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TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011

Mass grave found in Daraa, scores flee Tel Kalakh

US, Pakistan to cooperate on ‘high value targets’

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Endeavour blasts off on next-to-last shuttle flight



Olympic champion Wanjiru dies after fall


Plastic explosives found in pickup at Shuaiba port Dogs sniff out hidden ‘C4’ • Police raid Mahboula camp By Hanan Al-Saadoun & Agencies

Iran sends flotilla to Bahrain Iran FM to visit Kuwait TEHRAN/KUWAIT: Shiite-ruled Iran sent a flotilla to Bahrain yesterday to show solidarity with mainly Shiite protesters, escalating tensions with the island kingdom that is home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet. Bahrain, which has cracked down on pro-democracy protesters in recent weeks, has criticised the decision to send the flotilla and accused non-Arab Iran of interfering its affairs. Iran’s English-language Press TV said 120 activists, including professors, students and clerics, were aboard the convoy, sent to condemn the killing of Bahraini protesters. “The convoy will seek to get permission to get inside Bahraini waters. However, it is very unlikely that at this point in time the Bahraini government would allow this,” it said. Later, a Press TV reporter travelling with the activists said in a live broadcast that the boats had been ordered to return and activists were throwing in the water letters they were carrying as “moral support” to Bahraini Shiites. In an interview with Al Arabiya television, the head of Bahrain’s Information Affairs Authority, Sheikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa, said the move was unacceptable. “This is a blatant interference in Bahrain’s internal affairs, especially since Bahrain does not ask for humanitarian aid from ... Iran,” he said. In a sign that the flotilla could heighten sectarian tensions in the Gulf, one newspaper reported that Kuwait would protect its neighbour from any Iranian threat. Kuwait has sent navy units to Bahrain as part of a regional force deployed in Bahrain in March to help end weeks of unrest inspired by the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. “Kuwait will not hesitate to defend the Kingdom of Bahrain against any danger that may threaten its security,” the Al-Watan daily quoted an unnamed senior Kuwaiti source as saying. “Bahrain’s waters are a red line, and Kuwait naval forces deployed there ... will not allow any Iranian ship to approach the kingdom’s shores.” At least 29 people, all but six of them Shiites, have been killed since the protests started in February. Bahrain’s opposition says hundreds of people have been arrested and four died in police custody in April. Some 1,000 Saudi soldiers and 500 police officers from the United Arab Emirates were sent to US-allied Bahrain in March. Continued on Page14

KARACHI: Pakistani volunteers look at the bullet-riddled dead body of a Saudi diplomat on a hospital stretcher yesterday. — AFP

KUWAIT: Police dogs sniffed out plastic explosives hidden in a pickup truck that was trying to enter an industrial seaport, security officials said yesterday. They said the driver of the truck, which belonged to the Ministry of Electricity and Water, was taken into custody. They described him as an Asian national but gave no further details. “The suspected explosive material was found in a white pickup’s exhaust, entering Shuaiba port on Saturday,” one of the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “The substance is C4 and is the size of two fingers.” C4 is a high-velocity military explosive. Another security official said there was no immediate indication the explosive was to be used in a militant attack in the world’s fourth-largest oil exporting country but investigations were still in progress. Authorities carried out a security sweep at Shuaiba port, home to one of the country’s three crude oil refineries, after the truck was stopped, one of the officials said. Security officials also searched a labour camp in Mahboula where workers of the company that owns the pickup reside, but found nothing. Two other expatriates were also detained earlier and a laptop belonging to one of them was confiscated. But a security source denied reports that weapons, explosives and maps were found during a campaign by security men in Ahmadi governorate. In 2009, Kuwait foiled an Al-Qaeda-linked plan to bomb a US Army camp and other facilities in the country, including the state security building. Kuwait, the launch pad for the 2003 US-led war on Iraq which ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, remains a logistics base for the US Army to support its troops in Iraq.

Gunmen kill Saudi diplomat in Karachi Kuwait condemns attack KARACHI: A Saudi diplomat was killed in a hail of bullets on his way to the country’s consulate in Karachi yesterday, the second attack on Saudi interests in Pakistan’s biggest city in less than a week. The Pakistani Taleban denied carrying out the assassination and authorities said they were investigating possible links to sectarian groups or the death of Saudi-born Osama bin Laden, who was killed by US Navy SEALs on May 2. Tariq Dharejo, a police investigator in Karachi, said officers believe the shooting was motivated by anger over Saudi Arabia’s decision to send troops to Bahrain to quell protests by Shiites, who comprise 70 percent of the population

there but are excluded from key positions in the Sunni-dominated government. Saudi Arabia said the victim, Hassan Al-Qahtani, was travelling to work when he was killed and demanded that Pakistan tighten security measures for its diplomats, following a grenade attack on the mission building last week. Police said Qahtani worked in the consulate’s security department and was driving a vehicle with diplomatic plates when two motorcycle riders unleashed a stream of gunfire at a crossroads in the city’s upmarket Defence neighbourhood. Continued on Page 14

Gaddafi arrest warrant sought

RIYADH: King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia waves during the inauguration of the Princess Noura bint Abdulrahaman University late Sunday. The university will be the biggest women’s university in the world, with capacity for 40,000 students. — AP

Scientists find gene link to depression Sleep less, gain weight LONDON/ NEW YORK: Scientists say they have discovered the first solid evidence that variations in some peoples’ genes may cause depression - one of the world’s most common and costly mental illnesses. And in a rare occurrence in genetic research, a British-led international team’s finding of a DNA region linked to depression has been replicated by another team from the United States who were studying an entirely separate group of people. “What’s remarkable is

Max 39 Min 30 Low Tide 05:07 & 18:18 High Tide 10:57

that both groups found exactly the same region in two separate studies,” Pamela Madden, who led the US team at Washington University, said in a statement. The researchers said they hoped the findings would bring scientists closer to developing more effective treatments for patients with depression, since currently available medicines for depression only work in around half of patients. Continued on Page 14

THE HAGUE: The International Criminal Court’s prosecution applied yesterday for a warrant for Muammar Gaddafi’s arrest for crimes against humanity, a day after the Libyan strongman’s regime offered a truce in return for a halt to NATO-led air strikes. NATO-led aircraft meanwhile launched fresh raids on an outlying suburb of the capital Tripoli, destroying a radar base, the state news agency JANA and residents said. ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said warrants were also sought for one of Gaddafi’s sons, Seif al-Islam, and intelligence head Abdullah Senussi for crimes against humanity. “Today, the office of the prosecutor requested the International Criminal Court arrest warrants,” MorenoOcampo told a news conference in The Hague, where the court is based. The Argentine prosecutor said there was evidence “that Muammar Gaddafi personally ordered attacks on innocent Libyan civilians”. A panel of ICC judges will now decide whether to accept or reject the prosecutor’s application. Protests against Gaddafi’s fourdecade rule began on Feb 15 and Moreno-Ocampo said thousands of people had now been killed in the violence and around 750,000 people forced to flee. British Foreign Secretary William Hague called on the international community to “fully support”

Muammar Gaddafi the ICC. “I welcome this announcement. The human rights situation in western Libya and the behaviour of the Gaddafi regime remains of grave concern,” Hague said. Amnesty International welcomed the move by the ICC prosecutor but said that Syria too should be referred to court for investigation of its ironfisted crackdown on peaceful protests. “The request for arrest warrants is a step forward for international justice and accountability in the region,” said Michael Bochenek, the London-based Continued on Page 14

NEW YORK: IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn is seen at Manhattan Criminal Court yesterday. — AFP

IMF chief denied bail in sex case NEW YORK: IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was denied bail yesterday on charges he attempted to rape a hotel maid, a crushing blow for the man until recently considered a front-runner for the French presidency and who oversaw world finance. Looking tired, with a light stubble and wearing the same clothes as on Sunday, Strauss-Kahn listened as prosecutors told a Manhattan Criminal Court judge they are investigating whether he may have engaged in similar conduct once before. Strauss-Kahn faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted and he should be held behind bars because he might flee to France, the prosecutors said. Defense lawyers failed to get Strauss-Kahn released on $1 million bail. They denied the charges against their client, whose arrest has thrown the IMF into turmoil just as it is trying to help fix the euro zone’s deep debt crisis. “We are obviously disappointed by the court’s decision. We will prove...that Mr Strauss-Kahn is innocent of these charges,” defense attorney Ben Brafman told reporters. “His principal intention is to try and clear his name and re-establish his good name.” It was Strauss-Kahn’s first appearance in court since he allegedly sexually assaulted a chamber maid who came to clean his room at the Sofitel in Times Square. He was pulled off an Air France jet on Saturday minutes before it left for Paris. The case has altered France’s political landscape and left the IMF leadership in turmoil. The judge set May 20 as the next date for the case. A defense lawyer said Strauss-Kahn did not flee the hotel and that the person he was having lunch with on Saturday, the day of the incident, will testify on his behalf. Continued on Page 14



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local kuwait digest

The story of human greed By Waleed Al-Rujaib


itnessing the current miserable situation in the Arab World, Arabs experience two contradicting feelings. First, they feel that the revolutions are happening at breakneck speed. On the other hand, they feel that these revolutions are happening at a very slow pace, considering the number of civilians who are dying each day in their quest to achieve freedom. The fact that numerous democracy-seeking public revolutions are taking place in a single region within a span of four months is perhaps, unprecedented in the history of mankind. However, the Arab nations’ hunger for freedom and democracy, makes them impatient to see changes as quickly as possible. When we try to look for the reasons behind our anger at these regimes, and wonder why so many Arab citizens are willing to sacrifice their lives to see these regimes overthrown, we can understand that the answer is connected to a basic human instinct called greed. This coupled with power which is imposed by regimes who will stop at nothing to retain their position is what causes people to revolt. Human beings’ struggle against predators has been going on since the dawn of history. Following evolution, people struggled with their own kind after their wealth was seized and they were enslaved. All wars that happened in human history can be attributed in one way or another to that very purpose. With the development of human civilization, this struggle has not stopped, but instead weapons have become more developed. Instead of direct occupation, advanced nations have utilized technological and intelligent warfare to take control of other countries’ wealth. This is the answer to why some Arab leaders would be willing to kill their own people in order to remain in power. The real question is however, will the human race ever become civilized enough to abandon greed and seek a state of living in mutual peace and love? Or will self-indulgence continue until the end of time? — Al-Rai

Interior minister urges officers to arm themselves with knowledge KUWAIT: Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Sabah yesterday urged newly-graduated officers to arm themselves with knowledge and keep up with latest security-related developments as means to improve their skills. The minister ’s remarks came during his reception of three officers who recently graduated from Sharjah Police Sciences Academy in the UAE. The reception was attended by Ministry Undersecretary Lt Gen Ghazi Al-Omar and Assistant Undersecretary for Education and Training Affairs Lt Gen Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. Sheik h Ahmad Al-Humoud, during the reception, conveyed greetings of the Kuwaiti leadership, represented by Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah. The Deput y Premier then received al-Farwaniya Governor Lieut-General Abdulhamid Hajji Abdulrahim (ret.), where both discussed a number of issues concerning cooperation between the ministry and the governorate. —KUNA

KUWAIT: Dr Gholamreza Vatandoust, Dr Mohammad Akbar, Dr Mohammed Satti and Dr Hanas Cader at the start of a seminar at the American University of Kuwait yesterday. (Right) Dr Winfred Thompson, AUK President welcoming speakers and visitors. —Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

‘Arab spring breaks some famous myths’ Academic analyzes recent political changes in seminar By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: The Arab spring has broken some famous myths about the Arab people - being indifferent, immune to change, cherishing authoritarian rule, little appreciation for democracy and human rights, an academic said. Speaking at a seminar held at the American University of Kuwait in Salmiya yesterday, Dr Gholamreza Vatandoust opined that the prevailing Arab spring has broken the famous Arab tradition. Organized by AUK’s Gulf Studies Center, Vatandoust presented his lecture entitled ‘The Arab Spring and Iran’s Green Movement’ to students and AUK professors. “The Arab spring has proven that Arab concerns are real human concerns, and the Arab uprising is no different from the wave of color revolutions that took place in Central Asia and Eastern Europe,” referring to some popular revolts that took place in the late 1990’s in the former USSR, and the ‘1986 Yellow Revolution’ in the Philippines. “ The color revolution, of course, has been very successful and peaceful when compared to the Arab spring. Yet, it is a genuine revolution seeking change and an end to Mokhabarat [intelligence ] states,” he asserted. He explained that the fall of Ben Ali in Tunisia and Mubarak in Egypt is now widely known as being part of the on-going Arab spring. [The Arab spring is being referred to as the new season (or era) for the Arab people]. “The Arab spring is now in full bloom, continuing the struggle of people from the rest of the region including Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Libya. We have to await for the short and long term out-

A partial view of attendees come,” he added. According to Dr Vatandoust, the Arab spring is a genuine revolution and it came about as a result of 30 to 40 years of repression. “The globalized world of information and internet age, and the expectation of people around the world and citizens have a greater role to play in the Arab Spring. As people demand more accountability, transparency has increased and citizens can no longer tolerate Mokhabarat states. They want a genuine change, an end to corruption, respect for the human dignity/rights,” he added. He pointed out that stability in some countries like Syria, Libya, Yemen and Egypt in the past has been ‘a code word’ for repression and dictatorship. “The West has been silent in order to maintain the status quo and for the sake of peace in the region,” he

continued. He said, temporary stability was a reward to the existing Mokhabarat states (or police states, intelligence). According to Dr Vatandoust, some analysts and observers argued that the Arab spring is somehow connected to Iran’s Green Movement of 2009, which challenged the Islamic Republic of Iran led by Ahmadinejad and bravely took to Tehran’s streets and demanded civil rights and democracy. “Both carry the same but simple demand for change, civil liberty, freedom of speech and other rights. The difference lies in leadership and revolutionary demands. The uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia have been very successful in a matter of days. Other countries managed to contain or perhaps prolong the uprising. Some countries are still waging a war

against their own people and civilian population. The result is yet to be seen in the future, maybe in days, weeks or months,” he said. According to Vatandoust, during the past year, no one challenged the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic’s leadership because they continued to hold regular elections for the president’s office, Parliament and the office of the Municipal Council until 2009. The Green Revolution appeared as most of the election promises of Ahmadinejad was unfulfilled. The Green Revolution of 2009 was a real challenge to the government of Ahmadinejad, “His popularity declined, not just in his home country but in the eyes of the international community as well. The fraudulent elections of 2009 has created greater divide between the government and its people. The support and congregations of several intellectuals to Mir Mousavi was a clear indication of discontent, and a challenge to Ahmadinejad’s leadership. The foreign policy remains the same, but the massive support of the people in the government of Iran no longer prevails,” he added. “So far, some of the members of Green Movement have been suppressed, and some of them were jailed. The senior leaders received long prison terms.” As to what awaits the Arab revolution, Vatandoust argued that no one knows whether the military, which holds temporary power in both Tunisia and Egypt is committed to democratic principles under civilian rule. “We don’t know if the army will surrender power to civilian government. We don’t know what awaits other Arab states. But one thing is sure, the real winners in Arab spring are the youth and its new generation,” he concluded.

Fetal cranial echogram at health centers KUWAIT: The Ministry of Health plans to introduce fetal cranial echogram at health centers soon. Dr Waleed Al-Jassar, Head of Gynecology and Obstetrics Departments Council at Ministry Of Health (MoH) said. Earlier this service was offered only at hospitals. Al-Jassar said the IVF unit at the Maternity Hospital receives 800 cases every year, adding that the this procedure’s success rate is at par with the international ones at 25-30 percent. He said that the ministry will hold training workshops for gynecologists and obstetricians to enhance their knowledge, reported Aljarida. He said that the ministry plans to open new units in Jahra and Adan hospital. Plans are on the anvil to renovate the IVF center at the maternity hospital and is expected to open at the start of next year.

KUWAIT: Under the auspices of the Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmed Al-Homoud Al-Sabah and with the attendance of undersecretary, Lt Gen Ghazi Al-Omar, the Police Staff Institute yesterday celebrated the graduation of 56 female warrant officers.

Electricity tariff rates to be hiked KUWAIT: The Council of Ministers has been reviewing a proposal to increase water and electricity tariffs after dividing consumers into four categories. The first pertains to simple consumption that includes owners of residential apartments, and moderate commercial consumption. The second section covers all the above-mentioned with an increase of 30 percent for Kuwaitis. The third group will cover all activities whose consumption exceeds 500 kilowatt daily. The fourth and the last group will include the highest consumers of water and electricity, commercial and investment complexes will fall under this category. The Council may approve this decision after studying it in MEW, and referring it to the Council of Ministers. This is to avoid the extravagant use of water and electricity, and help reduce power overload, especially the government’s share in subsidizing water and electricity prices, reported Alshahed. Officials said that an increase in prices would be made by 20 to 50 percentage according to the category, with special consideration accorded to factories so that they do not increase the prices of products.



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TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011


Kuwait’s FM calls for more UNSC reforms ‘Uniting for Consensus’ ROME: Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah stressed here yesterday the need for further reform of the UN Security Council to reflect new global realities with an end to the use of veto power and observance of small States, which represent more than half of the international community. Addressing the meeting of the Group of “Uniting for Consensus”, Sheikh Mohammad said that despite the passage of about 18 years of discussions aimed to expand the membership of the Security Council and improve its working methods’ resulting in many initiatives, the international community was unable to achieve any significant progress, despite the great efforts made.

191 Khalifa school students receive ASDAN certificates By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: The Khalifa School held an awards ceremony for 191 students in which the ASDAN certificate was distributed at its premises in Salmiya yesterday. Students were awarded certificates for participating in different activities. After a recitation of Kuwait’s National Anthem, Hamra Khan, Principal of the Khalifa School delivered a welcome speech on the occasion. The students were accompanied by caretakers to receive awards on stage. ASDAN is a British program that provides opportunities to all learners in order to develop their personal and social attributes. There are seven levels of the NEW HORIZON AWARD. In addition, some students were awarded the ‘ Transitional Challenge Award’ and the ‘ Towards Independence Award.’ “We thank you very much for supporting your child. Your child has worked very hard during the year to meet their goals and achieve this award. Three different types of awards will be given today. New Horizons is a learner-centered program, offering structure and flexibility within a framework in Personal, Social, and Health modules. ‘Transitional Challenge’ develops and accredits independent living and personal skills for learners. ‘Towards independence’ provides a framework of activities through which personal, social and independence skills can be developed, including accrediting teachers, and specialists in different departments. They worked with your child on a daily basis,” noted Hamra Khan. This academic year, 2010-2011, the entire school enrolled into the ASDAN program, and a total of 191 students received the award. Khalifa School For Special Needs was founded in 1988. It is recognized as the first private educational institution for special needs students in Kuwait. It provides the latest educational programs and support services adapted to the requirements of a multi-cultural and multi-lingual society, which prepares disabled students with mental handicap and multiple disabilities to develop and improve in life skills and functional academic areas, to be able to participate in daily-life activities as independently as possible. Currently, there are 191 students of both girls and boys registered at the Khalifa School. They range from 3 to 21 years old. Their mental and physical challenges

KUWAIT: A handicapped student receiving his award.

KUWAIT: A Down Syndrome student being awarded by the principal. —Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat include, but are not limited to Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Developmental Delay, and Down’s Syndrome.

Al-Buseiri opens second forum on Arab coordinative bodies KUWAIT: Oil Minister and Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs Dr Mohammad Al-Buseiri yesterday opened the second forum for coordinative bodies between governments and parliaments in Arab countries. The gathering, lasting until May 18, is themed “Coordination Mechanisms between Governments and Parliaments - Future Aspects”. “We in Kuwait are honored to host the forum after being hosted by the UAE last year. The first forum laid foundation for our joint efforts in supporting cooperation frameworks between governments and parliaments. “We should make use of this foundation in forging an effective and permanent partnership that would guarantee continuing coordination and exchange of expertise

that would, in turn, serve our goals of establishing government-parliament concepts of integration,” Minister Al-Buseiri noted in a speech. The three-day forum will include morning and afternoon sessions that would discuss working papers for participating countries. Al-Buseiri, in a statement to reporters after the inauguration, said state ministries for parliament affairs are “most significant” among all ministries due to its vital role in finding common ground between the legislative and executive branches in any democratic country. Such relation, he pointed out, “usually tends to embody a pull-push approach; a state of cooperation with differences of opinion sometimes”. — KUNA

Call to review KAC privatization KUWAIT: Two experts have called for a professional review of the privatization of Kuwait Airways, in view of the difficulties it is currently facing. They opine that it will need fresh funds from the government and the state is liquidating it instead of providing it with adequate support. They said that the private sector needs organization and training, so that the government can offer it sufficient help. Chairman of the Financial and Economic Committee at the National Assembly MP Dr Yousuf Al-Zalzalah said the privatization of

KAC faces many problems which is why it requires more attention and said that he is “not for privatization”. Nasser Al-Nafisi, Director General at AlJuman Center for Economic Consultations said KAC privatization should be done within fixed governance and standards, and should not have any loose ends. He also said the private sector needs organization in order to have the government support it, and in his view “the private sector is not ready for state support”. — Al-Annahar

‘Double effort’ required to build KUWAIT: Senior officials at the Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW) have received instructions from the Minister of Housing Affairs to put more effort to finalize housing welfare projects which are a part of the state’s development plan. Deputy Prime Minister for Economic, Minister of Development and Minister of Housing Affairs Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad AlSabah reportedly held a lengthy meeting with the PAHW officials on Thursday, during which he focused on the remaining proj-

ects in the housing development plan. “The minister highlighted the importance of cooperation between senior officials to complete housing projects, as well as the significance of maintaining efforts pertaining to building new residential areas”, said sources within the PAHW with knowledge of the meeting’s results. Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad has reportedly pointed out that “double effort” is required for projects to build the new Sabah Al-Ahmad, Khairan, and Mutla’a areas. — Al-Qabas

He pointed out that the differences which are still ongoing among the international actors have deepened the gap, which he said is not easy to fill without the political will and without providing tangible concessions by all parties to bring positions closer in order to reach compromises to achieve the desired objectives of the reform of the UN Security Council. He summarized these objectives in four key points so that the Council be more representative of the Member States of the United Nations and reflects the international reality which has changed a lot since the establishment of the Organization and enhances the Council’s ability to perform its core functions in the maintenance of international peace and securit y in addition to enhancing its effectiveness and efficiency in decision-making and quick response to face the dangers that threaten security and global stability and transparency. He said it is unfor tunate that ever yone agrees that the S ecurit y Council reform became an

Sheikh Dr Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah

urgent necessity that can not be postponed due to the large increase in the number of Member States of the United Nations and the major changes in the balance of power, while each party continues to stick to its position for the past 18 years without taking signifi-

cant steps forward. Based on this, Sheik h Mohammed called upon in his speech, for “starting real and serious negotiations” with a little distance from the positions that are driven by narrow national interests and the attempt to impose solutions

that do not enjoy consensus, or at least accepted by the vast majority of Member States. He said that the State of Kuwait has announced on several occasions its frank positions of the process of reform of the Security Council with the positions that contributed to the development of regional groups to which we belong such as the Arab and Islamic Groups and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). He noted that Kuwait underlined several times the need and importance of taking the concerns of small states into consideration as they have not had the oppor tunity to the membership of the Council and contribute to its work even though they constitute more than half the number of Member States of the United Nations. In this context, he stressed that to reach consensus on the number of seats to be increased and the categories of membership and the question of the veto remains a crucial problem and the real challenge for all countries. —KUNA

TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011

LOCAL Kuwait Digest

Security pact or political reform? By Ahmed Essa


ut of the blue, the GCC leaders’ consultative summit approved Jordan’s and Morocco’s requests to join the council despite the impossibility of such an act unless member states unanimously agree to amend Article No 1 of the GCC chart. This means that, in case the request was accepted, the council’s name will have to be changed to a new one which will reflect the security formula that is about to be formed to protect the regimes of member states from the aftermath of the successful Arab revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. Hence, it would be absolutely untrue to say that the motive for the new security pact is to respond to Iranian provocations. All GCC states have joint military agreements with the West. Some have joint defense treaties with the US (SOFA), which has fixed military bases in most of them with the aim of protecting America’s mutual interests. In addition, GCC states have made what’s worth $ 123 billion of armament contracts with the US with the aim of ‘ Enhancing US’ regional allies’ military abilities and containing Iran’s influence’. Furthermore, Iran is currently too busy with domestic problems and cannot impose a real threat to the regional countries. Besides, since geographic and historic ties cannot be substituted with the constantly changing international interests, reason and logic mandate us to not antagonize the neighboring country: Iran. It is noteworthy here to remember that the GCC was established under similar circumstances in 1981 when the GCC leaders formed it to function as a shield against regional regimes. Ever since its establishment on May 21, 1981 in Abu Dhabi, the council has failed to turn into a real confederation that would meet the aspirations of the Gulf people, who already share the same social and cultural aspects. Finally, history has proven that bidding on security treaties to protect political regimes is a bad idea. Instead, more spotlight should be placed on public acceptance and constitutional legitimacy. Taking into consideration that GCC regimes are different from those in other Arab countries in terms of public appeal, what is really needed to avoid the negative impact of regional changes, is that GCC regimes conduct comprehensive political reforms that would involve more public contribution in power and decision-making and even and fair distribution of national wealth. — Al-Jarida


in brief

‘Co-operative societies report altered’ KUWAIT: A lawmaker stated recently that the report released by the Parliament’s health committee on the Co-operative Societies Law is starkly different from what was agreed upon during the panel’s last meeting. He insisted that the report be deliberately altered, reported Al-Rai. Speaking to the press, MP Mubarak Al-Waalan said that he would broach the issue with the Parliament during Tuesday’s session “in order to expose those involved.” Meanwhile, Al-Waalan announced that he would decide where he stands based on the grilling motion filed by fellow lawmakers Adel AlSaraawi and Marzouq Al-Ghanim to Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs. Jordan replaces Egypt in military training KUWAIT: Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defense and National Guard personnel will not take training courses in Egypt this year. Instead, the training and educational courses for these personnel will be held in Jordan. According to credible sources, the joint decision was taken for two main reasons. First is the current political situation in Egypt following the public revolution and the second being, this decision will prepare Jordan for GCC responsibilities. NA delegation concludes visit to UAE ABU DHABI: Visiting Kuwaiti National Assembly Secretariat delegation, headed by Secretary General Allam Al-Kandari, concluded an official visit to the UAE, during which the delegation got acquainted with work mechanisms of the country’s Federal National Council to upgrade the performance of the Kuwaiti parliament. In a statement, Al-Kandari said the delegation took note of the UAE experience and will discuss possibility of implementing some ideas applied here. He added that both sides agreed to form a team tasked with unifying visions between the two legislative bodies.

Palestinians consider joining GCC after state creation Praise for Arab support By A Saleh KUWAIT: Palestine may consider joining the GCC once a Palestinian independent state is created, Naeem Abol Homs, Cabinet Secretary General from the Palestinian Authority, remarked yesterday. He added that the idea would be deliberated upon. Furthermore, Abol Homs stressed that Arab support to the Palestinians was so significant at this particular stage. He also stressed the need for financial and economic support to help establish a Palestinian state with its capital in the Holy City of Jerusalem. “We need Arab support to build our infrastructure including an airpor t, a harbor and a safe passage between Gaza Strip and the West Bank, in addition to housing, transport and commercial exchange with Arab coun-

tries,” he asserted. New election law MP Salem Al-Namlan said that the parliamentar y defense and interior committee had reviewed 12 proposals and two draft laws that proposed amendments to be made to the parliamentary elections law. He added that the motions would be voted again on Sunday, stressing that 75 percent of lawmakers and cabinet members already approve of new amendments. Committee slams govt The parliamentary committee for the affairs of citizens with special needs, criticized the absence of Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, First Deputy PM, Minister of Defense and the Chairman of the Supreme Council for the Handicapped. He had been invited to a meeting with the committee to discuss

Visitors evincing keen interest on works by Munira Al-Rumeihi

expenditure that totals to over KD 274,000 in unaccounted ways. MoE hotline number The Minister of Education and Higher Education, Ahmed Al-Mulaifi stressed on the significance of transparency in handling various educational issues. He also noted that he fully accepted different opinions and constructive criticism. In addition, Al-Mulaifi announced that the ministry has allocated a special hotline number to deal with educationrelated complaints from students, parents, teaching staff members and all ministry employees through SMS messages sent to number 67779339. “The employee in charge of receiving the complaints will pass them on to me personally and follow up measures will be taken into full consideration,” asserted Al-Mulaifi.

Mai Al-Farhan presenting her photographic perspective.

Kuwaiti creativity at its best in exhibition KUWAIT: Creativity was at its best, as a batch of Kuwaiti artists displayed their artwork through ‘No Boundaries... Young Kuwaiti Talents’ exhibition, which began at the Fa Gallery here. “The aim of holding the exhibition is to support and encourage young Kuwaiti talent and place them in the spotlight as an incentive for them to carry on with art careers,” Galler y Coordinator Abdulrazzaq ElKadiri said. The week-long exhibition, which opened late Sunday, showcases an infusion of art pieces crafted by a galaxy of young Kuwaiti debutantes. They are Munira Al-Rumeihi, Mohammad Ramadan, Dina Qabazard, Ali Al-Sarraf, Khaled Al-Sehali, Mai Al-Farhan and Mohammad Sharaf. Their works varied from portrait, to photography, to graphic design. The exhibition will last

until May 22. On the standard of choosing participants, El-Kadiri said that it was based on “harmony among artwork, as most of them embodied concerns and ambitions of the young generation. To add to that is humane awareness and deep interaction with reality.” “Finding those talents was not easy. The art-hunt included universities, blogs, and even posting an ad on Facebook,” he pointed out. Figurative paintings by AlRumeihi, Ramadan and Qabazard were all eye-catching, captivating and finely-detailed, landing the observer at a ‘twilight’ zone. Al-Rumeihi said that one of her works; ‘Dreaming Another Tomorrow,’ illustrated ‘Arab Spring,’ as it portrays a princess (hope) guarded by ten knights (in reference to the revolutions sweeping the Arab world).

Meanwhile, the three paintings of Ramadan focused on human existence and is symbolic relation with other creatures, which, according to him, “is the most beautiful in man and the mirror for his soul and abstract being.” However, Qabazard, who studied Fine Arts in the United States, said that her artwork dealt with “people racing to change their outer looks.” The exhibition also featured Al-Sarraf ’s (End of March 8); a black and white photographic endeavor, which he described as a ‘personal dramatic experience shot by film camera.’ Al-Farhan and Al-Sehali, the youngest among the participants, also presented their photographic perspective. On the other hand, Sharaf ’s graphic design projects used screen printing. He said that his works “aim to deliver political and social notes in a sarcastic man-

Dina Qabazard with two of her works

A painting by Mohammad Ramadan

VIVA launches new service package KUWAIT: VIVA, Kuwait Telecom Co announced the launch of new prepaid bundles that include voice calls, local text messages and Internet with prepaid subscriptions on both on a weekly and monthly basis. This unique offer aims to provide current and new prepaid customers with the best value. This latest offer grants subscribers 150 minutes of local voice calls, 150

(SMS) local text messages in addition to 250 MB for KD3 a week. Also, the subscriber can get 500 minutes of local voice calls, 500 local text messages plus 500 MB for KD10 a month. Furthermore, VIVA seeks to serve various segments of the market by providing its customers with the offers that meet their requirements, in order to creating an enjoyable experience with

the most advanced telecommunication services. With easy subscription methods, customers who wish to subscribe SMS “1” to 232 for the weekly bundle or “2” for the monthly bundle. Individuals who are interested in further information about such unique offers and the latest VIVA products can visit any of the VIVA branches and authorized dealers or visit the VIVA website.

Help Palestinians get back their rights: Al-Deqbasi

Jail Quran center reopened KUWAIT: A Quran studies center at the Central Jail which had been closed temporarily following the escape of an inmate a couple of weeks ago, was reopened recently following coordination between the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs. This was announced by Mohammad Al-Omar, Head of the Islamic studies department at the MAIA who wished for a collaboration between both ministries. Allowances for non-Kuwaiti staff KUWAIT: The Minister of Public Works and State Minister of Municipality Affairs Dr Fadhel Safar has requested for a list with names of non-Kuwaiti employees deserving allowances, to be sent to the Civil Service Commission for their allowances to be enforced. “[ The minister] has recently chaired a meeting with the [Kuwait Municipality’s] coordinative committee during which a discussion was held on the electronic archiving project”, said Hassan Abdulkaree, Director of the minister’s office in a recent statement. He also said that the minister requested a list of staff members who can be shifted to work in departments that are in need to their field of specialty.

some suggestions on the committeeís agenda, “We fully regret such an attitude that hinders the committee work and hold the government fully responsible for neglecting the handicapped individual’s issues,” stressed the committee in a special statement issued by the Committee Chairman, MP Ali AlDeqbasi. Diwan expenses The parliamentary public funds protection committee yesterday held its 22nd meeting chaired by Chairman MP Musallam Al-Barrak. He said that the committee had inquired with the Defense Ministry about two cargo airplanes’ deal. The feedback report included many surprises. Furthermore, AlBarrak stressed that the committee would extend its review of the expenses of HH the Crown Prince’s Diwan over the

KUWAIT: Drugs Control General Department officers arrested three Asians including one in Bneid Al-Qar area when he tried to sell heroin to an undercover source. He led the police to his accomplices and 500 grams of heroin were found on them. They revealed that they worked for a central prison inmate. — Photo by Hanan Al-Saadoun

KUWAIT: Speaker of the Arab Parliament and Kuwaiti lawmaker Ali Al-Deqbasi urged all parliaments and organizations around the world to support the rights of Palestinians in their quest to reclaim their legitimate rights. In an official statement marking the 63rd anniversary of the nakba, Al-Deqbasi reminisced “the most brutal robbery and displacement operation in history ”, on the day when more than 700,000 Palestinian civilians were forced out of their villages. “Zionist gangs and Haganah terrorist brigades carried out an organized terrorist operation on Palestinian land in 1948 and displaced its native people out of their homes”, he added. Al-Deqbasi called upon the United Nations, the Arab League, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the African Union to work “for the return of the legitimate Palestinian rights in accordance with international regulations and the Arab peace initiative”. He further said that Palestinian rights abused “are not entitled to be annulled over time”, noting that “what the Zionist regime did against the Palestinian people is an illegitimate robbery of legitimate rights”. Moreover, Al-Deqbasi expressed optimism regarding the recent Palestinian reconciliation agreement between rivaling Fatah and Hamas, hoping that this deal would be a prelude to the declaration of an independent Palestinian state. — Al-Rai

Japan thanks Arabs for earthquake aid TOKYO: The Japanese government has thanked Arab countries for their support and in the wake of the March 11 devastating earthquake and tsunami, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday. Senior Vice Foreign Minister Chiaki Takahashi expressed his deep appreciation for various support, sympathy and encouragement from Arab countries in his recent meeting with Palestinian Ambassador and the dean of the diplomatic corps in Tokyo Waleed Siam and Omani Ambassador Khalid Al-Muslahi, who represented Arab diplomats, the ministry said in a statement. Takahashi also thanked for the donation of JPY 2 million ($25,000) from the Arab diplomatic corps, and delivered the letter of appreciation from Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto to the corps. The official also confirmed Japan’s determination to overcome this difficult situation. In response, Siam and Al-Muslahi offered their condolences for the victims of the magnitude 9.0-earthquake and ensuing tsunami, saying, “The support from Arab countries demonstrates our appreciation for the past support from Japan to Arab countries and friendship between Japan and Arab.” Meanwhile, the Kuwaiti Embassy in Tokyo held a charity bazaar aimed at raising funds for the March 11 disaster victims over the weekend, which achieved a great success. The proceeds from the humanitarian charity are to be donated to the disaster-affected areas through the Japanese Red Cross Society. Kuwait is the only Arab country whose embassy here hosts a charity bazaar for the victims from the March 11 tragedy. — KUNA



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KUWAIT: A delegation from the Mubarak Al-Abdullah Joint Commandment and Staff College, headed by Col Abdul Hameed Mohammed Al-Awadhi visited KUNA headquarters yesterday. They were received by the Chairman of Board and Director, Sheikh Mubarak Al-Duaij Al-Sabah. Both sides discussed the agency’s work process.

Kuwait Digest

Premier’s grilling won’t be debated today By B Izzak

Kuwait’s UNHRC membership By Abdulmuhsin Jamaal


he chances of Kuwait’s membership being accepted to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on May 20 are high, after it was unanimously nominated by the Asian Group. This nomination puts Kuwait ahead of a new challenge: to prove its commitment to human rights regulations, and work for the enforcement of its role at local and international levels. The UNHRC’s duty is to monitor the states’ performances in the field of human rights. This is the first time that Kuwait has been nominated to represent the Asian continent. This membership will give a huge boost to human rights organizations and activists in Kuwait to continue with their efforts in this field. Kuwait is one of the few countries that boasts of a human rights committee in the Parliament, in addition to hosting active organizations that try to detect errors committed in this field. Their nomination for membership to the UNHRC will now require Kuwait to put in extra efforts to solve pending human rights issues, including that of stateless residents (bedoons), domestic workers’ troubles, unemployed labor forces and other subjects that are usually mentioned in international human rights reports. Upon its nomination for UNHRC membership, Kuwait has received praise for its commitment to human rights issues, especially for its continuous efforts to find solutions for different problems so as to reinforce human rights in Kuwaiti society. If accepted, Kuwait will become a full member in 2014. It currently comprises 74 members. — Al-Qabas

Co-op union chief hails new law KUWAIT: The new law regulating works of the co-operative societies, recently approved by the parliament, is on the right track, said Dr Hassan Al-Duwaihees, the Chairman of the Cooperative Societies Union, yesterday. Dr Al-Duwaihees said in an interview that the newly-introduced modifications were intended to serve interests of all parties involved in the sector. He was all praise for strict measures against law violations and irregularities which affect the cooperative profession in general. Al-Duwaihees said that hiking age and academic qualifications for nominated board members were originally some of the demands that had been made by the Ministry of Social Affairs since 1996. One of the most salient features of the new law is to boost democracy through elections instead of appointing members, except in the case of dissolving the board, he said. Regarding the case of single -vote elec tion, AlDuwaihees indicated that this was another positive manifestation as it would tackle “tribalism and sectarianism,” and serve the predominant trend of having represen t a t i on of a l l se gm e n ts o f th e s o ci e t y w h i l e attempting to minimize errors, and irregularities. The union robustly supports the new penalties because illegal acts by former board members affected shareholders’ trust, he said. On the topic of increasing membership age from 21 to 30, the chairperson said that the authority would favor a more mature member with greater experience to promote better business. — KUNA

KUWAIT: The grilling of Prime Minister HH Sheikh Nasser AlMohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah will not be discussed today and the government is weighing different options on how to deal with it, State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Ali Al-Rashed said yesterday. Rashed said that the grilling will not be debated today because the legal period of eight days since it was submitted last Tuesday, May 10, has not lapsed. The period will end tomorrow and the government is highly expected to demand a delay in the debate for at least one week. The minister said that a team of legal consultants has been assigned to study the constitutional and legal aspects regarding the grilling and the study will be submitted to the Cabinet next Sunday. The council will then take the appropriate decision regarding the grilling including the possibility of referring it to the constitutional court to rule if parts of it breach the constitution or not. The grilling could also be referred to the legal and legislative committee of the National Assembly to

Kuwait praises ALO chief on re-election CAIRO: Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice, Social Affairs and Labor Mohammad Al-Efasi has left here following participation in the 38th session of the Arab Labor Organization (ALO). The Kuwaiti minister had called on the ALO to move forward on the implementation of resolutions and recommendations that come out from it for the sake of achieving a decent life for the Arab citizen. Al-Afasi had said the ALO ought to activate and implement all the resolutions and recommendations issued by its various sessions, rejecting at the same time the call for a meeting without any outcome that serves the Arab nation. Al-Afasi pointed out that what is being witnessed in a number of Arab countries of revolutions was the result of frustration as well as lack of implementation of various decisions of the various Arab organizations to reduce their problems and suffering. During the meeting, ALO Director General Ahmad Lukman was re-elected for a second term in office. The Kuwaiti minister said the GCC minister of labor and social affairs had announced their support for Lukman’s re-election for a new term during a recent meeting in Bahrain. — KUNA

Awqaf, Interior Ministry work to secure mosques KUWAIT: The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs has collaborated with the Interior Ministry to protect mosques from defacement in the wake of recent incidents in which a number of places were subjected to vandalism. Meanwhile, the Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Mohammad Al-Numas has reportedly instructed senior ministry officials to make sure that imams and muezzins at all mosques in Kuwait are made aware of the importance of doubling efforts to protect the worship places from violations. The MAIA has distributed a declaration to directors of mosques departments at each governorate. The document instructs them to focus on protecting national unity while preaching religious sermons, and ensure that unauthorized persons don’t take the podium and address worshippers without authorization. — Al-Qabas

‘Spy cell members’ confessions were forced’ KUWAIT: The Appeals Court has adjourned a case pertinent to a clandestine cell that was busted in Kuwait. June 6 has been set as the date for the next trial. During Sunday’s hearing, the court approved a request made by the Public Prosecution Department seeking access to records that show entrance and exit times of Iranian Embassy’s personnel.

Meanwhile, defendants testified that their previous confessions had been forced, indicating that they were subjected to torture in order to plead guilty to charges pressed. A representative from the Public Prosecution Department (PPD) rejected these allegations, insisting that no state security or intelligence personnel were present when the suspects admitted to their involvement, report-

ed Al-Qabas. Sunday ’s hearing was the first, after the seven convicts appealed against a First Degree Court’s verdict sentencing three of them to death. They were pronounced guilty of taking pictures of military institutions and other organizations of vital importance as part of espionage activities conducted on behalf of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

decide whether the grilling is in line with the constitution and other Kuwaiti laws. Any decision will certainly delay the debate of the grilling until it becomes absolutely clear whether the grilling can be debated or not. The government’s attitude towards the grilling of the prime minister and that of the deputy premier and state minister for housing and development Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahd AlSabah has triggered strong reactions from MPs. The liberal Democratic Forum called on the two officials to face the grillings and to halt attempts aimed at undermining the constitution and its powers. Secretary general of the forum Yousef Al-Shayeji said the Forum rejects attempts to involve the constitutional court in political controversies by asking it to interpret constitutional articles without any urgent need. Shayeji called on the prime minister and Sheikh Ahmad to face the grillings in an open debate in the Assembly and explain any constitutional reservations during the debate itself. The Islamic Constitutional Movement (ICM) also reiterated its support to the two grillings, saying they have raised

important issues. Spokesman of the Popular Action Bloc MP Musallam Al-Barrak said that any move by the government to refer the grillings to the constitutional court or the Assembly’s legislative committee amounts to amending the constitution and an attempt to prevent MPs from exercising their constitutional powers. Barrak said that the constitutional court had already ruled on the issue and decided that grillings are part of the parliament functions and thus it is not acceptable to refer every grilling to the constitutional court. He also added that the legislative committee cannot be higher than the constitutional court to decide whether a particular grilling is against the constitution. Barrak was speaking following a meeting of the Assembly public funds protection committee which discussed allegations of misappropriation of funds by employees at the office of the crown prince. He said that further meetings will be held on the issue after the committee found that employees received huge amounts in cash in a clear violation of the law.



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local kuwait digest

Be careful, I’ll deport you! By Mudaffar Abdullah


e have often heard about threats made against housemaids, workers or nonKuwaiti employees about being deported if an act perceived as being offensive to the sponsor is committed. ‘I will deport you,’ ‘I’ll take you to the police station’ and ‘I’ll fire you’ are some of the endless threats that sponsors issue to show off their might and influence. Unfortunately, some public servants put these threats into practice, be them civilian or military. We have often heard about someone teaching their driver or housemaid a lesson. Some company owners have deported employees merely because they failed to comply with simple requests. In my opinion, the residence permit law number 17/1959 is the source of all ‘threats.’ It mandated that expatriates be sponsored by a citizen who exercises sole authority over ‘giving and taking’ and ought to be obeyed to avoid deportation. Articles 16-22 have accorded more strengths to sponsors than expatriate workers or employees. Article 17 states, “Deportation may also include dependant family members.” Article 18 stipulates, “A deported expatriate may be detained for a maximum of thirty days if necessary.” Article 15 authorizes sponsors to recruit new laborers. This is the kind of power balance we are talking about. It is the source of all aforementioned threats made liberally against expatriates. Local dailies are full of stories about sponsors avenging expatriates with the assistance of public servants. This practice is so detrimental to the reputation of state establishments that are used to frighten and intimidate non-Kuwaitis. So, instead of safeguarding public security, policemen are being turned into scarecrows to terrify expatriates. What we really hope for, is that our government will be able to sustain its facilities’ good reputation by punishing those who abuse authority. Public facilities and establishments have been built to serve both citizens and expatriates, not to intimidate the latter by entering into a partnership between public servants and a citizen who possesses the title of ‘sponsor.’ We also hope that the sponsorship system will be scrapped soon. Probably that will happen within the next forty years! — Aljarida

Al-Anjari to head Kuwait’s delegation at Qatar forum KUWAIT: The Qatar International Business Women Forum will begin today in Doha, as it focuses on the second year of increasing the role played by businesswomen and female business owners, and its effect on Arab World’s economies. The two-day event will take place under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned, Chairperson of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. They will discuss the most recent issues pertinent with helping women achieve economic success in the Arab World. The forum is distinguished by the fact

that it includes a number of high level participants and guests, who have opted to take part in this year’s event. Meanwhile, the CEO of Leaders Group Nabila Al-Anjari was selected to be one of the speakers of the event. She reflects the prominent role that Kuwaiti women play in the field of business. A political and economic expert with long experience in leadership, she has held previous posts such as the assistant undersecretar y for tourism affairs at Kuwait’s Ministry of Information. Al-Anjari is expected to shed light on the concept of leadership through emotional intelligence; the ability to identify,

assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups. The forum will also feature the participation of a Saudi delegation led by Princess Haila bint Abdulrahman AlSaud, as well as a delegation from the United Arab Emirates led by CEO of AlJaber Group, Fatima Al-Jaber. The event will also be attended by a Lebanese delegation led by MP Bahiya Al-Hariri, as well as delegations from Turkey, Bahrain, Jordan, Iraq, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, United States, Russia, Ukraine, France, United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland, Brazil, South Africa, Cyprus and Germany.

Nabila Al-Anjari

Burglar caught watching television in Fintas house Police rescue kidnapped female citizen KUWAIT: A citizen caught a thief inside his house who had stopped to watch television in the living room instead of robbing and escaping. The Fintas home owner was upstairs when he was alerted by the increasing sound volume of the TV downstairs. He was shocked to see a stranger standing in front of the TV in the living room. When confronted, the intruder was cooperative with the home owner who demanded that the two head to the area’s police station. Even there, the thief was very cooperative with the police who filed the case against him. Suicide bid An inmate at the Central Jail was rushed to the Farwaniya Hospital in a critical condition after he slashed his wrist in a bid to commit suicide. The man was found bleeding heavily inside his cell by fellow cellmates, who immediately alerted the guards. A sharp razor that the inmate used in his suicide bid was found inside the cell and a case was filed. Rapist caught Police arrested a kidnapper who abducted and raped a female citizen earlier this month. Investigations were underway

after the victim reported to officials that she was lured to a Sabah Al-Salem apartment by a man she met at a Sharq coffee shop. She revealed that she wanted his assistance in witchcraft and contacted him. Police attempted to trap the suspect by making a female undercover agent contact him to hire his services. The suspect initially had switched off his phone but contacted the undercover agent a few days later and the two set a date to meet at a Hawally coffee shop. The suspect fell perfectly in the trap and was apprehended by Mubarak AlKabeer investigation officers. It was revealed that the suspect, who denied the rape accusations, is in his twenties and unemployed. Kidnap foiled Hawally police were recently able to free a female citizen who was locked inside a Salmiya apartment after being kidnapped in Sabah Al-Nasser. Officers rushed to a location provided by the victim in an emergency call, where she said that she was locked by two male suspects who physically assaulted her after kidnapping her. The suspects were detained, and the victim was referred to the nearest medical facility to get a clinical report to confirm the attack.

Dirty looks A citizen was summoned to the Taima police station where charges were pressed against him by his neighbor who accused him of causing severe damage to his car. During interrogation, the man did not deny the charges and explained that he did so because the complainant had looked at his wife ‘in a bad way ’. The neighbor defended himself by indicating that he accidently looked at the citizen’s wife. A property damage case was filed. Stolen equipment Police are currently looking for thieves who stole equipment from an excavation site in Qash’aniya, wor th more than KD200,000. Officers headed to the location after the project’s Jordanian manager reported the missing equipment and opined that they might have been stolen during the weekend when workers had a day off. Beauty turns ugly Two female citizens filed a case against workers at a beauty salon in Al-Jabriya, accusing them of physical assault. In their statement to officers, the two sisters said that they were angry with the salon owner

after she refused to refund the money they paid for some beauty treatment. The staff had forgotten to book a place for them and they were forced to stand in line which left them irked. The women added that the dispute soon turned violent when at least 10 other workers stood up for their manager and kicked the two out of the salon. Employee drugged A case was filed at the Hawally police station after a woman reported being sexually assaulted by the son of her employer. The Filipina woman who works at a company in the area explained to police that she was approached at her office by the son of the company’s owner, who offered her a glass of orange juice which put her to sleep. The woman said that she discovered upon waking up that she was assaulted sexually and added that the suspect threatened her at knifepoint to sign a promissory which he said he would use if she reported the incident to police. O fficers referred the complainant for a forensic check to confirm her allegations before summoning the suspect for questioning. — Al-Anba, Al-Watan, Al-Rai

Kuwaiti ambassador Zamanan meets Omani officials MUSCAT: Kuwaiti Ambassador to Oman Salem AlZamanan met with Head of the Sultanate’s Bureau Lt Gen Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Nomani and Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bader bin Hamad Al-Busaidi yesterday to discuss means to cement bilateral ties between the Sultanate and the State of Kuwait. The discussions between the two sides dealt with means of boosting mutual cooperation and distinguished ties between the two GCC states, as well as various issues of common concern and regional affairs. Al-Zamanan said the Omani officials welcomed him in his second homeland Oman and praised brotherly relations between both countries. He said his talks with Al-Busaidi covered the bilateral relations with both countries and means to further develop cooperation and exchange points of view on issues of mutual interest. He noted that relations between Kuwait and Oman continuously grow on all levels — political, economic, educational, cultural and social. — KUNA

KISR opens registration for youth program KUWAIT: Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) announced Sunday start of registration for a program aiming to build the capacity of youth researchers at the scientific, engineering and medical domains. The program, devised in collaboration with the US association of science, engineering and medicine, aims to enhance exchanges between the Arab and US researchers in these domains and keep in pace with the scientific achievements worldwide, according to a statement issued by KISR. The program also aims to encourage the development of partnerships among the scientific research institutions of both sides through scholarships and financial assistances. It include a series of meetings, symposium and forums planned to be jointly held during the coming five years including the first conference on the Arab-US scientific cooperation program due between Oct 17 and 19. The youth researchers who will attend the conference will be entitled to financial assistance and career opportunities in the framework of the cooperation program and the partnerships between the institutions of both sides. The conference will gather scientists of the age category 30-45 years, from all Arab countries and the United States. — KUNA

TEC officials pose with the Blood Bank team.

