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MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011

Egypt PM hints at election delay as nation debates

RAJAB 18, 1432 AH

Costly Afghan weddings under govt scrutiny

New elongated Boeing 747-8 debuts at Paris air show

Mexico, Honduras reach Gold Cup semis


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150 FILS

20 7MP levels 37charges 21 grave against PM over patients Khorafi blasts disclosing info from secret session By B Izzak

Iraqi Airways selling fleet BAGHDAD: State-owned Iraqi Airways is offering one of its old Boeing jetliners for sale as scrap as it continues to sell off remnants of a decades-old fleet moved to neighbouring countries after Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The 737-200, parked for years at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan, had been used by Saddam Hussein’s government to transport VIPs, according to the Iraqi Airways website. “This is one of the old aircraft which cannot be returned to service,” said Nasir Al-Amiri, an adviser to Iraq’s transportation minister. “There were six aircraft (in Jordan). We sold five and this is the last one. This is not a part of fleet modernization. It’s an old airplane and to get it back would cost huge amounts of money,” Amiri said. Iraq was largely shut off from the world after Saddam’s troops invaded Kuwait in 1990, triggering UN sanctions. Thirteen Boeing 707, 727 and 737 aircraft were sent by Hussein’s government to Jordan, Tunisia and Iran to keep them safe from alliance airstrikes after the start of the war to liberate Kuwait, officials said. Economic sanctions, political disputes and other factors prevented Iraq from maintaining or retrieving the aircraft. In some cases they were held due to compensation issues related to the Kuwait invasion and the IranIraq war. Iraq is getting back on the international air traffic map after years of violence as the prospect of multibillion-dollar oil deals lures business travellers. But Baghdad and Kuwait have been locked in a long-running dispute over billions of dollars in reparations, including some $1.2 billion related to aircraft and parts seized during Saddam’s invasion. Iraq’s government said last year it would dissolve Iraqi Airways within three years to dodge asset claims by Kuwait, whose national airline has pursued court judgements against Iraqi Airways. Last month Kuwait seized the Iraqi Airways office in Amman after obtaining a court ruling there, Iraqi officials said. “There is no relation between the sale of these planes and the problem with Kuwait Airways. Our technical teams confirmed that there is no economic feasibility of maintaining the aircraft or returning them to Iraq,” said Salman Al-Behadli, a deputy of the transportation minister. Amiri said Iraq had sold the Boeing jets in Tunis and five of those in Jordan but five remain in Tehran. Behadli said Iraq is negotiating with Tehran over the planes but had not yet reached a political agreement that would allow them to be sold. — Reuters

Max 46º Min 34º Low Tide 08:03 & 21:03 High Tide 02:52 & 13:16

TRIPOLI: A journalist takes pictures of the body of a child Libyan authorities said was carried to the hospital from houses damaged by NATO airstrikes in Tripoli’s residential district of Arada early yesterday. — AFP

NATO strike kills 9 civilians in Tripoli Toddlers among dead TRIPOLI: The Libyan government accused NATO of killing nine civilians in an airstrike on a residential neighborhood in the capital early yesterday, adding to its charges that the alliance is striking nonmilitary targets. It was not possible to independently verify the government’s account of what happened. NATO said it was investigating. The alliance has repeatedly insisted it tries to avoid killing civilians. Whether they are eventually confirmed or not, the allegations are likely to provide supporters of

Muammar Gaddafi’s regime a fresh rallying point against the international intervention in Libya’s civil war. Foreign Minister Abdul-Ati Al-Obeidi told reporters nine civilians, including two children, were killed in the explosion and said 18 people were wounded. He said the strike was a “deliberate attack on a civilian neighborhood,” and follows other alleged targeting of nonmilitary targets such as a hotel, oxygen factory and civilian vehicles. Continued on Page 13

KUWAIT: Opposition MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri yesterday dropped a bombshell by accusing the prime minister of scrapping a decision sending Kuwaiti patients abroad for treatment after the lawmaker signed a non-cooperation motion against the premier after a grilling last week. The office of the prime minister attempted to deny the accusation by immediately issuing a statement in which it explained that two cases recommended by Muwaizri were sent to Britain at the personal expense of the prime minister out of 76 cases submitted by the lawmaker. Muwaizri broke the news at a press conference, claiming that the prime minister suspended the decision to send eight Kuwaiti patients for treatment abroad after he signed the non-cooperation motion. He said the patients were to be sent at the expense of the prime minister, adding that he recommended the cases in May last year and the premier’s office called a few days later to inform him that the cases have been accepted. Muwaizri said that it appears that the acceptance of the cases “was an attempt to buy my loyalty for the prime minister”, adding that all should understand that “my loyalty cannot be bought”. He said that if a similar case happened in another country “it would have led to the dismissal of the prime minister”. The new case is expected to have serious implications on the grilling of the prime minister and the vote on the non-cooperation motion scheduled on Thursday. In its response, the office of the prime minister said that the office normally receives applications for treatment abroad at the expense of the premier and the cases are reviewed by a special medical commission. If accepted, they are then sent to the health ministry to send them but the prime minister pays the cost from his own money. Later, Muwaizri challenged the office of the prime minister, saying that he has the documents to prove his allegations and he would respond directly to the prime minister and not to an employee at his office. MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei, one of three MPs who grilled the prime minister, charged that the government has allocated a certain number of patients to be sent abroad for each of the MPs who voted or will vote for the prime minister. Writing on his Twitter account, Tabtabaei said that after the office of the prime minister revealed the number of patients sent by MP Muwaizri, they should release the number of patients allocated to each MP. Meanwhile, National Assembly Speaker Jassem AlKhorafi yesterday blasted MPs who released the contents of the secret parliamentary session to grill the prime minister last week. Khorafi described the act as “unconstitutional and immoral”. Continued on Page 13

Japan defeats Kuwait in Olympic qualifier

TOYOTA, Japan: Nasser Mubarak (6) of Kuwait and Hiroshi Kiyotake of Japan vie for the ball during their London Olympics Under 22 qualifier football match yesterday. — AP (See Page 19)

TOYOTA, Japan: Hiroshi Kiyotake scored one goal and set up another as Japan defeated Kuwait 3-1 in the first match of a two-leg Olympic qualifying tie yesterday. Cerezo Osak a midfielder Kiyotake was left unmarked in front of the Kuwait goal and headed home Yusuke Koga’s cross in the 18th minute to give the hosts the lead. “It was important to get off to a good start,” said Kiyotake. “We were able to establish momentum early and that should help us in the next match.” Defender Mizuki Hamada doubled it in the 37th minute with a header from Kiyotake’s corner kick. Yuya Osaka made it 3-0 in the 61st minute but Jaber Jazea reduced Japan’s lead seven minutes later with what could be a crucial away goal for Maher Alshemmari’s side. “It was a disappointing game, because we let in a goal. We could have scored more goals. But we can go to Kuwait in very good form,” said Kiyotake. The second leg of the home-and-away contest is on Thursday. — Agencies

Syria cuts lifeline to thousands Refugees prevented from fleeing BOYNUYOGUN REFUGEE CAMP, Turkey: Syrian troops combing through restive villages near the Turkish border set fire to homes and a bakery yesterday, cutting off a lifeline to thousands of uprooted people stranded in miserable open-air encampments. Activists said the military carried out mass arrests and threw up checkpoints in the village of Bdama and surrounding areas to block residents from fleeing across the frontier, as thousands of others have done. Turkey, whose leaders have denounced the Damascus regime’s deadly crackdown on dissent, began distributing food to those encamped on the Syrian side of the border, in the first such aid mission since the cam-

paign against anti-government protesters turned into a refugee crisis two weeks ago. People from the Syrian side were collecting food at the border to take to the stranded families, the local Turkish governor’s office said. With the 3-month-old pro-democracy uprising raging on, the Syrian government appeared desperate to put an end to the embarrassing stream of refugees fleeing their homeland. Activists said Syrian authorities at the border were making it more difficult for people to reach Turkey. As he escaped to this area of Turkey yesterday, one refugee from Bdama, identifying himself only as Hassan, said he could hear gunfire as

he fled. “Soldiers have blocked roads and many people are walking through fields and mountains,” he said. Clashes erupted almost two weeks ago in Jisr Al-Shughour, in the northern province of Idlib, where activists reported loyalist troops fought with army mutineers who refused to take part in the continuing crackdown on protesters seeking President Bashar Assad’s ouster. Government forces retook that town a week ago, and meanwhile more than 10,500 Syrians fled and are being sheltered in four Turkish refugee camps. An estimated 5,000 others are camped out on the Syrian side of the border, with dwindling resources, Continued on Page 13

UR, Iraq: An Iraqi walks up the stairs of an ancient archaeological site in southern Iraq on June 5, 2011.— AFP

Conservation stressed over excavation at Ur UR, Iraq: Standing before the imposing ziggurat which was once part of a temple complex at the Sumerian capital of Ur, Iraqi archaeologist Abdelamir Hamdani worried about the natural elements that are eating away at one of the wonders of Mesopotamia. “Is there anybody thinking about preserving these monuments?” asked the doctoral student from New York’s Stony Brook University who is one of the leaders of a nascent project to conserve the few unearthed remains of ancient Mesopotamia, one of the cradles of civilisation. The buried treasures of Ur still beckon foreign archaeologists who have begun cautiously returning to Iraq, but experts like Hamdani say that preserving the sites is more urgent than digging for

more. Ur, the Biblical birthplace of Abraham, and which more than 4,000 years ago was the capital of a prosperous empire ruling over Mesopotamia, is believed to have so far relinquished only a fraction of its buried antiquities. “Everybody likes the idea of excavations. People say we have to find ancient treasures,” said Hamdani, who is involved in a joint project between Baghdad and a US non-governmental organisation to map and restore the site. “ There are treasures right under our feet,” said Hamdani, referring to some of the riches that during the last large excavations decades ago were pulled out of the sand and carted off to museums in Iraq and abroad. Continued on Page 13



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MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011

local Local Spotlight

Plight of bedoons

Muna Al-Fuzai


hat is the exact number of bedoon residents in Kuwait, and how much do we know about their living conditions? Does the government plan to develop their residential area, Sulaibiya? Sulaibiya has long been inhabited by bedoons. However, their exact numbers are unknown. The Ministry of Planning estimates that more than 100,000 stateless residents lived in Kuwait by the end of 2006. According to recent reports, some MPs suggested that assistance be provided to slum dwellers in Egypt by granting them financial help to develop these slums. Why aren’t any calls being made to help those who live here? They have the right to live in a decent place like any other human being. I wonder whether the country will ever find a solution to their problems or not. But, there are MPs who really want to help those who live in Egyptian slums! What about residents of the same country? They will appreciate ‘help’ if provided to them, more than the countries that have the opportunity to seek aid from the Arab League. It is a mistaken belief that Egypt is a poor country — it has never been and will never be. Egypt is a rich country that was systematically drained of its wealth over the years by a corrupt system. I believe that the bedoons suffer from problems. SulaIbiya can benefit from a lot of services to improve their living conditions. It is not a matter of showing off wealth, but only human concern. I think the Municipality has to take a more proactive approach. Turning a blind eye towards this matter will not make it disappear. The Ministry of Planning has to devise plans to solve bedoons’ problems, especially in areas where they reside most. I do not think we should suppress bedoons simply because they are non-Kuwaitis. This is not a solution at all. The MPs’ request has generated new interest in the case. The new government has made many promises to citizens. We can at least hope they will be fulfilled.

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah receiving His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah and HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah at Seif Palace yesterday.

Debate over teachers’ pay rise Cabinet ‘not satisfied’ yet By Hussain Al-Qatari KUWAIT: The Cabinet intends to reopen deliberations on two bills submitted by the parliamentary educational affairs committee and approved by a majority in the National Assembly last week, according to government insiders. The bills would see Kuwaiti teachers working in the state sector given pay rises and other monetary benefits, as well as doubling the monthly student grant paid to Kuwaiti university students. Cabinet officials told the press that the Cabinet is not satisfied with the contents of the bills and will negotiate the issue with the concerned parties before discussing the matter again on the 28th of this month. One of the bills would see Kuwaiti teachers with a Masters degree granted an additional bonus of KD 200 per month, rising to

KD 400 for those with a PhD, as well as proposing a yearly bonus of KD 1,500 for teachers who receive excellent reviews from their supervisors, and KD 1,000 for those who enroll in courses and seminars organized by the Ministry of Education in cooperation with the Civil Services Commission. Supervisors and teachers of certain specialist subjects, meanwhile, would receive a monthly bonus of KD 150. The bill also proposes an end of service indemnity payment of 18 times the teacher’s last salary. The other bill discussed and unanimously approved by parliament last week concerns increasing Kuwaiti students’ monthly grant from KD 100 per month to KD 200 for single students, and to KD 350 for married students. B o t h b i l l s we re d i s c u s s e d l a s t Wednesday, with a majority of MPs voting

i n f avo r. Newly appointed Minister of Education Ahmad Al-Mulaifi told members of the local press that the Cabinet is not satisfied with the results and is pushing for further discussion of the issues before agreeing: “The Cabinet discussed the proposal submitted by parliament members, and found that it can be financially exhausting,” he said, adding, “We hope to discuss the proposal again and reach an agreement that can satisfy both parties. The Cabinet has constitutional tools that allow for it to renegotiate the proposal. We hope to provide something more rewarding, and less financially debilitating.” Lawmaker Askar Al-Enizi insisted that there is no need to delay passing the bill since doing so is demanded by the public. “I’m sure the Minister of Education understands the stress of teachers. The amount of

work that they do means they deserve to receive a better salary,” he asserted. Al-Enezi added that the bill concerning Kuwaiti teachers’ pay rises was put together in cooperation with the Kuwait Teachers Association, an association dedicated to improving education across Kuwait. Fellow MP Mubarak Al-Khurainej warned that the Cabinet has a lot to lose if it stands in the way of passing the bills in question. “I believe that the Cabinet is not in a position where it can afford to lose more credibility and respect from the people,” he stated. “This is a popular demand, and we at the National Assembly will always support the people in their demands. We also believe this to be a justified demand that must be fulfilled by the Cabinet.” Al-Khurainej noted that the majority of parliamentarians are in favor of this legislation.

Fish death, sandstorms ‘results of climate change’ KUWAIT: The massive numbers of dead fish discovered recently in Kuwaiti waters, along with the far higher-thanusual number of sandstorms in the country, are the results of climate change, according to the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Dr. Saleh AlMoudhi. Speaking at an open day held at the Discovery Mall by the EPA’s desertification division to mark this year’s World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, which fell on Friday, Dr. Al-Moudhi said that tests of the water temperature in the offshore areas where the dead fish were discovered determined that the waters was far warmer than normal, suggesting that this was responsible for the die-

offs. The EPA head stressed that the Kuwaiti authorities are taking every possible measure to attempt to ensure that there is no recurrence of the large numbers of dead fish found in Kuwaiti waters last month. Dr Al-Moudhi underlined the importance of setting up a national climate change committee to address the critical issue, which has seen extreme weather events proliferating globally in recent years. The head of the state environmental authority also talked about Kuwait’s “two main environmental accomplishments” in 2010; the first of these, he said, lay in the Cabinet reassigning control of the camping committee, which previ-

ously came under the aegis of Kuwait Municipality, to the EPA. This step, he said, helped to introduce anti-pollution measures and penalties for campers violating them during the camping season. The second of Kuwait’s principal environmental achievements for 2010, said Dr Al-Moudhi, was the Cabinet’s decision to cancel all construction of industrial facilities in the coastal Ushairej area of Doha based on the EPA’s recommendations. The EPA head added that the owners of the sites are to be compensated either financially or by being provided with alternative locations to build their planned manufacturing facilities. — Al-Qabas

MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011


American woman locks horns with ‘employer’ Dispute over company ownership By Ben Garcia

KUWAIT: His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah pictured with members of the board of trustees of the “Hope” voyage.

PM receives members of ‘Hope’ voyage KUWAIT: His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received here yesterday at Seif Palace members of the board of trustees of the humanitarian “Hope” voyage. HH the Prime Minister listened to an exposition of the goals of the “Hope” voyage, a Kuwaiti notion emanating from a popular effort with humanitarian concept, and worldwide dimensions, and bearing a cultural and humanitarian message calling for paying attention to the

mentally disabled persons, and facilitating their means of living, not only in Kuwait, but all over the world. Sheikh Nasser hailed the project ’s notion, saying that, “this is not a new t h i n g to t h e Pe o p l e o f Ku w a i t , w h o always support any humanitarian work ser ving the societ y with all its cate gories,” hoping success for the project’s supervisors. The meeting was attended by Sheikh Fahad Jaber Al-Mubarak AlHamad Al-Sabah, undersecretary at the Diwan of HH the Prime Minister. —KUNA

MEW struggling to cope with water demand KUWAIT: The Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) is reportedly struggling to deal with the increase in water consumption levels, with one MEW insider revealing that daily consumption rates at the start of last week actually exceeded production levels. On another issue, it’s been announced that the MEW is planning to introduce a hitech ‘smart’ power network system in Kuwait, and is currently studying the possibility of utilizing this technology in both the electricity generation and distribution processes. In a press release issued on Saturday, Minister of Electricity and Water Salem AlOthaina, laid out the benefits of this technology in saving power which is usually lost during transmission using the current networks. He added that studies are currently focusing

on analyzing the use of similar systems in other countries. The MEW has been able to maintain stable electricity distribution levels during the past week, thanks mainly to the unstable weather conditions, primarily the recurrent sandstorms, which have helped to prevent temperatures from rising to their usual levels, thus keeping electricity consumption levels in the safe zone. The minister was also quoted in another news report as stressing that the MEW has no plans at present to increase customer charges for water or electricity, adding that price increases would only be considered after conducting exhaustive studies and would be based on a system charging customers according to their levels of usage. — Agencies

KUWAIT: An American woman who was reportedly accused of stealing from her employer and fleeing the country with a sum of KD 700,000 ($2.3 million) provided the Kuwait Times with her side of the story to counter allegations leveled against her. News reports claimed that the 54year-old stole the amount from a Kuwaiti company by forging a contract with the US army. According to Dr Vanessa Davis, she was being pressured to give up her hard-earned business she headed - Around the World Service Centre. Davis said, when local company partners, Kuwaitis and Americans, failed to convince her into giving up her company, she was allegedly harassed and threatened to be jailed. “ They accused me of stealing the amount and escaping the country. Well, I am here in Kuwait ready to face charges, if they have any legal charges against me,” she told the Kuwait Times. “I will sue them instead for lying, falsifying documents and for reporting to police that they hired me,” she retorted. Davis claims that she founded the company with her ‘own sweat and blood.’ “Now that I managed to turn this company into a multi-million dollar establishment, they want me out of the picture,” Dr Davis argued. She narrated a set of allegations that were leveled against her, she says, began when she received contracts from the US military base. “I was introduced to them, [the partners]. I already had a good working relationship with the military camp and I had a good business running then,” she reminisced. Dr Davis explained that she has been living in Kuwait since 2006. Back then, she worked under a company employed under the manpower section. In 2010, she resigned and founded her own company named ‘Around the World Service Center.’ Her new business venture started kind of unexpectedly. “I just happened to pass on my business card to the right person where I was awarded several contracts,” she said. In her words, in the past one year, Davis has been in

