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Deadly protests in Syria, world pressure mounts

Fierce battle in Western city of Zlitan

7 150 Fils

No: 15123

RAJAB 16, 1432 AH


Williams sisters loom over Wimbledon


Leave! protesters tell embattled PM

Max 45º Min 31º

‘Enough is enough’ ‘Cosmetic reform’ not enough: Cleric Bahriani Shiites hold big rally MANAMA: An influential Bahraini Shiite cleric warned yesterday that merely “cosmetic reform” would not satisfy people who joined a wave of protests quashed by security forces in March. King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa has said a national dialogue will start on July 1. Officials say it will discuss democratic reforms in the country, which they describe as returning to stability after three months of emergency law, lifted two weeks ago. Sheikh Issa Qasim, a spiritual leader of Bahrain’s majority Shiite population, told crowds packed into the small Diraz mosque they should remain peaceful in their calls for democratic reform but said they should not let go of their demands. “It is not reasonable and one should not be deluded into thinking the people, after much fatigue, suffering, and the dearest of sacrifices, will accept coming up empty-handed,” he said. Dozens died in the unrest. “The people did not mobilise in order to receive cosmetic reforms,” he added, as the audience shouted: “No more humiliation.” The Sunni rulers of Bahrain, where the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet is based, crushed weeks of pro-democracy protests mostly joined by Shiites, accusing them of a sectarian agenda with backing from Shiite power Iran. The opposition says the charges are intended to distract Arab states and Bahrain’s US allies from its political demands such as more representative elections. Some activists have called for the abolition of the monarchy. Bahrain invited troops from neighbouring Sunni Gulf countries to help crush the protests, and arrested hundreds. At least a hundred people are on trial, and Human Rights Watch says 87 have been sentenced, with five acquitted. The government says the accused are a small minority of protesters who committed serious crimes, with charges ranging from incitement to illegal gathering to killing a policeman, for which two have been sentenced to death. Meanwhile, thousands of Shiite Bahrainis rallied yesterday outside Manama in the second mass demonstration organised by Al-Wefaq opposition group since a mid-March crackdown on pro-democracy protests. Demonstrators gathered on the island of Sitra south of Manama for the rally, a week after another protest was held in another Shiite village with the blessings of the authorities, according to Al-Wefaq’s Facebook page. Al-Wefaq leader cleric Sheikh Ali Salman told the protesters that the opposition was not against dialogue but that it needed the right interlocutor and officials. His remarks came more than a week after King Hamad named the parliament speaker, Khalifa bin Ahmed al-Dhahrani, to lead a national dialogue starting July 1. “The success of dialogue, reform and transition to democracy need officials that believe in it. One of the problems of the past was that many officials did not believe in democracy and reform,” Salman told the crowds. “We need those who believe in reform and democracy to occupy posts of responsibility,” he added. — Agencies

KUWAIT: Protesters gathered yesterday at the Tharir Square demanding the PM to step down. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

By Hassan A Bari KUWAIT: Amidst very tight security measures, dozens of protesters gathered yesterday at the Tharir Square demanding the PM to step down. The protest was aired by the Kuwaiti news channel Mubasher. “Your highness, you’ve been in office for seven years - during which no new hospital, school or major project were commissioned, even sacrificed the dignity of the handicapped in your political appointed someone who doesn’t know anything about the handicapped......enough is enough,” one of the protesters said. “Step down! Leave..... Kuwait

can’t no longer accept someone who can’t run the government’, said some of the demonstrators as they carried banners demanding the PM to leave. Other banners read: ‘Article 6 of the constitution said that the people are the source of all powers’. Another protester expressed gratitude to HH the Amir. ‘We are here to announce that this will be the last Friday we will go out on demonstration as HH the Amir wished’, he stressed urging what he described as ‘the corrupt media and government’ to do the same and adhere to the laws, as well. The protesters also chanted some poetry and slogans urging the PM to resign.


PAB denies colluding with prime minister

Writer’s block

MPs collect signatures By A Saleh KUWAIT: The Popular Action Block(PAB) announced that it will convene today or tomorrow to arrive at a decision on the no-confidence motion filed against the PM last Tuesday. The PAB also denied colluding with the prime minister and accused ‘public fund bandits’ of spreading ‘hearsay’ for the sake of supporting the government in return for realizing their private motives. PAB member, MP Marzouq AlGhanim said that the bloc cannot be intimidated by any means, “We have attacked the PM during the previous grilling motion and supported him not because of any negotiations were held,” he stressed. Furthermore, Al-Ghanim said that the PAB will carry on issues like the grilling motion filed against the resigned minister, Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Sabah with minister Sheikh Mohammed Al-Sabah. A number of MPs are currently col-

lecting signatures with the aim of passing teachers’ union and student allowance draft laws. In case the government rejects both bills, MPs demanded that strong action be taken. MP Musallam Al-Barrak warned that the teachers’ issue cannot be put to rest and was immediately discussed owing to parliamentary vacation’s proximity, “The government has to either pass both laws and publish them in the official gazette or return them to Parliament by June 22.” Tribal pressure Four Mutairi MPs - Mohammed Hayef, Musallam Al-Barrak, Mubarak Al-Waalan and Daifallah Buramia have placed pressure on colleague Hussein Mezyad to vote for a no-confidence motion against the PM next Thursday. Officials added that four MPs intend to form a delegation from Mutairi tribe voters. Others visit Mezyad’s diwaniya to support the noconfidence motion. It was previously seen, as a retaliation against rejecting a request to release Dr Obaid Al-

Wasmi after being arrested during a seminar at MP, Jamaan Al-Harbash’s diwaniya. He described Kuwaitis as being ‘dogs.’ Notably, the Dihani branch of the tribe, to which Mizyad belongs has been urging him not to vote against the PM. Cabinet meeting On its weekly meeting tomorrow, the Cabinet will discuss ways to manage the teacher’s union and student allowance bills. These were recently passed by the Parliament, officials said. The government insists on having the constitutional grace period needed to discuss any bills prior to accepting or rejecting it. Officials added that in case the Parliament insists on a week’s grace period, the entire issue will be referred to the Constitutional Court. Furthermore, officials said that the Cabinet would also discuss MPs attitudes against the grilling motion filed against the PM. It is confident that supporters of the no-confidence motion will not exceed 18 in number.

By Sawsan Kazak


riting an article a week seems reasonable enough. Usually finding a local, international or personal topic to write about is easy enough. I typically sit down to write my article and the words just come rushing out of my brain and onto my screen. Normally I can wait to verbalize my thoughts and sarcasm onto paper so I can share with others. But this week I find myself with writer’s block. As I scramble for ideas to write about or rather mock, I find...nothing. I’ve already written about the excruciating Kuwaiti weather, the ongoing Arab revolutions and my personal struggle with the ego. As I sit in front of a blank computer screen for about half an hour, I realize that ideas will not just come to me this time; I must go searching for them. I grab the paper and read through the pages; for sure something will jump out at me and is worth writing about. The Amir’s speech is touching but it’s to the point and expected. The Arab revolutions are still happening but not really changing, and I’m not big on sports so I have no comment. Having finished the paper and still not motivated to write something to decide to speak to people and try to get inspired, I speak to a friend to see if I could get any inspiration. But after an agonizing conversation about shopping I pull myself away and go searching elsewhere. I speak to a co-worker who gives me many ideas, but none of them speak to me, or rather I can’t speak about them. I decided to stare at my screen for a little longer and force a story out, but the harder I try, the less inspired I get. Inspiration and creativity are funny things, they cannot be forced or artificially created; they simply happen. I found that the more I push myself to create, the less I create and the more fixated I become on being creative. Needles to say, I didn’t get inspired to write about a topic this week, except of course the topic of not having a topic. Hopefully next week I will be inspired - I just won’t try to force it.

Power thieves’, water squanderers’ days over

KUWAIT: Under the patronage and in the presence of the Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Hmoud, a graduation ceremony was held on Thursday for the Fourth batch of investigators who completed their training course in cooperation with Kuwait Institute for Judicial and Legal Studies. The ceremony was held in the Hall of General Yousuf Al-Kharafi in the ministry diwaniya. It was attended by Acting Undersecretary General Sulaiman Al-Fahad, Director of Investigation Administration Gen Yousuf Al-Saudi and a number of security officials.

KUWAIT: The Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) is trying to nab thieves of electric supplies and squanderers of water. Several teams of special inspectors are currently undergoing special training courses in order to nab such thieves across the country. MEW’s Judicial Department recently contacted all the ministry departments requesting the nomination of two employees to join the judicial officers’ teams. They will take part in the training course that will begin within days. The department also referred a letter to the Public Relations Department requesting printing the needed three-copy citation books so that a copy of the citation can be filed, another will be handed over to violator while the third will remain with the officer, reported Aljarida. Officials added that minister Othainah had been briefed on the officers jobs and the results of the first 160member team’s tours. They added that the officers would conduct a tour all over the country to monitor power consumption violations, in addition to arrest those who use drinking water to wash cars and irrigate private gardens, yards and chalets.



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in brief

No ban on travel to Europe KUWAIT: Ministry of Health has announced that there was no travel ban to E Coli bacteria-hit European countries, but advised Kuwaitis wishing to visit the ravaged states to follow guidelines issued by health authorities there. Head of the Public Health Department Fatema AlSaeedi said the World Health Organization (WHO) did not ban or restrict travel to Germany, where the deadly virus first broke out and claimed many lives, or any other inflicted European country. WHO has reported more than 3,300 cases of infection with EHEC and haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) in 16 countries since the outbreak began in May. On Tuesday, a two-year-old boy in Germany became the first child to die of E.Coli, which the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has called “the most significant recorded in the world to date.” Al-Saeedi urged all Kuwaitis planning to travel to Germany or any of the inflicted countries to take due care and to adhere to advices and guidelines announced by the WHO and health authorities in relevant country. Expats injured in shooting KUWAIT: Four expatriates were injured when an unidentified individual fired gunshots using a hunting gun. Officials said that the wounded expatriates were admitted to Farwaniya hospital. They claimed to having been shot simply because they were differently clothed. They added that the man shot at them from a distance, and was at the helm of an old vehicle. Police are investigating the case. ‘Fish kill tests not complete’ KUWAIT: The Environment Public Authority (EPA) has denied issuing statements on ongoing laboratory tests and investigation of the recent fish kill phenomena, as was reported in a local daily recently, reported Aljarida. In a press release, EPA asserted that technical and laboratory tests were not complete and that no report has been issued on the matter, “The sole body entitled to make any statements on this issue is the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR),” asserted the statement, urging all media to verify news reported before publishing them.

GCC states take part in Lebanon summer festival BEIRUT: The resort town of Aley, located on the main mountainous road east of Beirut, is due to host a tourist-cultural festival next month-dubbed the “International Village.” Hussam Al-Aridi, the head of the organizing company, Sadaka, said 12 countries including the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council, would take part in the festival, due to include a makeshift entertainment city, a chain of stands serving food and displaying a variety of items. A special pavilion is to be erected for the teams coming from the GCC countries, he said, indicating that the other sections would be specialized for groups from China, India, Jordan, Syria, South Africa, Iran, Egypt and Yemen. The participating groups will present folkloric shows, items depicting national heritage of each of these countries, in addition to diverse cultural and tourist activities. The event will be an opportunity for close interaction among diverse cultures, he said. Aley, one of the favorite summer destinations for GCC citizens, is located 17 km east of Beirut, at 700 meters above sea level. It is well known for the moderate weather throughout the year. —KUNA

KUWAIT: Health Minister Dr Hilal Al-Sayer and other officials attending the celebrations yesterday.

Kuwait Towers illuminated in red on World Blood Donor Day ‘Color Your Life Red’ KUWAIT: Kuwait Towers was illuminated in red lights Thursday night on the occasion of World Blood Donor Day, and 300 balloons were released into the sky. Health Minister Dr Hilal Al-Sayer attended the event and lauded, in his address, the efforts of Al-Salam Hospital, Central Blood Bank and Club 25, a youth-oriented campaign for organizing such a huge event. “Every year on June 14, Kuwait celebrates World Blood Donor Day with the whole world. This year’s ‘Color Your Life Red’ slogan aims to increase awareness on the importance of blood donation,” he remarked, adding that “blood donation is the only source of blood. It could save lives. It could give hope to life.” For the past few years, Kuwait has reached an optimum of 100 percent in blood donation despite daily challenges they faced in the efforts to provide necessary amount of blood needed at hospitals, “The annual number of blood donors reached 600,000. This number is expected to increase during the next few years due to the expansion of health care services in the country.” Dr Al-Sayer explained that civil communities and non-governmental bodies should perform their social role in promoting pressing matters such as blood donation and supporting the Central Blood Banks efforts in this mission. Meanwhile, General-Director of AlSalam Hospital Dr Ayman Al-Motawa noted that the participation of all private and public governmental sectors will be considered a national and religious duty to help alleviate the pains of the sick, “This humane gesture reflects the solidarity of this community and its aptitude to do good whenever is needed,” he added. Al-Motawa lauded the efforts of the Central Blood Bank for providing the amount of blood needed in hospitals as well as carrying out many successful blood donation campaigns all year round. The founder of Club 25, the organizer of this event, Dr Rana Al-Adulrazaaq explained that this local club is a part of the international Club 25 that aims at

increasing the numbers of regular blood donors. “The first Club 25 started in Zimbabwe in 1989. It encourages young adults to voluntarily donate safe blood at least 25 times in their lives,” she added. There are at least 63 clubs around the world. Kuwait’s Club 25 was the first to be

launched in the Middle East in 2010. Al-Abdulrazaaq noted that today the Avenues mall will be decorated in red as well, adding that the Club 25 will be there at the mall during the whole summer to organize blood donation campaigns and other activities. —KUNA



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kuwait digest

Enough is enough!

Illicit relationship leads to family rift Youth accused of physical assault

By Dr Hassan Abdullah Jouhar


is Highness the Amir’s recent speech echoed Kuwait’s worries, they actually ‘diagnosed’ our political malfunction and defined the responsibilities each of us should take up, in accordance to his or her position, the nature and duties involved. We all need to contemplate on HH the Amir’s phrase ‘Enough is Enough’ which is highly significant. It simply means that things should not go any further or worse. In fact, the state of political chaos we have been witnessing along with many conflicting groups, has been spreading and widening gaps. It will lead us into the unknown, without achieving any of the goals that would ultimately serve Kuwait and its people, particularly in view of the sensitive local and regional situation. The content of the Amir’s speech has been deeply felt and lived by the entire Kuwaiti community for long. Therefore, the speech was a declaration from the highest authority; the head of the state and the head of all constitutional powers. With all the minute implications, warnings and direct warnings, the speech came as a ‘safety valve’ and haven for us all. It is the stem of stability and hope by the Amir’s assurance that he was the guardian and protector of the constitution. We do admit that the political practices and conduct of some parliamentarians have gone way beyond public manners with such low profile speech which, due to stubbornness, taking political sides, ignoring human emotions and politically manipulating them amid sectarian, standard and tribal divisions, turned some political tools into a government-created burden for people. This has made them grow less effective and credible, be its intentions were not appreciated. Such gaps were utilized to form new fronts based on personal interests and governmental deals that caused a great deal of corruption and squandering of public funds and national resources that was distributed as ‘gains’ according to loyalty and support. Even the loyalty of the regime of the government began to shift for certain individuals or wings, which involved some of the ruling family members in more political conflicts and thus, the family might lose its role in trying to strike a balance and stability. Unfortunately, such a chaotic state coincides with what is known as the ‘Arab Spring’ of revolutions. The wind of change blowing all over the Arab world makes everybody believe, for certain, that the region is doomed to change within the next few years. Therefore, surviving this state safely will not be achieved by exchanging accusations and blame, especially between the Parliament and the government who ought to share the responsibility for this political ‘swamp’ we are going through. That cannot be tolerated anymore as HH the Amir has warned. Will anybody take this into consideration? — Al-Jarida

ALECSO kicks off 64th session in Tunis TUNIS: The 64th session of the Arab League Education, Culture and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) kicked off here yesterday. The two-day meeting will discuss various issues including Jerusalem, cultural, educational and scientific situation in Palestine, educational and cultural institutions in the Syrian Golan Heights and other related issues. ALECSO is mainly concerned with enhancing and coordinating educational, cultural and educational activities in the Arab world. It was founded in accordance with Article 3 of the Arab Cultural Unity Charter and its creation was officially announced in Cairo on July 25, 1970. —KUNA

KUWAIT: Following a complaint lodged about vandalized cars, police launched an investigation into the case and discovered that a 17-year-old boy pursued an illicit relationship with a divorced woman in her thirties. The boy’s mother caught him in a compromising position with the woman in a car that was parked outside her house. She turned hysterical and threatened to report the matter to police. The lovers fled the scene. However, the boy’s mother followed them until they reached the woman’s place of the residence in Abdullah Al-Mubarak. The boy’s mother stepped out of the vehicle and berated the woman, accusing her of seducing her son. She retaliated by producing a set of documents and claimed that the couple had been married for many months. She threatened the boy’s mother saying that if his mother continued to harass them, she would destroy the dossier and lodge a complaint with police stating that he raped her. She also physically assaulted the woman in front of her son who did not react to

the situation. The distraught mother approached the nearest police station and filed a physical assault case against her son and his lover. In her petition she also added that her daughter’s car was vandalized. After confirming a sexual relationship, police arrested the boy and the woman for further interrogation.

hours later, the Rumaithiya police summoned the man. Upon reaching the police station, he learnt that she had filed a case of physical abuse against him. The young man denied the charges, but struggled to prove his innocence because the woman had sustained a nasal injury. He was detained at the police station for further investigation.

Sexual harassment A female employee with the Ministry of Information brawled with a high ranking official. The official reportedly touched her hand while she handed over some documents. The young woman took offense and filed a complaint with the Salhiya police, accusing him of sexually harassing her. The case was referred to the Public Prosecution Department for more investigation.

Drunks arrested Two friends who were drinking alcohol in their apartment at Al-Fintas engaged in noisy quarrel that disturbed neighbors. They reported the matter to police. When police arrived, they found the two men in a drunken stupor. They were arrested and a case was filed against them.

Physical abuse A young man and his girlfriend reportedly had a nasty spat along the Arabian Gulf Road. In a fit of rage, the woman stepped out of the vehicle, hired a taxi and left the scene. A few

Illegal residents Three Asians were arrested in a raid that was held in Farwaniya. The previously deported men had illegally entered the country. Police are trying to trace the whereabouts of the accomplices who assisted them. Also, 57 illegal residents were caught.

Wataniya Telecom among top blood donors in Kuwait KUWAIT: Based on its Social Responsibility Strategy and emphasizing its support to the community and in its attempts to increase health awareness in Kuwait, Wataniya Telecom has been honored recently by the Central Blood Bank of Kuwait for its generous donation campaign. Wataniya Telecom was on the list of top ten highest contributors in the donation campaigns and helped in saving more than 90 lives in the past year. An honoring ceremony was held and organized by the Central Blood Bank under the auspices of the Minister of Health Dr Hilal Al-Sayer and was attended by Assistant Manager of Public Relations from Wataniya Telecom Hamad Al-Matar, Assistant Undersecretary for Clinical Support Services at the Ministry of Health Dr Qais Al-Dowairi and Director of the Department of Blood Transfusion Services Dr Reem Radwan. On this occasion, Director of Public Relations at Wataniya Telecom, Abdolaziz Al-Balool expressed his gratefulness and appreciation to the management of Blood Bank and said that “Wataniya Telecom management and all employees are sparing no effort in contributing to this humanitarian and noble deed which is a big part of our social responsibility towards the community. Al-Balool added saying “This is a

very significant achievement that contributes to saving the lives of many people who one day may need some blood to save their lives or the lives of their loved ones”. It is worth mentioning that the award ceremony was part of a campaign organized by the Central Blood Bank of Kuwait on the occasion of World Blood Donor Day under the slogan “Paint Kuwait Red” in line with the

World’s motto “Paint the World Red”. The campaign includes a series of events aimed at educating the public to donate blood and at the same time it attracts more donors during the summer season which usually witnesses less number of donors in Kuwait. For more information about Wataniya Telecom’s contributions in the field of social responsibility, please visit our website



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local SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

Lawmakers praise Amir’s speech KUWAIT: Lawmakers highly appreciated the speech delivered by His Highness the Amir which placed an emphasis on “Kuwait’s security and stability above all.” Speaker Jassem Al-Kharafi described the Amiri speech as a ‘valuable one.’ “It was necessary, considering the circumstances we are going through,” Al-Kharafi said. The Amir’s speech included many warnings that stressed on the importance of the state’s security and stability. On the un-parliamentary acts that took place in Abdullah AlSalem Hall, and found a mention in the speech, Al-Khorafi said that His Highness is not against initiating grilling motions. He added that Abdullah Al-Salem Hall is the suitable place to conduct democratic practices and not the street. He concluded, “We thank His Highness the Amir for his valuable advice. We will obey,” reported Al-Qabas. Sheikh Ahmad Al-Hmoud Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister said that the Ministry of Interior will implement His Highness the Amir’s instructions. Mohammad Al-Afasi, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labor said that demonstrations like this should be held within legal frame work. Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Ali Al-Rashed said that HH the Amir’s words have clearly identified the Kuwaiti people’s concerns. Faisal Al-Qanae “It was a parental and comprehensive speech that revealed the concerns of the people of Kuwait from the deviant acts taking place on the political arena, “ Al-Rashed said. “All should shoulder the responsibility of translating HH the Amir’s calls and advices into real actions to protect Kuwait’s security and stability through focusing on building and serving our country and refraining from doing any fruitless and harmful action.” Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education Ahmad Al-Mulaifi described the speech as a guideline to all Kuwaitis set by their father and leader. Al-Mulaifi said that Kuwaitis have to follow every word in the speech and to serve Kuwait and help it develop and advance in good atmosphere. “Different views are acceptable and guaranteed within the democratic system, but these differences should not turn into feud that stymies Kuwait’s advancement,” he added. Meanwhile, the Kuwait Journalists Association (KJA) demanded that citizens respond to His Highness the Amir’s request. Faisal Al-Qanae, Secretary General of KJA said that HH the Amir’s speech delivered on Wednesday, reflects his worries as a father figure of the nation. “He is worried about Kuwait’s future because some MPs displayed un-parliamentary behavior. Al-Qanae emphasized on the importance of responding to His Highness the Amir’s request by all plotical blocs concerned.

NBK sponsors graduation ceremony of KU College KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) sponsored the graduation ceremony of Kuwait University College of Allied Health Sciences yester-

Abdulmohsen Alrushaid

day at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Al Hashemi Ballroom. “This sponsorship comes in line with NBK’s social responsibility. Our aim is to promote the students’ initiatives, whether they be their science projects, seminars or any other related events that usually require financial support from the community to fulfill”, stated NBK Public Relations Manager Abdulmohsen Alrushaid. NBK has specially designed Al Shabab account for youth and college and university students between the ages of 17-23 years to cater to their various financial, social and lifestyle needs.

Kuwait, France hold talks on cooperation PARIS: The Kuwaiti-French joint-technical committee for nuclear energy convened here Thursday with discussions focusing on means to bolster cooperation within such domains. The meeting was headed by Secretary General of Kuwait’s National Council for Peaceful Application of Nuclear Energy Dr. Ahmad Bisharah and his French counter-

part Director General of the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) Bernard Bigot. The meeting focused on the cooperation papers signed back in April in regards to cooperation in the nuclear domain between the two nations. The commercial and technical aspects were also amongst the topics of discussions between the

French and Kuwaiti officials. The two parties discussed the lessons that could be derived from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi crisis in Japan and how to prevent such accidents from reoccurring in the future. The Kuwaiti delegation is scheduled to visit the Civaux nuclear reactor today in the Poitiers outskirt suburb, south of Paris. — KUNA


Lulu Hypermarket at Al Rai unveils new car parking facility KUWAIT: With the economy showing robust growth and all round positive trends in the market, the retail sector is witnessing vigorous activity. Lulu Hypermarket chain, the number one retail player in the region, recently unveiled a large, dedicated car parking facility at the Al Rai branch of the hypermarket, providing further convenience to their customers. The new parking facility, with easy access from the main roads, can easily accommodate in excess of 1,000 vehicles and makes shopping at Lulu Hypermarket not only an interesting event, but also a convenient one. The Hypermarket management was of the opinion that the ample car parking facility in close proximity to the hypermarket would ease the parking bottleneck that customers had experienced in

the past. Lulu Hypermarket at Al Rai offers a world of shopping convenience with popular brands of a wide variety of product lines under one roof. While the main focus of the Hypermarket is the extensive supermarket section with groceries, fresh vegetables, fruits, butchery and delicatessen serving hot and ready-to-eat foods, the venue also offers a variety of leading cosmetic brands, consumer appliances, sports goods, electronic products and international apparel brands for men, women and children. The opening up of the ample car-parking facility at the Al Rai outlet is another example of the Lulu Hypermarket’s commitment to constantly add value to the brand and making shopping at the hypermarket an exciting and convenient experience for their customers.

Kuwait newest member of UNESCO’s convention on cultural expressions PARIS: The State of Kuwait was inducted as member of UNESCO’s Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions here yesterday. The membership was granted to Kuwait during the Convention’s meeting held earlier yesterday and was attended by Kuwait’s permanent representative to UNESCO Dr Ali Al-Tarrah and a delegation from the country’s National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters. Al-Tarrah said that during the meeting, Kuwait voiced keenness on respecting cultural diversity and that the country’s constitution provides the legal blanket for such matter. The convention is a legally-binding international agreement that ensures artists, cultural professionals, practitioners and citizens worldwide can create, produce, disseminate and enjoy a broad range of cultural goods, services and activities, including their own. The convention was adopted in 2005 by the 33rd General Conference and entered into force in 2007. There are currently 117 ratifications and work on a complete set of operational guidelines to map out implementation is nearing completion. — KUNA

Kuwait promotes backing to women’s rights BEIRUT: A Kuwaiti delegation is to present the country’s experiment in supporting and empowering Kuwaiti women at a United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA) on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Kuwaiti delegation taking part in the meeting is expected to promote media campaigns for improving and developing women’s status, based on women’s political empowerment, the ESCWA information office said here yesterday. During an ESCWA meeting on June 21-22, experts are to review media strategies targeting women’s empowerment in the ESCWA region, it said. Another Jordanian delegation is also scheduled to demonstrate Jordan’s experiment in supporting working women’s rights and law on the protection of women against domestic violence. Governmental experts from the ESCWA member states and representatives from civil society and regional organizations will be taking part in the meeting. — KUNA

KUWAIT: The new car parking facility at the Lulu Hypermarket.

PM set to win confidence of National Assembly Oil minister optimistic KUWAIT: Mohammad Al-Busairi, Oil Minister and State Minister for the National Assembly Affairs, asserted over the weekend that His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah, “will get the parliament’s confidence at the session for voting on the non-cooperation request due on June 23.” Al-Busairi stressed, in a statement to the press, following an ordinary session of the National Assembly that, “HH the Prime Minister will prove that he is worthy of the confidence of His Highness the Amir first of all, then proves HH own ability to get the confidence of the National Assembly and Kuwaiti people.” He added, “we wait for the upcoming parliamentary session on Thursday on tenterhooks to assert such confidence and in reassuring figures,” noting that there are predetermined stances taken up by some members of parliament who do not consider the nature of responses made by the Prime Minister to the interpellation request, and so adopted preconceived stances regardless of what took place at the session. Al-Busairi made clear that the pleading of the Prime Minister at the session devoting to an interpellation request to him, “was a terrific one, and all parties testified to this as HH made an unparalleled pleading though the interpellation itself was unconstitutional.” Further, he said that “the unconstitutionality of this interpellation is not only a matter of suspicion, but it is unquestionable, though HH the Prime Minister took the floor in view of the sensitive topic and so he wanted to refute the accusation

made against his own person, and against the government as a whole.” On the tendency of some MPs to lodge a new interpellation request against the Prime Minister, AlBusairi said, “our tackling of all interpellation requests whether previous, current, or future ones come within the framework of the constitution, and we will not go beyond this framework, and Abdullah Al-Salem’s Hall is the crucial determiner between us and MPs.” He also said that, “whoever have a proof that we went beyond the constitutional framework on tackling interpellation requests, then let him put it forward, and we have also our irrefutable evidence, and Abdullah Al-Salem’s Hall is the crucial determiner.” Al-Busairi also deplored the existence of some kind of intentionality, personal attitude and pre-determined agenda when it comes to the lodging of the interpellation requests, and regretted the repeated use of interpellation requests saying, “such sublime monitoring tools were set by the legislator to further boost the process of monitoring, but it saw a kind of over-use in what made it lose its sublimity.” Regarding the government’s stance on the laws endorsed by the National Assembly, Al-Busairi said that, “the government has remarks about many laws,” adding that, “it seems that MPs showed enthusiasm for endorsing these laws in spite of the government’s reservations that deplorably were not taken into account.” Al-Busairi said in this respect that the government has several options on handling such laws

within the framework of the constitution, regulations, and laws, “and we will consider how we should deal with these laws.” Meanwhile, the National Assembly rejected the request made by the public prosecution for revoking the parliamentary immunity from MP Musallam Al-Barrak regarding the journalists misdemeanor case. The parliament endorsed at the same session to postpone vote on the bill of amending law 24 in 1979 on the cooperative societies till the coming parliamentary term along with sending it back to the competent parliamentary committee to further scrutinize it. MPs have also discussed the second reading of a bill on allocating exceptional pensions, and incentives to military and fire-fighters who had their service term ended. However, the government represented by Minister of Finance Mustafa Al-Shimali objected to some of the introduced amendments on the above-mentioned bill, particularly those related to the financial aspects, noting that it was not consulted on them, and consequently the National Assembly Speaker withdrew the report made by the competent parliamentary committee on the bill, and send it back to it for further study. The parliament also endorsed a bill on public assistance, a bill on incentives to students at the Kuwait University, the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET) as well as another bill giving allowances, and incentives for the Kuwaiti teaching staff at the Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs. — KUNA


Heavy exchanges near key western Libyan town


North, south Sudan troops in fresh border clashes


6 Pakistan forces jailed over videotaped killing


Deadly protests in Syria call for tougher sanctions

HAMA: An image grab taken from a video uploaded by Ugarit News, a Syrian opposition web channel, shows Syrian anti-government protesters holding the current (top) and former Syrian flags during a demonstration in the central city of Hama yesterday. —AFP DAMASCUS: Syrian security forces killed at least eight people when they opened fire on protesters yesterday, rights activists said, as France urged tougher EU sanctions against President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime. The protests after the main weekly Muslim prayers came as the army pressed its campaign against northern towns and the number of refugees fleeing across the border into Turkey neared 10,000. Four people were killed in the northern flashpoint city of Homs, at least one in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor, two in Dael in the southern province of Daraa and one in the Damascus suburb of Douma, the activists told AFP in Nicosia by telephone. They said at least five people wounded in Homs were in critical condition after protesters staged what have now become weekly demonstra-

tions to demand more freedoms and democracy. “There was intense firing to disperse the demonstrations in Banias and there were casualties,” Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Londonbased Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, told AFP by telephone of the western coastal town. “A large number of people were wounded or killed” when security forces fired at a crowd of around 5,000 in Homs, he said. Abdel Rahman also reported demonstrations in Daraa province in the south and Jableh in the west, with protesters chanting anti-regime slogans and showing “solidarity with towns besieged” by the army. Clubwielding Syrian forces also dispersed hundreds of protesters in the southern city of Suweida, he said. Demonstrations also hit Latakia, Maaret al-Nooman and the country-

side outside Damascus. Rights activist Abdullah al-Khalil said that 2,500 people demonstrated in the northern town of Raqqa but that security forces did not intervene. State news agency SANA reported three policemen wounded by gunfire in the Qabun neighborhood of Damascus. “A number of policemen were also shot and wounded by gunmen in Homs,” it said, adding that “troublemakers” were burning tyres and cutting off roads. SANA reported rallies in several cities and towns including Hama and Deir Ezzor, with demonstrators chanting “various slogans,” without elaborating. In the nothern town of Amuda more than 3,000 people took to the streets, calling for “freedom and democracy,” rights activist Hassan Birro said. And more than 4,000 demonstrat-

ed in the northwestern city of Qamishli. The military pressed ahead with its crackdown, sending tanks and troops into the northwestern town of Khan Sheikhun and surrounding villages, activists and witnesses said. The deployment follows military operations in the northern province of Idlib, where forces have targeted Ariha, Maaret al-Nooman, Jisr al-Shughur and its surroundings. Witnesses told AFP at the Turkish-Syrian border that Shughur al-Kadima was one village attacked on Thursday. “The army came... with tanks and positioned snipers in the area. They started shooting at anyone,” said Abu Nuuar, a driver from Shughur alKadima. The Syrian army also attacked Janudiyeh, a few kilometres (miles) from the Turkish border, a Syrian activist helping the displaced people on the other side of the border told

