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MPs threaten PM over the disabled Salafists deplore ‘Iran evils’; Amir receives Saadoun

Max 37 Min 21 Low Tide 07:14 & 20:01 High Tide 01:31 & 12:42

By B Izzak conspiracy theories

Blackberry or strawberry? By Badrya Darwish


hat’s wrong with the Arab world and the Blackberry? What if we change the name of the blackberry to blueberry, strawberry or just a berry, would the Arab governments approve the service? Every now and then when Arab governments have nothing better to do, they start introducing new restrictions and rules for Blackberry services. I am sure you remember that a couple of months ago there was a decision to ban totally Blackberry services in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Some MPs in Kuwait called for the same here. As they discovered that this idea will not work out and they were heavily criticized by Western counterparts, the governments in the region reconsidered the ban and allowed the services. We were happy and thought that the chapter was closed. Now again the Emirates has announced that as of May 1 they will stop any business that has less than 20 employees or individuals from using the BlackBerr y Enterprise services (such as Blackberry messenger, email and web browsing). Apparently, they cannot ban corporate users because that will automatically harm business in the UAE which is linked and dependent on the whole world. So, instead they act smart. In that way they could not do the corporate venue so they are restricting the individual one under the pretence that it is for security reasons. If the ban is imposed on individuals then nobody would care. What security reasons in this age? Are you kidding me? The age of computers, Twitter and social sites, name it and it is all there. Do governments really still believe in security after what has happened in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Yemen, and Syria and Jordan on the doorstep? No country is safe now. Are they joking? Are there still security issues? Do we still have secret police which believes that young teenagers can be controlled in the age of Twitter, social networking and iPad? Do they think that this generation will accept what the old generation used to accept quietly? We were brought up to say: “Yes, Sir and No, Sir!” The young ones, however, are totally different. Please, let the individual Blackberry users enjoy their Blackberry services instead of getting worried over security. If anybody is serious about harming the security he has hundreds of other means to do it. Get rid of the security phobia. The best security nowadays is proper democracy.

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahamd Al-Sabah yesterday received former National Assembly speaker and veteran MP Ahmad Al-Saadoun (left) to discuss the latest political developments in the country. — KUNA

Kuwait diplomat dies in Moscow KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti diplomat in Russia was found dead in a Moscow hospital yesterday, after disappearing for two days, a senior source at Kuwait’s Foreign Ministry said. According to Russian medical sources who vowed to provide a medical report on the deceased after ongoing investigations, the Kuwaiti Embassy’s Third Secretary, Saleh Al-Igab, died of a severe heart trauma. Russian authorities have promised to find out the reason for the diplomat’s disappearance. According to the Amir’s instructions, the body of deceased diplomat will be flown to Kuwait onboard an Amiri plane. The plane will leave for Moscow today to collect the late diplomat’s remains.

GCC activists urge reforms KUWAIT: Gulf rights activists yesterday urged the release of hundreds of people arrested across the region during pro-democracy protests and called for comprehensive political reforms. A statement signed by a dozen liberal organizations and about 190 intellectuals from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council also warned against the risk of a “sectarian strife” in the predominantly Sunni region. They expressed concerns over the future of their countries “in light of the conduct of some GCC governments in stifling peaceful demands for Continued on Page 14

West faces hard choices on Libya UN sanctions hit rebel oil plans BENGHAZI: Western powers committed to helping rebels overthrow Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi face increasingly difficult choices on the military, economic and diplomatic front as the conflict enters its third month. Analysts said NATO may have to intensify attacks on government forces to break the military stalemate in the North African country, while plans to help the rebels earn revenue from its oil riches are bogged down by UN sanctions. The United Nations meanwhile is making slow progress in its efforts to ease the plight of civilians trapped in the conflict. Hundreds of people are thought to have been killed in the sevenweek siege of the port city of Misrata and thousands of foreign migrant workers are stranded there. A rebel spokesman said at least 31 people had been killed there on Sunday and Monday by government shelling and snipers. Nine weeks after the rebellion broke out, inspired by uprisings against autocratic rulers elsewhere in the Arab world, the insurgents control the east of the country from their Benghazi stronghold, but little territory in the west- principally parts of Continued on Page 14

BENGHAZI: Mohammed Al-Atrash, 8, rests after undergoing a CT Scan at a hospital in the rebel-held city of Benghazi in eastern Libya yesterday. The child, who suffered an eye injury, was evacuated from Misrata. — AFP

Syria lifts emergency laws

Saudi frees Filipino man on death row

Govt bans all demos; 10 killed in Homs BEIRUT: Syria’s government approved lifting the country’s nearly 50-year-old state of emergency yesterday to meet a key demand of anti-government protesters, but opposition leaders dismissed it as an attempt by President Bashar Assad to claim reforms but maintain his hardline rule. The blunt response suggested the month-old uprising could be entering a more volatile stage: protesters now aiming higher to seek Assad’s ouster and his regime warning that the demonstrations must now end. “This is a maneuver to gain time,” said prominent Syrian writer Yassin Haj Saleh, who spent 16 years in jail for being a member of a pro-democracy group. “They are basically telling the people, we have fulfilled your demands, so go home and if you don’t will break your head,” he said by telephone from Beirut. “But in reality nothing will change.” The announcement signaling the end of the much-reviled emergency rule came just

hours after a show of strength by authorities. Security forces stormed an occupied square in Syria’s third-largest city. Then officials issued a stern warning on national TV for the protesters to back down. The ultimatum-style message appeared to show that ending emergency laws will not ease the increasingly harsh blows against opponents. Assad’s regime has labeled the protest movement as an “armed insurrection” that could give them the cover to continue the crackdown. Assad last week had told his cabinet to remove the state of emergency - in place since his Baath Party took power in March 1963 and implement other reforms, but added that such a move would give protesters no more reason to take to the streets. This could give Assad further pretext to move against any further marches or rallies. Syria’s official news agency SANA said the cabinet also approved Continued on Page 14

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah yesterday received former National Assembly speaker and veteran MP Ahmad Al-Saadoun to discuss the latest political developments in the country. No more details were released about the meeting. In the meantime, Saadoun’s Popular Action Bloc yesterday threatened that it will add the issue of not implementing the law on people with special needs to the grilling the bloc intends to file against the prime minister immediately after announcing the new cabinet. The threat came during a press conference held in the National Assembly to highlight the government failure of applying the law that provides key benefits to all people with special needs. Spokesman for the bloc MP Mussallam Al-Barrak said that the biggest mistake the government committed was the appointment of Jassem Al-Tammar as director general of the authority for special needs responsible for implementing the law. Member of the bloc MP Ali Al-Deqbasi said the bloc will use all available constitutional tools against the government for not implementing the important law, adding that the law has not been implemented because the officials responsible for the implementation are incompetent. Another member, MP Khaled Al-Tahous said officials have only implemented four articles out of the 74 articles in the law, adding this will be among the issues that will be included in the planned grilling against the prime minister. Continued on Page 14

BANIAS: A picture taken by a mobile phone shows a sign being held up during protests in Banias, in northeastern Syria yesterday. — AFP

MANILA: The Philippine government said yesterday that it obtained a pardon from the king of Saudi Arabia sparing the life of a Filipino man who was sentenced to death for drug smuggling. The man, an overseas worker in the conservative kingdom, was convicted in 2009 and sentenced to death by beheading after Saudi authorities seized a package that was mailed to him containing methamphetamine, said Philippine Foreign Affairs spokesman Eduardo Malaya. The man was freed Sunday and returned to Manila late Monday. He has not been identified due to privacy concerns. The pardoned man was the third Filipino in recent months who had been sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia and released following appeals by the government in Manila. The Philippines, which has no death penalty, unsuccessfully appealed to China last month seeking clemency for three Filipinos who were eventually executed for drug smuggling. The plight of overseas workers is a sensitive issue in the Philippines, which has some 10 percent of its 94 million people toiling abroad to escape widespread poverty and unemployment at home. — AP



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local Al-Kharafi supported Lebanese, Palestinian resistance KUWAIT: Hezbollah’s Secretary General, Hassan Nasrallah issued a statement following the death of Kuwaiti business mogul Nasser Al-Kharafi. In his statement, Nasrallah extended his condolences to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the government and the people of Kuwait. “We were shocked with the sudden demise of such a loyal, supportive and respected brother, Nasser AlKharafi,” said Nasrallah. He spoke on the bitterness of losing such a great supporter of both the Lebanese and the Palestinian resistance. “He loved resistance groups, helped and defended them on various occasions,” he added, noting that Al-Kharafi always called for unity amongst Arabs, Muslims and the Lebanese. “He was a pioneer of construction,” he said pointing out that despite his wealth, Al-Kharafi was a benevolent man who sought Allah’s forgiveness rather than partake in the joys of the materialistic world. — Al-Jarida


n April 17th, 2011, the Arab and Muslim world lost a father when Nasser Mohammed Abdulmohsen AlKharafi passed away at the age of 67. When you met Nasser AlKharafi, you expected a figure larger than life. The evils of money and power, after all, have often led many men astray, with some simply choosing to indulge themselves in worldly pleasures and becoming so immersed in those that they lose touch with the world around them and forget how to deal with the common man. Others become so obsessed with increasing their power and wealth that they lose touch with what really matters in life. Nasser Al-Kharafi was in so many ways immune to these evils. He

knew what really mattered in life, and up till the day of his death stood firm on his beliefs. He raised his family to live lives of dignity, honor, respect and, most importantly, humility. Money and power did not cloud his vision, and he made sure that these things did not cloud theirs either. He believed in the Arab Muslim cause and fought for it with a passion one more usually sees in the eyes of a man who has nothing to lose. I remember speaking to him personally about this cause, and I distinctly remember how affected he was by it. He told me how he tried to help, but faced tremendous resistance from some of our own ‘leaders.’ This troubled him as though he somehow felt responsi-

ble and obliged to do something about it. In his struggle for the cause he crossed centuries-old sectarian boundaries as if they never even existed. It was that easy for him because he wanted freedom for our people more than anything. His burial was sad, yet beautiful at the same time. You see, his loss was a tragedy but in his wake I saw a divided people back together again, standing side by side as one for him. I pray that one day we see things the way he saw them and stand together again as one. May Allah have mercy on his soul.

Different workshops have been held [in Kuwait] on this subject by the World Bank, the Ministry of Interior, and the Ministry of Public Works, with all these institutions being interested in the issue,” the minister said. “Mass transportation is one of the primar y solutions to Kuwait’s traffic problems, espe-

cially given the increasing population and the limited number of roads which aren’t able to handle these huge numbers.” He lauded the conference objectives, saying, “This conference aims to discuss traffic problems. We need more study and research into this issue. Studies into the metro was first

carried out about 20 years ago, and today those are old already and don’t suit the present time. We now need to conduct a new study for the next 20 years.” The minister said that there are also two studies currently taking place into the planned trans-Arabia railway network,

KUWAIT: Dr Mohammed Al-Busairi, Minister of Communication at the booth of Citybus with officials from the Ministry of Interior. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

in which the Eastern Line would run from Oman to Kuwait, through Iraq and into Turkey and the European nations, whilst the Western Line would run from Yemen through Saudi Arabia to Jordan, then again to Turkey and on to Europe. “These are part of the Gulf rail network system, multi-billion- dinar projec ts,” he stressed. “The GCC countries are serious about carrying out these projects and we will see them realized within five to seven years.” Al-Busairi also revealed that his own ministry has already signed a number of contracts related to the construction of the metro system. “ The Ministr y of Communications has already signed contracts with specialist contractors for carrying out the metro projects,” he explained. “The local metro project will connect all the areas [of Kuwait] together. It should be able to transfer people from residential areas to the city center. We have to encourage the idea of mass transportation.” Visitors to the conference will also have the chance to take a look at the associated exhibition and workshops taking place in the hotel’s Al-Hashemi Ballroom.

GUST holds ‘Global Festival with VIVA’ By Ben Garcia

KUWAIT: Jalal Badra, Osaka’s Operations Manager with his staff at the venue. — Photo by Ben Garcia

Muna Al-Fuzai

Work on first-quarter plan begins KUWAIT: The R adisson Blu Hotel in Salwa is currently hosting Kuwait’s first Metro and R ail Conference and Exhibition, with the two-day event, which concludes later today, being held under the patronage of caretaker communications minister Dr Mohammed Al-Busairi. The planned construction of a metro system in Kuwait will be a clear step forward in the countr y ’s development, the minister said in his speech at the inaugural ceremony yesterday morning. “The metro system will play a part in turning Kuwait into a financial and commercial center by 2035, according to the state development plan,” said Dr. Al-Busairi. “ We’ve already begun work on the first-quarter plan, which covers many sectors, including transportation, which suffers from large-scale traffic congestion problems.” A number of studies have already been carried out into Kuwait ’s transpor t-related problems, with a great deal of research being done on this area, he continued. “Communications and transpor t are amongst society ’s greatest tools and solutions.

iEARN: A small step for a greater cause

( The contributor wishes to remain anonymous.)

Metro will be major step forward for Kuwaiti transport: Al-Busairi By Nawara Fattahova

Local Spotlight

A tribute to Nasser Al-Kharafi

KUWAIT: The devastating earthquake, tsunami and the fall out from the nuclear crisis in Japan have globally affected supplies of food ingredients of Japanese origins. Speaking with the Kuwait Times during a two-day ‘Global Festival with Viva’ held at the Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) campus where they served as one of the sponsors, Jalal Badra, OsakaKuwait Operations Manager admitted that the supplies for his outlet had been absolutely shaken by the disaster. “We have to make alternative arrangements for our fresh supplies because we cannot continue ordering products we badly need,” he explained. “We don’t want our customers to think that we are still serving the products from Japan.” he said. Those involved in the food business need to be flexible, Badra explained. “We need to continue the business and provide the same taste and quality,” he said, adding that his business is currently importing tuna, salmon and shrimps from a variety of countries. “Before the radiation issue, all of our products were authentic Japanese products, but since the earthquake we chose to be on the safer side, so we’ve temporarily suspended our orders from Japan,” he said. According to Badra, when it comes to taste, Japanese products taste the same as the products from other countries. “The only thing we have to accept was the higher cost of import-

ing from other sources, he added, stressing that the change won’t affect Osaka-Kuwait’s menu prices. The reason, he said, is that “customers know that our restaurant offers the best prices. We want to maintain that credibility and we don’t want to lose our regular customers.” Although alternative arrange ments have been put into place, Badra agreed that certain ingredients of Japanese origins are irreplaceable. He explained that he was able to restock some time before the nuclear radiation crisis. “Rice is one such irreplaceable Japanese ingredient that we need to use in our restaurant,” he said. “This is a crucial ingredient that we maintain in our restaurant.” He explained that in his capacity as Operations Manager, he’d done “some panic buying way before the nuclear issue arose,” adding, “When it comes to rice stocks I still have enough maybe to last for over four months.” Badra also admitted that whilst some competitors in the market have felt the impact of nuclear radiation concerns on their sales, “thank God, in our restaurant Osaka, we haven’t lost a single customer; we have retained the same profits because we maintain our regular communications with our customers.” He further observed that the key to maintaining sales is in letting your customers know about the safety and freshness of your products. Badra was confident that it wouldn’t take long for Japan to get back to normal. The Japanese “are resilient

people and we pray that everything will be alright in a few months’ time,” he said. The Osaka Kuwait restaurant is located in Shaab at the side of Gulf Road. The restaurant’s participation in GUST’s Global Festival with Viva was just one of many events in which it had the chance to inform customers about the safety and deliciousness of its products. Osaka-Kuwait has been invited to several educational events held on Kuwait’s university campuses, with its first such venture being when it was asked to do the catering for another event. The Global Festival with Viva at the university campus, which began on Monday and concluded yesterday, was part of their annual festival organized by GUST’s Students Association. The event showcased several products and services offered by the university’s students, but also featured a number of specially invited guests. Explaining the festival’s objective and purposes, Muhammad Al-Sabih, Vice President of GUST’s Student Association, said, “We organize this event to give a chance and a venue to our business-minded fellow students to showcase their products. This becomes their first ever venture in business or it could be a launching pad for something big they’re planning to achieve in their lives.” The event also featured various cultural presentations by performers of different nationalities and ethnicities.

MPs support amending Article 2 of constitution KUAWIT: MP Khalid Al-Sultan has warned against a tendency by some parliamentarians to meddling with fundamental constitutional articles with the objective of achieving major constitutional changes, claiming that some of his fellow lawmakers support amending Article 2 of the constitution to make Islamic Sharia the source of all Kuwait’s legislation. Al-Sultan also raised a question over an apparent constitutional loophole in the open-ended period granted to the executive authorities to form a new government after a previous cabinet has been dissolved or stepped down, suggesting that this needs to be remedied. “We should end that and limit the time given to Prime Ministers to form their cabinets to 15 days at all times,” the MP asserted. — Al-Jarida


was glad to read about the US-funded initiative iEARN that promotes the practice of journalism amongst Kuwaiti students. I think this project is a small step for a greater cause. In fact, I think any project that encourages the freedom of the press and writing skills, especially amongst youth, is a great idea. It would help both parties get a better understanding and awareness of their mission as well as their task. The project is led by the International Education and Resource Network. iEARN is part of the US State Department-funded Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) that targets supporting reform efforts in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). I fully support programs that fuel youth talents and abilities and allows them to express their views. Now, MEPI has had several programs, but this one for Kuwait has made a special collaboration with the Ministry of Education. The program will give high school students a chance to do some training in the very competitive and difficult field of journalism. Now, as a writer in the Middle East, and especially in the field of local affairs, I know that journalism is not an easy-going profession. Many people try to write, and may have some talent, but it doesn’t last long in this part of the world because writing for the press can be dangerous. That is of course, if you want to do decent writing and keep your pen mightier than a sword. Now, I surely hope that such competitions are focused on touching on important issues to the local community. I think topics such as the environment, thinking on a local level and issues related to common values and ethics, especially amongst women today, is what should be focused on. Now, few Kuwaiti women find their way into jobs in this country that make them key decision makers and this is an issue that needs to be addressed and examined. It would be really good to hear what many young high school girls would like to see for themselves 20 years from today. I believe projects like that would affect many people and help them develop their thinking skills. The program has chosen five Kuwaiti schools with 15-20 students from each school and has planned a trip for the students to Oman, the other of the two countries where the initiative is taking place. I hope other Gulf governments encourage this program to benefit their citizens.

British conman steals KD40,000 By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: A Palestinian man has accused a British fraudster of conning him out of KD40,000 before fleeing the country with the stolen money. The plaintiff told police that he had handed over the money, his savings, after he and the British man agreed to form an import company, but the Briton turned out to be a conman, returning to the UK with his ‘business partner’s’ cash. An investigation is underway into the case. Drugs, booze bust Two Bangladeshi men were arrested in Bneid Al-Gar after patrol officers caught them red-handed with 500 grams of marijuana. In a separate incident, an Asian taxi driver was also taken into custody when police confiscated 20 bottles of alcohol from his vehicle.



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National conference honors 20 Kuwait personalities Focus on national unity By Nawara Fattahova

KUWAIT: The Ambassador of the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea Ho Jong hosted a reception at the embassy at the weekend to mark the birthday of Kim Il Sung, the founder of the DPRK. Senior officials and media figures attended the reception. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

MPs mull request for Iran threat NA session KUWAIT: A group of Kuwaiti MPs are reportedly considering filing a formal request to allocate a parliamentary session for discussion of the threat posed by Iran to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states immediately after the country’s new cabinet is formed. According to one parliamentary insider, the unnamed MPs, who will coordinate with other lawmakers to assess their viewpoint on the proposal, also hope that the National Assembly will devote a session to the discussion of Kuwait’s Iranian workforce and of the precautionary measures taken by the country’s security authorities against any potential Iranian threat.

On a separate issue, MP Ahmad AlSaadoun is set to delay his previously announced plans to gather signatures for a request for a special parliamentary session to discuss the government’s rejection of a draft law on augmenting the salaries of Kuwaiti public sector workers paid more than KD1,000 per month by an additional KD50, which had earlier been passed by parliament. The veteran parliamentarian will apparently go ahead with his plans after the parliamentary finance committee completes its report on the formal letter of rejection turning down the proposal which was submitted to it by the government. — Al-Rai

Bedoons in two categories KUWAIT: The government body established to resolve the longstanding problems facing Kuwait’s bedoon (stateless) population has been holding a series of meetings on the possibility of classifying bedoon people into different categories after they attained basic civil rights. The members of the Central System for Remedying the Status of I llegal Residents (CSRSIR) did not reach a final agreement on the classification system to be used, although some members of the government body support using only two categories, those meriting Kuwaiti citizenship and those who would retain bedoon status. Previous recommendations suggested

dividing the country’s bedoon population into three categories, but CSRSIR members felt that making the classification system as simple as possible might make resolving the issue more straightforward. It’s also been suggested by some CSRSIR members that around 30,000 members of the country’s bedoon population could be denied citizenship, with some suggesting that these individuals purchased false cer tification from family members. Members of this group may be asked to sign official undertakings guaranteeing that they will make no future applications for Kuwaiti citizenship and be denied all rights if they refuse to do so, said a CSRSIR insider. — Al-Shahed

KUWAIT: Some Kuwaitis were never honored for their great achievements. Their sacrifices and achievements should be registered and new generations should know to learn from them as they represent the best example for future generations. The VIP Group Company organized the 8th national conference, ‘From Kuwait We Start... and to Kuwait We End’ from April 18-21, at the Al-Babtain Library next to the Grand Mosque. The conference got its name from a sentence once said by the late Amir Sheikh Jaber AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. This year the conference is being held under the patronage of Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad AlSabah, the caretaking Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, State Minister for Development Affairs, and State Minister for Housing Affairs. “Today we honor some Kuwaiti personalities who served Kuwait in different fields. Although these persons are from different generations they left us their achievements and oblige us to express our thanks to their families,” said Sheikh Ahmad during the opening ceremony. During his speech, Sheikh Ahmad criticized the recent trend of defamation that has spread through the country. “The slander that is unfortunately being used by some is temporary and will not last forever,” he said. “We are blessed that Kuwait’s families are closely tied and will not destroy the community. A person that has suspicions against another has to provide evidence as set out in the constitution. Our region is suffering from a bad political situation and Kuwait is protected by its people, the same people who have protected it for the past three decades.” During his speech he also acknowledged the recently deceased Nasser AlKhorafi, who he described as a “great person that helped many people.” Yousef Al-Yaseen, Head of the conference’s Higher Supervising Committee condoled with the audience on the death of Nasser Al-Kharafi, who also supported the conference. “We are focusing on national unity this year due to the conflicts happening in Kuwait,” Al-Yaseen said. “We don’t want to suffer from sectarian separation and conflict. Our fathers worked in the past to build and develop Kuwait and they deserve to be awarded today. We should all follow their habits and behavior and be one united nation.” The message of the conference this year is that patriotism is an heirloom passed down from a generation’s ancestors. “With this conference we hope to strengthen loyalty to Kuwait,” said AlYaseen. “We also hope to extinguish the envy that has caused so much hate and enmity

KUWAIT: Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad awarding Abdulaziz Al-Babtain during the opening ceremony on Monday. —Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat between the members of one nation. We want to spread forgiveness, which leads to good morals.” During the conference 20 famous Kuwaiti personalities that passed away will be commemorated. The relatives, mostly sons, prepared short speeches about the achievements of the various late honored personalities. The speeches will take place throughout the conference. During the opening ceremony, Sami AlFahad gave a moving speech about the late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah. His speech was followed by an operetta about

Kuwait and Dr Khalid Al-Mathkour spoke about the ethics and importance of discussion. At the end of the ceremony, the conference’s patron awarded the sponsors and the families of the honored personalities. The conference also includes additional activities. It will include lectures and symposiums presented by popular personalities in various fields. Also, on each of the four days there will be an operetta presented about Kuwait. A raffle will be held each day for those attending the conference.

MoE forms team to tackle student obesity KUWAIT: The Ministry of Education (MoE) has formed a special team of employees to head up an anti-obesity project for students. The team will be headed by the ministry’s Assistant Undersecretary for Student Affairs, Duaij Al-Duaij. Education minister Dr. Moudhi Al-Humoud has ordered the team to come up with a working plan to help tackle obesity in the country’s student population, as well as to formulate

policies on the issue. Once the team has devised the appropriate policy, it will be adopted and implemented by the ministry’s coordination, monitoring and training departments, which will work in coordination with other relevant bodies to ensure the project’s success. Other activities, including nutrition seminars and the organizing of sporting events, are also being planned as part of the ministry’s anti-obesity drive. — Al-Qabas



The power of us

By Fouad Al-Obaid

Al-Khaldi touring the venue.

Al-Khaldi is being briefed here with Kuwait Times Marketing Manger Adnan Saad at the Kuwait Times booth.

Al-Khaldi at the Sebamed booth with Sales Manager Aiman Sharaa.

Made in Germany exhibition opens By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: A five-day ‘Made in Germany Exhibition’ opened yesterday at the Kuwait International Fair Ground in Mishref. The event, which was inaugurated by Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCI) Undersecretary Abdulaziz Al-Khaldi, showcases well-known brands from Germany from a wide variety of fields, including automobile manufacturing, airlines, electronics, beauty, and food and beverages products. Speaking to reporters after the inauguration, Al-Khaldi lauded German-made products as being the best and most durable in the world. “German products are the strongest in the world. They are the strongest market in the EU,” said the senior MCI officials. German-made products has been popular in Kuwait since the late 1940s, with their popularity steadily increasing on a daily basis, he added, explaining, “ They are famous for their quality and durability. I am very happy to inaugurate the event for German-made product.” Al-Khaldi also revealed that the value of annual German investment in Kuwait totaled around KD6 billion during the 1990s, doubling since then to KD12 billion in the most recent figures. “ The German automobile market is the biggest, as you all know,” he said. “Kuwaitis are fond of German-made products such as cars; they have the Mercedes Benz, BMW, Audi and Porsche to name a few. They are wellrespected for German innovation, with consumers from all over the world knowing their quality and value.” The Made in Germany exhibition is being organized by Arena (Fairs and Media Solution), a German based company with decades of exhibition-organizing experience in the Middle East market. Nader Shalash, the company’s Executive Manager, expressed his gratitude to the partners and sponsors of the event. “This exhibition was made possible through a joint venture between the two countries, Kuwait

KUWAIT: Al-Khaldi with other officials cutting the ceremonial ribbon/cake. —Photos by Joseph Shagra and Germany. This is an annual event for German products, this exhibition here in Kuwait. There are new German products that needs to be promoted. We are the solution the right platform to showcase their products, so we are here to help,” he said. The companies participating in this year’s event include Lufthansa, the Bebehani Group, Ali AlGhanim & Sons, Foil Art (for luxury cars) TriStar Motorcycles, Varta (the battery experts), Drager, Exclusive Group Company, Bergische Waldquelle, Althus, Gerlnar Trading, Vio, a produc t by Appollinaris, Ibn Al-Khaleej General Trading Co., Bioni-Intelligent, Linde, Normamed, BeautytekKuwait, the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Movenpick (Hotels & Resorts), and Sebamed. The Kuwait Times and Al-Rai newspapers are the t wo official media par tners of ‘M ade in Germany Exhibition,’ which runs until April 24.

Guests at the BMW motorbike corner.

Public sector pay rise enforced with new budget: Minister KUWAIT: The Civil Service Commission’s (CSC) decision to increase the salaries of all public sector workers not covered by previous pay rises by KD100 per month will take effect from the date on which the 2011-12 state budget is officially passed rather than from the date on which the decision was made, said the finance minister on Monday. Minister Mustafa Al-Shamali further explained that the budget for the new fiscal year is currently being analyzed by the parliamentary budget committee, which has the final authority to decide on which increases should be included before the start of the period, he added. — Al-Rai


e are all party to this endeavor we call ‘life.’ We are all actors; fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters. We hold many titles; friend, cousin and sibling. We work in different positions; lawyer, plumber, dentist... just to name a few! We are all the same, yet all of us are different. We are similar in composition and humanity, different in traits and personality. Some of us are good, others bad. Some of us are benevolent, others, not so! What we all experience on a daily basis is a miracle. We are still alive and depending on what track we take in life we end up doing different things and enjoying various pleasures. What we all need to realize is that we are not inadequate or unprepared when it comes to the task of ushering in change. Though the challenge may seem demanding, the sheer will of changing matters from poor to better and on the way to excellent, be it on an individual, department, institutional national, and some even an international level, is what pushes many of our fellow humans to wake up every day. They know in advance that the test ahead is daunting but not insurmountable. We are today at a crossroads, a juncture of time. With the ongoing events in the Middle East the sheer desire for the improvement of conditions for millions who have been placed under duress, restraint and fear for far too long have changed. Today we are in a region where the regent that sent his adversaries to deplorable prisons is himself being sent to face a similar fate. The wheel turns, it always does. In the Middle East the spring of change that we are witnessing is prompting a never before believed transformation of the status quo. Countries are starting to realize that their people are awakening to a rude reality. Unemployment, corruption and wide spread poverty is their reality. A constant state of fear is rarely a condition any human can tolerate if given an alternative, and the alternative has come! The realization that a leader cannot murder his entire populace, and that a majority decides to peacefully demonstrate against armed men means that a prolonged conflict cannot be justified. A time will come when those holding the weapons will turn them on those commanding them, or as we have seen in Libya, decide to no longer follow orders. May God bless the souls of those heroes our collective Arab nation should know about. In a nutshell, whether one decides to clean up a beach that has been polluted or set yourself on fire like Mohamed Bouaziz - the Tunisian that set himself on fire not knowing that his action would ignite a massive revolt in a region that desperately needed one - we are all responsible for our actions. The moment we realize this is when we realize our abilities are limitless.

Kuwait Digest

God help us all Al-Jassar accuses MPs of campaign to oust premier KUWAIT: MP Dr. Salwa Al-Jassar has slammed what she claims is a personal campaign by fellow parliamentarians to oust His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah. Dr. Al-Jassar said that plans to bring a fresh grilling motion against the premier over the implementation of disability rights legislation were simply harassment and an attempt to further increase political tension, with the true objective of this move being to oust HH the Prime Minister. The MP said that the attacks against the premier and Dr. Jassem Al-Tamar, the chairman of the Public Authority for Persons with Disabilities, were a form of revenge for the severance of payments to individuals falsely claiming to be disabled. She further suggested that it would better for her fellow lawmakers to demand the parliamentary discussion of these violations and to insist that these violators be referred for prosecution rather than taking action against the premier and Dr. AlTamar. Dr. Al-Jassar added that she found it strange that fellow MPs should feel that this issue merited inclusion amongst the subjects over which HH the Prime Minister should be grilled; the matter is a personal one which has nothing to do with the quality of the premier’s work or with parliamentarians’ supervisory duties, she said, adding that the parliamentary committee on disability issues does not work properly itself, whilst summoning members of the government to meetings. She further asserted that Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) should strongly defend their own areas of expertise and prevent them from being used as ‘political footballs for politicians’ personal gain, citing the issues of naturalization and Kuwait’s bedoon (stateless) community, which she suggested had been hijacked for political purposes and calling this a dangerous practice. Grilling motions should be directed at the minister concerned with the issue in question, Dr. Al-Jassar stressed, adding that the recent spate of grilling motions should not be considered to be part of any legitimate strategy and that if MPs are unaware of the principle of policy in the public interest, “I am ready to explain it to them with all due respect for the post of Member of Parliament.” — Al-Aan

By Abdullatif Al-Duaij


ay God help His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad AlSabah. May God also help the prime minister’s oppositionists, especially those that act based on what they think is in the best interest of the country. The way I personally see it, I don’t think there’s a solution for the persisting problems between His Highness Sheikh Nasser, his Cabinet and the oppositionists. The lack of a clear vision is perhaps the biggest problem between finding a solution for His Highness the Prime Minister and his foes. I’m not just talking about the lack of vision in not seeing each other’s point of view but just a clear goal that both parties want to reach. Everyone, especially His Highness Sheikh Nasser’s opponents, coat their demands in artificial casings or incomplete wishes. If achieved, their wishes would create more conflicts than they would solve problems. It’s illogical to see the country struggling for years, during which seven Cabinets have been formed because of conflicts concerning administrative issues or technical problems that don’t have anything to do with a main goal. Everyone claims that there’s a general commitment to certain principles that they must follow but in reality it seems that no one is committed to a solid path to a clear goal. The current conflict is based on old issues and technical problems, such as holding the government solely responsible for an increase in corruption, despite the fact that lawmakers and the public are also main contributors to this problem. Another issue that oppositionists criticize the cabinet for is their inter ference with the media, despite the fact that the same MPs that push for liberation of the media have also accused the cabinet of sponsoring corrupt media figures and outlets. God help us all because everyone is lost. It’s difficult for a person to give others something that he himself is in dire need of or explain something that they don’t clearly understand. —Al-Qabas



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local kuwait digest

Job Discrimination

Media production institution discusses qualitative leap Kuwait hosts Gulf meeting

By Fawziya Al-Sabah


uwait is arguably the world’s top country in the number of sit-ins staged by public sector workers. These take place, despite the high salaries paid to the members of this workforce, because of job discrimination. A brief study of any number of the protests that have taken place over the past few months in Kuwait reveals that Kuwait has one of the highest rates of job discrimination in the world. Law school graduates in Kuwait mostly aspire to be hired in the judicial sector. If they aren’t lucky enough to be able to pursue their dreams of becoming lawyers, they still can hope to be hired at the Fatwa and Legislation Department which is considered the second best option for them. If that choice isn’t available, those graduates can still be hired by ministries’ and other state bodies’ legal departments of ministries. While there should certainly be criteria to decide which recent graduates are selected and in which sector they are appointed, the question here is whether such criteria actually exist, or the employment choice is primarily decided by such factors as intervention or ‘wasta.’ Unfortunately, scientific standards are mostly nonexistent when job hopefuls sit their application tests. However, that still doesn’t mean that those graduates should be subjected to discrimination in wage and job titles when they are employed. While lawyers working in the judicial sector can be excepted for the special characteristics that qualify them for their jobs and the level of work they do, I don’t believe it’s fair that law school graduates receive unequal pay based on the firm they are hired by. Is it fair that a recent graduate should be hired at a certain ministry without financial privileges, whilst a peer of his with less impressive qualifications is considered to be entitled to allowances when hired at the Fatwa and Legislation Department or any ministry that gives allowances to its legal department employees? Because of these factors, I believe that a unified salary system must be adopted to cover all law school graduates who are hired in state departments, by which they should all be entitled to similar pay and titles. It’s sad to see that ‘wasta’ has become such an integral part of our culture, which explains why a law school student starts looking for a mediator even before they graduate so that they can be hired in a position which offers more financial privileges. — Al-Rai

Egyptian dies in construction site accident KUWAIT: A 31-year-old Egyptian man was pronounced dead at a construction site in Zahra shortly after falling from a high location. An investigation was opened at the area’s police station to reveal the circumstances that led to the construction worker’s fall. Medical error A female citizen filed a complaint against the medical staff of Razi Hospital upon discovering that a metallic piece of equipment was left in her leg during a surgery. The woman returned to the hospital shortly after her surgery complaining of a severe pain in her leg. An x-ray revealed that a syringe was left inside her leg accidentally during the surgery. Bootleggers held Ahmadi police arrested two Korean nationals at the Sabah Al-Ahmad residential area that is still under construction for being in possession of 96 bottles of homemade liquor. The arrests came as part of a security campaign that also caught ten Asian prostitutes and three men in brothels in Mangaf and Al-Mahboulah as well as 11 fugitives in Fintas and Mahboulah. Sharq rapist Police are investigating the whereabouts of an Arab man accused of raping a 12-year-old girl in an apartment building in Sharq. The victim’s father reported the incident after his daughter informed him that she was assaulted by the tenant living next door. It was reported that the suspect went missing shortly after committing his crime. Bnaider shooting Police reported to Bnaider after residents there reported hearing gunshots and finding bullets near their chalets. While authorities were unable to catch the shooters, an investigation was launched and police searched the area for the suspects. Home robbery A thief stole seven kilograms of golden jewelry, six diamond watches, three laptop computers, five video cameras, ten snapshot cameras and six cell phones after breaking into a home in Qadsiya. Crimes scene investigators responded to the location after being informed of the robbery by the home’s owner. Evidence was gathered from the scene in an attempt to help authorities identify the victim. Lost woman An investigation was launched in an attempt to identify the parent of a mentally disabled woman that was found wandering alone near a street between Nahdha and Andalus. The woman, who appears to be in her late 20s, suffers from a mental disability and was found crying by pedestrians. Officers convinced the woman to accompanying them to the Andalus police station where she is being kept until authorities can locate her parents. Illegal calls Capital governorate police arrested a group of Asian men running an illegal international phone call center in Bnaid Al-Gar. The suspects have also been charged with resisting arrest. Divorce at knifepoint An Egyptian man filed a case with Salmiya police, reporting that he was forced to divorce his wife at knifepoint by two unidentified men. In his statement to police, the man explained that he was approached by two people he never met before who held a knife to his throat and threatened to harm him unless he called his wife and verbally divorced her. The man reported that he believes his wife was somehow involved in the case because she called him later and demanded that he leave their house and never see her again.— Al-Watan, Al-Anba, Al- Rai

KUWAIT: In the context of the approaching completion of his diplomatic tenure in Kuwait, the Ambassador of India Ajai Malhotra called on His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf AlAhmad Al-Sabah, at Seif Palace on Monday.

Kuwaiti participants reminiscing on Cultural Week in Beijing BEIJING: As the famous saying goes “all good things come to an end,” Kuwait Cultural Week in Beijing, part of the 40 years celebrations of diplomatic ties between China and Kuwait, concluded here yesterday with Kuwaiti participants remembering their unique experiences during the event. Maestro Ahmad Hamdan, member of the Eastern Music Section sharing the stage with the Kuwaiti Television Band, said that the participation in the event was a long sought step to bring such kind of music and culture to the Chinese audience. Previously, the Chinese people might have seen such kind of music on television or during events held by the embassy to highlight Kuwait’s national occasions but the cultural week provided a chance for those people to be up-close to such art, resulting in requests to teach such music here in China, said Hamdan. “Music is more comprehensive in connecting people more than language,” affirmed Hamdan, stressing that it was like an open door to boost relations between Kuwait and China. On her part, Reem Al-Wugaiyan, member of the board and head of media at Beit Al-Sadu (House of Weaving) Society, said that her participation was to highlight the tradi-

tional craft of Bedouin weaving, introducing it to the Chinese people as a product of Kuwaiti heritage. Beit Al-Sadu is aiming at preserving such tradition, stated the participants, adding that the craft was also being reinvented to produce modern bags and items. She affirmed that the Chinese people were very intrigued by such craft. Meanwhile, Ahmad Dashti, Media Researcher at the Environment Public Authority (EPA), felt that the authority’s pavilion had attracted a huge number of visitors during the side exhibitions. EPA pavilion had mission to showcase how Kuwait would handle pollution, said Dashti, adding that they were eager to exchange expertise with the Chinese on such subject. With these comments by members of the Kuwaiti delegation participating in the cultural week, it seemed that the message has been delivered to the Chinese people and that was of course all due to the efforts invested by the Kuwaiti diplomatic corps in Beijing, the performers, sponsors, and Chinese authorities. Seeing the Chinese people smiling, clapping, and even sharing the stage with Kuwaiti performers only proved one thing, the Kuwait Cultural Week in Beijing was an “accomplishment.” — KUNA

KUWAIT: The 41st meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) Joint Program Production Institution’s management board convened here yesterday under the patronage of Kuwait’s Minister of Oil and of Information and Board Chairman Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah, with a number of leading media figures from the region attending the prestigious event. Addressing the board, Sheikh Ahmad said that the institution is gearing up for a shift in strategy, bearing in mind the challenges of the modern day and the associated required changes in terms of the approach and address adopted, which the institution must make in order to continue to function as a productive and influential body. The institution’s Executive Director Abdulmohsen AlBannai said, meanwhile, that the institution members are more optimistic than ever, adding that “it is time for the institution to shift its focus from a limited scope and exposure to a wider scope of operation to serve as an influential body.” Al-Bannai further suggested that the challenges of the modern age and of the dynamic and fast-moving conditions in the region means that the body also requires administrative and financial fine-tuning to ensure that it meets the new strategy and focuses on issues of public interest, as well as satisfying the public’s taste in the multimedia era. Speaking on the sidelines of the event, the Director General of the GCC Radio and Television Institution, Abdullah AbuRas, confirmed that plans to hold the GCC Radio and Television Festival in March 2012 have not been affected by recent regional events. He stressed that any rescheduling or postponement of the event would only be decided on by the participating production companies rather than by the festival committee.

Kuwaiti school donates to KRCS KUWAIT: The Kuwait English School recently gave two donations of money to the Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS), one for the victims of the recent earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan to support the KRCS’s humanitarian and charitable work. In a press release issued yesterday, KRCS expressed appreciation of the school’s humanitarian gesture, which it said “would alleviate the human suffering of the earthquake victims in Japan.” It continued, “This is a tremendous

philanthropic gesture from the school’s board and students,” adding that the school is well-known for such initiatives. The statement further noted that Kuwait’s private schools are always quick in donating to victims of disasters, as well as supporting the KRCS’ philanthropic activities. The KRCS also reiterated its appreciation of the wholehearted humanitarian role played by Kuwait and its people in supporting and assisting victims of disasters worldwide. — KUNA

KUWAIT: The Kuwait English School donating money to the Kuwait Red Crescent Society.



Kuwait ‘a leader’ in autism research, support: Expert Kuwait set to host 2014 World Autism Forum

Municipality to honor eco-conscious families KUWAIT: The Kuwait Municipality announced yesterday that it would be presenting awards to law-abiding and environmentally aware citizens an award ceremony to be held on April 25. The awards will be handed out to Kuwaiti residents of the areas of Yarmouk, Surra and Qortoba, said Minister of Public Works and State Minister for Municipality Affairs Dr. Fadhil Safar in a statement. The award ceremony is being held to

encourage greater efforts to conserve and reduce wastage of electricity and water use in order to better protect the country’s natural environment, the minister explained, saying, “Awarding the families in these areas will have a positive effect on the issue of maintaining cleanliness and to the society as a whole.” The municipality’s senior regional inspector, Salah Al-Saif also revealed that an award is also to be presented for the prettiest and tidiest garden in each area. — KUNA

Kuwaiti ambassador discusses means of cooperation with Vietnam KUALA LUMPUR: Kuwaiti ambassador to Vietnam Hamad Al-Jetaili discussed yesterday means of mutual cooperation with Vietnamese Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan. Al-Jetaili said that the meeting discussed enhancing ways of joint cooperation, in terms of Vietnamese labor, between Kuwait and Vietnam as an implementation of agreements signed between the two countries. It also tackled strengthening mutual cooperation in the domains of nursing and scientific technologies since the Southeastern Asian country

has a great expertise in these fields. Al-Jetaili expressed his wishes that the Kuwait-Vietnam relations would witness a greater increase in all realms, especially among the private sector companies. The Kuwaiti ambassador also noted that Kuwait is looking into signing a number of joint agreements with the Vietnamese government. One of these agreements would focus on bringing in technical labor staffs for the nursing and the sports fields in Kuwait. Similar agreements would be signed in the oil sector as well, Al-Jetaili pointed out. — KUNA

915 people benefit from Social Welfare services in March KUWAIT: The Ministry of Social Affair and Labor (MSAL) yesterday announced that 915 people benefited from the social welfare services offered by the ministry’s Special Needs Welfare Department in March. In a statement issued yesterday, the MSAL said that the beneficiaries were categorized, according to gender, as follows: 162 cases in a welfare center for people with special needs (women and children), 120 cases (men), as well as 147 cases in social rehabilitation center (women and children), 165 cases (men), and 96 cases in day care center, 144 cases

in early intervention centre in addition to 81 cases in the medical rehabilitation center. In terms of nationality, the beneficiaries were categorized as follows: 659 Kuwaitis, 74 individuals from other GCC nations, 80 individuals of unidentified nationalities, and 102 other expatriates.. The statement also grouped the beneficiaries by type of mental disability, with 62 classified as suffering from mild learning disabilities, in addition to 298 categorized as moderately learning disabled, and 330 classified as being severely mentally impaired. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Kuwait is a global leader in the field of research and care for autistic people, with many professional bodies coordinating to improve the services offered to these members of Kuwaiti society, said the director of Kuwait Autism Center, Dr Samira Al-Saad, on Monday. Autism has been identified as the third most common disability in children since its initial diagnosis and definition some 50 years ago, Dr. Al-Saad revealed. The condition is defined as “difficulties in communication and social interaction and difficulties in concentration” and most physicians now believe it is most probably caused by “physical, not psychological” factors. Abnormalities in speech, dialogue, movement and other characteristics are amongst the indications that a child could be autistic. Though most autistic people exhibit signs of the condition from birth, others fail to show normal growth and development of social skills and may exhibit abnormal behaviors and attitude at later stages in life, such as repetitive movement or even violence and inflicting bodily harm, she explained. “To date, scientists have failed to identify the gene(s) responsible or connected to the condition, but there is much interest in research and development in programs to care for individuals with autism,” Dr. Al-Saad revealed. The distinguished medical expert recalled the first classroom for autistic children in Kuwait, which was set up at the home of a Kuwaiti parent of an autistic child in 1985.

Another classroom was established at the Kuwait Disabled Society’s headquarters later, and the first nursery specifically for autistic children was established by Asrar Al-Qabandi, who later became one of Kuwait’s martyrs during the 1990-91 Iraqi occupation. The next step for the region’s autistic community was taken in cooperation with AlFaysaliya Charitable Women Association in Jeddah during the occupation. The association subsequently opened a number of Friends Autistic Classrooms’ in 1993, with this initiative later developing into the Jeddah Autism Center. Back in post-liberation Kuwait, a national autism program was launched through the Kuwait Awqaf Public Foundation in 1993 in the Rowdha area, and the Kuwait Autism Center was finally inaugurated by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah in January 2011. The new center is equipped with fully and appropriately furnished classrooms, training halls and facilities, and a theatre for different activities, as well as clinics and offices for physicians and other specialists. The center’s latest achievement was being selected to host the World Autism Forum in 2014 in recognition of its many contributions in the field of care for autistic people, said Dr. Al-Saad. “We at the center cooperate with international specialists and institutions to improve our counseling and services,” and “take part in international training programs and forums,” she explained.

