Habitat) began on Saturday with a beach clean-up exercise in the Sulaibikhat area. Around 33 volunteers from various non-profit, environmental and volunteer organizations in Kuwait participated in the event. Dow’s Marine Conservation Program is the first corporate patron of ‘Al Yaal’, Kuwait’s first nationwide marine conservation initiative, which was developed by en.v - a leading Kuwait-based organization dedicated to promoting social responsibility in the Arab world. “We are dedicated to cleaning up the marine environment and maintaining it on a regular basis,” Zahed Sultan, en.v’s Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer, told the Kuwait Times yesterday. “Yesterday [Saturday] was the official launch; but prior to the official launch, we’d conducted several beach clean-up drives already. We had beach clean-ups in Doha and Um Al-Maradin. We hope to continue doing so on a weekly basis at least until our people somehow

learn and share their responsibilities to take extra care of our environment,” he added. During Saturday ’s four-hour clean-up event, over 280 kilograms of terrestrial marine waste was collected in an area of shoreline covering approximately 6,000 square meters. The waste matter was put into biodegradable bags before being methodically sorted into four categories - plastic, metal, paper and miscellaneous - for recycling. Sultan said that the tons of plastic bottles littering the beach area provided unfortunate evidence of “our blatant disregard for our environment.” The Dow’s Marine Conservation Program has encouraged volunteer groups, government agencies and educational institutions to help in protecting and preserving the country’s rich ecosystem of beaches and the marine life in Kuwait Bay and around the islands of Um Almaradim, Quaroh and Kubbar. These areas, Sultan explained, are well-known for providing a precious home to several forms of marine life, as well as to coral reefs. The areas are also famous as natural nesting grounds for Greenback and Hawksbill turtles and beautiful migratory birds, he continued.

Talking about the need to protect and conserve this environment, Sultan warned, “This fragile balance is endangered by indiscriminate disposal of direct and indirect manmade waste. We have to show our care for this natural habitat.” The program launched will be maintained accordingly so long as there are people unaware of the need to protect the country’s marine environment, Sultan explained, revealing, “In September we are going to launch a school-by-school campaign to promote and care for our environment. This will include public and private schools to educate students on the importance of the marine environment.” He continued, “It won’t just be a campaign because it’s Earth Day or some sort of environment day; we’re committed to doing the work at least every week voluntarily.” Saturday’s event saw volunteers from Kuwait Diving Team, the Climate Change Project, the Green Target Company, the Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS), Spread The Passion, and the K’S PATH members coming together for a truly worthy cause, helping to keep Kuwait looking good, as well as helping to conserve the environment.

Beach cleanup in progress at Sulaibikhat

Khairan’s public facilities ready KUWAIT: Official sources said the Ministry of Public Works (MPW ) has finalized projects regarding the buildings of public facilities at the new Khairan residential area. According to news reports, both the Ministry of

Education and the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs were contacted by the MPW and informed that facilities that belong to them in the much anticipated Khairan area project are ready to be claimed. The Khairan project is one of

7-hour suspension of operations at refineries KUWAIT: A fire that broke out in cables at the Shuaiba power plant shut down operations at the plant for seven hours straight, leading to power cuts at oil refineries in the south of the country for the entire period. According to a Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) insider, the blaze that broke out at 1:00PM on Friday afternoon in the main cables leading to the plant led management there to order a total shutdown until the fire could be entirely extinguished. This led to operations at the oil refineries in Shuaiba, Abdullah Port and Ahmadi being suspended due to the power cut until the power supply came back online. Power was restored at 7:00 PM after emergency personnel repaired the malfunction in the cables which caused the blaze, said the insider. The MEW has already formed an investigative team to look into the reasons behind the blaze and issue a report on the incident in order to help avert similar events in the future. — Al-Qabas

MoH considers giving bedoons hospital jobs KUWAIT: Senior officials from the Ministry of Health (MoH) and Civil Service Commission (CSC) are conducting a joint study with representatives of the Central System for Remedying the Status of Illegal Residents (CSRSIR) to look into the possibility and legal ramifications of appointing bedoon (stateless) personnel at Kuwait’s state hospitals and polyclinics. According to one MoH insider, the health ministry supports appointing bedoon personnel to a number of positions in these facilities which are unpopular with Kuwaiti jobseekers, including receptionists. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said that the ministry is suffering from a shortage of reception staff at state hospitals and polyclinics, with 45 percent of these positions currently being vacant, as well as a scarcity of staff in other positions unpopular with Kuwaitis. — Al-Qabas

the new residential areas that the state is building according to the development plan. It includes public facilities that will be enjoyed by citizens that will be given homes there through the government’s housing program.—Al-Qabas

the current 11,000 megawatts to 21,000 by 2020 and 28,000 by 2030. The country’s power plants currently consume an average of 340,000 barrels of oil per day or 11 to 12 percent of the country’s total oil production, he said, with the projected increase in consumption rates set to increase this to 20 percent or one-fifth of the country’s oil going towards domestic power production by 2025. Dr. Bishara suggested that using nuclear energy to cover the surplus power production requirements would help Kuwait to save between $100 billion and $250 billion by 2050 since oil that would have been used to increase power production levels domestically

could instead be sold on the international market. Despite the KNNEC’s enthusiasm and attempts to convince the public that Kuwait needs to adopt a nuclear energy program, however, the government seems hesitant about going ahead with such a venture, particularly after the recent disastrous events at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear reactor following the massive earthquake and tsunami there. One government insider suggested that the new cabinet may ask the KNNEC to reconsider plans to build a reactor in Kuwait, and is seriously considering cancelling the idea altogether or at least suspending it for the foreseeable future.



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Kuwait’s most prominent businessman KUWAIT: Nasser Al-Kharafi, one of Kuwait’s most prominent businessmen, was born in 1944. He was the son of the late businessman Mohammad Abdelmohsen Al-Kharafi and brother of Kuwait National Assembly Speaker Jassim Al-Kharafi. Al-Kharafi’s sister, Faiza Al-Kharafi, is a chemistry professor and was the first woman to hold the position of Kuwait University’s rector. She held the position between the years 1993 and 2002. Al-Kharafi was the head of the Al-Kharafi Group, which was established in 1976. He was on the board of the National Bank of Kuwat and the Al-Khair Company, which

belongs to the group that owns a 16.5 percent share of Zain, 33 percent share of Sahel, 68 percent share of National Investment, 48 percent share of Al-Mal and an 18 percent share of the Kuwait-Egypt Holding Company. Nasser Al-Kharafi went to Victoria college in Alexandria, Egypt. He recently asked Ibrahim Saleh to head the group in Egypt, which marks the first time a person is a head of one of the company’s branches outside of the family. The group’s most recent investment in Egypt is the import and installation of the power stations in Ismaeliya and Damietta. Among the group’s most impor-

tant investments is the Marsa Alam Airport, which was carried out as a BOT at a cost of $1.4 billion and Port Ghalib, which includes a marina with a capacity of 1,050 yachts. Al-Kharafi’s investments provided thousands of job opportunities to both citizens and expats throughout the country and region. The Nasser Al-Kharafi Group of companies employs more than 70,000 employees of various Arab nationalities locally. Also, the AlKharafi group in Egypt employs more than 285,000 people.

Eulogy to Nasser Al-Kharafi A tribute to a great man Continued from Page 1 Kuwaiti market at a time of worldwide recession. His business empire has always found time and money to invest in sponsoring Kuwaiti sports, in sponsoring Kuwaiti social events, in rewarding Kuwaiti achievements (Al-Kharafi was well-known for rewarding the national team players whenever they won a trophy) and the list goes on. These were all investments with no returns other than encouraging our boys and girls to achieve more and to put a smile on Kuwaiti faces. Not to forget how much he has invested in training and hiring Kuwaitis at the highest levels of his corporations, which has played a big role in increasing the number of Kuwaitis working in the private sector.

In terms of the Arab world, his passing is a loss because he is one of the few people who actually believed in Arab unity and did his part by investing billions in different Arab countries that are normally rated as risky markets given the political past of the region. AlKharafi also spent money on media coverage to highlight the atrocities of Israeli war machines in Lebanese and Palestinian territories, playing his part in showing the truth to the rest of the world. This is my humble tribute to a man that will always live in our memories. If I were to list his services to Kuwait and the Arab world in detail, I would most likely have to publish a series of books just to do him justice. May your soul rest in peace and may your legacy live on forever.

World’s 77th richest man


ith a net worth of $10.4 billion, as of 2011 Nasser Al-Kharafi was the 77th wealthiest man in the world, with his renowned Midas touch and phenomenal work ethic led to the Kharafi Group winning construction contracts in more than 30 nations worldwide Nasser Al-Kharafi’s distinguished family includes his older brother, parliamentary speaker Jassem Al-Kharafi, and his sister Faiza, the president of Kuwaiti University.

As well as being a main shareholder in Zain Telecom, which decided in January to suspend its activities in Iraq citing concerns for staff members’ personal safety, Al-Kharafi had ties to the ongoing reconstruction efforts in Iraq, both in banking and in construction itself. He was always renowned for his astute business sense, with a rumored 2009 buyout of English Premier League football team Liverpool FC put on hold due to Al-Kharafi’s insistence on holding out for a lower price.

By Nabil bin Salamah Zain Group, Chief Executive Officer


e were grief-stricken at the news of the death of Nasser Al-Kharafi, with Kuwait losing one of its dearest pioneer sons, a sincere man who had a great influence in enriching the country’s economic life. Abu Marzouq’s excellent reputation was certainly not limited to Kuwait, but known globally, and he left behind a tremendous legacy and record of achievement, through which we can trace his historic rise to entrepreneurial preeminence and his lasting effect in shaping Kuwait’s economic and business community. Abu Marzouq, may Allah bestow His mercy on him, had a tremendous depth of knowledge and a head for business, and all who knew him enjoyed his immense wisdom and ever-sharp business acumen and sense of vision, which were amongst the great traits that defined his character. Through his tremendous achievements, Nasser Al-Kharafi imprinted his name on the international arena, carrying the name of Kuwait proudly with him wherever he went. He was known for his immense gravitas, hardly a surprising attribute in a man who has embraced and defined success not just for years but for decades. May Almighty Allah reward Abu Marzouq for what he gave to all and admit him to paradise. We pray to Allah to bestow His mercy on the departed and grant his loved ones fortitude in their time of mourning. We will not say more than what Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) himself said: “The heart is sad and the eye sheds tears,” and we are saddened at your departure, Abu Marzouq.. “We belong to Allah and to Him we will return.”

Abdulaziz Yaqoub Al-Nafisi Deputy CEO, Zain Group


e were saddened at hearing the news of the death of Nasser AlKharafi, but however great our sorrow we must accept that this is Allah’s will. May Allah bestow His mercy on Nasser Al-Kharafi, also known as Abu Marzouq, who will remain a greatly valued and immense symbol in Kuwait’s business and economic history, as well as a much-loved and greatly missed husband, father, brother and friend. With his sudden death, Kuwait has lost one of its entrepreneurial pioneers. Always known for his tremendous acuity, dedication, sound business sense and excellent conduct, Nasser Al-Kharafi’s work ethic was unceasing, as those close to him knew. He

was always dedicated and striving to do better, even up to the last moments of his life. Those of us lucky enough to spend time in Abu Marzouq’s company felt that we were with a glowing beacon of activity that never faded, to a point where one felt that the light would never go out. The name of Nasser Al-Kharafi will always remain at the head of the roll call of honor of not just Kuwait’s, but the region’s and the world’s entrepreneurial and financial pioneers. Nasser Al-Kharafi was also a man of immense principles, and his rich and achievement-filled history tells the tale of his distinguished lifelong participation at the heart of Kuwait’s business and economic life. May Allah bestow His mercy on Abu Marzouq and accept him into paradise.



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MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011

A tribute to a pioneering Kuwaiti entrepreneur B

orn in 1944, Nasser AlKharafi was a Kuwaiti businessman and the founder of M.A. Kharafi & Sons. With the Kharafi Group showing an annual turnover of around $4.3 billion in sales, Al-Kharafi’s net worth continued to increase steadily in recent years due to the rising share prices of several Kharafi Group holdings, including Zain, National Bank of Kuwait and Americana, the sole Middle East franchise-holder for a number of US fast food chains. Nasser Al-Kharafi may be best remembered amongst his many pioneering roles as the founder and chairman of the Kharafi Group, one of the largest and most diversified conglomerates in the Arab world, with the group’s lucrative food division, Americana, holding the exclusive franchise rights in the Middle East for fast food brands including KFC, Wimpy, TGI Friday’s, Cadbury’s, Pizza Hut and Saint Cinnamon. He is also the largest individual stakeholder in the popular doughnut company, Krispy Kreme holding 13.8 percent. This year Al-Kharafi also featured heavily in the British press after his name was linked to a rumored buyout of Newcastle United football team. Reports claimed the billionaire was in discussions to buy the club for $440m, but the rumors were later denied. The distinguished entrepreneur first launched the conglomerate, then called the National Company for Mechanical

The body of the late Nasser Mohammad Al-Kharafi arrived from Cairo aboard an Amiri Airplane yesterday. The body was accompanied by the deceased sons and family members of the deceased. — Photos by Yassar Al-Zayyat

and Electrical Works, in 1976, and the Al-Kharafi Group has since become a major player in engineering, construction and maintenance, in fields as diverse as petroleum, water, chemicals and power. The family also owns a lucrative 30 percent stake in Atheer Telecom, which owns a mobile license for Southern Iraq. Also, in October 2007 it bought more shares in Mobile Telecommunications Corporation (Zain), through one of its units, with the purchase via AlKhair National for Stocks and Real Estate, increasing Al-Kharafi’s holdings in Zain to 9.6 percent of the firm. Al-Kharafi Group’s other contracts include an $ll0m Beirut hotel, a $200m golf and residential development in South Africa, and a $400m sewage plant in Kuwait. The family-owned, Disneyesque Port Galib resort on Egypt’s Red Sea coast attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world each year. Al-Kharafi was also one of two bidders to revive the long-delayed Subiya causeway project in Kuwait, bidding in partnership with France’s Vinci against another consortium led by another French firm, Bouygues, which includes Egypt’s Orascom Construction Industries. The tender documents are expected to be issued in January with a deadline set for July. Nasser Al-Kharafi’s older brother Jassem is speaker of Kuwait’s National Assembly, while his sister Faiza was first woman president of Kuwait University.

KUWAIT: Nasser Al-Kharafi, chairman of Kharafi Group, is seen in this March 2001 file photo. — AP



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LOCAL Kuwait Digest

Criticizing an entire civilization By Abdullatif Al-Duaij


rand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Shaikh Abdul-Aziz Al-Asheickh is considered in Muslim communities one of the top Muslim scholars and figures in the Islamic scene - along with the Grand Imam of AlAzhar Mosque in Egypt. In a recent statement, Shaikh Al-Asheickh made highly critical remarks against Iran in which he made an unfortunate confusion between the state’s political system and the Iranian human being. Like most other civilizations in history the Persian civilization has made great contributions to human civilization throughout the years. Along with the Greek civilization it is considered one of the main foundations upon which Western civilization was built. It’s not a coincidence that the Arab and Islamic civilizations were highly enriched by the contributions of scholars and scientists from Persia, including Al-Farabi (Alpharabius), Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Al-Khwarizmi and Sibawayh, while Salman Al-Farisi is known for being a loyal companion to the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). Contributions of those scientists have been very influential in enriching human heritage. Even people who allege that these scientists came from Arab origins can’t deny the fact that growing up in the Persian civilization and within the Persian people helped hone their skills and capabilities. Considering a political conflict between Arab countries and Iran as being a struggle between two civilizations or ethnic groups transfers this conflict into an eternal struggle that cannot disappear unless political systems are gone. If anything, such exaggerated ideology shown by the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia gives those who accuse Muslims of extremism a reason to further support their claims. I believe that the current dispute in the region is political and based on a conflict of interest that will eventually fade away, the same way all other conflicts in human history have. I personally find that Shaikh Asheickh made an unfortunate statement with his over-the-top reaction toward a nation whose people have a history of contribution, not only to the Arab and Islamic civilizations but also to the entire human civilization.—Al-Qabas

150kg of hashish found on beach in Shaab, Four Iranians caught Jordanian scammer in police net KUWAIT: Police arrested four Iranian drug dealers for trying to smuggle hashish into Kuwait. The men were arrested by authorities after they were caught in possession of 38 kg of hashish on the same day that a shipment of 150 kg of hashish was found on the beach in Shaab. When questioned by authorities, the men confessed that they were supposed to pick up the shipment. Scammer held A Jordanian man was arrested for fooling two citizens into believing he was a car salesman and stealing their vintage cars. An investigation was launched after officers were approached by two citizens who explained that a man disappeared with their vehicles after they agreed that he would find someone to buy their cars. The suspect was later arrested in Salmiya and referred to the proper authorities. Suicide attempt A 37-year-old woman was admitted to Jahra Hospital in critical condition after she jumped from a high location inside of a shopping mall in Jahra in an attempt to kill herself. The victim was at the mall with her mother and sister when she unexpectedly attempted suicide. An investigation was launched to reveal the motives behind the woman’s actions. False charges A girl has succeeded in ruining her mother’s second marriage by falsely accusing her stepfather of sexually assaulting her. The stepfather was summoned to a police station in Hawally after his wife

pressed charges against him for abusing her 12-year-old daughter. The suspect strongly rejected the accusation and an investigation was launched when the stepfather informed authorities that he and the young woman never got along. The girl eventually admitted to making up the story so that her mother and stepfather would separate. The charges were dropped and the man informed his wife that he could no longer be with her after such a serious accusation.

House robbery Police are looking for the thief responsible for stealing a diamond ring from a Qairawan house without breaking any doors or windows. The house residents informed police of the disappearance of the KD 4,000 piece of jewelry upon returning home from a trip. Investigators responded to the scene to search for evidence of the crime and the means by which the unidentified thief was able to sneak into the house.

Bootlegger held A female bootlegger was arrested in Kaitan after she unknowingly sold a box of homemade liquor to an undercover police informant. An investigation revealed that the woman was in possession of 228 bottles of alcohol inside her place of residence.

Missing girl found A 19-year-old girl that was reported missing by her family seven months ago was found recently inside an apartment in Hawally where she had been staying with its tenant. Police found the woman dressed inappropriately upon her arrest and told them that she was picked up by the apartment’s tenant at a suspicious party. It was revealed that the girl ran away from her family’s house seven times previously as well as filed charges of torture against her family as well.

Family dispute A citizen was briefly held at the Sharq police station for beating up his three female cousins. However, the girls’ mother forced her daughters to drop the charges against him when she learned of the reason why he assaulted them. The incident occurred on Failaka Island where the citizen was spending the weekend. He was at the beach when he noticed his cousins there in bikinis and got furious at what they were wearing in front of other picnickers. He beat them with his ‘igal’ and forced the girls back to the mainland where they pressed charges against him. The girls’ mother responded to the police station shortly after being informed of the situation by her nephew and forced her daughters to drop their assault charges.

Stabbing An investigation was launched to determine the identity of the man responsible for stabbing a British man outside of a hotel in Mangaf in an attempt to mug him. Ahmadi police responded to Adan Hospital where the victim was hospitalized after being stabbed in the back. The man told police that he was startled by the suspect, who seemed to have attacked him for unknown reasons. —Al-Watan, Al-Anba, Al-Qabbas, Al-Rai

Fire breaks out in timber yard By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: A fire in a timber yard in Amghara affected an area of 2,500 square meters. The Jahra and Ardiya fire centers responded to the emergency and extinguished the fire before any further damage could be caused. An investigation revealed that the

fire was the result of the improper storage of cooking and cleaning materials. No injuries were reported in the fire. Car accidents A car accident in Salwa between a motorcycle driven by a citizen and a small bus resulted in the death of the motorcycle’s driver. The bus driver was injured and

KUWAIT: A group of members from the International Women’s Group with models wearing Yemeni attire at the monthly meeting of the IWG yesterday. —Photos by Joseph Shagra

referred to a nearby hospital. Meanwhile, a car accident near Al-Bida Roundabout resulted in the serious injury of a 21-year-old male citizen. Also injured in the accident was a 43-year-old Indian who suffered wounds to his left hand and right thigh. They were both referred to Mubarak Hospital. Another car accident in Wafra

(From left) Andrea Mann, wife of the German ambassador to Kuwait, the President of IWG and wife of the Indian ambassador to Kuwait, Ira Malhotra and Shoroq Sheikh, wife of the Yemeni ambassador.

Members of the IWG enjoy the monthly meeting.

IWG shown rare glimpse of Yemen By Velina Nacheva KUWAIT: Yemen was the primary agenda topic of the International Women’s Group’s (IWG) meeting yesterday. A fashion show of traditional Yemeni garments, sumptuous food and pictures of magnificent scenery, architecture and everyday life was on the monthly meeting’s agenda. The cordial atmosphere, diversity of languages and the traditional attire of many countries transformed the Boubyan Hall of the Radisson Blu Hotel, where the event was held, into a colorful fairytale. Andrea Mann, spouse of the German ambassador to Kuwait shared a selection of pictures taken during her family’s four-year stint in Yemen. Providing a rare glimpse of the country ’s nature, cuisine and breathtak ing landscape, Mann brought Yemen closer to Kuwait. Her participation in the IWG, she

says, gives her the pleasure of meeting women from Kuwait’s society and the international community. The President of IWG Ira Malhotra, who is the wife of the Indian ambassador to Kuwait, moderated the meeting. She said that it has provided “a taste of Yemen and served as a wonder ful introduction.” She explained that being a member of the International Women’s Group gives women from the diplomatic community a chance to meet other women and Kuwaiti ladies. “It makes us feel at home and the number of friends doubles,” she said. Shoroq Sheikh, wife of the Yemeni ambassador to Kuwait, expressed her satisfaction with the meeting. The International Women’s Group - a multi-national group of diplomats’ wives, business women, working women and housewives - features more than 150 members from more than 50 countries, says Narjis Al-

Shatti, who holds the Public Relations portfolio of IWG. Al-Shatti expressed her happiness that the IWG had a day dedicated to an Arab country. The network of women have members from all continents and a diversity of countries ranging from Canada, Europe, Asia, Africa to the Americas and Kuwait. In the words of one member, “belonging to the IWG is an enriching experience.” The all-women organization has a regularly scheduled meeting that is held on the first Sunday evening of the month. Women are introduced to either a lecture, a quiz or a function that aims to raise funds for charities. The funds raised from a raffle drawing yesterday will benefit Japan tsunami and earthquake victims. Apart from their monthly meeting, the IWG organizes trips to museums and various touristic locations in Kuwait as well as trips to neighboring countries.

resulted in the broken left hand of an 18year-old male citizen and the injury of a 19year-old male citizen. Both men were admitted to Adan Hospital. Also, a car accident in Fahaheel yesterday resulted in the broken right hand of a 31-year-old Egyptian expat. He was brought to Mubarak hospital.

KUWAIT: The MacDonald’s staff giving the souvenirs to the attending kids at the theatre.

McDonald’s offers special needs kids a taste of ‘Rio’ By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: McDonald’s offered children from a variety of backgrounds a chance to relax and enjoy a big screen spectacular at the 360 Mall on Thursday evening, with the kids greatly enjoying the movie ‘Rio.’ Local special needs children’s organizations, including the Khorafi Kids’ Center, Abeer 2 and child autism groups, were all represented at the first screening, which was organized as part of McDonald’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program with the support of the Shabab Alkair group, while a second screening for members of McDonald’s staff and their families also met with an enthusiastic reception. The fun-filled evening began with a screening for children who receive assistance from various special needs organizations, who were delighted with both the film and the goodie bags filled with fun gifts and movie-themed souvenirs distributed to them by McDonald’s ‘Senior Stars’ after the movie ended. The second screening enthralled an audience of 200 keen movie fans, consisting of staff from various McDonald’s outlets in Kuwait and from the company’s head office here, along with their families. The movie, a warm-hearted 3D computer-animated family comedy complete with great sing-along songs, tells the story of a memorable journey by Blu, the last male blue macaw of his kind as he travels from his adopted home in smalltown Minnesota, USA to meet the fiercely independent Jewel, the last female of the species, back home in Brazil in order to save their species. Along the way in the movie made by the same producer responsible for the Ice Age series, the two birds face a host of adventures, with laughs at every turn. McDonald’s Kuwait has a long history of sponsoring leisure and sports events for children with special needs and has consistently demonstrated its support for this group, said a representative yesterday. Operating since 1994 in Kuwait, McDonald’s now has 63 restaurants across the country.




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Bahrain detains former champion athlete: Opposition DUBAI: Bahrain has detained a former bodybuilding champion as part of a crackdown on mainly Shi’ite Muslim pro democracy protesters in the Sunni-led Gulf Arab kingdom, the opposition said yesterday. Tareq al-Fursani, a gold medallist in several Asian championships, was arrested at his home in a village east of the capital Manama late on Saturday, a member of the country’s largest Shi’ite opposition group, Wefaq, told Reuters. “ The authorities didn’t

allow him to call his family, which is the same for all the previous cases,” said Wefaq’s Mattar Ibrahim Mattar. “ The violation against human rights is continuing in Bahrain and they are ignoring calls for a political solution.” A rolling crackdown has targeted Bahrainis who took part in weeks of street protests demanding more freedom, an end to discrimination and a constitutional monarchy in the country, which is a U.S.-ally. Bahrain’s Sunni rulers crushed the protests last

month, deploying security forces throughout the capital and calling in troops from Sunni-led Gulf neighbours Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Mattar said 29 had been killed since the protests started including six non-Shi’ites. The six included two foreigners- an Indian and a Bangladeshi-and four policemen, he said. The Shi’ite -led uprising unnerved neighbouring Sunni countries, particularly Saudi Arabia which feared protests

could spread fur ther and embolden its own Shi’ites in the Eastern Province, home to most of the country’s massive oil resources. Gulf Arab rulers have accused non-Arab Shi’ite Iran of inter fering in Bahrain, where Shi’ites form at least 60 percent of the countr y ’s Bahraini population of around 600,000. Mattar said the number of registered detainees was currently around 500 but estimated up to 650 people may be in custody. Those included a

human rights lawyer and at least two doctors detained on Saturday. Bahrain, home to the US Fifth Fleet, has also fired workers in state companies who took part in the protests, and Mattar said the government was warning students they could be barred from final exams if they were absent for 15 or more days. Bahrain said on Thursday it would seek court approval to dissolve the Shi’ite opposition group Wefaq, which won 18 seats in the 40-seat parliament

last year. The foreign minister, in a statement that appeared to contradict justice ministry remarks, denied the report. Wefaq, which resigned its seats in parliament in protest against the crackdown, has called for a constitutional monarchy but did not join smaller groups in demanding the overthrow of the al-Khalifa ruling family. Parliament has little power and the cabinet, appointed by the king, has been headed by the same member of the ruling family for four decades. —Reuters

Yemen opposition to meet Gulf ministers Saleh departure ‘not negotiable’, says opposition SANAA: Yemen’s opposition leaders were to meet Gulf Arab foreign ministers in Saudi Arabia yesterday to lay out their conditions before entering formal talks over the departure of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. After three months of protests demanding an end to Saleh’s 32-year rule, Gulf Arab states stepped in earlier this month to offer to mediate a transition of power, but talks have dragged on over issues such as Saleh’s immunity from prosecution and the timetable for a transition. The opposition, whose delegation is headed by former foreign minister Mohammed Basindwa, rejected a proposal by Gulf foreign ministers last week because it appeared to offer Saleh immu-

Saleh stepping down was “not negotiable” Basindwa said. “We hope the American and European friends as well as our brothers in the Gulf will support this initiative because there will

security forces since late January, fuelling fears that violence could spiral out of control in the poor and politically fragmented countr y where al Qaeda has been active.

SANAA: Yemeni anti-government protesters tear up a poster of president Ali Abdullah Saleh during a demonstration calling for Saleh’s ouster, in Sanaa, yesterday. —AFP nity from prosecution. Basindwa told Reuters the opposition had agreed to meet at the invitation of Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal and on condition that no Saleh representatives would be included.

be no solution without Saleh’s departure,” he said. The opposition wants Saleh gone within weeks and to keep open the option of prosecuting him. More than 116 protesters have been killed in clashes with

Saudi Arabia, which along with the United States has backed Saleh to keep al Qaeda at bay, has been hosting talks in its capital Riyadh. Sunday’s meeting is scheduled for 1300 GMT. Saleh had welcomed the Gulf

plan, which suggested he would step down without providing a timetable. After initially offering to leave after his current term ends in 2013, Saleh said he would step down after holding elections, possibly this year. A political survivor who has described ruling Yemen as “dancing on the heads of snakes”, Saleh has warned of civil war and the break-up of the country if he is forced out and insists on handing power over to what he calls “safe hands.” Even before the start of the protests, inspired by the toppling of the Tunisian and Egyptian presidents, Saleh was struggling to quell a separatist rebellion in the south and cement a truce with Shi’ite Muslim rebels in the north. There was lingering anger on the streets after Saleh called the opposition liars and bandits on Saturday. Appealing to religious sensitivities in the conser vative Muslim country, Saleh also criticised the mixing of unrelated men and women among protesters in Sanaa. Thousands of Yemeni women took to the streets to protest against his comments. On Friday, hundreds of thousands protested against Saleh in Sanaa, Aden and Taiz. Clerics and tribal leaders who once backed Saleh issued a statement calling for his immediate departure and that of his relatives in the military and security forces. —Reuters

Egypt ex-premier to face corruption trial C AIRO: Egypt ’s ex-premier Ahmed Nazif and the former ministers of interior and finance are to face trial on charges of corruption, a judicial source told AFP yesterday. Ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s sons, meanwhile, were separately questioned yesterday on their alleged financial activities in Cyprus and Britain, the public prosecutor’s office said. Nazif, “former interior minister Habib al-Adly and former finance minister Yussef Boutros-Ghali will face trial, charged with misusing public funds and unlawful gains valued at 92 million Egyptian pounds (15 million dollars),” the judicial source said. The three, along with a German businessman, are accused of illegal profiteering from a deal to import new vehicle number plates which they allegedly bought directly without a public tender as laid down by the law. They are also said to have bought the number plates for higher than their market price. The trial is part of a sweeping probe into corruption launched under the ruling military council which took power when president Hosni Mubarak was ousted on February 11 following antiregime protests. Nazif, who Mubarak sacked along with his cabinet on January 28 in a bid to placate the growing protest movement, was remanded in custody on April 10. Adly, the widely reviled former interior minister, is already facing trial for fraud and is due to face criminal charges in connection with the shooting of protesters. Boutros-Ghali, a nephew of former UN chief Boutros Boutros-Ghali, and who held a senior post in the International Monetary Fund, is currently abroad. Nationwide anti-regime protests that

erupted on January 25 ended Mubarak’s 30-year reign of the Arab world’s most populous country and saw power transferred to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which vowed to bring to justice all those found guilty of abuse. The riots, which saw violent clashes between protesters and Mubarak loyalists and security forces, left an estimated 800 people dead and more than 6,000 injured. Mubarak, who was hospitalised last week after a heart attack, has also been remanded in custody in connection with the deaths of protesters. He is in hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where he fled with his family during the protests that ended his presidency. Mubarak’s two sons, Alaa and Gamal, are in the Tora prison complex in the capital, and face similar accusations. Yesterday, they faced investigators at the prison after the interior ministry refused to transfer them “for security reasons,” a spokesman at the prosecutor’s office said. The interrogation focused on their ties “with a company in Cyprus and one of the British Isles managing investment funds of some businessmen,” he added, without elaborating. Both men are also accused of forcing businessmen to give them a cut in local partnerships with foreign companies. The Tora prison complex, once home to political prisoners, now hosts a growing number of former regime officials, including Mubarak’s former chief of staff Zakariah Azmy and his former party’s leadership. Mubarak’s National Democratic Party was dissolved on Saturday by the Supreme Administrative Court, which ordered its funds and property to be handed to the government. —AFP

JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Israeli government secretary Zvi Hauser, right, attend the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, yesterday. —AP

Iran parliament poll set for March 2012 TEHRAN: Iranians will go to the polls in March 2012 to elect deputies to a four-year tenure in the parliament, the interior minister told the state broadcaster yesterday. “The election for the majlis (parliament) will be held on Friday the 12th of Esfand (March 2),” said Mostafa Mohammad Najjar. Speaker Ali Larijani currently presides over the conservative-dominated, 290-seat legislative body. He has repeatedly criticised President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s policies, especially on the economy. There are around 60 reformist deputies in the house. Iran’s electoral watchdog, the Guardians Council, will vet registered candidates and must also endorse the final results. Iran’s last presidential election, held in June 2009, saw hardliner Ahmadinejad re-elected, but opposition leaders said the vote was rigged and called mass protests. Dozens of people were killed in the protests that followed the election. Thousands were arrested initially, most were released later, but scores of reformist leaders were sentenced to hefty jail terms. Opposition leaders former prime minister Mir Hossein Mousavi and former speaker Mehdi Karroubi, who presided over a reformist-dominated majlis, have been under house arrest since mid-February following a demonstration that was attended by several thousand people on February 14. —AFP

HEBRON: Palestinian women hold photographs of relatives jailed in Israel, during a protest to mark Prisoner’s Day in the West Bank city of Hebron, yesterday. —AP

Israel arrests Palestinians over settler murders AWARTA: Israel has arrested two Palestinian suspects in connection with the grisly murder of a young settler family, Israeli security officials said yesterday. A senior army officer said he believed the killing of the Israeli couple and three of their children at the West Bank settlement of Itamar was not ordered by a militant group but was the outcome of a burglary that went wrong. “I personally believe that what motivated them was to penetrate an Israeli settlement and maybe to steal a gun, and the murder as it occurred was something they didn’t plan at the beginning, it just happened,” Colonel Nimrod Aloni told reporters in a briefing. Both the suspects’ family and home village of Awarta have traditional allegiances to the Marxist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, but Aloni said he did not believe the young men were directed by any organisation. “I think that they acted by themselves with no direction whatsover,” he said. “My estimation is that they worked independently.” Yesterday’s announcement of the arrests was the first public update on a murder investigation spanning more than a month since the March 11 slaying of the Fogel family. The news came just ahead of the Jewish holiday of Passover, and after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior officials had suggested that a major breakthrough in the case would be made public soon. In a briefing document obtained by AFP, Shin Bet said it had arrested two main suspects and five suspected accomplices. “The two, residents of the village of Awarta, confessed during the investigation to planning and carrying out the attack and staged a reconstruction,” the document said. A spokesman for the agency told AFP that the two had not yet been charged and that the investigation was ongoing. Shin Bet said the two suspects had climbed over Itamar’s electric fence and first stole an M16 automatic rifle from a

house whose occupants were away before entering the Fogel household, where they stole a second weapon. Both weapons were recovered, they said. Six of the men arrested in connection with the case are members of the Awad family from Awarta, and a seventh, a resident of Ramallah, was a friend of one of the suspected accomplices, the document said. Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld named the main suspects as Hakim Awad, who he said was arrested on April 5, and his relative Amjad Awad, who was arrested on April 10. The Shin Bet did not give their precise ages but said they were born in 1993 and 1992 respectively. Awarta, a short walk from Itamar in the northern West Bank, has been the central focus of the investigation into the murders. It was put under curfew shortly after the attack, and Israeli troops have detained hundreds of its residents, prompting the local council head to accuse Israel of a policy of “collective punishment.” In Awarta, Hakim Awad’s mother, Nouf Awad, told AFP it was “impossible” that her son had committed the murder. “It wasn’t my son who did it,” she said. “It is impossible that it’s him, he was with me the whole night that the incident happened.” In Itamar, the neighbour who discovered the Fogel family’s bodies welcomed the arrests, but said the community was trying to move on. “It’s positive that they caught the murderers, the most important thing is that this should never happen again,” Rabbi Yaakov Cohen told AFP. “We’re not looking for revenge, despite the feeling of loss, life goes back to normal,” he said. The brutal stabbing occurred late on March 11, as the family slept in the settlement southeast of Nablus. Ehud and Ruth Fogel were stabbed as they slept, along with three of their children-a three-month-old baby girl, and two others aged three and 11. —AFP

BAGHDAD: Iraqi policemen patrol as a street is reopened in the Saidiya neighborhood of southern Baghdad, yesterday. Violence has sharply fallen in Iraq since its peak during sectarian killings of 2006 and 2007, but bombings, shootings and kidnappings remain common. —AFP



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

Libyan rebels fear attack on Ajdabiyah Men, women and children flee after attack

VATICAN: Pope Benedict XVI arrives in St. Peter’s square to celebrate the Palm Sunday Mass, at the Vatican, yesterday. — AP

Technology can’t replace God: Pope VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict led Roman Catholics into Holy Week celebrations, telling a Palm Sunday crowd that man will pay the price for his pride if he believes technology can give him the powers of God. Under a splendid Roman sun, the German pope presided at a colourful celebration where tens of thousands of people waved palm and olive branches to commemorate Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem the week before he was crucified. The pope, who turned 84 on Saturday, wove his sermon around the theme of man’s relationship with God and how it can sometimes be threatened by technology. “From the beginning men and women have been filled-and this is as true today as ever-with a desire to ‘be like God’, to attain the heights of God by their own powers,” he said, wearing resplendent red and gold vestments. “Mankind has managed to accomplish so many things: we can fly! We can see, hear and speak to one another from the farthest ends of the earth. And yet the force of gravity which draws us down is powerful,” he said. While the great advances of technology have improved life for man, the pope said, they have also increased possibilities for evil, and recent natural disasters were a reminder, if any were needed, that mankind is not allpowerful. If man wanted a relationship with God he had to first “abandon the pride of wanting to become God,” said the pope, celebrating his sixth Easter season as the leader of the world’s some 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.

After the mass, the pope appealed for peace in Colombia, calling for wide participation in a day of prayer for the victims of violence to be held there on Friday. “Enough of violence in Colombia. May she live in peace,” he said. Palm Sunday, a moveable feast that is marked on the Sunday before Easter, is celebrated throughout the Christian world to commemorate Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on a donkey, a symbol of peace in the ancient world. At the ceremony a cantor recounted all the events in Jesus’ life between Palm Sunday and Easter. Via Della Conciliazione, the broad boulevard leading to the Vatican, was bedecked with olive trees and bronze statues depicting the “stations of the cross”, or the last events in Jesus’ life. For the pope and Christians around the world, it marks the start of a hectic week of events leading to Easter Sunday. On Holy Thursday, Benedict will preside at two traditional services in the Vatican, including one in which he will wash and kiss the feet of twelve men in a gesture of humility toward his apostles the night before he died. On Good Friday he will preside at services in the Vatican and then lead a traditional torch-lit Via Crucis, or Way of the Cross, around the ruins of Rome’s ancient Colosseum. Holy Week services at the Vatican culminate on Easter Sunday, the most important day in the liturgical calendar, when the pope delivers his twice-yearly “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) blessing and message. — Reuters

AJDABIYAH: Rebels came under fire on the outskirts of Ajdabiyah yesterday, hemming them in to their eastern outpost and denting their hopes of pushing west to try to end a stalemate in the Libyan war. One witness said he saw around a dozen rockets land around the western entrance to town, which rebels wanted to use as a staging post to retake the oil port of Brega. Many fled as loud explosions boomed across the town. “There are still some guys out there at the western gate but the situation isn’t very good,” said Wassim el-Agouri, a 25-year-old rebel volunteer waiting at Ajdabiyah’s eastern gate. Some rebels on Saturday made it into the outskirts of Brega, 50 miles (80 km) to the west, but many others retreated to Adjabiyah after six were killed by rockets fired by Gaddafi loyalists on the exposed coastal road joining the two towns. By yesterday, scores of volunteer fighters and civilian cars carrying men, women and children streamed east from Ajdabiyah down the coast road towards Benghazi, where the popular revolt against Gaddafi’s 41year rule began on Feb. 17. Yesterday marked a month since the UN Security Council passed a resolution authorising force to protect civilians in Libya, leading to an international air campaign. But despite NATO air strikes against Gaddafi’s armour, rebels have been unable to make or hold their gains in weeks of back-and-forth fighting over the coastal towns in eastern Libya. In western Libya, the rebel-held city of Misrata has been besieged for seven weeks, raising international concern about a growing humanitarian crisis. Hundreds of civilians are believed to have died in fighting and bombing in the city. A rebel spokesman said that Gaddafi’s forces shelled Misrata again on Sunday, killing at least six people. Abdel Basset Mezerik said at least 47 people were also wounded. The United States, France and Britain said last week they would not stop bombing Gaddafi’s forces until he left power. With NATO troops bogged down

in Afghanistan, Western countries have however ruled out sending ground troops-a position reinforced by the British prime minister on Sunday. “What we’ve said is there is no question of invasion or an occupation-this is not about Britain putting boots on the ground ...,” David Cameron told Sky News in an interview. But he said outside powers would help in every other way to stop Gaddafi “unleashing this hell on people in Misrata” and other towns up and down the Libyan coast,

road through the town with concrete blocks, tree branches, trash bins and anything else they could find for fear of an attack by Gaddafi’s forces. Rebel pick-ups patrolled the streets and men took up positions across the town with machineguns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers. Others returned to positions at the western gate with their weapons pointed west and south into the desert. “We are ready for a street war. We are prepared. We have got dynamite

MISRATA: A man runs for cover in Misrata, a rebel bastion 120 kms (75 miles) east of Tripoli, yesterday as Libyan rebel fighters launch an attack on pro-regime snipers further down the thoroughfare after a major gunfight erupted with rebels slowly advancing on what is believed to be an isolated army position. — AFP including providing “non-lethal equipment” to the rebels. The rebels have called repeatedly for heavier arms, saying their machineguns and rocket-propelled grenades are not powerful enough to face the government forces. “We want weapons, modern weapons,” said rebel Ayman Aswey, 21. “If we had those, we could advance against them.” Ajdabiyah’s streets were almost deserted by mid-afternoon and rebels had begun barricading the

and we’ve got grenades,” said rebel fighter Emtar el-Farjany, who was holding a stick of dynamite. Earlier yesterday a sandstorm obscured the flat expanse of desert stretching west to Brega. Rebel fighter Ahmed al-Zuwaihi blamed the weather for a lack of air strikes by NATO warplanes. “The weather is no good today. NATO hasn’t hit anything,” he said. “It’s a big opportunity for Gaddafi and he’s taking advantage of it. He might enter Ajdabiyah today. Today the planes are not going

to hit anything.” There was no sign of a ground assault by Gaddafi’s forces but, with the rebels often unable to hold their ground against the better-armed government loyalists, many in the town took the rocket attacks as a cue to leave. Days of sporadic clashes on the road west to Brega have failed to break a deadlock in the fighting. Rebel officials said on Saturday that their most experienced soldiers were clashing with Gaddafi’s forces on the edge of Brega. But the front line is hard to locate due to the hit-and-run style of fighting, long-distance shelling and the growing tendency of Gaddafi’s followers to launch outflanking manoeuvres and ambush less experienced rebel fighters on the coastal road. The rebels pushed hundreds of kilometres towards the capital Tripoli in late March after foreign warplanes began bombing Gaddafi’s positions to protect civilians, but proved unable to hold territory and were pushed back as far as Ajdabiyah. In Misrata, rebels say they have faced daily bombardment from Gaddafi’s forces. The US-based rights group Human Rights Watch has also accused Gaddafi’s forces of using cluster bombs-which scatter bomblets over a wide area, increasing civilian casualties. The Libyan government has rejected the allegations. A resident who arrived in Tunisia on Saturday on board a Medecins Sans Frontieres ship evacuating some of the wounded said the fighting in Misrata was getting worse by the day. “They are bombing residential areas day and night. It’s non-stop and they are using bigger weapons,” Ibrahim Ali said in a hospital in Tunisia’s port of Sfax. “They bomb roads, houses.” Food was running short and long queues formed outside bakeries. Some streets were fast becoming unrecognisable. “ The destruction is total,” he said. Asked who was controlling most of the city, Ali said: “It’s 50-50. It can change quickly.” The Libyan government blames militants allied to al Qaeda for the fighting. —Reuters




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Mexicans seek mass grave victims at border morgue MATAMOROS: Bereft Mexican families stand clutching photographs of loved ones, weeping outside a morgue on the country’s northern border in search of victims of the worst mass killings in Mexico’s drug war. Ricardo Martinez, 63, is one of many grief-stricken parents who have come to the city of Matamoros on the border with Texas for news of their missing children since soldiers began digging up dozens of bodies from mass graves in nearby San Fernando. The last time Martinez spoke to his son Elvis was when the 33-year-old called from a pay phone two weeks ago to say he was getting onto a bus so he could sneak into Texas from the border state of Tamaulipas to look for work in Houston. The next news he got was from

coroners informing him his son was one of nearly 150 bodies unearthed since last week in graves that have become a stain on the name of Tamaulipas. “The only thing my son wanted was a job so he could try to get ahead. Here in Mexico you lose your life for aspiring for something better,” said Martinez as he left the coroner’s office on Saturday with his weeping daughter. Camped out in Matamoros, the Martinez family is one of a growing number who suspect their relatives were among those hauled off buses by hitmen and murdered by the feared Zetas cartel that the government has blamed for the atrocities. Mexican President Felipe Calderon is struggling to avert a collapse of law and order in Tamaulipas, home to nat-

ural gas fields near the Gulf of Mexico, as the Zetas fight the powerful Gulf cartel for smuggling routes and extend their control over large areas, infiltrating police and local governments. The state is a magnet for migrants planning to cross into the United States illegally or those who seek work in thousands of factories on the Mexican side of the border. The roads of Tamaulipas are a major thoroughfare for buses that gangs are now hijacking, kidnapping passengers for ransom and forcing some to join the gangs. “Given what’s happening, we’d rather add hours to our journey times than go through San Fernando,” said Juan Armando Gonzalez, who runs an office for the Omnibus chain. Inhabitants of Tamaulipas like 47-

year-old Jose Tovar say the bodies found so far are just the tip of the iceberg. “I don’t think we’re looking at 146 or 200 dead, I reckon there are over a thousand buried in hidden graves,” he said. The slayings in Tamaulipas are a bitter blow to the government ’s efforts to reassure Washington and the rest of the world that it is winning the war against the cartels that Calderon launched on taking office in December 2006. “It’s bad news for Mexico and for foreign investors,” said Jose Luis Pineyro, a security expert at Mexico’s Autonomous M etropolitan University. “Calderon is trying to sell the message that Mexico is a safe and peaceful place.” Armed with grenade launchers

and automatic weapons, both the Gulf car tel and the Zetas have orchestrated mass jail breaks and driven police from rural towns, while the latter are openly stealing gasoline from state-run pipelines in the area. More than 37,000 people have died in the violence over the past four years, hur ting the hopes of Calderon’s conservatives of retaining the presidenc y in elections next year. The killings have also raised tensions with the United States, Mexico’s co-sponsor in the drug war and its top trade partner. The two countries have accused each other of hindering progress, straining diplomatic relations to the point where the US ambassador to Mexico resigned last month. —Reuters

At least 35 dead in six US states after storm Emergency crews search for victims RALEIGH: A furious storm system that kicked up tornadoes, flash floods and hail as big as grapefruits has claimed at least 35 lives across the southern US. Emergency crews searched for victims in hard-hit swaths of North Carolina, where 62 tornadoes were reported from the worst spring storm in two decades to hit the state. Authorities warned the death toll was likely to rise further Sunday as searchers probed shattered homes and businesses. The storm claimed its first lives Thursday night in Oklahoma, then roared through Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. They hit Nor th

most deadly since March 1984, when a storm system spawned 22 twisters in the Carolinas that k illed 57 people and injured hundreds.

reports of fatalities in at least four counties and in the capital city, Raleigh. Search and rescue teams operated through the night, Perdue said, with damage

SANFORD: Lowes Home Improvement employee stands in the parking lot of their store after it was hit by a tornado in Sanford, N.C., Saturday. Homes and businesses were badly damaged Saturday by a severe storm system that whipped across North Carolina, bringing flash floods, hail and reports of tornadoes from the western hills to the streets of Raleigh. —AP Carolina and neighboring Virginia on Saturday before the sprawling, potent storm bands moved eastward over the Atlantic. In North Carolina, Gov. Beverly Perdue declared a state of emergency and said the 62 tornadoes repor ted were the

“Our thoughts and prayers are with ever ybody in Nor th Carolina who has been through this horrible day,” Perdue said. Authorities in North Carolina said they would provide more details of the death toll later Sunday after checking on the

assessments starting in earnest Sunday after daylight. Police and rescue crews began conducting house-to-house searches later Saturday at a mobile home park in nor th Raleigh, where the storm snapped some trees in half, ripped others out of

UK coalition partners trade blows over voting reform LONDON: Cracks appeared in Britain’s coalition government yesterday over a looming referendum on voting reform as Conservative and Liberal Democrat politicians clashed publicly on the merits of adopting a new system. In little over two weeks, voters will be asked to decide whether they want a new electoral model, known as the alternative vote (AV), to replace the current first-pastthe-post system. Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party has always opposed change but promised to put it to the popular vote last year as part of concessions to entice the smaller Lib Dems to join them in coalition. With the May 5 vote drawing closer and with local elections on the same day seen as a key test of support for both the coalition and the popularity of individual parties, tensions rose as both camps stepped up their rhetoric at the weekend. In a stinging attack in the Observer newspaper, former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown accused Finance Minister George Osborne of cheap mudslinging and scaremongering to push the “no” vote through. Last week Osborne had said it “stinks” that the main backer of the pro-AV camp was the Electoral Reform Society, whom he alleged stood to gain financially from the change. Ashdown hit back saying his strategy “stinks of the same odour which has surrounded our politics recently”, accusing him of hiding the facts from voters.