Kuwait on her own. She was awarded the first contract from the US military in September 2010 for Afghanistan, “I got the contract without receiving any support from anybody,” she noted. After winning the bid, she left and fulfilled her contract for Afghanistan’s US military base. In October 2010, Davis came back seeing further opportunities for growth in this field. “When I returned, someone had introduced me to a certain Kuwaiti company that runs inside Kuwait. They made me believe they can act as the sponsor for my company, so I decided to deal with them,” she said. “This company said that they can do anything; I trusted everything to them with regards to the sponsorship of my company employees,” Davis revealed. In mid-October, Davis was again awarded another contract from a US military camp based in Kuwait. The prime contractor asked her to provide the camp with three people which they need November-end. She had two months to get these three people to the military base. “It turned out that the sponsor I have been dealing could not provide the sponsorship. So, I have only little time to get these people somewhere else. Up until January, I have not had three people yet at the military camp, the prime contractor warned me that I could lose the contract if I do not provide the people they need,” she said. At the height of her trouble, an American agent offered help to rescue her out of her dilemma. The American runs his own company jointly with a Kuwaiti partner. “They told me that the company I was dealing with could not provide necessary visas for new recruits. So the American and his Kuwaiti partner offered help and luckily, it took them only few days to secure visas,” she admitted. “This company offered help, and they informed everyone that they only wanted to support me, no charges, nothing. They just want, like me, an African American to succeed. I signed no contracts with them. They informed everybody in their company that what they are doing was nothing but a support, no charges or anything?” she claimed. “All they wanted was to see me succeed. I

told them that I wanted to pay for their services, but they refused,” Davis said. In April 2011, Davis won another contract with the US military. This time, the contract required the employment of 29 people - 25 Americans and four belonging to other nationalities. “My contract with the US base was to provide them with manpower up until May, and since I already had confidence in this American company, I felt that there’s nothing wrong with continuing to deal with them. With the help of this company, my company ‘Around the World Service Center’ was able to provide the US military base with the needed manpower,” she continued. “I got them all on the base up till May 10. They did this though I had not signed a contract with them. This is because they said that they only want me to succeed. They want to support me,” Davis said. The turning point was when Davis spoke with her American partner about the paycheck she needed to secure for the newly-hired employees. “I asked him to charge my company with every amount necessary. This is because I needed the prime contractor to provide me with the first paycheck which comes under my company’s name.” She was later informed that because of the services they provided, the American partner has acquired full ownership of her company. “I choked and I thought he was just joking. They told me, here’s what you should do — all the people that work for you — bring them all to my office,” Davis said quoting the American agent. Vanessa has a number of people working with her for Around the World Service Center. “This American told me, from now on, you will be our employee. I said, no. I will never be an employee of my own company. But the American told me again that my company will be run from now on by his company and all the decisions will be taken by him,” Davis said. This news has changed her life in the ensuing three weeks, “It was a nightmare for me because I did not want to give up my company that I had established with my own sweat,” she said. In May 11, 2011 Davis met with her

partner. The meeting was recorded and a copy was provided to the Kuwait Times, “During that meeting, I was clear that I would never give up my company. So, they told me, I only had five hours to transfer the visas of people I had hired through them. I have only 72 hours to give back KD 10,000 for visas and $15,000 plus 15 percent interest” she said. Since that day, according to Dr Davis, the local partner has been harassing her and her employees to sign documents to transfer the ownership of her company, “They harassed my employees at 2 am in order to force me to sign the contract and to give up my company. The people working for me do not have any hint as to what was going on because I did not tell them the exact story since it is my sole responsibility to take care of them,” she said. The secret could not be kept after her staff was threatened to leave the apartment building at midnight, “I don’t know what happened, but the prime contractor emailed me saying I should sign the contract with an American whom I have disagreement with. They said in an email that if I failed to do so, my contract with them will be at default. It will be awarded to Americans who I share a disagreement with,” she added. “I managed to get a sponsor on June 1 just to save the contract. But the prime contractor told me that they have already awarded the contract by default to my partners.” Few days after that, Davis was arrested and imprisoned for a night, “They arrested me and charged me for not showing up to work. When I was in jail, they filed additional charges against me, including the KD 700,000 charges. They informed police that I was hired as a marketing manager,” she said. “I have evidence to prove that I am not a manager but the owner of ‘Around the World Service Center’,” she argued. When contacted for a comment, the American partner vehemently denied forcing anybody to sign any documents. He said, “I have documents to prove that Vanessa Davis is lying; she is 100 percent a liar. I hope that she files a case against our company so that we can prove she’s a liar.”



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MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011


Shopkeeper in custody for molesting child Car thief injured in accident KUWAIT: Police have arrested a shopkeeper who sexually molested a seven-year-old boy at a Khaitan grocery store. The boy’s mother called police as soon as her son informed her of what had happened, with other shoppers apparently intervening to stop the perverted shopkeeper before the child ran home. The shopkeeper fled the store before police arrived, but was found at a nearby launderette. Although he initially denied the sexual abuse allegation, he was unable to explain why he had fled the scene. He has been referred to the Public Prosecution Service for further action. Murder inquiry Police have launched a murder inquiry after medical staff at Sabah Hospital reported that a man rushed to the casualty unit there had died before reaching the hospital, also finding evidence of foul play. The dead man was apparently brought to the hospital by his

brother, who told staff there that his sibling was in an unstable condition. This turned out to be something of an understatement, with staff determining that the ‘patient’ had died some time before, with foul play being involved in his death. The medics immediately called police. Car thief A young car thief suffered serious head injuries when he crashed the stolen vehicle he was driving into a lamppost in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh. Emergency personnel were quickly at the accident scene, with paramedics rushing the injured man to the local hospital. Police quickly discovered that the crashed vehicle, a Jeep Cherokee, had been reported stolen a few hours before. Subsequent investigation of the injured driver revealed that he was also wanted on six other auto-theft charges. Police are awaiting his recovery in order to interrogate him.

Crackdown nets 57 Farwaniya police arrested 57 people in an unannounced crackdown in the area, including 11 illegal residents, six unlicensed roaming vendors and eight people offering illegal international call services. Three of those arrested in the fourhour operation had returned to the country illegally after previously being deported. Drug abuse A young man and woman were taken into custody for use of illegal narcotics after being found in an intoxicated state in a vehicle on the Chalet Road. Police conducting a routine patrol in the area stopped the young couple’s vehicle after spotting it being driven erratically, quickly discovering that both were high on drugs, with the officers recovering narcotic tablets and hashish from the vehicle. The suspects were referred to the General Department of Drug Control (GDDC) for further action.

Two dead in road accidents By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti police corporal died yesterday in a car accident near the Um Al-Hayman area on King Fahad Road. The officer’s body was removed for autopsy and an investigation is underway into the cause of the accident. In a separate incident, a 53-yearold Bangladeshi man died after being hit by a car near the Friday market in Shuwaikh. His body was removed for autopsy. Meanwhile, a 23-year-old Kuwaiti man was rushed to Adan Hospital after sustaining a suspected broken spine in a crash in Equila. In a fourth accident, a nine-yearold Kuwaiti child and two Kuwaiti women, both aged 28, sustained multiple injuries in a collision near the Sawaber gas station. All were taken to Amiri Hospital. In a separate incident, a 35-year-old Bangladeshi man was rushed to Farwaniya Hospital after suffering multiple injuries in a crash near Omairiya. Attack accusation Police have launched an investigation after an Asian domestic worker accused her African employer of physically attacking her whilst his wife was out of the house. Police complaint Police are investigating a complaint lodged by a police officer against a colleague who he accused

KUWAIT: Members of the drug gang pictured after their arrest. of insulting him whilst he (the complainant) was directing traffic in Jahra. Brothel busted Jahra security officers yesterday raided a home in the area which was being used for illegal activities, arresting eight women and three men. Dealers busted Officers from the General Department of Drug Control (GDDC) yesterday arrested two Kuwaiti men and three unemployed Egyptian

men for drug-dealing. According to security officials, two of the expatriates were arrested following a tip-off from an informant, with a number of narcotic tablets and a quantity of hashish being recovered from their accommodation. The two then told police that they had obtained the tablets from a fellow Egyptian and the hashish from the two Kuwaitis. GDDC officers later raided the suppliers’ homes, recovering 5,000 narcotic tablets and a kilogram of hashish. All five are being held in custody pending trial.

KUWAIT: At Seif Palace yesterday, His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah received the Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Ali Al-Rashid, who was accompanied by the Director General of Kuwait Fire Service Directorate Jassem Al-Mansouri and Capt Ali Haidar. HH the Crown Prince lauded the KFSD’s and other emergency services’ efforts in helping to tackle a large number of cases involving the storage and sale of foodstuffs unfit for human consumption, saying that the KFSD plays a vital role in protecting society from such violations.

KSSC holds cruise trip to Kubbar island KUWAIT: The Kuwait Sea Sports Club(KSSC) will organize a special trip to Kubbar Island on Yamaha jet skis next Friday. The event will be held in cooperation with the Kuwait Development and Trading Company (Sultan Al-Salem and Sons). Secretary General Khalid Al-Foudari explained in a press release that at least 40 jet skis will be accompanied by a number of boats and a yacht. He added that Khalid Al-Foudari the trip is being held for the first time, as part of an ongoing deal between KSSC and KDTC; the official dealer for Yamaha jet skis in Kuwait. The KSSC also announced that the first round of this season’s jet ski tournament will take place on Saturday. It will be named ‘World Anti-Drugs Day Jet Ski Race’ as it coincides with the special occasion.

Airport security ready for busy summer period KUWAIT: Security authorities at Kuwait International Airport (KIA) are fully prepared for the summer holiday season and the usual sharp rise in traveler numbers, said the acting head of the airport’s security services yesterday. Brigadier Khalid Al-Saqabi, the Acting Director of Airport Security, said that a comprehensive security plan has been put in place at the airport to cover the expected busy summer period there, which this year is also associated with the holy month of Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr. This combination of holidays means that double the usual level of effort will be required to ensure the safety of all airport users, not only those departing and arriving on flights but also wellwishers coming to bid farewell to or greet friends and loved ones. Brig. Al-Saqabi said that security officials at the airport are working closely with their counterparts in the customs and civil aviation authorities, reminding all airport-users that smoking is strictly forbidden in every part of the airport except in designated smoking areas. The senior security official underlined the need for all airport-users to abide by the safety and security requirements, and not to carry any restricted materials on board flights, such as lighters, liquids, nail clippers and other proscribed items. He emphasized that the airport’s security detection equipment is able to detect such items and that if found they may cause delays for those carrying them and for other travelers. Brig. Al-Saqabi further pointed out that the airport security authorities have a full database of fingerprints and other security information, enabling them to prevent any individuals with a travel ban or security restrictions against them from traveling. The senior security official asked all travelers to ensure beforehand that they are carrying all the necessary, up-to-date documents and valid passports and to arrive at the airport well in advance of their flight time in order to complete their travel arrangements and procedures as quickly and smoothly as possible. He also emphasized the need for all travelers to ensure that the necessary travel arrangements have been made for any children traveling with them. Brig. Al-Saqabi further called on all airport-users, most especially business travelers, to cooperate with traffic officials in order to ensure a smooth flow of passenger traffic in the area in front of the departures and arrivals halls, and to comply with the parking regulations in the zone around the airport, especially in those areas used for dropping off and picking up passengers and luggage. Doing so, he said, would help to ensure a smooth flow of traffic around the airport. The airport security head also warned all travelers against carr ying any items of luggage for unknown individuals in order to avoid any illegal actions, for which the person carrying the luggage will be held fully responsible. Finally, Brig. Al-Saqabi urged all expatriates without valid residency visas to take advantage of the remaining ten days of the Amiri amnesty period to leave the country without the need to face any charges over their illegal status, before wishing all travelers a safe and secure journey and a ‘Bon voyage.’

Kuwait Digest

What we don’t have and badly need By Dr Wael Al-Hasawi


ne of the stories told by my father about the late Amir, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem AlSabah, concerns the period when he assumed his duties as Kuwait’s Amir while the country was still an emirate with no constitution and few laws, but with people who were good and honest despite the widespread poverty. At the time, there were certain members of the ruling family who abused their positions to misuse funds from the state budget unlawfully, or take over ministries for their own benefit. One day Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem summoned one of these influential figures to ask him about violations he had committed. The man responded disdainfully, replying to the then Amir’s questions, as if he weren’t bothered about being accused of illegal activities. At this disrespectful response, Sheikh Abdullah, who was well known for his calm attitude, grabbed a nearby chair and used it to hit the man before ordering guards to lock him up behind bars. This incident created uproar that echoed throughout the country, and was followed by Sheikh Abdullah issuing a directive ordering that all ‘sheikhs’ acting unlawfully be removed from their posts or illegal businesses, allowing order and stability to prevail within a few months. Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem didn’t stop there, but went to work on helping establish a national constitution and a set of modern laws, while placing the foundations of a constitutional political system which we benefit from to this day. Some of the terms used by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah during his Wednesday speech brought us heartbreak over the situation that our country has reached. Factors like “violation of the constitution, laws and principles of freedom,” “parliamentary practices exceeding the constitutional limits and disregarding national interests,” “personalism and other arbitrary practices inside the parliament,” and others cited in the speech are in my opinion a result of a single problem, which is the lack of respect for the law and placing personal priorities ahead of the public good. Similarly, there’s only a single effective solution to this main problem, which is to enforce the law equally with every resident of Kuwait. People are only asking for more firmness in law enforcement because this is the only thing that we are missing today. — Al-Rai

Telecom officials to meet for talks on mobile phone issues KUWAIT: Senior officials from Kuwait’s three telecom firms, Zain, Wataniya and Viva, are to hold a series of meetings to tackle the problems faced by mobile phone users wishing to transfer their phone numbers. The upcoming meetings were announced on Saturday by the Minister of Communications and of Information, Sami Al-Nisf, who explained that the Ministry of Communications (MoC) is keen to see these difficulties resolved as soon as possible. Al-Nisf also said that the communications ministry is resolute in its determination to ensure the payment of all outstanding bills by government departments. He added that a team of technical officials from the ministry are working closely with their counterparts in other ministries and government bodies to ensure prompt payment of the monies owed. — Al-Anba



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MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011


NAB set to vote against non-cooperation motion PMsuccessfulinfendingoffallegations

KUWAIT: The Public Relations and Media Director of Kuwait Airways Corporation, Adel Buresli, received a memorial plaque from the corporation’s labor union in appreciation of his efforts to showcase KAC’s activities. The award was handed over by a team headed by Marzouq Al-Shuraifi, the deputy head, during a recent visit paid to Buresli’s office.

‘KAC privatization on track’ KUWAIT: Privatization procedures of the Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) are proceeding as planned. The Ministry of Commerce has been trying to overcome all the obstacles that the project faces. This was confirmed by Minister of Communication Sami Al-Nisf. He said in a press statement that the state-owned carrier will have to renew its twenty-year old fleet “so that it regains its status as a top airline company in the region.”

Al-Nisf indicated that privatizing the KAC is the best way to rejuvenate the firm “because eventually its assets must be redeveloped,” further asserting on this process as “necessary to maintain the KAC’s ability to compete with other carriers,” reported Al-Qabas. The minister also mentioned the KAC’s need for a system that is based on achieving profitability by using top-quality fleet at low operational costs.

Lawyer levels accusations against PM By A Saleh KUWAIT: MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri accused certain parties of opposing the initiation of a vote of no confidence motion against HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah. Al-Muwaizri told journalists that Kuwait’s interest was of top priority. He said, “Citizens resort to MPs in May because

officials close their doors. I received a call from the office stating that all my transactions have been approved, and the signed papers were received. On May 15, I received another call from some people who wanted to negotiate with me,” he added. I called patients to find out how the situation can be resolved. I learned that treatment trips were cancelled in an act of revenge!”

Red tape destroying residency violators’ chances to stay KUWAIT: For more than 120,000 expatriates living here without residency visas for reasons including being human trafficking victims, the Amiri amnesty which offers them the chance to either leave the country without paying fines or correct their residency status without facing prosecution, provided hope that they could legalize their status and open a new page in their lives, allowing them to live and work in Kuwait legally. Those wishing to remain in Kuwait found ways to raise the money required to pay their fines as well as finding a new employer, believing that these steps would be enough to correct their residency status before the amnesty expires at the end of this month. The hope of many of these individuals is beginning to fade, however, with the numerous and lengthy bureaucratic obstacles required to legalize their status leaving many believing that the amnesty is actually focused on ensuring that as many as possible will leave the country. “I’ve been going from one department to another trying to complete my transactions, but it seems I won’t be able to do it in time,” said Awadh Ismail, an expatriate who’s been in the country illegally for three years but saw the amnesty as a chance to legalize his status. “After obtaining the money and the necessary documents from my new employer I was told by immigration officials that I have to refer to the department of court rulings implementation to investigate a travel ban imposed due to the residency violation.” When he went there, however, he was instructed to consult the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor’s (MSAL) conflict resolution department, where staff told him they aren’t sure they’ll be able to resolve his case before the amnesty expires on June 30. Another frustrated expat attempting to legalize his status, Ala’a Abdul Mun’em, explained that he was informed by Ministry of Interior officials when he went there to pay off his fines and regularize his status that he would be better off simply leaving the country since they couldn’t guarantee that he would be able to complete the necessary procedures before the amnesty period ends. —Al-Qabas


in brief

Parliamentary term ends KUWAIT: The National Assembly (parliament) Speaker announced yesterday that the current parliamentary term will end on June 29th. Speaker Jassem Al-Kharafi also stated that the parliamentary sessions on the 20th, 21st and 22nd of this month will be dedicated to the discussion of budgets, while the assembly will vote on the non-cooperation motion against His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah on Thursday June 23rd. meanwhile the sessions on the 27th, 28th, 29th of the month will also be reserved for discussion of budgets. Ministry monitors prices KUWAIT: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has outlined a plan for Commercial Control Department and will be closely monitoring commodity prices. This is in order to detect an arbitrary increase in prices, “The ministry has already begun implementing the plan by registering the prices of main commodities in order to be compared with prices during Ramadan,” said Undersecretary Abdul-Aziz AlKhaldi, reported Al-Rai. Warning to Kuwaiti tourists LONDON: Kuwaiti nationals wanting to visit the UK should obtain the required visas to prevent them from being questioned by the authorities, said the Kuwait Embassy in London yesterday. The Embassy said in a press release that the special visas are required from patients and their escorts for extended periods of residing. Kuwaiti citizens should abide by UK laws and regulations during their stay, said the release, adding that Kuwaitis should also report to the authorities in case of losing their belongings or being robbed. Kuwaiti citizens are also advised to keep an eye on their goods and take extra precaution when withdrawing money from ATMs in crowded places.