Dr Samira Al-Saad These events are just the beginning, Dr. AlSaad revealed. “The next step for Kuwait is establishing a center to take care of autistic people over 21 years of age, and our center already has an ISO certificate for good management (2002), a Philip Morris Award (2003), a UNESCO Juan Amos Comenio award (2009), and a European Union prestigious Chaillot Prize (2009).” — KUNA

Great potential for special needs people KUWAIT: With more and more disabilities and health conditions reported every year in Kuwait, it is still possible to find people who, despite their disability, show others what it really means when we hear “Where there is a will, there is a way.” Upon first meeting Abdullah Al-Adwani, 23, Poliomyelitis is not the first thing that impresses you. It is rather his self-confidence, determination, and aspiration to inspire others to overcome disability, in whichever form. The young man missed on learning how to read while at special needs school, which he attended since the age of ten, but now focused his energy on learning the skills on his own. Foregoing the dream to be a teacher, due to his disability, he now dreams of counseling others with disability and serving as role model of overcoming challenge. Many caregivers and parents of children with special needs share Al-Adwani’s discontent with the level of skills and real education at special needs centers and institutions, which care

for a patient till the age of 21. The family is often in a spot where it has to fill in for a teacher, a physiotherapist, a social counselor, and protector. Ibtisam Al-Asfour is mother of 17-year-old autistic Dhari, and her most pressing concern is scarcity of centers to care for people such as her son. “Without much care, conditions are sure to deteriorate. And having to handle things alone is quite a strain on the family without external support.” A mother of two autistic sons, Um Abderrazzaq, shares the wish to see more rehabilitation as well as recreation centers for the autistic and other challenged people. Though admitting there is improvement in state services, she stressed there is a need for a specialized authority to improve conditions of special needs children through a comprehensive approach. School mistress of Al-Risala and of Kuwait Dream Center, catering to students with special needs, Saniyyah Khattab said it was vital to set up centers and institutions to care for those

aged 21 and above and no longer benefit from the existing schools and centers. “Neglecting their needs and the sudden loss of caregivers with parents and family members sometimes unable to carry on the work means such people could well prove to be ticking bombs,” she stressed. There are examples of centers and programs offering psychological, social, as well as health and physical rehabilitation in countries like the UK where these people are even given simple jobs after their training to give them an outlet for their pent up energies and frustrations through giving them a sense of self-worth. Khattab said Kuwait was first in the region in scope and diversity of services provided to people with special needs, citing allowances, loans to rehabilitate the living quarters, special needs education, and medical support. MP Salwa Al-Jassar for her part noted there is need for more than just health and physical care. “We need establishments

that would actually offer lifecoaching so that the disabled manage their conditions and learn to overcome them or adjust to them and still be productive and feel accepted and welcome within their society.” Despite her support of law 8/2010 on people with special needs, she said “the text rather only suggests the need for financial support, and the truth is that moral support is more vital.” “Establishment of such holistic-approach institutions and centers is a belated and longawaited step ... and the issue should not be used as a pawn in politics.” Furthermore, with the plans all finally approved after this long wait, we still have to wait for the time -consuming bureaucratic processes and the organization and management aspects to be addressed. “All in all, the gaps and defects in text of the law passed in 2010 could actually lead to a crisis and a trade in education and services to those with special needs, which would be a catastrophe,” the MP remarked. — KUNA

Four hurt in car accidents By Hanan Al-Saadoun

Airport fire drill By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: The General Airport Security Directorate carried out a fire drill at a building near Gate 2 to test how prepared the airport is in responding to crises and catastrophes. The exercise was carried out under the patronage of The Ministry of Interior’s Assistant Undersecretary for Port Security, Major General Abdalla Al-Muhanna. The goal of the exercise was to train employees in Kuwait’s airport to respond to emergencies instantly. Several of the airport’s departments responded to the exercise, including the Civil Aviation Authority, Airport Security, the Kuwait Fire Service Directorate, the Ministry of Health, the Civil Defense Authority, the Traffic Department, Customs Department and the Specialized Training Center. The training scenario included six injuries that required the rescue and treatment of two people with severe burns and four with extensive burns.

KUWAIT: A 45-year-old Indian man was rushed to hospital after losing his right hand, as well as suffering fractures to his left leg, in a car crash on Jabriya Bridge. In a separate incident, a 33-year-old Egyptian man complained of chest pains and a 20-year-old Kuwaiti man complained of neck pain following a crash on a street in Jahra. They were taken to the Sabah and Amiri Hospitals respectively. Meanwhile, a 31-year-old Lebanese woman was taken to Mubarak Hospital after complaining of pain in her back and right leg following a collision at Al-Bidaa Roundabout.

Vandalizing of pollution detectors KUWAIT: A local environmental activist said on Monday that the recent vandalizing of air pollution detection equipment in Um Al-Hayman is primarily helpful to the owners of the factories which are responsible for the continuing pollution problems there. Ahmad Al-Shurai’a, the head of the Um Al-Hayman Environmental Volunteers Committee, said that despite the cost to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) of replacing the equipment which its inspectors recently discovered had been purposefully vandalized, the authority would benefit from the damage “since it opens the door for them to launch maintenance and security tenders.” Al-Shurai’a also slammed the EPA for its “failure to address the crime that is being committed against 45,000 [Um AlHayman residents].” He also suggested that the residents had not benefited from the equipment even before it was vandalized since the “readings were kept a secret, whilst any actual action to stop the pollution has never been seen.” — Al-Qabas

Suicide attempts A 34-year-old Indian woman was rushed to Mubarak Hospital after attempting to kill herself by swallowing pesticide at her employers’ home in Bayan. In a separate incident, a 20-yearold Egyptian man attempted suicide by slashing his right wrist at his home in Salwa. He was quickly taken to Mubarak Hospital. Fight club An 18-year-old bedoon (stateless) man was taken to Adan Hospital after sustaining several lacerations to his scalp during a fight in Riggae.

municipality investigation KUWAIT: The chairman of Kuwait’s Municipal Council has ordered an investigation into the possible theft of two computer monitors, which were discovered to have gone missing from the council’s headquarters during its most recent session. The issue was raised during the session by the council’s Secretary General, Bader Al-Adsani, who noted that the monitors were missing from the desks of two councilors, Muhalhal Al-Khalid and Mohammad AlHaddiya. Another councilor, Faraz AlMutairi, suggested that the monitors had probably been stolen, whilst also complaining that the computers and related equipment at the council’s headquarters were often improperly utilized. Councilor Ashwaq Al-Madhaf, meanwhile, condemned the lack of equipment to allow members to monitor council transactions or view project planning sheets. The session also saw a disagreement between two councilors after one of them, Abdullah Al-Enezi, suggested that Mubashar TV was broadcasting the council session live, with fellow councilor Mane’a Al-Azmi disputing this assertion. — Al-Qabas


Charred corpses line road after Nigeria vote riots

Japan nuke plant starts pumping radioactive water

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Gunfire erupts as Yemen protesters test limits Gulf mediators trying to bring sides back to table Court frees policewoman linked to Tunisian revolt SIDI BOUZID: A Tunisian court yesterday freed a policewoman accused of hitting a young fruit seller who in protest at his treatment by the authorities set himself on fire in an act that helped inspire regional revolts. Mohamed Bouazizi set himself alight in front of a government building on Dec 17, saying he had been driven to this by police who had confiscated his fruit and veg-

SANAA: Anti-government protesters react during a demonstration demanding the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa yesterday. — AP

TAIZ: Yemeni police opened fire near protesters who set up barricades of burning tyres in a city yesterday, killing one as Gulf mediators tried to bring the sides to talks on a presidential transfer of power. The UN Security Council was also due to meet late in the day to discuss the situation in Yemen, where Western and Gulf Arab allies fear a prolonged standoff could lead to clashes between rival military units in Sanaa and elsewhere. Doctors said at least one person was shot dead and another wounded at the protest in Taiz, south of Sanaa, as protesters across the country started to test security forces’ limits after three months of demonstrations demanding the overthrow of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Police responded with gunfire in Taiz when protesters made piles of burning tyres. They planned to march past the provincial governor’s office. “They (protesters) are resorting to these tactics to try and escalate the situation because they feel like their demands are not being met,” said Mohammed al-Mohammedi, a protester in Taiz. Protesters also shouted orders to salute soldiers who belonged to a battalion loyal to General Ali Mohsen, who has sent troops to protect demonstrators in Sanaa, as they marched past an army post manned by his troops. Similarly, in recent days, protesters in Sanaa and the Red Sea port of Hudeida have both tried to march outside their traditional protest zones, leading to clashes with police who sought to hold them back. Both Western and Gulf Arab allies have tried without success to broker a resolution involving a transition of power from Saleh, who has led the Arabian Peninsula state for 32 years. He says he wants a handover, but

only to “safe hands”. Western countries and Arab neighbours say they fear sustained clashes in the poor, mountainous country where Saleh has already lost control of several provinces would cause chaos that could benefit an active al Qaeda wing operating in Yemen. The United Nations Security Council was planning to discuss the situation in Yemen yesterday at 1930 GMT, diplomats said, in a meeting that would include a briefing by a senior official from the UN Department of Political Affairs. But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the Yemeni opposition should be careful not to hold back from talks in hope of getting foreign help to topple the government. “That is a very dangerous logic which can cause a chain reaction,” he said, speaking on a visit to Serbia. “All those responsible, particularly members of the UN Security Council, must not opt for conflicts but for dialogue.” Gulf Arab states stepped in this month with an offer to mediate in Yemen after Western-brokered talks stalled, and Saleh representatives were due to meet Gulf foreign ministers in Abu Dhabi yesterday to try to get direct talks back on track. The Abu Dhabi meeting comes two days after a delegation of Saleh’s opponents, who had initially rejected Gulfled talks because they had not set a departure timeframe for Saleh, met Gulf ministers in Riyadh to lay out their objections. “We have great hopes that the Abu Dhabi meeting will extract a clear commitment for Saleh to leave. We are not currently planning to march on the palace but we will escalate protests with a comprehensive civil strike,” said Meshaal Mujahid, a protest organizer in Sanaa. Yemen sent a senior delega-

tion to meet the ministers that includes Foreign Minister Abubakr al Qirbi and Abdel-Karim el-Eryani, a former prime minister and foreign minister popular with Washington. Saleh, who has accepted Gulf mediation, has warned of civil war and the break-up of the country if he is forced out even as protesters lose patience with the negotiation process and are less willing to compromise. “The meetings were not serious and only extend the tenure of the regime. We want the Gulf states and the international community to pressure Saleh to leave immediately and then go to trial,” said protester Wajdi al-Salemi in Taiz. More than 117 protesters have been killed in clashes with security forces since January. A US-based media watchdog said a Yemeni journalist for an Islamist opposition television channel was missing after being summoned by authorities. Saleh, meanwhile, continued to see former supporters desert him as some members of his own ruling party formed a new bloc on Monday to back protests against his rule. The members include the former tourism, human rights and transport ministers. The opposition says Saleh’s departure is not negotiable but other sensitive matters like granting him immunity from prosecution would not prove stumbling blocks to a deal. After initially offering to leave after his current term ends in 2013, Saleh subsequently said he would step down after holding elections, possibly this year. Even before the start of the protests, inspired by the toppling of the Tunisian and Egyptian presidents, Saleh was struggling to quell a separatist rebellion in the south and cement a truce with Shi’ite Muslim rebels in the north. — Reuters

etable cart over a permit. He died later in hospital. His protest triggered a wave of protests which spread across the country and, about a month later, forced President Zine Al-Abidine Ben Ali to flee to Saudi Arabia, ending his more than two decades in office. Faced with growing unrest after Bouazizi’s death, Ben Ali had met the young man’s mother who

complained about policewoman Fadia Hamdi slapping and humiliating him publicly. Ben Ali then ordered Hamdi’s detention, in an apparent attempt to appease public anger. But Bouazizi’s mother withdrew her complaint against Hamdi when the trial began in Sidi Bouzid, about 250 km southwest of the Tunisian capital yesterday. —Reuters




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Brother of Afghan CIA bomber arrested in Jordan AMMAN: Jordan’s counterterrorism forces have arrested the brother of an Al-Qaeda triple agent who blew himself up in a CIA outpost in Afghanistan in 2009, a Jordanian security official and two Islamist leaders said yesterday. The attack in the Afghan province of Khost killed seven CIA employees and was one of the worst tragedies in the history of the American intelligence agency. A Jordanian security official said the arrested man, Ayman al-Balawi, 38, was detained in a sweep Friday along with 102 other members of the ultraconservative Muslim Salafi sect.

CAIRO: Nuns pray as workers carry the coffin of Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni, age 36, during a symbolic farewell ceremony before taking his body to the airport at the Italian hospital in Cairo, Egypt yesterday. —AP

Palestinians to seek UN membership if no peace UNITED NATIONS : The Palestinians say that if a peace treaty with Israel isn’t reached by September, their first choice is to go to the UN Security Council with such strong support and arguments that it would recommend admission of Palestine as a new member of the United Nations. That would require convincing the US, Israel’s ally, not to veto a resolution supporting membership for an independent Palestinian state, which won’t be easy. But Riyad Mansour, the top Palestinian diplomat at the UN, said in an interview with The Associated Press that there are other options to achieve the goal through the UN He said September looms large for the Palestinians because “there are so many things that will converge.” First, Israel and the Palestinians agreed on President Barack Obama’s target of September 2011 for a peace agreement, a date endorsed by the European Union and much of the world. Second, the two-year program to build the infrastructure of a Palestinian state will be complete, and third, the Palestinians hope two-thirds of the 192 UN member states will have recognized Palestine as an independent state, Mansour said. Obama announced in September 2010, as US-brokered direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations resumed, that a peace treaty should be signed in a year, but those talks collapsed weeks later after Israel ended its freeze on building settlements. The Palestinians insist they will not resume peace talks until Israel stops building settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem , lands it captured in the 1967 Middle East war and which the Palestinians want for their future state. Israel maintains that the Palestinians should not be setting conditions for talks and that settlements didn’t stop them negotiating in the past. “Our preference what should happen in September is to have a peace treaty with the Israelis to end the occupation to allow for our independence and our membership in the United Nations,” Mansour said. The US has been heading efforts to restart negotiations but Mansour said the Palestinians want the Quartet , the mediating group consisting of the US, UN, European Union and Russia , to take the lead. Mansour expressed regret that the US blocked a Quartet meeting tentatively scheduled for last Friday in Berlin to discuss, and hopefully endorse, the outlines of a peace settlement proposed by Britain, France and Germany. A US official said a Quartet meeting wouldn’t produce anything that would help restart direct talks. But Mansour said Palestinian leaders “indicated willingness to go back to negotiations” if the Quartet agreed on the proposal by the three European countries. It calls for an immediate halt to settlement activity, a solution to the question of Palestinian refugees, and agreement on the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of both countries and on borders before the 1967 Mideast war, with approved land swaps. It also called for security arrangements that respect Palestinian

sovereignty and protect Israel’s security and prevent a resurgence of terrorism. “We’re trying our best to open doors for negotiations,” Mansour said in the interview late Thursday. “The Israelis are choosing settlements over peace.” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said “the sooner the Palestinians agree to resume peace talks, the sooner we will all be able to take steps that will bring us closer to peace.” The goal of establishing a Palestinian state, living in peace with Israel, “can only be achieved through dialogue and negotiations , there is simply no other way,” Palmor said. “Unilateral measures go exactly the opposite way.” But Mansour said that if there is no peace treaty by September, “for whatever reasons, then we are not going to be hostage to the position of Israel, nor will we accept that nothing can be done until the Israelis are ready and willing.” For the last two years, he said, the Palestinians have been preparing for independence and on Thursday they won an important endorsement when a meeting of key donor states in Brussels said that the institutions developed by the Palestinian Authority are now “above the threshold for a functioning state.” The donors, who give the Palestinians hundreds of millions of dollars in aid each year, cited reports prepared by the World Bank, the UN and the International Monetary Fund. In addition, Mansour said, Palestine has been recognized as an independent state by 112 countries. Possible recognition by six others is being examined, he said, and “hopefully by September 2011 we will have 130, maybe 140 countries recognizing the state of Palestine.” That is important because UN membership not only requires a recommendation from the Security Council but approval by two-thirds of the General Assembly, or 128 countries. “This is the end game,” Mansour said , the more countries the Palestinians have on their side, the more they can pursue independence, “whether in the Security Council or in the General Assembly or combined.” Mansour said the Palestinian preference is for Security Council action in September, backed by widespread recognitions, to “strengthen our argument” for statehood. “We want to make it difficult for anyone to block our effort for securing membership in the Security Council,” he said. If the US vetoes a Security Council resolution recommending statehood, there’s the option of going before the General Assembly, where there is no veto but resolutions are nonbinding. Mansour said that among other options is a General Assembly resolution similar to that of 1947 that called for Palestine to be divided into Jewish and Arab states. Another possibility advanced by some is “Uniting for Peace,” a General Assembly resolution that allows it to take action if it believes the Security Council has failed to head off a threat to world peace and security. But that option would be hard to implement because it would require proving that denying the Palestinians UN membership threatens international peace and security. —AP

The sweep followed violent clashes with anti-government protesters in the eastern Jordanian city of Zarqa during which Salafis stabbed unarmed policemen with swords and knives, wounding 83 officers, and brandished bundles of barbed wire. Salafis , a banned sect which operates underground in Jordan , have held a series of rallies in various parts of the country in recent weeks. Their demonstrations are separate from the four-month-old wave of anti-government protests demanding democratic reforms and inspired by uprisings in the Arab world. The security official said yesterday that Ayman al-Balawi is the brother of Humam al-Balawi, the Jordanian physician-turnedbomber who carried out the December 2009 strike in Khost. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the sweep with the media. He said al-Balawi was not in the Zarqa protest. “He tried to resist the arrest but he was overwhelmed,” the official told The Associated Press. He said Ayman was arrested in his home in Nuzha , which, like Zarqa, is a predominantly Palestinian refugee

neighborhood in the heart of the Jordanian capital Amman. Two militant Islamist leaders speculated that the arrest of Ayman, a known senior Salafi figure, was related to his recent call on an Islamic militant website urging followers to force the implementation of the strict Islamic Sharia law in Jordan. The two leaders also spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity, saying they feared police reprisals. In his posting, Ayman argued that if Sharia law was in place in Jordan, it would help resolve the country’s economic and political problems, including what he described as “regime’s misdeeds.” He also called for toppling Jordan’s King Abdullah II, a moderate US Arab ally who maintains cordial ties with Israel under a 1994 peace treaty. Ayman’s mother, Shunara Awwad, said her son was preaching in an Amman mosque on Friday and was nowhere near the Zarqa protest. “He’s a mosque preacher, employed by the religious affairs ministry and he went to the mosque to work on Friday,” she said. The security official said Ayman and others arrested in the sweep

espouse what is called “takfiri” , an extremist doctrine that regards even non-militant Muslims as infidels. He said the Salafis have about 4,000 members in Jordan, split along the lines of “hawks and doves” in their ideology. While it is difficult to independently confirm links between AlQaeda and takfiri Salafis, the sect itself says there are about 300 “takfiris” serving prison terms in Jordan. Jordanian security officials decline to confirm the number but say the prisoners were convicted of working for Al-Qaeda abroad, plotting terror attacks in Jordan and recruiting Jordanians to carry out attacks on US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ali al-Halabi, who heads a moderate Salafi wing with about 1,000 followers in Jordan, said his group was not part of the Zarqa clashes and denounced the violence. “Although we agree on the necessity of implementing Sharia law in Jordan, Islam does not condone violence to achieve that,” al-Halabi said. Last month, Ayman , who also goes by another first name, Mohammed , addressed an antigovernment rally, saying authorities must release those convicted

of links to Al-Qaeda. Otherwise, he warned militants would “hunt down” Jordanian intelligence officers, who he also accused of torturing detainees. In the Khost attack, Ayman’s brother Humam Khalil al-Balawi , better known by his militant name, Abu Dujana al-Khurasani , also killed a Jordanian intelligence officer. The Jordanian bomber was in fact a triple agent, recruited first by Jordanian intelligence to provide information to the CIA on AlQaeda’s number 2, Ayman alZawahri. But he turned on his handlers. Jordan has convicted scores of Al-Qaeda suspects for links to the terror network or for plotting deadly attacks in the kingdom, including a triple hotel bombing in 2005, which killed 60 people in Amman. The attack was claimed by then-leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, the Zarqa native Abu Musab alZarqawi. A year later, al-Zarqawi himself was killed in a US attack in Iraq. Al-Qaeda has targeted Jordan because of its moderate outlook, close ties to the United States, the treaty with Israel, and support for the US-led global war on terrorism. —AP

Bahrain returns confiscated passports

ISTANBUL: Riot policemen protect themselves during clashes in a street demonstration yesterday in Istanbul after Turkey’s electoral board barred prominent Kurdish candidates from standing in upcoming elections. —AFP

Turkey’s Kurds in uproar over election vetoes DIYARBAKIR: Kurdish crowds clashed with riot police in street demonstrations yesterday after Turkey’s electoral board barred prominent Kurdish candidates from standing in upcoming elections. About 3,000 people gathered in Diyarbakir, the largest city of the mainly Kurdish southeast, to protest the controversial ruling of the Higher Electoral Board (YSK), pelting the police with stones and fireworks. The security forces used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd and detained at least five people, an AFP reporter said. “Our political will cannot be stifled,” the protestors shouted, also chanting slogans praising the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged a bloody campaign for self-rule in the southeast since 1984. Similar unrest erupted in the eastern city of Van when the security forces stopped a crowd from marching on the local electoral office, Anatolia news agency reported. The

protestors hurled petrol bombs at the police and on public buildings and banks, sparking small fires, Anatolia said, adding that two policemen were injured when their car hit a barricade set by the demonstrators. In Istanbul, some 3,000 people staged a sit-in on Taksim Square, disrupting traffic in the heart of the city for more than an hour. “Blood for blood, revenge!” some protestors shouted as other chanted slogans of loyalty to jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan. Citing past convictions and legal technicalities, the YSK Monday disqualified 12 candidates from the June 12 elections, among them seven people backed by Turkey’s main Kurdish political movement, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). The barred candidates include iconic Kurdish figures, among them Leyla Zana, winner of the European Parliament’s human rights award who spent 10 years in jail before being released in 2004. —AFP

BEIRUT: Bahrain yesterday returned confiscated passports to Lebanese citizens and allowed them to remain in Manama, days after expelling more than a dozen mainly Shiite Lebanese over “security concerns.” “Bahraini authorities have returned the passports of a number of Lebanese citizens living there after having confiscated them in preparation for their expulsion,” a foreign ministry source in Beirut told AFP yesterday. “The authorities have allowed them to remain in the country and continue to work there,” the source added. Prime minister-designate Najib Mikati thanked Bahraini King Hamad for his cooperation with Lebanon’s request that its expatriates not be blindly expelled from the Sunni-ruled, majority Shiite country. Earlier this month, Bahrain expelled 16 Lebanese, 14 of them Shiites, over “security concerns” amid persistent unrest in the tiny Gulf state. The expulsions this month came after Bahrain’s foreign minister accused Lebanon’s Hezbollah of backing Shiite protesters against the Sunni monarchy in Manama. Hezbollah has rejected accusations it was training protesters, but the militant movement’s leader has called for continued uprisings in Libya, Bahrain and Yemen. “We are with you, we support you... we are ready to come to your aid in your best interests and ours, to the best of our ability ’,” Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said, addressing protesters. Like its patron Iran, Shiite Hezbollah has consistently expressed support for its mainly co-religionist opposition in Bahrain, which is calling for a constitutional monarchy in the country where the Sunni Al-Khalifa dynasty has ruled for 230 years. Bahrain’s security forces on March 16 crushed demonstrations on the streets of the capital Manama, two days after a joint armored contingent from its Gulf Arab neighbors moved into the archipelago to back the government. Security forces razed Manama’s Pearl Square monument where demonstrators had been camped out for two months before being forcibly evicted. The Shiite-led opposition says hundreds of people have since been arrested. —AFP

Turkish-Armenian monument faces demolition ISTANBUL: A hulking sculpture meant to promote reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia became an accidental emblem of their historic enmity after workers erected scaffolding towers and began to demolish it this week. Then, the mood soured further: a Turkish artist who championed the monument was stabbed. Bedri Baykam, a prominent critic of Turkey’s government, was hospitalized after the assault Monday, which followed a speech in which he condemned plans to tear down the sculpture near the Armenian border. It was an ominous conclusion to an artistic project linking two nations without diplomatic ties and whose relationship seems irrevocably defined by the mass killings of Armenians under Ottoman rule. On Sunday, Armenians mark the 96th anniversary of the start of what many international experts deem a genocide, a view that Turkey vigorously refutes. The conciliator y message of the “Monument to Humanity” was also eclipsed by Turkey’s polarized politics, which pit a twoterm government led by pious Muslims against fiercely secular circles, both vying for nationalist votes ahead of elections in June. The controversy began in January when

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan described the unfinished monument by artist Mehmet Aksoy in the eastern city of Kars as a “freak,” apparently in artistic terms, that overshadowed a nearby Islamic shrine. The 35meter (115-foot) stone sculpture features a divided human figure, with one half extending a hand to the other half. The city council promptly passed a motion to dismantle the monument. Arguably, the Turkish government has done much more than its predecessors to campaign for rapprochement with Armenia, but critics seized on the sculpture’s fate as an example of intolerance. “ Turkey does not deserve this image,” Aksoy said at the same news conference where Baykam gave his speech. “We will turn into the Taliban in the eyes of world art lovers and democratic society.” In his address, Baykam grandly compared the monument’s demise to the Islamic militia’s destruction of the ancient Buddha statues in Afghanistan in 2001. A flamboyant figure with frizzy hair, Baykam has railed against Islamic influence in politics and has close ties to the Republican People’s Party, a champion of the secular order forged by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who led Turkey to independence in 1923.

Video images showed the aftermath of Baykam’s stabbing in a parking lot outside a cultural center in Istanbul. He strides back and forth frantically, gesturing, pulling up his untucked shirt and clutching his abdomen as he shouts to motorists for help. No blood is visible in the footage. “Quick, hospital. I have been stabbed. Help, take me to hospital. Quick, take me to hospital,” Baykam shouts. “Open the door, I’m dying, hospital. Take me to hospital, man, quick.” Eventually, Baykam climbs into the back seat of a taxi that speeds off. His assistant, Tugba Kurtulmus, was also injured in the attack, and she was seen lying on the ground as people tended to her. Baykam received emergency surgery, but both he and Kurtulmus were removed from intensive care yesterday. They were expected to stay in hospital for least four or five days, according to Turkey’s Anatolia news agency. Culture and Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay called the hospital to express his wishes for their quick recovery. Hurriyet newspaper said the alleged attacker, 35-year-old Mehmet Celikel, surrendered Monday evening. He reportedly told police that he had attended meetings at the cultural center in the past. Authorities were investigating whether he is mentally ill. —AP

KARS: Undated but recent file photo of the monument sculpted by Turkish artist Mehmet Aksoy in Kars, Turkey. The hulking sculpture meant to promote reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia became an accidental emblem of their historic enmity after workers erected scaffolding towers and began to demolish it this week. —AP



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Raul Castro named first secretary of Communist Party Fidel makes surprise appearance HAVANA: Raul Castro was named first secretary of Cuba’s Communist Party yesterday, with his aging brother Fidel not included in the leadership for the first time since the party’s creation 46 years ago. Despite raising hopes during the gathering that a new generation of leaders was poised to take up important positions, the island’s president announced that Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, an 80-year-old longtime confidante, would be his No 2. Ramiro Valdes, a 78-year-old vice president, was named to the No 3 spot. Several younger politicians were added to the 15-member leadership group, but in lesser positions. Fidel Castro made a

name was read out by a party official announcing the members of the party’s Central Committee. That larger group is tasked with picking the leadership council. For the first time since the party’s founding in 1965, Fidel was not included. He had revealed in March that he left the party’s top post when he fell gravely ill in 2006, and had never returned despite the fact he continued to be listed as leader. As their names were called for membership in the Central Committee, each newly elected official stood up, revealing a mix of young and old, including many women and Cubans of African descent. There were also a number of

HAVANA: Fidel Castro makes a surprise appearance at the 6th Communist Party Congress in Havana, Cuba yesterday earning a thunderous applause from the crowd. —AP surprise appearance at the gathering, receiving thunderous applause from the 1,000 delegates assembled in a vast convention center in the capital, Havana. Many could be seen crying as the man who led the 1959 revolution to overthrew Fulgencio Batista was helped to his place on stage by a young aide, then stood at attention next to his brother during the playing of Cuba’s national anthem. While Fidel has appeared in public many times since improved health allowed him to re-emerge from seclusion last summer, he has rarely been seen alongside his brother. The revolutionary icon, who wore a blue track suit over a checked shirt, looked unsteady on his feet as he clutched the aide’s arm, and at times slumped in his chair. But he became more animated as the proceedings continued, especially when Raul’s

generals and other senior armed forces officials. Three relatively young people were elected to the more important leadership council, including Marino Murillo, a 50-year-old former economy minister who was recently promoted to a position that puts him in charge of implementing sweeping economic reforms. The current economy minister, Adel Izquierdo, was also named to the council, as was Lazara Mercedes Lopez Acea, the Communist Party chief in Havana. The Congress also approved 300 economic proposals, though details have still not emerged. Apparently included in the measures was a recommendation to legalize the buying and selling of private property, which has been heavily restricted since the revolution. Also on the table was a proposal to

eventually eliminate the monthly ration book, which provides Cubans with a basic basket of heavily subsidized food and other goods. Other measures envision providing seed capital for would-be entrepreneurs and eliminating the island’s unique dual-currency system. Among those who voted in favor was Fidel Castro, who along with his brother was named a delegate to the Congress. The Party Congress does not have the power to enact the changes into law, but the suggestions are expected to be acted upon quickly by the National Assembly over the coming days and weeks. Officials called the gathering to set a new course for Cuba’s economy, and there had also been talk of the need to rejuvenate an aging political class composed largely of octogenarians in power from the early days of the revolution. In a speech opening the Congress this weekend, Raul warned that a new generation was needed to take over when the old guard is gone. He even proposed term limits for officials including the president, a taboo subject during the half-century in which Cuba has been ruled by either him or his brother. The goal is to create opportunities for younger politicians so they can gain experience, Raul said. The inclusion of so many well-worn names in the leadership council came despite an opinion piece by Fidel Castro in which the former leader implied that they were only included on a list of candidates as a gesture toward their years of service. “There were some colleagues who, because of their years and poor health, can no longer do service to the Party, but Raul thought it would be very tough on them to exclude them from the list of candidates,” Fidel wrote in a column that appeared in state-run newspapers and websites yesterday. He added that he was all for the term-limit proposal made by Raul, despite the fact that he himself ruled the island for more than 47 years. “I like the idea,” Fidel wrote. “It is a subject on which I have long meditated.” The revolutionary icon says that while in power, “I must confess I was never very worried about how long I exercised the role of president ... and first secretary of the party.” Fidel said his brother had shown him his proposals days before sharing them with the Congress, an apparent effort to counter any rumors that the two men disagreed. “He shared (the report) with me several days ago on his own initiative, just as he has with many other subjects without my asking him,” Fidel wrote.—AP

Canada’s Conservatives close to clinching majority

TORONTO: New Democratic Party Leader Jack Layton, right, chats with Beverly Thomson, center, and Seamus O’Reagan following an interview at CTV Canada AM morning show yesterday in Toronto.—AP

TORONTO: Canada’s ruling Conservative Party remained close to clinching a majority government but support for its Liberal rivals picked up slightly, according to a poll released yesterday. The Nanos Research tracking poll of results over three days of surveys showed support for the Conservatives steady at 39.8 percent from Monday. The poll showed the Liberals have 30.2 percent of the vote, up from 29.8 percent of the vote on Monday. Support for the New Democrats dipped to 17.3 percent from 17.4 percent on Monday. Under Canada’s electoral system, a party needs about 40 percent of the vote to win a majority of the 308 seats in the House of Commons. The Conservatives had a minority in the last Parliament and needed support from at least one other party to stay in power. The federal election is scheduled for May 2. The daily Nanos tracking figures are based on a three-day rolling telephone sample of 1,012 decided voters and are considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20.— Reuters


Republican insiders embrace Trump presidential bid WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama has launched his re-election bid in a low-key manner, but the Republican Party’s search for a challenger in the 2012 race seems stranger by the day. Republican celebrities like Sarah Palin aren’t getting much buzz. Mainstream candidates like Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty aren’t getting much traction. It’s people once considered highly unlikely to compete seriously for the party’s nomination who are creating big stirs in early voting states, a reflection of an unformed and uncertain Republican presidential field. Republican activists in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina appear deeply intrigued by, and open to, a run by Donald Trump, the publicity-loving business tycoon and host of TV reality show “The Apprentice,” even as he perpetuates falsehoods about Obama’s citizenship and questions the legitimacy of his presidency. “I hear more and more people talking about Donald Trump,” said Glenn McCall, Republican Party chairman in South Carolina’s York County. “He’s got people fired up.” These Republican officials and activists stopped short of saying they see Trump as the eventual nominee. But they said their party is hungry for forceful, colorful figures to attack Obama and other Democrats on health care, spending and other issues. In Iowa at least, there’s also widespread talk about two social conservatives: Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who would be the first president elected directly from the

House since James Garfield, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who lost his 2006 re-election bid by a landslide. Even Herman Cain, the little-known, wealthy former pizza chain executive, gets mentioned by Republican voters who will have the first crack at winnowing the Republicanfield. While these people certainly have talents, the party’s establishment does not see them as the likeliest contenders to defeat Obama. Karl Rove, architect of George W. Bush’s two presidential wins, calls Trump “a joke candidate.” Republicans traditionally pick party veterans who wait their turn and earn their nominations after years spent as governors, senators or vice presidents. But this field lacks a frontrunner like Bob Dole in 1996 or George W. Bush in 2000. There’s a political vacuum in the Republican Party, insiders say, and it’s being filled by an unusually large and diverse number of White House hopefuls. “It’s probably the most wide open field in 50 years,” said Stephen Scheffler, a Republican National Committee member and head of the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition.”I’m not sure anyone has caught fire yet.” South Carolina Republican Party chairwoman Karen Floyd said, “It’s any candidate’s ballgame right now.” Kim Lehman, another Republican National Committee member from Iowa, said voters haven’t locked in on any one person. “Everyone is taking their time and seeing who’s who, and what’s what,” she said. —AP



Muslim radicals plan royal wedding demo LONDON: London police said yesterday they had banned a radical Muslim group from holding a protest outside the church where Britain’s Prince William will marry Kate Middleton next week. However, talks are ongoing about allowing Muslims Against Crusades (MAC), whose members include some of Britain’s best-known Muslim extremists, to stage some form of demonstration in the capital. Meanwhile the English Defence League (EDL), a right-wing anti-Islamist group, whose past protests have been marred by violence, has also applied to stage a demonstration should MAC get the go-ahead. “So far we’ve had two request from groups wish-

ing to protest and we’re currently engaging with them to decide whether we think that’s appropriate,” London Assistant Commissioner Lynne Owens told Sky News. “It’s a celebration and we want the day to be focused on that celebration.” MAC said on its website its aim was to disrupt the April 29th wedding. “We find that one of the biggest advocates of British imperialism, Flight Lieutenant Prince William, wishes to enjoy an extravagant wedding ceremony, ironically at the expense of the tax-payer,” the website says. “We promise that should they refuse, then the day which the nation has been dreaming of for so long will become a nightmare.”

Last month, Emdadur Choudhury, 26, a member of MAC, was fined 50 pounds ($81.53) for burning a poppy on Armistice Day and shouting “British soldiers burn in hell” during rival protests by MAC and the EDL outside London’s Royal Albert Hall. The EDL on its Facebook website page has warned protesters it would “be there in our 1,000s waiting for you to slip up”. The protest is one of a number of security issues facing police in the run-up to the royal wedding with Britain currently at its second highest threat level of “severe”, meaning an attack by militants is considered highly likely. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected in London, and with many digni-

taries and royals from Britain and abroad attending, the event is considered to be an obvious target. About 5,000 officers will be on duty and there will be covert operations taking place. Search teams and sniffer dogs have already been scouring drains, bins, peering inside lamp posts and even hunting inside traffic lights for any hidden bombs or weapons on the short route the couple will take between Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey. The couple will travel in separate cars to the abbey, but return along the procession route together in an open-topped horse-drawn carriage, waving to the crowds, and then appear on the balcony of the palace with the

rest of the royal family. “Officers are trained to be vigilant and check areas where items may have been hidden,” said Inspector Ian Fairman who is in charge of the search teams. “Officers will be checking vulnerable areas all along the route of the procession.” There is also concern that anarchists will target the event after riots last month. In December, a car carrying William’s father Prince Charles and his wife Camilla was attacked during student protests in the British capital. Police confirmed that 60 people, who have been charged with committing public order offences, were banned from central London on the day as part of their bail conditions. —Reuters

Charred corpses line road after Nigeria vote riots 400 people wounded: Red Cross

OUAGADOUGOU: The new Chief of Staff of the Burkina army, Brigadier General Honore Traore, attends a transfer of power ceremony in Ouagadougou yesterday. —AFP

Burkina Faso names new premier after riots OUAGADOUGOU: Burkina Faso’s President Blaise Compaore appointed a former journalist and ambassador to France as the new prime minister, hoping to restore stability after a series of violent protests by soldiers. Compaore had sacked the government and top military chiefs on Friday after members of his own presidential guard went on a rampage in the capital of the West African state, firing their weapons in the air, looting shops and commandeering cars. A decree made public late on Monday named Burkina’s 56-year-old ambassador to France, Luc Adolphe Tiao, as the new prime minister. Since mid-March, the capital and outlying towns in the impoverished country have been roiled by unrest. Protests by soldiers over pay have been joined by angry students, business people, and residents taking to the streets against rising food prices, police brutality and crime. A spokesman for Compaore’s presidential security regiment appeared on television on Monday night calling on soldiers to stop their protests and apologizing to the public for the “inconve-

niences” caused during Friday’s riots. “We condemn the vandalism, the looting and the troubles that have taken place over the past few days,” Moussa Ag Abdoulaye, a low-ranking soldier, said in the statement read out on television. The new army chief of staff, a respected general and former chairman of Burkina Faso’s football federation, said the military needed to resolve its own problems through dialogue. “The head of state, who is the army commander in chief, has responded favourably to the soldiers’ grievances. So we will meet with them to start over with a clean slate, because the image of our army has been tarnished,” General Nabere Honore Traore told reporters. Burkina Faso has been under Compaore’s tight rule since he took power in a 1987 coup and has so far avoided the conflicts and upheavals seen in many of its neighbors. He won a new five-year term in office after taking 80 percent of the votes in an election last November, but analysts say increasing pressure from the military and the civilian population has weakened his grip on power.— Reuters

KADUNA: Burned corpses with machete wounds lay in roads and smoke rose above this city where rioting broke out again yesterday among Muslim opposition supporters who were angered by the announcement that the Christian incumbent president had won the election. On the outskirts of Kaduna, burned out minibuses and cars littered the highways, and at least six charred bodies could be seen. Skull caps and sandals were strewn nearby, left behind by those who frantically fled amid the chaos. Authorities and aid groups have hesitated to release tolls following the riots across northern Nigeria for fear of inciting reprisal attacks, but the National Emergency Management Agency confirmed there had been fatalities. The Nigerian Red Cross said yesterday that nearly 400 people had been wounded. In a televised address to the nation late Monday, President Goodluck Jonathan said that “nobody’s political ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian.” Hours later, the president fired his interior minister, citing “a number of lapses in the political leadership of the ministry.” On Monday, supporters of opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari set fire to homes of ruling party members in several areas across the north. Police said an angry mob also engineered a prison break. In the northern town of Kano, Rev. Lado Abdu said three churches had been set ablaze by angry demonstrators. An armed mob at a bus station also threatened another evangelical pastor before a Muslim man nearby spirited him to safety. “What brought together religion and politics?” Rev. Habila Sunday said in the local Hausa language. “I want to know why when politics happen do they burn churches?” Thousands have been killed in religious violence in the past decade in Nigeria, which is Africa’s most populous nation. But the roots of the sectarian conflict are often embedded in

KADUNA: Burnt out cars litter the roads after election violence in Kaduna, Nigeria yesterday. —AP struggles for political and economic dominance. While Christians and Muslims have shared the same soil in the nation for centuries, the election result showing the Christian president’s more than 10 million vote lead over Muslim candidate Muhammadu Buhari spread accusations of rigging in a nation long accustomed to ballot box stuffing. Jonathan took office last year only after the country’s elected Muslim president died from a lengthy illness before his term ended, and many in the north still believe the ruling party should have put up a Muslim candidate instead in this year’s election. Monday’s violence also was fueled by the economic despair in Nigeria’s arid north. “The region has the worst unemployment, the most grinding poverty, the poorest education, and the shortest life expectancy of any region of Nigeria,” the newspaper Next said yesterday

350 houses burned in Sudan election state

Mediterranean states seek EU help on migrant influx NICOSIA: EU member states on the Mediterranean rim appealed yesterday for their partners’ support to help cope with an influx of migrants fleeing the turmoil in northern Africa. “Our position is that the EU should support member states under pressure today,” said Cypriot Interior Minister Neoklis Sylikiotis who hosted a meeting of representatives from Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain. France was present as an observer. “The EU is faced with a series of challenges and it has to respond collectively,” Sylikiotis said, outlining proposals they want EU interior ministers to adopt on May 12. Yesterday’s meeting was the second such gathering after a February session in Rome in which France was a full participant. Interior ministers of the 27nation bloc failed last week to agree on any common position for dealing with the influx because northern European states, led by Germany and France, consider the numbers do not constitute a crisis. They argue that most of the North Africans are economic migrants rather than refugees or asylum seekers in need of international protection, and are angry with Italy for granting the newcomers temporary residence permits that would allow them to travel freely in most of the EU. France, which has closed its border to Tunisian migrants from Italy, was represented yesterday by its ambassador to Nicosia who took part as an observer. More than 450,000 people have fled Libya, mainly crossing into Tunisia and Egypt, but also going to Niger, Algeria, Chad, Sudan, Italy and Malta, according to UN refugee agency UNHCR. Tunisian migrants have also flowed out of the north African country since the fall of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in January loosened previously strict fron-

tier controls, opening the way into Europe for thousands seeking employment. Alfredo Mantovano, undersecretary of state at the Italian Interior Ministry said some 30,000 people had entered Italy from Tunisia in the past three months. “None of our countries intends to shed their responsibilities and put them on somebody else’s shoulders,” Mantovano said. He added that the burden must be shared as much as possible throughout the EU. In a joint communiquÈ, the five countries called on the EU’s border control agency Frontex to intensify monitoring based on risk analysis and encouraged member states to provide the agency with additional human and technical resources. They also urged Frontex to expand its operations to prevent illegal flows in the eastern Mediterranean area of Egypt and Syria. The communiquÈ also called for the establishment of a special solidarity fund, “when necessary, to tackle exceptional emergency situations and humanitarian crises”. The group wants the EU to establish a common asylum system and present a proposal on relocating migrants within the bloc. Maltese Minister of Justice and Home Affairs Carmelo Bonnici joined his colleagues in saying this was not just a national problem but a European one “that needs a European solution”. Malta, the smallest EU country in area and population has seen the arrival of more than 1,000 migrants in the past few weeks following the trouble in Libya. The group said the EU should promote practical cooperation with the countries of origin or transit of illegal immigrants by concluding readmission agreements, developing voluntary return programs and enhancing their capacity of border management and surveillance. —Reuters

in an editorial. “So stark and repulsive is the poverty, and so thoroughly alienated have the people become, that even this contested election can be seen as little more than an outlet for the expression of deep-seated grievances.” Nigeria has a long history of violent and rigged polls since it abandoned a revolving door of military rulers and embraced democracy 12 years ago. Legislative elections earlier this month left a hotel ablaze, a politician dead and a polling station and a vote-counting center bombed in the nation’s northeast. However, observers largely said Saturday’s presidential election appeared to be fair, with fewer cases of ballot box thefts than previous polls. Election chairman Attahiru Jega announced results Monday night that showed Jonathan won 22.4 million votes, compared to the 12.2 million votes of his nearest rival, the former military ruler Buhari. —AP

KIEV: Participants of the Chernobyl Pledging Conference pose for photo in Kiev, Ukraine yesterday. —AP

With an eye to Japan, world pledges cash for Chernobyl KIEV: The world community, spurred by the nuclear crisis in Japan, yesterday pledged 550 million euros ($780 million) extra cash to help build a new containment shell at the site of the 1986 Chernobyl accident. Ukraine had hoped for 740 million euros from world governments and international organizations at a conference in Kiev, marking 25 years since the world’s worst nuclear accident on Ukraine’s northern border with Belarus. “This is what we have been able to raise through joint efforts-and we consider this figure preliminary — 550 million euros,” Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich said at the end of a pledging conference in Kiev. Though the figure was short of Ukraine’s goal, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said it was possible when all the pledges had come in that the conference’s “very ambitious goal” could be achieved. Ministers and officials from the Group of Eight industrial nations and the European Union took the lead at the conference, expressing resolve to fund a new giant encasement over the Chernobyl reactor that exploded in 1986, billowing radiation across Europe. But Japan’s nuclear crisis cast a deep shadow. Delegates expressed solidarity with Tokyo’s efforts to control the crisis at Fukushima, while its ambassador told the gathering that “under the challenging circumstances” Japan would not be able to pledge additional funds to the Chernobyl effort.

The Japan crisis was a reminder that “nuclear safety recognizes no national borders,” Zbigniew Brzezinski, a U.S. National Security Advisor under former President Jimmy Carter, told the conference. Yanukovich said the Soviet-era disaster at Chernobyl in 1986 had left Ukraine with a “deep wound which it will have to cope with for many years. “Neither Ukraine nor the world community has the right to turn back from seeking answers to the questions which Chernobyl has presented us with,” he declared. Barroso, describing the pledges as a “very good result”, said the European Commission had committed itself to putting up 110 million euros extra cash. In all, the EU bloc was providing half the funds required for Chernobyl “shelter and safety” projects, he said. The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development said it would put up 120 million euros and French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said his country would provide 47 million euros. A Europeanbacked venture foresees a new arching shell over Chernobyl’s No. 4 reactor, which blew up in April 1986 after a safety experiment went wrong. It will cover the present makeshift shelter which is now beginning to leak radioactivity from hundreds of tons of radioactive material inside. More than 100 metres high, it will slide into place over the damaged reactor, sealing it at least until the end of the century. — Reuters

KHARTOUM: Satellite images have confirmed the burning of some 350 houses in a deadly attack on a village in Sudan’s South Kordofan border state, where gubernatorial elections will be held next month, a monitoring group said. “The Satellite Sentinel Project has confirmed the razing of more than 350 structures at El-Faid village in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan,” the US monitoring group said late on Monday. “SSP analysis of DigitalGlobe satellite imagery shows evidence consistent with the intentional burning of at least 356 structures at El-Faid.” On Thursday, Sudan’s Popular Defence Forces attacked El-Faid, the village of South Kordofan Deputy Governor Abdelaziz al-Hilu, killing 17 people, including two women and five children who burned to death inside their homes, Hilu told AFP. He accused his rival, ruling National Congress Party (NCP) Governor Ahmed Harun, of organising the attack by the paramilitary forces. He said 300 to 500 homes were torched, and that hundreds of families were sheltering in schools and with friends as a result. Harun, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes in the war-torn western Sudanese region of Darfur, did not respond to the allegations. But a senior NCP official said the southern Sudan People’s Liberation Army was responsible for the attack in the northern state, without offering an explanation. South Kordofan’s gubernatorial and state assembly elections are due on May 2 after being delayed by a year. The SPLM, the ruling party of the south, of which Hilu is a member, objected to a 2008 census, which grossly underestimated the state’s population. SPLM officials have already accused the PDF, a militia now par t of the Sudanese army, of attacking its supporters in the flashpoint border district of Abyei, whose future status is a hotly contested issue in the run-up to southern independence in July.— AFP



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18 die, five hurt in Indian helicopter crash: Police 100 troopers deployed for rescue, salvage operations GUWAHATI: At least 18 people died and five others were badly burnt yesterday when a helicopter crashed and exploded as it came into land in a mountainous region of northeast India, police told AFP. “The number of those killed are 18 and five people badly burnt have been taken to hospital in Tawang,” said S B Singh, police inspector general of Arunachal Pradesh state, lowering the earlier death toll of 20.

