19 April

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Nation mourns as Nasser Al-Kharafi laid to rest MPs, ministers speak of great loss as condolences pour in

By Hussain Al-Qatari KUWAIT: Thousands of people including high profile businessmen, politicians and diplomats from across the region attended the funeral of Kuwait’s leading entrepreneur Nasser Al-Kharafi yesterday morning at Sulaibikhat cemetery. The atmosphere was somber and even though the attendees were not related by blood to each other, they shared an emotional and familial solidarity. This only reiterated how people from all walks of life personally felt the loss of one man whose magnanimity touched their lives in some form or the other. Due to the large number of mourners, the Al-Kharafi family received people at their diwan in Bidaa shortly after the burial before noon. The deceased ’s brother, National Assembly Speaker Jassem Al-Kharafi, arrived in the morning with a group of MPs who were on a mission in Panama where they were attending the I nterParliamentary Union Conference. Speaking to the press, he said that the news came as a shock, and that his brother Nasser worked incessantly for the improvement of the business sector. “May his soul rest in peace,” said a shaken Jassem Al-Kharafi. Meanwhile, Minister of Commerce Ahmed AlHaroun extended his condolences to the Al-Kharafi family, saying: “We have lost one of the most instrumental figures in our country. The deceased played a big role in improving the national economy. He contributed greatly to the private business sector, and his influence was not only present locally, but also regionally and internationally. He played a big role in the development of key projects, and his achievements speak for him. His demise is a big loss. May he rest in peace.” M inister of Communication M ohammad Al-

KUWAIT: National Assembly Speaker Jassem Al-Kharafi, Bader Al-Kharafi, Marzouq Al-Kharafi, MP Marzouq AlGhanem and other family members and friends carry the bier containing the shrouded body of Nasser Al-Kharafi, chairman of Kharafi Group, during his funeral at Sulaibikhat cemetery yesterday. — Photo by Joseph Shagra

Max 36 Min 19 Low Tide 06:35 & 19:14 High Tide 00:37 & 12:12

Bussairi echoed Al-Haroun’s sentiments. “Al-Kharafi’s departure is not just a loss for Kuwait, but for the entire Arab and Islamic world. He left a legacy behind him, and his kindness and generosity extended to reach many people all across the region. We pray that he rests in peace and that God encompasses him in his mercy and love.” MP Khalaf Al-Dumaitheer extended his condolences to the Al-Kharafi family, and added that the loss is for all of Kuwait, not just the Al-Kharafis. “He had a strong presence in the business spectrum, and overhauled the business and commerce industry in Kuwait. He was also charming in his manners and kindness, and everyone who came in contact with him could feel this. He had an overwhelming sense of his humility and ambition.” Other lawmakers also issued statements yesterday on the sad demise of Nasser Al-Kharafi. MP Adnan Abdulsamad extended his sympathies to the Arab and Islamic nations for what he called “the loss of a leader in the fields of economics and business”. He said, “This man was not just an entrepreneur, but also a philanthropist and a man with a big kind heart, who wholeheartedly supported the Palestinian cause - one of the biggest causes of the Islamic nation as a whole.” Lawmaker Askar Al-Enezi reiterated: “Al-Kharafi played an instrumental role in the development of local commerce and business. He was a leader in establishing the modern state of Kuwait. We pray that his soul rests in peace.” MP Maasouma Mubarak said, “I extend my deepest sympathies and condolences to the deceased’s family. I am deeply sorry for the loss of my colleagues Jassem Al-Kharafi, Marzouq Al-Ghanim and the deceased’s sister Dr Faiza AlKharafi. May God help them through these turbulent times.” ( See Pages 4 & 5)



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local In My View

The price of oil on the economy

Tension rises between Iran and Gulf states Ahmadinejad accuses US • Gulf troops to stay: Bahrain

Fouad Al-Obaid

fouad@kuwaittimes.net Twitter: @Fouadalobaid


uwait is an oil country. As much as we pride ourselves on being the only OPEC member state that controls an integrated industry - upstream and downstream - we still have yet to develop practical applications for our basic oil products. Our endeavor to upgrade our oil industry was attempted with the Dow Chemical deal but failed to materialize. The reality today is that we are over dependent on a single commodity which, for better or worse, places our country in an unrealistic long-term economic scenario. In light of the increasing number of graduates looking for employment, and with the understanding that that oil is bound to dry up one day, our state is in an uncomfortable position today. If we consider that by 2025 more than 600,000 nationals will need to have jobs, today’s single commodity economic policy is not sustainable. Without attempting to sound pessimistic, using higher oil prices as a way to justify an increase in salaries and allowances so that the citizens of our country can be further pampered in an unsustainable illusion of wealth, this short-term spending spree will most certainly come to a sudden end one day and that may even be in our very own lifetime. While extra cash will come in handy, our economy over the past several years has suffered from inflammatory pressures leading to an increase in the prices of most commodities. The underlying dysfunctional pattern of behavior by MPs whose only demand seem to be increasing the pay for undeserving civil servants is far beyond the grasp of any forward looking citizen. The fact that a great majority of the citizens of our country either directly or indirectly, via allowances, enjoy a lifestyle that the vast majority of the people of the world can only dream about is not healthy nor sustainable. Even the Public Social Security scheme will come to be threatened because it is unable to self-fund and requires government intervention to shore up liquidity. The understanding that more citizens should be pushed towards employment in the private sector is encouraging. Nevertheless, with the hassle and burden placed on private firms with rules and regulations that are damaging to businesses, the global business environment is not as good as it can be, especially compared to neighboring countries. Furthermore, the general education of a majority of the citizen populace is far from being adequate for private sector job employment. The years of pampering with no real expectation of production has accustomed many to a routine that will prove hard to change in the years to come. A friend of mine who recently was hired in one of the government’s ministries found a building filled with desk-less employees who are not encouraged to come to work and receive full pay salaries for no tangible work whatsoever at the end of the month. As a country that prides itself on its democratic and consultative approach to things we ought to seriously start a general debate concerning our beloved country and the track we should march on in the years to come. Without an informed general citizen populace desiring a positive change that will come as a result of hard work with moral and financial rewards we will find ourselves heading toward a wall at full speed! Taking the events of our region into consideration it is a great time to start a new national project for the 21st century. Reform is painful, however, today we still have the financial means to weather the change we need at a reasonable pace. Financial allowances should be associated to actual work with real results instead of handouts for those born to parents of this land.

DUBAI: Tension between Gulf states and Iran has risen again, with the Sunni monarchies accusing their Shiite neighbour of “flagrant” meddling and Tehran charging Washington with sowing regional discord. In a strong statement on Sunday, Gulf Cooperation Council member states told Iran on Sunday to stop its “provocations,” a month after Bahrain quelled a Shiite-led uprising, triggering a tirade of Iranian condemnation. The group called on “the international community and the (UN) Security Council to take the necessary measures to stop flagrant Iranian interference and provocation aimed at sowing discord and destruction” among GCC nations. Saudi Arabia on Sunday also threatened to recall its diplomats from Tehran unless they were better protected, a week after students protested outside the Saudi embassy against Riyadh’s military intervention in Bahrain last month. “ The main reason (for the GCC move) is the uncovering of Iranian (espionage) cells in Gulf countries, in addition to direct and indirect interference,” said the head of the Dubai-based Gulf Research Centre, Abdulaziz Sager. Earlier this month, Bahrain said two Iranians were being put on trial on charges of spying for Tehran, and Kuwait announced plans to expel Iranian diplomats for alleged links to a spy ring working for Tehran. “Fuelling tension through (Iranian) media like Al-Alam and (Hezbollah’s) Al-Manar televisions, and the feeling among Gulf states that their embassies in Tehran were in danger” also prompted the GCC statement, Sager said. “There is a contradiction between what the Iranians say and what they do,” he said, and added that Iran insists on meddling in Arab affairs, despite statements of readiness to resolve differences. “There are no Saudi forces, there are GCC forces and they will leave when they are done with any exter-

nal threat,” Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in the United Arab Emirates. Asked to elaborate, he said: “The external threat is a regional one. The external threat is a complete misunderstanding between the GCC and Iran. This is a threat. I am not pointing fingers

seek to sow discord among Shiites and Sunnis... but their plan will fail,” the hardliner said at Iran’s annual Army Day parade, where the military displayed a range of homebuilt drones and missiles. “America is not an honest friend and the record shows it has drawn swords against its own friends and those who have sacrificed themselves for

regime” in Israel. The Iranian president also predicted a “new Middle East” would emerge but it would not be dominated by the United States and Israel. “They are seeking a new Middle East. Sure, the people of the region want a new one too but with God’s divine grace, a new Middle East without the American dominance and the presence of the

DUBAI: Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa (right) and his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah sit outside during an international conference on maritime piracy. — AFP here, but what we are seeing from Iran, on Bahrain, on Saudi Arabia, on Kuwait, the occupation of the islands of the Emirates, doesn’t make the situation a positive one. It keeps it a constant threat, and ongoing one.” Iran’s hardliner President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad responded yesterday to GCC criticism by blaming the United States for the tension with its Arab neighbours. “America and its allies are trying to create an Iranian-Arab tension, they

America,” Ahmadinejad said in a speech broadcast live on state television.”America has done it in order to save its interests. But they should know that they have no place among nations,” Ahmadinejad said. Ahmadinejad said Iran was a “close friend” of world nations and “with alertness of people and their politicians, the new plot by the world arrogance will not prevail”. He added that the “Zionist” leaders in the United States would also fail in their attempt to save the “Zionist

Zionist regime will materialise,” he said. The GCC had earlier this month accused Iran of plotting against its security after the Iranian parliament’s foreign affairs and national security committee warned Riyadh “not to play with fire” after sending troops into Bahrain to help in quashing a month-long uprising. Iran on Friday said it demanded intervention from the UN Security Council to “stop the killing of the people of Bahrain,” which is pre-

dominantly Shiite. The more strident GCC tone came after Washington accused Tehran of helping Syria in its crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, a claim that both Damascus and Tehran denied. “We believe that there is credible information that Iran is assisting Syria... in quelling the protesters,” US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said last week, calling the development a “real concern.” US Defence Secretary Robert Gates warned during a regional visit this month that extremist groups such as Al-Qaeda and Iran would try to exploit unrest resulting from pro-democracy uprisings in several Arab countries. “We must make sure these guys don’t make a free ride,” Gates said. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also warned that Iran could jump on the chance to manipulate Arab revolts. “We could find that the Arab Spring turns into an Iranian winter,” he warned in an interview with AFP on Sunday. Lebanon’s Saudi-backed caretaker prime minister Saad Hariri has also slammed “blatant Iranian interference” that caused Lebanon and other Arab countries to suffer “politically, economically and in terms of security”. But despite their close timing, Sager insisted that the latest GCC criticism of the Islamic republic was not linked to US pressure on Tehran. “ There are no American motives... and there is no coordination in this matter ” between the US administration and Gulf states, he said. He also said the standoff between the two parties could not escalate into a military confrontation because “none can afford it,” adding that Iran could help preserve regional stability by not meddling in its neighbours’ affairs. “Stability in the Gulf region needs the contribution of all parties involved. It should include refraining from interference in the internal affairs of other parties,” he said. — Agencies

Vintage car museum hosts new modified car exhibition By Nawara Fattahova

KUWAIT: Firefighters from Hawally, Salmiya and Mishref responded to the location of a fire in a 12-storey apartment building in Hawally near Hawally Park. The fire was extinguished and no injuries were reported in the incident. —Photos by Hanan Al-Saadoun

Copper thieves caught By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Border security guards arrested a gang of thieves for chopping down wooden utility poles that belong to the Ministry of Electricity and Water. (MEW ) Assistant Undersecretary for Border Security Affairs, Major General Sheikh Mohammad Al-Yousef gave instructions to form a team and collect information about the wanted criminals. Investigations revealed that the gang was comprised of both citizens and expats that cut down the poles so that they could steal and sell copper from the power lines being held up by the poles. Technicians from the MEW identified the recovered stolen materials. Pedestrian hit A 31-year-old Indonesian woman was rushed to Farwaniya Hospital with a head injury after she was struck by a car while crossing Ferdous street yesterday.

Car accidents A 14-year-old male citizen suffered a broken collarbone and a 17year-old compatriot suffered fractures to his right thighbone during a car accident on Salmi Road. They were both referred to Farwaniya Hospital. Meanwhile, a 33-year-old Sri Lankan, a 25-year-old citizen and a two-year-old Kuwaiti child suffered various injuries during a car accident in Mishref. They were admitted to Mubarak Hospital. Farwaniya fight A 40-year-old Egyptian sustained a laceration on his forehead during a fight in Farwaniya. He was taken to Farwaniya Hospital. Khaitan fire A fire in an apartment in Khaitan resulted in the injury of two Egyptians and a Pakistani who received burns on their hands and faces. They were admitted to Farwaniya Hospital.

KUWAIT: The Historical, Vintage, and Classic Cars Museum in Shuwaikh held a four day exhibition featuring modified cars and motorcycles. All the vehicle featured in the exhibition previously participated in different competitions and quarter mile races. The owners of the cars are members of the Kuwait Quarter Mile Club and put their cars on display for a few days to give the public an opportunity to see the vehicles. The trophies that the cars won in various competitions, both in Kuwait and the region, were also put on display. The museum welcomes visitors from Saturday to Thursday from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm and from 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm. It is located in industrial Shuwaikh, Block 1, Street 49, opposite Kuwait University’s Keifan College and next to Al-Ghanim Industries. “We want to have more activities throughout the whole year,” said Zakariya Dashti, head of the museum’s media committee. “We don’t want visitors to only come during the national celebrations. The cars exhibited here at the museum are really valuable and many of them have a story and history with famous personalities.”

MOJ security staff protests unpaid salaries KUWAIT: Dozens of security personnel working at the Ministry of Justice held a strike recently in protest of unpaid salaries. Those on strike said that the company supplying the ministry with security services haven’t paid their laborers for two months. The protesters, all of whom are Egyptian nationals, refused to get on the busses that take them from their place of residence in Jeleeb Al-Shuyoukh to their work. They refused to report to work until a representative from the Egyptian Embassy showed up and promised them that their salaries would be paid and talked them out of their strike. While speaking to reporters, protesters explained that they work for an average of 16 hours a day and are paid a maximum of KD 100 a month. They added that their employer is deducting parts of their salaries unlawfully and excluding them from pay increases that are usually enjoyed by their supervisors. They further complained against the “inhumane conditions” of their accommodations as provided by their company. They explained that in some cases up to 17 workers are forced to share a single room. —Al-Qabas

Modified Corvette Stingray.

Ford Mustang with the trophies. — Photos by Nawara Fattahova



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Chances of scattered showers, thunder from Wednesday

Kuwait Digest

Train their right cerebral hemispheres By Dr Yaqoub Al-Sharrah


n the era of increased information technology we currently live in, we as human beings still struggle to find a complete understanding of the motives behind the way we act. This means that there are still many things we don’t know regarding how the human brain works despite all the studies and tests made on human behavior and mental processes throughout history. We are used to taking a general idea about a certain subject from the results that we see instead of looking into the details of how something works. For example, a human being looking out the window of a moving train may feel that the world outside is the one moving instead of the train itself. That’s because that is how his mind visualizes it. Another example would be how people look at the earth we walk on: the mind thinks the earth is flat, even though we know that the earth is spherical and spins on its axis. The brain runs functional operations in the body of living species through billions of neurons. The languages that people speak are the way by which the brain expresses ideas, thoughts or emotions. Science proved that this process occurs in the left hemisphere of the brain while the right hemisphere is responsible for logical functions, such as numerical computation and controlling behavior. In this way, both hemispheres of the human brain complement each other by working in harmony. It would be impossible for one to work without the other. The left hemisphere takes care of the literal functions of language while the right focuses on the contextual aspect of thought that eventually leads a person to reach conclusions. Unfortunately, the educational system in Kuwait doesn’t give much attention to training students on how to use their right hemispheres, which are responsible for logic, awareness and creativity. Instead, the learning process focuses on the abstract part, such as language, so that information can be delivered to students. The fact that students aren’t given a chance to develop their skills is part of the reason why our educational system fails to help students become creative or even geniuses. From that we can conclude that the best way to encourage creativity is by training students to use the right hemisphere of their brain. It’s said that Albert Einstein used to focus on using his right cerebral hemisphere because he realized this fact. Students should be trained to use the right hemisphere of their brain by teachers and programs in school.—Al-Rai

MANILA: A Roman Catholic priest blesses worshippers during a Palm Sunday service in Manila. Palm Sunday mark the beginning of Lent, commemorating Jesus Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem. —AFP

Christians in Kuwait observe Holy Week By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Christians all over the world marked the beginning of Holy Week last Sunday, with masses/services celebrated in Kuwait in different languages. The [Catholic] Holy Family Cathedral and the National Evangelical Church in Kuwait are now preparing for one of the biggest and most significant festivals in the Christian calendar, Easter Sunday, also known as Resurrection Day, which takes place this coming Sunday. Last Sunday marked the beginning of a holy week of reflection which usually starts with the commemoration of one of the most famous Biblical events, Jesus’ ‘Triumphal Entry’ into Jerusalem, the sacred city, which he entered riding a lowly ass (a small donkey) “despite his being a true King.” Speaking with the Friday Times, Father Ben Barrameda, a Filipino priest currently assigned at the Holy Family Cathedral in Kuwait City, said, that Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem riding an ass showed his great humility. “Even though that he is the true king, he was able to show his humility through riding an ass,” Father Barrameda explained. “That particular event teaches us to be lowly...that

despite being a king [Jesus] could stoop to the lowest level teaches us the real value of leadership.” For Christians, Father Barrameda explains, the ‘Triumphal Entry’ was not only a way to demonstrate Jesus Christ’s immense humility, but was a fulfillment of God’s promise. “It was not simply a triumphant entry to the nation of God. It was considered a success because his entr y into Jerusalem is the fulfillment of God’s promise to every one of us to save us. Because of God’s love for us, He sent his only begotten son. That particular event, [Christ ’s suffering and death for the sake of mankind] would happen in that very place as well,” he said. The whole week is considered sacred by Christians as this period was considered to be Jesus’ last few days and hours on earth “as a true human,” the priest continued, explaining that in Catholicism, “The whole week we encourage Catholics to reflect on their lives and ask God’s forgiveness for our sins especially through confession. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we have many hours dedicated to confession. Then, Holy Mass will also be conducted during those days. On Thursday, at 6:30am we are going to celebrate a

‘50 Years of the Kuwaiti Dinar expo sheds light on currency’s history KUWAIT: A new exhibition on ‘Fifty Years of the Kuwaiti Dinar’ is helping to shed light on the national currency’s history since its introduction in 1961. In recognition of the importance of the landmark exhibition, the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters is sponsoring the event, explained the organizer and owner of the currency on show, Abdullah Al-Bkheit, on Sunday. Al-Bkheit, a member of the Kuwaiti Collectors’ Society, said that visitors to the exhibition will be able to learn more about the various denominations, phases and issues which the currency had been through in the half century since its introduction. Visitors can also find out the facts behind the different designs and symbols used on each note and coin, with the changes introduced after the 1991 liberation of Kuwait featuring prominently. NCCAL director Mohammad Al-Asousi said that the exhibition’s theme is an important topic from a national viewpoint, which is why the council is sponsoring the event. The timing of the event is also important, he pointed out, especially being so close to the recent celebrations of major national anniversaries, with 2011 marking the fiftieth and twentieth anniversaries of Kuwait’s independence and liberation, as well as the fifth anniversary of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah’s investiture. The council is extremely keen on supporting all the country’s artists and collectors as they endeavor to promote awareness and appreciation of all aspects of Kuwaiti art, history and culture, Asousi added. — KUNA.

Kuwait hosting GCC media production institution meeting KUWAIT: Kuwait is to host the 41st meeting of the board of GCC Joint Program Production Institution under the patronage of Minister of Oil and of Information and Board Chairman Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdulla Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and with leading media figures from the region attending. The institution’s Executive Director Abdulmihsin Al-Bannai said yesterday that the agenda covers the new production and marketing strategy, as well as the executive plan for the coming period which was drafted in view of the recommendations of the previous meetings of the institution’s bodies. The executive stressed the challenges of our times require change of approach and address, and it is time the institution shifts focus from a limited scope and exposure to a wider scope of operation to serve as an influential body. Al-Bannai added there would be a list of new projects to be presented to management for consideration, including a main production which is a documentary on the resources of the Arabian Gulf. — KUNA

KUWAIT: The Afghan Ambassador to Kuwait Dr Assadullah Balkhi visited the Kuwait Journalists Association recently, and held talks with KJA chairman Ahmad Behbehani, Secretary General Faisal Al-Qanaei and board member Jassem Kamal. During the meeting, the ambassador handed the KJA officials an invitation to visit his country where they can carry out tours and meet with senior officials to conduct a report about the situations there.

KUWAIT: An area of low pressure over Kuwait may increase the likelihood of scattered showers and possible thunder from Wednesday, according to a senior meteorologist. Mohammad Karam, the head of the Directorate General of Civil Aviationís (DGCA) meteorology department, explained yesterday that the thermal currents resulting from a depression over northwest Kuwait may lead to changeable weather over the next few days. Karam said that moderate southeasterly winds expected during the daytime on Wednesday may bring cloudy weather, increasing the chance of scattered showers and possible thunderstorms. During cloudy weather, especially in coastal areas, the wind speed generally increases, leading to choppier waters offshore and a higher chance of sandstorms on land as the wind picks up and redistributes sand. ìThis kind of weather can lead to all kinds of turbulence,î Karam explained, adding that sandstorms bringing low visibility could be another unwelcome sideeffect. The leading meteorologist predicted that the changeable weather was likely to last over the weekend, although conditions may vary from day to day. Meanwhile, local astronomer, Dr. Saleh Al-Ajairi, suggested that Wednesday was likely to mark the beginning of this yearís ëSarrayatí season, which has been delayed by this yearís continuing cool weather. Al-Ajairi explained that the season, which lasts for around 33 days, usually sees unsettled weather fronts and scattered showers, possibly even bringing brief hail showers. — Agencies

Lyricist, composer honored for national anthem Father Ben Barrameda so-called ‘Chrism Mass’. It will be conducted by our bishop to renew our priesthood and our vows to the service of God,” he revealed, adding “The Mass is open to the public. At 6:30pm we are holding a very special mass to commemorate the most significant event in the bible, the Last Supper.” On Friday, Father Barrameda explained, the Veneration of the Cross, the Lord’s Passion and the Tagalog Mass (Siete Palabras) will be conducted from 1-3pm. At 8:00pm on Saturday, the Easter Vigil will be celebrated [in anticipation] of the Resurrection, commonly known to Christians as Easter Sunday.

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Sabah yesterday received the composer of the Kuwaiti national anthem, Ibrahim Nasser Al-Soulah and the son of poet Ahmad Meshari Al-Adwani, Majed Al-Adwani, to honor the two artists for creating the music and lyrics for the state’s national anthem, AlNasheed Al-Watani. At a ceremony held at Seif Palace, HH the Amir decorated the two guests with medals of the First Order of Kuwait in recognition of their contribution. The men were honored as part of the celebrations marking the country’s recent major anniversaries, as Kuwait celebrates the fiftieth and twentieth anniversaries of its independence and the fifth anniversary of HH the Amir’s investiture. The ceremony took place in the presence of the Deputy Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs, Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah. — KUNA



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Thousands of Kuwaitis attend

KUWAIT: Thousands of mourners including ministers, sheikhs and other Kuwaitis attend the funeral of Nasser Al-Kharafi in Sulaibikhat Cemetery yesterday. —Photos by Joseph Shagra

MPs pay tribute to Nasser Al-Kharafi KUWAIT: Kuwaiti lawmakers yesterday paid tribute to the late Kuwaiti entrepreneur Nasser Al-Kharafi, with many issuing statements in which they offered their condolences to his family and recalled his great contributions in serving his country in both the economic and philanthropic fields. Calling Al-Kharafi “a pioneer and a prominent figure in Kuwait’s daily life,” MP Khalid Al-Adwa acknowledged the businessman’s “constant and unceasing efforts” to serve his country “through the long experience he gained in life.” Fellow parliamentarian Miskhled Al-Azmi said that through Al-Kharafi’s demise, Kuwait had lost “one of its most gracious citizens,” whilst another lawmaker MP Adnan Al-Abdulsamad called Al-Kharafi’s passing away a “loss to the entire Arab and Muslim nations,” recalling the prominent businessman’s support for the Palestinian cause and for national unity in his own country. MP Nadji Al-Abdulhadi paid tribute to “one of the most influential businessmen who was known for his significant contributions throughout his economic career,” while fellow lawmaker Faisal Al-Duwaisan called AlKharafi a “pillar of Kuwait’s economy” and an “embodiment of true commitment to the principles of courage and integrity.” In losing Al-Kharafi, “Kuwait lost a landmark in its national economy and one of its most devout and loyal men,” said MP Ali Al-Rashid, whilst fellow parliamentarian Adnan Al-Mutawa described him as “the man of honor, knowledge and benevolence.” Meanwhile, MP Dr. Ali Al-Jassar offered condolences to the deceased’s brother, National Assembly Speaker

Jassem Al-Kharafi, as well as to Kuwait and to all Arab and Muslim nations on Nasser Al-Kharafi’s demise, describing the entrepreneur as “one of the most influential businessmen in building the modern Kuwait.” MP Saad Zunaifer also acknowledged Al-Kharafi’s “huge impact,” which he said would “never be forgotten in history,” while lawmaker Husain Al-Huraiti recalled the iconic Kuwaiti figure’s efforts as “one of the most significant pillars of the national economy.” “Nasser Al-Kharafi wasn’t only a successful businessman, but also a human being with a great sense of patriotism who will forever be known for his great stances,” said MP Dr. Maasouma Al-Mubarak, whilst another parliamentarian Dr. Yousef AlZalzalah cited Al-Kharafi’s “significant contributions in outlining the commercial and financial policies for the private sector to evolve.” In another statement, MP Saad AlKhanfour conveyed his condolences on Al-Kharafi’s demise, calling him “the philanthropist, the businessman and the economic mastermind,” while fellow lawmaker Askar Al-Enezi acknowledged the deceased’s “decades of contributions in serving Kuwait and his profound role in building the modern state.” Parliamentarians Saadoun Hamad and Musallam Al-Barrak also offered their “deepest condolences” to National Assembly Speaker Jassem AlKharafi, to the Kharafi family and to the entire nation on Nasser AlKharafi’s death, while MP Mubarak AlKhurainij acknowledged the deceased as “a peerless citizen who worked for Kuwait and did philanthropic work all over the world.” — Al-Qabas



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Al-Kharafi funeral in Sulaibikhat

‘Arab nation lost an excellent economist’ KUWAIT: A number of Egyptian economists expressed their shock and regret upon hearing of the death of iconic Kuwaiti businessman Nasser Mohammed Abdul Mohsen Al-Kharafi. The entrepreneur died as a result of a heart seizure at the Salam International Hospital in Cairo at the age of 67. They stressed that Al-Kharafi was one of the most significant Arab economic figures who greatly contributed towards creating substantial developmental shifts in various Arab countries, especially in Egypt. They added that AlKharafi’s activities included industrial, agricultural and commercial productions. On this regard, chairman of the Arab Investors Union, Ambassador Jamaluddin Bayyoumi said that the Arab nation has lost one of its

most iconic economists and said that his investments were a wonderful addition to the Egyptian economy. “The Al-Kharafi Group is one of the first major Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) commercial groups to invest in Egypt since the 1970s,” He pointed out that Al-Kharafi’s investments included a petrochemical complex that provides more than 100,000 job opportunities. Egyptian economic expert Dr Hassan Kamel said that Al-Kharafi was keen on diversifying his investments in Egypt. “This shows how his group had greatly contributed to boosting Egypt’s economic performance and development,” he said. Member of the Egyptian Industries Union’s Board of Directors, Ali Mossa said that Al-

Kharafi was one of the major Arab and GCC investors in Egypt and that his group carried out over 35 lines of business, including energy, communications, real estate, tourism, airports and media, with a total value of $7 billion. Economic expert Mostaf Abdul Monem said that the EgyptianKuwaiti Holding Company had the most active US Bonds in the Egyptian Stock Exchange Market. Egypt’s Chamber of Commerce Union Chairman, Ahmed AlWakeel expressed his grief over Al-Kharafi’s demise, stressing that he was well-respected by everyone and that he adored Egypt and the Arab Nation. “He was very noble and humane,” he said, underlining that once a person knew Al-Kharafi they realized how unique he was. — Annahar



Residency violators urged to make use of Amiri amnesty MoI’s awareness campaign continues

Wataniya Telecom honored for sponsoring ‘Tejarti... Hewayti’ KUWAIT: Based on its continuous strategy towards suppor ting youth and encouraging them as well as enhancing their talents and skills, Wataniya Telecom was among the main sponsors of “Tejarti... Hewayti” exhibition organized for talented young entrepreneurs. It was held from April 10 until 12 and organized by the “Entrepreneur Group” at College of Business Administration in Kuwait University. On this occasion, Director of Public Relations at Wataniya Telecom Abdulaziz Al-Balool stressed that Wataniya is always keen to take part in these kinds of exhibitions and constantly strive to encourage student’s skills and talents and said “Since 2008, Wataniya continues participating in “Tejarti.. Hewayti” and we believe that youth are the change maker, they will lead the constructive development for building a prosperous society, and they deserve all the support from the private sector. We are consolidating youths for prosperous development”. Al-Balool further added “Wataniya’s continuous participation in

these kinds of exhibitions proves its deep faith and belief in the importance of corporate social responsibility towards the community, and its keenness to communicate with the youth sector to provide a favorable climate for young Kuwaiti people helping them to identify their path in the future”. The ceremony concluded by honoring the main sponsors, and was attended by Sheikh Faisal Al-Homoud Al-Malik Al-Sabah and number of representatives from sponsors including Wataniya Telecom. It is worth mentioning that Wataniya Telecom and the College of Business Administration at Kuwait University are working side by side in the process of encouraging young Kuwait talents. This collaboration will constantly benefit both the society and those young people. Wataniya Telecom has been active and on the go in number of recent events and exhibitions which target young people and which were organized by number of universities in the country.

KUWAIT: The Ministry of Interior’s radio broadcasts, as well as carrying pared a number of special pro(MoI) Security Media Department is statements and interviews in news grams intended to raise awareness increasing the number of its cam- programs, the ministry also offers of the amnesty, which are broadpaigns and programs to raise awareness amongst the country’s expatriate community of the Amiri amnesty for residency violators, and to help those who haven’t made use of it since its inception on March 1 to do so before the June 30 deadline. The amnesty provides residency law violators with the opportunity to leave the country without paying accumulated fines or facing legal procedures should they face absconding charges, whilst still having the chance to return to Kuwaiti in the future. In the meantime, those who fail to benefit from the amnesty will be forced to pay the fines if they are arrested once the deadline has passed, and subsequently deported KUWAIT: Interior Ministry campaign to raise awareness amongst while their names will be blacklist- the country’s expatriate community of the Amiri amnesty for resied. dency violators. The joint awareness campaign, which is carried out in cooperation both state and private TV stations cast on both Arabic-speaking and with the ministry’s Migration the chance to cover its activities English-speaking TV channels, in Department, is using various media related to spreading awareness addition to advertisements in both to reach those who have so far amongst the expatriate communi- languages displaying the ministry’s been unable to correct their resi- ty, as well as interviewing ministry regulations. Members of the Arabic and dency status due to financial and officials and individuals who have already benefited from the English press are also invited by the legal constraints. In addition to producing special amnesty. The ministry has also pre- ministry to send reporters in order

to cover its activities and carry out interviews with officials and residents, with the ministry also focusing on newspapers in other languages to reach non-Arabic speaking communities. The MoI also provides the local press with regular statistical reports showing the numbers of residency violators in the country and of those who were able to benefit from the amnesty. Teams from the Security Media Department are also distributing brochures and posters in different languages which detail the amnesty’s regulations, at main junctions and popular locations for public gatherings. This is in addition to the text messages which the ministry regularly sends to cell phone subscribers in both Arabic and English, giving an explanation of the amnesty-related procedures and penalties. The ministry is also utilizing social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter in its awareness campaign, in addition to putting up posters at popular public locations, such as Co-op Societies, markets, public facilities, embassies, medical facilities, restaurants, places of worship, public transportation centers, etc.

TEC holds annual raffle draw KUWAIT: The Touristic Enterprises Company (TEC) held its annual raffle draw on Thursday. The raffle consisted

Ashkenani announces a winner during the draw.

of coupons submitted by customers that purchased special offers during the 2011 World Travel Exhibition and for a week afterward. The raffle was held at TEC’s Information Center on Gulf Road in the attendance of Abdul-Aziz Ashkenani, a representative from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Majdi Attiya was awarded the 2011 Kia Cadenza grand prize and par ticipants Mohammad Mahmoud and Ghada AlKhouli won the second and third place prizes; a stay at a villa in the Khairan Resort. Thirteen other participants also won prizes, including iPhones, iPads, LCD TVs and one-year subscriptions to TEC’s sea clubs.The event was supervised by the head of TEC’s Marketing Department, Fahad Al-Masoud.

Attiya receives the grand prize from Al-Masoud.

Movie night for special needs kids KUWAIT: LoYAC held a movie night on Thursday at Bayt Lothan for kids from all Kuwait’s special needs centers. The event was part of the Dow’s Day Out Program sponsored by Dow Chemicals. The evening’s activities began with a few games organized by LoYAC volunteer Khalid Al-Amer, which involved all 150 attendees from the foster care department, the Khorafi Center for the Disabled, the Down Syndrome Center, and the Disabled Care Society. The games’ winners were presented with prizes by Jamal Attal, the General Manager of Dow Chemicals, who was accompanied by Dow’s Public Affairs Manager Sager Al-Ben Ali. The games were followed by a screening of Pixar’s award-winning animated film ‘Up!,’ accompanied by popcorn, and ice cream. The event was organized and hosted by LoYAC youth and child volunteers from the ‘Service is My Joy’ and ‘Commitment and Ambition’ programs, with some of the volunteers being as young as six. Also attending the event was a member of LoYAC’s management board, Futooh Al-Dalali, who gave a speech at the beginning of the evening thanking the event’s sponsor, Dow Chemicals, and expressing LoYAC’s gratitude to the company for allowing it to conduct such humanitarian events through the Dow’s Day Out program. Al-Dalali also thanked the Kuwait National Cinema Company for helping to bring smiles to all the young attendees’ faces by supplying a jumbo screen and the film. Al-Dalali highlighted LoYAC’s dedication to bringing creative ideas for collaborative events in coordination with the special needs centers, which allow LoYAC’s volunteers to interact and serve the centers’ users in innovative ways and to interact socially in a healthy, fun-filled manner. She also thanked Bayt Lothan for providing its largest courtyard for the event, which provided a cozy homely environment, which was perfectly appropriate for the ‘Movie Night’ event. With smiles on every face in attendance, the evening was a great success for LoYAC and Dow Chemicals.

US-funded iEARN promotes free press practice among Kuwaiti students KUWAIT: US-funded initiative iEARN is opening up new avenues for Kuwaiti high school students, through promoting and encouraging the pursuit of journalism as a craft at a young age. International Education and Resource Network, iEARN, is part of the US State Department-funded Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), which targets supporting reform efforts in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Some of these efforts include empowering women and youth, improving education, increasing political participation and strengthening civil society and the rule of law, among others. For this initiative in particular, MEPI has collaborated with the Kuwait Ministry of Education to give students field training in journalism. “One of the principles that the United States supports is freedom of the press and we hope through sponsoring programs like this journalism program, we can instill in these students an appreciation for freedom of the press, but also critical thinking skills, writing skills and some basic things related to journalism,” MEPI Director Karen Volker said during her visit to Kuwait yesterday. Volker, along with the Supervisor of Student Activities in Hawalli Governorate, Mahmoud Dashti, were inspecting the progress of iEARN in one of the schools cho-

sen for the program — Fatima Al-Sarawi School for girls, guided by its Head Mistress, Awatif Al-Beraiky. The program, which started only a few months ago, has selected five Kuwaiti schools to take part in the program; with 15-20 students for each school. The program will also fund a trip for the students to travel to neighboring Oman, the other of the two countries in the region where the initiative is in practice. “In some schools it is being made voluntarily (to take part), whereas others are selecting their best students. We don’t establish the criteria for each student,” she noted. The students are receiving education in journalistic practice from a number of experienced Kuwaiti journalists and teachers, whom have received prior training, funded by the program. The MEPI director had a first-hand view of the progress that has been made so far. The students of Fatima Al-Sarawy along with their teacher/mentor gave out a presentation of several projects they had been carrying out, since the launch of the program. Ashwaq Al-Attar, an English teacher chosen to mentor the students of Fatima Al-Sarawi said she had helped her students set up an internet blog that broadcasts news articles. “Each student has been given a role and a different project. We have also chosen some

to be in charge of the (operation of ) the blog. They all upload their articles on the blog. “We are trying to add new articles every day to keep the blog up-to-date and we are reporting on things that happen in Kuwait or on the scale of the school.” One of the students had chosen the issue of obesity in her school, and had conducted a field survey along with a report on this. Another wrote an article discussing the most preferred tourism destinations for Kuwaitis. Al-Attar said she liked the program, but commented that there was not enough time for her and the students to meet due to her own workload and the students’ lessons schedule of seven classes per day. She suggested the program be given a separate time allotment or be introduced as separate class in itself, thus offering more time for students and their mentors to connect. However, the students and their mentors have been finding technology useful in overcoming this obstacle. “If it wasn’t for BBM (Blackberry Messenger) and the internet, we wouldn’t have found time to meet.” One of the other benefits the program will offer as well, said Volker, is offering them the opportunity to broaden their relationships and contact base with established journalists they can learn from even after graduation. — KUNA

Commission looks into Hajj violations KUWAIT: The Supreme Commission for Hajj Affairs will meet later this month to look into recommendations made by a committee that investigated violating pilgrimage campaign agencies during the previous hajj season. According to official sources, the list of violations detected this year include failing to meet obligations regarding accommodations. If found guilty, such a charge could result in the suspension of accused agencies.

Moreover, the sources noted that the investigations took more time this year than usual due to new measure that were taken by the investigation committees. The new measures include hearing testimonies from victims, witnesses and the agencies accused. The sources also indicates that the number of claims against pilgrimage agencies this year exceeded those submitted in the previous season. — Al-Qabas

Al-Babtain lauds efforts of Quran contest KUWAIT: Al-Babtain Central Library of Arabic Poetry ’s Board Chairman Abdulaziz Al-Babtain lauded yesterday the efforts of participants, members of the panel and the organizing committees in Kuwait’s second International Prize for Memorizing and Reciting the Holy Quran. Speaking on this occasion, Al-Babtain praised all exerted efforts on preparing for this prize that ends today. He expressed his wishes of success for all the participants of this prize, pointing out that it got the attention of society

and the sponsorship of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait. On his part, member of panel Mohammad Fahad Kharof, from Syria, expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the state of Kuwait for hosting this prize. He added that Kuwait has been and will always be a leading host for charitable works. As many as 83 Quran memorizers from 50 Arab and Muslim countries are taking part in the one-week-long contest, organized by the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs. — KUNA



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Iranian in custody for drug smuggling KUWAIT: An Iranian man was arrested at the Shuwaikh Port for attempting to smuggle drugs into the country in pistachio bags. Police found 186 illegal drug pills hidden in the bags. The smuggler was referred to the proper authorities. Drug dealer A drug dealer was arrested by Jahra police after authorities received information of the Asian suspect’s illegal activity. Police arrested the man after they caught him selling drugs hidden in boxes of cigarettes. He was referred to the proper authorities.

KUWAIT: Kuwaiti scientist Mariam Al-Jouaan pictured during her scientific expedition to the South Pole. (Right) Mariam Al-Jouaan addressing a press conference.

Kuwaiti visits South Pole on scientific expedition VIVA sponsors Mariam Al-Jouaan’s trip By Abdullah Al-Qattan KUWAIT: Kuwaiti telecommunications company VIVA, recently sponsored young Kuwaiti scientist Mariam Al-Jouaan, on a scientific expedition to the South Pole, during which she represented the Kuwait Science Club. VIVA’s sponsorship is part of the company’s strategy of supporting ambitious young Kuwaitis and assisting them in fulfilling their dreams. Al-Jouaan, who was accompanied on the Polar expedition by a number of other scientists, as well as university professors and students from around the world, is the first Kuwaiti to visit the continent. Given the importance of this scientific event for Kuwait and the world, VIVA provided exclusive sponsorship to Al-Jouaan in order to enable her to accomplish this groundbreaking national and regional achievement. Al-Jouaan was selected for the expedition by the Canadian organization ‘Students on Ice,’ whose motto is ‘Protect the Poles, Protect the Planet.’ The expedition to the South Pole, which took place in February 2011, aimed to raise awareness about the South Pole’s ecosystem and to study it for two weeks. Commenting on this sponsorship, Omar Abdulwahab Al-Hoti, VIVA’s Corporate Communication and PR Manager said, “VIVA is always keen on supporting ambitious young Kuwaitis who seek to make unique and distinguished achievements.” Al-Jouaan, who is the supervisor of Kuwait Science Club’s Department of Outer Space in its Astronomy and Space Sector, is also currently a trainee at the Belgian Institute for Space

Aeronomy in Brussels. She previously took part in a scientific expedition on board the ‘Heincke’, a research ship of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, to study the impact of the Ice Age on the layers of the Earth’s surface in the North Sea as part of her specialized study of Earth and Space sciences. The Kuwait Times spoke with Al-Jouaan about her amazing experience. Q: What were your expectations of this experience? A: I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew what I wanted to do and what our plan was, but I didn’t expect for example, that we would encounter

Q: What was your main goal and the objective behind your trip? A: As an oceanographer, seeing the effects

‘It has been a long journey for me. I had obstacles in my way. People didn’t believe in me and thought I was unrealistic about my dreams. I would like to tell every woman to believe in herself; show your family that you are passionate about your goal. Support will come with time. Set your goal and take one step at a time and you will realize your dreams one day.’ with such a violent storm on our way back to Argentina on the Drake Passage. The wind speed reached up to 60 knots (111 km/hour), and the waves reached 8-9 meter high. Literally the ship at some point was flying in the air and slamming into the waves. Q: From a woman’s perspective, what obstacles did you face in order to manage

Defense minister set to return to Cabinet KUWAIT: Official sources said that Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak AlSabah is the only member of the ruling family in the recently resigned Cabinet that is certain to be reappointed. Al-Mubarak holds the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense position in the caretaker Cabinet. The sources further asserted that no other ministers were given assurances of returning amid speculations that all ruling family ministers will be reappointed. In addition to Sheikh AlMubarak and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser AlMohammad Al-Sabah, other ruling family members in the recently resigned Cabinet include the Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Hmoud AlSabah, the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr. Mohammad AlSabah, the Deputy Prime

being among the specially-selected personnel for this journey? A: The organization ‘Students on Ice’ selects participants based on criteria such as: having an interest in Antarctica and in the environment, strong academics, leadership qualities, active involvement in the community and a desire to make a difference. Since the selection process was not based on gender, I didn’t face any different obstacles than the male participants.

Minister for Economic Affairs, State Minister of Development and State Minister of Housing Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad AlSabah, as well as the Minister of Oil and Minister of Information Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah AlSabah. The latter three ministers were scheduled for grilling motions before the cabinet resigned. Meanwhile, the same sources also speculated that the new Cabinet will be announced within two to three weeks and that any minister will be ready to face a grilling motion. The National Action Bloc in the parliament announced that they will reintroduce their interpellation against Sheikh Ahmad AlFahad should he be reselected while fellow antigovernment bloc, the Popular Action Bloc, is widely expected to go ahead with plans to grill the state’s prime minister.—Al-Rai

of climate change in Antarctica, will increase my knowledge and help me gain a better understanding of the subject. I wanted to understand the key role that the Southern Ocean has played in glacial-interglacial cycles in the past 2.5 million years. Understanding this mechanism will help us to understand the current climate change. The past is our key to understanding our present and the future.

Q: How did you find Kuwait’s support during your trip? A: Since we were in a remote place, there was no communication except for the satellite phones. I appreciate that Kuwait News Agency (Berlin Office) sent me greetings for the 50th anniversary of national day Kuwait. Q: What is the outcome of your experience? A: Every time I looked over the ocean, sailing along these blue icy waters, I realized how fragile and beautiful Earth is. We all share one planet and it is our responsibility to protect it. Q: What are your future plans in this regard? A: I want to focus more on investigating Earth’s paleoclimate. We can obtain data about the Earth’s past climate preserved in ice sheets, rocks, sediments and fossils. My next plan is to go to the Arctic to learn more about the other side of Earth. Q: What would you like to say to Kuwaiti women and Arab women about your experience? A: It has been a long journey for me. I had obstacles in my way. People didn’t believe in me and thought I was unrealistic about my dreams. I would like to tell every woman to believe in herself; show your family that you are passionate about your goal. Support will come with time. Set your goal and take one step at a time and you will realize your dreams one day.