The AV referendum result could spell more trouble for the Lib Dems-whose leader Nick Clegg has staked his reputation on adopting-than it does for their Conservative partners. Adding to Lib Dem woes, a ComRes survey for the Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror gave the “no” camp a six-point lead, an exact reversal of the position as recently as January. In an interview with Sky News, Cameron backed his chancellor and rejected accusations his party was indulging in a dirty tricks campaign. He also threw his weight behind the current system. “We’ve got a system that’s efficient, that’s simple, that’s fair, that works, that’s used by half the world, and we shouldn’t swap it for a system that’s unfair and used by just a handful of countries and that is much more complicated,” he said. However, Cameron insisted party-political differences over the vote would not significantly damage the coalition. “Whatever the result on May 5, this is a five-year government, Nick and I are absolutely committed to taking the government and its programme forward,” he said. In first-past-the-post system the single winner is the person with the most votes; there is no requirement to gain an absolute majority of votes. Under the AV, each voter ranks candidates in order of preference so that if no single candidate gets a majority, votes are redistributed until one does. —Reuters

the ground and tossed some trailers from one side of a street to the other. Authorities said 10 people were confirmed dead after storms spawning tornadoes swept through a small eastern North Carolina county. Bertie County Manager Zee Lamb said yesterday that one person also was missing. He said authorities had identified nine of the dead but did not release their names or ages. The tornado moved through about 7 p.m. Saturday, sweeping homes from their foundations, demolishing others and flipping cars on tiny rural roads between Askewville and Colerian, Lamb said. One of the volunteers who scoured the rubble was an Iraq war veteran who told Lamb he was stunned by what he saw. “He did two tours of duty in Iraq and the scene was worse than he ever saw in Iraq - that’s pretty devastating,” Lamb said. As dawn broke, dozens of firefighters, volunteers and other officials were meeting in a makeshift command center to form search teams to fan out to the hardest-hit areas. “ There were several cases of houses being totally demolished except for one room, and that’s where the people were,” he said. “They survived. Pretty devastating.” In Virginia, disaster officials said one apparent tornado ripped more than 12 miles (19 kilometers) through Gloucester County, along the Chesapeake Bay, uprooting trees and pounding homes to rubble while claiming three lives. One person was killed in flash flooding elsewhere in the state, and another was missing. —AP

JOS: Residents gather yesterday in Utan village in Jos near the family house of the late Julia Bulus, a school girl who was killed the day before by a bullet fired by a Nigerian soldier, according to eye witness accounts. Violence broke out during voting in the presidential polls according to residents in the village who said that chaos broke out after police fired at a motorcycle rider injuring him in the arm and later started firing randomly after voting citizens and officials were scuttled, injuring at least two and killing the school girl. —AFP

Nigeria’s Jonathan takes early lead as votes tallied ABUJA: Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan took an early lead yesterday as votes were tallied from around the nation, but his main rival Muhammadu Buhari put in a strong showing in the mainly-Muslim north. Results from eight states including the capital Abuja and commercial hub Lagos put Jonathan at just over 6 million votes, with Buhari on 2 million, although six of those states lie in the largely-Christian south where Jonathan has most support. Observers said voter turnout appeared to have been higher in the north than the south, meaning Buhari could easily close the gap as results from populous northern states come in. “We are walking a tightrope,” said Yusuf Tuggar, from Buhari’s Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and a candidate for governor in northern Bauchi State in an April 26 ballot. “People are getting excited.” Tens of millions voted on Saturday in what was tentatively described by observers as the most credible presidential election for decades in Africa’s most populous nation. Jonathan, the first head of state from the oil-producing Niger Delta, was considered the favourite going in to the polls but Buhari, a former military ruler from the

dustblown Muslim north, is hoping to at least force a second round. To avoid a run-off, the winner must get a simple majority and at least a quarter of the vote in 24 of the 36 states. Buhari took around 60 percent of the vote in Kano, the most populous state in the north. Jonathan won just 16 percent. “It is unfortunate but there is no need to panic,” said Rabio Suliuman, returning officer for Jonathan’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP). “This election will be very close but we are still confident Jonathan will emerge as winner in the first round.” Fearing the ruling party would try to fiddle the results- the norm in ballots since army rule ended in 1999 — Buhari supporters took to the streets in some northern cities. Trouble flared in isolated areas. Police were investigating a possible bomb blast in a brothel near a polling station in the city of Kaduna late on Saturday. A PDP official’s house was burned down in the town of Azere. Shots were fired in Bauchi and a car thought to be carrying fraudulent ballots was set ablaze in what turned out to be a case of mistaken identity. Youths stalked the streets armed with bows and arrows. —Reuters

Finns vote, populist party threatens EU bailout HELSINKI: Finland’s anti-euro True Finns party is expected to make big gains in yesterday’s parliamentary election, threatening the proEuropean government and raising the risk of disruption to an EU bailout of Portugal. Finland’s parliament, unlike others in the euro zone, has the right to vote on EU requests for bailout funds, meaning it could hold up plans to shore up Portugal and bring stability to debt markets. An opinion poll on Thursday showed the National Coalition- the second largest party in Finland’s governing coalition and an EU supporter-with a narrow lead at 21 percent of voters. That would not be enough to secure a majority in parliament, and analysts expect it to seek a multi-party coalition. Some say it could even invite in the True Finns, if the party secures enough votes. “Whether the True Finns will really (emerge) as the champions of the elections is still uncertain. But I think we will clearly get a more nationalistic, more conservative, less European-oriented government in Finland,” ING senior economist Carsten Brzeski told Reuters. Finland’s three other main partiesPrime Minister Mari Kiviniemi’s Centre party, the True Finns and the

opposition Social Democrats-each command the support of between 15 and 19 percent of voters, according to the poll. Polling stations close at 1700 GMT. Finnish television will broadcast

fears of an anti-euro government. The True Finns, he said, would probably be asked to tone down their rhetoric as a condition of joining the coalition. The Social Democrats, who are

HELSINKI: Election officials count postal votes at a counting centre in downtown Helsinki, Finland yesterday. Finns went to the polls to elect a new Parliament yesterday. —AP exit poll results shortly afterwards. Official results are due later on Sunday. The government is expected to be formed mid- to late May. National Coalition minister Jan Vapaavuori on Friday played down

critical of the bailout but supportive of the EU, would be easier to get on board, he said. “I’m sure that Finland will be in line with other European countries in the next government,” he told Reuters.

The True Finns have said they have no intention of backing down from their opposition to the bailout. But analysts said the party and its charismatic leader, Timo Soini, would probably compromise if needed. “It would be strange for a party to grow so much but not want to use that power and enter government,” said Kimmo Gronlund, research director at Abo University. Support for the True Finns has nearly quadrupled since the 2007 election, partly fuelled by anxiety over unemployment and pension cutbacks. The True Finns party leans to the left on social welfare issues. “Pensioners have been treated very badly. The allowances have come down, and I’m expecting they will be lowered more,” said pensioner Liisa Valkama, as she waited to vote. Finland’s rebound from the global financial crisis has done little to boost the number of jobs. Even its flagship company, Nokia, is struggling to compete with Apple Inc and Asian handset makers, and is expected to cut jobs. “They have strict opinions about everything,” one young woman, who gave her name as Eevi, said of the True Finns. “Finnish people have always been very open, I wonder why we are now pulling off, closing up again?” —Reuters



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Three more NATO troops killed in Afghanistan

India’s last Maharaja of Jaipur dies at 79 JAIPUR: Brigadier Sawai Bhawani Singh, the last Maharaja of Jaipur who continued to be revered as a social and cultural icon after India abolished royal titles, has died after a long illness, his daughter said yesterday. He was 79. Singh died late Saturday in a hospital on the outskirts of New Delhi where he had spent the last two weeks, daughter Diya Kumari said. He had suffered from high blood pressure and a lung infection and had spent time in hospital previously. Singh served as the Maharaja or hereditary ruler of Jaipur after his father Sawai Man Singh’s death in June 1970. Jaipur was one of hundreds of tiny royal kingdoms that dotted India until the country’s independence from Britain in 1947. The rulers continued to hold onto their titles after independence.

Deadliest days for NATO service members

JAIPUR: In this Oct. 18, 2010 photograph, Brigadier Sawai Bhawani Singh, the last Maharaja of Jaipur, poses during his birthday at Jaipur, India. — AP However, Singh served as Maharaja for only a few months until India formally abolished the royal titles in 1971. Despite this, he continued to be revered as an icon in western India’s Rajasthan state and was often referred to by his royal title in the media as well as by locals. —AP

My job is done if Indo-Pak ties normalize: Singh NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would consider his job “well done” if ties with Pakistan return to normal before he leaves office, local media quoted him as saying yesterday, weeks after Singh’s diplomatic push at the cricket World Cup. The nuclear-armed neighbours have slowly tried to rebuild a fragile trust shattered by the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which Singh’s government blamed on Pakistanbased militants in collusion with the country’s spy agency. According to a recently released Wikileaks cable, Singh has led the push for peace with Pakistan despite misgivings from members of his own administration, including the National Security Adviser. “Well, if I can succeed in normalising relations between India and Pakistan as they should prevail between two normal

states, I will consider my job well done,” Singh told reporters on board his plane returning from a visit to Kazakhstan, according to the Press Trust of India. Singh had invited his Pakistani counterpart, Yusuf Raza Gilani, to watch their two teams square off in the semi-final of the cricket World Cup at the end of March. In a major confidence-building measure ahead of the match, Islamabad also agreed to let Indian investigators travel to Pakistan to probe the Mumbai assault. Their foreign ministers are due to meet in July. For Singh, the push for peace may be a way of regaining the policy initiative after his government has been battered by months of corruption scandals that could dent the ruling Congress party’s chances in state elections this year. — Reuters

KABUL: Three more NATO service members were k illed in attacks in Afghanistan on Saturday, the international coalition said, making a total of eight killed on one of the deadliest days for NATO troops this year. The three deaths announced yesterday came from two separate bomb attacks in the south on the same day that five NATO service members were killed in a suicide bombing by a Taleban sleeper agent at a US base in the east. NATO officials have said they expect a particularly violent spring and summer in Afghanistan as insurgents try to pour back into areas taken over by international troops over the winter. Fighting usually increases in Afghanistan as the weather warms and insurgents climb back over the mountainous border with Pakistan. This year, NATO has pushed further into Taleban strongholds in the south and has said their goal is to hold these areas so that militants cannot re-establish themselves. The next couple months are particularly key for the United States, because President Barack Obama has pledged to star t drawing down troops in July. The suicide attack in eastern Laghman province also killed four Afghan soldiers and an interpreter. The Taleban claimed responsibility for the bombing and spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said yesterday that the soldier was a sleeper agent who had been in the army for years and had been in contact with Taleban operatives for “a long time.” He said the soldier had only been at this specific base for one month. Previously, the Taleban had said the soldier had only joined the army a month ago. Attacks by insurgents donning

security uniforms are a relatively rare but recurrent problem as NATO and Afghan forces work more closely together. Afghanistan’s security forces are also ramping up recruitment of Afghan soldiers and policemen so they can take the lead in securing their nation by the end of 2014, adding more than 70,000 police and soldiers last year in an effor t to reach 305,000 troopers by the end of this year. NATO has not identified the nationalities of any of the dead. The international military coalition typically waits for national authorities to make such announcements. The majority of troops in both the east and

south are American, though there are forces from other nations in both regions. The latest deaths make 23 NATO service members killed so far this month in Afghanistan and 125 killed so far this year. Many of the more than 40 countries contributing troops to the US-led effort in Afghanistan are dealing with eroding support for the mission at home as the war drags into its tenth year. French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet arrived in Afghanistan Sunday to meet with his nation’s troops and Afghan leaders. He met with French troops at the main southern base in Kandahar province, said Lt. Col.

Eric de Lapresle, a spokesman for French forces in the countr y. Longuet told soldiers at the military hospital there that he was proud of their work in the warravaged country. He is also expected to meet with political and militar y authorities in Kabul, de Lapresle added. Some 3,850 French troops are deployed in Afghanistan as part of the NATO mission fighting the Taleban, mainly in Kapisa and the Surobi district north and east of Kabul. It was unclear whether Longuet, named defense minister in late February, would discuss efforts to win freedom for two French journalists k idnapped in December 2009. — AP

LAHORE: Pakistani policemen beat an activist of Hizb ut Tahrir during an anti-goverment protest in Lahore yesterday. Hizb ut Tahrir staged countrywide rallies to demand the end of the presence of US military in Pakistan. — AFP



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Australian military abuse could lead to payouts SYDNEY: A spiralling scandal involving alleged sexual and other abuse within the Australian military could force the government into making payouts to victims, the country’s defence minister said yesterday. Canberra has announced sweeping reviews of the military after a female cadet at the nation’s military academy told the media that a male classmate had broadcast her having sex with him over Skype to fellow students. Her allegations unleashed a wave of complaints, some dating back decades, from other former members of the military involving sexual abuse, beatings and other misconduct within the defence force. “There is a distinct possibility, either in individual cases or more generally, that through the department of defence or

through the services, that there is a Commonwealth (federal government) liability here,” Defence Minister Stephen Smith said. “That is why I say we need to proceed carefully, we need to make sure we respect all the rights of the people who are either complaining or raising issues or in respect of whom adverse comments have been made.” It emerged on Saturday that the defence force faces the threat of a class action lawsuit after advocates for one exrecruit, who claims he was beaten and raped, warned “hundreds” more cases could emerge. Police are investigating allegations that the man, who was 15 when he joined HMAS Leeuwin in the 1970s, endured beatings and assaults before he left the service within a year with an hon-

ourable discharge. Smith said that every allegation would be thoroughly investigated by an external group of lawyers. “I have made it clear that the first thing we need to do is a methodical assessment of all those cases to see if anything more needs to be done,” Smith told Channel Ten’s “Meet The Press” programme. “I do not rule out in that context any further legal or judicial activity so far as those complaints or allegations are concerned.” But the former foreign minister said he was not talking of holding a Royal Commission into the scandal at this stage. “There are a range of possibilities. One, for example, would be intense legal work on particular cases, particular individual cases, another might be a use of lawyers or retired judges to look generally at the

issue,” he said. “There also is the possibility... of giving people who want to tell their story the opportunity of doing that, and also giving people who may have been involved in such cases, so-called bastardisation or victimisation, giving them the opportunity to express a modern-day view.” Key independent MP Andrew Wilkie, whose support is vital to Labor Party Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s narrow hold on power, said he supported Smith in his efforts to crack down on mistreatment within the military. Wilkie, accused last week of ordering military cadets to salute the 50th anniversary of Hitler’s rise when he was a senior cadet at the elite Royal Military College at Duntroon in 1983, admitted he had taken part in the “bastardisation”, or

initiation, of young recruits. “I was bastardised. I was a bastard,” he said yesterday. “At the time, I thought it was fine, with the benefit of hindsight, I know that it is appalling and wrong,” added Wilkie, who said he never physically or sexually assaulted anyone. Australia’s military has endured negative publicity in recent months, after an inquiry into allegations of misconduct on board the supply ship HMAS Success revealed sailors worked amid a culture of predatory sexual behaviour. The 400-page report into the Success noted several onshore leave incidents, including the collapse of sailors due to excess alcohol in Hong Kong and public sex in a bar in China’s Qingdao as others watched. — AFP

Operator airs plan to control nuclear crisis Clinton visits Tokyo in show of support for Japan

YANGON: Myanmar Democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi (C) poses with elder members during celebrations of the Thingyan festival at the National League for Democracy party headquarters in Yangon yesterday. — AFP

Suu Kyi welcomes US envoy nomination YANGON: Pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi says she hopes that a new US special envoy to Myanmar will be able to help usher in true democratic reforms in her country. President Barack Obama last week nominated Derek Mitchell, a defense official and Asia expert, as US special envoy to Myanmar. He would have the tough job of negotiating with its military dominated government and pushing for reform. The post still needs to be confirmed by the US Senate. “I’m a cautious optimist,” Suu Kyi told reporters yesterday. “As a special envoy, he probably sees that his duty is to try to bring about democratization of Burma as smoothly and quickly as possible. So we look upon him as a friend.” Myanmar is also known as Burma. Suu Kyi’s opposition party, which won previous elections in 1990 but was blocked from taking power by the military, boycotted the last vote in November, calling it unfair. Much of the international community also dismissed the elections as rigged in favor of the junta. Suu Kyi’s disbanded party, the National League for Democracy, held a religious ceremony in honor of Myanmar’s traditional New

Year, which started yesterday after four days of festivities. For the New Year, Suu Kyi said she wished for “peace and happiness and hope for the future.” “Let’s hope that even if we do not get peace and happiness immediately, we will have great hopes of peace and happiness to come,” Suu Kyi said. The party also held a ceremony for three people it named as “The unsung heroes” — Buddhist monk U Aindaka and two party members, Khin Win and Than Naing. All three are serving long prison sentences for their pro-democracy work. In the past 18 months, the Obama administration has shifted the long-standing US policy of isolating Myanmar’s generals, attempting to engage them while retaining sanctions imposed because of the military’s poor record on human rights and democracy. The policy has made little headway. The US says it is premature to lift sanctions. It is urging Myanmar to release its more than 2,000 political prisoners and open up its politics. Washington is also concerned about Myanmar’s alleged nuclear ambitions and trade in weapons with North Korea. — AP

Underground Beijing church leaders detained BEIJING: At least two pastors from an underground Beijing church were in police custody and numerous other leaders remained under house arrest yesterday as part of a crackdown on the unregistered Shouwang congregation, a US-based rights group said. The two pastors were taken from their homes by Beijing Public Security Bureau officers Saturday night, Bob Fu, president of the China Aid Association, a Christian rights group, said in an email. Fu said all other Shouwang leaders were under house arrest, though he didn’t give an exact number. Some church members have lost their homes or jobs amid an official campaign to shut down the church, he said. China’s Communist government allows worship only in state-approved churches, but many Christians belong to unregistered congregations. Such “house churches” are subjected to varying degrees of harassment by authorities. Shouwang members have for years been at odds with Beijing officials over their right to worship. Tensions escalated ear-

lier this month when the church was evicted from its usual rented place of worship, a Beijing restaurant. Church leaders decided to temporarily hold services in a public space, prompting police to tape off the area and detain anyone who showed up to take part. A second attempt at open-air services was planned for Sunday in northwest Beijing’s Haidian district. Again, numerous uniformed and plainclothes police officers were parked near the office and shopping complex where Shouwang members were supposed to gather. An Associated Press journalist was followed and warned by plainclothes police not to conduct any interviews in the area. A woman who answered the phone at the Haidian Public Security Bureau referred calls to the bureau’s propaganda department, where the phone rang unanswered. Calls to the Beijing PSB office also went unanswered. Shouwang tried in 2006 to register with the government but its application was rejected, the church said in a statement distributed by Fu. —AP

HK cabin crews get kung fu training HONG KONG: A Hong Kong airline is making all its cabin crew take kung fu lessons to help them to deal with drunk and unruly passengers. Hong Kong Airlines said all staff had been invited to undergo training in wing chun-a form of kung fu used in closerange combat-but it was only compulsory for cabin crew, the Sunday Morning Post reported. The airline had around three incidents involving disruptive passengers every week, said Eva Chan, the carrier’s deputy general manager of corporate communication. Two weeks ago a crew member had to put her martial arts training into practice on a flight from Beijing to Hong Kong. “One of the passengers was sick but he was probably drunk and felt unwell. The crew member attended to him and she realised her fitness was helping her, especially because the guy was

quite heavy,” Chan told the newspaper. “Normally, a female cabin crew can’t handle a fat guy, especially if he’s drunk, but because of the training, she can handle it quite easily.” New recruit Lumpy Tang, 22, said she never imagined kung fu would be part of the job. “We were surprised in the beginning, but after a few lessons we really liked wing chun,” Tang told the Post. “You cannot predict what will happen on the plane, so wing chun is good because it’s so fast,” she said. “I feel safer because I can defend myself and I’m really happy to be one of the first cabin crew to learn wing chun in the world.” Wing chun instructor Katherine Cheung said the martial art was ideal for airline crews. “Wing chun can be used in small, confined spaces so it’s suited for an airplane,” Cheung said. “It’s easy to learn but difficult to master.” —AFP

TOKYO: The operator of Japan’s crippled nuclear plant laid out a blueprint yesterday for stopping radiation leaks and stabilizing damaged reactors within the next six to nine months as a first step toward allowing some of the tens of thousands of evacuees to return to the area. While the government said the timeframe was realistic, those forced to flee their homes, jobs and farms were frustrated that their exile is not going to end soon. And officials acknowledge that unforeseen complications, or even another natural disaster, could set that timetable back even further. “Well, this year is lost,” said Kenji Matsueda, 49, who is living in an evacuation center in Fukushima after being forced from his home 12 miles (20 kilometers) from the plant. “I have no idea what I will do. Nine months is a long time. And it could be longer. I don’t think they really know.” Pressure has been building on the government and plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. to resolve Japan’s worst-ever nuclear power accident since a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami hit the country March 11, knocking out power and cooling systems at the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex. On orders from Prime Minister Naoto Kan, TEPCO drew up the blueprint and publicly explained its long-term strategy — for the first time since the disaster — for containing the crisis that has cast a cloud of fear over the country. “We sincerely apologize for causing troubles,” TEPCO Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata said. “We are doing our utmost to prevent the crisis from further worsening.” Under the roadmap, TEPCO will deal with the crisis in two stages. In the first stage, the company will focus on cooling the reactors and spent fuel pools and reducing the level of leaking radiation. It will also aim to decontaminate water that has become radioactive, reduce the amount of radiation released into the atmosphere and soil, and lower radiation levels in the evacuation area, Katsumata said. In the next stage, TEPCO aims to firmly control the release of radioactive materials, achieve a cold shutdown of the reactors and temporarily cover the reactor buildings, possibly with a form of industrial cloth. Longer-term goals include removing fuel from the spent fuel pools and putting permanent covers over the buildings. TEPCO also plans to establish a system to recycle cooling water that will remove radioactivity as well as corrosive salt left behind by seawater that was earlier used as an emergency cooling measure. “Given the conditions now, this is best that it could do,” said Hidehiko Nishiyama of the government’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, adding that conditions at the facility remain unstable. Explosions, fires and other malfunctions have hindered efforts to repair the stricken plant and stem radiation leaks. In a show of support for a staunch American ally, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Tokyo yesterday to express admiration and sympathy for the Japanese. Clinton had tea with the emperor and empress, who have been visiting evacuation centers to commiserate with the victims of the earthquake and tsunami, which left

TOKYO: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton greets the children of Embassy employees at the US Embassy in Tokyo, yesterday. Families were allowed back Friday, after warnings has been lifted following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. — AFP nearly 28,000 people dead or missing. “We pledge our steadfast support for you and your future recovery. We are very confident that Japan will demonstrate the resilience that we have seen during this crisis in the months ahead,” Clinton said. She also met with government officials, including Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto, who asked for US feedback on TEPCO’s plan to combat the nuclear crisis, Clinton said. Goshi Hosono, an adviser to the prime minister and member of his nuclear crisis management task force, said the government would closely monitor TEPCO’s implementation of the plan and hoped the work could be concluded ahead of the six to nine month schedule. He said he understood people were frustrated by the timeline, but he called it “realistic.” “There is no shortcut to resolving these issues. Though it will be difficult, we have to go step by step to resolve these problems,” he said. Even with the announcement of the timeline, it remained unclear when evacuees might be able to return home. The area would need to be decontaminated, including removing and replacing the soil, Nishiyama said. Hosono said the evacuees would not have to stay in gymnasiums for such a long period, but would be moved into temporary housing. Some evacuees were unswayed by TEPCO’s plan. “I don’t believe a word they say,” said Yukio Otsuka, 56, a private school owner whose home is about 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the power plant. “I don’t trust them. I don’t believe it is possible. We have really drawn the short stick on this one.” Activists criticized the delay in the roadmap’s announcement. “TEPCO has taken far too long to

provide an indication of the direction it plans to take to bring the situation at Fukushima Dai-ichi under control,” said Philip White of the Tokyo-based Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center, a group of scientists and activists who have opposed nuclear power since 1975. “We hope TEPCO meets its targets, but there are many challenges ahead and many uncertainties.” The unveiling of the roadmap came two days after TEPCO — also under pressure from Kan’s government — announced plans to give 1 million yen ($12,000) in initial compensation to each evacuated household, with much more expected later. Katsumata, the TEPCO chairman, was hammered Sunday by questions over his managerial responsibility and told reporters he was considering stepping down because of the crisis.“I feel very responsible,” he said. Kan said in a weekend commentary in the International Herald Tribune that ending the nuclear crisis as soon as possible was his “top priority.” As Japan has begun planning for reconstruction and mulling how to pay for it, Kan’s political opponents have resumed calls for his resignation after refraining from criticism in the immediate aftermath of the disaster. Government officials fanned out across the affected areas over the weekend seeking to explain evacuation decisions and calm nerves. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano met Sunday with the governor of Fukushima, who has vigorously protested the predicament the nuclear crisis poses for his prefecture.“ The safety of residents is our foremost priority,” Edano said. “I told the governor that the government will do everything it can to prevent the crisis from worsening.” — AP

Malaysia PM seen stalling on reform after disappointing vote KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will likely put key economic reforms on ice as he tries to rebuild voter support after his ruling coalition recorded its worst performance in 24 years in a local election in a key stronghold. Bets are largely off for a snap general election to take place this year, with Najib expected to rethink his strategy of promoting inclusive

growth in the Muslim-majority multicultural nation to win back the minority vote, analysts said. In Saturday’s state poll, Najib’s ruling National Front retained control of its stronghold Sarawak, which accounts for a fifth of its parliamentary seats, but the opposition more than doubled its seat tally as ethnic Chinese mostly voted against the government.

NARATHIWAT: Members of a Thai bomb squad inspect the site of a bomb attack by suspected separatist militants who were targeting patrolling soldiers in Thailand’s restive southern province of Narathiwat yesterday. — AFP

Structural economic changes such as further scaling back fuel subsidies, introducing a goods and services tax and reforming a decades-old racebased policy would be relegated in Najib’s list of priorities for now, analysts said. “After the outcome in Sarawak, Najib will need a general election mandate before making any big moves,” said Ibrahim Suffian, director at the independent opinion polling firm Merdeka Center. “Enacting fuel subsidy cuts and a goods and services tax will just add to the political issues that he will have to deal with ahead of the general election.” The opposition won 15 seats in the 71-seat state legislature, giving the ruling coalition a two-thirds majority. But it was its worst performance in Sarawak since 1987 when the coalition won only 25 out of 45 seats. In the last state election in 2006, the opposition won only seven seats. On Saturday, the ruling National Front’s losses came mainly from areas dominated by ethnic Chinese, with its main Chinese party in the state losing 13 of the 19 seats it contested. Financial markets are expected to be little changed today as past state elections have had minimal bearing on trade, although the expected

delay in introducing reform could reinforce the stock market’s laggard position versus its neighbours. Najib took office in 2009 pledging to woo investment, widen the country’s tax base with a goods and services tax and cut the country’s subsidy bill and budget deficit which hit a 20year high of 7 percent of gross domestic product in 2009. Once a magnet for foreign investment, Malaysia has lost much of its shine as its neighbours move faster in implementing reforms amid strong economic growth. In a March report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Malaysia ranked as the second least popular market after Colombia among global emerging market fund managers and tied with India for least favourite among Asia-Pacific asset managers. Analysts are uncertain about the timing for the next general election after the Sarawak poll although most agree that Najib was unlikely to call one this year, as he might have if he had won more decisively in Sarawak. The next general election is not due until 2013. Asked whether the state poll would be a barometer for calling a general election, Najib was quoted by local media as saying: “No, this is only at state level. —Reuters


MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011



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Arabs give neo-cons a reality check By Dr James J Zogby hile much of what has come to be known as “the Arab Spring” remains a work in progress, there can be no doubt that a new dynamic has been unleashed across the region - one that will have a profound impact as it continues to play out in the years to come. What is most important to recognize is the fact that the developments that have unfolded since Tunisia have all been generated internally, putting to rest the patronizing mythology of the neo-conservatives and their ilk, who had long maintained that change could only come to the Arab World if induced by external (that is, Western) pressure. This was the view, for example, promulgated by Bernard Lewis, who once wrote that in the past change had only occurred in the “stagnant Middle East” when it had been “initiated by past European rulers”. This theme was echoed more recently by Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute when she argued that if change were to come to the contemporary Arab World, “the West must hold open the door” and apply needed “outside pressure”. For some in the Bush Administration, that was to be the role of the Iraq war. As it was envisioned (more as an apocalyptic fantasy, than a war), the US-led invasion would not only topple the dictator ushering in a new democracy, it would also shock and shake up the region. Out of the ensuing chaos, they projected that a “new order” would be born a view enthusiastically supported by the New York Times’ Tom Friedman who had long described the Arab World as an “ossified region” and who, therefore, congratulated the Bush Administration for using the war to blast “a hole in the wall of Arab autocracy”. And it was this same mind-set that caused then Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, and National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice to wax poetic about the “passing of old orders” in the aftermath of the war. Neo-conservatives similarly projected that Israel’s punishing blows against Gaza and Lebanon would play a transformative role, leading Rice to cavalierly dismiss the horrible devastation left in the wake of Israel’s 2006 onslaught in Lebanon as “the birth pangs of a new Middle East”. These views, of course, were not only profoundly insensitive, they were dead wrong. Contrary to the Bush Administration’s ideologically inspired projections, the invasion and occupation of Iraq and Israel’s war on its neighbors did not lead to democracy or even to progressive change. Instead, what was left in the wake of each of these conflicts was death and destruction, bitterness and suffering, and a deepened sectarian divide, coupled with a spreading of extremist fervor and intensified regional tension. Arab populations became roiled, Arab governments that had been making even modest moves toward change, pulled back and, overall, the region became more repressive and less free. The movements that started in Tunisia and spread to Egypt and beyond, on the other hand, are far more deserving of the “birth pangs” designation. They have been inspirational - creating a new pride amongst publics who had long felt deflated and powerless to make change. They have been contagious - with tactics and slogans being copied or adapted to local settings, despite each country’s unique characteristics. And they have been purely Arab and, it bears repeating, self-generated. There were no would be “Lawrences” or “Rumsfelds” at work in any of these uprisings fashioning themselves as the shapers of the Arab’s destiny. To be sure, circumstances differed from place to place Egypt is not Tunisia, nor can Yemen or Bahrain or Syria be seen as cast from the same mold. There were some common characteristics, but what inspired these revolts in each case were unique to each country. Nevertheless, it is impossible to ignore the fact that what started in Tunis, and came to fruition in Egypt, has ignited a new sense of empowerment and possibility across the Arab World. And as young people have moved to non-violent protest and been met with violence, it has only hardened their resolve to demand change. The story is far from over. Egypt and Tunisia remain unfinished, while the movements for change in Yemen, Bahrain and Syria have been frustrated by obstinacy and miscalculation. And Libya, for its part, has taken a detour with the role of NATO now fundamentally altering the course of this revolt, turning it into something quite different than “the Arab Spring”. But even in this unsettled and uncertain state, there is a new spirit in evidence across the region. Even in governments where there is no demand for change, or where majorities are satisfied with their current circumstances, the dynamic of this region-wide revolt can be felt.


NOTE: Dr James J Zogby is the President of the Arab American Institute.

All articles appearing on these pages are the personal opinion of the writers. Kuwait Times takes no responsibility for views expressed therein. Kuwait Times invites readers to voice their opinions. Please send submissions via email to: or via snail mail to PO Box 1301 Safat, Kuwait. The editor reserves the right to edit any submission as necessary.

Human rights and US as global judge By Bernd Debusmann ver y year since 1976, The US Department of State has published an extraordinarily detailed report on the state of human rights in the world. The latest, out in April, runs to more than 2 million words. Printed out from State’s website, it would run to more than 7,000 pages. The report covers 194 countries. That’s every country in the world, except one: the United States. Which gives rise to a few questions. Is the United States the one and only country on the planet with a per fect record of observing human rights, at home or in the countries where it wages war? If not, why does the government feel entitled to scrutinize the human rights practices of others? The report discovers blemishes even in countries that rarely come to mind in the context of human rights violations. Switzerland, say, where in 2010 “police at times used excessive force, occasionally with impunity.” Or Canada, where “human rights problems included harassment of religious minorities, violence against women, and trafficking in persons.” Or the tiny South Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu, where American human rights checkers found “police violence, poor prison conditions, arrests without warrants, an extremely slow judicial process, government corruption, and


violence and discrimination against women.” US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton describes the annual report as “the most comprehensive record available of the condition of human rights around the world” and its attention to detail is indeed impressive. The Vanuatu chapter, for example, runs to almost 5,000 words, a lot considering there are only 220,000 inhabitants. Given the effort that goes into the report, the only global assessment of human rights by a government (as opposed to private advocacy groups), one might assume that its findings play a major role in shaping US foreign policy. But that is not the case. Where US national interests are at stake, human rights violations are not necessarily obstacles to normal or even close relations. “It’s easy to see the whole exercise as holier-than-thou preening that alienates even countries sympathetic to the cause,” wrote David Bosco, a professor at American University’s School of International Service, in a comment in Foreign Policy magazine. Among some countries, American criticism produces not alienation but red-hot fury. Russia, heavily criticized in the latest US report, shot back by describing the document as “obvious evidence of the use of ‘double standards’ and the politicization of human rights issues.” Russia’s foreign ministry pointed to “odious special prisons in

Guantanamo and Bagram, still functioning despite promises to shut them down” as part of the reasons why the United States should clean its own house before criticizing others. China, another target of American rebuke, has been so angered by the human rights reports that it began publishing an annual counter-report in 2000, focused solely on the United States. The latest came out just two days after the US report which highlighted China’s intensifying crackdown on dissidents, human rights activists, journalists, and lawyers. China’s response: “The United States ignores its own severe human rights problems, ardently promoting its socalled ‘human rights diplomacy’, treating human rights as a political tool to vilify other countries and advance its own strategic interests.” The Russo-Chinese-American sniping brought to mind the old adage that people in glass houses are well advised not to throw stones but China’s point about human rights as a political tool and the primacy of strategic interests merits closer attention than it tends to get in the United States. In a justpublished, thought-provoking book (Ideal Illusions - How the US Government CoOpted Human Rights), the historian James Peck argues that beginning in the 1970s, Washington began shaping human rights into an ideological weapon for reasons that

had more to do with promoting America’s global reach than with furthering rights. In the words of its introduction, the latest US report provides “encyclopedic detail” on human rights for 2010, before the turmoil that has swept North Africa and the Middle East in the first three months of 2011. “However, our perspectives on many issues are now framed “ by these changes. The changes provided yet more evidence that the universal values Washington officially espouses are not universally applied and that self-interest can trump human rights considerations. After mass protests swept from power the autocratic rulers of Tunisia and Egypt, other countries reacted to popular uprisings with violent repression. In Libya, the United States has sided militarily with the opposition. In Yemen, the United States called for the president to step down. No such calls for the royal rulers of Bahrain, where pro-democracy demonstrations prompted the imposition of martial law, more than two dozen people were reported killed and 400 arrested in a ruthless crackdown supported by neighboring Saudi Arabia. Bahrain is of key importance to the US - it’s the base of its Fifth Fleet which patrols vital oil shipping lanes. “We hope that this (human rights) report will give comfort to the activists,” Clinton said on April 8. To those in Bahrain probably not. — Reuters

Nigerian vote opens new chapter By Susan Njanji

igeria’s presidential vote appears to have allowed Africa’s most populous country to turn a page on years of badly flawed polls, but deepening regional divisions pose a new risk, analysts said yesterday. Saturday’s election, while well short of perfect, was peaceful in most of the country and reasonably well-organised, observers said, without the blatant rigging and ballot-box snatching of previous years. A final verdict cannot yet be given, however, with vote counting and collating being closely watched amid fears that a close race could lead to a desperate attempt to rig to avoid a runoff. Early results have also shown deep divisions between the mainly Muslim north and predominately Christian south, raising concerns in a countr y of some 250 ethnic groups and with a population roughly split between the two religions. President Goodluck Jonathan was scoring well in his native south, while his main challenger, ex-military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, had a wide lead in a number of northern states. But when compared to the 2007 presidential election, widely viewed as hopelessly flawed, observers and analysts said there was a vast improvement in Africa’s largest oil producer. “Generally, the consensus is that this is a huge depar ture from the failure of 2007,” said Clement Nwankwo, a respected


activist and coordinator for a local group of observers. “People get the sense that the votes are coming in and they are being counted, and people are expectant in terms of seeing results.

ence in many parts of the continent. It was instrumental in maintaining pressure on Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo to quit power, and its vast oil wealth gives the country

Ibrahim Babangida annuled that vote, eventually leading to dictator Sani Abacha’s rise to power. The three previous presidential elections since a return to civilian rule in 1999 were viewed

A woman casts her vote at a polling place in Daura, Nigeria, Saturday. — AP “You get a sense from the trickles of results that are coming that there are gains and losses for all of the parties across the different collation centres.” Western nations and rights groups have pushed for improvements in Nigeria, a powerhouse in West Africa with heavy influ-

further strategic importance, with Nigeria one of the main suppliers of US crude imports. The country has supplied peacekeeping troops for an array of conflicts. But the last time Nigeria held a presidential election widely viewed as free and fair was in 1993. Military ruler

as flawed in varying degrees with the 2007 vote that saw Umaru Yar’Udua elected judged as particularly poor. Observers said that year was rife with ballot box stuffing, voter intimidation and vote buying. While there was sporadic violence on Saturday, millions of enthusiastic voters

turned out and waited patiently at polling places, many saying they were there to be part of history in the making. Kole Shettima, chairman of the Centre for Democracy and Development think tank, called Saturday’s vote a “remarkable improvement in terms of conduct of the electoral officials and behaviour of the electorate”. The proof could be seen in the oilproducing Niger Delta region, notorious for voter intimidation and ballot-box snatching in previous years. Voters showed up there on Saturday, both with hopes that Jonathan, a native of the region, would win, but also that their ballots would finally be counted. “In the recent past, the people’s choice was not allowed to prevail, which made Nigeria a laughingstock before the world,” said Niger Delta activist Annkio Briggs. However, several analysts pointed out the regional divisions emerging from early results. Sporadic rioting broke out in par ts of the countr y ’s north over fears the ruling party would seek to rig the vote. “The dangerous trend is that Nigeria seems to have fallen to voting along the lines of religion and ethnicity,” said Shettima. But Anyakwee Nsirimovu of the Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, based in the Niger Delta, said “these are issues real and effective democracy, which we can now say we have, can take care of.” “True democracy is a healer of such divisive tendencies,” he said. — AFP



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MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011


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CLEMENTS, Kansas: Jim Hoy, of Cassoday, Kansas (left) and his son Johs Hoy watch prairie grasses burn on the younger Hoy’s Flying W Ranch Saturday. Ranchers in the Kansas Flint Hills burn the prairie grasses every spring to help renew the pastures for cattle grazing. — AP

Syrian protesters call for freedom Four killed by security forces near Homs AMMAN: Thousands of Syrians chanted slogans calling for greater freedom at independence day rallies yesterday, witnesses said, a day after President Bashar AlAssad promised to lift emergency law. At least four people were killed and around 50 wounded when Syrian security forces opened fire on a funeral procession in Talbisseh near the central town of Homs yesterday, witnesses said. The forces “opened fire on a crowd of thousands of people” at the funeral of a man killed in the area the previous day, witnesses told AFP by telephone. “At least four people were killed, but the toll could be much higher. There were also more than 50 wounded,” one witness said. “The people want freedom,” several hundred people shouted at the grave of independence leader Ibrahim Hananu in Syria’s second city Aleppo, which has been mostly free of pro-democracy protests that erupted more than a month ago in the south. Hundreds also turned out in the southern city of Suweida, in the heart of the country’s Druze heartland. They chanted “God, Syria, freedom, that’s all,” before coming under attack from Assad loyalists, a woman at the demonstration said. “They came at us with sticks and also hit us with the pictures they were carrying of Bashar p the same president who was talking about freedom yesterday,” she said. The demonstrations, which rights campaigners said included a march by about 1,500 people in the city of Banias, were held on the day Syria marked the anniversary of the departure of French soldiers 65 years ago. Assad said on Saturday legislation to replace emergency law, in place for almost 50 years, should be ready by next week. But he did not address protesters’ demands to curb Syria’s pervasive security apparatus and dismantle its authoritarian system. Rights groups say more than 200 people have been killed since demonstrations erupted in Deraa on March 18 in protest against the arrest of youths who had scrawled graffiti inspired by the Arab uprisings in North Africa. Witnesses said thousands gathered in a main Deraa square after noon prayers yesterday, chanting for “the downfall of the regime”. The scene would have been unthinkable in Syria just a month ago, but residents said the mood was festive and there was little sign of security forces in the streets. The unprecedented unrest has spread across the tightly controlled state, posing the sternest challenge yet to Assad, who assumed the presidency in 2000 when his father, Hafez al-Assad, died after

30 years in power. But the head of Germany’s intelligence service was quoted yesterday as saying the Assad dynasty’s history of crushing dissent meant a North Africa-style uprising was unlikely. “Remember that the father of the current president a few decades back murdered as many as 30,000 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Hama,” Ernst Uhrlau told Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper, referring to Hafez Al-Assad’s crushing of a Muslim Brotherhood uprising in 1982. Syrian opposition figures said Assad’s pledge to replace emergency law with other legislation was likely only to preserve tough restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly in the country, under Baath Party rule since 1963. Emergency law bans public gatherings of more than five people and served to throttle any public dissent until Syrians began taking to the streets, emboldened by the popular uprisings that ousted autocratic leaders in Egypt and Tunisia. In a speech to his new cabinet broadcast on Saturday, Assad drew a line between what he called “demands for reform and intentions to create chaos and sabotage”. “We will not be lenient toward sabotage,” Assad said. Syrian authorities have blamed “infiltrators” for stirring up unrest at the behest of outside players, including Lebanon and Islamist groups. State news agency SANA said yesterday a “large quantity” of weapons, including automatic rifles, sniper rifles and pistols, had been seized at the Tanaf border crossing with Iraq. Arms shipments also were discovered recently at crossings with Turkey and Lebanon, it added. In his speech, Assad said corruption was a problem and a commission to address it should be set up. But he announced no measures to end his own family’s dominance over Syria’s economy. His cousin Rami Makhlouf, a tycoon, has expanded his businesses during Assad’s rule and he has been widely cited by protesters in their calls for an end to public corruption. The West, which had been trying to coax Syria away from its anti-Israeli alliance with Iran and support for militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah, has urged Assad to refrain from violent crackdowns on disaffected Syrians. British Foreign Secretary William Hague welcomed what he said was Assad’s “acknowledgement...that reform in Syria is necessary and urgent” and urged Syria’s leadership to “lift the state of emergency next week.. and to ensure that those responsible for the deaths of civilians are held to account.” — Agencies