KUWAITI: The National Action Bloc (NAB) is expected to vote against the non-cooperation motion against His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah during Thursday’s parliamentary session or to abstain from voting. Sources close to the bloc indicated that its members are not convinced by the arguments presented by the lawmakers who presented the grilling motion against the premier two weeks ago, and believe that HH Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed has been successful in fending off most of the allegations against him. A report citing an NAB insider said that the bloc’s members are likely to abstain from the vote, leaving the number of MPs planning to back the motion unlikely to even reach 20; to be passed such a motion requires backing from at least 25 parliamentarians. So far, 18 MPs are said to be voting in favor of withdrawing cooperation from the prime minister, including four members each from the Popular Action Bloc and the Development Reform Bloc, in addition to the National Action Bloc’s Abdurrahman Al-Anjari, and independent MPs Mohammad Hayef, Mohammad AlMutair, Nadji Al-Abdulhadi, Khalid AlSultan, Shuwaib Al-Muwaizri, Salem AlNamlan, Daifullah Buramya, Mubarak AlWaalan and Saifi Al-Saifi. The grilling was presented by Hayef and Al-Waalan, along with the DRB’s Dr. Walid Al-Tabtabaei, based on allegations that the Kuwaiti government is favoring Iran’s foreign policies at the expense of Kuwait’s fellow Gulf Cooperation Council member states. Despite all this, however, both AlTabtabaei and Hayef seem confident that public seminars to be held ahead of Thursday’s session will be effective in garnering other MPs’ support for the non-

cooperation motion, with the former insisting that there is a “good chance” that the number of backers for the motion will exceed 20, while the latter was even more optimistic, insisting that the motion supporters are capable of securing 25 votes. Separately, the two lawmakers acknowledged a decision by Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Sabah to allow Kuwait’s Syrian residents to finalize visitor visa transactions which were put on hold following a previous decision. This came as MP Dr. Jamaan Al-Harbash called on the cabinet to “approve the demands of 28 MPs” who called for severing diplomatic ties between Kuwait and the Syrian government. Meanwhile, outspoken oppositionist MP Musallam Al-Barrak said that a new grilling motion which his Popular Action Bloc intends to file against HH the Prime Minister will center on recent State Audit Bureau reports, as well as unfulfilled court rulings. Al-Barrak further asserted in a recent statement that anti-government MPs have resorted to taking part in public demonstrations “because MPs have become unable to practice their constitutional rights inside the parliament building.” —Agencies

Cabinet wants small, full-time board for labor authority KUWAIT: The Cabinet’s legal affairs committee has recommended that the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL) devise a new formula for establishing the management board of the planned state-owned public labor authority. The committee members put forward their recommendations during a recent meeting with MSAL officials to discuss the structure of the planned authority, which was first mooted in labor legislation introduced last year. The committee reportedly felt that the management structure proposed for the planned body could actually hinder its work, making it less effective by including members from every ministry and state body, as well as Kuwait University. Creating such a large and potentially confrontational management board, as well as expecting its members to carry out their duties at their normal jobs, as well as fitting their board membership around these, could potentially harm the authority’s working process, the committee members suggested. —Al-Qabas




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MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011

LOCAL Arab League meeting on Darfur kicks off CAIRO: Arab League Council started here yesterday its extraordinary delegate-level meeting on Darfur under the headship of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Ali Al-Harithi, permanent representative of Sultanate of Oman to the Arab League. The meeting was attended by Ahmad Ben Hilli, Deputy Secretary General of the Arab League, and Jamal Mohammad Al-Ghuneim, permanent representative to the State of Kuwait. The meeting comes at the request of the State of Qatar, and it will discuss Doha document on the peace in Darfur, which was formulated under the sponsorship of Qatar and the Arab-African committee following negotiations, which took more than two years. The meeting also aims at providing Arab support to this important document before being submitted to the UN by Ahmad Bin Abdullah Al-Mahmoud, Qatari State Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Djibril Bassole, joint mediator of the African Union and the United Nation on Darfur. Both Al-Mahmoud and Bassole had previously briefed Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa on the Doha document on the Peace in Darfur during their recent visit to the Arab League last week. Further, both senior officials have reviewed, in a joint meeting with Moussa, the most important features of this document, and what it included of plans and mechanisms at the level of ending the crisis in Darfur, and opening up a new horizons for achieving development for the benefit of the region’s inhabitants. —KUNA

Kuwait gets membership in human rights council A majornationalachievement GENEVA: Kuwait’s accession into the United Nations Human Rights Council, effective today, constitutes a major national achievement and a qualitative step in the Kuwaiti diplomatic activities, said a ranking diplomat. This membership was sought in accordance with a decision by top political leaders, said Kuwait’s Permanent Delegate to the UN Office in Geneva Ambassador Dharar Razzooqi, in an interview on the occasion of the significant event, the first of its kind since the Gulf state joined the United Nations Security Council 30 years ago. Kuwait’s presence in the council will enable it to take part, effectively, in its various activities and contribute directly in the decisionmaking processes, said the veteran diplomat in the statement. It has been following up closely on activities of the council in the capacity of an observer since it was founded in 2006. The accession into the council as a member, along with 46 other states, would double the responsibility on the state shoulders for safeguarding and promoting human rights globally, he added. The Kuwaiti delegation will have to deal directly with issues to be put for deliberation in the council, and some of the “hot topics” would require voting on draft resolutions, he explained further the forecast tasks of the Kuwaiti delegates. Elaborating, he indicated at Kuwait ’s par ticular concern at some crucial issues, namely human rights in Palestine and the occupied Arab territories, matters related to desecration of religions and sanctities and various affairs concerning the developing nations. Stances of Kuwait will be taken according to the nature of the topics to be tabled and in coordination with Arab, Muslim and nonaligned groups, Razzouqi said, stressing the necessity of unifying views of the Arab delegates toward issues that concern the Arab nation. The UNHR monitors records of the member states regarding respect for human rights, relevant laws, extent of abidance by the

Ambassador Dharar Razzooqi related international laws, thus each country must adopt policies of maximum transparenc y for respecting man’s rights and dignity. Members that violate such rules may be subjected to cross-examination by the board and its membership might be “suspended.” As to Kuwait, it filed its report about human rights conditions for the regular comprehensive review last year. The repor t included replies to various questions and was unanimously endorsed. Kuwait abides by international treaties and covenants, namely those related to human rights. It also seriously seeks to resolve some of the related prime issues, including the illegal residents issue. The head of the central apparatus for settling conditions of the illegal residents, Saleh Al-Fadhala, declared that Kuwait adopted 11 privileges to this segment of the residents of Kuwait, such as educa-

tion, health care, food shopping cards and driving licenses, he said, alluding also to “full coordination” between the department and the permanent delegation in Geneva. The State of Kuwait will grant nationality to those whose names were registered in the 1965 census, in accordance with the citizenship law, he said, also indicating that the nationality would be granted to “those of clean (criminal) records, and stressing that granting the citizenship is totally a sovereign issue based on the higher interests of the state.” Moreover, Kuwait is keen on boosting its ties with the various authorities affiliated with the UNHRC. Last May, it reviewed its obligations toward the UN Convention against Torture with the relevant commission. Furthermore, Kuwait will submit two reports about the International Covenant on Civil Rights and the UN Convention on Discrimination against Women ahead of the yearend. Razzouqi added that Kuwait has taken tangible steps as to the implementation of pledges made to the UNHR, such as establishing the human rights authority. The diplomat re-asserted that the membership in the UNHRC would enhance the international diplomatic status of Kuwait and pave the way for greater cooperation between the national authorities and the council, as well as with the subsidiary agencies and committees. The 47-member council was founded in 2006. —KUNA

Bosnian FM to visit Kuwait next week SARAJEVO: Kuwaiti Ambassador in Sarajevo Mohammed Fadhel Khalaf announced that Bosnian Foreign Minister Sven Alkalaj will visit Kuwait next week. Ambassador Khalaf said the visit of Alklaj comes within strategic bilateral cooperation and the framework of cooperation and consultation between the two foreign ministries. Alklaj stressed to Khalaf earlier in a personal meeting, his keenness to benefit from the Kuwaiti diplomatic and political experience, as well as the reputation and brotherly relations with other

countries thanks to the wise policy pursued by Kuwait during the past decades. Politicians in Bosnia and Herzegovina are fully aware of the big political status enjoyed by Kuwait in various political and social circles, which enables it to play an active role in easing tension in the region and the world, Khalaf added. Khalaf stressed Kuwait’s readiness to provide aid and assistance to Bosnia and Herzegovina, through its support in international forums as well as enabling it to benefit from the experience gained by the political leadership of Kuwait. —KUNA

Summer program at Entertainment City KUWAIT: The 2011 summer program will get underway at the Entertainment City on June 30. Discounts will be offered on entrance tickets at a special rate of KD 2, announced Operations and Activities Department Director at the Touristic Enterprises Company(TEC) Anwar Al-Nisf. Several activities including competitions and weekly par ties have been planned for Fridays and Mondays. Furthermore, Al-Nisf noted that a special celebration for school graduates, during which students with outstanding grades will be granted free access to the facility. Operating hours at the Entertainment City are from 5:00 pm to 1:00 am every day. The facility will remain closed on Sunday. Mondays have been reserved exclusively for female visitors.

Anwar Al-Nisf

Lack of coordination allows suspects to evade KUWAIT: A coordination error between the Ministries of Justice and Interior in court verdict implementation allows suspects to evade punishment by leaving the country before notifying authorities, officials said. Officials who spoke on condition of anonymity explained that a ten-year prison sentence requires seven hours for the verdict to reach the Interior Ministry’s Department. It is responsible for the implementation of court verdict that allows a convict to leave the country as soon as they learn about the order. Meanwhile, the situation is described by officials as being ‘miserable’ on misdemeanor cases, in which the slow procedures are still carried out manually so that a verdict can be implemented after at least three weeks, reported Al-Qabas. Courts in Kuwait pass an average of 600 court rulings per day, 500 of which are misdemeanor cases. The implementation process has been delayed owing to slow procedures which includes the process of updating data in the Interior Ministry’s database.

kuwait digest

Well done, citizens! By Abdullatif Al-Duaij mmediately after His Highness the Amir made his televised address to the nation, people who have a habit in politicizing public freedoms abused the concept in order to support the imposition of more restrictions to misuse whatever rights were granted to them by the democratic system. People’s right to freedom of expression is protected by the Constitution which prohibits violations on public right and freedoms. Since the Constitution protects people’s right to assemble and demonstrate, it means that this right is also protected by HH the Amir. Those who advocate depriving citizens of their right to express their opinion on local events, should be aware of this fact. HH the Amir has declared that he will not allow the Constitution to be manipulated. Public freedoms form the focal point of the Constitution. HH the Amir’s commitment also includes defending freedoms from harm. The Amiri speech focused on providing guidance and advices in accordance with political responsibilities. He is aware of the fact that his orders are curtailed by the Constitution which he has pledged to protect. More importantly, the Amir criticized parliamentary practices but never made an indication on citizens’ demonstrations or means of freedom of expression. In fact, HH the Amir mentioned the “deteriorating level of dialogue and violation to the Constitution and law. “ These are practices that characterize the behavior of some lawmakers. The youth exercised their right after asserting on practicing their constitutional rights and enjoying freedoms granted by the democratic system, as well as dissociating themselves from lawmakers, which is in my opinion, the most important point. —Al-Qabas


KUWAIT: At a recent meeting with cleaning company representatives and the directors of the six municipality cleaning departments, Minister of Public Works Dr. Fadhil Safar thanked the cleaning companies for extending their recently expired contracts and maintaining high standards of cleanliness in public areas across Kuwait. Dr. Safar, who is also the Minister of Municipality Affairs, further revealed that the municipality is in the process of signing a number of new contracts. —Photos by Hanan Al-Saadoun

ILO conference concludes with move toward new era of social justice GENEVA: The annual Conference of the International Labor Organization (ILO) concluded its historic 100th session after taking a number of steps aimed at moving toward what ILO Director-General Juan Somavia called “a new era of social justice”. “I believe that future delegates will proudly look back and say: it was at the 100th ILC where the roots of a new era of social justice started to emerge, “ Somavia said. “Where the dignity of domestic workers was upheld, when the new notion of a social protection floor took hold, when we were told once again by important world leaders that our voice, values and actions were needed for a more stable world,” he added. During its 2011 session, the conference featured a strong focus on the need for a new era of social justice, including discussion and debate of a new groundbreaking report by the Director-General on the state of the world of work in the aftermath of the crisis entitled “A New Era of Social Justice” and a high-level panel of five former heads of state and government from the Club De Madrid on the need for a new era of social justice. The conference adopted on June 16 a sweeping set of standards aimed at improving the working conditions of tens of millions of domestic workers worldwide, especially in Arabian Gulf countries. The Committee on Labor Administration called on governments to build effective

labor administration and labor inspection systems to cope with the challenges in a rapidly changing world of work. The Committee on Social Protection discussed ways to establish social security for all as a powerful and affordable tool to promote economic growth, reduce poverty and mitigate the impact of crises. The Conference Committee on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations examined 25 individual cases covering the whole range of concerns addressed by the ILO. Four high-level panels on youth unemployment in North Africa/Middle East and other regions, employment and social justice in a globalizing economy, the role of decent work in a fairer, greener, sustainable globalization; and a vision of a new era of social justice completed the discussions on the state of the world of work after the global economic and financial crisis. Discussion in the Conference Plenary of the ILO’s annual Global Report on discrimination with an address by special guest, Michele Bachelet, Executive Director of UN Women, and the signing of a memorandum of understanding between UN Women and the ILO to promote empowerment of women in the workplace. International events for the World Day Against Child Labor including the launch of a new report on children in hazardous work. A special event on South-South and Triangular Cooperation on “A new path for

social development”. Discussion of The annual ILO report on the situation of workers in the occupied Arab territories. Heads of State and Government and more than 4,000 participants representing governments, employers and workers from the ILO’s 183 member states including Kuwait, gave strong support to the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda and a stronger role of the Organization in the international system. Special guests addressing the Conference included German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Finnish President Tarja Kaarina Halonen, Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete and Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey, as well as five former heads of State and Government members of the Club of Madrid. The role of the International Labor Conference is to adopt and oversee compliance with international labor standards, establish the budget of the Organization and elect members of the Governing Body. Since 1919, the Conference has served as a major international forum for debate on social and labor questions of worldwide importance. Each of the 183 ILO member State has the right to send four delegates to the Conference: two from government and one each representing workers and e m ploye rs, e a c h o f w h o m m ay s pe a k and vote independently. —KUNA

MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011

Berlusconi issued ultimatum

Ben Ali faces trial today

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Egypt PM hints at election delay Liberals favour setback, ruling military council doesn’t

CAIRO: Egyptian protesters chant anti-Egyptian military slogans during a protest in front of the military prosecutor’s office, as journalist Rasha Azab of the independent weekly Al-Fagr, and her editor-in-chief Adel Hammouda attend questioning by investigators yesterday. — AP

CAIRO: Egypt’s premier has said delaying a September parliamentary election would give parties more time to prepare, as the nation debates its political future with early polls seen likely to benefit Islamists. “Postponing the election would give the chance for a larger number of new political parties to develop,” said Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, quoted by state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram yesterday. However, “whatever the time of the election, we will exert all efforts to make it a success,” Sharaf said, in answer to questions at an event hosted by tycoon and politician Naguib Sawiris. His comments come at a time of mounting calls by liberal and secular groups to delay the election until a new constitution is drafted. The “Constitution First” campaign has sparked intense debate, with critics arguing that a delay to the poll would keep the ruling military in place for longer. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces took power on February 11, after three weeks of nationwide anti-government protests forced president Hosni Mubarak out of office. In March, 77 percent of Egyptians voted in favour of holding an election first and having the new parliament draft a fresh constitution. A September election is expected to boost Islamists, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, which has formed a party to contest roughly half of parliament’s 508 elected seats. Some groups have expressed concern that having the poll first would result in the Islamist group having too much influence over the constitution. Last week, authorities approved the first Salafi (Muslim fundamentalist) political partythe Noor party-which, like the Brotherhood, wants the election held on time. “Our strength will not go away if the elections are delayed. On the contrary, it will increase with the time,” Noor spokesman

Mohammed Yussri told the independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm. Salafist popularity is difficult to gauge but its increasing assertiveness worries secular Egyptians and the country’s large Coptic Christian minority. But the debate is far from clear cut. Some secular and liberal opposition groups want to push ahead with elections to have the ruling military council-which they see as an extension of the old regime-out of power as soon as possible. They also do not want to reduce the national debate to Islamist versus secular, preferring instead to focus on the mechanisms of democratic reform. Last week, more than 20 human rights groups said having elections before drawing up the new charter would be “like putting the cart before the horse.” “A new regime must take its place, and its institutions and the relationships between them must be based on a new constitution,” the groups said in a statement. “This constitution must be drafted first, rather than building the institutions of the new order in accordance with the constitutional rules of the old regime.” Arab League chief and presidential hopeful Amr Mussa has also thrown his weight behind calls to delay the vote but is more cautious. “I am not for a postponement in the democratic process, and I believe it should start before the end of the year, but I think September is too early to hold a parliamentary election,” he said. “It’s better to start either with the election of a people’s founding committee to put in place a new constitution or to hold a presidential election,” he said at a governmentorganised “national consensus” conference. The military has said the parliamentary poll will be held on schedule in September, followed by a new constitution and then a presidential vote. — AFP



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MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011



Iran FM threatened with impeachment TEHRAN: A number of Iranian MPs threatened yesterday to impeach Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi for appointing an aide to the president’s underfire chief of staff as one of his deputies. Salehi on Saturday appointed Mohammad Sahrif Malekzadeh as a deputy foreign minister in charge of administrative and financial affairs. Malekzadeh was a top official in the high council of Iranian affairs abroad, run by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, whom ultra-conservatives accuse of aiming to undermine the Islamic regime. A number of influential deputies in the conservative-dominated parliament reacted the next day by calling for the impeachment of Salehi. “We hope that Salehi will sack Malekzadeh as soon as possible ... and rebuff the current of deviation’s pressure,” said one of the MPs, Mohammad Dehqan, quoted by Mehr news agency. “If he does not, the majlis (parliament) will go for impeachment.” Ultra-conservatives, the Shiite clergy and the elite Revolutionary Guards have repeatedly called for Mashaie’s dismissal, accusing him of leading “a current of deviation” and of exerting too much influence over the president. Ahmadinejad has so far adamantly defended his aides, including Mashaie. The threatened impeachment of Salehi, in a letter posted on the majlis website, said Malekzadeh’s appointment was against the national interest. “Such an appointment jeopardises the nation’s interests ... This person is on the verge of being arrested as (the judiciary) is investigating him over financial and non-financial cases,” it said. Salehi, who appeared before the majlis national security and foreign policy commission yesterday, in reply to a question on whether an

impeachment was raised at the session, said “it was not an important issue.” “This matter should be investigated,” he said, asked if Malekzadeh’s appointment was discussed, according to state television’s website. “Salehi told us it is not in the interest of the country to have someone at the foreign ministry who has a criminal record, and if his (Malekzadeh’s judicial) cases are confirmed, then he will sack him,” Zohereh Elahian, a member of the commission, told Mehr news agency. She added that the impeachment call would remain on the table. Under the constitution, the signatures of 10 MPs in the 290-seat majlis are needed to start impeachment procedures against an incumbent minister. The move needs the approval of parliament’s presiding board before being sent for a vote. The rift between Ahmadinejad and ultra-conservatives surfaced in midApril when he challenged a ruling by Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, vetoing a decision by the president to sack Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi. Ahmadinejad then withdrew from public life for 10 days, igniting a bitter dispute with the conservatives supporting the supreme leader. Ayatollah Khamenei has since repeatedly called on all factions to rein in their attacks on the president and his aides. The row between the government and parliament has also heightened in recent months over the budget, the scrapping of state subsidies and a project to streamline the cabinet. The parliament is even considering moves to officially question Ahmadinejad, after ultra-conservative lawmaker Ali Motahari said about 90 MPs had signed a petition to do so, according to media reports. — AFP

Tunisia’s Ben Ali denies charges on eve of trial Total estimated worth: 1/4 of Tunisia’s Gross National Product BEIRUT: Former Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the first leader toppled in a wave of Arab uprisings, denied all charges against him on the eve of his trial in absentia back home. Ben Ali, who faces charges related to theft, drugs and weapons at a criminal court in Tunis today, “strongly denies all charges they are trying to press as he never possessed the sums of money they claimed to have found in his office,” his Beirut-based lawyer Akram Azoury said. Ben Ali “hopes with all his heart that Tunisia will overcome its current chaos and darkness and continue its path to progress,” he added in a statement released yesterday. The former strongman fled to Saudi Arabia on January 14 in the face of a popular uprising against his 23-year rule and is to be tried in absentia by a criminal court over some 93 cases against his entourage. He could face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty of the charges. Today’s trial is only the beginning of a long legal process that may see top members of Ben Ali’s regime in the dock over allegations including murder, torture, money laundering and trafficking of archaeological artifacts. Of the 93 charges Ben Ali and his inner circle now face, 35 will be referred to the military court, justice ministry spokesman Kadhem Zine El Abidine has said. A murder or torture conviction by the military court carries the death penalty. Military justice system chief, Colonel Major Marwane Bouguerra, said former interior minister Rafik Belhaj Kacem may find himself named in cases linked to 300 civilian deaths in protests between December 17-January 14. Investigators are now trying to establish an inventory of alleged ill-gotten gains amassed by the ousted president and his wife Leila Trabelsi, estimated by the head of a national commission as being worth about a quarter of Tunisia’s gross national product. At least two lawyers have been appointed to defend Ben Ali and his wife in the trials, one in France and the second in Lebanon. Ben Ali’s lawyer in Beirut, also the attorney of a Lebanese general who had been held for four years without charge over the 2005 assassination of ex-premier Rafiq Hariri, said he would deny the accusations one by one. “If he (Ben Ali) possessed these exorbitant sums of money, such as were allegedly found in his office, would he not have taken the money with him when he left the country?” Azoury asked. “The arms that were allegedly found were