TEC employee Khalid Al-Hasawi donates blood.

TEC blood donation campaign at Shaab Club KUWAIT: The Touristic Enterprises Company (TEC) resumed a blood donation drive that was recently launched in cooperation with the Kuwait Central Blood Bank, with the latest stop being Shaab Sea Club. The campaign had begun on April 29 at the Khairan Resort. In its second stop, mobile vehicles from the Blood Bank’s transfusion department headed to the Shaab Club on May 13. More

than fifty people, including staff and club members, donated blood after undergoing necessary medical tests. The campaign will continue with two other stops, the first of which is set for May 27 at the Green Island, the final stop at Ras Al-Ardh Sea Club on June 3. The TEC urges visitors who are willing to take part in the blood donation campaign, to be present at the two facilities on fixed dates.

TEC official Mohammad Al-Yousuf donates blood. TEC staff take part in blood donation drive.

Blood samples are taken from donors for testing.

A Blood Bank employee takes a blood sample from TEC’s Tariq AlMaatouq.

TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011

Blast in Somalia kills five pro-govt troops

Egypt police fire at rally outside Israel Embassy

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Mass grave found in Daraa Tel Kalakh shelled as residents flee to Lebanon

WADI KHALED, Lebanon: Syrian children play a pretend war game after they crossed with their families into northern Lebanon from Syria yesterday fleeing violence in their country. — AFP

AMMAN: Syrian villagers pulled 13 bodies from a mass grave near the southern city of Daraa yesterday, residents said, and tanks pushed into a rural border area in the latest crackdown on protests against President Bashar Al-Assad. Daraa residents say hundreds of people have been missing since tanks and soldiers moved in last month to crush the cradle of opposition to Assad’s 11-year rule. They said villagers digging in farmland in the outskirts of the city uncovered the decomposed bodies of Abdullah Abdul Aziz Aba Zaid, 62, and four of his children, along with the bodies of an unidentified woman and her child. Three residents said the six other bodies found there were those of unidentified men. It was not clear when they died, but Daraa residents say dozens of civilians were killed during the military assault on the city’s old quarter. Syrian and international rights groups say Syrian forces have killed at least 700 civilians across the country since the first protests broke out in Deraa on March 18. The report on the mass grave could not be confirmed independently. Authorities have blamed most of the violence on armed groups backed by Islamists and outside powers, who they say have killed more than 120 members of the security forces. Witnesses in Daraa said tanks were still positioned at main city junctions and in the outskirts, but authorities had shortened the curfew by three hours, allowing people out on the streets until 5.00 pm (1400 GMT). The official Syrian news agency said Assad met a delegation from Daraa and they discussed the “positive atmosphere there as a result of cooperation between the residents and the army”. Further north, at least 15 tanks deployed around Arida, near the border town of Tel Kalakh which troops entered on Saturday after

protests erupted against Assad, and their arrival prompted dozens of families to flee into neighbouring Lebanon. An activists’ protest group said at least seven civilians were killed in Tel Kalakh on Sunday when troops shelled the town and sniper fire killed one civilian yesterday, raising the death toll in the army’s assault since Saturday to 12. The Syrian state news agency said five soldiers were killed in confrontations with armed groups in Tel Kalakh. One resident reported intermittent shelling of Tel Kalakh and bursts of machinegun fire yesterday, but the army appeared not to have advanced beyond the outskirts. “Tel Kalakh is a ghost town. There are no doctors. Pharmacies are shut. Snipers are on the roof of the main hospital. Phones, water and electricity are cut,” Mohammad Al-Dandashi told Reuters from the town by satellite phone. A few families from Hilat, another border village, streamed into Lebanon yesterday as did two wounded civilians from Tel Kalakh who were seeking medical care, family members said. For the past two months Syrian soldiers and police have been trying to quell demonstrations across the country calling for Assad’s overthrow. They have tended to crack down on a flashpoint area for several days, using tank and rifle fire and mass arrests to subdue it, and then move on to another area. Troops backed by armour have now deployed in or around towns and villages across the southern Hauran plain, the central province of Homs and areas near the coast. Security forces have also tightened their grip on Damascus and its suburbs. The Lebanese army said it had sent reinforcements to the border, set up checkpoints and started intensive patrols to prevent “infiltration activities on both sides”.— Reuters



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

Israel forces Malaysia aid ship from Gaza coast Vessel retreats to Egypt

SIDON: Palestinian mourners carry the body of a Palestinian man who killed when Israeli soldiers opened fire on Sunday at protesters who approached the northen Israeli border with Lebanon, during a funeral procession at Ein el-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp, in the southern port city of Sidon, southern Lebanon yesterday.—AP

Israel hunts infiltrators after day of bloodshed MAJDAL SHAMS: Hundreds of police fanned out across the Golan Heights yesterday in search of refugees who crossed over from Syria in some of the bloodiest violence in years along Israel’s borders. In Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinian territories, people gathered to mourn the 14 people killed when Israeli troops opened fire on thousands of protesters who sought to breach its northern borders. Hundreds were injured in the occupied Golan Heights, as well as in clashes with Israeli troops in the West Bank and nor thern Gaza Strip as Palestinians marked the anniversary of Israel’s founding in 1948, in an event known in Arabic as the “nakba” or “catastrophe.” Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said house-to-house searches were ongoing yesterday afternoon and roadblocks had been set up around the Golan Heights town of Majdal Shams, where protesters who crossed over from Syria gathered. Yesterday morning, police detained a 34-year-old Syrian, who was trying to leave the town in a taxi driven by a Palestinian from east Jerusalem, he said. Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai told army radio the military remained “in a state of high alert in the north, the south and the centre.” Defence chiefs also extended a 24-hour lockdown on the occupied Palestinian territories which had been due to end at midnight on Sunday. The White House accused Syria yesterday of stoking protests in the Golan Heights as a “distraction” from its repression of anti-government protests, which entered a third month Sunday. The United States is “strongly opposed to the Syrian government’s involvement in inciting yesterday’s protests in the Golan Heights,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters. “Such behavior is unacceptable and does not serve as a distraction from the Syrian government’s ongoing repression of demonstrators in its own country,” Carney said. Sunday’s violence was some of the worst in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights since a 1974 truce accord, and the clashes along the Lebanese border marked the bloodiest confrontation since the 2006 war between the two neighbors. Most of the victims were in

Lebanon, where 10 people were killed and 110 injured when Israeli troops opened fire on people trying to scale the border fence. Another four people were killed when they entered the Golan Heights, along with hundreds of other protesters, Syrian medics said. The Israeli army said “dozens” had been injured in the two incidents, along with 13 soldiers. In Gaza, 125 people were injured, five of them seriously, when troops opened fire as more than 1,000 Palestinians marched on the nor thern Erez crossing. Elsewhere, 29 others were injured in clashes in the West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem. Palestinian refugee camps across Lebanon declared a day of mourning, with shops observing a general strike ahead of the funerals for the 10 victims, which were taking place in four refugee camps yesterday. In the Palestinian territories, President Mahmud Abbas announced a two-hour strike in all public institutions except schools and ordered all Palestinian flags be flown at half-mast. Hassan Nasrallah, head of the Lebanese Shiite militia group Hezbollah praised the protesters, saying they had “given the nakba new meaning,” and Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal, speaking from Damascus, condemned Israel’s “new Zionist crime against our people who were demonstrating peacefully.” Lebanon has filed a complaint with the United Nations, urging it to make Israel “halt its aggression and provocation” while Syria warned that the Jewish state would bear full responsibility for its “criminal” actions. Israel responded by saying it would file its own complaint against both Syria and Lebanon, accusing them of violating Israeli borders. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed deep concern over the violence and urged all sides to show the “utmost responsibility” to avoid new hostilities, a spokesman said. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Jewish state was “determined” to defend its borders against protesters bent on denying Israel’s right to exist. More than 760,000 Palestinians-estimated today to number 4.8 million with their descendants-were pushed into exile or driven out of their homes in the conflict that accompanied the Jewish state’s foundation.—AFP

JERUSALEM: Israeli naval forces fired warning shots at a Malaysian aid ship as it approached the Gaza Strip yesterday, forcing the vessel to retreat to Egypt, organizers and the Israeli military said. “The MV Finch, carrying sewage pipes to Gaza, had warning shots fired at it by Israeli forces in the Palestinian security zone this morning at 6:54 am,” said Shamsul Azhar from the Perdana Global Peace Foundation. “ The vessel was in the Palestinian security zone, about 400 metres from the Gaza shoreline, when they were intercepted by Israeli naval forces,” he told AFP, adding it was now anchored 30 nautical miles away in Egyptian territory. An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed that the vessel, flying a Moldovan flag, had been intercepted as it sailed from Egypt’s El-Arish port, where it had been docked for several days. “A navy patrol boat contacted

the vessel, which claimed to be heading for the Gaza shores. Once it crossed into Israeli naval territory and didn’t answer calls to turn back, warning shots were fired in the air and it returned to El-Arish,” she said. The Perdana Foundation is helmed by former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad, an 85-year-old firebrand who was a strident critic of the West and Israel over the treatment of Palestinians during his two decades in power. The organisation was also involved in the first “Freedom Flotilla,” a May 2010 attempt to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza, which ended in disaster when naval commandos raided the aid ships, killing nine Turks on board one of the vessels. Perdana Foundation officials said the MV Finch left Greece on May 11, carrying plastic pipes to help restore the “devastated” sewage system in Gaza. Alang Bendahara, a Malaysian journalist on board, told AFP that

by the UAE Armed Forces are compliant with international law and relevant conventions,” al-Hamiri said in a statement carried on state news agency WAM. Prince could not be located for comment. Al-Hamiri said contractors have supported the Emirati military in training Iraqi and Afghani security forces, and “have been integral to the successful development of what is a robust military capability of over 40,000 Emirati personnel at a high state of readiness.” Security personnel guarding U.S. diplomats and employed by North Carolina-based Blackwater were involved in an infamous Baghdad square shooting in 2007 that left 17 Iraqis dead. Prince is no longer involved in the firm, now known as Xe Services. He moved to the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi last year. The Associated Press reported in January that Prince was involved in a multimillion-dollar program to train troops to fight pirates in Somalia. That program was financed by several Arab countries, including the United Arab Emirates, according to a person familiar with the project and an intelligence report seen by the AP. — AP

“Malaysia strongly condemns the attack by the Israeli naval forces on the humanitarian aid ship,” he said, calling on Israel “not to take any further drastic and violent military action on the unarmed passengers.” “Malaysia also calls on Israel to ensure a safe passage for the vessel to Gaza to deliver the humanitarian cargo,” he added. Israel has maintained a blockade on the Gaza Strip since 2006, after militants there snatched Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who is still being held. It was tightened a year later when the Islamist Hamas movement seized control of the territory, ousting forces loyal to the Western-backed Palestinian Authority. Israel agreed to relax some of the restrictions in July 2010, following a wave of international pressure after the botched raid on the Freedom Flotilla. The incident sparked heavy criticism of Israel and led to a sharp deterioration in ties between Turkey and the Jewish state.— AFP

Bahrain court adjourns trial of protest activists MANAMA: Bahrain’s special security court yesterday adjourned until next week the trial of 21 opposition leaders and political activists, mostly Shiites, accused of plotting against the state. The suspects , 14 in custody and the others charged in absentia, are accused of attempting to overthrow the 200-year-old Sunni dynasty and of having links to “a terrorist organization abroad.” That is an apparent reference to Iranian-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon, which Bahrain’s rulers have claimed was involved in the strategic island kingdom’s Shiite-led protests earlier this year. Authorities are seeking to prosecute opposition leaders and others after months of clashes and protests in Bahrain, which hosts the US Navy’s 5th Fleet. The 21 accused are being tried in a special security court set up under martial law. Last month, the court sentenced four people to death for killing two policemen during the unrest. Among those on trial are Hassan Mushaima, the leader of Al Haq movement. He was among the first opposition leaders arrested after emergency rule was declared in March to quell weeks of anti-government protests. Mushaima returned from selfimposed exile in late February and immediately joined in street protests that were inspired by revolts against autocratic leaders in Tunisia and Egypt. He and fellow Haq member Abdul Jalil al-Singace were among 25 Shiite activists on trial last year on charges of trying to overthrow the nation’s Sunni rulers. Also on trial are Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, the country’s most prominent human rights activist; Ibrahim Sharif, a key Sunni leader in the kingdom’s Shiite-led opposition; and Ali Abdul Emam, a blogger and founder of a popular discussion forum Bahrain-On-Line. The defendants have entered not guilty pleas. The trial resumes Sunday. The Bahrain News Agency also said yesteday the court has agreed to end solitary confinement for opposition leaders detained following the military crackdown in March. Bahrain’s majority Shiites, who have long demanded a greater political voice and rights, dominated the protests that began in February. They comprise about 70 percent of Bahrain’s population, but are excluded from top government and security posts.—AP

CAIRO: Pro-Palestinian demonstrators clash with Egyptian riot police near the Israeli embassy in Cairo, Egypt, late night Sunday. Egyptian riot police have fired tear gas and live ammunition overnight to disperse some thousands of protesters outside the Israeli Embassy in Cairo. —AP

Egypt police fire at rally outside Israel Embassy CAIRO: Egyptian riot police fired tear gas and live ammunition overnight to disperse thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters outside the Israeli Embassy in Cairo, and a security official said yesterday that at least 185 demonstrators were arrested over allegations of attacking police and vandalism. The rally in Cairo followed calls on Facebook for Arabs to march on Israel on Sunday in support of the Palestinians, who were holding annual ceremonies marking the “nakba,” or “catastrophe,” the term Palestinians use to describe their defeat and displacement in the war surrounding Israel’s 1948 founding. The protesters set fire to an Israeli flag, chanted anti-Israeli slogans and called for the expulsion of Israel’s ambassador and the closure of the embassy. Egypt’s Health Ministry said at least 353 people were hurt outside the embassy, most of them from breathing tear gas. Some protesters had bullet wounds and one was in critical con-

dition, a security official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. Eighteen members of the security forces were injured by thrown rocks. A youth organization that played a key role in the uprising that toppled former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said on its Facebook page that the protest in front of the embassy was “civilized,” and questioned the riot police’s use of force in dealing with the demonstrators. A witness, who wouldn’t give his name out of fear of reprisals, claimed the police used unjustified force. Egypt’s state-run news agency, MENA, said the protesters managed to push aside barricades placed around the embassy building and attempted to storm the embassy itself to tear down the Israeli flag, which prompted the police action. Security forces had used trucks and barricades to close off at least three main roads leading to the embassy.—AP

Iraq violence kills six, wounds 2 Norwegians

UAE defends use of foreign contractors to beef up military DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates yesterday defended the use of foreign military contractors, including one tied to Blackwater’s founder, saying the deals are legal and help it develop a strong armed force. Foreign companies aid the Emirati military through planning, training and operational support, said Gen. Juma Ali Khalaf al-Hamiri, a senior Emirati military official. The comments were in response to a New York Times report saying that the UAE hired Erik Prince, the founder of the company formerly known as Blackwater, to build a standing force of 800 foreign troops. The Gulf federation, an important Arab ally of the United States, currently has agreements with a number of “third parties” that assist its armed forces, alHamiri said. He confirmed that one of the contractors is Reflex Responses, or R2, a company the Times reported was set up by Prince. Other firms employed by the Emirates include companies called Spectre and Horizon, which he said provide training services. “As you would expect of a proactive member of the international community, all engagements of commercial entities

Israeli naval ships fired a volley of gunfire to stop the vessel as it approached the shore. “ The Israeli naval vessel fired a warning shot at us upon approaching and asked us to leave the waters but the ship’s captain refused and the Israelis fired again, circling the MV Finch before firing twice more,” he said. “At that point they threatened the ship’s captain that they would board the vessel and we were forced to turn back, it was lucky that no one was injured. Bendahara said Egyptian officials monitoring the boat had escorted it back to Egyptian waters and then boarded it to inspect its cargo. He said there were 12 people on board the vessel-seven Malaysians, two Irish nationals, two Indians and a Canadian-including anti-war activists and journalists. Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman condemned Israel for preventing the ship from reaching Gaza.

KIRKUK: An Iraqi man inspects the body of a Christian construction worker found dead in the oil-rich ethnically mixed northern city of Kirkuk yesterday after he was kidnapped three days ago. —AFP

BAGHDAD: A spate of attacks in Iraq yesterday k illed six people including a Christian whose body was mutilated while two Norwegians hurt in a Baghdad bomb blast were among at least 16 injured, officials said. The Christian construction worker’s mutilated corpse was found in the ethnically mixed northern oil hub of Kirkuk after he was kidnapped at the weekend. A young boy was also among the dead. An Iraqi guard was killed in the morning explosion in the eastern neighborhood of Baghdad Jadidah that wounded the Norwegians, who were working as consultants for the water resources ministry, an interior ministry official said. A doctor at Al-Kindi hospital in central Baghdad confirmed one person had died and four others, including two foreigners, suffered wounds from a bomb blast but were in stable condition. Hospital officials did not allow journalists access to the building where the wounded were being treated. But a spokesperson for the Norwegian embassy in Baghdad confirmed two of the wounded were Norwegians who were work ing as advisers to the water resources ministry. “They are both getting medical help and will eventually be fine,” the spokesperson said. “One will need an operation on his leg, but will be OK.” In a separate attack, a traffic policeman was killed by gunmen using silenced weapons in the north Baghdad neighborhood of Al-Utayfiyah, the interior ministry official said. Also yesterday, a roadside bomb targeting Baghdad provincial council chief Kamil

al-Zaidi blew up as the politician’s convoy was on the edge of the Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City, according to the official. Eight people were wounded in the attack, including three policemen, but Zaidi was unharmed. Another roadside bomb targeting a police patrol near Al-Wathiq square in central Baghdad wounded four people, including three policemen. And in Kirkuk, insurgents killed and mutilated the Christian construction worker who was kidnapped at the weekend, police and medical officials said. Ashur Issa Yaqub, a 29-year-old Chaldean Christian, had been snatched on Saturday, with his kidnappers demanding a $100,000 ransom. Yaqub was found with his head nearly completely cut off, according to provincial police chief Major General Jamal Taher Bakr and Kirkuk province health chief Sadiq Omar Rasul. Also in Kirkuk province, a Kurdish man was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Tuz Khurmatu, the town’s police chief Colonel Ali al-Hamdani said. It was unclear why the man was targeted. In the main nor thern city of Mosul, separate shootings left an Iraqi soldier and a 12year-old boy dead, and an eight-year-old wounded, a police lieutenant said. Security forces also defused a magnetic “sticky bomb” attached to the car of Mehdi Salah, the chief judge of the provincial criminal court. Violence in Iraq is markedly down from its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks remain common, especially in Baghdad. A total of 211 people were killed in attacks in April, according to official figures.—AFP



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Guatemala massacre leaves 29 people dead Two children, two women among dead GUATEMALA CITY: Assailants killed at least 29 people, decapitating most of the victims, on a ranch in a part of northern Guatemala plagued by drug cartels, national police said Sunday. The massacre took place early Sunday in the town of Caserio La Bomba in Peten province near the Mexico border, according to National Civil Police spokesman Donald Gonzalez. Among the 29 dead were two children and two women. It is one of the worst massacres since the end of Guatemala’s 36year civil war in 1996. Gonzalez said police are investigating whether the attack is related to Saturday’s killing in Peten of Haroldo Leon, the brother of alleged Guatemalan drug boss Juan Jose “Juancho” Leon. “Juancho” Leon was killed in 2008 in an ambush that Guatemalan authorities blame on Mexico’s Zetas drug cartel, which has increasingly wrested control of the drug trade outside Mexico, at times by eliminating their competition. Guatemalan police said the victims of Sunday’s massacre were bound and their bodies showed signs of torture. They were believed to have worked on the farm. Police found a message written in blood at the scene saying: “Salguero, we’re coming for you.” Police did not say who Salguero was. Authorities said soldiers were searching the area for the unidentified assailants and didn’t offer a motive for the attack. “This is a terrible event that we must clarify and investigate regardless of the consequences, whoever is the author of this massacre,” said Guatemala Prosecutor General

SAN BENITO: Morgue employees carry a body, found on a ranch in northern Guatemala, into the local morgue in San Benito, Guatemala yesterday. Assailants killed at least 29 people, decapitating most of the victims on the ranch in a part of northern Guatemala. —AP Claudia Paz y Paz. Late Sunday, authorities said they had found a wounded survivor of the massacre, who stayed alive by pretending to be dead. But officials did not release any details of what the survivor said. Guatemala is a major transshipment point for drugs, the US State Department said in its latest narcotics report. Its weak law enforcement, rampant corruption and proximity to Mexico have drawn Mexican drug cartels into its border regions. In February, the government lifted a two-month-long state of siege that it had declared in Alta Verapaz province, which neighbors Peten province, during which security forces were sent to quell drug-related violence. The state of siege gave

the army emergency powers , including permission to detain suspects without warrants , and resulted in the arrest of at least 20 suspected members of the Zetas. The Zetas are a group of ex-soldiers who began as hit men for Mexico’s Gulf drug cartel before breaking off on their own, quickly becoming one of Mexico’s most violent organized crime groups and spreading a reign of terror into Central America. They are notorious for their brutality, including beheading rivals and officials. Authorities have linked them to a series of massacres and mass graves in northern Mexico. The Zetas began controlling cocaine trafficking in the Alta Verapaz region in 2008 after killing “Juancho” Leon. —AP

Jurors due in Chicago court for Mumbai terror case CHICAGO: A Chicago courtroom could become the unlikely venue for revealing alleged connections between the terrorist group blamed for the 2008 rampage that killed more than 160 people in Mumbai and Pakistan’s main intelligence agency, which has come under increased scrutiny following Osama bin Laden’s killing. Jury selection began yesterday in the case against Chicago businessman Tahawwur Rana, who is accused of helping a former boarding school friend serve as a scout for the militant group that carried out the three-day attack in India’s largest city. Though the accusations against Rana are fairly straightforward, the implications of the trial could be enormous. To make their case, federal prosecutors may lay out alleged ties between Lashkar-e-Taiba, the militant group blamed for the attacks, and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, known as the ISI. The trial comes amid growing suspicion that the ISI was complicit in harboring bin Laden, who was killed by Navy SEALs during a May 2 raid, and could lead to further strains in the already frayed relations between Pakistan and the United States. The key government witness could be David Coleman Headley, a Pakistani-American with a troubled past who pleaded guilty last year to laying the groundwork for the Mumbai attack by Lashkar-e-Taiba. Headley, who is cooperating with US officials, told interrogators that the ISI provided training and funds for the attack against India, Pakistan’s long nemesis. Headley told authorities that Rana provided him with cover for a series of scouting missions he conducted in Mumbai. Headley also told interrogators that he was in contact with another militant, who has ties to Al-Qaeda, as part of a separate plot to bomb a Danish newspaper that printed cartoons that offended Muslims. “What you’ll have now in Chicago is a trial which will undoubtedly demonstrate links between Pakistan government agencies and one of the most competent terrorist organizations operating in South Asia - Lashkar-e-Taiba,” said Seth Jones, a senior political scientist at the RAND Corp. The trial “just adds more fuel to an already tense situation.” Rana, who has been in custody since his arrest in 2009, appeared in court yesterday wearing a gray suit and white shirt without a tie. Security was tight around the federal courthouse in downtown Chicago and more uniformed officers were stationed in the building’s lobby. Nearly 100 potential jurors were expected, and they’ll be asked to fill out forms with a

Evacuations in Louisiana after floodgates open LOUISIANA: Deputies all over Louisiana Cajun country were warning residents to head for higher ground as the swollen Mississippi River threatened more flooding, and most residents appeared to be heeding the call to leave. Snow melt and rain have sent a torrent of water down the Mississippi, topping levees and forcing flooding along its path. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama planned to fly to Memphis, Tennessee, yesterday to meet with families affected when the river flooded there as well as local officials, first responders and volunteers. The flooding in the rural Cajun country was engineered to spare the two major Louisiana cities , New Orleans and Baton Rouge. A spillway was opened to divert water from the heavily pop-

ulated cities along with chemical plants and oil refineries along the Mississippi’s lower reaches. Days ago, many of the towns known for their Cajun culture bustled with activity as people filled sandbags and cleared out belongings. By Sunday, some areas were virtually empty as the water from the Mississippi River, swollen by snowmelt and heavy rains, slowly rolled across the Atchafalaya River basin. It first started to come, in small amounts, into people’s yards in Melville on Sunday. But it still had yet to move farther downstream. The floodwaters could reach depths of 20 feet (6 meters) in the coming weeks, though levels were nowhere close to that yet in the towns about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of Baton Rouge.

LOUISIANA: Louisiana National Guard specialist Josh Cummings packs dirt into a Hesco basket dam in Krotz Springs, La, Sunday. —AP

Elsewhere, in an effort to keep a major shipping connection between the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River open, the US Army Corps of Engineers moved in a fifth dredge to dig sediment out of the Southwest Pass. A high river brings a huge amount of sediment and the dredges were being used to keep the 45-foot (14-meter) channel needed for deep-draft shipping. Over the weekend, the Port of New Orleans said it had been told by the Coast Guard that shipping probably would continue largely unhindered on the lower Mississippi. The choice to subject the Cajun areas to flooding to save the cities angers John Muse, who drove from Lafayette to Melville to help his 86-year-old father-in-law Clovis Cole move his belongs. He said officials seem to be paying more attention to the concerns of Baton Rouge and New Orleans than people who live in the basin. “They hurt a lot of feelings by putting that water in here like they did,” he said. “What’s happening here, I’ll tell ya, it’s not fair.” In Butte LaRose, some 50 miles (80 kilometers) downstream from where the Morganza spillway was opened, Chalmers Wheat, 54, was among the few left , and even he was headed for his father’s home in Baton Rouge outside the flood zone. He and his twin brother, Chandler, were making a few final preparations to protect his home with plastic lining and sandbags. “It’s almost like a ghost town,” said Wheat. It will be at least a week before the Mississippi River crest arrives at the Morganza spillway, where officials opened two massive gates on Saturday and another two Sunday. There are 125 in all. The Mississippi has broken river-level records that had held since the 1920s in some places. — AP

range of questions, from personal views on Islam to knowledge of Pakistani militant groups. Jury selection is expected to last several days. Experts say Lashkar-e-Taiba, which means “Army of the Pure,” was created with the ISI’s help in the 1980s as a proxy fighting force to battle with India over the disputed territory of Kashmir. Counterterrorism officials say the group has gained strength with the help of the ISI since then, possibly with the help of retired officers. Pakistani officials have denied any ties with the group. Lashkar-e-Taiba is accused of carrying out the three-day siege in Mumbai in which 10 gunmen attacked two luxury hotels, a Jewish center and a busy train station in India’s financial capital, killing 166 people, including six Americans. Rana, a Canadian national who has lived in Chicago for years, owns a Chicago-based First World Immigration Services, in the city’s South Asian enclave. He and Headley met as teenagers at a Pakistani military boarding school outside Islamabad. Prosecutors say Rana provided cover for Headley by letting him open a First World office in Mumbai and travel as a supposed representative for the agency. He also allegedly helped Headley make travel arrangements as part of the plot against the Danish newspaper that in 2005 printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, which angered many Muslims worldwide. Rana is charged with providing material support for terrorism in India and Denmark. In court documents, Rana’s attorneys have said he believed Headley was working for Pakistani intelligence. Headley also told authorities that he told Rana he “had been asked to perform espionage work for the ISI,” according to a court filing. “Part of the defense will be that Headley used his connections with ISI to explain the things he was doing,” Rana’s attorney Patrick Blegen told reporters last week. Rana “has maintained his innocence since the day he was arrested.” However, US District Court Judge Harry Leinenweber ruled that that proposed defense was “objectively unreasonable.” Prosecutors have declined to comment ahead of the trial. A senior Pakistani intelligence official said he hasn’t been following the trial and didn’t have comment on it. Some experts doubt the trial will reveal much, saying federal prosecutors may work hard to keep sensitive information from surfacing, and Headley is not the most credible witness. — AP



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Bomb threat ahead of queen’s Irish visit Queen to become first monarch to set foot in Republic of Ireland

MILAN: Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi waves to journalists as he leaves the courthouse after attending a hearing in the corruption trial in Milan, Italy yesterday.—AP

Berlusconi betting that local vote will help him ROME: Italians voted yesterday in a second day of mayoral races across the country, with Premier Silvio hoping the election results will reverse his sagging popularity. Polls closed at 3 pm. Projections based on an early vote count are expected to be released shortly thereafter. Berlusconi yesterday attended his trial in a Milan courtroom, where he is defending himself from corruption charges related to his media empire. It’s one of four criminal cases currently against him in Italy’s financial capital. The premier, denying all wrongdoing, has long contended that he is a victim of prosecutors he says side with leftists. Recent opinion polls indicate some Italians might be growing weary of Berlusconi, now in his third term. While the country’s economy remains stagnant, and youth unemployment soars, his government has largely made justice reforms a top priority. Berlusconi insists the reforms will help all citizens; critics counter that they are designed to rescue him from his judicial woes. At past trial

appearances Berlusconi supporters shouted solidarity slogans outside the courthouse upon his arrival. But a top official from the premier ’s Freedom People party asked them to refrain from doing so yesterday to respect election laws prohibiting political rallies while polls are open. Berlusconi made no comment to reporters when he arrived at the courthouse. Milan is the key race, a power base for both the premier and his coalition ally Northern League leader Umberto Bossi. Berlusconi has campaigned hard for reelection for Milan Mayor Letizia Moratti. Also important is Naples, where Berlusconi had bragged he had solved that city’s chronic garbage problem but tons of trash has returned to the streets. Other big cities with mayoral elections were Bologna and Turin, both held by the center-left, and Reggio Calabria, a stronghold of the ‘ndrangheta organized crime group. Runoffs will be held in two weeks in any races where candidates fail to get more than 50 percent of the vote. — AP

Lithuanian census shows steep fall in population VILNIUS: The Lithuania prime minister bemoaned his shrinking population yesterday, as the results of a census revealed it has fallen 10 percent in the past decade. “Unfortunately, we must admit that Lithuania is not only an emigrating nation but also a nation that is dying out,” Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius said. Lithuania’s statistics agency said the population is now 3.05 million, down from over 3.4 million in 2001. Twenty years ago, when the country split from the Soviet Union, the country had 3.7 million people. Results of the census, conducted from March to May, confirmed that rapid emigration and a falling birth rate continue to erode the country’s demographics despite mem-

bership in the European Union and improvements to the quality of life over the past 10 years. Large communities of Lithuanians have sprouted in places such as Ireland and England during this time. “We have lost 700,000 (people) in 20 years, this is a lot for such a small nation,” said Romas Lazutka, a sociology professor at Vilnius University. “ The main driving force behind emigration is outdated economic and social policies. Those who do not have a job or cannot make ends meet, even while working, leave this country,” he said. Lithuania joined the EU in 2004. The country is recovering from its worst economic crisis on record. In 2009 gross domestic product fell 14.8 percent. Full census data is expected later this year. - AP

Rwanda’s president takes on critic in Twitter feud KIGALI: When a British journalist tweeted that Rwanda’s longtime president was “despotic and deluded” he got a sharp reply, from the African leader himself, setting off an unprecedented online spat between a head of state and one of his critics. President Paul Kagame fired back with 14 tweets, including one in which he told journalist Ian Birrell simply: “Wrong u r.” Even Rwanda’s foreign minister chimed in, telling Birrell in a tweet: “wld u care 2 know what 11.000.000 Rwandans think of Paul Kagame b4 u spread ur formed opinion? 2 big a challenge 4 u?” Birrell, a former editor at The Independent newspaper and a former speechwriter for British Prime Minister David Cameron during his 2010 campaign, sparked the exchange Saturday by tweeting: “No-one in media, UN or human rights groups has the moral right to criticise me, says despotic & deluded (Kagame).” The same day, along came a comment Kagame

himself: “Not you moral right!” Birrell called Kagame’s direct reponses “somewhat astonishing!” Kagame appears to closely monitor Twitter for any mentions of Rwanda. His official feed is dominated by notes of thanks to others who have tweeted Rwanda-related developments. Kagame is renowned for his role in helping to end the 1994 Rwandan genocide during which more than 500,000 people were slaughtered, though human rights groups have questioned his record in recent years. He was re-elected last year after opposition parties were banned from the vote. An opposition Rwandan journalist was killed and a top opposition political party said some of its members were beaten by police while in detention. In one of his tweets, Kagame said that while the UN, human rights groups and the media often criticize, they have serious flaws themselves that they don’t like to have examined. —AP

LONDON: Dissident Irish republican terrorists issued a bomb threat for central London, police said yesterday, hours ahead of Queen Elizabeth II’s groundbreaking but sensitive visit to Ireland. Encouraged by the largely successful peace process in Northern Ireland, the queen will today become the first British monarch to set foot in the Republic of Ireland, where troops and even ground-to-air missiles were being deployed amid tight security. When a British sovereign last visited, a full century ago, all of Ireland was still part of the United Kingdom. The monarch’s presence is resented by some in Ireland who bristle at the legacy of British rule, with some predicting violent street clashes and others fearing a terrorist attack. London’s Metropolitan Police said the bomb warning , which was received late on Sunday , did not include a specific location or time. Officers were conducting sweeps across the city and closed down to traffic parts of the British capital, including roads near the queen’s official residence. “Londoners should continue to go about their business as usual but we encourage the public to remain vigilant,” police said in a statement. A police official, who spoke on customary condition of anonymity in line with policy, onfirmed that the warning related to a threat from a dissident Irish republican group. The bomb warning was the first serious threat to Britain since 2001, the last time republican dissidents made a successful attack in England, exploding a car bomb near a shopping center in west London, wounding 11 people. It follow fears that escalating violence in Northern Ireland would spread to Britain, and comes after the government raised the threat level related specifically to Irish terrorism. “ The threat level to Great Britain from Northern Irish-related terrorism remains at substantial, which means that an attack is a strong possibility,” the Home Office said in a statement. “There is a continuing need for vigilance and the public should report any suspicious activity to

LONDON: Armed police patrol around Westminster close to the Houses of Parliament following a bomb threat by Irish republican dissidents yesterday. — AP

the police.” In Ireland, security for the queen’s tour will far exceed measures used for the 1979 visit of Pope John Paul II or for the visits of U.S. President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. The national police force has canceled all leave and drafted in officers from rural areas, boosting the security detail to 8,500. They also have borrowed two mobile water cannons from Northern Ireland’s police. The queen’s four-day trip to Dublin, Kildare, Tipperary and Cork comes as a CatholicProtestant government in the neighboring British territory of Northern Ireland has just been re-elected, marking another peace milestone. The Irish Republican Army violence of decades past , counting among its victims the queen’s cousin, Lord Louis Mountbatten, killed when the IRA blew up his yacht in 1979 , has given way to the group’s 2005 renunciation of violence. Only

President Ouattara invites Burkinabes back to Ivory Coast OUAGADOUGOU: Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara yesterday told citizens of Burkina Faso that they are welcome to return to his country, and vowed to put an end to the xenophobia and racial targeting that characterized his predecessor’s regime. “Every single Burkinabe should consider himself at home in Ivory Coast,” said Ouattara at a press conference in the West African nation which borders Ivory Coast. Ouattara won Ivory Coast’s November election, but was only able to assume office this month because strongman Laurent Gbagbo refused to cede power and had to be removed militarily. Ouattara’s visit to neighboring Burkina Faso is his second official visit to a country in the region since taking office. Gbagbo painted himself as a real Ivorian, and accused Ouattara of being a foreigner because his father’s side of the family comes from Burkina, a fact that twice prevented Ouattara from running in past elections. In the final months of the political showdown, Gbagbo’s regime incited the population to attack foreigners, especially second- and third-generation immigrants from Burkina who had voted in large numbers for Ouattara. People with names that identified them as being Burkinabe were hunted down by mobs, doused in gasoline and set on fire. The violence touched off a massive exodus with an estimated 1 million people fleeing Ivory Coast. “We consider that this election has put an end to these difficulties,” Ouattara said. “(It) needs to be the end of a certain number of misunderstandings and bad behavior that we are not proud of. Ivory Coast is a hospitable country and we need to make sure that Ivorians , as well as all the other people that live in Ivory Coast, live in peace,” he said. Ouattara is expected to be inaugurated Saturday in a lavish ceremony that will be attended by an estimated 20 heads of state, including French President Nicolas Sarkozy. — AP

small splinter groups still plot bloodshed across the border. One of the queen’s first actions today will be to lay a wreath at a Dublin memorial honoring Ireland’s rebel dead, a surprisingly direct gesture toward Britain’s opponents in the bloody 191921 guerrilla war of independence. The queen’s trip will highlight Ireland’s many charms, from the Guinness brewery to its Europe-leading horse racing industry, and stunning historical monuments such as the medieval Rock of Cashel. She will be joined by her husband, Prince Philip. The Irish Defense Forces have deployed ground-to-air missiles at key locations, plan to shut down airspace over Dublin and other locations in tandem with the queen’s movements, and are keeping more than 1,000 troops in reserve.— AP

Blast in Somalia kills five pro-govt troops MOGADISHU: A new military offensive in Somalia has gained ground against alShabab insurgents despite a bomb explosion yesterday that killed five pro-government troops at a base militants fled last week, officials said. Maj Paddy Ankunda, a spokesman for African Union troops in Somalia, said his forces began an operation last Thursday that has gained 500 yards (meters) of territory from insurgents. “The territory that we continue to cover is giving us hope that, yes, we are making progress,” he said. Some of the territory gained included a former Sufi shrine that al-Shabab used as a military base. An explosion ripped through the shrine yesterday, killing five troops with a pro-government militia, said Abdi Muhummad, a commander. Muhummad said he believes Al-Shabab, the country’s most dangerous insurgent group, buried the explosive before fleeing. Three AU troops have died so far in the operation, in addition to yesterday’s five deaths. Al-Shabab displayed one of the AU bodies in Mogadishu last week. Ankunda said the AU’s ultimate target is Mogadishu’s main market, Bakara, which

al-Shabab currently controls. He said the operation also aims to get more roads open for public use. He said the AU has seen al-Shabab forcing local business men to pay higher taxes, a possible indication that the militants’ finances are under pressure. He also called on Somalia’s government to solve their political problems so they don’t derail the military gains. Somalia’s president and parliament are arguing over elections scheduled for this summer. Ankunda said that the AU force would kill an American fighting with al-Shabab if it could. Omar Hammami, known as Abu Mansur al-Amriki, or “the American,” held a news conference in the open last week, where he said that militants would seek revenge for the death of Osama bin Laden. Hammami, who sipped coconut milk from a straw as he spoke, gave the open-air news conference about 40 miles (60 kilometers) southwest of Mogadishu. “We have the interest but unfortunately we don’t have the capabilities to deliver such an attack,” Ankunda said. “But honestly we do have the interest.”— AP

Russia wants US guarantees on missile shield MOSCOW: Russia wants the United States to provide Moscow with guarantees that a prospective US-led missile shield wouldn’t threaten its security, a senior Russia official said yesterday. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov warned that Washington’s refusal to provide such guarantees could derail efforts by Russia and NATO to cooperate on missile defense. “We can’t base our security on assurances and promises, we need a legally-binding agreement,” Ryabkov told lawmakers during parliamentary hearings. He said that Moscow was disappointed by a negative US reaction to its demand. Russia considers the US-led missile defense plans as a potential threat to its security. It has agreed to consider NATO’s proposal

last fall to cooperate on the missile shield, but insisted that the system should be run jointly. NATO has rejected that demand. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has warned that a failure to reach a deal on the issue could force Russia to deploy new offensive weapons, triggering a new arms race. A landmark arms control treaty called New START has helped improve relations between Moscow and Washington, but Russia has continued to view US missile defense plans with suspicion. Ryabkov said yesterday that the existing US missile defense elements don not pose a threat to Russia, but the situation may chance in the future. “The current configuration doesn’t undermine our strategic security, but we lack guarantees that it will remain the same in the

future,” he said. Ryabkov warned that the development of US missile defense could undermine the New START. While the New START doesn’t prevent the US from building new missile defense systems, Russia has stated that it could withdraw from the treaty if it feels threatened by such a system in future. The Kremlin’s envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, told lawmakers yesterday that NATO had rejected Moscow’s push for a missile shield that would be operated jointly. “They told us that NATO doesn’t outsource its security to non-members,” Rogozin said. “But why then their system’s range reaches all the way to the Urals? We haven’t asked anyone to protect our territory.”— AP

MOGADISHU: A wounded man walks towards Emergency ward at Medina hospital, Mogadishu, Somalia yesterday after he was hit by a stray bullet while staying at his home near a military base in southern Mogadishu — AP



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From palace to prison for India’s high and mighty NEW DELHI: India’s notorious Tihar Jail in New Delhi is currently home to a clutch of VIP inmates suspected of corruption as police win rare permission to go after the “big fish” in recent cases. The forbidding complex, home to militants and murderers, offers little in terms of comfort for its new whitecollar guests, who are forced to share tiny cells with basic toilets in sweltering heat. Prison chief Neeraj Kumar told AFP that the powerful connections of his new charges, which include the country’s former telecom minister and the head of the Indian Olympic Association, have won them no special treatment. “It’s just a speculation in the media that we have a VIP jail,” Kumar said from his office at Tihar where 11,700 inmates, including 470 women and 500 foreigners, are squeezed into facilities designed to hold half this figure. “We have not provided any special privileges to them and nor have they asked for any,” he said, before clarifying that they have been segregated from hardened criminals for their own safety. The biggest name in custody is former minister A. Raja,

who is awaiting trial over his role in what police and the national auditor believe to be one of India’s biggest swindles. Raja recently complained in court about the austere cuisine of Tihar, where special food is served “only on days of national importance,” according to the jail’s official website. Flat breads, boiled lentils, rice and vegetables is the daily staple and “the food is taken in hot cases to the wards where all inmates must queue up to eat,” Kumar said. Raja is accused of selling telecom licences in 2008 at cutrate prices to favoured firms, losing the state up to $39 billion and causing a scandal that has severely damaged the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Five top businessmen, including a billionaire property developer, are also behind bars awaiting trial, and the chief organizer of last October’s Commonwealth G ames in New Delhi, Suresh Kalmadi, is in judicial custody. The usual day for inmates begins at 6:00am when they present themselves for a headcount and then queue up for two pieces of bread, a plate of curry and tea for breakfast. — AFP

US general: Too early to gauge bin Laden killing KABUL: The second-ranking US general in Afghanistan said yesterday it was too early to tell if the killing of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in neighboring Pakistan will have an impact on the Afghan war effort. Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez, who is in charge of NATO’s joint command, said that Al-Qaeda as a movement was not based on bin Laden’s leadership alone, and that the military has been waiting to see how his May 2 death will affect the strength of the terror group and its influence in Afghanistan. Rodriguez said bin Laden’s killing by US Navy SEALs in the garrison city of Abbottabad had “no affects that we can see at this point. It’s too early to see that, but we are continuing to watch that over time.” According to Rodriguez, Al-Qaeda has fewer than 100 operatives in Afghanistan, mostly providing support and resources to insurgents. “The AlQaeda movement is not based on just

one individual and we will have to see what that impact is ... and how much that will be on the strength of Al-Qaeda and associated movements. But that is yet to be seen,” Rodriguez said. There has been hope that the killing of bin Laden will weaken the terror group’s connections with the Taleban , especially with leaders such as Mullah Mohammed Omar who had personal ties to the dead Al-Qaeda leader. Pakistan may also feel pressured to help bring some Afghan Taleban leaders to the negotiating table. The Taleban ‘s leadership is thought to be hiding in Pakistan. Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who has often called on Pakistan for help with the Taleban , has been pushing for reconciliation with the insurgents. The United States has also been promoting what it has called a diplomatic surge to help find a nonmilitary solution to the fighting. — AP

Pakistan, US try to smooth Laden row Clinton poised to visit country ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the United States sought yesterday to smooth a damaging row caused by Osama bin Laden’s killing, hailing each other as partners with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton poised to visit. Pakistan’s civilian and military leaders were left angry and embarrassed over a unilateral US raid that discovered and killed Al-Qaeda’s chief living, possibly for years, two hours’ drive from the Pakistani capital on May 2. It rocked the country’s seemingly powerful security establishment, with its intelligence ser vices and militar y widely accused of incompetence or complicity over the presence of bin Laden in a suburban house in the city of Abbottabad. Pakistan’s parliament demanded no repeat of the raid, although US President Barack Obama has reserved the right to act again, and Islamabad insisted US drone strikes targeting Taliban and Al-Qaeda leaders on its territory must end. The military threatened to review intelligence cooperation with the United States and Islamabad-a key Washington ally on the “war on terror”-called the raid “unauthorised unilateral action”. Pakistan said yesterday the allies-whose ties are frequently tense-would work together on future high-value targets. US Senator John Kerry flew into the row as the most senior American official to visit the nucleararmed country since the raid, as US lawmakers demand a review of billions in aid money to Pakistan that he has personally helped secure. Kerry said he held “constructive conversations” with Pakistan’s leaders but reiterated “grave concerns” over the presence in Pakistan of the Al-Qaeda terror chief and sanctuaries of US adversaries in Afghanistan. In a televised address, he said he had come with Obama’s backing “to find a way to rebuild the trust between our two countries,” having earlier warned of profound consequences if the allies cannot fix their fractured ties. The United States depends on Pakistani logistical and military support to fight the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan. Cashstrapped Pakistan has depended on $18 billion from the United States since the September 11, 2001 attacks, when Pakistan officially ended support for Afghanistan’s Taliban and agreed to work with Washington. In 2009, Congress also authorized $7.5 bil-

ISLAMABAD: US Senator John Kerry, left, shakes hands with Yusuf Raza Gilani prior to their official talks at Prime Minister house in Islamabad, Pakistan yesterday. —AP lion to help bolster the weak civilian government by building schools, roads and democratic institutions. “We must never lose sight of this essential fact. We are strategic partners with a common enemy in terrorism and extremism,” said Kerry. “Both of our countries have sacrificed... so much that it just wouldn’t make sense to see this relationship broken or abandoned,” he added. Kerry said Pakistan had “recommitted to find more ways to work against the common threat of terrorism” and to increase cooperation on intelligence sharing and operations to “defeat the enemies that we face”. He said two senior US government officials will arrive in Islamabad later this week to work on the details of implementing “these initial steps,” and that Clinton “will soon announce plans to visit Pakistan to develop new trust.” Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani joined forces with Kerry to say that the two countries now needed to rebuild trust. “It was the need of the hour that Pakistan and US should rebuild the trust and confidence between their governments and institutions,” his office said in a statement released after his talks with Kerry. The US senator ini-

tially met Pakistan’s powerful army chief of staff General Ashfaq Kayani, who briefed him about the “intense feelings” within the army over the raid, the military said. There have been heightened security fears in Pakistan since the bin Laden killing and the killing of a Saudi diplomat in a hail of gunfire yesterday was the second attack on Saudi interests in Karachi in less than a week. Pakistani police told AFP that the Saudi had been driving a vehicle with diplomatic plates when two motorcycle riders opened fire at a crossroads in the city’s upmarket Defence neighborhood. Last Wednesday, drive-by assailants threw two grenades at the consulate in Karachi in what officials said could have been a reaction to bin Laden’s death. Before travelling to Pakistan, Kerry told reporters in the Afghan capital Kabul that US ties with Islamabad were at a “critical moment”. “We need to find a way to march forward if it is possible. If it is not possible, there are a set of downside consequences that can be profound,” said Kerry, whose trip to the region has been endorsed by Obama. He said the discovery of the Al-Qaeda chief living




