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US hiker Sarah Shourd won’t attend Iran trial

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Fatah, Hamas formally end 4-year rift in Cairo Israel condemns deal as ‘victory for terrorism’ conspiracy theories

I’m optimistic for a change By Badrya Darwish

badrya_d@kuwaittimes.net

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t last my wishful thinking came true. For four years I thought it was just a dream. In the past two years, I was lucky to visit both sides - the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. I had a chance to talk to the Palestinian Authority headed by Mahmoud Abbas and other organizational leaders. They all swore that it was Hamas’ fault and they were stretching their hands. But, but, but... Then, my trip took me to Gaza where I met Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya and Mahmoud Al-Zahar, a prominent Hamas leader. Both sides shared their agonies. Both sides wanted to reconcile. I felt a sincere willingness from both sides. But every side was putting an obstacle in each other’s ways. We cannot deny that the Israelis had the biggest share in stopping the authority from making peace with Hamas. I felt there was a lack of trust between the two organizations. Now, at last they came together under the Egyptian mediation which in the past failed to bring the two parties together despite the 1,001 meetings held in Sharm El Sheikh and Cairo. On different days the meetings were held under the auspices of a different leader. In my opinion, the only option for Haniya and Abbas was to meet and unite. Look at the situation in the Arab world: There is turmoil everywhere - there are uprisings everywhere, ranging from Tunisia, Syria, briefly Jordan, Bahrain and all the way to Yemen. No country in the Middle East was spared from the people’s uprising against their government. Even the Palestinian people came out on the streets asking the two organizations to unite. The predominant theory on the Arab street is that the fall of Mubarak lifted the obstacle for reconciliation between the two factions. Now with Mubarak out of the picture, the way is paved. I’ll add to that that not only the Mubarak ordeal has helped. What is happening in Syria gave a push to the two leaders to meet. Add to this the Israeli arrogance. Both sides realized that Israel does not want peace and it was using Hamas as a justification. Abbas finally admitted that Hamas was not the obstacle in the peace process. He said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must now “choose between building settlements and peace,” and accused Israel of opposing the Palestinian reconciliation deal as “a pretext to avoid peace negotiations.” Let’s wait and see the reaction of the West over this historic Hamas-Fatah pact. Don’t call me pessimistic but I don’t think the Israelis are bothered. Honestly speaking, they don’t want peace and the whole world knows this fact. We don’t want to hear any excuses. Netanyahu already said it is a blow to the peace process. Yes, it is a blow coming from a man who refuses to dismantle a post let alone a settlement. He only talks about peace. He wouldn’t even listen to Obama when he asked him to dismantle the settlements. On the contrary, the peace-man started building more settlements on the same day. Anyways, congratulations Hamas and Fatah!

CAIRO: Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas (left) shakes hands with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal during a reconciliation ceremony that ended a nearly four-year feud yesterday. — AFP

US keeps altering Laden raid details

CAIRO: Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas yesterday proclaimed a landmark reconciliation pact aimed at ending their bitter four-year rift that has left them with competing governments in the territories envisioned for a future Palestinian state, but Israel’s leader denounced it as a “mortal blow to peace”. The alliance set off ecstatic celebrations in the Palestinian territories. International mediator Tony Blair insisted their new government must recognize Israel, a step Hamas has always rejected. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas brushed off the criticism and instead used the occasion to deliver a scathing attack on Israel, saying “we reject blackmail and it is no longer possible for us to accept the (Israeli) occupation of Palestinian land”. Abbas said it was Israel that had to make a choice - “between settlements and peace”, accusing the Jewish state of opposing the accord as “a pretext to avoid peace negotiations”. The Palestinians have been torn between rival governments since a previous unity arrangement collapsed into civil war in June 2007. In five days of fighting, Hamas overran the Gaza Strip, leaving Abbas’ Palestinian Authority in charge of the West Bank. Reconciliation is essential for Palestinian dreams to establish a state in the two areas. Yesterday’s pact provides for the creation of a joint caretaker government ahead of national elections next year. But it leaves key issues unresolved, such as who will lead the government or control the competing Palestinian security forces. Continued on Page 13

Cabinet under fire even before announcement By B Izzak

White House won’t release pics and left a sheaf of unanWASHINGTON: Factual swered questions about errors concerning some of the circumstances and the most explosive details results of the raid. of the raid that killed On Monday, the White Osama bin Laden have House said that bin Laden forced the White House to was armed when he was double back and fix their shot dead in his comfortstory. The White House has able compound in the struggled to craft its Pakistani garrison town of account of the audacious Abbottabad, not far from raid for both a jubilant Islamabad. But a day later, American public and a White House spokesman skeptical Muslim world, Jay Carney corrected the correcting parts of its narOsama bin Laden account, saying the terror rative, withholding others chief was unarmed when and, after internal debate, deciding not to release photos that could gunned down by a Navy SEAL, raising be considered too provocative. doubts about the US assurances that Meanwhile, European happiness with the they were ready to take bin Laden alive. On Monday, John Brennan, President death of bin Laden was tempered yesterday by details showing he was unarmed Barack Obama’s counter-terror chief, said when shot dead and qualms about that bin Laden’s wife had died after whether torture of prisoners helped US being used as a human shield in the attack, implying a cowardly act of selfforces track him down. Defending the choices made by the defense by the Al-Qaeda leader. Officials troops who stormed bin Laden’s com- soon rowed back from that story too and pound in the early hours of Monday, the Carney provided a new chronology on US government’s attorney-general, Eric Tuesday, saying that bin Laden’s wife had Holder, said yesterday: “It was justified as rushed a Navy SEAL officer confronting an act of national self-defence.” He said her husband, and had been shot in the bin Laden made no attempt to surrender. leg but did not die. “On the first floor of bin Laden’s buildIf he had done, that would have been accepted, he added. There is no ing, two Al-Qaeda couriers were killed groundswell of doubt about the broader along with a woman who was killed in credibility of the Obama administration’s cross-fire,” Carney said. “Bin Laden and his account of the nighttime swoop deep family were found on the second and inside Pakistan, but the fog of war has third floor of the building. There was conled to a messy process of revision. cern that bin Laden would oppose the Adjustments to the story, which began capture operation and indeed he resisto be told late on Sunday, have seen the ted,” he added. Continued on Page 13 narrative embroidered with new details

Syria protesters vow to stay firm

BANIAS, Syria: Syrian men carry bread loaves during a protest against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime in this coastal town on Tuesday. — AP

DAMASCUS: Anti-regime protesters pledged to press ahead with their “revolution” yesterday despite sweeping arrests by Syrian authorities, as France called for sanctions against President Bashar Al-Assad. The vow came as around 150 students held a brief sit-in at the university in the besieged southern flashpoint town of Daraa, as activists said more than 1,000 people had been arrested across the country so far this week. “We must continue our peaceful revolution throughout Syria until we achieve the freedom we demand,” said the committee coordinating the anti-government protests in a string of cities. They include Daraa, the epicentre of protests, Banias on the Mediterranean coast and the central industrial city of Homs. The opposition said the “live ammunition fired into the crowds has not stopped the young people from demonstrating. “The crowds are only growing in size and momentum. Continued on Page 13

Max 37 Min 23 Low Tide 07:01 : 19:52 High Tide 01:55 & 12:18

KUWAIT: The new government came under unprecedented fire even before the announcement, mostly from progovernment MPs who are unhappy about retaining Health Minister Helal Al-Sayer, as opposition threats to grill the premier and other senior ministers are signs that the government may not last long. The new Cabinet was expected to be announced yesterday but the sudden death of Sheikh Khaled Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the broth-

er of the Amir and the former minister of the Amiri Diwan, delayed the announcement possibly for Saturday or Sunday. National Assembly Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi told reporters that Prime Minister HH Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah told him that the new Cabinet was ready but its announcement was delayed because of the death of Sheikh Khaled. He said it will be announced after the three-day mourning period. Continued on Page 13

MISRATA, Libya: Fleeing migrants arrive in the back of a truck at the port in this restive city waiting to board an International Organisation of Migration ship yesterday as Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces pounded the city. — AFP

Misrata pounded as ICC eyes war crimes TRIPOLI: Muammar Gaddafi’s forces pounded the lifeline port of Misrata with deadly fire yesterday, as the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor said “thousands” had died since a rebellion against the Libyan strongman broke out in February. Luis Moreno-Ocampo said the murder and persecution of civilians was still being carried out by Gaddafi’s regime and that he will seek arrest warrants for three people, whom he did not name. In besieged Misrata, a rebel spokesman said at least five people were killed as loyalists shelled the city’s port, from which the International Organisation of Migration said a ship managed to evacuate about 800 people, including stranded migrants and wounded. Moreno-Ocampo told the United

Nations Security Council in New York that the Libyan government had started preparing to counter protests weeks before they started on Feb 15 - warned by uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. “As early as January, mercenaries were being hired and brought into Libya,” he said. “Widespread and systematic attacks against the civilian population have been and continue to be committed in Libya, including murder and persecution as crimes against humanity,” MorenoOcampo said. Saying he had witnesses, videos and photos to back his case, he promised to request “arrest warrants against three individuals who appear to bear the greatest criminal responsibility for crimes against humanity” in Libya. Diplomats have said Gaddafi is likely to Continued on Page 13


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THURSDAY, MAY 5, 2011

Years

local KUWAIT DIGEST

Al-Qaeda after bin Laden’s death By Mubarak Al-Duwailah

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sama bin Laden has died, and will meet his Maker soon who will serve him justice. While we are not concerned about bin Laden’s destiny in his afterlife, the events that take place after his death are something to ponder over. Personally, I believe that Al-Qaeda had been paralyzed over the past few years, especially after its disengagement with Taleban, after which the organization was forced out of Afghanistan to settle in rural areas. I believe that Al-Qaeda has become weak as their attacks have diminished lately - unlike the Taleban who have regrouped and increased their operations. Al-Qaeda, which lost its leader, currently stands as a fragile organization which has limited mobility due to continuous hiding and lookouts. But does that mean that Al-Qaeda’s threat can now be considered diminished? Absolutely not. It is believed that Al-Qaeda will retaliate violently in revenge over its leader’s death. However, their operations are likely to be in the form of unorganized suicide attacks that will have limited effect and be temporary. The main body of the organization - which is currently weak - can only be strengthened, however, depending on the policies of foreign countries regarding issues in the Arab and Muslim World. For example, if the United States and Europe continue with their double-standards with regard to Middle East issues, in addition to restrictive policies that are hostile against Arabs and Muslims, it will lead to the emergence of more organizations with Al-Qaeda’s ideologies. The West currently has a chance to support moderate Islam which will stop extremism in all its forms. Only when the animosity against Islamic politics and the religion stops, we can say that the seeds which sprout terrorism have been uprooted. - Al-Qabas

MoE to broadcast remedial lessons KUWAIT: The Ministry of Education (MoE) is broadcasting reruns of remedial lessons in various subjects on its Ethra’a educational TV channel to help school pupils at all stages prepare for their upcoming final exams. Education minister Dr. Moudhi Al-Humoud announced the ministry’s plan on Monday whilst speaking to reporters following a meeting with the MoE board of undersecretaries, which she chaired. “The lectures to be aired have been carefully prepared by top educational executives to ensure that students benefit as much as possible from them,” the minister explained. Launched last year in cooperation with the Ministry of Information, the Ethra’a (Arabic for enrichment) channel is administered by the MoE, with senior education ministry officials stating that students have already profited from making use of the materials broadcast on it in preparing for previous exams. Dr. Al-Humoud also reiterated her MoE colleagues’ assurances that the ministry is fully prepared for the final exams, which are set to take place throughout the next month. — Al-Qabas

HSBC appointed as lead financial advisors on development plan New Kuwait CEO pledges full support

Local Spotlight

Kuwait’s recruitment traps

By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: HSBC is committed to supporting the Kuwaiti government in its $108 billion fiveyear development plan, said a senior executive from the bank yesterday. Speaking at a press conference held to introduce Simon Vaughan Johnson, as HSBC’s newly appointed CEO for Kuwait, Johnson said that HSBC is committed to Kuwait’s development program and supports the government’s vision of transforming Kuwait into a regional trade and financial hub, which he said plays very well to HSBC’s strengths. “We are working closely in partnership with the technical bureau, and last week, we signed a very significant deal with them [the government] whereby we are mandated as lead financial adviser for the project, the biggest in the region,” Johnson revealed. Johnson, who was previously responsible for driving business growth across all HSBC’s commercial banking segments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, pledged to support the Kuwaiti government’s plan. Kuwait is strategically important to HSBC in the MENA region, he stressed. “My second priority is to support the Kuwait private business community,” he said, adding, “The services, products and solutions we offer are

have around KD 30,000 and are looking for different or suitable international opportunities and ser vices. I promised to and am committed to roll out this service over the nex t 12 months,” he asserted. Since its relaunch in Kuwait in 2005, HSBC has enjoyed great success in the country, winning a large number of valued customers, who the bank helps in conducting financial transactions both domestically

KUWAIT: The newly appointed HSBC Chief Executive Officer Simon Vaughan Johnson, right, talking with the local press at the Marina Hotel yesterday.— Photo by Joseph Shagra excellent for local and international corporate offices.” With HSBC having a presence in 87 countries across the world, said Johnson, it can provide incredibly valuable ser vices to customers wanting to trade internationally. “One of the unique selling point we’ve got is international trade,” he continued. “We are banking your supply internationally and we are ready to support you and help you out in that regard.” The new CEO also reiterated HSBC’s support for the provision of personal bank ing ser vices in Kuwait, where it already launched a so-called ‘premier service’ almost a year ago. “The premier service is designed for our depositors who

and internationally. Johnson lauded his team of colleagues, calling them hugely supportive and stressing that all are committed to bringing HSBC back to the banking premier league. “I will also make sure that the people at HSBC who conduct transactions are trained to world-class level and provide services to global standards,” the senior executive stressed. “With that in place I am confident that we will be doing even more business in 12 months.” HSBC is also committed to supporting international trade, which Johnson stressed will play a key part in his strategy in his Kuwait post. “Our biggest trade exporter for Kuwait is China and it’s growing rap-

idly,” he revealed. Another interesting fact revealed by Johnson was that one booming Chinese market for Kuwaitis is the honeymoon sector. “Most newlywed Kuwaitis are choosing China as their honeymoon destination, and when they came back they’ve already got a container filled with Chinese goods. This has been an interesting change over the last five years. Before that, they are getting all their items from Dubai, but the Kuwaiti attitude has changed,” he observed. HSBC’s history in Kuwait goes back to the 1940’s under the Imperial Bank, whose name then changed to the British Bank of the Middle East. The bank’s presence was disrupted for a few years by subsequent events, but it reopened here in 2005, when foreign banks were granted licenses to operate in the country. “Throughout the 1950s to 1960s Kuwait was always a profitable branch for HSBC,” Johnson explained. “It’s been the same since we reopened our branch in Kuwait. It remains a very important market for HSBC in the MENA region.” Headquartered in London, HSBC Holdings is one of the largest banking and financial services organizations in the world with 7,500 offices spread across most continents. Asked about the effect of the recent political upheaval in the Middle East on HSBC’s business, the senior executive said, “I can confidently state that the upheaval in the neighboring countries has no impact in Kuwait, and that shows in our business.” Johnson, who joined HSBC in 1986, has extensive international experience having worked in Hong Kong, the Middle East, South America and Europe in diverse business areas including commercial, global and private banking, trade services, payments and cash management and e-commerce among others. He graduated with honors from the University of Stirling in Scotland, majoring in English and French. He is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and a member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists.

KUWAIT: Dr. Helal Al-Sayer and other officials touring the hospice after the inauguration.

Health minister opens new hospice KUWAIT: Health minister Dr. Helal Al-Sayer yesterday officially inaugurated Kuwait’s new palliative care hospice in the Sabah Health Zone, representing His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlSabah at the inaugural ceremony. The ceremony began with the singing of the national anthem, followed by a recitation of verses from the Holy Quran. After this, the health minister delivered the inaugural speech on behalf of HH the Amir. “This hospital was constructed using donations from the International Islamic Charitable Organization and the Kuwait Society for Preventing Smoking and Cancer, as well as from a number of other donors,” the minister said. The hospice project, he went on, “is the first of its kind in the Gulf and Middle East. It is a humanitarian voluntary program providing medical and therapeutic atmosphere and treatment services, as well as social, religious and advisory care.” He revealed that the 61-bed hospice project, which was approved by the Council of Ministers, had been constructed

on an area of 6,600 square meters, at a cost of KD6 million. Following the inaugural speech, a documentary on the new facility was screened, after which awards were presented to the donors and to former IICO chairman Yousef Jassem Al-Hajji on behalf of HH the Amir. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Abdulrahman Al-Farisi being honored during the function.

Muna Al-Fuzai

muna@kuwaittimes.net

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hope that this article will bring to light the plight of those that fall prey to advertisements posted in newspapers. People blindly believe in them without performing any background research. I know that there are some professional, reliable global agencies that do their job well, but it is equally important that their authenticity be properly verified. In some cases, the recruitment agency is for real but, the dream job is elusive. Everything that glitters is not gold. When an advertisement posted boasts of a job opening that offers a lucrative salary package with attractive benefits and compensation, without seeking any educational qualifications, job seekers should check if such tall claims are true. It is rather unwise to believe that in a strange land, you will be endowed with a certain amount as salary with extra benefits like free accommodation and three meals! The unsuspecting jobseeker is shocked to learn that none of the promises were kept. The problems here is the law does not let you go scot free. It offers no protection for stupidity! For example, I recently saw an advertisement that offered cleaning workers in Kuwait a salary of KD 65 along with free food and accommodation. Many of the cleaning workers are not educated and hail from isolated villages. All they know is that all those who have come to this part of the world have returned wealthy. This is only a stereotype. It could cause trouble as the hopeful may not be able to horde so much wealth. They may also be required to perform extra job a day. Some of them end up killing themselves, only to be labeled as being mentally ill. Most of these workers are illiterate and need advice. Obviously, they never get there in the first place and I think that Kuwaiti embassies in Asian countries should also spread awareness against malpractices. Letters to Muna Al-Fuzai Dear Muna, I read your columns regularly. For the most part, you are able to cover untouched topics. I admire your courage and impartiality. Today, I feel compelled to write about our personal behavior on a trivial but hard-hitting issue. At times, I used take brisk walks along the beach. It is a nice place for the family. I have always praised the government for maintaining a nice place for the family. The place is always crowded, especially over the week-end and whenever the weather is supportive. If you visit the place during evenings, you will feel nice to know that the people are sitting around huddled up in groups. However, people behave with no civic sense. It is really upsetting. Piles of trash remains scattered all over the place. It looks like a scene of carnage, with residents engaged in a competition of sorts. It really is a sad situation. It is good that the administration is careful about maintaining cleanliness. It is not appreciable that people be encouraged to practice wrong behavior. People should be educated about respecting the place that is meant for relaxation. It would be more appropriate if people are forced to maintain cleanliness. Some penalties should be imposed for doing so. Such rules are already in place in other countries. In my opinion, the concerned authorities should take appropriate measures to rectify the situation. Thank you Tariq


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THURSDAY, MAY 5, 2011

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LOCAL

Assembly panel to discuss KAC privatization, health insurance Special session next week By A Saleh KUWAIT: The parliamentary financial affairs committee is to discuss the privatization of state airline KAC and the establishment of health insurance firms to fund healthcare in Kuwait during a special session next week. Committee rapporteur MP Abdulrahman AlAnjari revealed yesterday that some MPs are jointly putting forward proposed amendments to the KAC privatization legislation which they believe would preserve the state’s rights in relation to the national airline, as well as protecting its integrity until all the outstanding issues surrounding privatization are resolved. On the proposed establishment of health insurance firms, Al-Anjari said that the feasibility studies conducted into the issue to date had been inadequate, lacking a great deal of necessary information. The committee was also critical of procedures put in place by the health ministry to provide a database of information on expatriates eligible for treatment under the health

insurance system before inviting bids from firms to provide insurance coverage, Al-Anjari added. On a separate issue, the chairman of the parliamentary committee on budget and account closures, MP Adnan Al-Abdulsamad, protested against the lack of financial supervision over the budget allocated to the Public Authority for the Assessment of Compensation for Damages Resulting from Iraqi Aggression (PAAC). Despite the fact that the UN had already approved payment of almost $3 billion to the PAAC, with $2.2 billion already paid and $700,000,000 outstanding, there is still no financial supervision over how this money is spent from either the Ministry of Finance or the National Assembly (Parliament), said Abdulsamad. The MP urged the government to establish an official mechanism to oversee payments and spending since the finance ministry faces a legal obstacle in monitoring the funds since the PAAC is not a government body, so is therefore not under the ministry’s aegis. Meanwhile, a lawmaker has demanded

intense penalties, including jail-term against traders who deal with spoiled food items apart from canceling their license permanently. “The current penalties are not deterrent enough to stop (traders) from dealing with bad food at the expense of the lives of innocent civilians”, MP Askar Al-Enizy said in a recent statement, in which he announced plans to present a draft law which would classify violations as felony punishable by jail or high fines. “The current regulation contains a maximum KD1,000 fine against a violator; which is too less compared to the seriousness of the case”. Moreover, Al-Enizy indicated that he supports the draft law made by fellow lawmakers to establish a public authority for food monitoring and requested this to be treated as top priority by the Cabinet and the parliament. The MP also blamed the state departments, namely the Kuwait Municipality, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and Ministry of Health for “failing to curb the spread of spoiled food items in local markets”.

KU holds memorial ceremony for late academics KUWAIT: Dr Abdul Razzaq Al-Nafisi, Director of Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET) recently inaugurated the Hygienic Nutrition Club at the Catering and Nutrition Department, Faculty of Medical Sciences.

Sheikh Khaled Al-Sabah dies at 76 KUWAIT: Former Minister of the Amiri Diwan Sheikh Khaled Al-Ahmad AlSabah passed away yesterday at the age of 76. Sheikh Khaled is one of the sons of the late tenth Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah who ruled Kuwait from 1921-50. Sheikh Khaled also was the head of the Amiri Diwan during

the eras of late rulers of Kuwait Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah and Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah. On March 18, 1978, late Sheikh Jaber issued a decree to appoint Sheikh Khaled as the Minister of the Amiri Diwan Affairs. He left this position in 1990 and did not occupy any other political positions. — KUNA

NEW YORK: A group of participants of the National Project for Upgrading Development Leaders, locally known as ‘Thokhur’ expressed satisfaction at the experience they gained while visiting US developmental projects in New York.

Frozen chicken prices KUWAIT: The first shipment of the coop’s branded frozen chicken has reached Kuwait, and will be available at local cooperative societies in the middle of the current month at prices that are 25 percent lower than other brands. This announcement was made by the Chairman of the Kuwait Union of Consumer Co-operative Societies Dr Husain Al-Duwaihees, who further

revealed plans to increase the current products bearing the co-op brand from approximately 150 to more than 200. The KUCCS opted to personally import frozen chicken shipment in an attempt to maintain the price of the commodity after local providers demanded a price increase and threatened to cut supply from local markets if their demands were not met.

News

in brief

Immediate meeting required KUWAIT: The parliamentary foreign affairs committee recently called for an immediate meeting with the Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed Al-Sabah next week to discuss the regional political situation and the latest developments with regard to Iran. Committee Chairman, MP Mubarak Al-Khurainej said that the meeting would focus on the recent Iranian statements and the situations in Yemen, Libya and Syria. “The statements made by the Iranian army’s Chief of Joint Staffs, Hussein Fayrouz Abadi are humiliating and illogical” he said noting that such statements should have been justified by a senior official ranking higher than the Iranian charge de affairs in Kuwait. Private schools construction KUWAIT: Officials from the Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW ) recently asked the Ministry of Education to determine the educational systems to be adopted in 46 schools. These will be built in two areas in Al-Khairan residential project, Arabic, Foreign or Bilingual, reported Aljarida. In a meeting held to include Assistant Undersecretary for Private Education Affairs, Fahad Al-Ghaiss and PAHW officials, both sides discussed the sites that have been set aside to build private schools. KTS criticizes govt negligence

KUWAIT: The Kuwait Transparency Society (KTS) said that the Civil Service Commission (CSC) is taking advantage of the caretaking Cabinet to make decisions “that reflect the abuse of power and lack of supervision” in the public sector. In their monthly report, the KTS questioned the standards by which the development plan’s projects are selected and said that this would clearly reveal information regarding the budget allocated for each project.

By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Kuwait University’s College of Social Studies held a memorial ceremony yesterday at its faculty in Shuwaikh in remembrance of three of the college’s leading academics who passed away recently: Drs. Ahmad AlBaghdadi, Hashim Sayid Behbehani, and Khaldoun Al-Naqeeb. The three much-missed academics all taught in the Social Studies faculty for some years, with Drs. Al-Baghdadi and Behbehani both lecturing in political science, whilst Dr. Al-Naqeeb lectured in social studies. Dr. AlBaghdadi was also a regular columnist with local daily Al-Seyassah. The death of the three lecturers was a great blow to the university, said Dr. Abdulrida Aseeri, the dean of the College of Social Studies, in his tribute delivered during the ceremony. “These three figures were renowned intellectuals, whose theories were disseminated not only locally but outside Kuwait; all of them made a real difference in their fields,” Dr. Aseeri told the assembled audience of academics, students, members of the late academics’ families and media representatives. “Dr. Al-Naqeeb served for 40 years and was the first Kuwaiti dean of Kuwait University’s College of Literature. He also established many magazines, as well as conducting a great deal of research and studies in the fields of Political and Social Science which were used internationally.” Dr. Al-Baghdadi, meanwhile, enriched the field of political science in Kuwait with his Islamic political ideology and his nationalist views on issues affecting the country. “Dr. AlBaghdadi played a great role in the university, the college, the political science department and in serving society,” the dean recalled. The third of the late academics, Dr. Hashim Behbehani had opened the door to China for local researchers, said Dr. Aseeri. “He was the first Kuwaiti to study in China and to learn the Chinese language, going there during the Cultural Revolution,” revealed the dean. “He wrote many books and articles about ArabChinese relations. He also loved his country very much and his house in the Mishref area

KUWAIT: The audience including Ahmed Behbehani, Dr Abdulrida Aseeri, Dr Maasouma Al-Mubarak and others. — Photo by Fouad Al-Shaikh

KUWAIT: Ghanim Al-Najar (middle) with other two speakers at the ceremony. was a kind of residence for the Kuwaiti resistance during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.” The loss of the three academics has been keenly felt at the university, said the dean. “Their loss is immense for the university and the students, as well as for their friends, family and country. We can’t begin to count their kind acts towards colleagues and students. All of them were special, in their knowledge and their manner. We will always remember them through their publications and we should disseminate their knowledge locally and internationally in the way that they deserve to be honored. The College of Social Sciences will attempt to obtain permission to rename some

of its labs and halls after them to commemorate them.” Distinguished Kuwaiti MP and former minister Dr. Maasouma Al-Mubarak was another speaker at the memorial ceremony, remembering all the late academics with great admiration and respect. “These three figures were landmarks in their fields and have left a great void behind them,” she said. “Each one of them had his ideology and his own writing style. Al-Baghdadi focused on political Islamism and was imprisoned, yet he continued with his difficult mission. Behbehani was always busy and involved in issues involving Kuwait and in the Palestinian cause, especially in the 1980s. Dr. Al-Naqeeb, meanwhile, was the first to oppose the local conflict between Sunni and Shiite, which became noticeable in the 1980s. All were great intellectual figures who will never be forgotten.” A number of senior academics from Kuwait University also presented short and moving eulogies to their late colleagues during the ceremony, with a brief biographical documentary listing some of their achievements being screened as part of the event. At the conclusion of the memorial event, the family members of the three muchmissed academics were presented with commemorative gifts.


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local kuwait digest

Bin Laden card By Waleed Al-Rujaib

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eactions following Osama bin Laden’s death varied with some of them being supportive and optimistic, while others were hostile and angry. However, most people who reacted, failed to read between the lines. Terrorism was present before bin Laden emerged, it continued during his existence, and it is not likely to end following his death. Bin Laden wasn’t a leader of a gang that carried out thefts or other forms of petty crimes, but he was a man who believed in a certain ideology to which he devoted his entire life and resources. His ideology started spreading in the 80s during the emergence of Muslim extremist movements, which were able to prosper and become stronger through support of countries in the West as well as the Arab World, mainly during the Cold War. Realizing how deeply established Islam is among Muslims, the West utilized this relation to achieve their goals in maintaining a hold over people in our region. Some media outlets in the United States indicated that the US intelligence were able to locate bin Laden four years ago, but opted against making a strike at the time - leading to speculation that the US administration was using him as a card to maintain their aggressive approach in Muslim countries. But from that standpoint, the question arises: Why did the US decide to eliminate bin Laden now? It’s common sense that the American policy is changing. While they supported dictatorships in the past, now they have started supporting democracy in the light of recent revolutions. The recent Arab revolutions have created a new reality that prompted the US to change its plans, and start looking for new ways to maintain the Arab division to enable Israel to maintain its dominance in the Middle East. The other day I watched a comedy film about a US President who fakes a war against Albania and fabricates a hostage situation to boost his popularity as he sets to run for a second term. I remembered the story while watching the increasing stock prices in US and European markets following news of bin Laden’s death. I think that we need to keep our eyes open and take a more considerate look at past examples to avoid being fooled by the media glare which portrays America as the world’s savior from Islamic extremism. —Al-Rai

News

in brief

UN compensations to Kuwait KUWAIT: Budget Committee Chairman MP Adnan Abdul Samad said that compensations approved by the UN to Kuwait amounted to $3 billion of which $2.2 billion has been received. Abdul Samad demanded the government prepare a board to control and supervise the funds as it neither comes under any governmental authority, nor will it enter the accounts of the finance ministry. Club expansion approved KUWAIT: The Capital governorate’s Municipal Council has agreed to the construction of an extension to the Kazma Sports Club, located in Al-Adaliya. It has added that a 21 meter area be added. This approval was given during a recent meeting. A proposal has also been passed to ban vehicles from accessing the Mubarakiya market, reported Al-Qabas. Committee rapporteur Mohammad Al-Mifrej said that the special meeting was held mainly to discuss proposals to rename streets around several areas in the country. Food outlets raided KUWAIT: The Food and Markets Supervision Department recently raided several food outlets, with inspectors issuing 78 citations. The Director of Mubarak Al-Kabeer Municipality Branch Engineer Shraideh Al-Mutairi made the relevant announcement. He said that at least 133 stores were inspected and that 1,145 samples were referred to the Health Ministry’s laboratories. At least five stores were shut down. He said that 941 billboards were removed. A total amount of KD 10,294 was collected in March. Jaber Causeway tender KUWAIT: The measures taken by the Ministry of Public Works to award tender number H T/140 to design, construct and execute the Jaber Causeway to the Hyundai Co consortium are legally viable, said Saad Al-Rayyes a member of the Arab Law Sciences Organization (ALSO), reported Aljarida. Al-Rayyes added that Audit Bureau’s officials in charge of reviewing the tender would consult a related legal study he had recommended. The verdict was issued by the Court of Cassation.

Three bodies found separately By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Mourners visiting Sulaibikhat cemetery yesterday discovered the body of a 54-year-old Kuwaiti man, who appeared to have collapsed and died there shortly before their arrival. Meanwhile, the body of a 47year-old Bangladeshi man was discovered near some water storage tanks in Abdally, whilst the body of a 35year-old Indian man was discovered in Block 2 of Farwaniya. All the bodies were removed for autopsy. Two injured A 35-year-old bedoon (stateless) man was rushed to Sabah Hospital after sustaining head injuries when he was hit by a car in Doha. In a separate incident, a 40year-old Pakistani man suffered a suspected fractured shoulder bone in a car crash near the entrance to the Jaber Al-Ahmad area.

KUWAIT: The chalet in which fire broke out. — Photos by Hanan Al-Saadoun

Asian man dies of smoke inhalation in Al-Subbiya Chalet burnt down in fire KUWAIT: An Asian man died as a result of smoke inhalation following a blaze that burnt down a chalet in Al-Subbiya owned by a catering firm which was used as kitchen to provide food for residents of the 45 other chalets in the area. The body of the victim, who was identified as a worker at the chalet where the blaze took place, was discovered in a nearby chalet which had filled with smoke from the blaze, with preliminary tests suggesting that he had been overcome by the smoke. Firefighters took an hour to put out the massive blaze, and an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the fire. Fugitive held Hawally police have detained the Arab man who dropped off a friend’s dead body at Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital a week ago before fleeing. Police had rushed to the hospital after receiving a call from medical staff to inform them that the body of a man who had apparently died of a drug overdose had been left near the hospital’s front entrance. Police quickly identified the dead man, using his cell phone to track the calls he made and received in the period prior to his death. The latest number amongst the received calls belonged to one of the dead man’s work colleagues, with police issuing a warrant for this man’s arrest

after a background check confirmed that he had been involved in the drugs scene. Police launched a stakeout outside the man’s apartment in Jabriya, where he was eventually arrested, with officers recovering a plane ticket from the apartment, which he subsequently admitted he had intended to use to flee the country. On being questioned, he told police that his friend had died whilst the two of them were taking drugs with a third man, who police have not yet traced, although a hunt is underway for him. After his friend died, the detainee explained, he panicked and took the body to the hospital where he abandoned it before fleeing the scene. The main suspect could face murder charges after testifying that his friend died after he administered heroin to him. Unfortunate parking spot Police detained an Iranian man for questioning after he was found sitting in a car parked outside the coastal residence of a senior state official with no plausible reason for his presence there. The suspect, a middle-aged longtime resident of Kuwait, told police officers that he had stopped the car there to watch daybreak in a peaceful beachside spot and had been unaware of the houseowner’s identity, but police found this implausible and took him to the State Security department headquarters for

questioning. Airport death A Sri Lankan man was pronounced dead at Kuwait International Airport after suffering a massive heart attack there. The victim was waiting for notice to board a plane en route to his home country when he collapsed unconscious. Paramedics were immediately called, but the victim had already died when they arrived. The body was removed for autopsy. Dangerous fall A 14-year-old Iraqi girl was rushed to Mubarak Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit after sustaining multiple injuries when she fell from a high window of a building in Hawally. An investigation has been launched to determine how the girl came to fall from the window. Thief back in jail A male GCC national was arrested in Sulaibiya after being caught red-handed while trying to break into a car belonging to a neighbor who’s currently outside the country on an umrah pilgrimage. Police rushed to the scene after another neighborhood resident reported suspicious activity outside the car-owner’s home, telling officers that two men were attempting to break into the vehicle.

Police arrested both men, but quickly released one, who turned out to have been an innocent locksmith hired by the other to make a spare key for the vehicle, with the culprit falsely telling him that the car was his own and he had lost the keys. The suspect confessed that he had carried out a number of similar crimes previously, with police discovering on checking his name on the police database that he had recently been released from jail after serving a prison term for theft. Surprise baby Police are bringing charges against an Indonesian woman who gave birth to a child who they believe was conceived in an extramarital relationship. The woman who had been working as a housemaid was rushed to Jahra Hospital by her employer after she complained of extreme stomach pain, with medical staff quickly realizing that she was in labor. Her employer was shocked, explaining to police that his family had been unaware that she was pregnant, especially since she is single, adding that she habitually wore baggy clothes which helped cover up the pregnancy. The woman is likely to face adultery charges and an investigation has been launched to reveal the identity of the baby’s father. — Al-Watan, Al-Qabas, Al-Rai

MPs’ pay increase to benefit future, not current lawmakers: Al-Tabtabae By A Saleh

KUWAIT: A proposed salary increase for parliamentarians is not intended to benefit serving lawmakers as much as future ones, said MP Walid Al-Tabtabae yesterday. The call for the salary increase for MPs was prompted by two things, said AlTabtabae; the need to declare their financial status and the need to ensure that they can focus on their parliamentary duties full-time rather than having to continue working in other fields, such as the law or business, which might cause

conflicts of interests with their political duties. The cost of introducing salary increases for MPs would be no more than KD170,000 per year for the 48 parliamentarians excluding the Speaker and his deputy, Al-Tabtabae added. Many current parliamentarians are seeking work outside their parliamentary duties, said the veteran lawmaker, warning that this could result in conflicts of interest or mean that the parliamentarians are too preoccupied with other matters to focus on their parliamentary duties.

Municipality criticized for seeking attention KUWAIT: While the Parliament’s health committee is set to vote on its final report on the spoiled food crisis, a look into the final draft has revealed shortcomings on procedures carried out by the Kuwait Municipality and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Committee member Mubarak AlWaalan is believed to have been persistent about finding out the role played by Minister of Public Works and State Minister of Municipality Affairs Dr Fadhel Safar. Reports suggest that he had threatened to quit the panel if the final report was passed without convicting the minister. Meanwhile, a parliamentary source indicates that the committee member is ‘upset’ about the manner in which the Municipality has been handling the issue, mainly in terms of conducting warehouse operations. The panel states that a warehouse containing food items that are unfit for consumption does not necessarily provide clear evidence. The company can stock up items until procedures preceding their disposal are conducted. Furthermore, the Municipality has also been accused of ‘seeking media spotlight.’ The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity as the final report is yet to be released, stated that Dr Safar is quoted in the draft report as explaining the Municipality’s duties on testing imported food. “On that regard, the minister explained that the Municipality takes random samples

that are tested at the Ministry of Health laboratories,” officials said. Furthermore, they pointed out that the Municipality suffers from shortcomings that includes a shortage in inspectors and storage locations. These are aspects that can be overcome by a recommended Public Food Authority. It will take care of all procedures pertinent with importing food products. The Minister of Commerce and Industry (MCI) Ahmad Al-Haroun is quoted in the draft report as stating that the MCI does not have the authority to ‘block’ any company unless a court order is obtained. The company can always obtain licenses as long as it stays committed to good behavior. Meanwhile, Ibrahim Al-Ghanim Managing Director of the Customs General Department said that the Customs related procedures in Kuwait are ‘very difficult.’ It explained that since the department does not own its own warehouses, an importer is allowed to take in items. Recommendations mentioned in the draft report includes the establishment of an Investigation Department at the Ministry of Interior, reported AlRai. It looks into cases filed in cooperation with Kuwait Municipality and Ministry of Commerce and Industry inspectors. Furthermore, the report criticizes the MCI for “failure to provide statistics and responses to questions posed by the committee.”

KUWAIT: Dr Hassan receiving some of his visitors

Hassan’s Optician Co. celebrates 60th year KUWAIT: The best-known of Kuwait’s opticians, Hassan’s Optician Company, celebrated its sixtieth anniversary yesterday with a ceremony held at the Sheraton Hotel in Kuwait City, which was attended by the country’s Minister of Health, Dr. Helal Al-Sayer. The company’s founder, Dr. Hassan Saadat Yazdi, who first came to Kuwait from Iran over six decades ago, delivered a speech at the event, thanking the minister for attending and offering his most special thanks to the people of Kuwait who he said had supported the family business for the last six decades. In his brief and informative speech, Dr. Yazdi told the audience a bit about the company’s history and the steady growth it had seen over the decades as the pioneering provider of optical care in

Kuwait. Dr. Al-Sayer also delivered a speech during the ceremony, lauding the industry and foresight of Dr. Hassan and his family, saying that the veteran optician was a man of great vision in every sense, who had transformed optical services in Kuwait, gaining immense public trust and confidence for Hassan’s Optician Co. to this day. “I remember him being the only optician company in the country and over the last 60 years Dr. Hassan has proved his dedication to our nation,” said Dr. AlSayer. “His services and the family’s business have helped to improve the lives of many dramatically.” Since it first opened, Hassan’s Optician Co. has expanded greatly, going from offering only optical check-ups and prescription glasses to a whole range of services that now includes contact lenses, hearing aids and jewelry.

Some attendees of the 60th year anniversary

Dr Hassan presenting a plaque of appreciation to Dr Helal Al-Sayer

By Ben Garcia


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local kuwait digest

Half a govt! By Ghanim Al-Najjar t has been over a month since the Kuwaiti government tendered its resignation. There is no hope that a new one will be formed anytime soon. There is a general feeling that nobody is interested in forming a new Cabinet. I have not met anybody who inquired about nominees, portfolios or if the new government can garner accomplishments. So, can we say that there is only a half-baked government functioning here? I see that the country is prospering, why do we need a government then? The ‘half a government’ idea reminded me of a famous Arab writer Gibran Khalil Gibran’s saying about halves: “Never mingle with half lovers, never befriend half friends, never read for half-talented writers, don’t live half a life, don’t die a half death, do not choose half a man, do not stop at half truths, do not dream half dreams, do not have half hopes. Keep silent till the end, if you chose to speak, speak till the end. “Do not stop talking just so that talking can be resumed later on. Don’t talk just so to halt the conversation afterwards. If satisfied, express it, don’t fake half satisfaction. If you refuse, express it because a half rejection equals acceptance. A half is a life we haven’t lived. It is an unspoken word, it is a postponed smile, an unreached love, a friendship you never knew. Halves make you strangers to your nearest and dearest. Half means you making and not making it; to work and not to work; to be present and absent at the same time. A half is when you are no longer yourself because you have never realized who you really are; it’s being somewhere else at the same time. It is half a sip of water that will never satisfy your thirst; half a meal that will never satisfy your hunger. It is half a road that leads nowhere, half an idea. It is a moment of helplessness because you are half human. You were created to live a full, not a half one!” Of course, we need not agree or disagree with the writer. By going back to our government, one wonders if it was half truthful or maybe even less than half. If we say that it will be the seventh Cabinet, then half of that will not be an even number. So will this apply to our Cabinet, political force and media? We face the half-solutions dilemma too. We cannot go on in a half democracy, half society playing half politics. Unless the image is complete and we move forward to surpass the half line, even a little bit, we will not make it through. We may even drown or entirely freeze. They hear only half voices and screams, get consumed by dust and the floods! —Aljarida

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KUWAIT: The Ambassador of the Republic of Poland Janusz Szwedo hosted a reception to mark the National Day of his country at Radisson Blu Hotel on Tuesday. Higher officials, diplomats and media officials attended the reception. —Photos by Joseph Shagra

Kuwaitis’ properties in Basra safe, says official Procedures ‘very simple’ KUWAIT: A senior official in Basra’s local government has urged the Kuwaiti owners of land and properties in the southern Iraqi governorate to appoint legal representatives to process the paperwork so that the properties can be returned to their rightful owners as quickly as possible. Basma Al-Salmi, the chairman of Kuwaiti investment in Basra Gulf War. So far, Kuwait has the legal and administrative com- remains “very weak,” urging Kuwaiti obtained $2.3 billion. The recepmittee with Basra’s provincial investors to take advantage of the tion of the remaining $700 million administration, explained in an stability in Basra, “which has been is pending on Kuwait’s ability to make progress in environmental interview with Kuwaiti daily Al- 99 percent restored.” The senior Iraqi official is cur- rehabilitation programs. Qabas that the local government In a statement made recently to offices currently hold 95 percent of rently visiting Kuwait at the invitathe ownership data on Kuwaiti citi- tion of Kuwait Energy, the local the press, MP Adnan Abdulsamad, zens’ land and properties in the firm which recently signed a con- Chairman of the budgetary comregion. Kuwaitis own “thousands tract to invest in Basra’s natural mittee of the Kuwaiti parliament said that the agreement reached of properties, including buildings, fields. Meanwhile, the parliamentary with the Finance Ministry calls for houses and orchards” across Basra, budgetary committee has reached the mechanism to be settled Al-Salmi said. “The mechanism for Kuwaitis to an agreement with the Ministry of before the end of the current parregain their properties in Basra is Finance to devise a mechanism to liamentar y term, repor ted Alvery simple,” he went on. “All they monitor the process by which the Qabas. Furthermore, Abdulsamad notneed to do is to assign an attorney compensations that Kuwait in Iraq to check on the properties obtained the 1990/91 Iraqi ed on the impor tance of such mechanism to ensure that the and provide official agencies rec- Invasion be utilized. The United Nations had allocat- funds’ utilization process does not ognized by both Kuwait and Iraq [with the necessary official docu- ed a compensation amount of $3 go unmonitored. But since this ments], as well as title deeds and billion. This is so that they can be agency is not subordinated to any used to fund rehabilitation proj- state depar tment, its expenses old identification documents.” Al-Salmi said that compared ects at locations that have not cannot be reviewed by auditory with the activities of investors from recovered from severe pollution. bodies such as the State Audit other countries, the current level of This is caused during the second Bureau.

Future Forum plans more cooperation KUWAIT: The eighth Future Forum will not be able to achieve its prescribed targets except through the cooperation of the state sector with civil society organizations and the business sector, said foreign ministry undersecretary Khalid Al-Jarallah yesterday. Al-Jarallah also stressed the importance of interaction between civil society groups in order to achieve the bright future sought by the participating countries and institutions, and the plans and programs devised by state bodies Al-Jarallah made the comments whilst speaking to the press following the opening of the first preparatory workshop for the eighth Future Forum which is to be hosted by the State of Kuwait this November under the joint leadership of Kuwait and France and with the participation of the G-8 nations, along with 22 countries from the Broader Middle East and North Africa (BMENA). The first preparatory workshop, on the theme of “Gender Equality,” was held at the JW Marriott Hotel in the presence of a number of foreign ambassadors, representatives of Kuwaiti civil society, and officials from the Kuwaiti foreign ministry. Al-Jarallah said that future forums of this nature will focus on two parallel paths of government and non-government work, with the latter including civil society institutions and the private sector. “Those who aspire to achieve the targets set for future forums won’t turn their dreams into reality except through the cooperation between these two paths,” he asserted. —KUNA

Egyptians, Pakistanis, Syrians face work permit restrictions KUWAIT: The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor has received instructions from the Ministry of Interior to adhere to strict measures while issuing work permits to residents of certain nationalities for security reasons. According to credible sources, these measures will affect Egyptian and Pakistani nationals, who will be required to hold a university degree before becoming eligible for a Kuwaiti work permit (with a technician’s job as an exception for Pakistani nationals). Meanwhile, the same source revealed that similar restrictions applied to Syrian nationals as well but confirmed that no changes were made with regard to Lebanese nationals. In the meanwhile, the source also confirmed that Iranian and Iraqi citizens are banned from issuing new work permits or visitor’s visas on directions from the Ministry of Interior’s Migration General Department. —Al-Qabas


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Majority of companies in Kuwait to hire this year Middle East Job Index Survey

Kuwait Digest

ISP companies and their rules By Waleed Al-Ghanim

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uwaiti citizen Mubarak Al-Harbi discovered a few days ago that his Twitter account which he has been using to discuss local matters such as the price increase issue and to contact MPs at their Twitter accounts - was shut down. Following failed attempts to access his account, Al-Harbi contacted his Internet Service Provider (ISP) to inquire about the issue, but received no answers. He kept trying until an employee explained to him that the company closed his account after receiving a complaint from a parliament member against his tweets. I couldn’t believe this rumor when I heard it at first but when I contacted Al-Harbi, he confirmed it for me. He further provided me with the name of the MP who complained against him. I suggested that he file an official complaint against the ISP company, as well as the lawmaker who was responsible for this. If Al-Harbi’s story is true, this will serve as just another example of the “commitment” of local ISP towards their customers; who already suffer from poor service, inconsistent connection, high prices and insufficient client service communication. Closing a personal account in an abrupt manner, based only on a company’s judgment means that ISP are acting on their own without any answerability. But this does not come as much of a surprise given the fact that the Ministry of Communications is mainly responsible for problems that people face with telecommunication, Internet and even postal services. How can a local Internet company take a decision based on hearsay and shut down a personal account without legal justification? Do these companies have rules and regulations regarding what statements can be made and what needs to be censored? I hope an answer for these questions can be found soon. — Al-Qabas

Number using e-govt sites rises by 44% in Q1 of 2011 KUWAIT: The average number of visitors to the Kuwaiti government’s official website has increased by 44% in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same period last year. The surge in user numbers was announced on Tuesday by the chief specialist in applied systems at Kuwait’s Central Agency for Information Technology (CAIT), Dr. Ittihad Al-Bahar, in a statement containing the statistics gathered by the agency based on its latest study of visitor rates to the e-government website. “398,400 online users have accessed the e-government website during the first three months of 2011, compared to only 276,000 during the same period last year,” Dr. Al-Bahar revealed, also noting that visitors to the site had accessed a total of 1.237 million pages, a 19 percent increase on the number accessed in the first quarter of 2010. Dr. Al-Bahar indicated that the e-government website was visited in this period by users in 142 countries worldwide, including 183,000 first-time users. “All these numbers are indications of the website’s popularity with users inside and outside Kuwait, as well as its easy accessibility,” the senior specialist added. The government’s official website details 431 services presented by 36 state departments. Seventy-two of those services are offered online; including eight online payment services, with Dr. Al-Bahar noting that a total of 35,000 e-payment transactions were registered in Q1 of 2011, compared to only 24 thousand during the same period of 2010. — Al-Qabas

KUWAIT: Bayt.com reported that 68 percent of organizations in the MENA region expect to recruit over the next 12 months, an increase of 2 percent from the last wave indicating optimism for the future. The new Middle East Job Index Survey, conducted by the region’s number one job site Bayt.com in conjunction with research specialists YouGov Siraj, revealed an overall 28 percent of the region’s respondents said they would hire within the next 3 months. In Kuwait, 30 percent said their organizations would “definitely” be hiring, and another 29 percent said they would “probably” be hiring. Only 9 percent said they would definitely not be hiring in the next quarter. The Middle East Job Index Survey showed that the UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia are regarded as the most attractive job markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Qatar has the highest propensity to hire with 41 percent saying that their organizations will definitely be recruiting new staff in the coming months. Perhaps the biggest shift in the recruitment market is in Oman - in January 2011’s Middle East Job Index Survey, the country was rated as one of the lowest in job propensity but now rates second as 37 percent of respondents claim to be hiring in the next quarter. Saudi Arabia follows with 35 percent saying that their organizations will definitely be recruiting new staff within the next three months. Just 23 percent of employers in Egypt expect to recruit in the next quarter however the study indicates next year could hold greater promise, while Morocco showed the lowest propensity with just 20 percent of respondents saying they will definitely hire in the next three months. The Jobs Index (JI) is conducted to gauge perceptions of job availability and hiring, to identify job trends and to provide an understanding of the key skill sets and qualifications required in the Middle East job market. “The Job Index survey presents job seekers and recruiters with indepth, industry specific data on a quarterly basis. As we have recorded from January 2011 to April 2011 there have been several note worthy changes, Oman’s jump from one of the lowest in providing job opportu-

nities last quarter to a healthy 37 percent expectancy over the next few months is one of them”, noted Amer Zureikat, VP Sales, Bayt.com. The survey asked the respondents how many positions their organizations will be aiming to fill in the next three months. For the most part, organizations are looking to recruit staff for less than five positions according to 44 percent and a further 24 percent indicated between 6 to 10 jobs. Compared to small or public organizations, the private sector comprised of large local businesses is more likely to hire as 34 percent said they will in the next few months. Furthermore, the trend continues from the past wave as 25 percent of employers in the Middle East favor graduates and postgraduates in business management to fill positions such as Junior Executives (35 percent) and Executives (28 percent). Graduates or postgraduates with commerce and administration qualifications are equally sought after by the region’s organizations, with 24 percent and 23 percent of respondents citing personnel in these fields as highly desirable. “We’ve found that the demand for junior level candidates from the business and finance sector is the highest in Middle East job market. However this quarter, we also recorded some momentum in the seniorlevel recruitment that could signify job availability in the senior positions. This is definitely a figure we will be looking out for in the next quarter study”, said Sundip Chahal, Chief Operating Officer, YouGov Siraj. According to the study, good communication skills in Arabic and English is favored by employers - 64 percent indicated as the most desirable trait in candidates. 51 percent of region’s organizations agree that being cooperative, helpful, flexible and performing as a team player are key skills. Overall personality is also an important trait according to 46 percent. In terms of experience, 39 percent of employers expect candidates to have excellent managerial skills and the ability to manage a team. In addition, 33 percent cited computer skills as important. “Although recruiters rated good managerial and computer skills, as well as marketing and sales experience as some of the prerequisites for

ideal candidates, only 23 percent of organizations are looking for mid level experience. The findings demonstrate that the prospects for first entry job seekers is reassuringly bright”, commented Zureikat. The JI is in part gauged by asking the respondents what their hiring expectancy is in a year’s time; this forms the Hiring Expectancy Index (HEI). Over the next 12 months 68 percent of the regions organizations expect to hire, an increase of 2 percent over the last wave, suggesting positive growth in the future. Saudi Arabia showed the highest propensity to hire over the next 12 months as per 40 percent of votes. In Kuwait, 30 percent of the surveyed employers said they would “definitely” hire in the next 12 months, while another 40 percent said that they would “probably” be hiring. Only 5 percent of Kuwait’s respondents said they would not be hiring. The study has found several optimistic numbers from the HEI, in comparison to last quarter; Oman for example with 46 percent looking to hire within the next 12 months - an indication of the growth within the entire region. Respondents were also asked which industries they feel are attracting or retaining top talent in their country of residence - banking and finance sector leads with 39 percent. Other top 3 sectors that are likely to attract or retain the top talent include telecommunications (37 percent), construction (31 percent) and tourism (27 percent). When asked to rate their current country of residence as a job market compared to other Middle East countries, residents of the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar were the most positive - 47 percent in each of the three countries agreed that their country was much more attractive. Thirty-one percent of respondents in Kuwait said their country was much more attractive and only 12 percent agreed in Jordan. Data for the Bayt.com Middle East Job Index- April 2011 was collected online between 30th March 2011 to 17th April 2011, with 4653 executive managers/HR managers/senior officials from the UAE, KSA, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Pakistan.