TUNISIA: A file photo shows Ben Ali and his wife Leila attending a parade during ceremonies for the 50th anniversary of Tunisia’s independence. Leila Trabelsi, who goes on trial in absentia today with her deposed husband was a secretary and hairdresser before becoming Tunisia’s most powerful - and maybe hated - woman. Widely despised for years before a popular uprising that drove the former first couple from the presidential palace at Carthage. — AFP hunting weapons and mostly gifts from heads of state on their visits to Tunisia,” he added. “The allegations of drug possession are but shameful lies and fabrications. “We urge you to think for a moment: the drugs were allegedly found two months after (Ben Ali) left Tunisia, around the same time the money was found. Is this stupid, ridiculous charge not proof of the fabrication of this entire trial?” Several European countries have frozen assets belonging to Ben Ali and his entourage. Non-governmental organizations Sherpa and Transparency International France earlier this month also filed a request to open a preliminary investigation into the assets of Ben Ali and others. The self-immolation in December of Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26-yearold street vendor who was complaining of unemployment, unleashed already-simmering popular anger against Ben Ali, his family and his entourage which led to the ouster of the president. But today, while many Tunisians are happy the once-powerful couple are to face charges, others fear their trial in

absentia is merely a ploy to appease demands for justice. A source close to Ben Ali told AFP that the 74-year-old is currently in the Red Sea city of Jeddah with his wife, his daughter Halima, 18, and his son Mohammed Zine El Abidine, 6. Ben Ali has kept a low profile since his escape to Saudi Arabia, with a relative saying in February that he was in a coma after a stroke. However, he surfaced recently to denounce, through a French lawyer, the proceedings against him as a “masquerade.” Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal has said the kingdom gave refuge to Ben Ali on condition that he would not use it as a base to conduct political activities. Saudi Arabia has so far not replied to extradition requests from Tunis, although Tunisia’s military justice chief said a 1983 accord reached in Riyadh covers extradition between all Arab states. Embattled Yemeni leader Ali Abdullah Saleh is currently being treated for shrapnel wounds in the kingdom and Saudi officials have said that, despite protestations to the country by loyalists in Sanaa, he will not return home. — AFP

Palestinian reconciliation summit postponed

RAMALLAH: Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas (left) speaks during a joint news conference with his Dominican counterpart Leonel Fernandez after their meeting in the West Bank city yesterday. — AFP

Indonesia slams maid execution JAKARTA: Indonesia criticized Saudi Arabia yesterday for executing an Indonesian maid without notifying officials from her home country. Foreign Ministr y spokesman Michael Tene expressed regret that Saudi Arabia had not contacted Indonesia before beheading Ruyati binti Sapubi with a sword. He said the government would summon the Saudi ambassador to convey a protest. Ruyati was arrested in January last year and was sentenced to death by a Saudi court after confessing that she had murdered her employer’s wife. She was reportedly beheaded on Saturday in Makkah. “Without prejudicing Saudi Arabia’s legal system, the Indonesian govern-

ment criticized the execution of Ruyati without informing our embassy in Riyadh,” Tene said. He said the execution ignored the right of foreign prisoners to receive consular assistance. Ruyati is the second Indonesian maid to be executed in Saudi Arabia since 2008. Another is still on death row. Rights activists accused the government of failing to protect its citizens abroad. “It is a slap to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono,” said Poengky Indarty of Impasial, a human rights group. “Ruyati’s death constitutes his failure to protect the rights of Indonesian workers abroad.” More than 1 million Indonesians are employed in Saudi Arabia, mostly as domestic workers. — AP

Lebanon MP demands weapon ban in Tripoli BEIRUT: A leading opposition figure yesterday urged Lebanon’s new government to ban weapons from the northern city of Tripoli, after weekend clashes over an anti-Syria rally left seven dead. MP Fuad Siniora, a leading figure of the US and Saudi-backed opposition and a former prime minister, also warned that “unrest is dormant” in the Sunni Muslim city, which also houses a minority Alawite community. “Tripoli must become a city that is free of all arms, and that must be implemented immediately,” Siniora told reporters. Headed by former prime minister Saad Hariri, Lebanon’s opposition has refused to join the country’s new government, which was announced last week after a five-month vacuum, on grounds it is “Hezbollah’s cabinet.” The appointment in January of Najib Mikati to premiership, a post reserved for a Sunni Muslim in multi-confessional Lebanon, with the

blessing of Shiite militant Hezbollah sparked the ire of Hariri’s supporters. But Siniora yesterday said he and his allies would support Mikati in making sure the streets of Tripoli were free of arms. “We will stand by the government ... should they work for that end,” he said. “The army and security forces must deal with all attempts to incite unrest firmly.” A soldier and a 14-year-old boy were among those killed this weekend in clashes in Tripoli between Alawites and Sunnis. Twenty-five people were also wounded in the fighting which erupted hours after some 600 demonstrators gathered for a protest against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a Alawite. After five months of political wrangling, Mikati announced the formation of a government on Monday in which Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hezbollah and its allies control 18 out of 30 cabinet seats. — AFP

RAMALLAH: A high-profile meeting between the leaders of the rival Fatah and Hamas move ments has been called off, Palestinian officials said yesterday, dealing a new setback to efforts by the two sides to end a bitter rift and form a unity government. The announcement signaled the reconciliation agreement, announced last month at a festive ceremony in Egypt, could face deep trouble in the coming months as the sides try to implement the deal. Tomorrow’s meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal had been meant to finalize an agreement on who would be the prime minister of the new government. But officials on both sides acknowledge the gaps remained wide. “It’s known that there are still differences,” said Azzam Al-Ahmed, the chief Fatah negotiator. “We will be in contact over the coming days to agree on a new date.” Abbas has proposed keeping his current prime minis-

ter, Salam Fayyad, in the post. Fayyad, a U-educated economist, is well respected internationally and seen as critical in persuading Western donor nations to continue funneling hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinians. The West has branded Hamas a terrorist organization, and in Fayyad’s absence, donors would want strict assurances that money is not reaching the group. Although Fayyad is a political independent, Hamas says he is too closely allied with the West and must be replaced with a less identified figure. Some elements in Fatah also oppose Fayyad, believing his success in building up West Bank institutions has overshadowed Abbas. Officials close to Fayyad said he is considering pulling himself out of the running. They said Fayyad feels that he is being used by both sides. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because Fayyad has not made a final deci-

sion. It was not clear whether he was serious about withdrawing from consideration or trying to put pressure on the factions to approve his candidacy. In Gaza, the prime minister of the Hamas government, Ismail Haniyeh, tried to put a positive spin on the dispute. “This is an indication of the seriousness of the debate on the formation of the coming government and the divergence of views on the name of the next prime minister,” he said. “Therefore, the issue needs further discussion.” The Egypt-brokered reconciliation agreement seeks to end the rift that has left the Palestinians divided between rival governments since Hamas overran the Gaza Strip in June 2007. Hamas rules Gaza and Abbas’ Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority governs the West Bank. The Palestinians hope to establish a state in both territories, located on opposite sides of Israel, with east Jerusalem as the capital.

Under the deal, the factions pledged to form a single government comprised of apolitical technocrats to lead the Palestinians until elections next year. Selecting a prime minister is just one of several issues likely to plague the reconciliation process in the coming months. Hamas maintains a powerful army in Gaza and has made clear it has no intention of disarming its militia. Abbas has repeatedly said the Palestinians must have a unified security force to gain independence. On Saturday Haniyeh said in a speech that a national security service could not cooperate with Israel. “A national strategy to defend the weapons of resistance must be established,” he said. Abbas favors a negotiated peace deal with Israel, while Hamas is sworn to Israel’s destruction. Israel has warned Abbas it will not negotiate with any Palestinian government that includes Hamas, and instead urged Abbas to resume peace talks. — AP

Somali premier resigns under Kampala accord MOGADISHU: Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed yesterday announced he was resigning following an agreement ending the troubled country’s transitional administration. “Considering the interest of the society and in compliance with the Kampala accord, I decided to quit to compromise for the national interest”, Abdullahi Mohamed told reporters in Mogadishu, thanking those who supported him. Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and parliament leader Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden signed a deal in the Ugandan capital on June 9 extending their terms for a year, pushing back polls due in August. The accord stipulates that the prime minister’s mandate ends within 30 days and for his successor to be named by the president and approved by parliament in 14 days. Elections for president and speaker of parliament will have to take place prior to August 20, 2012. Somalia’s transitional government, which was set up in 2004 in Kenya and owes its survival to the international community, has been weakened by infighting between its leaders which has worsened as the end of the mandates approached. Abdullahi Mohamed who was not one of the signatories rejected the deal on Tuesday. “I will respect the wish of the Somali people who want me to stay in office, rather than implementing the Kampala accord,” he had told a press conference in Mogadishu.The president had previously called for the exten-

sion, saying Somalia was too unstable for elections as it battles Al-Qaeda-inspired Islamist militants. The president and the parliament speaker had two reasons for wanting to oust the prime minister. Abdullahi Mohamed is an ethnic Ogadeni and they are under pressure from the Puntland region to replace him with a ethnic Darod. Moreover he has gained a degree of

popularity and this has riled them. On June 12, members of the government demanded unanimously that the agreement had to be ratified by parliament, a provision that did not figure in the agreement. The mandate of the fragile transitional institutions theoretically ends August 20, having already been prolonged for two years. — AFP

MOGADISHU: Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (left) announces his resignation during a news conference, alongside Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed (right) at the presidential palace yesterday. — AP



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Berlusconi’s allies back Italian coalition for now Centre-right struggling after electoral losses ROME: Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s key political ally issued an ultimatum yesterday to the embattled Italian leader, saying he must lower taxes, decentralize government and end the country’s participation in the Libyan war if he wants to remain in power. But at the same time, Northern League leader Umberto Bossi said early elections would be an unwise gift to the opposition - indicating that for now, at least, Berlusconi could count on his support. Bossi listed his demands at the League’s annual rally in the party’s power base near Bergamo. The speech was eagerly anticipated since Berlusconi’s political survival has been put in question following two recent electoral drubbings. The premier, whose popularity has shrunk amid an underage sex scandal and Italy’s stagnant economy, needs the League’s support to stay in power until his five-year

MILAN: Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi arrives to the funeral of late Italian senator Romano Comincioli. Berlusconi came under pressure on two fronts Saturday. His crucial coalition ally demanded tax cuts or early elections. — AP

term ends in 2013. Bossi said Berlusconi’s government could last its term and warned that early elections would only favor the opposition. But he said Berlusconi must respond to the League’s demands, including moving at least two ministries out of Rome to the north. “It’s not a given that we will go with Berlusconi in the next elections,” Bossi told the crowd decked out in the League’s trademark green. “It will depend on the choices that are made. The leadership of Berlusconi can finish in the next election if, logically, they attentively listen to the proposals that we give him.” The League has long complained that the government wastes much of the affluent north’s tax revenues on the underdeveloped south and on Italy’s centralized bureaucracy. Bossi has for years called for a federal system for Italy’s regions, and now wants at least the industry ministry moved to the Lombard region which is home to Italy’s business capital Milan. Bossi also demanded tax cuts, revisions in decrees so that mayors have more money at their discretion to spend on security, and he demanded an end to Italy’s participation in Libya’s civil war so the money could be diverted to offset tax cuts. The League has been vehemently opposed to the war because of fears it would unleash waves of refugees on Italy’s shores. In reality, most of the 20,000 refugees who arrived in Italy in recent months left from Tunisia following the unrest there, not Libya. The League is heavily anti-immigrant, and Bossi and another top League official, Interior Minister Roberto Maroni, drew cheers from the crowd when hailing agreements Italy brokered with Tunisia’s new government to return migrants. Berlusconi has long been beholden to Bossi’s support. Bossi brought down his first government in 1994 and his support in this, Berlusconi’s third term, has become critical following Berlusconi’s split from another ally last year. But both the Northern League and Berlusconi’s party saw their candidates lose out in local elections last month. And Berlusconi was dealt a stinging political blow last week when Italians voted in referendums to block some of his key projects to allow nuclear energy and privatize the water supply. The credit ratings agency Moody’s, meanwhile, warned late Friday it might reduce Italy’s credit rating because of concerns about the country’s ability to spur growth and reduce its debt, one of the highest in Europe. Standard and Poor’s has already cut its rating outlook for Italy’s debt from stable to negative and eurozone chief Jean-Claude Juncker warned Saturday that contagion from Greece’s debt crisis could spread to other European countries, including Italy. Berlusconi’s finance minister, Giulio Tremonti, has been resisting tax breaks since Italy already slashed spending and cannot afford to lose revenue. But Bossi insisted on tax cuts, particularly for the small-to-medium sized businesses of the north that form his core constituents. — AP

Soviet dissident Yelena Bonner dies MOSCOW: Soviet dissident Yelena Bonner, the widow of Nobel Peace Prize winner Andrei Sakharov and tireless critic of Vladimir Putin, has died aged 88 in her adopted home in the United States. A pediatrician by training but a historic figure in life, Bonner died on Saturday in Boston after undergoing heart surgery for a third time, her friend and fellow rights activist Lyudmila Alexeyeva told AFP. After a suburban Boston ceremony, Bonner’s ashes will be interred next to her husband’s remains at Moscow’s Vostryakovo Cemetery, her daughter said in a statement released yesterday. A seminal figure in the rights movement, Bonner was remembered as an unbowed fighter for Soviet freedoms who became so disillusioned with the course taken by modern Russia that she spent her last years in the United States. “I am still stunned that our youth do not remember who Sakharov is. Unfortunately, Bonner is even less known. It is sad, but she is not the figure here that she is in the United States,” said the Moscow-based Alexeyeva. There was no immediate reaction from President Dmitry Medvedev or his predecessor and current premier Putin, an ex-KGB man

whose resignation Bonner demanded in a 2010 open letter titled simply “Putin Must Go”. The Rossiyskaya Gazeta government daily called Bonner “a real citizen, a talented doctor, and veteran of the Great Patriotic War (World War II),” while making no mention of her years in exile or rights campaigns. As was the case throughout most of her life, Bonner’s name was remembered most fondly in the West, with former Polish premier Jerzy Buzek saying “the world has lost one of the most inspiring and dedicated human rights defenders.” European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso for his part noted “the courage she showed in standing up for fundamental freedoms and human dignity that people worldwide demand.” And Lithuanian Foreign Minister Andronius Azubalis whose country currently chairs the OSCE, Europe’s top security body, also paid tribute to Bonner, hailing her as “a true activist and defender of human rights”. A daughter of Jewish revolutionaries, Bonner served as the West’s only link to her exiled husband and other dissidents in the 1980s, exposing abuses in Chechnya a decade later and demanding action over recent media

restrictions. After marrying the nuclear scientist Sakharov in 1972, she accepted his Nobel Peace Prize at an Oslo awards ceremony three years later as the Cold War raged, her husband being barred from travelling abroad because of his activism. Sakharov died aged 68 in 1989 in the closing years of the Soviet regime, becoming a public critic of Mikhail Gorbachev after being allowed to return to Moscow together with Bonner during the last Soviet leader’s perestroika era. With the country in disarray after the Soviet Union’s 1991 collapse, Bonner helped organize Russia’s nascent human rights movement and backed its first president Boris Yeltsin, who brought hope to those who suffered from oppression. But she famously quit Yeltsin’s rights commission for his 1994 decision to launch the first Chechen war, which killed tens of thousands in a Muslim region where violence festers to this day. She spent her last years in the United States after expressing dismay with Russia’s course under Putin, an era that saw the state win back control of major television stations and rights groups com under a new wave of pressure. —AFP

Convicted child killer, mobster defend Knox PERUGIA: Amanda Knox and her lover Raffaele Sollecito on Saturday turned to a convicted child killer and a mobster in their bid to overturn their convictions for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher. Both men told the court hearing the pair’s appeal that Knox and Sollecito had nothing to do with the 21-year-old’s death in 2007. Mario Alessi, serving a sentence for killing a child, told the hearing that a friend of co-defendant Rudy Guede had killed the Briton to silence her after she resisted a sexual assault. The convict said Guede had spoken to him about the case during an exercise session at Viterbo prison where they shared a cell. Guede allegedly told him Kercher was murdered by his friend, who was not officially identified. “Rudy told me he tried to help the young woman (Meredith Kercher) after his friend wounded her with a small knife with an ivory-colored grip,” Alessi told the court. The friend reportedly then told Guede: “What are you doing? We have to kill her if not we’ll end up in prison because of her.” Alessi earlier made the same allegations in a deposition to police. When questioned by Perugia prosecutors Guede, who was sentenced to 16 years in prison in a separate trial for his role in the murder, denied ever having made such statements. Camorra boss Luciano Aviello, meanwhile, accused his own brother of the killing, telling the court his sibling killed Meredith Kercher in an attempt to steal a painting. Knox, from Seattle, Washington, was sentenced in December 2009 to 26 years in prison for the murder of Kercher with whom she shared a house in Perugia. Sollecito, Knox’s boyfriend at the time, was sentenced to 25 years for his part in the murder. Both are now appealing their convictions. Prosecutors said they killed Kercher when a drug-fuelled sex game turned violent on the night of November 1, 2007. She was found semi-nude in a pool of blood under a duvet with multiple stab wounds to the neck. Ivorian Guede was convicted in 2008 and sentenced to 30 years in jail, but the appeal court later reduced his term to 16 years. —AFP

HATAY: Syrian refugee boys chant slogans during a protest, from behind a fence at the Turkish Red Crescent camp. Nearly 10,000 Syrians have crossed the border into Turkey fleeing a crackdown by the Damascus regime, an official source said yesterday. — AFP

Refugees on rise and poorest countries bear brunt: UNHCR Distribution “uneven”, but Europe can handle current flow GENEVA: The number of people forced to flee their homes to escape war or abuse has risen to its highest for 15 years, with four out of five refugees in developing countries, the United Nations said yesterday. In all, there were 43.7 million displaced people worldwide at the end of 2010, up from 43.3 million a year before, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said. They include 15.4 million refugees who fled across borders 80 percent of them to nearby developing countriesand 27.5 million uprooted within their own homelands, it said in an annual report. Another 850,000 are asylum seekers who lodged claims. “Fear about supposed floods of refugees in industrialized countries are being vastly overblown or mistakenly conflated with issues of migration,” U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said in a statement. “Meanwhile it’s poorer countries that are left having to pick up the burden,” added Guterres, a former prime minister of Portugal who heads the Genevabased agency. The world’s poorest countries host huge refugee populations, both in absolute terms and in relation to their economic size, according to its report, “Global Trends 2010”. Slightly more than half of all refugees are children under 18.