RATNAGIRI: Indian policemen try to douse fire set by protesters opposing a government plan to build a nuclear plant at Jaitapur, in Ratnagiri yesterday. — AP

Mob sets fires in protest of nuclear plant in India NEW DELHI : A mob opposing a government plan to build a nuclear plant in the western Indian state of Maharashtra ransacked a hospital and set buses on fire yesterday during a protest strike. Residents of Jaitapur have been protesting the proposed plant since the government’s plans became public four years ago. The opposition has grown since Japan’s nuclear crisis, with critics noting that Jaitapur is in a seismic zone. The general strike was called after police fired to disperse protesters who attacked a police station Monday, killing one person. The town’s streets were mostly deserted as the strike took effect. But by midday, groups of people converged on the street, shouting slogans against the government. The mob later ransacked a government-run hospital and set at least three public transport buses on fire, police said. Construction is to start this year on the first of six units at the proposed $10 billion plant, billed as the biggest in the world. The project by the French nuclear energy company Areva will generate 9,900 megawatts of power when completed. The first unit is expected to start producing power in 2018. India’s Environment Minister Jairam

Ramesh has said additional safeguards will be taken in light of the troubles at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The Fukushima plant’s cooling systems were destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami last month, and the Japanese operator has struggled to get the plant back under control. Ramesh described the events unfolding at Fukushima as a “wake-up call,” but said India could not abandon nuclear energy in its quest for clean energy to fuel its rapid economic growth. The government has countered protesters by asserting that the site is safe and the plant’s location on a high cliff would save it from being hit by a tsunami. Jaitapur is about 260 miles (420 kilometers) south of Mumbai, India’s financial hub and the Maharashtra state capital. Anti-nuclear protesters plan to march Saturday from a nuclear power plant near Mumbai to Jaitapur to oppose the new project. At present, nuclear energy forms only 3 percent of power available in India. The government has announced plans to increase the share of its nuclear power generation to 13 percent of its energy basket by 2030 to meet the rising demand for electricity. — AP

“There were 23 people including five crew members on board the helicopter,” he added. “Sixteen bodies have already been taken out (from the wreckage), two more bodies are being taken out and five are in hospital and they are very seriously burnt,” he said. A Toko, assistant director in Arunachal Pradesh’s civil aviation department, put the death toll from the crash near the border with China at 17. “We can confirm that 17 people have died in the crash and there are six survivors, including both the pilots, and they have been shifted to hospital with serious injuries,” Toko told AFP. The Russian-designed civilian helicopter in the state’s frontier Tawang region belonged to the government-run Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd., officer Singh said by telephone from the state capital Itanagar. “People said it exploded in a ball of fire while coming in to land in Tawang,” Singh said, citing witnesses on the ground. Two of the five injured survivors were crew members, he said. There were two children on board the helicopter when it crashed. Their condition is unknown. The Indian army, which has thousands of soldiers in Arunachal Pradesh, deployed 100 troopers for rescue and salvage operations, a senior officer said from Kolkata, the military’s eastern headquarters. Pawan Hans Helicopters operates daily chopper services between Guwahati and Tawang and other remote locations in Arunachal Pradesh and the rest of the north-

ARUNACHAL PRADESH: Smoke rises after an MI-17 helicopter crashed in the Buddhist pilgrimage town of Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh state, India yesterday. — AP

east. In November last year, 12 army personnel died when a Russian-made Mi-17 military helicopter crashed after take -off near Tawang, which is situated close to the heavily fortified India-China border. An unresolved dispute over the border triggered a brief but

bloody war between China and India in 1962. India says China is illegally occupying 38,000 square kilometers (15,000 square miles) of its territory, while Beijing claims 90,000 square kilometers or the whole of Arunachal Pradesh. — AFP

Police arrest lawmakers for passport forgery

Pakistan military strives to secure central Afghan role ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani military is scrambling to shore up ties with Afghanistan to ensure a central role in a negotiated settlement of the conflict as the beginning of a US military withdrawal draws closer. Uneasy neighbors Pakistan and Afghanistan took an important step last weekend, agreeing to include Pakistani military and intelligence officials in a commission seeking peace with the Taleban, giving Pakistan’s security establishment a formal role in any talks. Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have been fraught for decades largely because Pakistan has seen successive Afghan governments as too close to its main enemy - India. Pakistan’s military has had long-running ties to the Afghan Taleban and has repeatedly said that the road to a settlement of the 10-year conflict in Afghanistan runs through Islamabad. It has in the past frowned upon efforts by Kabul to independently launch dialogue with the Taleban and is unlikely to countenance a similar outreach by Washington to the insurgent group without its involvement. In recent months, Pakistan has sought to improve relations with Afghan President Hamid Karzai as the United States begins its withdrawal in July, and regional powers including India jostle for influence. “This is part of General Kayani’s relentless outreach to President Karzai ever since the Obama administration announced withdrawal plans,” said C Raja Mohan, a prominent Indian foreign affairs expert, referring to Pakistani army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani. Mohan said Karzai - who has often blamed Pakistan for fueling the insurgency in his country - had responded to the Pakistani military overtures because he saw Pakistan as his hope for survival once the United States leaves. “Karzai is looking to his political future after the US withdrawal and he has asked for ‘Pindi’s help to find a way to work things out with the Taleban,” he added, referring to Pakistani army headquarters in the city of Rawalpindi. Feelers have gone out between the Afghan government and Taleban sympathizers, although no formal peace process has begun. At the same time, Afghanistan and Pakistan have turned to each other when their own relations with the United States are strained. US ties with Karzai have soured since his election was called into question and over corruption. Relations with Pakistan have suffered over covert US actions, including missile attacks by drone aircraft that Washington says are necessary to hunt down Al-Qaeda and the Taleban and which Pakistan sees as a violation of its sovereignty. Above all, driving the flurry of diplomacy is the worry that the

United States will leave Pakistan to clean up the mess after it leaves, just as it did following the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989. “As we’re coming to the end game, it’s created a sense of urgency for an opening for all sides to come back to the table,” said Cyril Almeida, a columnist for Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper. But the question, he said, is whether the younger generation of Taleban commanders is war-weary or war-hardened, and how much authority supreme Taleban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar retains over them. That uncertainty calls into question how much sway Pakistan itself has over the militants, given its ostensible abandonment of them in 2001 after an American ultimatum. Pakistan’s once close relationship with the Taleban-it was one of only three countries to recognize the brutal regime toppled by the United States in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks - has become more complicated. “The Taleban are not a manageable force anymore. The blowback that has happened in Pakistan, the whole insurgency. They’re really worried about the emboldening of characters on their side of the border,” said Kamran Bokhari, Middle East and South Asia director for the global intelligence firm STRATFOR. “They don’t want the Talebanisation of Afghanistan,” he said, referring to Pakistani leaders. One scenario that Pakistan is working towards is a coalition government - perhaps similar to the one in Iraq - that sees the Taleban embedded in a political process that grants them a major say, but prevents them from taking over entirely, Bokhari said. It is unclear if the United States would be happy with that, but it may have little choice given that a military victory looks impossible. “Ultimately, the Americans don’t like the idea that there should be some negotiations with the Haqqanis and Mullah Omar,” Bokhari said, referring to the most dangerous Afghan Taleban faction. “But it’s in their interest to see a little bit of a load taken off their plate,” he said, referring to a Pakistani role in pressing the Taleban to talk peace. But before Pakistan can play a major role, it must overcome distrust in Afghanistan, and a belief that it will always see the Taleban as its long-term allies in achieving its aims, including keeping India at bay, analysts in Kabul say. “One thing is clear,” said Thomas Ruttig, co-director of the Afghanistan Analysts Network. “Pakistan needs to play a more constructive role in Afghanistan. I don’t see signs that Pakistan has given up its ideas of using the Taleban as an asset for post-2014 Afghanistan.”— Reuters

KABUL: Afghan residents of Logar province shout slogans against the governor of Logar province, holding a banner that reads “Be aware that the Logar governor has brought insecurity to Logar, it will be spread tomorrow to Kabul”, during a demonstration in Kabul, Afghanistan yesterday.—AP

Afghanistan should brace for more assassinations: US envoy DARBISHAN: Afghanistan’s government and foreign troops should prepare for the Taleban to step up urban suicide attacks and assassinations as they shift tactics to “very focused” terrorism, the US ambassador said. Karl Eikenberry told Reuters in an interview that three insurgent attacks in just four days pointed to a change in strategy following setbacks against international and Afghan security forces. “Our sense is that in the course of the spring and the summer that we could see continued suicide attacks, perhaps at a higher level than we saw last year,” Eikenberry said on his aircraft during a fleeting visit to restive Kandahar province. “It seems to us now that they can’t hold forces in the field and they can’t fight headon. They have shifted and they have begun now a very focused terrorist campaign.” An insurgent strike on Monday killed two people in the Afghan Defense Ministry in the third attack on supposedly high-security installations in just four days. On Friday, a suicide bomber wearing a police uniform killed Gen. Khan Mohammed Mujahid, the Kandahar police chief, while another uniformed suicide bomber on Saturday killed five NATO service members in one of the worst attacks in months. Insurgents have long targeted powerful leaders, with Mujahid the third Kandahar police chief assassinated since 2005, but there is widespread concern that in the face of pressure from tough US “surge” troops these killings will increase. Eikenberr y, a former US general, visited Kandahar city on Monday for private talks with provincial governor Tooryalai Wesa in the wake of the police chief’s killing, as well as visiting US special forces soldiers and local leaders in the strategically vital district of Khakrez, to the northwest. The area and its overshadowing Masoud mountain range was once a Taleban stronghold and is still a vital insurgent supply route, or “rat run”, but Eikenberry and US commanders say district security has improved sharply in the last year. Eikenberry went without body armor and jumped on an open special forces buggy with a minimal escort to visit a newly built girls’ school and bazaar in Darbishan village, where the turquoise dome of Afghanistan’s third holiest shrine glimmered against the crags behind. But US troops admit the relationship with around 2,500 local people is still fragile, with

many having close ties and even extended family bonds with the Taleban. Much of the area, including shops and the Sufi shrine of Shah Maqsood Agha, was also shattered by U.S air strikes in 2001 as American troops tried to drive out the Taleban and al Qaeda fighters, prompting an intensive rebuild. “There are no hard-core Taleban here any more. But they are still unsure about us. They are still not sure how long we are going to stay and if the Taleban will come back,” said one special forces soldier who could not be named. To improve the relationship, the special forces command in Kandahar has just extended rotation of elite troops from six months to a year, to better solidify ties with local elders. “The focus is on relationships. That’s the most important counter-intelligence strategy,” a senior officer told Reuters in the marble courtyard of the shrine. Eikenberry, in a flurry of shura meetings with local people in Khakrez and Kandahar, heard pleas for new schools, teachers and health clinics, but also worries about security after a transition to fully Afghan security in 2014. “There is uncertainty throughout Afghanistan. On one hand there is a sense of pride that goes with transition, but at the same time there is a sense of apprehension,” Eikenberry said. Governor Wesa said Kandahar had been through bad periods before many times, including the January assassination of Deputy Governor Abdul Latif Ashna, and the government was resilient enough to recover from Mujahid’s slaying. “The opposition are trying as hard to disturb the security as we are trying to build security. There will be tough days, but we will be okay,” Wesa said. Eikenberry said the use of uniformed suicide bombers was a tactic that would be hard but not impossible to combat. NATO has said it is training intelligence officers specifically to search out possible infiltrators and Taleban sympathizers. “That’s a tactic that’s designed to lower the trust of the Afghan people and their security forces, an effort to break down the trust within the forces themselves,” he said. “It does represent a very serious threat and the Afghan security need to ensure that their vetting processes, their recruiting are rigorous and that their counter-intelligence within the forces is effective.” — Reuters

KATHMANDU: Nepalese police yesterday arrested two lawmakers after they allegedly gave their diplomatic passports to two other people, who altered them and used them to travel to the United Arab Emirates. The opposition lawmakers, Bishwanath Prasad Yadav and Gayatri Sah, were arrested following a police investigation as they emerged from parliament.The two lawmakers-a man and a woman-were accused of complicity in changing the names and photographs on their diplomatic passports, but have denied the police allegations. “We conducted a lab test of their passports and found the passports were altered,” Rajendra Singh Bhandari, chief of the police Central Investigation Bureau, told reporters. The investigation was launched after a man and a woman were deported three months ago by the United Arab Emirates when authorities allegedly found them carrying forged diplomatic passports. The pair had been bound for Australia.— AFP

Top Indian court urges ‘honor killing’ crackdown NEW DELHI: India’s Supreme Court yesterday told state governments to “ruthlessly” stamp out so-called honor killings and warned that officials who fail to deal with the practice would be prosecuted. India has seen a recent upsurge in such crimes, which mainly involve young couples who marry outside their caste and are murdered by relatives to protect what they see as the family’s reputation and pride. The court yesterday lashed out at councils of village elders, known locally as khap panchayats, as “kangaroo courts,” saying they encouraged honor killings. “There is nothing honorable in honor killing or other atrocities and, in fact, it is nothing but barbaric and shameful murder,” judges Markandeya Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra said in the judgment. “We have heard of khap panchayats which often decree or encourage honor killings or other atrocities in an institutionalised way on boys and girls of different castes and religion, who wish to get married or have been married, or interfere with the personal lives of people,” they said. “We are of the opinion that this is wholly illegal and has to be ruthlessly stamped out.” There are no official figures on honor killings, though an independent study last year suggested that as many as 900 were being committed every year in the northern states of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. Many go unreported, with police and local politicians turning a blind eye to what some see as an acceptable form of traditional justice. The court ordered state governments to punish local administrators and police chiefs if they did not respond to honor killings. Last August Home Minister P. Chidambaram said he would present a bill in parliament which will provide specific, severe penalties to curb such killings.—AFP



Japan nuclear plant starts pumping radioactive water Removing 25,000 metric tons allows access to workers

SEOUL: South Korean mothers stage an anti-nuclear energy rally to protect their children from radioactive exposure in Seoul, South Korea yesterday. —AP

N Korea ready for atomic test any time: South Korea SEOUL: North Korea is ready to conduct another nuclear test if its current approaches for dialogue fail although there are no current signs of preparations, South Korea’s spy chief said yesterday. “Another atomic test is always possible as (North Korea) has various nuclear test sites and construction of (new) sites is under way,” National Intelligence Service chief Won Sei-Hoon was quoted as telling a parliamentary intelligence committee. Won’s comments to the closed-door session were quoted by ruling party lawmaker Hwang Jin-Ha. North Korea conducted its first two nuclear tests in October 2006 and May 2009. The South’s Yonhap news agency reported in February that the North was digging at least two new tunnels at its nuclear test site in apparent preparation for a third atomic detonation. “I believe North Korea will use military action such as nuclear and missile (tests) to turn the tables if its current tack of dialogue fails,” Won said. Multinational talks on ending the North’s nuclear programs in return for diplomatic and economic benefits have been stalled since

December 2008. Pyongyang has expressed interest in restarting them. But Seoul and Washington say it should first show it is serious about disarmament and mend cross-border ties. The North fuelled regional security fears last November by disclosing an apparently functional uranium enrichment plant, which could give it a second way to make atomic bombs in addition to its plutonium stockpile. Lawmaker Hwang said Won expressed concern over the safety of the North’s ageing nuclear facilities at Yongbyon. “They appear to be inferior, but we cannot say exactly which part is weak. So we’re paying attention to this problem,” the spy chief was quoted as saying. Regarding the uranium enrichment plant, South Korean officials have questioned whether Pyongyang can build a facility that meets international safety standards. Yongbyon for decades has been at the hear t of the Nor th’s drive for nuclear weapons, with a gas graphite reactor there having produced enough plutonium for possibly six to eight bombs.— AFP

TOKYO: The operator of Japan’s crippled nuclear plant began pumping highly radioactive water from the basement of one of its buildings to a makeshift storage area yesterday in a crucial step toward easing the nuclear crisis. Removing the 25,000 metric tons (about 6.6 million gallons) of contaminated water that has collected in the basement of a turbine building at Unit 2 of the Fukushima Daiichi plant will help allow access for workers trying to restore vital cooling systems that were knocked out in the March 11 tsunami. It is but one of many steps in a lengthy process to resolve the crisis. Tokyo Electric Power Co. projected in a road map released over the weekend that it would take up to nine months to reach a cold shutdown of the plant. But government officials acknowledge that setbacks could slow the timeline. The water will be removed in stages, with the first third of it to be handled over the coming 20 days, said Hidehiko Nishiyama of Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. In all, there are 70,000 tons (about 18.5 million gallons) of contaminated water to be removed from the plant’s reactor and turbine buildings and nearby trenches, and the entire process could take months. TEPCO is bringing the water to a storage building that was flooded during the tsunami with lightly contaminated water that was later pumped into the ocean to make room for the highly contaminated water. The operator plans to use technology developed by French nuclear engineering giant Areva to reduce radioactivity and remove salt from the contaminated water so that it can be reused to cool the plant’s reactors, Nishiyama said, adding that this process would take “several months.” Once the contaminated water in the plant buildings is safely removed and radioactivity levels decline, workers can begin repairing the cooling systems for the reactors of Units 1, 2 and 3, which were in operation at the time of the tsunami. Workers must also restore cooling functions at the plant’s six spent fuel pools and a joint pool for all six units. When the tsunami struck, units 5 and 6 were going through a regular inspection. On March 20, they were put in cold shutdown, which is when a reactor’s core is stable at temperatures below 212 Fahrenheit (100 Celsius).

MINAMI SOMA: Japan Ground Self-Defense Force members search in the rain for victims’ belongings in a devastated area in Minami Soma, northeastern Japan yesterday. —AP With the nuclear crisis dragging on, public frustration with the government is growing. Opinion polls show more than two-thirds of Japanese are unhappy with the leadership of Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who was grilled for hours Monday by opposition politicians, many demanding he resign. TEPCO has offered residents forced to evacuate from homes around the plant about $12,000 per household as interim compensation. People elsewhere in the disaster zone who lost houses to the tsunami, which also left more than 27,000 dead or missing, say help has been slow to materialize. “I don’t understand what the politicians are doing, there are new committees and meetings everyday,” said Hiroshi Sato, who lost his house in Kesennuma and now lives in a fabric warehouse from his old business. “We need support, financial assistance, and nothing has come yet,” he said. In TEPCO’s blueprint for stabilizing the reactors, the utility aims to cool the reactors and spent fuel pools and reduce radiation leaks over the next three months. Within 6-9

Suicide bomb in Indonesia shows target shift: Report JAKARTA: A suicide bombing in Indonesia last week highlighted a trend of militants acting alone or in small groups to attack Indonesians rather than foreigners to push an Islamist agenda, the International Crisis Group (ICG) said in a report yesterday. This has raised concern about more low-level attacks in the world’s most populous Muslim country, which has been seen as having successfully combated militancy but is now seeing a spike in religious intolerance. “Ideological shifts originating in the Middle East have combined with local circumstances to produce a trend that favors targeted killings over indiscriminate bombings, local over foreign targets and individual or small group action over operations by more hierarchical organizations,” the ICG said. Thirty people, most of them policemen, were wounded in a suicide bombing in a mosque in a police compound on April 15, the most serious in a recent spate of attacks. Police identified the bomber as Muhammad Syarif Astanagarif, 32. They said his bomb was similar to ones used by major

militant networks in the past Police are investigating whether the bomber had links to groups such as Jemaah Islamiah (JI), an outlawed southeast Asian group with links to al Qaeda, or Jema’ah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT ), which has not been banned. Legal hardline groups have in the past tended to target places such as bars and massage parlors, armed with sticks and machetes rather than bombs and guns. “The last two years have seen an increasing merger of violent and non-violent extremist agendas in Indonesia,” said the ICG’s Jim Della-Giacoma in the report. “Counter-radicalization programs need to move beyond law enforcement to stop extremism at the source.” Metro TV footage showed pictures of the suicide bomber at rallies against the minority Ahmadi sect, which is seen as deviant by many Indonesians. Police said the bomber had also been involved in ransacking a small shop for selling liquor. The ICG said the new trend did not mean radical groups would no longer target foreigners, whose numbers are growing in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy

in tandem with rising investment by multinational companies. Indonesia has suffered major bombings over the past decade, notably the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings that killed 202 people, including many foreign tourists, which police blamed on Jemaah Islamiah. Militant groups that want to establish an Islamic state such as JAT, whose leader Abu Bakar Bashir is on trial, could provide networks, funds and outreach through radio stations to spread radical teachings and create more small groups committed to “individual” jihad, the ICG said. In a recent interview with Reuters, the head of Indonesia’s anti-terrorism agency said militants were using parcel bombs and targeting minorities to try to push an Islamist agenda on the government and warned they could launch more small attacks. Militant attacks and incidents of religious intolerance have risen in recent weeks, with mobs lynching three followers of the Ahmadi sect and torching two churches on Java island. —Reuters

Mekong nations at odds on controversial Laos dam BANGKOK: Laos faced pressure from its neighbors yesterday to delay construction of a controversial dam on the Mekong River as they failed to agree on a project that has sparked deep environmental concerns. Officials from Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam met in Vientiane to discuss the planned $3.8 billion Xayaburi dam in northern Laos, an impoverished Communist nation which sees hydropower as vital to its future. Laos’s neighbors argued there had been insufficient environmental studies on the dam’s likely impact, according to a statement released after the meeting, while Laos said there was no need for further consultation. PHNOM PENH: Cambodian villagers who live along the Mekong River use ferry for transEnvironmentalists have warned damming the portation near Phnom Penh, Cambodia yesterday. —AP lower Mekong would trap vital nutrients, increase algae growth and prevent dozens of backing the project financially, and Thai con- started, Laos state media signaled that conspecies of migratory fish-including the giant struction group CH. Karnchang Public Co is struction was expected to begin soon, saying catfish-swimming upstream to spawning playing a leading role in the project. Even the government “has full rights” to decide Thailand, however, voiced reservations about whether to approve construction of the dam. grounds. But the final decision on the dam rests with the scheme, including the possible loss of Environmental groups have long objected to damming the river, which winds from the Laos, which seems determined to eventually fisheries and wetlands. The four member states of the intergovern- Tibetan Plateau through China and much of go ahead, and work has already started to build roads to the site. Vietnam voiced “deep” mental Mekong River Commission (MRC) have Southeast Asia. China already has several concerns about inadequate assessments and an agreement to cooperate on the sustain- dams on the upper Mekong. The wildlife the risk of damage to its fishing and farm able development of the waterway and have organization WWF has warned that dams industries, calling for hydropower projects on been in consultations over the Xayaburi proj- could irreversibly change the Mekong’s the mainstream Mekong to be deferred for at ect. “We understand the concerns of neigh- ecosystem, damaging fisheries crucial to the least 10 years. Discussions about the dam, boring countries. We will keep up our efforts livelihoods of over 60 million people. It fears which is the first of 11 proposed for the main- to persuade them and make them understand that the Mekong giant catfish, one of the stream lower Mekong and will be capable of why Laos needs to construct this dam,” world’s biggest freshwater fish, could be drivgenerating 1,260 megawatts of power, are Daovong Phonekeo, deputy director general en to extinction if plans to build hydropower of Laos’s Department of Electricity, told AFP dams on the river go ahead. Laos is Southeast now set to move to ministerial level. Around 95 percent of this electricity will be by telephone from the capital Vientiane after Asia’s smallest economy and one of the poorbought and exported to Thailand, which is the meeting. Even before yesterday’s talks est countries in the world. — AFP

months, the goal is achieve a cold shutdown of the reactors and cover the buildings, possibly with a form of industrial cloth, to further tamp deter any possible radiation leaks. Two remote-controlled robots sent into the reactor buildings of Unit 1 and Unit 3 on Sunday showed that radiation levels inside , up to 57 millisieverts per hour, were still too high for humans to realistically enter. The USmade Packbots, which resemble drafting lamps on tank-like treads, also were briefly sent into Unit 2 on Monday, officials said, and the radiation level was found to be a much lower 4.1 millisieverts per hour. But the high level of humidity inside the reactor building fogged up the robot’s camera lens, making it difficult to see conditions inside. They were pulled out after less than an hour, officials said. “We didn’t want to lose sight of where the robot was and then not be able to retrieve it,” TEPCO manager Hikaru Kuroda said. The reason for the higher humidity wasn’t clear, but it suggests that workers, if they were to go inside, also would have difficulty seeing through their masks, Kuroda said. —AP

Singapore dissolves Parliament, calls election SINGAPORE: Singapore’s president dissolved Parliament yesterday, triggering a general election in which the ruling party will seek to extend its sixth decade in power. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong advised President SR Nathan to dissolve the legislature. Lee’s People’s Action Party has been in power since 1959 and is expected to maintain a strong majority in the new polls. His supporters controlled 82 of the 84 seats in the outgoing Parliament. A small but feisty opposition will likely challenge the PAP in most voting districts, seeking to capitalize on voter discontent with soaring housing costs and a surge in foreign workers. In past elections, many PAP candidates ran unopposed. But opposition

candidates will face several hurdles to get their message heard. Public speech about race, religion and politics is closely controlled in Singapore and outdoor demonstrations require police permission and are allowed at only one park. The official campaign is just 10 days and television advertising is banned. Voting will take place May 7. Political par ties must announce which districts candidates will compete in on April 27. Lee Kuan Yew, who was prime minister from 1959 to 1990 and is the father of the current prime minister, plans to run for a seat again to maintain his Cabinet position of Minister Mentor. He first won his Tanjong Pagar district in 1955. — AP

Australian PM’s Asia tour seen as ‘balancing act’ SYDNEY: Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s upcoming Asia tour will be a tough balancing act in which she must weigh her ardent support for the US against the region’s rising influence, analysts say. Gillard embarks today on a week-long visit to countries critical to Australia’s prosperity and security-key trading partners Japan, South Korea and China-as competitive tensions between Washington and Beijing linger. “It is a very interesting balancing act she’s got to strike,” foreign policy expert Professor Hugh White said of Gillard’s first north Asia tour, which comes as Japan battles a nuclear crisis and China cracks down on dissidents. White said Gillard had “gone out of her way to express strong support for the United States and its role in Asia” as tensions between the US and China grew over the value of the yuan and the flood of Chinese goods to America. “There is a question as to whether the Chinese won’t press her on whether, by leaning so far forward towards the US she’s not in effect leaning away from China,” he said. Gillard is expected to focus on business during the April 25-27 visit to Australia’s largest trading partnerworth some US$50.6 billion annuallywhere she will meet President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao. While she is likely to raise the current dissident crackdown, White said the Chinese had come to expect “what one might call routine protestations on human rights” from western leaders. “The core dynamic of the relationship is trade, and that’s what makes China so central to Australia’s international outlook at the moment,” added White, who heads the

Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University in Canberra. But he said if Gillard, who has previously admitted foreign affairs are not her “passion”, felt she could just “turn up”, she could be mistaken. “It does boil down to the simple fact that both the United States and China are both extremely important countries to Australia-so is Japan,” White told AFP. “The US and Japan on the one side have one view of Asia’s strategic future and China has a different view and Gillard has to navigate her way between them.” But Professor Andrew O’Neil, director of the Griffith Asia Institute at Queensland’s Griffith University, said the Chinese were aware of Australia’s longstanding military alliance with the US and its importance to Canberra. “I think they are much more focused on shoring Australia up as one of the key trading partners for China, but also a growing investment market as well for Chinese mining companies,” he said. “I think the Chinese are very comfortable in keeping the relationship transactional: trade, investment, cooperation on energy security, the sorts of big picture issues that concern China.” Former diplomat and intelligence analyst Rory Medcalf, now with Sydneybased think-tank the Lowy Institute, said the trip was a “big foreign policy step” for Gillard. In Japan, she is expected to visit areas hit by the 9.0-magnitude quake and following tsunami which swept thousands to their deaths and knocked out an atomic power plant, sparking a nuclear crisis. — AFP





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What threat would Mekong dam pose? By Martin Petty fficials from Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam met yesterday to debate a plan to build a huge dam across the Mekong River, a project experts warn could trigger a food security crisis in the region. The proposed $3.5 billion, 810-metre Xayaburi dam in northern Laos is being touted as a major step for green energy, but ecologists and environmentalists believe millions of livelihoods and regional stability are at stake if the dam goes ahead.


WHAT ARE THE EXPERTS SAYING? They warn dozens of migratory fish species will become extinct if the dam is built. Fish stocks will dwindle, affecting fishermen and local people who live off Southeast Asia’s biggest waterway. The dam could prevent the movement of fertile silt needed to replenish agricultural land. Parts of the Mekong river in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia could be turned into virtual reservoirs and crops vital to domestic consumption and exports, such as rice, could be starved of nutrients. They also say the proposed fish ladder-which allows fish to move through the dams-was poorly designed and is likely to fail. A decline in stocks would have an impact on the human protein intake and revenues for farmers and fishermen would be significantly reduced, forcing many to relocate. A study by the Mekong River Commission (MRC), an inter-government agency set up to coordinate dam projects, says the Xayaburi dam could lose 60 percent of its capacity within 30 years due to sedimentation. WHY IS LAOS SO EAGER? Laos’s ambitious Communist government wants to shed its status as one of the world’s poorest countries within the next decade and is aggressively pursuing hydropower as a means to generate income and raise its international profile. The sparsely populated nation has 10 projects so far and 60 more in the pipeline. It has agreed deals to generate power for Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam and relishes its newfound reputation as the “battery of Southeast Asia”. By producing hydroelectric power, Laos sees itself as increasing its political clout and reducing its dependence on its neighbors. Laos insists green energy is the way forward and has ignored the chorus of criticism. It is “excited” about Xayaburi and stands by its view that environmental and human impacts will be minimal. DID LAOS CARRY OUT A PROPER ASSESSMENT OF THE RISKS? Apparently not. The Environmental Impact Assessment by the Lao government was seen as inadequate and incomplete. Experts said the EIA lacked credibility and was fraught with contradictions. Some called it “irresponsible” for failing to address risks for fisheries and livelihoods of local people. US environmental group International Rivers said the Lao government had shown “complete disregard” for the MRC’s detailed findings and called for the dam to be halted. U.S. Senator Jim Webb warned of regional instability if there was no coordinated approach in planning the dam. WHAT ABOUT COUNTRIES IN THE MEKONG BASIN? Thailand will benefit greatly from the dam but has said very little about it. Thai construction firm CH Karnchang is a partner in the project and Thailand is buying most of the dam’s power. However, Thais living downstream of the dam might not be so happy. Cambodia and Vietnam are pushing for a delay to ensure a comprehensive, collaborative assessment of risks can be conducted. Vietnam, Laos’s most influential ally, seems to be most upset by its neighbor’s determination to press ahead. Vietnam is a major driver of Laos’s fledgling $6 billion economy and holds huge sway with its smaller socialist ally, exerting what seems like a “big brother” influence on Laos, providing political, social and economic support to a country where technocrats are few and far between. Vietnam very rarely criticizes its neighbor but officials have spoken out about the dam in recent weeks and negative stories have appeared in the state-controlled media. This is very unusual and suggests quiet diplomacy may have failed. IS LAOS LIKELY TO DELAY CONSTRUCTION? No one seems to know. The standoff has baffled even the most clued-in experts, who are unsure exactly why Laos-a country that rarely creates conflicts-is defying its neighbors, especially, Vietnam. International pressure, threats or incentives could encourage Laos to delay the project if it feels it might benefit. However, it seems determined to move ahead and photographs published in a newspaper appear to show construction of an access road is already under way, even though the consultation process with its neighbors, as required by a 1995 MRC treaty, has not yet been completed.— Reuters

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Chernobyl donors conference falls short of goal By Jim Heintz donors conference seeking $1.1 billion to clean up the Chernobyl disaster site fell well short of its goal yesterday, but officials remained optimistic that money will be found to make the world’s worst nuclear accident site environmentally safe. Pledges from nations and organizations at the conference totaled about $785 million, along with $41 million from Ukraine. The money is being sought to complete the construction of a gargantuan longterm shelter to cover the nuclear reactor that exploded April 26, 1986, and to build a facility to store waste from the plant’s three other decommissioned reactors. Japan had been one of the top donors in previous years, contributing $103 million in total. But this year, after last month’s devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant crisis, Japan held back from pledging money. Several other major donors in the past also did not announce pledges yesterday, citing their own economic difficulties or impending national elections. Among them were Ireland, Spain and Canada. But “undoubtedly, the countries that were not ready to offer today are still with us,” said French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, whose country pledged $67 million. France is the strongest defender of using nuclear power in Europe. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych reached out to countries not at the conference, saying, “We will always be thankful for timely assistance.” Other top pledging countries at the conference included the United States, promising $123 million, Germany with $60.5 million and Russia, a latecomer to decades of Chernobyl contributions, pledging $64 million. Russia’s pledge doubled the amount it has donated since it began contributing in 2005. The European Commission pledged $157 million and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which is directing the Chernobyl projects, promised $171 million. The international community already has poured $1.2 billion into the fund to build the shelter over the reactor. In the months after the blast, workers hastily built a so-called sarcophagus to block off the radiation being spewed from the reactor, but it has already exceeded its proposed service life and has been plagued by structural problems. The new shelter, which will look like a giant Quonset hut, is to be assembled adjacent to the reactor building and then slid over it on rails. The shelter, designed to last 100 years, is supposed to be in place in 2015, after which the reactor can be disassembled. The separate spent-fuel storage facility is to hold the waste fuel from the plant’s other reactors, which were phased out of service after the blast. The donors’ conference kicked off a week of meetings on the 1986 explosion that spewed a cloud of radiation over much of Europe. In Ukraine, an area of 30 kilometers radius around the plant remains blocked off by guards and is largely uninhabited except for some rotating maintenance workers at the idle plant and a few hundred residents who moved back to their homes despite advice to stay away. At a separate conference in Kiev, one UN expert said ecological conditions in some of the fallout-affected areas have improved considerably. “In most of the territories, background radiation nowadays is not different to many places where there were no similar catastrophes, and in fact there can be normal life there. The health risks are much smaller than they used to be 20 years ago or 15 years ago,” said Jerzy Osiatinski of the UN Development Program.— AP


CHERNOBYL: File photo shows a chimney towers over the sarcophagus that covers the destroyed Reactor No 4 at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. — AP

Outgunned, but Misrata rebels may have urban edge By Fredrik Dahl and Joseph Nasr attling tanks and snipers in Misrata’s streets, the rebels holding the city are exploiting a defender’s natural advantage in urban warfare to survive a two-month onslaught by better-armed government troops. Blocking a main street with sand-filled trucks and trying to isolate and flush out gunmen loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi firing at them from rooftops, insurgents are waging a desperate fight to cling on to their last major western bastion. But Misrata’s fate will likely depend on whether they can prevent their foes from seizing or denying access to its port- a lifeline for trapped civilians and for food and medical aid, as well as a possible way to bring in arms and ammunition. “Control of the port is essential because without that they would be truly cut off, they would fold, they would not be able to withstand the siege,” Shashank Joshi, analyst at Britain’s Royal United Service Institute, said. Footage of rag-tag rebels with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic rifles crouching among crumbling buildings and launching hit-and-run attacks evoke images of other city sieges — such as the Serb encirclement of Sarajevo in the early 1990s. But analysts say they have a much-needed edge in fighting in built-up areas on their home turf. They know the terrain better than their adversaries, who may also experience difficulties in using their heavy weaponry to maximum effect. “Even the most efficient and professional troops in the world-like the Americans, the British, who have been in Iraq for example-have found that in urban fighting the advantage is always on the defender,” said military analyst Paul Beaver. Insurgents can use their local knowledge to spring ambushes, and the only way to seize Misrata would be to start leveling it, as the Soviets did in Berlin at the end of World War Two. “The Soviets destroyed whole neighborhoods. There isn’t the firepower in the Libyan army to do that,” Beaver added. But the same cityscape that gives the rebels cover and room for swift tactical maneuvering also makes it hard for NATO warplanes to strike at government positions.


GUNS ON ROOFS, UNDER TREES The rebels have complained bitterly about the military alliance’s failure to take more decisive action against Gaddafi’s forces and tip the balance in their favor, warning of an impending “massacre” in Misrata if it fails to do so. “Unfortunately, NATO’s mission did not succeed and they have clearly failed to protect civilians in Misrata,” a rebel spokesman named Abdelsalam said, echoing the views of others. A Reuters correspondent who travelled twice to Misrata on government-organized trips since fighting erupted there in late February said pro-Gaddafi troops controlled the southern section of Tripoli Street, a main thoroughfare and a key battle ground. Gaddafi loyalists were trying to position as much military hardware as possible inside the city. “I saw many anti-aircraft guns on the roofs of residential buildings, also underneath large trees,” the correspondent, Maria Golovnina, added. She last went to the city’s outskirts on April 9. Rebels have since claimed gains on Tripoli Street. The head of NATO’s military operations in Libya on Monday accused

forces loyal to Gaddafi of underhand tactics in Misrata. “The regime’s forces have used snipers on top of mosques, they are hiding beside hospitals, they have got their armored vehicles in schools and, in fact, they have even taken their uniforms off,” Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. The outcome of the battle for Misrata could have wider significance for the Libyan civil war, which has reached stalemate with inconclusive fighting on its fluid eastern front. “If the government troops were able to take over Misrata it would give them a huge victory,” Beaver said. Using Russian-made Grad rockets and mortars, Gaddafi’s forces have unleashed daily bombardments of rebel positions as well as residential areas, including one attack that killed several civilians in a bread queue last week, rights groups say. Hundreds of people are believed to have been killed in what Western powers have condemned as a “medieval” siege to force Misrata’s 300,000-strong population into submission. But the insurgents say they are putting up stiff resistance, thwarting enemy attempts to advance on the port and further into Misrata’s centre. They said they surrounded three loyalist-held buildings in the city on Sunday, taking control of two of them. “They know that once they step out of their tanks and armored vehicles they will have to face rebel fighters in house-to-house battles,” Abdelsalam, the spokesman, said. ‘NON-STOP’ BOMBING It is hard for outsiders to get a clear picture of the situation in Misrata, which like many other Libyan cities rose up against Gaddafi’s four-decade rule in February, and the rebels’ claims are difficult to verify independently. Libyan officials say they are fighting armed militia with ties to al Qaeda bent on destroying the country, denying that government troops are bombarding Misrata or shelling civilians. Gaddafi’s son Saif Al-Islam said the army was rooting out terrorists hiding in the city, as the Russians did in the Chechen capital, Grozny, or the Americans in Fallujah in Iraq. “It’s exactly the same thing,” he told the Washington Post. “I am not going to accept it, that the Libyan army killed civilians. This didn’t happen. It will never happen.” But rebel and witness accounts paint of picture of indiscriminate shelling and intense fighting in the city and on its outskirts. Buildings have been ripped apart by artillery fire, burnt-out vehicles lie in rubble-strewn streets, and doctors are treating wounded civilians with inadequate resources. The insurgents say government forces are deployed on Nakl Al Thaqeel road by the coast, on the outskirts of the eastern Kasr Ahmad residential area near the port and on or near Tripoli Street, which enters the city from the south. They say Gaddafi forces are pounding districts close to the port with rockets and mortars. The shelling has closed Nakl Al Thaqeel, used by heavy trucks to reach the harbor, forcing Misrata’s insurgents, civilians and aid groups to use another. “They are bombing residential areas day and night. It’s non-stop,” Ibrahim Ali, who arrived in Tunisia last Saturday on a boat from Misrata run by a medical charity, said. Asked who was controlling most of the city, the 22-year-old said: “It’s fifty, fifty. It can change quickly.”—Reuters



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SANAA: Anti-government protesters gesture while chanting slogans during a demonstration demanding the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa yesterday. — AP

West faces hard choices on Libya

Syria lifts emergency laws Continued from Page 1

Continued from Page 1 Misrata, Libya’s third city. NATO bombing has damaged Gaddafi’s armor but not enough to break the stalemate, and the alliance may have no choice but to use naval gunfire or helicopters, analysts said. The US, British and French leaders said last week they would not stop military action until Gaddafi quit. “They’ve boxed themselves in by describing victory as Gaddafi leaving,” said Daniel Keohane of the EU Institute for Security Studies think tank. “I don’t think there’s any way they can walk away now. There’s a political imperative to carry on.” Rebel plans to sell oil from territories they control are running into problems due to UN sanctions, envoys and analysts say. Western powers are eager to help Libyan rebels sell the crude to fill their coffers. But without definitive guidance on the legal status of Libyan oil from the politically divided UN sanctions committee, UN diplomats and traders say the oil could remain virtually untouchable. UN diplomats told Reuters that Security Council members eager to escalate the diplomatic pressure on Gaddafi’s government-above all France and Britainrushed through the two packages of sanctions, and may not have foreseen how difficult the UN measures would make it to aid the rebels. “I don’t think they realised the complications the sanctions would create, and now they’re trying to backtrack on the question of selling oil and on the arms embargo,” a UN diplomat said on condition of anonymity. One of the ideas being floated, diplomats said, was to exempt Arabian Gulf Oil Co (Agoco), a subsidiary of the Libyan National Oil Corp based in rebel areas, from the sanctions. But no delegation has formally proposed it to the committee. Russia, China, India, Brazil and Germany all abstained during the Security Council vote to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and authorize military action to protect civilians. Since then, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa- all council members-have become increasingly critical of NATO actions, which they say are helping the rebels, not civilians. So far, the rebel Libyan National Council has only been able to export a small amount of crude oil with the help of OPEC member Qatar. While NATO looked for a more effective way of attacking Gaddafi’s forces, UN

humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said she was extremely worried about the plight of civilians in Misrata. “I very much hope the security situation will allow us to get into Misrata,” she said in Benghazi. “No one has any sense of the depth and scale of what is happening there.” The European Union outlined a tentative plan on Monday to send European troops to Misrata to protect aid deliveries if requested by the United Nations, EU officials said. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in Budapest, said Gaddafi’s government had agreed to a humanitarian presence in the capital Tripoli. His spokesman Farhan Haq said this included an agreement on the entry of international humanitarian staff and equipment through the Tunisian border. Details were scarce and so far Libya has not agreed to a ceasefire to allow aid providers an opportunity to work. Previously, NATO leaders had ruled out sending ground troops into Libya, but EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Monday EU countries had now adopted unanimously the “concept of the operations”-if the United Nations requested it. Any EU mission could involve hundreds of military personnel securing transport of supplies directly to Libya, in particular Misrata, and helping to supply food and shelter to refugee camps on the Tunisian and Egyptian borders. EU troops would not have a combat role, except to protect the humanitarian mission, but analysts say the arrival of the first Western troops since the Libyan crisis erupted would be significant. A chartered ship evacuated nearly 1,000 foreign workers and wounded Libyans from Misrata on Monday, the second evacuation ship in the past few days. Rebels said they had gained ground in fighting in the Tripoli Street area despite government shelling. “It is clear Gaddafi wants to wipe out Misrata. NATO’s inaction is helping him carry out this plan. Are they waiting for a massacre to happen to realize that they need to change tactics?” rebel spokesman Abdelsalam told Reuters by telephone. The Libyan government denies allegations that it is violating its people’s human rights and says it is fighting gangs of Al-Qaeda militants. ProGaddafi forces have also kept up an offensive on the rebels’ eastern frontline outpost of Ajdabiyah, from where the rebels hope to retake the oil port of Brega, 80 km to the west. — Reuters

MPs threaten PM over the disabled Continued from Page 1 The Popular Bloc has vowed to grill Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah immediately after forming the new cabinet over allegations of squandering public funds. But MP Salwa AlJassar criticized other MPs saying that the law is being implemented and accused MPs of protesting because the authority for people with special needs has cracked down against healthy people who claim to be disabled. She also defended the

authority director general, who is her husband, saying that opposition MPs are targeting the person of the prime minister and that of the director over exposing cheats who pretended to be disabled. In another development, three Kuwaiti diplomats arrived in Kuwait yesterday from Tehran after the Iranian authorities expelled them as Salafist MPs launched a scathing attack on Iran and its plots in the region. After strongly lashing out at Iran at a gathering organized by the Salafist group late Monday, pro-

Salafist MP Mohammad Al-Mutair yesterday strongly deplored what he called “Iran evils” who use their weapons only against Arabs and Muslims. Mutair was commenting on what he claimed Iranian threats to launch terrorist attacks against Gulf troops in Bahrain dispatched last month to assist the Bahraini government against Shiite-led protests. The lawmaker said that Iran’s plot to hit the Arabian Gulf through Bahrain has failed and that is why it has ordered its sleeper cells to carry out terrorist attacks against the Gulf countries.

abolishing the state security court, which handled the trials of political prisoners, and approved a new law allowing the right to peaceful protests. The changes need parliament approval, but no objections are expected at its next session planned for May 2. “Repealing the emergency law would do little to restrict the power of various security agencies because Syria has other laws that guarantee members of the secret police immunity for virtually any crime committed in the line of duty,” said Mohamad Bazzi, a regional expert at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Most of Syria’s 23 million people were born or grew up under the strict control of the state of emergency that, among other things, puts strict control on the media, allows eavesdropping on telecommunications and permits arrests without warrants from judicial authorities. The regime had claimed the reason for the emergency rule is because of the technical state of war with archenemy Israel, but rights groups and others say it was mostly used as the backbone of the authoritarian system. Yesterday’s overtures came shortly after the Interior Ministry issued an ominous warning to the nation to stop taking part in any protests or sit-ins. In a statement broadcast on Syrian Television, the ministry said all laws will be implemented to safeguard the people’s security and the country’s stability. The government has imposed a total ban on all demonstrations after warning of a crackdown on an “armed revolt” by Islamist radicals and as four people

died when security forces fired on protesters in the city of Homs. Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim Al-Shaar told people “to refrain from taking part in all marches, demonstrations or sit-ins under any banner whatsoever”, state news agency SANA reported. He warned that if demonstrations were held, “the laws in force in Syria will be applied in the interest of the safety of the people and the stability of the country”. Shaar was understood to be alluding to the emergency law in place since 1963. Its repeal has been a central demand of reformists demonstrating since March 15, and President Bashar Al-Assad promised at the weekend to rescind it within a week. The law restricts many civil liberties, including the imposition of restrictions on public gatherings, freedom of movement and allowing the “arrest of anyone suspected of posing a threat to security”. When the protests first began, the authorities relaxed its enforcement to permit peaceful gatherings, but Shaar’s announcement would appear to close that loophole. The announcement came hours after the authorities vowed to suppress what they called an “armed revolt” by Salafists, Muslims who espouse an austere form of Sunni Islam that seeks a return to practices common in the early days of the faith. The authorities said three army officers and three children were killed around the city of Homs. “Armed criminal gangs who block roads and spread fear in the area, came upon General Abdo Khodr Al-Tellawi, his two children and his nephew, and killed them in cold blood” and “mutilated” the bodies, state news agency SANA reported. — Agencies