AFP by phone. Nearly 10,000 Syrians have crossed the border into Turkey fleeing a crackdown by the Damascus regime, an official source said yesterday. About 1,200 arrived overnight, bringing the total number of refugees to 9,700, the source said. The refugees are being settled in camps run by the Red Crescent in Turkey’s southern Hatay province. Some refugees began a hunger strike yesterday to protest against restrictions imposed by Turkish authorities, hours before a planned visit by screen idol Angelina Jolie, a UN goodwill ambassador, a Syrian rights group source said. In what was seen as an attempt to defuse anti-government anger, telecoms tycoon Rami Makhluf, Assad’s cousin who is on a list of 13 Syrians facing US and EU sanctions, said he will allocate profits from his businesses to charity.—AFP


Spain freezes millions linked to Mubarak aide MADRID: Spanish police froze millions of euros in bank accounts, as well as property and luxury vehicles linked to Egyptian businessman Hussein Salem, who appeared in court yesterday in Madrid to face corruption charges. Salem, one of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s closest aides, was arrested on Thursday night on an international arrest warrant on suspicion of squandering public funds by selling gas to Israel below market prices. Salem’s son and a

frontman were also arrested, police said. Spanish officials froze assets of more than 32.5 million euros ($46.03 million) in cash, properties in Madrid and Marbella worth 10 million euros and five high-end vehicles, a police statement said. The police report referred to Salem as HSF and said he was accused of money laundering, fraud, bribery and corruption in international trade transactions. Local media reported he had Spanish citizen-

ship. A report from Egyptian state news agency MENA said on Thursday Salem fled the country on Feb 3, eight days before Mubarak was forced to step down, without citing sources. Salem was a major shareholder in East Mediterranean Gas (EMG). Egyptian opposition groups had long complained that EMG had been selling gas at preferential prices to Israel and other countries, which cost Egypt billions of dollars. — Reuters

Heavy exchanges near key western Libyan town NATO makes rare daylight Tripoli bombing raid

TAIZ: Anti-government protestors raise their daggers during a demonstration demanding the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Taiz, Yemen yesterday. A ruling party official says Yemen’s president plans to return home in days after surviving an attack on his palace. —AP

Saudi official says Saleh will not return to Yemen SANAA: Embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, being treated for shrapnel wounds in Riyadh, will not return home, a top Saudi official said yesterday, contrary to Sanaa’s claims that he will return soon. A Yemeni official promptly denied the claim, as hundreds of thousands of anti-Saleh demonstrators pressed for an interim ruling council that would replace the veteran leader and make sure he does not return to power. “The Yemeni president will not return to Yemen,” the Saudi official told AFP, requesting anonymity. “It has not been decided where he will stay,” the official added, apparently suggesting that Saleh might eventually leave Saudi Arabia for another country. The official did not specify whether the decision not to return home was taken by Saleh himself. Yemen’s deputy information minister Abdo al-Janadi dismissed the claim. “President Saleh will return in the coming few days,” he told AFP. The veteran leader was flown to Riyadh on June 4 on board a Saudi medical aircraft, a day after he was wounded in a bomb explosion at a mosque inside his Sanaa presidential compound. He has not been seen in public since the attack. Reports on the condition of Saleh’s health have been sketchy, but Bahrain’s King Hamad was reported to have called him on Thursday, two days after Saudi King Abdullah had a phone conversation with him. In Saleh’s absence, his deputy Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi has been coming under intensive local and international pressure to heed the demands of protesters to set up an interim ruling council, which would prevent Saleh returning to power. But Hadi’s grip on the reins of power is strongly questioned

as relatives of Saleh continue to run main security systems, mainly his son Ahmed, who leads the elite Republican Guard. On Wednesday, Hadi met representatives of youth protests which have raged since late January demanding the ouster of Saleh. They pressed him to give a clear stance on their demands, and gave him two weeks to respond. The meeting followed talks between Hadi and the parliamentary opposition in which they agreed on calming the situation as a first step towards reviving the political process. Washington on Thursday welcomed Hadi’s talks with opponents of Saleh, who was a key USally in the war on Al-Qaeda. “We have been encouraged that Vice President Hadi has started some outreach to the opposition and started some dialogue,” said US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. “Because, as you know, we believe that there is no time to lose in moving on to the democratic future that Yemen deserves,” she added. Protesters had on Monday given Hadi 24 hours to declare his position on their call for him to join the proposed council which they said would lead the country for a maximum of nine months. The activists said the council would “appoint a nationalist and compatible figure to form a government of technocrats.” They also called for the dissolution of parliament and Yemen’s consultative council, for the formation of a committee to draw up a new constitution, and for dates to hold a referendum on the constitution and for elections. Anti-Saleh demonstrators raged across Yemen urging the forming of the interim council, while a call for Saleh loyalists was poorly attended.—AFP

DAFNIYAH: Libyan rebels and proGaddafi forces exchanged heavy artillery fire near the western city of Zlitan yesterday as the rebels tried to push deeper into government-held territory east of the capital. A Reuters team in Dafniya, on the outskirts of the rebels’ western bastion of Misrata, described rebels firing artillery and rocket launchers with a range of about 20 km (miles). Rebels said they were aiming for tanks and munitions in Naimah near Zlitan. “We had a strategy to finish everything today but some of the fighters think it’s a game,” a rebel unit commander called Mohammed Ali told reuters. “They shot when they weren’t supposed to shoot and they have ruined it,” he said after rebels took cover at the main Dafniya front from a heavy mortar barrage. Warplanes could be heard in the skies above, although it was unclear whether there had been air strikes. Zlitan, just 160 km (100 miles) from Tripoli, is the next major town on the Mediterranean coast road to the capital. Capturing it would be a major victory. In Misrata, rebel spokesman Ahmed Hassan said 10 civilians had been killed and another 40 wounded when Gaddafi forces shelled the city. The report could not be immediately verified. The exchanges were the heaviest in the area since since last week, when 31 rebels were killed. At a field hospital in Dafniyah, ambulances arrived with at least five seriously wounded rebel fighters. The rebels have said they will not attack Zlitan because of tribal sensitivities, but are recruiting fighters from the town and waiting for the residents to rise against Muammar Gaddafi. NATO planes resumed bombardments of Tripoli yesterday with six loud explosions ringing out in the south of the city. The rare daytime strikes, which hit the capital before noon, sent columns of thick black smoke into the sky. A few hundred people filled the capital’s Green Square waving green revolutionary flags and chanting proGaddafi slogans following yesterday prayers. The rebellion erupted four months ago to the day in the eastern city of Benghazi. NATO intervention has been going on for nearly 13 weeks, longer than many of its backers

expected, and strains are beginning to show within the alliance. But French Military spokesman Thierry Burkhard suggested the rebels were homing in on Gaddafi’s stronghold of Tripoli. “The opposition forces seem to have taken the ascendancy on Gaddafi’s troops, which shows just how much attrition they are enduring,” he told reporters on Thursday. The rebel advance, he said, was “essentially in the West and in a belt they are now developing around the Tripoli region”. Rebel advances towards Tripoli have been slow, while weeks of NATO strikes pounding Gaddafi’s compound and other targets have failed to end his 41-year-old rule. Rebel forces are fighting Gaddafi’s troops on two other fronts: in the east of the country around the oil town of Brega and in the Western Mountains southwest of Tripoli. Juma Ibrahim, a rebel spokesman in the Western Mountains town of Zintan, said Gaddafi loyalists were massing in Gharyan, about 120 km (90 miles) southwest of Tripoli. “Battles continued today at the Tekot area (near Nalut) between proGaddafi forces that used Grad missiles and tanks to shell the positions of rebels,” he said, adding NATO strikes in the last 48 hours had been “very helpful”. Ibrahim said Gaddafi forces were also besieging the world heritage-listed old city of Gadamis, some 600 km southwest of the capital on the Tunisia and Algerian border. “(They) ... have destroyed some

Islamic historic ruins in the city ... They were palaces and forts located in the city’s old quarter,” he said. Accounts from Gadamis could not be independently verified because access for reporters is limited. Rebels have made slow but important gains in the past few weeks in the mountains and near Misrata, bringing the front closer to Tripoli from the east and southwest. Rebels said late Thursday an attack on their positions near Ajdabiyah in the east wounded at least 16 fighters in what may have been a “friendly-fire” NATO air strike. NATO said it was investigating the incident. One of Gaddaf’s sons Saif al-Islam told an Italian newspaper on Thursday elections could be held within three months and his father would step aside if he lost, but that proposal was swiftly rejected by the rebel leadership and the United States. Libyan Prime Minister AlBaghdadi Ali Al-Mahmoudi appeared in any case to throw the apparent concession into question, saying Gaddafi was not concerned by “any referendum”. A visiting Russian envoy to Tripoli said the Libyan leadership had reiterated that Gaddafi’s departure was a “red line” that could not be crossed. Mikhail Margelov, President Dmitry Medvedev’s special representative for Africa, said in Tunis yesterday Mahmoudi had also told him representatives of Gaddafi’s government were in touch with rebels in Norway, Germany and France. —Reuters

MISRATA: Libyan protesters chant slogans against Muammar Gaddafi during a demonstration after Friday prayers in Misrata, Libya yesterday.—AP


Russia signs contract for 2 French warships SAINT PETERSBURG: Russia yesterday signed a long-awaited contract with France worth over a billion euros to buy two French Mistral-class warships that has alarmed exSoviet neighbours and the United States. Russia’s Rosoboronexport military corporation and DCNS, the warships’ French maker, signed the contract on the sidelines of the Saint Petersburg Economic Forum, the biggest annual economic gathering in Russia, an AFP correspondent said. France’s Foreign Trade Minister Pierre Lellouche, speaking to reporters, estimated the contract at 1.12 billion euros ($1.6 billion). Rosoboronexport director Anatoly Isaikin added that France had agreed to transfer sensitive technologies, a key demand of Russia in the deal and one of its most controversial aspects. “They agreed to transfer all the technologies which have been promised from the very beginning,” he told reporters without elaborating. Russia has been keen to receive an advance naval operating system called SENIT-9 from France as part of the package. Isaikin said the first two ships would be built in France. “The third and the fourth (ships) will be built in Russia but when I can’t say so far. It’s a lengthy process,” he added. The purchase-the first by Russia of major military hardware from a NATO member-has sparked concern in some of France’s Atlantic Alliance partners as well as former Soviet states. A Mistral-class ship can carry up to 16 helicopters, four landing craft, 13 battle tanks, around 100 other vehicles and a 450-strong force. It has facilities for a full command staff and is equipped with a 69-bed hospital. Earlier in the day Russia’s state shipbuilding holding United Shipbuilding Corporation and South Korean company STX Offshore and Shipbuilding signed a preliminary agreement to build a new shipyard in Saint Petersburg. Under the deal estimated at some $720 million, the two companies will establish a joint venture in which the South Korean company will have a blocking stake, said United Shipbuilding Corporation spokesman Alexei Kravchenko. If Russia agrees the purchase of another two ships from France, they would likely be built at the new shipyard, Kravchenko said, adding that the existing Admiralty Shipyards in Saint Petersburg will be involved in the construction of the first two Mistrals.— AFP

Polish FM returns from Africa with 16 refugees WARSAW: Poland’s foreign minister returned from a trip to Tunisia yesterday with 16 Christian refugees who had found their lives upturned by turmoil in North Africa. Poland described the move as a gesture of symbolic support for Christian minorities in Africa and as an act of solidarity with Tunisia, which has been overwhelmed by refugees fleeing the violence in neighboring Libya. Addressing Tunisians a day earlier, Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski said he was returning to Poland with the refugees “as a symbolic expression of our solidarity with what you are facing.” But it’s also a call to the rest of Europe to “take in more refugees and have more open borders” - a policy Warsaw is pushing as it prepares to take over the rotating presidency of the European Union on July 1, according to Marcin Zaborowski, director of the Polish Institute of International Affairs. The Foreign Ministry described the six adults and 10 children who landed in Warsaw in the early hours of yesterday as political refugees from Eritrea and Nigeria who had been in refugee camps in Libya until they fled the civil war there to Tunisia. After their arrival in Warsaw, they were immediately taken to a refugee center outside the capital. Ewa Piechota, a spokeswoman for the government Office for Foreigners, said each family was given a furnished room in a freshly renovated building with a free canteen and a kitchen. One of their first questions was whether they could have rice. The group of 16 includes 12 Eritreans - parents with five children under the ages of 10 and a single mother with four children. There are also four Nigerians - a couple with a small child and a single woman, Piechota told The Associated Press. TVN24 broadcast images of Foreign Minister Sikorski speaking to the refugees and shaking their hands, apparently before the flight. He bent down and shook the hand of a young boy who addressed him with a “hello” in English. “Hello - very nice in English,” Sikorski told him. “In Polish you say ‘czesc.’ Czesc (pronounced: tsheshtsh) - you have to learn it.” Sikorski also told the refugees that he was moved by their plight, recalling how he himself was forced into exile in Britain during a harsh communist-era crackdown in the 1980s. —AP

Medvedev promotes self as ‘candidate for change’ Coded message to Putin to stay out of Kremlin MOSCOW: President Dmitry Medvedev delivered a clear message in a speech at a showcase economic forum yesterday: My vision for Russia is the right one, regardless of who is in the Kremlin next year. Medvedev used the address to top officials and foreign investors to warn that Russia can only thrive if it works hard to modernise its resource-reliant economy and avoids the one-man rule that stretches back to tsarist times. He spoke at an investment forum in St Petersburg, but a key member of his audience was back in Moscow-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the man who steered him into the presidency in 2008 and is expected to decide whether to take the top job back in an election next March. In carefully coded language, Medvedev suggested that would be the wrong choice, and that he is the man for the job. Medvedev warned that stabilityPutin’s watchword since he came to power in 2000 - could hide the seeds of stagnation, and said a system that hangs on the authority of a single man is unsustainable. He took aim at Putin’s soft spots, cautioning against an overbearing state role in the economy and saying Russia cannot stake too much on high energy prices-a central factor in Russia’s resurgence during Putin’s 200008 presidency. “I see this as a campaign message: Medvedev has decided to declare clearly that he is planning to stay for a second term, that the decisions he has taken are essential for the country,” said Gintaras Shlizhyus, an economist at Raiffeisen bank. TURNING UP THE VOLUME The address echoed remarks Medvedev has made with increasing volume as the election draws closer. Despite being the incumbent, he has cast himself as the candidate of change, playing to concerns among Russians and foreign governments alike that Putin’s return would be a signal that

Russia will not reform. “Medvedev is assertively promoting his agenda,” said Boris Makarenko, director of the Centre for Political Technologies, a Moscow think-tank. Makarenko dismissed speculation that Medvedev’s statement that Russia must press on with his modernisation programme regardless of who is in power sounded like surrender in the shadow-boxing match with Putin. Medvedev, he said, spoke of the 20year sweep of Russian history since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 but also looked to the future in his address. “That’s enough of a clue that a politician has a future and has ambitions,” he said. Still, one more speech will do little to fix Medvedev’s big problem: the widespread impression that his three years in

office have produced plenty of talk but far less action. “All the words that are spoken are the right ones, but in practice everything is different,” analyst Yevgeny Volk said. Although he has repeatedly promised to decide soon whether he will seek a new term, Putin is still widely seen as the one who will make that choice. “Everyone understands that Putin has the last word,” said Shlizhyus. Volk said that despite their differences, Medvedev would not go far as to run for president against Putin, who may wait to decide after he sees how well his United Russia party does in December parliamentary elections. “The intrigue continues,” said Yulia Tseplyayeva, an economist at BNP Paribas in Moscow.— Reuters

ST PETERSBURG: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (R) awards Russian academician Philipp Rutberg, winner of the International Global Energy Award, at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum yesterday. —AFP

UN rights council passes ‘historic’ gay rights resolution GENEVA: The UN Human Rights Council passed a historic resolution yesterday that seeks equal rights for everyone regardless of their sexual orientation, marking progress for gay rights despite strong Arab and African opposition. The resolution was passed narrowly with 23 votes in favor, 19 against and three abstentions, after an emotional debate that saw African states accusing South Africa of breaking ranks with the region and siding with the West after it introduced the issue. Presenting the text, South Africa’s ambassador Jerry Matthews Matjila said that “no one should be subject to discrimination or violence due to sexual orientation or gender identity”. It also stressed that the resolution “does not seek to impose values on states, but seeks to initiate dialogue” on the issue. However, Arab and African states were strongly opposed, with countries of the

Organization of the Islamic Conference demanding a vote. “OIC states are deeply concerned by the ... resolution that intends to discuss very controversial notions that are on sexual orientation,” said Pakistan on behalf of the OIC. The OIC is “seriously concerned at the attempt to introduce to the UN some notion that has no legal foundations in any international human rights instruments”. “We are even more disturbed on the attempt to focus on certain persons on the grounds of their sexual interest and behaviour,” the bloc added. Nigeria, speaking on behalf of the African group, meanwhile attacked South Africa for its stance. Nigeria’s envoy Ositadinma Anaedu said that by taking the issue forward without obtaining consensus with the rest of African states, South Africa was “breaking the tradition of African group”. “It grieves my mind because South

Africa is the giant pillar of Africa,” said the Nigerian ambassador, who also claimed that more than 90 percent of South Africans did not support the resolution. “It is interesting that Western countries are your partners today,” he told South Africa. But yesterday’s move was hailed as historic by other states including Argentina and the United States as well as by rights activists. “Today we make history in the fight for basic fairness and equality,” declared US envoy Eileen Donahoe. “Today we’ve taken an important step forward in our recognition that human rights are indeed universal. We recognise that violence against a person because of who they are is wrong. “The right to choose who we love and to share life with those we love is sacred. Further, we send the unequivocal message that each human being deserves equal protection from violence and discrimination,” she added.—AFP


North, south Sudan troops in fresh border clashes KHARTOUM: The armies of north and south Sudan clashed on the country’s tense border yesterday, near the flashpoint Abyei region, the southern army spokesman said, less than a month before southern independence. The United Nations confirmed that there had been an exchange of heavy artillery fire coming from the direction of the Kiir, or Bahr al-Arab river, which runs through the Abyei region, and where similar clashes reportedly took place on Wednesday. “This morning we received a report that the SAF (Sudanese Armed Forcesnorthern army) were trying to move

southwards into Warrap state,” in south Sudan, Philip Aguer, the spokesman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army of the south, told AFP. “There was fighting between Abyei and Agok (45 kilometres south)... But our forces repelled them and drove them back towards Abyei,” he said, adding that the northern army had deployed all along the north-south border. The northern army spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment. Northern troops overran the bitterly contested Abyei region on May 21, in response to an attack on a convoy of SAF troops and UN peacekeepers, in

Italy signs migration accord with Libya rebels NAPLES: Italy signed an accord with the head of Libya’s interim rebel government yesterday to jointly tackle a migration crisis triggered by the violence. Thousands of people have fled Libya since an uprising against Muammar Gaddafi’s 41-year rule began in February. Many have attempted to cross the Mediterranean and reach Italy on unsafe boats and hundreds have died in the attempt. Italy’s Franco Frattini and Mahmoud Jebril, leader of National Transitional Council (NTC), agreed to exchange information on illegal migration and the organized criminal networks that encourage it, as well as cooperate on repatriating migrants. “This accord shows how close the collaboration is between Italy and the NTC ... and how serious the NTC considers cooperation with countries that have recognized it,” Frattini said at a news conference in Naples. Italy threw its full support behind Libyan rebels in April, recognizing them as the only legitimate representatives of the country and promising to supply them with weapons. Rome, the former Libyan colonial power, has urged other countries in the anti-Gaddafi coalition to recognize the NTC. Before NATO operations began in Libya, its government had an agreement with Rome to take back migrants removed from Italian territory. Gaddafi had demanded more EU funding to help stem the flow of migrants. He warned governments in March that millions of immigrants would try to reach Italy and France without Libya as a partner. — Reuters

UK court rules school’s ‘gang braids’ ban racist LONDON: A school’s decision to ban some hairstyles it says have become associated with gang culture has resulted in “unlawful, indirect racial discrimination which is not justified,” a British court ruled yesterday. The test case decision in London’s High Court is a victory for the family of African-Caribbean teenager “G”, who wears his hair in “cornrow” braids, close to the scalp, as part of a family tradition. G, who cannot be named, and his mother challenged a refusal by St Gregory’s Catholic Science College in Harrow, north London, to let G through the school gates with his braids in September 2009, when he was 11. G, now 13, who left in tears on his first day, does not wish to return to the school despite winning the case. Mr Justice Collins ruled the hair policy was not unlawful in itself, “but if it is applied without any possibility of exception, such as G, then it is unlawful”. Collins said in future the school must consider allowing other boys to wear cornrows if it is “a genuine family tradition based on cultural and social reasons,” the Press Association reported. The school had expressed concern that it was serving an area where there was gun and knife crime, much of it gang-related. Hairstyles could be “badges” of gang identity, it said during the case while emphasizing it did not regard cornrows as necessarily gang-linked. Official figures show serious youth violence is rising in London, with teenage gangs, often involved in so-called post code disputes over territory, widely seen as part of the problem.— Reuters

which at least 22 northern troops were killed and which was blamed on the south. The move prompted around 113,000 people, mostly pro-southern Dinka Ngok farmers, to flee to the south, according to the latest UN estimates. Aguer said yesterday that five SAF soldiers had been killed and seven SPLA troops wounded in the fighting that broke out two days ago, near the river, but the SAF spokesman denied the northern army’s involvement in any clashes with southern troops. “The SPLA has to find out who is fighting them south of the Bahr al-Arab,” Sawarmi Khaled Saad told reporters.

Abyei is the most sensitive and intractable of a raft of issues that the two future states are struggling to resolve ahead of the south’s formal declaration of independence from the north on July 9. But very little progress appears to have been made on these issues, despite Sudan’s two presidents agreeing “in principle” earlier this week to withdraw Sudanese troops from Abyei and deploy Ethiopian peacekeepers. The renewed violence in Abyei, and in nearby South Kordofan, threatens to poison north-south relations ahead of south Sudan’s full international recognition next month.— AFP

Nigeria Islamist sect claims bomb attack Sect says some members trained in Somalia ABUJA: An Islamist sect claimed responsibility yesterday for an explosion at Nigeria’s police headquarters that officials fear may have been the first suicide bombing in Africa’s most populous country. Police said they believed a suicide bomber detonated the explosives that tore through a car park outside their headquarters in the capital Abuja on Thursday, killing several people. They blamed the Islamist sect Boko Haram. The Daily Trust, a newspaper with a large readership in the mostly Muslim north yesterday published what it said was a statement signed by Abu Zaid, a spokesman for the group. “We would speak on the details of the Mujahid (bomber) at the appropriate time but the fact is that he is a martyr who sacrificed his life for the sake of Allah,” the statement said. It did not make clear if the bomber had killed himself intentionally. Security analysts say only forensic tests may show whether he meant to blow himself up or the explosives detonated accidentally while he was still in the vehicle. Boko Haram has an ill-defined structure and chain of command and it was not possible to verify the statement independently. The explosion occurred less than three weeks after President Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in for his first full term in office and it followed three coordinated bombings, one inside a military barracks, in the hours following his inauguration. The violence has catapulted national security in the country, roughly equally split between Christians and Muslims, to the top of his agenda before he has formed a new government. “Let me use this opportunity to assure Nigerians that it happens all over the world, no country is free,” Jonathan told reporters after visiting the site of the explosion. “Nigeria is also having some ugly incidents lately but surely we will get over it and people should not panic at all, soon most of these things will be a thing of the past,” he said. At least two people were confirmed killed in the blast: the driver of the vehicle which exploded and a police officer who got into the car at a security checkpoint. Five more body bags were taken from the scene containing body

parts and the Red Cross said it was too soon to give a toll. Attacks by Boko Haram, which wants a wider application of strict sharia Islamic law, had largely been confined to the area around the northeastern city of Maiduguri until recently. Its views are not widely held by the country’s Muslim

Police Inspector-General Hafiz Ringim, who had entered the building moments before the blast, suggesting it may have been an assassination attempt, officials said. Ringim provoked an angry response from Boko Haram members last week when he said their days were “numbered”. A letter, claiming to be

ABUJA: Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (R), flanked by Inspector General of Nigerian Police Hafiz Ringim (TopR), addresses journalists yesterday as he visits the parking lot of Abuja’s police headquaters, the scene of the country’s first suicide bombing that killed two on June 16. —AFP population, the largest in sub-Saharan Africa. Its former leader, self-proclaimed Islamic scholar Mohammed Yusuf, was shot dead in police custody during a 2009 uprising in which hundreds were killed. His mosque was destroyed with tanks in what the security forces claimed as a decisive victory. But low-level guerrilla attacks on police stations and targeted killings of traditional leaders and moderate Islamic clerics, among others, intensified in the second half of 2010. The group claimed responsibility for Christmas Eve bombings in the central city of Jos and for the bomb attacks which killed at least 16 people when Jonathan was inaugurated on May 29. The vehicle that exploded on Thursday appeared to have tailed the convoy of

from Boko Haram, was delivered to a newspaper in Maiduguri the next day warning of more attacks. “Very soon we shall embark on jihad on the enemies of God and his prophet,” said the letter, written in Hausa, the main language in northern Nigeria. It said some Boko Haram fighters had returned from training in Somalia, where AlQaeda-linked Al-Shabaab rebels control swathes of the country and are fighting the Western-backed government. Intelligence sources say there is evidence that some members of Boko Haram trained over the border in Niger where al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is known to have a presence, but no evidence of links to Somali militants has ever been made public.— Reuters

international SATURDAY, JUNE 18 , 2011

Obama’s next crisis: A teenage daughter WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama said yesterday he’s prepared for a potential crisis in the White House next month-his oldest daughter becoming a teenager. “I could not ask for better kids. I’m not anticipating complete mayhem for the next four or five years, but I understand teenagehood is complicated,” Obama told ABC News when asked about his daughter Malia’s 13th birthday. “I should also point out that I have men with guns that surround them often, and a great incentive for running for re-election is that it means they never get in the car with a boy who had a beer,” he added. In addition to bringing the Secret Service along on dates, any potential suitor might also face the prospect of tough bilateral negotiations with the leader of the free world.

“I might invite him over to the Oval Office, ask him for his GPA (grade point average), find out what his intentions are in terms of career,” Obama said. “Malia, Sasha, if you’re watching this, I’m just joking.” Later in the interview, however, Obama revealed that there are still some matters in which he’s not the chief executive. When asked if he and First Lady Michelle Obama had ever considered having more children or trying for a son, he replied: “You act as if this is a decision of mine. It really isn’t.” “As Michelle points out, I did not carry 10 pounds in my belly, you know. I think that Michelle’s general view is we’re done.” Malia will turn 13 on July 4. Her younger sister Sasha celebrated her 10th birthday earlier this month at the Camp David presidential retreat.— AFP

US politician Weiner resigns in sex scandal Online dalliances to hinder next year’s elections NEW YORK: Democratic Party leaders are welcoming the resignation of one of their congressmen, whose sexually charged online dalliances threatened to weigh the party down in next year’s elections. New York Rep Anthony Weiner soberly announced his resignation from Congress on Thursday, bowing to the furor that has built since a conservative website posted a photo of a underwear-clad crotch three weeks ago that it said it had been sent from Weiner’s Twitter account to a woman. Weiner initially denied it was his photo. Since then, several women, including a porn actress, have said they had online exchanges with the 46-year-old married congressman, and Weiner later admitted sending inappropriate messages and photos. In his brief farewell appearance, Weiner said he initially hoped the controversy would fade but then realized “the distraction that I have created has made that impossible.” That conclusion echoed party officials who had become worried that the intense public focus on Weiner , and the Republican political rhetoric sure to follow , would complicate their campaign efforts in 2012. “Congressman Weiner exercised poor judgment in his actions and poor judgment in his reaction to the revelations,” House Democratic leader Nancy

Pelosi said in a statement released moments after he spoke. “Today, he made the right judgment in resigning.” After initially calling for a House ethics investigation, Pelosi ramped up the pressure on Saturday when she joined with Rep. Steve Israel and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, leader of the Democratic National Committee, in calling on Weiner to step down. President Barack Obama added to the pressure two days later, saying if he were in Weiner’s situation, he would resign. Once Weiner did so, Obama told ABC television that “I wish Rep. Weiner and his lovely wife well.” Known as brash, liberal and ambitious, Weiner had run for mayor of New York in 2005 and had been expected to do so again. He was in his seventh term in Congress. His wife, Huma Adebin, is a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Abedin, who is pregnant with the couple’s first child, was not at Thursday’s press conference. Officials said Weiner informed Pelosi and Israel, the head of the party campaign committee, of his plans to quit as they attended a White House picnic on Wednesday evening. Israel told NBC television Friday that Weiner was very remorseful when he informed him of his decision to resign. Israel he advised Weiner to resign and “left the rest up to him.”— AP

NEW YORK: US Rep Anthony Weiner announces his resignation from Congress, in the Brooklyn borough of New York on Thursday. Weiner resigned from Congress, saying he cannot continue in office amid the intense controversy surrounding sexually explicit messages he sent online to several women. —AP

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama, right, talks with Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj, left, during their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington, Thursday. —AP

House Republicans contest Obama’s use of autopen WASHINGTON: Twenty-one Republican House members wrote President Barack Obama yesterday, asking him to promise to never again use a long-distance “autopen” to sign a bill. Last month, Congress authorized an extension of the post-9/11 Patriot Act just 15 minutes before the expiration of key provisions allowing for controversial search and surveillance powers. Obama, however, was in France at the time, and authorized one of his staff to use the so-called autopen to sign the bill into law. The House members asked Obama to sign the Patriot Act extension again, “out of an abundance of caution,” noting that the US constitution says the president must sign a bill before it becomes law. “Mr

President, it is clear that assigning a surrogate the responsibility of signing bills passed by Congress is a debatable issue, and could be challenged in court,” the Republican House members wrote. The White House based its decision to use the autopen on a 2005 opinion by the Department of Justice, which upheld the constitutionality of its use and was written for the Republican George W. Bush administration. But, notes the letter, “we are compelled to point out that the memorandum provides a long list of dissenting opinions.” Republicans, particularly supporters of the conservative Tea Party movement, favor a strict interpretation of the US Constitution, particularly with regard to limiting powers delegated to the federal government. — AFP

Man with ‘suspicious’ pack arrested near Pentagon WASHINGTON: Police blocked off roads around the Pentagon yesterday and searched the surrounding area after arresting a man with a suspicious backpack in nearby Arlington National Cemetery. FBI spokeswoman Brenda Heck, a counterterrorism agent, said the man in his 20s was carrying a backpack with “suspicious items and products” but no explosive devices or materials. The backpack “contained a non-explosive unknown material which requires further investigation.... This was not a device and the products in the backpack are inert,” she said, without providing further details. She added that a bomb squad had searched a nearby vehicle, a red Nissan, but found no explosives, and that the arrested man had “acted alone.” Several media had reported early yesterday that a suspicious device had been found in a vehicle near the US military’s headquarters, a massive complex south of the capital. Police had closed off several roads around

the Pentagon, snarling the morning commute from the northern Virginia suburbs into the capital. The roads were reopened later yesterday morning. The US Park Police, which patrols national parks and monuments in the area, said it arrested the man overnight in the Arlington National Cemetery. Park Police spokesman David Schlosser told reporters the heightened security measures were taken after the suspect was “not very cooperative with the answers to what his activities were.” US authorities have been on alert for revenge attacks following the killing of Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in a US raid in Pakistan last month. The global terror network is believed to have been behind the attempted bombing of a US airliner in December 2009, a failed car bomb in New York’s Times Square in May 2010 and a foiled parcel bomb plot last October. Authorities declined to comment on whether the suspect arrested yesterday had any connection to the group.—AFP

international SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

Canada lifts restrictions on Japanese foods TOKYO: Canada has lifted all restrictions on food and animal feed imports from Japan, becoming the first country to withdrew all restrictions on the Japanese food following the March nuclear accident, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said here. Since April 1, Canada had demanded documents to verify the safety of all products imported from 12 prefectures

affected by the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, prohibiting any products from entering into the nation without acceptable documentation or test results. However, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency removed the controls, according to the ministry. “Following an assessment of the results of both domestic and international

actions, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency no longer sees the need for routine testing imported food products,” the Canadian agency said on its Website, noting that all food products tested were found to be well below Canada’s radiation limits. The agency also said it will continue to review documentation provided by importers, while Canadian officials will

continue to collect and assess intelligence from Japanese officials, Canada’s mission abroad and international authorities. “As well, Japanese controls on the sale of contaminated product remain intact,” it said. Still, 40 countries and territories continue to restrict food imports from Japan following the nuclear accident triggered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. — KUNA

Volcanic ash threatens Patagonian tourism, sheep Eruption could last several months

MEXICO CITY: Federal police officers escort suspect Edgar Huerta Montiel, 22, aka “El Wache”, an alleged member of the Mexican Zetas drug cartel, during a presentation to the press in Mexico City yesterday.—AP

US to keep troops at Mexican border until Sept WASHINGTON: The US government said yesterday that it will keep National Guard troops on the border with Mexico at least through September to help crackdown on illegal immigration and violence spawned by the drug trade. The US Department of Homeland Security said the administration extended the temporary deployment of National Guard troops along the border through Sept 30, reflecting appropriations by Congress for the current fiscal year. “The National Guardsmen are providing support to law enforcement functions aimed at stemming northbound and southbound illicit smuggling and flows of people, drugs, weapons and bulk cash,” department spokesman Matthew Chandler said. The soldiers had been deployed last summer and the extension of the troops had been widely expected. President Barack Obama signed in August a $600 million bill to tighten security along the porous nearly 2,000 mile border. It includes hiring of 1,500 Border Patrol agents, customs inspectors and law enforcement officials. The White House initially sent some 1,200 National Guard troops to help fill the breach while border patrol agents were trained. Obama has been under pressure from both Republicans and his fellow Democrats to tighten security along the southwest border as violence related to the drug cartels in Mexico has escalated, claiming thousands of lives. Mexican officials have said that the United States is still not doing enough to stop weapons from US gun shops reaching the cartels in Mexico, fueling an escalating drugs war. Chandler said the department is actively hiring new personnel and taking other steps to improve border security, and that the National Guard “is acting as a critical bridge” in the meantime. Since their deployment, National Guard soldiers have assisted US Customs and Border Protection with the seizure of more than 14,000 pounds of drugs and the identification of illegal border crossers, leading to the apprehension of more than 7,000 illegal immigrants, he said. — Reuters

VILLA LA ANGOSTURA: On the eve of the winter tourist season, the Argentine resort town of Villa La Angostura should be blanketed white. Instead, its log cabins and forests are carpeted in gray volcanic ash. A volcano across the border in Chile’s Puyehue-Cordon Caulle chain erupted on June 4 after being dormant for decades, sending a towering cloud of ash into the air and forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights as far away as Australia. Air traffic is gradually getting back to normal, but many residents of hard-hit Patagonian towns are without electricity and water, fearing for livestock left without grazing pasture and for the start of the southern hemisphere’s winter season. Mauro Memmo, owner of a tourist bungalow complex, is battling to clear rooftops to prevent them from collapsing under the weight of the heavy grit. “We’ll have to use shovels and wheelbarrows, it’s the only way,” Memmo said. “I just hope we don’t get more ash falling.” Officials in Villa La Angostura, which lies 990 miles (1,600 km) southwest of Buenos Aires, have asked for the area to be declared an emergency zone to free up aid, and the Health Ministry has deployed psychologists to counsel anxious residents. “When you’re faced with a natural disaster, the only option is to bear it and deal with it,” Mayor Ricardo Alonso told local television. Local airports remain shut and hotels have few guests in San Carlos de Bariloche, one of Argentina’s most important tourist destinations and a favorite with Brazilian visitors. “Tourist arrivals have been badly affected, including Brazilians, other Latin Americans and Americans. Tourism’s down 80 percent,” said Viviana Risso, manager of a Bariloche hotel. The town sits on the shores of the Nahuel Huapi lake, tinged gray in contrast to its habitual deep blue. “People are saying this could last for a couple of years,” Risso said. The airline havoc of recent days caused losses of between $2.8 million and $3.5 million to state-run Aerolineas Argentinas and Chile’s LAN, leading daily La Nacion said, citing an unnamed industry source. Far from Argentina’s famous Pampas cattle-ranching heartland, sheep graze the Patagonian highlands and farmers are battling to get fodder to animals unable to graze pastures buried under up to 1 foot (30 cm) of ash. Newspapers have shown dead sheep lying in ashen fields, estimating possible losses of some $100 million.