Pakistan, Iran and Syria host the most refugees, with 1.9 million, 1.1 million and 1 million respectively, it says. Afghans form the largest group, 3 million refugees, including many who left their homeland years ago, followed by Iraqis, Somalis and Congolese, whose countries are also mired in protracted conflicts. “The causes of displacement are not going away. So far this year we have seen conflict in North Africa, Ivory Coast, Syria, Sudan and other places around the world that have produced people fleeing dangerous situations,” Alexander Aleinikoff, Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees, told a news briefing. But there is an “uneven distribution” of the world’s displaced, he said. “Sometimes it seems the loudest objections come from countries that don’t shoulder the biggest burden.” Thousands of people fleeing upheavals in North Africa have been heading to Italy on rickety boats in recent months, creating an immigration crisis in Lampedusa, an Italian island situated half way between Tunisia and Sicily. Italy passed Greece as the main point of entry into the European Union (EU) for illegal border migrants in the first quarter of this year, officials said last week. All asylum claims should be assessed in a fair manner, according to Aleinikoff, a former law professor and

senior official in the USImmigration and Naturalization Service. “The numbers we are seeing coming into Europe are not the numbers that can’t be handled in a fair process,” he said. Asked about anti-refugee sentiment in some parts of Europe, he replied: “I think that difficult economic times sometimes breed unfortunate populist politics, and cultural differences and religious differences may account for some of that as well.” In Europe, there were 1.6 million refugees at the end of 2010, down some 40,700 from a year before, mainly due to registration and verification conducted in the Balkans, according to UNHCR. The agency was founded 60 years ago to help 2.1 million refugees in Europe after World War Two. Asia is home to some 4 million refugees, followed by 2.1 million in Africa, while there are nearly 7 million in the Middle East and North Africa and 800,000 in the Americas. Some 100,000 refugees who could not return home or stay in their first countries of asylum were resettled last year in 22 countries, more than 70,000 of them in the United States. “Overall there is a huge need for provide safety and assistance and to draw attention to what many of us take for granted, a place to call home,” Aleinikoff said. — Reuters



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Police, soldiers swarm Rio slum NEW ORLEANS: President Barack Obama impersonator Reggie Brown performs at the Republican Leadership Conference, Saturday, June 18, 2011. — AP

Obama campaign adviser criticizes Republican field WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama’s chief campaign strategist is dismissive of the Republicans who want his boss’ job, saying they are eager to criticize the Democratic incumbent without offering substantive ways to help the country. David Axelrod says it’s too early to start sizing up the competition, but he took on the emerging field of candidates when asked to assess the Republicans’ first major debate of the campaign season last Monday in New Hampshire. Republicans at that forum condemned Obama’s handling of the economy and pledged to repeal his health care overhaul. “There seemed to be a unanimity of antipathy toward the president,” said Axelrod, who left the White House this year to return to Chicago to work on the re-election campaign. “I didn’t hear a lot of ideas,” but rather “a lot of pat partisan platitudes,” he told CNN’s “State of the Union.” Axelrod seemed intent on going after former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney,

the perceived front-runner, and citing the support that former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, a Republican who was Obama’s ambassador to China, had given the president. Romney, who sought his party’s presidential nomination in 2008, already faces questions from his rivals about his record of changing positions on social issues including abortion and gay rights, shifts that have left conservatives questioning his sincerity. In addition, Romney championed a health care law enacted in Massachusetts that’s similar to Obama’s national health overhaul, which conservatives loathe. “It’s not unusual in politics for people who are ambitious to change their points of views on fundamental things to try and win an election,” Axelrod said in the broadcast interview. “But that’s not what people want in the president of the United States.” By contrast, he said, Obama is “one of the most consistent people that I’ve ever met.” — AP

Gates’ tenure defined by 2 wars that outlast him WASHINGTON: Several days before Robert Gates took over as defense secretary in December 2006, it struck him that the job’s most punishing pressure would not come from the White House, Capitol Hill or inside the Pentagon. From a chance encounter with a military mom, he realized that his heaviest burden as Pentagon chief would be his own emotions, the inescapable worry about the thousands of young American men and women he would send to fight and die on foreign battlefields. “She said, ‘I have two sons in Iraq. For God’s sake, bring them home safe. And we’ll be praying for you.’ Now that’s real pressure,” he told the Senate committee that was considering his nomination. It is pressure that, 41/2 years later, he readily acknowledges has taken a heavy toll. In a sense it has been a defining feature of his tenure, not the personal strain itself but how it influenced his priorities in the job. Gates’ tenure is one of the few in history to have begun and ended in wartime. “One of the interesting challenges about this job has been the responsibility of waging two wars, neither of which I had anything to do with starting,” Gates mused during his final scheduled news conference last week. He’s retiring on June 30. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began in the first term of President George W. Bush, who hired Gates in 2006 to turn around the flagging and increasingly unpopular US-led war in Iraq. Afghanistan was a footnote then, a small war begun in 2001 but largely orphaned to pay for the large invasion of Iraq two years later. The wars spanned Gates’ entire tenure, under Republican Bush and Democrat Barack Obama, and the wars are outlasting him. As he repeatedly told soldiers and Marines on his 12th and final trip to Afghanistan in early June, he felt a personal responsibility to do whatever possible in Washington to improve their chances of survival in combat and, for those wounded or injured, to provide the fastest possible evacuation from the battlefield for treatment. Gates came to the conclusion early in his tenure that the Pentagon bureaucracy, including the military’s top brass, were too focused on preparing for the next war, spinning out plans for high-tech, costly new weapons for use against theoretical enemies of the future, rather than focusing on winning the current wars. So he pushed hard against internal resistance to speeding production and delivery of a new type of ground combat vehicle that reduces the vulnerability of infantry to roadside bombs. He irked the Air Force leadership when he insisted they get more surveillance drones over the battlefields. In a public rebuke in April 2008 he told the Air War College that getting the Air Force to do more was “like pulling teeth.” When Gates’ legacy is sorted out over time, the gains he made in troop protection surely will figure prominently. So, too, will several pieces of unfinished business, including Iraq and Afghanistan and the deteriorating relationship with Pakistan, arguably Washington’s most important partner in the struggle against Al-Qaeda. Gates gave little indication during his new conference that he is hopeful about Pakistan. He worked to rebuild trust between the US and Pakistani militaries, but saw the relationship sour badly over the past several months. He leaves office with relations at a nadir over the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden at a comfortable compound inside Pakistan. “The things that would cause an (improvement in relations) are hard to predict right now,” Gates said Thursday. Gates arrived at the Pentagon on Dec. 18, 2006, as successor to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who quit in the wake of a

Republican beating in that November’s congressional elections. The war in Iraq was failing, and many in Congress were demanding a quick exit. Almost no one was predicting what came to pass during Gates’ first two years on the job: insurgent and sectarian violence in Iraq plummeted and the war effort assumed the look of at least a short-term success. It will be for historians to decide how much credit Gates deserves for turning around that war. He was not involved in developing the strategy that Bush announced in January 2007 when he committed additional troops to Iraq. But Gates oversaw its execution by Army Gen. David Petraeus in Baghdad. Gates, 67, came to the Pentagon job from the presidency of Texas A&M University. He initially retired from government service in 1993 after a 27-year career at the CIA, where he became the first entry-level employee to rise to the position of director of the spy agency. Bush recruited him to return to Washington, mainly to oversee the stepped-up Iraq war effort. Gates made no secret of his reluctance. He carried with him a clock counting down Bush’s remaining days in office, a not-so-subtle signal of his impatience to get back to retirement and leave Washington’s battles behind. But Obama talked Gates into staying on, making him the only defense secretary to be retained by a new administration. Out went the countdown clock. “It was absolutely useless,” Gates chuckled. Even as Iraq began to look better, the picture in Afghanistan grew darker. The Taleban were on the rebound, and by spring 2009 Gates was recommending to Obama that he fire his commander there, Army Gen. David McKiernan, to put “fresh eyes” on a stalemated war. The chosen successor, Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, lasted barely a year, done in by indiscreet comments in a magazine article. Petraeus then replaced McChrystal. When Gates retires on June 30, there will be nearly 50,000 US troops in Iraq and about 100,000 in Afghanistan. While Iraq has achieved relative stability since Gates took over, the prospects for a durable peace are uncertain. The outlook in Afghanistan is even murkier, although the US and its NATO partners have set a target date of Dec. 31, 2014, for withdrawing all their combat forces and putting Afghans fully in charge. War statistics tell part of the story of Gates’ heavy focus on the human toll. On the day of his Senate confirmation hearing in December 2006 the US death toll in Iraq stood at 2,889; this month it reached 4,460. In Afghanistan the US death count more than tripled since Gates took over, topping 1,500. Gates has signed a condolence letter to the family of every service member killed on his watch. Gates spoke with greater bluntness about the costs of war as he approached the end of his tenure. At a Senate hearing Wednesday, he said that he measured the cost “in lives that are shattered, in bodies that are shattered, in minds that are shattered.” He finished that thought by adding that despite these costs, he and other leaders can’t let them drive war strategy. For his designated successor, CIA head Leon Panetta, Gates foresees a new set of challenges as the wars wind down. In an Associated Press interview Monday, Gates said he worries that young officers and noncommissioned officers who have enjoyed an unusual degree of responsibility and room to innovate in Iraq and Afghanistan will come home from war to jobs in the Pentagon or at stateside bases and posts that are boring by comparison. Panetta’s Pentagon, he said, will have to find ways to avoid losing that talent and experience. “Peace will bring its own challenges,” he said. — AP

RIO DE JANEIRO: Hundreds of Brazilian police and soldiers backed by helicopters and armored vehicles swept in yesterday to take over a crime-ridden Rio slum as part of a pacification plan ahead of the football World Cup in 2014. More than 100 marines, 160 elite police officers and 600 ordinary officers took part in the operation in the hillside Mangueira neighborhood, which went off without a shot being fired, a police spokesman said. Mangueira is located near Rio’s famed Maracana football stadium, and is home to more than a million people as well as one of the city’s oldest samba schools. The pre -announced operation began just after dawn with 14 armored personnel carriers thundering up the slum’s steep roads and helicopters clattering overhead, as security forces on foot followed with arms at the ready. An hour and a half later, two of the vehicles reached the highest point of the slum and officers hoisted the Brazilian flag atop a water tank. The forces met no resistance. Drug gangs which had been controlling the district had fled well in advance. “We were woken at six in the morning by the helicopters. Everything was already calm before that. It would have been better if they spent the money on improving the hospitals,” said one resident, a kitchen employee and mother of five who gave her first name as Bete. Her seven-year-old nephew Donatan said he was afraid. “When I heard the noise, my legs started shaking. The house was shaking too. I thought the police

were going to start shooting,” he said. Most residents refused to comment for fear of reprisals in case the drug gangs returned. The few who did refused to give their last name. “All of that is because of the World Cup. But afterward, who will make sure it doesn’t go back to like before, that the police won’t leave?”

than the gang members who reigned but who also provided security. There were also concerns that gunfights might break out between police and drug traffickers. The operation was the final link in a “security perimeter” authorities have set up around Maracana stadium, which will play host to the World Cup final, to be

steadily into several slums to stamp out nests of crime and violence ahead of the two big sporting events. Unlike in previous years, when the police raided the neighborhoods only to exit soon after, leaving a vacuum quickly filled by returning gangs, now they are setting up local posts in the slums to maintain control.

MORRO DA MANGUEIRA: Marines in an armored personnel carrier advance in Rio de Janeiro. — AFP asked Vera, 54. Vinicius, 15, feared what the slum would be like under police control. “It’s finished, going out at night. We’ll have to stay at home.” Some residents said they were worried more about the police

watched by more than 700 million television viewers around the world. It will also be a venue for sports featuring in the 2016 Olympic Games, which Rio will also host. Rio authorities have in the past three years been pushing

US President Barack Obama highlighted the success of the pacification operations during a March visit to one of Rio’s bestknown slums, City of God. To date, more than 20 slums have been cleared of criminal gangs. — AFP

Venezuelan troops in deadly battle with inmates at prison Soldiers used tear gas to drive back distraught relatives

GUATIRE: An inmate’s relative is consoled outside the El Rodeo I prison. — AP

Ex-FBI secret agent who investigated Oswald dies KANSAS CITY: The FBI agent who inherited Lee Harvey Oswald’s file the year before President John F. Kennedy was assassinated has died of cancer. Funeral services were held Saturday in a Kansas City suburb for James P. Hosty, who spent nearly five decades defending himself against accusations that he should have investigated Oswald more closely. Hosty died June 10 of cancer at a hospice in Kansas City, McGilley and Hoge Johnson County Memorial Chapel said on its website. He was 86. Hosty wrote the book “Assignment: Oswald,” which came out in 1996, partially in response to how he was depicted in the 1991 Oliver Stone film “JKF.” As recently as 2003, Hosty told The Kansas City Star newspaper there was nothing he could have done to prevent the assassination given what he knew at the time. He also conceded he probably would “go to my grave trying to straighten this out.” “He was a man on a mission,” his son, Tom Hosty, told The Star for a story that ran in the paper’s Saturday editions. “He was determined to get the entire story out there to the American public _ to set the record straight.” Long before Kennedy’s assassination, Oswald was already well known to the FBI and the Central Intelligence Agency. A former Marine, Oswald had defected to the Soviet Union in 1959, and his defection made international front page news. Hosty said that in September 1962, after Oswald returned to the US, the FBI agent who had

the Oswald file determined that the agency’s file on Oswald should be officially closed. When that agent retired a month later, Hosty inherited his files. But in late February and into March of 1963, Hosty came to believe that Oswald and his wife needed further investigation. He suspected Oswald’s wife, Marina, may be a Soviet “sleeper” agent who married Lee Oswald only to enter and spy on America. He also noticed that right after Oswald disavowed the Soviet Union and the FBI closed its file on him, Oswald bought a subscription to the Daily Worker, the US Communist Party newspaper. The FBI reopened the Oswald file. “I’m sorry I ever got the case,” Hosty said in the 2003 interview. He said the case was never considered a priority and that the bureau believed that if the Oswalds were involved in anything, it was likely no more than low-level espionage. After Kennedy’s assassination, Hosty was appointed to help lead the FBI’s post-assassination investigation. He even sat with Oswald in the offices of the Dallas Police Department on the night Kennedy was killed. But, in the end, the powers in Washington, Hosty said, thought “someone should have connected the dots.” The Warren Commission Report noted Hosty by name and implied he was negligent. “He always carried it with him,” his son, Tom Hosty, said. “He was ready and willing to talk to anybody about the assassination.” — AP

CARACAS: Gunfire rang out at a Venezuelan prison for a second day Saturday as thousands of troops sought to regain control in battles that have left at least 3 dead and 18 wounded. National Guard Gen. Luis Motta Dominguez said one inmate had died in addition to two National Guard troops whose deaths were confirmed earlier. At least 18 troops were reported wounded in Friday’s clashes at the prison in Guatire, east of Caracas. The violence erupted in the El Rodeo I prison as troops were searching it for weapons. A riot in the prison on June 12 left 22 dead. About 50 inmates continued to resist the troops, Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami told state television. He said they “refuse to change their hostile attitude, refuse dialogue.” “Everything that we’re doing is to protect the inmates’ lives,” El Aissami said. Inmates relatives’ protested outside the prison, some of them weeping as troops stood guard in anti-riot gear. Soldiers used tear gas at one point Saturday to drive back the distraught relatives. A 5,000-strong security force, including 3,500 National Guard troops, was joined on Saturday by 400 soldiers from an elite army paratroop unit, officials said. They were occupying both El Rodeo I and the adjacent El Rodeo II prison. During Friday’s search, soldiers seized seven rifles, five shotguns, 20 handguns and eight hand grenades, along with about 100 pounds of cocaine, 5,000 rifle cartridges and 100 cellular phones, Motta Dominguez said. Venezuela’s severely crowded prisons have suffered repeated violent outbursts as rival gangs often fight for control of cellblocks and sell weapons and drugs with the help of corrupt prison guards. The country’s 30 prisons were built to hold about 12,500 prisoners but instead hold about 49,000, according to the Venezuelan Prisons Observatory, a group that monitors prison conditions. Last year, 476 people died and 967 people were injured in the country’s prison system, according to figures compiled by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Human Rights Watch also said in a recent report that about three out of four inmates in Venezuela’s prison system have yet to be sentenced due to backlogs in the country’s slow-moving justice system.— AP

Some evacuees return home from US wildfires PHOENIX: Firefighters worked to steer the largest wildfire in Arizona history away from a town where residents fled the approaching flames, while some others evacuated because of blazes around the U.S. Southwest were allowed to return to their homes. In western New Mexico near the Arizona border, most of the small town of Luna evacuated as a precaution Saturday afternoon as strong easterly winds pushed the massive Wallow fire from Arizona further into New Mexico. New Mexico State Forestry spokesman Dan Ware said later at night that Luna was no longer immediately threatened by flames, after crews worked through the day to move the fire around the community of 200 people. Residents of Alpine, Arizona, were allowed to return to their homes Saturday morning after being forced out for more than two weeks, but residents of the town of Greer still remained evacuated. The Wallow fire has consumed about 782 square miles and more than 4,500 firefighters were trying to stop its advance. The blaze this week exceeded a 2002 fire that burned 732 square miles and destroyed 491 buildings. Despite its size, the latest fire has destroyed just 32 homes and four rental cabins. Containment rose to 38 percent Friday night, but more winds were predicted through the weekend with gusts. —AP



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Pakistan says it drove militia into Afghanistan Both countries passing blame on militant violence

MAJARAH: In this file photo, US Marines from 3rd Battalion 9th Marines Kodiak Company check the identification of an Afghan Local Police (ALP) or Arbaki. —AFP

Fears surface over US trained Afghan police MARJAH: A cornerstone US policy to turn Afghan farmers into armed watchmen to keep out the Taleban has hit controversy and been scaled back over allegations of infighting and illegal taxation. In Marjah, the 1,150 trained local police or “Arbaki” patrol an area transformed from insurgent hotbed into a mostly peaceful farming district in southern Afghanistan since a military operation 15 months ago. Creating the force has been key to the American military’s strategy to reverse a nearly 10-year Taleban insurgency and begin drawing down troops from July with a view to ending its combat mission in 2014. But President Hamid Karzai has expressed concern that the new groups could feed a fresh generation of warlords, doubts shared by many Kabul-based policy experts and some US commanders. And initial plans for a 30,000-strong force nationwide have been scaled back, with the scheme already canned in the dangerous nearby district of Sangin. Trained by US Marines, Arbaki are paid $150 to $180 a month, about half the salary of a national policeman, and wear an earth brown uniform with bright yellow star patch to signal their support for the Western-backed government. Marjah has garnered much attention in Washington, seen as a test of a surge of 30,000 troops ordered into Afghanistan 18 months ago by US President Barack Obama. Six congressional delegations have visited since the start of the year. In the centre of Marjah, the arbaki or ISCI (interim security for critical infrastructure) receive a polite welcome as they conduct searches of rural compounds suspected of hiding bomb-making material. But residents in outlying areas still troubled by Taleban attacks claim the local police use their official status to solve petty disputes. “Some of those who joined the Arbaki are using it to settle scores with their family members. They tell the US and ANA (Afghan army) that they are Taleban and should be arrested,” said Haji Abdul Rasoul, a Shinghazak resident. Local farmer Baar Jan, in his 20s, said the Arbaki confiscated mobile phones. “And they sometimes demand money,” he said. One group of elders recently complained that their commander was withholding wages and threatened to quit unless an alternative leader was installed. Recruitment was stopped briefly this year over fears over the quality of the arbaki

amid such disputes between local commanders. Local chief of police, Ghulam Wali, who has worked in Marjah district for 10 months, admits problems persist. “There is some weakness of discipline but I can solve these issues, I know the tradition and culture of these people,” he said, adding that he detained two local police for illegally taxing locals. “I put them there as an example to the others,” he said.US Marine commanders in Marjah dismiss most allegations of corruption as “enemy propaganda” and cite the benefits of a local force that can distinguish insurgents from thousands of squatters. Marines stress that all recruits are put through an 18-day program to learn policing basics, including ethics lessons to deter corruption.”A lot of people are concerned about the Arbaki-is it a militia? It’s not a militia, it’s handled by the DCOP (district chief of police),” said Colonel David Furness, the US Marine commander in charge of Marjah. But across the Helmand river in the district of Sangin, the deadliest spot for US Marines in the war, political pressure from Kabul forced the marines to halt the scheme before it even began. Critics say that when the communist government of the 1980s funded tribal forces to make up for its own inadequate security structures, they later morphed into powerful militias that fought each other in a long civil war. Fighting during that 1992-1994 conflict killed more than 80,000 civilians, according to UN figures. Commander of 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Savage, compared the Arbaki scheme to Iraq, where bands of so-called “awakening groups” threatened to start their own war after failing to succeed in elections. “It’s a good way to get whatever shortterm problem fixed... but in the long term it’s a problem if we create thousands and thousands of ISCI. What will they do in 2014 (when foreign combat forces leave)?” But officers acknowledge that levels of national police and soldiers in Marjah are stuck at half the designated strength, with high illiteracy rates affecting the number of suitable recruits. Afghan army commander Major Hanifullah Shinwari says 155 of his 650 soldiers are currently at home or on vacation. “Maybe some of them don’t come back,” he admitted. “Two days ago four soldiers ran away. I think they’re scared.” — AFP