Fake money A Bangladeshi man was arrested for being in possession of KD 380 worth of counterfeit money. The man was caught when he attempted to exchange the fake KD 20 bills at a money exchange office in Jahra by an employee working there. Phone scam A Fintas resident filed a case with police after he fell victim to a phone scam and lost KD 1,000. The victim, an Asian man, transferred the money to a bank account after an unidentified caller convinced him that he needed to send the money in order to receive the KD 20,000 grand prize he allegedly won in a lottery. The man realized that he had been scammed when he tried to call the man back and discovered that his phone was turned off. This is the fifth case of its kind filed in Kuwait within a month, reported security sources. Suicide A woman was pronounced dead in Jahara Hospital as a result of the wounds she sustained when she jumped from a high location in a mall in Jahra. She was admitted to the hospital in critical condition after sustaining a serious injury to her skull. An investigation was launched to determine the motive behind the woman’s suicide. Attempted murder A Kuwaiti man is facing attempted murder charges for firing an unlicensed weapon at his neighbor in Jahra. Police responded to the emergency after the frightened neighbor called for help and arrested the assailant. Authorities found and confiscated the AK47 the assailant used against his neighbor in his home. When questioned by authorities, he explained that he was provoked into attacking his neighbor following one of their previous disputes. Criminal in custody Police arrested a Rumathiya resident for sexually assaulting his niece and firing a gun at his victim’s sister when she threatened to expose his crime. The suspect attempted to kill his niece when she went to his house to confront him about the crime he committed against her sister. The girls’ mother also filed a case against her brother at the Salwa police station as soon as she learned about what happened. An investigation was launched and police found the man hiding in an apartment in Salmiya along with the gun he used against his niece. Thugs held Khaitan police arrested a gang of five juveniles for stealing 12 cars, using them to mug people and then setting them on fire. The suspects, who are of Gulf and Somali nationalities, were caught in Farwaniya where they reside. They were referred to the proper authorities. —Al-Watan, Al-Qabas, Al-Rai, Annahar

Opposition to hold first rally on government formation By B Izzak KUWAIT: Opposition blocs and MPs will start today a series of public rallies to highlight what they called the negative impact of delaying the formation of the new government, MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei said. The rallies will be held by a newly-formed opposition alliance called “Nahj” which is pressing for new prime minister to form a new government that will adopt a new course of action to speed up reforms and development. The alliance, which was formed last week, consists of the Popular Action Bloc and the Islamist Reform and Development Bloc in addition to a number of independent opposition MPs and youth groups. The liberal National Action Bloc reportedly will boycott the new alliance on the basis that HH the Amir has already exercised his constitutional power of

appointing a prime minister. Prime Minister HH Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and his government resigned on March 31 and the Amir reappointed Sheikh Nasser to form the new government, his seventh since 2006. Sheikh Nasser has been holding consultations to form the new government over the past two weeks and the new Cabinet is not expected to be formed before the end of this month. Opposition MPs have charged that the delay in forming the government is deliberate and that it is hurting the country and disrupting the functioning of the National Assembly. Tabtabaei said that today’s rally will witness the official launch of the new alliance “Nahj” besides highlighting the government’s violation of the constitution and its continued policy of disrupting Assembly

sessions to marginalize it. MP Askar Al-Enezi meanwhile submitted a draft law yesterday calling for the establishment of the Administrative Supervisory Authority to strengthen monitoring of the government ministries and departments and help uncover and fight corruption. According to the bill, the authority should be formed from members of the judiciary, with its head and his deputy to be appeals court judges in addition to three members of the public prosecution in order to ensure its independence, neutrality and honesty. The proposed authority will have powers on all government ministries and departments but will not cover the judiciar y and the Assembly besides the army and the security agencies. The authority will enjoy powers to see confidential documents, can suspend employees from

work and can search persons and their homes after obtaining warrants from the public prosecution. Separately, Five MPs submitted a proposal calling on the government to introduce financial incentives for Kuwaitis who secure jobs in the private sector. The proposal stipulates to pay Kuwaiti holders of university degrees KD 300 monthly, holders of diplomas KD 230 and holders of secondary certificates KD 150 monthly. In another development, the lower court yesterday fined local private television station Scope and columnist Nabeel Al-Fadhel KD 100,000 in a defamation case filed by writer and journalist Mohammad Abdulqader Al-Jassem. The court was told that Fadhel made highly offensive remarks against Jassem during a TV program aired by Scope TV. The ruling is not final as it can be challenged in the appeals court.




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Bahrain PM says protests amounted to coup attempt MANAMA: Bahrain’s Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa said protesters, who had called for his removal, would be held to account and described the anti-government unrest as a coup attempt. “Bahrain has witnessed a coup attempt,” he said in remarks carried by pro-government media yesterday. “No violators would get away with it. All co-conspirators and abettors must be held accountable.” Weeks of anti-government protests in February and March by the Shi’ite majority demanded more freedom, an

end to discrimination and a constitutional monarchy in the Sunni-ruled country, which is a US ally. Bahrain’s rulers crushed the protests last month, deployed security forces in the capital and called in troops from Gulf neighbours Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The government has arrested hundreds who took part in the protests and state-owned companies have fired Shi’ite workers who were absent from work during a strike called for by unions. The International Trade Union

Confederation said in a statement that about 2,000 workers who took part in the protests had been fired, including 22 local trade union leaders. “The authorities are clearly targeting and discriminating against workers due to their involvement in union activities,” the trade union group said. It called for the International Labour Organisation to form a commission to probe the firings. The opposition says the government has launched a campaign against Shi’ites, whether or not they had joined the protests.

“They’re targeting professionals, people who stand out like famous athletes,” said Mattar Ibrahim Mattar, a former parliamentarian from the main Shi’ite opposition group Wefaq. Mattar said 29 people 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. The unrest has spurred tensions in the world’s top oil region as Sunni Gulf states including top oil exporter Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite power Iran have traded accusations of meddling in

Bahraini affairs. Government officials say the protests were backed by Iran and Hezbollah, which has denied it trained Bahraini protesters. Mattar said police attacked on Sunday a traditional Shi’ite celebration marking the death of the wife of a central Shi’ite figure from early Islamic history, and that a Shi’ite cleric who gave a speech there had since disappeared. “I think about 10 have been injured, but people are too afraid to go to hospitals,” he said. —Reuters

Fresh protests rattle Syria, death toll mounts Mourners call for ‘overthrow of regime’ DAMASCUS: Fresh protests shook Syria yesterday as thousands took to the streets a day after 11 people were killed by security forces as the clamour for an end to martial law billowed, activists said. Protests gripped the central city of Homs, the protest hub of Daraa in the south as well as in Jisr al-Shoughour near the northwestern city of Idleb despite pledges by the president to lift a draconian emergency law.

SANAA: A female anti-government protestor holds her baby wearing a headband that reads in Arabic “ Leave”, during a demonstration demanding the resignation of of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa, Yemen, yesterday. —AP

Yemen clashes amid calls for Saleh to quit SANAA: Yemen’s opposition remained adamant yesterday that veteran President Ali Abdullah Saleh step down immediately, after a fruitless meeting with Gulf mediators and late -night demonstrations in Sanaa turned violent and spread to other cities. Hundreds of thousands of men and women protested in the capital late Sunday against Saleh’s call for an end to mixed-gender demonstrations against the regime, and called for his ouster. Security forces attacked them with firearms and tear gas grenades. Thirty people were wounded by live rounds and 1,000 suffered from tear-gas inhalation, an AFP video reporter quoted a medical source at a Sanaa hospital as saying. Security forces also used water cannon to disperse demonstrators as police cars carried away many wounded protesters, witnesses told AFP. Early yesterday, residents took to the streets in the Red Sea city of AlHudaydah to protest against the use of force against Sanaa demonstrators. Medical sources said 45 people were wounded, 12 of them by bullets, when security forces intervened. Similar demonstrations to show solidarity with the Sanaa protests were also held late Sunday in Taez and Dhamar, south of the capital, and the main southern city of Aden. After a meeting in Riyadh on Sunday with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states ministers, leading Common Forum opposition activist Mohammed al-Sabri told AFP on Monday: “The opposition has succeeded in conveying its point of view to Gulf Arab monarchies” on the need for Saleh to step down. Gulf Arab monarchies “must understand that every day Saleh’s regime remains in power will be on the account of their stability”, added Sabri. Speaking late Sunday after the talks, Sultan al-Atwani of the Unionist Nasserist Party said: “We demand the abdication” of Saleh. “We favour the Gulf initiative ... but we reject the paragraph in the final communique of the April 10 GCC foreign minis-

ters’ meeting proposing a transfer of presidential powers; we demand the abdication” of the president, he said. On April 10, the GCC-Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates-appealed to Saleh to “announce the transfer of his powers to the vice-president” Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi. It also called for the formation in Yemen of “a government of national unity led by the opposition” that would be responsible for “establishing a constitution and organising elections”. Over the past week, US and European diplomats have been working to bring the opposition and Saleh’s camp together, a Western diplomat told AFP. “The Common Forum has obtained American and European assurances on the success of the GCC initiative, especially for a rapid departure of President Saleh”, said the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity. But Sabri said that the parliamentary opposition does not represent the demonstrators, apparently fearful of the reaction of protesters on the streets who have suffered more than 125 deaths in clashes with Saleh’s security forces. A statement issued after the Riyadh meeting said the GCC would hold discussions with the government in Sanaa, but did not specify a date. Speaking in Bahrain, where he is attending a conference on piracy, Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Kurbi said Sunday’s meeting “marked the beginning of a process and not its end. This process will eventually lead to a transition of power”. Last week, Saleh’s office said in response to the GCC mediation bid that the president has “no reservation about transferring power peacefully and smoothly within the framework of the constitution”. Saleh has so far insisted on overseeing any transition, fearful of being dumped out of office and faced with prosecution like his ally, former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, who resigned on February 11 following mass demonstrations. —AFP

Activists have said Assad’s vow on Saturday to lift within a week nearly five decades of emergency law were insufficient, and protests shook Syria again within hours of the presidential speech. Protesters are also demanding the release of political prisoners and the end of the ruling Baath party’s grip over the state and society as stipulated by the constitution. Tens of thousands of mourners marched in Homs yesterday a day after security forces fired live rounds to disperse demonstrators in the Bab Sba’a area of town, killing at least seven people, activists said. A sea of mourners swamped the city for the funerals of the seven people killed and their coffins were held shoulder high above the crowds, some open, others covered with Syrian flags, witnesses said. Many of them clapping their hands, mourners called for “the fall of the regime” and “freedom” as they paid tribute to the “martyrs,” activists said. About 3,000 people also staged a sit-in the city centre. Two activists spoke of seven dead in Homs, but a third one said nine had died late Saturday. They all agreed however that some 20 people had been wounded. Tensions had been running high in Homs since the announcement on Saturday that a Muslim cleric arrested a week earlier had died in custody. “The security services handed back the body of Sheikh Faraj Abu Mussa a week after he was arrested in perfectly good health as he was leaving the mosque,” an activist said.

They were exacerbated with the death Sunday in the nearby town of Talbisseh of at least four people, killed when security forces opened fired on a funeral procession. More than 50 people were also wounded when the security forces fired on the crowds, witnesses said, adding that the death toll could be higher.

hend these gangs.” There were also protests in Daraa, where angry some 500 angry demonstrators, including 150 lawyers, called for the fall of the regime, a right activist at the scene said. The protesters in Daraa, the beacon of demonstrations for greater freedoms launched in Syria in mid-March, also demand-

BANIAS: In this citizen journalism image made on a mobile phone and acquired by the AP, Syrian anti-government protesters hold Arabic banners that read: “Syrian media from the taxes of the citizens”, right, and “If the price of freedom is a shroud, it is with me,” as they march during a demonstration in Banias, Syria, yesterday. —AP The official news agency SANA reported: “One policeman was killed and 11 others were wounded by fire from an armed criminal group in Talbisseh.” The report added: “ Three armed criminals were killed and 15 others injured, as well as five soldiers. “ The criminals opened fire from buildings close to an army post near the bridge where the army had been sent to appre-

ed the release of political prisoners and an end to Baath Party hegemony, said the source. In Jisr al-Shoughour, 1,500 people protested yesterday after the funeral of a demonstrator killed in the northern coastal town of Banias. They blocked the road to Aleppo and demanded news be provided of everyone who has gone missing, an activist told AFP the scene.

Hamas reveals names of suspects in Italian’s death GAZA CITY: Gaza’s Hamas government said yesterday it was searching for three suspects in last week’s killing of an Italian activist. Hamas has been conducting a manhunt since the death of Vittorio Arrigoni, an Italian activist who had been assisting local Palestinians in Gaza. The 36-year-old’s body was found early Friday, hours after a video showing him beaten and

struggled against Israel, faces from smaller, extremist factions that consider it too pragmatic. Hamas’ police posted pictures of the suspects on its official website yesterday. Officials said the men, who included a former Hamas policeman and a Jordanian activist, belong to a small extremist Islamic group inspired by al-Qaeda. In the video of Arrigoni, a group identifying

Iran calls for regional unity, hits out at S Arabia TEHRAN: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for unity in the Middle East yesterday, a conciliatory message that contrasted starkly with another senior figure who accused Saudi Arabia of “heresy and deception”. Relations between the two major Gulf powers have been strained by anti-government demonstrations in Bahrain which neighbour Saudi Arabia helped put down by sending in troops to bolster Bahraini forces. At a parade to mark the annual army day, Ahmadinejad said events had shown Washington had failed to dominate the region, where uprisings have taken place against several US-backed governments, and he issued a plea for “honest unity”. “Safety and stability of the region

depends on honest unity and cooperation between nations and leaders in the region,” Ahmadinejad said in a speech. But at the same ceremony, where military hardware and troops paraded past the top brass, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s senior military adviser said Iran’s anger at Riyadh’s intervention in Bahrain had not diminished. “The presence of Saudi forces in Bahrain to suppress the Bahraini people is against international law and is a kind of military interference in the internal affairs of Bahrain which is condemned from the international law standpoint,” Yahya Rahim-Safavi, former chief of Iran’s elite Revolutionar y Guards, told reporters. —Reuters

The ruling party’s Al-Baath newspaper insisted Monday that reforms announced by Assad “have become an urgent necessity in the light of the painful events which are happening across Syria.” Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said cancelling “military courts” and revoking a law granting security agents immunity were also necessary. Prominent Syrian human rights lawyer Haytham Maleh told AFP scrapping the emergency law “is a step, but it is not enough. It must be accompanied by reform of the judicial system, which is corrupted.” At least 200 people have been killed by security forces or plainclothes police since the start of the protest movement, according to Amnesty International. On the international front, The Washington Post said the US government has been secretly financing Syrian opposition groups, including a satellite TV channel beaming anti-regime programming into the country. Citing previously undisclosed diplomatic cables from WikiLeaks, it said London-based Barada TV, which began broadcasting in April 2009, has ramped up operations to cover the mass protests in Syria. Barada TV is closely affiliated with the Movement for Justice and Development, a Londonbased network of Syrian exiles, the paper said. Classified US diplomatic cables show that the State Depar tment has funneled as much as $6 million (4.1 million euros) to the group since 2006, the report said. —AFP

GAZA CITY: Palestinian and international activists mourn for Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni, age 36, during a symbolic military funeral held for him in Gaza City, yesterday. Gaza’s Hamas government said yesterday it was searching for three suspects in last week’s killing of Arrigoni, an Italian activist. —AP blindfolded surfaced on the Internet. It was the first kidnapping of a foreigner in Gaza since Hamas seized control of the territory in 2007. It highlighted the challenge that Hamas, an Iranian-backed group that promotes armed

itself as “Monotheism and Holy War” demanded the release of two of its leaders, held by Hamas, in exchange for the hostage. Hamas said Arrigoni was strangled, but it has not allowed an independent expert to see the body. After a symbolic

military funeral, Palestinian policemen carried Arrigoni’s coffin, decorated with Palestinian and Italian flags, to a waiting ambulance as young activists threw flowers on it. With police cars escorting the ambulance, the body was taken yesterday to neighboring Egypt, from where it was later to be transferred to Italy for burial. In Gaza, the shadowy radical groups that rival Hamas are part of the “Salafi” movement, which preaches ultraconservative Islam that strictly segregates the sexes and vehemently rejects anything but a strict, hard-line interpretation of Islamic law. Some, including the group apparently behind Arrigoni’s abduction, are inspired by al-Qaida and call for actively waging jihad, or holy war, against those perceived as Islam’s enemies. Hamas denies claims that al-Qaida is active in Gaza. Police identified the suspects in Arrigoni’s slaying as Bilal al-Umari, Mahmoud al-Salfiti, a former Hamas policeman, and Abdel Rahman Brezat, a Jordanian who is believed to have sneaked into Gaza last year. Authorities said all three men were believed to still be in the coastal territory. Arrigoni was an activist with the International Solidarity Movement, a pro-Palestinian group that often sends activists to prevent the Israeli military from carrying out missions in the West Bank and Gaza. The group said Arrigoni had been working with Palestinian farmers and fishermen. ISM says it is committed to nonviolent means of protest, but its activists often enter dangerous situations. Rachel Corrie, 23, of Olympia, Washington, was crushed to death by an Israeli army bulldozer while trying to block it from demolishing a home in Gaza. A British activist was killed by an Israeli soldier in Gaza in 2003. A Palestinian ISM activist was killed by a Palestinian militant in the West Bank town of Jenin in 2007. —AP



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Snipers, cluster bombs panic Libya’s Misrata Vessels evacuates nearly 1,000 foreigners

KANO: People demonstrate in Nigeria’s northern city of Kano where running battles broke out between protesters and soldiers yesterday as President Goodluck Jonathan headed for an election win. — AFP

Election protests set northern Nigeria ablaze KANO: Violent protests erupted across Nigeria’s largely Muslim north yesterday as youths angered at President Goodluck Jonathan’s election victory torched churches and homes and set up burning barricades. The vote count showed Jonathan, from the southern oil-producing Niger Delta, had beaten Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler from the north, in the first round. Observers have called the poll the fairest in decades in Africa’s most populous nation but Buhari’s supporters accuse the ruling party of rigging. Results show how politically polarised the country is, with Buhari sweeping states in the Muslim north and Jonathan winning the largely Christian south. Authorities in the northern state of Kaduna imposed a 24-hour curfew after protesters set fire to the residence of Vice President Namadi Sambo in the town of Zaria and forced their way into the central prison, releasing inmates. The body of a small boy shot in the chest by a stray bullet was brought to a police station, a witness said. “They have destroyed our cars and our houses. I had to run for my life and I am now in my neighbour’s house,” said Dora Ogbebor, a resident of Zaria whose origins are in the south. Plumes of smoke rose into the air in parts of the state capital as protesters set fire to barricades of tyres. Security forces fired in the air and used teargas to disperse groups of youths shouting “We want Buhari, we want Buhari”. A spokesman for Buhari said he had not yet made any statement on the disturbances. Soldiers used whips to disperse people in

the streets of Kano, the most populous city in the north. Protesters hurled stones in the backstreets. Several churches were burned and authorities imposed a curfew. An armoured personnel carrier, armed police and soldiers formed a barricade around the electoral commission office. “We will have the situation under control soon,” said Agbo Omaji, a police inspector securing the electoral office. Soldiers fired in the air and helicopters flew overhead in the central city of Jos, where thousands have been killed in sectarian violence over the past decade. Nigeria has a history of rigged and violent elections but Saturday’s vote was deemed by many Nigerians, and foreign observers, to have been a vast improvement on the past, with the voting process orderly and little unrest on the day itself. “Election day showed a generally peaceful and orderly process,” said chief European Union election observer Alojz Peterle. EU observers said 2007 elections were not credible. Peterle called for restraint in northern Nigeria and said all Nigerians should respect the election process. A Reuters tally of results put Jonathan on nearly 23 million votes to just over 12 million for Buhari. The Independent National Electoral Commission was expected to announce all the results on Monday and to formally declare Jonathan the winner. The outright win for Jonathan could ease worries over potential disruptions to crude exports from Africa’s biggest oil and gas industry-far away from the disturbances in the north. —Reuters

BENGHAZI: A chartered ship evacuated nearly 1,000 foreign workers and wounded Libyans from Misrata yesterday as government artillery bombarded the besieged city that has come to symbolise the struggle against Muammar Gaddafi’s rule. “We wanted to be able to take more people out but it was not possible,” said Jeremy Haslam, who led the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) rescue mission. “Although the exchange of fire subsided while we were boarding ... we had a very limited time to get the migrants and Libyans on board the ship and then leave.” A rebel spokesman said bombardments pounded Misrata for a fifth day on Monday after shelling killed 17 people and wounded about 100, mostly civilians, on Sunday. Libya’s third-largest city, Misrata is the rebels’ main stronghold in the west and has been under siege by pro-Gaddafi forces for the past seven weeks. Evacuees say conditions there are becoming increasingly desperate and hundreds of civilians are believed to have been killed. “The Gaddafi forces are shelling Misrata now. They are firing rockets and artillery rounds on the eastern side-the Nakl el Theqeel (road) and the residential areas around it,” Abdubasset Abu Mzeireq said yesterday morning. The Ionian Spirit steamed out of Misrata carrying 971 people, most of them weak and dehydrated migrants mainly from Ghana, the Philippines and Ukraine, heading for the rebel stronghold of Benghazi in eastern Libya. It was second vessel chartered by the IOM, which took out nearly 1,200 migrants from Misrata last Friday. Among the rescued group were 100 Libyans, including a child shot in the face, the IOM said in a statement. “We have a very, very small window to get everyone out. We do not have the luxury of having days, but hours,” said IOM Middle East representative, Pasquale Lupoli. “Every hour counts and the migrants still in Misrata cannot sur-

Cameron steps up fight against electoral reform LONDON: Prime Minister David Cameron warned Britons yesterday to wake up to the dangers of electoral reform ahead of a referendum next month which risks undermining his year-old coalition government. The May 5 plebiscibe on changing the voting system for parliamentary elections pits Cameron’s Conser vatives, who oppose a change, against their Liberal Democrat coalition allies, who have long backed electoral reform. The vote will prompt a period of political turbulence for either Cameron or Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and could weaken a coalition which has pledged to serve a full five-year term and remove the bulk of a record peacetime budget deficit. Although the decision may alter the way Britain is ruled, the campaign has failed to excite Britons more captivated by next week’s royal wedding and the prospect of a series of public holidays starting with this weekend’s Easter break. “The biggest danger right now is that Britain sleepwalks into this second-rate system, waking up on May 6 with a voting system that damages our democracy permanently,” Cameron said in a speech.

He was joined on stage by former Labour minister John Reid, putting aside party allegiances to campaign against changing from the winnertakes-all First Past the Post (FPTP) system to the Alternative Vote (AV) system, which critics say risks making indecisive election outcomes more frequent. In another corner of London, Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable was sharing a platform with Labour leader Ed Miliband to press the case for AV, which gives smaller parties a better chance of winning seats in parliament. The Lib Dems secured agreement to hold the referendum as a prize for entering a coalition last year after Labour lost its 13-year grip on power. Under the proposed system, voters may list candidates in order of preference in single-member constituencies. When each candidate is eliminated, the preference votes are redistributed until a winner has a majority of votes cast. AV falls short of Lib Dem dreams of a truly proportional system but is seen as a staging post on that road. Defeat in the referendum would further weaken Clegg, who has seen his poll ratings slide over the past year following high-profile policy

concessions to the Conservatives on issues like student fees. The vote also places Cameron in a bind. He does not want to see Clegg weakened, but more importantly he faces a backlash from his own party were the change to be approved. In a sign of the complications caused by the campaign, Cameron said that AV would be a bad thing because it would make coalitions more likely. He argued that coalitions were a good thing only in exceptional circumstances, such as the current economic crisis. “More frequent coalitions in all circumstances is quite different,” Cameron said. A poll at the weekend put the “No” campaign in the lead with 43 percent, to 37 percent for the “Yes” camp and 21 percent undecided. Confusion about the issue and likely low turnout make the outcome harder to call. The referendum coincides with local elections across much of England and votes for devolved assemblies in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. That should help to boost turnout in many parts of the country and add to the legitimacy of any changes. — Reuters

Turkish artist stabbed

ISTANBUL: In this Sept. 10, 2010 file photo, well-known Turkish painter Bedri Baykam explains why Turks should vote “NO”, two days ahead of a referendum on changes to Turkey’s constitution, in Istanbul, Turkey. News reports say Baykam, a government critic, was stabbed in Istanbul, yesterday. — AP

ANKARA: News reports say a Turkish artist has been stabbed after attending a meeting to discuss a protest march against plans to remove a statue in eastern Turkey. The giant monument to friendship between historic enemies Turkey and Armenia has become a symbol of controversy because it overshadows a nearby Islamic shrine. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called it a “freak,” prompting moves to have it removed. yesterday, TV footage showed injured artist and government critic Bedri Baykam shouting for help in Istanbul before hailing a taxi that took him to a hospital. NTV television said he was stabbed in the leg. Haberturk TV said the unidentified attacker also stabbed a second person. Artists such as Baykam are planning a protest march in defense of the monument on Saturday. — AP

vive much longer like this.” Pro-Gaddafi forces have also kept up an offensive on the rebels’ eastern frontline outpost of Ajdabiyah, which rebels want to use as a staging post to retake the oil port of Brega, 50 miles (80 km) to the west. One witness said he saw around a dozen rockets land near the western entrance to Ajdabiyah on Sunday and many fighters fled as explosions

Scores of volunteer fighters and civilian cars carrying men, women and children on Sunday streamed east from Ajdabiyah up the coast road towards Benghazi, where the popular revolt against Gaddafi’s 41year rule began in earnest on Feb. 17. The United States, France and Britain said last week they would not stop bombing Gaddafi’s forces until he left power, although when or if

American forces did in Fallujah in Iraq. “It’s exactly the same thing. I am not going to accept it, that the Libyan army killed civilians. This didn’t happen. It will never happen,” he said. Once they were beaten, it would be time to talk of national reconciliation and democracy under a new constitution that would reduce his father’s role to a symbolic one, the Post quoted Saif Gaddafi as saying.

TRIPOLI: Libyan rebels run for cover during heavy clashes with forces loyal to Moamer Kadhafi in Tripoli street in central Misrata, 120 kms (75 miles) east of Tripoli, yesterday as a doctor reported 1,000 people killed in six weeks of fighting in the besieged city. — AFP boomed across the town. Sunday marked a month since the U.N. 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 hold gains in weeks of back-and-forth fighting over the coastal towns in eastern Libya. With NATO troops bogged down in Afghanistan, Western countries have 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.

that would happen was unclear. 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 Tripoli, Gaddafi’s son, Saif alIslam Gaddafi, said in an interview that the world had gone to war with Libya based on nothing more than rumour and propaganda. “The biggest issue is the terrorists and the armed militia,” Saif Gaddafi told the Washington Post. “Once we get rid of them, everything will be solved.” Government forces were hunting down “terrorists” in Misrata just as

The London-educated son was once seen as a potential reformer but his comments indicated the Gaddafi was in no mood to compromise despite the international pressure. The rebels have rejected any solution that does not remove Gaddafi or his family from power. The UN humanitarian affairs chief, Valerie Amos, speaking in Benghazi following a visit to Tripoli, said the government had given her no guarantees regarding her call for an overall cessation of hostilities to help the relief effort. She also said she was extremely worried about the situation in Misrata. “No-one has any sense of the depth and scale of what is happening there,” she said.” — Reuters



US gives tired controllers an extra hour to rest WASHINGTON: The US government said Sunday it is giving air traffic controllers an extra hour off between shifts so they don’t doze off at work, a problem that stretches back decades. But officials rejected the remedy that sleep experts say would make a real difference: on-the-job napping. “On my watch, controllers will not be paid to take naps. We’re not going to allow that,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. That’s exactly the opposite of what scientists and the Federal Aviation Administration’s own fatigue working group say is needed after the disclosure of five cases since late March of sleeping controllers. The latest one occurred just before 5 am local time Saturday at a busy regional radar facility that handles high altitude air traffic for much of Florida, portions of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Several other countries, including Germany and Japan, permit controllers to take sleeping breaks and they provide quiet rooms with cots for that purpose. “Given the body of scientific evidence, that decision clearly demonstrates that politics

remain more important than public safety,” said Bill Voss, president of the Flight Safety Foundation of Alexandria, Virginia. “People are concerned about a political backlash if they allow controllers to have rest periods in their work shifts the same way firefighters and trauma physicians do.” It has been an open secret in the FAA dating to at least the early 1990s that controllers sometimes sleep on the job. Toughest are the midnight shifts, which usually begin about 10 p.m. and end about 6 a.m. Scientists say it would be surprising if controllers didn’t doze sometimes because they are trying to stay awake during the time of day when the body naturally craves sleep. Studies show that 30 percent to 50 percent of night-shift workers report falling asleep at least once a week while on the job, according to Dr. Charles Czeisler, chief of sleep medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Six of eight present and former controllers interviewed by The Associated Press acknowledged they briefly fell asleep while working alone at night at

least once in their careers. Most of the controllers asked not to be identified because they didn’t want to jeopardize their jobs or the jobs of colleagues. Much more common is taking a nap on purpose, they said. On midnight shifts, one controller will work two positions while the other one sleeps and then they switch off, controllers said. The unsanctioned arrangements sometimes allow controllers to sleep as much as three hours or four hours out of an eight-hour shift, they said. The FAA does not allow controllers to sleep at work, even during breaks. Controllers who are caught can be suspended or fired. But at many air traffic facilities the sleeping swaps are tolerated as long as they don’t affect safety, controllers said. “It has always been a problem,” said former controller Rick Perl, who retired last year. In 1991, a Denver television station caught controllers leaving a regional radar center during midnight shifts to sleep in their cars, sometimes for as long as five hours. A former internal watchdog at the Department of Transportation, Mary

Schiavo, recalled her office investigating a similar incident in Texas during the early 1990s. The problem of tired controllers was raised by the National Transportation Safety Board after a 2006 crash of a regional airliner in Lexington, Kentucky, that killed 49 of the 50 people aboard. The lone controller in the airport tower was wrapping up a schedule that compressed five eight-hour shifts into four days. He cleared a regional jet for takeoff and failed to notice the plane make a wrong turn onto a runway that was too short. The board cited pilot error as the cause of the accident, but noted the controller had slept only two of the previous 24 hours. The board also cited other incidences of mistakes by tired controllers. They include a controller who ordered a passenger jet to take off directly into the path of another jet at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport in 2006, and a controller who cleared a cargo jet for takeoff on a closed runway in Denver in 2001. An FAA and National Air Traffic Controllers Association working group, rely-

ing on sleep research by NASA, the Air Force, the Mitre Corp. and others, recommended in January letting controllers take naps for as long as 2 1/2 hours on midnight shifts. They also recommended that controllers be allowed to sleep during the 20to 30-minute breaks they receive every few hours during day shifts. Instead, the FAA’s new rules will give controllers at least nine hours off between shifts, compared with eight now. That also was recommended by the working group, but a summary of their report notes the extra hour will likely result in only a “slight improvement” on midnight shifts. Controllers won’t be able to swap shifts to get a long weekend unless there’s at least nine hours off from the end of one shift to the start of the other, the FAA said. More managers will be on duty during the early morning hours and at night to remind controllers that nodding off is unacceptable. “We’re going to make sure that controllers are well-rested. We’re going to increase the rest time by an hour,” LaHood said on “Fox News Sunday.” — AP

North Carolina pummeled as US tornadoes kill 45 Witnesses described hailstones the size of grapefruit

MEXICO CITY: Members of the Navy escort Martin Omar Estrada Luna, alias “El Kilo,” during a presentation to the press in Mexico City, yesterday. The Mexican Navy said Saturday it had captured Estrada Luna, the presumed leader of the San Fernando cell of the Zetas drug gang, suspected in the case of the mass graves found in Tamaulipas, as well as the migrant massacre last August in the violent border state across from Texas. — AP

Top cop replaced in Mexico border state MEXICO CITY: The Tamaulipas state governor replaced his public security chief on Sunday after 145 bodies showed up in mass graves in the violent border state in the last two weeks. Gov. Egidio Torre Cantu said in a statement that he tapped former military Capt Rafael Lomeli Martinez to be the new chief because his experience in the military and federal police would help him coordinate beefed-up security efforts announced by federal and state authorities last week. The outgoing chief, retired Brig Gen Ubaldo Ayala Tinoco, offered the governor his resignation in light of the new security efforts, saying Torre Cantu should have the opportunity to choose the leader, according to state Interior Secretary Morelos Canseco. “The new appointment is very simple,” Canseco told AP. “It is part of a commitment by Tamaulipas to strengthen the state’s contribution toward an integrated public security strategy based mainly on coordination among federal, state and municipal authorities.” Lomeli, who has worked in Tamaulipas in the past, most recently coordinated Federal Police efforts in Nuevo Leon, a neighboring state also racked by violence from the warring Gulf and Zetas drug cartels. Authorities in Tamaulipas began uncovering bodies in mass graves in early April following reports that passengers were being pulled off buses at gunpoint in the township of San Fernando. As of last week, 145 bodies had been found in 26

graves. Fernando is the same place where 72 Central and South American migrants were found slaughtered last August. Both mass killings have been blamed on the Zetas. Only one body has been identified, that of a Guatemalan man. Authorities have yet to say whether dozens of bus passengers reported missing were found in the graves. President Felipe Calderon on Friday said he has ordered an increase of federal forces in Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon and parts of the neighboring states of Coahuila and San Luis Potosi without providing details, and that he would reinforce operations to ensure security for those traveling on roads and in buses. Mexico Interior Secretary Francisco Blake Mora earlier in the week announced a fivepoint initiative to investigate the crimes and to increase security, including the federal monitoring of transport buses. As of last week, authorities said they had 17 suspects in custody in relation to the mass graves. On Saturday, the Mexican navy nabbed a man it called one of the leaders of the San Fernando Zetas cell, presenting Martin Omar Estrada Luna, alias “El Kilo”, in Mexico City on Sunday and alleging he was involved in both the killing of the 145 and the migrant massacre last August. The navy also presented 11 others taken in the same operation who are believed to work for Estrada Luna. —AP

Canadian leaders spar over Arctic ahead of election VANCOUVER: Canada’s opposition Liberals accused Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Sunday of “militarizing” the country’s policies for the Arctic while ignoring the social and economic problems of the region. Canada’s strategy for its Far North is expected to play a bigger role in the May 2 federal election, with both Harper and Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff expected to make campaign trips to the resource-rich region this week. Polls show the Conservatives will win re-election and possibly gain enough seats in Parliament to form a majority government that will not require opposition support to remain in power. Canada claims a large swath of the Arctic including the Northwest Passage, which could become an important shipping link between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans as climate change melts away the northern ice cap. Several countries, including the United States, contend that the Northwest Passage is international

waters and dispute Canada’s right to control what ships can travel the route. The Conservatives, who have had a minority government since 2006, have pushed an Arctic strategy that includes building a new military training facility and new patrol vessels for the Northwest Passage. “Mr Harper has militarized the north, as if the only thing that matters is the miliary sovereignty aspects of that,” Ignatieff told reporters at a campaign stop in Vancouver, where he was joined by former Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin. Ignatieff said Canadians wanted to protect the country’s sovereignty claims but recognized that doing so also required helping its isolated communities and giving them a stake in future economic development. The Liberal leader said Canada’s Arctic claims also required it to do more to fight climate change. Harper, who was also campaigning on the Pacific Coast on Sunday, denied the government was ignoring the region’s social and environmental needs. — Reuters

RALEIGH: The worst tornadoes to hit parts of the United States in decades have left 45 people dead, stripping roofs off houses and tossing mobile homes into the air like toys, emergency officials said Sunday. The trail of destruction began on Thursday evening in Oklahoma, where a giant twister almost wiped out the small town of Tushka-population 350 — tearing up most of its homes and businesses and killing two elderly residents. The storm system strengthened and expanded on Friday, whipping up hundreds more tornadoes that barreled through Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and North Carolina, before petering out in Virginia on Saturday night. “It’s the most significant damage by a tornado since the early 80s,” Governor Beverly Perdue told reporters in Raleigh, capital of worst-hit North Carolina, where 23 people died. Among seven people killed in Alabama were a mother and her two children sheltering inside their mobile home when it was thrown some 500 feet (150 meters) into the woods, landing on its roof. Seven others died in Arkansas, five in Virginia, and one in Mississippi. An 8-year- old girl and a 47-year- old woman “were swept off a bridge by flood waters” while walking in the Virginia town of Waynesboro, said state emergency management depar tment spokeswoman Laura Southard. A second child was pulled to safety. Falling trees snapped power lines and came crashing down on cars and houses, killing occupants and causing widespread damage. Witnesses described hailstones the size of grapefruit. “This is the worst storm, tornado-wise, since 1984,” Patty McQuillan, a spokeswoman from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Raleigh, told AFP. The year 1984 saw the most destructive tornadoes in more than a centur y, with twisters sweeping through Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia, killing 57 people and injuring more than 1,000. “I actually do remember the last one,” said McQuillan. “I believe that the destruction may even be greater this time than it was in 1984.” More than 60 homes in North Carolina were destroyed and more than 400 others sustained heavy damage. Aerial footage showed a vast Lowe’s home improvement store obliterated with no roof and flattened

NORTH CAROLINA: Jeffery Lee looks at a photograph in the middle of debris that was once his friend’s home in Fayetteville, N.C. yesterday, after a tornado hit the area on Saturday. — AP walls. “I’ve never seen anything like this in my life,” Perdue told local media. “There is a tremendous amount of property damage and damage to people’s lives. The hardest is for the people whose lives have been devastated.” The governor declared a state of emergency on Saturday night to loosen up federal funds for what promises to be a long and painful recovery. “The state of emergency allows the governor to deploy the necessar y assets to respond to and recover from the storm and it’s also a prerequisite for asking for federal disaster assistance,” explained McQuillan. The biggest toll in one area was 14 in North Carolina’s Bertie County, which has a population of less than 20,000, according to the last census figures. “We’ve had hurricanes, we’ve had floods, but we’ve never seen the loss of life we’re seeing here,” county official Zee Lamb told CNN, describing the vast complex of tornadoes that tore through the area. “It was estimated about a half-mile to three-quarters of a mile wide and it lasted for about six to eight, 10 miles through the county,” Lamb said. Sam Bennett, 35, and his wife had just put their son, who turns two next week, down

for a nap when they realized the storm was bearing down on their building in Raleigh. “We hustled the dogs and the baby into the back rooms,” Bennett told AFP. “It got louder and louder and we heard a couple of booms and the fire alarm went off.” The ceiling above them collapsed and water came pouring into their apartment, but the Bennetts could count themselves among the lucky ones-at least they survived and their home is salvageable. “The tornado outbreak led to a total of 241 tornado reports in 14 states over the three-day period,” said Meghan Evans from Accuweather.com. “This will likely rank this tornado outbreak among the largest in history.” The meteorologist said there had been three main contributory factors: a powerful jet stream, abundant moisture and a strong cold front plowing across the South. “A powerful jet stream helped to enhance the thunderstorm growth, while moisture surging in from the Gulf of Mexico acted as fuel for the thunderstorms.” Though more fatalities occurred in tornado outbreaks in 2008 (57) and 1985 (76), experts believe this weekend could have set a new record for the number of twisters over a three-day period. It is feared the damage will run into the billions of dollars. — AFP

Finnish nationalists could derail Europe bailouts MATTI HUUHTANEN: A huge surge in support for a Finnish nationalist party that opposes eurozone bailouts is complicating Europe’s plans to rescue Portugal and other debt-ridden economies. The sharp rise of the True Finns in Sunday’s nation election represents a watershed moment in Finnish politics, which have traditionally been dominat-

ed by the Social Democrats, the Center Party and the conservative National Coalition party. It might also be a watershed moment for Europe’s bailout negotiations. A bailout rescue without Finland would severely undermine the eurozone’s pledge to do everything to defend the common currency and could create panic on financial markets.

HELSINKI: A woman looks at front pages of Finnish newspapers at a store selling newspapers in Helsinki yesterday. Finland’s political scene was transformed yesterday after the nationalist True Finns Party’s unprecedented poll results which could send parliament lurching right and affect future European bailouts. — AFP

Finland’s pro-European conservative party won Sunday’s election but its allies lost support so the Cabinet has to resign. Conservative leader Jyrki Katainen must now try to form a new coalition government either with the Social Democrats, who finished second, or the nationalist True Finns, who surged to third place. Both those parties are skeptical of how Europe is handling its debt crisis, which has led to rescue packages for Greece and Ireland and another one being negotiated for Portugal. True Finns leader Timo Soini, the biggest individual vote-winner in the election, suggested Monday that Finland should opt out of future bailout packages, decisions that require unanimity in the 17-member eurozone. “Our money must not be splashed out on mechanisms that don’t work,” Soini told Finnish YLE radio. “We won’t be dictating conditions for the rest of Europe but we will maintain the right for Finland to decide for itself on money matters,” he said. “Finnish cows must be milked in Finland

and we shouldn’t send their milk for charity outside the borders of this country.” If Finland votes against a Portuguese bailout program, the European Financial Stability Facility would be paralyzed; if it merely abstains, the remaining eurozone countries could in theory go ahead with a bailout without Finnish contributions. However, that means other countries would have to make up for the lost guarantees, a scenario that would run into opposition in other well-off states like Germany, the Netherlands or Austria, where sentiment against the bailouts also runs high. Germany warned that it expects the incoming Finnish government to respect any European treaties and euro deals agreed to by former Finnish governments. Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen, a spokeswoman for the European Commission, said the EU’s executive branch did not expect a delay in the bailout of Portugal — which was due to be signed off by eurozone finance ministers in mid-May — because of the Finnish election results. — AP



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Taleban breaches Afghan defence HQ, kills two Attacker found to be wearing a suicide vest KABUL: A gunman in Afghan army uniform opened fire inside Kabul’s defence ministry yesterday, killing two soldiers and wounding seven in an audacious strike at the heart of government claimed by the Taleban. The attack, which the militants said was aimed at France’s visiting defence minister Gerard Longuet, was the third major assault on Afghan security targets in four days and one of the worst security breaches in years. SILIGURI: An Indian paramilitary soldier guards as women queue up to cast their votes during the first phase of West Bengal state Assembly elections in Siliguri, India, yesterday. Democratically-elected communist governments have been ruling this north eastern state since 1977. — AP

India Marxists face vote for survival in W Bengal KOLKATA: The Indian state of West Bengal went to the polls yesterday in a vote that looked set to end three decades of uninterrupted rule by the world’s oldest democratically elected communist government. The Left Front, led by the Communist Party of Indian (Marxist), or CPI-M had, until recently, won every election in the eastern state since 1977. But straight successive losses in council, parliamentary and municipal polls have left the communists struggling for survival. Opinion polls suggest the Left Front is headed for a crushing defeat at the hands of a woman who has emerged as one of India’s most powerful and feisty politicians, Mamata Banerjee-known to her followers simply as “didi” or sister. Banerjee, a populist who casts herself as a champion of the poor, has ridden a wave of popular discontent with the Communist government’s handling of the economy that has left industry in decline and the state neckdeep in debt. “The government’s defeat is written on the wall,” Banerjee, 56, told a recent campaign rally. “History is about to be made.” West Bengal is one of five states going to the polls in a round of regional elections that has caught India’s ruling coalition, led by the Congress party, at a bad time. A raft of corruption scandals and a surge in food price inflation have seriously undermined the political standing of the federal government and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Congress is fighting the West Bengal poll in an alliance with Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress which, with 19 seats in the federal parliament, is a key coalition partner. One recent opinion poll forecast the Trinamool alliance would sweep the elections, winning 215 of the 294 state assembly seats while the communists would get just 74 — a result that would effectively consign the

once-powerful Marxists to the margins of Indian politics. Monday’s voting marks the first of six phases in the election, with final results set to be announced on May 13. State chief electoral officer Sunil Kumar Gupta said that more than 60,000 police and paramilitary forces had been deployed around the 12,000 polling booths. Police reported minor clashes in the Cooch Behar district, which borders Bangladesh, where officers used batons to control an unruly crowd. The anti-incumbency mood in West Bengal has been fuelled by anger among farmers over being forced to sell fertile land holdings under a government job-creation drive to lure industry. The land acquisition policy “boomeranged on the government,” said Abhirup Sarkar, a professor at the Indian Statistical Institute. “You cannot force a person to sell off his land.” Three years ago violent protests led by Banerjee against plans by India’s giant Tata group to build a factory in West Bengal to make the world’s cheapest minicar, the Nano, led the company to shift the plant to western Gujarat state. Protests also forced the abandonment of a $3 billion chemicals complex. The drive to industrialise marked a shift from the communists’ early days in power when they gave land to some 2.5 million rural poor under India’s largest distribution scheme, breaking the hold of West Bengal’s land-owning elite. But as land shortages grew with farms being divided among families and unemployment climbed, the government shifted gear and sought to bring back factories to the state, which was once the nation’s economic hub. The diminutive Banerjee, whose mercurial nature and hot temper frequently land her in newspaper headlines, has promised to focus both on reviving industry and agriculture.—AFP

“A person in Afghan army uniform opened fire on his comrades, killed two soldiers, injured seven others, then was targeted himself and was brought down,” Afghan army spokesman General Mohammad Zahir Azimi told AFP. After his death, the attacker was found to be wearing a suicide vest, he said. One of those killed was a bodyguard of the deputy defence minister, while those injured included an aide to the defence minister and a secretary to the army’s chief of staff, said a senior security official speaking anonymously. Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak was not injured in the shootout, a Western security source said separately, but it is thought that the suicide bomber was shot dead close to the minister’s office. Earlier, a military source had told AFP on condition of anonymity that three insurgents had managed to enter the building, which faces President Hamid Karzai’s palace, and all were killed. The ambush inside the tightly-secured compound is thought to be the most high-profile security breach since a failed attempt on Karzai’s life in 2008. French defence minister Longuet is currently on a visit to Afghanistan but was not in the building at the time of the firefight. A French official stressed they had seen “no evidence” that the attack was an attempt to kill Longuet, while his office said he was at Bagram airfield, more than 40 kilometres (24 miles) away, at the time. The incident is now over and an investigation is under way. Taleban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP that Longuet was the target. “The reason for conducting this attack is the invasion of Afghanistan by the French military,” he said, adding that it was not carried out over the controversial banning of the Islamic full-face veil in France. There are some 4,000 French troops stationed in Afghanistan as part of a roughly 130,000-strong NATO-led international force. The Islamist militia are known frequently to exaggerate claims in relation to their attacks. The incident comes amid a string of serious attacks on pro-government security forces in recent days by insurgents wearing military and police uniforms. On Friday the police chief of Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan, seen as a key battleground in the war, was killed in the police headquarters by an attacker in police uniform. And on Saturday, five international and four Afghan troops died when a member of the Afghan National Army blew himself up at an army base in Laghman province, eastern Afghanistan. That was the deadliest single attack against foreign forces since December, while Saturday was the worst day for international troops in Afghanistan since June last year, with a total of eight soldiers killed. Elsewhere in Afghanistan yesterday, six police officers were killed by a roadside bomb in Ghazni province, central Afghanistan, the provincial police chief said, in an attack also claimed by the Taleban. — AFP

KABUL: Afghan military officials ask media members to stay back, as an ambulance enters the compound of Defense Ministry, after a clash in Kabul, Afghanistan, yesterday. An alleged Taleban sleeper agent opened fire inside the Defense Ministry, killing at least two soldiers before he was gunned down in the third deadly breach of security in Afghanistan in less than a week.—AP

India bans child labor in circuses NEW DELHI: India’s Supreme Court yesterday banned travelling circuses from employing children and ordered the government to conduct raids on all performing companies to rescue minors. The court edict followed a petition lodged by a children’s rights group that has lobbied for full implementation of Indian child labour laws, which are regularly flouted by circuses. Children are often trained to perform high-wire acrobatic acts, juggling stunts and other attractions for audiences in India, where circus companies move from town to town throughout the year. “The court has ordered the government to rescue all children below 14 years of age and also instructed them to formulate a rehabilitation policy for the minors,” said Colin Gonsalves, a lawyer for the Save the Childhood Movement, which brought the case. The court order said that all children rescued from circuses should live with their parents and that the government should provide care and education if their parents are unable to look after them. India passed a law nearly 25 years ago

banning children under 14 from working in hazardous industries such as fireworks manufacture, and labour legislation has since been extended to cover most employment sectors. The laws were amended in 2006 to tackle widespread abuse of the rules, but activists say courts still need to crack down on child labour which is often rife in restaurants, shops, farms and on building sites. Circus professionals criticised the court ruling, saying that training performers from a young age is crucial to development of specialist skills. They point to European circuses that are allowed to sign up children if one parent accompanies them and full education is provided. “One can only perform acrobatics if rigorous training is imparted at an early age. Children are needed for the job and you cannot train adults for it,” N.V. Chandran, a trainer at the Gujarat-based Gemini Circus, told AFP. Circuses have suffered a drop in popularity in India as televisions, cinemas and video players have spread into rural areas. — AFP