GCC activists urge reforms Continued from Page 1 freedom, justice and democracy,” the statement said. The statement called on GCC leaders to “free all citizens, rights activists and politicians detained during the recent peaceful protests,” in Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The GCC also includes Kuwait and Qatar. The statement listed the names of 110 people arrested in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia where the minority Shiite Muslims have staged several protests in the past few weeks. It also called on Saudi Arabia to release or put on trial around 5,000 detainees who have been arrested in connection with terrorism charges, and for the release of dozens of political prisoners arrested recently. The petition called for the release of Bahrainis detained following the crackdown on a Shiite-led prodemocracy protest, putting the number of detainees and missing in the Sunni-ruled kingdom at 744 people. The UAE has also arrested four rights activists. The statement called on GCC states to carry out compre-

hensive political reforms, draft constitutions and allow the formation of political parties and hold free democratic elections. Only Kuwait and Bahrain have elected parliaments with legislative powers. In Kuwait, unelected ministers automatically become MPs while, in Bahrain, an appointed upper house has the power to block parliamentary resolutions. In another development, Saudi authorities have arrested a Shiite Muslim intellectual in the oil-producing eastern province where minority Shiites have staged protests in the strict Sunni kingdom, human rights activists said yesterday. Security forces arrested Al-Saeed Al-Majid, a Shiite writer, on Sunday at his workplace in Khobar on the Gulf coast, the independent Human Rights First Society said in a statement. Shiite website confirmed the arrest. “After the arrest, security forces raided his home in Qatif where they confiscated his laptop plus some personal belongings,” Human Rights First said, adding the reason for his arrest was unclear. Saudi authorities were not immediately available for

comment. Hundreds of Saudi Shiites have staged protests in the eastern province where most of them live to call for the release of prisoners held without trial and political and religious rights, according to Shiite activists. Shiites in Eastern Province have long complained of discrimination, a charge denied by the government. Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter and major US ally, is an absolute Sunni Muslim monarchy that tolerates no form of dissent. It has not seen the k ind of mass uprisings that have rocked other autocratic Arab elites in the last few months. The protests over the past few weeks have resulted in police detentions of some demonstrators, but almost no Saudis answered a Facebook call for protests in Sunni cities in the kingdom on March 11, amid a high security presence. last week, activists in Eastern Province said the Saudi authorities released 13 Shiite prisoners who were detained after taking part in demonstrations last month. Many others are still in custody, they said. — Agencies



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New Sri Lanka batting coach COLOMBO: Former captain Marvan Atapattu will be Sri Lanka’s batting coach on the upcoming tour of England. The appointment yesterday signaled public forgiveness from Sri Lanka Cricket for Atapattu, who retired in 2007 following a spat with the national selectors and dropped most links with the governing body. In a controversial farewell press conference, he referred to the selectors as “muppets headed by a joker.” After retiring, Atapattu played in the nowdefunct Indian Cricket League, which was regarded as a rebel league by the Indian cricket authorities and International Cricket Council. The 40-year-old Atapattu played 90 tests and 268 one-day internationals in a 17-year international career. The opening batsman scored 5,502 test runs including 16 centuries, six of them double hundreds, and 8,529 ODI runs including 11 centuries. —Reuters


Bucs to play in London LONDON: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host the Chicago Bears at London’s Wembley Stadium in October if the NFL season isn’t altered by a labor dispute. With the league and its lockedout players still mired in negotiations over a new labor agreement, the NFL on Monday announced its plans for what it hopes will be the fifth regular-season game played in the British capital. However, if the labor talks are not resolved by Aug. 1, the game will be played in Tampa instead, the league said. The Bucs are set to return to London for the second time in three years, having lost to the New

England Patriots at Wembley in 2009. For the Bears, the game on Oct. 23 will mark the 25th anniversary of having played a preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys at the stadium in 1986. “We are honored to be selected to participate in the NFL International Series for a second time,” Buccaneers co-chairman Bryan Glazer said in a statement. “We are looking forward to promoting Tampa Bay’s emerging young team on the world stage.” It is the fifth year in a row that the NFL stages a regular-season game in London as the league tries to win over new fans and increase its marketing appeal overseas. —AP

Barca to appeal Iniesta ban MADRID: Barcelona have decided to appeal UEFA’s proposal to ban Andres Iniesta for one Champions League match for deliberately collecting a yellow card. The Spain midfielder was cautioned in the first leg of Barca’s quarter-final against Shakhtar Donetsk, which the Spanish club won 5-1, for not retreating the required distance at a freekick, meaning he missed the return game in Ukraine. UEFA officials at the match alleged Iniesta provoked the card so he could serve the standard one-match ban in the second leg and would have a clean slate for the semi-finals. If the ban stands, Iniesta will miss the first leg of Barca’s Champions League semi-final against La Liga rivals Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on April 27. “FC Barcelona believe that the arguments outlined in their appeal, based on the good faith of the player and the disproportionate nature of the proposed sanction will be sufficient to rebut these allegations,” the club said on their website ( “The UEFA disciplinary committee will make a decision on the case on Wednesday,” they added. At a news conference yesterday, coach Pep Guardiola denied Iniesta had deliberately gotten himself booked. —Reuters

Red Sox thrash Blue Jays

DENVER: San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum throws to the plate during the first inning of a Major League Baseball game against the Colorado Rockies. —AP

Giants rout Rockies DENVER: Tim Lincecum took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and three Giants batters homered as San Francisco routed the Colorado Rockies 8-1 in the National League on Monday. Lincecum (2-1) dominated the Rockies, the best team in MLB over the first 2 1/2 weeks of the season, until Carlos Gonzalez broke up his no-hit bid with a single in the seventh. Lincecum, the two-time Cy Young Award winner who led the Giants to the World Series title last year, allowed one run and three hits and struck out 10 batters over 7 2-3 innings. Pat Burrell, Nate Schierholtz and Freddy Sanchez all homered for the Giants. Esmil Rogers (2-1) allowed eight runs over three innings in just the second loss by a Rockies starter this season. Brewers 6, Phillies 3 In Philadelphia, Ryan Braun drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the 12th inning to lead Milwaukee. Brandon Kintzler (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings to earn his first win in the majors. The Phillies rallied against closer John Axford in the ninth, leveling the score at 3 on Pete Orr ’s RBI single. But the Brewers held on to end a three-game losing streak. After Kyle Kendrick (0-1) walked Rickie Weeks to lead off the 12th, then allowed him to reach third on a wild throw, Braun hit his sacrifice fly to score the winning run.

Cubs 1, Padres 0 In Chicago, Tyler Colvin hit an RBI double with two outs in the 10th inning to lift the Cubs over San Diego. Geovany Soto reached on a fielder’s choice with two outs, then scored from first when Colvin doubled to right field. Carlos Marmol (1-1) struck out two in 1 1-3 scoreless innings to pick up the win for the Cubs. Chad Qualls (0-1) allowed a run while getting two outs for San Diego. Pirates 9, Reds 3 At Cincinnati, Andrew McCutchen doubled home two runs as Pittsburgh topped Cincinnati with its biggest offensive showing of the season. Pittsburgh scored three runs in the first inning off Travis Wood (1-2), the second game in a row that a Reds starter struggled early against the Pirates. Kevin Correia (3-1) gave up four hits while pitching his second career complete game. The Pirates took three of four in the series, and have won their first three road series for the first time since 2002. Dodgers 4, Braves 2 In Los Angeles, Ted Lilly pitched seven scoreless innings and James Loney had two RBIs to lead the Dodgers past Atlanta. Lilly (1-2) gave up four hits, struck out six and did not allow a runner past second base. It was his first win in four starts this season. —AP

British Olympic body resolves cash dispute LONDON: Britain’s two major Olympic bodies settled the messy financial dispute Tuesday that threatened to overshadow preparations for the 2012 London Games. The British Olympic Association dropped its legal case against the 2012 organizing committee, known as LOCOG, over its share of any surplus from the games and accepted the original contract terms. In return, LOCOG agreed to waive rights to royalties on some British team merchandise and allow the BOA to buy extra games tickets. “I am glad this issue has been put behind us and we can all get on with delivering games next year that will make this country proud,” LOCOG chief executive Paul Deighton said. BOA CEO Andy Hunt welcomed the “spirit of partnership and cooperation” shown by LOCOG. “With this matter now resolved, the BOA will be able to keep its attention focused entirely on our preparations to support Team GB at the Games,” Hunt said. The conflict flared last month just as London marked the 500-day countdown to the Olympics and launched the sale of 6.6 million tickets. The dispute shattered virtually six years of harmony among local organizers in a generally smooth buildup to the games. “ We welcome the agreement between the BOA and LOCOG,” International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge said. “This will now allow all the parties involved to fully

concentrate on delivering what will be outstanding games in London next year.” The issue centered on the cashstrapped BOA’s claim to a greater cut of any profit from the Olympics. The BOA, which is entitled to a 20 percent share under a joint marketing agreement signed in 2005, claimed the figure should be calculated without the potentially money-losing Paralympic Games being taken into account. LOCOG and the IOC insisted both events should be counted, as they have in the past. The BOA decided to file a case with the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland after rejecting a ruling by the IOC. Under the settlement announced yesterday, any surplus distribution will be based on the financial results of both the Olympics and Paralympics. The BOA and IOC will each receive 20 percent, with 60 percent going to British sport. LOCOG will waive its royalty fee on two unspecified items of “iconic” British team merchandise and give the BOA the opportunity to purchase additional Olympic tickets, including for British athletes who competed in previous games. LOCOG also said it would “proactively support” the BOA’s efforts to secure more corporate sponsors. The organizing committee agreed that Hunt and BOA chairman Colin Moynihan will be reinstated to LOCOG board meetings. The two had been barred from the meetings while pursuing legal action. — AP

BOSTON: Japanese star Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched one-hit ball for seven innings and Jed Lowrie had four hits to help the Boston Red Sox extend their winning streak to three games with a 91 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday. Matsuzaka (1-2) gave up a single to Jose Bautista with two outs in the first inning. He then walked Travis Snider with two outs in the second before seeing off his final 16 batters. He threw 58 strikes out of 89 pitches. Matsuzaka, who has struggled this season and entered the game with a 12.86 ERA, matched the fewest number of base-runners he’s allowed in his 101 major league star ts. Lowrie, Kevin Youkilis and Jacoby Ellsbury all homered for Boston, which had opened the season with a miserable 2-10 record. Lowrie has 15 hits in his last 24 at-bats. Ricky Romero (1-2) picked up the loss after allowing five runs in 4 1-3 innings. Rays 5, White Sox 0 At St. Petersburg, Florida, David Price allowed four hits in eight innings as Tampa Bay beat slumping Chicago. Felipe Lopez homered and drove in three runs to help Tampa Bay win for sixth time in seven games. Ben Zobrist also had a two-run homer. Price (2-2) struck out nine batters and walked two. Edwin Jackson (2-1) gave up four runs and 11 hits in seven innings for the White Sox, who have lost five in a row. Twins 5, Orioles 3 In Baltimore, Francisco Liriano took a two-hitter into the seventh inning as Minnesota extended Baltimore’s losing streak to eight games. Drew Butera had a career-high three RBIs for the Twins, who have won two in a row for the first time this season. Liriano (1-3) gave up two runs, five hits and five walks in 7 1-3 innings. Matt Capps worked the ninth for his second save, despite allowing a pinchhit solo homer to Luke Scott. Orioles starter Chris Tillman (0-2) gave up three runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings.

BOSTON: Red Sox’s Adrian Gonzalez breaks his bat on a ground out as Toronto Blue Jays catcher JP Arencibia looks on during the sixth inning of Boston’s 9-1 win in an MLB baseball game. — AP

MLB results/standings Major League Baseball results and standings on Monday. Boston 9, Toronto 1; Tampa Bay 5, Chicago White Sox 0; Minnesota 5, Baltimore 3; Milwaukee 6, Philadelphia 3 (12 innings); Pittsburgh 9, Cincinnati 3; Chicago Cubs 1, San Diego 0 (10 Innings); Texas 7, LA Angels 1; Cleveland 7, Kansas City 3 (10 innings); San Francisco 8, Colorado 1; Detroit 8, Seattle 3; LA Dodgers 4, Atlanta 2. American League Eastern Division W L PCT NY Yankees 9 5 .643 Toronto 7 9 .438 Tampa Bay 7 9 .438 Baltimore 6 9 .400 Boston 5 10 .333 Central Division Cleveland 12 4 .750 Kansas City 10 6 .625 Detroit 8 9 .471 Chicago White Sox 7 9 .438 Minnesota 6 10 .375 Western Division Texas 11 5 .688 LA Angels 10 6 .625 Oakland 8 8 .500 Seattle 5 12 .294

Rangers 7, Angels 1 At Arlington, Texas, CJ Wilson struck out nine in seven strong innings to lead Texas over Los Angeles. Adrian Beltre homered for the second straight night and Mitch Moreland hit his first homer of the season and drove in three runs for the Rangers. The Rangers had lost four of five entering the game, while Los Angeles had won five in a row. With the win, Texas took over sole possession of the top spot in the American League West Division, a game ahead of the Angels. Indians 7, Royals 3 In Kansas City, Missouri, pinch-hitter Shelley Duncan hit an RBI double to spark a four-run 10th inning as surprising Cleveland widened their AL Central Division lead with a win over Kansas City. Rook ie Tim Collin s ( 1 -1 ) w a l ke d Carlos Santana to lead off the 10th

GB 3 3 3.5 4.5 2 4.5 5 6 1 3 6.5

before Duncan hooked his two-base hit into the left-field corner. Grady Sizemore added an RBI single in just his second game in nearly a year following knee surgery. Joe Smith (1-0) got the victory with 1 1-3 innings of hitless relief as the surging Indians won their fourth in a row. Tigers 8, Mariners 3 In Seattle, Brandon Inge scored the go-ahead

National League Eastern Division Philadelphia 10 5 .667 Florida 8 6 .571 Washington 8 7 .533 Atlanta 7 10 .412 NY Mets 5 11 .313 Central Division Cincinnati 9 7 .563 St. Louis 8 8 .500 Pittsburgh 8 8 .500 Milwaukee 8 8 .500 Chicago Cubs 8 8 .500 Houston 5 11 .313 Western Division Colorado 12 4 .750 San Francisco 9 7 .563 LA Dodgers 8 9 .471 San Diego 7 9 .438 Arizona 6 8 .429

1.5 2 4 5.5 1 1 1 1 4 3 4.5 5 5

run on a wild pitch in the seventh inning and Jhonny Peralta added a bases-clearing triple as Detroit rallied late for a win over the Mariners. Max Scherzer (3-0) remained unbeaten and Detroit scored six times in the seventh, sending 10 batters to the plate. Inge led off the inning with a single to left, went to second on a sacrifice bunt and moved to third on Ryan Raburn’s single. Seattle reliever Josh Lueke (1-1) then dumped a slider in the dirt that allowed Inge to score. —AP

Afghan game of carcasses and power SHAMALI PLAIN: In a muddy field outside Kabul, 50 sweating men on horseback are battling for possession of a beheaded calf’s carcass during a game of Afghanistan’s national sport, buzkashi. The brutal winter pastime, governed by few rules, draws large crowds to watch rival teams battle in snowy conditions over several hours to be the first to grab the carcass and drop it into a small circle. This is the personal pitch of warlordturned-politician Mohammed Qasim Fahim, Afghanistan’s vice president, and he watches the game from an elevated position above the crowd. Experts on Afghanistan draw parallels between buzkashi and how the country itself is ruled, arguing that a rough and tumble atmosphere and pumped up show of might are common to both. Politics is a tough game in Afghanistan, where there are currently around 140,000 foreign troops fighting a nine-year insurgency led by the hardline Islamist Taliban, who were ousted from power by US-led forces in 2001. Western allies cite governance as one of

the biggest challenges in ending the war in a country with a complicated mix of ethnic and political factions and where election results are bitterly disputed by rival sides. Fahim’s buzkashi players, or “chopendoz,” are battling it out for victory on Afghanistan’s stunning Shamali Plain, a green, fertile area surrounded by snow-capped mountains north of Kabul. Riders use whips filled with lead on both horses and other players, while some players slide down between the animals’ flanks, perilously close to the ground, to get a better shot at scooping up the heavy carcass. For protection, all they have is a heavy fleece jacket and trousers, worn with leather boots, although some have replaced the traditional fur hat worn during the game with a tougher Soviet army helmet. Buzkashi originated in central Asia, reputedly around the time of 13th century emperor Genghis Khan. Legend has it that the sport was initially played by warriors using the corpse of a defeated enemy. It is now played mainly in nor thern Afghanistan. The Taliban, whose powerbase is

in the south, are not associated with buzkashi. Whitney Azoy, author of the book “Buzkashi: Game And Power In Afghanistan,” argues that the game has key parallels with politics in Afghanistan, a country that has seen numerous power swaps and invasions over the course of centuries. He says the sport embodies the “unspoken ideal” for all leaders of Afghanistan: “To hold on to power until you die-and nobody has done it since 1901.” The game is also seen as a symbol of prestige and power for “khans,” or leaders, who alone are capable of buying the best horses, paying for the best players and funding their own pitches. In recent years, the “khans” have been figures like Fahim and General Abdul Rashid Dostum, another warlord who is now chief of staff to the military’s commander-in-chief. Both are accused of building up fortunes from criminal activity. At Fahim’s game thousands of Afghanis, equivalent to hundreds of dollars, were on offer as prizes for the victors-huge sums in the desperately poor nation.—AFP



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WIMBLEDON: Philip Brook, Chairman of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (left) and CEO Ian Ritchie, announce the prize money for the 2011 Wimbledon Championships. — AP

Wimbledon winners to receive 1.1 million pounds WIMBLEDON: The singles champions at Wimbledon this year will each receive 1.1 million pounds ($1.8 million), a 10 percent increase from last year. The All England Club chief executive Ian Ritchie announced yesterday the total prize fund for the 125th championships is going up by 6.4 percent to 14.6 million pounds ($23.8 million). Because the British pound has strengthened since last year, the increase is even larger when counted in dollars. “Leading international sports events, such as Wimbledon, are all about the quality of the players on show,” All England Club chairman Philip Brook said. “It is important that we offer prize money which suitably rewards the players both for the box office appeal they bring to the event and for their supreme performances on court.” Last year, prize money for the singles champions broke the 1 million pound mark for the first time. Ritchie said the All England Club has been asking the British government to relax tax rules to make the tournament more attractive to competitors. Athletes visiting Britain for team sports such as football are not taxed on earnings and endorsements for their time in the country but individuals are. Ritchie said the All England Club had also spoken with Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who is also making presentation to government for the change. “If Lionel Messi comes here for a Champions League final, he does not get taxed, but Roger Federer does,” Ritchie said. “We don’t believe it is an impediment to Wimbledon in terms of people coming here. But it is on their radar screen, let’s put it that way.

“It’s the same with golf. There are certain international golfers who don’t come and play here, as I understand it, for that reason.” Ritchie said tournament organizers had not heard from Serena Williams over whether she intends to defend her singles title. Williams hasn’t played competitively since winning the tournament last year because of complications following a foot injury. The 2011 Wimbledon tournament will also feature a new 2,000-seat No. 3 court featuring the same Hawk-Eye technology used on the other show courts. With a new No. 4 court also open for the first time, the total number of courts will be back up to the traditional 19 following several years of redevelopment. Ground capacity will increase this year from 37,500 spectators to 38,500. Ritchie said he had also asked the government to impose the same restrictions on resale of tickets that it extends to the Olympics. Scalping — or touting as it’s called in Britain — of Olympic tickets is strictly prohibited. “I find it incongruous that the Olympics gets treated one way — the home secretary says that ticket touts will be fined 20,000 pounds — and we fail to get any legislation to protect Wimbledon,” Ritchie said. The All England Club will host the tennis competition at next year’s London Olympics, but Ritchie said spectators expecting the tradition and pomp of the Wimbledon tournament may be disappointed. “It will look and feel different to the championships,” Ritchie said. “And that is entirely right and proper.” —AP

Gasquet, Almagro advance Barcelona Open BARCELONA: Ninth-seeded Richard Gasquet of France rallied past Juan Ignacio Chela and Nicolas Almagro overcame a stubborn challenge from fellow Spanish player Pablo Andujar to reach the second round of the Barcelona Open yesterday. Despite an inconsistent serve, Gasquet won a back-and-forth match 2-6, 7-6 (2), 64 after breaking his Argentine opponent three times in the deciding set. Eighthseeded Almagro’s 7-5, 7-6 (1) victory puts him one win shy of breaking into the top 10 in the rankings for the first time. “When you’re on the court you try not to think about that,” said Almagro, who is just six points behind current No. 10 Mardy Fish after matching his result here from last year. “I still think I can play much better.” Andujar broke Almagro’s first two service games to get out 3-0 before Almagro broke back three times in the set, which he secured when Andujar netted a forehand. Andujar saved four match points before

eventually succumbing to Almagro, who let out a loud cry of relief at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona. Earlier, fourth-ranked Andy Murray and fellow top-10 player Tomas Berdych were both forced to pull out of the event on Tuesday. Murray, seeded second behind topranked Rafael Nadal, was bothered by the same elbow injury that flared up during his Monte-Carlo Masters semifinal loss to Nadal on Saturday. Berdych, seeded fifth, exited because of a stomach virus. Former No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero beat Xavier Malisse of Belgium 6-4, 6-2 in his first match since the US Open. The Spanish player had been recovering from wrist and knee surgeries performed in October. Ferrero would have faced Murray in the second round. Other first-round winners included Daniel Gimeno-Traver, Ivan Dodig, Simon Greul, Carlos Berlocq and Kei Nishikori of Japan. — AP

MONTREAL: David Krejci and Nathan Horton scored early goals to help the Boston Bruins salvage their playoff hopes with a 4-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Monday after they’d dropped the first two games in the series at home. Tim Thomas stopped 34 shots for Boston and Rich Peverley scored in the second. Chris Kelly added an empty-net goal with 25.6 seconds remaining. Bruins captain Zdeno Chara also returned to the lineup after missing Saturday night’s 32 loss to Montreal when he was hospitalized overnight for dehydration. Andrei Kostitsyn scored the Canadiens’ first goal at 7:03 in the second period after Boston had taken a 3-0 lead. Tomas Plekanec drew Montreal within one early in the third. Carey Price made 21 saves after stopping 65 of 66 shots in the Canadiens’ two wins in Boston. Flyers 4, Sabres 2 In Buffalo, New York, Brian Boucher stopped 35 shots as Philadelphia grabbed a first-round playoff series lead with a win over Buffalo. Jeff Carter, Danny Briere and Nikolay Zherdev scored in the opening two periods to help Philadelphia bounce back with two straight wins in the series after dropping the first game at home. Kimmo Timonen added an empty-netter for Philadelphia in the final seconds. The Flyers improved to 6-0-2 in their past eight visits to Buffalo, including the regular season. Drew Stafford and Nathan Gerbe scored for the Sabres, who never led in the game. Buffalo has lost consecutive games for the first time since ending a three-game losing streak on Feb. 23. Penguins 3, Lightning 2 At Tampa, Florida, Tyler Kennedy scored early in the third period and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 25 shots to help Pittsburgh hold off the Lightning. Maxime Talbot and Arron Asham also scored for the Penguins, who took a 2-1 lead in the first-round playoff series. Pittsburgh rebounded from a 5-1 home loss in Game 2 despite giving up two powerplay goals to Martin St. Louis. The Lightning

MONTREAL: Montreal Canadiens’ Brian Gionta (right) and Boston Bruins’ Tomas Kaberle look up at the puck in Game 3 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs first-round series. — AP game as Detroit pushed Phoenix to the brink of elimination in their playoff series. The Red Wings also got goals from Valtteri Filppula at the start of the second period and Johan Franzen at the beginning of the third to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the series. David Schlemko and Ray Whitney scored for the Coyotes. Detroit eliminated Phoenix in the first round of the playoffs last year, beating the Coyotes 6-1 in Game 7. — AP

star erased a 2-0 deficit by scoring late in the opening period and then again early in the third. But Kennedy answered with the goahead goal just 31 seconds later after Pittsburgh won a faceoff in the left circle. The Penguins are now 10-1 in Game 3s in the playoffs, dating to the 2008 postseason. Red Wings 4, Coyotes 2 In Phoenix, Ruslan Salei and Drew Miller had goals 44 seconds apart to open the

Marathon great Waitz dies OSLO: Grete Waitz, the Norwegian runner who won nine New York City Marathons and the silver medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, died yesterday after a six-year battle with cancer. She was 57. Helle Aanesen, the manager of the Active Against Cancer Foundation in Norway, said Waitz died early yesterday at the Ulleval University Hospital in Oslo. A former Oslo schoolteacher, Waitz won her first New York City Marathon in 1978, setting a world best in 2 hours, 32 minutes, 30 seconds in her first attempt at running the distance. She went on to win eight more times, with her last victory coming in 1988. She won the London Marathon twice, in 1983 and ‘86, the Stockholm Marathon in 1988 and earned five titles at the world cross-country championships from 1978-81 and 1983. Waitz also won the gold medal in the marathon at the 1983 world championships in Helsinki, Finland. A year later, she took second behind Joan Benoit in the first women’s Olympic marathon. Waitz competed at the 1972 and 1976 Olympics in the 1,500 meters, but missed the 1980 Moscow Games because of the American-led boycott. “Grete is in my eyes one of the greatest Norwegian athletes of all time,” Norwegian Athletics Federation president Svein Arne Hansen said. “Not only through her performances in the sport, but also as a role model for women in sports.” In a Twitter posting, marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe remembered Waitz as “an amazing champion and more amazing person.” Retired cyclist Lance Armstrong, who overcame testicular cancer to win the Tour de France seven times, called Waitz “a good friend and an incredible athlete” on his Twitter feed. Aanesen said a private funeral ceremony is planned for next week, according to Waitz’s wishes. Waitz is survived by her husband Jack Waitz and her

two brothers, Jan and Arild. Waitz had never run a marathon when she started the New York City race in October 1978. Her husband had talked her into trying, but after about 30 kilometers (18 miles) she regretted it. “I was hurting. I was mad. I was angry. I told Jack: ‘Never again,” Waitz recalled in 2008. She broke the world record three more times: In New York in 1979 and ‘80 and in London in ‘83. The International Association of Athletics Federations called her “one of the brightest flames” of modern athletics. “The dedication, perseverance and fortitude with which Grete carved out her athletics career on the track, across the country and on the road is an example to us all, as is the positive way she tackled the illness that beset her life in recent years,” IAAF President Lamine Diack said. Waitz started undergoing cancer treatment in 2005 but rarely discussed her condition in public. “That’s not my personality,” she said in November 2005. “I’ve always been a private person. ... I’ll do that when I cross the finish line and win this race.” At the time she was optimistic she could conquer the disease. “I’m crossing my fingers,” she said. “I will beat it.” Like Waitz, Aanesen declined to specify which type of cancer she had. “She didn’t wish to put too much focus on herself and her disease, but hoped she could contribute in some way to help others,” said Aanesen, who got to know Waitz through her work with the foundation. “She was a fantastic and immensely successful sports practitioner and also a role model and pioneer in women’s sports,” Aanesen said. “She showed that women too can run longer distances than 1,000 meters.” Born in Oslo as Grete Andersen on Oct. 1, 1953, she trained and raced in her youth at Oslo’s Bislett stadium, which raised a bronze stat-

Gulf Bank

NEW YORK: In a Nov. 3, 1994 file photo ninetime winner of the New York City Marathon Grete Waitz adjusts her wreath during a 25th anniversary reunion of past winners of the race in New York. — AP ue in her honor in 1984. Waitz received numerous other awards and honors for her achievements on and off the track. In 2008 Norway’s king bestowed upon her the prestigious Order of St. Olav for being a role model for female athletes. Last year she received the International Olympic Committee’s Women and Sport Award for Europe. To this day, Waitz holds the Norwegian records in the 1,500 and 3,000 meters. — AP

National Bank of Kuwait

Gulf Bank eye KBC League title KUWAIT: The Gulf Bank is looking to secure its third straight championship when it squares off against the National Bank of Kuwait in the final match of the 2011 Kuwait Banks Football League which takes place this Saturday April 23, 2011 at 8:00 pm at the Sabah AlSalem Stadium of Al-Arabi Sports Club.

The reigning champions advanced to the final match after defeating Al-Ahli bank in the semifinal, setting a date with their opponents in last season’s final match, the NBK team who reached the final after defeating the Kuwait Finance House. The final match will take place under the patron-

age and attendance of the Kuwaiti Banks Association Hamad Al-Marzouq, as well as chairman and members of the Kuwait Banks Club. Osama Al-Rasheed, KBC secretary general urged fans to attend the final match which will also feature a raffle draw held at halftime. Osama Al-Rasheed



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CSA denies allegations IPL money went ‘missing’ JOHANNESBURG: Cricket South Africa denied allegations by its own president that 68 million rand ($10 million) went missing from its bank accounts following the hosting of the 2009 Indian Premier League. In a statement yesterday, CSA said the claims by Mtutuzeli Nyoka — who was reinstated as CSA’s president by a court last week after he was improperly dismissed — were “totally unfounded and devoid of truth.” Allegations by Nyoka, made in an affidavit at the High Court in Johannesburg during the unfair dismissal case, center on money given to CSA by IPL organizers the Board of Control for Cricket in India. The 2009 tournament was moved to South Africa because of terrorist attacks in Mumbai. The leadership of CSA has dissolved into bitter infighting after Nyoka called for an external investigation into improper bonus payments allegedly made to chief executive Gerald Majola and other staff after the 2009 IPL. Nyoka was fired and took CSA to court, which ruled last week

his dismissal was unlawful and he must be reinstated. The problems played out as South Africa’s cricket team failed again at the World Cup last month, slipping to a surprise loss in the quarterfinals. The Proteas are now without a coach and a one -day captain after Corrie van Zyl and Graeme Smith stepped down from the respective roles following the World Cup. Responding to Nyoka’s affidavit — and headlines referring to “Missing Millions” in South Africa’s media — CSA said yesterday that funds it received from BCCI to run the 2009 IPL “were not included in the income statement of CSA as they were not part of CSA activities.” “CSA merely acted as a conduit for BCCI,” the statement said. “The majority of CSA Board members concur with these findings. The IPL accounts have been audited by DeLoitte and Touche.” CSA spokesman Michael OwenSmith told The Associated Press it was important for the national body “to set the record straight.” “That money belonged to the BCCI which is why it was not

reflected in CSA’s accounts,” he said. “It was not our property.” Majola was cleared of wrongdoing by an internal CSA inquiry after allegations that $686,000 in bonuses was improperly paid to him and other staff following the IPL two years ago. Nyoka wanted an independent inquiry. Nyoka was fired after a vote of no confidence in Februar y, a week before the World Cup, but was reinstated on Friday by the South Gauteng High Court. In the ruling, the court said Nyoka should return to his job immediately and CSA was ordered to hand over financial documents to Nyoka’s legal team within 10 days. “He must take up his duties,” Nyoka’s lawyer, Bernard Matheson, said. “They (CSA) must reinstate him and treat him as the president again. But I suspect they won’t.” Matheson added his client still wanted “an external audit of CSA’s books.” OwenSmith said CSA will appeal the court decision reinstating Nyoka, but until then Nyoka “remains as president.”—AP

ICC board to reconsider 2015 World Cup format DUBAI: Protests from second-tier teams furious at being excluded from the 2015 World Cup have caused the International Cricket Council boss to say he’ll ask the executive board to reconsider the move. ICC President Sharad Pawar said yesterday he will request the executive board to debate its decision again at its annual conference in June in Hong Kong. “I have given this matter further serious thought and will request the board to consider this topic once more,” Pawar said in a statement. “I can understand the views of the Associates and Affiliates and ICC will seek to deal with this issue in the best way possible.” During the recent World Cup on the subcontinent, the ICC decided to allow only its 10 full members to compete in the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. It also confirmed the 2019 cup will be limited to 10 teams. This year’s tournament, which was won by co-host India, involved 14 teams and lasted 43 days, prompting criticism that it was too long.

The chief executives of cricketing bodies in Ireland and the Netherlands welcomed Pawar ’s announcement. “It is encouraging that the president has reopened this issue but there is still a way to go,” Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom said. “This is a positive step but we’re cautious about it because it is the same 10 people having the same debate about the same issues.” Deutrom said he was buoyed by the widespread support for Ireland and other second-tier teams, since it first emerged they wouldn’t be allowed to take part in the 2015 World Cup. “ The depth of reaction has demonstrated that they neglected to consider their duty to the sport as a whole,” Deutrom said. “It’s a shame that it takes global condemnation and a damaged reputation to revisit the decision but the board clearly did not exercise its responsibility to the vast majority of the cricketing public.” While the decision to reduce teams at future cups was welcomed by the likes of Australia captain Ricky Ponting and Pakistan skipper


Shahid Afridi, it was roundly criticized by Associate members who felt it was a step backward in the ICC’s bid to expand the reach of the sport. “I’ve no desire to be diplomatic as I think the ideas are bloody ridiculous,” Kenya’s chief executive Tom Sears told The Wisden Cricketer magazine. “The president of the ICC (Pawar) says he wants to grow the game but then wants to contract the 50-over World Cup to exclude the Associates,” he said. “Not to let anyone else in is scandalous. It’s all about money, power and votes — and that’s not good for cricket.” Deutrom told the BBC the decision would set back efforts “for both our playing and financial strength.” Ireland Minister of Sport Leo Varadkar pledged to back any challenge made by Cricket Ireland. Associate member Canada also qualified and played in this year’s World Cup. The ICC’s 10 full members were Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe. —AP

Sohal, Sangakkara star in Deccan’s win in IPL NEW DELHI: Opener Sunny Sohal and captain Kumar Sangakkara came together for a 92-run partnership that helped Deccan Chargers beat Delhi Daredevils by 16 runs in the IPL yesterday, while the late game was washed out by rain. Sohal struck 62 off 41 balls and Sangakkara 49 off 35, building a crucial second-wicket stand as Deccan posted a challenging 168-4 after electing to bat. In reply, Delhi Daredevils could only manage 1527. It was the third win in five matches for Deccan, while Delhi has only one win in four matches. The night game at the Chinnaswamy Stadium between host Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals then had to be called off because of rain, with the two teams splitting two points. The Daniel Vettori-led Bangalore has just one win so far and has three points from five matches. Shane Warne’s Rajasthan, which has won two games, has five from five. Earlier, in the first match at the Ferozeshah Kotla, Sohal and Sangakkara came together after the early dismissal of left-hander Shikhar Dhawan, who was bowled by Irfan Pathan after he had struck two well-timed fours for a total of eight runs. Sohal, a former Kings XI Punjab player, smashed eight fours and a six, reaching his half-century in 35 balls. Sangakkara also had eight fours and a six, once hitting left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem for a six and two fours off the same over that went for a total of 16 runs. After Sohal and Sangakkara fell, Australian Cameron White pro-

NEW DELHI: Deccan Chargers bowler Dale Steyn plays a bit of soccer with the ball on the pitch during an Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket match against Delhi Daredevils. —AP duced an unbeaten knock of 31 off 25 deliveries to boost the total. Delhi made a brisk start but captain Virender Sehwag (12) departed after smashing Australian allrounder Daniel Christian for three successive fours. Sehwag was caught by Christian at point off medium-pacer Harmeet Singh, who also dismissed Aaron Finch (zero) in his next over and finished with an impressive 227 despite going for 16 in his third over. Delhi, struggling on 38-3 in the sixth over, could not take control despite a fighting knock of 51 by David Warner. The diminutive Australian opener struck six fours and a six off 48 balls before he was caught at deep midwicket off part-time spinner Dhawan.

“ We did the basics very well today,” Sangakkara said. “We got a couple of wickets in the first six (overs) and were lucky to get Viru (Sehwag) early on.” Yogesh Nagar (23), Venugopal Rao (21) and James Hopes (17 not out) could not do enough to supplement Warner’s effort. Today, Mumbai Indians host Pune Warriors at the Wankhede Stadium in the first game, while Kolkata Knight Riders host Kochi Tuskers at the Eden Gardens. Scores: Deccan Chargers 168-4 in 20 overs (Sunny Sohal 62, Kumar Sangakkara 49, Cameron White 31 not out), def. Delhi Daredevils 152-7 in 20 overs (David Warner 51, Harmeet Singh 2-27, Daniel Christian 2-38). —AP

Windies, Pakistan set to launch T20 series GROS-ISLET: Old foes West Indies and Pakistan face each other in a Twenty20 International for the first time tomorrow. The Beausejour Cricket Ground in this coastal town on the northern circumference of this volcanic island of St Lucia forms a picturesque backdrop for the occasion. It is hard to believe that though Twenty20 matches have become popular in the modern game that the two sides have not been fortunate enough to cross each other’s paths in this version before now. Pakistan manager Intikhab Alam said there were great expectations of his side, following a strong, if not successful show in the World Cup. “We’ve brought some youngsters with us, and I think it’s a golden opportunity for them to make a name for themselves, and to make a career in the sport,” said Alam. “It was a long journey from Pakistan to the Caribbean, but we travelled well, and the boys are all happy and they’re well.” “The people in Pakistan are very happy with us [following the World Cup]. Now the expectations are

even higher for this tour of the West Indies because we have never won a [Test] series out here before.” West Indies manager Richie Richardson said there have been enough good individual performances from his side in the last few months to make him feel confident, but they would have to put it all together to overcome the Pakistanis. “We’re about to head into this series, which is very important - it’s a home series,” he said. “As a region, it’s always very important, and for our home fans, who look forward to excitement and to us doing well. “It’s easier for us to do well with our home crowd and their support, and it gives an opportunity to bring ourselves back up the ladder - to dig deep, work hard, prove ourselves, and give back to our fans.” He added: “People across the World have been accustomed to the West Indies providing exciting cricket and we must work harder to give that to them.” Both sides have made significant changes in personnel since the World Cup, and have invested heav-

ily in a number of unproven players for the limited-overs portion of the series, which includes this T20I. Pakistan have dropped wicketkeeper/batsman Kamran Akmal and all-rounder Abdul Razzaq, while fast bowler Umar Gul and experienced batsman Younus Khan were dropped from the team. Wicketkeeper Muhammad Salman has been given a chance, while batsmen Hammad Azam and Usman Salahuddin, as well as leftarm fast-medium bowler Sadaf Hussain have been included in the team for the first time. Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Chris Gayle, Ramnaresh Sarwan, and Sulieman Benn - four high-profile members of the West Indies World Cup squad - have all been sidelined by the selectors for this match, and the first two One-day Internationals that follow. For this T20I, the home team have brought in the uncapped quartet of batsman Danza Hyatt, all-rounder Christopher Barnwell, off-spinner Ashley Nurse, and lefta r m f a s t b ow l e r K r i s hm a r Santokie. — AFP

Bulls storm past Pacers

The full line-up of trophy winners at the end of season prize giving ceremony for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East

Salman crowned Porsche GT3 Cup champion DUBAI: Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman bin Rashid Al Khalifa was officially crowned the new champion of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East at a glittering end of season prize giving ceremony in Dubai. Abu Dhabi’s Musaed Al Murar collected his trophy as the leading rookie in the 12-round Porsche one-make series which reached its climax at Dubai Autodrome on Saturday. Germany’s Johannes Waimer, winner of the Mobil 1 Trophy for drivers over 45, was also among the drivers who collected their trophies during the prize giving evening at the headquarters of Porsche Middle East and Africa.

Champions - Sheikh Salman and his title-winning Porsche GT3 Cup car

CHICAGO: Derrick Rose scored 36 points and Carlos Boozer added 17 points and 16 rebounds as the Chicago Bulls hung on to beat the Indiana Pacers 96-90 Monday night for another dramatic victory in their firstround playoff series. The Bulls led 90-85 after Kyle Korver nailed a 3-pointer with just over a minute left, but A.J. Price made three free throws with 23.4 seconds remaining to pull the Pacers within two. Luol Deng answered with two of his own free throws and Ronnie Brewer added two more to help Chicago seal the victory. The Bulls made their last 16 free throws to end the game. Danny Granger led Indiana with 19 points, but Tyler Hansbrough struggled, finishing with just six points on 2-of-12 shooting after scoring 22 points in the opening game. The eighth-seeded Pacers suffered another letdown in the Eastern Conference series. They were in control of Game 1 until Chicago closed with a 16-1 run to escape with the victory. Heat 94, Pacers 73 In Miami, LeBron James scored 29 points and Chris Bosh had 21 points and 11 rebounds as the Heat easily beat Philadelphia to go up 2-0 in their first-round playoff series. Dwyane Wade added 14 points for Miami, a day after missing practice with a migraine headache. The Miami star, who has long struggled with migraines, played Game 1 on Saturday with a headache, but still managed to score 17 points. Thaddeus Young scored 18 points and Evan Turner added 15 for the 76ers, whose starters were outscored 76-29 by the Heat’s starting lineup. Miami led 49-31 at halftime, with Bosh, James and Wade all scoring at least 10 points. The 76ers’ starting five players, meanwhile, managed just nine points in the game’s first 24 minutes. The Heat now lead the best-of-seven series 2-0. Miami has never lost a playoff series after winning the first two games and Philadelphia is winless in 16 tries after falling behind 0-2. —AP

CHICAGO: Bulls’ Derrick Rose (left) drives to the basket against Indiana Pacers’ Paul George during the third quarter in Game 2 of a first-round NBA playoff basketball series. —AP



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MADRID: In this April 16, 2011 file photo, FC Barcelona players pose for a team picture. —AP

MADRID: In this April 16, 2011 file photo, Real Madrid players pose for a team picture. —AP

a n o l e c r Ba

Real M


meet in Copa del Rey final VALENCIA: Real Madrid can end its threeyear silverware drought today by beating Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final — the second of four meetings between the two sides in 18 days. The match at the Mestalla Stadium comes only four days after the teams drew 1-1 in the Spanish league, a result that moved Barcelona closer to winning its third straight title. Barcelona and Madrid, who also face each other in the Champions League semifinals, will be playing each other in the Copa del Rey for the first time in 21 years. They have met in the final five times, with Barcelona winning three. Jose Mourinho’s defensive tactics in Saturday’s draw have been criticized and even Alfredo Di Stefano — the club’s honorary president — said the Portuguese coach’s team lacked “personality.” The former Madrid great likened the match against Barca to a mouse playing a

lion. Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said Di Stefano had a right to his opinion, but that with its counterattacking strategy “Madrid created scoring chances, and that is what I want to prevent now.” Mourinho could increase its scoring chances by restoring Mesut Oezil to the starting lineup after the Germany playmaker came on as a late substitute Saturday to create Madrid’s best efforts. “We have talked about the possible ways (Madrid) can play, but I don’t care if they play with three defensive midfielders or with or without Oezil. We will see five minutes into the game,” said Guardiola. “We have to think about what we can do better. They are very good. We have to look at what we can improve so we can generate more scoring chances.” But Mourinho — who arrived on the heels of a treble-winning season at Inter Milan — has never succumbed to pressure and is unlikely to do so now. The former Chelsea and FC Porto coach may just

stick with his favored defensive ideas and maintain centerback Pepe in a midfield role after his plan limited Barcelona’s dangerous midfield trio of Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta in attack. “In that situation (the answer) is to move the ball and execute more quickly, so that the defenders arrive late,” Guardiola said. Madrid captain Iker Casillas needs only the cup to complete his impressive trophy haul with the club. “It’s an important trophy and Real Madrid cannot allow itself to go 17 years without winning it,” he said. “(Saturday’s) game was a very good point of inflection for us and should give us more confidence.” Mourinho has already won two Copa del Reys — during his time as an assistant at Barcelona — since Madrid’s last domestic cup win in 1993. The Spanish giant is playing its first final since 2004 and will be without suspended defender Raul Albiol. Barcelona, meanwhile, will be looking

to add to its record tally of 25 cups from 34 finals as it returns to the site of its last win _ a 4-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao in 2009. Barcelona defender Carles Puyol returned from a near three-month injury layoff to play Saturday and is expected to be available again. Backup goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto has played all cup matches this season and will start as he did in the 2009 final, which marked the first of eight trophies won by the club under Guardiola. The differences between Mourinho and Guardiola will be on display in the final as the Catalans rely on relentless pressure and a possession-based attacking game while Madrid will look to capitalize on counterattacks. A record 140 countries will broadcast the game. “They were very clear what they wanted — to play on the break. It is a very respectable way of playing. Every team plays the way that it wants to,” Puyol said

Why Barcelona and Real dominate Spanish soccer? MADRID: La Liga leaders Barcelona and closest rivals Real Madrid, who meet in the final of the King’s Cup today, have extended their domination over Spanish soccer in recent seasons. The world’s two richest clubs, based on Deloitte’s revenue rankings, will also clash in their two-legged Champions League semi-final on April 27 and May 3, to complete an unprecedented four meetings in three competitions in 18 days after Saturday’s 1-1 La Liga draw at the Bernabeu. Following is a Q&A on some of the reasons for their domination of domestic football, which analysts have said also give them an edge over European rivals: Actually how dominant are they in Spain? Barca’s second consecutive La Liga title last season was secured with a record points total of 99, smashing the previous high of 92 set by Real in 1997 when there were 22 teams in the top flight instead of the current 20. Real, who finished second, set a club record points total of 96, and scored 102 goals, four more than Barca. They finished 25 points ahead of third-placed Valencia, who were the last club other than Barca or Real to win the title, back in 2004. This season, Barca lead the way on 85 points with six games left and 18 points still to play for, Real are second on 77 and Valencia have 63 in third, six ahead of Villarreal. What is the main reason for their hegemony? Reve nue f rom a ud i ovi s u a l ri g h ts. Barca and Real suck in about half the total income from television deals for Spanish soccer of around 600 million euros ($852 million), which is topped up by TV cash from European competition. Barca earned almost 180 million euros from a ud i ov i sua l co n tra c ts i n th e 2009/10 season, with Real reaping just under 160 million, according to the latest Deloitte Football Money League published in February. A st ud y p ub l i she d l a s t ye a r by Sport+Markt, a consulting firm, showed the pair earned almost 19 times more from TV than the smallest clubs in Spain’s top division, by far the biggest gap in the major European leagues. Th e r i c he st c l ub s i n th e E n g l i s h Premier League, which generates just over a billion euros a year in broadcast revenue, earned about 1.7 times more than their smaller rivals. What does it mean in practice? Combined with revenue from other sources, such as commercial and matchday income, Barca and Real’s spending power means they can afford the huge transfer fees and wages commanded by the world’s top players.