Kuwait extends KD2.9m loan to Malawi KUWAIT: Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) has signed a loan deal with Malawi, whereby the latter will get KD 2.9 million. The loan will be used in bankrolling the costs of a road project in Malawi, the KFAED said in a release here yesterday. The loan agreement was signed by Malawi’s Minister of Finance Ken Kandodo and KFAED Deputy General Director Hamad Al-Omar, it said. The 102-km road project is mainly intended to boost social and economic development potentials of the nearby area, it added. It is the second loan to be extended by the KFAED to Malawi for the same purpose. The first loan was worth KD 6 million. A relevant loan agreement was hammered out between both sides in December 2004. It is the sixth loan to be extended by the Kuwaiti fund to Malawi. It had earlier given Malawi five loans worth a total of KD 18.62 million for financing transport and communication projects, together with a single grant valued at KD 303,000 for a settlement study. — KUNA

Kuwait distributes food, medical aid for Libyan families in Tunisia TATAOUINE, Tunisia: Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) yesterday distributed food and medical aid for 3,000 Libyan families who fled the conflict in their country and are now hosted by Tunisian families on the border States of Tataouine, Madnin and Gabes. Director of KRCS’s Disasters and Emergency Department Yousif Al-Meraj

supervised the distribution of 43 kg of various food and medical supplies to every Libyan family. Every State is hosting 1,000 Libyan families. The Mayor of Madnin State Dr. Nabil Farjani expressed Tunisia’s appreciation for the government and people of Kuwait for sending humanitarian assistance for the Libyan people.

He hoped the assistance would continue to enable the Libyan refugees in the camps in Tunisia to return to their country as soon as possible. Al-Meraj, meanwhile, said the relief aid were dispatched in line with instructions of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah to alleviate suffering of the Libyan people.

He said the distribution of aid took place in coordination with the Tunisian and Libyan Red Crescents. The Tunisian and Libyan families expressed gratitude for Kuwait for the assistance. Up to 17 tons of urgent medical supplies were sent to the Libyan people through the Tunisian and Egyptian borders. — KUNA

EQUATE hosts annual local customers’ event

KUWAIT: Hamad Al-Terkait honoring one of the local customers.

KUWAIT: EQUATE Petrochemical Company hosted a banquet evening for its local customers which was attended by EQUATE’s senior management. During EQUATE’s ‘Annual Local Customers Gathering’, EQUATE President and CEO Hamad AlTerkait lauded the overall cooperation and business growth with local customers, “who have our unwavering commitment and dedication to ensure the success of their endeavors within a framework of professional partnership.” Al-Terkait added, “At EQUATE we continually strive to provide our customers with world-class service and utmost quality products.” Polyethylene Business Director

Muayad Al-Faresi said, “EQUATE’s support has contributed to the exceptional growth of the local plastics industries by over 200 percent in the last 12 years. In fact,

KUWAIT: EQUATE President and CEO Hamad Al-Terkait speaking at the event.

petrochemicals are the second largest contributor to Kuwait’s economy after crude oil. The industry continues to thrive and we remain committed to our customers through offering multifaceted support across all levels of the business and providing valued products and services.” As part of the event, EQUATE presented attendees with a market overview of the petrochemical industries, trends and developments. Hosting over 30 local customers, the gathering was also attended by EQUATE Senior Vice President Pieter Platteeuw as well as Senior Executive for Corporate Communications and Client Affairs Adel Al-Munifi. Tokens of apprecia-

tion were extended to customers in gratitude of their overall role in supporting EQUATE’s growth and development. Established in 1995, EQUATE is an international joint venture between Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC), The Dow Chemical Company (Dow), Boubyan Petrochemical Company (BPC) and Qurain Petrochemical Industries Company (QPIC). Commencing production in 1997, EQUATE is the single operator of a fully integrated world-scale manufacturing facility producing over 5 million tons annually of high-quality petrochemical products which are marketed throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe.


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THURSDAY, MAY 5, 2011

MISRATA: Hundreds of migrants line up to enter at the “Red Star 1” ship to flee fighting in the besieged Libyan city of Misrata yesterday. —AP

Libyan rebels held city despite odds MISRATA: Tripoli Street is a bullet-scarred wasteland, littered with charred cars and tanks, its cafes and offices shattered. Yet for Misrata’s civilians-turned-fighters, the boulevard is a prized trophy, paid for in blood, won with grit and guile. It took five weeks of fierce street battles, on rooftops, in alleyways, for Misrata’s inexperienced rebels to wrest control of their city’s commercial heart from forces loyal to Libyan ruler Muammar Gadhafi. Up against armored units and professional sniper squads, they turned bottles, tires and trailer trucks into tools of war. When they finally succeeded in pushing government forces out of Libya’s third-largest city in late April, it was the greatest head-to-head military victory yet in the uprising that threatens Gadhafi’s 42-year hold on power. The opposition controls much of eastern Libya, but Misrata is the only city in the west rebels have managed to hold. “Our fighters weren’t fighting from experience,” said the local military spokesman, Ibrahim Beatelmal, noting that most had never touched a gun before joining the fight. “They had to make it all up as they went along.” The city remains surrounded, accessible only through its port and subjected to daily bombardments. The port was shelled yesterday while an international aid ship was docked there, killing four people. After two months of siege, cemeteries accommodate rows of new graves and hospitals have transformed into battlefield clinics; doctors estimate that the siege’s death toll has passed 1,000. Yet amid the carnage, residents have organized to stave off hunger, allocate fuel and protect the city. They’ve erected sand berms along streets to absorb blasts, hacked down palm trees to delineate ambulance fast lanes, formed an array of administrative committees, all with a community spirit that revealed itself in many ways during an Associated Press reporter’s weeklong stay. Misrata is a merchant city, with a large professional class whose expertise has paid off in distinctive ways. Dermatologists treat blast victims. University students master streetfighting tactics. “All of a sudden I became responsible for macaroni and onions,” said Majdi Shibani, a telecommunications professor put in charge of food distribution , a daunting task in a sprawling city where all phone lines have been cut. His team oversees distribution of 400 tons of food per week from a room in the back of a hookah lounge, where customers smoke water pipes. Donations of food have streamed in on boats from the Libyan diaspora, foreign countries and

international organizations. There’s little coordination, resulting in huge surpluses of, say, canned corn , which Shibani said Libyans hate. The stalemate in Misrata mirrors the situation nationwide. Soon after the uprising against Gadhafi broke out on Feb 15, the opposition took over Benghazi and other eastern towns, but its patchwork forces proved unable to make further gains even after US and NATO airstrikes on Gadhafi’s troops began in late March. Meanwhile, government forces surrounded Misrata, 125 miles (200 kilometers) southeast of the capital Tripoli, cutting it off and attacking from three sides. Unlike fighters in eastern Libya, who retreat across stretches of desert when attacked, Misrata’s rebels can’t run; their backs are to the Mediterranean Sea. After several failed attacks on Misrata, government commanders sent a column of tanks blasting its way down Tripoli Street on March 16. Residents fled, and regime sniper teams moved in, building nests on a dozen of the city’s tallest buildings, notably a nine-story insurance building. Gunfire from the rooftops killed and wounded scores of civilians. The city’s youth organized resistance. Led by a handful of retired army officers, they formed brigades of dozens of fighters, each assigned to a side street, said Samir al-Hadi, a grocer who led a group at Tripoli Street’s southern end. Local youths used their intimate knowledge of the area to dodge sniper fire, serving as scouts, gunmen, messengers and supply runners. Over walkie-talkies, group leaders let others know when tanks or supply trucks arrived so they could attack them with Molotov cocktails or rocket-propelled grenades. They first fought with only light arms. With each ambush, they captured more , mostly antiaircraft and heavy artillery guns , which they welded to the backs of pickup trucks. The Gadhafi regime imported the pickups , cheap Chinese imitations of name-brand trucks , in 2007, but they sat unwanted in a lot until the war. Now, the rebels have registered about 2,000, even issuing photo IDs to their drivers to prevent theft. The fleet is essential to the rebel cause, ferrying fighters to battle, aid to families, and casualties to hospitals. Although the trucks often break down, the rebels call them a blessing. “The bad cars Gadhafi brought us we now use to fight him,” said Hisham Bansasi, who helps coordinate the fleet. “You can call it a joke of destiny.” Bigger trucks were used when the rebels , unable to blast the snipers from their positions , decided instead to cut their supply lines. While

rooftop gunmen provided cover, rebels drove trucks full of sand onto Tripoli Street, dumped their trailers and shot out their tires, forming heavy roadblocks. “When we blocked the road, there was no way to get supplies to the snipers,” al-Hadi said. The rebels then circled in, closing off back routes with destroyed cars and concrete sewage pipes. Street battles raged while they besieged the snipers. Government forces peppered the area with mortars, killing many rebels. Al-Hadi guesses that about 400 died in the fighting on Tripoli Street alone, although no one has exact figures. Among the victims were two Western photojournalists who had accompanied rebels to the street , Chris Hondros, a New York-based photographer for Getty Images, and British-born Tim Hetherington, co-director of the Oscar-nominated documentary “Restrepo” about US soldiers in Afghanistan. As the snipers gradually weakened, rebel fighters went building by building, clearing them any way they could. Near the battle’s end, a team of snipers held out in a multistory furniture store called “Make Yourself at Home,” al-Hadi said. Rebels fired on the building with anti-aircraft guns, forcing the snipers into the basement. Gunmen then stormed the building and rolled burning tires down the stairs. Days later, its stairwell was charred black, and the smell of burnt rubber and dead bodies fouled the air. The battle turned in late April, al-Hadi said, as government troops ran low on supplies and fled from the high-rises to nearby homes. The rebels raised their flag on the insurance building on April 21. Rebel fighter Mustafa Zredi, 18, said he watched one of the last sniper groups seize a house on April 26 and punch holes for their rifles in the stairway walls. “We knew we could easily put gas in a bottle and throw it over the wall to burn them out,” Zredi said. Before doing so, the fighters asked permission from the owner, 66-year-old Mohammed Labbiz. With regret, he said OK. “That was the only way to get those dogs out,” Labbiz recalled, standing in the charred shell of his home of 30 years. “I hope that God will reimburse me.” Two days later, curious families walked down Tripoli Street, snapping photos of their children next to burned-out tanks. The fighting has caused massive displacement throughout Misrata. Thousands of residents now squat in schools or crowd in with family members. The Refayda family, from a semi-rural area to the east, evacuated into the city in mid-April after a surge of sniper fire and bombardments. —AP


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THURSDAY, MAY 5, 2011

Years

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Gunmen attack Turk police after PM’s rally, one dead Erdogan blames separatist militants

CALIFORNIA: This Oct 9, 2010 file photo shows Sarah Shourd speaking to the media in Oakland, Calif Shourd, released from prison in Iran, says she won’t be going back to stand trial there alongside two fellow hikers charged with spying for the US yesterday. —AP

US hiker Sarah Shourd won’t attend Iran trial WASHINGTON: Sarah Shourd, one of three US hikers arrested by Iran in 2009 on espionage charges, told AFP yesterday she would not return to Tehran to stand trial next week with her fiance and a friend. Shourd, who was freed on bail in September after 14 months imprisonment mostly in solitary confinement, said she had been diagnosed with severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Returning to Iran could exacerbate her problems, she said. Shourd had been due to return for the trial set for May 11 with her fiance Shane Bauer and their friend Josh Fattal, both of whom remain imprisoned in the Islamic Republic. “I can’t go back for the trial,” she told AFP in an interview in Washington. “There is a part of me that would like to go back and stand by Shane and Josh at this most difficult time. But really I’m afraid it would be too traumatic for me to go back after what I’ve been through in Iran.” The three hikers, who have all pleaded not guilty to spying charges, say they innocently strayed into Iran from across the unmarked border with northern Iraq when they were arrested. Shourd, 32, who was released after months of international pressure led by the United States, said she had sent the Iranian Revolutionary Court a fivepage evaluation by clinical forensic psychologist, Barry Rosenfeld. He concluded she is at high risk of renewed or even worse psychological problems if she returns to Iran to stand trial. Shourd had developed a major depressive disorder during her incarceration and needs “aggressive mental health treatment,” concluded Rosenfeld. But Shourd voiced concern for the well-being of Bauerto whom she became engaged during their incarceration-and Fattal. “I was there for 14 months, they’ve now been there for over 21 months which is far longer and I’m sure that the extreme isolation they’re under has taken its toll,” she said. “I worry about their safety, I worry about their mental health. We’ve had no information from them, no contact, phone call, nothing for over five months... what I’ve heard is that they now have only 40 minutes out of their cell every day. They don’t see any other human beings and they still haven’t been allowed a private meeting with their lawyer.” The families of Bauer and

Fattal, both 28, said in a statement they fully supported Shourd’s decision, but hoped the men would be released soon. “Our sons are innocent and we’re innocent too, but Iran is making all of us pay a terrible price for nothing. We want this over and we want it over now,” said Cindy Hickey, Bauer’s mother. Fattal’s mother, Laura Fattal, said: “When Sarah left jail, Josh told her they were all one-third free. “We hoped Iran would show Josh and Shane the same compassion but here we are more than seven months later and the Iranian authorities are still holding our sons. We know from Sarah’s experience that they will bear the mental scars of this senseless ordeal for a long time to come.” The families said the first session of their trial was held February 6, when they testified verbally and in writing, with no evidence presented against them. Shourd maintained the case has been “caught up in this political tug of war between the US and Iran,” adding the espionage charges were “baseless.” “I don’t think it’s possible that Iran actually sees Shane and Josh as a threat,” she said. “When we were picked up by Iranian soldiers while hiking in Iraqi Kurdistan... all we had were cellphones, cameras and a small plastic compass.” The three, all graduates of the University of California at Berkeley, were hiking near a popular tourist resort in Iraqi Kurdistan when they were detained by Iranian border forces on July 31, 2009. Bauer, a journalist, and Shourd, a teacher-activist, were living in Damascus, Syria at the time and Fattal, an environmentalist, was visiting them. The case has become an irritant in already tense TehranWashington relations over Iran’s nuclear drive, a dispute punctuated by UN sanctions and strident remarks from hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Iranian defense lawyer for the three, Masoud Shafii, has said he would press for their “innocence” and immediate release. He said illegal entry was punishable by a maximum three-year jail term, which could be commuted to a fine under the Iranian penal code. Bauer, a fluent Arabicspeaking freelance journalist, met Shourd while helping to organize anti-US demonstrations in Syria aimed at criticizing the war in Iraq. —AFP

Tunisia hands ousted dictator additional charges TUNIS: The official TAP news agency says Tunisia’s toppled president and his wife are facing additional charges of wrongdoing in a bloody crackdown that followed his January ouster. Yesterday’s report cites a Justice Ministry statement as saying Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and former first lady Leila Trabelsi are facing charges including inciting disorder, murder or pillaging on

Tunisian soil.” The charges stem from an incident in the town of Ouardanine on Jan. 15, the day after Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia. Four youths were killed as a crowd tried to prevent Ben Ali’s nephew from fleeing. The victims’ families allege the former strongman ordered the security forces to open fire. Ben Ali is already facing 18 separate charges. — AP

ISTANBUL: Suspected separatist gunmen ambushed a Turkish police escort, killing one officer and wounding two, in northern Turkey near where Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan held an election rally yesterday. Erdogan had left by helicopter from the city of Kastamonu by the time of the attack, which targeted a police vehicle providing an escort for an AK Party campaign bus. Campaigning has begun for a parliamentary election on June 12 that is expected to result in Erdogan winning a third consecutive term. Television pictures showed Erdogan subsequently arriving at another election rally in the northern province of Amasya, where he was greeted by thousands of AK supporters waving party flags. He blamed separatist militants for the attack, casting suspicion on the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and its affiliates. “Those dark minds, these terrorists, these separatists are only able to do this, those who understand there is nothing they can do through the ballot box,” Erdogan said in Amasya. “Our people will never allow these terrorists, these bandits to divide them,” he said, address-

ing the rally in full view but flanked by two bodyguards. State broadcaster TRT said initial information pointed to the PKK as perpetrators. It did not provide any details. The attack came after thousands of Kurds gathered in the main southeastern city of Diyarbakir yesterday for a funeral of PKK guerrillas killed in a clash with security forces in the province of Tunceli last week. The PKK ended a six-month ceasefire in February and there have been fears of rising violence ahead of the election. Media reports a month ago said the interior ministry and police had warned against potential attacks by the PKK in the Black Sea region, and in Kastamonu in particular. The attack happened on a country road winding through thickly forested hillsides south of Kastamonu. According to an NTV news channel report, a grenade was thrown at the police vehicle and gunmen opened fire as it burst into flames. One report quoted a senior local official as saying no explosive was thrown. Television images showed fire services arriving at the scene and smoke rising from the police car and an ambulance parked nearby,

while security forces combed the hillsides. PKK militants attacked a police vehicle in the Black Sea province of Sinop last month, injuring three police officers. Kastamonu province, on the Black Sea, had not previously been known as a scene of guerrilla violence. However, Kurdish, leftist and Islamist militants have often carried out gun and bomb attacks across Turkey in the past. More than 40,000 people have been killed in a separatist conflict in southeastern Turkey since the PKK took up arms against the state in 1984. The AK Party took power in 2002, and while it has overseen a period of unprecedented prosperity, critics fear it harbours a secret agenda to roll back the republic’s secular constitution. Erdogan denies any such intention, although he does plan to introduce a new constitution if elected in order to make a clean break with a past era of military rule. Prosecutors say the AK government has been targeted by a series of coup plots involving violent attacks by suspected militant secularists in recent years. Hundreds of people are on trial on conspiracy charges. —Reuters

Saudi wanted by Interpol surrenders RIYADH: An alleged Al-Qaeda member, one of 47 on an Interpol wanted list, has turned himself in to Saudi authorities, the kingdom’s interior ministry said yesterday. Khaled Hazal al-Qahtani had “contacted (Saudi) security services asking them to help him return home and surrender,” ministry spokesman General Mansur al-Turki said in com-

ments carried by state-run news agency SPA. “His return was arranged and he was reunited with his family upon his arrival,” the spokesman said in the statement which gave no details on Qahtani’s whereabouts before he surrendered. “He will be dealt with according to the procedures followed in similar cases,” Turki said

without elaborating. International police agency Interpol issued a worldwide alert in January for 47 Saudis with suspected links to AlQaeda wanted on terrorism charges. The Saudi suspects posed “a potentially serious public threat at home and abroad due to their suspected involvement with Al-Qaeda,” Interpol said at the time, citing the

Saudi interior ministry. Saudi authorities are on the hunt for dozens of the ultra-conservative kingdom’s citizens who have joined Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, based in Yemen. Saudi and Yemeni Al-Qaeda branches merged in January 2009 to form AQAP, posing a serious threat to US interests across the region. — AFP

Seven killed in Iraq attacks

SANAA: An anti-government protester reacts during a demonstration demanding the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Sanaa,Yemen yesterday. —AP

Yemen’s Qaeda vows to avenge bin Laden ADEN: A leader of Al-Qaeda’s branch in restive southern Yemen yesterday vowed revenge for the US killing of the worldwide network’s founder Osama bin Laden. “We will take revenge for the death of our Sheikh Osama bin Laden and we will prove this to the enemies of God,” he told AFP, contacted by telephone from Yemen’s southern province of Abyan, an Al-Qaeda stronghold. “They will see what they haven’t expected ... We are preparing a plan to continue jihad in the coming period,” said the AlQaeda leader, requesting anonymity for “security reasons.” “ The martyrdom of Sheikh Osama does not mean that jihad (holy war) will end.” The official said that bin Laden had “prepared a thousand lions like himself and we will follow his path until we achieve God’s promise to us-an Islamic Caliphate.” The United States announced on Monday that US commandos had shot dead bin Laden in a raid on his sprawling villa near the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. Residents in the Abyan towns of Mudia,

Mahfad and Loder-all of which are controlled by Al-Qaeda-said the jihadist network’s supporters, mourning bin Laden, put up black banners at their homes and along roads. Saudi and Yemeni Al-Qaeda branches merged in Januar y 2009 to form the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), posing a serious threat to US interests as well as Yemen’s embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh. While bin Laden’s ancestral homeland of Yemen have hailed his death, his acolytes in the impoverished country called it a “catastrophe” and vowed to keep up jihad, or Islamic holy war. In March, at least 150 people were killed in a massive blast and fire at an ammunition plant looted the previous day by AQAP in Abyan, after parts of the region slipped from Sanaa’s control. Washington has expressed fears that Al-Qaeda could take advantage of a prolonged political crisis in Yemen, where close ally Saleh has faced three months of mass protests calling for his ouster. — AFP

BAGHDAD: At least seven people were killed in new violence in Iraq yesterday, including three civilians in roadside bombings south of Baghdad, medical and security sources said. The civilians died in explosions at around 8:00 am in the village of Al-Khanafsa, north of the central Shiite shrine city of Karbala, a police officer said. It was not immediately clear who was the target of the attack which also wounded three civilians, according to Jamal Abdullah, spokesman for Karbala provincial health services. West of the main northern city of Mosul, two truck drivers were killed when gunmen opened fire on a convoy of lorries along a highway leading to the Syrian border, an Iraqi army officer said. In the Al-Shaab neighborhood of north Baghdad, an employee of the department of transport was assassinated by unknown attackers using guns with silencers, an interior ministry official said. Police officer Abdulhussein Jassem was killed in similar fashion in the Qahira district of north Baghdad. Explosions in Baghdad and the oil-rich, ethnically mixed city of Kirkuk left five people wounded, security officials said. Violence levels are dramatically lower than at the peak of Iraq’s sectarian bloodshed in 2006 and 2007, but attacks remain common. A total of 211 people were killed in violence in April, official figures showed. — AFP

Egypt sacks notorious Mubarak-era coroner CAIRO: Egypt’s justice ministry yesterday sacked chief coroner Sebai Ahmed Sebai, best known for ruling in 2010 that the high-profile death of a young man in a police beating was in fact cause by drug use. Despite witness accounts to the contrary, Sebai had said Khaled Said died from asphyxia after swallowing a bag of marijuana in June 2010. Witnesses said Said was sitting in an Internet cafe in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria when two plain-clothes policemen tried to search him. When he refused, he was dragged out into a busy street and beaten to death in plain sight of passersby. Sebai’s statements sparked fury across the country, with pictures of a bruised and battered Said circulating on the Internet, in a case that symbolized the fight against police brutality under ousted president Hosni Mubarak. Said’s death sparked nationwide protests and spawned the “We are all Khaled Said” Facebook page which, along with several others, launched the call for the uprising that toppled Mubarak. —AFP

Iraq to disband court that tried Saddam Hussein

BAGHDAD: Relatives of Hasan Ali, 28, load his coffin onto a vehicle during his funeral in Baghdad, Iraq yesterday. Ali was killed when a car bomb tore through a cafe packed with young men watching a football match on Tuesday, killing and wounding scores of people, police said. —AP

BAGHDAD: The Iraqi government said yesterday it will disband the tribunal that condemned Saddam Hussein and other top regime officials to death and was heavily criticized by human rights groups. The announcement could help alleviate tension between the Shiite-led government and Iraq’s Sunni community, which has long felt unfairly targeted by the Iraqi High Criminal Tribunal and has demanded its closure in the interests of national reconciliation. The statement only said that the Cabinet approved a draft law to disband the court and that it has been sent to parliament, without giving any further details. The court spokesman, Raid Juhi, told The Associated Press that the decision was made because the court had finished its cases. The proposed law sets June 30 as a deadline to settle a few final minor cas-

es, he added. A number of international human rights organizations and Iraqi Sunni politicians have been questioning whether the proceedings of the tribunal, which tried and sentenced dozens of former officials, complied with international standards for fairness. The first among the cases it handled was against Saddam who was hanged in late 2006 for his role in the deaths of more than 140 Shiite Muslims following an 1982 attempt on his life. It also tried and sent to the gallows Hussein’s cousin Ali Hassan Al-Majid who gained his nickname “Chemical Ali” for ordering the use of mustard gas and nerve agents against the Kurds in response to their collaboration with the Iranians during the 19801988 Iran-Iraq War. Saddam’s half brother and former intelligence chief Barzan Ibrahim, former vice president Taha

Yassin Ramadan and former head of Iraq’s revolutionary court Awad Hamid al-Bandar were also all sentenced to death and executed. The court also tried and convicted 74year-old Tariq Aziz, the only Christian in Saddam’s inner circle, for his role in the crackdown on the Shiite political parties now dominating Iraq’s politics. Aziz faces a death sentence for his conviction in that case but it has yet to be implemented. Two other Saddam-era officials have also been convicted and sentenced to death. But the cases of Sultan Hashim Ahmad al-Tai, the former defense minister who led the Iraqi delegation at the ceasefire talks that ended the 1991 Gulf War, and Hussein Rashid Mohammed, a former deputy director of operations for the Iraqi armed forces, have angered Iraq’s Sunni population who believe the

sentences are too harsh. Also yesterday, Baghdad militar y spokesman Maj. Gen. Qassim alMoussawi announced the arrest of three AL-Qaeda in Iraq operatives involved in assassinations in the capital. At a press conference, alMoussawi played video of the three men confessing to the slaying of a local journalist from a Shiite TV station last month with pistols fitted with silencers. The three will be sent to court to stand trial, he said. Violence has dropped significantly in Iraq since 2008, but attacks still occur, particularly in Baghdad, where ALQaeda militants appear determined to show they are not a spent force. In recent weeks, there has also been an uptick in targeted assassinations carried out mostly against government and military figures. —AP


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Five dead, nine missing in Mexican coal mine explosion Little hope for those still inside

ALABAMA: Nenia Cagle, left, consoles Annie Muse as she cries after finding the purse of her daughter in the rubble yesterday in Argo, Ala. — AP

Rain add to misery of tornado victims BIRMINGHAM: Rain added to the misery of those in several Southern states trying to salvage what they could from homes badly damaged by deadly twisters, leaving them shivering in unseasonable temperatures in the low 50s (around 10 Celsius). Becky Curtis sat in the bathroom, one of the only dry spots in her small red-brick apartment in gray, chilly, Tuscaloosa on Tuesday, sorting through old cassette tapes. In another room, rain dripped through holes in the ceiling onto her hardwood floors. “We’re trying to get all this stuff out of here as fast as we can to save some mementoes,” she said. The rain “definitely does not help.” Though the sun was supposed to be out again yesterday in Birmingham, temperatures the next couple days are forecast to be cooler there and in other areas of the South where many lost everything, including coats, sweat shirts and sweaters, leaving them with little to protect themselves from the chill. The rain also didn’t make the grim search for possibly more bodies under splintered homes and businesses any easier. The death toll in Alabama was reduced after officials started counting again because they were worried some of the victims might have been tallied twice. Officials believe 236 people died in Alabama, accounting for about two-thirds of the 328 people killed in all, making it the country’s deadliest twister outbreak since the 1930s Great Depression. The financial and economic toll is far from being calculated. Besides homes, hundreds of factories

and other businesses were destroyed, and many others were left without electricity, throwing thousands out of work. It comes in an area where many people were struggling to make ends meet even before the twisters flattened neighborhoods in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and Mississippi. Unemployment in March ranged from 9.2 percent in Alabama to 10.2 percent in Mississippi. Curtis Frederick, 28, couldn’t find any work to provide for his three children aside from delivering newspapers. Then a twister wiped out his mobile home park in Tuscaloosa. “There’s a lot of people that need help,” he said. “We’re struggling already from the economy being so bad.” In Birmingham, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice toured an aid and donation center in a neighborhood of her home city that was heavily damaged. She grew up in the city and still has family there. “You realize that with every home that’s flattened, there are dreams and memories that have gone with that home. So this is a very human tragedy,” said Rice, who served in former President George W. Bush’s administration. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said Tuesday that his state , that he had presided over for just 100 days when the tornadoes hit , is facing an unprecedented rebuilding effort, with more than half of the state’s counties declared disaster areas. “Ladies and gentlemen, we cannot , and we will not , let these people down. As leaders of this state, we will see that Alabama is rebuilt,” he said. —AP

SAN JUAN DE SABINAS: Mexican officials who had hoped to call in Chilean experts to help rescue 14 miners trapped in a coal mine instead have had to break the tragic news to relatives that five bodies have already been found and there is little hope the nine others have survived. The gas explosion that ripped through the primitive, vertical-shaft mine Tuesday was so powerful it seriously injured a 15-year-old boy working on a conveyor belt outside the pit. Labor Secretary Javier Lozano said that left little hope those inside could have withstood the force of the blast. “The outlook is very bad,” Lozano said at the scene. “The truth is that it does not allow us to hold out much hope.” A team of four rescuers who entered the mine after an initial explorer declared it safe to do so, quickly found the bodies of three miners at the front face of the rubble shaken loose by the blast. The mine employees later found two more bodies, and one rescuer who had been down the partially collapsed shaft said there was little chance anyone survived. Just hours earlier, officials had been hoping for a Chilean-style miracle rescue, like that of the 33 miners who survived 69 days underground following the Aug. 5 collapse of the San Jose mine in Chile and were rescued in October. Lozano said Mexico had asked Chile for help, and that four experts were expected to arrive shortly. But hopes fell and wailing sobs rose up from the crowd of about 80 friends and relatives when they spotted a truck from the local morgue show up at the pit head. “No, Lord, I don’t want this to happen,” wailed one woman, as she was embraced by another outside the small mine located in San Juan de Sabinas, Coahuila state, about 85 miles (135 kilometers) southwest of Eagle Pass, Texas. Mexican President Felipe Calderon issued a statement late Tuesday expressing his condolences to the victims’ families. He said the federal government “will do everything in its power to help state and local authorities rescue the rest of the trapped miners.” The injured boy had worked separating coal from tailings; he was taken to a hospital in serious condition, said Jesus Espinoza, a spokesman for mining company BIMSA. Federal prosecutors later said both the boy’s arms had been amputated and that he remained in serious condition. Lozano said the boy’s employment at the mine was an apparent violation of labor

Challenges face Canada’s first elected Green lawmaker VANCOUVER: The first Green Party politician to be elected to Canada’s Parliament will set sail on a rough sea of blue, the colors of the Conservative Party that won a clear majority in national polls. Canadian Green party leader Elizabeth May ousted Conservative cabinet minister Gary Lunn to win under the Green label that is common in Europe but has struggled since the 1980s to win a toe-hold here. “We have to prove to all of Canada that one MP for the Green Party, one MP with a different approach, one MP not squashed by partisanship and entangled in cynicism, can actually make a big difference,” May proclaimed in a jubilant victory speech in the Saanich-Gulf Islands district of westernmost British Columbia province. It remains to be seen how May, a

life-long environmental activist whose constant smile seems as irrepressible as her wind-blown blonde hair, will enact the Green’s platform of a “smart economy,” “strong communities” and “true democracy.” May will be the Green Party’s sole MP in the 308-seat parliament, which now has a majority of Conservatives, the New Democratic Party as the new official opposition, and the Liberals and Bloc Quebecois in third and fourth place. Canada’s Greens briefly had elected one previous member of parliament, but he crossed the floor from another party and was defeated in the 2008 elections before getting a chance to sit as a Green Party member. “I think it will alter the political landscape of the country even though she might not have a lot of impact,” University of Victoria political scientist

Dennis Pilon told AFP. May’s win in the sprawling, wealthy and picturesque islands off Canada’s West Coast shocked most pundits. Lunn garnered fewer than 25,000 votes compared to nearly 32,000 for May, according to early Elections Canada numbers. Pilon, an expert on electoral reform, had predicted May’s win. “She poured her entire federal campaign into this one riding.” That was necessary, he said, because the AngloAmerican first-past-the-post voting system “makes it very difficult for parties like Greens to get a seat... all the incentives are against voting for new ideas.” In first-past-the-post voting, the candidate with the most votes is the winner, in contrast to various forms of proportional representation found in Europe, where seats may be distributed according to total votes. —AFP

Former Canadian bishop pleads guilty to abuse OTTAWA: A former Catholic bishop pleaded guilty yesterday to child pornography charges, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation said. Raymond Lahey, 70, resigned in September 2009 as bishop of the diocese of Antigonish, Nova Scotia after a search at the Ottawa airport of his laptop computer uncovered graphic photographs of males who authorities suspected could be as young as eight years old. He was later charged with possessing and importing child pornography following an investigation. Sentencing will be announced later. Lahey also faces accusations in a civil suit of sexually abusing an orphanage resident in the early 1980s. The Mount Cashel Orphanage in St. John’s, Newfoundland was closed in 1990 after it was revealed that staff had systematically abused some 300 residents over several decades. —AFP

COAHUILA: Family members of trapped miners embrace as they wait outside of a coal mine in San Juan de Sabinas, in the Mexican state of Coahuila, Tuesday. — AP

laws. The 14 miners were down the 197-foot (60-meter) deep shaft when the explosion happened early Tuesday. The mine had opened just over a month ago, and employed about 25 miners. The national mine workers’ union said in a statement that the mine’s work force was not unionized, and it criticized what it called “the totally unsafe conditions in which coal mines in Mexico, and especially in this region known as the coal belt, operate.” Officials said they were investigating who was actually operating the mine, because there was conflicting registry data. And the federal Attorney General’s Office said it had opened an investigation into the blast, which it said was caused by a gas buildup. A similar blast caused by methane gas killed 65 miners in February 2006 at the

Pasta de Conchos coal mine in San Juan de Sabinas, near where Tuesday’s explosion occurred. Rescuers eventually recovered the bodies of two miners from the 2006 blast but tons of wood, rock and metal, as well as toxic gas, prevented the recovery of the others. On Tuesday, a group of relatives of miners killed in the 2006 explosion issued a press statement calling on the government to outlaw the kind of more dangerous, small-scale, vertical-shaft coal mines that dot the region. Coahuila Gov. Jorge Torres Lopez promised the small mines would be subject to review and inspection. Still smarting from criticism about the government’s failings in mine safety, and their inability to recover the bodies from the 2006 blast, federal officials promised aid to the trapped miners’ families and all necessary assistance in the rescue effort. — AP


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THURSDAY, MAY 5, 2011

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Uganda lawyers protest over political violence KAMPALA: Some 300 lawyers gathered in Uganda’s capital yesterday to protest the arrest of the country’s top opposition leader and a crackdown on demonstrations, chanting: “We want a change in the regime.” Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power for a quarter-century, has vowed repeatedly that his government will not be taken down by protests. UN officials have said demonstrations over the last three weeks in Uganda have left eight people dead and wounded more than 250 others. The protests have been the first serious

unrest in sub-Saharan Africa since a wave of anti-government protests swept longtime leaders in Tunisia and Egypt out of power. Yesterday, lawyers gathered outside the high court in Uganda’s capital and demanded the resignation of security officials involved in opposition leader Kizza Besigye’s arrest last week. “In the past three weeks there have been events showing that as a country we are not still under rule of law,” said group member Bruce Kyerere. “We are appalled by recent police high-handedness while arresting protesters, which has caused injury in civilians

and loss of lives.” Kyerere also said Ugandan journalists were being directed not to air protests live on air “so as to cover up atrocities made by police while arresting them.” The inspector general of police, Kale Kayihura, said the lawyers were protesting in a civilized manner. “They agreed with police on how to protest,” he said. “That is how a civilized society should live.” Besigye challenged Museveni in February elections and came in second place. He said the poll was falsified, and that both he and Museveni got just under 50 percent of the vote. During a demonstra-

tion last week, security forces sprayed multiple rounds of tear gas or pepper spray at the Besigye at close range while he sat in a vehicle. Besigye was temporarily blinded by the attack and flown to neighboring Kenya for specialized eye treatment. Anne Mugisha, a top official in Besigye’s Forum For Democratic Change party, said yesterday that Besigye’s eyesight is improving but that he is still affected by light. She said doctors and Besigye’s wife will examine whether he needs to be moved to the United Kingdom for further care. “I think the issue that is bothering every-

one is the toxicology part of it,” she said. “The doctors ... said they were not able to determine what kind of toxin was in the chemicals that were used.” Besigye also has burns on his neck, ears and back, she said. The protests, which began last month, originally were meant to protest the rising cost of fuel and food in Uganda, but quickly turned into larger, antigovernment demonstrations. Mugisha said the opposition leader was eager to return home. “He will cont i nue to p re s s on w i t h t he p rote s t s,” Mugisha said. —AP

Border zone fighting kills 12 people in Sudan More attacks feared in lead up to S Sudan’s independence

LEICESTER: Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg answers questions during a Q&A meeting at the Walker’s Stadium, Leicester yesterday. British voters must decide on a radical shake-up of the country’s electoral system . —AP

British voters divided over Oscars-style voting reform LONDON : British voters must decide whether to ditch decades of ballot box tradition, or go Hollywood in parliamentary elections by adopting the same voting method used for the Academy Awards. The campaign ahead of today’s national referendum has elements of a blockbuster: sworn political foes banding together, stormy bustups across the Cabinet table, rising tensions in the country’s most important bromance , the alliance between Prime Minister David Cameron and his deputy Nick Clegg. Offering voters a chance to usher in electoral reform is a long-held ambition of Clegg’s Liberal Democrats , who joined with Cameron’s larger Conservative Party in Britain’s first governing coalition since World War II following last year’s inconclusive national election. A change to Alternative Voting , AV , would generally favor the Liberal Democrats, the perpetual thirdplace party, while usually reducing the number of seats won by the biggest parties, the Conservatives and Labor. Britain currently uses a first-past-thepost system, under which the candidate with the most votes , not necessarily an absolute majority , wins a seat in the House of Commons. Under proposals being put to voters, Britain would switch to a system which asks electors to rank candidates in preference order. If no candidate clears 50 percent of first choice votes, the last-place candidate is eliminated and the second choices of his or her supporters are distributed. The process continues until one candidate clears the 50 percent bar. Clegg insists the reform is vital to restore trust in politics following a damaging 2009 scandal over lawmakers’ wild expense claims. Cameron opposes any change, and some analysts wonder whether their coalition can withstand the fallout from this week’s vote. Opponents of the current system , including Clegg and Ed Miliband, leader of the main opposition Labour Party , argue that the current system is unfair, particularly in a country where voters are increasingly likely to cast votes for smaller par ties and poll results are less clear cut. In Britain’s national election last year, the Conservatives who now lead the government got 36 percent of the vote but 47 percent of the seats in the House of Commons. The Liberal Democrats got 23 percent of the votes but 9 percent of the seats, while Labour won nearly 40 percent of seats with 29 percent of the vote. In the 1950s, more than 95 percent of votes were cast for the Conservatives and Labour. Last year, 35 percent of electors offered support for parties other than the two main contenders. AV is used in parliamentary elections in Australia, Fiji and Papua New Guinea, in Ireland for elections to select the country’s president, and perhaps most famously to pick winners of the Oscars. Advocates claim that under the present system too many lawmakers are elected with the support of less than half of people in their district, and

few districts change hands, encouraging legislators to become complacent. “Candidates will need to knock on more doors, make more phone calls and listen more carefully to those who disagree,” said Ed Miliband, leader of the main opposition Labour Party. He has campaigned for AV, but the reform is controversial within Labour as well and Miliband allowed others in his party to campaign against it. Opponents say the proposed new system is overly complex and would lead to murky backroom deals to form governments. They fear weak leadership under unwieldy coalitions, as opposed to one dominant par ty calling the shots. Foreign Secretary William Hague, who opposes any change, said 200 years of hard-won electoral reforms had produced the first-past-the-post system , also used in about 50 other countries, and much of the United States. The alternative vote system “does not represent electoral reform, but a damaged democracy that nobody wants,” Hague said. “The world would be baffled by it, and rightly so.” The campaign has offered the unusual sight of once bitter rivals like Labour’s combative ex-Home Secretary John Reid and Cameron sharing not just the stage, but the same argument. Tensions have seen coalition colleagues clash , with Climate Change Secretar y Chris Huhne, a Liberal Democrat, threatening Conservative ministers with legal action, and angrily interrupting a Cabinet meeting to complain to Cameron. The vote today, which takes place alongside elections for English townhalls and assemblies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland , is Britain’s first national referendum since a 1975 ballot on whether or not to remain a member of Europe’s economic bloc. Though it promises the most radical change to the voting system since women won the right to vote in 1928, many members of the public are unmoved, or simply confused. “I’ll vote,” said Clara Lloyd, a 32-year-old social worker from Machynlleth, Wales. “But without really knowing what I am voting for.” Some suggest the clamor for political change of a year ago has abated, replaced by public dissent to the coalition’s plans for harsh spending cuts. Polls ahead of the vote show few people say they are certain to cast a vote, but that retaining the status quo is the likeliest outcome. Anger over the program has spilled into violent street protests in central London , and some may oppose the change simply because it has been advocated by Clegg, who is derided for endorsing Cameron’s austerity measures and breaking a promise not to increase college tuition fees. The ballots vote’s also been overshadowed by a moment that transfixed the British public , the royal wedding. Victoria Hawkes, a 31-year-old physiotherapy assistant from Tamworth, in central England, also had events in her own life to worry about. “I’ve been busy with other things. I just got married last weekend, and haven’t really paid attention,” she said. —AP

JOHANNESBURG : Renewed fighting in Sudan’s most contested border region has left at least 12 people dead, and the top government official in the area said yesterday he feared more attacks in the weeks leading up to Southern Sudan’s independence in July. Deng Arop Kuol, the chief administrator of Abyei, said that a northern Sudanese army convoy was stopped at a police checkpoint on Sunday while attempting to move south through the area without permission from his government. Southern Sudan voted in January to secede from the north, and is set to become a new nation in only 10 weeks. The independence referendum was part of a peace deal to end more than two decades of war that left at least 2 million dead. However, the issue of whether the Abyei region will be in the north or the south remains undecided, and aid groups and analysts fear the dispute could spark further unrest. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir

recently threatened he would not recognize the new southern nation if it includes Abyei. Attacks in the area already have left more than 100 dead, and the United Nations says about 20,000 people fled Abyei town in early March because of the violence. Southern officials have blamed the attacks on the northern military, which has denied any involvement. In the latest unrest, Kuol said at least 12 people were killed. However, the UN said it found 14 dead bodies at the site of the clash, 11 of them in uniforms from the joint military force made up of members from both the north and south. Members of the convoy identified themselves as members of that joint military force. Kuol, though said they were accompanied by Sudanese Armed Forces from the north and should not have been moving south without explicit permission from his government. Neither the northern or southern armies are authorized to maintain troops in the disputed Abyei area. The joint forces were creat-

ed by a 2005 peace deal, but they have often fought against one another since the deal was signed. Kuol told The Associated Press he fears the northern forces are seeking to occupy the Abyei area. “Right now we are expecting all-out attacks from the side of the SAF on the Abyei area,” he said. “They are amassing their troops so we will not rule out an attack (at) any time.” A satellite monitoring project backed by actor and activist George Clooney has released images in recent months documenting military build-up by both sides in Abyei. The images also have shown the destruction of homes and whole villages in attacks. The UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Southern Sudan said last month that 800 people have died and 94,000 more have been displaced in violence in the south so far this year. Fighting has further escalated since then between the southern army and a host of rebel movements active in oil-producing zones across the south. —AP

EU considers revamping open-border continent BRUSSELS: Chipping away at European unity, the EU began to revamp its unique system of unfettered cross-border travel across much of the continent yesterday, bowing to the stresses generated by a flood of North African immigrants. The EU Commission proposed to reintroduce temporar y national border checks “under very exceptional circumstances” after France and Italy had demanded changes to the so-called Schengen system, which erases many internal European borders for citizens and travelers. EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said this could take place when “part of the external border comes under heavy unexpected pressure.” She did not say if that includes the current situation in Italy, which has struggled to cope with more than 25,000 illegal immigrants this year, mostly from Tunisia, which overthrew its dictator in January. The Schengen system developed from humble beginnings in 1985 to into a “borderless” zone spanning 25 nations today. But there has been criticism, mostly from conservative and right-wing forces, that it helped illegal immigrants travel around easily. Mediterranean border nations like Greece, Italy, Spain and Malta have also complained that the 27-nation EU has dumped its immigration issues and the costs of dealing with illegal immigrants on their backs. Rome has pleaded for extra EU help for months, and when little was offered, it simply

gave the immigrants travel papers and let them head over to France and other Schengen nations. Most wanted to go to France anyway, for many had relatives in Tunisia’s former colonial ruler. That, of course, enraged the French, who beefed up controls close to Italy’s border and sent many immigrants back to Italy. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi then came up with a compromise to revamp the Schengen system, including the reintroduction of border controls in emergency situations. “If a European country cannot guard its borders, the question of a provisional suspension of Schengen must be put, without taboo.” Sarkozy told L’Express magazine yesterday. Yet tampering with such a cornerstone of EU unity has also raised objections, especially within the European Parliament and among member states. “The answer to migration flows should not be a reintroduction of border controls,” said Guy Verhofstadt, head of the liberals in the European Parliament. “Everyone should condemn the way in which Italy and France have dealt with migrants fleeing unrest.” The Schengen borderless zone is considered one of the cornerstones of European unity, along with the celebrated euro currency, which has been buffeted by a debt crisis among several of its 17 members, including Greece, Ireland and Portugal. Malmstroem insisted that even though border controls may be temporarily coming

BRUSSELS: European Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmstroem addresses the media, at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels yesterday. —AP back, it would not become the norm. “The free movement of people across European borders is a major achievement which must not be reversed,” she said. Part of her proposal also centered on how the EU should help nations such as Italy at the bloc’s external borders. “We should not leave it only up to the member states at our external borders to deal with extraordinary migratory situations,” Malmstroem said. The Commission’s proposal will now be submitted to a special meeting of EU interior ministers on May 12 and a meeting of EU government leaders on June 24. — AP

Somalis celebrate bin Laden death MOGADISHU: Hundreds of Somalis marched through the country’s capital yesterday to celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden, the shadowy Al-Qaeda leader they blamed for starting a trend of suicide attacks in the country. The demonstrators chanted in the Somali language “terror, ter-

ror go away, little kids want to play.” They also burned a flag they said was an Al-Qaeda flag. “Osama is dead. No more terror funding, no more al-Shabab, no more terrorists,” one banner read, referring to Somalia’s most dangerous militant group. The progovernment demonstrators walked through the government-

controlled area of Mogadishu and were guarded by government troops. Bin Laden was killed early Monday during a raid by US commandos on a house outside Islamabad, Pakistan. “His death will be a milestone for world peace,” said a march participant, Mohamed Said. “He was the

starter, driver and investor behind my countrymen’s deaths.” Members of al-Shabab have pledged allegiance to bin Laden and Al- Qaeda. A spokesman for the group, which counts hundreds of foreign fighters among its ranks, threatened attacks in retaliation for bin Laden’s death. —AP

France to mull faster exit from Afghanistan

GRAVELINES: French President Nicolas Sarkozy gestures as he speaks during a round table discussion on energy in Gravelines, 300 km north of Paris, Tuesday. —AP

PARIS: France and the US are considering speeding up their withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s death, the French foreign minister said yesterday. France has about 4,000 troops in the USand NATO-led missions in Afghanistan, and minister Alain Juppe said France and its allies would be examining how to proceed. Speaking on France 24 TV, Juppe said NATO’s goal in Afghanistan was not kill bin Laden but to help its government establish authority and bring peace and democracy for its people. Now that bin Laden is dead, Juppe said accelerating the planned withdrawal by 2014 is “one of the options we’re going to consider. The Americans are also thinking about it.” The Al-Qaeda leader died during an American special forces raid in Pakistan early Monday. Juppe, who held a working dinner Tuesday with Pakistan’s visiting Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, said that the killing of bin Laden was “good news.” “The (terror) threat is still there and it would be very imprudent to lower the guard. But in all of that, he was a symbol, and the disappearance of this symbol is a good thing for all those who think that human rights, democracy, liberty are essential.”— AP


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Afghanistan: Pakistan had to know bin Laden there KABUL: The Afghan government said yesterday that Pakistan must have known Osama bin Laden was living in a military garrison town near the capital, echoing international suspicions about Islamabad in the aftermath of the deadly strike against AlQaeda’s chief. The two countries have long had tense relations, especially over the issue of Pakistan failing to target Taleban militants using its territory as sanctuary to launch crossborder attacks against Afghan and international forces. “Not only Pakistan, with its strong intelligence service, but even a very weak government with a weak intelligence service would have known who was living in that house in such a location,” said Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi. The house where bin Laden lived in the town of Abbottabad was close to the gate of the Kakul Military Academy, an army run institution where top Pakistani officers train, Azimi said, adding that many neighboring houses are home to military officials. “There are lots of questions that need answers,” Azimi said. Others have made similar remarks. Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron said Tuesday that bin Laden must have had an extensive support network in Pakistan in the years before his death. And White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that the US is committed to cooperating with Pakistan despite questions about who in the Islamabad government may have known bin Laden was in hiding in the compound in Abbottabad. Afghan officials have long said that the real war against terrorism is not in Afghanistan, but across the border in Pakistan. And while they have welcomed international troops who are fighting back the Taleban insurgency in Afghanistan, they have also criticized these forces for backing a Pakistani government that Afghan officials say is double-dealing. Azimi went on to say that Afghanistan is bracing for revenge attacks following the bin Laden strike, but expects that the Al-Qaeda leader’s death will eventually make it

easier to defeat the Taleban. The nearly 10-year war in Afghanistan started as a manhunt for bin Laden in 2001. Many inside Afghanistan and in foreign countries fighting the war have raised questions about whether his death will shorten or ease the battle with the Taleban insurgency, but the US and others pledged there wouldn’t be a rapid withdrawal. On the day that bin Laden’s death was announced, Afghan President Hamid Karzai called it a blow to terrorism but made no predictions about how it would affect the war in his country. Azimi, for his part, predicted AlQaeda revenge attacks in the immediate aftermath of the terror chief’s death. “The first phase will be for a short period of time, a revenge phase in order show that even if he is gone, others are keeping the network together,” he said, adding that Afghan security forces have already increased their presence in key areas and their readiness in anticipation of such attacks. “ Then slowly the situation will become more normal and that will start to show how Osama’s absence effects the structure of the network,” Azimi said. International forces say a persistent campaign against insurgents over the summer has driven them out of their traditional strongholds and destroyed the weapons caches they depend on to mount their seasonal spring offensive. The Taleban, however, have started the spring fighting season with high-profile attacks apparently designed to show their strength and their ability to infiltrate the government. In April, the insurgent group launched deadly attacks from within the Defense Ministry in Kabul, the main police headquarters in southern Kandahar city and a joint US-Afghan base in the east. The militants also managed to break more than 480 of their compatriots out of the Kandahar city prison with an elaborate tunnel escape. Yesterday, US officials confirmed that two rockets had struck inside Bagram Air Field, the main US base in Afghanistan, the night before. —AP

Pakistani doctor sold land for bin Laden compound Small group of men looked after the Al-Qaeda chief ABBOTTABAD: A doctor who sold a piece of the land where Osama bin Laden’s final hideout was built said the buyer, a Pakistani who apparently sheltered the Al-Qaeda chief, was a “modest, humble” man who did not seem to be a militant. As Pakistan sought to counter suspicions it had been harboring bin Laden, details emerged yesterday about the small group of men who looked after the Al-Qaeda chief in this northwestern town before he was killed by US commandos. Chief among them was a man known as Arshad Khan, who neighbors said was one of two Pakistani men living in the house. Property records obtained by The Associated Press show Mohammad Arshad bought adjoining plots in four stages between 2004 and 2005 for $48,000. The two appear to be the same person, and the names may be fake. The doctor, Qazi Mahfooz Ul Haq, said he sold a plot of land to Arshad in 2005. He said the buyer was a sturdily built man who had a tuft of hair under his lower lip. He spoke with an accent that sounded like it was from Waziristan, a tribal region close to Afghanistan that is home to many Al-Qaeda operatives. “He was a very simple, modest, humble type of man” who was “very interested” in buying the land for “an uncle,” the doctor said. Arshad may have been one of the five people killed in the raid including bin Laden and one of his sons. US officials have said bin Laden’s most trusted courier, and the courier’s wife and brother also died. It is still unclear what the connection was between Arshad and the courier, who eventually led the US to bin Laden, or if they were in fact the same person. US officials have identified the courier as Sheikh Abu Ahmed, a Pakistani man born in Kuwait who went by the nom de guerre Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti. They obtained his name from detainees held in secret CIA prison sites in Eastern Europe and vetted it with top Al-Qaeda operatives like Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. The courier was so important to Al-Qaeda that he was tapped by Mohammed to shepherd the man who was to have been the 20th hijacker through computer training needed for the Sept. 11 attacks, according to newly released documents from Guantanamo Bay interrogations. The courier allegedly trained Maad Al-Qahtani at an internet cafe in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi in July 2001 so that he could communicate by email with Mohammed Atta, the Sept. 11 financier and one of the 19 hijackers, who was already in the United States. But al-Qahtani proved to be a poor student and was ultimately denied entry to the US when he raised suspicion among immigration officials. The Guantanamo documents also revealed that the courier might have been one of the men who accompanied bin Laden to Tora Bora in eastern Afghanistan in December 2001 just weeks before the Taleban’s

Despite rapid growth, India lets its girls die MORENA: The room is large and airy, the stone floors clean and cool, a welcome respite from the afternoon sun. Until your eyes take in the horror that it holds. Ten severely malnourished children, nine of them girls. The starving girls in this hospital ward include a 21-month-old with arms and legs the size of twigs and an emaciated 1year-old with huge, vacant eyes. Without urgent medical care, most will not live to see their next birthday. They point to a painful reality revealed in India’s most recent census: Despite a booming economy and big cities full of luxury cars and glittering malls, the country is failing its girls. Early results show India has 914 girls

vented. “My mother-in-law says a boy is necessary,” says Sanju, holding her severely malnourished 9-month-old daughter in her lap in the hospital. She doesn’t admit to deliberately starving the girl but only shrugs her own thin shoulders when asked why her daughter is so sick. She will try again for a son in a year or two, she says. Part of the reason Indians favor sons is the enormous expense in marrying off girls. Families often go into debt arranging marriages and paying elaborate dowries. A boy, on the other hand, will one day bring home a bride and dowry. Hindu custom also dictates that only sons can light their parents’ funeral pyres.