VILLA LA ANGOSTURA: A cow is covered by ash from Chile’s Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano in Villa La Angostura in southern Argentina, Thursday. Chile’s Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano started erupting on June 4 after remaining dormant for decades. —AP The government has sent farming officials to study the impact on livestock, Economy Minister Amado Boudou said. “We’re carrying out a detailed analysis district by district,” he told reporters late on Wednesday. Winds that have been blowing the ash cloud eastward since the eruption almost two weeks ago are forecast to change direction over the coming days, bringing some relief to Villa La Angostura

but raising the risk of raining ash over Chile. Volcanology experts think the volcano could disrupt air travel sporadically for some time. “They’re calculating we could have three weeks of strong activity and then three months when the volcano’s going to remain active,” said Marcos Arretche, a civil defense worker in Villa La Angostura. “We’re going to have ashes for a while.” — Reuters

New York airport geese to be cooked for poor NEW YORK: New York City plans to capture pesky geese that threaten planes departing area airports and send them to Pennsylvania to be cooked for meals for the poor, city officials said. The plan is aimed at avoiding incidents like the forced landing of a US Airways plane in the Hudson River in January 2009 after a flock of errant geese were caught in the engine during takeoff from LaGuardia Airport. Mass culls to clear the geese from the area were authorized after the National Transportation Safety Board positively identified the remains of Canada geese in the engine of the aircraft. The city will pay for the capture and transport of the geese to facilities in Pennsylvania where they will be distributed to Pennsylvania food banks, a spokesman for the city’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) said. “Rather than disposing of them in landfills, we wanted to make sure they do not go to waste,” the spokesman said. According to the DEP, no suitable locations could be found in New York that were willing to take the geese as donations. Officials are currently surveying the New York area for large concentrations of geese. Last summer, efforts to collect and gas thousands of geese were met with angry protests from animal rights activists. — Reuters



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international SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

US turning up the heat on Pakistan with drones The United States has intensified drone aircraft missile strikes in Pakistan’s northwest along the Afghan border, killing 66 suspected militants since June 3. Here are some questions and answers on the drone attacks, which have risen sharply under the Obama administration. WHAT ARE DRONES? The CIA operates a covert drone programme which targets suspected militants in countries like Pakistan. It’s possibly the United States’ worst-kept secret even though it has opened up a debate about the legality of international state-sponsored killing of adversaries. The United States is essentially deploying aerial robots to wage war along the inaccessible border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The drones conduct intelligence and reconnaissance missions and fire missiles at the enemy. Drone “pilots” at CIA headquarters in Virginia move joy sticks around as they watch live video feeds of militants entering compounds, moving along winding mountain roads or planting bombs in northwest Pakistan, which President Barack Obama has called “the most dangerous place in the world”. Militants who spent years fighting with AK-47 assault rifles are suddenly killed with the push of a button. At the end of the work day, drone pilots simply switch off their office lights and head to their homes in places like Virginia suburbs. The $20 million Predator drone unit, which is widely used in Pakistan, consists of four aircraft, a ground control station and satellite link. Predators have a wingspan of 55 feet and length of 27 feet and are equipped with two laser-guided Hellfire missiles. HOW SUCCESSFUL IS THE PROGRAMME? US officials have described drones as a very effective tool for eliminating high-value enemies in northwest Pakistan, where human intelligence is hard to come by because anyone who provides it risks the wrath of militants. In one of the most high-profile kills, Pakistani Taleban leader Baitullah Mehsud was spotted on the rooftop of his father-in-law’s house in a village in South Waziristan in 2009. Live video feeds showed Mehsud, who had health problems, on an intravenous drip. Predator Hellfire missiles then killed the Pakistani state’s top enemy. Statistics from the New America Foundation raise doubts about the success of the drones. It estimates militant deaths from drone strikes in Pakistan between 2004-2011 could have been as high as 1,979. Only 35 of those were militant leaders. Even if more high-profile militants are killed, the strikes often undermine US efforts to win public support in Pakistan. The New America Foundation estimates the drone’s non-militant fatality rate at about 20 percent since 2004. The strikes are unlikely to ease. The programme partly reflects Washington’s frustrations with Pakistan, often described as an unreliable partner in the US war on militancy launched after the Sept 11 attacks. Pakistan has come under even stronger pressure to cooperate with the Americans since US special forces found and killed Osama bin Laden in a Pakistani town on May 2. WHY SO MANY DRONE STRIKES LATELY? According to New America Foundation data, the United States has conducted 40 strikes this year so far; 118 in 2010, 53 in 2009. This year 72 pct of the attacks were in North Waziristan and 28 pct in South Waziristan. Most of the recent strikes have focused on an area in South Waziristan controlled by militant leader Maulvi Nazir, whose fighters cross the border to attack American troops in Afghanistan. Nazir and the Pakistani government have had a non-aggression pact since 2007. US attacks on Nazi’s turf is one more way of pressuring Pakistan and sending a message- intransigence will no longer be tolerated after it was discovered bin Laden was living here. But, again, drone attacks often come at a price. Nazir’s commanders have said they would step up their fight against US troops in Afghanistan if the drones keep coming. It’s always possible his group could blame the Pakistani government for the drone strikes on his area and turn against the state. Pakistan already has its hands full with the Taleban. WHY DO PAKISTAN LEADERS PUT UP WITH THE DRONES? Publicly, Pakistani officials make all the right noises about the drones-saying they violate Pakistan’s sovereignty and warning the Americans they are driving angry Pakistanis into the arms of militant groups. —Reuters

KARACHI: Pakistani policemen escort arrested paramilitary Rangers and a civilian, their faces covered in blankets, to an anti-terrorism court in Karachi yesterday.—AFP

6 Pakistan forces jailed over videotaped killing Graphic video shocked Pakistan KARACHI: Pakistan’s police presented chargesheets against six members of a paramilitary force yesterday for the killing of an unarmed man last week, a government lawyer said, in a rare rebuke to the country’s powerful military. The incident in the southern city of Karachi was caught on videotape and broadcast on television channels nationwide, fueling anger against the security forces already under pressure since Osama bin Laden’s killing last month in a US raid. “The police have submitted their investigation report to me, which will now be scrutinised and submitted to the court, after which the trial will be held in an antiterrorism court,” state lawyer Arshad Iqbal Cheema said. He said the soldiers, who had been in police custody, were sent to prison. The footage showed the soldiers from the Rangers force opening fire at close range at the man identified as Sarfaraz Shah in a public park in Karachi. A civilian-who has also been chargedis seen grabbing the victim by the hair and dragging him over to a group of Rangers. He pleads for mercy, then one of the soldiers shoots him twice. The victim falls to the ground and screams in pain. The soldiers stand beside him. He collapses in a pool of blood beside a park named after late Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was seen around the world as a symbol of democracy. All seven men committed murder and an act of terrorism, the police charge sheet said, according to a police official. The shooting triggered fresh criticism of Pakistan’s human rights record and an unpopular government many say has failed to rein in the police and army, who are often seen as untouchable. The Supreme Court took up the incident on its own authority and ordered the removal of the police chief of Sindh province, where

Karachi is the capital. In an unusual move by civilian authorities against the military, the highest court also ordered the transfer of the director general of the Rangers in Sindh, a serving two-star army general. It also appointed a senior Karachi police officer, who submitted the charge sheet yesterday, to investigate the killing. The accused Rangers, along with the civilian, will be tried in a civilian court. Such cases are usually taken up by the military. The jailing of the seven men came as journalists and human rights activists stepped up their demands for a full enquiry into the killing of journalist Saleem Shahzad in late May. Shahzad, who reported on Islamist militants, was kidnapped in Islamabad and beaten to death.

He had earlier spoken of being threatened by the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, raising suspicions the ISI was behind his death. The ISI denied the allegations. Human rights activists yesterday appealed to the Supreme Court to intervene to ensure that an independent enquiry was held into his death. Pakistanis traditionally have been wary of criticising the army and its powerful intelligence service. The Pakistan Army and the ISI, however, have faced unprecedented criticism since US forces found and killed bin Laden in a unilateral raid on the Pakistani town of Abbottabad on May 2. That was followed by a string of security and intelligence lapses, including a militant raid on a naval base in Karachi.— Reuters

Rocket attack over border kills four Afghan children KABUL: A rocket fired during fighting yesterday in Pakistan’s tribal region landed in eastern Afghanistan, killing four children in an area where militants launch attacks on US-led forces, officials said. The rocket landed in Sirkanay district of Kunar province, an area where more than 100 rockets have landed in the last few days from across the border, provincial police chief Gen Ewaz Mohammad said. It was unclear who fired the rocket, though Mohammad said there had been Pakistani military airstrikes in the region. An Afghan border police official, Gen. Aminullah Amarkhil, said a neighboring region of Pakistan had seen the military fighting there. Al-Qaeda and Taleban militants have found safe haven in parts of the border region since the 2001 US -led invasion of Afghanistan, attacking both American troops in Afghanistan and targets inside Pakistan. In recent days, the Pakistani army has launched attacks against insurgent hideouts in the country’s northwestern Bajur tribal region. The mountainous region borders Kunar province. Meanwhile, NATO said yesterday that a bomb attack in southern Afghanistan had killed a coalition service member. The coalition said that the service member died Thursday. NATO provided no other details. Thirty international troops have died so far this month as the Taleban continues its spring offensive in Afghanistan to regain ground lost during the winter. Fighting has killed 236 coalition members this year.— AP



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international SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

Japan plant starts clean-up of water 110,000 tons of radioactive water at plant

MANILA: Philippine President Benigno Aquino III talks during an interview with The Associated Press at Malacanang Palace in Manila, Philippines yesterday.—AP

Aquino: No hero’s burial for dictator MANILA: President Benigno Aquino III yesterday ruled out a burial for dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the national heroes’ cemetery in Manila. “Not during my watch,” he said. Aquino told The Associated Press in an interview that he was finalizing a decision on his vice president’s proposal to bury the strongman with military honors in his northern Philippine hometown, but that burial in the capital was out of the question. Marcos’ widow, Imelda, has long pushed for the burial of her husband in the heroes’ cemetery, which is reserved for presidents, soldiers, statesmen and national artists. She is opposed by pro-democracy and left-wing groups, which say the late dictator committed massive human rights violations and plundered the nation’s coffers during his two-decade rule. Marcos was ousted in a 1986 “people power” revolt led by current President Benigno Aquino III’s late mother, Corazon Aquino. Marcos died three years later in exile in Hawaii. His body was returned in 1993 to his northern Philippine hometown of Batac in Ilocos Norte province, where it has been displayed in a glass coffin and has become a tourist attraction. Even 25 years after his downfall, Marcos is a divisive figure in the Philippines. Aquino has refused to decide alone where he should be buried, saying he would naturally be biased, so he asked Vice President Jejomar Binay to study the issue. “I wanted to be fair to all parties concerned, to those who think Marcos is a great individual, to those who think Marcos is the worst evil (that) visited our country,” he said. Aquino confirmed earlier news reports that Binay recommended that Marcos be buried with military honors in Ilocos Norte. Aquino said it would be “very difficult” to allow Marcos to be buried with military honors, “but again, we have to be a leader of the entire nation.” Officials were trying to verify if military honors were already accorded to Marcos after his remains were flown back to his hometown of Batac in 1993. If that was the case, “then the only remaining act that has to be done is the actual burial in Ilocos Norte,” Aquino said. Aquino noted the large number of human rights victims, including some of his own close friends, who suffered under Marcos. He said a friend who was tortured during Marcos’ reign only recently acknowledged to him that she was raped by several people in detention. The victims have never even received an official acknowledgment of their suffering or an apology from the government, Aquino said. Aquino said he plans to commission a group to interview the victims so their ordeals could be stored in historical records “with the end in view of making sure that these don’t happen again.” Marcos is reviled by many, including thousands of former political prisoners, and his alleged plundering of the economy remains the subject of protracted litigation. But he still enjoys a degree of popularity , particularly in Ilocos Norte, where his family holds significant political power. Imelda Marcos won a congressional seat representing Ilocos Norte last year. A daughter was elected provincial governor and a son won a Senate seat , the post his father held before being elected president in 1965. A survey by the independent Social Weather Stations in March showed that Filipinos are almost evenly divided over whether Marcos should be buried at the heroes’ cemetery. A majority of members of the House of Representatives have backed a resolution urging Aquino to allow it, extolling the late president as a patriot who built the country’s modern foundations with his infrastructure projects. —AP

TOKYO: The operator of Japan’s crisishit nuclear power plant said it started an operation to clean up radioactive water later yesterday, after several glitches that delayed the plan. Large and growing pools of radioactive water were in danger of spilling into the sea within a week unless the plan got under way, officials had said earlier this week. Tokyo Electric Power Co , known as Tepco, has pumped massive amounts of water to cool three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant that went into meltdown after a March 11 earthquake and tsunami disabled cooling systems. But managing the radioactive water has become a major headache as the plant runs out of places to keep it. Around 110,000 tons of highly radioactive water-enough to fill 40 Olympic-size swimming pools-is stored at the plant. Tepco, with help from French nuclear group Areva , US firm Kurion and other companies, has been test-running a system in which radioactive water is decon-

taminated and re-used to cool the reactors. But in a setback that delayed the plan by about a week it said water had leaked from a facility used to absorb cesium on Thursday. Tepco official Junichi Matsumoto told reporters that the operator was aiming to use some of the cleaned water to cool the reactors within the next few days, which would not require the pumping in of fresh water. In early April, the utility dumped about 10,000 tons of water with low-level radioactivity into the ocean, prompting criticism from neighbors China and South Korea. Even if the water treatment is successful, Tepco would next face the problem of dealing with highly radioactive sludge that will be left over from the decontamination process. It is unclear where the sludge will be stored in the long-term. Despite the mounting challenges, Tepco aims to complete initial steps to limit the release of further radiation

from the plant 240 km (150 miles) northeast of Tokyo and to shut down its three unstable reactors by January 2012. Tepco announced yesterday, as expected, that it had not made significant changes to its timeline. The operator said that storing high radiation sludge likely to result from the treatment of contaminated water and improving the conditions for their workers during the approaching summer were extra areas it was looking into. Measures for the workers include access to more doctors and body counters that measure exposure to radiation and new resting areas away from the summer heat, Tepco said. The ultimate goal is to bring the reactors to a state of “cold shutdown”, where the uranium at the core is no longer capable of boiling off the water used as a coolant. That would allow officials to move on to cleaning up the site and eventually removing the fuel, a process that could take more than a decade.— Reuters

Ships tossed ashore by tsunami get rescued KESENNUMA: More than a dozen ships heaved inland by Japan’s tsunami in March sit with red bellies and propellers exposed among the demolished houses of this once-bustling fishing town, a jarring daily reminder of the ocean’s awesome power. The enormous task and cost of moving these out-of-place vessels , and the debris around them , has kept them stranded in Kesennuma for over three months. Many have been propped up with metal beams so they won’t topple over. Determined to recover, the town has now begun the Herculean job of returning some of the beached ships to the sea. Several ship owners banded together to jointly negotiate a cost with a logistics company to move five of the vessels in a deal that insurers have agreed to cover. Even after the group rate, the amount per ship is more than $1 million. But putting these vessel back into action is crucial to restarting Kesennuma’s fish markets and restoring the community’s economy and confidence. “This is a fishing town, so if the ships get moving and start catching fish again, we’re hopeful that might lead to things picking up here,” said Keiko Onodera, 67, whose hillside house overlooking the port survived tsunami waters that reached her front steps. All told, authorities estimate that the tsunami swept 17 ships weighing over 20 tons and another 1,000 smaller fishing boats onto land around town. Some of the bigger ships farther from the port will be cut into scrap metal, but vessels closer to the water and with modest damage are being rescued. This week, two towering cranes hoisted the 400-ton Akane Maru No 1, a deep-sea salmon and saury fishing boat, about 10 meters (30 feet) off the ground from where it had been tossed by the wave 100 meters (yards) from the

water. The cranes gently lowered the ship onto a huge trolley of modular segments in primary colors that looks like a supersized Lego creation. It was the start of what would be a three-day operation organized by Penta-Ocean Construction

it can encourage people to keep pressing on.” At first, salvage crews and the insurance company said returning the Akane Maru to the sea was too expensive and complicated, Ikeda said. After lengthy negotiations with Penta-

MIYAGI: People look at fishing boats stranded by the March 11 tsunami at Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, Wednesday, March 23, 2011. —AP Co. The 192-tire trolley , normally used for transporting equipment such as train cars , then slowly rolled toward the wharf. Yesterday, the cranes lifted the boat up and into the water. After some repairs, the Akane Maru No 1 should be ready to start fishing again in August, when the season for Pacific saury starts, ship owner Hirohito Ikeda said. “The tsunami inflicted great damage on this seaport, and the ships that were swept onto the land showed the tsunami’s ferocity and strength,” he said. “But now that our boat is being rescued ... we hope

Ocean Construction and insurance companies, the parties came up with a deal costing just under 500 million yen ($6 million) to move the Akane Maru and four other ships in a cluster about a quarter mile (400 meters) from the port, Ikeda said. “We’ve barely made progress getting back on our feet the past three months. It really seems slow,” he said, gazing out at the largely empty harbor, where huge cylindrical tanks remain toppled over and warehouses are in shreds. “We really don’t want people to forget about what’s happening in Kesennuma.” —AP

Turkmenistan pumps billions of dollars into resort


Mobile technology, broadband flourish in Iraq



India raises rates again



US regional factories sputter


MICHIGAN: In this photo, line worker David Beebe works on a pre-production Chevrolet Sonic at the General Motors Orion Assembly plant in Orion Township. General Motors said yesterday that pricing for its new Chevrolet Sonic will start at just under $15,000. The sub-compact car is set to hit dealer lots this fall. — AP

Hungarian protests test govt resolve Unions protest against cutting early pensions BUDAPEST: Thousands of Hungarians, some dressed as clowns, protested against government moves to roll back early retirement benefits for the armed forces, police and firefighters and abolish the system of negotiating with unions. The protest, near parliament, is the latest demonstration against the centre-right government, which took office a year ago and began to roll out austerity measures this year. The reforms have pleased financial markets-but led to increasing popular discontent with the government at home and its public support has waned. Around 3,000

people from armed forces and other unions protested on Thursday against the austerity measures. The unions called their protest a “clown revolution” with many of them wearing red noses, coloured wigs and face paint to protest against a remark by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who they said had mocked them at an earlier protest by promising to send his “clown affairs secretary” to negotiate. Protesters stood in line at mock polling stations to symbolically uncast votes given to Fidesz in last year’s election, in which it gained a two-thirds majority in parliamentand therefore the right to change

any laws. “Nobody has been authorised by a two-thirds parliamentary majority to create retroactive laws, take away constitutional rights ... and destroy democratic institutions,” union leaders Peter Konya and Kornel Arok said in a statement. The government has said it would no longer pay pensions to people younger than the general retirement age of 65, including members of the police and the armed forces, who have had the right to retire as early as age 45. Other unions also joined the protest, rallying against another new law that ends the existing sys-

tem of consultations with employers and unions. “I worked as a policeman all my life and for 25 years I thought I could retire,” said Attila Bogdan, 49, a retired policeman. “Now I feel like someone who had been cheated on by his wife when he became a grandfather.” The government last year took an unorthodox path, diverging from the International Monetary Fund, imposing big windfall taxes on selected business sectors and effectively renationalising mandatory private pension funds. Bowing to market demands for lasting structural reforms, the gov-

ernment this year pledged to cut spending sharply by 2013. An analyst said that the government was unlikely to give major concessions and the real test of its policies lay in their ultimate economic effect, not the severity of street scenes now. “I doubt the government would give any ground at this point and risk sending signals of diluting policy to markets,” Gabor Takacs, a political analyst at Nezopont Institute, said. “They’ll try to carry out most of their plans and make only unavoidable concessions, which are priced in by markets anyway.” — Reuters


How EU’s Greece options would affect ratings, CDS LONDON: Greece faces ever greater difficulties convincing markets it can avoid defaulting on its debt, an event that would have far-reaching consequences for global financial markets. European officials are under severe pressure to avert such an outcome by agreeing a deal to ease Greece’s immediate funding shortage and put its finances on a sustainable path. Despite the urgency, no agreement has been reached. A deal has been delayed as policymakers try to balance the need to avoid triggering financial turmoil against political pressure to make bondholders share the burden of supporting Greece. Below are the main possible solutions to the Greek debt crisis and the potential impacts on private bondholders, credit ratings and derivative markets. Debt rollover Officials have put forward the idea of a debt rollover modelled on the “Vienna Initiative” used in 2009 to boost credit for central European economies in exchange for an agreement to roll over existing debt holdings as they mature. This option has emerged as the most widely backed, championed by the European Central Bank and France, and more recently gaining support from euro zone paymaster Germany. Such a move would relieve uncertainty over how Greece will fund its primary deficit in coming years and would eliminate the need to sell news bonds on the open market and consequently the risk of an investor boycott. However, it would not reduce Greece’s overwhelming debt burden that stands at around 150 percent of gross domestic product. The agreement would be unlikely to trigger the payment of default insurance taken out on Greek bonds, under the rules of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), which has the final say on whether a “credit event” or credit default swap (CDS) trigger has occurred. However, credit rating agency Fitch has said a debt rollover in line with the “Vienna Initiative” would be considered coercive and result in Greece’s rating being cut to ‘RD’, or restricted default. The other main rating agencies, Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s, have echoed the idea that any agreement would not be truly voluntary and would trigger rating cuts into default territory. This may create huge problems for banks holding Greek debt if they are no longer able to use the bonds as collateral to obtain fixed-rate funding from the ECB, especially for domestic banks cut off from most other sources of cash. However, Fitch opened the door to a possible way round this involving leaving individual bonds rated at ‘CCC’ despite the sovereign being rated ‘RD’.

On the Caspian shore, a tale of two Turkmenistans Turkmenistan pumps billions of dollars into resort AVAZA: Turkmenistan’s all-powerful leader promises that, one day soon, he will build a Las Vegas on the windswept shores of the Caspian Sea. Illuminated by distant gas flares, thousands of construction workers toil through the night to build the next stage of Avaza: a fantasy resort built on the reclusive Central Asian nation’s fabulous energy riches. Seven colossal, marble-fronted hotels ordered by President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov line the coast. At least another 23 are planned in a project which some say could divert up to $5 billion from Turkmenistan’s state coffers. But state publicity and lavish spending cannot hide the fact that Turkmenistan is one of the world’s most authoritarian and secretive nations, where Berdymukhamedov’s word is final and opposition among the 5.4 million population is non-existent. Avaza is an alien world to the 70,000 residents of Turkmenbashi, an oil-refining port 20 minutes’ drive away now bypassed by a motorway that shuttles curious visitors and officials from the region’s airport. In Turkmenbashi, shoppers in the meat section of a local grocery store are offered bones from a plastic crate or sausages covered in flies. The air is thick with sulphur from the oil refinery. It’s enough to make some residents

long for Saparmurat Niyazov, Turkmenistan’s first post-Soviet leader, who ruled with a bizarre personality cult and renamed the city to reflect his own self-awarded title: Turkmenbashi, or Leader of All Turkmens. “Under Niyazov, we lived in paradise but we didn’t realise it,” said Vlad, a 22-year-old resident who scrapes a living driving rare visitors around Turkmenbashi in his old Opel car. Revealing only the short form of his first name, Vlad was one of the few residents of Turkmenbashi willing to be quoted. Others, fearing recrimination, would not reveal their names. “In the good old days, I could fill my car for just a dollar. Now petrol prices have jumped sevenfold,” he said. “Why has it all become so costly? I don’t know. We are never told.” Turkmenistan’s gas export revenues are fuelling breakneck economic growth. The International Monetary Fund predicts gross domestic product will expand by 9.0 percent this year. Turkmenistan itself is planning 14 percent growth this year. The long-term outlook for economic output is also strong, as it plans to triple natural gas output over the next two decades by drawing on the world’s fourth-largest reserves. Official literature describes Avaza as “a synonym for our unprecedented reforms”.

Voluntary maturity extension An immediate voluntary exchange of existing bonds for new ones with longer maturities would buy Greece more time to generate the growth necessary to reduce its debt and was the solution favoured by Germany until recently. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble had said a seven-year maturity extension of Greek debt was needed, insisting that private debtholders carry a large part of the burden. Fearful that such a plan could unleash a new wave of contagion to other lower-rated euro zone states, the ECB and the European Commission opposed this option. But Germany seemed to have backed away from this stance after top-level talks with France on Friday. Critics of the approach have again pointed out that such an exchange would not materially reduce Greece’s debt. ISDA has said an exchange is unlikely to be classified as a CDStriggering “credit event” because Greece cannot force those who do not want to exchange their bonds to accept new terms. Around 90 percent of Greek debt is governed under domestic law and is does not subject to the collective action clause needed for a set majority of bondholders to impose changes on the minority. Rating agencies have stressed that they would not view a debt exchange as truly voluntary, and would cut Greece’s rating to default levels. The ECB has said restructured Greek debt would not be considered eligible collateral, carrying the threat of money market turmoil as confidence to lend to other banks evaporates. But the ECB has loosened its collateral rules considerably during the financial crisis to give euro zone banks funding security. Enforced haircuts or other restructuring Policymakers have been keen to avoid discussing nonvoluntary changes to the terms of existing debt, whereby private bondholders are forced to take losses on their holdings. —Reuters

SANTIAGO: A demonstrator wearing a dollar sign participates in a protest near La Moneda government palace in Chile, Thursday June 16, 2011. Thousands of students and professors went on strike and clashed with police during a protest to demand non-discriminatory access to education, and against government plans to reform and privatize. — AP

The planned tourist zone will cover an area of 5,000 hectares and Berdymukhamedov has said: “In the third stage of the project, a Turkmen ‘Las Vegas’ will appear here, with numerous casinos and other entertainment centres.” A fountain gushing from the Caspian will evoke images of Geneva’s Jet d’Eau, while a 7-km (4-mile) canal filled with yachts is designed to bring to mind Venice or Amsterdam. A huge portrait of the president in parade uniform greets guests at the largest hotel in the complex, the Watanchy, or “Patriot”. It was built by the Defence Ministry. Berdymukhamedov has ordered banks and other ministries to build their own hotels to match. Baffled by the Internet But foreign visitors, who pay up to $300 for a night at the Watanchy, must overcome bureaucratic hurdles to secure a visa and encounter hotel staff often baffled by words such as Internet and Wi-Fi or requests to send an email. Even at the Watanchy, restaurants serve a frugal choice of dishes smacking of Soviet-era canteens and usually close at 10 pm, just like elsewhere in the country, where electricity is routinely turned off to rush out straggling guests. The expansion has also taken place at the expense of the private summer houses built along the shore in Soviet times. “We had a school-leaving party in a wooden two-storey house owned by the parents of a girl from my class,” said a security guard at a local hotel, who declined to give his name. “Then it was bulldozed,” he said, pointing to a garbage heap near the canal. “They got no compensation. Some people created a fuss and were offered allotments, deep into the desert.” While Avaza dazzles its visitors, little has changed for the ordinary citizens of Turkmenbashi, where clothes and linen dry on ropes slung between rows of two- and three-storey apartment blocks. The roads are dusty and potholed. Formerly known as Krasnovodsk, the city was a springboard for Russia’s invasion of Central Asia in its 19th-century Great Game with the British Empire for influence in the region. In the main market, buyers were far outnumbered by sellers. Few locals would buy fresh mutton at $4 per kg and almost nobody approached fishmongers’ stalls laden with live sturgeon offered at $11 per kg, chunks of smoked beluga at $35 per kg and silvery grey mullet at $2.50 per kg. But Anna, who sells poached beluga caviar from under the table at $1,200 per kg, was smiling after several foreign delegates attending a gas conference in Avaza paid a visit. “They bought 50 to 100 grams of my caviar each to eat it back at their hotels,” she said. She had just earned several times the average monthly wage of less than $250. Gas, electricity and water are still free of charge for most Turkmen households, the legacy of a gift once made by Niyazov. Avaza has given citizens its own gift, special discount room rates of $45 to $108 per night at local hotels. “Yes, we do go to Avaza,” says Anna, the caviar seller. “But no, we do not visit spas or hotels. We mainly go to see Avaza’s great fountains because we have no fountains in Turkmenbashi.” — Reuters


IMF sees slower global growth, rising headwinds SAO PAULO: The International Monetary Fund said yesterday the global economy has hit a speed bump and warned the United States and Europe to get their fiscal houses in order to maintain momentum. “Activity is slowing down temporarily” amid rising negative growth headwinds, the Washingtonbased lender said. “Greater-than-anticipated weakness in US activity and renewed financial volatility from concerns about the depth of fiscal challenges in the euro area periphery pose greater downside risks,” the IMF said, in updates of April economic, financial and budgetary reports issued in Sao Paulo. The IMF lowered its 2011 growth forecast a notch, projecting an annual rate of 4.3 percent, a tenth of a point lower than it had forecasted two months ago. There are “very clear risks” to the global economic recovery, Olivier Blanchard, the IMF’s chief economist, told a news conference in Brazil. He also pointed to the risk of “overheating” in some emerging

economies in Asia and Latin America. “Inflation is increasing beyond what can be explained by rising commodity and food prices,” he said. Blanchard did not identify the specific countries at risk, but appeared to be alluding to at least China and Brazil, both of which have seen inflation spike sharply higher in recent months. Meanwhile, in the United States, growth has “disappointed” since the beginning of the year, the IMF said.The world’s biggest economy was projected to expand by 2.5 percent this year, down from the 2.8 percent estimate in April and 3.0 percent in January. The US slowdown was “in part due to transitory factors-including higher commodity prices, bad weather, and supply chain disruptions from the Japanese earthquake on US manufacturing,” the IMF explained. “In contrast, growth surprised on the upside in the euro area, powered by more upbeat investment in Germany and France.”