Under President Florentino Perez, Real have splurged hundreds of millions of euros over the past two seasons, including a record 94 million on Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo and 65 million on Brazil playmaker Kaka. Barca’s purchase of Swedish striker Z l a ta n I br ahim ovic, whic h inc luded swapping Cameroon for ward Samuel Eto’o, was worth about 66 million. B a rca’s to t al lab o ur co st s i n t he 2008/09 season, including amortisation of players, were 255.2 million euros, compared with 249.5 million euros for Real, according to a study by a University of Barcelona accounting professor published this week. By comparison, Manchester United’s expenditure on total labour costs was 188.7 million, Bayern Munich’s was 172.4 million and Arsenal’s was 150.1 million, the study showed. Is the Spanish system of negotiati n g T V d eals d ifferent to rival European leagues? Most of Europe’s top leagues bundle their audiovisual rights together and negotiate collectively with media companies, while in Spain clubs have always thrashed out deals individually. Sta r ve d o f a decent share o f T V income, many of Barca and Real’s domestic rivals have tumbled into the red and even administration. They have no real hope of winning the league. Is the situation likely to change anytime soon? Probably not, according to analysts. An agreement brokered by Barca and Real in November with 11 other topflight clubs on sharing some of the TV cash from 2015 is likely to cement their advantage while helping the others only marginally. As Deloitte noted in February, Barca and Real have sought to at least protect current revenue levels, which provide a k e y a d va nt age over t heir Euro p ean peers. It will also help them comply with UEFA’s new “Financial Fair Play ” rules, which are designed to stop clubs spending more than they earn, while some of their European rivals could find themselves in trouble. Does it really matter that they are so dominant? Many Spanish soccer fans suppor t Barca or Real as well as their local team so there will always be a large pool of TV viewers for their matches, which typically attract an audience of millions around the world. However, a league of 20 in which only two teams battle for the title each season will be harder to market to media companies and over the longer term Real and Barca could lose out along with their Spanish peers.—Reuters

about Saturday’s match. “A final is always attractive. It will be an intense game, between two of the best teams in the world.” Messi scored his first goal against a Mourinho-coached team to move to within one of becoming the first Spanish league player to reach the half century mark in a season. The Argentina international will be looking for support from fellow forwards David Villa and Pedro Rodriguez, a tandem that has failed to score in the last 10 games, stretching to late February. Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo reached 40 goals for the season Saturday with his first career strike against Barcelona. Madrid has won 17 of its 36 final appearances and lost the last meeting between the pair — in 1990 — at Mestalla, which was also the site of their first encounter in 1936. Madrid won that match, one month before the outbreak of the Spanish civil war.—AP

Villarreal edge Zaragoza

SEOUL: Japanese Nagoya Grampus’ Keiji Yoshimura (left) fights for the ball against South Korean FC Seoul’s Server Djeparov during their Group F soccer match of the AFC Champions League. —AP

Nagoya, Sydney win in Asian Champions League DUBAI: Japanese champion Nagoya Grampus beat FC Seoul 2-0 to replace the South Korean side atop Group F and bolster its chances of advancing to the Asian Champions League knockout stage yesterday. Meanwhile, Sydney FC revived its campaign with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Shanghai Shenhua in Group H. Helped by a 1-1 draw by group leaders Suwon Samsung Bluewings and Kashima Antlers, Sydney was just a point behind them. In Seoul, Nagoya’s Mu Kanazaki pounced on a rebound off a shot by Yoshizumi Ogawa and broke the deadlock in the 26th minute. From there, the Korean champ intensified the pressure. Seven minutes before the break, a Mauricio Molina corner bounced into the area and Oh Kyoungjun had a close-range shot blocked by

Takahiro Masukawa. Nagoya secured the win with eight minutes remaining thanks to a defensive blunder. Kim Tae -hwan’s backpass toward the goalkeeper was stolen by Kensuke Nagai, who slid the ball into the net. In Shanghai, Sydney twice came from a goal down and sealed its first win of the tournament courtesy of a lastgasp winner from Mark Bridge. Shanghai’s Jiang Jiajun put the host ahead after eight minutes before Bruno Cazarine canceled out the strike during first-half stoppage time. An own goal by Scott Jamieson restored Shanghai’s lead seven minutes into the second half but Cazarine struck again to tie the match. With the prospect of a tie looming, Bridge struck a dramatic winner, volleying Dimitri Petratos’ header into the bottom corner to give Sydney three muchneeded points.—AP

BARCELONA: Giuseppe Rossi’s second-half penalty gave Villarreal a 1-0 win over Zaragoza on Monday to strengthen the club’s hold on fourth place in the Spanish league. Rossi sent the spot kick into the right corner of the net in the 71st after Zaragoza midfielder Ponzio Leonardo had tackled the Italy striker in the area. It was Rossi’s 16th league goal of the season. Villarreal’s first win in three weeks boosted its chances of securing Spain’s last Champions League spot and kept it within striking distance of Valencia, six points ahead in third place. “We knew the importance of this game and how vital these points were,” said Villarreal coach Juan Carlos Garrido, whose team qualified for the semifinals of the Europa League earlier this week. “Our main goal is to reach the Champions League and today we have taken a good step in that direction.” Good goalkeeping saved several chances from both sides early on. Zaragoza keeper Antonio Doblas stopped Rossi twice in the first half, while Villarreal’s Diego Lopez denied striker Ikechuwku Uche once in each half before Rossi put the hosts ahead for good. Uche was sent off with his second yellow card in injury time for diving in the box when he could have shot from close range but opted to try and draw the spot kick. Zaragoza’s fourth straight away loss left it in the relegation zone in 18th place, trailing Malaga on their head-to-head record. “The difference is always marked in the area and that’s where they found their goal,” Zaragoza coach Javier Aguirre said. “Now we only have to work and think about the next game and try to win it to escape this situation.” Over the weekend, Barcelona drew 1-1 at Real Madrid to stay eight points clear of its rival atop the table, while Valencia beat last-place Almeria 3-0. Also, 10-man Athletic Bilbao rallied to beat Osasuna 2-1 and move into fifth place, two points clear of Sevilla and Atletico Madrid. With six rounds to play, Almeria is seven points from safety, while 19th-place Hercules was three points behind Zaragoza.—AP

Matches on TV (Local Timings)

English Premier League

Tottenham v Arsenal Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 5


Chelsea v Birmingham Abu Dhabi Sports HD 4


Italian Cup

AC Milan v Palermo Al Jazeera Sport +1


Spain Copa del Rey

Barcelona v Real Madrid Al Jazeera Sports +2 Al Jazeera Sports +3 Al Jazeera Sports +8 Al Jazeera Sports +9





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S P ORT S Preview


Lampard refuses to concede title race

LONDON: Arsenal’s Johan Djourou reacts in this file photo. —AP

Arsenal in must win situation LONDON: Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny believes his team’s slim hopes of winning the Premier League title will be over if they fail to beat rivals Tottenham today. The clash at White Hart Lane has similarities with a year ago when Spurs claimed maximum points as they chased Champions League qualification, with the result effectively ending Arsene Wenger’s chances of finishing top. Wenger’s team need to bounce back this time around after conceding a last-gasp equaliser against Liverpool on Sunday which left them six points behind leaders Manchester United with six games to play. Szczesny, who returned from a finger injury to face Liverpool, said: “Of course we still believe we can win the title. “We still have to play United and they also have to play Chelsea. They will drop points and we believe we’re good enough to win every game remaining. “Tottenham is a very good match for us to come back from a big disappointment and we owe it to the fans because they’re very disappointed about what happened against Liverpool. We owe them a result at White Hart Lane. “The draw was a huge disappointment because with a minute to go we scored what we thought was a winning goal. We’re all gutted. “It was a cheap penalty to give away whether it was one or not. We needed to win really badly to keep the pressure on United.” Arsenal have been in poor form since losing in the League Cup final and the only teams they have beaten since are Leyton Orient in the FA Cup and Blackpool. It has opened the door for Chelsea or Manchester City to overtake them into second place, but Szczesny, 20, added: “We’re only thinking about winning the title, not who is behind us.

“We go into everything to finish first. We are Arsenal, we don’t want to finish second and we definitely don’t want to finish third.” It will be Tottenham’s first game since Gareth Bale was crowned the Professional Footballers’ Association player of the year for his performances this season. Wales winger Bale scored in the fixture last season after a stunning opener from Danny Rose, who has been loaned out to Bristol City this season but has returned to the club. Spurs manager Harry Redknapp is backing Bale, 21, to get better with age. “Gareth has got better and better and he has everything to become a world-class player,” said the Spurs manager. “He has pace, he can dribble, he can shoot, he can head - he’s got the lot. “Now it’s just a question of whether he becomes the world’s best left-back or the world’s best left-sided player, because he is such a talent that both options are open to him. “He still has plenty to learn and he will do that. We have not seen yet everything he is capable of doing. “There is a lot more to come from him, even more than we have seen this year.” Bale is desperate to get Spurs back into the Champions League after performing so well in the competition this season and seeing his reputation enhanced after his display against Inter Milan. They will go level on points with fourth-placed Manchester City if they beat Arsenal again. “It is important for me to be playing at the highest level and playing against the best players to improve and to test myself,” Bale said. “And I think that is the most important thing now for us this season. “The Champions League is still wide open for us and hopefully we can get it.” —AFP

Woman in Ferdinand stalker case detained LONDON: A woman found guilty of stalking Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand was detained yesterday after she fled a court hearing before her conviction, authorities reported. Susanne Ibru, 38, was convicted by Macclesfield magistrates on Monday after a one-day trial where she was accused of harassing Ferdinand outside his home on three occasions between February and June last year. Ibru, who conducted her own defence and cross-examined Ferdinand in the witness box, left the court before District Judge Nicholas Sanders gave his guilty verdict. Sanders later issued a warrant for Ibru to be brought back to court for sentencing, saying it was “quite clear” that she was guilty. “Mr Ferdinand is a high-profile footballer

and whilst there will always be occasions where he is exposed to public and press scrutiny, the fact is that when he is in the privacy of his own home with his family he has a right to expect to be left alone,” Sanders said. Ibru was detained in Warrington, Cheshire early yesterday police said. The court heard that Ibru, from Peckham, south London had made a 400-mile round trip to Ferdinand’s home in Cheshire on three occasions last year. Ferdinand told the court he was upset by the visits from the woman, whom he had never met. “At first I was angry and upset but then disturbed, really, because I have got a young family and this was not the time or the place to be coming to speak to me,” the player said. —AFP

LONDON: Frank Lampard refuses to concede the title race but Chelsea’s more realistic target against Birmingham is to step up their challenge to finish in second spot. Carlo Ancelotti’s side shrugged off the disappointment of exiting the Champions League at the hands of Manchester United with an impressive win at West Bromwich Albion. That victory helped stem the criticism that has been directed at Ancelotti and his players and, with Arsenal failing to beat Liverpool, moved Chelsea to within two points of the second-placed Gunners. Leaders Manchester United ended the weekend a further six points clear and with games fast running out, it would take an astonishing collapse on the part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s side to allow either of their main rivals back into the hunt. Not that Lampard will allow statistics to dent his belief that anything can still happen, especially as Chelsea have still to travel to Old Trafford. “I wouldn’t like to say they are out of reach,” said the England midfielder. “It’s going to be very difficult. “We need to win our games and for them to lose a couple before we go there to play them. Stranger things have happened.” Salomon Kalou set a more realistic target. “ We know it is not in our hands and if Man U play well and win their games it is over, so we have to continue to win and look forward at the top of

LONDON: Chelsea’s Fernando Torres controls the ball in the air in this file photo. —AP the table,” Kalou said. “We want to be in the top three because it’s ver y impor tant to finish there. “ When a team plays with confidence it can change a lot of things. We need confidence right now and we got it back playing together.

“At this difficult time we have to stick together and play hard for the club. We lose together and we win together, and that’s the spirit we showed.” Chelsea’s confidence received a timely lift at the Hawthorns where Ancelotti dropped Fernando Torres to the

bench and restored the 4-3-3 formation adopted during the double-winning campaign last season. Drogba was outstanding, scoring Chelsea’s opening goal while Torres again failed to find the net during a brief, eightminute appearance. All eyes will once again be on Ancelotti’s selection for the visit of Alex McLeish’s side but, without the need to rest players to meet the extra demands of the cup competitions, a clearer picture might emerge of the strikers’ pecking order at Stamford Bridge. Birmingham will arrive in West London targeting a top half finish having put clear water between themselves and the bottom three following the weekend victor y over Sunderland. McLeish’s League Cup winners now lie five points clear of the bottom three and with midtable proving to be exceptionally congested, a run of form in their final six games could see them achieve that goal. Following the Chelsea clash, they face the equally daunting trip to face Liverpool but McLeish believes his side are capable of getting something from the two games. “The pressure was on us in a home game and we responded to that and we know we’ve got two hard games coming up which we won’t be expected to take any points from,” he said. “But there have been other games this season where that’s been the case but we have surprised people.” —AFP

Marseille slip into title gear

ITALY: Juventus coach Luigi Del Neri gestures in this file photo. —AP

Juventus rule out squad revolution ROME: Juventus managing director Giuseppe Marotta has ruled out a summer overhaul of the club’s squad despite another disappointing season. Juventus brought in 10 new players last summer and three more in the January transfer window as they tried to banish memories of last season’s disastrous seventh-placed finish. But despite investing in a number of internationals, Juve have struggled to improve on their last campaign and sit seventh again with five games left. Their chances of finishing in the top four remain remote as they trail fourth-placed Lazio by eight points. But in the following off season, Juve will be concentrating on acquiring quality. “When we arrived we found a cycle that was destined to come to its end,” said Marotta, who took over as managing director last summer when Andrea Agnelli became the new president. “Last summer we started a new cycle with great difficulty, starting from afresh. In the last few games we’ve used 14-16 players of whom 11-13 were new (this season). “Now we want to keep improving this group while identifying two or three quality

players who can benefit the team.” And Marotta insisted that doesn’t mean the old guard will be ushered towards the exit, with the likes of Alessandro Del Piero and Gianluigi Buffon set to remain in Turin. But the one element that remains uncertain is the future of coach Luigi Delneri beyond the end of this campaign. “The club will come to its conclusions based on the work conducted by the coach during the season,” said Marotta. “We have a two-year deal with Delneri and we will meet with him and evaluate many things. “The club is not standing still, we’re evaluating and the subject of the coach will be dealt with at the right time.” However, if there was hope for Delneri it was in Marotta’s admission that it is not possible to build a winning side overnight. It is only Juve’s fourth season back in Serie A since being relegated to Serie B following their part in the 2006 Calciopoli match-fixing scandal. “The teams at the top of the league were built over a number of years,” added Marotta. “In football you can’t expect from one moment to another to start winning, let alone winning everything.” —AFP

PARIS: For their rivals in the French title race, the manner in which Marseille have muscled their way into position in recent weeks bears an ominous trace of deja vu. Just as they did last season, when they ended an 18year wait for the Ligue 1 championship, Marseille are steadily grinding out results while their opponents flounder. The 2-1 comeback victory at Montpellier on Sunday enabled Didier Deschamps’s side to close to within a point of wobbling leaders Lille, held to a 1-1 draw by Bordeaux the day before. Third-placed Lyon, meanwhile, saw their title ambitions hit in a 1-0 defeat at Paris Saint-Germain that left them six points off the pace with seven games remaining. Marseille’s victory at Montpellier bore all the hallmarks of the club’s success under Deschamps. The visitors fell behind in the 64th minute but reacted immediately, Andre-Pierre Gignac snapping out of his firsthalf slumber to apply a deft lobbed finish to Benoit Cheyrou’s exquisite raking pass. The winning goal arrived eight minutes from time, Taye Taiwo dispatching an assured penalty after Abdelhamid El Kaoutari had been penalised for holding back Loic Remy. “I won’t say that we were in control of proceedings, but the most important thing was to take the points,” said Deschamps with trademark pragmatism. Coincidentally, it was at Montpellier’s Stade de la Mosson that last season’s title charge also began. A 2-0 defeat on January 30 left Marseille 12 points behind defending champions Bordeaux in sixth place, but the players’ reaction was a 15game unbeaten run-including seven straight wins in March and April-that took them to the brink of the title. The psychological turning point in the 2009-10 title race arrived two months later, when Marseille beat Bordeaux 3-1 in the final of the League Cup. It was OM’s first major honour since Deschamps lifted the Champions League title as captain in 1993 and Bordeaux never recovered, losing five of their next six games and ultimately finishing the season in sixth place. Marseille will defend their League Cup crown against Montpellier next Saturday and few would bet against a victory at Stade de France galvanising OM’s title assault in similar fashion. Gritty pragmatism was the hallmark of last year’s successes-Rennes coach Frederic Antonetti called them “Italian-style champions”-and Marseille have been forced to rely on the same attributes this term. While plaudits have rained down on Lille for the quality of their attacking play, the Mediterranean giants have done just enough to stay in touch, despite consecutive defeats in their opening two league games and a run of five matches without a win in the run-up to Christmas. Lucho Gonzalez, winner of last season’s award for best passer after laying on 11 goals, has endured a deeply disappointing campaign, while Gignac has failed to settle since his 18-million-euro ($25.6m) switch from Toulouse. —AFP

Rio winning in investment, failing on culture RIO DE JANEIRO: Despite a wealth of investment ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games, Rio de Janeiro officials admit they are falling short in renovating the city’s many cultural sites. Nestled in a forest of skyscrapers in the heart of Rio, baroque churches, colonial homes, worn cobblestone streets and Art Deco buildings testify to a past often swept away in the urban sprawl that has

Rio Ferdinand

destroyed countless buildings since the 1940s. With the Olympic Games five years away, Rio is banking on some $17 billion dollars in investment-make that a hefty $24 billion if you include funds earmarked over the next three years for the 2014 World Cup finals. Carlos Fernando Andrade, from the bureau for cultural preservation, said that given the sheer number of monuments in the city, a lot more

investment in heritage projects was required. “There have been investments... (but) most often we only take care of monuments when it’s an emergency,” Andrade told AFP. Most of the funds are being channeled to infrastructure projects - revamping roads, transportation systems and improving security-some of which are already hampered by serious delays. —AFP

Sangakkara, Sohal star in Deccan’s win in IPL

Marathon great Waitz dies

16 17


Barcelona, Real meet in Copa del Rey final Page 18

LONDON: Manchester United’s Welsh midfielder Ryan Giggs (right) heads towards goal during the English Premier League football match against Newcastle United. (Inset) Wayne Rooney points at referee Lee Probert during the football match. — AFP

United fail to split Newcastle defence Man United 0

Newcastle 0 NEWCASTLE: Manchester United failed to score at St.James’ Park for the first time in 11 seasons as a goalless draw with Newcastle United kept alive the race for the Barclays Premier League title. The Red Devils had the chance to move nine points clear of secondplaced Arsenal with victory over Alan Pardew’s mid-table side. But, with Sir Alex Ferguson serving the penultimate game of his fivematch touchline ban, the visitors failed to bounce back from the disappointment of their weekend FA Cup semi-final defeat against rivals Manchester City. Wayne Rooney was back from his two-match suspension for swearing down the lens of a TV camera, but it

was another frustrating night for the England forward. Kick off was delayed for a few seconds as Rooney’s strike partner, Javier Hernandez, knelt on the halfway-line and completed his pre-match prayer routine. If the Mexican was praying for an early chance then he certainly got his wish. After just 90 seconds Rooney broke down the left wing and delivered for what looked like a routine tap-in for Hernandez. But Dutch goalkeeper Tim Krul, in for the injured Steve Harper, read the unfolding danger and slid from his goal-line to smother at the feet of the frontman, much to the relief of the home crowd. That relief, though, soon turned to excitement as the black and whites enjoyed a prolonged spell of attacking pressure. First, Jonas Gutierrez danced by three red shirts before seeing a measured curler from 20 yards deflected wide off Nemanja Vidic. Then, Shola Ameobi, stretching at the far post to connect with Joey Barton’s deep centre, could only turn

into the hands of Edwin Van Der Sar, and Cheik Tiote smashed into those same gloves with a 25-yard drive just seconds later as the Magpies produced a pulsating spell. It wasn’t the start the league leaders had planned but they soon began to settle and Rooney broke free of marker Mike Williamson on the edge of the area only to lift his shot over both Krul and the crossbar on 19 minutes. That frenetic opening gave way to a game of defensive containment, but it was Newcastle who finished the half the stronger of the sides. Skipper Barton saw a 41stminute free-kick snaffled by Van Der Sar just inside his near post before Peter Lovenkrands headed wide when unmarked just eight yards out. The second period began in much the same vein as the first and Ryan Giggs, like Lovenkrands just before the break, should have done better when heading wide of goal from an identical, close-range position. Newcastle were being implored forward by a vociferous home sup-

port and Lovenkrands saw a penalty appeal waved away just before the hour mark when he tumbled under the clumsy challenge of Anderson. Stephen Ireland’s last appearance at St.James’ was his debut for Aston Villa back in August, United the 6-0 winners that day. The 24-year-old, on loan at Newcastle from Villa, was on the touchline waiting to come on for his bow when Giggs missed the game’s best chance, Patrice Evra sliding a left-wing cross into his path only for the former Wales international to scuff woefully wide from 10 yards. Ireland had an opportunity of his own at the other end but volleyed inches wide from just outside the area. The Reds pressed for a winner, introducing former Newcastle captain Michael Owen to a chorus of home boos, but they struggled to break down the home defence and Hernandez was booked for a stoppage-time dive when attempting to con referee Lee Probert into a late penalty. —AFP

Stankovic stunner lifts Inter ROME: Dejan Stankovic added another wonder strike to his growing collection of goal of the season contenders as Inter Milan won 1-0 at Roma in the Italian Cup semi-final, first leg yesterday. The holders are in pole position to progress following the second leg at the San Siro in three weeks time. And it was all thanks to the veteran midfielder Stankovic, who hit a shot to rival his volley from the halfway line against Schalke 04 earlier this month. Inter had the ball in the net early doors but it was rightly chalked off for a foul. Stankovic ran onto a lofted ball forward which both Roma centre-back Juan and goalkeeper Doni also went for. Stankovic gave Juan the slightest of nudges, resulting in the defender and keeper colliding and allowing the Serbian to stroke home the loose ball, but despite his protests he hadn’t fooled the referee. Roma should have been in front on nine minutes as the recalled Marco Borriello, earning a rare start under Vincenzo Montella with Francesco Totti suspended, teed up Mirko Vucinic but the Montenegro forward somehow failed to hit the target from inside the six

EPL results/standings Newcastle 0 Manchester United 0 Played Sunday Arsenal 1 ( Van Persie 90+8-pen) Liverpool 1 (Kuyt 90+12-pen) Played Saturday Birmingham City 2 (Larsson 41, Gardner

66) Sunderland 0; Blackpool 1 (Campbell 84) Wigan Athletic 3 (Rodallega 3, Nzogbia 45, Eardley 66-og); Everton 2 (Osman 54, Baines 75-pen) Blackburn 0; West Bromwich 1 (Odemwingie 17) Chelsea 3 (Drogba 22, Kalou 26, Lampard 45); West Ham 1 (Keane 2) Aston Villa 2 (Bent 37, Agbonlahor 90).

English Premier League table after yesterday’s match (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points):

Man Utd Arsenal Chelsea Man City Tottenham Liverpool Everton Bolton Newcastle Aston Villa

33 32 32 32 31 33 33 32 33 33

20 18 18 16 14 14 11 11 10 10

10 9 7 8 11 7 14 10 10 10

3 5 7 8 6 12 8 11 13 13

70 63 58 50 44 46 47 46 48 42

32 31 26 30 36 39 41 43 47 54

70 63 61 56 53 49 47 43 40 40

West Brom 33 Fulham 32 Stoke 32 Birmingham32 Sunderland 33 Blackburn 33 Wigan 33 Blackpool 33 West Ham 33 W’hampton 32

10 8 11 8 9 9 7 9 7 9

9 14 5 14 11 8 13 6 11 5

14 10 16 10 13 16 13 18 15 18

47 36 39 33 35 40 32 47 39 36

62 35 42 43 47 54 53 69 58 56

39 38 38 38 38 35 34 33 32 32

Whittaker spot on as Rangers beat Dundee

ITALY: Inter Milan’s Macedonian forward Goran Pandev (center) fights for the ball with AS Roma’s midfielder Daniele De Rossi (left) and AS Roma’s Argentinian defender Nicolas Burdisso (right) as AS Roma’s Brazilian defender Juan Silveira Dos Santos (bottom) falls during Italian Cup first leg semi-finals football match. —AP

yard box. Inter were producing the more effective work and Doni had to be alert to save a Lucio header. Roma also survived a penalty appeal when Stankovic’s pass clipped Daniele De Rossi’s hand, but nothing was given. However, the midfielder then struck on the stroke of half-time with a stunning half-

volley from almost 30 yards with the outside of his right boot that curled around Doni and into the top corner. Roma failed to muster much of a fightback after the break, particularly after Borriello was forced off with an injury, leaving them without a natural number nine. —AFP

GLASGOW: Steven Whittaker scored twice from the spot and missed another as Rangers extended their lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League to four points with a 4-0 win over eight men Dundee United yesterday. The Rangers defender converted his first in the 16th minute after Mihael Kovacevic saw red for scything down Steven Naismith before notching another in the 59th minute when Sean Dillon was ordered off for a clumsy challenge on Nikica Jelavic. Jelavic tapped in a third in the 72nd minute before referee Willie Collum brought out the red for a third time when Morgaro Gomis was penalised for a push on substitute El-Hadji Diouf at the back post but this time Whittaker blasted his spot-kick over the bar. There was still time for Kyle Lafferty to make it 4-0 in the 83rd minute as Rangers’ goal difference received a boost. The win means Rangers will go into Sunday’s crucial Old Firm derby on Sunday on top of the SPL no matter how Celtic, who have two games in hand, fare against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Wednesday. At Tannadice, the game burst into life in the 16th minute when Naismith burst into the box and slotted low past Dusan Pernis but the forward picked up a booking for his

troubles after he used an arm to control the ball in the build up. However Naismith was heavily involved as Rangers were awarded a penalty six minutes later. Pernis could only palm away a fierce long range strike from Lafferty and Naismith was scythed down by Kovacevic as he prepared to convert the rebound. The United defender was shown a straight red and Whittaker stepped up to open the scoring as he sent Pernis the wrong way. United’s difficult task became almost impossible when they conceded another penalty and were reduced to nine men in the 59th minute after Dillon’s clumsy sliding challenge on Jelavic was adjudged to have taken place in the box. Whittaker was handed the responsibility again and calmly made it six out of six from the penalty spot this season as he sold Pernis another dummy. Jelavic made it 3-0 in the 72nd minute when Pernis could only palm away a fierce strike from Steven Davis into the path of the Croatian striker who hooked the ball in from a tight angle. Referee Collum pointed to the spot again in the 78th minute after Gomis, who saw red, pushed Diouf but nerves got to Whittaker who blasted his penalty high and wide. —AFP



e niv rsar n


ABK records KD16.3m net profits for Q1 2011


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KSE stocks remain mixed Page 24


NBK Q1 net profits grow 6% Y-o-Y to $291m

AUB reports solid KD8.5m profit in Q1 Page 25

President Barack Obama waves as he is introduced for a town hall meeting to discuss reducing the national debt yesterday at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Virginia. — AP

Obama: Failure to cut debt will hurt economy US foreclosures pose threat, home building rises ANNANDALE, Virginia: President Barack Obama yesterday promoted his plan to scale back spending without halting aid to education, energy and science, acknowledging to a town hall crowd that mounting deficits could inflict “serious damage” on the country. In an appearance at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Virginia, Obama blasted Republican alternatives to deal with federal budget problems, while at the same time predicting the two deeply divided parties would ultimately find a compromise on spending priorities. “I’m optimistic. I’m hopeful,” Obama said in his campaign-style outing. “Both sides have come together before. I believe we can do it again.” Obama’s pitch came as his re-election bid for next year is now under way in earnest. He is traveling across the country this week with a message that the government must reduce its staggering debt by cutting defense spending and health care costs, increasing taxes on the wealthy and protecting priorities he deems untouchable. The president and House Republicans are vying for control of a suddenly surging national debt debate. Obama says his plan spreads the burden more fairly than a rival House Republican plan that would cut roughly the same amount of spending through budget cuts and an overhaul of the Medicare and Medicaid health care pro-

grams for the elderly and poor. Meanwhile, US home building and permits for future construction rebounded strongly last month from February’s weather-depressed levels, but a glut of housing on the market will make further gains difficult. Housing starts rose 7.2 percent to an annual rate of 549,000 units from an upwardly revised 512,000-unit pace in February, the Commerce Department said yesterday. The rise marked a bounce back after an 18.5 percent drop in February when severe winter weather restrained activity. Although the increase beat Wall Street’s expectations for a 549,000-unit pace, economists said it did not signal a decisive shift in construction, which continues to be dragged down by stiff competition from a flood of foreclosed properties. “The rebound in housing starts in March does little to hide the fact that home building activity remains close to rock bottom,” said Paul Dales, a senior US economist at Capital Economics in Toronto. “With both the demand and need for new homes still very low, housing starts aren’t going to enjoy a more meaningful recovery for a few years yet.” Residential construction accounts for about 2.4 percent of gross domestic product, and the latest data suggest it would do little, if anything, to lift the economy in the first quarter. Investment in home building grew at a 3.3 percent annual rate in the last three months of 2010. — Agencies

Egypt stock index rebounds; Oman down on Renaissance MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS CAIRO/DUBAI: Egypt’s main index ended higher yesterday as investor interest in battered blue-chips returned after a widening graft crackdown, while most Gulf Arab markets corrected after recent rally. Egypt’s index gained 2.5 percent with EFG-Hermes and Egyptian Resorts up 8.8 and 7.5 percent respectively. “This is a natural market reaction after sharp losses in the past period,” said Mohamed Swefy of Osool Brokerage. Citadel Capital, whose chairman Ahmed Heikal was banned by prosecutors from travel pending a corruption probe, gained 3.5 percent. “Most of the blue chips that really got smashed for the past three sessions have seen a psychological rebound,” said Mohamed Radwan of Pharos Securities. Oman’s index fell 0.4 percent, as Renaissance Services tumbled on its unit losing a court case. Renaissance’s UAEbased unit Topaz filed a case against customer SD Marine last year, claiming breach of contract for cancellation of two marine vessels. The stock lost 2.7 percent. Abu Dhabi’s index fell 0.2 percent in lacklustre trade as investors await the rest of first quarter corporate results. “It’s normal to have a pull back after a recent run due to the pick up in global equities,” said Julian Bruce, EFG-Hermes director of institutional equity sales. Etisalat dropped 0.5 percent after

posting below forecast first-quarter results on Monday. Its net profit fell by 8.9 percent. “We suspect that, in addition to aggressive competition, there could have been a subscriber base clean-up through service cut-off for non-registered SIM cards,” which affected revenues, said a note from EFGHermes. Dubai’s index pushed higher 0.1 percent, crossing a 14-week high. Emirates NBD gained 1.4 percent and telecoms operator du rose 0.6 percent. Saudi Arabia’s index fell to a three-week closing low as the latest earnings missed forecasts, leading to a correction. The benchmark slips 0.1 percent, its lowest close since March 29. “Technical indicators show that the market is due for a bit of correction with support at 6,415 points - this will not happen for a couple of days,” said Youssef Kassantini, a Riyadh-based financial analyst. Saudi Electricity retreated 0.4 percent after it said on Monday first-quarter losses narrowed slightly compared with the prior-year period. But the results missed analyst forecasts. Bucking the trend, Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) gained 2.6 percent after reporting a 42 percent rise in its firstquarter net profit on Monday as it increased production and sales. Qatar’s index slipped 0.1 percent to a two-week low, weighed by Qatar Gas Transport Co (Nakilat) despite the company posting better-than-expected results. —Reuters

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ABK records KD16.3m net profits for Q1 2011 Sound strategy and continuous ability to achieve profits

Ali Al-Arbash, CEO of Abdul Amir and Hussain AlArbash Jewelry

High expectations on jewelry expo ‘Konouz’ KUWAIT: Several new companies have shown keen interest in participating in the annual jewelry and watches exhibition ‘Konouz’ being organized by the Kuwaiti Jewelry Merchants Association from April 24th and April 28 at Al-Raiya Hall in Courtyard Marriott Hotel in downtown Kuwait City. The exhibition is held under the patronage of Sheikha Fraiha Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah. Ali Al-Arbash, CEO of Abdul Amir and Hussain AlArbash Jewelry, announced that his company plans to give the Kuwaiti customer during the 2011 Konouz Expo a chance to become familiar with the latest in the jewelry fashion industry. Al-Arbash said the exhibition will build ‘an atmosphere of healthy competition which will result in better service for customers.’ He added that his company expects to achieve better results this year than during last year’s exhibition. “We chose to return to the exhibition due to what we felt was the fine selection of elite participants both from inside and outside Kuwait.” Chairman of the 2011 Konouz Exhibition organizing committee Afaf Kayed revealed that the average participation this year has exceeded expectations and already surpassed last year’s average. He added that the high appeal from international companies to participate in the event, increases the chances of its success. She further indicated that the timing of the exhibition is divided into two sections, the first from 10:00 am until 1:30 pm and the second from 5:00 pm to 9:30 pm, adding that pavilions were carefully designed to provide visitors the best level of convenience during their visit.

Chairperson of 2011 Konouz Exhibition organizing committee Afaf Kayed

KUWAIT: Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait (ABK) announced net profits of KD 16.3 million for the three month period ended 31 March 2011 compared to KD15.3 million for the same period 2010, achieving a 7% growth. Return on Assets has improved from 2.07% to 2.25% during the same period. Commenting on these financial results, Ahmed Yousuf Behbehani, the Chairman of the Board, stated that “The Bank has adopted prudent strategies and conservative approach in line with the prevalent difficult economic and political conditions to minimize its risks and to increase its profits from the core operating profits. The continuous efforts exerted by the executive management and staff in facing the financial crisis, the focus on diversification of investment and expansion in the operational activities and application of effective risk management tools, expansion of the retail branches network and introduction of new quality products to satisfy the customer needs, have obviously contributed

to the achievement of such results. He stated that the capital adequacy ratio of the Bank has exceeded 24%, which is one of the highest ratios that reflect the financial strength of the Bank and its high risk capability. As for the ratings of ABK, Behbehani stated that the Bank maintains its high credit rating from International Rating Agencies such as Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch IBCA, with stable outlook. The Bank continues to invest in the development of human resources and developing its staff. It attracts and employs national competent staff in all banking divisions. ABK Academy provides high quality training courses to trainees, to help them improve their skills and work with better capabilities. ABK is considered one of the major banks in attracting national staff. Behbehani praised the shareholders for their confidence in the performance of the Board of Directors and the Executive Management of the Bank. The

conservative policy and effective management of the risks had enhanced the financial position of the Bank. The success of ABK and its ability to achieve

ABK Chairman Behbehani


good results and continuous growth in the profits have enhanced the confidence of the shareholders in the sound and strong financial position of the Bank in the face of these difficult economic and political conditions prevailing in the economies of the region. In conclusion Behbehani stated that the Bank will continue to apply its ambitious plans, improve and consolidate its market position among the Kuwaiti banks by providing quality banking services. ABK has expanded its network of branches to 29, including 2 overseas branches in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and plans for further expansion in the near future. He expressed his optimism about ABK’s future performance and its ability to meet its 2011 objectives and provide greater value to its shareholders and customers in the coming years. He confirmed the fact that ABK is ready to finance the State Development Plan and is able to participate in financing the mega government projects once approved.


Paragon Marketing Communications expands into Oman KUWAIT: Paragon Marketing Communications one of Kuwait’s leading full service integrated marketing communications agency is now expanding its operations from Kuwait and Bulgaria into Oman. This expansion corresponds to the success achieved in the agency’s 1st phase of 10 years in Kuwait and Bulgaria. With the headquarters located in Kuwait, Paragon Marketing Communications is one of the very few agencies based in the region to function overseas with its Bulgarian operation and now will be one of the very few elite agencies to foray into the booming Omani market. The network of operations will help the agency cater to a wider market geographically, with the northern Gulf market being handled through the Kuwait branch, the southern Gulf region through the Omani branch whereas the Bulgarian office will look into the East European market. Paragon Marketing Communications has been one of the most successful advertising agencies in Kuwait for the past decade and the expansion into a new market signals this success. Comprising of a team of young professionals and experts from the marketing and design field the full fledged integrated marketing communication agency handles some of the top international brands. The expansion into Oman seems like part of a bigger plan, wherein the success achieved by the Kuwaiti and Bulgarian branches is carried over into nearby markets thereby helping transform Paragon Marketing Communications into an international brand that provides the best services in the field of marketing communication. With the advent of ground breaking technology in telecommunication, each of the head offices will have seamless communication between each other and the wider spectrum of talents from various geo-

graphic locations will help in providing the much needed variety in the work output. Paragon Marketing Communications epitomizes the definition of integrated marketing communication with services ranging from Television production, corporate identity and branding, event management, public relations, advertising above the line, below the line, through the line and the excitingly innovative online. Having accomplished 52 international, local and regional awards for creativity in corporate identity and design and being published in 17 books on the same subject, Paragon Marketing Communications is doing exactly what it set out to 10 years ago - place Kuwait on the international map of advertising and with this new extension of the Omani branch to its network it takes another step towards its ultimate goal.

Louai Asfahani, president of IAA

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 Bangladesh Taka

ASIAN COUNTRIES 3.384 6.232 3.290 2.510 3.900 222.840 35.690 3.807

.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

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

6.402 9.214 0.271 0.273 GCC COUNTRIES 74.037 76.292 721.190 737.280 75.591

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

Egyptian Pound - Cash Egyptian Pound - Transfer Yemen Riyal Tunisian Dinar Jordanian Dinar Lebanese Lira Syrian Lier Morocco Dirham

ARAB COUNTRIES 48.750 46.589 1.270 203.330 392.100 184.200 5.994 35.813

EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 277.550 Euro 397.170 Sterling Pound 452.960 Canadian dollar 289.420 Turkish lire 181.290 Swiss Franc 311.500 Australian dollar 290.590 US Dollar Buying 276.350

Sterling Pound US Dollar

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

SELL CASH 293.600 737.750 4.010 290.700 544.900 14.100 54.800 167.800 48.090 399.000 36.380 6.490

SELL DRAFT 292.100 737.750 3.610 288.200

223.200 46.667 397.500 36.230 6.225

0.033 0.248 0.244 3.460 393.550 0.188 93.980 47.900 4.350 221.400 1.881 52.500 720.550 3.360 6.630 76.740 74.070 223.250 43.030 2.692 455.300 45.800 312.800 5.900 9.570 198.263 75.690 277.800 1.230


392.080 0.187 93.980 3.900 219.900

311.300 5.900 9.410 75.590 277.400

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 453.300 277.400

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

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

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. 720.370 3.305 6.405 76.310 74.070 223.250 43.030 2.510 453.300

GOLD 1,549.850

10 Tola

GOLD 278.000 140.000 71.000

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

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) 277.300 3.305 6.220 2.530 3.820 6.445 75.495 74.150 737.200 46.605 457.300 0.00003280 3.910 1.550 393.900 5.750 400.200 294.200

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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AUB reports solid KD8.5m profit in first quarter 2011 An increase of 36.6% over same period last year KUWAIT: The Ahli United Bank achieved good levels of profitability in the first quarter of 2011 with net profit margins of KD 8.5 million for the period, representing an increase of 36.6% over the same period last year. This profit has been achieved by operating income of AUB’s core business of KD 17.7 million where the Bank managed to increase net operating profit by 46.3%. Earnings per share amounted 8.4 fils per share compared to 6.2 fils

direct bearing on credit and finance. The profits achieved by AUB demonstrated the Bank’s ability to overcome such crisis, guided by Bank’s conservative management which is able to defy the odds and face the risks in the context of completing the first year of successful transition to a bank operating in accordance with the provisions of Islamic sharia.” Hamad Al-Marzouk added that the main focus of profit was a result of

credit rating according to Fitch Report, which reflects the strength of the Bank’s financial position, even under unfavorable economic conditions. Fitch have commended the quality control and expenditure management as well as the improved asset quality in 2010, which is further testimony that AUB is going according to a fixed strategy enhancing the confidence of depositors and customers in the Bank’s management of

Al-Marzouk: The financial results reflect the strength of the bank’s financial position and continuing our precautionary policy is a must. AUB Chairman and Managing Director Hamad Abdul Al-Mohsen Al-Marzouk for the same period in 2010, which reflects the strength of the Bank’s financial position and the Bank’s ability to maintain the continuity of the operating profit arising from banking activity. As compared to December 31st 2010 the total deposits have increased by 4.2% to become KD 2,237 million, and the total assets also increased by 3.4% to become KD 2,538 million. Commenting on the positive outputs achieved by the Bank, the Chairman and the managing Director of the Bank, Hamad Abdul AlMohsen Al-Marzouk, said “these good results come amid further precautionary policy and reflect the Bank’s persistence to follow the best ways and principles of governance within an integrated system adopted by AUB in all local and regional markets which enabled the Bank to overcome the global financial crisis that gripped the markets and have had a

the performance growth in all sectors due to the diversity of sources of income, the expansion of activities, the allocation of risk and the growing interest in customer requirements as well as providing many advanced ser vices and products. He also stressed that the next period shall be full of challenges that require the Kuwaiti banking sector to develop its instruments and products in light of the rapid changes tak ing place worldwide. Al-Marzouk affirmed that the Bank still holds steady and prudent policy and distinct management approach, which yielded for the Bank many of the unbiased international ratings demonstrating the Bank’s solid and stable financial future as well as the quality of the Bank’s assets and the Bank’s stable levels of profitability. Such rating also proves that the Bank had successfully passed the repercussions of the previous period, while maintaining the development of its assets. Al-Marzouk stressed that “the Bank’s Risk Department operates with high efficiency to support and maintain our excellent and stable

its operations. The high credit rating of the Bank also reflected Fitch’s trust in the Bank’s transition to a bank operating in accordance with the provisions of Islamic sharia in April 2010, which rendered AUB the optimal choice for clients”. Al-Marzouq added that Ahli United Bank, after conversion into an Islamic Sharia compliant Bank, spares no efforts to provide a variety of Islamic banking services that maintain the privileges of client accounts, and enhance the quality level of client service. The Bank is committed to engage in all activities and services provided to its clients in such manner that ensures their best interests. These services have witnessed great admiration and marked a significant demand by the clients who have had strong impact and immediate response by agreeing on the conversion of their existing accounts of all various types into Islamic Sharia compliant accounts. Al-Marzouq said that the returns earned on the investment deposits have significantly exceeded the returns on similar deposits at the

market, representing the highest returns in the State of Kuwait. The bank distributed dividends on the annual deposits, in Kuwaiti Dinar, exceeding 4%. The rate of return on the investment deposits for three months, in Kuwaiti Dinar, reached 1.92%. Also, the rate of return on the quar terly investment savings accounts, in Kuwaiti Dinar, reached 1.95%. This confirms how highly the confidence the clients placed in the bank that will remain a safe harbor for them. The Bank strives always to provide the best banking services that meet all expectations of our clients who are the focus of the Management’s attention at all levels. As for the Financial Statements during the current year and the potentials of profitability, Al-Marzouk said that the Bank will realize more

achievements during the current year if the situation continues as it is now, especially with the waving signs of the global economy recovery. In light of this fact, the Bank’s profitability will witness a significant growth through realizing more achievements and the contribution to the development of the Islamic banking market. Ahli United Bank has become as one of the promising Islamic banks, and is well prepared to acquire a significant share in the Kuwaiti market, depending on an integrated banking group of regionally prestigious position, deriving its strength and high solvency from a deep-rooted banking history dating back to 70 years ago. Over this honorable history, the Bank was, several times, placed as one of the best banks in a lot of global banking standards.

Bohler Welding Group Fulfilling high demands

Joyalukkas Showroom opens in Indian capital The latest showroom of Joyalukkas Jewellery, at Karol Bagh in New Delhi, was recently inaugurated by Indian cine star R. Madhavan, in the presence of Joy Alukkas, Managing Director of Joyalukkas, along with a select gathering of senior management and other dignitaries of the company. The multi-storied Joyalukkas showroom on Bank Street, Karol Bagh’s famous jewelry destination, is a large-format store with an approximate area of 12,000 sq. ft. The interior of the showroom is elegantly designed and aims to provide a wonderful ambience for jewelry buyers and offers a wide choice of traditional and custommade jewelry designs catering to different customer and price segments. The ground floor of the Karol Bagh showroom displays exclusive gold jewelry, while limited editions of diamond, precious stones and platinum jewelry are available on the first floor. Specially crafted silver and pearl jewelry are presented on the second floor of the elite showroom. Joyalukkas jewellery is 100% BIS hallmarked for gold, 100% IGI certified for diamond and 100% PGI certified platinum jewelry. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Joy Alukkas said, “We are happy to inaugurate the first large- format Joyalukkas showroom in North India in the pres-

ence of our brand ambassador R. Madhavan. People visiting Delhi’s most preferred jewelry destination, Karol Bagh, can now have the pleasure of choosing an exquisite range of jewelry designs under one roof, in comfort and convenience. Joyalukkas promises a delightful shopping experience and among the novelties on display are attractive designs popular in India and the Middle East.” Joyalukkas brand ambassador R. Madhavan said, “Joyalukkas is my favorite jeweler and I am happy to welcome the people of Delhi to come and experience the joy of shopping here. Joyalukkas’ large-format stores provide a unique luxury retail shopping experience, as well as wide range of product offerings.” Joyalukkas has 23 retail stores across India, of which 10 are large -format stores, each having a floor area of 12,000 sq. ft. or more. It is also engaged in selling textiles, apparels and accessories through its Wedding Centres in Kerala. Joyallukas won the ‘Best Single Retail Store of the Year 2011 Award, for their Chennai showroom and the best Retail Jewellery Chain of the Year 2011 Award at the National Jewellery Awards 2011, instituted by the All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation.