Taiwan ex-govt financed China dissidents: Activist TAIPEI: A Chinese student leader from the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests said yesterday he had received money from a past Taiwan government through a fund that backed democracy activism on the mainland. Wang Dan, who is now based on the island, said he received an unspecified amount of money from former president Chen Shui-bian-who was in office from 20002008 — but did not think it had come from Chen’s own pocket. “Apparently, this money was given by the govern-

ment of the Republic of China (Taiwan’s official title) rather than by Mr. Chen Shui-bian himself,” he said in an article printed in the Taipei-based Apple Daily. “In other words, Mr. Chen represented the Republic of China government while displaying financial support to China’s democracy movement,” Wang said. Chen, already in jail on separate charges of bribery, is under investigation over claims he embezzled state funds during his presidency, but has insisted the money was used for “secret diplomatic missions” on the island’s behalf. As an exiled Chinese dissident, Wang said that

his group would welcome any legal political donations. “ We especially expect the government of the Republic of China to understand the significance of China’s democracy movement,” he said. Wang-now a visiting scholar at the National Tsing Hua University in Hsinchu-told the High Court last week that he had received money from Chen. But he categorically denied reports last week that he had received $400,000, saying on Facebook that the amount was incorrect. Chen is serving a 17-and-a-half-year sentence on two

convictions of bribery in separate cases. Those also implicated his wheelchair-bound wife, who was spared the same prison term because of her poor health. The former leader says the legal action against him forms part of a political vendetta by Taiwan’s current Beijing-friendly government in retaliation for his proindependence stance while in power. Taiwan and China split in 1949 at the end of a civil war, but Beijing considers the self-ruled island to be part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary. — AFP

Most Japan voters want PM Kan out Extra tax to pay for rebuilding would be supported

JAKARTA: Members of the hardline Indonesian Islamic organization Hizbut Tahrir attend a rally condemning the recent French government ban on the burqa, and denouncing pornography as victimizing women, in Jakarta yesterday. The group endorse the implementation of Sharia law to give protection to the Muslim people. The banner reads: Burqa ban, proof of failure of secularism and democracy. — AFP

Indonesia identifies mosque bomber JAKARTA: Indonesian police yesterday identified a suicide bomber who blew himself up and wounded 30 people at a Muslim Friday prayer as a man on a police wanted list over previous attacks. Forensic tests showed the bomber was Mohammed Syarif, 32, and police have seized nails and explosive materials including potassium nitrate, aluminium and sulphur from his parents’ home, detectives told a televised press conference. Deputy chief detective Matheus Salempang said Syarif’s motives and any links with terror groups are still under investigation, but it had been “concluded and irrefutably proven” that he was the bomber. “What we do know is that Syarif had been on the police wanted list in similar cases, including an attack on a minimarket in Cirebon,” he said. Syarif detonated explosives strapped to his body at a mosque within a police station in Cirebon, West Java province, on Friday as worshippers began their prayers. The explosion killed him instantly and injured 30 people, six of them seriously. The wounded-who were mostly policemen including the Cirebon police chiefwere found with nails, nuts and bolts lodged in their bodies. Police said Syarif was a Cirebon resident and had damaged the minimarket’s property in the previous attack because

it sold alcohol. Similar attacks have been carried out on stores and bars by Islamic hardliners in Indonesia. National police spokesman Anton Bachrul Alam said Syarif’s fingerprints, dental records and DNA samples from his parents “matched 100 percent” with the dead man. The bomber’s heavily pregnant wife, Sri Maliha, told the Jakarta Globe newspaper that her husband was not pious. “He was a good husband who sometimes led the prayer as an imam. But he was not a devout Muslim, I guess. He never conducted sunnah fasting or sunnah prayers,” she was quoted as saying, referring to optional fasting and praying. “He did not graduate from an Islamic boarding school or have a jihad (holy war) book collection. He was just like an ordinary man that socialised with people,” she added. The attack was the first suicide bombing inside a mosque in the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation of 240 million people. Indonesia is struggling to deal with the threat of homegrown Islamist militants who oppose the country’s secular, democratic system and want to create a caliphate across much of Southeast Asia. A series of bombings in recent years in the country have been were blamed on regional terror network Jemaah Islamiyah, including the 2002 Bali bombings which killed 202 people. — AFP

TOKYO: Most Japanese want a new prime minister to lead rebuilding after last month’s earthquake and tsunami, newspaper polls showed yesterday, as the head of government was again scolded in parliament for his handling of the nuclear crisis that followed. Japan is struggling to bring the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant under control after it was crippled by the March 11 natural disasters, a process that could take the rest of the year. Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said on Sunday it hoped to achieve a cold shutdown to make the reactors stable within six to nine months. That timetable would only be met if “everything goes smoothly”, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said. The full recovery could take even longer and rebuilding the shattered northeastern coast has yet to begin. The cost of material damage alone from the quake and tsunami has been estimated at $300 billion, making it the world’s most expensive natural disaster. More than 13,000 people have been confirmed dead and tens of thousands made homeless. Nearly 70 percent of people surveyed by the Nikkei business daily said Prime Minister Naoto Kan should be replaced, and a similar number said the government’s response to the nuclear crisis was not acceptable. Kan was criticised again in parliament on Monday for his response to the nuclear disaster. An opposition lawmaker suggested he had been ill-prepared from the start, pointing to Kan’s admission that he could not recall the details of a drill last year that simulated a Fukushima-type incident. “Prime Minister Kan is working hard and he must be experiencing difficulties. But many people have questions about his leadership,” opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lawmaker Masashi Waki told the upper house budget committee. Kan said he and his government were doing their best. “Japan has experienced many crises in the past, but I believe this is the biggest crisis in the 65 years since the end of World War Two,” he told a parliamentary panel yesterday. “From now on ... we must persist with our strategy on two fronts, and I want to make every effort on both issues,” he said, referring to rebuilding the country and resolving the nuclear crisis. Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said radiation levels in the reactors were making it difficult to work there, and experts say the crisis could drag on well beyond TEPCO’s target. “Just soaking the fuel in water would mean it will take a very long


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18 killed in China storms BEIJING: Violent thunderstorms lashed parts of China’s southern industrial heartland, killing 18 people and injuring dozens, authorities said yesterday. Guangdong province’s Civil Affairs Bureau said hail, rain and gale-force winds struck the provincial capital of Guangzhou on Sunday afternoon along with the nearby cities of Foshan, Dongguan and Zhaoqing. Victims were struck by falling objects and collapsing walls and work sheds, with 155 people injured and 380 left homeless, the bureau said. It estimated damages at 95 million yuan ($14 million), with at least 45 buildings wrecked and about 2,500 acres (1,000 hectares) of crops damaged. One dead in Thai south YALA: Suspected Muslim insurgents detonated a bomb yesterday killing a paramilitary ranger and wounding 23 people in Thailand’s restive south, police said, the latest attack in the Muslim-dominated region bordering Malaysia. A bomb hidden in a parked car exploded in a business district of Yala city, about 100 metres (110 yards) from a food market at 8:10 am (0110 GMT), killing the ranger instantly.

DENPASAR: Customs personnel guard Maria Cecilia Lopes of the Philippines in a customs office at the International Ngurah Rai airport in Denpasar in Bali island yesterday. Lopes was arrested on April 15, 2011 by airport security officials after she was found carrying 324.87 grams of methampethamine inside her stomach, airport customs chief Made Wijaya said. — AFP

Pirates accused of breaking deal MUMBAI: The owners of a Panama-registered ship captured off Somalia last year have criticised pirates for failing to release all of the Indian crew with the vessel after a ransom was paid. An agreement was reached with the pirates last week and an undisclosed ransom was paid to free the ship and sailors, all of whom are Indian nationals, according to the ship’s Mumbai-based manager OMCI Ship Management. Eight crew members were released with the vessel, called Asphalt Venture, but seven were still being held by the pirates. “The owners of the Asphalt Venture have expressed deep disappointment over the pirates reneging on their word,” OMCI said in a statement released on Sunday. “The vessel is in Somali waters.

OTSUCHI: Construction workers install electric cables in Otsuchi, Iwate prefecture yesterday. Japanese lawmakers grilled the president of the company at the centre of the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl, demanding he take responsibility for the disaster. — AFP time to cool down the fuel,” said Hidehiko Nishiyama, a deputy director general of the agency. He said engineers were exploring other cooling methods. “For us to be able to dismantle the fuel rods and take them to another location will take time measured in years,” he added. Besides battling to contain the nuclear crisis, the government must also figure out how to pay for the biggest reconstruction project since the aftermath of World War Two despite public debt already twice the size of the $5 trillion economy. The government hopes to avoid issuing new bonds to fund an initial emergency budget, expected to be worth about 4 trillion yen ($48 billion), due to be compiled this month. But bond issuance is likely for subsequent extra budgets and markets are worried that post-quake rebuilding may hamper Japan’s efforts to rein in its debt. Ruling party executives are eyeing a tax rise but some lawmakers fear it would hurt the economy. “It is no doubt that a substantial amount of revenue sources will be needed for reconstruction,” Japan’s deputy finance minister, Fumihiko Igarashi, said. “I want to ask the people to share burdens broadly. While we review every spending and revenue to raise funds, everyone needs to share the pain.” Kan’s Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), which swept to power for the first time in

2009, has seen support flag ever since and voters punished the party in local elections earlier this month. More than half of the people surveyed by the Nikkei newspaper want the DPJ to team up with the LDP, and another poll in the Mainichi newspaper showed a similar result. Kan has already invited the LDP to form a national unity government, but the LDP has rejected the idea of a coalition and called for Kan to resign. The DPJ controls parliament’s lower house but needs opposition help to pass bills because it lacks a majority in the upper chamber, which can block legislation. Analysts say that Kan, who took office last June as Japan’s fifth leader since 2006, is unlikely to resign readily, while opposition parties could be criticised if they try to take disaster budgets hostage in a political battle. “It is impossible to change prime ministers at such a time. Foreign countries would view that as abnormal,” said Hajime Ishii, a heavyweight DPJ upper house lawmaker. “At a time when we must work on rebuilding after the earthquake, it is not possible to have a DPJ leadership vote or a general election.” Ishii also said a “grand coalition” between the DPJ and the LDP was impractical given an electoral system in which most candidates in most constituencies battle for a single seat. “It’s fine to cooperate on policies, but if they formed a ‘grand coalition’ the voters would feel betrayed,” he said. — Reuters

No topless dancing please, we’re Thai BANGKOK: Thai authorities denounced three teenage girls yesterday who danced topless on a Bangkok street during New Year’s celebrations - underscoring the tension between Thailand’s traditionally modest culture and the country’s reputation as a sex capital. Concern was heightened by the young age of the dancers, who were found to be 14, 15 and 16 when they turned themselves in to the police yesterday afternoon. The incident occurred Friday, on the last day of the New Year’s water festival known as Songkran, not far from the world-famous Patpong Road red-light district, where live sex shows can be seen for the price of a drink and offers of sexual services to passers-by are only thinly veiled. But that freewheeling Thailand — which is often the only one many foreigners see — is at odds with a fairly conservative culture. Thai authorities have sought to promote that more modest vision of the country. “Dancing topless during the Songkran celebrations is very inappropriate and unacceptable,” Culture Minister Nipit Intarasombut said Monday. “I assume they worked in some kind of nightclubs and got carried away by the vibe.” He said he feared foreign tourists might get the wrong idea about Thai society. Police spokesman Maj. Gen. Prawut Thavornsiri told The Associated Press the three girls arranged to meet them at a discreet location, paid fines of 500 baht ($16) each for public obscenity and were released. Songkran traditionally was a time to sprinkle water on elders respect-

fully in exchange for blessings. Splashing water on unsuspecting friends or passers-by eventually became a welcome relief during some of the hottest days of the year, but now the revelry often includes drunken mayhem. Silom Road, where the incident happened, is shut to traffic during the festival, and vendors sell food and booze and play music, while young people dance in the streets and dump water on one another. Videos of the teens show them dancing atop parked vehicles with shirts off, and then removing their bras as a rowdy crowd chants, “Take it off!” The dance has been posted online and has been shown again and again — with naughty bits

blacked out or blurred — on local television. “I demand that society come out and criticize them,” said Nipit. Before the girls turned themselves in and paid a fine, Nipit said the dancers should carry out community service to heighten their cultural awareness, such as reading books about Songkran to children. Chalidaporn Songsamphan, a political scientist at Bangkok ’s Thammasat University, said the present-day nature of the holiday was to blame. “In the past, people celebrated the tradition with their families, neighbors or those whom they actually knew. ... Nowadays, they are celebrating with strangers,” said Chalidaporn, a prominent feminist. — AP

GUANGZHOU: In this photo taken Sunday, a giant road sign is damaged by a storm that swept through Guangzhou in southern China’s Guangdong Province. Violent thunderstorms lashed parts of China’s southern industrial heartland, killing 18 people and injuring dozens, authorities said yesterday. — AP



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Mexico orphans are casualties of drug wars CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico: With a child’s unfettered frankness, six-year old Jorge tells a social worker that he is saving his pesos for the one thing he wants more than anything: an AK-47 automatic rifle. It will take a weapon at least that deadly, the boy reckons, to visit retribution on the assassins who brutally shot and killed his father. Jorge is one of 12,000 children orphaned in Mexico’s relentless and bloody drug wars. As tragic as his situation, he is one of the few lucky children to receive mental health counseling after losing a parent to the ruthless drug trade that has proliferated across the country - especially along the US-Mexico border. Drug lords embroiled in deadly turf battles have caused a bloodbath across Mexico, with over 34,600 people killed since Dec 2006. The country’s Human Rights Commission said another 5,000 people are missing and presumed dead, and a military crackdown has failed to to stem the violence. Most of the roughly 7,000 people mowed down in Ciudad Juarez have been between the ages of 17 and 35, and social workers and grief counselors here said many were the parents of small children. “At least 12,000 children have lost one or both of their parents,” said Gustavo de la Rosa, an official from Mexico’s human rights commission. Those motherless and fatherless children, said de la Rosa, are a lasting and tragic legacy of Mexico’s drug wars. After witnessing the execution of a parent, the children - even if physically uninjured themselves - face a lifetime of emotional scarring. But here in Juarez there are just 20 psychologists to serve the survivors, whose numbers grow every day. “We have an urgent need for psychologists” to treat the children of those who have been killed, said De la Rosa, adding that authori-

ties have put out a call to those with experience working with victims of war and violence in places like the Balkans and in Africa.

sought help for her son after he told her about his goal of saving enough money for an automatic weapon to avenge his father’s death. “These kinds of stories are

violence. Aguirre knows of another child whose piggybank savings are being collected “so that he can buy a bomb one day and blow up the television station” that

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico: Children of Ciudad Juarez take part in a therapy session at the Centro Familiar para la Integracion y el Crecimiento (Family Centre for Integration and Growth) on April 9, 2011. – AFP A shortage of mental health workers means others have had to step in to fill the gaps, including academics, clergy members, and social workers. Jorge’s mother

not unusual,” said Silvia Aguirre founder of the Family Center for Integration and Growth, whose six staff therapists have been taxed to the breaking point by the

callously broadcast images of the severed head of his slain father. Survivors raising children affected by the drug wars can attend workshops geared for teens and

adults, but the need is far greater than the available resources. Children lucky enough to get counseling sometimes receive play therapy to help them cope with the feelings of loneliness and rage that can arise after parents have died a violent death. Others however have the ongoing emotional challenge caused by being stigmatized as children of “narcos” as drug dealers are sometimes called. Myrna Pastrana, a local writer who was born in Ciudad Juarez, has compiled about 100 stories of small children whose lives have been shattered by Mexico’s drug wars. “One child recounted how some men came to his home, took him outside, and shot his parents and his three older siblings all in a row,” Pastrana said, adding that the tot can vividly recall the puddles of blood as his family members lay dead in the road. Hard as it is to imagine now, Pastrana said she can remember a time when Ciudad Juarez was a wonderful place to grow up. Now, city life in Juarez has itself become a casualty of Mexico’s deadly drug trade, particularly after nightfall in the once vibrant downtown, with its abandoned and burned out businesses. The government of Chihuahua, the state where Ciudad Juarez is situated, has disbursed 100 million pesos ($800,000) for the mental health care of the survivors - a sum most social workers say is woefully inadequate. “Where is the international aid? Where is UNICEF?” asked Pastrana, referring to the UN agency tasked with promoting the health and welfare of children. “Thousands of children are not getting any help at all,” the writer said, with an ominous warning. “There is no doubt that when they grow up, they will be bitter adults who continue the cycle of killing.” — AFP

Opposition to huge India nuclear plant hardens

KHYBER, Pakistan: In this photo taken April 15, 2011, a Pakistani family flee their village due to ongoing clashes between Islamist militants and Pakistan’s army as they pass through Khyber. – AP

Pakistanis flee troubled areas near Afghan border PESHAWAR: When a mortar shell killed three people at his neighbor’s house, Munir Khan knew it was time for him and his family to pack up and leave his village near the Afghan border. In doing so, they became some of the latest in a wave of 1 million people in the last four years to flee fighting between Islamist militants and Pakistan’s army. The displaced have become the forgotten victims of Pakistan’s US-backed campaign against militants, living in camps or relatives’ homes scattered throughout the country. That so many have still not returned is perhaps the clearest sign of the difficulties the army is facing against deeply entrenched insurgents along the frontier. The White House this month issued a report that said continued military operations in the Mohmand region - an area about the size of metropolitan Paris and all its suburbs - illustrated Pakistan’s inability to keep its tribal areas free of insurgents. The report noted that there have been three such pushes in the remote, lawless region in the last two years. The Pakistan government has rejected the report’s conclusions. In some northwestern regions, the army has declared victory - only to see militants return and residents flee for a second time. Khan fled his home April 5 after fresh clashes between the army and militants very close to the border began around the same time. The government says 142 militants have been killed in air and ground attacks, but there is no way to verify that figure and it could well be inflated or include civilians. He walked for two hours before taking a car to the main northwestern city of Peshawar. “I thought we could be killed ... so better to take the risk” of traveling through a war zone, said Khan, a thin, 34-year-old who buys and sells marble from quarries in the region one of the main industries in the area. He did not know who fired the mortar shell, but security forces and insurgents both use such weapons. Al-Qaeda and Taleban fighters fled from Afghanistan to tribally administered regions like Mohmand soon after the 2001 US-led invasion there. They have since been joined by Pakistani militants who are waging a war against the country’s secular leaders. Also joining them are international jihadists seeking a sanctuary and training ground. The US wants Pakistan to succeed because the tribal areas are also being used as staging areas by militants fighting Western troops across the border in Afghanistan. Many of the suicide bombers used in Afghanistan are young boys from Pakistan’s side of the border, the UN has said. The White House report said at least 6,000 Pakistani security forces were dispatched with air support at the start of 2011 to rid Mohmand of militant groups, but they have struggled. In Iraq and Afghanistan, the

US military strategy has been to “clear, hold and build” _ eliminate insurgents from a given area, ensure there are enough troops on the ground to stop them from returning, and then build roads, schools and other development projects to try to win the support of the people. “What remains vexing is the lack of any indication of ‘hold’ and ‘build’ planning or staging efforts to complement ongoing clearing operations,” the report said. This month, some 5,000 families roughly 40,000 people - have fled their homes in Mohmand, said Amjad Ali Khan, the region’s top administrator. The United Nations said 500 families had arrived in the Nahqi relief camp in Mohmand, but that others may be staying elsewhere. All told, 1 million people have fled the fighting in the northwest since Pakistan’s army began launching operations in earnest in 2008, the world body says. Pakistan’s military, trained to fight conventional warfare against Indian troops on the plains of the Punjab, have had trouble adopting counterinsurgency tactics in mountainous areas. The force has relied heavily on air attacks, which risk civilian casualties. It says it has lost more than 3,000 soldiers since 2001 fighting the militants and has launched operations in six of the seven tribal areas, the largest being in South Waziristan region. There, about 30,000 ground troops launched an offensive in September 2009, quickly clearing what had been a major hub for Al-Qaeda and the Taleban. But 400,000 people fled the region effectively its entire population - and more than 90 percent have yet to return. “Presently, the security situation in South Waziristan is not satisfactory and we cannot tell our people to go back,” said tribal elder Maulana Asamuddin. One way Pakistan’s military has tried to stem the militant tide has been by enlisting local tribes to set up their own fighting forces, known locally as “lashkars” or “peace committees”. That strategy has run into difficulty in Mohmand, with many tribesmen reluctant to join. “We were in trouble from both sides,” said Khan said. “The elders of those tribes reluctant to join peace committees were being arrested and tribes were being punished. And those joining the committees were becoming targets of the militants.” Because of a curfew and ongoing militancy, the marble industry had shut down in the past year because workers did not come to the quarries, and there was little commerce or agriculture, he said. The only school in Khan’s village of Ghanam Shah was destroyed by the insurgents. Now, Khan and his family are staying with relatives, and hoping for a quick end to the fighting. “I don’t want to go to government relief camps,” he said. “There, life will be more difficult, I think, than in our village.” — AP

JAITAPUR, India: As far as Taramati Vaghdhare is concerned, there is no question of accepting compensation to make way for the world’s largest nuclear power plant. “If you want the land, make us stand on the land - shoot us and then take the land,” said the feisty 53-yearold, wearing a blue and gold sari and gesturing with a spatula. In the yard outside her house, a young man sorted green mangoes of the prized Alphonso type from her family’s orchards. “Our land is our mother. We can’t sell her and take compensation,” said Vaghdhare, who was among villagers detained during recent protests against the plant. The stakes are high for chronically power-short India. The plant would eventually have six reactors capable of generating 9,900 megawatts of electricity - enough to provide power to 10 million Indian homes. Long-running opposition to the proposed plant at Jaitapur has hardened amid the unfolding nuclear crisis in Japan, with village posters depicting scenes of last month’s devastation at the Fukushima plant and warning of what could be in store for this region in the Western Ghats north of Goa. Even if villagers and fishermen manage to derail the plant, India is unlikely to back down from its broader nuclear ambitions given surging power demand and a lack of alternatives. India suffers from a peak-hour power deficit of about 12 percent that acts as a brake on an economy growing at nearly 9 percent and causes blackouts in much of the country. About 40 percent of Indians, or 500 million people, lack electricity. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh staked his political career on a 2008 deal with the United States that ended India’s nuclear isolation dating to its 1974 test of a nuclear device, opening up a $150 billion civilian nuclear market. India now operates 20 mostly small reactors at six sites with a capacity of 4,780 MW, or 3 percent of its total power capacity. It hopes to lift its nuclear capacity to 7,280 MW by next year, more than 20,000 MW by 2020 and 63,000 MW by 2032 by adding nearly 30 reactors. Shortly after the earthquake and tsunami that crippled the plant at Fukushima and triggered a global rethink of nuclear power, Singh said India’s atomic energy program was on track but regulators would review safety systems to ensure that plants could withstand similar natural disasters. “I do not believe that there is any panic reaction in terms of calling for a halt for the nuclear projects,” said M R Srinivasan, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India, who selected the Jaitapur site. “We will certainly review, in respect of new projects, the safety of those sites and the installations we propose to bring there in the context of an extreme, low probability but nonetheless possible natural event such as occurred in Fukushima,” he said.

Vandalism and Cricket A recent visit to the 938 hectare site saw few signs of activity other than a group of policemen playing cricket. Defaced signs and milemarkers on the road to Jaitapur, about 300 km south of Mumbai, are evidence of the opposition to the plant. While the surrounding area is thinly populated, farmers in nearby villages grow cashews, jackfruit and the Alphonso variety of mangoes considered to be the world’s best. About 120 of the 2,370 families eligible for compensation for their land have accepted it, according to Vivek Bhide, a doctor and mango farmer from the district. Community members say they are unified, and those who have accepted compensation are mostly absentee landowners. Nearby, the bustling fishing port of Sakhri Nate is home to some 600 vessels that bring in about 50,000 kg a day of prawns, squid, kingfish and other species. Residents fear the plant will disrupt access to fish-

The Areva reactors would be the first of as many as six at the site, with construction set to start this year and operation to begin by 2018. Final contracts have yet to be signed. Russia’s state -owned Rosatom, meanwhile, plans to build 18 reactors in India, while the General Electric/Hitachi joint venture and the Westinghouse Electric unit of Toshiba are also eyeing opportunities in India. Opposition to the Jaitapur plant is based in part on worry about seismic activity in the region and concern that India would not be prepared to manage a crisis. India suffered one of the world’s worst industrial accidents in 1984 when about 3,000 people were killed by gas leaks from a Union Carbide factory in Bhopal. State-run Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd (NCPIL), which would own and operate the plant, has said no active geological fault is within 30 km of the site. Critics also say Areva’s EPR technology is untested and expensive. No

tition for imports is intensifying. Alternatives including wind and solar are relatively expensive and lack the scale and storage capacity to provide base load supply. “We are getting increasingly concerned about India’s energy position in the context of supply shortages in most fossil fuels,” Kotak Institutional Equities wrote in a recent note. While New Delhi is committed to nuclear power, India’s democratically elected leaders are sensitive to public opinion. China, which is pressing ahead with its own ambitious nuclear programme, is less constrained. Residents in Jaitapur are encouraged by the long history of civil disobedience in India and say they are bolstered in their argument by the crisis in Japan. “It only vindicates the doubts, views, we have been raising for the past few years,” said Mangesh Chavan, who lives nearby and works in agricultural development, referring to Fukushima. Last week, activist Anna Hazare

NAMIE, Japan: Policemen in radiation proof suits gather to search for missing victims in Fukushima prefecture, within 20 km from stricken Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) Fukushima nuclear power plant on Sunday. – AFP ing grounds and raise water temperatures. “The warm water which will come into the sea will drive away the fish,” said Majeed Latigowarkar, a 45-year-old fisherman with a clipped moustache, striped shirt and skullcap. He said officials have offered electronic gear such as fish-finders and GPS systems in a failed effort to win the support. “If the government wants to give us something, just give us back our sea,” he said. Managing a Crisis During a December visit to India by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the two countries signed a framework agreement for stateowned Areva to build two of its next generation 1,650-megawatt EPR reactors at Jaitapur and supply reactor fuel for 25 years in a deal worth 7 billion euros ($10.1 billion).

EPR reactors are in operation but four are under construction - one in France, two in China, and one in Finland, which is three years behind plan and may force Areva to write down as much as euro 2.6 billion ($3.76 billion). NCPIL has said the price of power from Jaitapur will be competitive. Little Choice Whether the Jaitapur plant is built or not, India has little choice but to add a lot more nuclear power. While numerous thermal power projects are at various stages of development, environmental and land use restrictions mean power producers are having difficulty securing coal, which accounts for 60 percent of India’s energy use. Gas output from the KG basin, for which India has high hopes, has lagged expectations, while compe-

ended a five-day hunger strike after the government Delhi gave in to his demand for a tougher anti-graft law. His campaign drew the support of thousands and comparisons to Mahatma Gandhi’s protests and hunger strikes that helped end British colonial rule. In 2008, farmers in Singur in the state of West Bengal blocked Tata Motors from building a factory there to make its ultra-low-cost Nano car. Praveen Gavankar, a farmer and leader of opposition to the nuclear plant, said villagers plan to start farming on the site and if the government tries to block them they are prepared to go to Delhi and stage their own hunger strike. “We will have to change the government’s mind,” he said, speaking outside a meeting at a temple in Midgavane village. “The government can’t do anything to change our minds.” — Reuters





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Eurosceptic, nationalist electoral voice comes of age By Roddy Thomson he arrival of the True Finns on Finland’s electoral map is only the latest in a spree of eurosceptic, nationalist successes - a trend rooted in fears over high immigration and which has come of age since the economic crisis. The party and its 48-year-old leader Timo Soini “should be seen in terms of a movement towards inward-looking nationalism, a populist wave which is sparing no-one, even the most integrationist, successful economies,” analyst Jean-Dominique Giuliani of the Robert Schuman Foundation in Brussels told AFP. Not every nationalist in Europe is far-right. Look at Scotland, a sub-state with a population the size of Finland minority governed for the past four years by long-established centre-left nationalists, tipped by polls to strengthen their grip with a second, five-year term next month. But the drift elsewhere does seem clear. Take France’s Marine Le Pen, another early fortysomething leader, has taken her notorious father Jean-Marie Le Pen’s mantle as head of the National Front. A poll last month suggested she would take almost 20 percent of votes and beat President Nicolas Sarkozy in the first round of next year’s presidential vote if IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn ran on the Socialist ticket. In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders made his antiimmigration name with a controversial film that compared the Muslim Koran to Hitler’s Mein Kampf, while far-right parties also have influential roles in or backing minority governments in Italy and Denmark. Heinz-Christian Strache - the new darling of the Austrian far-right - has recorded rap songs about his rejection of the Brussels machine or Muslim symbols in European cities. Further far-right figures also sit, with increasing ease, in the parliaments of Bulgaria, Latvia, Slovakia and Sweden, while Flemish nationalists - as ever spurred on by rivals in the outside-right lane - are itching for an excuse to break off from Belgium. In Hungary, conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s policies are increasingly being attacked around the EU for showing a lurch towards the far-right - be it over media curbs, not doing enough to stop vigilantes rounding up Roma Gypsies or writing a new constitution with references to the fatherland. Hungarian foreign minister Janos Martonyi, whose government has to keep one electoral eye on the rise of the anti-Roma Jobbik party, said in a German press interview that “European federalism was a beautiful idea, one I myself believed in”. “But it’s a fact that the concept of the nation-state has gained (again) in strength and significance,” he said. “These are an amazing set of results, and prove conclusively that euroscepticism can win, and win big,” roared Nigel Farage, arch-critic of EU integration, the head of the UK Independence Party that secured a million votes in Britain’s 2010 general election and a formal ally of Soini in the European Parliament. Just three percent of Finland’s 5.3 million citizens are foreigners, and its economy is in exemplary shape - one of only a handful of Triple-A credit-rated eurozone states, with a disproportionately influential voice in European Union economic issues. Yet domestic fears the EU’s most northerly state - it crosses the Arctic Circle - could be over-run by Arab north Africans flooding in via Italy helped secure Soini’s party a one-in-five vote from a high turnout. These concerns have fused perfectly with bailout fatigue after Greece, Ireland and Portugal each cried for help from partners - and experts warn that even if anti-Portugal bailout rhetoric is used to extract concessions elsewhere in coalition talks, the future of EU financial solidarity is far less sure. “There is reason to be worried by the big gains of the nationalist populist in Finnish election. We wish a Finland that’s Nordic and European,” Sweden’s foreign minister, Carl Bildt, said on Twitter. For Giuliani, the EU’s task is easily identified. Europe must “accept controlled immigration, and concentrate now on integration.” — AFP


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Medvedev makes play as Putin mulls return By Steve Gutterman ladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev look increasingly like campaign rivals as Russia’s March 2012 presidential vote draws near: two politicians promoting themselves and making veiled criticisms of each other. President Medvedev is pitching himself as the right man for Russia’s future and trying to set himself apart from Prime Minister Putin, who is widely seen as the paramount leader and has said he may return to the presidency. But unless the longtime allies do the unexpected by running against each other, political analysts and diplomats say the decision on who will be the next president lies with Putin, president from 2000-2008. “We have only one voter, and his name is Vladimir Putin,” commentator Yulia Latynina told Ekho Moskvy radio. Putin, 58, is expected to decide whether to run for president himself, endorse his protege Medvedev for a new six-year term or, less likely, tap a third candidate. Long in Putin’s shadow, Medvedev, 45, is making an increasingly bold play to keep his job as the clock ticks toward the end of a term that has produced more rhetoric than results. In choreographed public events and made-for-TV meetings, he has cast himself as the candidate of change, obliquely questioning Putin’s legacy of tight state control. Last month, he visited the tomb of reformist Tsar Alexander II and told government ministers to leave the boards of state companies. Putin’s powerful ally, Igor Sechin, duly quit his post as chairman Russia’s biggest oil company, though analysts called the move cosmetic. Wearing a bomber jacket emblazoned with the title of armed forces commander-in-chief, Medvedev indirectly but clearly criticised Putin for likening a Western call to action in Libya to “medieval calls for crusades”. In an interview with Chinese television aired last week, Medvedev said it was “high time for changes” and that he would decide soon whether to run for a second term. In a shift from some previous statements, he did not say the decision would be made together with Putin. Political observers differ over what outward signs of a rift between Putin and Medvedev mean. Some see serious policy differences, others a smokescreen to create a veneer of competition and please as many groups as possible in both Russia and the West, where Putin is viewed warily because of friction during his presidency. Most agree that Medvedev would not dare defy Putin and run on his own. Brought to the pinnacle of power in 2008 after years as a loyal subordinate to the longtime Soviet KGB officer, who is nearly a generation his senior, Medvedev lacks a broad power base and lags behind Putin in popularity ratings. “His only hope is to have Putin’s concurrence,” a Western diplomat said. Putin has maintained a poker face in public, as he did for months before anointing Medvedev as his favoured successor less than three months before the 2008 election, when he was constitutionally barred from seeking a third straight term. Medvedev’s stature has grown significantly since then and particularly in the past year or so, another diplomat said. But his recent assertiveness could be born of necessity rather than confidence. “Every day without a decision brings him closer to being a lame duck,” the diplomat said. A day after Medvedev promised a decision on a re-election bid soon, Putin said it was too early to name a candidate and called the “fuss” over the vote counterproductive. Many analysts say Putin, who presided over Russia’s oilfuelled economic resurgence as president, has not made up his mind. Few doubt he would win if he were to seek a new term. But a return to the presidency would pose the challenge of equaling or improving on the economic achievements of his previous stint. After annual growth averaging some 7 percent in the boom years of Putin’s presidency, the economy contracted by 7.9 percent in crisis-hit 2009, its worst performance in 15 years. Endorsing Medvedev, however, would make the prime minister’s allies nervous and increase the chances that his protege could eclipse him if he has six more years in the top seat. Putin could spring a surprise by picking another candidate, but that would risk sending the message that his ruling “tandem” with Medvedev has been less than a success. His next chance to provide hints on his plans is an annual report to parliament tomorrow. Putin’s return to the Kremlin after a four-year hiatus would be legal. But as Medvedev has hinted, it could be seen as a recipe for stagnation rather than progress towards stronger political institutions, a smaller role for the state in the economy and less reliance on energy exports to drive the economy. “If Putin returns, that means the complete personalisation of power in Russia,” said Samuel Charap, Russia and Eurasia director at the Center for American Progress in Washington. “It’s a signal to the elite that everything’s OK, no need to change, we had everything right the first time around.” — Reuters


Japan nuke crisis could drag on By Mayumi Negishi apan’s Tokyo Electric Power Co faces big hurdles to hitting its goal of safely shutting down its crippled nuclear reactors in six to nine months and the crisis - including radiation leaks into the sea and air. A list of the things that could go wrong shows that the operation could take longer - or be derailed altogether if unknown factors are considered, like another powerful quake. Even the government was quick yesterday to lower expectations. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told a news conference that the time frame could be achieved if “everything goes smoothly”. TEPCO has been struggling to stabilise its Fukushima nuclear power plant 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo, that was seriously damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and has been leaking radiation ever since. The difficulties, including the dumping of contaminated water into the ocean, have sparked an outcry in South Korea and expressions of concern from China. Tokyo offered apologies for a failure to give sufficient warning and explanation. In announcing its plan on Sunday, TEPCO listed eight risk factors that could get in the way, including hydrogen explosions and power outages. Aftershocks still jolt the area. The rainy season arrives in late June and typhoons from August pose further threats. TEPCO’s plan calls for continued injection of water into the reactors and spent pool fuels, while workers remove contaminated water so that they can access the reactors’ cooling systems. Workers will simultaneously build an external cooling system while preparing for “water entombment”, a last-ditch step in which containment vessels are flooded with water. But each step and contingency plan listed by TEPCO not only faces formidable obstacles but also entails new risks. “Japan may very well have to weigh speed against the health of the workers on site and the amount of radiation that it lets out,” said Osaka University Professor Kenji Sumita. Reactors No.1, No.2 and No.3 at the complex are all flooded with dangerous water. No one can get near enough to the reactors to find where that water is coming from. Tepco has spent over a month on its Plan A, inject-


ing water into the three reactors while also moving some of the contaminated water flooding the turbine building in reactor No.2 into condensors to gain access to essential cooling pumps. But coolant levels are not rising as much as would be expected inside the reactors, while the contaminated water levels refuse to go down, suggesting leaks. Some specialists also worry about possible damage to the fuel rods in the No. 4 reactor’s spent fuel pool. “On paper, the plan looks do-able, given the known risks,” said Kazuhiko Kudo, a professor at Kyushu University who specialises in nuclear engineering. “But there are many unknowns, including the risk of further earthquakes. And we are talking about people working in highly contaminated areas. It’s not going to be easy.” It was difficult, Kudo said, to predict how technical setbacks might affect the proposed timetable. “A month here, a month there,” he said. “If another disaster hits, you could easily see a couple of months in which all work stalls.” The biggest challenge is bringing under control reactor No.2, flooded with the most highly contaminated water. Its nuclear pressure vessel and containment structure are likely to have been damaged. The big pre-requisite for water entombment is that the containment vessels are sound and that workers find and stop all leaks. “Otherwise, you’ll only be creating massive amounts of contaminated water,” said Kudo. In the meantime, radiation seeps out. And the longer the current uncertainties persist, the more contaminated water Tepco creates through its stopgap cooling measures. Tepco earlier this month dumped 10,393 tonnes of water with “low levels of contamination” into the ocean, to make room for storing water with higher levels of radiation. And while TEPCO has worked to stop the main leaks into the ocean, it has not yet turned its attention to leaks into the water table, some experts said. Once radiation levels are low enough for workers to gain more access to the reactor buildings, TEPCO plans to cover the reactors and spread the grounds with inhibitors to absorb radioactive particles. “This is the first time that TEPCO has come out clearly and presented their plan and some contingencies, so I have hopes that this will work,” said Takashi Sawada, vice chairman at the Atomic Energy Society of Japan. “But I also have doubts.” — Reuters


sp orts Injured Pato to miss Milan’s title run-in MILAN: AC Milan’s charge to the Serie A title suffered a hiccup when striker Alexandre Pato was told yesterday he could be out for three weeks with a hamstring problem. The Brazilian limped out of Saturday’s 3-0 win over Sampdoria and Milan said in a statement that scans had showed a muscle pull. The absence of Pato and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is suspended for two more league games, means Robinho and Antonio Cassano are the only forwards available to the club. Ibrahimovic, though, can play in tomorrow’s Italian Cup semi-final first leg against Palermo. Napoli’s 2-1 home defeat by Udinese on Sunday gave Milan a six-point lead with five games left and even their cautious coach Massimiliano Allegri has said a first scudetto since 2004 is now in sight. Third-placed Inter Milan lost 2-0 at strugglers Parma on Saturday to all but wave goodbye to their title after five straight scudettos but president Massimo Moratti has backed new coach Leonardo. — Reuters

MLB results/standings Major League Baseball results and standings on Sunday. Cleveland 4, Baltimore 2; Pittsburgh 7, Cincinnati 6; Washington 5, Milwaukee 1; Boston 8, Toronto 1; NY Mets 3, Atlanta 2; Washington 8, Milwaukee 4; Philadelphia 3, Florida 2; Minnesota 4, Tampa Bay 2; San Diego 8, Houston 6; La Angels 4, Chicago White Sox 2; Seattle 3, Kansas City 2; Colorado 9, Chicago Cubs 5; Oakland 5, Detroit 1; LA Dodgers 2, St. Louis 1; Arizona 6, San Francisco 5 (12 innings); NY Yankees 6, Texas 5. American League Eastern Division W L PCT NY Yankees 9 5 .643 Toronto 7 8 .467 Baltimore 6 8 .429 Tampa Bay 6 9 .400 Boston 4 10 .286 Central Division Cleveland 11 4 .733 Kansas City 10 5 .667 Chicago White Sox7 8 .467 Detroit 7 9 .438 Minnesota 5 10 .333 Western Division Texas 10 5 .667 LA Angels 10 5 .667 Oakland 8 8 .500 Seattle 5 11 .313 National League Eastern Division Philadelphia 10 4 .714 Florida 8 6 .571 Washington 8 7 .533 Atlanta 7 9 .438 NY Mets 5 11 .313 Central Division Cincinnati 9 6 .600 St. Louis 8 8 .500 Pittsburgh 7 8 .467 Milwaukee 7 8 .467 Chicago Cubs 7 8 .467 Houston 5 11 .313 Western Division Colorado 12 3 .800 San Francisco 8 7 .533 San Diego 7 8 .467 LA Dodgers 7 9 .438 Arizona 6 8 .429

GB 2.5 3 3.5 5 1 4 4.5 6 2.5 5.5

2 2.5 4 6 1.5 2 2 2 4.5 4 5 5.5 5.5

Dilshan to captain Sri Lanka COLOMBO: Tillakaratne Dilshan will take over from Kumar Sangakarra as captain of Sri Lanka for next month’s tour of England. Sangakkara decided to step down after the team lost to India in this month’s World Cup final. “We are proud to announce the appointment of Dilshan as the national captain in all three formats of the game for the tour of England,” Sri Lanka Cricket said in a statement yesterday. “The national selectors have postponed the appointment of a vice-captain since the prospective candidates are nursing injuries and their availability for the forthcoming tour is still in question.” Opening batsman Dilshan, 34, was the leading run-scorer in the World Cup with 500 at an average

ATHENS: Skoda Xanthi’s Nigerian international Olubayo Adefemi has died in a car accident, Greek police said yesterday. The 25-year-old defender lost control of his car on the Egnatia motorway while driving from Xanthi to Salonika in the Kavala region of Northern Greece. The former Rapid Bucharest player was on his way to finalise details of his wedding when the accident happened, police said. Adefemi signed for Xanthi last summer and made 24 appearances for the club, scoring twice. He has also played three times for Nigeria. “The Super League and the entire Greek football family would like to express its deepest condolences and sympathy for the family of Olubayo Adefemi who died tragically in a car accident,” league organisers said in a statement yesterday. Meanwhile, Nigeria coach Austin Eguavoen slammed hosts Liberia on Sunday after a 1-1 draw in the first leg of a 2011 All-Africa Games qualifier. The 1994 World Cup defender was furious at the treatment his squad received before the second round tie and the poor state of the pitch at a Monrovia stadium named after former Liberia president Samuel Doe. —Agencies

Kemp’s homer lifts Dodgers LOS ANGELES: Matt Kemp hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Los Angeles Dodgers a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday, ending their five-game losing streak. Kemp homered to center field on the first pitch from Ryan Franklin (0-2). Andre Ethier led off the inning with a double off Trever Miller, extending his major leagueleading hitting streak to 14 games. Jonathan Broxton (1-0) got the win despite giving up a two-out RBI single in the top of the ninth by David Freese. The victory prevented the Cardinals from getting their first four-game sweep in Los Angeles since 1968. D’backs 6, Giants 5 In Phoenix, Stephen Drew drove in the winning run in the 12th inning as Arizona rallied to beat San Francisco. Giants reliever Dan Runzler had only allowed one base runner over 2 1-3 innings before walking Justin Upton and Chris Young with one out in the 12th. Javier Lopez then came in for Runzler (1-2) and gave up Drew’s grounder to right field. Josh Collmenter (1-0) pitched two per fect innings for the win, as the Diamondbacks ended a four-game losing streak. Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval hit back-to-back home runs in the sixth inning and Aubrey Huff also homered for the Giants, who had their four-game winning streak broken. Padres 8, Astros 6 At Houston, Will Venable hit a two-run single in a four-run eighth inning to lead San Diego to victory. Heath Bell got his 38th consecutive save after loading the bases with one out in the ninth. He got the last two batters on a strikeout and groundout. Trailing 6-4 at the start of the eighth, the Padres got one run on Jason Bartlett’s one-out RBI single. Pinchhitter Brad Hawpe then walked to load the bases before Venable singled to right field off Mark Melancon (1-1). Ernesto Friero (1-1) pitched 1 2-3 innings for the victory. Pirates 7, Reds 6 In Cincinnati, Andrew McCutchen opened the game with a homer, then singled home the game-winning run in the eighth inning, to lift Pittsburgh over the Reds. McCutchen and Jose Tabata started the game with back-to-back homers — only the third time that’s happened in Pirates history. McCutchen singled off Logan Ondrusek (2-1) for the winning run. Chris Resop (1-0) got the win for the Pirates, who had lost five of six coming into the game.