MADHYA PRADESH: In this photo taken Wednesday, April 13, 2011, one year and 9-month-old Sania cries as she is weighed only 5 kilograms (11 pounds) on a scale after eating a meal at a ward for malnourished children at a government hospital in Morena in the Central Indian State of Madhya Pradesh. —AP under age 6 for every 1,000 boys. A decade ago, many were horrified when the ratio was 927 to 1,000. The discrimination happens through abortions of female fetuses and sheer neglect of young girls, despite years of high-profile campaigns to address the issue. So serious is the problem that it’s illegal for medical personnel to reveal the gender of an unborn fetus, although evidence suggests the ban is widely circum-

But it’s not simply that girls are more expensive for impoverished families. The census data shows that the worst offenders are the relatively wealthy northern states of Punjab and Haryana. In Morena, a sun-baked, largely rural district in the heart of India, the numbers are especially grim. This census showed that only 825 girls for every 1,000 boys in the district made it to their sixth birthdays, down from an already troubling 829 a

decade ago. Though abortion is allowed in India, the country banned revealing the gender of unborn fetuses in 1994 in an attempt to halt sex-selective abortions. Every few years, federal and state governments announce new incentives , from free meals to free education , to encourage people to take care of their girls. In Morena, a Madhya Pradesh state government program offers poor families with one or two daughters a few thousand rupees (a few hundred dollars) for every few years of schooling, and more than 100,000 rupees ($2,250) when they graduate high school. But while a handful of Indian women have attained some of the highest positions in politics and business, from late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi, a deep-rooted cultural preference for sons remains. Even the government has accepted that it has failed to save millions of little girls. “Whatever measures that have been put in over the last 40 years have not had any impact,” India’s Home Secretary G.K. Pillai said last month when announcing the census numbers. In Morena’s homes, villages, schools and hospitals lie some of the answers to why the country keeps losing girls. In the district hospital’s maternity ward, a wrinkled old woman walks out holding a just-born girl wrapped in a dirty rag like an unwelcome present. Munni, who uses only one name, is clearly unhappy. Her daughter-in-law has just given birth to her sixth girl in 12 years of marriage. Will the daughter-in-law go through another pregnancy? “Everyone wants boys. A boy takes care of you in your old age,” Munni says. As a mother-in-law, Munni will likely have enormous control over her son’s wife, influencing how many children she has and nudging or bullying her to bear a son. The hospital insists it strictly obeys the law against using sonograms to reveal the gender of a fetus, says R.C. Bandil, who heads the facility. The sex ratio at birth at his hospital is as high as 940-945, he says. “Why is it 825 for the 06 group?” he asks. Part of the answer lies in his own hospital’s malnutrition ward. “Women cry when they have girls,” nurse Lalitha Gujar says as she spoons powdered coconut, peanuts and sesame seeds into bowls of fortified milk to nourish the tiny children. All nine mothers of the sickly infant girls say they want sons , to look after them when they get old, because their sisters-in-law have more sons, because their mothers-in-law demand male children. —AP

ABBOTTABAD: Pakistani police officers stand guard at the main gate of a house where Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was caught and killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan yesterday. —AP final surrender. Al-Kuwaiti inadvertently led intelligence officials to bin Laden when he used a telephone last year to talk with someone the US had wiretapped. The CIA then tracked al-Kuwaiti back to the walled compound in Abbottabad. Bin Laden was living in a large house not far from a military academy in Abbottabad, an army town that is just two hours drive from the capital. That he lived there for up to six years undetected has reignited long-standing suspicions that the country, nominally a US ally, is playing a double game. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said anyone who claimed his country hid bin Laden was “color blind.” During a visit to Paris, Gilani said that Pakistan shared intelligence with numerous countries in the fight against terrorism and had “excellent cooperation” with the United States. He said that “if we have failed it means everybody failed,” and an investigation would be ordered. Some US lawmakers have suggested that Washington cut or terminate American aid to Pakistan as a result. But others are advising

caution , Pakistan has nuclear arms, is already unstable and the US needs its support to withdraw from Afghanistan. Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the discovery of bin Laden so close to an army installation was “embarrassing to them” but that institutional entities like the army, intelligence service and government likely didn’t know about bin Laden’s presence. Meanwhile, Indonesia said its most wanted terrorist suspect was in Abbottabad to meet Osama bin Laden when he was arrested there early this year. The remark Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro is the strongest indication yet that the arrest of Patek, an Al-Qaeda operative wanted for the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings, may have been connected to the bin Laden raid. Patek was injured in a raid by Pakistani intelligence agents on a house in Abbottabad on Jan. 25, but news of arrest only leaked out in late March. He was traveling with his Filipino wife. He is currently being held in Pakistan, but may be turned over to Indonesia. —AP


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Thailand, Cambodia trade blame over border battles Clashes are ‘masterfully orchestrated’: Thailand BANGKOK: Thailand and Cambodia traded barbs yesterday over which side started a bloody border dispute that is set to take centre stage at a meeting of Southeast Asian leaders in Jakarta this weekend. Fighting between the two armies appeared to have eased after 12 days of artillery and gunfire that have killed 18 people on both sides, but there was no let-up in the diplomatic battle ahead of a summit of the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations.

FUKUSHIMA: Tokyo Electric Power Co. President Masataka Shimizu, back to camera third from right, bows in apology to Namie villagers at an evacuation center at Nihonmatsu in Fukushima prefecture. — AP

Long, polite briefings reflect Japan crisis style TOKYO: Japanese officials under public pressure to streamline information flows about the crisis at a radiation-spewing nuclear plant came up with a solution: They merged four separate daily briefings into one. The result is a marathon of highly technical information delivered in dull and excruciating detail that regularly drags on for four hours or more, to the dismay of the patiently long-suffering reporters. To some, this dragged-out daily rundown has become another symbol of Japan’s cultural passion for process , the very opposite of the decisive, topdown leadership that some experts say is desperately needed during the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. “What is missing is one strong balanced leadership to align everything toward one goal,” said Shuri Fukunaga, managing director of BursonMarsteller in Tokyo, who consults companies and governments about crisis communications. Fukunaga says Japan is skilled at teamwork, which is good under normal times. But it’s a dismal failure at having a clear leader take control, a vital necessity during a crisis. “The leaders tend to be more of a figurehead when what you need is someone to roll up your sleeves and jump in,” she said. Certainly, there has been little sign of sleeve-rolling at the nightly nuclear briefings for the press. The bureaucrats and officials sit at long rows of desks facing reporters at the Tokyo headquarters of the utility that operates the plant. Each politely takes a turn speaking into a microphone, sometimes reading verbatim from the dozens of briefing papers passed out each day. The mega-briefings, which began last week, brought together under one roof the briefings previously held separately at Tokyo Electric Power Co, the nuclear regulators and ministries after the March 11 earthquake set off a massive tsunami that sent Fukushima Dai-ichi plant in northeastern Japan to the verge of a partial meltdown. But the combined presentation has merely served to drag out the time.

Japan Inc. is famous for its attention-todetail efficiency and just-in-time production methods. But experts on Japanese corporate and government culture count neither clearly defined leadership or topdown decision-making among this nation’s signature strengths. Separately, the government has set up 20 task forces working on not only the unfolding nuclear crisis but also responding to the earthquake and tsunami disasters, which have left 26,000 people dead or missing, and 130,000 people in evacuation centers. Goshi Hosono, an adviser to the prime minister, initiated the joint news conferences at TEPCO, hoping to better send a unified message to the people of Japan and the international community. “We have not been mistaken in our response to the crisis,” he told reporters. “But our public relations effort has been lacking.” Hosono, widely viewed as a future candidate for prime minister, isn’t exactly taking control, playing more the role of a friendly host. Sometimes the information reads like several long lists. Background and context are rarely offered, such as possible health effects. Every day, reporters stand in line for about a dozen handouts, packed with details and numbers, including lists of radioactive isotopes sometimes disturbingly over legal limits. They ask questions, radiation exposure levels at the region’s schools, compensation TEPCO is working on for the residents, how much reactor core damage is suspected. But even the conduct of reporters reflects Japanese reverence for cooperation and respect. The journalists patiently endure the long news conferences, filled with detail but scarce on poignancy. A defiant question comes up maybe once during the entire four hours. “We can say we are not covering up information,” Matsumoto said in reply to a question from a freelance reporter about transparency and why the news conferences meandered. After an awkward moment, the news conference went back to its usual excruciatingly long, but decidedly orderly, agenda.— AP

SEOUL: South Korean elementary school students covering their mouths gather on the ground after escaping from their classrooms during an earthquake drill in Seoul, South Korea yesterday. Students throughout the nation practiced drills ranging from fire to terror attacks and earthquake as part of the annual drills called a Safe Korea Exercise. —AP

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva accused Cambodia of repeated attacks on Thai troops aimed at internationalising a dispute over sovereignty and influencing foreign opinion in its favour. “Each time we clashed, it’s not an accident but an intentional attempt to push the conflict to the international stage,” Abhisit told reporters. “It matches with Cambodia’s strategy that the timing of each attack is linked to their goal of using the international stage (to protect Cambodian interests). We will defend our rights.” His Cambodian counterpart, Hun Sen, said yesterday there was a need to build trust and agree to a ceasefire but appeared to ridicule Thai troops, which he said were “shooting because they are afraid of ghosts”. Exactly why the two countries are in conflict and which side fired first remain a mystery but many analysts say there are political forces on either side that stand to gain domestically if the crisis continues. At the centre of the latest flare-up are two 12th-Century stone-walled Hindu temples, Ta Moan and Ta Krabey, in a heavily mined jungle area that both sides claim.

Friend says Chinese civil rights lawyer resurfaces BEIJING : The wife and a friend of a prominent Chinese civil rights lawyer said he returned home yesterday after disappearing for several days amid an ongoing government crackdown on dissent. Li Fangping vanished Friday after leaving a meeting with a group that fights discrimination against people with hepatitis B. It was not known where he went, but his disappearance came as hundreds of people have been detained, confined at home, interrogated or simply vanished. Li’s friend Lu Jun said Li contacted his wife yesterday evening and asked her to pick him up in a north Beijing neighborhood. The friend said Li said he wants to rest and does not wish to discuss the events of the past week. Other lawyers and activists released in recent weeks have also declined to speak to the media, perhaps as a condition of their release and to avoid raising questions about their treatment while detained. Li’s wife also confirmed her husband’s release in a brief telephone conversation, but offered no details. She was identified only by the common Chinese surname, Zheng, a frequent means by which Chinese lawyers and dissidents shield their spouses from harassment by the authorities. The recent series of lawyer disappearances, if they are indeed part of a government crackdown, appears to follow a pattern of take-one-in, set-one-free. Li’s release coincided with the disappearance of colleague Li Xiongbin, who called his wife Wu Haiying yesterday afternoon to say he would be away for a few days and not to be worried if she was unable to reach him during that time. The call was then cut off and Wu was unable to get subsequently get through. “I am worried, because many of our friends have disappeared. Li Fangping’s wife also received a similar phone call during his disappearance. I think now it is (Li Xiongbin’s) turn,” Wu told The Associated Press in a phone interview. Li Fangping’s own detention on Friday had come within hours of the release of rights lawyer Teng Biao, who disappeared, apparently into police custody, for more than two months. A law professor at the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, Teng was among the first people taken away in the massive security crackdown, that appears to have been sparked by the communist leadership’s fears of Middle East-inspired unrest migrating to China’s cities, where anonymous online appeals for protest gatherings have so far gone unheeded. The most high-profile person targeted by authorities so far is famed Chinese artist and outspoken government critic Ai Weiwei, who had been keeping an informal tally of the recent detentions on Twitter before he disappeared early this month. — AP

Broadcaster urges Myanmar to release 17 journalists BANGKOK : An independent news broadcaster urged Myanmar yesterday to release 17 of its journalists detained there, saying the Southeast Asian nation remains as repressive as ever despite an official transition to civilian rule. The Norway-based Democratic Voice of Burma, which has aired rare news video from Myanmar for years, said its video reporters had been detained every year since 2007, when the military junta launched a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters. The country, formerly known as Burma, has been ruled by the military since 1962. In March, the junta officially disbanded to hand power to a nominally civilian government dominated by key figures from the military regime. “ The ongoing

incarceration of journalists, who are among the nearly 2,100 political prisoners in Burma, and the absence of any evidence that the government is moving to free them, are clear signs that little has changed since the ostensible end to military rule,” DVB said in a statement. The video, TV and radio broadcaster relies on an undercover network of dozens of journalists to transmit stories. In 2008, an awardwinning documentary film called “Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country,” followed the reporters’ struggle. David Mathieson, a Myanmar researcher for Human Rights Watch, said the repressive environment stoked fear in other reporters working in the country. “What the authorities do is ... target a small number of journalists

The dispute over jurisdiction has been ongoing since the 1950s, when colonial power France pulled out of Cambodia. Another, more significant temple, Preah Vihear, was awarded to Cambodia in 1962 by the International Court of Justice. Thailand insists it accepts Cambodia’s jurisdiction of the 11th Century temple but is challenging its listing of the ruins as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its management plans, because the ICJ did not rule on the 4.6 sq km (1.8 sq miles) of land around it. Late last week, Cambodia asked the ICJ to settle the Preah Vihear issue by giving an explanation for a judgment it delivered half a century ago. However, the request sent by Cambodia, written in French and posted on the ICJ’s website on Tuesday, could become a bone of contention. Cambodia told the ICJ that Thailand had orchestrated “serious armed incidents” between April 22 and 26, but the letter, signed by Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong, was dated April 20. It was not immediately clear if the date entered by Hor Namhong was a mistake. Cambodian Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy

and throw them in prison with outrageous sentences as a message to the rest,” Mathieson said. “There is a very clear line here that you cannot cross. Once you cross it, you get a punitive sentence.” DVB executive director Aye Chan Naing said the broadcaster’s 17 journalists were among 25 media workers currently behind bars in Myanmar. DVB reporter Hla Hla Win, for example, was jailed in 2009 and is serving a 27-year sentence after interviewing Buddhist monks near the anniversary of the 2007 uprising. “Censorship is one the main priorities of the regime,” said Naing. “They spend a lot of money controlling the media to get maximum impact from their own propaganda. Inevitably, independent journalists become their target.” — AP

Kuong declined to comment specifically on the letter. “ The accusation by Thailand that Cambodia planned to start the fighting has no legal basis,” he said. A senior Thai Foreign Ministry official, who requested anonymity, said the letter proved the fighting had been “masterfully orchestrated” by Cambodia. Both sides have called for calm and no meeting has yet been arranged between the two countries’ leaders on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit starting on Saturday. As chair of ASEAN, Indonesia intervened in February, at the request of the United Nations Security Council, when the conflict first flared from Feb 4-7, killing 11 troops. Both sides agreed to allow 15 unarmed Indonesian military observers to be stationed on either side of the border to monitor the fragile peace agreement, but the plan has yet to be put in place. Analysts say the breaching of the ceasefire on April 22 could weigh heavy on ASEAN’s plans to form a regional community by 2015 and bloc Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan has urged an immediate ceasefire to prevent damage to its reputation. — Reuters

South Korean man found crucified, wearing crown SEOUL: The body of a man with his hands and feet nailed to a wooden cross and a crown of thorns on his head has been found in an abandoned stone quarry, South Korean police said yesterday. A man wearing only underwear, with a wound on the side of his torso and nylon strings tied around his neck, arms and stomach, was found crucified Sunday in Mungyong, about 115 miles (190 kilometers) southeast of Seoul, said Chung Ji-chun, chief of the violent crime section at Gyeongbuk Provincial Police Agency. Two smaller crosses were erected on each side of the cross he was nailed to,

Chung said. Police also found nails, a hammer, an electric drill, pieces of wood and instructions on how to build crosses inside a tent near the scene, Chung said. An SUV belonging to the dead man was found nearby. Police are waiting for a forensic report to determine the exact time and cause of the man’s death and whether it was a homicide or suicide. Chung identified the man as a 58-year old surnamed Kim. Popular representations of the death of Jesus Christ depict him crucified between the crosses of two thieves, wearing a crown of thorns, a white cloth over his loins, with a wound on his side from a Roman soldier’s spear.— AP

MUNGYONG: In this Monday, May 2, 2011 photo released by Gyeongbuk Provincial Police Agency yesterday, police officers stand near the body of a man found crucified in Mungyong, south of Seoul, South Korea. — AP

N Korea detains 2 Japanese over drugs, fake money SEOUL: North Korea said yesterday it has detained two Japanese businessmen and deported another for crimes involving drug trafficking and counterfeit money. The three Japanese admitted the crimes they committed after entering the North’s northeastern city of Rason in March, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said. Rason is where the North operates its first economic zone for foreign investment. The North Korean dispatch didn’t say why the North expelled the third person. “What they did is a very grave violation of the law of (North Korea) and international law, and they will, therefore, face proper legal actions,” the dispatch said. It didn’t

elaborate. The North identified the detained Japanese as Hidehiko Abe, representative managing director of Realise Co Ltd of Japan, and Takumi Hirooka, managing director of Sugita Industrial Co Ltd of Japan. The expelled Japanese is Masaki Furuya, former representative managing director of JP Dairin Co Ltd, it said. Calls to Tokyo’s foreign ministry were not immediately answered yesterday, a national holiday in Japan. The news came three weeks after Pyongyang said it was holding an American man for committing an unspecified crime against the country, the latest in a string of US nationals detained in the communist country in recent years. — AP

Clean-up begins after New Zealand tornado WELLINGTON: A major clean-up began in tornado-hit Auckland yesterday, as authorities in New Zealand’s largest city expressed amazement that the destructive twister resulted in only one death. Winds exceeding 200 kilometres an hour (125 miles an hour) tore through the suburb of Albany when the tornado hit without warning on Tuesday afternoon, flipping cars, uprooting trees and shearing the roof off a shopping mall. Construction worker Benedict Dacayan, originally from the Philippines, was killed when the swirling winds picked him up and threw him into a concrete wall, police said. Student nurse Sophie Bond said she rushed to help the 37year-old but he had suffered a major head injury and could not be saved. “It was too late, there was a lot of blood and when we rolled him over

to try to perform CPR we could see that he had a very bad head wound,” she told Radio New Zealand. Another 14 people were injured and local MP Jonathan Coleman said it was “a miracle” no one else was killed. “It was a powerful force of nature, we’re lucky that the damage wasn’t a heck of a lot greater but there’s still quite a mess to clear up today,” he told repor ters. Emergency crews began the cleanup at first light, restoring power, removing felled trees and clearing wrecked vehicles from roads. The tornado was the latest in a string of disasters to hit New Zealand, including two earthquakes in Christchurch, the second of which claimed more than 180 lives, and a colliery explosion in November in which 29 miners died. The Insurance Council of New Zealand said damage from the twister was likely to be

“in the tens of millions of dollars”, placing fur ther pressure on an industry already facing billions in payouts from the Christchurch earthquakes. “Dramatic video footage tells us that the cost will be reasonably high once all claims are in,” chief executive Chris Ryan told the New Zealand Herald. The worst-hit area was the Albany Mega Centre, one of the country’s largest shopping malls, which partially reopened yesterday. “The Mega Centre was just a battlezone, I have never seen anything like it in my life,” Auckland mayor Len Brown told national radio after inspecting the damage. Tornadoes are relatively rare in New Zealand, although one struck Albany 20 years ago in May 1991, killing a man who was hit by debris while he was driving a bulldozer.—AFP


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Misrata pounded as ICC eyes war crimes Continued from Page 1

GAZA CITY: Gaza’s resident Yasser Muheisen wears a robe made from the Fatah flag, yellow, and the Hamas flag, green, tied together, during a rally at the Unknown Soldier square celebrating the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas in Cairo. — AFP

US keeps altering Laden raid details Continued from Page 1 “In the room with bin Laden, a women - bin Laden’s wife - rushed the US assaulter and was shot in the leg but not killed. Bin Laden was then shot and killed. He was not armed.” Obama told CBS in an interview to be aired Sunday that he decided not to release photographs of bin Laden’s corpse, an image Carney described as “gruesome”. The decision had clearly been the subject of debate; CIA Director Leon Panetta had predicted yesterday in an NBC interview that “ultimately a photograph would be presented to the public.” Central to the discussion were unfounded claims that bin Laden was still alive and administration officials were eager to tamp down any conspiracy theories. But releasing the photo had significant drawbacks and several lawmakers counseled against making the images public. “A graphic image such as that has the potential to inflame a community just out of its sheer shock value,” said John Ullyot, a former Republican Senate Armed Services Committee aide and Marine intelligence officer. “Even the release of a graphic photo might not close the book in some people’s minds.” Ari Fleischer, press secretary to President George W Bush, cautioned against releasing explosive photographs. “This story already has an exclamation point on it,” he said. There have also been differing accounts over which of bin Laden’s adult sons was killed in the raid, Hamza of Khalid, and there is much unanswered speculation about what was done with his body. Carney’s account on Tuesday notably did not mention the death of a bin Laden son. The White House spokesman, who admitted at one point that even he was “getting confused”, put the errors down to the “fog of war” and argued that the administration had been keen to get out as much information as soon as it could. Another official agreed to speak about the changing story on condition of anonymity, saying that the administration did not regret quickly releasing details, which later needed to be corrected. The official said that indepth debriefings of Navy SEALS in the mission were ongoing throughout Monday and yesterday, and raised the need to correct some details of the missions. “There was a demand for information for one of the most impactful stories... we took an extra step to declassify the most sensitive operation in the US government to meet that demand. “Do you want information. Or do you want it faster - these things always get revised. It was a good faith effort to information in a timely way.” The administration position won support from Senator John McCain, Obama’s vanquished Republican opponent in the 2008 election, who said the changing timeline and story of the raid had no impact on US credibility. “No, I’m not worried about it, and anything that

anybody tries to detract from what they were able to accomplish is frankly, missing the big picture.” In Germany and Spain, legislators questioned Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero over their enthusiastic praise of Obama. “It’s likely that bin Laden sought his own destiny,” Zapatero told parliament yesterday after Gaspar Llamazares, deputy from the small leftist party Izquierda Unida, questioned his congratulating Obama. Zapatero said “any democrat” would have preferred bin Laden stood trial, but that he understood how the operation ended in the way it did for “one of history’s bloodiest criminals.” In Germany a senior member of parliament from Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union, Siegfried Kauder, criticised her statement on Monday which said she was “glad that killing bin Laden was successful”. “I wouldn’t have used those words. That is a vengeful way of thinking that one shouldn’t have. That’s mediaeval,” he said. “A random killing is not permitted according to international agreements. If one concludes that bin Laden was no longer active (running al Qaeda operations around the world), the killing could be seen as random.” Television and radio hosts zeroed in Washington’s revision of certain details of the operation, such as the fact that bin Laden was not armed and that the woman killed had not been used as a shield, saying his death looked more now like an execution. Speakers on a Spanish talk show questioned the official version of the burial at sea of bin Laden’s body and said Obama’s image would suffer among Europeans who would rather have seen a capture and trial. Europeans also jumped into the renewed debate over torture and so-called enhanced interrogation technique after US officials said key sources of initial information that led to bin Laden came from at least one prisoner that was tortured. Many Europeans struggled to understand the open celebrations in the streets of New York and Washington earlier this week. “While many nations suffered from Al-Qaeda’s terrorism and few in the world will mourn bin Laden’s death, the United States is the only place where it sparked spontaneous outpourings of raucous jubilation,” wrote columnist Gary Younge in Britain’s left-leaning Guardian newspaper. Germany ’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper expressed misgivings about the legality of the killing. “Which law covers the execution of bin Laden?” wrote Heribert Prantl, a senior editor at the left-leaning daily. “US law requires trials before death penalties are carried out. Executions are forbidden in countries based on rule of law. Martial law doesn’t cover the US operation either. The decision to kill the godfather of terror was political.” — Agencies

Syria protesters vow to stay firm Continued from Page 1 The government’s fierce campaign of arbitrary mass arrests will not succeed where their bullets have failed,” it said in a statement obtained by AFP. “Having failed to stop the protests and demonstrations in Syria through their various means of oppression, besieging cities, censoring and cutting off communications, and even firing live ammunition, ... the Syrian government has, in recent days, intensified their effort to arrest citizens,” it said. At least 500 people are being arrested every day on average, it added. Meanwhile, scores of tanks massed yesterday at a Syrian town that has been a hotbed of protests for seven weeks. Around 100 tanks and troop transports converged on Ar-Rastan, a rights activist told AFP. “Reinforcements continue to mass at the northern entrance to Ar-Rastan and, according to our estimates, there must be 100 tanks and troop transports on the highway between Homs and Hamah near Oronte reservoir,” said the activist. Earlier, the source said the Syrian army had been strengthening its forces there for the past three days. Ar-Rastan residents have toppled a statue of the late Syrian president Hafez Al-Assad, who was succeeded on his death in 2000 by his son, Bashar. The civilian death toll from the unprecedented demonstrations in Syria has already topped 607 since March 15, according to Syria’s Insan human rights group, which said as many as 8,000 people were now listed as arrested or missing. Assad’s government has persistently blamed the violence on “armed criminal gangs” and portrayed the protest movement as a conspiracy. As a wave of arrests intensified, an online post by the Syrian Revolution 2011 Facebook group had urged “Syrians in all regions to gather from Tuesday evening in all public places to organise sit-ins” round the clock. Yesterday around 150 students shouting “With our soul and blood we defend Daraa; lift the siege in Daraa” held a sit-in at the town’s university, which was quickly broken up by security forces, an activist said. Amnesty International said a “wave of arrests of anti-government protesters intensified over the weekend”. “The use of unwarranted lethal force, arbitrary detention and torture appear to be the desperate actions of a government that is intolerant of dissent and must be halted immediately,” it said.

US State Department spokesman Mark Toner has denounced measures used by Syria to put down seven weeks of anti-regime protests as “barbaric” and amounting “to the collective punishment of innocent civilians.” He spoke specifically about Daraa, which has been sealed off by the army since April 25 when up to 5,000 troops backed by tanks rolled into the town. Daraa was reported to have water and electricity again yesterday, except for the Al-Omari mosque area, which was the scene of clashes. The army has said it entered Daraa last week at the request of residents to rid them of “terrorist gangs” responsible for a spate of “killings and vandalism”. Assad, quoted in Al-Watan newspaper, said the Daraa operation “could have happened in any country in the world” and that soldiers would complete the mission “very soon”. Residents of Damascus suburbs said roadblocks and arrests had intensified this week around the capital. One resident said she saw security forces in plainclothes putting up sandbags and a machinegun on a road near the town of Kfar Batna on Tuesday. A government official from a neighbouring Arab state said the security campaign seemed intended to prevent protests after Friday prayers, the only time Syrians are allowed to gather in any number, although security forces prevented thousands from praying in mosques last Friday. President Nicolas Sarkozy told L’Express magazine that France was going to “push for the adoption of the harshest possible sanctions,” while his Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Paris wanted to have Assad named in EU sanctions. France issued a advisory against travel to Syria for its citizens. Diplomats told AFP that while there was general agreement on slapping an arms embargo on Syria, there were divisions concerning targeted measures against Syrian officials. Last week, Washington froze the assets of top officials, including Assad’s brother, Maher, who commands the feared Fourth Armoured Division. To address the economic fallout from the protests, Damascus yesterday launched a string of measures to curb the flight of foreign currency by authorising savings in dollars and euros for the first time. The International Monetary Fund has revised Syria’s growth rate downward, its local currency has slumped about 10 percent in the black market and the Damascus Stock Exchange plunged 20 percent in the past six weeks. — Agencies

be on the first list of warrants, but Moreno-Ocampo did not name anyone. The ICC prosecutor said he was also investigating the deaths of dozens of sub-Saharan Africans in the rebel bastion of Benghazi by an “angry mob” who believed they were mercenaries in the pay of Gaddafi. Meanwhile, Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim said in Tripoli that around 400 fighters had turned in their arms in Misrata, the rebel’s last major bastion in western Libya that has been under siege for almost two months. His comments, linked to a possible offer to extend an amnesty to rebels, could not be verified. “I hope that the minister of justice will listen to our call to extend it at least for another day or two, because there are good signs among people there in Misrata,” Kaim said. He said the deadline to surrender expired at midnight (2200 GMT) Tuesday, but it had already been rejected by the rebels fighting to oust Gaddafi after more than 40 years in power in the oil-rich north African nation. Rebel spokesman Jalal al-Gallal said “there has been a lot of shelling in Misrata today,” adding that at least five people had been killed. “I am afraid the number could be far higher than we would like to hear,” Gallal said in Benghazi, adding that rebels were still trying to verify the total number of casualties for the past 72 hours. With the airport in government hands, the rebels are entirely dependent on supply by sea. The port has been repeatedly shelled by Gaddafi’s forces and few vessels are docking, resulting in a worsening

food shortage. But the International Organisation of Migration said in Geneva that the chartered ship Red Star One had evacuated some 800 people despite shelling and shooting in the port, and that the vessel was en route to Benghazi. Hundreds of desperate Libyan civilians had also tried to board, the IOM said, but because of the boat’s limited capacity, the ramp had to be pulled up for the ship to pull away from the dock in safety. Before departing, 180 tonnes of humanitarian aid, including food and medical supplies, was offloaded. In Benghazi, meanwhile, rebels said an explosion near their headquarters on Tuesday was the result of an accident and not a car bomb as they initially reported. “The owner of the car has come to claim it and said it had quite a bit of explosives in it and that he has no idea about what detonated them,” spokesman Jalal alGallal said. In Tripoli, three loud explosions were heard early yesterday as jets flew overhead, days after Gaddafi narrowly escaped a NATO air strike that killed one of his sons and three grandchildren. However, Gaddafi was in good health, Deputy Foreign Minister Kaim said. In Brussels, NATO military chiefs gathered for a twoday meeting, with French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe saying the aim of the Western alliance’s air campaign was to weaken Gaddafi but not to kill him. “Our aim is not to kill Gaddafi,” Juppe said on news channel France 24, describing as “collateral damage” the death of Gaddafi’s son Seif al-Arab. Juppe acknowledged that the air campaign, now in its seventh week, was taking time, but denied it would drag on into a protracted conflict. —AFP

Cabinet under fire even before... Continued from Page 1 According to a leaked list, the new Cabinet includes five new faces with the main changes at the posts of oil, education, commerce and electricity and water. The four ruling family members have retained their posts form the outgoing Cabinet. They are Defense Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah, Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Hmoud Al-Sabah and deputy premier for economic affairs, state minister for housing and development Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahd Al-Sabah. Oil and Information Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah AlSabah has been dropped, thus reducing the ruling family ministers to four from five. New faces include Sami Al-Nasef, a writer and columnist, as minister for communications and information, Amani Buresli for commerce and industry, former MP Ahmad Al-Mulaifi for education, Mohammad Al-Numas, director of the Credit and Savings Bank, as minister of awqaf and justice, and Sager Humaida as minister of electricity and water. Former communications minister Mohammad Al-Busairi has been moved to oil, while the ministers of social affairs and labour, health, finance, public works, state minister for Cabinet affairs have all been retained. Like the oil minister, the ministers of electrcity, justice, education and commerce have been dropped. But criticism came from all sides and was spearheaded by pro-government MPs, especially Shiites, who are angry at retaining health minister Helal Al-Sayer. Shiite MP Hussein Al-Qallaf issued a stern warning that if Sayer was retained in the Cabinet “the prime minister will lose the first line of defense of him” a clear reference to the nine Shiite MPs who have been staunch supporters of

the prime minister. MPs Faisal Al-Duwaisan, Emad AlMutawa, Saadoun Hammad and Dulaihi Al-Hajeri also issued similar warnings. Sources also said that the business community has expressed strong reservations against the appointment of Buresli in the commerce and industry portfolio and online websites have reported that Buresli has been dropped in favour of former education minister Nouriya Al-Sabeeh. Islamist MP Khaled Al-Sultan said the new Cabinet line-up is a recipe for disputes between MPs and the government, adding that ministers who accept to be members in this Cabinet actually risk their political future. MP Salwa Al-Jassar, the biggest defender of the government, also criticised the potential line-up, saying that “some names in the Cabinet will trigger confrontations between MPs and the government”. In addition, the new government faces tough challneges. It includes two of three ruling family ministers who face grilling threats. They are Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahd and Sheikh Mohammad. Liberal MPs have repeatedly said that if Sheikh Ahmad is retained, they will grill him, while MP Saleh Ashour who had filed to grill Sheikh Mohammad, said he will study refiling the grilling after the new government is announced. The Popular Action Bloc has clearly and repeatedly said it will file to grill the prime minister on the same day it takes the oath in the Assembly, while the Islamist Reform and Development Bloc said it will grill the prime minister after the Popular Bloc’s grilling. Some observers commented that the new Cabinet “only paves the way for the next government”, an indication it will not last long. MP Sultan and others have raised the prospects of dissolving the Assembly and calling for fresh elections.

Fatah, Hamas formally end... Continued from Page 1 It also makes no mention of relations with Israel - the issue that led to the collapse of the previous unity government. Abbas favors a negotiated peace with Israel, while Hamas refuses to accept Israel’s existence. In his speech, Abbas rejected Israel’s opposition to the pact, saying the reconciliation was an internal Palestinian affair. “We forever turn the black page of division,” Abbas told the declaration ceremony in the Egyptian capital, Cairo. He promised to “soon” the visit Hamas-held Gaza Strip. “They are our brothers and family. We may differ, and we often do, but we still arrive at a minimum level of understanding,” Abbas said. In a potential sign of trouble, Blair said the world would demand the new government renounce violence and recognize Israel’s right to exist - something that Hamas has always refused to do. Despite an informal ceasefire that ended Israel’s punishing invasion two years ago, hundreds of rockets have been fired at Israel from Hamas-ruled Gaza. “If the principles are not upheld, it puts us in a very difficult position,” he told AP. “I think the central question people ask is, ‘Does this mean a change of heart on behalf of Hamas or not?’ ... We want them in this process. Otherwise there will be no peace.” Blair represents the so-called quartet of Mideast mediators - the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia - which imposed identical conditions to the previous Palestinian government. Hamas’ refusal to accept these conditions could jeopardize hundreds of millions of dollars in international aid. Israel denounced the pact because of Hamas’ long history of suicide attacks and rocket fire against Israeli targets. Israel, the US and the European Union all consider Hamas a terrorist group. “What happened today in Cairo is a mortal blow to peace and a big prize for terrorism,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a trip to London. “Israel continues to want peace and seek peace but we can only achieve that with our neighbors that want peace. Those of our neighbors that seek the destruction of Israel and use terrorism are not partners to peace.” British officials said they were waiting for more details, but expressed hope the agreement would boost the peace process. Earlier this week, Foreign Secretary William Hague said the UK would “judge a future Palestinian government by its actions and its readiness to work for peace”. Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal told the ceremony in Cairo that his group was prepared to do anything to “translate the text of the pact to facts on the ground. Our battle is with the Israeli enemy and not with Palestinian factions”. In what appeared a sign of lingering friction, Meshaal did not share the podium with Abbas and the ceremony was delayed briefly over where he would sit. Against expectations, neither signed the unity document. “From Madrid until now, we have given peace a chance for 20 years, and I say we are ready to agree among us Palestinians and with Arab support to give it an additional chance,” Meshaal said, referring to the 1991 international Middle East conference that inaugurated Israeli-Arab peace talks. “But, dear brothers, because Israel does not respect us, and because Israel

has rejected all our initiatives and because Israel deliberately rejects Palestinian rights, rejects Fatah members as well as Hamas...it wants the land, security and (only) claims to want peace,” he said. Ahead of the ceremony, Abbas aide Nabil Shaath called the international demands “unfair”. Peace talks broke down more than seven months ago with the expiration of an Israeli freeze on West Bank settlement construction. Abbas says he will not restart talks until Israel stops building homes on occupied lands claimed by the Palestinians. With peace talks stalled, Abbas is focusing on internal Palestinian issues. A unified government will also make it easier for him to carry out his plan to seek UN recognition of a Palestinian state, with or without a peace deal, in September. Hamas and other Palestinian militant factions in Gaza have agreed to abide by an unofficial truce with Israel, largely in place since Israel’s Jan 2009 war in the territory. But it is unclear how long that truce will last, and Hamas has often looked the other way while smaller militant groups fired rockets into Israel. Fatah and Hamas officials will meet soon to work out the details of their agreement, said the head of the Fatah delegation in Cairo, Azzam Al-Ahmed. He told the AP that all issues would be tackled simultaneously, including formation of a new government, release of prisoners and “ending campaigns of one side against the other.” Yuval Diskin, chief of Israel’s Shin Bet internal security service, predicted that the unity deal would not last long. He also said Israel would be prepared to maintain its cooperation with Abbas’ security forces. “As long as the West Bank government continues its commitments to Israel and nothing changes on the ground, then Israel should carry on working with them,” Diskin said. The unity deal set off celebrations in both the West Bank and Gaza, where residents reacted with a mix of excitement and caution. In Gaza City, motorists honked their horns and waved yellow Fatah flags, which had been banned for the past four years. Other people held placards of Fatah’s iconic leader, the late Yasser Arafat, or hugged Hamas policemen. “I am so excited. Today is a day of joy for all Palestinians,” said Narmine Talal, a 24year-old student who waved a small Fatah flag. Talal handed out candy from her car window to a police officer, as her father drove. In the West Bank city of Ramallah, where the Palestinian Authority is headquartered, several hundred people, mostly Fatah supporters, rallied in the central Manara Square, raising Palestinian flags and calling for unity. “The people want to end the split,” they cried. Saleh Mashni, a 66-year-old pharmacist, said he put the chances of success at “fifty-fifty”. “I want to be an optimist, but I can’t. It’s difficult,” he said, expressing concern that Hamas could resume its attacks on Israel. In a symbolic step, Hamas allowed Fatah-controlled Palestine TV to broadcast from Gaza for the first time since the 2007 takeover, while Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV was permitted to broadcast from Ramallah. “Today we end a dark chapter in our recent history,” Hamas leader Ismail Radwan told the Fatah TV station. “It’s time now to work together.” — Agencies


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THURSDAY, MAY 5, 2011

opinion

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Ivorian quest for truth will hurt By Mark John s Ivory Coast becomes the latest African country to subject itself to a truth and reconciliation commission, the lesson it can learn from past efforts is twofold: it is going to hurt, and it could take years. Experience from post-apartheid South Africa to post-war Sierra Leone shows such exercises can help a country draw a line under the past, even when many victims are left dissatisfied. But Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara must ensure all sides are heard and must avoid rushing the pace for the sake of political expediency if he is to heal wounds ripped open for the second time in a decade. “Although the truth side of it is very important, very often what actually happened is known by many people,” said Yasmin Jusu-Sheriff, first executive secretary of Sierra Leone’s 2002-2004 Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). “It’s how you deal with it, and how you live with it after it happens ... While it can’t go on for ever, it shouldn’t be too much of a time-bound process,” she told Reuters. Yet Ouattara seems to be in a hurry to get things going after the April 11 ousting from power of rival Laurent Gbagbo, whose refusal to accept defeat in a November election triggered a fourth-month power struggle in which thousands died. He has pledged to set up a South African-style TRC within two weeks and has already filled the key post of chairman. “It is positive that the President has announced plans for a commission, but we urge him not to rush,” Desmond Tutu, who chaired South Africa’s TRC in the 1990s, warned after talks with Ouattara in Ivory Coast this week. The mandate, structure and aims of Ivory Coast’s TRC process will all help determine whether it can succeed in rooting out an ill which may prove harder to diagnose and cure than the trauma of apartheid inflicted on millions of South Africans. Although Ivorians rubbed along for years following independence from France in 1960, a debate over nationality exploded in 1999, culminating in a 2002-2003 civil war marked by ethnic bloodshed and which split the country between north and south. The Nov. 28 election was hoped to seal reunification but the southerner Gbagbo’s refusal to accept the victory of Ouattara, a northerner, only made matters worse. When pro-Ouattara troops headed south to Abidjan in late-March, hundreds died in an orgy of ethnically-motivated violence still not fully explained. Ouattara’s choice for TRC chairman of ex-premier Charles Konan Banny appears designed to show neutrality. Ex-banker Banny is an uncontroversial figure from the central Baoule ethnicity and will be flanked by one Christian and one Muslim deputy. But the TRC’s mandate has not yet been publicly defined. It is not clear whether Banny will have the right to subpoena alleged wrongdoers to give testimony, nor what will happen to them afterwards - forgiveness or criminal proceedings. Such details are crucial. Policemen suspected of causing the death of South African anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko sought amnesty in return for testimony but the TRC turned down their request to the relief of Biko’s family, who argued that justice would have been cheated. “There must be no amnesty for serious crimes,” said Corinne Dufka, West Africa director of Human Rights Watch. “It is not a substitute for the very serious crimes that have characterised the Ivorian conflict.” Whether Gbagbo should be heard is a moot point. Arguably the process would appear incomplete without an appearance by the man at the centre of the storm, but if he testifies it could complicate or even undermine legal proceedings against him. The end goal of Ivory Coast’s TRC remains open. Sierra Leone’s TRC led to actions aimed at bolstering adherence to international treaties and seeking to counter discrimination of women and other ills seen contributing to its conflict. One recommendation of the Ivorian process could be a system of compensation for victims of land disputes, which for years have fuelled northerners’ bitterness at what they see as their discrimination at the hands of a southern elite. Yet as neighbouring Liberia has seen, TRC recommendations can complicate matters. In 2009 its TRC banned President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf from politics for 30 years for backing former warlord Charles Taylor. Sirleaf admits she funded Taylor but she said she was misled and is seeking reelection this year regardless. Yet that has also allowed Prince Johnson, a former warlord which the report says should face prosecution, to stand for election against her. Ivory Coast’s TRC will take place against the backdrop of equally tough challenges such as the need to restore security, kickstart the economy and foster genuinely inclusive politics. Ultimately its most powerful contribution could be to create a narrative about past woes which the country can live with.—Reuters

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Yemen Qaeda may raise profile after Laden By Erika Solomon and Mohammed Ghobari l-Qaeda’s Yemen-based wing, already at the top of US security concerns, may step further into the spotlight after US forces killed Osama bin Laden, possibly by organising revenge attacks. AlQaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has staged several foiled strikes on US and Saudi targets, using daring and novel tactics. Such aggression may help AQAP claim symbolic leadership in a global Al-Qaeda movement that now consists mostly of loosely linked networks of like-minded Islamist militants. “Bin Laden’s death is a good thing for AQAP - no doubt about that,” said Jarret Brachman, a senior adviser to the US government on counterterrorism. He said the absence of an overall AlQaeda leader would increase the importance of the organisation’s Yemeni wing. “It opens up space for AQAP to exert further influence over the future direction of the global movement,” he said. Bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, is front-runner to inherit his mantle. But analysts suggest he lacks the charisma to be an inspirational guide as well as an operational leader. Yemen was bin Laden’s ancestral homeland and is now in the throes of a stand-off between President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a US ally against Al-Qaeda, and a protest movement bent on his ouster, threatening political chaos that AQAP could exploit.