For the 17-nation eurozone, the IMF raised its 2011 growth estimate to 2.0 percent, from 1.6 percent previously. Germany, Europe’s economic powerhouse, was expected to have the strongest surge of any of the Group of Seven rich countries: 3.2 percent. The French economy was projected to grow 2.1 percent. But it slashed its estimate for Japan, hit by the March 11 earthquake-tsunami disaster, predicting the economy would contract 0.7 percent. China remained the global growth champion, its rate unchanged at 9.6 percent. Significant risks to the global economy’s recovery from a 2009 recession are emanating from the world’s two big economic blocs, the US and Europe, the 187-nation institution warned. The IMF also joined calls for the US Congress to raise the country’s debt limit, warning failure to act would risk a major global market upheaval. “For the United States, it is critical to immediately address the debt ceiling and launch a deficit reduction plan that

includes entitlement reform and revenue-raising tax reform,” it said. The US government hit its legal borrowing limit of $14.29 trillion on May 16. The Treasury has taken extraordinary technical measures to avert a debt default, but says it will run out of maneuvering room by August 2.The issue of raising the debt limit is bogged down in Congress, where President Barack Obama’s Democrats are at loggerheads with Republicans, who control the House of Representatives. The Fund also admonished the European Union for lagging behind in banking reform and resolution of sovereign debt problems. “Policymakers must act now to make the financial system more robust,” it said. “The current window of opportunity to prepare the financial and economic system against potential systemic shocks, importantly by providing clarity on euro area-wide solutions to strains in the periphery, could close unexpectedly.”—AFP

Mobile technology, broadband flourish in Iraq Kurdish zone Kurdish telecoms, investment enjoy growth MIAMI: In this photo, a UPS Boeing 757-24APF cargo plane takes off from Miami International Airport. Shipping company UPS has been barred from moving air cargo through some UK facilities because of security flaws, the British government said yesterday. — AP

EU promises to comply with WTO Airbus ruling GENEVA: The EU said yesterday it intended to comply with a ruling by the WTO which found Airbus had received billions of dollars of unfair subsidies that harmed Boeing, but gave no specific date, a WTO spokeswoman said. The United States, addressing the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), noted that following the adoption of the World Trade Organization appellate body report on June 1, the six-month period for implementation expired on Dec 1, 2011. “The European Union intends to implement the DSB’s recommendations and rulings in this dispute in a manner that respect the EU’s WTO obligations and within the time limit set out in the Subsidies and Countervailing Measures Agreement, we have already begun to evaluate options for doing so,” the EU delegation said in a speech. A WTO spokeswoman said that the EU delegation did not provide a specific date. The EU and United States have sparred for years over respective state aid to rival aircraft makers Boeing and Airbus, whose parent company is EADS. The cases make up the world’s biggest trade row, affecting more than 100,000 jobs in the $2 trillion plane market. The WTO appellate body in May partially overturned a ruling that had accused EU states of giving Airbus illegal subsidies, but said the aircraft maker did receive billions of dollars of unfair aid that harmed its US rival. The United States said at the time that the WTO had backed its complaints that Europe’s aircraft giant had received $18 billion in softer subsidies that still unfairly hit Boeing. Yesterday, the US delegation recalled that launch aid, equity financing and infrastructure payments were found to be “WTO-inconsistent”. “We also recall that these subsidies were found to have caused adverse effects of lost market share in some of the biggest aircraft markets in the world and lost sales totalling hundreds of aircraft,” the US delegation said. Withdrawing these “enormous subsidies” or removing their adverse effects would be very economically significant for Washington, it said. The United States would monitor developments in the EU closely and stood ready to work with the bloc and its members as they move forward on implementing the ruling, it added. — Reuters

ARBIL: Like many young people hungry for change in the Middle East, 21-yearold student Meran Mubarak is embracing social media as fast as telecommunications advances allow in his Iraqi Kurdistan homeland. He is lucky to live in Iraq’s Kurdish zone, the prosperous northern territory whose semiautonomous status and relative stability in the war-battered nation has allowed 3G mobile technology and faster Internet services to flourish far beyond what most Iraqis can expect. “I am connected to Facebook and Twitter almost 24/7,” said Mubarak, using the latest version of Apple’s iPhone on the network of local provider Korek Telecom. While the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein opened up the mobile phone industry and Internet access in Iraq, communication lines outside the Kurdish zone are still patchy. But the Kurdish region was freed from Saddam’s grip over a decade before 2003, and manages its own telecoms sector. It has enjoyed virtual independence under Western protection since the end of the first Gulf War in 1991, attracting foreign investors as a relatively safe haven compared to the rest of Iraq, where gun and bomb attacks and assassinations occur daily. The Kurdish telecoms industry, along with other investment sectors including oil, has boomed and avoided problems like military jamming as it has largely been spared the sectarian violence and insurgency that has afflicted the rest of Iraq. Outside Kurdistan, poor data services and jamming of mobile phone frequencies by the military to prevent insurgents from detonating bombs remain a common complaint among Iraqis. “The situation of telecommunications is very good in Kurdistan,” said Hameed Akrawi, vice president of Korek Telecom, a mobile phone firm established in Arbil in 2001. “We have more experience than the rest of Iraq, because we had freedom (earlier).” Fast connections In the Iraqi Kurdish city of Arbil, which

boasts smart shopping malls and Western-style coffee shops, citizens and visitors are able to use Mobitel’s 3G mobile phones and connect to the Internet using Wi-Fi. Mobile phones were first introduced to the Kurdish region in 1999 when AsiaCell was established as

and Dahuk. Its network has become so overloaded that each separate neighbourhood coverage hub, catering in theory for 1,500 customers was often crowded with around 6,000 users, said Fateh Esmael, public relations director for Allai

BAGHDAD: In this photo, a Pakistani man carries construction materials on a building site in Najaf. The problem of illegal migrant workers certainly is not unique to Iraq. But in Iraq, where the specter of violence still hangs over even its holiest cities, there is scant hope for immigrants seeking a better life in a new homeland. - AP the first phone company in Sulaimaniya. It has a customer base of 8.5 million users throughout Iraq. Korek, owned by a nephew of Kurdistan president Masoud Barzani, leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), was established in 2001 in the region and has 3 million customers, while Kuwait’s Zain started operations in the zone last October. All three firms secured $1.25 billion licences each to operate in Iraq in 2007. However, as in the rest of Iraq, companies operating in the Kurdish region also complain about a monopoly over fibre optic cables. Allai Newroz Telecom, which introduced a fibre optic network to the Kurdish area in 2009, has a fouryear renewable contract with the Kurdistan Regional Government and provides services in Arbil, Sulaimaniya

Newroz Telecom. Telecoms companies say a lack of cooperation between Iraq’s telecoms regulator, the Communications and Media Commission (CMC) and the Kurdish authorities is also hampering their work. “The lack of fast broadband Internet has hindered Iraq’s economic progress,” said Diar Ahmed, chief executive of AsiaCell. “CMC has no say here (in Kurdistan) ... There is chaos in the telecoms field in Iraq,” he added. But even though Internet download times are much faster in the Kurdish zone than in the rest of Iraq, they are still not speedy enough for tech-hungry young people like Mubarak. “The Internet doesn’t download fast enough. But I can still open e-mails and use Facebook,” the university student said. — Reuters


Britain backs retail bank ring-fencing LONDON: Finance minister George Osborne announced a major overhaul of Britain’s banks Wednesday by approving a separation of their retail and investment businesses to help avoid another global financial crisis. Osborne, part of the Conservative party heading a coalition with the Liberal Democrats, also unveiled the privatisation of Northern Rock, three years after it was nationalised to save it from collapse in the global financial crisis of 2008. In a highprofile annual address to finance leaders in central London, Osborne backed the findings of the government-appointed Independent Commission on Banking (ICB) which earlier this year called for a “ring-fencing” of retail businesses. “Today I have told the Commission

that the government endorses both these proposals in principle... We will make these changes to banking to protect taxpayers in the future,” he said. Osborne said he had taken the decision bearing in mind a “British dilemma”. “As a global financial centre that generates hundreds of thousands of jobs, a successful banking and financial services industry is clearly in our national economic interests,” he said. “But we cannot afford to let it pose a risk to the stability and prosperity of the nation’s entire economy.” The practice of banks using money from their retail arms to fund investment operations was widely blamed as a major factor behind the global banking crisis. After months of speculation and deliberation on

Northern Rock, which was nationalised by the previous Labour government, Osborne said the coalition had to “clear up the mess of the past”. “I can announce tonight that on behalf of you the British taxpayer, I have decided to put Northern Rock up for sale,” he said, adding that they could “at least get some of our money back.” He did not set a price but the BBC said the government planned to sell it to a single buyer for about £1.0 billion (1.14 billion euros, $1.62 billion), less than the £1.4 billion handed to the lender by the state. Potential buyers for Northern Rock could include Virgin Money, the Coventry and Yorkshire building societies, investment groups NBNK and Olivant, and Tesco Bank. —AFP

India raises rates again, signals more increases Rate increase follows tightening in China, Brazil ST PETERSBURG: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev speaks at the economic forum yesterday. Medvedev lashed out at the mammoth role the government wields in the economy and warned that the centralization of power in the Kremlin has to be changed. — AP

Swiss central bank focuses on strong franc concerns BERN: The Swiss central bank highlighted concerns over the strengthening Swiss franc, which soared on Thursday to an alltime high against the euro amid the European debt crisis. “The SNB is concerned about exchange rate developments,” said Philipp Hildebrand, chairman of the Swiss National Bank, after announcing that the bank was keeping its key interest rate and 2011 growth forecast unchanged. Shortly after his remarks, the franc hit an all-time high against the euro, breaking through the psychological barrier of 1.20 francs to trade at 1.1956 francs against the euro. Against the US dollar too, the safe haven currency has reached “extreme levels,” said Hildebrand, noting that this had arisen due to doubts about the robustness of the US economy as well as fears about the US public debt. “Since the Swiss franc also recorded historic exchange rates against other currencies, its value, on a real and trade-weighted basis, is now well above its long term level,” said the central banker. This has led to “strong price competition” for the Swiss export industry. Nevertheless, Hildebrand said the bank was maintaining its forecast for growth at 2.0 percent due to “robust foreign demand.” The central bank also maintained its expansionary monetary policy, holding its three-month Libor rate at 0.0 to 0.75 percent. The Swiss central bank had purchased significant stocks of foreign currency in 2010 to fight the rise of the franc, leading to an accumulation of foreign exchange reserves from 50 billion francs at end 2008 to 200 billion francs by end 2010. These huge reserves have since translated into significant losses with the weakening euro. However, the bank said selling these reserves was “not an option at the moment.” Jean-Pierre Danthine, who is a member of the SNB’s governing board, said that the only option for the bank at the moment is to diversify its risks as efficiently as possible. Since the late 1990s, it has been doing so, he assured. “While the SNB also holds the large majority of its portfolio in the form of government securities, it also currently holds as many as 10 percent of its reserves in equities and 5 percent in corporate bonds,” he added. Beyond the currency issue problem, the central bank warned that a property bubble may be developing. In its annual financial stability report published Thursday, it said that “several indicators suggest that overheating is already becoming apparent in the owner-occupied apartment and apartment building segments.” This is particularly so in Switzerland’s key cities.—AFP

MUMBAI: India’s central bank raised interest rates on Thursday for the 10th time in just over a year to combat stubbornly high inflation and signalled more increases to come even as growth in Asia’s third-largest economy is slowing down. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) raised the repo rate , at which it lends to banks, by 25 basis points to 7.5 percent, in line with expectations in a Reuters poll. Wholesale inflation stands at 9 percent, roughly double the central bank’s comfort level. Policymakers in the world’s big emerging economies that led the world’s recovery from the financial crisis face a balancing act as growth slows but inflation stays high. A stalling U.S. recovery and weakness in Europe and Japan add to the challenge of managing inflation without choking growth. Inflation trumps growth concerns for now. India’s rate rise followed moves to tighten policy this month by China, Brazil and South Korea. “Domestic inflation risks remain high,” the Reserve Bank of India wrote in its mid-quarter review explaining its decision. “Against this backdrop, the monetary policy stance remains firmly antiinflationary, recognising that, in the current circumstances, some short-run deceleration in growth may be unavoidable in bringing inflation under control,” it said. Rising rates and slowing growth add to the headaches for an embattled government buffeted by criticism over persistent inflation as well as its handling of a spate of corruption scandals and its inability to push through reforms. Some 15 months of rate increases in India are taking a toll on companies and investor sentiment. Car sales growth slowed in May to its weakest pace in two years and investors have taken fright, pushing India’s main stock index down 12 percent this year, making it Asia’s worst performer. Economists expect a further 50 basis points of rate rises in India in 2011, a Reuters poll showed this week, with the tightening cycle seen to be near its peak. “While the central bank recognised that the ‘global environment has changed for the worse’ most of the comments remained hawkish,” said Robert PriorWandesforde, economist at Credit Suisse in Singapore. Stocks briefly swung into positive territory after the rate rise before drop-

NEW DELHI: In this photograph, Maruti-Suzuki ‘Swift’ cars roll off an assembly line at the new autoplant at Manesar. India’s largest passenger car maker Maruti Suzuki said yesterday that an 11-day strike by 2,000 workers demanding recognition of a new union at a factory in the north of the country has ended. — AFP ping again in a broader global downdraft over worries about Greek debt. The index ended down 0.8 percent. Bonds largely ignored the central bank’s decision as it matched expectations. The 10-year benchmark bond yield fell 10 bps to 8.30 percent as global risk aversion pushed buyers into the perceived safe haven. The RBI also raised the reverse repo rate , at which it absorbs excess liquidity, by 25 basis points to 6.5 percent. Last month, it said it would keep the rate at 1 percentage point below the repo rate. Thursday’s rate increase followed a sharper-than-expected 50 basis point rate rise in early May, although data since then has pointed to slowing momentum in India and globally. India’s annual economic growth in January-March slipped to a lower-thanexpected 7.8 percent, the slowest pace in five quarters, as the rise in credit costs and inflation weighed on consumption and investment. Purchasing managers’ data for both manufacturing and services has indicated a further slowdown, prompting concerns from businessmen including H. M. Bharuka, managing director at Kansai Nerolac Paints . “The paints industry is

already seeing moderation in demand and the continuous increase in rates will hurt us further,” he said. “We are expecting tightening of interest rates to dampen demand from auto and housing sectors.” Slowing growth, rising prices However, the RBI did not sound worried on Thursday about the growth outlook, even as economists trim forecasts, with many predicting the Indian economy will grow less than 8 percent this fiscal year after last year’s 8.5 percent. “Even as there is deceleration in some important sectors, notably interest-sensitive ones such as automobiles, there is no evidence of any sharp or broad-based slowdown,” the RBI insisted. Wholesale prices, India’s main measure of inflation, rose more than 9 percent in the year through May, much more than expected. Worryingly, the figures showed price pressures had spread from food and fuel to manufacturing. Data on Thursday showed food and fuel inflation around 9 percent and 12.8 percent, respectively, in the year to June 4. Both are key drivers of broader inflation but are largely beyond the scope of monetary policy. —Reuters



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Crisis-hit Belarus raises interest rates MINSK: Belarus said Thursday it would raise its main interest rate by another 2.0 percentage points to 18 percent to battle the worst economic crisis in its postSoviet history. The hike, which goes into effect on June 22, is the second in just over two weeks, a span that has seen rates rise by 4.0 percentage points. The National Bank of Belarus said the rates were being raised to boost the attraction of local currency investments and “strengthen the protection of Belarus ruble bank deposits against inflationary processes.” It gave no indication if or when rates may be raised again, noting only that the bank would “continue pursuing a balanced interest rate policy”. Consumers have been hoarding basic food products and besieging exchange points for hard currency amid fears that the currency will lose value further and inflation will spiral. The former Soviet republic’s annual inflation rate reached 20.2 percent for the first five months of the

year, with the government warning that the figure may rise to 39 percent by the end of the year. The crisis grew out of a massive trade imbalance sparked when Russia hiked the price it charges for Belarus energy shipments. The nation of 10 million has few natural resources and relies heavily on Russia natural gas and other basic imports. Its finances were hit further when President Alexander Lukashenko boosted state salaries and issued cheap credits ahead of his reelection last year. The resulting hard currency shortage prompted the government to introduce artificial exchange rates, with the Belarus ruble now exchanged at 5,000 to the dollar at state institutions and around 8,000 to the dollar on the street. The crisis prompted Lukashenko to call for international assistance, with Russia refusing to provide direct lending to its neighbour because of its continuing failure to implement market reforms.

Earlier this month, Belarus did receive a $3.0 billion loan commitment from and economic group of Russia and former Soviet states, which will be issued on condition Minsk sells off its biggest state assets. Belarus has thus far announced no formal privatisation programme but still expects to receive the first $800 million payment this month. Lukashenko’s government has also sought up to $8.0 billion in assistance from the International Monetary Fund, although a fund mission left Minsk earlier this month without saying anything about potential help. Russia’s Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin on Thursday criticised some of the recent economic steps taken by Lukashenko, saying that artificial prices “may lead to more shortages”. “Nevertheless, we hope that in the coming months and weeks, additional stabilisation measures are taken. Our loan will provide the basis for this stabilisation,” Interfax quoted Kudrin as saying. — AFP

Brent falls under $113 as risk aversion weighs Sarkozy says prompt solution needed for Greece

SHANGHAI: Investors look at the stock price monitor at a private securities company yesterday. — AP

China ‘long-term investor’ in European debt market BEIJING: China said Thursday it was a “long-term investor” in the European debt market and hoped eurozone nations would achieve stable growth, as Greece teetered on the brink of defaulting on its loans. “China is a long-term investor in the European securities market,” foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters. “We hope Greece can realise stability and development through cooperation between the EU and the international community. We hope the relevant countries will realise stable economic growth.” Asian stock markets tumbled on Thursday as the eurozone debt crisis came back to the fore. Greece warned

Wednesday it would be unable to pay next month’s bills without a 12-billioneuro ($17 billion) loan installment from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, part of a broader 110billion-euro bailout agreed last year. China has repeatedly expressed its confidence in the eurozone economies, and has invested an increasing portion of its world-leading foreign exchange reserves in euro-denominated assets. Since December, China has pledged to buy government bonds from struggling Spain, Greece and Portugal. Hong said Premier Wen Jiabao would visit Britain, Germany and Hungary from June 24-28. — AFP

Congo sees beginning of economic zones next year BRAZZAVILLE: The Republic of Congo plans to start activities at four special economic zones (SEZ) by next year, with the aim of diversifying its economy from mainly petroleum exports to manufacturing and other services. Congo’s minister for special economic zones Alain Akoula Atipault, told Reuters he expected economic activities to begin in the zones-which will provide tax breaks and other incentives to companies-during the course of 2012 once feasibilities studies are completed. The Central African nation, which produces about 340,000 barrels of oil per day, signed a memorandum of understanding with Singapore

Cooperation Enterprise, to help it develop the zones from scratch. “Feasibility studies will be completed by the end of the year or the first quarter of next year. Tenders have been launched and we will have the results in the coming weeks,” Atipault said. He could not detail planned incentives for companies that will eventually operate in the zones, but said the projects were aimed in part at creating jobs to combat the nation’s high unemployment rate, poverty and a rural exodus. One of the SEZs will be at the port of Congo’s economic capital Pointe-Noire, with a surface area of 1,600 hectares. —Reuters

LONDON: Brent crude futures slipped under $113 a barrel yesterday after comments by French President Nicholas Sarkozy that a prompt solution for Greece was needed. But prices remained on course for a 5 percent drop this week in the biggest fall since early May as risk aversion weighed. The euro inched up from earlier losses after Germany and France pledged to solve the euro zone debt crisis as soon as possible, lifting the currency from near three-week lows. Brent crude for August tumbled $2.97 per barrel to a low of $111.05 barrels but later pared some losses to trade at $112.92 by 1334 GMT. US benchmark crude, known as West Texas Intermediate or WTI retreated $2.83 to a low of $91.12 a barrel before retracing some losses to $93.50 a barrel by the same time. Sarkozy said “there was no time to lose” on agreeing on a programme for Greece, suggesting a deal needed to be reached in July at the latest. “Greece will weigh into prices next week, it will be an underlying concern for the weeks to come. It’s like watching Lehman in 2008... it’s a problem but we don’t have the solution,” Olivier Jakob from consultants Petromatrix said. The cost of insuring Greek debt against default hit fresh records as the country reshuffled its cabinet in a bid to secure more support for austerity measures. Analysts were worried about the impact of the euro zone debt crisis, which dragged equity markets lower and forced Spain to pay a premium in its latest debt auction. “In the climate of a greater perception of financial market and economic risks and given the present strength of the US dollar, the price correction is likely to continue,”

NEW YORK: In this photo, traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. — AP

Commerzbank analysts said in a note. The International Energy Agency on Thursday raised the pressure on OPEC to increase output by forecasting a steep rise in oil demand later this year and predicting the strain on supply would last over the medium term. The Paris-based IEA raised its assessment of how much OPEC oil would be needed this year by 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 30.1 million bpd in a monthly report. OPEC & IEA A failure by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to boost output last week, despite calls from the West to help protect economic growth, has fuelled debate over whether OPEC and leading member Saudi Arabia have enough spare capacity if demand rises and prices spike. The IEA stands ready to release strategic reserves of oil to ensure adequate supply and support the

global economy, Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka said on Thursday. “While there is a growing perception that near term oil supplies will be adequate either through an OPEC or IEA response, we reiterate our concern that such confidence could prove ephemeral, and the arrival of adequate supplies is far from guaranteed,” said J P Morgan analysts led by Lawrence Eagles. Oil prices will stay above $100 a barrel in the next year as supply worries outweigh concerns about flagging global economic growth, a Reuters survey of oil industry officials, executives and traders showed. Eight of 20 participants in the Reuters Energy and Climate Summit said they saw oil trading between $110 and $130 a barrel in June 2012, eight saw prices between $90 and $100 and three saw prices above $130. Only one respondent saw prices between $70$90 per barrel. — Reuters

Business SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

Spanish borrowing rates rise on contagion fear MADRID: The yield on Spanish 10-year bonds hovered round 11-year highs yesterday as investors remained concerned that Greece’s debt crisis will spread to other countries. The yield stood at 5.58 percent on the secondary market in afternoon trading, a little down on the 5.70 percent peak struck on Thursday. And the spread, or difference between the yield on 10-year bonds and the benchmark German equivalent, ended Thursday at 274 basis points - close to a record set late last year. Rising contagion con-

cerns were also evident in a Spanish bond auction Thursday. Though it went relatively well in terms of demand, the average rate demanded for the 15-year bonds spiked to a euro-era high of just over 6 percent. The Spanish government insists the public finances are on the mend and that it won’t join Greece, Ireland and Portugal in getting a financial bailout. The main source of concern remains the banking sector, in particular savings banks, known as cajas. The Spanish

central bank said yesterday the banking sector’s bad loan rate rose in April to 6.36 percent, the highest since June 1995. The rate had fallen in March for the first time in five months. The Bank of Spain said the rate among loans made to real estate promoters stood at a record 15.24 percent. Spain is struggling to recover from nearly two years of recession triggered in large part by the collapse of an overheated real estate sector. The jobless rate stands at 21.3 percent. — AP

US regional factories gasp, slight ray of hope in jobs Initial jobless claims fall to 414,000 WASHINGTON: A gauge of regional manufacturing activity slumped to a near twoyear low in June, suggesting US factories were faltering, overshadowing better than expected readings on the labor and housing markets. While the mixed reports on Thursday were more confirmation the economy continued to sputter in the second quarter, they also offered evidence that the recovery was on course to regain momentum as the year progresses. “We are still in a soft patch, first evident in the first quarter, and now we are seeing more and more evidence that it extended into the second quarter,” said Robert Dye, a senior economist at PNC Financial Services in Pittsburgh. “But at the same time we are also seeing the first glimmers of evidence that the economy will find terra firma in the second half of the year.” The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank’s business activity index, which measures factory activity in the Mid-Atlantic region, dropped to -7.7, the lowest level since July 2009. It was the first contraction in nine months. Economists had expected the gauge to rise to a positive 6.8. None of the 55 participants in a Reuters poll had expected a reading lower than zero, which indicates a contraction in activity. Other data showed first-time applications for state unemployment insurance fell 16,000 to 414,000, suggesting the jobs market was improving after stumbling badly in May. A third report showed groundbreaking for homes rose 3.5 percent to an annual rate of 560,000 units last month, retracing almost half of April’s steep decline. New building permits unexpectedly rebounded 8.7 percent to the highest level since December. Coming on the heels of a survey on Wednesday showing a contraction in factory activity in New York state, the Philadelphia report could stoke fears of a sharp slowdown in manufacturing, a sector that has powered the US economic recovery. Factory activity is being hampered by supply chain disruptions, particularly in the auto sector, following the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan. But the Philadelphia Fed and New York Fed surveys, where auto assembly may not be a big factor, suggested fundamental weakness in manufacturing. Manufacturing slowing Economists said there was a risk that the Institute for Supply Management’s index of

national factory activity could contract in June after 22 months of expansion. The survey is scheduled for release on July 1. In the Philadelphia survey, the six-month business conditions index hit its lowest level since December 2008 and the new orders measure tumbled to a two-year low. “There is no way to separate the effect of slowing auto production from a general manufacturing slowdown in these data,” said Christopher Low, chief economist at FTN Financial in New York. “But a decline in the six-month forward activity index suggests there is more to the slowdown in Philly area manufacturing than just a temporary parts shortage.” Investors on Wall Street took the mixed economic data in stride, snapping up stocks after recent steep declines. Concerns that Greece could default on its debt lifted prices for US Treasury debt, while the dollar was little changed against a basket of currencies.

Modest improvements Despite the modest improvements in jobless claims and housing data, they remained at levels consistent with a muted economic recovery. Initial jobless claims held above the 400,000 level for a tenth straight week. Economists associate claims below that level with a stable labor market. A report earlier this month showed US employers added a scant 54,000 workers to their payrolls in May, with the jobless rate rising to 9.1 percent. While both housing starts and permits rose last month, they remain near historical lows as builders face stiff competition from a glut of unsold previously owned homes on the market. Economists expect the housing market to sink further this year before prices start rising only marginally in 2012, according to a Reuters poll. Separately, data firm RealtyTrac reported that banks repossessed over 66,879 homes last month, down 4 percent from April.

Groundbreaking for both multi- and single-family homes rose in May, with permits lifted by a 23.2 percent surge in the multifamily segment. The increase in multi-family units reflects a growing demand for rentals as relentless home price declines encourage Americans to delay home purchases. “There is movement beginning on the multi-family side reflective of the sharp drop in (rental) vacancies and the fact that rents are beginning to grow pretty strongly,” said Peter Muoio, a senior principal at real estate research firm Maximus Advisors in New York. The report on jobless claims suggested the long-term unemployed were finding it somewhat easier to find jobs, although if May’s dismal pace of job creation continues their hopes could be dashed anew. There were a total of 7.4 million Americans receiving unemployment benefits under all programs in the week ended May 28, down about 200,000 from a week earlier. — Reuters

BEAVERTON: Construction is underway on a new home. A gauge of regional manufacturing activity slumped to a near two-year low in June, suggesting US factories were faltering. — AP


Japan’s ageing pets spark elderly care boom Page 25

Angelina Jolie visits refugees in Turkey Page 24

Newly crowned 2011 Miss Universe Japan Maria Kamiyama from Osaka perfroms in the dance session during the final of the beauty pageant in Tokyo yesterday. Fifteen contestants competed for the crown to participate in the Miss Universe beauty pageant in Sao Paulo, Brazil on September 12 this year. — AFP


Heidi Klum wants to feed her kids raw fish


he German-born supermodel - who raises daughters Leni, seven, and Lou, 20 months, and sons Henry, give, and Johan, four, with husband Seal - with husband Seal - is planning a trip to Italy with her brood and is most excited about an unusual adventure on the seas. She explained: “What’s next? To go on a great holiday with my family. We’re going on a boat to Italy. I love when the kids can go and eat sea urchin and the sea urchin is literally going like this (waves hands). “You cut the bottom off and then you eat it. “That’s what they do when you go to [restaurant] Nobu or whatever - it’s the same sea urchin, so you might as well eat it when it first comes out of the sea.” The 38-year-old beauty’s break comes before she starts working on the ninth series of TV show ‘Project Runway’, and despite her long stint on the programme, Heidi revealed her husband has never watched an episode. She told WWD: “You know, my husband has never seen one episode. What about that for a fun fact? “He’s come to the set, but he hasn’t watched an episode.”

Britney Spearsʼ

Keanu Reeves to pen a self-help book


amie Spears has had joint control of the singer’s affairs since her much-publicised meltdown in 2008, and with the ‘Toxic’ hitmaker beginning her ‘Femme Fatale’ tour this week, the conservatorship is expected to remain in place for the rest of the year. A source told “The conservatorship won’t be ending this year because everything is going well. “Britney is on tour again, which she truly loves. This would be the worst time to make a change, while she is on the road, and is in unfamiliar surroundings. “There is just no reason for the conservatorship to end this year. The worst thing that could happen is that it ends, and Britney reverts back to her old ways, that would truly gut Jamie. “The conservatorship will end when Britney is ready. She is making progress, this is the second tour that she has done in the past three years. These tours wouldn’t have happened if Jamie hadn’t stepped in and taken control of his daughter’s life. “Jamie is the hero here, he gave up his life to save his little girl.” Despite Britney being “comfortable” with not having control of her affairs, the insider admits the 29-year-old star - who has sons Sean Preston, five, and Jayden James, four, from her marriage to Kevin Federline - still clashes with her father. The insider added: “Britney is very comfortable with having the conservatorship in place. Is it ideal? No, but she now knows how fragile her mental health is, and that her dad Jamie, truly only wants what is best for his little girl. “Do they fight? Absolutely! However, there is a lot of love there. Britney is very much in love with her boyfriend, Jason Trawick, and her sons will be with her on tour as well.”


he 46-year-old actor -whose girlfriend Jennifer Syme died in a car accident in 2001, two years after giving birth to the couple’s stillborn daughter Ava - penned ‘Ode To Happiness’ after his pal Janey Bergam found his “self-pity” hilarious. He explained: “I was in my kitchen hanging out with my friend Janey, and the radio was on - and this station was playing, like, an orgy of depressing, self-pitying, nostalgic music. You know, ‘I’m just so lonely and I’ve been left and my heart is broke.’ It was so voluptuously horrible. “And I just started to write on this piece of paper, because I had this image of, you know, the moment when you take a bath, you light that candle, and you’re really just kind of depressed. And it was making Janey laugh so hard, I just l kept going, piling on the self-pity.” Fans worried about the ‘47 Ronin’ actor’s state of mind after he was photographed sitting morosely on a bench alone last year and even set up a global Cheer Up Keanu Day for June 15 but the actor merely found the concern “funny”.