Valiant Knight smiles on challenges in life LONDON: Darius Knight does not give the impression of a young sportsman with a very, very large mountain to climb. The 21-year-old made waves in his South London community with a silver medal as part of England’s Commonwealth Games table tennis team last year in New Delhi. It was a rare ray of sunlight on a fledgling career in which lack of financial support, the best coaches and even the backing of his closest family threaten to scupper his aspirations in a sport almost entirely dominated by Chinese. Yet the jaunty, almost cocky Knight plays the part of a young man on the cusp of conquering the world rather than someone struggling to rise up from his lowly ranking of 236 and gain a berth on the team for the 2012 London Olympics. “Winning as usual,” he said after dispatching another wicked forehand past his opponent in a game of “virtual” table tennis at the Kinect Sports Superstars event in a restored London power station last week. Real life, though, has always been hard for Knight, who discovered that sport could be a way out of the tough London estate he was raised in rather than the route of crime many of his friends took. “Most of them are in jail, some of them are dead. You don’t want to get caught in the mix-up,” he told Reuters. Knight’s packed training schedule and lack of support have made life even tougher. He said his neighbours are probably his biggest help. “When I get in they say ‘come and get some food’. They’ve saved me an hour by not having to cook and then clean the kitchen,” said the Londoner, who quit the capital for Sheffield in

of 62.50. He has led Sri Lanka once before, on a tour of Zimbabwe in June last year, when his team won a one-day tri-series which also featured India. This is the first time Dilshan has been picked to lead his country in a test series. Chairman of selectors Duleep Mendis said the tour squad would be selected after Dilshan returns from the Indian Premier League where he is representing Royal Challengers Bangalore. Sri Lanka have told all their IPL players to return home by May 5 to prepare for the tour. The squad are due to leave for England on M ay 10 for a series of three tests, five onedayers and one Twenty20 international. The first Test in Cardiff starts on May 26. —Reuters

Nigerian player Adefemi dies

northern England where elite training is more easily accessible. “I do have some people, who win or lose, always text me to say ‘Come on’ or ‘well done.’ My mum doesn’t say anything to me. “ These friends, I wouldn’t say they’re more important than my mum, but they’re the ones who let me know they care and that they ’re there for me. “Every time another team plays their mums and dads are there. When I play it’s just me. That has an effect on you mentally.” Having very little or no family support at competitions is tough for Knight, as is returning to his home in South London. “My mum’s struggling herself, she’s got a young child. When I go back home, they’ve been jealous of me for years because I’ve been doing something in the family, so I’ve got to be quiet and normal because I don’t want her to get more upset. “This is the typical South London way of life. People don’t strive to be great and do things with their life.” UK Sport’s decision in 2008 to cut funding to table tennis after a medal-less Beijing Olympics still rankles with Knight, though he is aware how far the sport has come. — Reuters

Darius Knight plays a shot in this file photo

LOS ANGELES: St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Ryan Theriot makes an error on a ball hit by Los Angeles Dodgers’ Tony Gwynn (not pictured) during the third inning of a Major League Baseball game. —AP Rockies 9, Cubs 5 At Denver, Dexter Fowler hit a two-out, two-run double in the eighth inning as Colorado won for the eighth time in nine games. The Rockies sent 10 batters to the plate in the four-run eighth to give them the victory. Rafael Betancourt (1-0), the fourth of five Rockies pitchers, got the win with two-thirds innings of hitless relief. Marcos Mateo (0-1) picked up the loss for Chicago. Nationals 5, Brewers 1 In Washington, Danny Espinosa followed up a threerun homer in the opening game with a bases-loaded triple in the seventh inning of the second to lead Washington’s doubleheader sweep of Milwaukee. In the opener, Ivan Rodriguez also hit a three-run homer and Jason Marquis allowed two runs and nine hits in seven-plus innings. Yovani Gallardo (1-1) yielded seven runs on 10 hits to pick up the loss. In the second game, Livan Hernandez (2-1) allowed one run and six hits and struck out three in seven innings. He retired the first eight batters he faced in his longest outing this sea-

son. Kameron Loe (1-1) came on in relief to start the seventh and gave up Espinosa’s triple. Phillies 3, Marlins 2 In Philadelphia, Carlos Ruiz hit the go-ahead sacrifice fly in the eighth inning to lead Florida past the Phillies. Ryan Howard began the eighth by reaching on an error by left-fielder Logan Morrison. Ben Francisco followed with a single off Ryan Webb (0-2) and Raul Ibanez put runners on the corners with a groundout. Ryan Madson (1-0) tossed a scoreless eighth after taking over for Cole Hamels, and Jose Contreras survived a rocky ninth inning for his third save. Mets 3, Braves 2 In Atlanta, Josh Thole had two run-scoring singles as the Mets ended their seven-game losing streak. Dillon Gee (1-0) gave up five hits and a run in 5 2-3 innings to beat Tommy Hanson (1-3). Atlanta’s Jason Heyward hit a homer off Jason Isringhausen in the eighth. Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth for his second save. —AP

Indians and Yankees advance CLEVELAND: Grady Sizemore homered in his return for Cleveland after major knee surgery as the Indians beat Baltimore 4-2 on Sunday to deal the Orioles their seventh straight loss. Sizemore, who hadn’t played since last May when he underwent microfracture surgery on his left knee, homered in his second at-bat off Brad Bergeson (0-2) and doubled in the fifth. Carlos Santana and Travis Hafner also homered for the first-place Indians, who have won seven in a row at home and 11 of 13. Fausto Carmona (1-2) allowed just one earned run and five hits in seven innings. Brian Roberts went 3 for 4 for the Orioles, who have lost eight of 10. Yankees 6, Rangers 5 In New York, Eric Chavez singled home the game-winning run in the eighth inning and the Yankees hit three homers off previously untouchable Alexi Ogando to beat the Rangers. Robinson Cano, Russell Martin and Curtis Granderson all homered to help the Yankees take two of three in a rematch of last year’s American League championship series, which Texas won in six games to capture its first pennant. Adrian Beltre homered and doubled for the Rangers, who have dropped four of five since opening the season 9-1. Ogando had allowed just four hits over 13 shutout innings in his previous two starts this season. Red Sox 8, Blue Jays 1 In Boston, Jacoby Ellsbury hit a three-run homer and Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove in three runs to give the Red Sox consecutive victories for the first time this season. Jon Lester (1-1) allowed one run, six hits and three walks while striking out five in six solid innings. Jesse Litsch (1-1), making his third start since shoulder surgery last August, gave up six runs on eight hits. The Red Sox entered the game with a 3-10 record, the worst in the major leagues. Twins 4, Rays 2 At St. Petersburg, Florida, Brian Duensing allowed two runs over seven innings and Matt

CLEVELAND: Indians center fielder Grady Sizemore (right) high-fives right fielder Travis Buck after a 4-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles. —AP Tolbert had an RBI triple as Minnesota stopped a four-game losing streak. Duensing (1-0) gave up seven hits, walked two and struck out five. Tolbert tripled and Jason Repko had an RBI single during a three-run fifth inning against Jeremy Hellickson (1-2), which gave Minnesota a 4-2 lead. Angels 4, White Sox 2 In Chicago, Dan Haren pitched into the seventh inning for his fourth win of the season and Maicer Izturis had three hits to help Los Angeles complete a three-game sweep of Chicago. Haren (4-0) joined teammate Jered Weaver as the only four-game winners in the league thus far. The right-hander allowed two runs on seven hits over 6 1-3 innings, striking out six and not allowing a walk. Rookie closer Jordan Walden got Juan Pierre to pop out to left field with the bases loaded for his third save. Mark Trumbo added a solo homer in the fourth off Mark Buehrle (1-1), as Chicago lost its fourth straight game. Mariners 3, Royals 2 At Kansas City, Missouri, Michael Pineda

pitched six strong innings and Brendan Ryan hit a two-run single as Seattle ended a fourgame losing streak. Pineda (2-1) limited the Royals to one run and three hits over six innings. He struck out five and walked four while lowering his earned-run average to 2.33. Brandon League gave up a run in the ninth on Wilson Betemit’s single but got his third save. Jeff Francis (0-1) is still searching for his first victory with the Royals. He was charged with three runs on six hits, while striking out one in 6 1-3 innings. Athletics 5, Tigers 1 In Oakland, California, Josh Willingham broke out of a slump with a two-run single and Mark Ellis doubled twice to help Oakland win its second straight at home. Trevor Cahill (2-0) pitched eight solid innings, striking out a season-high nine batters. He gave up a solo home run to Casper Wells leading off the sixth, but was dominant the rest of the game. Brad Penny (0-2) gave up five runs in five-plus innings and took the loss for Detroit. —AP




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Whitmarsh: F1 must do more to sell itself SHANGHAI: Formula One served up a thriller in China at the weekend but the lack of fans indicated the sport must do more to sell itself to new audiences, according to McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh. While few could fault the racing on display, with McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton hunting down Red Bull’s world champion Sebastian Vettel to end the German’s winning streak, empty seats in the grandstands throughout the weekend caused concern. The monumental Shanghai circuit has now hosted eight grands prix but, in a thriving

economy with a vast potential audience, the race has yet to pull in the big crowds that might be expected. “Formula One is used to going to venues that know and understand Formula One and want us,” Whitmarsh told reporters. “I’m not blaming anyone because we’re all part of it, but we’re not good at promoting our sport in new territories and I think you’ve got evidence of that not just in China.” The next race is at Turkey’s Istanbul Park circuit on May 8. Now promoted by F1’s commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone, it is on the Asian

side of the city away from the main tourist areas and has had pitiful attendances in the past. “We’ve got to work harder at it,” said Whitmarsh, who is also chairman of the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) and has been involved in various initiatives to bring the sport closer to the fans. “Fortunately we still have a fantastic worldwide television audience but we need to work harder at circuits that are in new territories to promote the sport.” “If you go to downtown Shanghai and look for all the promotions going on for this event, I suspect you would

struggle to find very much,” added Whitmarsh. “I’m not a sports promoter, I’m just someone who works for a Formula One team but it strikes me that we’ve got to do much more to promote our sport, develop it, invest in its promotion than we do.” Hamilton said he was doing his bit. “While the grandstands aren’t as full as we would like perhaps, every time I arrive at the airport I’ve got fans standing there waiting,” he said after winning. “Their support is just incredible. They are there before you leave in the morning and when you come back, it’s absolutely

unbelievable.” Formula One has moved to a string of new arenas in recent years, with Abu Dhabi and South Korea the most recent and India joining the calendar this season. Next year will see the return of the United States with a new race in Austin, Texas, while Russia makes its debut with the Sochi circuit in 2014. Other countries that have expressed an interest include South Africa and Mexico. Whitmarsh said important lessons had to be learned before the sport made its return to the United States, a market it has repeatedly tried and failed

to crack over the decades. The last US Grand Prix was at Indianapolis in 2007, also won by Hamilton for McLaren. “ The USA does not need Formula One, we need the USA, and I think if we just plonk ourselves down there and believe that America is going to reignite its enthusiasm for Formula One, I think we are wrong,” he said. “I think we’ve got to work harder than traditionally we’ve had to. “I think we (FOTA) have got to engage better with the commercial rights holder to accept that we’ve got to do more than we’ve done in the past.” —Reuters

Johnson edges Bowyer TALLADEGA: Jimmie Johnson edged Clint Bowyer by 0.002 seconds to win the Aaron’s 499 race at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, matching the closest finish in NASCAR Sprint Cup history. Coming out of the fourth turn, Johnson dipped next to the yellow line and surged past Hendrick Motorspor ts teammates Jeff

since 2008 to push Johnson across the line instead. “I can’t thank Junior enough,” said Johnson, who tried to give Earnhardt the checkered flag but was rebuffed. “He made the decision that my car was faster leading. And the way these things are finishing up, the lead car’s going to get the win. In some respects, he

TALLADEGA: Driver Mike Wallace catches air entering Turn 3 during the NASCAR Nationwide series Aaron’s 312 auto race. —AP Gordon and Mark Martin before crossing the line just ahead of Bowyer in an eight-car sprint to the finish. Johnson, a five -time series champion, was pushed across the line by Dale Earnhardt Jr., who finished four th. Pole -sitter Jeff Gordon, squeezed between Bowyer and Johnson to take third. “We were just the lucky guy at the end with a good run,” said Johnson, who got his 54th career vic tor y. Earnhardt, the four th Hendrick driver, essentially gave up a chance to claim his first win

was more worried about the team having a good performance than anything.” Kevin Har vick , who was Bowyer’s pusher, finished in fifth. Carl Edwards almost slipped by them all on the outside wall, but didn’t have enough room to make the pass, ending up in sixth. Greg Biffle, who was on Edwards’ bumper was seventh, while Martin dropped back to eighth. “If you didn’t like that finish and forget about the race, there’s something wrong with you,” said Bowyer, who led a race-high 38 laps.

The finish matched the closest since Ricky Craven edged Kur t Busch in 2003 at Darlington after NASCAR implemented an electronic timing system. It also made up for a day of lackluster racing with this new tandem style, which the drivers began using at the season-opening Daytona 500 and really perfected at this 4.28-kilometer (2.66-mile) track. R ather than run together in huge drafting packs, which used to be the norm at restrictor-plate tracks, the drivers figured out they can run even faster in pairs. So, everyone found partners before the race — usually teammates — and swapped radio frequencies so they could make changes on the track on ce th e green flag dropped. The horsepower-sapping restric tor plates are used at Daytona and Talladega — NASCAR’s two fastest tracks — to combat the high speeds. A square aluminum plate is installed in each car to limit its engine’s power, slowing the car by reducing the amount of air that flows into the carburetor. As a result, the cars all run the same speed, and the field is typically bunched tightly together. One wrong move by a driver can cause a massive accident. Twentysix drivers traded the lead 88 times on Sunday, matching a record set last year at Talladega. Many of the changes were choreographed by pairs who were trying to stay out of trouble to give themselves a chance at the end. Hendrick Motorsports had claimed the first four spots in qualifying, only the third team in NASCAR history to sweep the first two rows in a Sprint Cup race. —AP

Canucks close in on first-round sweep CHICAGO: Mikael Samuelsson scored the go-ahead goal in the third period as the Vancouver Canucks moved closer to a sweep of the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks with a 3-2 win on Sunday night. The Canucks, who had the best record in the NHL during the regular season, lead the Western Conference first-round series 3-0 and can finish it off Tuesday night in Chicago. Roberto Luongo made 30 saves and Christian Ehrhoff and Daniel Sedin also scored for the Canucks, who were eliminated by the Blackhawks in the first round the previous two seasons. Samuelsson scored on a second rebound at 6:48 of the third after a first attempt by Henrik Sudin went off goalie Corey Crawford. Duncan Keith and Patrick Sharp had power-play goals for the Blackhawks. Chicago had seven power-play opportunities overall, including a 5-on-3 in the first period when they led 1-0, but were repeatedly turned away by Luongo. Rangers 3, Capitals 2 In New York, Brandon Dubinsky scored the winning goal with 1:39 left as New York beat Washington to cut into the Capitals’ lead in the Eastern Conference series. After the Rangers managed only one goal in two losses at Washington, they got three Sunday against young Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth. Vinny Prospal and Erik Christensen also scored for New York. New York got 35 shots through on Neuvirth after a combined 47 in the opening two games. Alex Ovechkin had a goal and an assist, and Mike

LONG BEACH: Will Power, driver of the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara Honda, drives during the IndyCar Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. —AFP

Conway wins at Long Beach LONG BEACH: Mike Conway made a late pass on Ryan Briscoe to win the Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday, earning his first career IndyCar victory in just his third race since a horrific crash last year in the Indianapolis 500. The English driver sustained multiple leg fractures and a compression fracture in his back in the Indy 500 crash, knocking him out for the remainder of the season. He went through a grueling rehabilitation and signed with Andretti Autosport before this season, finishing 23rd and 22nd his first two races. “As soon as it happened, I wanted to know what the timeframe was until I could get back into the car,” Conway said. “I was kind of over it, really, and the physical things just kind of take time. It was a long offseason, but there was a lot to keep my mind on and when I got a chance to get back into the car, I was ready.” Conway started third Sunday and hung around the leaders on the 11-turn, 3.16-kilometer (1.96mile) circuit through the streets of Long Beach. After a series of late crashes, he took the lead with 14 laps left by whipping past Briscoe. Conway was never challenged after that, stretching his lead to 6 seconds by the final lap.

Briscoe of Australia finished second and defending series champion Dario Franchitti of Scotland was third. Pole-sitter Will Power looked as if he was going to complete a second wire -to-wire win at the start. Power has flexed his road power in the early part of the season, finishing second at St. Petersburg, going green-to - checkers at Alabama, then making it 3-for-3 on poles by edging defending Long Beach champion Ryan Hunter-Reay late in qualifying. Power won at Long Beach in the final Champ Car race at the circuit in 2008, but hadn’t won since the unification with IndyCar despite earning the pole the past three years. The Aussie driver led the first 27 laps and was close to the top all day, but had his chances at consecutive victories wiped out by teammate Helio Castroneves, who barreled into the side of his car in Turn 1 on the last restart. Power finished 10th and Castroneves was 12th. “I’m really not sure what happened on the restart,” Power said. “I got hit from behind by Helio, but sometimes that ’s what happens in racing, especially close racing like this with the double-file restarts. We drove back to finish 10th and made the most of it.”

IndyCar ’s double -file restar t experiment on road and street co u r s e s h a s c re a te d p l e n t y o f excitement, as series officials had h o p e d, a n d p l e n t y o f c h a o s, which the owners don’t necessaril y l i k e b e c a u s e o f d a m a g e to equipment. Th e s e a s i d e c i rc u i t a t Lo n g Beach has some particularly narrow spots, so chief IndyCar steward Brian Barnhart spent part of the driver’s meeting telling drive r s to w a tc h t h e i r s p a c i n g o n restarts and to stay calm instead of using the chrome horn (front end) to nudge drivers out of the way. For the most part, they did; the race stayed clean until the cars started piling up late. Justin Wilson spun out twice, the second one causing a fullcourse caution with 23 laps left, t he n Ca s t rone ve s a nd Powe r crashed on the restart. Takuma Sato and Charlie Kimball made contact on Turn 8 after that. With the cars bunched up on that final full caution, Conway found a good line and blew past Franchitti and Briscoe. “For it all to fully come togethe r i s a w e s o m e,” h e s a i d . “ T h i s year, just full of energy and ready to fight for it. It’s a long season and to get it in the third race back is awesome.” —AP

Mutai wins Boston Marathon

CHICAGO: Sami Salo No. 6 of the Vancouver Canucks tries to keep Jonathan Toews No. 19 of the Chicago Blackhawks from passing the puck to teammate Chris Campoli No. 14 in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. —AFP Knuble also scored for Washington, which leads the series 2-1. Predators 4, Ducks 3 At Nashville, Tennessee, Mike Fisher scored the go-ahead goal at 10:21 of the third period as Nashville took advantage of Bobby Ryan’s suspension by beating Anaheim to take a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference series. The NHL suspended Ryan for

two games for stomping on Predators defenseman Jonathon Blum’s foot late in the Ducks’ 5-3 victory Friday night. Ryan also will miss Game 4 on Wednesday in Nashville. Martin Erat had a power-play goal and an assist, and David Legwand and Jordin Tootoo also scored for Nashville. Teemu Selanne scored twice and Matt Beleskey added a goal for Anaheim.—AP

BOSTON: Kenya’s Geoffrey Mutai has won the Boston Marathon in 2 hours, 3 minutes, 2 seconds — the fastest anyone has ever run the 26.2 mile distance. The previous best of 2:03:59 was by Haile Gebrselassie in Berlin 2008. But because yesterday ’s race had a strong tailwind on a downhill course, Mutai’s run does not qualify as the fastest time ever. But Mutai was almost three minutes better than the course record set just last year by Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot. Fellow Kenyan Caroline Kilel won the women’s race, outsprinting American Desiree Davila to win by two seconds, in 2:22:36. Davila led as late as the final stretch on Boylston Street and ran the fastest time ever for a US woman, surpassing the 2:22:43 by Joan Benoit in 1983. No American — man or woman — has won Boston since Lisa LarsenWeidenbach in 1985. K ilel and Mutai each earn $150,00 for the win, and Mutai gets $50,000 for the world best

BOSTON: Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya breaks the tape to win the men’s division at the finish line of the 115th Boston Marathon. —AP and another $25,000 for the course record. Mutai and Moses Mosop ran side -by-side for the final miles before Mutai pulled ahead for good on Boylston Street and winning by four seconds. The 19th Kenyan winner in the past 21

years, Mutai raised his arms in the air and grinned. Masazumi Soejima and Wakako Tsuchida gave Japan a sweep of the men’s and women’s wheelchair divisions. It was the fifth straight win for Tsuchida and the second overall for Soejima. —AP



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Nadal back in Barcelona BARCELONA: Rafael Nadal makes a welcome return to the Real Club de Tenis after missing last year with injury as the five-time winner bids for more clay histor y with the Barcelona Open starting late yesterday. The world number one claimed titles uninterruptedly from 20052009 before being forced out a year ago to take treatment on his knee. The absence of the nearly-local tennis hero from the nearby island of Mallorca hit the event hard. But then-national number two Fernando Verdasco rose to the occasion to win the title and keep the honours in Iberian hands for an eighth consecutive year. Nadal has dominated on the clay of the Catalan capital, where he has turned the event into one of his personal spring playgrounds in the run-up to the French Open next month. The 500 series tournament is populated with potential challengers to Spanish clay superiority in the form of Top 10 players and grand slam finalists Andy Murray, Robin Soderling and Tomas Berdych. Murray, the world number four ahead of Soderling on fifth and the seventh-ranked Berdych, has turned his game around on clay, winning his first matches since January at the Monte Carlo Masters in a remarkable and welcome return of form.


Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts in this file photo He even gave Nadal a tough three-sets battle in the semi-finals, but his participation at Barcelona is in doubt due to a right elbow injury that required a cortisone injection zone before he took on the Spaniard. The Scot who learned his tennis in Barcelona, has played the event three times, the last time in 2008. Of his four matches, he won one, in the 2005 first round. With his new-found game, Murray is confident as Roland Garros approaches in little more than a month. “I feel like I’m hitting the ball well, each match I’ll keep moving better,” he said. “ That’s the one

thing I’ll need to keep getting better at in preparation for the French.” Soderling has been in town for a week training after being forced out of Monte Carlo with a knee niggle, which he says is now fine. Monte Carlo semi-finalist Jurgen Melzer of Austria takes the sixth seeding ahead of Frenchman Gael Monfls and number eight Spaniard Nicolas Almagro. The top eight seeds all have byes into the second round. Canadian Milos Raonic, whose ranking has improved from near 200 to his current 34th, will be seeded for the first time at the ATP level on 15th and opening with a Czech test against Radek Stepanek. —AFP

Fed Cup ties dominated by absence of top players LONDON: Russia will play the Czech Republic in the final of the Fed Cup and the United States and France were relegated from the top tier for the first time on Sunday after World Group ties dominated by absent stars. Russia will host the Czechs on Nov. 5-6 after completing a 5-0 rout of two-time defending champion Italy in Moscow. The Russians were heavily favored to win in the Russian capital as Italy was without top players Francesca Schiavone and Flavia Pennetta. The Czechs beat Belgium in the deciding doubles for a 3-2 victory in Charleroi, Belgium. The Belgians couldn’t make up for the absence of the injured Kim Clijsters and the retirement earlier this year of Justine Henin. The Americans, the record 17-time champion but playing without Venus and Serena Williams, were relegated after going down 5-0 to Germany in Stuttgart. France was also relegated after falling 4-1 to hosts Spain in Lleida. Russia and Italy have dominated the Fed Cup since 2004, winning all seven titles between them. Russia is unbeaten at home in 10 ties since losing to France in the 2003 semifinals. The streak includes a win over Italy in the 2007 final. Italy was missing Schiavone, the French Open champion withdrawing to concentrate on the clay-court season. Pennetta is sidelined with a shoulder injury. Vera Zvonareva beat Roberta Vinci 6-4, 6-2 in the first reverse singles to give Russia an insurmountable 3-0 lead. “I don’t care about Schiavone and Pennetta,” Vinci said afterward. “This is the team we have. Right now I’m No. 1 for Italy and Sara (Errani) is No. 2.” After the teams split the reverse singles on Sunday, Iveta Benesova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova beat Yanina Wickmayer and Kirsten Flipkens 6-4, 6-4 to put the Czechs in their first final since they won the title as Czechoslovakia in 1988. The Czechs had lost in the semifinals the previous two years. Germany’s decisive win came when Andrea Petkovic beat Melanie Oudin 6-2, 6-3 in the first of the reverse singles for an unbeatable 3-0 lead. “I never won a clinching match before,” Petkovic said. “I believe that Germany belongs to the top group and I am really pleased that I won the point. The Americans were Fed Cup runners-up in the last two years, losing both times to Italy, but could not overcome the higherranked Germans.

Watching from the stands in Porsche Arena was Venus Williams, who hasn’t represented the U.S. in four years and was unavailable because of a hip injury. By appearing in Germany, Williams becomes eligible for the 2012 London Games. Players have to make themselves available for the Fed Cup to play in the Olympics. Williams has been sidelined since the Australian Open. Serena Williams, who also hasn’t played for the US since 2007, has been sidelined since Wimbledon because of two operations on her foot and a blood clot in her lungs. In addition, the US team lost Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who would have been its top-ranked payer, to a hip injury. France started the day at 1-1 but lost both reverse singles before also dropping the meaningless doubles match. — AP

BRATISLAVA: Jelena Jankovic of Serbia celebrates after she defeated Slovakian player Daniela Hantuchova in their Fed Cup World Group playoff tennis match. —AP

Nerves of Steele earn rookie Texas Open win SAN ANTONIO: American Brendan Steele held his nerve on an error-free back nine for a one-shot victory over compatriots Kevin Chappell and Charley Hoffman to clinch his maiden PGA Tour title at the Texas Open on Sunday. Steele, a 28-year-old rookie who had not played a single round on the PGA Tour until this season, began the day with a one-shot lead and made it hold up during another wind-whipped afternoon at the TPC San Antonio carding a final round one-under-par 71. After a birdie at the second followed by his only bogey of the round at the fifth and another birdie at seven, Steele reeled off 11 consecutive pars to finish with a winning total of eight-under 280. “I don’t even really know what happened,” said Steele, a winner in his 12th PGA Tour start. “Kevin and I were kind of battling it out there the last few holes, then he made the mistake on 17 and I made a mistake on 18 but I was able to sneak in the putt for par. “So I’m not even sure what is going on right now, I’m just trying to capture it all in my mind.” Chappell had mounted an early charge dropping his third birdie of the day at the 10th to join Steele atop the leaderboard setting the stage for a back nine shootout. But the two PGA Tour rookies, playing together in the last threesome, would match each other par-for-par until Chappell blinked with a bogey at the 17th and settled for a two-under 70 to finish joint second with Hoffman, who closed with a 68. “I’ll be honest, I think I just fell asleep,” said Chappell about his only bogey. “I felt the wind was dead into me and I kind of hit left centre of the fairway. “I should have known it was a little left to right and I actually felt like I struck the ball the way I wanted to. “When I found the ball in flight, it was right of the hole and like whoa, what just happened? “I hit a good pitch from where I was and actually feel like I hit a good putt to hit it a little hard. “I hit it where I was aiming.” Brandt Snedeker battled his way to a 71 to sit alone in fourth two behind the leader on six-under 282, while Sweden’s Fredrik Jacobson (69) and Americans Pat Perez (71) and Cameron Tringale (73) finished one shot further adrift at 283. —Reuters

SAN ANTONIO: Brendan Steele of Idyllwild lifts his trophy after winning the Texas Open golf tournament. —AP

Tour chief concerned about unrest in Gulf DUBAI: Political unrest in the Gulf is a concern for the European golf tour and organizers are monitoring the situation in Bahrain, which is due to host the first tournament of 2012, chief executive George O’Grady said yesterday. In an interview with The Associated Press, O’Grady said a decision won’t be made “for several months” on whether the Volvo Golf Champions tournament will be held for a second year in Bahrain. This year’s inaugural event, held in late January, was problem-free and deemed a success, he said. Authorities in Bahrain have cracked down heavily on dissent since anti-government protests began Feb. 14. The unrest has left 30 people dead, including four opposition supporters who died in custody, and forced Formula One’s seasonopening Bahrain Grand Prix to be called off. “Bahrain is being monitored all the time,” O’Grady said. “If we are advised not to go, we would do the same as F1. I don’t think anyone fully knows. It’s just too early to say. It will be up to the golf federation in Bahrain and the king as our hosts. We started in Bahrain and we hope we can continue.” Colin Montgomerie, who designed the Bahrain course, said how the situation unfolds will determine if the event goes ahead. “Of course, it’s concerning ... especially for local Bahrainis,” Montgomerie said. “But at the same time, I think George is dead right in

saying it’s too early to say regarding the Bahrain tournament next year. We all hope that the unrest will come to an end and peace in the region will suffice once again.” O’Grady played down the longterm implications of the unrest, noting that the European Tour has navigated political challenges before, including the Gulf and Iraq wars as well as terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom. He also said the Nigerian Open in the 1970s was disrupted by an uprising in the African country that forced players to remain housebound. “You have had terrorists attacks in Britain but you continue the tournaments don’t you?” he said. “You don’t run scared. When the Gulf War was on, we came to Qatar when a lot of other sports wouldn’t come. We reckoned we were safe there. Some players were worried but we honor our agreements.” O’Grady said he has no regrets with the move into the Gulf which now features five tournaments, including the year’s first tournament in Abu Dhabi, one in Qatar and the season-ending, $7.5 million tournament in Dubai. The tour has also held preliminary talks with Saudi Arabia on hosting a Senior Tour event and with Oman over hosting a sixth European Tour event in the coming years. “We have to be reasonably circumspect to make sure everyone is fully committed. It is a big undertaking to have extra tournaments,” O’Grady said. “We are talking to

many different golf federations in the area. Oman would be the most developed in that sense.” O’Grady said talks are also ongoing regarding keeping the season-ending Dubai World Championship in the city. It is no secret that Abu Dhabi would like to host the event that concludes the Race To Dubai. The three-year contract with government-owned developer Nakheel ends after this year’s tournament. Prize money for the tournament has also been reduced from $10 million to $7.5 million due to the economic crisis that hit Dubai. “We are comfortable in Dubai as long as all our partners in Dubai wish to continue,” O’Grady said. “The Race to Dubai has been synonymous with Dubai and the European Tour through largely good times and in the last couple of years more challenging times ... I’ll be surprised if we don’t continue in Dubai.” In 1989, Dubai hosted the the first European Tour tournament outside of Europe in what O’Grady describes as a “catalyst for change.” The tour now stages 50 events in 29 destinations but O’Grady said there are limits to its global ambitions. O’Grady said there are no plans to host a World Golf Championship in Europe. Currently, three are held in the United States, one in Asia and a fifth is slated for South Africa in 2012. “There is absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t have one, but at the moment the desire of the sponsorship isn’t there,” he said. —AP

Ban spinners who don’t spin: Swann LONDON: Graeme Swann has a simple solution for the age old problem of English spinners who, to adapt the biblical parable of the lilies of the field, toil but do not spin. “They should be banished from the first class game. It winds me up, if you are a spinner, spin the ball,” Swann said in an interview with Reuters at a Kinect Sports Superstars event last week. “I have never, ever seen the point of bowling without trying to spin the ball. It’s been my bugbear that I have seen some young spinners come up who have got lovely control and land it nicely but don’t try to turn it.” Swann has climbed to number two in the world test rankings by giving the ball a fierce tweak from a vigorous body action. “I really like watching the ball fizzing down,” he said. “That’s why I always like watching Shane Warne bowl, (Muttiah) Muralitharan bowl, these guys who really try and spin it, these are the guys I really try to emulate.” Unlike Warne, a classical wrist-spinner, and Muralitharan, who gained purchase from an abnormal wrist action which generated fierce controversy as well as sharp turn, Swann is an orthodox finger spinner. “I’m certainly 10 times the bowler I was 10 years ago. The longer you play the game your body just gets used to it. Your rhythm comes naturally compared

to when you were a kid when you have as many bad days as you do good,” he said. “I’m certainly bowling better than I was 10 years ago but hopefully there is more to come.” Jim Laker famously spun the ball so hard that that his close fielders could hear it hum in the air when he took 19 for 90 in the 1956 Manchester test against Australia. The Australians promised revenge when Laker finally won selection for a tour down under in 19589. But, although the home side won the series 4-0, Laker still topped the bowling averages in both tests and first class matches. English spinners, though, have rarely prospered either before or since on the unforgiving Australian pitches and Swann’s role in a four-man attack attracted much interest before the last Ashes series. Swann was ready for the challenge in the midst of unsubtle hints in the Australian media that he might be targeted. “It’s not an easy place to bowl because the wickets don’t turn,” he said. “Sydney was famous for turning but it doesn’t anymore. You need footholes to make the ball go. In Melbourne it was almost going the other way. “Michael Hussey got after me in the first game in Brisbane but that was because I was bowling badly. A lot of people said he got to you and rattled you

but he didn’t at all, I just bowled like a drain, I just didn’t bowl well. “People can think what they like, I know what was going on.” England recovered after a shaky start to draw in Brisbane and Swann then took five wickets in Australia’s second innings in Adelaide to set up an innings victory. “The Adelaide Oval turned for a couple of reasons, because it was the dustiest wicket out there and Dougie Bollinger played and his foothole was just in the right place for me,” he said. “I was desperate for him to play in the rest of the series because it might have made Melbourne and Sydney turn a bit more.” Swann said if the Australians had had a policy to hit him out of the attack they would have tried it in Adelaide. “But I was bowling very well there and managed to keep them in the crease,” he said. “If you don’t bowl well you go for runs, it’s as simple as that as a finger spinner.” A spell in Melbourne on a pitch giving absolutely no assistance was, Swann believes, his best in test cricket, even though it yielded only one wicket, albeit an important victim in the shape of Michael Clarke. “That’s the best I bowled for England, I hardly bowled a bad ball. It wasn’t turning at all but I still managed to get a lot of drift and maintain pressure for the seamers at the other end. I regard that

as my finest performance with the ball,” he said. “My role turned into very much a holding role, allowing the seamers to build up pressure at the other end. “All I did was try and bowl dot balls. I thought aside from the Perth game (second test) I was able to do that so I was very happy.” Swann is now taking a break after a taxing winter during which the Ashes tour was followed by a one-day series against Australia and a protracted World Cup, which for England ended with defeat against Sri Lanka in the quarterfinals. Sri Lanka and world one-day champions India are the visitors this summer and Swann is looking forward to the challenge of bowling to Sachin Tendulkar in what looks certain to be the Indian master’s last tour of England. “You make challenges within your own head. I always look at the team sheet beforehand and target the batsmen I want to get out and it’s always the best player, it gives me personal satisfaction getting the best players out,” he said. “Sachin Tendulkar is the best player the game has had in my lifetime so it’s always a pleasure to play against him. But hopefully I won’t get to bowl to him too much this year because that would mean (opening bowler) Jimmy Anderson is doing his job at the top of the order.” —Reuters

Graeme Swann in action in this file photo



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United looking to bounce back LONDON: Manchester City players congratulate Yaya Toure in this file photo after he scored the opening goal during their English FA Cup soccer semi final match against Manchester United. —AP

Toure leads Ivorian stars goal charge PARIS: It was a wonderful weekend for Ivorian stars in England with a Yaya Toure goal taking Manchester City to the FA Cup final and Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou scoring for Chelsea in the Premiership. The joy of the trio contrasted with the dejection of compatriot Emmanuel Eboue, who conceded the penalty deep in stoppage time that allowed Liverpool snatch a draw at faltering title contenders Arsenal. Leading French Ligue 1 scorer Moussa Sow from Senegal was on target for table-toppers Lille, Nigerian Taye Taiwo converted a matchwinning penalty for Marseille and Malian Modibo Maiga bagged a brace for mid-table Sochaux. ENGLAND YAYA TOURE (Man City) The Ivory Coast midfielder fired City into the FA Cup final for the first time since 1981 with a 52nd-minute winner in the 1-0 victory against Manchester United at Wembley. Toure capitalised on a mistake from Michael Carrick to shoot past Edwin Van der Sar and later dedicated the semi-final goal to brother and City teammate Kolo, who is suspended after testing positive for a banned substance. DIDIER DROGBA (Chelsea) The Ivory Coast striker underlined his continued importance to Chelsea with a man-of-thematch display capped by a goal in a 3-1 win at West Bromwich Albion. Drogba has been linked with a move away from Chelsea since the signing of Fernando Torres, but was selected ahead of the misfiring Spaniard at The Hawthorns and responded by bagging a 22nd-minute equaliser with a predatory finish. SALOMON KALOU (Chelsea) The Ivory Coast forward justified his selection ahead of Nicolas Anelka with his 11th goal on the season in a 3-1 win at West Bromwich Albion. Kalou drove in the rebound for his first goal since February after Drogba’s shot was saved in the 26th minute. EMMANUEL EBOUE (Arsenal) The Ivory Coast defender was guilty of a costly mistake as his clumsy challenge allowed Liverpool to score a stoppage-time equaliser in the 1-1 draw at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal had just taken the lead through a late penalty from Robin van Persie when Eboue rashly barged over Lucas Leiva and Dirk Kuyt converted the spot-kick to leave Arsenal six points behind Premier League leaders Manchester United. PETER ODEMWINGIE (West Brom) The Nigeria striker put Albion ahead against Chelsea but his team eventually crashed to a 3-1 defeat. Odemwingie struck in the 17th minute with a fine finish from Jerome Thomas’s pass. It was his 12th goal of the season and the third in his last four matches. ASAMOAH GYAN (Sunderland) The Ghana striker was unable to stop Sunderland sinking to their eighth defeat in nine matches as the Black Cats were beaten 2-0 at Birmingham. Gyan has gone six matches since his last Sunderland goal and his team are now only five points clear of the relegation zone. FRANCE TAYE TAIWO (Marseille) Nigerian international left-back Taiwo netted a high-pressure penalty in Marseille’s 2-1 win at Montpellier that will be seen as instrumental if Didier Deschamps’s side are able to successfully defend their Ligue 1 title. With eight minutes remaining, Taiwo calmly slotted his spot-kick into the bottom-right corner to earn OM a vital

win that moved them within a point of league leaders Lille. MOUSSA SOW (Lille) Senegal striker Sow netted his 21st goal of the season but Lille endured a frustrating afternoon as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Bordeaux. Sow, the league’s top scorer, struck in the 58th minute, running on to Yohan Cabaye’s pass and clipping a low shot inside the righthand post. MODIBO MAIGA (Sochaux) Maiga was on target twice as Sochaux defeated Caen 3-2 to climb to ninth in the standings. The Malian striker claimed his first in the 81st minute, nodding into an empty net after a mistake from Caen goalkeeper Alexis Thebaux, before completing his brace with a back-post header from Marvin Martin’s flighted right-wing cross. It took his tally for the season to 13 league goals. GERMANY PAPISS CISSE (Freiburg) The Senegal striker had a bad day as his side were beaten 3-0 at league leaders Dortmund. Isolated up front, Cisse had few chances as his side were swept aside by rampant Dortmund. To make matters worse, Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez scored a hat-trick in the 5-1 rout of Leverkusen which gives the Germany star a twogoal lead as the Bundesliga’s top scorer. Cisse is second with 20 goals in 28 games. ANTHONY ANNAN (Schalke 04) Having sat out Schalke’s 2-1 win over holders Inter Milan in the Champions League, the Ghana midfielder made his eighth league appearance of the season in the Royal Blues 1-1 draw with Werder Bremen. The 26-year-old is bidding for a place in the starting line-up when Schalke host Premier League giants Manchester United on April 26 at the Veltins Arena .

LONDON: Newcastle United’s Jonas Gutierrez (front left), Fabricio Coloccini (center), Jose Enrique (front right) and Joey Barton (back left) are seen during a training session. Newcastle will play Manchester United in a Premier League match today. —AP alive, it is up to us to win our games and to win our next game,” Wenger said. “We are on a 15-game unbeaten run but recently we have not taken enough points.” Tottenham won 3-2 at Arsenal already this season and beat Arsenal 2-1 in last season’s corresponding fixture to derail the Gunners’ fading title hopes. Spurs rested at the weekend following last week’s Champions League exit to Real Madrid and need victory to move level on points with fourthplace Manchester City, which occupies the final Champions League qualifying spot. Tottenham beat Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City in a tricky final few games last season to make the tournament for the first time and may have to do the same to have any chance this time around. “We know if we win every game left in the

SPAIN SEYDOU KEITA (Barcelona) Mali midfielder Keita was a second-half substitute for Barcelona as the champions drew 1-1 at rivals Real Madrid in the ‘El Clasico’ to stay on course for a third successive league title. The 31year-old Keita replaced injured defender Carles Puyol on 57 minutes as Barcelona were forced to reshuffle their team. EMMANUEL ADEBAYOR (Real Madrid) Togo forward Adebayor played his first ‘El Clasico’, coming on in the 66th minute as 10man Real Madrid came from behind to salvage a point. Adebayor, on loan from Manchester City, replaced Xabi Alonso as coach Jose Mourinho went for a more direct approach and almost scored three minutes after his introduction, only to be let down by a poor first touch.—AFP

Redknapp pushed Bale forward onto the left wing, allowing him to attack without having to think so much about the defensive aspect of his game. “I kind of never really looked back from there,” Bale said. “Playing in a good team with good players definitely helped me a lot and all the boys have been fantastic. The manager has been fantastic, giving me my chance, and it is something I want to improve on.” Tottenham’s progress in the Champions League before being ousted by Real Madrid in the quarterfinals last week owed much to Bale. He scored a hat trick in a 4-3 loss at Inter Milan before he tore the European champions apart when the London club won 3-1 at home in the group stage. Bale was also nominated for the PFA young player of the year award, but finished second in the voting behind 19-year-old Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, who has established himself as a key player for the club and England since August. “It is my first full season and it is a massive award, especially from my fellow players,” Wilshere said. “I am very proud to be the fifth recipient from Arsenal. It is good to keep this history going.” —AP

league, which is going to be difficult, then we’ll be in the top four again,” midfielder Tom Huddlestone said. “It’s similar to last year. We’ve got to play Chelsea, Arsenal and Man City. “By the looks of it, it might boil down to the City game again, so hopefully we can go there and do similar to what we did last season.” Chelsea has already bounced back from its most recent disappointment, recovering from Champions League elimination to United by beating West Bromwich Albion on Saturday and moving within two points of Arsenal. “It was very important to win and play well,” said striker Salomon Kalou, who scored one goal and set up another. “It was a hard week for us coming out of the Champions League but as a player you have to be professional and give everything.”—AP

Make or break for Australians in Asia

ITALY SAMUEL ETO’O (Inter Milan) Another blank for the Cameroon striker and that makes it six games without a goal. He looked tired and out of sorts as Inter Milan lost 20 at Parma to further undermine their hopes of retaining the league title. Several chances came his way, but he was unable to convert any of them and his form is troubling for the club who are now eight points behind AC Milan and out of the Champions League. ACQUAH AFRIYIE (Palermo) The 19-year-old Ghana midfielder is already being touted as the next Michael Essien and he displayed his potential once again when he came on as a substitute after 60 minutes against Roma. The sides were level 1-1 at that point, but with Afriyie Palermo went on to win 3-2.

Spurs’ Bale voted as top Player of the Year LONDON: Tottenham winger Gareth Bale has been voted the player of the year by his fellow English league professionals after establishing himself as one of Europe’s top players this season. The 21-year-old Welshman beat six other players to the Professional Footballers’ Association award, with Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri second in the voting followed by Manchester City forward Carlos Tevez. “It is a great honor to receive, especially from other fellow professionals,” Bale said Sunday. “It is not just for me, it is for all my teammates that have helped me through the season and it is kind of for everyone really.” Bale joined Tottenham in 2007 from Southampton for 5 million pounds (then $8 million) but endured a frustrating start to his Spurs career. A series of injuries stymied his progress and he took 25 Premier League matches over more than two years to feature in a winning league side. He only became a regular after being picked at left back for an FA Cup match in January 2010. “At the beginning I wasn’t really playing much and I always believed in myself that if I did get a run in the team, which I eventually did, that I would be able to prove what I can do,” Bale said.

LONDON: With Manchester United and Arsenal each seeking to overcome huge disappointment, the Premier League title race continues midweek with three matches that could yet help determine the destination of the title. United heads to Newcastle today, just three days after missing out on the chance of a treble by losing to Manchester City in the FA Cup semifinals. But Arsenal’s players go to Tottenham tomorrow trying to get over the injury-time penalty equalizer that earned Liverpool a 1-1 draw on Sunday to leave the Gunners six points back in second place. Any slip up by Arsenal against its local rival could then leave defending champion Chelsea, which hosts Birmingham in tomorrow’s other match, as United’s closest challenger with five games remaining. United is still a strong favorite to win the Premier League but cannot afford to relax just yet. “It doesn’t matter when you play, you know you’ve got to recover and get on a winning streak again,” United manager Alex Ferguson said. Newcastle could be the perfect opponent for United, which will be without the suspended Paul Scholes after his red card against City at Wembley. United is unbeaten in 17 matches against Newcastle since September 2001 and the Magpies will be without suspended captain Kevin Nolan, who has scored 12 goals this season. “I hate watching, but I just try and give the lads as much support as I can,” Nolan said. “It’s going to be tough, but we fancy ourselves against anyone at St. James’ and it’s going to be rocking.” United has striker Wayne Rooney available again after a two-game suspension and the England international could replace Dimitar Berbatov, who missed two good chances against City. Defender Jonny Evans is also able to play following a ban. “We must forget the City game now and concentrate on winning the title,” United captain Nemanja Vidic said. “It will not be easy but we have to perform, play good football and try to win the league.” Arsenal’s dramatic draw with Liverpool, in which it scored a penalty in the eighth minute of injury time before conceding another in the 12th, means it has dropped six points from its last three home matches. Manager Arsene Wenger blamed the referee, Liverpool’s defensive tactics and gamesmanship by Brazil midfielder Lucas Leiva for Arsenal’s latest setback, but his team failed to create the clear openings its domination of possession merited. “The hope is always there but, to keep the hope

MADRID: Barcelona’s coach Josep Guardiola reacts in this file photo. —AP

Alves urges Guardiola to stay at Barcelona MADRID: Barcelona defender Dani Alves said yesterday he hopes Pep Guardiola will stay on as coach of the Spanish champions after his contract with the club expires at the end of next season. Guardiola, 40, hinted he may leave the club in an interview with Italian television channel Rai this month, saying: “I think my time is ending here in Barcelona.” “Next year will be my fourth consecutive as Barca coach. A club like this must have a lot of courage to keep a coach for all this time because players tire of coaches and vice versa,” he added. But in an interview published yesterday in daily newspaper El Mundo, Alves said he and the rest of the squad want him to stay on. “We follow him with our eyes shut. He is very intelligent, he always knows what he is doing. To not follow Guardiola would be foolish. Since we are not foolish we will follow him until he gets tired of us,” he said. “Everyone has their cycle and one day his will come to an end. We hope his cycle will last for a very long time because we can’t imagine Barca without Guardiola,” the 27-year-old Brazilian international added. Guardiola, who spent most of his playing career at Barcelona, coached Barcelona’s B team before taking control of the first-team squad in June 2008 from Dutchman Frank Rijkaard. The former Spanish international midfielder has won eight trophies, including successive La Liga titles and the 2009 Champions League, since taking over Barcelona’s senior team. Barcelona held Real Madrid to a 1-1 draw on Saturday, leaving them eight points ahead and well placed to clinch their second straight league title. The two sides will meet again tomorrow in the King’s Cup final at Valencia’s Mestalla stadium, with Real coach Jose Mourinho aiming to win his first trophy with the club. Barcelona and Real will also face off twice in the Champions League semi-finals, with the first leg at the Bernabeu on April 27 and the return leg on May 3 at Camp Nou.—AFP

SINGAPORE: Australian hopefuls Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC are facing a make-orbreak week as they bid to ignite their flagging AFC Champions League campaigns. As the pool stage passes the halfway mark, Melbourne, with just one point, will look to build on their vital away draw against China’s Tianjin Teda when they entertain the Group E tabletoppers. Sydney have a difficult trip to Shanghai Shenhua as they try to climb into the reckoning in Group H, a week after their first home loss in the continental championship. Injury-hit Sydney’s heavy 3-0 defeat to Kashima Antlers came in an emotional match last week that was rescheduled after Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami last month. “Everyone is worried about the players and their families. That’s why we came early here to try to be separated and try to not allow the problem to interfere in our performance,” said Kashima coach Oswaldo Oliveira. “The players feel the problem over there but this problem is too big, a simple victory will not change anything. “We came to do our job. We are professional but our heart is still very weak about what’s happened in our country.” Sydney coach Vitezslav Lavicka will welcome back Socceroos playmaker Nicky Carle after a hamstring strain, while captain Terry McFlynn returns from suspension for today’s match in Shanghai. But the Sky Blues remain without injured defender Stephan Keller and forward David Williams as they embark on a series of three

straight away fixtures. “We all have to pull our weight in this one. It’s do or die for us and them,” Carle said, according to Australia’s Daily Telegraph. Coach Lavicka said it was vital for Sydney to pick up points against Shanghai, who are also languishing after two draws and a defeat from three games. “We’ve played three games in a row at home and we’ve only got two points, but we won’t give up the current situation,” Lavicka said. “We’ll still try to pick up points away, especially now in China.” Melbourne relied on retiring captain Kevin Muscat for the equaliser in this month’s 1-1 draw in Tianjin, and the two-time A-League champions will hope to continue their resurgence under caretaker coach Mehmet Durakovic tomorrow. Tianjin will miss skipper and goalscorer Marko Zoric, who is suspended over a dangerous tackle, for the trip to Melbourne, where they are looking to extend their group lead. Today, Kashima host South Korea’s Suwon Bluewings in Group H, and Group F leaders FC Seoul take on Japan’s Nagoya Grampus. On Wednesday, Iran’s Piroozi Athletic play Uzbek outfit Bunyodkor, and Japan’s Gamba Osaka face Jeju United of South Korea. Elsewhere, Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal warmed up for their Group A clash with Al Jazira by clinching their 10th domestic Crown Prince Cup. Fellow Saudis Al Ittihad and Iran’s Sepahan are the only teams with a maximum nine points. Teams are split into eight groups of four with knockout stages to be played later in the year.—AFP

Faltering Lille seek French Cup cheer PARIS: Stuttering French league leaders Lille will bid to put their worrying recent form behind them when they travel to Nice in the French Cup semi-finals yesterday. The success-starved northern club, who have not lifted any silverware since their mid-1950s heyday, have seen a four-point lead whittled down to an advantage of just a single point in recent weeks. The most recent setback was a 1-1 draw at home to Bordeaux on Saturday, which enabled second-placed defending champions Marseille to close the gap by winning 2-1 at Montpellier. The draw with Bordeaux followed on from a 1-0 defeat at relegation candidates Monaco and in Nice they face a team who have banished their own relegation fears with an eight-game unbeaten run. “Why should we be worried?” asked Lille coach Rudi Garcia after the draw with Bordeaux. “Just as Monaco was a non-performance, Bordeaux are a good team with good players. “We now have an almost historic encounter, with the objective of going to Stade de France. We’ll need all our powers to go and win at Nice.” Nice’s recent run, featuring a 2-0 win at SaintEtienne and a 2-2 draw at home to Lyon in which they scored twice in injury time, has lifted them from just above the drop zone to the relative security of 12th place.