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A former AQAP member who asked not to be named told Reuters in Sanaa that he feared the group would try to boost its standing in the leadership stakes with a spectacular attack. “They will use this as an incentive for a strike. Not very soon, but sometime, I’m expecting a big operation from them, because there is going to be competition between it and the branches in Iraq, Pakistan and Morocco for leadership.” Yemeni political analyst Ali Seif Hassan also anticipated a violent response to bin Laden’s killing. “It will have a big effect on AQAP,” he said. “I’m expecting revenge attacks.” Yet AQAP, with a strong foothold in Yemen’s rugged deserts and mountains, has been quiet lately - apparently waiting out the storm as the impoverished country is wracked by popular protests aimed at toppling Saleh, once an important US and Saudi partner against Al-Qaeda. Saleh, however, has played an ambiguous game, sometimes manipulating militants for his own advantage, and often seeking to extract more funding and support from the United States as the price for his cooperation in counter-terrorism efforts. The anti-Saleh protests, in which AQAP has only a marginal role, if any, offer a new challenge to the organisation. “What they want to do is regroup and find new strongholds and strengthen their relationships for after Saleh falls,” said Barak Barfi of the Century Foundation. “They’re not being hunted, they’re going to spread out ...

knowing the capability of the United States and its Yemeni allies, they’re going to try to create a more durable infrastructure that can withstand and sustain attacks.” Yemen welcomed bin Laden’s killing, while prodemocracy activists urged protesters not to brandish his image to avoid giving the authorities a pretext for a tougher crackdown. AQAP is unusual among Al-Qaeda franchises in having not only an effective operational commander but also charismatic members such as the eloquent, USborn cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki. Nasser AlWuhayshi, the head of AQAP, was a close personal aide to bin Laden in Afghanistan in the 1990s, and he has stuck closely to the leader’s ideology and operational tactics. He created AQAP after breaking out of a Yemeni prison in 2006. It works largely independently of the original Al-Qaeda and has won praise from militants after innovative albeit abortive attacks on US-bound airplanes in 2009 and 2010. “Bin Laden’s death won’t have much of an impact at all on AQAP in the short term,” said Princeton scholar Gregory Johnsen. But if militants still sought someone to emulate, “they could raise up Wuhayshi as a man who studied with the master, as someone they should then go and join”, he added. Bin Laden himself cemented a leadership role after his influential mentor Abdallah Azzam, a cleric who called for jihad in Afghanistan, died in a bomb blast in the late 1980s. Another useful card in AQAP’s hand is

Awlaki, who left the United States in 2001 and joined Al-Qaeda in Yemen. He was in touch with a US Army major who in Nov 2009 allegedly went on a shooting rampage on a US military base at Fort Hood, Texas that killed 13 people and wounded 32. The cleric, of Yemeni origins, was also linked to a Nigerian man who studied in Yemen and botched an attempt to bomb a US-bound passenger plane in December 2009. “(Awlaki) will rise in the ranks. He is really quite charismatic and one of the few people among the jihadi leaders to have that sort of charisma - there’s something bin Laden-esque about his charisma,” said Thomas Hegghammer, senior research fellow at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment. A fixation on Awlaki by the US government and Western media has raised his profile among militants worldwide and helped gain AQAP a more global profile, analysts say. “That may play in to the position for leadership of the movement now,” said William Mccants, founder of the blog Jihadica. “Having that brand name, which is a lot of what bin Laden was about, really helped.” AQAP’s high profile could attract funds and recruits, as well as increasing its influence with other Al-Qaeda networks. “Given there is an operational gap in terms of leadership and a gap in terms of charisma (after bin Laden’s death), I think maybe de facto it just shifts to AQAP,” said Mccants.— Reuters

Assad retrenches into Alawite power base By Khaled Yacoub Oweis resident Bashar Al-Assad is increasingly relying on his Alawite power base to crush pro-democracy protests that have posed the boldest challenge to the Assad family’s 41 years of rule over Syria. Assad, an Alawite, sent army and secret police units dominated by officers from the same minority sect, an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam, into mainly Sunni urban centres to crush demonstrations calling for his removal for the last six weeks. Their use of tanks to shell the city of Deraa last week, storming of mosques and attacks on unarmed civilians - as reported by residents and activists - have raised the stakes. Reports say that Sunni conscripts, Syria’s majority sect, refused to fire at their co-religionists. The 45-year-old president, who has kept the Soviet-era political system he inherited from his father intact, has hinted repeatedly that the protesters were serving a foreign conspiracy to spread sectarian strife. The warning was reminiscent of language his father, the late President Hafez AlAssad, used when he put down an Islamist and secular leftist challenge to his rule in the 1980s and has not found wide resonance. Mass protests for political freedoms and an end to corruption spread after Assad made his remarks. An official media campaign was launched last month with the motto “surround the symbols of sectarian strife”. Security forces have shot dead at least 560 civilians in attacks on protesters, human rights groups

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say. Hundreds more are missing, many feared killed, and thousands have been arrested, adding to thousands of political prisoners. But Assad may have struck a chord among members of the Alawite sect, who rose to prominence in the army under French rule, when the colonial administration used “divide and rule” tactics to control Syria. Alawite officers expanded in numbers and gained control over the armed forces a few years after the Baath Party took power in 1963, especially key air squadrons, missile and armoured brigades and intelligence. “ The army is mostly Sunni in terms of numbers, but an Alawite captain has more say than a Sunni general,” said a former member of the army ’s personnel division. Alawites received preferential treatment in government and security jobs, although many Alawite villages remained poor and prominent Alawite figures led part of the secular opposition against Assad family rule. A declaration signed last month by Aref Dalila,

a leading Alawite economist who spent eight years as a political prisoner after critcising monopolies granted to an Assad cousin, denounced what he called the sectarian scare tactics used by authorities. Assad, who allowed Islamists to exert more control over society as long as they did not interfere in politics, tried during the protests to placate conser vative Sunnis by promising to open an Islamic university and easing bans on wearing the full veil. His father used a blend of repression and the granting of privileges to ensure that the Sunni merchant class, whose influence has gradually waned as a new business generation tied to the Assad family rose, supports Syria’s minority rulers. Control of the army, however, has remained key to perpetuating Assad family rule over a majority Sunni population. The Fourth Mechanised Brigade, headed by Assad’s brother Maher, bombed and machine-gunned the city of Deraa into submission last week. Republican Guards units deployed around Damascus. In Rastan north of Homs, residents said Militar y Intelligence agents killed 17 protesters on Friday. Witnesses said authorities have begun to arm villages in the Alawite Mountains overlooking the mixed coastal cities of Latakia,

Banias and Tartous, where Alawites who descended from there were employed in the government and security apparatus, marginalising traditional Sunni communities. Gunmen loyal to Assad, known as ‘shabbiha’, have rampaged in Banias and Latakia to scare demonstrators, killing at least six civilians in a sectariandriven attacks, residents said. “I was driving with my wife and children through the Alawite Mountains over Banias and road blocks appeared in almost every Alawite village. Villagers were carrying brand new AK-47s,” said a Syrian Christian engineer, whose community has stayed on the sidelines during the unrest. Anas Al-Shughri, a protest leader in mostly Sunni Banias, said armed Alawite villagers in the hills overlooking the restive city have been loosely grouped into loyalist militias. “I regret to say that the propaganda that Assad is spreading that the Alawites will not survive if he is toppled is receiving an audience among our Alawite neighbours,” Shughri said. A report by the Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies, which is headquartered in Doha, said sectarian “agitation has reached an advanced stage in mixed areas” but that Syrians in general have not fallen for it. “ There is no dispute that the ‘shabbiha’ are semi-criminal gangs comprosed of thugs close to the regime,” it said. Syria’s leadership was exploring “the importance of the sectarian factor and how to use it to confront the mass demonstrations freedom and dignity,” the report said. — Reuters


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THURSDAY, MAY 5, 2011

analysis

Qaeda priority is survival, not succession

Focus

By William Maclean vading capture will be the overwhelming priority for AlQaeda’s central leadership in the Afghan-Pakistan border area after the US seized potentially vital intelligence during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. The delicate task of agreeing a replacement for the group’s founder and inspirational figurehead, let alone avenging his death, are challenges that may have to wait. If and when the 20 or so core commanders feel their physical security has been adequately safeguarded, the group can start to assess bin Laden’s loss, agree on a new chief and renew ties to the group’s allies and affiliates. The view, from their perspective, will be bleak: Even before bin Laden’s death, mainly peaceful revolts against Arab despots had made Al-Qaeda’s path of violence seem ever more irrelevant. “Al-Qaeda Central will continue, zombie-like, to wreak havoc, but it will never be the same,” wrote Thomas Hegghammer, a scholar at the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment. “Bin Laden ... was the driving force of the organisation and much has died with him.” And avenging his death, in the short term, will be a job best delegated to the tiny but passionate global community of Al-Qaeda sympathisers, counter-terrorism experts say. But the immediate task will simply be to protect life and liberty, assessing what new dangers have been created by the seizure of intelligence during the raid on bin Laden’s house. In Washington, a US national security source confirmed forensic specialists were among the US forces who killed bin Laden and large amounts of intelligence was collected. Leah Farrall, a former senior counter-terrorism analyst with the Australian Federal Police, said security would dominate the thinking of Al-Qaeda’s south Asia-based core in the short term. “Its leadership will go to ground and close ranks while they try to protect themselves and ascertain the degree of damage to their communications channels and other elements of operational security,” she wrote in a blog. “Al-Qaeda is unlikely to waste operatives on hasty retaliation. It will incite others to do so, but its own efforts will come later.” US officials said their forces were led to the three-storey building north of Islamabad after more than four years tracking one of bin Laden’s most trusted couriers, who was identified by men captured after the Sept 11 attacks. The courier is likely to have made contacts with the online experts who distribute AlQaeda’s statements to the world, according to US militant propaganda expert Laura Mansfield. Those contacts may in turn have allowed US spies to track other messengers in contact with other Al-Qaeda leaders like bin Laden’s deputy, the veteran Egyptian militant Ayman Al-Zawahiri. “Al-Qaeda core will be even more careful after this,” said Richard Barrett, a United Nations official who monitors AlQaeda and the Taleban. “If couriers led the US to bin Laden, that leaves few if any safe ways to maintain contact the with outside world. At the same time, wrote Barrett, Al-Qaeda knew it had to show relevance at a period of great change in the Arab world. “The timing is not good for them. They will also need to ensure that they are not left behind by some deal-making with the Pakistanis, or even with the Afghans/US in Afghanistan.” Even when the situation stabilises and Al-Qaeda operatives have managed to shore up their security, the task of agreeing on a successor will strain Al-Qaeda’s internal politics. Zawahiri is widely expected to assume the leadership, at last on an interim basis, but he is handicapped by a reputation for inflexibility and small-mindedness and is not widely popular. Author Steve Coll wrote on a New York magazine website that Zawahiri had a history of alienating colleagues. “Bin Laden was a gentle and strong communicator, if somewhat incoherent in his thinking. Zawahiri is dogmatic and argumentative, he wrote. The London-based intelligence consultancy Exclusive Analysis forecast “a self-destructive battle for succession” within AlQaeda, which has never had to manage a succession in its top leadership since it was founded in about 1988. It said the group’s audacious Yemen-based affiliate, AlQaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, was the best placed ally to take over strategic leadership and attack planning after mounting bold and technically sophisticated plots against the West. Jarrett Brachman, a leading US analyst on Al-Qaeda who advises the US government, agreed bin Laden’s death offered an opening now for several men to rise to prominence. “There are two younger Libyans - Attiyatallah and Abu Yahya Al-Libi - who have been positioning themselves to assume the reins. Will the Libyans defer to Zawahiri?” Other potential candidates include Saif Al-Adel, an Egyptian former Al-Qaeda military commander, and Nasser Al-Wuhayshi, the Yemeni AQAP leader and former personal secretary to bin Laden. Barrett suggested Zawahiri was not leader material. “I think Ayman Al-Zawahiri will take over the reins in the short term,” he told Reuters. “But I doubt anyone has confidence in his leadership skills, and I imagine others will want the fame, and the gory glory, of running the movement.” — Reuters

Laden killing highlights perils deep inside Pak

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By Michael Georgy

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US to juggle risks, resources By Missy Ryan ven as Americans cheer the death of Osama bin Laden, US policymakers may struggle to map out a new US security policy that can redirect resources from a decade of laser-like focus on counterterrorism while still guarding against fresh attacks. The death of the Al-Qaeda leader, who embodied the post-Sept 11 decade and the ‘War on Terror’ it inspired, could allow Washington to rebalance its foreign policy away from the expensive, bloody wars of Iraq and Afghanistan and shadowy counterterror operations elsewhere. But such a shift, while welcome for Americans wearied by distant conflicts and worried by close-to-home issues like the economy, would run the risk of neglecting ongoing threats emanating from places like Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. “It does free the United States up to change course either way,” said Daniel Byman, a security expert and member of the United States’ 9/11 Commission. “We can more aggressively go after affiliates like Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, shift to focus on (possible bin Laden successor Ayman al-) Zawahiri ... or put the assets and energy into other priorities,” he said. As the bloom of success in finally eliminating bin Laden wears off in the weeks ahead, President Barack Obama will face tough choices over these priorities - choices he must make in a poisonous pre-presidential campaign political climate. The assumption, virtually unquestioned, that terrorism is the United States’ No. 1 security concern may be challenged for the first time since before Sept 11 - even as Obama in July starts a gradual drawdown of US troops in Afghanistan. The Obama administration has stressed the raid that killed bin Laden in a safehouse outside Islamabad - so secret the Pakistani government apparently was in the dark - did not deal a death blow to Al-Qaeda or other global militant groups. “This does not mean that we are putting down our guard, as far as Al-Qaeda is concerned,” said John Brennan, Obama’s top counterterrorism advisor. “It may be a mortally wounded tiger that still has some life in it.” But while a new Reuters/Ipsos pill showed Obama enjoy-

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ing a popularity bump from the bin Laden coup, he is grappling with a host of domestic pressures like an uncertain economic recovery, a resurgent Republican minority and his 2012 re-election bid. For many Americans, now is the time to renew the focus on a different kind of US global footprint. That could include greater public and economic diplomacy, and support for nascent democratic regimes in countries like Egypt where the threat of Islamist radicalism, real or imagined, fueled decades of US support for authoritarian rulers. Congress has not shown much inclination to withhold security funding. But fiscal pressures are intense and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives might take a harder look now that the Sept 11 mastermind is dead. Leaders in Europe and elsewhere appear to embracing a similar shift as they turn to more prosaic concerns like debt burdens and the race against rising economic powers like China. Some officials believe Islamist militant groups, who capitalized on decades of simmering Arab discontent, may be less relevant following the popular revolutions that is transforming the Middle East this year. A US policy shift could be accelerated by mounting fatigue with the long, costly campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, where over 6,000 US soldiers have died since 2001. Obama, who rose to prominence in part by opposing the 2003 invasion to topple Saddam Hussein, has the United States on track to pull out the last of its troops from Iraq at the end of the year. And despite record violence, Obama is expected to begin a withdrawal - probably modest - from Afghanistan in July. Following the death of senior leaders over the past few years, Al-Qaeda is a much more scattered, diffuse organization than it once was, counterterrorism officials and analysts say. Max Boot, a Council on Foreign Relations fellow, wrote this week that bin Laden’s death at best “might lead to the decline of Al-Qaeda and the rise of other, competing organizations.” The challenge of tracking such fractured, diffuse threats seems likely to dominate US counterterrorism operations in the future. “It behooves us to pay attention,” said Admiral William Fallon, the former head of US Central Command and board member of the American Security Project. —Reuters

India eyes looming Afghan endgame By Alistair Scrutton and Henry Foy ndia may nervously wonder if Osama bin Laden’s death will hasten a triumphalist US withdrawal from Afghanistan and leave New Delhi exposed to an unfriendly, Pakistan-dominated neighbourhood and unfettered militancy in its backyard. For India, bin Laden’s death deep in Pakistan confirmed what it had long suspected, that a so-called Western ally was turning a blind eye to militant networks on its soil - a fear reinforced by the 2008 Pakistani militant attacks on Mumbai. But even more worrying for New Delhi would be any sign that President Barack Obama will use the death to speed up withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, leaving a vacuum that its nucleararmed foe Pakistan and the Taliban may only be to happy to fill. “The clear issue is the need to focus on the situation in Afghanistan,” a senior Indian government source, who declined to be named, said in reference to the situation post-bin Laden. “No-one wants a precipitous withdrawal of international forces in Afghanistan... There is still much work to be done.” Both India and Pakistan, which have gone to war three times since 1947, have for decades sought to secure leverage in this Central Asian geopolitical crossroads. That has gained urgency after Obama’s tentative timeline to start to withdraw military forces from July. “India’s eyes will be more on the US than Pakistan,” said Siddharth Varadarajan, an associate editor at The Hindu newspaper. “India will be looking at the end game”. After eliminating its top target in the

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t is saddled with a feckless government, dogged by poverty and corruption and now, with the revelation that the world’s most-wanted man was holed up in its backyard, Pakistan looks more like a failed state than ever. Pressed into an alliance with the United States in its “war on terror” days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, nuclear-armed Pakistan has never been able to shake off doubts about its commitment to the battle against Islamist militancy. When US Special Forces killed Osama bin Laden in a dramatic helicopter raid on Monday, it turned out that - contrary to popular imagination - the Al-Qaeda leader had not been hiding in a mountain cave along the violence-plagued border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, an area US President Barack Obama once described as “the most dangerous place in the world”. He had in fact been living in a respectable townhouse a two-hour drive up the road from Islamabad and a short walk from a military academy that counts among its alumni the army chief. The government denies it knew where bin Laden was, but for many the discovery will only confirms Pakistan’s reputation as “Al-Qaeda central”. “Pakistan is truly at the epicenter of global terrorism,” Lisa Curtis, senior researcher on South Asia at the Heritage Foundation, wrote in a paper on bin Laden’s killing. The suspicion that Pakistani security agents might have been playing a double game, shielding bin Laden from the world’s biggest manhunt have led to calls for punishment. “Perhaps the time has come to declare it a terrorist state and expel it from the comity of nations,” British-Indian author Salman Rushdie wrote of Pakistan in a column this week. Pakistan is beset by a host of problems, some of which have bedevilled it since the bloody partition of British-ruled India and its independence in 1947 as a home for South Asia’s Muslims. Its economy is propped up with an International Monetary Fund loan and about a third of its people live in poverty. Levels of literacy and education are dire, especially for women. So-called ghost schools, with no teachers or children and corrupt officials pocketing the budget, are rife. Violent religious conservatism is becoming more mainstream: this year alone two senior officials have been assassinated for challenging a law the stipulates death for insulting Islam. Pakistan’s population - at 170 million the world’s sixthlargest - is growing at more than 2 percent a year. The threat of environmental catastrophe such as water shortages, especially in the longer term when glaciers melt in the Himalayas and rivers run dry, raise a nightmare scenario of deprivation. All the while, a venal elite defends its privileges, squabbling politicians enrich themselves and the army, which has ruled for more than half of the country’s 64-year history, looms over public life with the prospect of intervention a constant. But it is the cocktail of Islamist militants and nuclear weapons that raises the biggest fears around the world. Pakistan tested nuclear weapons in 1998, days after arch-rival India conducted tests, and it now has what experts believe is the world’s fastest-growing nuclear arsenal with about 80 bombs, material for scores more, and a range of missiles to deliver them. Former CIA official Bruce Riedel wrote in a piece in the Wall Street Journal last month that Pakistan’s arsenal of nuclear warheads is on track to become the fourth-largest in the world by the end of the decade, behind only the United States, Russia and China. Compounding fears of what its enemies see as a loose-cannon nuclear power, the father of the Pakistani bomb, Abdul Qadeer Khan, confessed in 2004 to selling nuclear secrets to Iran, North Korea and Libya. Khan was pardoned by the government, although placed under house arrest for five years, leading to suspicions of official complicity in the world’s most serious proliferation scandal. The government and military denied any involvement in the proliferation ring and they regularly reject concern over the security of the country’s nuclear weapons programme. At the heart of many of Pakistan’s woes, and its support over three decades for Islamist militants, is its rivalry with India. The two countries have gone to war three times since their partition after World War Two. Pakistan, along with the United States and Saudi Arabia, nurtured the Islamist fighters, including bin Laden, who drove Soviet forces out of Afghanistan in the 1980s. Since its creation, Pakistan has seen a friendly Afghanistan - into which its forces could withdraw in the event of an invasion by a much bigger Indian army - as a central plank of national security. That, too, was the reason for its support of the Afghan Taleban in the 1990s: the perceived necessity of a friendly, ethnic Pashtun-dominated Taleban government in Kabul rather than one led by proIndian north Afghan factions. Even today, nearly 10 years after signing up to the US campaign against militancy, Pakistan is refusing to move against Taliban factions based on its side of the border because of its fear of an Indian-dominated Afghanistan. Similarly, Pakistan for years nurtured militants fighting Indian forces in its part of the Kashmir region, the source of most bitterness between the neighbours since their independence. It is conceivable that bin Laden was protected by Pakistan’s security service, not because of any support for his vision of global holy war, but because bin Laden might have been seen as a valuable asset, like an ace to play, in the event of a show-down with India. All this does not necessarily mean the country is failing, said Pakistani security analyst Hasan Askari Rizvi. “Pakistan can’t be described as a terrorist state. The problem is that there are people who are sympathetic to militants,” he said. “The state of mind that has been created in Pakistan is a problem and the military has a role in it but Pakistan has the capacity to overcome this.” Pakistan’s role in bin Laden’s killing remains murky. The United States has hinted at Pakistani help in tracking bin Laden down, but said the country’s security agencies were kept in the dark about the operation to kill him because of fear the Al-Qaeda leader would have been tipped off. Pakistan has given similar mixed signals, denying knowledge of the raid but saying Pakistan’s main security agency had been passing on information to the CIA about the bin Laden compound since 2009. Pakistani political analyst Mosharraf Zaidi said both Islamabad and Washington appeared to be making a coordinated effort to create the impression Pakistan was kept in the dark. That would provide Pakistan with “plausible deniability” in the event of a public backlash over bin Laden’s killing. “That bin Laden was alive and well till May 1 because the Pakistanis were helping him, and that he is dead and buried, because the Pakistanis helped kill him - both can be simultaneously true. And they probably are,” Zaidi wrote in an commentary this week. —Reuters

region, the US administration has publicly said it is committed to Afghanistan. But Washington observers and lawmakers say there is little doubt pressure will fall on Obama for a withdrawal of troops as he battles a budget deficit and an upcoming election campaign. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has spent political credit on dialogue with Islamabad, seeing any peace deal as the crowning achievement of his premiership, despite a trend of having his fingers burned by Pakistan. His olive branch in 2006 was dashed by the Mumbai carnage, an attempt to kickstart talks in Egypt in 2009 was pilloried by the Hindu nationalist opposition at home, and the news of bin Laden’ s Pakistan sanctuary came only weeks after Singh’s “cricket diplomacy” initiative. That rapprochement will continue. While Indian newspapers revelled in a chorus of Pakistani condemnation, a carefully worded statement from the prime minister appeared to keep India on course for dialogue despite the lack of trust. “India works on the assumption Pakistan will continue to deceive. The government will continue to engage with the full knowledge Pakistan is colluding with the bad guys,” said Varadarajan. The US may increasingly see Pakistan through the prism of its ties with India, shifting a regional approach from Af-Pak to India-Pak as operations diminish in Afghanistan. But New Delhi has

resisted this link, fearing US-led pressure to resolve the disputed regional of Kashmir, which it claims in full. “Pakistan will become even more of a shared concern for the US and India,” said Ranjit Gupta, member of the Indian Security Advisory Council of the US-India Institute, a Washington-based think-tank. “US thinking may bring together India and Pakistan... but not in the old sense of the

hyphenation where the pressure was always on India. The onus will now be on Pakistan.” New Delhi fears a return to the 1990s in Afghanistan, when both a civil war and Taleban control fostered militant groups in the region and fuelled attacks on India. “New Delhi has been contemplating the impact of a US withdrawal from Afghanistan for a while. If the US left lock, stock and barrel, India would be left to pick up the pieces,” said Harsh V Pant of the Defence Studies Department, King’s College London. India is Afghanistan’s biggest regional aid donor and its $1.3 billion of projects, from building a parliament to a highway to Iran, shows what Indian officials like to call their “soft power” to win hearts and minds in Afghanistan. Washington has been happy to see that aid. But US ally Pakistan has publicly derided India’s attempt to secure influence in what it see as its own backyard. Pakistan accuses India of backing separatists in Baluchistan, an area which spills into Afghanistan. India denies the charge. “India has coordinated its Afghan policy with the US, as it now realises it has no leverage over Pakistan. The best asset India has is a western presence in Afghanistan,” said Pant. India has sometimes appeared frustrated at

Washington for not pressuring Pakistan more, citing its proximity and susceptibility to attacks from militants based in the country. But that has not stopped India from reaching out, most recently when Singh invited his counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani to watch a World Cup cricket match between the rivals in March, described by India’s foreign secretary as “re-engagement” talks. Until now there has been little political risk for Singh. His tentative moves to Islamabad have not sparked outrage from voters for whom billion-dollar corruption scandals and persistently high inflation are far bigger concerns. So India has little to gain in using bin Laden’s death to press Pakistan harder. India has achieved little with hawkish stances and there is recognition that it only risks strengthening Pakistan’s hardliners. “India is not going to push it hard because the whole process of normalisation will run into trouble, and Pakistan doesn’t want that and the Indian government doesn’t want that,” said Hasan Askari Rizvi, a Pakistani political analyst. In the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks US officials in 2008 called for India to tone down its rhetoric, a cable obtained by WikiLeaks said. It is a policy that seems to have sunk in with Singh and Shivshankar Menon, the national security advisor seen as a major architect of India’s Pakistan policy. The 78-year-old Singh, who was born in what is now Pakistan, even appointed an envoy to conduct secret talks with the head of Pakistan’s army, General Ashfaq Kayani, a report in the Times newspaper in London said last month. Singh’s office, later, said the report was false. — Reuters


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IAAF Diamond League DOHA: Late pull-outs by 800 metres world record holder David Rudisha of Kenya and his main challenger Abubaker Kaki of Sudan have hit the first IAAF Diamond League meeting of the year to be held in Doha tomorrow. Rudisha, the 2010 world athlete of the year, is yet to fully recover from a leg injury while double world indoor champion Kaki suffered leg cramps during training. “I’m very disappointed not to be able to run in Doha, where I’ve opened my summer racing season for the last four years,” Rudisha said in a statement. The Kenyan world record holder started 2011 at the Melbourne Track Classic in March, clocking 1 minute 43.88 seconds, the fastest in the world this year. With several top athletes skipping the Qatar meeting as they bid to peak only in time for the World Championships in Daegu in South Korea (Aug. 27 to Sept. 4), the Doha field looks depleted. —Reuters

THURSDAY, MAY 5, 2011

Thailand ban stands, says AFC KUALA LUMPUR: Palestine will replace Thailand in the second round of Asian qualifying for the 2012 Olympics after the Thais were booted out for fielding an ineligible player. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said yesterday that Palestine, beaten on a penalty shootout by Thailand in the first round, had been awarded a 3-0 first-leg win. Thailand had won the home leg 10 in Bangkok before being found to have fielded suspended player Sutjarit Jantakol, the AFC said on their website (www.the-afc.com). The Thai football association (FAT) hit back at the AFC, accusing them of being unclear on the rules but their formal appeal was over-ruled by FIFA,

according to the AFC. The player picked up a one-match suspension for violent conduct at the Asian under-19 championship in 2008. However, the Thai FA claimed Sutjarit had already served the ban because he was in the country’s squad at the 2010 Asian Games, although he did not play. Thai soccer chief Worawi Makudi pledged to fight the decision after the AFC countered that the Asian Games soccer tournament is run by the Olympic Council of Asia. “It was the match commissioner’s mistake and not Thailand’s,” Worawi told the Bangkok Post. “We will fight to the end.” Palestine will now play Bahrain over two legs on June 19 and 23. —Reuters

Yao’s comeback a mystery BEIJING: Yao Ming’s participation at this year’s Asian basketball championships remains shrouded in mystery as he battles back from his latest injury, Chinese media reported yesterday. The towering NBA centre, who suffered a serious ankle fracture playing for the Houston Rockets last November, has refused to speculate on his comeback. But China’s captain Liu Wei expressed cautious optimism about the appearance of the seven-foot six-inch (2.28-metre) Yao in Wuhan this September. “Nothing is certain right now,” Liu, a former team mate of Yao’s at the Shanghai Sharks, told the China Daily. “He will stay in Shanghai for a while and then go back to the States for an injury check. Nobody knows if he will be able to play until the results come out.” The Sept. 15-25 tournament guarantees the winners a spot at next year’s London Olympics. “We must secure the title at the Asian Championship this time,” said Liu, mindful of China’s loss to Iran in the 2009 final at home. “Not only paving the way to London but winning back respect in Asia.” —Reuters

Giants bring down Mets

CHICAGO: Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Francisco Liriano delivers his last pitch to Chicago White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn during the ninth inning. — AP

Twins defeat White Sox CHICAGO: Francisco Liriano pitched the major leagues’ first no-hitter of the season, throwing his first career complete game in the Minnesota Twins’ 1-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday. Liriano (2-4) walked six and struck out two, throwing 123 pitches in the 95th major league start for the 27-year-old left-hander. He survived a rocky ninth inning that began when Brent Morel grounded to shortstop and Matt Tolbert made a one-hop throw that first baseman Justin Morneau scooped. Juan Pierre walked and Alexei Ramirez popped to shortstop. Liriano, the reigning AL comeback player of the year, was backed by Jason Kubel’s fourth-inning homer. He threw just 66 pitches for strikes but kept Chicago off-balance in a game that took just 2 hours, 9 minutes. Tigers 4, Yankees 2 At Detroit, Scott Sizemore had three hits in his return to the major leagues, helping Detroit snap a seven-game losing streak. Sizemore was called up from Triple-A Toledo to try to bolster the top of Detroit’s struggling lineup. Leadoff man Austin Jackson hit a double and a triple, and Sizemore hit a double and two singles batting behind him. Brad Penny (2-3) pitched six strong innings without allowing an earned run for the Tigers. Jose Valverde finished for his sixth save. CC Sabathia (2-2) went seven innings, allowing four runs and 10 hits. He struck out six and walked three. Penny allowed six hits, walked two and struck out one. Rays 3, Blue Jays 2 At St. Petersburg, Florida, BJ Upton hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning, giving Tampa Bay the victory. After Ben Zobrist singled to start the ninth off Jon Rauch (1-2), Upton hit an 0-1 pitch into the left field seats.

Kyle Farnsworth (2-0) got the final out in the top of the ninth for the win. Toronto’s Jo-Jo Reyes is 0-11 in 24 starts since a loss to the Angels on June 13, 2008, while with Atlanta. He allowed one run and four hits in six innings Tuesday. The Blue Jays were without slugger Jose Bautista, who didn’t play because of neck spasms. Tampa Bay All-Star third baseball Evan Longoria was activated from the 15-day disabled list after missing 26 games due to a left oblique strain and had a single in four atbats. He struck out twice. Red Sox 7, Angels 3 At Boston, Jon Lester struck out 11 batters, and Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz hit consecutive homers as Boston pulled within one game of .500.The Red Sox, who improved to 6-0 against the Angels this season, are 12-6 following a 2-9 start. Boston has won 15 of its last 16 against the Angels. Lester (4-1) allowed one run, six hits and one walk in seven innings, giving up Mark Trumbo’s second-inning homer that put Los Angeles ahead. He struck out 10 or more for the 15th time in his career. Gonzalez and Ortiz hit Boston’s first consecutive homers this season to start the eighth inning. Three batters later, Marco Scutaro hit a two-run drive over the Green Monster. Indians 4, Athletics 1 At Oakland, California, Orlando Cabrera hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the ninth in his lone at-bat, and Fausto Carmona won for the third time in four starts as Cleveland claimed its seventh straight game. Matt LaPorta and Jack Hannahan hit consecutive one-out singles off Brian Fuentes (13) in the ninth before Cabrera delivered against his former club. Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a two-run single. —AP

Four consecutive championships for KIPCO Kuwait Ladies Softball Team KUWAIT: The KIPCO Kuwait Ladies set out to defend the Middle East Softball Tournament Championship in Dubai held on April 13-16, 2011. Unlike previous years, only three women’s teams were fielded for the tournament: defending champions the KIPCO Kuwait Ladies, Dubai Chicks and Doha Storm. Teams would compete in a round robin seeding and triple elimination tournament play. The first game of round robin play pitted KIPCO Kuwait Ladies in a late night game versus the Dubai Chicks where the Ladies lost 10-7. In a must win situation, the next morning’s game versus Doha Storm, Kuwait pulled through with an 11-5 victory. The Kuwait Ladies would play two more games this day, losing to the Storm 8-3 and winning against the Dubai Chicks 6-4, giving the Ladies a number 2 seed for tournament play. When tournament play commenced, the Ladies readily beat Doha Storm 16-2. Its next game proved to be a tough defensive game and loss to the Dubai Chicks 4-3. The loss forced a midnight game which would begin the championship series, Kuwait Ladies versus the Dubai Chicks. The Ladies won game one, 7-6. The Ladies now need only one more win to retain the championship. The decisive game took place at 9 am Saturday. In a pitching dual, defensive battle on both sides, the Dubai Chicks

handed the KIPCO Kuwait Ladies a convincing loss, winning 4-3. The win not only boosted their confidence but forced a final game for the title of Middle East Softball Champions. The KIPCO Kuwait Ladies took the field for the championship game holding the Chicks to a scoreless first inning. In their first at bat, the Ladies scored 3 runs. Fighting back, Dubai added 2 runs in the third, however the Ladies added to their lead with 2 more runs. The defending champs played tough, eventually breaking the spirit of the Dubai Chicks and defeating them 7-4. The 2011 Middle East Softball Championship is added to wins in 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2002, and 2000. The Most Valuable Player of the tournament, KIPCO Kuwait Lady-third baseman Dee Dee Davis. Tournament accuracy throw contest winner was also won by a Kuwait Lady, Outfielder Denise Davis. Proudly sponsored by KIPCO Kuwait Projects Holding Company, in addition to MVP-Dee Dee Davis and Accuracy Winner-Denise Davis, the team members include Crystal Al-Shatti-first base, Sommer Al Nasarallasecond base, Sarah Convey-Shortstop, Kakie Al Najjar-left field, Gemma Keenan-left center, Hala Al Najjar-right center, Nowal Al Najjar-catcher, Carol Ross Scott-pitcher, Melissa Al Bannaycatcher, Tabitha Ruffin-outfield, Kevin Scott-head coach, Erik Davis and James Blaz-assistant coaches.

NEW YORK: Aubrey Huff ended an 0-for20 slump with a leadoff homer in the 10th inning as the San Francisco Giants snapped out of its offensive slumber, beating the New York Mets 7-6 on Tuesday. Nate Schierholtz homered for the Giants, who had lost eight of 11. The defending World Series champions, shut out three times in their previous six games, entered with the second-worst offense in the National League. Javier Lopez (1-0) and Francisco Rodriguez escaped dicey jams in the ninth before Huff sent a 2-0 pitch from Taylor Buchholz (1-1) off the facing of the right-field overhang for his third home run. Carlos Beltran hit a three-run homer and Ike Davis a two-run shot for the Mets. Phillies 4, Nationals 1 At Philadelphia, Cole Hamels pitched a five -hitter for Philadelphia and Raul Ibanez doubled twice as he stopped 0-35 slump. Jayson Werth was 0 for 3 with a walk in his first game in Philadelphia since signing a $126 million, seven-year deal with the Nationals. Werth was mostly booed when he came to the plate in the first, but he turned the jeers into cheers when he took off his helmet and tipped it to the crowd. Hamels (4-1) struck out six and walked one in his eighth career complete game. Michael Morse homered for the Nationals. Livan Hernandez (3-3) allowed four runs and 10 hits in 6 1-3 innings. Astros 10, Reds 4 At Cincinnati, left-hander JA Happ singled home a run during Houston’s six-run fourth inning — its biggest of the season — as Cincinnati earned its first losing record in nearly a year. The defending NL Central champs fell to 14-15, the first time they have been below .500 since they had an identical mark last May 7. The Astros sent 10 batters to the plate in the fourth, knocking Mike Leake (3-1) out of the game. It was the right-hander’s first start since he settled his shoplifting case. Chris Johnson and Brett Wallace had solo homers for the Astros, who evened the season series at two games apiece. Cardinals 7, Marlins 5 At St. Louis, Daniel Descalso hit his first career home run, a go-ahead three-run shot in the seventh inning, to lead St. Louis past Florida. Matt Holliday hit a two-run homer in the first and had two hits, dropping his NL-leading average one point to .409. Albert Pujols was 0 for 5 with his leagueleading 10th double play ball and stranded six runners his first three at-bats, dropping his average to .231. Gaby Sanchez had four singles, matching his career best for hits, one off Fernando Salas (1-0) in the seventh to put Florida ahead 5-4. Marlins starter Anibal Sanchez had a season-high six walks in 4 1-3 innings. Padres 6, Pirates 5 At San Diego, Rob Johnson hit a solo homer in the eighth inning and Heath

NEW YORK: San Francisco Giants’ Emmanuel Burriss (2) steals second base during the ninth inning of a baseball game as New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes (7) waits for the throw. —AP

MLB results/standings Major League Baseball results and standings on Tuesday. Tampa Bay 3, Toronto 2; Detroit 4, NY Yankees 2; Philadelphia 4, Washington 1; Atlanta, Milwaukee (Postponed); San Francisco 7, NY Mets 6 (10 Innings); Houston 10, Cincinnati 4; Boston 7, LA Angels 3; Minnesota 1, Chicago White S Ox 0; Kansas City 6, Baltimore 5 (10 innings); St. Louis 7, Florida 5; Arizona 4, Colorado 3; Cleveland 4, Oakland 1; San Diego 6, Pittsburgh 5; Seattle 4, Texas 3; Chicago Cubs 4, LA Dodgers 1. American League Eastern Division W L PCT NY Yankees 17 10 .630 Tampa Bay 16 13 .552 Boston 14 15 .483 Baltimore 13 15 .464 Toronto 13 16 .448 Central Division Cleveland 20 8 .714 Kansas City 16 13 .552 Detroit 13 17 .433 Minnesota 10 18 .357 Chicago White Sox 11 20 .355 Western Division Texas 16 14 .533 LA Angels 16 14 .533 Oakland 15 15 .500 Seattle 14 16 .467

GB 2 4 4.5 5 4.5 8 10 10.5 1 2

Bell tied Trevor Hoffman’s club record with his 41st consecutive save to lead San Diego past Pittsburgh. Johnson’s first home run of the season came off Joe Beimel (0-1) and gave the Padres their fifth home win in 17 games, still the majors’ worst home record. Bell’s 41st consecutive save, and seventh in seven chances this year, tied the team record set by Hoffman, the all-time saves leader. It tied Bell with Hoffman and Rod Beck for fourth place on the all-time list. The home run was Johnson’s first since last May 18 when he played for Seattle. Starting pitcher Mat Latos and Eric Patterson also homered for San Diego. D’backs 4, Rockies 3 At Phoenix, Justin Upton hit a tiebreaking homer to lead off the eighth inning as Arizona

National League Eastern Division Philadelphia 19 9 Florida 18 10 Atlanta 15 15 Washington 14 15 NY Mets 12 17 Central Division St. Louis 17 13 Cincinnati 14 15 Pittsburgh 14 16 Milwaukee 13 15 Chicago Cubs 13 16 Houston 12 17 Western Division Colorado 17 10 LA Dodgers 15 16 San Francisco 14 15 Arizona 13 15

.679 .643 .500 .483 .414

1 5 5.5 7.5

.567 .483 .467 .464 .448 .414

2.5 3 3 3.5 4.5

.630 .484 .483 .464

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roughed up Jorge De La Rosa for one inning. Henry Blanco hit his first homer in nearly a year, Xavier Nady drove in two runs and the Diamondbacks knocked De La Rosa around for three runs in the third inning to prevent him from becoming the NL’s first five-game winner. David Hernandez (1-0) worked out of a jam in the eighth inning and Upton hit his sixth homer off Felipe Paulino (0-1) in the bottom half. J.J. Putz closed out the ninth for his seventh straight save. Carlos Gonzalez homered for Colorado, which has lost three of four. The Rockies had a chance in the eighth inning with a runner on third and one out, but Todd Helton was thrown out trying to score on a hard grounder to first and Hernandez got Chris Iannetta to pop out with the bases loaded. — AP

Masters victory not so surprising — Schwartzel VEREENIGING: Charl Schwartzel’s US Masters triumph last month was widely regarded as a surprise but not by the South African himself. Schwartzel held his nerve to seal his first major title with a final round of 66 at Augusta, beating a host of big names to claim the green jacket. “For a foreigner to win in the US is always a surprise for the Americans,” he told Reuters. “It’s fair that they are loyal supporters and only watch their own players, but I was already quite high in the world rankings going into the Masters and in my mind I knew I was good enough to win. “If they had been following my career from the start, they wouldn’t have been surprised, I’ve won more tournaments in Europe than most golfers my age,” Schwartzel said. Schwartzel’s victory charge was lit up by birdies on the last four holes but he said his win owed more to keeping out of trouble. “It took a lot of very good preparation and advice from players like Ernie Els and Retief Goosen,” he said. “The more you play at Augusta, the more you learn to hit the ball in the right places on the green. “In your head, you have to know exactly what the course looks like, you need to have a picture in your head. I was also better prepared for the speed of the greens, I was practising very fast

putts from long before. I think I was number one in putting and that made the difference. “I also didn’t have a bogey after the fourth hole. People always talk about my four birdies down the stretch, but keeping bogeys off my card is what laid the foundation because 10, 11 and 12 are seriously bogeyable.” Schwartzel played a round at his home course, the Maccauvelei Golf Club, on Wednesday and quickly wore out another marker pen. “It’s the first thing I put in my pocket these days,” Schwartzel said shortly before the pen ran out of ink after signing a stream of caps, posters and shirts. An hour’s drive south of Johannesburg and nestled on the banks of the Vaal River with parkland trees displaying their brightest autumn leaves, the course is a tranquil escape for a player still coming to terms with being Masters champion. “A lot of people want your time and I haven’t learnt yet to say no,” Schwartzel said. “You never know how big it’s going to be until you’ve done it, even though I sort of had an idea after seeing Louis Oosthuizen do it last year at the Open. “But it’s what I’ve always worked for, winning a major and competing with the very best, and if it is the price I have to pay, then I’m prepared to deal with it. I just need to manage my time bet-

Charl Schwartzel ter. My biggest fear is neglecting my golf. It’s what got me here and I’ll never do anything that stops me giving my game the attention it needs,” Schwartzel said. Schwartzel showed great composure under extreme pressure on the final day at Augusta and he said it was his previous win, the Joburg Open in January, which had given him the belief he needed. “Jack Nicklaus said you need to win with your B game because you won’t always have your A game. I was able to do that at the Joburg Open, I learnt how to play well when I’m playing badly. —Reuters


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Another tough break for IndyCar series in Brazil SAO PAULO: IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said his heart sank when he saw dark clouds hovering above the exciting layout the series set up on the streets of Sao Paulo. He knew that one of its marquee races was about to be disrupted by bad weather for the second year in a row. Sure enough, the clouds quickly turned into severe thunderstorms and torrential rain forced the Sao Paulo 300 last Sunday to be postponed for a day. It was another setback for a series desperate to put on good shows to boost its image and increase television ratings and attendance. “It feels like a lot of bad luck, the worst luck,” Bernard told The Associated Press. “The black cloud just seems like it just keeps getting bigger up there. But you know what, where there’s a rainstorm, there’s a rainbow. Let’s hope for that rainbow tomorrow.”

Bernard is trying to remain optimistic and sees nothing but a bright future for IndyCar, although rain for the second year in a row in Brazil definitely hurt. The track on the streets of South America’s biggest city was built to allow for plenty of passing and action, going through a stadium-like Sambadrome and the series’ longest ever straight at about 1 1/2 kilometers (a mile). But the inaugural race last year was plagued by embarrassing track problems and was cut short by a downpour that made the circuit undrivable. The rain caused even more disruption this past weekend, forcing the race to be postponed to Monday, when it was run before empty stands and ended at the two-hour limit with only 55 of 75 laps completed. “We had two beautiful days of sunshine and fantastic competition, and when the green flag flies (everything)

just turns,” Bernard said. “It’s some bad luck, it was very depressing. I mean, to see the work that everyone put into this event, all the sponsors, and to see so much work get taken away so quickly is disappointing.” Bernard, who successfully promoted the Professional Bull Riders Inc., took over IndyCar last year with the goal of revamping the series and increasing its visibility. He has been introducing several changes, including switching its name, adding fancy driver introductions, double-file restarts and even a totally new car for next season. The focus is on providing exciting racing, which is why it was such a disappointment to see the Sao Paulo 300 be disrupted by rain again. Despite all the problems in 2010, the track provided a lot of passes and plenty of action. Bernard was hoping to see more of the same this year, but lengthy delays

— the race was red-flagged twice before being eventually postponed — upset many fans who spent nearly the entire day in the rain to see only three laps run under the green flag. “What we saw at the beginning of the race was a lot of excitement. It was short but there was excitement,” Bernard said. The race on Monday, again under the rain, had its thrilling moments, but few fans returned to watch it. It didn’t help that all five Brazilian drivers got into trouble early and never contended. “This really upsets me,” he said. “It was another form of bad luck in my opinion how the best drivers in Brazil didn’t get to showcase their abilities because of the hard luck.” The Brazilian fans were disappointed, and it’s unlikely those watching the race on T V around the world probably

were much happier. “Unfortunately it does hurt us,” Bernard said. “(Monday’s) ratings will be of course not as good as they could have been if we were on our targeted time slot. But that’s just the breaks of any sport. It’s actually something that happens from time to time and we are going to make the best of it.” Bernard said he was still confident that by the end of the year, U.S. TV rating will be up 20 or 30 percent. “We know we’ve got a great product right now,” Bernard said. “There is always next week. Our next race will be in Indy and we will do good there. I mean, it’s the 100th year running and the momentum is going to continue. One race isn’t going to stop this momentum. We’ve got great momentum going into a new car next year and I think we will be able to capitalize on it.”—AP

No red faces at Red Bull on return to Turkish GP

TAMPA: Tampa Bay Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier celebrates after goal against the Washington Capitals during the second period in Game 3 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Eastern Conference semifinal series. —AP

Lightning beat Capitals TAMPA: Steven Stamkos and R yan Malone scored 24 seconds apart in the third period as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat Washington 4-3 to push the top-seeded Capitals to the brink of elimination in the Eastern Conference semifinals on Tuesday. After winning twice in Washington, the Lightning returned home and rallied to take a commanding 3-0 series lead. Tampa Bay can advance to the conference finals with a vic tor y at home on Wednesday night in Game 4. Vincent Lecavalier and S ean Bergenheim also scored for the fifthseeded Lightning, whose sixth straight postseason win gave them their big lead in the best-of-seven series. Tampa Bay hasn’t lost since falling into a 3-1 hole against Pittsburgh in the first round. Alex Ovechkin had a power-play goal and an assist for Washington, which led 3-2 heading into third period after Mike Knuble, John Carlson and

O vechk in scored in the second. Dwayne Roloson stopped 29 shots for the Lightning. Canucks 3, Predators 2 At Nashville, Tennessee, Ryan Kesler scored his second power-play goal at 10:45 of overtime as Vancouver beat Nashville for a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinal series. Kesler scored his first two goals of the postseason and had an assist, and Chris Higgins had a goal for Vancouver. The Canucks, the Presidents’ Trophy winners in the regular season, bounced back from a 2-1, double-overtime loss in G ame 2 and regained home -ice advantage. Game 4 is tonight in Nashville. Joel Ward and David Legwand both scored for the Predators, who matched the Canucks’ energy but not their shots. Vancouver outshot Nashville 40-26 through regulation. —AP

Canada strike late to defeat Swiss BRATISLAVA: Alex Pietrangelo scored in overtime to give Canada a 4-3 win over Switzerland in Group B at the ice hockey world championship on Tuesday, while in Group A Russia floored hosts Slovakia 4-3. Canada’s Pietrangelo picked up the rebound after Swiss defenceman Luca Sbisa had blocked his initial shot, and sealed the victory at 4:14 of overtime, putting the puck past goalkeeper Leonardo Genoni. Raphael Diaz had put the Swiss ahead in the first period but Canada’s Jordan Eberle and John Tavares struck to put their side 2-1 up by the end of the second. Felicien du Bois levelled for Switzerland before St Louis Blues’ Chris Stewar t netted for the Canadians. Switzerland’s Andres Ambuhl put the score at 3-3 in the 59th minute, but Pietrangelo’s strike 46 seconds before overtime ended settled the match and gave Canada top spot in Group B with eight points. Switzerland, who beat Canada 4-1 at last year’s world championship, end the group stage in second place with six points, behind Canada with eight. In Tuesday’s other Group B game Kevin Hecquefeuille scored an overtime goal to seal a 2-1 win for thirdplaced France against Belarus. Germany needed a penalty shootout to defeat underdogs

Slovenia 3-2 in Group A. Slovenia will now fight in the relegation round. With the game tied at 2-2 after regulation time, Germany won the penalty shootout for a 3-2 victory, to give them three successive wins and six points. It was the first time that the Germans had started a world championship with three wins since the first edition of the competition in 1930. “We got the win in the end which shows a lot of character for our team,” said German defenceman Justin Krueger. “ We’re ready for what’s ahead and we’ve got to just keep pushing it.” Slovenia had gone ahead through Ziga Jeglic and Rok Ticar before goals from Germany’s Michael Wolf and Felix Schutz sent the game into overtime. The Germans, who had already beaten Russia and hosts Slovakia, earned the victor y with Frank Hordler’s wrist shot in the shootout. Germany top Group A, followed by Russia after they claimed their second win defeating third-placed Slovakia in a see-saw contest, settled by Alexei Morozov’s strike in the 44th minute. “I t is pity, we had plenty of chances,” Marian Gaborik of New York Rangers told reporters. “Never mind, we will move on. We have to play better and take advantage of power plays.” —Reuters

ISTANBUL: Mark Webber and Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel will make sure there are no red faces at Red Bull in Turkey this weekend after learning an embarrassing lesson last year. What could have been a dominant one-two finish ended in rage and recrimination after the two team mates collided while fighting for the lead, gifting McLaren maximum points instead. Red Bull have won the Formula One driver and constructor championships since then and return to Istanbul leading both again. “Obviously last year what happened, happened,” team principal Christian Horner told Reuters ahead of the fourth round of the campaign and first of the European season, even if the circuit is on the Asian side of the city. “Lessons were learned from it and we are looking forward to going back to Istanbul,” he said. “It’s a great challenge of a circuit, especially Turn Eight. The whole team’s looking forward to being back in action. “We’ll be going there to do our very best and it’s a circuit that both drivers have gone well at previously. As we saw in China, tyres and strategy play a key role and it will probably be the same again this weekend.” Four of the six races held at the anti-clockwise Istanbul Park have been won from pole position, with the Red Bull drivers the only ones not to have converted the top slot on the grid into victory. Vettel was on pole in 2009, but the German could not match the pace of Jenson Button’s Brawn, while Australian Webber

Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel was fastest in qualifying last year only to end up third on race day. Vettel has been on pole for the past four races, two of them at the end of last year, and will again line up as a hot favourite for a race that risks disappearing from the calendar due to poor attendances and a payment dispute. The 23-year- old won in Australia and Malaysia and was second in China after a strategic error by the team. Red Bull still have the fastest car but their KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) proved troublesome in the opening ‘flyaway’ races-problems Horner was confident had been addressed. “Our main focus of attention has been to try to get on top of the KERS issues,” he said. “It’s a

relatively new technology to us but we are work ing hard to understand and get on top of it. We’ve got some updates coming which hopefully will address some of the niggly issues that we’ve had in the early races. “We’ve made progress at all three races. From it not being on the car in Melbourne to making its racing debut in Malaysia and then getting even more mileage out of the system in China,” he added. “So with every event we are learning more and more and I’m confident that we will have hopefully made a good step forward with the system again this weekend.” McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton won in Turkey last year and, at a fast circuit where KERS will make

a real difference, has the momentum after beating the two Red Bull drivers to the top of the podium in China last month. “For this race, I think we’ll be seeing drivers working quite hard to look after their tyres throughout the race, particularly in Turn Eight, which is fast and bumpy,” the 2008 champion said in a team preview. “It’s one of the most demanding corners for tyres anywhere on the calendar. “There’s every reason to believe that the run of interesting and exciting races will continue,” he added. Horner expected Ferrari, who have yet to finish higher than four th this year, and Michael Schumacher ’s improving Mercedes to be in the mix as well. —Reuters

Ogier eyes Rally of Sardinia OLBIA: Citroen’s Sebastien Ogier will be bidding for a third straight success this season in the Rally of Italy in Sardinia starting tomorrow. Ogier and championship leading teammate Sebastien Loeb will be going head to head with their Ford rivals Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala, in a race which will also include Minis, driven by Dani Sordo and Kris Meeke. For Spaniard Sordo it will be a return to the world rally circuit after five seasons with Citroen as Loeb’s lieutenant. His successor at Citroen, Ogier, has gotten off to a good start this season with wins in the last two races in Portugal and Jordan, with seven-time world champion Loeb, winner of the previous race in Mexico, taking the championship lead in Ammann. Although Loeb won here in 2005, 2006 and 2008, he has a mixed record in Sardinia, a fact which could give Ogier a chance to spread his wings. “The assessment of the season has become positive thanks to these two wins back to back,” said 27-year-old Ogier. “This series comes at the right time as it gets us back into the title race. “At least five of us can win. There’s still a long way to go in the world championship and it’s not the right moment to start calculating. “Our aim is to win even if this forces us to open the road in the next rally. It’s a hotly contested season and every point is important.” Ogier beat Latvala by just two tenths of a second in Jordan, the shortest winning margin in the history of the sport, and is expecting a battle from the Finnish driver who won here in 2009. “Luckily it’s just the WRC and I’ve just three weeks to wait for the next rally. If it had been

Sebastein Ogier in action in this file photo the Olympic Games I would have had four years to wait,” said Latvala. Finland’s Hirvonen, who is now second behind Loeb in the championship, can take heart from the fact that his French rival will act as the sweeper by opening on the sandy surface. “When you’re well placed in the championship you’re badly placed at the start of the following rally,” lamented Loeb. “Being first certainly isn’t the most advantageous position. We won’t be masters of our destiny as the other crews will know our times

and they can pace themselves accordingly. “The event requires 100 per cent concentration as it’s a very tricky route. Your notes have to be very accurate and you have to drive very cleanly.” Citroen Racing director Olivier Quesnel said leaders Loeb or Hirvonen were penalised by the rules which prevents them from “fighting on an equal terms with their rivals”. The situation should however benefit the Mini drivers who will have the advantage of starting several minutes after their Ford and Citroen rivals. —AFP


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Djokvovic and Nadal extend winning streaks

OKLAHOMA: Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (right) of Spain, drives around Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins (left) in the fourth quarter of Game 2 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series. —AP

Heat get past Celtics MIAMI: LeBron James scored 24 of his 35 points in the second half as the Miami Heat used a late 14-0 run to pull away and beat the Boston Celtics 102-91 in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series on Tuesday. Dwyane Wade added 28 points and Chris Bosh finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds for Miami, which leads the best-of-seven series 2-0. Boston tied the game at 80 on a pair of free throws by Paul Pierce with 7:10 left. The Celtics missed their next six shots and Miami pulled away, taking command of both the game and the series _

which doesn’t resume in Boston until Saturday night. Rajon Rondo had 20 points and 12 assists for Boston, which got 16 points from Kevin Garnett and 13 from Pierce. Boston has rallied from an 0-2 deficit in a best-of-seven series only once. Jeff Green scored 11 and Delonte West added 10 for the Celtics, but Ray Allen was limited to seven points on 2-for-7 shooting. Thunder 111, Grizzlies 102 At Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant scored 26 points and James Harden led an outburst by Oklahoma City’s bench with 21 as the Thunder

evened their series with Memphis at one game each. After scoring just 16 points in a Game 1 loss, the Thunder ’s ben ch tr ipled th at amount and put Oklahoma City firmly in control with an 18-6 run to start the fourth quarter. Russell Westbrook scored 2 4 an d h is backup, Eric Maynor, added 15 for the Thunder. Mike Conley scored 24 for Memphis, which cut a 21point, fourth-quarter deficit to six in th e fin al min utes. Z ach Randolph and Marc Gasol combined to make just five of 22 shots for 28 points _ just over half their total from the opener. —AP

Can Dirk roll on after upstaging Kobe? LOS ANGELES: Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki were born just two months apart in 1978, and they’ve both been NBA superstars for more than a decade. They’ve won one league MVP award apiece, and Bryant has only a slight edge in career scoring averages and All-Star appearances. Nobody would ever compare Nowitzki with Bryant in the metrics that matter most, however. In championships, in big-game performances, Dirk just isn’t in Kobe’s league. Yet after Nowitzki and his Dallas Mavericks thoroughly outplayed Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers at the end of their 96-94 comeback victory in their second-round series opener, Nowitzki’s teammates think this might be the season their 7-foot (2.13-meter) German erases their mutual playoff reputation although he’ll have to damage Bryant’s invincible aura to do it. “He always wants the ball down the stretch, and he always finds a way to get it done,” said Dallas guard Jason Kidd, whose veteran defensive savvy also caused problems for Bryant. “He likes that stage. You don’t find a lot of guys who like that stage. Kobe is one of them, but (Nowitzki) has done a lot of work to get there with him. He and Kobe are the two best players on the floor, and he found a way to get it done on Monday.” Game 2 was late yesterday at Staples Center. Although Bryant is widely perceived to be the NBA’s best lategame scorer after a 15-year career filled with clutch play, some statis-

tics show Dirk is a better closer than Kobe, including Nowitzki’s superior shooting percentage on last-minute shots in tight games. Bryant has missed crucial shots in several buzzer-beating situations over the past few postseasons, including his miss off the back rim to end Game 1. Nowitzki scored 11 points in the fourth quarter on Monday during the Mavericks’ first-ever playoff win in Los Angeles, including four in the final 40 seconds. With the Staples Center crowd screaming in his ear with 19.5 seconds to play, Nowitzki coolly made two free throws to give Dallas its first lead of the second half. “I’ve basically seen it all in this league,” Nowitzki said. “It’s my 13th year. I’ve got to be ready for anything. I can adjust to just about anything, and the good thing is we’ve got a lot of shooters on this team. We can do a lot of things.” Nowitzki and Bryant have struck up a friendship during times together at All-Star games or the Olympics, but Bryant doesn’t feel a personal rivalry with Nowitzki. After all, they had never met in the playoffs before Game 1. “It’s different, because it’s not a personal challenge for me to try to stop him or make things difficult for him,” Bryant said. “It’s a little different in that regard.” Their career postseason scoring averages are nearly identical, around 25.5 points apiece, and they’re both among the highest in NBA history. But Bryant has scored at least 30 points in 81 playoff

games, more than anybody except Michael Jordan, and his steady brilliance has pushed the Lakers to seven NBA finals, including the past three. Nowitzki’s offensive talents are unique among centers, but he still hasn’t led the Mavericks to their first title during a decade of playoff appearances. He got close in 2006, but Nowitzki shot poorly while the Mavericks blew a 2-0 lead over the Miami Heat to lose the NBA finals. A year later, Dallas was knocked out of the first round by eighthseeded Golden State, and Nowitzki went 2 for 13 in the Warriors’ clinching victory after a horrific series effort, forcing him into the bittersweet spectacle of accepting his only NBA MVP award after the Mavericks had been eliminated. Dallas had won just one round in the previous four postseasons combined, even with Nowitzki averaging more than 26 points per game over the past three years, before knocking off Portland in the first round this spring. The Trail Blazers set the stage for a typical Mavericks collapse by coming back from a 23-point deficit in Game 4 to even the series - but Dallas responded with two impressive closeout wins. “We’re mentally tougher than we have been,” Nowitzki said. “It showed after the meltdown in Portland, coming back and winning two games when everybody said we were dead. We’re a lot of veteran guys who have been around a lot in this league.”—AP

