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ON SC RI PT I SU B

THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2011

Saboteurs bomb Egypt gas pipeline to Israel, Jordan

Panetta to Pentagon, Petraeus to CIA

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JAMADI ALAWWAL 25, 1432 AH

Magnificent Messi gives Barca 2-0 win over Real

Furor after hackers steal Playstation user data

27 20 10 Kuwait Egyptians urge PM to fire ambassador Sharaf meets Egyptian community, crowds damage car

Max 34 Min 23 Low Tide 02:35 : 14:59 High Tide 09:07 & 20:42

By B Izzak

MP calls for raising pay of cleaners Row over Cabinet delay By B Izzak KUWAIT: Leading Islamist MP and member of the National Assembly’s human rights committee MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei called yesterday for raising the salaries of cleaners who are underpaid and for improving their working conditions. In his proposals, Tabtabaei called for forcing companies employing them or Kuwait Municipality to provide them with breakfast and lunch every day and also called for conducting a study to assess the conditions of cleaners in order to improve their living conditions. More than 100,000 cleaners work in Kuwait with companies that have contracts with the government. Almost all of them receive very small salaries, in some cases as low as KD 20 per month. The ministry of social affairs and labour had issued a decision forcing employers to pay at least KD 40 to the cleaners, but not all the companies have complied with the decision. In addition, cleaners have complained of non- or delay in payment of Continued on Page 13

KUWAIT: Egyptians shout slogans during a meeting between Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf (inset) and the Egyptian community and students at Kuwait University yesterday. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat ( See Page 2)

Obama releases birth form, slams ‘silliness’

Fatah, Hamas bury hatchet

WASHINGTON: Responding to critics’ after the White House released a copy of relentless claims, President Barack the long form of his birth certificate, Obama yesteray produced a detailed which contains more extensive data than Hawaii birth certificate in an extraordi- a version released earlier. The certificate nary attempt to bury the issue of where says Obama was born to an American mother and Kenyan he was born and confather, in Hawaii, which firm his legitimacy to makes him constitutionhold office. He ally eligible to hold the declared, “We do not office of president. have time for this kind Obama released a stanof silliness.” By going dard short form before on national T V from he was elected in 2008 the White House, but requested copies of Obama portrayed himhis original birth certifiself as a voice of reacate from Hawaii offison amid a loud, lincials this week in hopes gering debate on his of quieting the lingerbirth status. Though ing controversy. his personal attention White House officials to the issue elevated it have said the issue was as never before, settled long ago. But soObama said to “birthers” Republican detractors This handout image provided by called and the media, it is the White House shows a copy of opposed to Obama time to move on to the long form of President have kept it alive. Barack Obama’s birth certificate Potential Republican bigger issues. presidential candidate Citing huge budget from Hawaii. — AP decisions in Washington, Obama said, “I Donald Trump recently began questionam confident that the American people ing why Obama, a Democrat, had not and America’s political leaders can come ensured the long form was released. together in a bipartisan way and solve From the early primary state of New these problems. We always have. But Hampshire, Trump took credit for getting we’re not going to be able to do it if we Obama to act. Continued on Page 13 are distracted.” Obama spoke shortly

CAIRO: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah group has inked a deal with bitter rival Hamas to end their long-running feud and form an interim government ahead of elections this year, officials said yesterday. Israel said the accord, which was brokered in secrecy by Egypt, would not secure peace in the Middle East and urged Abbas to carry on shunning the Islamist movement, which has governed the Gaza Strip since 2007 after ousting Fatah in a civil war. Forging Palestinian unity is regarded as crucial to reviving any prospect for an independent Palestinian state, but Western powers have always refused to deal with Hamas because of its refusal to recognise Israel and renounce violence. “We have agreed to form a government composed of independent figures that would start preparing for presidential and parliamentary elections,” said Azzam Al-Ahmad, the head of Fatah’s negotiating team in Cairo. “Elections would be held in about eight months from now,” he added. Hamas won the last Palestinian legislative elections held in 2006 and a new ballot is months overdue. Israel is worried such a vote could hand Hamas control of the occupied West Bank, which is run by Abbas and his more secular supporters. “The Palestinian Authority must choose either peace with Israel or peace with Hamas. There is no possibility for peace with both,” Netanyahu said in a televised statement. Nabil Abu Rudeina, a spokesman for Abbas, dismissed these remarks.” In reaction to Netanyahu’s remarks we say that Palestinian reconciliation and the agreement reached today in Cairo is an internal Palestinian affair,” Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP. Continued on Page 13

UAE quiet but reformers face heat DUBAI: No protesters have taken to the streets calling for reforms. There’s been barely a public whisper about whether the Arab uprisings could intrude on the cozy world of the United Arab Emirates’ rulers. The main challenge to authority so far has been a modest online petition urging for open elections and the creation of a parliament. But even that crossed a line. Security agents have arrested at least five Internet activists over the past month. The swift government action to snuff out any whiff of dissent shows that, despite the UAE’s transformation into a cosmopolitan showcase, it has never outgrown its tribal-style rule that keeps power in the hands of just a few. The Emirates’ tight-grip controls have long been accepted as just part of the Gulf political equation for its Western allies and even touted by the country’s leaders as the critical ingredient for their bold-stroke ambitions: no debate, just build. Yet the UAE may be opening itself to a new era of scrutiny as it has inserted itself into the region’s upheavals - backing Bahrain’s embattled monarchy, looking for an exit for Yemen’s president and supporting the NATO force hammering Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. UAE envoys are suddenly thrown into high-stakes diplomacy. On Tuesday, the Abu Dhabi crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, met with US President Continued on Page 13

RAS AL-KHAIMA: In this March 14, 2011 photo, Waleed, an Emirati activist, points out at a cement factory explaining about people suffering from smoke and pollution during a recent tour. — AP

KUWAIT: Hundreds of Egyptian residents of Kuwait yesterday gave a resounding welcome to their first prime minister in the post-Mubarak era, Essam Sharaf, but made several demands including a call to fire the Egyptian ambassador to Kuwait. Sharaf met with the Egyptian community at Kuwait University in Shuwaikh and patiently listened to their complaints which focused on the bad treatment they have been getting from the Egyptian embassy and consulate. More than one speaker said the ambassador was not paying any attention to them and to their needs in Kuwait. Following the meeting, witnesses said that a number of angry Egyptians damaged a vehicle belonging to the embassy. And a number of Egyptian websites reported that Sharaf later fired the ambassador to Kuwait on the basis of the complaints. The report however could not be independently confirmed. The scene in Abdullah AlJaber hall at Kuwait University in Shuwaikh was electrifying as the mostly Egyptian crowd chanted almost non-stop revolutionary slogans praising the Egyptian revolution and Sharaf. In a very brief speech, Sharaf reiterated Cairo’s stance toward the security of the Arab Gulf states, saying that those who interfere in the security of the Gulf states are in fact interfering in Egyptian security. The Egyptian premier, in Kuwait on his first overseas trip as part of a Gulf tour, said that the security situation in Egypt has improved but not to the desired level, adding the government will implement a comprehensive plan to improve the security situation, insisting that what happened in Egypt was a huge event. Continued on Page 13

KABUL: An Afghan policeman leads a fireman out of the scene of a burning NATO fuel tanker on Jalalabad-Kabul highway yesterday. — AP

Afghan pilot guns down 9 Americans KABUL: An Afghan ex-pilot opened fire after a row at a Kabul training centre yesterday, leaving eight US troops and an American contractor dead in the worst attack of its kind in almost a decade of war. Although the killings appear to have stemmed from a disagreement rather than a rebel attack, they highlighted the prevailing insecurity in Afghanistan, 10 years after a US-led invasion ousted the Taleban from power. The deaths are also likely to raise fresh questions over the massive NATO-led effort to expand and train Afghanistan’s military and police so they can take control of security when foreign combat operations end in 2014. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) confirmed that eight of its troops and one civilian who were training Afghan forces died in the shooting. A Pentagon spokesman said all nine fatalities were American. Afghan defence ministry spokesman Mohammad Zahir Azimi said the shootings happened at around 11:00 am (0630 GMT ) when “an argument took place between an (Afghan) air force officer and foreign colleagues”. Colonel Mohammed Bahadur Raeeskhail, the Afghan air force’s media relations chief, said the shooting came as Afghan and international staff gathered in a conference hall for a regular briefing. He identified the 45-year-old gunman as a former pilot who had been working as an air force administrator. “We don’t know what exactly happened to trigger

the shooting,” added Raeeskhail. It was also not immediately clear if all nine Americans died from bullets fired by the former pilot. The gunman was shot dead by Afghan soldiers following the killings, which took place at NATO’s Air Training Command Afghanistan centre on a site shared by Kabul’s military and civilian airports. The Taleban claimed responsibility for the incident in a text message to AFP, but are known routinely to exaggerate their claims. An Afghan official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the gunman was from a well-respected Kabul family and that the shooting was the result of a disagreement, not terrorism. He is thought to have used a pistol in the shooting, the source added. The incident was condemned by President Hamid Karzai, who said that five members of the Afghan air force were also wounded. He vowed to launch an investigation. An Afghan pilot who spoke on condition of anonymity, identified the gunman as Ahmad Gul from Tarakhail district of Kabul province. Dr Mohammad Hassan Sahibi, the brother of the shooter, said his brother had been battling financial troubles. But Sahibi said his brother had no ties to insurgents. “He was 48 years old,” Sahibi told Tolo, a private television station in Kabul, “He served his country for years. He loved his people and his country. He had no link with Taleban or Al-Qaeda. Continued on Page 13


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Kuwait Digest

May Day By Waleed Al-Rujaib

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he International Workers’ Day which is celebrated on May 1 by several countries around the world is around the corner. This holiday marks the workers’ struggle to get their legitimate rights to a decent living, following years of employers’ abuse. Since the beginning of time, work has played a pivotal role in the progress of societies and human beings. The relationship between people and production has helped create social categorizations based on those who own a certain business and the individuals who work in this business. With the industrial revolution that followed the invention of steam engines, large factories which employed a large number of laborers came into existence. During the colonization era in Asia and Africa, the markets expanded, which led to the increase of factory owners’ wealth. At the same time however, the situation of laborers was deteriorating, as they were forced to work for long periods of time while receiving limited pay. After realizing that their strength lies in their unity, laborers started to form groups called labor unions, through which they unified their efforts in demanding their rights which included reducing work hours to eight a day, increasing their pay, and enhancing their living conditions. Soon enough, laborers discovered the effectiveness of labor strikes, which made labor unions become stronger and spread to many countries in Europe as well as America and Australia. Those strikes however were met with violent suppression and imprisonment. Following the Haymarket Massacre which took place on 1886 in Chicago, laborers decided to select a day which symbolizes their struggle and the sacrifices they made to obtain their rights. Eventually, international regulations were created to protect the rights that workers obtained through negotiation with governments and business owners. These regulations were used in several countries to control the formation of labor unions, while at the same time maintain the laborers’ right to protest. — Al-Rai

THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2011

LOCAL

Sharaf extols ties with Kuwait as ‘pacesetter’

Local Spotlight

One bedoon man’s amazing story

Praise for efforts to ensure security KUWAIT: Visiting Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf commended here yesterday Egyptian-Kuwaiti relations as a “pacesetter” in inter-Arab ties. The strength of ties between Egypt and Kuwait stems from external brotherly bonds between the peoples of both nations, as well as both sides’ eagerness to extend bridges of cooperation to include all fields with a view to fulfilling their peoples’ ambitions and expectations, Sharaf said. He said he was impressed by the keenness of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah on the provision of backing and support to the Egyptian people in this critical period in an effort to help put them back on the track of progress and stability. He added that his first Gulf tour since Egypt’s January 25th revolution was mainly meant to underline the unique relationship between Egypt and the GCC member states, hoping that their relations would be further beefed up and cemented in a way that would meet the Egyptian people’s expectations. The GCC member states constitute the strategic depth of Arab national security in general and Arab security in particular, he said, emphasizing that “the Gulf security is a red line that cannot be overstepped, and one of the basic constants that should not be breached under any circumstances”. He reiterated Egypt’s opposition to Iran’s interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries, calling on Tehran to commit itself to neighborly relations and mutual respect with Arab countries. Asked about reports that Cairo and Tehran would restore their diplomatic relations soon, Sharaf said: “Nothing has been done in this respect. Relations with Iran are still at the level of the chargÈ d’affaires for the care of interests. But, the level of relations with the Gulf countries is higher than that.” Post-revolution Egypt’s policy is based on opening a new chapter with all world countries, and relations among countries are based on mutual respect and non-interference in each other’s domestic affairs, as well as good neighborliness, the Egyptian premier said.“Opening a new chapter with Iran cannot overstep or infringe upon the security of the Gulf countries,” Sharaf clarified. On his meetings with Saudi and Kuwaiti officials, he said they shared the same views on several issues of mutual interest, and agreed to work together to push forward relations among all Arab nations. On Yemen, he spoke highly of the GCC countries’ initiative to resolve the Yemeni standoff as a “good initiative that is acceptable to most Yemeni parties”, wishing that the Yemeni crisis would come to an end soon. He appreciated Gulf efforts to ensure security and stability in all Arab countries. On the situation in Egypt, Sharaf reassured that the security situation in his country is now back to normal as Egyptian policemen have been fully deployed nationwide. But, he said incidents that take place between now and then are very normal, but unfortunately they are exaggerated by mass media. “I confirm that life in Egypt is now back to normal. God willing, in the next days, Egypt will be an oasis of security and safety just as it used to be, “ he said. He reiterated that the Egyptian government attaches much attention to security and stability in the country so that production and development could resume.

By Muna Al-Fuzai

muna@kuwaittimes.net

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KUWAIT: Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf listens to a question during a meeting with the Egyptian community and students at Kuwait University yesterday. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat The Egyptian premier voiced confidence that his country’s national economy would recover soon, saying he was impressed by Gulf and Western interest in backing the Egyptian economy. Pointing to Gulf investors’ desire to invest in Egypt, he said: “We are doing our utmost to provide a satisfactory atmosphere to investors, to attain the means of attraction and to ensure necessary guarantees.” He urged Arab businessmen and investors to visit Egypt to explore available investment opportunities there, promising that the government would ensure the success of their investments. Asked about some Kuwaiti investors’ fears over the impacts of the Egyptian revolution on their projects, he said: “Kuwaiti investments in Egypt are safe and sound. No Kuwaiti investor will be affected as long as he acts through legitimate channels.” On the Egyptian Stock Exchange, he said the recent resumption of trading at the bourse had wiped out earlier concerns over potential deterioration thanks to Egyptian and Arab dealers’ backing and demand for buying shares. He listed the gains of the Egyptian January 25th revolution as the Egyptian citizens’ regaining of loyalty to their nation and insistence on the fulfillment of their ambitions and hopes. The Egyptian citizen’s increasing belonging to the nation is the genuine force of Egypt, he said, adding that the revolution has created new sentiments and established the values of cooperation, solidarity and defence of the homeland, which are all the constituencies of success for the coming period. “We have seen such sentiments through collective work for protecting public and private properties during the period of security concerns, and through the firmness of national fabric, national unity, involvement in political life and high turnout in the ‘constitutional’ referendum,” he said. He also boasted that the current media development in Egypt is the fruit of the revolution, given that media is a key tool for nation-building and public development and progress. In conclusion, he reassured all Egyptian expatriates and Arabs about the security situation in Egypt, urging them to visit it and invest there, vowing that Egypt would remain a safe resort for all Arabs, and a protective shield to the Arab world. — KUNA

f it’s hard to live without food or a roof over your head, it is harder still to live without an identity, a knowledge of who you are in society. This is the story of a young Bedoon man. For those of you who don’t know what this term means , it is a term that is widely used in Kuwait to refer to those who have no documents proving their citizenship or showing that they are Kuwaitis not only by birth but by having deep roots in this country from their ancestors. This young man was born in Kuwait, but like many young bedoons he could not attend any government school because the law doesn’t permit him to do so and of course, his parents can’t afford the expenses of a private school. Thus, he never learn how to read or write. That is a great obstacle, I believe, yet this young man refused to give up and made up his mind to overcome this harsh reality. Like many others, I see education as no less important in its way than oxygen to our lives. You don’t only need education to get job, but to fill your mind with knowledge that will help in developing your character and showing who you are on this planet and what you can do. The sad limitations placed on this bedoon man’s life did not undermine his determination to succeed in the job which he wanted to do; without being able to read or write Arabic, English or any other language, he had set his heart on becoming a translator. Yes, it’s an improbable career choice given his circumstances; I know that you’ll all be wondering how could he do that work without being able to read or write a word in any language? Translators, after all, need years of education and experience to work in this field, especially in written work. Not for this clever bedoon, however. It is common in Kuwait to see young bedoon boys selling knock-off copies of CDs and DVDs. I know that this is illegal, being against laws on intellectual property rights, but that doesn’t stop the trade from existing. What this young bedoon man did was to learn on the computer how to use translation programs, then buy copies of films in their original language and download the script into an Arabic translation program...et voila, with translation included, the movie DVDs which he bought for 100 fils each could be sold for KD1, earning him 900 fils per film. And this isn’t just about one DVD or one movie, so think how many copies and films he could sell, especially during holidays and offering a home delivery service. I realize that the legality of this trade is questionable, but for this bedoon man it was a matter of simply making a living. It may be unethical and people who make thousands of dinars may argue that it’s against intellectual property rights laws, but for him it was a matter of making a living and trying to better himself. He did not use his lack of formal education as an excuse for idleness and committed no heinous crime against society like theft or other violent offenses. Rare examples like this of those who truly shape their destiny are worth talking about. Often in Kuwait, bedoons are portrayed as being unfaithful or dishonest. But the fingers of our hands are not all alike and even if some bedoons took up theft as a means of survival, this man chose the other path.


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Years

LOCAL IN MY VIEW

Kuwait Digest

The end of Pan Arabia

Egypt and GCC states By Shereida Al-Moasherji

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By Fouad Al-Obaid

fouad@kuwaittimes.net Twitter: @Fouadalobaid

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e are coming towards the end of time - not of the religious nature; we are at a time when the concept of the Arabs bundled, as a united lot is no longer valid. We are at a time of greater autonomy for the Arab countries and nations who are assuming a greater international role at the individual state level as opposed to the dreamed-of combined grouping. The Arab League has failed as an institution to unite the Arab countries and form a formidable 300 million strong region. Tragically, what the Arab League has achieved is to showcase our disunity due to the divergence at the leadership level. At the Arab street level, the wealth difference has made it that some Arabs see themselves as superior to others and this is clearly seen in the regional emigration pattern and alternatively in the Foreign Direct Investment flow. The Arab Spring which lead to the uprising of the Arab street has pushed a wind of freedom and autonomy from ruthless tyrannical rule in two countries so far - and still counting! Kuwait being a constitutional monarchy with a strong democratic history should encourage the uprising and ensure that we wish for others what we here today have. It is with the future in mind that I salute the government’s acknowledgement and support for the rebel efforts in Libya, which should be viewed as a source of pride. By actively supporting and encouraging the just struggle against a tyrant dictator who has done nothing but wreak havoc and destruction on a proud nation, we are setting a distinguished precedent that should be at the center of our foreign policy objective. The fall of the Egyptian leader and the upcoming accords for the immediate departure of the Yemeni head are all clear signs that things are moving at an accelerated pace in the Arab world and that the upcoming changes will be much more drastic. Although sponsored by the GCC whose democratic credentials for the most part are questionable, the relative stability and prosperity of the GCC citizens and the keenness of their countries’ leadership to offer lavish financial support to their citizens most certainly will ease demands for greater reform on a short-term basis. In the long run, Kuwait could emerge as a model to be followed, once we ourselves manage to fix our democratic institutions and their functioning allowing for a smoother relation between the executive and legislative authorities. I believe that it is time to seek a mediation role in Syria, the last stronghold that has links to their region. We ought to encourage a quick transition from tyrannical rule towards a democratic path that would allow the Syrian people a right of choice in the way they manage their internal affairs. Shooting at protestors should be something that Kuwait condemns and rebukes to the highest degree. We cannot and should not accept such crimes being undertaken in our vicinity and should use the various regional crises as means to boost the undertaking of a confederated GCC able to deal with its neighborhood without foreign intervention.

News

in brief

Vegetable price hike KUWAIT: Concern has been growing among merchants and consumers alike at the Furdah vegetable market in Sulabiya regarding a potential rise in fruits and vegetables prices following the decision taken by the Syrian authorities to close their borders with Jordan. This is known to be the only route for Syria’s products - one of the top suppliers of the local market - to reach Kuwait. And while several merchants believe that Jordanian products will be used as the main alternative to cover Syria’s supply, many others are skeptical of Jordan’s ability to make up for the large shortage that the local market is expecting. Air cargo remains an option, but not for many traders owing to its high costs. This is expected to reflect on the prices rather heavily. New housing units KUWAIT: The Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW) is set to build nearly 75,545 housing units by 2013 as a part of the government’s work program. According to a senior source, a large number of these units have already been finalized in certain areas including Jaber Al-Ahmad, Saad Al-Abdullah, Sabah Al-Ahmad and Al-Khairan. The PAHW will also focus on seeking partnership with the public sector in establishing residential areas, while maintaining coordination with state departments including the Kuwait Municipality and the Ministry of Public Works. Deportation case committee KUWAIT: The minister of justice has issued a decree ordering the reconvening of a joint investigative committee to look into the cases of detainees imprisoned in Kuwait’s deportation centre. The committee will, as formerly, consist of senior officials from the justice, interior and foreign ministries. The minister, Chancellor Rashid AlHamad, who is also Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, also instructed that the committee should be chaired by MoJ Undersecretary Abdulaziz Al-Majid and include three other MoJ officials, as well as three officials from each of the other ministries represented. The minister also issued another decree recently ordering the establishment of a committee to examine the effectiveness of a rehabilitation program for drug addicts.

KUWAIT: The Ambassador of Georgia to Kuwait, Ekaterinie Meiering-Mikadze, visited the Kuwait Times office earlier this week, discussing issues of mutual concern with the paper’s Editor-in-Chief, Abd Al-Rahman Alyan.

College holds special ‘Oasis of Peace for Japan’ charity bazaar Culture comes to our rescue: ACK head By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: A three-day charity bazaar dubbed the ‘Oasis of Peace for Japan’ began on Tuesday evening at the Australian College of Kuwait (ACK). The event organized by ACK’s student government body is being held to raise funds for the victims of the horrendous recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The bazaar was inaugurated by the Japanese Ambassador to Kuwait Yasuyoshi Komizo. Proceeds from the event will be donated to Japan, as token of the students’ empathy, particularly with those affected by the earthquake. In her opening address, Hessa AlKhamees, the bazaar’s project coordinator, thanked the participants and sponsors, expressing special gratitude to the Japanese ambassador for attending the event. “This is our simple way of expressing our sympathy to the people of Japan. We always pray for them, especially for the lost souls. We all hope for the survivors’ speedy recover y and we all hope that they ’ll

remain united and strong as they are today,” Al-Khamees said. Ambassador Komizo expressed his thanks and appreciation for the ACK’s initiative. “The tsunami was really huge and unprecedented,” he said. “More than 27,000 are believed to be dead or missing. That number could still increase. But the encouragement and support you are giving here today give us great courage to stand up and fight the tremendous difficulties we are currently facing.” The ambassador continued, “We are suffering great loss and gripped by sorrow; but because there are some people like you, and of course the international assistance and efforts showed to us we are emerging from the rubble.” Ambassador Komizo said that despite the difficult situation they have witnessed, the Japanese people have shown their determination to prevail and recover. “We in Japan are united; we are helping each other,” he said. “Many young volunteers are helping us. In such tremendous damage, we have seen the beauty of

Situation prevents Bangladeshis from using amnesty KUWAIT: The Ministry of Interior is struggling in its efforts to help members of Kuwait’s expatriate Bangladeshi community to make use of the Amiri amnesty which allows residency law violators to leave the country without paying fines, with once senior security official indicating that this is the only problem that the ministry is facing concerning the amnesty. Speaking to local daily Al-Rai on condition of anonymity, the official explained that Bangladeshis wishing to take advantage of the amnesty face greater problems than those of other nationalities following a decision dating back a few years which bans the recruitment of new Bangladeshi workers. “This stipulation makes a Bangladeshi person who’s violated the residency laws more hesitant to leave the country because doing so basically means they won’t be able to return in the future,” the official explained. Other expatriates who leave during the amnesty period, which lasts up till the end of June, will be able to return to Kuwait in the future provided they have obtained new work permits. The official added that a “very limited number of Bangladeshi expatriates have applied to take advantage of the amnesty since its introduction at the beginning of March.— Al-Rai

Nahj group firm on premier grilling KUWAIT: The newly-formed ‘Nahj’ group is a loose coalition of political blocs and activists which aims primarily to achieve political reform through bringing about the introduction of a new cabinet with a new strategy under a new prime minister, said leading Najh member MP Dr. Walid AlTabtabaie on Monday. The group’s members agree unanimously on the need to present a grilling motion against the reappointed premier, His Highness Sheikh Nasser AlMohammed Al-Sabah during the parliamentary session at which the new cabinet are sworn in, Al-Tabtabaie added. The anti-government MP, who is also a member of the Development and Reform Bloc (DRB), insisted that the DRB will go ahead with its plan to file an interpellation motion against HH the Prime Minister jointly with independent MP Mohammed Hayef if the motion filed by the Popular Action Bloc (PAB) “fails to lead to the cabinet’s resignation or to parliamentary dissolution.” Whilst he did not deny that there might be discussions between the blocs on merging their two motions, AlTabtabaie insisted that no final decision had been taken in this regard. On the substance of the DRB’s grilling motion, the MP confirmed that the Iranian spying network would be one of the primary topics, adding that the cabinet would be questioned over the failure of the previous cabinet to deal with this subject “as they were supposed to.” Al-Tabtabaie stressed that whilst there is no problem whatsoever between the Kuwaiti and Iranian peoples, there is a problem with the Iranian regime “which exports its domestic problems after failing to address them.” The MP was pessimistic about the chances for the new cabinet, meanwhile, suggesting that at least seven of the ministers from the previous cabinet, including the premier, should not be included in the new lineup in order for it to deemed a success. — Al-Rai

the human soul, the beauty of helping hands, the beauty of sharing whatever they could share for humans to survive. I see hope in every pile of rubble, especially for the young people of Kuwait, student of ACK. You are doing this to help, beyond borders, beyond culture and religion.” ACK’s President, Professor Vishy Karri, lauded the humanitarian initiative shown by the college’s students. “If everything we learned from formal education is forgotten, culture comes to our rescue,” he said. “What we have witnessed in Japan is their courage, a testament to an amazing culture,” said Professor Karri. “The culture of Japanese people, which we see unfolding every day on TV is such a beautiful attitude and unbelievable despite the magnitude of disaster they have been through. I am very much amazed by how they are sticking together in hard times, showing such tremendous discipline and an immensely graceful attitude. The country is united, a country of exemplary nature,” he added.

e rejoiced during the Egyptian revolution and celebrated it minute-by-minute. We cried, applauded, and hailed the triumph of the Egyptian people’s well-deserved freedom from a tyrannical government that prevented them from taking active part in the country’s decisions and political welfare. The Gulf people have always felt special solidarity with the Egyptians than those from other Arab countries. Egypt is our strategic ally and has always there to help us in distress. This staunch bond has been targeted by Arabs’ enemies who tried hard to undermine it by all possible means, some known, most hidden. They repeatedly tried to take advantage of each and every minor incident by blowing it out of proportion using the media, hoping it would cause tension between the people of Egypt and the Gulf. We are fully confident that the media campaign that has been infiltrating various Egyptian media accusing KSA and UAE of trying to pressure the ruling military council to stop prosecuting former president Mubarak will fail and break all provocative stories and skepticism. It’s also noteworthy to mention that this suspicious campaign has coincided with Egypt’s declaration that it would improve its political relations with Iran. I can’t at this point elaborate on the relation between the two issues, though. Let’s wait and watch. — Al-Jarida

Ministries unable to collect dues KUWAIT: The Kuwaiti government is owed KD569 million in fees for services provided by ministries, including KD278 million due from the Ministry of Electricity and Water and KD111 million from the Ministry of Finance. This was mentioned in a recent study that summarized the annual State Audit Bureau reports which shed light on the ‘public funds squander phenomenon’ in the sector. The study also indicates that the government’s expenses on salaries has risen to reach KD331 million and mentions losses sustained due to failure in implementing projects whose allocations are included in the respective ministry’s budget. Moreover, the study reports that certain state departments are incapable of applying their own executive decisions owing to poor planning and follow-up. — Al-Qabas


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Kuwait Digest

A proposal for Egypt By Dr Dawood Al-Saleh

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n the occasion of the recent visit of Egypt’s Prime Minister Dr Essam Sharaf, I would like to present a proposal which I believe will help Egypt and other Arab countries including Iraq, Syria and the Gulf Cooperation Council member states. During Hosni Mubarak’s reign as President, Egypt used to obtain an annual aid from the United States of America worth $1.3 billion. This amount was not received in cash, but through military equipment - which was older than what was provided to Israel - and training for the Egyptian Army - and also of lesser quality than what the Israeli Army received in America. My proposal pertains to a project in which a similar amount of money is provided by at least three rich Gulf states and utilized to facilitate construction of industries in several Arab states from 2012 until 2020. For example, Kuwait allocates $1.3 billion to be used from 2012 until 2014 in projects at the mentioned Arab countries. Following that, Saudi Arabia allocates a similar amount to carry out the plan for the years from 2015 until 2017, while the United Arab Emirates would contribute another $1.3 billion for projects from 2018 until 2020. Projects that can be built in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and the GCC states during this period can include industries which these countries need as well as militar y industries and research centers. Furthermore, this plan can help these countries attain industrial decentralization with regard to production, similar to how Airbus builds its fleet of planes (the engine from UK’s Rolls Royce, the body from France or Germany, the wings from Japan, etc). To help better improve the productivity of such project, expertise and equipment can be obtained from countries like India, China and Russia. Should it be successfully applied, the project can achieve several goals that include establishing advanced industries in the Arab World, providing thousands of jobs for Arab laborers in the majority of Arab countries, as well as using the help of qualified Arab researchers who are currently in Diaspora. This is a summary for an idea which I hope to see implemented. — Al-Qabas

News

in brief

Supervisor sues MOC officials KUWAIT: A supervisor in the Ministry of Communications is suing some senior ministry officials who he accuses of being responsible for the failure of preventing administrative violations. In a statement made recently to the press, Citizens’ Service Supervisor Saad Al-Qahs said that he will take legal action against several issues “that have been mentioned in numerous State Audit Bureau annual reports”. He also said that he had already lodged a complaint regarding the same with MP Dr Mohammad Al-Busairi, and that he has evidence to prove his case. Al-Qahs indicated that he was under pressure by several senior officials ever since he lodged the complaint with the minister and added that he discovered that his leave request was not referred to the Civil Service Commission, which resulted in him being penalized.

Hajj committee fines agencies KUWAIT: The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affair’s supreme committee of Hajj affairs decided in a recent meeting to suspend the license of a pilgrimage campaigning agency. This decision was taken over a violation pertaining to providing accommodation to pilgrims. In the meanwhile, the license of another agency was canceled due to serious violations they committed. In a statement to the press, Committee Chairman Dr Khalid Al-Mathkoor said that three other agencies were acquitted from accusations following investigations which found no evidence regarding the complaints made against them. While four agencies were fined, another firm had its insurance fund withdrawn.

THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2011

LOCAL

MSAL denies media reports on work permit restrictions Ministries remain committed to contracts KUWAIT: A senior ministry of social affairs and labor official denied recent reports which indicated that issuing new work permits for citizens of certain countries has been suspended. He noted that the ministry does not put any restrictions on residency unless informed otherwise from the Cabinet or the Interior Ministry. Earlier reports suggested that the Ministry of Interior had indefinitely suspended the issuance of new work permits or fresh residencies for citizens of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Pakistan and Afghanistan

over security reasons. But the Undersecretary Assistant for the Labor sector Mansour Al-Mansour asserted that the MSAL has not received any official letter pertaining to this decision and reiterated that the ministries remain committed to facilitating labor contracts for all nationalities unless instructed. Al-Mansour said that the ministry does not have the authority to ban work permits for expats of any nationality, except by a decree issued by the Cabinet or an official letter from the Ministry of

Interior. Al-Mansour explained that social affairs ministry has no power to ban any nationality from entering the labor market. Therefore, any owner who wants to recruit labor from some nationality cannot be refused, unless instructed otherwise by the Ministry of Interior. On a different note, the same newspaper which published the initial report, quoted a senior MSAL officer as he stated that the labor ministry had been looking for two years for regulations to restrict the recruitment of laborers from the

aforementioned countries, and Bangladesh. The latest report, however, also quoted the MSAL undersecretary Mohammad Al-Kandari as saying that the ministry hasn’t received any notice from the Interior Ministry about new work permit restrictions. This has led to speculations that the Interior Ministry’s decision might have made its way to the press even before it was officially handed to the MSAL. — AlQabas, Al-Rai

Sheikh Nasser to be new defense minister, suggests insider KUWAIT: The constant efforts of one unnamed member of the ruling family on behalf of Sheikh Nasser Sabah AlSabah have borne fruit, according to a high-ranking official, who told a local daily that Sheikh Nasser Sabah has been offered the post of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense as a result. Sheikh Nasser Sabah, the former Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs, is expected to return to Kuwait today, with the insider, who spoke to Al-Shahed on condition of anonymity, suggesting that this indicates that he is set to accept the ministerial portfolio. The insider said that the post of Minister of Diwan Affairs was likely to be offered to the outgoing Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, due to his great political insight and his excellent relations with both other members of

the ruling family and with political groups locally. Sheikh Jaber AlMubarak’s displeasure at this demotion could be the reason behind his current overseas trip, which is officially taking place for him to receive medical treatment, the insider suggested. The insider cautioned, however, that although Sheikh Nasser Sabah is likely to accept the two posts offered, if he were to decide against doing so it would not be the first time he has turned down such an offer. The insider also suggested that the delay in announcing the lineup of the new government was linked not only to the premier’s wish to ensure that the new government will avoid previous governments’ mistakes, but to the delays in both Sheikh Nasser Sabah’s and Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak’s return from their overseas trips. —Al-Shahed

KUWAIT: National Assembly Speaker Jassem Al-Kharafi met here yesterday visiting Jordanian minister of Commerce and Industry Hani Mulqi and his accompanying delegation. During the meeting, the Jordanian guests offered heartfelt condolences to the speaker over the recent death of his brother Nasser Al-Kharafi, a highly renowned businessman.

Kuwait police hunt dead body dumper Dodgy money Customs officers stopped three K azak h expatriates af ter they arrived on a flight from their homeland after discovering that they were carrying $60,000 in cash without having declared the money to customs authorities, in direct violation of international law. The three men are being held for questioning and may face money laundering charges.

By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Police are hunting for the motorist who dumped the dead body of a 26-year-old Egyptian man at Mubarak Hospital early yesterday morning. Hospital staff said that the male driver came into the hospital at around 4:00 AM and asked them for help in bringing a patient into the building whilst he parked his car. The hospital staff complied with his request and rushed his ‘passenger’ into the emergency room, where doctors quickly determined that the man, whose ID showed that he had worked as an engineer with an oil company in Kuwait, had died before his arrival at the hospital. The driver failed to reappear, however, with the staff unable to agree on the motorist’s possible nationality or the model of car he was driving. The police investigation into the case is continuing. ‘Al Jazeera Lion’ caged The Criminal Court has sentenced a Kuwaiti man to 50 months imprisonment after finding him guilty of participating in crimes against members of Kuwait’s security services between August 2004 and February 2005 as a member of the ‘Al Jazeera Lions’ terrorist organization. Thirty-seven people were initially accused in the case. Two drugs deaths A Kuwaiti man was arrested and taken into police custody for questioning over the death of a female compatriot and friend at a house in

KUWAIT: The drug duo pictured after their arrest. Surra, which is believed to be drug related. In a separate case, also yesterday, a young Egyptian man also died of drugs-related causes. Both bodies were removed for autopsy. In a separate case, two drug dealers - a Saudi and a bedoon (stateless) resident were arrested after undercover officers from the General Department of Drug Control (GDDC) posing as customers caught them red-handed selling hashish. Following the arrests, the two men’s homes in Al-Naeem and Sulaibiya were searched, with officers finding a total of two kilograms of the drug. Both have been referred to the relevant authorities for further action.

Road accidents A 32-year-old Kuwaiti man was rushed to Jahra Hospital yesterday after sustaining spinal fractures in a car crash on Salmi Road. In a separate incident, a 25-yearold Indian man was rushed to Adan Hospital after suffering head injuries in a vehicle collision between Blocks One and Two in Jaber Al-Ali. In a third accident, an 18-year-old Kuwaiti man suffered broken bones in his left hand, whilst two male compatriots aged 17 and 18 complained of back pain after a car crash on the King Fahad Road near Adan Hospital, where all three were quickly taken for treatment. Meanwhile, a 33-year-old Indian man was taken to the Amiri Hospital after sustaining injuries to his left arm in a collision near the roundabout adjacent to the mosque in Mirqab. Finally, two Egyptian men, aged 34 and 51, suffered facial injuries in a crash near the Dasman Palace early yesterday morning. Both were taken to the Amiri Hospital.

14,000 sign petition for Gitmo detainees’ release KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti attorney for one of two citizens currently detained at the Guantanamo Bay prison has appealed to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Sabah to send a senior delegation that includes family members of both detainees to the US. This appeal is in a bid to put more pressure on President Barack Obama’s administration to release the two citizens who have been detained without charges. Lawyer Adel Al-Abdulhadi is representing citizen Fayez Al-Kandari, who along with citizen Fawzi Al-Odah are the remaining two Kuwaitis in Guantanamo out of 12 initially held there. According to Al-Abdulhadi, the two citizens are among 50 detainees who are being locked indefinitely without trial, despite lack of evidence against them. Meanwhile, Al-Abdulhadi also announced that 14,000 people have signed a petition so far, as a part of a national campaign to demand Al-Kandari and AlOdah face a local court of law. He further revealed plans to hold a solidarity sit-in in Kuwait on May 17, 2011 which will feature lawmakers as well as political and legal activists. — Al-Rai

Zain Kuwait launches ‘Wiyana 29 Plus’ KUWAIT: Zain Kuwait, the country’s leading network operator, has launched ‘Wiyana 29 Plus’, a new one-year package that meets the demands of the modern mobile consumer. It includes a free special line and a year of free unlimited Internet access (normally worth KD 7 per month) through ‘Mobile Connect’. ‘Wiyana 29 Plus’ was developed to accommodate the changing needs of Kuwait’s mobile customers and cater for the growing popularity of Smartphone’s. Understanding that customers have come to value mobile internet just as much as traditional mobile services such as voice, sms and many other services. The promotion allows unlimited browsing, emails, and downloads all for free. Zain Kuwait is committed to delivering truly innovative and valued-added products to its customers. ‘Wiyana 29 Plus’ is another addition to the long list of such innovations. The New service is available in all Zain branches and main distributors for a limited time period.

Ministry to construct radio studio KUWAIT: Some senior Ministry of Information officials are apparently intent on pushing through a tender for the construction and maintenance of a radio broadcasting studio in Maqwa’, despite the Central Tenders Committee (CTC) previously rejecting the idea. The information ministry officials are apparently intent on seeing the KD700,000 project pushed through, with some insiders suggesting that they are taking advantage of the cabinet’s recent mass resignation to present it as a fait accompli by the time the new government is formed. Some at the ministry are skeptical about the benefits of the proposed studio facility, pointing out that it would house only five staff members, including a team leader.

Arab meeting on water issues CAIRO: Arab ministerial council for water held its 3rd meeting here at the Arab League to discuss a technical report about water-related issues in the Arab countries, a League official said yesterday. Assistant secretary general for economic affairs at the Arab League Muhammad al-Twaijri told the press the meeting will focus on the topic of water desalination and water security as propounded by the Arab economic summits in Kuwait and Egypt. He also said that the meeting would prepare a report on Arab countries’ experience with the joint exploitation of subterranean water to be presented at the international forum on water to be held in France in 2012. He added that the meeting will discuss boosting the negotiating capability of the Arab states when jointly discussing water issues with non-Arab states.

KUWAIT: Upon instructions from HH the Amir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the National Guards Security Affairs commander, Brig Khaled Abdul Aziz Al-Raqwa honored a number of officers with the ‘Al-Sour Medal’ of honor in appreciation of their contribution towards safeguarding Kuwait.

Majority support longer NA sessions KUWAIT: The majority in both parliament and government oppose a proposal to extend the current parliamentary terms until the beginning of Ramadan, which falls at the start of July this year, rather than beginning the summer recess during the original June date. Earlier reports suggested that at least 20 MPs put forward the proposal during a meeting with the parliamentary budget committee, suggesting that this would be a

way of compensating for sessions missed during the forced parliamentary recess following the cabinet’s resignation. There is widespread political support, however, for either increasing the number of parliamentary sessions or increasing the amount of time allocated for each session, as well as for devoting sessions to discussion of specific issues, such as balance sheets and draft laws agreed by both authorities.

Meanwhile, a source close to Dr. Mohammad Al-Afasi, the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor in the outgoing government, rejected recent rumors that Dr. Al-Afasi would turn down any offer of a ministerial post with the new cabinet. The source stressed that the minister “will not abstain from serving the country,” especially given the need for his “lengthy experience” in resolving certain outstanding problems. — Agencies


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THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2011

Years

LOCAL KUWAIT DIGEST

Who’s driving?

Interest in jazz music increasing in Kuwait Festival begins at Radisson Blu By Nisreen Zahreddine

By Ali Al-Baghli

W

earing a niqab is a woman’s personal right to express her freedom of choice. The freedom of choice, however, is still subject to regulation by authorities for reasons of state security. Egypt’s Supreme Administrative Court, which is the highest court of law in the North African nation, ruled against a case filed by a number of female students. The female students argued that educational authorities had no right to ban women wearing the niqab from entering examination halls. The court dismissed the case based on the Grand Mufti’s explanation that the niqab in Islam is a cultural habit not an obligatory regulation according to Sharia Law. The fatwa is further based on the fact that Islam’s main sources of reference, the Holy Quran and Prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) Sunnah, never mention that women are required to cover their faces the same way they are required to cover their hair. Scholars of the Maliki Madhhab - which is one of four main schools of religious law (fiqh) within Sunni Islam - labeled the niqab an extravagant act of religiosity. Furthermore, the court rejected the students’ claim that banning them from wearing the niqab contradicts article two of the constitution, which considers Islam the country’s main religion, explaining that Islamic law allows guardians to research for a solution of a certain dispute as long as it doesn’t involve an argument with the basics of Sharia Law. I mention this example with the hope that it is noticed by those in Kuwait who try to have our tolerant society sucked into a vortex of intolerance and extremism. The Egyptian court’s order was based directly on the regulations of Sharia Law and the conclusions of scholars from a main school of religious law, which is followed by the Sunni majority in Kuwait. Furthermore, I hope this example motivates local authorities to be more serious about implementing rules banning female drivers from driving while wearing a niqab. The rule has been put in place for obvious security reasons; so that police can tell who is driving the car in cases of emergency. —Al-Qabas

KUWAIT: The 15th Gulf Jazz festival began yesterday at the Radisson Blu Hotel, with the event set to last until Friday evening. At a press conference held at the hotel to announce the event, Witold Wnuk of the Kuwait Chamber Philharmonia told the assembled media representatives more about the history of and this year’s lineup for the jazz festival, the only annual regional music festival of its kind. Since its inception 15 years ago, the festival has gained popularity across the region, with Bahrain, Dubai and Qatar all hosting their own editions of the event, Wnuk explained. The continuing widespread popularity of the festival shows the enduring and increasing interest in jazz in Kuwait, both from Kuwaitis and expatriate residents, he added, with widespread enthusiasm for musical variety and a genuine passion to see live performances. Explaining the growing popularity of jazz as a musical genre in Kuwait, Wnuk said, “Jazz is played from the heart, just like Arabian music,” adding that more and more people in Arab countries are enjoying the open and free style of jazz. He revealed that the first concert on the festival schedule will feature the Jarek Smietna Trio, consisting of the eponymous Smietna, accompanied by the equally accomplished Karen Edwards and

KUWAIT: Witold Wnuk of the Kuwait Chamber Philharmonia addressing the press conference.

Olga Guy. Prize-winning Polish composer and world-renowned guitarist Jarek Smietna will be celebrating his sixtieth birthday during his visit, his seventh to Kuwait, with his virtuoso musical skill and style apparently only improving with age. Smietna, who’s still considered one of the best guitarists in Europe, will be joined on the first night by Edwards, a singer and pianist whose distinctive style as a pianist and vocalist has been widely praised, making her a frequent nominee for Grammy awards in the jazz performance category. The trio’s second concert will feature Swedish jazz luminar y

Monica Borr fors, who won a Grammy for her first album and has since been nominated several more times in her distinguished 30year musical career, during which she’s performed at many renowned jazz festivals around the world. The first evening’s concerts took place at the Radisson Blu Hotel’s AlHashemi Grand Ballroom from 8pm onwards, with the KD24 per person ticket price also paying for a sumptuous BBQ dinner for each audience member. Tickets are available at the Radisson Blu Hotel itself, as well as from Virgin Megastores. For more information on the festival, readers can visit: www.gulfjazzfest.com

Al-Humoud eulogizes professors Behbehani, Al-Naqeeb KUWAIT: Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education Dr Moudhi Al-Humoud yesterday issued a statement mourning the loss of two of Kuwait University’s professors; Hashem Behbehani and Khaldoun AlNaqeeb. The statement said Behbehani, a political sciences professor, and Al-

Naqeeb, a social sciences professor, both served their country and their institution well and are considered prominent figures in Kuwait and the Arab World in general. For over three decades, the two had served as an example for generations of scholars, researchers, intellectuals, and other devoted countrymen,

each in their field. They also contributed to the establishment of Kuwait University’s good repute and standing, she said. The minister added that the legacy of the two men shall remain “with us for a long time and they shall be fondly remembered for their accomplishments.”— KUNA

Municipality official involved in sand theft case KUWAIT: Jahra detectives are currently looking into a case of public property theft, which pertains to an unlicensed operation of selling huge amounts of sand after moving it from the Kuwaiti desert. According to a senior security source, Jahra municipality officers were in the middle of an inspection campaign at the Subbiya open area, when they noticed dozens of dump trucks loading sand from a site, unlicensed either by the Kuwait Municipality or the Public Authority for Industry. They approached an Arab man who was found in a tent nearby for questioning, but he refused to cooperate. Two police patrols reached the scene after the inspector contacted authorities, and they immediately asked for the expat’s identification, who later turned out to be the site’s supervisor. The police discovered that the man violated residency laws as his sponsorship was registered by a local gym and the project which he claimed to be supervising wasn’t even licensed. Moreover, the police discovered that the unlicensed digging site belongs to a municipality employee, while the dump trucks that were loaded with sand belonged to a parliament member. The ‘supervisor’ was held for investigations at the Subbiya police station, where he was charged with illegal confiscation of public property, assaulting state employees on duty, as well as violating residency laws. — Al-Rai

Private sector eyes bigger role KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Minister of State for Development said yesterday that the introduction of privatization instruments and systems, such as Build, Operate, Transfer (BOT) and Public-Private Partnership (PPP), will help to liberalize Kuwait’s future economy. In his opening address at the eleventh International Conference for Islamic Financial Institutions, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs and Minister of State for Housing Affairs, also said that according to the medium-term Kuwait development plan, the private sector will play a central role in restructuring the national economy. “The Kuwaiti economy has been greatly damaged by overdependence on government spending and oil revenue, so we believe that the time has come to give the private sector the chance to revive and rebuild the national economy,” the minister asserted. He went on to indicate that the Kuwaiti government attempts to benefit from the ideas put forward during specialist economic and financial conferences like the event itself, which will help to enhance the economy. During yesterday’s event, which marked the final day of the two-day conference, the minister also honored a number of representatives from participating companies, institutions and media outlets. A large number of senior figures from Islamic banking bodies, along with specialists in this field and several officials from various Kuwaiti ministries and government bodies. —KUNA


THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2011

LOCAL

Arab sorcerer held with paraphernalia at border KUWAIT: An Arab man is currently in custody of the General Department of Criminal Investigation after he was caught at the Salmi border checkpoint with possession of black magic tools. Among the things found with the suspects were photographs of people, who he later confirmed were Kuwaiti citizens whose wives had hired his services to ‘curse’ them. A notebook was also found with the suspect, which contained names of his customers, victims, as well as the money he collected for each operation.

Fake companies support spying networks: Study KUWAIT: There are Iranian espionage networks in Kuwait who are active through bogus companies that employ staff members whose main job is to monitor the local conditions, provide financial and logistic support to sleeping cells, infiltrate into security and military institutions as well as recruit personnel with similar ideologies to that of the Islamic Republic’s Revolutionary Guard, according to a study. Those allegations were mentioned in a recent study carried out by the Diplomatic Center for Strategic Studies, which indicates that Tehran wouldn’t hesitate carrying out any action “as long as it serves its interests, even if it comes at the expense of other countries including neighboring nations”.

The study attempted to look into the reasons and connotations for the presence of a spying network in Kuwait that was discovered to be working for Iran. The study mentions Kuwait as “a top priority in Iran’s expansion strategy”, and “a main base for its regional project”, while noting Kuwait’s “great level of openness” compared to other Gulf Cooperation Council countries. Moreover, the study demands certain procedures from state departments that include announcing official stances decidedly, finalizing investigation reports as soon as possible, and fixing any holes that can be used to infiltrate into Kuwait’s security. It also recommends reassessment of Kuwaiti-Iranian relations on which the sustainability of bilateral relations would depend. — Al-Qabas

Kuwait attends WHO forum MOSCOW: The World Health Organization (WHO) Global Forum which is addressing the challenge of non-communicable diseases kicked off here yesterday, with the attendance of Kuwait’s Health Minister Dr Hilal Al-Sayer. Dr Margaret Chan, Director General of WHO, in a speech to attendees stressed the need to untie efforts on the topic of discussion. In her speech, she also outlined

the social, psychological and economic threats of non-communicable diseases. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are long term and are generally slow in progression. They include heart disease, stroke, cancer, asthma, diabetes, osteoporosis, Alzheimer ’s disease and HIV/AIDS. She urged the need to determine an outlined strategy on how to tackle the issue, before raising a

working paper to a UN conference aimed at the matter in September. For his part, Deputy Director of WHO, Dr Alaa Alwan, reiterated Chan’s sentiments on the need to further efforts. These diseases, he said, account for 60 percent of deaths worldwide. The Kuwaiti delegation is set to present its own proposals on how to tackle NCDs, during the forum. — KUNA

Missing girl found Farwaniya police were able to find a girl who was reported missing by her family at an apartment where she was co-habiting with her boyfriend. The 21-year-old was located two days after investigations were launched. During interrogation, she explained that her boyfriend talked her into fleeing her family’s house, after which he took her to a rent-by-day furnished apartment where he sexually

assaulted her twice. Her boyfriend was later apprehended, but rejected rape charges during interrogation, claiming that the girl willingly had intercourse with him. Investigations into the case are ongoing. Jail fire Security guards at the Central Jail controlled a small fire that burnt a number of blankets in one of its cells. A Kuwaiti prisoner claimed responsibility for the fire and admitted to starting it as a means of protest. Roommate mugged Police are looking for a nonKuwaiti resident who disappeared after stealing his roommate’s savings. Sharq police station officials were approached by a man who discovered the theft and accused his roommate of committing the crime. The suspect’s name has been blacklisted and a probe has been initiated. Couple in custody Police arrested a couple who were busted in a compromising situation inside a car that was parked

at a restricted zone in Al-Fahaheel. The suspects, an Arab man and an Asian woman, were reportedly found at the back of the hatchback car, while drugs were found in their possession. Investigations also revealed that the woman has several absconding charges pressed against her. Thugs held Three drunkards were arrested in Salmiya as they were making their way out of a building which has a history of hosting suspicious activities. Police headed to the scene following reports about illegal activities taking place. The detainees were referred to the proper authorities and were also charged with resisting apprehension. Shuwaikh theft A Syrian man told Shuwaikh police station officers that KD4,000 worth of food items were discovered missing during an inventory conducted at a warehouse of a company he owns. A case was filed for investigations.