Naomie Harris hated school

Crystal Harris wanted exclusivity T


he 34-year-old actress - who was brought up only by her mother, who fell pregnant when she was just 18 years old - was singled out by her peers and bullied over her “nerdy” ways. She said: “I hated school. I didn’t want to go to school. “I don’t know why I was bullied. I was quite shy and skinny. Very nerdy and very bookwormish. I think I was just a target.” The ‘First Grader’ star went on to study social and political science at Britain’s prestigious Cambridge University but cried “every day” because she hated the experience so much. She admitted in an interview with the Independent newspaper: “I felt so lonely. There was only one other black person in my year. I cried every day.” Despite her problems growing up, Naomie was never tempted to go off the rails. She said: “I never felt the need to. It’s funny. My brother and sister are the same. They’re like, ‘Why would you do that?’ “None of us, as a family, drink. None of us smoke. We’re not brought up with it. To us, it seems a bit strange why people would want to do those things.”

he 25-year-old model - who called off her wedding to the Playboy boss less than a week before the planned nuptials today - had second thoughts because of monogamy issues and only said yes to his marriage proposal because he asked with a crew of cameramen. She told US TV show ‘Entertainment Tonight’: “I wasn’t the only woman in Hef’s life. I didn’t feel comfortable in my heart knowing that and

getting married to him, because a marriage is between two people. That’s not what our relationship was. “It happened so fast. Hef asked me to marry him in front of three cameras and a photographer. I thought it was something I wanted.” Hugh, 85, has continued to get over his heartache by enjoying romantic comedy movies at the Playboy mansion with the other Playmates living there. He tweeted: “Anna invited some of the play-

mates over to watch a movie to cheer me up. Anna, the girls & I watched Adam Sandler & Drew Barrymore in “50 First Dates” tonight.(sic)” Meanwhile, Hugh’s ex-girlfriend Kendra Wilkinson thinks the magazine mogul needs “time to breathe” after the break-down of the relationship. She said: “I’m leaving him alone right now. He needs time to breathe and grieve. Obviously I feel really bad for him and the situation.”

Lady Gaga inspires Jlo to do ‘great things’

Liam Gallagher will not attend his brother’s wedding


he Beady Eye frontman - who has been estranged from his sibling since their group Oasis split in August 2009 following a series of explosive rows - insists he hasn’t been invited to nuptials between the guitarist and Sara MacDonald, despite Noel’s recent comments that he wanted the singer to be there. Asked if he was attending the wedding, Liam told the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper: “No, I’m busy playing gigs in Chicago. “He goes on about how he wasn’t invited to my wedding. No one was at my wedding but Nic’s [wife Nicole Appleton] mum and my mum. Get over it, mate. I’ve not been invited to his wedding. I’ll be in Chicago.” During his bachelor party earlier this month, Noel admitted he wanted Liam to be at his wedding. He said: “He is my brother. He is a tit but he’s my brother so I guess he should be there. Yeah, I would want him there. “Family is family on days like that and it would make a lot of people happy. The rockers’ mother Peggy is also keen for Liam and Noel to end their feud and believes the wedding is the perfect opportunity to do so. A source said recently: “Unless he’s broken both his legs, Liam has been told he is going to watch his brother get married.”


he ‘American Idol’ judge is a big fan of the ‘Born This Way’ singer and insists creative people like Gaga make her want to be more experimental with her own music. Speaking about the phenomenal success Gaga has achieved, JLo said: “I’m always motivated by other artists and inspired by them. They inspire me because when I see other people doing great things, it makes me want to do great things too.” Lopez got to experience Gaga’s talents up close when she worked with her on the tracks ‘Hypnotico’ and ‘Invading My Mind’ for her latest album ‘Love?’. In an interview with MTV News, the ‘On the Floor’ hitmaker revealed: “I love her (Gaga’s) sense of lyric and melody, I feel like she’s very interesting. It’s just not something you’re gonna hear every day.” She added: “I really love the records

she worked on and was glad to be able to take those and make them my own and actually have that collaboration with her. I feel very lucky to have done that.” Despite her admiration for Gaga, Lopez has no plans to copy some of the 25-year-old musician’s more outrageous antics, which have included wearing a meat dress to the MTV Video Music Awards last year and arriving at this year’s Grammys in an ‘egg’. Lopez, 41, said: “I never am one to look at other people and try to do what they do. I always feel like a true artist does what they do and it is very individual to who they are. “You can’t copy or do anything like that it just becomes weird but if you’re true to yourself and push your own boundaries and your limits, you can’t help but come out with something great.” — Bangshowbiz



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hey sit on the grass in their posh frocks and dinner jackets, eating picnics between the two acts of Rossini’s “Il turco in Italia”. It’s summer in England, and the open-air opera has returned. Rain or shine, music-lovers bearing champagne and blankets are flocking in their thousands to glorious rural locations across Britain to enjoy the delights of Mozart, Wagner or Donizetti. “It’s freezing! But people are so mad in England that they love it,” remarked director Martin Duncan at his production of Rossini’s comedy at the Garsington Opera, one of the country’s leading open-air ventures. More intimate than the long-established Glyndebourne, Garsington has been running since 1989 but this year moved to a new, more glamorous venue. Complaints from neighbours at its founding home of Garsington Manor in Oxfordshire, north west of London, forced it to relocate a few miles down the road onto the beautiful Wormsley Estate, which is owned by the Getty family. Amid the extensive park that already hosts a world-famous cricket ground, the organisers have commissioned an elegant temporary pavilion with space for 600 people to watch the opera

and enjoy nature at the same time. Throughout June and July, the Japaneseinspired structure will play host to Rossini as well as Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” and Vivaldi’s rarely performed “La verita in cimento”. Architect Robin Snell, a musician himself, has created a glass auditorium without walls where the public can hear the birds as they watch the opera and are bathed in sunshine during the first act, before night falls. The design presented a few challenges for director Duncan, who admitted: “You have to be ingenious. There are no sides, and the first act is in the daylight.” But for spectators the result is magical, with the pavilion and the performers lit up against the dusky sky. It is no wonder that Garsington is such a hit, with 90 percent of tickets sold before the festival began. Meanwhile the waiting list for membership of Glyndebourne-which confers priority booking-is ten years. If you can’t wait that long, there are numerous other open-air opera venues across the country, many of them catering for particular tastes, including Longborough in Gloucestershire, southwest England, which specialises in Wagner. For its part,

Garsington prides itself on producing lesser known operas, and for giving younger singers a chance to shine. “It is important to keep your own identity,” noted Duncan. Most offer the same glamorous, pastoral experience-the dress is formal, with the women in long dresses and the men in black jacket and bow tie, and the tickets rarely cost less than £100 (113 euros, $160). But for those wanting to spend a little less, or wanting to enjoy open-air opera without the costume-drama connotations, Opera Holland Park in central London is just the thing. Now in its 16th edition, it is putting on seven operas this year, including Verdi’s “Rigoletto”, in a relaxed environment. Tickets start at just £12 each, and they are also giving away thousands to youngsters and seniors. Organiser Mike Volpe said the aim was to make opera more accessible. “This country has built an enormous structure around opera as a socially elite pastime, but we think a lot of that really is bullshit,” Volpe told TimeOut magazine. —AFP

Selena Gomez performs on ABC’s Good Morning America in New York yesterday. — AP

Winfrey ku"…cnn"kp€"cv"ecdng"pgvyqtm


aving brought her wildly successful talk show to a close after 25 years, Oprah Winfrey said Thursday says she’s ready to devote her full attention to nurturing the sixmonth-old cable TV network that bears her name. The Oprah Winfrey Network launched on Jan. 1, taking over what had been Discovery Health. As OWN was under development, Winfrey said she was also trying to finish the last 130 episodes of her syndicated TV talk show, the last episode of which aired on May 25. With “The Oprah Winfrey Show” out of the way, Winfrey said she can be “all in” at OWN. “I now have the time to be committed to the nurturing of this network,” Winfrey said Thursday

Oprah Winfrey (right) talks with Paula Zahn, left, during the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s Cable Show 2011 at McCormick Place on Thursday, June 16, 2011, in Chicago. — AP

in an interview with Paula Zahn at a cable industry trade show in Chicago. “The vacation I thought I was going to have is kind of over ... at least for the time being.” Rosie O’Donnell, Shania Twain, Sarah Ferguson and Winfrey friend Gayle King have first-season shows on the commercially-supported OWN, which offers a mix of talk and reality shows, films and original documentaries. Winfrey will appear in “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” in which she travels the world in search of interesting stories, and “Season 25: Oprah Behind the Scenes,” a chronicle of her final talk show year. She will also be seen in the series “Oprah Presents Master Class” and “Your OWN Show: Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star.” Winfrey said there are two people she was never able to get on her talk show she’d still like to interview - OJ Simpson and Susan Smith, the South Carolina woman convicted of drowning her two young sons. She said she’s been surprised by the “bumps along the way” in launching her network, which has seen low initial ratings and the abrupt exit of its top executive. But she said her focus has always been on her audience, not numbers. “I let other people worry about ratings,” she said. “For me, it is always about service to the viewers. I have committed everything I have to this cable venture. I wouldn’t bet against me.”— AP


N envoy Angelina Jolie traveled to Turkey’s border with Syria yesterday to meet some of the thousands of Syrian refugees who have fled their government’s bloody crackdown on dissent. The Hollywood celebrity and goodwill ambassador for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees arrived in the Turkish province of Hatay on a private jet with boxes of toys for the refugee camps. There are nearly 10,000 Syrian refugees in camps inside Turkey. DHA television showed Jolie disembarking from the plane in sunglasses. The actress rested at Hatay airport and then headed to a camp in the Turkish town of Altinozu, Turkish media reported. Turkish authorities hoisted a 45-foot-long banner near the entrance of a refugee camp to welcome Jolie. It read: “Goodness Angel of the World, Welcome” in English and Turkish. Police kept fans away from the actress at Hatay’s airport and cameras were removed from rooftops and high points to prevent video of the visit. One fan held a poster that read: “Angelina, kiss me for world peace.” Authorities said Jolie’s own crew would provide images of her meetings with refugees. In April, Jolie traveled to Tunisia during its refugee crisis as thousands fled from its wartorn neighbor, Libya.— AP

American actress and Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Angelina Jolie arrives at Hatay’s airport in Turkey yesterday. — AP



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Five schnauzers sit at the booth of the exhibitor “Helpers on four pads” on yesterday at the “Maintier” pet fair in Frankfurt western Germany. 85 exhibitors present animals and accessories for their keeping during the fair running from yesterday to tomorrow. — AFP photos

ageing pets spark elderly care boom


ets are said to be like their owners, and in fast-ageing Japan a generation of greying pooches and tabbies has sparked a boom in elderly care for the fourlegged friends. Better pet food and veterinary services have allowed dogs and cats to live longer, spawning an industry that ranges from animal diapers and walking aids to 24-hour emergency care and research into pet tissue-engineering. The market is huge. Japanese keep 22 million dogs and cats, according to the latest data from the Japan Pet Food Association-outnumbering children aged under 15 by about 30 percent. Japan’s population has been declining since 2007 and the country is greying, with one of the world’s lowest birth rates and highest life expectancies. Children under 15 now make up just 13 percent of the population while almost one quarter of Japanese are 65 or older, according to recent demographic data. Japan’s pet business, including

retail sales of the animals themselves and food and other products, is worth about 1.37 trillion yen ($17 billion) a year, according to the Yano Research Institute. Many owners say they want to take care of their beloved pets until the very end rather than opt for euthanasia. “Do you put an end to a family member’s life because you are inconvenienced?” asked Michiko Ozawa, 67, recounting how she nursed her dog, a mongrel named Shiro, as he became senile and finally died. After more than a decade together, she opted against having 17-year-old Shiro put down, even though he had lost his vision and started walking in circles and dropping onto his backside rather than walk. “It seems obvious to me that we would let his life run its course,” she said. In the end, “as his body gradually became stiff and cold, his right ear flapped as if he were waving ‘bye-bye’... It was his ‘sayonara’.” To help animals live out their twi-

light years in comfort, companies have come up with new product lines, including Osaka-based home builder Yamahisa Co. which diversified five years ago into elderly pet products. “We realised that there is demand for goods to take care of elderly dogs because they are considered members of the family,” Yuko Kushibe, a marketing official at Yamahisa said. The greying of Japan’s pets became

walk. Electronics maker Fujitsu Ltd. meanwhile has teamed up with veterinarians to pave the way for round-the-clock medical care for pets. Trial services started at a Tokyo animal clinic recently, offering night-time emergency treatment for dogs in state-ofthe-art facilities that boast X-ray, CT and MRI scan and ultrasound technology. Test results and treatment data can be sent via a shared computer network to the dog’s vet for fol-

Spitz Freddie sits in a 99 euros worth pEi Pod (aka Pet Egg Pod) pet bed from the US.

Mongrel Yuma visits the booth of the Lukas bakery producing twelve different sorts of handmade dog biscuits.

apparent in recent years as large dogs, such as Siberian huskies and golden retrievers which became fashionable in Japan some 20 years ago, started to grow old, she said. “Taking care of bedridden large dogs requires a lot of physical strength on the part of the owners,” Kushibe said. To help them, the company offers a cart, a sling, diapers and a mattress with handles to turn a dog’s body and prevent bed sores, as well as hip supports that help a dog stand up and

low-up care the next day. A common problem with elderly cats-kidney failure-is the subject of a cutting-edge study at at the Jikei University School of Medicine, where researchers are trying to grow new cat kidneys in pig embryos. Takashi Yokoo, a head of research at the school, said more than 30 percent of cats are estimated to die from kidney problems which commonly cause anaemia, a shortage of healthy red blood cells. —AFP



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Basel art fair suggests boom times are back


ealthy collectors at Art Basel, the world’s top fair for modern and contemporary art, had to dig deep into their pockets this week to get hold of high-quality works, amid signs the market was returning to pre-crisis peaks. In times of low interest rates, many investors seek to diversify their portfolios, and masterpieces by 20th century artists like Picasso and Miro, or contemporary stars such as Anish Kapoor or Antony Gormley, are in high demand. Almost 300 private jets landed at Basel airport during the first day of the fair to fly in VIPs like supermodels Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista, and the crowds were still large on Wednesday and Thursday when Art Basel was open to the public. Art lovers and dealers peered at the works on display, took pictures on the latest mobile telephones to send back to clients and slipped handwritten notes into expensive designer handbags. “There were more people than last year at the opening. The market feels solid, not crazy, but very solid,” said Sukanya Rajaratnam, director of New York art gallery L & M Arts. She said the gallery had already sold some of its best lots on display. An orange Mark Rothko was sold for a price “in the range of $5 million”, while a giant red tripod by Paul McCarthy changed hands for about $2.5 million. ‘FEEDING FRENZY’ Philip Hoffman, chief executive of the Fine Art Fund Group which has assets under management of around $100 million, said his fund had sold pieces for around $8 million on the first day of the fair alone. “With currency volatility, cash earning next to zero and inflation at 4.5 pct in London, a lot of people are looking at art right now as a safe haven for their money,” he said. “We’ve seen a feeding frenzy of buyers and some very good works on sale fetching world record prices, above 2007-2008 levels,” he said, adding that fairly priced pieces could find buyers within an hour or two at the fair. Several major galleries had to re-hang their spaces due to brisk sales of their original displays, and at Daniel Templon, around 90 percent of the art was snapped up by Europeans. “There are very few Americans this year,” said the gallery’s director AnneClaudie Coric. “I suspect this is due to the weakness of the dollar.” The buoyant mood was in stark contrast to 2009, when the volumes of private sales and public auctions at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and their smaller rivals contracted dramatically. Turnover bounced back sharply in 2010 Christie’s, the world’s largest auctioneer, saw sales hit $5 billion last year, up 53 percent from 2009, while Sotheby’s posted revenues of $4.3 billion excluding private deals versus $2.3 billion in 2009. The emergence of super-rich Chinese investors and collectors has been a major factor behind the surge in prices for Chinese art as well as for “blue-chip” Western names like Picasso. Some analysts warn, however, that the rate of increase in some sectors of the art market is unsustainable and a bubble could be developing. Billions of dollars Art Basel features about 300 galleries from around the globe, and more than 2,500 artists, including the latest generation of emerging stars, exhibit their paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, photographs and videos. The combined worth of works displayed at the 42nd edition of the Basel art show is around $1.75 billion, according to specialist insurer Hiscox, up around 15 percent from 2010. “In general, the mood is extremely positive. It feels a bit like 2007 again,” said Jonathan Binstock, senior adviser at Citi Private Bank’s Art Advisory Group. “The market for emerging artists is stronger than in recent years and this is a sign of renewed strength,” he said in Basel, adding he was advising his clients to stretch their budgets as strong demand made it harder to obtain outstanding pieces.

A Christie’s employee who declined to be identified, poses with a sale catalogue, while standing in front of two Picasso paintings at Christie’s in London yesterday. The two paintings are expected to sell for a combined price of 20,000,000 pounds ($,32.25 million: euro 22,76 million) at a forthcoming sale of Impressionist and Modern Art. — AP

Emmy-winning producer Bob Banner dies at 89 T

elevision producer and director Bob Banner, whose credits included the Dinah Shore, Garry Moore and Carol Burnett variety shows as well as the TV movies “The Darker Side of Terror,” “My Sweet Charlie” and “Sea Wolf,” has died at age 89. Banner died Wednesday of Parkinson’s disease at the Motion Picture & Television Fund retirement community in suburban Woodland Hills, family spokeswoman Lauren Cottrell told the Los Angeles Times. Born in Ennis, Texas, Banner began his career in Chicago in 1948 as a production assistant on the children’s puppet show “Kukla, Fran & Ollie.” In a Dallas Morning News interview in 2000, the Northwestern University graduate told of his initial embarrassment at working on the show. “I didn’t want to tell the

Recording artist Bruno Mars (center) performs during the Hooligans in Wondaland tour at The Pearl concert theater at the Palms Casino Resort June 16, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. — AFP

people at Northwestern that I had been assigned to do a puppet show. ... A puppet show didn’t seem quite like theater at Northwestern,” Banner said. When “Kukla” became a hit, however, Banner boasted of his role. “I went around Northwestern saying I was on ‘The Kukla, Fran & Ollie’ show,” he said. “This show I didn’t want to admit I was involved with changed my life.” He later produced and directed “The Fred Waring Show” and went on to be a director on “Omnibus,” hosted by Alistair Cooke. Banner won a directing Emmy in 1958 for “The Dinah Shore Chevy Show.” Banner went on to produce Burnett TV specials, including “Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall” and “Carol Plus Two,” before he became executive producer of “The Carol Burnett Show.” Burnett said Banner

talked her into opening the show with questions and answers. “He said, ‘Carol, you can’t just go out and do sketches. The audience has to get to know you first as a person.’ I said, ‘I can’t do that. I’d be terrified that, A, the audience wouldn’t ask anything and, B, that they would.’ But he talked me into it, and it became one of my favorite things to do,” Burnett said in an interview. Banner’s executive producer credits also included “The Jimmy Dean Show,” “Solid Gold,” “Star Search” and “It’s Showtime at the Apollo.” He was also executive producer of the 1988 AIDS benefit concert “That’s What Friends Are For,” hosted by Dionne Warwick. Banner is survived by his wife, Alice, and sons Baird, Robert and Chuck. Funeral arrangements were incomplete. — AP



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This photo taken shows the Upper Austrian town of Hallstadt.


t’s a scenic jewel, a hamlet of hill-hugging chalets, elegant church spires and ancient inns all reflected in the deep still waters of an Alpine lake. Hallstatt’s beauty has earned it a listing as a UNESCO World Heritage site but some villagers are less happy about a more recent distinction - plans to copy their hamlet in China. After taking photos and collecting other data on the village while mingling with the tourists, a Chinese firm has started to rebuild much of Hallstatt in faraway Guandong province - a project that residents here see with mixed emotions. Publicly, Hallstatters say they are proud that their village has caught they eye of Minmetals Land Ltd. the real estate development arm of China Minmetals Corp., China’s largest metals trader. With most of them dependent on the hundreds of thousands of tourists who overrun Hallstatt’s 900 inhabitants each year, they see the project as good for business. “We’re happy they find it beautiful enough to copy,” says souvenir store owner Ingrid Janu. Hallstatt Mayor Alexander Scheutz describes the plan as “a compliment to our village,” while hotel owner Monika Wenger thinks at least some Chinese who have seen the copy cat version of Hallstatt will want to visit the original. But in a deeply traditional part of Austria shielded for centuries from much of the rest of the world by towering mountains and steep valleys, the apparent secrecy surrounding the project has also revived suspicions of outsiders, even though Hallstatt survives only because of the millionds of tourist dollars spent here every year. Although the Chinese developers say construction started in April, Scheutz and Wenger say the village knew nothing about the plan to replicate Hallstatt until early this month. They say a Chinese guest involved in the project and staying at Wenger’s hotel spilled the beans - apparently inadvertently showing Wenger drawings and plans she should have kept to herself of the central market place, Wenger’s 400-year old hotel and other landmarks that were mirror images of the originals. “I saw myself confronted with a fait accompli,” says Scheutz of his first reaction when he saw the drawings, now collected in a thick folder on his desk containing documents that he says copy much of the town down to the individual boards of scenic wooden balconies. While he disputes local media accounts citing him as furiously vowing to prevent the Chinese project, he acknowledges being “definitely a bit stunned.” Wenger is more outspoken. she says most of the villagers she has talked to are “outraged - not about the fact but

the approach.” “I don’t like the idea of knowing that a team was present here for years measuring, and photographing and studying us,” she said Thursday, sitting at her hotel’s terrace against the stunning backdrop of Lake Hallstatt, its surface mirroring nearby peaks of granite. “I would have expected them to approach us directly - the whole thing reminds of a bit of Big Brother is watching. “This house is my personal work of art,” she said of her 400-year old hotel. “And then someone comes here and copies it - for me, it’s as if a painter copies someone else’s artwork.” The Chinese developers are advertising the project as low-density high end residential development “surrounded by mountains with mountain and lake views,” to be built “in a European architectural style, with a commercial street built with the characteris-

tics of an Austrian-style town.” But at the Chinese site, in the city of Huizhou about 60 kilometers (100 miles) north of the border with Hong Kong, there is little to indicate that the copycat version will ever approximate the beauty of the original. A few low-rise buildings are in the early stages of construction, their frames covered with bamboo scaffolding and green mesh. Cranes and trucks moved around the area Friday dodging workers carrying steel construction elements. Though the area is hilly, there was not an alpine peak in sight and the waters of a nearby lake - apparently the faux Lake Hallstatt to be - were green and murky. Instead of mirroring majestic alpine mountaintops, several dead fish floated on the surface. Minmetals executive Crystal He says the developer plans to copy all of Hallstatt’s touristic core. She said the project will spread over 20,000 square meters - nearly 5 acres and will include a shop selling Austrian style glass crystal and other souvenirs. The subdevelopment will likely appeal not only to upscale Chinese but also “Caucasian people living in Hong Kong who are homesick,” she said. Wenger, the Hallstatt hotel owner, noted the drawings in her possession show sections of Hallstatt in mirror image possibly suggesting an effort to evade copyright claims. But He said the idea was never to copy the Austrian town down to its last details. There will be no issues with “so-called intellectual property,” she said. Barbara Neubauer, the head of Austria’s monument conservation office which has placed much of the village under its authority, said there is nothing her office could do against copy-catters even if it wanted to. She said any legal action would be up to individual owners who felt their rights were violated by the Chinese. Wenger and Scheutz, the Hallstatt mayor, said no such moves are planned with both expressing the conviction that ultimately the benefits of the Chinese copy will outweigh any hard feelings caused by the secretive approach. “Hallstatt has a centuries old culture,” says Scheutz. “This is something you cannot copy.” Such sentiments are shared by at least some of the hundreds of Chinese visitors swarming Hallstatt daily during the summer months. “It feels as if I’m going to heaven,” says 22-year-old Stacy Xianoquan Yuan of Shandong, when asked about the feelings that Hallstatt evoked. — AP

In this photo, Chinese tourist Stacy Xiaquan Yuan, 22, from Shandong takes a photograph of the Upper Austrian town of Hallstadt. — AP photos


By Jenn Harris


he MTV Movie Awards tend to deliver a certain wow factor every year with a musical performance or outrageous skit of some sort, but this year Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis stole the show. While the two “Friends With Benefits” stars announced the award for best male performance, they decided to prove their platonic status by groping each other. As I gasped in amazement at the utterly ridiculous yet hilarious spectacle, I became transfixed. Not because of the incessant groping, which seemed to go on forever, but because I suddenly - and more importantly - realized that I needed to get my hands on Kunis’ sparkly, 1980s-flashback Balmain miniskirt. Stat. Kunis has been turning heads at award shows with her fashion choices, such as the jaw-dropping red Alexander McQueen she wore to the SAG Awards well before her “Black Swan” glory days. She’s a pro at going glam with a gown for the Oscars or, as in this case, fun and flirty for an MTV event. At the MTV awards last Sunday, Kunis wasn’t the only one wearing Balmain. “Twilight” saga star Kristen Stewart wore a red Balmain dress with frenzied safety pin embellishments and “Gossip Girl” vixen Leighton Meester went hyper glam in a Balmain long-sleeved dress.

But Kunis wore Balmain best, in the jewel-bedazzled mini with a dolman-sleeve classic black top and skyhigh pale pink platform pumps. For a look-at-me mini of your own, you can ditch the jewel-embellished pieces. Sequins add just as much bling without the eye-

For a look-at-me mini of your own, you can ditch the jewel-embellished pieces. Sequins add just as much bling without the eye-popping price tag. — MCT

popping price tag. Go for the LaRok flirty sequin camo skirt from for $158.99, Tumbled sequin miniskirt from for $127, smoke sequin miniskirt from for $79.50 or the sequin miniskirt from Express for $59.90. Kunis’ loose top transforms the mini from night-club status to elegant-party-ready. For a similar top, snag the three-quarter sleeve tee by Juicy Couture for $24.97, three-quarter sleeve dolman from for $14.90 or the three-quarter dolman-sleeve twist tee by C&C California for $24.90. Kunis’ pale shoes are a great color contrast to her skirt, but it might be fun to play around with the shoes you might already own, so no need to splurge there. Any pair of solid-colored pumps in bright red or even black would work great with this look. — MCT Mila Kunis’ loose top transforms the mini from night-club status to elegantparty-ready. — MCT

These photos courtesy of Tory Burch show pieces from the Tory Burch Resort 2012 collection. Resort is not a time for fashion designers to take a vacation. Their collections, which hit stores during the all-important holiday shopping season, are a growing part of their businesses as consumers move toward styles they can wear year-round. — AP photos


Clare Vivier makes a more relaxed version of La Pochette bag in leopard-print leather ($139). — MCT photos

Clare Vivier La Pochette bag with a neon pink stripe down the center ($104) is so on-trend and has a nice flat shape, good for anyone who wants less slouch and more structure.

By Melissa Magsaysay


ll the best dressed girls I know or have spotted out and about recently have been carrying a documentstyle clutch instead of an evening bag or in place of a traditional daytime work bag. These flat, often slouchy envelopes tuck right under the arm and have an ease that’s both elegant and understated. At lunch recently, a friend carried a handmade tan bag with a leather cord that wound around into a small button closure. She received several compliments on the bag, which added a rugged appeal to her long vintage dress. She revealed to everyone eyeing it that it was actually an iPad case. Yes, look twice, and your iPad case could do double-duty as a chic envelope-style bag.

But for best options for this style of bag, I love the unexpected color and stripe on the Alex document clutch from Ten Over Six ($295). The purple and yellow quilted leather would add a fun pop of color to an all-white summer ensemble or work as an appropriate accessory for fashion-savvy Lakers fans. Echo Park (LA)-based designer Clare Vivier has made several styles of this type of purse. Her La Pochette bag with a neon pink stripe down the center ($104) is so on-trend and has a nice flat shape, good for anyone who wants less slouch and more structure. Vivier also makes a more relaxed version that comes in leopard-print leather ($139). It would give a little edge to a simple black dress or add pop to a fall look such as a tan trench coat, jeans and black boots.

Newbark, another L.A-based label, has a couple of clean and modern styles, especially one with cool yellow and gray color blocking.