A 3-2 victory over Mediterranean rivals Monaco on Saturday moved them four points clear of the danger zone, allowing them to focus on their bid to reach a first major final since the 2006 League Cup. “Victory in the derby represents a great operation,” said Nice midfielder Anthony Mounier. “We really enjoyed it. It was the best way to prepare for Lille’s visit.” Wednesday’s second last-four tie sees Ligue 2 Angers, who lost 6-3 to Toulouse in the final of the 1957 competition, host holders Paris SaintGermain, 1-0 victors against Monaco in last season’s final. PSG produced a superb performance to beat Lyon 1-0 on Sunday, moving them to within a point of their third-placed opponents in the battle for the third and final Champions League qualifying berth. Antoine Kombouare’s team are emerging from a six-game winless streak that saw them eliminated from the Europa League by Benfica and slip off the pace in the title race, and centreback Mamadou Sakho says they must stay focused. “We’re not getting carried away,” said the 21-year-old France defender. “We’ll stay concentrated to try and string victories together. Starting tomorrow at Angers in the French Cup, where we’ll do everything to reach the final.” The winners of the two ties will meet in the final in Paris on May 14.—AFP



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Ten-man Bilbao battle back to beat Osasuna

ITALY: AC Milan Brazilian forward Robinho celebrates after scoring during the Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Sampdoria at the San Siro stadium. — AP

Milan close in on title after Napoli lose 2-1 MILAN: AC Milan were within touching distance of their first Serie A title for seven years after nearest challengers Napoli lost 2-1 at home to Udinese on Sunday. Second-half goals from Gokhan Inler and German Denis left second-placed Napoli, chasing their first scudetto since Diego Maradona’s days in 1990, six points adrift of leaders Milan with five matches to play. Napoli striker Edinson Cavani, the championship’s second top scorer with 25 goals, missed a penalty in a bad-tempered game featuring several flare -ups, although only Udinese’s Maurizio Domizzi was sent off. Milan, 3-0 winners over Sampdoria on Saturday, have 71 points from 33 games with Napoli stuck on 65 and Inter Milan, champions for the last five seasons, on 63 after their 2-0 defeat at Parma on Saturday. Juventus were left facing a second successive season without Champions League football after they were held 0-0 by Fiorentina in a dour affair while rivals Lazio thrashed Catania 4-1. Those results left Juventus eight points adrift of Lazio who are in fourth place, the Champions League qualifying round berth, with 60 points. Seventh-placed Juve will have to concentrate on finishing fifth or sixth to qualify at least for the Europa League. Cesena moved out of the relegation places with a 1-0 win over bottom club Bari thanks to a second-half goal from 34-year-old Albania striker Erjon Bogdani. Cesena’s win sent Sampdoria, whose bus was pelted with sticks and stones by their own fans on returning to Genoa on Saturday, into the danger zone in their place. Napoli, winners of their last four league games, took early control with Cavani twice going close but it fell apart for them in a six-

minute spell after the break. Switzerland captain Inler, a Napoli transfer target, opened the scoring with a swerving, deflected 25-metre shot in the 55th minute to stun the San Paolo stadium. Udinese coped well without injured first choice strikers Antonio Di Natale and Alexis Sanchez when Pablo Armero burst down the left and crossed to the far post where Denis chested the ball down to fire the second against his former club. Tempers flared several times after that, on one occasion after an Udinese player went down injured and Napoli played on. There was another scuffle after Napoli were awarded a penalty in the 87th minute, ending in a red card for Domizzi. After a two-minute delay, Uruguay forward Cavani saw his kick saved by Samir Handanovic. Brazilian midfielder Hernanes gave Lazio a 40th-minute lead at Catania following a headed pass from Stefano Mauri. Matias Schelotto levelled straight after the break but Mauri put Lazio back ahead in the 56th before late goals from Sergio Floccari and Argentine Mauro Zarate completed an impressive win. At the bottom, Cesena’s win lifted them to 17th, one place above the danger zone, with 34 points, two more than Sampdoria. Bari stayed rooted to the bottom of the table with 21 points and look doomed while Brescia, in 19th place, went down 3-0 at midtable Genoa to stay on 30 points. Lecce boosted their survival hopes when Fabiano and Daniele Corvia scored in the last three minutes to snatch a 3-3 draw at home to Cagliari, who had led with two goals from Robert Acquafresca and one from Daniele Conti. Algerian Djamel Mesbah scored the other goal early in the second half for Lecce who are 16th with 35 points. — Reuters

River held, Boca draw 3-3 in thriller BUENOS AIRES: River Plate clung to a onepoint lead in the Argentine championship with a 0-0 draw at Gimnasia on Sunday while archrivals Boca Juniors twice came from behind in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Tigre. None of the teams in the top five of the Clausura standings before the weekend earned wins as second-placed Velez Sarsfield drew 1-1 with Colon in Santa Fe, midfielder Victor Zapata equalising in the fourth minute of added time. River are top with 19 points and Velez, who play San Lorenzo tomorrow in a game suspended last month because of crowd violence, have 18. Three teams are tied for third with 17 points including title holders Estudiantes, held 2-2 by Olimpo, and Godoy Cruz, who ended Argentinos Juniors’ unbeaten run with a 1-0 win on Saturday. Tigre striker Denis Stracqualursi hit a hattrick at Boca’s Bombonera that put him top of the scorers’ list with a tally of eight but he left

disappointed by the draw. “Although it was nice to get the three goals, I’m left with a sour taste, this was a winnable match and we didn’t win,” Stracqualursi told Futbol Para Todos. The striker stunned the Boca fans by putting Tigre 2-0 up inside 35 minutes as he stole ahead of his marker twice to head past keeper Cristian Lucchetti. But Boca, who have struggled for form all year, fought back and two goals in the last three minutes of the first half including Juan Roman Riquelme’s equaliser put them level at halftime. A Stracqualursi penalty after young defender Enzo Ruiz pulled midfielder Roman Martinez down put Tigre ahead again with 20 minutes to go. But a fine shot from outside the box into the top corner 12 minutes from time by Argentina full back Clemente Rodriguez salvaged a point, only their fifth in five home matches, for Boca. — Reuters

ARGENTINA: Boca Juniors’ Juan Roman Riquelme celebrates after scoring during an Argentina’s league soccer match against Tigre. — AP

MADRID: Athletic Bilbao boosted their chances of securing a place in next season’s Europa League when they fought back from a goal and a man down to snatch a 2-1 vic tor y at struggling Osasuna on Sunday. On a weekend dominated by Saturday’s “Clasico” between leaders Barcelona and second-placed Real Madrid, which ended 1-1, the Basque club (48 points) climbed into fifth above Sevilla (46), who lost 1-0 at Getafe on Saturday. Their other direct rivals for a Europa League berth, holders Atletico Madrid (46) and Espanyol (45), drew 2-2 in Barcelona and are seventh and eighth respectively with six games left. Bilbao had defender Xabi Castillo sent off for a second yellow card in the 57th minute in Pamplona, shortly after striker Kike Sola had fired the home side in front. Osasuna were unable to make their

numerical advantage count and Bilbao’s Spain striker Fernando Llorente levelled with a header with just over 20 minutes left. Af ter Osasuna defender Sergio Fernandez was sent off for a second yellow in the 88th minute, Iker Muniain pounced on a defensive howler by goalkeeper Ricardo Lopez to curl the ball into the empty net from wide on the left. “We only created two chances and we were 100 percent efficient,” Bilbao coach Joaquin Caparros told a news conference. “The team has desire and soul and they showed that on the pitch.” In Barcelona, Atletico were ahead in the second minute af ter an error by Espanyol defender Ernesto Galan allowed Koke to score into an empty net. Pablo Osvaldo equalised with a deflected shot shortly before halftime before Sergio Aguero intercepted an attempted backpass in the 49th minute and lifted the ball superbly over onrush-

ing Espanyol goalkeeper Carlos Kameni. Osvaldo levelled again nine minutes later but neither side found the firepower or creativity to engineer a winner. In the day’s earlier games, surprise package Levante, promoted at the end of last season and unbeaten in eight games since mid February, strengthened their grip on ninth thanks to a 2-1 win at home to struggling Hercules. With only 12 points separating 11th from 20th in a congested bottom half of the table, Deportivo Coruna secured a crucial 2-0 win at home to R acing Santander, while Real Sociedad beat visiting Sporting Gijon 2-1 in San Sebastian. Almeria remain rooted to the bottom on 26 points after they were beaten 3-0 at home by third-placed Valencia on Saturday. Hercules have 30 points in 19th and Real Zaragoza, who play at fourth-placed Villarreal on Monday, are 18th on 33. — Reuters

MEXICO: Pumas’ Jehu Chiapas (right) falls down as Queretaro’s Marcelo Romero looks on during a Mexican soccer league match. —AP

America make winning return MEXICO CITY: Mexico City giants America returned to Guadalajara for the second Sunday in a row but this time came away with the points after a 3-1 win over Estudiantes UAG kept their Mexican title playoff chances alive. America had lost 3-0 to arch-rivals Guadalajara, the Chivas, last weekend but two goals from Angel Reyna helped them to a potentially crucial win over the Tecos, the western city’s university team, to retain second place in Group Two. Atlante lead the group with 23 points after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with relegated

Necaxa. America have 22 with Toluca and Atlas on 20, with two matches to go in the qualifying, round-robin phase. The top two teams in each of the three groups, plus the next two bestplaced teams in the overall standings, qualify for the quarter-finals. Group Three leaders Pumas UNAM, who qualified the previous weekend with three matches to spare, notched their ninth win when they beat Queretaro 3-0 at the Olimpico on Sunday. Former Mexico striker Francisco Palencia scored twice in the opening 18

Ronaldinho misses penalty RIO DE JANEIRO: Ronaldinho blasted a penalty over the bar with the last kick of the game in a 1-1 draw with Macae on Sunday to leave Flamengo with a tough Carioca championship semi-final against arch-rivals Fluminense. Had the former Barcelona ace, who has yet to impress since returning home from AC Milan in January, converted the penalty in the fourth minute of added time Flamengo would have avoided the Brazilian champions. “I kicked it badly and the ball rose. That’s how it is. At the right time, I’ll get goals,” Ronaldinho told reporters. Carioca title holders Botafogo are the only one of Rio’s four big teams to have failed to reach the semi-finals in the second stage of the state championship.

Modest Olaria have taken their place and will face Vasco da Gama in the other semifinal. Flamengo, who won the first stage of the championship, will be crowned champions if they also win the second phase. Otherwise they will have to face the winners in a grand final. The state championships precede the Brazilian first division championship that starts next month. The Paulista (Sao Paulo) and Gaucho (Rio Grande do Sul) championships have reached the quarter-final stage. Former Brazil midfielder Falcao made his debut as coach of South American champions Internacional with a 1-0 win over Santa Cruz, young Brazil striker Leandro Damiao scoring the only goal, on Saturday. — Reuters

minutes, his first with a diving header, and laid on the third for Paraguayan Dante Lopez. Pumas have 32 points with two matches to go, four more than Morelia, who have also qualified after a 1-1 draw at Monterrey on Saturday, and eight ahead of Cruz Azul, who lost 2-0 at Puebla. Group One leaders Tigres UANL secured their berth in the last eight with a 1-0 win at Chiapas. They are five points ahead of Guadalajara with title holders Monterrey third on 22. — Reuters

Porto defeat Sporting to extend undefeated streak LISBON: Radamel Falcao scored a double to help FC Porto to a 3-2 win over Sporting Lisbon on Sunday, extending the Portuguese champions’ undefeated streak to 27 league matches. Andre Santos gave the visiting Sporting the lead in the 11th minute when he finished off a cross from Matias Fernandez. Falcao headed in Porto’s 26th-minute equalizer and then gave his team the lead with another header off a pass from Joao Moutinho in the 49th. Porto substitute Walter made it 3-1 in the 85th. Fernandez added Sporting’s second two minutes later, but Porto held on to record its 15th straight league win and 25th victory. Also, second-place Benfica beat Beira Mar 21, Rio Ave downed Naval 1-0, and Portimonense won 1-0 at Leiria. — AP

Matches on TV (Local Timings)

English Premier League Newcastle v Man United Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 5


Italian Cup Roma v Inter Al Jazeera Sport +1 Al Jazeera Sport 1 HD


Johnson edges Bowyer at Talladega



Nerves of Steele earn rookie Texas Open win


Canucks close in on first-round sweep Page 16

LOS ANGELES: New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul (left) puts up a shot as Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant defends during the second half of an NBA playoff basketball game. —AP

Basketball legend’s peace legacy for African nation TURALEI: When late basketball legend Manute Bol was a boy in his war-devastated, grossly poor village in south Sudan, he spent his days herding cattle and only took up the sport in his teens. Now the first ever basketball court has been built in his birthplace of Turalei to offer others opportunities he never had-one small part of efforts for peace and reconciliation as south Sudan nears full independence in July. “We have lost Manute Bol, but we have a hundred more Manute Bols yet to be trained,” said Deng Kuoc, the local commissioner, speaking to a large crowd of young athletes at the opening ceremony in the sand-swept village’s “Freedom Square”. Many in the crowd showed the towering physique of Bol, the tallest player in National

Basketball Association (NBA) history, along with Romanian Gheorghe Muresan. “They are ready to play all sports all across the world,” Kuoc added. Bol, talent-spotted from obscurity to play in the NBA with Washington, Golden State, Philadelphia and Miami, died in 2010 aged 47 from a rare skin disease as a react i o n to k i d n e y m e d i c a t i o n . O n e o f s o u t h Sudan’s most famous sons, the iconic shotblocker stood at a giant seven feet seven inches (231 centimetres). But while the outside world remembers him for his towering performances on court, Bol’s focus was the plight of south Sudan, pouring his lucrative NBA earnings into supporting his homeland. The oil-rich but impoverished region was left

in ruins by decades of war, as southern rebels battled soldiers and militia forces backed by the government in Khartoum. The dusty thatched-hut village of Turalei, close to the still-disputed northsouth border, was burnt to the ground, its people massacred or taken into slavery. “Manute Bol was a man of peace, and he believed that south Sudan should be at peace,” said the fledgling nation’s sports minister, Makuac Teny, shortly before opening the new court. “That is why he supported south Sudan’s fight for selfdetermination.” Now his example is being used in the hope of creating a more peaceful south for the future, to overcome the major challenges the nation-inwaiting faces.—AFP

Hornets sting Lakers LOS ANGELES: Chris Paul had 33 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds to lead the New Orleans Hornets to a stunning 109-100 win over the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers in their playoff opener Sunday. Carl Landry scored 17 points and Jarrett Jack had 15 for the Hornets, who are seeded seventh in the Western Conference. New Orleans overcame Los Angeles’ major size advantage with a phenomenal game from Paul, who scored 17 points in the fourth quarter and led a late 8-0 run. Kobe Bryant scored 34 points for the Lakers, who opened the postseason with the same halfhearted effort they displayed at times during the regular season after three straight exhausting trips to the NBA finals. The Lakers swept the four-game regular-season series with New Orleans. They had also won their last six playoff series openers since Houston beat them in the Western Conference semifinals in 2009 on the way to Bryant’s fourth championship. Grizzlies 101, Spurs 98 In San Antonio, Zach Randolph had 25 points and 14 rebounds and Shane Battier hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 23.9 seconds remaining to help Memphis win its first-ever playoff game. Randolph scored nine points in the fourth quarter and punished San Antonio repeatedly under the basket. The top-seeded Spurs had a chance to force overtime, but Richard Jefferson missed an open 3-pointer as time expired. Tony Parker led the Spurs with 20 points, but they sorely missed All-Star player Manu Ginobili of Argentina, who continued to rest his sprained right elbow. The eighth-seeded Grizzlies entered the NBA in 1995 as an expansion team in Vancouver but didn’t make it to the playoffs until 2004. They were then

swept in the first round for three consecutive years. Celtics 85, Knicks 84 At Boston, Ray Allen hit a go-ahead 3pointer with 12 seconds left as the Celtics rallied to beat New York in their playoff opener. New York led 85-84 before Carmelo Anthony was called for an offensive foul for pushing Paul Pierce with 21 seconds remaining. Allen, who led the Celtics with 24 points, then sank the decisive basket from beyond the left arc. The Knicks had one more chance to win it, but Anthony missed a long 3point attempt with 2 seconds left. The star forward went 1 for 11 from the field in the second half. Amare Stoudemire had 28 points and 11 rebounds for New York, and Anthony finished with 15. Pierce scored 18 points and Kevin Garnett added 15 points and 13 rebounds for Boston. The Celtics, who won their NBA-high 17th championship in 2008, are aiming to return to the finals after losing in seven games last year to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Knicks are in the playoffs for the first time in seven years. Thunder 107, Nuggets 103 In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant scored 41 points and Russell Westbrook added 31 as the Thunder pulled out a victory in Game 1 of its first-round playoff series. Oklahoma City leaned heavily on its two All-Stars, who both scored their most points in the postseason. Westbrook scored the go-ahead jumper from the right side with 1:06 left. Kenyon Martin then missed a jumper from the left wing before Westbrook struck again to make it 104-101 with 22.4 seconds left. Raymond Felton missed a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left, and Oklahoma City closed it out at the foul line. Nene led Denver with 22 points and eight rebounds, and Danilo Gallinari scored 18.—AP



Japan needs more LNG, buys to push up price

e niv rsar n


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Wataniya Telecom issues its 2010 CSR Report Page 23 TUESDAY, APRIL 19, 2011

European debt crisis haunts markets again Page 26

British Food Festival opens at Lulu Hypermarket Page 23

KUWAIT: Participants of 4th Asian Energy Ministers’ Round Table Meeting, pose together in Kuwait yesterday. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Kuwait gives Japan 5m barrels of crude 4th Asian energy roundtable ends By Nisreen Zahreddine & KUNA KUWAIT: Kuwait will contribute five million barrels of crude oil or related byproducts to Japan in a demonstration of solidarity with the Japanese people amid their current crisis. Yesterday’s announcement by the Kuwaiti Cabinet came during the fourth Asian Ministerial Energy Roundtable, held at Kuwait’s Regency Hotel. Energy ministers from 18 Asian countries and representatives of three international organizations attended the high-level meeting, with the participants agreeing that the steadily increasing levels of energy demand seen over the past 20 years are set to continue in coming decades, as Asian countries represent the lion’s share of the total growth in energy demand. On the issue of nuclear power, the delegates agreed that despite recent unfortunate events in Japan, this will remain an important component of the global energy mix as all possible energy sources will be needed to meet future global energy demands. All the participants, however, underlined the importance of emphasizing the security and safety of nuclear power plants. Oil price volatility The delegates discussed volatility in the global oil markets since the beginning of 2011, focusing particularly on the short-term market developments and the reasons behind the surging prices. There was a general consensus that geopolitical concerns in relation to this issue are overstated since physical oil markets are well-supplied, with comfortable levels of spare capacity and stocks. The ministers, similarly, expressed their concerns that the price rally if constantly escalated would negatively affect the recovery of the global economy following the crisis. The ministers asserted that this imposes a common responsibility on the oil-producing and oil-consuming countries

to limit excessive volatility in oil prices as extreme fluctuations in this area are undesirable for both energy producers and consumers. They called on the IEA, IEF and OPEC to continue their joint efforts to better understand the linkages between the physical and financial markets and promote the dialogue between physical market players and financial regulators across the globe as specific regulations on oil markets are put in place. The ministers also called on financial regulators to pro-actively rein in speculation, which they said exacerbates oil price swings. Energy efficiency The roundtable meeting affirmed that collaboration between governments and industry in Asian nations can help to bring further improvements in energy use and efficiency. This can be done through exchanging experience and sharing best practices, the dissemination of technology and the coordination of policies which can be important factors in addressing the challenge of rising demand, the delegates suggested. All those present agreed on the importance of the role played by sound energy pricing in managing energy demand and supporting energy efficiency in Asian countries, both in consumption and in production terms. They recognized the importance of market-linked pricing while noting the economic and social goals of targeted subsidies. They agreed that in order to tackle inefficient energy subsidies, there is a need to take into consideration economic, social, and commercial sustainability, as well as environmental concerns, which will help to motivate countries to pursue recommendations for their own immediate and long-term benefits. Investment In relation to energy-related investment, the delegates agreed that meeting the growing future energy demand in Asia requires that

KUWAIT: A general view of the fourth round-table meeting of the Ministries of Oil and Energy in Asia, in Kuwait yesterday.

investment throughout the supply chain is achieved in a timely manner. Participants also concurred that having an adequate investment framework in place in both the producing and consuming countries is an important factor for promoting this much-needed investment in the region. The meeting recognized that investment should also aim to make energy services more affordable to and accessible for the poor. On the same theme, it was also noted that underinvestment or delays in investment could lead to excessive over-capacity. Therefore, the ministers suggested, the most pressing challenge facing the industry is to invest in timely capacity expansion adopting a long-term view despite uncertainties surrounding demand. Improvements in transparency of business dealings and the introduction of appropriate regulations are key elements in efforts to enhance the functioning of the oil market and its price discovery function, the ministers stressed. Kuwait Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmed Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah said that since the beginning of 2011 oil prices have exceeded $100 per barrel, the highest price in two years. This price increase, he explained, is due to the loss of a large volume of sweet crude from the market, expansionary monetary policies, a weak dollar, fear of the spread of political unrest from other oil-producing nations, and continuing high demand in Southeast Asia. He also stated that oil traders are driving prices higher and amplifying price signals, further suggesting that speculative activity has reached record levels, with net length in Nymex crude reaching an all-time high. Sheikh Ahmed Al-Abdullah added, however, that the market is well balanced and there is no shortage of supply, as the shortfall in supply from Libya was rapidly compensated for, as OPEC moved quickly to ensure adequate supplies to the market. Similarly, Saudi oil minister Ali AlNaimi said that his country’s position in the world market is based on its commitment to maintaining spare capacity for the sake of price and market stability. He added that Saudi Arabia is able to fulfill Asia’s future oil requirements, predicting that demand for oil would be high in the Asia-Pacific region in the coming years and decades as a result of increasing population and fast-improving living conditions in developing countries. Qatar ’s Minister of Oil and Industr y, Mohammad Al-Sada, described natural gas as the appropriate option for energy use in industrialized nations owing to its

• Gulf producers allay supply fears asset efficiency rating. OPEC Secretary General Ali Al Badri said that the oil cartel was concerned at the high crude prices amid fears of lower supply although

he added that markets are adequately stocked. “We see that there is a 15-20 dollar premium risk at this time, “ he said, indicating that New York’s main contract, light sweet

crude for delivery in May, fell by 78 cents to 108.88 dollars a barrel in the afternoon, while Brent North Sea crude for June went down 49 cents to $122.96 per barrel.




Japan needs more LNG, buys to push up price

AUB platinum sponsor of Arab Banking Conference 2011 KUWAIT: Ahli United Bank has announced its Platinum Sponsorship for the Arab Banking Conference which convenes 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 along 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

Qatar to supply 4m tons LNG TOKYO: Japan needs to buy more liquefied natural gas (LNG) even after securing 4 million tons of additional fuel from top producer Qatar, which is likely to push long-term prices higher and reduce cargoes available for Europe. Top LNG importer Japan is battling to minimize power shortages in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami in March that knocked out more than 9 gigawatts of nuclear power supply. “Additional purchases from the utilities will tighten the supply and demand balance, but the market was originally oversupplied, with about 40 to 50 million tons said to be in surplus globally,” Mitsunori Torihara, Chairman of the Japan Gas Association, told a news conference. “A rise in LNG prices will be unavoidable from now on, but in terms of volume, there is no need to worry,” said Torihara, who also serves as Chairman of Tokyo Gas Co Ltd. Qatar state-run energy firm Qatargas will supply more than 60 extra cargoes of LNG, or 4 million tons, to Japan over the next 12 months, the company said on Saturday. Japan may need to buy as much as 10 million tons of additional LNG, so the Qatar purchase would likely be followed by more, one industry source said on Monday. Industry

Fahad Al-Rajaan, Chairman of Ahli United Bank 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”.

Al Tijari holds biggest daily draw in Kuwait with Najma Account KUWAIT: Commercial Bank of Kuwait held the Al Najma Account draw on 17th April 2011. The draw was held under the supervision of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry represented by Abdulaziz Ashkanani. The Commercial Bank of Kuwait announces the biggest daily draw in Kuwait with the launch of the new

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estimates of the volume of additional LNG it needs range from the 4 million tons per year it has bought from Qatar to 10 million tonnes per year. Global gas supply is ahead of demand. The International Energy Agency estimates it could take years to work off the extra supply. Japan is eating into that spare capacity as it looks to plug its power supply shortage after the quake, although analysts say it is unlikely to be enough to remove the global gas glut. Still, traders expect LNG prices in the region to strengthen on the Japan purchases. “If Qatar diverts to Japan more than 60 cargoes that it had contractually committed to others, that would have a big impact on spot and long-term prices,” said a source in LNG trading at a Japanese trading house. “ The more (extra supplies) the better. Many Japanese trading houses, electric power companies and gas firms invest in Qatar, so I think Qatar decided to support Japan considering those partnerships,” the source said. The extra cargoes from Qatar would be shipped to a number of Japanese utilities and not limited to Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) and Tohoku Electric Power , the worse affected by the quake, industry sources said. Other utilities in Japan will need to boost

weekly draw even with amounts less than KD 500. Commercial Bank of Kuwait takes this opportunity to congratulate all lucky winners and also extends appreciation to the Ministr y of Commerce and Industry for their effective supervision of the draws which were conducted in an orderly and organized manner.

The winners of the Al Najma draw are :No 1 2 3 4 5

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Najma account. Customers of the bank can now enjoy a KD 7,000 daily prize which is the highest in the country and another 4 mega prizes during the year worth KD 100,000 each on different occasions: The National Day, Eid Al Fitr, Eid Al Adha and on the 19th of June which is the date of the bank’s establishment. With a minimum balance of KD 500, customers will be eligible for the daily draw provided that the money is in the account one week prior to the daily draw or 2 months prior to the mega draw. In addition, for each KD 25 a customer can get one chance for winning instead of KD 50. All existing customers will be given a grace period till June 27 to increase their balances and until that date they will be eligible to enter the

runs at thermal plants to supply power to the two firms. Japanese gas and power firms would also continue to divert LNG cargoes to TEPCO, Torihara said. TEPCO is using gas turbines to increase power supply and plans to bring more gasfired power capacity online to help it meet the supply shortage caused by the shutdown of nuclear and other power plants after the quake. Japan has negotiated extra supplies from a variety of producers as well as Qatar, including Russia, Malaysia and Indonesia. It has also arranged additional supplies through time swaps with Korea Gas Corp (KOGAS) and Taiwan’s CPC. Last year, Japan imported a record 70 million tons of LNG and Qatar was its fourthbiggest supplier, shipping 7.63 million tons. The nation’s 10 main electric power firms imported 43.92 million tons of LNG, a record, in the financial year ended in March, using 95 percent of that for power generation. Qatargas has long been a supplier of LNG to Japan. Qatar’s other state-run LNG supplier, Rasgas, holds no long-term contracts with Japan but has supplied cargoes to Japan via Qatargas since the quake, a company executive said earlier this month. — Reuters

Rajhi Steel to build $4bnn steel complex RIYADH: Saudi-based Rajhi Steel plans to set up a 15 billion riyals ($4.0 billion) heavy steel complex in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) and will get dry gas from Aramco, the state news agency said yesterday. The firm will later offer 50 percent of the new project to the public through an initial public offering, SPA said. “The Saudi Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources agreed lately to allocate 70 million cubic feet a day of dry gas to Rajhi Steel to build a heavy steel complex in King Abdullah Economic City,” the statement said. Emaar Economic City, an affiliate to UAEbased Emaar Properties, is spearheading the development of King Abdullah Economic City, one of the kingdom’s most ambitious projects aimed at diversifying its oil-based economy. The project, aimed at building a new high-tech city on the Red Sea coast with businesses, industrial, leisure and residential estates as well as a giant port, has been dogged by delays and lower-than-expected interest from local and foreign investors. The new Rajhi Steel complex will cover 4 million square meters in the industrial area at KAEC and will contain a number of plants including a direct reduction iron plant with a capacity of 1.8 million tons a year. It will also include a hot briquetted iron plant with a capacity of 650 thousand tons a year and a melt shop with a capacity of 2 million tons a year, the statement said. — Reuters

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

.2742610 .4461270 .3922750 .3058900 .2846210 .2887560 .0062330 .0024930 .0747000 .7279660 .3879230 .0731550 .7129220 .0063780 .0464850 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2749500 .4472470 .3932610 .3066580 .2853360 .0527290 .0440570 .2894810 .0353460 .2203830 .0033210 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0748880 .7297940 .0000000 .0733130 .7147130 .0000000

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

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. Japanese Yen Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar

ASIAN COUNTRIES 3.373 6.224 3.286 2.505 3.895 223.030 35.638

.2795480 .4547270 .3998380 .3117870 .2901080 .2943230 .0063530 .0025410 .0761400 .7420000 .3954010 .0745660 .7266660 .0065010 .0473810 .2785500 .4531030 .3984100 .3106740 .2890720 .0534200 .0446340 .2932710 .0358080 .2232690 .0033650 .0063310 .0025320 .0033200 .0038960 .0758680 .7393500 .3939890 .0743000 .7240710 .0064780

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

3.799 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

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 48.750 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 46.492 Yemen Riyal 1.268 Tunisian Dinar 203.680 Jordanian Dinar 391.330 Lebanese Lira 183.800 Syrian Lier 5.982 Morocco Dirham 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

SELL CASH 295.900 736.560 4.010 291.400 544.000 14.100 54.700 167.800 48.010 404.500 36.320 6.480

0.033 0.247 0.244 3.430 392.920 0.187 93.830 47.900 4.340 224.600 1.878 52.400 719.380 3.350 6.620 76.620 73.950 223.870 43.150 2.683 456.000 45.700 313.400 5.900 9.560 198.263 75.570 277.300 1.230

10 Tola

GOLD 1,544.230

Sterling Pound US Dollar


391.450 0.186 93.830 3.930 223.100

SELL DRAFT 294.400 736.560 3.803 289.900

223.900 46.552 401.000 36.170 6.250

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

311.900 5.900 9.410 75.470 276.900

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 454.000 278.900

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

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

3.277 3.805 6.387 678.849 3.387 9.278 6.037 3.984 91.017

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. 719.200 3.300 6.410 76.190 73.950 223.870 43.150 2.505 454.000

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd

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

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

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

Rate per 1000 (Tran) 276.800 3.300 6.260 2.525 3.815 6.435 75.490 74.050 736.200 46.545 457.500 0.00003280 3.910 1.550 393.400 5.750 403.700 294.700

Al Mulla Exchange Currency Transfer Rate (Per 1000) US Dollar 276.550 Euro 400.800 Pound Sterling 453.800 Canadian Dollar 289.700 Japanese Yen 3.375 Indian Rupee 6.245 Egyptian Pound 46.530 Sri Lankan Rupee 2.504 Bangladesh Taka 3.793 Philippines Peso 6.390 Pakistan Rupee 3.285 Bahraini Dinar 736.500 UAE Dirham 75.400 Saudi Riyal 73.900 *Rates are subject to change




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Chevrolet sells 1.1 m vehicles in brand’s best Q1 ever DUBAI: Chevrolet sold 1.1 million vehicles worldwide in the first three months of 2011, a 15 percent increase over the first quarter of 2010 and the brand’s best firstquarter results ever. “This is a great way to kick off Chevrolet’s Centennial year,” said Joel Ewanick, GM Global Chief Marketing Officer. “Our first quarter results are a clear indication that consumers are responding to our new product line, which only happens when you truly listen to the customer. Chevrolet has developed strong connections with consumers in key markets across South America, Europe, and Asia. We look forward to strengthening those connections as we introduce Chevrolet to Korea, and as we introduce a growing lineup of global vehicles that build on the successful launch of the Chevrolet Cruze.” Chevrolet grows momentum around the world Last year, Chevrolet was the only top-five global vehicle brand to grow total market share - account-

ing for about 5.8 percent of all vehicles sold worldwide. That strong momentum continued in the first three months of 2011, as Chevrolet recorded double-digit sales gains over the same period last year in four of its five top markets, including: ● In the United States, Chevrolet sold 416,505 vehicles for the quarter, an increase of 23 percent. In February, Chevrolet was the highest-volume brand in the U.S. market. ● In China, Chevrolet sold a record 159,303 vehicles for the quarter, an increase of 17 percent. ● In Brazil, Chevrolet sold 142,734 vehicles for the quarter, a decrease of 9 percent from the brand’s record-setting sales in the first quarter of 2010. ● In Argentina, Chevrolet sold 34,103 vehicles, an increase of 21 percent for the first quar ter. Chevrolet set three consecutive sales records in the South American country, recording the brand’s best January, February and March sales.

In the Middle East, Chevrolet sold 21,596 vehicles and made strong gains across the region with

I n Europe, Chevrolet sold 112,482 vehicles, an increase of 7 percent for the year. During that

sales up 28% in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the previous year.

time, Chevrolet gained market share in nine European markets as the brand doubled sales in

Denmark and Turkey, and increased sales in France and Russia by 80 percent and 51 percent, respectively. Chevrolet ’s global growth is expected to accelerate. A key contributor will be the addition of the Korean market, where Chevrolet has replaced GM Daewoo as GM’s main brand. In March, GM sales in Korea climbed 60 percent from the previous month, led by the launch of the new Chevrolet brand and new products such as the Orlando, Spark and Cruze. Additional models such as the Captiva SUV and Cruze hatchback will soon be rolling out in Korea. “The change to Chevrolet will strengthen GM’s presence in the South Korean market,” said Mike Arcamone, president and CEO of GM Korea. “We see great opportunities to contribute to the growth of one of the most iconic global automotive brands.” Cruze leads Chevrolet global nameplates In addition to growing

Chevrolet’s global footprint, the brand is also expanding its lineup of global vehicles. Fueled by a successful launch in the United States and continued growth in China, Chevrolet sold 150,652 Cruze sedans during the first quarter of 2011 - a 117 percent increase over the first quarter of 2010. Since the Cruze was first introduced in Europe in 2009, Chevrolet has sold nearly 600,000 Cruzes worldwide: Cruze sales are expected to continue to grow with the addition of the Cruze hatchback, which will go on sale this summer in Europe, followed by other markets around the world. In Europe, the compact segment alone accounts for more than a quarter of all vehicle sales, and approximately 65 percent of all compact cars are hatchback models. The Cruze hatchback is expected to go on sale in the Middle East this fall. The Cruze will soon be joined by the new Sonic small car which will be introduced in the Middle East in the fall of 2011.

Wataniya Telecom issues its 2010 CSR Report Report underlines commitment to development

British Food Festival opens at Lulu Hypermarket Lulu Hypermarket the retail major in the region is holding a British Food Festival from 18th to 25th of April at their Al Qurain and Al Rai venues in Kuwait. The festival was inaugurated on the morning of 18th April, by His Excellency, Frank Baker OBE, the British Ambassador to Kuwait, in the presence of Duncan Hoyland, Head of Trade and Investment at the British Embassy, Paul McKay, Chairman of British Business Forum, Mohammed Haris, Regional Direc tor, and Sreejith, Regional Manager of Lulu Hypermarket. A large gathering of the hypermarket ’s patrons, well-wishers, media representatives and company officials attended the inauguration ceremony. Speak ing on the occasion, the British Ambassador expressed his appreciation at the hypermarket’s initiative in holding a food festival that highlights the high-quality and rich diversity of food products from the UK. The ambassador stated that, “With this food festival, Lulu Hypermarket is introducing and popularizing some of the best of British products to the local market. In addition, the festival allows the large number of Kuwaitis who regularly visit the UK, to enjoy in Kuwait, some of the great food products they have grown fond of during their stay in Britain.” The ambassador added that food festivals like this are also an opportunity for businesses to increase the volume of trade between UK and Kuwait, which currently stands at over 2 Billion British Pounds annually. The British Food Festival at Lulu Hypermarket provides a window to

more than 2500 products from the UK, including grocery and chiller items that are imported by air on a weekly basis, as well as canned and frozen products, and fresh dairy and bakery products, from some of the renowned names in the food and drinks industry. British food products are produced to some of the most stringent health and safety regulations in the world and many of the food and drink products on display are much sought after items by discerning chefs and food connoisseurs around the world. Shoppers looking to eat heartily, healthily and variedly can visit the festival and explore the delicious and diverse nature of British food and drinks that are being promoted at special prices of up to 40 percent off normal prices. Catering to over 420,000 customers every day, the Lulu Hypermarket chain has grown to become the shopping center of choice among discerning customers looking for quality retailing. This popularity is attested by the fact that the brand enjoys close to 35 percent of the total retail market share in the GCC. With a clear focus on consolidating its retail dominance in the region, the Lulu Hypermarkets chain is rapidly expanding in both existing as well as new markets around the Gulf region. The latest outlet of Lulu Hypermarket, which recently opened in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, takes the total number of retail outlets in the region to 89 and sets the hypermarket well on its way to reaching their target of opening 100 stores by the end of 2011.

KUWAIT: Wataniya Telecom is proud to release its 2010 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report which included all of its CSR initiatives taken in the past year. This report is proof of Wataniya’s commitment towards the development and welfare of the local community and its positive contributions towards the planet. Abdolaziz Al-Balool humbly elaborated on Wataniya’s active role in the community and said: “We believe that the CSR report will increase our customers’ confidence and it will show the people of Kuwait that we are committed to making positive contributions that will enhance the lives of everyone that interacts with our brand. Our sincere approach and execution of the annual CSR strategy helps us improve our understanding of the market and brings us closer to our customers.” Throughout the past 12 months, Wataniya’s support has extended to diverse fields and has benefitted the Kuwaiti community in more ways than one. Wataniya’s involvement was evident in the following

fields: Environment (E-waste Recycling Program & Wind Energy Program), education (ongoing exhibitions and graduation spon-

sorships), employee development (scholarship program), opportunities for the youth (recruitment and job fairs), health (blood

donation campaign and Multiple Sclerosis Society awareness program), sports (sponsorships of spor ts clubs, marathons & walkathons) and last but not least there were several generous initiatives taken by Wataniya during the holy month of Ramadan. Al-Balool fur ther emphasized on the impor tance of CSR nowadays: “CSR has become a vital strategy for companies to thrive in the current market. In an environment where customers’ preferences are becoming more unpredictable and complex, adopting a versatile CSR strategy could be a powerful tool to differentiate oneself and excel.” In 2011, Wataniya will continue to develop new CSR initiatives and will look to promote community activities that will engage its customers and simultaneously enhance the quality of life in Kuwait and within the region. Wataniya’s 2010 CSR report has been distributed among different government and private institutions. Customers and well-wishers can also view the CSR repor t on Wataniya’s website, www.wataniya.com.

Intercontinental and Crowne Plaza, Dubai Festival City So much more than a luxury destination Located on the banks of the historic Dubai Creek, and at the epicenter of one of the city’s best known lifestyle resorts, InterContinental and Crowne Plaza Hotels in Dubai Festival City encompasses a range of beautifully designed rooms and suites graciously appointed with the latest in technology. Unwind in our 10 suite SPA InterContinental within the hotels, relax on the leisure deck of temperature controlled pools, or energize yourself at the 24 hour state of the art gymnasium. Enjoy a unique culinary experience with the global delights of our all-day dining restaurant Anise, the lively Belgian Beer CafÈ, or at the award-winning Reflets. Across the hotels, you can choose from over 17 restaurants and bars, from al fresco to interactive dining. Golf lovers can avail a 30% dis-

count on published green fees at the 18-hole Al Badia golf course and iconic clubhouse are located just two minutes away, managed by the InterContinental Dubai Festival City. Shopping enthusiasts can visit the connected Festival Centre, with retail shops, restaurants and cafes, a family entertainment centre and a 12-screen Grand Cineplex. Or stroll along the waterfront promenade beside the 100 berth luxury marina. A radiant synergy of classic comfort interspersed with pristine pleasures; InterContinental and Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City will have you keep coming back for more. For bookings or more information, please visit www.intercontinental.com/dubai and www.crowneplaza.com/dfc, email reservations@ichdfc.ae, or call +971 (4) 701 1111.

Holiday Inn Dubai Al Barsha a destination that has it all Within easy access for all of Dubai, within walking distance to the Mall of the Emirates, Holiday Inn Dubai Al Barsha is ideally situated for business and leisure. Other popular business and leisure landmarks such as Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai Media City, Burj Dubai, World Trade Centre and Al Quoz are within close vicinity too. 310 elegant rooms await your arrival, with a choice of accommodation on dedicated Smoking, Non - Smoking floors, singly or interconnecting for family occupation. For meetings and conventions, the hotel presents a wide variety of conference venues, all equipped with the latest technology. State of the Art daylight meeting rooms, fully equipped gym with a private instructor, an outdoor pool on the roof top ter-

race, allows our guests to enjoy the breathtaking views of the Burj Al Arab whilst enjoying the finest cocktails from the roof top bar or watching a match in the sports bar. Completing the full Holiday Inn experience are fabulous dining outlets, buzzing bars, outstanding banqueting facilities and impeccable service. Treat your taste buds to the creativity of the Thais at The Royal Buddha, authentic Lebanese at Al Sarab, contemporary Japanese at Sushi Folie, continental all - day dining at Gem Garden, Indian specialties at Gharana and plenty of choices in bars at Dolphin Bar, Mojito, Q Sports lounge and Lounge at Barsha. For bookings or more information, please visit www.hialbarshadubai.com , email info@hialbarsha.com, or call +971 (4) 3234334.



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KSE index ends day in green KUWAIT: Price index of Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ended the day in green at 6,375.1 points yesterday, up 32.2 points, while the weighted index came to 452.4 points, a rise of 2.82 points. Trades came to 2,891 transactions worth KD 26,301,010 with 153,407,500 shares changing hands. The sector indices were mostly in green, except for a decrease of 27 points in non-Kuwaitis index. Biggest gain was that of 64.3 points in the services index. Top share of the day was Tijara and Real Estate Investment Company, biggest loser was Kuwait Educational ser vices Company. Top most traded shares of the day were those of Kuwait Real Estate Company, Al-Deera Holding Company, The Commercial Real Estate Company, Global Investment House and Al-Mal Investment Company. M eanwhile, the rate of the Kuwaiti dinar remained stable against the US dollar at KD 0.276, the euro rate decreased to KD 0.397 yesterday. The rate against the pound sterling stabilized at KD 0.450, and also unchanged at KD 0.003 against the Japanese yen, meanwhile stood at KD 0.309 against the Swiss franc, the Central Bank of Kuwait said in its daily online bulletin. The euro’s drop against the US dollar and other major currencies was due to expectations that Greece would not be able to avoid its sovereign debt crisis. These expectations spread fears among financial markets, leading investors to abandon dealing with high-yield currencies. Meanwhile, the US dollars continued to slump for the third week in a row which made the federal reserve to postpone raising interests as well as delaying toughen up credit conditions. —KUNA

KUWAIT: A group photo of Kuwaiti Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah (left), Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi (2nd L), Bahraini Oil Minister Abdullah Mirza (2nd R) and Qatari Oil Minister Mohammad bin Saleh Al-Sada stand for a group photo at a hotel in Kuwait yesterday, the fourth round table meeting for the Ministries of Oil and Energy in Asia. (Right) Indonesian Minister of Energy Doren Zadidi (right) and Iranian Vice Oil Minister Sayed Khatibi sit side-by-side during the meeting. —Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Egypt stocks extend fall amid graft probe CAIRO: Egypt’s benchmark stock index tumbled over 3 percent yesterday, pulling the market lower for a second consecutive day as investor worries mounted that an investigation into the head of a leading Mideast private equity firm signaled a major widening in anticorruption probes. The Egyptian Exchange’s benchmark EGX30 was off 3.2 percent by 1:15 p.m. Cairo time, building on the previous day’s 3.43 percent decline. The drop pushed the index’s year to date losses to over 30 percent — a clear reflection of the crisis of investor confidence confronting the Arab world’s most populous nation in the wake of the uprising that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak. Brokers said the drop was fueled by authorities’ decision to ban Ahmed Heikal, the chairman of Citadel Capital, from traveling abroad and a decision late last week by an Egyptian government agency to rescind preliminary approval to sell 20 million meters of land to

the Egyptian Resorts Company. One of ERC’s board members is already under investigation for alleged links to violence against the protesters in the initial days of the uprising. “It’s clear people are panicked because of these decisions,” said Khaled Naga, a senior broker with Mega Investments. Egypt’s new military rulers and civilian authorities, under pressure from protesters to move forward more quickly with pledges to hold accountable former regime officials and businessmen seen as benefiting from links to Mubarak and the then-ruling National Democratic Party, have stepped up investigations against these individuals. In the span of about a week, authorities have ordered Mubarak detained in hospital, placed his two sons in detention in Cairo’s notorious Tora prison and charged a former prime minister and two other ministers with corruption. Those moves have largely been welcomed as evidence of political reform. But the cozy

links between the regime and top businessmen has also sparked worries that the investigations could affect some of the country’s blue chip companies. Economists and analysts say that the rampant corruption in Egypt under Mubarak meant that success in business involved having to cozy up to the regime. While there needs to be a reckoning, it must be within certain bounds so that the broader economy is not affected, economists said. “Instead of going after every businessman, they should be much more mindful of fixing the system so that it becomes more transparent,” said John Sfakianakis, chief economist with the Riyadh, Saudi Arabia-based Banque Saudi-Fransi, adding that the new Egyptian government cannot simply “react to popular sentiment” calling for broader crackdowns. “They should be looking at the system instead of the actors. The system was corrupt,” he said. The order barring Heikal from travel, announced last week at roughly the

same time that a government agency rescinded a deal to sell 20 million meters of land to ERC, appeared to be cases in point of how such allegations of cronyism could impact the market. The stock market’s big board was awash in red. Of the 181 listed companies, 172 were posting losses, according to the exchange’s Web site. Citadel’s shares were down 9.59 percent, while investment bank EFG-Hermes saw its shares tumble 9.9 percent, according to information on financial data Web site, Zawya.com. Heikal, Citadel’s chairman, had been a managing director at EFG before founding the private equity firm and the investment bank’s shares appeared to be taking a beating in part because of his prior links to the institution. EFG, in a statement filed with the Egyptian Exchange, also said that its brokerage head, Sherif Cararah, had decided to resign effective June 30. The statement did not provide a reason. —AP




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Citi’s income falls 32% as underwriting falls Investment banking, consumer loans drop NEW YORK: Citigroup’s first-quarter income fell 32 percent on lower revenue from its investment banking business and a decline in consumer loans. The bank was able to set aside fewer reserves for losses as more borrowers were able to keep up with their debt payments. The New York bank yesterday said it earned $3 billion, or 10 cents per share, compared with $4.4 billion, or 15 cents a share in the first quarter of last year. The earnings were slightly higher than the 9 cents a share estimated by analysts surveyed by FactSet.