RIYADH: Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmad Al-Khalifa (left), Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Al-Sabah (center) and United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan arrive to their meeting with the Yemeni opposition yesterday. — AP

Saudi Arabia threatens to recall envoys from Iran Iran intel chief in political vise RIYADH/TEHRAN: Saudi Arabia has threatened to recall its diplomats from Iran unless the Islamic republic improves their protection, the kingdom’s deputy foreign minister told reporters yesterday. “I hope we won’t be obliged to withdraw our diplomatic mission from Tehran if Iran fails to take the necessary measures to protect it,” Prince Turki bin Mohammed told reporters. Iranian students demonstrated on Monday outside the Saudi embassy in Tehran to condemn Riyadh’s military intervention in Bahrain and the “murder” of Bahraini citizens, the official IRNA news agency had reported. Iran’s Fars news agency, which is close to conservatives, had reported that “six to seven petrol bombs were hurled against the embassy” as students chanted slogans against the ruling Sunni dynasties in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Yesterday, Prince Turki said: “Shiites in the Gulf are our brothers and have national rights under the umbrella of their loyalty (to their countries) and not to the outside.” Iran has repeatedly condemned the dispatch of Saudi troops to Bahrain to support the Bahraini forces’ crackdown on demonstrations there by Shiites who form the majority of the population of the country. Iran is predominantly a Shiite country. Separately, Iran’s intelligence minister was caught in an apparent high-level political dispute yesterday after offering his resignation from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s

government but later being ordered to remain by Iran’s top leader, news reports said. The conflicting signals over Heidar Moslehi suggested another point of friction between Ahmadinejad and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei over control of key posts. Khamenei, who has the last word on all important decisions, is considered a supporter of Ahmadinejad’s government but has stepped in before to overrule him on political appointments. The official IRNA news agency first reported that Heidar resigned in the latest apparent rift with Ahmadinejad’s government. But just hours later, several semi-official news agencies, including Fars, said Khamenei opposed the resignation and said that Moslehi will continue in the post, which has played a key role in the crackdown on opposition following Ahmadinejad’s disputed re-election in 2009. Traditionally, the supreme leader must approve the appointments for the ministers of foreign affairs, intelligence, defense and interior. Moslehi’s offer to resign was seen as another high-profile rift between Ahmadinejad and a member of his government over his hard-line policies - rivalries that could heat up ahead of the next parliamentary election set for March 2012. The move also could be linked to possible intelligence failures over a powerful computer worm, known as Stuxnet, that was detected last year in computers involved in Iran’s nuclear programs and other industrial sites. — Agencies



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Runaway keeper Haider to return home to Pakistan KARACHI: Pakistan wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider will return home from London and withdraw his application seeking asylum status from the British Home Office following his allegations of death threats from a match fixer. Haider told Geo News from London yesterday that he would return later this week after he held talks with Pakistan’s interior minister, Rehman Malik, and was given assurances about his security. Haider fled the team hotel in Dubai last November during a one-day series with South Africa, saying after reaching London that he had been given death threats by an unidentified person who wanted him to fix matches in the one-day series. Haider later applied for asylum with the Home Office but yesterdaysaid he would dispatch a letter to the British Home Secretary (interior minister) seeking withdrawal of the application. “My meeting with the (Pakistan) interior minister was very good and he assured me that if I return to Pakistan, I and my family would be provided complete security,” Haider told Geo News.—Reuters

MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011


Rehearsal for BWF ‘skirt rule’ MUMBAI: Skirt selection could be as crucial as shot selection for the female shuttlers when they hit the court for this month’s India Super Series in New Delhi. Taking a cue from tennis, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) has introduced a new dress code, which comes into effect from May 1 and requires all female players to wear skirts or dresses in Grand Prix tournaments and above “to ensure attractive presentation of badminton”. Players may continue to wear shorts if they wish to but it has to be underneath a skirt, as some shuttlers already do. Those affected by the new regulation would include Saina Nehwal, top seed in the April 26-May 1 Indian Super Series, even though

the world number three is not losing sleep over the issue. “I think it’s okay. Playing in skirts is not an issue,” Nehwal told Reuters in a text message. While the BWF hopes the move will bring more fans to the sport and rope in more sponsors, everybody is not convinced it’s the right way forward. Jwala Gutta, India’s badminton glamour girl, has no qualms about playing in a skirt but does not support the governing body’s idea of making it compulsory. “I have no problems because I wear skirts on and off the court. I think they are just trying to glamourise the sport,” said the doubles specialist. “But I don’t think it’s the right way. You can’t pressurise anybody to wear anything.” —Reuters

Holder Robertson dumped out LONDON: Holder Neil Robertson of Australia was knocked out of the world snooker championship in the first round on Saturday when he was beaten 10-8 by Englishman Judd Trump. In the battle between two left handers, Judd edged to a 5-4 lead in the morning session in Sheffield, despite Robertson posting two century breaks. World number five Robertson fought back to lead 7-6 but Trump, ranked 14th, won three in a row before taking the match 10-8. Trump, 21, was appearing in the world championship for the second time following his debut as a 17-year-old when he went out in the first round. He arrived in Sheffield full of confidence, though, having made his breakthrough by winning the China Open in Beijing in April, beating former world champions Peter Ebdon and Shaun Murphy en route. Talking about the world championship earlier this week he said: “I feel like I’ve got a completely different mindset going into this tournament compared to anything I’ve had since I’ve been a professional.”—Reuters

Hernandez sends Reds over Pirates

BRISBANE: Will Chambers of the Reds (right) is tackled by Wynand Olivier of the Bulls (left) during the Super Rugby Union match between the Queensland Reds and the Bulls of South Africa. —AP

Queensland top Super 15 WELLINGTON: The Queensland Reds beat the defending champion Bulls 39-30 to equal a team record of six straight wins in Super 15 rugby and set them up well for next weekend’s match against interstate rivals the New South Wales Waratahs. The win kept the Reds atop the overall championship table after nine rounds with the same number of points as the Canterbury Crusaders - and eight points clear of New South Wales in the five-team Australian conference. The Crusaders beat Waikato 34-16 while the Waratahs conceded five tries in the first half to lose 31-17 on Saturday to the Auckland Blues. The Durban-based Stormers, who lost their unbeaten record to the Reds a week ago, beat the Lions 33-19 to regain winning form. The Wellington Hurricanes snapped a fivematch losing streak, scoring a last-minute try to beat the Cheetahs 50-43 in an 11-try thriller at Bloemfontein, while the Otago Highlanders beat the Melbourne Rebels 4018 for their sixth win in eight games. Queensland remained the tournament’s pacesetters, unbeaten since their 30-6 loss to the Waratahs in Sydney in round two. The Super 15’s new conference system includes home-and-away matches between compatriot teams and the Reds will now host the Waratahs in Brisbane next weekend. Saturday’s win equaled the Queensland record set in the first season of Super rugby in 1996. Luke Morahan ran in two of the Reds six tries while flyhalf Quade Cooper scored a try and kicked three conversion and a dropped goal in a hard-fought win over the Bulls. “The win ranks highly in terms of character,” Reds coach Ewen McKenzie said. “That’s six wins in a row and we are ticking the boxes on those little pieces of history. The character flooded through in defense and attack and our willingness was there for 80 (minutes).” The Crusaders scored a last-minute try to snatch a four-try bonus point which kept them level with the Reds on 35 points after nine rounds. Only five points — the margin of a bonus-point win — separate the top five teams after nine of 18 regular-season rounds. Winger Sean Maitland scored his eighth try of the season for the Crusaders to remain the

tournament’s leading try-scorer, while Drew Mitchell scored one for the Waratahs and Adam Thomson two for the Highlanders to move to joint second place with six tries each. All Blacks captain Richie McCaw made his first appearance of the season, playing the last 30 minutes as a replacement for the Crusaders after overcoming a foot injury. “I thought he (McCaw) made a few mistakes which shows everyone he is still human,” Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder said. “I know he has been chafing at the bit. He has been like a naughty schoolkid and it is just great to have him out there again.” The Stormers have 33 points from a seven-win, one-loss record and are third overall, two points behind the Reds and Crusaders. Their win over the Lions on Saturday extended their winning streak against their South African rivals to 11 matches, left the Lions winless since their fourth round victory over the Cheetahs and without a win on their home ground at Johannesburg in two years. A try to replacement Johann Sadie with two minutes remaining clinched the Stormers’ win and denied the luckless Lions a bonus point for a loss by seven points or less. “It wasn’t easy,” Stormers captain Schalk Burger said. “We had to defend at the end but it was nice to round things off with a late try.” Flyhalf Colin Slade suffered a broken jaw for the second time this season in the Highlanders’ win over the Rebels in Melbourne, an injury which likely rules him out of contention for New Zealand’s World Cup squad. Until Friday, Slade had emerged as the leading contender to understudy Daniel Carter at flyhalf in the All Blacks squad but his injury now throws that contest open. Luke McAlister immediately emerged as a leading candidate when, playing at inside center, he guided the Blues to their win over the Waratahs at Eden Park. McAlister also plays at flyhalf and his direction of the Auckland attack and kicking game suggested he has the skills to back up Carter at the World Cup in September and October. Yesterday, David Smith scored two tries, including a clinching five-pointer with less than four minutes left, to give the Western Force a 27-19 win over the ACT Brumbies.—AP

Force dump Brumbies CANBERRA: David Smith finally broke a try scoring drought with the Western Force to help his side to snap a three-game losing streak to beat fellow Australian side the ACT Brumbies 27-19 in a tight arm wrestle in their Super rugby match yesterday. Smith, who joined the Perth-based side from the Wellington Hurricanes, scored two tries, his second in the 79th minute to give his side a vital eight-point lead that consigned the Brumbies to their sixth loss of the season. ACT Brumbies captain Matt Giteau scored all of his side’s points with a converted try and four penalties. “I’m stoked with the win for the boys, because you toil away all year and sometimes things don’t go your way and on the back of a pretty rusty first half we came back,”

Western Force captain Nathan Sharpe said in a televised interview. “I’m hoping that’s a sign of better things to come from us.” The Brumbies dominated posession in the first half but were only able to establish a 10-0 lead courtesy of Giteau. The flyhalf kicked an early penalty, then was in perfect supporting position following an linebreak by inside centre Cristian Lealiifano, who passed back to Giteau to score next to the posts. Giteau converted and while the match continued to be played between the 22metre areas with aerial kicking the seemingly preferred tactic by both teams, the Force got back into the game when the Brumbies turned the ball over while hot on attack.—Reuters

CINCINNATI: Ramon Hernandez broke open a close game with his sixth career grand slam as the Cincinnati Reds overpowered the Pirates 11-2 on Saturday, sending Pittsburgh to its fifth loss in six games. Hernandez’s fifth-inning homer was his third hit off James McDonald (0-1), who let a tied game get away quickly. The Reds sent 10 batters to the plate for seven runs in the inning, capped by Drew Stubbs’ two-run homer. Jonny Gomes also had a solo shot and a two-run homer. The Reds’ four homers matched their season high. Mike Leake (2-0) was a little off with his control in an unexpected start. He filled in for Edinson Volquez, who was pushed back a day because of a stiff neck. Leake gave up four hits and walked four in six innings. National League most valuable player Joey Votto had a triple among his three hits, raising his average to .451. Cardinals 9, Dodgers 2 At Los Angeles, Allen Craig hit a three-run homer as St. Louis defeated the slumping Los Angeles Dodgers to win its fourth in a row and sixth in seven games. It was the seventh straight game that the Cardinals scored six or more runs and the first time in six games that they didn’t put up at least 14 hits. They had 13, including five straight in the ninth off Ramon Troncoso, to win their third in a row over Los Angeles. Kyle McClellan (2-0) allowed one run and six hits in seven innings to earn his second major league victory as a starter in six days. He did not walk a batter. Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (2-2) labored through 4 2-3 innings. The left-hander gave up five runs and six hits, struck out a season-low five and walked a season-high five. Braves 4, Mets 0 At Atlanta, Jair Jurrjens threw seven sharp innings in his return from the disabled list as Atlanta shut out struggling New York on two hits to complete a doubleheader sweep.

In the opener, Alex Gonzalez hit two of Atlanta’s four solo homers and the Braves finally provided some offense for Derek Lowe. The Mets were swept in a doubleheader for the second time in three days to extend their losing streak to seven games, their longest since dropping 11 straight in 2004. Colorado swept the Mets in New York on Thursday. The Mets (4-11) have matched the third-worst start in franchise history, according to STATS LLC. They opened 3-12 in 1962 and 1964. They also lost 11 of their first 15 games in 1974 and 1981. New York has lost 10 of 11 after winning three of its first four games under new manager Terry Collins. Jurrjens (1-0) looked strong in his return from a right oblique strain, facing the minimum 15 batters through five innings. He gave up two hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. George Sherrill and Scott Linebrink finished the two-hitter. Chipper Jones and rookie Freddie Freeman also homered for the Braves in the opener. Lowe (2-2) gave up two runs in six innings and Craig Kimbrel earned his fourth save. Astros 5, Padres 3 At Houston, pinch-hitter Joe Inglett had a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning as Houston beat San Diego. With the score level at 3-3, Inglett hit the first pitch from Chad Qualls for an RBI single. Angel Sanchez also had a run-scoring single in the seventh. Mark Melancon (1-0) entered with runners on first and third in the seventh and got Orlando Hudson to hit a low fly to left. Carlos Lee made a diving catch to keep the score tied. Brandon Lyon got his third save in four chances. Chris Johnson hit a two-run homer for the Astros. Mat Latos (0-2) pitched 6 1-3 innings for the Padres. Giants 5, D’backs 3 At Phoenix, Freddy Sanchez doubled home the tying run in the sixth inning, then put San Francisco ahead for good with a two-run single in the

CINCINNATI: Reds’ Jonny Gomes hits a two-run home run off Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Joe Beimel in the sixth inning of a baseball game. —AP seventh and the Giants won their tered four hits while working into the sixth inning and Starlin Castro went 4 fourth in a row by beating Arizona. San Francisco starter Barry Zito for 5 with a three -run homer as sprained his right foot lunging for a Chicago snapped Colorado’s sevenbunt in the second inning and left game winning streak. Alfonso Soriano also went deep the game. Giants reliever Guillermo Mota pitched a career-long 4 1-3 for the Cubs, who had 17 hits and innings to get the victory. Mota (1-0) ended a six-game sk id at Coors allowed one run and three hits, strik- Field that dated to Aug. 9, 2009. The Rockies, who were missing ing out four with no walks. The Diamondbacks tied a franchise Carlos Gonzalez (soreness) and record by converting five double Todd Helton (rest) from their startplays to erase a big share of San ing lineup, hadn’t been blown out all year, losing just twice in their Francisco’s 13 hits. Buster Posey hit an early two-run first 13 games, both in ex tra homer off Joe Saunders (0-3), who innings. Jason Hammel (1-1) became the gave up five runs and 12 hits in 6 2-3 first Colorado starter to lose this innings. season, allowing three runs and Cubs 8, Rockies 3 At Denver, Casey Coleman scat- seven hits over six innings. —AP

Indians pound Orioles 8-3 CLEVELAND: Josh Tomlin delivered yet another quality start for Cleveland and Orlando Cabrera drove in four runs as the first-place Indians won their sixth straight home game 8-3 over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday. Tomlin (3-0) gave up two runs — solo homers to Jake Fox and Luke Scott — and six hits in six innings. Cleveland’s starters have been making it look easy. In the last 12 games, they’re 8-1 with a 1.91 ERA, not bad for a five-man rotation of virtual unknowns. Shin-Soo Choo homered off Jeremy Guthrie (1-2) and Matt LaPorta had two RBIs for the Indians, who are 10-4 and off to their best start in nine years. Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 1 At Boston, Josh Beckett had his second straight strong start, holding Toronto to one run over seven innings, and Jed Lowrie provided a spark at the top of Boston’s lineup with a two-run homer. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Red Sox, who have the majors’ worst record at 3-10. Travis Snider had an RBI single and stole a pair of bases for the Blue Jays. Toronto lost for the sixth time in nine games. Beckett (2-1) struck out nine and walked two. Jo-Jo Reyes (0-2) got the loss. Royals 7, Mariners 0 At Kansas City, Missouri, Alex Gordon added three hits to his league-leading total and drove in two runs, and Sean O’Sullivan outpitched Felix Hernandez to lead Kansas City past Seattle. Mike Aviles had two hits and three RBIs as the Royals beat the Mariners for the third straight day and handed them their 11th loss in 13 games. O’Sullivan (1-1) threw five shutout innings in his first start of the year. He allowed five hits and two walks, striking out four. He was helped by shortstop Alcides Escobar’s run-saving defensive play on a hard-hit grounder by Ichiro Suzuki, who was 0 for 5 and had his Kauffman Stadium hitting streak stopped at 16 games. Yankees 5, Rangers 2 At New York, Freddy Garcia

CLEVELAND: Baltimore Orioles’ Jeremy Guthrie pitches against the Cleveland Indians in the first inning of a baseball game. —AP allowed two hits over six innings in his first start of the season and Mark Teixeira drove in three runs as New York held off Texas. Garcia (1-0) worked through steady rain showers and gusting winds to shut down the Texas offense. The only hits the veteran righthander allowed were to Adrian Beltre in the first and David Murphy in the

fourth. Robinson Cano hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning, and Mariano Rivera closed out the ninth for his sixth save. Derek Holland (2-1) pitched well for Texas, allowing five runs in 7 2-3 innings. Rays 4, Twins 3 At St. Petersburg, Florida, Ben Zobrist led off the ninth inning with a tying home run off Minnesota closer

MLB results/standings Major League Baseball results and standings on Saturday. NY Yankees 5, Texas 2; Cleveland 8, Baltimore 3; Boston 4, Toronto 1; Cincinnati 11, Pittsburgh 2; Kansas City 7, Seattle 0; Atlanta 4, NY Mets 2; La Angels 7, Chicago White Sox 2; Tampa Bay 4, Minnesota 3; Atlanta 4, NY Mets 0; Houston 5, San Diego 3; Chicago Cubs 8, Colorado 3; San Francisco 5, Arizona 3; Oakland 6, Detroit 2; Philadelphia, Florida (Postponed); Washington, Milwaukee (Postponed). American League National League Eastern Division Eastern Division Philadelphia 9 4 .692 W L PCT GB Florida 8 5 .615 1 NY Yankees 8 5 .615 Atlanta 7 8 .467 3 Toronto 7 7 .500 1.5 Washington 6 7 .462 3 Baltimore 6 7 .462 2 NY Mets 4 11 .267 6 Tampa Bay 6 8 .429 2.5 Central Division Boston 3 10 .231 5 Cincinnati 9 5 .643 Central Division Milwaukee 7 6 .538 1.5 Kansas City 10 4 .714 St. Louis 8 7 .533 1.5 Cleveland 10 4 .714 Chicago Cubs 7 7 .500 2 Chicago White Sox 7 7 .500 3 Pittsburgh 6 8 .429 3 Detroit 7 8 .467 3.5 Houston 5 10 .333 4.5 Minnesota 4 10 .286 6 Western Division Western Division Colorado 11 3 .786 Texas 10 4 .714 San Francisco 8 6 .571 3 San Diego 6 8 .429 5 LA Angels 9 5 .643 1 LA Dodgers 6 9 .400 5.5 Oakland 7 8 .467 3.5 Arizona 5 8 .385 5.5 Seattle 4 11 .267 6.5

Joe Nathan (0-1) and Johnny Damon ended the game with a two-out single for Tampa Bay. B.J. Upton walked and stole second. Nathan was replaced by Jose Mijares after walking Casey Kotchman and getting a flyball from John Jaso. Mijares struck out pinchhitter Elliot Johnson for the second out before walking Sam Fuld to load the bases. Damon then won it on his 2,583rd career hit - which tied him with Ernie Banks for 80th place alltime. Angels 7, White Sox 2 At Chicago, Tyler Chatwood pitched seven impressive innings for his first major league win and Hank Conger hit a three-run homer to lead the Los Angeles Angels over the White Sox. After the start was delayed more than 2 hours by rain, the 21-year-old Chatwood (1-1) allowed just one run and five hits. The lone blemish was Carlos Quentin’s fifth-inning homer, his third of the season and the 100th of his career. Howie Kendrick also homered and drove in three runs for the Angels. Leadoff man Maicer Izturis had three hits. Gavin Floyd (11) took the loss, yielding six runs and eight hits over six innings. He threw three wild pitches and allowed hits to the leadoff batter in each of the first four innings. Athletics 6, Tigers 2 At Oakland, California, Dallas Braden allowed an unearned run in five innings before leaving with stiffness in his pitching shoulder as Oakland beat Detroit for its second home win this season. David DeJesus and Hideki Matsui had two hits apiece as the Athletics knocked around Tigers ace Justin Verlander (12) with five doubles. The A’s, who committed their major league-leading 17th error, dropped the first two games on this homestand and were 14 at the Coliseum before ending Detroit’s four-game winning streak. Braden (1-1) struck out five and walked two. He left when his shoulder tightened up after only 67 pitches. Four relievers pitched one inning apiece to complete the six-hitter. —AP



e niv rsar n


MONDAY, APRIL 18 , 2011


Schwartzel can cope with pressure — Hamilton SINGAPORE: US Masters winner Charl Schwartzel has the right temperament to cope with the pressures of becoming a surprise first-time major winner, according to unexpected 2004 British Open champion Todd Hamilton. South African Schwartzel overcame pre-tournament odds of 100/1 to fire a brilliant six-under-par final round of 66 to win the Green Jacket at Augusta last week despite the challenges of major winners Tiger Woods and Angel Cabrera yesterday. American Hamilton, who produced an even bigger surprise when he beat Schwartzel’s compatriot Ernie Els to win the Claret Jug at Troon in a playoff seven years ago, said he enjoyed the South African’s play in the final round at Augusta.

“I just saw him and congratulated him, it was fun to watch,” Hamilton told Reuters in a recent interview at the Malaysian Open which concluded on Sunday. “I watched it here in Malaysia and it was an exciting finish. There were a lot of guys that could have won but Charl birdieing the last four holes was very impressive on that course.” Hamilton, 45, is well aware of the pressures that await Schwartzel after winning his first major. The American’s career has severely nose-dived after his sole major triumph and he has failed to add to his 17 worldwide titles and tumbled down to 597 in the world rankings. With that experience, Hamilton said it was important Schwartzel enjoyed his success. “I would tell him to enjoy it and

don’t burn yourself out doing a lot of stuff, enjoy the time. It is something they can never take away from you and just enjoy having fun with it,” Hamilton said. “I think Charl is a pretty level-headed guy ... the times I have been around him I think he is a pretty even keeled and a fun-loving guy so I don’t think he will have any problem with his success he has had.” The biggest problem Schwartzel will now face, according to Hamilton, is the never-ending requests for interviews from the media. The 26-year-old South African told Reuters ahead of the Malaysian Open he had already experienced the problem as he missed his flight from America yesterday night because of the media interviews he had to do follow-

ing his triumph. After completing all his requests, Schwartzel flew 25 hours from America for the Malaysian Open and shot a finalround 70 to finish 11th after complaining of jet-lag earlier in the week. “Everybody wants to ask you the same question but they don’t want to ask you at the same time,” Hamilton warned. “If you ask me a question I then walk around the corner and some other guy will ask the same question. If I go upstairs to have lunch I will talk to a guy he will ask the same so it seems you are always answering the same question.” That problem is becoming less of an issue for the American now, however, as he slumped to his third missed cut in six events on the European Tour this year after following up an opening one-

under-par 71 with a 79 in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday. “I didn’t play very well. The first day I didn’t play well at all but made a couple of birdies late in the round to have a respectable score but still didn’t play that well. “I’d like to try and get better. My golf hasn’t been very good for quite a while so I’m just trying to improve, be a little more consistent than I have been and hopefully that will happen sooner rather than later.” Meanwhile, Schwartzel will take some time off and go home to South Africa to enjoy his success before returning to action as he bids to retain his number one position in the European Tour money list and avoid the major jinx of Hamilton.— Reuters

Manassero wins Malaysian Open

SAN ANTONIO: Cameron Tringale of Las Vegas chips to the 18th hole along a creek during the third round of the Texas Open golf tournament. — AP

Steele breaks free from pack to take Texas lead SAN ANTONIO: American Brendan Steele broke from a pack of seven golfers with a four-under-par 68 to grab a oneshot third round lead at the Texas Open on Saturday. Steele, who shared the overnight lead with six others, found himself alone atop the leaderboard when he rolled in a long birdie putt at the 18th and compatriot Cameron Tringale bogeyed the last for a 68 to fall one off the pace. One -over going into the turn on another gusty day at the TPC San Antonio, Steele caught fire with an errorfree back nine dropping five birdies for a three day total of seven-under 209. “It would be huge,” Steele told reporters when asked what a maiden PGA Tour title would mean. “It would validate a lot of things in my career as far as being a guy that’s just trying to feel his way out here right now as a rookie and trying to get some good finishes under my belt. “To get a win would be an ultimate, two year status and really feel like I

fit in out here, that would be amazing.” Americans packed the top of the leaderboard with Kevin Chappell (70) and Brandt Snedeker (70), who were among the group with a share of the overnight lead, sitting two shots back at five-under. “This golf course is tough just because it doesn’t ever let up driving,” said Chappell. “You can make a big number on any hole. “So it’s exciting to be in the position I’m in but anyone within five, six shots of the lead can have a chance tomorrow if they can play a good round in the wind.” Pat Perez returned the round of the day, a five-under 67, to move into contention three off the pace alongside Charles Howell III (68) and Australian Adam Scott (70). Australian Geoff Ogilvy and American Kevin Sutherland, two others who began the day with a share of top spot, slipped down the leaderboard carding two-over 74s to sit six back on oneunder 215. — Reuters

Tondo wins Tour of Castilla y Leon MADRID: Spanish rider Xavier Tondo won the Tour of Castilla y Leon yesterday after Britain’s Ben Swift won the fifth and final stage, a 167.7km ride round Medina del Campo. Spain’s controversial three-time Tour de France champion Alberto Contador a two-time winner this season - finished in 24th place overall, nearly three minutes adrift of Tondo. Tondo, 32, laid the foundations for his triumph in the third and fourth stages, which had been highlighted by defending champion Contador as the keys to who eventually finished in the overall winner’s grey jersey. Tondo finished fifth in the third stage, a mountain one which saw Contador’s hopes dented by two punctures, and then third in the time-trial, only three

MEDINA DEL CAMPO: Spain’s Xavier Tondo of Movistar celebrates on the podium after winning the Castilla and Leon cycling Tour from Madrigal de las Altas Torres to Medina del Campo.— AFP

seconds off the winning time of Contador. “I was really desperate to win once again a tour title,” said Tondo, whose last tour win came in the 2007 Tour of Portugal. Contador - who had won the Tour of Murcia and the Tour of Catalonia earlier this season - had been hindered, in a crucial race in his build-up to the Tour of Italy not only by the punctures but also a cold. “I am going to try and rediscover my form as fast as possible,” said Contador. “The Tour of Castilla y Leon is a good race but I haven’t any luck that day in the mountains with those punctures.” Contador is racing under threat of a ban from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and/or the International Cycling Union (UCI) following a positive test for trace amounts of clenbuterol during last July’s Tour de France, where he claimed his third victory in the race. He was cleared to compete in February when the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) rescinded an initial decision to hand down a one-year competition ban. It accepted the rider’s claim that he had unknowingly consumed drug-contaminated meat and was therefore not negligent. The UCI and WADA announced separately last month they plan to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne over the acquittal. —AFP

KUALA LUMPUR: Italian teenager Matteo Manassero eagled the par-5 10th hole yesterday to help secure a one-shot win over Frenchman Gregory Bourdy at the Malaysian Open. Two days before his 18th birthday, Manassero added two more birdies on the back nine on his way to a 4-under 68 to finish with a 16-under total of 272. Bourdy made a charge at the lead with four consecutive birdies from the third hole, but he bogeyed the eight and had a double bogey on the 11th. He finished with a total of eight birdies in a 67. Rory McIlroy (69) had to settle for third, two shots back, after holding the second-round lead as he tried to bounce back from his Masters collapse. The Northern Irishman had four birdies and a lone bogey on the first 11 holes but seemingly fell out of contention with a double bogey on the 12th. However, he rallied with three more birdies and could have forced a playoff with another birdie on the 18th, but his hopes evaporated when his second shot went too far to the right. “Obviously at this moment I’m pretty disappointed, but it was a good week,” McIlroy said. “I started out really well and to shoot the scores I did considering the traveling is a pretty good effort. ... I’m proud of myself at how I picked myself up from last week and the way I came back on the back nine today.” Manassero, who became the European Tour’s youngest winner with his victory at last year’s Castello Masters, said it was “just fantastic” to earn another trophy before turning 18. “It was tough,” he said. “The course is really tight and all the players were doing good and playing well. It’s just not easy to concentrate, especially to stay calm.” Top-ranked Martin Kaymer was eight shots back in a tie for ninth while Masters champion Charl Schwartzel finished another stroke behind after a 70. McIlroy, who had to take a nearly 30-hour flight to Malaysia and arrived only a day before the tournament began, looked visibly tired during the final round, despite maintaining his smile for the huge crowd swarming around him. However, his caddy ran out of patience when some spectators ignored the ban on taking photographs while players were teeing off and asked officials to confiscate some of the cameras. Manassero will move up to 35th in the world rankings next week. He received $416,6660 for winning the tournament, becoming the Malaysian Open’s youngest winner. —AP

KUALA LUMPUR: Matteo Manassero from Italy poses with his trophy after winning the Malaysian Open golf tournament. —AP

Canadiens triumph over Bruins first period after Bobrovsky allowed three goals on seven shots. After Philadelphia’s James van Riemsdyk tied it at 3 with 6:46 left in the first, Leino beat Ryan Miller on a power play with 6:24 remaining in the second and Briere made it 5-3 with 4:33 to go in the period. Claude Giroux and Dan Carcillo also had first-period goals for the Flyers. Thomas Vanek had two power-play goals for Buffalo and Andrej Sekera and Cody McCormick also scored. Game 3 is tonight in Buffalo. Red Wings 4, Coyotes 3 At Detroit, Pavel Datsyuk had a goal and two assists in the first period — including a marvelous move to set up Darren Helm’s goal — and Detroit held off Phoenix to take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference series. Brian Rafalsk i and Tomas Holmstrom also scored to help Detroit take a 4-0 lead in the second. Phoenix rallied with three power-play goals. Radim Vrbata scored in the second, and Shane Doan had two in the third. The Red Wings were again without Henrik Zetterberg, sidelined by a left knee injury after leading the team in scoring during the regular season. Phoenix’s Derek Morris was out with an upper-body injury, and fellow defenseman Ed Jovanovski was unable to finish the game because of his own upper-body injury. Game 3 is tonight at Phoenix. Kings 4, Sharks 0 At San Jose, California, Drew Doughty had two goals and two assists, and Jonathan Quick made 34 saves as Los Angeles beat San Jose to even the Western Conference series at one game each. Jack Johnson and Kyle Clifford also scored for Los Angeles. The King bounced back from an overtime loss in Game 1 to seize homeice advantage heading back to Los Angeles for Game 3 on Tuesday night. The Sharks took too many undisciplined penalties and were unable to generate many good offenSAN JOSE: Jonathan Quick No. 32 of the Los Angeles Kings tries to keep his eye on the sive chances against Quick, drawing the ire puck behind Devin Setoguchi No. 16 of the San Jose Sharks in Game Two of the Western of their usually supportive fans who booed the home team sporadically throughout Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. —AFP

BOSTON: Michael Cammalleri and Mathieu Darche scored in the first 2:20 of the game, and Carey Price stopped 34 shots Saturday to lead Montreal to a 3-1 victory over the Boston Bruins and give the Canadiens a 2-0 lead in the first-round playoff series. A No. 3 seed in the East after winning the Northeast Division, the Bruins coughed up home-ice advantage and need a victory in Montreal today or Thursday just to bring the series back to Boston for a fifth game. Tim Thomas made 23 saves as the Bruins played without captain Zdeno C h a r a , w h o w a s s c r a tc h e d m i n u te s before the opening faceoff because of dehydration. Patrice Bergeron’s second-period goal

cut the deficit to 2-1 and snapped a postseason scoreless streak that dated to the team’s unprecedented collapse in last year’s Eastern Conference semifinals. Still, the loss was Boston’s sixth in a row in the playoffs. Yannick Weber made it 3-1 with 2:29 left in the second, and the Bruins were booed off the ice by their home fans after the period, just as they were in the first. Flyers 5, Sabres 4 At Philadelphia, Brian Boucher made 20 saves in relief of rookie Sergei Bobrovsky, and Ville Leino and Danny Briere scored in a 1:51 span in the second period to help Philadelphia beat Buffalo to even the Eastern Conference series 1-1. Boucher took over midway through the

MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011


Kenyans sweep London Marathon LONDON: Emmanuel Mutai ran the fastest-ever London Marathon as Kenyans swept the first three places yesterday, and compatriot Mary Keitany captured the women’s race at her first attempt with a dominating victory. The 26-year-old Mutai won the 42.2-kilometer (26.2-mile) race for the first time, clocking 2 hours, 4 minutes, 40 seconds for the fourth fastest time for a marathon. “My dreams have come true because I had in my mind that of the five major marathons if I won one my achievement would have been greater,” Mutai said. “I tried my best to push it until the end. It is fantastic because I created two achievements — I won the race and I improved my personal best.” Mutai broke away at the 21-mile (33.8-kilometer) mark, and shattered Olympic champion Sammy Wanjiru’s old course record of 2:05:10 from 2009. “At 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) I saw nobody was moving so I decided to push it hard,” said Mutai, who won silver at the world championships in Berlin in 2009. Three-time champion Martin Lel was second in 2:05:45 after beating Patrick Makau in a sprint in front of Buckingham Palace. Having been troubled by hip and leg injuries, it was Lel’s first London Marathon since winning his third title in 2008. He only received an invitation to compete after a knee injury forced Wanjiru to withdraw. “After two years away it was important for me to have a good race here,” Lel said. “When (Mutai) left me, I wanted to go with him and I tried but he was too good for me today. I am happy with the second place because I am building up my race fitness again.” Mutai and Keitany emulated the Kenyan double in London from 2004, with Keitany becoming the fourth women’s winner from the east African

LONDON: Kenya’s Mary Keitany celebrates after winning the London Marathon. — AP

nation. Like Mutai, the 29-year-old Keitany ran the fourth fastest marathon by a woman by finishing her London debut in 2:19:19. “The course was flat and the surface was good,” Keitany said. “I thought I could run that fast.” After breaking away after the 15-mile (24.1-kilometer) mark, she was almost a minute ahead of defending champion Liliya Shobukhova. Keitany’s fellow Kenyan Edna Kiplagat, who was also competing in the English capital for the first time Sunday, finished third with a personal best 2:20:46. Keitany was almost 10 minutes faster than

her third-place performance in New York last November. “I surprised myself because before I knew I was with the winner of London last year and the one from New York (Kiplagat),” Keitany said. “I was a bit scared at first, but then we continued moving I believed in myself that I would make this. I feel very happy.” Shobukhova of Russia couldn’t defend her title despite running a personal best of 2:20:15. “I thought I could catch her but Mary was too fast,” she said. “She has great speed from the half marathon.”—AP

Khan retains WBA title

LONDON: Emmanuel Mutai of Kenya crosses the finish line to win the men’s 2011 London Marathon. — AFP

Delhi Daredevils triumph MUMBAI: Delhi Daredevils smashed 41 runs off the last three overs for their first Indian Premier League victory this season, beating Pune Warriors by three wickets yesterday. Kolkata Knight Riders later defeated Rajasthan Royals for the second time this season, winning by eight wickets with more than six overs to spare in Kolkata. Delhi’s James Hopes (13 not out) struck a six and a four off Jessie Ryder in the final over after Aaron Finch (25) and Venugopal Rao (31) helped narrow down the chase. “It’s a happy moment for us, finally we have a win,” Daredevils captain Virender Sehwag said. The Warriors batted first after losing the toss, scoring 187-5 with captain Yuvraj Singh hitting an undefeated 32-ball 66 and then taking 4-29. Daredevils finished with 190-7 in 19.2 overs following a middle -order wobble after David Warner (46) and Sehwag (37) provided a 75-run start. Daredevils needed a daunting 41 off the final 18 deliveries but Finch hit two successive sixes off Shrikant Wagh in the 18th over and Rao struck a six and a four off Yuvraj in the following over to set up the exciting finish. Both batsmen fell to Yuvraj. Ryder hit five sixes and five fours in a 27-ball 60 for the Warriors and began the innings by blasting Rao for two successive sixes. He was caught in the deep after charging spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, but Yuvraj kept the run rate up with five sixes and four boundaries. Lakshmipathy Balaji took 3-

15 and Bangladesh spinner Shakib Al Hasan chipped in with 2-21 to help Knight Riders bowl out former champion Royals for 81 in 15.2 overs. Put in to bat, Royals began badly following early strikes by Balaji and spinner Iqbal Abdulla and two run-outs. Yusuf Pathan had the dangerous Ross Taylor stumped for 6, and Balaji returned to dismiss Ajinkya Rahane and Ashok Menaria in quick succession. Shakib then sent back Amit Singh and Shaun Tait for ducks off successive deliveries. Knight Riders lost Jacques Kallis for a duck but skipper Gautam Gambhir hit 35 and put on 54 runs with Manoj Tiwary (30) as they blasted 21 off a single over from Tait to race to victory. “Getting the opposition out for 81 was a fantastic effort,” Gambhir said. “You cannot take any game in this format lightly. Once you get the momentum, it is important to continue. Once we got Brett and Shakib in our team, and Balaji, it is a fantastic attack.” On Monday, Kochi Tuskers Kerala play reigning champion Chennai Super Kings. Scores: Delhi Daredevils 190-7 in 19.2 overs (David Warner 46, Virender Sehwag 37, Yuvraj Singh 4-29) def. Pune Warriors 187-5 (Yuvraj Singh 66 not out, Jessie Ryder 60, Shahbaz Nadeem 2-39) Kolkata Knight Riders 85-2 in 13.5 overs (Gautam Gambhir 35 not out, Manoj Tiwary 30 not out) def. Rajasthan Royals 81 in 15.2 overs (Shakib Al Hasan 2-21, Lakshmipathy Balaji 3-15) —AP

MUMBAI: Pune Warriors’ Yuvraj Singh bats during the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket match against Delhi Daredevils. —AP

MANCHESTER: Briton Amir Khan retained his WBA world light welterweight title amid controversy on Saturday after the fight was stopped in the sixth round when challenger Paul McCloskey sustained a cut in a clash of heads. Khan took the bout against the Northern Irishman on points but the unsatisfactory end was in keeping with a fight which had been dogged by problems throughout the build-up. A row over TV coverage led Khan’s stable to fall out with Sky after they wanted to switch the fight from pay-per-view and considerably cut the champion’s purse. The former Olympic silver medallist struggled to come to terms with the awkward style of unbeaten southpaw McCloskey, the 31-year-old European champion, in the early stages. Khan, though, was still the more attacking fighter and his quick hands were putting him gradually in control when, after an accidental clash of heads, the referee summoned the doctor who ruled a cut above the challenger’s left eye was too bad to continue. That meant the decision went to the judges, who unanimously had Khan ahead. There was widespread booing from many in the 16,000 MEN Arena crowd, while McCloskey’s manager Barry Hearn condemned the decision as “unprofessional” and said he would lodge a complaint with the British Boxing Board of Control. Khan, however, was unconcerned. “He was very tricky, his head was low but I caught him with a clean shot in the fifth round and his legs went so any minute he was going to go,” he told the BBC. Khan said he did not want a re-match because he was interested in “bigger things” and hoped his next fight would be against American WBC and WBO champion Tim Bradley. —Reuters

Ortiz upsets Berto for title LEDYARD: Victor Ortiz rode three knockdowns to a stunning upset victory over previously unbeaten Andre Berto in a World Boxing Council welterweight title fight in the MGM Grand at the Foxwoods Resort Casino on Saturday. Ortiz (29-2-2) won a unanimous decision despite having a point taken away for hitting behind the head. The three judges scored it 114-112, 114-111 and 115-110. Berto had made five successful title defenses since he took the WBC welterweight crown in June 2008, when he knocked out Miguel Rodriguez in the seventh round. On Saturday night, Berto (27-1) was nearly knocked out in Round 1. Ortiz came out firing combinations from the bell, stunning Berto with a right hand followed by a left hook that put the champion on the canvas. With Berto clearly dazed, Ortiz tried to finish his rival off. He produced another knockdown, but Berto made it out of the round. Ortiz appeared to be in command in Round 2, when out of nowhere, Berto connected with a short right hand that sent Ortiz backpedaling. He didn’t go down, but took a brief count from referee Michael Ortega. The brisk pace continued in Round 3 with Ortiz continuing to apply the pressure. Ortiz continued to stalk Berto in Round 4. Berto kept waving at his opponent to keep coming forward, and Ortiz was happy to oblige. Berto, 27, came alive in Round 6 and was pummeling Ortiz. He knocked Ortiz down with a right hand. But just seconds before the round ended, Ortiz flattened Berto with a left hook. Berto got up with no trouble just before the bell sounded to end the round. After three uneventful rounds, Berto landed a good right to begin Round 10. Ortiz, who had been warned earlier about hitting in the back of the head, had a point taken away by Ortega. That seemed to motivate him, and he finished the round with a solid combination. Ortiz clearly had the better of it in Round 11. Ortiz, 24, now has a six-fight winning streak. He hasn’t lost since June of 2009, when he was knocked out in the sixth round by Marcus Maidana. — AP

MANCHESTER: Amir Khan (left) in action with Paul McCloskey in their WBA World Light Welterweight Title fight at the MEN Arena. — AP

Salido defeats Lopez in eighth round TKO SAN JUAN: Challenger Orlando Salido upset Juan Manuel Lopez on Saturday, stopping the WBO featherweight champion with a technical knockout in the eighth round. Referee Roberto Ramirez ended the fight with 1:39 left in the round. Salido also knocked down Lopez at the end of the fifth. Judges Lisa Giampa, Thomas Miller and Jose Torres all had the fight even at 66-66 when

Ramirez stopped the bout. The 27-year-old Lopez was defending his title before a home crowd at the Ruben Rodriguez Coliseum in Bayamon. Salido improved to 35-11-2 (23 KOs). Lopez fell to 30-1 (27 KOs). Next up for the 30-year-old Salido will most likely be a unification bout against Yuriorkis Gamboa, the WBA and IBF champion. Salido lost a unanimous decision to Gamboa in September. — AP

UNCASVILLE: Andre Berto (right) and Victor Ortiz trade punches during the tenth round of their WBC World Welterweight Championship fight. — AP



e niv rsar n


MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011

sp orts

Hamilton wins Chinese GP McLaren driver ends Vettel’s winning streak

LONG BEACH: A safety worker puts out a fire on IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe’s car during practice for the Grand Prix of Long Beach IndyCar auto race.—AP

Power on pole at Long Beach LONG BEACH: Will Power of Australia has earned the pole at the Grand Prix of Long Beach, his third straight to open th e I nd yCa r se a son. Powe r e d g e d defending champion Ryan Hunter-Reay to go 3-for-3 on poles this season. “He’s the man right now,” Hunter-Reay said. The road-and-street specialist opened the season with the pole and a second-place finish at St. Petersburg, and followed that up with a wire-to-wire win at Alabama last week. That gave him 94 points for the season, seven ahead of Dario Franchitti, the man who overtook Power for the series championship on the final race of the 2010 season. Power has been fast all weekend at Long Beach, among the leaders in practice and second after the initial round of qualifying. Hunter-Reay had the lead over in the Fast Six final segment before Power hit the gas late with a lap of 1 minute, 9:06 seconds around the 11-turn, 1.968-mile circuit through the streets of downtown. It was Power’s third straight pole at Long Beach, though he hasn’t won on the seaside circuit since the final Champ Car race at the layout in 2008. “I would mean a lot (to win),” said Power, who hit 102.582 mph in qualifying. “It’s one of my favorite tracks. I love it around here. I’ve been trying to win it the last couple years, I’ve been knocking on the door. I n racing, as you k now, everything has to be perfect and that’s

what we’ve got to do tomorrow.” Hunter-Reay might have Power right where he wants him. Driving as a parttimer last season, RHR qualified second and won, a big victory not just because it helped him land a full-time gig with Andretti Autosport this season, but also b e ca u s e he grew up i n S o ut her n Ca l i fo rn i a . He quali f ied 0.8 seco nds behind Power and will start on the front row next to him. “Best thing is it’s a repeat of last year,” said Hunter-Reay, who proposed to his wife, Beccy, at a local restaurant last year. “We’re starting second and we won from there last year, so hopefully we can repeat.” Mike Conway, who missed most of last season after a horrific crash at the Indianapolis 500, qualified third and Oriol Servia was fourth. The 85-lap race Sunday figures to be filled with excitement. The tight course is tough to pass on and there are usually plenty of collisions and cars into the wall. IndyCar’s new double-file restarts on road courses figure to add to the excitement, par ticularly with a barely-getthrough first corner and nowhere to run off. “It’s trying to predict how many cars you can get lined up at a certain point and what’s acceptable and what’s not,” said Justin Wilson, who qualified fifth and will start next to Helio Castroneves. “ N o o n e want s t he team owner s to spend $2 million at Turn 1, so it’s a fine line.”—AP

SHANGHAI: McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton went from China crisis to champagne celebration yesterday with a stirring victory that denied Red Bull’s Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel a fifth win in a row. Hamilton, who made it out of the Shanghai pit lane with only seconds to spare after frantic work on his car’s engine before the race, hunted down his German rival remorselessly on better gripping tyres in the closing laps to win by 5.1 seconds. Australian Mark Webber finished third for Red Bull after starting 18th while McLaren’s Jenson Button was fourth following a rare blunder that saw him pit in front of the Red Bull mechanics. Vettel now has 68 points after three races while Hamilton moved up to second overall with 47. Red Bull have 105 to McLaren’s 85 and Ferrari’s 50 in the constructors’ standings. “With the whole thing that happened in the pit lane ... perhaps I wasn’t even going to be in the race,” Hamilton told reporters after a thrilling and strategy-loaded race that left even drivers confused. “I thought I was going to be back with Mark,” added the Briton who gave a whoop of delight to celebrate his and McLaren’s first win since Belgium in August last year. The 26-year-old, triumphant in Shanghai on his way to the title in 2008, was the first driver to win twice in China since the race made its debut on the calendar in 2004. “The car just wouldn’t start,” he said of the prerace problems that saw him drive out of the garage barely 30 seconds before the pit lane closed and without the rear engine cover installed. Mechanics carried on their work once he was safely installed in third place on the grid. Vettel had won the first two races of the season, after also finishing first in the last two of 2010, from pole position and looked the favorite again after grabbing the top slot. His team’s decision to go for a two-stop strategy, rather than Hamilton’s three, proved crucial with the McLaren man making the most of his fresher tyres to reel in the Red Bull after his final stop. “The pace was there,” said Vettel, who had lost out to both the McLarens at the start. “It was there all weekend but once we decided to go to two stop you have to be patient, look after your tyres and when it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. “I saw there were seven laps to go and not much I could do,” he added. “I don’t see second today as a disappointment ... all in all we are happy with second. First was not meant to be.” Hamilton and Button, who started on the front row, had both screamed past Vettel at the start with the older Englishman leading the eventual winner for the first 13 laps. The 2009 champion then blew his lead on his first pitstop with a mistake that would have embarrassed even a rookie let alone one of the smoothest of drivers. With Vettel following him in, moments after passing Hamilton for second place, Button stopped in front of the German’s mechanics who hurriedly ushered him out to make way for their man-who was then first out again. “I was looking down and when I looked back up I could see I was in the

wrong place,” he said. While the top five were separated by less than eight seconds after more than a third of the race, Webber was on a charge of his own. Robbed of his chances of winning by a technical problem on Saturday, he ran a different strategy to his team mate thanks to having three sets of unused option tyres due to his lack of track time on Saturday. “I had a few sets of tyres left over from qualifying so that helped a bit,” he said, adding jokingly: “Maybe that is the best way to do it all the time, not

even take part in qualifying and just go from there.” Germany’s Nico Rosberg also enjoyed a moment in the limelight, leading after successive rounds of pitstops for Mercedes, but his hopes of a first career win after five seasons in Formula One faded as his team urged him to save fuel. Rosberg finished fifth, ahead of Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso in sixth and seventh. Seven times world champion Michael Schumacher crossed the line in eighth place for Mercedes at the circuit where he had his last podium finish with Ferrari in 2006.—Reuters

SHANGHAI: McLaren Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates after winning the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit. —AP

Italy crash out of Fed Cup

DALLAS: Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge (left) drives against Dallas Mavericks’ Tyson Chandler (right) in the second half of an NBA playoff basketball game.—AP

MOSCOW: Italy’s defence of their Fed Cup crown fell by the wayside against Russia yesterday prompting Roberta Vinci to criticise compatriots Francesca Schiavone and Flavia Pennetta for withdrawing from the team. Vinci lost 6-4 6-2 to Vera Zvonareva as Russia powered into a 3-0 lead and their first Fed Cup final in three years. “If they didn’t want to come it’s their problem,” the world number 37 told a news conference when asked about the withdrawals of world number four Schiavone and 20th ranked Pennetta, their two leading players. “I don’t care about Schiavone and Pennetta, they are not on this team. Right now I’m number one for Italy and Sara (Errani) is number two. We’re here and we try to give our best.” Schiavone skipped the semi-final tie to concentrate on the defence of her French Open

title while Pennetta was ruled out with a shoulder injury, leaving the three-times champions with only a slim chance. The Russians, with world number three Zvonareva and former US and French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova leading the charge, had been the overwhelming favourites. Russia, who won the women’s team competition four times between 2004 and 2008, will host the winner of the other semi-final between Belgium and the Czech Republic, in the November final. Zvonareva had little sympathy for the holders and after crushing Sara Errani 6-0 6-2 in Saturday’s opener was just as dominant yesterday. She broke Vinci in the ninth game for a 5-4 lead before serving out the first set then going on to seal a comfortable victory after 74 minutes. “It was a very emotional win for me,”

Heat scrape past 76ers MIAMI: Chris Bosh scored 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and LeBron James finished with 21 points and 14 rebounds, as the Miami Heat held off a huge Philadelphia rally to beat the 76ers 97-89 on Saturday in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series. Dwyane Wade scored 17 for Miami, five of those points coming in the final 1:34. Philadelphia held the Heat scoreless for 4:37 of the fourth quarter and scored 12 straight points to close to 88-87, but never got the lead in the final minutes. Thaddeus Young had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the 76ers, while Jrue Holiday added 19 and Elton Brand finished with 17. Game 2 is today in Miami. Bulls 104, Pacers 99 At Chicago, Derrick Rose scored 39 points and Kyle Korver nailed the goahead 3-pointer as top-seeded Chicago rallied from a late 10-point deficit to beat Indiana in their playoff opener. Trailing 98-88 late in the game, the Bulls showed the resolved that carried them to a league -best 62-20 record, outscoring Indiana 16-1 over the final 3:38. Rose scored seven during that run, including a three-point play and a floater that tied it at 99 with 1:27 left. He then hit Korver with a crosscourt pass for a 3 that gave the Bulls their first lead at 102-99 with 48 seconds remaining. Danny Granger missed a tying 3. Joakim Noah got the rebound, and Rose eventually hit two free throws with 14.8 seconds remaing. He was 19 of 21 from the line and had six assists and six rebounds in another strong performance. Luol Deng added 18 points and Korver finished with 13.