Newbark, another LA-based label, has a couple of clean and modern styles, especially one with cool yellow and gray color blocking ($455). Use these when traveling to hold cellphone and computer cords or papers. Once you unpack, the bag becomes your day-to-night clutch. And a brown leather double-strap iPad case from JJ Boyles ($178) proves that the right iPad case can be versatile enough to transition from gadget holder to cute handbag. It’s got a great broken-in vintage appeal that keeps any outfit from looking too precious. These bags are versatile, unfussy and perfect for light packing when traveling this summer. — MCT

Brazilian models wear creations by Agua de Coco at the Sao Paulo Fashion Week Summer 2012 collection in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday June 16, 2011. — AP photos


For a pioneer of technology, 100 years of ‘Think’ NEW YORK: Google, Apple and Facebook get all the attention. But the forgettable everyday tasks of technology - saving a file on your laptop, swiping your ATM card to get 40 bucks, scanning a gallon of milk at the checkout line - that’s all IBM. International Business Machines turns 100 on Thursday without much fanfare. But it’s much younger competitors owe a lot to Big Blue. After all, where would Groupon be without the supermarket bar code? Or Google without the mainframe computer? “They were kind of like a cornerstone of that whole enterprise that has become the heart of the computer industry in the US ,” says Bob Djurdjevic, a former IBM employee and president of Annex Research. IBM dates to June 16, 1911, when three companies that made scales, punch-clocks for work and other machines merged to form the Computing Tabulating Recording Co. The modern-day name followed in 1924. With a plant in Endicott, NY, the new business also made cheese slicers and - significantly for its future - machines that read data stored on punch cards. By the 1930s, IBM’s cards were keeping track of 26 million Americans for the newly launched Social Security program. These old, sprawling machines might seem quaint in the iPod era, but they had design elements similar to modern computers. They had places for data storage, math processing areas and output, says David A. Mindell, professor of the history of

technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Punch cards carted from station to station represented what business today might call “data flow.” “It was very sophisticated,” Mindell says. The force behind IBM’s early growth was Thomas J Watson Sr, a demanding boss with exacting standards for everything from office wear (white shirts, ties) to creativity (his slogan: “Think”). Watson, and later his son, Thomas Watson Jr, guided IBM into the computer age. Its machines were used to calculate everything from banking transactions to space shots. As the company swelled after World War II, IBM threw its considerable resources at research to maintain its dominance in the market for mainframes, the hulking computers that power whole offices. “When we did semiconductors, we had thousands and thousands of people,” says Donald Seraphim, who worked at IBM

Gamers gripping handheld controls SAN FRANCISCO: Even though motionsensing videogame controllers are all the rage, sometimes a player prefers a Batarang for bashing bad guys. Accessory titan Power A is seeing keen interest in a console controller it designed similar to a throwing weapon in the arsenal of DC Comics crime fighter Batman even though it doesn’t hit the market until later this year. Batarang controllers timed to hit with the release later this year of a sequel to Warner Brothers blockbuster Batman videogame will join a strong-selling array if accessories are created by the US-based firm. “I don’t see videogames ever going to a point where people aren’t going to want to pick up a controller and shoot and punch and do things of that nature,” Power A divisional vice president of product development John Moore told AFP. “I don’t think they are going away... They are here to stay.” Nintendo is credited with opening the world of videogames to moms, seniors and other “casual gamers” with the launch of the Wii console in 2006. Microsoft built on the trend last year by adding gesture and voice controls to Xbox 360 consoles with Kinect, and Sony released a motion-sensing Move accessory for PlayStation 3 (PS3). Motion controls are a hit, with millions of Kinect and Move devices being snapped up by a broadening audience of gamers. Many of those “casual” players will be lured to titles calling for toggles, buttons and other features on traditional controllers, according to Moore. “Kinect is awesome because it brought people into gaming

who wouldn’t necessarily consider gaming before,” Moore said. “But I think people are always going to want to have controller that they can kick back and play... Not everyone wants to get up and jump around and dance.” And as consoles get more sophisticated, and multi-player games more popular, the number of people playing simultaneously should climb-driving up the demand for controllers. With tens of millions of consoles in homes around the world, the market for replacement, spare or vanity controllers is enticing for makers of videogame accessories. “The controller market is absolutely huge,” Moore said. Power A makes miniature controllers; versions of the gadgets based on Lego videogames, and even models with built in fans to cool hands grown hot from hours of playing intense shooter titles such as “Call of Duty.” The Batarang controller sprang from a relationship with Warner Brothers, and Moore’s love of the first Batman videogame, which he admitted to playing through several times. Washington state-based Power A was among myriad accessory makers showing off new creations and forming alliances at a recent Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. Plantronics and Turtle Beach were in the ranks of companies that showcased headsets that immerse players in rich sound while allowing them to chat with opponents or allies in online games. Turtle Beach billed its new Ear Force PX5 model priced at $250 as the most advanced headset for Xbox 360 or PS3 consoles. —AFP

from 1957 until 1986 and was named a fellow, the company’s highest honor for technical achievement. “They just know how to put the force behind the entrepreneurial things.” By the late ‘60s, IBM was consistently the only high-tech company in the Fortune 500’s top 10. IBM famously spent $5 billion during the decade to develop a family of computers designed so growing businesses could easily upgrade. It introduced the magnetic hard drive in 1956 and the floppy disk in 1971. In the 1960s, IBM developed the first bar code, paving the way for automated supermarket checkouts. IBM introduced a high-speed processing system that allowed ATM transactions. It created magnetic strip technology for credit cards. For much of the 20th century, IBM was the model of a dominant, paternalistic corporation. It was among the first to give workers paid holidays and life insurance. It

ran country clubs for employees generations before Google offered subsidized massages and free meals. “The model really was you joined IBM and you built your career for life there,” says David Finegold, dean of the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University. Transfers to other cities were still common enough that employees joked IBM really stood for “I’ve Been Moved.” The origins of the company’s nickname, Big Blue, are something of a mystery. It may simply derive from IBM’s global size and the color of its logo. IBM’s gold-plated reputation was based in part on ubiquity and reliability, as well as a relentless sales force. But its fortunes began to change as bureaucracy stifled innovation. Information-technology managers used to joke that nobody ever got fired for buying IBM. But by the 1980s, Big Blue found itself adrift in a changing technology environment. IBM had slipped with the rise of cheap microprocessors and rapid changes in the industry. In an infamous blunder, IBM introduced its influential personal computer in 1981, but it passed on buying the rights to the software that ran it - made by a startup called Microsoft. IBM helped make the PC a mainstream product, but it quickly found itself outmatched in a market it helped create. It relied on Intel for chips and Microsoft for software, leaving it vulnerable when the PC industry took off and rivals began using the same technology. —AP

Report: Facebook users more trusting, engaged NEW YORK: Facebook, it turns out, isn’t just a waste of time. People who use it have more close friends, get more social support and report being more politically engaged than those who don’t, according to a new national study on Americans and social networks. The report comes as Facebook, Twitter and even the buttoned-up, career-oriented LinkedIn continue to engrain themselves in our daily lives and change the way we interact with friends, co-workers and long-lost high school buddies. Released Thursday by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, the report also found that Facebook users are more trusting than their non-networked counterparts. When accounting for all other factors - such as age, education level or race - Facebook users were 43 percent more likely than other Internet users to say that “most people can be trusted.” Compared with people who don’t use the Internet at all, Facebook users were three times more trusting. The reason for this is not entirely clear. One possible explanation: People on social networks are more willing to trust others because they interact with a larger number of people in a more diverse setting, said Keith Hampton, the main author of the study and a communications professor at the University of Pennsylvania. When all else is equal, people who use Facebook also have 9 percent more close ties in their overall social network than other Internet users. This backs an earlier report from Pew that, contrary to studies done earlier in the decade, the Internet is not linked to social isolation. Rather, it can lead to larger, more diverse social networks. Social-networking users also scored high in political engagement. Because LinkedIn

users (older, male and more educated) fall into a demographic category that’s more politically active than the general population, they were most likely to vote or attend political rallies. But after adjusting for those characteristics, Facebook users, especially those who use the site multiple times a day, turned out to be more politically involved than those who don’t use it. Overall, the average American has a little more than two close confidants, 2.16 to be exact, according to the report. This is up from an average of 1.93 close ties that Americans reported having in 2008. There are also fewer lonely people: 9 percent of respondents said they had no one with whom they could discuss important matters. That’s down from 12 percent in 2008. The report didn’t try to dig into cause and effect, so it’s not clear whether the widening use of social networks is causing less loneliness. But it did find that people who use the Internet are less socially isolated than those who don’t. Those on social networks, even less so - just 5 percent said they had no one to talk to about important stuff. The researchers also got numbers to back up what’s in the mind of many Facebook users past a certain age: Yes, all your old high school classmates really are coming out of the woodwork and “friending” you. The average Facebook user has 56 friends on the site from high school. That’s far more than any other social group, including extended family, coworkers or college classmates. Facebook’s settings let users add the high school they attended to their profile, along with the year they graduated. Other users can then search for their classmates and add them as friends for a virtual reunion. —AP


TOKYO: (L-R) Han Seung-yeon, Nicole Jung, Koo Hara, Park Gyuri and Kang Jiyoung of South Korean all -girl pop group Kara pose with the new smart phone “Optimus Bright”, produced by South Korean electronics giant LG Electronics in Tokyo yesterday.—AFP

Hackers strike Malaysian websites for a second day Country scrambled to bring govt portal back KUALA LUMPUR: Hackers struck Malaysian websites for a second day yesterday, an Internet regulator said, as the country scrambled to bring its government portal back online after the latest outbreak in a cyberwar waged by online activists. The attacks followed a warning by Internet vigilante group Anonymous, which said it planned to target the Malaysian government’s official portal to punish it for censoring WikiLeaks. In the attacks, which started in the early hours of Thursday, 91 Malaysian websites were hit, including 51 government webpages. Fewer attacks were reported yesterday. The

official government website was back online yesterday and most other websites had recovered, said Husin Jazri, chief executive of CyberSecurity Malaysia, which is responsible for protecting the country’s cyberspace borders. “Our focus now is to halt the attack and to help the victims to get their websites up and running as usual,” Husin said in a statement. “The attack is still ongoing but at a reducing rate compared to yesterday.” Husin did not say how many websites were attacked yesterday. Local media reported that Malaysian hackers also participated in the attack that was

first announced this week by Anonymous, which frequently tries to shut down the websites of businesses and other organisations it opposes. Husin said police had identified some of the hackers but gave no further details. Police officials were not immediately available to comment. State news agency Bernama quoted Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Maximus Ongkili as saying 90 percent of the hackers were Malaysians. Anonymous gained notoriety when it temporarily crippled the websites of MasterCard and Paypal that cut off financial services to WikiLeaks, the website that aims to hold governments and corpora-

tions to account by leaking secret documents. Hackers have also struck multinational firms and institutions, from the US Central Intelligence Agency to Citigroup to the International Monetary Fund. Anonymous members cripple websites by overwhelming them with traffic in what are commonly known as “denial of service” attacks. The hacking group has also brought down websites in Syria, Tunisia, Egypt and India for political reasons. The spate of attacks by Anonymous and other groups has raised concerns that governments and the private sector may unprepared to defend themselves. — Reuters

Cyber raids fuel calls for training, monitoring LONDON: Employers rushing to boost cyber defenses after a rash of US online break-ins won’t block spies and thieves by simply throwing technology at the problem, since their core weakness is often badly-trained and -managed workers. In the cyber realm, as in other areas of security, the human factor is a pervasive vulnerability, be it theft by malicious “insiders” or inadvertent breaches by employees clicking on a compromised link, analysts say.

More rigorous training may not end the abuse of corporate cyber systemsthe sophistication of some hacker tactics is so great that 100 percent security is probably unattainable-but it can significantly reduce the risks, specialists say. The same goes for the adoption of intrusive new ways of monitoring employee online behavior and compliance with good cyber practice, some security specialists say. “(High-tech) Bells and whistles are

no use if you don’t have trusted, loyal and well-informed staff,” said an industry executive who spoke recently at a closed door cyber seminar. Many experts say much more can be done to tighten security at the “endpoint”-in other words, people-rather than place excessive reliance on clever software, important as that is. Some experts see a need to carry out security vetting when hiring key staff, for example computer system administrators.

“Technology is only a part of the problem-all systems are composed of people, processes and technologyyou only need to break one of the components to attack the system,” said Steve Purser, a senior expert at the European Network and Information Security Agency, a European Union body. He said there were no hard and fast rules about monitoring staff online because data differed in sensitivity and context. —Reuters

TV listings SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

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

Dogs 101 Untamed And Uncut Karina: Wild On Safari Whale Wars After The Attack Animal Cops Phoenix My Cat From Hell Meerkat Manor Michaela’s Animal Road Trip The Really Wild Show Jeff Corwin Unleashed Crocodile Hunter Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 Dogs 101 Dogs 101 Must Love Cats My Cat From Hell Pit Bulls And Parolees Dogs 101 Sharkman Sharkman After The Attack Penguin Safari

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

Beautiful People The Weakest Link Survivors Beautiful People Doctors Last Of The Summer Wine Gigglebiz Fimbles Balamory Teletubbies Gigglebiz Fimbles Balamory Teletubbies Fimbles Balamory Teletubbies Gigglebiz Fimbles Balamory Teletubbies Gigglebiz Last Of The Summer Wine The Planets The Weakest Link Eastenders Strictly Come Dancing One Foot In The Grave Doctor Who Confidential The Planets The Weakest Link Holby City Robin Hood Green Green Grass Live At The Apollo One Foot In The Grave Red Cap

00:30 Come Dine With Me 01:20 The Home Show 02:10 Masterchef: The Professionals 03:40 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad 04:05 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad 04:30 Daily Cooks Challenge 07:00 Saturday Kitchen 07:25 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 08:10 Saturday Kitchen 11:15 Masterchef: The Professionals 12:45 Saturday Kitchen 14:05 Design Star 15:35 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 20:50 Design Star 22:20 Masterchef: The Professionals

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

Dirty Jobs Extreme Engineering Ultimate Survival Ultimate Car Build-Off Mythbusters How It’s Made How Machines Work Dirty Jobs American Chopper: Senior vs Ultimate Car Build-Off Motor City Motors Science Of The Movies The Future Of...

09:15 York 10:15 16:55 17:25 17:55 18:55 19:55 20:55 21:25 22:25 23:25 23:55

Kourtney And Kim Take New Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane Extreme Close-Up Fashion Police E! News Khloe And Lamar THS The Soup Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane E! News Chelsea Lately The Soup

00:40 Winter X Games Europe 2010 01:30 World Combat League 02:20 Carpocalypse 03:10 M1 Selection 2010 04:00 FIM World Motocross MX1/MX2... 04:50 FIM World Motocross MX1/MX2... 05:40 World Combat League 06:30FIA European Drag Racing 2008 08:00 Quattro Events 2009 09:40 Kenny Belaey’s Big Time 10:55 Kenny Belaey’s Big Time South Africa 11:20 Lucas Oil Ama Motocross Championships... 13:00 LG Action Sports World... 13:50 Dr Danger 14:40 FIA European Drag Racing 2008 15:05 Ride Guide Mountainbike 2009 16:20 Lucas Oil Ama Motocross Championships... 17:10 Carpocalypse 18:00 Dr Danger 18:50 Lucas Oil Ama Motocross Championships... 20:30 LG Action Sports World... 21:20 Carpocalypse 22:10 Dr Danger 23:00 FIM World Motocross MX3 Championships... 23:50 Aiya TV

ARMORED ON OSN ACTION HD 11:25 12:20 14:35 15:30 16:25 17:20 18:15 19:10 20:05 21:00 21:55 22:50

Mythbusters Time Warp Extreme Engineering Huge Moves Mighty Ships Mythbusters River Monsters American Loggers Ultimate Survival Sarah Palin’s Alaska Gold Rush: Full Disclosure River Monsters

00:30 The Gadget Show 00:55 Mega World 01:45 How The Universe Works 02:35 The Gadget Show 03:25 Cool Stuff And How It Works 03:50 Scrapheap Challenge 04:45 Science Of The Movies 05:40 One Step Beyond 06:10 Human Body: Ultimate Machine 07:00 Sci-Fi Saved My Life 07:55 Brainiac 08:45 Head Rush 08:48 Sci-Fi Science 09:15 Weird Connections 09:45 Scrapheap Challenge 10:35 Human Body: Ultimate Machine 13:55 Speed Junkie 14:45 The Gadget Show 15:35 Patent Bending 16:00 Head Rush 16:03 Cool Stuff And How It Works 16:30 How Does That Work? 17:00 Engineering Thrills 17:50 How Stuff Works

18:40 19:30 20:20 21:10 22:00 22:50 23:40

Sci-Fi Science Bang Goes The Theory The Gadget Show Cosmic Collisions Da Vinci’s Machines Catch It Keep It Weird Or What?

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

Jungle Junction Special Agent Oso Little Einsteins Higglytown Heroes Jo Jo’s Circus Jungle Junction Special Agent Oso Little Einsteins Higglytown Heroes Jo Jo’s Circus Jungle Junction Special Agent Oso Little Einsteins Higglytown Heroes Jo Jo’s Circus Jungle Junction Special Agent Oso Little Einsteins Higglytown Heroes Special Agent Oso Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Timmy Time Little Einsteins Where Is Warehouse Mouse? The Hive Jake & The Neverland Pirates Jungle Junction Special Agent Oso Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Where Is Warehouse Mouse? Mickey Mouse Clubhouse The Little Mermaid

11:30 11:35 11:45 12:00 12:20 12:30 12:50 12:55 13:15 13:25 13:35 13:45 13:55 14:00 14:10 14:20 14:30 14:30 14:40 14:50 15:10 15:15 15:35 15:40 16:05 16:15 16:25 16:30 16:50 17:00

00:25 00:55 01:25 03:15 04:10 05:05 06:00 07:50 08:20

Where Is Warehouse Mouse? Handy Manny Jake & The Neverland Pirates Imagination Movers Where Is Warehouse Mouse? Imagination Movers Where Is Warehouse Mouse? Imagination Movers Where Is Warehouse Mouse? Handy Manny Handy Manny Jake & The Neverland Pirates Where Is Warehouse Mouse? Jungle Junction The Hive Timmy Time Special Agent Oso Where Is Warehouse Mouse? Special Agent Oso The Little Mermaid Where Is Warehouse Mouse? Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Where Is Warehouse Mouse? Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Handy Manny Handy Manny Where Is Warehouse Mouse? Jake & The Neverland Pirates Jungle Junction Imagination Movers

Kendra Behind The Scenes Young, Beautiful And Vanished 25 Most Stylish Sexiest Extreme Hollywood 40 (More) Crimes Of Fashion Behind The Scenes E! News

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

00:30 Market Values 01:00 Bondi Rescue 01:30 Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled 02:30 Banged Up Abroad 03:30 The Best Job In The World 04:00 Bondi Rescue 04:30 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 05:00 Exploring The Vine 05:30 By Any Means 06:30 Market Values 07:00 Bondi Rescue

07:30 Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled 08:30 Banged Up Abroad 09:30 The Best Job In The World 10:00 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 10:30 Bondi Rescue 11:30 Racing To America 15:30 Bondi Rescue 16:00 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 16:30 Bondi Rescue 17:30 Racing To America 21:30 Bondi Rescue 22:00 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 22:30 Bondi Rescue 23:30 Racing To America

00:00 Hooked 01:00 Mother Warthog 01:55 My Life Is A Zoo 02:50 Anaconda: Queen Of The Serpents 03:45 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 04:40 Underwater Oasis 05:35 World’s Weirdest 06:30 Quest For The Megafish of The Amazon 07:25 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 08:20 Python Hunters 09:15 The Dark Side of Hippos 10:10 Hippo Hell 11:05 How Big Can It Get 12:00 Caught Barehanded 13:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 14:00 Cameramen Who Dare 15:00 Shark Men 16:00 My Life Is A Zoo 17:00 Asia’s Deadliest Snakes 18:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 19:00 Cameramen Who Dare 20:00 Shark Men 21:00 My Life Is A Zoo 22:00 Asia’s Deadliest Snakes 23:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr

00:00 Hooked 01:00 Mother Warthog 01:55 My Life Is A Zoo 02:50 Anaconda: Queen Of The Serpents 03:45 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 04:40 Underwater Oasis 05:35 World’s Weirdest 06:30 Quest For The Megafish of The Amazon 07:25 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 08:20 Python Hunters 09:15 The Dark Side of Hippos 10:10 Hippo Hell 11:05 How Big Can It Get 12:00 Caught Barehanded 13:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 14:00 Cameramen Who Dare 15:00 Shark Men 16:00 My Life Is A Zoo 17:00 Asia’s Deadliest Snakes 18:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 19:00 Cameramen Who Dare 20:00 Shark Men 21:00 My Life Is A Zoo 22:00 Asia’s Deadliest Snakes 23:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr

00:00 02:00 04:00 06:00 08:00 09:45 12:15 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00

From Within-PG15 Unbreakable-PG15 Orphan-18 Kiss The Girls-18 The Betrayed-PG15 Angels And Demons-PG15 The One-PG15 The Betrayed-PG15 Ghost Town (TV Movie)-18 The One-PG15 Armored-18 Gothika-18

TV listings SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011

01:30 03:45 05:45 07:15 09:00 11:00 13:00 15:00 17:00 19:00 21:00 23:00

Mother And Child-18 Who Is Clark Rockefeller-PG The Nutty Professor-FAM Harold-PG15 Who Is Clark Rockefeller-PG The Nutty Professor-FAM Attack On Leningrad-PG Adam-PG15 Ice Twisters-PG15 Remember Me-PG15 I Love You Beth Cooper-PG15 Ninja Assassin-18

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 South Park 02:00 Funny Or Die Presents 02:30 Eastbound And Down 03:00 Funny Or Die Presents 03:00 Til Death 03:30 8 Simple Rules ... 03:30 Eastbound And Down 04:00 South Park 04:30The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Will And Grace 06:00 According To Jim 06:30 Family Biz 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Outsourced 08:30 The New Adventures Of Old Christine 09:00 Til Death 09:30 Will And Grace 10:00 According To Jim 10:30 Outsourced 11:00 Family Biz 11:30The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:30 The New Adventures Of Old Christine 13:00 8 Simple Rules ... 13:30 Will And Grace 14:00 According To Jim 14:30 Modern Family 15:00 Outsourced 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 Family Biz 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 Til Death 18:30 8 Simple Rules ... 19:00 Melissa And Joey 19:30 How I Met Your Mother 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Saturday Night Live

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

Off The Map Big Love The Good Guys Drop Dead Diva Big Love Good Morning America The Bachelor One Tree Hill The Good Guys Century City The View Off The Map Drop Dead Diva Century City Live Good Morning America The Bachelor The Ellen DeGeneres Show Emmerdale Coronation Street C.S.I. C.S.I. New York Sons Of Anarchy Grey’s Anatomy The Cape

00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 07:30 08:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 12:30

Criminal Minds The Good Guys Drop Dead Diva Big Love Off The Map Surface Criminal Minds 30 Rock Look-A-Like Covert Affairs The Good Guys Off The Map Drop Dead Diva 30 Rock Look-A-Like

14:00 15:00 16:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00

01:00 02:45 05:00 07:00 09:30 11:15 13:00 15:00 17:00 19:00 21:00 23:00

Covert Affairs Criminal Minds 30 Rock Covert Affairs C.S.I. C.S.I. New York Sons Of Anarchy The Unit Law And Order: Criminal Intent

Neowolf-18 XXX-PG15 From Within-PG15 Alatriste-PG15 Inkheart-PG Annihilation Earth-PG15 S.W.A.T.-PG15 Inkheart-PG The Stepfather-PG15 Collateral-18 Gothika-18 It’s Alive-R

00:00 Chasing Papi-PG 02:00 Someone Like You-PG15 04:00 Ghosts Of Girlfriends PastPG15 06:00 Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs-PG 08:00 The Perfect Score-PG15 10:00 Old Dogs-PG 12:00 From Justin To Kelly-PG 14:00 Houseguest-PG15 16:00 Chasing Papi-PG 18:00 Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star-PG15 20:00 American Pie 7: The Book Of Love-18 22:00 Serial Mom-18

01:00 Fragments-18 03:00 Delgo-FAM 05:00 Imagine That-PG 07:00 Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time-PG15 09:00 The Country Bears-PG15 11:00 Star Trek-PG 13:15 Don’t Fade Away-PG15 15:15 The Sorcerer’s Apprentice-PG15 17:15 The Country Bears-PG15 19:00 Up In The Air-PG15 21:00 The Messenger-PG15 23:00 Mona Lisa Smile-PG

00:00 The Princess And The FrogFAM 02:00 Christopher Columbus-PG 04:00 Leave It To Beaver-PG 06:00 The Country Bears-PG15 08:00 Pocahontas III: The Journey In Time-PG 10:00 The Princess And The FrogFAM 12:00 Ace Ventura : Pet Detective Jr.PG15 14:00 The Country Bears-PG15 16:00 Scooby-Doo And The Ghoul School-FAM 18:00 Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel-FAM 20:00 Inspector Gadget’s Last Case: Claw’s...-FAM

00:00 00:30 01:00 03:00 05:00 07:00 10:00

ICC Cricket World Futbol Mundial NRL Premiership Super 15 Super League Live AFL Premiership Futbol Mundial

10:30 11:30 12:00 12:30 13:00 20:00 22:30 22:30

Trans World Sport Mobil 1 The Grid European Tour Weekly ICC Cricket World Live Test Cricket Live Super League Futbol Mundial NRL Premiership

00:30 01:00 03:00 05:30 06:30 07:00 08:00 08:30 14:30 15:00 17:30 18:00 22:00 23:00

Total Rugby Super League AFL Premiership Golfing World ICC Cricket World Trans World Sports Total Rugby Live Super 15 European Tour Weekly AFL Premiership Total Rugby Live Super 15 Trans World Sport AFL Premiership

00:00 WWE SmackDown 02:00 WWE Bottom Line 03:00 WWE NXT 04:00 WWE Vintage Collection 06:00 UFC Unleashed 07:00 WWE SmackDown 09:00 Live V8 Supercars Championship 10:30 Live NRL Premiership 12:30 Live NRL Premiership 14:30 WWE Vintage Collection 15:30 WWE Bottom Line 16:30 V8 Supercars Championship 17:30 Futbol Mundial 18:00 Live Masters Football 21:00 V8 Supercars Championship 22:00 WWE SmackDown


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

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

Jerseylicious Fashion Avenue Fashion Avenue Big Boutique How Do I Look? Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? Married Away Homes With Style Area Clean House Big Boutique Big Boutique Clean House Giuliana & Bill Giuliana & Bill Clean House Clean House Comes Clean Clean House Comes Clean Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? Bridalplasty Jerseylicious Ruby How Do I Look? Clean House Most Outrageous Weddings Fashion Police Clean House Comes Clean Jerseylicious Top 10

Ancient Discoveries Ice Road Truckers How The Earth Was Made Lost Worlds Lost Worlds Ancient Discoveries Ancient Discoveries Ice Road Truckers How The Earth Was Made Lost Worlds Lost Worlds Ancient Discoveries Ancient Discoveries Ice Road Truckers How The Earth Was Made Lost Worlds Lost Worlds Ancient Discoveries Ancient Discoveries Ice Road Truckers How The Earth Was Made The Universe The Universe The Universe

00:05 Cow And Chicken 00:30 Cramp Twins 00:55 George Of The Jungle 01:20 Adventure Time 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 Ed, Edd N Eddy 07:25 Chop Socky Chooks 07:50 Chowder 08:05 Cartoon Network Dance Club 08:15 Ben 10: Alien Force 08:40 Bakugan: Gundalian Invaders 09:05 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 09:30 The Secret Saturdays 09:55 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 10:20 George Of The Jungle 10:30 Angelo Rules 10:55 Best Ed 11:20 Eliot Kid 11:45 Skunk Fu! 12:10 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes 12:35 Bakugan: New Vestroia 13:00 Ben 10 13:25 Codename: Kids Next Door 13:50 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack

14:15 The Life And Times Of Juniper Lee 14:40 George Of The Jungle 15:05 Ed, Edd N Eddy 15:20 Cartoon Network Dance Club 15:35 Chop Socky Chooks 16:00 Robotboy 16:25 Squirrel Boy 16:50 Chowder 17:15 The Secret Saturdays 17:40 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 18:05 Bakugan: Gundalian Invaders 18:30 Angelo Rules 18:55 Best Ed 19:20 Adventure Time 19:45 Cow And Chicken 20:10 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 20:35 Courage The Cowardly Dog 21:00 The Powerpuff Girls 21:15 Cartoon Network Dance Club 21:25 Ed, Edd N Eddy 21:50 Robotboy 22:00 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 22:25 Skunk Fu! 22:50 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 23:15 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 23:40 Chowder

00:30 The Haunted 01:20 Psychic Witness 02:10 Serial Killers 03:00 I Escaped Death 03:50 Dr G: Medical Examiner 04:45 Amsterdam Vice 05:15 The Haunted 06:10 Mystery Diagnosis 07:00 Forensic Detectives 07:50 Murder Shift 08:40 Mystery Diagnosis 09:30 Real Emergency Calls 09:55 Real Emergency Calls 10:20 Disappeared 11:10 FBI Files 12:00 On The Case With Paula Zahn 12:50 The Will: Family Secrets Revealed 13:40 Mystery Diagnosis 14:30 Real Emergency Calls 14:55 Real Emergency Calls 15:20 Disappeared 16:10 Forensic Detectives 17:00 Murder Shift 17:50 FBI Files 18:40 Mystery Diagnosis 19:30 Real Emergency Calls 19:55 Real Emergency Calls 20:20 On The Case With Paula Zahn 21:10 The Will: Family Secrets Revealed 22:00 The Haunted 22:50 Ghost Lab 23:40 A Haunting

00:00 Working Holiday 01:00 Globe Trekker 02:00 Great Scenic Railways-US & Canada 02:30 Distant Shores 03:00 Cruising to the Northern Lights 04:00 Globe Trekker 05:00 Working Holiday 06:00 Destination Art 06:30 Cruise Today 07:00 Globe Trekker 08:00 Essential 08:30 Cruise Today 09:00 Journey Into Wine-Spain & Portugal 09:30 Hollywood and Vines 10:00 Planet Food 11:00 Planet Food 12:00 Globe Trekker Special 13:00 Globe Trekker 14:00 World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides 15:00 Nomad’s Land 16:00 Globe Trekker 17:00 Cruise Today 17:30 Journey Into Wine-Spain & Portugal 18:00 Hollywood and Vines 18:30 Travel Today 19:00 Globe Trekker 20:00 Working Holiday 21:00 Think Green 22:00 Julian and Camilla’s World Odyssey




une 5th 2011 is a Red Letter Day in the rich history of ICSK Amman - the day on which the young and energetic members of both the Senior and the Junior Senates took the oath of office for the academic year 2011-2012. The ceremony was marked by a judicious blend of grandeur and sobriety. The event was attended by luminaries from the ICSK Board of Trustees (BOT), Parent Advisory Council (PAC) Members, Principals of other branches, parents, teachers and the students. Sageer Trikarpur, Chairman of Kuwait Kerala Muslim Association and the former member of the BOT graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. Chacko George Kutty , the former PAC Member was the Guest of Honor, Rajan Daniel, the Hon Secretary, was the special guest of honor. The other distinguished guests were Vijay Karayail, Hon Jt Secretary, Mogal Akbar Chakravarthy Board Member representing PAC of Amman branch and the members of PAC. The event started with the Islamic prayer, followed by the renditions of the National Anthems of Kuwait and India. The traditional lamp of knowledge was lit by the Chief Guest and other guests of honor. The Amman choir then sang the inspiring “Ho Jao Tiyaar Saathiyo....” George Swamy, the Senate Advisor welcomed the august gathering. The newly elected members of the senate were then administered the oath by the Principal and Mentor Sridevi Pradeep following which the Chief Guest and the Guest of Honor invested the badges of various responsibilities to the students. The Senior Senate of Amman includes: President - Roby John George, Vice President - Ajish Sam George, Sports Captain - Ronak Pillai, Assistant Sports Captain - Anwaar Mazhar, Arts Club Secretary - Aju Reji Kuruvilla, Assistant Arts Club Secretary - Ahmed Kazi. The Junior Senate of Amman includes: President - Fatema Ali Asgar, Vice President - Vinayak Vinai, Sports Captain - Sneha George, Asst. Sports Captain -

Abdullah Sabir, Arts Club Secretary - Julia Anil; Asst. Arts Club Secretary - Anamika Anil Kumar. The Chief Guest then addressed the gathering, giving a motivating and thought provoking speech about the qualities of a leader. He differentiated between the traditional and modern ideas of leadership. “The conventional idea of a leader has changed in the modern time. The leader is no more a lone figure of authority but an effective member of the team. This is called shared leadership.” said he. He encouraged the office bearers to be effective leaders and role models. The Amman choir then sang a soulful melody of Tagore’s “Where the mind is without fear..” The next in the agenda was the highlight of the day’s program. A special speech by a special person. The honorary secretary Rajan Daniel, came onto the stage with a thunderous applause. True to the introduction given about him being a teacher, he started by posing a question to the newly elected members “the government of the people, for the people and by the people is a famous line. Who spoke this and on what occasion?” asked the special guest of honor. He was happy to receive the correct answer that it is from President Lincoln’s Gettysburg address during the Civil War in America. He went on to explain the nature of democracy and stressed on “freedom” as the most important feature of democracy. “I am proud to be an Indian, a country which takes pride in its democracy and rich culture” he declared emotionally. His amazing skills of connecting to his audience irrespective of the age group was well appreciated. The event came to a close with the new President Roby John George proposing the vote of thanks, true to the civilized custom of expressing gratitude. It was an extremely organized event appreciated well by one and all present. The Ammanites have done it again in style.