Bohler Welding Group, the international welding consumables specialists offering a complete range of products and solutions to meet sophisticated welding applications, recently held a technical seminar on pipeline welding at the Movenpick Hotel and Resorts in Al Bida’a. The highly focused seminar held the large gathering of pipeline contractors and engineering professionals fully engaged for over two hours. Conducted by Anders Andersson, Managing Director of Bohler Welding Group Middle East, and Bohler’s technical expert, Manfred Hoefer, the seminar updated industry professionals in Kuwait on the latest breakthroughs in the field of welding consumables, while providing insights into innovative technological advances in pipeline welding. The seminar also highlighted Bohler’s latest high tensile consumables with its excellent welding characteristics that enhance welding of pipelines of the future. With their high strength, thinner wall thickness and low weight, the new material would be cheaper to transport, quicker to install and have longer service life, allowing for faster completion and better profitability of pipeline projects. Acknowledging the demand for quality products from pipeline construction companies that fabricate in the challenging environments of Kuwait, the speakers assured audiences that the full range of high-quality consumables from Bohler Welding Group conform to some of the most stringent international standards in quality and management. Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the seminar, Andersson said, “At Bohler Welding Group we specialize in providing welding consumables that offer a complete range of solutions and products for all welding applications. With a range of top products for specialized applications in joint and surface welding, including unalloyed to high alloyed products of top quality, as well as specific heat and creep resistant materials used in critical environments like petrochemicals and power generation, we are the regional industry leader when it comes to welding consumables in these selected areas.”

“The secret of our success lies in extensive knowledge of materials. In over a century of being in this business we have molded the world of welding with new products, processes and materials. Our unique advantage is that we are not only a producer, but also a development, technology and service partner who can bring together information, innovation, development, technology and integration from our group’s global network of companies. The fact that we can integrate competencies from around the world, including industry renowned research and development institutions, means we find tailored solutions for the varied application challenges of our customers around the world. Portraying Bohler Welding Group as a competent and reliable partner for specific and industry-related requirements in the region, Andersson added, “With our cuttingedge products, technical excellence and hands-on experience, Bohler Welding Group as a solid and well-established player in the welding industry. Through our fifteen years of partnership with the Al-Ghusain Group we

have developed a strong rapport with major clients and contractors in the private and government sector in Kuwait. This wellestablished relationship, along with our regional sales offices and large stock facilities in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone, allow us to offer the best technical expertise, products and service to customers in Kuwait. Bohler Welding Group is the welding consumables arm of voestalpine of Austria, which provides global customers with a broad range of steel products and solutionsbased services. With their expertise and experience in everything from steel melting to optimized customer solutions, Bohler Welding Group is always at the forefront of developing welding consumables for new steel types. voestalpine Group is a leading international customized high-quality and hightech steel products and solutions company, with more than 39,000 employees and over EUR 8.6 Billion sales revenues per year. Represented worldwide by more than 360 production and sales companies in more than 60 countries throughout the world.




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KSE stocks remain mixed GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) witnessed mixed performance yesterday due to profit-taking in banking sector. While buying interest on selective stocks in real estate and services sectors was the major support to the price index ending the day in positive territory. Furthermore, Al-Imtiaz Investment Company was listed this session in the regular market under investment sector. The scrip opened at KD0.220 and closed at KD0.210 down by 4.55 percent. A volume of 0.625mn shares was registered on the scrip. Market indices Global General Index (GGI), market weighted, ended the day down by 0.11 percent, at 200.79 point. Market Capitalization was down for the day at KD32.94bn. KSE Price Index closed at 6,396.5 point, adding 21.40 points (0.34 percent) to its previous close. Market breadth During the session, 106 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards advancers as 49 equities advanced versus 29 that retreated. Yesterday’s performance was accompanied by diminishing trading activity with most of the trades conducted in the Services, Real Estate and Investment sectors. Total volume traded was down by 1.29 percent with 151.42mn shares changing hands at a total value of KD26.10mn (0.75 percent lower compared to the day before). The Services Sector was the volume leader today, accounting for 26.36 percent of total shares. The Banking sector was the value leader, with 27.72 percent of total traded value. Zain was the most active in terms of values of shares traded during the

session with 2.66mn shares exchanged at an aggregate value of KD2.66mn. The scrip ended the day flat at KD1.160. Sector-wise By the end of the session, five out of eight indices witnesses daily gains led by Global Real Estate index which rose by 1.29 percent driven by Pearl of Kuwait Real Estate Company. The scrip surged by 10 percent closing at KD0.0275. Also, heavyweight, Mabanee Company, rose by 3.95 percent, closing at its highest level since January 12, 2011 at KD0.790. Furthermore, Kuwait Real Estate Company was the volume leader for the day, as investors exchanged 15.24mn shares of the company’s shares. The scrip ended


flat closing at KD0.055. Global Food index followed, adding 0.96 percent as two of the sector’s companies reported gains. The Heavyweight stock, Kuwait Foodstuff Company (Americana) rose by 1.33 percent closing at KD1.520. Moreover, Danah Al-Safat Foodstuff Company increased by 2.50 percent compared with the reference price. The scrip traded ex dividend during the session after the AGM approved to distribute 5 percent as cash dividend for shareholders. On the other hand, heavy weighted Banking sector negatively affect the market with Global banking index being the biggest loser, shedding 0.68 percent. Kuwait Finance House (KFH) and National

Bank of Kuwait (NBK) declined by 1.82 percent and 1.67 percent, respectively. Corporate news Inflation in Kuwait rose 5.1 percent in March compared to the previous month of last year on annual basis, and 0.5 percent in contrast to last February on monthly basis. Statistics released by the Central Department Monthly Statistics showed that the record figure in March was posted at 146.6 points, compared to the same period of in 2010. The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at $117.37 a barrel on Monday, compared with $117.99 the previous Friday, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations.

Oil slips to $120 on US economy, demand fears LONDON: Brent crude oil fell yesterday, slipping below $120 a barrel for the first time in two weeks, pressured by concern about the economic outlook and that high prices could erode demand. Expectations Greece would be forced to restructure its debt added to a bleak economic pic ture on Tuesday, a day after ratings agency S&P cut its outlook for US credit. Brent crude for June fell $1.75 to $119.86 a barrel by 1100 GMT, trading yesterday below $120 for the first time since April 5. US crude for May, which expires later yesterday, was down 99 cents at $106.13. “I think essentially there’s been no new oil-related stories and what you are trading off is macroeconomic stories... so that’s weighing on the market,” said Amrita Sen at Barclays Capital. OPEC Secretary General Abdullah Al-Badri, speaking at an oil and gas trade fair in Tehran, said he did not expect oil to fall below $100 this year, even though there was no shortage in the market. He reiterated OPEC’s call on consumer nations to revise their tax systems to address what he called “exceptional circumstances,” so as to lessen the burden of high prices. The Organization of the Petroleum Expor ting Countries has so far declined to take any formal action to cool oil’s rally. Underlining that stance, Iran’s oil minister said yesterday any increase in output would not bring down prices. Top world exporter Saudi Arabia said over the weekend it had cut oil production by 800,000 barrels per day (bpd) in March, returning output to December levels, because of weak demand.

Oil also fell on Monday after ratings agency S&P revised lower its U.S. credit outlook to negative. In Europe, financial markets are increasingly convinced Greece will have to renegotiate the terms of its public debt, recognizing that its economy cannot grow fast enough to service a burden that is set to swell to 160 percent of national output. “I guess they’re all worried about the economic outlook... the downgrading of US debt and the Euro zone with Portugal and now they’re worried about Greece... that seems to be the main thing,” said Roy Jordan at Facts Global Energy. Concerns about how China’s attempts to slow economic growth could impact oil demand, as well as high crude inventories in top consumer the United States, were also pressuring oil prices. “You have to start readjusting the value of the commodity,” Jonathan Barratt, managing direc tor of Commodit y Brok ing S er vices in Melbourne said. “All the pressure points that we had before are not there.” Unrest in the M iddle East remained a potential threat to supply as fighting escalated in Syria yesterday, while tension in Bahrain continued to require the presence of Saudi and UAE forces there. Libya, which pumped 1.6 million bpd or almost 2 percent of world supply before the conflict, oil trade remains at a virtual standstill. “The tension does not seem to be getting any better,” said John Vautrain of consulting firm Purvin & Ger tz. “And we’ve now got some growing tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Brent still could go up in the next week or two.” —Reuters




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NBK Q1 net profits grow 6% Y-o-Y to $291 million KUWAIT: Ibrahim Dabdoub, National Bank of Kuwait’s (NBK) Group Chief Executive Officer said “NBK’s solid performance in the first quarter of 2011 demonstrates our sound financial position and ability to grow despite the challenging regional and global conditions.” NBK, the largest Kuwaiti bank and the highest-rated in the Middle East, reported net profits of $291 million (KD80.8 million) for the first quarter of 2011 as compared with $275 million (KD 76.3 million) for the same period in 2010, an increase of 6%. As of end of March 2011, total assets reached $50.2 billion (KD 13.9 billion), whilst total shareholders’ equity stood at $7.7 billion (KD 2.1 billion). Profitability indicators remained strong with ROA at 2.44% and ROE at 15.8%. NPL/Gross Loans ratio fell to 1.69% as of end of March 2011, from 1.81% in March of the previous year, with NPL coverage at 202.8%. “We take pride in the work we have accomplished, and our results are a testament to our ability to generate strong returns despite challenging regional and global conditions. This is due to our solid core banking operations in and outside Kuwait.” Dabdoub also attributed NBK’s strong results to its successful expansionary strategy, strong capital position, and sound risk management. Dabdoub added that NBK’s

Ibrahim Dabdoub

Mohammed Al-Bahar

Dabdoub: Bank’s strong performance confirms our sound financial position despite regional and global challenges strong per formance amid volatile conditions is credited to its outstanding asset quality, backed by a conservative strategy, sound risk management, and stable management team. These attributes also helped the bank retain its position as the highest rated bank in the Middle East by the major international credit rating agencies. Moreover, NBK continues to be recognized for its achievements and outstanding position, named by Global Finance as “Best Bank in the Middle East for 2011”, and the Safest Arab Bank for a second consecutive year. NBK continues to enjoy the widest banking presence in Kuwait with 71 branches, which together with its growing international representa-

tion totals 177 branches worldwide. NBK’s international presence spans many of the world financial centers including London, Paris, Geneva, New York and Singapore, as well as China (Shanghai) and Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City). Meanwhile, the regional coverage extends to Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Turkey. NBK has consistently been awarded the highest credit rating of all banks in the region by Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch Ratings. The Bank’s ratings are supported by its high capitalization, prudent lending policies, and its disciplined approach to risk management, in addition to its recognized and very stable management team.

Ten steps to professional fulfillment By Lama Ataya t is remarkable how many people fail to achieve success in their careers simply because they have never taken the time out to analyze what success looks like for them and to create a plan to get there. The road to success is never accidental even though luck and circumstance can lend a helping hand along the way. Successful professionals who are able to sustain their success have a vision, plan astutely, take stock regularly and work very hard and very smart to realize their success. The following are some key tips from, the Middle East’s #1 Job Site, to help you along the road to achieving your career ambitions. 1. Set goals: The surest way never to achieve any lofty goals is not to set them in the first place. Take a holistic approach to deciding what your priorities and goals are in life before you hone in on your specific career goals. Specifically, what sort of balance and end result are you seeking to achieve in the important areas of your life:- finance, career, health, relationships, self development etc. You will undermine your career success if your goals in other areas of your life contradict or conflict with your career goals. You will also sabotage your chances of success if you set too many goals; focus instead on a few clear, achievable ones that you are enthusiastic about pursuing. Your goals can take the form of “being” goals and “doing” goals and should be accompanied with a timeline for getting there and a plan of action. 2. Be committed: Once you set your goals, be committed to achieving them. Have a vision in front of you at all times and clear milestones along the way. Your dedication and motivation should never waver if you are convinced of the goals you have set yourself. Sometimes feelings of unworthiness and lack of confidence hinder your progress; remind yourself that you deserve success and work on building your confidence if you are in fact sabotaging your career in this way. Focus on accomplishments rather than just performance. 3. Measure your Progress: Once you embark on your journey towards achieving your goals it is crucial that you monitor and measure your progress along the way. Are you reaching the milestones you set out to reach within the desired time span? Is your progress proceeding at the right pace and quality? Make sure you are clearly aware of the impact your actions have on the organization’s bottom line whether they be in terms of money made, money saved, time saved, deals closed, new relationships initiated, processes optimized etc. Try to always monetize your individual accomplishments in order to most accurately keep track of your direct impact on the organization’s bottom line. The most minor product or process enhancements sometimes have a dramatic impact on a company’s bottom line. 4. Market your Accomplishments: You need to


take a proactive approach towards promoting yourself if you are to reap the full fruits of your success. Make sure your individual accomplishments are recognized by all the key decision-makers in the organization and particularly those who influence your career progress. It is quite common for credit to be misallocated and for accomplishments to be undervalued or overlooked altogether so don’t be shy about singing your own praises providing you stick to the facts and exercise tact and diplomacy. 5. Build a Personal Network: Your success will to a large extent depend on your ability to build alliances and garner the support of others including peers, superiors, subordinates, clients, suppliers and others you interact with on a daily basis to get the job done. Work on building a reputation and network both within your organization and outside so you are immediately considered for lucrative new opportunities, recognized as the best man/woman for top jobs and inspire trust and credibility in broader industry circles. Expand your circle of influence by networking, attending industry events, seeking to be allocated to important projects in other divisions, volunteering in high profile events and activities etc. 6. Maintain an Open Dialogue with Superiors: Don’t be shy of those higher up than you in the executive ranks. Seek to regularly communicate with your superiors and build a rapport with decision-making executives in your organization who could have a say in your mobility and advancement. The more they know you and the more comfortable they are with you, the likelier you are to be elevated to their ranks. 7. Mentor and be Mentored: Find a mentor you respect and value and arrange to meet regularly to sound off ideas and get advice on how to best achieve your goals and negotiate hurdles and milestones along the way. Seek to mentor someone perhaps lower down the rungs in the organizational ladder in return to build rapport as a future leader and widen your circle of influence. 8. Sharpen your Skills: With every project and activity you complete, new hire, new client, new problem solved, chances are you have learned something new and sharpened a particular skillset. Ongoing learning is critical to your personal development and career success. Identify a training path that fills key skills gaps, augments your strengths and keeps you at the cutting-edge of whatever you do so that you don’t become redundant and loose your competitive edge. 9. Maintain a Professional Image: Your professional image plays an important role in your career success. Dress, look, sound and act the part and surround yourself with positive, successful people who are also known to take their careers seriously. 10. Communicate Effectively: Learn to get your message across effectively, share your successes, learnings and experiences, maintain a positive dialogue and influence and inspire others. Key skills including professional writing, active listening, empathic listening, public speaking, effective presenting, win-win negotiating and communicating in a crisis are all important in determining your career success as are any other communication skills that further your ability to persuade, build affinity and understand. —Lama Ataya is the chief marketing officer,

Al-Oula posts KD 2.88m net profit for FY 2010 Kuwaitization program meeting target By Nisreen Zahreddine KUWAIT: Al-Oula, a gas marketing company, notched a net profit of KD2.887 million for the fiscal year ending on December 31, 2010. The company’s total revenue reached KD 11.045 million while the stock’s profitability reached 9.65 fils. The results were announced during the company’s general assembly, attended by General Manager Abdul Hussein AlSultan, Managing Director Hamza Bakhsh and the company’s board members. The board recommended distributing bonus shares to shareholders worth 10 percent of the paid capital giving an average of 10 shares for every 100 shares. Al-Sultan said that the company’s revenues are expected to increase in the coming period because of the natural growth of demand on gas and the opening of new fuel stations as well as the expected raise of revenues from additional ser vices. He pointed out that their new executive management has taken the necessary measures to increase the efficiency of their operations and have developed managerial systems to promote positive results in the short term. Al-Sultan went through the company’s accomplishments for 2010. He discussed how the company has renovated and developed 15 stations as well as opened a new station in Mubarak Al-Abdullah. The station offers complete car services and additional services, such as a small snack restaurant and a central market. He added that Al-Oula will start modernizing their six stations and switch their self-

KUWAIT: Oula General Manager Abdul Hussein Al-Sultan, Managing Director Hamza Bakhsh and the company’s board members address a press conference. —Photo by Joseph Shagra serve stations into full service stations. He said that the company has 26 full service stations and that the call center has been updated to ensure fast and efficient service for customers. Al-Sultan explained that AlOula gives special care to implementing the standards of trans-

parency and safety in its stations. He pointed out that they have accomplished the operational distinction of environmental health and safety and quality assurances in respect to the highest international standards of gas stations. He added that AlOula will be the first gas and fuel

company in Kuwait to operate under such conditions. He also noted that Al-Oula has managed to complete its Kuwaitization, with 100 percent of its super visor y positions and 20 percent of its jobs at its headquarters occupied by citizens.

Absence of new growth drivers holds bourse KAMCO KSE Monthly Review KUWAIT: Political unrest in the MENA region, failure of Zain-Etisalat deal along with absence of new growth drivers and the delay in announcing FY-2010 earnings by some companies shaped market performance during March. As a result, the KSE Weighted Index continued its previous month negative trend and dropped 3.3 per cent during March and end as the least performing market among its peers in the GCC region. Since the political crisis intensified in Egypt on 25 Jan-11 and as the unrest spread to other countries in the region, the KSE has witnessed its total market cap slump nearly 11.9 per cent to KD 32.5bn as compared with KD 36.9bn on 25 Jan-11. During the month, broad sell off was witnessed across all the listed sectors except for the Real Estate which remained stable at KD1.7bn ($6.3 bn) mainly over the Kuwait Investment Authority’s announcement that it would establish a KD 1bn ($3.6 bn) portfolio to invest in the local real estate market to take advantage of the low property prices and support the property market. Liquidity in the market improved during the month; traded value increased by 48.8 per cent to KD 699.5 mn versus KD 470 mn recorded in Feb-11. Losses incurred during the month led the KSE Weighted Index and KAMCO TRW Index to widen their Q1-11 losses to 9.47 per cent and 7.02 per cent, respectively. Performance by Weeks: Heavy sell off in regional markets amid escalating political unrest weighed on

investor sentiment as the KSE Weighted Index and KAMCO TRW Index plunged 7.11 per cent and 5.33 per cent during the first two trading sessions of the month, thereby recording its lowest levels since 10 Aug-10. During the same period, led by the losses incurred on the heavyweight Banking and Services sectors which witnessed their market cap shed 7.4 per cent and 7.1 per cent respectively; KSE market cap lost KD 2.4 bn to KD 31.6 bn as compared with KD 34 bn at the end of February. However, the next six trading sessions witnessed the KSE Weighted and KAMCO TRW Index climb 5.9 per cent and 4.3 per cent respectively as better than expected FY-10 earnings announcements and the start of dividend distributions revived investors’ confidence in the market. Further turmoil in the region coupled with local political tensions between the Government and Parliament weighed on investor sentiment as the KSE Weighted Index and KAMCO TRW Index shed 1.76 per cent and 1.32 per cent respectively during the second week of trade. Absence of new growth drivers, lack of confidence in the market and negative developments surrounding the ZAIN - ETISALAT deal led investors to remain on the sidelines during the third week of trade. As a result, the KSE Weighted Index and KAMCO TRW Index recorded marginal gains of 0.50 per cent and 0.43 per cent respectively. During the last week of the month, as trade remained volatile the KSE Weighted Index and KAM-

CO TRW Index incurred losses of 0.41 per cent and 0.27 per cent respectively. The CMA Law: During the month, Kuwait’s capital markets authority bylaws came into effect, after being published in the official gazette. Coinciding with this publication, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) is planning to hold intensive meetings with three regulatory bodies which are the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK), The Ministry of Trade & Industry and the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) management to ensure the full implementation of the provisions of the law and the terms of non-executive fairway and dismantling of the potential overlap of functions. The objectives of the CMA is to regulate the activities of securities trading in a fair, efficient and transparent manner whilst protecting investors, implement policies of disclosure and transparency and ensuring the compliance with laws and regulations. The full force of the law requires the Kuwait Clearing Company (KCC) to begin with implementation of the following commitments contained in the interim period from the year of the publication of the law in the official gazette which is to Increase capital to KD 20 mn. - To provide a bank guarantee to the CMA no less than KD 8 mn. - The introduction of a strategic partner is only allowed with the approval of the authority. Any violations of the bylaws will result in penalties of deprivation of liberty that may reach five years and fines reaching KD 100 thousand.




World stocks rise but debt fears linger NEW YORK: World stocks rebounded yesterday from the prior day’s losses, but debt woes on both sides of the Atlantic and new signals from China on inflation dangers weighed on markets. Greece sold 1.6 billion euros of threemonth debt, but was forced to pay more than 4 percent, underlining growing unease in the market over a potential debt restructuring that could further strain the euro zone. Gold hit a record high near $1,500 an ounce, while oil in London fell $2 to $119.67 a barrel. Investors dipped their toes back into stocks and other risk assets in part on solid company results. “It is kind of nice to see a couple of big headline companies come in with positive surprises after a string of headline companies delivering negative surprises over the last week,” said Fred Dickson, chief market strategist at DA Davidson & Co in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Wall Street opened 0.2 percent higher after Goldman Sachs posted a smaller-thanexpected fall in profits and Johnson & Johnson reported unexpectedly strong earnings. It fell more than 1 percent on Monday on worries about sovereign debt in both Europe and the United States. European stocks climbed 0.78 percent, recovering from Monday’s 2 percent drop

after above-consensus results from LVMH and Burberry. Japan’s Nikkei closed down nearly 1.3 percent in the wake of the prior day’s losses in the US and Europe. Debt rating agency Standard & Poor’s rattled investor confidence on Monday when it changed its outlook on the United States to negative from stable, threatening the future of its prized AAA credit rating. The dollar slipped 0.3 percent against a basket of major currencies after making headway on Monday. Its gains on Monday were due to a rush for safe havens despite the risk of S&P downgrading US debt in two years if Washington fails to achieve a budget plan that relies less on debt. S&P’s warning intensified scrutiny on the huge US budget deficit and the political fight to slash it. The deficit is a key element in the global imbalances that currently worry many investors and policymakers. There was no direct reaction to the S&P move on Tuesday from Beijing, which holds vast reserves of US Treasuries, though the head of China’s central bank said the country should diversify investments as its some $3 trillion of foreign exchange holdings had grown too large. Another Chinese ratesetter said inflation pressures gave further scope for a rise in banks’ reserve requirements following sev-

en hikes-together with four increases in benchmark interest rates-since last October. “Discussions on the US losing its AAAstatus have been active for two years, if not longer. S&P’s move might have been a jolt, but should not really be a true surprise,” said David Watt, senior currency strategist at RBC Dominion Securities. The euro recovered somewhat from the previous day’s sell-off, as the region’s debt problems remained in focus. The single currency edged up to $1.4298. Overall, it has pulled back sharply, having hovered at a 15month high around $1.4520 for the past week. “The European debt crisis is in the market’s focus again, and people are concerned there is no lasting solution. Meanwhile, even negative news in the US isn’t putting too much pressure on the dollar anymore,” said Lutz Karpowitz, currency analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt. Worries over the cost to bailout peripheral countries exerted pressure on the European debt market, lagging US Treasuries. Ten-year Greek bond yields were last up 17 bps at a euro-era high of 14.818 percent, while German Bund futures fell 0.4 percent at 121.99. Benchmark US 10-year note yield held steady at 3.38 percent, its lowest in about 21/2 weeks. — Reuters

NEW YORK: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange yesterday. Markets edged higher after earnings reports from Johnson & Johnson and Goldman Sachs; and an increase in March housing starts each beat expectations. —AP

EU, IMF face Portuguese pressures on debt rescue Cost-cutting alone must not be objective: Politicians

AMRITSAR: An Indian farm laborer Jatinder uses a scythe to harvest a crop of wheat in a field on the outskirts of Amritsar yesterday. Wheat crops are also feared to be damaged due to the rains and hail storms in parts of Punjab. — AFP

Germany steps up pressure on Greek restructuring BERLIN/ATHENS: A German government adviser said yesterday that a restructuring of Greek debt was inevitable, raising pressure on Athens to seek a solution to the debt woes that are shaking investor confidence in the eurozone. Greek borrowing costs rose and foreign demand shrank in the country’s first debt auction since speculation of a debt restructuring flared last week following comments from Germany’s finance minister. After a weekend election in Finland in which an anti-euro party scored strong gains, the head of the party that is likely to lead the next government sent reassuring signals that the strength of the anti-euro True Finns would not derail a pending bailout for Portugal. Financial markets settled after a tumultuous session to start the week, clouded by growing fears of a Greek restructuring. The euro pushed back up towards $1.43 after shedding nearly two cents on Monday in its worst one-day fall in over two months. But the bonds of so-called peripheral euro zone countries like Greece, Portugal and Spain, all struggling with high debt and poor economies, remained under pressure, with yields hovering just below euro-era highs. Clemens Fuest, who chairs the German finance ministry’s technical advisory committee, said Greece’s extremely weak balance sheet meant a restructuring was inevitable. “One must recognize the realities-I am expecting a haircut,” Fuest told Reuters. Outside of Berlin, officials continue to rule out a restructuring, with European Central Bank Executive Board member Juergen Stark warning in a Portuguese newspaper interview about the costs of such a move for Greek banks. “It is a very firm denial from our side,” a spokeswoman for the European Commission said after a Greek newspaper quoted a senior official from the EU executive as saying Athens had accepted a restructuring was unavoidable. Despite the repeated denials, European officials appear headed towards some form of “voluntary ” restructuring in which bond holders would agree to roll over their holdings next year or extend their maturities, possibly in combination with buying of Greek bonds on the primary market by the EU’s rescue fund. If Athens and its partners can convince investors to agree to such a step, it could help Greece cope with an expected funding shortfall next year. According to the EU/IMF program it signed up to last year as part of its 110 billion euro bailout, the government must return to the markets in 2012 to raise 25 billion euros in long-term fund-

ing, a step which now looks impossible barring help from the EU, private investors or both. An auction of 13-week treasury bills underscored the challenge for Athens, with the yield rising to 4.1 percent and foreign take-up falling back to 36 percent. “In the last few days, talk about a debt restructuring has weighed on the yield and foreigners’ appetite for Greek debt,” said a bond trader who declined to be named. “Foreigners are worried and do not take part in the issues.” The voluntar y solution could encounter political opposition in countries like Germany, and markets may see it as a mere stop-gap measure that keeps Greece on life-support in preparation for a more painful “haircut” on its debt from 2013. Greek banks are the biggest holders of the country’s sovereign debt, with German and French banks also heavily exposed. The latest figures from the Bank for International Settlements put German bank exposure at $26.3 billion and that of French banks at $19.8 billion as of September 2010. Add in their exposure to Greek banks and non-bank private entities-groups that could be hammered by a sovereign debt writedown-and the figures show German and French banks are owed a combined $103.3 billion. But the president of the Association of German Public Sector Banks said a haircut-a cut in the principal that must be repaid-on Greek debt “would not be the end of the world”. German banks say they have successfully reduced their exposure to Greece over the past year, but doubts remain about the ability of the country’s weakened regional Landesbanks to cope with a restructuring. In a positive sign for Portugal, which is in talks with EU and IMF officials on a bailout package that is expected to reach 80 billion euros, Finnish National Coalition party leader Jyrki Katainen ruled out major changes to the deal. Public anger at the series of bailouts for Greece, Ireland and Portugal bubbled over in the Finnish election, boosting the results of the True Finns party, which has vowed to derail the Portuguese rescue. Another Finnish party, the SDP, is also critical of the bailouts and its leader said it wanted banks and other investors to share the burden in an aid deal for Lisbon. “We’ll see what is possible, but anyway, the changes would not be very big,” said Katainen, who is expected to become prime minister of the new government. “Finland must, for its own good, create a smart and responsible government program which maximizes our influence in all international forums.” — Reuters

LISBON: Top EU and IMF officials working on a debt rescue for Portugal worth about 80 billion euros met leading politicians here yesterday but unions and some business circles warned that new measures should not focus solely on cost cutting. The country is eight weeks away from a risk of defaulting on its debt and faces a general election on June 5. The officials from the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund had talks lasting nearly two and a half hours with leaders of the centre-right Social Democratic Party, the main opposition party. Portugal faces an early general election on June 5 because the opposition rejected austerity cutbacks proposed by outgoing Socialist Prime Minister Jose Socrates. The bailout plan is supposed to be agreed by mid-May so that the political parties can take it into the elections. Pedro Passos Coelho, the head of the centre-right opposition which is tipped in surveys as the likely winner of the election, has pledged his backing to government efforts to tackle the crisis. The EU and IMF officials are meeting politicians only on the right of Portuguese politics because left-wing parties, opposed to openmarket remedies, declined on Monday to participate.

The secretary general of the UGT trade union, Lusa Joao Proenca, said: “We are going to argue that while the deficit must certainly be reduced, it must be done with social sensitivity and with policies orientated towards employment.” The president of the employers’ confederation of trade and services, Joao Vieira Lopes, said that the measures “must not focus solely on reducing the deficit because that would risk killing companies off.” Other employers’ leaders have mentioned possibly discussing limiting an increase in minimum pay. The visiting negotiators kept silent after their talks in the morning and then moved on to the headquarters of the minority rightwing CDS party. Negotiations on the total value of a rescue, currently estimated at 80 billion euros (114 billion dollars), and on repayment terms, follow an evaluation mission here last week. The debt rescue, finally accepted by Portugal after months of tense efforts to avoid help, is regarded by many in Portugal as a national humiliation. The government of Prime Minister Jose Socrates had already adopted a series of unpopular spending cuts, tax rises and economic reforms in a year-long effort to reduce the public deficit to the EU limit of 3.0 percent of gross domestic product by 2012 and avert

a rescue along Greek and Irish lines. But his government was brought down last month when parliament rejected a new round of cuts in public spending and other measures. The latest package was intended to reduce the public deficit to 4.6 percent in 2011 but it ballooned to 8.6 percent of GDP last year-way above a target of 7.3 percent. Portugal also has a total debt of 159.5 billion euros. The country, among the poorest in the EU, has to repay about five billion euros of debt by June 15 and most analysts believe it must have the EU-IMF rescue loans agreed by then if it is to avoid default. The international delegation met Socrates, Finance Minister Fernando Teixeira and the governor of the Bank of Portugal Carlos Costa on Monday. The European Commission delegation is headed by German Juergen Kroeger while his compatriot Rasmus Rueffer is leading the European Central Bank team. The IMF side is headed by Dane Poul Thomsen, who was involved in the Greek bailout package a year ago. The Portuguese team is being led by Finance Minister Fernando Teixeira dos Santos and Pedro Silva Pereira, the spokesman of the caretaker government. — AFP

Goldman profit drops as trading revenue falls NEW YORK: Goldman Sachs Group Inc posted a 72 percent decline in quarterly earnings as trading revenue dropped, and the bank cautioned that there were fewer opportunities to make money in the current environment. The results were stronger than many analysts had expected, but with Goldman sounding cautious notes about its future profits, the bank’s shares were little changed. The largest US investment bank posted a 7 percent decline in revenue; revenue from customer trading, a key source of income, fell 22 percent. Goldman faces serious pressure from regulatory reform in many

Goldman Sachs headquarters is shown in New York. —AP

of its main businesses. US financial reform laws limit banks’ ability to trade for their own account, which is expected to cut into Goldman’s trading profit. Regulatory pressure to move many types of derivative trading to exchanges also threatens future earnings. When the bank posted a 53 percent decline in fourth-quarter profit and talked about how client trading volume in December was “dead,” many investors feared it would have real trouble boosting future profits. Yesterday, the bank said trading revenue in the first quar ter had rebounded 83 percent from the fourth quarter. But on a conference call with investors and analysts, it noted the hurdles it faces in the future. Goldman’s clients are still cautious, given the economic and regulatory environment, and the bank still sees the climate as uncertain, Chief Financial Officer David Viniar said. The bank posted a profit to common shareholders of $908 million, or $1.56 a share. Analysts’ average forecast was 82 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters. Goldman repurchased $5 billion of preferred shares from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway in the quar ter, resulting in a one -time charge of $1.64 billion. Excluding the preferred share buyback, the bank would have earned $4.38 a share. A year earlier, it posted earning of $3.3 billion, or $5.59 a share. Revenue from fixed income, currency and commodities was down 28 percent. Last year’s trading results were unusually strong. Goldman set aside $5.23 billion for employee compensation in the quarter, a 5 percent decline from a year earlier. The bank’s shares were down 39 cents to $153.39 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange. — Reuters

US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner addresses the Bertelsmann Foundation. —AFP

Geithner confident on deficit deal WASHINGTON: US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner yesterday reassured investors that the White House and Republican lawmakers will reach a deal to control America’s finances, downplaying an unprecedented warning that the government risks losing its coveted debt rating if it fails to do so. In an interview on CNBC, Geithner said he disagrees with Standard & Poor’s decision to lower its long-term outlook for the federal government’s fiscal health. The credit agency on Monday warned the government could lose its top credit rating in the next two years if lawmakers fail to come up with a long-term plan to bring down the federal deficit. “We are not going to get behind this problem; we’re going to get ahead of it,” Geithner said. The US government is projected to run a record $1.5 trillion deficit this year, marking the third straight year that the deficit topped $1 trillion. Obama and Republicans in Congress have proposed cutting $4 trillion from future deficits over the next 10 to 12 years. However, they disagree on how to do it. The White House wants to cut the deficit by ending tax cuts for the wealthy. Republicans reject that approach. Instead, they want to reduce the deficit largely by overhauling Medicare and cutting spending elsewhere. The clash over how to cut future deficits has put a critical decision — whether to raise the nation’s borrowing ability — in limbo. Geithner on Sunday said Republican leaders have privately assured the Obama administration that Congress will raise the government’s $14.3 trillion debt limit in time to prevent an unprecedented default. — AP



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US dating site to screen for sex offenders WASHINGTON: has announced plans to begin screening applicants against the US national sex offender registry after a woman was allegedly assaulted by a man she met through the dating site., which claims millions of members for its dating sites in 25 countries, said it planned to begin checking existing and new subscribers against the US registry of persons convicted of sex crimes. The move came after a female Hollywood entertainment executive revealed this month she had

been sexually assaulted by a man she met through who had been convicted six times previously of sexual battery. “This ordeal completely blindsided me because I had considered myself savvy about online dating safety,” the woman, who has not been identified, said in a statement released through her lawyer. “ must begin to take some responsibility in protecting paying subscribers,” she said. “I do not want this to happen to anyone else.” US president Mandy Ginsberg said

the company had been considering using sex offender registry checks for several years but “their historical unreliability has always led us to conclude against it.” The company has since changed its mind and will begin instituting the checks within 60 to 90 days. “A combination of improved technology and an improved database now enables a sufficient degree of accuracy to move forward with this initiative, despite its continued imperfection,” Ginsberg said in a statement.

“We want to stress that while these checks may help in certain instances, they remain highly flawed, and it is critical that this effort does not provide a false sense of security to our members,” she said. “With millions of members, and thousands of first dates a week,, like any other large community, cannot guarantee the actions of all its members.” The Dallas, Texas-based, which was founded in 1995 and is owned by IAC, already provides an online help page with safety tips for its members. — AFP

Brazil, a new haven for high tech investors ‘Biggest challenge for Brazil is innovation’ RIO DE JANEIRO: A longtime exporter of raw materials and a hub for foreign investors, Brazil is now seeking capital for cutting-edge research in oil and information technology. “The biggest challenge for Brazil is innovation. We are very competitive in agriculture, aviation, oil and gas, but our industrial sector is weak when it comes to innovation,” Science and Technology Minister Aloizio Mercadante said.

SINGAPORE: This photo taken on March 11, 2011 shows a girl swinging her arms while playing a virtual table tennis game at the IT show 2011 in Singapore. — AFP

EU to investigate Internet providers’ traffic management BRUSSELS: The European Union said yesterday it has asked the bloc’s 27 member countries to probe whether Internet providers block or slow down services in a way that harms consumers. The investigation targets both fixed and mobile Internet providers and the results will be published by the end of the year. The findings could lead to new rules that bar Internet providers from blocking voice-calling applications such as Skype or slowing down certain videostreaming services. “I am absolutely determined that everyone in the EU should have the chance to enjoy the benefits of an open and lawful Internet, without hidden restrictions or slower speeds than they have been promised,” said Neelie Kroes, the EU’s commissioner for the digital agenda. She said that the European Commission, the EU’s executive, would not only rely on the findings of the national telecommunications regulators, but was also asking consumers and businesses to point out problems. The EU’s examination of Internet providers’ practices is part of a wider debate on the principle of “net neutrality” both in Europe and the United States. Advocates of net neutrality say that all online services should be treated equally to foster competition and innovation. Internet providers, meanwhile, argue that they have to manage traffic to ensure bandwidth-hungry services like video streaming or voice-calling function properly. So far, the European Commission has taken a relatively business-friendly approach to net neutrality, betting that new telecommunication rules that come into force next month will create the competition and transparency necessary for a fair and consumer-friendly market. In its report yesterday, the Commission says “it is widely accepted” that providers have to slow down some

services to allow others to work. “A consumer ’s experience is not affected if an email reaches him a few seconds after it has been sent, whereas a similar delay to a voice communication would cause it to be significantly degraded, if not rendered entirely useless,” the Commission said. As long as there is enough competition among Internet providers, users can vote with their feet and make sure they get the service they want, Kroes said. According to that logic, new rules that allow consumers to switch mobile Internet providers within a working day while keeping their number should eventually eliminate operators that block or charge extra for using a calling application like Skype — as some do in Austria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Romania. However, Kroes said that there are concerns that some Internet providers are not transparent about the services they block or the downloading speeds they offer — thus keeping consumers from making informed choices. Kroes cited the example of an unnamed UK operator that was reportedly making “Skype calls technically impossible in afternoons and evenings without warning the users.” She also pointed to claims that some Internet providers were slowing video streaming provided by a competitor to “degrade the quality of the content.” The Commissioner warned that if the investigation supported those allegations she would “publicly name operators engaging in doubtful practices” by the end of the year and could eventually come up with more stringent guidelines and specific legislation on net neutrality. “Mark my words,” Kroes said. “If measures to enhance competition are not enough to bring Internet providers to offer real consumer choice, I’m ready to prohibit the blocking of lawful services or applications.” — AP

SINGAPORE: This photo taken on March 23, 2011 shows students Richie Yin (L) and Jasper Wong (R), both 21, surfing the Internet on their mobile phones at a shopping mall in Singapore. — AFP

“We are encouraging industrial groups to innovate... and we are setting up foreign research centers that will register or apply for patents in Brazil.” One of these centers is CENPES, launched by Brazilian oil giant Petrobas in a northern suburb of Rio. In Recife, capital of the northeastern state of Pernambuco, the Digital Port technology park is home to nearly 180 companies and institutes specializing in information technology. Created in 1970 and located on the campus of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, CENPES has invested $700 million since 2005 to attract international firms involved in the Brazilian oil industry, including France’s Schlumberger and US-based GE, Halliburton and Baker Hughes. “The biggest suppliers of Petrobas, seeing Brazil as a good investment opportunity and recognizing the quality of Brazilian universities, are coming to establish an intellectual partnership

with us in addition to our trade ties,” said CENPES general director Carlos Tadeu da Costa Fraga.He cited biotechnology, biofuels and environment research as projects being developed. Petrobas invested $2.6 billion in research and development in 2008-2010 and plans major investments for deepwater oil exploration in the Atlantic Ocean below a thick layer of salt. Brazil’s current proven crude oil reserves of 14 billion barrels could more than triple by extracting the oil buried in the sea, making the country one of the biggest exporters of crude. With a booming consumer market, Brazil offers interesting opportunities for foreign high tech firms. “Brazil is a good option for technological investments in Latin America. Here, there are good professionals who can ensure that investing firms can more easily enter the market,” emerging markets expert Luis Anavitarte

of Gartner told AFP. Recife’s Digital Port was created 10 years ago with the aim of spurring the information technology sector and creating more jobs in Pernambuco, one of Brazil’s poorest states. Multinational firms Accenture, Motorola and IBM are among the giants that have established a foothold there. The transfer of military technology is also a key factor as Brazil considers Boeing’s F-18 Super Hornet, the Rafale by France’s Dassault and the Gripen NG made by Saab of Sweden for a contract worth between $4 billion and $7 billion. Competition for the contract has dragged on for years, with President Dilma Rousseff inheriting it from her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who had declared a preference for the French planes. The contract is for 36 fighters with the possibility of many more aircraft in the future. — AFP

Samsung vows action over Apple patent suit SEOUL: Samsung Electronics said yesterday it would take counteraction against Apple after the US firm filed suit alleging that the South Korean giant copied its smartphones and tablet computers. Apple’s lawsuit claims Samsung’s mobile phones and Galaxy Tab imitated the iPhone and the iPad. “Samsung will respond actively to this legal action taken against us through appropriate legal measures to protect our intellectual property,” the South Korean firm said in a statement. Samsung has been successfully developing its own core technologies and building up its intellectual property portfolio, it said. Yonhap news agency quoted Samsung officials as saying they suspect Apple had violated Samsung’s wireless technology patents. “Apple is one of our key buyers of semiconductors and display panels. However, we have no choice but respond strongly this time,” an unidentified official was quoted as saying. Apple was Samsung’s secondlargest client in 2010 after Japan’s Sony Corp, accounting for four percent of the South Korean firm’s 155 trillion won ($142 billion) annual revenues. Apple accused Samsung of copying the look, product design, packaging and user interface of its products, in a lawsuit filed Friday with a US District Court in San Francisco and quoted by the Wall Street Journal. It claimed Samsung has violated various Apple patents and trademarks. “Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smartphone products and computer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple’s technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products,” the Journal quoted Apple’s complaint as saying. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab has been the best-selling rival to the iPad, which has dominated the growing market for the touchscreen devices. The legal action came as Samsung is scheduled to release the Galaxy S2 smartphone in the domestic market next week. Patent lawsuits are a regular occurrence among technology giants in the United States. Apple is currently embroiled in disputes with Finland’s Nokia, Taiwan’s HTC and US handset maker Motorola among others. — AFP

SEOUL: South Korean models pose with an LG Electronics refrigerator connected to a home Wi-Fi network and can be controlled by a smartphone, during a launching event in Seoul yesterday. —AFP

S Korea’s LG unveils ‘smart fridge’ that suggests recipes SEOUL: South Korea’s LG Electronics yesterday unveiled a refrigerator which suggests recipes as it forecast a bright future in the potentially lucrative market for “smart” household appliances. LG will roll out smart fridges, washers and other appliances in South Korea and North America by the end of this year to compete against rivals including Samsung Electronics and Whirlpool, Lee Young-Ha, president of the home appliance unit, told reporters. The nation’s second-largest consumer electronics maker after Samsung yesterday showcased the first smart product-a refrigerator connected to a home Wi-Fi network and which can be controlled by smartphone. “By the end of the year, when our full range is introduced, consumers will be able to stay in contact with their appliances at any time, enjoying greater convenience and seeing real-life, real-time improvements in energy consumption and time savings,” Lee said in a statement. The smart fridge offers three energy-saving options as well as a “food management system” which tells users what is in their fridge, where it is and when its sell-by date expires.

The information is available via smartphones or tablets, and can be accessed from a grocery store or restaurant. LG boasts the machine can even suggest healthy recipes based on what foods are currently available. The product costs about 3.6 million won ($3,296) and will account for about 20 to 30 percent of LG’s refrigerator sales in South Korea this year, said Lee, without giving a global sales target. Other items including ovens and cameraembedded vacuum cleaners remotely controlled by smartphones or tablet computers will be introduced later this year, he added. Market research firm Pike Research predicts the global market for smart home appliances will take off in earnest in 2013 and reach $26.1 billion in sales by 2019. In 2000, LG introduced a refrigerator connected to the Internet that met with a lukewarm response. “Now things are different, with Wi-Fi networks everywhere, smartphones so common and prices far more affordable,” said Kim Young-Soo, vice president of LG’s home appliance unit. — AFP

SAN JOSE: A scientist uses IBM’s Blue Gene Supercomputer at the IBM Alamden Research Center in San Jose, Calif., April 18, 2011. The Supercomputer is used for research on gene sequencing and cognitive analytics. — AP



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Kuwait licenses world’s first oral drug for MS

Dr Raed Al-Roughani

KUWAIT: Kuwait has licensed the world’s first oral medication for Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a move which medical experts say will improve quality of life and medication compliance for many of Kuwait’s 1,200 MS sufferers. The Kuwait Ministry of Health has approved the Novartis-made drug Gilenya (fingolimod) for use in the relapsing remitting form of MS that affects around two-thirds of those diagnosed with the disease, which causes muscle weakness, problems with coordination and impaired concentration. Making the new oral tablets available will remove the need for patients to undergo regular injections, which can cause flu-like symptoms for 24 hours and leave red marks on the skin, allowing patients to enjoy a less restricted way of life and improving medication compliance, said a leading Kuwait doctor who specialises in the treatment of MS. “This oral medication for MS is going to revolutionise treatment. We have been waiting or an oral tablet for this disease for more than 20 years; it will improve medication tolerability and compliance for patients, many of whom

are reluctant to have the injections,” explained Dr. Raed Al Roughani, Senior Neurology Specialist in Al-Amiri Hospital, Kuwait City. “There are around 1,200 patients in Kuwait with MS and I would say at least 30 to 40 percent are not fully-adherent with their current medication regimen and an oral tablet will attract these people back to taking treatment,” he added. Fingolimod, which has also been approved by the US, Russia, Canada, Australia, Switzerland and Europe, has been shown in studies to be more effective at delaying disease progression than some of the most commonly used current treatments. Two studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine last year show that fingolimod delays disability progression and is more effective at reducing relapses and brain lesions in patients with relapsing remitting MS compared with the most commonly prescribed treatment, interferon beta-1a (an intra-muscular injection) and placebo. “The study, which lasted one year, showed that fingolimod reduces relapse rates and impacts on

disease progression and so we are hoping that when it is used for longer periods in the wider MS community that these findings will be replicated,” said Dr. Al- Roughani. Research figures show MS affects around 25 to 50 people in every 100,000 in Arabic populations and about 100 per 100,000 in Northern Europeans who display the highest risk of MS across the world, with prevalence seeming to increase with further distance from the equator. MS is a nervous system disease with no known cause that affects the brain and spinal cord, leading to symptoms such as visual disturbances, muscle weakness, trouble with coordination and balance, sensations such as numbness, prickling or “pins and needles” and thinking and memory problems. Globally MS affects women more than men and often begins between the ages of 20 and 40. The disease can be mild but some people lose the ability to write, speak or walk. There is no cure for MS but medicines can slow disease progression and help control symptoms.