Nadal lifts Monte Carlo crown

Hawks 103, Magic 93 At Orlando, Florida, Joe Johnson scored 25 points and Jamal Crawford finished with 23 as Atlanta beat Orlando in Game 1 of their playoff series, overcoming a big night by Magic star Dwight Howard. Atlanta was eliminated by Orlando in last year’s playoffs in the most lopsided four-game sweep in NBA history, but this one was much different. The Hawks led by as many as 18 points while running multiple bodies at Howard all night, and the rest of the Magic failed to step up. Howard tied a career high with 46 points, to go along with 19 rebounds. Jameer Nelson had 27 but no other Orlando player reached double figures. Game 2 is tomorrow night in Orlando. Mavericks 89, T Blazers 81 At Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki scored 18 of his game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter as Dallas defeated Portland in Game 1 of their Western Conference first round series. Even though Nowitzki struggled from the field most of the night, he came through when the Mavericks needed him most. Nowitzki scored 12 consecutive points in the game-turning spurt in the closing minutes when Dallas tied the game and eventually went ahead to stay. Jason Kidd added 24 points, including a playoff career-best six 3-pointers. LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points for Portland. Soon after Portland had its largest lead (six points), the Mavericks got back within 72-70 when Nowitzki made two free throws with 4:49 left. His a 3pointer from the right side with 3:40 left to put the Mavs ahead to stay.—AP

Zvonareva said. “I knew it would give my team an unassailable 3-0 lead and put us in the final. So maybe that’s why I was a bit more nervous and probably made a few more mistakes than yesterday.” Cheered on by a sparse home crowd, Zvonareva was never really troubled by Vinci but paid tribute to her opponent. “Roberta is a tough opponent and she just wouldn’t give it to me without a fight. But after she went ahead 4-3 in the first set, I was able to raise my game and played smart tennis.” Vinci agreed with her opponent, saying: “Yes, that was probably the turning point in the match. She led 3-1, then it was 4-3 for me but after that she just played very very well. “I tried to do my best but it was not good enough to win the match,” added the Italian, who also lost 6-2 6-7 6-1 to Kuznetsova in Saturday’s singles.—Reuters

MONACO: Rafael Nadal of Spain holds the cup after defeating David Ferrer of Spain in their final match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters tournament. —AP

MONACO: Rafael Nadal beat fourth-seeded David Ferrer 6-4, 7-5 yesterday to win his seventh straight Monte Carlo Masters title. The top-ranked Spaniard chalked up his 37th straight win at the clay-court event, where he has not lost since 2003. It was his 44th career title and 19th at a Masters event. Nadal won the all-Spanish final when Ferrer chopped the ball into the net following a brief exchange. Nadal had lost his three previous career finals, twice to second-ranked Novak Djokovic, and once to No. 3 Roger Federer. It was the 24-year-old’s first title since winning the Japan Open last October. Guillermo Coria was the last player to beat Nadal at Monte Carlo, in the third round in 2003. Nadal missed the 2004 tournament through injury. “Well, Rafa is incredible on clay. I mean, he’s everywhere at the same time,” Ferrer said through a translator. “He’s the best player on clay in history.” Nadal also extended his Open era record for consecutive titles at a single tournament, having set the mark when he won for the sixth time last year. Last year Nadal did not drop a set, but Andy Murray took one off him this time in Saturday’s semifinal. Nadal also beat Ferrer in last year’s Rome Masters final. The 29-yearold Ferrer missed a key point in the 10th game when he fluffed a routine overhead smash that would have put Nadal 15-30 down on his own serve, and then hit a loose forehand too long on the following point. “Generally speaking I’m very happy. I’m happy with my game also,” said Ferrer, who

was aiming for his third title this year and 12th overall. “I was a bit sad about certain moments.” Nadal held and then broke Ferrer for the fourth time in the match. Ferrer saved one match point when his return clipped the net and bounced just in and out of Nadal’s reach. But a blistering forehand gave Nadal a second chance to win, and he sealed the victory when Ferrer returned a volley into the net. Nadal, who had conceded his opening service game in his previous two matches to Murray and Ivan Ljubicic, again started slowly, saving two points after dropping to 15-40 down. Nadal took Ferrer’s serve in the third game, but lost his own straight after when Ferrer ended a long rally with a superb drop shot to make it 2-2. Ferrer continued to struggle-landing only 36 percent of serves in the first set-and was broken again to trail 3-2. He failed to take advantage of having Nadal 0-40 down in the sixth game, the defending champion holding to lead 4-2 after the players had swapped drop shots close to the net. In the second set, Nadal broke Ferrer in third game with passing shot to lead 2-1. He was untroubled until the eighth game when Nadal’s return from behind baseline bounced out to make it 4-4 as Ferrer broke him for the second time. Nadal won every match he played on clay last season and claimed a fifth French Open title. “Well, he’s not a machine. He can lose,” Ferrer said. “Maybe if Rafa has an injury, I will have a chance.”—AP




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MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011


Lazio zero in on CL slot

GERMANY: Dortmund’s Sven Bender (left) and Freiburg’s Cedric Makiadi of Democratic Republic of the Congo challenge for the ball during the German First Division Bundesliga soccer match. —AP

Dortmund take advantage after Leverkusen 5-1 loss BERLIN: Borussia Dortmund are on the verge of their first German league title since 2002 after beating Freiburg 3-0 yesterday to open an eight-point lead over Bayer Leverkusen who lost 5-1 at Bayern Munich. With four games to go, Dortmund are in pole-position to win the title and have secured an automatic Champions League place in for next season. Having already heard title rivals Leverkusen had been mauled in Munich, Dortmund attacked Freiburg from the start. German wunderkind Mario Goetze, 18, opened the scoring on 23 minutes when he blasted Marcel Schmelzer’s cross into the back of the net. And lone striker Robert Lewandowski added a second on 43 minutes before midfielder Kevin Grosskreutz made sure the hosts secured three points as he tapped into an empty net on 78 minutes as Dortmund ripped the defence apart. Earlier, Bayern Munich tore up Leverkusen’s credentials as title contenders as Germany striker Mario Gomez bagged a first-half hat-trick. Second-placed Leverkusen came to Munich’s Allianz Arena looking for their first win at Bayern since 1989, but Bayern bounced back from last Sunday’s sacking of coach Louis van Gaal to floor their guests. They ended Leverkusen’s five-game winning streak with an own goal by Bayer’s captain Simon Rolfes, Gomez’s treble and a fine individual goal from France’s Franck Ribery which did the damage. Germany star Bastian Schweinsteiger and goal-scorer Ribery both brushed off pre-match injuries to play their part in the rout and hand caretaker coach Andries Jonker his first win in charge. “We took our chances in a ruthless fashion and, certainly in the first half, we played with a high level of aggression,” said Jonker. “The boys had clearly understood the message and they did what had to be done. It was a surprise for me that we led

4-0 at half-time, I didn’t bargain for that.” Ironically, Levrkusen coach Jupp Heynckes will take charge at Bayern next season and he was given a front-row seat as his team were dismantled. “We did everything wrong in the first half that it is possible to do,” fumed Heynckes. “ We played into Bayern’s hands and you can’t do that and expect to win here.” The guests fell behind after only seven minutes when a corner from Schweinsteiger deflected off Rolfes’ face and into his own net. Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal then gave away possession in his own area and Bayern’s Thomas Mueller reacted fastest to square the ball to Gomez, who fired home on 28 minutes. The Germany star needed only 18 more minutes to complete his hat-trick, which leaves him as the Bundesliga’s top scorer with 22 league goals this season and 33 in all competitions. He wrapped up his hat-trick on the stroke of half-time to leave Leverkusen 40 down and shell-shocked at the break. The guests pulled one back through Swiss striker Eren Derdiyok with an hour gone, but Ribery fired home on 75 minutes to complete the rout. With four games left, Bayern are up to third-on course for a Champions League place -and just six points behind Leverkusen. On Saturday, Champions League semi-finalists Schalke 04 came from behind to rescue a 1-1 draw at Werder Bremen to leave both sides in mid-table. A late equaliser by VfL Wolfsburg secured a 2-2 draw at home to St Pauli while Hanover 96 are fourth in the league after they were held to a goalless draw by Hamburg. Stuttgart pulled away from the relegation zone with a 3-1 win at Cologne and Hoffenheim moved up to ninth with a 10 win over Eintracht Frankfurt. On Friday, Mainz beat 10-man Borussia Moenchengladbach 1-0 to stay on course for a place in Europe. —AFP

ROME: Lazio closed in on a qualifying round Champions League slot yesterday after an emphatic 4-1 win at Catania which not only consolidated fourth place in Serie A but also left them just three points behind Inter Milan. Deposed champions Inter slumped to a 20 loss at struggling Parma on Saturday and, even better for Lazio fans, their city rivals AS Roma lost 3-2 at home to Palermo to leave the losers seven points off fourth place with only five matches remaining. Hernanes Lima put Lazio ahead on 40 minutes for his second in two games and although Schelotto levelled straight after the break further goals from Stefano Mauri, Sergio Floccari and Mauro Zarate, who also provided two assists, underlined the visitors’ superiority. Juventus are a point behind Roma in seventh after the Old Lady could only draw 0-0 at midtable Fiorentina, ending a run of three straight victories. In the race to beat the drop, 17th-placed Cesena leapfrogged Sampdoria after a 1-0 win over Bari cour tesy of a goal from Albanian Erjon Bogdani. Brescia, 19th, are on the brink after a 3-0 loss at Genoa which left them four points off safety. Lecce are fifth bottom, one point ahead of Cesena, after recovering from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 with Cagliari with a Daniele Corvia goal deep into stoppage time saving their bacon. Angr y Sampdoria suppor ters, whose team have now slid into the bottom three, attacked the team coach on its return from Saturday’s 3-0 defeat by AC Milan which deepened their very real relegation worries. The masked supporters hurled stones and struck the bus with sticks on its return to the team hotel in Genoa early on Sunday morning according to press reports, breaking the windscreen. The supporters have issued death threats to the squad should they be relegated. “No result, even a really bad one, can justify such behaviour,” the club said in a statement. Clarence Seedorf, former Sampdoria star Antonio Cassano and Robinho were the men on target for the rossoneri, who were not unduly troubled by the absence through suspension of Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic for three matches for swearing at a linesman. Sampdoria have suffered a complete reversal in fortunes after finishing fourth last season, with their two best players allowed to leave in the January transfer window, Cassano joining AC Milan after making abusive remarks about the club president, and Giampaolo Pazzini, who was sold to Inter Milan. At the top of the table AC Milan, following Saturday’s stroll, hold a six-point lead

ITALY: Catanias Adrian Ricchiuti (right) of Argentina, vies for the ball with Lazio’s Mark Bresciano of Australia, during a Serie A soccer match. —AP

Italian League results/standings Lecce 3 (Mesbah 49, Fabiano 88, Corvia 90+4) Cagliari 3 (Acquafresca 20, 72, Conti 67); Fiorentina 0 Juventus 0; Catania 1 (Schelotto 46) Lazio 4 (Lima 40, Mauri 56, Floccari 78, Zarate 90); Cesena 1 (Bogdani 48) Bari 0; Chievo 2 (Constant 15, Marcolini 83) Bologna 0; Genoa 3 (Rafinha 59, Berardi 71-og, Antonelli 90+4) Brescia 0.

Italian League table ahead of yesterday’s evening match (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): AC Milan Napoli Inter Milan Lazio Udinese Roma Juventus Palermo Cagliari Fiorentina

33 32 33 33 32 33 33 33 33 33

21 20 19 18 17 15 14 14 12 10

8 5 6 6 5 8 10 5 8 13

4 7 8 9 10 10 9 14 13 10

59 52 58 45 57 51 50 50 41 38

Played Saturday: Hamburg 0 Hanover 96 0; VfL Wolfsburg 2

30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30

21 18 16 17 15 13 12 12 10

6 7 7 3 3 7 7 5 10

3 5 7 10 12 10 11 13 10

62 60 66 42 44 45 44 38 45

18 40 36 40 37 38 45 44 42

69 61 55 54 48 46 43 41 40

(Mandzukic 39, Polak 89) St Pauli 2 (Naki 61, Lehmann 77); Hoffenheim 1 (Roberto Firmino 78) Eintracht Frankfurt 0; Cologne 1 (Novakovic 68) VfB Stuttgart 3 (Traesch 51, Harnik 53, Kuzmanovic 63-pen); Kaiserslautern 0 Nuremberg 2 (Eigler 34, Mak 90+2); Werder Bremen 1 (Wagner 59-pen) Schalke 04 1 (Edu 63).

Schalke Bremen Cologne Kaiserslautern Stuttgart Eintracht Wolfsburg St. Pauli M’gladbach

30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30

11 8 10 9 9 9 6 8 7

7 11 5 7 6 6 11 5 5

12 11 15 14 15 15 13 17 18

35 40 40 40 52 29 34 32 43

34 56 57 48 55 40 44 53 64

40 35 35 34 33 33 29 29 26

Celtic stroll into final GLASGOW: Four second-half goals helped Celtic reach the Scottish Cup final with a comfortable 4-0 win over Aberdeen who played the majority of the game with ten men at Hampden yesterday. Both sides had chances before last man Andrew Considine saw red in the 18th minute as he brought down Gary Hooper in the box but Jamie Langfield stopped Anthony Stokes’ spot-kick and made a series of saves to send his side in level at the break. Charlie Mulgrew put Celtic ahead with a 25-yard free-kick three minutes into the second-half and Joe Ledley doubled the lead in the 57th minute. Hooper scored Celtic’s second penalty of the game six minutes later before substitute Shaun Maloney tapped in a late fourth to send the Hoops into the May 21 final where they will met Motherwell. Neil Lennon was delighted to get to his first Scottish Cup final as manager. “I have got to pay a lot of credit to the team today

as they were excellent,” he said. “We have got something to look forward to at the end of the season but the championship is our priority.” His Aberdeen counterpart Craig Brown said the better team had won. “I thought we were doing ok until we got the red card,” said the former Scotland coach, who left Motherwell to take over at Aberdeen earlier this season. “I think it is a harsh situation to concede the penalty and an ordering off but that’s the law of the game. “It made a big uphill task for us. To play against the best passing side in the country a man short is very difficult and then we did concede softly.” It was Aberdeen who had the first chance when Josh Magennis had Fraser Forster scrambling across his goal to stop his low drive sneaking in. Stokes sent a glancing header over the bar after connecting with Kris Commons’ curling cross before he was denied by the legs of the outrushing Langfield. —AFP

71 65 63 60 56 53 52 47 44 43

Genoa Bologna Chievo Catania Parma Lecce Cesena Sampdoria Brescia Bari

33 33 33 33 33 33 33 33 33 33

11 11 9 9 8 9 8 7 7 4

9 10 12 9 11 8 10 11 9 9

13 12 12 15 14 16 15 15 17 20

34 34 32 31 32 38 30 26 28 20

37 44 34 45 45 56 45 39 43 48

42 40 39 36 35 35 34 32 30 21

lot,” said Leonardo. “Five behind, you can still believe, but the problem is getting over the tiredness.” All that can save Inter now is to rescue a crumb of comfort via the Italian Cup. They have a semi-final first leg tomorrow against Roma, who af ter their loss to Palermo realistically makes a top four finish beyond them are also desperate for consolation silverware. —AFP

Levante continue European push

German League table after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Dortmund Leverkusen Bayern Hanover Mainz Nuremberg Hamburg Freiburg Hoffenheim

23 30 37 30 34 47 40 54 40 35

over Napoli ahead of the latter’s evening match at home to Udinese, who themselves were looking for a win that would take them to within a point of Lazio. Inter, already smar ting from their Champions League exit at the hands of Schalke, saw Sebastian Giovinco and Amauri bag Parma’s goals for a loss which Inter coach Leonardo largely blamed on fatigue. “We need points-eight behind, that’s a

German League results/standings Bayern Munich 5 (Rolfes 7-og, Gomez 28, 44, 45+1, Ribery 75) Bayer Leverkusen 1 (Derdiyok 62); Borussia Dortmund 3 (Goetze 23, Lewandowski 43, Grosskreutz 78) Freiburg 0.

Playing later Napoli v Udinese Played Saturday Roma 2 (Totti 20-pen, Vucinic 90+2) Palermo 3 (Pinilla 43-pen, Hernandez 84, 90); AC Milan 3 (Seedorf 20, Cassano 54-pen, Robinho 61) Sampdoria 0; Parma 2 (Giovinco 36, Amauri 86) Inter Milan 0.

FRANCE: Marseille’s Nigerian defender Taye Taiwo celebrates after converting a penalty kick during the French Division One football match against Montpellier. —AP

Marseille close on Lille PARIS: Defending French champions Marseille fought back from behind to win 2-1 at Montpellier yesterday and close to within a single point of faltering league leaders Lille. Lille’s 1-1 draw at home to Bordeaux the day before had given Marseille the opportunity to pile the pressure on and they prevailed through a second-half Taye Taiwo penalty after both sides had seen a man sent off. In bright sunshine, a dour game sprang to life in the 64th minute when the hosts took the lead, Olivier Giroud slamming the ball into the bottom-left corner after a purposeful run from Joris Marveaux. Marseille have made a habit of grinding out results this season, however, and they drew level with a goal of beautiful simplicity five minutes later. Benoit Cheyrou picked out AndrePierre Gignac with a raking 60-yard pass and the former Toulouse striker calmly lifted the ball over the advancing Geoffrey Jourdren with the inside of his right foot. The visitors continued to press and in the 79th minute they were awarded a penalty when Loic Remy was held back

by Abdelhamid El Kaoutari as he attempted to latch on to a rebound after Jourdren saved from Andre Ayew. Remy saw red after needlessly lashing out at El Kaoutari in the melee that followed, while El Kaoutari was also sent off after receiving a second yellow card. It meant Taiwo was made to wait before taking his crucial spot-kick, but the Nigeria left-back showed no sign of nerves by slotting the ball into the bottom-right corner to complete a potentially season-defining comeback. Third-placed Lyon will also hope to benefit from Lille’s slip-up when they visit fifth-placed Paris Saint-Germain later yesterday, when victory would lift Claude Puel’s side to within three points of the stuttering leaders. In the other afternoon match, bottom club Arles-Avignon’s long-anticipated relegation was confirmed after they lost 1-0 at home to Valenciennes. Gregory Pujol volleyed in the game’s only goal in the 68th minute, to leave Arles-appearing in the French top flight for the first time in their history 22 points from safety with seven games remaining. —AFP

MADRID: Promoted Levante continued their shock late bid for a top six finish with a 2-1 home win over strugglers Hercules yesterday. First half goals from Ruben Suarez and Juanlu Lopez helped Levante stretch their unbeaten run to eight games and the league newcomers, who started the season as one of the favourites to be relegated, are just three points off the Europa League places. Hercules, another of the promoted teams, stay second from bottom, three points from safety with six games to save themselves. In other matches, Sporting Gijon saw a run of three consecutive wins come to an end with a 2-1 loss against Real Sociedad yesterday. A brace from Frenchman Antoine Griezmann on 32 and 79 minutes helped promoted Sociedad move five points above the drop zone. Elsewhere Deportivo La Coruna took a giant stride towards safety with a 2-0 home win over Racing Santander at the Riazor stadium yesterday. Two goals in three minutes from Lassad Nouioui (45 min) and Xisco (48) moved Depor five points above the bottom three. Later yesterday Athletic Bilbao host Osasuna in a local derby at San Mames. European hopefuls Bilbao can go above Sevilla into fifth with victory, while Osasuna need a win as they are hovering two points above the relegation zone. “We have to play with our heads as well as our hearts and if we do, we will have a chance of winning,” said Osasuna coach Jose Mendilibar. Espanyol host Atletico Madrid in Sunday’s other late match between two sides targeting a top six finish. Atletico are in seventh place a point ahead of Espanyol who will hope to make home advantage count at their Cornella-El Prat stadium. At the top of the table champions Barcelona stayed in the box seat to retain their title with a 1-1 draw at arch rivals Real Madrid in a heated ‘El Clasico’ at the Santiago Bernabeu. Barcelona stay eight points clear of Real with six games lef t and it could gave been worse had Cristiano Ronaldo’s 82nd minute penalty not cancelled out Lionel Messi’s 53rd minute spot-kick. “They allowed us to control the whole game,” said Barcelona midfielder Xavi. “We didn’t expect that, we thought they would pressurise us high up the field. “It is a small step further towards the title, but it’s not over yet.” Real had to play 37 minutes with ten men after Raul Albiol was sent off in the 53rd minute and captain Iker Casillas believes salvaging a draw was a good result. “We have to look at the positives and we drew despite playing a lot of the match with ten men,” said Casillas. Real and Barcelona will face off again on Wednesday in the Kings Cup final at the Mestalla stadium. —AFP

Hamilton wins Chinese GP

Kenyans sweep London Marathon



MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011

Nadal lifts Monte Carlo crown Page 18

LONDON: Stoke City’s Irish striker Jonathan Walters (center) vies with Bolton Wanderers’ Finnish goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen (right) and Icelandic defender Gretar Steinsson (left) during the FA Cup semi-final football match. —AP

Stoke reach first FA Cup Final Bolton suffer 5-0 defeat down were completely banished when Jones punished more poor Bolton defending in the 30th minute. Jermaine Pennant robbed Martin Petrov in midfield and ran at the Bolton defence before sliding the ball through Cahill’s legs for Trinidad striker Jones to slot home with ease. Bolton were last in the FA Cup final back in 1958 when they lifted the trophy thanks to two goals from Nat Lofthouse against Manchester United. But there was to be no fairy-tale return to Wembley. Coyle hauled off Klasnic and Petrov and sent on Matthew Taylor and Mark Davies at half-time. But Stoke picked up where they had left off and some shambolic Bolton defending almost gifted Jones his second goal only for Paul Robinson to block the striker’s shot. Walters scored the goal of the game in the 68th minute as he burst forward from the halfway line and curled in a superb strike from 25 yards. Stoke kept coming forward and when Jones got free down the right nine minutes from time, he crossed for Andy Wilkinson, whose sliced finish fell perfectly for Walters to clip home. It was the perfect end to arguably the greatest day in Stoke’s history as they became the first team for 72 years to win a semi-final by a five-goal margin.—AFP

of their goals came from play off Kevin Davies so we narrowed everyone in and made sure their wide players were covered.” After City’s tense victory over Manchester United on Saturday, this was a far more onesided affair. With on-loan Chelsea for ward Daniel Sturridge cup-tied, Bolton boss Owen Coyle opted for Ivan Klasnic as Kevin Davies’s strike-partner, while Pulis recalled Danish goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen in place of Asmir Begovic. It was immediately clear that Stoke wouldn’t be unnerved by the occasion. In the opening seconds Bolton goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen was forced to rush off his line to save a Walters shot as the striker burst clear. Bolton were still struggling to come to terms with the occasion when Stoke took the lead in the 11th minute. A series of misplaced passes gifted possession to Etherington and the former West Ham winger was given time and space to shoot past Jaaskelainen from 20 yards. It got even better for Stoke six minutes later when German defender Huth latched onto Gary Cahill’s poor headed clearance and drove in a shot that Jaaskelainen failed to keep out despite getting both hands on the ball. Stoke had been beaten in successive FA Cup semi-finals in 1971 and 1972, but any fears of another let-

LONDON: Stoke City stormed into their first ever FA Cup final after a firsthalf goal spree inspired a 5-0 win against Bolton in yesterday’s semifinal at Wembley. Tony Pulis’s side will face Manchester City in the final on May 14 after three goals from Matthew Etherington, Robert Huth and Kenwyne Jones in the space of 19 minutes destroyed Bolton before the match had even reached half-time. Jonathan Walters capped Stoke’s perfect day with two more goals after the interval. Stoke were appearing in their first semi-final in the competition since 1972, the year they also won their last significant piece of silverware when they beat Chelsea in the League Cup final. Now they could eclipse even that famous achievement if they beat Roberto Mancini’s expensively-assembled outfit at Wembley next month. Etherington told ESPN: “We scored some great goals today. We get our knockers, people say certain things about us. Today was our day to prove them wrong. “We are used to being the underdogs. The manager said that before the game and we will be the underdogs in the final as well. Bring it on.” Pulis added: “It’s fantastic for everybody connected with the football club. “It was a great performance. To do it on a stage like this is great. “We know Bolton and 90 percent

EPL results/standings Arsenal 1 (Van Persie 90pen) Liverpool 1 (Kuyt 90pen). Played Saturday Birmingham City 2 (Larsson 41, Gardner 66) Sunderland 0; Blackpool 1 (Campbell 84) Wigan Athletic 3 (Rodallega 3, Nzogbia 45, Eardley 66-og); Everton 2 (Osman 54, Baines 75-pen) Blackburn 0; West Bromwich 1 (Odemwingie 17) Chelsea 3 (Drogba 22, Kalou 26, Lampard 45);West Ham 1 (Keane 2) Aston Villa 2 (Bent 37, Agbonlahor 90). English Premier League table after yesterday’s match (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Man Utd Arsenal Chelsea Man City Tottenham Liverpool Everton Bolton Aston Villa Newcastle

32 32 32 32 31 33 33 32 33 32

20 18 18 16 14 14 11 11 10 10

9 9 7 8 11 7 14 10 10 9

3 5 7 8 6 12 8 11 13 13

70 63 58 50 44 46 47 46 42 48

32 31 26 30 36 39 41 43 54 47

69 63 61 56 53 49 47 43 40 39

West Brom Fulham Stoke Birmingham Sunderland Blackburn Wigan Blackpool West Ham W’hampton

33 32 32 32 33 33 33 33 33 32

10 8 11 8 9 9 7 9 7 9

9 14 5 14 11 8 13 6 11 5

14 10 16 10 13 16 13 18 15 18

47 36 39 33 35 40 32 47 39 36

62 35 42 43 47 54 53 69 58 56

39 38 38 38 38 35 34 33 32 32

Penalty drama dents Arsenal’s EPL title bid Arsenal 1

Liverpool 1

LONDON: Arsene Wenger’s hopes of guiding Arsenal to the Premier League title are in tatters after Dirk Kuyt’s last-gasp penalty earned a dramatic 1-1 draw for Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium yesterday. With new majority shareholder Stan Kroenke watching from the directors’ box, Wenger ’s side appeared to have snatched a stoppage -time victor y when Cesc Fabregas was tripped by Jay Spearing in the penalty area. Robin van Persie scored from the spot but Arsenal couldn’t keep their composure and there was more drama to come, with Lucas Leiva bundled over by Emmanuel Eboue in the 12th minute of added time and Kuyt converting the spotkick. It leaves Arsenal six points behind leaders Manchester United with six games for each side to play and the Gunners’ confidence sure to dip even further after three consecutive draws on their own turf. Arsenal’s failure to rise to the occasion means a season that at one stage could have delivered a quadruple trophy haul will now almost certainly end up with nothing to celebrate. Wenger was furious with the penalty decision and said: “I feel hard done by at the end because time was over. Extra time should have been eight minutes. “And I don’t think it was a penalty at all but Lucas played in an intelligent way, he stopped his run

LONDON: Liverpool’s Dirk Kuyt (left) celebrates his penalty goal against Arsenal with teammate Sotirios Kyrgiakos during their English Premier League soccer match at Emirates Stadium. —AP

in front of Emmanuel Eboue. But we have to take it and continue to fight.” Reds boss Kenny Dalglish added: “What my team did at the end epitomised what they did all day. Everything was battling against us and they still remained committed to get something from the game. “That’s fantastic. You can maybe play better but you won’t find a more committed team than the one out there today.” The hosts were able to recall Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny after a finger injury, while Switzerland defender Johan Djourou returned from a dislocated shoulder despite being ruled out for the season when he picked up the problem. Djourou could have given a penalty away in the opening stages of the match when Spearing went over his challenge in the area, but referee Andre Marriner waved play on. Another goalless draw for Arsenal appeared unlikely during a burst of goalmouth action which started when Pepe Reina parried Theo Walcott ’s drive and John Flanagan had to clear desperately when Van Persie hooked the rebound into the danger area. From the resulting corner from Van Persie, Laurent Koscielny jumped above Jamie Carragher and headed against the crossbar, with Walcott claiming a handball against Lucas when his follow-up shot.

Van Persie also had the ball in the net when he volleyed home Fabregas’s long pass over the Liverpool defence, but the Dutch forward had been ruled offside. Liverpool soaked up the rest of the first-half pressure without conceding, although Flanagan and Skrtel were given yellow cards for rash challenges. Fabio Aurelio also picked up an injury and needed to be replaced by Jack Robinson, meaning the visitors had youngsters in both fullback positions. After the break Dalglish’s team threatened to take the lead when Uruguay forward Luis Suarez went on a run and curled his finish just wide. He also tested Szczesny with a long-range effort. England striker Andy Carroll had looked a threat and Liverpool were breathing a sigh of relief when he went over his ankle but was able to play on. Carragher, however, needed to be substituted after smacking into Flanagan and getting carried off on a stretcher in need of oxygen and a neck brace. That accounted for the long period of injur y-time, with Van Persie opening the scoring before Kuyt’s leveller with the final kick of the game. Wenger responded by stalking towards Dalglish to protest that Lucas had dived but the Scot ’s angry response quickly brought an end to the conversation.—AFP



Kuwait property sector Recovering: Experts

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‘Act now’ to support Mideast: World Bank Page 25 MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011

China showcases global muscle at auto show Page 26

SLS Success: Soaring high in sports car segment Page 23

BEIJING: A vegetable vendor carries his child at a stall in Beijing Saturday. China’s consumer prices rose 5.4 percent over a year ago, driven by 11.7 percent surge in food costs, data showed.—AP

Kuwait, Egypt stock markets drop Egypt’s Citadel chairman banned from travelling CAIRO/DUBAI: Egypt’s main benchmark tumbled to a three-week low after the chairman of Citadel Capital was banned from leaving the country, while Kuwait’s benchmark fell after the death of the Kharafi Group’s chairman. In a statement released after the close of trade on Thursday, Egypt’s public prosecutor ordered that Citadel Chairman Ahmed Heikal be banned from travel pending a probe into corruption allegations. Egypt’s index lost 3.4 percent, also weighed by EFG-Hermes, after Sherif Cararah, a board member and head of brokerage, resigned. The bank fell 4.5 percent.

Kuwait’s benchmark fell 0.7 percent to a week low and Zain dropped 3.3 percent, after Nasser Al-Kharafi, 67, the billionaire chairman of Kharafi Group, died in Cairo from a heart attack. The Kharafi Group was a major shareholder in Kuwaiti telecoms carrier Zain. “People are still trying to comprehend the consequences of what’s going to happen,” said a Kuwaitbased trader on terms on anonymity. “It’s natural the market is panicking,” he added. UAE markets ended on fresh highs as investor confidence build in country’s bourses on hopes for an MSCI

index inclusion and banks’ earnings. Dubai Financial Market jumped 5.2 percent and Emaar Properties gained 2.1 percent, a near three-month high. Dubai Islamic Bank added 1.4 per-

obtain emerging market status and be included in the index, increasing access to foreign funds. The benchmark ended 1.6 percent higher, its highest close since Jan 10.

MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS cent. “One of the interesting things in banking sector is the (price) levels we are seeing, benefiting from the turmoil around the region,” said Hashem Montasser, managing par tner at Frontlane Capital, a Dubai-based asset management firm. An MSCI decision will be made in June on whether UAE and Qatar will

“There is a lot of activity on first quarter forecasts, especially bluechips that were lagging, which is indication of high retail investor interest,” said Marwan Shurrab, vice-president and chief trader at Gulfmena Alternative Investments. Abu Dhabi’s index rose 0.7 percent to a nine-week high, with heavy-

weights rallying. National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank gained 1.3 and 1.4 percent respectively. Saudi Arabia’s index ended on a month low as investors booked profits from petrochemicals, with Yanbu National Petrochemical Company (Yansab) weighing. The petrochemical index lost 1.8 percent, as Yansab shed 5 percent. Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) lost 2.3 percent ahead of first-quarter earnings. Both stocks fell on rumors spurred by SABIC result’s leakage, analysts said. “A lot of people made a lot of money in petrochems - I would cash

finance chiefs pledge to cooperate on economy WASHINGTON: Global finance ministers and central bankers concluded three days of talks late Saturday with pledges of greater cooperation to avert another financial crisis, leaving uncertain how far they would go in changing their domestic policies in response to international pressures. Singapore Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, head of the International Monetary Fund’s steering panel, said at a concluding news conference that all countries realized the importance of policy reform and better coordination as the global economy recovers from the worst economic downturn since World War II. “Although we are in a better position than a year ago, there are significant vulnerabilities,” he told reporters. “We are still in a fragile situation. We have to be extremely watchful.” IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said it would be critical for all nations to guard against complacency, especially in the face of new threats from higher oil and food prices, which were exacting a heavy toll on the world’s poorest nations. World Bank President Robert Zoellick called the surge in food prices the biggest threat to the world’s poor, with 44 million more people being pushed into poverty over the past year because of higher prices. “We are one shock away from a full blown crisis,” Zoellick said at a news conference wrapping up a meeting of the bank’s steering committee. Zoellick said the World Bank was pursuing a variety of programs to provide support to poor countries struggling with high food costs. But Max

Lawson, a spokesman for Oxfam, the international aid advocacy group, criticized the finance officials for putting off any action on increased support until a meeting of G20 agricultural ministers in June. “Leaders today said the food crisis is desperately urgent, so urgent they will act on it ... in June. That’s 66 days away. Nearly half a million children will have died of hunger by then,” Lawson said. The talks Saturday followed meetings on Friday of the Group of 20 nations, which includes traditional economic powers such as the United States and European nations, and emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil. The G20 reached agreement on a plan to provide increased monitoring of countries in the G20, starting with seven of the largest nations, to make sure that their government debt, trade balances and investment flows were not rising to levels that posed a risk to the global recovery. A report on the surveillance of those seven nations-the United States, China, Japan, Germany, France, Britain and Indiawas to be presented in November at a summit of the G-20 leaders in Cannes, France. “We have the framework and we have the process by which policies can be scrutinized,” said French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, whose country currently heads the G20. She said expected more refinements to the program when G-20 leaders meet later this year. Christian Noyer, the governor of the Bank of France, said the meetings were “very constructive, pragmatic ... no fights. We’ve made progress on all issues.” —AP

in before SABIC result because you don’t know which way it could go,” said a Saudi-based trader on condition of anonymity. The benchmark ended 1.1 percent lower, its lowest close since March 29. Oman’s index hit a five-week high as banks lifted the index on optimism about strong earnings growth. Bank Dhofar gained 1.2 percent after Chief Executive Kris Babicci resigned. The benchmark gained 0.2 percent to its highest close since March 13. “We continue to believe that banks will benefit from strong government spending in long run,” said Osama Ibrahim Al Qinna, head of brokerage at Oman Arab Bank. —Reuters

Egyptian Resorts remove Mubarak aide from board

WASHINGTON: Argentina’s Minister of Economy Amado Boudou arrives for a meeting of the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors at the 2011 Spring Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington.—AP

Japan importing 4.2m bpd oil KUWAIT: Japan is currently importing 4.2 million barrels per day of oil but demand should pick up as it works to restore its economy after last month’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, a deputy minister said yesterday. “I think so, because we lost a lot of electricity supply capacity but at the same time Japan needs a lot of energy in order to restore our economy,” said Hideichi Okada, vice minister for international affairs at Japan’s economy, trade and industry ministry. “Japan’s economic

growth rate will decrease to some extent, which means out (oil) demand will slow down for a a certain period then demand will go up again.” Okada told reporters Tokyo had received a number of offers of additional supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from producers in the Gulf region to help the country cope with the loss of power supplies from its stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Okada was in Kuwait for a biennual meeting of Asian countries and Middle Eastern energy producers. —Reuters

CAIRO: Egyptian Resorts removed Ibrahim Kamel, a senior member of ousted President Hosni Mubarak’s party now under detention, from its board, the company said yesterday, without citing a reason. Analysts said Kamel’s removal from the board may not ease pressures on the company’s stock, which has lost over 47 percent of its value since the start of year as the company reels under a legal challenge over a state land sale for its main plot of land on the Red Sea. Egyptian Resorts is the second biggest developer of tourism real estate by market capitalization. Kamel, who sat on the board representing Kato Investment, which he chairs, will be replaced by another Kato executive, Abdel Monem Attia, Egyptian Resorts said in a note to the stock exchange. Kato has a 12 percent stake in Egyptian Resorts. Kamel previously served as the chairman of Egyptian Resorts and is the father of the chief executive, Mohamed Ibrahim Kamel. Ibrahim Kamel was arrested on charges of inciting thugs to attack protesters in Tahrir Square, the site of demonstrations that ousted Mubarak from 30-decades of power. On Thursday, the tourism development authority withdrew its approval for a project Egyptian Resorts is developing at Sahl Hasheesh along the Red Sea coast. The firm said it would contest the decision, which sent the firm’s shares tumbling over 9 percent. Egyptian Resorts paid $7.6 million, or 27 percent of the land’s contract value and paid a further $5.3 million in rent and other costs. At large, the legality of its Sahl Hasheesh project is being contested after a lawsuit was filed saying the government broke the law in selling the land to the firm. The firm, which makes most of its money selling land to developers, has not sold any since the third quarter of 2008, when the global financial crisis dampened appetite for big real estate purchases in Egypt. The firm’s shares tumbled another 8.5 percent yesterday by 1016 GMT, while the benchmark index was trading 2.9 percent lower. — Reuters




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Kuwait property sector recovering, say experts Data signal rising demand for housing units KUWAIT: Domestic real estate market is expected to recover in the near term after two years of stagnation, partially due to the rebound in global economy and controversial regulations. Abdullah Al-Shemmari, the Chief Executive Officer of Arkan Al-Kuwait Real-Estate Company, said in a statement that the corporate figures signal increasing demand for housing properties, following a judicial ruling allowing Islamic banks to finance real estate transactions, thus granting potential investors greater purchase margins. Indicating that the investor comeback in this sector was, partially, due to drop in prices of plots as a result of the impact of the international meltdown, he said. According to him districts with the indication of highest demand were East Al-Gurain, AlMessilah, Abu Feteirah and AlFunaitees.Average price of a plot of land for housing (some 400 sq m) in these districts is currently estimated at KD 85,000-95,000. Elaborating, Al-Shemmari forecast return of an upward trend of property prices due to a spike in demand, adding that many citizens, who were on the waiting list for the government plots, purchased in the commercial residential areas, attracted by lucrative prices. As to investment properties, he also spoke of current “inflated prices.” However, the actual prices may be different, signaling the return of confidence among the landlords, buoyed by real-estate companies’ search for new sources of funding. Another factor for the recovery of the investment sector is the predominant belief

among the entrepreneurs that returns of the real-estate remain larger than those of the banks. For example, annual returns from an investment plot in Hawally is estimated at 7-8 percent, compared to a four percent profit from a bank deposit. A “substantial number” of entrepreneurs has shifted to the investment plots in densely-populated district, namely Hawally, Salmiya, Farwaniah and Mahboulah. Hani Al-Abdullah, in charge of marketing and sales in Dinar Co, said that he has noticed recovery in the property market after adoption of the development scheme last year particularly in areas with rapid development of the infrastructure, such as Al-Khairan and Al-Sabbiah. He indicated at citizens’ confidence in the government construction and development plans, with a shift to investment in the tourist and entertainment sectors. Substantiating his remarks, he noted the increasing number of nationals visiting exhibitions and promotion events and the shift to the local market as a

result of the disturbances currently predominant in the Arab world. He also cited periodical reports by the Ministry of Justice, showing mounting property deals locally. Samar Jamal, the chairperson of Magic Home Co, also drew a positive picture of current conditions in the national sector, citing noticeable investments in housing apartments in areas such as Salmiya, Fahaheel and Bneid Al-Gar. The government decision to increase the housing loans for the divorcees and widows reaching KD 70,000 from KD 45,000 tangibly contributed to boosting this particular sector. Mohammad Hassan, in charge of sales in Al-Argawan Co also agreed that the Kuwaiti entrepreneur desire to invest in the Arab countries had dropped due to the widespread unrest, shifting to more stable nations such as Turkey and some countries in eastern Europe. Kuwaitis continue to invest in Paris, Geneva and London where such deals have remained feasible. —KUNA

Sorouh to complete $3.5bn projects by ’14

AUB signs up as Platinum Sponsor of Arab Banking Conference 2011 KUWAIT: Ahli United Bank has announced its Platinum Sponsorship for the Arab Banking Conference which will convene this year in Doha, Qatar on 18 and 19 April 2011. Jointly organized by the Union of Arab Banks and the World Union of Arab Bankers, this premier annual event of the Arab banking industry will be attended by Arab ministers of finance and economy, governors of central banks, leaders of the financial sector, investors and entrepreneurs from around the Arab world as well as from the international financial community. AUB will be well represented at the Conference with delegates from the Group’s 8 subsidiary and associate banks in the MENA region and the UK. Held under the theme, “Towards an Arab Vision of Economic Reform,” this year’s conference aims at bringing together an elite assembly of experts and captains of the industry to discuss wide ranging issues relating to regional economic and financial reforms and to assess in depth the structural and regulatory changes

needed in this context. Fahad Al-Rajaan, Chairman of Ahli United Bank, commented, “We are pleased to have the opportunity to sponsor this prestigious event, which we hope will go a long way towards formulating a consensus on a practical approach and recommendations for effecting the much needed financial reforms, paving the way to a stronger, more robust and more stable Arab banking industry, well equipped to face up to the prevailing challenges and better serve the financial needs of the region in the long term”. Wissam Fattouh, Secretary General of the Union of Arab Banks, said: “We are proud to have AUB as a Platinum Sponsor of this year’s conference. AUB has long been a leader and a visionary in advocating and implementing a pan-regional approach for capitalizing on opportunities and responding to the challenges of today’s increasingly interdependent markets, so we naturally look forward to hearing its privileged vantage point and contribution to the main topics on the conference’s agenda”.