Pakistan jets kill 25 militants: Military PESHAWAR: Pakistani war planes pounded a militant stronghold in a tribal district on the Afghan border in an operation that left 25 insurgents dead, the military said yesterday. Pakistan army, paramilitary troops and the air force launched a joint operation “to evict terrorists’ stronghold of Walidad” in the northwest district of Mohmand on Saturday, it said. “Ground operation was preceded with precise strikes by Pakistan Air Force aircraft on terrorists’ bunkers and positions,” it said. “After an intensive fight, troops were able to secure Walidad Top and surrounding areas of the mountain and managed to kill 25 terrorists, while remaining fled across the border,” it said. Four soldiers were killed and eight wounded. Local officials earlier said three soldiers were killed and at least 13 wounded when dozens of Taleban stormed a check post in the region near the Afghan border. The pre-dawn attack was mounted in Baizai village of Mohmand facing the eastern Afghan province of Kunar, local administration chief Maqsood Hussain told AFP.“ The militants, believed to be more than 50 and armed with light and heavy weapons, launched an attack on Walidad Kor post, triggering a gunfight that lasted about an hour,” he said. Three soldiers of the paramilitary Frontier Corps were killed and at least 13 wounded, he said adding that four militants were killed and an unspecified number wounded. The military statement said “troops are consolidating their positions in the area and search operation for remnants is in progress.” Mohmand is one of seven districts in Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal belt where Taleban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants frequently launch attacks targeting police, government and security officials. Washington has called the tribal zone the most dangerous place on Earth and the global headquarters of Al-Qaeda, where Taleban and other AlQaeda-linked networks have carved out strongholds. Since US Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan last month, American officials have been increasing pressure on Islamabad to launch an offensive in the North Waziristan district to destroy militant sanctuaries. — AFP

PESHAWAR: Pakistan has driven a group of militants from a stronghold in its tribal areas into eastern Afghanistan, the army said yesterday, in the latest flareup along the Pakistan-Afghan border. With each country blaming the other for failing to crack down hard enough on militants, the fighting threatens to raise tensions as the United States prepares to announce a gradual withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan next month. A Pakistan army statement said it had launched an air and ground assault against a militant stronghold in Mohmand tribal agency and killed 25, while the rest fled across the border. The area lies opposite the Korengal Valley, from where the United States pulled back its troops in 2010 after deciding to concentrate its forces in population centers in southern Afghanistan, the hear tland of the Taleban. Pakistan complained the withdrawal of US troops from Kunar province opened up safe havens for militants and left it vulnerable to counter-attack after it drove them out of its own tribal areas. “It was a thickly forested and mountainous area,” a paramilitary officer told Reuters. “Whenever we launched operations, militants fled to Afghanistan and then returned and based in the area.” The Pakistani complaints mirror those made by US officials who say fighting in Afghanistan is undercut by militant sanctuaries in Pakistan. It is impossible to obtain independent verification

of military activity in the remote border areas. The latest operation, launched on Saturday, was carried out in the same area where Pakistan on Friday complained that NATO aircraft had attacked one of its military posts after intruding 2.5 km inside Pakistani territory. Pakistan expressed serious concern to the United States over

bin Laden in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad on May 2. US forces have also stepped up attacks on militant targets by drone aircraft in the tribal areas and Washington is pushing for the Pakistan army to fur ther expand its operations there. Pakistani officials say, however, that its military is already overstretched. It also wants a com-

“Almost all of the militant leaders wanted in Pakistan are hiding across the border and they keep sending fighters here to attack our forces and villagers,” a senior militar y official told Reuters. Last week Pakistani officials said six civilians were killed in a cross-border raid on three villages in Bajaur agency to the north of Mohmand, the second

CHAMAN: Pakistani truck drivers wait to cross the border to neighboring Afghanistan at the Pakistani border post. — AP the intrusion. Local officials said a few bombs were dropped but no casualties were repor ted. Relations between Pakistan and the United States have been strained since the unilateral raid by US forces who killed Osama

mitment from the United States that its troops will secure its side of the border. Otherwise, it says, its own troops and people become vulnerable to attack by militants based on the Afghan side.

such incursion this month. On Friday, the foreign ministry summoned the Afghan ambassador to Islamabad and lodged a protest over what it said was a cross-border attack by 100 to 150 militants. — Reuters

Sri Lanka’s Rajapakse rejects United States court summons COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s president has cited constitutional immunity and refused to go before a US court where he is being sued for $30 million over the killing of a Tamil man, an official said yesterday. A US-based Tamil lobby had filed the case claiming damages from him as commander-in-chief of the Sri Lankan armed forces for the alleged killing of Raghiar Manoharan, a member of the island’s ethnic Tamil minority. “Under our laws, the president has immunity,” justice ministry secretary Suhada Gamlath told AFP. “We don’t have to respond to such summons and I have written to the District Court of the Southern District of Columbia of our legal position last week,” Gamlath said. Sri Lanka is facing mounting international criticism over alleged war crimes committed in the final months of its battle against separatist Tamil Tiger rebels who were defeated in May 2009. The UN and rights groups

have said that they had “credible allegations” that thousands of civilians were killed by government troops. The Tigers were also accused of crimes against humanity during their separatist war. The summons on Rajapakse was first delivered to his “Temple Trees” residence in Colombo where it was not accepted, officials said adding that the court order was later accepted by the justice ministry. Gamlath said under Sri Lankan law the island could dismiss the summons as the head of state enjoyed immunity guaranteed to him under the constitution. The local Sunday Times newspaper said the case was filed when Rajapakse made a private visit to Texas earlier this year. Later the case was transferred to the District Court in the District of Columbia. The report said Rajapakse was due to visit New York in September to attend the UN General Assembly sessions. — AFP

Eight troops die in a day in Afghanistan: Military KABUL: Eight foreign soldiers died in one day in Afghanistan, officials said yesterday, including four in a single incident believed to have been a vehicle accident. The four died Saturday of “non-battle related injuries” in southern Afghanistan, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement. That incident, in a region containing many of Afghanistan’s bloodiest battlegrounds, came on a day when ISAF said four other foreign soldiers also died in separate insurgent attacks-three in the south and one in the east. In line with policy, ISAF did not give further details of what happened in any of the incidents, or the nationalities of the troops who died. There are 130,000 international forces in Afghanistan, of which 90,000 are from the United States. A total of 256 international troops have now died in Afghanistan this year, according to an AFP tally based on that kept by the independent website. The total for the whole of 2010 was 711. Separately, three Afghan civilians were killed yesterday and 11 wounded when a suicide car bomber targeted a passing foreign forces convoy in the northern city of Kunduz, the Afghan interior ministry said. It added that there were no foreign force casualties. Germany has a significant force presence in Kunduz, part of the northern region which has seen escalating violence in recent months. Two German soldiers were killed last month in an attack which killed the

regional police chief. The commander of NATO forces for northern Afghanistan, German General Markus Kneip, survived the attack with slight injuries. Southern Afghanistan, where most of Saturday’s deaths happened, is where much of the fiercest fighting in the near decade-long war takes place and is the focus of coalition military efforts, particularly the restive provinces of Helmand and Kandahar. Foreign combat forces are due to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014, with limited drawdowns expected to start next month from more peaceful parts of the country. US President Barack Obama is due to make a close-

ly-watched announcement soon on the number of US troops, which make up the bulk of the ISAF force, who will leave in July. Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Saturday that the US was holding talks with the Taliban, the first official confirmation of such contacts after nearly 10 years of war. The US State Department declined to comment. The war followed a US-led invasion in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, over the Taliban’s harboring of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden was killed by US commandos in Pakistan last month. — AFP

URUZGAN: In this photo provided by ISAF Regional Command (South), military service members from the US Air Force, Army, Navy and the country of Singapore carry an Afghan child to military medical evacuation helicopter after he was injured in a motorcycle accident. — AFP

KOKAVIL: In this file photograph, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse (right) and Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella (center) share a light moment during a visit to the island’s tallest communication tower. — AFP

Days before talks, India, Pakistan spar over ships NEW DELHI: Days before peace talks, India and Pakistan were caught in an angry exchange of accusations yesterday over the movements of their warships engaged in operations against Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean. An Indian naval ship and a Pakistani naval vessel brushed against each other Thursday. Pakistan protested Friday, saying the Indian warship undertook dangerous maneuvers, and a day later India said it was the Pakistani ship that had jeopardized safety. The spat comes days before Indian and Pakistani officials are to meet in Islamabad for peace talks on a range of issues, including their long-standing dispute over the Kashmir region and the threats posed by terrorism. The talks between India’s Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistani counterpart, Salman Bashir, would mark the first formal talks between the South Asian rivals on Kashmir since India broke off peace negotiations in 2008 after terrorist attacks in Mumbai killed 166 people. Thursday’s incident occurred while the Pakistani ship was escorting a merchant vessel, MV Suez, that had been threatened by Somali pirates. The MV Suez had been freed from the pirates on June 13 after a ransom of $2.1 million was paid. As it sped to safety, it was again threatened by pirates. After Pakistan lodged a protest, India’s external affairs ministry issued a statement countering the charge. India’s defense ministry had summoned a naval attachÈ at the Pakistan embassy in New Delhi to protest against the incident, the statement said. Both sides have been working toward the resumption of a full-fledged peace dialogue over the past year. India is going ahead with the talks despite testimony from a Pakistani-American who said in a trial in Chicago last week that Pakistani intelligence was directly involved in plotting and funding the Mumbai attacks. Islamabad denies the charge. India wants Pakistan to show it is serious about reining in militants who operate out of Pakistani territory. India blames the Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba for carrying out the Mumbai attack. Pakistan wants an early settlement of its dispute with India over Kashmir, which lies at the heart of hostilities between the two nuclear-armed rivals and was the trigger of two of their three wars. — AP



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S Korea not to punish soldiers over mistake ‘Extra training’ promised to avoid further embarrassing blunders

KHARTOUM: Sudan President Omar Al-Bashir meets with Chinese Special Envoy to Sudan Liu Guijin, unseen. — AP

China invites Sudan president accused of Darfur war crimes BEIJING: China says Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir will visit the country in a little over a week, despite the fact he’s wanted by an international court on war crimes charges. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Thursday that al-Bashir is making the June 27-30 visit at the invitation of Chinese President Hu Jintao. Hong said Al-Bashir will meet with Hu and other Chinese leaders and that talks would seek to promote peace in Sudan. The International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for Al-Bashir for allegedly orchestrating atrocities in the African nation’s Darfur region. However, China is not a member of the ICC and in 2008 expressed concerns that the court’s indictment of al-Bashir could cause further instability in the region. The Sudanese leader rejects the charges and the Netherlands-based court, which has no police force and relies on member states to execute its orders and warrants. Al-Bashir previously has traveled without arrest to several friendly nations, including ICC treaty signatories Chad and Kenya. Al-Bashir had been among several African leaders scheduled to attend a forum in Malaysia which began yesterday, but he pulled out after rights group Amnesty International called on Malaysia to un-invite or arrest him. Al-Bashir’s for-

eign minister said he had other engagements. The announcement in Beijing comes as a UN report says violence near the already tense internal border between north and south Sudan is increasing, with dozens of people reported killed in attacks in South Kordofan. The area is part of Arab and Muslimdominated northern Sudan, but many who live there are black Africans who support the Christian and animist south. Southern Sudan will declare independence from the north on July 9, the culmination of a 2005 peace deal. “China would like to play a positive role in promoting Sudan’s peace and reconciliation, boosting the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and safeguarding regional peace and stability,” Hong said in a regular briefing. Sudan is China’s third-largest trading partner in Africa, Hong added. China is uniquely positioned to exert influence over the conflict between north and south Sudan, given its efforts to maintain friendly ties with the southern region to protect Chinese oil investments while remaining a key political ally of Sudan’s government in the north. China’s energy needs make the country deeply vested in Sudan’s future. Sudan is subSaharan Africa’s third-largest oil producer, producing 490,000 barrels of oil a day last year, two-thirds of it to China. — AP

Vietnamese continue China protests amid rising tensions HANOI: Hundreds of Vietnamese launched a third week of protests against China yesterday amid escalating tensions in disputed waters of the South China Sea, where both countries recently conducted live-fire military drills. About 300 people gathered near the Chinese Embassy in the capital, Hanoi, and marched through the streets, yelling “Down with China!” and demanding that their powerful northern neighbor stay out of Vietnam’s territory. Crowds also gathered in southern Ho Chi Minh City. “ We will fight for our country if the nation needs us,” said student Nguyen Manh Ha, 20. “Not only me, but all Vietnamese people will die to protect our territory.” Protests are extremely rare in Vietnam and are typically quashed quickly by security forces, but Hanoi has allowed the demonstrations to go on for the past three Sundays amid tight security. At one point, the crowd, waving Vietnamese flags, stopped at a department store and shouted “Boycott Chinese products!” “I’m here today to protect my country from an invading China,” said Nguyen Long, 82, who fought in a short, bloody land border war with China in 1979. “I’m sure those in the embassy are listening to us shouting ‘Down with China!”‘ Relations between the communist countries hit a low point after two incidents in the past month involving clashes between Chinese and Vietnamese boats in the South China

Sea. Vietnam accuses Chinese vessels of hindering oil exploration surveys in an area 200 nautical miles off its central coast that it claims as its economic exclusive zone. China says Vietnam illegally entered its waters near the disputed Spratly islands and endangered Chinese fishermen. The two sides have a long history of exchanging diplomatic jabs over maritime incidents, mainly involving areas around the believed resource -rich Spratly and Paracel islands, which are claimed all or in part by Vietnam, China and several other Asian countries. But the current spat has become much more hostile. Vietnam held live-fire naval exercises off its central coast last Monday - the same day the government issued an order outlining who would be exempt from a military draft. On Friday, China announced it had also recently held three days and nights of drills in the South China Sea, though it did not give exact dates. The United States has said the South China Sea, home to key shipping lanes, is in its national interest. China says territorial disputes should be handled one-on-one, but Vietnam has said it welcomes foreign assistance to maintain regional peace and stability. The US and Vietnam issued a joint statement Friday following an annual defense dialogue, with Washington saying the recent “troubling” incidents raise concerns about maritime security. — AP

HANOI: Vietnamese protesters hold national flags and slogans during a protest. — AP

SEOUL: South Korea’s military said yesterday that it will not punish soldiers who fired at a passenger jet flying from China, mistaking the aircraft for an enemy plane amid sea fog and high tensions with North Korea. “Early-morning sea fog disrupted their vision... they did what they had been told to do based on military manuals,” a Marine Corps spokesman told AFP. “The action was partly caused by high tension with the North... we for now have no plan to punish them given there was no damage to the plane,” he said. Marines guarding the islands near the tense sea border with the North will be given extra training to distinguish between enemy planes and passenger jets, he said. Two marines at a guard post on the South’s Gyodong island near the disputed Yellow Sea border with the North fired 99 K-2 rifle rounds at the plane, which had 119 people on board, on Friday. The jet, owned by Seoul-based Asiana Airlines, was descending towards the South’s Incheon International Airport when the soldiers opened fire. There was no damage to the plane. The Airbus 321 was following a normal route from the southwest Chinese city of Chengdu, the company said. Ties between the two Koreas are at their lowest ebb in more than a decade after Pyongyang announced late last month it was breaking all contacts with the South’s conservative government. Seoul accuses Pyongyang of torpedoing a warship and killing 46 sailors

INCHEON: An Asiana Airlines is about to land at Incheon International Airport. Two soldiers at a guard post on Gyodong island fired their K-2 rifles on June 17 towards the plane. — AFP in March 2010 — a charge the communist refugees from the impoverished North North angrily denies. But Pyongyang went on crossed the sea border by boat earlier this to shell a frontier island off the west coast last month to defect to the capitalist South. Seoul last week rejected Pyongyang’s November, leaving four South Koreans includdemand to return them. Seoul’s policy is to ing two civilians dead. Then, South Korea’s defense minister Kim accept all North Koreans who wish to stay in Kwan-Jin, smarting from criticism of what was the South, while repatriating those who stray seen as the military ’s feeble and slow across the sea border by accident. The arrival response to the attack, told frontline troops to in February of a boatload of North Koreans strike back in the event of provocation with- sparked weeks of acrimony. That boat drifted out waiting for orders from top commanders. across the Yellow Sea border in thick fog, posTension further heightened after nine sibly accidentally. — AFP

Myanmar accuses rebels for initiating clashes YANGON: In its first public comments on a week of fighting in northeast Myanmar, the government said Saturday that ethnic Kachin rebels fired first and the army had to act to protect a major Chinese-built hydroelectric power project. The skirmishes were some of the fiercest in nearly two decades between government forces and the Kachin Independence Army. They erupted June 9, displacing at least 10,000 people over the course of about one week. The rebels have blamed the government for launching an offensive after militia fighters rejected a call to leave the strategic region. The government says it did call on rebels to leave, but accused

them of firing first after threatening Chinese technicians and detaining two army officers, according to a report Saturday in the state -run New Light of Myanmar newspaper. The 8,000strong Kachin militia is one of several minority ethnic rebel armies in Myanmar who say they are fighting for greater autonomy. The government paper said Myanmar ’s military ordered rebels to withdraw from a camp near the Tarpein hydropower project, a joint venture between Myanmar ’s Electric Power Ministry and China. The government said that during the fighting, militia fighters blew up power pylons that fed the project, as

well as 20 bridges. The violence forced 215 Chinese employees to flee home across the border, the report said. Military columns “had to inevitably attack the KIA just to rescue their officers ...who were detained without any reason and to protect the high-cost Tarpein hydropower project,” the report said. The US Campaign for Burma, a Washington-based lobbying group, said last week the militias had returned six detained army soldiers during a lull in fighting. It was not immediately clear if the two officers reported detained by the government were among them. Myanmar’s central government has tenuous control of many parts of the country where

minority groups are strongest. Many of those groups maintain their own militias. The government has reached cease-fire agreements with 17 rebel militias since 1989 and most have been allowed to keep their weapons and maintain some autonomy over their areas. The Kachin militia reached a peace deal with the country’s former ruling junta in 1994, but the truce broke down last year after the militia rejected a call by the government for them become border guards under army leadership. The junta made the appeal ahead of last November ’s elections, Myanmar’s first in 20 years, which introduced the nominally civilian government now in power. — AP

US military basing plans in Asia facing new hurdle WASHINGTON: A Senate committee is looking to block the reorganization of US forces in east Asia, which it sees as too costly and impractical, the panel’s chairman said Friday. Legislation backed by the Senate Armed Services Committee would prohibit funding to relocate the US Marine base in the southern Japanese island of Okinawa. It also would suspend plans to relocate thousands of families to live with US service members in South Korea. Committee chairman Sen Carl Levin called the plans “unsustainable and incredibly expensive.” The committee wants more studies conducted before the plans are funded. The panel’s proposals are part of a $683 billion defense spending bill that has to clear several legislative hurdles. While it is not clear whether the Asia provisions will be in the final version of the bill, lawmakers are likely to welcome the efforts to control spending. It follows calls last month from Levin and two other prominent senators - Jim Webb, a Democrat like Levin, and Republican John McCain - for the Defense Department to re-examine the plans for east Asia. “The major step we have taken is to put all these changes on hold,” Levin told reporters in a conference call Friday. “We are not withdrawing our presence (from east Asia). We are trying to streamline it ... in a way that’s honest and sustainable.” It comes ahead of a high-level US-Japan security meeting in Washington next week. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates will host Japanese Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto and Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa tomorrow. Among the issues they will discuss are missile defense technology transfer and realignment of US forces in Okinawa, the State Department said. Levin singled out as “unachievable” the current plans for Okinawa, which hosts more than half the 47,000 US troops in Japan. The issue is a politically charged one. Although Japan is a staunch US ally, many of the islanders resent the presence of the American forces, because of noise, pollution and crime associated with the military bases. A 2006 US-Japan agreement aimed at decreasing America’s military footprint remains in limbo as it still requires local assent. Under the agreement, Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, located in a heavily populated southern part of Okinawa, would be closed and its air operations relocated to a less crowded northern area at Camp Schwab, where a new airfield would be built. Some 8,000 Marines would also be shifted to the US Pacific territory of Guam by 2014. Japan would foot much of the multibillion relocation bill. The new bill would require the Defense Department to study the feasibility of relocating Marine Corps air assets to Chadian Air Base in another part of the island rather than build a costly new facility at Camp Schwa. It has been suggested that Air Force assets currently at Kadena be shifted elsewhere, possibly to an underused air base on Guam. — AP