Global switch needed on severe malaria drug: MSF Using artesunate could save nearly 200,000 lives a year LONDON: Up to 200,000 deaths from severe malaria could be averted each year if malarial countries were to switch to a more expensive but more effective drug, the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said yesterday. In a report on the mosquitoborne disease, MSF said data from recent trials in Africa had shown that the drug, called artesunate, was more effective and easier to use than quinine, a cheaper malaria medicine often used in poorer countries. There are around 240 million malaria cases across the world every year and the disease kills more than 850,000 people annually, many of them children, the World Health Organisation ( WHO) says. Most malaria cases are in Africa, where it kills a child every 45 seconds. MSF said around eight million

simple malaria cases progress every year to severe malaria, where patients show clinical signs of organ damage which may involve the brain, lungs, kidneys or blood vessels. “When children arrive at the clinic with severe malaria, they are often having convulsions, vomiting or at risk of going into shock, and you just want to be able to give them effective treatment quickly,” Veronique De Clerck, an MSF medical coordinator in Uganda, said in a statement with the report. “For decades, quinine has been used in severe malaria, but it can be both difficult to use and dangerous, so it’s time to bid it farewell. With artesunate, we now have a drug that saves more lives from severe malaria, and is safer, easier and more effective than quinine.” MSF called on African govern-

ments, the WHO and international aid donors to back an immediate global switch to artesunate for severe malaria-a move it said could avert up to 200,000 deaths a year. While artesunate is three times more expensive than quinine, MSF said the difference in cost of $31 million each year for a global switch would be “very little for the nearly 200,000 lives that... could be saved.” Quinine has to be given three times a day via intravenous drip that takes several hours, while artesunate can be given in a few minutes with an intravenous or intramuscular injection. MSF cited data from a clinical trial in late 2010 which found that the use of artesunate to treat children with severe malaria reduces the risk of death by nearly a quarter. The study, carried out in nine

African countries, found that for every 41 children given artesunate over quinine, one extra life was saved. Owing to the difficulties of administering quinine, children in the trial assigned to receive that medicine were almost four times more likely to die before even receiving treatment. The WHO has said it will issue new guidelines soon recommending artesunate for treating severe malaria in children in Africa, but MSF said the United Nations health body also needed to develop a plan to help countries make this switch. “African governments must urgently change their treatment protocols and donors must send a clear signal to countries that they will support the additional cost where needed,” it said. —Reuters

US updates guidelines for diagnosing Alzheimer’s WASHINGTON: The United States yesterday announced that guidelines for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, have been updated for the first time in almost three decades. The new guidelines acknowledge that memory loss may not be the primary clue in the early stages of the disease, and include three phases for diagnosing the disease instead of one. The changes reflect a growing body of knowledge about early changes in the brain that may indicate the gradual onset of Alzheimer’s, which affects about 37 million people worldwide and has no cure. Recent advances show changes in the brain as early as 10 years ahead of what has traditionally been the diagnosis of the disease, and the discovery of biomarkers in blood and spinal fluid that may help researchers identify it in advance. “Alzheimer’s research has greatly evolved over the past quarter of a century,” National Institute on Aging (NIA) director Richard Hodes said in a statement. “Bringing the diagnostic guidelines up to speed with those advances is both a necessary and rewarding effort that will benefit patients and accelerate the pace of research.” The new guidelines are published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, and were developed by experts at the National Institutes of Health, the NIA and the Alzheimer’s Association. The first preclinical phase applies only in a research setting and outlines brain changes such as amyloid plaque buildup and nerve cell changes that may be present without significant symptoms in the patient. The second stage outlines mild cognitive impairment symptoms and describes how researchers can check for certain biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid or use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or positron emission tomography (PET) to scan for clues. This stage, too, is mainly for researchers. The third and final stage is “most relevant for doctors and patients,” and outlines how doctors should evaluate the causes and progression of a patient’s mental decline. “ The guidelines also expand the concept of Alzheimer’s dementia beyond memory loss as its most central characteristic,” said a statement released by the Alzheimer’s Association ahead of the guidelines’ publication. “A decline in other aspects of cognition, such as word-finding, vision/spatial issues, and impaired reasoning or judgment may be the first symptom to be noticed.” The guidelines were first established in 1984, and “defined Alzheimer’s as having a single stage, dementia, and based diagnosis solely on clinical symptoms,” the association said. “It assumed that people free of dementia symptoms were disease-free.” A report by Alzheimer’s Disease International issued last year estimated the global economic costs of dementia at 604 billion dollars annually. Alzheimer’s disease usually affects people over age 65. In the United States, 5.2 million people aged 65 and older have Alzheimer’s, and 200,000 people under 65 have what is described as younger-onset Alzheimer’s. William Thies, chief medical and scientific officer at the Alzheimer’s Association, described the new guidelines as a “major milestone.” “Our vision is that this process will result in improved diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s, and will drive research that ultimately will enable us to detect and treat the disease earlier and more effectively,” he said. — AFP

ISTANBUL: Doctors, nurses and students shout slogans and hold banners during a demonstration against the health care system in Istanbul yesterday. Health employees and unions in Turkey went on a two-day strike, to protest against new policies, including a performance-based evaluation system which tie their wage payment to the number of patients they treat. — AFP

LOS ANGELES: This March 5, 2011 image provided by UCLA Health System shows Dr Kodi Azari, left, and members of his surgical team performing a hand transplant at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. The transplant was performed on a 26-year-old mother from Northern California who lost her right hand in a traffic accident nearly five years ago. — AP

US woman to show off newly transplanted hand LOS ANGELES: A 26-year-old mother who lost her right hand in a traffic accident several years ago is reuniting with her doctors to show off her new donated hand. The Northern California woman received the donor limb in a marathon surgery last month at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. Doctors who will introduce the woman at a news conference yesterday said she was living with a prosthetic and wanted a hand transplant to better care for her daughter. During the 14 1/2-hour operation, a team of nearly 20 surgeons, nurses and support staff grafted a hand from a deceased donor onto the patient and intricately connected bones, blood vessels, nerves and tendons. The transplant was the 13th such case in the United States and the first for the hospital. The patient was able to move her fingers soon after the surgery. She faces several months of rehabilitation and has to take drugs for the rest of her life to prevent rejection. Hand transplantation has come a long way since the first one was carried out in Ecuador in 1964 before the development of modern immunosuppressive therapy. The transplant failed after two weeks and the patient had to have the new hand amputated. More than three decades later, French doctors in 1998 performed a hand transplant that lasted two years. The recipi-

ent did not take medications as ordered and his body rejected the limb. Since then, more than 40 hand transplants have been performed around the world including several double hand transplants. The recipient of the first U.S. hand transplant in 1999 has lived with a donor hand for a little over a decade. “It’s clear that it’s achievable,” said Dr. Warren Breidenbach, who performed the historic surgery. The UCLA operation cost about $800,000, but since it was experimental, the patient did not have to pay. Little has been revealed about the donor except that the hand matched the patient’s in terms of blood type, size and color. A week after the UCLA operation, doctors at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta performed the 14th hand transplant in the country. The recipient was 21-year-old Linda Lu, who had her left hand amputated as a baby due to complications from a rare disease. Lu’s lead surgeon, Dr. Linda Cendales, said many who undergo a hand transplant tend to feel more sensation than if they wore a prosthetic, and they are able to open doors, tie their shoes or turn the pages of a newspaper. “They will never have a normal hand,” Cendales said. “But they do recover enough sensation to differentiate between temperatures, and rough and smooth surfaces.” — AP

What leads gay, straight teens to attempt suicide? CHICAGO: Suicide attempts by gay teens — and even straight kids — are more common in politically conservative areas where schools don’t have programs supporting gay rights, a study involving nearly 32,000 high school students found. Those factors raised the odds and were a substantial influence on suicide attempts even when known risk contributors like depression and being bullied were considered, said study author Mark Hatzenbuehler, a Columbia University psychologist and researcher. His study found a higher rate of suicide attempts even among kids who weren’t bullied or depressed when they lived in counties less supportive of gays and with relatively few Democrats. A high proportion of Democrats was a measure used as a proxy for a more liberal environment. The research focused only on the state of Oregon and created a social index to assess which outside factors might contribute to suicidal tendencies. Other teen health experts called it a powerful, novel way to evaluate a tragic social problem. “Is it surprising? No. Is it important? Yes,” said Dr. Robert Blum of Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health. The study “takes our relatively superficial knowledge and provides a bit more depth. Clearly, we need lots more understanding, but this is very much a step in the right direction,” he said. Blum serves on an Institute of Medicine committee that recently released a report urging more research on gay health issues. Blum said the new study is the kind of research the institute believes has been lacking. The independent group advises the government on health matters. The new study

was published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics. Previous research has found disproportionately high suicide rates in gay teens. One highly publicized case involved a Rutgers University freshman who jumped off a bridge last year after classmates recorded and broadcast the 18-year-old having sex with a man. The study relied on teens’ selfreporting suicide attempts within the previous year. Roughly 20 percent of gay, lesbian and bisexual teens said they had made an attempt, versus 4 percent of straight kids. The study’s social index rated counties on five measures: Prevalence of same-sex couples; registered Democratic voters; liberal views; schools with gay-straight alliances; schools with policies against bullying gay students; and schools with antidiscrimination policies that included sexual orientation. Gay, lesbian and bisexual teens living in counties with the lowest social index scores were 20 percent more likely to have attempted suicide than gays in counties with the highest index scores. Overall, about 25 percent of gay teens in low-scoring counties had attempted suicide, versus 20 percent of gay teens in high-scoring counties. Among straight teens, suicide attempts were 9 percent more common in low-scoring counties. There were 1,584 total suicide attempts _ 304 of those among gays, lesbians and bisexuals. Hatzenbuehler said the results show that “environments that are good for gay youth are also healthy for heterosexual youth.” The study is based on 2006-08 surveys of 11thgraders that state health officials conducted in Oregon classrooms; Oregon voter registration statistics; Census data on same-sex couples; and public school policies on gays and bullying.

The researchers assessed proportions of Democrats versus Republicans; there were relatively few Independents. Information on non-voters wasn’t examined. Zachary Toomay, a high school senior from Arroyo Grande, California, said the study “seems not only plausible, but it’s true.” The star swimmer, 18, lives in a conservative, mostly Republican county. He’s active in his school’s gay-straight alliance, and said he’d never been depressed until last year when classmates “ostracized”

him for being vocal about gay rights. Toomay said signs of community intolerance, including bumper stickers opposing same-sex marriage, also made him feel down, and he sought guidance from a school counselor after contemplating suicide. Funding for the study came from the National Institutes for Health and a center for gay research at the Fenway Institute, an independent Harvard-affiliated health care and research center. —AP

GENEVA: Demonstrators are seen with banners on April 18, 2011 during a protest staged every working day since April 26, 2007 in front of the World Health Organisation (WHO) headquarters in Geneva asking the acknowledgement by WHO of more victims than the official number of death during the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear plant. — AFP



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Studying life in the shadow of nuclear plants BURR RIDGE: The girl’s voice shook as she stood in front of some of the world’s top scientists and told them “I am one of the statistics that you will be studying.” Sarah Saurer was seven years old when she was diagnosed with brain cancer. Her parents soon found out that several other children in their small town which sat just miles away from two troubled Illinois nuclear power plants-had been diagnosed with brain cancer and leukemia. Then news broke that one of the plants had been leaking radioactive water for years before it was detected. A quick survey by concerned mothers found that every single home within a quarter mile of the spill housed someone who’d been diagnosed with cancer. “I want to remind you how important it is to protect people from the harmful things that are being put into our environment,” Sarah Saurer told the scientists, her short stature and child-like face showing little sign of her 17 years. “I hope that in this study you will

remember who you are doing this study for. It is for me and all of the other kids and people who live near nuclear power plants.” The scientists were meeting in a Chicago suburb Monday as they work to design a major study to analyze the cancer risks associated with living near nuclear power facilities. It’s a topic that has long worried residents and is particularly timely given the renewed concerns about nuclear power in the wake of the ongoing meltdown at Japan’s tsunami-crippled Fukushima plant. The answers will be a long time coming. “These are tough questions,” said John Burris, a biologist who is chairing the study board established by the National Academy of Science. It will take the board at least until the end of the year to develop the methodology for how to design the study. Then-if the Nuclear Regulatory Commission provides funding for the second phase-the real work of collecting and analyzing the data begins. One of the biggest challenges will

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be teasing out whether cancer incidents are linked to low-level radiation discharges by nuclear plants or if they were caused by other factors, Burris said. That will likely take years. In the meantime, nuclear regulators and operators struggle to reassure the public that US plants are safe. Viktoria Mitlyng grew up in Kiev and her childhood was scarred by the Chernobyl disaster and her own bout with leukemia. She now handles public relations for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Illinois and is convinced that the US government is doing everything it can to protect the public. The undetected leak at the Braidwood plant should never have happened and certainly should have been detected sooner, Mitlyng said. But it was the only spill which has ever occurred outside of one of the country’s 65 nuclear power sites. And the amount of radioactive trillium which leached into the groundwater was just a fraction of acceptable levels. “To date, there is no scientific evi-

dence that very low levels of radiation can cause health issues,” Mitlyng said on the sidelines of the conference. “That’s why this study is being commissioned.” Saurer’s parents don’t need to wait for the study results. Her father, a practicing gynecologist with a degree in biomedical engineering, did his own study and is convinced that her cancer was caused by low-level radiation from the plants. Using public data, he compared cancer rates of people living within 15 miles of the troubled Dresden and Braidwood plants and found they were significantly higher than state-wide averages. He told the study board that he tried submitting the results to local health officials and nuclear regulators, but got sent to lawyers instead of scientists for review. “The world has been focused on the devastation in Japan. It has brought a lot of focus on the risk of living near a nuclear plant,” Joseph Saurer said. “I am more worried about the daily man-made disasters at these plants.

Over time, these are taking a great toll on the public.” President Barack Obama ordered a comprehensive review of US nuclear safety in the wake of the March 11 quake and tsunami that knocked out power at the Fukushima Daiishi nuclear complex, shutting down systems for cooling radioactive fuel rods. A similar review was conducted in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 to ensure that the plants were safe from sabotage or attack. “We’ll go as far as we need to go to make sure the plants are as safe as possible,” said Mitlyng of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. “Less than one percent (of radiation exposure) comes from industries such as nuclear power. If this fraction is shown to have a direct impact on human health then our effluent limits would have to change.” When it comes to broader issues of nuclear safety the commission is committed to doing everything it can to protect the public from a potential meltdown, she said.— AFP

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W H AT ’ S O N


MP Dr Salwa Al-Jassar talks to GUST class

Musical program A musical tribute Samarpana to guru B Sasikumar by the students of Mavellikara Sathees Chandran, at Indian Community School (senior), Salmiya. Arangettam by the students of Mavellikara Sathees Chandran On 21st April at 7 pm. Violin recital by Maestro B. Sasikumar accompanied by Sathees Chandran - violin, Chertala Jayadev - mridangam, Adichanallore Anil Kumar - ghatam, Kottayam Santhosh Kumar - ganjira. For more information 99584182, e-mail


he Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) American Politics class welcomed MP Dr Salwa AlJassar as a guest lecturer to speak about the political rights of women in and her personal experience as a member in Kuwaiti National Assembly and a political personality. Dr Al-Jassar started the class by giving them a small introduction to her - the woman - not the political figure. She talked about how as a young adult she was always able to stand up for herself and was smart when it came to knowing her right and standing up for them. “My friends always used to tell me - one day you’re going to be something.” And they repeated that to her when it was announced that she had made it into parliament. Although that was a high achievement and she was overwhelmed with joy, she explains to the students that “nothing of substance comes easy.”

Dr Al-Jassar says, “It’s all about balance.” Women, regardless of whether they are in politics or not, have many roles - daughter, sister, mother, wife and worker, whether that be in politics or another industry. All of those roles need to balance. Later on, Dr Al-Jassar discussed the comparisons that can be done to measure the success of a candidate after winning a parliamentary election,

the debate of whether Western women have more rights as well as the political scene in Kuwait and the different segments of the population that need to be catered to in different manners. Dr Al-Jassar encourages the students, those of which who are interested, to run for parliament in the future but stresses that “you need to know it is a big responsibility,” seeing as the role has a lot of stress, requires

and their country, Dr.Al-Jassar advises the students to focus on their studies, to learn and to be conscious of what is happening around them in all aspects of life. Dr Mohammad Hasanen’s American Politics class then got the chance to ask Dr Al-Jassar questions in her Q&A session. They thoroughly enjoyed the class and benefited from Dr AlJassar’s personal experience.

hard work, is life-changing and needs your constant attention to balance between your work life and personal life. “You need to know your stengths and limitations, you need to be energized and ready for anything, you need to exercise your intellect, wit and diplomacy and enjoy a futuristic outlook and perspective.” In the meantime and to build a better future for themselves

Pandit Ramesh Narayan arrives



enowned singer Pandit Ramesh Narayan and other artistes being received on arrival at the Kuwait International Airport yesterday. The artistes arrived here to participate in IASCO’s program titled “SHAM- EKHAYAL-O-GHAZAL”. The event will be held on April 20 and 21, 2011 at Musical Arts College Auditorium, Salmiya. The program will be inaugurated by Ajai Malhotra, the Indian Ambassador to Kuwait at 6:30pm today April 20, 2011.

Many happy returns of the day to dear Aldrin. God bless you always with love, Nimmy, Andrea, Aaron, Arnold, mum, dad, Philip, Tony, Darwin, Anne, Jonny, Sheeba and kids.

Bengali New Year celebrated

Schedule of services for Holy Week 2011

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

Art exhibition


bdul Rida Baqer presents exhibition at Gallery Tilal from 24th April to 3 May 2011. An artist with a long history in the ever-changing realm of abstract art, Baqer’s recent work reflects his surroundings with a touch of magic, producing dreamlike scenes brought to life by the soft strokes of acrylic on canvas. Opening reception: April 24 at 7 pm. Exhibition hours: 10 am - 2 pm, 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm. Fridays: Closed.


n Friday 15th April, “Shawrolipi Shilpi Ghoshti”, a Bangladeshi cultural group in Kuwait celebrated Bengali New Year 1418 “Pohela Boishakh” at Reggae Park, Kuwait. The largest and most colourful day-long programme was graced by the counselor along with the First Secretary Labour from Bangladesh Embassy in Kuwait and attended by a large number of distinguished men, women and children from all walks of life. Above are some pictures from the event.

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

Kool Kidz Club The Kool Kidz Club of the British Academy of International Arts celebrates the British Royal wedding in style with A TOP HAT and TIARA Fun afternoon on Thursday 21 April. Games, fun and competitions. Wear your best prince and princess costumes and design a plate of food fit for Royalty. Non BAIA students can attend too! For details and tickets please check the website and contact the BAIA office at

Premier goal academy festival of football at Shaab Park


he 2011 Festival of Football event organized by the Premier GOAL Academy in association with

Everton F.C. and sponsored by PORSCHE Centre Kuwait, Behbehani Motors Co. was held at Shaab Park on Saturday 16th April under the patronage of the

British Ambassador, Frank Baker. The festival kicked off early morning with the Junior Tournament and 27 teams

played matches in four age groups; 3-5 years, 6-7 years, 8-9 years and 10-11 years. Each team played 6 games resulting in over 100 matches played on the 4

pitches during the course of this all day event - the biggest and best attended football tournament in Kuwaits’ sporting calendar, packed with goals, near misses, fantastic team and individual performances and most importantly, immensely enjoyable for players and spectators alike. The Senior Tournament took place throughout the afternoon with matches for under 13s, 14s, 15s and 16s teams. Over 500 players from 3 to 16 years of age participated in the event, including teams from the P.G.A./Everton Coaching Courses and Centre of Excellence, the British School of Kuwait, British Academy of Sport, Russian Embassy School, Hawally Pakistan English School, the French School of Kuwait, American Bilingual School and SKELPS. A huge turnout of enthusiastic parents and spectators cheered and encouraged the players who were superbly organized and guided by their coaches throughout a series of exciting, closely fought and sporting matches. The P.G.A. freestyle players presented a display of amazing football tricks and skills prior to the Awards ceremony when the British ambassador and guests from the Russian and French Embassies presented medals to all participants and certificates of appreciation to the event sponsors. The P.G.A. coaching programme continues from 6th/7th May 2011 with courses held each day of the week catering to all ability levels from 3 to 18 years of age with fully qualified UEFA coaches.

New office bearers of NSS


air Service Society (NSS Kuwait) unanimously elected the Office Bearers for the year 2011 - 2012 during the meeting of elected executive members, on 28th March 2011 at Fahaheel. Prior to this NSS Kuwait had conducted area wise annual general body meetings during the month of March. In which the General Secretary presented annual report and the treasurer presented audited Account statement for the last year. Pradi Nidhi Sabha members and Executive members were elected during these meetings. Office bearers elected for the year: President: Muraleekrishnan P, General Secretery: K P Manikantan, Treasurer: Prasad Padmanabhan. Vice President: Raveendran Nair M R, Jnt Secretary-Event Management: Mohana Kaimal, Jnt. Secretary - Welfare Activities: Lalu P, Jnt Secretary

for Organizational Development: Vijayakumar S, Jnt Treasures: Hareesh Kumar & Sri Vijayakumar, advisory members: K Damadaran Nair, K Raveendran Nair, Santosh Kumar, Vijayan Pillai, Mohan Thayalmadom, General Program Conveners: Aneesh Nair & Dilip Nair, Jnt. Program Convener: K G Balakrishnan Nair, System Coordinator: Abhilash G Nair, Jnt Coordinators System: Sumesh S & Deepesh Kumar C J. area coordinators: Prathapachandran (Abuhalifa / Mehboula), Saji Pillai (Mangaf /Fahaheel /Ahmadi), Ajith Kumar R (Riggai /Farwaniya), Sumesh S (Abbasiya /Hasawi) & Krishnaprasad (Salmiya /Sharq). R C Suresh will continued as patron of Nair Service Society (NSS Kuwait). Prasad Padmanabhan gave felicitation speech and Saji Pillai conveyed vote of thanks.

Ernakulam membership campaign


uwait Ernakulam Residents Association is in the process of enrolling members residing in Kuwait from all areas of Ernakulam District. An inaugural function for membership campaign conducted on 16th April at Rhythm Auditorium, Abbassiya Parameswaran, General Convener presided the meeting, Jomy Augustin, Convener inaugurated the membership campaign by giving the new membership to Harish, Tripunithara. Zainudheen welcomes the audience. Abdul Kalam & Ms. Shabnan Bai Zeyad, Vanitha Vedi Convener briefed the activities of the association. We heartfully invite all capable and talented people to join their hands and support to KERA to strengthen the association. For further details, contact: 66900455, 67080447, 66874364 or email to:

NAFO bids farewell


ational Forum, Kuwait (NAFO Kuwait) bid farewell to its life member K.N. Sundaram Pillai, who will be leaving Kuwait for good, in a function held at the Sopanm Hall, Salmiya, chaired by B.S. Pillai, President. In his address, president praised about the active participation of K.N.S. Pillai, in the socio-cultural services of NAFO, since his joining 6 years back. Advisory Board member Dr. Prasad Nair, Former Presidents Rajan Menon and Dr Srikumar, felicitated the occasion. K.N.S. Pillai, in his reply speech, thanked the NAFO family and wished all success for its continued social, welfare and cultural services. He was then honored with a memento, in the presence of AB/EC members, in recognition of his valued contribution.




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W H AT ’ S O N

Embassy Information

KNES holds annual languages quiz


he annual Kuwait National English School Languages Quiz was held on Monday, April 4. Teams from each year group from Year 6 to Year 11 competed in English spelling, French to English translation and English similes. Students also gave presentations and answered questions about their favourite fiction story. Audience participation was encouraged. The involvement of Year 6 formed part of the transition programme for students moving to the

Secondary Department in the next academic year. The event was organised and presented by the Head of Languages. This year’s Languages Quiz was educational, enjoyable and beneficial for all students involved; it gave them the opportunity to develop and practise their language skills in a competitive and fun setting. The winning teams were from Year 7 (Abdulrahman Al Saidan, Ibrahim Khodabocus & Sabeen Metwali), Year 9 (Alaa Karam,

Hailah Al Saidan & Reda Al Ghafeer) and Year 11 (Abdulrahman Al Aqqad, Khalid Mohamed & Krystel Chemali), with the runners-up a close second. Certificates, medals and trophies were presented to the participating students by Madame Chantal Al Gharabally, School Director. Language learning is central to the curriculum at Kuwait National English School. English is a compulsory subject for IGCSE; First Language English, English as a Second Language and

English Literature are offered. French is compulsory until the end of Year 9 and an option for IGCSE. Extracurricular activities include English Club and French Club. Students are encouraged to take pride in their work, to be proactive in developing their skills and to strive to reach their full potential. Teachers at Kuwait National English School emphasize the importance of language learning as preparation for university study and a variety of careers.

Agility launches Earth Day 2011 activities in Kuwait


s a part of its commitment to the environment, Agility organizes Earth Day activities every year to commemorate the international Earth Day on April 22. The main aim is to give back to our local communities as well as raising awareness on the importance of environmental conservation. Agility launched its 2011 Earth Day activities with a coastal cleanup near the Kuwait Towers on Saturday April 16. With the support of the Kuwait Municipality, more than 100 Agility employees, families, and friends spent the afternoon cleaning up the beach that was strewn with rubbish left over from weekend visitors. In addition to the Earth Day coastal cleanup, Agility has also organized the in-house screening of an environmental documentary for its employees at different

office locations in Kuwait. The Agility team in Kuwait also has a long standing corporate recycling program, and they have also organized a ‘Let’s Recycle’ competition that encourages

employees to individually recycle and build awareness. Agility employees around the world also engage in environmental projects on Earth Day and throughout the year. In

Germany, Agility employees partnered with experts to organize a river flow restoring project. The Agility volunteers restored the flow of the affected river, giving the ecosystem a

chance to regenerate. In Indonesia, the Agility team planted trees, conducted cleanups, and did local outreach to consumers to help encourage more environmentally responsible shopping behaviors, like using re-usable shopping bags and recycling. Similar Earth Day activities were organized in Asia and the Americas. When it comes to business, Agility also works with customers to reduce its environmental impact by allowing customers to estimate CO2 impact from supply chain activities and through the introduction of greener business practices. Agility’s environmental conservation activities also play a big role in its corporate social responsibility program that includes community engagement and humanitarian and emergency logistics.

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

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

EMBASSY OF BRITAIN The British Embassy will be closed on the Sunday 24th and Monday 25th of April 2011 on the occasion of Easter Holidays. The Embassy will re-open on Tuesday 26 April 2011. Visa and Consular Services. The Visa Application Centre (VAC) will be closed on the same dates above. The opening hours of the Visa Application Centre are 0930- 1630. Application forms remain available online from the UKBAs’ website: or from the Visa Application Centre’s website: And also, from the UK Visa Application Centre located at: 4B, First Floors Al Banwan Building, (Burgan Bank Branch Office Building). Al Qibla area, opposite Central Bank of Kuwait. Kuwait. For any further inquiries, please contact the Visa Application Centre: Website: E-mail:info@vfsuk-com. Telephone: 22971170 ■■■■■■■

Grand success of KTS Ladies Day program


he Ladies Day Special programme organized by Kuwait Tamil Sangam on Friday, 15th April at ICSK, Salmiya to commemorate the International Women’s Day was a grand success. The highlight of the programme was the presence of Kumari Sachu, a veteran, popular, leading and versatile cine artiste of Tamil film industry, who was the chief guest. The evening’s entertainment programme was produced and presented exclusively by the lady members of KTS.

There were scintillating dance items set to melodious songs. The two skits staged by the ladies were laced with humour and a social message. The Villu Pattu item revived the memories of the age old classic Tamil art form which is facing a slow extinction. The Patti Manram, with Kumari Sachu as the judge, was a fiercely contested event between two groups of ladies. The topic was - Who was better in upbringing of children - the ladies of the older generation or the ones of the new generation. Both the groups forcefully

Vishu Seva Dinam 2011


nspired by the philosophical thought “Seva Dharma Param Dharma”, Sevadarshan Kuwait organized “Vishu Seva Dinam” on April 15 at the Indian Central School, Abbasiya. The program was officially inaugurated at 5:30 pm by Bhaskar Bhatt, Second Secretary, Labor & Information, Indian Embassy, by lighting the lamp. The function was presided over by Sundararaman, President of Vishu Dina program. The official function started off by offering prayers to the Almighty followed by the Vishu Dinam message and the Sevadarshan report presented by K. Ramesh (Vice president Sevadarshan Kuwait ) and T K. Ajayakumar (Organizing Secretary Sevadarshan Kuwait) respectively. Chief guests of the function S.K. Wadhawan, Chairman, Indian Business Council Kuwait and Dr Narayanan Nampoory, President, Indian Doctors Forum, delivered the felicitation addresses. Vichar Bharathi, an affiliate of the Sevadarshan published the e-magazine “Sopanam” for the Sevadarshan family members. The first copy of the magazine was handed over by the Vicharbharathi secretary, Vibheesh Tikkodi to S.K. Wadhawan for the official release. An essay writing competition was conducted based on the topic “Swami

Vivekanandan - a Youth Icon” during the Swami Vivekanda Jayanthi. The winners of the competition, Dr Sindhu Sudhesh, Abhinav Ramakrishnan and K.V. Chandran, were awarded with prizes and certificates. On the auspicious occasion of Vishu, the family members of Sevadarshan gave their “Vishukaineetam” as a “Samarpanam” for the betterment of scores of lesser fortunate children and elderly people in Kerala. Also, Sudheer Sukumaran, representing the Sevadarshan Kuwait, handed over a cheque for a cancer patient undergoing treatment at R.C.C. Trivandrum to Anil Bhaskar, Convenor, and Sevadarshan Kuwait. Cultural programs organized by various units of Sevadarshan Kuwait started off with patriotic songs. The “Sankaradarshanam” by Farwaniya Baladarshan, “Krishnayanam” by Salmiya Baladarshan “Vishu Nritha Silpam “ by Abbasiya Baladarshan and “Kavya Silpam” by Fahaheel Baladarshan were accepted by the audience with huge applause. The traditional Thiruvathira Kali by the Fahaheel Mathrusamithi added more color to the show. The program was concluded by Vote of Thanks delivered by Sudheer Menon, Jt Convenor of Vishu Seva Dinam.

put forth their views and also attacked the views of the opposite group, which added salt and spice to the entire presentation. The audience were regaled to a memorable evening of songs, dance, drama and debate. The Annual General Meeting of the Sangam followed with a brief address by R.Ganapathy, the Hon President, and presentation of the activities of the Sangam during 2010-2011 by Chelladurai Hon. General Secretary. The annual accounts were presented by

K.Avoodai Nayakam Hon. Treasurer. After successfully managing the affairs of the Sangam during 2010-2011, the present Managing Committee handed over charge to a newly elected Managing Committee for the year 2011-2012. The members of the Sangam highly appreciated the efforts of the outgoing Managing Committee in organizing very entertaining events during the past year. The vote of thanks was proposed by K.Rameshbabu, the outgoing Hon. Jt. Secretary.

EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakel St., Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at Canada offers a registration service for all Canadians travelling or living abroad. This service is provided so that Consular Officials can contact and assist Canadians in an emergency in a foreign country, such as a natural disaster or civil unrest, or inform Canadians of a family emergency at home. The Embassy of Canada encourages all Canadian Citizens to register online through the Government of Canada Travel Website at The Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi provides visa and immigration services to residents of Kuwait. Individuals who are interested in visiting, working or immigrating to Canada are invited to visit the website of the Canadian Embassy to the UAE at Effective January 15, 2011, the only Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) application form that will be accepted by CIC is the Application for Temporary Resident Visa Made Outside of Canada [IMM 5257] form. All previous Temporary Resident Visa application forms will no longer be accepted by CIC and instead will be returned to applicants. Should old applications be submitted prior to January 15, 2011 they will continue to be processed. To ensure that the most recent version of the Temporary Resident Visa application form is being utilized, applicants should refer to the CIC website. As of January 15, 2011, forms are to be filled in electronically. The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. Consular Services for Canadian Citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00 on Sunday through Wednesday. The forms are available on the internet at: 257E.PDF. A guide explaining the process can be found here: E.PDF. ■■■■■■■

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

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

EMBASSY OF SPAIN The Embassy of Spain would like to inform the public that the Embassy will remain closed tomorrow 21st of April 2011.



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00:45 Untamed And Uncut 01:40 Dogs 101 02:35 Life Of Mammals 03:30 K9 Cops 04:25 Amba The Russian Tiger 05:20 The Most Extreme 06:10 Animal Crackers 06:35 Animal Crackers 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 Must Love Cats 10:05 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 11:00 Animal Precinct 11:55 Wildlife SOS 12:20 Wildlife SOS 12:50 Last Chance Highway 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 Baby Planet 17:25 Extraordinary Dogs 17:50 Cats Of Claw Hill 18:20 Life Of Mammals 19:15 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 20:10 Dogs 101 21:05 Life In The Undergrowth 22:00 Mutant Planet 22:55 Buggin’ With Ruud 23:50 The Most Extreme

00:05 00:35 01:20 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 10:40 11:25 12:30 13:00 13:30 14:20 15:20 16:25 17:10 17:40 18:10 19:00 20:00 20:45 21:15 21:45 22:40 23:30

2 Point 4 Children The Weakest Link Holby City Conviction Eastenders Doctors 2 Point 4 Children 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 2 Point 4 Children The Weakest Link Coast Doctors Eastenders Holby City 2 Point 4 Children Coast The Weakest Link Doctors Eastenders Holby City Coast The Weakest Link Doctors Eastenders Casualty Paradox My Family

00:05 Cash In The Attic USA 00:25 Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey 01:20 Rhodes Across China 02:05 Eating With The Enemy 02:50 Cooked 03:15 Chuck’s Day Off 03:40 How Not To Decorate 04:30 Daily Cooks Challenge 05:25 Antiques Roadshow 06:15 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 07:20 Glamour Puds

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

What Not To Wear Daily Cooks Challenge Glamour Puds What Not To Wear Fantasy Homes By The Sea What Not To Wear Antiques Roadshow Fantasy Homes By The Sea Glamour Puds Daily Cooks Challenge Cash In The Attic USA Eating With The Enemy Cooked Chuck’s Day Off How Not To Decorate Eating With The Enemy Cooked Chuck’s Day Off How Not To Decorate Cash In The Attic USA Holmes On Homes

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 09:30 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 05:00

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 Hong Kong Phooey


TV PROGRAMS 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

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 ScrappyKing 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

00:05 Cow And Chicken 00:30 Cramp Twins 00:55 George Of The Jungle 01:20 Adrenalini Brothers 01:45 Eliot Kid 02:10 Ed, Edd N Eddy 02:35 Ben 10: Alien Force 03:00 The Powerpuff Girls 03:15 Chowder 03:40 The Secret Saturdays 04:05 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 04:30 Ben 10: Alien Force 04:55 Best Ed 05:20 Skunk Fu! 05:45 Cramp Twins 06:10 Eliot Kid 07:00 Codename: Kids Next Door 07:25 Cow And Chicken 07:50 Cartoon Network Dance Club 08:05 Best Ed 08:15 Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends 08:40 Ben 10: Alien Force 09:05 The Secret Saturdays 09:30 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 09:55 The Powerpuff Girls 10:20 Robotboy 10:30 Hero 108 10:55 Ben 10 11:20 Chowder 11:45 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 12:10 Camp Lazlo 12:35 George Of The Jungle 13:00 Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends 13:25 Codename: Kids Next Door 13:50 Ben 10 14:15 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 14:40 Squirrel Boy 15:05 Eliot Kid 15:35 Ed, Edd N Eddy 16:00 Cow And Chicken 16:25 Chop Socky Chooks 16:50 Skunk Fu! 17:15 Chowder 17:40 Best Ed 18:05 Hero 108 18:30 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack


18:55 Star Wars: The Clone Wars 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 Robotboy 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 Inside Africa World Report Backstory World Report World Sport Revealed World Business Today World One World Sport Talk Asia Piers Morgan Tonight News Stream World Business Today International Desk The Brief World Sport Prism International Desk Revealed 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 23:45

Dirty Jobs Stan Lee’s Superhumans Ultimate Survival Man Made Marvels Asia Mythbusters How It’s Made How Stuff’s Made Dirty Jobs Man Made Marvels China 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 2008 Mythbusters Extreme Fishing Cake Boss Border Security Industrial Junkie How Stuff’s Made How It’s Made Deconstruction Time Warp Mythbusters 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 10:35 11:25 11:50 12:40 13:05 13:55 14:45 15:35 16:00 16:03 16:30 17:00 17:50 18:40 19:30 20:20 20:45 21:10 22:00 22:50 23:40

The Gadget Show Kings Of Construction Space Pioneer Sci-Fi Saved My Life Cool Stuff And How It Works Thunder Races Brainiac One Step Beyond Superships Scrappy Races Head Rush Sci-Fi Science Weird Connections Investigation X The Gadget Show Engineered Green Wheels Catch It Keep It One Step Beyond Sci-Fi Science Space Pioneer Kings Of Construction The Gadget Show Head Rush Sci-Fi Science Weird Connections Brainiac Mission Critical: Hubble How It’s Made How Stuff Works Sci-Fi Science How Does That Work? The Gadget Show How It’s Made How Stuff Works Colony

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

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

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

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

06:00 Phineas & Ferb 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 12:20 Phineas & Ferb 12:40 Have A Laugh 12:45 Kid Vs Kat 13:50 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 14:15 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 14:40 Phineas & Ferb 15:05 Phineas & Ferb 15:25 Z 15:35 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 Style Star 01:05 Style Star 01:30 40 Smokin’ On Set Hookups 03:15 25 Most Stylish 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Extreme Hollywood 06:00 E!ES 07:45 Behind the Scenes 08:10 Behind the Scenes 08:35 E! News 09:25 Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane 10:15 20 Acts of Love Gone Wrong 12:00 E! News 12:50 Giuliana & Bill 13:15 Giuliana & Bill 13:40 Keeping Up with the Kardashians 14:05 Kendra 14:30 50 Most Shocking Celebrity Confessions 16:15 Behind the Scenes 16:40 Behind the Scenes 17:10 THS 18:00 E! News 18:50 50 Most Insane Celebrity Oops 20:30 Extreme Close-Up 20:55 Chelsea Lately 21:20 Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane 22:10 E! News 23:00 Chelsea Lately 23:25 Kendra 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 03:10 Aiya TV 04:00 Mantracker 04:50 Eddie Jordan’s Bad Boy Racers 05:40 World Combat League 06:30 iEX 2009 08:00 Quattro Events 2009 08:25 Summer Dew Tour 2010 09:15 Lucas Oil Ama Motocross Championships... 10:05 Lucas Oil Ama Motocross Championships... 10:55 Eds Up 11:45 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 15:55 X Games Heroes 16:45 Quattro Events 2009 17:10 Summer Dew Tour 2010 18:00 Lucas Oil Ama Motocross Championships... 18:50 Lucas Oil Ama Motocross Championships... 19:40 X Games Heroes 20:30 Final Fu 21:20 Fight Girls 22:10 World Combat League 23:00 Aiya TV 23:50 Final Fu

00:30 01:20 02:10 03:00 03:50 04:45 05:15 06:10 07:00 07:50 08:40 09:30 09:55 10:20 11:10 12:00 12:50 13:40 14:30 14:55 15:20 16:10

The Haunted A Haunting Deadly Women The Prosecutors Dr G: Medical Examiner Amsterdam Vice The Haunted Mystery ER Forensic Detectives Accident Investigator Mystery ER Real Emergency Calls Real Emergency Calls Fugitive Strike Force FBI Files Murder Shift Extreme Forensics Mystery ER Real Emergency Calls Real Emergency Calls Fugitive Strike Force Forensic Detectives

EASY VIRTUE ON OSN MOVIES HD 17:00 17:50 18:40 19:30 20:20 21:10 22:00 23:40

00:15 02:00 04:00 06:00 08:15 10:00 12:30 14:30 16:15 18:30 20:30 22:00

Accident Investigator FBI Files Mystery ER Real Emergency Calls Murder Shift Extreme Forensics I Almost Got Away With It Dr G: Medical Examiner

Paranormal Activity-PG15 Halloween 2-18 Bangkok Adrenaline-PG15 The Core-PG15 Along Came A Spider-PG15 Armageddon-PG15 Collateral-18 Along Came A Spider-PG15 The Rock-PG15 Collateral-18 Penny Dreadful-18 Bad Boys II-PG15

01:00 Growing Op-PG15 02:45 2012-PG15 05:30 The Wild Thornberrys MoviePG 07:00 Run Papa Run-PG15 09:00 The Ramen Girl-PG15 11:00 Charlotte Gray-PG15 13:00 2012-PG15 15:45 Astro Boy-PG15 17:15 The Prince And Me 3: A Royal Honeymoon-PG15 19:00 Surrogates-PG15 21:00 Jack Goes Boating-PG15 23:00 Inglourious Basterds-18

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 Family Guy 02:00 The Cleveland Show 02:30 Entourage 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 Rita Rocks 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 Rita Rocks 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 The Drew Carey Show 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 Just Shoot Me 18:30 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 19:00 The New Adventures Of Old Christine 19:30 30 Rock 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 The Big C 22:30 Entourage 23:00 Family Guy 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

01:00 Signs-PG15 03:00 Bangkok Adrenaline-PG15 05:00 Dog Pound-18 07:00 Snake Eyes-PG15 09:00 Obsessed-PG15 11:00 New Town Killers-PG15 13:00 Con Air-PG15 15:00 Obsessed-PG15 17:00 Harry Potter And The HalfBlood Prince-PG15

19:30 Unbreakable-PG15 21:15 District 13: Ultimatum-18 23:00 Casualties Of War-18

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

Flirting Wth Flamenco-PG15 Patch Adams-PG15 PJ Gallagher: Just Jokes-PG15 Love Happens-PG15 A Simple Wish-FAM Daddy Day Care-PG All’s Faire In Love-PG Keeping The Faith-PG15 Flirting Wth Flamenco-PG15 Someone Like You-PG15 Mafia!-PG15 Ball And Chain-PG15

01:15 03:15 05:15 PG 07:15 09:00 11:00 13:00 15:00 17:00 19:00 21:00 23:00

The Knot-PG15 Revolutionary Road-PG15 The Madness Of King GeorgeThree Investigators-PG15 Drumline-PG15 Shine A Light-PG15 Eva-PG15 Living Out Loud-PG15 Bottle Shock-PG15 Chicago-PG15 Dirty Pretty Things-PG15 Largo Winch-PG15

01:30 Chasing Papi-PG 03:00 Star Trek-PG 05:30 Dr. Dolittle 2-PG 07:00 Old Dogs-PG 09:00 Moon-PG15 11:00 The Adventures Of Rocky And Bullwinkle-FAM 13:00 Easy Virtue-PG15 15:00 Smart People-PG15 17:00 Moon-PG15 19:00 Orphan-18 21:00 Jack Goes Boating-PG15 23:00 King Of The New York StreetsPG15

00:00 Treasure Island-PG 02:00 Dr. Dolittle 2-PG 04:00 Legend Of Sleeping BeautyPG 06:00 Cars-PG 08:00 Scruff In Halloween-FAM 10:00 Legend Of Sleeping BeautyPG 12:00 Yogi And The Invasion Of The Space Bears-FAM 14:00 Dr. Dolittle 2-PG 16:00 Monsters Inc-FAM 18:00 Blank Check-FAM 20:00 The Prince Of Dinosaurs-PG 22:00 Yogi And The Invasion Of The Space Bears-FAM

00:00 New York I Love You-18 01:45 The Vintner’s Luck-PG15 04:00 Secret Origin: The Story Of DC Comics-PG 06:00 Dean Spanley-PG 08:00 Coco Before Chanel-PG15 10:00 Who’s Your Caddy?-PG15 12:00 Valentine’s Day-PG15 14:15 Prisoner-PG15 16:00 Coco Before Chanel-PG15 18:00 Amelia-PG15 20:00 King Of The New York StreetsPG15 22:00 The Joneses-PG15

00:00 Super League 02:00 Futbol Mundial 02:30 World Hockey 03:00 Super 15 05:00 Trans World Sport 06:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 07:00 Snooker World Championship 11:00 Futbol Mundial 11:30 NRL Premiership 13:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 14:00 AFL Premiership 16:30 World Hocky 17:00 Asian Tour Golf 17:30 PGA European Tour

Highlights 18:30 Trans World Sport 19:30 European Tour Weekly 20:00 AFL Highlights 21:00 Super 15 23:00 Ladies European Highlights


01:00 NRL Full Time 01:30 AFL Premiership 04:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 05:00 NRL Premiership 07:00 Golfing World 08:00 AFL Premiership 10:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 11:00 World Hockey 11:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 12:00 Live Snooker World Championship 16:00 Futbol Mundial 16:30 Live Snooker World Championship 20:00 Trans World Sport 21:00 Live Snooker World Championship

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

V8 Supercars Championship Superstock Powerboat Series Superstock Powerboat Series UAE National Race Day Series UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC Unleashed UFC Unleashed WWE Vintage Collection UAE National Race Day Series V8 Supercars Championship Sports Adventure WWE NXT UAE National Race Day Series City Centre Races City Centre Races Superstock Powerboat Series Superstock Powerboat Series V8 Supercars Championship V8 Supercars Championship WWE NXT WWE Bottom Line WWE Vintage Collection UFC 128

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

The Ellen Degeneres Show The Glades Private Practice Grey’s Anatomy The View Good Morning America Commander In Chief Emmerdale Coronation Street The Martha Stewart Show The View The Ellen Degeneres Show Grey’s Anatomy Private Practice Live Good Morning America Commander In Chief The Ellen Degeneres Show Emmerdale Coronation Street Glee American Idol Highlights Game Of Thrones Rescue Me Commander In Chief

01:05 02:55 04:55 07:00 08:35 11:00 12:50 14:30 PG 16:15 18:10 20:05 22:00 23:45

Diner-PG15 Clash Of The Titans Northwest Passage-PG Never Let Me Go-FAM 2001: A Space Odyssey-FAM The Glass Bottom Boat-FAM Blackboard Jungle-PG Two Weeks In Another TownNow, Voyager-PG The Last Time I Saw Paris-PG The Opposite Sex-PG Shaft-PG15 Shoot The Moon-PG15

Classifieds WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20, 2011

Healthy Living

A different lemon Meyer lemons, which lack the bitter white pith of regular lemons, are slightly sweet and can be eaten whole, peel and all.