ABU DHABI: Sorouh Real Estate expects to complete projects worth 13 billion dirhams ($3.54 billion) with delivery of some 7,000 units by 2014, its chief financial officer said yesterday. Sorouh, Abu Dhabi’s second largest developer, has also stalled its mixeduse projects in Egypt and Morocco after the unrest in the North African countries, CFO Richard Amos told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Abu Dhabi. Most of Abu Dhabi’s developers are focusing on completion and delivery of existing projects after suffering big losses during the global financial crisis which put an end to a six-year construction boom. “We have 5 billion dirhams of projects very close to completion and another 8 billion dirhams of projects that will be ready in the next few years,” Amos told reporters. “In 2011-12, about 3,500 units will be delivered and by 2013-14, another 3,500 units will be delivered,” he said, adding these exclude national housing projects. Separately, Sorouh will deliver about 1,200 units from projects it is developing as part of the national housing scheme, Amos said. Projects scheduled for completion in the short-term include the Sorouh Tower at Danet Abu Dhabi, Tala Tower, Al-Rayanna, Al-Ghadeer and The Gate. —Reuters

Al-Mazaya begins handover of residential units in ‘Business Avenue Towers’ services. This was made easier by the fact that the project is located in an area that is subject to Dubai’s freezone laws, which allow the business sector to establish various companies that cater to its needs. He reiterated that the sale and lease values of the project are in line with the market’s current requirements, stating that previous feasibility studies or the actual cost of the project can have an effect on the projected cost. “Al-Mazaya intends to hang onto the third Tower as a long-term investment, and manage it through a rental system, allowing it to be an asset that generates income for our Dubai office as it continues to push ahead with previously announced projects. The firm will conduct in-depth research and studies to assess the status of the real estate market before embarking on projects in future,” he added. On the topic of an owners’ association, Al Awadi said, “As per the Strata Law, Al Mazaya has appointed an expert special services company to manage services at Business Avenue Towers, as well as a Building Director, to represent owners, define work and internal rules, and obtain approvals from official bodies where necessary.” Al-Awadi said that owners’ associations have become one of the most important issues in Dubai’s real estate sector based on the recently passed Strata Law, which deals with the setting up of owners’ associations for new buildings, defines the developer’s role in the first year, and details the property’s ownership and the decision-taking mechanism in a manner that prevents conflict of interest. Located at Jumeirah Lakes in Dubai, Business Avenue is designated for commercial office use. The project includes three 45storey towers, which are linked to a 4-storey commercial centre with premium retail spaces.

DUBAI: Al-Mazaya Holding, the region’s leading real estate company, has begun to hand over residential units in the company’s Business Avenue Towers project in Jumeirah Lakes, Dubai, to owners after completing the sale of two towers in the three-tower project. Seventy percent of the project has now been sold, while the firms is still in the process of leasing and selling the third tower. Al Mazaya adopted a milestone restructuring strategy that enabled the company to alter the project’s timeline and cash flow, and after adjusting payments based on actual levies, while supporting development work and speeding up the delivery process by making use of its own providers, Al Mazaya was able to complete and deliver the project timeously. Speaking of the attractive offers for the current sale and lease of the third of the Business Avenue Towers, Eng. Naif Al Awadi, CEO of Al-Mazaya’s Dubai Operations, said, “Al-Mazaya has reduced sale and lease costs in order to offer attractive options that reflect the market’s current situation, as well as the project’s strategic location at Jumeirah Lakes, the availability of appropriate infrastructure among other aspects.” “Al-Mazaya’s great achievement is its ability to maintain its commitments and fulfil its promises with regard to the completion of the Business Avenue Towers project, despite the challenges and difficulties that have faced real estate markets, including the Dubai market. Al-Mazaya opted to complete and deliver all of its previously announced projects as scheduled at a time when many property companies and real estate developers decided to rather freeze projects,” he continued. Al-Awadi said that the Business Avenue Towers were designed to incorporate the latest in smart technology and communications, as part of an integrated system that provides the highest level of state-of-the-art

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

.2715000 .4460000 .3970000 .3050000 .2845000 .2865000 .0062370 .0020000 .0748210 .7289630 .3860000 .0700000 .7146160 .0045000 .0440000

.2810000 .4560000 .4050000 .3130000 .2930000 .2940000 .0063570 .0035000 .0755730 .7362890 .4060000 .0770000 .7217980 .0072000 .0550000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2756000 .2777000 .4484010 .4518180 .3991790 .4022210 .3069210 .3092600 .2866060 .2887900 .0535160 .0539230 .0438770 .0442110 .2885530 .2907520 .0354450 .0357150 .2193050 .2209760 .0032760 .0033010 .0000000 .0063110 .0000000 .0025250 .0000000 .0033000 .0000000 .0038840 .0750650 .0756370 .7315200 .7370940 .0000000 .3927860 .0735130 .0740730 .7164020 .7218610 .0000000 .0064580

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 3.373 6.224 3.286 2.505 3.895 223.030 35.638 3.799

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

6.401 9.211 0.271 0.273 GCC COUNTRIES 73.890 76.141 719.760 735.820 75.441

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 48.750 46.492 1.268 203.680 391.330 183.800 5.982 36.115

EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 277.000 Euro 403.870 Sterling Pound 456.360 Canadian dollar 291.580 Turkish lire 182.240 Swiss Franc 314.770 Australian dollar 290.850 US Dollar Buying 275.800 GOLD 277.000 139.000 71.000

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

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

SELL CASH SELL DRAFT 296.000 294.500 736.290 736.290 3.970 3.800 291.900 290.400 543.800 14.100 54.700 167.800 223.800 48.000 46.535 404.000 402.500 36.310 36.160 6.460 6.245

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

0.033 0.247 0.244 3.420 392.770 0.187 93.790 47.900 4.340 225.100 1.877 52.400 719.120 3.350 6.620 76.590 73.920 223.780 42.950 2.687 456.500 45.700 313.900 5.900 9.560 198.263 75.540 277.200 1.230


391.310 0.186 93.790 3.910 223.600

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE Sterling Pound US Dollar

312.400 5.900 9.410 75.440 276.800

454.500 276.800

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

Selling Rate 276.750 290.770 451.375 403.010 308.594 732.474 75.325 75.994 73.770 390.937 46.429 2.504 6.233

3.277 3.805 6.387 678.849 3.387 9.278 6.037 3.984 91.017

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. 718.940 3.300 6.410 76.160 73.920 223.780 42.950 2.506 454.500

GOLD 1,541.600

10 Tola

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

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) 276.800 3.285 6.235 2.520 3.810 6.435 75.465 74.020 735.900 46.405 455.300 0.00003280 3.910 1.550 393.300 5.750 406.750 294.700

Al Mulla Exchange Currency Transfer Rate (Per 1000) US Dollar 276.450 Euro 403.800 Pound Sterling 453.800 Canadian Dollar 289.800 Japanese Yen 3.345 Indian Rupee 6.225 Egyptian Pound 46.385 Sri Lankan Rupee 2.506 Bangladesh Taka 3.789 Philippines Peso 6.400 Pakistan Rupee 3.284 Bahraini Dinar 736.200 UAE Dirham 75.350 Saudi Riyal 73.850 *Rates are subject to change




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MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011


SLS Success: Soaring high in super sports car segment

A winged miracle - the SLS AMG enjoys peak performance. DUBAI: If it had real wings it would fly; however with its iconic gullwing doors, the SLS AMG has taken the Mercedes and AMG brands to new heights in the automotive industry. Since its world premiere at the 2009 International Motor Show in Frankfurt/Main, the SLS AMG has caused quite a sensation with its purist design, intelligent lightweight construction and superior handling dynamics. As the first automobile independently developed by the company, the supersports car is the highlight in AMG’s more than 40-year history. The arrival of the SLS

AMG set new benchmarks in its segment and struck a chord with performance-hungry automotive enthusiast’s everywhere with global sales placing the SLS in top position within the super sports car segment. This success was echoed in the Middle East region, with the vehicle securing its spot as the best selling super sports car within eight months of its market launch in Q2 2010. However it is not just sales figures that have defined the success of the “gullwing” model. An uncompromising super sports car that perfectly embodies the strengths of the Mercedes-Benz and AMG brands, the SLS

Another tough week for the greenback NBK WEEKLY MONEY MARKETS REPORT KUWAIT: In the absence of major financial news and economic releases, FX markets were relatively quiet last week with the US dollar still weak against its major counterparts. Even though problems in peripheral Europe are resurfacing, two main factors are still supporting the euro: the interest rate differential between the euro and the US dollar, and the rising risk appetite. The euro rangetraded last week between a high of 1.4520 and a low of 1.4365, and ended the week at 1.4430. The sterling pound had a slightly negative performance last week, mostly dragged by the lower-than-expected inflation figures which decreased the possibility of an interest hike soon. After opening at 1.6385, the Pound touched a low of 1.6225 and ended sessions at 1.6330. The Japanese yen was stronger against the greenback, but failed to break lower than the 82.96 support level. The yen closed the week at 83.15. The Swiss franc and the Australian dollar are still both trading at historical highs against the US dollar, and closed sessions at 0.8920 and 1.0570 respectively. Gold reached new record highs also last week at $1,488, boosted by a lower US Dollar and rising inflationary worries in developed countries. Trade balance The US trade deficit narrowed less than forecasted in February to -$45.8 billion, according to figures from the US Commerce Department in Washington. The weak figure was mainly the result of higher imported goods prices, a direct effect of the increase in crude oil prices and the largest rise in food prices since 1994. Another negative factor affecting the trade deficit was the soaring commodity prices, which impaired the world’s largest economy at the beginning of the year. Budget deficit The US government, on course to reach a record annual budget deficit, posted a monthly shortfall of $188.2 billion in March, wider than a year earlier. The White House and the congress reached last week an agreement on a spending plan for the current fiscal year, and face another fiscal hurdle next month with the prospect of reaching the statutory debt limit of more than $14 trillion. Last week’s meeting averted a shutdown of government agencies. Inflation rising Powered by hikes in food and energy costs, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 0.5% month-on-month, matching the priormonth advance. This is the ninth consecutive month that the inflation rate is rising. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, the so-called Core CPI rose 0.1% on a monthly basis, restrained by lower clothing expenses and smaller gains in medical care. The yearly inflation rate stands now at 2.7%, a level last seen in December 2009 and equal to the eurozone’s inflation rate. The Federal Reserve pays close attention to the core rate when setting interest rates and determining if inflation is under control. More sharp increases in consumer inflation could spur the central bank to raise short-term rates for the first time in five years, though most Fed officials believe it will not be necessary anytime soon. Sales at US retailers rose in March for a ninth consecutive month, easing concerns that the jump in food and fuel costs would cause consumers to cut back on spending. Retail sales increased by 0.4% in March, following the higher-thanexpected 1.1% gain in February. Americans have been picking up their spending with the recent improvements in the job market. More Americans unexpectedly filed first-time claims

for unemployment insurance last week, reflecting greater-than-normal volatility at the end of the quarter. Applications for unemployment benefits rose by 27,000 to 412,000, the highest level in two months. Another downgrade Euro-zone peripheral debt markets were dealt another blow last week as Moody’s downgraded Ireland’s credit rating two notches, from Baa1 to Baa3, taking the country to the brink of junk status. Moreover, the credit rating agency kept the country’s economic outlook negative. Moody’s stated it was responding to a likely deterioration in Ireland’s fiscal position, due to weak prospects for economic growth and higher borrowing costs as a result of the European Central Bank’s rate hike. The German ZEW Consumer Sentiment index fell more than forecasted in April, even after the European Central Bank increased its interest rate to deter rising inflation. The indicator, which aims to predict developments six months in advance, dropped sharply to 7.6 from 14.1 in March, much lower than the expected drop to 11.3. Doubts over the economic outlook in the euro-zone have increased after oil prices surged, the ECB lifted its key rate from a record low, and the region’s sovereign debt crisis forced Portugal to follow Greece and Ireland in seeking financial assistance. Industrial production Industrial production in the 17-member euro-zone grew by 0.4% in February, the European Union’s statistics office said last week. The month-on-month increase followed a downwardly revised 0.2% gain in January. The worse-than-expected figure indicates that the industrial sector in the euro-zone is still performing at a slower pace than it should be. Inflation still rising Inflation in the euro-zone rose more than previously estimated in March, led by surging energy costs. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) in the 17-nation euro region rose to 2.7% from 2.4% in February, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg reported last week. This figure is the highest since October 2008, and adds pressure on the European Central Bank to keep raising interest rates, in order to meet its objective of an inflation rate just below 2.0%. The Core inflation rose to 1.3% from 1.0%, led by an increase in the prices of alcohol and tobacco. Slowing Inflation Surprise, but still “Uncertain” Inflation in the United Kingdom unexpectedly slowed for the first time in eight months to 4.0%, compared to 4.4% in February, as more retailers offered more discounts all over the country and food prices endured the biggest drop in the last four years. This decrease in inflation provided more breathing space for the Bank of England as it postponed raising its interest rate to provide liquidity for the government’s deficit. The number of people claiming unemployment benefits in Britain rose by 700 from February to 1.451 million, which came as a surprise as economists projected a drop of around 3,000. However, the UK labor market showed signs of improvement in three months to February, with the unemployment rate falling for the first time in five months from 8.0% to 7.8%. The fall in the jobless rate is good news for the coalition government, which is relying on the private sector to create enough jobs to counter its program of job cuts in the public sector. Kuwait The USDKWD opened at 0.27615 yesterday morning.

AMG, has been recognized by several largescale reader surveys, as well as receiving numerous accolades from top motoring magazines. Across the globe, the SLS AMG has been hailed as a masterpiece, scooping up a throng of awards including the ‘Most sporty cars of 2010’ from sport auto, the Auto Bild ‘Design Award 2010’, as well as ‘The best sports car’ by auto motor und sport. In the Middle East, the vehicle took top honors at the Wheels Car of the Year Awards, winning the Car of the Year award, as well as Best Supercar, whilst Evo magazine awarded it the 2010 Sports Car of the Year.

The list of highlights for the SLS AMG reads impressively: aluminum spaceframe body, AMG 6.3-litre V8 front mid-engine with dry sump lubrication, 420 kW (571 hp) and 650 newton metres of torque, seven-speed dual clutch transmission in transaxle configuration and a nimble double-wishbone aluminum sports suspension. This unique combination of hightech engineering ensures driving dynamics of the highest order throughout the entire lifecycle. These driving dynamics have been finetuned even more for its appearance on the race track with the SLS GT3. Since its debut

per formance at the VLN Nurburgring Endurance Championship late last year, the SLS AMG GT3 has gone through rigorous testing and development procedures to ensure the vehicle is race ready. Its participation at the Dubai 24 hour race, part of its final development and testing programme, confirmed its readiness as an appropriate vehicle for the racing series according to the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) regulation. The SLS AMG GT3 is now embarking on its first racing season, competing in its first official race of the 2011 VLN season (Nurburgring Endurance Championships).

GCC equity markets rally as regional tension eases KAMCO RESEARCH KUWAIT: The easing of fears from interruption in oil supply, increase in oil prices and the fact that the impact of the political turmoil on regional markets is now receding have eased investors’ worries and aided most regional indices to post significant gains to offset the losses booked during the month prior. The GCC bourses witnessed gains in their market cap of around $37bn in March as the fear of unrest spread across the GCC region subsided and aided the markets to offset most of the losses booked during February of around $42bn. Nevertheless, political tension in Bahrain, Yemen and Libya continue to play a role in keeping some investors on the sidelines as its effects on oil supply, especially Libya, remains uncertain. Furthermore, the GCC approved during March a $20bn economic aid package for Bahrain and Oman, in an effort to support the two countries that have seen the largest anti-government protests. GCC equity markets continue to absorb the multiple shocks caused by the intensifying geopolitical turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East and Japan’s natural disaster and the resulting nuclear crisis. Despite the intensified volatility in equity markets, the GCC states economies remain in a strong recovery mode benefiting from the rally in oil prices. The combined effect of strengthening demand and supplyside risks has injected upward pressure on oil prices. Considering the current high oil prices, GCC governments’ expansionary fiscal and monetary policy, the continued progress on the financial and banking regulatory framework and despite the current political unrest in the region, the short to medium term outlook for the GCC is positive and should witness continued improvement and economic growth. In addition, the accumulated oil reserves would enable the GCC governments to support the expansionary policies by increasing infrastructure spending which would in turn suppor t sustained growth. According to IMF estimates, the Real GDP is expected to grow by 5.9 per cent during 2011 following a growth of 5.2 per cent during 2010. Furthermore, oil prices for ‘OPEC Basket’ increased by 2.7 per cent during March to close the month at $111.42 pb triggered by the increased political tensions in the region and the disruption it might cause to oil production. Kuwait Bourse was the least performer during March, incurring a loss of 3.25 per cent followed only by Bahrain with a monthly loss of 0.43 per cent. On the other hand, Tadawul All Share Index and DFM General Index ended the month with significant gains of 10.46 per cent and 10.30 per cent, respectively,

while QE 20 Index gained 6.60 per cent over the same period. In addition, MSM 30 Index and ADX General Index recorded marginal gains of 0.41 per cent and 0.70 per cent, respectively. Aggregate market cap of GCC equity markets ended March on a positive note with an increase of 5.25 per cent to $746 bn. More than 90 per cent of this gain came from the Saudi Stock Exchange or around $33.3bn to end the month at $351.6 bn. Qatar Exchange also added $6.6bn, or 6 per cent, to end the month at $117.4 bn. On the other hand, Kuwait Stock Exchange lost around $5.5bn to end the month at $117.2 bn. Furthermore, the GCC equity markets are currently trading at a P/E multiple of 16.13x and at a P/B multiple of 1.60x. These attractive valuations should continue to support the GCC bourses and looking forward; it is unlikely to be a smooth rally as geopolitical tensions are still present and expected to continue its downward pressure on investors’ sentiment. Saudi Stock Exchange (TADAWUL): King Abdullah’s offering of a further $93bn in handouts to Saudi citizens, injection of public

largest gain since September 2010 of 10.30 per cent buoyed by better than expected annual earnings, a long awaited final restructuring agreement for Dubai World debt and a significant return of foreign and institutional investors into the market which almost doubled both value and volume traded as compared to last month. Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange: The ADX General Index improved on its previous four months’ lackluster performance to end the month up by 0.7 per cent at 2,607.12. The rise was led by sector heavyweight Banks & Financial Services sector, which witnessed its market cap rise 1.38 per cent to AED 109.4 bn ($29.8bn) during March-11. Market sentiment during the month, however, remained on the downside as investors kept track of volatile global markets, as well as continued political uncertainty in numerous regional countries, namely Bahrain, Libya, and Yemen. Qatar Exchange: The QE 20 Index reversed its previous month’s downward trend despite the ongoing political unrest plaguing the Middle East region, ending the month 6.60 per cent higher at 8,456.17.

funds into the market, the approval of the long awaited draft mortgage law, positive economic indicators coupled with rising oil prices boosted investor sentiments and shaped the performance of the market. As a result, the TASI bucked its previous month negative trend and gained 10.46 per cent to close at its highest level since 16 Feb-2011 at 6,562.85. Gains recorded during the month pushed the TASI to end as the best performing market amongst its peers in the GCC region. Kuwait Stock Exchange: The Kuwait Investment Authority’s announcement that it would establish a KD 1 bn ($3.6bn) portfolio to invest in the local real estate market to take advantage of the low property prices and support the sector led to it being the only gaining sector in March. Total market capitalization during the month shed 4.5 per cent to KD 32.5 bn ($117.2 bn). Dubai Financial Market: The Dubai Financial Market bucked its previous four months downward trend and recorded its

Geopolitical concerns in the Middle East continued to weigh down on investor sentiment throughout the month. Bahrain Bourse: The Bourse witnessed weak trading with volume reaching the lowest level in three years to record 16.22mn shares, reflecting risk averse investor sentiment as the political tensions continue in the Kingdom. Liquidity sharply dropped during the month as the Bahrain All Share Index lost a marginal 6.13 points to reach 1,424.64, a 0.43 per cent loss over last month with weak trading causing the market to move mostly sideways. Muscat Securities Market: The Omani Bourse was able to reverse last month’s decline and rebound to the upside to end the month edging 0.41 per cent higher to close at 6,167.36. Trading was quite volatile during the month sending volatility to a new 23 month high of 25.48 per cent in March-11 following the MSM 30 Index’s slump during the final week of trading; coupled with lower volumes.




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KSE equities plunge GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) plunged yesterday on news of the death of AlKharafi Group’s chairman, Nasser Al-Kharafi. Al-Kharafilinked companies witnessed selling pressure and closed almost limit down. National Investment Company ended the session down by 6.78 percent and closed at KD0.275. While the biggest Kuwaiti-listed company, Zain reported a 3.33 percent decline in its share value. A strong earnings report from National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) failed to boost market sentiment. The bank realized a 5.94 percent growth in its 1Q211 earnings figures compared to the corresponding period of 2010, at KD80.79mn. This translates to an EPS of KD0.020. The scrip closed flat at KD1.200. Global General Index (GGI), market weighted, ended the day down by 0.90 percent, at 199.85 point. Market capitalization was down for the day at KD32.54bn. KSE Price Index closed at 6,342.9 point, shedding 45.80 points (0.72 percent) to its previous close. Market breadth During the session, 96 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards decliners as 67 equities retreated versus 8 that advanced. Yesterday’s performance was accompanied by diminishing trading activity with most of the trades conducted in the Investment sector. Total volume traded was down by 42.83 percent with 105.74mn shares changing hands at a total value of KD27.03mn (15.41 percent lower compared to the day before). The Investment Sector

was the volume leader yesterday, accounting for 32.46 percent of total shares. The Banking sector was the value leader, with 35.93 percent of total traded value. Zain was the most active in terms of values of shares traded during Sunday session, with 4.54mn shares exchanged at an aggregate value of KD5.25mn. The scrip ended the day down by 3.33 percent at KD1.160. Sector-wise Global Services Index paced the losses, down 1.96 percent. Kuwait Cable Vision Company was the biggest loser in the market, shedding 15.63 of its value, reaching KD0.054. Selling pressure mounted on Investment stocks as well, as depicted by 1.47 percent decline in Global

MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011

Investment Index. Share price of Coast Investment and Development Company and AlMal Investment Company recoiled by 5.62 percent and 5.88 percent, respectively. AlAman Investment Company, on the other hand, clocked 6.76 percent in gains and topped the gainers list for the day. However, the gain was not sufficient to help the sector’s index to nudge out of the negative territory. In terms of gainers, Global Food Index took the top spot with a 1.01 percent gain. Kuwait Foodstuff Company (Americana) was the main reason behind the sector’s gain being the only equity that posted a gains in the sector, adding 1.35 percent to its value to close at KD1.500.

Global Special Indices ended on a negative note. Global Small Cap (Low 10) Index was the top decliner, down 2.58 percent backed by losses witnessed in Kuwait Cable Vision Company as we mention above. Corporate news Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) announces that Al-Imtiaz Investment Company will list shares on regular market, under Investment sector as Al-Imtiaz, starting from Tuesday, April 19, 2011. Oil news The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at $117.90 a barrel on Thursday, compared with $116.70 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations.

Qatar’s Japan LNG deal to boost UK gas prices LONDON/DOHA: Wholesale British gas prices are likely to rise today after top liquefied natural gas exporter Qatar agreed to send more than 60 extra cargoes to Japan, but price increases in the world’s benchmark gas market should be dampened by plentiful supply. The deal by Qatar, the world’s top LNG producer, to sell Japan an extra 4 million tons of the fuel over the next 12 months means there will be less gas coming to Europe than was likely before Japan’s nuclear crisis. British gas prices surged in the week after the March 11 quake and tsunami that wrecked one of Japan’s biggest nuclear power plants on concern that large volumes of LNG might be diverted to Japan, already the world’s top importer. A flurry of LNG ships arrived in Britain in the weeks after the quake but the number heading to the UK has shrunk over the last week. Prices in the benchmark UK NBP market have fallen from their post-quake highs on expectations Qatari LNG supplies will remain plentiful. The Gulf Arab state has started up two huge new production facilities, known as trains, in the last six months, swelling its LNG capacity to around 77 million tons per year. But Saturday’s confirmation that more than half the output of one of those new trains will head for Japan rather than Europe is likely to push prices higher again this week. “The news will add to the bullish end to the week, which saw the Winter 2011 contract firm 1.8 percent from the open on the back of stronger oil and general profit taking after a relatively soft week,” Nick Campbell, a UK gas market analyst at consultants Inenco, said. “This could see a ‘short squeeze’ where some participants buy the contract in order to push the market higher on what is, at first glance, relatively bullish news. If, however, we analyse the data in greater detail, (Qatar) was still seeking buyers for its new trains and therefore had spare capacity to sell to the Japanese.” The new trains, each able to produce

7.8 million tons a year of LNG were ordered before the unconventional gas production boom priced most LNG out of the US market, should ensure Europe remains well supplied. “Qatar could have offered almost any amount, given the amount it now has available. It was more a question of what the Japanese needed,” independent consultant Andrew Flower said. Flower expected Japan to need around 6 million tons a year more LNG as a result of the loss of its nuclear power capacity but believed it would source some from other suppliers. “They (Qatar) will probably still send more to Europe compared to what they sent in 2010, because they have more to send. But it will be less than it would have been without the Japanese crisis.” Any UK gas price rises that may come in response to lower-than-expected LNG supply are also likely to hit a ceiling of oilindexed European gas supply contracts prices. Unlike Britain, where wholesale gas prices are largely dictated by supply and demand, most European gas is delivered under long-term contracts linked to the price of oil. Surging oil prices over the last year have made those supplies, mainly from Russia, much more expensive, prompting European buyers to import record amounts of gas from Britain through a pipeline link with Belgium. If the gap between British and oilindexed gas prices closes, traders will likely switch to selling gas to the UK, keeping a cap on prices, Campbell said. Moreover, coal may recover some of its advantage against gas in the winter. At current market prices, coal is likely to be the power generation fuel of choice next winter, as it was the usual case until UK winter gas prices were lower than usual due to heavy LNG imports. If coal remains a more attractive fuel for UK power generators next winter, when gas prices are usually stronger because of high heating demand, UK gas demand could be limited. —Reuters




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MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011


Prices soar for India’s ‘king of fruits’ MUMBAI: Unseasonal rains and a cold winter have hit India’s mango crop, decimating the summer harvest and sending prices soaring, traders say, as Indians grapple with the rising cost of staple foods. The price of the sweet-tasting fruit, which is used in everything from wedding rituals and religious ceremonies to alcoholic mixers, has doubled from last year, with boxes of a dozen now selling for 700 to 2,500 rupees ($16-$56). India is the world’s largest mango producer and is home to nearly 1,000 varieties. But the price spike means

the normal frenzy surrounding their seasonal sale has failed to materialise with consumers already feeling the pinch from earlier food price rises. “This is a waste of money,” said Pravin Damle, as he shopped for the fruit at Mumbai’s historic Crawford Market. “ We love mangoes but it is beyond my budget. “I need to gift some mangoes but I will wait until prices drop.” Unseasonal rains in western India last October and a prolonged cold snap over the winter affected the crop and has resulted in a supply shortfall since the three-month sea-

son began in April, traders say. The bad weather also hit India’s onion crop, leading to a shortage of the staple that provides the foundation for thousands of dishes, and a sharp rise in prices earlier this year. Sanjay Pansare, director at the Maharashtra state agricultural market in Navi Mumbai, said wholesalers had only received about 20,000 boxes of 60 to 100 mangoes for sale in Mumbai-a 75-80 percent fall year-on-year. “People will not be able to stuff themselves with mangoes this season,” he added. The country produces nearly 13

million metric tons of mangoes-about 40 percent of the world’s output-with Maharashtra state among the main producers. The orange-yellow colored Alphonso mango, dubbed locally “the king of fruits”, is a hugely popular variety overseas, particularly in the Middle East, Europe and the United States. Kisan S. Bheke, proprietor of Shree Ganesh fruit stall in Crawford Market, said he would send fewer mangoes to the markets of Dubai and Kuwait this year. “Supplies are weak. Until these improve,

exports will be limited,” said the 70-year-old. Another trader, Ar vind Morde, whose family have sold and expor ted mangoes for three generations, said he hoped supplies would pick up by the end of April. “It is not that people will stop eating mangoes... they will just consume less,” he added. The cost of living, particularly food staples, including fruits and vegetables, milk and eggs has been high in India in recent months. Food inflation is currently running at 9.18 percent and India, like its Asian rival China,

is struggling to balance inflation with economic expansion. Some manufacturers of mango-based products remain bullish in the face of this year’s mango shortage, saying the price increases will not affect business. Coc a - Col a I nd i a , w hi c h makes India’s biggest-selling fruit drink “Maaza” using mango p ul p, s a i d i t e xp e c t s d e m a nd to b e s t rong. The soft drink major says its strategy will be to offer different produc ts and pack ages at varying prices, to cope with r i s i ng raw m a te r i a l a nd freight costs. —AFP

‘Act now’ to support Mideast: World Bank Status quo is not a winning hand: Zoellick WASHINGTON: The World Bank and IMF called yesterday for urgent support for Middle East economies, warning the region’s political upheavals could throw the global economic recovery off track. “We must act now,” said World Bank President Robert Zoellick at the close of the two organizations’ meetings in Washington. “Waiting for the situation to stabilize will mean lost opportunities. In revolutionary moments, the status quo is not a winning hand.”

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev speaks on a phone while visiting Hong Kong Stock Exchange yesterday. —AP

Medvedev sees HK as model for Moscow HONG KONG: Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev said yesterday he saw Hong Kong as a model for Moscow, as business chiefs travelling with him signaled a rise in Russian listings in the Chinese financial hub. Medvedev led a business delegation to the former British colony as he seeks to diversify Russia’s economy beyond oil and gas and entice more foreign capital into what he has called a “very bad” domestic investment climate. “Hong Kong’s experience is extremely indicative for us,” Medvedev, the first Kremlin chief to visit Hong Kong, told the territory’s Chief Executive Donald Tsang in talks yesterday. “We must lift excessive administrative barriers-Hong Kong’s experience in this aspect could be used in our country... (and) could also help to establish a global financial centre in Moscow.” Tsang described the the first two listings of Russian firms on Hong Kong’s stock exchange-United Company RUSAL, the world’s top aluminum producer, and IRC, an iron ore subsidiary of miner Petropavlovsk, both floated on the bourse last year-as a “breakthrough”. Yuri Soloviev, president of VTB Capital, the investment banking arm of Russian state bank VTB, said Russian firms were planning to list “billions of dollars (in stocks) this year” on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. “This is one of the most liquid markets globally, and therefore the companies we are representing here will be sufficiently capitalized (as a result of listing),” he told reporters on the sidelines of Medvedev’s visit. He did not name specific companies but said that energy, commodity, transportation and consumer firms were eyeing Hong Kong listings. Artyom Volynets, general director of

RUSAL’s holding company EN+, said the Hong Kong listing had “huge significance for us” and other companies in the group were eyeing Hong Kong listings. “I have recently read a survey: RUSAL has become Russia’s most recognizable company in China. The formula is very simple: Russian goods, China’s market, Hong Kong capital market, stock market,” Volynets said. Tsang highlighted Hong Kong’s fledgling market in yuan-denominated bonds after VTB issued so-called “dim sum” bonds late last year. “Russian firms can use Hong Kong as a stable and efficient platform to settle... trade in renminbi,” Tsang told Medvedev, adding that trade between Russia and Hong Kong grew by a “remarkable” 63 percent last year. Hong Kong, returned from British to Chinese rule in 1997, has for years been ranked among the world’s freest places to do business. Medvedev announced last month that Russia would set up a $10 billion fund in partnership with private equity firms to attract investment, as part of a series of measures aiming to entice overseas capital. He will also seek to persuade Hong Kong-based investors to take part in the development of a high-tech hub outside Moscow which the Kremlin chief sees as Russia’s answer to Silicon Valley, the Kremlin said ahead of his visit. Medvedev arrived from the southern Chinese island province of Hainan, where he held talks with fellow leaders of top emerging economies China, India, Brazil and South Africa. Russia has sought to align itself more closely with China in recent years as it seeks to unlock new energy markets in Asia. This is Medvedev’s third visit to the country since he became president in 2008. —AFP

Long ideological battle underpins US budget war WASHINGTON: Talk in Washington about fiscal targets and deficit reduction has masked a fierce and decades-old ideological clash about taxing the rich that looks set to continue into the 2012 presidential election. This week President Barack Obama promised to cut the US deficit by $4 trillion in 12 years. His Republican adversaries have promised marginally bigger cuts over 10 years. Onlookers might be forgiven for thinking Washington’s noxious partisan politics is not that noxious after all. But complete with political jabs and well worn sound bytes about “maxing-out the nation’s credit card,” a real ideological brawl is taking place. It is a brawl about economics, and in particular “trickle down economics”: The theory that lower taxes on the rich give them more cash to spent in productive ways, for the benefit of all. It is a theory that dominated politics in the 1980s, ebbed in the 1990s, was declared dead in the 2000s and is now being hotly contested as Americans try to figure out how to make their economy purr while shedding their vast debt burden. Obama is clearly not a proponent of the

theory. A key part of his savings plan involves ending some tax breaks for the top two percent of earners. That translates into anyone earning over $250,000 a year, according to the White House. Obama and his supporters argue tax breaks for the rich are not affordable given the country’s fiscal problems, and the wealthy can afford to pay more, helping retain social programs and allowing for cuts elsewhere. Conversely Ryan’s plan-which has now passed the House of Representatives includes around $6 trillion in spending cuts, but would only reduce the deficit by just over $4 trillion. The extra $2 trillion in savings—along with some tax reforms — would be used to help pay for lower tax rates, including for the wealthy. That policy, Ryan argues, helps create a government which “lives within its means” and “keeps taxes low so the economy can grow.” His plan echoes the thinking of president Ronald Reagan, who attributed his series of tax cuts to the boom that was seen in the 1980s. —AFP

The Bank earlier warned that “a worsening of conditions in the Middle East and North Africa could derail global growth. “If oil prices were to rise sharply and durablyeither because of increased uncertainty or due to a significant disruption to oil supply-global growth could slow by between 0.3 and 1.2 percentage points in 2011 and 2012, respectively,” it added in a statement. In the wake of the January revolt in Tunisia against a longstanding autocratic government, which sparked similar uprisings in Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Bahrain, Zoellick said the Bank agreed to support reforms in the region. “We need a new social contract where governments listen to their people and include them in their development process,” he said. IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn pointed to the problem of a jobless recovery in the global economic revival, which is more acute as turbulence spreads across the Arab crescent-where unemployment for youth is particularly high. “The example of the Middle East and North Africa (highlights) this question that you may have good figures at the growth level without having the sustainability of growth, just because of the political problems behind it.” “We stand ready to help” with technical and financial assistance, he added. The uprisings that overthrew longtime strongmen in Tunisia and Egypt while challenging others from Libya to Syria and Yemen grabbed the focus of the world’s financial technorati as they met in Washington to discuss the crucial challenges facing the global economy. Zoellick stressed earlier in the week the impact of rising food

World Bank President Robert Zoellick, left, and IMF First Deputy Managing Director John Lipsky, finish a news briefing on the work of the Development Committee at the IMF/World Bank meetings in Washington, Saturday, April 16, 2011. —AP prices on political stability in poor countries. “We may be coming out of one crisis-the financial and economic crisis-but we are facing new risks and wrenching challenges,” he said. “Food prices were not the cause of the crises in the Middle East and North Africa, but they are an aggravating factor.” Chad’s Finance Minister Ngata Ngoulou said his country was feeling the heat from the spillover of Libya’s European- and US-backed uprising against dictator Moamer Kadhafi. “All this has repercussions on Chad, repercussions above all negative on the economy and on our society. It weighs on our resources,” he said. Other countries “have not con-

sidered this situation,” he added. French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, who chaired a Group of 20 finance chiefs meeting on the sidelines of the World Bank-IMF meetings, called for strong support for the North African countries from governments and multilateral agencies. She said international financial institutions need to begin assessments “in particular of those countries that have initiated a transition towards democracy.” “The economies of these countries are facing specific structural problems,” she added. France will boost its annual commitment to Egypt to 250 million euros ($360 million) from 150 million euros. “If priority is to be accorded to inclusive and sustain-

able growth, issues of justice, security and employment, particularly in the private sector, can no longer be addressed separately,” Lagarde said. “This is also one of the lessons to be learned from the events in North Africa and the Middle East.” Lael Brainard, US Treasury under-secretary for international affairs, said the World Bank, International Finance Corp and African Development Bank together could potentially muster $4 billion for Egypt and Tunisia in the next year, to help them restart their economies. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development was also positioning itself to take a lead in the effort, according to an EBRD official. — AFP

China CB to raise bank reserve ratio requirement BEIJING: China’s central bank announced yesterday it would raise the amount of money that lenders must keep in reserve as official concerns persist over inflation and fast-pace lending. The People’s Bank of China said it would raise its reserve ratio requirement by 0.50 percentage points, effective from Thursday. It is the fourth such move this year, and comes after government data showed on Friday that the consumer price index had reached 5.4 percent in March, a nearly three-year high. Central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said on Saturday that policymakers would use various measures to control inflation, which he described as high, but warned too many interest rate hikes would attract “hot money”, Caijing magazine reported. Zhou made the remarks on the sidelines of an international forum on the southern island of Hainan after Beijing released data showing that China’s consumer prices last month rose at their fastest pace since July 2008. The politically sensitive consumer price index for March was well above the government’s 2011 target of four percent and fuelled expectations of further interest rate hikes and lending restrictions. Beijing has made reining in prices a key task for this year. Ever fearful of inflation’s potential to trigger social unrest,

leaders have hiked deposit and lending rates four times since October and issued numerous orders for banks to set aside more of their deposits as reserves. When the new reserve ratio require-

on earlier announcements made by the bank.The reserve rate hike, the 10th since the beginning of 2010, comes after the central bank announced last week that the nation’s banks lent 679.4

ANHUI: A Chinese meat seller waits for customers at a market in Hefei, east China’s Anhui province on Saturday. Chinese inflation should fall to just above four percent by the end of 2011 on the back of Beijing’s tough tightening policies, the International Monetary Fund said. —AFP ment takes effect, China’s commercial banks will be required to hold 20.5 percent of their deposits in reserve, based

billion yuan ($104.5 billion) in March, up from 535.6 billion yuan in February and despite the efforts to curb lending.

The March lending figure came in above the median forecast of 585 billion yuan by economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires. The reserve rate increase also comes as Beijing seeks to fend off international calls to allow its currency, the yuan, to trade more freely amid accusations it is being kept artificially weak to boost exports. A stronger yuan would help Beijing manage inflation by lowering the costs of imports into China, they say. Last week, the International Monetary Fund said the Chinese yuan is “substantially weaker” than it should be and warned inflation in the world’s second-largest economy would hit five percent in 2011. The Washington-based lender also noted growing concerns over the potential for “steep corrections” in Chinese property prices-a key worry for Beijing and “boom-like” credit as banks undermine official efforts to curb lending. “The currency of China still appears substantially weaker than warranted by medium-term fundamentals,” the IMF said in its 2011 World Economic Outlook. A stronger currency and higher interest rates would help emerging economies such as China avoid overheating and ease global trade imbalances, which was “essential” to putting the global economic recovery on a stronger footing, the IMF said. —AFP



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SHANGHAI: A Chinese woman rides on the back of bicycle past a billboard outside the venue of the Auto Shanghai show in Shanghai. The Auto Shanghai show begins April 21 and runs until 28.— AFP

SHANGHAI: Customers open a car’s engine hood to check interior parts at a used car market in Beijing. Global automakers are bringing their flashiest SUVs, luxury sedans and electric concept cars to Auto Shanghai.—AP

China showcases global muscle at auto show SHANGHAI: The world’s top carmakers head to China this week for the Shanghai Auto Show, where they hope to cash in as the sector reels from last month’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan. After two years of booming sales, the growth in China’s auto market-which in 2009 overtook that of the United States to become the world’s largest tapered off to eight percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2011. That slowdown-which still meant the sale of 4.98 million units-comes as Beijing winds back stimulus measures put in place to combat the global financial crisis and curbs the number of license plates issued in the capital. But analysts remain bullish about the market’s prospects, as the

number of car owners is still relatively small compared with the country’s massive population of more than 1.3 billion. “The centre of gravity for activity is clearly moving towards China,” Patrick Blain, president of the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, told AFP earlier this month. “One advantage that China has is its centralized economy,” said Carlos da Silva, a Paris-based analyst for Global Insight. “The periods of slowdown are also due to the government’s wish to avoid overheating,” he said. The show, which opens tomorrow to the press, covers 230,000 square meters (2.5 million square feet) of exhibition space in Shanghai’s Pudong high-tech district, 35 percent more

Former Greek PM architect calls for debt restructuring ATHENS: A Greek former prime minister who oversaw the country’s euro-zone accession a decade ago added his voice yesterday to calls for a restructuring of Athens’ crushing debt, resisted by the government. “A well-prepared restructuring will essentially improve our position,” Costas Simitis said in an interview with To Vima weekly. “The longer it delays, the greater the debt that cannot be restructured,” the 74-year-old law professor argued. Greece’s debt has exploded to around 340 billion euros ($490 billion), and speculation is rife that the recession-hit euro-zone member will seek a way to ease its repayments before long. But the Socialist government has repeatedly insisted that such a move would damage the country’s efforts to repair investor confidence after a scare over the accuracy of its fiscal statistics in 2009. In another To Vima interview, former finance minister Nikos Christodoulakis warned that a Greek bond ‘haircut’ would be disastrous for domestic pension funds that hold a large share of the country’s debt. “The funds hold about 25 billion euros in bonds and in the case of a 40-percent haircut they would lose 10 billion euros,” the ex-minister said. “Then everybody will start calling on the Greek state to cover the shortfall and the debt will grow again,” he noted. Simitis yesterday urged the government “to explore various restructuring possibilities” in coordination with the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. “More and more analysts doubt Greece’s ability to repay its debt in its entirety. As a result, the country’s borrowing rate remains prohibitive,” Simitis said. It is the second time this month that the former prime minister has given public advice to current leader George Papandreou, his ex-foreign minister and successor. A week ago in the Kathimerini daily, Simitis called for long-term measures to overhaul the economy. Yesterday, he also cast doubt on the government’s argument that the best way forward is to carry on with the austerity program agreed with the EU and the IMF in return for a 110 billion euro ($159 billion) bailout loan last year. “Even now we do not know how we’ll manage in 2012 and 2013, and it is very likely that we will not be able to secure loans at a tolerable rate,” Simitis said. —AFP

than for the show two years ago, organizers said. About 2,000 car and parts makers from 20 countries will hawk their wares-showcasing 75 new models, 19 of them making their world premieres. A total of 1,100 vehicles will be on display. Organizers are expecting 700,000 people to visit the show during the six days that it is open to the public, from April 23-28. As the first auto show since the March 11 twin disasters in Japan, where a large number of auto components are made, Shanghai will also allow industry heavyweights and analysts to gauge the impact of the catastrophe on the sector. “By mid-April, the slowdown in Japanese factory output has meant that 800,000 fewer cars were made there,” Da

Silva said, adding that plants outside Japan were “just starting to suffer”. The analyst estimated that by month’s end, 25,000 fewer cars would have been made in China, 55,000 fewer in Europe and 68,000 fewer in North America as a direct result of the crisis in Japan. The show will also allow Chinese car makers, still mainly focused on small models marketed to customers with modest means, to showcase their more upmarket vehicles that will pose a direct threat to foreign manufacturers. “The Chinese builders occupy 3031 percent of the total market share. But in terms of revenue, they only account for around 17 percent,” John Zeng, an analyst at J.D. Power in Shanghai, told AFP.

A year after EU-IMF bailout, Greece is struggling to cope Economy still in dire straits ATHENS: A year after Greece took an EU-IMF bankruptcy bailout and bit into a bitter austerity pill its economy is still in dire straits with recession and an oversized debt making it a market pariah. The country this week announced a new round of fiscal measures and a massive privatization drive in a bid to banish talk of an inevitable restructuring of its debt, now at 340 billion euros ($492 billion) and ticking ominously. But despite the effort, investors see restructuring as a bygone conclusion as the Greek recovery program supervised by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund shows signs of running out of steam. Worse still, the EU-IMF remedy has brought inflation and unemployment levels unseen in a decade to accompany an output contraction of 4.5 percent last year. Under the terms of its debt rescue last year, Greece is obliged to start raising its own money in 2012 and reduce its dependency on last year’s bailout loan of 110 billion euros from the EU and the International Monetary Fund. At current interest rates, this looks highly unlikely. On Friday, Greek 10-year bond yields hit 13.83 percent, up from 13.156 percent the previous day, as rumors spread of a possible debt restructure that could force bondholders to accept either lengthened repayment periods or an outright reduction in their loans. The run was fuelled by an apparent suggestion by Germany’s finance minister to Die Welt daily that Greece may have to restructure its debt if the IMF, the European Central Bank and the European Commission determined in a June report that it is unable to cope with repayments. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble later

insisted that his remark that “further steps” would have to be taken in such a case had been wrongly interpreted by English-language media. But in another interview with Bloomberg, Germany’s deputy foreign minis-

is off-target and credit rating agencies have taken turns in demoting Greek sovereign debt to below junk status. The markets remain unconvinced because of the sheer size of Greece’s debt, which is

ATHENS: Public sector workers, whose contracts were not to be renewed due to cuts in public sector spending, celebrate with champagne outside the Supreme court in Athens, after the court ruled in favor of their appeal and stated that they should be given permanent labor status.— AFP ter Werner Hoyer reasoned that a Greek debt restructuring “would not be a disaster” and that Berlin would support a voluntary effort to ease Athens’ payment terms. Despite progress made by Greece so far on reducing its soaring deficit, state revenue

expected to climb to 152 percent of output in 2011 and to 157 percent next year, says economist George Pagoulatos. “The debt is keeping Greece from convincing the markets which remain very hostile,” notes the University of Athens economics professor.