MADRID: Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal both extended their win streaks with opening victories at the ATP-WTA Madrid Masters yesterday as Roger Federer waited for his chance to join them in the third round. Djokovic, who beat South Africa’s Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-4, extended his run of 2011 success to 28 consecutive matches, putting the Serb within striking distance of the record for the all-time best season start in tennis. The second seed now has a chance to draw level with Ivan Lendl, who went 29 matches without defeat at the start of the 1986 season. Nadal won a 35th consecutive match on the surface, efficiently dispatching former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis 6-1, 6-3 in just under 90 minutes. Nadal has not lost on clay since 2009 in the French Open fourth round to Robin Soderling. The top-seeded title holder next faces a high-voltage third-round showdown with Argentine Juan Del Potro, who thrashed Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-0 after complaining of hip pain a day earlier. Third seed Federer was opening against Spaniard Feliciano Lopez later having won all seven of their previous encounters. Djokovic, the world number two, says he is only interested in replacing Nadal atop the ATP rankings. “It’s a great honor and flattering to be part of the elite, but it’s not

MADRID: Rafael Nadal serves during the match against Marcos Baghdatis in the Madrid Open tennis tournament. —AP my priority,” said Djokovic. “I’m only taking it one match at a time and just hoping I can keep winning.” Djokovic needed one hour and 40 minutes to beat Anderson, winner of his home title at Johannesburg in February and a clay quarter-finalist last week in Estoril. “ Where there is altitude it ’s tough to control the ball, there are more mistakes,” said Djokovic, who has won five titles this season. “It’s crucial to stay really focused for each point. You don’t get that much time on this court and serving well is an advantage. “It’s a fact that I’m playing the best tennis of my life. I’m definitely happy about it,” he added. Former Grand Slam finalist Soderling and Tomas

Hussey and Raina help Chennai beat Rajasthan CHENNAI: Robust half-centuries from Australia’s Mike Hussey and India’s Suresh Raina led the defending champion Chennai Super Kings to an easy eight-wicket victory over Rajasthan Royals in the IPL yesterday. Hussey (79 not out) and Raina (61) shared a 137-run, second-wicket partnership as Chennai scored 149-2 in 18.4 overs after the Shane Warne-led Rajasthan Royals made 147-6 at MA Chidambaram Stadium. It was Chennai’s fourth straight win and took it to joint first on the table with Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians, who could retake the lead by beating Pune in the late game at DY Patil Stadium. Hussey and Raina steadied Chennai’s innings to post 73-1 after 10 overs, and then gave Rajasthan’s bowlers even more grief. The left-handed pair took 19 off an over from leftarm spinner Nayan Doshi as the partnership reached the 100-run mark off 66 balls. Hussey, who smashed one six and eight fours off 55 balls, got to his half-century with two consecutive fours through the off side off medium-pacer Stuart Binny, while Raina ran a single in the same over to complete his 12th IPL 50. Raina struck one six and three fours off 51 balls but was out with only three needed for the win. Hussey completed the victory with a well-struck four off Siddharth Trivedi and raised his hands in glee. “It was very enjoyable batting with Suresh Raina,” Hussey said after being named man of the match. “It was a pretty good pitch with the ball coming on to the bat.” Earlier, electing to bat, Rajasthan got off to a solid start through veteran Rahul Dravid and Australia allrounder Shane Watson. The openers took the score to 86 at the halfway stage with Dravid finishing with a neat 66 off 51 deliveries with 10 fours, and Watson making 32 off 26 with five fours. New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor scored 22 off 14 but others in the middle-order failed to capitalize on the good start with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni using his bowlers well. Pace bowlers Albie Morkel of South Africa and Doug Bollinger of Australia bowled tight towards the end to restrict the score. Left-arm spinner Shadab Jakati finished with two wickets including Watson’s with a lovely return catch. Scores: Chennai Super Kings 149-2 in 18.4 overs (Mike

Kuwait outclass Nigeria

Irfan Bhatti...83 not out

BOTSWANA: In an absorbing tussle between the two best teams of the tournament, Kuwait kept its reputation high by clinching a well deserved victory over Nigeria in the ongoing ICC WCL trophy being played at Botswana. Kuwait’s excelled in all departments of the game and marched to the victory stand with an emphatic win that too by a huge margin of 9 wickets to be the unbeaten team so far. Spectacular swing bowling by Saad Khalid who took 5 wickets for 24 runs and immaculate spin bowling by Azmatullah and Abdulla Akunzada who shared a wicket each helped Kuwait to restrict the mighty Nigerians to a paltry 153 runs in 50 overs. Midhun Pakalapati who bowled his medium pacers effectively had a wonderful spell of 1 for 14 in his seven overs. Winning the toss and electing to field, Kuwait’s Mohammed Murad uprooted the stumps of Nigerian opener Gill and Saad Khalid got rid of Olayinka. Introduction of spinner from the north end saw the downfall of Nigerian skipper Ofem who was bowled neck and crop by leggie Abdullah Akunzada. Sean Philips and Onikoyi toll control over the circumstance & contributed in contrasting style. Onikoyi delt the bowlers with muscularity to carve a quick 20 runs while Sean Philips played an improvised and elegant innings which will remain as one of the best played by a Nigerian in recent times as he punched and drove with great authority to score a classy 75 runs. Adegbola gave him support to score a sedate 17

Berdych also came through their opening matches. Two-time Roland Garros runnerup Soderling, seeded fifth, beat Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 63, while seventh-seeded Wimbledon finalist Berdych overcame Spaniard Marcel Granollers 64, 6-0. In the women’s event, China’s Li Na defeated Czech Iveta Benesova 6-1, 6-4 to set up a match with Italian Rober ta Vinci, who beat Russian Alisa Kleybanova 6-2, 6-2. Li secured her win in 58 minutes with five aces and three breaks of serve. In the third round, Czech 16th seed Petra Kvitova upset secondseeded Russian Vera Zvonareva 6-1, 6-4 to earn the first of the quarterfinal spots. —AFP

runs. As the wicket took enormous turn, skipper Hisham introduced Azmatuulah & Abdulla who spun a web around the Nigerian batsmen and flow of runs dried up quickly. Hisham himself bowled well to capture one wicket for 33 runs. Nigeria were bowled out for 153 runs in the 50th over as Saad cleaned up the tail in his final spell. Chasing a moderate total of 153, Kuwait openers Irfan Bhatti & Abid were in great form from the word go. Abid clouted two huge sixes and a four in the very second over but was caught at long on when he attempted for another huge hit. Saud Qamar the one drop batsman and Irfan Bhatti then played sensibly well with some power packed shots and kept the score moving by some well judged singles. Irfan was severe on anything short and danced down the pitch to bang the spinners. The best shot of the day was a well timed six hit through the line over the long on fence and his unbeaten 83 runs contained 4 huge sixes and 8 well timed boundaries which were scored in just 76 balls. Saud Qamar, the stocky batsman drove with precise timing and most of his runs were scored by some awesome pull shots and his solid innings contained 9 hit to the fence. Saud exhibited solid technique and once in form the talented all rounder showed his classic batting skills to help Kuwait overcome Nigeria in the 25th over. Saad Khalid was declared man of the match for his fantastic bowling performance which fetched him 5 wickets.

Hussey 79 not out, Suresh Raina 61), def. Rajasthan Royals 147-6 in 20 overs (Rahul Dravid 66, Shane Watson 32; Shadab Jakati 2-22, Albie Morkel 2-24). —AP

CHENNAI: Chennai Super Kings batsman Michael Hussey, plays a shot during the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket match. —AP

Mosley: Pacquiao win would be career best LAS VEGAS: Shane Mosley feels a victory over WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao on Saturday would be his biggest ever despite a glittering career that includes world titles in three weight classes. “That would be the best victory at this time,” Mosley told reporters on Tuesday at the MGM Grand, the site of Saturday’s fight. “If I fight Pacquiao and beat him, there will probably have to be another one, because people won’t believe it.” Mosley has yet to be knocked out during his professional career, but his comment was a clear admission that despite a record of 46-6-1 with 39 knockouts, including two victories over compatriot Oscar de la Hoya, he will be a heavy underdog against the Filipino Pacquiao. That reflects the fact that the 39-year-old Mosley’s record is a pedestrian 8-6-1 since the end of 2001 and his last fight in Las Vegas was a comprehensive points defeat over fellow American Floyd Mayweather one year ago. In that fight, Mosley rocked Mayweather badly in the second round but could not capitalise and lost every round after. But he insisted the difference in styles between the two makes the Mayweather fight meaningless when evaluating Saturday’s fight. “Mayweather doesn’t throw a lot of punches, but he throws them at the right time,” he said. — Reuters


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Inverness rock Celtic title hopes INVERNESS: Celtic’s title hopes were dealt a massive blow as they crashed to a 3-2 defeat away to Inverness Caledonian Thistle yesterday that leaves them trailing rivals Rangers by one point with three games remaining. Celtic kicked off knowing four wins out of four would have seen the championship return to Parkhead for the first time in three years. But they got off to the worst possible start when Adam Rooney’s flick deflected off Charlie Mulgrew for an own goal in the seventh minute. Kris Commons equalised with a superb swerving shot just 90 seconds later but Grant Munro, who was told this week he is to leave Inverness after 13 years, restored the home side’s lead in the 53rd minute. Shane Sutherland fired Inverness further ahead in the 62nd minute before Commons pulled one back in stoppage time. The visitors had a further penalty claim turned down a minute later as Inverness held on for a victory that hands Rangers the initiative in the race for the championship. Before the match Inverness announced that ten players would be leaving the club at the end of the season due to financial constraints. However the news didn’t seem to affect the players on the pitch as the home side raced into a seventh minute lead. Sutherland got to the by-line and drilled the ball across goal to the six-yard box where Rooney flicked the ball off Mulgrew and past Fraser Forster from four yards out. Inverness held the advantage for just 90 seconds when a superb goal from Commons hauled Celtic level. The Scotland star turned Ross Tokely before charging

towards goal and letting fly with a left-foot screamer that took the slightest of deflections as it swerved past Ryan Esson into the net. Almost immediately Forster came to the rescue at the other end when Rooney broke into the box but saw his shot blocked by the keeper’s legs in what was a frantic start. Inverness were appealing for a penalty in the 49th minute when Nick Ross went down under the challenge of Mulgrew but referee Mike O’Reilly waved away their protests. However the home fans were celebrating in the 53rd minute when a sensational strike from Munro helped them regain the lead. Aaron Doran’s corner was only headed as far as the centre-half who took a touch before lashing a curling half-volley past Forster. Daryl Murphy replaced Stokes and immediately picked up a head knock which he was receiving treatment for as Inverness increased their advantage in the 62nd minute. Lee Cox lobbed the ball into the box where Sutherland smashed an angled leftvolley that struck the far post and rolled in with Forster rooted to the spot. Forster then twice came to the rescue for Celtic, saving from Rooney who was one-on-one with the keeper before diving to stop Ross’ fierce strike. In the third minute of extra time Celtic were handed a lifeline when they were awarded a penalty after Tokely brought down Shaun Maloney which Commons dispatched expertly into the bottom corner. Substitute Paddy McCourt took a tumble in the box a minute later but the referee dismissed his penalty claims as Inverness held on for the win.—AFP

PORTUGAL: Benfica’s players warm up during a training session at the Municipal Stadium in Braga on the eve of their UEFA Europa League semi-finals second leg football match against SC Braga. —AFP

Braga hope to chalk up another win at Quarry BERNE: Braga’s home stadium is known as the Quarry and the least fashionable of Portugal’s three Europa League semi-finalists will be trying to dig out another narrow win today to reach their first European final. Braga face a 2-1 first-leg deficit against compatriots Benfica in their semi-final and, provided they can keep an clean sheet for the eighth time in nine games at home in Europe this season, one goal will be enough for a ticket to Dublin on May 18. The eventual winners of the semi-final tie will almost certainly face Portuguese champions Porto, who take a 5-1 firstleg win to Spain’s Villarreal for the other semi-final. Since parachuting into the knockout stages from the Champions League, Braga have beaten Lech

Poznan 2-1 on aggregate, Liverpool 10 and Dynamo Kiev on away goals. Their distinctive stadium owes its nickname to the sheer wall of rock which forms one of the four sides to the ground and Braga have won six out of eight European games there so far this season. Braga have only ever won one major trophy-the Portuguese Cup-but they finished as runners-up in the league last season and coach Domingos Paciencia says their rise has captured the imagination of the public, even if they are not the prettiest team to watch. “People are happy about what Braga have been doing, there is great affection for this team,” he told UEFA.com. “Last season was very important. I

felt, apart from the Braga fans, that a nation was supporting Braga...I felt Braga united many people. “The image is that of a warrior-like team, a team that works, and that also helps the people to remember what football can actually be,” added Paciencia. “A team that works can have success that leaves me with pride in a certain way, for being the leader of this team and for feeling that these fans, in this city, are living through unique moments in their history. “It makes me proud that I am the one that is leading this team.” Benfica have suffered a frustrating season domestically, finding themselves outclassed by Porto in the league and also losing out to their great finals in the cup semi-final.

Coach Jorge Jesus said that, even if the Eagles reach their first European final since 1990, it will not have rescued their season. “It doesn’t save the season. What I wanted was for Benfica to be champions again in the league.” Villarreal will be attempting to become only the fourth team to overturn a four-goal first leg deficit in European competition and the first since Real Madrid against Borussia Moenchengladbach in the 1985/86 UEFA Cup. But Porto’s record of seven wins in seven away games in the Europa League this season makes that a huge task. Porto’s Colombian striker Radamel Falcao has levelled Juergen Klinsmann’s record haul of 15 goals for the former UEFA Cup thanks to his four-goal performance in last week’s first leg.—Reuters

Karanka refuses to wish Barcelona luck for final

MEXICO: Mexico’s America’s Diego Reyes (left) plays the ball as Brazil’s Santos’ Jose Almeida looks on during a Copa Libertadores soccer match. —AP

Santos scrape into q-finals BUENOS AIRES: Santos became the first team through to the Libertadores Cup quarter-finals when they held America of Mexico 0-0 in Queretaro in the second leg of their first knockout round tie on Tuesday. The Brazilian side, twice inspired to the title of South American champions by Pele in the first decade of the competition in the 1960s, went through 1-0 on aggregate after winning the first leg at home. Santos were on the back foot for most of the match, especially the second half, surviving their first scare at a corner taken by America’s Argentine playmaker Daniel Montenegro in the 23rd minute. Colombian defender Aquivaldo Mosquera’s header hit the post then rebounded off goalkeeper Rafael’s knee towards the left where striker Matias Vuoso shot into the side netting. Santos playmaker Paulo Henrique Ganso hit the post when he curled a free kick round the wall early in the second half

before Rafael became his team’s hero. Rafael tipped over three efforts from substitute striker Angel Reyna, top scorer in the Mexican Clausura championship, and a header from Enrique Esqueda as America pinned Santos back. America were left to rue having to hold the match at La Corregidora in Queretaro instead of enjoying the advantage of high altitude at the Azteca in Mexico City where the rock band U2 were staging a concert. Four more Brazilian sides were in action yesterday including national champions Fluminense, who lead Libertad 3-1 going into the second leg in Asuncion as they look to win the title for the first time after reaching the 2008 final. Holders Internacional entertain Penarol after a 1-1 draw in Montevideo, favourites Cruzeiro host Once Caldas of Colombia with a 2-1 lead and Gremio must recover from a 2-1 home defeat on their trip to Santiago to face Universidad Catolica.—Reuters

BARCELONA: Real Madrid’s assistant coach Aitor Karanka declined to wish Barcelona luck for the Champions League final after a 1-1 draw in Tuesday’s semi-final second leg sent their bitter rivals through 3-1 on aggregate. “After everything that has been said in recent days I have nothing to add,” the former Real player who was standing in for Jose Mourinho, suspended after he was sent to the stands during last week’s first leg, told a news conference after being asked if he hoped Barca went on to win the final. The bad blood between the two clubs erupted into ugly scenes in the first leg at the Bernabeu and UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against them that will be decided tomorrow. Real accused some of the Barca players of diving and playacting, including in the incident that led to the dismissal of Pepe in the second half, while Barca were incensed with Mourinho’s suggestion that referees favored the Catalan club. “Everyone saw the pictures and is still seeing them,” Karanka told a news conference. “I already said that the referee would not have an easy job today after what happened at the Bernabeu,” he added. Referee Frank De Bleeckere brandished six yellow cardsfive to Real players-in another tetchy contest that Barca dominated for long periods with their slick passing. Their passage to their third final in three seasons, where they will face Manchester United or Schalke 04, gave the 2009 winners a measure of revenge for last month’s King’s Cup final defeat to Real which robbed them of the chance of a treble. They lead Real by eight points in La Liga with four games left and have a better head-to-head record that will be decisive if the pair finish level on points. Karanka refused to throw in the towel in the league. “There are still matches left and out of respect for everyone it’s not yet the time to be taking stock of the season,” he said. “The fans saw what the team is capable of today,” he added. “The Madrid family should be proud of everything they have seen the past month.”—Reuters

JAPAN: Japan’s Nagoya Grampus midfielder Naoshi Nakamura (left) and China’s Hangzhou Greentown midfielder Matias Nicolas Masiero Balas from Uruguay vie for the ball in the first half of their Asian Champions League soccer match. —AP

Nagoya, Seoul in last 16

POLAND: Hooligans light fires during the Polish Soccer Cup final between Legia Warszawa and Lech Poznan in Bydgoszcz, Poland. The incident which brought 40,000 zlotys (US$13,000) in damages prompted officials to call for tighter regulations to assure security during Euro 2012 that Poland is to co-host with Ukraine.—AP

NAGOYA: Japan’s Nagoya Grampus, South Korea’s Seoul and China’s Tianjin Teda reached the last 16 of the Asian Champions League with victories in the next-to-last round of group games yesterday. Nagoya midfielder Jungo Fujimoto converted a penalty in the 77th minute as Dragan Stojkovic’s side overcame the absence of several injured first-choice players to beat China’s Hangzhou Greentown 1-0. The result eliminated Hangzhou from contention. In the other Group F match, Seoul had a 3-0 win over Al Ain of the United Arab Emirates. Midfield Han Ko-yo scored the opener in the 17th minute, and Montenegrin striker Dejan Damjanovic made it 2-0 in the 40th. Damjanovic capped the night with his second in the 73rd. Nagoya and Seoul lead the group with a game to play. Nagoya is at Al Ain and Seoul at Hangzhou. Nagoya has the better head-to-head record against Seoul, so will finish top of the group if it can at least match the Korean club’s result on May 11. Top spot in the group is vital, as it brings home advantage in the next round. In the tightly contested Group E, Tianjin progressed after a 3-0 home win over South Korea’s Jeju United.

Tianjin’s opening two goals came from corners. In the eighth minute, Argentine forward Luciano Olguin rose above the defense to head home, then in the 21st an unmarked Wu Wei’an was first to a rebound to shoot into an empty net. It should have been 3-0 before the break, but Olguin’s tap-in of a cross by Wu was incorrectly ruled out for offside. The Chinese club sealed the three points in the 75th minute when Chen Tao sprinted clear after a defender misjudged a header, and was brought down by Jeju goalkeeper Kim Ho-jun. Cao Yang converted the spot kick. Australia’s Melbourne Victory drew 1-1 at home against Japan’s Gamba Osaka, leaving the fate of both teams — and Jeju — to be decided on the final match day. Former champion Gamba routed Melbourne 5-1 earlier in the campaign — which prompted the firing of long-term Melbourne coach Ernie Merrick — but yesterday’s contest was much harder, with Victory captain Adrian Leijer putting his side ahead in the 12th before Sota Nakazawa equalized in the 43rd. Gamba has seven points, Jeju is on six and Melbourne has five going into the final match day. Gamba will host the qualified Tianjin, while the Victory travels to Jeju.—AP


Ogier eyes Rally of Sardinia

Djokvovic, Nadal extend winning streaks

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THURSDAY, MAY 5, 2011

Braga hope to chalk up another win at Quarry

United peel apart Schalke

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Dream Champions League final against Barca MANCHESTER: A second-string Manchester United cruised into a dream Champions League final against Barcelona yesterday with a 4-1 victory over German side Schalke 04. Leading 2-0 after the first leg, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson could afford to make nine changes to his starting line-up and still see his team qualify for the May 28 final at Wembley with something to spare. The unlikely hero was United’s muchmaligned Irish international Darron Gibson, who set up Antonio Valencia with a magnificent pass for the first goal on 26 minutes before hammering in the second on 31 minutes. Jose Manuel Jurado pulled a goal back for Schalke but there was only ever going to be one outcome and two second-half goals from Anderson completed a crushing 6-1 aggregate victory for the English giants. The result put United into their third Champions League final in four years, and gives Ferguson’s side the chance to avenge their loss to Barcelona in the 2009 final in Rome. The win also handed Ferguson the perfect fillip ahead of this weekend’s Premier League battle with Chelsea, a high-stakes encounter that may well settle the outcome of the title race. A slow start saw Schalke have the first halfchance of the night after only seven minutes, Jefferson Farfan sending a low shot fizzing just wide of the upright after seven minutes. But once United settled into their rhythm, the writing was on the wall as Schalke’s defence found themselves struggling to cope with the movement and speed of the home team’s wide players, Valencia and Nani.

United might have had a goal on 21 minutes but Dimitar Berbatov’s low cross was easily cut out by Benedikt Howedes with Chris Smalling lurking unmarked. Yet United did not have to wait long for their opener, Gibson threading an exquisite ball through to release Valcencia, who calmly finished past Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer midway through the half. It got better for Gibson five minutes later when his thunderous low shot from the edge of the area beat Neuer, who should have done better, and flew in off the post to make it 2-0 and effectively kill the tie. It was a personal triumph for Gibson, who last week closed his account on micro-blogging site Twitter after only two hours after being subjected to a torrent of disparaging abuse from United fans. Schalke were given a glimmer of hope on 35 minutes when Smalling conceded possession cheaply and the ball ended up at the feet of Jurado, who lashed a fierce shot beyond Edwin van der Sar. But even then United might have stretched their lead by half-time, Valencia ghosting past his marker and Neuer only for his goal-bound shot to be cleared off the line by Howedes. A fractious finish to the half saw United concede three yellow cards in quick succession, Gibson, Scholes and Anderson all picking up cautions for rash challenges. United’s dominance continued after the break, and Schalke had Neuer to thank once again for preventing a third goal, the German

international diving at full stretch to tip an Anderson shot wide. Anderson made it 3-1 on the night after 72 minutes, capitalising on a surging run from Nani before netting his second four minutes later, tapping in from close range after good work from Valencia and Berbatov. Meanwhile, Sir Alex Ferguson backed Edwin van der Sar’s decision to retire, saying the Dutch veteran had picked the perfect time to hang up his goalkeeping gloves. Van der Sar will quit football at the end of the current campaign, bringing the curtain down on a glittering career at club and international level. The 40-year-old has enjoyed a superb swansong season with Manchester United, prompting calls from several team-mates for him to rethink his decision. But Ferguson insisted Tuesday that he would not be among those attempting to persuade van der Sar to carr y on playing. “I think to be honest with you if I was giving advice to Edwin van der Sar right now I would say ‘retire,’” Ferguson told a press conference. “Because he’s at the absolute pinnacle of his career. And I think

sometimes when a player gets to a certain age, all of a sudden age comes on you very suddenly. And I wouldn’t want to see Edwin van der Sar in that situation. “He deserves to go out at the very, very top. Because he’s had a career that’s been absolutely fantastic. Not just what he does on the football field but how he’s been as a professional, and as a human being. “He’s been absolutely outstanding. And if you could see him in the dressing room before games and at half-

times he’s absolutely fantastic. “So I think my advice to him is ‘Yep, this is the time.’ There’s no reason for him to risk another year.” Van der Sar joined United from Fulham in 2005, helping the club win three Premier League titles and the 2008 Champions League. —AFP


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BMW Group achieves record Q1 earnings

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EU-IMF rescue deal for Portugal hangs on terms Page 25

THURSDAY, MAY 5, 2011

Kuwait stocks in broad retreat

Etihad Airways named ‘MEís Leading Airline’ Page 24

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Zain net income soars 40% Group announces robust Q1, 2011 financial results • Customers rise 20% to total 37.6 m KUWAIT: Zain announced yesterday its consolidated financial results for the quarter ended 31 March, 2011. The results showed robust growth in several key performance indicators For the first quarter of 2011, the Zain Group recorded consolidated revenues of KD 324.4 million ($1.163 billion), reflecting a positive 1% increase on the same period in Q1-2010. The period witnessed net income soaring to KD 69.9 million ($251.1 million), an impressive 40% increase on the same period in Q12010. The company’s consolidated EBITDA reached KD 147.7 million ($529.7 million) up 10% on Q12010, reflecting an EBITDA Margin of 46% (up 4 percentage points) with EBIT of KD 105.9 million ($379.9 million), a 10% increase on Q1-2010. The earnings per share reached 18 fils ($0.06). Q1, 2011 Operational Highlights: Zain Group completed a $ 1.3 billion syndicated loan facility with a syndicate of international and regional banks to be utilized for general corporate purposes. The facility comprised of two parts, a 12-month term loan ofS$ 433.33 million (KD 120 million) and a revolving credit facility of $ 866.67 million (KD 240 million) with a maturity of 3 years; Successful closure of landmark IFC led $400 million seven-year facility for Zain Iraq to fund network enhancement and expansion coupled with the successful launch of commercial services in country’s northern Kurdistan region. Zain Iraq now serves 12 million customers (up 14%) with a

MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS

Egypt stocks fall, Oman bearish

Zain Group CEO Nabeel Bin Salamah healthy 11% increase in revenues; Notable growth in Zain Sudan which now serves 10.65m customers (up 21%) and attaining a 13% revenue increase in local SDG currency; Exceptional HSPA+ launch in Jordan in early March sees over 41,000 broadband customers join within a month; encouraging launch of multi-functional ‘Zain Emal’ mobile commerce service in the Kingdom; Management agreement of ‘mtc touch’ network in Lebanon renewed for another 12 months; Multitude of advanced technologies and services launched in Kuwait and Bahrain. Commenting on the results, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Zain, Asaad Al-Banwan said: “These impressive results justify the many prudent decisions recently adopted by the Board and the executive management. The company

Chairman of the Board of Directors of Zain, Asaad Al-Banwan

has reengineered itself, focusing on maximizing shareholders’ value while at the same time providing customers with a wonderful mobile experience. The impressive 40% net income growth and earnings per share of 18 fils, coupled with customer growth of 20%, indicates we on the right track. “ Al-Banwan also noted that despite intense competition on various levels across all the markets

and adverse currency fluctuations, it was pleasing that the company maintained relatively stable revenue levels overall. He pointed out that the net profit for the quarter was adversely affected by currency fluctuations of an amount of $84 million, which was partially offset by an adjustment and reversal of provisions related to executive management entitlements during the quarter. The Chairman also

Q1, 2011 Key Performance Indicators Total Managed Active Customers Consolidated Revenues EBITDA EBITDA Margin EBIT Net Income EPS

37.6 million up 20% on Q1, 2010 KWD 324.4 million (US$ 1.163 billion) KWD 147.7 million (US$ 529.7 million) 46% (up 4 percentage points) KWD 105.9 million (US$ 379.9 million) KWD 69.9 million (US$ 251.1 million) KWD 0.018 (US$ 0.06)

revealed that the quarter witnessed an increase in total shareholders’ equity of approximately 12 percent, reaching KD 2.695 billion ($9.748 billion), compared with KD 2.514 billion ($8.72 billion) at the end of the first quarter of 2010. Zain Group CEO Nabeel Bin Salamah said: “The operational efficiency drive implemented over the past 12 months has resulted in healthy growth of several key indicators. Additionally we are reaping the rewards of our extensive investments in network technology upgrades across all our country operations, and we expect such progress to continue for the foreseeable future.” Bin Salamah concluded that the company is seeking to further increase market leadership in the markets Zain serves, by delivering customers the latest innovative technologies and quality mobile services.

CAIRO/DUBAI: Egypt’s bourse fell yesterday as property stocks took a hit, and Gulf Arab markets lost recent gains amid continued consolidation while investors in the UAE and Qatar await an MSCI review next month. Developer Palm Hills fell 8.5 percent, dragging Egypt’s main index after EFG-Hermes cuts its fair value estimate due to asset write-offs and growing risk premiums across its projects. “Although the stock has lost around 70 percent of its value in the year to date, we believe that further downside potential remains,” EFG said in a note, rating Palm Hills “neutral”. Abu Dhabi’s index rose 0.4 percent with Aldar Properties gaining ahead of its first-quarter earnings. In heavy trade, the developer climbed 0.6 percent. Late selling condemned Qatar’s index to its fourth straight decline, but traders continued to speculate over the prospects of the country being upgraded to emerging market status by index compiler MSCI. “You will have a solid flow of cash on speculation of the MSCI emerging market story,” said Ahmed Mohamed Shehada, head of trading at Qatar National Bank Financial Services. Bank Muscat pulled Oman’s index lower, slipping after Standard and Poor’s downgraded its Bahrain affiliate Bank Muscat International on Tuesday, citing its weak operating performance. Bank Muscat fell 1.2 percent in heavy trading and the index lost 0.3 percent as other large-cap stocks also faced selling pressure. “The market is seeing strong pressure because of lack of volumes,” said Adel Nasr, United Securities brokerage manager. “When you see volumes falling, traders will definitely be on the sell side.” Saudi Arabia’s index extended decline as banks and petrochemical stocks, the two largest sectors in the kingdom, weighed. —Reuters


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BUSINESS

BMW Group achieves record Q1 earnings Profit before financial result rises to 1,902 million euros DUBAI: The BMW Group continues to perform well and has generated a new record for firstquarter earnings. Group revenues increased by 28.9% to euro 16,037 million (2010: euro 12,443 million). The first-quarter profit before financial result (EBIT) rose sharply to euro 1,902 million (2010: euro 449 million) while the profit before tax (EBT) climbed to euro 1,812 million (2010: euro 508 million). Group net profit for the quarter improved to euro 1,212 million (2010: euro 324 million). The total number of BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brand cars sold increased by 21.3% to 382,758 units (2010: 315,614 units), the best first-quarter sales volume performance in the Group’s history. “The BMW Group has made an excellent start to the new financial year. We have generated record earnings and sold more cars in a first quarter than ever before. Strong sales volume growth and rigorous implementation of the Group’s Strategy Number ONE have been major factors behind our successful performance”, stated Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, yesterday in Munich.

tions remain stable and that the global economy continues to grow. Earnings jump The BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands all achieved new sales volume records for the first three months of the year. Other factors

Record sales The Group’s full-year targets remain unchanged: “The BMW Group is well on its way towards achieving new sales volume and earnings records for the full year. We are aiming for a record sales volume of well over 1.5 million

Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG contributing to the sharp rise in earnings of the automotive segment were a high value sales model mix, efficiency improvements and better selling prices. First-quarter revenues rose by 34.7% to euro 14,373 million (2010: euro 10,672 million). EBIT jumped to euro 1,708 million (2010: euro 291 million), resulting

vehicles as well as new full-year sales volume records for each of our premium brands BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce”, continued Reithofer. The BMW Group’s target of an EBIT margin of more than 8% for the automotive segment remains in place. All of these targets are based on the assumption that economic and political condi-

in an EBIT margin for the automotive segment of 11.9%. The profit before tax improved to euro 1,605 million (2010: euro 220 million). Free cash flow in the automotive segment rose to euro 1,624 million (2010: negative free cash flow of euro 306 million). The BMW brand recorded growth of 20.8% in the first quarter with sales of 321,175 vehicles (2010: 265,809 units). The new BMW 5 Series recorded sharp growth during the quarter under report, more than doubling sales volume to 85,423 units (2010: 39,162 units) and remains the world market leader in its class. Demand for the BMW 7 Series also remains at a high level; first quarter sales of this series - the BMW’s flagship - increased by 4.0% to 14,817 units (2010: 14,245 units). BMW X models also continue to perform well. First-quarter sales of the BMW X1, for example, rose by 38.6% to 27,238 units (2010: 19,657 units). The new BMW X3, on the market since November 2010, continues to be popular with customers, almost doubling (+94.1%) its sales volume to 22,693 units (2010: 11,693 units). The BMW X5 Series remains market leader in its segment, with sales edging up by 1.1% to 23,149 units (2010: 22,897 units).

Dana Gas makes first 2011 gas discovery in Egypt KUWAIT: Dana Gas PJSC, the Middle East’s first and largest regional private sector Natural gas Company has announced its latest gas discovery in the Nile Delta, Egypt. The ‘South Abu El Naga-2’ well, drilled as an appraisal of the previously announced South Abu El Naga Field in the West El Manzala Concession encountered 16.6 meters of net pay in the Abu Madi formation, t h u s e x te n d i n g t h e f i e l d. I n addition, the well encountered 4.8 meters of net pay in a good quality sandstone reservoir of the El Wastani formation, representing a new pool discovery. On test, the well produced 1 4 . 1 m i l l i o n s t a n d a rd c u b i c feet per day (MMscfpd) of gas with 718 barrels of condensate from the Abu Madi Formation, and 5.9 MMscfpd of dr y gas from the El Wastani Formation. The discover y comes after the announcement of the previous South Abu El Naga-1ST discovery in September 2010, where the calculated reserves estimate is in the range of 50

to 90 billion standard cubic feet (Bcf ) of gas, with associate d c o n d e n s a t e re s e r ve s between 1 and 2 million barrels. The Abu Madi development is st il l expec ted to be routed to the planned Salma D e l t a g a s p l a n t , c u r re n t l y being designed. A preliminar y estimate of the discovered reserves in the new pool (El Wastani formation) is in excess of 60 Bcf of gas, with a possible upside still under evaluation. Dana Gas is preparing a separate development plan for this new pool, w h i c h w i l l i n c l u d e s e ve ra l a p p ra i s a l a n d d e ve l o p m e n t wells. The South Abu El Naga-2 dry gas discovery is expected to be tied in to the Company’s nearby South El Manzala gas processing plant before the end of 2011. Spare capacity is available in the plant. Ahmed Al Arbeed, Dana Gas CEO said, “As our first discovery for 2011, the South Abu El Naga-2 well highlights our ongoing success in Egypt. Besides being a successful appraisal of the South

A b u E l N a g a Fi e l d, i t i s t h e twenty-second new pool discovery as a result of the outstanding dedication of our exploration and drilling team in implementing the aggressive campaign launched in 2007. We w i l l a c t i ve l y co n t i n u e t h i s

Ahmed Al Arbeed, Dana Gas CEO exploration program throughout 2011.” Dr. Hany Elshark awi, Dana Gas Egypt President commented, “ The well is an excellent

start for 2011. We still have a sizeable portfolio of drillable prospects and our exploration activity will continue throughout the year, as will our development activities. The discovery at the South Abu El Naga-2 well represents a new era of s h a l l ow we l l s t h a t c a n b e drilled at low cost with fast produc tion to meet Egypt ’s gas production demands.” Dana Gas is currently the 6th highest gas producer in Egypt, a country whose gas reserves has doubled in the past 5 years to over 70 trillion cubic feet, and now produces more gas than oil and is already among the world’s top ten exporters of LNG. In 2007 Dana Gas made Southern Egypt’s historic first ever commercial oil discovery from its first exploration well drilled in the Komombo Concession. The Company is firmly committed to pursuing f u r t h e r g a s i nve s t m e n t s, i n partnership with the national Egyptian companies and other e n e rg y co m p a n i e s f ro m t h e region and internationally.

Doha Bank wins Golden Peacock Global Award 2011 for CSR DOHA: Doha Bank, a leading bank in Qatar, has won this year’s prestigious Golden Peacock Global Award for Corporate Social Responsibility at the 6th International Conference on Social Responsibility, which was attended by distinguished CSR leaders, bankers, academics, environmentalists, economists, legislators and policy makers at New Delhi on April 29, 2011. R. Seetharaman, while expressing his elation said, “ The Bank has been completely transformed into a dynamic entity with strong values and a customercentric approach. This award once again emphasizes Doha Bank ’s affinity and consciousness towards public welfare and also reinstates the Bank’s sustained position as a pioneer of “Green Banking” in the State of Qatar. This award is recognition of Doha Bank’s customerdriven initiatives such as educational & health benefits, and its involvement in social causes which has witnessed the introduction of new and innovative products even in tough market conditions during the global financial meltdown. Doha Bank’s corporate responsibility model with Economic, Environmental, and S ocial initiatives, contributing towards the welfare of the public has always been a welcome approach towards a bright future”. Seetharaman went on to say, “This truly is a milestone achievement in our efforts towards setting the example as a responsible corporate. We at Doha Bank believe in broad principles of Corporate Social Responsibility as value creation for all the stakeholders and promoting a sustainable business model. This achievement would not have been possible without the unstinted support of the Qatar State Government, the principled Regulatory bodies, the active Business Community, the

suppor tive S ociet y, our wor thy Investors, our loyal Clientele and our promising Employees - this award is dedicated to you”. Doha Bank maintains a well defined Environmental Policy by imbibing the principle of “ReduceReuse -Rec ycle”. The S ocietal & Environmental Sustainability of Doha Bank are outlined by endeavors like tie up with UNESCO to launch Eco-school project, Support to the State of Qatar’s “Go Green Qatar”, seminars on Global Warming conducted in Qatar, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, India, Japan, Kuwait, Oman, Singapore, Turkey and Tokyo, a dedicated Green Banking website, environment-friendly & biodegradable credit cards, Paperless Banking, a Green Bank ing Task Force Committee, Public Awareness Campaigns through ATMs, and of course the well k nown Annual Marathon - Doha Millionaire Green Fun-Run Doha Bank’s new Head Quarters at the West Bay in Qatar, is a stateof-the-art, Green Building. It has been constructed keeping in mind environmental aspec ts, which resulted in the building having several eco-affable features like LED lighting, virtualization of servers to reduce the server footprint, motion detec tors for automatic lights switch off, chillers with Variable Frequenc y Drive, and dimmer switches to make use of natural light. Doha Bank has reached out to the larger community through its long standing Corporate S ocial Responsibility endeavors, and the Bank remains committed to advocating awareness on environmental issues and focusing on the economic and social challenges both regionally and across international borders.

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 .4500000 .4040000 .3150000 .2855300 .2950000 .0045000 .0020000 .0743470 .7243440 .3810000 .0700000 .7100870 .0040000 .0430000

.2800000 .4600000 .41300000 .3250000 .2940000 .3030000 .0072500 .0035000 .0750950 .7316240 .4010000 .0770000 .7172240 .0072000 .0470630

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2738500 .2759500 .4524690 .4559380 .4069820 .4101030 .3174340 .3198680 .2873260 .2895290 .0545760 .0549950 .0453730 .0457210 .2976750 .2999580 .0352480 .0355180 .2229320 .2246420 .0033820 .0034080 .0000000 .0062360 .0000000 .0025200 .0000000 .0032850 .0000000 .0038060 .0745880 .0751600 .7265850 .7321570 .0000000 .3903110 .0730460 .0736060 .7114840 .7169390 .0000000 .0064780

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

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co.

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

ASIAN COUNTRIES 3.419 6.180 3.261 2.503 3.870 224.240 35.435 3.759

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

6.408 9.162 0.271 0.273 GCC COUNTRIES 73.429 75.660 715.210 731.170 74.964

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 47.250 46.256 1.260 205.560 388.850 182.600 5.944 36.700

EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 275.250 Euro 410.810 Sterling Pound 456.230 Canadian dollar 290.350 Turkish lire 179.620 Swiss Franc 320.920 Australian dollar 298.210 US Dollar Buying 274.050

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

GOLD 282.000 143.000 73.000

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

SELL CASH SELL DRAFT 301.500 300.000 731.650 731.650 3.980 3.770 292.200 290.700 540.400 14.100 55.700 167.800 225.000 47.290 46.318 411.500 410.000 36.110 35.960 6.480 6.180

0.033

388.830 0.185 95.070 3.880 220.500

Sterling Pound US Dollar

320.500 5.800 9.370 74.970 275.100

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 455.500 275.100

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

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

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

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. 714.390 3.260 6.420 75.680 73.450 224.980 43.970 2.502 455.500

GOLD 1,583.290

10 Tola 20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

0.033 0.243 0.243 3.500 390.300 0.186 95.070 47.300 4.320 222.000 1.865 53.700 714.570 3.330 6.590 76.110 73.450 224.980 43.970 2.670 457.500 46.900 322.000 5.800 9.550 198.263 75.070 275.500 1.260

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

Rate per 1000 (Tran) 3.275 6.190 2.515 3.770 6.465 74.975 73.535 731.100 46.280 460.500 0.00003280 3.910 1.550 390.700 5.750 412.900 296.300

Al Mulla Exchange Currency Transfer Rate (Per 1000) US Dollar 274.650 Euro 410.800 Pound Sterling 455.800 Canadian Dollar 290.600 Japanese Yen 3.425 Indian Rupee 6.177 Egyptian Pound 46.255 Sri Lankan Rupee 2.502 Bangladesh Taka 3.745 Philippines Peso 6.390 Pakistan Rupee 3.262 Bahraini Dinar 731.600 UAE Dirham 74.900 Saudi Riyal 73.400 *Rates are subject to change


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Etihad Airways named ‘Middle East’s Leading Airline’ KUWAIT: Etihad Airways has won four titles at the annual World Travel Awards ceremony for the Middle East, held last evening, including the coveted title as the Middle East’s Leading Airline. The ceremony took place at the Armani Hotel Dubai in the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, setting the scene for a hugely successful evening for Etihad. The Abu Dhabi-based airline also received the Middle East’s Leading Airline First Class award, Middle East’s Leading Cabin Staff award and Middle East’s Leading Airline In-flight Entertainment award. As voted on by 213,000 travel industry professionals from around the world, the World Travel Awards’ spotlight the best in travel regionally and globally. Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, said: “It is truly an honour to win Leading Airline for the Middle East. Our home market is extremely important to Etihad, so I am especially pleased to be recognised by our guests and peers from the region in this way. “We continually aim to deliver exceptional service and superior product and to receive this award demonstrates that the airline industry and our guests believe we are consistent in doing so. I hope this award encourages more and more customers to fly with the best.” With this title win, Etihad is now the only airline to represent the Middle East region in these categories at the global World Travel Awards

held in London later in the year, where the best of the world compete. The award for Middle East’s Leading First Class Airline recognises Etihad’s Diamond First class suites, which feature a luxurious Poltrona Frau leather seat that converts to a fully flat bed, a large wood-finished table, Arabic-styled sliding doors offering complete privacy, a 23-inch personal entertainment screen, a personal wardrobe with mirror, and four individual lighting options with dimmers, in-seat power points and USBs. The First class cabin also includes a spacious and comfortable changing room. The ‘Inspired Service’ concept was a key reason behind Etihad winning the title of Middle East’s Leading Cabin Staff. The concept was developed across all cabins to ensure that each passenger receives a personalised and attentive service, tailored to individual requirements, during the flight. Etihad’s state-of-the art E-BOX on-demand system won the Middle East’s Leading In-flight Entertainment. The E-BOX allows customers to enjoy more than 600 hours of the latest movies, TV shows, music and interactive games as well as recharge laptop computers and mobile devices. In what has been an exciting week for Etihad, the airline’s service was also praised at the Business Travel Awards, where it received the award for Best Cabin Crew.

DUBAI: Etihad’s Vice President for Marketing Andrew Ward, Etihad’s Vice President for UAE Sales Hareb Al Muhairi, Etihad’s Chief Commercial Officer Peter Baumgartner, Etihad’s Vice President for Product and Services Lee Shave and Etihad staff collect the airline’s four awards, including the coveted title of Middle East’s Leading Airline, at the World Travel Awards ceremony for the Middle East held at the Armani Hotel in Dubai Tuesday night.

Yemen oil output comes to standstill, exports hit March blast cuts 110,000 bpd of Yemen Marib Light

Abdul Hussein Al-Sultan addresses the extraordinary general assembly meeting.—Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Oula Fuel Marketing agrees to raise capital by 10 % KUWAIT: Following its postponed extraordinary general assembly which took place yesterday, Oula for Fuel Marketing announced the shareholders approval of the board members recommendation to increase the company’s authorized capital by 10% as grant shares allocated for shareholders. The extraordinary general assembly also authorized the board to execute the decision. The extraordinary general assembly also agreed to modify article 7 of the establishing contract and article 6 of the statute in terms of the capital, where the company ’s capital was set to be KD32.969.919.950, and the value of each share is 100 Kuwaiti fils, and all shares are currency in exchange for the value of KD29.972.654.500 before modifications. On the same note, Abdul Hussein AlSultan expressed his thoughts in line with the approval of the chairman’s recommendation, “The members of the Oula general assembly affirmed the increase in capital, and their support of the development and strategic plan, which aims at preserving Oula’s leading position in the Kuwaiti market. We also look forward to the continuous support of the general assembly members for this year, and

more to come” Oula achieved a net profit of KD2.887 million for the fiscal year which ended on the 31st of December, 2010, where as the total income was KD11.045 million, and the earning per share reached 9.65 fils. The board members also recommended distributing bonus shares for 10% of the paid capital, equivalent to 10 shares per each 100 shares. The total assets reached a value of KD46.968, whereas shareholders equity totaled for KD37.982 million. Oula will continue to benefit from the many accomplishments achieved on 2010, on different levels starting with its strategic plan to renovate and develop its stations and presenting them in the new look and form, which already includes 15 renovated stations in all governorates, which reflects Oula’s concept of service stations and was applied to all stations. The company launched a new service station in November 2010, located in Mubarak AlAbdullah area, which acted as a turning point in the understanding of fuel stations in Kuwait as it provides integrated services. In line with the same, Oula will begin a project to extensively upgrade 6 other stations, and will expect final results by the end of the coming fiscal year.

DUBAI/ADEN: Yemen’s production and exports of crude oil have come to a near standstill, shipping sources said yesterday, after a mid-March blast at one oilfield and a workers’ strike at another. The poorest Arab country’s output of 110,000 barrels per day of Marib Light crude oil from its offshore Ras Isa terminal in the Red Sea closed three weeks ago after an explosion on the main pipeline carrying crude oil. “There have been no exports of crude from Ras Isa for the past three and a half weeks,” one shipping source said. “There has been no production of Marib Light crude since then.” Yemen produces a total of around 280,000 barrels per day of crude oil. Around 110,000 barrels of that is light crude, which is in short supply globally after the loss of Libyan output in February. Its production of heavy crude has also stopped as Canadian oil

company Nexen Inc has been forced to halt production at its Hadramout oilfield in the south due to a strike, oil ministry sources said. One source said Nexen had produced 150,000 barrels per day of oil, most of which was exported. The pipeline blast occurred in the central Marib province, where several oil and gas fields operated by international companies are located. “It is thought that tribesmen, angry with the government, were responsible, and it is linked to the current unrest,” a second shipping source based in Yemen said. The impoverished Arabian Peninsula state has been rocked by weeks of demonstrations, with both pro- and anti-government supporters appearing to resort increasingly to violence in the struggle. The oil terminal at Ras Issa is

operated by the SAFER Exploration and Production Operations Company, based in Hodeidah and under the Ministry of Oil and Minerals. Oil extracted from the Marib oilfield, east of the capital Sanaa, is pumped to the coast to a shore terminal and then carried by sub-sea pipeline to SAFER and then discharged to ships that take it either to Aden refinery or to other countries as exports from Yemen. Around 65 percent of the 110,000 bpd Marib crude is normally sent to Aden refinery, but the lack of crude from the field has also forced a shutdown of the 130,000 barrel per day refinery for at least a week, shipping sources said. “ There have been serious shortages of petrol in Sanaa recently, with massive price hikes,” a second shipping source said. He estimated the price of 20 litres of fuel from non-govern-

ment suppliers, who still had stocks, had jumped to 6,000 Yemeni rials from 1,500 rials a few weeks ago. “There’s no petrol, there’s no diesel,” the first source said. “What Yemen is doing at the moment is importing petrol and diesel from Saudi Arabia,” the source said. One vessel carrying 15,000 tons of diesel from Saudi Arabia has already arrived at the Hodeida port, he said, adding the imports would continue. “ There will be another two vessels coming from Saturday onwards, carrying gasoline,” the source said, adding that each vessel would carry about 15,000 tons of the fuel. The coastal terminal of Hodeida handles small tankers. Separately, a spokesman for Yemen LNG, a Total-led liquefied natural gas plant, said on Wednesday operations were running normally.—Reuters

‘Chevrolet - Child Seats Save Lives’ campaign extends SHARJAH: The ‘Chevrolet - Child Seats Save Lives’ Campaign has expanded into a third UAE emirate with the donation of 500 child seats to Al Qassimi Hospital in Sharjah to distribute to parents of newborn babies. The latest donation extends the focus of the campaign to include Sharjah alongside Dubai and Abu Dhabi, where Chevrolet has already contributed 1,000 seats and trained nurses in key hospitals. In addition to the distribution of the 1,500 premium Maxi-Cosi child seats, Chevrolet partnered with “Safe Kids Worldwide” to send child injury prevention experts from the US to train more than 70 maternity nurses in Abu Dhabi’s Al Rahba Hospital, Dubai’s Al Wasl Hospital and Sharjah’s Al Qassimi Hospital. The training was conducted to equip maternity nurses with the knowledge to educate parents on the vital role child car seats play in prevent-

ing fatal injuries in the event of a road accident. The donation of child seats to Al Qassimi Hospital also supports the “Child Safety Car Seats Campaign” in Sharjah launched by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher in partnership with the Sharjah Ladies Club. Chevrolet has also cooperated closely with the Dubai Health Authority and the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi. “It is our hope that by contributing to the Sharjah “Child Safety - Car Seats Campaign” and Al Qassimi Hospital, as well as the other hospitals in the UAE, we can spread the message that child seats are an effective way to reduce fatal injuries and help save lives on the roads,” said Luay Al Shurafa, Regional Brand Manager of Chevrolet of General Motors Middle East Operations. “Our campaign comes from our genuine concern about the high rate of infant mortality in traffic accidents across the country. We are planning even more activities later in the year to continue to increase awareness of the importance of buckling your child into a child seat,” continued Luay Al Shurafa. Traffic accidents are the leading cause of infant mortality in the UAE, accounting for up to 63% of all child deaths in the country, while child car seats are recognized as the most effective method of reducing infant mortality in the event of a traffic accident. Research shows that they can reduce infant fatal injuries by up to 71%.