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ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available for Keralite couples/small family in a 2 bed 2 bath flat in Abbassiya. Contact: 97544059. (C 3283)


Fold along sides of square and tape the pyramid together


Cut these shapes out and compare them to your pyramid Soccer (football) field

This scale model of the Great Pyramid will help you understand how big it is

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Kwarto. Pinauupahan harap ng sears, likod ng Burger King. C-A/C Farwaniya 97315783. (C 3276)

20-4-2011 Room available for single bachelor in Salmiya, rent KD 50. Contact 97274287. (C 3275) 19-4-2011



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I, Mazhar Pukawala, son of Hakimuddin Pakawala, holder of Indian Passport No: E2780082 change my surname from Pukawala to Pakawala. (C 3280) 20-4-2011


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Furnished 800m for a single (M/F) to share with a small family in a central A/C flat with separate bath-

room. Nice location on main road, parking and close to a garden, bus stop. Contact: 67060429. (C 3279)

15-story apartment building

On the Great Pyramid, Py ramid, this side is 756 fft. ft. (230 m)) long l

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

Imagine a tiny person standing on the soccer field or in front of the apartments What would the pyramid look like to that person? How long do you think it would take to walk around the base of the Great â&#x20AC;&#x2122; a hint: The distance is a Pyramid?* Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s


little more than 3,024 ft. (920 m)

MATRIMONIAL Proposal invited for an RC boy, aged 36 from Changanacherry diocese, currently working in Kuwait without family status. Please contact (C 3273) 20-4-2011 Pentecostal Keralite parent settled in US invite marriage proposal for their daughter 26 years 5â&#x20AC;&#x2122;7â&#x20AC;? tall RN. Currently seeking employment. Preferably working in engineering or medical field. More details: / (C 3270) 17-4-2011

SITUATION WANTED Sri Lankan lady looking for part time job, any English house. Contact: 55680045. (C 3278) 20-4-2011

FOR SALE Toyota Cressida in excellent running condition.

Transmission, air condition, exterior and interior in superb condition. Worth buying. A reliable car. KD 675, negotiable. Contact: 66559205. (C 3282) Toyota Corolla model 2010, sky color, original paint 24,800 km, done 1.6 engine, cash price KD 3,700 (installment optional). Contact: 66507741. (C 3284) 20-4-2011

SITUATION VACANT Needed house driver for a Kuwaiti family, must know all areas and have a transferable visa. Contact: 55220650. (C 3281) 20-4-2011

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

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


745 792 134 546 201 701 341 303 857 215 510 777 239 127 550 257 177 227 824 166 502 541 618 786 614 674 102 774 975 572 61 787 647 81 402 372 859 217 136 981 135 185 636 441 393 447 215


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


Flt 390 637 46 982 206 773 620 854 68 371 139 560 164 212 801 94 156 545 54 177 671 551 856 126 549 117 133 302 214 200 602 204 256 405 776 541 238 103 2331 501 5065 785 3558 176 611


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

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (


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14:25 14:30 14:35 14:45 15:10 15:30 15:35 15:45 16:05 16:15 16:20 16:20 16:35 16:45 17:05 17:35 18:05 18:15 18:20 18:25 18:30 18:35 18:55 19:10 19:10 19:40 20:00 20:20 20:35 20:40 21:00 21:05 21:10 21:15 22:00 22:25 22:30 22:30 22:30 22:35 22:45 22:55 23:05 23:10 23:40 23:50 23:59


star CROSSWORD 293





Aries (March 21-April 19) Create ways in which your superiors can support your ideas. Think through your work goals. Eagerness is commendable but must be timed for the best impact. Controlling your intensity may be the work that is set out for you during this month. Look for ways in which to accomplish your work and let the advancements and promises for raises take care of themselves. There will be a time to work toward a raise, but not now. You could find that you are appreciated for your feelings and your ability to follow through with projects. Challenges may be a green light but be careful where you step! Find ways in which you can help others. Through this effort, your whole essence could change. Take some time this evening to visit with the young person in your family.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Good communication is at a high. Your timing is perfect for whatever you have set before you now. You are most spontaneous when it comes to responding to the need to come to the aid of a co-worker. There is a desire for beauty and harmony in your life that stimulates your creativity and imagination, yet making you prone to delusion. This is a good time to consolidate and organize your affairs or rearrange your living situation—not necessarily to shop. Your friends may find you especially witty and eccentric just now. You should find constructive ways to express a tremendous energy you may be feeling now. Perhaps visiting with a young person or a drive to a nearby park with a loved one would be fun. You may enjoy feeding the ducks.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. A hormone produced by the anterior pituitary gland. 4. German mystic and theosophist who founded modern theosophy. 10. White crystalline compound used as a food additive to enhance flavor. 13. 10 hao equal 1 dong. 14. Small space in a tissue or part such as the area between veins on a leaf or an insect's wing. 15. The 7th letter of the Greek alphabet. 16. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 17. South African plant widely cultivated for its showy pure white spathe and yellow spadix. 19. English theoretical physicist who applied relativity theory to quantum mechanics and predicted the existence of antimatter and the positron (1902-1984). 21. An electrically charged particle. 22. Primitive chlorophyll-containing mainly aquatic eukaryotic organisms lacking true stems and roots and leaves. 23. A member of a Muslim Turkic people of western Asia (especially in Kazakstan). 26. Not only so, but. 29. South American wood sorrel cultivated for its edible tubers. 30. Wood of a sumac. 34. The largest continent with 60% of the earth's population. 35. One of the most common of the five major classes of immunoglobulins. 36. Alsatian artist and poet who was cofounder of Dadaism in Zurich. 37. Range of what one can know or understand. 39. Botswanan statesman who was the first president of Botswana (1921-1980). 43. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 44. An Anatolian language. 47. (astronomy) The angular distance of a celestial point measured westward along the celestial equator from the zenith crossing. 51. Jordan's port. 52. An early French settler in the Maritimes. 55. A heavy iron lever with one end forged into a wedge. 56. That is on a string. 59. A religious belief of African origin involving witchcraft and sorcery. 60. Hawaiian dish of taro root pounded to a paste and often allowed to ferment. 61. A resident of Maine. 62. A woolen cap of Scottish origin. 63. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 64. A large fleet. 65. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. DOWN 1. Bony flesh of herring-like fish usually caught during their migration to fresh water for spawning. 2. A sock with a separation for the big toe. 3. Showing characteristics of age, especially having gray or white hair. 4. An indehiscent fruit derived from a single ovary having one or many seeds within a fleshy wall or pericarp. 5. A period marked by distinctive character or reckoned from a fixed point or event. 6. Pertaining to or near the sun. 7. An island of central Hawaii (between Maui and Oahu). 8. A feeling of strong eagerness (usually in favor of a person or cause). 9. A silvery soft waxy metallic element of the alkali metal group. 10. The food served and eaten at one time. 11. Male red deer. 12. Offering fun and gaiety. 18. Used as a Hindi courtesy title. 20. A Loloish language. 24. A belt-shaped region in the heavens on either side to the ecliptic. 25. Port city on southern Honshu on Osaka Bay. 27. The compass point midway between east and southeast. 28. Belonging to or on behalf of a specified person (especially yourself). 31. A flat-bottomed volcanic crater that was formed by an explosion. 32. A human limb. 33. An accountant certified by the state. 38. An intersection or crossing of two tracts in the form of the letter X. 39. A period marked by distinctive character or reckoned from a fixed point or event. 40. The (prehensile) extremity of the superior limb. 41. Extremely pleasing. 42. Crested screamers. 43. A local computer network for communication between computers. 45. A city in northeastern Ohio. 46. Genus of western United States annuals with showy yellow or white flowers. 48. (of complexion) Blemished by imperfections of the skin. 49. A clique that seeks power usually through intrigue. 50. (Jungian psychology) The inner self (not the external persona) that is in touch with the unconscious. 53. A city in northern India. 54. A tiny or scarcely detectable amount. 57. Any of various dark heavy viscid substances obtained as a residue. 58. The shape of a raised edge of a more or less circular object.

Yesterday’s Solution

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Your professional involvement defines who you are and your work is the key to your well-being. Your business and directional abilities are in high focus. Draw the line between when to work overtime and when to have some fun. Others value you for your ability to make practical decisions concerning group issues. You have a natural sense of what the public wants at this time. Clear decisions affecting others will be acceptable and appreciated—relax. You have a strong ability to control your emotions and may have learned some excellent problem-solving techniques. This is a superb time to get close to family members or friends without the emotional factor sweeping you away. Mental stimulation from others is a key for you right now.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)


You are doing your best work and your work is showing the results of your efforts. You could feel a great amount of support from those around you and circumstances could dictate your taking action. An older person in your family may enjoy having a noon meal with you and the visit has possibilities of ending in much laughter after a little reminiscing session. This may be a good thing to do from time to time and has many possibilities. Life’s earlier, simpler pleasures may give you ideas in helping yourself and others to solve problems. Sharing some changes in technology may bring others around to listen. Communicating and getting your message across to others is at a high. Friends around you should find you most eager to interact.

Leo (July 23-August 22) Your enthusiasm is contagious and before the day is over Today is for teamwork. You don’t have to prove how well you can work in a team; you just have to follow the plan. This is a successful day. Whatever you invest in at this time will last a long time and tend to increase in value. This is a great time to begin a new and positive habit; eventually, the old, negative habits will just dissolve away. Perhaps a more nutritional way of feeding your body would be most acceptable for you now. Communicating and getting your message across to others is at a high. Your timing should be perfect and those around you should find you most spontaneous and alive. Taxes may prove less taxing than usual this month, as you are more able to understand how to manage your finances in successful ways.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) There is good luck in money matters today. However, future income may be thin for a short while. Do what you can to eliminate any problems that may come up later. One way or another, the winds of change are on their way. Although you would rather know exactly what the plans are . . . the quick-moving events coming soon may be a wonderful freeing experience. Do not try to force an issue with a young person this afternoon. Your powers of creativity are great and you will be able to create a way to cleverly make your point. This is a time of unexpected opportunities. Relations with friends of the opposite sex could be a big plus at this time. This is one of your better days for love and money.

Libra (September 23-October 22)


Your hours at work may lessen and this could be a good thing—considering you are likely to work very long hours. If you end up not making as much as you had hoped, you might consider another job. A job promotion or further education is possible now. You have a way of turning things around to have most positive results. Ambitious schemes and the pursuit of success and status take on a high priority now. You may find yourself visiting old friends this afternoon, perhaps co-worker friends. You may not feel like socializing, but you will want to enjoy just hanging around. Stay away from lifting and moving things. Nurture yourself by doing something for someone else. Someone shows his or her appreciation for your kind deeds today.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) A hard to unravel problem comes to your attention and you rise to the challenge. Figuring things out, spotting the tilt of a picture, separating the old from the new and finding the flaw in the fabric are just a few of the things that take on special significance now. There is mental busywork now. Your mind is quickened, making you receptive to all external stimuli. Be judicious and diplomatic in your discussions with co-workers at this time. You are feeling festive and desirous of having fun times with family and friends this afternoon. Just being away from the focus of problem solving helps you to relax. Communicating with long-distance friends is enjoyable and acquaintances with neighbors are made strong. You are becoming a better listener.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) If your personal popularity was wanting before today, it is back now. There is good harmony and understanding with others today. People hardly have to finish a sentence before you know just what they need; easydoes-it. You will be happy to know that when you make a presentation to higher-ups, the support you need will be there for you. This is a great time to be with others and to work together. There is a tendency for you to be extremely hard working and ambitious on the professional level. It is important to develop a team attitude so as not to alienate fellow workers. Your taste in art and creative expressions has just begun. Now is perhaps a good time to select furnishings, colors and the finer things of life. Shop for the best buys.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)


Steer away from arguments and possible hard feelings. Your thoughts may not synchronize with your feelings and this could result in a clash with someone today. This may be a difficult time to relax and remain calm. There may be a serious decision made about the future of a project, investment or term of employment with your business at this time. This is a most beneficial time to seek out new ventures in which to invest. This evening brings about some new and positive insight to an old problem. Everything conspires to reveal you at your most elegant, particularly in social situations. You will have a grasp for abstract and spiritual ideas and the ability to communicate these to others. A common interest in all things mystical has your attention today.

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Working through the day and keeping your ideas to yourself may be difficult, but necessary for now. You can introduce your ideas later and find more interest and acceptance. Perhaps the timing is just not right for now. You are invited to make use of your natural abilities and common sense this afternoon when a young person or friend needs guidance. Your need to be respected will be fulfilled—giving advice, as well as watching this young person or friend develop, is rewarding. Learning and communicating gives you knowledge and entertainment. You may find yourself at a local library or in the bookstores this evening—looking for entertainment. There are plenty of friends and acquaintances to visit tonight.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

Your efforts to improve your financial status are positive. Improvements and corrections within the work environment are imperative. Others will notice your positive attitude. You may want to make a list of some personal changes you want to make—they are more important than you think. If any of the changes are emotional, get some professional help so that you will have tools to help you deal with life more comfortably. Nourish your sense of humor. Honest interaction with others is important and you should make an effort to listen to your own responses as well as how you present yourself to others. Explanations will come easily but simple reasoning is the most important process of understanding. Presentations at work may be rescheduled for tomorrow.



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e niv rsar n



lifestyle G o s s i p

rince William has organized a secret honeymoon for his bride-to-be Kate Middleton. The secondin-line to the British throne will marry his fiancÈe on Friday April 29 before leaving for a romantic vacation the next day and although Kate is hoping for a mix of adventure and relaxation, she won’t find out the details until they depart. A source said:”Kate wants to mix something active with the chance to put her feet up and relax. “She also said she was keen to go somewhere hot, but would let William decide as a surprise.” A number of destinations have been suggested including the Caribbean island of Mustique which is a favorite of the Middleton family and South Africa where William, 28, proposed but the prince is now said to have booked a horse riding trek in South America. The source added to The Sun newspaper: “Kate isn’t supposed to like horses, but that’s a bit of a myth. “She has had a number of riding lessons since last summer,


ohn Travolta has been called in to assist Kirstie Alley with her ‘Dancing With the Stars’ moves. The former ‘Cheers’ star - who has been struggling with the tricky routines she has had to perform over the past few weeks on the celebrity dancing show - and her professional partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy enlisted the help of the legendary ‘Saturday Night Fever’ actor, who named himself the ‘Dance Doctor’. Advising the duo to release their “romantic tension”, John then told the 60-year-old actress she needed to reassess her footwear choices, after her high heels flew off mid-waltz during her last performance on April 11. He said: “Let’s try a sneaker. I suggest perhaps a high-top.” However, dancing guru John’s visit to Kirstie during rehearsals definitely seemed to improve her confidence levels. She told partner Maksim: “Last week we survived, but I don’t want anyone to have any doubts: I’m in this to win this. I want to be the frontrunner!” Before performing her raunchy foxtrot to Lenny Kravtiz’s ‘American Woman’ on the show last night (18.04.11), Kirstie admitted she was hoping to “create magic” following her visit from ‘The Dance Doctor’ John. She joked: “Now that we’ve had a session with ‘The Dance Doctor’, the bad


which could mean the idea of a pony trek is not that far-fetched.” Kate’s parents Carole and Middleton will pay for the honeymoon and their daughter’s dress as part of their £100,000 donation to the costs of the wedding. Meanwhile, Kate, 29, is spending the remaining time before the wedding at her family home in Bucklebury, Berkshire, England, where she is relaxing by watching TV show ‘MasterChef’. A source said: “They’re big fans of ‘MasterChef’ and sit with their dinner discussing it.”

juju is gone and with this dance, we’re going to create magic.” Earning a score of 23 out of a possible 30 for the routine, judge Carrie Ann Inaba praised the duo for their “bold, ambitious and borderline crazy” take on the foxtrot. Carrie said: “That was a different take on a foxtrot, but it absolutely suited you. It was bold, it was ambitious, it was a little borderline crazy! You did it - it was magical and I think it was your best dance ever!”

he reality TV star-turned-designer - whose House of Harlow accessories line carries the eyewear - is often voted one of the world’s most stylish women and admits she has a huge number of shades to help accessorize her fashionable outfits. She told Teen Vogue magazine: “I view them as fun masks to accessorize your face. In my defense, I make sunglasses, so I have to researchshop, and I own every pair I’ve ever designed.” Nicole is well known for her signature bohemian look and says she relies on extras to transform her wardrobe staples of jeans and a T-shirt into something special. She explained: “You change the look with accessories. And by accessories, I mean sunglasses, head scarves, shoes, bed jackets. “I’m always missing that in-between layer. On the West Coast, you don’t need a full jacket, but you want something more than just a tank.” The designer also creates footwear but says because she is only 5ft 2in she is more interested in comfort than style. She said: “Comfort takes precedence for me. These are super-high, but because they have a built-in platform, they don’t feel like it. “I am not that girl who can do super-arched heels. All the shoes I design have a cushion and a platform.”


Hemsworth inspired by Hopkins ame Helen Mirren is “very comfortable” with her sexuality. The actress has never thought of herself as beautiful, but has always known she was attractive to men. And the ‘Arthur’ star also believes she is still sexually attractive, even at the age of 65. She said: “I’m not beautiful. I was never beautiful. I just clean up nice! Sexiness is different. I don’t mind being sexy - but on my own terms. I’ve always felt very comfortable about my sexuality. “Women don’t lose their sex appeal as they get older, it just moves into a different kind of arena. I don’t mean full-on sex appeal - that’s really for the young. No, it’s some kind of indeterminate thing - an appreciation of life and wisdom and other things,


perhaps. There should be a special word for it.” Helen - who has appeared naked in several film and TV projects takes pride in her appearance, but ultimately she thinks too much emphasis is placed on what women look like. In an interview with Yours magazine - which is on sale now - she said: “I like getting dressed up and looking good, but there’s far too much emphasis placed on what women look like and it makes me cross there’s so much pressure on women to be beautiful all the time. “I don’t really want to be a part of that and we don’t need it. It’s irrelevant.”

hris Hemsworth finds Sir Anthony Hopkins “inspiring”. The Australian star plays the titular character in new Marvel superhero movie ‘Thor’ alongside Anthony as Odin, and Chris admitted he was shocked at the 73-year-old Welsh actor’s down to earth attitude. In an interview in the May issue of Men’s Health magazine, he explained: “His whole approach to this business, his work ethic and attitude on set was inspiring, however many films down the track he still has that and he still is excited to be there and treats everyone as equals and everything he does, he is an impressive person. I love Paul Giamatti, Johnny Depp, Al Pacino and Matt Damon, you know, I could go on and on.” While 27year-old Chris - whose younger brother Liam is also an actor and will soon appear in the big screen adaptation of ‘The Hunger Games’ - loves his job, he revealed he initially decided on a career in front of the camera because he couldn’t decide what to do with himself. The hunky star - who is married to Spanish actress Elsa Patakay -


said: “I always loved film, but never thought about it as a career choice. I had a different idea of what I wanted to do professionally every week. You know, I was a lawyer one week, a doctor, a sportsman in some way, and then I found out I can pretend to do all those things in acting.”

Hudgens is ‘embracing’ being single he 22-year-old actress - who split from her ‘High School Musical’ co-star Zac Efron in December after dating him for five years and has most recently been linked to Josh Hutcherson - doesn’t “need a guy” to be happy and is enjoying discovering more about herself. When asked if she is looking for a relationship, she said: “No, I’m really happy embracing this moment. Right now I feel so happy and I have so much going on, I don’t necessarily need a


guy. “Whether I’m single or not, this is an amazing time in my life. I’m a young woman and I’m exploring who I am.” However, the ‘Beastly’ star would like to fall in love again - but thinks it is more likely to happen if she doesn’t try to find her ‘Mr. Right’. In an interview with LOOK magazine, she said: “Love comes when you’re not looking, so I’ve decided I’m not going to look!” When the pretty brunette does find another man, she hopes he’ll have a good sense of

humor and will be happy to join her on the dancefloor. Describing her dream boyfriend, she said: “Someone who doesn’t take himself too seriously, because I don’t! A guy who makes the best out of every situation, is positive and a good dancer, because I need someone who will dance with me.”—BangShowbiz



e niv rsar n



lifestyle MUSIC & MOVIES

Fela Kuti

British singer Susan Boyle poses for pictures beside her wax work figure at Madame Tussauds in Blackpool, north-west England, yesterday. —AFP

brought back to life in Nigeria-just

in time

Boyle has been immortalized in wax by Madame Tussauds Photo taken on September 15, 1988, shows Nigerian afro-beat singer and musician Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, who died on August 2, 1997. —AFP


he spirit of Nigeria’s legendary musician and activist Fela Kuti comes alive in Lagos this week with a Broadway musical putting the late Afrobeat icon back on the stage in his proud motherland. The timing turns out to be perfect: President Goodluck Jonathan was declared winner of Nigeria’s elections on Monday, and Kuti was a harsh critic of the ruling elite in a country long held back by corruption. From runs on Broadway and in London that drew rave reviews, the musical “Fela!” now comes home to raucous Lagos, aiming to invoke the passion of a man who was married to 27 women at the same time and formed a commune he declared independent from Nigeria. “Fela is a tornado of a man,” said actor Sahr Ngaujah, who plays one of Africa’s most wellknown musicians and introduced the world to a funky jazz style still popular after his death in 1997. “He was unique... I have loved Fela and his music since I was a child,” the gap-tooted Sierra Leonean told AFP before a weekend rehearsal for the show opening in a luxury Lagos hotel on Wednesday for a six-day run. As a tribute to Kuti and his fans last week, the show’s organizers put on a concert version of the production at the New Afrika Shrine, the club run by the musician’s family and which replaced his own now-defunct Shrine. Tickets for that show sold for about seven dollars but they will go for a hefty 33-233 dollars for the upcoming ones, earning criticism in an impoverished but oil-rich country where Kuti was among the loudest defenders of the poor. At Sunday’s rehearsal for the main run of shows, Ngaujah’s vocals and superb grasp of Kuti’s mannerisms and skill with the saxophone drew enthusiastic cheers from 200 invited guests-from fashion designers to academics. “I love Lagos, I love Nigeria and I love the Shrine,” Ngaujah sang in Nigeria’s pidgin English-referring to Kuti’s now-defunct club-with back-up from a dozen rocking “Fela girls”. At the rehearsal, Ngaujah’s version of Kuti’s famous “Rere-run”, which means “Burst of Trouble” in the Yoruba language, went down particularly well, pulling the audience and even stage managers to their feet. “The things I share with Fela are his passion for work, his courage,” the actor told AFP before performing in a black tee-shirt on which was boldly inscribed “Naija man”-pidgin for Nigerian man. A banner above the stage bore the images of other African icons: ex-Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah, Congo’s Patrice Lumumba, Sekou Toure from Ghana, American rights activist Marcus Garvey and radical former Burkina Faso president Thomas Sankara. Also there was Fela’s late mother Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, a feminist and one of Nigeria’s most prominent political activists. Executive producer Rikki Stein said it was a feat to bring the show to Lagos, a city of some 15 million people, little public transport and loads of logistic complications. “I feel challenged by the play being staged here, but I am happy about it too,” the Briton told AFP, adding though that he was the right man for the job after his long partnership with the performer. “I was Fela’s manager all over the world for 15 years until he died in 1997. I am also a self-appointed guardian of Fela’s legacy,” he said. —AFP


he ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ hitmaker unveiled her likeness - which cost £150,000 to create - in the British seaside resort of Blackpool, North West England. With every detail of the 50year-old star encapsulated in the creation, Susan admitted she was thrilled with the outcome. She said: “What can you say? They have done a very good job. It feels fantastic. It was such a great process to be involved in and it looks very realis-

tic. She’s doing a better job than me!” While the wax model - wearing a sophisticated black outfit donated by the singer herself will go on display alongside the likes of British TV veteran Bruce Forsyth in the Big Night In section of the attraction, Susan admitted she would rather her likeness was stood next to music mogul Simon Cowell. When asked where she would like her waxy alter-ego to be placed, she

said: “Next to Simon Cowell, of course, no doubt about that!” Matthew Titherington, general manager of the attraction, added: “We are delighted to welcome Susan at Madame Tussauds Blackpool as we put finishing touches to our exciting new attraction.” Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift are among the other stars recently immortalized in wax by Madame Tussauds. —Bang Showbiz

Kanye West saves day, reputation at Coachella K anye West doesn’t have the best track record as a festival attraction: remember the ill-planned performance at Bonnaroo 2008 when he emerged hours late to perform a lighting-showreliant set as the sun came up to a bitter, rapidly-emptying corral of fans. So, his festival-closing set at Coachella on Sunday was under a fairly intense microscope: Another major screw-up in such a highprofile environment would shred his reputation. Thankfully, that was far from the case. Starting just 15 minutes after his scheduled 10:30 start time (the blame for which rests squarely on other acts earlier in the day), West delivered a grandiose, theatrical performance destined to be remembered as one of the great hip-hop sets of all time. Every moment of the carefully-choreographed set was larger than life, beginning with West’s entrance. He rose above the audience via an enormous crane that swung him over nearly the entirety of the main stage’s gigantic swath of real estate while blasting through “Dark Fantasy.” The high-intensity start was followed by a run-through of nearly all of West’s hits (“Stronger,” “Gold Digger,” “Through The Wire”) divided into a cinematic, three-part arc that was mostly special-guest free and hit surprising emotional resonance mid-set, when West declared his Coachella performance the most important to him since his

Kanye West gestures during his performance at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, Sunday.—AP

So long, Peter Parker, red-and-blue


new look and a new suit are in store for Ultimate Spider-Man, but the fate of Peter Parker - the awkward teenager who catches thieves like flies - is still a mystery. Marvel Comics said Monday that Parker is taking off the Spidey costume for good as part of its “Death of Spider-Man” story in its Ultimate Comics imprint, but it has offered scant clues as to what ultimate fate may befall the high schooler who was bitten by a radioactive spider. One thing is for certain: The iconic red-and-blue spider suit is history, replaced by a sleek, streamlined black outfit with a deep red spider on the chest and cobwebs on the shoulders and head. Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso said that while Parker’s fate is still uncertain “Let’s just say that Peter acts like the hero

mother’s unexpected death in 2007. The heft of that statement carried through the per formance’s end, when West nearly teared up during the poignant “Hey, Mama.” West’s strength felt needed on a day of mixed performances. Other than a solid, stoned main-stage set from “Black and Yellow” rapper Wiz Khalifa, not much resonated with the sold-out (if exceedingly tired) crowd. A much-hyped reunion of Canadian rockers Death From Above 1979 turned out to be more noisy than worth making noise about, and LA’s cute Best Coast were just that, no more. Even the National-the moody, dark rockers who seem to be on the verge of a breakthroughhad a hard time connecting, with many fans sitting or sleeping rather than appearing engaged. Standing above the fray in the evening were Duran Duran, out to re-prove their hipness after years as a state-fair mainstay, and Coachella veterans Chromeo, a Palestinian/Israeli dance-pop duo. Both delivered different versions of 1980sstyle, synth-heavy, interaction-encouraged pop (though only one ac tually helped invent the genre). The Strokes drew a monstrous crowd, while PJ Harvey attracted considerably fewer fans to a drab, if well-intentioned set that found her playing everything from auto-harp to acoustic guitar. — Reuters

Spidey suit

he is, and pays a price for it,” he said there will be someone new slinging webs across Manhattan this summer after the current story arc written by Brian Michael Bendis with Mark Millar wraps up in “Ultimate Spider-Man” No. 160. As for who that person may be, Alonso won’t say. “We’re confident that once readers get to know the person who wears the new Spider-Man, they are going to fall in love,” he told The Associated Press. “This is a whole new voyage of selfdiscovery for the 21st century.” SpiderMan fans need not worry because the Ultimate imprint is separate from Marvel’s bigger universe and whatever fate befalls Parker won’t count in the pages of the other series, including “Amazing Spider-Man.” —AP

Lelouch: Films not for the head, but the heart


eted for a career that has spanned 40 films and a half-century, Claude Lelouch voices one nagging regret: that he never made a Hollywood movie. Ar tistic differences, the French filmmaker told AFP in an interview, stood in the way of that, although he professes a profound love for America, where he made two of his films. The movie-making industry in the United States focuses on crowd-pleasers calculated to sell tickets, while Lelouch said his work is in the tradition of “cinema auteur, in which the filmmaker heeds, first and foremost, his own artistic voice. “What I love now,” he said in an interview on the margins of a major film festival wrapping up here, “is not knowing where I am going.” It is a vision of filmmaking which he concedes is at odds with the prevailing ethos of Hollywood, where box office is king. Lelouch is in Hollywood

French Director Claude Lelouch poses in Los Angeles, California on April 16, 2011. —AFP

for the City of Lights, City of Angels (COL-COA) film festival, created in 1996 by The FrancoAmerican Cultural Fund, a collaboration of French and US entities which aims to showcase new French cinema. The award winning filmmaker also has a film being screened here in its West Coast debut, “From One Film To Another”-”D’un Film a l’Autre,” which was released in France last week. A giant of French cinema, Lelouch actually directed two movies filmed in the United States, the first of which was “Un homme qui me plaÓt” (1969) with Jean-Paul Belmondo and Annie Girardot, which was released in America under the title “Love is a Funny Thing.” His other movie filmed in this country was the 1977 movie “Un autre homme, une autre chance” (“Another Man, Another Chance), with James Caan and Francis Huster. —AFP

In this publicity image released by Marvel Comics, a comic illustration of Spider-Man is shown. Marvel Comics says Peter Parker is taking off his costume for good as part of its ‘Death of Spider-Man’ story in its Ultimate Comics imprint.— AP



e niv rsar n



lifestyle T r a v e l

Buda Castle, a 13th century fortress, is at the core of the ancient city of Buda and is surrounded by museums, monuments, and churches. Castle Hill, upon which it stands, allows commanding views of the city.

You won’t go hungry in

Hungary’s ‘Paris of the East’ “H

ey!” an almost-naked man cheerily called to me. “Um, hey, back at you,” I couldn’t help but giggle as I answered, waving with one hand, my camera in the other. “You take my picture,” he commanded in halting, Hungarian-accented English before a striking a Schwarzenegger-like Mr Universe pose. Click. Click, click, click. Then, with once last slightly embarrassed glance, I rushed away quickly, both of us laughing and waving to one another.

Among Central Market’s many treasures are cooking classes, where you can learn to make Hungarian goulash from chefs such as Andras Olgyai.

The jokester was waist-deep in one of Budapest’s medicinal baths. And, yes, he most certainly was wearing a bathing suit as he enjoyed the hot, swirling water. The Turks occupied Hungary in the 16th and 17th centuries, and with them they brought the now famous medicinal baths. Relics of the past, the baths are good for what ails you through hydrotherapy, aromatherapy, and physiotherapy. Swimming pools are a rarity in Budapest, so the locals and tourists alike come to the beloved baths as a substitute. In post-communist Hungary, somehow it seems remarkable that it was only just over two decades ago in 1989 that the Iron Curtain, in a sense the ultimate of metaphors, came tumbling down. That signaled the beginning of hope for Eastern Europeans, and in Hungary, where the first cracks in the curtain actually began with the removal of its fearsome border fences, cities like Budapest began their phoenix-like rise from the ashes of the Cold War. With the end of communism came the beginning of tourism, and Budapest, nicknamed the “Paris of the East” for its eclectic collection of churches, outdoor cafes and music, began to open wide its arms to the world. And like Paris, which is ribboned by the River Seine, part of Budapest’s scenic glory comes from the romance of the River Danube that lazily flows through the city. Budapest, with is population of about 2 million, actually is two cities. Buda, surrounded by and

lifted onto a natural pedestal by the Buda Hills, is etched with venerable outlines of the Royal Palace and Buda Castle and gothic-like cobbled streets. Pest, on the eastern side of the Blue Danube, lies on flatter land and is the lively center of it activity with restaurants, bars, cafes and boutiques. “In the case of Budapest,” says Mihaly Hardy, a local whom I befriended, “you have to dig in and find all the different levels.” In the years since the Iron Curtain fell, those who live in Budapest _ Budapestians? Budapestans? Budas? Pests? — have surrendered to the carpe diem lifestyle: They live for the day and love life in this post-communist city resplendent with Roman fortifications, those steamy Turkish baths and, as Hardy suggests, layers of culture. As for those baths, Pul Kis of the Danubius Grand Hotel Margitsziget explains that Hungary is in a volcanic valley, which means it’s underscored by geothermic heat. Water from the springs can be very hot, so it must be mixed with cooler water. Kis explains, “Everywhere in Hungary, if you stick a stick in the ground, water comes up. We use the water for treatments, wellness, and fitness. Come to us for 14 days, and you go home 14 years younger.” And when you get hungry in Hungary, try goulash, an iconic dish as well-known as the baths. The cuisine is influenced by all of Europe because of its closeness to other countries, and goulash, a spicy, hearty meatand-vegetable soup, is a staple at every restaurant. “Goulash can be made of any kind of meat: beef, chicken, lamb, it doesn’t matter,” says Chef Andras Olgyai. “And we put enormous amounts of onion into everything.” One place to try goulash is Gundel, the city’s most famous restaurant for fine dining. It opened in 1894 and is named for Chef Karoly Gundel, who took it over in 1910. With an extensive drink list and a Sunday brunch equal to none in the city, Gundel does goulash right. Your tummy full, try a night on the town. Budapest is known as the City of Ruin Pubs, from “romkocsma,” a word that translates to “ruin pub,” and is a hub of sorts for nightlife. Even with the pubs’ crumbling facades, peeling paint, ramshackle bare brick, and sometimes

even bullet holes from a war here and there, these pubs are great places to drink and get to know locals. Two to definitely try: Szimpla Kert, the first ruin pub in the city, and Otkert, opposite Danube Palace. Also find time to squeeze in a lunch or dinner cruises along the Danube. Our group took a night cruise on the Legenda (, and the city glimmered and glistened under golden light as the cruiser passed myriad palaces, bridges, and statues. Known for its architectural lavishness of Heroes Square, Andrassy Avenue, St Stephen’s Basilica, the Parliament, Fisherman’s Bastion, the Opera House, the entire Castle District, and Dohany Street Synagogue, the largest synagogue in Europe, Budapest is a big, walkable city. One of my very favorite stops is Central Market. I love busy brimming-with-color open markets, and this one fits my criteria perfectly. First built in 1897 and restored in 1994, the always buzzing market is strung with fresh produce, peppers, meats, and cheeses. There are restaurants, gift shops, and clothing boutiques. This place is sensory overload in an extremely good way, and it’s an excellent destination during the Christmas Market season.

Hungarian goulash, a spicy, hearty meat and vegetable soup, is a staple at nearly every restaurant in Budapest.

Shoppers can find locally made gifts, one-of-a-kind clothing, and intricately beaded linens along Budapest’s narrow, old streets.



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lifestyle T r a v e l Budapest’s Ferihegy Airport, which just underwent a complete renovation and reopened last month, is thoroughly modern with SkyCourt shops, cafes, bars, floor-to-ceiling windows. It is considered one of the leading airports of the post-Cold War era. — MCT photos

Heroes Square is the most spectacular square in Budapest. Adored with figures of the ‘greats’ from Hungarian history, the square is surrounded by the Art Gallery and the Museum of Fine Arts.

If you go

Whether it’s the soothing strains of the Danube Symphony Orchestra, the world-renowned folk-androck Sziget Festival in August — “It’s sort of the Woodstock of Hungary,” says Hardy-the beat of a local band at a ruin pub, or a traditional folklore play (think whirling skirts, vests, and puffy-sleeved shirts), music is the heart and soul of Budapest. As you listen to and explore Budapest, give yourself a break along the way by having a sumptuous pastry at Muvesz Cafe on Andrassy Avenue or joking with a half-naked man at Turkish bath. Either way, it’s a real treat.

Getting there: Budapest’s Ferihegy Airport, which just underwent a complete renovation and reopened in March, is bigger than London’s Heathrow at 3,700 acres. Now thoroughly modern with SkyCourt shops, cafes, bars, floor-to-ceiling windows, it is one of the leading airports of the post-Cold War era. We flew nonstop on Delta ( from JFK, at the time the only airline with nonstop flights from the US directly to Hungary (nonstop service is June-October), and stayed at the also thoroughly modern Budapest Marriott (—MCT

Civil War sites in Maryland The Best Farm, part of the Monocacy National Battlefield, in Frederick, Maryland, sits on property originally owned by the Vincendiere’s family, who had the second largest population of enslaved people in Frederick County. Archeologists will continue excavations in the Slave Village this summer.


hile the first shots of the Civil War were fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor in South Carolina, the first blood spilled in fighting occurred in Baltimore on April 19, 1861, when a mob of Southern sympathizers clashed with Massachusetts soldiers who’d debarked from a train on their way to Washington. Eight rioters, one bystander and three soldiers were killed, while dozens were wounded. Situated as it was on the border between North and South, Maryland is home to Civil War sites large and small, from the sweeping landscape of the Antietam Battlefield National Park in Sharpsburg, where 23,000 men were killed, wounded or went missing in the bloodiest single day in US history, to the Surratt House Museum in the outskirts of Washington, where the conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln and other top government officials was hatched. Here is a listing of key Civil War sites in the state: Antietam National Battlefield, Sharpsburg, 301-4325124, The battle fought here in September 1862 ended the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia’s first invasion of the North and led Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves held in areas under Confederate control. Fort McHenry, 2400 E Fort Ave, Baltimore, 410-962-4290, The harbor fort that repelled a British fleet in the War of 1812 also served as a prison camp for Southern sympathizers and Confederate prisoners of war. Exhibits and April events. Maryland Historical Society, 20 West Monument St, Baltimore, 410-685-3750. The society’s museum opens the state’s largest and most comprehensive exhibit on the Civil War on April 16: interactive displays, storytellers in period costume and a “time tunnel” to transport visitors back to 1861. Samuel Mudd House, Waldorf, 301-274-9358. The house where Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth, was treated for a broken leg as he fled Washington. Dr Mudd was

National Museum of Civil War Medicine devotes exhibits to treatment of sick and wounded in the war.

imprisoned but later pardoned. Monocacy National Battlefield, 4801 Urbana Pike, Frederick, 301-662-3515, Union troops under Gen Lew Wallace confronted and delayed a Confederate army led by Gen. Jubal Early as it marched on Washington in 1864. National Museum of Civil War Medicine, Frederick, 301-695-1864, Exhibits devoted to treatment of sick and wounded in the war. Main museum at 48 E Patrick St in Frederick, but also field hospital at Antietam battlefield and house used by Clara Barton in Washington. Point Lookout State Park, 11175 Point Lookout Road, Chesapeake Beach, Scotland, 301-872-5688. Peninsula where Potomac River meets Chesapeake Bay, used as prisoner-of-war camp for captured Confederate soldiers.

Museum and nature center opens in May, with living history events planned in May, June, July and August. 11175 Point Lookout Road South Mountain State Battlefield, Middletown, 301-791-4767, A trio of sites in Maryland state parks on the ridge where Union and Confederate soldiers clashed before the climactic battle at Antietam in September 1862. Main site is in Gathland State Park. Events and self-guided driving tour. Surratt House Museum, Clinton, Former inn where John Wilkes Booth and other Southern sympathizers met to discuss assassinating President Lincoln and key members of his government. — MCT

Laboring Sons Memorial Ground in Frederick, Maryland offers self-guided walking tours of African-American Heritage Sites.

Laboring Sons Memorial Ground entrance. —MCT photos

Fela Kuti brought back to life in Nigeria — just in time



Royal knitting

book has Wills and Kate in stitches

Dumond’s colorful spring-summer



umond’s collection for Spring Summer 2011, brand for women’s shoes and accessories, went deep into tropical waters and brought several different colors and shapes from the bottom of the sea into the new season’s pieces. The bets are the Summer Boots - models that transit from winter to summer in a new concept - and the small sac bags. The season presents a color chart with strong and tropical colors like the yellow, red, coral and several shades of blue, green and also the classic shades of gray, beige, Brown and black. Among the new materials there are the otter printing - bovine hair on leather and oyster - bovine leather with serigraphy. One of the lines of the collection is the Reefs, which blends organic shapes to the color composition to build truly underwater gardens on the bags and shoes. With strong shades like yellow, coral and green in its color chart, the pieces present sophisticated options in flat sandals, ballerinas and sandals with the new block heel. The Golden Seaweeds has its inspiration in the golden brown pigment of the marine bodies and it brings models that add modern lines, clean look and exotic style. The highlights are the heels inspired in the fish fins and starfishes. The Crystal Clear Waters reproduce the transparency, fluidity and lightness from the seas and oceans into delicate pieces. With transparent, draped and soft leather finishing, the line bets in ankle shaped sandals - with buckling stripe or zipper, for a modern look. The new pieces of the collection are the wedges, returning as the season’s trend. For those who value the traditional flat sandals the collection offers several exclusive lines. There are options for different preferences and styles, and the brand presents the perfect match of comfort and style with models ranging from the strongest ones until the light and casual ones. Classic in every season; the ballerinas couldn’t be left out, and they come in full of life and with the inspiration in the magic of the Brazilian Summer. So this Spring Summer, Dumond has it all for you at Shoe Mart located in Centrepoint stores at Al Rai, Salmiya, Hawally, Kuwait City, Fahaheel, Jahra and Fintas.


he bride’s dress, it can now be revealed, is made of wool. So are the groom, the guests and the royal corgi. Amid the acres of souvenirs, memorabilia and merchandise produced to mark the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, one surprise success is “Knit Your Own Royal Wedding,” a stitchby-stitch guide to creating the April 29 event out of yarn. The book has sold 50,000 copies and been through four print runs since it was released last month by a small English publisher, Ivy Press. It is part of a tide of stitching, printing, painting and other handicrafts that are commemorating the royal nuptials - and celebrating a a quirkily old-fashioned sense of British style. “Knit Your Own” author Fiona Goble spent a month creating patterns for wedding figures including William and Kate, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Prince Harry, the Archbishop of Canterbury and even one of the queen’s beloved corgi dogs. “Kate was quite hard, because she doesn’t have many distinguishing features,” said Goble, whose previous books include “Knitivity,” a woolen Christmas scene. “The one that was the easiest was Harry because he has bright red hair - I say that as a fellow redhead - with close-set eyes and a square jaw.” Like many other royal wedding crafts, “Knit Your Own” is irreverent - it’s accompanied by a promotional video that shows the woolly royals dancing a conga line - without being mean-spirited. Goble said her book was created in a spirit of “creativity and frivolity.”“I wanted them to look quirky and friendly, not hideous caricatures there have been enough of those of the royal family,” she said. “I wanted them to look like the real people. Obviously there is a limit to what you can do in a knitted doll, but I wanted there to be some distinguishing figures.” Much of the figures’ charm lies in the details

Goble has labored to create, from the medals on the men’s military uniforms to the blue oval engagement ring on Kate’s finger. The book includes instructions for different outfits, including the blue wrap dress Middleton wore at the engagement announcement in November. “We took a lot of trouble getting the clothes right,” Goble said. “And I spent a lot of time getting the hairstyles right: Camilla’s flicks and the queen’s hairspray and set.” The book has proved a big hit, even though the time commitment involved in making the figures is daunting. Goble says it should take a competent knitter between five and seven hours to create each figure. She found the corgi the hardest, its tiny legs a challenge to even the seasoned knitter. Can’t knit? Don’t despair. Royal wedding fans also can purchase William and Kate coloring books, paper dolls and a “William and Kate Dress-up Dolly Book.” Cross Stitcher magazine has offered a “funky commemorative sampler” of Kate, while individual craftspeople have produced everything from a “Keep Calm and Marry On” cross-stitch, inspired by a famous wartime poster, to Kate and William gloves - the “Kate” one embroidered with a blue engagement ring. A hip private members club in London recently held a craft fair dedicated to the royal wedding. Craft writer and blogger Perri Lewis said the diversity of the creations was striking. “Half the people had done anti-monarchy stuff like ceramic anarchist mugs, and on the other

File photo shows a book by Fiona Goble entitled ‘Knit Your Own Royal Wedding’, on display in London. — AP side were people selling Kate and William jewelry,” she said. The explosion of hand-crafted creativity is part of a movement that has seen Britain’s army of crafters responding to current events - sometimes satirically, often affectionately, in a blaze of retro typography and Union Jack stripes. Lewis said she first noticed it during last year’s British election, which produced knitted versions of Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and cross-stitched Conservative chief David Cameron. “It’s the inappropriateness of it - you don’t expect to see politicians in knitted form or Kate and Will made out of felt,” Lewis said. “The whole unexpectedness of it is what makes it go viral. “It attracts people who don’t necessarily care for knitting. They wouldn’t look at a scarf or a cardigan, but if you tell them there’s a knitted David Cameron, they’ll have a look.” That’s certainly true of “Knit Your Own Royal Wedding,” whose appeal goes well beyond Britain’s knitting circles. Goble said she thought the buyers would be “knitters who wanted to do something a bit different.” “But it’s also people who buy royal wedding souvenirs, people who want something that’s a bit different - not a mug or a tea towel.” —AP

World’s oldest man T

he world’s oldest man, Japanese citizen Jiroemon Kimura, turned 114 yesterday, celebrating the day away from the public spotlight with his family near Kyoto. “It is a great honor, and words alone cannot describe my feelings,” Kimura said, according to city officials in Kyotango, Kyoto prefecture, who congratulated him. Born on April 19, 1897, Kimura worked at a post office for about 40 years and after his retirement turned to farming until age 90. He has seven children, of whom five are still alive, 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great-grandchildren. Kimura now spends most of the day in bed except when he eats three times a day, the city quoted Eiko Kimura, the wife of one of his grandchildren, as saying. He has a good appetite and is particularly fond of red bean cake and rice. According to the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group, Kimura is the world’s oldest man since Walter Bruening, a retired railworker, died of natural causes last Thursday in the US state of Montana at the age of 114. The world’s oldest person is a US woman, 114-year-old Besse Cooper, according to the group. She was born on August 26, 1896.—AFP

turns 114 in Japan

Jiroemon Kimura of Japan poses at his home in Kyotango, Hyogo Prefecture on April 19, 2011. —AFP

Denmarkʼs Noma named worldʼs best restaurant A Danish restaurant whose menu has featured moss, lichen and other earthy northern ingredients has topped a list of the world’s best restaurants for a second year. Copenhagen’s Noma, run by chef Rene Redzepi, gained first place in the annual S Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards, announced Monday. Redzepi has built an international reputation with his “neo-Nordic” cooking, which uses indigenous ingredients such as snails, sea buckthorn and wild herbs. Dishes on the current menu include picked vegetables and bone marrow and “oysters and the ocean.” William Drew, editor of Restaurant magazine, said Redzepi’s approach was “redefining Nordic cuisine.” Spanish restaurants El Celler de Can

Chef Rene Redzepi of Danish restaurant Noma speaks to the media after winning first place at the S Pellegrino “World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards 2011,” in central London. — AP

Roca, in Girona, and Mugaritz, in the Basque region near the French border, took second and third places. Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy came fourth. The Fat Duck, Heston Blumenthal’s temple to snail porridge, licorice-poached salmon and other products of “molecular gastronomy,” was the highest-ranked British restaurant, in fifth place. Chicago’s Alinea was the highest-placed North American restaurant for a second year, in sixth place. New York’s Per Se placed 10th. The top 10 was dominated by restaurants in Europe, but the list includes restaurants from 20 countries, including Peru, China, Russia and Mexico. The awards are organized by Restaurant magazine and rankings are selected by more than 800 industry experts, critics and chefs.

The Top 10: 1. Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark 2. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain 3. Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain 4. Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy 5. The Fat Duck, Bray, Britain 6. Alinea, Chicago, United States 7. D.O.M., Sao Paolo, Brazil 8. Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain 9. Le Chateaubriand, Paris France 10. Per Se, New York, United States —AP

20 April  
20 April  

Kuwait Times