Kuwait mission in China plays key role for enhancing communications GUANGZHOU, China: The Kuwaiti Consulate in Guangzhou has backed communications between China and Kuwait at the levels of authorities and individuals namely with leaders and businessmen in Guangdong. The General Consul, Abdulwahab Al-Sager, said the mutual cooperation between the two countries resulted in the launch of many ventures, including the joint petrochemical refinery, and indicated at future plans to launch more such projects. The consulate has been supporting this cooperation at vari-

ous levels within the framework of visits by Kuwaiti officials and counterparts in Guandong, he said, indicating at plans to hold a permanent Chinese exhibition in Kuwait. Latest of the consulate activities to enhance such an approach was the launch of the official website, with the intention of facilitating communication between individuals and corporates in the two countries. With the aim of targeting the largest segment of the people, the website presents information in Arabic, Chinese and English. It

also displays brief information about the history of Kuwait, national landmarks, the political system and activities of the consulate. It also links up the users with other electronic services, such as the electronic gateway of the State of Kuwait, the Public Investment Authority, Kuwait Municipality, Kuwait International Airport and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Moreover, the diplomatic mission, through the website, furnishes Kuwaiti visitors with guidelines and information about the mission activities. — KUNA

MEW takes measures to collect dues KUWAIT: The Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) is leaving no stone unturned in their quest to collect their dues, which includes taking legal action against nonpaying consumers apart from disconnecting their power service. This was indicated by Undersecretary Assistant for Consumers Affairs department Jassem Al-Linqawi, who explained in a recent interview that disconnecting the

electricity supply from a non-paying consumer is an extreme measure taken by the ministry only after he fails to respond to numerous warning letters from the ministry. Meanwhile, Al-Linqawi announced that the sector has signed a contract to carry out mechanization projects for the water supplying operations at the Khaitan plant, which is a part of the ministry’s plans to improve the quality of services offered. — Al-Qabas

Kuwait hands letter to Japan on oil grant TOKYO: The Kuwaiti ambassador here Abdulrahman Al- O taibi handed to Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Banri Kaeida a message from the Kuwaiti Minister of Oil and Information Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah AlSabah regarding Kuwait’s assistance to Japan in the wake of the devastating tsunami and quake, which includes granting Japan five million barrels of crude oil, at the behest of the Kuwaiti Amir, an embassy statement indicated yesterday. It underscored Kaeida’s affirmation of his country’s gratitude to the Kuwaiti gesture, which he said reflected the close ties between both countries. The oil grant, he further said, would be of crucial benefit to the tsunami-struck areas where power and fuel have become scarce. Expressing his hope to visit Kuwait as soon as possible, Kaeida regretted Japan’s incapacity to attend the 4th Asian Round Table conference which was held in Kuwait last April 18, due to the current conditions in Japan, post the tsunami and quake devastation. Japan, he underlined, would emerge intact following the tsunami and quake catastrophes, urging that inaccurate repor ts of the level of radiation in Japanese products be ignored. On his part, ambassador Al-Otaibi extended the Kuwaiti people’s greetings to the Japanese people and recalled some of Japan’s memorable supportive stances with Kuwait. — KUNA

Kuwait to launch project for gifted students KUWAIT: A memorandum of understanding aimed at launching a project to uncover and train gifted primary level students, was signed here by Ministry of Education and Sabah Al-Ahmad Centre for Creativity and Innovation. The project will start by allocating special classes with an advanced curriculum for fourth and fifth grade pupils, to gradually over time expand and include all grades, Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education Dr Moudhi Al-Humoud was quoted as saying during the signing ceremony on Tuesday. “These projects are related to sustaining our human resources, and utilizing them in the best manner possible,” she said. The cooperation will offer students specialized educational standards, for their capabilities not to be undermined, she added. — KUNA

Arab-Rocks team (Shipments Spy project)

SWAP team (Revolutionary Reporting System project)

University students to compete in Imagine Cup finals KUWAIT: Microsoft Kuwait yesterday announced that four teams from leading universities in the country have qualified for the regional finals of Microsoft’s premier technology competition, Imagine Cup 2011. The teams selected represent Kuwait University and American University of Kuwait. Now in its ninth year, Microsoft’s Imagine Cup 2011 called upon students across Kuwait to rise to the challenge and “imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems facing us today.” The four teams selected will compete with other teams from UAE and Oman to showcase their innovative projects at the regional finals to be held in the UAE on April 25, 2011. “With Microsoft Imagine Cup, a small idea can lead to a ground breaking solution” said Ehab Mostafa, Country Manager, Microsoft Kuwait. “ The notion of making the world a better place is at the heart of Imagine Cup and it provides a fertile environment where the brightest young minds across Kuwait can express their creativity and passion for technology by coming up with new solutions for the challenges we face today in the world. “The teams have exhibited tremendous passion and innovation to make it to the regional finals and I wish

Team Dream (Enlight project)

them the very best for the future. Our focus on Imagine Cup reflects Microsoft’s continued commitment in supporting student talent in science and technology to drive future prosperity in the country”. The four projects advancing from Kuwait to the regional finals consist of the following: • A team from Kuwait University has developed a project called “Shipments Spy”. This consists of computer software that monitors petroleum shipments by sensing the surrounding temperature, humidity, pressure and other factors that may affect them. For certain boundaries, the software will alert the user for any potential risks and the path of the shipment will be tracked. • The “Enlight” project developed by students from the American University of Kuwait consists of a portable, low-cost hardware & software development platform in the form of a smartboard with a touchbased surface. This allows an individual with a walking/motor disability to connect a Windows Phone 7 handset to a class session & teach using the phone • The “Revolutionary Reporting System” project which has been developed by students from the American University of Kuwait consists of a simple

image reporting software that uses the geographic location tagging on images to make reporting efficient • “The World” project developed by students from the American University of Kuwait consists of an application which helps a user to communicate with all human languages. The voice wave feature of the application captures the sound wave of the user and translates it into a valid language As the world’s premier student technology competition, the Imagine Cup is Microsoft’s initiative to encourage young people to apply their imagination and creativity to technology innovations that can make a difference and address real-world issues. Students aged 16 and over were invited to register for the 2011 event for which they use technology to create innovative solutions that can change the world. Imagine Cup compliments Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential commitment to create social and economic opportunity through programs and products that transform education, foster local innovation and enable jobs and opportunities worldwide. Over 2,000 students from various universities around the Gulf region registered last year, with an all-female Kuwaiti team emerging as winners in the Gulf in 2010.

Team VOL (The World project)


Syrian army tightens control on hotspots Page 8

THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2011

Gas pipeline to Israel, Jordan bombed Second attack as Egypt decides to review contracts UAE fighter jet crashes ROME: A United Arab Emirates fighter jet taking part in NATO-led military operations over Libya crashed on landing at a NATO air base in Italy yesterday and its pilot was forced to eject, officials said. “An F-16 crashed on landing at Sigonella air base,” a NATO official said, adding that he could not reveal the nationality of the plane involved. The pilot “ejected safely and is in good condition,” a second official said. UAE’s armed forces said that the jet was one of theirs in a statement released to the official UAE news agency WAM in Abu Dhabi. “The

EL-ARISH: Flames rise over the Al-Sabil natural gas terminal after an explosion near the town of El-Arish, Egypt, 30 miles from the border with Israel yesterday. — AP

EL-ARISH: Saboteurs bombed an Egyptian gas pipeline in the Sinai yesterday, sending flames shooting into the sky and cutting supplies to Israel and Jordan. It was the second attack since February and came two weeks after Egypt’s new government decided to review all contracts to supply gas abroad, including to neighbors Israel and Jordan, amid corruption probes. Officials said the attack took place at dawn near Al-Sabil village in the El-Arish region. On March 27, exactly a month earlier, six armed men stormed the gas terminal in the northern Sinai town and placed explosive devices which failed to explode. Yesterday’s bomb was activated remotely, a security official said, while the state-run MENA news agency reported flames as high as 20 meters shooting from the ruptured pipeline. MENA said armed forces rushed to the scene and quoted locals as saying they heard a “huge” explosion followed by a massive fireball. There were no repor ts of casualties. Several hours later, Gasco, the company responsible for the pipeline, said the fire had been brought under control. MENA quoted Gasco president Majdi Tewfik as saying a technical committee was tasked with evaluating the damage. The agency also quoted a security official as saying increased security measures would be implemented in the area, as witnesses said there had been little securi-

ty presence at the time of the explosion. Israel’s National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau told army radio there would be no immediate impact on supply. Asked if he expected a shortage that would result in electricity cuts, he said: “No. There is still a certain amount of gas in the pipeline which we can use. “After that, the electricity board must find alternatives by using gas from Yam Tethys or by using coal or fuel oil,” he said, referring to Israel’s existing gas field, which is on the verge of being depleted. Amos Gilad, a senior official at Israel’s defense ministry, told public radio it is “essential for the Egyptian government to follow a clear policy to ensure the provision of gas and to maintain the peace accord.” “The situation is very delicate, the only possible policy is to rely on the Egyptians,” he added. Jordan’s Energy Minister Khaled Tuqan confirmed Egyptian gas supplies had been halted after the attack. “Power stations are now depending on heavy fuel and diesel to generate electricity,” he said. But he warned Jordan now has only “enough supplies of heavy fuel and diesel for two weeks.” A previous disruption in February cost the Jordan economy some $4.2 million a day, Tuqan said at the time. Jordan imports about 240 million cubic feet of Egyptian gas a day, or 80 percent of its electricity needs. Egypt supplies an estimat-

US warns Turkey over Iran trade ISTANBUL: A top US treasury official said yesterday that he had warned Turkey about the dangers of trading with Iran, which is under international sanctions over its nuclear program. “I have urged the Turkish government to assist Turkish banks in protecting themselves from Iran’s attempts to abuse its existing trade and financial relations with Turkey to support its proliferation activities,” David Cohen told a news briefing. “When trade relationships expand, the risk of abuse by Iran expands at the same time,” said Cohen, the assistant secretary for terrorist financing, at the end of a three-day visit to Turkey. Cohen said he warned leading Turkish bankers that “foreign banks that do significant business with Iranian banks or businesses involved in proliferation or terrorism risk not only their reputation but also losing access to the US financial system.” —Reuters

Obama meets Abu Dhabi crown prince WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama welcomed Abu Dhabi crown prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed AlNahayan to the White House Tuesday for closed door talks on security in the volatile Middle East. The meeting, in the Oval Office, was closed to journalists and the two leaders made no public remarks, though photographers were allowed into the room for a few seconds to see the crown prince and the president talking quietly. “The two leaders had a productive and wide-ranging discussion which focused on our common strategic interests in the region,” said short White House statement. The UAE, a key US strategic and export partner, and Qatar were the only Arab states to send warplanes for operations over Libya, where strongman Muammar Gaddafi’s forces are battling Western-backed rebels. The emir of Qatar was also granted a meeting with Obama in the Oval Office this month. —AFP

ed 40 percent of Israel’s gas requirements. Earlier this month, Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf called for a revision of all gas deals contracted by the ousted regime of president Hosni Mubarak, MENA reported on April 13. The contracts are to be revisited so the gas “would be sold with deserved prices that achieve the highest returns for Egypt,” MENA said. A sweeping probe into corruption has been launched under the ruling military council which took power when Mubarak was ousted on February 11 following antiregime protests. Judicial sources said Saturday that two former Egyptian oil ministers-Sameh Fahmi and Mahmud Latif-will face trial for selling natural gas to Israel at belowmarket prices. Israel’s Landau dismissed allegations the Jewish state underpaid for natural gas supplies as “not at all” true. Yesterday’s pipeline attack is the second explosion since February 5 - six days before popular uprisings forced Mubarak from power. Gas supplies to Israel and Jordan resumed on March 16. Israel said at the time that it would step up plans for an offshore platform for importing liquefied natural gas. Egypt became the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, followed by Jordan in 1994. Bedouins, who complain of routine harassment and discrimination, threatened in June last year to attack the pipeline, security officials said. — AFP

pilot had to eject from the plane to save his life, and minor damages were caused to the plane’s frame,” the military was quoted as saying. The report said that the plane “veered off the runway after landing.” The plane was not on a combat operation and was being transferred from a base in Sardinia to the Sigonella base in Sicily, NATO said. Italy’s ANSA news agency reported that the base had been temporarily shut down and flights were routed through another base in Trapani. —AFP


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Syrian army tightens control on hotspots US opts for diplomacy, sanctions in Syria response AMMAN: Syrian troops tightened control yesterday over flashpoints of protest against President Bashar Al-Assad, who faced growing international calls to end violence that a rights group said had killed over 450 people. Tanks patrolled the southern city of Deraa, where the uprising against Assad erupted nearly six weeks ago, troops poured overnight into the Damascus suburb of Douma and security forces surrounded the restive coastal city of Banias. Germany said yesterday it strongly supported European Union sanctions against the Syrian leadership, and the bloc’s executive body, the European Commission, said all options were on the table for punitive measures against Damascus. France summoned Syria’s ambassador to protest at the violence and said Britain, Spain, Germany and Italy were doing the same. “Syrian authorities must meet the legitimate demands of their people with reforms, and not through the use of force,” French Foreign

personnel from Damascus as it urged US citizens to leave the country. Amnesty International on Tuesday called on the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Secretary General Salil Shetty also said a comprehensive arms embargo should be imposed on Syria as well as an assets freeze on Assad and others involved in ordering or perpetrating serious human rights abuses. A witness said that a convoy of at least 30

late President Hafez al-Assad, took power in a 1970 coup. The younger Assad kept intact the autocratic political system he inherited in 2000 while the family expanded its control over the country’s struggling economy. The unrest could have serious regional repercussions because Syria straddles the fault lines of Middle East conflict. Assad has strengthened Syria’s ties with Shiite Iran, and both countries back the Hezbollah and Hamas militant groups, although Damascus still seeks peace with

AMMAN: Amateur video shows a long line of Syrian army transporters carrying military tanks and armored vehicles on the main Amman Highway close to Izra towards Daraa, Syria. —AP Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said. Meanwhile, the United States for now will limit its response to the violent crackdown on civilian protests in Syria to diplomacy and possible sanctions, a senior State Department official said Tuesday. “Our focus is... with respect to options in Syria, in the diplomatic and financial space at the moment,” said Jacob Sullivan, director for strategic policy and a close adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The United States said Monday it was considering targeted sanctions against senior Syrian officials, and announced it was withdrawing diplomats’ families and non-essential embassy

army tanks headed early yesterday from southwest of Damascus, near the Golan Heights front line with Israel, in a direction which could take them either to Douma or to Deraa. Overnight, white buses had brought hundreds of soldiers in full combat gear into Douma, from where protesters have tried to march into the centre of the capital in the last two weeks, only to be stopped by bullets. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it had names of at least 453 civilians killed during the protests across the country against Assad’s 11-year authoritarian rule. Syria has been dominated by the Assad family since Bashar’s father, the

Israel. Syria and Israel are technically at war but the Golan frontier between them has been quiet since a 1974 ceasefire. BODY ‘RUN OVER BY TANK’ A resident in Deraa, where electricity, water and phone lines were cut when the army rolled in at dawn on Monday, said fresh food was running out and grocery stores were giving away their produce. “It’s mostly tinned food they are distributing to us,” he said by telephone. A relative said his neighbour saw a tank driving over the body of a young man in the main Tishrin square on Tuesday. “They are telling us: ‘You have to accept us and we will remain forever your rulers, whether you like

it or not. And if you resist us, this is your fate’,” he said. He said the army push into Deraa was also a warning to other cities of what they could expect if protests continued. “But God willing, we are steadfast and this only strengthens our resolve to get rid of them-not tomorrow, today,” he added. Diplomats said the unit Assad sent into Deraa on Monday was the ultra-loyal Fourth Mechanised Division, commanded by his brother Maher. Reports from opposition figures and some Deraa residents, which could not be confirmed, said that some soldiers from another unit had refused to fire on civilians. Syria has blamed armed groups for the violence. Protesters say their rallies have been peaceful and security forces have opened fire on unarmed demonstrators. State television broadcast what it said were confessions of a Deraa resident, who said he was offered money and weapons to join the protests. It also said an “extremist terrorist group” was arrested in the coastal city of Jabla, where rights groups say at least 13 people were killed on Sunday. International criticism of Assad’s response to the protests was initially muted but sharpened after the death of 100 protesters on Friday and Assad’s decision to storm Deraa, which echoed his father’s 1982 suppression of Islamists in Hama. His attempts to appease discontent by lifting emergency law, while keeping draconian powers of the secret police and the Baath Party’s monopoly on power, have not stopped protests. But Assad, a member of Syria’s Alawite minority, retains some support, especially among co-religionists who dominate the army and secret police and could lose preferential treatment if majority Sunni Syria was to transform into a democracy. An alliance between the ruling minority and the Sunni merchant class, forged by the elder Assad through a blend of coercion and the granting of privileges, still holds, robbing protesters of financial backing and a foothold in the old bazaars of Damascus and Aleppo, Syria’s second city. Demonstrators’ demands, however, have hardened into calling for Assad’s overthrow. They have chided the president for sending forces to shoot at his own people rather than liberating the Golan Heights. —Agencies

SANAA: Anti-government protestors shout slogans during a demonstration demanding the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh yesterday. —AP

Gunmen kill 15 in Yemen anti-govt protests SANAA: Plainclothes gunmen killed 15 people and wounded dozens more in Yemen’s capital yesterday when they opened fire on protesters demanding the immediate ouster of the president, whom Gulf Arab mediators want to ease from power. The killings capped a day of demonstrations by tens of thousands of Yemenis, many protesting against a plan supported by the government and the main opposition group which would give President Ali Abdullah Saleh a month-long window to resign. The deal, brokered by Gulf Cooperation Council, would also give him and his family immunity from prosecution. The protesters in Sanaa were attempting to reach an area beyond the district where they have been camped out since February, and were demanding Saleh leave office immediately, witnesses said. “We received bodies and have taken them to a private hospital,” said Mohammad Al-Qubati, who is a physician at the field hospital where protesters have gathered. A doctor at the scene later said at least 10 people had died of their wounds. Earlier, protesters blocked access to a key Red Sea port, and clashed with security forces in south Yemen. One protester and one soldier were killed in those clashes, hospital and local officials said. “The people want a departure, not an initiative,” the protesters shouted outside the port of Hudaida, where maritime operations functioned as usual. Separately, security forces shot at least four protesters in the southern Lahij province, witnesses and medical sources said. The deal aimed at ending Yemen’s political standoff was expected to be signed on Sunday in Riyadh, three months after Yemenis first took to the streets to demand Saleh’s ouster, inspired by revolts that toppled rulers in Egypt and Tunisia. The balance of power has tipped against Saleh, who has been a key ally of the West against Al-Qaeda, after weeks of violence, military defections and political reversals. In Hudaida, protest organizer Abdul Hafez Muajeb said the coastguard had welcomed demonstrators and had raised a banner saying they would not use weapons against the people. “We will close the port because its revenues are used to fund the thugs,” said protester Muaz Abdullah, referring to plainclothes security men who often use daggers and bats to break up protests.

Ahmadinejad in growing rift with Iran senior cleric

Egyptians find their voice after years of repression CAIRO: For decades, authoritarian rule and police brutality ensured the only voice heard from Egypt was that of its leaders. Since popular protests deposed President Hosni Mubarak, the silent majority has erupted into a cacophony. Emboldened by the success of their uprising, almost everyone in post-Mubarak Egypt, from Westerneducated professionals to illiterate farmhands to once-banned Islamists, has something to say about their nation’s past and future. For possibly the first time since Egypt became a republic in 1952, most people are not afraid to articulate their demands, and they expect the authorities to listen. “The voice of the Egyptian individual has been suppressed for nearly 60 years, but now, for the first time in many years, Egyptians feel this voice matters,” said Rasha Abdulla, chair of the school of journalism and mass communication at the American University in Cairo. “There’s a thirst to speak out, an infatuation with the idea that we can actually make a difference, so now everybody’s talking politics. Nobody’s afraid anymore,” she said. Freedom of speech has until now been largely alien to one of the Middle East’s biggest and most influential nations. The muting of millions of Egyptians began under President Gamal Abdel-Nasser, the first of three strongmen to rule Egypt after the end of British occupation. Nasser was notorious for a rigorous censorship apparatus and the “night visitors”, secret police who spirited opponents away, never to be heard of again. When Anwar Sadat took over in 1970, he liberalized the economy, but not Egypt’s politics. Mubarak, who became president after Islamists assassinated Sadat in 1981, maintained the same repression during his 30-year rule which ended on Feb. 11. “Looking back, I realize just how ignorant, how weak and how scared we were,” said

Mariam Mikhail, a housewife in her 40s who said she never dared to talk about politics. “We all told each other: ‘it’s not our problem’, and put up with the repression until the people eventually exploded.” The clearest manifestation of Egypt’s newly found freedom of speech is its state-owned media. Newspapers like Al Ahram and Al Akhbar that once dedicated reams of sycophantic newsprint to Mubarak’s every utterance now run headlines attacking the rampant graft in which he, his sons and his administration are alleged to have been involved. Mubarak and many of his ministers are being held for interrogation on charges of corruption, abuse of power and murder. Some ex-officials are already on trial. Mubarak has denied any wrongdoing but that has not prevented state television from reporting on the steps the prosecutor is taking to put him on trial. “We’re finally reporting the news as it actually happens, and not how the officials want the country to hear it,” said Mohammed Zaki, a journalist with state television. Two months after Mubarak’s overthrow, Egyptians are still reveling in their right to be heard, and are at their most vocal in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square on Fridays, the first day of the weekend. Architect Mohammed Fathy, 30, calls himself a full-time revolutionary. Every day since the protests broke out on Jan. 25, Fathy has gone to Tahrir, first to demand Mubarak’s overthrow, and now to call for an end to the corruption that mars almost all aspects of daily life. “Nobody in Egypt had any idea about their rights, about their obligations and they were too afraid to ask,” he said. “I’ve seen people die for the sake of this country. I am determined to carry on until Egypt is truly free.” Egyptians are also taking to the streets to challenge their rulers in a way they would not have dared do under Mubarak. —Reuters

PROTESTS REJECT GULF TRANSITION PACT The large turnout at protests shows the ability of the mostly young protesters, including students, tribesmen and activists, to act as potential spoilers of the Gulf deal. They have vowed to stay in the streets until their demands are met. It is also not clear that opposition parties, comprised of Islamists, Arab nationalists and leftists who have been in and out of government in recent years, could halt the protests even if required to by the transition agreement. Washington and neighboring oil producer Saudi Arabia want the standoff resolved. They fear a descent into more bloodshed in the Arabian Peninsula state would offer more room for a Yemen-based Al- Qaeda wing to operate. The Gulf deal provides for Saleh to appoint a prime minister from the opposition, who would then form a transition government ahead of a presidential election two months after his resignation. But the one-month window for Saleh to resign has sparked fears it may offer time for potential sabotage. Mohammed Basindwa, a senior opposition leader regarded as a top candidate to lead a transition government, said he expected a deal to be signed without further negotiations, and said Saleh was not expected to attend the Riyadh meeting. Saleh, who has ruled for 32 years, would sign the agreement in Sanaa while the opposition would sign in Riyadh in the presence of a government delegation, Basindwa said. Asked if he was confident Saleh would step down after the 30-day window, Basindwa said: “The United States and the European Union and Gulf states guaranteed that all sides will stick to implementing the agreement.” Other clashes erupted in the main southern city of Aden when young protesters tried to enforce a general strike that has paralyzed the port city as most businesses and schools closed, a local government official said. Strikes were also under way in Taiz, which has seen some of the largest anti-Saleh protests, and in Ibb, south of Sanaa. Elsewhere in the south, gunmen shot dead two more soldiers and wounded five in an attack on a military checkpoint that was blamed on Al-Qaeda loyalists, a local official said. —Reuters

MISRATA: Burned cars are seen next to a plume of black smoke in the port of Misrata, Libya yesterday. —AP

NATO pounds Libyan forces TRIPOLI: NATO air strikes forced Libyan government troops to withdraw from one of their positions in the besieged city of Misrata overnight but they resumed bombardment of the port area using Grad missiles, a rebel spokesman said. Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi also fired the Russian-made Grad, a multiple-volley system which rights groups say is highly inaccurate, into the centre of the rebel-held town of Zintan. “There was intense bombardment this morning. Around 15 Grad rockets landed in the town centre, two of them landed where I’m standing now,” the spokesman, called Abdulrahman, said by telephone from Zintan, in the Western Mountains region. “Five houses were destroyed. Nobody was killed, luckily, but some children were slightly wounded,” he said. Later yesterday, Gaddafi’s forces began firing mortar rounds at a district in the west of Misrata, a rebel spokesman

said. “They carried out intense bombardment, using mortars,” the spokesman, called Safieddin, said by telephone from the city. A UN human rights group arrived in Libya to investigate accusations pro-Gaddafi forces have violated human rights and attacked civilians. Libya says security forces were forced to act against armed gangs and Al-Qaeda sympathizers trying to seize control of the oil exporting country. An aid ship took advantage of a brief lull in the fighting to rescue Libyans and a French journalist wounded in the fighting in Misrata, along with migrant workers, from the western rebel enclave and headed for Benghazi, centre of the rebel heartland in the east. “Despite heavy shelling of the port area ... about 935 migrants and Libyans have been rescued and are now safely en route to Benghazi,” the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said. —Reuters

TEHRAN: Iran’s president yesterday shunned a Cabinet meeting for the second consecutive time this week, apparently showing his discontent over a recent government appointment by the country’s supreme leader. The no-show appears to be part of a growing rift between President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s supreme leader who has final say in all state matters in Iran. The split threatens to destabilize Iran at a time of tension with the West over Tehran’s disputed nuclear program. The confrontation, which has been simmering for months, seems to be part of a power struggle ahead of parliamentary elections next year. The most recent flare up stems from Ahmadinejad’s dismissal last week of Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi. Khamenei then promptly reinstated Moslehi in a public slap to the president. Khamenei has made clear he would defend his powers, including to name ministers, warning in a speech on Saturday that he will intervene in the government’s affairs whenever necessar y - a sharp rebuke to Ahmadinejad for challenging his authority. Although Khamenei ordered Moslehi to remain in the Cabinet, the president reportedly didn’t abide by the order and failed to officially invite Moslehi to last Wednesday’s government session. Moslehi didn’t attend that meeting but was a surprise show at Sunday’s session. Ahmadinejad, meanwhile, skipped it. The president and his Cabinet had been expected to meet again in Qom, 130 kilometers south of the capital Tehran. But Ali Banaei, a lawmaker representing the holy city in the parliament, said the trip had been canceled. Instead, the Cabinet met without Ahmadinejad in Tehran. Khamenei’s decision to reinstate Moslehi has put Ahmadinejad in an awkward position: either openly snub Iran’s top leader and risk more fallout or submit and lose a high stakes political fight. Hard-liners, who consider Khamenei above the law and answerable only to God, say the supreme leader will not back down. And he has the backing of most of parliament. A statement signed last week by 216 lawmakers - more than two-thirds of the 290-seat parliament - asked Ahmadinejad to obey Khamenei’s order without question. —AP


THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2011

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Nigeria results trickle in after bombs, shootings mar polls Ruling party set to maintain control

PARIS: Migrants from Tunisia line up for food in a Paris square. — AP

France ‘cannot’ afford migrants PARIS: France cannot afford to take in waves of North African migrants looking for jobs, the head of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s party argued yesterday, as European neighbors spar over what to do with thousands of unemployed Tunisians who have arrived illegally on this border-free continent. Jean-Francois Cope said in an interview that France wants to revise Europe’s open-border system because of economics, not xenophobia. “Do we have the means to absorb job-related immigration? The answer is largely no,” the chief of the UMP party said. France’s government debt is more than half of its gross domestic product, and unemployment is nearly 10 percent. Joblessness is even higher among unskilled youth, which bodes ill for the largely unskilled young Tunisians clamoring to get here. France and Italy have been at odds over how to deal with more than 20,000 illegal Tunisian migrants who entered the European Union via the small Italian island of Lampedusa since the longtime president fled a popular revolt in January. Most want to reach France, Tunisia’s former colonial ruler, where they can speak the language and have friends or family. Italy granted most of the Tunisians temporary residency permits, and insisted that EU countries share the burden of such an exceptional influx. In response, an angry France last week stopped a train carrying Tunisian immigrants from Italy at the French border, sending back

those who could not support themselves financially. Sarkozy and Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi agreed at talks Tuesday to seek a revision of the Schengen border treaty that permits passport-free travel through Europe. Germany indicated yesterday that it’s prepared to consider limited revisions to the treaty, but that Italy should take care of the Tunisians. Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said yesterday: “if we can improve the Schengen system, then that’s good and we should do it - but freedom to travel in Europe is such an important achievement that it must not be called in question.” A German Interior Ministr y spokesman, Jens Teschke, said: “We don’t see in the 26,000 who have landed on Lampedusa an excessive burden on (Italy) - in principle, these refugees can for now be spread out across Italy,” he said. France’s Cope insisted that any revision of the Schengen treaty would not contradict the idea of a unified Europe. “The measures we are taking are linked to the economic and budgetary situation,” he said. France’s resurgent far-right National Front party has argued for closing France’s borders with European neighbors, a move that Cope said would be dangerous and a “joke.” Sarkozy’s UMP party has been bleeding support ahead of presidential elections next year, and Cope has been accused of pandering to far-right voters to try to counter the rising popularity of the anti-immigrant National Front. — AP

KANO: Nigerian results trickled in yesterday after state governor polls marred by bombs, ballot thefts and shootings as it stumbled to the end of a landmark election period hit by deadly riots. Police warned they would be ready in case of another outbreak of violence over results, with rioting after the April 16 presidential poll believed to have killed hundreds. “For now, the police are on the alert and on ground in case we have a backlash like we had in the presidential election,” said spokesman Olusola Amore. Police were also hunting a suspected Islamist sect member who opened fire at a polling station in the northeastern city of Maiduguri during voting on Tuesday, killing one person and wounding four, authorities said. Ballot-box thefts were reported in a number of states in Africa’s most populous nation despite tight security and safeguards meant to stop such fraud. Turnout appeared low in many areas either out of apathy or fears of further violence. In Maiduguri, which has long been hit by violence blamed on the sect, seven suspected Islamists were arrested on allegations of seeking to plant a bomb on a busy street during the polls, the state police commissioner said. Police in Borno state, where Maiduguri is the capital, also arrested more than 20 other suspects over election fraud allegations,

including those accused of attempting to snatch ballot papers. Three explosions went off Tuesday morning in Maiduguri, but no casualties were reported. Bomb blasts there killed at least three people and wounded 15 on Sunday and Monday. There were reports of electoral workers in various parts of the country refusing to show up on Tuesday for fear of further attacks following last week’s riots, which a local rights group says killed more than 500 people. Police in the southern oil state of Delta also found two bombs on Tuesday, one of them near the offices of the electoral agency, but they were safely defused. Results began to emerge yesterday, with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party hanging on to Enugu state in the southeast and looking set to maintain control in Rivers in the oilproducing Niger Delta region-no surprise for either. The vote reportedly had to be canceled in one ward of Rivers state, however, due to ballot-box snatching. The opposition Action Congress of Nigeria seemed secure in the economic capital Lagos, and initial reports indicated it could take southwestern Ogun state from the ruling PDP. The rioting across the country’s mainly Muslim north after the presidential election won by southern incumbent Goodluck Jonathan displaced an estimated 74,000. Unrest broke out despite what

observers said appeared to be Nigeria’s cleanest vote for head of state since a return to civilian rule in 1999, with the country seeking to break from a history of deeply flawed polls. Two states-Kaduna and Bauchi-had their polls postponed till today due to the unrest. An electoral commission spokesman said the governors’ vote appeared to have gone relatively well despite a series of incidents, while one commissioner spoke of a mixed turnout. An opposition Action Congress of Nigeria governorship candidate in southern Akwa Ibom state alleged violence and rigging. “What we have here, I don’t know how to describe it. The institution that is supposed to guarantee the system of democracy has been used to rape democracy openly,” said John Akpanudoedehe. Akpanudoedehe was charged with treason ahead of the vote, charges that his lawyer described as “trumped up”. Most of Nigeria’s 36 states held governorship and state assembly polls. The ruling Peoples Democratic Party was projected to lose a number of states and many races were expected to be closely fought, raising concerns that desperate politicians might seek to rig the vote. Nigeria’s state governors wield significant power and preside over large budgets thanks to revenue generated by the oil industry. The ruling party currently controls some 27 state governorships. — AFP

Britain, Malawi expel each other’s diplomats LILONGWE: Britain ordered Malawi’s acting ambassador to leave the country yesterday soon after the African state expelled Britain’s envoy over his criticism of its leader. Malawi, a former British colony, expelled British envoy Fergus Cochrane-Dyet after he called its leadership autocratic in a leaked diplomatic cable, a Malawian government spokesman said yesterday. Hours later, Britain responded by expelling Malawi’s acting ambassador to Britain, Flossie Gomile Chidyaonga. Foreign Secretary William Hague in a statement hinted at further consequences saying he had asked UK officials “to review rapidly the full range of our wider relationship with Malawi.” Britain is a major aid to donor to Malawi, giving about 93 million

Tit-for-tat response pounds ($154 million) a year, according to the British government. Malawi’s Weekend Nation newspaper published excerpts of what it said was a March 2011 British diplomatic cable which said President Bingu wa Mutharika was “becoming ever more autocratic and intolerant of criticism”. Diplomatic sources at the British mission confirmed the authenticity of the cable. Mutharika has been heavily criticized by rights groups for trying to suppress free speech. Malawi already faces a freeze in foreign assistance over its hostility to homosexuals and a media crackdown. Hague called Malawi’s decision to expel Cochrane-Dyet “totally unacceptable and unwarranted”.

“Mr Cochrane-Dyet is an able and effective diplomat who has behaved with integrity throughout his posting to Lilongwe, and who retains the full confidence of the British government,” he said. “It is a worrying sign that the Malawian government is expending its energies in this way, rather than focusing on the real and substantial challenges facing it, including the need for improved governance,” he said. CochraneDyet was given a formal letter of expulsion on Tuesday night, government spokesman Vuwa Kaunda said. “Government has decided to expel High Commissioner Fergus CochraneDyet because the tone in the leaked cable was not diplomatic ...

Government has lost confidence in him,” he said. The European Union said in a statement released in Lilongwe that it was “deeply concerned” and surprised at the expulsion. “The European Union believes that the decision of the Government of Malawi, which is apparently based on unconfirmed media reports and perceived criticisms of the government, is unjustified and inappropriate,” it said. Britain had warned on April 19 that “there were likely to be consequences affecting the full range of issues in the bilateral relationship” if Malawi expelled Cochrane-Dyet. Malawi’s government is heavily dependent on foreign aid, with donor funding normally accounting for more than 40 percent of official receipts. — Reuters


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CIA’s Panetta to take over at Pentagon WASHINGTON: In a major shakeup of President Barack Obama’s national security team, CIA director Leon Panetta will take over as the new defense secretary this summer, a US official said yesterday. As part of the overhaul, Obama also is expected to name General David Petraeus, the top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan, to succeed Panetta at the helm of the Central Intelligence Agency, US media reported. Panetta, 72, would replace Defense Secretary Robert Gates, an influential figure in Obama’s cabinet whose tenure began under Obama’s predecessor, George W Bush. Gates, who had vowed to step down later this year, is himself a former CIA director and has spoken highly of Panetta’s work at the spy agency. If he receives Senate confirmation to the top Pentagon post, Panetta would be the first Democrat to hold the top US defense job since William Perry in 1997. ABC and NBC television

A major shakeup of Obama’s national security team reported that Petraeus, the commander leading military operations in Afghanistan, will be replaced there by Lieutenant General John Allen, who currently is deputy head of US Central Command. On the civilian side in Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, a former US diplomat who served as ambassador in Pakistan and Iraq, will reportedly replace Ambassador Karl Eikenberry in Kabul, who has had a strained relationship with the Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The White House yesterday declined comment about the reports. The reshuffling of the president’s top echelon of security officials was floated weeks ago by the administration. The overhaul will shape Obama’s approach to the increasingly unpopular war in Afghanistan, the NATO-led air war in Libya and to unrest threatening Washington’s influence across

CIA Director Leon Panetta top officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, the Middle East. Apart from the defense secre- who finishes his term in tar y job, a number of crucial September while Petraeus was national security posts are com- long expected to wrap up his ing open in the next several stint in Afghanistan by year’s end. months, including the military’s Panetta-who enjoys solid biparti-

san support in Congressemerged as a strong candidate to succeed Gates as Pentagon chief after it became clear Secretary of State Hillar y Clinton was not interested in the job. With his experience as a member of Congress and as a budget chief under former president Bill Clinton, Panetta may be wellequipped to take over at the Pentagon at a time of growing fiscal pressures and belt-tightening. The son of Italian immigrants, Panetta in 1993 was appointed as the director of the office of management and budget under the incoming Clinton administration, and was widely credited with helping to balance the federal budget and achieve a surplus. In July 1994, Panetta was appointed Clinton’s chief of staff, serving for almost three years. As for Petraeus, some former CIA officials and analysts have touted

the general as a perfect fit for the spy agency, citing his work with intelligence operatives battling Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and elsewhere, as well as his experience in Washington’s policy debates. “General Petraeus would be an exceptional choice to run the CIA,” Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer and fellow at the Brookings Institution, told AFP recently, as rumors swirled about the possible shuffle. “He has unique experience at the front line in the war against Al-Qaeda and in the inter-agency process in Washington that would be invaluable” as a CIA director, he said. Petraeus, a fourstar general with a high profile and an acute intellect, has been widely credited in Washington for helping to salvage the war effort in Iraq in 2007-2008. The 101st Airborne Division paratrooper, who rewrote the Army’s manual for counter-insurgency warfare, oversaw a surge of US troops in Iraq at a time of spiraling sectarian violence.—AP

Body count from Mexico mass graves nears 300 Mexico sends more troops to Guatemala border MEXICO CITY: The number of murder victims unearthed in mass graves in northern Mexico this month has risen to 279, making it easily the worst discovery of its kind since the government began a campaign against drug cartels. Attorney General Marisela Morales said on Tuesday the body count from 40 graves in the border state of Tamaulipas had risen to 183 while an official in the state of Durango, farther west, said 96 older corpses had been uncovered in two separate finds. “The excavations will continue today and they will probably find more bodies,” the Durango official said on Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity. The mass

ARKANSAS: People walk on a road in Vilonia, after a tornado hit the area. The storm system killed at least seven people, including three who drowned in floods in northwest Arkansas.— AP

Ten dead as storms ravage US Midwest WASHINGTON: Severe storms that ripped through the central United States left at least 10 people dead in the state of Arkansas, as authorities Tuesday warned of “historic” flooding and urged people immediately to move to higher ground. Torrential downpours have drenched a swath of the US midwest in recent weeks, saturating the ground and leaving river levels precariously high, leading the National Weather Service to warn of “catastrophic flash flooding.” In flash flooding advisories for Missouri, the NWS warned that the rising waters were “historic-type flooding that only rarely occurs.” Authorities were evacuating 1,000 people along the swollen Black River near the Missouri city of Poplar Bluff, home to some 17,000 people, as a compromised levee had reportedly already failed at four points. Due to the placement of the failure, city deputy police chief Jeff Rolland told CNN the river’s flooding was headed for rural but still populated Butler County. Flash flood warnings were issued by the weather service in Arkansas in the wake of severe thunderstorms that flooded roads, fatally sweeping away at least six people in their vehicles, Ark ansas Depar tment of Emergenc y Management spokeswoman Renee

Presslar confirmed to AFP. A deadly tornado, meanwhile, slammed the central town of Vilonia late Monday, claiming the lives of four people, said ADEM spokesman Chad Stover. “There are a lot of responders still responding to yesterday’s storm, and then preparation is underway for another round of even more severe (storms) than we saw yesterday, appearing later this afternoon, later this evening,” Stover said earlier Tuesday. “The entire state is at very severe risk for storm,” he said. “We are urging all of our local citizens to be prepared, to have a plan for their families and where they would go for severe weather.” Emergencies were declared by governors in the states of Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky due to the flooding and the expected new round of storms. Governor Pat Quinn in Illinois also activated the state’s National Guard to “support flood-fighting and life safety missions in southern Illinois,” his office said. The NWS in its flash flood warning for three counties in Missouri’s southwest said a “combination of heavy rainfall over the last five days... along with anticipated rainfall over the next 24 to 48 hours” has prompted the river to rise to 21.2 feet.— AFP

killings have become an increasing headache for President Felipe Calderon in his bid to bring the cartels to heel. More than 37,000 people have died in the country’s drug war since it began in late 2006. Disputes over how to conduct the crackdown have frayed relations with Washington, Mexico’s co-sponsor in the drug war. The Mexican government has blamed the Zetas cartel for the Tamaulipas deaths, which have led to 74 arrests, among them 17 police officers. It has yet to identify suspects in Durango. The two graves in Durango are in the state capital, also known as Durango, where 21 additional

bodies were found buried in a housing estate on Tuesday, the official said. Almost none of the victims have been identified, although drug war exper ts believe many of the dead in Tamaulipas were probably migrant workers who refused to cooperate with the gangs. Meanwhile, Mexico has deployed additional troops to its border with Guatemala to bolster its fight against organized crime, largely drug-related, a military spokesman said Tuesday. “Troops are being moved around all over the state (of Chiapas), and we are working with the state government to see if more permanent troops can be moved

to the border,” said Commander Salvador Cienfuegos. He did not give a figure for the deployment to the southernmost state. But he did say that there are currently a total of 14,000 troops in Chiapas and Tabasco together. Guatemala is a staging point, like other Central American countries, for criminal groups smuggling drugs and migrants through Mexico to the United States. More than 34,600 people have been killed in suspected drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon launched a major military crackdown on criminal gangs at the end of 2006, according to official figures.—Agencies

Chavez accuses NATO of trying to kill his ‘friend’ Venezuela condemns Libya bombing CARACAS: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has accused NATO of trying to kill his “friend” Muammar Gaddafi and said a Libyan delegation was in Caracas to seek a peaceful way out of the conflict. “ You k now that Gaddafi is our friend, but this has nothing to do with friendship. Who has the right to drop bombs like this? They are looking for Gaddafi to kill him,” said the leader of Latin America’s radical left and Libya’s closest ally in the region. “ We don’t agree with everything Gaddafi is doing or has done, but who has the right to drop bombs on him each morning? They have been dropped on a commercial center, a hospital, a university. All that for regime change.” Speaking at a gathering of Latin America and Caribbean diplomats, Chavez said Gaddafi had sent a delegation to Caracas “to look for a peaceful way out of the crisis.” He provided no details, but Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said the Venezuelan government had been in “permanent contact” with Gaddafi’s team in recent weeks. “We are going to talk with them to see what other efforts can be made by Alba (a regional grouping led by Venezuela), by Latin America to accompany Libya in the restoration of peace and stability,” he told reporters. Allied warplanes struck Gaddafi’s compound in Tripoli on Monday in what NATO called a “precision strike” on a communications center that did not

CARACAS: Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez (center with hands folded) listens as his Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro (left) addresses a meeting by Latin American and Caribbean foreign ministers in Caracas. — AP seek to k ill the Libyan leader. Tripoli said the transatlantic military alliance was trying to assassinate Gaddafi, but NATO members have sent mixed signals since the air campaign was launched last month on the merits of targeting the man who has ruled Libya for four decades. The UN resolution approving military intervention focuses on protecting civilians against the

regime’s forces, but US and European leaders have made clear they want to see an end to Gaddafi’s rule. Chavez, meanwhile, also relaunched his proposal to dispatch a peacemaking team to “find a political solution to the problem.” Libyan rebels seeking to oust Gaddafi rejected his initial plans when he first presented them in early March and they gained little traction international-

ly. For the Venezuelan leader, the foreign intervention in Libya has a single goal in mind: “seize the oil.” Chavez and Gaddafi routinely make public condemnations of US “imperialism” and have exchanged visits in recent years. Ties are so close that Gaddafi was rumored early in the conflict roiling Libya for over two months to have fled to Caracas, claims that were later denied.— AFP

US women surpass men in advanced degrees WASHINGTON: For the first time, American women have passed men in gaining advanced college degrees as well as bachelor’s degrees, part of a trend that is helping redefine who goes off to work and who stays home with the kids. Census figures released Tuesday highlight the latest education milestone for women, who began to exceed men in college enrollment in the early 1980s. The findings come amid record shares of women in the workplace and a steady decline in stay-at-home mothers. The educational gains for women are giving them greater access to a wider range of jobs, contributing to a shift of traditional gender roles at home and work. Based on one demographer’s estimate, the number of stay-athome dads who are the primary caregivers for their children reached nearly 2 million last year, or one in 15

fathers. The official census tally was 154,000, based on a narrower definition that excludes those working part-time or looking for jobs. “The gaps we’re seeing in bachelor’s and advanced degrees mean that women will be better protected against the next recession,” said Mark Perry, an economics professor at the University of Michigan-Flint who is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. “Men now might be the ones more likely to be staying home, doing the more traditional child rearing,” he said. Among adults 25 and older, 10.6 million US women have master’s degrees or higher, compared to 10.5 million men. Measured by shares, about 10.2 percent of women have advanced degrees compared to 10.9 percent of men - a gap steadily narrowing in recent years. Women still trail

men in professional subcategories such as business, science and engineering. When it comes to finishing college, roughly 20.1 million women have bachelor’s degrees, compared to nearly 18.7 million men - a gap of more than 1.4 million that has remained steady in recent years. Women first passed men in bachelor’s degrees in 1996. Some researchers including Perry have dubbed the current economic slump a “man-cession” because of the huge job losses in the male-dominated construction and manufacturing industries, which require less schooling. Measured by pay, women with full-time jobs now make 78.2 percent of what men earn, up from about 64 percent in 2000. Unemployment for men currently stands at 9.3 percent compared to 8.3 percent for women, who now make up half of the US work force. The number of stay-at-

home moms, meanwhile, dropped last year for a fourth year in a row to 5 million, or roughly one in four marriedcouple households. That’s down from nearly half of such households in 1969. By the census’ admittedly outmoded measure, the number of stay-at-home dads has remained largely flat in recent years, making up less than 1 percent of marriedcouple households. Whatever the exact numbers, Census Bureau researchers have detailed a connection between women’s educational attainment and declines in traditional stay-at-home parenting. For instance, they found that stay-at-home mothers today are more likely to be young, foreign-born Hispanics who lack college degrees than professional women who set aside careers for fulltime family life after giving birth.—AP


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Tibetan exile community get new political leader Harvard academic elected Tibetan PM

WEST BANGAL: A policeman beats a bogus voter attempting to cast a vote using the identity of another man, at a polling booth in North 24 Pargana district of West Bengal yesterday. The third phase of the six-phased elections for the state of West Bengal was held yesterday. — AP

Anger over corruption gets public notice in India MUMBAI: For the last 12 years, a businessman in the northern Indian city of Kanpur has been paying a 5,000 rupee ($113) bribe to government officials to get his income tax refund. The difference now is that he’s talking about it on ipaidabribe.com, a website that serves as an outlet for pent-up frustration with corruption in India. That discontent - fueled by India’s vociferous media and a blossoming sense of empowerment among the middle class - has burst into the open after a series of galling corruption scandals began roiling Asia’s thirdlargest economy late last year. Thousands have taken to the streets, the courts are pursuing rare high-level prosecutions and the government is scrambling to enact a tougher anti-corruption law. The website is Raghunandan Thoniparambil’s way of fighting endemic graft, which many say has worsened as India’s economy grows and opens up, creating enormous wealth without adequate regulation and fostering a culture in which everything - from pilot’s licenses to school admissions and telecom spectrum - is seemingly for sale. “Contrary to popular perception, economic liberalization increases corruption in the short term,” said Thoniparambil. “What people do not realize is that liberalization and opening markets requires regulation.” Privatization has thrown open huge infrastructure contracts ripe for kickbacks and increasing competition for votes has encouraged India’s patchwork of political parties to use any means possible to build up their war chests, he said. In just over eight months, the site has documented 360 million rupees ($8.1 million) worth of small bribes paid - the largest number of them to police. Over 9,000 messages have been posted and the site has gotten more than 426,000 hits from viewers. The White House was impressed enough to schedule a chat between the site’s founders and President Barack Obama when he visited India in November. Thoniparambil, who spent 26 years working for the elite Indian Administrative Service, said bribery has existed since his early days in government - but cases were isolated. Today, he said, “every department has their supply chain for corruption.” “It has massive social costs,” he added. “It transfers a lot of wealth to those who do not deserve it.” The Asian Development Bank has warned that India, which last year was ranked 87 out of 178 countries on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index - is in danger of sliding into Russian-style oligarchic capitalism if it doesn’t shape up. Allegations of graft involving last year’s Commonwealth Games, legislative vote-

buying, and a rigged auction for 2G telecom spectrum that auditors estimate cost the national treasury $39 billion have spooked investors, many of whom long tolerated corruption. Aging Gandhian activist Anna Hazare successfully tapped into the mood of outrage, demanding that India’s parliament create a powerful, independent watchdog committee to investigate corruption. His highly publicized hunger strike brought thousands of first-time protesters to the streets, expanding the fight against corruption from the poor to India’s growing middle class. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he hopes anti-corruption measures will be introduced during Parliament’s next session. Thoniparambil’s site, meanwhile, offers a microscopic map of how paying “tea water” is woven into the fabric of daily life. Typical postings include people complaining about having to pay bribes to get marriage certificates, passports and driver’s licenses. One person even complained of being forced to pay a bribe at a municipal office in order to obtain a receipt to prove that he had paid his property taxes. Thoniparambil hopes the site will do more than let people vent their frustration. He pours over the anecdotes he collects to uncover patterns of graft and packs the site with tips on how to avoid paying bribes. The site offers “10 commandments” to avoid corruption, including “Get Receipts,” and “Demand in writing why your document/form is being rejected.” Thoniparambil said many of the middleclass Indians now Tweeting against corruption often have themselves to blame for paying “facilitators” to bribe officials on their behalf. “People of otherwise high integrity and professionalism in their outlook are like lambs led to slaughter when it comes to dealing with the government,” he said. “They don’t do ten minutes of homework required. Instead they just go pay a bribe.” Thoniparambil is working with the transport department in his home state of Karnataka to come up with ways to reduce opportunities for bribery and has launched a campaign to get India to ratify the United Nations’ anti-corruption convention, which would require India to strengthen its anticorruption laws. Under India’s 1988 anti-corruption law, offenders face a maximum of five years in prison and unspecified fines, but prosecutions are rare and fines rarely exceed a few hundred dollars, lawyers say. Moreover, only illicit transactions involving a public servant qualify as corruption. Under other laws, corruption in the private sector can be prosecuted but rarely is. —AP

Afghanistan told to forget a long-term US presence ISLAMABAD: Pakistan denied media reports yesterday that it was lobbying Afghanistan to drop its alliance with Washington and look to Islamabad and Beijing to forge a peace deal with the Taleban and rebuild its economy. The Wall Street Journal reported that Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani “bluntly” told Afghan President Hamid Karzai to “forget about allowing a long-term US military presence in his country”, according to Afghans present at an April 16 meeting between the two men. “Reports claiming Gilani-Karzai discussion abt Pakistan advising alignment away fm US are inaccurate,” Pakistan’s ambassador in Washington, Hussain Haqqani, wrote on his Twitter feed. Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tehmina Janjua told Reuters: “It is the most ridiculous report we have come across.” The Journal reported that Pakistan’s apparent bid to separate Afghanistan from the United States is a clear sign that tensions between Washington and Islamabad could threaten attempts to end the war in Afghanistan on favorable terms for the West. The United States plans to start removing combat troops in July, with the bulk of them scheduled to be home by the end of 2014. Pakistan hopes to fill any power vacuum the Americans leave behind, considering Afghanistan to be within its traditional sphere of influence and a bulwark against its arch-rival 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. Its prior support for the Afghan Taleban movement in the 1990s gives it an outsized influence among Afghanistan’s Pashtuns, who makes up about 42 percent

of the total population and who maintain close ties with their Pakistani fellow tribesmen. Pakistan maintains that influence, the United States believes, by having its top intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), keep ties with Al-Qaeda-allied militants operating on both sides of the border. The Journal reported that Pakistan no longer has an incentive to allow the United States a leading role in what it considers its own backyard. At a rally to his party’s supporters yesterday, Gilani said Pakistan would maintain relations with the United States based on “mutual respect and interests”. However, he added: “We’ll not compromise on national interests. We are not ready to compromise on our sovereignty, defense, integrity and self-respect, no matter how powerful the other is.” Pakistan is now looking to secure its own interests in Afghanistan at the expense of the United States. Kabul and Islamabad also agreed at the meeting 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. “This is part of General Kayani’s relentless outreach to President Karzai ever since the Obama administration announced withdrawal plans,” C Raja Mohan, a prominent Indian foreign affairs expert, told Reuters, referring to Pakistani army chief General Ashfaq Kayani. 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. — Reuters

DHARMSALA: A Har vard legal scholar has been elected the next prime minister of Tibet’s government-in-exile, officials announced yesterday, paving the way for new leadership in the Tibetan community as the Dalai Lama gives up political power. Lobsang Sangay, 43, a lawyer and scholar who has spent years studying international law and conflict resolution, won with 55 percent of the votes cast by tens of thousands of Tibetans around the world, chief election commissioner Jamphel Choesang said in the north Indian town of Dharmsala, where the exile government is based. “I view my election as an affirmation of the far-sighted policies of His Holiness the Dalai Lama,” he said in a statement on the exile government’s website, calling on people to “join me in our common cause to alleviate the suffering of Tibetans in occupied Tibet.” While the government-in-exile has existed for decades, it has long been seen as a powerless reflection of the wishes of the Dalai Lama, the exiled 75-year-old Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader worshipped as a near-deity by many followers. Earlier this year, though, the Dalai Lama announced he would give up his political role, saying it was time for elected leadership in the Tibetan community. The political change, yet to be written into the community ’s constitution, reverses centuries of tradition in which the Dalai Lama was also the region’s political leader. While it remains unclear if an elected leader will be able to step out of the Dalai Lama’s immense shadow, the shift is widely seen as a way to prepare for the spiritual leader’s eventual death, and to show Beijing that exile leaders will continue to wield influence. The message “is that the Tibetan struggle is clearly a Tibetan people’s struggle,” government spokesman Thupten Samphel said after Sangay ’s victor y was announced. “This is a wake-up call

for China.” In many ways, Sangay’s election is really about the Dalai Lama’s age and worries over his succession. A man of immense personal charisma, whose followers range from the Tibetan plateau to the mansions of Hollywood, he is seen in many world capitals as the personification of the Tibetan struggle. His death, many Tibetans believe, could leave the community adrift. While the Dalai Lama is believed to be in fairly good health, he openly admits that his death has become a major political concern. Many obser vers believe his death will lead to rival Dalai Lamas one appointed by Beijing, which rules Tibet, and one by senior monks loyal to the current Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace laureate, has also suggested that negotiations with Beijing, which has vilified him for his vocal resistance to China’s rule over Tibet - would be less complicated under another Tibetan figurehead. In Dharmsala, voters were delighted with the news yesterday. “The Dalai Lama wants young Tibetans to take on leadership,” said 28-year-old Lobsang Jinpa, who works in a photo lab. “Even if (Sangay) makes mistakes, the Dalai Lama is there to guide him.” Internet cafe clerk Dawa Tsering, 28, said Sangay would “lead us not by tradition but by modern education. He is also a lawyer, so his experience and education will be a good weapon to fight for the Tibetan cause.” Sangay, a senior fellow at Harvard Law School, has said he would move to Dharmsala from the Boston area if he won the election. It was not immediately clear when he would take office. He has said the Dalai Lama’s decision to abdicate political power means that Tibetans will be able to fight China on two fronts. “On one side we’ll have the Dalai Lama, who has historical legitimacy and global popularity,” he said in March. “And on the second, we have a democratic government functioning in exile.