Joe Anis, GE Energy’s President & CEO for the Middle East. (Right) 7EA gas turbine

SEC selects GE Technology for Saudi Power Plant Expansions KUWAIT: GE announced that it has been selected to provide gas turbine technology and ser vices for four Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) power plant expansions that will support Saudi Arabia in meeting its growing power needs, especially during the hot summer months when electricity demand is at its peak. The total value of the agreements with GE is expected to be more than $500 million and the power plant expansions are expected to add over a hundred new local jobs. These contracts bring GE Energy orders for SEC projects in the last two years alone to over $2 billion. To date, GE Energy power generation technology and services are supporting the generation of nearly half of the Kingdom’s installed capacity. Eng Ali Saleh Al-Barrak, President and CEO, SEC, said: “These fast-tracked plant expansions are designed to meet peak summer

demands. Our customers expect reliability, and over the years GE has built a reputation we can count on and trust. A stellar history of on-time delivery and well-proven gas turbine technology has made our 40 year relationship with GE a success story, with more than 400 GE turbines that are supporting close to 40 SEC projects around the Kingdom.” The four SEC power plant expansions will add 1,680 megawatts of power to the Saudi grid, more than half of SEC’s planned annual increase of 3,000 megawatts. According to SEC, the Kingdom’s electricity demand has been growing at the rate of about six percent a year. “Our ability to respond to our customers’ technology requirements and deliver fast-track projects on a large scale is a core capability of GE,” said Joseph Anis, GE Energy’s president and CEO for the Middle East. “In Saudi Arabia and around the Middle East, we continue to deliver energy technology solu-

tions that have helped us earn the trust of our customers. “As the leading energy technology provider in Saudi, GE continues to deliver localized power generation solutions to our long-time customers such as SEC and provide advanced technical training with our growing technology transfer and knowledge sharing initiatives,” added Anis. In addition to supplying power generation technology, GE is providing all four plant expansions with technical advisory services as well as performance testing, which are critical to the successful installation of the plants. GE is also providing training for SEC technical teams to support them in the operation of the plants. Through the close relationship with SEC, GE has provided training to an increasing number of local SEC engineers and technicians annually. GE has steadily grown its local team to enhance customer service.


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Kuwait stocks retreat GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: Kuwait stocks ended yesterday’s session on a negative note. The retreat was broad-based with all the sectors losing ground. Heavy-weights inched lower for the day as Global Large Cap. Index closed at 219.41 points, down by 0.77 percent. At the same time, small caps, performed poorly. The sector as a whole, presented through by Global Small Cap Index, recoiled by 0.75 percent. Global General Index (GGI), market weighted, ended the day down by 0.59 percent, at 205.66 point. Market capitalization was down for the day at KD33.73bn. KSE Price Index closed at 6,499.8 point, shedding 2.50 points (0.04 percent) to its previous close. Market breadth During the session, 111 companies were traded. Market breadth was even as 39 equities retreated versus 39 that advanced. Yesterday’s performance was accompanied by mixed trading activity with most of the trades conducted in the Services sector. Total volume traded was up by 21.84 percent with 245.89mn shares changing hands at a total value of KD21.16mn (20.70 percent lower compared to the day before). The Services Sector was the volume leader yesterday, accounting for 36.09 percent of total shares. The Banking sector was the value leader, with 23.23 percent of total traded value. Kuwait International Bank was the most active in terms of values of shares traded during yesterday’s session, with 4.61mn shares exchanged at an aggregate value of KD1.54mn. Sector-wise All sectors ended the day on a lower note. Food stocks were the worst performing stocks during the session. The sector’s index

edged lower by 2.19 percent. Livestock Transport & Trading Company and Kuwait Foodstuff Company (Americana) were down by 3.45 percent and 2.56 percent, respectively. Global Banking Index followed, shedding 1.08 percent. National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), largest stock among the sector in terms of market cap, was the major contributor to the index’s loss as it lost 1.59 percent of its share price to close at KD1.240. Kuwait Finance House (KFH) was the biggest loser in the sector, down by 3.70 percent.

THURSDAY, MAY 5, 2011

Among stocks moving on specific news, Jazeera Airways Company reported a 5 percent jump in its share price. The company posted a net profit of KD1.03mn for 1Q2011, compared with net loss of KD4.50mn reported during the corresponding period of 2010.

Committee for tender No. HS that was issued by Ministry of Public Works. Under the KD27,880,970 worth of deal, the contractor will construct and maintain the main sewage pipeline extending from Dawar Al Omam till the junction at Kazimiya camps on Al Jahraa Road.

Corporate news Further to its previous announcement dated March 17, 2011, Mushrif Trading & Contracting Company has received letter of award No. 14/19/8877 from Central Tenders

Oil news The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at $118.75 a barrel on Tuesday, compared with $119.90 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations.

Oil off $1 ahead of US inventory data LONDON: Oil prices slipped yesterday ahead of the release of weekly US oil inventory data expecting to show an increase in crude stockpiles later in the day. ICE Brent crude futures fell $1 to $121.45 a barrel. US light crude futures fell $1.40 to $109.65 a barrel. Oil has been trading in a stronger inverse correlation this week but the relationship was weaker again yesterday as both the dollar and oil slipped. The dollar hovered just above a three-year low versus a basket of currencies while the euro jumped as data showed the US added fewer private jobs than expected in April, boosting views US interest rates will remain low. The American Petroleum Institute (API) said on Tuesday crude stocks rose by 3.2 million barrels for the week ended April 29, contrary to analysts’ expectations for a gain of 2.0 million barrels in a Reuters poll. The US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) report was due to be released on Wednesday at 1430 GMT. “We are waiting for the DOE (Department of Energy) stats this afternoon, we are expecting an indication of where demand is on gasoline as prices are at highs right now,” Credit Agricole CIB’s analyst Christophe Barret said. A broader sell-off in commodities that dragged equities lower on Tuesday dampened investor appetite for risk-taking, on the view that a strong rally over the past month has made everything from oil to silver too costly. “We are continuing to see a growing number of commodity complexes struggle, as investors begin to appreciate that the macro environment going into the second half of the yearone marked by high inflation and interest rates-will be far less hospitable for the asset class,” MF Global analysts wrote in a note.

China is expected to further tighten monetary policy to curb inflation, a move that could dampen demand in the world’s biggest energy consumer. The official China Securities Journal cited central bank vice governor Yi Gang as saying China would keep mopping up excess cash in the economy by raising cash reserve requirements for banks. In a separate story, the publication cited industry analysts as predicting the central bank would raise required reserves again in May, its fifth time this year, to absorb some of the money created from hefty foreign inflows this year. However, the impact on oil prices was likely to be muted, given the strength of Chinese demand, analysts said. “We have already seen some moderation in economic activity in China, but the oil market has not seen any obvious slowdown despite previous tightening,” said Barclays Capital commodities analyst Yingxi Yu. “It is necessary to rein in the overheating economy. Chinese oil demand grew at 1 million barrels per day in Q1, so slowing down is a healthy move.” Analysts said a fear premium was in place due to ongoing tensions in oilproducing regions of North Africa and the Middle East and the recent death of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. “There’s a $20 premium built in the price due to the Middle East crisis and potential reprisals following bin Laden’s death. That will provide a floor to prices for some time to come,” said CMC analyst Ben Le Brun. In Libya, there was no let-up in the conflict as fighting between rebels and forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi forced thousands of refugees to flee western Libya on foot to the Tunisian border and by boat to Europe, the United Nations said on Tuesday. — Reuters


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In European debt crisis, a search for words BRUSSELS: As the European debt crisis engulfed Greece, Ireland and most recently Portugal, the lead-up to big announcements has followed an almost predictable choreography. A country’s financial markets go wild, analysts warn the debt is unsustainable and media reports claim bailout talks are imminent. But before a rescue is announced, comes another step: the denial. An official might vow a bailout will be avoided and then call for it the next day. Beyond mere indecision, the fact is officials have to play a game of poker with the markets, bluffing and sometimes withholding the truth at a time when a single word can cause financial panic. “When it becomes serious, you have to lie,” recently said Jean-Claude Juncker, the prime minister of Luxembourg who as chairman of euro-zone finance minister meetings is one of the currency union’s key spokesmen. Even confirming the existence of discussions on explosive financial issues

can quickly turn them into self-fulfilling prophecies that have serious consequences for a country’s economy by driving up borrowing costs. “If you are pre-indicating possible decisions, you are fueling speculation on the financial markets, throwing into misery mainly ordinary people whom we are trying to safeguard from this,” Juncker said. One scenario that EU officials are now firmly denying is that of a sovereign debt restructuring — namely allowing a country to partially default on its debt by extending repayment deadlines or reducing the total amount owed. In recent weeks, rumors and press reports have grown louder about secret discussions among euro-zone finance ministers about restructuring the massive debt of Greece — despite official denials. Debt restructuring “is not part of our strategy and will not be,” the EU’s Monetary and Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said Monday, echoing many of his colleagues in recent weeks. But the markets appear to be listening to

a different story. The yield on Greek twoyear bonds is close to 25 percent — almost 23 percentage points higher than on equivalent German bonds — suggesting investors don’t believe official assurances that private creditors won’t be hit with losses before June 2013. Few people have had to answer more questions about the seeming contradiction of official comments and market swings than Amadeu Altafaj Tardio, Rehn’s spokesman, who faces off with journalists at the EU’s press briefings almost on a daily basis. “I know that every single word that I pronounce can have an impact on markets,” said Altafaj Tardio, a former journalist himself. But those pressures cannot serve as an excuse to lie. “There have been so many leaks and there are so many sources of a different sort involved that there is never room for any lies,” he said of the current crisis. “You don’t survive 24 hours if you lie in this envi-

ronment.” Instead, the art of being a spokesman is to know when and how to release your information. “When I’m standing there on the podium, I’m doing political communication, I’m not an information desk,” said Altafaj Tardio. “We don’t tell all the truth all the time, but we never lie.” One of the difficulties of sending a clear message during the sovereign debt crisis has been the mass of different actors and divergent interests involved, with stories leaking from EU institutions, national diplomats in Brussels, as well as the finance ministries in the member states. “A European crisis, viewed from Brussels, is much more complex (than a national one) because of all the member states,” said Tim Fallon, head of corporate and financial affairs at the London office of communications firm Hill & Knowlton who also worked on the election campaign of former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair. In the euro-zone, 17 governments are not only trying to contain a crisis of their

common currency, but are also scrambling to calm voters back home. For politicians in more prosperous states like Germany or Finland that means playing down the possibility of further taxpayer-funded bailouts, while less fortunate governments in Portugal, Ireland or Greece have to face off with citizens angry at painful austerity measures. Politicians and spokespeople “have to control the agenda as much as they can,” said Fallon. That involves “putting out as many positive character statements as you can” about a country under pressure or simply having the courage to say “I’m not willing to comment on this,” he added. “What you shouldn’t do is for there to be a black hole that allows the media to speculate,” said Fallon, while acknowledging that “there are some issues and some battles that you just can’t win or even control.” One reason for the lack of an impact some official denials have had on financial markets might be where they are coming from. — AP

EU-IMF rescue deal for Portugal hangs on terms Deadline looms on June 15

MUNICH: Shareholders wait in front of the entrance of the Olympic hall in Munich prior to the annual general meeting of Europe’s biggest insurer Allianz yesterday. Allianz CEO Michael Diekmann said that Allianz became the latest insurance giant to see its profits hit badly by claims related to a string of natural disasters, most notably Japan’s monster earthquake and tsunami. —AFP

Irish ‘bad bank’ loss up on crucial charge DUBLIN: Ireland’s state-run National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) took a 1-billion-euros ($1.5 billion) charge to cover potential losses from the loans it has acquired from lenders, sending its fourth-quarter loss up to 678 million euros. Created to purge Irish banks of their risky land and development loans, NAMA said in its unaudited accounts that just 23 percent of its portfolio was performing. NAMA expects this to rise to 25 percent if it acquires residual loans with a nominal value of 3.5 billion euros in coming months. Its loss in the third quarter was 35.5 million euros. Up to the end of March this year, NAMA had acquired loans with a nominal value of over 71 billion euros covering assets ranging from skyscrapers in London’s Canary Wharf to agricultural land in the Irish countryside. The agency’s harsh discounting of the loans-it has shelled out just shy of 31 billion euros for the portfolio meaning a discount of nearly 60 percent-triggered large holes on banks’ balance sheets,

which the government has been forced to plug. Stung by criticism it has been soft on property developers, whose dizzying deals fuelled Ireland’s financial crash, NAMA has seized assets and taken legal action against developers it views as uncooperative in recent months. “The opening months of 2011 have been exceptionally busy as NAMA moved from a period of intensive analysis of the position of the largest individual debtors to the next phase of the project where the focus is on identifying those we believe we can work with and moving others into the enforcement process,” Chairman Frank Daly said in a statement. Over three quarters of NAMA’s non-performing loans are more than 120 days in arrears and the agency said it was addressing this issue as it reviews developers’ business plans. By the end of last year, it had reviewed the business plans of its 30 largest debtors, representing 37 percent of its portfolio. —Reuters

LISBON: Portugal is now the third euro-zone debt rescue case, with an EU-IMF bailout of 78 billion euros to avoid default, but the conditions as well as the key reaction of opposition parties remain unclear. “ The government has reached a good agreement that defends Portugal,” outgoing Prime Minister Jose Socrates announced on television, but the country got a rough ride yesterday when it had to pay sharply increased rates to borrow money. A deadline looms on June 15, six weeks away, when Portugal must redeem old loans of nearly 5.0 billion euros ($7.3 billion) and avert default. The country now joins Greece and Ireland as eurozone lame ducks on bailout crutches held out by the EU, ECB and IMF. Socrates signalled that in one sense the conditions of the deal give Portugal some extra breathing space. He said that the deal worth $116 billion “is a three-year program which sets more gradual deficit reduction targets: 5.9 percent this year, 4.5 percent in 2012 and three percent in 2013.” Portugal had previous targets of 4.6 percent this year, 3.0 percent in 2012 and 2.0 percent in 2013. The EU ceiling is 3.0 percent. Experts from The International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the European Central Bank met opposition right-wing parties yesterday to obtain their support for the bailout conditions if they win an early election on June 5. The opposition precipitated the election in March by rejecting cutbacks to fight the debt mountain. For the centre-right Social Democratic Party, Carlos Moedas said: “By the end of the afternoon or tomorrow morning the SPD will give its decision to the mission on what it has read.” Press reports suggest that the conditions will impose additional budget savings of 8.8 billion euros in 2012 and 2013. Income tax would rise, the highest pensions would be cut, and the length and amount of unemployment benefit would be trimmed, they say. A privatization program would be extended with the sale of national airline TAP and the electricity distribution network. Portugal would have to pay interest on the rescue money at two percentage points above the

ATHENS: Public Power Corporation (DEI) logo is seen by a chimney where employees climbed to hung a banner to protest partial privatization of the company in Keratsini power plant near Athens, yesterday. Protesting employees scaled the 174-meter (570 feet) smokestack of the Keratsini plant, saying they would stay there for days. The Greek state plans to reduce its stake in DEI from 51 to 34 percent. —AFP rate paid by the European Financial Stability Facility, which would mean 4.68 percent, and 12.0 billion euros of the borrowed money would be used to strengthen the banks. In this fevered climate, Portugal went ahead with an operation to raise funds for three months, and did borrow 1.117 billion euros ($1.65 billion) but had to pay interest of 4.652 percent, sharply up from 4.046 percent when the last such issue was made on April 20. At Carregosa Bank, bond strategist Filipe Silva said: “There is no doubt that the rate is very high for such a short-dated issue.” On the market for existing debt, the yield or rate on 10-year bonds eased to 9.225 percent from 9.411 percent at the close on Tuesday, and on two-year bonds to 10.792 percent from 11.481 percent. In London, Capital Economics analyst Jonathan Loynes, noting these falls, said that markets had given a “positive” response to the

Renewables struggle with austerity, gas prices

Statoil Q1 profits surge 44% on high oil prices OSLO: Statoil ASA’s first quarter profits surged 44 percent as higher oil and gas prices made up for lower output, the Norwegian energy group said yesterday. The company said profits in the three months ending March 31 jumped to 16.1 billion kroner ($3.1 billion) from 11.1 billion in the same period a year ago, while revenues rose 13 percent to 145.6 billion kroner. The increases came even though the energy group, which is based in Stavanger, said total production fell 6 percent in the first quarter to 1.97 billion barrels of oil equivalents. Statoil said the production decrease was mainly caused by operational issues in Angola and on the Norwegian continental shelf. Natural declines on mature fields, suspended production in Libya and issues at the Shah Deniz field in Azerbaijan also contributed to the fall. Planned maintenance shutdowns are also expected to have a bigger impact on the full year result than previously forecast, the group said.

In total, Statoil expects the closures to lower production by 50 million barrels of oil equivalents per day in 2011 compared with 40 million previously forecast. As a result, the company expects 2011 production to be around the same level, or slightly below, last year ’s. More than offsetting the production decline on profitability was the 33 percent increase in average liquid fuel prices and a 20 percent rise in natural gas prices. Last month, Statoil announced a significant oil discovery on the Skrugard prospect in the Barents Sea and started oil production from the Peregrino offshore field in Brazil. “Through the Skrugard discovery and the new acreage awarded Statoil in the Barents Sea, we take new steps in opening a new energy frontier in the North,” CEO Helge Lund said. Shares in Statoil fell by 0.4 percent to 148.00 kroner ($28.1) in afternoon trading on the Oslo Stock Exchange. — AP

deal but that the bailout was “very unlikely to mark an end to the country’s problems.” Barclays Capital analysts said the deal should be treated “positively” and marked an EU determination to “ring fence” debt problems. “Our view continues to be that Spain will most likely not need EU/IMF support,” they said. At Mediobanca, analysts said that on a positive note the deal could mark the end of EU financed rescues, but it also implied that the EFSF rescue fund was “running out of resources.” The public debt here amounts to nearly 160.4 billion euros, representing 93.0 percent of gross domestic product. The ceiling for eurozone countries is 60 percent. Announcing the agreement late on Tuesday, Socrates said: “International institutions have recognized that the Portuguese situation is a far cry from those in other countries.” — Reuters

BEIJING: A man wearing a placard on his chest to promote new apartments walks amongst cars waiting for a traffic light in Beijing yesterday. The World Bank on April 28 warned measures to cool China’s red-hot real estate sector could trigger a sudden downturn in the market, posing risks for the world’s second-largest economy. — AFP

RBS raises Emirates NBD price target DUBAI: Emirates NBD, Dubai’s largest bank by market value, has made progress in cleaning its balance sheet and providing achievable targets, RBS said, and raised its price target on the stock by 33 percent. Last week, ENBD forecast a low singledigit loan growth for 2011, but posted a 27 percent rise in quarterly profit based on a one-off gain from its sale of card processor Network International. ENBD took advantage of the gain achieved from the disposal of its 49 percent stake in Network International to improve the quality of its balance sheet,

RBS said and raised its price target on the stock to 4.55 dirhams from 3.41 dirhams. ENBD has not raised its outlook on lending growth of 3-4 percent for 2011, but with 1 percent shrinkage quarterover-quarter, this was not surprising, RBS said in a note to clients. “We continue to expect deleveraging across several sectors in Dubai, but ENBD is taking a rosier outlook, beginning to invest for the future and hinting at positive signs in various sectors and Abu Dhabi,” it added. RBS maintained its “hold” rating on ENBD stock, which traded down 1.5 percent at 4.09 dirhams yesterday. —Reuters

OSLO/COPENHAGEN: Spending cuts by cashstrapped European governments and cheap gas are denting the profits and prospects of renewable energy companies, quarterly reports from two major sector players underlined yesterday. Vestas, the world’s biggest wind turbine maker, and Nor wegian solar industr y group REC said they saw earnings hit by lower power scheme subsidies and heightened competition. Countries including Germany and Italy are reining in spending to pay for bailing out their banks and are cutting the guaranteed prices for solar power, reducing the incentives for investors-largely households-to install solar panels. Some utilities, such as RWE, are also reducing renewable investments due to lower earnings, while gas, the fossil fuel with the lowest carbon dioxide emissions, becomes more attractive due to low prices, dragging investments away from windmills. Norway’s Renewable Energy Corp (REC) warned of oversupply, price pressure and falling demand due to the political uncer tainty on the key European solar markets. The cautioning came after

US-based First Solar, the world’s biggest solar company by market capitalization, late on Tuesday warned the solar market would face a tough second half of the year. The chief financial officer of German conglomerate Siemens, Joe Kaeser, said the solar industry is hit most by government austerity programs and that this will continue for a while. Profit in Siemens’ renewable energy division, which makes wind turbines and solar power plants, dropped by half in the three months through March, the company’s second quarter. Vestas, which from 2015 plans to offer a 7 megawatt wind turbine with a diameter of 164 meters, reported deeper-than-forecast operating losses for the first quarter and orders below expectations. Its shares dropped 8.95 percent to 161.80 Danish crowns by 1121 GMT, even though the company reiterated it will generate 7 billion euros of sales and earn operating profits of 7 percent of those sales this year. “At first glance it is very difficult to see positive aspects in Vestas’ first-quarter report,” Jyske Markets analyst Christian Nagstrup said. REC shares were down 5.48 percent at 17.26 Norwegian crowns. — Reuters


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BUSINESS

Weak UK economic data hint rates to remain low LONDON: Figures yesterday showing a slowdown in the construction sector and falling house price prices reinforced market expectations that the Bank of England will keep its benchmark interest rate at the record low of 0.5 percent for a few more months. The downbeat economic news came as the bank’s rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee began its monthly two-day policy meeting, and analysts said the figures would do little to swell the ranks of those on the nine-member panel voting for higher borrowing costs. As well as the central bank itself reporting a 60 percent drop in mortgage lending in March, the Nationwide

Building Society said house prices resumed their downward trend in April and a Markit/CIPS survey showed construction growth slowed sharply in the same month. Analysts say the signs of stagnant economic growth, combined with slowing inflation, have killed off any prospect of a rate hike when the bank announces its decision today. “In fact, we believe the odds now favor the Bank of England holding off from raising interest rates until November,” said IHS Global Insight economist Howard Archer, who had previously pegged a rise in August. The central bank has held interest rates at 0.5 percent since March 2009. Rates

However, consumer price inflation unexpectedly fell back to 4 percent in March from 4.4 percent in February. Gross domestic product, meanwhile, rose 0.5 percent in the first quarter of this year. But that followed a 0.5 percent contract in the final quarter of last year, leaving GDP broadly unchanged over the six months. “Low activity levels in the housing market, tighter government purse strings, rising input prices in fuel and materials, as well as poor cash flow in some cases, are clearly a worry,” said David Noble, chief executive at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply. That leaves economists expecting the majority of the Monetary Policy

were slashed to that level in the wake of the global financial crisis. The bank also undertook a 200 billion pound ($330 billion) asset purchase program — socalled quantitative easing — after running out of room on the interest rate front. Economists had started to factor rises in their forecasts for the coming months as inflation soared way above target, believing the bank would need to act to rein in spending despite ongoing sluggish domestic growth. The bank’s aim is to hold the annual rise in the consumer price index to 2 percent, plus or minus one percentage point, a target which has been exceeded for 15 straight months.

Committee to vote to hold rates steady, despite a three-way split in the group in recent months. This is the last month for the committee’s arch-hawk Andrew Sentance to win favor for a significant rate hike. Sentance has in recent months voted to raise rates to 1 percent to counter inflation. Two other committee members, Spencer Dale and Martin Weale, have for the past two months backed a hike to 0.75 percent. Yet another member, Adam Posen, has instead voted to pump another 50 billion ($83 billion) into the bank’s quantitative easing program to boost economic growth. —AP

Asian nations aim to boost trade in local currencies ASEAN seeks to reduce dominance of dollar HANOI: Finance ministers from Southeast Asia, Japan, South Korea and China agreed yesterday to look at ways of increasing the use of their own currencies in trade transactions. “Basically, members... would like to increase the value of trade and we would like to promote and encourage the usage of local currencies,” Indonesian Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo told reporters. He spoke after an annual meeting of finance ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the three regional partners. At the moment the dollar is the dominant currency used in international trade transactions, including in Asia. Last August China said that it hoped for greater use of its currency in trade

with ASEAN, in the context of a free trade deal between the two. Ministers also agreed to study the financing of infrastructure, which is needed to sustain the region’s growth, and disaster risk insurance. The mounting cost of the world’s calamities is in focus after Japan’s earthquake and tsunami disaster in March. Tokyo has esti-

mated that direct damage from the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami could reach around $300 billion. The disaster left nearly 26,000 people dead or missing and crippled a nuclear power plant, which has been releasing radioactive materials into the environment. Martowardojo, whose country holds this year’s

ASEAN chairmanship, said Indonesia believed the economy of Japan would recover later this year. The Japanese government said it expected production to increase in April and May but analysts have warned Japan’s output would continue to be compromised. Last week the Bank of Japan cut its growth fore-

cast for this fiscal year to 0.6 percent from 1.6 percent projected before the disaster. Japanese companies, such as the world’s biggest carmaker Toyota, have temporarily closed plants or slowed production at home and overseas because parts suppliers were hit by the tsunami, and power supply has been affected. —AFP

Sage on track as small businesses up spending LONDON: Software firm Sage reported a return to organic growth in all regions in the first half as small and medium businesses tentatively resumed spending on business applications like accountancy and payroll services. “We have organic growth in all our regions for the first time since 2007,” Chief Executive Guy Berruyer told reports on a conference call yesterday. Newcastle, north-east England-based Sage, which provides software to more than 6 million SMEs, posted a 5 percent rise in pretax profit to 167 million pounds ($275 million) on 3 percent higher revenue of 743 million pounds. Underlying earnings per share for the period to end-March rose 4 percent to 9.87 pence, just ahead of market forecasts. Shares in Sage, which have underperformed the European technology index by 5 percent since the start of 2011, were 1.5 percent higher at 290.9 pence by 0842 GMT. Analysts at Investec said the results overall were in line, driven by slightly better revenue, but due to higher financing costs EPS was just 1 percent ahead. “The US remains a concern with underperformance at both the top and bottom line,” they said in a note. “This is a concern given the management change and will draw attention today.” Analyst Milan Radia at Jefferies said the results were ahead on all levels and, aside from the unsurprising black spot of US healthcare, boded well for further growth acceleration in the second half. Sage’s customers were hit by the downturn later than large enterprises, but they have been slower to bounce back and North America has lagged other regions. Berruyer, who took over as chief executive in October, said business confidence among SMEs had improved, although it varied by geography, and the outlook remained uncertain. The group had strongest growth in its Africa, Australia, Middle East and Asia region, where revenue grew by 13 percent, while Europe, its largest region, delivered growth of 5 percent. Sage said it had seen signs of optimism in its US customer base, helping organic revenue for North America rise 1 percent, against a 5 percent contraction in the same period a year earlier. “From here we hope to continue to improve organic growth in North America,” Finance Director Paul Harrison said. “We don’t see any reason why our North American business ultimately should be a slower growth business than the rest of the group.” Berruyer has installed Pascal Houillon to lead Sage’s North American business in December as part of his strategy to improve revenue growth. Its US healthcare operation, however, remains a drag, recording a 5 percent decline in sales, with its Medical Manager product particularly weak. Burruyer said the business would be helped by government stimulus money boosting demand for its Intergy electronic health records product, offsetting declines in Medical Manager. Sage, which competes with Intuit, is also gradually stepping up its cloud offering of products delivered over the Internet, while not jeopardizing sales of its off-the-shelf boxed software. —Reuters

HONG KONG: European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard delivers a keynote address at the 19th Consumer International World Congress on the “green economy” in Hong Kong yesterday. —AFP

PAOLO ALTO: Evan Olmstead, 2, looks at Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal at Piazza’s grocery store in Palo Alto, California. Kellogg Co’s first-quarter net income fell 12 percent as the world’s biggest cereal maker dealt with higher costs and spent more on its brands. —AP

Glencore targets $11bn as IPO draws big guns HONG KONG/LONDON: Top commodity trader Glencore sought a strong debut for this month’s share offering, capping planned proceeds at $11 billion and placing 31 percent with key investors led by Abu Dhabi. The world’s largest diversified commodities trader set a 480 to 580 pence per share price range for the London initial public offering (IPO). That values it at 36.5 billion pounds ($60 billion) at the mid-point, which is below the price some analysts say the company is worth, and was seen as an attempt to leave something on the table. “It’s smart for investment bankers to be conservative in their pricing, so as not to disappoint too many people,” John McGloin at Collins Stewart said. But institutional investors may take some convincing. “The key thing Glencore needs to bear in mind is yes, they have an interesting model, but not everyone has bought into the idea of how the business is run,” a portfolio manager at a UK investment company said. “To be pricing Glencore over $55 billion is way out of line, I would not buy that.” Glencore, which is planning a dual London and Hong Kong listing, said on Wednesday it was looking to raise gross proceeds-before fees and other costsof around $10 billion. That is before a 10 percent “greenshoe” or over-allotment option which can be sold if there is demand. The listing will boost Glencore’s firepower for deals amid a boom in commodity prices, but will also push it into the public eye after 37 years as a discreet private company. The IPO will

turn publicity-shy executives including chief executive Ivan Glasenberg, a former coal trader, into paper billionaires. Glasenberg, Glencore’s largest shareholder, will have his precise holding, along with other details, made public when the full prospectus is published later on Wednesday. “Glasenberg is more or less going to be worth around $10 billion,” a source close to the matter said. Some details have begun to trickle out. Glasenberg will be paid 925,000 pounds a year according to a draft prospectus, and will be entitled to a bonus of up to twice that amount. Simon Murray will be one of the best-paid FTSE non-executive chairmen with annual fees of 675,000 pounds. Glencore’s estimate of its future market capitalisation puts the company just above the mid-point of a wide $45 to $73 billion value implied in its intention-to-float last month. The midpoint of analyst research was around $60 billion, though that excludes proceeds from the offering. “We could have gone out with a much higher price range. (Glencore) knows a sensible price range is needed,” another source close to the deal said. Glencore said it had struck agreements with cornerstone investors, who will take up around 31 percent of the total offer, one of the largest cornerstone books to date. A separate term sheet reveals Abu Dhabi’s IPIC Aabar will be the largest cornerstone investor, committing $850 million to the IPO. Singapore has agreed to invest $400 million and BlackRock Inc $360 million, while other investors include Credit

Suisse Private Bank and Och Ziff, have each agreed to buy $175 million worth of shares. The source close to the deal said the cornerstones were oversubscribed, with not every early investor getting the full allocation they had requested. People close to the matter have said Glencore is looking to target a strong market debut. A less ambitious valuation will also attract investors who have fretted over its motivations for going public at what some see as the top of the commodity cycle. “We expect it to be a successful float. It’s well-backed by some very high-profile cornerstone investors,” John Meyer, analyst at Fairfax in London, said. The company confirmed it is looking to raise around $7.9 billion from the sale of new shares in a primary offering, while its partners planned to raise about $2.1 billion in a secondary sale to pay off a tax bill linked to the IPO. That would value Glencore at about 8 to 10 times estimated 2011 earnings, based on the average forecast of the three banks underwriting the IPO. Founded in 1974 by trading sensation Marc Rich, Glencore has until now held on to a fiercely prized tradition of public discretion. As a result, investors will scour the prospectus, expected to be more than 1,000 pages long, for details ranging from its existing investors to risks and trading. The prospectus is also expected to give the first indication of how much the commodities giant will pay its bankers in one of the biggest paydays for the sector this year. —Reuters

HANOI: French Minister of Finance Christine Lagarde (L) speaks as Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Haruhiko Kuroda listens during a seminar of governors in the frame of the ADB’s 44th annual meeting being held in Hanoi yesterday. —AFP

Volatile capital flows a threat: G20 chair France HANOI: Volatile flows of external capital that have poured into Asia are a hurdle to economic stability, France’s finance minister said yesterday, calling for an agreement on how to deal with them. “What we need to do is collectively accept that the sudden and often abrupt movement of capital is not conducive to balance, to predictability and to stability,” said Christine Lagarde, whose country currently chairs the G20 group of the 20 largest economies in the world. Asian governments are dealing with huge inflows of capital from investors seeking better returns on their money than in the sluggish West. The incoming funds have boosted the value of many Asian currencies and regional finance ministers have expressed concern because much of the money has been in the form of portfolio funds that can be withdrawn just as fast as they are injected. “We need to identify amongst ourselves what additional steps are acceptable and should be used to try to resist the abruptness and the massiveness of flows of capital,” the minister told AFP in an interview. “It’s a matter of collective discipline really.” She was in Vietnam to represent the G20 at annual meetings of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The G20 represents 85 percent of the global economy and includes Japan, China, South Korea, India, Indonesia and non-Asian members Britain, Canada, France, Germany, the United States, Italy, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Turkey and the European Union. ADB president Haruhiko Kuroda said on Tuesday that capital controls might be necessary “in some cases, in some countries, in some occasions.” Asian governments are also confronted with soaring prices for food and oil, stoked partly by unrest in the Middle East. Domestic food inflation in developing Asian nations hit 10 percent at the start of this year, with double-digit rises in the price of wheat, corn, sugar, edible oils, dairy products and meat. “I’m quite concerned,” Lagarde said, adding the issue could be addressed with better information about what food stocks are available, but also through better regulation of commodity derivatives. “I think we need to tackle those issues in parallel so that they actually make a difference in peoples’ lives,” she said. Finance ministers from Japan, South Korea and China held talks with their Southeast Asian counterparts on the sidelines of the ADB talks Wednesday, and raised concerns about the impact of speculative money movements. They said both rising inflation and large capital flows “have complicated the task of macroeconomic policy management and have challenged sustainable economic growth of the region,” according to a joint statement afterwards. —AFP

Feds sue Deutsche Bank, alleging mortgage fraud NEW YORK: The federal government sued Deutsche Bank, saying the bank committed fraud and padded its pockets with undeserved income as it repeatedly lied so it could benefit from a government program that insured mortgages. The lawsuit in US District Court in Manhattan seeks to recover hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance claims that the government has had to pay when homeowners defaulted on their mortgages. The lawsuit also asked for punitive damages. The government said the bank made substantial profits between 2007 and 2009 from the resale of the risky mortgages, leaving the government to foot the bill for loans that defaulted. The mortgage insurance is issued by the Federal Housing Administration. The lawsuit said the bank carried out the fraud through its subsidiary, MortgageIT, which employed more than 2,000 people at branches in all U.S. 50 states. Deutsche acquired MortgageIT in 2007. At a news conference, US Attorney Preet Bharara said the bank “repeatedly and brazenly” engaged in a pattern of reckless lending practices for mortgages “that were really ticking time bombs,” sometimes failing even to verify that a mortgage applicant had a job. —AP


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TECHNOLOGY

Intrepid media meet their match: The online oppressors NEW YORK: The internet and its social networks have become not only a forum for the world’s free press and newly emerging democracy movements but also a battleground for repressive governments fighting against them, the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists said in a report released Monday. From bloggers who whipped up popular unrest with text messages against dictatorial governments in Tunisia and Egypt to the tamer human rights dissidents in China, the internet has served them well. But repressive governments have learned to use the same tactics to block, disable or destroy the oppressed people’s political and social messages. “Many of the oppressors’ tactics show an increasing sophistication, from the state-supported email in China designed to take over journalists’ personal computers, to the carefully timed cyberattacks on news websites in Belarus,” CPJ said in a study of the tools used by “Online Oppressors.” The study was released on the eve of the UN’s World Press Freedom Day, which will be observed Tuesday. Imprisonment of journalists, writers and human rights advocates is an effective tactic to suppress freedom of the press. Online oppression has

become an equally crippling weapon, as governments with long records of human rights violations now use the tools available on the internet, CPJ said. As they scrambled to stay in power, the regimes of Egypt and Tunisia tried internet censorship. President Hosny Mubarak of Egypt shut down the internet in January at the first signs of popular unrest in Cairo, but reopened it a week later under international pressure. Libya and Bahrain also tried to disrupt internet traffic in reaction to popular demands for freedoms. The military junta in Myanmar shut down the internet during the 2007 revolt, as did China in 2010 to try to clamp down ethnic unrest in the western province of Xinjiang, CPJ noted. Iran and China - which topped the CPJ list for each detaining the most journalists, 34, in 2010 - in particular have effectively blocked access to Web portals and prevented citizens from using certain keywords in search engines to follow world news, CPJ said. China for example removed the phrase Jasmine Revolution, a reference to the revolution in Tunisia that toppled President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, and its engineers install malware and spyware using

legitimate emails. “Journalists reporting in and about China have been victims of these attacks, known as ‘spearphishing,’ in a pattern that strongly indicates the targets were chosen for their work,” CPJ said. Tehran makes sophisticated use of domestic internet service providers and international internet gateways to blacklist websites since protests against the 2009 presidential elections. The military junta in Myanmar, formerly Burma, censored and obstructed websites run by Burmese exiles, including the Normay-based Democratic Voice of Burma, which was repeatedly cyberattacked by Yangon. The Thailand-based news outlet Irrawaddy, the India-based Mizzima news agency and the Democratic Voice of Burma all had experienced cyber attacks that disabled or slowed their websites. Tunisia’s use of state cyber crime went a step further last year when the country’s internet agency redirected internet users to “fake, government-created log-in pages” for major providers or social networks like Google, Yahoo and Facebook. Authorities then could steal usernames and passwords. “While cybercrime tactics appear to have been abandoned with the collapse of Ben Ali’s govern-

ment in January, the new government has not relinquished control of the internet entirely,” CPJ said. Syria, which is deploying military forces against protesters, remains the world’s most “dangerous places” for bloggers, CPJ said. A Syrian court in February sentenced blogger Tal al-Mallohi to five years in prison. She was arrested in 2009 at age 19, when she had a blog about Palestinian rights. CPJ said online journalist Khaled Elekhetyar was detained in March for a week, and veteran blogger Ahmad Abu al-Khair was detained for the second time in two months. Online journalists met similar fates in Russia, with some of the worst violence unleashed by the Kremlin, CPJ said. Last year, prominent business reporter and blogger Oleg Kashin was badly beaten after his arrest and placed in an induced coma for a time. Attacks on web journalists included the 2008 murder of website publisher Magomed Yevloyev in Ingushetia. Elsewhere, Belarus conducts precision censorship, Ethiopia controls the internet infrastructure and Cuba denies internet access, CPJ said. In Cuba, only a handful of people are allowed to use the internet at home while the rest of the population must use state- controlled access points. — dpa

Apple co-founder Wozniak: Computers can teach kids Education systems have not adapted to children’s needs

BUDAPEST: A man places a blue toy in front of a pattern recognition and movement coordination multi-robot during the FET11, The European Future Technologies Conference and Exhibition, in Budapest Congress and World Trade Centre yesterday. — AFP

Android car radio with GPS and UMTS

SAN JOSE: Apple Inc co-founder Steve Wozniak has an idea that could help fix the US public education system: computers, of course. Technology is getting to the point where devices are built today that have all the sensors humans have-of movement, eyesight and hearing, although they are still far from replacing human teachers, he said. “We’re getting closer to where you can make devices that become a friend and not just a computerized textbook,” he told chip engineers at an event in Silicon Valley on Tuesday. Faced with big budget gaps, states and school districts may have to make budget cuts that affect class sizes, curriculum and teachers’ salaries. Since public schools are heavily funded

by states, they typically bear the brunt of the cuts. Wozniak, who founded Apple Computer in 1976 with Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne, said education systems have not adapted to children’s needs, with schools adhering to a topdown teaching philosophy. “If you had 30 teachers in a class with 30 students, they’d all get individual attention and be moving at their own paces,” Wozniak said. “So I think someday a computer could possibly be a teacher.” One qualification that Wozniak brings to his thoughts on education: he secretly taught elementary school for eight years. “School in itself is pretty much a restrictive force on creativity,” he said. “When you come to class, you do the exact same pages in the book,

In the news

Web browsers WASHINGTON: Today’s web browsers help you reduce screen clutter by providing a tabbed interface, but few people take full advantage of tabs. An easy way to keep multiple webpages open within one browser is to right-click a link instead of left-clicking it. Then, from the resulting pop-up menu, select “Open in new tab.” That way, your new page will appear in a tab and the page from which you clicked the link will still be available in another tab.

NEW TECHNOLOGY PRODUCTS PARIS: An Android car radio with built-in GPS and a slot for a UMTS stick is the latest showcase product from French hardware maker Parrot. The “Asteroid” will initially feature navigation and location services, a petrol station price comparison app, and an internet radio service. The radio features a 3.2-inch colour display and can accept voice commands, including the ability to search for music on an SD card or USB stick by naming the track title or artist. The radio is built to fit the single DIN standard format and also functions as a Bluetooth speakerphone for a mobile phone. It is expected in May at around 299 dollars. Wireless speakerphone clip for landline MUNICH: Gigaset has unveiled a new product for those who’d like to make phone calls without a handset or even a headset on their ear. The L410 weighs only 30 grammes, allowing it to be clipped to a lapel and function like the handset on a wireless phone set for loudspeaker function. The device is the size of a business card and can be operated using any DECT base station. The manufacturer promises five hours of talk time on one battery charge. The clip is expected in stores in May for 50 dollars, including charging station. Outdoor cell phone with solar panel BERLIN: Swissvoice is launching a robust new mobile phone that uses an integrated solar cell panel to recharge itself when far away from the nearest plug. The SV29 is encased in a rubber sheath that protects the phone up to the international IP56 standard against impacts and dust. The unit includes a colour display, illuminated keys, speakerphone, LED flashlight and radio, and works on the GMS cellular service standard. The Swissvoice SV29 is already in stores for about 90 dollars. Multimedia Player from HDI Dune MUNICH: HDI Dune has introduced a new network player with a built-in Bittorrent client for file sharing. The HD Lite 53D supports all current audio and video formats as well as Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels). The casing offers an SD card slot as well as space for a 2.5-inch hard drive that allows the player to function as a network hard drive. The unit only comes with 128 megabytes of built-in memory. The player is available now. The model priced at 169 dollars can connect to a home network via LAN cable, while the 189-dollar version also includes a WLAN module. SD card with integrated WLAN MUNICH: A new WLAN SD card from hardware maker Eye-Fi can transmit

images straight from the camera to the computer. The eight gigabyte X2 module establishes its own WLAN network. A free application is available for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets to allow them to receive pictures as well. The Eye-Fi Mobile X2 will be available in stores in May for 80 dollars. Owners of the previous generation of X2 card will receive smartphone support as a free update. Dreamboxes upgraded with hybrid swap tuner HAMBURG: Dream Multimedia is adding three new models to the Dreambox digital receiver series: The DM 500 HD and DM800 HD SE devices contain what are known as hybrid tuners, capable of receiving digital television either by cable (DVB-C) or antenna (DVBT). The new DM 7020 HD is built modularly to allow for different tuners to be added or removed. Two plug-in slots are included. One comes with a satellite tuner (DVB-S) included. The DM 7020 HD can also accommodate a 3.5 inch hard drive for use as a recorder and a LAN connection to a network. Price and release dates for the receivers have not yet been set. New 3D TV with triple tuner from Sharp BERLIN: Sharp has a new line of flatscreen televisions with an integrated triple tuner for antenna, satellite, and cable reception, as well as internet. The devices in the LE830E series run around 70 different applications, ranging from Skype, a browser, and email client to a video-on-demand service. The TVs also offer Full HD resolution at just 2.5 cm of thickness, are 3D compatible, and are rated as extra energy efficient (A grade). The 40 inch model will cost about 1,199 dollars in stores, while the 46 inch version will cost 1,599 dollars. Both models are expected at retailers in May and come with a pair of 3D glasses. Prices and availability of the 52 and 60 inch models have not been announced. Streak tablet with 7-inch display BERLIN: Drawing on the success of its 5inch Streak tablet hybrid, Dell is now bringing the device’s bigger brother to market. As the name suggests, the Streak 7 features a seven inch touchscreen protected by robust glass. Inside the device is a Tegra 2 gigahertz dual core processor from Nvidia running Android OS 2.2 (Froyo). Features include a 5 megapixel camera with WLAN, Bluetooth 2.1, and 16 gigabytes of memory (including SD card expansion slot). The Streak 7 sells for around 379 dollars. A UMTS version is expected later this year. — dpa

the same hours as everyone else in the class. You don’t go off in your own little directions.” “That is not the way of the future,” he said. “Lot of kids get lost in our school system.” The lifelong hands-on engineer, who stopped working for Apple in 1987, but is still on the payroll, serves as chief scientist for start-up Fusion-io, which says its technology speeds up data processing. Wozniak was key in building the Apple I and Apple II computers that helped revolutionize personal computing. Popularly knows as “Woz,” he gained most of his engineering knowledge from his father and from tinkering with computers late into the night in his bedroom. “I never had a textbook for this stuff,” he said. — Reuters

In this product image provided by Apple Inc., the upgraded line of iMac desktop computers with faster processors, higher-resolution cameras and a new type of data port, are displayed. — AP

Apple upgrades iMacs with quad-core processors NEW YORK: Apple Inc. yesterday released an upgraded line of iMac desktop computers with faster processors, higher-resolution cameras and a new type of data port. The new iMacs all have Intel quadcore processors, which had been available as an upgrade to the standard dualcore processors of the previous generation. Apple said the new models are up to 70 percent faster. The new 21.5-inch (54.61- centimeter) iMac has a single Thunderbolt port, which can carry data at speeds 20 times faster than most current USB ports. It can also connect to additional monitors. The 27-inch (68.58-centimeter) iMac has two Thunderbolt ports. Apple introduced Thunderbolt on MacBook Pro laptops in February. The port was developed by Intel Corp. The 21.5-inch (54.61-centimeter) iMac starts at $1,199, the larger model at $1,699. Apple last revamped its iMacs in July 2010. Meanwhile, Swedish music streaming service Spotify yesterday launched an application enabling users to synchronise playlists and songs purchased through its service with Apple’s iPod, a clear challenge to Apple’s iTunes. “You’ve also said you’re listening to a huge amount of music on your iPods, and that getting your Spotify playlists onto them as MP3s has been a serious hassle, forcing you to juggle multiple music players. That’s until now,” the company said in a statement. “As of today, Spotify is making it possi-

ble for everyone to take their playlists with them in one lean, green music machine,” it added. The changes to Spotify will make it possible for users to import playlists created in Spotify directly to iPods and to manage music on their iPods through Spotify, without using Apple’s iTunes. The new service will be available both to Spotify’s paying users and the users of its free version. It marks a shift for the young Swedish company, which had previously focussed on online streaming. “Our users don’t want to have to switch between music players, but they do want to take their playlists with them wherever they go, on a wider range of devices, more simply and at a price they can afford,” co-founder Daniel Ek said. The move comes less than a month after Spotify announced restrictions on its free version, slashing the amount of times a track can be played and the total amount of music users can listen to. Founded in 2006, Spotify is one of the world’s largest streaming websites and is available only in Sweden, Nor way, Finland, Britain, France, Spain and the Netherlands because of copyright issues. The company announced in March it reached one million paying users in March and it currently has around seven million users of its free version, the company ’s chief produc t officer Gustav Soederstroem told news agency TT. — Agencies

Wrap text to window In Word 2003, you could use the “wrap text to window” option to force text to wrap based upon the width of your Word window rather than the page width defined in page layout. The option is still available in Word 2007 and 2010, but it’s very hard to find. Open the Word 2007 or 2010 file menu or orb, and click Word Options. In the resulting Word Options dialog box, click Advanced in the lefthand pane and from the right-hand pane, under the “Show document content” section, select the option labelled “Show text wrapped within the document window.” Traditional computer mouse If your work on a computer is restricted to a small area, you probably find the traditional computer mouse a bit difficult to deal with because it requires desk space to move around. Consider switching to a trackball, a drawing tablet, or a touch pad. Any of these mouse alternatives will require less space than a computer mouse and some of them even offer finer pointer control. A visit to a local computer store should help you decide which one to select. Additional clocks If you’re a Windows user and need to know what time it is in other parts of the world, you don’t have to turn to an addon tool. In Vista and Windows 7, you can add two additional clocks to represent two additional time zones. Right-click the clock in the system tray and select Adjust Date/Time from the pop-up menu. From the resulting dialog box, click the Additional Clocks tab and select the time zones you want. Battery power When you’re on the road, conserving battery power is paramount. To get the most life out of a battery charge, avoid playing CDs or DVDs. CD/DVD drives use a lot of power, as they must spin the disk constantly. Also, if you’re not using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, be sure to disable those functions in your notebook. They use power as well.


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At Oregon gym, you burn calories, move electrons PORTLAND: Reddening, a rivulet of sweat running across her cheek, Amy McCullough hunched over the stationary bike, pumped her legs like crazy and began producing serious power, enough watts to run a flat-panel TV and a ceiling fan. She thrust her arms upward and exclaimed: “Oh, 180!” And, with that, her electrical output drooped. The generator attached to her exercise machine slowed, and the digital readout from the device on the handlebars fell below 100 watts. The transient burst was a personal best for the 43-year-old legal aid lawyer who works out five days a week at a storefront fitness center in north Portland where members on exercise machines fitted with compact generators can burn calories and generate electricity at the same time. Their workouts satisfy a modicum of the electrical draw at the 3-year-old Green Microgym. More important, they satisfy a demand among its 200 members to be fit in a way that fits Portland’s green-indie-local ethos. The 3,000-square-foot (279-square-meter) gym aims for a neighborhood trade. It features solar panels, recycled toilet paper, renewable-source flooring and many reminders on the wall about turning off lights, fans and TVs. “I was really attracted to the idea that it would be green,” said McCullough, who joined shortly after the gym opened in 2008. “I could go in and generate electricity.