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Chinese military chief’s visit is first in 7 years WASHINGTON: Of the many planned stops on a US tour this week by a toplevel Chinese military delegation, one , the iconic Grand Canyon , is an especially apt metaphor for the wide divide between Washington and Beijing over explosive issues like US support for Taiwan. Pentagon officials hope the visit, which began yesterday in Washington, will mark a fresh beginning for a prickly, start-and-stop relationship between the two military behemoths. The Chinese delegation is led by Gen. Chen Bingde, the counterpart to the US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen. It is the first visit of its kind in seven years. The US-China relationship is one of the most important in the world, given traditional US security and economic interests in the Asia-Pacific region and the rapid modernization of a Chinese military viewed with increasing suspicion by US allies in the region. China

has been investing heavily in items that enable it to project power well beyond its shores; it is expected, for example, to complete construction of its first aircraft carrier this year. And it is focused on capabilities, such as cyber warfare and missiles that could be used to sink or paralyze American carriers , that could deny US access to Asian theaters of war. For its part, the US is developing aircraft carrier-based drones likely to be deployed in Asia to try to counter China’s military rise. This week’s visit was delayed due to Chinese anger over the Obama administration’s approval in January 2010 of a $6.4 billion weapons sale to Taiwan, the self-governing island that China claims as its own territory and that the US is committed to arming. Military-to-military relations were frozen after the arms sale was announced. A thaw began with Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ visit to Beijing last January, followed by a productive

visit to Washington shortly afterward by President Hu Jintao. Taiwan, however, remains a major problem. Just last week, Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou called on Washington to grant Taiwan’s request to purchase US F-16 fighter jets and diesel-powered submarines , arms that China insists Taiwan does not need. Gates issued a reminder of his concerns about China when he was asked by an enlisted Marine last week at Camp Lejeune about looming security threats. After citing terrorism, Iran and North Korea he mentioned “China’s military program.” For years, Washington has searched for ways to build a relationship with Beijing that is less vulnerable to sudden disruptions and the danger of serious miscalculations. But there has been a persistent pattern of breakdowns since the Chinese crackdown on democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Relations were again severed when China refused

to believe that the 1999 bombing of its embassy in Belgrade was accidental, and the US cut off relations in April 2001 when a Chinese fighter jet collided with a US reconnaissance plane and the American crew was held on China’s Hainan Island for nearly two weeks. Two senior US defense officials who previewed this week’s visit before Chen’s group arrived Sunday stressed that no breakthroughs on major issues are expected. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss internal planning, set a low bar for the visit’s success: Simply getting senior officers together and giving the Chinese a look around the US military. In the background lies the sensitive issue of China’s close relations with Pakistan and US concerns that the Pakistanis might give the Chinese access to the remnants of a US stealth helicopter that crash-landed during the May 2 raid on Osama bin Laden’s com-

pound. The chopper ’s tail section, including what appeared to be components of stealth technology, was left behind. The US defense officials said Mullen will propose regularizing contact between top US and Chinese military leaders, including phone conversations. Mullen also expects Chen to offer to host a reciprocal visit, either by Mullen or his successor. Mullen’s term ends Sept. 30. A core tension in the USChina military relationship is US frustration over China’s unwillingness to reveal more about its military capability, its budget and its strategy. When senior Pentagon officials visit China they get a relatively superficial look at military capabilities and some have questioned whether US openness toward the Chinese makes strategic sense. Private analyst Kenneth Allen, however, argues that over time the US has accumulated a great deal of knowledge about China’s military. —AP

Thailand opposition opts for Thaksin’s sister as PM candidate Yingluck vows reconciliation, not revenge BANGKOK: The sister of exiled former premier Thaksin Shinawatra was named the prime ministerial candidate for Thailand’s biggest opposition party yesterday, a move seen as a high-stakes gamble ahead of a crucial July general election. Members of the Puea Thai Party opted for Yingluck Shinawatra, the 43-year-old president of SC Assets corporation , to spearhead and reenergize its campaign and return power to allies of Thaksin, who won two election landslides before his overthrow in a 2006 military coup. ‘The election is expected to be a close race between Puea Thai and Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s ruling Democrat Party. Analysts and commentators are split on whether the decision to run with the politically inexperienced Yingluck will benefit Puea Thai, or backfire. Yingluck could alienate the party from swing voters fearful that the return of a government controlled by Thaksin-a fugitive tycoon convicted of graft and charged with terrorism- would be deeply opposed by his powerful enemies, leading to more protests or even another coup. ‘However, she could prove to be instrumental in uniting a party in disarray and boosting its support by winning over the rural poor who were wooed by Thaksin’s populist policies. “It’s a bold move, but given the power of the Shinawatra brand in Thai politics, it’s a pretty good move,” said Andrew Walker, an expert on Thai politics at the Australia National University. “It’s a risk, but Puea Thai see that it’s outweighed by Thaksin’s galvanising appeal and the affection that exists among the electorate for him and his policies. What the Democrats and their allies most fear is an electoral

runoff with Thaksin.” ‘Yingluck, who was educated in the United States and keeps a low profile, has had no official role in Thai politics. She will be regarded as a proxy for Thaksin if she is voted into office and would

would not seek payback for the 2006 coup, which sent Thailand into a spiral of instability. “All the parties have to turn to each other and know that Puea Thai is not here for revenge but to solve (Thailand’s) problems,” she said in

BANGKOK: Yingluck Shinawatra, a member of Pheu Thai Party, raises her hands with fellow party members at the party headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand yesterday.—AP become Thailand’s first female prime minister. ‘Echoing Thaksin’s most recent comments, Yingluck said she would pursue reconciliation in the deeply divided country and

a speech yesterday to Puea Thai members, who voted overwhelmingly in her favor. ‘“People still think of my brother and his policies of the past and many still have had mercy for our

family until today,” she said, adding that seeking Thaksin’s return from exile a free man was “not the priority”. Oxford-educated Abhisit sees the election as a chance to finally win an unambiguous mandate having come to power in 2008 following the dissolution of the pro-Thaksin People’s Power Party, which led to a series of defections and a new coalition government critics say was cobbled together by the military. ‘ Thailand has suffered five years of political turbulence and sporadic street violence in a protracted crisis that pits the establishment elite and its military allies against pro-Thaksin “red shirt” protesters drawn mostly from the rural poor and urban working class. The election, analysts say, could either ease or exacerbate Thailand’s long-running crisis and if the result is contested, it could lead to potentially violent street protests or judicial or military intervention. ‘Neither Puea Thai nor the Democrats are likely to win a majority, meaning an alliance with smaller parties would most likely be required, creating scope for behind-the-scenes interference and a backlash by supporters of each party. —Reuters

Nine final earthquake victims declared dead in New Zealand WELLINGTON: Nine final victims of New Zealand’s devastating earthquake were declared dead yesterday, ending an agonizing wait for families of people whose remains have never been identified in the wreckage. Even DNA testing proved unable to identify nine of the 181 victims killed in parts of the city of Christchurch that were ruined in the Feb 22 quake, so the government set up a special coroner’s inquest to examine other evidence. Chief coroner Neil MacLean made his official finding of death for nine missing people who have not been located and whose mobile phones, bank accounts and passports have not been used. He concluded they died from traumatic injuries as a result of the quake. MacLean said their families deserved closure. The nine were six women and three men. Four were Chinese and one Filipino. Others were born in Peru and Russia. Witnesses reported seeing all nine in the Canterbury Television Building before the earthquake, but no one had seen any of them since. A total of 115 lives were lost in the CT V building, which totally collapsed and burned. The magnitude 6.3 earthquake is one of New Zealand’s worst disasters. Some 10,000 houses and nearly 1,000 downtown commercial buildings will have to be demolished and some parts of suburban Christchurch likely will have to be abandoned altogether. The quake is New Zealand’s most expensive natural disaster, costing an estimated $15 billion. Police earlier identified 172 victims and told the inquest they had names for another nine people but any remains of them recovered were too incomplete to be identified forensically. Fingerprints, dental remains, pathological examinations and DNA analysis were among the methods unable to identify the nine, Detective Inspector Paul Kench said. “To say that this is an extraordinary type of inquiry is an understatement,” MacLean told the hearing. The six women MacLean ruled dead were: Jinyan Leng, 30, Xiujuan Xu, 47, Didi Zhang, 23, and Xiaoli Zhou, 26, of China; Rhea Mae Sumalpong, 25, of the Philippines; and Elsa Torres De Frood, 53, a Peru-born New Zealand resident. The men were: Matthew Lyle Beaumont, 31, and Shawn Lucas, 40, of Christchurch; and Valeri Volnov, 41, a Russian-born New Zealand resident. —AP

MIYAGI: Boys on bicycles wade through a flooded road caused by spring tide in land-sunken area following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, in Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture, northeastern Japan yesterday.—AP

Fukushima nuclear plant not built to take megaquake TOKYO: The magnitude 9 earthquake that struck a Japanese nuclear plant in March hit with almost 30 percent more intensity than it had been designed to withstand, raising the possibility that key systems were compromised even before a massive tsunami hit. Embattled operator Tokyo Electric Power said yesterday that partial data recovered from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant showed the ground acceleration during the quake exceeded its design specifications at three of the six reactors. “This was clearly a larger earthquake than we had forecast,” said Junichi Matsumoto, a Tepco spokesman for nuclear issues. “It would have been hard to anticipate this.” The March 11 quake and the nearly 15-metre (50ft) tsunami that followed devastated Japan’s northeastern coast and killed more than 15,000 people. Another 9,500 are still missing. The disaster also unleashed the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. Some 80,000 residents around the plant some 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo have been evacuated because of the risk from radiation.

Japanese officials have previously said the meltdown that took place in three of the reactors at Fukushima was caused by the loss of power to cooling systems when the tsunami knocked out backup diesel generators. Tepco has repeatedly called the combined disaster an event “beyond expectations.” But new details released this week have called some of that account into question. At the same time, new data and inspections at the site have shown that the reactors suffered far more serious damage than previously thought and forced officials to abandon their initial approach to bringing the plant to a shutdown. Officials said it was not clear whether the Fukushima plant had been damaged by the quake and said an immediate inspection was impossible because of the allhands effort to stabilize the reactors. But a finding that the reactors or key safety equipment were damaged by the quake itself could complicate the growing debate on the future of nuclear power in Japan at a time when Tokyo is under pressure to tighten safety standards. —Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, left, and his wife Wan Azizah, center, join in a chant outside the High Court in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia yesterday.—AP

Malaysia high court rules credible case against Anwar KUAL A LUMPUR: M alaysia’s H igh Court ruled yesterday that prosecutors have established a credible sodomy case against Anwar Ibrahim, forcing the opposition leader’s lawyers to start presenting defense witnesses next month. The ruling dashed Anwar ’s hopes of an immediate end to a trial that could lead to his imprisonment for up to 20 years. Anwar insists the government concocted the charge that he sodomized a 25-year-old male former aide. Prime Minister Najib Razak and other officials have denied plotting against Anwar. Further trial hearings will distract Anwar as he prepares his three-party opposition alliance for general elections that are widely expected within a year. Najib’s ruling coalition is working to regain at least a two-thirds parliamentary majority and recapture several states that Anwar’s alliance wrested in 2008 polls. H igh Cour t Judge Mohamad Zabidin Diah said yesterday he believed that Saiful Bukhari Azlan, one of Anwar’s former aides, seemed truthful and reliable while testifying that Anwar made him have sex in a Kuala Lumpur apartment in 2008. “I find a prima facie case has been made out against the accused,” Mohamad Zabidin told a packed courtroom. “ Therefore I call upon the accused to enter his defense.” The judge scheduled hearings to run June 6-30. Sodomy, even consensual, is a crime in Muslim-majority Malaysia. Anwar ’s lawyer, Sankara Nair, said the opposition leader would be the defense’s first witness. His team might also question the prime minister and dozens of other people, including foreign medical experts.

“We know this is a case of a major conspiracy involving the prime minister, his wife” and the former national police chief, Anwar told repor ters. Saiful wrote on Twitter that he was “thankful” for the court’s ruling. He added that he would remain patient and was praying that the rest of the trial would proceed smoothly. Judge Mohamad Zabidin said prosecutors had presented sufficient evidence to corroborate Saiful’s testimony, including DNA samples from semen found on Saiful’s body that allegedly matched Anwar ’s. Defense lawyers insist authorities obtained some of the samples illegally and handled them wrongly. Anwar said he considered his position “ver y precarious” because Mohamad Zabidin dismissed many of the defense’s key arguments. The judge said he found it “understandable” that Saiful did not try to escape Anwar’s alleged sexual advances or file a police complaint sooner because Saiful had long idolized Anwar and was concerned about his future. It is Anwar’s second time being embroiled in a sex trial. He lost his post as deputy premier in 1998 after being charged with sodomizing his family’s ex-driver and abusing his power to cover up his actions, both of which he denied. He was freed in 2004 after six years of imprisonment when a cour t overturned the sodomy conviction. The married 63-year-old with six children has also recently denied allegations that he had sex with a prostitute after two former government politicians and a businessman leaked a sex video they claimed featured Anwar.—AP

S Korean troops stage major landing drill SEOUL: South Korean troops launched a major exercise yesterday to test their capability to mount beach assaults and landings, military officials said. Thousands of troops including about 2,000 marines are taking part in the week-long exercise off the southeastern port of Pohang, the defense ministry said. Anti-submarine aircraft and d o z e n s o f j e t f i g h t e r s, 1 5 n a v y ships and 21 armored landing vehicles were also mobilized, a ministry spokesman said. It was the South’s first major joint landing drill i nv o l v i n g n a v a l , a i r fo r c e a n d marine forces since North Korea in November bombarded a frontline island near the disputed Yellow Sea

border, killing two soldiers and two civilians. Cross-border relations have been icy for more than a year, since the South accused the North of torpedoing a warship near the border in March 2010. The Nor th denies responsibility for the sinking, which killed 46 sailors. South Korea has since then staged a series of drills alone or together with US troops as a show of strength against the North. US and South Korean troops staged computerized joint war games and joint field training in March and April. On May 3 the South held live-fire artillery exercises on two frontline islands near the sea border. —AFP


TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011



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Strauss-Kahn arrest removes Sarkozy’s rival By Catherine Bremer ominique Strauss-Kahn’s arrest on sexual assault charges removes the toughest rival to French President Nicolas Sarkozy for the 2012 presidential race, bumping up his chances of re-election to a second term. News of the charges against the IMF chief for assaulting a New York hotel maid shocked the world on Sunday, and unless the case unravels fast and shows him to be innocent, few can imagine a disgraced StraussKahn running as the leftwing challenger. The former finance minister will plead not guilty to charges of carrying out a criminal sexual act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment. French officials say he must be presumed innocent unless proven guilty. But even if he is ultimately cleared, the case - and the sordid publicity it will bring - could easily run on well beyond the Socialist Party’s autumn selection contest. The charges of serious crimes mean Strauss-Kahn’s reputation will not be spared by the French culture of ignoring the sexual behaviour of politicians, as it was in 2008 when he emerged unscathed from a scandal over an affair with an IMF economist. “It’s too early to know what happened, but if things are confirmed then this is way beyond what we tolerate in France,” said Paul Bacot, a political affairs professor at Sciences Po university in Lyon. “It’s unbearable, for everybody.” French politicians were shocked. Socialist leader Martine Aubry called the news a “thunderbolt”. Francois Bayrou, a centrist opponent of Strauss-Kahn, said: “If the facts prove true ... it’s something degrading for all women. It’s terrible for the image of France.” Removal of the man opinion polls rank as frontrunner in the April 2012 race would be a boon for Sarkozy, who is stuck with rock-bottom poll ratings. Other potential Socialist challengers to Sarkozy, such as Aubry and veteran deputy Francois Hollande, have much less weighty profiles. The scandal could also help far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen, who likes to paint herself as a woman of the people in contrast to an elitist political boys’ club. “This has turned the campaign completely upside down. It changes the stakes for everyone,” said political analyst Jean-Thomas Lesueur at the Institut Thomas More think tank. “(For Strauss-Kahn) it’s finished. It’s an axe that’s come down on his campaign. It’s incredible.” Strauss-Kahn - managing director since 2007 of the International Monetary Fund and a key player in managing the global economic crisis - had been seen as close to announcing his candidacy for the Socialists. French business and political circles had viewed him as impeccably qualified. That was until police pulled him off a Paris-bound plane on the tarmac at New York’s John F Kennedy airport on Saturday. They charged him over a complaint by a 32-year-old maid that he chased her naked down a hotel hallway, sexually assaulted her and tried to lock her in a hotel room. For Sarkozy, who is expected to confirm late in 2011 that he will run for reelection, the affair means a rethink of a campaign that would have focused on beating Le Pen in the first round and Strauss-Kahn in the second. “This will change the cards. There is no other Socialist candidate to match Strauss-Kahn, so if the runoff is right versus left, Sarkozy’s experience will give him more of an advantage than before,” said Lesueur. “It will mean a miserable atmosphere for the campaign, but lots of people could benefit. For Sarkozy, it’s a big adversary that disappears and for Le Pen, it gives her a window to say that all men in politics are rotten.” An IFOP survey carried out over May 10-12 and published in Sunday’s Journal du Dimanche newspaper found that Strauss-Kahn would have led a presidential first round with 26 percent of the vote, with Le Pen at 22 percent and Sarkozy at 21.5 percent. If Hollande were the left’s candidate instead of Strauss-Kahn, it would be a dead heat. “Today the 2012 election is in complete flux,” said Dominique Paille of the centrist Radical Party. “Everybody thought Strauss-Kahn would run off with it and all it takes is one event for the house of cards to fall.” Sarkozy had yet to react to the news, and analysts expect he will say very little about the charges against a man he himself put forward to head the IMF. Government spokesman Francois Baroin said it was important to stay cautious. Le Pen was quick to comment, saying the case “marked the end” of Strauss-Kahn’s presidential ambitions, while Aubry called on the Socialist Party to stand united and respect the presumption of innocence. Hollande said the “terrible news” did not fit with the man he knew. — Reuters


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‘Arab Spring’ confronts Israel on borders By Dan Williams

ounded as a Jewish homeland and post-Holocaust haven, forged in border wars with Arab forces, Israel now confronts a redefinition of the conflict after Palestinian refugees massed fearlessly on its frontiers. The thousands of protesters who surged from Syria, Lebanon and Gaza on Sunday, flattening some buffer-zone fences and drawing deadly Israeli gunfire, reminded many in the country of the image-corroding consequences of pitting the region’s mightiest military against stone -throwing demonstrators. That the unprecedented rallies fired up annual Palestinian events mourning Israel’s creation, and were mobilised like the citizen revolts of the “Arab Spring” welcomed by the West, only deepened Israeli doubt about finding acceptable countermeasures. Repeats of the “Nakba Day” marches looked likely given the Palestinians’ campaign to corner Israel at the UN assembly in September by declaring independence should peace stay stalled. “The danger is that more mass processions like these will appear, not necessarily near the border, but also other places,” Defence Minister Ehud Barak said in a television interview, apparently referring to Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, where Palestinians want statehood, or even Israel itself. “We’re only at the outset. We could see more complex things and complex challenges in this area. I recommend not to expect plans to be prepared systematically and be ready right on time.” Most Israeli analysts wrote off any option of adapting police anti-riot tactics for such large-scale clashes over tense armistice lines. Some recommended sowing new minefields instead. A senior Barak aide, Amos Gilad, hinted that Israel would hone and perhaps harshen its response. He likened the rallies to lethal raids guerrilla raids that plagued Israelis in the past. “We already had very tough challenges that looked impossible,” he told Army Radio. “There were terrorist attacks by sea, of a kind we have not heard about in decades because of our (operational) successes. For many long years, we had suicide attacks. Now the country is quiet and stable.” With its preparedness and prestige in question, Israel’s military - which killed at least 13 protesters before repelling the rest - has described its conduct as restrained. “Had we opened fire in a bloodbath with dozens of fatalities, we would now find ourselves in a very different reality,” chief spokesman BrigadierGeneral Yoav Mordechai said. As it happened, marches in the West Bank passed relatively quietly, a testament to ongoing Israeli security coordination with the forces of US-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Demonstrations were similarly contained in Jordan and Egypt, the only Arab states to have made peace with Israel. Israeli officials accused the governments of Lebanon and Syria of encouraging the protesters to reach the borders. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, they said, may have seen a reprieve in shifting the violence toward Israel after cracking down for weeks on domestic unrest against his authoritarian rule. But the tinderbox issue of Palestinian refugees remains at root. Hundreds of thousands were dispossessed by the 1948 Middle East war and,


along with millions of their descendants, they demand the right to return to lands lost to the Israelis. Israel rules that out as demographic suicide and two decades’ worth of American-sponsored peace efforts have often foundered over murky proposals never taken up formally by the Palestinian leadership - that refugees be resettled elsewhere. So even if US President Barack Obama, who hosts Netanyahu in Washington on Friday, finds the elusive formula for reviving negotiations, it is unlikely to placate Nakba-style protesters. “(Israel) lacks means to prevent the breaching of its borders by tens and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who will succeed in organising and fulfilling the dream of return with their own feet,” wrote Alex Fishman, defence analyst for Israel’s bestselling Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper. “The more people talk about the possibility of a diplomatic arrangement or the establishment of a Palestinian state, the right of return will become the flag of the Palestinian struggle.” — Reuters

Palestinian protesters take cover after Israeli soldiers opened fire at them during a rally marking “nakba”, or “catastrophe” in the southern border village of Maroun Al-Ras in Lebanon on Sunday. — AP

Russia cosies up to Afghanistan By Amie Ferris-Rotman till haunted by its own disastrous war in Afghanistan, Russia is tiptoeing back into Kabul’s affairs ahead of a gradual withdrawal of NATO troops that could leave a dangerous power vacuum in what was once a traditional sphere of influence. Moscow has refused to send troops to the war, which is becomingly increasingly unpopular as it drags into its 10th year, but it has backed drug raids, and increased support for NATO and local forces. It has also showed interest in business deals as it vies to boost its clout in Afghanistan. Russia has welcomed Afghan President Hamid Karzai twice in the past 12 months, where he directly asked his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev for help with security. Long indirectly involved in Afghan affairs through supporting foreign operations, Russia is now pursuing “independent engagement”, said Vanda Felbab-Brown, an expert on Afghanistan and fellow at the Brookings Institution. “Russia’s primary objective is to avoid having civil war, instability and leakages into Central Asia and into Russia itself,” Felbab-Brown told Reuters from Washington. Moscow has also been courting Pakistan, seen as instrumental to peace plans in Afghanistan, where some 15,000 Soviet soldiers died fighting mujahideen insurgents before pulling out in 1989. Russia agreed last year to expand on a transit deal to allow NATO to take armoured vehicles through its territory. It had already allowed the military alliance to ship food and fuel. An agreement to supply the United States with 21 military helicopters is also expected to be completed by year-end. “Russia certainly does not want America to remain in the region,” said Fyodor Lukyanov, editor of the journal Russia in Global Affairs. “At the same time, there is also the concern that the US departure, particularly a swift one, will make the situation much more difficult”. Moscow also hopes to be involved in several economic projects, including a proposed gas pipeline and hydroelectric power facilities in Kabul. Russia has said it would rebuild Soviet-era infrastructure, which it built in the 1950s-1970s, if the international community footed the bill. Despite escalating violence, Washington and NATO have pledged to begin a gradual security transition from July as part of a plan that will see all foreign combat troops leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014. Experts say the first transition phase - to begin in seven areas - is more about symbolism than substance, but agree the handover is still crucial to determining the readiness of Afghan forces. Violence last year hit its worst levels since US-backed Afghan forces overthrew the Taliban government in late 2001, but Washington and its allies have backed Karzai’s peace plan, which includes negotiations with Taleban-led insurgents. However, there is still little idea how that plan will work and the likelihood of more political uncertainty looms. Still wary of a country at the heart of the “Great Game” - the historic rivalry between Britain and Russia during the 19th and 20th centuries - Moscow is now also driven by its fear of growing Islamism.


Russia is afraid the troop drawdown will allow militants to filter into the oil and gas-producing mainly Muslim countries of ex-Soviet Central Asia. Last month the head of a Russia-dominated regional security bloc, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), warned member states that Afghan insurgent activity was already spreading to the bordering Central Asian countries. “This is one of the main destabilising factors presenting a real threat to collective security in the Central Asian region,” the CSTO’s Nikolai Bordyuzha said in Moscow. Moscow is so alarmed, security sources and analysts say, that it is in talks with Tajikistan - whose southern border with Afghanistan is long and porous - to send up to 3,000 Russian border guards to protect the country from a spillover of violence. Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan also border Afghanistan. “It is possible we could see a resurgence of the Taleban, and the Islamist movements in Central Asia might be emboldened by this,” said Gemma Ferst from the London-based Eurasia Group. Twenty years after the fall of the Soviet Union, homegrown Islamist movements now exist in all Central Asian countries, Ferst added, and links to the international radical community have already been established. Russia also has worries closer to home. The Kremlin is waging an uphill battle with Islamist insurgents in its mainly Muslim North Caucasus region, underpinned by Soviet-era deportations and two separatist wars in Chechnya since 1994. Potential chaos in Afghanistan after foreign troops leave could encourage Russia’s rebels, who are bent on carving out an independent Islamic state and stage near-daily attacks across the North Caucasus. Escalating their campaign, they also said they carried out the suicide bombings that killed a total of 77 people in Moscow’s busiest airport in January and on the Moscow metro last year. “There are fears that (violence) might reverberate into the North Caucasus, and how moral encouragement from Afghanistan could fuel salafism and separatism there,” said Felbab-Brown, referring to the ultra-conservative branch of Islam that the Caucasus rebels follow. Afghan militants have openly supported the North Caucasus in the past: the Taleban government recognised Chechnya as independent in 2000 and even set up an embassy in Kabul. Russia’s crippling drugs crisis and a looming HIV/AIDS epidemic have also reignited Moscow’s interest in Afghan intervention. A quarter of all Afghan heroin reaches Russia through Central Asia, making it the largest per capita user in the world with up to 3 million addicts. Though Russia has vowed repeats of a joint raid with the US last year, in which they destroyed four drug labs and a tonne of heroin near the Afghan border with Pakistan, it also disagrees with its Cold War foe over local drug output. “The drug trade feeds into militant activity, which poses a risk for Central Asia, and this is of course something that motivates us,” said antidrugs tsar Viktor Ivanov, referring to Russia’s desire to destroy poppy crops. The United States has said eradicating poppy plantations would push disgruntled Afghan farmers into insurgents’ hands.— Reuters



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TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011

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SUNTHAUSEN, Germany: Blooming rape fields glow in the sunshine in southern Germany yesterday. – AP

Gunmen kill Saudi diplomat in Karachi Continued from Page 1 Kuwait condemned yesterday the killing of Qahtani. This was expressed by Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah in a cable of condolences sent to his Saudi counterpart Prince Saud Al-Faisal from Rome. “I was deeply distressed with the flagrant terrorist attack and assassination of Hassan Al-Qahtani, the diplomat of the consulate of the sisterly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Karachi,” Sheikh Mohammad noted in the cable. “I pray to His Almighty to protect your country and citizens and bestow his mercy upon the soul of the deceased and grant to you, the ability to be patient and serene,” he wrote. Karachi city police chief Iqbal Mahmood said militants fired four rounds, killing Qahtani at the scene, and fled on their motorcycle. “They came on a motorbike, they fired four shots. One bullet hit his head and he died on the spot,” he told reporters. “We condemn this attack. No one who carries out this kind of attack can be a Muslim,” the Saudi ambassador, Abdul Aziz Al-Ghadeer, told Reuters. “We trust the Pakistani authorities and hope they will identify the terrorists and bring them to justice,” he added. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who yesterday held talks with US Senator John Kerry designed to repair ties damaged by the unilateral American raid that killed bin Laden in the city of Abbottabad, also con-

demned the attack. The killing further embarrasses a country still in shock that the world’s most-wanted man may have lived undetected for years two hours’ drive from the capital, and Pakistan said it would take all measures to protect diplomats. “We are investigating if it was linked to the Abbottabad operation or was an isolated incident,” said provincial home ministry official Sharfuddin Memon, calling the dead man a junior officer at the consulate. A six-member police and intelligence team would investigate both attacks on the Saudi mission, whether they are connected and who was responsible, he said. Last Wednesday, assailants on a motorbike threw two grenades at the consulate in what officials said could have been reaction to bin Laden’s death. The Pakistani Taleban, blamed for some of the worst acts of violence in the country, last Friday claimed a double suicide bombing that killed 89 people outside a police training centre as their first revenge for bin Laden. But spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said in a telephone call to AFP: “We are not claiming the attack in which a Saudi diplomat was killed. We support the action but we are not afraid. Had we done it, we would have claimed it.” Karachi has been awash with political violence, crime and sectarian killings. There is a large Shiite minority in the predominantly Sunni Muslim city, where a variety of hard-

line extremist groups are thought to operate. “Apart from a possible reaction by militants to bin Laden’s killing, we also suspect a sectarian link,” one senior security official told AFP. Sunni-majority Saudi Arabia condemned the attack as “criminal” and called on Pakistan to tighten security measures around diplomatic missions, a foreign ministry official was quoted as saying by state media. Last week, Saudi Arabia condemned the grenade assault as a “terror attack”, saying it had “full confidence” in Pakistan’s ability to bring the assailants to justice and provide the necessary protection to the Saudi mission. Islamabad said Pakistan’s junior foreign minister Hina Rabbani spoke to Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal to express “shock and anger” over the killing and pledged the perpetrators would be brought to justice. “The government of Pakistan will take all necessary measures to ensure the security and protection of diplomats in Pakistan,” the foreign ministry said. Saudi Arabia expelled bin Laden in 1991 and later revoked his nationality. The government in Riyadh, which is allied to the authorities in Islamabad, last week welcomed his killing as a boost to international anti-terror efforts. Pakistan is holding in protective custody three of bin Laden’s widows, who come from Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and 13 of their children. — Agencies

Gaddafi arrest warrant sought Continued from Page 1 watchdog’s director of law and policy. “However, the international community that came together in such unprecedented agreement to refer Libya to the International Criminal Court, cannot allow justice to appear selective. “By any standard, what is happening in Syria is equal to if not worse than the situation in Libya when the Security Council referred that country to the ICC.” Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said the days of Gaddafi’s regime were “numbered” and that some Libyan officials were looking for a way for their leader to go into exile. “Messages have been arriving from the regime’s restricted circle,” Frattini said in a Channel 5 television interview. “Certain (members) have spoken under cover and are beginning to say that Gaddafi is looking for an honourable way out,” he added. Russia said it would hold talks today with envoys of the Libyan leader before having a separate meeting with rebel representatives at a later date. “We have agreed Moscow meetings with representatives of both Tripoli and Benghazi,” the ITAR-TASS news agency quoted Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying. Russia has refused to accept the rebels as a legitimate power in Libya and still has formal ties with the Gaddafi regime. On Sunday, Gaddafi’s prime minister Baghdadi Mahmudi offered a truce to UN special envoy, AbdulIlah Al-Khatib, in return for an immediate NATO cease-

fire. Mahmudi said after meeting Khatib that Libya wants “an immediate ceasefire to coincide with a stop to the NATO bombardment and the acceptance of international observers,” JANA reported. Britain’s chief of the defence staff, General David Richards, told the Sunday Telegraph newspaper that more military action was needed against the Libyan strongman. “The vice is closing on Gaddafi, but we need to increase the pressure further through more intense military action,” he said. Yesterday, NATO carried out strikes at a radar station in an outlying suburb of Tripoli, while state news agency JANA quoted a military source as saying that “civilian and military sites” had been targeted in Tajura east of the capital causing “human and material losses.” In Cairo, the 22-member Arab League asked the satellite operator Arabsat - which it owns - to stop transmitting Libyan state-owned television channels. The rebellion against Gaddafi has claimed thousands of lives while seeing much of eastern Libya fall into the hands of insurgents who have vowed to march on Tripoli and topple him. In the main eastern city Benghazi, rebel spokesman Jalal Al-Gallal touted the uprising’s achievements. “These three months have been very long,” Gallal told AFP. “But we managed to secure the eastern areas, free Misrata and the mountainous regions in the west.” He added: “Gaddafi’s isolation is irreversible. And most importantly, we achieved freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of movement. Gaddafi’s biggest mistake was failing to understand how important these were for us.” — AFP

Iran sends flotilla to Bahrain Continued from Page 1 Saudi-led forces will remain there after a state of emergency is lifted next month, raising the stakes in the world’s top oil-exporting region. Meanwhile, Iran’s foreign minister is due to visit Kuwait this week, the Iranian embassy said yesterday, at a time of increasingly hostile relations between Sunni-ruled Gulf Arab states and predominantly Shiite Iran. Kuwait sentenced three men to death in March for being part of an alleged Iranian spy ring, and Bahrain has accused Tehran of stoking Shiite-led protests which were put down in March with the help of Saudi and UAE troops. Iran criticised the use of Saudi troops to quell the protests, drawing an accusation of interference in

Bahrain’s internal affairs from the sixmember Gulf Cooperation Council, greatly concerned about Iran’s influence in the region. Iranian officials have denied meddling in Bahrain - but Iran sent a flotilla of boats carrying 120 activists there yesterday to show solidarity with protesters in the island kingdom. Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi will arrive in Kuwait tomorrow and will meet HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Sabah, and other senior officials, the Iranian embassy said in a statement. “Ali Akbar Salehi ... will arrive on Wednesday ... heading a high-profile delegation, and the programme includes... discussions with his brother Sheikh Mohammad AlSabah (Kuwait’s foreign minister) on the path of bilateral relations and ways to strengthen them,” the statement

said. In March, a Kuwaiti court sentenced two Iranians and a Kuwaiti to death for being part of an alleged Iranian spy ring in a case that has strained relations between Kuwait and the Islamic Republic. Kuwaiti media said in May 2010 a number of Kuwaitis and foreigners suspected of spying for Iran had been detained. Media reports said they were accused of gathering information on Kuwaiti and US military sites for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. “The embassy has not been officially informed until now about the details (of the case),” Iran’s charge d’affaires, Mohammad Shehabi, said in the statement. Kuwait expelled three Iranian diplomats last month, alleging they were involved in the espionage case, and Iran retaliated by expelling three Kuwaiti diplomats. — Agencies

Scientists find gene link to depression Continued from Page 1 “These findings ... will help us track down specific genes that are altered in people with this disease,” said Gerome Breen of King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, who led the other research group. The researchers said they believed many genes were involved in depression. These findings are unlikely to benefit patients immediately, with any new drugs developed from them likely to take another 10 to 15 years. However, they will help scientists understand what may be happening at the genetic and molecular levels in people with depression. The first study analysed more 800 families with recurrent depression, while the second examined depression and heavy smoking in a series of families from Australia and Finland. Both studies were published in the American Journal of Psychiatry on Monday and both teams reported a strong link between depression and genetic variations in a region called chromosome 3p25-26. “Normally in genetic studies of depression, replication of findings is very difficult and frequently takes years to emerge, if ever,” said Breen, who gave a briefing in London about the work. Major depression affects about 20 percent of people at some point in their lives. Severe and recurring depression affects up to 4 percent of people and is notoriously hard to treat. The World Health Organisation has forecast that depression will rival heart disease as the health disorder with the highest disease burden in the world by 2020. According to a 2006 study, depression is responsible for 100 million lost working days a year in England and Wales alone at a cost of 9 billion pounds ($14.6 billion). Studies of families with depression have indicated that the disorder has a genetic link and scientists think around 40 percent of the risk of developing it is contributed by genes, with the rest down to environmental and other external factors. “We are just beginning to make our way through the maze of influences on depression and this is an important step toward understanding what may be happening at the genetic and molecular levels,” Michele Pergadia, who worked on Washington University study, said in a statement about the findings. Breen’s team is now conducting detailed gene sequencing studies in 40 of the families involved in the first study to try to find specific genes and variations that show a link. Separately, according to a European study, sleep deprivation makes the day drag and appears to put a drag on metabolism too, causing the body to use less

energy. The results, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, add to evidence that sleep loss can promote weight gain - not just by boosting hunger but also by slowing the rate at which calories are burned. The study suggests that getting plenty of sleep might prevent weight gain, said Christian Benedict of Uppsala University in Sweden, who led the study. “Our findings show that one night of sleep deprivation acutely reduces energy expenditure in healthy men, which suggests sleep contributes to the acute regulation of daytime energy expenditure in humans,” he wrote. Previous studies have linked sleep deprivation with weight gain and also shown how disrupted sleep also disrupts levels of stress- and hunger-related hormones during waking hours. To help identify the exact mechanisms by which a lack of sleep might have these effects, Benedict and his colleagues put 14 male university students through a series of sleep “conditions” - curtailed sleep, no sleep, and normal sleep - over several days, then measured changes in how much they ate, their blood sugar, hormone levels and indicators of their metabolic rate. They found that even a single night of missed sleep slowed metabolism the next morning, reducing energy expenditure for tasks like breathing and digestion by 5 percent to 20 percent, compared with the morning after a good night’s sleep. The young men also had higher morning levels of blood sugar, appetite-regulating hormones such as ghrelin, and stress hormones such as cortisol after sleep disruption. Still, the sleep loss did not boost the amount of food the men consumed during the day. A number of studies have observed that people who sleep five hours or less are more prone to weight gain and weigh-related diseases such as type-2 diabetes. But those studies do not prove that sleep loss causes weight gain. Experts said that factors such as lifestyle and diet might add to obesity risks and that it was not clear that sleep deprivation led to obesity. Sanford Auerbach, head of the Sleep Disorders Center at Boston Medical Center, noted that sleep deprivation is a complex issue, with medication and other issues influencing sleep as well, and urged that the new findings be kept in context. “They showed that we adapt to sleep deprivation and that some of these adaptations could theoretically contribute to obesity,” he said, adding that it’s not clear how chronic sleep loss influences hormone levels. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get about seven to nine hours of sleep each night. — Reuters

IMF chief denied bail in sex case Continued from Page 1 On Sunday the maid, 32, picked Strauss-Kahn from a police lineup that included five other men, a police spokesman said. In a humiliating fall from grace for one of the world’s most powerful men, Strauss-Kahn had his irises scanned along with suspected petty criminals in the Manhattan courtroom. Graphic details were also described by prosecutors in the courtroom. They alleged StraussKahn shut the door of his hotel room to prevent the maid from leaving. “He grabbed the victim’s chest without consent, attempted to remove her pantyhose, and forcibly grabbed the victim’s vaginal area,” the prosecutors’ office said in a written statement, summarizing the complaint against Strauss-Kahn. “His penis made contact with the victim’s mouth twice through the use of force.” The judge’s order that StraussKahn should be kept in custody in New York raises further questions about his future as the globe-trotting managing director of the IMF. The IMF board was due to meet informally yesterday for an update on its managing director. His second in command, John Lipsky, already has been put in charge in StraussKahn’s absence. The White House said the United States, the single biggest member of the fund, remained confident in the IMF’s ability to do its job. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom Strauss-Kahn had been due to meet on Sunday, said

that finding a successor for the Frenchman was “not a question for today”, but there were good grounds to have a European candidate ready. European sources said French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde had been picking up support before the Strauss-Kahn news broke. Former Turkish Economy Minister Kemal Dervis is considered a favorite among the non-European possibilities. The IMF chief underwent a forensic examination by police looking for scratches or evidence of his alleged assault. Strauss-Kahn led the IMF through the 2007-09 global financial meltdown, pressing for stimulus measures and interest rate cuts to avoid a depression. He has been central in galvanizing Europe to tackle its debt woes. The IMF said StraussKahn had been in New York on private business during his $3,000-anight stay at a luxury suite in the New York hotel. French Socialist party leader Martine Aubry called the pictures of the IMF chief, which dominated news bulletins, “profoundly humiliating” and told reporters: “Fortunately in France we have a law on the presumption of innocence which means that at this stage of proceedings, people cannot be shown like this.” More allegations involving StraussKahn surfaced in Paris, where a lawyer said a woman writer was considering filing a legal complaint against the IMF chief over an alleged sexual incident dating back to 2002. Police have said the maid had described how the naked IMF chief sprang on her from the bathroom of

his hotel suite, chased her down a hall, pulled her into a bedroom and assaulted her. She told police she broke free but that he dragged her into the bathroom where he forced himself on her again. Strauss-Kahn’s wife, French television personality Anne Sinclair, jumped to her husband’s defense, saying she did not believe the accusations “for a single second,” and other supporters in France cautioned against a rush to judgment. Police say Strauss-Kahn left his suite in such a rush that he left his mobile phone behind, but a French tourist who said she saw him check out told France 2 television he had appeared calm and in no hurry. After he called the hotel from John F Kennedy airport asking about his phone, police found him in the firstclass section of an Air France flight bound for Paris. He was pulled from the flight minutes before takeoff. Police say the IMF chief does not have diplomatic immunity from the charges. In France, Strauss-Kahn had not yet declared his candidacy but was widely expected to seek the Socialist Party nomination. Early opinion polls gave him a big lead over conservative incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, who is likely to seek a second term at the election next April. The left-leaning French daily Liberation published comments it said he had made at a private lunch with reporters last month in which he said the three most difficult hurdles for his presidential bid would be “money, women and my Jewishness”. — Reuters

TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011


Maradona to coach Al Wasl DUBAI: Diego Maradona has signed a two-season contract to coach Dubai’s Al Wasl, the club said yesterday. “Al Wasl can now confirm soliciting the services of one of the greatest footballers of all time,” the club said in a statement. The deal was finalised “after lengthy negotiations held with Maradona” said the club, adding that they hoped the 50-year-old former Argentina captain would take the team to new heights. Details of Maradona’s contract would be revealed at a news conference next month when he would be introduced to the club. “The value of the contract is worthy of the stature and reputation of the great legend,” Marwan Bin Bayat, chairman of Al Wasl Football Co., said. A source told Reuters on Sunday that the deal was 85 percent done. Maradona captained Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986, while his last coaching role was also with his national side. His spell as Argentina coach ended last July after the country’s football association voted unanimously not to renew his contract following the team’s 4-0 thrashing by Germany in the World Cup

London 2012 — free ticket plans LONDON: London 2012 organisers highlighted a scheme offering free tickets to schoolchildren yesterday, the day some successful applicants in the paying public saw the first debits from their bank accounts. Organisers said 125,000 tickets, including for showcase events involving sprint champion Usain Bolt, would be distributed to schools in the capital that had signed up to the ‘Get Set’ programme by Dec. 16. A further 50,000 tickets would be available to schools outside London and 25,000 distributed by the British Olympic and Paralympic associations and Sport England and to soldiers through Tickets for Troops. London Mayor Boris Johnson told Reuters after a presentation at a North

London school that two-thirds of the tickets available would be for Olympic events but opening and closing ceremonies were excluded. It would be up to schools to decide how to allocate their tickets. More free tickets could also be handed out closer to the event to avoid the empty seats seen at previous Olympics. “We thought one in eight was the right number,” Johnson said after playing table tennis with pupils in a breezy playground. “You don’t want to give away too many free tickets otherwise you devalue them. “But there will be an opportunity, we think, for kids to get into events if they are under-subscribed and if the (Olympic) Park needs filling up on the day,” he added. —Reuters

Busquets cleared for Champions League final MADRID: Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets has been cleared to play in the Champions League final after UEFA dismissed Real Madrid’s claim he racially insulted fullback Marcelo in their heated semi-final first leg. UEFA said there was a “lack of strong and convincing evidence” against Busquets. “The chairman of the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body, acting as a judge sitting alone, has today decided to dismiss the complaint lodged by Real Madrid for racial abuse against its player Marcelo by Barcelona player Sergio Busquets in the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg between the clubs in Madrid on 27 April, due to a lack of strong and convincing evidence,” UEFA said in a statement yesterday. Barcelona, who sealed a third straight La Liga title last week, face English Premier League champions Manchester United in the final of Europe’s elite club competition at London’s Wembley stadium on May 28.—Reuters

Brewers sweep Pirates

Sensei Mohammad Al-Sadiq (middle) is awarded.

Al-Bu’aijan awards sensei Hassan Al-Manna’a.

KBC awards Karate Kids KUWAIT: The Kuwait Banks Club recently held karate training for the club’s junior members, supervised by sensei Hassan Manna’a, held under the patronage of KBC executive director Hesham Al-Bu’aijan, sports committee chairman Khalil AlBloushi, KBC assistant director Abbas Al-

Bloushi, and Kuwaiti karate sensei Mohammad Al-Sadiq. In a statement to the press, Al-Bu’aijan acknowledged the “noticeable improvement” in the trainees’ technical level, commending the efforts of sensei Mohammad Al-Sadiq who supervised the kids’ training sessions.

Al-Bu’aijan awards a karate pupil after passing his test.

MILWAUKEE: Ryan Braun homered, tripled and drove in four runs to lead leading a shaky Zack Greinke and the Milwaukee Brewers over the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-6 Sunday for a three-game sweep. Casey McGehee and Jonathan Lucroy also homered as the Brewers beat Pittsburgh for the ninth straight time at Miller Park. The Pirates have lost five in a row overall. Greinke (21) was flawless for the first four innings. He gave up five runs in the fifth as the Pirates pulled to 6-5, and left after the inning. Braves 3, Phillies 2 At Atlanta, Dan Uggla hit a tiebreaking home run off Roy Halladay in the eighth inning to cap a productive afternoon in which Atlanta second baseman had two hits and a walk. Freddie Freeman drove in two runs for Atlanta, Jonny Venters (3-0) pitched a perfect eighth and Craig Kimbrel recorded the final three outs for his 10th save. Pinch-hitter Ben Francisco led off the ninth with a walk, and he moved to second with two outs on a wild pitch. Kimbrel ended the game on Rollins’ soft fly ball to left field. John Mayberry had a two-run homer for Philadelphia. Mets 7, Astros 4 At Houston, Justin Turner homered and drove in a career-high five runs, and Jason Pridie hit a go-ahead single and stole home as New York downed Houston. Chris Capuano (34) allowed six hits and two runs in five innings. He struck out six. Aneury Rodriguez (0-2) didn’t allow a hit until the fifth, but finished with five earned runs and four walks in his third major league start.

Francisco Rodriguez pitched a perfect ninth for his 12th straight save. He has not allowed a run in 14 appearances since April 14. Reds 9, Cardinals 7 At Cincinnati, Brandon Phillips hit a bases-loaded double in the seventh inning that ended St. Louis’ Chris Carpenter’s outing and his five-year streak of beating Cincinnati. Carpenter (1-3) hadn’t lost to the Reds since June 6, 2006, winning his last 10 decisions. Left-hander Travis Wood (3-3) gave up back-to-back solo homers by Lance Berkman and Yadier Molina in the second inning, but little else against the NL’s most prolific lineup. D’backs 4, Dodgers 1 At Los Angeles, Ian Kennedy pitched six innings, and Xavier Nady and Ryan Roberts hit consecutive homers to help Arizona beat Los Angeles. Kennedy (4-1) allowed a run and four hits, struck out eight and walked one to help the Diamondbacks win a series at Dodger Stadium for the first time since August 2007. Ted Lilly (34) gave up four runs and five hits over six innings and struck out five. The 35-year-old left-hander, coming off a 10-3 win at Pittsburgh last Tuesday, has yet to win consecutive starts this season after going 7-4 following a trade last July 31. Padres 8, Rockies 2 At Denver, Mat Latos snapped a personal 10-game losing streak and Ryan Ludwick homered in San Diego’s win over slumping Colorado. Latos (1-5) hadn’t won since Sept. 7, 2010, and his 10 straight losing decisions were one shy of the club record set by right-hander Gary Ross

MILWAUKEE: Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Kevin Correia pitches to the Milwaukee Brewers in the first inning. —AP in 1969. Latos was victimized by poor run support during his streak — the Padres scored more than two runs just twice for him during the 10game skid. Ludwick, though, gave him all the cushion he’d need when he sent a 91 mph fastball from Jason Hammel (33) over the left-center field fence for his sixth homer in the fourth inning. The three-run shot put San Diego ahead 3-1. Nationals 8, Marlins 4 At Washington, Jason Marquis pitched into the seventh inning to

win his fifth game, and drove in two runs to lead the Nationals over Florida. Marquis (5-1) drove in two runs in the first with an RBI double, and added a single in the fourth. He allowed two runs in the second — one of them unearned — and two in the seventh, but still got credit for snapping Florida’s eight-game winning streak in Washington. Javier Vazquez (2-4), who left the team for three days after the death of his wife’s relative in Puerto Rico, allowed six runs and six hits in four innings. —AP

Rangers close in on Angels ARLINGTON: Chris Davis homered and later drove in the tiebreaking run with an eighthinning single as the Texas Rangers beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-4 in Sunday’s clash of the American League West’s top teams. The Rangers loaded the bases to star t the eighth after Rich Thompson (1-2) failed to retire any of the three batters he faced. Davis then singled to right off Hisanori Takahashi. Adrian Beltre also homered for the defending AL champion Rangers, who moved within a half-game of the Angels for the division lead. Davis’ homer in the fourth put Texas up 4-1. It was only his second homer of the season. Mark Lowe (1-0) got out the only batter he faced to claim the win, before Nef tali Feliz pitched the ninth for his eighth save in eight chances. Orioles 9, Rays 3 In St. Petersburg, JJ Hardy hit a grand slam to power Baltimore to victory over Tampa Bay. The Orioles loaded the bases when Rays pitcher Rob Delaney issued three straight walks — only one intentional — in the sixth. Hardy then put Baltimore up 8-2 when

he hit his third career grand slam, off Cesar Ramos. Nick Markakis added a solo shot for Baltimore. Orioles starter Jake Arrieta (5-1) allowed four hits over six innings to claim a career-best fourth consecutive decision. Red Sox 7, Yankees 5 In New York, Boston completed a three - game sweep at archrival New York for the first time in seven years. Kevin Youkilis hit a tying three -run homer and David Ortiz had a goahead drive for the Red Sox, who reached .500 for the first time this season after an 0-6 start. Boston starter Jon Lester (5-1) began poorly but beat New York again and Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit his first Red Sox homer. Despite jumping out to a 4-1 lead, the Yankees lost their fifth straight — all at home — for their longest skid in two years. White Sox 4, Athletics 3 In Oakland, Alexei Ramirez had three hits, including a home run, as Chicago edged Oakland. Ramirez drove in two runs and Omar Vizquel had two hits. White Sox starter Mark Buehrle (3-3) won for only the second

MLB results/standings Three karate students pose in a family photo following their awarding.

Karate kids performing katas during a test.