Tibetan Prime Minister candidate Lobsang Sangay We are showing China that if Tibetans are allowed to choose, they are capable of forming a stable democratic government.” Successive rounds of talks between Chinese officials and representatives of the Dalai Lama have made no apparent progress toward bringing the sides together. Beijing accuses the Dalai Lama of seeking to separate Tibet from China, despite his claims to be working only for more autonomy under Chinese rule. China occupied Tibet in 1950 and claims the region has been part of its territory for centuries, although many Tibetans, who are linguistically and ethnically distinct, say they were effectively independent. Tibetans fear they are being

marginalized economically by Chinese and that their religion is under threat from restrictions imposed by the authoritarian government. The outgoing prime minister, a Buddhist monk, welcomed the new leadership. “It’s a significant change from old to new, from a monk to a lay person, from older to young, and from traditional to modern,” said Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche. The Dalai Lama is still revered by most Tibetans as their king. He is the 14th person to hold the title in a tradition stretching back 500 years, with each Dalai Lama chosen as a child by senior monks through a series of mystical signs. Each is believed to be the reincarnation of his predecessor.—AP

Pilot strike forces Air India’s cancellations

PUTTAPARTI: Devotees wail as they watch the funeral of Indian religious leader Sathya Sai Baba on a big screen during his funeral outside the Prasanthi Nilayam Ashram yesterday.— AP

Tearful devotees gather for Hindu guru’s funeral PUTTAPARTI: Throngs of tearful devotees gathered yesterday for the funeral of Sathya Sai Baba, one of India’s best-known Hindu ascetics who was revered by millions as a divine incarnation with miraculous healing powers. The 84-year-old was buried in an auditorium in his spiritual center in southern India where his body had been lying in state for the last three days. As Sai Baba’s nephew performed the last rites, Hindu priests chanting verses from sacred texts instructed him to anoint the body with oil, herbs and flowers. Tens of thousands of devotees, many sobbing quietly, filled the auditorium and the streets outside, where they watched the funeral on a large screen. Several Indian television channels broadcast the funeral live. At one point, a Western devotee in the auditorium stood up and shouted, “Swami we need you back,” several times before calming himself. The actual burial was a private moment, with a heavy maroon curtain lifted to surround the body and just immediate family and close associates allowed to view. Hindus usually cremate their dead, but infants and people considered pure and saintly are buried. Hindu holy men are usually buried in a cross-legged sitting posture called the lotus position in the ancient Indian practice of Yoga. Sai Baba, whose massive popularity was sometimes marred by controversies including allegations of sexual abuse, died Sunday of heart and lung failure after about a month in a hospital. His passing triggered an outpouring of grief from followers in India and abroad. “I feel helpless. I feel like a guiding force has now left,” Aruna Doraiswamy, a 50-year-old housewife from New Delhi, who traveled to Puttaparti, said amid sobs. For three days, his body was on display in a glass casket in his ashram, or spiritual center. Among the multitude who came to pay

their last respects were Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, governing Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, movie stars, athletes, industrialists and thousands of ordinary people. Many had traveled overnight by bus in southern India’s torrid heat to attend the funeral. “I just wanted to see the Baba one last time,” said Ramchand Tirole, 34, a farmer from the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Most remembered Sai Baba as a pious, selfless person who worked to help others with the billions of dollars donated to his charitable trust. However, he had also been dismissed by some in the past as a charlatan who passed off magic tricks as miracles. Religious leaders from different faiths, including a Christian priest and a Muslim imam, addressed the crowd before the funeral. Several enormous portraits of the guru - with his halo of dark, frizzy hair and in his trademark orange robes - decorated the hall. The funeral was a state event and as the ceremony started, government troops fired a 21-gun salute. Sai Baba’s casket was briefly draped in an Indian flag. Born Nov 23, 1926, as Sathyanarayana Raju, as a child Sai Baba was said to display a tendency toward spirituality and unusual intelligence, which he expressed through music, dance and writing poetry and plays. In 1940, he declared himself an “avatar,” or reincarnation, of another Hindu holy man called the Sai Baba of Shirdi, a town in western Maharashtra state, who died in 1918. Since then he has gathered a huge following and his home of Puttaparti grew from a sleepy village into a vibrant town, where a sprawling “Prasanthi Nilayam” ashram, a large hospital, a university and schools run by his Sathya Sai Central Trust are now located. — AP

MUMBAI: Air India sacked six union leaders yesterday and suspended two others after a strike by hundreds of pilots forced the cancellation of dozens of flights, including on international routes. Airline officials said that six senior figures at the Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association (IPCA) were sacked after some 660 of the union’s 800 members staged a walk-out. At least 24 flights were cancelled from midnight local time. Most of them were o n d o m e s t i c ro u te s b u t f l i g h t s to Kathmandu, Bangkok and Singapore were also scrapped, officials said. Air India said in a statement that it had combined flights to maintain operations and was making “every possible effor t to maintain normalcy ” for affected passengers. The ICPA represents pilots who flew for the domestic carrier Indian Airlines before a merger with Air India. The union claims that Air India pilots are paid a higher fixed salary than its members and they have seen a cut in the number of flights by between 30 and 40 percent. The flag carrier said it was working to resolve the pay discrepancies but said the union was striking despite ongoing efforts at conciliation, claiming the IPCA refused to “have a meaningful dialogue” with management. “Even in case of failure of negotiations... no strike is legally permitted during the pendency of the case,” Air India said in a statement. “In view of this the management has dere co gn i s e d ( t h e ) I C PA a n d s e a l e d t h e i r offices.” India’s aviation minister Vayala Ravi stepped in to urge both sides to talk, as airline chief Arvind Jadhav called the strikers “impatient” and adamant on tarnishing the image of the company. Ailing Air India has been trying to cut costs, modernize its fleet and battle fierce competition from private carriers in the country’s fast-growing aviation sector. The airline is waiting for approval of a five-year turnaround plan, which includes an infusion of government equity and proposals to increase the size of its fleet and rationalize routes. In March, Air India’s Austrian chief operating officer Gustav Baldauf resigned after complaining of government interference in the airline’s day-to-day operations. ICPA general secretary Captain Rishabh Kapur, who was reportedly among the six union leaders who were sacked, told the Press Trust of India news agenc y that Air India management were “solely responsible” for the carrier ’s financial problems. He accused them of “sabotaging” the airline’s future, claiming that purchases of new aircraf t and technical upgrades were designed to kill employee morale, forcing them to protest with the ultimate aim of a sell-off.— AFP


THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2011

I N T E R N AT I O N A L

China risks getting old before it gets rich BEIJING: The harsh logic of China’s onechild policy is starting to unravel, and census data to be released today may well stoke debate whether the ageing nation should relax restrictions. Demographers worry that without change, China will become the first country in the world to age before it gets rich. Once seen as key to averting a Malthusian disaster of over-population, China’s choke on family size to usually one child in cities and two in the countryside now threatens its economic future, many demographers say, with fewer people left to pay and care for an increasingly grey population. They say maintaining that policy is a mistake with profound implications for the world’s second-largest economy. “China is on a downhill demographic vehicle in terms of low fertility and rapid ageing,” said Wang Feng, director of the BrookingsTsinghua Center for Public Policy, who specializes in China’s demographics. “By continuing the one-child policy, the effect is to

step on the gas pedal. It’s a vehicle that’s going downhill and you’re making it go faster. That makes no sense.” Chinese demographers, and even members of the Communist Party-run parliament, have called for looser restrictions. Those wanting change may seize on the data, when China reveals the main findings of its 2010 census, the last since 2000. Still, experts say the government will be reluctant to abolish the policy, as anxious as ever about feeding its people who account for around one-fifth of the world’s population. President Hu Jintao said yesterday that China would continue to “uphold and perfect reproductive policies (to) earnestly stabilize a low birth rate”, Xinhua news agency reported, implying no great changes to the one-child ethos. Proponents argue that smaller familiesusing less resources and with more to spend on the children they do have- was crucial to economic success and will remain so. “China will not adjust current family-

planning policies, and has not studied making adjustments to those current policies,” an official from the country’s family planning authority said last year, according to a report from Xinhua. ‘NO CHOICE’ For now, the one-child policy remains a key plank of government thinking, and its enforcement can be brutal. Just 24 days after she gave birth to her first child, local government officials dragged Li Hongmei from her bed, bundled her into a car and forced her to be sterilized. “I didn’t agree, but there was no choice,” the 24-year-old Li told Reuters by telephone. “They said if I didn’t do it, they will take my husband away for a long period of time.” The officials told Li, from Hefei in eastern Anhui province, that because her husband had a daughter from a previous marriage her household had hit the quota of two children. Her circumstances are echoed by thousands of other women in China, whose family planning law began in 1979 to limit

births in the world’s most populous nation. The 2010 census numbers could show China has 1.41 billion people, compared to 1.27 billion in the 2000 count. It is also expected to show a shrinking number of young people, growth in the number of elderly and the fastest urbanization in Chinese history, according to demographers. FEWER YOUNG Since the last national census in 2000, a pool of millions of young workers has powered China’s roaring export sector, catapulting it to the world’s fastest-growing major economy. That pool is drying up. Wang said the median age of the Chinese population is now 34 years old. He estimates that by 2050, half the population will be 50 or older, assuming the fertility rate is 1.6. That will place enormous strain on the country’s finances and could threaten the underpinnings of the economy, which needs a young populace to drive consumption. The population dependency

ratio, the proportion of those too young or old to work, is seen rising for the first time after falling for over 40 years, while the ratio of those aged 15-59 is predicted to peak and then slowly start to fall. When about 25 percent of the population hits 60 years and above, their level of per capita income will be, at best, only a third of the level of Western ageing countries, said Wang. PENSIONS And in China, the transition will happen in three decades, compared to Europe, which has aged gradually over the past 100 years, said Du Peng, deputy director at the Center for Population and Development Studies at Renmin University. Economists say the government is ill-prepared. “At the moment, the biggest problem is that there is no comprehensive social security coverage,” said Wang Xiaolu, an economist at the China Development Research Foundation. “There is a large number of people not covered by social security.”— Reuters

Cambodian PM accuses Thais of war mongering Thai-Cambodia clashes continue for 6th day

ALISHAN: Narrow-gauge train carriages lie on their side after being struck by a falling tree on the mountainous tourist destination of Alishan, southern Taiwan yesterday. — AP

5 dead, 84 injured in Taiwan train accident TAIPEI: At least five people were killed and 84 injured yesterday when a falling tree struck a train carrying Chinese tourists on a popular but dangerous mountain route in central Taiwan, officials said. The train was travelling through a forested area on the slopes of Mount Ali when the tree trunk fell, causing four carriages to derail and overturn, said an official at the forestry bureau, which supervises the area. The island’s government provided an updated toll yesterday, saying that in addition to the five dead, 84 were injured, including 42 who were seriously hurt. It said at least four of the dead and 30 of the injured were Chinese. Officials from various agencies had reported earlier that six people were killed. No immediate explanation was available for the discrepancy. “We are saddened by the accident, and the cause is being investigated,” President Ma Ying-

jeou told reporters. Taiwanese officials have pledged to help relatives of the Chinese tourists to come to the island. TV footage showed one of the carriages upside down, as it had apparently dropped several meters from a small bridge in the densely forested region. Injured passengers were airlifted by helicopter out of the area, which is other wise only accessible via winding mountain roads, officials said. Other injured passengers were rushed to nearby hospitals for treatment. Train services were suspended following the accident, the forestry bureau said. Several accidents have taken place on the Mount Ali rail route in the past, including one incident in 2003 that killed 17 people. Taiwan has experienced a boom in Chinese tourists in recent years as restrictions on travel between the two former rivals have been relaxed.— AFP

PHNOM PENH: Cambodia’s leader accused Thailand yesterday of loving war and said he wants to talk peace with his Thai counterpart at an upcoming regional meeting. In his first comments since border fighting began last Friday, Prime Minister Hun Sen said he welcomes talks with Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva at the meeting in Indonesia early next month. The two countries traded fire for a sixth day yesterday, after the death of a Thai civilian a day earlier brought the toll to 14. Tens of thousands of civilians on both sides have been forced to flee their homes. “The current Thai leader likes war, provokes war,” Hun Sen said in a speech to a women’s group. “I have never met any Thai leader in the past who had bad behavior like Abhisit.” Both sides have accused the other of starting the fighting. “Cambodia is a small, poor country and has fewer forces (than Thailand), but don’t you forget that an ant can make an elephant not get any sleep,” Hun Sen said. “Cambodian’s weaponry is not just slingshots.” Cambodia employed truck-mounted rocket launchers for the first time Tuesday, in what Hun Sen said was retaliation for Thailand’s use of heavy weapons. Abhisit, meanwhile, said his government is not willing to have a meeting of the two countries’ defense ministers unless there is a cease-fire first. “If they want to talk, the easiest way is to stop the firing,” Abhisit told Parliament after visiting injured civilians in Surin province in the northeast. Talks with Cambodia have apparently become a divisive issue within the Thai government, with the military dragging its feet while Abhisit takes a more conciliatory position. On Tuesday, it appeared that Thai Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan would meet his Cambodian counterpart in Phnom Penh, but Thai army spokesman Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd then said the trip was canceled because Cambodian media had allegedly said it was to negotiate terms for a Thai surrender. Abhisit, however, said the trip could not take place because Prawit had an engagement in China. The army has already stymied

SURIN: A man walks through rubbles at the destroyed silk factory following the clash between Thailand and Cambodia in Surin province, northeastern Thailand yesterday. — AP a plan to station Indonesian military observers along the border. Hun Sen said yesterday that Cambodia would welcome them on its side of the border regardless of any delays by Thailand. Indonesia, which currently chair Association of Southeast Asian Nations, offered to provide the observers after four days of border fighting in February. The conflict involves small swaths of land along the border that have been disputed for more than half a century. Fierce clashes have broken out several times since 2008, when Cambodia’s 11th-century Preah Vihear temple was given UN World Heritage status over Thailand’s objections. The Thai army has been flexing its muscles domestically in recent weeks, raising political tensions. It has staged several high-profile maneuvers inside the country, accompanied by statements by the top brass declaring their

What’s going on at Japan damaged nuclear plant? TOKYO: Japanese engineers are struggling to gain control of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, 240 km north of Tokyo, which was seriously damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Two of the six reactors at the plant, operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), are considered stable but the other four are volatile. Following are some questions and answers about efforts to end the world’s worst nuclear crisis since the 1986 Chernobyl accident: WHAT IS HAPPENING? Workers are trying to fill the reactors with enough water to bring the nuclear fuel rods inside to a “cold shutdown”, in which the water cooling them is below 100 degrees Celsius and the reactors are considered stable. TEPCO has been pouring water into the reactor vessels containing the rods since the disaster to cool them as an emergency measure. In a further step towards a cold shutdown, TEPCO is filling the containment vesselan outer shell of steel and concrete that houses the reactor vessel-with water in a procedure called water entombment. It has started by increasing the amount of water being poured into the No.1 reactor. At the same time it will work to restore the reactors’ cooling system, which functions like a radiator on an automobile. TEPCO said mounting a separate cooling system externally was also a possibility. For reactors like No.2, which is suspected of having a damaged containment vessel, TEPCO said it hopes to seal the damaged sections with cement to prevent the water being pumped in from leaking out. WHAT IS HAMPERING OPERATIONS? The large amounts of runoff from the water TEPCO has been pumping in to prevent overheating of fuel rods and a nuclear meltdown. The operator estimates the amount of contaminated water at the Daiichi plant at around 87,500 tons. TEPCO plans to start operating in June a system to treat this contaminated water. The system, developed by Toshiba , Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, Areva and US firm Kurion, would adsorb and isolate radioactive elements, then the treated water would be re-used to cool down the reactors. The isolated radioactive materials would remain in the nuclear plant for now. For the time being, TEPCO has been transferring radioactive water that has accumulated at the reactor buildings into tanks and storage areas at the plant, but the process

has been progressing very slowly. Many storage tanks on site were damaged by the tsunami and authorities earlier in April made a decision to pump contaminated water with lower levels of radiation back into the ocean to secure storage space. That has since stopped but could resume if they run out of storage space again. In the meantime, radiation continues to seep out of TEPCO’s nuclear complex into the sea and into the air, although at far lower levels than at the peak of the crisis in midMarch. To contain contamination, workers have tried pouring liquid glass to stop a leak and spraying the ground with sticky resin to capture radiated dust. They are also injecting nitrogen into to prevent new hydrogen explosions which would spread highly radioactive material into the air. HOW LONG MIGHT THIS TAKE? On April 17 TEPCO announced a timetable for its operations. Within the first three months it plans to cool the reactors and the spent fuel stored in some of them

MINAMISANRIKU: Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko look at the tsunami-hit devastated area from the playground of Isatomae Elementary School in Minamisanriku, Miyagi Prefecture yesterday. — AP

to a stable level and reduce the leakage of radiation. TEPCO then hopes to bring the reactors to a cold shutdown in another three to six months. But some experts said the process could take longer. TEPCO itself said constant aftershocks, power outages, high levels of radiation and the threat of hydrogen explosions were factors that could hamper its work. Weather conditions, such as the approaching rainy season and typhoons and lightning during the summer, could also pose problems. WHAT ARE THE RISKS? The main risk is radiation continuing to seep, or burst, out each time a pipe leaks or rising pressure forces workers to vent steam. Leaking water from within the nuclear pressure vessels could find its way into soil and the ocean, while spikes in radiation could contaminate crops over a wide area. The risk that the spent fuel pools could go into a chain reaction is low, as long as temperature indicators are accurate. But some more of the contaminated runoff may have to be dumped into the sea, if workers run out of space to store the water. There is also a small risk of a corium steam explosion, particularly in the No.1 reactor, which is the plant’s oldest and which is believed to have a weak spot. If workers are unable to continue hosing operations, and if the nuclear fuel manages to melt through the bottom of the reactor and fall into a water pool below, this would result in a burst of high temperature and a sudden release of a huge amount of hydrogen explosion that could breach the containment vessel. Should either worst-case scenario happen, high levels of radiation up to 20 km (12 miles) around the site could be dispersed, making it impossible to bring the reactors to a cold shutdown without great sacrifice. WILL THE SITE BECOME A NO-MAN’S LAND? Most likely, yes. Even after a cold shutdown there are tons of nuclear waste sitting at the site of the nuclear reactors. Entombing the reactors in concrete would make them safe to work and live a few kilometers away from the site, but is not a long-term solution for the disposal of spent fuel, which will decay and emit radiation over several thousand years. The spent nuclear fuel in Fukushima has been damaged by sea water, so recycling it is probably not an option, while transporting it elsewhere is unlikely because of the opposition that proposal would bring. Experts say the clean-up will take decades. — Reuters

dedication to protecting the monarchy. There is speculation that the military disagrees with Abhisit’s plan to hold elections by early July. It is believed to fear the return to power of allies of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, whom it deposed in a 2006 coup over accusations of corruption and disrespect for the king. Meanwhile, the Thai Foreign Ministry issued a belated refutation yesterday night of Cambodian charges that it had fired a shell Saturday with “poisonous smoke” that caused weakness among troops that inhaled it. Thai officials had earlier denied the use of any chemical agents but did not offer further explanation. The statement said that Thai troops responding to shelling from Cambodia had fired smoke shells with white phosphorous “as a warning signal, causing no harm to people.” — AP

News

in brief

Angry driver goes on rampage, kills 5 BEIJING: Chinese state media are reporting that a man killed five people after plowing a cement mixer into cars and pedestrians following a fight with another motorist. Six people were injured. The official Xinhua News Agency quoted police in the southern city of Changsha as saying that the 33-year-old had gotten in a traffic accident at a construction site before the rampage. Police said the man drove off wildly after the fight, ramming cars and people on a nearby street. Xinhua said the driver was arrested yesterday on charges of endangering public safety. There have been increasing reports of road rage and drunk driving incidents in Chinese media amid a boom in auto sales. Many new drivers hit the streets with little more than cursory training. Certificate for seafood? TOKYO: japan is considering issuing safety certificates for its seafood exports, in a bid to ease foreign fears over radiation contamination, a report said yesterday. Japan is working with its top trade partner China on the certificate in an effort to persuade Beijing to relax rules on Japanese seafood products, the Nikkei said. Some 35 countries and regions have imposed restrictions on Japanese farm products, as the crippled Fukushima daiichi nuclear power plant continues to contaminate the environment, the Nikkei said. China, the second largest importer of Japanese seafood after Hong Kong, has banned food imports from Fukushima and the surrounding areas and is asking for safety certificates from Tokyo on food products from other regions, the Nikkei said. Militant sentenced to 10 years JAKARTA: An Indonesian court has sentenced a militant to 10 years in jail for helping set up a terrorist training camp and network. The East Jakarta District Court yesterday found Abdullah Sunata guilty of financing and procuring weapons for the camp and hiding information about terrorism.


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LONDON: Soldiers of the Household Cavalry cross Horseguards as they take part in an overnight dress rehearsal for the Royal Wedding of Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton in central London yesterday. Prince William is to marry Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London tomorrow. — AP

UAE quiet but reformers face heat Continued from Page 1 Barack Obama in Washington. Western officials, including British Foreign Secretary William Hague, have made Abu Dhabi a critical stop on Mideast fact-finding missions since the uprisings began. “All my life I have been listening to the sheikhs saying we want to be number one in everything. So why not also be first in democracy?” asked Waleed, an activist who only gave his first name for fear of being targeted by the authorities. He is among a small group of Emiratis turning to social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to voice their complaints, including a public role in political affairs, shifting development to poorer areas outside the gleaming cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi and creating more job opportunities for Emiratis who are outnumbered by foreign workers 5-to-1. The demands might appear minor compared with the violent struggles for change in places such as Syria or Gulf neighbor Bahrain. But in the Emirati context, any public dissident is considered a potential time bomb. The five activists detained - including a prominent blogger and an outspoken academic - are under investigation for “perpetrating acts that pose a threat to state security” and insulting the rulers of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the seven-emirate federation, the state-run WAM news agency said Monday. If convicted of the charges, the men could be imprisoned for decades. The jailed blogger, Ahmed Mansour, led a popular online political forum that was blocked last year. Another of the detainees, Nasser bin Ghaith, a financial analyst and a frequent lecturer at the Abu Dhabi branch of Paris’ Sorbonne university, has criticized the Gulf’s rulers for failing to provide a legal code to prevent corruption and abuses during the staggering economic advances of the past decade. “We have this frustrating feeling inside us, but we are not allowed to express it,” the activist Waleed said during a recent tour of one of the poorer sheikhdoms in the north, Ras Al-Khaimah. The international watchdog group Human Rights Watch sharply criticized the UAE for “punishing peaceful criticism”. “This shows how far the UAE has to go to become a rights-respecting country,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director for the New York-based group. Political activity is severely restricted in the UAE. There are no official opposition groups and political parties are banned. The Emirates’ main elected political body

serves only in an advisory capacity and its 40 members are either directly appointed by the ruling sheikhs or elected by a small group of handpicked voters. Loyalty is also bought. Emiratis receive generous state benefits such as subsidized utilities, free health care, education and generous retirement benefits as well as interest-free loans to build a house. Sultan Al-Muazzin, a parliament member from the emirate of Fujairah, called the state money pipeline “an important factor of stability”. It includes millions of dollars handed out last month as antigovernment protests raged in Bahrain and smaller rallies took place in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and neighboring Oman. As the protests grew around the region, the UAE’s crown prince took a highly publicized tour of the lessdeveloped emirates in the northern part of the country, pledging $1.6 billion to upgrade electrical and water systems in an apparent attempt to discourage Emiratis from taking their grievances to the streets. Al-Muazzin claimed most Emiratis are content with the traditional desert-style system of rule - rooted in customs that allow people to discuss their problems directly with the rulers or their aides during weekly audiences. “There is no election culture here. There is no interest in the democratic process to begin with,” Al-Muazzin claimed. Still, he believes the activists who signed the petition have “done nothing wrong”. That view is not widely reflected by other authorities, and there are signs of controls tightening further. The UAE’s telecommunication authority has ordered sharp limits beginning May 1 on access to the most-secure email service offered on the BlackBerry smartphone. The curbs are seen as further efforts by the state to monitor cybertraffic. Last week, authorities dismissed the 11 elected members of the UAE lawyers’ association, one of the country’s few independent rights groups. They were replaced by state-appointed substitutes. It’s part of growing tensions between the “status quo power” views of the UAE and the tumult around the region for more freedoms, said Christopher Davidson, a lecturer at Briton’s Durham University and an author of two books on the UAE. Most Emirati activists are now keeping a low profile. Some discussions about reforms still occur on the Web. But the UAE’s official media have barely mentioned the activists’ detentions. The rulers have only said the arrests were in line with the country’s laws. “They will do all they can to prevent the spread of the Arab Spring into the UAE,” Davidson said. — AP

Afghan pilot guns down 9 Americans Continued from Page 1 “He was under economic pressures and recently he sold his house. He was going through a very difficult period of time in his life.” The deaths represent the highest number of foreign forces killed in a single incident since September, when nine ISAF troops died in a helicopter crash. It is also

thought to be the deadliest incident for NATO troops targeted as they trained up Afghan forces. There is a history of Afghan troops attacking foreign soldiers who have been mentoring them ahead of limited foreign troop withdrawals due to start in July. Last November, six US troops were shot dead during a training session in eastern Afghanistan, apparently by a member of the Afghan border police. — Agencies

MP calls for raising pay of cleaners Continued from Page 1 salaries, deductions from their small salaries, bad living conditions and other abuses. In another development, spokesman of the Popular Action Bloc MP Musallam Al-Barrak strongly criticized the delay in forming the new Cabinet, saying this represents a clear violation of the country’s constitution. Barrak said the delay also reflects the failure of the prime minister and indicates that the new Cabinet will not include key changes as demanded by the Assembly. The Popular Bloc has threatened to include the issue as part of their planned grilling of the prime minister which they said will be filed immediately after the government takes the oath in the Assembly. The outgoing Cabinet resigned on March 31 and HH the Amir asked HH Sheikh Nasser Mohammad AlAhmad Al-Sabah to form the new

Cabinet a few days later. The Cabinet has not been announced so far, with some MPs saying its formation should not take that long because it has paralyzed the functioning of the Assembly. Liberal MP Saleh Al-Mulla however said that he does not agree that the issue of delaying forming the new Cabinet should be an issue in the planned grilling, adding that this does not represent a breach of the constitution. Mulla said that taking so long to form the Cabinet could be termed as violating the spirit of the constitution and not its text. The Kuwaiti constitution does not specify a definite period to form the new Cabinet except after general elections, which is two weeks. The new Cabinet is expected to be announced in the first week of next month but is not expected to take the oath in the Assembly until the regular session on May 17. Based on unconfirmed reports on local web-

sites, all five ministers from the ruling family will be retained almost in the same portfolios and a new ruling family minister is expected to be added. Other ministers expected to be retained include Mohammad AlBusairi and Roudhan Al-Roudhan. The ministers of health, finance, public works and municipality in addition to electricity and water are expected to be dropped. Islamist MP Jamaan Al-Harbash meanwhile said yesterday that other MPs and he are preparing to present a key amendment to the penal code to introduce the death penalty for those who insult and defame the wives of the Prophet (PBUH). The move came after highly offensive graffiti against Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) wife Aisha and Caliph Omar bin Al-Khattab were found last week on the walls of two schools. Security forces said a number of people were taken in for questioning.

Kuwait Egyptians urge PM to fire ambassador Continued from Page 1 Most of the complaints focused on the Egyptian embassy with some of the crowd shouting “the people want to remove the ambassador” emulating

the famous Arab revolutionary slogan “the people want to topple the president”. Others called for paying greater attention and providing more services to overseas Egyptians when they return home, including providing more

university seats for their children. One Egyptian professor at Kuwait University complained that the former regime unjustly sentenced him to 10 years in jail without a proper trial and called on Sharaf to review the sentence.

Fatah, Hamas bury hatchet Continued from Page 1 Netanyahu, he said, “must choose between peace and settlements.” The White House said Hamas was “a terrorist organisation” and added that any Palestinian government would have to renounce violence. A US official said it would also have to respect past peace deals and recognise Israel’s right to exist. In Cairo, Hamas spokesman Taher al-Noono said Israel was “not concerned with Palestinian reconciliation and has been an impediment to it in the past.” The surprise accord came against the backdrop of tumult across the Middle East and followed the ousting in February of Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak, who was a close ally of the United States and had no patience for Hamas. “This agreement is possible because the Egyptian regime has changed. The new administration is taking a balanced position,” said Hany Al-Masri, a political commentator who took part in talks over the past two weeks that lead to the breakthrough. Analysts said the ongoing uprising in Syria, where part of

Hamas’s leadership is based, had also put pressure on the group to try to end its isolation in Gaza, a tiny coastal enclave that borders both Israel and Egypt. Ordinary Palestinians have repeatedly urged their leaders to resolve their deep divisions, but analysts thought differences on core issues such as security were too wide to bridge, with Hamas and the Palestinian Authority running separate forces. Mahmoud Al-Zahar, a senior Hamas leader who participated in the talks, said Wednesday’s deal covered five points, including combining security forces and forming a government made up of “nationalist figures”. He said Hamas and Fatah would free respective prisoners. Implementation of the accord is due to start following an official signing ceremony in Cairo, expected in early May. Any interim government is unlikely to include Hamas officials in an effort to avoid the sort of international boycott that hit the Palestinians after the 2006 election. Abbas is dependent on Western aid, which he has used to build up state institutions ahead of hoped-for

independence. Peace talks between Israel and Abbas broke down last year and the Palestinian president has been pushing instead to obtain backing in the United Nations this September for an independent nation on all the territory Israel occupied in a 1967 war. Netanyahu has criticised such a unilateral move and is expected to address a joint meeting of the US Congress during a visit to Washington next month where he plans to outline a plan to re-start the frozen negotiations. While Fatah has supported the notion of a negotiated peace deal with Israel, Hamas has firmly rejected it and regularly fires missiles and mortars from Gaza into the Jewish state. Some Palestinian analysts called for caution over news of the reconciliation deal. “Previous experience has taught us not to rush into making a judgment,” said analyst Hani Habib, who is based in Gaza. “We have had experiences in the past where agreements were fully signed, not just by initial letters, where governments were formed and then everything collapsed,” he added. — Agencies

Obama releases birth form, slams ‘silliness’ Continued from Page 1 “He should have done it a long time ago. I am really honored to play such a big role in hopefully, hopefully getting rid of this issue,” Trump said. Polls show large numbers of Republicans have continued to doubt Obama is a natural born citizen eligible to be president. Trump, the bombastic real estate mogul, has seized on the issue as he weighs a GOP candidacy. While Obama and White House officials avoided mentioning Trump by name, officials said they released the birth certificate partially because the issue had moved beyond fringe discussion, and Obama criticized a media culture that had not let the story go. “This issue has been going on for two, two and a half years now. I think it started during the campaign,” Obama said. “I have watched with bemusement, I’ve been puzzled at the degree at which this thing just kept on going. We’re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers,” the president said. He did not take any questions and did not say why the document had not been released earlier. Many Republican leaders have sought to distance themselves from the “birther” theory as a discredited notion not worthy of national public debate. In a statement after Obama spoke, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called the issue a distraction - and yet blamed Obama for

playing campaign politics by addressing it. “The president ought to spend his time getting serious about repairing our economy,” Priebus said. “Unfortunately his campaign politics and talk about birth certificates is distracting him from our number one priority - our economy.” The newly released certificate is signed by the delivery doctor, Obama’s mother and the local registrar. His mother, then 18, signed her name (Stanley) Ann Dunham Obama. The form says Barack Hussein Obama II was born at 7:24 pm on Aug 4, 1961, at Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital, within the city limits of Honolulu. There is no mention of religion. It says his father, Barack Hussein Obama, age 25, was African and born in Kenya and his mother was Caucasian and born in Wichita, Kansas. Obama’s mother and the doctor signed the certificate on Aug 7 and 8. Hawaii’s registrar certified the new photocopy of the document provided to the White House on April 25, 2011. The White House also released a letter from the president on April 22 requesting two certified copies of his original certificate of live birth. Also released was a letter from Loretta Fuddy, Hawaii’s director of health, approving the request. The president’s personal counsel, Judith Corley, traveled to Hawaii to pick up the documents and carried them back to Washington on a plane. The documents arrived at the White House late Tuesday. — AP


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THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2011

ANALYSIS

Neighbours fear future without Assad family By Samia Nakhoul rom Israel to Iran, Syria’s neighbours are starting to contemplate the possibility of a future without the Assad family as Lords of Damascus, and, whether friends or foes, some don’t like what they see. Indeed, some are in denial about what they are witnessing. Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite movement widely seen as an Iranian proxy in the Middle East, purports to believe the government of President Bashar Al-Assad is putting down an insurrection by armed gangs of Salafi or Sunni Muslim fanatics. In its report of the Syrian army’s assault on the southern city of Deraa, epicentre of the revolt which began last month, Al Manar, Hezbollah’s television, stuck to the official version that the army responded to citizens’ pleas to put an end to “killings and terrorising operations by extremist groups”. Hezbollah greeted with glee uprisings that overthrew dictatorships in Tunisia and Egypt and championed the rights of Bahraini protesters against Saudi military intervention to quash Shiite demonstrations. But it is distinctly unenthusiastic about the risk of losing the support of a Syrian government which is not only its main protector but the conduit for arms supplies from Iran. Tehran, which regards Syria as a close ally in a mainly Sunni-dominated region suspicious of non-Arab Shiite Iran, has called the revolt in Syria “a Zionist plot”. Yet Israel too seems deeply uneasy about any change in the status quo. Although they are still formally at war, Syria under the current president and his late father, Hafez Al-Assad, has maintained a stable border with the Jewish state since 1973 even though Israel still occupies the Golan Heights. Israel’s fear - voiced more openly by commentators plugged in to its security establishment than by politicians - is that a successful uprising might replace firm Baath party rule with a more radical government, or one less able or willing to keep radical forces on a leash. Although Assad sponsors Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon and Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, he has played a cautious hand. Behind the strident Arabist rhetoric and ties with Tehran he has kept the option of peace with Israel in play and sought acceptance by Western powers. “The implications are enormous and totally unpredictable,” said Lebanon-based

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Middle East analyst Rami Khouri. “What makes Syria distinctive is that the regime and the system have close structural links with every conflict or player in the region: Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran, Lebanon, Israel, America, Iraq, Turkey. In all these (cases) there is a Syrian link.” Demonstrations have spread across the country and grown in intensity, he said, and protesters who began calling for reform of the system were now demanding “the overthrow of the regime”. At the back of many minds is the experience of Iraq, plunged into years of chaos and sectarian savagery after the US-led invasion

establishment has a certain sentiment for the Assad family. They kept their promises throughout the years and even talked about an arrangement with Israel on their terms,” he wrote. “It’s hard to part with a comfortable old slipper, but the top members of the political and security establishment believe that the Syrian regime, in its current format, will change within weeks or months,” Fishman said. He added: “The sole interest guiding Israel’s conduct is: if what is happening in Syria will ultimately weaken the Damascus-Iran-Hezbollah axis - we’ll come out ahead.”

People carry pictures of Syrian President Bashar Assad and his father late President Hafez Assad as Syrian military police prepare to send the bodies of six killed soldiers and security force members to their hometowns for burial at a military hospital in Damascus yesterday. The Arabic on the coffin reads:” Martyr Yahya Haj Omar.” —AP in 2003 and removal of Saddam Hussein. “Everybody in the region is concerned about the destabilisation of Syria, even those who don’t like Assad, because there is one thing he brings to the region: a certain kind of predictability and stability,” Khouri said. “He maintained the truce along the Syrian-Israeli border, people know how his government behaves. Nobody knows what will happen afterwards.” Alex Fishman, a military affairs journalist for Israel’s best-selling daily Yedioth Ahronoth, summed up Israeli apprehension after the Syrian army stormed into Deraa. “However odd it may sound, the Israeli

For Hezbollah and Iran, losing Assad would certainly be a big blow. “If it (Syria) splits into mini-satellite states that will be bad news for everybody,” Khouri said, suggesting that as in Iraq this might provide an opening for Al-Qaeda militants. Across the border in Lebanon, arena of a sectarian civil war in 1975-90 that sucked in regional and world powers and left Syria in control for 29 years, people are also worried. Any prospect of a new sharpening of tensions between Sunnis and Shiites, Arabs and Kurds, or Christians and Muslims, all simmering across the region after being brought to the boil by Iraq, produces shudders.

“I don’t think any wise man is not worried about what happens in Syria because it is a neighbour,” said Talal Salman, editor of Beirut’s daily As-Safir. “Any earthquake in Syria will shake Lebanon with its fragile make-up. Syria’s stability is in our interest.” For now, Assad has decided to follow in the footsteps of his father and resort to military force, not reform, to put down the protests at a cost so far of more than 400 lives, according to human rights groups. Monday’s deployment of tanks in Deraa looks like an indicator of what is to come. A source close to the Syrian military said Assad and his security establishment had taken a decision to wage war on protesters across the country. But Ali al-Atassi, a prominent Syrian activist whose father was a former president jailed for 22 years by the elder Assad, said “another Hama” was impossible. In 1982, Hafez Al-Assad sent in the army to crush an armed Islamist uprising, killing of up to 30,000 people. “Syria has reached a turning point. It cannot go back to where it was,” said Atassi. He said the Western habit of accommodating dictatorships in return for stability was no longer valid. “In Tunis, Egypt and elsewhere for years, Arab leaders and the West gave the Arab people a binary choice: stability or chaos; despotism or Islamism. “After what happened in Tunis and Egypt, we discovered that there is a third option which is the democratic way. Sure, the Islamists will play a role in it, but they will not have the leading role,” Atassi said. While many analysts argue that life after Assad would be hazardous or that he may prove impossible to remove, others say a relatively smooth transition is imaginable over time because Damascus has institutions that can shoulder responsibility. They include the army, whose backbone is Sunni although key posts are controlled by members of Assad’s Alawite minority. What most observers now dismiss is the possibility of reforms substantial enough to meet popular demands. Even if Assad wanted to enact wide-scale reforms, they argue, he lacks the power to prevail over entrenched interests in the security forces and military intelligence. “He is the prisoner of a certain structure and at the same time part of it,” Atassi said. “The next 2-3 weeks are really critical. They will determine whether he will remain in power or whether his regime will collapse,” Khouri said. —Reuters

Syria unrest could destabilise Lebanon By Mariam Karouny he unrest sweeping Syria may whip up sectarian divisions that could spill across the border and threaten to destabilise Lebanon, a small neighbour where Damascus has both strong allies and enemies. Tension already smoulders in Lebanon, where the powerful Shi’ite militant movement Hezbollah, supported by Syria and Iran, is at odds with caretaker Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, backed by the West and the Sunni Arab kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Tiny Lebanon, with around four million people, has always been a battleground for bigger regional powers. Syria, which had a military presence for 29 years until 2005, remains the most influential external player in Lebanon’s sectarian politics. “We have sides here who are linked to Syria and others who are enemies of it (who) would drag us into the crisis. God forbid if something happened there, Lebanon is not going to be immune,” analyst Nabil Bu Monsef said. The upheaval in Syria, where a rights group said on Tuesday 400 people have been killed by security forces, has sectarian undercurrents because of President Bashar Al-Assad’s minority Alawite rule in a mainly Sunni Muslim country. Alawite loyalists occupy pivotal positions in the Syrian military and Assad family insiders run the crucial security bodies, tying senior officers closely to Assad’s own fate.

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“If there is sectarian tension between Alawites and Sunnis in Syria this will definitely spill over to Lebanon,” said a Lebanese analyst, alluding to past fighting between Alawites and Sunnis in northern Lebanon. “We have growing numbers of Sunni hardliners, this is clear, and it is all over the Middle East, and from the other side we have the Shiites getting more hardline - because of the conflict between Iran and the Gulf states. All of this is growing, so we should be scared. We are not immune,” he said. “When these countries were stable, we were paying a heavy price because of their interference, so imagine now that there is trouble there. We will pay an even heavier price.” For security reasons many Lebanese analysts declined to comment or be quoted by name for this article. Underlining the tension, a little known Sunni militant group staged an anti-Assad demonstration in Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli on Friday and chanted demands for an Islamic caliphate. Some analysts said Hezbollah might tighten its already strong grip on Lebanon’s political fortunes if it felt that its main ally in Damascus was weakening. A cosmopolitan Mediterranean country with 18 sects, Lebanon endured a 15-year civil war characterised by ethnic and sectarian bloodletting between Muslims and Christians. The war ended in 1990 but many Lebanese felt justice was not served and many households still keep guns to hand, including AK-47

assault rifles and even rocket-propelled grenades. “There is already plenty of tension in Lebanon and the Syria unrest will complicate relations in Lebanon, especially between the (Sunni) Future Movement led by Hariri and Hezbollah,” a political science professor at a Lebanese university said. Syrian authorities, trying to crush five weeks of protests against Assad’s authoritarian rule, have accused a Lebanese lawmaker from Hariri’s bloc of stirring up the demonstrators and providing them with weapons to attack security forces. Legislator Jamal AlJarrah denied this. But, in a sign of the hairtrigger tension, pro-Syria Lebanese and Palestinian parties held a news conference immediately after the Syrian accusations and denounced what they called “foreign interference in Syria”. Some accused Hariri himself of being behind the demonstrations. “Lebanon is stable when Syria is stable. There is no security in Lebanon without security in Syria,” Hezbollah lawmaker Nawaf AlMussawi said at the conference. Nabih Berri, the parliament speaker and head of Lebanon’s Shi’ite Amal group, a Hezbollah ally and very close to Syria, said on Tuesday Lebanese had to “care for Syria’s security and stability more than the Syrians themselves”. He added, “We warn against any attempt to export strife and chaos in Syria because it will ignite a fire in the Middle East that cannot be extinguished.” Hariri has not commented on the events in Syria. —Reuters

Fear muffling Arab criticism of Assad By Lynne Nahhas ripped by fears of contagion and desperate to maintain the fragile status quo in the region, Arab regimes are choosing to remain silent as deaths tolls mount in a Syrian crackdown on protesters. Analysts say Arab leaders, wary of the uprisings which toppled the veteran rulers of Tunisia and Egypt, are adopting a “better the devil you know” attitude and hope President Bashar alAssad’s regime will survive Syria’s upheavals. Human rights groups say close on 400 protesters have been killed in clashes with Syrian security forces, who have frequently resorted to gunfire, since the demonstrations began midMarch. The lethal crushing of dissent by Assad’s regime has sparked alarm in the international community but reaction across the Arab world has been muted. Maha Azzam, associate fellow at the British think-tank, Chatham House, said Arab leaders have held back direct condemnation of the Syrian regime out of fear they could be next. “The silence of Arab leaders on what is happening in Syria is going to create greater antagonism from their own populations towards these governments,” warned Azzam. She noted neighbouring countries were more comfortable with a known Assad than an unknown successor. “They (Arab neighbours) don’t want

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any radical change that would make Syria a democratic society and that (democracy) itself would obviously be a greater threat to them than any policies of the Baathist regime.” A professor at the American university in Paris, Ziad Majed, agrees. “Most Arab regimes prefer the status quo in the region,” Majed said. Protests swept through Tunisia and Egypt toppling autocratic leaders and what began as peaceful protests in Libya escalated into civil war when strongman Muammar Gaddafi’s troops opened fire. Protesters have now seized several eastern towns amid continuing heavy bloodshed. Not all protests in the region have led to regime change. Gulf Arab troops intervened to crush a month-long Shiiteled uprising in Bahrain. In Yemen, protests have entered their third month. Protests have also taken place in

several other Arab countries - Algeria, Jordan, Oman and Morocco. “Despite the ups and downs, Gulf governments prefer to deal with regimes they know,” Majed said. Syria is seen as capable of creating an impact outside its geographical region with its strong ties with Iran and suppor t for the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah. “Arab countries and the world think twice before announcing their positions” on Syria, said Ibrahim Sharqieh, deputy director of the Brookings Doha Centre. “ There is a love-hate relationship with the Syrian regime.” Analysts agree the Syrian struggle will be long and bloody, but they also believe mounting street pressures has the potential to push Assad out. Assad had issued decrees Thursday scrapping decades-old emergency rule, abolishing the state securi-

ty court and allowing citizens to hold peaceful demonstrations. Unimpressed, protesters took to the streets on Friday in demonstrations that left more than 80 people reportedly killed in one of the bloodiest days of the month-long uprising. Friday’s bloodbath prompted US President Barak Obama to dismiss Assad’s move and accuse him of seeking Tehran’s aid “in repressing Syria’s citizens through the same brutal tactics that have been used by his Iranian allies.” According to Majed, there is little hope. “ The structure of the (Syrian) regime is very inflexible, very rigid, that any reform would lead to its collapse,” the Lebanese professor said. “Changing it will take lots of time and unfortunately lots of blood.” Analyst Azzam agrees the road ahead will be long and bloody. “The Syrian regime will continue to use violence but the protesters will keep coming back until the fall of the Al-Assad regime,” she says. “There will be a longterm struggle and ultimately the existing regime will be unlikely to succeed,” she says. “Even if there is a lull in the protests because of suppression, the protests will re-emerge,” the Egyptian analyst says. Sharqieh for his part insists that change will only be inevitable if “large numbers of protesters take to the streets of the capital Damascus specifically” or if rifts begin to emerge within the Baath party or within the Syrian leadership.—AFP

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Qaeda, hunger pose risks for Niger’s Issoufou By Bate Felix and Abdoulaye Massalatchi he constant threat from local Al-Qaeda allies, recurrent food shortages and a population explosion are just a few of the problems awaiting Niger’s new civilian president. Mahamadou Issoufou, 59, named his government last week, ending over a year of military rule in the landlocked West African nation that is rich in uranium but plagued by instability, with poverty afflicting 60 percent of its people. Issoufou pledged during his election campaign to invest six trillion CFA Francs ($13 billion) in infrastructure and the economy during his five-year term and create more than 50,000 jobs, promising to tap the West African franc bond market to raise some funds. He has also promised sustained growth averaging seven percent annually during his term, double that of 2010. Issoufou is the rare beneficiary of a smooth transition to civilian rule. To the surprise of many, the soldiers who last February ousted disgraced former leader Mamadou Tandja for overstaying his term in office kept their promise to quit power. But the world will watch to see how Issoufou deals with the same problems that dogged the Tandja era before buying Nigerien bonds or investing in the country’s mineral deposits, said Oswald Felli, director of security risk assessments at Damina Advisors. “In the short-term, what investors want to see is how well the new government handles its administration in terms of good governance and curbing corruption,” said Felli. A key test will be what Issoufou does with former president Tandja, who is facing corruption charges. Issoufou has said he will await the outcome of the judicial process. Evidence against Tandja is building up, showing corruption on a massive scale, said Jeremy Keenan, a researcher from London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. Keenan said much of the evidence is going to be tied to international mining companies and if the information is exposed in court, it could be extremely damaging for those companies and especially for France, on which Niger is going to be dependent. Issoufou will also have to make quick progress in securing the minerals-rich but arid north where French nuclear firm Areva has invested in uranium production. “They (investors) would want to see how they deal with the security situation in the northern part of the country. Once they are satisfied or feel secured, Niger would be able to secure funding, especially with French backing,” Felli said. In September last year, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility for kidnapping seven foreigners, including five Areva employees, in the northern mining town of Arlit. Felli said Niger, along with Mali and Mauritania, must coordinate efforts against Al-Qaeda, growing banditry and lawlessness in order to attract investors. “If they are not able to handle it ... to seal those borders, we will have a situation where AQIM is going to take over that northern region, especially where they have local support,” Felli said. Issoufou has also said he will implement all accords signed with Tuaregs from the north to end their long-running rebellion and has named a Tuareg, Brigi Rafini, as his prime minister. Since 1991, Niger has faced a revolt in the uranium-rich Agadez region from Tuareg insurgents protesting against the alleged marginalisation of their communities. At least 4,000 Tuareg combatants are still waiting integration. “I will make every effort to strengthen the climate of hard-earned peace by continuing the implementation of various peace agreements,” Issoufou said on Sunday during an event marking the signing of the peace accord. The last peace deal brokered in 2009 by the former President Tandja, with the help of Libyan mediation, was obtained with a promise by Libya to give incentives to facilitate the integration of the ex-combatants. It is unclear what will become of the promise now, given the Libyan conflict. A spokesman for an alliance of the ex-combatants and other Tuareg and nomadic groups said the appointment of Rafini as prime minister was a step in the right direction. Issoufou’s other immediate challenge is to deal with thousands of returnee Nigeriens and other African migrants fleeing the conflict in Libya. Niger on Tuesday appealed for help to deal with an influx of 57,000 people. But fighting terrorists and rebellion is not the only priority. The semi-desert nation faces perennial droughts, including one last year that left more than 7 million people - about half the population - short of food. “There are too many problems in this country, there is not just one that is priority,” said history professor Djibo Hamani at the University of Moumouni in Niamey. “Famine, Al Qaeda, migrants from Libya and the Tuareg issue are all a priority,” Hamani said. “It is absolutely necessary that government is able to deal with all of these at the same time.” Issoufou said he planned to invest about $2 billion to boost irrigation and promote the development of livestock on which 80 percent of Niger’s people depend. “It will be a very difficult programme to achieve and Niger will depend on international donors to deal with the perennial problem of food shortages in the short-term,” Felli said. Some say these investments will be meaningless if the government does not manage to curb population growth, which at 3.9 percent last year, according to the World Bank, is one of the fastest rates in the world. But many in civil society say efforts to promote access to contraception and change sexual behaviour may not work. “Many Nigeriens believe that Islam prohibits spacing of births,” said high school teacher Abdou Moussa. “This will require convincing Islamic scholars to help change behaviour.” —Reuters

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THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2011