It has occurred to many exercisers during long stretches on machines that it would be cool to turn sweat into watts. In recent years, a few tinkerers and entrepreneurs have brought the idea to market.So far they have but a teensy sliver of energy production. The two leading startups sell equipment to retrofit existing bikes and elliptical trainers, and each reports hooking up about 1,000 machines. An executive of one company estimates that American fitness centers house 8 million to 10 million machines that could generate power. They do not, though. Like much in energy that is efficient or alternative, from plug-in cars to compact fluorescents, initial capital outlays are steep. Absent a subsidy, or a quantifiable green marketing rationale, the returns on investment do not come quickly, if at all. Kurt Broadhag, a Los Angeles consultant to health clubs and an advocate of greening them, says it appears the payback period for electricity-generating exercise equipment is about 15 years, two to three times the machines’ life span. “The only sense it makes is in educating people in taking care of the environment,” he said. When Adam Boesel opened the Green Microgym in Portland’s artsy, gentrifying Alberta district, he figured on a market among people already educated about the environment. The former teacher from Seattle, Washington, looked at

Portland, a city that, when cut, bleeds green. It ranks regularly in top 10 lists for bicycle and mass transit commuting, recycling, composting, energyefficient buildings and so on. “When I was researching Portland businesses, they all were talking about sustainability; all the good ones,” he said. He has received a lot of publicity about the technology, helpful for a business that opened on credit-card financing a few weeks before the U.S. economy tanked. But the machines, he said, are “just the shiny wrapper on a package, which is energy efficiency,” something gym members such as Martha Jones take seriously. “Whoops, I have to turn off the lights,” she said at the end of an interview in the gym’s basement studio, dashing back inside. Prominent in the gym are signs that explain how to use the individual, adjustable controls for lights and fans. A wall-mounted button connects to a remote device that allows the cable boxes to be shut down, not just put on standby and using 29 watts when the flat-panel TVs are not in use. Jones is an Intel engineer who likes seeing her workout quantified in watts. But it is not primarily the electricity that attracts her to the Green Microgym. “It’s just really supportive,” she said. “If you have somebody who knows you, who knows your name, they will keep you moving. I know for

sure I will cheat right and left on my workout without that.” She counts hoofing it to the gym as warm-up and cool-down. “And I do more shopping in Alberta because I’m walking here,” she said. “It helps the local businesses.” Boesel sees opportunity in such thinking. Emerging from what he called scary times in the recession, he has franchised a second neighborhood gym in southeast Portland and plans to open a third on his own. With a Seattle partner, he is getting into the manufacturing end, selling machines whose plugs feed electricity from the machine into a gym’s distribution system. Theoretically, in states like Oregon with “net metering” rules, such machines could power the gym itself and feed excess energy into the grid, perhaps generating a utility bill credit. But that level of output probably would be rare, especially in big gyms heavy on lights, heating, cooling and other energy draws. Most often, electricity-generating machines would supplant some of a gym’s draw from the grid, a smaller savings. Boesel said he doesn’t try to calculate how many kilowatt-hours the Green Microgym produces. “The payback period is irrelevant to me,” he said. But the machines themselves and the potential they represent are “pretty cool,” he said. “It’s not inevitable that all the machines will make electricity someday. ... It’s all going to have to be pushed along. That’s what I think I’m doing.” — AP

US Republicans push to repeal healthcare funds Insurance exchanges central in healthcare law WASHINGTON: In a renewed attack against President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul program, House Republicans voted yesterday to deny funding for a central element of the law that sets up marketplaces for people to shop for health insurance coverage. The bill passed by the House of Representatives would rescind some $1.9 billion in grants that are being made available under the healthcare law to help states establish insurance exchanges where individuals and small businesses can shop for medical coverage plans. The exchange idea is central to the law that has faced a number of challenges in Congress and the courts since it was enacted more than a year ago. Tuesday ’s bill,

Handout photo realeased by NASA/ESA on May 2, 2011 shows a much broader view of the Meathook Galaxy, or NGC 2442, which has a dramatically lopsided shape, taken by the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at La Silla, Chile, very clearly shows the double hook shape that gives the galaxy its nickname. — AFP

NASA’s Dawn probe closes in on giant asteroid WASHINGTON: The Dawn space probe is closing in on its first target, the massive asteroid Vesta, almost four years after its journey began in September 2007, NASA said Tuesday. Dawn is on a long-haul mission to unlock the secrets of the solar system by studying the two largest asteroids orbiting the sun, Vesta and Ceres-a trip that will carry it three billion miles by the time it is over. It will be about three more months before the spacecraft gets close enough to begin orbiting the huge proto-planet, but NASA said it is eager to get to work. “We feel a little like Columbus approaching the shores of the New World,” said Christopher Russell, Dawn principal investigator, based at the University of California in Los Angeles. “The Dawn team can’t wait to start mapping this Terra Incognita.” After orbiting Vesta for about a year, the unmanned Dawn spacecraft will then carry on to Ceres, an even larger asteroid, in 2015, NASA said. The deep-space probe is carrying photographic and science instruments to study the surface of the asteroids and analyze their gravitational pull. Dawn’s mission is to learn about the first moments of the solar system’s creation 4.6 billion years ago by gathering information about Ceres and Vesta, including what kinds of elements form such terrestrial planets, among them Earth, Mars and Mercury. It also plans to explain why and how Vesta and Ceres followed a different evolutionary and formative path, particularly the role that water may have played in their

development. Ceres, discovered in 1801, has a spherical shape and a diameter of about 960 kilometers (596 miles). Scientists believe it may have a layer of thick ice under its crust, covering a rocky core. Ceres was classified in 2006 as a “dwarf planet,” according to a new definition by astronomers to describe asteroids in the solar system. The decision by the International Astronomical Union was the result of a debate about the status of Pluto, which is now classified as a dwarf planet along with Ceres and another celestial body, Eris. Vesta, discovered in 1807, is smaller than Ceres but is the third largest asteroid in the solar system. With a diameter of 520 kilometers (323 miles), Vesta has a rocky surface without a trace of water and a hot interior. Scientists are especially interested in the enormous crater on the south pole of Vesta, 460 kilometers wide and 13 kilometers deep, which is believed to be the result of a major collision. After having canceled the Dawn project previously, NASA revived the mission in 2006 after an investment of 449 million dollars. “After more than three and a half years of interplanetary travel, we are finally closing in on our first destination,” said Marc Rayman, Dawn’s chief engineer, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “We’re not there yet, but Dawn will soon bring into focus an entire world that has been, for most of the two centuries scientists have been studying it, little more than a pinpoint of light.” — AFP

MUNICH: Water bottles of the brand “Bio Kristall” in a shelf of a wholefood shop in Munich, southern Germany, on May 3. The Bavarian brewery Lammsbraeu who produces this water, pretends their water is so pure that it can bear the label “bio” (organic). —AFP

which passed on a largely partyline vote of 283-183, likely will be blocked by the Democratic-led Senate, just as an earlier effort by House Republicans to repeal the entire healthcare law was defeated. Even though the bill targets insurance exchanges, the exchange idea is in fact a major element of a House Republican budget plan that would eventually end traditional government-run Medicare health plan and instead provide subsidies to private insurers to provide medical coverage for the elderly. The Republican budget plan, drafted by Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan, would have the elderly shop for subsidized medical coverage on insurance exchanges. “House Republicans rhetorically

exalt the private health insurance marketplace,” said Ron Pollack head of Families USA, a healthcare advocacy group. “They ironically, however, plan to de-fund the creation of such state marketplaces that would enable consumers and small businesses to choose the private health plans they want.” The debate over the exchange bill covered familiar ground. Democrats argued the healthcare law already helps millions of people. Republicans argued that the law is costly and gives the federal government too big a role in setting coverage benefits. “This is not a free-market system; it is essentially central planning,” said Republican Representative Phil Roe. Democratic Representative Frank Pallone said the effort to

deny federal grants to the states would not kill the exchanges. Rather, it would make it harder for cash-strapped states to establish their own marketplaces and give more power to the federal government, Pallone said. The healthcare law calls for the federal government to set up exchanges for states that fail to establish their own. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the House bill would delay establishment of state exchanges and save $14.6 billion over the next 10 years mostly because fewer people would purchase government-subsidized insurance. About 500,000 people would be without health coverage in 2015 because of the delay, CBO said in a recent analysis of the bill.— Reuters

Filthy toilets a blight on Asian prosperity SINGAPORE: Fast-growing Asian economies may be flush with money but filthy toilets remain a blight across the region despite rising standards of living, with dire effects on poverty reduction and public health. Social activists say dismal sanitation facilities are causing preventable diseases in poor communities where people would readily spend money on a mobile phone-but not on a latrine. “I think it’s very prevalent,” said Jack Sim, a Singaporean businessman who founded the sanitation advocacy group World Toilet Organisation. “The handphone is the competitor of the toilet.” Asia has led the rebound from the 2008-2009 global recession and major institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund are predicting strong economic growth in the years ahead. US business magazine Forbes says Asia now has the second largest population of billionaires worldwide at 332, behind the United States’ 413 while leapfrogging Europe’s 300. But in Asia’s teeming urban slums and impoverished villages, toilet facilities are either non-existent or rudimentary. “The lack of good toilets as well as sanitation is still a problem in Asia,” said Babar Kibir of Bangladesh-based BRAC, one of the world’s biggest non-government organisations. Sanitation has an “immense effect” on poverty reduction, Kibir said. “It has linkages with poverty, child mortality, combating disease and environmental sustainability,” the director of BRAC’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programme, or WASH, told AFP. People living in poor sanitary conditions are vulnerable to illness which often prevents them from finding regular employment, Kibir said, adding that much of the meagre income they earn would be spent on medical treatment. Diarrhoea, malnutrition, arrested physical growth, loss of eyesight, typhoid, dysentery and hepatitis are diseases commonly associated with poor sanitation. “Poor people, particularly women and children, can enjoy protection from diseases, malnutrition and death by using safe water and sanitation facilities including improved hygiene practices,” said Kibir. Singapore’s Sim said charity alone cannot help solve the problem of an estimated 2.5 billion

people worldwide without access to proper sanitation. Businesses, governments, banks, microfinance institutions and NGOs must band together to create a business model that can offer affordable and sustainable toilet systems to the poor, he said. Sim, organiser of an annual conference called the World Toilet Summit, estimated the global market for sanitation hardware at one trillion dollars. “I hope that the commercial sector comes in... We need to go to scale, we need to see this as a wonderful business opportunity.” In Bangladesh, one of Asia’s poorest countries, BRAC’s WASH programme provides micro-loans to the poor to build toilet facilities, charging only a minimum service charge. Grants are given only to the very poor. But the programme goes beyond just providing latrines-it comes as an entire package, which includes designing and building ecofriendly toilets and raising awareness in the community about the need for good sanitation. Men, women and adolescents are taught good

hygiene practices, while local community and religious leaders and micro-credit groups are roped in to help instil the message, Kibir said. Sim said some aid agencies focus on building toilets but neglect the education part. “They want to count how many toilets they have given, but they are not counting how many toilets are being used,” Sim said. People should be taught that a good toilet is an “aspirational goal” that can boost self-esteem and social standing, apart from improving health-and toilet bowls could even be given as wedding gifts, he said. Citing Japan’s impeccably clean toilets, Sim said: “The peer pressure is there-that when you don’t have a clean toilet, you are shaming your company, your building, your country, your community. “The toilet tells a lot about the culture of the people. They can be carrying Louis Vuitton handbags but if their toilets are so dirty that shows they are still an immature society, they’re still not sophisticated, not elegant,” Sim said. — AFP

MANILA: Maintenance personnel Virgilio Bermudez (C) mops inside a public toilet at the Lacson underpass in Quiapo, Manila on April 27, 2011. — AFP

Supervised exercise most effective for diabetics CHICAGO: Diabetics get the most benefit when they exercise more than 150 minutes per week in a supervised fitness or exercise program tailored to their needs, an analysis released yesterday suggests. The findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggest it may be time for policymakers to consider reimbursing patients for the cost of health club memberships and sessions with a personal trainer as a way to help control diabetes. Diabetes and prediabetes will account for an estimated 10 percent of total health care spending by the end of the decade at an annual cost of almost $500 billion-up from an estimated $194 billion this year, according to a report by health insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc. In October, the US Centers for Dise5/4/2011ase Control and Prevention projected that up to a third of US adults could have

diabetes by 2050 if Americans continue to gain weight and avoid exercise. “Cost analyses have shown that use of a health plan-sponsored health club benefit by the general older population and by older adults with diabetes was associated with slower increases in total healthcare costs over two years,” Dr. Marco Pahor of the University of Florida wrote in an editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In the study, Daniel Umpierre of the Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre in Brazil and colleagues analyzed data from 47 clinical trials and more than 8,000 patients, looking for the best way for diabetics to control their blood sugar. They found that diabetics who participated in a supervised exercise program for more than 150 minutes a week did a better job of lowering their blood sugar than just being advised to

exercise. Diabetics who did supervised exercise training cut a measure of blood sugar known as hemoglobin A1c by 0.67 percent compared with control group participants. Pahor said clinical trials are needed to prove that supervised exercise programs help diabetics the most but he said it may be time to consider paying for these programs as a way to prevent larger health costs linked with the complications of diabetes. Complications related to diabetes can include heart and kidney disease, nerve damage, blindness and circulatory problems that can lead to wounds that will not heal and limb amputations. Diabetes, which is reaching epidemic proportions and is one of the fastest-growing diseases in the United States, currently affects about 26 million Americans. — Reuters


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Chimpanzees, humans share fundamental cognitive processes PARIS: Chimpanzees are self-aware and can anticipate the impact of their actions on the environment around them, an ability once thought to be uniquely human, according to a study released yesterday. The findings, reported in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, challenge assumptions about the boundary between human and non-human, and shed light on the evolutionary origins of consciousness, the researchers said. Earlier research had demonstrated the capacity of several species of primates, as well as dolphins, to recognize themselves in a mirror, suggesting a fairly sophisticated sense of self. The most common experiment consisted of marking an animal with paint in a place-such as the face-that it could only perceive while looking at its reflection. If the ape sought to touch or wipe off the mark while facing a mirror, it showed that the animal recognised itself.

But even if this test revealed a certain degree self-awareness, many questions remained as to how animals were taking in the information. What, in other words, was the underlying cognitive process? To probe further, Takaaki Kaneko and Masaki Tomonaga of the Primate Research Institute in Kyoto designed a series of three experiments to see if chimps, our closest cousins genetically, to some extent “think” like humans when they perform certain tasks. In the first, three females initiated a video game by placing a finger on a touch-sensitive screen and then used a trackball, similar to a computer mouse, to move one of two cursors. The movement of the second cursor, designed to distract or confuse the chimps, was a recording of gestures made earlier by the same animal and set in motion by the computer. The “game” ended when the animal hit a target, or after a certain lapse of time. At this point, the chimp had to identi-

fy with his finger which of the two cursors he had been manipulating, and received a reward if she chose correctly. All three animals scored above 90 percent. “This indicates that the chimpanzees were able to distinguish the cursor actions controlled by themselves from those caused by other factors, even when the physical properties of those actions were almost identical,” the researchers said. But it was still not clear whether the good performance was truly due to the ability to discern “self-agency”, or to observing visual cues and clues, so the researchers devised another set of conditions. This time they compared two tests. The first was the same as in the previous experiment. In the second, however, both cursors moved independently of efforts to control them, one a repeat of movements the chimp had generated in an earlier exercise, and the other a repeat of an

Caring your beauty

“decoy” cursor. The trackball, in essence, was unplugged, and had no connection to the screen. If the animals performed well on the first test but poorly on the second, the scientists reasoned, it would suggest that they were not simply responding to visual properties but knew they were in charge. The final experiment-used only for the most talented of the chimps-introduced a time delay between trackball and cursor, as if the two were out of sync, and a distortion in the direction the cursor moved on the screen. All the results suggested that “chimpanzees and humans share fundamental cognitive processes underlying the sense of being an independent agent,” the researchers concluded. “We provide the first behavioural evidence that chimpanzees can perform distinctions between self and other for external events on the basis of a selfmonitoring process.” — AFP

In the news Exercise cut cancer risk GENEVA: Studies have shown that regular exercise lowers the risk of developing cancer. Combined with a balanced diet and healthy body weight, it can cut the risk by up to a third, according to data from the World Cancer Research Fund ( WCRF) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The lower risk applies to diseases such as breast and intestinal cancer as well as heart disease and diabetes. Adults should perform at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week. “This can be achieved by simply walking 30 minutes five times per week or by cycling to work daily,” remarked Tim Armstrong, from the WHO’s Department of Chronic Diseases and Health Promotion. Dangerous products DORTMUND: A German government agency said Monday that just over half the dangerous toys, appliances and devices that were taken off the market or banned last year were Chinese-made. The Federal Agency for Labour Safety and Health tracked legal prohibitions or news reports from round the country about 78 products, and said 40 of them had been imports from China. Seven came from Italy, the second-placed country. The Dortmund-based agency publishes its findings annually. Typical defects included electrical appliances that were liable to electrocute users, or overheat and catch fire, and toys with small parts that a baby could swallow. — dpa

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W H AT ’ S O N Announcements ESF 43rd Annual Graduation The English School Fahaheel will hold the 43rd Annual Prize-giving and Graduation at the opulent Hashemi Ballroom at the Radisson Blu Hotel today 5 May 2011. Congratulations to the Class of 2011.

Imam Malek students at KT section with the AMF O.G. coordinator, Rana Salem.

Students with activist and lawyer, Najla Al-Naki

Group photo on the Youth Forum Day.

Students Osama Hassan and Ibrahim Taleb with education minister.

Imam Malek students take part in 8th AMF Encounter with real journalism By Hassan A Bari

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n their first encounter with the real world of journalism and media, five students from Imam Malek Secondary School for boys (Mubarak Al-Kabeer Educational area) recently took part in the 8th Arab Media Forum (AMF) held in Kuwait, under auspices of HH the PM, Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed and with the attendance of the Oil and Information Minister, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Abdullah, at the Sheraton Hotel which was held from April 24 till 26.

This year’s cycle of AMF was so special as it allocated the pre-opening day, Saturday, April 23, for discussing youthrelated issues such as small and medium businesses for young entrepreneurs, the role of social communication networks (Facebook......etc) and the media in addressing youth problems in addition to major youth aspirations. The five participating students; Abdul Aziz Jaber Al-Kandari (photographer), Osama Hassan, Abdul Aziz Al-Shuqaih, Mo’ath Salah and Ibrahim Taleb (reporting), had a good chance to covering such an event and reporting it to the

school magazine. In addition, the photographer, Al-Kandari took part in a photography competition held for youth within the forum’s activities. The students also had a chance meeting media figures and icons from various Arab countries and watching them in action while covering, reporting stories or taking part in seminars. They visited the forum’s media center and watched the process of sending reports to agencies and newspapers worldwide. The students were also hosted at Kuwait Times section at the exhibition held at the forum’s sidelines.

Shaastrotsav Shaastrotsav- Festival of Science will be held tomorrow (Friday, May 6, 2011) on the Gulf University for Science & Technology (GUST) campus, Mishref, near Kuwait International Fair Grounds. Shaastrotsav, which is a highly popular science and technology event in Kuwait, is organized by Kuwait chapter of NSS College of Engineering Alumni, in association with Gulf University for Science & Technology (GUST). Fifteen schools and many technical and professional organizations will be participating in the day-long events of Shaastrotsav. Kuwait Gulf Oil Company (KGOC) will be participating in the event. Entry to Shaastrotsav, which will start at 10:30 am on 6th May 2011, is open to all. Visit www.Shaastrotsav.org or www.facebook.com/shaastrotsav or call 66699504 / 99379966 / 99377238 / 99778352 / 55377238 to know more about this science & technology extravaganza. Future Eye Theatre Workshop Future Eye Theatre, Kuwait will hold a demonstration-cum-workshop on ‘Theatre and Dance’ on Saturday (May 7, 2011) at 7.30pm at the Successlines, Abbassiya. Renowned Kathakali exponent K alamandalam E Vasudevam and Bharatanatyam and Mohiniyattom exponent Kalamandalam Mallika will conduct the workshop. All theatre and dance lovers including dance students are welcome. For details, Tel: 97277151, 66726427 or 65018302. Ahmadi Music Group The Ahmadi Music Group, directed by Richard Bushman, is delighted to announce the forthcoming production of The Desert Song by Siegmund Romberg and Oscar Hammerstein. Fully-staged, with costumes, dancing, professional soloists, a cast of around fifty people and a full symphony orchestra, this will be a wonderful opportunity to experience an evening of musical theatre in the stunning new Per forming Ar ts Centre at The English School Salmiya. Tuesday 31 May, Preview Performance for students. Wednesday 1 June, Black-tie Gala Opening Performance followed by Buffet Supper. Thursday 2 June, Performance. Friday 3 June, Performance. All performances start at 7pm at The English School, Salmiya. Emailing invitations@ahmadimusicgroup.com

Abdul Aziz Jaber with Dr Saleh Al-Ojairi

Capture the magical moments of Juliia at Swiss-Belhotel

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PGA players enjoy amazing premier league experience

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he Premier GOAL Academy, Kuwaits’ centre of excellence, sponsored by Porsche Centre Kuwait, Behbehani Motors Company enjoyed the real English Premier League experience when 24 selected players and their coaches Mike, Baker and Roman, along with several parents, visited the UK to compete in four prestigious international matches against UK teams. They visited several Premier League Clubs to enjoy live matches and stadium tours, met several Premier League footballers and trained with Everton

ICS holds Parents’ Day for Kindergarten

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ndian Central School hosted its Annual Day for the Kindergarten section on the 3rd and 5th of March 2011. The vanilla event was held in the auditorium of the School. The programme was an occasion to take stock of and apprise the parents of the multifaceted activities of the School. The talents of the students were brought to light, these included acting, dancing and hosting the event. The tiny tots danced to the rhythms and melodies of Waka, Waka, Sad Movies, Ban Ban Bole, Zoobie etc. With the unconditional support of Mrs Shantha Maria James, the Principal of the School, the teachers were able to organize the event with finesse. The students’ enthusiasm coupled with the hard work of all teachers produced an event that was unforgettable. Parents have expressed their joy and gratitude to the teachers and Principal for allowing the students to take center stage with all their individual talents.

Football Club coaches at their training complex. The highlight of the trip for the players and coaches however was experiencing the training programme at Everton F.C’s state of the art Academy where they trained for two days alongside the Premier League Clubs professional and academy players under the expert guidance of Everton coaches Kieron and Colin. All the players showed tremendous improvement in performance and ability over the course of the tour and gained great experience which

will be invaluable in their continued footballing development. The matches against UK opposition, the live Premier League matches and stadium tours of Everton and Manchester United and the Everton Academy Training complex were all impressive locations on this dream trip which has provided many lasting memories for all the participating players, parents and staff of the Premier GOAL Academy.

wiss-Belhotel Plaza Kuwait introduces you to the ground-breaking, contemporary sound currently being created by one of the world’s most exciting violinists. Our guests can enjoy classical, jazz, pop and fusion music with dinner on Sundays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays, at the Al Dallah Restaurant in the evenings from 7pm - 11pm. Juliia has been mesmerizing audiences worldwide with her mastery of the violin and her dramatic yet graceful stage presence. She is the violinist of choice, who has toured extensively The greatest aspect of her professional success has been the opportunity to travel around the globe, experiencing foreign places and cultures first hand. A resident of Ukraine she has taken full advantage of the city’s richly diverse music scene, and as a result, has developed a reputation as a sought-after session musician, who is much in-demand. In addition, Juliia is gaining quite a reputation as a solo artist. She has solo records to her credit; the public has been quick to notice her talents. A classically trained violinist who’s playing...is spellbinding.” Of her performances they wrote that her playing, “added a simpatico poignancy and power.” “—Juliia is a violin virtuoso, who smoothly blends elements of rock, jazz and world music in English & Arabic” With more countries and places yet to be explored, we can look forward to a lifetime of music from this unique artist.

Woogie Woogie 2011

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fter two rounds of rigorous auditions that were held on the 16th and 23rd of April 2011, the finest talent from more than 350 solo and group participants with diverse backgrounds and dance disciplines has been pooled together for the much awaited finals. With the generous support of our sponsors and exemplary team efforts the Woogie Woogie 2011 experience is taken to a new level this year with celebrity guests on the judging panel Sudha Chandran, popularly known as India’s dancing peacock and Marischa Fernandes, choreographer and winner of Jhalak Dhikla Jaa, which will be held tomorrow May 6th 2011 at the American International School, Maidan Hawally from 5 pm onwards.


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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. ■■■■■■■

GUST opens 9th Job Fair

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he Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) organized its 9th Job Fair led by the Center of Alumni and Corporate Relations (CACR). Over 35 major national and international companies participated from both private and public sectors, offering oncampus recruiting interviews for both part time and full time vacancies as well as internships. Dr. Osama Al-Hares, Director of the Center of Alumni and Corporate Relations (CACR) and Ibrahim Emran, GUST Director of Business Operations were present visiting each booth to welcome the companies who have gra-

ciously participated in the annual 2-day event. The CACR’s mission is to provide GUST students and alumni with a personalized career development process, by focusing on self-awareness and broadening career options through lifelong career management skills, which they continuously try to achieve and improve upon with the different companies they try to bring in. “The job market is always a difficult process to crack and so we always try to facilitate the process not only for our Alumni, but give our undergraduate and MBA students the chance to build relationships and con-

nections with distinctive companies in Kuwait and abroad,” said Dr. Al-Hares. The job fair was sponsored by the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) as a Platinum Sponsor; Wataniya Telecom, Kuwait Small Projects Development Company (KSPDC) and GUST Student Association as Silver Sponsors and Bayt.com as a Strategic Career Partner. The companies present at the Fair included: GUST CACR, NBK, Bayt.com, Wataniya Telecom, KSPDC, Burgan Bank, Boubyan Bank, GUST Student Association, Petronet Smart Network Company, M.H. Alshaya Co. W.L.L., 7isba Business Solutions, Ghazal Insurance

Company, Universal Payment Services (UPS), Wafra Investment Company, Kuwait International Bank, Al Ahli United Bank, Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait (ABK), Grant Thornton - Al-Qatami Al-Aiban & Partners, Albazie& Company - RSM International, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, IDP Education Pty Ltd, Business Quality Improvement Synergy LLC, AMIDEAST, Metal & Recycling Co. K.S.C, Career Hunters, S.O.S HR Solution, Element Eight, Elite Web Design, Mabanee, Amar Consulting, Warba Insurance Company, 52 Degrees, MUBAADER Enterprises, Gulf Talent, Al Ahleia Insurance Co. S.A.K.

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 ■■■■■■■

ICS bids farewell to ambassador

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xecutive committee of Indian Cultural Society (ICS) gave farewell to outgoing Ambassador Ajai Malhotra & thanked him for his valued support, encouragement & guidance. He was much pleased with social & welfare work of ICS. He also appreciated ICS for its art & cultural entertainment for the community. Ashfaque A Khan (President) also briefed about ICS future project & seminar related to education & career

building in civil services. ICS team presented memento to him as a token of love & appreciation. Talat Firdousi (Treasurer), Anurag Bajpai (Joint Secretary), Mrs Nasreen Qazi, P.B. Pinto, Dr. Narinder Dhir, Khaliq Zama, D. Ghosh, Syyed Salar, Mrs Shagufta Khan, Iqbal Qazi was among the team present at this meeting.

Starbucks launches 10th Global Responsibility report

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tarbucks Coffee Company announced the launch of its tenth annual Global Responsibility Report, which outlines fiscal 2010 performance in ethical sourcing, environmental stewardship and community involvement. The interactive report is now available online at starbucks.com/responsibility “Our ten years of reporting demonstrates not only commitment to global responsibility, but also to transparency in our business practices,” said Vivek Varma, Starbucks executive vice president of Public Affairs. The report shows that Starbucks has made significant strides towards the bold goals it set in 2008. In particular, Starbucks exceeded its goals in the following areas: ● Renewable Energy: Starbucks reached its goal to purchase renew-

Sharwari Rajesh Pandit -I

able energy equivalent to half of the electricity used in its North American company-owned stores, by purchasing 58% in 2010. We have been named by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the fourth-largest purchaser of renewable energy in the U.S. The company is raising its sights with a new goal to make 100% of the electricity used in global company-owned stores renewable energy equivalent by 2015.

Abhinav Roy Burman -II

Immanuel Amrita Rhema -III

Youth Action Grants: Starbucks exceeded its 2015 community goal to engage 50,000 young people in community activities by engaging more than 53,600 in 2010. “Starbucks has made significant and meaningful improvements in key areas, and recognizes the need for greater innovation, customer engagement, and policy leadership,” said Ben Packard, Starbucks vice president of Global Responsibility “We will continue to set new performance standards, reach our ambitious goals ●

Aleena Rehan -I

and sharpen our focus on areas of greatest impact in communities and the environment.” Starbucks also made meaningful improvements in 2010 toward reaching its goals related to renewable energy purchases, recycling, water conservation, and green building. Starbucks is currently on track to reach goals in a number of key areas including: ● Recyclable Cup Solution: Making progress to develop comprehensive recycling solutions for its paper and plastic cups by 2012 by testing recyclability of cups in a New York pilot. ● Water Conservation: Reduced water consumption by 21.6% over 2008 levels, nearing the goal 25% reduction. Although much progress has been made, the company still faces challenges in progress against some goals, and is working to achieve them.

Jane Mendonca -II

Vivek Unnikrishnan -III

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 ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakel St., Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at www.Kuwait.gc.ca. Canada offers a registration service for all Canadians travelling or living abroad. This service is provided so that Consular Officials can contact and assist Canadians in an emergency in a foreign country, such as a natural disaster or civil unrest, or inform Canadians of a family emergency at home. The Embassy of Canada encourages all Canadian Citizens to register online through the Government of Canada Travel Website at www.voyage.gc.ca. The Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi provides visa and immigration services to residents of Kuwait. Individuals who are interested in visiting, working or immigrating to Canada are invited to visit the website of the Canadian Embassy to the UAE at www.UAE.gc.ca. Effective January 15, 2011, the only Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) application form that will be accepted by CIC is the Application for Temporary Resident Visa Made Outside of Canada [IMM 5257] form. All previous Temporary Resident Visa application forms will no longer be accepted by CIC and instead will be returned to applicants. Should old applications be submitted prior to January 15, 2011 they will continue to be processed. To ensure that the most recent version of the Temporary Resident Visa application form is being utilized, applicants should refer to the CIC website. As of January 15, 2011, forms are to be filled in electronically. The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. Consular Services for Canadian Citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00 on Sunday through Wednesday. The forms are available on the internet at: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/kits/forms/IM M5257E.PDF. A guide explaining the process can be found here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/kits/guides/5 256E.PDF. ■■■■■■■

Nancy Joseph -I

Rimsha Rehan -II

Prarthi Parikh -III

Sharath Ganesh -I

D.R. Pratyusha -II

Manar Asad Khan III

Berchmans 14th Extempore speech competition winners

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lumni Association of St Berchmans College (AASBCO), Kuwait chapter held the Annual Extempore Speech competition for the 14th consecutive year in the United Indian School, Jleeb Al Shuyoukh. AASBCO lauds all the 150 participants and their parents for the genuine interest that they have evinced in the event. The programme commenced at 1.30 pm. The Chief Coordinator Kurien Varghese explained the rules of extem-

pore speech competition. The competition was conducted in 4 categories. The performance of each category was simply superb. FAIPS-DPS enjoyed a sweeping victory and bagged the Championship Trophy. Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan and Carmel School emerged runner-ups. Here are the winners: Senior category: Sharwari Rajesh Pandit (FAIPS-DPS-Ahmadi), Abhinav

Roy Burman (FAIPS-DPS-Ahmadi) and Immanuel Amrita Rhema (FAIPS-DPSAhmadi) secured I, II, III prizes respectively. Junior categor y: Aleena Rehan (Carmel School -Khaitan), Jane Mendonca (ICSK - Amman) and Vivek Unnikrishnan (ICSK - Amman) secured I, II, III prizes respectively. Sub-Junior B categor y: Nancy Joseph (ICSK, Senior, Salmiya), Rimsha Rehan (Carmel School -Khaitan) and

Prarthi Parikh (FAIPS-DPS-Ahmadi) secured I, II, III prizes respectively. Sub Junior A category: Sharat Ganesh (Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan), D.R. Pratyusha (Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan) and Manar Asad Khan (ICSK, Senior, Salmiya) secured I, II, & III prizes respectively. Trophies and certificates will be given during AASBCO’s Annual day celebration.

EMBASSY OF FRANCE On the occasion of public holiday in France, the French Embassy in Kuwait will be closed 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. ■■■■■■■

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 Wildest Africa 03:30 Mutant Planet 04:25 Buggin’ With Ruud 05:20 Last Chance Highway 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 Project Puppy 10:05 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 11:00 Animal ER 11:55 Wildlife SOS 12:20 Wildlife SOS 12:50 Animal Cops Houston 13:45 RSPCA: Have You Got What It Takes? 14:10 E-Vets: The Interns 14:40 Daniel And Our Cats 15:30 Animal Battlegrounds 16:00 The Really Wild Show 16:30 Crocodile Hunter 17:25 Dogs 101 18:20 Wildest Africa 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 23:50 Raising Baby Giant Panda

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

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

My Family The Weakest Link 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 My Family

Come Dine With Me Design Rules Holmes On Homes Sweet Baby James Daily Cooks Challenge Sweet Baby James Daily Cooks Challenge Ching’s Kitchen Colin And Justin’s Home Show Sweet Baby James Antiques Roadshow Holmes On Homes

12:30 12:55 13:45 14:10 14:55 15:40 16:30 18:10 19:00 19:50 20:35 21:20 22:10 23:00

Sweet Baby James Antiques Roadshow Glamour Puds Cash In The Attic Bargain Hunt Come Dine With Me Holmes On Homes Indian Food Made Easy Antiques Roadshow Cash In The Attic Bargain Hunt Come Dine With Me Home For Life Great British Menu

00:00 BBC World News 00:30 World Business Report 00:45 Sport Today 01:00 BBC World News America 01:30 Asia Business Report 01:45 Asia Today 02:00 BBC World News 02:30 Asia Business Report 02:45 Asia Today 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 America 23:30 Hardtalk

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

THURSDAY, MAY 5, 2011

TV PROGRAMS 07:25 Cow And Chicken 07:50 Angelo Rules 08:05 Cartoon Network Dance Club 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 18:30 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 18:55 Star Wars: The Clone Wars 19:20 Ben 10: Alien Force 19:45 The Secret Saturdays 20:10 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 20:35 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes 21:00 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 22:50 Ben 10 23:15 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 23:40 Chowder

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

00:30 00:55 01:45 02:10 02:35 03:25 03:50 04:45 05:40 06:10 07:00

BLINDNESS ON OSN ACTION HD

Dirty Jobs Stan Lee’s Superhumans Ultimate Survival Mega Builders Mythbusters How It’s Made How Stuff’s Made Dirty Jobs Mega Builders 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 Border Security Industrial Junkie The Future Of... Deconstruction Deconstruction Mythbusters James May’s Man Lab Extreme Fishing

The Gadget Show Kings Of Construction How It’s Made How It’s Made How Stuff Works How Stuff’s Made Junkyard Wars What’s That About? Patent Bending Engineered Da Vinci’s Machines

07:55 Head Rush 07:58 Sci-Fi Science 08:25 Weird Connections 08:55 Space Pioneer 09:45 The Gadget Show 10:35 What’s That About? 11:25 Mean Green Machines 11:50 Da Vinci’s Machines 12:40 Patent Bending 13:05 How Stuff Works 13:55 Creatures Inside Us 14:45 Kings Of Construction 15:35 The Gadget Show 16:00 Head Rush 16:03 Sci-Fi Science 16:30 Weird Connections 17:00 Brainiac 17:50 The World’s Strangest UFO Stories 18:40 Bang Goes The Theory 19:30 The Future Of... 20:20 Sci-Fi Science 20:45 How Does That Work? 21:10 The Gadget Show 22:00 Bang Goes The Theory 22:50 The Future Of... 23:40 Building The Future

00:00 00:25 01:15 02:00 02:50 03:35 04:25 05:15 06:00 06:20 06:45 07:05 07:30 07:55 08:20 08:35 09:00 09:25 09:50 10:10 10:35 10:50 11:15 11:35 12:00 12:25 12:45 13:10 13:30 13:55 14:20 14:40 14:47 14:55 15:20 15:40 16:00 16:25 16:45 17:10 17:35 18:00 18:45 19:10 19:35 20:00 20:25 20:50 21:12 21:15 21:35 22:00 22:25 22:50 23:15 23:35

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

06:00 Kid Vs Kat 06:20 Kick Buttowski 06:40 Pokemon 07:05 Phineas & Ferb 08:05 American Dragon 08:30 Kick Buttowski 08:50 Next X 2011 Winter Edition (Cema) 09:00 Zeke & Luther 09:25 Zeke & Luther 09:50 I’m In The Band 10:15 The Super Hero Squad Show 10:40 Suite Life On Deck 11:30 Kid Vs Kat 11:55 Phineas & Ferb 12:45 Kid Vs Kat 13:50 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 14:40 Zeke & Luther 15:05 Suite Life On Deck 15:25 Next X 2011 Winter Edition (Cema) 15:35 Kick Buttowski 16:00 I’m In The Band 16:25 Suite Life On Deck 16:50 Zeke & Luther 17:15 Phineas & Ferb 18:30 Escape From Scorpion Island (Cema) 18:55 Pokemon 19:20 American Dragon 19:45 Aaron Stone 20:05 Next X 2011 Winter Edition (Cema) 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

00:25 Kendra 00:55 Then And Now 01:25 15 Unforgettable Hollywood Tragedies 03:15 25 Most Stylish 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Extreme Hollywood 06:00 THS 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 E! News 09:15 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 10:15 THS 12:05 E! News 13:05 Fashion Police 14:05 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 14:35 25 Hottest Hollywood Cougar Tales 16:25 Behind The Scenes 16:55 Kendra 17:25 Holly’s World 17:55 E! News 18:55 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 19:55 E! Investigates 20:55 Chelsea Lately

21:25 York 21:55 York 22:25 23:25 23:55 York

Kourtney And Kim Take New Kourtney And Kim Take New E! News Chelsea Lately Kourtney And Kim Take New

EXTREME SPORTS 00:15 Fantasy Factory 00:40 Mantracker 01:30 World Combat League 02:20 Fantasy Factory 03:10 Aiya TV 04:00 Fight Girls 04:50 Mantracker 05:40 World Combat League 06:30 iEX 2009 08:00 Kenny Belaey’s Big Time 08:25 Summer Dew Tour 2010 09:15 BMX Megatour 10:55 Glutton For Punishment 11:45 X Games Heroes 12:35 Fantasy Factory 13:25 Mantracker 14:15 World Combat League 15:05 Glutton For Punishment 15:55 X Games Heroes 16:45 Kenny Belaey’s Big Time 17:10 Summer Dew Tour 2010 18:00 BMX Megatour 19:40 X Games Heroes 20:30 Fantasy Factory 21:20 IFMXF 2010 22:10 World Combat League 23:00 Aiya TV 23:50 Fantasy Factory

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 Life Or Death: Medical Mysteries 07:00 Forensic Detectives 07:50 CSU 08:40 Life Or Death: Medical Mysteries 09:30 Real Emergency Calls 10:20 Solved 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 Solved 16:10 Forensic Detectives 17:00 CSU 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

00:00 Market Values 01:00 Departures 02:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 03:00 Long Way Down 04:00 Pressure Cook 04:30 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 05:00 Food Lovers Guide To Planet 05:30 Exploring The Vine 06:00 Market Values 07:00 Departures 08:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 09:00 Long Way Down 10:00 Pressure Cook 10:30 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 11:00 Food Lovers Guide To Planet 11:30 Exploring The Vine 12:00 Market Values 13:00 Departures 14:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 15:00 By Any Means 16:00 Pressure Cook 16:30 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 17:00 Food Lovers Guide To Planet 17:30 Exploring The Vine 18:00 Market Values 19:00 Departures 20:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 20:30 Don’t Tell My Mother 21:00 By Any Means 22:00 Pressure Cook 22:30 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 23:00 Food Lovers Guide To Planet 23:30 Exploring The Vine

The

Leno 05:30 Malcolm In The Middle 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 Malcolm In The Middle 10:00 Yes Dear 10:30 Melissa And Joey 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 Malcolm In The Middle 14:00 Yes Dear 14:30 30 Rock 15:00 Melissa And Joey 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 The Drew Carey Show 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 Just Shoot Me 18:30 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 19:00 Melissa And Joey 19:30 Community 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 The Ricky Gervais Show 22:30 Entourage 23:00 Family Guy 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

The

The

The

00:00 Blindness-18 02:00 Courage Under Fire-PG15 04:00 Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans-18 06:00 The Rock-PG15 08:15 Journey To The Center Of The Earth-PG 10:00 Bad Girls-PG15 12:00 Ransom-PG15 14:00 Journey To The Center Of The Earth-PG 15:45 A Knight’s Tale-PG15 18:00 Ransom-PG15 20:00 Pride And Glory-18 22:15 Paranormal Activity-PG15

01:00 03:00 05:00 07:00 09:00 11:00 12:30 15:00 17:00 19:00 21:00 23:00

GREEN ZONE ON OSN CINEMA

Valhalla Rising-18 Fly Me To The Moon-PG The Dust Factory-PG15 Chatterbox-PG Fly Me To The Moon-PG Green Lantern: First Flight-PG The Lovely Bones-PG15 Stuart Little 2-FAM The Break-Up Artist-PG15 I Love You Beth Cooper-PG15 Green Zone-PG15 Notorious-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

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

Any Human Heart Game Of Thrones The Ellen DeGeneres Show Glee The View Good Morning America C.S.I. New York Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show The Martha Stewart Show The View What’s Good For You Glee Live Good Morning America C.S.I. New York The Ellen DeGeneres Show Emmerdale Look-A-Like The Cape American Idol The Gates C.S.I. New York

00:00 Downton Abbey 01:00 C.S.I. 02:00 Game Of Thrones 03:00 Any Human Heart 04:00 Glee 05:00 The Closer 06:00 Downton Abbey 07:00 The New Adventures Of Old Christine 07:30 Coronation Street 08:00 Smallville 09:00 The Closer 10:00 C.S.I. 11:00 Glee 12:00 The New Adventures Of Old Christine 12:30 Coronation Street 13:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 14:00 Smallville 15:00 Downton Abbey 16:00 The New Adventures Of Old Christine 16:30 My Boys 17:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 18:00 Smallville 19:00 The Cape 20:00 American Idol 22:00 The Gates 23:00 The Philanthropist

01:00 03:00 05:00 07:00 09:00 11:00 13:00

Freight-PG15 Signs-PG15 Dark Island-PG15 Captain Drake-PG The Bodyguard 2-PG15 The Blackout-PG15 Heaven’s Fall-PG15

15:00 17:00 19:00 21:00 23:00

The Bodyguard 2-PG15 The Stepfather-PG15 Fast And Furious-PG15 The Descent 2-18 Knife Edge-18

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

For Love Or Money-PG Brassed Off-PG15 America’s Sweethearts-PG15 Imagine That-PG Return To Me-PG15 The Proposal-PG15 Dirty Work-PG15 Tom And Huck-PG15 For Love Or Money-PG Exterminators-PG15 Year One-18 Magicians-18

01:30 03:00 05:30 07:00 09:00 11:00 13:00 15:00 17:00 19:00 21:00 23:00

Run-PG15 A Prophet-18 Accidents Happen-PG15 Not One Less-PG Under The Mountain-PG Skellig-PG15 45 R.P.M.-PG15 Three Investigators-PG15 Coraline-PG The Brothers Bloom-PG15 Intersection-18 Partir-18

01:15 I Love You, Man-18 03:00 Drumline-PG15 05:00 Smart People-PG15 06:30 Harry Potter And The HalfBlood Prince-PG15 09:00 The Bounty Hunter-PG15 11:00 The Soloist-PG15 13:00 The Informant!-PG15 15:00 Not The Messiah: He’s A Very Naughty Boy-PG15 17:00 The Bounty Hunter-PG15 19:00 Adventureland-PG15 21:00 Green Zone-PG15 23:00 Up In The Air-PG15

00:00 Delgo-FAM 02:00 The Thief Of Baghdad-PG 04:00 The Enchanted Mountain-PG 06:00 Leave It To Beaver-PG 08:00 Scruff In Midsummer Night’s Dream-FAM 10:00 Delgo-FAM 12:00 Scooby-Doo And The Ghoul School-FAM 14:00 Leave It To Beaver-PG 16:00 Tutenstein: Clash Of The Pharaohs-PG 18:00 Aliens In The Attic-FAM 20:00 Treasure Island-PG 22:00 Scooby-Doo And The Ghoul School-FAM

00:00 Road Trip: Beer Pong-18 02:00 My Bollywood Bride-PG15 04:00 Coco Before Chanel-PG15 06:00 Easy Virtue-PG15 08:00 Emotional Arithmetic-PG15 10:00 The Lizzie McGuire MoviePG15 12:00 Coco Before Chanel-PG15 14:00 My Son, My Son, What Have You Done?-PG15 16:00 Emotional Arithmetic-PG15 18:00 Hachiko: A Dog’s Story-PG15 20:00 The Time Traveller’s WifePG15 22:00 The Joneses-PG15

02:00 European Tour Weekly 02:30 Trans World Sport 03:30 AFL Highlights 04:30 Super 15 06:30 FEI Equestrian World 07:00 Scottish Premier League 09:00 FEI Equestrian World 09:30 Spirit of Yachting 10:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 10:30 NRL Full Time 11:00 AFL Highlights 12:00 Total Rugby 12:30 Trans World Sport 13:30 Scottish Premier League

15:30 16:30 17:00 17:30 18:00 19:00 19:30 20:30 21:00

Weber Cup Bowling FEI Equestrian World Spirit of Yachting Mobil 1 The Grid Golfing World NRL Full Time Trans World Sport Futbol Mundial Live Premier League Darts

00:00 Premier League Darts 04:00 Golfing World 05:00 AFL Highlights 06:00 Trans World Sport 07:00 Golfing World 08:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 09:00 European Challenge Cup 11:00 FEI Equestrain World 11:30 Spirit of Yachting 12:00 Weber Cup Bowling 13:00 Golfing World 14:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 15:00 European Tour Weekly 15:30 Live European PGA Tour 19:30 Total Rugby 20:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 20:30 European Tour Weekly 21:00 European PGA Tour

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

UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC 129 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 WWE Vintage Collection WWE NXT UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC 129

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

Life After People UFO Files Modern Marvels Patton 360 Battles B.C. The Korean War Diplomats For The Dammed Life After People UFO Files Modern Marvels Patton 360 Battles B.C. The Korean War Diplomats For The Dammed Life After People UFO Files Modern Marvels Patton 360 Battles B.C. The Korean War Diplomats For The Dammed Life After People UFO Files Modern Marvels Ax Men 3 Tunnellers Pawn Stars Pawn Stars Ancient Discoveries

01:30 Live A Little, Love A Little-FAM 03:00 Elvis: That’s The Way It Is-FAM 04:40 TCM Presents Under The Influence-FAM 05:10 The Band Wagon-FAM 07:00 The Tunnel Of Love-FAM 08:35 The Private Lives Of Elizabeth And Essex-FAM 10:20 Flamingo Road-FAM 11:55 Code Name: Emerald-FAM 13:30 The Hucksters-FAM 15:25 The Strip-FAM 16:50 The Seven Hills Of Rome-FAM 18:30 King Solomon’s Mines-FAM 20:10 Travels With My Aunt-FAM 22:00 Blow-Up-FAM 23:50 The Outfit-FAM


Classifieds THURSDAY, MAY 5, 2011

Personal Trainer

Easy full-body stretch Here is a series of simple stretches that can be done almost anywhere, in street clothes, to shake out the stiffness prolonged sitting can cause.

Reach and rotate

Stand straight, reach arms upward as high as possible; twist at waist to right, then to left; repeat three times

Shoulder rolls

Let arms hang at sides; roll shoulders up and back three times; then roll forward three times

Hamstring stretch Put leg on table or chair; bend other a little at knee; lean forward and stretch raised leg gently; hold 10 seconds; change sides

Quadriceps stretch Reach back and hold ankle; pull heel toward buttocks until you feel stretch in front of thigh; don’t bend forward; hold 10 seconds; change sides

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

Calf stretch Stand facing wall with one leg behind the other; keeping knees straight, lean toward wall until you feel stretch in calf; hold 5 to 10 seconds; change sides

Backwards bend Put hands on hips, bend knees slightly; bend backward with shoulders; hold 5 to 10 seconds; relax; repeat 3 to 5 times

Graphic: Paul Trap

Source: University of California-Los Angeles Office of Environment, Health and Safety

ACCOMMODATION One big room with attached bath available for decent couple or single bachelor in Fintas 3 BR CA/C flat, near the London hospital and close to Fahaheel highway. Please contact: 60020168. (C 3317) 5-4-2011 Keralite family on vacation, flat available for 2 months (June - July). in Abbassiya Call 97121669. (C 3313) 4-5-2011 One bedroom available for Keralite couples or working lady in Abbassiya near

© 2011 MCT

Orma restaurant with a family. Contact: 99494671. (C 3308) 3-5-2011 A Hindu bachelor wants one bachelor/couple to share a complete 2 bedroom furnished flat near Holy sweet, Abbassiya, minimum rent KD 100. Tel: 66913938. (C 3302) 30-4-2011 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)

CHANGE OF NAME I, Shavaz, holder of Pakistan Passport No. KH048265, hereby change my name to Abdul Ahad Fayyaz. (C 3309) 3-5-2011

FOR SALE 2009 model Toyota Corolla, excellent condition, price KD 3450. Tel: 60951195. (C 3307) SUV Envoy, model 2007, very good condition, price KD 3700. Tel: 66728911. (C 3311) 3-5-2011 PC Compaq Pentium 4, HD 20 GB, Ram 128 MB (expandable), Windows XP professional with 15” LCD Neovo. All in excellent condition, price KD 40 only. Call 60477518 & 99337034. (C 3305) 1-5-2011 2005 model Mitsubishi Nativa white color, running 96,000 km excellent condition, CD, remote, alloy wheel, single owner, accident free new 4 tires, price KD 2400. Contact: 60797291. (C 3303) 30-4-2011

MISCELLANEOUS Required 2003 - 2004 model Honda Accord, full option or regular, 4 cylinder, in excellent condition. Tel: 60005317, 99976051. 30-4-2011

LOST I, Nusheen Mustafa Kardame, Indian Passport holder No: G2641002, have lost my B.Com certificate and mark sheet a week ago at Al-Rai bus stop. Anybody who happens to find it please contact 66804400. (C 3316) I, Nida Mustafa Kardame, Indian Passport holder No: G2640931 have lost my B.Com certificate and mark

sheet a week ago at Al-Rai bus stop. Anybody who happens to find it please contact 67761591. (C 3315) 4-5-2011

SITUATION WANTED

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. (C 3302) 4-5-2011

SITUATION VACANT Driver wanted urgently for a decent Kuwaiti family. Indians with local experience preferred temporary for 3 months. Please contact 99006777 for immediate appointment. (C 3312)

for live -in maid. Call 65729276, 66104141. (C 3310) American family in Salwa needs full time, live -in maid, start immediately. Must speak English. Call 66838807 after 4pm. (C 3306) 3-5-2011

American family looking

MATRIMONIAL Proposals invited for postgraduate (MBA) Kuwait employed, Orthodox girl 28/160, planning vacation May-June. Contact: gegekutty@hotmail.com / palliyilus@yahoo.com (C 3314) 4-5-2011

No: 15079

Housemaid urgently needed- preferably Sri Lanka, Indonesian and India. Call - 97785326 Accountant Indian (male) 9 years experience (2 years in Kuwait), B.Com, PG in Sociology, accounts up to finalization, bank reconciliation, inventory, cash, creditors and debtors management, good knowledge in Tally, Oracle, MS Office. Tel: 65990299. (C 3304) 1-5-2011

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

Flt 642 205 267 772 620 853 370 305 67 211 138 794 503 201 555 412 157 206 382 605 302 332 53 352 284 362 855 132 125 301 213 404 165 121 789 561 672 610 982 640 621 57 645 341 357 500 552 745 788

Arrival Flights on Thursday 5/5/2011 Route AMMAN DAMASCUS BEIRUT ISTANBUL ADDIS ABABA DUBAI BAHRAIN ABU DHABI DUBAI BAHRAIN DOHA LUXEMBOURG LUXOR DUBAI ALEXANDRIA MANILA / BANGKOK LONDON ISLAMABAD DELHI ISFAHAN MUMBAI TRIVANDRUM DUBAI COCHIN DHAKA COLOMBO DUBAI DOHA SHARJAH ABU DHABI BAHRAIN BEIRUT DUBAI BAHRAIN JEDDAH 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 4:35 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 11:40 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 LMU KAC 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 LMU JZR MSR DLH AXB BBC PIA

257 134 407 546 118 403 303 857 215 510 777 239 127 227 177 104 502 542 618 786 614 774 674 458 572 617 562 61 93 647 179 402 178 618 372 445 859 217 203 136 981 981 135 409 185 612 636 389 43 205

BEIRUT DOHA ALEXANDRIA ALEXANDRIA 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 ASSIUT DUBAI CAIRO FRANKFURT KOZHIKODE / MANGALORE DHAKA LAHORE

15:10 15:15 15:25 15:30 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 22:20 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 CLX JZR JZR BAW KAC IRA FDB KAC KAC KAC JZR KAC UAE ABY QTR ETD GFA KAC MEA KAC JZR JZR KNE KAC KAC JZR MSR RJA FDB MSR KAC UAL

Flt 394 637 976 447 216 773 620 854 68 371 306 139 560 164 643 212 794 356 120 156 545 606 54 787 671 551 256 101 856 126 133 302 214 165 405 541 776 238 790 501 785 176 611 641 58 622 561 982

Departure Flights on Thursday 5/5/2011 Route COCHIN / KOZHIKODE FRANKFURT GOA / CHENNAI AMSTERDAM KARACHI ISTANBUL BAHRAIN / ADDIS ABABA DUBAI DUBAI BAHRAIN ABU DHABI DOHA SOHAG DUBAI AMMAN BAHRAIN HONG KONG MASHAD BAHRAIN LONDON ALEXANDRIA MASHAD DUBAI JEDDAH DUBAI DAMASCUS BEIRUT LONDON / NEW YORK DUBAI SHARJAH DOHA ABU DHABI BAHRAIN ROME / PARIS BEIRUT CAIRO JEDDAH AMMAN JEDDAH BEIRUT JEDDAH DUBAI CAIRO AMMAN DUBAI ASSIUT AMMAN 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 7:35 8:20 8:20 8:25 8:35 8:40 8:40 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 12:25 13:00 13:30 13:40 14:20 14:30 14:35 14:40 14:45 14:45

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

OMA SYR KAC KNE KAC JZR SVA JZR KAC QTR KAC LMU 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 LMU JZR KAC UAL MSR KAC

646 342 673 746 617 178 505 202 773 135 613 408 82 304 404 543 858 216 128 184 266 511 228 134 283 361 571 62 616 331 351 648 403 457 619 373 445 677 860 218 102 137 301 205 502 554 410 222 411 981 613 415

MUSCAT DAMASCUS DUBAI JEDDAH DOHA DUBAI JEDDAH DAMASCUS RIYADH DOHA BAHRAIN ASSIUT 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 ALEXANDRIA ALEPPO BANGKOK / MANILA WASHINGTON DC DULLES CAIRO KUALA LUMPUR / JAKARTA

15:00 15:00 15:10 15:30 15:35 16:00 16:00 16:05 16:05 16:15 16:20 16:25 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 23:20 23:25 23:40 23:40 23:50 23:50


34

star CROSSWORD 308

THURSDAY, MAY 5, 2011

s

STAR TRACK

CALVIN & HOBBES

Aries (March 21-April 19) Status and security goals need rethinking now in order to take advantage of changing situations in your life. Your career is a focus for this, but your personal life is also involved. Finances, purchases, investments and credit in particular could stand some clear thinking now. Getting in over your head can happen before you know it, so keep an eye on the bottom line. Your mind may be very clear now and your thoughts brought to a sharp focus. It is easy to organize your thoughts, and communication of all kinds is encouraged. This is a good time to consider writing a book or taking a continuing education class. You have a natural sense for communicating with others, especially those younger than yourself. It is important for you to teach young people.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Today is a workday that calls on you to work quickly. This time there may not be a lot of accuracy but you are careful and manage to meet difficult deadlines. Your support system—like your family, home and those who give you nourishment—becomes more secure now. They will encourage you in reaching your deadline. Finally, this afternoon, you concentrate on your environment. You may have insights regarding your living situation or life circumstances. Others value you for your ability to move forward with new ideas and technology. You are in top form when it comes to mental activity. Being on the go and staying aware of business trends makes you feel in touch. Romance is possible this evening.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. An early form of modern jazz (originating around 1940). 4. A percussion instrument consisting of a pair of hollow pieces of wood or bone (usually held between the thumb and fingers) that are made to click together (as by Spanish dancers) in rhythm with the dance. 10. A sudden loss of consciousness resulting when the rupture or occlusion of a blood vessel leads to oxygen lack in the brain. 13. The sign language used in the United States. 14. Without moral standards or principles. 15. Being four more than fifty. 16. Diving ducks of North America having a bluish-gray bill. 18. A fine grained mineral having a soft soapy feel and consisting of hydrated magnesium silicate. 19. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 20. Harass with persistent criticism or carping. 22. A protruding abdomen. 24. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. 25. Type genus of the family Arcidae. 27. The branch of computer science that deal with writing computer programs that can solve problems creatively. 28. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 30. English scholastic philosopher and assumed author of Occam's Razor (1285-1349). 33. Having its true character concealed with the intent of misleading. 36. Wild sheep of northern Africa. 39. A mature blood cell that contains hemoglobin to carry oxygen to the bodily tissues. 41. A master's degree in business. 42. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 46. An informal term for a father. 50. An associate degree in nursing. 52. A heavy brittle diamagnetic trivalent metallic element (resembles arsenic and antimony chemically). 57. An imaginary elephant that appears in a series of French books for children. 60. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 61. A federal agency established to coordinate programs aimed at reducing pollution and protecting the environment. 62. Bright with a steady but subdued shining. 64. A user interface in which you type commands instead of choosing them from a menu or selecting an icon. 65. An informal term for a father. 66. West Indian tree having racemes of fragrant white flowers and yielding a durable timber and resinous juice. 67. A resource. DOWN 1. An oil port in southern Iraq. 2. An annual award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for achievements in motion picture production and performance. 3. A public square with room for pedestrians. 4. A diagrammatic representation of the earth's surface (or part of it). 5. Before noon. 6. The rotating armature of a motor or generator. 7. A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Norma. 8. A high-crowned black cap (usually made of felt or sheepskin) worn by men in Turkey and Iran and the Caucasus. 9. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. 10. Group of people related by blood or marriage. 12. A genus of Indriidae. 17. A member of a Turkic people of Uzbekistan and neighboring areas. 21. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 23. Relatively small fast-moving sloth. 26. Large dark-striped tropical food and game fish related to remoras. 29. Any of numerous hairy-bodied insects including social and solitary species. 31. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 32. Designer drug designed to have the effects of amphetamines (it floods the brain with serotonin) but to avoid the drug laws. 34. The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural). 35. Any of a number of fishes of the family Carangidae. 37. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 38. A metric unit of volume or capacity equal to 10 liters. 40. The syllable naming the fourth (subdominant) note of the diatonic scale in solmization. 43. A small cake leavened with yeast. 44. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 45. The Tibeto-Burman language spoken in the Dali region of Yunnan. 47. English theoretical physicist who applied relativity theory to quantum mechanics and predicted the existence of antimatter and the positron (1902-1984). 48. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 49. Swelling from excessive accumulation of serous fluid in tissue. 51. Plant with an elongated head of broad stalked leaves resembling celery. 53. Evergreen trees and shrubs having oily one-seeded fruits. 54. Large burrowing rodent of South and Central America. 55. Large sweet juicy hybrid between tangerine and grapefruit having a thick wrinkled skin. 56. Being the one previously mentioned or spoken of. 58. Having undesirable or negative qualities. 59. An extension at the end and at right angles to the main building. 63. A rare silvery (usually trivalent) metallic element.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) There is an urge to probe and examine many of your goals these days and you may find yourself working through some strong internal changes. By looking at these changes one at a time, you will be able to form future plans. By trying to create change all at once, you could become too oppressive to yourself and others. Give your loved ones a chance—they want to give you encouragement. Practical ideas are the ones that make the most sense now—putting them to good use may become a focus for you. Material things are foremost on your mind in many respects: an emphasis on the real rather than the ideal. This is a time when the new and unexpected may figure in your living situation or surroundings. Good surprises are easy to find.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

NON SEQUITUR

Fate sends opportunity your way, especially if you listen to your instincts and give your natural sense of curiosity a free rein. Travel and education can help uncover some of the answers that will give you the advantage you seek. Mass communications can be financially rewarding in some way—think about advertising, broadcasting, publishing, etc. Decisive action is the main order of business for now. Your response to change and how you maintain your independence is a major focus. Your ability to solve problems in a relationship is highly important. A new career opportunity is possible and could come about suddenly. Outer circumstances are favorable and it should be easy for you to push forward in projects and in all aspects of your life.