A green light for Saab, but many bumps in road ahead STOCKHOLM: Sweden may have helped ease cash-strapped Saab’s finance problems but the carmaker’s woes are far from over as it faces a liquidity crisis just a year after its last-minute rescue from bankruptcy. “The government has given Saab the green light to borrow money for its daily operations,” Swedish Enterprise and Energy Minister Maud Olofsson told reporters late Friday. Industry observers were skeptical the move would be enough to save the iconic carmaker, which was saved from oblivion in January 2010 when Dutch firm Spyker bought it from General Motors. “This is not a solution. This is just a very short-term thing. It’s like putting someone on life-support for one more day,” said Lars Holmqvist, the head of the Brussels-based European Association of Automotive Suppliers. “It won’t help in the long term. There are far too great problems beneath the surface ... They needed a lot more money at a much earlier stage.” Sweden has a final say in Saab’s business because it guaranteed a 400-million euro ($580 million) European Investment Bank loan for the company through its National Debt Office (NDO). Under Friday’s agreement, the NDO will release its security covering Saab’s property holdings, allowing the company to raise fresh cash by selling the assets,

Jia Xinguang, an independent industry expert in China, added that “green” clean energy cars would also win attention in Shanghai. “A Chinese development plan for these vehicles should be made public in the first half of this year,” Jia said. Last year, local media reported that the government was planning to spend $14 billion by 2020 on clean-energy vehicles, but the details of the plan were never published. Among the world premieres, Volkswagen will unveil its new Beetle, GM will feature its new Chevrolet Malibu and the Buick Envision and France’s PSA Group will debut its Citroen DS5. China’s Geely, which bought Volvo last year, will show off 36 new models, according to organizers. — AFP

including the main Saab plant in the southwestern Swedish town of Trollhaettan which will be leased back. At the same time, however, the EIB financing package for Saab will be reduced to 280 million euros-as it has already drawn down 217 million euros from the EIB, that leaves just 63 million euros. Saab’s pressing liquidity crisis became painfully clear last month as suppliers stopped deliveries to the carmaker over unpaid bills. Its assembly line was halted several time before the company finally announced on April 6 it was stopping production “until further notice.” “We have decided that we don’t want to have these stop-and-go’s any more. It’s not good for the whole production process,” Saab spokesman Eric Geers told AFP at the time, adding production would re-start once got a financing accord. That was the first time since Spyker’s takeover that Saab halted production without providing a subsequent start-up date. The chairman of the IF Metall union at Saab’s plant in Trollheattan told AFP before the government decision Friday that the halt had been difficult but that employees remained optimistic. “We think there will be a solution and we’ll be producing again. That’s the worst thing, that we can’t produce any cars,”

Haakan Skoett said. In its 20 years as part of GM, Saab never turned a profit and its production of between 100,000 and 130,000 cars was negligible in the global market. In its last year of GM ownership, Saab output plunged to just under 39,000 cars from 93,000, and production stopped before Spyker bought in. Spyker chief Victor Muller set high ambitions for Saab, saying it would sell

50,000 cars in 2010 and placing strong hopes on the new 9-5 and 9-3 models. But it only sold 32,000 cars last year and Muller said earlier this month he regretted setting targets, feeling “hammered” by the press for not reaching them. “Saab is not on the verge of collapse,” he told reporters near Stockholm earlier this month, describing the cash flow issues as “a small glitch.” —AFP

WASHINGTON: Delegates of the Development Committee gather at the spring meetings of the IMF/World Bank in Washington on Saturday.— AP

Confidence in Greece’s efforts and the viability of its recovery is not helped by confusion on the exact size of the 2010 deficit, until recently estimated at 9.4 percent but bound to rise because of the recession. The government has its work cut out after squeezing what it could from wage and pension cuts last year, argues Angelos Tsakanikas, head of studies at the Institute for Economic and Industrial Research (IOVE). “Last year’s wage cuts were horizontal but now surgical measures are called for, which is a more difficult task,” he told AFP. “This entails merging loss-making public entities, privatizations and freeing up markets and services to improve competition,” Tsakanikas said. Finding itself in the same boat as Greece, and with Ireland and Portugal also clamoring for help, the euro-zone has also repeatedly denied that a restructuring of Greek debt is an option. “All these rumors and speculations concerning a restructuring of the Greek debt are totally unfounded,” Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who chairs the group of euro-zone finance ministers, told reporters in Washington. “This is not even an option,” he added. “Markets are wrong when they are considering that the programs under way and the programs being negotiated are insufficiently solid,” he said. To help out, Greece’s eurozone partners last month agreed to cut the cost for its EU-IMF bailout package by a full percentage point and extend its repayment to seven and a half years from three years. “The situation is still critical and tough times lie ahead, but Greece may be able to return to markets towards the end of 2012,” Tsakanikas said. — AFP

Japan must fund rebuilding bonds by tax hike: Exec TOKYO: Japan must raise taxes to repay new government bonds that will be needed to pay for massive reconstruction after last month’s earthquake and tsunami, a senior ruling party official said yesterday. The idea, however, may be resisted by some members of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and by the party’s tiny coalition ally, who fear that higher taxes will be unpopular with voters and hurt the economy. The government hopes to avoid having to issue new bonds to fund an initial emergency budget, expected to be worth about 4 trillion yen ($48 billion), and likely to be approved by parliament by the end of this month or in May. But bond issuance is likely for subsequent extra budgets, and markets are concerned that post-quake rebuilding may delay Japan’s efforts to rein in its huge debt, already twice the size of the $5 trillion economy, the worst among industrialized nations. Markets need to be assured that any additional bonds that are issued will be repaid with higher taxes, said DPJ Secretary-General Katsuya Okada. “I’m not saying that taxes

need to be raised right away. But we need to guarantee that bonds for reconstruction will be paid for by a future tax increase,” Okada, the party’s No.2, told a program on public broadcaster NHK. “There’s already talk of whether we should raise the consumption tax, income tax or others ... Would the market (bond prices) hold up if we issue 10-15 trillion yen worth of bonds with no plan?” The cost of the material damage alone from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami has been estimated at $300 billion, making it the world’s most costly natural disaster. But the No.2 of the DPJ’s coalition ally, the People’s New Party, told the same broadcast that he was against raising taxes. Wrangling is also expected with opposition parties, who have a majority in the upper house of parliament and can block bills. The secretary-general of the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party told the show he was against raising the 5 percent consumption tax to fund reconstruction, saying the tax should be used to fund growing social security costs. — Reuters



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MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011


Quiet and brilliant, Taiwan’s HTC is smartphone rockstar HTC’s affiliation with Google gives it cutting edge

KANSAS CITY: Steve Crosby, director of special projects for Treat America Food Services, demonstrates how Cantaloupe Systems would alert him by text message on his cell phone when a vending machine’s door was opened after hours. — MCT

Vending machines go high tech with Web-based systems KANSAS CITY: Vending machines are getting a lot smarter - and tougher to shake down. Machines equipped with wireless, Web-based monitoring systems are not only helping the $20 billion American vending industry sell more products, they’re also helping to stop thieves. “It’s an old industry with more of a new start, so to say,” said Mark Brenner, a Kansas City-area franchisee for Fresh Healthy Vending. The technology couldn’t come at a better time. The recession and the huge unemployment numbers in 2009 resulted in the biggest one-year drop in vending sales to just under $20 billion from $22 billion in 2008, according to Automatic Merchandiser’s 2010 State of the Vending Industry Report. Some operators have responded by increasing prices. But many have resorted to technology to keep a tighter control on inventory, saving unnecessary trips to stock machines and stopping theft from inside or outside sources. One company that’s turned to technology is Treat America Food Services, a Merriam, Kan.-based vending and dining service management company with $52 million in annual vending sales. It is using a system designed by Cantaloupe Systems Inc. in many of its snack and beverage vending machines in businesses, colleges and hospitals. Cantaloupe Systems was founded in California in 2002 by two engineers, one a second-generation vending professional. Its “Seed” technology lets off-site vending machine owners know exactly how much product and how much money - to the number of dimes, nickels, quarters and dollar bills - are in one of their machines, minute by minute. As a result, owners know when to make a trip back to a machine to restock the Sprite or snack mix, when they should devote another row to Snickers, and when a ham sandwich is past its shelf life. The system also can text or email owners to alert them when a machine door is opened up after hours. The tiny Seed device can be installed on top of a vending machine, sending signals back to the vending company via a cellular network. The average cost per machine is $150 annually. “We got it for operational efficiencies,” said Jim Mitchell, president-vending division for Treat America. “But it’s as if we have security in front of the machine 24 hours a day.” The systems seem to be working. For example, a customer in Phoenix was alerted when one of its school vending machine doors was opened after hours. It notified police, who caught the two culprits in the act. The owner even told police how much money was in the

machine right before the break-in. Another New Orleans client saw several employees quit once the security system was installed. Brenner uses a performance monitoring program developed by USA Technologies in Malvern, Pa. He considers the technology a good investment now that area gas prices are edging closer to $4 a gallon. “So you’re using less gas, going out there only when you need to as opposed to just making a trip hoping the vending machine has been used,” Brenner said. Except for accepting dollar bills and credit cards, and a few new styles, vending machines haven’t changed much in the past few decades. But recently, along with new technology, vending machines also began selling everything from digital cameras to diapers, and offering healthier choices _ veggies, bagel chips, even Lean Cuisine. Brenner now has Fresh Healthy Vending machines in several locations, including schools, businesses and fitness centers. The machines carry such items as mango juice, yogurt, vitamin water, cheese crackers and baked barbecue potato chips, all natural or organic with low sugar content. In late January, Treat America launched its own new licensed vending concept, the Company Kitchen, combining both new technology and healthier choices. The areas, which are not staffed, feature open coolers with sandwiches, salads, sodas, fruit juices and more. Another snack bar has bins of granola, fresh baked goods and fresh fruit. Customers serve themselves, scan the bar codes on an item, and then swipe their credit card or a prepaid rewards card to check out. But companies using the Company Kitchen concept won’t exactly be expecting their employees to keep to the honor system. Cameras, which are mounted on the ceilings or walls, are digitally recording the area, so if inventory doesn’t match money taken in, Company Kitchen operators will be alerted. Signs warn employees they are under surveillance. Company Kitchen operations are in 16 sites now with a dozen more in the works in several states. Some companies want a Company Kitchen because they need to cut back on staff in their employee lunchrooms. Others want to offer healthier choices, especially for round-the-clock worksites. With prepaid loyalty cards, companies also can offer their employees special prices for vending combo meals say sandwich, drink and chips. They also can add funds to the card as a birthday present, to reward an employee for meeting a sales or safety goal, or even for making healthy food choices. — MCT

Google’s Android OS predicted to rule smartphone market BERLIN: Almost half of all smartphones worldwide will use Google’s Android operating system by the end of 2012, forecasts technology research company Gartner. Already this year, Android should hit a market share of 38.5 percent, making it the most popular operating system, according to Gartner. Gartner forecasts that smartphones, which offer more computing power than standard phones, will already claim a 26 percent market share this year, growing to almost half the market (47 percent) by 2015. And, since the various manufacturers of Android devices will be fighting for market share, customers will probably benefit from falling prices, says Gartner analyst Roberta Coza. “Android’s position in the high end market will stay strong, but the longterm growth possibilities will be in the lower to middle price segments.” Apple’s operating system, iOS, which this year beat Nokia’s Symbian system by garnering 19.4 percent market share to Nokia’s 19.2 percent to claim the market leader position, will be able to hold on to second place behind Android until 2014, forecast analysts. After that, its market

share will slip, since Apple is more interested in keeping high margins than in having a big share of the market. That will means its business will be limited in developing economies like India or Africa. But in 2015, Microsoft could very well beat the maker of the iPhone with its new Windows Phone 7 system. Gartner forecasts a market share of 19.5 per cent for Microsoft versus 17.2 percent for Apple. Gartner suggests that success might stem from Microsoft’s alliance with Nokia, which hopes to push Windows Phones in middle-pricesegment markets. Before that deal, Gartner had expected Microsoft to experience another drastic loss in market share. Now IDC says Microsoft’s market share in 2015 could touch 20.9 percent. But its numbers are still not expected to reach the highs that Symbian once enjoyed. That platform, which Nokia now hopes to operate in a partnership with Microsoft, will probably not play a role in 2015, according to Gartner estimates. Experts forecast that the operating system, which has a 19.2 percent market share today, will see that dwindle down to just 0.1 percent by 2015. — dpa

TAIPEI: Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC has risen to global prominence by transforming itself from a contract maker into a viable brand, one of the toughest feats in the fiercely competitive hi-tech industry. “Quietly Brilliant” is the motto adorning HTC’s advertisements-and quietly, brilliantly it has managed to grow and grow, until recently it stunned the industry by becoming as big as Nokia. “Today HTC is synonymous with smartphones,” said Wang Ying-Yu, a research manager at Industrial Technology Research Institute, a think-tank in the city of Hsinchu in northern Taiwan. “It has been more successful than any other company in Taiwan at pulling off the difficult task of building a brand,” he said. HTC’s market value is now around $33 billion, about the same level as Nokia and surpassing Blackberry maker Research In Motion’s (RIM’s) $28 billion, according to analysts. HTC has also set several records in Taiwan, and was listed as the most profitable company last year, while co-founder and chairwoman Cher Wang is currently the island’s richest person. Like many Taiwanese firms, HTC started as a contract manufacturer for major foreign brands such as Microsoft and only began developing its own brand of handsets in 2006. The theory sounds nice-learn the ropes, then launch your own product-but so far only a handful of elite Taiwan companies such as computer maker Acer have managed to get it right. “Others who tried ended up hurting themselves and typically saw their shares fall by half,” Wang said. Not HTC. It is now the world’s fifth largest smartphone maker by shipment after Nokia, Apple, RIM and Samsung, and it can challenge Apple’s market share in Europe and Asia, analysts said. Momentum is further boosted by first quarter results, which saw its unaudited net profit nearly triple from the same period last year to Tw$14.83 billion ($510 million) while revenue surged 174 percent to Tw$104.16 billion. This year HTC boss Wang, the 52-year-old daughter of late industrialist Wang Yungching, was crowned Taiwan’s richest person by Forbes magazine, which estimated the combined wealth of her and husband Chen Wen-

TAIPEI: Local people stand under an advertisement showing the HTC smartphone. — AFP chi at $6.8 billion. “Cher Wang is more like a spiritual leader of the company. She has a good eye for talent and she supports and trusts her professional management team,” Wang said. Analysts said HTC’s close partnership with telecom operators and Google has given it an edge in the business. HTC was the first to make devices powered by Android, which is now adopted by LG, Motorola, Samsung and Sony. “HTC is in time for the rise of smartphones and it is riding the boom of Google’s Android,” said Luke Lin, an analyst at Taiwan’s IT journal Digitimes. Android is the most popular operating system for mobile devices, and technology research firm Gartner expects it to have 38.5 percent of the market by the end of 2011, ahead of the 19.4 percent for iOS for Apple’s iPhone. “It is going to be even better for HTC this year although it faces growing challenges for market share,” said Lin. He estimated shipments to almost double from last year to about 50 to 55 million units.

“This year will see... these same (Android) vendors broaden and deepen their portfolios to reach more customers, particularly firsttime smartphone users,” said Ramon Llamas, a researcher at International Data Corp. The company has also jumped onto the tablet bandwagon with its first tablet, Flyer, due to go on sale in the second quarter, although analysts said it was too early to say how it could contribute to the bottom line. “We view this more as a product to test the market. We tend to believe tablets may not be a near-term value driver for HTC,” said a recent Morgan Stanley report. It forecast fewer than two million shipped in 2011. Underscoring the intense rivalry between smartphone makers is an ongoing dispute between HTC and Apple, which have accused each other of patent infringement and appealed to the US International Trade Commission to bar the other’s products. “An unfavorable ruling will certainly impact its (HTC’s) operations,” said Lin of Digitimes.— AFP

High-tech weapons sow fears of chip sabotage WASHINGTON: As NATO countries weigh whether to arm Libya’s rebels, military planners may give a thought to adding a remote “kill switch” to some weapons to keep them out of the wrong hands, experts say. Even if allied governments conclude that building in a remote control to disable anti-tank launchers might be more trouble than it’s worth, the mere possibility is transforming the role of high-tech weapons in warfare. “The more advanced technology becomes, the more it becomes integrated in networks, the more opportunities there are for attacks,” David Lindahl, a research scientist at the Swedish Defense Research Agency, told AFP. The growing sophistication of modern weaponry, with its reliance on electronic circuits and robotics, has fueled speculation that the United States or other powers might choose to turn off their weapons remotely-or secretly sabotage the enemy’s high-tech systems. The original version of a “kill switch” dates back to the peak of the Cold War, when permissive action link (PAL) devices were introduced in the 1960s to prevent a rogue launch of a nuclear missile. But Lindahl and other technology specialists say there is no evidence that the United States or other countries use remote “kill switches” in other weapons. Designing a remotely controlled switch would be a costly, complicated undertaking, and few defense companies would be enthusiastic about inserting a vulnerable link into one of their products, experts said. If Western countries chose to retrofit antitank missiles for Libya’s rebels with “kill switches,” they would still face the risk that adversaries might eventually get a hold of the weapons and uncover design secrets, Lindahl said. “It’s incredibly risky to do something like that,” he said. As chip manufacturing has migrated outside the United states, American defense officials have long worried about foreign countries finding a “backdoor” into the Pentagon’s sensitive weapons systems. “There are two ways to look at this. You build them into your own weapons, or the second way is you unwittingly incorporate them into your own weapons because someone sold you a bad chip,” said James Lewis, a cyber expert at the Brookings Institution think-tank and former US official. To guard against possible sabotage, the Pentagon has tried to ensure a secure supply of microchips by certifying some fabrication plants in the United States, known as the Trusted Foundries Program. But defense manufacturers, no longer able to avoid using commercial off-the-shelf products, face growing risks to their supply chain and software, experts said. “The military systems nowadays are not purpose-built from scratch. —AFP

No cable, plenty of sound: Tomorrow’s music, today BERLIN: Nobody really likes having cables spread all over their home. But how else to connect your stereo and speakers? New wireless transmission systems are beckoning with a cable-free future. Of course, embarking on the adventure means figuring out a whole new range of code words, from Full HD to HDMI to Dolby 7.1. But mercifully, when it comes to wireless stereo systems, the only two phrases to really look out for are DLNA and AirPlay. Both promise users a relatively uncomplicated way to stream audio and video data. DLNA stands for the Digital Living Network Alliance, a group of manufacturers from the entertainment electronics and computer industry, like Cisco, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony and Toshiba. Meanwhile, AirPlay was developed by Apple and is in use by manufacturers like Bowers & Wilkins, JBL, Klipsch, Philips and Pioneer. They both use technology that makes it unnecessary to have a cable link between your iPod, stereo and speakers, transmitting wirelessly instead, but at CD-like quality. And it’s not only audio streaming that has brought tomorrow’s technology into the here and now. It won’t be long until you’ll be able to send images directly from your video camera to your television. Ever since Apple upgraded its Apple TV set-top box, the small device has been taking on more of the functions of a central router station for the living room. The miniature box can wirelessly transmit movies, song or pictures from iPads, iPhones, iPod Touches and computers via iTunes onto televisions or audio devices. However, even some devices without the Apple logo can make use of AirPlay.

Thus, stereo specialist Bowers & Wilkins was able to present its docking flagship Zeppelin, which supports AirPlay, at the CeBIT 2011 trade fair. Meanwhile, Philips announced plans to expand its line of docking speaker series, Fidelio, by one model. It also supports the Apple technology. Currently, speculation is focused on whether Apple will license its AirPlay technology for video transmission as well. In that case, the external Apple TV box would become superfluous and disappear inside the television. DLNA is more open than the AirPlay standard. “It defines the smallest common denominator for audio and video format to guarantee seamless cooperation with all streaming components,” said Sven Hansen of German computer magazine c’t. From a technical viewpoint, DLNA is based on the specifications of Universal Plug and Play Audio/Video (UPnP AV ), which can at the very least work with the three core formats: MPEG-2 for video, LPCM for audio and JPEG For photos. At first glance, the standards that define DLNA are not exactly cutting edge. “Most users are already into HD video, which can’t be replayed with the basic definition of DLNA,” says Hansen. But it’s also common knowledge in the industry that the hurdles for minimum standards were knowingly set low to allow more play room during licensing negotiations. And most devices can handle up-todate formats like AAC or H.264, even if that’s not a requirement of the minimum standards. Coordinating various video codes with DLNA is, in some circumstances, a little more difficult than in the user-friendly Apple universe. —dpa



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MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011



Strange ills bug Louisianans one year after BP oil disaster Pollutants that cause genetic mutations, cancer detected

MINNEAPOLIS: Dr Michael Skadron, of West River Dental Care (right) injects Botox into Pat Grubbe, one of Skadron’s dental hygienists. — MCT

Dentists claim a piece of Botox pie MINNEAPOLIS: They say regular brushing, flossing and professional tooth cleaning can take years off your true age. So can Botox. Now, the two go hand-in-hand at some dental offices, where at least a few general dentists are tapping into the two fastest-growing cosmetic treatments of the past decade by offering Botox and dermal filler treatments. “As a dentist, I’m very well-trained in the musculature and anatomy of the face and I feel no other doctor can give an injection better than a qualified and experienced dentist,” said Dr Michael Skadron, who began offering Botox and Juvederm treatments in January at his West River Dental Care in south Minneapolis. “It’s a marvelous fit.” The economy has played a role, as well, he said, by bringing in customers who want to gain an edge. “I’ve had patients who are looking for a new career, so they want their teeth cleaned and their wrinkles removed.” Dentists have been using Botox to treat dental problems like temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, disorders and the US Food and Drug Administration recently approved its use for treatment of chronic migraines. Some dentists want to take it a step further and use it for aesthetic purposes, too. In Minnesota, dentists are permitted to do the work, as long as they adhere to the same standard of care that specialists are required to meet, said Marshall Shragg, executive director of the Minnesota Board of Dentistry. However, some states, including California and Nevada, say the use of Botox to improve patients’ smiles or to reduce wrinkles is outside the scope of general dentistry. Dr Michael Sudit of the Center for Smile Enhancement in Minnetonka, Minn., said dentists should’ve been part of the Botox movement from the beginning. He started using Botox a few years ago to improve patients’ “gummy smiles.” Now that other dentists are branching out and realizing they can do it, too, he said, “it’s coming and it’s coming in a big wave.” The timing of Skadron’s new business venture could pay off as people look for ways to improve their looks without going under the knife or spending a fortune. According to Allergan Corp, the company that distributes Botox and Juvederm, 10 percent of dentists perform Botox and dermal filler therapies, yet consumer demand for the treatments is strong. While cosmetic surgical procedures, like breast augmentation, rose nationwide by 2 percent from 2009 to 2010, minimally invasive cosmetic procedures rose 5 percent - with Botox injections (5.4 million) leading the way and facial fillers, such as Juvederm, (1.8 million) coming in second, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgery. “I think there’s still a segment of the population that’s willing to spend money if it makes them feel good about themselves,” Skadron said. A typical Botox treatment at West River Dental Care ranges from $240 to $720 and dermal fillers cost $500 to $1,000. Results last three to four months. It’s hard to gauge how many dentists in the Twin Cities offer Botox and dermal filler treatments, but at least a half-dozen advertise the services, including O’Brien Dental Care in Shakopee, Four Season Family Dentistry in Plymouth and Minneapolis Dental. From the patient’s chair at West River, brochures and “before” and “after” pictures touting the new services are in clear view. While only a few patients have signed on for the work so far, Skadron expects to get busier with weddings and class reunions coming up. Eventually, he said, he’d like to see 10 percent of his business come from cosmetic, non-dental procedures. Until the appointment book fills up, Skadron’s staffers happily take their place in the patient’s chair. “I’m 52 years old and I started acquiring these wrinkles,” hygienist Pat Grubbe said as Skadron injected two syringes of Botox into her forehead. “Once I had them removed, I don’t want them back,” she said. “Most people are noticing that I look good, but they can’t quite figure out why.” — MCT

RACELAND: Jamie Simon worked on a barge in the oily waters for six months following the BP spill last year, cooking for the cleanup workers, washing their clothes and tidying up after them. One year later, the 32-year-old said she still suffers from a range of debilitating health problems, including racing heartbeat, vomiting, dizziness, ear infections, swollen throat, poor sight in one eye and memory loss. She blames toxic elements in the crude oil and the dispersants sprayed to dissolve it after the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico about 50 miles (80 kilometers) off the coast of Louisiana on April 20, 2010. “I was exposed to those chemicals, which I questioned, and they told me it was just as safe as Dawn dishwashing liquid and there was nothing for me to worry about,” she said of the BP bosses at the job site. The local doctor, Mike Robichaux, said he has seen as many as 60 patients like Simon in recent weeks, as this small southern town of 10,000 bordered by swamp land and sugar cane fields grapples with a mysterious sickness that some believe is all BP’s fault. Andy LaBoeuf, 51, said he was paid $1,500 per day to use his boat to go out on the water and lay boom to contain some of the 4.9 million barrels of oil that spewed from the bottom of the ocean after the BP well ruptured. But four months of that job left him ill and unable to work, and he said he recently had to refinance his home loan because he could not pay his taxes. “I have just been sick for a long time. I just got sick and I couldn’t get better,” LaBoeuf said, describing memory problems and a sore throat that has nagged him for a year. Robichaux, an ear, nose and throat specialist whose office an hour’s drive southwest of New Orleans is nestled on a roadside marked with handwritten signs advertising turtle meat for sale, says he is treating many of the local patients in their homes. “Their work ethic is so strong, they are so stoic, they don’t want people to know when they’re sick,” he said. “Ninety percent of them are getting worse... Nobody has a clue as to what it is.” According to a roster compiled by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a total of 52,000 workers were responding to the Gulf oil spill as of August 2010. The state of Louisiana has reported 415 cases of health problems linked to the spill, with symptoms including sore throats, irritated eyes, respira-

tory tract infections, headaches and nausea. But Bernard Goldstein, an environmental toxicologist and professor at the University of Pittsburgh, said the US government’s method of collecting health data on the workers is flawed. For instance, a major study of response workers by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences was not funded until six months after the spill, a critical delay that affects both the biology and the recall ability of the workers. “It is too late if you go six months later,” he told AFP. Benzene, a known carcinogen present in crude oil, disappears from a person’s blood

within four months, Goldstein said. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, are pollutants that can cause genetic mutations and cancer. They are of particular interest in studying long-term health, but without a baseline for comparison it is difficult to know where they came from-the oil spill or somewhere else in the environment. “They last in the body for a longer period of time but they also get confounded by, if you will, obscured by, other sources of PAHs,” like eating barbe-

figures. Afghan government spending supplied only 6 percent of total health financing, while donors provided 18 percent and private sources accounted for 76 percent. Most of that burden was met by households in a nation where 10.5 million people — 42 percent of the population-live below the national poverty line of earning $1 a day or less. “This type of spending is disconcerting and unsustainable,” the report said, calling for policy changes including increased government spending and community-based health finance schemes. Afghanistan’s health system is one of the world’s worst, a decade after the US-backed overthrow of the Taleban, with life expectancy roughly 10 years lower than sub-Saharan Africa. Maternal mortality, estimated at 1,400 deaths for every 100,000 live births, is the highest in the world, while infant and under five mortality are estimated at 111 and 161 deaths per 1,000 births respectively. But the health accounts showed only two percent of total health spending went to maternal and child health improvement. Ordinary Afghans want peace, but they also want improved governance, and better health and education services, according to humanitarian agencies working in the country. In provinces heavily affected by fighting, like the Taleban strongholds of Helmand and Kandahar in the south, US and NATO troops have been building schools and health clinics in hopes of denting public backing for the insurgency, but there has been less spending in more peaceful areas. Dalil said the expenditure snapshop would help the government direct money in future to where it was most needed, including cutting child and maternal death rates. — Reuters

Health is not just absence of illness DRESDEN: Health is “a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity,” states the preamble to the constitution of the World Health Organization, adopted in 1946. But what is the source of health? What is well-being? And is illness always an impediment to well-being? “Illness and health aren’t opposite poles, they’re two dimensions,” says Joachim Kugler, a professor of health sciences and public health at Dresden University of Technology. “You can be physically ill, but still feel very healthy,” he said, citing the example of Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard (1931-1989), who he said had reached the peak of his artistic powers after being diagnosed with sarcoidosis and initially seeing it as an existential threat. Then there are people with nothing physically wrong with them who regard themselves as not healthy hypochondriacs, for example - Kugler said. So health is a matter of attitude? Yes, basically, according to Dierk

Petzold, a German physician and author who says that health resulted from the pursuit of a harmonious life. For Petzold, that means the ability to learn from your mistakes and to seek things that do you good, be it the sun and warmth or people you get along well with. The widespread “positive thinking” approach falls short, though, he said. “You should by all means take problems, risks and dissonances seriously and not sugarcoat them as in positive thinking,” Petzold advised. A study by the German public health insurance company Barmer GEK and the Competence Centre for Health Management and Public Health at the University of Wuppertal found that “health competence” - ie the ability to overcome unusual challenges or stress, such as illnesses - had a very strong influence on health and well-being. People with high health competence had markedly better health knowledge and overall health compared with those whose competence was low. —dpa

physicians who are trained in toxic exposure.” She said she has received no response. Asked for comment, BP said in an email that “protection of response workers was a top priority” and that it had conducted “extensive monitoring of response workers” in coordination with several government agencies. “Illness and injury reports were tracked and documented during the response, and the medical data indicate they did not differ appreciably from what would be expected among a workforce of this size under normal circumstances,” it added. Any compensation for sick workers would fall under state law,

LOUISIANA: Shore birds are seen in the wetlands surrounding the harbor of Venice. —AFP

Impoverished Afghans deal with health care burden KABUL: Afghanistan’s government and foreign donors spend barely $10 a person on health, despite pointing to it as key to winning back support against a worsening insurgency that has dragged on for nearly a decade, a study said yesterday. The other $31 per person that makes up the country’s meager health spend comes from Afghans themselves, many of whom struggle to provide doctors and drug care for their families from the $426 per capita they earn each year. “High expenses pose severe barriers to accessing healthcare, particularly for the rural poor. Catastrophic payments in particular can push households into debt,” the study said. The two-year study provided the first ever snapshot into spending within the rudimentary health system, and aid donors said the information should help improve health quality in a nation where life expectancy is only 44 years. Acting Health Minister Suraya Dalil said the study would also help President Hamid Karzai’s government fight corruption in the health system, which in turn could improve public trust in the US-backed administration, dogged by frequent accusations of widespread wastage and graft. “How money is spent is just as important as how much we spend. More money is needed to overcome Afghanistan’s health challenges,” Dalil said at the study launch. The report found Afghanistan spends close to 10 percent of its GDP wealth each year on health, or just over $1 billion. But that amounted to only around $42 per person on health services, well below even regional neighbors like India, Pakistan and Iran. Wealthy nations average around $3,060 per head, according to World Health Organization

cued meat or smoking cigarettes, said Goldstein. Further blurring the situation, Louisiana already ranks very low in the overall health of its residents compared to the rest of the United States-between 44th and 49th out of the 50 states according to government data. Some similar symptoms, including eye irritation, breathing problems, nausea and psychological stress, have been seen among responders to the Prestige oil tanker spill off Spain in 2002 and the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989 off Alaska. Local chemist Wilma Subra has been helping test people’s blood for volatile solvents, and said levels of benzene

HANNOVER: Lion Binta takes care of her still nameless cub in their enclosure at the zoo as the zoo launched its summer season. Binta gave birth to two lion babies last February 24.— AFP

among cleanup workers, divers, fishermen and crabbers are as high as 36 times that of the general population. “As the event progresses we are seeing more and more people who are desperately ill,” she said. “Clearly it is showing that this is ongoing exposure,” Subra said, noting that pathways include contact with the skin, eating contaminated seafood or breathing polluted air. “We have been asking the federal agencies to please provide medical care from

and “BP does not make these determinations, which must be supported by acceptable medical evidence.” For Simon, her way of life has been completely altered. She said she takes pain relievers every day just to function. A couple of weeks ago, she read in a local newspaper that other ex-cleanup workers were feeling sick too, and her grandmother urged her to see a doctor. “I never put the two together. I am just realizing that this is possibly related,” she said. — AFP

Chernobyl nightmare still haunts world 25 years on KIEV: The world next week remembers 25 ers sent to the scene died of Acute Radiation years since the worst nuclear accident in his- Syndrome (ARS). But agreement on the numbers ends tory at Chernobyl, haunted by fears that the Japan earthquake has shown again the risk of there. In 2005, several UN agencies including atomic power sparking apocalypse. the World Health Organization, said in a report Chernobyl has become a byword for environ- a total of 4,000 people could eventually die as mental catastrophe, with the explosion at 1:23 a result of the radiation exposure. But the UN am on April 26, 1986 realizing the worst night- Scientific Committee on Atomic Radiation mare of what can happen when a nuclear (UNSCEAR) says only 19 ARS survivors had power plant goes wrong. Workers were test- died by 2006 for various reasons not usually ing the Unit 4 reactor at Chernobyl when associated with radiation exposure. In its latest February 2011 report it said design flaws allowed an uncontrollable power surge, sparking explosions that completely there were 6,000 cases of thyroid cancer that destroyed the reactor and released five per- were due to children drinking contaminated cent of its radioactive material into the atmos- milk at the time of which 15 had proved fatal by 2005. There was “no persuasive evidence” phere. The radioactive matter settled in the near- of any other effect on the general population by area and also blew over neighboring as a result of radiation, it said. But environregions in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia and mental campaign group Greenpeace in 2006 accused the UN even Western Europe, agencies of grossly leaving a legacy of underestimating the contamination that toll, saying there remains to this day. would be an estimatThe disaster became ed 93,000 fatal cannotorious for the reluccer cases caused by tance of the then Chernobyl. Soviet leadership of A quarter-century Mikhail Gorbachev to after the disaster, admit the disaster, only concern remains releasing news of the over preventing the catastrophe three days ruins of the reactor after it had happened. from wreaking furIn 1986 and 1987, the ther damage on the Soviet government environment. The sent half a million resSoviet authorities cue workers (known as rapidly put up a supliquidators) — still celposedly temporary ebrated as heroes for their selfless courage GOMEL: In this file photo, five- concrete shelter, to clear up the power year-old Alec Zhloba, who suffers dubbed the sarcophstation and decontam- from leukemia, is held by his doc- agus, to protect the destroyed reactor inate the surrounding tor in the children’s cancer ward of but there have long area. The resonance of the Gomel Regional Hospital in been worries about its durability and the Chernobyl was shown Belarus. — AP highly radioactive again when the Japanese earthquake damaged the material still embedded within. A new sarFukushima nuclear plant, releasing radiation cophagus is being built nearby and is schedinto the surrounding area and immediately uled to be erected over the reactor in the next raising fears of a “new Chernobyl”. The dam- years. The European Bank for Reconstruction and age at Fukushima reawakened the world’s nightmares of nuclear disaster, prompting Development, which is running the project, Germany to announce a moratorium on plans has received almost $1 billion in donations to extend the life of its nuclear power plants. but still needs another $600 million and is “The situation in Japan has shown nothing hoping for pledges at a Kiev conference this has changed in 25 years, neither the under- week. The Chernobyl disaster in no way standing of the danger nor the behavior of deterred the former Soviet Union from the authorities,” Ivan Blokov, director of pro- nuclear energy and the soul-searching seen after the Fukushima disaster in Europe has not grams at Greenpeace Russia, told AFP. But despite the notoriety of Chernobyl, been matched in Belarus, Russia or Ukraine. controversy has raged for years even between Nuclear power remains vital for Ukraine, a the UN’s own agencies over the number of country of 46 million with relatively few natudeaths directly caused by the disaster, with ral energy resources and a politically unwelestimates ranging from tens of thousands to come dependence on Russia for its gas supdozens. There is no doubt over the immediate plies. Even Chernobyl itself continued producing energy until well after the collapse of the impact. One worker at the plant was killed imme- Soviet Union. Reactor number two shut after a diately in the explosion and another died fire in 1991, reactor number one closed in shortly afterwards in hospital. In the subse- 1997 but reactor number three continued quent weeks, 28 plant staff and rescue work- working right up until December 2000. —AFP



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MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011



Haitians turn to waste to combat diseases Cholera claims 4,700 lives so far PORT-AU-PRINCE: Desperately poor Haiti is finding a cheap source of fuel in recycling human excrement, a move that could help put a dent in a cholera epidemic and slow the country’s pervasive deforestation. The “biodigester”, which converts organic waste to biogas and a liquid fertilizer rich in nutrients, requires little infrastructure: toilets linked to a sealed, brick-lined well connected to a basin. Seventy of these devices are up and running, while another 70 are in the works. Deprived of air, the bacteria thriving in human excrement eat 85 percent of the refuse while producing methane gas, explained Martin Wartchow, pointing his lighter above a small tube hanging out of the rank. A powerful flame was immediately set ablaze. “The remaining 15 percent of organic waste is thrown out with the excess water in a green area where they biodegrade,” continued the hydrologist,

who is working with the Brazilian nongovernmental group Viva Rio in Port-auPrince. “Not a single chemical product is used and at the end of the line, the water we collect is completely clean.” The engineer plunged his hand in a basin filled with filtered, clear and, incredibly, odorless liquid. “We even raise fish here.” Recently completed at a Viva Rio center that hosts over 600 young Haitians each day, the installation is due to be linked to a cafeteria under construction to replace wood coals. Indeed, engineers behind the project hope to reverse Haitians’ heavy reliance on wood fuel for cooking and heating due to the lack of cheap sources of energy in the country, the poorest in the Western hemisphere. As a result, Haiti has seen rapid deforestation. Only 1.5 percent of the western portion of the isle of Hispaniola the country shares with the Dominican

Republic is now covered with forests, a massive decrease from 80 percent when discovered by Christopher Columbus in the 15th century. “The United Nations have funded many studies to find solutions to replace wood coals. But all they had to do was to go to Nicaragua or China,” said Wartchow. In Nicaragua, some 70,000 biodigesters have already been built, and 1,000 times more in China. The system, just now being implemented in Haiti, also provides a solution to simply and efficiently treat human excrement-a major problem in the squalid tent cities that sprung up after the devastating January 2010 earthquake, which killed more than 250,000 Haitians and left 1.3 million homeless. The cholera epidemic exposed the dramatic consequences of Haiti’s lack of a true sewage system. The water-borne bacterial disease, which thrives in unhygienic conditions, has claimed 4,700

dead so far. “Since the epidemic, we have had many requests from clinics that had thrown their waste into the canals until then,” said Wartchow. But once a biodigester installed, there is still much work to do, especially in educating locals to using the new devices. In February, several of the installations were placed in the Santos 17 camp, home to 2,700 people in the suburbs of Port-Au-Prince. They were erected next to new temporary shelters built out of wood and sheet metal. But the kitchens that were supposed to be hooked up to the gas produced by the toilets were not accessible. “It’s the engineer from the International Organization for Migration who has the key,” mumbled Jean-Max Fortune, in charge of the camp. “People still need to be educated about this,” he said, adding that the promised stoves never came. Roselyne Colas admitted

she did not understand how the system could be of any use to her in her cabin. “I cook with coal,” Colas said, pointing to

the stove sitting in a corner of the 18 square meter (195 square foot) home she shares with her family.— AFP

PORT-AU-PRINCE: Lightning is seen over a hillside during an evening thunderstorm on April 14, 2011. The international Red Cross has warned that a rainy season peaking in mid-May would spark “minor disasters” in Haiti, where 1.3 million people remain homeless after January’s deadly quake. —AFP




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W H AT ’ S O N

MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011


BMC celebrates Bengali New Year


angladesh Military Contingent (BMC) celebrated the Bangali New Year (Noboborsho-1418) here in Kuwait amidst countless festivity. A very exciting and colorful program was chalked out on this festive occasion on April 14, 2011. The Bangla Noboborsho celebration started

with an hour-long cultural program organized by BMC Ladies Club followed by entertaining the guests with varied array of traditional Bengali homemade cakes, sweets and other pure Bengali cuisines prepared by BMC Ladies Club. Guests were spell-bound by the songs, dance, recitations

and fun performed in the cultural program. Syed Shahed Reza, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Kuwait graced the occasion as the chief guest. Bangladesh Embassy officials, few senior officers of Kuwait Armed Forces, BMC officers and their families witnessed this colorful program.

Al Taalib Scholarship 2011 Al Taalib Scholarship is a financial aid scheme for the under privileged school students in Kuwait, sponsored by the Ministry of Awqaf in association with Islam Presentation Committee (IPC), Friday Forum and Pakistan Kuwait Welfare Association. These scholarships were given to the needy students irrespective of their religion or nationality. The process of Al Taalib Scholarship for the current academic year, 2011-12, has begun for all Indian and Pakistani Schools in Kuwait. In order to avail this scholarship, applicants are requested to collect the Application Form from Al Taalib Office located in CAMS, Ahmed Al Jaber Street, Darwaza, Near Warba Insurance Co., Int’l Islamic Charity Organization Building, 2nd Floor, Al Sharq. The duly filled application form shall be submitted to Al Taalib office on or before 10th May 2011 along with all supporting documents specified in the Application Form. Kool Kidz Club The Kool Kidz Club of the British Academy of International Arts celebrates the British Royal wedding in style with A TOP HAT and TIARA Fun afternoon on Thursday 21 April. Games, fun and competitions. Wear your best prince and princess costumes and design a plate of food fit for Royalty. Non BAIA students can attend too! For details and tickets please check the website and contact the BAIA office at

Another memorable year for FOCC ‘DNV CRYcket-2011’


he 14th annual children’s cricket event “DNV CRYcket” organized by Friends of CRY Club - Kuwait (FOCC-Kuwait) was scheduled for March 25, 2011 - the day no one in Kuwait would forget when one of the fiercest sandstorms ever seen in Kuwait. It was heartening to see the enthusiasm of children and parents alike and the Ahmadi sports grounds wore a festive look on that day. Children and adults sporting colorful dresses, displayed spirit of friendship, competition and sportsmanship. The event had progressed blissfully until the semifinals and then stopped due to the sandstorm. The balance semi finals and finals were held on the April 8, 2011. In all more than 270 children participated this year, consisting of 22 teams - 10 teams in the Under-14 category and twelve teams in the Under12 category - all vying for the glittering winner’s “CRYcket” trophy in their respective age group. A colorful souvenir commemorating the 13 glorious years of FOCC’s activities was also released which included a motivating message from the Ambassador of India to Kuwait Ajai Malhotra and a message from Susan Varghese, Head of Global Operations-CRY, beside a brief on our supported project Manav Ashrita Sansthan (MAS) in India, and insights on FOCC’s activities. The drive for “Associate Membership” which was introduced in 2009 continued this year as well, where anyone from the society can feel attached to the FOCC and CRY mission. The festivities at the grounds included the KIDS corner offering great amusement through some exciting games. A drawing competition was held for children in various age categories and was enthusiastically participated in. The winners were Tanisha (Under 6 group), Adnan Hamid (Age group 7-10 and Elline Pajares (Age group 11-16). There was the Buy for CRY stall where articles donated by good Samaritans through FOCC’s efforts could be picked up at unbelievable prices. The raffle draw was again hugely successful with 10

fabulous prizes for the grabbing. The participating team in the DNV CRYcket-2011 tournament were: Under-14 Category: All Rounders-XI,

Al-Rayan Challengers XI, Blazing-XI, Carmel Super Kings; CCC; Evershine, Gladiator Seniors, Pace-XI Seniors, Riggae Cricket Coaching and Salwa

Stormers; whereas Under-12 Category had : Al-Rayan Challengers, CCC; Carmel Super Kings; Friendz-XI, Gladiator Junior, Gladiator-XI, Pace-XI

of quality cricket play, the Under-14 trophy was won by CCC, the runnerup trophy by Al-Rayan Challengers and the best player award went to Kevin J Abraham of Pace XI. In the Under-12 category, the winner’s trophy was picked up by Pace XI A, the runners-up trophy went to Gladiators Juniors and the best player award was bagged by Sayed Amir of Pace XI. Country Manager for DNV Girish Sriraman presented the winners and the runner-up team captains with the trophies to a thunderous applause from all. Medals and certificates were also presented to all participants. A special mention must be made of the two girl participants this year Sanghamitra and Srinidhi who were specially honored by FOCC. Their coach and parents were congratulated for their encouragement to the girls. FOCC thanks with gratitude all the participating children, parents, CRY buddies, sponsors, umpires, scorers and the media. Above all it thanks the KOC Security for helping us during the two hour ordeal in the sand storm when more than 200 children and adults were temporarily collected from various locations and brought at the Ahmadi Guest House. It took a long time for FOCC volunteers, team managers and parents to account for all children - those who had left and those who were with us - full of sand and hunger. After another hour-anda-half of waiting, people slowly made their way to home when the visibility improved. It was pure fun and everything done at the event was for a noble cause - to help the underprivileged children in India in our own humble way. You too can join hands with FOCC by becoming a volunteer and/or an associate member.