Infunity presents summer ‘Blank Camp’


re you looking to keep your kids busy this summer? The family entertainment center “Infunity” presents its first summer “Blank Camp”, which offers a great experience, fun and adventures for young campers ages 5 to 12 years old. The “Blank Camp” which is managed by Blank Hunts, offers a variety of activities including arts, crafts, reading, theater, sports and treasure hunt. The camp will be running from June 19 to July 14 at “Infunity”, 360 Mall, Level 3 and will be conducted from 9 am to 1:30 pm. In this camp, kids will have the opportunity to learn new skills, gain knowledge, enhance self-confidence and build character and selfesteem. In addition, build up new friendships and unforgettable experiences that last a lifetime. “Infunity” aims through this camp to offer kids the opportunity to express their capabilities, try new things, stimulate challenge, work in teams and improve their skills. Moreover, all activities are chosen and designed carefully to entrain young campers in a healthy and safe environment. It is worthy to mention that the family entertainment center “Infunity” is one of the latest entertainment centers in Kuwait and it is the right place for the families who are seeking to spend enjoyable and pleasant times since its games are the most recent in Kuwait and combines education and entertainment. Invest your kid’s time and call on 99091277 to register.




ard work rewarded is always sweet and has its own excitement and joy. Joy, when shared with those who really matter, is multiplied and spread everywhere. Crowne Plaza Kuwait follows this principle in its matters of celebration. Having been acknowledged as the Best Business Hotel in Kuwait 2011 by the Business Traveller Middle East Awards Ceremony in Dubai, the management of the hotel decided to rejoice in the joyous occasion with the clients who had made it possible. At a gala high dinner, in the presence of diplomats from various countries, top managements of its valuable corporate clients, partners who have always been a part of every accomplishment and key media people, the Crowne Plaza Kuwait celebrated the joint success of all its ventures that had brought the hotel to this award. The hotel management, led by Ahmed Serafi, the Hotel Manager as well as the Sales & Marketing Teams greeted the guests, escorting them to their seats, making them comfortable and at east. In his opening address, Ahmed Serafi, the Hotel Manager thanked and gratefully acknowledged every corporate client and business partner who had made this award possible. He mentioned that the feedback of the guests and the positive reviews received always encouraged the hotel to go another extra mile to make things happen. Located strategically in the Middle East and always holding its own, Kuwait is a country that has always faced its challenges head on, and the same principle has been followed by the hotel as well. He made mention of the fact that the prize was just the beginning of many more to be followed, which is to be expected with all the services and facilities

that the hotel offers. With the opening of the New Ballroom later this year, the hotel will be in an advantageous position over its competitors to host not only meetings and conference but exhibitions and fairs as well. The hotel is slowly expanding with 186 new rooms and furnished apartment coming in as well within the next year to accommodate the ever increasing demands from guests. Following this, the award itself was ceremoniously unveiled and a cake cut in the honor of winning the award, in the presence of representatives from the UNDP, Their Excellencies, the Ambassadors of Laos, Senegal, Pakistan, Nepal, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Myanmar, Bhutan, Lebanon, Togo, Romania, Jordan, North Korea, Somalia, Georgia, Syria, Czech Republic, Venezuela,

Bosnia, Counselors from Russia, Brunei, South Korea, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Management Counsellor from the US Embassy, Deputy Head of Mission for Sierra Leone and Charge De’ Affairs of Sri Lanka, representative from the Guyana Embassy. Celebrities from Lebanon entertained the guests throughout the evening with performances, keeping them enthralled. A 4 - course set menu dinner was prepared and served by the very best talents of the hotel, which left lingering flavors for the invitees. The remaining of the evening was serenaded with melodies in French, Italian and English, each rendition more charming and better than the last. The magic of the evening was enhanced by the ever talented and brilliant magician from Illusions, which left you believing

that magic still exists. Being in Kuwait, no evening is complete without the pure Arabian touch in an evening’s entertainment. Even here, there was no disappointment as a reputed duo took to the stage and kept the guests on the edge of the chairs with the magic of their Arabic melodies. As a token of our appreciation of our supporting partners, the hotel surprised Gregg Stevens, the President of the American Business Council Kuwait with a birthday cake during the evening, in a gesture of love, giving him a memorable birthday evening. Completely in an ambience that reflected the elite, the dÈcor was a total wrap of colors in black, gold, red and orange. From the backdrop to the ceiling to the entrance, every detail was taken care of. Every attendee took home with them a souvenir, which was but a small expression of the gratitude of the Crowne Plaza Kuwait towards their constant and ongoing support, appreciation and partnership. With an exclusive and unique Spa Aquatonic, a variety of flavors from around the globe, rooms that take care of every customer’s needs, a Health Club that boasts of the best in health - Crowne Plaza Kuwait has it all for every individual. In its constant quest to deliver the core vision of the IHG, Great Hotels Guests Love, Crowne Plaza Kuwait is acompany that focuses on the satisfaction of its patrons, the hotel always on the lookout for new ventures that will advance the success of both the clients and the business, hand in hand.



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Climate talks make scant progress to save Kyoto Island states say the rich hamper progress BONN: Negotiators made scant progress towards salvaging the United Nations’ Kyoto Protocol for fighting climate change beyond 2012 at two weeks of talks ending yesterday, delegates said. “When you look at the progress is very uneven,” said Adrian Macey of New Zealand, chairing a session of talks among 180 nations in Bonn about the Kyoto Protocol, which risks dying beyond 2012 due to lack of support. Developing nations accused rich nations of reneging on promises to extend Kyoto, which now binds almost 40 nations to cut emissions until 2012. Kyoto’s future has become the main focus after a UN summit in 2009 failed to agree a new treaty. “Progress in Bonn has been hampered by parties with the biggest historical responsibility for emissions,” the Alliance of Small Island States said of rich nations that have burnt carbon-emitting fossil fuels since the 18th century Industrial Revolution. The alliance says its members are on the front line of climate change, including more powerful storms, droughts, floods and rising sea levels. Developing nations say that the rich must take the lead and extend Kyoto to unlock action by the poor. Japan, Canada and Russia have said they will not make cuts in an extended Kyoto and are instead demanding a new global deal with greenhouse gas curbs to be observed by all, including big emerging nations led by China and India. And Kyoto backers led by the European Union say they are unwilling to go it alone and will extend the pact only if all major emitters sign up for curbs. Further complicating Kyoto’s fate, the United States never ratified the 1997 UN deal, arguing that it unfairly omitted targets by major emerging emitters such as China and India and would cost US jobs. Washington says it will not join. Advances in Bonn were largely on technical issues, such as working out new ways of sharing clean energy technologies or setting up a green fund to aid developing nations. Little headway was made on broader issues of emissions cuts or cash. In talks about slowing deforestation, for instance, the text agreed to ask for new ideas by a Sept. 19 deadline. “That’s a step forward,” said Donald Lehr of the Ecosystems Climate Alliance. “But it’s not enough. It’s too slow.” The talks also postponed decisions on four separate items meant to speed up and expand the clean development mechanism, which allows rich nations to invest in emission-cutting projects such as wind or solar power in poor natoins. As the final sessions were held, the United Nations was scrambling to muster cash to hold a new UN session, as hoped by many delegates, before annual talks among environment ministers in Durban, South Africa, in November and December. Many nations have been reluctant to pay. The meeting had opened with calls for swifter action after the International Energy Agency said that global carbon dioxide emissions rose by 5.9 percent in 2010, to a record level, despite promises of cuts. “The contrast between what’s happening with emissions and the pace of talks here is alarming,” said Samantha Smith, of the WWF International conservation group. Still, she said that there were examples of progress around the world, such as programs by Brazil and Indonesia to slow deforestation, backed by donors led by Norway. “The process has produced successes, but not here,” she said. —Reuters

LILLE: A picture taken yesterday in Lille, northern France, shows an ambulance parked inside the Jeanne de Flandre hospital, where seven children are hospitalised with E. coli infections after eating meat that may have been imported from Germany. —AFP

1 of 8 French kids ill with burger E.coli gets worse No link to German strain PARIS: The condition of one of the children infected with a strain of the E.coli bacteria in northern France has deteriorated, Health Minister Xavier Bertrand said yesterday. Eight children have been admitted to hospital after eating beef burgers bought frozen from the German discount chain Lidl. Health officials say the bacteria is not related to the strain of E.coli that has killed 39 people and made 3,000 ill, mostly in Germany, and which was blamed on tainted vegetables. “One of the children was put on dialysis overnight,” Xavier Bertrand said on Radio Classique. “His condition has worsened.”

On Thursday, health authorities in the Nord Pas de Calais region where the infections are concentrated said three of the children had been treated with hemodialysis, a method of cleaning the blood in case of kidney failure. The children, all aged between 20 months and 8 years, fell ill with symptoms such as bloody diarrhoea. One was discharged from hospital on Wednesday. Health authorities have blamed the contagion on beef burgers sold frozen for distribution under the “Steaks Country” label. Privately-owned Lidl, which distributes burgers that are produced by French

frozen-beef supplier SEB-CERF, has pulled all “Steaks Country” brand burgers from supermarket shelves. Guy Lamorlette, SEB-CERF’s chief executive, said on Thursday that frozen burgers suspected of having infected one of the children came from Germany. SEB-CERF, which has withdrawn some 10 tons of frozen beef products, purchases carcasses from many European countries and health officials have not yet ruled on the origin of the infections. Lamorlette said he expected the results of analyses on the source of infections within days. — Reuters

Uganda says Ebola outbreak is over KAMPALA: Uganda has successfully prevented the rare and deadly Ebola virus from spreading, nearly two months after a 12 year-old girl bled to death after contracting the disease, officials said yesterday. “Uganda is free of Ebola,” Doctor Anthony Mbonya, chairman of a national task force set up after the girl’s death, told Reuters. “The situation is perfect.” Uganda’s declaration is in line with World Health Organization guidelines that stipulate countries must wait 41 days after the discharge or death of the last Ebola patient before declaring an outbreak over. There is no treatment and no vaccine for Ebola, which causes internal and external bleeding, vomiting, diarrhea and shock. Depending on the strain, it kills from 50 to 90 percent of its victims. “We managed to contain the case because of our previous experience with Ebola,” Mbonye said. “The girl was buried very quickly and we kept the body away from the local population.” Uganda was last hit by Ebola in 2007, when it killed at least 37 people, caused public panic and prompted President Yoweri Museveni to urge Ugandans to stop shaking hands. Mbonye said the task force had so far failed to discover how or where the girl had contracted Ebola but that investigations were ongoing. Ebola has caused dozens of deadly outbreaks across Africa and threatens endangered gorilla populations as well as people.— Reuters

HANOVER: A hanuman langur mother holds her nine days old son yesterday at the zoo in Hanover, central Germany. Hanuman langurs, also known as gray langurs, are native to Asia. —AFP


ACCOMMODATION A fully furnished 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom CA/C flat for rent for 2 months (July & August) specially for families on visit, nice location in Khaitan. Contact: 67797042/66674242. (C 3451) Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya with Keralite family for decent Keralite couple in two bedroom, two bathroom flat. If interested call: 97168979. (C 3453) 18-6-2011 Separate room available for Indian bachelors in old Riggae. Sector-1, St.-1, Jadda-3. Contact: 97525930. (C 3447) 16-6-2011 Sharing accommodation with Kerala family from July 4, for decent couples or working ladies, near Ruchi Restaurant, Abbassiya. Contact: 99487601. (C 3440) Sharing accommodation available for Keralite family, working ladies or couples, Abbassiya. Contact: 97769931. (C 3441) Fully furnished flat of 1 bed, hall available from June 20, 2011, to share a practicing Muslim person or family,

located in Abbasiya near German Clinic. Contact: 99430379. (C 3445)

FOR SALE PC Compaq Pentium 4, RAM 256MB, HD 40 GB, DVD-CD Writer, Windows XP Professional with 15” LCD Neovo, excellent condition. Price KD 45. Call: 99322585/ 99337034. (C 3448) 16-6-2011 Chevrolet Optra, model 2006, silver while color, 4 cylinder, insurance up to June 2013, price KD 1300/-. Contact: 97124858. (C 3439) Expat family selling furniture items (sofa sets, bed sets, tables, carpets, no electronics). Contact: 66042205. Also see (C 3442) For sale wooden bedroom furniture (except wardrobe), wooden dining table with four chairs, all Center Point, Panasonic 42” Plasma and JVC hi-fi system with 5 DVD players, and more. All used for 1 year. Contact: 66603401. CHANGE OF NAME I, Rania, holder of Indian Passport No: E1093683 issued from Kuwait on 02/05/2002

D/o Mohamed Hussain Pallath residing at Pallaath house, Mookkuthala Po, Malappuram Dt, Kerala have changed by name as Rania Mohamed Hussain Pallath. (C 3450) 18-6-2011

SITUATION VACANT Required housemaid in Farwaniya, Block 5, who knows cooking and cleaning for an Indian family. Contact: 97220933. (C 3454) 18-6-2011

MATRIMONIAL Seeking proposal for Muslim Pakistani daughter, 25 years, MSc., tall, smart, fair, in job Kuwait, from matching status boy in Kuwait/Pakistan. Contact: or P.O. Box: 1329, Khaitan 83001. (C 3449) 18-6-2011 Tamil Muslim girl, MCA, 25 yrs from Tamil Nadu, seeks alliance from professionally qualified, Tamil Muslim boys working in Kuwait. Contact Email: (C 3446) 15-6-2011

SITUATION WANTED Educated Iranian man looking for suitable vacancy, 7 years experience in trading field (Import and Export) well familiar with Microsoft office and English language, residency article 18 transferable. Contact: 66346118. (C 3452) 18-6-2011

No: 15123

information SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011



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Word Sleuth Solution

Yesterday始s Solution

ACROSS 1. A doctor's degree in dental medicine. 4. An agency of the United Nations responsible for programs to aid education and the health of children and mothers in developing countries. 10. The sign language used in the United States. 13. The sense organ for hearing and equilibrium. 14. A constitutional monarchy in southeastern Asia on Borneo and the Malay Peninsula. 15. Aircraft landing in bad weather in which the pilot is talked down by ground control using precision approach radar. 16. The sacred city of Lamaism. 18. German industrialist who was the first in Germany to use an assembly line in manufacturing automobiles (1871-1948). 19. A coenzyme derived from the B vitamin nicotinic acid. 20. A Tibetan or Mongolian priest of Lamaism. 22. Excessive desire to eat. 24. Divulge information or secrets. 26. The syllable naming the fourth (subdominant) note of the diatonic scale in solmization. 27. A metabolic acid found in yeast and liver cells. 30. An edge tool used to cut and shape wood. 36. A member of the Siouan people formerly living in the Missouri river valley in NE Nebraska. 38. Relating to or lying near the palate. 40. Any of various long-tailed rodents similar to but larger than a mouse. 41. (computer science) A computer that is running software that allows users to leave messages and access information of general interest. 44. (Babylonian) God of wisdom and agriculture and patron of scribes and schools. 45. Of or relating to or characteristic of the Republic of Chad or its people or language. 47. Automatic data processing by electronic means without the use of tabulating cards or punched tapes. 49. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 50. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 51. The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural). 52. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 55. A depression in an otherwise level surface. 57. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. 61. A clique that seeks power usually through intrigue. 63. A quantity of no importance. 66. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 67. A white linen liturgical vestment with sleeves. 68. Of or belonging to an aecium. 70. French marshal in the Napoleonic Wars (1769-1815). 71. Small cubes with 1 to 6 spots on the faces. 72. The dialect of Malay used as the national language of the Republic of Indonesia or of Malaysia. 73. An agency of the United Nations affiliated with the World Bank. DOWN 1. A small wooded hollow. 2. A member of the Siouan people formerly living in the Missouri river valley in NE Nebraska. 3. A unit of apothecary weight equal to an eighth of an ounce or to 60 grains. 4. A benevolent aspect of Devi. 5. A silvery soft waxy metallic element of the alkali metal group. 6. The United Nations agency concerned with the interests of labor. 7. A strip of land projecting into a body of water. 8. Having an eye or eyes or eyelike feature especially as specified. 9. (Middle Eastern) Small croquette of mashed chick peas or fava beans seasoned with sesame seeds.

10. God of fire. 11. Singing jazz. 12. A polite name for any woman. 17. A region of Malaysia in northeastern Borneo. 21. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 23. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 25. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 28. A woman hired to suckle a child of someone else. 29. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 31. A person forced to flee from home or country. 32. An angular shape characterized by sharp turns in alternating directions. 33. A major god. 34. A small cake leavened with yeast. 35. Soft lump or unevenness in a yarn. 37. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 39. Squash bugs. 42. A small ball with a hole through the middle. 43. A state in north central United States. 46. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 48. Tropical American shrub or small tree having huge deeply palmately cleft leaves and large oblong yellow fruit. 53. City in southwestern Colombia in a rich agricultural area. 54. A French abbot. 56. A unit of length (in United States and Britain) equal to one twelfth of a foot. 58. (the feminine of raja) A Hindu princess or the wife of a raja. 59. In bed. 60. Common Indian weaverbird. 62. A workplace for the conduct of scientific research. 64. Any of several small ungulate mammals of Africa and Asia with rodent-like incisors and feet with hooflike toes. 65. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 69. (Akkadian) God of wisdom.

Yesterday始s Solution



Force hand debutant Rebels wooden spoon MELBOURNE: Willie Ripia kicked a longrange penalty two minutes from time to ensure the Western Force handed the Melbourne Rebels the Super rugby wooden spoon in their inaugural season with a 27-24 victory yesterday. Long out of the playoff reckoning and clearly exhausted by a long season, the Australian rivals played out an error-strewn match with two tries apiece in the second half livening up an encounter which had degenerated into a kicking contest. The Force grabbed the momentum

when livewire winger David Smith and flyhalf James Stannard crossed the tryline within two minutes of each other just after the hour mark. The Rebels, trying to avoid a ninth consecutive defeat, struck back through replacement hooker Adam Freier and skipper Sterling Mortlock to leave the match tied at 24-24 with six minutes to play. Replacement Ripia’s winning kick, which went over off the upright, was poetic justice of sorts as Mortlock’s try was preceded by a clear knock-

on. Rebels flyhalf Danny Cipriani and Stannard both kicked four penalties in the kicking duel that preceded the rash of tries. The Force struggled without the spark provided by suspended Wallabies back James O’Connor, who was released this week when the Perth-based team said they were unwilling to meet his contract demands. Australian media reports suggest he will now be on the way to the Rebels for next season and the appreciative Melbourne support will look forward to watching him play

outside Cipriani, if the former England flyhalf stays for a second year. It was also the final match as coach for 1999 World Cup winner Rod Macqueen, who will move upstairs as director of coaching next year to be replaced by his assistant Damien Hill. “We would have liked to have won more games this year but rugby is alive and well in Melbourne,” said Macqueen. “Being part of this has been really special, although I don’t know where I’m going to put the wooden spoon in my collection.” — Reuters

Wales scrumhalf Phillips suspended Ban comes 3 months before start of WCup LONDON: Wales scrumhalf Mike Phillips has been suspended indefinitely from the national squad for a breach of discipline, the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) said yesterday. The ban, which followed media reports of a late-night incident in Cardiff, comes three months before the start of the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. “The player has been suspended due to a clear breach of the standards which we expect to be maintained by someone involved in one of our national squads,” WRU Group Chief Executive Roger Lewis said in a statement. “Discipline and acceptable behaviour are issues which run to the core values of the Welsh Rugby Union and we cannot tolerate any compromise of those standards. “Mike Phillips is an exceptional player, but there is irrefutable evidence of a prima facie nature that he was engaged in behaviour which falls below the standards we set. “It is vitally important that we send out a clear and unambiguous message to one and all concerning our views on matters of this sort.” The suspension comes four days after the 28-year-old former Ospreys player signed a two-year deal with French topflight side Bayonne. The WRU said it was taking action following “recent allegations about the player’s behaviour in public whilst on an agreed holiday period from pre-Rugby World Cup training”.

Local media reported Phillips had been involved in a scuffle outside a restaurant in Cardiff and that police had been called to the incident in the early hours of Tuesday. Police were quoted as saying they had not taken any action. Phillips, who has not commented on the episode, has won 52 caps for Wales and was a key member of their 2008 Six Nations grand slam winning team. One of the outstanding players on the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa in 2009, Phillips has coupled excellence with moments of controversy over the years. Two years ago he was arrested over an alleged assault on a taxi driver, while this year he scored a much-debated try against Ireland in the Six Nations. He raced unopposed in the corner after a quick throw-in had been taken with a different ball to the one that had been kicked out, which goes against the rules. While Phillips is suspended, the WRU will seek further clarification over what happened this week. It said it was taking action now because of the public profile players have. “It is made clear to them that they are the ambassadors we rely on to foster and sustain our image,” said Lewis. “I am making my views public at this time because, as the nation anticipates our involvement in Rugby World Cup there is no room for any ambiguity in our reasoning.” — Reuters

No place in teams for former dopers PARIS: The International Cycling Union (UCI) is to stop riders who have been found guilty of doping to join a team staff in its latest drive to eradicate drugs from its sport. “The UCI Management Committee approved the introduction of a new article in the regulations aiming to prevent anyone found guilty of infringing the AntiDoping Regulation during his cycling career from obtaining a licence authorising him to take on a role in cycling as a member of a team’s staff,” the UCI said in a statement yesterday. However, a rider found guilty of doping may enter a team staff if he committed only one doping offence that was not sanctioned by a two or more year ban and five years after five years have elapsed between the

moment of the violation and the first day of the year for which the licence is granted. All three conditions must be fulfilled for a rider to be part of a team as “a general manager, team manager, coach, doctor, paramedical assistant, mechanic, driver or other function as specified on the licence,” the regulations said. The rule will apply on any doping offence committed as of July 1 this year. Several former riders with a doping past currently have a managerial role in professional cycling teams. Kim Andersen, who tested positive three times, is a sports director at Andy Schleck’s Leopard-Trek team, while fellow Dane Bjarne Riis, the Saxo Bank-SunGard team manager, admitted to doping when he won the Tour de France in 1996. — Reuters

BUCHAREST: Heinie Bock (right) of Namibia vies for the ball against Aderito Esteves of Portugal during their IRB Nations Cup rugby match in Bucharest. Namibia won 29-23. — AFP

Magpies swoop for Ba LONDON: Newcastle have clinched the transfer of Senegalese striker Demba Ba from West Ham following the departure of captain Kevin Nolan in the opposite direction. Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has been a long-time admirer of Ba, who scored seven goals in 13 appearances for the Hammers in the second half of the season. Ba, 26, is Pardew’s second signing of the summer following the acquisition of French midfielder Yohan Cabaye. “Demba made a great impression with West Ham last season and is a great signing for this club,” Pardew said. “He has pace, excellent technical ability, is good in the air, and it goes without say-

ing, has the ability to consistently find the back of the net. “Moreover he has a great passion to play for Newcastle United.” Ba has won 10 caps for Senegal, scoring three times since making his debut in 2007. Meanwhile West Ham owner David Gold has hailed the signing of Newcastle captain Nolan, a transfer he believes could help the club bounce back into the top flight. “I think he is quality,” Gold told Sky Sports News. “He has that determination, that will and desire, which Sam has and the owners have. “I know the fans are delighted with this signing, it’s a coup of West Ham. “If we were in the Premier League you’d expect us to be pursuing a player of this quality.” — AFP


Ricky Rubio set to join Timberwolves BARCELONA: Ricky Rubio is making his long-awaited move to the NBA, and will join the Minnesota Timberwolves next season. The highly touted 20-year-old Spanish guard ended two years of speculation yesterday, confirming that “I have finally decided to start the journey” to the NBA. “It is my dream and I want to fulfill it,” said Rubio, who spent the last two years with Barcelona. “After thinking about it a lot, the time has arrived.” The Timberwolves drafted Rubio as the No 5 pick in 2009, but his $6 million buyout clause - to which an NBA team can only pay $500,000 under league rules - made him stay in Spain until it came down to a more manageable $1.4 million. “This is a day our organization and our fans have been eagerly awaiting from the moment we drafted him, and I couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Ricky to Minnesota,” Wolves President David Kahn said in a statement yesterday. Since his debut in the Spanish league with Joventut at 14, Rubio has won numerous titles in Europe and also helped Spain reach the 2008 Olympic final, where they lost to the United States. “I think all that I have won here gives me strength to go,” Rubio said. “I am excited to begin the adventure. I am like a little kid with a bag of candy.” But Rubio is coming off perhaps the most disappointing season of his career, where his scoring dropped to 6.5 points per game and he even lost his starting spot on the Barcelona team. Speaking at a packed news conference at Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium - where Lionel Messi and Pep Guardiola normally address the media - Rubio acknowledged that he had not had his best season. “Individually, I could have done things better, but it is a team sport and we had success,” Rubio said, adding that he was not going to the NBA because he felt he needed to jump start his game. “I am going because I feel prepared,” Rubio said. “I want to play against the best players in the world.” Barcelona secured the Spanish league title last week, and Rubio knows he may have to wait a while for another trophy. Minnesota had the worst record in the NBA last season, going 17-65, and are in dire need for capable point guard. “It will mean a change of mentality” said Rubio. “Perhaps we won’t be fighting for the title, but we will have other goals. I am willing to do whatever the team needs to win as many games as possible.” The Timberwolves also have the second pick in next week’s draft, which should allow them to add another skilled player to help make Rubio’s transition easier. Rubio said he hasn’t talked to Minnesota officials about what his exact role will be, but expects they will want him to put some more muscle on his somewhat lanky frame. “The game is more physical (in the NBA),” he said. “I have to hit the weights and get stronger.” Many NBA observers thought this day would never come, speculating that Rubio would try to force his way out of smallmarket Minnesota to play for a higher profile franchise in a bigger city. But Timberwolves president David Kahn stayed patient, never pressuring the precocious teenager and delicately negotiating until Rubio made the decision that he was ready to come to the United States. Many also think that Rubio is better suited to the NBA than the European game, which is played on smaller courts and doesn’t give guards as much room to operate on the perimeter. —AP

BARCELONA: Spanish basketball player Ricky Rubio gives a thumb up after a press conference yesterday at the Nou Camp Stadium in Barcelona, to announce that he was leaving the Catalan team to make his debut in the NBA next season at Minnesota Timberwolves. — AFP

LAHORE: Pakistani controversial cricketer Zulqarnain Haider (center) arrives at the Pakistan Cricket Board to appear before a disciplinary committee in Lahore yesterday. — AP

PCB fines runaway wicketkeeper $5200 Zulqarnain allowed to play under probation KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has fined runaway wicketkeeper, Zulqarnain Haider half a million rupees ($5,200) but allowed him to resume playing cricket under probation. Haider fled the team hotel in Dubai last November while playing in a one-day series against South Africa and landed in London. He said he had been threatened by an unknown person who wanted him to cooperate in match-fixing during the series. He returned home in April after getting security assurances from

Interior Minister, Rehman Malik and was told to appear and face disciplinary proceedings by the PCB. “I know what I did was wrong I should not have left the team hotel like that and I should have spoken to the team management at that time,” Haider reporters yesterday after the hearing. “I have told the committee I want to close this matter and I accept I violated the code of conduct. I told them to consider my case on compassionate grounds as my father is a cancer patient who requires my support and

care.”PCB legal advisor Tafazzul Rizvi said that Haider’s case had been dealt with on compassionate grounds and mitigating circumstances were taken into consideration. “It is discretion of the committee to impose sanctions and they have fined him half a million and put him on a one-year probation,” he said. Haider who made his test debut last year against England at Edgbaston, scoring 88 runs, said he had no evidence to support his allegations or claims. — Reuters

Pakistan can host World Cup qualifier, FIFA says BERNE: Pakistan have been cleared to play next month’s 2014 World Cup qualifier at home in Lahore and there have been no formal requests from opponents Bangladesh to switch the game, FIFA said yesterday. The Asian zone preliminary round second-leg tie will be one of the first important international sporting events to be held in Pakistan since gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team bus in Lahore in 2009, killing seven people. “We have been in contact with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and neither organisation has so far received any communication or request related to this two-legged qualifying match, contrary to recent media reports,” FIFA told Reuters in an email. “Prior to the qualifying competition

kicking off, FIFA, in conjunction with its confederations sought to establish any countries where matches could not currently take place, either due to more long-term internal problems, or more recent events such as in Syria and Yemen. “However, Pakistan was not on that list.” FIFA added that Pakistan had already hosted an Olympic Games qualifier against Malaysia in March at the Punjab stadium, Lahore, where the July 3 match is due to be held. Bangladesh football federation president Kazi Salahuddin said on Monday that FIFA had turned down its request to relocate the match. “During the FIFA congress in Zurich earlier this month we requested them to allow us to play both legs in Dhaka. But they did not agree,”

Salahuddin told reporters. Bangladesh said former coach Robert Rubcic, fired on Tuesday after a pay row, had been reluctant to travel to Pakistan. Six Pakistani policemen and a driver were killed in the attack in March 2009 while five Sri Lankan players were also wounded in the team bus which came under attack near the Gaddafi stadium. Afghanistan last month became the first foreign cricket team to play in Pakistan since the attack when they played a Pakistan A team. Neither Pakistan nor Bangladesh have ever qualified for a soccer World Cup and neither team is seen as having a realistic chance of playing in Brazil in 2014. The first leg of the tie will be in Dhaka on June 29. — Reuters



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Scotland tackles soccer violence Draft law aimed at fighting sectarianism GLASGOW: Scotland published a draft law yesterday aimed at tackling the sectarianism that has marred recent matches between Old Firm rivals Rangers and Celtic. The legislation would mean bigots could face up to five years in prison and a ban from attending matches. The proposals have been brought forward following several recent sectarian incidents at matches between Glasgow’s main clubs, causing alarm among politicians and fooball administrators over the level of sectarianism still within the Scottish game, evident in chants and banners. Champions Rangers have a largely Protestant fanbase while Scottish Cup holders Celtic draw their support from the Catholic community. If approved by the Scottish Parliament, the bill would create offences relating to behaviour which can “incite religious, racial or other forms of hatred” in and around football grounds and on

the Internet. It includes behaviour deemed to be threatening, abusive, disorderly or offensive. Online hate crime, such as posting abusive or offensive comments, carries the same five-year maximum jail term. “The bill is a direct response to what we saw happening towards the end of the football season and that is why we want to have it in place before the start of the new football season,” Community Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham told BBC radio. “We saw a very ugly situation developing towards the end of the last football season, very ugly-an image of Scotland going around the world which we really, really do not want to see continuing. “We felt as a government that we had to move fast to tackle some of that in its specifics while we dealt with the broader problem throughout society.” Two men have been charged after suspect packages were sent to Celtic boss Neil

Lennon and two high-profile fans of Celtic. Lennon, the target of parcel bombs and who had bullets sent to him through the post, was also attacked by a fan while standing on the touchline at Hearts’ Tynecastle ground in Edinburgh. A suspect package designed to “cause alarm” was also sent to a former Rangers director. Cunningham added: “This is only a piece of legislation dealing with a very ugly manifestation of it (sectarianism) we saw in Scotland in the last few months. “Sectarianism in the wider sense will take a great deal more work right across the board and that work will be continuing.” Celtic welcomed the bill. “The issues it seeks to address are problems for society as a whole and not just football,” said chief executive Peter Lawwell. “The type of behaviour intended to be covered by this legislation has no place anywhere in Scottish society.” — AFP

Neil Lennon

Spurs’ Redknapp fury at ‘ridiculous’ Modric bid LONDON: Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has branded Chelsea’s reported £22 million ($35m) bid to sign Luka Modric as “ridiculous” and insisted that his midfield star will not be leaving the club this summer. Redknapp is keen to hold on to the 25-year-old, who enjoyed a superb season at the heart of the Spurs midfield last year. The 64-year-old Redknapp recently described Modric as “irre-

Luka Modric

placeable” in the wake of reported interest from Chelsea, and the Londoners are understood to have had a £22million offer for the Croatian playmaker rejected on Wednesday night. “Luka is not for sale,” Redknapp told the BBC. “If there has been a bid of £22m, that is ridiculous. There are people being sold for £20m who are not fit to lace Luka’s boots.” Modric joined Spurs from Dinamo Zagreb in

2008 for £16.6m and has played 120 games and scored 12 goals. He signed a new six-year deal at the club last year. Earlier this month Modric told a Croatian newspaper that he was happy at Spurs but would be open to a move if the club altered their stance and chose to sell him. “If an offer comes which is good for Tottenham and for me also, then a transfer is possible,” said Modric. — AFP

UEFA to hit yellow card cheats with 2-match ban NYON: Footballers who deliberately set out to get a second yellow card in order to give them a clean slate for later in a competition will now receive a two-match ban, UEFA secretary general Gianni Infantino said yesterday. “Usually this type of behaviour is penalised by a fine but now there will be a match ban in addition to that given automatically for the accumulation of two yellow cards,” said Infantino. Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta was accused of deliberately setting out to get a yellow card during the Spanish club’s 5-1 Champions League quarterfinal first leg match against Shakhtar Donetsk at the Camp Nou, meaning he missed the return leg but had a disciplinary clean slate for the April 27 semi-final match against arch-rivals Real. UEFA match officials had proposed suspending Iniesta for an extra match for allegedly incurring the yellow card deliberately, but dismissed the call for the extra match suspension or even a fine for the midfielder. In similar cases UEFA fined Spanish club Villarreal 60,000 euros and striker Nilmar and midfielder Santiago Cazorla 20,000 euros for yellow cards incurred at the end of the Europa League quarter-final away leg at Twente (5-1). Suspended for the return leg they were then free to play in the semi-final away leg at Porto on April 28 without risking a new yellow card. — AFP


Euro 2012 winners could collect 23.5m euros prize GENEVA: The winners of next year’s Euro 2012 championships in Poland and Ukraine could earn 23.5 million euros ($33.76 million) if they lift the trophy by winning all six matches in the group stage and knockout rounds. The decision was announced yesterday after a two-day UEFA executive meeting in Nyon which also issued a statement urging FIFA to implement reforms within three months in the wake of its current corruption crisis. UEFA fixed the total prize money for the 16 finalists at the European championships at 196.0 million euros ($281.55 million), compared to 184 million for Euro 2008. Each of the 16 finalists will pocket 8.0

million euros for reaching the championship, with 1.0 million euros on offer for a win in the group stage and 500,000 euros for a group stage draw. Victory in the quarter-finals will be worth 2.0 million euros, a semifinal victory will add another 3.0 million euros to their pot, while the team winning the final will land another 7.5 million euro. The runner-up will collect 4.5 million euros. UEFA have also decided to give a 1.0 million euro bonus to the team finishing third in the group. “This will act as an incentive if the top two qualifying places are already decided.” a spokesman said. UEFA also urged world governing body FIFA to

implement its promised reforms by September after the worst crisis FIFA president Sepp Blatter has faced in his 13-year presidency. With FIFA executive committee members Mohamed Bin Hammam and Jack Warner currently suspended over allegations of bribery and a third FIFA exco member Chuck Blazer being questioned by FIFA’s ethics committee, Blatter has promised to clean up FIFA’s image. He has invited AMerican statesman Henry Kissinger and opera singer Placido Domingo on to a new committee, but UEFA’s executive wants to see some positive action taken in Zurich. —Reuters