Leo (July 23-August 22) There is a heavy sense of responsibility that is a part of today and you do your best to complete all the tasks with a bit of time left over for yourself. Good eye-hand coordination and a sustained effort make almost any task run well. Although it could be easy to overdo or strain, you accomplish one thing at a time. Do not forget to look at life’s little joys today and make it a point to laugh. You may feel like exercising or getting out and enjoying the out of doors this afternoon. Let yourself dream this evening. These days do not come too often—so do not ignore this opportunity to let your imagination loose. Perhaps a good book or movie will take on that more-than-real dimension. Music should help to lull you to sleep this evening.

ZITS

Virgo (August 23-September 22) Legal controversy is best avoided now, if at all possible. Educational plans may need changing. You realize they do not suit you as well as you would like. You may not want to be a veterinarian—perhaps you want a more people-oriented profession, like a reporter. There are lots of changes you might have to consider now. Anything connected with publishing, advertising or broadcasting gives you the upper hand. Getting your point across to others and understanding what people REALLY mean when they communicate with you are your strong points. This is something to think about when you stop to consider future job positions. Progressive people, groups and concepts play an important role in your life now.

Libra (September 23-October 22)

MOTHER GOOSE AND GRIMM

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Good things are attracted to you today. Your experiences will be out of the ordinary and you will likely feel more generous than usual. Great opportunities may emerge in work affairs. This is a period when you take your work more seriously than usual. A lot of energy goes into getting things scheduled and organized. The nail that sticks up becomes secured. Your sensitivity to others tends to delude you—perhaps encouraging you to misplace your affections. A volunteer organization has your attention this afternoon. You may be giving someone your advice and counsel regarding very personal and emotional issues. You are able to cut through the red tape and get at what is beneath and behind most problems. Prop your feet up and relax.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You can improve just about all areas of your life this month. Energies are working in your favor—this is a time for decision and action. A change in your lifestyle is likely resulting from some recent changes in your environment. You want to shape events now—not be shaped by them! The mood for the day is in getting down to business, clearing away old projects and solving business problems. Fresh challenges and initiatives enhance your enthusiasm. Away with the old and on to the new—let nothing stand between you and your objective! A friend that is easy to talk with may give you a great deal of encouragement and help you gain a focus regarding a financial investment. This evening you direct your attention to pursuits that involve loved ones.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

To

Yesterday’s Solution

This is a time to settle down to that career you really like. Your career could assume a much more determined and solid form. Your organizational abilities and sense of responsibility will be what guides you and proves successful. You are making positive progress everywhere! You will be concentrating on bringing together the gains you have made. After work this afternoon there is not only a desire for outside activities, but plenty of opportunities as well. A wonderful spring afternoon can be enjoyed while bike riding through the neighborhood. Being more closely involved with another person may well become your highest priority. Marriage, contracts and partnerships are seen as keys to happiness and there are plenty of lessons to learn as well.

Communication levels are high and important information can be exchanged today. You may not appreciate the emotional energy of someone you meet, however. He or she could appear aggressive or pushy. You could dislike the way a situation feels at the gut level. Push forward with your own responsibilities. Real insight into your own inner workings or psychology could surface—and in a manageable form. Your inner resources and emotions are accented. You look forward to an evening with your sweetheart. Refinement and relationships are the keys to emotional satisfaction now. Harmony and beauty are deeply satisfying and you will do anything to keep it that way. Marriage and other partnerships could be a key arena for this.

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) New ideas and new realizations happen when you are either listening to the radio or reading the paper today; perhaps an Internet site is informative. You gain an important piece of information that helps you form an opinion on where or how you form your goals. Educational projects require much study and may also involve travel. You may be experiencing a bit of a crunch as your career direction and path to success square off against your more personal interest. This may be a real test for you. Work within your limitations instead of feeling hemmed in by them. Be protective of your personal time this evening. You could need more rest than usual this week and you will be wise to just kick back and enjoy a quiet evening.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

You have your own ideas about health techniques, religious and philosophical beliefs. However, your ideas could be in a flux and you may find yourself musing over these subjects often in the next few weeks. There is a high-level difference of opinion or outlook that may represent an important area of change in your life at this time. If you are in a relationship or married, this difference in opinion may be something you will want to share with your loved one(s). There is reexamination in the light of new information and influences that surrounds important subjects. Learn ways in which to relax and reduce the stress in your life. Failure to resolve past issues can play havoc on the home and family front; now is the time to heal.


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Years

THURSDAY, MAY 5, 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

Amiri Hospital

22450005

Al-Salmiya

25616368

Maternity Hospital

24843100

Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital

25312700

Chest Hospital

24849400

Farwaniya Hospital

24892010

Adan Hospital

23940620

Ibn Sina Hospital

24840300

Al-Razi Hospital

24846000

Physiotherapy Hospital

24874330/9

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

Hospitals Sabah Hospital

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

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4732263

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22517733

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22517144

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24848075

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24849807

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24848913

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24814507

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22549134

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22526804

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24814764

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22515088

Dasmah

22532265

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22531908

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22518752

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22459381

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22451082

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22456536

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22465401

Salmiya

25746401

Jabriya

25316254

Maidan Hawally

25623444

Bayan

25388462

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25381200

W.Hawally

22630786

Sabah

24810221

Jahra

24770319

New Jahra

24575755

West Jahra

24772608

South Jahra

24775066

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24775992

North Jleeb

24311795

Al-Ardhiya

24884079

Firdous

24892674

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24719048

N.Kheitan

24710044

Fintas

3900322

22434064 22435865 22544200 22547133 22515277 22616662 25714406 22530801

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Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622

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Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

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22436184 24833967

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24734000 24881201 24726638

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

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22547272

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Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari

22617700

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25625030/60

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23729596/23729581

Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari

22635047

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22613623/0

Gynaecologists & Obstetricians DrAdrian arbe

23729596/23729581

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2572-6666 ext 8321

Endocrinologist 25340300

25710444

Dr. Sohail Qamar

22621099

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25713514

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23713100

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24334282

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

Dr Anil Thomas

3729596/3729581 22641071/2

22655539

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25343406

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22562226

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25739272

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22561444

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22618787

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22619557

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22525888

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22610044

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25653755

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25327148

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25620111

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22639939

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25633324

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22666300

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25345875

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25728004

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25355515

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22636464

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24726446

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25322030

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25654300/3

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22633135

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

25722291 22666288

Rheumatologists:

Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan

Dr. Latefa Al-Duweisan

Dr. Ahmad Al-Ansari 25658888

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Dentists

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25339330

25655535

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Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman

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

Dr. Adel Al-Awadi

25330060

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25722290

Internist, Chest & Heart DR.Mohammes Akkad

24555050 Ext 210

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

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lifest yle G o s s i p

Twain not only lost husband, but also voice ountry singer Shania Twain said on Tuesday that she was so shattered by the collapse of her marriage that she feared she would never sing again. In her first TV interview in five years, Twain told Oprah Winfrey that she became “an emotional mess” when she found out in 2008 that her best friend and her husband had fallen for each other. “I figured mentally that I would never sing again,” the five-time Grammy Award winner told Winfrey. Twain said she not only lost her husband, but her producer and co-writer when she split within Robert John “Mutt” Lange. “I hadn’t written a song without this man in 14 years....How do I even get started?,” she said in an interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Twain, whose 1997 album “Come on Over” was a huge crossover hit, revealed that she also suffers from dysphonia, an ailment where the muscles squeeze the voice box. “My fears and anxieties throughout my whole life have been slowly squeezing my voice,” Twain told Winfrey. “I was losing it slowly and progressively.” Twain chronicles the demise of her 14-year marriage and her fight to get her voice back in a new book “From This Moment On” and a documentary series “Why Not?” that debuts on Sunday on Winfrey’s cable TV network OWN. She also announced on Tuesday that she would be attending the Country Music Association festival in Nashville in June-and handed out passes to Winfrey’s studio audience.

C

‘Desperate’ actor arrested

Tyler rips ‘Celebrity Rehab’

Sheen starts

for alleged drunk driving

donations website

he “Desperate Housewives” actor who plays Eva Longoria’s on-screen husband was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of drunken driving, the Los Angeles Police Dept said. Ricardo Chavira, 39, was pulled over in the San Fernando Valley not far from where the long-running domestic comedy-drama is filmed, and later released on $25,000 bail. Chavira, the son of a Texas judge, co-stars on “Desperate Housewives” as Carlos Solis, a businessman married to high-maintenance former model Gabrielle, played by Longoria.

T

wo days after he walked through tornado rubble in Alabama, actor Charlie Sheen has begun an online campaign to raise money for storm victims. The website named “Torpedos against Tornadoes” says that donations will be tax-deductible and will go to Alabama victims of the April 27 twisters that ripped through the South. The name of the relief campaign is derived from Sheen’s touring stage show “My Violent Torpedo of Truth.” Sheen visited tornado-damaged Tuscaloosa this week and pledged to organize a benefit event.

T

erosmith rocker Steven Tyler has been in and out of rehab countless times, but don’t expect him to appear on “Celebrity Rehab,” the reality TV show about the addiction battles of the vaguely rich and famous. In his new book, “Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?,” Tyler rips both the VH1 show and its host, addiction-medicine specialist Dr Drew Pinsky, who formerly worked at one of the hospitals where he sought treatment. Tyler recounted that he was at the Los Angeles-area hospital, Las Encinas in 2008, at the same time as Steven Adler, the former drummer for Guns ‘N Roses. Adler, who was kicked out of the band in 1990 because his antics were too wild even by the standards of his hedonistic colleagues, was told to fake his drug stupor for the “Celebrity Rehab” cameras, Tyler alleged. “They wanted him to act out his own messed-up state when he entered rehab. It was ghoulish and unreal. They gave him 30 grand for the episode, he snorted it all, crashed his car, and he ended up in jail detox,” Tyler wrote. “It didn’t seem to me all that ethical using actual bad people like Steven Adler in a reality show, but who am I to say? Not to mention getting trashed celebrities to mime their own self-destructive nosedives which they then sensationalize on a melo-f——ing-dramatic reality show, which so traumatizes them they end up in worse shape than ever-from the drugs they bought with the money from the show.” A spokeswoman for Pinsky declined comment, suggesting that queries be directed to Tyler himself. Emails to spokesmen for VH1 and Adler were not immediately answered.

A

Levinson takes on Gotti story ain Man” director Barry Levinson has signed on to tell a big-screen story about the John Gotti crime family. Academy Award winner Levinson is directing “Gotti: Three Generations,” which stars John Travolta as John Gotti Sr and co-stars Lindsay Lohan and Joe Pesci. Production starts this fall in New York, with the film expected in theaters late in 2012. In an announcement Tuesday, Levinson said he was attracted to the project because it pro-

“R

vides an insider’s view. The film is told from the perspective of John Gotti Jr, whose life story was acquired by Fiore Films, which is producing the movie. Gotti Sr. died in prison in 2002. “Rain Man” earned four Oscars in 1988, including best picture and director. Levinson’s other credits include “Diner,” “Bugsy” and “Good Morning, Vietnam.”

Diaz reveals tortured past ameron Diaz sees a therapist because she used to be a “tortured person in the past”. The ‘Bad Teacher’ actress has confessed she sees a professional counselor who has helped her overcome her “brooding” personality, lose her cynical attitude and made her a more positive person. She said: “I used to be a very, very cynical person and I’ve gotten less cynical. When I was in my 20s, and when I was a child, I was not very happy. I’m a dark person. I’m a really dark, brooding person. No I’m kidding. I’m not a tortured person. I have been in my past but I don’t like to project that. But I’m a realist. I see things how they are and it’s hard to pretend they’re anything different. “I see a therapist. I’ve seen a therapist for ages. I think the most important thing to do is to go some place that’s safe, where you can talk to somebody who has no agenda, who you can unload your problems on ... and that’s what they’re there for. You can be totally honest with yourself.” Cameron, 38, has also revealed she is not worried about hitting 40 and believes her life right now is better than it’s ever been. She told Elle magazine: “I know what works for me and I know what doesn’t, and that is a huge relief. By the time you’re in your mid-30s, you’ve gained some knowledge - you’re like, ‘Oh yeah I totally get it,’ and then, in your late 30s, you start applying what you’re learned and you’re life just opens up.”

C

enelope Cruz’s life “changed forever” when she became a mother. The 37year-old actress and her husband Javier Bardem became parents to son Leo in January and she admits his arrival has given her some of the “most beautiful” experiences she has ever had. She said: “Everybody tells you things change. And then all those cliches, all those things you hear about having a baby and motherhood - all of them are true. “And all of them are the most beautiful things you will ever experience. So yes, your priorities change. It’s from the second you see that little face, your life has changed forever.” The brunette beauty discovered she was pregnant shortly before she was due to start filming the Rob Marshall-directed ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ with Johnny Depp, and her news meant many changes

P

had to be made in order to ensure the actress felt “protected”. She explained to the British edition of GQ magazine: “I found out I was pregnant and I had to tell Johnny and Rob. First for safety, second for honesty. “It made for a very interesting shoot especially it being an action movie. There were a few things I had been in training for before filming, before I knew I was pregnant, in rehearsals that had to be changed. “And my outfits kept, well, evolving. I wasn’t able to do any of the more dangerous shots, obviously. But the sword fights became more like choreography, more like dance. But everything was very safe and I felt very protected. I couldn’t have done it any other way.”—Agencies


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lifestyle

Nigerian hip-hop, long a copy, grows into its own

In this Oct 19, 2010, photo, Nigerian hip hop artist D’banj performs in Lagos, Nigeria. —AP

N

igeria’s most talked-about hip-hop video exhibits all the excesses of its American counterparts — beautiful, scantily clad models, a mansion and a bathtub full of hundred-dollar bills. But the biggest surprise? America’s own Snoop Dogg playing back up to Nigerian star D’banj, embracing him as his nephew and taking a Nigerian passport before leaving the rest of the remixed “Mr Endowed” to the Yoruba-singing heartthrob. Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation with 150 million people, long has been a leading cultural influence across the continent. Its low-budget “Nollywood” films can be found everywhere, while its music plays in taxicabs and minibuses far beyond its borders. Now, however, Nigerian artists who once mainly imitated US hip-hop proudly include African beats and their local languages on their own energetic songs. That combination appeals to both Nigerians, who are now proud of socalled “Naija” music, and to a growing foreign following as well. “The beauty of music is that you don’t need to understand it,” female rapper Mo’Cheddah recently told The Associated Press. “Our music is traveling.” Like American hip-hop and pop music, Nigerian hip-hop uses samples, and also borrows from dancehall, house, and even zouk beats. The languages used are mainly Nigerian, with a predominance of Nigerian Pidgin English, as vocalists either sing, rap, or blend a combination of the two. It’s is mostly upbeat, feel-good music, and the message usually optimistic. It’s hugely popular, represents the youth culture and has become

part of the mainstream Nigerian sound. Satellite television networks like MTV Base, Channel O and Trace that transverse the continent cemented the reputation of Nigerian urban music in Africa. Songs by Nigerian artists like 2Face, PSquare and MI feature prominently at nightclubs in neighboring Ghana and as far away as Uganda and South Africa. With a growing Nigerian population in the United States, Europe and Asia, the appetite for the tunes has only been growing. “When I started out in the ‘90s, I struggled to play Nigerian music, but now I find it difficult to play anything else,” Nigerian DJ Jimmy Jatt told the AP after recently returning from a trip to Malaysia. “People are feeling our sound everywhere,” he said. “I try not to be selfish but the moment I move away from our stuff, the party slows down. Music from other countries is also good, but it’s just that ours is high energy.” While irresistibly danceable beats and the use of local languages and slang have become defining traits of Nigeria’s urban sound, it also carries with it a nationalistic pride sometimes missing in the diverse nation. Home to more than 150 ethnic groups and even more local languages, Nigerians of different origins are still learning to live together 50 years after the West African country gained independence from Britain and some 40 years after the end of a bloody civil war. Nigeria’s best-known artists offer a united identity for a fractured nation. Rappers like Naeto C from the country’s Christian southeast borrow words from the Hausa language of the Muslim north and the

Yoruba language in the southwest. “We’re representing our country to the fullest,” said Mo’Cheddah, the recent winner of the MTV Africa Music Awards’ Best Brand New Act award. “We’re putting our country on the map on a positive note. It’s not just about the bad things, fraud.” It’s also catching an international reputation as Nigerians put more of their music online. A French music executive late last year approached Audu Maikori, CEO of the Nigerian record label Chocolate City, to license a song. “At first I thought, what would a French guy want this? But, that’s what social media does,” Maikori said. “People can now share. ... The traditional revenue streams have died but there’s a whole new audience for your music.” Those new ways to earn money remain incredibly important in Nigeria, a nation awash in pirated movies and music. Pirated CDs remain much easier to come by than original ones hawked in Lagos traffic or hanging in market stalls. Now, artists no longer expect to make profit from albums. At an average price of $1, the records are only meant to promote their act. Nigeria has had a long musical tradition with artists such as IK Dairo honored by the Queen of England as early as 1963. Afrobeat pioneer Fela Anikulapo-Kuti fought against the injustices of military rule in Nigeria and inspired a Tony Award-winning Broadway show long after his death. But Nigerian hip-hop is more social than it is political, often addressing the challenges of everyday life while delivering a dose of optimism that Nigerians can overcome them. —AP

Devil talk banned in Perry’s childhood home

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aty Perry says she did not have a childhood with her evangelical minister parents, who allowed her to read only the Bible and even banned terms like “deviled eggs.” “I didn’t have a childhood,” Perry told Vanity Fair in an interview for its June edition. “I come from a very non-accepting family, but I’m ver y accepting.” “Sometimes when children grow up, their parents grow up,” she said. “Mine grew up with me. We coexist. I don’t try to change them anymore, and I don’t think they try to change me. We agree to disagree. They’re excited about (my success).” Perry, 26, rose to stardom in 2008 with her hit single “I Kissed a Girl” and by promoting herself as a sex kitten. Her first stab at a music career was through a gospel music album. But the cover of her latest hit “Teenage Dream,” features her lying naked on a pink cloud. The “Firework” singer-who wants her ashes shot out over the California coast in a firework-said her friends had to sneak her CDs as a child because secular music was banned in her California home. Phrases like “deviled eggs” and the name of the vacuum cleaner “Dirt Devil” were also banned, and Perry said she was led to believe that the family planning group Planned Parenthood was only an abortion clinic. “I was always scared I was going to get bombed when I was there ... I

didn’t know it was more than that, that it was for women and their needs. I didn’t have insurance, so I went there and I learned about birth control,” she told Vanity Fair. Perry married British comedian Russell Brand in a Hindu ceremony in India in October 2010. But she said that while Brand was involved in Hinduism, she was not, and that she had always questioned her family’s strict Christian faith. “I have always been the kid who’s asked ‘Why?’ In my faith, you’re just supposed to have faith. But I was always like ... why?” she said. “At this point, I’m just kind of a drifter. I’m open to possibility.” “My sponge is so big and wide and I’m soaking everything up and my mind has been radically expanded. Just being around different cultures and people and their opinions and perspectives. Just looking into the sky,” Perry said. Perry said she and Brand turned down millions of dollars for their wedding pictures because “we wanted the moment to ourselves.” She said that she hopes that her music remains the focus of fans, rather than her appearance or her personal life. “I don’t care what people say about my relationship; I don’t care what people say about my boobs. People are buying my songs; I have a sold out tour. I’m getting incredible feedback from my music,” Perry said. “I already know my future evolution, where I’m going to go.”—Reuters

Open to all styles: B Sasikumar Violin exponent says music must delight, be it jazz, rock, folk or classical By Sajeev K Peter

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Violin maestro B Sasikumar poses during an interview. — Photo by Sajeev K Peter

“I’m happy when I teach and I’m the happiest when I see my students grow up as good musicians.”

iolin maestro B Sasikumar has played for all, from Chembai Swami or Shemmangudi to Dr K J Yesudas or Venugopal. Over the past 50 years of his musical career, he has seen many changes in the industry as it moved from its strict and pure classical tradition to the contemporary trend of fusion or ‘jugalbandhi.’ “Music, be it jazz, rock, folk or classical is universal and all genres are intended to delight,” Sasikumar told the Kuwait Times in an interview held on the sidelines of a musical program ‘Samarpan.’ It was organized as a musical tribute to Guru Sasikumar by the students of violinist Mavelikara Sathees Chandran at the Indian Community School (Senior), Salmiya. “I’m trained as a classical violinist, but I’m open to all kinds of music and styles,” he said. Sasikumar admits that a musician has to understand the universality of music. The musician, who has been playing the violin from the age of 10, forayed into fusion music with his nephew - the acclaimed violinist Balabhaskar. He also believes that music is ‘most divine’ and has the power to both heal and entertain. Born into a family of musicians, B Sasikumar had his early lessons from his father, the renowned Nadaswaram maestro M K Bhaskara Panicker of the Thiruvalla Brothers. He started performing at the tender age of ten and has accompanied stalwarts such as Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, D K Jayaraman, D K Pattammal, Seerkazhi Govindarajan and Dr K J Yesudas among others. An A grade artiste at the All India Radio, Trivandrum, Sasikumar has been part of numerous concerts and programs and has performed in various countries. He is also the recipient of many awards and his accolades include the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2008 and the Kerala Sangeetha Natak Academy Fellowship in 2002. Teaching has always been his passion and a teacher par excellence, he has taught artistes such as Balabhaskar, G Venugopal, Kavalam Srikumar and Vidhu Prathap. “I’m happy when I teach and I’m the happiest when I see my students grow up as good musicians,” he said. For Sasikumar, experiment is something that the time demands. “Music must be appealing. And over the years the style has changed, sensibilities have broadened. And if your music does not adapt to the emerging trends, you will be outdated,” he admits. Sasikumar has performed various ‘jugalbandi’ concerts with musical stalwarts Pandit Jasraj and Dr Balamuralikrishna in Delhi and Madras. He was well appreciated for his marvelous direction and presentation of ‘Vadyatharangam,’ an orchestra using all instruments.

An undated handout picture released by Polar Prize shows US string quartet Kronos Quartet who won the Polar Music Prize on May 3,201. —AFP

Kronos Quartet, Patti Smith awarded Swedish prize A

merican string quartet Kronos Quartet and rocker Patti Smith have won the 2011 Polar Music Prize, the prize committee announced yesterday. The musicians will be invited to Stockholm later this year to accept the prize of 1 million kronor ($166,000).The Polar Music Prize is Sweden’s most prestigious music award and is typically shared by a pop artist and a classical musician. It was founded

by Stig Anderson, manager of Swedish pop group ABBA, in 1989. The prize committee said in a statement that “by devoting her life to art in all its forms, Patti Smith has demonstrated how much rock ‘n’ roll there is in poetry and how much poetry there is in rock ‘n’ roll.” The Chicago-born Smith, 64, “has transformed the way an entire generation looks, thinks, and dreams,” the committee said. The Kronos Quartet,

which is based in San Francisco, was praised for incorporating avant-garde rock and music from a variety of sources worldwide. “For almost 40 years the Kronos Quartet has been revolutionizing the potential of the string quartet genre when it comes to both style and content,” the committee said. Last year’s Polar Music Prize was shared by Italian composer Ennio Morricone and Icelandic singer Bjork.—AFP

Director lauds Christian Bale for China film work

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he director of the Chinese war epic “Nanjing Heroes” was impressed by Christian Bale’s professionalism and willingness to forego Hollywood comforts on the film shoot. Bale arrived in Nanjing alone Feb 2 and insisted on the same accommodations as the director and crew, director Zhang Yimou was quoted as saying in a statement by his production company. Bale also attended an extra’s birthday party, “playing around with everyone, playing hard, without the pretense of a big star at all.” The Oscar winner for “The Fighter” and star of “The Dark Knight” portrays an American priest in the World War II

movie. He finished filming recently and returned to England, the statement sent to The Associated Press said. “An A-list Hollywood actor traveling alone to an alien country and an alien set, working and living for several months with several hundred foreigners he doesn’t know well — that is very incredible and very impressive to me,” Zhang was quoted as saying. The director best known in the West for “Raise the Red Lantern” and “To Live” called Bale a generous performer. “When I asked him for a certain kind of performance, he gave me three approaches. When I asked for three approaches, he gave me five,” he said. —AP

File photo shows Christian Bale poses backstage with the Oscar for best performance by an actor in a s u p p or ting role for “ The Fighter”. —AP


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Years

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Met captures

McQueen’s vision of imperfect beauty D

ark vs light. Past vs future. Masculine vs feminine. The extremes straddled by fashion designer Alexander McQueen in his work, inspiration and, seemingly, in his life, fit together like a jigsaw puzzle in a new museum exhibit called “Savage Beauty.” The study of contrasts in the exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute shows McQueen, the artist and intellectual, as he was celebrated during his career — and even after his suicide at age 40 in February of 2010. McQueen was always drawn to a challenge, especially when he could question normal conventions of beauty and fashion, says exhibit curator Andrew Bolton. Bolton cited a Shakespeare quote that McQueen had tattooed on his arm as a starting point for the show: “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.” At Monday’s press preview, Bolton explained that in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” those words are said by Helena, someone who believed that love could transform something grotesque into something beautiful.

McQueen was a believer, too, he said. “All of McQueen’s collections were fashioned around elaborate narratives, and the exhibition is intended to evoke a gothic fairy tale, a fairy tale that is pushed forward by McQueen’s imagination.” Stella McCartney, a close friend of McQueen’s, and Sarah Burton, his longtime deputy and designer of the current McQueen collection, attended the opening, both saying that they were there to honor him and his contribution to their industry. Many more of the world’s top designers, models and movie stars paid similar homage Monday night at a gala celebrating the exhibit. McQueen had a fine tailor’s touch and a sense of humor that was “cheeky and filthy, in the best sense of the words,” said McCartney, wearing a crisp menswear-style suit. Burton, who made her own headlines last week as the designer of Kate Middleton’s much-heralded wedding dress, said that McQueen put “emotion, passion and attention to detail in everything that he did.” In her remarks, Burton’s work for the label and her triumph as the wedding gown designer, was never explicitly referred to, but Met Director Thomas Campbell briefly mentioned that “we’re in a McQueen moment, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.” One featured outfit could rouse comparison to the Duchess of Cambridge’s gown, although this was a lilac lace top with black cashmereand-fleece trousers. The structure of the bodice, with strong shoulders, a nipped waist and just a hint of sexiness in a narrow V-neck, was very similar to the shape of the gown. Better

examples of McQueen’s dramatic and creative flair, however, are the show’s two opening gowns, a dress made of red and black ostrich feathers with tiers of glass medical slides painted red to mimic blood, and another dress made of razor-clam shells stripped and varnished. Both were from the Voss collection of 2001. Burton remembered McQueen’s London studio as he worked on the shell dress. It smelled of the sea, she said. The Dante coat, a half-sided military coat with gold embroidery from 1996, spoke to McQueen’s commitment to his vision, Bolton said. His seamstresses had told him the coat couldn’t be made in time for an upcoming runway show, Bolton said, but the designer was determined to do it. He stayed up all night, and his employees found him the next day curled up sleeping on the couch. Museum visitors shouldn’t miss the over-the-top feather dresses, antler heads, molded torsos and floral embroideries, said Mark Holgate, Vogue fashion news director. A stiff skirt made of balsa wood that looks like the wind could pick it up at any given moment and send it soaring is another must-see. “They all are spectacular in the truest sense of the word,” Holgate said. McQueen’s runway shows were consistently highlights of the fashion calendar; he always pushed the catwalk to the edge and found a way to surprise, and sometimes shock, the normally jaded fashion crowd. A model’s movements were restricted by a metal contraption like a puppet for the La Poupee collection in ‘97; robot arms painted Shalom Harlow in graffiti in 1999; and a giant mirror uncomfortably tracked the movements of editors, stylists and retailers in the audience of his Voss collection of 2001. All are incorporated into the exhibit in video displays. Kate Moss, in a stunning, frothy, cream-colored gown, was beamed onto the runway as a hologram in ‘06 in the Widows of Culloden collection, and “Savage Beauty” recreates a Tinkerbell-size version of that — with the real gown displayed nearby. Also, there are several examples of his signature tartan plaid, impossible heels and his famous low-slung “bumster” silhouette, which Bolton said during a walkthrough last week emphasized McQueen’s skill and understanding of the female body. With “bumsters,” McQueen said in a quote posted in the gallery, “I wanted to elongate the body, not just show the bum. To me, that part of the bodynot so much the buttocks, but the bottom of the spine — that’s the most erotic part of anyone’s body, man or woman.” Seeing the show’s 100 McQueen ensembles all in one place —including some of his looks for Givenchy — makes it easy for visitors to connect the designer’s favorite themes, including romanticized historicism, exoticism, nationalism, primitivism and naturalism. Even though he’s often referred to as a forwardmoving visionary, McQueen could also move seamlessly between collections inspired the 18th-century Jacobite rebellion in Scotland, a shipwreck and “Harry Potter.” Bolton said he purposely didn’t set up the items chronologically because he wanted visitors to see instead ideas that were near and dear to McQueen, especially his manic expressions of love and romance. He was never about trends, although he was considered a commercial success, and he was very disciplined, not a diva designer at all, Bolton said. “McQueen conveyed through clothes much bigger concepts. He loved being a craftsman and he loved the avant-garde, but everything was done with such deep emotion that you didn’t know how to feel afterward,” Bolton said, recalling the first McQueen show he attended, which was called “No. 13,” and seeing on the faces of the crowd both approval and discomfort. In his own words, in another example of gallery text: “I oscillate between life and death, happiness and sadness, good and evil,” McQueen said. “Savage Beauty” runs through July 31.—AP

Models are seen from the Costume Institute exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, during ‘Alexander McQueen; Savage Beauty’ press preview. — AFP


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Years

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This product image courtesy of Gucci shows Flora by Gucci, a fragrance built around floral notes.

This product image courtesy of Oscar de la Renta shows Oscar de la Renta Esprit d’Oscar Perfume. —AP photos

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lowers are lovely, especially in the warm weeks leading to the hot season, but there are the obvious limitations of shelf life and mobility. A floral perfume? Now that’s something with fragrance power to last an entire day on the go-and the next day, and the one after that. “Flowers are really the basics for all women’s fragrances,” says Veronique Ferval, creative center manager for International Flavors & Fragrances in New York, one of the primary manufacturing sources of the extracts or “juices” that perfumers use. It is typical to create a perfume with a bouquet that combines the notes of many flowers, even if it ends up being dominated by one. “Historically in the fragrance industry, there are the classics-rose, gardenia, jasmine, muguet-really classic flowers that we’ve used for many years and continue reinventing,” Ferval explains. Part of the allure in those scents is familiarity, but they also can be easier to bottle than, say, daisies and lilies of the valleys (as muguet is commonly known in the United States), she explains. “A big factor is the olfactory delivery,” says Jennifer Mullarky, scent consultant for retailer Perfumania. “Some flowers don’t smell or you can’t extract them. Having a well-known fragrance gives the emotional factor that many people relate to. There’s comfort in knowing what you are smelling, and that attracts people to a perfume.” She adds, “When you are out and smelling a flower, you’re not smelling a straight oil, which is not always as nice as the mixed bouquet.” Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, known to be an enthusiastic gardener, is relaunching his Esprit d’Oscar perfume from the 1970s that is rooted in jasmine, orange blossom and tuberose.

In an interview in New York with The Associated Press, de la Renta said that as a young boy in the Dominican Republic, he imagined himself as a perfumer. He would wake up in the morning with the air of his open window carrying the smell of dewy flowers. He first thought the dew was what captured the scent, he recalled with a laugh, but after a few failed attempts at bottling that, he realized it was the combination of flowers that was important. “I still remember it: it’s what I wanted in the perfume,” he said. White flowers, including tuberose, gardenia and orange blossom, are popular in modern perfumes, although they are not used nearly as much as jasmine, rose and violet, Mullarky says. They are complex scents with many facets: fruit, freshness and creaminess, she describes. You will find that some men’s fragrances use lavender to infuse a light floral note without being too flowery. Around Mother’s Day, a US holiday which this year is May 8, there is a big spike in fragrance sales, says Kevin McCall, vice president of sales for Perfumania. Husbands and sons are buying for their mothers, but there also are many women shopping for themselves, inspired by their new season of gardening, he says. “Spring really kicks florals into people’s minds.” McCall says he can see the shift away from heavier perfumes that largely dominate winter sales as the weather warms. Florals are popular all year in California, Arizona and Nevada, for example, he says, but the Northeast comes to floral scents around Easter, followed by the Midwest. Where flowers originate figures into the actual smell of a floral note, too. Mullarky says there can be a big difference between a Bulgarian rose (considered the finest quality rose), an

This product image courtesy of Bijan shows Bijan Black perfume, a fragrance built around floral notes, which perfumers say are the most popular in the spring and summer.

African rose or run-of-the-mill American garden rose. They’re all lovely, she says, but they give off different scents and blend differently with other notes. Even the type of soil or the time of day the juice is extracted can affect the scent. Sometimes it takes consumers time to warm up to a more exotic flower, says IFF’s Ferval, but even if the exposure only comes from a perfume bottle, people can develop a taste for it over time: That is what happened with the mimosa flower, which has more spicy than sweet accords. Green notes naturally complement heady florals-as they would in a vase-and woodsy notes add a modern twist to very classic florals, Ferval explains. For something cheerful and bright, she recommends adding a fruit note, especially a citrus. Elizabeth Arden has a new perfume, Pretty, that experiments with a new capturing technology that combines floral, fruit and woodsy scents into one, without separating individual ingredients. Some other options with strong floral hearts: • Daisy Eau So Fresh by Marc Jacobs. Daisy with wild rose, raspberry, apple blossom and violet. • Calvin Klein Beauty. Lily with ambrette seeds from hibiscus, jasmine and cedarwood. • Flora by Gucci Eau Fraiche. Rose petals and osmanthus with bergamot, water notes, sandalwood and patchouli. • High Line by Bond No 9. Grape hyacinth, Lady Jane tulips and red-leaf rose with grass and sea moss. • Dolce & Gabbana Rose The One. Bulgarian rose with peony, geranium, peach, muguet and musk. • Portrait of a Lady by Frederic Malle. Oriental rose with cinnamon and clove.

This product image courtesy of Giorgio Armani shows Acqua di Gioia Perfume. • • •

Roberto Cavalli Just Pink. Tiare flower (gardenia), white lily and peony, with Bulgarian rose and rosewood. Giorgio Armani Acqua di Giora. Jasmine and peony with a “mojito” blend of mint leaves, brown sugar and Italian lemon. Black by Bijan for Women. Gardenia and rose petals, with pomegranate, jasmine and musk. — AP

This product image courtesy of Bloomingdale’s This product image courtesy of Bloomingdale’s shows the Altru Surfrider “Preserve” Tanktop. shows a Surfrider Foundation hooded sweatshirt by Polo. — AP photos

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loomingdale’s and its partner menswear designers are riding the wave of surf-inspired fashion, fun and quirky apparel and accessories at many of its stores while raising money for ocean conservation efforts. Surfer style for years has gone beyond the beaches; it is a relaxed, carefree vibe appealing to bona fide boarders as well as the wishful thinkers. Comfort rules among the board shorts and soft, sunwashed Ts, but there also is a coolness captured in the clothes. There are no specific surfer fashion dos and don’ts, since enthusiasts come from all walks of life, says Saturdays Surf designer Morgan Collett, and that is what he likes about it. “Men who wear suits six days a week, to those who never wear one, surfing is a sport for everyone. Style comes from the individual. Being able to take a universal sport such as surfing and make it specific to themselves, that is truly special.” Bloomingdale’s fashion director Kevin Harter also struggles with a definition, but knows who the customer is. “I really do think it is for the guy who is relaxed with his style and always looking for an adventure.”

This product image courtesy of Bloomingdale’s shows a shirt by Engineered Garments.

Meanwhile, pro surfer Rob Machado describes the look as “a little more outside the box,” and designer Tracy Feith says he likes the attitude that most surfers accessorize with. Marc Jacobs, Paul Smith and Ralph Lauren also have contributed to the limited-edition Surfrider Collection, which donates 10 percent of sales to the nonprofit, environmental-themed Surfrider Foundation. The Associated Press asked designers, as well as Machado, who is serving as an ambassador for the retailer, about their experiences in the water. Their email responses: • Machado’s first body board experience was when he was 6, but he didn’t ride a wave standing on a surfboard until he was 9. That’s when he developed an understanding of waves, he says, and “it entered into a whole different realm of excitement.” “I don’t think you can ever imagine or explain what surfing is like to anyone. It kind of blows away any expectations,” he says. • Riviera Club designer Derek Buse first picked up a board on a family vacation to Hawaii when he was 10. “I paddled out by myself at some outside wave with a bunch of locals

This product image courtesy of Bloomingdale’s shows a Sea Bags tote.

and got PUMMELED!” he reports. Since then, he has learned to point his board parallel to the beach instead of straight at the beach, which got him stuck in the wash. He likes to hit waist-high waves with his buddies but does not care much for surfers who stake a claim on a spot because they scouted a location first, he says. Feith says his first surfing experiences are much like his more recent ones: humbling. “There’s no real trick to surfing ... although I would say the ability to laugh at yourself could be quite helpful in certain situations, ha ha.” Harter, of Bloomingdale’s, grew up a good Midwesterner, far from either ocean, but, he says, surfing was on his “bucket list” of things to do. He had the chance to check the box last year. It was all-and more-that he imagined. “There’s this amazing thrill you get when you get up for the first time. My first day I did not want to quit, I just wanted to keep pushing myself until I stood up on the board.” The first time Saturdays Surf’s Collett paddled out, he was

This product image courtesy of Bloomingdale’s shows a t-shirt by Paul Smith.

5 or 6 years old and on a long, yellow board at San Onofre, California. “I remember how clear the water was, how rocky the shore was, and I remember riding a wave all the way to shore and then I hit the shore and fell face first into the rocks.” The fingers he sprained that day didn’t interfere with the smile on his face, Collett recalls. It didn’t take long for him to ditch the occasional baseball or soccer practice to hit the waves, and then, in high school, he was on the high-school surf team. Yes, surf team. That meant sanctioned late arrivals at school three times a week because they were at surf practice. • UNIS designer Eunice Lee comes from the smaller East Coast school of surfing, getting lessons from friends in the waters of Bridgehampton, New York. “It’s definitely not as easy as it looks. It’s sort of like trying to get up on a bar of soap,” she says. At first, Lee admits to having been a little freaked out and having to fight off fears of weird creatures coming out from the water. By now, though, she has warmed to it, especially since she has built up her upper body strength. “You need to be strong to be able to pop up on the board.” • Industry of All Nations co-founder Fernando Gerscovich says the greatest luxury of his job is that he can travel the world searching for new products, manufacturers and perfect waves. He started at age 16 in Punta del Este, Uruguay. “I remember breaking into a friend’s house and borrowing a very beat-up shortboard with none of the fins left. The waves were super small, no more than 2 feet, but the shape was perfect. I think I got barreled in the first wave, seriously.” And, even as an accomplished surfer, Gerscovich still has lessons to learn: “In my last trip to Mexico, I learned that it is not a great idea to step onto a puffer fish, the second most poisonous vertebrate in the world.”—AP


Open to all styles: B Sasikumar

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THURSDAY, MAY 5, 2011

China sees growing demand for

‘soft gold’ cashmere

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actory worker Wu Suqing hunches over a machine knitting a green cashmere sweater bound for a department store in China where demand for the luxury wool is growing even as Western sales shrink. Surrounded by towering piles of brightly colored pullovers, Wu and dozens of workers at a factory in north-

highly prized cashmere is known in the industry, has traditionally been exported to affluent overseas markets. But China’s growing taste for luxury products is changing that. High-altitude northern and western China are ideal for producing the cloud-like wool. Their cold, dry winters cause the longhaired goats scattered across the

A young Cashmere goat, raised among others for their wool at a farm in Ordos.

In this undated photo released by Sotheby’s Auction House, a wood sculpture entitled “Jeune tahitienne” by Impressionist Paul Gauguin is shown. —AP

A selection of cashmere sweaters are displayed at a retail store in Ordos. ern China churn out more than 100,000 sweaters a year that retail in Beijing and Shanghai for hundreds of dollars each. “At the beginning I was tired but now I’m used to it,” Wu told AFP above the clamor of knitting machines in a dingy building in Ordos in northern China’s Inner Mongolia, where she works 11 hours a day. China is the world’s largest producer of cashmere, churning out 75-80 percent of the global supply-worth an estimated five to six billion yuan ($770 million to $920 million) per year. This “soft gold” or “diamond fibre,” as

Record set for Gauguin sculpture at

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rare wooden bust by Paul Gauguin sold Tuesday at auction in New York for $11.2 million, setting a record for a sculpture by the French artist. The “Jeune Tahitienne” sculpture was estimated by Sotheby’s to sell for between $10-15 million and depicts the head of a young girl with large earrings and coral necklaces. It dates from Gauguin’s visit to Tahiti between 1890 and 1893, a period from which only a handful of sculptures have survived. Sotheby’s said the previous record price for a Gauguin sculpture was $1.4 million. Gauguin gave the sculpture to Jeanne Fournier, the 10-year-old daughter of collector Jean Dolent, as a present after he returned to Paris in 1894. The piece was sold in 1961 to a priest in the Dominican Order who consigned it to Sotheby’s in London, where it changed hands again. The first of the big spring sales in New York saw Pablo Picasso’s “Femmes lisant” sell for $21.3 million, below the $25-35 million pre-sale estimate. It was one of 10 Picassos offered. Although sales had mixed success, the auction season started with renewed optimism in the international art market. Christie’s follows with its own impressionist and modern art auction yesterday. Next week, the rival auction houses will hold contemporary art sales. —AFP

region to give forth rich coats to keep the animals warm. The soft fibre is spun into yarn and then knitted into sweaters, scarves and shawls sold by luxury brands such as Hermes and Eric Bompard in Paris, New York, and Sydney. More than half of the country’s cashmere clothing and accessories are still exported, but are finding a growing market in increasingly affluent Chinese cities. “It is easy for a Chinese person to buy a cashmere sweater now. People are much richer than before,” Zhang Quanxiang, vice director of the China Livestock Marketing Association’s cashmere department,

told AFP. The number of Chinese-made cashmere sweaters exported in 2010 fell to 12 million, down 33 percent 2007, as the financial crisis hit US and European buyers, said Zhang, former vice president of China’s largest cashmere producer, Ordos Group. But he adds that the growing Chinese market has helped offset that. Raw cashmere prices have nearly doubled in recent years due to the Chinese demand, fewer goats following recent bit-

terly cold winters, and a ban on grazing the sharp-hooved animals on open land in Inner Mongolia to prevent soil erosion. The rising prices have been life-changing for herders such as Meng Lounu, 77, whose family lives in a village on the edge of the vast Gobi Desert where they raise hundreds of goats in large earthen-floor pens. The family earns one million yuan per year selling cashmere to factories in Ordos. Recently, they have been able to buy a new pick-

Raised for their wool, cashmere goats run as farmer Meng Lounu holds a cub. up truck and build several blockshaped cement houses for family members. “Our standard of living gets better and better,” Meng said, herding dozens of long-horned goats around a yard strewn with dung and straw. “Before, our life was bad, but now it’s great. We can eat as much as we want-we make more and more money,” she told AFP, her brown face creased with wrinkles. China is the world’s fastest-growing market for luxury goods and is forecast to be the biggest by 2015, according to consultancy Price Waterhouse Coopers. —AFP A farmer walks near a herd of Cashmere goats raised for their wool at a farm in Ordos. —AFP photos

Bon Appetit, Rachael Ray magazine get makeovers A

Rival food-related magazines are getting spicier. Two of the larger-circulation food titles, ‘Every Day with Rachael Ray’ and ‘Bon Appetit,’ were made over this month with an emphasis on splashier presentations. —AP photos

s many US magazines continue to struggle for an audience, food magazines are showing strength. For a third year in a row, launches of new food magazines topped all other categories, according to Samir Husni, director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism. And some, such as Food Network Magazine, which debuted in 2009, have enjoyed tremendous success.That’s putting pressure on established food titles. Two of the larger-circulation magazines — Every Day with Rachael Ray and Bon Appetit — this month launched splashy overhauls with new editors at the helm. The aim is to attract advertisers and keep readers in the increasingly crowded market. “Those established magazines that come on a regular basis are finding it harder and harder to compete on the newsstand because of how many food titles we have crowding that marketplace,” Husni said. “They need a story to take to the advertisers —they’re refreshed, they’re redesigned — because they have a big competitor called the Food Network Magazine.” The market for food magazines has become more competitive since Food Network Magazine’s launch, which came the same year Bon Appetit owner Conde Nast closed the grand dame of food magazines, Gourmet. Last year, more than 100 out of about 800 new magazines were food titles, Husni said. Plus, a majority of food titles boosted advertising revenue in the first quarter of 2011 compared with the same period a year earlier, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. The timing of the revamps of Bon Appetit and Every Day is coincidental — the two titles have different owners and aim for

Rival food-related magazines are getting spicier. Two of the larger-circulation food titles, ‘Every Day with Rachael Ray’ and ‘Bon Appetit,’ got makeovers this month with an emphasis on splashier presentations.

slightly different readers. But they operate in the same environment and have taken similar paths. Both have new editors mixing things up, yet sticking with their magazine’s core identity — for Bon Appetit, that’s being a smart but not snooty food authority; for Every Day, it’s being a distillation of Ray’s bubbly spirit on the page. “The magazine that we remade absolutely puts back energy into the pages,” Rachael Ray said in a phone interview. “It has an energy to it on top of a youthfulness.” Ray’s magazine is making its biggest change since its debut five years ago. There are more photos and the text is often smaller to help pack in more features. Editor-in-chief Liz Vaccariello, who came over from Prevention magazine in November, said she wants to engage readers not only with food pages, but to add more lifestyle content with Ray’s unique outlook. (In another change, Ray’s magazine also is looking for a new publisher.) “We’ve seen a lot of success, but things have changed in the marketplace,” Vaccariello said, sitting in her Manhattan office. “It’s time to rethink what the product could be and what Rachael’s fans wanted and expected from her in a printed product.” Bon Appetit has been around for 55 years, but has no intention of becoming stale — witness the recent campaign to promote the makeover that revolved around the phrase “Bite Me.” Editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport, who moved over from fellow Conde Nast magazine GQ, said changes include an emphasis on compelling photos and keeping up with current food culture. The new issue has an essay from off-the-moment chef Gabrielle Hamilton, author of the current best-seller, “Blood, Bones & Butter.” —AP

05 May  

Kuwait Times

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