CHONGQING: A man tries to hold up a woman after stepping into a drain while attempting to walk through flood waters. —AP

Over 5 million affected by severe China floods Almost 1,000 businesses forced to suspend operations BEIJING: More than 5 million people have been displaced or other wise affected by flooding in eastern China that is also pushing up food prices, state media repor ted yesterday. Torrential rains have left huge areas of Hubei and Zhejiang provinces under water, with more than 1 million acres of farmland inundated, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Almost 1,000 businesses have been forced to suspend operations and 5.7 million people have had their lives disrupted, Xinhua said in a brief report. More than 7,000 homes collapsed or were otherwise damaged and direct financial damage was estimated at almost $930 million. The downpour triggered a mudslide that buried houses and killed two people in Zhejiang’s Changshan county, while two more were killed and two left missing by flooding in Hubei, Xinhua said. Flooding in eastern and

southern China this month has left more than 170 people dead or missing. Roads and railways have been blocked, but aid supplies are arriving and the country’s weather bureau says skies are expected to clear up today. Farmers quoted by Xinhua said the flooding was the worst in 20 years, reducing vegetable output by 20 percent and also causing shortages of fruits and grains. Prices for green vegetables were up 40 percent, Xinhua said, adding to an inflation rate of 5.5 percent, a three-year high. The increase in the consumer price index reported last week was in line with expectations but higher than April’s 5.3 percent and March’s 5.4 percent. The National Statistics Bureau said the main factor was an 11.7 percent jump in food prices. Higher food prices blamed on flooding were also reported in the eastern provinces of Anhui and Jiangxi, Xinhua said. — AP



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ST PETERSBURG: People watch a laser show and fireworks over a boat floating on the Neva River during celebrations to honor graduated students yesterday. This week’s graduation ceremonies and celebrations are being held all over Russia for students of elementary, high schools and military academies. — AFP

Bahrain journalists reject allegations MANAMA: Lawyers for three former editors of Bahrain’s main opposition newspaper told a court yesterday the journalists were tricked into publishing false news about the Sunni monarchy’s crackdown on Shiite-led protesters as part of a plot to undermine a key opposition voice. The trial of the former Al Wasat editors is part of a sweeping crackdown on the island nation’s Shiite-led opposition, which has been protesting for greater rights and political freedoms in the Gulf island kingdom. The former editors were forced to resign from Bahrain’s most widely read newspaper after the government imposed emergency rule in March to quell dis-

sent. The charges against the three men, who pleaded not guilty last month, include publishing false news and endangering public order. If convicted on all charges, they face at least two years in prison and hefty fines. Two employees of Al Wasat newspaper told Bahrain’s highest criminal court yesterday that the fabricated information was overlooked because of the difficult conditions facing the kingdom’s only opposition paper during the anti-government demonstrations. The stories, describing actions against protesters that never occurred, came from an Internet address in Saudi Arabia, said Al Wasat’s founder and former chief editor, Mansoor al-Jamri, during a hearing last week. —AP

MP levels grave charges against PM ... Continued from Page 1 The grilling of the prime minister was held in a secret session but many MPs released major portions of the debate on Twitter and also at a diwaniya late Saturday night. The premier was grilled over allegations that he boosted Kuwait’s ties with Iran at the expense of Gulf

Arab states. Khorafi meanwhile yesterday sent out invitations to MPs about the program of the last two weeks of the current term. In the program, the Assembly will hold sessions on June 20, 21, 22 and 27, 28 and 29 to discuss the budgets and on June 23 to vote on the non-cooperation motions against the prime minister.

Conservation stressed over excavation... Continued from Page 1 “But why cram these treasures into museums if the (unearthed) monuments are not preserved?” he asked rhetorically. There have been no major excavations at Ur, which lies on the outskirts of the modern city of Nasiriyah about 300 km south of Baghdad, since digs funded by the British Museum and the University of Pennsylvania in the 1920s and 1930s. The site has so far relinquished only about 10 percent of its riches, experts say. British archaeologist Charles Leonard Woolley found some of the greatest treasures of antiquity at Ur, including a golden dagger encrusted with lapis lazuli, an intricately carved golden statue of a ram caught in a thicket, a lyre decorated with a bull’s head and the gold headdress of a Sumerian queen. But for the past half-century nothing has been done to preserve the sites that yielded those finds. Ur of the Chaldees, as it is mentioned in the Bible, was one of the great urban centres of the Sumerian civilisation of southern Iraq and remained an important city until its conquest by Alexander the Great a few centuries before Christ. It is thought to have reached its apogee under King Ur-Nammu, who is believed to have ruled between 2112 and 2095 BC, and his successors. The Sumerian capital boasted paved roads, tree-lined avenues, schools, poets, scribes, and stunning works of art and architecture of the kind discovered by Woolley and his team. But war and strife over the past 30 years closed Ur to foreign archaeologists, and since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein Baghdad’s struggling government has had bigger priorities than funding large-scale digs in a country with more than 12,000 documented archaeological sites. Those who have come, however, have largely chosen to focus on the autonomous and relatively safe Kurdistan region in the north for excavations. They have mostly avoided Ur and other sites in the rest of the country as safety remains a key issue, even though violence levels are lower than their peak in 2006 and 2007. “Foreigners are watching but few would go to Baghdad,” said French archaeologist Christine Kepinski, a research director at the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). “We are more likely to go to Kurdistan,” she said by electronic mail, noting that that is where teams from the Czech Republic, Italy, Britain, Greece, France, Germany and the Netherlands had been going since 2006. But some, like Italian philologist Franco d’Agostino, a professor at Rome’s Sapienza University, are now planning to venture into the south. This

autumn, he hopes to start at Abu Toubairah, near Nasiriyah, calling it “the first foreign excavation mission in southern Iraq since 2003.” That is the site of another ancient city, whose excavation is expected to help understand the relationships between different cities at a time when Ur dominated Mesopotamia. “It is crucial to show that foreign missions are overcoming fears and restarting missions,” d’Agostino said by telephone from the city of Arbil in northern Iraq. “If my Iraqi colleagues tell me it’s fine to come, I have to trust them,” he said. Despite security concerns, Ur is also drawing foreign groups, with Hamdani’s project organised by the Global Heritage Fund (GHF), an NGO based in California. “Our biggest thing that we care about is getting the conservation science right,” said Jeff Morgan, director of GHF, which will invest $580,000 over five years and hopes for a one-million dollar contribution from Iraqi authorities. When it begins work in the autumn, its first task will be to establish the precise topography of the site using techniques never utilised at Ur, such as ground penetrating radar (GPR) to help develop a comprehensive plan for the site’s conservation. Only then will restoration begin at Ur, which is currently on UNESCO’s Tentative List of world heritage sites. For Hamdani, who is one of the project leaders, efforts should primarily focus on the two jewels of the site: the royal cemetery and the ziggurat, which was built in the 21st century BC as a temple to the Sumerian moon god, Nana. The ziggurat was partially restored in the 1960s, but all of the finds have suffered “a slow process of erosion,” said Italian art historian Alessandro Bianchi, who has spent the past six months training six Iraqis in special restoration techniques near Ur. The site is plagued by wind, extreme summer heat and excessive salinity of the soil, he added. The climate is not solely responsible for the degradation of the site, which also suffered from the presence of an Iraqi military base that was bombed during the 1990-1991 Gulf War. According to Hamdani, the incorporation of the site into the US military’s Contingency Operating Base Adder, has helped save it from the looting and violence suffered by many of Iraq’s archaeological sites. It is hoped that efforts to better conserve the country’s myriad sites could also boost tourism, which is now heavily dependent on Shiite Muslim pilgrims visiting Iraq’s various religious shrines. “If you look at the potential, Iraq can be the next Egypt in terms of tourism and cultural heritage development,” the GHF’s Morgan said. “Everyone’s been to Egypt for the last 30, 40 years,” he added. “Nobody’s been to Iraq.” — AFP

NATO strike kills 9 civilians in Tripoli Continued from Page 1 “The deliberate bombing ... is a direct call for all free peoples of the world and for all Muslims to initiate a global jihad against the oppressive, criminal West and never to allow such criminal organizations as NATO to decide the future of other independent and sovereign nations,” Al-Obeidi said. He did not take questions. Shortly after the airstrikes before dawn yesterday, journalists based in the Libyan capital were rushed by government officials to the destroyed building, which appeared to have been partially under construction. Reporters were escorted back to the site during the day, where children’s toys, teacups and dust-covered mattresses could be seen amid the rubble. “Why is NATO doing this to us? Why?” asked Ibrahim Ali, who said he lived on the same street as the wrecked building. “NATO is a big problem for the Libyan people. NATO doesn’t have any business here, this is between the Libyan people.” Another man, who gave his name as Tony, nodded towards the remains of the building and said: “They (local people) don’t like this ... But they don’t like the regime either.” Journalists were shown at least four people said to have been killed in the strike, including the two young children. Foreign reporters in Tripoli are not allowed to travel and report freely and are almost always shadowed by government minders. Salem Ali Garadi, 51, who said his brother and sister were among the victims, said five people were killed. Libya’s Health Ministry says 856 civilians have been killed in NATO airstrikes since they began in March. The figure could not be independently confirmed. Previous government tolls from individual strikes have proven to be exaggerated. NATO acknowledged its planes hit targets in Tripoli and said it was investigating whether it was responsible for the alleged strike on the house. “NATO confirms that it was operating in Tripoli last night, conducting airstrikes against a legitimate military target,” Wing commander Mike Bracken said in a statement yesterday afternoon. He said the alliance was looking into the reports. “NATO deeply regrets any civilian loss of life during this operation and would be very sorry if the review of this incident concluded it to be a NATO weapon,” Bracken said. A NATO mission spokesman in Naples, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with alliance regulations, said earlier that the Gaddafi regime has made false claims in the past about NATO having caused civilian deaths. The alliance appeared to strike the capital again

yesterday afternoon. A number of explosions could be heard in the city, and smoke could be seen rising over the southern part of the capital. While NATO warplanes have stepped up their campaign against Gaddafi’s regime over the past week, fighting has intensified between rebels and government troops outside the port city of Misrata, the main rebel stronghold in western Libya. For weeks, the rebels had been bottled up in the city, some 200 km east of Tripoli. The eastern third of the country is under rebel control from their de facto capital, Benghazi. Yesterday, Gaddafi’s forces unleashed a heavy barrage of Grad rockets and mortars on the rebel front lines in Dafniya, about 25 km west of Misrata. Muthana Issa, an official at Misrata’s Hikma hospital, said four people had been killed and 16 wounded in the early hours of the bombardment. As the barrage continued into the afternoon, a steady stream of pickup trucks rushed the wounded to a field hospital in Dafniya, where medics and volunteers quickly unloaded the dead from the back of the pickups and placed the wounded on stretchers. One truck pulled up with three bodies covered in blood. “They are shelling us really badly today with everything - mortars, grads, heat-sensing weapons, anything you can imagine,” said Mustafa, 30, who was helping drive the wounded from the front. Doctors at the field hospital said they had stopped counting the wounded coming in because there were too many. Gaddafi’s forces also ambushed a group of rebels near Dafniya early Sunday with AK-47s and heavy machine guns, according to rebel fighter Mohammed Khalil. He said the fighting was intense, with the two sides as close as 50 meters from each other. Five rebels were killed in the ambush, he said. Late on Saturday, NATO announced that it had mistakenly struck a column of Libyan rebel vehicles in an airstrike near an eastern oil town two days earlier and expressed regret for any casualties that might have resulted. The alliance has accidentally hit rebel forces before in its air campaign to protect civilians in the civil war between Gaddafi’s military and the fighters trying to end his more than four decades in power. A coalition including France, Britain and the United States launched the first strikes against Gaddafi’s forces under a United Nations resolution to protect civilians on March 19. NATO, which is joined by a number of Arab allies, assumed control of the air campaign over Libya on March 31. — Agencies

Syria cuts lifeline to thousands Continued from Page 1 trying to remain close to their homes and relatives, avoiding official refugee status that might delay their return. The Syrian government has called on the displaced people to return, promising safety. But most are staying put as long as the army is occupying their towns, fearing arrest upon return. Assad was expected to give a speech today in what would be only his third public appearance since the uprising began in mid-March, inspired by the revolutions sweeping the Arab world. Turkey, UN and Western leaders and others who have urged change in Syria will watch to see whether he shows any sign of bending toward demands for an easing of the Assad family’s 40year authoritarian rule. Residents of Bdama, a village 20 km from the Turkish border, said tank-borne troops firing machine guns were tightening their grip on Bdama, the nearby village of Rihan and surrounding areas, which had been a gateway for refugees and for their food and medical supplies, dissident sources reported. In Bdama, several homes were set ablaze in what appeared to be revenge attacks, human rights activist Ammar Qurabi said. A man at the Bdama bakery was shot in the stomach and leg as the place was torched by troops, and he was evacuated to Turkey for treatment yesterday morning, said an activist near the border, Jamil Saeb. The bakery was said to have been the sole source of bread for thousands stuck on the Syrian side of the frontier. “Security forces have arrested around 100

people from those villages in the past few days. They are trying to close off border areas with checkpoints to keep people from leaving,” said Syria-based activist Mustafa Osso, who expressed concern that the thousands encamped on the Syrian side might come under attack. The anti-government activists’ reports about the continuing crackdown could not be independently verified. Syria’s state-run news agency, SANA, reported yesterday that the military dismantled mines and highly explosive booby traps planted by “armed terrorist groups” along roads and bridges leading to Jisr Al-Shughour. In Geneva, the International Committee of the Red Cross said its president, Jakob Kellenberger, was flying to Syria yesterday to discuss the humanitarian situation with Prime Minister Adel Safar and Foreign Minister Walid Muallem. Kellenberger has repeatedly urged Syria to allow the ICRC and the Syrian Red Crescent access to the wounded and detained in the crackdown. The opposition estimates more than 1,400 Syrians have been killed and 10,000 detained as Assad’s forces try to preserve his grip on power. The pro-democracy uprising against the Assad regime has proved remarkably resilient despite the relentless campaign by the military, other security forces and pro-regime gunmen. The government has unleashed troops on mass protests in region after region over the three months, including last Friday, when activists said at least 16 civilians were killed when security forces fired on demonstrators in several cities and towns. — AP


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Obama and toxic waste, toxic politics By Bernd Debusmann n his inaugural address on Jan 21, 2009, President Barack Obama promised that “we’ll restore science to its rightful place.” Mark that down as a broken promise, as far as a key element of America’s nuclear energy future is concerned. Obama’s remark on science was a swipe at his predecessor, George W Bush, whose administration was frequently criticized, often with good reason, for allowing ideology to trump science on subjects as varied as stem cell research, the morning-after birth control pill and the environment. In contrast, Obama’s most prominent move to shelve a major scientific project - The Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository - has been driven not by ideology but by a toxic combination of nimbyism (from “not in my backyard”), electoral politics, and high-handed leadership of America’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission. That combination led to the closure of a project that, over its long gestation period, involved more than 2,500 scientists and has so far cost $15 billion. Power-generation and nuclear waste are not usually subjects of great public interest but they made headlines and sparked renewed debate in the wake of last March’s nuclear accident in Japan, where spent fuel rods (nuclear waste) posed a greater radiation threat than the core of the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Those rods were stored in pools of constantly circulating water - the system used at most US nuclear plants - and dangerously overheated when an earthquake interrupted power supply to the pools. Over the past few weeks, the steadily increasing waste from more than 100 nuclear reactors, and the repository once meant to hold most of it deep underground, have been the subject of a string of reports and congressional hearings. They shed light not only on the need for a decision on what best to do with the waste but also on the fact that science on this issue has not been restored to the “rightful place” Obama promised in his eloquent inaugural speech. According to a report by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), more than 75,000 metric tons of nuclear waste are now held at sites scattered around the country, an amount that is expected to double by 2055. What’s the best option to storing these hazardous substances? “A geologic repository is widely considered the only currently feasible option for permanently disposing nuclear waste,” the GAO’s leading expert on energy matters, Mark Gaffigan, told a Congressional subcommittee. It was called in response to a report by the GAO, the research arm of Congress, which discussed several options for storing nuclear waste, and spelt out the reason the Department of Energy shut down Yucca mountain - not because it was deemed unsafe but because it lacked public support in Nevada. That’s not surprising Nevada Senator Harry Reid, a Democrat, has waged a relentless campaign for more than two decades to kill the project, saying it was unsafe. That’s his opinion, not universally shared by scientists. When he was campaigning for the presidency in 2008, Obama came down on the side of Reid, a stand that helped him beat his Republican rival John McCain, the Nevada senator firmly in favor of Yucca, and win the hotly contested state’s five electoral votes. Again, politics trumped science. Those five votes must count among the most expensive in American electoral history. Soon after taking office, Obama pulled the plug on Yucca mountain by writing it out of the budget. The project’s offices in Las Vegas were shut, the staff fired. Up on the mountain, 4,950 feet from the Mojave desert, on the edge of a former nuclear test site 95 miles from Las Vegas, the gate has been closed to the entry of the five-mile tunnel drilled into the mountain to serve as a graveyard for nuclear waste. But the project isn’t quite dead, yet. There is a pending lawsuit by the states of South Carolina and Washington against the Obama administration and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Their argument: Yucca was a congressionally mandated program (the legislation dates back to 1982) and cannot be killed by administrative fiat. While a Washington appeals court ponders the issue, a Blue Ribbon Commission set up last year continues to ponder “recommendations for developing a safe, long-term solution to managing the nation’s used nuclear fuel and nuclear waste.” —Reuters


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Sudan power play risks escalation By Simon Martelli conflict raging in Sudan’s tense north-south border region could escalate, just weeks before the south secedes, as Khartoum seeks to assert its power but analysts say all-out war remains unlikely. President Omar Al-Bashir’s government has vowed to use all means available, including air strikes and heavy artillery, to crush the “rebellion” in South Kordofan by northern militiamen aligned to the SPLA, the army of south Sudan. It is the second major conflict in the central border area in less than a month, after the northern army occupied the contested Abyei region, on 21 May, forcing some 113,000 residents there to flee south, according to UN estimates. “Khartoum’s capture of Abyei - and aggressive posturing elsewhere - is aimed at exhibiting strength to domestic constituencies, influencing negotiations over the future status of the territory itself, and strengthening its hand at the negotiating table,” said Sudan analyst Zach Vertin in a recent report for International Crisis Group. The conflicts in Abyei and neighbouring South Kordofan are also threatening to unravel the 2005 peace accord between Khartoum and the SPLA that ended 22


years of devastating civil war and paved the way for southern secession. But Khartoum appears more concerned with its own survival. As partition looms, its military campaigns are a calculated way of silencing critics within the regime, political observers say, while it gambles that the south will not want to jeopardise its hardfought independence. “I think the leadership of the (ruling) National Congress Party (NCP) in Khartoum wants to make a show of strength that may give them more credibility and legitimacy,” said Al-Tayeb Zein AlAbideen, political science professor at Khartoum University. “The government is very upset by the separation of the south, so they want to react against the SPLM... which is the biggest party after the NCP in the north,” he added. The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) is the political wing of the the southern army and the ruling party of the south. It came very close to winning last month’s election for the post of governor in South Kordofan, north Sudan’s only oil-producing state, until he withdrew alleging fraud. On Thursday, NCP spokesman Ibrahim Ghandour said the northern branch of the SPLM would not be allowed to continue in its present form, “because it is the party of another country.”