Major League Baseball results and standings on Sunday. Cincinnati 9, St. Louis 7; Atlanta 3, Philadelphia 2; Washington 8, Florida 4; Baltimore 9, Tampa Bay 3; NY Mets 7, Houston 4; Toronto 11, Minnesota 3; Milwaukee 9, Pittsburgh 6; Texas 5, LA Angels 4; San Diego 8, Colorado 2; Chicago White Sox 4, Oakland 3; Arizona 4, LA Dodgers 1; Boston 7, NY Yankees 5; Cleveland v Seattle (postponed); Detroit v Kansas City (postponed); Chicago Cubs v San Francisco (postponed). National League American League Eastern Division Eastern Division Philadelphia 25 14 .641 W L PCT GB Florida 23 16 .590 2 Tampa Bay 23 17 .575 Atlanta 23 19 .548 3.5 NY Yankees 20 18 .526 2 Washington 19 21 .475 6.5 Toronto 20 20 .500 3 NY Mets 19 21 .475 6.5 Boston 20 20 .500 3 Central Division Baltimore 19 20 .487 3.5 Cincinnati 23 17 .575 Central Division St. Louis 22 19 .537 1.5 Cleveland 24 13 .649 Milwaukee 19 21 .475 4 Detroit 22 18 .550 3.5 Pittsburgh 18 22 .450 5 Kansas City 20 19 .513 5 Chicago Cubs17 21 .447 5 Chicago 17 24 .415 9 Houston 15 25 .375 8 Minnesota 12 26 .31612.5 Western Division Western Division San Francisco 22 17 .564 LA Angels 22 19 .537 Colorado 20 18 .526 1.5 LA Dodgers 19 22 .463 4 Texas 21 19 .525 .5 Arizona 17 22 .436 5 Oakland 20 20 .500 1.5 San Diego 17 23 .425 5.5 Seattle 16 23 .410 5

ARLINGTON: Los Angeles Angels’ Torii Hunter (48) jumps out to the way of a pitch during the third inning of the baseball game against the Texas Rangers. —AP

time in 15 appearances at Oakland. Athletics starter Trevor Cahill (6-1) gave up a seasonworst 10 hits in seven innings to suffer his first loss of 2011. Blue Jays 11, Twins 3 In Minneapolis, Jose Bautista hit three homers for the first time in his career, adding to his major league -leading total, helping Toronto complete a three - game sweep of Minnesota. Jose Molina also had three hits for the Blue Jays, who scored in each of the first four

innings. Yunel Escobar and Aaron Hill also had a pair of hits for the visitors. The vic tor y ex tended Toronto’s winning streak to a season-best five games and allowed the Blue Jays (20-20) to get back to the .500 mark for the first time in nearly a month. M innesota has lost eight straight and heads out for a weeklong West Coast road trip. The defending AL Central champions have the worst record in the major leagues.—AP




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TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011


Olympic champion Wanjiru dies after fall NYAHURURU: Kenyan Olympic marathon champion Samuel Wanjiru plunged to his death from the first-floor balcony of his home after the athlete’s wife found him in bed with another woman, police told Reuters. Regional police chief Jaspher Ombati said that Wanjiru’s wife, Triza Njeri, surprised the couple when she came home late on Sunday, locked them in the bedroom and ran outside. “In a rage, Samuel K amau Wanjiru jumped from the first floor of the house and he was badly injured. When he was rushed to the hospital the doctors tried to resusciate him but unfortunately he passed on,” said Ombati. Wanjiru, 24, won Kenya’s first men’s marathon gold in Beijing in 2008 and had been regarded as one of the greatest current talents in an east African country long renowned for its distance runners. He also won the prestigious London and Chicago marathons, but his private life was troubled. Ombati said Wanjiru returned home with the woman after a drinking spree. Nyahururu residents said Wanjiru had taken to heavy drinking of late and was stressed by personal problems. Last December, Wanjiru was charged with threatening to kill Njeri with an AK-47 assault rifethe accusation was later withdrawn as his wife said they were reconciled-and he rolled his car in January after swerving to avoid an oncoming truck.

Wanjiru was still due to appear in court later this month for the illegal possession of the weapon. Athletics Kenya Secretary General David Okeyo said Wanjiru’s man-

showed police looking at blood stains on the ground below the balcony of Wanjiru’s house in Nyahururu, a town in the Rift Valley some 150 km (94 miles)

“Wanjiru’s death is not only a loss to his family and friends but to Kenya as a whole and the entire world athletics fraternity,” Prime Minister Raila Odinga said

BEIJING: In this Aug. 24, 2008 file photo, Kenya’s Sammy Kamau Wanjiru celebrates winning the gold during the men’s marathon at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. Wanjiru died in Kenya early yesterday, after jumping from a balcony, police said.—AP ager had been planning to take him away from Kenya this month for therapy because the gun charge was taking a heavy toll. Video footage yesterday

northwest of the capital Nairobi. Njeri and Wanjiru’s female companion recorded statements at the police station in Nyahururu and were later released.

in a statement. “As an athletics nation, we looked forward to a sterling performance in the Olympic Games in London next year. Mr Wanjiru

was one of our sure bets for gold in the upcoming contest. H is death is therefore a big blow to our dreams,” Odinga said. Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie, the world marathon record holder, said he was “totally shocked” by the news. “Of course, one wonders if we, as an athletics family, could have avoided this tragedy. My thoughts are with his family and all his friends and colleagues,” Gebrselassie said on his Twitter account. Kenya’s Vice President Kalonzo Musyok a urged the countr y ’s sports management institutions to embark on a programme to prepare sports stars to handle fame and fortune gracefully. Wanjiru’s talent was spotted when he won a cross countr y selection trial in Kenya and he moved to Japan in 2002 as a young man to attend high school. The runner defied the heat of Beijing in 2008 to triumph in an Olympic record time of two hours, six minutes and 32 seconds at the games held in China. Another Ethiopian, the Olympic and world 5,000 and 10,000 metres champion Kenenisa Bekele, said he had hoped to race against Wanjiru when he stepped up to the marathon. “I am so sorry for his family and friends to lose this great athlete and person. I looked up to him and saw him as a great marathon athlete,” Bekele said in a statement. —Reuters

Money gone, paralyzed ex-athlete fights to survive ROBBINS: Rocky Clark sometimes dreams he is running track, racing around the oval as he once did, his heart pumping fast and his long legs a blur as he crossed the finish line. Just thinking about it makes him smile. Some nights, though, he has another recurring dream, this one pure fantasy. He sees himself in white shorts and track shoes, running again, then stopping, kneeling in prayer before a church door, somehow unable to make it inside. When he awakens, Rocky Clark inhabits a world largely confined to four walls. Surrounding him are glass-encased autographed footballs and cherished memories of his glory days: Blue-and-gold ribbons. Trophies. And giant varsity letters from Eisenhower High School, his alma mater. Clark can do little but swivel his head. He cannot move his arms or legs. More than a decade ago, he was paralyzed from the neck down after being tackled in a high school football game. After nine months in rehab and a hospital bill approaching $1 million, he went home. As a quadriplegic, his long-term prospects were slim. And over the years, there have been regular hospital stays and health scares; no surprise, considering Clark’s fragile condition. He has just one working lung. His right lung is partially paralyzed; certain infections could kill him. And yet Clark has endured. His doctor credits top-notch, roundthe-clock home health care paid for by the school district’s $5 million catastrophic health insurance policy. But that has run out, so the nurses and money are gone, replaced by his mother, growing financial pressures and a new sense of foreboding. Rasul “Rocky” Clark beat the odds. And now he wonders if he is paying a price for his survival. A week before his injury, Rocky Clark vowed to his mother that he would strike it rich as an athlete one day and buy her a house. Annette Clark remembers her son as an acrobatic kid who mastered back flips at age 7, ran too fast for a spanking and was always throwing balls and rocks, the inspiration of his nickname, bestowed upon him by an uncle. He took up track, football and baseball and excelled at all three, collecting ribbons, trophies and medals. “I love awards,” he now says. “It’s a need thing.” On a warm September night in 2000 just four plays into the game, Clark, a high school junior running back for the Eisenhower Cardinals, was grabbed by the shoulder and tackled. His head hit the ground. At first, he recalls, there was silence. “When I started coming around, I heard a bunch of ringing,” he says. “My whole body was vibrating, like a spring. I felt cold air. I tried to get up, but I couldn’t.” Clark’s neck had been broken in two places. He spent about nine months at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, wondering if his injury was some sort of cruel payback for something he had done in his 16 years. “I said to myself ... ‘Maybe there was something I said I shouldn’t have said. Maybe there was something I did that I shouldn’t have done,”‘ he recalls. “I didn’t do anybody wrong. I didn’t get in trouble. ... I prayed every day. I didn’t go to church all the time ... but I was good.” “Then,” he says, pausing for a breath, “I realized things happen. Life doesn’t always give us what we expect. I’ve got a spinal-cord injury, but there’s nothing wrong with my brain. I’ve got a strong spirit and courage. You’ve

just got to learn to deal with it.” Clark finished high school, donning cap and gown and having a friend wheel him across the stage so he could accept his diploma. He took some college courses, but a full-time schedule proved too difficult. (He would like to return, but cannot afford it.) He became a volunteer coach at Eisenhower, attending games. All of it was made possible by the care provided through the district’s insurance policy. Clark says when the $5 million policy ran out several months ago, he assumed it would be renewed. It was not. “A limit on life? That’s crazy,” Clark says, his pencil-thin frame covered by a white sheet. “I thought I’d be being taken care of the rest of my life.” His mother, Annette, who filed for bankruptcy because of financial problems, says they feel abandoned by the school. “They have a moral responsibility to take care of him,” she says. “It depresses me and makes me angry. My son deserves better.”

of the new health reform law, so the ranks of those exhausting their policies will drop sharply over the coming years, and will be eliminated by 2014, McRaith says. That does not help Clark, whose insurance has been so critical, according to Dr. Charles Beck, who has cared for him the past eight years. He wrote a letter to the school and insurance company, claiming “the loss of these benefits eventually is going to lead to his demise.” In recent weeks, Clark’s mother, along with an array of supporters — some new, others longtime boosters — have drummed up attention with news stories, fundraisers, a letter-writing campaign to the school and two new websites. Their theory is simple: If they can keep his cause alive, they can keep him alive Denise King, whose husband is an associate pastor at a church in Chicago’s Loop, knew about Clark and when she heard of his latest troubles, she could not

Rocky Clark and his mother The school district says both its new insurer and the one that held the $5 million policy refused its requests to obtain a new policy for Clark. “No one is going to sell us insurance for Rocky,” says John Byrne, the school superintendent. “I feel kind of helpless.” Rocky Clark’s injury is unusual, but his predicament is not. A 2009 study estimated that 20,000 to 25,000 people in the United States had reached the limits of their catastrophic health insurance. Many find themselves in dire straits: critically ill, facing crushing medical bills, struggling to remain in their homes, according to the state insurance commissioner. “They’re facing unenviable decisions that balance life, death, financial security and poverty _ meaning the choice they make is a choice no person ever wants to make,”‘ says Michael McRaith, director of the Illinois Department of Insurance. Annual limits are being phased out and lifetime caps ended last September as part

sleep. “I thought this must be God telling me to do something,” she says. The church hosted a small fundraiser in May. This spotlight has helped: Dozens of people have donated money, supplies, even a water cooler. They join others, notably the Chicago Bears, who’ve been generous supporters over the years, donating, among other things, more than $100,000 to make the Clark house in this southern Chicago suburb wheelchair accessible, according to Don Grossnickle, a deacon who heads Gridiron Alliance. The group helps disabled high school football players in the state and tries to draw attention to safety issues. Clark’s chances of surviving a decade or more were only about 10 percent, according to Beck. He credits Annette Clark, who receives government aid as a caregiver, and topflight nurses with doing “an absolutely remarkable job,” of protecting him from potentially fatal infections and illnesses. He also praises the resilience of mother and

son: “They don’t fold,” Beck says. But Beck believes that Medicaid and other state support Clark now relies on are not enough to provide the necessary supplies, medicine, breathing equipment and 24-hour specialized care. And moving him, Beck says, is not a good option. “If he had been living in a nursing home, he would have been dead five years ago,” Beck says, and if he’s sent to one now, “I would say goodbye to him. He would go to God. ... He requires more care than any nursing facility I’m familiar with.” Insurance is a business, and Beck says he knows that. But he also believes that defying medical expectations has somehow become almost a punishment. “It’s confusing to me why their responsibility ends when that $5 million is gone ...,” he says. “If he happened to outlive the actual projection ... does he suffer now because his care was good enough ... and he was lucky enough? I don’t understand it.” At 27, the sculpted biceps that once filled the No. 21 red-and-white jersey have long since withered beneath a husk of skin and bones. As Clark has grown from a teenager to a man, he has learned to adjust to a life where someone else has to brush his teeth or scratch an itch. He misses using his hands: He liked to sketch as a teen — his walls are adorned with pencil drawings of people and dogs that show raw promise. And he wonders how far he could have gone as an athlete. “To have so much talent and never reach my full potential ...,” he says, his raspy voice trailing off in a whisper. But Clark tries to focus on what he has, not what he has lost. An iron will. Drive. And pride. “People tell me how inspirational I am,” he says. “I’ve always been a motivator.” He relies on faith, too: “I leave it in God’s hands.” And he says it’s pointless to be bitter. “There’s always someone who’s got it worse than you,” he says. And yet, he adds: “There are people who are not in my situation and they take life for granted. They have no determination. They don’t know things can take a turn for the worse in the blink of an eye.” Annette Clark is her son’s constant companion. She feeds him, washes him and sleeps on a recliner in the living room so she can hear him when he wakes at night. It’s a punishing pace. “Eventually, she’ll break down,” Beck says. “She has no ability to get a night’s sleep. It’s just a matter of time.” There’s also sadness in her routine. “It hurts for me to see him go down from muscle to nothing,” she says. “It hurts for me when I have to turn him. It really hurts my heart. ... I have moments when I feel like throwing my hands up. I want to ask why. ... I have my moments when I want to run away.” Instead, she soldiers on, always. From mid-April through early May, Rocky Clark was hospitalized with a blood clot in his paralyzed right lung. The morning after he was admitted, at 1 a.m., Annette Clark says her son looked at her and declared: “‘I’m tired of being sick.”‘ “What are you telling me?” she asked. Then, sensing he might be giving up, she warned: “Don’t say that to me anymore,” She walked out into the hall and cried. When she returned, he was asleep, and she wiped a tear running down his face. —AP

Emotions high ahead of Ryder Cup venue award LONDON: The 2018 Ryder Cup venue will be announced today, with many players and fans hoping European golf officials will honor Seve Ballesteros by sending the showpiece to Spain. The five-time major winner died this month following a three-year struggle against the effects of a brain tumor. Ballesteros’ family is among those suggesting that Tres Cantos, north of Madrid, should win out over bids from France, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal. “It would be the greatest tribute to him,” Baldomero Ballesteros said at his brother ’s funeral last week. “I appeal to the sensitivity of the Ryder Cup Committee of the European Tour to agree the greatest honor that could be bestowed on Seve is to award the competition to Spain. I appeal on behalf of the family.” Forever linked with the Ryder Cup after leading Europe to victory as player and captain, a weakened Ballesteros even made a rare public appearance in May 2010 to support Spain’s bid. “It would have made my brother ver y happy, for it was one of his dreams,” Baldomero Ballesteros said. But while none dispute that Ballesteros deserves honoring, some dissenting voices suggest that a tournament still seven years away is not the way to do it. Former European Ryder Cup captain Bernhard Langer pointed out that Spain already held the tournament in 1997, when Ballesteros led Europe to a single -point win at Valderamma. “Absolutely unfair,” Langer said in an inter view with Spain’s El Mundo newspaper. “It’s time the Ryder Cup went to Germany, France and Portugal. “There’d be no big problem if it were to return to Spain again but it would be unfair.” Like Ballesteros, Langer also won the Ryder Cup as captain and player. Padraig Harrington, Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie are among those to suggest that a fitting tribute to Ballesteros would be for the European Tour to adopt a silhouette image of Ballesteros at its logo. Germany is proposing Wittelsbacher Golf Club, an hour north of Munich; Portugal has the new Comporta Dunes project south of Lisbon on the Alentejo coast; and the Netherlands is offering The Dutch, 45 minutes from Amsterdam and Rotterdam. But the best-known course under consideration is the Le Golf National near Paris, which has been the venue for all but two French Opens in the last 20 years. That experience could play in France’s favor, especially after Europe’s Ryder Cup committee inroduced strict criteria for the bidding nations after accusations that the process lacked transparency when Wales was awarded the 2010 Ryder Cup ahead of Scotland. Pascal Grizot, who heads the Ryder Cup commission at the French golf federation, said he received good feedback and that the French bid, which is backed by the state, is among the favorites. He said France’s main rivals are Spain and Portugal but that his bid is suffering from the lack of French golfers ranked in the top 100. No French golfer won on the European Tour last year while Germany’s Martin Kaymer claimed four titles. “Some other bidding countries have contributed more than France to the Ryder Cup history and the European Tour might be tempted to favor one of those countries,” Grizot told French sports daily L’Equipe. “But we are ahead of the Netherlands and Portugal from this point of view.” But Portuguese officials insist their country’s recent request for a §78 billion bailout to avert national bankruptcy will not harm their chances. “It’s normal that the circumstances we’re in at the moment may have some influence, but we believe we have a very strong and very attractive bid and that things will change by 2018,” said Miguel Franco de Sousa, secretary-general of the Portuguese Golf Federation. The tournament would be played on a course to be built near Comporta, a village 60 kilometers (37.3 miles) south of Lisbon. “None of the other bids have a course which is one kilometer from the Atlantic on one of Europe’s most beautiful coastlines,” Franco de Sousa said. British book maker William Hill makes Spain the 8-11 favorite to host the tournament, with France 11-8 second favorite and Germany next at 5-1. The Netherlands and Portugal are outsiders at 20-1 and 25-1, respectively. Recent European Ryder Cups were held in Ireland in 2006, and Wales in 2010. The 2014 event will be played at Gleneagles in Scotland. —AP



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TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011

sp orts

Big victory for Choi, tough loss for Toms

SLOVAKIA: Members of Finland’s national hockey team hold their trophy while celebrating their victory against Sweden at final Hockey World Championships match. —AP

Finland thump Sweden 6-1 to win hockey gold BRATISLAVA: Finland swept aside Sweden 61 to win the gold medal at the world ice hockey championship on Sunday as solid goaltending and a blistering third period turned a close game into a rout. The Finns, who won their first title in 1995, fell behind in the second period after Edmonton Oiler forward Magnus Paajarvi’s rising shot soared into the top corner of the net to give Sweden a 1-0 lead. But Finland’s Jarkko Immonen’s slapshot tied the game with just seven seconds to go in the period when he scored his tournament-leading ninth goal while Sweden’s David Petrasek was in the penalty box for hooking. “That was huge,” Finnish defenseman Lasse Kukkonen told reporters. “Sweden know how to play when they have a lead.” The Swedes had chances but could not get another puck past Finland goalkeeper Petri Vehanen whose team broke the game open early in the third period with two quickfire goals. Before tonight’s game Sweden’s goalie Viktor Fasth-named the tournament’s most valuable player-had only given up six goals in six games in leading his team to the finals. But the floodgates opened when Petteri

Nokelainen one-timed the puck into the goal after a pass from Antti Pihlstrom on a threeon-one breakaway. Less than a minute later, Niko Kapanen stretched the lead to two goals. Janne Pesonen and Myko Pyorala notched a goal each in less than a minute before Finnish forward Pihlstrom rounded out the scoring with 55 seconds remaining. “I can’t really explain it,” Sweden forward Robert Nilsson said. “We made a couple of mistakes and they scored. Fasth has been the best player on our team in the tournament.” The teams were two of the youngest in the tournament and lacked the kind of big name NHL players on other teams such as early tournament favorites Russia and Canada. Earlier in the evening, the Czechs won the bronze medal with a 7-4 victory over Russia in a fast-paced, entertaining game in a rematch of last year’s final. It was the second time the Czechs beat the Russians in this year’s tournament. Roman Cervenka scored a hat trick to lead the way in a game in which Russia outshot the Czechs 43-28 but could not live up to their promise despite a roster including the National Hockey League’s Alexander Ovechkin and Ilya Kovalchuk.—Reuters

FLORIDA: With a mixture of sadness and celebration, K J Choi rolled in a 2-foot par putt on the infamous island green on the 17th hole at the TPC Sawgrass to claim the biggest win of his career. The sadness came from watching David Toms, who only moments earlier had hit two of his best shots of the week to make birdie on the 18th hole and force a playoff, miss a 3 1/2-foot par putt to effectively lose on the first extra hole. There was so much to celebrate, however. The Players Championship is the biggest event on the strongest tour in golf, and Choi had to wipe a few tears away when he won Sunday evening. Winning comes with a check for $1.71 million from the largest purse in tournament golf. Choi also earned a five -year exemption on the PGA Tour, and three-year exemptions to the Masters and US Open. But perhaps the most meaningful was the trophy — not the look of it or even the value of the crystal, but the name. Choi is the Players’ champion. Despite coming to America more than a decade ago, facing a language barrier and uncertain whether his game would be good enough to compete against the best, Choi has become a favorite among his peers. He was paired with Jack Nicklaus early in his PGA Tour career, and the Golden Bear took to him even before Choi won at the Memorial in 2007 and talked about learning golf by reading a book about Nicklaus. What helped make Tiger Woods’ return to competition last year at the Masters a little easier was having K.J. Choi in his group, and they wound up being paired all four days. “K.J. is just a great guy,” Woods said last year. “And on top of that, he’s learned a lot of English. Our conversations are getting a little bit longer now.” Fans reached out to touch Choi on his way to the tee, and he smiled and slapped their hands. Choi uses a translator — Michael Yim, his agent at IMG — when he wins tournaments, but he has no trouble speaking with anyone inside the ropes and often speaks English in broadcast

interviews. A few years ago, when a reporter forgot the Korean word for “thank you” after an interview, Choi turned to his agent and said, “I teach this guy one word seven years ago and he can’t remember. And he expects me to learn his whole language?” Then he broke into a laugh so infectious that everyone around joined in. Now they can embrace him for his play. Choi did everything The

of the final round. Tied for the lead, he hit 9-iron into 10 feet and holed the putt for birdie, punching the air with more emotion than he typically shows. Then it was Toms’ turn. Toms had been atop the leaderboard for the better part of five hours Sunday, and right when he fell behind, it looked as though nothing would go his way. He hit a beautiful tee shot

FLORIDA: KJ Choi holds up his trophy after winning The Players Championship golf tournament in Ponte Vedra Beach. —AP Players Championship demands out of its winner. He never got flustered, even as he was coming down the stretch of perhaps the most dynamic finish in golf. He played 27 holes on Sunday, having to start on the 11th hole in the morning to finish the raindelayed third round, and thus did something no other winner at Sawgrass had done before. He played the island-green 17th hole three times in one day — and found land all three times. The biggest play came in regulation

on the 18th hole — the hardest at Sawgrass, yielding only three birdies in the final round until that point — only for the ball to settle into a divot. From 178 yards, Toms produced his best swing of the day, a 6-iron that finished pin-high about 18 feet away. He made the birdie putt for a 2-under 70, and Choi completed a tough up-anddown from 80 feet by making a par putt from just inside 5 feet to set up the playoff. Choi also shot a 70, and they finished on 15-

under 273. Then came the playoff. “My mind was thinking, ‘Let’s not hit in the water, let’s try to get it on the green.’ And honestly, that’s all I was thinking,” Choi said. He did, only it was 40 feet away. Toms hit his shot to 18 feet, and when Choi missed with a good lag, Toms thought he had won the tournament until the ball slid by on the left side. Because of the slope, it kept going, about 31/2 feet past the hole. “I was probably thinking ahead, thinking about the next hole,” Toms said. “And I just got up there and missed it.” It was a dramatic finish worthy of this tournament. On two of the scariest holes on the course, the 17th and 18th, they traded birdies. But on the 17th one last time, a hole designed for theater, it was a flat finish when Toms missed his putt. “At that moment, when he missed that putt, as a fellow player I felt very sorry for him,” Choi said. “Because I know how that feels. I felt bad for him.” The finish took the focus off some other dubious results. US Open champion Graeme McDowell hit four balls in the water on his way to a 79. Nick Watney made 21 birdies and an eagle, but far too many mistakes to win. Paul Goydos shot 69 and finished alone in third, enough for him to turn what had been a miserable start to his season into a $646,000 check that locks up his card for the year. Ultimately, this was about Choi, who now feels at home in America raising his family and winning tournaments. This was his eighth career win, and it moved him to No. 15 in the world, and No. 2 in the Presidents Cup standing. Asked his reaction to winning, his opening comments spoke volumes about Choi. He thanked God — Choi often gives a percentage of his winnings to the local church in town — and was overwhelmed by the crowd support. And he thanked the players in his group whom he beat — Toms and McDowell. “They helped me play the way I did, like a good friend would,” Choi said. “They were fantastic playing partners ... and I really want to thank them for their attitude.” —AP

Victory signals new beginning for Sharapova ROME: Former world number one Maria Sharapova described her victor y over Samantha Stosur at the Italian Open on Sunday as a new start. “It’s a new journey. It’s not about me looking back and getting better or worse,” said the 24-year-old Russian who defeated Australian Stosur 6-2 6-4 in a one-sided final. “This is about starting from the beginning and getting better than I was before and improving. “I don’t think about how I played years ago. I’m not a 17-year-old girl anymore and the tour has changed with different players. You can’t rely on what you had in the past how you were

VANCOUVER: San Jose Sharks’ Kyle Wellwood (left) defends as Vancouver Canucks’ Jannik Hansen, of Denmark (36) tries to get a shot past Sharks’ goaltender Antti Niemi, of Finland, during the second period of Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference final playoff series. —AP

Canucks rally to beat Sharks VANCOUVER: Defenseman Kevin Bieksa equalized 7:02 into the third period and Henrik Sedin scored from a power play 1:19 later as the Vancouver Canucks came back to open their first Western Conference final in 17 years with a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Sunday. Maxim Lapierre scored his first of these playoffs, and Roberto Luongo made 27 saves — and a brutal first period giveaway — for the Canucks. Game 2 is tomorrow in Vancouver. Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau scored, and Antti Niemi stopped 35 shots for the Sharks, coming off an emotional, draining Game 7 victory over Detroit on Thursday night. San Jose took a 2-1 lead into the third period thanks to a goal on its only power play, and the gift from Luongo. But after failing to finish several great chances late in the second, Vancouver finally converted in the third. Alex Burrows got behind Dan Boyle on a left wing rush and fed a pass across and back to a pinching Bieksa atop the right faceoff circle. Bieksa’s wrist shot that caught Niemi sliding left and went past his blocker on the other side. Dany Heatley took an elbowing penalty 32 seconds later, and the Canucks’ power play, which looked terrible its first three chances after leading the NHL in the regular season, finally converted. A point pass from former Sharks defense-

man Christian Ehrhoff got Niemi moving right, and Sedin, whose only other goal in these playoffs was into an empty net, skated onto it the other way, waiting for Niemi to slide past before tucking a backhand shot into the empty net. San Jose, which almost blew a 3-0 series lead before beating Detroit, went up late in the first period thanks to a generous pass from Luongo to Thornton. Luongo, who was felled by a teammate’s shot off the mask in the warmups, tried to pass the puck to the top of the left circle from behind the net. But Thornton stepped in front of it and fired his third playoff goal into an empty net. Vancouver tied it 1:49 into the second period after Niemi’s pass was picked off on the boards and sent back behind the net to Jannik Hansen, who hit Lapierre cutting in front between two defenders for a quick shot past Niemi s glove. But the Canucks, off since eliminating Nashville late yesterday night, couldn’t convert the first three power plays of the game, failing to record even a shot on two. San Jose wasted little time scoring on its first chance, with Marleau left alone in the slot to deflect Boyle’s point shot over Luongo’s glove. It was the second goal in two games for the oft-criticized Marleau, whose first point of the conference semifinals turned into the Game 7 winner.—AP

in the past. You have to look to be better.” Although the victory was her third on clay from a career total of 23, the Russian said she was confident going into Roland Garros. “It would be the most challenging grand slam for me to win but I accept challenges,” she said. “I love them and that’s why I’m a tennis player It would be wonderful to be able to achieve that. It’s just a coincidence I have won other grand slams.” Sharapova, who took a long period off the circuit following surgery two years ago, said she kept to herself on the circuit. “It is tough to have really good friends on the tour,” she said. “I find it difficult to be

having dinner with someone one night and then having to play them two days later because it is at the end of the day an individual sport and we are all very competitive. “It’s typical in sport to try to beat each other. You know we are not on a team and as far as really close friends goes I have my family who come with me on the road. “I don’t hang around in the locker room - it’s my least favourite place in the world. I do my job at the site, I play matches, do what I have to do and live my world away from the site and don’t talk tennis all day. It’s not in my best interests.”—Reuters

Clijsters to play at French Open BRUSSELS: Kim Clijsters announced yesterday she will compete at the French Open after having recovered from multiple injuries. The Belgian said that she will play with her ankle taped but added that her shoulder and wrist injuries no longer impede her ahead of a Grand Slam tournament she has yet to win. Clijsters is a two-time runnerup at the French Open and slow clay is generally considered her weakest surface. Until last week, she had been considered doubtful to compete in Paris. She had been sidelined since early last month and resumed only on-court training two weeks ago. The tournament at Roland Garros starts Sunday. “Playing is going wonderful. I am hitting the ball very well and increasingly I am going for it,” she said. “I am not totally without pain, but the strong tape round my ankle gives me sufficient security.” During a busy early spring schedule, she overexer ted her right shoulder and wrist and withdrew from the tour last month. Her problems were compounded when she also injured her right ankle while wearing high heels at her cousin’s wedding.

With a slew of late withdrawals, including those from the Williams sisters, Roland Garros is wide open. And Clijsters, the reigning US and Australian Open champion, is confident she can do well. “The advantage is that I still have the spirit of the past Grand Slam tournaments. If I play well, I can win. Attitude is very important, even though the situation is physically very different,” she said. The grass of Wimbledon suits her game better and she has already signed up to compete in a warmup tournament in Rosmalen, Netherlands, which starts June 12. Clijsters should be rusty coming in. First she missed the Fed Cup semifinal against the Czech Republic, which Belgium lost. Then she was forced to skip the Italian Open because of her ankle injury. The complex ankle injury — ligaments were stretched on top of a torn ankle joint capsule and tendon sheath — forced her to keep her right ankle immobilized for several days. Two weeks ago, she finally resumed full training. “It has been a while since I played a match, let alone on red clay,” she said. “We will see where it takes me.”—AP

INDIAN WELLS: This March 13, 2011 file photo shows Kim Clijsters, of Belgium, returning a shot to Sara Errani of Italy. —AP



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Porto meet Braga in Europa League final full of contrast LISBON: Porto and Braga are almost neighbors but their heritage and playing styles are so different that tomorrow’s first all-Portuguese Europa League final is expected to be a clash of contrasts. Coach Andre Villas Boas has built a vintage Porto side, marrying a fluid and rampant attack with a hard-working midfield and a solid defence to lift the domestic title and reach a European final in his first season at the club. “We hope to have a beautiful end to the season. We may end up paying for our style, of wanting the ball and creating chances but we will not change,” the 33-year-old coach said ahead of the final in Dublin. “We would rather die than give up our style of play. Finals are to be well played, not to be boring.” The front pairing of prolific Colombia striker Falcao, who has scored a record 16 goals in a single Europa League season, and burly Brazilian Hulk means the side is seldom dull to watch. Based a mere 50 kilometres north of Porto, Domingos’ Braga were the surprise package in the

Colombia striker Falcao of Porto

competition as they relied on their clinical counter attacking style to reach the final. “We know we have reached a final when no one could see us doing so. We ended up using that as a weapon,” said Domingos, who will be leaving the club after tomorrow’s showdown. Their other weapons have been a solid defence built around strong South Americans and fast Portuguese players, pinpoint pass-

ing by midfielder Hugo Viana and efficient finishing by Brazilian forwards Lima and Alan. Their remarkable European journey started when they beat Celtic and Sevilla to reach their first Champions League group stage, where they recovered from a thrashing by Arsenal to post three respectable wins. They dropped into the Europa League and knocked out former

European champions Liverpool and Benfica with gritty, stubborn performances against more attacking teams. “We know perfectly well that our opponent is a tough one. But we have proven in the past that we are able to win regardless of who we play against,” Domingos said. As a former lethal striker at Porto, for whom he scored over 100 goals, Domingos will be all too aware of the difference in the two clubs’ international achievements. While Braga will play their maiden European final in Dublin, Porto have a rich pedigree with two European Cups, a UEFA Cup, an European Supercup and two world club titles in their trophy room already. “History doesn’t count here. These are 90 minutes on their own and old players like (former Porto keeper) Vitor Baia won’t be playing. History is in the past, it’s us now,” Falcao said. “We should not underestimate Braga, we cannot underestimate a team that has reached a final.”—Reuters

Ancelotti left in limbo amid Chelsea silence LONDON: Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti still has no idea whether he should be calling a removal van after the club stayed silent amid fervent speculation over his future. The Italian waved to fans not knowing if it was arrivederci or a final goodbye as the team walked round the pitch on Sunday after their 2-2 draw with Newcastle United, their last appearance at Stamford Bridge this term. They visit Everton on the final day of the Premier League next Sunday effectively assured of second place behind champions Manchester United, but whether that will be enough for owner Roman Abramovich after a trophyless season remains to be seen. Last term’s double in Ancelotti’s first season is a distant memory and a look back at how ruthless Abramovich has dealt with previous managers does not make happy reading for the Italian. Claudio Ranieri was axed after finishing runnerup in the Premier League and reaching a Champions League semi-final. Back-to-back league titles did not save fans hero Jose Mourinho when a sticky patch of form arrived and Avram Grant was sacked after being one John Terry slip away from winning the Champions League final. Luiz Felipe Scolari lasted seven months. “I don’t know what happens, we have to wait and after that I can explain. We have to just wait one week, it is not a long period and see what happens,” said Ancelotti, whose side also lost to Manchester United in the Champions League last eight. “If my job is good I will stay. If they think my job was not good I have to go. In my opinion sometimes I did a good job, sometimes I could do better.” His future may hinge on who Chelsea could bring in. Former Russia coach Guus Hiddink, who won the FA Cup as Chelsea caretaker between Scolari’s sacking and Ancelotti’s arrival and is reported to be a favourite of billionaire Abramovich, is under contact with the Turkey national team. His agent Cees van Nieuwenhuizen told Reuters last month there was “no chance” of Hiddink leaving Turkey before November and he was set to honour a four-year deal signed in 2010. Porto’s highly-rated boss Andre Villas Boas has said reports linking him with a move were “absurd” and that he plans to stay. Mourinho has talked of having unfinished business at his beloved Chelsea but is not likely to leave his Real Madrid project after one season and fell out with Abramovich anyway. Ancelotti may have an exit strategy with former club AS Roma yet to announce what is happening with their coaching situation. The Serie A side, who missed out on a Champions League place, appointed Vincenzo Montella as interim coach until the end of the season after Ranieri resigned in February. Recent poor results may mean Montella is not kept on by the club’s new American owners. It’s a punishing verdict for Roma,” Montella said after Sunday’s late 2-1 loss at Catania ruled them out of fourth spot. — Reuters

TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011

City toast Toure, Eto’o strikes again PARIS: Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure scored the lone goal of the FA Cup final against Stoke City at the weekend to bring expensively assembled Manchester City their first trophy in 35 years. Cameroon striker and captain Samuel Eto’o snatched his 35th goal of the season in all competitions in a 1-1 draw with Napoli that secured second place in Serie A for outgoing champions Inter Milan. The only African to bag a brace in a major European league was Senegalese striker Demba Ba, but it proved a hollow achievement as West Ham surrendered a two-goal lead to lose at Wigan and were relegated from the Premiership.

struck the only goal of the game as relegated Arles-Avignon claimed only their second victory of the season with a 1-0 defeat of Toulouse. The 27-year-old capitalised on slack marking from the visiting defence to break the deadlock in the 20th minute with a close-range header.

ENGLAND YAYA TOURE (Man City) The Ivory Coast midfielder ended 35 years of hurt for City as his goal secured a 1-0 win over Stoke in the FA Cup final at Wembley. Toure, who also scored the semi-final winner against Manchester United, drove home from close range in the 74th minute to give City their first trophy since the 1976 League Cup and dedicated the goal to brother and team-mate Kolo, who is serving a drugs ban.

GERMANY SAMI ALLAGUI (Mainz 05) The Tunisia striker scored the winner and netted for the 10th time this season as Mainz bounced back to beat St Pauli 2-1 in the Bundesliga. The 24-year-old came off the bench at the start of the second half and scored the winner in the 82nd minute which secured his side’s place in the Europa League next season as they finished fifth.

DIDIER DROGBA (Chelsea) The Ivory Coast striker was dropped for Chelsea’s 2-2 draw against Newcastle. With the Premier League title lost to Manchester United, Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti opted to pick Fernando Torres ahead of Drogba in a move that suggests he could be on his way out of Stamford Bridge during the close season. Drogba eventually came on in the 64th minute.

MEXICO: Morelia’s Adrian Garcia (left) fights for the ball with Cruz Azul’s Isaac Romo (center) during a Mexican soccer league semifinal match. — AP

Morelia advance to Mexican final MEXICO CITY: Morelia reached the Mexican Clausura championship final with a 3-0 home win over Cruz Azul on Sunday, in a match marred by three dismissals as a result of fighting among the teams and benches. A Morelia fan ran onto the pitch after the third goal, scored by Jaime Lozano in the 89th minute, and was attacked by Cruz Azul players, sparking a free-for-all brawl. After several minutes of fighting had ended, the referee sent off visiting players Christian Gimenez and Isaac Romo and Morelia’s Miguel Sabah before resuming the match to see out added time with Morelia going through 3-2 on aggregate. Both teams’ coaches were sent to the stands while Cruz Azul goalkeeper Jesus Corona was lucky not to be spotted by the referee head-butting a member of the Morelia coaching staff off the pitch which was shown in video replays. Morelia’s “Monarchs” will meet Pumas UNAM, who overcame Guadalajara 2-0 earlier on Sunday for a 3-1 aggregate victory in

their semi-final tie, in the final over two legs next Thursday and Sunday. Mexico striker Rafael Marquez Lugo stunned Cruz Azul’s “Blue Machine” with two goals in the opening 10 minutes, a header followed by a deft lob over the advancing Corona, to inspire Morelia to their victory. At the Olimpico in Mexico City, striker Javier Cortes put Pumas ahead two minutes before halftime with a free kick from outside the box. Pumas’ two Paraguayan players combined for the second goal 14 minutes from time when striker Dante Lopez tapped in from right back Dario Veron’s diagonal ball into the box. Guadalajara, Mexico’s most popular club, had defender Mario de Luna sent off five minutes from the end for bringing down goal-bound Brazilian-born midfielder Leandro Augusto. “It leaves a bad taste in the mouth,” Guadalajara defender Miguel Angel Ponce said of the Chivas’ defeat. — Reuters

Tevez could leave City after all LONDON: Manchester City captain Carlos Tevez has repeated his threat to leave the club to be closer to his family in Argentina. The striker handed in a transfer request in December but then committed his future to the club, who won their first major trophy in 35 years in Saturday’s FA Cup final. “I don’t have problems with anyone at the club, things are fine (with coach Roberto) Mancini and everyone, but it’s a decision I need to discuss with my family whether I stay or not,” he was quoted as saying by several British newspapers yesterday. “My family, my kids are a long distance away from Manchester and if there is an option to go then it will be something to do with my family and children. It would be a personal decision rather than a professional one.” City have plenty of forward options and could buy another top striker thanks to their Abu Dhabi owners but Tevez’s importance to the side was underlined by Mancini rushing him back from injury to start on Saturday.

The former Manchester United striker would be welcomed back by clubs in Argentina but whether they could pay the price expected by City is unlikely.— Reuters

DEMBA BA (West Ham) The Senegal striker scored twice but couldn’t stop the Hammers being relegated from the Premier League as they crashed to a 3-2 defeat at fellow strugglers Wigan. Ba netted with a 12thminute header and struck again 14 minutes later with another close-range header, but Wigan scored three times in the second half.

BENJAMIN MOUKANDJO (Monaco) Cameroonian forward Moukandjo scored one of the goals of the weekend to give Monaco the lead in their 1-1 draw with Lens, dispatching a beautifully measured left-wing centre from Chris Malonga with a deft half-volley. The draw confirmed Lens’ relegation to Ligue 2.

DIDIER YA KONAN (Hanover 96) The Ivory Coast striker scored his 14th league goal of the season in Hanover’s 3-1 win over Nuremberg. The 26-year-old netted a 78th-minute penalty after team-mate and exGermany forward Jan Schlaudraff was brought down in the area to seal his side’s fight back having fallen behind in the first half. ITALY SAMUEL ETO’O (Inter Milan) The Cameroon captain notched his 35th goal of an incredible season as he scored the one which secured Inter second place in the league. It came early on with a powerful shot from outside the area to give Inter the lead away to Napoli. The Neapolitans hit back to earn a draw, though, in a result that suited both teams.

YOUSSOUF MULUMBU (West Brom) The Democratic Republic of Congo midfielder bagged the winner as Albion defeated Everton 1-0 at the Hawthorns. Mulumbu struck in the 10th minue with a low shot from Nigerian Peter Odemwingie’s cross. It was Mulumbu’s second winner in three matches and his seventh goal of the season.

HOUSSINE KHARJA (Inter Milan) In the absence of playmaker Wesley Sneijder the Morrocan was again picked to replace him. It wasn’t a direct swap, though, as Kharja lined up on the left of midfield where he played an important role in limiting Napoli’s Christian Maggio from making his usual surges forward. Kharja proved particularly useful in picking up loose balls and maintaining possession.

MOHAMED DIAME (Wigan) The Senegal midfielder gave a dominant display as his side kept alive their hopes of avoiding relegation with a dramatic 3-2 win over West Ham. With the Latics trailing 2-0 at half-time, Diame was one of the key figures in Wigan’s comeback as Charles N’Zogbia scored a last-minute winner that leaves Roberto Martinez’s team in the bottom three only on goal difference going into the final match of the season at Stoke.

KWADWO ASAMOAH (Udinese) The Ghana midfielder helped his side to a 2-0 victory at Chievo that keeps them on course for Champions League qualification for only the second time. He was one of the crucial players in controlling midfield and ensuring the visitors didn’t suffer too many nervous moments. He even got forward to score the clinching second goal, only his second of the season, with an unstoppable 25-yard ‘missile’ that swerved around the goalkeeeper.

FRANCE AURELIEN CHEDJOU (Lille) The Cameroon centre-back produced a rugged performance as his side ended a 56-year wait for silverware by beating Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 in the French Cup final. He displayed his attacking intent with several buccaneering runs into PSG territory and dealt superbly with the aerial threat of the Parisians’ France international target man, Guillaume Hoarau.

DJAMEL MESBAH (Lecce) The Algeria midfielder had a decisive role in the 2-0 victory at Puglia neighbors Bari that secured Lecce’s Serie A place for next season. Mesbah crossed for Brazilian Jeda to head the opening goal. He also showed his versatility by playing in midfield in the first half and at full-back after the break.

SIAKA TIENE (Paris Saint-Germain) Tiene had a day to forget as his side failed to defend their French Cup crown, despite a solid personal showing. The Ivory Coast left-back produced a key block to cut out a threatening pass from his international colleague Gervinho in the 10th minute, but blotted his copybook by conceding the free-kick from which Ludovic Obraniak netted Lille’s 90th-minute winner. KAMEL GHILAS (Arles-Avignon) Algerian international Ghilas, on loan from English second-tier side Hull City,

SPAIN FREDERIC KANOUTE (Sevilla) The seasoned Mali striker scored a brace as Sevilla defeated Real Sociedad 3-1 to stay in the hunt for a Europa League place. Kanoute, 33, scored on 53 and 60 minutes to take his season’s tally to 11 league goals. KALU UCHE (Almeria) The Nigerian striker scored a fifthminute opener as relegated Almeria gave their home fans something to cheer about with a 3-1 victory over Real Mallorca. Uche, 28, collected a pass from Pablo Piatti to open the scoring early on with his sixth league goal of the campaign. — AFP

Manchester City’s Argentinian forward Carlos Tevez

Cup winners Lille aim for more celebrations

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti

PARIS: Some 10,000 people gathered in Lille on Sunday to celebrate the club’s French Cup win and the celebrations could get wilder if the northerners, gunning for their first league crown since 1954, beat Sochaux tomorrow. Victory tomorrow would give Lille a six-point lead over champions Olympique Marseille with two matches left in Ligue 1, almost enough to seal the title. “Mathematically, it’s not done yet,” Lille sporting director Frederic Paquet told spor ts daily L’Equipe yesterday,

though Marseille appear to have already conceded the crown. “Sincerely, I think it’s over now,” Marseille’s France keeper Steve Mandanda told reporters after his team’s 2-2 draw at Lorient on Sunday. “It’s not over, mathematically, but I don’t think Lille will let it go,” added defender Souleymane Diawara. Lille have a better goal differenceplus 30 to Marseille’s plus 23 — and the local mayor and French socialist party leader Martine Aubry is ready to celebrate. “We’re waiting for the double and some more bottles of beer are ready,”

Aubry told the crowd on Sunday after the 1-0 cup final win over Paris St Germain. Lille will once again bank on their impressive frontline to unsettle in-form Sochaux, who are looking to secure a Europa League spot after a run of seven unbeaten matches took them to sixth in the standings. Gervinho, top striker Moussa Sow and Belgian prodigy Eden Hazard are fit for Wednesday’s game in the tiny Villeneuve d’Ascq stadium, with holding midfielder Florent Balmont, who has a thigh injury, the only missing

player. PSG will look to keep alive their hopes of securing a qualifying spot for the Champions League third qualifying round when they travel to Girondins Bordeaux tomorrow. PSG, fourth in the standings, need to leapfrog thirdplaced Olympique Lyon, who play at Brest late yesterday, as they try to put their cup final defeat behind them. “ T h e r e i s n o t i m e t o c o m p l a i n . We need to get back on track as soon as possible,” coach Antoine Kombouare told reporters. PSG trail Lyon by one point. — Reuters



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TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011

sp orts

Valencia secure automatic Champions League place

BUENOS AIRES: Boca Juniors’ Martin Palermo (front) celebrates with teammate Juan Insaurralde after scoring against River Plate during an Argentina’s league soccer match. —AP

Bocas win ‘Superclasico’ BUENOS AIRES: Two mistakes in three minutes by Argentina goalkeeper Juan Pablo Carrizo handed Boca Juniors a 2-0 victory over arch-rivals River Plate in the “Superclasico” at the Bombonera on Sunday. Veteran striker Martin Palermo scored in his last big derby to leave River dangerously close to the playoff berths in the three-season relegation points averages after a third loss in four matches. Boca’s fifth match without defeat confirmed their recovery from a poor start to the championship, climbing to eighth with 21 points from 14 matches, one place and one point behind River in the Clausura standings. Boca went ahead in the 28th minute when left back Luciano Monzon’s glancing header from Juan Roman Riquelme’s corner to the near post wrong-footed Carrizo, with the ball bouncing off his thigh into the net in the 28th minute. Less than three minutes later, the ball came high into the River box and Palermo, with Carrizo committing himself prematurely, headed over the goalkeeper into the net. The 37-year-old Palermo, Boca’s record all-time scorer whose goal was his fourth in as many games, was substituted 10 minutes from time to a huge ovation from the Boca faithful as they chanted his name.