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Canada’s NDP, vowing change, surge in polls By David Ljunggren small party once regarded as a bunch of leftwing do-gooders is turning Canada’s election campaign upside down with a dynamic message, ambitious social spending plans and a nod to the powerful business community. The left-leaning New Democrats are surging in the polls and could conceivably end up in second place, eclipsing the main opposition Liberal Party and denying the ruling Conservatives their chance of winning a long-desired majority. Alternatively, the party could split the leftof-center vote and allow the Conservatives to win additional seats, perhaps even handing them a majority. Still open is whether people agree with the policies espoused by charismatic party leader Jack Layton or if they will back him because they are fed up with the larger parties. “I would not interpret this in any way, shape or form that the country is going socialist ... it’s just a dynamic of personality that’s shifting people over,” Ipsos-Reid pollster John Wright told Reuters. An Ekos poll released on Tuesday put the Conservatives at 33.9 percent, the New Democrats at 27.9 percent and the Liberals at 24.0 percent. Last election, the New Democrats scored 18.2 percent. The man largely responsible for the astounding leap in popularity is party leader Layton, a jovial 60year-old grandfather who pounds home the message that Ottawa is broken and someone has to stand up for ordinary people. “I think Canada needs a change. I don’t think we should go back to the same old, same old situation,” he said on Tuesday. “I am not running for prime minister in order to attack other party leaders. I am running ... to attack the issues and problems people are facing.” Pollsters say Layton’s message is resonating among voters fed up with acerbic federal politics and endless battles between the Conservatives and the Liberals, traditionally Canada’s largest parties. Layton, who is recovering from cancer and walks with a cane after hip surgery, openly dotes on his granddaughter and is happy to bash out the tune “Hit the road, Jack” on a piano. Frank Graves of polling firm Ekos says Layton’s message of change is particularly appealing to women and the young - two potentially crucial sets of voters. “They like his positive style, funny disposition, courageous demeanor with his cane and getting out there talking about the average guy,” he said. Pollsters admit they were shocked when the New Democrats, who have never come close to holding power in Canada, started climbing in the polls. One reason is sheer good luck. The party competes for the center-left vote with the Liberals and the separatist Bloc Quebecois, which are both running underwhelming campaigns. The Bloc, which only runs in the French-speaking province of Quebec, could be particularly vulnerable. Christian Bourque of Quebec-based pollsters Leger Marketing said Quebecers saw Layton as a refreshing alternative, although it was unclear how many of them agreed with his platform. “It’s part protest, it’s part ‘I’m fed up with the old parties’, part ‘At least he’s in it for the little guy’,” he told Reuters. The NDP was floundering in near irrelevance when Layton took over in 2003 and gradually introduced policies designed to maintain the support of progressives while trying to win over those put off by its tax-and-spend reputation. The New Democrats now say they will balance the federal budget in four years, matching a Conservative promise, and vow to lower taxes for small businesses. They will raise the corporate tax rate to 19.5 percent from 16.5 percent but keep it lower than the equivalent rate in the United States. The party, which regularly rails against tax cuts for big businesses, also promises to limit interest rates on credit cards, implement a cap-and-trade program to limit carbon emissions and hire more doctors and nurses. Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff dismissed the program as uncosted “science fiction” and others are also skeptical.—Reuters

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Hacked Sony risks repeating PR gaffes By Tim Kelly ony Corp’s handling of a massive Internet security breach is becoming a public relations nightmare reminiscent of Toyota Motor’s bungled recalls response last year, fuelling criticism of Corporate Japan’s standards of disclosure. Sony said Tuesday that hackers had breached its online PlayStation network a week earlier, compromising confidential including the names, addresses and possibly credit card data of 77 million users. The delay, which Sony said was needed to conduct a forensic investigation, may remind its overseas customers of the foot dragging by Toyota that earned the Japan’s leading automaker the distain of consumers. “Given the layers of corporate management and the lengthy consultations that tend to be par for Japanese corporations a week is not that slow, but for the people whose information has been breached, it’s definitely a week too slow,” said Jeff Kingston, a professor at Temple University in Japan, who has written about transparency. Blessed with firstrate technology that helps them compete around the world, Japanese corporations are sometimes hobbled by second-rate public relations. At home,

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where customers complain little and rarely sue, public relations gaffes are not a major problem, but in foreign markets that now account for most of their sales and growth, such a failing can be a costly handicap. Customers of Sony’s PlayStation network, nine out of 10 who are based in the United States or Europe, were quick to express their anger. “The fact that you’ve waited this long to divulge this information to your customers is deplorable. Shame on you,” read one message on the PlayStation Network blog from a user under the name Korbei83. For the first two weeks of Toyota’s recall crisis in 2010, the carmaker’s CEO, Akio Toyoda stayed silent, angering customers in the United States, where unintended acceleration incidents were blamed for hundreds of accidents. When he finally did appear, Toyoda apologized and cried, and the car maker was eventually exonerated by an inquiry that found drivers were mostly at fault. But by then the damage was done. UK-based Branding agency, Interbrand in its annual Best of Global Brand survey last year estimated the value of the Toyota brand fell 16 percent or $5.1 billion. Also in 2010, the U.S. auto

market grew 11 percent while Toyota’s sales dipped 0.4 percent. “In the US the CEO’s responsibility is to be the huckster in chief. That’s definitely not a Japanese style,” Temple University’s Kingston said. The world caught a recent glimpse of Japan’s information-scarce corporate culture and shy CEO’s following the nation’s earthquake and tsunami on March 11. As people in Japan and neighboring countries clamored for information on radiation spewing from a nuclear plant 240 kilometers north of Tokyo, Mastaka Shimizu, the CEO of plant owner Tokyo Electric Power hid away from the public gaze for a month. “The first thing (companies) have to do is say this is an issue, this is what we know about it,” said Deborah Hayden, managing partner in Tokyo at communications consultancy Kreab & Gavin Anderson. “Sometimes at Japanese companies, the ability to give authority to a spokesperson is perhaps a little slow and the spokesperson hasn’t got the full authority to speak on behalf of the company on a serious issue,” she added. Sony CEO Howard Stringer has not commented on the security breach. The pressure on companies to be more timely and open in Japan is less because not doing so is less likely to result in legal action, noted Makoto Ikeya of NERA con-

sulting in Tokyo, who’s an expert on litigation arising from inaccurate or untimely disclosure. “Compared with the United States, the number of litigations bought for misstatements or untimely disclosure is still very small,” Ikeya said. That means “it may take some time for them to get accustomed to the type of legal actions taken in say the United States,” he added. With criticism mounting, Sony yesterday changed its statement explaining the reason why it waited a week to reveal the breach by hackers. After saying it turned off the PlayStation network when it found user information had been compromised, the company now says its investigation didn’t reveal the “scope of the breach” until Tuesday. It also issued a thorough, 17-point Q&A on the breach on its website yesterday after the media storm erupted. But with US Democratic senator Richard Blumenthal demanding an explanation for Sony’s week of silence, the Japanese company is under pressure to give a more detailed account. The only silver lining for Sony, said Temple University’s Kingston, is that Toyota’s poor response last year means expectations of a quick and full response are not high. “Toyota did everybody a favor, they set the bar low,” he said. — Reuters

Thailand generals go on offensive By Martin Petty hailand’s military is on the offensive - and not just in its deadly border skirmishes with Cambodia. For decades, the country’s history has been shaped by the balance of power between three institutions - the monarchy, the military, and parliament. With elections looming that could upset this fragile balance once again, Thailand’s generals have come out fighting. For investors, the risks are rising. The last time the military grabbed a dominant role in politics, following a coup in 2006, the stock market collapsed following disastrous use of capital controls that took months to unwind. There is also no guarantee that another bid by the military to reassert a dominant role would be as bloodless as in 2006. Fighting on the border with Cambodia has killed at least 14 people since last Friday. Both sides blame each other. Thailand has rebuffed international mediation and withdrawn from defence ministerial talks, adding fuel to the crisis. The timing is conspicuous. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjaiva’s government, which came to power in 2008 with the help of the military, plans to hold elections by July. Few have as much to lose as the military’s top brass if the opposition prevails. Political analysts and government sources say Thailand’s top generals appear to be taking a two-pronged approach, fanning the crisis with Cambodia to unify Thais behind the army while going on the political offensive at home. While Thailand has always had extraordinarily tough laws protecting its monarchy, they are being invoked with unusual frequency. In recent weeks, army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha has

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threatened legal action against a prominent academic advocating reform of the monarchy and against anti-government “red shirt” demonstrators allied with the opposition. “Renewed violence on the border seems to relate to the Thai military’s current determination both to assert itself and to create an atmosphere of crisis,” said Michael Montesano, a fellow at Singapore’s Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. Which side is the main aggressor in the border conflict, the deadliest in nearly two decades, remains a mystery but few believe the fighting is really about sovereignty over heavily land-mined jungles and crumbling Hindu temples. The election and a possible change in government could spell trouble for Thailand’s military, whose budget has swelled under the ruling coalition that came to power in a 2008 parliamentary vote influenced by the army. At stake, too, is a royalist establishment fiercely at odds with the opposition, some of whose grassroots supporters advocate republicanism and reforms to the monarchy at a delicate time with 83-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej, an almost divine figure whose picture is hung on the walls of millions of Thai homes, hospitalised since Sept 2009. During a recent news briefing, the army’s spokesman said he hoped Thais would see a link between “monarchy-insulting elements” and “political groupings” before casting votes in the election, a comment widely seen as a veiled attempt to discredit the opposition Puea Thai Party and their “red shirt” allies. But such rhetoric could backfire for the military, and the monarchy it claims to protect. The opposition Puea Thai

remains popular among Thailand’s rural poor and is tightly controlled by exiled former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, a divisive, twice-elected tycoon the military and royalist establishment toppled in the 2006 coup. Since then, the military’s annual budget has nearly doubled to 154 billion baht ($5 billion). Rumours of another coup continue to swirl as insiders talk of strains in Abhisit’s ties with the armed forces. Another coup could prevent the election and ensure the opposition stays out of power. But it could backfire and provoke violence from the red shirts whose protests last year paralysed Bangkok and led to clashes that killed 91 people. “We have learned lessons from the 2006 coup. We are operating in a volatile environment now and just taking over peacefully isn’t going to happen, even if it’s the best thing for the country theoretically,” said a retired army officer close to the top generals. He requested anonymity. The Thai army has for decades made protecting the monarchy a priority, guaranteeing the military political influence. “ That balance of power between key institutions in Thailand is being threatened,” said Karn Yuenyong, director of Siam Intelligence Unit, an independent think tank. “What we are seeing are reactions to that by all groups - those who want to maintain the status quo and those who are calling for reform of the institution (the monarchy).” Ultra-nationalist “yellow shirts” and some influential conservatives fear pro-Thaksin forces could return to office, accelerating calls to reform the monarchy, and have urged a boycott of the poll. Some analysts say hawkish generals allied with nationalists could be

trying to escalate the border conflict to scuttle the election. “The border issue and sovereignty issue matter to a group of conservative elites in Thailand and this is one way the Thai army exerts its loyalty,” Karn added. The monarchy is an extremely sensitive subject in Thailand. Perceived insults against the crown, or lese-majeste, carry jail terms of up to 15 years - the toughest in the world. Prayuth has ordered legal action against three red shirt leaders for speeches made at an April 10 rally he said were offensive to the monarchy. Other army units followed suit with near-daily pledges of support for the king. Three battalions of troops lined up last week in the pouring rain flanked by armoured trucks, helicopters and heavy machine guns in an elaborate combat exercise during which they pledged their allegiance to the royal institution. A censorship blitz by an army-

led Internal Securities Operations Command has led to the closure of radio stations, publications and tens of thousands of websites, while Prayuth has ordered armyowned Channel 5 TV to insert documentaries honouring the monarchy after each day’s royal news programs. Critics say the army is among a growing number of political players who are abusing the lesemajeste law to silence and slur their opponents. Some warn it could deepen a polarising crisis triggered by the military’s coup against Thaksin. “ The military used its loyalty to the monarchy to justify illegal action in launching a coup and has intensified the conflict,” said political scientist Pavin Chachavalpongpun. “Lesemajeste is being used as a political weapon. It’s dangerous, because when used to undermine opponents, it risks undermining Thailand’s most important institution.”— Reuters

A convoy of Thai military vehicles passes down a road in Surin province near the Thai-Cambodian border yesterday. — AFP


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PARIS: The panel which will rule on Alberto Contador’s doping case has been formed and a ruling is likely before July’s Tour de France, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said yesterday. Triple Tour champion Contador tested positive for the banned anabolic agent clenbuterol during last year’s race but was cleared of any wrongdoing by the Spanish federation (RFEC), only for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Cycling Union (UCI) to appeal before CAS. CAS said in a statement the panel would be comprised of committee president Efraim Barak (Israel), Quentin Byrne-Sutton (Switzerland) and Professor Ulrich Haas (Germany). “The written proceedings in this matter are likely to be concluded at the end of May and CAS envisages holding a hearing in June 2011, which would allow the settlement of the dispute before the end of June 2011,” a CAS statement added. “The hearing date will be published once it has been fixed.” Contador has said his positive test came after he ate contaminated meat. The SaxoBank-Sungard rider will take part in next month’s Giro d’Italia and is hoping he will be able to participate in the Tour de France starting on July 2. —Reuters

LONDON: Ticket applications for next year’s London Olympics far exceeded supply with more than half of the 650 sessions oversubscribed and going to a ballot, organisers said yesterday. The showcase opening and closing ceremonies were among those events declared sold out, with early indications showing that more than 20 million tickets were applied for and only 6.6 million on offer. Some 1.8 million people, more than 95 percent of them British residents eager to be part of a once-in-a-lifetime home Games, made requests in the six-week window up to Tuesday’s midnight deadline.

Indians halt Royals to open gap CLEVELAND: Justin Masterson won his fifth straight start as the Cleveland Indians beat the Kansas City Royals 9-4 on Tuesday to open a 2-1/2 game lead in the American League Central division. Masterson allowed five hits in 6 2-3 innings to move to a 5-0 record — the reverse of his 0-5 start in 2010. Cleveland’s Jack Hannahan hit solo shots in the third and fifth off Luke Hochevar (2-3), and Shin-Soo Choo connected for a three -run homer in the seventh on reliever Louis Coleman’s first pitch to make it 7-3. Grady Sizemore went 3 for 4 and hit a two-run homer in the eighth for the Indians. The Royals have dropped four in a row. Blue Jays 10, Rangers 3 In Arlington, Adam Lind homered twice and drove in five runs for Toronto

(2-1) pitched 5 1-3 innings and allowed three runs. Oakland starter Brandon McCarthy (1-2) surrendered seven runs over 5 1-3 innings. White Sox 3, Yankees 2 In New York, late substitute Brent Lillibridge made two spectacular catches in a row to save Chicago and deny New York. Lillibridge entered as a pinch-runner in the eighth and scored on Paul Konerko’s go-ahead homer off struggling setup man Rafael Soriano (1-1). Lillibridge stayed in the game in right field and, with two runners on in the ninth, raced back to the wall to make a terrific catch of Alex Rodriguez’s drive for the second out, keeping Chicago in front and also keeping the runners at first and second. Robinson Cano then hit a line drive to right and Lillibridge charged in, making an all-out dive to snag the ball for the final out. White Sox starter Gavin Floyd (31) took a three-hitter into the ninth but was pulled after a lead-off single. Sergio Santos got two outs — thanks to Lillibridge — for the save.

CLEVELAND: Kansas City Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar leaps over Cleveland Indians baserunner Shin-Soo Choo after forcing him out at second and then throwing to first on a ground ball by Indians’ batter Carlos Santana in the fifth inning. —AP in a rout of AL West-leading Texas. Lind had an RBI single in Toronto’s five-run outburst in the first off Matt Harrison (32). Lind then homered leading off the third and hit a three-run homer the next inning for his fifth career multihomer game — three of them at Rangers Ballpark. Toronto’s Jesse Litsch (2-1), recalled from the minors to make the start, held Texas to seven hits over six innings. Angels 8, Athletics 3 In Anaheim, Alexi Amarista hit a tworun double on the third pitch he ever saw in the major leagues and added a sacrifice fly as Los Angeles beat Oakland. Howie Kendrick had three hits and scored three runs for the Angels. Los Angeles starter Tyler Chatwood

THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2011

Mariners 7, Tigers 3 In Detroit, M iguel Olivo hit a lucky home run as Seattle beat Detroit. Olivo hit a routine-looking fly ball to deep left field but Ryan R aburn struggled to find it in the sun. Still shor t of the warning track, Raburn lunged back, only to deflect the ball high into the air and over the fence for Olivo’s first homer

of the season. Mariners starter Felix Hernandez (32) beat the Tigers for the seventh straight time, allowing four hits in six innings. Tigers starter Phil Coke (1-4) was routed by Seattle for the second time in a week, giving up seven runs in 4 1-3 innings. Orioles 4, Red Sox 1 In Baltimore, the hosts ended Boston’s five -game winning streak. Zach Britton (4-1) allowed just one run in six innings to become the first Orioles rookie starter to win four games in April. Derrek Lee had two hits and scored twice, Adam Jones drove in two runs and Vladimir Guerrero had his first three-hit for Baltimore. Boston starter Clay Buchholz (1-3) yielded 12 hits in 6 2-3 innings. —AP

Organisers, who kept the ticketing website open for an extra hour after a late surge in demand brought it to a standstill, said applications were received for every session and every sport in every price range. “ We are thrilled with the response right across the board, in all sports and all sessions,” said LOCOG chairman Sebastian Coe in a statement. “Cer tain events have seen massive demand-for example the opening ceremony, which is more than 10 times oversubscribed, so there will understandably be disappointment and we will find a way to go back to those people with other tickets.”—Reuters

Haiu has bone tumor WELLINGTON: Auckland lock Kurtis Haiu has been diagnosed with a bone tumor in his ribs and is taking an indefinite break from rugby to have it treated, the Blues said yesterday. The tumor was found during a CT scan, Blues doctor Stephen Kara said in a statement. “This appears to be a primary bone tumor, but he will have to undergo a series of further tests including surgery to definitively confirm the type of tumor. “Until this time, prognosis is uncertain.” The 26-year-old Haiu had been experiencing pain for several months, but put it down to the contact associated with rugby. Subsequent blood tests and imaging revealed a lesion on his rib, Kara said. The player will see a bone tumour specialist early next week. “This has come as a huge shock to Kurtis, to all of us, but the extent of what he is looking at will not be known until further tests take place,” Blues coach Pat Lam said in the statement. “So for now, Kurtis is in our prayers and we will rally around him and his family to provide friendship and support at this difficult time.” Haiu had played 53 matches for the Blues and represented New Zealand at agegrade level but has not played for the All Blacks. —Reuters

Marlins overcome Dodgers MIAMI: Los Angeles’ Andre Ethier set a major league hitting record but it was not enough to prevent the Dodgers sliding to a 4-2 loss at the hands of the Florida Marlins in the National League on Tuesday. Ethier hit safely for his 23rd straight game, the most by any player ever in April. Mike Stanton drove in two runs, Gaby Sanchez homered and Hanley Ramirez added a pair of hits and scored two runs for the Marlins, who have won seven of eight. Florida star ter Chris Volstad (1-1) allowed a baserunner in all but two of his seven innings, but kept himself out of serious trouble, allowing two runs while striking out five. With the score tied 2-2 in the sixth, Chris Coghlan and Ramirez singled. Sanchez walked to load the bases before Stanton hit a two-run single off Clayton Kershaw (2-3).

an end. He lasted just three innings, allowing five runs with no strikeouts. It doubled the number of runs he had allowed this season, across four starts and 24 innings.

Brewers 3, Reds 2 In Milwaukee, Rickie Weeks, Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder all

Brewers reliever Kameron Loe (21) worked the eighth and John Axford threw a 1-2-3 ninth for his fifth save.

Astros 6, Cardinals 5 In Houston, Bill Hall’s ninthinning RBI single gave Houston a win over St. Louis. Brian Bogusevic came home on a wild

Rockies 4, Cubs 3 In Chicago, Todd Helton hit two home runs as Colorado beat Chicago. It was the 27th career multihomer game for Helton and his first since 2007. Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa (4-0) allowed one earned run in seven innings. Closer Huston Street gave up a solo homer to Alfonso Soriano leading off the ninth before closing out the Cubs for his ninth straight save to start the season. Chicago starter James Russell (13) gave up four runs and four walks in four innings. Ty Wigginton had three hits for Colorado, including a homer and a double. Troy Tulowitzki added two hits and an RBI double in the third. At 16-7, the Rockies have the best 23-game start in team history.

D’backs 7, Phillies 5 In Phoenix, pitcher Daniel Hudson doubled in two runs to help earn his first victory of the season, as Arizona beat Philadelphia. Hudson (1-4) gave up two runs in six innings, striking out six with no walks. His two-run double in Arizona’s three-run second inning put the Diamondbacks ahead for good. Phillies starter Roy Oswalt (31) saw his string of 10 consecutive winning decisions come to

Braves 8, Padres 2

MIAMI: Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier catches a ball hit by Florida Marlins’ Wes Helms to end the second inning of a baseball game. —AP hit solo homers as Milwaukee beat Cincinnati for the first time this season. Milwaukee had been 0-4 against the Reds this year and losers of 19 of 22 against them, but Weeks helped end that run by homering off reliever Logan Ondrusek (2-2) to lead off the eighth. Fielder hit his to begin the second to drive in his major leagueleading 23rd run. Braun’s shot to start the fourth was his major league-leading ninth this season.

pitch by closer Mitchell Boggs (01) earlier in the inning to tie the scores. Angel Sanchez and Hunter Pence both singled to load the bases and set up Hall’s winner. Former Astro Lance Berkman had put the Cardinals on top 5-4 in the top of the ninth with an RBI double off Brandon Lyon (21) before Hall ruined his homecoming. Lyon allowed two hits in the ninth but took the win.

Giants 3, Pirates 2 In Pittsburgh, Darren Ford

MLB results/standings Major League Baseball results and standings on Monday. Pittsburgh 4, Washington 2; Chicago White Sox 2, NY Yankees 0; Florida 5, LA Dodgers 4; Toronto 6, Texas 4; Colorado 5, Chicago Cubs 3; Cincinnati 9, Milwaukee 5; Arizona 4, Philadelphia 0; LA Angels 5, Oakland 0; San Diego 5, Atlanta 3 (13 innings). American League Eastern Division W L PCT NY Yankees 12 8 .600 Tampa Bay 11 11 .500 Toronto 11 12 .478 Boston 10 12 .455 Baltimore 9 12 .429 Central Division Cleveland 14 8 Kansas City 12 11 Detroit 12 11 Minnesota 9 12 Chicago White Sox 10 14

.636 .522 .522 .429 .417

Western Division Texas 14 9 .609 LA Angels 14 10 .583 Oakland 11 13 .458 Seattle 9 15 .375

GB 2 2.5 3 3.5 2.5 2.5 4.5 5 .5 3.5 5.5

National League Eastern Division Florida 15 7 Philadelphia 15 8 Atlanta 12 13 Washington 10 12 NY Mets 10 13 Central Division St. Louis 12 11 Milwaukee 12 11 Cincinnati 12 12 Pittsburgh 10 13 Chicago Cubs 10 13 Houston 9 14

.682 .652 .480 .455 .435

.5 4.5 5 5.5

.522 .522 .500 .435 .435 .391

.5 2 2 3

Western Division Colorado 16 7 .696 San Francisco 11 11 .500 LA Dodgers 12 13 .480 Arizona 10 12 .455 San Diego 9 15 .375

4.5 5 5.5 7.5

scored on a fielder’s choice in the 10th inning for the game winner, and earlier came home with the tying run as a pinch runner in the eighth, helping San Francisco beat Pittsburgh and snap a season-worst four-game losing streak. The Giants scored all their runs on plays that did not involve a hit. Ford, a rookie without a hit in the majors, reached base in the 10th when Nate Schierholtz — who had led off with a double — was thrown out at third on Ford’s sacrifice attempt. Ford then went from first to third on an errant pickoff throw by Joel Hanrahan (0-1). He scored on Freddy Sanchez’s grounder to second, waiting until the throw went to first before taking off for home and forcing an errant throw by first baseman Lyle Overbay. In the eighth, Ford scored on Buster Posey ’s sacrifice fly to tie the game 2-2. Sergio Romo (1-0) earned the win with a perfect ninth.

Kuwait grab 11 medals at Jordan tournament JORDAN: As the Arab Rifle and Pistol Shooting Tournament came to a conclusion on Tuesday, Kuwait’s shooter Abdallah Al-Harby took the gold medal in the 10 meter air rifle event. Meanwhile the team of Hussein Al-Ajmi, Khalid AlSubaie, and Abdallah Al-Harby took second place in the same event. In the women’s event Kuwait’s Maryam Irzouqi was first followed by UAE’s Afrah Khalifa and Shamsa Al-Marzouqi. The women’s team was also able to collect

the bronze medal in the air pistol event, while UAE was first followed by Jordan. Eleven medals (3 gold, 3 silver and 5 bronze) were won by Kuwaiti shooters during the tournament. Secretary General of the Arab and Kuwait Shooting Federations said Kuwait’s shooters were up to their expectations as they keep exerting all efforts to achieve best results. Al-Osaimi dedicated these achievements to HH the Amir, Kuwait’s government and people.

In San Diego, David Ross hit two home runs to help lift Atlanta over San Diego. Ross drove in four runs with a solo homer in the second and a threerun blast to cap the Braves’ fiverun sixth inning. Both home runs, Ross’ first two of the season, came off Aaron Harang (4-1). Chipper Jones hit a two-run homer in the first inning to tie Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle for second place among switch hitters with 1,509 RBIs. Braves starter Jair Jurrjens (2-0) had his first complete game in 95 career starts.

Mets 6, Nationals 4 In Washington, New York extended its winning streak to five games by downing Washington. Josh Thole had three RBIs, including a two-run double that put the Mets ahead in the sixth inning. Reliever Ryota Igarashi (1-0) took the win by getting a strike out to end the fifth inning. Starter Chris Young lasted 4 2-3 innings, allowing three runs in his first start since overcoming tendinitis in his right biceps. Washington starter Jordan Zimmermann (1-4) allowed five runs over 5 1-3 innings. —AP


THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2011

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Shehzad hails Afridi, Pakistan sight series win BRIDGETOWN: Ahmed Shehzad has thanked the Pakistan management team for showing confidence in him following his World Cup calamity which almost cost him a trip to the Caribbean. The 19-year-old opening batsman was speaking after he made 102 - his second One-day International - to lead Pakistan to a seven-wicket victory over West Indies on Monday to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series. Shehzad failed to score consistently in five matches in the World Cup, and was dropped, leading to questions about his place in the squad for the tour of the Caribbean. But the Pakistan selectors and the team management continued to show faith in him and Monday’s hundred was a down-payment on that investment. Shehzad has become the latest player to hail the visitors’ limited-overs captain

Shahid Afridi for instilling a sense of selfbelief and self-confidence in him. “I would like to thank my team management for the way they have supported me,” he said. “Shahid is the man to follow. He is giving confidence to every single individual - I think it is amazing.” Afridi was naturally happy to see Shehzad find his feet again, and believes he has a bright future. “I think he is a very, very talented guy,” said Afridi. “He really performed well in New Zealand, but he did not have such a good World Cup. “Myself and the team management have confidence in him, and he showed he is capable of performing.” Pakistan will now focus on winning the third ODI today at Kensington Oval here, and take an unbeatable lead in the series. The Pakistanis have outplayed West Indies in every department, with their

spin bowlers in particular finding the conditions in St. Lucia so favourable they restricted the home team to modest totals of 221 for six and 220 all out, and their batting hardly troubled by the hosts’ tame attack of which Devendra Bishoo has taken four of the five wickets that have fallen. West Indies, on the other hand, have stunned observers by resisting the urge to tamper with their squad, and have named an unchanged roster for the match. They will continue the struggle without Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, and now fast bowler Jerome Taylor-all at the Indian Premier League-while Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, and beanpole left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn have been overlooked again. Although Fidel Edwards is fit again and played in the West Indies first-class

championship for his native Barbados, it is felt that he may be eased back into the game, and will likely return for the two Tests that follow the ODI series. West Indies captain Darren Sammy was under no illusions about the enormity of the task that confronts his side, but stressed they had to seize the tight moments. “We weren’t rolled over,” he said. “We kept ourselves in the matches right to the finish. There were moments when things could have gone either way, but we didn’t make it happen. “We have to find a way to make it happen for us. We have to find a way to win those tight situations.” Sammy remained confident that West Indies could stage a fight-back in Barbados with a victory. “It’s not out of our reach,” he said. “We have been showing the fight. We have the belief that we can turn

things around and make it happen.” Squads: West Indies (from): Darren Sammy (captain), Dwayne Bravo (vice captain), Carlton Baugh Jr, Devendra Bishoo, Darren Bravo, Kirk Edwards, Anthony Martin, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Devon Smith. Pakistan (from): Shahid Afridi (captain), Misbah-ul-Haq (vice captain), Abdur Rehman, Ahmed Shahzad, Asad Shafiq, Hammad Azman, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Salman, Sadaf Hussain, Saeed Ajmal, Tanveer Ahmed, Taufeeq Umar, Umar Akmal, Usman Salahuddin, Wahab Riaz. Umpires: Asoka De Silva (SRI), Peter Nero (WIS) Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL) T V Umpire: Norman Malcolm ( WIS) Reser ve umpire: Joel Wilson (WIS). — AFP

Bollinger and Badrinath fashion Chennai’s victory

DURBAN: In this Jan. 10, 2011 file photo of South African cricket team consultant Duncan Fletcher attends a team practice in Durban. — AP

India name Fletcher as new cricket coach MUMBAI: Duncan Fletcher will take over as India’s new cricket coach from South African Gary Kirsten, the Indian board (BCCI) said yesterday, and his first assignment could be to lead the team on their tour of England in July. The 62-year- old former England coach has signed on for two years and takes over from Kirsten after the South African turned down an extension to his three-year contract following India’s World Cup victory earlier this month. Despite overtures from players and the board Kirsten, who also took India to the top of the test world rankings, would not go back on his decision to return home to his family. Former Zimbabwe captain Fletcher, who coached England to Ashes success in 2005, might need some time before joining up with the team, BCCI Secretary N. Srinivasan said. “He may not join the team in the West Indies (in June) as he has some pri-

or commitments,” Srinivasan told reporters after a working committee meeting yesterday. India will play a Twenty20 international, five one-day internationals and three tests in their tour of West Indies. Fletcher has worked as batting consultant with the national teams of South Africa and New Zealand since quitting as England coach after the 2007 World Cup. Should he be unable to join the team in the West Indies, Fletcher could take charge of India for the first time the following month when they tour England for four tests, a Twenty20 and five onedayers. India, which also said it had increased bonus payments for each member of the World-Cup winning team to 20 million rupees ($450,247) from the earlier announced 10 million rupees, would retain Eric Simons as bowling coach, the BCCI said in a statement. —Reuters

MUMBAI: Australia pace bowler Doug Bollinger bagged 3-21 and Subramaniam Badrinath slammed an unbeaten 63 as defending champion Chennai Super Kings defeated Pune Warriors by eight wickets in the IPL yesterday. Bollinger came up with timely strikes to restrict Pune to 141-6 after the home side elected to bat. Badrinath then produced a neat 44-ball knock as Chennai scored 145-2 with three balls left. For the losing team, captain Yuvraj Singh was the highest scorer with 62 not out. Chennai improved to a provisional second in the 10-team standings after the return match, having prevailed over Pune by 25 runs on Monday. New franchise Pune remained eighth on four points having played one game less. Pune was denied a big score by Bollinger, who bagged three important wickets. The left-armer removed openers Jesse Ryder of New Zealand and Mohnish Mishra in the space of three deliveries and then came back to dismiss compatriot Mitchell Marsh in the death overs. Ryder looked threatening, once hitting three consecutive fours off Sri Lanka new-ball bowler Nuwan Kulasekara, but went for a pull shot and was caught at mid-wicket for 19. Yuvraj remained unbeaten on 62 off 43 deliveries with four sixes and three fours, impressing in the way he knocked boundaries off low full tosses. He dispatched New Zealand pace bowler Tim Southee for two sixes in the last over to cap the innings in style but it did not prove to be good enough. “We are not applying our minds while batting and that is why we are losing,” Yuvraj said. “We lost too many wickets at the start.” In reply, Chennai lost Australia opener Mike Hussey for only nine, but Badrinath partnered in a 61-run second-wicket stand with opener Murali Vijay (31). The pair started cautiously before dominating the spin attack led by left-armer Murali

Indian Embassy XI triumph KUWAIT: KOC Cricket Committee (KOC CC) organized a cricket match between Indian Embassy XI (IE XI) and KOC CC (KOC XI) on Saturday, April 16 at KOC’s Ahmadi Cricket ground. KOC XI won the toss and invited IE XI to bat first. Openers, Krishna and Bhaskar scored quick 23 runs off 3 overs when Bhaskar was bowled by Tayyeb for 9 . Abbas joined Krishna and they took the total to 43, when Sameer bowled Krishna for 17 . IE XI captain Vidhu Nair was stumped by Liaqat off Mubashshir for four runs. Abbas batted superbly and had two useful partnerships, first with Mahmood who was out for 14, off Khalid and later with Shubando, who was bowled by Shetty for 22. Abbas was the top scorer with a wellmade 43 runs. Bisht and Parashar remained unbeaten on 4 and 5 runs respectively. IE XI scored 144 runs for the loss of 6 wickets off 20 overs. KOC XI lost opener Azim, leg-before to Krishna on 9. Chakra and Liaqat took the total to 68, off 9 overs, when Chakra was stumped for 29, off Bisht. Liaqat made useful 40 runs and Chinmaya added 28 runs. KOC XI could not force the pace against some fine bowling from Krishna, who took 3 for 19, and Bisht who took 1 for 32. Needing 11 runs off the last over, KOC XI scored 10 runs and lost by one run to IE XI. Indian Ambassador Ajai Malhotra, was the Chief Guest. Iqbal Vanoo, General Secretary of KOC Cricket Committee welcomed the ambassador and Mrs. Malhotra, the Embassy Officials, staff and their families, and guests and players from KOC. Ambassador Malhotra then gave the winner’s Trophy to Vidhu Nair, captain of Indian Embassy XI and runners up Trophy to S. Shetty, Captain of KOC XI. It was an occasion of mixed feelings as

the ambassador and his wife watched the match and spend time with the embassy staff and their families at Ahmadi. Ambassador Malhotra will be leaving Kuwait shortly to take up his new assignment in Russia. Shetty recounted the various contributions made by the ambassador to Indian Community.

Hussain Al Shatti and all members of KOC CC presented a memento to the ambassador and whole gathering joined in bidding farewell to the ambassador and his wife and wished them success and happiness in life. The match was thoroughly enjoyed by the family members of the Indian Embassy staff.

MUMBAI: Pune Warriors cricketer Yuvraj Singh (left) bats during the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket match against Chennai Super Kings. — AP

Kartik. Badrinath slowly took control, unleashing two sixes and six fours and seeing the team through in the company of Suresh Raina (34), with whom he added 65 in the unbroken third-wicket partnership. In the second match of the day, Kochi Tuskers host Deccan Chargers.

Scores: Chennai Super Kings 145-2 in 19.3 overs (Subramaniam Badrinath 63 not out, Suresh Raina 34 not out, Murali Vijay 31), def. Pune Warriors 141-6 in 20 overs (Yuvraj Singh 62 not out, Robin Uthappa 31, Doug Bollinger 3-21).—AP

Smith ready to turn heads at Olympics LONDON: Olympic bronze medallist Louis Smith displays his boyish nature as he sits with a pom-pom on his head but beneath the playful facade is a character mature beyond his young age. The third-placed pommel horse gymnast in Beijing in 2008 feels he performs the most difficult routine in the world and, if things go to plan, wants to lead the British team to a memorable medal haul at the 2012 London games. “Gymnastics is such a hit and miss sport, it’s important to have an anchor,” the 22year-old told Reuters at a Kinect Sports Superstars event in London earlier this month. “Someone who’s been through it all before and can keep the team together and who you can rely on to put in a solid performance. We haven’t got many of those and I feel like I can be that anchor.” In Beijing, Smith became the first Briton in 80 years to win an Olympic gymnastics medal but it has not made him over confident. “I can’t just sit here and rest on my laurels and say ‘I got a bronze in Beijing so you should pick me.’ That’s arrogant and selfish. I believe in working hard,” he said. Moments later Smith reached for a nearby pom-pom and put it on his head before dramatically flicking it aside like hair. “I sing in the shower,” he said, jokingly contemplating a stage career when his gymnastics days are done. The career span of a gymnast is often a short one but Smith is not worried about it at all. “When the day comes to leave gymnastics it will be a sad day... but there’s no reason why I should be finishing anytime soon,” he said. He is one of the fortunate few British gymnasts who have succeeded on the big stage even though his sport traditionally did not attract the kind of financial backing or television coverage enjoyed by his compatriots in athletics or even track cycling. But once Smith finished third behind home favourite Xiao Qin and Croatian Filip Ude at the Beijing Olympics, the entire British team started to see the money rolling in. “All it took was for one person to break through on a major scale for gymnastics and then all of a sudden you’ve got lots of money. That was my medal in

Beijing,” said Smith, who has since won silver at the 2010 world championships. “Now look what’s happened. Daniel Keatings, Daniel Purvis and Kristian Thomas are all making world finals and all getting medals because of the increase in funding.” Britain’s gymnasts failed to qualify a single man for the Athens Olympics in 2004, resulting in the immediate loss of funding for the men’s programme. Then Smith’s pommel horse bronze at the 2007 world championships followed by the Beijing bronze led to a funding boost. Gymnastics was given 10.3 million pounds ($16.42 million) late in 2008. The effects have been noticeable, with Keatings landing an all-around silver at the 2009 worlds and then beating Smith to European pommel horse gold a year later. Despite the more competitive environment Smith is just happy to be around during the sport’s best days. “Having that support makes life so much easier to be able to concentrate on training, especially when you’ve never had any money before,” he said. “A lot of the boys are trying to train full time and hold down part time jobs. Imagine the stress involved? You can’t concentrate or compete at a high level.” Smith was quick to highlight his friend Luke Folwell, who won five medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games but is finding the going tough in an incredibly demanding sport. “He’s trying to train full time, he’s still living at home with his mum paying 30 pounds ($47.81) a week rent and he’s only getting 300 pounds ($478.1) a month. He’s got to try and live on that. What’s he going to do after gym? He’s 23 now.” When talk turned to London, 2012, and the Olympics, Smith’s steely focus returned. “Anything I do is preparation for 2012. It’s all geared towards that end result,” he said. Before then a trip to Tokyo for the world championships in October lies in store. “I feel like I have one of the best routines in the world, I’ve certainly got the hardest routine in the world, so things are on track I just need to go to the world championships and do the business,” he said, putting the pom-pom back on the bench.— Reuters


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THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2011

S P ORT S

Banned Plushenko eyeing a quick return MOSCOW: Yevgeny Plushenko is hoping his indefinite ban from competitive figure skating will be lifted to give him a chance to end his illustrious career on home ice at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. “I want to skate again, the sooner the better,” the 2006 Olympic champion told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of this week’s world figure skating championships. The flamboyant Russian was banned indefinitely by the International Skating Union (ISU) last year for taking part in exhibitions without the permission of the world governing body. “The whole thing was just a misunderstand-

ing,” he said in reference to the events that led to his suspension. Plushenko pulled out of last year’s world championships in Turin citing a knee injury but just a few weeks later he skated at several lucrative exhibition events. “I’ve already written a letter to the Russian figure skating federation (RFSF) asking them to make a formal appeal to the (ISU),” he said. “I don’t know what they’ve done with my letter but I hope to put the whole affair behind me soon.” RFSF chief Alexander Gorshkov has acknowledged receiving Plushenko’s request but has yet to process it. “We were hoping to deal with it this month but first had to prepare for these emer-

gency championships,” Gorshkov told Reuters referring to the event which was moved to Moscow from Japan following last month’s deadly earthquake and tsunami. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to vote on his appeal at our executive board meeting next month and then send it to the ISU. If everything goes well, Yevgeny should be able to resume his competitive career next season.” Plushenko, widely regarded as the most gifted skater of his generation, said he would have loved to compete at this year’s championships especially because they are being held in Moscow.

“But in all honesty, I don’t think I would have been ready even if the ban was lifted because I’ve missed a lot of time with my injury,” he said. “But if I get an invitation, I would like to skate in Sunday’s exhibition gala.” The Russian was still bitter about controversially losing the 2010 Olympic title to American Evan Lysacek, but said the Vancouver events were already in the past. He said Lysacek was not a “true champion” because he had won the gold without attempting a quadruple jump, considered the most difficult in figure skating. “There’s no point in talking about Vancouver,

Chan sets world record

MOSCOW: Canada’s Patrick Chan skates his short program at the ISU Figure skating World championships. — AP

MOSCOW: Patrick Chan played it cool, starting his short program with his hands stuffed in his pockets. He couldn’t contain his enthusiasm a few minutes later when he saw his marks, and realized he’d set a world record. The Canadian scored 93.02 points yesterday at the figure skating world championships, giving the two-time silver medalist a wide lead as he seeks his first world title. His nearest challenger, Japan’s Nobunari Oda, was almost a dozen points behind and defending champion Daisuke Takahashi of Japan was another 1.6 further back. Chan pulled it off with a a mix of two seemingly contradictory qualities — relaxation and intensity. To the strains of the uber-cool jazz standard “Take Five,” Chan stood on the ice in a casual slight slouch, then got going fluidly and fired off a pristine quadtriple opening combination. Everything went his way afterward: clean landings, deft steps and a swift closing sit-spin. He led the field in both technical marks and program components, the so-called artistic elements of the program. “I knew that if I skated really well I would get in the high 80s, but I didn’t expect to get above 90 and that’s amazing,” said Chan, whose previous personal best was 88.90 at the Four Continents Championships in February 2009. “To set that world record is just a bonus and it just makes my smile even bigger.” Chan’s score topped the previ-

ous record of 91.30 set by Evgeni Plushenko at the 2010 European championships. The competition continued yesterday with the pairs short program, featuring defending world champions Pang Qing and Tong Jian of China. The world championships were to have been held in Tokyo in March, but the country’s devastating earthquake and tsunami and ensuing nuclear crisis forced cancellation of those plans. Russia and several other countries bid to be the replacement venue and the International Skating Union chose Moscow on March 24. The backdrop of tragedy led to an opening ceremony at the competition that was far different from the garish

Charl Schwartzel

here. It seems to be the rule that you have to have played a few (Masters) to get the hang of it. Local knowledge does come in there. “There are such fine parameters-a yard past the flag on certain holes can be the difference, or short of the flag can be the difference between having a chip for birdie and struggling to get down in two. “So when you talk about two or three yards either way, obviously local knowledge counts for a lot.” While there is very little rough at pine tree-lined Augusta National, its notorious greens with their severe slopes and slick pace present the most daunting challenge for the players. For Schwartzel’s compatriot Dale Hayes, a former European number one who played in three Masters during the 1970s, success at Augusta National hinges on the position of every first putt. “Before you even get to the greens, you have to know where to hit the golf ball to allow you to hit your second shots in the right places on the greens,” Hayes, 52, told Reuters. “That is the trick. “The guys that do well at Augusta are the guys who hit their shots to the greens in the right positions. If you are in the wrong positions, you will never, ever win there. “But if you are in the right positions, you’ve got a chance because you can leave yourself putts that are relatively easy.” Hayes, a five-times winner on the European Tour, agrees with former world number one Nick Price’s assessment of how top amateur golfers

would fare on Augusta’s daunting greens. “Nick has said that he could take a scratch golfer, put him on the green in regulation play on every hole at Augusta National and that player would score 90,” Hayes said with a smile. “That he would three-putt every green at best. “I believe that’s a fact. I think you could even take a professional and he would three-putt every green from some of the positions. “It’s all about the shots to the greens at Augusta-the first shots on par threes, second shots on par fours and sometimes third shots on par fives. Where you hit the ball is critically important.” Schwartzel, who tied for 30th on his Masters debut last year, conceded that relative newcomers to Augusta National faced a steep learning curve. “It’s definitely one of those courses where you’ll keep learning every year you come back,” the rail-thin South African said. “It’s not a course you’re going to master after a couple of rounds. “I’ve been fortunate enough to come out here before the tournament

weeks with Ernie (Els) and play a few rounds. You get to see a lot. You can spend a bit of time, stand back and look at things a bit more.” Schwartzel, who won the Masters on the 50th anniversary of compatriot Gary Player’s 1961 title, said he had especially benefited from Augusta National advice passed on by Jack Nicklaus and Zimbabwean Price. Six-times winner Nicklaus took the young South African through his strategy for playing every hole at Augusta during a lunchtime discussion in Florida last year while Price taught him how to tackle the greens. “Last year I had problems with the putting,” Schwartzel, 26, said. “I found the greens were just so quick. I’ve never hit putts so soft from 40 feet and I struggled with that. “Nick said he used to find the fastest putt on every green and practise that. That’s what I did for...three weeks. “Every tournament I went to, I just practised the fastest putt I could find...to learn to hit the putts that softly. It really paid off. I felt so good on these greens.” — Reuters

Westwood eyes number one spot ICHEON: Lee Westwood said his confidence is sky-high as he bids to cement his second stint as world number one-and silence his criticswith victory at this week’s Ballantine’s Championship. Westwood, who will become the first reigning number one to compete in South Korea, lost the top spot in February but his spirits were buoyed by Sunday’s three-shot Indonesian Masters win, which put him back on top of the rankings. The 38-year-old Englishman headlines a strong field at the $3.2 million event at Blackstone Golf Club near Seoul, including Asia’s first Major-winner Y.E. Yang, three-time Major champion Ernie Els and Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter. Westwood earlier admitted he was fed up with questions about his failure to win a Major, amid lingering doubts from critics over whether he deserved to be considered world number one. And Westwood, who dislodged Tiger Woods as number one last year but ceded the position to Martin Kaymer in February, said he was hoping to maintain his world-beating form in front of the golf-crazy South Korean galleries. “I have great expectations. I played well last week. My confidence is high,” he said. “If I play as well as I played last week, and keep that kind of form, hopefully I’ll be in a position Sunday afternoon with nine holes to go and

cheeriness that usually characterizes skating ceremonies. As projectors sprayed images of the sea and squiggles like the needles of a seismograph on the arena’s walls, skaters in black and white swirled solemnly, then were joined by others in pink and white — the colors of the cherry blossoms that Japanese love as symbols of hope and renewal. Chan came in as the favorite to claim the world title after a commanding victory at the Grand Prix Final, and he didn’t disappoint with his recordsetting short program. Despite his numerical advantage going into Thursday’s free skate, Chan doesn’t plan to coast. “I’ve been training the program

MOSCOW: Japan’s Takahashi Daisuke skates his short program at the ISU Figure skating World championships. — AP

Schwartzel’s feat eclipsed Woods LOS ANGELES: Almost overlooked as Charl Schwartzel surged clear of a congested leaderboard to clinch this month’s US Masters with a sizzling finish was the fact that he eclipsed Tiger Woods with his breakthrough. Woods, a four-times winner of the season’s opening major, claimed his first Masters victory in his third appearance at Augusta National while South African Schwartzel, remarkably, did so with his second attempt. Only two other players have landed the cherished green jacket in their second starts-Jimmy Demaret in 1940 and fellow American Herman Keiser in 1946. In 1997, a 21-year-old Woods became the youngest Masters champion, cruising to a 12-shot victory and mocking the belief that the recipe for success at Augusta National took years to learn. Woods is a very special case, though, and he has since claimed a further 13 major titles to embellish his credentials as the best player of his generation and, arguably, ever. Today, the conventional wisdom about earning your Masters spurs still applies-despite Schwartzel’s spectacular display in the final round a fortnight ago, when he ended a sweltering afternoon of breathtaking shot-making with four successive birdies. Asked before this year’s Masters if he would be surprised to see a relative Masters novice slipping into the green jacket, British world number one Lee Westwood, who was ranked second at the time, told Reuters: “Yeah, a little bit I suppose. “You look at repeat winners

it’s already in the past and I want to look to the future,” he said. “I’d like to think that the (ISU) ban was not a retaliation of me criticising the judging at the Olympics, so I could start with a clean slate when I return.” Plushenko, who also finished second behind compatriot Alexei Yagudin at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, said he would love to finish his career on home ice in Sochi. “It’s too soon to think of any medals in Sochi but I definitely want to skate there,” the 28-yearold said. “That would be a fitting end to my whole career, doing it on home ice in front of all my fans, a proper farewell if you like.” — Reuters

have a chance to win the tournament.” After nearly 20 years on the professional circuit, Westwood said few courses held any surprises, but Yang warned the up-and-down mountain course could prove a challenge. “Going from the second shot onto the green, the green area itself is very large, but because there is some undulation, the green itself, where you can land the ball, might be a little bit smaller than you would expect,” he said. Yang, the 2009 PGA Championship winner, said that while big names such as Westwood, Els and Poulter would all be in the hunt, familiarity with local conditions could help South Korean players make a charge. “I wouldn’t count out the Korean players because they are doing very well at the moment. In fact, there are good players out there on any course, in any country,” he said. After struggling with short putts and finding his stroke on the greens had become awkward, Els has started using a belly putter, though he said it had prompted some ribbing in the locker room. “The guys are giving me a lot of stick about it but I’ll give it a go and I’ll see. It’s a bit of a new process,” the big South African said. Anchoring the top of the handle against the belly is designed to stabilise the path of the club head through the ball, but Els admitted he was not totally used to the technique yet.—AFP

with two quads in it, so I believe it would be a disadvantage if I decided to swap everything and change everything and change the rhythm of my program,” he said. “I’m going to keep everything the same, and pretend as if tomorrow is another short program where there’s no results and we’re all skating a new program, skating for new positions.” Oda, seeking his first world medal, planned a program a bit more challenging than Chan’s, with a triple lutz instead of the Canadian’s triple flip. But he stepped out of the first part of his planned opening quad-triple, skated to modern Japanese music tinged with a touch of the blues. “I knew that I had to live up to a very high level of expectations. I wanted to end the season with a very good performance, that’s what I concentrated on, so I put out my best there today,” Oda said. “Knowing Patrick, I know he will perform his best tomorrow, so what I have to do is to put out my best. ... I don’t know if I can catch up.” Takahashi was technically almost flawless and included a notably high triple axel, but he didn’t try a quad. Russian Artur Gachinski, a newcomer to the worlds, appeared briefly set to match Chan, starting with an assured quad-triple. But he caught a rear blade on the ice while coming out of a triple loop and fought to maintain his balance. He finished the day in fourth, less than two points behind Takahashi. — AP

No end to stalemate in NFL labor dispute SALVO: There were no footballs thrown or tackles made on Tuesday, the first day after the NFL’s lockout was lifted, as the two feuding sides resumed where they left off the day before. They traded insults, painted doomsday scenarios and tried to win back the support of an American public already jaded by the squabble over the $9 billion NFL empire. They also instigated more legal action, ensuring their dispute will drag through the courts for the foreseeable future. Minnesota federal court Judge Susan Richard Nelson had instructed the NFL on Monday to end the player lockout and said on Tuesday she wanted at least another day to decide her next ruling after the league appealed her decision. The NFL’s lawyers asked for an immediate stay, arguing that the federal court had no jurisdiction on labor disputes because they were a matter for the National Labor Relations Board. The players then responded by asking Judge Nelson to clarify her ruling on ending the lockout after several players were prevented from entering the team’s training facilities. Offseason training has not even begun but some players turned out nonetheless, triggering accusations of gamesmanship and verbal volleys from both sides. “That the National Football League is allowing this sort of chaos to occur, I’m not sure it’s a great day for football,” DeMaurice Smith, director of the NFL Players Association, told ESPN radio. The NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell pleaded his case in an article that he penned for the Wall Street Journal. In it, he wrote that the judge’s initial ruling “may endanger one of the most popular and successful sports leagues in history.” Nelson, who initially told the two sides to resolve their differences through mediation, said she would consider both motions and filed an order giving the players until Wednesday morning to respond to the league’s request.