TOKYO: Tokyo Electric Power Co, Economy, TEPCO and government officials take part in the first joint meeting of the nuclear crisis management task force on Friday at TEPCO headquarters in Tokyo to deal with the ongoing worst-ever nuclear plant disaster in Japan. —AP

Toyota resumes production at all Japan plants TOKYO: Toyota yesterday resumed operations at all its domestic plants that had been halted since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, with production volume still at around 50 percent due to a parts shortage. The auto giant said it had begun measuring the radiation levels of its export vehicles, parts for overseas assembly and service parts and found no abnormalities amid Japan’s ongoing nuclear crisis. Of the Toyota group’s 18 assembly plants in Japan, three had already been in operation and the rest resumed production yesterday, according to the Japanese auto giant. “The plants are operating with about 50 percent of production due to the shortage of auto parts,” a Toyota spokeswoman said. The firm plans to continue at the current capacity until June 3, with production halting during the Golden Week holiday between late April and early May. The plants that resumed operation yesterday included sites in quake-hit Miyagi and Iwate prefectures. A component supply crisis has strangled auto production in Japan and enforced a slowdown overseas in the wake of the March 11 disasters, and analysts say it will last several months amid continued power outages. Japan’s biggest ever quake and the tsunami it unleashed shattered supply chains and crippled electricity-generating facilities, including the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which is at the centre of an ongoing atomic emergency. Many key component manufacturers are based in the worst-hit regions of Japan, their facilities damaged by the 9.0-magnitude earthquake or inundated by the giant wave that followed. The impact has been acute for automakers the world over, with companies shutting plants or slowing production as far afield as Britain, the United States, Turkey, France, Australia, Poland and the Philippines. —AFP

First quarter revenue fell 22 percent to $19.7 billion from the same period last year. As the economy improved and more of its credit card customers made payments on time, Citigroup Inc. released $3.3 billion from reserves set aside for losses, which helped boost first quarter income. The bank also set aside $3.2 billion for future losses, down 63 percent.

Revenue from investment banking fell 25 percent. Lower demand for Citigroup’s currency and interest rate investments led to a 22 percent decline in fixed income revenue to $4 billion. Revenue from underwriting municipal and investment grade debt also fell 19 percent to $851 million. Citi’s investment banking results were weaker than those

and included a 50 percent decline in total credit card loans and a 17 percent decline in real estate loans. Revenues from Citi’s international division rose 8 percent to $4.6 billion. Overseas deposits increased 13 percent to $163 billion, and loans rose 14 percent to $126 billion. The bank also Citi shares were unchanged at $4.41 in pre-market trading. —AP

S Korea bank probed over ‘cyber-attack’ shutdown SEOUL: Regulators launched an inquiry yesterday into South Korea’s largest banking network after a suspected cyber-attack left many customers unable to access their money for three days. A system crash that started on April 12 left customers of the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation, or Nonghyup, unable to withdraw or transfer money, use credit cards or take out loans. Nonghyup, which has about 5,000 branches, said it suspected the problem was caused by cyber-attackers, who entered commands to destroy computer servers and wipe out some transaction histories. “The latest incident was conducted internally... the meticulously designed commands entered through a laptop computer owned by a subcontractor company were carried out to simultaneously destroy the entire server system,” Nonghyup official Kim You-Kyung said. He said the suspected attack might have been staged by an “experienced” expert to cripple the entire network at the bank, which is the country’s largest in terms of branches. The bank’s services were partially restored after three days, but someincluding an advance cash service-were still unavailable yesterday. Around 310,000 customers have filed complaints and nearly 1,000 called for compensation. The major technical glitch also temporarily deleted records of some of Nonghyup’s 5.4 million credit card customers, leaving the firm unable to bill customers or settle payments to retailers. State prosecutors have launched a probe to see whether hackers attacked the bank’s system. The Financial

Supervisory Service and central bank officials visited Nonghyup’s Seoul headquarters on Monday to investigate whether it had followed computer security rules. Nonghyup pledged full compensation for any damages to customers and stressed there was no leak of personal data. It was the second major glitch at a financial firm this month, after Hyundai Capital, a financial arm of South Korea’s top automaker Hyundai Motor, said a hacker broke into its computer system and stole customer data. Hyundai Capital, which has about 1.8 million customers, said it lost data on 420,000 customers such as names, residential registration numbers and mobile phone numbers. About 13,000 passwords also appeared to have been hacked from customers’ loan accounts, said Hyundai Capital which is also under investigation by regulators. Consumer rights groups said they may file class action suits against the two firms. “We have already enough people to qualify to file suits, but laws are not favorable to consumers in a case like this,” Cho Nam-Hee, chief of the Korea Finance Consumer Federation, told AFP. Cho said the level of protection that financial firms must by law maintain on its online systems is relatively low, and courts usually impose fairly light punishments. Police have arrested a 40-year-old man identified only as Hur on charges of masterminding the attack on Hyundai Capital. Hur was one of three South Korean men who allegedly recruited a hacker to make money by breaking into the computer system of Hyundai Capital. —AFP

Iraq to buy more wheat to boost reserves BAGHDAD: Major importer Iraq plans to buy 3.25 million tons of wheat this year compared with 1.9 million tons last year, partly to bolster strategic stockpiles, the head of Iraqi Grains Trading Company said. Iraq, one of the world’s largest grain importers, had earlier this year planned to buy more than 2.8 million tons of wheat. “Our plan is to buy the (wheat) requirement for one year plus a million tons as a strategic reserve,” grains company director Hassan Ibrahim told Reuters in an interview yesterday. Iraq also plans to buy 1.5 million tons of rice, part of which will be used for stockpiles, he said. Much of Iraq’s imported wheat and rice goes to a large public food rations program. The country consumes 4.5 million tons of wheat and 1.2 million tons of rice a year, most of it imported. Ibrahim said the state grains company would issue another wheat tender this month but would stop issuing grain tenders for 2011 by the end of August. Iraq’s flour prices tripled in recent months because of shortages of imported wheat but supplies are now adequate. “Now flour is available in the markets in big quantities at $10 a (50 kg) bag,” Ibrahim said. Prices went to more than $25 a bag during the shortage. The domestic wheat harvest season, which will start in a few days in the southern provinces, is expected to produce 2 million tons this year, Ibrahim said. Rice production was expected to be minimal due to low water levels in the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and low rainfall. “The local rice harvest is too small to mention,” he said. Turmoil in some Middle East countries has helped Iraq buy wheat at lower prices, Ibrahim said, citing a recent tender that produced offers of about $26 a ton less than previous purchases. “When these countries are not politically stable, they don’t have the ability to bid at the right time,” he said. —AP

reported last week by rivals JPMorgan Chase & Co and Bank of America Corp. Citigroup’s revenue from interest collected on consumer loans dropped 16 percent to $12.2 billion. The decline came because Citi has been writing fewer mortgages and has been selling off some of its credit card businesses. Total consumer loans were down 35 percent to $18.1 billion,

NEW YORK: Specialist Anthony Campagna (center) works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. World stocks sank yesterday, a day after China’s central bank undertook yet another anti-inflation move in an attempt to get control of fast-rising consumer prices. —AP

SABIC Q1 net profit jumps 42%, beats forecasts RIYADH: Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) reported a 42 percent rise in firstquarter net profit as it increased production and sales, it said yesterday, beating analysts’ forecasts. Saudi Arabia’s biggest petrochemical company said in a statement on the kingdom’s bourse website net profit reached 7.7 billion riyals ($ billion) in the three months through March, compared with 5.4 billion in the same period a year earli-

er. Analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected the firm to post, on average, 6.2 billion riyals for the first quarter. SABIC said its operational profit increased by 29 percent in the quarter compared with a year before to 12.2 billion riyals. The earnings were released after trading on the Saudi bourse closed, with SABIC shares down 0.7 percent, underperforming a 0.02 percent rise in the Saudi market as a whole. —Reuters

UAE’s Etisalat Q1 profit falls 8.9% DUBAI: UAE’s Etisalat, the Middle East’s largest telecoms operator by value, yesterday said its first-quarter net profit fell 8.9 percent, missing analysts forecasts as operating expenses rose. The former monopoly, also known as Emirates Telecommunications Corp, reported a first-quarter profit of 1.82 billion ($496 million) dirhams, down from 1.99 billion dirhams in the year-earlier period. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected the firm to post a quarterly profit of 1.99 billion dirhams. Etisalat had 7.43 million

mobile subscribers, 1.13 million fixed line subscribers and 0.49 million internet subscribers by March-end, the firm said in a statement on the Abu Dhabi bourse. Revenues climbed 2.1 percent to 8.04 billion dirhams, but operating expenses increased at a faster rate, rising 11.3 percent. In March, Etisalat withdrew plans to bid for Syria’s third mobile license, saying the terms did not offer sufficient value for shareholders, while earlier last month it also scrapped a $12 billion takeover of Kuwait’s Zain. —Reuters

The US Treasury building in Washington, DC. The Treasury Department gave a quick and critical reaction to Standard & Poor’s warning that the outlook on US debt was “negative,” yesterday, saying it underestimated the US government’s ability to tackle the problem. —AFP

True Finns set for govt, see EU bailout changes HELSINKI: The True Finns, the anti-euro party voted into a powerful role in the Helsinki parliament at the weekend, expect the European Union to change plans for a bailout of Portugal, its leader said yesterday. “Of course there will have to be changes,” Timo Soini, told reporters a day after the party more than quadrupled its share of the vote to turn Finland’s traditionally pro-EU politics on their head. True Finns came third in Sunday’s election with 19 percent of the vote, taking its number of seats in the 200-strong parliament to 39 from 5 in the 2007 election. Finland’s parliament, unlike others in the euro zone, has the right to vote on EU requests for bailout funds. Soini said he expected to be in touch with other parties this week about forming a coalition government. “We need a majority government. That seems to require maybe the three biggest parties. If that doesn’t work, then maybe it will be a four to five-party government,” Soini told reporters. The right-leaning National Coalition, which won the election with 20.4 percent, will launch negotiations under its leader, outgoing Finance Minister Jyrki Katainen. The European Commission said it expected Finland to honor its commitments to the euro zone bailout fund. Representatives of the commission, European Central Bank and International Monetar y Fund were meeting Por tuguese officials in Lisbon on Monday to set the terms for the bloc’s third rescue in a year after bailouts for Greece and Ireland. However, there is growing speculation that Greece will restructure its debt and there is mounting pressure on other so-called euro zone peripheral countries, with Spanish 10-year bond yields pushing towards record highs near 5.6 percent. Rising political populism around Europe, driven by public anger over the impact of the financial crisis, threatens to make solving the euro zone’s debt woes increasingly difficult. In Finland it remains unclear how far a new coalition will incorporate True Finns ministers or their views on EU aid for heavily indebted member states. The government is expected to be formed

by mid- to late May. But the True Finns are sure to gain a bigger say. Analysts say there is a strong chance of the National Coalition joining with the left-leaning Social Democratic Party, which came in second, and also with the True Finns. “This is a big, big bang in Finnish politics. This is a big, big change,” said University of Helsinki professor Jan Sundberg. Saxo Bank chief economist Steen Jakobsen said a coalition with the Social Democrats and/or True Finns would make it hard for the government to fully support the Portugal bailout without a schedule for how Greece is to restructure. The Social Democrats support the EU but have criticized the bailout, saying private investors and banks should shoulder more of the responsibility. The strong showing for the populist True Finns reflects growing public frustration about footing the bill for weaker economies such as Greece, Ireland and Portugal, and anxiety over unemployment and pension cutbacks. Finland’s rebound from the global financial crisis has done little to boost jobs. Its flagship company, Nokia, is struggling to compete with Apple Inc and Asian handset makers, and is expected to cut jobs soon. “Finland has neglected many domestic issues in all this EU twaddle. Of course the troubled countries should be helped somehow, but the terms have to be tight,” said a public servant, 37, who gave his name as Jari. He voted for the True Finns. Some voters also cited a distrust of incumbent politicians. Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi’s Centre Party, hit by a political funding scandal, suffered the biggest setback, losing 16 of 51 seats in parliament. She said it would go into opposition. The National Coalition, Social Democrats and True Finns have starkly different agendas, although Finland’s tradition of broad coalitions may make it possible for them to work together. “It would be a very heterogenous, ver y difficult coalition,” said Sixten Korkman, managing director at the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy. “In terms of European Union policies, Finland will become a more difficult partner.” —Reuters




GM unveils first model of new China car brand Automaker to double China car sales to 5m SHANGHAI: General Motors unveiled the first model of its new car brand aimed specifically at China yesterday, aiming to strengthen its sales lead in the world’s top auto market by wooing middle-class drivers. The Baojun 630, an affordable yet sporty 1.5-litre-engine sedan, has been produced by GM and its partners Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation Group and Wuling Motors and was unveiled ahead of this week’s Shanghai Auto Show. “GM is proud to be introducing our newest brand to the people of China,” said Kevin Wale, president and managing director of the GM China Group. “The Baojun 630 will address the growing demand across the country for affordable personal transportation.” The compact sedan will be priced between $10,000 and $15,000, Wales said. It was designed for young drivers in China’s second- and third-tier cities in the country’s vast interior, which are home to tens of millions of people with growing buying power. Having already conquered China’s coastal areas and first-tier cities such as Beijing and Shangahi, carmakers are increasingly looking inland to extend their phenomenal growth in a market that saw sales rise more than 32 percent to 18.06 million units last year. China overtook the United States as the

because of the end of tax incentives for some vehicle purchases and efforts by cities to bring traffic congestion under control. Wale said the company expects sales to grow by at least 10 percent annually, thanks to China’s strong economic growth and low rate of vehicle ownership. Increased consumer spending and urbanization would also help, he said. GM plans to roll out 60 new and upgraded models in China in the next five years, almost half of them Chevrolets and Buicks, Wale said. Earlier Monday, the company unveiled the 630 sedan, the first model from Baojun, its only-in-China brand aimed at new middle class consumers. Tim Lee, president of GM International Operations, said there has been “minimal” impact on production from supply chain disruptions related to the tsunami in Japan last month. He said a team of more than 200 people are monitoring the situation in Shanghai, Tokyo and Michigan. Automakers are grappling with shor tages of components caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, which killed some 25,000 people, disrupted power supplies and forced factories to shut down. Automakers have temporarily idled some production lines or cut back output at factories in Japan, Europe and the US. — Agencies

world’s top car market in 2009. GM is the leading foreign automaker in the country as measured by sales. Baojun, whose name translates to “treasured horse”, will go on sale later this month through a network of 150 dedicated dealerships across the country. The number of dealerships is expected to double by the end of the year, GM said in a statement. Matthew Tsien, vice president of the SAIC-GM-Wuling (SGMW) joint venture, said several further models under the Baojun nameplate were in development. The new brand was first announced last year. 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. General Motors said it plans to double the number of cars it sells in China to 5 million by 2015. GM China President Kevin Wale said he’s optimistic the company can achieve the “ambitious” target, which is more than twice the 2.35 million vehicles it sold in 2010. Global automakers are focusing their efforts on China’s auto market, which is the world’s biggest. Some 13.7 million passenger vehicles were sold in the country last year, when sales grew by a third over 2009. Automakers and analysts don’t expect such strong growth this year

SHANGHAI: Workers and automakers’ employees work in front of advertisements at the venue of the 14th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition in Shanghai yesterday. — AP

European debt crisis haunts markets again Investors fret over possible Greek default

ATHENS: Bank of Greece governor George Provopoulos arrives to present his annual report on the Greek economy on premises of the Bank of Greece in Athens yesterday. A Greek debt restructuring is ‘neither necessary nor desirable,’ Provopoulos said as he called for faster structural reforms to keep up with the country’s obligations. —AFP

Bank of Greece rules out restructuring ATHENS: A Greek debt restructuring is “neither necessary nor desirable,” the head of the central bank said yesterday as he called for faster structural reforms to keep up with the country’s obligations. “Such an option is neither necessary nor desirable,” Bank of Greece governor George Provopoulos said in his annual report on the Greek economy. “It is not necessary because we can meet our goals if we apply policies correctly. It is not desirable because it would have disastrous consequences on the access of the government and of businesses to international credit markets,” Provopoulos said. The central banker, a member of the board of the European Central Bank, said the recession-hit Greek economy was “on the edge” as structural reforms were still slow in relation to the country’s rapidly-growing debt. Greece’s debt has exploded to 340 billion euros ($490 billion) and speculation is rife that the recession-hit eurozone member will seek a way to ease its repayments under a restructuring before long. But the Socialist government has repeatedly insisted that such a move would damage the country’s efforts to repair investor confidence which has been strained ever since a scare over the accuracy of its fiscal statistics in 2009. A former Greek prime minister who oversaw the country’s euro-zone accession a decade ago added his voice Sunday to calls to roll over Athens’ crushing debt. “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 has already secured a repayment extension on its 110-billion-euro ($159billion) bailout loan secured from the EU and the International Monetary Fund last year. To help out, Athens’ euro-zone partners last month agreed to cut the cost for its EU-IMF bailout package by a full percentage point and extend its maturity to 7-1/2 years from three years. But according to a number of reports, Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou last week broached the idea of extending the repayment period on the country’s entire debt at a Eurogroup finance ministers meeting in Hungary. “We are not discussing anything,” the minister insisted this weekend. “We are not discussing something regarding (Greek debt to) the private sector,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the IMF and World Bank annual spring meetings in Washington. Greece’s economy is caught in a tailspin as it labors to enforce a draconian austerity programme mandated by the EU and IMF in return for last year ’s bailout. Provopoulos forecast Monday that the recession will drag on this year, with output falling at least three percent, “without excluding a somewhat greater drop,” he noted. Unemployment-which has soared to levels unseen in a decade-will exceed 15 percent, the central banker said. Inflation will fall compared to last year but will still be close to 3.25 percent, Provopoulos said. — AFP

LONDON: Europe’s debt crisis returned to haunt markets yesterday as investors fretted over a possible Greek default and the impact of huge gains for a nationalist party in Finland. It was also a day that Portugal began discussions on a financial bailout and Spain had to pay a much higher interest rates to tap bond investors. Although borrowing costs for countries like Greece, Ireland and Portugal have pushed up sharply higher, the euro has managed to brush off debt crisis concerns over recent months, scurrying up to a 15-month above $1.45 against the dollar. The currency has been buoyed by predictions that the European Central Bank will follow up April’s first interest rate hike in nearly three years with more policy tightening in the months to come. That benefits the euro if investors don’t expect others, such as the Federal Reserve, to do the same. However, there doesn’t seem to be much of a hiding place for the currency yesterday as a stream of potentially negative stories combined, sending the euro down 0.8 percent in early afternoon trade to $1.4296. Further signs of debt jitters emerged with the news that Spain had to pay sharply higher interest rates to raise 4.7 billion euros ($6.8 billion) in short-term debt, while the yield on Greece’s 10-year bonds was just shy of 14 percent for the first time since the country took up the euro in 2001. The renewed focus on Greece’s debts has come in the wake of suggestions from a number of people that the country would be better off looking for a way to renegotiate its debts as a way of relieving its crisis. Costas Simitis, Greece’s Socialist premier from 1996-2004, has backed calls for the country to deal with its debt mountain, arguing in an interview with Sunday newspaper To Vima that a protracted austerity program may not work. A negotiated restructuring that would

allow the country to rebuild its economy over the next 15 to 20 years would be better, he argued. He’s not the only one arguing for a socalled restructuring but the Greek government insists it is not on the agenda, as that would make it more difficult for the country to tap bond markets in the future. The governor of Greece’s central bank weighed in yesterday, arguing that a restructuring is “unnecessary and undesirable.” However, George Provopoulos said yesterday that cost-cutting reforms by Greece’s Socialist government were showing signs of “fatigue” and required a “powerful restart” to keep the program on track. Whether Greece can actually withstand the pressure is another matter — after all, it spent the early part of 2010 insisting it didn’t need a bailout. By May, it had to accept a 110 billion euros ($159 billion) package of rescue loans from its par tners in the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. “Despite public protestations to the contrary, the background chatter has reached such an intensity in recent days that the real questions now seem to be rather more when a Greek ‘restructuring’ will finally be announced and quite what the details will be rather than if there will be one at all,” said Simon Derrick, a senior analyst at The Bank of New York Mellon. Although a restructuring would reduce the debt pile and possibly bring a quicker end to the painful austerity measures, restructuring would not be easy and would entail huge costs to Greece’s future ability to borrow money in the international markets as well as risking a massive blow to the country’s banks, which are big holders of Greek bonds. The costs would not just be felt in Greece though. Many German and French banks are also big holders of Greek debt too. A Greek default could also trigger fears

that others, notably Ireland or Portugal, may seek a similar way out from their debt stranglehold. There had been hopes that Europe had finally done enough to ringfence its three weakest members, but those nations’ immediate economic prospects look bleak as they try to meet their obligations for the international financial support. Portugal began its quest for financial assistance Monday with the finance minister of the country’s caretaker government meeting delegations from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. A key topic of the discussions is expected to center on the interest rate charged for Portugal’s expected 80 billion euros ($116 billion) bailout. Meanwhile, another European country is weighing on markets too — but this one has no debt problems. News that a euroskeptic par ty made big gains in Finland’s election Sunday has stoked fears that the EU’s “comprehensive plan” to deal with the debt crisis may not run as smoothly as hoped. The pro-EU conser vative National Coalition Party may have topped Sunday’s vote but the coalition it previously belonged to no longer has a parliamentary majority. As a result, the party is expected to begin difficult negotiations on forming a new government with at least one euroskeptic party. The worry in the markets is that the Finns could derail the rescue plan for Portugal. “ The EU currently requires unanimous approval for each use of the euro-zone bailout fund, so it is now being forced to examine ways to push through the Portuguese package without Finnish suppor t,” said Jane Foley, an analyst at Rabobank International. “There is no time to lose since Portugal is facing a hefty bond redemption in June.” —AP

Tata to invest up to $27bn over 5 years NEW DELHI: India’s giant Tata Group has said it will invest almost $30 billion mainly in the domestic market over the next five years as it seeks to double revenues to $150 billion. The group, which has nearly 100 companies under its wing, said it plans to invest the money in sectors such as power, steel, automobiles, telecoms and chemicals. “We have become a significant player globally in each of the sec-

tors that we are present in,” Tata Industries managing director Kishor A Chaukar said in a weekend interview with the Press Trust of India. He told the news agency that the group would invest as much as $27 billion in the next five years, most of it in its home Indian market. When asked about the expected revenues of the group after the investment, Chaukar said: “It will be more than double in less

than five years. I think it’ll be around $140 billion to $150 billion.” Tata Industries is one of the investment arms of the Tata group. The commitment comes as India’s largest conglomerate seeks a successor to its chairman, Ratan Tata, 73, who plans to step down in December 2012. Ratan, one of India’s most respected corporate chiefs, has overseen a 40fold increase in the group’s revenues from 1991 when he took the reins of the family company.

The deadline for finding a replacement for Ratan has been extended to the end of May from an initial deadline of March after the search committee said it was having trouble finding a successor. The planned investments include projects already in the pipeline such as a $3.7-billion power plant in western Gujarat state and a $4.4-billion steel plant in the central state of Chhattisgarh. — AFP

Halliburton 1Q profit up on North America demand NEW YORK: Halliburton’s net income more than doubled during the first three months of the year the company said yesterday, as drilling activity in North America picked up. The price for a barrel of oil has jumped 17 percent this year, boosting demand sharply for companies like Halliburton, which provide a variety of services for oil and natural gas drillers. The Houston company reported firstquarter earnings of $511 million, or 56 cents per share, compared with $206 million, or 23 cents per share, in the same period last year. Revenue rose 40 percent to $5.28 billion. After adjusting for a $46 million charge related to international sanctions on oil

operations in Libya, Halliburton said it earned 61 cents per share. Analysts had expected earnings of 58 cents per share on revenue of $4.87 billion, according to FactSet. Halliburton Co. posted a big revenue gains despite a slowdown in offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and political turmoil in North Africa that halted oil production in Libya. The company said an “unabated shift” by the industry to developing oil on land, particularly in underground shale deposits in the US, more than offset that decline in activity. Revenue in North America surged 75 percent in the quarter while revenue from international operations increased 11 per-

cent, according to the company. Completion and production revenue jumped 62 percent to $3.2 billion due to increased drilling activity in the US. Drilling and evaluation revenue increased 17 percent to $2.1 billion as activity picked up in the western hemisphere and Iraq. The rebellion in Libya will continue to hinder oil operations in the country, but overall, Halliburton President and CEO Dave Lesar said those projects will eventually return to normal. “We remain very optimistic about this market and expect to be profitable in 2011,” Lesar said. Shares increased 31 cents to $47.13 in premarket trading. — AP

BEIJING: Workers erect bamboo scaffolding over the exterior of a building in Beijing yesterday. More Chinese cities saw the cost of new homes fall in March, official data showed, leading to suggestions that government moves to cool the real estate market could be having an impact. Among major cities, Beijing prices were unchanged, while Shanghai saw a scant 0.2 percent rise, the statistics bureau said. —AFP



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Japanese robots discover high radiation in reactors PackBot monitors temperature, emission inside nuke plant TOKYO: In this country of break-dancing androids and artificially intelligent pets, nuclear cleanup crews on the tsunamiravaged northern coast are depending on US-made robots to enter damaged reactor units where it is still too dangerous for humans to tread. Utility workers seeking to regain control of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are deploying robots from Bedford, Mass-based iRobot Corp to measure radiation levels, temperatures and other conditions inside the reactors.

PAL ALTO: Nicci Ciranna was chosen to be part of a “landing team” to set up Facebook offices in Austin a year ago. Here, she visits the Facebook office in California. — MCT

Facebook’s Landing Team recreate company culture AUSTIN: As Facebook evolves from insular Silicon Valley start-up to a global company with a necklace of offices around the planet, it is relying on a key tool to extend its unique culture - the Landing Team. A year ago, Facebook had no one in Austin. Now, Austin is Facebook ’s biggest US office outside Palo Alto, California with about 110 engineers and programmers - most hired locally. Recreating Facebook’s culture in Austin with a new set of hires was the job of six people, a meticulously screened group chosen from headquarters for their ability to be “culture carriers.” “Maintaining culture is one of the top priorities we have as a company,” said Sarah Smith, a Stanford business school graduate who is head of online operations in Austin and led the Landing Team. “We’re trying to be really smart and learn about our growth. So we’re focused on building a few offices, but making sure they are really tied into the culture.” The Landing Team is a key tool for Facebook, as the social network strives to extend its unique identity and values as it grows explosively and opens offices from Dublin, Ireland to Hyderabad, India. Like the Peace Corps, Landing Team members make a significant commitment, moving to a far-away city for a set period - one year, for the Austin group. During that time, Facebook ’s colonists are responsible for opening the office, recruiting and hiring the new workers, and ultimately, for instructing them in the ways of Facebook - while doing the job they had in Palo Alto. “It really has been the hardest I’ve ever worked in my career,” said Nicci Ciranna, 26, who had only been at Facebook for one year before being selected for the Austin team. “You’re transitioning your life somewhere new, where you don’t know anybody except your landing teammates,” she said. “And beyond that, it’s pushing you in every single professional direction: Learning how to be an amazing (hiring) interviewer for every single team in operations, not just your own team. Learning how to mentor and empower people. Learning every in and out of Facebook, in the context of the history of Facebook. I think that’s the biggest challenge when you have an office of new hires ... how do you get them to understand what it means to be at Facebook?” Facebook says it needs to open new offices to tap local talent and to build a presence closer to the global audience that uses its products. The social network now has more than 20 offices worldwide, following the opening of the first outside office in New York in November 2007. The Austin team arrived in April to open an office responsible for technical support for Facebook advertisers and outside software developers, and for a risk team that deals with issues like credit card fraud. Facebook chose Austin because it needed that support office in the middle of the country, more in sync with other US time zones, and the company liked the wealth of local talent, thanks to the University of Texas and Austin’s tech history. For Erik Fortin, a three-year Facebook veteran who grew up in Sunnyvale and had never lived outside the Bay Area, Austin was a chance to turn back the Facebook clock. “I t was an awesome opportunity to kind of see that growth happen all over again, from the beginning,” said Fortin, 28. “It was the ability to come out here, start something from

scratch, and kind of put your name on that.” Maintaining a coherent culture is critical for companies like Facebook, Zynga or Google, which are growing so rapidly that the closest comparisons might be the Manhattan Project to build the first atomic bomb, said Steve Blank, who teaches entrepreneurship at Stanford. “This new class of companies is writing the new rule book for hyper-growth,” Blank said. If a new office strays from the mission or values of Facebook, he said, it would be costly because that problem could be replicated through that rapid rate of growth. In Austin, the Landing Team hired their first “class” of recruits about six weeks after they arrived, and promptly used a mainstay of Facebook culture - “Hackathon” - to demonstrate its values, which emphasize collaboration, risk-taking and speed. Hackathon is a regular Facebook event where the only rule is that for that day, you cannot do your regular job. In Austin, the landing team bought paint and instructed the new hires to mark up the walls, in the tradition of Facebook’s headquarters. One new hire showed up wearing a spacesuit - proof, the landing team felt, that the newbies were “getting” the Facebook culture. “That first Hackathon really made us feel like we’re a startup within a startup,” Ciranna said. Since then, the team has hired 11 additional classes of 10 to 15. The pace is so fast that the second-newest hires sometimes instruct the newest in the door. The Austin office occupies space in a downtown office tower with PricewaterhouseCoopers, a cultural mismatch clear in the lobby as 20-something Facebook workers in jeans pass accountants in suits. Inside the office, the style of Facebook’s Palo Alto office reigns. There are the same long wooden tables lined with computer monitors, the same lack of partitions between each worker, the conference rooms whimsically named for musicians, and the same work atmosphere - a mixture of intense focus and fun. The Landing Team represents Facebook’s home-grown take on a common problem for fast-growing companies. Like Google, which sends experienced Googlers to seed its culture in new offices, Facebook says the Landing Team is critical. “We think about, ‘Be open, Be bold, Move fast, Build trust’ - these are things we talk about and demonstrate from the start” to new hires, Smith said. With their commitment almost up, Austin’s team members have faced the same tough decision: They can stay in Austin, with the group they hand-picked and have grown close to. Or they can return to Palo Alto. They have had to make that emotional decision knowing the experience has changed them professionally and personally. Smith, 33, has decided to stay in Austin for now. She teared up while talking about the connections she’s made. “It’s an amazing team, and I really love it here,” she said. Fortin will stay too. His conviction about becoming a leader at Facebook solidified during the year. “I learned I could stand up in front of a large group of people, and not completely choke,” he said. Ciranna, however, will return to Palo Alto, working on Facebook internal communications to knit its growing global network of offices. “I’ve grown in this role so much,” she said. “It’s so amazing to have a company of this magnitude and impact have trust in you to go and do this.” — MCT

With its tractor-like base and wiry frame topped by cameras and sensors, the so-called PackBot robot vaguely resembles the metallic protagonist of the 1986 film “Short Circuit” minus the wisecracks. An earlier version of the PackBot was used a decade ago in the aftermath of the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Takeshi Makigami, an official with Tokyo Electric Power Co, which is the operator of the crippled nuclear plant, said humans must still do the sophisticated engineering needed to stem the radiation, but robots can go in first to monitor when it will be safe for people to enter. “We have to check where to go and what to do,” he said. TEPCO spokesman Shogo Fukuda said the company has only now begun using the robots because it took several weeks for crews to learn how to operate the complex devices. Although Japan has a sophisticated robotics capability, most of its development is in household applications rather than disaster recovery. So far, just one of the two provided PackBots has been used, said Minoru Ogoda, an official with Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, which is monitoring TEPCO’s remediation efforts. The robot’s foray this week into several damaged reactor units was the deepest entry yet by man or machine since the first of several explosions rocked the plant the day after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The PackBot is already a veteran of several other disaster zones. After the Sept 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City, the robot was sent to search through the rubble of the collapsed World Trade Center. Another of the company’s robots has disarmed roadside bombs and sussed out buildings and caves in Iraq and Afghanistan. iRobot also helps out with disasters of a more domestic nature: it’s the manufacturer of the disc-shaped Roomba vacuum cleaner robot. TEPCO spokesman Shogo Fukuda said the company hadn’t anticipated using robots in the power plant until they were offered by iRobot. The company was lending the two PackBots for free, so Fukuda did not know how much the company charges for the use of the units. A TEPCO employee in a different building with a remote controller was able to make the robot open a set of double-layered doors Sunday and

OKUMA: This handout picture shows an American made crawler robot PacBot working inside the third reactor building of TEPCO’s Fukushima No1 nuclear power plant yesterday. — AFP move some 130 feet into a passageway in the complex’s reactor Unit 1, officials said. The robot attempted to enter reactor Unit 3, but was impeded by broken chunks of ceiling and walls blown off during hydrogen blasts, officials said. The PackBot spent about an hour in Unit 2 on Monday, but officials had no immediate details about what it found there. iRobot is offering up two additional robots of a heavier-duty type the Warrior - which workers are being trained how to use. British defense contractor QinetiQ Group PLC has also provided four robots, which are not yet being used, Fukuda said. Applied physics professor Shuji Hashimoto, who directs the Humanoid Robotics Institute at Tokyo’s Waseda University, said he was not surprised to see Japan depending on robots from abroad,

Telenor Pakistan deploys EMC technology KUWAIT: EMC Pakistan, a subsidiary of EMC Corporation the world leader in information infrastructure solutions, yesterday announced that it has completed a large information infrastructure project, refreshing the leading mobile service provider Telenor’s heritage storage systems with a new consolidated EMC storage solution, enabling Telenor to offer over 25 million subscribers the highest levels of scalability, performance, availability and protection. The new infrastructure built by EMC will help Telenor to reduce its infrastructure management cost, substantially save energy costs, and enable flexibility to grow on demand. The project comprises EMC VMAX Tiered Storage to consolidate the existing different storage units at Telenor’s site in Islamabad. EMC Symmetrix VMAX Storage, consolidating workloads with much smaller footprint, will provide Telenor with higher performance and with required future scalability. The solution includes the implementation of EMC SRDF/A for Disaster Recovery with which Telenor will be able to replicate its mission critical applications from Islamabad to Lahore across a distance of 400KM. EMC SRDF/A will achieve a recovery point objective, as minimal as one second, in the event of a regional disaster, enabling zero data loss protection over extended distances. EMC also introduced its Time Finder Clone Technology for fast data recovery, insuring local storage\ replication for increased application availability and faster data recovery. “Telenor is Pakistan’s second largest mobile operator; in 2009-10 we grew by adding subscribers at a rate of 14 percent, the highest in the telecom industry for the year. EMC storage solutions will add efficiency, agility and scalability to our IT infrastructure while allowing us to maintain control and ensure security of our data”, said Khaled Shehzad, Chief Technology Officer, Telenor Pakistan. “After thorough considerations, Telenor selected EMC VMAX as the most reliable solution to meet its business and technology requirements. EMC Team’s dedication and commitment enabled us to complete the migration of our servers within a short timeframe.”, he said.— EMC

1 in 5 European kids dodge Facebook age limit BRUSSELS: Three-quarters of Europe’s children have a profile on a social networking website, while one in five under 13 manage to dodge Facebook’s age restriction, a survey showed yesterday. Some 77 percent of children 13 to 16 years old, and another 38 percent aged between nine and 12, are plugged into a wide range of social networking websites across Europe, said the survey released by the European Commission. One quarter of them have set their accounts to “public” view, meaning that everyone can see their profiles, making them targets for child predators, the European Union’s executive arm cautioned. Neelie Kroes, the commissioner in charge

despite the sophistication of his country’s robotics research. He said countries such as the United States have developed robots for use in disaster situations because their militaries fund the development of the devices for war zones. Japan’s military is restricted by the country’s post World War II constitution to self defense and activities such as UN-led peacekeeping missions. In Japan, best known for robots such as Sony Corp’s robotic Aibu dog and Honda Motor Co’s chummy Asimo, development tends to foster domestic uses. “In Japan, there are many people who think the market for robots are in the family or the house,” he said. “Researchers do research to develop robots that can be used by children or the grandfather or grandmother.” — AP

of Internet issues, called on social networking firms to make the profiles of children only accessible to their approved contacts by default and make them invisible to search engines. “Growing numbers of children are on social networking sites but many are not taking all necessary steps to protect themselves online,” she said. “These children are placing themselves in harm’s way, vulnerable to stalkers and groomers.” The rate of 13 to 16 year olds with social networking profiles is high in western Europe, especially Scandinavian countries: 92 percent in Norway, 89 percent in Denmark, 88 percent in Britain and 82 percent in France. At 70 percent, the

Netherlands is the country with the most children under 13 with a social networking account, with France at the bottom of the list at 25 percent. The survey, conducted by EUKidsOnline network, found that Facebook is by far the most popular friends-connection website in 17 out of 25 European countries, used by 57 percent of nine to 16 year olds.Despite an age restriction, 20 percent of nine- to 12-year-olds surveyed said they have a Facebook account. On its private policy page, Facebook says that if it learns that it collected personal information from a child under 13, it will delete it “as quickly as possible.” — Reuters

NEW HAVEN: Teaching tools used by the new Henry Lee Institute at University of New Haven include labs set up as crime scenes so students, according to the Institute’s Training Coordinator Peter Massey, “can learn the practical aspects of their theoretical lessons.” — MCT

New institute lets visitors experience forensic science HARTFORD: When you enter the new $14 million home of the Henry C Lee Institute of Forensic Science at the University of New Haven, you are instantly immersed in the bloodstained world of forensic investigation, and particularly in the cases handled by Lee in his eminent career. First you touch a handprint on a wall that launches a video of Lee explaining that your fingerprints will now be checked with a database. Then the police sirens wail and you hear officers barking orders over a scanner. On your left is a virtual crime scene laboratory where images and pertinent evidence from Connecticut’s notorious “wood-chipper” murder case are projected on the walls. Farther in are exhibits showing how various types of light reveal bloodstains on a screwdriver; a chance to match bullets; and a look at the differences between male and female skeletal remains. Around a corner is a room where a body - a dummy - lies in a recliner, apparently strangled, with evidence marked by numbers around the room; a bottle of beer to his left, a powder that looks like cocaine on a coffee table, a bureau with clothes spilling out. “It gives people a chance to experience some of the processes involved in forensic science,” said Elaine Pagliaro, who is grant coordinator for the institute and an assistant to Lee. “It also shows that technology is bringing us to a whole new level.” Tim Palmbach, executive director of the institute, said the goal is also to show the public that forensic science “is not necessarily what they’ve come to know and believe after watching ‘CSI.’ “ The missions of the institute, which officially opened its new building this month, include educating the public and students and training police, lawyers and investigators in the latest forensic practices. The new larger facility provides space for the interactive public learning center and virtual crime-scene labs, where students can step into a crime scene and experience in three dimensions the details of a case like the “wood-chipper” murder - the case involving the death of Helle Crafts in Newtown in 1986.