Palermo, now five matches from his retirement at the end of the season, took his personal tally against River to 11 in two spells as a Boca player. “I said during the week I wanted to give the fans happiness... There’s nothing that can compare with this ‘clasico’ and I’m thrilled to have scored in my last,” Palermo told Futbol Para Todos. “Boca’s people are unique and happy we’ve beaten our eternal rivals,” said Riquelme. River had a chance cleared off the line by Monzon and another shot from Paraguayan left back Adalberto Roman well saved at the near post by goalkeeper Cristian Lucchetti. River captain Matias Almeyda, who had already been booked, and Boca defender Clemente Rodriguez were sent off for fighting in a nervy finish in stoppage time. Earlier, title holders Estudiantes were held 2-2 at home by Tigre to go 11 matches without a victory in the league and South American Libertadores Cup. They are eight points behind leaders Velez Sarsfield. Libertadores Cup quarter-finalists Velez lost 3-2 at Lanus and had their lead in the standings cut to one point over second-placed Godoy Cruz, who beat relegation candidates Quilmes 2-0 on Friday. Lanus are third four points behind Velez. — Reuters

Redknapp reveals secret of Tottenham’s success LIVERPOOL: Harry Redknapp inspired Tottenham to a 2-0 win over Liverpool by warning his players they will have to return early from their holidays if they don’t clinch a Europa League spot. Redknapp’s side leapfrogged Liverpool into fifth place in the Premier League thanks to Rafael Van der Vaart’s early goal and Luka Modric’s second half penalty at Anfield on Sunday. It means a win against Birmingham on the final day will secure Tottenham’s place in Europe’s second-tier competition next season. And Redknapp claimed his pre-match scare tactics had worked wonders after he told his side that if they didn’t finish fifth they would be forced to play an early Europa League qualifier because of their high position in the Fair Play League. “I scared them to death before the game and it did the trick,” Redknapp said. “We are top of the Fair Play League which means they would come back in two weeks and would be playing again in June. “But we are not fighting for the Europa League, we are fighting for fifth to finish as high as you can and win as

many games as you can. “It’s not ideal. You play Thursday night and then Sunday - but if we play in it we will. “It’s a big win for us. We had to win to finish above Liverpool and we’ve given ourselves a chance now. “We now face a difficult game against Birmingham who are fighting for their lives, but this was a good result.” Redknapp has spoken of his reluctance to play in next season’s Europa League given the impact it can have on the Premier League form. But you wouldn’t have known that it was a booby prize up for grabs as Spurs played the party-poopers, spoiling Kenny Dalglish’s day after he was this week confirmed as Liverpool’s full-time manager on a three-year deal. Redknapp is already looking to next season after their Champions League heroics took its toll on his players during this campaign. He added: “We missed out (on a top four finish) because of a few injuries and a few tired bodies. “ We couldn’t get the players in January to tweak things a bit. Hopefully we will get one or two in the summer that will make a difference to us. — AFP

MADRID: Valencia ensured third place and an automatic berth in next season’s Champions League when they drew 0-0 with city neighbours Levante and nearest rivals Villarreal lost 3-1 at home to Real Madrid in La Liga on Sunday. Real’s second and third goals were scored by Cristiano Ronaldo, his 37th and 38th in the league this season and 50th and 51st in all competitions. His league tally equals the record jointly held by former Real striker Hugo Sanchez (1989/90) and former Athletic Bilbao forward Telmo Zarraonandia, known as Zarra (1950/51), and he has one more match next weekend in which to set a new best. Valencia have 68 points from 37 matches, six ahead of Villarreal, who are assured of fourth and go into the qualifying round for Europe’s elite club competition. Second-placed Real are 21 ahead of Valencia and four behind Barcelona, who were crowned champions for a third straight season on Wednesday and showed off the trophy to their fans at a festive Nou Camp after a 0-0 draw with Deportivo Coruna. Valencia coach Unai Emery said he was not sure whether he would continue in his post next season despite securing the club’s second third-place finish behind Barca and Real in a row. “If coming third and going into the Champions League does not inspire then there is something missing,” Emery said at a news conference. “It will be difficult to overcome Barcelona and Real Madrid but you have to keep faith that it’s possible.” Athletic Bilbao, Sevilla and Atletico Madrid made sure of places in the Europa League as eighth-placed Espanyol lost 1-0 at Real Zaragoza to fall out of contention. Zaragoza clung on to their top-flight status but remain in the final relegation place and in danger of following Almeria and Hercules down to the second division. Bilbao drew 1-1 at home to Malaga, Sevilla beat visiting Real Sociedad 3-1 and Atletico won 2-1 at home to Hercules to leave all three on 55 points with one game left. Atletico coach Quique Sanchez Flores bade farewell to the home fans in his last match at the Calderon before he bows out when his contract expires at the end of the season. His final days in charge have been overshadowed by a breakdown in his relationship with Uruguay striker Diego Forlan, whom he left out of the squad for Sunday’s game. “It has been a very difficult week, with a spectacular mess that nobody wanted, but it was been resolved naturally and well,” Sanchez Flores told a news conference. “The team secured its objective and has qualified for Europe.” Atletico’s Madrid rivals Getafe remain precariously placed despite beating Osasuna 2-0

SPAIN: Levante’s coach Jose Antonio Gomez (center-left) celebrates with Levante’s defender Sergio Ballesteros after the team retained its position in first division during their Spanish league football match against Valencia. —AFP at their Coliseum stadium and are level on 43 points with Depor, one ahead of Zaragoza. Getafe play at Real Sociedad next weekend, Depor host Valencia and Zaragoza play at

Levante. Real Mallorca, who lost 3-1 at Almeria, Sociedad and Osasuna all have 44 points and could still be relegated. —Reuters

Hat-trick hero Lafferty questions Celtic’s heart GLASGOW: Rangers hat-trick hero Kyle Lafferty accused rivals Celtic of lacking heart after his goals helped Rangers clinch their third successive Scottish Premier League title. Lafferty scored a treble in the 5-1 win over Kilmarnock to seal his club’s 54th league championship. The Northern Ireland international then took issue with Celtic manager Neil Lennon, who had wondered aloud in recent weeks whether teams were putting in sufficient effort against Rangers following big wins for the Ibrox club. “ You can only play who you are up against, whether they want to try or not,” Lafferty said. “I think every single team wants to go out and try and beat Rangers or Celtic and have a say in who wins the championship. “It’s disrespectful to other teams to say that they are not trying against Rangers or Celtic. I think we have been the better team. “Even when we haven’t been playing well we’ve still been picking up points. That’s one

thing Celtic can’t do. “I think when it gets tough, that’s when they fail, and we’ve got the heart and desire to go out and win games.” Sunday’s match against Kilmarnock was the fourth game in succession in which Lafferty had scored and after a barren spell at the start of the season, he finished the campaign with 15 goals. His hat-trick also follows on from the two title-clinching goals he claimed against Dundee United and Hibernian in the previous two seasons. “I think I would have been happy to score the first but to get the three - I think I fulfilled my boyhood dream,” said Lafferty. “It has happened the last few years and I just can’t get my head around it to be honest. But I hope they keep coming and maybe I can add a few more goals at the start and middle of the season and get my tally right up. “I definitely don’t enjoy the pressure but I don’t know what it is. I do the same stuff in training and in the games and it just seems

to come along at the end.” The striker has received his fair share of criticism since his £3.5 million ($5.7m) move from Burnley three years ago. The Northern Irishman paid tribute to retiring manager Walter Smith, who claimed his 21st trophy in his final game in charge of the club, for keeping faith with him. “He is the manager who brought me here. I always dreamt about playing for Rangers and he gave me the chance and I have to thank him for that,” Lafferty said. “To score three goals in his last game and win the title, three in a row, has been amazing. “Obviously the game before was his last home game and we wanted to send him away on a high and we did that. “Against Kilmarnock all we had to do was win three points and he would pick up his last trophy for the club and it was an amazing achievement for him.” “Every player knows what Walter Smith has done for Rangers and he deserves all the success he has got. To win three in a row in three years is amazing.” —AFP

Internacional win state title

Hammers ‘committed’ to Olympic Stadium move LONDON: West Ham have insisted their relegation from the English Premier League will have no bearing on their plans to move to the Olympic Stadium. Top-flight football is worth around £90 million ($146 million) a season in revenue, but the Hammers, currently based at nearby Upton Park, still expect to make the £486 million Olympic Stadium their home after the 2012 London Games. “We remain totally committed to it,” a West Ham spokesman said yesterday. “Our target is to move there in three football seasons time and we would hope that we would return to the Premier League as soon as possible. “Our bid (to move into the stadium) was based on several different areas. It was modelled on Premier League, Championship and different scenarios - that has been the case from day one. “As far as our plans for the Olympic Stadium are concerned, we are continuing at a pace. “All things are connected but the club will obviously set

about rebuilding so that we are in a position to challenge at the highest level in the Championship and get back into the Premier League as soon as possible. “No doubt we will be doing things in the coming weeks in order to prepare the club to hopefully get back. We just have to get on with it.” West Ham sacked manager Avram Grant barely an hour after a 3-2 defeat at Wigan sealed their demotion to the Championship on Sunday. The Hammers, in a joint bid with Newham Council, intend to convert the 80,000-seater stadium into a 60,000-seater stadium, keeping an athletics track. They plan to move from Upton Park in 2014-15 with a 250-year lease and to give a 250-year lease to UK Athletics. However, rival London football clubs Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient are considering possible legal action regarding the process by which West Ham were announced as the preferred bidder for the stadium site. —AFP

BRAZIL: Santos’ players celebrate after defeating Corinthians and winning the Sao Paulo state league soccer championship. —AP

RIO DE JANEIRO: South American champions Internacional went some way towards overcoming the disappointment of their Libertadores Cup elimination by beating arch-rivals Gremio 5-4 on penalties to win the Gaucho state championship on Sunday. Cruzeiro, Libertadores favourites before they too were upset in the last16, won the Mineiro, another of the many state championships that open the Brazilian season, when they beat arch-rivals Atletico 2-0 in the second leg of the final and 3-2 on aggregate. Santos, the only Brazilian team to reach the Libertadores quarter-finals, retained the Paulista (Sao Paulo) title with a 2-1 home win over Corinthians at the Vila Belmiro following a goalless draw in last weekend’s first leg. Internacional were under pressure after a 2-1 home defeat by Penarol of Uruguay in the first knockout round of the Libertadores followed by a 3-2 loss at their Beira-Rio stadium by Gremio in the first leg of the Gaucho (Rio Grande do Sul) final. They fell behind at Gremio’s Olimpico on Sunday when left back Lucio got behind the defence to open the scoring in the 16th minute. Inter’s fortunes changed when coach

Falcao sent on substitute Ze Roberto after half an hour and in his first attack he crossed for young Brazil striker Leandro Damiao to equalise. Ze Roberto also took the corner from which Andrezinho scored Inter’s second goal and was the victim of the foul that led to the 73rd-minute penalty, converted by Argentine playmaker Andres D’Alessandro, that put them 3-1 up. Striker Borges pulled a goal back 10 minutes from time for Gremio, putting the aggregate level at 5-5 and sending the final into a shootout. Inter’s goalkeeper Renan saved three penalties to secure the title for his team. “Those on the bench, when they have a chance to go on, have to do something different,” Ze Roberto told reporters. “I got the chance in the first half and was able to contribute for us to win this title here in the Olimpico. Inter showed they are a champion team.” Three players were sent off in final minutes of the Mineiro (Minas Gerais state) decider at the Alligator’s Arena in Sete Lagoas which is being used while the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte is being refurbished for the 2014 World Cup finals. The Brazilian championship, with the country’s top 20 teams, kicks off next weekend. —Reuters

Olympic champion Wanjiru dies after fall


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Michael Phelps in action in this file photo

Phelps wins 200 backstroke at Charlotte CHARLOTTE: Michael Phelps beat Ryan Lochte in the 200-meter backstroke Sunday at the Charlotte UltraSwim. Phelps, who lost to China’s Peng Wu the previous two nights, weighing more on clocking consistent splits for this USA Grand Prix meet than wins. He finished in 1 minute, 57.20 seconds, passing Lochte after the second turn. “I saw a splash out of the corner of my eye and saw the green suit, so I knew it was Ryan,” said Phelps, winner of 16 Olympic gold medals. “I

ended up with two terrible races and one halfway decent one.” Lochte finished in 1:58.82 at Meck lenburg County Aquatic Center. “I tried my hardest,” said Lochte, who said he tweaked his knee on Sunday after first injuring it twisting to get something out of the backseat of his car. “It’s fun just going out and racing. This meet wasn’t one of my greatest.” Hungarian Katinka Hosszu set a meet record of 2:12.29 in the 200 IM, topping Stina Gardell. “After a week off, we we’ve work-

ing hard, adding more yardage, swimming longer stuff,” Hosszu said. “As the World Championships get closer, I wanted to be swimming faster and faster as this meet went on. I felt I was slow on the first day here.” Rebecca Soni, who raced during the meet’s first two days, waited out Sunday ’s events and won a $20,000 award based on a points system for the Charlotte meet that factored in the top two FINA scoring events, as well as bonuses for records. Soni, who finished second

Bulls take Game one from Heat CHICAGO: Derrick Rose scored 28 points and Luol Deng contained LeBron James as the Chicago Bulls struck first in the Eastern Conference finals, pulling away to beat the Miami Heat 103-82 in Game 1 on Sunday. The Bulls are off to a good start in this series after sweeping the Heat during the regular season. They went on a 10-0 run midway through the third quarter, then pulled away in the fourth. As the final minutes ticked away, fans could not contain themselves, chanting “Over-rated!” and “Beat the Heat!” Game 2 is Wednesday night in Chicago, and they’ll certainly take another performance like this. Rose settled down after committing three early turnovers and showed why he is the MVP. He hit three 3-pointers and the Bulls converted 10 of 21 in all. Deng had 21 points. He hit four 3s, had four steals, seven rebounds and simply put the clamps on The King, holding James to 15 points on 5- of-15 shooting. Carlos Boozer added 14 points and nine rebounds. Joakim Noah had 14 rebounds and the Bulls pounded the Heat on the glass, 45-33. Chris Bosh led M iami with 30 points and nine rebounds. Dwyane Wade scored 18 points, but the Heat simply were overmatched down the stretch. CHICAGO: Bulls guard Ronnie Brewer (left) battles Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade for a loose ball during the first quarter in Game 1 of the NBA Thunder 105, Grizzlies 90 At Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant Eastern Conference finals basketball series. —AP the playoffs for taking too many bounced back from his worst playoff Interstate 35. Durant, the NBA scoring champi- shots, was at his all-around best with performance ever to score 39 points and Russell Westbrook had his first on the past two seasons, followed 14 points, matching his season-high playoff triple-double as Oklahoma the lowest-scoring game of his two with 14 assists and producing extra City beat Memphis in Game 7 to postseason appearances with one of possessions with 10 rebounds. Mike Conley led Memphis with advance to the Western Conference his best. He heated up in the second quar ter af ter an enter taining 18 points, and Zach Randolph was finals. Fans started chanting “We want exchange with his mother, put the limited to an inefficient 17 points Dallas!” in the final minute. The Thunder in control late in the third, and 10 rebounds. Randolph averThunder will star t the Western then put it away with a pair of two- aged 28.3 points and 14.7 rebounds in the Grizzlies’ three wins in the Conference finals Tuesday night handed slams in the fourth. Westbrook, criticized throughout series.—AP against the Mavericks, just down

last season, was followed by Missy Franklin and Eric Shanteau. Frank lin, 16 and ineligible to accept the prize money by US college competition rules for any recruitable athlete, overcame last-day fatigue to smash an event record in the 200 back, by nearly 3 seconds, finishing in 2:08.36. Shanteau edged Markus Rogan to win the 200 individual medley in 1:59.82. “We were exhausted coming into today,” said Franklin, who also set the meet mark in the 200 free on Friday. “I kept telling

them, ‘One more session, guys.’ We’re all so tired, but really excited. Getting to do events back-to-back is good experience.” Franklin’s efforts caught Phelps’ eye. “She can get out and swim with anybody, and isn’t at all fazed by it,” Phelps said. Ricky Berens’ win in the 100 freestyle (49.46) was his first in almost 10 years in his hometown meet. Distance specialist Chloe Sutton won the 800 free in 8:31.20, ahead of Andreina Pinto’s 8:33.37. Natalie Coughlin edged teammate

Dana Vollmer to win the 100 free in 54.19, and Ryan Feeley of Badger Swim Club won the 1500 free in 15:27.04. Sean Ryan finished second in 15:32.87. Swim Ontario’s Brittany McLean, Tera Van Beilen, Paige Schultz and Victoria Chan won the women’s 400 medley relay in 4:15.94, over SwimMAC Carolina. That club won the weekend’s final event, the men’s 400 medley relay, with Nicholas Thoman, Nelson Westby, Davis Tar water and Eugene Godsoe.—AP

Windies defeat Pakistan GEORGETOWN: Skipper Darren Sammy took five wickets and Ravi Rampaul claimed four as the West Indies defeated Pakistan by 40 runs on Sunday in the first Test. Chasing 219 for victory, the Pakistanis were dismissed for 178 in their second innings about 50 minutes after lunch on the fourth day at the Guyana National Stadium. Sammy finished with the impressive figures of five for 29 from 17 overs that helped him to earn the man-ofthe-match award, and Rampaul supported with four for 48 from 21 overs. Fittingly, the embattled Sammy brought the match to a climax when he bowled Pakistan bowling hero Saeed Ajmal for three. The victory gave West Indies a 1-0 lead in the two-match series, which concludes with the second Test, starting on Friday at Warner Park in St. Kitts. It was also the West Indies’ first Test victory since February 2009, when they humbled England by an innings and 23 runs at Sabina Park in Jamaica. “This is all about West Indies cricket,” said Sammy. “We as a team needed this performance, this victory, and I can’t stop commending the effort of the guys - every single person that batted on such a difficult pitch. “It was a total team effort, and it was good to come out on the right side of the result for a change.” Sammy had been under fire from a demanding West Indies public, following a string of weak personal performances in the lead-up to the Test, but felt he had answered the critics as he celebrated his first Test victory since being put in charge last November. “Once I step on to the field wearing that West Indies cap, I give my heart and soul,” he said. “I know things have not been going too well for me lately, but I still had the self-belief to go out there and do well - and so did my teammates.” The result also meant that Pakistan

will have to wait for another trip to earn their first Test series victory in the Caribbean. “To lose a Test match is never an easy thing,” said Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq, whose 52 was the top score in his side’s second innings. “But they played better cricket than us. They bowled really disciplined throughout the match, and most of the time, they got us out with good bowling.” Misbah added: “I think it was a bit of everything that went wrong for us, but our fielding especially. We dropped way too many catches. “We gave away too many runs, especially runs scored by the tail. They had good partnerships towards the end of each innings, particularly in the second innings, and that was really

crucial. “It was also disappointing from the batting point of view, but this is how it goes sometimes.” Pakistan’s bid for victory hit a problems in the final half-hour before lunch, when Sammy removed Misbah and Mohammad Salman — both lbw — in the space of three balls to leave the visitors on 153 for six at the interval. But the result did not appear to be a formality until Sammy trapped Umar Akmal plumb lbw for 47, as Pakistan lost their last four wickets for 18 runs in the space of 31 deliveries after lunch. Akmal’s dismissal established a new record for the most lbw decisions ever in a Test of 20, erasing the previous mark of 17 between the two sides 18 years ago at Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad.—AFP

SCOREBOARD GEORGETOWN, Guyana: Scoreboard at the end of the opening Test between West Indies and Pakistan at the Guyana National Stadium here yesterday: West Indies 1st Innings 226 (L. Simmons 49; Saeed Ajmal 5-69) Pakistan 1st Innings 160 (Abdur Rehman 40 not out; D. Bishoo 4-68) West Indies 2nd Innings 152 (Saeed Ajmal 6-42) Pakistan 2nd Innings (overnight 80-3) Mohammad Hafeez lbw b Roach 2 Taufeeq Umar lbw b Rampaul 0 Azhar Ali c Baugh b Rampaul 0 Asad Shafiq b Rampaul 42 Misbah-ul-Haq lbw b Sammy 52 Umar Akmal lbw b Sammy 47 Mohammad Salman lbw b Sammy 0 Abdur Rehman c Smith b Rampaul 6 Umar Gul lbw b Sammy 1 Wahab Riaz not out 11 Saeed Ajmal b Sammy 3 Extras (b2, lb11, nb1) 14 Total (all out) 178 Fall of wickets: 1-2 (Taufeeq Umar), 2-2 (Azhar Ali), 3-2 (Mohammad Hafeez), 483 (Asad Shafiq), 5-135 (Misbah-ul-Haq), 6-135 (Mohammad Salman), 7-160 (Abdur Rehman), 8-163 (Umar Gul), 9-166 (Umar Akmal), 10-178 (Saeed Ajmal) Bowling: Roach 13-1-30-1; Rampaul 21-6-48-4; Bishoo 21-5-56-0 (nb1); Sammy 17-7-29-5; Nash 1-0-2-0 Overs: 73 Result: West Indies won by 40 runs



Bank Nizwa to offer Islamic banking services in Oman

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Merkel wants Europe to keep IMF job for now Page 25 TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011

911 Carrera 4 GTS, new top model

KSE stocks pare losses

Page 22 Page 24 WASHINGTON: CBS News’ “Face the Nation” shows President Barack Obama with hosts Harry Smith (right) and Erica Hill as he answers questions about the economy during a town hall meeting pretaped at the Newseum in Washington.—AP

Dubai rescues Islamic lender Emirate bids to avert collapse of banking sector DUBAI: Dubai’s government took control of troubled Islamic lender Dubai Bank yesterday to prevent a collapse undermining the Gulf Arab state’s banking sector. Dubai, which is struggling to emerge from a debt crisis, said it will inject an unspecified amount of capital into the bank and its takeover would protect depositors’ interests. “In terms of credibility of the UAE banking system, it was very important that the bank did not default. A default by Dubai Bank would have raised worries about other local banks operating in the countr y,” Mohammed Yasin, chief investment officer at CAPM Investments in Abu Dhabi, said. Options for Dubai Bank, which is

owned by the private holding company of the ruler of Dubai, included being run on a stand-alone basis or merged with another state-owned bank, the government said in a statement. Dubai already has stakes in six commercial banks in the UAE, including Emirates NBD, Dubai’s largest by market capitalization, Dubai Islamic Bank and Noor Islamic Bank. Dubai Bank has been under scrutiny for a while. “There have been questions raised about the sustainability and continuity of their operations for a while. The bank has some serious liabilities outstanding and those need to be addressed,” CAPM Investment’s Yasin said. Fitch downgraded it in March,

citing its weakened financial flexibility and exposure to Dubai entities that are being restructured. The ratings agency declined comment yesterday. Dubai Bank has exposure to a syndicated $2.25 billion Islamic tranche to Investment Corporation of Dubai which lenders agreed to refinance just two weeks ago. At the end of 2009, Dubai Bank had total assets of 17.4 billion dirhams ($4.74 billion) against total liabilities of 15.7 billion dirhams. It made a loss of 290.6 million dirhams. It has not yet reported its 2010 results. Customers deposits stood at 14.9 billion dirhams at the end of 2009. By contrast, Emirates NBDformed by a 2007 merger of two local banks ordered by Dubai’s ruler-had

US hits debt ceiling, begins pullback WASHINGTON: The US Treasury warned of economic catastrophe yesterday as it ran into its $14.29 trillion ceiling on borrowings and began shor t-term measures to delay breaching the limit. In a letter to US Senate leader Harr y Reid, Treasur y Secretar y Timothy Geithner said the country had reached the statutory debt limit as of yesterday and was initiating a “debt issuance suspension period” to keep from going over it. Geithner urged Congress to raise the ceiling “in order to protect the full faith and credit of the United States and avoid catastrophic con-

sequences for citizens.” To avoid topping the ceiling, the government would halt the automatic c ycling of civil ser vice pension funds into US Treasury debt, the way they are traditionally stored, he said. The move will give the Treasury about $224 billion dollars of headroom as it meets an estimated $120 billion a month in net new borrowing needs to cover the government’s mounting budget deficit. However, by August 2, according to Treasury projections, spending requirements will exhaust the temporary measures and the govern-

ment will have to either slash spending on existing obligations or possibly default on its debts. In a letter to another senator on Friday, Geithner warned that failure to increase the debt limit “would force the United States to default on the obligations, such as payments to our service members, citizens, investors, and businesses.” “Default would not only increase borrowing costs for the federal government, but also for families, businesses, and local governmentsreducing investment and job creation throughout the economy,” he told Senator Michael Bennet. —AFP

Sawiris to step down as Orascom chairman CAIRO: Egyptian mobile operator Orascom Telecom’s CEO will take over from Naguib Sawiris as executive chairman, the firm said yesterday, as the billionaire moves to get more involved in his country ’s changing politics. Ahmed Abou Doma, the former head of Orascom’s Bangladeshi business, will replace Khaled Bichara as chief executive officer, the firm said. Egypt toppled its president in a popular uprising in February and the telecoms tycoon has been a vocal supporter of the country’s

transition to democracy. He also saw the completion of a more than $6 billion deal with Russian operator Vimpelcom last month for his holding company Wind Telecom, including a majority stake in Orascom and all of Italy’s Wind. The cash-and-shares deal gave Sawiris 30.6 percent of Vimpelcom. “Personally, I have decided to be more focused on social and political work, aiming to play a role in the transformation of post-revolution Egypt into a civil democracy,” Sawiris said in a statement.

“Yet I will continue to support the business as one of the largest shareholders at the Vimpelcom level.” Vimpelcom said yesterday it would also replace its chief executive, a move seen as attempting to smooth over friction caused by the Sawiris deal between two of the company’s major shareholders. Bichara, who took part in antigovernment demonstrations during Egypt’s uprising, will take over from Sawiris as Orascom’s executive chairman. He was appointed CEO in November 2009, also replacing Sawiris at that time. —Reuters

total assets of 300.3 billion dirhams versus total liabilities of 266.3 billion dirhams as of March 31, according to Reuters data. Dubai has been restructuring state-linked firms to deal with a debt pile estimated at $115 billion built up during a boom that put the emirate on the map for extravagant construction projects such as an indoor ski slope in the desert. The extent of its problems became clear when flagship conglomerate Dubai World asked for a standstill on $26 billion of debt in 2009. It eventually reached a restructuring deal with creditors late last year. Neighboring Abu Dhabi has been central in keeping Dubai afloat. The UAE central bank and Abu Dhabi

extended Dubai a $20 billion lifeline in 2009. Dubai said the central bank and UAE finance ministry support the takeover. Dubai Bank is wholly-owned by Dubai Banking Group which itself is 70 percent-owned by Dubai Holding. The remaining 30 percent is owned by developer Emaar Properties. “It’s positive because it reduces any uncertainty around the future commitments that Emaar or Dubai Holding would have to make to Dubai Bank,” said Abdul Kadir Hussain, Chief Executive of Mashreq Capital. “But the total economics are unclear. We don’t know the size of the injection or how it will be financed.” Shares of Emaar, whose stake is

worth 172.4 million dirhams, fell 2.2 percent. Dubai’s index shed 1.5 percent at 0918 GMT. Enaar said it was “awaiting fur ther directives and details from the Dubai Government in respect of the takeover”. The government said the bank’s current management team will not be affected by the takeover. Dubai Bank reorganized its operations last year, positioning itself as a retail bank for premium customers with merchant banking on the corporate side. There was speculation last year that Emirates Islamic Bank, an affiliate of Emirates NBD, was in talks to buy it. And last month, Noor Islamic Bank’s chief executive said it had no plans to merge with any other financial institution for the time being. — Reuters

US builders see little to like in housing market WASHINGTON: US homebuilders are concerned that the struggling housing market won’t recover this year and some feel it may be getting worse. Builders’ outlook for the industry in May was unchanged at 16, the National Association of Home Builders said yesterday. It has been at that level for six of the past seven months. Any reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the market. The index hasn’t been above that level since April 2006. When asked about where they see sales of single-family home heading over the next six months, the builders offered their most pessimistic outlook since September. Last year the number of people who purchased previously owned homes fell to a 13-year low. Sales of new homes were even worse, hitting the lowest level on records dating back nearly a half-century. Builders are struggling to compete because foreclosures are forcing down prices for previously occupied homes. The median price of a new home was about 34 percent higher in March than the median price for a re-sale. That’s more than twice the markup in healthy housing markets. In response, builders are breaking ground on fewer homes. The seasonally adjusted

annual pace in March was 549,000 new homes per year, less than half the 1.2 million units annually that economists consider healthy. The Commerce Department will release the April data on new-home construction today. “You can get existing homes at a much cheaper price now, mainly due to foreclosures,” said Paul Dales, senior US economist at Capital Economics. “New homes really aren’t competitively priced.” Fewer new homes mean fewer jobs. Each new home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in taxes, according to the builders’ trade group. The trade group cited a handful of factors weighing on the housing market. Some were familiar — tighter lending standards, high unemployment and an increase in the number of homes sold at foreclosure. But the builders’ group also noted that higher gas prices were creating “consumer anxiety and reluctance to go forward with a home purchase,” said the group’s chairman, Reno, Nevada, home builder Bob Nielsen. About 90 percent of the builders surveyed said potential buyers are also holding back on purchases because they are concerned they won’t be able to sell

their current home at a favorable price. Economists expect home prices will continue to struggle this year before a modest recovery takes hold. The hardest-hit states, including Arizona, California, Florida and Nevada, are inundated with foreclosures and short sales, when a lender allows a borrower to sell their property for less than what is owed on the mortgage. Builders had been hopeful that a strong spring season, traditionally the best time for home construction, could help power a turnaround. But that has yet to happen. Regionally, the West saw a two-point gain and the South received a one-point gain in their index of construction activity, both to 16. The Midwest held steady at 14. The Northeast fell five points, to 15. The index gauging current conditions rose one point, to 16, while the recorded foot traffic of prospective buyers also rose by a point, to 14. But the outlook for the next six months fell two points, to 20. That was the lowest level in eight months. The survey is analyzed by the builders’ trade group and Wells Fargo. This month’s survey was based on the responses of 339 builders. —AP




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New top model with all-wheel drive and 408 hp Carrera 4 GTS available as Coupe and Cabriolet with top-of-the-range Carrera engine DUBAI: Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, is widening the top end of its Carrera model line and pairing up the 911 Carrera GTS with an allwheel drive twin. That means that the 911 Carrera 4 GTS Coupe and Cabriolet will combine the 408 hp top of the range engine of the Carrera GTS family with the intelligent, all-wheel drive Porsche Traction Management (PTM). Driving dynamics are not the only source of attraction. Economics are as well. Thanks to Porsche Intelligent Performance the new allwheel 911s consume no more than the equivalent Carrera 4S version, the Coupe remains at 11.0 l/100 km and the Cabriolet at 11.2 l/100 km respectively based on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). Moreover both of them boast an even more comprehensive standard equipment package compared with the Carrera 4S models. The 911 Carrera 4 GTS power unit has its origins in the 3.8-litre, sixcylinder Carrera S engine. A wholesale revamping of the intake duct added 23 hp, taking the power output to 408 hp at 7,300 rpm. The special aspiration system not only improves peak power output but

flexibility and power development as well thanks to a more generous torque curve in the lower and middle engine speed range. 320 Newton metres kick in from as low as 1,500 rpm; the six-cylinder engine delivers its rated torque of 420 Nm in the broad engine speed range from 4,200 rpm and 5,600 rpm. The sports exhaust system fitted as standard ensures a distinctly sporty sound. It invests the new Carrera 4 GTS with an unmistakable acoustic signature and the rear view

of its tail pipe with its unique black surface design lends it a unique character. At full power the Carrera 4 GTS Coupe sprints to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds, the Cabriolet in 4.8 seconds. The Carrera 4 GTS is fitted as standard with a six-speed manual transmission but the PorscheDoppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) seven-speed is available as an option if desired. The PDK shaves an additional 0.2 seconds respectively off the acceleration times from 0 to

100 km/h. In the Carrera 4 GTS as well, PTM all-wheel drive stands for Porsche’s typical driving pleasure with even more driving stability, traction and agile handling. The PTM achieves this by directing the optimal proportion of the engine torque to the front wheels via a multiple-plate clutch. In addition, the use of a standard limited-slip differential shows just how single-mindedly the Carrera 4 GTS is designed for driving dynamics. This mechanical

rear differential lock contributes to the driving dynamics of the electronically controlled all-wheel drive system. Visually, the new Carrera 4 GTS models with all-wheel drive differ in points of detail from earlier variants with rear-wheel drive: In addition to the type name on the doors and rear lid, the distinguishing characteristic of all models with all-wheel drive is the additional reflective stripe between the taillights. What the Carrera GTS models have in

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


common is the 911’s wide body, otherwise reserved for the all-wheel version of the 911s, and the rear axle track width that goes with it. In numerous other details as well the GTS models differ both visually and technically from the other Carrera models. For example, they run on 19 inch RS Spyder wheels in black with central locking and glosslathed rim flanges fitted with 305/30 ZR 19 tyres on the rear axle. Additional visual features include the Sport-Design front apron with black painted spoiler lip and special side skirts, also in black. Driver and passenger are accommodated on sports seats. Typical of the GTS, the emphatically sporty black Alcantara covering on centre panels, steering wheel rim, gearshift and handbrake lever, door handles and door storage box lid and extension are offered as standard in addition to a range of leather upholstery options. Both 911 Carrera 4 GTS models can be ordered as of now with a basic retail price for the Coupe of $114,543 whilst the Cabriolet starts at $124,970 in the GCC markets. First deliveries can be expected in August 2011.

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 .4440000 .3870000 .3070000 .2810000 .2890000 .0040000 .0020000 .0747400 .7281710 .3810000 .0700000 .7138390 .0040000 .0430000

.2800000 .4550000 .3960000 .3170000 .2910000 .2970000 .0072500 .0035000 .0754910 .7354890 .4010000 .0770000 .7210140 .0072000 .0540000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2753000 .2774000 .4462340 .4496380 .3894940 .3924660 .3092910 .3116500 .2837560 .2859200 .0522490 .0526480 .0432390 .0435690 .2916390 .2938640 .0354020 .0356720 .2207880 .2224720 .0034010 .0034270 .0000000 .0062200 .0000000 .0025330 .0000000 .0032640 .0000000 .0038130 .0749830 .0755550 .7304320 .7360040 .0000000 .3923620 .0734330 .0739930 .7152510 .7207070 .0000000 .0064510

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 3.474 6.147 3.238 2.511 3.845 222.290 35.547 3.766

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

6.400 9.142 0.271 0.273 GCC COUNTRIES 73.683 75.921 717.680 733.700 75.223

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 47.500 46.495 1.264 201.090 390.200 183.300 5.965 35.320

EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 276.200 Euro 394.410 Sterling Pound 451.590 Canadian dollar 290.130 Turkish lire 175.370 Swiss Franc 314.580 Australian dollar 295.810 US Dollar Buying 275.000 GOLD 280.000 140.000 71.000

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 295.500 294.000 735.500 735.500 4.000 3.765 288.900 287.400 543.200 14.100 53.900 167.800 223.000 47.390 46.642 394.000 392.500 36.270 36.120 6.410 6.145

390.880 0.186 95.240 3.850 219.200

Sterling Pound US Dollar

312.500 5.900 9.330 75.300 276.500

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 450.000 276.500

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 275.850 290.585 454.452 397.440 314.004 730.088 75.080 75.747 73.530 389.664 46.395 2.509 6.172

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

3.261 3.787 6.397 676.638 3.519 9.113 6.017 3.935 90.720

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. 718.160 3.260 6.385 75.080 73.840 223.010 41.980 2.516 450.000

GOLD 1,545.110

10 Tola 20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

0.033 0.244 0.244 3.520 392.350 0.187 95.240 48.300 4.340 220.700 1.875 51.600 718.340 3.330 6.630 76.510 73.840 223.010 41.980 2.684 452.000 44.900 314.000 5.900 9.530 198.263 75.400 276.900 1.270

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

Rate per 1000 (Tran) 276.500 3.255 6.145 2.530 3.775 6.415 75.385 73.940 735.100 46.570 453.700 0.00003280 3.910 1.550 392.800 5.750 395.200 292.900

Al Mulla Exchange Currency Transfer Rate (Per 1000) US Dollar 275.750 Euro 393.200 Pound Sterling 450.300 Canadian Dollar 287.200 Japanese Yen 3.445 Indian Rupee 6.135 Egyptian Pound 46.545 Sri Lankan Rupee 2.514 Bangladesh Taka 3.745 Philippines Peso 6.369 Pakistan Rupee 3.240 Bahraini Dinar 735.300 UAE Dirham 75.200 Saudi Riyal 73.700 *Rates are subject to change



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TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011


Gulf Bank winners of Al-Danah weekly draw KUWAIT: Gulf Bank held its Nineteenth Al-Danah weekly draw on May 15, 2011, announcing a total number of ten Al-Danah weekly prize draw winners, each awarded with prizes of KD 1,000. The 19th Al-Danah Weekly Winners are: Abdulhameed Bahati Faqer, Mohammed Bahati, Nisreen Farid Mohd Alshaikh Abd, Saleh Wbdan Awath Alazmi, Ali Salim Mubarak Al Azmi, Nawaf Ahmad Majed Alshaheen, Ahmed Saleh Hmuod Aradh, Nader Ghaleb Aaon, Awaad Mobark Ali Mobark, Othman Dawod Sulaiman Alqinaei, Adnan Essa Mohammed Alsaffar. Gulf Bank encourages everyone in Kuwait to open an Al-Danah account and/or increase their deposits to maximize their chances of becoming a winner in the upcoming weekly (KD1000 for 10 winners), quarterly (KD500,000) and the annual draw (1 Million Dinars). Gulf Bank’s Al-Danah allows customers to win cash prizes and encourages them to save money. Chances increase the more money is deposited and the longer it is

Bank Nizwa to offer Islamic banking services in Oman Muscat approves first Islamic bank

kept in the account. Al-Danah also offers a number of unique services including the Al-Danah Deposit Only ATM card which helps account holders deposit their money at their convenience; as well as the Al Danah calculator to help customers calculate their chances of becoming an Al Danah winner. To be part of the Al Danah draws, customers can visit one of Gulf Bank’s 53 branches, transfer on line, or call the Customer Contact Center on 1805805 for assistance and guidance. Customers can also log on to, Gulf Bank’s bilingual website, to find all the information regarding Al Danah or any of the Bank’s products and services or log on, to find out more about Al Danah and who the winners are.

DUBAI: Bank Nizwa is set to be Oman’s first standalone Islamic bank, after the Gulf state moved to keep investment funds within its borders as local investors sought sharia-compliant investments elsewhere. Bank Nizwa, which has won central bank approval, will be sponsored by Al Khalili Group and other local supporters, two sources familiar with the matter said yesterday. The central bank said it will consider any application to open branches for Islamic banking by any bank operating in the sultanate wishing to provide such services.” Analysts and bankers say it is too early to seriously consider Islamic banking services until the central bank provides adequate guidelines and changes its banking laws to truly accommodate the industry. “Banks are saying that they are positive on Islamic banking and they are ready to offer Islamic

products but they have to wait on the regulatory part,” said Joice Mathew, head of research at United Securities, adding banks were unlikely to take action before the end of the year. While neighboring Gulf states have ramped up Islamic finance services in recent years, Oman stood out by refusing to participate in the industry, with its central bank head saying in 2007 “banks should be universal”. The central bank reversed that stance earlier this month.

The Islamic finance sector is estimated to be $1 trillion in size and growing at 15-20 percent a year, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates. Analysts said Oman’s move was aimed at preserving investment funds within its borders as local investors sought sharia-compliant investments elsewhere in the Gulf. Oman, a non-OPEC oil exporter with dwindling oil reserves, has been hit by nearly two months of demonstrations inspired by protests that have

spread across the Arab world. The upheaval forced the ruler to announce a $2.6 billion spending package, including wage hikes. Oman’s move to allow Islamic banking has been seen as an additional concession. “In the changed political environment, with all the demands for political reform, this is one area that the rulers would not hesitate to give the people what they want ... (a) sweetener,” one Islamic scholar said, on condition of anonymity. —Reuters

Incredible offer on Chevrolet Traverse from Yusuf A Alghanim & Sons KUWAIT: Yusuf A Alghanim & Sons Automotive keeps on surprising its customers by offering them extraordinary offers. Throughout the month of May, customers will have an opportunity to grab the Chevrolet Traverse at a starting price of KD 7,777. This exceptional offer is in line with Yusuf A Alghanim & Sons Automotive’s commitment to continue providing customers with unparalleled offers and services on Chevrolet vehicles. The Chevrolet Traverse is an expressively styled, well-equipped crossover powered by a 3.6L, V6 engine generating 288 HP and is equipped with a 6- speed automatic transmission. Available in 2WD and AWD, as well as 3 trims LS, LT and LTZ, the Traverse fulfills every need. The Chevrolet Traverse is a crossover that combines beauty and impeccable style. Its profile with a sleek, smooth and flowing design gives it an aerodynamic shape. Represented by its deep-set grille inserts with chrome-ringed trim, bright exhaust outlets and 20’’ alloy wheels, the Chevrolet Traverse has a unique profile. Like the exterior, the Traverse’s interior

blends refined styling, technology and attention to detail. The Traverse interior can be configured for 8 adults and boasts best-in-class cargo space with more room behind the third row than any competitor. The great and sophisticated look of the Chevrolet Traverse is completed with its panoramic sunroof, rearview camera, DVD entertainment system, Touch screen navigation and BOSE sound system. Safety is always a priority with Chevrolet. Traverse earned a five-star frontal and sideimpact crash test rating. With three rows of airbags, rear ultrasonic parking assist, StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with traction control system, the Chevrolet Traverse offers you a 360-degree safety system. Yusuf A. Alghanim & Sons Automotive, the sole distributor of Chevrolet in Kuwait, adds the finishing touch to the Traverse ownership experience with the highest quality after-sales services. With the world’s biggest and most advanced automotive service center, customers need not worry about their service and maintenance needs.

NBK Deputy General Manager, Consumer Banking Group, Abdulla Al Najran Al Tuwaijri in One of Thahabi customers checks the a group photo with Chopard’s officials and NBK Staff. new collection.

Elite event for NBK Thahabi Customers at Chopard KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the best bank in the Middle East, held an elite event for its Thahabi customers at Chopard Boutique in Al Salhiya Mall on May 9 - 11, 2011. The 3 days event offered Thahabi customers exclusive offers on Chopard luxurious products. NBK Deput y General M anager of Consumer Bank ing Group, Abdulla AlNajran Al Tuwaijri, said “This event with its exclusive offers and benefits come within NBK’s endeavors to reward its premium

Thahabi account holders with the best banking experience. NBK is committed to providing its Thahabi customers with exclusive offers to meet their needs and satisfy their appreciation for luxury.” Wael Kanan, Trafalgar Sales Manager, was happy and pleased with the outcomes of this event with NBK at Chopard Boutique. Kanan said “we are looking forward for further fruitful cooperation with NBK in order to provide what’s special and distinctive from Trafalgar world to our common customers”.

Thahabi is the Premier affluent package from NBK that has been awarded the Best Premium Banking Service in the Middle East. Thahabi offers customers personalized and ‘best in class’ products and services, delivered by professional Personal Banking Officers. Thahabi customers also enjoy many banking related discounts, fee waivers and value-added lifestyle benefits. For more information on how to apply for Thahabi call 1801801.

American Eagle Outfitters celebrates opening of fifth Middle East store Kuwait Marina Mall store opens on May 12

IKEA bedrooms offer more comfort, more saving KUWAIT: IKEA Kuwait offers visitors the opportunity to choose from over 15 different expressions of bedroom furniture to suit every taste, comfort need and budget. The new collection which was launched recently, offers customers the excitement of complete bedroom shopping experience along with adding accessories to further enhance their bedroom set up. IKEA store understands that bedrooms are an impor tant and essential component of any home, therefore, the new collection offers appealing styles made out of functional designs to ultimately promote exquisite quality of relaxation at affordable prices. The new offer at IKEA store offers a wide range and a variety of products that customers can choose from. These include double/single beds, mattresses, wardrobes, chest of drawers, bedside tables and many more. Shoppers looking to add the IKEA touch in their bedroom, have the option to choose from an array of bed linen, quilts, curtains and blinds, cushions and throws amongst many others. I t is notewor thy that the IKEA

Wardrobe (PAX) collection comes with 10 years guarantee. While understanding that people have different sleeping patterns, IKEA Sultan mattress range comes with 15 years guarantee. It has deep range to suit all people sizes and sleeping habits from soft, medium to

firm mattresses. The ultimate goal of IKEA bedroom collection is to offer customers whether newly married, those with young children, or perhaps those retiring, with a range of bedroom furniture and accessories to help them design the bedroom of their choice. IKEA Kuwait always aims to ensure that its customers benefit maximum return on investment without compromising on quality.

KUWAIT: American Eagle Outfitters Inc, a leading lifestyle brand for 15-to 25-year-olds, announced the opening of its new store in Marina Mall, Salmiya. This is the fifth American Eagle Outfitters store to open in the Middle East since the company’s debut one year ago at Dubai’s Mirdif City Centre. Customers who visit the new store in May will experience the vibrant AE Summer Collection, featuring shorts, dresses, fashion tops and accessories that capture the young, energetic and fun spirit of the brand. The store design features a cozy atmosphere that envelops customers in a warm, casual setting. Vintage wood paneling and flooring and comfortable leather seating add the right ambiance to the comfortable, service-oriented shopping experience that American Eagle Outfitters is known for around the world. Commenting on the new store opening at the Marina Mall, Ciaran McCloskey, American Eagle Outfitters Middle East Business Director, stated: “American Eagle Outfitters is excited to bring great fashion at affordable prices to customers at Marina Mall. Salmiya continues to be a top shopping destination, and we look forward to delivering an overall experience unlike any-

—Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat thing else in the mall. Our summer collection has so many fun, wearable options that let our customers express themselves.” The American Eagle Outfitters summer collection brings

together influences from around the globe which invokes a sense of adventure. At the same time, there is a modern resurgence of the seventies, with higher waists, flared legs, and bohemian tops

for girls. Finally, white is incredibly impor tant-whether it ’s a head-to-toe mix of white and cream, or white paired with bright colors. For the guys, the big summer statements are the neon and surfgraphic t-shirts paired with the new prep fit short, which is a slimmer fit that hits right at the knee. Short sleeve woven shirts are introduced in plaid, and can be worn buttoned up or layered over a T-shirt. The Aerie summer collection focuses on casual chic style. The neutral color palette is the focus with hints of pinks, blues and grays with pops of reds, whites and blues throughout the collection. Conver tible bras are highlighted as the customer’s go-to summer options, the perfec t solution to wear under summer dresses and tops. New vintage lace undies are introduced and will be featuring matching bra options American Eagle Outfitters stores can be found in Kuwait at The Avenues and now in Marina M all. I n the UAE, American Eagle Outfitters are located in Mirdif City Centre, The Mall of the Emirates and The Dubai Mall. Additionally, American Eagle Outfitters operates more than a thousand store throughout the United States and Canada.

ADNOC sells 150,000ton June spot naphtha SINGAPORE/DUBAI: Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has sold 150,000 tonnes of spot naphtha through a tender, its first for the year, traders said yesterday. South Korea’s LG Chem, a rare buyer of Middle Eastern spot cargoes, snapped up 75,000 tons pentane naphtha for June 12-13 loading at a premium of $35 a ton to ADNOC’s own price formula on a FOB basis. “LG Chem’s inventories are low and they need cargoes. It would have been cheaper for them to buy

from trading houses on a cost-and-freight (C&F) basis, but if they do that, they would have limited control over the exact delivery dates,” said a trader. LG Chem had raised its total cracking capacity to 1.9 million tons-per-year (tpy) in second-half April from 1.8 million tpy. ADNOC sold another 75,000 tons of splitter naphtha for June 20-28 lifting at $28.00 a tonne premium, but the buyer of this cargo remained undisclosed. Several Middle Eastern producers had ramped up

their offers of naphtha over the past couple of weeks to take advantage of the strong market sentiment on the back of low Western exports to Asia. Among the other recent offers were cargoes from the Kuwait Petroleum Company (KPC) and Bahrain’s state-owned refiner Bapco. However, the market weakened considerably last Friday after Asia’s top naphtha buyer Formosa Petrochemical Corp shut a 700,000 tpy cracker following a fire at a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) pipeline. —Reuters




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TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011


KSE stocks pare losses GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ended yesterday’s session on a positive note after a drop on Sunday. However, the volume was light during the session. The market witnessed volatile trend and could not sustain the momentum for more than three consecutive sessions so far in 2011. Investors appeared to have taken a wait-and-watch position right now. Global General Index (GGI), market weighted, ended the day up by 0.59 percent, at 200 point. Market Capitalization was up for the day at KD32.79bn. On the other hand, KSE Price Index closed at 6,468.5 point, adding 27.50 points (0.43 percent) to its previous close. Market breadth was skewed towards advancers with 42 stocks ending the session with a gain against 30 stocks retreated. Trading activity was down this session. The trades conducted in the Services sector. Total volume traded was down by 51.87 percent with 148.52mn shares changing hands at a total value of KD24.13mn (55.68 percent lower compared to the day before). The services sector was the volume leader yesterday, accounting for 35.45 percent of total shares. The same sector was the value leader, with 41.28 percent of total traded value. Kuwait Finance House (KFH) was the most active in terms of values of shares traded during the session with 3.62mn shares exchanged at an aggregate value of KD3.69 million. In terms of top gainers, Al-Dar National Real Estate took the top spot for the day, adding 15.15 percent and closed at KD0.019. On the other hand, Alargan International Real Estate

Company shed 12.35 percent and closed at KD0.142, making it the biggest decliner in the market. Sector-wise Sector-wise, Global Services Sector Index was the biggest performer, adding 1.24 percent. Zain, the biggest company in the market, added 1.92 percent to its share price. Elsewhere, Agility said its net profit for 1Q2011 slumped by 56 percent to KD7.7mn from KD17.6mn in the year earlier period. The scrip closed with no change at KD0.370. Among stocks moving on spe-

cific news, Manafae Investment Company saw its share value appreciate by 8.62 percent. This increase came after KIPCO Asset Management (KAMCO) said it has applied to the country’s Capital Markets Authority (CMA) to allow it to raise its stake to 100 percent in Manafae from the 30.52 percent it currently owns. Global non-Kuwaiti Sector Index was the biggest loser in yesterday’s session, shedding 0.53 percent. Ithmaar Bank was the biggest loser in sector, shedding 1.96 percent from its share value backed by the decline in its 1Q2011 net profit. The bank repor ted a 16.93 drop in its

1Q2011 net profit. Corporate news Shares of Amar For Finance & Leasing Company will be traded ex-dividends as of today (May 17, 2011). The company will distribute a 5 percent cash dividend. Shares of Kuwait Packaging Material Manufacturing Company will be traded ex-dividends as of today. The company will distribute a 20 percent cash dividend. The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at $108.93 a barrel on Friday, compared with $107.19 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations.