Juniors A, Pace-XI Juniors B, Riggae Cricket Coaching, Super Tots, Tiny Tots and The Real Champions. After the tough and tense two days

NAFO to present Soorya’s ‘Sangamam’ National Forum Kuwait (NAFO Kuwait) is all set to bringing a spectacular, well conceptualized, a jewel in crown super cultural show ‘Sangamam’ for the art lovers of Kuwait, according to a press release. Indian Ambassador Ajai Malhotra will inaugurate the first of its kind super show, scheduled for the evening of Friday, May 13, 2011 (6.00 PM) at the American International School Auditorium, Maidan-Hawalli. Arpan’s ‘Kathakali 2011’ Arpan Kuwait, an Indian socio-cultural organization, will present ‘Kathakali 2011’ on Saturday, April 30 at 6.30 pm at the Indian Community School (Senior Girls), Salmiya as part of its initiative to promote Indian classical art and culture in Kuwait. The show ‘Kalyanasougandhikam’, a very popular exotic dance drama, will be presented by renowned Kathakali performers from India Kalamandalam Vasudevan, Sasikala S Vellodi, Kalamandalam Sreekantan and Kalamandalam Sreekumar. A 30-minute demo will also be held by the performers prior to the show for the guests who are not familiar with Kathakali. Kathakali, Kerala’s classical theatre, will be presented as a cross-cultural program before an august gathering comprising diplomats, Kuwaiti guests, dancers and theatre lovers. Arpan is presenting the unique classical art form once again before the Kuwait’s elite audience on popular demand. For details, contact: 99716105, 97277151, 66872372 or 94063428. Voice Kuwait 6th Anniversary Voice Kuwait is celebrating its 6th anniversary “VISWAKALA 2011” on May 20th Friday from 4 pm to 9 pm at Carmel School Khaitan. Voice Kuwait is giving award to its member’s children who got highest mark in last S.S.L.C. either from Kuwait or from Kerala. The students those are eligible should give attested copy of their mark list to Area conveners or sent copy to For more information please contact 66950482,94419371. Catholicate College new members Catholicate College Alumni Association, Kuwait Chapter, is enrolling new members. Ex-students of Catholicate College who have not yet become members of the Alumni Association are requested to complete the Membership Forms and submit the completed Forms to the Treasurer, Thomas Mathew (Mobile no. 66025610) to become eligible for participation in Catholicate College Alumni Association’s activities and programmes. Membership Form is available at the Association’s website : For more details contact General Secretary (Mobile no. 66232408) or President ( Mobile no. 66864057.

Cinemagic Thursday, April 21st at 7:30pm

JAR CITY Director: Baltasar Kormakur Country: Iceland Release: 2006 Genre: Thriller Running time: 93 minutes Language: Icelandic | English Subtitle Awards: Best Film, Best Actor, Best Director, Cinematography Saturday, April 23rd at 7:30pm

WATER Director: Deepa Mehta

Country: India Release: 2005 Genre: Drama Running time: 117 minutes Language: Hindi | English Subtitle Awards: Best Film, Director, Cinematography, Script Thursday, April 28th at 7:30pm

THE HEADLESS WOMAN Director: Lucrecia Martel Country: Argentina Release: 2009 Genre: Drama | Mystery | Thriller

Running time: 87 minutes Language: Spanish | English Subtitle Awards: Cannes, in competition, Best film, director, actress Saturday, April 30th at 7:30pm

THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST Director: Daniel Alfredsson Country: Sweden Release: 2010 Genre: Crime | Drama | Thriller Running time: 147 minutes Language: Swedish | English Subtitle

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




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W H AT ’ S O N

GUST appoints new dean of Admissions and Registration


he Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) announced the appointment of Dr Ali Jamal AlKandari as Dean of Admissions and Registration at the university following the former dean, Dr Nayef Al-Hajraf. The university affirmed in a statement that the decision to appoint Dr Al-Kandari as Dean comes from his exceptional contributions made in the service of the university, both academically and administratively, which have helped in its development. GUST has great confidence that Dr. Al-Kandari will excel in his new role as it does not take the appointment of any administrative position lightly;going through rigorous and thorough procedures to determine the best

match for the job. This is in order to keep the university on its steady course towards progress and excellence at all levels. On his part, the newly appointed dean stated: “I would like to thank God first and foremost, then I would like to thank the university administration for their confidence in me and I will do my best to ensure that I live up to their expectations.” AlKandari also noted in a press statement that he has set many goals and aspirations for future projects in the department that he hopes will develop and facilitate the many services the department does offer, all of which will support student ambitions and goals. “We will try to give the students all

information and instructions that are important, in relation to admission and registration laws and procedures,” he added, “for we are in the process of easing the registration process during the next school year, especially with respect to the “Drop & Add” period which is considered to be one of the busiest times in the department. The Admissions and Registration Department will put tremendous effort to provide better services for the students in accordancewith the highest academic standards. Dr Al-Kandari has been Acting Dean of the Admissions and Registration since October and was Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from September 2009 until April 2011.

Family Cathedral Schedule of services for Holy Week 2011

Day of Fast and Abstinence 6:00 am: The Lord’s Passion in Malayalam (Trans to Halls) 3:30 pm. The Lord’s Passion in Sinhala(VMH) 8:00 am: The Lord’s Passion in English (Trans-to Halls) 4:00 pm. Korean Mass (GSH) 9:30 am: The Lord’s Passion in English (Trans to Halls) 04:30 p.m. The Lord’s Passion in English (Tr. to HFH) 11:00 am: The Lord’s Passion in Tamil (HFH ) 05:30 pm. The Lord’s Passion in Bengali (VMH) 11:00 am: The Lord’s Passion in Maronite 06:00 pm. The Lord’s Passion in English (Tr. to HFH) 11:00 am: The Lord’s Passion in Coptic (VMH) 06:00 pm. The Lord’s Passion in Italian (PPH) 1:00 noon: The Lord’s Passion in Tagalog 07:30 pm. The Lord’s Passion in Syro-Mal (HFH/Court) 3:00 pm: The Lord’s Passion in Konkani (Tr. to HFH ) 08:00 p.m. The Lord’s Passion in Arabic Holy Saturday: April 23rd, 2011 6:30 am: Easter Vigil in Syro-Malabar 10:00 pm.: Easter Mass in Coptic - VMH 6:00 pm: Easter Vigil in Malayalam 10:15 pm: Easter Vigil in Konkani (Courtyard/HFH) 6:00 pm: Easter Vigil in French in -GSH 10:45 pm: Easter vigil in Arabic. 12:30 am: Easter vigil in Maronite 6:00 pm: Easter Vigil in Tagalog - (Courtyard/HFH) 6:00 pm: Easter Vigil in Italian (PPH) 8:00 pm: Easter Vigil mass in Korean (GSH) 8:00 pm: Easter Vigil Pontifical Mass in English(Tr. to Halls). Easter Sunday: April 24th, 2011 3:30 am: Easter Mass in Malankara 5:00 pm. Holy Mass in Tamil (HFH) 7:00 am: Holy Mass in English 5:00 pm. Holy Mass in Bengali (VMH) 8:15 am. Holy Mass in English 5:15 pm. Holy Mass in English 9:30 am. Holy Mass in English 6:00 pm. Korean Mass (GSH) 10:30 am: Holy Mass in English (HFH) 6:15 pm. Holy Mass in English 10:30 am: Mass in Syro-Malabar (Cathedral) 6:30 pm. Holy Mass in Tagalog (VMH) 12:30 pm: Holy Mass in Maronite 6:30 pm. Holy Mass in Sinhala ( VMH) 3:00 pm: Holy Mass in Konkani (Trans-HFH) 7:30 pm. Holy Mass in Malayalam 4:15 pm: Holy Mass in Konkani 8:30 pm. Holy Mass in Arabic

Birthday Greetings


appy birthday dear Ghanim B Al-Qassim! May you have many more wonderful birthdays and may God keep you in his loving care. Best wishes come from family, friends and loved ones.

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

EMBASSY OF ARGENTINA In order to inform that 23rd of October 2011, will be Argentine national election where all Argentinean citizen residents permanently in Kuwait can vote only if they are registered at the Electoral Register of the Argentine Embassy. The procedure of inscription is for free and will be end on 25 of April 2011. To register it is necessary that Argentinean citizens should come personally at the Argentinean Embassy (Block 6, street 42, villa 57, Mishref ) and present the DNI and four personal photos (size 4x4, face should be front on white background). For further information, contact us on 25379211.

The Holy

18th/19th/20th April; Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday of the Holy Week - Confessions from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm: 6:30 am, 7:00 am, 6:30 pm Mass in English. Mass in Maronite and Arabic (HFH) at 7:30 pm, Coptic Paskha 8:30 pm (VMH). Maundy Thursday: 21st April , 2011 Celebration of The Lord’s Supper 3:30 am: The Lord’s Supper in Malankara 6:00 pm. The Lord’s Supper in Sinhala (GSH ) 6:30 am: Mass of the Chrism in English 5:00 pm. The Lord’s Supper in Bengali ( VMH) 3:00 pm: The Lord’s Supper in Malayalam 8:00 pm. Adoration in the PPH in Konkani 3:00 pm: Mass in Korean (GSH) 8:00 pm. The Lord’s Supper and Adoration - Arabic 4:30 pm: The Lord’s Supper in Konkani 8:00 pm. The Lord’s Supper in Syro-Malabar(HFH/Court) 4:30 pm: The Lord’s Supper in Tamil (HFH ) 08:30 p.m. The Lord’s Supper in Coptic (VMH) 06:30 p.m. Pontifical Mass in English 9:15 pm. Adoration in the PPH in English. Good Friday: 22nd April 2010- Celebration of The Lord’s Passion.

MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011


BSK students participate in Injaz


o mark British Mothers’ Day a group of enterprising students at The British School of Kuwait organised a flower stall. Fellow students were able to purchase a plant and then decorate it to make a fabulous and highly personal present for their mother. The stall was a sell-out success with everyone leaving with a really special present that was sure to delight their mums. Of course mothers like to receive something made by their children rather than something just purchased from a shop. These Year 10 entrepreneurs who are taking part in the Injaz Company Programme, tapped into that niche market with a winning combination of an easy to purchase product but with the personal touch.

‘Musical Nite’ by Sadhana Sargam


alanjali Kuwait is organizing a ‘Musical Nite’ by well-known Bollywood Singer Sadhana Sargam on April 22, 2011 at the American International School from 6.30 pm onwards. Sadhana Sargam needs no introduction since she has earned a name for herself as one of the most outstanding Bollywood singers today. Sadhana Sargam has sung in many Indian languages. Even though she is one of the most gifted and versatile singers who can sing any type of songs, she excels in mostly melodious and slow numbers. She is also a very talented classical musician. She is one of the few singers equally recognized and successful in both classical and light music genres. Many young upcoming singers look up to her as their role model. Sadhana has won several awards including the Indian national award as the best female playback singer in 2002 for a Tamil song “Pattu Solli” from the movie Azhagi, composed by Ilayaraja. Sadhana Sargam was well received in Tamil Nadu. She is very busy in the Tamil music

field. Among the Bollywood singers’ males or females, Sargam sang the most number of songs in Tamil music field. She is more popular than Lata Mangheshkar, Asha Bhosle, Anuradha Paudwal or Alka Yagnik in Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Singapore, where Tamil is spoken widely and Tamil music is listened to. For details contact: 66457286 / 25655912. Email:

IASCO to hold two day cultural fest


uwait’s popular association IASCO is launching its first program for 2011 titled as “ShamE-Khayal-O-Ghazal”. The events will be held on April 20 and 21, 2011 at Musical Arts College Auditorium, Salmiya. The program will be inaugurated by Ajai Malhotra, the Indian Ambassador to Kuwait at 6:30 pm on April 20, 2011. Indo-Arab Socio Cultural Association (IASCO) under the patronage of Prof Dr Rasha Al-Sabah and registered with the Indian Embassy in association with the Higher Institute of Musical Arts College of the Ministry of Education in Kuwait proudly presents an Indian traditional cultural fest featuring the living legends in Hindustani vocal music and a dance program by Rhythm Dance Group. IASCO is proudly celebrating its 10th anniversary in Kuwait. IASCO promises memorable nights on both days with many musical and dance programs from Indian and Kuwaiti troupes. A highlight of the program will be the breath-taking show by the legendary Pundit Ramesh Narayan and his troupe who will be rendering melodies from Sufi music to popular film songs. The entry for the show will start from 6 pm sharp and the gates will close at 6:30 pm on both days. Entry is open by invitation only. For invitations and more details please contact 99509952/65939113 /90010060 or email at

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: The Embassy is open Sunday to Thursday 7:30am to 14:3Opm. ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakel St., Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at Canada offers a registration service for all Canadians travelling or living abroad. This service is provided so that Consular Officials can contact and assist Canadians in an emergency in a foreign country, such as a natural disaster or civil unrest, or inform Canadians of a family emergency at home. The Embassy of Canada encourages all Canadian Citizens to register online through the Government of Canada Travel Website at The Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi provides visa and immigration services to residents of Kuwait. Individuals who are interested in visiting, working or immigrating to Canada are invited to visit the website of the Canadian Embassy to the UAE at Effective January 15, 2011, the only Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) application form that will be accepted by CIC is the Application for Temporary Resident Visa Made Outside of Canada [IMM 5257] form. All previous Temporary Resident Visa application forms will no longer be accepted by CIC and instead will be returned to applicants. Should old applications be submitted prior to January 15, 2011 they will continue to be processed. To ensure that the most recent version of the Temporary Resident Visa application form is being utilized, applicants should refer to the CIC website. As of January 15, 2011, forms are to be filled in electronically. The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. Consular Services for Canadian Citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00 on Sunday through Wednesday. The forms are available on the internet at: IMM5257E.PDF. A guide explaining the process can be found here: /5256E.PDF. ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF KENYA The Embassy of the Republic of Kenya wishes to request all Kenyans resident in or training through Kuwait to register with the Embassy. We are updating our database. This information is necessary in order to facilitate quick assistance and advise in times of emergency. Kindly visit in person or register through our website The Embassy is located in: Surra Area Block 6 - Street 9 - Villa 3 Tel: 25353362 - 25353314; Fax: 25353316. ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF NIGERIA The Nigerian embassy has moved its office to Mishref. Block 3, Street 7, House 4. For enquires please call 25379541. Fax- 25387719. or



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00:45 Untamed And Uncut 02:35 Life In The Undergrowth 03:30 Life Of Mammals 04:25 The Animals’ Guide To Survival 05:20 The Most Extreme 07:00 Meerkat Manor 07:25 The Really Wild Show 07:50 Growing Up... 08:40 Breed All About It 09:10 Cats 101 10:05 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 11:00 Animal Precinct 11:55 Wildlife SOS 12:50 Animal Cops Miami 13:45 RSPCA: On The Frontline 14:10 E-Vets: The Interns 14:40 The Most Extreme 15:30 Planet Wild 16:00 The Really Wild Show 16:30 Natural Born Hunters 17:00 All New Planet’s Funniest Animals 17:25 Animal Crackers 18:20 Into The Lion’s Den 19:15 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 20:10 Dogs 101 21:05 The Animals’ Guide To Survival 22:00 Planet Earth 22:55 Maneaters 23:50 The Most Extreme

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

Only Fools And Horses The Weakest Link Full Circle With Michael Palin The Weakest Link Paradox Dinnerladies Me Too Tweenies Teletubbies Charlie And Lola Me Too Tweenies Teletubbies Charlie And Lola Me Too Tweenies Teletubbies Charlie And Lola Me Too Tweenies Teletubbies Charlie And Lola Dinnerladies The Weakest Link Monarch Of The Glen Doctors Only Fools And Horses Full Circle With Michael Palin Dinnerladies 2 Point 4 Children Monarch Of The Glen The Weakest Link Doctors Only Fools And Horses Full Circle With Michael Palin Monarch Of The Glen The Weakest Link Doctors Eastenders Holby City Spooks Dinnerladies

00:40 01:25 01:50 04:50 05:15 06:10 06:35 07:25 08:35 09:00 09:50 10:35 11:25 12:15 13:05 13:25

Come Dine With Me Glamour Puds Antiques Roadshow Glamour Puds Daily Cooks Challenge Glamour Puds Come Dine With Me Daily Cooks Challenge Glamour Puds What Not To Wear Fantasy Homes By The Sea What Not To Wear Antiques Roadshow Fantasy Homes By The Sea Glamour Puds Daily Cooks Challenge

16:20 Eating With The Enemy 17:05 Cooked 17:30 Chuck’s Day Off 17:55 How Not To Decorate 18:45 Eating With The Enemy 19:35 Cooked 20:05 Chuck’s Day Off 20:30 How Not To Decorate 21:20 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad 23:00 Come Dine With Me

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

00:15 A Pup Named Scooby-Doo 00:40 Tex Avery 01:05 Looney Tunes 01:30 Hong Kong Phooey 01:55 The Garfield Show 02:20 Scooby-Doo And Scrappy-Doo 02:45 Popeye Classics 03:00 New Yogi Bear Show 03:25 Scooby Doo Where Are You! 03:50 Tom And Jerry 04:10 Duck Dodgers 04:35 Popeye 05:00 Hong Kong Phooey 05:35 The Flintstones 06:00 Help! It’s The Hair Bear Bunch 06:25 Droopy And Dripple 07:00 Looney Tunes 07:25 The Flintstones 07:50 Duck Dodgers 08:15 Scooby Doo Where Are You! 08:40 The Addams Family 09:05 Pink Panther And Pals 09:30 The Garfield Show 09:55 Tom And Jerry 10:20 Dastardly And Muttley 10:45 The Scooby Doo Show 11:10 Wacky Races

MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011

TV PROGRAMS 11:35 The Jetsons 12:00 Popeye Classics 12:20 Looney Tunes 12:50 Top Cat 13:15 Droopy: Master Detective 13:40 Hong Kong Phooey 14:05 Scooby-Doo And Scrappy-Doo 14:30 King Arthur’s Disasters 14:55 Tom And Jerry 15:20 Dastardly And Muttley 15:45 The Perils Of Penelope Pitstop 16:10 Scooby Doo Where Are You! 16:35 Pink Panther And Pals 17:00 Duck Dodgers 17:25 Popeye 17:50 Scooby-Doo And Scrappy-Doo 18:15 Looney Tunes 18:40 Pink Panther And Pals 19:00 The Garfield Show 19:25 The Addams Family 20:00 Johnny Bravo 20:30 The Scooby Doo Show 20:55 Tom And Jerry 21:20 Wacky Races 21:45 Dastardly And Muttley 22:10 The Scooby Doo Show 22:35 Top Cat 23:00 Popeye 23:25 The Jetsons 23:50 Duck Dodgers

00:05 Cow And Chicken 00:30 Cramp Twins 00:55 George Of The Jungle 01:20 Adventure Time 01:45 Eliot Kid 02:10 Ed, Edd N Eddy 02:35 Ben 10: Alien Force 03:00 The Powerpuff Girls 03:15 Chowder 03:40 The Secret Saturdays 04:05 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 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 Cow And Chicken 07:50 Best Ed 08:15 Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends 08:40 Ben 10: Alien Force 09:05 The Secret Saturdays 09:30 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 09:55 The Powerpuff Girls 10:20 Robotboy 10:30 Hero 108 10:55 Ben 10 11:20 Chowder 11:45 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 12:10 Camp Lazlo 12:35 George Of The Jungle 13:00 Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends 13:25 Codename: Kids Next Door 13:50 Ben 10 14:15 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 14:40 Squirrel Boy 15:05 Eliot Kid 15:35 Ed, Edd N Eddy 16:00 Cow And Chicken 16:25 Chop Socky Chooks 16:50 Skunk Fu! 17:15 Chowder 17:40 Best Ed 18:05 Hero 108 18:30 Cartoon Network Dance Club 18:45 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 18:55 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 19:20 Ben 10: Alien Force 19:45 The Secret Saturdays 20:10 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 20:35 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes 21:00 The Powerpuff Girls

00:15 One Way Out 00:40 Destroyed In Seconds


01:10 Destroyed In Seconds 01:35 Mythbusters 02:30 Weaponizers 03:25 American Chopper: Senior vs Junior 04:20 How It’s Made 04:50 How Stuff’s Made 05:15 Destroyed In Seconds 06:05 X-Machines 07:00 Man Made Marvels Asia 07:50 American Chopper 08:45 How Stuff’s Made 09:10 How It’s Made 09:40 Mythbusters 10:30 Cake Boss 10:55 Border Security 11:25 Street Customs 12:20 Ultimate Survival 13:15 Mythbusters 14:10 La Ink 15:05 Dirty Jobs 16:00 Street Customs 16:55 Mythbusters 17:50 Extreme Fishing 18:45 Cake Boss 19:10 Border Security 19:40 Deconstruction 20:05 How Stuff’s Made 20:35 How It’s Made 21:00 Gold Rush: Alaska 21:55 Brew Masters 22:50 License To Drill 23:45 Black Gold

00:30 01:20 02:10 03:00 04:45 05:40 06:10 07:00 07:55 07:58 08:25 08:55 09:45 10:35 11:25 11:50 12:40 13:05 13:55 14:45 15:35 16:00 16:03 16:30 17:00 17:50 18:40 19:30 20:20 20:45 21:10 22:00 22:50 23:40

The Future Of... The Gadget Show What’s That About? The Colony Weird Or What? How Stuff’s Made The Future Of... Scrappy Races Head Rush Sci-Fi Science Weird Connections Stephen Hawking’s Universe The Gadget Show How Stuff Works Green Wheels Scrappy Races One Step Beyond Engineered Nextworld Mega World The Gadget Show Head Rush Sci-Fi Science Weird Connections Brainiac Investigation X Mighty Ships Eco-Tech Sci-Fi Science How Does That Work? The Gadget Show Mighty Ships Eco-Tech Colony

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

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

Replacements Fairly Odd Parents A Kind Of Magic Stitch Kim Possible Emperors New School Stitch Phineas And Ferb Kim Possible Suite Life On Deck Jonas La Wizards Of Waverly Place Fairly Odd Parents Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Handy Manny Special Agent Oso Jungle Junction Imagination Movers Phineas And Ferb Suite Life On Deck Wizards Of Waverly Place Good Luck Charlie Shake It Up Fairly Odd Parents Phineas And Ferb Hannah Montana Sonny With A Chance Wizards Of Waverly Place Suite Life On Deck Have A Laugh A Kind Of Magic Phineas And Ferb Kim Possible

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

Hannah Montana Sonny With A Chance Jonas La Fish Hooks Wizards Of Waverly Place Hannah Montana Forever Phineas And Ferb Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place Sonny With A Chance Suite Life On Deck Hannah Montana Phineas And Ferb Fairly Odd Parents Replacements Hannah Montana Sonny With A Chance Wizards Of Waverly Place Jonas

06:00 Kid Vs Kat 06:20 Kick Buttowski 06:40 Pokemon 07:05 Phineas & Ferb 07:30 Phineas And Ferb 07:40 Phineas & Ferb 08:05 American Dragon 08:30 Kick Buttowski 08:50 Kid Vs Kat 09:00 Zeke & Luther 09:50 I’m In The Band 10:15 The Super Hero Squad Show 10:40 Suite Life On Deck 11:30 Escape From Scorpion Island (Cema) 11:55 Phineas & Ferb 12:40 Have A Laugh 12:45 Kid Vs Kat 13:50 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 14:40 Zeke & Luther 15:05 Suite Life On Deck 15:25 Next X 15:35 Kick Buttowski 16:00 I’m In The Band 16:25 Suite Life On Deck 16:50 Zeke & Luther 17:40 Phineas & Ferb 18:30 Escape From Scorpion Island (Cema) 18:55 Pokemon 19:20 American Dragon 19:45 Aaron Stone 20:05 Z 20:15 Kid Vs Kat 20:40 Phineas & Ferb 21:05 I’m In The Band 21:30 Zeke & Luther 21:50 Phineas And Ferb 22:00 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody

00:40 Style Star 01:30 20 Most Shocking Unsolved Crimes 03:15 E!ES 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Reality Hell 05:30 Wildest TV Show Moments 06:00 THS 07:45 Behind the Scenes 08:35 E! News 09:25 Giuliana & Bill 10:15 E!ES 12:00 Extreme Close-Up 12:50 Fashion Police 13:15 Style Star 13:40 Keeping Up with the Kardashians 14:05 Kendra 14:30 THS 16:15 Behind the Scenes 17:10 Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane 18:00 Extreme Close-Up 18:50 Kendra 19:40 E! Investigates 20:30 The Soup 20:55 Chelsea Lately 21:20Kourtney and Kim Take New York 22:10 Extreme Close-Up 22:35 Style Star 23:00 Fashion Police 23:25 Keeping Up with the Kardashians

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

Wrestling With Reality Fantasy Factory Sports Jobs Final Fu FIM World Supermoto 2010 iEX 2009 Quattro Events 2009 Winter Dew Tour 09/10 Eds Up X Games Heroes Final Fu Eddie Jordan’s Bad Boy Racers World Combat League Eds Up X Games Heroes Quattro Events 2009 Winter Dew Tour 09/10 X Games Heroes Final Fu Mantracker World Combat League Aiya TV

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

The Will I Was Murdered Deadly Women: Face To Face On The Case With Paula Zahn I Almost Got Away With It The Will Amsterdam Vice Murder Shift Mystery ER Forensic Detectives Accident Investigator Mystery ER Real Emergency Calls The Will FBI Files Murder Shift Who On Earth Did I Marry? I Was Murdered Mystery ER Real Emergency Calls The Will Forensic Detectives Accident Investigator FBI Files Mystery ER Real Emergency Calls Murder Shift Who On Earth Did I Marry? I Was Murdered I Was Murdered Deadly Women: Face To Face Couples Who Kill Dr G: Medical Examiner


00:30 Earth Tripping 01:00 Banged Up Abroad 02:00 Banged Up Abroad 03:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 03:30 Don’t Tell My Mother 04:00 Cooking The World 05:00 Weird And Wonderful Hotels 05:30 City Chase: Argentina 06:30 Earth Tripping 07:00 Banged Up Abroad 08:00 Banged Up Abroad 09:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 09:30 Don’t Tell My Mother 10:00 Word Travels 10:30 Banged Up Abroad 11:30 Word Travels 12:00 Bondi Rescue 1 12:30 Bondi Rescue 3 13:00 Lonely Planet- Roads Less Travelled 14:00 Weird And Wonderful Hotels 14:30 Don’t Tell My Mother 15:30 Weird And Wonderful Hotels 16:00 Word Travels 16:30 Banged Up Abroad 17:30 Word Travels 18:00 Bondi Rescue 1 18:30 Bondi Rescue 3 19:00 Lonely Planet- Roads Less Travelled 20:00 Weird And Wonderful Hotels 20:30 Don’t Tell My Mother 21:30 Weird And Wonderful Hotels 22:00 Word Travels 22:30 Banged Up Abroad

00:30 The Uninvited-18 02:00 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon-PG15 04:00 Don’t Look Up-PG15 06:00 The Italian Job (2003)-PG15 08:00 The Marine 2-PG15 10:00 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon-PG15 12:00 The Yards-PG15 14:00 The Marine 2-PG15 16:00 A Knight’s Tale-PG15 18:15 The Yards-PG15 20:15 Jennifer’s Body-18 22:00 Robin Hood: Prince Of ThievesPG15

01:00 Roman Polanski: Wanted And Desired-PG15 03:00 A Christmas Carol-PG 05:00 Rugrats Go Wild-FAM 06:45 Carnera: The Walking Mountain-PG 09:00 A Christmas Carol-PG 11:00 Lucky Break-PG15 13:00 Sherlock Holmes-PG15 15:15 Preacher’s Kid-PG 17:15 The Cake Eaters-PG15 19:00 The Informant!-PG15 21:00 Ninja Assassin-18 23:00 It’s Complicated-PG15

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 Family Guy 02:00 Saturday Night Live 03:00 Just Shoot Me 03:30 Parks And Recreation 04:00 Family Guy 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 How I Met Your Mother 06:00 Yes Dear 06:30 The Drew Carey Show 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 08:30 Dharma And Greg 09:00 Just Shoot Me 09:30 How I Met Your Mother 10:00 Yes Dear 10:30 Seinfeld 11:00 The Drew Carey Show 11:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:30 Dharma And Greg 13:00 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 13:30 How I Met Your Mother 14:00 Yes Dear 14:30 Kath And Kim 15:00 Two And A Half Men

15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 The Drew Carey Show 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 Just Shoot Me 18:30 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 19:00 Seinfeld 19:30 Kath And Kim 20:00 Hot In Cleveland 21:00 The Daily Show Global Edition 21:30 The Colbert Report Global Edition

01:00 Angels And Demons-PG15 03:15 Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans-18 05:00 Basic Instinct 2-R 07:00 The Sum Of All Fears-PG15 09:00 Scream 3-18 11:00 Shinjuku Incident-PG15 13:00 Appaloosa-PG15 15:00 Scream 3-18 17:00 G.I. Joe: The Rise Of CobraPG15 19:00 The Stepfather-PG15 21:00 Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves-PG15 23:15 Dark Island-PG15

00:00 Can’t Buy Me Love-PG15 02:00 The First $20 Million Is Always The Hardest-PG15 04:00 Imagine That-PG 06:00 Car Babes-PG15 08:00 Mr. Magoo-PG 10:00 Four Christmases-PG15 12:00 The Tale Of Despereaux-PG 14:00 For Love Or Money-PG 16:00 Can’t Buy Me Love-PG15 18:00 Magicians-18 20:00 17 Again-PG15 22:00 Observe And Report-18

01:00Civilization Of Maxwell Bright-18 03:00 Cat People-18 05:00 Survivre Avec Les Loups-18 07:00 Crimes Of The Past-PG15 09:00 Nurse.Fighter.Boy-PG15 11:00 The Missing Person-PG15 13:00 From Time To Time-PG15 15:00 Witness: The Kidnapping Of Patty Hearst-PG15 17:00 Bran Nue Dae-PG15 19:00 Lost In Yonkers-PG 21:00 Paris-PG15 23:15 The Sisters-18

01:00 Chicago-PG15 03:00 Daddy Day Care-PG 05:00 Gifted Hands-PG15 06:30 The Express-PG 09:00 Hotel For Dogs-FAM 11:00 Nativity!-PG 13:00 Bring It On 5: Fight To The Finish-PG15 15:00 The Last Song-PG15 17:00 Hotel For Dogs-FAM 19:00 Couples Retreat-PG15 21:00 Paris-PG15 23:30 Public Enemies-18

00:00 Scooby-Doo And The Reluctant Werewolf-FAM 02:00 Free Willy 3: The Rescue-FAM 04:00 Pocahontas III: The Journey In Time-PG 06:00 Monsters vs. Aliens-PG 08:00 The Thief Of Baghdad-PG 10:00 Pocahontas III: The Journey In Time-PG 12:00 Dennis The Menace: Cruise Control-FAM 14:00 Free Willy 3: The Rescue-FAM 16:00 Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea-FAM 18:00 Hotel For Dogs-FAM 20:00 Gladiator Academy: The Movie-FAM

00:00 Long Weekend-PG15 02:00 One Hot Summer-PG15

04:00 PG15 06:15 08:00 09:45 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00

Che Part One: The ArgentinePlanet 51-PG15 National Security-PG15 Che Part Two: Guerilla-PG15 One Hot Summer-PG15 The Building-PG15 National Security-PG15 The Box-PG15 Cheri-PG15 Youth In Revolt-PG15

01:30 Futbol Mundial 02:00 Scottish FA Cup 04:00 Scottish Premier League 06:00 Trans World Sport 07:00 Scottish FA Cup 09:00 Scottish League Cup 11:00 Futbol Mundial 11:30 NRL Full Time 12:00 Live NRL Premiership 14:00 ICC Cricket World 14:30 Premier League Darts 18:00 NRL Premiership 20:00 Futbol Mundial 20:30 Live Goals On Monday 21:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 22:00 Scottish FA Cup

01:00 NRL Premiership 07:00 Golfing World 08:00 AFL Premiership 10:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 11:00 Golfing World 12:00 Live Snooker Championship 16:00 ICC Cricket World 16:30 Live Snooker Championship

02:00 03:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 09:30 10:00 12:00 13:00 15:00 16:00 18:00 19:00 22:00

World World

WWE NXT V8 Supercars Championship UFC Unleashed UFC The Ultimate Fighter WWE Bottom Line City Centre Races British Triathlon Sports Adventure V8 Supercars Championship WWE Vintage Collection WWE SmackDown City Centre Races V8 Supercars Championship WWE Bottom Line WWE SmackDown UFC Unleashed

00:00 Glamour’s 20 Wedding Do’s And Don’ts 01:00 Fashion Avenue 01:55 Big Boutique 02:25 How Do I Look? 03:20 Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? 04:15 Married Away 05:10 Homes With Style 05:35 Area 06:05 Clean House 07:00 Big Boutique 08:00 Homes With Style 09:00 Fashion Avenue 09:55 How Do I Look? 10:50 Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? 11:50 Clean House: Search For The Messiest... 12:50 Clean House 13:45 Top 10 14:15 Mel B: It’s A Scary World 14:45 Jerseylicious 15:40 Ruby 16:35 Giuliana And Bill 17:00 Fashion Police 17:30 Bridalplasty

01:30 03:20 05:10 07:00 08:35 11:00 12:35 14:25 16:15 17:45 20:00 22:00 23:35

The Package-PG15 Summer Stock-FAM Meet Me In Las Vegas-FAM Manhattan Melodrama-PG Home From The Hill-PG Forbidden Planet-FAM The Big Sleep-PG Beau Brummell-PG Wife vs. Secretary-FAM They Were Expendable-PG Ten Thousand Bedrooms-PG Soylent Green-PG Slither-PG15

Classifieds MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011

ACCOMMODATION I April is National Kite Month. I April is National Humor Month. I April is National Poetry Month. I Unplug your screens during Turnoff Week, April 18 - 24.

“Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.”

Sharing accommodation available for couples or executive bachelors in two bedroom single bathroom flat, near Shahi Tandoori Abbassiya. Please call 94063793. (C 3274) 18-4-2011

—Yoda, “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace.”



Sharing accommodation available effective today for a non-smoking bachelor in a double bedroom flat in Amman street, Salmiya. Call: 97199146. (C 3271)

Disney FamilyFun magazine

My husband, Bryan, 12-year-old daughter, Cady, and I have spent a lot of time at our local skate park watching my 9-year-old son, Hudson, perfect his ollie.* We finally decided to join the fun by venturing to Rye (N.H.) Airfield — the largest indoor skateboard and BMX park in New England — for our own (hopefully crashless) course in the sport. Famous skateboarders Tony Hawk and Ryan Sheckler have both skated at Rye, and it turned out to be the perfect place to drop in* and learn a few tricks.

L U C A S F I L M . LT D

Chewie returns

I THE DETAILS: Skateboarding lessons at Rye Airfield in Rye, N.H. I COST: $99 for an hour-long lesson (for up to five people), and included rental of helmets, pads and skateboards.

Everyone’s favorite Wookiee is returning to a galaxy far, far away. But this time, he’ll be in animated form. This month, Chewbacca makes his debut in Cartoon Network’s “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” Peter Mayhew, who wore the furry suit in the films, is the voice of Chewie. Stepping back into the role is “wonderful,” Mayhew told TimeForKids. “It completes the character.” To see a video interview with Mayhew, go to


Hudson, 9, works on his skateboard moves.

I WANT TO TRY IT? For a list of skate parks near you, visit skate If you’re planning a trip to Rye, get park info at

1. The Rundown “Everyone falls,” says our instructor, Bill Hartman, “so everyone needs pads and a helmet.” After we check our straps, Bill shows us how to avoid a rough tumble. “If you feel like you’re going down, try to run off the board,” he says, “and keep running until you get your balance. Don’t fall on your wrists. That’s an easy way to get hurt.”


Wimps rule!

2. Getting Goofy Finding your natural footing is key to mastering board balance, Bill tells us. If you’re more comfortable standing on the board with your right foot in front, you’re “goofy,” he explains. If you stand left foot first, you’re “regular.” Wouldn’t you know, mom and son are goofy, father and daughter are regular. Once we get our footing, we practice pushing off and riding.

3. Sweet Success Hudson’s more advanced than the rest of the family, so he tries to drop in from a micro ramp. When he hesitates to put his right foot down and launch, Bill says, “You have to commit.” Hudson takes a breath, then commits. He sails down the 3-foot ramp. Yes! Meanwhile, the rest of us practice — and fall a lot. “Be proud,” Bill tells us. “Not everyone gets up on the board first time.”

4. Ramp It Up After skateboarding in one of Rye’s three concrete pools — the most challenging terrain we try — Hudson and I test out the BMX bikes. As the regulars arrive, it’s exciting to see the tricks they pull off, from skateboarding down the 16-footlong ramp to back-flipping and doing 360s on a bike. Hudson and I aren’t in that league yet, but we’re sure having a great time being goofy.

LINGO LESSON: An “ollie” is an aerial trick executed by stamping on one end of the board. “Dropping in” refers to how you enter a bowl or half-pipe from the ledge. To learn more skaterspeak, visit

2 0 T H C E N T U RY F OX .

In “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules,” middle school outcast Greg Heffley, far left, played by Zachary Gordon, 13, sets out to make seventh grade his best year yet. The problem: Greg’s mom keeps trying to make him bond with his older brother — and chief tormenter — Rodrick. Basically, says Zachary, “Greg is just trying to survive.” The film, based on Jeff Kinney’s best-selling book, is in theaters now.

Sharing accommodation available, in Jleeb Abbassiya, near Balanciya bakery, share with Keralite family, couples (family) or single bachelor, double bedroom flat furnished room. Contact afternoon 66944127, 67709169. (C 3272) 17-4-2011 Single bedroom available for Indian executive bachelors in Kuwait city. Contact: 65900578. (C 3269) Sharing accommodation available for a Keralite family from April 2011. Contact: 66325825 from 12:40 pm to 4:20 pm and after 8:40 pm. (C 3267) One room available for Pilipino couples only to share with Pilipino family in Hawally behind Popeyes restaurant, interested please call 66440968, 66266105. (C 3268) 16-4-2011

SITUATION VACANT Driver needed for Kuwaiti family, good salary, full time or part time. Tel: 60623330. (C 3265) 14-4-2011 Wanted live -in full time part time house maid for a small Indian family in Salmiya. Contact: 55445286. (C 3261) building materials etc. Contact: 99059650. (C 3263) SITUATION WANTED Indian male B.Com, 25 years Gulf experience (Kuwait & UAE) in management, procurement, sales, seek senior position, experience in oil field materials, hard wares, power and hand tools, timber, steel,

I am looking for a job as a driver. I have valid Kuwaiti heavy driving license, my visa Article 20, 6 years experience in Kuwait, and good knowledge of all Kuwait areas. I want to work only for company. Call: 65079912. (C 3264) 13-4-2011

MATRIMONIAL Pentecostal Keralite parent settled in US invite marriage proposal for their daughter 26 years 5’7” tall RN. Currently seeking employment. Preferably working in engineering or medical field. More details: / (C 3270)

No: 15062

Sharing accommodation available in Shara Amman near Old Souk Salmiya, only for Filipino / Indian ladies. Contact: 99540589.

© 2011 Time Inc. All Rights Reserved. TIME FOR KIDS and are registered trademarks of Time Inc.

FOR SALE Why did the peanut call the police? Because he was a-salted!

Sofa set Midas L shaped 6seater, Banta sofa 3-seater and Casio keyboard and more. Call: 66603401 17-4-2011

What did the nut say when it sneezed? Cashew!

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

Flt 205 772 620 853 370 305 211 138 503 201 555 412 531 157 206 302 53 352 284 344 362 855 132 125 301 213 404 165 6521 623 3557 618 672 610 982 640 57 645 500 745


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


788 257 134 546 550 118 403 303 857 215 510 777 239 127 213 227 104 542 786 744 614 674 774 975 572 61 647 179 81 402 618 372 445 859 217 136 981 135 327 185 636 43 239


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


Flt 390 637 447 982 206 406 773 620 854 371 306 139 164 212 156 545 54 671 256 787 549 617 856 126 133 302 214 165 405 541 776 212 238 6522 103 624 785 3558 611 641 58


Time 0:25 0:40 0:55 1:05 1:10 2:00 2:15 2:30 3:45 3:55 4:05 5:00 6:55 7:10 8:25 8:35 8:40 9:00 9:10 9:15 9:20 9:35 9:40 9:50 10:00 10:15 10:20 11:45 11:55 12:00 12:00 12:05 12:10 12:20 12:30 13:10 13:30 13:35 14:20 14:30 14:35

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982 646 673 551 746 501 178 773 135 613 743 82 304 404 858 216 128 184 266 511 228 134 283 571 62 528 331 351 648 403 373 445 206 860 218 102 137 301 205 327 504 411 981


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


star CROSSWORD 291

MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011




Aries (March 21-April 19) You have been thinking serious thoughts this morning and soon it will be time to see those thoughts turned into a reality. A neighborhood beautification project is in the works. You create incentives so others will become involved; planting of flowers along an entranceway or perhaps a protective cover near a bus stop could be the appeal for now. Whatever the case, you may be involved in interesting others in this quest for beauty. Some resentment between family members comes to your attention this afternoon. With your ability to understand people, you may be able to put an end to a cold emotional atmosphere. There is a real opportunity now to complete and work out difficulties and projects that require discipline.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) You will easily adapt to any environment or social group today. You are naturally attracted to agreeable people who can satisfy your craving for continuous mental stimulation. You will need to choose your activities so that you are not scattering your energies in too many different directions. You could spread yourself too thin and find yourself spent of energy by this evening. You may find yourself feeling blocked and unable to express yourself, particularly in a group situation. Listening and learning instead of teaching and action may be the mode of the day—going with the flow, so to speak. Dreams and illusions, forgiveness and understanding human frailties: these things arouse deep feelings. This is a good day.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. Very dark black. 5. Any of several plants of the genus Camassia. 10. A master's degree in library science. 13. Plant with an elongated head of broad stalked leaves resembling celery. 14. Lake in northwestern Russia near the border with Finland. 15. A potent estrogen used in medicine and in feed for livestock and poultry. 16. Having relatively few calories. 17. Relating to or resembling or made of or adorned with pearls or mother-of-pearl. 18. A diagrammatic representation of the earth's surface (or part of it). 19. English scholastic philosopher and assumed author of Occam's Razor (1285-1349). 21. (Britain) Flat semisweet cookie or biscuit usually served with tea. 23. Resinlike substance secreted by certain lac insects. 25. Not only so, but. 26. A light touch or stroke. 29. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 30. The location of something surrounded by other things. 34. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. 36. Serving as or forming a base. 40. Large burrowing rodent of South and Central America. 41. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 42. Showing or causing joy and pleasure. 44. (Scotland) A small loaf or roll of soft bread. 45. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 46. (astronomy) The angular distance of a celestial point measured westward along the celestial equator from the zenith crossing. 47. Make less active or intense. 49. A colorless and odorless inert gas. 53. A member of an agricultural people of southern India. 56. A native of ancient Troy. 60. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 61. Make amendments to. 64. God of death. 65. Experiencing or showing sorrow or unhappiness. 66. African tree having an exceedingly thick trunk and fruit that resembles a gourd and has an edible pulp called monkey bread. 68. The bill in a restaurant. 69. The 7th letter of the Greek alphabet. 70. An accessory or adjoining anatomical parts or appendages (especially of the embryo). 71. A Kwa language spoken by the Yoruba people in southwestern Nigeria. DOWN 1. (prefix) Within. 2. The Tibeto-Burman language spoken in the Dali region of Yunnan. 3. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 4. Relating to or accompanying birth. 5. (informal) Uncomplimentary terms for a policeman. 6. Used of a single unit or thing. 7. Like or containing meat. 8. Be in accord. 9. A deep bow. 10. Designer drug designed to have the effects of amphetamines (it floods the brain with serotonin) but to avoid the drug laws. 11. An accidental hole that allows something (fluid or light etc.) to enter or escape. 12. A rare chronic progressive encephalitis caused by the measles virus and occurring primarily in children and young adults. 20. (British) A waterproof raincoat made of rubberized fabric. 22. A small fragment of something broken off from the whole. 24. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 27. A unit of surface area equal to 100 square meters. 28. A small cake leavened with yeast. 31. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 32. Singing jazz. 33. A long thin piece of cloth or paper as used for binding or fastening. 35. A coffee cake flavored with orange rind and raisins and almonds. 37. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 38. Speaking a Slavic language. 39. (Akkadian) God of wisdom. 43. (Irish) Mother of the Tuatha De Danann. 48. A commercial leavening agent containing yeast cells. 50. The capital of Morocco. 51. (Old Testament) The minister of the Persian emperor who hated the Jews and was hanged for plotting to massacre them. 52. Large antelope with lightly spiraled horns of desert regions of North Africa. 54. An informal term for a father. 55. An amino acid that is found in the central nervous system. 57. A collection of facts from which conclusions may be drawn. 58. Any of various strong liquors distilled from the fermented sap of toddy palms or from fermented molasses. 59. (Babylonian) God of wisdom and agriculture and patron of scribes and schools. 62. The longest division of geological time. 63. The compass point that is one point east (clockwise) of due north. 67. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group.

Yesterday’s Solution

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You love to move about and exercise your mental abilities as well as your physical abilities. You rarely study one subject intensely, but have a vast array of knowledge at your ready and can communicate to many different levels of intellect. You could find yourself in many different activities today, particularly with young people. There is a strong tie to relatives just now. This may be a good day for a picnic in the park or planning a get-together with family in order to play and visit at a time other than weddings, baby showers or funerals. This is a vital day with much energy and lots of action. You may feel focused and even a bit radiant at this time. You could find you are quite popular and able to really converse and get your message across to others.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)


You tend to enjoy making a difference for people with a common cause or a universal ideal instead of seeking power. However, today you may find others could give you much encouragement along the lines of obtaining a power position, perhaps in your community. If you desire this, support is available. You may perceive how to proceed with your plans with regard to your life situation now. This positive result is in part because of your responsibilities and additional life experiences that come with having such a wide scope of friends. This afternoon you may find yourself helping one of your friends move, or paint. Your unique and unusual qualities stand out and you are able to help others. Keep a little time for yourself.