There are high-tech classrooms and advanced technologies for research and for consultations with police. “The case consultation takes advantage of Dr Lee’s expertise and his ability to see things when no one else can, and the expertise of others members of the department,” Pagliaro said. She said the institute won’t duplicate services in the community, but will enhance services, in some cases by providing technology that isn’t readily available. For example, she said, the institute will be buying an infrared camera to examine human remains. “You wouldn’t use an infrared camera a lot and it’s a relatively expensive piece of equipment,” she said. The institute also has a cutting-edge forensic crisis command center where UNH experts can connect by satellite with police and other governmental agencies to examine evidence that is beamed to them - thus providing help as if they were physically at the crime scene. Other new technology that will be available include: ground-penetrating radar for locating buried bodies and evidence; a high-intensity laser to determine a bullet’s trajectory; and portable vapor detection instruments to analyze chemical and biological matter. The state-of-the-art institute building is a testament to the burgeoning growth of the university’s criminal justice and forensic sciences college, which has also been named in Lee’s honor. Palmbach said that when he arrived at the University of New Haven in 1978 as a student of forensic science, there were only a few dozen students in the program. Only three years before, Lee had arrived as an assistant professor and program director. Back in those days, Palmbach said, “There wasn’t a single person, not even a guidance counselor, that if you said forensic science knew what you were talking about.” Since then, the rise of Lee as a superstar in the forensics field - called upon in the O J Simpson, Scott Peterson and JonBenet Ramsey trials - and the popularity of “CSI” and other crime investigation TV shows have helped to drive the growth of the university’s department. —MCT



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New webcam wonder: It’s Keenan’s world, for now 16-yr-old with rare disorder becomes net sensation

PORT FOURCHON: In this photo, Tulane University population ecologist Jessica Henkel takes a blood sample from a dunlin sandpiper on Fourchon Beach as part of a research project that is looking for longterm, not immediately lethal effects from the BP PLC oil spill on birds that stop along the Gulf Coast during their migration. — AP

Scientists: Gulf health nearly at pre-spill level BAY JIMMY: Scientists judge the overall health of the Gulf of Mexico as nearly back to normal one year after the BP oil spill, but with glaring blemishes that restrain their optimism about nature’s resiliency, an Associated Press survey of researchers shows. More than three dozen scientists grade the Gulf’s big picture health a 68 on average, using a 1-to-100 scale. What’s remarkable is that that’s just a few points below the 71 the same researchers gave last summer when asked what grade they would give the ecosystem before the spill. And it’s an improvement from the 65 given back in October. At the same time, scientists are worried. They cite significant declines in key health indicators such as the sea floor, dolphins and oysters. In interviews, dozens of Gulf experts emphasized their concerns, pointing to the mysterious deaths of hundreds of young dolphins and turtles, strangely stained crabs and dead patches on the sea floor. Just as it was before the April 20 accident when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, ultimately spewing 172 million gallons of oil, the Gulf continues to be a place of contradictions: The surface looks as if nothing ever happened while potentially big problems are hidden deep below the surface, in hard-to-get-to marshes and in the slow-moving food web. Some may not even be known for years. “When considering the entire Gulf of Mexico, I think the natural restoration of the Gulf is back to close to where it was before the spill,” said Wes Tunnell at Texas A&M University, who wrote a scientific advisory report for the federal arbitrator who is awarding money to residents and businesses because of the oil spill. Tunnell’s grades are typical. He says the Gulf ’s overall health before the spill was a 70; he gives it a 69 now. If that pre-spill grade isn’t impressive, it’s because the Gulf has long been an environmental victim- oil from drilling and natural seepage, overfishing, hurricanes and a huge oxygen-depleted dead zone thanks to absorbing 40 percent of America’s farm and urban runoff from the Mississippi River. Today, a dozen scientists give the Gulf as good a grade as they did before the spill. One of those is Louisiana State University professor Ed Overton, a veteran of oil spills. He described a recent trip to Gulf Shores, Ala.: “I walked a halfmile down the beach and there wasn’t a tar ball in sight. It was as pretty as I’ve ever seen it.” In the survey, some categories, such as red snapper and king mackerel, even average out to have better grades than before the spill, mostly because months of par tial fishing bans have helped populations thrive. While that sounds good, the average grades for the sea floor plunged from 68 pre-spill to a failing grade of 57 now. Dolphins initially seemed to be OK, but as more carcasses

than usual kept washing up - almost 300 since the spill - the grade fell to 66, compared to a pre-spill 75. Oysters, always under siege, dropped 10 points, crabs dropped 6 points. And the overall food web slid from 70 before the spill to 64 now. “Everything may be fine in some places, but definitely not fine everywhere,” said University of Georgia researcher Samantha Joye who found dead patches of oiled sea bottom in expeditions near the busted well where 11 men lost their lives. “The oil isn’t gone; it’s just not where we can see it.” Joye said before the oil spill she would have given the sea floor an “A” grade of 90. Now she gives it a 30. Overall, Joye, who has been one of the more hands-on researchers exploring Gulf damage, said its health has plunged from an 80 before the spill to a 50 now, but she was the most pessimistic of the researchers. In five different expeditions, the last one in December, she and her colleagues took 250 cores of the sea floor and travelled 2,600 square miles. She says much of the invisible oil in the water and on the sea bottom has been chemically fingerprinted and traced to the BP spill. She also has pictures of oil-choked bottom-dwelling creatures like crabs and brittle stars - starfish-like critters that are normally bright orange but now are pale and dead. This is hidden from view. Eugene Turner, an LSU wetlands scientist, has looked at marshes in Louisiana’s Barataria basin, and found oil buried in the mud and sand. “You can’t smell it. You can’t see it. It’s not this big black scum out there, but it’s there,” Turner said. At this point, the oil is only obvious in a couple of places - with Bay Jimmy the worst-hit. Today, a crust of oil still lines miles of the outer fringe of marsh in the bay, a remote spot deep visited by the occasional fisherman and oil worker. Still, it’s nothing compared to the black gunk stuck on beaches and marshes last summer or the multi-colored slicks so massive they could be tracked by satellite. Those images, along with the pictures of pelicans and seagulls with gobs of oil oozing down their beaks, are now history. Despite the picture on the surface, Dana Wetzel at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Florida, adds: “Anyone who says the Gulf is fine is being precipitous.... It’s out-of-sight, out-of-mind, but in my humble opinion this is not over.” While BP money has flowed for immediate cleanup and compensation, the bigger bill for environmental damage and federal penalties is still being calculated. The federal government is collecting data on that, but much is kept from outside scientists. So some of the most important details are being held closely like cards in a high-stakes poker game, outside researchers say. — AP

Warming seas could push some fish species to limit SINGAPORE: Rapidly warming ocean temperatures in some parts of the world could be pushing some fish species to the limit, stunting their growth, increasing stress and raising the risk of death, a study shows. An Australian study, published yesterday in the journal Nature Climate Change, focused on the long-lived fish species called the banded morwong in the Tasman Sea, between Australia and New Zealand. Scientists, using long-term and current data, found that the morwong’s growth in some areas has been slowed by a jump in sea surface temperatures of nearly 2 degrees Celsius over the past 60 years in the Tasman Sea, one of the most rapid increases in the southern hemisphere’s oceans. The results have implications for other fish species, including commercial fisheries, as seas heat up and become more acidic, affecting coral reefs and multi-billion dollar fisheries dependent on them. Generally, cold-blooded animals respond to warming conditions by boosting growth rates as temperatures rise, said marine ecologist Ron Thresher of Australia’s statebacked research body the CSIRO. But there was a limit. “By examining growth across a range that species inhabit, we found evidence of both slowing growth and increased physiological stress as higher temperatures impose a higher metabolic cost on fish at the warm edge of the range,” Thresher told

Reuters from Hobart, Tasmania. “A lot of commercial fish don’t move very much,” said Thresher, a co-author of the study with colleagues from the University of Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies. “ They tend to return to the same spawning grounds or they live on the same reefs. And those are the ones that are going to be most affected,” he said. This was particularly so for long-lived fish and those that live near the shore and at shallow depths. The banded morwong can live nearly 100 years. Some species, though, such as tuna, are far more mobile and are moving further south into cooler waters. Thresher and his colleagues used data on the morwong going back to 1910 that focused on bony structures called otoliths. These have annual growth rings that are similar to growth rings in trees. Studying data from samples of the species in the Tasman Sea, they found increased growth for populations in the middle of the species’ range in Australian waters where temperatures have increased, but are still relatively cool. But growth slowed with rising temperatures at the warmer northern edge of the range around New Zealand. The scientists found that the drop in growth could be related to higher stress levels from rising temperatures, increased oxygen consumption and a drop in the ability to swim for long periods. — Reuters

ELMHURST: It started innocently enough, with a boy hamming it up in front of a computer webcam. He was doing what teens often do when they stand in front of mirrors: Lip-syncing to a popular song, acting goofy, being himself, as if the world wasn’t watching. Except, in this case, the world was watching when Keenan Cahill then an impish 13-year-old with a knack for oddball humor - started posting videos of himself on YouTube. First, there were hundreds of hits, then thousands, then millions. And an Internet sensation was born. “Keenan, what have you done?” his mom asked when a late-night talk show called and wanted to air one of his lip-syncing videos. She wasn’t sure whether to be amused or horrified. What if people made fun of her son, who has a rare genetic disease that has stunted his growth? What if he’d opened the door to something too big to handle? For Keenan, though, this was the adventure he’d been waiting for. This was freedom for a young man whose life had, so far, mainly consisted of spending time at hospitals, when he wasn’t going to school or hanging out in his room. For him, a vacation was going to Minnesota to a children’s hospital, where he’s had several surgeries on his legs and hips. Now he gets to travel to places like the Bahamas and France, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Fans crowd around him as if he were a rock star, their cell phones extended to capture photos and video. Perhaps most surprising are the celebrities and their representatives who contact him regularly. They want a piece of him, to be seen with him, shoot a video with him, to drink whatever potion there is that equates to online clicks, a new measurement of star power. And it IS a power, at least right now. “I finally got somewhere, out of all the people,” says Keenan, who’s now 16. “I used to pray to God. It’s like a switch-back now. I say ‘Thank you’ instead of, ‘Can you please get me there?”‘ Whether this newfound fame can last, in an age when online buzz can skyrocket in a matter of hours and fall just as quickly, remains to be seen. When Keenan was born in 1995, there was little to indicate that anything was wrong. His parents had noticed that his kneecaps were large, but didn’t think much about it. Then one day, at 6 months of age, his mom remembers Keenan’s face looking puffy, as he sat in his high chair for a feeding. “Honey, are you OK?” she said aloud. By age 1, Keenan had fallen off the growth charts. He didn’t walk until he was 18 months old and had unusual fits of vomiting that worried his parents. They took him to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota where he underwent several tests. Doctors also sent a skin graft to a lab in Australia for testing. That led them to determine that Keenan had a severe form of an extremely rare disorder called Maroteaux-Lamy Syndrome, also known as MPS, type 6. People who have the disease are unable to break down complex sugars called mucopolysaccharides, which accumulate in connective tissue and organs throughout the body. Fewer than 1,100 of people worldwide have the

disease, which leads to severe disability and a shortened life span in most cases. Doctors told Keenan’s parents that their son would likely be in a wheelchair by the end of his teenage years if he was not treated. His growth would be extremely hampered, though with this particular type of MPS, there would be no cognitive impairment. And if he didn’t have a bone marrow transplant early on, he could have died sooner. So in 1997, at age 2, Keenan had that transplant - the first of several procedures and surgeries he has undergone in his young life. “It was the worst time in my life,” his mom, Erin O’Brien-Cahill, recalls. After the transplant, Keenan stayed at the hospital for four months and, for a year, couldn’t play with other children

The attention made Keenan think about an acting career for himself, gave him something to shoot for. “I always wanted to be on camera,” he says. His mom, wanting to give her son something positive to focus on, took him to talent agencies in the Chicago area. He auditioned a few times, but nothing ever came of it. “Getting noticed is one in a million,” his mom says. “We thought the chances of him achieving his dream were gone.” Then he got a desktop computer with a webcam for his 13th birthday, and a window opened. Some might snicker at the notion that Keenan is a star. They might not believe this can really happen to some kid who shoots low-budget videos in his bedroom. But one only need observe the fervor with which people try to contact him to under-

hits. He’s done videos with rapper 50 Cent and “Jersey Shore” star DJ Pauly D, among others. He’s also joked comfortably with comedian Chelsea Handler on her late-night talk show, giving her his phone number and calling her a “cougar,” a teasing reference to women who go after younger men. And pop star Katy Perry sent him a video greeting with other celebrities included when Keenan recently turned 16. Perry, whom Keenan has never met, is the one he calls his “mentor,” the one who sent his life into an upward spiral last fall with a simple posting on Twitter, after she saw a video of him lip-syncing to her song “Teenage Dream.” “I heart you (at)KeenanCahill,” the tweet read. Keenan had already been getting attention, but this took it to a new lev-

ILLINOIS: In this photo Keenan Cahill, 16, poses outside his home with his mother Erin O’Brien-Cahill, and sister Katherine. — AP or be around other people much to avoid exposing him to illness. His mom had to quit her job as a mortgage underwriter to stay in Minnesota with him. His dad, an electrician, got a job at the University of Minnesota so that he could be with them, too. Family photos of Keenan show a little boy whose shocks of red hair fell out and eventually came back dark brown as a result of treatments related to the transplant. Over the years, he would grow to his current height of 4-foot (1.22-meter)-1 inch (2.54 centimeter). But although he looked different from his peers, he always felt like a regular kid and thrived on making people laugh. Some have compared Keenan to Gary Coleman, the late actor whose growth was stunted by a kidney disease. But when he’s out in public, people most often stop to tell him that he looks like the young spectacle-wearing actor from the movie “Jerry Maguire.” Keenan also wears thick glasses that often drop down to the end of his nose. But it’s his smile, sometimes cheesy, sometimes sincere, and his expressive face that draw people in.

stand that this phenomenon is, indeed, real. “It’s completely redefined the definition of celebrity,” says Victor Mehren, a senior marketing director at the Wrigley Co, which hired Cahill to appear in an online advertisement for Juicy Fruit gum in which he stars with a cartoonish singing unicorn. Keenan hesitates to call himself a celebrity, partly because his manager has advised him not to focus on fame. He’s not even supposed to say the words “celebrity” or “fame.” “I need to stay grounded,” he says. He talks about backup plans and college. He shrugs nonchalantly when people ask if students at school give him extra attention. “Not really,” he says. “Kids know about it, but they don’t make a big deal.” Truth be told, though, Keenan is extremely enamored with his new life. He checks his YouTube and Twitter stats. He monitors his cell phone constantly for news about his next public appearances, which he makes on weekends and vacations so he doesn’t miss school. That’s his mom’s rule. He’s helped open a teen club in the Bahamas. He’s shot a commercial with actress Jennifer Aniston, which has gotten more than 8 million

el. The e-mails and phone calls poured in. It was too much to handle. So when David Graham and Mark Long, who got their start in reality T V, approached Keenan and his mom about being on one of their shows, his mom asked if they would be his managers. “When Mark and I got Keenan, we said, ‘OK, we’re going to set this kid up right from day one,” says Graham, who’s based in Las Vegas. No drinking and no partying, they said, setting rules that were no problem for a kid who seems to have no interest in that, anyway. And no appearances on B-level talk shows. “He doesn’t need that, doesn’t need to be overexposed,” says Graham, who’s focused more on videos with celebrities, ad deals and club appearances. Several of the artists Keenan has done videos with work with EMI Records, which is Perry’s label. Keenan also has recorded his own song - one in which he actually sings - set for release this spring or in early summer. It sounds like it might be lucrative, but the financial rewards are not that great, Graham says. —AP

Diet soda doesn’t raise diabetes risk NEW YORK: Diet soda and other artificiallysweetened drinks, previously implicated in the chance of developing diabetes, are not guilty, according to a study by researchers at Harvard University. In a large group of men followed for 20 years, drinking regular soda and other sugary drinks often meant a person was more likely to get diabetes, but that was not true of artificiallysweetened soft drinks, or coffee or tea. Replacing sugary drinks with diet versions in fact seems to be a safe and healthy alternative, the report, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, said. “There are multiple alter-

natives to regular soda,” said Frank Hu, one of the study’s authors, to Reuters Health. “Diet soda is perhaps not the best alternative, but moderate consumption is not going to have any appreciable harmful effects.” Prior studies had suggested that people who drink diet soda regularly might be more likely to get diabetes than those who stay away from artificially-sweetened drinks, but the recent study indicates that the link is a result of other factors common to both diet soda drinkers and people with diabetes, including being overweight.

MADRID: Orangutan baby Boo is pictured in his enclosure at Madrid’s. The ninemonth-old Orangutan was officially named Boo, inspired in the Sanskrit word “bhoomi” (or “bumi”) which means Earth. — AFP

Hu and his colleagues analyzed data from more than 40,000 men who were followed between 1986 and 2006, during which time they regularly filled out questionnaires on their medical status and dietary habits, including how many servings of regular and diet sodas, and other drinks, consumed every week. About 7 percent of the men reported that they were diagnosed with diabetes at some point in the study. Men who drank the most sugar-sweetened beverages, about one serving a day on average, were 16 percent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than men who never drank those beverages. The link was mostly due to soda and other carbonated beverages. Drinking non-carbonated sugar-sweetened fruit drinks such as lemonade was not linked with a higher risk of diabetes. When nothing else was accounted for, men who drank a lot of diet soda and other diet drinks were also more likely to get diabetes. But once the men’s weight, blood pressure and cholesterol was taken into account, those drinks were not related to diabetes risk. “People who are at risk for diabetes or obesity... Those may be the people who are more likely to choose artificial sweeteners because they may be more likely to be dieting,” said Rebecca Brown, an endocrinologist at the National Institutes of Health, to Reuters Health. Drinking coffee on a daily basis, both regular and decaffeinated, was linked to a lower risk of diabetes, perhaps due to antioxidants or vitamins or minerals in coffee. Brown, who has studied artificial sweeteners but was not involved in the current research, added that while there are still some health concerns about artificial sweeteners, none have been proven. “I certainly think that we have better evidence that drinking sugar-sweetened beverages increases health risks,” she said. “Certainly reducing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption by any means (including substitution with diet drinks) is probably a good thing.” — Reuters



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Japan’s disaster hurts mental health of nation Survivors vulnerable to depression, long-term problems

ONAGAWA: The forbearance shown by survivors of Japan’s quake-tsunami has been lauded in the West, but psychologists worry not talking about the hurt could be doing longterm damage. Commentators have heaped praise on the emotional resilience of people who have lost everything, but, say some, the surface calm masks deep undercurrents of emotion. “To be honest I really feel like breaking down and crying-because I’m sad,” said evacuee Kenichi Endo, 45, briefly screwing his eyes shut. “I’ve lost my father, my pet, my car, my savings. I’ve lost everything. But, everyone here is the same. If I cry, everyone else will, so I can’t,” he told AFP in a shelter in Onagawa town, clenching his fists into tight balls. Unbearable tragedy was heaped on Japan on March 11 when a 9.0 magnitude quake unleashed a gigantic wave on the country’s northeast, killing more than 13,500 people and leaving over 14,000 missing. More than five weeks on and tens of thousands of evacuees are still living in school gymnasiums and other public buildings, sharing their sleeping space with dozens-sometimes hundreds-of other people. Under these conditions, emotion remains tightly regulated. Instead, grief appears at unexpected times-

while sleeping, listening to music or even while eating. “The one thing I really want now is privacy,” said Ken Hiraaki, an evacuee in another shelter. “At night I hear people groaning in their dreams. But sometimes my wife wakes me up because I am groaning too.” The unwillingness of many survivors to openly discuss their sadness is worrying health professionals, who say it makes them vulnerable to depression and long-term problems. “Many people now are in a phase of acute stress disorder, which is a totally natural response to this level of trauma,” said Ritsuko Nishimae, a clinical psychologist working with international aid group Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Minamisanriku. “If they are not able to get proper support psychologically, there is an increased possibility that they could develop post-traumatic stress disorder,” she said. In Japan depression continues to carry a stigma it has long shed in much of the West. This is especially marked in rural areas such as the disaster-struck northeast, where community and family ties are strong. It is only in the past decade that metropolitan Japan has begun to tackle taboos on mental illness, with around 900,000 people a year treated for depression, a condition referred to euphemistically as “heart flu.” Psychiatrists, who are known

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as “heart carers”, say many more people could benefit from treatment. “When you say psychiatry, people become extremely sensitive. They think it is embarrassing,” said Naoki Hayashi, a psychiatrist from Tokyo working in an evacuation centre in Rikuzentakata. “They look at me quizzically, as if they’re saying, ‘Who are you?’ So instead of telling them I’m a psychiatrist I just tell them I am a doctor,” he added. “Survivors feel guilty if they talk about their hurt because everyone is suffering. They feel they can’t just come out and talk about it and that’s particularly strong in rural areas.” Japanese medical groups have sent 115 “heart carers” to the disaster zone, but only 25 are doctors, with the rest being nurses and other medical staff. At the evacuation centre in Onagawa there was little to indicate the “heart caring room” was anything out of the ordinary, its tatami mats and low table making it look like an ordinary dining room. The centre’s residents were all aware that it was there, but, despite the attempts of professionals to make the room non-threatening, few had ventured in to seek help. “Japanese people don’t like talking about themselves and their problems to strangers.—AFP

IWATE: 70-year-old tsunami survivor Chiiko Nakanome, takes care of her 2-yearold-granddaughter, Ena, at an evacuation centre in Rikuzentakata city yesterday. — AFP

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W H AT ’ S O N





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W H AT ’ S O N


GUST presents ‘You Were Born Rich’


he Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) is bringing you a man that “possesses a rare and rich knowledge of the mind” as stated by Mark Victor Hansen, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Master marketer, Jay Abraham believes that “If you want to make a major shift in your life, this man will definitely show you how.” This man is Bob Proctor, legendary teacher featured in the blockbuster hit, The Secret, and he’s coming to Kuwait. If you want to know how to create real abundance in your life, be at GUST on April 27, 28, 2011. Bob has transformed the lives of millions of people around the world, from Atlanta to Australia, from Montreal to Malaysia. Now he’s coming to the Middle East. As mentioned at GUST’s orientation lecture, You Were Born Rich is a life-

changing program specifically designed for people who have a sincere desire to immediately begin enjoying a dynamic, abundant lifestyle. During the first day of the program, Bob Proctor will show you how to train your mind for abundance and tap into your creative power for phenomenal and surprising results. The second day of the program is devoted to taking action and implementation and is lead by Proctor’s LifeSuccess Consultant in Kuwait, Omar Abi Al-Hosn. Bob divides his time between consulting with some of the world’s largest and most successful companies, and sharing his wealth of knowledge and real practical, common- sense approach with individuals from all walks of life. What they have in common is a desire for change, a belief that ‘things could be better’ and

Proctor shows them how to turn their desire into reality. What you will take with you from You Were Born Rich is not just the knowledge of your innate power and capabilities, but a deep understanding of the process of change, and a personalized action plan for change. You Were Born Rich will take place in GUST on April 27, 28, 2011. This is a major event being sponsored by PACE in realizing the full potential of individuals and companies in Kuwait; a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs and visionaries in this region to study with a master. You Were Born Rich will be promoted throughout the country and is expected to sell out fast. For information and reservations contact 25307273/ 25307007/ 25307363/ 25307497 or email pace@gust.edu.kw

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. www.smartraveller.gov.au Kuwait citizens can apply for and receive visit visas to Australia online at www.immi.gov.au. This usually takes two working days. All others visa applications are handled by the Australian Visa Application Centre Tel. 22971110. Witnessing and certifying documents are by appointment only, please contact the Embassy on 2232 2422. The Australian Embassy is open from 8.00am to 4.00pm, Sunday to Thursday. ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF 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. ■■■■■■■

Holiday Inn Kuwait bids adieu to football team


fter a short stay in Kuwait at the Holiday Inn Kuwait hotel, Al-Zamalek team left the country amid fond farewells and well wishes. Dr Shereen Fawzy, Head of Al-Zamalek Delegation, expressed his sincere gratitude and heartfelt appreciation to the hotel management headed by Ramy Haykal, General Manager and Maged Hanna, Director of Sales and Business Development. He mentioned a comfortable accommodation, with exquisite cuisines that were tailored to suit the dietary needs of the team, an exclusive bus for the transporta-

tion of the team along with the excellent facilities of the hotel that helped make the team’s stay at the hotel memorable, He hoped to come back to Kuwait if the opportunity arose again and expressed his gratitude to all the contributors of the festival, “For the Love of Egypt”. Located on the Gulf Street, the hotel is perfectly suited to the needs of both business travelers and families who want time away from their busy schedules. Guests have the pleasure of choosing from a bouquet of 6 variety restaurants that cover flavors both interna-

tional and exotic. From the Wild West at the Rib Eye Steakhouse to the delicate Chinese at Tang Chao, from the nostalgic Lebanese at Ayam Zaman to the exquisite Japanese at Sakura, from the global buffet at Al-Diwan to the 24 hour L’Aroma CafÈ - the Holiday Inn Kuwait has it all. With state of the art technology in its meeting rooms and two intricate ballrooms, customers get it all as they like it. 24-hour Health Club, 24-hours room service and every amenity is available to ensure that all the customers are taken care of from the moment they enter the doors of the hotel.

EMBASSY OF BRITAIN Should you come into contact with British nationals in or transiting Kuwait requiring consular assistance please have them contact us at the following new consular inquiry numbers: 972 71877 or 972 71922. Our new temporary switchboard number is 999693651 For the latest FCO travel advice please visit: www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/middleeast-north-africa/kuwait The Embassy is open Sunday to Thursday 7:30am to 14:3Opm. ■■■■■■■

Aware diwaniya


he AWARE Center cordially invites you to its diwaniya presentation tonight (April 19, 2011) entitled, “Quran and the Universe” by Dr Mamoun Al-Aynati. Since the dawn of human life on this planet, man has always tried to explore the universe in which he lives in and answer questions related to the beginning of creation, understand his own place in the scheme of creation , know more about earth and heavens, and speculate about the end of creation. In his presentation, Dr Mamoun will try to shed light on some of the concepts mentioned in the Holy Quran about the origin and evolution of creation and the universe as we better know it now through the science of Cosmology, and try to compare it with some of the present widely accepted scientific views. All are welcome at 7:00 pm. (Dr Maamoun Al-Aynati is an Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Consultant Pathologist and Head of Pathology Department, Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital.) For more information, call 25335260 ext 0 / 104 / 105 or log onto: www.aware.com.kw or email: Htaware.hassan@gmail.com.

Aware Arabic course


he AWARE management is glad to inform those interested in learning Arabic that Summer 1 Arabic language courses will begin on April 24 and go on till June 2, 2011. AWARE Arabic language courses are designed with the expat in mind. The environment is relaxed and courses are designed for those wanting to learn Arabic for travel, cultural understanding, and conducting business or simply to become more involved in the community. We cater to teachers, travelers and those working in the private business sector.

CSK enjoys annual picnic


n the occasion of Bangladeshi new year - April 7 and 8, 2011, Chittagong Samity Kuwait (CSK) arranged the annual picnic as per its tradition for two days in the desert as “Picnic & Zoo Visit 2011” at a refreshing farm in Abdali near Kuwait -Iraq border. The caravan arrived at the selected picnic spot on Thursday evening. The event commenced after a brief discussion followed by games such as tug-of-war. Later, after the dinner Momuddin (Cultural-Secretary of CSK) and his team sang with background music and all the people present there enjoyed very much and danced to the music. The musical event peaked when Haji Jafar, president of CSK joined with the dancers Faruk, Tawhid, Musa, Saeed, Kalam and others, performing some dance steps to the rhythm. The night seemed to have passed so quickly because everyone enjoyed the event so much. The next bright Friday morning started with breakfast being served, after which everyone began sightseeing, visiting the zoo and farm. The afternoon was spent in games and sports such as

musical chair for ladies, walkingrace, running-race for kids and the sorts. The main attraction of the day was the football competition between Red and Green teams, in which the winner was red team captained by Ataul Gani Mamun. Numerous prominent social workers and renowned businessmen Senior Vice President of Bangladesh Expatriate Businessmen’s Association (BEBA) and Chairman of the Ambassador Group of Companies Mukai Ali, Enjr Jahangir, Enjr Sattar joined the event with their families for the joy of all the members without any reservations. The children of the members also added fun to the picnic party. The picnic was not limited to games but was aimed at fostering friendship and camaraderie and thus built up a strong

relationship among the members and community. After the Friday prayers, a delicious lunch was served. The overall picnic event was supervised by president of the CSK Haji Jafar Ahmed Chy with valuable support from Abul Kalam, Tawhid, Faruk, Ibrahim, Jamal Ahmed, Musa, Saeed and Alhaj Lockman. To conclude the event, the chief guest of this picnic and his wife with President of CSK distributed gifts to the winners of the various activities.

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 www.Kuwait.gc.ca. 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 www.voyage.gc.ca. 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 www.UAE.gc.ca. 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: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/kits/forms/IMM5 257E.PDF. A guide explaining the process can be found here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/kits/guides/5256 E.PDF. ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF FRANCE The French Embassy in Kuwait will remain closed on Sunday, April 24, 2011 because of Easter holidays. ■■■■■■■

Birthday Greetings

Hope For Japan charity event at KNES


n Saturday, April 16, Kuwait National English School (Hawally) held its Hope For Japan charity event. The day included games, rides, and a wide variety of great food and drinks. There was also a talent show organized by students in the secondary department in conjunction with Injaz. The money raised from this year’s event is being sent to the Red Cross in Japan to help those in the greatest need following recent natural disasters. The School Director at Kuwait National English School, Chantal Al-Gharabally would like to thank all of the very generous sponsors.

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 www.kenyaembkuwait.com. The Embassy is located in: Surra Area - Block 6 - Street 9 - Villa 3 Tel: 25353362 - 25353314; Fax: 25353316. ■■■■■■■

Many, many happy returns of the day to Judy B Al-Qassim who turns 8 years today. May Allah the Almighty keep you in His loving care. Best wishes come from family and friends.

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. Emailnigeriakuwait@yahoo.com or nigeriankuwait@yahoo.co.uk



e niv rsar n


00:45 Untamed And Uncut 01:40 Dogs 101 02:35 The Animals’ Guide To Survival 03:30 Planet Earth 04:25 Maneaters 05:20 The Most Extreme 06:10 Cats 101 07:00 Meerkat Manor 07:25 The Really Wild Show 07:50 Natural Born Hunters 08:15 All New Planet’s Funniest Animals 08:40 Breed All About It 09:10 Animal Crackers 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 Must Love Cats 18:20 The Animals’ Guide To Survival 19:15 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 20:10 Dogs 101 21:05 Life Of Mammals 22:00 K9 Cops 22:55 Amba The Russian Tiger 23:50 The Most Extreme

00:00 00:30 01:15 02:10 03:00 03:30 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 10:10 10:40 11:25 12:15 12:45 13:15 14:10 15:40 16:30 17:15 17:45 18:15 19:10 20:00 20:45 21:15 21:45 22:40 23:35

00:15 01:05 01:55 02:40 03:10 03:35 04:25 05:25 06:15

2 Point 4 Children The Weakest Link Holby City Spooks Eastenders Doctors 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 2 Point 4 Children The Weakest Link New Tricks Doctors Eastenders Holby City 2 Point 4 Children New Tricks The Weakest Link Doctors Eastenders Holby City New Tricks The Weakest Link Doctors Eastenders Holby City Conviction 2 Point 4 Children

Come Dine With Me Home For Life Eating With The Enemy Cooked Chuck’s Day Off How Not To Decorate Daily Cooks Challenge Antiques Roadshow Fantasy Homes By The Sea

07:15 What Not To Wear 08:10 Daily Cooks Challenge 08:40 Glamour Puds 09:05 What Not To Wear 09:55 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 10:40 What Not To Wear 11:30 Antiques Roadshow 12:25 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 13:10 Glamour Puds 14:20 Come Dine With Me 16:25 Eating With The Enemy 17:10 Cooked 17:40 Chuck’s Day Off 18:05 How Not To Decorate 18:55 Eating With The Enemy 19:40 Cooked 20:10 Chuck’s Day Off 20:35 How Not To Decorate 21:25 Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey 22:15 Rhodes Across China 23:00 Cash In The Attic USA

00:00 Business Edition With Tanya Beckett 00:30 Business Edition With Tanya Beckett 00:45 Sport Today 01:00 BBC World News 01:30 Asia Business Report 01:45 Asia Today 02:00 BBC World News America 03:00 BBC World News 03:30 Asia Business Report 03:45 Asia Today 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 08:00 BBC World News 08:30 World Business Report 08:45 BBC World News 09:00 BBC World News 09:30 World Business Report 09:45 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 14:30 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 00:40 01:05 01:30 01:55 02:20 02:45 03:00 03:25 03:50 04:10 04:35

A Pup Named Scooby-Doo The Perils Of Penelope Pitstop Pink Panther And Pals The Garfield Show Tom And Jerry King Arthur’s Disasters Popeye Classics The Scooby Doo Show Tom And Jerry Kids Looney Tunes The Flintstones Dastardly And Muttley


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

Hong Kong Phooey Droopy: Master Detective A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Tom And Jerry Kids Looney Tunes The Flintstones Duck Dodgers Scooby Doo Where Are You! The Addams Family Pink Panther And Pals The Garfield Show Tom And Jerry Dastardly And Muttley The Scooby Doo Show Wacky Races The Jetsons Popeye Classics Looney Tunes Top Cat Droopy: Master Detective Hong Kong Phooey Scooby-Doo And Scrappy-

00:05 00:30 00:55 01:20 01:45 02:10 02:35

Cow And Chicken Cramp Twins George Of The Jungle Adrenalini Brothers Eliot Kid Ed, Edd N Eddy Ben 10: Alien Force

King Arthur’s Disasters Tom And Jerry Dastardly And Muttley The Perils Of Penelope Pitstop Scooby Doo Where Are You! Pink Panther And Pals Duck Dodgers Popeye Scooby-Doo And ScrappyLooney Tunes Pink Panther And Pals The Garfield Show The Addams Family Johnny Bravo The Scooby Doo Show Tom And Jerry Wacky Races Dastardly And Muttley The Scooby Doo Show Top Cat Popeye The Jetsons Duck Dodgers

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


18:30 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 21:25 Ed, Edd N Eddy 21:50 Cartoon Network Dance Club 22:00 Camp Lazlo 22:25 Hero 108 22:50 Ben 10 23:15 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 23:40 Chowder

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

Backstory World Sport World Report World Business Today Piers Morgan Tonight Anderson Cooper 360 World Sport World View World Report Backstory World Report World Sport Inside Africa World Business Today World One World Sport World’s Untold Stories Piers Morgan Tonight News Stream World Business Today International Desk The Brief World Sport Prism International Desk World’s Untold Stories Quest Means Business Piers Morgan Tonight Connect The World

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

Dirty Jobs Gold Rush: Alaska Ultimate Survival Man Made Marvels Asia Mythbusters How It’s Made How Stuff’s Made Dirty Jobs Man Made Marvels Asia American Chopper How Stuff’s Made How It’s Made Mythbusters Cake Boss Border Security Street Customs Ultimate Survival Mythbusters La Ink Dirty Jobs Street Customs Mythbusters Extreme Fishing Cake Boss Border Security Deconstruction How Stuff’s Made How It’s Made Stan Lee’s Superhumans Bionic Builders Stunt Junkies One Way Out Black Gold

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

The Gadget Show Kings Of Construction Mighty Ships Eco-Tech Cool Stuff And How It Works Thunder Races Brainiac One Step Beyond Nextworld Scrappy Races Head Rush Sci-Fi Science Weird Connections Investigation X The Gadget Show The Gadget Show Nextworld Green Wheels Scrappy Races One Step Beyond Mighty Ships Kings Of Construction The Gadget Show Head Rush Sci-Fi Science Weird Connections Brainiac Investigation X Space Pioneer Sci-Fi Saved My Life Sci-Fi Science How Does That Work? The Gadget Show The Gadget Show Space Pioneer Sci-Fi Saved My Life Colony

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

Kim Possible Fairly Odd Parents Fairly Odd Parents Stitch Stitch Replacements Replacements Fairly Odd Parents Fairly Odd Parents Stitch Stitch Replacements Replacements Emperors New School Emperors New School Phineas And Ferb Phineas And Ferb Kim Possible Suite Life On Deck Shake It Up Wizards Of Waverly Place Fairly Odd Parents Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Handy Manny Special Agent Oso Jungle Junction Imagination Movers Phineas And Ferb

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

Suite Life On Deck Wizards Of Waverly Place Good Luck Charlie Jonas La 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 Suite Life On Deck Wizards Of Waverly Place Shake It Up Cheetah Girls: One World Phineas And Ferb 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 09:25 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 15:35 Kick Buttowski 16:00 I’m In The Band 16:25 Suite Life On Deck 16:50 Zeke & Luther 17:15 Zeke & Luther 17:40 Phineas & Ferb 18:05 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 22:20 The Super Hero Squad Show

00:15 Kendra 00:40 The Soup 01:05 Chelsea Lately 01:30 E!ES 01:55 E!ES 02:20 THS 03:15 25 Most Stylish 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Extreme Hollywood 06:00 30 Best & Worst Beach Bodies 07:45 Behind the Scenes 08:10 Behind the Scenes 08:35 E! News 09:25 Married To Rock 09:50 Married To Rock 10:15 THS 12:00 E! News 12:50 Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane 13:40 Keeping Up with the Kardashians 14:05 Kendra 14:30 15 Remarkable Celebrity Body Bouncebacks 16:15 Behind the Scenes 16:40 Behind the Scenes 17:10 Kourtney and Kim Take New York 17:35 Kourtney and Kim Take New York 18:00 E! News 18:50 Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane 19:40 E!ES 20:30 Style Star 20:55 Chelsea Lately 21:20 Kendra 21:45 Kendra 22:10 E! News 23:00 Chelsea Lately 23:25 Keeping Up with the Kardashians 23:50 Keeping Up with the Kardashians

00:15 Final Fu 00:40 Eddie Jordan’s Bad Boy Racers 01:30 World Combat League 02:20 Final Fu 02:45 Final Fu 03:10 Aiya TV 03:35 Aiya TV 04:00 Mantracker 04:25 Mantracker 04:50 Eddie Jordan’s Bad Boy Racers 05:40 World Combat League 06:30 iEX 2009 07:00 iEX 2009 07:30 iEX 2009 08:00 Quattro Events 2009 08:25 FIM World Motocross MX3 Championships... 08:50 FIM World Motocross MX3 Championships... 09:15 Maloof Money Cup 2009 10:05 Re:Session 10:55 Eds Up 11:20 Eds Up 11:45 X Games Heroes 12:10 X Games Heroes 12:35 Final Fu 13:00 Final Fu 13:25 Eddie Jordan’s Bad Boy Racers 14:15 World Combat League 15:05 Eds Up 15:30 Eds Up 15:55 X Games Heroes 16:20 X Games Heroes 16:45 Quattro Events 2009 17:10 FIM World Motocross MX3 Championships... 17:35 FIM World Motocross MX3

THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX ON OSN MOVIES COMEDY Championships... 18:00 Maloof Money Cup 2009 18:50 Re:Session 19:40 X Games Heroes 20:30 Final Fu 21:20 Mantracker 22:10 World Combat League 23:00 Aiya TV 23:50 Final Fu

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

The Haunted A Haunting I Was Murdered Deadly Women: Face To Face Couples Who Kill Dr G: Medical Examiner Amsterdam Vice The Haunted Mystery ER Forensic Detectives Accident Investigator Mystery ER Real Emergency Calls Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? I Was Murdered FBI Files Murder Shift Fugitive Strike Force Mystery ER Real Emergency Calls Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? I Was Murdered Forensic Detectives Accident Investigator FBI Files Mystery ER Real Emergency Calls Real Emergency Calls Murder Shift Fugitive Strike Force Deadly Women The Prosecutors Dr G: Medical Examiner

00:15 Amusement-18 02:00 Jennifer’s Body-18 03:45 Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves-PG15 06:00 The Yards-PG15 08:00 X-Men Origins: WolverinePG15 09:45 A Knight’s Tale-PG15 12:00 The Core-PG15 14:15 X-Men Origins: WolverinePG15 16:00 Armageddon-PG15 18:30 The Core-PG15 20:45 Halloween 2-18 22:30 Bangkok Adrenaline-PG15

01:00 Heart Of Fear-18 03:00 The Cake Eaters-PG15 05:00 Lucky Break-PG15 07:00 Preacher’s Kid-PG 09:00 The Cake Eaters-PG15 11:00 The Wild Thornberrys MoviePG 12:30 The Informant!-PG15 14:30 Run Papa Run-PG15 16:30 The Ramen Girl-PG15 18:15 2012-PG15 21:00 Broken Embraces : Los Abrazos Rotos-PG15 23:15 Echelon Conspiracy-PG15

00:30 The Daily Show Global Edition 01:00 The Colbert Report Global Edition 01:30 Family Guy 02:00 Comedy Central Presents 02:30 Comedy Central Presents 03:00 Just Shoot Me 03:30 Kath And Kim 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 Hot In Cleveland 15:30 The Daily Show Global Edition 16:00 The Colbert Report Global Edition 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 Rita Rocks 19:30 Kath And Kim 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 The Cleveland Show 22:30 Entourage 23:00 Family Guy 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

01:00 The Stepfather-PG15 03:00 Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves-PG15 05:15 Dark Island-PG15 07:00 Appaloosa-PG15 09:00 Fast And Furious-PG15 11:00 G.I. Joe: The Rise Of CobraPG15 13:00 Snake Eyes-PG15 15:00 Fast And Furious-PG15 17:00 New Town Killers-PG15 19:00 Signs-PG15 21:00 Bangkok Adrenaline-PG15 23:00 Dog Pound-18

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

Mad About Mambo-PG15 Magicians-18 Four Christmases-PG15 The Tale Of Despereaux-PG For Love Or Money-PG PJ Gallagher: Just Jokes-PG15 Love Happens-PG15 A Simple Wish-FAM Mad About Mambo-PG15 Patch Adams-PG15 Chasing Papi-PG Separation City-18

01:00 Welcome To Sarajevo-18 02:45 Paris-PG15 05:00 Lost In Yonkers-PG 07:00 From Time To Time-PG15 09:00 Witness: The Kidnapping Of Patty Hearst-PG15 11:00 Bran Nue Dae-PG15 13:00 Three Investigators-PG15 15:00 Drumline-PG15 17:00 Shine A Light-PG15 19:00 The Madness Of King GeorgePG 21:00 Revolutionary Road-PG15 23:00 The Locusts-PG15

01:30 Perrier’s Bounty-18 03:00 Nativity!-PG 05:00 Bring It On 5: Fight To The Finish-PG15 07:00 The Last Song-PG15 09:00 Drunkboat-PG 11:00 Star Trek-PG 13:30 Dr. Dolittle 2-PG 15:00 Old Dogs-PG 16:30 Drunkboat-PG 18:30 The Lovely Bones-PG15 21:00 Broken Embraces-PG15 23:30 The Proposal-PG15

00:00 The Thief Of Baghdad-PG 02:00 Hotel For Dogs-FAM 04:00 Gladiator Academy: Movie-FAM 06:00 Ponyo On The Cliff By Sea-FAM 08:00 Treasure Island-PG 10:00 Gladiator Academy: Movie-FAM 12:00 Ice Age 3: Dawn Of

The The The The

Dinosaurs-FAM 14:00 Hotel For Dogs-FAM 16:00 Cars-PG 18:00 Dr. Dolittle 2-PG 20:00 Legend Of Sleeping BeautyPG 22:00 Ice Age 3: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs-FAM

00:00 Triangle-18 02:00 The Shock Doctrine-PG15 03:30 Che Part Two: Guerilla-PG15 06:00 The Building-PG15 08:00 Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel-FAM 10:00 Secret Origin: The Story Of DC Comics-PG 12:00 The Box-PG15 14:00 Dean Spanley-PG 16:00 Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel-FAM 18:00 Valentine’s Day-PG15 20:00 Legion-18 22:00 The Time Traveller’s WifePG15

00:00 Goals On Monday 01:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 01:30 ICC Cricket World 02:00 World Hockey 02:30 Futbol Mundial 03:00 Scottish Premier League 05:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 06:00 ICC Cricket World 06:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 07:00 Snooker World Championship 11:00 Trans World Sport 12:00 Goals On Monday 13:00 NRL Full Time 13:30 Scottish Premier League 15:30 PGA European Tour Highlights 16:30 Aviva Premiership 18:30 ICC Cricket World 19:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 19:30 Goals On Monday 20:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 21:00 Futbol Mundial 21:30 Super League 23:30 ICC Cricket World

01:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 02:00 Goals On Monday 03:00 ICC Cricket World 03:30 Premier League Darts 07:00 Golfing World 08:00 Goals On Monday 09:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 09:30 Scottish FA Cup 11:30 ICC Cricket World 12:00 Live Snooker World Championship 16:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 16:30 Live Snooker World Championship 20:00 Golfing World 21:00 Live Snooker World Championship

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

UFC The Ultimate Fighter V8 Supercars Championship Sports Adventure City Centre Races British Triathlon UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC Unleashed WWE NXT WWE SmackDown Full Throttle City Centre Races British Triathlon WWE Bottom Line Superstock Powerboat Series V8 Supercars Championship UAE National Race Day Series Full Throttle Superstock Powerboat Series Superstock Powerboat Series V8 Supercars Championship UFC Unleashed UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC Unleashed

Classifieds TUESDAY, APRIL 19, 2011

3269) ACCOMMODATION “I have become spoiled in America. Too much work, too much pizza and too much driving.”

Room available for single bachelor in Salmiya, rent KD 50. Contact 97274287. (C 3275) 19-4-2011

— Apa Sherpa to the Salt Lake Tribune. The 50-year-old man from Nepal who now lives in Utah has climbed the world’s highest mountain, Everest, a record 20 times.

— www.timeforkids.com

Celebrate the spring season with these

Spring cleaning on Mount Everest The world’s tallest mountain is in need of spring cleaning. A team of mountaineers flew to Mount Everest recently to begin an expedition to clean up tons of trash that was left on the massive mountain by its climbers. Mount Everest is located in the Himalayas, on the border of Nepal and Tibet. At 29,035 feet above sea level, it’s the tallest peak in the world. Climbers first successfully reached the peak in 1953. Since then, thousands of people have climbed Everest, leaving their trash along its trails. This includes ropes, tents and empty oxygen bottles, which climbers use to breathe more comfortably at the mountain’s high altitudes. Nepal requires Everest climbers to bring down everything they take up to the mountain to get their deposit back, but trash from climbs before the rule took effect still litters the slopes. The mountaineers plan to bring down 11,000 pounds of garbage from Everest this spring. This is the peak climbing time before the summer monsoon season begins. Expedition members will receive $1.40 for every kilogram (about 2.2 pounds) of trash they carry down the mountain.

from Disney FamilyFun magazine


With this egg project, there’s no yolk blowing, no hard-boiling — and you can enjoy your one-of-a-kind design long after the holiday is over. An oval is stamped onto shirts ahead of time, so the T-shirts are ready to decorate with puffy paint and fabric markers.

1. To make an egg stamp, draw an oval onto a sheet of paper and cut it out. Trace it onto two sheets of craft foam. Cut out both eggs, glue one atop the other, then glue the pair onto the wooden block or several stacked squares of cardboard (the double YOU WILL NEED layer of foam lets you apply paint to G Thin craft foam sheets the stamp without getting any on the G Wooden block or squares of thick cardboard block). Let the glue dry. G Plastic bag and cardboard to fit inside T-shirt 2. Wrap the plastic bag around the G Prewashed cotton T-shirts cardboard and slip it inside the T-shirt G Paintbrush to prevent paint from leaking through G Fabric paint to the shirt’s back. G Puffy fabric paint and fabric markers 3. Using a paintbrush, evenly coat G Pencil the egg stamp with the fabric paint. G Paper Making sure the shirt’s surface is G Scissors smooth and flat, press the G Tacky glue stamp onto the shirt. Allow the paint to dry for a few hours or overnight. 4. Decorate the Display your finest blown egg on eggs with puffy this easy-to-make stand. For each paint or fabric one, cut two 12-inch pipe cleaners markers. (Fun tip: in half, then twist the four pieces Use reinforcetogether in the middle. Use a ment labels as pencil, a toothpick or simply stencils for your fingers to curl all eight pipe polka dots — cleaner ends. Spread out and available at shape the arms and legs of the YES, says Keith-Thomas Ayoob, a nutritionist office-supply stand so that it supports your and associate professor of pediatrics at New stores.) treasure eggs-actly. York City’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine. While eggs do contain cholesterol, for most of us, cholesterol in food doesn’t have a major effect on cholesterol in the body (the real culprits are saturated and trans fats). Dr. Ayoob says, eggs are a great source of protein, low in saturated fat and calories, and one of the few dietary sources of vitamin D and lutein. Fry them in olive or canola oil rather than butter, and you’ll cook up even more health benefits.

M I C H A E L KO DA S / H A RT F O R D C O U R A N T / M C T

Mount Everest is seen here in the distance.

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

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 Sharing accommodation available in Shara Amman near Old Souk Salmiya, only for Filipino / Indian ladies. Contact: 99540589. Accommodation available in Salmiya Amman St, C-A/C, two bedroom, two bathroom, for family/ bachelors with Indian family. Contact: 99467432. (C 3266) 14-4-2011

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


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, building materials etc. Contact: 99059650. (C 3263) CHANGE OF NAME

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

S. Saravanan, son of Subramaniyan, holder of Indian Passport No G9950267 converted to Islam do hereby change my name to S. Sameer Mohamed. (C 3277) 19-4-2011



Driver needed for Kuwaiti family, good salary, full time or part time. Tel: 60623330. (C 3265) 14-4-2011

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Wanted live -in full time part time house maid for a small Indian family in Salmiya. Contact: 55445286. (C 3261) 12-4-2011


Eco Everest Expedition organized the cleaning expedition. This is the fourth year one has been held. Leading the team is Apa Sherpa, a veteran Nepalese guide who has climbed Everest a record 20 times since 1989. “I want to do this for my country, my people and for Everest,” Apa says. Apa says that when he first began climbing Everest, the trail to the summit was covered in ice and snow. But now the path contains bare rocks with deep cracks from melting ice. This makes expeditions up the mountain more dangerous. Apa, who grew up in the foothills of Everest but now lives in the United States, has campaigned for saving the mountain from the effects of global warming and other issues. — Kelli Plasket

© 2009 00 M MCT CT

G Less than 1 percent of the world’s water is available for people to drink or use. Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth can save up to four gallons of water. G It takes 70 gallons to fill a bathtub, so take a quick shower, instead.

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)

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

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On the first day of the 2010 Eco Everest’s weigh-and-pay program, more than 480 pounds of trash was removed from the mountain.