Oil falls more than $1 on euro- zone fears LONDON: Oil fell more than $1 per barrel yesterday as worries over the restructuring of euro zone debt and doubts about the pace of global growth encouraged investors to reduce risk. The euro dropped to its lowest since March ahead of a meeting of euro-zone finance ministers yesterday to try to sort out the bloc’s debt crisis and on how to handle Greece, which investors fear is at risk of default. Silver and other commodities fell while European stock markets opened lower and US Treasuries markets rose as risk aversion spread through global markets. President Barack Obama warned Congress in remarks broadcast on Sunday that failing to raise the US debt limit could lead to a worse financial crisis and recession than 2008-09 if investors began doubting US creditworthiness. US crude futures for June fell almost $2 per barrel to a low of $97.71 before recovering slightly to trade around $98 by 1100 GMT. Brent crude for June was down $1.38 at $112.45. The euro fall was compounded by news IMF chief Dominique StraussKahn had been charged with sexual assault, increasing uncertainty on aid for Greece and other indebted eurozone countries. “The arrest of the IMF chief obviously weakens the perspective of the euro, given the bank’s massive involvement in bailout measures. And with a strengthening dollar, oil prices come under pressure,” said David Wech from JBC Energy. Dollar-denominated commodities often move inversely to the dollar and a stronger US currency typically pressures oil. “The rise of the dollar and weakness of the euro are conditioning all financial markets today,” said Carsten Fritsch, commodity analyst at Commerzbank. “The market is less worried about Middle East unrest

now and is focusing on oil demand, and there are signs that it is being undermined by high prices.” Both Brent and US oil futures are technically neutral, according to Reuters market analyst Wang Tao, but Brent is biased to fall towards $105.21 per barrel and US oil is trapped within a range of $95.40-$100.75 per barrel. Euro-zone finance ministers are likely to back a bailout package for Portugal yesterday. The meeting was also expected to pressure Greece to announce more austerity steps to secure further emergency funding. “Concern over the European economy is weighing on the euro and supporting the dollar,” said Jonathan Barratt, managing director at Commodity Broking Services. “A stronger dollar in turn is weighing on commodity prices.” Investors were also looking at monetary tightening by China to gauge the impact on global oil demand. China has lifted bank reser ve requirements eight times and raised interest rates four times since October in a bid to put a lid on rising prices. But it needs to raise rates further to rein in inflation, Li Daokui, an adviser to the People’s Bank of China, said yesterday. Unrest in the Middle East and North Africa is helping support oil and investors still worry the turmoil could spread to other oil-exporting nations in the region. Gunmen on motorcycles attacked a car belonging to the Saudi Arabian consulate in the Pakistani city of Karachi yesterday killing a Saudi diplomat, police and the Saudi ambassador said. Saudi Arabia is the world biggest oil exporter and any signs that its security is threatened could have an impact on global oil prices. Investors were also watching flooding on the Mississippi after US Army engineers opened a key spillway to relieve flooding along the river. — Reuters




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TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011


World markets dogged by recovery fears LONDON: Worries over the state of the global economic recovery weighed on stock markets yesterday but the euro managed to claw back some lost ground despite the weekend arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund. Strauss-Kahn’s arrest in New York on charges he sexually assaulted a hotel maid had weighed on Europe’s single currency as trading got under way in Asia, but investors soon concluded that it was unlikely to affect a meeting of European finance ministers in Brussels later. StraussKahn had been scheduled to join the meeting to put the finishing touches to a 78 billion euros ($111 billion) bailout of Portugal. The ministers will also consider Greece’s economic plight and whether to extend it any more help. By early afternoon London time, the euro was trading 0.3 percent higher at $1.4119. Earlier, it had fallen as far as $1.4046, its lowest level since March 29. Stock markets were faring much worse. In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading shares was down 0.9 percent at 5,873

while Germany’s DAX fell 1.3 percent to 7,307. The CAC-40 in France was 1.5 percent lower at 3,961. Wall Street was poised for a lower opening, too — Dow futures fell 0.4 percent at 12,507 while the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 futures fell an equivalent rate to 1,328. Doubts about the strength of economic recovery, particular in the US, have weighed on markets in the past couple of weeks after they enjoyed their best first quarter since 1998. The Standard and Poor’s 500 stock index, a broad market benchmark, is up just 1 percent this quarter after jumping 5.4 percent in the first three months of the year. That weaker performance is in large part because of conflicting data about the health of the US economy. Investors will be closely monitoring a speech from US. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke. “Bernanke’s comments on the outlook for the US economy will be meticulously scrutinized early this afternoon, as will sales updates from a number of US retailers,” said Ben Critchley, a sales trader at IG Index. “At present Friday’s sell-off

across the Atlantic is set to continue.” Earlier in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.9 percent to close at 9,558.30 with banking shares incurring losses following comments last week by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano suggesting that Tokyo Electric Power Co will need help repaying its debts in the wake of March’s devastating earthquake and tsunami. South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.8 percent to 2,104.18, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 1.4 percent to 22,960.63. Mainland Chinese shares lost ground yesterday following the latest increase in the central bank’s reserve requirement for banks, which was announced Friday. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.8 percent to 2,849.07 and the Shenzhen Composite Index of China’s smaller, second exchange lost 0.2 percent to 1,198.72. Commodities have been badly hit recently by fears over the global recovery and oil prices took another dive Monday. Benchmark crude for June delivery was down $1.72 to $97.93 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. — AP

SHANGHAI: An investor reacts as he looks at the stock price board at a private security company in Shanghai yesterday. Mainland Chinese shares lost ground yesterday following the latest increase in the central bank’s reserve requirement for banks, which was announced late Friday. Falling prices for oil and other commodities hit resourcerelated shares. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.77 percent, or 21.96 points, to 2,849.07. — AP

Merkel wants Europe to keep top IMF job for now Developing countries could claim headship in medium term BERLIN: It makes sense for Europe to keep the top job at the International Monetary Fund for now given its role in tackling the euro zone crisis, though the post may go to the developing world in the future, Germany’s leader said. Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday it was not yet time to discuss who should succeed Dominique StraussKahn, charged with sexual assault in New York, and that the current head of the global lender should be presumed innocent unless proven guilty. “Generally, we know that in the medium term developing countries certainly have a claim both to the post of IMF chief as well World Bank chief,” Merkel said in Berlin. “I believe however that in the current phase, there are good reasons for Europe to have good candidates ready.” The IMF chief was charged on Sunday with the attempted rape of a New York hotel maid, sparking speculation about who might replace him as head of the Washington-based lender and as candidate for the French presidency. In an earlier regular news conference, Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said Europe had no automatic right to the IMF top job but that the region had a case for a home-grown successor.

NEW YORK: A shopper eyes cooking ware gift sets at the J C Penney store at Herald Square, New York. JC Penney Co said yesterday its first-quarter net income rose nearly 7 percent because of cost-cutting and strong reception to its exclusive merchandise. —AP

JC Penney 1Q profit rises nearly 7% NEW YORK: JC Penney Co reported that its first-quarter net income rose nearly 7 percent because of costcutting and strong reception to its exclusive merchandise. The department store chain also issued profit guidance in line with analysts’ projections. The company says it earned $64 million, or 28 cents per share, for the three months ended April 30. That compares with $60 million, or 25 cents per share, in the same period last year. Revenue edged up to $3.94 billion from $3.93 billion. Penney’s revenue at stores open at least a year rose 3.8 percent. The gauge is a key indicator of a retailer’s health. Analysts had predicted earnings of 26 cents on revenue of $3.94 billion, according to FactSet. “We are successfully implementing our merchandising initiatives, with strong gains in both our men’s and women’s apparel businesses,” CEO Myron E. Ullman III said in a statement. “Additionally, the steps we have taken to manage our expenses position us to increase the flowthrough of sales to the bottom line.” Under pressure from shareholders, Penney has cut costs, including closing some stores, outlets and call centers. It is also finishing up closing its catalog business after announcing in November 2009 that it would stop publishing its twice-a-year “big book.” Ullman promised more cost-saving initiatives, including trimming marketing expenses and streamlining sourcing operations. The company expects to save about $25 million to $30 million by 2013, with about half of that in 2012. He expects the company to achieve an earnings target of $5 per share for 2014. Like many department stores, J C Penney has been expanding its assortment of exclusive merchandise. Last year, it became the only US retailer to sell Liz Claiborne and Claiborne women’s wear, though the Isaac Mizrahi-designed Liz Claiborne New York brand went to QVC. It’s also the only department store selling MNG by Mango, a European clothing chain. For the second quarter, Penney expects revenue at stores open at least a year to rise anywhere from 3 percent to 4 percent. It expects earnings per share between 20 and 24 cents, including restructuring charges of about 6 cents per share. Analysts predict 22 cents per share, according to FactSet. — AP

BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel (left) and the new Vice-Chancellor, Economy Minister and chairman of the German Liberals, Philipp Roesler speak during a news conference after a meeting of top representatives of the German power and transportation economy at the chancellery in Berlin yesterday. —AP “Europe has no subscription to this executive position,” he said. “If you look at the current situation, where coping with

China cuts holdings of US Treasurys for 5th month WASHINGTON: China, the biggest buyer of US securities, trimmed its holdings for a fifth straight month. The Treasury Department said yesterday that China cut its holdings by $9.2 billion to $1.14 trillion. Japan, the second-largest foreign holder, boosted its holdings by $17.6 billion to $907.9 billion. There had been concerns that the March 11 earthquake and tsunami would lead Japan to scale back its purchases so it could use the money for reconstruction. Total foreign holdings increased by $4.9 billion to $4.48 trillion. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the government will reach its $14.3 trillion borrowing limit yesterday. Treasury officials have said they will be able to continue regular debt auctions until August. Republicans have

held back supporting an increase in the borrowing limit, saying they first want Congress agree to more spending cuts. Geithner yesterday said he will halt investments in two big government pension plans immediately to allow the government to continue borrowing money for the next few months. Geithner has suspended pension payments in past congressional debates over raising the borrowing limit. The money that the two pension funds will lose will be replaced if Congress votes to raise the borrowing limit. Geithner said the bookkeeping maneuvers and unexpected revenue will allow the government to delay an unprecedented default on the national debt until Aug 2. — AP

KIEV: Policemen prevent traders from entering an outdoor market in Kiev yesterday. Authorities yesterday sought to dismantle the local market in Kiev in an attempt to improve trade regulations. —AP

the crisis in several euro states is absorbing the IMF so much, there are several reasons for the government to argue

that there is a good European candidate.” “We will talk about that with all our partners in the IMF in case a successor is even needed,” Seibert said. Euro-zone finance ministers meet yesterday to back an European Union/IMF bailout for Portugal, in talks overshadowed by the charges against StraussKahn. While it seems unlikely the IMF’s activities will be significantly affected by Strauss-Kahn’s arrest, it comes on the eve of a series of new talks on how to handle the euro-zone crisis. The Frenchman had been due to meet Merkel in Berlin on Sunday and join euro zone finance ministers on Monday to discuss the debt crisis, where Greece for one is struggling to meet the terms of a 110 billion euro EU/IMF bailout it was granted last year. The IMF would still play its full role in resolving the euro zone crisis, regardless of the outcome of the case against Strauss-Kahn, Seibert said. “The IMF will be able to play its role in solving the world’s financial problems and specifically the problems of the euro-zone, where it plays a really important role, without any limits,” Seibert told a regular news conference in Berlin. — Reuters

Wal-Mart may drop plans to buy S African chain PRETORIA: Wal-Mart may abandon efforts to buy a South African chain if the government demands it stock a specific amount of South African products, the giant retailer said yesterday. Wal-Mart raised the possibility of pulling out on the last day of hearings on the 17 billion rand (about $2.4 billion) deal before the government agency charged with ensuring competition and protecting consumer interests. The Competition Tribunal is expected to rule in the next week on whether Wal-Mart can go ahead with the purchase of Massmart. During hearings in a high-rise in the South African capital that have resembled a trial, South African unions and some government officials have joined foreign activists in arguing the deal should be rejected unless Wal-Mart is required to take steps to protect jobs. Wal-Mart says requiring it to buy an undetermined percentage of South African goods — to protect local manufacturing jobs — would give an unfair advantage to competitors not subject to such conditions. In a joint statement to the tribunal, Wal-Mart and Massmart said such conditions would violate world trade regulations and were not guaranteed to be an efficient or effective way to safeguard jobs. They said if such conditions were imposed, they would be forced to appeal “or reluctantly to walk away from the transaction.” Wal-Mart is the world’s largest retailer, and its interest in a South African business had been seen as a vote of confidence not just in South Africa’s economy, but in the continent’s potential. If the deal were to collapse, it could raise concern among other investors about whether South African bureaucrats and unions put up too many hurdles to doing business. After months of speculation Wal-Mart was considering entering Africa, it announced its offer to buy 51 percent of Massmart last year. The deal was approved in January by Massmart shareholders. Those include South Africa’s government-owned Public Investment

Corp, which invests on behalf of civil service pension funds, and Scotland’s Aberdeen Asset Management. Massmart workers, most of whom are black, also have a stake through a trust set up as part of a South African campaign to help those denied economic opportunities under apartheid. Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, has 8,692 stores in 15 countries, among them Brazil, China and India. But it has not until now ventured into Africa. Massmart would give it a jump-start on the continent. Massmart operates in more than a dozen African countries and is Africa’s third-largest distributor of consumer goods, the leading retailer of general merchandise, liquor and home improvement equipment and supplies and the leading wholesaler of basic foods. South African unions have been opposed to the deal from the start, and threaten boycotts and strikes if it goes through. They say Wal-Mart is anti-union, and that its buying strategy will destroy local manufacturers and competition. International groups who say Wal-Mart’s enormous reach even has environmental consequences — driving factories and farms to pollute in pursuit of producing cheap goods for the retailer — have joined South African unions in opposing the Massmart deal. Wal-Mart and Massmart told the Competition Tribunal Monday that its opponents’ fears were not supported by evidence. But the companies made some concessions yesterday, pledging not to lay off any Massmart employees for the next two years and to respect Massmart’s existing labor agreements for as long as the tribunal says is necessary — the tribunal’s staff has suggested three years. Wal-Mart and Massmart also say they will spend 100 million rand (about $14 million) over the next three years to help farmers and other South African producers if the deal goes through. Officials said they were still working out how to spend the money, which is intended to help South Africans gear up to supply WalMart. — AP




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BP faces judgement day on Rosneft tie-up MOSCOW: Prospects for BP of tapping the Arctic oil reserves controlled by Russia faced judgement day amid reports of a last-minute bid by the British energy giant to salvage the troubled deal. The $16 billion (11.4-billioneuro) “strategic alliance” between BP and state-held Rosneft-Russia’s largest and most powerful oil company-has undergone serious revision since first being announced in January. The deal had been set for final approval when it suddenly became contested by BP’s local partners in its TNKBP Russian joint venture-a top-10 private company with its own sights on Arctic oil. An arbitration ruling this month ordered BP to hand the Arctic explo-

ration portion of the tie-up to its Russian joint venture. But Rosneft has previously rejected the idea of working jointly with TNK-BP because of its relative lack of experience and access to foreign deposits. Rosneft is also reportedly uncomfortable with a new stipulation stating that all shares swapped by the companies would have to be held in trust. The original agreement would have handed Rosneft five percent of BP’s ordinary voting shares in exchange for about nine percent of its stock. But now neither company will have the option of joining each other’s board. Rosneft-which has remained silenthas until the end of the day Monday to either accept or reject the revised terms

of the deal or possible negotiate another deadline extension with BP. And analysts said an extension now seemed likely amid reports that the British firm was holding last-minute negotiations with the both the Russian government and its local partners in TNK-BP. The Wall Street Journal cited “people familiar with the situation” as saying that BP for the past week has been negotiating buy-out terms with the four Russian billionaires in the joint venture. Russian and Western news reports said that BP had previously offered $27 billion for the stake. But the Russian billionaires have valued their share of BP’s local venture at up to $40 billion and denied any interest in selling.

Some analysts said the Russian billionaires could still use this opportunity to cash out because of inevitable frictions with both BP and Rosneft. “I think that after some more delays this deal will get done because it is advantageous to the two companies and it is politically advantageous to Russia,” Mikhail Molodov of Maxwell Capital Management told the RBC business channel. “But this is a question of the medium-term perspective,” Molodov added. The deal’s failure could deliver a damaging blow to both the fortunes of BP’s under-fire chief Bob Dudley and the company’s efforts to find a new growth solution following the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Dudley came under heavy criticism from stockholders during an April shareholders meeting in London and is under intense pressure to prove that his Russian gamble will pay off. The restructured terms of the deal would see BP only reap half of the financial reward of future Arctic oil exploration-terms that Dudley said were worth the investment. But he also appeared to confirm reports that BP was still hoping to secure more favourable terms that would also suit Rosneft. “Like many things in Russia, there are lots of discussions going on,” Dudley told reporters in Switzerland on Friday. “I am sure that a resolution will come at some point in time.” —AFP

Saab, Spyker announce auto venture in China New rescue funding plan unveiled STOCKHOLM: Saab and its Dutch owner Spyker announced new rescue funding yesterday through a venture with Chinese firm Pang Da Automobile, just days after another Chinese rescue deal collapsed. Spyker described Pang Da as “China’s largest publicly traded automobile distributor with over 1,100 dealerships nationwide.”

KOLKATA: An Indian railway worker arranges salad for passengers in the pantry of a Rajdhani express train in Kolkata, India. India has one of the largest railroad networks in the world, with around 14 million passengers each day. —AP

India inflation eases last month to 8.7% NEW DELHI: India’s high inflation eased slightly to 8.7 percent in April as food prices increased at a slower rate, the government said yesterday. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said yesterday he was optimistic that food prices would come down further in the coming months as summer harvests boosted food stocks. “The April prices have come down both in the manufacturing sector and the food sector. This is good trend, and if it continues then prices will be more moderated,” Mukherjee told reporters. Food prices rose 8.7 percent in April after a 9.5 percent jump in March. Prices of manufactured goods increased 6.2 percent compared with 6.5 percent in March. Inflation was 9 percent overall in March. The inflation rate is expected to jump again as the effects of a weekend

increase in gasoline prices kick in. It was the eighth hike in gasoline prices since June 2010. The government is also likely to announce a hike in diesel and cooking gas prices. India, which imports around 70 percent of its oil, has been concerned about recent swings in the oil price on global markets. With inflation still running high, India’s central bank is expected to raise key interest rates at next month’s policy review. The Reserve Bank of India raised interest rates by half a percentage point earlier this month, the ninth such hike in just over a year. The Reser ve Bank has raised the lending rate by 2.5 points since March 2010. The government revised February’s inflation rate higher to 9.5 percent from the 8.3 percent previously announced. —AP

Nasdaq, ICE pull NYSE bid, cite regulators NEW YORK: Nasdaq OMX Group Inc and Intercontinental Exchange are withdrawing their bid for rival exchange NYSE Euronext, saying it became clear they would not win approval for the deal from the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust division. NYSE Euronext shares fell nearly 11 percent in premarket trading. Nasdaq and ICE first offered to buy the New York Stock Exchange’s parent on April 1, seeking to thwart NYSE Euronext’s proposed friendly merger with Deutsche Boerse AG, worth $10.2 billion when it was announced in February. The NYSE-Deutsche Boerse tie-up is also subject to regulatory scrutiny in

Europe and the United States. Nasdaq and ICE had said earlier this month that they would go directly to NYSE shareholders in a tender offer. NYSE’s board twice rejected the $11.1 billion unsolicited bid in favor of its existing deal with Deutsche Boerse. In a statement yesterday, Nasdaq CEO Bob Greifeld said his company was “surprised and disappointedî with the US government’s decision. Nasdaq and ICE’s competing offer, worth $11.1 billion last week, would have split NYSE Euronext into two. Nasdaq would have acquired NYSE’s equities and equities options business, and ICE would have bought its Londonbased futures unit, Liffe. —Reuters

Spyker said that under a draft agreement covering manufacturing and distribution, Pang Da Automobile would inject 65 million euros ($92 million) into Spyker in exchange for 24 percent of the company. The cash “will secure Saab automobile’s medium term funding,” Spyker said in a statement. Pang Da will initially transfer 30 million euros (42 million euros) to purchase Saab cars and another 15 million to purchase more vehicles within 30 days of the initial purchase. “The memorandum of understanding includes a strategic alliance consisting of a 50-50 distribution joint venture,” it

explained. The deal also covers “a manufacturing joint venture (MJV) for Saab branded vehicles as well as for an MJV-owned brand (the so-called ‘child brand’) in China,” the statement said. The Chinese company will also have the right to one seat on the board of Saab or Spyker. “Both parties are confident that this par tnership allows Saab Automobile and Pang Da to create a strong business, initially in the distribution and subsequently in the manufacturing of Saab vehicles in China,” Spyker head Victor Muller said. Pang Da chief executive Pang Qinghua said: “Having just gone public ourselves three weeks

ago, we are delighted to have the opportunity to become a substantial shareholder in Spyker, Saab’s parent.” He said: “We very much look forward to collaborating with Saab’s management to successfully enter our promising home market.” Yesterday’s announcement comes less than a week after Spyker said a 150-million euro deal with Chinese carmaker Hawtai had fallen through, casting new doubt on the future of Saab. The iconic Swedish brand, which employs 3,800 people in the southwestern Swedish town of Trollheattan, was rescued at the last minute in early 2010

BNP Paribas plans Hong Kong listing

NEW YORK: A trader laughs as he works with colleagues on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. A loss of momentum on Wall Street, dropping commodity prices and worries over Europe’s debt problems caused world stock markets to sag yesterday. —AP

Global steel demand set to grow in 2011-2012: OECD PARIS: Global demand for steel is set to increase in 2011-2012 thanks to China and emerging markets, the OECD said in a report yesterday, but warned rising prices and climate concerns could derail that trend. Urbanization and construction booms in emerging economies are forecast to push demand by an annual six percent this year and next, said the report published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. However, although the industry’s rebound was faster than expected since the global economic downturn three years ago, that “trend could be called into question” if steel prices continue to rise, the report said. “Governments and industry will have to explore policy means to ensure secure, predictable and accessible supply ” for producers, it added. Construction and manufacturing activities in China have surged to keep pace with the world’s second-largest econo-

my, where a growing middle class has also pushed up consumption of cars. Meanwhile steel production in Japan, the world’s biggest steel exporter, is close to returning to levels before the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the report said, soothing fears of a supply crunch. “Overall, the impact on the Japanese industry is considered to be smaller than originally feared,” the OECD said. “Over the longer term, reconstruction work is expected to generate additional demand for steel and thus accelerate the economic growth rate of Japan.” The OECD report also called on governments to rapidly take up new technologies to reduce emissions in the steel industry, a major carbon-dioxide emitter. “Expected economic development during the 21st century will require ever growing amounts of steel...Reducing emissions from steel manufacturing to levels consistent with a low-carbon economy cannot be accomplished with today’s technology.” —AFP

Kazakh copper miner sees HK listing in June

TIGARD: A Lowe’s home improvement store is shown in Tigard, Oregon. Lowe’s Cos’ first-quarter net income fell 6 percent yesterday pressured in part by bad weather and difficult economic conditions. —AP

when tiny Dutch brand Spyker bought it for $400 million from US auto giant General Motors. It was forced to halt production “until further notice” last month as suppliers stopped deliveries over unpaid bills. A representative of suppliers estimated Saab’s debt to suppliers at some 100 million euros ($142 million). After the deal with Hawtai collapsed, Skyper had said it was looking into partnerships with other Chinese companies. Yesterday ’s announcement sent the company’s shares up 16.84 percent to 4.15 euros shor tly after the Amsterdam stock exchange opened. —AFP

ALMATY: Kazakhstan’s copper miner Kazakhmys said yesterday it intended to list shares in Hong Kong by the end of June to expand its presence on the booming Asian market. “The Kazakhmys group has already presented its prospect of stock emission to Hong Kong Stock Exchange. It is assumed that the listing will be completed by the end of June,” the London-listed

company said in a statement. The largest copper producer in Kazakhstan, Kazakhmys hopes to improve its visibility in Asia and China, the company said. Kazakhstan’s economic growth depends in large part on its mineral wealth, with Kazakhmys making China an important part of its growth strategy. Kazakhmys was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2005. —AFP

HONG KONG: French banking giant BNP Paribas is planning to list its shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange, a report said yesterday, in a bid that is likely to boost its profile in Asia, especially China. The lender has submitted an application to the southern Chinese city’s bourse, with a listing planned as early as July, the Chinese-language Ming Pao Daily News reported, quoting an unnamed source. The banking group does not plan to raise new funds in a so-called listing by introduction, according to the newspaper. “We do not comment on market rumors,” a spokeswoman from BNP Paribas office in Hong Kong said in a statement to AFP when asked to confirm the report. Unlike an initial public offering, a listing by introduction simply adds another trading venue to boost the profile of a company’s existing shares, and gives investors the ability to buy or sell the shares in their local currency. In December, Brazilian mining giant Vale made its Hong Kong trading debut by listing its shares in the form of common share depositary receipts, but did not raise new money. The miner was already listed in Brazil, New York and Paris. Companies are increasingly looking to Hong Kong as a gateway to the Chinese market, with Russian mining giant UC Rusal raising $2.2 billion in Hong Kong last year. Last May, cosmetics group L’Occitane became the first French company to list in Hong Kong, after an initial public offering raised $704 million to fund an aggressive expansion in China, Japan and emerging markets. —AFP

Euro-zone inflation up to 2.8% last month BRUSSELS: Euro-zone inflation rose to 2.8 percent in April, the highest level for 30 months, from 2.7 percent in March, European Union data showed yesterday. Inflation in the 17-nation area is at its highest since October 2008 when it hit 3.2 percent, according to the Eurostat data agency. In April 2010, the rate was 1.6 percent. April 2011 was the fifth month running in which inflation was above the two-percent target limit set by the European Central Bank. Inflation in the 17-nation euro-zone rose above that ceiling for the first time since late 2008 in December, hitting 2.2 percent, before rising to 2.3 percent in January and 2.4 percent in February. The faster-than-forecast acceleration, fuelled by a spike in energy costs as well as for raw materials, last month prompted the ECB to lift its benchmark interest rate to 1.25 percent for the first time in nearly three years. It then slipped to 2.1 percent in November 2008 before slipping below two percent. Lowest annual rates across the EU were in Ireland, with 1.5 percent, the Czech Republic, at 1.6 percent, and Sweden, 1.8 percent. Highest rises were noted in Romania, with 8.4 percent, Estonia at 5.4 percent and Lithuania and Hungary, both at 4.4 percent. Highest annual rates per sector were transport, which rose 5.9 percent, and housing at five percent. Highest monthly rates were clothing at 2.6 percent and transport, 1.1 percent. —AFP



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Some feline fun with Japanese hi-tech headgear TOKYO: In Japan, they’re all ears for the latest in hi-tech fashion. The stylish headgear, a set of white ears that move according to the wearer’s thoughts and emotions, is called “Necomimi””cat’s ears” in Japanese. With two brain-wave sensors, Necomimi can detect and interpret the emotional state of the wearer, expressing it through four distinct movements. The eats shoot up with the wearer is nervous or focused, but flatten when the person is relaxed. During a specific activity like a game or read-

ing a book, in which the user may be relaxed and focused at the same time, the ears swirl around in a circular motion. When brain activity is low, they flap gently back and forth. The science of neuro-control is being developed in labs all over the world as a way to help the disabled or victims of ‘locked-in’ syndrome, where a patient is awake but unable to move or communicate, but Necomimi’s creators at a firm called Neuroscience wanted something for all to enjoy. The cat theme required some tinkering,

though. “For example, when cats are frightened or want to scare away an enemy, they flatten their ears. But with Necomimi, flat ears mean a relaxed state of mind,” said Kana Nakano at Neurowave, one of Necomimi’s creators. “We have changed the meaning to suit human perceptions. To humans, it’s kind of cute when cat ears are flat. So the most difficult bit was to fine tune cat ear movements.” In Switzerland, scientists are adapting neurowave technology for wheelchair users, while in Germany, it’s being tested as a means for operating a car.

While the cat ears may seem like a trivial approach, the developers say the technology could be adapted as a communication tool for those who may be reclusive or shy around strangers. For now, however, Necomimi is aimed at the curious and the fashion-conscious. “I find it amusing that cat ears were moving in conjunction with my feelings,” said Misa Tokuizumi, a dentist. Neurowave says it plans to launch the Necomimi internationally later this year at a price of several hundred dollars per unit. — Reuters

Endeavour soars on second to last space shuttle trip

Spectators watch the space shuttle Endeavour lift off from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., yesterday. The space shuttle Endeavour began a 14-day mission to the international space station. — AP

Yahoo!, Alibaba in talks over Alipay NEW YORK: Yahoo! and Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba said yesterday they were holding talks over Alipay, the online payments company whose ownership has sparked tensions between the Internet giants. Yahoo!, which holds a large stake in Alibaba, and Alibaba issued a one-sentence joint statement addressing the controversy over ownership of Alipay, Alibaba’s payment service. “Alibaba Group, and its major stockholders Yahoo! Inc. and Softbank Corporation, are engaged in and committed to productive negotiations to resolve the outstanding issues related to Alipay in a manner that serves the interests of all shareholders as soon as possible,” the statement said. Yahoo! filed paperwork last week notifying the US Securities and Exchange Commission that ownership of Alipay had been shifted to a Chinese company owned mostly by Alibaba chief executive Jack Ma. In the filing, Yahoo! said the transfer was done without the knowledge or approval of Alibaba’s board of directors or shareholders. Yahoo! owns a 43 percent stake in Alibaba and an estimated 40 percent share

of Alipay. According to Yahoo!, the transfer of ownership was made in August although it and Japan’s Softbank, another major Alibaba stakeholder, were only informed in March. Ma on Saturday said the transfer of ownership of Alipay was “legal and 100 percent transparent.” “The board and shareholders including Yahoo! and Softbank Corp. are fully aware of the ownership transfer of Alipay,” Ma was quoted as saying by Dow Jones Newswires. His comments come after the firm issued a statement on Friday, saying the transfer was done to “comply with Chinese law governing payment companies in order to secure a license to continue operating Alipay.” “The actions taken by Alibaba Group management to comply with the licensing regulations and to ensure continuation of operations are in the best interests of the company and its shareholders,” the statement said. Yahoo! shares have been sliding amid the dispute with Alibaba over Alipay. Yahoo! shares lost 3.61 percent to close at $16.55 on Wall Street on Friday. — AFP

Could exoplanet be a haven for life? PARIS: Scientists said yesterday a rocky world orbiting a nearby star was confirmed as the first planet outside our solar system to meet key requirements for sustaining life. Modelling of planet Gliese 581d shows it has the potential to be warm and wet enough to nurture Earth-like life, they said. It orbits a red dwarf star called Gliese 581, located around 20 light years from Earth, which makes it one of our closest neighbours. Gliese 581d orbits on the outer fringes of the star’s “Goldilocks zone,” where it is not so hot that water boils away, nor so cold that water is perpetually frozen. Instead, the temperature is just right for water to exist in liquid form. “ With a dense carbon dioxide atmosphere-a likely scenario on such a large planet-the climate of Gliese 581d is not only stable against collapse but warm enough to have oceans, clouds and rainfall,” France’s National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) said in a press release. More than 500 planets orbiting other stars have been recorded since 1995, detected mostly by a tiny wobble in stellar light. Exoplanets are named after their star and listed alphabetically, in order of discovery. Until now, the big interest in Gliese 581’s roster of planets focussed on Gliese 581g. It leapt into the headlines last year as “Zarmina’s World,” after its observers announced it had roughly the same mass as Earth’s and was also close to the Goldilocks zone. But that discovery has since been discounted by many. Indeed, some experts suspect that the Gliese 581g

may not even exist but was simply a hiccup in starlight. Its big brother, Gliese 581d, has a mass at least seven times that of Earth and is about twice our planet’s size, according to the new study, which appears in a British publication, The Astrophysical Journal Letters. The planet, spotted in 2007, had initially been dismissed as a candidate in the hunt for life. It receives less than a third of the solar radiation Earth gets, and may be “tidally locked,” meaning that one side of it always faces the sun, which would give it permanent dayside and nightside. But the new model, devised by CNRS climate scientists Robin Wordsworth, Francois Forget and colleagues, showed surprising potential. Its atmosphere would store heat well, thanks to its dense CO2, a greenhouse gas. And the red light from the star would also penetrate the atmosphere and warm the surface. “In all cases, the temperatures allow for the presence of liquid water on the surface,” say the researchers. For budding travellers, though, Gliese 581d would “still be a pretty strange place to visit,” the CNRS said. “The denser air and thick clouds would keep the surface in a perpetual murky red twilight, and its large mass means that surface gravity would be around double that on Earth.” Getting to the planet would still require a sci-fi breakthrough in travel for earthlings. A spaceship travelling close to light speed would take more than 20 years to get there, while our present rocket technology would take 300,000 years. — AFP

CAPE CANAVERAL: Endeavour blasted off on NASA’s next-to-last shuttle flight, thundering through clouds into orbit yesterday morning as the mission commander’s wounded wife, US congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, watched along with an exhilarated crowd estimated in the hundreds of thousands. With Giffords’ husband, commander Mark Kelly, at the helm, Endeavour and its experienced crew of five Americans and an Italian are headed for the International Space Station. They will arrive at the orbiting outpost Wednesday, delivering a $2 billion magnetic instrument that will seek out antimatter and dark energy in the universe. Today, the astronauts will survey their ship for any launch damage to Endeavour’s thermal shield. Only a couple small bits of insulating foam came off the fuel tank during the crucial phase of liftoff, officials said. NASA is winding down its 30-year-old shuttle program before embarking on something new. The event generated the kind of excitement seldom seen on Florida’s Space Coast on such a grand scale — despite a delay of more than two weeks from the original launch date because of an electrical problem. Yesterday’s countdown was close to perfect, and the shuttle quickly disappeared into thin, low clouds. Launch manager Mike Moses apologized for the fleeting glimpse. “The view wasn’t the best,” he said. Just before launching, Kelly thanked all those who put hands “on this incredible ship.” “It is in the DNA of our great country to reach for the stars and explore. We must not stop,” he said. Remarkably, Giffords made a return visit to see Kelly off. She is still undergoing rehabilitation in a Houston hospital to recover from a gunshot wound to the head in an assassination attempt little more than four months ago. “Good stuff, good stuff,” Giffords was quoted as saying by her chief of staff as Endeavour took flight for the final time. Kelly had red tulips presented to her afterward. She wore his wedding ring on a silver chain while he carried hers with him. Giffords, sitting in a wheelchair, watched the launch in private with her mother and the other astronauts’ wives and children atop the Launch Control Center. There were hugs all around after the shuttle rocketed away, said the congresswoman’s chief of staff, Pia Carusone. “It was a real sense of relief from all of us that this went off safely,” Carusone said. Giffords, a Democrat, has kept out of the public eye since the Jan. 8 shooting that wounded her and killed six in Tucson, Arizona. She was shielded from the cameras on launch day, as were the families of the other five astronauts. All watched the liftoff in private. She and Kelly said their goodbyes, face to face on Sunday. Up to 45,000 guests jammed into NASA’s launch site, and thousands packed area roads and towns to see Endeavour soar one last time. Only one shuttle flight remains. VIPs

CAPE CANAVERAL: The space shuttle Endeavour lifts off from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., yesterday. The space shuttle Endeavour began a 14-day mission to the international space station. — AFP included Apollo 11’s Michael Collins and four other members of Congress. Advance estimates had put yesterday’s crowd at 500,000, more than the number that saw Discovery’s final hurrah in February. Across the Indian River in Titusville, though, the number of spectators appeared to be down compared with Endeavour’s previous launch attempt on a Friday afternoon. Titusville Assistant Police Chief John Lau guessed the crowd at between 350,000 and 400,000. “I don’t know if it was the early morning or what,” Lau said. Electrical trouble grounded the shuttle on April 29, disappointing the hordes of visitors, including President Barack Obama and his family. Repairs over the past two weeks took care of the problem. “God Speed Endeavour We’re ready for you!” space station resident Ronald

Garan Jr. said in a Twitter update. At launch, the space station was 220 miles (350 kilometers) high, just southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Kelly almost didn’t make the flight. The 47-year-old Navy captain took a leave from training to be by his wife’s side after she was wounded, and it seemed unlikely he would stay with the flight. But Giffords improved and was moved from the hospital in her hometown of Tucson to Houston where Kelly lives and does astronaut training. Her days were filled with rehab work, and he yearned to see the shuttle mission through. A month after the shooting, he announced he would fly. “Everybody felt that this was the right thing for me to do,” he said at the time. He added that his wife “is a big supporter of my career, a big supporter of NASA.” He rejoined his crew in February, still managing to see his wife

across town every morning and evening. Giffords’ visit to Kennedy Space Center — the third time she’s seen her husband soar into space — ratcheted up the excitement level for what already was a big event, said launch officials. Kelly’s identical twin, Scott, who’s also an astronaut, witnessed the launch with his two teenage nieces, Mark’s daughters from a previous marriage. This is the 25th and final flight of Endeavour, the baby of NASA’s shuttle fleet. It was built to replace Challenger, destroyed during liftoff 25 years ago this past January, and made its maiden journey six years later to capture and repair a stranded satellite. That first flight ended 19 years ago yesterday. Endeavour carried the first Hubble Space Telescope repair team, which famously restored the observatory’s vision in 1993, and the first American piece of the space station in 1998. It will end its days at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. As of yesterday, Endeavour had logged more than 116 million miles (186 million kilometers), circled Earth some 4,500 times, spent 283 days in space and carried 170 people, including the last two people to fly a space shuttle for the first time. American Mike Fincke and Italian Roberto Vittori are making their first flight on a shuttle although they’ve been to the space station twice, ferried their by Russian Soyuz rockets. Fincke will team up with Andrew Feustel and Gregory Chamitoff for four spacewalks during the 16-day mission. It will be the last spacewalks conducted by a shuttle crew. NASA officials said it will be a demanding flight, including the unprecedented departure of a three-person Soyuz capsule while Endeavour is there. The shuttle and station crews will sleep at different times to accommodate the Soyuz undocking next Monday, just five days after the shuttle’s arrival. NASA’s last shuttle flight, by Atlantis, is targeted for July. After that, Atlantis will remain at Kennedy, where it will go on display at the visitor complex. Discovery will head to the Smithsonian Institution’s hangar outside Washington. American astronauts, meanwhile, will continue to hitch rides to the space station on Russian Soyuz rockets. Private companies hope to pick up the slack, but that’s still years away. Once Atlantis flies, it will be three years — at best — before Americans are launched again from US soil. Some NASA observers fear it could be a full decade. The White House wants NASA focusing on eventual expeditions to asteroids and Mars, unfeasible as long as the shuttles are flying given budget constraints. Ohioan Stan Oliver made a last-minute trip for the launch. The assisted-living residence manager got a ticket to Tampa and then drove Sunday night to Titusville, where he slept in his car. “This is a once in a lifetime event,” said Oliver, 41, who lives near Dayton. “It was worth it. The roar was intense. I’m glad I came.” — AP

EU seeks to maximise cloud computing potential

TOKYO: Models show off NTT DoCoMo’s new smart phones, (L-R) Galaxy S II SC-02C, Xperia acro SO-02C, F-12C, AQUOS PHONE SH-12C, Optimus bright L-07C, MEDIAS WP N06C, during the company’s 2011 summer model press preview in Tokyo, yesterday. NTT DoCoMo unveiled 24 models for the 2011 summer season including 9 smart phones models. — AFP

BRUSSELS: The European Commission called yesterday for contributions to an EU strategy on cloud computing, saying the remote technology could bring savings as well as huge revenues to the 27-member bloc. The EU executive said cloud computing could generate 35 billion euros ($49 billion) in revenue in Europe by 2014 and the right regulations could help business and government make considerable savings on their costs by using the technology. “We need a well-defined cloud computing strategy to ensure that we make the best use of this potential,” Neelie Kroes, the EU commissioner overseeing digital technology in the EU, said in a statement. Cloud computing, which allows remote access to computing power and data over the Internet, can drive down costs and save energy through more efficient use of hardware and software. The technology allows services such as Google’s Gmail and Yahoo’s Flickr photo management site to store data remotely. The Commission consultation aims to address concerns the technology generates, in particular over matters of privacy and jurisdiction, such as who owns the information and who bears responsibility for how EU legislation is applied. Boosting the use of the technology by small and mediumsized businesses and creating more standardisation are also part of the Commission’s consultation, which is open until the end of August. The EU executive is expected to present a European cloud computing strategy next year. — Reuters




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TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011

health & science

Physicist Hawking rejects idea of an afterlife LONDON: Heaven is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark, the eminent British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking said in an interview published yesterday. Hawking, 69, was expected to die within a few years of being diagnosed with degenerative motor neurone disease at the age of 21, but became one of the world’s most famous scientists with the publication of his 1988 book “A Brief History of Time”.

“I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first,” he told the Guardian newspaper. “I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”

When asked how we should live he said: “We should seek the greatest value of our action.” Hawking gave the interview ahead of the Google Zeitgeist meeting in London where he will join speakers including British finance minister George Osborne and Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. Addressing the question “Why are we here?” he will argue tiny quantum fluctuations in the very early universe sowed the

seeds of human life. The former Cambridge University Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, a post once also held by Isaac Newton, has a history of drawing criticism for his comments on religion. His 2010 book “The Grand Design” provoked a backlash among religious leaders, including chief rabbi Lord Sacks, for arguing there was no need for a divine force to explain the creation of the universe.

As a result of his incurable illness Hawking can only speak through a voice synthesiser and is almost completely paralysed. He sparked serious concerns in 2009 when he was hospitalised after falling seriously ill following a lecture tour in the United States but has since returned to Cambridge University as a director of research. — Reuters

Asia’s suffering bears are exploited for bile

LONDON: British Prime Minister David Cameron (R) meets knee patient Kulvinder Bhutta (L) during a visit to Ealing Hospital in west London before making a speech to doctors and nurses on NHS (the National Health Service) reforms yesterday. Cameron insisted yesterday in a keynote speech that the coalition government’s controversial NHS reforms were essential for the long-term survival of the health service. —AFP

Tap dance syncopates fitness for any age NEW YORK: For fitness outside the boxstep of the gym, why not try hoofing it? Experts say whether you’ve got rhythm, or just crave it, an extended foray into the purely American art form of tap dance can boost your balance, cardio and core. “It’s great for balance because tap dance is all about weight shift,” said Courtney Runft, an instructor at the American Tap Dance Center in New York. “You’re forced to stand on one leg, so you’re really using those fine muscles on the bottom of your feet.” Runft, who turned to tap dance after injuries sidelined her ballet career, said while the learning curve for tap varies as broadly as her students, who range in age from three and a-half to the mid-70’s, consistency yields results. “I look at some adults who could not stand on one leg three months ago, now they can balance and move their other leg freely,” she said. “It really builds the lower body. And once you have the basics under control it’s definitely a cardio workout.” The roots of tap dance reach back to the days of slave trade in America when African Americans, forbidden by slave holders from communicating through their traditional drums, transferred their rhythmic messages to their feet. In the mid-19th century, their footwork merged with the jigs and clog dances of Irish and English immigrants, and tap dance was born. Elizabeth Larkam, a spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise, said compared to other activities, tap dance is safe to do throughout one’s life because it adapts to any fitness level. “It’s very easy to moderate the intensity,” said Larkam, a Pilates and dance medicine specialist, based in San Francisco. “It’s more difficult to get a cardiovascular

workout in ballet, because one needs a higher level of skill to get those benefits without injury.” In tap dancing one moves in all directions-forward, back, side-to-side, which is superb for balance, Larkam said. Additionally, it connects the feet with core control and visual input. “You have to look where you’re going,” said Larkam. She said studies have shown that the rhythmic aspects of tap dancing are good for the brain, even as it provides the core and bone-building benefits of a moderate impact, weight-bearing activity. “It doesn’t look like a conventional abdominal exercise,” she said, “but it does have benefits as a core control activity.” But it’s not a complete workout. “It lacks strengthening for arms, shoulder girdle and upper body, “ Larkam explained, adding that it should be supplemented with strength training for arms and upper back, and a stretching program for the calves, hamstrings, quads, hip flexors and trunk. To progress one should tap dance at least twice a week. “Once a week will not be sufficient for the motor learning to stay with you,” Larkam explained. “It will be like starting new every time.” For cardiovascular fitness, plan on tapping five times a week for 30 minutes. But it’s not as if you have to drag yourself on to a treadmill. “The music is a great motivator,” she said. At the American Tap Dance Center, Runft tells first-timers to come with an open mind and clothes they’re willing to sweat in. “We have shoes that people can borrow,” she said. “After a class or two people are hooked, and they get their own shoes.” — Reuters

GENEVA: World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan leaves the floor after delivering her speech at the WHO’s annual assembly attended by dozens of government ministers and more than 1,800 delegates, yesterday at the United Nations office in Geneva. — AFP

BOTEN, Laos: A frenzied black bear growls and shakes the bars of a cage barely bigger than itself. Like thousands of others across Asia, it is waiting for its owner to extract bile, a treasured substance in traditional Chinese medicine. In a windowless building stinking of urine in the town of Boten in Laos, near the Chinese border, about 15 metal cages are lined up. Each holds a bear with barely enough room to turn around, let alone stand. “If the cages were bigger, it would be very dangerous for the person who takes care of them”, says Se, the Chinese owner of this “farm” which specialises in Asiatic black bears, whose predominant colour contrasts with a white band of chest fur. In the courtyard four cubs just a few weeks old have been sold for $750 dollars each to traffickers. They will soon face the same treatment. “Once a day, we take the bile of one bear with a needle. We change bears every day,” says Se, who gave only one name and refused to allow photos of the bears. In other farms, bears live with a catheter or a hole in the abdomen to allow extraction of the bile, according to animal rights campaigners who call for a ban on the practices. “The bile is usually extracted using extremely crude surgery or through permanently implanted catheters.

Severe damage to the gall bladders is common and tumours often develop,” says Jude Osborne, who manages a refuge near Luang Prabang created by Free the Bears Fund of Australia. “The conditions for bears on these farms are horrific, with intolerable pain and mental suffering,” he said. As a result, their life span is reduced on average to 10 years, says Louis Ng, director of Singapore-based ACRES (Animal Concerns Research and Education Society). Bears in the wild can live to be 25. “After they kill them, (they) take the gall bladder itself for traditional Chinese medicine and then they take the paws for soup. They believe that if you drink that you become as strong as the bear,” says Ng. According to a report issued Wednesday by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, at least 12,000 bears were living under such conditions in Asia, at places which are “farms” only in name because most do not actually breed the animals. The majority are Asiatic black bears, also commonly known as moon bears, whose global population is estimated at between 25,000 and 100,000. They are classed as a “vulnerable species” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Trade in the bears is banned by

CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna. China “appeared to be the largest producer” of bile with an estimated production of between six and 30 tonnes annually, TRAFFIC said, adding that the country exports a lot of bear products - which are legal in its territory. The organisation, based in the United Kingdom, found Chinese-made bile in a number of traditional medicine shops throughout Asia. In various forms including liquid, powder and pills, bile is used to treat all sorts of ailments from sore throats to epilepsy and sprains. But bear farming has perpetuated demand, and surplus bile is now found even in toothpaste, candy and shampoo, said Kaitlyn Foley, of TRAFFIC. According to animal welfare groups, Laos has 100 to 200 bears, putting it far behind China, Vietnam and South Korea. Activists however say communist Laos could become a more popular destination for “breeders” under increasing pressure in certain countries. “A lot of Vietnamese farmers are moving to Laos to start their farm there, because the Vietnamese government is clamping down on them,” says Ng, of ACRES. — AFP


in brief

BERLIN: An environment activist poses with a can covered with a radioactivity sign in front of the chancellery in Berlin yesterday to protest against the nuclear power policy of the government. — AP

Flying to the Marathon LONDON: Marathon running has significantly increased in popularity over the last three decades. Running enthusiasts from all corners of the globe submit themselves on a weekly basis to the most arduous bouts of training sessions in order to prepare for race day. Some are so serious about competing that they may even travel great distances to participate in far away races. In a recent study, published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers from Hartford Hospital examined the effect of air travel on exerciseinduced coagulation and fibrynolysis in endurance athletes. The study found that spending all those hours sitting in an airplane may not be the wisest choice for those who participate in marathon running. During coagulation, an important part of homeostasis, the blood becomes more viscous (thicker). The blood forms clots which prevent excessive bleeding in case of a severe wound or cut. In healthy humans, blood clots are constantly formed via the coagulation cascade and broken down to maintain hemostatic balance. While it has been established that endurance exercise activates the coagulator y system, this increase in coagulation is generally paralleled by an activation of fibrinolysis (or clot breakdown). However, airplane travel further augments the coagulatory system. Therefore, it is possible that the stress of strenuous endurance exercise, such as marathon running, and prolonged air travel increases the risk of blood clot formation. Indeed, several documented cases of deep vein thrombosis (DVT, a blood clot in the deep leg veins) and pulmonary embolism (PE, blood clots in the lungs), conditions that are related to pathological clot formation, have been reported in otherwise healthy runners who have travelled via car or airplane to and from a competition. Blood needs to travel fluidly through arteries and veins in order to fulfill basic bodily functions. The circulatory system is compatible to a grouping of multiple inter-connected hoses - interconnecting freeways, if you will — that need to be readily clear to provide for a fluid flow of

traffic. A disruption in that flow, for example, caused by a blood clot in the legs leads to inflammation and swelling preventing blood from getting back to the heart. In a similar fashion a clot in the lungs prevents blood from getting the oxygen it needs during breathing. The small study, led by Dr. Beth Parker, examined 41 adults who participated in the 114th Boston Marathon including one group who flew over four hours to attend the event and one group who lived less than two hours away by car. The results of the study showed that the combination of air travel and marathon running induces an acute hypercoaguable state. This haemostatic imbalance was found to be exacerbated with increasing age. The results of the study have important implications for certain groups of runners. In a phone conversation, Dr. Beth Parker explained the major practical applications of her study and research. “Runners with a family history of DVT and PE, those with clotting disorders, older runners, and females using estrogen-based contraception may want to take certain precautionary steps when travelling to a race”, said Dr. Parker. “Making sure one does not sit still for a long time, avoiding tight clothes around the thigh that disrupts venous return, staying well hydrated, and using tight compression stockings that prevent blood from pooling in the lower extremities are some of the precautionary measures that are advisable while traveling to and from a marathon”. When I asked her if it would be advisable to extend those precautionary measures to other groups of runners she was hesitant. Dr. Parker noted that such alarm was unwarranted and could actually do more harm than good by actually discouraging active people from accruing the well established benefits of daily exercise. For now, just to be extra cautious, runners could choose to just follow some of Dr. Parker’s basic precautionary measures if en route to a far away race by air, even if these runners don’t fall into one of the risk groups. Others may just find all this information as a good excuse to stay close to home and just run the neighborhood marathon.