Then she gave the league until that evening to respond to any players’ request for a clarification of her ruling. If Judge Nelson agrees to the NFL motion on the stay, the six-week lockout which she lifted on Monday would immediately be restored. But if she denies the motion, the NFL would take their case to the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The league filed an appeal on Monday, but a court source told Reuters on Tuesday the NFL wanted to wait for Judge Nelson’s ruling on their motion before pursuing it. An NFL spokesman said on Tuesday the league was operating as normal after the lockout was lifted but did not expect any football activities to begin as they awaited court rulings. “We are going to proceed in an orderly way that is fair to the teams and players and complies with court orders. Players are being treated with courtesy and respect at club facilities,” Greg Aiello said in a statement. “We do not believe it is appropriate for football activities to take place until there are further rulings from the court.” The handful of players who went back to their teams on Tuesday were greeted by mixed responses with some allowed to train and others turned away. “I made every opportunity to avail myself to work out,” New York Jets offensive lineman D’Brickashaw Ferguson told reporters outside the team’s training venue. “But at this time I wasn’t afforded that opportunity.” The NFLPA instructed player agents to begin calling teams to begin negotiations. Their calls went unanswered. “Have spoken to several teams,” player agent David Canter tweeted. “No one will deal because ‘we don’t know what rules we are functioning under.’” The legal wrangling could hardly come at a worse time for some of the bright young hopefuls hoping to make it into the NFL as the annual player draft begins Thursday.—Reuters

NEW YORK: National Football League draft prospect Cam Newton (right) and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell participate in an NFL predraft event. — AP


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sp orts

Villarreal won’t leave Portuguese party without Europa League fight

MUNICH: Germany’s Philipp Petzschner reacts after winning his second round match against top seed Mikhail Youzhny of Russia at the ATP tennis tournament BMW Open. —AP

Baghdatis falls to teenager MUNICH: Bulgarian teenager Grigor Dimitrov rallied to beat fourth-seeded Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 3-6, 7-6 (6), 62 yesterday at the BMW Open and reached his first ATP tour quarterfinal. Dimitrov, who is ranked No, 69 and will turn 20 next month, is the youngest play-

er and the only teenager in the top 100. Baghdatis snapped a six-match losing streak with his first-round win in Munich, where he was a semifinalist in 2007 and last year. Potito Starace of Italy defeated sixth-seeded Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine 6-4, 6-2 on a day of rain delays. — AP

BERNE: Villarreal will gatecrash a Portuguese party in the Europa League semi-finals but the Spanish side have no intention of leaving early as they try to reach a first major European final at the third attempt. The Spaniards, beaten UEFA Cup semifinalists in 2004 and at the same stage of the Champions League two years later, visit rampant Porto in their semi-final first leg today while Benfica host Braga in an all-Portuguese affair. Under the leadership of Manuel Pellegrini, who later went on to manage Real Madrid, Villarreal were beaten 1-0 on aggregate by Valencia in 2004 and by the same score against Arsenal two years later. However, the Europa League semi-final looks like it could produce goals given Porto’s 10-3 demolition of Spartak Moscow in the quarter-finals and Villarreal’s 8-2 rout of Twente Enschede. The match also pits two of European football’s most prolific scorers against each other. Porto’s Colombian striker Radamel Falcao is the Europa League’s leading scorer with 11 goals while Villarreal’s Italian forward Giuseppe Rossi is one behind him. Porto have already been crowned Portuguese champions having won 25 and drawn two of their 27 matches so far, leaving them 19 points clear of Benfica. Andre VillasBoas’s team have been equally formidable in Europe with 12 wins in 14 outings, including all seven away from home. “I think they’re the favorites because they are winning titles,” said Villarreal midfielder Bruno Soriano. “We have to improve our defence to not concede as many goals. If we can do that, we will have taken a big step forward. A 3-2 defeat against Porto would not be a bad result.” However, Porto’s form against Spanish teams is uninspiring with only 11 wins in 34 attempts. The other tie features two sides who dropped into the Europa League after third-

PORTUGAL: Porto Brazilian players goalkeeper Helton Arruda, Givanildo ‘Hulk’ Souza and Walter Silva (from left to right) jog during a training session. —AP place finishes in the group stage of the Champions League. Braga’s European adventure began last July with a qualifying round tie against Celtic. Since then, they have enjoyed two-leg wins over Sevilla, Liverpool and Dynamo Kiev, as well as Arsenal in their Champions League group. In complete contrast to free-scoring Porto and Benfica, Braga - who like Villarreal have never won a domestic league title-beat Liverpool 1-0 on aggregate in the round-of-16 and Dynamo on away goals after a 1-1 aggregate draw in the last round. Benfica, who like

United’s two-goal cushion gives Ferguson time to tinker

Soderling snares 1st clay win of season at Estoril OEIRAS: Robin Soderling won his first match of the season on clay yesterday, beating Jeremy Chardy 6-1, 6-7 (4), 6-1 in the second round at the Estoril Open. The top-seeded Swede, who lost his opening clay match in Barcelona last week, is preparing for next month’s French Open. He has twice reached the final at Roland Garros. Soderling overpowered his opponent in the first set, winning four straight games after twice breaking Chardy and twice not conceding a point on his own serve. Both players were plagued by unforced errors in the second set and broke each other three times. A dispute with the umpire over a call in the second

game of the decider appeared to unsettle Chardy, allowing Soderling to rack up 13 straight points. Soderling, the only top 10-ranked player at No. 5 appearing in Portugal, had earned a bye into the second round. The Swede has made a strong start to the year, clinching titles in Marseille, Rotterdam and Brisbane before going out in the third round of Masters events in Indian Wells and Miami last month. Sixth-seeded Thomaz Bellucci eliminated Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-3, 5-7, 75. The top three women’s seeded players — Alisa Kleybanova, Jarmila Gajdosova and Klara Zakopalova —all advanced to the quarterfinals. —AP

Lotus F1 buy Caterham LONDON: Formula One’s Team Lotus announced the purchase of Caterham Cars yesterday in a deal linking the niche sportscar maker to the glamour world of grand prix racing. The takeover by team principal Tony Fernandes and fellow Malaysian associates Kamarudin Meranun and SM Nasarudin turns the wheel full circle for the company’s famed lightweight Seven model. The affordable British-built sportscar, launched in 1957 and still raced around the world, was designed by Colin Chapman- founder of the original Team Lotus-before he ended production and sold the rights to Caterham in 1973. “It’s a commercial deal more than anything,” Fernandes told Reuters before a presentation at Duxford airfield in eastern England. “We think now we have a jewel in the crown in Caterham. There’s a

little bit of Lotus DNA there but we are able to take the Caterham brand to a much larger audience and also transfer technology from the Formula One team into Caterham Cars. “We always wanted to be a manufacturer. Now we are a tiny manufacturer but everyone starts small and you’ve got to start somewhere,” he added. “But at least now we’ve got the genesis and a strategy of what we are trying to put together.” Caterham’s existing management team will remain in place under the leadership of former Lotus Cars executive Ansar Ali. The announcement comes at a time when Team Lotus are locked in a legal battle with Malaysian-owned Group Lotus and carmaker parent Proton over the use of the evocative Lotus brand name. — Reuters

Manchester’s coach Sir Alex Ferguson

Bulls get rid of Pacers

LOS ANGELES: Lakers center Andrew Bynum (left) and New Orleans Hornets center Emeka Okafor go after a rebound during the second half in Game 5 of a firstround NBA basketball playoff series. —AP

CHICAGO: The Chicago Bulls finally played like a top seed, knocking off the Indiana Pacers 116-89 in Game 5 on Tuesday to wrap up their NBA Eastern Conference first-round playoff series. The Bulls can breathe a little easier after getting a dominant performance by MVP candidate Derrick Rose and an emphatic win that came on the heels of four close games. They can also turn their attention to the Eastern Conference semifinals, where they’ll meet Atlanta or Orlando. Rose scored 25 points and seemed fine after spraining an ankle in Game 4, hitting 8 of 17 shots. He dominated in the early going and was strong in the third after the Pacers pulled within four. He scored 10 points over the final six minutes, and Chicago ended the quarter on a 23-8 run to blow the game open. Luol Deng had 24 points and Joakim Noah added 14 points and eight rebounds as Bulls won a playoff series for the first time since 2007. Danny Granger scored 20 for the Pacers. Tyler Hansbrough added 14 points and 11 rebounds, but Indiana trailed the entire way and committed 21 turnovers. Magic 101, Hawks 76 In Orlando, the hosts stayed alive by beating Atlanta, cutting the deficit to 3-2. Jason

Porto have a large South American contingent, badly want to win the Europa League to compensate for a frustrating season in which they have played second fiddle to their bitter rivals from the north. Having seen Porto clinch the Portuguese league title with a 3-1 win against them in Lisbon, Benfica then blew a two-goal firstleg lead in their Cup semi-final against the same opponents a week ago and went out on away goals. Nothing would suit them better meeting Porto in the final in Dublin next month. —Reuters

Richardson scored 17 points and J.J. Redick added 14 for the Magic, who are aiming to be the ninth team in NBA history to win a playoff series after trailing 3-1. If they can win Game 6 Thursday in Atlanta, they would host the decisive Game 7 on Saturday. Magic center Dwight Howard battled foul trouble throughout the night and had just one field goal, finishing with 8 points and 8 rebounds. Orlando didn’t need his offense, though, as it broke out of a series-long shooting slump with 11 3-pointers. Josh Smith scored 22 points to lead Atlanta, which shot below 40 percent for just the second time this series. Lakers 106, Hornets 90 In Los Angeles, the home team pushed New Orleans to the brink of playoff elimination, moving ahead 3-2. Kobe Bryant scored 19 points and threw down two stirring dunks despite a sprained ankle. Andrew Bynum had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Pau Gasol added 16 points as the two-time defending NBA champions roared back from a slow start in a pivotal game for their hopes of a third straight title. Trevor Ariza scored 22 points and Chris Paul had 20 points and 12 assists for the seventh-seeded Hornets. Game 6 is Thursday in New Orleans. —AP

LONDON: It is not often a manager feels able to rest key players for the second leg of a Champions League semi-final but so dominant were Manchester United against Schalke 04 that Alex Ferguson is planning just that. With United imperious at Old Trafford this season, Tuesday’s 2-0 win in the Gelsenkirchen first leg virtually secured their passage to the Wembley final on May 28 and gives Ferguson the unlikely option of rotating his team for two huge Premier League matches against Arsenal and Chelsea. Ryan Giggs got the first goal, becoming the oldest scorer in the Champions League at 37 years and 148 days, with Wayne Rooney adding the second as United finally found a way past outstanding goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. “You’d think at 37 he’d show signs of waning but I see no evidence of that,” Ferguson said in the wake of Giggs’ superb display as an attacking central midfielder. “We look after him in terms of rest before games-he won’t play on Sunday (against Arsenal), but he’ll play next Wednesday (in the second leg). “I’ve got good options because Nani could have played, but (Antonio) Valencia’s form showed why he is playing. We’ve got (Paul) Scholes and Anderson. We’ve got selection problems now, but that’s what we want. We’ve got important games coming up. “The way I’m going to look at it is that we want to get Sunday’s game over and get a positive result because that is a very important game for us now. “Depending on the result on Sunday I could make two or three changes (for the second leg) because we have Chelsea the following Sunday. “It is a seven-day period which is crucial to the club but it is the kind of games the players are relishing. I think we are

coming to a peak.” United are six points clear of Chelsea and nine ahead of Arsenal with four games remaining and could wrap up a record 19th league title with two games to spare. That would put Ferguson in the luxurious position of being able rest his main men ahead of a Champions League final meeting with either Barcelona or Real Madrid, who meet in their first leg late yesterday. While neither of the Spanish sides will arrive at Wembley fearing United, they certainly would have taken notice at the verve and confidence they showed on Tuesday. From the start they tore forward and nobody could have complained if they were three-up at halftime against a team who had previously won all their home games in the competition. Ferguson, who enjoyed a similarly one -sided semi against Borussia Dortmund in 1997 only to somehow lose to the eventual champions, must have been getting a little nervous before Giggs broke the deadlock after 67 minutes. Rooney’s second two minutes later allowed United to ease off the gas but even then Schalke failed to trouble them. United’s centre backs Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic barely broke sweat while full backs Patrice Evra and Fabio played as virtual wingers. The victory completed a remarkable campaign where the English side did not concede a single away goal in the competition-the first team to do so-yet it was probably the easiest night Edwin van der Sar has experienced all season. “Our concentration, the intensity of our play and the speed of our passing were all excellent,” Ferguson said. “There is a different tempo at times. Over the last two or three years we have a way of playing in Europe away from home, we seem to be better than anywhere else.” —Reuters

Catolica upset Gremio 2-1 BUENOS AIRES: Brazil’s Gremio are on the brink of elimination from the last 16 of the Libertadores Cup after going down 2-1 at home to Universidad Catolica of Chile on Tuesday. One of five Brazilian teams in the last 16, Gremio were reduced to 10 men in the 34th minute after referee Nestor Pitana sent striker Borges off for elbowing defender David Henriquez in the face at the Olimpico in Porto Alegre. Six minutes before the red-card incident, Lucas Pratto raced onto a pass from Marcelo Canete and hit a right-footed shot low past goalkeeper Marcelo to give the Chilean champions a 1-0 lead. The Brazilian side, champions in 1983 and 1995, hit back just before the hour when midfielder Douglas struck a left-footed shot from 30 metres into the top right-hand corner of Paulo Garces’s net. Catolica restored their lead quarter of an hour from time when winger Fernando Meneses crossed from the right and Pratto headed past Marcelo from point blank range for his sixth

goal of the competition. “We won because we managed to decipher the match before playing it ... We took a big step, that gives us hopes,” Catolica’s coach Juan Antonio Pizzi told reporters. At Velez Sarsfield’s Fortin (fortress), strikers turned providers as Santiago Silva then Juan Manuel Martinez laid on the goals for midfielder Augusto Fernandez in the opening 10 minutes to give the Argentine’s a 3-0 win over LDU Quito in Buenos Aires. Silva crossed from the left in the seventh minute and Fernandez ghosted in at the far post to hit the ball first time into Alexander Dominguez’s net. Three minutes later, Martinez beat three defenders in a mazy run from the left and played the ball into space in the box where Fernandez steered it past Dominguez. LDU forward Luis Bolanos was sent off for a second booking eight minutes into the second half. A minute later, the goalkeeper came out late to a cross from left back Emiliano Papa and central defender Sebastian Dominguez headed Velez further ahead. — Reuters


India name Fletcher as new cricket coach

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Chan sets world record

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Marlins overcome Dodgers in MLB Page 16

messes up Real at Bernabeu MADRID: Argentina’s two-time world player of the year Lionel Messi scored a superb late brace as Barcelona gained the upper hand in their Champions League semi final with a 2-0 first leg win over arch rivals Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu yesterday. Real were down to ten men after Pepe had been sent off on the hour mark and Barca made the extra man count with Messi converting an Ibrahim Afellay cross on 76 minutes and then scored a mesmerising goal on 86 minutes for his 11th Champions League goal of the season. “We are one step away from the final but we are not at Wembley yet,” said Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola. “We respect Real Madrid a lot and we know they are capable of anything so we won’t underestimate them.” Messi has now scored on each of his last four visits to the Bernabeu and the late goals are a huge setback for Real coach Jose Mourinho, who was sent to the stands for protesting the dismissal of Pepe. Madrid must now pull off a miracle and win well at Camp Nou in the second leg on May 3 if they are to reach their first final since 2002. “Another miracle with ten men wasn’t possible,” said an angry Mourinho, whose side were overwhelmed 5-0 on their previous visit to the Camp Nou. “Yes, I think we are eliminated. We will go to Camp Nou with everything and to get a result but I can’t see it. We will be without Pepe and (Sergio) Ramos who didn’t do anything and neither did I. I just want to know why? Why did Pepe

get sent off? I just want someone to explain. Why did it happen?” For Barcelona it was the perfect revenge after their Kings Cup loss a week ago and they will aim to finish the job at home and reach their first final since 2009 when they won the trophy as part of a historic treble. A war of words had spiced up this red-hot fixture further with the usually calm Guardiola hitting out at Mourinho and expressed his annoyance at being called ‘Pep’ by his Portuguese counterpart. Barcelona, eight points above Real in the league, were still hurting from their Kings Cup final defeat and were allowed to dominate possession as Real sat deep in the third meeting between the two sides in just 12 days. David Villa had the first sight on goal cutting inside before dispatching a shot just wide of the post in the 10th minute. Jeers from home fans rung around the Bernabeu as Real followers were unhappy at Barcelona’s control of the ball and the visitors almost scored in the 24th minute with Messi sliding in Xavi but Iker Casillas saved well with his legs. On the stroke of half-time Madrid had their first chance with Ronaldo’s fierce drive fumbled by Victor Valdes. A row between Seydou Keita and Alvaro Arbeloa continued as the players left the field and Barcelona’s second choice goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto was sent off from the substitutes bench for losing his cool in a melee. Early in the second half Messi had a half chance as Real were caught sleeping but his shot was blocked in the area. Cristiano Ronaldo then caused problems at the other end with Puyol making up for his initial mistake with a fine block. On the hour mark Real were reduced to ten men with Pepe red-carded for a late tackle on Dani Alves and joins Sergio Ramos in missing the return clash at Camp Nou. Pepe lunged at Alves and was shocked not to see a yellow, as was Mourinho, who was sent to the stands for vehemently protesting. Barcelona tried to capitalise on their extra man with Villa forcing a fingertip save from Casillas on 68 minutes. Then on 76 minutes substitute Afellay crossed and Messi converted with a volley at the near post. It was the first goal Real had conceded at home in the Champions League this season, but the second arrived ten minutes later with Messi running from deep at speed, evading two challenges before sliding a right-footed shot past Casillas.—AFP


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Kuwait money supply marginally up in March

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All-new BMW 6 Series Convertible in Kuwait

Kuwait equities edge lower Page 24

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KUWAIT: Kuwaiti Minister of Commerce and Industry Ahmad Rashed Al-Haroun (left) holding discussions on Tuesday with visiting Jordanian counterpart Hani Mulqi and delegation on bolstering bilateral economic and trade relations. —Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Kuwait, Jordan to enhance economic ties Kuwait investments in kingdom rise to $8bn in 2010 KUWAIT: Kuwait Minister of Commerce and Industry Ahmad Rashed Al-Haroun discussed on Tuesday with visiting Jordanian counterpart Hani Mulqi bolstering bilateral economic and trade relations. Following the meeting, Haroun revealed the development of economic relations between both countries has helped Kuwaiti investments in the Jordanian Kingdom skyrocket from $400 million in 2004 to $8 billion in 2010. The Kuwaiti minister hailed the investment-friendly atmosphere in Jordan, particularly in the industrial sector. Kuwait and Jordan have capabilities that enable them to

found a strong economic partnership that benefits both sides, Haroun underscored. For his part, Mulqi hailed the distinguished Jordanian-Kuwaiti relations, describing economic, commercial and investment cooperation between the two countries as a role model for the pan-Arab work. Mulqi revealed that the meeting with Minister Haroun also touched upon His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s imitative of founding a $1-billionfund for financing small and medium-sized enterprises in the Arab world. “We believe that this initiative will have a significant role in

addressing the problem of unemployment and consequently pushing ahead the development in the Arab world,” he said. He highlighted the importance of the J o rd a n i a n - Ku w a i t i Industrial Forum, held in Kuwait C i t y o n Tu e s d ay, n o t i n g t h a t industry is one of the key sectors creating opportunities that contribute to solving unemployment. Mulqi also reviewed state facilities to investors such as customs and tax exemptions as well as plots of land offered to businessmen at industrial parks and free zo n e s, u rgi n g Ku w a i t i i nve s tm e n t s to b e n e f i t f ro m s u c h advantages. —KUNA

Small MENA funds face survival fight DUBAI: Merge or close. Those are the options in a time of political turmoil for some Middle East and North Africa fund managers facing muted inflows, miniscule assets under management and high operating costs. Conditions have worsened amidst a spate of redemption requests after a popular uprising closed Egypt’s bourse for a month and a lower risk appetite from institutional investors. “When you speak to fund managers in the region, you don’t get the impression that there is any serious money coming in,” said Rober to Demartini, a fund analyst at Standard & Poors in London. Small players without the backing of strong shareholders will find it hard to survive. Targets in a consolidation wave will likely include funds with tiny amounts of assets under management or funds of foreign firms which could be merged into a

larger and more broad-based fund. Local and international firms flocked to the Gulf Arab region during the boom years before the global financial crisis, lured by the region’s prospects of strong economic growth driven by windfalls from its large hydrocarbon reserves. Fund managers have fought to attract overseas institutional interest in markets historically dominated by retail investors. But political upheaval now overhangs the region’s outlook and investors are demanding higher risk premium for MENA investments. The region, which spans the six Gulf states and includes Nor th African countries like Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco, has been buffeted by pro-democracy unrest, prompting risk-savvy institutional investors to stay on the sidelines. “This is a very vicious cycle business,” said M.R. Raghu, senior vice

president for research at investment firm Markaz in Kuwait. “When things are good you tend to see people pour in money but when things go wrong, your assets will shrink and you will be hit by redemptions. It’s a double whammy on the negative side,” he said. A few firms were forced to stop repaying clients following a monthlong closure of Egypt’s bourse and a slump in stock market values. Funds generally block redemption requests when they do not have enough liquid assets available to pay investors. M ar k az est im ated t hat t here were about 150 funds operating in t he regi o n wit h to t al asset s o f around $12.5 billion at the end of 2010. Most of the funds have not seen any inflows so far this year and with stock markets tepid, the outlo o k fo r t he rest o f 2011 i s no t encouraging. —Reuters

Mideast faces challenges with jobs, graft, says IMF Regional economies benefit from uprisings DUBAI: Uprisings sweeping the Middle East and North Africa could eventually boost regional economies, but for now many countries there face a tough path dealing with entrenched unemployment, soaring prices and industries strained by the unrest, the International Monetary Fund said yesterday. The Washington-based body is urging Mideast leaders to do more to create jobs for a wider segment of the population while tackling deep-seated corruption. Doing so would begin to address the economic grievances that have fueled protests across the region. “The unfolding events make it clear that reforms, and even rapid economic growth ... cannot be sustained unless they create jobs for the rapidly growing labor force and are accompanied by social policies for the most vulnerable,” the fund said. Forecasts by the IMF suggest the political turmoil is taking an economic toll. It predicts the overall economy in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan will grow by 3.9 percent this year. That’s the same rate as last year, but nearly a percentage point less than its 2011

forecast issued just six months ago. It’s also slower than the IMF’s estimate of 4.4 percent for the world as a whole. “If you look at other emerging market economies, they’ve progressed much better than our region. They’ve recovered faster and at higher rates” following the global financial crisis, said Nasser Saidi, a former Lebanese government minister who is now the chief economist at the Dubai International Financial Center, a regional banking hub. The total regional figure, detailed in a semiannual report released in Dubai, hides big divisions among the region’s haves and have-nots. The IMF said countries that have to import their oil, including several hit by violent unrest, face a difficult economic year. It expects their economies will grow by a relatively meager 2.3 percent even as food and fuel prices push higher. Many of the Mideast’s oil importers, including Egypt, Tunisia and Syria, are also coping with a slump in tourism and investment as a result of popular uprisings at home. That along with growing levels of debt gives leaders in those countries — some in a state

of political transition — even less financial room to maneuver. “The challenge for them is going to be to make progress on their social agenda while maintaining macroeconomic stability. They’re going to be feeling many pressures from many sources this year, and navigating that set of changes ... is going to be the challenge,” said Masood Ahmed, the director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia department. The economic outlook is far brighter for Saudi Arabia and the region’s other, mostly wealthy oil producers. Surging crude prices, while painful for drivers, and higher output are expected to more than double the size of exporters’ surplus coffers by $380 billion. The IMF expects their economies will grow 4.9 percent in 2011. The IMF report includes oil exporters Algeria, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen, and oil importers Afghanistan, Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Syria and Tunisia. Libya was left out of the economic growth forecasts because of the ongoing fighting there. —AP

Markets rise; positive earnings support MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS

TOKYO: Honda Accord Tourer at Honda Motor Co’s Saitama Factory in Sayama, north of Tokyo, as the Japanese automaker resumed limited production of automobiles on April 11 at the factory since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan’s east coast. Standard & Poor’s lowered its outlook for Japan’s credit rating to negative yesterday amid concern the country’s finances will deteriorate further as it rebuilds after last month’s disaster. —AP (See Page 26)

DUBAI/CAIRO: Most Gulf Arab markets rose yesterday with investors upbeat thanks to a string of positive first-quarter earnings results but real estate court troubles weighed on Egypt’s index. In the UAE, markets rose after robust results from a trio of major banks and logistics firm Aramex, buoying sentiment. Emirates NBD surged 10.9 percent a day after reporting a forecast-beating net profit of 1.4 billion dirhams ($381 million). Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank jumped 5.6 percent after its firstquarter net profit more than doubled. “The results ... should help the market, because it enforces the view that the recovery in the economic scene is probably taking faster steps than it did in Q4,” said Mohammed Yasin, CAPM Investment ’s chief investment officer. Dubai’s index ended up 1.9 per-

cent up, rebounding after three days of losses and Abu Dhabi’s index closed 0.6 percent higher. Aramex gained 2.7 percent after it reported a five percent rise in profits on Tuesday after market close. Saudi Arabia’s index rose 0.6 percent to a 14-week high as investors look favorably on petrochemical stocks due to rising oil prices. Bellwether Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) rose 0.2 percent and Yanbu Petrochemical Company was up 1.5 percent. The petrochem index advanced 1 percent. “Now the general market has won the confidence of investors, you’re starting to see more bottom-up buying,” said a Riyadh-based trader, referring to stock-specific trade. “You will see a lot more of that. Brent crude for June rose 31 cents to $124.28 a barrel by 1256 GMT. Egypt’s main share index closed down 0.32 percent as worries over

ongoing legal challenges to state land sales dulled investor appetite, traders said. With trading volume testing recent lows, buying appetite has thinned as investors fret they will not be able to sell their positions, said Omar Dar wish of brokerage CIBC. “Fewer people want to go in and more people want to get out, even if prices are good and valuations are attractive,” he said. Real estate firms are reeling after a spate of legal challenges to their land holdings. Proper ty developer Palm Hills said it planned to appeal against a cour t verdict scrapping a sale of state land to the company. Palm Hills’s peer Talaat Moustafa fell 1.1 percent, taking its drop this year to 58 percent. Egyptian Resorts fell 4.2 percent. A judicial panel is expected to submit its report on whether a state land sale to the company was illegal. — Reuters


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BUSINESS

Kuwait money supply marginally up in March

Egypt has up to $12bn funding gap, says IMF

Growth in credit to real estate offset by drops in other sectors

NBK Monetary Developments KUWAIT: Kuwait money supply (M2) was up slightly in March (+KD 25 million). However, M2 is up 6% year-to-date (ytd) mostly due to the Amiri grant (KD 1.1 billion) which flushed the system with deposits in February. Outstanding credit to residents was virtually flat in March, up only KD 15 million. So far in 2011, credit remains weak and is up 0.3% ytd. The KD 94 million increase in credit to real estate was the most notable in March. Credit to the sector was up 1.4% m/m and ytd is up a good 2.8% reflecting the recent pick up seen in real estate activity in 1Q2011. The household/consumer sector continues to grow decently. It rose KD 37 million m/m but was offset by the decline in loans for the purchase of securities, down KD 35 million. The growth in the consumer and real estate sectors was overshadowed by declines in almost all other sectors, most notably loans to non-bank financial institutions that fell KD 93 million. Credit to “productive” sectors (trade, industry, and construction) was flat in March but still up 3% ytd. Resident deposits were up 0.5% in March probably due to banks’ stock dividend distributions. The increase came primarily from sight and saving

KD deposits while time deposits fell KD 105 million. So far this year deposits are up 5.6%. Total bank assets were up KD 102 million in March. Bank assets have increased 3% in 1Q2011. Liquid assets were up KD 123 million in March almost exclusively in time deposits with the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK). Liquid assets increased 18% ytd, as the CBK issued bonds and accepted time deposits from banks to mop up

excess liquidity left by the inflow of grant money. Average rates offered on KD private deposits remain very low and in March fell 1 bp across maturities. The 1-month, 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month rates were 0.96%, 1.17%, 1.44%, and 1.73% respectively. The dinar has fallen around 7% against the euro so far this year mostly on monetary tightening in the euro area and on a weaker dollar.

Mobinil sees Q1 revenue hurt by crisis ABU DHABI: Egyptian mobile operator Mobinil, set to announce first-quarter results yesterday, expects quarterly revenue to be hurt by recent political unrest in the country, its chairman said. Mobinil, which leads the Egyptian mobile market by subscriber numbers, also expected single-digit subscriber growth for the short term, Alex Shalaby told reporters yesterday. “There will be an impact. Roaming services were hit hard due to what happened in Egypt earlier this year which largely affected tourism,” Shalaby said. In February, the company said it

had lost around 80-100 million Egyptian pounds ($14-17 million) during violent protests that led to the toppling of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Mobinil has no plans to increase capital expenditure for 2011 as demand for services remained low, Shalaby said, adding the company has no plans to tap bond markets in the short term. “It (capex) won’t exceed that of last year because of reduced demand and we will continue to upgrade quality and 3G coverage,” he said on the sidelines of a telecoms conference in Abu Dhabi.

DUBAI: Egypt has indicated it needs up to $12 billion to meet a funding gap but has yet to formally request a loan from the International Monetary Fund, an IMF official said yesterday. “At this stage what we know is that the Egyptian authorities have indicated that they have a financing gap of $10 (billion) to $12 billion,” Masood Ahmed, the IMF’s director for Middle East and Central Asia, told Reuters. “Our own analysis for this suggests that is probably right,” he said after a presentation of its regional economic outlook. Egypt has said it was seeking $10 billion in funding from international lenders and rich nations to cope with the fallout from the mass protests that toppled the country’s long-time leader Hosni Mubarak in February. The IMF head said earlier this month the fund would likely make available $35 billion in loans to oilimporting countries in the Middle East and North Africa where popular uprisings have occurred. Ahmed said yesterday no country has formally approached the fund for

a financial assistance, including Egypt. “At this stage, even Egypt has not asked us for money. Just to be clear, we have not received a request from Egypt yet for financing. But at this stage we really don’t have a sense of how much that amount will be,” he said. Egyptian Finance Minister Samir Radwan said in Kuwait on Tuesday that his government was in talks with the IMF for an up to $4 billion loan. A collapse in tourism and foreign investment following the protests have hit revenues hard and sent the economy of the most populous Arab country into an estimated 7 percent contraction in January-March. The IMF projects Egypt’s economic growth to plunge to 1.0 percent this year, well below its long-term average, after a 5.1 percent expansion in 2010, the regional report showed. Egypt’s budget deficit may top 10 percent of gross domestic product in the coming fiscal year as the government responds to demands for jobs and higher wages, Radwan said earlier this week. — Reuters

Joyalukkas celebrates Akshaya Tritiya with free gold coin for customers Joyalukkas, the world’s favorite jeweler is all set to celebrate Akshaya Tritiya, with a variety of offers and exclusive designs that has been exclusively tailored for this auspicious day. Since a gift in gold is considered very auspicious and lucky on this special day, all Joyalukkas customers shopping for KD. 300 or equivalent, on the auspicious days of 5th, 6th and 7th May 2011, at any Joyalukkas showrooms across the GCC, will get the Free Gold Coin gift. Akshaya Tritiya is considered as a sacred and auspicious day by the Indian community, who believe that valuables bought on this special day will bring prosperity, luck and success.

“Majority of Indians considers gold as the ultimate symbol of wealth and prosperity and celebrate the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya by purchasing jewelry. It is believed that purchase of jewelry, or getting a gift in gold, during Akshaya Tritiya brings in good luck and prosperity. Therefore, we have decided to gift our valued customers a free gold coin on purchases during this auspicious period. I take this opportunity to wish our customers and all the Indian community celebrating Akshaya Tritiya, good health, wealth and prosperity,” said John Paul Joy Alukkas, Executive Director, Joyalukkas Group.

Other than the gift of the Free Gold Coin, Joyalukkas has also planned an exciting line-up of offers on exquisite designs specially created for Akshaya Tritiya. On purchase of the Tyohaar customizable diamond necklace set worth KD1445, customers will receive a free Rado watch. The Tyohaar customizable necklace set is the first of its kind in jewelry, because it allows the user to wear it in 3 different ways to suit their mood and attire. On purchase of an Elegenza Polki diamond necklace set worth KD 1200 customers will be gifted a free Tissot watch and on purchase of a DiRoyale Diamond necklace set worth KD. 1120, customers will be gifted a Canon

Camcorder Free. Joyalukkas also will be offering an incredible 50 percent discount on all diamond jewelry purchases during the offer period. The special offer on select designs and the 50 percent discount on diamond jewelry will be valid across all the GCC outlets of Joyalukkas from April 28 to May 7, 2011. Joyalukkas is an ISO certified group with 80 showrooms in eight countries across the world. Joyalukkas is also the proud recipient of the prestigious Middle East Local Retailer of the year and the Dubai Qualit y Appreciation Program.

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

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

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

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

.2700000 .4525000 .4010000 .3115000 .2860000 .2950000 .0061800 .0020000 .0744830 .7256640 .3820000 .0700000 .7113810 .0045000 .0450000

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

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2743500 .4546390 .4029790 .3138660 .2883040 .0540530 .0451550 .2972720 .0353000 .2225780 .0033540 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0747240 .7279120 .0000000 .0731800 .7127830 .0000000

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co.

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

ASIAN COUNTRIES 3.381 6.211 3.279 2.503 3.896 224.180 35.560 3.896

.2800000 .46200000 .4080000 .3210000 .2950000 .3020000 .0062990 .0035000 .0752310 .7329570 .4020000 .0770000 .7185310 .0072500 .0560000 .2764500 .4581190 .4060640 .3162680 .2905110 .0544670 .0455010 .2995470 .0355700 .2242820 .0033800 .0062470 .0025150 .0032790 .0038130 .0752960 .7334840 .3910180 .0737400 .7182390 .0064290

6.391 9.234 0.271 0.273 GCC COUNTRIES 73.704 75.948 717.940 733.960 75.250

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 47.750 46.406 1.265 204.140 390.340 183.300 5.967 36.070

EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 276.300 Euro 403.810 Sterling Pound 457.690 Canadian dollar 291.760 Turkish lire 182.140 Swiss Franc 313.980 Australian dollar 296.690 US Dollar Buying 275.100 20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

280.000 142.000 72.000

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 302.200 732.980 3.990 293.500 541.300 14.100 54.700 167.800 47.370 409.000 36.150 6.490

SELL DRAFT 300.700 732.980 3.782 292.000

225.300 46.364 407.500 36.000 6.205

389.540 0.185 93.680 3.900 224.000

318.100 5.900 9.410 75.100 275.600

Currency

27.00 3.265 6.215 2.515 3.785 6.420 75.110 73.670 732.400 46.345 462.400 0.00003280 3.910 1.550 392.400 5.750 410.400 298.300

Al Mulla Exchange

Selling Rate 276.800 292.345 453.255 400.600 308.720 732.607 75.339 76.008 73.783 391.007 46.496 2.506 6.239

Rate per 1000 (Tran)

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

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 457.000 275.600

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

3.283 3.806 6.397 678.972 3.437 9.341 6.038 3.943 91.033 91.428

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. 715.690 3.270 6.385 75.820 73.590 225.300 43.800 2.497 457.000

1,560.410

Sterling Pound US Dollar

Bahrain Exchange Company

0.032

GOLD 10 Tola

GOLD

0.033 0.246 0.243 3.470 391.010 0.186 93.680 47.800 4.320 226.000 1.869 52.600 715.870 3.350 6.590 76.250 73.590 225.330 43.800 2.675 459.000 45.500 319.600 5.900 9.560 198.263 75.200 276.000 1.230

Currency US Dollar Euro Pound Sterling Canadian Dollar Japanese Yen Indian Rupee Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupee Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso Pakistan Rupee Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal

Transfer Rate (Per 1000) 275.150 407.300 456.800 291.800 3.375 6.202 46.315 2.496 3.755 6.374 3.254 732.900 75.000 73.550

*Rates are subject to change


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THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2011

BUSINESS

Oil producing countries gain from Arab unrest Q2 Business Optimism Index By Ben Garcia

GM of Ali Alghanim Sons Mohammed Alghanim

All-new BMW 6 Series Convertible in Kuwait Redefining aesthetics, driving pleasure KUWAIT: The new third generation BMW 6 Series has made its debut in the Middle East, over thirty years after the world’s most successful premium automotive manufacturer launched the first BMW 6 Series model. Arriving at the Ali Alghanim & Sons showroom in Kuwait this month, the new BMW 6 Series Convertible has a new interior and exterior design and comes with a wealth of new technology highlights that distinguish the new car from the predecessor model. Offering stylish design, outstanding performance, luxury and sheer driving pleasure, the latest generation model is expected to set trends in the premium car segment. Design Although the new BMW 6 Series retains its strong characteristic lines, it has been restyled with a refined modern design. Some new characteristics include a “shark nose” in its front end design giving the car a sense of surging forward, while a broad air intake, strikingly contoured bonnet and muscular wheel arches hint at its powerful engine technology and impressive road holding promise. Meanwhile the luxurious atmosphere of the interior is highlighted by the driver-oriented set up, and optionally, offers individually tailored seats for the driver, front and rear passengers. High-class functionality is underlined prominently in the updated and redesigned Control Display with the iDrive control system. Highquality materials, carefully coordinated colours and, once again, meticulously formed surfaces combine to produce an ambience defined by luxury in the new BMW 6 Series Convertible. BMW ConnectedDrive The progressive character of the new BMW 6 Series Convertible is emphasised with numerous BMW ConnectedDrive optional driver assistance technology features for enhanced comfort and safety, some of these include: rear-view

camera; Surround View; BMW Night Vision (optional) with pedestrian recognition; and BMW Park Assistant. In addition, the new BMW 6 Series Convertible is the only car in its segment available with a full colour Head-Up Display (optional) which projects driving-related information onto the windscreen within the driver’s direct field of view. Performance The new BMW 6 Series Convertible is available in Kuwait with two engine variants: 650i and 640i, which offer more power and more fuel efficiency than their predecessors. The eight-cylinder power unit in the BMW 650i Convertible produces 407 hp and the BMW 640i Convertible generates 320 hp. Both engines come with BMW TwinPower Turbo power, direct fuel injection and VALVETRONIC technologies team up as standard with an eight-speed Sports automatic gearbox. Dynamic Drive Control which allows the driver to choose from a range of pre-programmed suspension settings comes as standard, while the Adaptive Drive (optional) which helps stabilize the vehicle around corners ensures the premium comfort, safety and driving pleasure for the driver. Commenting on the launch, Mohammed Alghanim, Group General Manager at Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive said: “Convertible models are important for us as they reiterate the athletic appeal and sportiness of the BMW brand. The new generation 6 Series will add a new chapter to a tradition of impressive BMW open-top cars that stretches back decades - and we have no doubt that it will be a popular addition to our portfolio.” The new BMW 6 Series Convertible is now available at the Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive showroom and will be joined by the new BMW 6 Series CoupÈ in the second half of 2011.

KUWAIT: Oil producing countries like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are somehow silently benefiting from the unrest in the Middle East, admits financial expert. Speaking to reporters at the Q2 Business Optimism Index presented at the JW Marriott in Kuwait City yesterday, Manjeet Chhabra-Dun & Bradstreet General Manager Middle East said oil economies are profiting to a certain extent. “Whether we accept it or not, whenever a political turmoil emerges, the oil prices go up and oil economies like Kuwait benefit from it,” he told local press. Chhabra said that strong oil prices and the government’s stimulus to the economy help maintain business optimism in Kuwait. “Kuwait is an oil-based economy and their GDP’s are mainly from the oil sector; so they gain from the price rise,” he added. “If more money flows in, then it will be invested in the infrastructure and various services; therefore positively affecting other sectors too” he explained. Chhabra pointed out that concerns about the political issues faced by a number of countries in MENA regions do not appear to be impacting the sentiments of business people in Kuwait. He explained that during recession, oil prices face a downward trend over global consumption. “Everywhere the sentiment is gloomy, so it has a negative impact on the economy of the world. Now, there is a current geo-political turmoil in nature, but the oil prices are getting higher and their economies are getting better too;

The festival, which falls on 6th May this year is considered to be the most propitious day to invest on gold, diamond and other precious stones. The word `Akshaya’ means ‘that which never diminishes’ and the day is believed to bring good luck and success. Gold and gold jewelry bought and worn on this day signify never diminishing good fortune. To celebrate this auspicious festival, Malabar Gold, a leading jewellery chain that is well known and

trusted throughout the Middle East and India, offers special promotions at their outlets in Kuwait from 27th April to 6th May. Special discounts will be given to all the customers who visit their showrooms during that period. On Akshaya Tritiya day, Malabar Gold will be opened from 8.30 am till 11.00 pm without break. Grab the opportunity to purchase exquisite IGI certified dia-

mond necklace set for an incredible price of 850 KD and exclusive diamond pendant set for 440 KD. Both are with VVS-VS clarity and GH colour. Another masterpiece of Malabar Gold, their branded jewellery special edition Era necklace set will be available at their outlets for an exceptional price of 600 KD. The customers who buy any of these sets will receive free gifts like Espirit watches and American

there are some concerns, but optimism remains positive overall,” he added. According to Chhabra, the latest estimates by OPEC, Kuwait oil production increased by 27,500 bpd, from January to February 2011. Ahamd Abu Blan, Business Development Manager of the Dun & Bradstreet, echoed the same sentiment explaining some details from the graph they provided. “Business optimism in Kuwait remains very positive with indices of 46 and 51 respectively for the hydro-carbon and non-hydrocarbon sectors. The indices are very optimistic if you notice the graph; it’s all bears with above 50’s.” “Within

the non-hydrocarbon sector, results are mixed with manufacturing remaining constant at 50, construction at 62, trade and hospitality sectors at 55, transport and communications at 54, finance and real estate and business services at 47,” he added. Kuwait’s economy forecast by the IMF claims that Kuwait has a nominal GDP growth rate of 17.3 percent and real growth rate of 8.3 percent in 2011. The World Bank meanwhile estimated that global economies will expand by 3.3 percent in 2011, led by a strong domestic demand displayed by developing countries.

Kuwait cinemas get a facelift KNCC reviews ambitious expansion plan By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: The Kuwait National Cinema Co (KNCC) held its annual general assembly yesterday at the 360 Mall. “During 2010, the company resumed implementing its ambitious plans of improving cinema theatres in order to sustain preservation of its leading role and to stay abreast of ongoing advancement in the cinema industry. Hence the company has managed to upgrade to a digital display at 12 cinema theatres, which represents 21 percent of the total number of theatres,” said Nawaf Al-Marzouq, Chairman and CEO of KNCC. “We hope to achieve international standards with respect to the overall number of digital cinema theatres i.e. within the limit of 50 percent of the total during the upcoming two years,” he added. KNCC managed to overcome the adverse ramifications of this crisis with respect to both financial and operational aspects. “ This is through well-defined strategies and policies and focus on continuous improvement of services,” noted Al-Marzouq. “ These reasons collectively have a positive effect on boosting the company’s operational rev-

Malabar Gold offers incredible prices and Gifts for This Akshaya Tritiya Akshaya Tritiya, the ‘Festival of Gold’ is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in India and has been widely acknowledged in the Middle East since last many years. It is considered to be the most ideal day to purchase valuables such as Gold and Diamond Jewellery. Malabar Gold, the perfect jeweller will be running several promotions and offers around the festival time at all their outlets to celebrate the occasion with their customers.

Manjeet Chhabra-Dun & Bradstreet General Manager Middle East

tourister trolly bags. Free gold coins will be given to those who make a purchase of 400 KD (other than promotional sets) or above on 5th and 6th May. The showroom also exhibits magnificent and unique pieces of gold, diamond and platinum jewellery with extravagant and opulent designs. Apart from this, Malabar Gold will also showcase their branded collections, Era, Ethnix, Starlet, Divine and Mine, that are

renowned globally for the flawless craftsmanship and the impeccable beauty of its creations. Having surpassed 50 stores in India and the Middle East, the group has grown upon the strength of its commitment to quality and excellent customer service. Malabar Gold is the only jewellery chain that has established their presence in the entire Middle East. In Kuwait, The jewellery group has showroom at Lulu Hypermarket, Al Rai.

KUWAIT: Nawaf Al-Marzouq, Chairman and CEO of KNCC, addresses the meeting. enues during the year 2010. This in turn retains the company’s position as one of the major entertainment and educational channels in the society. A total of 296 films in different languages were screened in 2010; this represents an increase of four films as compared to 2009,” he further said. The year 2010 was exceptional in terms of financial results for KNCC. “The company realized net profits which amounted to KD5,016,833, and Earning Rep Share (ERS) of 50.21 fils, as compared with profits of KD2, 990,

852 and ERS of 29.93 fils in 2009, which is an increase of 68 percent approximately,” explained AlMarzouq. Al-Marzouq also highlighted that the company’s total assets amounted to KD69.8 million in 2010, as compared with nearly KD69.3 million in 2009 i.e. growth at the rate of one percent. “Moreover the shareholders’ equity increased in 2010 to arrive at nearly KD45 million as compared with nearly KD44 million in 2009 i.e. a growth at the rate of two percent,” he said. During this assembly, they

reviewed the report of the board of directors of the fiscal year ending on December 31, 2010, which was approved. Also the independent audit’s report of the fiscal year due to December 31, 2010, was announced and okayed. The shareholders also discussed the general budget and final calculations of the company for the fiscal year due to December 31, 2010. They also agreed on distributing cash dividends at the rate of 40 percent of the paid capital, which is 40 fils per share of its nominal value for the registered shareholders.

UREC posts KD5.6m profits for 2010 By Nisreen Zahreddine KUWAIT: The United Real Estate Company (UREC) notched up profits of KD5.6 million in 2010, with stock profitability reaching 7.3 fils per share, up from 4.9 per share the previous year. The sizeable increase was announced yesterday at the company’s Annual General Assembly, where the chairman of UREC’s management board, Tariq Abdul Salam, told the shareholders that the firm had managed to achieve positive growth in its operational revenues, as well as demonstrating excellent management of its capital liabilities in some regional markets, such as Dubai and Qatar, leading to a 46.6 percent increase in net profit for 2010 compared to the previous year. Salam said that the company had further increased its capital in 2010 through issuing 400 million bonds, bringing its gross capital to KD118,787,442, an even more impressive increase of 50.7 percent on 2009. This increase, said Salam, reflects the confidence which the major shareholder, KIPCO, places in the company, with the firm’s asset portfolio increasing by 11.3 percent to KD363.8 million in 2010. Despite the recent turbulent financial markets, UREC continued to implement its ambitious strategy throughout 2010, with its policy aimed particularly at diversifying income sources and the geographic distribution of the company’s projects in the region, as well as supporting all the financing possibilities of the projects which it is currently working on. One of these is the United Tower Project in Kuwait City, which is projected to be ready for opening in the last quarter of this year. At the regional level, he continued, UREC’s renovation and renewal of the

KUWAIT: Chairman of UREC’s management board, Tariq Abdul Salam, addresses the general assembly yesterday. Vermont-Heliopolis in Egypt is set for completion shortly, which will help to further increase the firm’s revenue in coming years. Salam also mentioned a number of projects to build luxury residential properties in Cairo, with work staring on these in the last quarter of 2010 and expected to be finished by December 2013. In Jordan, meanwhile, work is well underway on the construction of the Abdally residential and commercial project in the capital, Amman, with UREC being one of the primary investment partners in the project, which is projected to be opened in the last quarter of 2013. Once completed, the project is expected to be the largest commercial center in Jordan. On the company’s future plans, Salam indicated that UREC is already working on a venture in the Lebanese area of Al Rouche, where it is involved in the construction of 1,090 luxury residential properties. This is a particularly distinctive venture given the location on the famous La Raouche island in the Mediterranean. The

construction work is expected to be completed by the end of 2013. Work on another of UREC’s ventures, the Salalah World Project in Oman, is also well underway and is expected to be completed by the end of this year. Once finished, the center will be the largest commercial, residential and entertainment venue in Salalah. Also during yesterday’s event, the shareholders approved all the points on the schedule, including suspending payment of dividends to shareholders for this year given the need for financing for expansion projects which UREC is currently working on. UREC’s Executive Director, Mohammad Al-Saqaff, meanwhile, presented a transparency report on the company, talking about its current projects and emphasizing its strong performance in 2010, particularly in comparison to that of the previous year. The company also announced some changes to the management board lineup during the meeting, which were unanimously agreed upon.


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GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT

Kuwait stocks edge lower KUWAIT: Kuwait-listed equities closed marginally down yesterday. All three major indices had traded on both sides throughout the early morning, before turning lower by mid-session. Some good 1Q2011 results announced during the session and other companies returned to trading ring again after being suspended due to delay in releasing their financial results for the past periods. All these good news failed to cheer up investors mood. Global General Index (GGI), market weighted, ended the day marginally down by 0.06 percent, at 205.39 point. Market Capitalization was down for the day at KWD33.68bn. On the other hand, KSE Price Index closed at 6,488.8 point, shedding 4.70 points (0.07 percent) to its previous close. Market Breadth During the session, 117 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards decliners as 51 equities retreated versus 35 that advanced. Yesterday’s performance was accompanied by mixed trading activity with most of the trades conducted in the Real Estate and Investment sectors. Total volume traded was down by 9.35 percent with 280.04mn shares changing hands at a total value of KD54.66mn (40.42 percent higher compared to the day before). The Real Estate Sector was the volume leader yesterday, accounting for 38.98 percent of total shares. The Banking sector was the value leader, with 58.60 percent of total traded value. Kuwait National Bank (NBK) was the most active in terms of values of shares traded during yesterday session, with 18.74mn shares exchanged at an aggregate value of KD23.28mn. The bank clarified media reports regarding its direct ownership in Mobile Telecommunications Company (Zain), and announced that it owns 10 million shares in the latter. Sector-wise The retreat was broad-based, with five out of the eight sectors of the market ending the day on a lower note. Investment stocks were the worst performing stocks during the session. The sector index edged lower by 0.47 percent. Among component stocks, share price of International Financial Advisors (IFA) was the top loser for the day, shedding 8.77 percent, to close at KD0.052. Elsewhere in the investment sector, share price of Global

THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2011

Investment House rose 5.68 percent. It is worth mentioning that, the AGM and EGM of the company will be held on April 28 to discuss 1Q2011 financial results. Real Estate stocks were also notable losers, with Global Real Estate Index shedding 0.25 percent of its value. Heavyweight Mabanee Company registered 1.28 percent in daily losses. Kuwait Real Estate Company and International Resorts Company were also down by 5.26 percent and 4.35 percent, respectively. Moreover, in the real estate sector, Abyaar Real Estate Development announced that it has inked a final contract with the master developer to sell a Dubaibased property. The deal’s value amounted to AED320mn (KD24.08mn). Thus, the resulting earnings are estimated at KD11.09, which will likely be reflected on Abyaar’s 2Q2011 financial statements. Financial liabilities worth KD16mn related to the real estate will be settled. Abyaar Real Estate Development Company closed at limit up at KWD0.036. On the other hand, the Non-Kuwaiti sector

clocked a 1.19 percent in gains. Ahli United Bank was up by 1.90 percent. Egypt Kuwait Holding Company too was up by 2.90 percent, to close at KD0.355. Corporate news Shares of Kuwait National Cinema Company will be traded ex-dividends as of tomorrow April 28, 2011. The company will distribute a 40 percent cash dividend. Shares of National Petroleum Services Company will be traded ex-dividends as of tomorrow April 28, 2011. The company will distribute a 20 percent cash dividend. Burgan Bank reported net earnings of KD11.82mn for the 1Q2011, an increase of 1,013 percent from the KD1.06mn posted during the comparable period in 2010. Chairman and Managing Director of the Kuwait Oil Company Ltd (KOC) Sami AlRushaid said Tuesday “the abrupt and unjustifiable surge” in oil prices is a cause of concern for both consumers and producers. “The State of Kuwait favors stable prices,” Al-Rushaid said in statements to KUNA.