Leo (July 23-August 22) Your enthusiasm is contagious and before the day is over In your religious group, there may be an opportunity to develop new fields of interest for the young teenagers around you today. You are happy to be included in some groundbreaking territory. A teacher or religious person could have a profound effect on your thinking, creating a whole new attitude for you, along with sensitivity to the world around you. You may enjoy participating in a leadership position. Problems are valued for the lessons they represent, rather than perceived as obstacles. Keep a notebook or a diary and make it a habit to make notes about the progress of this endeavor. A short trip today, by you or with someone, can be a great deal of fun. An adventure awaits you. This evening there is a great new restaurant to enjoy.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) Your friends and family will notice that your vagueness and discontent have been replaced with a happy countenance and a satisfaction that comes from discovering new parts of you. You may be moved to appreciate and discover the beauty in your life and in those around you. Recognition as well as monetary rewards will be coming to you today. Passion is rampant and may take focus in creative writing or art of some sort. There are many answers you have received but have not yet heard. Focus your energy on discovery. In-depth discussions and probing conversations find you at your mental best. Purchase fresh fruit and vegetables while grocery shopping today. A romantic dinner can be planned and enjoyed. Romance is quite possible this evening.

Libra (September 23-October 22)


Today is a great time to be with others. You may be asked to help with family matters. Your willingness to help or find help for others does not go unnoticed. People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. You may be thinking about those many friends you have in your life. You may lay out a plan to show those friends and loved ones your appreciation. Keep tabs on the funny stories and prophetic or funny antidotes you have been witness to—you could write a book or publish short stories for magazines—without the secrets. This is a very congenial time. Dinner with friends charge your social battery. Reading, seeing a film, even walking through a natural setting can go a long way toward completing this perfect day.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Your moods can fluctuate as much as the weather. This may not be the best of times to make any concrete decisions. You are energetic and your focus on exercise is great. Romantic feelings toward a special loved one are felt today and you may glean profound insights. Lady luck may increase your finances through speculation or contest. If you find you have obtained a good amount of money, you might seek the help of a financial counselor. Later today you may find some heated conversations between you and a family member but all ends well when both sides listen. There are times that it is perfectly appropriate to agree to disagree. Relations with a spouse are on solid ground. There is much positive energy now.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You may find that you enjoy some responsibility you have taken on today, more than you thought you would. You may be especially dynamic and assertive at this time. There is a lot of energy and drive available to you that will encourage you to push forward with some special plan or goal. You will find that your communication skills are high as well. Teaching or guiding someone younger than you in matters of importance takes precedence this afternoon. Teaching is important but it would be good to remember that sometimes—young people also have their way at teaching. There is a chance to understand those around you and to have a special time with someone you love. A sense of support and harmony make this a happy time.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)


You have certainly earned a vacation and if you are not taking one now you might consider making the plans. Through the end of the month you will find the days are a little easier to maneuver through and people seem most happy. You are attentive to those who need your help but should show restraint in your exuberance to volunteer. As you relax in your quiet time you express talents that you may have only suspected you have. Do not hesitate to take a course in any subject you might want to develop for self-enjoyment. This could encompass a French cooking class to auto-mechanics course. All sorts of discoveries about you can be realized and there is plenty of time to enjoy the quest. Tonight is good for family time.

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Today is a good day for tending to errands, shopping and perhaps a little visiting. Over the fence conversations can be quite enjoyable as well as giving you the opportunity to introduce ideas or suggestions for neighborhood improvement. Perhaps you and a neighbor will decide to plant a few flowers along a walkway. The afternoon may be the best time to check out a bookstore, library or park and mentally regroup. If you have a young person with you, a library may be the best resting place. As your concentration and focus returns, you may become enthusiastic about some idea or information that you glean from this excursion. A phone call this afternoon will thrill you. You are supportive of others and may find that someone close to you appreciates you.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

You are right on target with your thoughts and ideas where a young person is concerned. You can help direct this child through some sort of tutelage. This child may be a neighbor, friend or relative’s child—whatever the case you have the means to guide the little one into most positive directions. Your intuitive side is strong and you understand many more things than people give you credit for. Understanding life trends and people’s spiritual process, you are a benefit to your own development. You have a clear vision into your own inner sense of values, how you appreciate and love. This may be a good time to examine and think about what is important and of lasting value in your life. Enjoy your music and sing along, perhaps with a friend.



e niv rsar n


MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011

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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

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e niv rsar n


MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011

lifestyle F E A T U R E S


risk limbs to drive rickshaws in

raditional drums rolled as hundreds of spectators bid farewell and good luck yesterday to scores of flimsy autorickshaws starting the ride of a lifetime: from India’s southern tip to its



northeastern edge. Keeping limbs intact will likely be a very real challenge for the 180 people from 19 countries who began the more than 3,000-mile (5,000-kilometer) ride as part of the Rickshaw Run, a

A participant dances atop an autorickshaw prior to the flag off of the Rickshaw Run.

Participants pose for photos prior to the flag off of the Rickshaw Run, at Kochi, India, yesterday. —AP photos

A participant poses for a photo prior to the flag off of the Rickshaw Run.

Participants wave to onlookers and the media during the flag off of the Rickshaw Run.

five-year-old charity event. Riding in a 150CC, four-gear, three -wheeled autorickshaw through any crowded Indian city for just a few miles (kilometers) can be quite a thrill. A two-week journey tackling the country’s highways, back lanes, mountains and valleys in what the organizers describe as a “glorified lawnmower” qualifies as a bona fide adventure sport. The run kicked off in Cochin in the southernmost state of Kerala and will end in Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya in the northeast. “We are risking life, or at least a limb, for charity,” said Jenny Lucas, part of a three-woman team from the United States. “And for adventure, of course.” The Rickshaw Run, which started in 2006, equips teams with an autorickshaw, permits, a starting point and a destination, after which participants are pretty much

on their own. They are expected to drive their vehicles, a skill they learn a couple of days before the event, to the destination in the stipulated time. Each team must raise at least $1,600 toward charities working in India; this year, Social Change and Development, a rural development charity, and International Rescue Corps are the main beneficiaries. “Online registration starts a year in advance and we sell out in a minute,” said Matt Dickens of The Adventurists, the British-company that organizes the event. “With the heat, this year is going to be a tough run.” For Lucas, the idea of “Indian traffic and going uphill in the rickshaw” was far more nerve-wrecking than the heat. “Our friends think we are a bit nuts,” said her teammate Ellen McLean, as they waited around to have their rickshaw painted like an Indian truck. The rickshaws take on many avatars. There are tigers and elephants painted on; there is a huge plywood dove mounted on one, but Indian truck art is the most popular. Irish couple Tracy Purcell and Gordon O’Neill have painted theirs

Missing Goya, El Greco found in Spain

like an Irish police car, with a “Garda” on it. “We are hoping that it will help Indian traffic to part before us,” says O’Neill, who signed on for the Run “to see the little visited parts that are not frequented by tourists.” That was Thomas Morgan’s intention when he started The Adventurists, which also organizes a 7,500-mile (16,000-kilometer) Africa Rally where cars with under 1000cc engines drive from London to Uganda in four weeks. “My own favorite experiences have been when things have gone wrong on a trip,” said the 31-year-old. “We’ve had broken arms and legs, and some participants run into areas of political unrest in this event, but largely the local people are hospitable and helpful, and participants come away with memories for life.” The shaky nature of the vehicle becomes obvious when Morgan shows how it works to one of the teams. “This lever works the wiper,” he explains to South African Ross Macbean and New Zealander David Harrow. “But it is absolutely useless when it rains.”—AP

Hong Kong developer

senses ‘art mall’ future for China olice in Spain have discovered two paintings by Spanish masters, one by Francisco Goya and the other by El Greco, which had been missing for more than 10 years, they said Friday. Goya’s “The Apparition of the Virgin of Pilar ” and El Greco’s “ The Annunciation” were found in a house in the eastern city of Alicante. The works, which belong to a private collection, were part of an international art exhibition and were reported missing in the late 1990s after it returned to Spain. Police had included both paintings in a database of missing or stolen and art works in order to hinder their international sale. Officers stepped up their investigation last October after receiving reports of the possible sale of the two paintings. —AFP



This handout picture released by the Spanish Police on April 15, 2011 shows a detail of the painting “The Annunciation” by El Graco which had been missing for more than 10 years. —AFP

Six Greek artefacts returned from London gallery London gallery has sent back to Greece six stolen icons dated from the 18th and 19th centuries, and six more found in The Netherlands were to be returned, the culture ministry said Thursday. The pieces returned from Britain were temporarily displayed at a Byzantine museum in Athens where Culture Minister Pavlos Geroulanos said the finds were a “great success against the forces that want to harm our patrimony”. Six found in a gallery in Amsterdam would be


A mechanical spider designed and operated by French performance art company La Machine moves through a street of Reims, northeastern France, as part of the opening ceremony of the city’s tramway. Reims tramway will travel through the town from North to South, along a 11.2km long track. —AFP

hoppers in China are getting more sophisticated, says Adrian Cheng. They’re yearning for something more than just another day of retail therapy. Could art be what they’re looking for? It could well be, says the youthful scion of a Hong Kong real estate dynasty who is planning to turn his vision of “art malls” into reality in Beijing, Shanghai and other big Chinese cities. Cheng, 31, already has socalled K11 malls up and running in Hong Kong and the central Chinese city of Wuhan, showcasing local artists-and, in the case of Wuhan, urban farming-as consumers reach out for something different. “We did extensive research in China,” the effervescent Cheng, 32, told AFP during a recent visit to Paris to promote the K11 concept and introduce a selection of young Chinese artists and fashion designers. “We realized that customers feel very bored by the existing malls in China, because it’s a box and there are lot of brandsthat’s it. You go there and buy and nothing else,” he said. “People want something more, but they don’t know what... and because our art theme is so strong, we can attract a new customer base,” he said, “a diverse new customer base that is not normally seen at shopping malls.” The grandson of Cheng Yutung, octogenarian founder of New World Development and one of Hong Kong’s richest tycoons, Cheng joined the family business after studying humanities-rather than business-at Harvard University. He oversees a lucrative cornerstone of the Cheng empire, jewellers Chow Tai Fook, but with K11 his grandfather and father, New World managing director Henry Cheng, are giving him a free rein to fuse art and real estate. “I try to inject an art gallery, an art museum kind of experience into the whole retail experience,” said Cheng, an amateur painter who favors D&G and Yves Saint Laurent over grey flannel suits. In Hong Kong, K11 is anchored to a bigger New World venture, the 64-

returned next, the minister said. The icons were stolen from churches and monasteries at Epire and Pilion in northeastern Greece in 2009 by a network of smugglers, according to police. Six were found in The Temple Gallery in London and gallery owner Richard Temple has said he bought them without knowing they had been stolen. Authorities were able to track down the religious works through an Internet site set up to seek information about pieces stolen in Epire, said the region’s prefect,

Alexandros Kahrimanis. The market value of the icons was between 5,000 euros (7,200 dollars) and 15,000 euros (21,000 dollars), while about 40 pieces were being looked for, officials said. Inspired by Italy’s success in similar cases, Greece has intensified its fight against the theft of its artistic and antique heritage with a notable achievement the 2006 return of artefacts by the Getty Museum in the United States. — AFP

storey Masterpiece luxury hotel and apartment tower in the Tsim Sha Shui district where a one-bedroom flat once sold for $3.16 million (2.21 million euros). Breaking from the city’s architectural preference for function over form, it pulls in passers-by-many of them tourists from mainland Chinawith curving structural lines into a bright open piazza. Its six floors are lit more like an art gallery, and between the trendy shops are large showcases for rotating exhibitions. On a lower floor, a towering tree-like sculpture takes pride of place. Dominating one entrance is “the world’s largest toast mosaic”, a recreation of the Mona Lisa in slices of toasted sandwich bread, by New Zealand grocer turned artist Maurice Bennett. But promoting local artists is central to the concept, said Cheng. This year, for instance, K11 — “there’s no specific meaning,” he says of the name-has been championing the work of Florian Ma, a Hong Kong artist exploring the apparently conflicting notions of Genesis and evolution. “If I build a K11 mall in Beijing, it would showcase only Beijing artists... It’s very local taste, local connections.” Besides Beijing and Shanghai, Cheng envisions K11 malls in Guangzhou, Tianjin, Shenyang and Hainan Island, plus an expansion of the Wuhan location- where the ability to rent gardening boxes to grow vegetables lends the development an eco-friendly touch. “If the concept takes root in China, it has to be in Beijing and Shanghai, with the urban elite” in those two fast-changing cities, said David Ji, head of Greater China research at global real estate consultancy DTZ. Upmarket shopping in China still revolves around big malls, Ji told AFP, but the K11 concept stands to benefit from a relative shortage of retail venues for rent-and the ensuing higher rents that landlords can command. “Five years should be a good measure for any new ideas to become popular,” added Ji, a timeframe that dovetails with Cheng’s own thinking. —AFP



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lifestyle Features

Designers playful at Milan’s 2011 furniture fair D esigners laughed off the economic crisis at Milan’s annual furniture fair this year, ditching staid luxury for jocular hammock sofas, tilting chairs, bar stools with pedals and robot bookcases. The Salone Internazionale del Mobile-the biggest event in the design calender-celebrated its 50th year with over 2,700 companies on exhibit and expected over 100,000 people to flock through its doors. Curious visitors and the design-savvy alike wandered between hoards of minimalist lampshades, bird ornaments and plant displays and perched on sleek plastic chairs or reclined on eccentrically shaped chaise longues. French designer Philippe Starck drew crowds with his “Miss Less” chair, a plastic creation for Italian company Kartell, so minimalist that the designer has boasted he had managed to break the limits of scaled down furniture design. The chair, a solid block of glossy black plastic-which also comes in a two-toned version with a transparent back-rest-starred alongside Starck’s towering, long-legged bar stool and white table with a lustrous black top. In another area of the show, Italian architect and designer Fabio Novembre showed off his Transformer-style 1980s Robot-shaped bookcase, created for the design company Casamania. “My generation always had a robot as a playtime companion and I needed to find a new reason to justify its presence next to my desk,” the 44-year-old joked when the bookcase was recently presented to the public. Composed of black asymmetrical shelves and cubbyholes, the towering

robot with jetting shoulders and a square head sported a red compartment for a heart a perfect place for stashing Transformer comics. The Campeggi design company also had fun with webbing slung on a colored metal frame to make a hammock sofa and a bar stool with pedals to allow drinkers to burn off alcoholic calories while they swig. Swiss manufacturer Vitra had drawn inspiration from students who swing on their chairs for their “Tip Ton,” designed with an in-built rocker that prevents the occupant from tilting so far over that they end up falling onto the floor. Vitra was also exhibiting “Oiseau”, a graceful, ornamental wooden bird by French designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, which the company’s marketing representative Eckart Maise said was symptomatic of a new trend. “There’s a tendency to bring images of animals or plants indoors, to seek the warmth of an animal without having to go for a walk in a park... because it’s not always possible, seeing as our ways of life have changed,” he said. In other areas, designers reacted to the economic crisis by toning down their creations, preferring to use classic materials-wood and leather-in sombre colors rather than over stimulate already drained consumers. “People want to be reassured... we’re seeing a lot of furniture that goes easier on the public,” said Salone trend spotter, Marco Romanelli. Less reassuring perhaps was the whopping chandelier of Mini Coopers that dangled precariously from a towering crane above apprehensive visitors.—AFP

A visitor walks in front of a sofa at the 50th Milan International Furniture Fair.—AFP photos

John Galliano sacked from own label


ohn Galliano, sacked as chief designer at Christian Dior amid a furore over alleged anti-Semitic remarks, has now been fired from his eponymous label, Women’s Wear Daily reported on Friday. Citing sources that it did not identify in a dispatch from Paris, the fashion industry journal said Galliano, 50, had been “formally sacked” by directors of the John Galliano label, which is 91 percent owned by Dior. It added that a sell-off of the upmarket label was not an immediate priority for the owners, despite “unsolicited expressions of interest in the

business” coming in from China, Italy and the Middle East. Dior, controlled by French luxury goods tycoon Bernard Arnault, abruptly fired Galliano on day one of Paris fashion week in March as he was formally charged with uttering anti-Semitic insults at a cafe in the French capital. Last weekend, Galliano-who has denied the allegations against him and reportedly checked into an Arizona rehab clinic-was seen at Los Angeles airport where he was heckled by a photographer, the TMZ celebrity website said.—AFP

A file picture taken on March 1, 2011 in Paris shows a shop of British designer John Galliano.—AFP

A visitor stands in front of furniture.

An installation of Italian artist Gaetano Pesce called “Italy crucified”.

Furniture is displayed.

Singapore brand carves niche in luxury market


n a luxury industry dominated by famous European brands, a Singapore company is making inroads with an exclusive line of colorful handbags made from crocodile skin. Selling for as much as $20,000 apiece, Kwanpen bags are made in a spacious, brightly lit workroom where about 50 staff work meticulously to meet the exacting demands of fashionable women the world over. Kwanpen is a familyowned enterprise operating in one of Singapore’s industrial suburbs, the only luxury leather goods brand from a city-state better known for electronics, petrochemicals and finance. “It’s not mass production,” company president Leonard Kwan told AFP, beaming with pride at samples of the products named after his late father, who started the business in the 1960s. “The Kwanpen brand signifies a crocodile-skin bag of the best value and quality.” Fashion trend spotters say Kwanpen bags are highly sought after in Hong Kong, one of the world’s top markets for luxury goods, and are desired by women not just for their fine craftsmanship but their rarity too. Chinese screen siren Gong Li has been seen carrying them. It can take up to 50 man-hours to produce one Kwanpen bag and no more than 400 pieces are shipped in any given month. The company, also a contract manufacturer for European luxury brands that it cannot reveal, declined to give annual revenue figures but says it has had to turn down orders to maintain its production standards. From Italian handbags to Swiss watches, Asia’s booming economies led by China have turned the region into the main profit centre for the luxury goods industry, largely based in Europe, and companies such as Kwanpen are tapping into this demand. Brokerage firm CLSA predicts China will be the world’s largest luxury goods market by 2020, accounting for 44 percent of worldwide sales. Kwan, who turns 60 in a few months’ time, learned the craft as a boy helping his father,

who eked out a living from repairing and polish- International Trade in Endangered Species of ing leather goods for British expatriates to supWild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is used. In Hong port his wife and five sons. When he was 10, Kong, by far its biggest market, Kwanpen has Kwan knew enough of the basics to fashion his five boutiques in some of the Chinese city’s own belt, watch bands and shoes, much to the most prestigious shopping addresses. “They do worry of his mother, who felt he was too young a very good job at it and the leather they use is to manage the heavy knife needed to cut croco- top,” a smartly dressed shopper, Pamela Ling, dile skin. told an AFP reporter at the Kwanpen boutique By the mid-1970s, his father’s small business at the upmarket IFC Mall in Hong Kong.—AFP had gradually expanded to making crocodile leather bags for retailers and doing contract work for top Western labels that would specify the design and colors for Kwanpen to execute. Kwanpen still manufactures bags for some leading French labels but they cannot be named because of confidentiality clauses in the contracts. The first Kwanpen shop dedicated to crocodile bags under the company’s own name opened in 1976. Until today, Kwan and his younger brothers are closely Photo shows finished crocodile leather products. involved at every stage of the production process, from sourcing materials to quality control. Imperfect pieces will be personally studied by the brothers to see what went wrong so that mistakes will not be repeated, Kwan said. Kwan personally sees to the purchase of the crocodile skin at a local tannery. “The skin must be perfect to make a bag and it’s not easy to find it,” he said, adding only leather that complies with the Convention on

Fashion designer Bijan Pakzad dead at 67


ranian-American fashion designer Bijan Pakzad, who made clothes for countless celebrities from the worlds of entertainment and politics, has died at the age of 67, his company announced. “Today, Saturday April 16th 2011, at 8:05 am our dear Dr Bijan Pakzad passed away peacefully with his family members at his side,” said a recorded audio statement prepared by the luxury clothing store Bijan ran in Beverly Hills. No cause of death was given. But celebrity website TMZ reported that Bijan had suffered a stroke Thursday night and was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Bijan, as he was generally known, was a legend in the fashion and perfume business and designed clothes for movie stars and world leaders. His clients included presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, actors Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Cruise and Anthony Hopkins, as well as fellow fashion designers Giorgio Armani, Tom Ford and Oscar de la Renta. His Rodeo Drive boutique is known as the most expensive store in the world. Bijan came to the United States from Iran in 1973. He is survived by three children from two marriages.—AFP Photo shows the display of crocodile skin leather handbags at a Kwanpen boutique in Singapore.—AFP photos

Photo shows workers sewing crocodile leather products.



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New film shows

of North Koreans in South A

young man climbs a dusty, narrow staircase toward a job interview. A kindly police officer walking ahead of him looks back and says, “Don’t tell him you’re from North Korea, OK?” The telling scene comes early in “ The Journals of Musan,” a dark and brooding South Korean movie that has won international acclaim for its portrayal of the struggles faced by refugees from communist North Korea in the capitalist — and, as depicted in the film, often heartless — South. The movie opened in Seoul last week. Raised in an impoverished totalitarian state, many North Koreans lack the education, financial resources and personal connections to compete in the South, one of Asia’s richest countries. In turn, they complain of discrimination in the job market. Park Jung-bum, the 36-year-old director of “The Journals of Musan,” is part of a young generation of filmmakers inspired by their plight. The movie, whose honors include a feature film award at this year’s film festival in Rotterdam, is loosely based on the experience

South Korean director Park Jung-bum poses with his film’s poster, “The Journals of Musan”.—AP

of his late friend, Chun Seung-chul, who came from the North in 2002 and died of stomach cancer a few years later. Park also incorporated stories about other North Koreans he knows into the main character. The director, a shy and thoughtful man who also plays the leading role, becomes animated when talking about his North Korean friends. “My big question was this: They came here to be happy, but if they have to stay in the bottom class in South Korea, was there any meaning for them to come all the way here?” he said in an interview. North Korean characters have long featured in movies here — often as the evil enemy — but a growing population of escapees living on the margin has given filmmakers, and South Koreans generally, a new view of their brethren from the North. The number of North Koreans in the South has grown from about 1,000 in 1998 to 20,000 today, mostly as a result of a famine in the 1990s that killed some 1 million people. The journey often takes years, with escapees sneaking into China and then making their way to Southeast Asia en route to the South. Film critic Park Yoo-hee, a research professor at Korea University, described movies such as “The Journals of Musan” as a turning point in how filmmakers approach North Korea. The escapees are now seen as an internal South Korean issue, rather than fantasized characters from someplace far removed. “North Koreans are no longer abstract, distant characters South Koreans fear or sympathize with. They are part of the reality in South Korea. And these films show such changing perceptions and attitudes,” she said. “The Journals of Musan” is shot with a shaky hand-held camera against a blighted background, often circling an empty, unpaved lot near the fictional Chun’s apartment, which is slated for demolition. Park said the real Chun’s life was full of difficulty. He had no marketable skills. He initially couldn’t read English signs, which are common in South Korea. He couldn’t keep up at school, and Park wrote practically all of Chun’s papers at the university they attended. He couldn’t afford equipment to play ice hockey. “He didn’t have tools to compete with us here in South Korea,” Park said. Although the two Koreas share thousands of years of com-

File photo shows from Park Jung-bum watches a dog on a Seoul pavement in a scene of “Journals of Musan” in Seoul, South Korea. —AP mon history, they have grown sharply apart — politically, economically, culturally and even linguistically— since they split into two nations more than six decades ago. Park was motivated to make this film because he was angry at the way Chun was treated. In the film, he made Chun, a relatively positive person, into a darker character to dramatize the challenges and injustice he faced. The fictional Chun keeps his jacket on indoors, as if cold follows him wherever he goes. He stares at the ground, hiding his eyes behind curtain-like bangs. His only friend, besides a North Korean roommate, is a stray dog he adopts. The film deals little with Chun’s past, other than a scene in which he tells a South Korean church audience that he fled North Korea because he was hungry _ so hungry that he killed a friend over food, bringing home the corn and leav-

ing the body lying outside. Park’s film is part of a second evolution in the cinema’s treatment of North Koreans. From the end of the 1950-53 Korean War until the late 1990s, films largely depicted northerners as evil or victims. In part, that was enforced by censorship, which began under South Korea’s former military dictatorship and continued through the first decade of democracy. The first change came with the emergence of the “sunshine policy” of embracing North Korea under President Kim Dae-jung, a former dissident who took office early in 1998. A box office hit that year, “Swiri,” depicted a female North Korean assassin who falls in love with a South Korean intelligence officer. “For the South Korean audience then, seeing a North Korean character with conflicting emotions was refreshing,” said Park Yoo-hee,

the film critic. “Until the mid-1990s, for more than three decades, it was impossible for such films to pass government censorship.” Heartwarming melodramas followed, such as “Joint Security Area” in 2000 and “Welcome to Dongmakgol” in 2005, in which North Koreans were no longer the bitter enemy, but respectful, even endearing, objects of love and friendship. President Lee Myung-bak has taken a harder line on North Korea than his two liberal predecessors since he took office in 2008. Some South Korean directors, meanwhile, have shifted their focus to the lives of the refugees. In “Crossing,” a 2009 film based on a true story, a North Korean sneaks into China to buy medicine for his sick wife. When the wife dies, he hires a broker to bring his son out, but the son dies in a Mongolian desert, only hours before their planned reunion.—AP

Tribeca film festival turns ten, embraces digital demand markets. “At ten we are very, very young,” said executive director Nancy Shafer, saying the festival had both “come into its own” but was still evolving after its launch in 2002. The festival was conceived as a bid to revive the neighborhood of Tribeca after the devastating Sept 11 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. The city estimates the festival has since generated $600 million. This year more than 5,000 films were submitted, resulting in 93 feature films, which include 41 documentaries and 52 narrative fiction films. Festival attendees will include Julia Roberts, Will Ferrell, Martin Scorsese, Orlando Bloom, Jeremy Piven and Ryan Phillippe. The festival runs April 20 to May 1. Riding off the premiere of “The Union,” 15 music-themed feature

films are showing this year. They include a new look at the life of veteran rocker Ozzy Osbourne called “God Bless Ozzy Osbourne, “Mama Africa,” about South African singer Miriam Makeba and a documentary about film and Broadway star Carol Channing, now 90. A documentary about Kings of Leon, called “Talihina Sky,” will show some of the early life of the band’s three brothers before they became the popular US rock group. Indie films for Vod Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney’s new documentary, “Catching Hell,” focuses on the psychology of die-hard sport fans and the hysteria that turned lifelong Chicago Cubs fan Steve Bartman into the most hated man in Chicago when he fatefully deflected a foul ball. It is the most

high profile of a number of sports-related films, including “Renee,” about transsexual tennis player Renee Richards, and two boxing movies, “Klitschko,” about Ukrainian champion boxing brothers Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko and “Like Water” about Brazilian Ultimate Fighting Champion Anderson Silva. In the narrative arena, “Jesus Henry Christ,” a film about a boy genius whose world gets turned upside down, starring Toni Collette and Michael Sheen and executive produced by Julia Roberts, will show among several star-powered indie films. Foreign films “Black Butterflies”, a drama based on the life during apartheid of South African poet Ingrid Jonker, “Grey Matter” from Rwanda and “Cairo Exit” about a young woman’s struggles in the

‘Drunk’ Nick Cage arrested in New Orleans


actor Nicolas Cage has been arrested in the southern city of New Orleans “after getting drunk” and having a heated argument with his wife in the French Quarter, police said. Cage, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of a suicidal alcoholic in the 1995 film “Leaving Las Vegas,” was arrested after officers approached him while he argued with his wife on the street. The 47-year-old star had been “getting

drunk... in the French Quarter,” New Orleans police officer Garry Flot said in a statement, referring to the neighborhood famous for its lively nightlife. “He and his wife were standing in front of a residence that he insisted was the property the couple was renting,” Flot said. “She disagreed, and Cage grabbed her by the upper arm and pulled her to what he believed was the correct address.” —AFP

This booking photo released by Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office shows actor Nicolas Cage Saturday, April 16, 2011 in New Orleans. —AP

Hong Kong actress Josie Ho, second right, poses with her three sisters Pansy Ho, right, Daisy Ho, second left and Maisy Ho, left, on the red carpet of the 30th Hong Kong Film Awards in Hong Kong yesterday. —AP

Gordon-Levitt in new sci-fi film after ‘Inception’


he Tribeca Film Festival, born as a way to revive downtown Manhattan after the Sept 11 attacks, turns ten this week and is leading a push for new ways for audiences to watch independent films. The high-profile US festival, which kicks off on Wednesday with a Cameron Crowe documentary about the making of the Elton John album, “The Union,” and a performance by the British singer, has gained a reputation for critically acclaimed documentaries and global indie cinema. Ten years on, although some detractors feel it lacks identity and have criticized it for a weak narrative film selection, Tribeca is making a strong bid to be at the forefront of new methods of distribution and deals in the online and video-on-

Egyptian capital. But some of the industry’s eyes will instead be watching Tribeca’s one-yearold own distribution arm, which this year is doubling its output to 26 films and will release them on digital platforms, such as video-on-demand, in the space of one year. And Tribeca will again experiment with online, aiming to lure audiences in the United States with a limited number of films for free online this year after charging for them in 2010. Geoff Gilmore, chief creative officer at Tribeca, said Tribeca was trying “to not just figure out ways to make films available, but how to make them visible.” Gilmore said improving marketing was key to better visibility and box office of indie films released to video on demand. — Reuters

File photo shows actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt of “500 Days of Summer” . — AP


fter traveling to Japan for a dream-reading assignment in “Inception,” Joseph GordonLevitt has taken on another sci-fi picture that brings him to Asia-the China-set action-thriller “Looper.” Promoting the movie in the eastern Chinese financial center of Shanghai yesterday, the 30-year-old American actor said, “I feel now, doing ‘Looper,’ is the result of what happened with ‘Inception.’ It is something I have been working for my whole life.” Directed by Rian Johnson, “Looper” also co-stars Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt and Chinese actress Xu Qing. Xu said yesterday that “It is like nothing I have seen before. It has action. It has romance. It also deals with philosophy. I really like it.” —AP



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2 Day

Singer Matthew Shultz of the band Cage the Elephant crowd surfs during Day 2 of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival 2011 held at the Empire Polo Club on April 16, 2011 in Indio, California. (Inset above) Alison Mosshart of The Kills during her performance. (Inset below) Erykah Badu during performance. —AFP photos

Mental health groups hail star’s bipolar admission C

In this photo taken on February 12, 2010, moviegoers are seen in front of a cineplex on the opening day of the film ‘My Name is Khan’ in Mumbai. — AFP

Cricket knocks Indian film industry earnings for 6 weeks


packed cricket schedule that peaked with an Indian win in the World Cup final has hit the country’s other grand passion — film-emptying cinemas and forcing studios to postpone big movie releases. Analysts said business at multiplex cinemas had been weak so far in 2011, with the six-week World Cup that finished earlier this month keeping people glued to their television screens in the evenings. The Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament which began immediately afterwards is also expected to keep many cinema-goers away until the end of May. The shor t-format Twenty20 competition has all the glitz of Bollywood, with many film stars owning team franchises and big name players from around the world, cheered on by a bevy of scantily clad dancing girls. The financial newspaper Mint said during the week that multiplex chains may have lost up to 500 million rupees ($11.1 million) in the three months to the end of March. Earnings data is expected in coming weeks. “It was a weak quarter, with average occupancy rates at theatres declining to between 10 to 12 percent,” said Chitrangda Kapur, media analyst with Mumbai-based Angel Broking. “Due to the World Cup and IPL, fewer films were released from February up to May” said Rajesh Jain, head of media and entertainment at global consultants KPMG. In the absence of the usual number of weekend movie releases, some multiplex chains even resorted to screening cricket matches to attract audiences. Alok Tandon, chief executive of Inox Leisure Ltd, said they had no option. “As we know, FebruaryMarch is traditionally a period when kids are busy with their exams and families prefer not to go out to watch

movies,” he said. “Apart from the movies, cricket is the other religion of our country and hence during this period, very few big banner movies were released.... We screened the semi-final and final, which ran to nearly house-full shows.” The back-to-back cricket tournaments could not have come at a worse time, with the Indian film industry struggling to recover from a prolonged slump. Overall revenues have fallen 20 percent in the past three years from $2.3 billion in 2008 to $1.85 billion in 2010, according to KPMG research. Domestic box office revenues still contribute 75 percent of an Indian film’s earnings. Poor quality content, rising overheads, the global economic crisis and an increase in other ways for people to spend their spare time have also been blamed for the downturn. “The industry just needs one strong story to change the trend,” said Devang Sampat, chief India strategist with Cinepolis, the world’s fourthlargest multiplex operator globally. Sampat cited the example of Aamir Khan’s “3 Idiots” which broke box office records in 2009, but few releases in 2011 have enjoyed even a fraction of that success. Hopes are again being pinned on Khan, and his ageing superstar namesakes Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan, to boost box-office sales. Salman’s comedy “Ready” hits theatres in June, while Shah Rukh Khan stars in a sci-fi superhero movie “Ra.One” (Random Access - Version 1.0) and Aamir in “Delhi Belly” later this year. KPMG’s Jain predicted a better second half of the year for the industry. “We have a good line-up of releases in the for thcoming quar ters, including a good list of 3D and regional movies,” said Inox’s Tandon. “ We are quite positive that these movies will do well.”—AFP

atherine Zeta-Jones’ admission that she has bipolar disorder has been welcomed by mental health groups as helping fight the stigma attached to the disease, which afflicts a number of celebrities. Doctors also emphasize that the Welsh actress, treated following the stress of husband Michael Douglas’s recent throat cancer, will likely never be free of it but will learn to live her high-profile life with the illness. “This is a family of illnesses that very high functioning and high performing people can and do have,” said Martin Evers, associate director of behavioral health at Northern Westchester Hospital in New York state. “I think it’s good to combat the stigma, and specifically in the case of bipolar to really reinforce the point that you can live an extremely productive life with bipolar disorder,” he told AFP. Zeta-Jones’ publicist said Wednesday that the actress had briefly checked into a mental health clinic to treat her bipolar II disorder, a less severe form of the disease also known as manic depression. The 41-year-old, who stood by her husband’s side during his ultimately successful cancer battle, “is feeling great and looking forward to starting work this week on her two upcoming films,” said the spokeswoman. The actress’s forthcoming films include Gabriele Muccino’s “Playing the Field” and “Lay the Favorite,” directed by fellow Briton Stephen Frears. Zeta-Jones is a global star, who won a best supporting actress Oscar for her performance in “Chicago” (2002). Most of her career has been in Hollywood, with roles in films such as “Traffic,” “Ocean’s Twelve” and “The Mask of Zorro.” The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) said the openness of such a high-profile figure about her condition helped other sufferers. “It helps to normalize the condition,” said its communications director Katrina Gay. “Mental illnesses are often illnesses that people aren’t comfortable talking (about) ...and so they’re sort of shrouded in a lot of mystery and sometimes even shame and stigma,” she told AFP. “So when people who are of high regard, including celebrities and other notables, can be very honest .. it certainly goes a long way to

Catherine Zeta-Jones bringing some information and awareness for people.” While anyone can suffer from it, bipolar disorder has afflicted a long line of celebrities and other creative types, as well as well-known historic figures such as Sir Winston Churchill. Other stars linked with the disorder include Carrie Fisher, Ben Stiller, Russell Brand, Mel Gibson, Britney Spears, Brian Wilson and Pete Wentz, according to the Hollywood Reporter industry daily. In Zeta-Jones’ homeland, sufferers including broadcaster and writer Stephen Fry, while veteran comic Spike Milligan was a famous manic depressive. British mental health charities Mind and Rethink also welcomed Zeta-Jones’ admission. “By being so frank about her diagnosis ... Catherine will have helped to lift some of the burden of stigma which causes so much damage to so many lives,” said Sue Baker, head of an anti-stigma campaign run by the charities. Back in Hollywood, one PR expert said Zeta-Jones’ diagnosis should not harm her career provided

it is managed well, and will doubtless draw people’s sympathy. Her “decision to go public about suffering from bipolar disease makes her appear more human and allows other people who share the same disease to better connect with her,” said personal branding expert Dan Schawbel. “When celebrities go public with their illnesses, people respect them more. It’s much better when a celebrity admits their disease because people will eventually find out about it anyways,” he told AFP. From a medical point of view, bipolar 2 does not require as intensive, constant medication as the more severe version. “Bipolar 1 absolutely requires mood stabilizers, lifelong treatment to prevent the onset of an episode,” said Evers. “You do see more people with bipolar 2 who come in and out of treatment. But the depression tends to be a persistent lifelong occurrence,” he said, adding: “My expectation would be that there would be some form of long-term treatment.”—AFP

Jack White hails Record Store Day, new releases


usic fans started lining up outside Jack White’s Third Man Records shortly after midnight, vying for something special on Record Store Day. White was more than willing to accommodate them, opening his store a little early Saturday for vinyl enthusiasts.”Record stores are closing all over the place, yet vinyl record sales are the only thing growing in the music industry,” White told The Associated Press. “So it’s a beautiful thing that everyone can come together and release these special releases, whether they’re brand new or old or obscure or never released tracks, whatever they are, it’s really cool that people can get out and buy them. I mean look at how many people are here to buy records. That’s pretty cool. Very cool.” Labels big and small released more than 300 items exclusive to Record Store Day this year, the fourth year of the celebration meant to draw fans to their local independent record store.

That’s nearly twice as many as last year. White contributed two 7-inch rereleases of The White Stripes’ first singles and those tiny platters of goodness brought Craig Jackson and Mark Klacik out at 2 a.m. to camp behind Grimey’s New and Preloved Music, a record store about a mile (1.6 kilometers) from Third Man Records. “We slept right here under this tree in the rain,” Jackson said. They fired up a grill to warm up and cook a breakfast of steak, sausage and toast. As the store’s opening approached, hundreds stood behind them in a line that wrapped around the block. Clouds threatened more rain and a chilly wind dropped temperatures into the 50s Fahrenheit (around 10 Celsius) but that didn’t deter anyone. However, the severe weather did postpone the Jerry Lee Lewis’ concert at White’s record store until Sunday. Before the concert was postponed, White talked about Lewis, known as The Killer. —AP

Jack White

Mental health groups hail star’s bipolar admission MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011

39 A view of the Coliseum as part of the exhibition “Nero”.

Rome’s bloody, art-loving emperor


t’s safe to say that the Emperor Nero-the subject of a major new exhibition and archaeology trail that opened in the Roman Forum this week-has always had something of an image problem. He has gone down in the history books as the man who had his domineering mother Agrippina killed, kicked his pregnant wife Poppaea to death and-as legend would have it-played his lyre on a hill while Rome burnt below him. The new exhibit “Nero”, which runs until September 18, sets out to show that the murderous emperor was not all bad and was also a lavish patron of the arts and an innovative urban planner who re-fashioned large parts of ancient Rome. “It’s not an attempt at rehabilitating Nero. It helps to explain his merits, his qualities but also his failings, to give a fuller image,” Italy’s junior culture minister Francesco Maria Giro told reporters on a tour of the show. “He was a man full of lights and shadows,” Giro said, adding: “The exhibition is set out across the area where Nero conducted his public and private

life,” including the Roman Forum, the Palatine Hill and his Domus Aurea palace. Nero became emperor at just 17 in 54 AD thanks to his mother and met his end in 68 AD after his legions and the Roman Senate rebelled against him. He fled Rome and stabbed himself in the throat before he could be arrested. The victims of his rule included not only his mother and two wives, but also his rival Britannicus and his philosophical mentor Seneca who was accused of plotting to assassinate Nero and was ordered by the emperor to kill himself. The characters of a life that reads like a cross between a horror film and a soap opera come to life in the exhibition, which begins with busts and portraits of Nero, Agrippina and Poppaea in the Roman Curia in the Forum. The flavor of emperor’s decadent rule is re-created with showings of the cult 1951 film “Quo Vadis?” starring Peter Ustinov as Nero projected inside the Temple of Romulus-now the church of Saints Cosma and Damiano. But the centrepiece of the trail is Nero’s vast palace complex, the Domus Aurea, which was never

completed and was destroyed by a fire after his death. The palace “was an extremely complex structure” which occupied a vast chunk of ancient Rome, Rossella Rea, director of the Colosseum museum, told AFP. “It was a complex of various palaces set in a very green landscape and rich in aquatic imagery. We have to remember that the place where the Flavian emperors had the Colosseum built was a large artificial lake,” Rea said. Even the name Colosseum comes from a “colossal” 35metre high statue of the Sun God with Nero’s features that stood on the site. Visitors can also see for the first time the famous “Cenatio Rotunda”-a revolving dining room in the palace complex that was discovered in 2009. But access to the interior of the Domus Aurea itself is barred as the structure has been severely weakened by water leakage and is being restored. Rea’s tip for visitors is to leave plenty of time for the exhibition, spread across eight locations. The average time to complete the tour? Three hours.—AFP

The statue of Roman Emperor Nero is pictured at the exhibition “Nero” in Rome.—AFP photos

The statue of Roman Emperor Nero.

World’s oldest man Walter Bruening dies at 114


alter Bruening, a retired railworker who was the world’s oldest man, has died in the US state of Montana at the age of 114. Breuning died Thursday of natural causes at a Great Falls hospital, Stacia Kirby, spokeswoman for the Rainbow Senior Living retirement home where he has lived since 1980, told local media. Breuning attributed his long life to eating only two meals a day for the past 35 years. “I think you should push back from the table when you’re still hungry,” he told the Great Falls Tribune newspaper in 2009. “You get in the habit of not eating at night, and you realize how good you feel. If you could just tell peoWalter Bruening ple not to eat so darn much,” he said. “I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend and a great Montanan,” state Governor Brian Schweitzer said in a statement, reported the Tribune. “Walter taught me that all things in moderation will help lead to a long life; that hard work and a modest living are enough for a happy life and most importantly that giving back to others is good for the soul.” Bruening was born in the town of Melrose, Minnesota, on September 21, 1896, and moved to Great Falls in 1918, finding work with the Great Northern Railway. He was officially listed in the Guinness Book of World Records 2011 edition as the world’s oldest living man, after inheriting the title from England’s Henry Allingham, who passed away at age 113 in July 2009. The record has now passed to Japan’s Jiroemon Kimura, who turns 114 tomorrow.—AFP


t’s famous for its sun-kissed sidewalk cafes, but Paris has lagged well behind New York, London and Sydney as a hub for connoisseurs of fine coffee-until now. Gourmet coffee bars and small-batch roasteries are popping up in the French capital, introducing locals to thick rich espressos, artful lattes and the idea that a cup of Joe can be savored like fine drink. “Coffee is a big part of the culture” in Paris, said Tom Clark, co-owner of the Coutume Cafe, which recently became the city’s newest coffee bar and specialty roaster when it opened its doors on the Left Bank. “It’s just that it’s not been respected... It is a living product. It has to be handled with care.” Driving the trend is an entrepreneurial network of young expats like Clark, an Australian living in France for three years who grew up on artisanal coffee, and welltravelled French contemporaries like his business partner Antoine Netien, a champion roaster in Melbourne before his return home. “Before I went to Australia, I was drinking coffee with no idea how it was made,” said French bartender-turned-barista Thomas Lehoux, who now mans the coffee machine at Eggs&Co, a hip Left Bank brunch spot. Take an espresso, for instance. Unlike the Italian original, “un petit cafe” is typically made with cheaper, lower-grade Robusta beans that are not always fresh or perfectly roasted, and with little if any attention given to the coffee machine behind the counter. The result is often a thinner, less flavorful brew which, coffee aficionados say, leaves something to be desired. “Most of it tastes like cat piss,” said barista and art student Britney Bachmann, from Canada. David Flynn, an American who honed his barista skills in Washington, attributes this state of affairs in part to the fact that, in Paris, a cup of coffee entitles customers to linger at a cafe for as long as they wish. “The majority of people take coffee after a meal, or because it’s the cheapest thing on the menu and they want to sit outside,” said Flynn. If the Parisian coffee revolution has a birthplace, fans agree it is the Cafeotheque,

a cozy hole-in-the-wall by the River Seine, founded two years ago by Gloria Montenegro de Chirouze, a former Guatemalan ambassador to France. Patrons weave their way past a shining brass roasting machine and stacks of burlap bags full of aromatic beans from Africa, Central America and South America to reach the tasting bar and salon at the rear. There, baristas in checkered shirts and jeans wait on a hip and multilingual crowd-making a point of introducing the precise origin of the coffee, which changes every day. The Cafeotheque trains baristas, too, with 30 hours of professional-level tuition available for 1,200 euros ($1,700) for those who desire a career in coffee. Taking coffee culture to the next level, Flynn and Lehoux last year founded the Frog Fight (, a monthly coffee-tasting where baristas also compete to create the most delicate designs in latte foam. The venue changes every month, announced via Facebook or word of mouth, but the coveted prize remains the same-a white cup with a frog on top, donated by an Australian artist. This month a record two dozen baristas squared off, deftly turning steamed milk into floral-like motifs. “It’s a heart or a rosette, usually,” said Bachmann, “maybe even a swan if you’re incredible.” Judging the results was a panel of three that included a bookseller and a coffee blogger. For book publisher Helene Pouchot, a two-time Frog Fight attendee, discovering artisanal coffee has been lifechanging: not only does she now steer clear of regular cafes, but she has her own real coffee machine at home. “I no longer drink capsule coffee,” she said as she took in the aroma of fresh beans from Bolivia, Columbia and Costa Rica. “It’s finished with Nespresso.” With a professional coffee roaster from far-away Iowa City on their payroll, and ambitions to supply gourmet coffee to top hotels and restaurants, Clark and Netien see plenty of room for their niche market to grow. Artisanal coffee is no threat to big players such as Cafes Richard, the leading

industrial roaster in France, which accounts for a staggering 2.426 million cups of coffee sold every day. But over thick late-morning espressos at another gourmet coffee spot, the Kooka Boora Cafe, near Pigalle, Flynn and Lehoux predicted a bright future. “In France, there’s a tradition of standing at a bar, taking a short espresso for a euro, then off you go,” Lehoux said. “You can still have this culture-but with better coffee.”

Added Flynn: “There’s more excitement here than I’ve found anywhere else about making coffee... I don’t want to see a recreation of the New York coffee scene or London coffee scene. I want Paris to create its own style.”—AFP

Voting papers are displayed next to a coffee drawing in a cafe as it hosts a frog fight.

A man pours coffee in a cup in a cafe as it hosts a frog fight.

18 April  
18 April  

Kuwait Times