Tai chi improves mental health PARIS: A review of medical studies gave the thumbs-up yesterday to tai chi as a way of preventing falls and improving mental health in the elderly, but does not confirm other claims made for the Chinese martial art. British and South Korean researchers looked at 35 assessments of tai chi found in English-language, Chinese and Korean databases. There was “convincingly positive” evidence that, among the elderly, practicising tai chi helped sense of balance and boosted psychological wellbeing. However, the sport “seems to be ineffective” for treating the symptoms of cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, the authors said. The evidence was contradictory as to whether tai chi improved high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, muscle strength, osteoporosis and other conditions. Many studies were flawed because they had a poor design or were at high risk of bias. For instance, they enrolled only small numbers of volunteers or lacked an adequate “control” group to ensure a fair comparison. TB treatment in 3 months ATLANTA: Health officials say there’s a faster treatment for people who have tuberculosis but aren’t infectious. A combination of pills knocks it out in just three months instead of nine. That means more people are likely to finish their treatment. Some are calling it one of the biggest developments in tuberculosis treatment in decades. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention presented the study yesterday at a medical conference in Denver. Hospital candid camera scandal TALLINN: A swathe of candid camera reports revealing shocking treatment of patients in Estonian hospitals yesterday sparked calls for a massive shake-up in the Baltic state. “For all the years since Estonia regained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the people have lacked any objective commission to investigate patients’ claims and medical errors,” Pille Ilves, president of the Estonian Patient Advocacy Association, told AFP. The association has demanded that the government approve the creation of a independent investigation commission, steered by the Estonian police. “Despite our repeated attempts, Estonia lacks a patients’ rights law,” Ilves noted. Over recent weeks, Estonian television has aired a string of reports filmed using hidden cameras revealing abuses such as shackling patients to their beds, leaving them unattended in ic y temperatures, threatening them and demanding bribes for treatment. A recent study by Estonia’s prestigious Tartu University estimated that at least 1,500 people die each year in the nation of 1.3 million due to medical errors, in part because of the flouting of basic safety rules. “Over ten times more people perish every year in Estonia due to medical errors than lose their lives in traffic accidents, but the government is completely ignoring the problem,” Ilves claimed.



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TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011


Kuwait doctors target blood pressure levels World Hypertension Day today

Dr Mousa Akbar, Head of Cardiology Unit, Al-Sabah Hospital

KUWAIT: Kuwait’s top heart experts are urging action on this year’s World Hypertension Day for all hypertensive patients to push for an quarterly blood pressure check and medication review to help keep their blood pressure at the recommended target level of 140/90 mmHg. The call comes on the back of a local survey of 2,200 people, carried out at Kuwait City’s Chest Hospital, which found less than 10 percent of those with hypertension were achieving target blood pressure, despite up to 80 percent of diagnosed patients taking their prescribed medication. The findings indicate that patients require more regular reviews and medication adjustment. Blood pressure must be maintained within target levels using the correct medications and a healthy lifestyle the help reduce the risk of hypertensive patients suffering from heart attack, stroke and kidney failure, according to international guidance (1)(2). “Given that the survey has shown increased awareness and high compliance among hypertensive patients the need for medication and treatment to be reviewed frequently is a top priority,” said Dr. Ibrahim Rashed Al Rashdan, Head of the Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory, Chest

Say bye to obesity

Hospital, Kuwait City, who carried out the study which is in the process of being published. “The bottom line is that we need to control blood pressure - once blood pressure is controlled we are able to better control the risks associated with the hypertension such as heart diseases, stroke and kidney failure,” he added. Local predictions put the prevalence of hypertension in Kuwait at around 25 percent compared with a global average of between 25 to 30 percent, according to latest data from the World Health Organisation, which has warned that prevalence will double to 50 to 60 percent by 2025 (3). “With hypertension prevalence set to rise, there needs to be a concerted effort among physicians to continue to push for regular blood pressure checks in their patients as well as several groups of the general public: age 40 and above, diabetes sufferers, those with a positive family history, as well as obese and heavily overweight individuals. The important thing for the public to understand is that there are significant treatment options available, and early detection is crucial,” said Dr Mousa Akbar, Head of Cardiology Unit, Al-Sabah Hospital, Kuwait.

Kuwait is already seeing a rise in cases of hypertension, especially among a growing number of younger people (under 35), as a result of unhealthy lifestyles including poor diet and lack of exercise. However, because the disease is symptomless many people are unaware they have high blood pressure and go undiagnosed. “ The incidence of hypertension is increasing in Kuwait, most alarmingly in young people. The disease is known as the ‘silent killer’ as many patients do not experience any symptoms and are frequently unaware that they even suffer from high blood pressure. It’s very important for the public to be aware of the contributing factors to high blood pressure and regularly take part in screenings in order to diagnose hypertension as early as possible,” said Dr Ihab Abdel Fattah, Associate Professor of Cardiology, Al-Seef Hospital, Kuwait City. “Lifestyle modification is so important in reducing blood pressure to a target level, and it is imperative that we as practitioners provide our patients with the necessary information to achieve that target through both medication and lifestyle approaches,” added Dr. Abdel Fattah.

Dr Ihab Abdel Fattah, Associate Professor of Cardiology, Al-Seef Hospital

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W H AT ’ S O N

Dr Reem Safi talks cervical cancer, stem cells at Najla Al-Naqqi Forum


tate attorney at the Fatwa and Legislation Department Najla AlNaqqi urged the Ministry of Health Dr Al-Sayer to adopt a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination program at schools, targeting early age groups for protection from the virus that can lead to cervical cancer. The activist was speaking during a seminar held recently at her forum which discussed means of protection from this medical condition, as well as the use of stem cells in treatment. The seminar hosted obstetrics and gynecology expert Dr Reem Safi who talked about the cervical cancer which she says is the third fatal type of cancer that affects women worldwide after breast and

lung cancers. She further explained that 80% of cases of infection with cervical cancer happen due to infection with an HPV that causes cellular changes which can develop to cancer. She also noted that the best ways of protection from this virus would be in carrying out periodic tests, as well as vaccination which she highly encourages for it to be taken at an early age. Furthermore, Dr. Safi talked about the uses of stem cell technologies by storing the cells for up to 25 years for them to be used whenever necessary such as treatment of diabetes, Multiple Scleroses (MS), heart disease and optical problems. “Stem cells are biological cells that can divide

and differentiate into 220 specialized cell types, which is the number of cell types found in the human body”, Dr. Safi said, explaining that neurons, cardiac muscle cells, pancreas cells and all other cells in the human body originate from the embryonic stem cells. Moreover, Dr. Safi said that former United States President George W. Bush had halted stem cell research programs for economic reasons and that after it turned out that medical advancements achieved in this technology would lead to serious losses to international medical companies. She added that President Barack Obama had left all restrictions on stem cell researches upon assuming his duties.


Kuruvilla, leading gynecologist at Farwaniya Hospital and Simi Rajesh, renowned counselor of Jabriya Indian School. At the onset of the program, MES Ladies Wing General Secretary, Fibitha Khaleel, gave a welcome speech, which was followed by the presidential address, delivered by MES Ladies Wing Chairperson, Saleena Mustafa. In her keynote address, Dr. Kuruvilla spoke about the physical challenges that adolescent girls experience on

reaching puberty, feminine hygiene and other related topics. For her part, Simi Rajesh enlightened her young audience with the mental challenges that adolescents face. She spoke about controlling anger, avoiding depression and how to interact with their parents and friends. In the lively Q&A session that followed the talk, the audience had the opportunity to clear many queries they had in their minds related to the topic for the evening. Positive feed-


Shaam e Sangeet, velous performance in “K for Kishor”. Shaam e Shibani, Suroon- Ki-Shaam, Simultaneously Lucknow born Neha Shaam- e-Ghazal, Geet & Ghazal Nite, Chouhan established Shab- e-Meraj, herself as superb Jhoomte Sitare & performer in maximany more. mum reality shows especially in Chak De “Mahakte Lamhe” will be witness of & Comedy Circus. new era & everUdit has sung in green songs by Udit more than 2600 Narayan a reigning Hindi films and in 15 Indian language king of male playback singers. Nayan films like Hindi, Rathod will enterBengali, Assamess, Udit Narayan tain with his versaOriya, Bhojpuri, tile singing style as Rajasthani, Gujarati, he is famous in many reality shows. Marathi, Kannad, Telegu, Garwali, Manipuri, Haryanvi and Maithili. Udit Nayan became famous in his mar-

Thanima to present legend play on Friday Thanima (The Human and Nostalgic Interaction of Malayalees Abroad) is presenting of yet another unique cultural event to the Kuwait cultural spectrum by enacting ballads of the epic Vadakkan Pattukal (Ballads of North Malabar) of medieval Kerala on stage. ‘Oru Vadakkan Veerakatha’, drama scope mega budget full length visual entertainer becomes a reality in the collective effort of Malayalee expatriate community in Kuwait spearheaded by Thanima. The play will be staged at 4.30 pm and 8.30 pm on 20 May at Al-Jeel AlJadeed School Auditorium Hawally. The drama combines both the legendary spirit of Vadakkan Pattu and the bravery of Kalaripayattu (martial art form of Kerala) and harmonizes with the technical excellence of silver screen. In 18 sets it will be on stage designed by acclaimed Artist Sujathan. Entry will be restricted through passes.

back from the many attendees at the end of the seminar, attested to the highly informative and successful nature of the program. The event was wrapped up by Asma Abdullah delivering the Vote of Thanks. The other MES Ladies Wing Program Coordinators for the evening’s event were Jeseema Rafi, Shaheena Abdulkader, Shahina Zubair, Shahana Ashraf and Rabiya Saleh, whose sincere efforts resulted in making the program a grand success.

Narayan also acted in two Nepali films: Kusumey Rumal and Peerati. Some of his private albums are Bhajan Sangam ,Bhajan Vatika ,I love You ,Dil Deewana , Yeh Dosti ,Love is Life,Jhumka de Jhumka, ,Sona No Ghadulo , Dhuli Ganga , Ma Tarini, and many more... Udit Narayan has performed appreciatively 1100 stage shows in India and abroad like US, Canada, West Indies, and Far East, UK South Africa and many European countries. These include Screen Videocon Award, MTV Best Video Award and Pride of India Gold Award. He was in the panel of judges of Indian Idol 3 & Waar Pariwaron Sony TV. In 2009, he was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India, India’s 4th highest civilian honor.

Kuwait Airways Aircraft Maintenance holds farewell party


Viswakala 2011


oice Kuwait (Viswakarma Organisation for Ideal Career and Education) Anniversary at Carmel School, Khaitan on May 20 from 4 to 9 pm. Chief Guest will be P.D.T. Achary, former Secretary General Lok Sabha With singers Rakhesh Brahmanandan, Saritha Rajeev and supported by Rajeev and his orchestra.

he Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Hangar staff of Kuwait Airways Corporation conducted a get-together party for colleague Sanju Sajan Jacob, who immigrated to United States. The meeting was presided over by Khawar Mehmood Khokar, Aircraft Engineer and welcome speech was given by Kaliyappan Sethu. Aircraft Engineer Khawar Mehmood Khokar presented a memento. Also Aircraft Engineer Peethambaran presented Sanju Sajan Jacob a gift as a token of good memories. Bashir Al Najam, Ramana Murthy, Shakil Ahmed Khan, Imran Haider Gill expressed gratitude for his valuable devotion. The engineering staff appreciated the meeting organizers Rizwan ul Haq, Peter Colman Ekka and Salman Arif for a job well done.


uwait Chapter of ICAI is pleased to announce its next CPE event today, May 17 at 6:30 pm at the Sharq Ball Room in Holiday Inn, Down Town. The topic will be ‘Executive Remuneration: Changing Landscape’ and the presenter is Mayank Vir Saxena, Advisory Services, E & Y, Kuwait and Oscar Avila, Advisory Services, E & Y, Kuwait.

IWG dinner dance For those of you who still require tickets to the IWG Spring Dinner-Dance (Thursday, 19 May), we will have tickets available for purchase at Costa Coffee in Al Bida’a from 10:00 am to 11:30 am.

‘Mahakte Lamhe’ with Udit Narayan ndian Cultural Society (ICS) presents “Mahakte Lamhe” with Udit Narayan (a renowned playback singer from Indian cinema)) with Deepa Narayan (female singer). Another attraction of the evening will be reality show fame Neha Chouhan & Nayan Rathod on 10th June 2011 Friday at 7.30 pm. The Chief Guest for the event will be Vidhu P Nair Charge d” Affaires Embassy of India, Kuwait and the guest of honor will be prominent personalities from Kuwait. After hosting memorable events such as “Dil Ki Awaaz “ with Kavita Krishnamurti & Bharti Singh, Jashn e Bahara’n” with Talat Aziz & famous poets, “Nazar Ke Samne” with Kumar Sanu, “Taal se Taal” with Alka Yagnik, “Shaam e Ghalib” with Kader Khan,

ICAI Kuwait Chapter


MES Ladies Wing Kuwait adds another feather to their cap uslim Educational Society (MES) Ladies Wing Kuwait, organized an exclusive, free seminar on “Life Skills and Personal Safety for Adolescents” at the Private Educational Center, Salmiya on 29 April, 2011. A large gathering of teenage girls and their mothers attended the function. The event was inaugurated by Muna Al-Fuzai, well-known columnist of Kuwait Times. The keynote speakers at the seminar were Dr Susan

TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011

Aware Arabic course The AWARE management is glad to inform those interested in learning Arabic that Summer 1 Arabic language courses will begin on April 24 and go on till June 2, 2011. AWARE Arabic language courses are designed with the expat in mind. The environment is relaxed and courses are designed for those wanting to learn Arabic for travel, cultural understanding, and conducting business or simply to become more involved in the community. We cater to teachers, travelers and those working in the private business sector. Al Taalib Scholarship 2011 l Taalib Scholarship is a financial aid scheme for the under privileged school students in Kuwait, sponsored by the Ministry of Awqaf in association with Islam Presentation Committee (IPC), Friday Forum and Pakistan Kuwait Welfare Association. These scholarships were given to the needy students irrespective of their religion or nationality. The process of Al Taalib Scholarship for the current academic year, 2011-12, has begun for all Indian and Pakistani Schools in Kuwait. In order to avail this scholarship, applicants are requested to collect the Application Form from Al Taalib Office located in CAMS, Ahmed Al Jaber Street, Darwaza, Near Warba Insurance Co., Int’l Islamic Charity Organization Building, 2nd Floor, Al Sharq. The duly filled application form shall be submitted to Al Taalib office on or before 10th May 2011 along with all supporting documents specified in the Application Form.


Notice to Filipino citizens


otice is hereby given that under Republic Act No. 9189, otherwise known as “The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003”, all citizens of the Philippines abroad, not otherwise disqualified by law, at least eighteen (18) years of age on the day of the election, and who are registered overseas absentee voters with approved applications to vote in absentia, may vote for Senators and Party-list Representatives. For this purpose, all qualified Filipino citizens not registered as voters under Republic Act No. 8189, otherwise known as “The Voters Registration Act of 1996”, (the system of continuing registration) shall file an application for registration while those who are already registered under the said Act shall file an application for certification. For purposes of the May 13, 2013 elections, the filing of applications for registration/certification and transfer of registration records shall be filed at the Post or other designated registration areas from October 31, 2011 to October 31, 2012. The 30-day voting period is from April 13, 2013 until 3:00’o clock in the afternoon (Philippine time) of May 13, 2013 at any Philippine Embassies or Consulates. (The time for voting to be announced later). For details, please contact telephone number: 65184433 (Kuwait)

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



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TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011

W H AT ’ S O N

Astounding investiture at LOA

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


n enthusiastic mix of students, teachers, management team and honorable guests had a wonderful feast for the eyes and spirit, when the first investiture in the history of Indian Learners Own Academy took off gorgeously in the morning of 9th May. The school had the privilege of having the benign presence of two renowned persons who came all the way from Delhi to attend this function. Naveen Jaggi, a renowned advocate of Supreme court, Delhi and an educationist who is in the board of over 400 schools in India graced the occasion and encouraged the morals of young leaders. Ravinder Manchanda, bursar, Delhi Public School, Mathura Road was also accorded a warm welcome on this auspicious occasion. D.K. Sharma, the chairman and Ibrahim Al Gurair the school’s sponsor, were also witnessed the occasion. The colorful extravaganza with the rhythm, synchronized march past of the student council, an enchanting patriotic song and a mind blowing classical dance added luster to the event. The students seemed extremely proud while being invested with respective ranks by the honored guests. He extensively appreciated the school in his address. He appreciated the way the whole function was organized and opinionated that the school will emerge as one of the best schools not only in Kuwait but in the whole gulf region. The success of this investiture proved that this school is a hub of dynamic activity where collaboration, co-operation and co-ordination act as the watchwords in all the feats of body and mind. Anchor Sarah Mary Paul and Rekha Ravikumar, who extended a vote of thanks, demonstrated that every department of the school is a beehive of activity that promotes the innate qualities of each student. The whole event turned out to be a bag of talented surprises to the spectators.


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: or from the Visa Application Centre’s website: 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: 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: ■■■■■■■

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:

Premier Goal football coaching


ictured are players from the Premier Goal Academy in the players lounge at Old Trafford, Manchester United F.C. - home of the new English Premier League Champions. These players from Kuwait are following the footsteps of star striker Wayne Rooney, whose penalty goal clinched the title. Rooney began his footballing development as a young player at Everton F.C., following the unique Everton way coaching curriculum. The PGA in association with Everton F.C. offers the same Premier League programme that helped develop Rooney, here in Kuwait. Sponsored by Porsche Centre Kuwait, Behbehani Motors Company, the P.G.A. coaching courses are held at Shaab Park and open to all between the ages of 3 and 18 years. There are regular trips to the UK for selected players to visit and train with top English Premier League clubs. For further details of the PGA.


EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakel St., Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at Canada offers a registration service for all Canadians travelling or living abroad. This service is provided so that Consular Officials can contact and assist Canadians in an emergency in a foreign country, such as a natural disaster or civil unrest, or inform Canadians of a family emergency at home. The Embassy of Canada encourages all Canadian Citizens to register online through the Government of Canada Travel Website at The Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi provides visa and immigration services to residents of Kuwait. Individuals who are interested in visiting, working or immigrating to Canada are invited to visit the website of the Canadian Embassy to the UAE at Effective January 15, 2011, the only Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) application form that will be accepted by CIC is the Application for Temporary Resident Visa Made Outside of Canada [IMM 5257] form. All previous Temporary Resident Visa application forms will no longer be accepted by CIC and instead will be returned to applicants. Should old applications be submitted prior to January 15, 2011 they will continue to be processed. To ensure that the most recent version of the Temporary Resident Visa application form is being utilized, applicants should refer to the CIC website. As of January 15, 2011, forms are to be filled in electronically. The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. Consular Services for Canadian Citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00 on Sunday through Wednesday. The forms are available on the internet at: 57E.PDF. A guide explaining the process can be found here: .PDF. ■■■■■■■




hiekha Alexis Z. De Leon, Julia Lorraine Poa and Rob Asumen celebrated their recognition day for Junior Casa with their fellow classmates in the Smart School and received awards. Congratulations!!

Youth India literary award


enyamin has been selected for the First Youth India Literary award by expatriates. The award consists of Indian Rupees Ten Thousand and a certificate. The story ‘Aadu Jeevitham’ by Benyamin was selected by the Jury for the award. The story speaks the real life of Najeeb, who landed in Saudi Arabia with high hopes, but was conned by the agents and ended up in a goat farm in the desert, working there like a slave in very poor conditions for three years. This story was selected for the 2009 Kerala Sahitya academy award earlier.

Benyamin, a short story writer and novelist, belongs to the Pathanamthitta District of Kerala and currently lives in Bahrain. Benyamin, whose original name is Benny Daniel have also penned Short story collections ‘Euthanasia’ and ‘Penmaaraattam’ which have won awards of Abu Dhabi Malalayali Samajam. ‘AbiShageer,’ pravachakanmarude randam pusthakam’, ‘Akkapporile irupath nasrani ishayangal’ are his novels. The Award will be distributed in the Cultural evening on May 27 in Abbasiya Pravasi Auditorium.

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

EMBASSY OF NIGERIA The Nigerian embassy has moved its office to Mishref. Block 3, Street 7, House 4. For enquires please call 25379541. Fax25387719. Email- or ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF SRI LANKA The Embassy of Sri Lanka will be closed for the public today 17th May 2001, in lieu of “Vesak festival of Sri Lanka. ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF SOUTH AFRICA The Embassy of the Republic of South Africa will be closed on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 12:30 due to the National Day celebration. The Embassy will resume its normal working hours on Thursday, May 19, 2011, from Sunday to Thursday. Please note that the working hours will be from 8:00 to 16:00 and the consular section operation hours will from 8:30 to 12:30.



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00:45 Untamed And Uncut 01:40 Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 02:35 The Animals’ Guide To Survival 03:30 Planet Earth 04:25 Your Worst Animal Nightmares 05:20 Animal Cops South Africa 06:10 Cats 101 07:00 Meerkat Manor 07:25 The Really Wild Show 07:50 Natural Born Hunters 08:15 All New Planet’s Funniest Animals 08:40 Breed All About It 09:10 Animal Crackers 10:05 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 11:00 Animal ER 11:55 Wildlife SOS 12:50 Animal Cops South Africa 13:45 SSPCA: On The Wildside 14:10 E-Vets: The Interns 14:40 Life In The Undergrowth 15:30 Planet Wild 16:00 The Really Wild Show 16:30 Natural Born Hunters 17:00 All New Planet’s Funniest Animals 17:25 Must Love Cats 18:20 The Animals’ Guide To Survival 19:15 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 20:10 Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 21:05 Great Savannah Race 22:00 Last Chance Highway 22:55 Natural World 23:50 Life In The Undergrowth

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

The Weakest Link Holby City New Tricks 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 The Weakest Link New Tricks Doctors Eastenders Holby City My Family New Tricks The Weakest Link Doctors Eastenders Holby City New Tricks The Weakest Link Doctors Eastenders Holby City Conviction Green Green Grass

00:15 Come Dine With Me 01:55 The Home Show 02:45 Come Dine With Me 04:50 Rhodes Across China 05:40 Daily Cooks Challenge 07:05 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad 07:45 Rhodes Across China 08:30 Antiques Roadshow 09:20 Come Dine With Me 11:25 Rhodes Across China

12:10 13:00 13:45 14:30 17:25 19:00 19:50 20:35 21:20 22:10 23:00

Antiques Roadshow Cash In The Attic Bargain Hunt Come Dine With Me Rhodes Across China Antiques Roadshow Cash In The Attic Bargain Hunt Come Dine With Me The Home Show Cash In The Attic USA

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 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 21:30 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 22:00 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 07:25 Cow And Chicken

TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011

TV PROGRAMS 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 18:05 Hero 108 18:30 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 18:55 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 19:20 Ben 10: Alien Force 19:45 The Secret Saturdays 20:10 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 20:35 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes 21:00 The Powerpuff Girls 21:25 Ed, Edd N Eddy 21:50 Cartoon Network Dance Club 22:00 Camp Lazlo 22:25 Hero 108 22:50 Ben 10 23:15 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 23:40 Chowder

00:40 Dirty Jobs 01:35 Gold Rush: Alaska 02:30 Ultimate Survival 03:25 Mega Builders 04:20 Mythbusters 05:15 How Do They Do It? 05:40 How Stuff’s Made 06:05 Dirty Jobs 07:00 Mega Builders 07:50 American Chopper 08:45 How Stuff’s Made 09:10 How Do They Do It? 09:40 Mythbusters 10:30 Cake Boss 10:55 Border Security 11:25 Street Customs Berlin 12:20 Ultimate Survival 13:15 Mythbusters 14:10 LA Ink 15:05 Dirty Jobs 16:00 Street Customs Berlin 16:55 Mythbusters 17:50 River Monsters 18:45 Cake Boss 19:10 Border Security 19:40 I Could Do That 20:05 How Stuff’s Made 20:35 How Do They Do It? 21:00 The Next Great Baker 21:55 LA Ink 22:50 Police Women Of Maricopa County 23:45 River Monsters

00:30 00:55 01:45 02:35 03:25 03:50 04:45 05:40 06:10 07:00 07:55 07:58 08:25

The Gadget Show Mega World Mighty Ships Futurecar How Does That Work? Junkyard Mega-Wars What’s That About? Patent Bending Nextworld Da Vinci’s Machines Head Rush Sci-Fi Science Weird Connections


08:55 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 09:45 The Gadget Show 10:35 The Future Of... 11:25 Savage Planet 11:50 Da Vinci’s Machines 12:40 Patent Bending 13:05 Mighty Ships 13:55 Bang Goes The Theory 14:45 Mega World 15:35 The Gadget Show 16:00 Head Rush 16:03 Sci-Fi Science 16:30 Weird Connections 17:00 Brainiac 17:50 Joao Magueijo’s Big Bang 18:40 Space Pioneer 19:30 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 20:20 Weird Connections 20:45 How Stuff’s Made 21:10 The Gadget Show 22:00 Space Pioneer 22:50 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 23:40 The Colony

00:00 00:25 01:15 02:00 02:50 03:35 04:25 05:15 06:00 06:20 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 18:45 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 Suite Life On Deck Shake It Up Good Luck Charlie 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 Fish Hooks 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 Hannah Montana Fish Hooks Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place Hannah Montana Forever Read It And Weep 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 07:40 Phineas & Ferb 08:05 American Dragon 08:30 Kick Buttowski 08:50 Cars Toons 09:00 Zeke & Luther 09:50 I’m In The Band 10:15 The Super Hero Squad Show 10:40 Suite Life On Deck 11:30 Pair Of Kings 11:55 Phineas & Ferb 12:20 Phineas & Ferb 12:45 Kid Vs Kat 13:10 Cars Toons 13:20 Kid Vs Kat 13:50 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 14:40 Zeke & Luther 15:05 Suite Life On Deck 15:25 Cars Toons 15:35 Kick Buttowski 16:00 I’m In The Band 16:25 Suite Life On Deck 16:50 Zeke & Luther 17:40 Phineas & Ferb 18:30 Escape From Scorpion Island (Cema) 18:55 Pokemon 19:20 American Dragon 19:45 Aaron Stone 20:10 Cars Toons 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

00:55 The Soup 01:25 25 Most Memorable Swimsuit Moments 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 Married To Rock 10:15 15 Unforgettable Hollywood Tragedies 12:05 E! News 13:05 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 14:05 Kourtney And Khloe Take Miami 14:35 E!es 16:25 Behind The Scenes 16:55 Kourtney And Kim Take New York 17:25 Kourtney And Kim Take New York 17:55 E! News 18:55 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 19:55 E! Investigates 20:55 Chelsea Lately 21:25 Holly’s World 22:25 E! News 23:25 Chelsea Lately 23:55 Keeping Up With The Kardashians

00:15 Fantasy Factory 00:40 Mantracker 01:30 World Combat League 02:20 Fantasy Factory 03:10 Aiya TV 04:00 Gumball 3000: 2008 04:50 Mantracker 05:40 World Combat League 06:30 iEX 2009 07:00 Ride Guide Mountainbike 2007 08:00 Quattro Events 2009 08:25 From Romania With Love 08:50 Slovaki: A True Movie About... 09:15 IFMXF 2010 10:05 UCI Nissan Mountainbike World Cup 2008 10:55 Final Fu 11:45 X-Traordinary 12:35 Fantasy Factory 13:25 Mantracker 14:15 World Combat League 15:05 Final Fu 15:55 X-Traordinary 16:45 Quattro Events 2009 17:10 From Romania With Love 17:35 Slovaki: A True Movie About... 18:00 IFMXF 2010 18:50 UCI Nissan Mountainbike World Cup 2008 19:40 Mantracker 20:30 Fantasy Factory 21:20 Gumball 3000: 2008 21:45 Jet Powered Joel 22:10 World Combat League 23:00 Aiya TV 23:50 Fantasy Factory

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

Ghost Lab A Haunting Ripped From The Headlines Disappeared Dr G: Medical Examiner Ghosthunters Ghost Lab Mystery Diagnosis Forensic Detectives Undercover Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Disappeared FBI Files On The Case With Paula Zahn Fugitive Strike Force Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Disappeared Forensic Detectives Undercover FBI Files Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls On The Case With Paula Zahn Fugitive Strike Force Deadly Women The Prosecutors 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 Long Way Down 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 21:00 Long Way Down 22:00 Pressure Cook 22:30 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 23:00 Food Lovers Guide To Planet 23:30 Exploring The Vine


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 Seinfeld 11:00 The Drew Carey Show 11:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:30 Dharma And Greg 13:00 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 13:30 Will And Grace 14:00 Yes Dear 14:30 30 Rock 15:00 Hot In Cleveland 15:30 The Daily Show Global Edition 16:00 The Colbert Report Global Edition 16:30 The Drew Carey Show 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 Just Shoot Me 18:30 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 19:00 Seinfeld 19:30 30 Rock 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 The Cleveland Show 22:30 Entourage 23:00 South Park 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon




00:00 Halloween 2-18 02:00 Unbreakable-PG15 04:00 The Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day-18 06:00 The Day After Tomorrow-PG 08:00 Journey To The Center Of The Earth-PG 10:00 Virtuality-PG15 12:00 Air Force One-PG15 14:00 Journey To The Center Of The Earth-PG 16:00 The Marine 2-PG15 18:00 Air Force One-PG15 20:00 Bad Guys-18 22:00 12 Rounds-PG15

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


Say It In Russian-18 The Nutty Professor-FAM Green Lantern: First Flight-PG The Dust Factory-PG15 The Nutty Professor-FAM Charlotte Gray-PG15 Charlie And Boots-PG Furry Vengeance-PG15 Good Hair-PG15 She’s Out Of My League-18 Sinners And Saints-PG15 Let Me In-R

00:00 State Of The Union 00:30 The Daily Show Global Edition 01:00 The Colbert Report Global Edition 01:30 South Park 02:00 Robert Klein Comedy Special 03:00 Just Shoot Me 03:30 30 Rock 04:00 South Park 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Malcolm In The Middle

00:00 Desperate Housewives 01:00 Law And Order: Criminal Intent 02:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 03:00 Covert Affairs 04:00 The View 05:00 Good Morning America 07:00 C.S.I. New York 08:00 Emmerdale 08:30 Coronation Street 09:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 10:00 The Martha Stewart Show 11:00 The View 12:00 Desperate Housewives 13:00 Covert Affairs 14:00 Live Good Morning America 16:00 C.S.I. New York 17:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 18:00 Emmerdale 18:30 Coronation Street 19:00 Grey’s Anatomy 20:00 Private Practice 21:00 The Glades 22:00 Treme 23:30 C.S.I. New York

00:00 Cold Case 01:00 C.S.I. 02:00 Law And Order: Criminal Intent 03:00 Desperate Housewives 04:00 Covert Affairs 05:00 The Closer 06:00 Cold Case 07:00 The Office 07:30 Coronation Street 08:00 Eureka 09:00 The Closer 10:00 Desperate Housewives 11:00 Covert Affairs 12:00 The Office 12:30 Coronation Street 13:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 14:00 Eureka 15:00 Cold Case 16:00 The Office 16:30 Coronation Street 17:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 18:00 Smallville 19:00 Grey’s Anatomy 20:00 Private Practice 21:00 The Glades 22:00 C.S.I. 23:00 The Closer

01:00 03:00 05:00 07:00 09:00 11:00 13:00 15:00

Blood Brothers-PG15 Annihilation Earth-PG15 Blood River-18 Arlington Road-18 Dragonball: Evolution-PG Inkheart-PG Star Trek: Generations-PG Dragonball: Evolution-PG

16:45 19:00 21:00 23:00

Enemy Of The State-PG15 The General’s Daughter-18 12 Rounds-PG15 El Orfenato-18

00:00 All’s Faire In Love-PG 02:00 Three And Out-PG15 04:00 Bitter Suite-PG15 06:00 Evolution-PG15 08:00 The Invention Of Lying-PG15 10:00 Up-FAM 12:00 Meet The Applegates-PG15 14:00 Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel-PG15 16:00 All’s Faire In Love-PG 18:00 Patch Adams-PG15 20:00 Hope Springs-U 22:00 Garage Days-18

01:15 Blessed-R 03:15 Parlez-Moi De LA Pluie-PG15 05:15 Mary Reilly-PG15 07:15 Under The Mountain-PG 09:00 Sticks And Stones-PG 11:00 Born Free-PG 13:00 Three Investigators-PG15 15:00 Carnera: The Walking Mountain-PG 17:00 Benny And Joon-PG 19:00 Confidences Trop Intimes-R 21:00 Titanic-PG15

01:00 Keeping The Faith-PG15 03:15 Finding Forrester-PG 05:30 Shorts-PG 07:00 The Fog Of War-PG15 09:00 Last Chance Harvey-PG15 11:00 The Box-PG15 13:00 Head Of State-PG15 15:00 Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel-FAM 17:00 Last Chance Harvey-PG15 19:00 The Joneses-PG15 21:00 Hope Springs-U 23:00 Funny People-18

02:00 Treasure Island-PG 04:00 Christmas In New York-PG 06:00 Homeward Bound II: Lost In San Francisco-FAM 08:00 Pollyworld-FAM 10:00 Aliens In The Attic-FAM 12:00 Monsters vs. Aliens-PG 14:00 Homeward Bound II: Lost In San Francisco-FAM 16:00 Cars-PG 18:00 Gold Diggers: The Secret Of Bear Mountain-PG 20:00 Zorro’s Secrets-PG 22:00 Monsters vs. Aliens-PG

00:00 Smokin’ Aces 2: Assassin’s Ball18 02:00 Coco Before Chanel-PG15 04:00 By The People: The Election Of Barack Obama-PG15 06:00 9-PG 08:00 Flicka 2-PG15 10:00 School Of Rock-PG15 12:00 Valentine’s Day-PG15 14:15 Oceans - Into The Deep-PG 16:00 Flicka 2-PG15 18:00 Emotional Arithmetic-PG15 20:00 Paper Man-PG15 22:00 Piranha-PG15

00:00 Trans World Sport 01:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 01:30 AFL Highlights 02:30 Futbol Mundial 03:00 Scottish Premier League 05:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 06:00 Weber Cup Bowling 07:00 Trans World Sport 08:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 08:30 Scottish Premier League 10:30 FEI Equestrian World 11:00 AFL Highlights 12:00 Trans World Sport 13:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 13:30 Scottish Premier League

15:30 Golfing World 16:30 NRL Premiership 18:30 Trans World Sport 19:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 20:00 Super League 22:00 AFL Highlights 23:00 European PGA Tour Highlights

00:00 AFL Highlights 01:00 Super League 03:00 ICC Cricket World 03:30 Premier League Darts 07:00 Golfing World 08:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 09:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 09:30 NRL Premiership 11:30 ICC Cricket World 12:00 Spirit of Yachting 12:30 Weber Cup Bowling 13:30 Golfing World 14:30 AFL Premiership 17:00 FEI Equestrian World 17:30 NRL Full Time 18:00 Spirit of Yachting 18:30 AFL Highlights 19:30 European PGA Tour Highlights 20:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 21:00 Futbol Mundial 21:30 Scottish Premier League 23:30 ICC Cricket World

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

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

00:00 The Big Fish 00:30 Word Travels 01:00 Great Scenic Railways - 175 Years 01:30 Travel Oz 02:00 Travel Notebook 03:00 Julian and Camilla’s World Odyssey 04:00 Globe Trekker 05:00 The Big Fish 05:30 Word Travels 06:00 Travel Today 06:30 Cruise Today 07:00 Globe Trekker 08:00 Inside Luxury Travel-Varun Sharma 09:00 Culinary Asia 10:00 Grannies On Safari 10:30 The Seasoned Traveler 11:00 The Big Fish 11:30 Word Travels 12:00 Globe Trekker 13:00 Distant Shores 13:30 The Thirsty Traveler 14:00 First Class Italy 14:30 Inside Luxury Travel-Varun Sharma 15:30 Distant Shores 16:00 Globe Trekker 17:00 The Big Fish 17:30 Grannies On Safari 18:00 Distant Shores 18:30 The Thirsty Traveler 19:00 Globe Trekker 20:00 Think Green 21:00 Journey Into Wine- Australia 21:30 Journey Into Wine- Australia 22:00 Working Holiday 23:00 Globe Trekker

Classifieds TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011

Healthy Living


An herb for coughs

Sharing accommodation available single room with Tamil bachelor in Salmiya near Edee store & Sagar restaurant. Contact: 99690298, 97208716. (C 3348)

Widely used in cooking (thyme is one of three herbs in the French mixture â&#x20AC;&#x153;bouquet garniâ&#x20AC;?), thyme is also a medicinal herb.

Accommodation available in Jabriya, 3 bedroom 2 bathroom fully furnished CA/C flat near Jabriya Indian School. Please call 55779225. (C 3351) 17-5-2011


Sharing accommodation available for Indian bachelors in a fully furnished central A/C building in Farwaniya with kitchen and parking facilities. Those interested may call Mob: 99038601. (C 3341)


Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya for decent couples (non-smoking) in a central A/C, 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom (1 attached) from 30th May onwards. Rent KD 85. Phone: 99416236 (C 3343)


Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya, near Al-Mulla exchange, one bedroom & separate bathroom with Keralite family from


June onwards, small family or working ladies. Please call 66450237. (C 3340) Sharing accommodation single room available in Farwaniya near gas station, clinic from 10-6-2001 to 109-2011. Three month visit visa only with household items also. Please call 99482666. (C 3344) One Room available in three bedroom flat in Salmiya, Shara bin Mughaira street, behind Hadi hospital, prefer nurses or decent working lady, should Muslim Indian or Pakistan. Please call: 66373409 Furnished room available for single Muslim working lady with a Pakistani family in Farwaniya, rent KD 50. Contact: 65603645. (C 3347) 16-5-2011

FOR SALE Mazda 6, white color, 2007 model, full option, km 82000, KD 1750. Mob: 65085629. (C 3349) Honda City, 2009 model, golden color, full options, + CD, km 18000, KD 2400. Tel:

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.

Š 20 2011 MCT urce: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Measure P Source: Pour & Mix hen Science Scien Tricksâ&#x20AC;? ric Kitchen Graphic: Paul Trap T

No: 15091

Disappearing Disappearing pencil p encil


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DIAL 161 FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION In case you are not travelling, your proper cancellation of bookings will help other passengers to use seats Arrival Flights on Tuesday 17/5/2011 Airlines RJA JZR THY ETH UAE DHX ETD FDB GFA QTR JZR JZR JZR KAC BAW KAC FCX KAC KAC FDB KAC KAC KAC UAE IRA QTR ABY QTR ETD GFA IRA MEA MHK JZR JZR JZR KAC MSR UAL RJA KAC FDB

Flt 642 267 772 620 853 370 305 67 211 138 529 505 555 412 157 416 201 206 302 53 332 352 284 855 605 132 125 6130 301 213 619 404 711 165 121 549 672 610 982 640 512 57


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


562 500 746 257 134 303 857 215 510 777 239 127 213 177 227 104 166 502 542 618 786 674 774 458 572 93 61 647 402 1405 372 443 859 183 217 136 981 981 135 787 636 389 45 205


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

Departur Flt

Depurture Flights on Tuesday 17/5/2011 Route





















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Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (


611 641 58 982 673 617 501 773 135 82 182 304 858 216 128 266 511 786 134 228 283 361 571 62 528 343 351 648 403 457 1405 373 443 860 218 102 381 137 301 205 502 554 411 981


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


star CROSSWORD 320

TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011




Aries (March 21-April 19) You could be known as the best team player at work today. You tend to be good at working for and with others without thinking about yourself. You must guard against being used by others, however. You may have difficulty in being objective just now. You feel a love of order and law—an appreciation for responsibilities and duty. Problems are valued for the lessons they represent, rather than perceived as obstacles. There is a harmony between your emotions and rational action today. Your strong personal magnetism and effervescent personality may gain you attention from the opposite sex. Make sure this attraction is not in the workplace. You are friendly and will inspire anyone who comes across your path today. A shopping trip is in the making.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) You could be in the limelight, especially with superiors or in relation to your work. You may find that you enjoy your job or the responsibility it entails more than usual. You are sensitive and in tune with others, perhaps listening at some length to someone’s particular idea. Your intensity and passionate approach to life are obvious to all who meet you. You are driven to penetrate the trivial and get at the basics in many situations. Perhaps you are selling a product to the public—this is a successful time. Your conversation with prospective customers or regular customers is intriguing and can lean toward many awards and opportunities to excel. Your health gets better all during this year—keep it that way through structured exercise and smart eating.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. (computer science) The rate at which data is transferred (as by a modem). 4. The form of ratbite fever occurring in the Far East. 10. The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural). 13. An international organization of European countries formed after World War II to reduce trade barriers and increase cooperation among its members. 14. (Greek mythology) The ferryman who brought the souls of the dead across the the river Styx or the river Acheron to Hades. 15. The longer of the two telegraphic signals used in Morse code. 16. Squash bugs. 18. Made of fir or pine. 19. 100 pyas equal 1 kyat. 20. Straighten up or out. 22. A plaything that is ridden up and down by children at either end. 24. A nearly horizontal passage from the surface into a mine. 26. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 27. The god who fathered the islands and gods of Japan with his sister Izanami. 30. Very sad. 34. Ox of southeast Asia sometimes considered a domesticated breed of the gaur. 35. (Old Testament) Cain and Abel were the first children of Adam and Eve born after the Fall of Man. 37. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 38. Set down according to a plan. 41. A large vase that usually has a pedestal or feet. 42. A coenzyme derived from the B vitamin nicotinic acid. 46. An intensely radioactive metallic element that occurs in minute amounts in uranium ores. 49. A Russian river. 51. A federation of North American labor unions that merged with the Congress of Industrial Organizations in 1955. 52. Harmed or injured or spoiled. 55. Eurasian perennial bulbous herbs. 57. West Indian tree having racemes of fragrant white flowers and yielding a durable timber and resinous juice. 58. The eighth month of the civil year. 59. Characterized by dignity and propriety. 62. A decree that prohibits something. 63. Used of the language of the deaf. 64. A genus of Ploceidae. 65. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth.

DOWN 1. A man who is the lover of a girl or young woman. 2. English Quaker who founded the colony of Pennsylvania (1644-1718). 3. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 4. Disgraceful gossip about the private lives of other people. 5. A midwestern state in north central United States in the Great Lakes region. 6. An informal term for a father. 7. A metal-bearing mineral valuable enough to be mined. 8. A member of the Muskhogean people formerly living in northern Alabama. 9. Try to forget. 10. A system of one or more computers and associated software with common storage. 11. Common Indian weaverbird. 12. A wad of something chewable as tobacco. 17. The upper house of the parliament of the Republic of Ireland. 21. The site of an archeological exploration. 23. A period marked by distinctive character or reckoned from a fixed point or event. 25. Steady recurrent ticking sound as made by a clock. 28. A Chadic language spoken in northern Nigeria. 29. The 16th letter of the Hebrew alphabet. 31. (Greek mythology) Goddess of the earth and mother of Cronus and the Titans in ancient mythology. 32. One of the most common of the five major classes of immunoglobulins. 33. Airtight sealed metal container for food or drink or paint etc.. 36. Wild sheep of northern Africa. 39. Release from a clasp. 40. A village of huts for native Africans in southern Africa. 43. A large fleet. 44. (in Scotland) A child. 45. An abnormally large amount of this fetoprotein in the fetus can signal an abnormality of the neural tube (as spina bifida or anencephaly). 47. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 48. A city in southern Turkey on the Seyhan River. 50. A branch of the Tai languages. 53. Harsh or corrosive in tone. 54. An amino acid that is found in the central nervous system. 56. The act of slowing down or falling behind. 60. A hard gray lustrous metallic element that is highly corrosion-resistant. 61. A public promotion of some product or service. 62. A light strong gray lustrous corrosion-resistant metallic element used in strong light-weight alloys (as for airplane parts).

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Start looking for classes, books or lectures on how to organize your financial affairs because things are looking up and much of your success at this time will hinge on organizational skills. The few challenges that you face for the rest of this year are manageable. This can begin to be one of the happiest and most fulfilling times of your life. You have inner vision, coupled with the ability to see the big picture of most situations. This will find you smoothing ruffled feathers, perhaps, several times today. You will be bringing two people together that have had difficulty in understanding each other before today. This could include two coworkers or a higher-up and a co-worker. Your playmate, or loved one, will enjoy planning a surprise for you this evening.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)


You have clear vision today and can easily see the steps needed to make good decisions. You are happy when in control and you enjoy managing anything practical. You will excel in group activities now and it is easy for you to get your ideas across to others. Not too emotional, you are objective, businesslike and reliable. You may not trust those in authority just now and you must be careful with your responses to superiors. Someone understands how you feel and is sympathetic to your needs. You seem able to manipulate most every idea or situation and bring it around to good use. Your mind is ever on communication, how you present yourself and how the results of your communication will impress others. The limelight is yours this evening.

Leo (July 23-August 22) Everything may be pouring in at once today and it’s all good news. Your career direction gets some encouragement and life’s problems find easy solutions. You are inventive when it comes to self-analysis and selfcare, food, diet, health, etc. You can see new ways to make use of your position. An unconventional approach to working for others, or with others may require a special work situation for you. You may benefit from someone in authority. You are a very forceful speaker and communicate with great enthusiasm. Words just flow out today and are followed by an emotional impact that brings them home to your listeners. You have no trouble putting your feelings into words. You may have to exercise some control over your tongue.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) Career choices, the obvious path that is opening up for you may grate against your own sense of freedom. Success and security at the expense of originality may be too great a price to pay. Some middle road could be found. You may find yourself more than a little materialistic and your current appreciation for just about everything may lead you to overspend. You will make career gains by your ability to be creative and to solve problems. Continued success on the career level may point to your abandoning some of your own ideas of where you thought you would like to be professionally. While success is important, your standards got you where you are. Try for a good compromise. Being more involved with family is important now.

Libra (September 23-October 22)


Scorpio (October 23-November 21) It seems you are on an uphill swing financially. You may discover many ways in which to invest profitably. However, take care not to fall for some moneymaking gimmick—check and recheck. There are some unbelievable deals out there. You can block yourself from progress with the attitude of “to have” versus the experience, “to be.” Your intuition is high today—listen before you leap. You may be friendly and popular and find many people attracted to you at this time. Make sure you let others know whether you are already involved with a loved one or not—there could be a misunderstanding. Family and home-centered agendas are where you have your mind focused this evening. This is a special time and you don’t want to miss a moment.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You may seem agreeable today but something has your mind whirling within. You could be trying to understand a person or situation today in order to know the truth of a matter. You may be investigating and psychoanalyzing much of this day. You have a keen interest in metaphysics and intuitive insights. You could be on the right track with your detective work, yet have no proof to back your feelings. The proof will come soon—you must, for now, busy your mind with other things. Secrets, taboos and mysteries appeal to a deep instinctive yearning. You feel a love of order and law and appreciate responsibilities and duty. Your communicating skills are at a high just now. Your timing is perfect and those around you find your company most enjoyable.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)


Yesterday’s Solution

This is a real time to concentrate on strengthening your career. You gain insight into some new techniques and are not afraid to try them out during your day. Your organizational abilities and sense of responsibility will be what guides you and proves successful. Your career could assume a more determined form. Changes you want to make or are making may be challenged but a steady pace will be the winning method. Think things through before making any quick decisions—there is time. Your inner resources and emotions are accented. Expect a sense of support and good will from those around you today, you will accomplish what you set out to achieve. Tonight, you have lots of restless energy that can be channeled constructively.

You are ambitious, self-confident, honorable and generous in money matters today. Your professional life goes along pretty well until you find out about someone that is getting additional education in order to make more money. You may try to do the same—there is certainly a lot of contemplation in boosting your work status. Be careful that you do not overspend or indulge too much just now. You could feel great support from those around you and you could be feeling quite encouraged in your life. You are fond of your home life and will strive to create a harmonious environment. Certainly, this is a good time to spend with loved ones and family. Family, home, relatives and real estate play a bigger part in your life this coming summer.

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Obtaining and exchanging information takes on more emotional significance. Communicating with long-distance associates and engaging in business matters that you may only have a small understanding of just now, have surprisingly positive results for you now. You may be able to bring a group together with words or ideas. Your power of imagination is great at this time and is best applied in a sales meeting or a presentation. These good vibrations continue after the workday is over as you are constantly inspired by the creative endeavors of those around you. You are in a festive mood this evening and desirous of having a good time with friends and family. A good conversation with a difficult person is possible tonight.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

Unsolved problems or mysteries may catch your attention today. You could be the sleuth in your place of work and discover the truth behind a mystery that has been puzzling many for some time. You are able to get at what is behind some very puzzling situations. This could involve some success in getting people to pay their bills or in getting a refund or in a payback of some sort. You can demonstrate great understanding with others and you enjoy the responsibility of teaching and guiding others. This could be anything from being a good tutor to translating information or leading a tour. A young person enjoys your attention, particularly this afternoon. Creating poetry or some form of art can be rewarding in more than one way.



e niv rsar n


TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011

i n f o r m at i o n



Tel.: T el.: e 161


Ext.: 26 2627 627 - 2630


Ministry of Interior Expected W Weather eeather for the Next 24 2 Hours



For labor-related inquiries and complaints: Call MSAL hotline 128


Cloudy Cloud dy with moderate to fresh south so outh easterly wind, with speed speeed of 20 - 45 km/h causing raising raaising dust


Hospitals Sabah Hospital

Partly y cloudy with moderate freshening fresh hening at times easterly to south so outh easterly wind, with speed speed of 20 - 40 km/h h causing raising dust

No Current W Warnings aarnin ngs






37 °C

2 °C 27


38 °C

30 3 °C


35 °C

27 2 °C

Amiri Hospital


Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital



40 °C

2 °C 26

Chest Hospital



40 °C

24 2 °C

Farwaniya Hospital



42 °C

2 °C 26

Adan Hospital



40 °C

25 2 °C

Ibn Sina Hospital



36 °C

27 2 °C

Al-Razi Hospital



31 °C

27 2 °C

Physiotherapy Hospital



30 °C

27 2 °C


33 °C

25 2 °C

Clinics Rabiya














Abdullah Salim




Industrial Shuwaikh






Bneid Al-Ghar






Ayoun Al-Kibla










Maidan Hawally












New Jahra


West Jahra


South Jahra


North Jahra


North Jleeb













16/05/201 16/05/2011 1 120 1200 00 UTC





















Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh












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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Tuesday Tuesday


W eednesday Wednesday

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cloudy + raising g dust

39 °C

30 °C


20 - 45 km/h


partly cloudy + raising raissing dust

38 °C

31 °C


25 - 45 km/h



hot + raising dust d

40 °C

33 °C


12 - 32 km/h




43 °C

33 °C


12 - 32 km/h





MAX. Temp. M Temp.