Oil price above $124 as weak dollar supports LONDON: Brent crude oil edged above $124 a barrel yesterday as support from a weaker dollar, ahead of a Federal Reserve statement expected to maintain loose monetary policy, countered rising US inventories. The dollar slid to a three-year low as investors bet that the Fed, after a meeting that ends on Wednesday, would keep an easy policy. The fall helped support dollar-denominated oil, which has attracted investment as a hedge against inflation. Brent crude for June rose 52 cents to $124.66 a barrel by 1308 GMT. On Tuesday, it gained 48 cents to settle at $124.14 a barrel, having bounced off a $122.78 low. US crude was up 30 cents to $112.51. “It had been fairly quiet before Easter, but it looks like the market is resuming its upward march,” said Christopher Bellew, a broker at Bache Commodities. “Dollar weakness, and continuing trouble around the world, is supporting the market.” Violence in the Middle East has spilled over to Syria and Yemen. Italian oil and gas group Eni, reporting earnings yesterday, said production fell almost 9 percent in the first quarter because of unrest in Libya. Lending support to Brent, BP said the North Sea’s Forties pipeline may have

to be shut for a few days later this year due to the discovery of an unexploded German mine from World War Two. Forties usually sets the dated Brent physical crude benchmark, which forms part of the underlying market for Brent futures. Gasoline stocks are expected to fall 1.1 million barrels, while distillates are forecast to increase by 100,000 barrels. On Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute (API) said US crude stocks jumped 4.9 million barrels last week as imports increased. US crude has risen 23 percent so far this year and consumers in the world’s largest economy are starting to show signs of being hurt by higher fuel costs. President Obama on Tuesday urged producers to lift crude output as he sought to deflect public anger over high gasoline prices. US motor fuel prices have become a heated political issue after pushing towards $4 a gallon. Obama’s appeal followed comments from top oil exporter Saudi Arabia earlier in the day that it was not comfortable with high oil prices and a strike last week by truckers in China protesting over higher fuel costs. — Reuters

UAE’s fuel retailer Emarat faces higher premiums DUBAI: United Arab Emirates’ fuel retailer Emarat may have to pay a premium for fuel purchases, traders said, after a payment problem led to a gasoline shortage at service stations last week and worried potential suppliers. Local media reported last week that around 60 of Emarat’s 170 service stations across Dubai and the northern emirates were running low or dry after delivery problems at the firm’s depots due to what Emarat officials described as a logistical problem. But three industry sources said trading house Vitol, one of Emarat’s term suppliers, had refused to discharge a fuel cargo at the port, after Emarat delayed a payment. An Emarat spokesman declined to comment yesterday. Emarat last week said the problem had been resolved but industry sources say the incident might prompt

traders to seek higher premiums in the next tender. “I would think twice and ask for more competitive terms if I were to be doing business with them,” a Gulf-based trader said. This is the second fuel shortage since September 2010, when the company said technical problems had hit supplies, according to local media. “You would want to make it easier for your suppliers. That way you would get better prices,” one gasoline trader said. Last week’s shortage lasted for three to four days, prompting a rush to competitor stations owned by Emirates National Oil Co (Enoc) and its subsidiar y Emirates Petroleum Products Co (Eppco). Oil major BP and Vitol were awarded a January tender to supply around 80,000 tons a month for the April-December period. — Reuters


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BUSINESS

US businesses boost durable-goods orders Tax-breaks help businesses, spur investment SEOUL: People walk by a screen showing foreign currency rates outside of Korea Exchange Bank headquarters in Seoul yesterday. South Korea’s economic growth rate accelerated sharply in the first quarter on strength in exports and manufacturing, though high inflation for food and gasoline weighed on consumer spending. —AP

S Korea’s economy grows 1.4% in Q1 SEOUL: South Korea’s economic growth accelerated sharply in the first quarter on strength in exports and manufacturing, though high prices for food and gasoline weighed on consumer spending. Gross domestic product expanded 1.4 percent in the three months ended March 31, the Bank of Korea said. That compares with growth of 0.5 percent in the final three months of last year. The figure narrowly missed the bank’s own forecast of a 1.5 percent expansion. It was the ninth straight quarter of growth for South Korea, which has enjoyed a robust recovery from the global economic downturn. Like neighboring China and some other countries, however, it is battling inflation that in March hit its highest level in more than 21/2 years. The BOK has raised its key interest rate four times since July to try and curb rising prices. Asia’s fourth-largest economy grew a robust 6.2 percent in 2010, following weak growth of 0.3 percent the previous year as its export-oriented economy suffered amid a contraction in global trade. The first-quarter growth figures announced Wednesday are preliminary and may be revised. Exports of goods and services grew 3.3 percent led by semiconductors, electronic components and automobiles, the BOK said. Manufacturing in South Korea, home to global companies including Samsung Electronics Co and Hyundai Motor Co, increased 3.2 percent. Private consumption advanced 0.5 percent, compared with a gain of 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter, on spending for automobiles and audiovisual equipment, which the bank said offset what it described as “sluggish” outlays for food and other nondurable goods. “Consumption was weak because of high inflation,” said Oh Suk-tae, regional head of research in South Korea at Standard Chartered First Bank Korea, citing the increasing cost for “food and oil” as the main reason. South Korea’s consumer price index hit 4.7 percent in March, its highest level since 4.8 percent in October 2008, the government announced earlier this month. The solid performance in exports and manufacturing and the overall gain in consumption helped counter declines in capital spending, which contracted 0.8 percent, and construction investment, down 6.7 percent. The agriculture, forestry and fishing sector, meanwhile, contracted 5.1 percent, due to a blow to livestock caused by a devastating outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease that began late last year and led to mass culls of animals, mostly pigs. South Korea’s economy also grew 4.2 percent in the first quarter compared with the same period last year, the bank said. The BOK expects growth to slow to a more normal 4.5 percent in 2011 after last year’s bounce back from the crisis — matching a forecast by the International Monetary Fund — before picking up to 4.8 percent in 2012. The South Korean government says growth could come in at about 5 percent. South Korea’s benchmark stock index rose by a fraction to close at 2,206.70, giving up earlier gains of as much as 1 percent. The South Korean won, meanwhile, strengthened 1 percent to finish at 1,079.50 to the dollar. —AP

WASHINGTON: Businesses increased their orders for heavy machinery, computers, autos and steel in March, boosting demand for long-lasting manufactured goods for a third straight month. Orders for durable goods rose 2.5 percent in March, the Commerce Department said yesterday. That’s up from a revised 0.7 percent increase the previous month. A key category considered a proxy for business investment rose 3.7 percent in March, rebounding after a slight gain in February and a big decline in January. Orders for durable goods totaled $208.4 billion in March, 29.8 percent above the recession low hit in March 2009. Durable goods are products that are expected to last at least three years. Manufacturing has been one of the strongest sectors of the economy since the recession ended in June 2009. Factory growth is being fueled by rising domestic demand and a boom in exports. A weaker dollar has made US goods cheaper overseas. Businesses are also benefiting from a one-year tax break designed to spur investment in capital equipment. “March’s US durables goods figures suggest that industry is still by far the best performing part of the economy,” said Paul Dales, an economist with Capital Economics. However, Dales said overall business investment in equipment and sof tware for the Januar y-March quar ter was muted. That’s one reason why he expects overall economic growth for the quarter to be just 1 percent. That ’s well below the 1.9 percent consensus forecast offered by econo-

mists surveyed by FactSet. The government issues its first estimate for economic growth in the January-March quarter on Thursday. Businesses did invest more in equipment in March. Machinery orders rose 4.2 percent and computer orders increased 10.4 percent. Orders were also up for steel and electrical equipment. Demand for autos jumped 3.7 percent, the biggest increase in eight months. A brighter outlook for job growth will likely keep orders for autos rising, although concerns about high gasoline prices could slow that growth. Commercial airlines increased their orders for planes 0.9 percent. The volatile category had shown much bigger gains in previous months. Total orders for transportation equipment rose 5.9 percent. Excluding transportation, orders increased 1.3 percent following a 0.6 percent rise outside of transportation in February. —AP

MONTPELIER: Lawnmowers are lined up for sale at a Tractor Supply store in Montpelier, Vermont. Businesses increased their orders for heavy machinery, computers, autos and steel in March, boosting demand for long-lasting manufactured goods for a third straight month. —AP

Boeing profit of $586m beats expectations million, or 70 cents per share, which was reduced by a one-time charge of 20 cents per share. Operating profits fell by 15 percent. Revenue was down 2 percent to $14.91 billion. That was below the analyst expectation of $15.27 billion. Earnings from operations in the commercial airplane unit dropped 25 percent to $509 million. Revenue fell 5 percent to $7.12 billion as Boeing delivered fewer 777s than a year earlier. Later this year Boeing plans to raise 777 production to 7 per month, from 5 per month now. Defense revenue was flat at $7.62 billion. Earnings from operations rose 1 percent to $671 million, mostly from a jump in profits from military planes. Boeing CALIFORNIA: The Boeing Company plant and sig- said its profit and revenue nage are seen in El Segundo, California. Boeing Co expectations for the full has reported a first-quarter profit of $586 million year are unchanged, with a profit of $3.80 to $4 per yesterday. —AP share and revenue of $68 Boeing earned 78 cents per share. billion to $71 billion. It still expects to Analysts surveyed by FactSet had been deliver the new 787 during the third expecting a profit of 70 cents per share. quarter and the freighter version of its The profit rose from a year-earlier $519 new 747-8 in mid-2011. —AP WASHINGTON: Boeing Co said yesterday that its first-quarter profit rose to $586 million, enough to beat Wall Street’s expectations. And the big airplane maker and defense contractor reaffirmed its profit and revenue guidance for the full year.

Obama wants oil producers to boost output WASHINGTON: As the high cost of gasoline takes a toll on politics and pocket books, President Barack Obama says he is calling on major oil producers such as Saudi Arabia to increase their oil supplies to help stabilize prices, warning starkly that lack of relief would harm the global economy. “We are in a lot of conversations with the major oil producers like Saudi Arabia to let them know that it’s not going to be good for them if our economy is hobbled because of high oil prices,” Obama told a Detroit TV station. His remarks signaled a broad new appeal in the face of skyrocketing gasoline prices in the United States and they came as he reiterated a call for Congress to repeal oil industry tax breaks. In interviews on Tuesday with WXYZ in Detroit and in WTKR in Hampton Roads, Virginia, Obama said the message to major oil producers like Saudi Arabia is that an economy that buckles because of high oil prices won’t grow and won’t be good for them or for the US. Obama acknowledged disruptions in oil production because of the war in Libya. But he said others can make up the difference and “we’re pushing them to do so.” Libya supplied less than 2 percent of world demand. Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries already are covering some of that shortage by boosting production. The president’s effort to com-

pel more overseas production echoed calls by President George W. Bush in 2008 urging Saudi Arabia to increase supplies during that year’s spike in gasoline prices. The Saudis rebuffed Bush’s efforts. Obama said he has stressed the self-interest of oil producing nations, arguing that “if we’re not growing, they’re not going to be making money either. “And so they need to increase supplies,” he told WTKR. Gas pump prices have climbed for 35 consecutive days. The national average rose by a penny to hit $3.87 a gallon on Tuesday, more than a dollar higher than a year ago. The price already has exceeded $4 a gallon in some regions of the country. In a letter to congressional leaders on Tuesday, Obama urged them to take steps to repeal oil industry tax breaks, reiterating a call he made in his 2012 budget proposal earlier this year. The White House conceded that plan would do nothing in the short term to lower gasoline prices. The president wrote a day after House Speaker John Boehner said he was willing to “take a look at” repealing the multibillion-dollar tax subsidies enjoyed by the major oil companies. Boehner aides on Tuesday sought to clarify Boehner’s stance, stressing that he was not advocating repeal of the tax breaks. “He has said all along that he is opposed to raising taxes,” Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith

said. “That’s his position.” Rising gas prices have become a political weight for the White House, with polls showing that as the cost rises at the pump, the president’s approval ratings have slipped. Obama increasingly has sought to display action on oil, even as he acknowledges that there is no immediate way to stem costs. “High oil and gasoline prices are weighing on the minds and pocketbooks of every American family,” Obama wrote. But he also added that “there is no silver bullet to address rising gas prices in the short term.” Obama’s proposal, spelled out in his past two budget plans, would eliminate a number of tax breaks for oil companies that would generate an estimated $4 billion a year in additional revenue. The tax breaks — some in place since the 1920s — have survived multiple attempts to repeal them in the face of heavy oil industr y lobbying. The Republican response to the president’s letter was dismissive. Another Boehner spokesman, Brendan Buck, said Obama’s suggestions “would simply raise taxes and increase the price at the pump.” And Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said: “The president’s latest call to raise taxes on US energy is as predictable as it is counterproductive.” Obama’s letter was addressed to Boehner, McConnell, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi,

and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Blaming the subsidies on “outdated tax laws,” Obama said money obtained from repealing the breaks should be spent on clean energy initiatives to reduce dependence on foreign oil. On Monday, Boehner told ABC News that the government is low on revenues and that oil companies “ought to be paying their fair share.” “We certainly ought to take a look at it,” Boehner said about repealing tax subsidies for major oil companies. “We’re at a time when the federal government’s short on revenues. We need to control spending but we need to have revenues to keep the government moving.” But Boehner made no commitment to repealing the subsidies. “I want to know what impact this is going to have on job creation in America,” he told ABC. Obama, in his letter, said he was “heartened” by Boehner’s remarks. “Our political system has for too long avoided and ignored this important step, and I hope we can come together in a bipartisan manner to get it done.” White House spokesman Jay Carney dismissed suggestions that Obama’s letter was motivated by the potential effect of rising gas prices on the president’s political prospects. “I don’t think when somebody sticks the credit card in the pump or pays a cashier the cash for a tank of gas that they’re thinking about an election in 2012,” he said. —AP

China’s CNOOC Q1 revenue up 59% SHANGHAI: CNOOC Ltd, the smallest of China’s three major state-owned oil companies, said yesterday its first quarter revenue jumped 59 percent, driven by increased production and sales. The Beijing-based company said its revenue for the three months that ended March 31 was about 48.5 billion yuan ($7.5 billion), up from 30.50 billion yuan a year earlier. The company doesn’t release quarterly profit figures. CNOOC, China’s main offshore oil and gas producer, said its total net production in the first quarter rose 27 percent to 85.2 million barrels of oil equivalent. The company, which has no major refining operations, relies mainly on oil production for its profits. CNOOC earlier reported that its net profit rose 85 per-

cent in 2010 from a year earlier to a higher-than forecast 54.4 billion yuan ($8.4 billion), helped by higher oil prices. In the first quarter, CNOOC said its average realized oil price rose 32.7 percent to $99.98 per barrel. Like other major Chinese resource companies, it has been expanding its overseas acquisitions. Earlier this year, CNOOC said it will pay $570 million for a one-third stake in Chesapeake Energy Corp.’s drilling project in a region called the Niobrara shale. CNOOC will also pay two-thirds of the project’s drilling costs, up to an additional $697 million. In October, CNOOC paid Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake $1.08 billion for a one-third stake in a drilling project in South Texas. —AP

EU/IMF may give Portugal more time on deficit LISBON: Portugal may get more leeway on its efforts to reduce the budget deficit under an EU/IMF bailout, a newspaper reported yesterday, after the prime minister vowed to protect the country from excessive austerity. European Union and International Monetary Fund officials are in their third week of talks in Lisbon after Portugal became the third euro-zone country after Greece and Ireland to request international aid, estimated at 80 billion euros. Caretaker Prime Minister Jose Socrates-campaigning ahead of an election on June 5 — said in an interview on Tuesday that he would “fight for a plan which does least harm to the country” during the bailout negotiations. But officials have generally remained tight-lipped about what is being discussed in the talks and Socrates said that the negotiations for a deal-which must also be approved by the oppositionhave to be conducted with “discretion”. Business paper Jornal de Negocios said the sides have discussed delaying Portugal’s goals for cutting its budget deficit-currently those are 4.6 percent of

gross domestic product this year and 3 percent next year. The paper said only that it had “learned” the delay was on the table, although it also cited the leader of Portugal’s second-biggest union saying he had been told of the possibility during a meeting with the head of the European Commission team. “At the meeting, the head of the team said Portugal only has to meet the 3 percent deficit target in 2013, adding clearly that it does not have to be next year,” UGT Secretary General Joao Proenca told the paper. Portugal has also twice in the last month raised its deficit figure for 2010 to conform with EU methodology, putting the deficit at 9.1 percent of GDP, compared to a goal of 7.3 percent. Jornal Negocios said the upward revisions have forced the so-called EU/IMF “troika” to consider allowing Portugal to hit the 3 percent deficit target only in 2013 to ensure the country’s fiscal consolidation efforts remain credible. —Reuters

China industry plan could strengthen state firms BEIJING: Entrepreneurs could face new challenges under a government plan to modernize Chinese industry that would expand the dominance of state companies in coal mining, steel and other fields. The sweeping plan lays out which industries Beijing wants to develop and which will be discouraged as it tries to make China’s economy more efficient. It reflects Communist Party ambitions to transform this country from a low-wage factory into a prosperous creator of technology. It promises support for clean vehicles, solar power and other technologies and calls for the closure of small coal mines and steel mills — an industry segment dominated by private owners. That would further erode the private sector role in those industries, which Beijing is trying to consolidate under state-owned leaders. “The smaller players may well lose out from this,” said IHS Global Insight analyst

Xianfang Ren. “That will help the consolidation of state authorities over these industries.” The 110-page document issued by China’s planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission, gives details of how the ruling party plans to achieve some of its goals in its latest five-year development plan. It updates a similar list released in 2005. Such documents are a throwback to China’s era of central planning but serve an important role as a roadmap of government intentions and a guide for officials to make investment, trade and other policies. Government endorsement of an industry in China’s heavily regulated economy can ease access to land and state bank loans while disapproval can destroy a business by cutting off access to credit and operating licenses. Despite three decades of reform, China’s economy is still dominated by government industry. —AP


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Bernanke seen indicating no haste to tighten policy WASHINGTON: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke yesterday will likely use his first-ever news conference on monetary policy to hammer home the case for a patient approach to withdrawing the central bank’s extensive support for the US economy. Following a two-day Fed policy meeting, which resumed at 8:30 a.m. (1230 GMT), Bernanke will face the press in the first regularly scheduled news conference by a Fed chairman in the central bank’s 97-year history. He is expected to amplify the consensus view at the central bank that the economy still needs monetary policy support. That consensus has been challenged by a number of hawkish Fed officials who worry the US central bank might wait too long to raise interest rates.

The Fed is lagging other central banks in tightening financial conditions. The European Central Bank raised benchmark rates earlier this month and China has also taken steps to cool its economy. In contrast, the Fed’s policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee, in a statement due at about 12:30 p.m. (1630 GMT), is expected to indicate it will pursue its $600 billion bond-buying program to its scheduled conclusion at the end of June. It is also expected to reiterate that it will keep interest rates unusually low for “an extended period.” The out-of-step US monetary policy has undercut the dollar, which slid to a three-year low against a broad basket of currencies yesterday. Analysts expect the greenback to remain under pressure. “The FOMC meeting will not break new

ground in substance, but will provide Bernanke a new venue to demonstrate the doves are in control,” said Eric Green of TD Securities. The Fed statement will be overshadowed by Bernanke’s news conference at 2:15 p.m. (1815 GMT). Journalists are likely to press Bernanke to go beyond the central bank’s pithy statement to offer more insight on when and how the Fed might begin to tighten policy. The Fed chopped benchmark short-term rates to near zero in December 2008 and then bought $1.4 trillion in longer-term mortgage-related debt and Treasury securities to pull the economy out of a deep recession. When the recovery flagged last year, the Fed launched its latest round of bond buying. Fed officials known to voice

consensus views-such as Vice Chair Janet Yellen and New York Fed President William Dudley-have defended the monetary support as important for an economy with unemployment at 8.8 percent. Soft US economic growth in the first quarter has offered a cautionary note for Fed officials, who will want to make sure the economy is on solid ground before pulling back on their stimulus. A government report yesterday showed stronger-than-expected orders for long-lasting manufactured goods, a sign the factory sector continues to underpin the recovery. While Bernanke is unlikely to offer any timeline for rate hikes, he might provide insights into the latest thinking at the Fed on how officials will go about tightening policy. Last year, he said the first step toward

exiting would likely be a rate hike. However, recently some officials have urged that bonds be sold off first. The central bank’s statement is expected to suggest officials see the recovery on solid ground even though growth in the first quarter of the year was sluggish. At the same time, the Fed is expected to restate concerns over the high level of unemployment and reiterate that upward pressure on inflation from surging commodity prices should prove fleeting. This would give the Fed scope to continue to nurse the recovery with its easy monetary policy. “The baseline outlook for the Fed is that rates won’t be rising for a long time,” said Michael Gapen of Barclays Capital. “They just don’t want to pre-commit and reduce flexibility.” — Reuters

S&P cuts Japan sovereign rating outlook on quake Yen falls after announcement, CDS largely steady

NEW YORK: The ‘Little Joe’ Tower at Corning Inc. headquarters is shown in Corning, New York on Tuesday. —AP

Corning 1Q earns slip, revenue up ROCHESTER, New York: Specialty glass maker Corning Inc said yesterday its first-quarter profit fell 8 percent from unusually strong results a year ago but its revenue surged 24 percent on robust sales of glass for flat-screen televisions, computers and mobile devices. The results beat Wall Street expectations. Its shares rose almost 5 percent in pre-market trading. The world’s largest maker of liquid-crystal-display glass said its net income fell to $748 million, or 47 cents per share, in the JanuaryMarch period, down from $816 million, or 52 cents per share, a year ago. The earnings were 3 cents a share higher than analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected. Revenue jumped to $1.92 billion from $1.55 billion a year ago. Analysts expected $1.8 billion. Revenue from Corning’s display technologies segment edged up 1 percent to $790 million, with glass volume rising 5 percent as predicted. The company said it expects glass volume in the April-June quarter to be consistent with the first quarter. DisplaySearch, a market-research firm in Austin, Texas, estimates that 217 million LCD-TVs will be shipped worldwide in 2011, up 13.2 percent from 2010. In North America, shipments are expected to rise 5.8 percent to 40.5 million units. LCD glass is Corning’s biggest business by far. Based in western New York, the 159-year-old company also makes ceramic auto-pollution filters and is the world’s largest producer of optical fiber and cable. It employs 24,500 people. Propelled by Gorilla glass, an ultra-strong cover glass now migrating from handheld and tablet devices to high-end TVs, specialty materials revenue more than doubled to $254 million. Corning has said sales of Gorilla glass could surge to $1 billion this year from $250 million in 2010. Sony Corp. is incorporating Gorilla glass in a new line of Bravia TVs this year. Invented in 1962, Gorilla found commercial use only in 2008. LG Display Co and Asahi Glass Co make competing products. Revenue in Corning’s telecommunications unit jumped 30 percent to $474 million on higher demand for fiber-to-the-home products. The company said it churned out more optical fiber in March than in any month in its history. Environmental technologies sales jumped 35 percent to $192 million, driven by higherthan-expected demand for auto-pollution filters. Corning shares rose $1.02, or 4.95 percent, to $21.62 in pre-market trading. — AP

NEW YORK: Raj Rajaratnam (center) enters federal court in New York yesterday. Jurors continue considering the fate of the hedge fund founder accused of making tens of millions of dollars through insider trading. —AP

TOKYO: Standard and Poor’s threatened to cut Japan’s sovereign credit rating again, warning the huge cost of last month’s devastating earthquake will hurt already weak public finances unless bickering politicians can agree to raise taxes. It affirmed its long-term sovereign credit rating on Japan at AA minus-the lowest among the major agencies-but downgraded the outlook to negative from stable. The change comes three months after S&P had cut Japan’s sovereign credit rating-the first reduction since 2002 — saying the government had no plan to deal with its mounting debt while adding the administration’s loss of an upper house majority had compounded the problem. Public debt, already twice the size of the $5 trillion economy, is set to swell as the country faces reconstruction costs following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that could reach 50 trillion yen ($613 billion), S&P said. “If there are no revenue enhancing measures such as tax increases, we expect the central and local governments to bear most of this cost,” the agency said. However, the country’s deepest crisis since World War Two has not healed rifts between the government and the opposition, whose majority in the upper house stands in the way of fiscal reform. In addition, Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s deep unpopularity means that even within his party, he has little room for manoeuvre to shore up the country’s public finances. “This will put more pressure on the Japanese government to do something about revenue enhancement,” Takuji Okubo, chief economist at Societe

Generale, said. Still, Okubo said the S&P action could help the government’s case for fiscal reform, which centres on raising the 5 percent consumption tax-something acknowledged by Japan’s finance minister. “Fiscal reform is something we cannot avoid,” the minister, Yoshihiko Noda, said. “The government at present is doing its utmost for disaster relief and reconstruction. It is important to pursue fiscal reform at the same time. We will try to gain trust in Japan’s economy and public finances in and outside Japan.” Japanese sovereign credit default swaps were 1 basis point wider at 77 basis points after the S&P announcement, but they remain well off postquake peaks near 120 basis points and a few basis points tighter than just before the disaster. The yen dipped shortly after the announcement with the dollar climbing to an intraday high of 81.781 yen , but analysts said the S&P move was unlikely to have much impact. “The impact on the forex market is likely to be temporary,” said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief currency strategist at Barclays Capital in Tokyo. Moody ’s Investors Service, which cut its outlook on Japan’s rating to negative from stable in February because of concerns about the government’s fiscal deficit, said yesterday it was maintaining the outlook at watching developments. “We are interested in the bottom line, that’s the rating bottom line-the government fiscal deficit and government debt,” said Tom Byrne, senior vice-president, in an interview. Japan is not alone among industrialized countries in confronting a swollen budget deficit. Just last week S&P

TOKYO: Goshi Hosono (left), a Special advisor to the Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Hidehiko Nishiyama, Deputy Director-General of Nuclear and Industry Safety Agency of Ministry Economy, Trade and Industry (right) attend the Foreign Correspondent’s Club press conference in Tokyo yesterday. — AFP slapped a negative outlook on the toplevel AAA credit rating of the United States, where lawmakers are also squabbling over how to deal with a massive fiscal deficit. The European Union is facing a critical test as the region deals with its worst debt crisis since the single euro currency was launched. Japan’s government has estimated that the cost of the damage from the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami on March 11 could reach just above $300 billion. A nuclear power crisis resulting from the tsunami has further damaged the economy. However, S&P projected reconstruction costs at between 20 trillion yen and 50 trillion yen ($245 billion to $613 bil-

lion). It said if government revenues are not boosted, these costs would add 2 percent of gross domestic product to the general government fiscal deficit this year and 1 percent next year. Deficits would remain above 8 percent through 2014, it said. “Much will depend on Japan’s political leadership and its ability to forge a political consensus on how to offset fiscal measures in the future,” S&P said. Japan is expected to pass an initial 4 trillion yen ($49 billion) extra budget for disaster relief in early May that won’t entail fresh borrowing, but that is just a down payment on the expected cost of rebuilding in Japan’s devastated northeast. — Reuters

UK economy makes feeble recovery in first quarter LONDON: Britain’s economy made only a sluggish start to 2011 as it crawled back from a slump at the end of last year, snuffing out chances of a Bank of England rate rise next week and hampering the government’s austerity drive. Overall output expanded 0.5 percent in the first three months of the year after declining by the same amount in the last quarter of 2010 partly due to harsh weather, meaning growth has flatlined since September. “Underlying activity in the economy remains pretty much stagnant,” said Capital Economics economist Vicky Redwood. “The economy did nothing more than reverse Q4’s snow-related dip.” After a solid recovery through most of last year from its deepest recession since World War Two, Britain’s economy is now trailing behind its developed world peers. Sterling rallied on the data as investors drew a sigh of relief that key sectors of the economy, such as manufacturing and services grew at a healthy pace. Services grew by 0.9 percent on the quarter and manufacturing by 1.1 percent. But overall growth was held in check by sluggish loan activity, despite government moves to encourage banks to increase lending to businesses. Bank of England figures last week showing negative lending to small enterprises were “clearly very disappointing indeed,” Business Secretary Vince Cable told a parliamentary committee yesterday. In February the government finalized ‘Project Merlin’, a deal with banks to curb bonuses and boost lending, but fresh measures might now be needed, said Cable, a member of the junior partner in Britain’s governing coalition. The scant comfort that economists drew from yesterday’s official fig-

ures was that they were no worse than had been forecast. Moreover, the 4.7 percent fall in construction output- which follows a quarter in which there was severe weather disruption-aroused some analysts’ suspicions. “Do we really believe that the level of construction output was lower in January than in December? We may well see some revisions here,” said RBS economist Ross Walker. But yesterday’s figures set the stage for a tough 2011 for Britain’s economy, as the government starts in earnest with a four-year program of public spending cuts. The recovery in the first quarter was weaker than either the Bank of England or Office for Budget Responsibility had pencilled in earlier this year and is likely to fuel opposition criticism of the government’s austerity measures, many of which have yet to kick in. A BoE rate rise next week is now pretty much dead in the water, as most members of the Monetary Policy Committee had indicated they wanted to see the economy do more in the first quarter than simply make up for the previous quarter’s weak growth. “With a big fiscal squeeze still only in its early stages, monetary policy needs to remain very loose to support the economic recovery,” said John Hawksworth, chief economist at accountants PwC. Money markets show investors see only a 50 percent chance of a rate hike by August and are overall pricing in only one quarterpoint rise by the end of the year. Businesses have reported a mixed outlook. Discount fashion retailer Primark said yesterday that its women’s spring and summer ranges were selling well, with the British High Street in better shape over the last two months. — Reuters

WOLFSBURG: A worker wraps a protective liner around a Volkswagen Tiguan at quality control portion of the production line in the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg, Germany. — AP

VW sets two-million sales milestone in first quarter FRANKFURT: Volkswagen reported a three-fold profit leap yesterday and said it had sold two million cars in the three months from January through March, a new milestone for the biggest car maker in Europe. The VW statement underscored “sustained high demand in China, India, Central and Eastern Europe, and North and South America” as the main drivers behind its strong results. It quoted finance director Dieter Poetsch as saying: “Our sound finances and continuous improvements in profitability are the basis for the Volkswagen group’s successful future.” The group, which owns nine brands, hit the gas as it races to become the world’s biggest auto manufacturer taking on the likes of Toyota, posting a first-quarter net profit of 1.71 billion euros ($2.5 billion). The comparable figure for 2010 was 473 million euros. Chairman Martin Winterkorn, who has boosted VW’s fortunes since he took over in 2007, said in a statement that it would stay in the fast lane throughout 2011, convincing investors who snapped up VW shares in midday Frankfurt trading. Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had

expected a stronger net profit of 1.84 billion euros, but Anita Paluch at ETX Capital said VW was still “seen as the most attractive company in the sector thanks to its potential, positioning in China and competent management.” First-quarter operating profit came in at 2.9 billion euros, a relatively modest gain from the 2.1 billion figure a year earlier. As for sales, the VW group, which owns brands including Audi, Seat and Skoda, reported a 14-percent increase in terms of the number of vehicles and a jump of 30.8 percent in value terms to 37.5 billion euros. Volkswagen also plans to integrate Porsche among its stable of thoroughbred brands alongside Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini, but must wait until Porsche has settled legal issues arising from its aborted attempt to buy VW in 2008. The group’s auto division was sitting on a cash pile worth 19.6 billion euros at the end of the first quarter, which Poetsch stressed was “not an end in itself.” He said that “rather, it provides us with the financial flexibility we need for our investments,” and to reach the goal of overtaking General Motors and Toyota to become the leading global car maker by 2018. — AFP


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THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2011

TECHNOLOGY

Kaspersky Lab signs new partnership with SCOPE DUBAI: Kaspersky Lab, a leading developer of secure content and threat management solutions, announces the appointment of Scope Information Systems (SCOPE), a leading systems integrator and technology solutions provider, as a value added distributor in the Levant region. SCOPE Middle East will support the development of Kaspersky Lab’s corporate

business in the Levant countries and play a key role in developing small and medium businesses in the region through recruiting additional resellers from their existing channel partners. Moreover, this partnership will facilitate Kaspersky Lab’s penetration in challenging markets, including Iraq, Syria and Palestine, while bringing the customers closer to the

brand, with easier and direct access to the company’s latest technologies and experts. Commenting on the partnership, Tarek Kuzbari, Managing Director of Kaspersky Lab Middle East said, “Kaspersky Lab’s main aim for this year is to become one of the top three providers of IT security solutions in the global market, and this partnership comes in line with this vision and our com-

mitment to developing a stronger security infrastructure for the end-users worldwide and in the Middle East region” “We are very happy to have added an esteemed name like SCOPE to our value added distributors covering the Levant region, and we are confident that they will surely meet and exceed our expectations”, added Kuzbari. Fadi Abu Ekab, CEO of Scope

Middle East said, “Scope is dedicated to its partnership with Kaspersky Lab in our efforts to achieve the mutual goal of seeing an extended brand awareness and distribution of Kaspersky Labs products across the Levantines countries.” SCOPE Middle East will be covering the Levant region which includes Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan and Iraq.

Furor at Sony after hackers steal Playstation user data Stolen data could include credit card information

PARIS: France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy delivers his speech following a meeting with web operators, e-trade representatives, web publishers and internet companies heads to set up officially the French Digital National Council (CNN). The council has been created in a bid to facilitate the dialogue between the government and the internet industry following a couple of mishaps in the use of internet by the government. — AFP

Apple denies tracking iPhones, to fix ‘bugs’ WASHINGTON: Apple yesterday denied claims it was tracking iPhone users but said it would fix software “bugs” that resulted in location data being unencrypted and stored for up to a year. “Apple is not tracking the location of your iPhone,” the California-based company said in its first response to privacy questions raised by a pair of British researchers. “Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so.” Apple said the iPhone was not logging a user’s location but maintaining a database of nearby Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers to “help your iPhone rapidly and accurately calculate its location when requested.” According to the British researchers, iPhones and iPads running iOS 4, the latest operating system, were storing latitude and longitude coordinates in a hidden file along with a time stamp and the data was easily retrievable. “By passively logging your location without your permission, Apple have made it possible for anyone from a jealous spouse to a private investigator to get a detailed picture of your movements,” they said. Apple said the location data the researchers were seeing on the iPhone is “not the past or present location of the iPhone, but rather the locations of Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers surrounding the iPhone’s location, which can be more than one hundred miles away from the iPhone.” “Calculating a phone’s location using just GPS satellite data can take up to several minutes,” Apple said. “iPhone can reduce this time to just a few seconds by using Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower data.” “ This data is sent to Apple in an anonymous and encr ypted form,” Apple said in a 10-point statement presented in question-and-answer format.

“Apple cannot identify the source of this data.” Apple said the location data cache will be encrypted on the iPhone in a free iOS software update in the next few weeks and can be deleted when the Location Services feature is turned off on the device. Apple also said it planned to reduce the amount of time the Wi-Fi and cell tower data is stored on the iPhone from as much as a year to seven days. “The reason the iPhone stores so much data is a bug we uncovered and plan to fix shortly,” Apple said. “We don’t think the iPhone needs to store more than seven days of this data.” Apple said it was using location data to help target advertising but was not sharing it with third parties unless it has explicit approval from a user. US lawmakers this week invited Apple and Google to attend a hearing on privacy next month following the claims that the iPhone and Android devices were regularly tracking a user’s location and storing the data. The House Energy and Commerce Committee also sent letters to Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Research in Motion and Hewlett-Packard asking whether their devices are tracking, storing, and sharing users’ locations. A Florida lawyer last week filed a lawsuit against Apple on behalf of an iPhone and iPad owner claiming that location-tracking violated their privacy. In its statement, Apple blamed the controversy on “some very complex technical issues which are hard to communicate in a soundbite.” “Users are confused, partly because the creators of this new technology (including Apple) have not provided enough education about these issues to date,” it said. Apple shares were down 0.64 percent at $348.17 in midday trading on Wall Street. — AFP

TOKYO/NEW YORK: Sony Corp warned that hackers had stolen names, addresses and possibly credit card details from the 77 million user accounts of its video game online network, in one of the largest Internet security break-ins ever. The Japanese electronic giant pulled the plug on the network on April 19 after finding out about the breach in its popular PlayStation Network, a service that produces an estimated $500 million in annual revenues. Sony did not tell the public about the stolen data until Tuesday, hours after it had unveiled in Japan its first tablet computers. Sony ’s delay in announcing the theft sparked an online furor from users, almost 90 percent of whom are based in Europe or the United States, and could push some users to rival Nintendo’s Wii and Microsoft’s XBox gaming devices. “If you have compromised my credit information, you will never receive it again,” read one message on the PlayStation Network blog from a user under the name Korbei83. “The fact that you’ve waited this long to divulge this information to your customers is deplorable. Shame on you.” In a message posted on its U.S. PlayStation blog, Sony said an “illegal and unauthorized person” obtained names, addresses, email addresses, birth dates, user names, passwords, logins, security questions and more. A Sony spokesman said that after learning of the breach it took “several days of forensic investigation” before the company knew consumers’ data had been compromised. Sony’s executives made no mention of the network crisis at the tablet launch in Tokyo, when the glossy devices were unveiled, nor at a later briefing with journalists. The tablets, which come in two sizes, will be the first to enable the use of PlayStation games and mark Sony’s ambitious drive to compete with Apple’s year-old iPad. Sony is the latest Japanese company to come under fire for not disclosing bad news quickly. Tokyo Electric Power Co was criticized for how it handled the nuclear crisis after the March 11 earthquake. Last year, Toyota Motor Corp was slammed for being less than forthright about problems over a massive vehicle recall. U.S. Democratic senator Richard Blumenthal sent a letter to Sony asking it to explain why it didn’t notify PlayStation owners sooner. Sony has also reported the breach to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York Times reported. The shutdown of the PlayStation Network prevented owners of Sony’s video game console from buying and downloading games, as well as playing with rivals over the Internet. Sony said it could restore some of the network’s services within a week and issued a set of Frequently Asked Questions on its website to deal with queries about the network. Alan Paller, research director of the SANS Institute, said the breach may be the largest theft of identity data information on record. The online network was launched in the autumn of 2006 and offers games, music and movies to people with PlayStation consoles. It had 77 million registered users as of March 20, a Sony spokesman said. Sony shares fell 2.0 percent in Tokyo in a broader market up 1.4 percent. The breach is a major setback for the electronics giant. Although video game hardware and software sales have declined globally, the PlayStation franchise is a substantial profit source and remains a flagship product for

Apple, Google asked to testify on mobile privacy WASHINGTON: US lawmakers have invited Apple and Google to attend a hearing on privacy next month following claims the iPhone and Android devices regularly track a user’s location and stores the data. A Florida lawyer filed a lawsuit meanwhile against Apple on behalf of two owners of products made by the California-based gadget=maker. Lawyer Aaron Meyer, in the suit filed with a US District Court, claimed the location-tracking violated the privacy of the owners of an iPhone and an iPad. In Washington, US Senator Al Franken, chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, said he will hold a hearing on “Protecting Mobile Privacy” on May 10. Franken said representatives of Apple and Google had been invited along with officials from the Depar tment of Justice and the

Federal Trade Commission to attend the hearing. “Recent advances in mobile technology have allowed Americans to stay connected like never before and put an astonishing number of resources at our finger tips,” the Democrat from Minnesota said in a statement. “But the same technology that has given us smartphones, tablets, and cellphones has also allowed these devices to gather extremely sensitive information about users, including detailed records of their daily movements and location,” he said. “This hearing is the first step in making certain that federal laws protecting consumers’ privacy-particularly when it comes to mobile devices — keep pace with advances in technology,” Franken said. The House Energy and Commerce Committee sent letters meanwhile to Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia,

Research in Motion, and HewlettPackard asking whether their devices are tracking, storing, and sharing users’ locations. The congressional focus on mobile privacy comes after a pair of British researchers, Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden, said a position-logging feature is contained in iOS 4, the latest operating system for the iPhone and iPad. According to Allan and Warden, iOS 4-equipped iPhones and iPads store latitude and longitude coordinates along with a time stamp, probably through cell-tower triangulation. They noted that cellphone companies typically have access to this data but it is not usually stored on a mobile device itself. Apple and Google, which provides its Android software to handset makers for free, have not yet responded to the privacy questions. — AFP

Sony. It will be a blow for Kazuo Hirai, who was appointed to the company’s No. 2 position last month after building up Sony’s networked services. The crisis could also overshadow Sony’s plans to launch a new hand-held games device, the Next Generation Portable, by the end of the year. “It’s a red flag to a lot of people as to how Sony conducts its business,” said Sue Cato, head of corporate communications advisers Cato Counsel in Sydney. “This will have regulators concerned about security, it will have consumer organisations concerned, it will have some gamers concerned.” How fast Sony can bounce back depends on a number of factors, said Ricardo Torres, editor-in-chief of Gamespot.com. “It depends how soon the network comes up, but more importantly how Sony deals with their user base,” Torres said. “Some kind of compensation has to be provided. ‘Sorry’ doesn’t cut it for a lot of consumers at this point.” “The big question that will come up is what they’re doing for security,” he added. Sony said children with accounts established by their parents might have had their data exposed. It said it saw no evidence credit card numbers were stolen, but warned users it could not rule out the possibility. “Out of an abundance of caution, we are advising you that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may have been obtained,” Sony said. Analysts said that while Sony has notified

Sony has hired an “outside recognised security firm” to investigate. It said user account information for the PlayStation Network and its Qriocity service users was compromised between April 17 and April 19. The Japanese firm declined to comment on whether it was working with law enforcement officials. Paller said Sony probably did not pay enough attention to security when it was developing the software that runs its network. In the rush to get out innovative new products, security can sometimes take a back seat, Paller added. “They have to innovate rapidly. That’s the business model,” Paller said. “New software has errors in it. So they expose code with errors in it to large numbers of people, which is a catastrophe in the making.” He suspected the hackers entered the network by taking over the PC of a system administrator, who had rights to access sensitive information about Sony’s customers. They likely did that by sending the administrator an email message that contained a piece of malicious software that got downloaded onto his or her PC. Hackers have stolen personal data in the past from large companies. In 2009, Albert Gonzalez pleaded guilty to stealing tens of millions of payment card numbers by breaking into corporate computer systems at companies such as 7-Eleven Inc and Target Co. of the United States. Sony said its users could place fraud alerts on their credit card accounts through three U.S. credit card bureaus, which it recommended in its statement.

TOKYO: A customer watches a monitor of Sony’s videogame PlayStation 3 at a Tokyo electric shop yesterday. Sony is warning that hackers stole password, birthday and other data about users of its PlayStation Network that connected PlayStation 3 (PS3) consoles to online games, films and more. — AFP customers of the breach, it had still not provided information on how user data might have been compromised. “This is a huge data breach,” said Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter, who estimated Sony generates $500 million in annual revenue from the service. “The bigger issue with Sony is how will the hacker use the info that has been illegally obtained?”

The company has struggled for years to control the activities of the hackers who make up a portion of PlayStation’s fanbase. Earlier this month, games fan website PlayStation Lifestyle said a group calling itself Anonymous had conducted attacks on Sony websites and online services, motivated by revenge for the company’s attempts to clamp down on hacking. — Reuters

Software helps parents oversee children on Facebook SAN FRANCISCO: Internet security firm Check Point on Tuesday launched software that lets parents watch over offspring on Facebook without being “friends” at the online social network. ZoneAlarm SocialGuard alerts parents to signs of trouble in a child’s Facebook account without them being privy to all posts, comments, pictures, videos or other digital content shared between friends at the website. The program scans Facebook profiles, communications and “friend” requests and uses algorithms to identify potential bullying, sexual overtures, or talk of drugs, violence or suicide. SocialGuard software runs unseen in the background, flagging suspicious activity and sending alerts to parents, according to its Redwood City, California-based creators. “It’s about protecting your kids from the social threats out there, while still respecting their privacy and fostering open communication,” said Check Point vice president of consumer sales Bari Abdul. “We are offering Facebook users a simple way to embrace social networking safely,” he

continued. SocialGuard is crafted to detect hacked accounts, malicious links, online predators, and cyber-bullies, according to Check Point. The software also checks to determine whether people contacting children online are being deceptive about their ages or if a stranger is trying to become a Facebook “friend.” “Parents are increasingly concerned, and rightfully so, about the dramatically increasing trend of criminals, predators and bullies targeting children over social networks,” said analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group in Silicon Valley. “SocialGuard provides a strong suite of tools that can effectively protect children from these types of social threats that are keeping parents awake at night.” Check Point cited a survey indicating that 38 percent of teenagers have ignored requests from parents to be friends on Facebook, and that 16 percent of children have only done so as a condition of using the social network. SocialGuard was available online at zonealarm.com for $2 monthly or $20 annually.— AFP


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THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2011

health & science

Study: 40 Mediterranean fish species could vanish GENEVA: A new study suggests that more than 40 fish species in the Mediterranean could vanish in the next few years. The study released Tuesday by the International Union for Conservation of Nature says almost half of the species of sharks and rays in the Mediterranean and at least 12 species of bony fish are threatened with extinction due to overfishing, pollution and the loss of habitat. Commercial catches of bluefin tuna, sea bass, hake and dusky grouper are particularly threatened, said the study by the Swiss-based IUCN, an environmental net-

work of 1,000 groups in 160 nations. “ The Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic population of the Atlantic bluefin tuna is of particular concern,” said Kent Carpenter, IUCN’s global marine species assessment coordinator. He cited a steep drop in the giant fish’s reproductive capacity due to four decades of intensive overfishing. Japanese diners consume 80 percent of the Atlantic and Pacific bluefins caught and the two tuna species are especially prized by sushi lovers. In January, a 754-pound (342-kilogram)

bluefin tuna fetched a record 32.49 million yen, or nearly $396,000, in Tokyo at the world’s largest wholesale fish market — about $526 per pound ($240 per kilogram). Fishing in the Mediterranean is regulated by U.N. treaties, the European Union and separate laws among the 21 nations that border the sea. Last November, the International Commission for the Conser vation of Atlantic Tunas voted to cut the bluefin fishing quota in the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean from 13,500 to 12,900 met-

ric tons annually — about a 4 percent reduction. It also agreed to improve enforcement of quotas on bluefin. Environmental groups, however, wanted bluefin fishing slashed or suspended and were upset with the limited action. The IUCN study, which began in 2007 and included 25 marine scientists, is the first time the group has tried to assess native marine fish species in an entire sea. The study blames the use of highly effective trawlers and driftnets for the incidental capture and killing of hundreds of marine animals with no commercial value.

But it also concluded there’s not enough information to properly assess almost onethird of the Mediterranean’s fish. “Even though marine resources in the Mediterranean Sea have been exploited for thousands of years and are relatively well studied, the data deficient group may in fact include a large proportion of threatened fishes,” the study said, calling for more research. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization says fish stocks continue to dwindle globally despite increasing efforts to regulate catches and stop overfishing. — AP

Doctors turned ‘blind eye’ to Guantanamo torture Study does not name the clinicians involved

NEW BRUNSWICH: In this Thursday Nov. 15, 2007 file photo, health care products maker Johnson & Johnson’s CEO William Weldon is seen at the company’s world headquarters in New Brunswick, N.J. Weldon said yesterday, 2011, he hopes most of the company’s product recalls are behind it, but he can’t use the word never. — AP

WHO warns of enormous burden of chronic disease LONDON: Chronic illnesses like cancer, heart disease and diabetes have reached global epidemic proportions and now cause more deaths than all other diseases combined, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said yesterday. In its first worldwide report on socalled non-communicable diseases, or NCDs, the United Nations health body said the conditions caused more than half of all deaths in 2008 and pose a greater threat than infectious diseases such as malaria, HIV and tuberculosis (TB) — even in many poorer countries. “The rise of chronic noncommunicable diseases presents an enormous challenge,” WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan, who launched the report at a meeting in Moscow, said in a statement. “For some countries, it is no exaggeration to describe the situation as an impending disaster; a disaster for health, for society, and most of all for national economies,” she said. NCDs, which include heart disease, lung diseases, cancer and diabetes, accounted for 36 million, or 63 percent, of the 57 million deaths worldwide in 2008. Millions of lives could be saved and much suffering avoided if people did more to avoid risk factors like smoking, drinking and being overweight, the WHO said. It found that almost 6 million people die from tobacco use every year-both directly from smoking, and indirectly from second-hand smoke. By 2020, this will increase to 7.5 million, 10 percent of all deaths by disease worldwide. On top of this, 3.2 million people die each year as a result of a lack of physical activity, at least 2.8 million as a result of being overweight or obese, and 2.5 million as a result of drinking harmful levels of alcohol. “The NCD epidemic exacts an enormous toll in terms of human suffering and inflicts serious damage to human development in both the social and economic realms,” the WHO report said. “This state of affairs cannot continue ... Unless serious action is taken, the burden of NCDs will reach levels that are

beyond the capacity of all stakeholders to manage.” A special meeting of the United Nations General Assembly is scheduled for September in New York to talk about the rising threat of NCDs, and the WHO’s global status report set out ways to map the epidemic, reduce its major risk factors and improve healthcare for those who already suffer from NCDs. It said the epidemic was already beyond the capacity of poorer countries to cope, which is why death and disability are rising disproportionately in these countries. “As the impact of NCDs increases and as populations age, annual NCD deaths are projected to continue to rise worldwide, and the greatest increase is expected to be seen in low- and middle-income regions,” it added. In many developing countries where the health focus is often on infectious diseases, chronic illnesses are often detected late, when patients need extensive and expensive hospital care. Most of this care is unaffordable or unavailable, or is covered with out-ofpocket payments which can drive patients and their families into poverty, further risking their health. Nearly 80 percent of NCD deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries and NCDs are the most frequent causes of death in most countries, except in Africa, the WHO said. Even in Africa, NCDs are rising rapidly and are expected to exceed other diseases as the most common killers by 2020. The WHO said three priorities for action were surveillance to monitor chronic diseases; prevention-to tell people about the risks and help them adapt their lifestyle; and healthcare-to improve treatment of those who are sick. It listed 10 action points, including banning smoking in public places, enforcing tobacco advertising bans, restricting access to alcohol and cutting salt in food, and said taking these steps now would save lives, prevent diseases and avoid heavy costs. — Reuters

‘Medical chaperones’ should be available for pediatric exams NEW YORK: Teenagers should have the option of having a “medical chaperone” present when they are going any kind of intimate physical exam, according to a new policy statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). In addition, the group says, pediatricians should have a medical chaperone-a nurse or a medical assistant-on hand for younger children in cases where a parent is not there, or shouldn’t be there, such as when child abuse is suspected. “The use of a chaperone should be a shared decision between the patient and physician,” wrote Edward Curry, the statement’s lead author. “The patient’s preference should be given the highest priority.” The statement, published in “Pediatrics,” clarifies the group’s existing recommendations, including offering more details on when chaperones should be used and who qualifies as one. It also clarifies when chaperones should be offered to adolescent patients.

The chaperone should be a nurse or medical assistant, not a friend or family member of the patient, or the office secretary, Curry told Reuters Health. This is due to patient confidentiality and the fact that they understand what is going on during an exam and can assist if needed. Doctors often see chaperones as necessary when performing a pelvic exam, but they are also recommended for other intimate exams, such as breast and rectal exams, Curry said. “We wanted to make sure pediatricians are aware they should (have chaperones) when they do these exams as well,” he added. With younger children, up to around age 10, a parent should always be present for any kind of physical exam, the AAP says- though Curry added that a chaperone is helpful if abuse is suspected, or when the parent “is exhibiting mental health issues” that could interfere with the exam. — Reuters

WASHINGTON: US Department of Defense doctors and psychologists whose duty was to care for inmates at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, concealed evidence of intentional harm and torture, said a study on Tuesday. The findings, published in the peerreviewed journal PloS Medicine, come in the wake of a host of secret US documents released by WikiLeaks, shedding light on conditions in the US military prison in Cuba. Co-authored by a retired army brigadier general and an expert with Physicians for Human Rights, the study is based on a review of the medical records and legal files of nine inmates at the US “war on terror” facility. The authors call into question whether military doctors, who like their civilian colleagues generally adhere to the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm, should have done more when confronted with potential signs of abuse or torture. Military doctors noted the sudden onset of post-traumatic stress symptoms in some inmates who had no history of mental problems, heard stories of rape and documented bone fractures, contusions and lacerations, but they did not question the cause, the study said. “The medical doctors and mental health personnel who treated the detainees... failed to inquire and/or document causes of the physical injuries and psychological symptoms they observed,” it said. “Nearly all” of the doctor visits “were initiated after suicide attempts and/or detainee hunger strikes,” and notes taken by military doctors “indicate that their visits were unwelcome and the detainees often refused to cooperate.”

In one case, a clinician with the Defense Department’s Behavioral Health Service noted a detainee’s suicidal thoughts, memory lapses and nightmares, and prescribed antidepressants. “(You)... need to relax when the guards are being more aggressive,” the inmate was told, according to medical records cited by the study. Reports have already come to light of alleged complicity by CIA doctors and psychologists and DoD behavioral consultants, described by the US government as “non-clinical” experts who were present during the socalled enhanced interrogation techniques such as waterboarding. But according to lead author Vincent Iacopino, this study focuses on Defense Department medical personnel-doctors and psychologists-who directly cared for Guantanamo inmates and whose role has been largely obscured. “There has been no information to date on the role of those health professionals in turning a blind eye, as the paper has indicated, until this time,” Iacopino told AFP. The study does not name the clinicians involved. Iacopino said the doctors’ names had been redacted from the documents they consulted. In addition to reports by the detainees of facing enhanced interrogation techniques which were authorized by the George W. Bush administration, all nine reported facing “unauthorized” acts. Those included “severe beatings, often associated with loss of consciousness and/or bone fractures, sexual assault and/or the threat of rape, mock execution, mock disap-

pearance, and near asphyxiation from water (i.e., hose forced into the detainee’s mouth) or being choked,” the study said. “Other allegations included forcing the detainee’s head into the toilet, being used as a human sponge to wipe the floor, and desecration of the Koran.” In response to an AFP request for comment, the Department of Defense issued a statement that did not refer directly to the study allegations. “DoD personnel working in detention facilities operate under a high level of scrutiny and consistently provide the most humane and safe care and custody of individuals under their control,” it said. “The Joint Medical Group is committed to providing unconditional appropriate comprehensive medical care to all detainees,” it added. “The healthcare provided to the detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay rivals that provided in any community in the United States.” Some medical records were heavily edited by military censors, and since the study is limited to nine cases, the authors noted they could not say for sure if similar treatment happened to other detainees. “Nevertheless, these findings reveal new information about the potential extent of medical complicity in US torture practices, and they highlight the need for a thorough and impartial investigation of all the available information, including relevant classified information,” the study said. “The commission and/or concealment of acts of torture should never be justified by any health professionals-clinical, non-clinical, military, or non-military.” — AFP

News

in brief

Chronic disease LONDON: Chronic illnesses like cancer, heart disease and diabetes have reached global epidemic proportions and now cause more deaths than all other diseases combined, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday. In its first worldwide report on so-called non-communicable diseases, or NCDs, the United Nations health body said the conditions caused more than half of all deaths in 2008 and pose a greater threat than infectious diseases such as malaria, HIV and tuberculosis (TB) — even in many poorer countries. Heart attack deaths NEW YORK: When doctors follow guidelines for treating patients after a heart attack, more patients survive, according to a new study from Sweden published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The findings show that ìthings that we test in clinical trials do work in real life (and) make huge impacts on mortality,î said Dr. Debabrata Mukherjee, a cardiologist at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso who wrote a commentary published with the study in JAMA.