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A TV or movie shows you about 25 pictures each second so they look like a single, moving picture

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

Flt 642 267 772 620 853 305 370 211 138 529 207 505 412 157 416 201 206 302 332 53 352 284 855 605 132 125 301 213 619 404 165 121 711 549 672 610 982 640 512 57 562 500 746


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


257 134 546 303 857 215 510 777 239 127 213 177 227 104 166 502 542 618 786 614 674 774 458 572 93 61 647 402 552 341 1405 372 443 859 183 217 136 981 981 135 787 636 389 45 205


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


Flt 637 976 44 240 773 620 854 371 306 548 139 164 643 212 120 156 545 54 671 745 256 511 561 101 856 126 604 133 302 214 618 165 405 541 776 212 238 712 501 785 176 611 641 58


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

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


982 551 673 617 501 773 135 613 82 182 304 858 216 128 266 511 786 134 228 283 361 571 62 528 343 351 648 403 457 342 1405 373 443 206 860 218 381 102 137 301 205 502 554 411 981


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


star CROSSWORD 292





Aries (March 21-April 19) It may be difficult to understand the instructions of higher-ups today and you may find yourself puzzling over a job project. Do not be afraid to ask questions—you are probably not the only one that needs a better explanation. It could be that a supervisor does not fully understand the process of getting particular work completed. You may be creating your own path, but make sure you find out what is expected. Everything points to your taking the initiative for now. You could feel great support from those around you, or circumstances could dictate that you follow. You are feeling healthy and unaffected today and this is good because stress will more than likely not build up tension. There is a chance to have a special time with someone you love this evening.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) This could be a very superficial day. It may not be possible for you to penetrate to anything remotely meaningful. Perhaps there is a sense of the artificial, the repetitive or the senseless. Some sort of temporary obstacle may appear. You may feel that you just are not able to get beneath the surface. This will not bother you for much longer as there is no such thing as the word no to you. You find yourself discovering the answers you need. Some good solid gossip will keep you busy with neighbors later this afternoon. You could be a stand-up comedian with your rapid tongue-in-cheek deliveries. After you have taken care of those excruciatingly boring chores and listed items you will be able to enjoy a little relaxation this evening; put your feet up.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. A watery solution of sugars, salts, and minerals that circulates through the vascular system of a plant. 4. Lower in esteem. 9. Cleaning implement consisting of absorbent material fastened to a handle. 13. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 14. The qualities of a hero or heroine. 15. An amino acid that is found in the central nervous system. 16. (British) An informer or spy working for the police. 18. An island in Indonesia east of Java. 19. One thousandth of a second. 20. Submit or yield to another's wish or opinion. 22. A high-crowned black cap (usually made of felt or sheepskin) worn by men in Turkey and Iran and the Caucasus. 24. Jordan's port. 26. (astronomy) The angular distance of a celestial point measured westward along the celestial equator from the zenith crossing. 27. Having or showing keen interest or intense desire or impatient expectancy. 29. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 32. A logarithmic unit of sound intensity. 34. Large burrowing rodent of South and Central America. 36. Having wisdom that comes with age and experience. 39. Someone who engages in arbitrage (who purchases securities in one market for immediate resale in another in the hope of profiting from the price differential). 41. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 42. The basic unit of money in Macao. 44. A small cake leavened with yeast. 48. Fleshy spore-bearing inner mass of e.g. a puffball or stinkhorn. 50. Food mixtures either arranged on a plate or tossed and served with a moist dressing. 54. A member of the Siouan people formerly living in the Missouri river valley in NE Nebraska. 57. French mathematician and astronomer who formulated the nebular hypothesis concerning the origins of the solar system and who developed the theory of probability (1749-1827). 59. A woman of refinement. 61. A nucleic acid that transmits genetic information from DNA to the cytoplasm. 62. An inflammatory disease of connective tissue with variable features including fever and weakness and fatigability and joint pains and skin lesions on the face or neck or arms. 63. (prosody) Of or consisting of iambs. 65. A doctor who practices veterinary medicine. 66. Related by blood. 67. Wear away. 68. Hormone secreted by the posterior pituitary gland (trade name Pitressin) and also by nerve endings in the hypothalamus. DOWN 1. The capital and largest city of Yemen. 2. Having the wind against the forward side of the sails. 3. The 3 goddesses of fate or destiny. 4. The eleventh month of the civil year. 5. A very young child (birth to 1 year) who has not yet begun to walk or talk. 6. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 7. A colloid that has a continuous liquid phase in which a solid is suspended in a liquid. 8. Any plant of the genus Erica. 9. (computer science) A standardized language for the descriptive markup of documents. 10. A White Protestant of Anglo-Saxon ancestry. 11. A religious belief of African origin involving witchcraft and sorcery. 12. An indehiscent fruit derived from a single ovary having one or many seeds within a fleshy wall or pericarp. 17. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 21. 10 grams. 23. The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural). 25. A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Norma. 28. A federal agency established to coordinate programs aimed at reducing pollution and protecting the environment. 30. Being or relating to or resembling or emanating from stars. 31. The cry made by sheep. 33. An undergarment worn by women to support their breasts. 35. A drug combination found in some over-the-counter headache remedies (Aspirin and Phenacetin and Caffeine). 37. 1,000,000,000 periods per second. 38. (Akkadian) God of wisdom. 40. A small pellet fired from an air rifle or BB gun. 43. A favorable omen. 44. (computer science) A standardized language for the descriptive markup of documents. 45. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 46. A Russian river. 47. West Indian tree having racemes of fragrant white flowers and yielding a durable timber and resinous juice. 49. (folklore) A corpse that rises at night to drink the blood of the living. 50. A light strong brittle gray toxic bivalent metallic element. 51. The immature free-living form of most invertebrates and amphibians and fish which at hatching from the egg is fundamentally unlike its parent and must metamorphose. 52. (of complexion) Blemished by imperfections of the skin. 53. The event of dying or departure from life. 55. A landlocked republic in northwestern Africa. 56. Chief port of Yemen. 58. Lacking sufficient water or rainfall. 60. The rate at which heat is produced by an individual in a resting state. 64. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You have strong control over your own life whether you like the direction it is taking or not. Making changes with your life path could be considered. You could change the direction with a little bit of finesse or at least make moves or plans in a direction that is more positive for you. Professional requirements are difficult at this time but you are able to match the request. A clear-minded insight into your own plans is possible and available. This is a very good time to communicate your goals and put them into words. Sympathy and understanding are emotional qualities that take on greater importance now. General good feeling and a sense of support and harmony make this a most successful and beneficial time.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)


A lot of things are accomplished today, particularly in the work environment. Work, relationships and life in general seem to fit together rather nicely. Your personality and mode of living will be changeable now. You are adaptable to others, but you should be careful of bending over backwards just to help or please someone. You may eventually feel yourself being used—no resentments please. If you think about it, you can be realistic in your abilities and expectations. Your comprehension of issues is broadened and your inner peace makes you tolerant of dissenting views. Your judgment is good and leads to success. You may be able to enjoy and value your own life situation today. You may find the door of progress is open wide.

Leo (July 23-August 22) Your enthusiasm is contagious and before the day is over It is a great time to be with others and to work together. A conference call or meeting this morning becomes absorbing. In-depth discussion and probing conversations finds you at your mental best. Your analytical abilities are at a high point. You take your work very seriously, and it shows. Concentrate for the next few weeks on eliminating some of the waste and accumulation from your life. This may mean clearing off your desk at home or work, filing the important things and throwing away other things. Consider a spring-cleaning before the hot days set in. A lot of energy may go into getting things scheduled and organized. There is a saying; “The nail that sticks up is better secured.” Music brings a tone of harmony tonight.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) You have loads of self-confidence and your usual shyness fades as you promote your professional goals as well as your personal goals. This is a time when you would enjoy learning a musical instrument—or some new hobby. If you are already familiar with a particular instrument, try another one, just for the fun of it. Try one of the cassette tape tutors with a simple instrument. You might surprise yourself. A co-worker is fascinated and may join you in this endeavor of learning. You may feel that you are in touch and in harmony with others; the lines of communication are open. You may sense that your physical energy and psychological frame of mind runs smoothly now. You will soon be working in a worthwhile volunteer group.

Libra (September 23-October 22)


Scorpio (October 23-November 21) You look forward to a busy workday, today. You connect today with people that have your same interest and fun conversations can ensue. Do not ask for a loan or a raise today. This afternoon you may give some thought as to how many people you know that have changed residence recently. You have noticed that your own living surroundings are getting a bit crowded. This just may be the perfect time to have a talk with your loved one about investing in a home. This is a very lucky day for making plans and finding your way through any problem you may discover. If you are not married, you are likely to find that special love soon. If you are married, you may find that this is a time of a deeper understanding between you and your mate.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) It is time to spend some effort in report writing. Some situation arises that calls for some sort of summary about a product or the writing of a proposal, or even a point of view. Your success arrives in an educational, legal or publishing venture. Later today you may be asked to help with a project, perhaps for your kids or a family member’s kids. Your creative abilities are in full gear and you could come up with some creative ideas to help you with these young children. There is a second chance today to make a dream come true. You could be most persuasive with others this evening. A good conversation with those you love is possible and productive. You may get your wish with future travel; it is certainly a good time to bring up the subject.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)


Yesterday’s Solution

The placement of the moon is interesting to you and may be the topic of conversation in the coffee room this morning. Pictures of the moon give birth to all sorts of imaginative conversations. There may be fun contemplations of life on places other than earth. Science holds your interest and you may work in a place where others have similar interests. Working with the formation of the earth, rocks, minerals, etc. may be where you enjoy putting your energies at this time. If this is not part of your profession, it may become a hobby. Check out a class on meditation. It would help you in times of indecision and give you tools for relaxation. Meditation classes will also help you have an inner comfort that comes with being nurtured.

You enjoy meeting challenges but you also realize when there is need to insert a bit of lighthearted moments. This is not a great time to attempt to get your ideas across to others. Take a back seat to office problems when possible. This could be a rather challenging day with regard to productivity and emotions. Carry a book to work so that during the noon break you can enjoy a bit of reading escape. This is not the best time to shop or choose colors. Your mind could be quite clear and natural this evening and you may enjoy communications among family members. Exercise is imperative this evening. Make your exercise a fun experience through the efforts of moving forward. Walking, skating, bicycling, swimming, etc., all take you somewhere.

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Review of the finances may give you insight into extra funds for using now. This can be on the personal level as well as in the work field. Meetings and conferences go well today. This is a time of enthusiasm and new beginnings. Snap decisions could be present if you are not observant. This concerns issues in group rap sessions as well as your own personal energy. Today is full of hard work and responsibility, both in salvaging some endeavors that appear to be failing and in branching out in new directions. There is a possibility for material or monetary gain today, though you could be reckless through gambling or speculation in handling newfound finances. The evening could bring about a spiritual time; a sense of rebirth is evident—love life!

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

People are more changeable than usual today and you may find yourself with a frown on your face most of the day. Take what others say with a grain of salt and keep to the matter at hand. Save the career or vocational decisions and practical advice to others for another time. Family, home, relatives and real estate play a big part in your life now. A cycle of nostalgia and domesticity begins now, emphasizing a need for security and roots. Take time this afternoon to catch up on letter writing and phone calls and remember that keeping too much to yourself can have an alienating effect. Invite your loved one to join you in an activity that will make you laugh. Perhaps a comedy video would be fun or a new comedy movie or skating in the park.



e niv rsar n



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e niv rsar n



lifestyle G o s s i p

rad Pitt’s mum taught Gwyneth Paltrow how to stay “grounded”. The 38-year-old actress - who dated the hunk for three years in the 90s and was engaged to him for six months - revealed that cooking for her loved ones instantly makes her feel more relaxed and it was Brad’s mother Jane who gave her the advice, which is the “best tip anyone’s given her”. She explained: “My life can be surreal sometimes. I think, ‘What’s going on?’ It is so crazy. I’ve been doing way too much. But last week I was at home with my children in the kitchen, and I threw a tea towel over my shoulder - as soon as I do that I feel grounded. “Funnily enough, Brad Pitt’s mum taught me that. It’s the best tip anyone’s given me because it’s always there while you’re cooking. So I got chopping and put the pans on the stove. It’s so tactile, I felt like I had just got back into my own body.” The ‘Country Strong’ star


- who is now married to Chris Martin with whom she has two children, Apple, six, and Moses, five - now finds she’s at her happiest when she is preparing meals for her husband and children. She told You magazine: “I love to cook for my family. Cooking makes me feel so calm and happy - doing things that are routine and mundane. If I’m stressed out, I start to cook and I completely relax.” And the blonde beauty’s culinary skills are being picked up by Apple and Moses, which Gwyneth is glad about because while she loves cooking she can’t bake. She said: “My son can perfectly crack an egg and Apple is into baking, which is good because I am a terrible baker.”

Fey’s breastfeeding anguish T ina Fey felt like a failure when couldn’t breastfeed her baby. When the ‘30 Rock’ actress gave birth to her daughter Alice in September 2005 she wanted to nurse her but couldn’t produce enough milk naturally and admits she found the experience tough. Tina who is pregnant with her second child with husband Jeff Richmond - described how she would watch episodes of TV show ‘Entourage’ while trying to extract milk with a breast-pump and felt guilty when she was forced to feed her baby formula instead. She said: “I chose to pump every two hours while watching the HBO series ‘Entourage’. I was able to do this for seven weeks before running out of episodes and sinking into a deep depression. “However, the baby was thriving. I was no longer feeling trapped, spending 30 out of every 90 minutes attached to a

ilary Duff gets easily bored with her hairstyles. The singer-and-actress is often changing her tresses as she doesn’t like to keep the same look for too long and is keen to experiment.Speaking about her new blonde do - which is a similar shade to when she shot to fame playing Lizzie McGuire - Hilary said: “I was like ‘I’m bored and I like wanted to dye my hair really blonde’ and then I got scared - and then it turned out really blonde. I haven’t been this blonde and my sister’s like calling me Lizzie McGuire which is so funny. I’m like, ‘No please don’t call me that!’ “ Although she is pleased with the final result, Hilary says the transformation took some time. She told People magazine: “I was at the salon two days a week for the past two weeks and it was driving me crazy. But you know when you’re just not happy? You’re like, ‘I need this tweaked and fixed,’ and so it was just me being mental.” She also revealed husband Mike Comrie is a fan of her new look although would be impressed with any of her looks. She said: “He loves me blonde but when we met I had brown hair so I think he loves me anyway.”

Williams-Sonoma T*t Juicer. But I still had an overwhelming feeling of disappointment. I had failed at something that was supposed to be natural.” The 40-year-old comedian also found it difficult being around friends who had managed to breastfeed their children successfully and she would constantly compare herself to other new mothers. Writing in her comedic memoirs ‘Bossypants’, she revealed: “I was defensive and grouchy whenever the topic came up. At a party where a friend was successfully nursing her little boy, I watched her husband produce a bottle of breast milk the size of a Big Gulp. It was more milk than I had produced in my whole seven weeks - I blame ‘Entourage’.”



‘consolation prize’ ate Winslet finds it hard to make time for herself without “feeling guilty about it”. The ‘Revolutionary Road’ actress devotes so much time to her children - 10-year-old Mia, her daughter with first husband Jim Threapleton, and seven-year-old Joe, her son with second spouse Sam Mendes, who she split from in March 2010 - she has joked she has forgotten how to “sit down”, and has to force herself to make time to just relax. She said in an interview with Britain’s HELLO! magazine: “Any mother knows the last person you think about is yourself. I’ve been a mother for 10 years and I’m still trying to figure out how to give time to myself without feeling guilty about it. “Sometimes I’ll sit down and I’ll go, ‘Oh it’s just nice to sit down,’ because truly, I’ve forgotten how to do that. “You forget to sit down and not worry about what needs to be done for the kids, just take time for yourself and pick up a book or read a recipe. I tell myself ‘Just ... Sit ... Down’ it’s a challenge.” Kate, 35, also revealed she is enjoying her 30s and feels much more secure in herself and prepared for the challenges of life than she did in her 20s. She added: “I think that for a lot of women, our 20s are a time of really figuring things out and figuring out what we’re really about. Of course, at the time, we think we know exactly who we are, we think we’ve done all the growing emotionally ... And then along come our 30s and it’s all different again. “I’m really enjoying my 30s, actually. I have so much more life experience than I did when I was 25 and that’s a real luxury.”


arah Harding has chosen the venue for her wedding. The Girls Aloud singer - who got engaged to DJ Tom Crane on New Year’s Eve 2010 while on holiday in the Maldives - has booked Cliveden House in Berkshire, England, for her nuptials this summer. According to The Sun newspaper, the pop star has arranged for a ferry to transfer guests from London to the palatial mansion before flying out from Heathrow airport the next day for her honeymoon in Ibiza. While guests at the wedding are set to include bandmates Cheryl Cole, Nadine Coyle, Kimberley Walsh and Nicole Roberts, one person who won’t be invited is her father John Harding who Sarah says is “dead” to her. She said in an interview with Live magazine: “My father is dead to me - I can’t forgive him. After he and my mother divorced, he wasn’t a very nice person and what’s done is done. Looking back, I think the split was more destructive and destabilizing than I realized because I started bunking off school and getting into trouble. “I know it’s harsh but I have no place in my life for someone like that. I came close to being in contact with him again but he talked to the press and tried to sell pictures of me as a young girl. He’s a very selfish man and as far as I’m concerned he’s gone.”


eese Witherspoon admitted she was a “consolation prize” for fans who wanted to see Robert Pattinson at the world premiere of ‘Water for Elephants’ . The Oscar-winning actress stars alongside the ‘Twilight’ actor in the new movie and as hordes of female admirers waited to catch a glimpse of their heartthrob, Reese knew they weren’t waiting for her. Speaking at the premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre, in New York City, she said: “Rob’s fans are very dedicated to him and they will turn out anywhere for him. I think I’m just the consolation prize for them!” However, while she accepts Robert was more popular than her at the event, she admits it was amazing to interact with all the fans on the red carpet. She said: “I think it’s incredible because as movie actors we sort of work isolated and we don’t get to see fans as often, so it’s a nice experience to actually get to meet some of them and know they’re excited for the film.” Fans were almost left disappointed as Robert, 24, nearly didn’t make it because he was filming the final scenes for ‘Twilight: Breaking Dawn’ in Vancouver, Canada. The British heartthrob - who was greeted by hordes of screaming female fans said: “It was a mad rush to get here.” Other stars to attend the premiere included Robert and Reese’s fellow co-stars Christoph Waltz and Hal Holbrook.




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lifestyle Music & Movies

director offers mea culpa


he 2006 movie “Superman Returns” was supposed to reignite the comic-book character for big-screen audiences and make a star out of unknown actor Brandon Routh. While critics praised the film, it underwhelmed at the box office, earning $391 million worldwide. Now, with another Superman film in the works-Zack Snyder’s “Superman: Man of Steel,” which stars Henry Cavill in the title role-”Superman Returns” director-producer Bryan Singer says

he made some mistakes with his own film. “I think that ‘Superman Returns’ was a bit nostalgic and romantic, and I don’t think that was what people were expecting, especially in the summer,” Singer said in an interview with VoicesFromKrypton.com. “What I had noticed is that there weren’t a lot of women lining up to see a comic book movie, but they were going to line up to see ‘The Devil Wears Prada,’ which may have been something I wanted to address. But

when you’re making a movie, you’re not thinking about that stuff, you’re thinking, ‘Wow, I want to make a romantic movie that harkens back to the Richard Donner movie that I loved so much.’ And that’s what I did.” Many moviegoers criticized the third act, in which Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) stabs Superman with a shard of kryptonite, but then the two characters don’t appear onscreen again for the rest of the movie. In defending the scene, Singer said he tried to insert a

religious analogy his storytelling, which was probably too “heavy” for a summer movie. “I’ve always felt that the origin of Superman is the story of Moses-the child sent on a ship to fulfill a destiny,” said Singer, a producer on the upcoming “X-Men: First Class.” “And this was a story about Christ-it’s all about sacrifice: The world, I hear their cries. So what happens? He gets the knife in the side and later he falls to the earth in the shape of a crucifix. It was kind

of nailing you on the head, but I enjoyed that, because I’ve always found the myth of Christ compelling and moving. So I hoped to do my own take, which is heavy s—- for a summer movie.” Singer said if he were to take on another Superman film, he would do a reboot of the franchise by remaking the original and would make it a more “balls-to-the-wall action movie” with a different pace from “Superman Returns.”

Despite the disappointing performance of “Superman Returns,” Singer still says he’s “proud” of the film. “There are a bunch of movies I’ve made where I’m, like, ‘Yuck, that was weak’ or ‘That could’ve been better,’ and I can see why. But with ‘Superman Returns’ ... If I could go back, I would have tightened the first act.”—Reuters

‘Rio’ rocks box office, ‘Scream 4’ bombs M

oviegoers around the world headed to “Rio” for the weekend. The 3D animated misadventure of a Brazilian macaw scored the biggest opening so far this year at the North American box office, and was the top choice overseas for a second weekend, distributor 20th Century Fox said. The film sold an estimated $40 million worth of tickets across the United States and Canada during the three days beginning April 15, coming in at the top end of expectations. It also provided some rare good news at the box office where sales so far this year are down 19 percent to $2.65 billion, according to box office analysts at Hollywood.com.

The previous best launch this year was the $38 million bow for the Johnny Depp cartoon “Rango,” which remains the biggest release of 2011 with $119 million. “Rio” ended the two-week reign of another cartoon, the Easterthemed “Hop.” Buoyed by strong critical reviews, an “A” rating among patrons polled by tracking firm CinemaScore and the spring break/Easter holiday, “Rio” should have little difficulty becoming the year’s first big blockbuster. Its foreign haul rose to $129 million after a $54 million weekend in 62 markets. (Fox earlier estimated a $128 million total.) It opened at No1 in France, and remained at the top in such markets as Brazil,

Mexico, Germany and Spain. Brazil, not surprisingly, is the top market overall with sales to date of $18.9 million. ‘SCREAM 4’ silenced “Rio,” which cost about $90 million to make, revolves around Blu, a rare blue macaw (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg of “The Social Network”), who returns home to Brazil after a coddled existence as a smuggled pet in the United States. It was directed by Carlos Saldanha, the Rio de Janeiro native behind Fox’s “Ice Age” trilogy. Fox is a unit of News Corp. Opening at No 2 in North America with considerably less success was “Scream 4,” the first installment in the horror franchise in 11 years.

The Dimension Films release sold about $19.3 million worth of tickets across the United States and Canada. Industry insiders had expected the bloody reunion of David Arquette, Courteney Cox and Neve Campbell to open in the mid$20 million range. Dimension is a unit of the closely held Weinstein Co. The best opening in the series was the $34.7 million start for “Scream 3” in 2000, but it quickly stalled and finished up with $89 million-the worst in the series. The 1996 original was the most successful with sales of $103 million. “Hop” slipped to No 3 with $11.2 million, taking its total to $82.6 million. Its foreign total stands at $29.4 million from 45 countries, with 13 still to open. The film was released by Universal Pictures, a unit of Comcast Corp-controlled NBC Universal. The top 10 boasted one other new entry. Robert Redford’s “The Conspirator,” his first directorial outing since the 2007 underperformer “Lions for Lambs,” earned a solid $3.9 million, tying at No 9 with the comedy flop “Your Highness.” The Abraham Lincoln assassination drama, one of just a handful of serious, adult-skewing films in theaters, played in just 707 theaters, while the rest of the top 10 averaged about 2,900 each. It was released by closely held Roadside Attractions.—Reuters

In this publicity image released by 20th Century Fox, animated characters, from left, Raphael, voiced by George Lopez, Blu, voiced by Jesse Eisenberg, and Jewel, voiced by Anne Hathaway, are shown in a scene from “Rio.”—AP

Foo Fighters tear to top of UK album chart


he Foo Fighters charged straight to the top of the UK album chart on Sunday, ending English soul singer Adele’s 11-week reign. “Wasting Light” marks the Dave Grohl-fronted band’s third British chart-topper, following “Echoes Silence Patience & Grace” (2007) and “One By One” (2002). Since the Foo Fighters’ self-titled debut peaked at No 3 in 1995, they have sold over 4.5 million albums in the UK, the Official Charts Company said. The album is also expected to debut at No 1 in the United States, a first for the band, when data are published on Wednesday. Adele’s “21” slipped to No 2, while her resurgent 2008 debut “19” stayed at No 3. Other new entries included the Glee Cast’s “Glee The Music Volume 5” at No 4, and “Paper Airplane” by bluegrass queen Alison Krauss + Union Station at No11.—Reuters

The Foo Fighters, from left, Dave Grohl, Nate Mendel, Taylor Hawkins, Chris Shiflett and Pat Smear are photographed in Toronto, as they promote his new album, “Wasted Light”. —AP

“Wasting Light,” CD cover.

People arrives at the world premiere of “Thor” in Sydney, Australia, Sunday.—AP

‘Thor’ gets summer off to thunderous start


he Marvel universe moves into the cosmic realm with “Thor,” a burly slab of bombastic superhero entertainment that skitters just this side of kitschy to provide an introduction befitting the mighty god of thunder. It’s a noisy, universe-rattling spectacle full of sound and fury with a suitably epic design, solid digital effects and a healthy respect for the comic-book lore that turned a mythological Norse god into a founding member of the superhero team known as The Avengers. The arrogant warrior Thor’s great conversion, central to the plot, is unrealistically lightning-quick and the movie’s dramatic arc falters amid the constant shifts between earthly and celestial realms. But execs at Marvel Studios, gambling heavily on the success of “Thor” and the upcoming “Captain America: The First Avenger” to set up next summer’s ensemble behemoth “The Avengers,” can rest easy: You’ve built it and they will come. They may even bring a date. “Thor,” which world-premiered in Sydney on Sunday, opens in various foreign markets ahead of its North American bow on May 6 through Paramount. The ultimate accessibility of Thor’s fantastical world is due in no small measure to the good-humored direction of Kenneth Branagh, a man with a highbrow history who knows his way around an epic tale, and a star-making turn from Chris Hemsworth. As the hammer-wielding protagonist who learns humility among the humans, the littleknown Aussie soap star (last seen briefly as Captain Kirk’s father in JJ Abrams’ “Star Trek” reboot) shoulders the burden of selling this $150 million entrant into the ever-expanding Marvel franchise. Branagh may convey a lofty intellect to the Shakespearean interplay of feuding fathers and sons, and co-stars Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman the actorly gravitas. But the 6-foot-3 Hemsworth adds the winning ingredients, bringing a lusty Viking charm to his rumbling Olde English line readings, a towering physicality and biceps that look forged in a furnace. Verily, he is ripped.

Thor crashes into being in a desolate stretch of New Mexico desert, his face planted inelegantly against the windscreen of an RV driven by Natalie Portman’s storm-chasing scientist Jane Foster. As Jane, her mentor Professor Andrews (Stellan Skarsgard) and sidekick Darcy (Kat Dennings, from “Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist,” along purely for comic relief) puzzle over his provenance, we whip back in time and space to the floating kingdom of Asgard, where Thor’s father Odin (Hopkins), the ruler of all nine realms, fills in decades of back story in voiceover. It’s heavy stuff, made all the more portentous by Patrick Doyle’s somewhat overwhelming score, and thankfully there’s someone of Hopkins’ caliber to deliver it. Thor is about to inherit the throne from the ailing and aged Odin when an unexpected incursion by the Asgardians’ longstanding foes, the Frost Giants of Jotunheim, disrupts the coronation. The mighty god of thunder, foe to all demons, suddenly does a very good impression of a toddler throwing a tantrum in a supermarket aisle. His hot-tempered recklessness has even more dire consequences though: The peace and stability of the universe is threatened. An enraged Odin strips Thor of his powers and banishes him to Earth, leaving Thor’s halfbrother Loki next in line to the throne and Thor with the task of proving himself worthy of again wielding his magical hammer Mjolnir. The scenes between the three immortals high in the heavens have an electrifying intensity-Tom Hiddleston as the jealous and snaky Loki handles the intimate scenes with particular aplomb-and the earthbound scenes can’t help but seem flat by comparison. Back in the desert, we get some solidly amusing fish-out-of-water antics as the mighty Thor struggles to adapt to his mortality and a world of Facebook and iPods, but scriptwriters Ashley Edward Miller, Zack Stentz and Don Payne working from an effective origin story by J Michael Straczynski and Mark Protosevich, have their eye on a bigger prize.—AP



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lifestyle Features

(File) Britain’s Prince Harry greets guests for the Service of Thanksgiving for the life of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, at the Guards’ Chapel, in London. — AP

Harry soldiers on fighting playboy prince tag


rince Harry has worked hard to shake off his wildchild image-and his newfound maturity will be tested to the limit when he acts as best man at his brother Prince William’s wedding. After highly-publicized indiscretions, William’s younger brother now takes his responsibilities seriously and became the first royal in more than 25 years to serve in a war zone. Third in line to the throne, 26-year-old Harry has a difficult path to tread. Though William is on course to become king one day, Prince Charles’ second son has his every move scrutinized nonetheless-and Harry has erred spectacularly. At the age of 17 he admitted having smoked cannabis and was soon a regular fixture at London nightclubs, with alcohol, cigarettes, aristocratic beauties and a scuffle outside with paparazzi the common tale. His mischievous antics were viewed largely with amused affection until he went to a fancy dress party in 2005 wearing a mock Nazi uniform, triggering horrified front-page headlines worldwide. That incident threatened to stop his entry into the army but he knuckled down to his military duties and served as a front-line officer in Afghanistan for 10 weeks until a media blackout was broken in 2008. Serving in Afghanistan revitalized his reputation, but the following year he was dragged back down when a video he made in 2006 emerged, showed him using the derogatory term “Paki” about a fellow soldier. Since then, the prince has immersed himself in military and charity work, gradually improving his profile, and this month he was promoted to the rank of captain after completing five years’ service. “Harry has changed public perceptions of himself,” said Richard Palmer, the Daily Express newspaper’s royal reporter. “He was a bit of a wildchild when he was younger. Like a lot of young people, he regularly let off steam getting hammered in nightclubs,” he told AFP. “But although he still likes a drink and a smoke, he seems to have become so much more mature. “People who work for him credit the army for that.” Katie Nicholl, author of a book on William and Kate, “The Making of a Royal Romance”, said going to Afghanistan made the public take Harry far more seriously. “He earned a huge amount of respect for doing that,” Nicholl, The Mail on Sunday newspaper’s royal correspondent, told AFP. “It really was a turning point in his military career and in his life also. Harry really has grown up. You don’t see him falling out of nightclubs and disgracing himself.” There was never malice in his youthful misadventures, said Nicholl. “I don’t think Harry ever set out to cause deliberate offence,” she said. “It was naivety and bad judgment. You just have to wonder why William or someone didn’t just pull him to one side.” William’s stag do could have proved a disaster for Harry as its organizer, laden with opportunities to lapse into old ways. But he outfoxed the press by holding it on a private estate. Harry’s best chance of getting a proper stint back on the front line is in a helicopter, so he began retraining in early 2009 and qualified last month to fly the Apache attack helicopter, a job which just two percent of trainee pilots can do. “There’s no other reason for training to be an Apache pilot other than to serve in Afghanistan. It would be a scandal and a waste of public money if he doesn’t go,” Palmer said. Duncan Larcombe, The Sun newspaper’s royal editor, said it should be seen as Harry’s greatest achievement. “He is not academic, flopped at school and never made it to university like his brother,” he wrote. Getting the Apache badge is “not bad for a lad famous for partying and getting in drunken scrapes. “Harry has silenced his critics, proved himself as an exceptional pilot- and now deserves a chance to return to Afghanistan.” Nicholl said Harry has “turned a corner” in the public’s eyes. “He’s proved there’s much more to him than just being a hooray Henry and the military career is probably the best thing he’s ever done,” she said. The royal wedding has triggered speculation as to whether Harry will propose to Chelsy Davy, the daughter of a Zimbabwe safari operator and his on-off girlfriend since 2004. However, royal watchers think it unlikely. “ The gossip you hear is that she just wouldn’t relish that life. Everything points to her wanting a career as a lawyer,” Palmer said. Nicholl added: “These two are so tempestuous you can’t predict that they’ll be together several years down the line. “I don’t think Harry’s in any hurry.”—AFP



e niv rsar n



lifestyle Features

A look at possible royal wedding

dress designers W

hat dress Kate Middleton will be wearing when she marries Prince William on April 29 remains one of the most eagerly anticipated and closely guarded secrets of Britain’s royal wedding. Here’s a look at some designers who may have been asked to lend a hand.

gown of Princess Margaret’s daughter Lady Sarah Chatto in 1994 as well as heiress and model Jasmine Guinness’s wedding dress in 2006. The designer studied at New York’s Parsons School of Art and Design before launching his label, which now spans clothing, perfumes, furniture and tableware. He is the son of British designer Terence Conran.

SARAH BURTON Burton, appointed creative director of Alexander McQueen shortly after the designer’s death in 2010, is widely tipped among the British press to be Middleton’s dress designer-despite Burton’s denials. Some believe she may be covering up her involvement to maintain secrecy. The Telegraph reported that Burton was “chosen for the discretion afforded by her relatively low profile, as well as for her alternative take on elegance.” Burton’s work is said to have caught Middleton’s eye when she designed an off-the-shoulder wedding dress for Sara Buys, a fashion journalist who in 2005 married Tom Parker Bowles, the son of Middleton’s future stepmother-in-law, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. The designer, who was raised in Manchester in northern England, has dressed Cate Blanchett, Lady Gaga and Gwyneth Paltrow. She joined McQueen in 1996 as an intern and in September presented her first womenswear collection in Paris. Her clothes were not as dark or dramatic as McQueen’s, but still bold enough to make her a fashion-forward choice for a royal bride. BRUCE OLDFIELD One of Princess Diana’s favorite designers, Oldfield is best known for his couture evening dresses and bridalwear. He counts Queen Rania of Jordan, Jerry Hall, Barbra Streisand and Catherine Zeta-Jones among his celebrated clients. Oldfield’s style is traditional and timeless, and his gowns, made in classic bridal fabrics like crushed velvet and taffeta, would befit a formal occasion like a royal wedding. Middleton’s mother and sister Pippa were spotted in his boutique earlier this year; Sophie Wessex, the wife of Prince William’s uncle, has become the latest royal seen at the store, adding to speculation that Oldfield is crafting several gowns for the royal wedding. Oldfield, from northwest England, studied at Central St. Martin’s College of Art before starting his ready-to-wear label in 1975 and his couture label in 1978. PHILLIPA LEPLEY A luxury bridal fashion designer based in London’s swanky Chelsea-an area frequented by Middleton and her wellheeled friends-Lepley is known for her romantic, classic style. Lepley, who made wedding gowns for celebrities Davina McCall and Ulrika Jonsson, was an early frontrunner as a designer for Middleton. Lepley grew up in Nottinghamshire, studied at the London College of Fashion

AMANDA WAKELEY Wakeley, a self-taught designer, launched her label in 1990 and has since dressed celebrities including Scarlett Johansson, Demi Moore, Kate Beckinsdale and Dita Von Teese. Her bridal line is contemporary and glamorous, with lots of slinky, bias-cut silk dresses _ perfect for an outdoor or beach wedding but perhaps not so for traditional church ceremonies. From Chester, central England, Wakeley worked in the US for a designer and retailer before starting her own brand. JENNY PACKHAM Another designer with a vintageinspired bridal line, Packham’s wedding dresses are often unstructured sheaths that dip low in the front and back-not exactly royal wear. Packham opened her first ready-to-wear shop in 2008 and her bridal gowns are now much sought after among British brides. She also owns a bridal accessories boutique called The Boudoir. Born in Southampton in southern England, Packham studied textile and fashion design at St Martin’s College of Art.

(File) Britain’s Prince William and his girlfriend Kate Middleton walk together at RAF Cranwell, England, after William received his RAF wings from his father the Prince of Wales. — AP photos

and launched her bridal business in 1988. ALICE TEMPERLEY Known for Bohemian designs that use traditional embroideries and intricate embellishments, Temperley makes bridal gowns that are ethereal and vintageinspired. Middleton’s mother and maidof-honor sister Pippa were recently snapped in Temperley’s London showroom, fueling gossip that she may be

File photo of carriage restorer shows Dave Evans, as he cleans the Glass Coach at the Royal Mews in central London, one of the carriages to be used in the wedding of Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29.

A list of

designing the bridesmaids’ dresses or the wedding gown. Temperley studied at Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art. She is from Somerset in southern England. JASPER CONRAN Conran’s trademark style is clean and understated, and his bridal line is dominated by regal, modern silhouettes. Conran, known as one of Princess Diana’s favored designers, made the wedding

DANIELLA ISSA HELAYEL Brazilian designer Daniella Helayel founded her label Issa in 2001 and has since been widely known as Middleton’s favorite go-to designer for feminine, elegant dresses. The Daily Mail went as far as to say that Issa has become “a name synonymous with Kate.” Although she had dressed Hollywood stars from Madonna to Sharon Stone, the designer had not been well known until Middleton wore a blue silk Issa dress to announce her engagement to Prince William in November. The dress-and numerous knock-offs _ became an instant sell-out. Issa is known for soft silk jersey dresses in bright, tropical colors, but Helayel does not have wide experience with bridal gowns. CAROLINE CASTIGLIANO Castigliano, a popular bridal designer with six boutiques throughout Britain, set up her first bespoke bridal boutique in Surrey in 1991, specialising in contemporary wedding dresses. She has been quoted saying she hopes Middleton finds a gown to show off her “tiny” waist. — AP

File photo shows the 1902 State Landau carriage at the Royal Mews in central London.

carriages to be used in Royal Wedding

1902 STATE LANDAU: Prince William and Kate Middleton will make their first journey as husband and wife from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace in this red-and-gold fairytale coach, built for King Edward VII in 1902. The State Landau took Prince Charles to his wedding in St Paul’s cathedral in 1981, and both Charles and his new bride Diana rode the open-topped carriage back through crowded London streets after the service. Queen Elizabeth II usually uses the State Landau to greet heads of state on state visits to Britain.

the maid of honor Pippa Middleton, and the bridesmaids. The royal family owns five Ascot Landaus-the queen uses one when parading through the annual Royal Ascot horse races.

ASCOT LANDAU: Two Ascot Landau carriages will follow the State Landau, carrying best man Prince Harry,

THE GLASS COACH: The standby option. If it is raining heavily, the newlywed couple will ride in this fully

SEMI STATE LANDAU: The last two carriages in the procession. One will carry the queen and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh. The second one will carry the parents-Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, and Michael and Carole Middleton.

covered coach after the wedding service. This carriage was built in 1881. It has traditionally carried royal brides to their weddings-Diana rode in it, as did Sarah Ferguson when she married the queen’s second son Prince Andrew. Middleton will not ride in this to her wedding. Buckingham Palace said she prefers to take a car. CARS: Prince William and Kate Middleton will arrive at the wedding in one of the royal cars. The royal family has Bentleys, Rolls Royces and Daimlers in their collection. — AP

(File) A race goer arrives wearing a doughnut hat, at Aintree Ladies Day at the Grand National horse race meeting at Aintree racecourse in Liverpool, England.

Hats off! Britain’s royal wedding stirs

hat fever F

rance has the beret, America the humble baseball cap, yet Britain’s love of hats has always been in a different league. Bowlers, baker boys, top hats, boaters, deerstalkers and countless ladies creations have been worn by royals and commoners alike through the centuries-a beloved tradition that will be in full force at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s April 29 wedding. Bookmakers are betting on the color of Queen Elizabeth II’s hat-odds are on yellow-and the designer making the princess-to-be’s honeymoon headpiece. The salmon-colored tricorn hat that Princess Diana wore as she left for her honeymoon in 1981 spawned hundreds of copies. “We’re British _ hats are just what we do,” Shirley Hex, a milliner who made hats for the queen, the queen’s mother and Diana, told The Associated Press. “Choosing the right hat is important for the person wearing it, but it’s also important for a designer. The right hat can make a career.” Theories abound on why Britain, compared to other European nations, became a country of mad hatters-an expression referring to the Alice in Wonderland character whose loopy persona was based on the many milliners who suffered neurological damage as they inhaled the mercury used to cure pelts. Britain’s lousy weather might have contributed to the national obsession, but experts say it’s the royal family that has kept it alive. “Hats have long denoted status,” says Oriole Cullen, curator of a Victoria & Albert Museum 2009 hat exhibit that has since gone to Australia and heads to New York in September. “Up until the 1950s, a woman wasn’t even considered properly dressed unless she was wearing a hat and gloves.” The rebellious swinging ‘60s and its variety of hair styles-along with the cramped confines of the modern automobile-prompted a steady decline in global hat sales, Cullen says. Many blame John F Kennedy-one of the first US presidents not to don a hat-for hastening the demise. In Britain, however, the tradition has stayed strong. Royals have long been painted or photographed wearing hats-the Queen Mum had a special fondness for flouncy feathered creations, whereas her daughter has generally worn the same blocked style. Prime ministers and lawmakers, too, have been shown wearing top hats and tails at Oxford or Cambridge. Britain is also home to the Henley Regatta, Royal Ascot and Lords-posh rowing, horse racing and cricket events patronized by royalty where hats are de rigueur. And then there are the weddings and funerals. Although the dress for William and Kate’s wedding will not be formalinvitations advise men to wear suits rather than top hats and tails-there will be a sea of ladies in hats among the 1,900 people invited to Westminister Abbey, much like the 1981 wedding of Prince Charles and Diana in St Paul’s Cathedral. Designers say some women began placing their orders when the couple announced their engagement in November. They advise clients to be original, focus on their outfits, forget about the price and don’t outdo the bride or royals. Some creations by designers like Philip Treacy, who made two hats for the Dutchess of Cornwall when she married Prince Charles in 2005 and several other creations worn by Sex & the City star Sarah Jessica Parker, can cost more than 600 pounds ($1,000). Treacy has been commissioned to do several of the royals’ hats for the wedding, as well as the bridesmaid’s headpieces. Hex, who taught the young Irish designer, said the pressure for an event like a royal wedding is extreme. “I didn’t work for quite some time after Diana’s wedding,” Hex, 70, says. “It nearly killed me.” Flight Lt Al Conner, a pilot who helped train William and now flies alongside him on RAF search-and-rescue missions, is among 27 of the prince’s military workmates who will attend the wedding. —AP

‘Thor’ gets summer off to thunderous start TUESDAY, APRIL 19, 2011

37 Leah Smoot offers baked goods for sale during the last day of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif. —AP

Former Cambodian poacher turns gamekeeper

Zimbabwe, Zambia in tug of war over Vic Falls tourists



s a hunter roaming the remote forests of eastern Cambodia, Lean Kha shot animals from dozens of endangered species, including tigers, bears and elephants. But the repentant former poacher is now putting his tracking skills to good use as a wildlife ranger in Mondulkiri Protected Forest, which Cambodia hopes will become an ecotourism hotspot. Over nearly three decades, the 50-year-old shot hundreds of creatures as he tried to eke out a living in poverty-stricken Mondulkiri province, a sparsely populated and mountainous area nestled against the border with Vietnam. Most of the carcasses were sold, though some wild cattle, deer and pigs were used to feed his family. “I shot them because we had nothing to eat,” Kha said as he prepared for a patrol at a ranger outpost in Mereuch, deep inside the protected forest. “Now I never eat wildlife. I will not destroy what I am protecting.” The Cambodian government hopes to attract more visitors to the forest, which covers some 300,000 hectares and is rich in natural beauty, to help provide a steady income for local communities. It has joined forces with conservation groups who have recruited experienced hunters like Kha to help protect endangered animals and keep illegal loggers at bay. Keo Sopheak, who manages Mondulkiri Protected Forest for the government’s

Forestry Administration, envisages a future where locals “go into the forests to guide the tourists, not to hunt wildlife”. Much of Mondulkiri’s wildlife was wiped out by poachers during the country’s three decades of conflict, which ended in 1998. Kha himself started hunting at the age of 13, when he was recruited by Khmer Rouge soldiers. Armed with an AK-47 rifle, he recalls disappearing into the jungle for days before returning with an ox-cart full of wild meat, horns and tiger bones- kills he now says he regrets. “At that time I was totally ignorant,” he said. “I didn’t know the value of the animals. I had never heard about wildlife conservation.” Nor did poaching make him rich. The income was irregular and he earned just enough for his family to get by. Often, he was paid with bags of rice. After being approached by wildlife conservationists who offered him a steady salary as a forest ranger, Kha decided he had more to gain from safeguarding animals. That was more than a decade ago, and he is now a keen protector of wildlife as he tries to make up for what he calls “his past sins”. Kha is not alone — 10 other ex-poachers also work as rangers in the dense forest. With financial backing from international conservation group WWF, they spend at least 16 days a month patrolling the vast area on elephant back, on foot or by boat, always in the company of armed policemen.—AFP

This picture shows a deer at the jungle in Mondulkiri province, some 500 kilometers northeast of Phnom Penh.—AFP

This undated photo released by The British Museum shows the Cyrus Cylinder, a 6th century BC clay tablet which is thought to be the world’s earliest bill of rights. A 2,500-year-old Babylonian artifact sometimes described as the world’s first human rights charter is returning to the British Museum after a seven-month loan to Iran. The British Museum said yesterday it was now preparing to put it back on display in London. The cylinder caused a spat between the two nations when Iran’s government threatened to cut ties with the British Museum if it did not lend the object. A four-month loan was eventually agreed, and extended because the exhibition was so popular.—AP

ourists are back!” said Knowledge, all smiles at the Victoria Falls tourism office. His sentiment is shared widely in this resort town on the edge of the milewide waterfall, where it’s hard to remember that three years ago Zimbabwe was trapped in a seemingly endless spiral of hyperinflation, hunger and political violence. Victoria Falls had become a ghost town as tourists opted for the comforts and safety of resorts on the Zambian side of the Zambezi River, where the once sleepy town of Livingstone enjoyed a tourism boom as Zimbabwe collapsed. “The Zambian side has definitively profited from all the problems in Zimbabwe,” said Sarah, who sells excursions for at the Zambezi Sun, part of a South African hotel chain that opened on the Zambian side in 2001. Hotels, lodges and other tourist attractions have mushroomed over the past decade around Livingstone, which became so popular that it now boasts several daily direct flights to South Africa. But a brand new curio market on the main road lies empty as tourists fly in and hop across the border. “We are not happy, the situation is bad,” said the Livingstone Tourism Association. “They come here for activities and they go to Zimbabwe for accommodation.” Livingstone still runs a brisk trade in business travel by hosting conferences and corporate team-building workshops, but now faces stiff competition with Victoria Falls for leisure travelers. Zimbabwe’s tourism earnings jumped 47 percent last year to $770 million, as the number of visitors rose 15 percent to 2.3

million nationally, with Victoria Falls the country’s biggest attraction, according to the tourism ministry. Tourism minister Walter Mzembi hopes to grow that number to five billion dollars by 2015. “However, this is on condition that the current peace and stability in the country prevails and the country is able to spin a more positive image of itself,” he told reporters last month. Since Zimbabwe adopted the US dollar two years ago, prices are lower in Victoria Falls than in Livingstone, where entrance to the derelict Railway Museum costs $15 for foreigners. “It is cheaper here, and people can walk to the falls. They don’t have to take a taxi or whatever,” said Duni, a Victoria Falls hawker offering sunset cruises, helicopter rides, rafting, bungee jumps and safaris to passers-by on the sidewalk. While Victoria Falls sits at the river edge, Livingstone is 10 kilometers (six miles) away, with a fleet of blue taxis shuttling visitors around for $10 a pop. Opinion is divided on which side offers the better view of the 108-metre (360foot) high falls, though the Zimbabwean side has a greater variety of viewpoints. Confident in its renaissance, Victoria Falls has asked for Chinese aid to expand its airport to accommodate bigger planes. But the throngs of street vendors trailing tourists are a constant reminder that it’s still not business as usual. Among the souvenirs on offer, a 100-trillion-dollar note from the old Zimbabwe currency, a worthless amount during the age of hyperinflation. Its relegation to the trinket shelves is what allowed to Victoria Falls to welcome visitors again.—AFP

Zimbabwe’s tourism earnings jumped 47 percent last year to $770 million, as the number of visitors rose 15 percent to 2.3 million nationally, with Victoria Falls the country’s biggest attraction, according to the tourism ministry.—AFP