35 °C



MIN. Temp. M Temp.

28 °C


11:44 11:44


27 %




09 %



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N 50 km/h




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00 mm








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e niv rsar n


TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011

lifestyle G o s s i p

Depp held Pirates rehearsals in bar ohnny Depp created a relaxed atmosphere on the set of the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ franchise by holding rehearsals at a bar. The 47year-old actor stars as rum swilling pirate Captain Jack Sparrow in the Disney films and co-star Geoffrey Rush has revealed Johnny was so determined to make everyone comfortable from the start that he got them out of the studio and into his bar, The Viper Room - which he has since sold for a read through. He said: “I can’t deny the scale of it. I remember when we were all about to sit


down for a table read through at the Disney offices once and Johnny decided we should do it in his club, the Viper Room, instead, so as we would feel on a human scale. “So if there is a relaxed atmosphere on set, I think it is down to him. He says he sees it as an independent film that happens to have a load of money attached to it.” Geoffrey revealed he only understood the enormity of the budgets involved while shooting a scene for the third movie, when a crew of 800 people were involved in shooting a short scene.

He explained to Seven magazine: “For six actors to have a dialogue on the beach meant there were 800 people to provide lunch for, stunt men, people to rake the sand between takes and so on. So at that point we did feel pressure not to screw up.”

Aniston?sdad wants Greek son-in-law ennifer Aniston’s father wants her to date a “good Greek man”. The unlucky-in-love actress has been romantically linked with a string of men - including John Mayer, Gerard Butler, Vince Vaughn and Bradley Cooper - since divorcing Brad Pitt in 2005 and now her Greek-born father John Aniston has admitted he would like her to look to her heritage when searching for her next boyfriend. Asked if he wanted Jennifer to be with a Greek man, John - whose real name is Yannis Anastassakis - told People: “Yes, I would be glad about that. But he’d have to be a good Greek man.” Asked what qualities that would entail, he added: “Honesty.” While Jennifer’s dad wants her to settle down with a Greek man, the 42-year-old actress recently joked that she should marry George Clooney because they are Hollywood’s most famous singletons. She said: “That would def-


initely shut up the world! I could call up George, say, ‘Hun, let’s just get hitched and have kids.’ I should take George to lunch and we can figure out how to put an end to all this. Ha! Well, no.” The ‘Up In The Air’ actor is currently in a relationship with Italian model-and-actress Elisabetta Canalis.

Kunis gained 20 pounds in five days

Jonas dating Goodrem ick Jonas is reportedly dating Delta Goodrem. The 18-year-old singer - who has previously romanced Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez - was spotted leaving the ArcLight cinema in Los Angeles last night holding hands with the Australian popstar, who is eight years his senior. Nick - who is currently working on his solo career - later tweeted: “I feel so blessed. Had a great weekend.” Delta split from fiance Brian McFadden in April after a six-and-a-half year relationship with the couple claiming they had “grown apart”. A statement released by their publicist at the time said: “Delta Goodrem and Brian McFadden regretfully announce that they are no longer engaged, and after much consideration, have mutually decided to end their relationship. “This decision has been made with a lot of soul searching from both parties with the realization that they have grown apart. They leave the partnership with respect for one and other, wishing each other success and happiness for the future. However, they are still close, with Brian recently taking to twitter after watching his former fiancee perform on ‘Dancing With The Stars’. He wrote: “Finally got to see dwts. @delta_goodrem was amazing. She looked, sang and performed like the superstar she is. So proud of you D x (sic)”


Cowell says Abdul is perfect for US ‘X Factor’ imon Cowell chose Paula Abdul for US ‘X Factor’ because she disagrees with him. The music mogul will be joined by the singer, Cheryl Cole and record producer L.A. Reid for the new star search show and he revealed Paula who previously worked with him on ‘American Idol’ - was the perfect choice because she has her own opinions and is so well-loved by the American public. He explained: “What’s interesting is she’s snappy. Paula. You know, she doesn’t like something. I’ve forgotten what she’s like. She doesn’t like you to disagree with her. And there were one or two dis-


agreements. But that’s why we wanted her on the show. I think it’s important that everyone has their own viewpoint. But she is good at spotting talent. I mean I thought she was really on it the last two days and I said to her afterwards, this is the best I’ve seen you in a long time.”You know I’ve been doing interviews for months, you know we’re talking about the show and getting people to audition and over and over again, whether it was radio interviews or TV interviews, radio interviews, the internet, but mainly the public, I was hearing one message loud and clear. We want Paula on the show. I listened to the public, because they make or break our shows!” Simon also praised newcomer Cheryl and revealed viewers can expect her to be warm and caring rather than other “rude” British judges like himself. He said: “Most British people that come over to these shows seem to be being mean or rude. Not me, but others...! But Cheryl, she’s not like that. I mean, she’s got a lot of fire in her, but you’re going to see a very different type of British judge with her and the audience really warmed to her.”

ila Kunis gained back the weight she lost for ‘Black Swan’ in five days. The actress - who stars opposite Natalie Portman in the Darren Aronofsky directed psychological thriller about a troubled ballet dancer - lost 20lbs over five months to achieve the body of a typical dancer for the film, but admitted she wasted no time in gaining it back once filming ended. She told Live magazine: “I trained four hours a day, seven days a week, for seven months. I had one day off on my birthday and half a day off for the Emmys and the Golden Globes. On those days my ballet instructor worked with me from 5am to 11am, then I went to hair and make-up and on to the awards shows. I lost 20lb. Aesthetically, I had to look like a ballerina and hold myself like one. By the end, I was 95lb. All you saw was bone. It looked disgusting, but in photographs and on film it looked amazing. It took me five months to lose the weight, but just five days to gain it all back.” Not surprisingly Mila’s parents were horrified by her weight loss and she revealed they think her job is “absurd”. She explained: “My father is a mechanical engineer. My mother is a physics teacher. They have this hard-working son who’s a biochemist in San Diego, trying to cure cancer and who can barely pay the rent. Then they have me - this daughter who earns an obscene amount of money for not doing anything. They think my job is absurd”


Winslet new face of St John K ate Winslet is the new face of St John. The 35-year-old actress is following in the footsteps of a number of big names including Angelina Jolie, Gisele Bundchen and Karen Elson to become the latest ambassador for the American knitwear brand and says she is “excited” about her latest project. She said: “The St John collection is effortless and chic, and I think speaks to how real women live and dress today. I am excited to collaborate with George [Sharp] and work with St John.” Kate who has previously done promotional work for Lancome and Longines watches - is set to star in St John’s forthcoming fall advertising campaign. Creative director George said the ‘Titanic’ star “captures the style” of the brand’s targeted female audience. He added: “She is an accomplished, beautiful woman with an extraordinary body of work, and one of the most admired actors of her generation. “She embod-

ies the modern sensibility of St John, she is contemporary and authentically captures the style of the St John woman.” Kate’s appointment comes after controversy in January 2010 when Karen replaced Angelina - who has recently become the new face of Louis Vuitton - after the ‘Mr and Mrs Smith’ actress was deemed too big for the company. St John’s chief executive Glenn McMahon previously said Angelina “overshadowed the brand”.

TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011


Lady Gaga swaps

Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain pose during the photocall of ‘The Tree of Life’ presented in competition at the 64th Cannes Film Festival yesterday in Cannes.—AFP

music for media, edits Metro paper


Much-anticipated ‘Tree of Life’ divides Cannes crowd


director Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” finally got to Cannes yesterday, where it divided festival-goers with its spectacular visuals but cerebral, religious and very American storyline. Loud boos clashed with respectful applause at the end of a morning press screening for one of the most highly-anticipated entries at the world’s biggest film festival, which is midway through its 11-day run. “It’s about religion, nature and people-American people,” one viewer told AFP on the way out, summing up the coming-of-age tale starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain set in a Texas town in the 1950s. Malick, 67, skipped a press conference after the screening, leaving producer Sarah Green to explain to frustrated reporters:

“Mr Malick is very shy, but I believe his work speaks for him.” “The Tree of Life” is among 20 films vying for the top prize of the Palme d’Or. It had been on track to screen in Cannes last year, but was pulled back at the last minute for more work by Malick and his four producers, one of whom is Pitt. Billed as a “thought-provoking film experience” in its production notes, and many years in the making, “The Tree of Life” is only the fifth work from the enigmatic director of “Days of Heaven” and “The Thin Red Line”. Pitt plays the crew-cut father of three boys-no daughters in this family who apart from an argument is never seen talking to his wife, portrayed by Chastain as a gentle saint-like mother. “I was a little hesitant about playing the oppressive father, but story was so impor-

tant, and for me it was really about the kids’ journey,” said Pitt, 47, who is raising six children with Angelina Jolie. Penn-who was in Haiti yesterday, working with charities there-appears as the eldest son, a grownup architect; he and Pitt only share the screen at the end in a seaside family reunion scene. Hunter McCracken, Laramie Eppler and Tye Seridan are the young sons, all of whom look as if they could have been Pitt’s own progeny. Visually, the 138minute film is stunning at every turn, including a half-hour of gripping nature imagery at the front end that is married with computer-generated depictions of outer space-plus a couple of dinosaurs which may or may not symbolize a prehistoric father and son. Trees, solitary or in thick forests, figure

Colombian singer Shakira performs on stage during a concert at the SAP-Arena in Mannheim on May 15, 2011.— AFP

prominently in many scenes. So too does the sun-is Malick drawing a link between the sun and the son? — that never fails to be at just the right angle in any given scene. Pitt’s role is easily the most mature of his career, and yesterday he described working with the “spiritualist” Malick as “a leap of faith, and that’s the point... You know you are in great hands with Terry so it’s not that scary”. “About 10 years ago I started to think about my favorite films,” he added. “They weren’t the commercial things; they were the things with a little more depth.” But he reassured hardcore fans that he is not giving up the commercial blockbusters that have made him such a bankable star. “I’m not that highbrow,” he said. “Don’t count me out of ‘Mission: Impossible’.”—AFP

Chavez thanks

lamboyant pop star Lady Gaga ditched the music and switched to the media yesterday with a stint as a guest editor at the London headquarters of the global free newspaper network Metro. Widely regarded as the world’s biggest pop star, the 25-yearold New Yorker has also been busy promoting her second full-length studio album “Born This Way” which is available in stores from May 23. Gaga arrived at Metro’s offices wearing pink hair in a beehive style, black high heels, fishnet stockings and a black brassiere-like top. “I’m sorry if my business attire is a little different” she joked as she shook hands with staff. Gaga took charge of the morning editorial meeting, offering her opinion on a range of topics from bullying to the Japan earthquake to who her heroes are. She immediately set out her vision for the paper in her role as guest editor for the day, touching on themes she has already mentioned as part of her mission as an entertainer. “I feel so privileged I get to make music every day,” she told staff. “If you have revolutionary potential you have a moral obligation to make the world a better place.” Her new record is the follow-up to her 2008 debut album “The Fame”, which went on to sell more than 12 million copies and topped the charts. An extended play release “The Fame Monster” came out the following year. Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, has a huge and famously devoted fanbase around the world whom she calls her “little monsters”. In turn she refers to herself as “Mother Monster” whose every public appearance is a piece of performance art and outlandish fashion statement rolled into one, turning her into a cultural phenomenon as much as a musician. “I really appreciate the opportunity and it’s a wonderful chance for me to show the world that little monsters are not just a fan thing, but exist outside the music world altogether,” Gaga said of her editing activities at Metro. Gaga’s more notorious outfits to date have included a raw meat dress she wore to the MTV Video Music Awards last year and her arrival at the Grammy Awards in February encased in a giant egg. “I’m half living my life between reality and fantasy at all times,” the “Just Dance” and “Poker Face” singer recently told the Guardian newspaper. “It’s best not to ask questions and just enjoy.” It is not all just about enjoyment, however, and music writers and commentators who have interviewed the singer note a messianic dimension to her ambition which appears to go beyond merely selling records. Her own online biography concludes: “And, now, I’m just trying to change the world one sequin at a time,” albeit with “a wink in her eye.” It is not all plain sailing for the multi-Grammy Award winner, however. The huge impact of The Fame means the pressure is on for Born This Way to match that commercial and critical success. Religious groups accuse her of blasphemy, there was dissent in the ranks of her legions of fans over the cover art to Born This Way and she has reacted angrily to suggestions that the first single from the new record was copied from Madonna’s 1989 hit “Express Yourself”.—Reuters

Shakira for red, autographed guitar


enezuelan President Hugo Chavez is thanking Colombian singer Shakira for an autographed red guitar that he says the artist sent him as a gift. Chavez says he stayed up late strumming on the electric guitar and singing songs. He told Venezuelan state television on Sunday: “Thanks to Shakira for that.” Information Minister Andres Izarra posted a photo of the guitar on Twitter after it arrived on Saturday. Chavez said the musician asked to see him when she performed in Caracas in March, but that her flight was late and they were unable to meet. Chavez says he was surprised by the gift, and has been practicing on the instrument while recovering from a knee injury.—AP

US singer Lady Gaga leaves the set of Canal Plus TV show “Le grand journal” during the 64th Cannes Film Festival.—AFP

‘Thor’ hammers away at box office competition again


hor” reigned at the North American box office for the second straight weekend while the raunchy women’s comedy “Bridesmaids” beat expectations to come in second. According to studio estimates issued Sunday, the Marvel comics 3D film “Thor,” about the earthly adventures of the god of thunder, sold $34.5 million worth of tickets over the weekend while “Bridesmaids” brought in $24.4 million. “The big news is that ‘Bridesmaids’ did much better than expected,” said Paul Dergarabedian, head of tracking firm Box Office. Universal Pictures, the studio behind “Bridesmaids,” had expected the film, which was produced by comedy powerhouse Judd Apatow on a budget of $32.5 million, to have an opening weekend more than $10 million lower than what it posted. The movie, starring Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph, was unusual for a film geared to women because it had plenty of raunchy bits in typical Apatow film. But it appears not only women took a shine to the film’s gross-out moments but men also were drawn to a movie about the misadventures of a group of bridesmaids who see their friendship tested by the stress of a wedding. “Men like this movie as much as women. Now the word of mouth will filter

out that it’s OK for a man to go see a movie called ‘Bridesmaids,”“ said Nikki Rocco, Universal Pictures president of distribution. The action movie “Fast Five,” in its third week at theaters, had a strong showing with $19.5 million and came in third, leaving fourth place to the action horror flick “Priest,” which opened with a disappointing $14.5 million. “Priest” is from Sony Pictures unit Screen Gems, a division of Sony Corp. The animated 3-D movie “Rio”

landed at fifth place in US and Canada ticket sales, earning $8 million at box offices, with only a 6 percent drop from last week. The movie, in its fifth week at theaters, was released by 20th Century Fox, a unit of News Corp “Fast Five,” a movie about a heist and fast cars, dominated international sales over the weekend by earning $58 million overseas, according to Universal Pictures, the studio behind the film. Universal Pictures is a unit of Comcast Corp con-

In this file film publicity image released by Paramount Pictures, Chris Hemsworth, left, and Anthony Hopkins are shown in a scene from the film, “Thor.”—AP

trolled NBC Universal. “Thor,” which opened last weekend and stars the relatively unknown Chris Hemsworth, is distributed by Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc. It had international sales of $27.5 million. It has not performed as well as last year’s Marvel comics movie “Iron Man 2” but that had been expected because Marvel long considered “Thor” to be one of its most hardto-adapt properties, while “Iron Man 2” had the added benefit of Alist star Robert Downey Jr. “Nobody expected ‘Thor’ to do ‘Iron Man’ type business,” Dergarabedian said. Overall, the North American box office was down about 3 percent this weekend from last year, its second drop in a row, hurt by its comparison to the strong ticket sales posted by “Iron Man 2,” which was released about this time in 2010, Dergarabedian said.—Reuters

Azerbaijani winners of the Eurovision 2011 song contest, Eldar Gasimov and Nigar Jamal, the duo known as Ell-Nikki, speak to reporters as they arrive at the airport in Baku yesterday.—AFP

Azerbaijan’s Eurovision winners return home as heroes


undreds of people welcomed home Azerbaijan’s Eurovision Song Contest winners in Baku on yesterday after an unexpected victory which caused jubilation in the small ex-Soviet republic. Convoys of cars full of flag-waving fans came to greet Ell and Nikki at Baku airport and well-wishers packed the arrivals hall to cheer them after they landed. “It is not only our victory, but also a victory of the whole Azerbaijani people,” one of the winning duo, Eldar Gasimov, told journalists. The result is being celebrated as a national triumph in the relatively young state until now mainly known as an energy exporter on Europe’s fringe, bordering Iran and Russia. In a statement on his website, the country’s strongman President Ilham Aliyev said that winning the annual pop extravaganza was “a

great success of the Azerbaijani state and people”. Tradition dictates that Ell and Nikki’s triumph will bring the Eurovision contest to Baku next year-one of the biggest events in the mainly Muslim country’s history since independence in 1991. The English-language love song “Running Scared” by Gasimov and partner Nigar Jamal was voted the best of 25 competitors at the final in Duesseldorf, Germany. Thousands celebrated through the night in Baku after the result was announced in the early hours of Sunday local time, ignoring heavy rain as they danced and chanted “Azerbaijan! Azerbaijan!” The Turkic-speaking country of 9.1 million people is an important supplier of oil and gas to Europe, but its pop music has not until now been so widely appreciated.—AFP



e niv rsar n

TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011


lifestyle Features

A wee bit of Irish lore at

Leprechaun Museum I f President Obama brings his daughters when he visits here for business, sightseeing and family history, he probably won’t have much trouble keeping Malia and Sasha interested and amused. For the rest of us, though, it can be tough capturing our children’s attention with tales of Irish history and brooding castles. The rollicking pubs are out, along with the distilleries and breweries, and the incessant rain doesn’t help. But on my visit to the Emerald Isle last summer with my wife and daughter, 19, we found some family-friendly attractions, thanks to our distant cousins. First stop is the recently opened National Leprechaun Museum near the River Liffey. Ask any Irish person about leprechauns, and-if they can keep a straight face-they’ll tell you it’s all Yankee blarney. They put up with it only for the sake of keeping peace with Americans. The point is well-made the moment we enter the museum, by a photo of Walt

Disney. He beams during a 1950s visit to research “Darby O’Gill and the Little People,” a musical about finding the King of the Leprechauns that stars some young actor named Sean Connery. Disney’s whimsy is about as lighthearted as it gets. “That’s the trouble,” says our tour guide, Seamas O’Reilly, a young graduate of nearby Trinity College. “Disney stirred up all these professors at University College Dublin about Irish folklore, and when he came over, he ignored everything they told him and made a movie that has nothing to do with the real story of leprechauns.” Instead, “Disney cooked up all this madeup Irishness about pots of gold and rainbows and little people,” O’Reilly says, “and now it’s imported back to Ireland.” We had the most fun in the rainbow room, where children pass through curtains of weightless filaments hanging from the ceiling, conjuring up the colors of a rainbow. There’s also a

Kids and adults enjoy passing through curtains of weightless filaments replicating the colors of the rainbow hanging from the ceiling at the new Leprechaun Museum in Dublin. giant’s room, with furniture sized for a giant to use, and a map room, with actress Ita Fitzmahony scampering about as a guide to the images of mythical characters projected on the walls and ceiling. It’s goofy and different, and when we end up at the snack bar and book shop _ complete with leprechaun hand puppets

At the National Leprechaun Museum, the Giant’s Room makes visitors feel what it’s like to be the size of a leprechaun.

Children visit the Viking Warrior exhibit at the National Museum of Ireland. — MCT photos


or years, this town did its best to ignore its ties to organized crime, to the inconvenient fact that if Mount Rushmore were in Vegas, the faces etched in granite would include Meyer Lansky and Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, who financed the Flamingo, or Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal, the surprisingly powerful “food and beverage director” of the Stardust.

The exhibition depicts the rise and fall of organized crime in Sin City. —MCT photos But Las Vegas is well versed in indulging in too much of a good thing, the evidence painted in the bloodshot eyes of the tourists who wend their way back down the 15 on a Sunday or in the glut of homes and casinos that helped drive the economy to a standstill in the last few years. Now it appears the same thing is happening with the town’s sudden embrace of its symbiosis with the mob. City Hall is in the home stretch of a drive to open the Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement-a sweeping $42 million museum that investigates the mob’s engineering of Vegas’ rise and the laborious effort by regulators and law enforcement to wrest control. Mayor Oscar Goodman estimated that the museum, a key piece of the redevelopment of downtown Las Vegas, could attract more than a half-million visitors each year. But in March, a separate attraction called the Las

Vegas Mob Experience opened at the Tropicana, the storied resort-casino seven miles to the south. Asked about the essential difference between the two, Jay Bloom, managing partner of the Mob Experience, offered up a distinction that might well be lost amid the noise and the neon of the city: “They are a restaurant. We are a nightclub.” Goodman launched the campaign to install the city’s museum in 1999, soon after he was elected to his first term as mayor. He settled on a downtown courthouse that had been converted into a post office, then declared federal government surplus that had become, like so much of downtown Vegas at the time, a forlorn relic. Today Goodman is wrapping up his third and final term. The wheels of government and public investment turn slowly; time and again, the city’s plans have been stalled in a hornet’s nest of red tape and focus groups. Buying a building from the feds for a buck is not as simple as it sounds once you claw through historic-landmark rules and such. Last month brought the most ignominious slight yet: City Hall was lappedsort of-by private enterprise. It’s enough of an issue that aides to the mayor, who is not exactly known for his delicate sensibilities, requested that he not even be asked about it. Asked anyway-to assess the threat of the colorful upstartGoodman made the “zero” sign with his thumb and index finger. “It’s not a museum,” he said of the Mob Experience. “It’s not competition for us. “ But even some of those connected to the city’s project concede that the simultaneous offerings are at the least an awkward, confusing concurrence. “Of course they are related,” said Kathleen Hickey Barrie, the principal of a museum-and-cultural-planning consulting firm who is a driving force behind the city museum and previously helped create the lauded International Spy Museum in Washington. In pointed contrast to the nervousness of the mayor’s aides, Bloom seemed almost giddy when asked about potential competition, even suggesting that confusion among tourists could inflate his business. “I think we’re good for each other-if they ever do get open,” he said with a not-so-subtle smile. “We started in March 2009. We opened in March 2011. It’s the difference between public and private.” Indeed, by all accounts the Mob Experience could stand out initially, not just because it opened first but because it has been loosed from the measured sobriety the city is working so hard to achieve. In a corridor leading to Goodman’s office are signs, literally, that the opening of the city’s museum is around the bend. A tall banner tracks the parallel growth in the ‘40s and ‘50s of Vegas and of mobbacked casinos, “establishing Las Vegas as the organized crime and gaming capital of the United States.” Another shows the value of illegal gambling in those heady days — $169 billion in today’s dollars. But it’s one of the last signs that underscores the philosophical divide between the enterprises. This one points to another critical moment in the story-the 1967 vote by the Nevada legislature allowing publicly traded corporations to obtain gaming licenses. Though it would take years, that legislation was the The mob returns to Las Vegas! Fortunately it’s only a museum, but it’s still the Mob. Mob Museum will display artifact from organized crime’s bloody history, the barber’s chair occupied by crime boss and hit man Albert Anastasia when he was shot to death in New York.

Children celebrating a “Bad to the Bone” tour of the National Museum of Ireland make a skeleton in the children’s room.

for sale-docent Ellen Ryan is there to invite children to draw their versions of a leprechaun. The finished works of art are hung on the wall for all to see _ and for parents to photograph. Next stop is the National Museum of Ireland’s Archaeology Museum, across the courtyard from the National Library and around the corner from Ireland’s parliament, or Dail. “What I find time and again is that young visitors can be quite sophisticated,” said the museum’s education director, Siobhan Pierce. “After all, even very young children these days are Web-connected, most are familiar with the hot films and television shows-much of that fantastic and, well, unbelievable in a way.” She called them “the Avatar generation,” because they are wary about what can be believed in their world. The museum, which was once part of the British Museum before Irish independence, houses artifacts dating to 7,000 BC. “It presents difficulty for the young especially, who often are far from understanding concepts of long periods of time,” Pierce says. “The miracle here is that after seeing, say, a child’s shoe from 2,000 years ago, or a 5-foot Viking sword, or gold jewelry as big as Christmas tree ornaments (that) an Irish queen may have worn, the children ask their parents, ‘Is it real?’ “The power of ‘yes’ cannot be overestimated,” Pierce explains. “Instead of receiving fantasy and myth, they discover ‘yes.’ Yes, the human story is powerful but as intimate

beginning of the end for the mob in Nevada. Indeed, among the chief backers of the city museum is Ellen Knowlton, a retired FBI agent who once ran the agency’s Las Vegas office. Knowlton refused to sign on, organizers said, until she was assured that the city museum would not be a celebration of wacky mobsters but a somber take on the long law enforcement campaign to end mob rule of casinos. “This was not some cute, fun thing about the mob and these colorful characters,” Barrie said. Instead-while the city has collected fascinating artifacts, such as the bulletpocked wall that was the backdrop of the infamous St. Valentine’s Day massacre in 1929 in Chicago-Vegas is attempting to delve into the “dynamic tension between law enforcement and the mob,” she said. “The bottom line, like it or not, is that law enforcement won. And you don’t celebrate a loss,” Goodman said. At the Mob Experience, the contrast is evident before visitors even get through the front door. In the lobby, a fish tank contains a fake pair of skeletal feet encased in concrete. From there, the “experience” only degenerates further into an orgy of fuggedaboudit. Inside, customers drape a badge around their neck with their mob name-”Lefty,” “Legs,” “Peanuts.” From that point, decisions that visitors make as they interact with actors posing as mobsters and wearing De Niro scowls influence their “fate.” The Mob Experience has also assembled a startling array of artifacts and has done so the old-fashioned way — mostly by buying estates from mobsters’ descendants, who say they aren’t capitalizing on the family name as much as rehabilitating it, using the Experience as a vehicle. Take the case of Anthony “The Ant” Spilotro, a noted mob enforcer. The FBI implicated Spilotro in a series of ruthless killings. But according to his son, Vince - a paid consultant to the Mob Experience, he said, like a number of other mob relatives-”he was a man just like any other man.” Vince Spilotro said his family, convinced that Spilotro’s exploits were exaggerated by the press and the feds, agreed to participate in the Mob Experience with certain restrictions. “You got to put it in my words,” he said he told the executives. “And you don’t twist ‘em.” Whatever one may think of those arrangements, it’s hard to argue with the result. Artifacts include a pair of creepy clown-motif bookends that belonged to Mickey Cohen and a thank-you note sent by Frank Sinatra to Vincent “Jimmy Blue Eyes” Alo after Sinatra’s father died and Alo sent flowers. One of Meyer Lansky’s love letters to his wife ends, in tidy cursive: “Keep your legs crossed and go to sleep.” “Yeah, some of them did atrocious things,” Bloom said. “But then at night, they came home and they were loving fathers and husbands. Some of them were vicious killers but deeply religious. They were thieves but generous donors. ... I’m not going to turn them into heroes. But I’m not going to vilify them either.” The emotional climax of the “experience” comes when visitors are introduced to Joey Broken Bats, a fictional mobster. Joey has been asked to deal with a casino thief; he hands a wooden baseball bat wrapped in electrical tape to an associate, who is Mobster Mickey Cohen started life as a boxer and was later a bodyguard for Bugsy Siegel.

as a child’s slipper from the time of Julius Caesar.” The museum offers year-round guided and self-guided tours for children of all ages. At the second-floor education resource room, children and parents or guardians-it’s not day care-can drop by for quiet activities such as coloring and playing with plastic Viking armor. There’s also docent-led storytelling, craft-making with local artisans, and learning how to make and play a Viking board game called hnefatafl. Everything in the room is marked and mapped so children and parents can find the corresponding artifact in the museum. “Talking about bringing a museum to life for children,” Pierce said. The city comes to life for children with a jam-packed calendar of summer activities and festivals through Sept. 30. Hundreds of free events are offered in parks and libraries, including fairy-tale and rapwriting workshops, dance lessons, African board games, drum circles, Polish legends, and art competitions. The Obamas will miss all of that, but that leaves something for the rest of us. — MCT

Mach and sister Zoey look at the money in the casino’s count room as actor James Caan explains how the mob got their cut from the daily take during the money count that was done by hand. viewed back-lighted as he mercilessly beats the shrieking suspect. “Music to my ears,” Joey tells the crowd. “Know what I mean?” The public will determine whether it can indeed relate to that sort of thing. For now, backers of the city museum seem more amused than threatened. “We present the facts,” Barrie said. “And the facts are so good, we don’t have to juice them up.” — MCT



e niv rsar n

TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011


lifestyle Travel

Tom Sabin fishes in Deadhorse Lake, at 7,200 feet, still snowbound in Tom and Brenda Sabin pet her horse, Hawkins, on trail to Deadhorse mid-June, Encampment at Bull Creek, Resort at Paws Up, Greenough, Lake. Montana. — MCT photos

A toast to the newly-weds, Tom and Brenda Sabin.

Luxury tent camp in

Montana mountains is quite a setup F

rom where I sat, on a log in front of a crackling campfire near Bull Creek, deep in the heart of Montana’s Lolo National Forest, all the world seemed wilderness. Above us, the night sky was alight with stars. Beneath our feet, the piney scent of freshly scuffed earth summoned a long-forgotten memory, an echo from ancient days when primitive people gathered together after dark, not in front of a television but around a communal campfire. Under any other circumstances, you’d have thought that the nine of us, a group of sometimeadventurers from California, New Jersey and Texas, were roughing it. But this was the Encampment at Bull Creek, the luxury tent camp run by the Resort at Paws Up, a guest ranch and resort 30 miles east of Missoula. Accessible only by horseback, the Encampment was a new concept, the kind I could get used to. For most of my life, camping has meant getting down and dirty, usually on a budget. We’ve pitched tents in Colorado rainstorms, canoed across choppy Minnesota lakes and battled clouds of Canadian mosquitoes. We’ve subsisted on raisins and freeze-dried dinners and scoured pots by lamplight. But camping at Bull Creek is as organized as a Victorian tea party. “You’re going to love it,” said Tira Beary, at Paws Up’s main lodge, as she checked our family in to a threebedroom cabin, our base camp for the duration. “Camping’s twice as fun when you don’t have to do any of the work,” she said. The next day dawned bright and clear, a prescription for sunscreen. Hastily exchanging names with the four other guests on the ride, we piled into a shuttle van for the 27-mile drive to the horse corral and trailhead. Stuffing our water bottles, cameras and aspirin into the saddle bags, we mounted our horses while wranglers Tyler Beach and Mike Billingsley rushed from horse to horse, tightening cinches and adjusting stirrups. The horses, accustomed to the 12-mile walk on a trail that crossed three mountain ridges and four rushing streams, patiently fell into line behind Beach. Wiggling until I located my saddle’s sweet spot, I found myself near the rear in front of Billingsley. With the corral receding behind us, we headed through the trees for a seven-hour ride that wound through the deep shade of old forests, crossed burned-out moonscapes (scenes of the previous year’s forest fires), climbed alpine valleys and ascended rocky canyons. In midafternoon, we reached the Monture River, following it into camp. “Well, look at this,” said Danny Clark, riding next to me as we crossed the meadow, scattering the family of deer whose territory the camp invaded. “I wonder

which one is ours,” he said aloud after sighting the tents. Hearing us, Curtis Davey, the camp boss, an energetic and good-natured man in a checked shirt who was splitting wood, put down the ax. “Welcome to Bull Creek,” said Davey, grabbing my horse’s bridle. “We’re expecting you. When you’ve straightened out the kinks in your legs, get a cold drink and tell me about your ride.” At first glance, the Encampment at Bull Creek, accessible only by foot or on horseback, reminded me of the photos taken of 19th-century mining camps. Wet socks and towels hung on poles, storage containers stood next to the cook tent, and a pile of firewood lay in the dirt. Ten tents were pitched along the creek, five of them reserved for guests. The cook tent, really two large attached tents, stood in the middle, heated by an old-timey wood stove. Long counters held crates of groceries and three propane stoves next to boxes, pots, frying pans and utensils stacked on two rows of shelves. At the rear, water from the creek supplied a purifier, the sink and a long drain board. A slab of wood served as lunch and dinner table, with benches long enough to seat seven on a side. Two luxurious outdoor showers near the creek delivered enough hot water for a short but decent scrub, while the privy, with two canvas-shielded stalls, stood 100 feet away at the end of a narrow path. The stables, improvised for the summer, consisted of the corral, a long hitching rail and a shed for storing saddles, bridles and grain. Our duffles, delivered earlier by mule, had been placed in the tents, each outfitted with two canvasslung cots made up with fresh linens and down quilts. We hung our coats on a nail, put the flashlight and topo map on the nightstand, dug out the mosquito lotion, and the housekeeping was done. In the corner stood a compact stove and a stack of firewood, to be laid and lighted at bedtime by one of the wranglers. Camp living is lovely when you don’t have chores. We petted the horses, practiced fly-casting in the meadow, read a book in the shade, and hiked up the hillside. At mealtimes, we hung out in the cook tent, laughing as the wranglers ribbed the cook, Sonia Carrillo, and one another. Carrillo, 38, who’s been cooking for hunting and camping parties for 15 years, made good use of quality meats and produce sent up from Paws Up’s restaurant, producing broiled steaks, salads, sauces, vegetable dishes and cake, with wine or beer. On our second day in the Encampment, Davey organized a horseback ride to Dead Horse Lake. We _ most of us, anyway-kept our nerve as the trail navigated 50-degree slopes, teetered on cliff edges, jounced

over rocks and roots, and crossed a melting snowbank suspended over the rushing Middle Fork of the Monture River. Our last campfire came and went too soon. Meanwhile, the rest of our family had relaxed at Paws

Getting there: The Resort at Paws Up is 30 miles east of Missoula, Mont. The ranch is open yearround on 37,000 acres, at 3,700 feet elevation, with 12 miles of Blackfoot River frontage. What to do: Warm-weather activities include riding lessons, trail rides, river rafting and tubing, spa treatments, hot-air ballooning, rappelling, flyfishing, kids’ camp, country-clay shooting and backcountry camping. The Encampment at Bull Creek, one of the most popular outings, is $800 per person

Up, enjoying the patio barbecues, al fresco spa treatments, bike rides and kayaking on the Blackfoot River. I’m sure we had a better time than they did. But to each his own.

Spring snow covers the Middle Fork of Monture Creek, below Deadhorse Lake.

per night for three days and two nights. It’s available May to October. At the ranch, cost: On-ranch lodging for 170 guests ranges from luxury log homes to meadow homes and in three luxury tent cities. Prices for two-bedroom homes start at $1,176 per night and include three full meals daily, airport pickup, 24hour bell staff, an on-property electric cart and other amenities. Add $75 for each child 11 and younger. — MCT


he past is never dead. It’s not even past,” William Faulkner wrote in 1951, two years after winning the Nobel Prize for literature. It’s one of his best-known lines, but I don’t think I ever truly understood it until I came to Oxford. For more than three decades, since I first read “As I Lay Dying” as a high school senior, I regarded such a sentiment as a key to Faulkner’s writing-which continues to resonate because it comes drenched in history, in the interplay of the past and present, the bitter weight of heritage, the understanding that we cannot be cut free of our roots-without quite realizing that it was also a key to his life. Without quite realizing, in other words, the extent to which it has to do with Oxford, the college town 85 miles southeast of Memphis where Faulkner was raised and where he lived and died and where he is buried, and where, beginning with his third novel, “Sartoris” (1929), he told the Paris Review in 1956, “I discovered that my own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about and that I would never live long enough to exhaust it, and by sublimating the actual into apocryphal I would have complete liberty to use whatever talent I might have to its absolute top.” My own little postage stamp of native soil: Here we have another iconic riff, so much so that it has long since blurred into cliche. It refers to Faulkner’s decision, in 15 novels and dozens of short stories, to reframe Oxford as the seat of the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, “a cosmos of my own,” which he imagined as “a kind of keystone in the universe; that, small as that keystone is, if it were ever taken away the universe itself would collapse.” That’s a great description, not just of his ambition but also of his aesthetic: the balance of myth and recollection, the desire to use this landscape as a template against which the human struggle might play out in epic terms. Still, spend a day (or two, as I did last month) or even an hour roaming Oxford and you begin to see how literal Faulkner’s vision was. Oxford may be cosmopolitan, with high-end shops and eateries, but Oxford also is a small town, if not provincial then contained. This is both the charm of the place and its challenge, this interplay of geography and memory. In a dozen or so spots, green historical markers dot the landscape like some strange species of vegetation. At the corner of Mississippi 6 and Jackson Avenue, one reads: “Oxford. Chartered, 1837. Was on Chickasaw Trail of Tears. Home of the University of Mississippi and of Barnard, Hilgard, Thompson, and Lamar. Burned by Federal troops in 1864.” It’s impossible to miss the defiance in such a sign, the sense that even now, the past is not only unforgotten but also bluntly, unapologetically alive. The same is true of the Civil War memorial in front of the Lafayette County Courthouse, in

Statue of William Faulkner can be seen in downtown Oxford, Mississippi. the square at the center of Oxford: a statue of a Confederate soldier on a pedestal, facing south into the heart of Dixie, as if, as Faulkner wrote in “Go Down, Moses,” the “old times would cease to be old times and would become a part of the ... present, not only as if they had happened yesterday but as if they were still happening, the men who walked through them actually walking in breath and air and casting an actual shadow on the earth they had not quitted.” And yet, for all that Oxford seems immersed in history, it’s a nuanced immersion, or perhaps a nuanced idea of the past. The afternoon before I arrived, the Lyric Theatre-an old silent movie house where MGM’s adaptation of “Intruder in the Dust” (“You can’t film that novel,” the trailer asserts, “... but we did!”) premiered in 1949 — hosted a reading by the author’s niece, Dean Faulkner Wells, from her newly released “Every Day by the Sun: A Memoir of the Faulkners of Mississippi.” Down the block at Square Books, the legendary independent bookstore across the street from the courthouse, Wells’ book filled the window display. Inside, I picked up a program for the 18th Oxford Conference for the Book, featuring writers such as Mark Richard (“House of Prayer No. 2”), Tea Obreht (“The Tiger’s Wife”), Karen Russell (“St Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves”) and Sven Birkerts (“The Gutenberg Elegies”), which would be held the following weekend at Ole Miss. Whatever else it is, Oxford has become literary territory, with roots that extend from Yoknapatawpha to the university.

William Faulkner’s home can be seen at Rowan Oak in Oxford.. —MCT photos

Square Books was my first stop in Oxford. I walked east on Van Buren Avenue from the 5 Twelve Bed & Breakfast, passing the Old Venice Pizza Co, once the site of Devoe’s GathrightReed Drug Co, whose lending library Faulkner frequented a century ago. For years, Gathright-Reed was one of the few places in town to sell Faulkner’s books; until relatively late in his career, Faulkner was largely disregarded in Oxford, referred to as “Count No-Count” for his aloofness and his apparent aversion to hard work. This, of course, was not merely a local perspective: Before the 1946 publication of “The Portable Faulkner,” which collected and contextualized his writing, most of his books were out of print. I found “The Portable Faulkner” at Square Books, in a large section devoted to him exclusively. I found his other books also, including two I didn’t know about: a collection of early poetry and one called “Essays, Speeches & Public Letters,” which I bought. I browsed for a bit, looking at the novels and nonfiction, taking in the wall of author photos, many signed, that rises from a landing between the second and third floors. At the register, the clerk smiled at my selection, marking me as a literary tourist, as yet another reader on the Faulkner trail. It was hot as I walked South Lamar Boulevard, past the small home built in 1931 for Faulkner’s parents, through a residential neighborhood of large Victorians. On Johnson Avenue, less than half a mile south of the square, I cut east to the Thompson-Chandler House, model for the Compson mansion

in “The Sound and the Fury” (1929). There it was: the Greek Revival facade, the colonnaded portico, the long sloping yard where the four Compson children play during their grandmother’s funeral. “The Sound and the Fury” helped establish Faulkner’s reputation for difficulty-of its four sections, one is narrated by the mentally handicapped Benjy and another by his brother Quentin, a schizophrenic on the cusp of suicide. If the Thompson-Chandler House has anything to tell us, it’s how rooted in the actual is Faulkner’s apocrypha. Benjy was based on Edwin Chandler, who lived in the house when the author was a boy; Compson is said to be a combination of Chandler and Thompson. At the same time, it’s important not to be reductive, for Faulkner’s genius lies in both how he reflected his own world and how, on this ground, he uncovered something universal and profound. “I believe,” he said in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, “that man will not merely endure: He will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.” —MCT

Much-anticipated ‘Tree of Life’ divides Cannes crowd


TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011

A Chinese woman poses with a four-dimensional (4D) painting on display at a contemporary art exhibition in Jilin, northeast China’s Jilin’s province on May 14, 2011. China overtook Britain as the world’s second biggest market for art and antiques in 2010, said a report from the European Fine Art Fair (Tefaf) opening in the Netherlands.—AFP

Seoul bans fur in A ‘Tower of Babel’ entirely of books in Argentina Fendi fashion show M S arta Minujin, Argentina’s most famous artist, is known for artwork that is both out-sized and outlandish. Her latest creation might also be described as vertigo-inducing—a spiraling, 25-meter-tall (82-foot) tower meant to pay homage to the written word. In the Plaza San Martin, in the heart of the Argentine capital, Minujin has erected her latest work-”The Tower of Babel”-built from 30,000 books, most of them donations from some 50 embassies.”I don’t know why we have to have different languages,” she says, adding that she sees her mission as an artist as being to “unite all people”. Unlike the thousands of tomes that form the basis of this current massive sculpture, she told AFP “art needs no translation”. An “enfant terrible” of Argentina’s art world who has cavorted during her career with the likes of Andy Warhol and Christo, Minujin is a celebrity who has exhibited all over the world. She has been a mainstay of the country’s avant-garde scene since the 1960s,famous for works that speak to the public’s artistic sensibility, while at the same time tickling its funny bone. “It’s really amusing to be able to climb up and down a work of art,” said Minujin, graced with emblematic white-blonde hair and everpresent sunglasses. The unveiling this week of the soaring structure is timed to coin-

cide with the Buenos Aires Book fair and the city’s role this year as the World Book Capital 2011, a designation conferred by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Minujin, a native of Buenos Aires, where she was born in 1943, still lives and works in the Argentine capital, and her artwork is inspired by the motto that “everything is art”. This latest work makes a thematic reference to an earlier piece of hers, an enormous “Parthenon” of books censured by Argentina’s dictatorship. Much of her career was spent overseas, including long sojourns in New York and Paris, and over the years her work frequently was censored and banned, her hippie sensibility offending past military regimes. Her first work, in 1963, “La Destruccion” was mounted in Paris and was an early piece of performance art, and involved her eviscerating some of her own works, aided at the time by various friends. She can scarcely believe that she received funding for this latest piece, in which the books are mounted on an enormous metal spiraling scaffold. The books run the gamut from serious works of philosophy and children’s fairy tales and everything in between. “The United States donated 1,000 books. Ecuador gave 3,500,” said Minujin. She is still exultant as she shows off the enor-

mous sculpture, floor by floor and book by book-a work by Kafka in German, followed by texts in Japanese and in Russian, books of every size and color. “Look, an anthology of French poetry!” she exclaimed, running up the spiraling stairs. Nearby there is another European work-an old issue of Tintin: “The Calculus Affair.”She notes that there is one part of the work which cannot be viewed from ground level: the breathtaking vistas of the Buenos Aires cityscape. “Look at the view from this castle, she exclaims. “You can see as far away as the river,” she exclaims, pointing to the majestic river, the Rio de la Plata, in the distance. Like much of her work, she said the “Tower of Babel” is meant to be not only imposing, but ephemeral, Minujin said. The entire structure is to be disassembled on May 28. “No one will ever again have a view from this exact place,” she said. Even when it’s gone however, the tower will have a lasting legacy-once taken apart, the books will form the basis of the first multilingual library in Buenos Aires. “As of the 28th,” said Minujin as she surveyed the Buenos Aires vista, “the people will be able to keep these books.”—AFP

Hong Kong academy to offer Cantonese opera degree


Hong Kong performing arts school will offer a Cantonese opera degree in the latest effort to preserve the traditional art form designated as a key cultural heritage. The Academy for Performing Arts said its program will combine theory and practice to prepare students for Cantonese opera careers as performers, educators or arts administrators. The four-year degree program is the first of its kind for the art form sung in the southern Chinese dialect. The degree would be offered starting in September 2013, the school said in a statement yesterday. Depending on demand, the academy may add postgraduate degrees. Cantonese opera performer Yuen Siu-fai welcomed the program, saying the craft was suffering a serious talent shortage. While veterans like himself have shifted their energies from performance to grooming new talents, few skilled performers are in their 20s or 30s. “My first reaction is this is a very good thing. This is something I really hope for,” Yuen told The Associated Press in a phone interview, adding that

the program’s success depends on the quality of its faculty and curriculum. The Cantonese opera performers’ group that Yuen helps manage, the Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong, has a continuing education school for working professionals. The association also runs courses at a secondary school and hopes to expand to a second. Performance venues have also been cause for concern. The lease for Hong Kong’s leading Cantonese opera theater, the Sunbeam Theater, is due to run out in February 2012, although the Hong Kong government has promised performance space in the planned $2.8 billion West Kowloon cultural hub designed by famed British architect Norman Foster. Yuen said, however, the solution is not hardware, but rather addressing the general disrespect for performing arts. He said he has often lost promising youngsters to parents who force them to focus on their academic studies in their secondary school years as they prepare for university admission. The Hong Kong government said in

View of the “Tower of Babel”, a creation made by Argentine artist Marta Minujin with thousands of books in languages from all over the world, at San Martin square in Buenos Aires on May 7, 2011.—AFP

outh Korea’s capital city has told Italian fashion house Fendi to remove all fur items from a show of its fall/winter collection due to complaints from animal rights groups, officials said yesterday. “We have received complaints from animal rights activists and saw negative public opinion on the Internet... we can’t let such a controversial thing be staged at a public property,” a spokesman for the city government told AFP. Fendi has scheduled the show on June 2 at a newly-built floating island on the Han River, which the city wants to promote as a landmark. The Italian firm said city officials last week threatened to cancel the event unless all fur items were removed from the catwalk. Fendi described the short notice as “difficult to understand... in light of the months of preparation and cooperation” leading up to the event. “I’m surprised to learn of Seoul city’s decision to possibly cancel the event if Fendi does not remove all fur pieces just two weeks before the event,” Fendi CEO Michael Burke said in a statement Sunday night. The company, however, said it would continue to negotiate with city officials in the hope of holding the show as planned. City officials said negotiations were still under way to hold the show, at which Fendi planned to present 40 pieces from its fall/winter collection including 20 fur items. “This is the first time for us to hold a fashion show on city property so we knew little about how things like this work,” a Seoul city official told AFP on condition of anonymity. “The show has not been cancelled yet... we are still working on it.” Fendi said more than 1,200 guests including foreign and Korean celebrities, global media and cultural and fashion leaders were scheduled to attend.—AFP

Carla Bruni interview fuels pregnancy rumors


In this March 7, 2006 file photo, a Cantonese opera singer applies makeup at her vanity table before the show begins in Hong Kong.—AP a statement it is committed to maintaining public interest in Cantonese opera. The Home Affairs Department said it plans to spend 30 million Hong Kong dollars ($3.9 million) this financial year on Cantonese Opera performances, training and research. —AP

cryptic television interview by French First Lady Carla BruniSarkozy yesterday fuelled speculation that she is pregnant with President Nicolas Sarkozy’s child. Journalists had widely expected Bruni to announce she was pregnant when she scheduled a live interview on the top lunch time news show of private channel TF1, but she tantalizingly avoided confirming it openly. Instead of asking the million-dollar question, presenter Jean-Pierre Pernaut quizzed Bruni for several minutes on her charity work against child illiteracy, before dispatching the pregnancy issue in a matter of seconds. “I know you don’t like people talking about your private life, but I just want to congratulate you,” Pernaut said. The supermodel-turned-singer Bruni smiled shyly and replied: “I congratulate you too,” without saying what for. The interview then ended. Following the cryptic exchange, many celebrity-watchers raced to social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook to claim that the interview

was tacitly confirming that Bruni, 43, is expecting Sarkozy’s child. But the mainstream news agenda in France was dominated by the arrest of IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn on

sexual assault charges. He was Sarkozy’s top potential rival in next year’s presidential election before his arrest—AFP

French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy poses, yesterday on a set of French TV channel TF1 in Boulogne-Billancourt, outside Paris, prior to tking part in the lunch time news show of TF1.—AFP

17 May  
17 May  

Kuwait Times