ONTARIO: Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper inspects a PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scanner during a campaign stop at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre in Thunder Bay, Ontario. — AP

Melamine-tainted milk powder BEIJING: Chinese police have seized more than 26 tonnes of milk powder tainted with melamine from a ice cream maker in a southwestern city, state media said, three years after milk tainted with the industrial chemical killed six and made thousands ill.

Pregnant mothers’ diet linked to child obesity WELLINGTON: An expectant mother’s diet during pregnancy can alter her baby’s DNA in the womb, increasing its risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes in later life, an international study has found. Researchers said the study provided the first scientific evidence linking pregnant women’s diet to childhood obesity, with major implications for public health. “This a a major breakthrough because for the first time it gives us the potential to work out the optimal diet a mother should eat,” Professor Peter Gluckman from Auckland University’s Liggins Institute told AFP. “That’s likely to vary slightly from mother to mother, but it could be a major tool in addressing the obesity epidemic.” The study, conducted by scientists in Britain, New Zealand and Singapore, showed that what a mother ate during pregnancy could change the function of her child’s DNA through a process called epigenetic change. Children with a high degree of epigenetic change were more likely to develop a metabolism that “lays down more fat” and become

obese, researchers found. Such children were around three kilograms (6.6 pounds) heavier than their peers by the time they were aged six to nine, Gluckman said. “That’s a hell of a lot of extra weight at that age,” he said, adding that the extra fat was likely to be carried into adulthood, raising the chances of developing diabetes and heart disease. The researchers used umbilical cord tissue to measure the rate of epigenetic change in 300 babies, then examined whether it was linked to the children’s weight when they were aged six to nine. “The correlation was very strong, we didn’t believe it at first, so we replicated it again and again,” Gluckman said. The study found the effect was not linked to either the mother or the baby’s weight at birth, meaning a slim woman could deliver a small baby which still went on to became obese because of changes triggered by diet in the womb. Gluckman said the rate of epigenetic change was possibly linked to a low carbohy-

drate diet in the first three months of pregnancy but it was too early to draw a definitive conclusion and further studies were needed. He said one theory was that an embryo fed a diet containing few carbohydrates-which provide the body with energy-assumed it would be born into a carbohydrate-poor environment and altered its metabolism accordingly. This meant it stored more fat, which could be used as fuel when food was scarce.Gluckman said the study, which will be published in the journal Diabetes next week, confirmed long-held suspicions that poor prenatal nutrition could have a major impact on adult heath. This meant health officials battling soaring obesity rates should look at policies designed to improve the health of expectant mothers, rather than simply focusing on trying to help overweight adults, he said. “It provides the most compelling argument yet to give greater weight to improving maternal and infant health as a means of reducing the burden of chronic disease.” — AFP


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H e a lt h & S c ie n c e

No air quality benefit from London’s traffic levy LONDON: London’s congestion charging scheme (CCS), which charges motorists for entering central London to try to cut traffic volume, has so far shown little evidence of improving air quality, scientists said yesterday. A study led by researchers at King’s College London found that the charge, introduced in 2003 and the first such levy in a major city in Europe or the United States, had indeed helped reduced traffic in the city centre. “But air pollution does not know precise boundaries so any benefit of the CCS or air quality appears to have been lost in the larger regional pollution mix,” said Dan Greenbaum, president of the United States-based Health Effects Institute (HEI), which published the study. Frank Kelly from the environmental research group at King’s College, who led the study, analysed a variety of emissions and used a range of exposure modelling techniques, studied air monitoring data, and used a newly developed test which assesses the oxidative potential of particles collected on filters at urban background and roadside monitors.

Despite this wide range of different tests, the team did not find consistent evidence of improved air quality as a result of the congestion charge, they wrote in their study. They noted that it is hard to identify significant air quality improvements from a specific project-particularly one targeted at a small area in a large city-against the backdrop of broader regional pollution and weather changes. They also said that other changes, such as increased used of diesel-powered taxi and bus trips to transport people in and out of the congestion charge zone, may have offset any benefits. Kelly said London’s congestion charge was “a world leading traffic intervention” and said he hoped his findings would be “of use to other administrations considering introducing traffic management schemes so that they can achieve vehicle reductions as well as improving air quality at the same time”. All profits made from the congestion charge have to be ploughed back into upgrading London’s rather ageing and often overcrowded transport system. — Reuters

with every heart beat

Tai chi can be boost for heart patients WASHINGTON: People with chronic heart failure may be able to boost their quality of life by doing tai chi, the ancient Chinese exercise regimen, a US study suggested on Monday. Two group sessions of one hour each per week were enough to show significant improvements in mood and confidence, said the Boston-based study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, a journal of the American Medical Association. The study compared 50 US heart patients who enrolled in tai chi classessessions led by an instructor who guided the class in a series of fluid motions — to 50 who took classroom study in heart education. Physical responses were similar in both groups, but those who did tai chi

showed “significant” improvements according to their answers in a questionnaire to assess their emotional state. The tai chi group also reported better “exercise self-efficacy (confidence to perform certain exercise-related activities), with increased daily activity, and related feelings of well-being compared with the education group,” said the study. While experts admit they do not fully understand the science behind the findings, the study offers a positive option for complementing standard medical care of people with chronic heart failure, a debilitating and progressive disease that limits a person’s ability to breathe and move. “Tai chi appears to be a safe alternative to low-to-moderate intensity con-

ventional exercise training,” said lead author Gloria Yeh of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “Tai chi is safe and has a good rate of adherence and may provide value in improving daily exercise, quality of life, self-efficacy and mood in frail, deconditioned patients with systolic heart failure,” said Yeh. Yeh is also an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Research and Education in Complimentary and Integrative Medical Therapies at Harvard Medical School. Previous studies have suggested tai chi, which involves slow, circular movements and balance-shifting exercises, may be helpful to people who suffer from high blood pressure, fibromyalgia and stress. — AFP

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Announcements ICAI celebrates 5th anniversary The Kuwait Chapter of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is celebrating its 5th anniversary at 7pm on 30th April, at the Hotel Holiday Inn Downtown. The 5th anniversary celebrations will be felicitated by Ajai Malhotra, Ambassador of India and inaugurated by G. Ramaswamy, President of the Institute, in the presence of J.N. Shah, Vice-President of ICAI and other distinguished guests. Marking the occasion, the Chapter will be honoring members who have completed 25 years in the profession. Thanima to present legend play Thanima (The Human and Nostalgic Interaction of Malayalees Abroad) is presenting of yet another unique cultural event to the Kuwait cultural spectrum by enacting ballads of the epic Vadakkan Pattukal (Ballads of North Malabar) of medieval Kerala on stage. ‘Oru Vadakkan Veerakatha’, drama scope mega budget full length visual entertainer becomes a reality in the collective effor t of Malayalee expatriate community in Kuwait spearheaded by Thanima. The play will be staged at 4.30 pm and 8.30 pm on 20 May at Al-Jeel Al-Jadeed School Auditorium at Hawally. The drama combines both the legendary spirit of Vadakkan Pattu and the bravery of Kalaripayattu (martial art form of Kerala) and harmonizes with the technical excellence of silver screen. In 18 sets it will be on stage designed by acclaimed Artist Sujathan. Entry will be restricted through passes.

GUST hosts Mohammad Al-Omar KFH CEO

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he Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) Islamic Finance Club (IFC) celebrated the opening of its IFC Week with an open discussion with Mohammad Al-Omar, Chief Executive Officer of Kuwait Finance House, who was welcomed on campus by Dr ShuaibShuaib, GUST President and Dr. Masoud Asad, Director of Public Relations. Dr Shuaib welcomed Al-Omar on the esteemed GUST campus and thanked him for his continuous interest and support of GUST clubs, activities and academic endeavors. “KFH was the first Islamic bank in Kuwait and has continuously made its imprints in the local and international financial landscape.” He

later encouraged the IFC for their activities and efforts in building awareness of the working scene that the students will encounter upon graduation. Mohammad Al-Omar, KFH CEO, with 25 years of experience within the bank is known for all the services he’s created which have made great impact on the Islamic banking sector. He thanked GUST and the IFC for

the beneficial activities hosted on campus grounds and ensured their continuous support as he said: “for an active club and continue building a working relationship with a prized university in Kuwait.” AlOmar divided the session into two parts, where he first started to talk about the ins and outs of the Islamic Banking industry including its benefits, the way it works, as well as the

smart actions one can take while making investments or any other financial transactions. “Life is about challenges, learning, taking chances and anyone who has the will and the discipline won’t lose on key opportunities,” he stressed and then opened the floor to answer any questions the students would like to ask on the topic. Mohammad Al-Qenaie, President of the Islamic Finance Club at GUST, thanked the university and Mohammad Al-Omar for their continuous support of all the club’s activities which aim to increase knowledge and awareness on financial, cultural, social and educational surroundings for the students.

IGM gears up for annual convention

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ayed Haidarali Shihab Thangal, president Indian Union Muslim League, Kerala factor is being presented his caricature by artist Johnarts Kalabhavan during ‘Karunya’ (Mercy), a program organized by Kuwait Kerala Muslim Cultural Center, at Indian Central school, Abbassiya.

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any happy returns of the day to our princes Arpita Debnath (Mimi) on her 6th birthday. Wishing you success & prosperous on your every step and many more to come. May all your dreams and wishes come true. Best wishes come from Didun, Mummy, Papa, Mama, Mumu didi, Urmi didi, Diya didi,Neha didi, Ranti Dada, Sonu, Tisha, Pinki, Mati, Sonot, Tutu kaka, Jethu, Barama, Debu Kaka, Somu dada, Manu Kaka & Minu. May God bless you.

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n Saturday, April 23, twenty volunteers from the U.S. Embassy community joined Kuwaitis in an event organized by the Tripar tite Commission and the State Property Encroachments’ Removal Committee to help plant 1,000 trees in a former wastewater landfill opposite the Ali Sabah AlAhmad residential neighborhood. The volunteers planted resilient and drought resistant trees, such as the conocarpus trees (often referred to as buttonwood trees), that can thrive in Kuwait’s harsh climate and sandy soils. The trees are able also to absorb brackish water, allowing them to remediate the former landfill.

Under the patronage of the Ambassador of Senegal to Kuwait Abdoul Mbacke, the Kuwait University stadium is set to host the final match of the Scholarship Students Football Tournament between Senegal and Nigeria, which takes place this upcoming Saturday, April 30, 2011.

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ish you all the best on your 15th birthday to Dhivakar! Many more happy returns of the day!!! Best regards from Amma, Appa, brother Rajkumar, friends, uncles & aunts.

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appy birthday Engr Ofrabor Julius Onoriode. May the good Lord continue to bless and guide you as you celebrate many years ahead Amen. Greetings from the Life Abundant International Fountain Church, wife, daughter and sons.

Balakalamela on MAY 13

Football tournament

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he yearly event “Balakalamela” conducted by Kerala Art Lovers Association (Kala-Kuwait) for the students of all Indian Schools in Kuwait for attaining the Benji Benson EverRolling Trophy has been scheduled for May13th, Friday at Carmel School, Khaithan as informed by the Central Committee of Kala. The items that are included for the competition are Bharthnatyam, Mohiniyattam,

Voice Kuwait 6th Anniversary Voice Kuwait is celebrating its 6th anniversary “VISWAKALA 2011” on May 20th Friday from 4 pm to 9 pm at Carmel School Khaitan. Voice Kuwait is giving award to its member’s children who got highest mark in last S.S.L.C. either from Kuwait or from Kerala. The students those are eligible should give attested copy of their mark list to Area conveners or sent copy to voicekuwait2004@gmail.com For more information please contact 66950482,94419371.

Aware diwaniya presentation

Birthday Greetings

US Embassy community celebrates Earth Day

ABCK golf tournament The American Business Council of Kuwait is hosting its 10th annual Golf Tournament at the Sahara Golf Club on Friday, May 13th, 2011. It will be a Texas 4man scramble and your participation is encouraged. Registration begins at 7.00am and shotgun at 8.00am. Event includes breakfast, lunch and raffle prizes. For details contact americanbusinesscouncil@gmail.com before May 10th. NAFO to present Soorya’s ‘Sangamam’ National Forum Kuwait (NAFO Kuwait) is all set to bringing a spectacular, well conceptualized, a jewel in crown super cultural show ‘Sangamam’ for the art lovers of Kuwait, according to a press release. Indian Ambassador Ajai Malhotra will inaugurate the first of its kind super show, scheduled for the evening of Friday, May 13, 2011 (6.00 PM) at the American International School Auditorium, Maidan-Hawalli.

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he annual convention of the IGM (India Gospel Movement) is scheduled to be held from 27th to 29th instant at the National Evangelical Church Kuwait (NECK) premises. Bro George Cherian, General Secretary, (Missions India) Navajeevodayam, Thiruvella is the main speaker at the event. Navajeevodayam is an indigenous organisation in India targetting the downtrodden rustics and the impoverished ones, revitalising them through moral and vocational guidance, thereby reinstating to the mainstream of the society. George Cherian is a celebrated orator, noted social reformist and youth counsellor. A man with profound thoughts and passion for perishing souls, he has been tremendously used of God as a convention speaker and an eminent scholar. He travels extensively and preaches to millions of people in India and abroad through public meetings, media programmes and audio/video tapes. A man of prayer and strong convictions, his messages are daringly direct. Worship sessions will be handled by the professional 1GM choir. Convention timings are from 7.15 pm to 9.15 pm on 27th Wednesday, 28th Thursday and 29th Friday at the NECK church and parish hall. For more information and transport requirements call 99306522/ 66890824.

Al Taalib Scholarship 2011 Al Taalib Scholarship is a financial aid scheme for the under privileged school students in Kuwait, sponsored by the Ministry of Awqaf in association with Islam Presentation Committee (IPC), Friday Forum and Pakistan Kuwait Welfare Association. These scholarships were given to the needy students irrespective of their religion or nationality. The process of Al Taalib Scholarship for the current academic year, 2011-12, has begun for all Indian and Pakistani Schools in Kuwait. In order to avail this scholarship, applicants are requested to collect the Application Form from Al Taalib Office located in CAMS, Ahmed Al Jaber Street, Darwaza, Near Warba Insurance Co., Int’l Islamic Charity Organization Building, 2nd Floor, Al Sharq. The duly filled application form shall be submitted to Al Taalib office on or before 10th May 2011 along with all supporting documents specified in the Application Form.

Oppana, MargamKali, Folk Dance, Group Dance, Fancy Dress, Mappilapaattu, Monoact, Light Music (Malayalam, Hindi), Group Song (Malayalam, Hindi), Classical Song, Poetry Recitation (English, Hindi, Malayalam), Elocution (Malayalam, English), Essay Writing (English, Malayalam), Story Writing (English, Malayalam), Poetry Writing (English, Malayalam) and Drawing.

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he AWARE Center cordially invites you to its diwaniya presentation entitled, “Distinctions between culture and religion,” by By Iman Martin on Tuesday May 3rd, 2011. Scenario: You have just arrived at the Kuwait Int’l Airport and notice the wide array of costumes all around. A local gentleman wearing his traditional long white thobe and red and white checkered headgear and a group of women wearing the traditional long, black abaya, hijab and some with niqab or face veils. If one were to ask the man why he chose to dress as he did, he’d likely respond “It is my culture and traditional dress that dictates my clothing choice”. Yet, if the same question were addressed to the women, they might respond, “It is our religion which dictates the way we dress.” To better understand local practices of both culture and religion, please join us at AWARE. We welcome your questions on the topic on May 3rd, 2011 at 7 pm. For more information, call 25335260/80 or log onto: www.aware.com.kw or email: Htaware.hassan@gmail.com Guided tour WARE Center announces Guided Tour & afternoon tea & sunset photo opportunity on the Balcony of the Dickson House, Friday, May 6, 4:30pm-6:30pm. The Dickson House Cultural Center, as it is now known, once served as the official residence for a series of British Political Agents to Kuwait, with the most famous, Colonel Harold Dickson, who came to Kuwait in 1929 with his wife, Violet and two young children. The house was the scene of momentous occasions in Kuwait’s history and provided accommodation to a multitude of fascinating characters including royalty, statesmen, writers, oil prospectors, rebel leaders and explorers. Reservations required. Contact us on Tel: 2-5335280 - Fax : 2-5335230 E-mail: info@aware.com.kw Working Hours: Sunday to Thursday 9am - 1 pm and 5 pm - 9 pm

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

KES students visit Qatar

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ecently, 24 pupils from Kuwait English School traveled to Qatar to take part in the British Schools of the Middle East under 11 games. Schools from around the Gulf arrived to test themselves against the best schools in the region. The first day’s competition began with the basketball tournament. KES were drawn in a tough group and had a number of challenging matches. They were slow to start and managed a draw in their first game. This slow start soon evaporated and KES were up and running with victories over the host school AKIS (Qatar) and NES (Kuwait). Excellent performances from Captain Yara Safwat and Malek Mansour helped secure these victories along with a number of points scored by Oliver Wood. These victories meant KES had qualified for the semi finals. In a closely contested match, KES were narrowly beaten by DESS Doha. This meant KES had the chance to come third in the competition for the second

year in a row. The team rose to the challenge and won the match securing another BSME trophy for the school. The afternoon saw the action move to the pool. KES, lead by Mrs Lynch, were able to enter a strong team and compete with schools that had traditionally enjoyed large amounts of success. The gala got off to an excellent start for KES with Vanessa Al Haddad winning her Individual Medley heat. Other pupils who rose to the challenge included Joe Ovington, Hiyam Abu Ghazaleh, Emily Unsworth and Khalid Budeir. Once the results had been checked it was announced that Vanessa Al Haddad had achieved a 3rd place in the 100m freestyle, 2nd place in the 50m backstroke and 1st place in the 50m freestyle, making her the fastest girl in the gulf. A remarkable achievement. Day two of the games was split with boys taking part in the football tournament and the girls playing netball. On the netball court KES improved dramat-

ically from last year with the help from their coach Mrs Welch. The campaign began with a draw against the host school AKIS, with Leanne Mansour scoring the points. This was backed up with a victory over local rivals NES, with Leanne Mansour scoring once again. The team was helped by Yara Safwat’s energy and determination and Yasmin Sloiman’s excellent defending. Unfortunately defeat by two schools from Dubai meant that progress to the next round was not possible, but the strides forward made have been huge for the netball team. The boys’ football got off to a bad start with defeat to eventual winners DESS Doha. The team showed great character by drawing their next three matches and keeping clean sheets. Unfortunately the lack of goals meant that the tournament would end at the group stages. The stand out players for KES were Talal Al Khalifa and Malek Mansour.

Athletics was the sport for the final day of competition. All pupils were able to take part in an event as chosen for them by athletic director Mr Walker. The standard of competition was fierce and KES students had to work extremely hard to match their fellow competitors. Yasmin Soliman was the stand out athlete for KES coming third in the high Jump and third in the triple jump. Faye Al Farhan jumped a personal best and also came third in the long jump. Overall, Kuwait English School managed to improve on all of their performances from the previous year. This was down to the hard work and application of the students prior to leaving for the games by attending training sessions and striving to become better performers. The 24 pupils who attended must be congratulated for their behaviour, effort and spirit in which they played the sports at the games. They were a real credit to Kuwait English School.

Events Ernakulam District Association picnic Ernakulam District Association Kuwait will conduct ‘Picnic 2011’ tomorrow at Al Mulla Garden, Sharq. It will be a full day fun and entertainment for families of Ernakulam district Association. Members as well as friends, well wishers from Ernakulam District are most welcome to participate in this event. Transportation are available from different parts of Kuwait. All our members are requested to collect their food coupon and “vefpsa premium water purifier” sponsored lucky draw coupons from their respective area representatives. For more details contact following persons. Joseph Maxi, (Event Convener) 99598755 (Abbassiya); Thomas Vithayathil (Joint Convener) 66459234 (Farwaniya); Varghese Paul (Joint Convener) 97230215 (Abbassiya); Joseph Raphel (Coordinator) 97249078 (Fahaheel); Krishnan Unni (Coordinator) 99698702 (Hassawi); Biju M.Y (Coordinator) 66339920 (Salmiya) or visit our website www.edakuwait.com Seminar for teenage girls MES Ladies Wing Kuwait is organizing a “free” seminar for teenage girls on “Life Skills and Personal Safety for Adolescents” at Private Educational Center Salmiya tomorrow from 5 pm until 8.30 pm. Mrs Simi Rajesh (renowned professional counselor in Kuwait) and Dr Susan Kuruvila will be the program leaders for this event. This program is designed exclusively for all girls falling in the age group of 12 to 19 years. Mothers of the teenage girls are also welcome to attend this program. Interested participants are required to register (before 28th April) to email id mesladiesq8@gmail.com or contact 97299734/ 99862430 with the following details: (i) total number of attendees (ii) name, age and school of the teenager (iii) area of residence. Bake & educate Every child has a right to education, but there are those who cannot afford it. Support this just cause in giving a brighter future for those unfortunate children. Noora Al Obaid is hosting this event at Bayt Lothan on the 27 & 28 April 2011. Opening hours: 0900-13:00 & 17:00-21:00. For details call 25755877/66. Pathanamthitta Meeting Pathanamthitta District Association’s Annual General Body Meeting will be held today 28th April 2011 at Chachoos Auditorium from 7 pm to 9.30 pm to elect new Office Bearers and Executive Committee for the year 2011-2012. All association members and Pathanamthitta residents interested to become members are hereby requested to attend the General Body Meeting. For more details contact, Oommen George (Jose) 99722437, or Benny at 66501482. Aware Arabic course The AWARE management is glad to inform those interested in learning Arabic that Summer 1 Arabic language courses will begin on April 24 and go on till June 2, 2011. AWARE Arabic language courses are designed with the expat in mind. The environment is relaxed and courses are designed for those wanting to learn Arabic for travel, cultural understanding, and conducting business or simply to become more involved in the community. We cater to teachers, travelers and those working in the private business sector.

EMBASSY OF BANGLADESH The Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in Kuwait will remain closed on Sunday, 01 May 2011 on the occasion of the May-Day. ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF BRITAIN 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: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk or from the Visa Application Centre’s website: www.vfs-uk-kw.com. And also, from the UK Visa Application Centre located at: 4B, First Floor, Al Banwan Building (Burgan Bank Branch Office Building), Al Qibla area, opposite Central Bank of Kuwait, Kuwait City. For any further inquiries, please contact the Visa Application Centre: Website: www.vfs-uk-kw.com E-mail:info@vfs-uk-kw.com Telephone:22971170. The Consular Section will also be closed on the same dates. For information on the British Embassy services, visit the British Embassy website: www.ukinkuwait.fco.gov.uk ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF GERMANY The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Kuwait wishes to announce that as of 1 May 2011, the external service provider Al Qabas Assurex is operating a Visa Application Centre in support of the German Embassy. Short-term visa applications for travels to Germany (e.g. for tourism, visits, business) are to be submitted to the service provider Al Qabas who for your convenience will ensure that all relevant documents are included in your application. Your personal appearance at the Application Centre is not required. Address of the Visa Application Centre: Al Qabas Assurex Sanabel Tower (Al-Babtain) Mezzanine (M3) opposite Sharq Mall Kuwait 22924444 Fax: 22924442 Further information are available on the following websites: www.kuwait.diplo.de www.qavisa.com ■■■■■■■

Mar Thoma Sunday School Kuwait

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ar Thoma Sunday School Kuwait organized Sunday School Students Conference - Junior & Senior on 9th April 2011 at NECK. The whole day conference delved on the theme “MY CHURCH MY SPIRITUAL HOME”. Rt. Rev. Joseph Mar Barnabas Episcopa inaugurated the conference. Conference explored the uniqueness and relevance of the church, being a spiritual asylum for the society. Classes on “Ophthalmologic care” and “Nature friendly life style” were very significant and persuasive. Scintillating singing sessions and games made it even more vivacious.

EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, AlMutawakel St., Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at www.Kuwait.gc.ca. Canada offers a registration service for all Canadians travelling or living abroad. This service is provided so that Consular Officials can contact and assist Canadians in an emergency in a foreign country, such as a natural disaster or civil unrest, or inform Canadians of a family emergency at home. The Embassy of Canada encourages all Canadian Citizens to register online through the Government of Canada Travel Website at www.voyage.gc.ca. The Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi provides visa and immigration services to residents of Kuwait. Individuals who are interested in visiting, working or immigrating to Canada are invited to visit the website of the Canadian Embassy to the UAE at www.UAE.gc.ca. Effective January 15, 2011, the only Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) application form that will be accepted by CIC is the Application for Temporary Resident Visa Made Outside of Canada [IMM 5257] form. All previous Temporary Resident Visa application forms will no longer be accepted by CIC and instead will be returned to applicants. Should old applications be submitted prior to January 15, 2011 they will continue to be processed. To ensure that the most recent version of the Temporary Resident Visa application form is being utilized, applicants should refer to the CIC website. As of January 15, 2011, forms are to be filled in electronically. The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. Consular Services for Canadian Citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00 on Sunday through Wednesday. The forms are available on the internet at: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/kits/forms/IMM5257 E.PDF. A guide explaining the process can be found here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/kits/guides/5256E. PDF. ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF FRANCE On the occasion of public holiday in France, the French Embassy in Kuwait will be closed on Sunday the 1st and Sunday the 8th of May 2011. ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF GUYANA The Embassy of Guyana, recently established in Kuwait, announces that it is located at Block 3, Street 321, Villa 3, Mubarak Abdullah al Jabar, West Misrhef. The Embassy’s telephone numbers are 2539-7939 and 2539-4336; the fax number is 2539-3448. The Embassy can also be contacted by e-mail at Guyanaembassy.kuwait@gmail.com; its website address is www.guyana.org. ■■■■■■■

Festival of Science

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SS Engineering College, Palakkad, Kuwait chapter organizers during a press conference about their upcoming Festival of Science (Shasthrolsav) due on May 6 at Gulf University.

EMBASSY OF NIGERIA The Nigerian embassy has moved its office to Mishref. Block 3, Street 7, House 4. For enquires please call 25379541. Fax25387719. Email- nigeriakuwait@yahoo.com or nigeriankuwait@yahoo.co.uk


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00:45 Untamed And Uncut 01:40 Dogs 101 02:35 Life In The Undergrowth 03:30 Mutant Planet 04:25 Buggin’ With Ruud 05:20 The Most Extreme 06:10 Must Love Cats 07:00 Meerkat Manor 07:25 The Really Wild Show 07:50 Baby Planet 08:40 Breed All About It 09:10 Extraordinary Dogs 09:35 Cats Of Claw Hill 10:05 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 11:00 Animal Precinct 11:55 Wildlife SOS 12:50 Animal Cops Houston 13:45 RSPCA: Have You Got What It Takes? 14:10 E-Vets: The Interns 14:40 The Most Extreme 15:30 Animal Battlegrounds 16:00 The Really Wild Show 16:30 Panda Adventures With Nigel Marven 17:25 Dogs 101 18:20 Life In The Undergrowth 19:15 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 20:10 Dogs 101 21:05 Venom Hunter With Donald Schultz 22:00 Pit Bulls And Parolees 22:55 Crime Scene Wild

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

Casualty Paradox Eastenders Doctors My Family 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 My Family My Family The Weakest Link Doctor Who Doctors Eastenders Casualty My Family Doctor Who The Weakest Link Doctors Eastenders Casualty Doctor Who The Weakest Link Doctors Eastenders Casualty Full Circle With Michael Palin

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

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

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

Holmes On Homes Eating With The Enemy Cooked Chuck’s Day Off Eating With The Enemy How Not To Decorate Cooked Chuck’s Day Off Holmes On Homes Holmes On Homes Great British Menu

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

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

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 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

THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2011

TV PROGRAMS 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

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 06:35 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 07:00 Codename: Kids Next Door 07:25 Cow And Chicken 07:50 Best Ed 08:15 Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends 08:40 Ben 10: Alien Force 09:05 The Secret Saturdays 09:30 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 09:55 The Powerpuff Girls 10:20 Robotboy 10:30 Hero 108 10:55 Ben 10 11:20 Chowder 11:45 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 12:10 Camp Lazlo 12:35 George Of The Jungle 13:00 Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends 13:25 Codename: Kids Next Door 13:50 Ben 10 14:15 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 14:40 Squirrel Boy 15:05 Eliot Kid 15:35 Ed, Edd N Eddy 16:00 Cow And Chicken 16:25 Chop Socky Chooks 16:50 Skunk Fu! 17:15 Chowder 17:40 Best Ed 17:50 Cartoon Network Dance Club 18:05 Hero 108 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 Cartoon Network Dance Club 21:15 The Powerpuff Girls 21:25 Ed, Edd N Eddy 21:50 Robotboy 22:00 Camp Lazlo 22:25 Hero 108

00:40 Dirty Jobs 01:35 Deconstruction

WATCHMEN ON OSN ACTION HD

02:05 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 Kate... 20:05 20:35 21:00 21:55 22:50 23:45

Deconstruction Ultimate Survival Man Made Marvels China Mythbusters How It’s Made How Stuff’s Made Dirty Jobs Man Made Marvels Asia American Chopper How Stuff’s Made How It’s Made Mythbusters Cake Boss Border Security Street Customs 2008 Ultimate Survival Mythbusters La Ink Dirty Jobs Street Customs 2008 Mythbusters Extreme Fishing Cake Boss Royal Wedding: William And How Stuff’s Made How It’s Made Destroyed In Seconds Get Out Alive Dual Survival Oil Strike!

00:30 The Gadget Show 00:55 Engineering Thrills 01:45 How It’s Made 02:35 How Stuff Works 03:25 How Stuff’s Made 03:50 Thunder Races 04:45 Brainiac 05:40 One Step Beyond 06:10 Engineered 07:00 Catch It Keep It 07:55 Head Rush 07:58 Sci-Fi Science 08:25 Weird Connections 08:55 Sci-Fi Saved My Life 09:45 The Gadget Show 10:35 What’s That About? 11:25 Mean Green Machines 11:50 Catch It Keep It 12:40 One Step Beyond 13:05 How Stuff Works 13:55 Eco-Tech 14:45 Engineering Thrills 15:35 The Gadget Show 16:00 Head Rush 16:03 Sci-Fi Science 16:30 Weird Connections 17:00 Brainiac 17:50 Sci-Fi Saved My Life 18:40 The Future Of... 19:30 Human Body: Ultimate Machine 20:20 Sci-Fi Science 20:45 How Does That Work? 21:10 The Gadget Show 22:00 The Future Of... 22:50 Human Body: Ultimate Machine 23:40 Colony

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

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

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

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

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

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

00:15 Kendra 00:40 Then and Now 01:30 E!ES 02:20 THS 03:15 25 Most Stylish 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Extreme Hollywood 06:00 THS 07:45 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 Fashion Police 13:15 Extreme Close-Up 13:40 Keeping Up with the Kardashians 14:05 Kendra 14:30 THS 16:15 Behind the Scenes 17:10 Married To Rock 18:00 E! News 18:50 Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane 19:40 E!ES 20:30 Fashion Police 20:55 Chelsea Lately 21:20 Kourtney and Kim Take New York 22:10 E! News 23:00 Chelsea Lately 23:25 Kendra 23:50 Kourtney and Kim Take New York

00:15 Final Fu 00:40 Mantracker 01:30 World Combat League 02:20 Final Fu 03:10 Cape Epic 04:00 Fight Girls 04:50 Mantracker 05:40 World Combat League 06:30 iEX 2009 08:00 Uci Nissan Mountainbike World Cup 2008 08:25 Summer Dew Tour 2010 09:15 Anomaly 10:05 Simpel Session 10:55 Glutton For Punishment 11:45 X-Traordinary 12:35 Final Fu 13:25 Mantracker 14:15 World Combat League 15:05 Glutton For Punishment 15:55 X-Traordinary 16:45 Uci Nissan Mountainbike World Cup 2008 17:10 Summer Dew Tour 2010 18:00 Anomaly 18:50 Simpel Session 19:40 X-Traordinary 20:30 Final Fu 21:20 IFMXF 2010 22:10 World Combat League 23:00 Cape Epic 23:50 Final Fu

00:30 Ghost Lab 01:20 A Haunting 02:10 I Almost Got Away With It 03:50 Dr G: Medical Examiner 04:45 Crime Scene Psychics 05:15 Ghost Lab 06:10 Mystery ER 07:00 Forensic Detectives 07:50 Hot Art 08:40 Life Or Death: Medical Mysteries 09:30 Real Emergency Calls 10:20 Extreme Forensics 11:10 FBI Files 12:00 Murder Shift 12:50 On The Case With Paula Zahn 13:40 Life Or Death: Medical Mysteries 14:30 Real Emergency Calls 15:20 Extreme Forensics 16:10 Forensic Detectives 17:00 Hot Art 17:50 FBI Files 18:40 Life Or Death: Medical Mysteries 19:30 Real Emergency Calls 20:20 Murder Shift 21:10 On The Case With Paula Zahn 22:50 True Crime Scene 23:40 Dr G: Medical Examiner

THE FACULTY ON OSN MOVIES ACTION

00:00 Bondi Rescue 1 00:30 Bondi Rescue 3 01:00 Lonely Planet- Roads Travelled 02:00 Warrior Road Trip 03:00 Meet The Natives USA 04:00 First Ascent 04:30 First Ascent 05:00 Danger Men 06:00 Bondi Rescue 1 06:30 Bondi Rescue 3 07:00 Lonely Planet- Roads Travelled 08:00 Warrior Road Trip 09:00 Meet The Natives USA 10:00 Graham’s World 11:00 Long Way Down 12:00 Bondi Rescue 1 12:30 Bondi Rescue 2 13:00 Lonely Planet- Roads Travelled 14:00 Banged Up Abroad 16:00 Graham’s World 17:00 Long Way Down 18:00 Bondi Rescue 1 18:30 Bondi Rescue 2 19:00 Lonely Planet- Roads Travelled 20:00 Banged Up Abroad 21:00 Banged Up Abroad 22:00 Graham’s World 22:30 Graham’s World 23:00 Long Way Down

00:00 02:00 04:00 06:00 08:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:45

Less

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 Community 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

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Less

01:15 The Faculty-18 03:00 The Snow Walker-PG15 05:00 Fear Island-PG15 07:00 Ghost Image-PG15 09:00 The Yards-PG15 11:00 The Faculty-18 13:00 Armageddon-PG15 15:30 The Yards-PG15 17:30 Collateral-18 19:30 Pride And Glory-18 21:45 Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans-18 23:15 Outpost-18

08:00 09:45 12:00 14:00 16:00 17:45 20:00 22:15

Planet 51-PG15 Che Part Two: Guerilla-PG15 Alice In Wonderland-PG The Building-PG15 Planet 51-PG15 The Blind Side-PG15 Public Enemies-18 The Wolfman-18

00:00 Golfing World 01:00 Asian Tour Golf 01:30 Aviva Premiership 03:30 AFL Highlights 04:30 Super 15 06:30 European Tour Weekly 07:00 Snooker World Championship 11:00 AFL Highlights 12:00 Total Rugby 12:30 Trans World Sport 13:30 Scottish Premier League 15:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 16:00 Futbol Mundial 16:30 European Tour Weekly 17:00 PGA European Tour 20:30 Futbol Mundial 21:00 Live Premier League Darts

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Children Of The Corn-18 Goal III-18 Let Me In-PG15 Hollywood Homicide-PG15 Blue Crush-PG15 The Italian Job (2003)-PG15 S.W.A.T.-PG15 Blue Crush-PG15 The Order-PG15 S.W.A.T.-PG15 Watchmen-18 Saw VI-R

01:00 Roman Polanski: Wanted And Desired-PG15 03:00 Moon-PG15 05:00 Jump Tomorrow-PG15 07:00 Delgo-FAM 09:00 A Christmas Carol-PG 11:00 Rugrats Go Wild-FAM 12:45 Sherlock Holmes-PG15 15:00 Old Dogs-PG 17:00 Ice Age 3: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs-FAM 19:00 An Education-PG15 21:00 She’s Out Of My League-18 23:00 Jennifer’s Body-18

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 Family Guy 02:00 The Big C 02:30 Entourage 03:00 Just Shoot Me 03:30 30 Rock 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 The New Adventures Of Old Christine 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 30 Rock 15:00 The New Adventures Of Old Christine 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon

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

Management-PG15 The Last Supper-PG15 Bitter Suite-PG15 Suburban Girl-PG15 Can’t Buy Me Love-PG15 Maneater: Part I-PG15 Maneater: Part II-PG15 Blank Check-FAM Management-PG15 Ira And Abby-PG15 Checking Out-PG15 Clerks-18

01:00Civilization Of Maxwell Bright18 03:00 The Fog Of War-PG15 05:00 Changeling-PG15 07:30 The Secret Lives Of Second Wives-PG15 09:00 Man In The Chair-PG15 11:00 Gifted Hands-PG15 13:00 Bran Nue Dae-PG15 15:00 Cutting Edge 3-PG15 17:00Ponyo On The Cliff By The SeaFAM 19:00 Mrs Brown-PG15

01:00 03:00 05:00 PG 07:00 09:00 PG15 11:15 13:00 14:45 16:45 PG15 19:00 21:00 23:00

Order Of Chaos-18 I Spy-PG The Wild Thornberrys MoviePaul Blart Mall Cop-PG15 He’s Just Not That Into You17 Again-PG15 The Wedding Singer-PG15 Swing Vote-PG15 He’s Just Not That Into YouMother And Child-18 She’s Out Of My League-18 Little Ashes-18

00:00 The Three Musketeers-PG 02:00 Free Willy 3: The Rescue-FAM 04:00 Scruff A Christmas Tale-FAM 06:00 Cars-PG 08:00 The Archies In Jugman-PG15 10:00 Scruff A Christmas Tale-FAM 12:00 Looney, Looney, Looney Bugs Bunny Movie-FAM 14:00 Free Willy 3: The Rescue-FAM 16:00 Dennis The Menace: Cruise Control-FAM 18:00 The Adventures Of Rocky And Bullwinkle-FAM 20:00 Inspector Gadget’s Last Case: Claw’s...-FAM

00:00 02:00 04:00 PG15 06:15

Animal Kingdom-PG15 Alice In Wonderland-PG Che Part One: The ArgentineMorning Light-PG

01:00 AFL Highlights 02:00 Premier League Darts 05:30 NRL Full Time 06:00 Trans World Sport 07:00 Golfing World 08:00 Live PGA European Tour 11:00 European Tour Weekly 11:30 Asian Tour Golf 12:00 Golfing World 13:00 AFL Highlights 14:00 NRL Full Time 14:30 Total Rugby 15:00 Live Snooker World Championship 19:00 Golfing World 20:00 Trans World Sport 21:00 Live Snooker World Championship

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

UFC 129 Countdown UFC Unleashed UFC The Ultimate Fighter Sports Adventure Full Throttle UFC 129 Countdown UFC Unleashed WWE SmackDown WWE Bottom Line V8 Supercars Championship WWE Vintage Collection WWE Bottom Line WWE Smackdown Full Throttle UAE National Race Day Series Duathlon Superstock Powerboat Series UFC 129 Countdown WWE NXT UFC The Ultimate Fighter Live RFL Championship V8 Supercars Extra

00:00 Jerseylicious 01:00 Fashion Avenue 01:55 Big Boutique 02:25 How Do I Look? 03:20 Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? 05:10 Homes With Style 05:35 Area 06:05 Clean House 07:00 Big Boutique 08:00 Homes With Style 09:00 Fashion Avenue 09:55 How Do I Look? 10:50 Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? 11:50 Clean House: Search For The Messiest... 12:50 Clean House 13:45 Top 10 14:15 Mel B: It’s A Scary World 14:45 Jerseylicious 15:40 Ruby 16:35 Giuliana And Bill 17:30 Ruby 18:25 Bridalplasty 19:25 Big Boutique 19:50 Fashion Avenue 20:20 Clean House 21:15 Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?


Classifieds THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2011

ACCOMMODATION

Week ending April 26, 2011

#1 Album

Top tracks

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21 Adele

E.T. E.T T. ‡ ‡Katy Katy Pe Perry erry

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(5) (55) 2

Just Can’t Get G Enough ‡%ODFN(\HG3HDV

(44) 3 (4)

The Lazy So ong ‡ Bruno Mars Song ‡Bruno

4

Blow ‡.HKDD

5

United Kingdom Kinggdom Party Rock Anthem A ‡‡/0)$2 /0)$2

(1) (1 1) 1

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(3 3) 2 (3) 3

Beautiful Pe eople ‡&KULV%URZQ ‡ &KULV%URZQ &KULV %URZQ People

21 Adele

(5 5) 4 (5)

Sweat ‡6QRR RS'RJJ 'DYLG*XHWWD ‡6QRRS'RJJ 'DYLG*XHWWD

5

‡:UHWFK Unorthodox ‡: UHWFK

Spain

Songs for Japan Various Vaarious Artists

On the Floorr ‡-HQQLIHU/RSH]

(3) (3 3) 1

S&M ‡5LKDQQ QD ‡5LKDQQD

(2) (2 2) 2 3

World ‡Beyonce Run the W o orrld ‡ Beyonce

(1) (1 1) 4

‡/DG\*D*D Judas ‡/DG\ \*D*D

5

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© 20 2011 011 MCT

© 2011 1M MCT Source: Exploratorium Trap Graphic: Paul T ra

Source: iT iTunes unes

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Sharing accommodation available with Indian decent bachelor single bedroom flat. 1+1 basic, very good location in Salmiya, Amman street, Indian Community school-3, adjacent building. Contact: 99813483. (C 3299) Sharing accommodation in Salmiya C-A/C flat, 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, for family or bachelor with Indian couple. Contact: 99467432. (C 3300) 28-4-2011 Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya for a Keralite family from May 1st 2011. Contact: 66325825. (C 3292) Sharing accommodation available from 1st May 2011 in Abbassiya near Neethi store building, looking only for couples or bachelor, staff nurse, teachers, double room flat furnished bedroom. Contact: 66944127. (C 3291) 25-4-2011 Sharing accommodation available effective today for a non-smoking bachelor in a double bedroom flat in Amman street, Salmiya. Call: 97199146. (C 3271) 23-4-2011

1

Fill one jar with hot water water all the way way its to it ts top; top; mix in two two drops of red color colo or and put jar in sink

2

Fill the other jar with cold water; water ; mix x in two two drops of b lue color blue

3

Drip Drip p some extra extra w atter into second water jar so water water makes makes a bump b um mp above above the rim rim

tT Two wo small glass jars that are e xactly alike alike exactly ex cards large t Ind Index enough to completely cover the jar top cover

4

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5

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tT Teaspoon easpoon e

Toyota Corolla, model 2009, color sky blue, good condition. Tel: 60951195. (C 3298) 28-4-2011 Toyota Corolla white color, 2008 model, excellent condition, very low mileage, well maintained wanted price KD 3050. Contact: 60099305. (C 3293) 26-4-2011

SITUATION VACANT Indian male B.Com, 25 years Gulf experience (Kuwait & UAE) in management, procurement, sales, seeks senior position, experience in oil field materials, hard wares, power and hand tools, timber, steel, building materials etc. Contact: 66889375.

Housemaid urgently needed. Please call 65881297, 66088398. 27-4-2011 Live-in Pilipino housemaid wanted for European family. Experience with children must have sponsorship possible. Please call 97210568. (C 3290) Maid required (full time basis) for an Indian family with two children living in old Riggae. Indian or Sri Lankan only. Contact: 66821940. (C 3289)

MATRIMONIAL Tamil CSI Nadar parents invite marriage proposals

for daughter (27 years, 162cm, working in MOH Kuwait), well settled in Kuwait, preferably from same caste. Contact: veneetha2008@gmail / nesamvinitha@yahoo.com 28-4-2011 Syrian Orthodox Keralite parents invite marriage proposals for their daughter (27 years, 164cms, currently working in Kuwait) from well educated & professionally qualified boys. More details: avcheriankwt@gmail.com (C 3296) Sunni Muslim parents from Hederabad (India) seeks alliance for their daughter very fair 20 years, B.A. Boy should be well settled in Kuwait and well educated. Only Hederabadi boy contact by email: shaikh_750@yahoo.com & shehnaaz_780@yahoo.com

CHANGE OF NAME I, Shaik Younus, S/o Shaik Ahmed, resident of H.No. 17-1-34/2, Darga Barhanashah, Santoshnagar, Hyderabad, holder of Indian Passport No. E6703568 issued Hyderabad, A.P., intending to change my name as Shaik Younus instead of my old name Mohammed Younus. (C 3300) I, Mario Angelo De Souza, holder of Indian Passport F9269433 issued in Kuwait wish to change my name to Mario Agnelo De Souza. (C 3301) 28-4-2011 I, Najmuddin Mohammed Husain, holder of Indian Passport No: H1115666 issued in Kuwait wish to change my name to Mohammed Hussain, surname - Pakawala. (C 3294) 26-4-2011

No: 15072

You may spill some water the first couple of times, but finally you will get the blue jar standing on the red one Red water will slowly rise to the top and blue water will sink to the bottom That happens because cold water is more dense (heavy) than warm water

Card will stick stick to jar and keep water keep w ater from pouring pouring out

ood coloring coloring tF Food

FOR SALE

What W hat happened? happened?

bump! b ump!

You’ll Y ou’ll need need

(C 3302) 28-4-2011

t Large sink

6

Put jar on top of first one a pull out the card and

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

Flt 642 205 267 772 620 853 370 305 67 211 138 503 201 555 412 157 206 382 605 302 332 53 352 284 362 855 132 125 301 213 404 165 121 561 672 610 982 640 621 57 645 341 357 500 552 745 788

Arrival Flights on Thursday 28/4/2011 Route AMMAN DAMASCUS BEIRUT ISTANBUL ADDIS ABABA DUBAI BAHRAIN ABU DHABI DUBAI BAHRAIN DOHA LUXOR DUBAI ALEXANDRIA MANILA / BANGKOK LONDON ISLAMABAD DELHI ISFAHAN MUMBAI TRIVANDRUM DUBAI COCHIN DHAKA COLOMBO DUBAI DOHA SHARJAH ABU DHABI BAHRAIN BEIRUT DUBAI BAHRAIN SOHAG DUBAI CAIRO WASHINGTON DC DULLES AMMAN ASSIUT DUBAI MUSCAT DAMASCUS MASHAD JEDDAH DAMASCUS JEDDAH JEDDAH

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

JZR QTR KAC KNE KAC MLR ETD UAE GFA SVA JZR JZR ABY ALK JZR KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC SIA JAI IRA KAC FDB VOS OMA JZR MEA KAC MSR DHX KLM UAE GFA JZR QTR UAL AIC JZR JZR MSR DLH AXB BBC PIA

257 134 546 789 118 403 303 857 215 510 777 239 127 227 177 104 502 542 618 786 614 774 674 458 572 617 562 61 93 647 179 402 178 618 372 445 859 217 203 136 981 981 135 185 612 636 389 43 205

BEIRUT DOHA ALEXANDRIA JEDDAH NEW YORK COLOMBO / DUBAI ABU DHABI DUBAI BAHRAIN RIYADH JEDDAH AMMAN SHARJAH COLOMBO / DUBAI DUBAI LONDON BEIRUT CAIRO DOHA JEDDAH BAHRAIN RIYADH DUBAI SINGAPORE / ABU DHABI MUMBAI AHWAZ AMMAN DUBAI KANDAHAR / DUBAI MUSCAT DUBAI BEIRUT GENEVA / FRANKFURT ALEXANDRIA BAHRAIN AMSTERDAM DUBAI BAHRAIN DAMASCUS DOHA BAHRAIN CHENNAI / AHMEDABAD BAHRAIN DUBAI CAIRO FRANKFURT KOZHIKODE / MANGALORE DHAKA LAHORE

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

Airlines AXB DLH AIC KLM PIA THY ETH UAE FDB DHX ETD QTR JZR JZR RJA GFA JZR JZR BAW KAC KAC IRA FDB KAC KAC KAC KAC JZR KAC UAE ABY QTR ETD GFA KAC MEA KAC JZR JZR KAC KAC JZR MSR RJA FDB MSR UAL

Flt 394 637 976 447 216 773 620 854 68 371 306 139 560 164 643 212 356 120 156 545 545 606 54 787 787 671 551 256 101 856 126 133 302 214 165 405 541 776 238 501 785 176 611 641 58 622 982

Departure Flights on Thursday 28/4/2011 Route COCHIN / KOZHIKODE FRANKFURT GOA / CHENNAI AMSTERDAM KARACHI ISTANBUL BAHRAIN / ADDIS ABABA DUBAI DUBAI BAHRAIN ABU DHABI DOHA SOHAG DUBAI AMMAN BAHRAIN MASHAD BAHRAIN LONDON ALEXANDRIA ALEXANDRIA MASHAD DUBAI JEDDAH JEDDAH DUBAI DAMASCUS BEIRUT LONDON / NEW YORK DUBAI SHARJAH DOHA ABU DHABI BAHRAIN ROME / PARIS BEIRUT CAIRO JEDDAH AMMAN BEIRUT JEDDAH DUBAI CAIRO AMMAN DUBAI ASSIUT BAHRAIN

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

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

KAC OMA SYR KAC KNE KAC JZR SVA JZR KAC QTR KAC KNE VOS ETD MLR KAC UAE GFA ABY JZR JZR SVA ALK JZR KAC KAC JAI FDB IRA KAC KAC OMA MEA SIA MSR DHX KLM KAC UAE GFA FCX QTR KAC KAC JZR JZR JZR KAC UAL MSR KAC

561 646 342 673 746 617 178 505 202 773 135 613 790 82 304 404 543 858 216 128 184 266 511 228 134 283 361 571 62 616 331 351 648 403 457 619 373 445 677 860 218 102 137 301 205 502 554 222 411 981 613 415

AMMAN MUSCAT DAMASCUS DUBAI JEDDAH DOHA DUBAI JEDDAH DAMASCUS RIYADH DOHA BAHRAIN JEDDAH BAGHDAD ABU DHABI DUBAI / COLOMBO CAIRO DUBAI BAHRAIN SHARJAH DUBAI BEIRUT RIYADH DUBAI / COLOMBO BAHRAIN DHAKA COLOMBO MUMBAI DUBAI AHWAZ TRIVANDRUM COCHIN MUSCAT BEIRUT ABU DHABI / SINGAPORE ALEXANDRIA BAHRAIN BAHRAIN / AMSTERDAM DUBAI / MUSCAT DUBAI BAHRAIN BAHRAIN DOHA MUMBAI ISLAMABAD LUXOR ALEXANDRIA ALEPPO BANGKOK / MANILA WASHINGTON DC DULLES CAIRO KUALA LUMPUR / JAKARTA

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


34

s ta rs CALVIN

CROSSWORD 301

THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2011

STAR TRACK Aries (March 21-April 19) There is a need to experience a change of ideas. You may begin to think about learning Morse code to open up a new avenue of possibilities. Things are in the process of changing at work and your attitude is a good one; sit back and see what happens. You tend to enjoy evolving. This is a time you can be successful at many things and there is no benefit to worry; be prepared for an interesting ride these next few weeks. For now, the swing of the day lends itself to many beginnings and endings—projects, etc. You strive to expand your life experiences and this is a positive time. Family matters are happily emphasized this evening. Leaving work early, you may attend a performance or art exhibit with which a family member is involved.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. An informal term for a father. 5. A genus of Ploceidae. 10. A state of southwestern India. 13. A river that rises in northeastern Turkey (near the source of the Euphrates) and flows generally eastward through Armenia to the Caspian Sea. 14. Conforming to an ultimate standard of perfection or excellence. 15. An overwhelming feeling of wonder or admiration. 16. United States writer of poems and plays about racial conflict (born in 1934). 18. (South African) A camp defended by a circular formation of wagons. 20. A compound derived from ammonia by replacing hydrogen atoms by univalent hydrocarbon radicals. 22. American pioneer photographer famous for his portraits. 23. A French abbot. 26. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 29. The branch of computer science that deal with writing computer programs that can solve problems creatively. 30. Naked freshwater or marine or parasitic protozoa that form temporary pseudopods for feeding and locomotion. 34. A bag used for carrying money and small personal items or accessories (especially by women). 37. 1 species. 38. Little known Kamarupan languages. 39. A island in the Netherlands Antilles that is the top of an extinct volcano. 41. A river in northern England that flows southeast through West Yorkshire. 42. Something causes misery or death. 43. English writer and a central member of the Fabian Society (1858-1943). 45. A condition (mostly in boys) characterized by behavioral and learning disorders. 46. Any of various strong liquors distilled from the fermented sap of toddy palms or from fermented molasses. 49. An associate degree in applied science. 51. Capital and largest city of Iraq. 54. A river in southeastern Australia that flows generally northwest to join the Darling River. 58. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 59. Dried out by heat or excessive exposure to sunlight. 63. Plant with an elongated head of broad stalked leaves resembling celery. 64. The 22nd letter of the Greek alphabet. 65. (Jungian psychology) The inner self (not the external persona) that is in touch with the unconscious. 66. On or toward the lee. 67. Imperial dynasty that ruled China (most of the time) from 206 BC to 221 and expanded its boundaries and developed its bureaucracy. 68. United States biochemist who discovered how genes act by regulating definite chemical events (1909-1975). 69. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. DOWN 1. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 2. The biblical name for ancient Syria. 3. An Iranian language spoken in Afghanistan. 4. (Hindu) A manner of sitting (as in the practice of Yoga). 5. Perennial herb of East India to Polynesia and Australia cultivated for its large edible root yielding Otaheite arrowroot starch. 6. A public promotion of some product or service. 7. A Mid-Atlantic state. 8. A metric unit of volume or capacity equal to 10 liters. 9. A state in the southeastern United States on the Gulf of Mexico. 10. Mentally or physically infirm with age. 11. Owed and payable immediately or on demand. 12. Characterized by lightness and insubstantiality. 17. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 19. A unit of weight used in some Spanish speaking countries. 21. A ductile gray metallic element of the lanthanide series. 24. Slanting diagonally across the grain of a fabric. 25. West Indian tree having racemes of fragrant white flowers and yielding a durable timber and resinous juice. 27. A small cake leavened with yeast. 28. Sweet pulpy tropical fruit with thick scaly rind and shiny black seeds. 31. English essayist (1775-1834). 32. A lyric poet. 33. In bed. 35. Causing fear or dread or terror. 36. An awkward stupid person. 40. A light strong brittle gray toxic bivalent metallic element. 44. A decree that prohibits something. 47. The capital of Morocco. 48. A city in southern Turkey on the Seyhan River. 50. The capital and largest city of Yemen. 51. A rare silvery (usually trivalent) metallic element. 52. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 53. A quantity that is added. 54. A silvery soft waxy metallic element of the alkali metal group. 55. A public area set aside as a pedestrian walk. 56. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 57. The United Nations agency concerned with atomic energy. 60. A case for containing a set of articles. 61. Any of various systems of units for measuring electricity and magnetism. 62. A barrier constructed to contain the flow or water or to keep out the sea.