No quick fix for corruption: AFC KUALA LUMPUR: Although corruption and match-fixing are ripping Asian soccer apart, the continent’s temporary football head has told Reuters the governing body has no plans to step in and help solve the problems. Zhang Jilong started work at Asian Football Confederation (AFC) house this week as temporary chief after the suspension of Mohamed Bin Hammam following allegations he bribed officials to vote for him ahead of the FIFA presidential election. As Bin Hammam, who has denied any wrongdoing, prepares his defence for a full inquiry, which is likely to be heard next month, China, South Korea and Malaysia are battling match-fixing scandals in their domestic competitions. Indonesia also have problems as they continue to flirt with a FIFA ban after missing deadlines to elect a new chairman as requested by the world governing body. Zhang, who said he had not spoken to Qatari Bin Hammam since the allegations broke last month, described the problems in Asian soccer as “not healthy”. However, he said he hoped the individual associations of the countries affected could solve their own problems. “Corruption has really harmed a lot the development of the nations and Asian football,” Zhang said yesterday from his temporary office in the next room along from Bin Hammam’s. “We are very, very unfortunate that the thing (corruption) happened in China, in Chinese football.“I think right now the government’s issue is to follow with the Chinese Football Association to solve this problem, to give a clean situation to Chinese football. “Same thing happened in Korean football, we hope Korean football can also manage to solve their problem... the corruption is really damaging, it is really criminal for the development of football.” Zhang, an AFC vicepresident who lost a vote to win a seat on FIFA’s powerful executive committee in January, acknowledged the AFC should do something to help the embattled associations but said it was not possible at this time. “Not now, at the moment, no. We cannot,” he said. ONE FAMILY While Zhang discussed the issues affecting the regional organisation, the hum of activity through AFC house in Kuala Lumpur was the same as any other day and did not reflect the difficult times the governing body is going through. The mood was a far cry from the smiles and optimism of two months ago when Bin Hammam laughed and joked with employees while cutting birthday cakes before revealing his manifesto and bid to become FIFA president to a room full of media. Since then, Bin Hammam and CONCACAF president Jack Warner have been suspended by FIFA after the bribery allegations and the fallout has resulted in disputes and infighting in the North and Central America and Caribbean governing body. AFC members have so far remained quiet on their feelings about what has happened to the president they voted in for a third and final four-year term in January and Zhang said it was important they remained united. “The Asian Football Confederation is one of the biggest continental confederations (and has) good foundations of unity and solidarity, so we need a one AFC, a one family, that is Asian football,” said Zhang. “We hope things can be easily passed and we hope (the) AFC is still united and (can) move forward,” added the 59-year-old Chinese. Zhang, who declined to answer questions about Bin Hammam, did not know how long he would be in his temporary role but said he planned to keep things ticking over rather than making any drastic changes despite the apparent need. Asked what he wanted to achieve in the meantime, Zhang said: “To continue with normal procedures, enhance the friendship inside the family of the Asian Football Confederation, promote Asian football and maintain the stability, which is the main objective of mine in this position at this moment”. — Reuters

LIMA: Peru’s soccer players attend a team training session ahead of the Copa America soccer tournament in Lima, Peru. Argentina will host the 2011 Copa America soccer tournament July 1-24. — AP

Manchester United kick off title defence at WBA Difficult start for Arsenal LONDON: Manchester United will kick off their title defence at West Bromwich Albion on Aug 13, the Premier League said yesterday when they issued the fixture list for the new season. Runners-up Chelsea, who are still to name their new manager following the departure of Carlo Ancelotti at the end of last season, are also away on the opening day when they head to FA Cup finalists Stoke City. Newly promoted Swansea City, back in the top flight for the first time since 1983, will get an immediate taste of the high life with a trip to bigspending Manchester City, who won the FA Cup last season, finished third in the league and will be appearing in the Champions League for the first time. The two other promoted teams, Queens Park Rangers and Norwich City, play at home against Bolton Wanderers and away at Wigan Athletic respectively. Arsenal, hoping to win their first trophy in seven seasons, have a tricky start, travelling to Newcastle United where they drew 4-4 last season after leading 4-0 at halftime, before matches at home to revitalised Liverpool and away to champions United. Arsene Wenger, who faced some criticism last season for the first time in nearly 15 years at Arsenal, is not helped by

his side having to play in the Champions League playoff round in August, having missed out on qualifying directly for the group stage after finishing fourth. Last season’s top two do not have long to wait before their first match against each other, with Chelsea heading to Old Trafford on the weekend of Sept 17/18. United won a record 19th English championship, and a 12th Premier League title under manager Alex Ferguson, last season and will start the new one as favourites with bookmakers Ladbrokes who give odds of 7-4 for United to retain the title, ahead of Chelsea at 5-2 and Manchester City at 7-2. Liverpool, who improved under Kenny Dalglish in the second half of last season and are targeting a top four finish after two seasons adrift, begin at home against Sunderland. However, Dalglish is unhappy about the timing of the new season, coming after midweek internationals. “I would ask why the season is starting on a Saturday when there are friendlies the midweek before,” he said. “Clubs are doing their best to bring in good players and that usually means they are international players. “There is a free week after the first weekend so I don’t understand why we can’t

start the season on a Sunday to prevent players having to travel back on a Wednesday night in time for a Saturday start.” UNITED RE-BUILDING United, beginning to rebuild after losing the Champions League final to Barcelona, have brought in defender Phil Jones from Blackburn Rovers, and as ever, have been linked to many others including Luka Modric of Tottenham Hotspur. Spurs, who finished fifth last season, are attempting to fight off all attempts to lure the Croatian away from White Hart Lane with manager Harry Redknapp saying his key midfielder was not for sale at any price. Tottenham travel to United on the second weekend, which features several high calibre games, including Liverpool’s trip to Arsenal and a north-east derby between Newcastle United and Sunderland. Aston Villa, who named Alex McLeish as their new manager yesterday, despite the protests of fans angry at the arrival of the former Birmingham City manager at Villa Park, travel to Fulham who start a new era after the departure of Mark Hughes, with former Spurs boss Martin Jol in charge. —Reuters



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Stars promote Gulutzan to head coach Struggling Wild name Yeo as team’s head coach DALLAS: The Dallas Stars hired Glen Gulutzan to be their next coach yesterday, hoping his success with their top affiliate will continue in the NHL. Gulutzan is 39 and has never played or coached in the NHL. His record in the minor leagues and his familiarity with the players he’s groomed for the Stars helped him emerge from a group of better-known candidates. “We were pleased with the leadership he brought our young players at the American (Hockey) League level and strongly believe his coaching strengths will transfer to the NHL,” general manager Joe Nieuwendyk said in a team statement. “We feel he will bring energy and a winning attitude to our club.” Gulutzan received a two-year contract with a club option for a third. He replaces Marc

Crawford, who was fired after a loss in the season finale kept Dallas out of the playoffs. Crawford’s abrasive style was his undoing as much as the Stars failing to make the playoffs in either of his two seasons. Crawford was Nieuwendyk’s first hire. In going from a former Stanley Cup champion to an NHL novice, he’s making quite a change. But Gulutzan is a known commodity to the Stars’ up-and-coming players and to the front office. He guided the minor Texas Stars to the finals in their inaugural season in 2010 and to the playoffs again this past season. “I am very familiar with our personnel and that will be a big advantage for me,” Gulutzan said. “We are a young team with a strong nucleus and I’m very excited about what we can

accomplish.” A Canadian, Gulutzan played professionally in Europe for two seasons, then played in the West Coast Hockey League and the International Hockey League. He also had stints in Finland and Sweden before his first head coaching job, running the expansion Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL. They made the playoffs in five of six seasons and reached the finals once and the conference finals another time. In another development, the Minnesota Wild named Mike Yeo as their new head coach yesterday, hoping the former Pittsburgh Penguins assistant can help snap a playoff drought that has dragged on for three seasons. Yeo, who will be the third coach of the Wild since the team joined the league in

2000, spent last season as head coach of the Houston Aeros, the club’s affiliate team in the American Hockey League. “Mike possesses a great passion for coaching and is a strong communicator,” Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said in a statement. “He has been a winner at every level throughout his extensive coaching career.” The 37year-old Yeo replaces Todd Richards, who was fired after the team finished his second season in charge with a 3935-8 record that left them in 12th place in the 15-team Western Conference. Yeo, who will be the youngest coach in the NHL, also spent five seasons as an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins, including their Stanley Cup championship in 2009.— Agencies

Unlucky punters get 2nd chance at 2012 tickets LONDON: The 1.2 million people who missed out on London 2012 Olympics tickets will get first chance to land a seat when the second round gets under way on June 24, organisers said yesterday. Three million tickets were sold in the first round which ran from March 15 to April 26, but of the 1.9 million people who applied, just 700,000 were successful. However, the disappointed 1.2 million applicants will get an exclusive 10-day window in the next round, from 0500 GMT on June 24 until 1700 GMT on July 3, but the process this time is first come first served. The remaining tickets will then be offered to first round winners, who can buy some extra seats from 0500 GMT on July 8 to 1700 GMT on July 17. In total, 2.3 million tickets are up for grabs over the split second round. Nearly three quarters of them — 1.7 million-are for the football tournaments, which are being held in major stadiums across Britain. “We recognise that the massive demand for tickets has meant that many sports fans were disappointed not to receive tickets in the initial application,” London Games chief Sebastian Coe said. “That’s why we are prioritising them specifically in the second round, and giving them the first choice of tickets available. “There are over two million Olympic tickets on offer at a wide range of prices and our objective is to get these into the hands of as many of the original applicants to the Games as possible.” The remaining tickets are for 310 sessions, including 44 medal events. The other 335 sessions have sold all the available seats. There are no tickets left for the opening and closing ceremonies, the swimming, gymnastics, diving, track cycling, tennis and badminton, among others. Besides the football, plenty of tickets remain for the boxing, judo, hockey, handball and volleyball. Availability is low for events including athletics, rowing, table tennis and the basketball finals. Some commentators believe the disappointment engendered by the first round could see organisers struggle to drum up enthusiasm for round two. Furthermore, many of the cheapest tickets, which started at £20 ($32.40, 22.60 euros), have been sold, with remaining seats leaning towards the more expensive price brackets. The athletics has one session left at £65, four at £95, with other sessions available from £150 up to £725. In the first round, 1.9 million people put in 22.5 million ticket requests. More than 1,500 ballots were required to sell three million tickets to 700,000 lucky applicants. On average, they scooped between four and five tickets, spending £275 on seats. More than two million ticket requests were received for the opening ceremony, and more than five million for the athletics-including more than a million for the men’s 100 metres final.—AFP

SOUTHAMPTON: England’s Chris Tremlett (centre facing) waits for the next Sri Lanka batsman to come to the field during the second day of the 3rd test match at the Rose Bowl cricket ground, Southampton yesterday. — AP

Tremlett blooms on Rose Bowl return SOUTHAMPTON: When Hampshire finally erect an honours board recording great Test feats at the Rose Bowl, there will be a bitter-sweet satisfaction the first name on it will be that of Chris Tremlett. The England fast bowler took a Test-best six for 42 on his return to the Rose Bowl, where he made his name with Hampshire, against Sri Lanka yesterday. That helped reduce Sri Lanka to 177 for nine at stumps on the second day of a rain-marred climax to a three-match series England lead 1-0, in a match that marks the Rose Bowl’s debut as a Test match venue. Giant fast bowler Tremlett, a strapping 6ft 7in, led the attack with four for 40 in a dramatic last day innings and 14-run first Test win in Cardiff. Tremlett was born in Southampton in 1981 while his father Tim, now Hampshire’s director of cricket, was in the middle of a long career as a mediumpace bowler with the southern county. Chris Tremlett is in fact a third generation

professional cricketer, with his grandfather Maurice, a seam bowling all-rounder who died aged 61 in Southampton, having played for south-western county Somerset and in three Tests for England on their tour of the West Indies in 1948. Yet the fact Chris is not still a Hampshire player is a sadness for many at the Rose Bowl. Although the 29-year-old made his Test debut as a Hampshire cricketer, against India at The Oval in 2007, his international career stalled as he struggled for form and fitness. There was also the perception he was too ‘soft’ to be a fast bowler, and Australia great Shane Warne, who became Hampshire’s captain, encouraged Tremlett to be more aggressive. But Tremlett decided he had to do something else to revive his England prospects and before the start of last season moved to neighbouring Surrey. In his maiden campaign for The Oval-based county he took 48 first-class wickets at

20.18 apiece, adding consistency to his long acknowleged traits of steepling bounce and movement. England bowling coach David Saker needed little convincing of Tremlett’s merits. “I just saw him once in the nets at The Oval, watched him bowl two balls and said to Andy Flower (the England coach), this guy is a Test cricketer,” Saker told reporters yesterday. “I don’t know what’s happened in the past but if we can keep this guy on the park, I had no hesitation he could play good Test cricket if he could get his body right,” the Australian added. The England selectors duly took note and included Tremlett in their Ashes squad. Their faith was rewarded by Tremlett’s return of 17 wickets as England won their first Test series in Australia since 1986. “I needed a new focus that summer and coming to London was another new challenge for me,” Tremlett said in the build-up to the Sri Lanka finale.—AFP



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Isner draws Mahut in Wimbledon 1st round WIMBLEDON: The longest match rematch is coming to Wimbledon next week after John Isner and Nicolas Mahut were drawn yesterday to face each other in the first round. Last year, the pair played the longest match in tennis history at the All England Club, with Isner winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 70-68 in a first-round match that which lasted 11 hours, 5 minutes stretched over three days. An audible gasp followed yesterday’s announcement, but laughter soon ensued. “It’s going to be pretty nuts,” Isner said yesterday. “I couldn’t believe it, I joked with him earlier in the week, last week, and said ‘watch us play each other,’ and he said ‘no, there’s no way, that’s not even funny.”‘ The two players, who have become good friends since their historic encounter a year ago, were due to practice with each other yesterday - but canceled those plans as soon as they found out the rematch was on. “We might do dinner (afterward),” Isner said. “We’re really good friends now, but obviously we both want to win, but we’re going to enjoy it and laugh at it at the same time.” The matchup was the talk of social networking site Twitter as soon as it was announced. “Isner vs mahut drawing each other in the first round after last year is the most amazing thing I’ve seen in tennis! Centre court anyone?!” fourth-seeded Andy Murray said. Former US Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe borrowed his brother John’s famous catchphrase as he posted: “you cannot be serious!!!” The match last year was played on Court 18, and a new plaque this year commemorates the epic contest. Isner said he didn’t mind which court they played on. “I don’t care what they do,” Isner said. “It’s going to be crazy, they might put us on a bigger court, (or) put us back on that court (18).” This year’s contest is scheduled to take place or begin at least - on Tuesday. Their firstround match was held over twice because of darkness last year, and with rain forecast for the opening week of Wimbledon, there is a chance they could be delayed again. Defending champion Rafael Nadal was drawn in the opposite half from six-time champion Roger Federer, meaning there is a chance of a fourth Wimbledon final between the two. The top-seeded Nadal will start against Michael Russell of the United States in the opening match on Centre Court on Monday. Nadal could come up against the big-serving Milos Raonic in the third round and then 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro in the last 16. If the seedings pan out, Nadal’s quarterfinal could be a rematch of last year’s final against Tomas Berdych. Federer has second-seeded Novak Djokovic as his projected semifinal opponent. The third-seeded Swiss will face Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan in the first round, and could encounter former finalist David Nalbandian in the third round. Djokovic meets Jeremy Chardy of France in the first round. Of the top four, Murray has possibly the most difficult route to the final. Before a possible semifinal against Nadal, he could face Marin Cilic in the third round, Richard Gasquet in the last 16 and three-time finalist Andy Roddick in the quarterfinals. Murray will meet Daniel Gimeno-Traver of Spain in the first round. In the women’s draw, seventh-seeded Serena Williams and big sister Venus Williams are in opposite halves, setting up the possibility for a fifth sibling final at the All England Club. The sisters have won nine of the past 11 Wimbledon finals. Serena, who has won four, is 3-1 against five-time champion Venus in the final match. Serena has played only two matches since winning the title last year after complications with a foot injury led to blood clots on her lungs. She returned in Eastbourne this week, losing a three-set match to Vera Zvonareva. Zvonareva could meet Venus, who has been seeded 22nd, in the fourth round at Wimbledon. Venus opens against Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan, while Serena takes on Aravane Rezai of France. Zvonareva plays Alison Riske of the United States. As the defending champion, Serena’s first-round match will open play on Centre Court on Tuesday. Topseeded Caroline Wozniacki, the No 1-ranked player looking for her first Grand Slam title, meets Arantxa Parra Santonja of Spain in the first round. If she gets that far, she could meet Serena in the semifinals. —AP

Dodig stuns Baghdatis to reach Unicef Open final Fourth-seeded Dodig faces unseeded Tursunov DEN BOSCH: Marcos Baghdatis’ 26th birthday started well yesterday with a convincing straight-sets victory over Denis Gremelmayr at the Unicef Open, but Ivan Dodig cut short his celebrations by beating the Cypriot 7-6 (4), 6-1 to in the semifinals. Baghdatis disposed of Gremelmayr 6-1, 6-0 in just 47 minutes in a match held over from a rainsoaked Thursday, but after Dodig edged a close first set the Cypriot ran out of steam and capitulated 6-1 in the second set to give Dodig a shot at his second ATP title. “I was a little bit lucky maybe in the first set,” Dodig said. “In the second set I

was more relaxed and trying to be more aggressive.” Fourth-seeded Dodig will face unseeded Dmitry Tursunov in the final after the Russian beat third-seeded Xavier Malisse 6-3, 7-6 (1) in the other semifinal. Both men had to finish their rain-interrupted quarterfinals earlier yesterday. In the women’s draw, Roberta Vinci of Italy beat Dominika Cibulkova 7-5, 6-1 to set up a final against Jelena Dokic. Dokic, who is seeking her seventh career title, had an easy path to the final when her Italian opponent Romina Oprandi injured her left wrist and had to pull out of their semifinal with Dokic

leading 6-4, 2-0. Right-handed Oprandi had the wrist bandaged after falling in the first set and continued playing but Dokic, who has not yet dropped a set on the Rosmalen grass courts, broke her serve twice to take the set and again in the second set before Oprandi retired. Vinci was one of the few players whose quarterfinal was completed on Thursday, while Cibulkova had to wrap up a 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 victory over secondseeded Svetlana Kuznetsova westerday. Their match was suspended Thursday night with the Slovak leading 3-0 in the final set. Victory in today’s final would give Vinci her fifth WTA title. — AP

ASOT: Jockey Gerald Mosse riding ‘Immortal Verse’ (centre) lifts his hand to celebrate winning the Coronation Stakes, from ‘Nova Hawk’ ridden by Stephane Pasquier (second left) and third placed ‘Barefoot Lady’ ridden by Paul Hanagan (second right) on the fourth day of the Royal Ascot horse race meeting at Ascot, England yesterday. — AP

Royal Ascot highlights summer social season ASCOT: Christina Osborne has a system for winning at Royal Ascot, the five-day horse racing event that is one of the highlights of England’s glittering if brief summer social season. The American in London doesn’t bother with the odds, the bookies or the data-packed Racing Post. She just picks the horses with the cutest names. “That seems to have worked a few times,” said Osborne, a 28-year-old blogger who explains the vagaries of British life to American women. “I don’t really know horses,” explained the Royal Ascot veteran. “These events have more to do with dressing up, socializing. The last three or four times I’ve been to polo, I haven’t actually seen any polo, just visited

friends. At Ascot, it’s a really big deal if you get to parking lot number one some people set up their tents and never leave the parking lot.” “The season” once referred to a round of exclusive summer balls, parties and other events for England’s upper classes. Remnants of the tradition remain even in the 21st century: Royal Ascot, which concludes this weekend; the Wimbledon tennis championships; the Henley-on-Thames rowing regatta; polo matches highlighted by the Cartier competition and sailing week at Cowes, on the Isle of Wight off England’s southern coast. In a summer when everything royal seems fresh - call it the Kate Middleton

effect - the high-tone events offer those who are young, wealthy and connected a chance to rub shoulders with royalty, perhaps with the hope of catching their own prince or duke or even a non-titled investment banker. Rachel Johnson, editor of The Lady magazine, said many Americans are coming to British shores in the hopes of snagging Prince Harry - William’s hunky, ginger-haired younger brother. “Everyone’s calling them ‘the Throne Rangers,”‘ said Johnson. The phrase is a slight variation of “Sloane Rangers,” a British term for well-to-do young women - young Princess Diana was one - who do all their clothes shopping in the posh Sloane Square boutiques.—AP



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Williams sisters loom over Wimbledon LONDON: The imposing figures of Serena and Venus Williams are looming over Wimbledon as the most famous sister act in sport attempts to maintain a decade of dominance at the All England club. At least one Williams sister has appeared in 10 of the last 11 women’s singles finals stretching back to 2000, when Venus downed Lindsay Davenport in straight sets to claim her maiden Grand Slam triumph. Since then the sisters have turned Wimbledon into a personal fifedom, winning the title on nine occasions-Serena with four, Venus with five. But the $2.9 million dollar question-the record purse on offer to this year’s champion-is the extent to which lengthy injury lay-offs have diminished the power of the allconquering American duo. Until her appearance at this week’s Eastbourne WTA event, Serena had not played since last year’s Wimbledon final, where she swatted aside Russia’s Vera Zvonareva in straight sets. Since that imperious victory, the 29-year-old 13-time grand slam winner has struggled with a life-threatening health problem before suffering a serious foot injury when her foot was sliced open by broken glass. Serena insists she arrives at Wimbledon merely grateful that she

is in the draw, and claims to have put aside thoughts of defending her crown. “I’m just taking everything one day at a time, and I’m not putting too much expectation on myself or on my game,” she said. The effects of her extended lay-off were plain to see at Eastbourne this week, where she struggled past Tsvetana Pironkova 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 before exiting against Zvonareva in the second round, 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 5-7. Elder sister Venus is in a similar position, also returning from injury at Eastbourne this week after a prolonged absence. The 31-year-old elder Williams sister has hardly played since the Australian Open in January, when she retired after one game of her third round match against Andrea Petkovic after suffering an abdominal injury. Venus avenged that loss to Petkovic in the first round at Eastbourne before dismantling Ana Ivanovic 6-3, 6-2 to reach the last eight. While the Williams sisters are far from their respective peaks, it remains to be seen which of the pretenders to their Wimbledon throne are best placed to exploit the potential vulnerability of the Americans. Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki has the top seeding and the world number one ranking, but with only one grand slam final appearance in

Serena Williams her, few are expecting the 20-yearold to break her duck on grass, her least favourite surface. “My main goal this year is to be a grand slam champion,” Wozniacki said. “I want to win one. It would be disastrous if I could not make it happen. I just want to enjoy every time I play on the court.” Much interest will centre around the campaign of China’s Li Na, the newly crowned French Open champion who has reached the final of

both grand slam tournaments so far this season. Li’s victory at Roland Garros was watched by an estimated 100 million people in her homeland, and she is determined to prove that her performance in Paris was no flash in the pan. “If I don’t do well in Wimbledon, maybe people forget me already. These are tough times, you know,” Li said. With world number two Kim Clijsters withdrawing through injury, a potential dark

horse is fifth seed Maria Sharapova, the only woman to record a victory over one of the Williams sisters in a Wimbledon final. The 24-year-old looked in good form in Paris before losing to Li in the semi-finals, and is confident she can progress far at Wimbledon, where she recored a memorable triumph in 2004. “I know I can improve in time for Wimbledon,” Sharapova said. “The aim is to get better with every year. I’ve a lot to look forward to.”—AFP

Nadal opens Wimbledon defence against Russell Venus Williams

Williams’ return: good or embarrassing for tennis? PARIS: “Give me a little cheer because I really need it!” Serena Williams said this week after winning her first match in 11 trauma-filled months. “I’m so happy to be back.” So, here it goes, Serena: Hooray! We, too, are delighted for you that you’re back. But also more than a bit concerned. Four months ago, Williams was on what she calls her “death bed,” laboring to breathe because of potentially life- and career-threatening blood clots on both lungs. Before that, she sliced open her right foot on glass at a restaurant, had double surgery to repair the damage and was locked in a cast and then a protective boot for 20 weeks. To cap it all, in injecting herself twice a day with blood thinners to help combat the clots, she developed a bloody bruise “the size of a grapefruit on my stomach” that also had to be surgically removed. Nightmare Yet now, and even though she still puffs heavily after playing punishing long rallies, Williams is again one of the favorites to win Wimbledon. An uplifting personal story if she pulls it off. Champion, back from death’s door, and all that. But how acutely embarrassing for women’s tennis. Doubly so if her opponent on final day is her sister, Venus, also making a mini-comeback from an injured right hip. What? Williams vs. Williams, again? Such a scenario would be further proof, as if more proof is needed, of their talents and drive, and push back talk that, at age 29 for Serena and 31 for Venus, they’re about due for a precipitous decline. But what a damning indictment that would be for all the other women who, by now, really should be making a far bigger imprint on the game. The 10 top-ranked players have just nine major titles between them. — AP

Nadal blocking Murray’s Wimbledon dream LONDON: World number one Rafa Nadal will open the defence of his Wimbledon title against American Michael Russell and has been drawn in the other half of the draw to Roger Federer, raising the possibility of another final between the great rivals. Six-times champion Federer, the third seed, starts his campaign against Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin, and has been drawn in the same half as world number two Novak Djokovic whose 41match winning streak was broken by the Swiss this month. The Serb could face Federer in the last four, weeks after the former world number one beat him in the French Open semifinals to inflict his first defeat of the year. Had Djokovic won that match, he would have ousted Nadal from the number one spot but instead the Spaniard arrives at the All England Club with his top ranking in tact as he seeks a third Wimbledon crown. Djokovic takes on France’s Jeremy Chardy in the first round, while Nadal’s potential semi-final opponent Andy Murray opens his campaign against Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver. Home favourite Murray, the fourth seed, warmed up for the tournament with victory at the Queen’s Club grasscourt event, heightening public expectations of a first British men’s grand slam champion since 1936. The first-round limelight could be stolen by American John Isner and

Frenchman Nicolas Mahut, who have been drawn against each other a year after their epic 11-hour battle in the same round, the longest ever tennis match. “Isner vs Mahut drawing each other in the first round after last year is the most amazing thing I’ve seen in tennis!” Murray tweeted. TRICKY DRAW In the women’s singles, champion Serena Williams was drawn in the opposite side of the draw to her sister and fivetimes champion Venus but in the same half as world number one Caroline Wozniacki and another pre-tournament favourite Maria Sharapova. Serena, seeded seventh after being sidelined for almost a year because of life-threatening blood clots on a lung as well as a foot injury, takes on France’s Aravane Rezai in the first round of what could be a tricky draw for her. Wozniacki, seeking a maiden grand slam title, has a straightforward-looking opening match against world number 107 Arantxa Parra Santonja but danger lurks in the shape of Sharapova. The Russian 2004 champion, who reached the French Open semi-finals this month after returning to some of her best form after two years of struggling with a shoulder injury, is seeded fifth and could meet Wozniacki in the quarter-finals. French Open champion Li Na of China, who became the first Asian player to win a grand slam title this month, is also in

Serena’s half of the draw and faces Russia’s Alla Kudryavtseva in round one. Venus, back from an injury layoff, could pose an early threat to last year’s runner-up Vera Zvonareva and the American knows how to win from a lower seeding having triumphed in 2007 as the 23rd seed, the same as she is this time.- Reuters Murray’s Wimbledon dream Andy Murray is likely to have to overcome the might of defending champion Rafael Nadal if he is to achieve his dream of ending Britain’s long wait for a men’s Wimbledon crown. The fourth-seeded Scot found himself in Nadal’s side of the draw yesterday as the line-up for the opening round of the men’s singles was confirmed by organisers at Wimbledon. Second seed Novak Djokovic and six-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer, seeded three, are on course to meet in the semi-finals after being placed in the opposite side of the draw. Murray opens against Spanish world number 56 Daniel Gimeno-Traver while Nadal faces American Michael Russell. Federer opens against Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan while Djokovic faces France’s Jeremy Chardy. However most interest from Friday’s draw surrounded the rematch between American John Isner and France’s Nicolas Mahut in a repeat of their marathon 183-game epic at last year’s championships.— Agencies




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Sports Years

PCB fines runaway wicketkeeper $5200


BETHESDA: Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, chips out of a bunker to the 14th green during the first round of the US Open Championship golf tournament in Bethesda, Md. — AP

McIlroy soars to huge lead Fastest man in US Open history to reach 10-under par BETHESDA: Rory McIlroy eagled the eighth hole with a 113-yard wedge shot, becoming the fastest man in US Open history to reach 10-under par as he seized command of the event in yesterday’s second round. Magical McIlroy, seeking his first major title at age 22, birdied the par-4 fourth and par-5 sixth, made a sand-save par at nine and a six-foot par putt at 11 to stay 10-under on a bogeyfree morning at Congressional Country Club. That was good enough for the Ulsterman to own a seven-stroke lead over American Zach Johnson, the 2007 Masters champion on the back nine, and South Koreans Yang Yong-Eun and Kim Kyung-Tae. Should McIlroy maintain his margin at the end of the second round, he will own the largest 36hole lead in US Open history, bet-

tering the six-under record set by Woods in 2000 at Pebble Beach on his way to a record-smashing 15-stroke rout, the most lopsided triumph in major golf history. Northern Ireland’s McIlroy became only the fifth man in US Open history to reach 10-under at any point in any tournament, following Gil Morgan in 1992, Tiger Woods in 2000, Jim Furyk in 2003 and Ricky Barnes in 2009. But none of them managed to shoot so low before the third round. McIlroy squandered first-round leads with horror-show rounds of 80 at both last April’s Masters and last year’s British Open, but the prodigy grabbed a stranglehold on this event with an amazing swing from the eighth fairway. McIlroy launched the ball to the back fringe of the green and from a distance watched as the ball

slowly rolled back 25 feet toward the cup, curled its way slightly left and dropped in for an eagle two as the crowd roared. Lifting his arms into the air, McIlroy looked skyward and smiled as playing partner Phil Mickelson, a fourtime major champion and fivetime US Open runner-up, could only applaud in astonishment at the feat he had witnessed. McIlroy birdied the par-4 fourth, coaxed a hefty-breaking short par putt into the cup at five and birdied the par-5 sixth to reach eight-under, setting the stage for his fabulous eagle. Johnson eagled the par-5 sixth and birdied the par-4 eighth to seize second at four-under, but fell back with a bogey at 10. No American holds a major title and if none wins this week, it will mark the longest run of majors in

the modern era without a US winner. McIlroy fired a six-under par 65 on Thursday to grab a threeshot lead over reigning Masters champion Charl Schwartzel of South Africa and Yang, Asia’s first men’s major winner after his 2009 PGA Championship triumph. No first-round US Open leader since 1933 had a larger lead than McIlroy, who topped the leaderboard after 18 holes for the third time in four majors. McIlroy opened with a 65 at the Masters in April, becoming the youngest first-round leader in Augusta National history at age 21 although he shared the spot with Spain’s Alvaro Quiros. The Northern Irish prodigy took a four-stroke lead into the final round of the Masters and led by a stroke when he began the back nine but took a triple bogey at

the 10th and faded from contention, stumbling in with a lastday 80. McIlroy matched the lowest round in major championship history in his first round at last year’s British Open with a 63 at St. Andrews to lead by two shots but battled severe winds in round two and soared to an 80, equalling the worst fall between the first and second rounds in tournament history. The past 10 majors have been won by 10 different players and seven of the past eight majors have been taken by first-time major winners, streaks McIlroy would continue with a breakthrough triumph tomorrow. Kim birdied the second through fourth holes to join the group at three-under with Yang, who had yet to tee off.— AFP

18 Jun  

Kuwait Times