Yesterday’s Solution

You may be urging communications between long-time enemies in order to create a peaceful result. There is a dynamic and outgoing quality to your lifestyle now. This is no time to be meek. You’d be smart to speak up—loud and clear. Competition encourages you today. You may be besting others in the heat of competition and taking on a leadership role that means more to you at this time. A financial situation deserves your attention this afternoon. Get an agreement in writing for your own protection. Conditions permitting, this evening will find you following through on a few previous plans. Outdoor sports activities are the direction of your energies. A group from work or a group you have joined may take part in a bit of competition.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Communication is the drive today. Whether your business is directly in sales or not, you must make yourself understood—ask if the buyer has any questions. This will help to eliminate any disagreements or frustrations later. That little extra time will endear you to your customers. Making yourself understood creates a clear path to your positive gains. At home this afternoon, the same one-on-one situation may occur with regard to taking a little time to communicate well with each family member. This time, however, it is you who must do the listening. Make it a point to do your best to spend time with each member of your little family so as to build stability. There is talk among family members to invest in land near a lake and you like what you hear.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

NON SEQUITUR

You can become mesmerized by the magic of life and you enjoy being caught up in the glamour. Keeping your concentration steady and knowing where or how you want to see your goals completed you will remain untouched by the magic of the unknown possibilities. Problem solving is easier when the creative mind is active. You work to develop your creative mind in some venue of art, music or photography. You can encourage others to become expressive in some form of art as well. Your attitude is positive, making your professional life confident. Someone may compliment you on your tastes or belongings this afternoon. Physical bonds are important in order to maintain a balance in life. Enjoy a friend’s company this evening.

Leo (July 23-August 22)

ZITS

Steer away from romantic arguments today. Circumstances may conspire to limit and hinder your sense of independence and originality—this will pass. You may spend a great deal of time communicating with others today. Keep up the work—your patience and positive train of thought will gain you much. You show a bit of assertiveness as you work on a project with others. Your workday ends with all of your work completed. Be sure to give everyone their due and take no solo bows. An older person will be giving you advice, strength and hope this afternoon. Your heightened instincts will prove beneficial as you lend a helping hand in return for all the verbal encouragement today. Music ends your search for harmony this evening.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) Solid, secure and comfortable situations can be expected in most avenues of your life. This is a great time to be with others, in work or play. Others may require your presence for a particular job and you are able to cope with the extra work. There may be some serious decisions made about the future of a project, investment or term of employment with your business at this time. Your management and directional abilities are in high focus. A feeling of being at peace and stable on the emotional level comes into influence at this time. Stability is important to you now and you look for every way you can to secure your future. You are sensitive to the needs of others and can be a good mentor. Tremendous personal insights are available.

Libra (September 23-October 22)

MOTHER GOOSE AND GRIM

Think seriously about your work this morning and what you have learned and how far you can grow within the company. If you want to stay, do not hesitate to present your ideas. If you want to move forward in your profession, privately write down some definite goals. You may decide that now is the time to further your education. Most of the time your capabilities do not match your present status; it is time to reassess. Whatever you decide, now is the time to get down to business with your personal plans. If you have not gotten a health check yet, you may want to schedule one when you can. If you start school or decide to change jobs, time off now would be a good idea. Best friends will support your ideas and may have helpful information to share.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Your financial situation fares a bit better at this time but do not hesitate to work out a plan that will help you to invest or save for the future. Continue to avoid high-risk or frivolous spending. Willingness to cooperate over these past few days has good points and questionable points. You may have been moved to the limelight, especially with superiors. You may find that you enjoy your job but there are more responsibilities than usual. Because of your management techniques, you can change these additional responsibilities before it gets to be too much. Think on these matters but do not act on them just yet as you may find yourself going against authority or making some rather poor business decisions. Today it should be easy to channel your energy.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) There are many conversations around you today. There may be an occasion to listen to the comments of your co-workers around a conference table. Take notes and just listen to the views of others for now; later you can research your particular interests. With good information, and a basis for individual complaints or insight before the next conference, you will be able to lend some focus to what seems like a disaster waiting to happen. Your thoughts or comments may be up for debate but little will be said in conflict. You are the peacemaker. At home this evening you may find yourself able to be more expressive. The desire to protect what you already have is strong and you may decide to refuse a request with no explanation; good-for-you.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) There is opportunity for success or financial growth that has not been available before. You should, however, avoid material status symbols at this time. Attempt to find a higher purpose in your career efforts. Be attentive to your responsibilities since they cannot be ignored. This is a most beneficial time to exchange ideas and seek out new projects or ventures. There could be an unexpected change in the normal family routine. This just could mean a change in scenery for some upcoming trip. A feeling of being at peace and stable on the emotional level is important at this time. Stability and permanence satisfies a deep emotional need. If you are staying home this evening, a new CD or some other form of music could be enjoyed.

Yesterday’s Solution Aquarius (January 20- February 18) There are keys and techniques into solving problems. While others do not seem to want to cooperate today, you may be looking for ways to compromise. Study some self-help books in the library and find tools that will help you to help others. If you are working in an environment that is unpleasant, it can leave you feeling drained toward the end of the day. You are not the only one that is feeling this drain, but you may be the only one that is willing to find a solution. You might like to ignore responsibilities and do some socializing later. Again, it may be up to you to make some needed changes. This evening you will have some real opportunities to involve yourself with your friends and chat about your hobbies. Enjoy a walk after the evening meal.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

Communication is the drive today. Whether your business is directly in sales or not, you must make yourself understood—ask if the buyer has any questions. This will help to eliminate any disagreements or frustrations later. That little extra time will endear you to your customers. Making yourself understood creates a clear path to your positive gains. At home this afternoon, the same one-on-one situation may occur with regard to taking a little time to communicate well with each family member. This time, however, it is you who must do the listening. Make it a point to do your best to spend time with each member of your little family so as to build stability. There is talk among family members to invest in land near a lake and you like what you hear.


A

y

e niv rsar n

Years

THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2011

i n f o r m at i o n

FIRE BRIGADE

112

Al-Madena

22418714

Al-Shohada’a

22545171

Al-Shuwaikh

24810598

Al-Nuzha

22545171

Sabhan

24742838

Al-Helaly

22434853

Al-Fayhaa

22545051

Al-Farwaniya

24711433

Al-Sulaibikhat

24316983

Al-Fahaheel

23927002

Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh

24316983

Ahmadi

23980088

Al-Mangaf

23711183

Al-Shuaiba

23262845

24812000

Al-Jahra

25610011

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he ‘Girls (Who Rule The World)’ singer is said to have ruined Christmas 2010 for employees of video game company Gate Five, after she demanded more money to appear in dance game ‘Starpower: Beyonce’. Her alleged decision also caused the project’s main financier to back out and was, according to the lawsuit, “a bad faith breach of contract so callous that, on what appeared to be a whim, she destroyed Gate Five’s business, and drove 70 people into unemployment, the week before Christmas”. The game was in development for release for Christmas 2011, but the project had

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to be scrapped after an “extortionate demand for entirely new compensation” came from Beyonce’s team at a “crucial moment in the project’s development”. Gate Five CEO Dareh Gregorian added to the New York Post newspaper: “It was a very shocking and disappointing turn of events that no one saw coming, and now we’re all trying to pick up the pieces.” Representatives for the ‘Single Ladies’ hitmaker have yet to comment on the case. In another recent controversial business decision, Beyonce stopped using her father Matthew Knowles as her manager, in a mutual decision by the pair.

Matthew had guided his daughter’s career since she first began her career in girl group Destiny’s Child in the late ‘90s. He said in a statement: “Business is business and family is family. I love my daughter and I am very proud of who she is and all she has achieved. I look forward to her continued great success.”

Couric steps down from news anchor role he 54-year-old American journalist has announced her departure from CBS ‘Evening News’ after months of speculation about whether she would stay with the US network. She said: “I have decided to step down from the CBS ‘Evening News’. I’m really proud of the talented team on the CBS ‘Evening News’ and the award-winning work we’ve been able to do in the past five years in addition to the reporting I’ve done for ‘60 Minutes’ and ‘CBS Sunday Morning’. “In making the decision to move on, I know the ‘Evening News’ will be in great hands, but I am excited about the future.” The television personality - who has made a guest appearance on ‘Glee’ playing herself - added that she wanted to move on to a position that would allow her to report on a wider range of stories. She told People magazine: “I am looking at a format that will allow me to engage in more multi-dimensional storytelling. “The bottom line is that I love doing all kinds of different stories. I have a lot of areas of interest and I want to be able to fulfill all of that.” The newswoman declined to reveal where she would be working next but has reportedly been approached by rival networks NBC, ABC and CNN.

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Khloe’s mother wants daughter pregnant

Kate Hudson thinks Bellamy will be a ‘beautiful’ father

he reality TV star’s mum Kris Jenner is so keen for her daughter and husband Lamar Odom to start a family she has even advised her to try different positions in the bedroom to help the baby making process. Khloe said: “My family would love me to have a baby, but my mum is completely obsessed. “Once, she asked my assistant to find out when I was ovulating. Mom had her call my gynaecologist and then told me to plan a time to have sex with my husband. “Mom calls me all the time with different sex positions to try, she’s crazy. I have to keep reminding her that I’m her daughter, not a girlfriend.” Despite Kris’ tips and advice, the 26-year-old socialite insists she and basketball player Lamar are not making any extra efforts to start a family because she doesn’t think planning sex is very romantic. She added to Reveal magazine: “We do want kids but we’ve only been married for 18 months. We’re not doing anything to not have a baby, but planned sex is not sexy. We don’t do that.”

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Pattinson:

Life is going to be ‘hard’ for Middleton he brunette beauty is to tie the knot the prince in the most highly-anticipated wedding in recent years and the ‘Twilight’ star says he has lots of sympathy for her because she’s going to be under so much pres-

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sure once she becomes a member of the British Royal Family. He said: “It’s going to be hard (for her) because people will lay responsibilities on her that seem totally irrelevant. You can’t mess up, either. As an actor, you can kind of mess up - but not if you’re a royal. I’ve always liked the members of the royal family who couldn’t care less what anyone thinks: the ones who go, ‘I’m royalty - so shut up!’ That’s one of the coolest things about England, I think, that we still have this crazy old system in place.” The British actor - who now spends most of his time in America - says he will be definitely watching the wedding as he finds the event “fascinating”. He added to the Radio Times magazine: “Yes, I’ll definitely be watching the royal wedding. I mean, they’re absolutely obsessed with it in America, it’s insane ... but I guess it’s kind of a big deal. Actually, I think it’s really sort of fascinating.”

he couple are expecting their first child together and the actress who already has a seven-year-old son Ryder with ex-husband Chris Robinson - knows which of her partner’s attributes she wants to tot to have. She said: “Matthew’s really excited and is going to be a beautiful father. “I’m hoping the baby has his kind nature, he’s very loving and nurturing, so I hope the baby inherits these qualities. That and his eyes, because he has amazing ones.” While Kate and Matt are very happy together, she insists they have no plans to get married. She told Britain’s HELLO! magazine: “He’s lovely and he’s going to be an amazing father, but marriage? If it was right and if it felt right, I probably would. I wouldn’t count it out. But it’s not in my

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future right now. “Right now, I’m just looking forward to having the baby.” Kate is planning to cut back on her working commitments once she has her baby in July. She said: “I’ll have the baby to look after and Ryder is at an age where it’s so fun with his baseball and karate. If I work, I’ll have to go away from that and I don’t want to miss another second of it. “I’ll carry on working, but only if the film’s really special. Maybe this is the time in my career where I shift focus and spend more time at home.”

Mel B to be judge on the Australian ‘X Factor’

he former Spice Girls singer - who is due to give birth to her first child with husband Stephen Belafonte in June or July - will be replacing radio DJ Kyle Sandilands on the panel for the talent search show. With filming commencing just weeks after the 35-year-old star is due to give birth, Mel will be joining Boyzone star Ronan Keating and Australian singer Guy Sebastian in the hot seats. She said: “I love Australia and can’t wait to see all the amazing talent the country has to offer.” Meanwhile, the fourth and final judge - who will replace ‘Torn’ hitmaker Natalie Imbruglia - is yet to be announced, but it is widely rumoured former ‘Neighbours’ actress Natalie Bassingthwaighte will assume the role. Mel - who also has two daughters, Phoenix, 12, and Angel, four, from previous relationships and is currently based in Los Angeles - recently hinted she would be taking over from Cheryl Cole

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on the UK version of the show. The 35-year-old star said: “I think I might be coming over for quite some time at some point next year. Well, I’m not going by myself, am I? The whole family is going to move, I think. “I don’t think I was meant to say that though. Oh sorry, pregnant brain, maybe that was a secret.” Girls Aloud singer Cheryl is leaving her position on the British version to take a judging role on the upcoming US version along with show boss Simon Cowell.—BangShowbiz


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lifestyle

By Sajeev K Peter athakali’, one of the oldest forms of theatre in the world, is regaining its lost glory with more and more youngsters showing keenness to learn and perform the art, said Kalamandalam E Vasudevan Nair, an exponent of the classical theatre. Talking to the Kuwait Times in an interview yesterday, Nair said Kerala Kalamandalam, the institution that trains students in India’s classical art forms, has taken a new initiative to propagate Kathakali, that originated in Kerala in the 16th century.

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Acceptance “Today, Kathakali is gaining new popularity and wider acceptance. Hundreds of Kathakali clubs in Kerala are presenting shows on a daily basis and younger generation is studying the art,” he said. Vasudevan Nair and his troupe will present ‘Kalyanasougandhikam’, an exotic classical dance drama under the aegis of Arpan Kuwait on Saturday evening at the Indian Community School, Salmiya. Kalamandalam Sreekumar, Kalamandalam Sreekantan and Sasikala S Vellodi are the other performers who appear in the show. ‘Kathakali’, thought to be a dying art once for its strict adherence to classical tradition, has now become more acceptable to the art lovers across the world, he said. “The theatre and dance lovers have begun to develop new sensibilities to enjoy ‘Kathakali’ which is a very positive sign,” he said. Born in a traditional Nair family at Pallippuram, Pattabmi in 1945, Vasudevan Nair had his basic edu-

cation from Pallipuram school. Inspired by his father, he decided to study Kathakali and joined at PSV Nastyasangam, Kottakkal in 1957 and finished the course in 1960. Then he completed the Kathakali course at Kerala Kala Mandalam during the year1964-1967. He had higher education in Kathakali from Kerala Kalamandalam with government scholarship.

ing he underwent as a student at the age of 11. “A successful Kathakali performer is not just required to master the stylistic elements of the dance but also build his/her endurance and stamina,” he said. “As a student, I would start training at 4am and will continue until 9pm. It included the training for the eyes, body and mind in addition to training in

Kathakali, thought to be a dying art once for its strict adherence to the classical tradition, has now become more acceptable to the art lovers across the world. The theatre and dance lovers have begun to develop new sensibilities to enjoy Kathakali, which is a very positive sign, says Kathakali exponent Kalamandalam Vasudevan Nair ‘Kathakali’ is typified by its elaborate costumes, attractive make-up, detailed hand and facial gestures and well-defined body movements. The actors in the drama rarely ever use any words to convey their emotions or carry forward the story. All this is done with the help of expression, hand gestures, and rhythmic dancing. Training “The training system is very strict, though not as complex as in ‘Koodiyattom’, another classical theatre form of Kerala,” he mentioned. “One has to undergo rigorous training to master the art form,” he said recalling the painstaking train-

musical instruments and vocal,” he said. Vasudevan Nair had trained under eminent gurus such as Padmasree Vazhenkada Kunju Nair, Kalamandalam Krishnan Kutty Nair and Dr Padmabhushan Kalamandalam Raman Kutty Nair. His first performance was in ‘Subhadrapaharan’ as Sri Krishna at the age of 13. Over the 44 years of his ‘Kathakali’ life, he has presented a variety of characters in different plays. His main characters include ‘Pacha’ (Green) such as Nalan, Dharmaputrar and Arjunan. As ‘Vellathadi (white beard) he played the role of Hanuman and as ‘Chuvannathadi (red beard) he did roles of villains like Dussasanan and Bakan. His major plays include ‘Nalacharitam’, ‘Keechaka

Kalamandalam E Vasudevan Nair plays the role of Sri Krishna in ‘Kuchelavritham’ Kathakali Vadham,’ ‘Uttaraswayamvaram’, ‘Dakshayagam’, ‘Kalakeyavadham’ etc. Vasudevan Nair worked as a staff artist at “See India Foundation’, a daily performing Kathakali Theatre in Cochin. From 1975 onwards he is working as a senior Kathakali artist at Cochin Cultural Centre, Performing Theatre, Ernakulum. He and troupe have performed all over the world. His wife Kalamandalam Mallikadevi is a performing ‘Mohiniyattom’ and ‘Bharathanatyam’ artiste, who was working in ‘Song and drama Division’ of the India government during 1068-72.

Farm-to-table is fine, but what comes next? uch has been made of the farm-to-table restaurant movement. But what happens to all the food that ends up uneaten at the table? In what you might call a burgeoning tableto-farm movement, a small but growing number of companies are being launched across America to answer that question, to help restaurants deal with the ecologically and economically expensive problem of food waste by composting it. “The restaurant business is an incredibly wasteful business,” says Peter Egelston, owner of Portsmouth Brewery restaurant in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. “We generally put more food in front of people than they can eat in one sitting. If it’s not going home in a doggie bag, it seems like we should send it where it will have new life.” And so two years ago Egelston’s brewery began composting with the help of EcoMovement, a company that hauls food waste from about 40 restaurants in the region and takes it to be composted. Composting, a natural process in which food and other organic scraps are decomposed into fertile soil , has long been a mainstay of farms and backyards. But few restaurants have the space or time to compost their own waste. And so they typically pay to have it disposed of in landfills along with the rest of their trash. But as communities have struggled to reduce their waste, pressure has mounted on the restaurant industry to do its part. “A few things changed,” says Michael Oshman, CEO of the Green Restaurant Association. “Cities in California passed laws requiring some level of waste reduction. To attack waste reduction without looking at food is like having a heart patient come in to the doctor and not talk to them about exercise and diet. So cities like San Francisco begin composting. They demonstrate it’s doable and others follow their lead.” San Francisco began a pilot composting program in 1996, which quickly expanded. In 2001, officials made composting available city-wide on a voluntary basis; it became mandatory in 2009, including for the city’s more than 5,000 restaurants. Since 1996, the city has composted more than 835,000 tons of food scraps. Since then, other cities , including Seattle , have passed similar laws that mandate composting. But desire isn’t enough. To compost, you either need to have a place to put food waste , and the time to tend to it , or arrange for it to be taken to a farm or composting facility. And that’s where companies like EcoMovement come in. Rian Bedard was inspired to start the company when he moved from San Francisco to New Hampshire and realized

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French celebrity chef Joel Robuchon speaks to the media at a press conference in the restaurant L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Singapore yesterday.—AFP

Top chef Joel Robuchon opens

Singapore restaurants rench celebrity chef Joel Robuchon yesterday announced the opening of two restaurants at a casino resort in Singapore, his first outlets in Southeast Asia. L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, a workshop-inspired concept with chefs closely interacting with guests, and the more formal Joel Robuchon Restaurant will open today at the seaside Resorts World Sentosa complex. Robuchon, 66, has received more stars from Michelin, the leading guide to fine dining, than any other chef in the world with a total of 26 so far. There are 22 restaurants carrying his name, from Paris and other European cities to Las Vegas, New York, Tokyo, Nagoya, Hong Kong, Taipei and Macau. “Today we are very happy to be in Singapore, especially because when we travel around the world, we meet a lot of Singaporean guests,” Robuchon said at a news conference. “They are very refined, very elegant, they know their wines very well, they know their food very well. So it is a very good time to be in Singapore right now,” he

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added. The 54-seat Joel Robuchon Restaurant is a fine dining restaurant serving classic French cuisine “with the quality of service of a three Michelin-star restaurant,” a press statement said. L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, with 52 seats, is more experimental and draws inspiration from the preparation of Japanese cuisine and the atmosphere of Spanish tapas bars, it added. Malaysianowned Resorts World Sentosa and Singapore’s other casino complex, USowned Marina Bay Sands, have attracted foreign celebrity chefs keen to tap into the affluent Southeast Asian and international tourist market in Singapore. — AFP

British actor Robert Pattinson (L) and Austrian actor Christoph Waltz pose for photographers during a photocall yesterday in Berlin. They promoted their film “Water for Elephants”, which will premiere in German cinemas today. —AFP no one was offering compost pickup. They began hauling food waste in November 2009. Food-waste hauling remains a small industry, in part because the companies struggle with where to bring the waste. Few actually handle the composting themselves, instead serving as an intermediary. Some, like Compost Cab in Washington, DC, work with area farms. But that also can limit the volume and content of what can be picked up. “There are two main constraints on a farm that you don’t have on an industrial facility,” says Jeremy Brosowsky, who started the company almost a year ago. “When you’re managing a small-scale operation on a farm in an urban environment you want to be respectful to your neighbors. People worry about smell and rodents. We ameliorate that by not being too big. The second constraint is just volume. Urban farms tend to be less than two acres. Composting takes about a half acre. You can’t overwhelm them with volume because that takes attention away from the farming,” he said. Which is why most compost hauling companies work with commercial composting facilities, of which there are about 300 around the country. San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurant Group has encouraged all of their 53 restaurants ,

Chinese couple hold

including those outside the Bay Area , to compost. It isn’t always possible. Only 35 of their properties have programs at this time. “The biggest challenge is finding someone who can haul it away,” says Frank Kawecki, senior director of operations for Kimpton. “It’s usually some guy in a truck. It’s very grassroots and local.” The company’s 10 restaurants in Washington use EnviRelation, a 12-person company that hauls food waste from nearly 200 offices, hotels and restaurants. Last year, the city’s Kimpton properties alone composted more than 408,000 pounds of food scrap. Despite trepidation about smell, staff training and pest nuisance, when composting is available most restaurants find that it is simple. “It’s the same waste we were putting in a dumpster,” says Egelston. “It just goes in a different color bin. We’ve reduced our waste stream so dramatically we renegotiated our trash pickup and that offset all of the costs of the compost program. And our customers really appreciate it and that’s good for business. It’s not just this woolly-headed, treehugging idea. —AP

‘royal

wedding’ with horses Chinese couple have tied the knot with a procession inspired by the British royal wedding, donning ceremonial garb and riding in a horse-drawn carriage flanked by guards in scarlet uniforms. The 23-yearold groom, Wang Xueqian, paid more than 50,000 yuan ($7,600) for the April 18 wedding parade involving 50 people, a dozen cars and two horses. Leading the procession in eastern Nanjing city were four women in white dresses and floral head wreaths carrying a square banner in the colors of the Union Jack with the names of the bride and groom printed on it. The carriage with the regally waving couple followed, along with rows of guards with tall, furry hats and red coats, meant to look like the quintessential British Queen’s Guard posted at Buckingham Palace. “There’s an exotic quality to a wedding like this. I asked my girlfriend for her opinion and she liked the idea of riding in a carriage, so we decided to do it,” Wang said yesterday. The

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ceremony encountered a slight hitch when firecrackers , a must for every Chinese celebration , were set off too early, startling the horses, who rocked the carriage slightly before being calmed down by their handlers, Wang said. For the event, Wang hired a wedding planner named Hu Lu, who said the “royal carriage” theme is becoming increasingly popular, with similar processions planned for three more couples next month. “Every bride wants to be princess Snow White when they get married,” Hu said. With increasing affluence resulting from the breakneck economic growth of the past three decades, many urban Chinese couples are splashing out to get hitched in more inventive ways. The real British royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton takes place Friday in London. — AP

In this photo taken Monday April 18, 2011, 23-yearold Wang Xueqian, center right, and his bride Yao Yan, center left, walk together during a wedding ceremony in Nanjing city in east China’s Jiangsu province. —AP


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US fans descend on London for

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or hardcore fans of the British monarchy, sitting glued to the television with popcorn just doesn’t cut it for an occasion like a royal wedding. Instead, hundreds of American anglophiles , armed with homemade fascinators, Union Jacks on sticks, and boundless enthusiasm, have flown to London to be in the thick of it, even if the throngs may make it hard to actually see the royal couple. “Who knows when the next wedding of a future monarch will take place?” said Catie Anchin, a 29year-old fan who arrived with her husband from Washington DC on Tuesday. “This is my chance to see history happen in the flesh.” What is the draw for people without prized invitations to Westminster Abbey? They say they want to soak up the atmosphere, hoard souvenirs, and, most important, catch a glimpse of the couple’s public smooch on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. That last mission won’t be an easy one. As the tourists scoped out the best spot to stand, they worriedly asked how exactly they could beat the roughly 1 million other well-wishers expected to line The Mall tomorrow. “Holy Toledo, what am I going to do on the day?” said Debbie Achs, a property manager from Mesa, Arizona, as she took in the barricades and the scale of the press stands being set up around the palace and along the wedding procession route. “If I see the balcony kiss that will be the icing on the cake. I don’t think I’ll be camping out at 5 am, so I’ll have to get creative in other ways.” Achs,

54, rushed to book her flight days after William and Middleton announced their wedding date in late November. The wedding provides the perfect excuse to visit Britain, her spiritual home, to which she has been returning every year since 2001 to indulge her appetite for castles and royal history. Other American tourists have similar stories about their love affair with the royals: Hailing from such a young nation, they’re fascinated by the centuries-old protocol, the pomp, and the fairytale stories of princes and princesses. Some of the women also confess they have a soft spot for William because they watched him grow up on television. Some cite additional personal connections: Achs, for example, feels an affinity with the late Princess Diana because they were born in the same year and both gave birth to two sons. Anchin ascribes her lifelong obsession to her birthday, which falls on the same day as that of the late Queen Mother Elizabeth. Janice Ashby, who arrived yesterday with a girl friend, has a strategy of sorts to beat the crowds. “I’m 5 feet 10 inches tall and I’m going to wear stilettos, so hopefully I will tower over all the short spectators and get a glimpse of the royal bride,” said Ashby, 56, from Geneva, Nebraska. She’s made her own fascinator for the occasion, too, a pink and black piece complete with a big butterfly. “We never get the opportunity to wear such fun and frivolity,” she said. “I will wear my fascinator with pride, and cheer and yell for the royal

couple as loudly as if I were at a football match.” Others say they would be content bringing home memories of the day. “Even if we can’t actually see them, we’ll hear the horses’ hooves on the ground and the creak of the carriages,” said Sheree Troy, a 54-year-old collector of royal memorabilia from Lincolnton, North Carolina. Troy has more than 200 royal-related books and a display case heaving with monarchy items at home. Anchin has been incorporating more royal history into her life choices since then , including convincing her husband, Scott, to get married last year on the anniversary of Queen

Elizabeth II’s marriage to Prince Philip. To make the most of her trip, Anchin is also planning to celebrate the night before at Mahiki, the posh nightclub where William and Middleton have been known to party. Her husband didn’t mind. “Who needs sleep on the royal wedding week?” he said. “I’m ready for it.”— AP

Terry Hutt fan of the British Royal Family sits outside his tent near Westminster Abbey in central London yesterday.—AP

William and Kate in final royal wedding rehearsals W L

ast minute rehearsals for this week’s wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton got under way before dawn in central London yesterday with the royal couple expected to put the final touches to their preparations. Roads around Buckingham Palace and along the route the couple will take from Westminster Abbey after Friday’s service were closed as about 1,000 members of the armed forces took part in a full-scale practice for the couple’s big day. Carriages that will carry members of the wedding party also took part alongside mounted cavalry, with a full dress-rehearsal involving the clergy and broadcasters scheduled for today. The abbey itself has already been closed off to the public, and William and Middleton will be there for some final rehearsals yesterday, although royal officials declined to give details. “As with anybody’s wedding, you can imagine rehearsals happening up until the eve of the wedding,” a spokesman for William said. Across the capital, bunting is going up and flags are beginning to be hoisted, while a small army of

media from around the world has descended on makeshift studios set up outside Buckingham Palace and along the route. The ceremony is predicted to attract a global TV audience of some two billion people. “We have been coming over in waves, we have a cast of thousands,” said NBC Washington news anchor, Wendy Rieger. “I called back to work yesterday, and said the only Americans I can find here right now are people with cameras on their shoulders, you know. The media is bumping all over each other,” she told Reuters TV outside Westminster Abbey. Some royal fans have already begun camping outside the abbey to secure the best spots to watch Friday’s events, and hundreds of thousands of people are expected to start arriving in London in the next days. VisitBritain, the national tourism agency, is predicting an extra 600,000 tourists in the capital on the day, meaning there would be a total of some 1.1 million visitors with 40 percent of those coming from abroad. “That could bring anything up to 50 million pounds,” a spokesman said. The number of in-

bound flights to Britain for the weekend had risen by 244 percent while online travel booking company Expedia said hotel bookings had surged 266 percent when the wedding date was announced, the spokesman added. London and Partners, the agency which promotes the city, said it expected there would be 600,000 people actually lining the streets, the same number as came to watch the 1981 wedding of Prince Charles to Princess Diana. Despite the interest, those planning last minute trips could still find somewhere to stay. “From what we’re being told by contacts in the industry there are still rooms available,” a spokeswoman said. However, anyone coming to London to watch the procession or camping out could be in for a cold and wet experience, with weather forecasters predicting showers and a brisk wind. On Tuesday, police appealed to the public to help them spot any potential troublemakers, while promising that they would not tolerate any attempt to disrupt the event. Some 5,000 police officers will be on duty to deal with potential threats ranging from international Islamist militants to anarchists and stalkers. Meanwhile the one-and-a-half mile processional route has undergone a deep clean to get it looking spic and span. A team of 130 street cleaners including 80 sweepers along with 30 vehicles are being lined up to deal with the 140 tons of waste expected to be left by those watching on Friday. — Reuters

Soldiers of the Household Cavalry cross Horseguards as they take part in an overnight dress rehearsal for the Royal Wedding of Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton, in central London yesterday.—AP

Royal wedding timetable: The key moments Here are the key timings for tomorrow: • 8:15 am (0715 GMT): The 1,900 guests start arriving at the Abbey. Many will in fact be watching on television screens in the abbey due to the layout. Hundreds of thousands of well-wishers are expected to line the route of the post-wedding procession, although forecasters say it could rain. • 10:15 am: Prince William and his younger brother and best man Prince Harry arrive at the Abbey. William faces a nervous wait in a side chapel of at least 45 minutes for his bride. As a Royal Air Force helicopter pilot he is expected to wear military uniform. • 10:20 am: Kate’s mother Carole and brother James will leave the Goring Hotel, where the bride and her family will have stayed overnight, arriving at the abbey at 10:27 am. • 10:35 am: British royals begin arriving in strict order of protocol, with Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, and his second wife Camilla getting to the abbey at 10:42 am and Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip three minutes later. • 10:51 am: Kate and her father Michael leave the Goring Hotel. She will travel in a Rolls Royce limousine which was damaged and then repaired after student protesters attacked Prince Charles and Camilla in December. Key details remain secret, including her dress, whether she will wear her hair up or down and whether she will wear a tiara. But her route to the abbey passes landmarks including

The Mall, Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall and Parliament Square. • 11:00 am: Marriage service begins-though Kate could be a few minutes late, following a British tradition for brides. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the head of the Church of England, will marry the couple. • 12:15 pm: The newlyweds travel in a procession to Buckingham Palace, accompanied by soldiers and police on horseback. If the weather is good they will use an open-topped gold 1902 State Landau horse-drawn carriage, but if it is raining they will use The Glass Coach, which carried William’s late mother Diana to her 1981 wedding with Prince Charles. • 1:25 pm: The queen and the newlyweds, together with their families, appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. William and Kate are expected to kiss. • 1:30 pm: Flypast by Royal Air Force (RAF) jets and World War II planes from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. • Afternoon: The queen hosts an official wedding lunch for 650 guests at the palace. • Evening: Prince Charles hosts dinner-dance at the palace for 300 friends and family. Prince Harry is reportedly lining up an early morning “survivors’ breakfast”. — AFP

ill it have sleeves? A sweeping train? Antique lace, or bead work? The questions keep coming, but no one has the answers. Congratulations, Kate Middleton, for keeping your wedding dress the royal wedding’s biggest mystery and talking point. With just two days to go, the world still knows next to nothing about what Prince William’s bride will wear to mark her transition from commoner to princess. “They’ve done an amazing job at keeping it secret,” said Darcy Miller, editorial director at Martha Stewart Weddings. “The secrecy of the designer is making it more of an obsession” for brides and millions of royal fans everywhere, she added. Barring any leaks in the next 48 hours, the world will not get a good, long look at Middleton’s dress until 11 am. local time tomorrow, when she crosses the threshold at Westminster Abbey. Meanwhile, it’s not hard to make some educated guesses. Kate’s wedding look will likely be modest, covered-up and stately, not strapless or cleavage-showing. It will be special enough for a princess, but it won’t be too flashy for a “people’s wedding” during austere economic times, or out of sync with Kate’s usual pareddown, no-fuss style. It will be set off by her sapphire engagement ring (her “something blue”, perhaps) and likely a tiara from the royal collection (“something borrowed”). And it will be created by a British designer, probably with British materials. The strongest contenders are Sarah Burton, creative director at fashion house Alexander McQueen, which has a reputation for precise tailoring and dramatic runway shows; and Bruce Oldfield, an established couture designer specializing in traditional bridal and eveningwear, and a favorite of the late Princess Diana. “He’s as close to Parisian couture as you can get, whilst still supporting a British designer,” British Vogue commented in its shortlist of potential dress designers. Kate’s mother, Carole, and sister Pippa have been snapped at his boutique, fueling rumors that he could be designing the gown, the bridesmaid’s dress, or the mother-of-the-bride outfit. But Carole and Pippa Middleton have also appeared at Alice Temperley’s boutique, and it’s anyone’s guess what deals, if any, were struck behind the shops’ closed doors. A fourth name that has emerged recently is the lesser-known Sophie Cranston, who worked with McQueen’s studio and Temperley before setting up her small label Libelula. The press started speculating on Cranston after Middleton wore a black velvet dress coat she designed to a wedding earlier this year. While an unlikely choice, Cranston is not experienced in designing bridal gowns , there is a good chance Middleton will pick a less established designer to show that she is a modern new royal who champions budding talent. Many believe Middleton will wear more than one dress as she moves from one part of the day to the next , a traditional, classic gown for the service in the vast Westminster Abbey, when 2 billion people across the world are expected to gaze upon her, and another, more comfortable dress for the private post-wed-

ding reception at Buckingham Palace. She may also change into a third frock for the “intimate” dinner (with 300 guests) hosted by Prince Charles, as well as for the after-party when the older guests leave and the younger crowd can let their hair down. “She may need three dresses for a very long day,” said Millie Martini Bratten, at Brides Magazine U.S. “A lot of brides are doing the same today, getting a more comfortable reception dress you can dance in. It’s what brides are doing across America, and I won’t be surprised if Kate does that.” If that’s true, Middleton can have more freedom choosing designs that reflect her personal style and preferences. She can wear a more slinky, sexier gown by her favorite label Issa in the evening, and Cranston, who has denied she is making the wedding dress, could also have been drafted in to design the evening outfit. Designers say that bridal trends , like the currently popular “mermaid” style, a sexy shape that fits around the hips then flares out at the knee , likely wouldn’t have influenced Middleton’s choice because trends really don’t matter when it comes to a royal wedding. Rather, whatever she picks will set the trend for at least a few seasons to come. Princess Diana’s big, fluffy confection of a wedding dress, with its ruffled neckline and poofy sleeves, was “directional” when Elizabeth Emanuel designed it in 1981. More recently, when Chelsea Clinton got married last summer, hailed as the American equivalent of a royal wedding , her Vera Wang gown with swirling organza ball skirt became an instant hit, with hundreds of brides seeking to replicate her look. Wang, arguably the world’s best-known bridal designer, soon produced a massmarket version of the dress and sold it through a bridal chain store. But will Middleton’s choice stand the test of time and elevate her to a style icon, like the high-necked, lace-sleeved gown did for Grace Kelly at her 1956 wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco? Amsale Aberra, an Ethiopian bridal designer based in New York, hopes that Middleton stays away from glamorous, high-fashion styles worn by Hollywood stars. “People are not expecting something you’d see on a runway, or what the celebrities wear,” she said. “It’s not about the dress, it’s about her. It’s about a feeling. It’s definitely important to keep the tradition, but I hope she make it hers.” — AP


A

y

e niv rsar n

THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2011

Years

lifestyle

This season, fashion

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t can hold your iPad, wallet, makeup and umbrella , maybe a sweater, too. The tote bag is the clown car of the bag world, fitting everything you need and more. Glamour, however, had seemed immune to this two-handled bucket bag’s charm, but that is changing, too, with trendsetting labels offering versions with just a tweak or two to the classic canvas version. Proenza Schouler designers Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCullough teamed with beauty guru (and tote carrier) Frederic Fekkai for a slightly longer, leaner version, while other top designer labels have moved toward more luxe materials,

dotes on totes

including leather and exotic skins. “A tote is the quintessential thing of casual chic,” says Fekkai. “It’s practical because you can put your personal belongings and business files in it at the same time, and still look chic and stylish. I think it gives you an accessory that defines very well your attitude that you can do it all.” Glamour magazine accessories director Gretchen Gunlocke Fenton says she likes it because you can carry your life in one bag. It’s “the best way to consolidate and stop wearing two or even three smaller bags, like you see women doing so often,” she says. “Most of us are

on the go from morning until night, so having a bag that is roomy enough to hold your daily must-haves is essential.” The modern tote roots are humble: LL Bean introduced its basic offwhite Ice Carrier Bag in 1944, then reintroduced it in the 1960s as the Boat and Tote Bag. Fekkai wishes the cornflower blue leather-trimmed canvas bag now being sold in his salons was just a touch more masculine. The wheelie computer case he uses when he travels for business is OK, he says, but it won’t take him from work to the weekend in one bag. “Women are luckier than men because

they’re expected to always carry a handbag, but even men need a bag now for their iPad, iPhone, iPod. A tote is a solution that’s not overwhelming.” His guess at what those lucky women fill their bag with: cosmetics , definitely, a bottle of water, ballerina flats and maybe two pairs of glasses? Fenton’s has the shoes and her gym clothes. And, she adds, now that it’s getting warmer, she’ll stash her key weekend getaway items in it, too. A swimsuit can’t take up too much room, right? — AP

Westwood blurs lines of

fashion, art, culture Prada I

choosing anything,” she says, sipping her wine. “So I’m saying at the moment: Buy less, choose well.” And make fashion your own, she says. “I always like that anyway, you know. Sticking safety pins on you, even make a necklace out of safety pins and put a towel around you instead of a coat and pin it on you like a little dress or whatever, I love all that.” It’s no accident that she likes what her label sells, although Kronthaler makes an active effort to make sure customers will like it, too. Westwood, though, can act on a whim, and often does. “That’s the freedom I have by not being tied to any other company. ... My clothes have always got a story of a character, and I just feel that other people can get into this thing, too. But I don’t do it for them. No, I do it for myself, actually.” Fashion, however, isn’t the be all or end all to Westwood , although she allows that it’s an important piece in the dramatic puzzle of her life. But, even more than a designer, Westwood considers herself a thinker who sees things as a process of discovery. She vigorously defends art as a requisite part of culture, and culture the only antidote to propaganda. Culture is uplifting, she says, and by experiencing the truth reflected in art, we learn more about our connection to humanity and our relationship with the world. Westwood judges herself on what she thinks: “I always make my choices according to what stimulates me intellectually more than any other thing.” It might surprise some observers, though, that Westwood isn’t aiming for shock value. In fact, she says, there are limited variables when it comes to fashion. She’s just making do with those. “To be a fashion designer, you’ve got to be interested in new things, but you’re not trying to do something that’s for somebody who hasn’t got arms and legs, you know?” As her wine glass empties, Westwood closes an interview with an anecdote. Nearly 30 years ago, when she was first invited to show her collection in Japan, she and Calvin Klein, Gianfranco Ferre, Claude Montana and Hanae Mori faced an unprecedented barrage of reporters. —AP

t’s 2:30 in the afternoon, and Dame Vivienne Westwood needs a little pick-me-up. “Just wait a second. I think I’d like to have a glass of wine,” says the flame-haired British fashion designer, avant-garde as ever at 70, wearing a low-cut blouse that shows off an oversized heart-shaped pendant and offers a peek of her ribbon-trimmed bra. “I just need to get going a bit for some reason.” She has an excuse: The previous evening, Westwood, a 40-year industry veteran, celebrated the opening of her first stateside store in more than a dozen years with a star-studded party that stretched into the night. Fashionistas and the famous such as Marilyn Manson, Christina Hendricks, Malin Akerman and Dita Von Teese packed the new two-story boutique and showroom (with impressive rooftop views of the Hollywood Hills) on LA’s trendy Melrose Avenue. Afterward, Westwood hosted a private dinner for her closest colleagues. Now she is relaxing on the patio outside Chateau Marmont, a Hollywood hideaway since 1929, with husband and collaborator Andreas Kronthaler by her side. And her pinot noir has just arrived. Westwood and Kronthaler (who is more than 20 years her junior) independently own and create the Vivienne Westwood brand. “Andreas does half the work,” Westwood says of her partner since 1993. “He’s a designer. He’s my husband but he does as much design as I do.” It was he who helped set up the new store in Los Angeles. The couple found it a natural home for the brand’s American operations, “especially because we do these great dresses for the red carpet,” says Westwood, who scored credits on Oscar night for Anne Hathaway and Helen Mirren. More practically, Los Angeles, compared to New York’s Soho, where Westwood closed her store a decade ago, offers an ideal location for shipping throughout the United States and Asia, Kronthaler adds. In case you couldn’t tell, Kronthaler is the more business-minded of the pair. “It’s like a gateway, so it’s an incredibly big opportunity for us,” he says. “It’s like a door is opening.” For Westwood, this is just the latest chapter in a career that began in 1971, when she opened her first clothing store with then-partner Malcolm McLaren. He went on to create the Sex Pistols, and she pioneered a new London street style characterized by zippers, safety pins, scrawled messages and torn fabrics.

Music has always been tightly woven into the Westwood label, and many , including rocker Marilyn Manson , consider her the queen of punk. “There’s a bit of an opinion on the Sex Pistols, the Stooges or the Doors on who invented punk rock, but for me, she did,” says Manson, who attended the grandopening bash. “The entire thing was a process, very much an art piece, and that’s what made it punk rock.” Westwood is reticent to call fashion art, but she hints that maybe, sometimes, it can

Visitors view the Arts of Automobile Ralph Lauren car collection exhibited in Paris yesterday.

A visitor views the 1964 Ferrari 250LM, part of the Arts of Automobile Ralph Lauren car collection exhibited in Paris yesterday. The American fashion designer Ralph Lauren presents a selection of 17 sports cars for the first time ever in Europe. —AP photos

Designer celebrated the opening of her first stateside store get close. “Art is always original,” she writes in her “Active Resistance to Propaganda” manifesto, which she published in 2005. Today, she says, “I’m proud in the past to have invented silhouettes that didn’t exist if I hadn’t have existed, in an age of conformity, really.” Indeed, without her, the world likely would be without Rocking Horse platform shoes and mini-crinis (crinoline-flared short skirts), among other things. “I certainly think fashion makes your life better, that you have a more positive outlook,” she says. “It’s a way of engaging in the world ... and fashion is a way of communicating and projecting an image of who you feel you are and the kind of person you wish to attract.” Westwood makes fashion personal and political, putting slogans on T-shirts since her earliest design days. Some of the latest messages on the now-$90 tees include “I (heart) crap,” “I am not a terrorist, please don’t arrest me,” and “Act fast, slow down, stop climate change.” Perhaps ironically, the designer, whose dresses and suits sell for thousands of dollars, rails against consumerism. “I think it’s very dulling. It’s not very alive to just be sucking up one thing after another without really

announces retail strategy in Middle East

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talian fashion house Prada said yesterday it will open stores across the Middle East as part of a joint venture with Emirates luxury retailer Al Tayer Insignia to develop a new retail network. “The joint venture company, headquartered in Dubai, will oversee the roll out of Prada and Miu Miu stores across the region, leveraging on Al Tayer Insignia’s market knowledge and expertise,” a joint company statement said. The new retail network will see stores opened in Bahrain, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, it said. “This agreement underlines Prada Group’s development strategy, which aims to seize opportunities in high potential markets worldwide, focusing on the retail distribution channel,” it added. Giant luxury retailer Al Tayer Insignia called the venture a “strategic development” and a “significant milestone” in its drive to become the “ideal partner for leading luxury brands in the Middle East.” The retailer currently distributes over 35 of the world’s “most renowned luxury brands” and operates over 80 stores in the region, the statement said. The Prada Group, which includes the Prada, Miu Miu, Church’s and Car Shoe brands is 95 percent controlled by the Prada family and executives. — AFP

Visitors walk past the 1930 Mercedes Benz SSK “Comte Trossi”, part of the the Arts of Automobile Ralph Lauren car collection exhibited in Paris yesterday.


Kathakali regaining its lost glory

THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2011

37

Bombaywatch:

Mumbai to get first female lifeguards

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ndia’s financial and entertainment capital Mumbai is to get its first female lifeguards as part of an equality drive, reports said yesterday. “Women lifeguards will be a big help to rescue women and girls as there is a certain awkwardness when women have to be rescued by male lifeguards,” Mumbai Fire Brigade chief Uday Tatkare told the Indian Express newspaper. The move comes after the state government of Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital, introduced a policy to reserve a third of all civic administration posts for women. The fire brigade in the city formerly known as Bombay was recently opened up to women for the first time. Forty-seven of the 157 vacant firefighter posts were reserved for female candidates but only 13 applied and just two were successful, the newspaper said. Mumbai, which lies on India’s west coast and has a number of popular beaches, is currently looking for seven new lifeguards. Tatkare said that two of the posts will go to women when recruitment starts in the coming weeks. The resort state of Goa already has female lifeguards, the newspaper said. Candidates will have to be able to swim 200 metres (yards) within a specified time limit, run 800 metres and do press-ups, the DNA newspaper added. The Mumbai Fire Brigade, which oversees the lifeguard service, could not be reached for comment by AFP.— AFP

A handout picture released yesterday shows a Picasso painting titled ‘Jeune Fille Endormie’. A mystery US-based donor has handed the University of Sydney the Picasso painting worth up to 18 million Australian dollars (19.39 million USD) on the condition it is sold to fund scientific research. Painted in 1935, the Picasso is set to be auctioned at Christie’s in London on June 21, which estimates it will fetch between 9-12 million pounds (13.8-18.4 million Australian dollars). —AFP

Georgia rediscovers ancient culinary traditions I

n the kitchen of one of the most fashionable restaurants in Tbilisi, the chef is cooking up hearty peasant food using recipes long forgotten by most of his countrymen. “Nobody cooks a bird like this these days,” said chef Malkhaz Maisashvili, raising his carving knife to sweep slices of chicken into a pot. “I discovered the recipe in a small village.” Keen to assert itself as an attractive destination for culinary tourists, ex-Soviet Georgia is rediscovering some of the ancient traditions of its unique cuisine. On a country-wide gastronomic expedition, Maisashvili visited remote regions of Georgia in search of little-known

of them have been added to the menu at his restaurant, Puris Sakhli in Tbilisi, attracting “hordes” of diners including foreign tourists as well as Georgians. Success was ensured by the use of authentic organic products brought in from the provinces in which the dishes originated, he said. “Specific climactic conditions, landscape and soil composition, combined with local culinary techniques, determine everything.” In the mountain town of Keda which is famous for its fine dair y products, Maya Sirabidze, one of the locals who helped Maisashvili with his investigation, said that he could not have reproduced her

Cook Giorgi Barbakadze bakes bread in a traditional Georgian oven at a restaurant in Tbilisi, on April 18, 2011. Ex-Soviet Georgia is rediscovering some of the ancient traditions of its unique cuisine. —AFP photos

The “banalisation of gastronomy” during the Soviet era and the consequences of globalization were to blame for the loss of a culinary heritage

Cook Giorgi Barbakadze bakes bread in a traditional Georgian oven at a restaurant in Tbilisi, on April 18, 2011.

Cook of the M-Group restaurant chain, Malkhaz Maisashvili, cooking up a peasant food at a restaurant in Tbilisi, on April 18, 2011. Ex-Soviet Georgia is rediscovering some of the ancient traditions of its unique cuisine.

recipes that had only managed to survive in isolated mountain villages. The chef said that the “banalisation of gastronomy” during the Soviet era and the consequences of globalization were to blame for the loss of a culinary heritage that he is now trying to revive. “Some traditional agricultural crops were supplanted by more profitable foreign ones. This led to the disappearance of a number of dishes,” he said. During the expedition, Maisashvili documented some 150 recipes and since March, most

grandmother’s recipes without authentic ingredients. “It is impossible to make, for example, a proper ‘sinori’ (baked noodles with cheese and cream sauce) using products from an urban supermarket,” she said. As she carried the savory bowl of noodles to the dining table at her home in rural Keda, Sirabidze said that it would be a tragedy if ancient recipes were forgotten by future generations. “What we know from our grannies and mothers should not be lost. Georgia’s culinary memory

must be preserved by professionals,” she said. Georgia was famous among Soviet citizens for its diverse landscape and climate, rich cultural heritage and first-rate cuisine, but for most foreigners during the Communist period, the country was an obscure place somewhere behind the Iron Curtain. Twenty years after the fall of the Soviet Union, Georgia still feels it suffers from a lack of awareness overseas and that it needs to make all-out efforts to gain a niche in the highly competitive global tourism market. In recent years the government has stepped up effor ts to promote the tourism industry and initiated largescale infrastructure projects, including the high-profile reconstruction of Georgian towns like Batumi and Sighnaghi. Some two million people visited this country of 4.4 million last year, tourism officials said-a 41 percent yearon-year increase. “We expect these fig-

ures to double within the next two years,” said National Tourism Agency chief Maya Sidamonidze. “We pin particular hopes on culinary tourism, which has huge potential in Georgia.” Cosmopolitan in its essence, the Georgian culinary tradition has been infused with foreign influences over centuries of invasions and occupations by foreign empires, including Romans, Arabs, Persians, Ottoman Turks and Russians. But instead of copying others’ traditions, Georgians fused them with indigenous cooking styles. In his kitchen filled with the heady aroma of the ready-tobe -ser ved ‘chakhokhbili’-chicken stewed in tomatoes, fresh herbs and hazelnuts- Maisashvili said that many foreigners would find “something both native and exotic” in the dish. “It’s not just food,” he said. “It’s a clash of civilizations!” — AFP

28 April  

Kuwait Times

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