One Western analyst says it was Khartoum’s refusal to accept the probable victory of the SPLM candidate, Abdelaziz al-Hilu, in the South Kordofan elections, along with its insistence on disarming the SPLA-aligned troops in the north, thought to number around 40,000, that sparked the latest conflict. Church leaders and activists say the army’s new campaign forms part of a government policy of ethnic cleansing, targeting the state’s indigenous Nuba peoples who fought with the SPLA during the 1983-2005 civil war. Khartoum strongly rejects allegations of ethnic cleansing and insists it is protecting civilians. Either way, the conflict has raised levels of mistrust between the soon-to-be neighbouring nations, already running high from the lack of progress at the negotiations in Addis Ababa on post-separation issues. “If the deterioration in relations continues then of course southern independence will be accompanied by more violence, whether direct or indirect,” said Safwat Fanous, another political scientist at Khartoum University. “It is already happening. There are skirmishes on the border. The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (of the south) is accusing the north of bombing the south and arming southern rebels,” he added. The United Nations has confirmed

SPLA charges on Thursday that the northern army made incursions into its territory, saying it shelled the southern border town of Agok, which lies south of Abyei’s border. Others agree that the conflicts in Abyei and South Kordofan are more than just a show of force and could spill into Blue Nile, the third of the “three areas” accorded special status under the peace accord, whose governor, Malik Agar, heads the SPLM north. “It makes perfect sense for the SAF (Sudanese army) to knock 40,000 hostile troops out if its territory,” said the Western analyst based in Sudan, requesting anonymity. “While the occupation of Abyei may have been carried out with Khar toum’s domestic constituency in mind, South Kordofan is definitely a challenge to the regime... And if the conflict there drags on, it would be difficult for Blue Nile not to get involved,” he added. But observers say they do not expect a full-blown conflict between north and south Sudan to resume, at least not in the near future. “They have so many other problems, apart from Abyei and South Kordofan. But I think we will still see a lot of brinkmanship, both sides pushing each other as far as they can,” said Khartoum University’s Abideen. — AFP

Gaddafi losing friends, influence in Africa By Mark John uammar Gaddafi is losing friends in Africa, the continent where his largesse once bought him the title “King of Kings” but which is now turning to other foreign allies to help shape its future. Moves by countries including Senegal, Mauritania, Liberia, Chad and Gambia to distance themselves from Gaddafi are partly a gamble that NATO-backed rebels will finally succeed in ending his four decades of authoritarian and quixotic rule. But they also show Gaddafi’s waning role in a region where foreign investor appetite, trade ties with Asia and a domestic yearning for democracy are all eclipsing the lure of Libyan petrodollars and weakening the old-boy networks they propped up. “The rest of the continent has passed him by. The favours he can call in are few and far between,” said Tara O’Connor of London-based Africa Risk Consulting. Most of the 50-plus members of the African Union group back a neutral AU policy calling for a ceasefire and a “roadmap” out of the civil war sparked by a February riot over human rights. But efforts to maintain a single African line have been smashed by a vanguard of countries which, encouraged by NATO members France and the United States, have either called for Gaddafi to go or explicitly thrown in their lot with the rebels. Senegal’s Abdoulaye Wade last week became the first sub-Saharan African leader to travel to the rebel stronghold city of Benghazi to recognise the CNT opposition movement, and has also received CNT leaders in the Senegalese capital Dakar. Equally significant is a statement last week attributed to Mauritania’s Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz - who forms part of the AU mediation panel on Libya - in which he said Gaddafi’s departure had become necessary. Chad, which has faced CNT accusations that its solders have fought alongside pro-Gaddafi troops, has now made clear that it does not support Gaddafi, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said after talks with its foreign minister last week. Liberia’s Ellen JohnsonSirleaf severed diplomatic ties with Libya on Tuesday, declaring that Gaddafi had lost legitimacy, while the tiny West African state of Gambia best known as a beach and jungle tourist destination has done likewise. For most, the economic impact of ditching Gaddafi will be surprisingly limited. Despite the grandiose promise of the five-year-old Libya Africa Portfolio for Investments (LAP) to channel billions of dollars into “natural resources, technology, tourism, real-estate, services and financials”, Reuters reporters across Africa say many of the projects barely got off the ground.


Such is the case for a $30 million Libyan project to promote local production of rice in Liberia and the renovation of Monrovia’s Ducor Hotel, one of the few five-star hotels in Africa but which fell victim to the 1990s civil war there. A UN freeze on Libyan transactions prompted neighbouring Niger this week to revoke a $68 million telecom deal with Libya’s LAP Green Network, citing nonrespect of the terms of the transaction. “He does not have access to his external accounts so he can’t funnel cash to his old crony network in the Sahel,” Stratfor analyst Mark Schroeder said of the lavish cash gifts Gaddafi has used to curry favour with local political elites. The African leaders which Gaddafi must deal with now are savvier and more aware of their central role in the global scramble for resources than they were a few years back. Having survived the 2009 financial crisis largely intact, Africa is sufficiently alluring to investors that pan-African private equity fund Helios Investment Partners this week closed its latest fund at its $900 million cap. China, now Africa’s largest trading partner, is forging infrastructure and resource accords across the continent, such as March’s deal to build over 1,300 km of railway in Chad and talks on a long-term fisheries pact with Mauritania. Gaddafi holds little sway with Africa’s new giants such as South Africa, Nigeria or Egypt, and his past attempts to wield influence have irked some - notably Sierra Leone and Liberia, where he bankrolled the rebels who plunged them into war. While Africans salute his role in helping movements such as the ANC in apartheid South Africa, he is seen as out of step with the longstanding effort south of the Sahara to nurture multi-party politics - years before any “Arab Spring”. “He has done good things in the past,” said independent Senegalese political analyst Babacar Justin Ndiaye. “But he is not a democrat - there is not a single African intellectual who can say now that what he is doing is good.” Widespread African unease about NATO bombs on the continent - just weeks after the Ivory Coast conflict was ended only with French army interven-

tion - will mean that many leaders will refrain from public calls for Gaddafi to go. South Africa’s Jacob Zuma last week slated NATO for seeking regime change. Patrick Smith of the Africa Confidential newsletter said nearby countries such as Niger, Chad, Mauritania and Mali must also balance policy towards Gaddafi, knowing the conflict has already raised concerns over small arms, mercenaries and out-of-work migrants flooding into a fragile neighbourhood. “Gaddafi can still create mayhem in the region,” he warned. — Reuters


MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011

a na ly s i s

Mullah Omar key for US in Afghan talks By Katherine Haddon he US may be in talks with the Taleban but its key challenge will be reaching out to the militants’ elusive, one-eyed leader Mullah Omar as momentum builds for a peace deal in Afghanistan, experts say. Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Saturday that the United States and other foreign countries were in contact with the Taleban, the first official confirmation of their involvement in talks after nearly ten years of war. While diplomats say contacts are at a very early stage, Karzai’s remarks show the increasing focus on a political settlement to the Afghan war after the death of Osama bin Laden and as foreign combat troops prepare to leave by 2014. The support of the Taleban leader, for whom Washington offers a $10 million reward, is considered vital for any ceasefire or power-sharing deal. But his location, long thought to be somewhere in Pakistan, remains a mystery. The search has particular momentum given President Barack Obama’s promise to start pulling out some of the 90,000 US troops from Afghanistan next month ahead of a full withdrawal within three years. Pakistani analyst and author Imtiaz Gul told AFP that the US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Marc Grossman, asked for his help earli-


er this month in tracking down Omar. “Grossman told me the US is looking for people who can prove demonstrable access to Mullah Omar,” he said. “I think the US considers Mullah Omar is still

city of Abbottabad last month, most experts believe that Omar would have moved on quickly. Afghanistan’s intelligence service said shortly after bin Laden was killed that Omar had “disappeared

peace commission. Afghan officials now believe that Pakistan, where the Taleban leadership is believed to be based, is more willing to help. “The dynamics in the relationship have changed quite

In this photograph taken on April 28, 2009, Afghan Taleban fighters pose for a picture at a mosque in Andar district of Ghazni province. – AFP the key to Afghan peace. A US official told me: ‘We don’t want to remove him. We are very interested in talking to him.’” Omar has long been thought to live in Pakistan’s southwestern city of Quetta but Pakistan insists it has no idea where he is. After Al-Qaeda leader bin Laden was killed by US forces in the Pakistani

from his hideout” in Quetta, without saying where he might have gone. Western and Afghan officials in Kabul see assistance from Pakistan as crucial to efforts to open up a communication channel with Taleban leaders. Karzai recently visited Islamabad, unusually for two days, and inaugurated a joint

substantively over the last few months,” an Afghan official told AFP on condition of anonymity. “They now say very clearly that they have a role to play and we in Afghanistan have specific expectations of Pakistan.” One such expectation is for Pakistan to “actively encourage Taleban leaders including Mullah

Omar to join the reconciliation process,” he said. Publicly, the Taleban insist they will not discuss peace until all 130,000 foreign troops leave the country. “We have already said this and have repeated it many times. We have no negotiations with the United States,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taleban spokesman. But Germany’s respected Der Spiegel magazine reported last month that Berlin had helped US officials contact Tayyab Aga, Omar’s trusted personal secretary and brother-in-law, reportedly deputy head of a Taleban political commission. Afghanistan analyst and former Pakistani intelligence official Brigadier Saad Khan said the contacts in Germany were “initial and exploratory” but that Aga took part “with the full blessing of Mullah Omar”. “I think both the US and the Taleban realise they have to talk to each other,” Khan told AFP. Whatever the status of talks, all sides clearly have a vested interest in keeping something so sensitive under wraps. But in a situation of such shadowy uncertainty, the US and its allies will also be wary of repeating the kind of humiliating mistake which hit efforts to talk peace with the Taleban last year. In November 2010, a man who claimed to be a senior Taleban commander was apparently brought to Kabul on a NATO aircraft to meet Karzai, before being exposed as a lowly shopkeeper from Quetta.— AFP

Abhisit’s election campaign stalls By John Chalmers hai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva pulled on a crash helmet, sat astride a vintage side-car motorbike and posed for the photographers as his election campaign convoy moved through central Bangkok one day last week. But, in a stroke of bad luck, the engine spluttered and died halfway down an alley. Abhisit tried several times to restart it, shook his head, dismounted and trudged on by foot. Abhisit’s disastrous publicity stunt was somehow symbolic of his Democrat Party ’s struggle to make headway against a resurgent opposition led by the sister of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, a billionaire telecommunications tycoon ousted in a 2006 coup who now calls the shots from exile in Dubai. Opinion polls, while far from reliable, increasingly point to a win for Thaksin’s Puea Thai Party in the July 3 vote even though it would probably have to forge a coalition to rule. The emergence of Yingluck Shinawatra, 43, as the charismatic figurehead for Puea Thai has electrified the party’s campaign far beyond the north and northeast rural regions that have long been “red shirt” bastions of support for Thaksin. The Democrats, on the other hand, may win too few parliamentary seats to be given the first shot at putting together a coalition government - and it is far from certain they can win enough seats to convince members of their current alliance to


stay on board and steer clear of Puea Thai. Yingluck’s dramatic late entry into the election race caught Abhisit’s party off guard and made its campaign look all the more lacklustre. “Their campaign has been quiet, that’s their style, not like the big marketing focus Thaksin has always had,” said Chris Baker, author of “Thaksin: The Business of Politics in Thailand” and several other books on Thai politics. “The Democrats were shaken enormously by Yingluck’s candidacy,” he added. “Abhisit will focus on trying to discredit Puea Thai and appeal to those not fond of Thaksin and those wanting stability.” Abhisit has done just that, warning in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday that the country, which has been racked by sporadic unrest for the past five years, could lurch into a new round of instability if his rivals win power. A 10week anti-government protest in Bangkok by red-shirted Thaksin supporters last year was broken up by the army, a bloody denouement in which 91 people were killed, nearly 2,000 wounded and more than 30 buildings set on fire. Against the odds, Abhisit had the steadfast backing of the military and royalist elite and held on after the Bangkok unrest. However, his fortunes are shifting, raising questions over whether he can continue to lead Thailand even if the Democrats manage to form a coalition. “Any potential coalition partners

would make it a condition that he has to be replaced,” said Jacob Ramsay, senior Southeast Asia analyst at consultants Control Risks. “It’s not about his competence, it’s the taint of what happened last year.” The military, whose politicised top brass loathe Thaksin and could face the axe if his party takes power, is expected to rally behind Abhisit. Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha made a barely disguised effort on Tuesday to shore up the Democrat Party’s crumbling fortunes, urging voters in a 20minute television appearance “to vote for good people” and warning against a repeat of the 2007 election, which was won by Thaksin allies. However, anecdotal evidence as well as the opinion polls spell trouble for the urbane and Oxford-educated Abhisit, who insists the election is still a close race between his party, which will be “No. 10” on voters’ ballot papers, and Puea Thai, “No. 1”. A Democrat partyman repeatedly bellowed from a campaign truck at a busy Bangkok intersection on Tuesday: “What number do we want?” Many in the thin crowd of onlookers giggled and shouted back: “No. 1”. Just as Abhisit arrived and climbed up to join his party colleague, a Puea Thai campaign truck festooned in red banners suddenly appeared, and a cheer went up from the crowd. If his campaign in a stronghold such as Bangkok is sputtering, it is nowhere in sight in the north and northeast, where Thaksin supporters have launched hun-

dreds of defiant “red shirt” villages, highlighting the failure of a reconciliation effort after last year’s bloody crackdown in Bangkok. While a Puea Thai plurality is expected by most independent analysts, a complex set of potential scenarios could still favour the Democrats if they manage to retain their traditional support base. One source of contention with Thaksin’s supporters is that the Democrats could still lead a coalition as the second-placed party, which is probably the best Abhisit could hope for right now. The deficit between the two parties is critical. If Puea Thai musters less than 220 of the 500 parliamentary seats at stake and the Democrats win 180, the advantage will be with Abhisit. He could still scrape through with the help of one medium-sized party, most likely Bhumjai Thai, the second-biggest partner in the current alliance and a bitter rival of Puea Thai. Such an outcome would raise the risk of tens of thousands of red shirt protesters flooding back into the streets of Bangkok and possible new clashes with soldiers. As with almost everything in contemporary Thai politics, it will probably be the Thaksin factor that dictates the outcome, and Abhisit’s survival. “Thaksin’s divisiveness is the key. If Puea Thai don’t win big, smaller parties will want to distance themselves from Thaksin, because they see instability and polarisation ahead,” said Somjai Phagaphasvivat, a political scientist at Bangkok’s Thammasat University. — Reuters

Politics, capital flight eclipse ‘Russia’s Davos’ By Guy Faulconbridge he Kremlin’s annual investment pitch to the world was overshadowed by one uncomfortable fact: Tens of billions of dollars are fleeing Russian assets ahead of the March 2012 election. Russia may be one of the few places where foreigners can buy into both swift growth and vast mineral resources, but some local investors have been hedging against the country’s tumultuous political history by buying dollars. Behind the spin of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, which ended on Saturday, investors grappled with two questions: Who will rule Russia after the election, and why have there been net capital outflows of $55.6 billion over the past eight months? President Dmitry Medvedev gave an answer of sorts. He laid down his credentials for a potential re-election bid by warning that unless “my choice” of modernisation is implemented, Russia faces stagnation two decades after the fall of the Soviet Union. “The notorious stability could hide another period of stagnation,” Medvedev told investors, impressing many but also prompting some to ask whether he would finally start acting on the many promises he has made but often failed to keep. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who is viewed by most Russians as the paramount leader, was silent in Moscow. In previous years, Putin has upstaged Medvedev during the forum by berating oligarchs or sealing big energy deals. This year, the 58year-old former KGB spy met the health minister and the head of Russia’s national


archives in the capital. Putin and Medvedev, 45, have not said which of them will run but the two - allies who have worked together for two decades - have

ments but also in their ages,” said Anatoly Chubais, who headed late President Boris Yeltsin’s campaign in the 1996 election. “But at the same time, it would be wrong

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev speaks at The International Economic Forum in St Petersburg on June 17, 2011. – AFP occasionally appeared to differ in recent months, prompting speculation about a split between Russia’s leaders. At the forum, Russia’s answer to Davos, Medvedev brushed off a question on whether he would run but said there remained “very little time to wait” for a formal announcement. “The two potential candidates are not 100 percent the same. It is visible not only in their political state-

to consider these two candidates as opposite to each other.” Russian officials played down political risks to the $1.5 trillion economy, telling investors they could miss out on profits if they waited for the election. These officials point to growth rates which the International Monetary Fund forecast will make Russia a $3.2 trillion economy by the end of 2016, or the fifth-largest economy

after the United States, China, Japan and Germany. “There are certainly clients of ours who think there could be dramatic change depending on the outcome of the elections, but our advice to them is usually not to wait,” said Christopher Barter, head of Goldman Sachs in Russia. Capital flight has been draining Russia’s economy. Since the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, Russia has had only two years of net capital inflows - in 2006 and 2007. But with oil, the lifeblood of the Russian economy, trading at more than $100 a barrel, investors have been puzzled by a return to such sharp net capital outflows, which the central bank forecasts will reach $30 billion-$35 billion this year. “With international clients, the elections are having a small impact,” Stephen Jennings, CEO of Renaissance Capital, told a breakfast discussion. But Jennings, who has worked in Russia for two decades, said Russian investors were moving assets abroad because of perceptions of heightened politicial risk. “You see that in the capital flight numbers,” he said. First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov called the widely quoted capital outflow figures “dodgy” and said much of that money was not fleeing Russia, but merely being changed into US dollars and kept in accounts in Russia. “Russia continues to be out of fashion - we are very late with reforms. We need to make a lot of swift movements to satisfy the foreign investor,” said Sberbank Deputy CEO Bella Zlatkis, a former deputy financial minister. “If we do not do this, then the capital outflows will continue despite the high oil prices,” she said. — Reuters


Too early for talks to play decisive role By Myra MacDonald and Paul Tait espite hopes that talks with the Taleban could provide the political underpinning for the US staged withdrawal from Afghanistan, the discussions are still not at the stage where they can be a deciding factor. With Washington due to announce next month how many troops it believes it can safely pull out of Afghanistan, diplomats say that months of talks between the two sides - a crucial building block in any eventual political solution - have yet to develop into serious negotiations. “Right now they are gauging each other’s temperature,” said one diplomat who is involved in international discussions about how to reach a political settlement in Afghanistan. A Western diplomat in Kabul gave a similar account, saying, “There are no serious load-bearing talks going on, a lot of contacts.” President Barack Obama is expected to announce next month how many troops he plans to withdraw from Afghanistan as part of a commitment to begin reducing the US military presence from July and hand over to Afghan security forces by 2014. Facing budget pressures at home, and calls to explain why the United States should linger in Afghanistan after killing Osama bin Laden in Pakistan on May 2, Obama is nonetheless expected to argue for maintaining a substantial troop presence. But his officials have increasingly been holding out the prospect of talks with the Taleban as a way of eventually settling a war now into its 10th year. “Perhaps this winter the possibility of some kind of political talks on reconciliation might be substantive enough to be able to offer some hope of progress,” outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates said earlier this month. According to official sources from several countries, Washington began face-to-face meetings with representatives of the Afghan Taleban led by Mullah Mohammed Omar towards the turn of the year, and possibly several months before that. But so little is known about these contacts that they have been open to widely different interpretations. One diplomat, for example, said there was no substance to recent media reports of US-Taleban talks being hosted in Germany. The Taleban, who ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until they were ousted for refusing to give up Al-Qaeda after Sept. 11, 2001, publicly dismiss suggestions they are holding talks, saying that they will not negotiate until foreign troops leave. But long before bin Laden was killed, they had been signalling a willingness to break with Al-Qaeda - a key condition for a political settlement - by saying they would not allow Afghanistan to be used to attack other countries. In what may be a sign of progress, Washington is seeking to split a UN sanctions list for Taleban and AlQaeda figures into two and to remove some Taleban names from those subject to its travel restrictions and asset freezes, diplomats say. Pakistan, which says it wants a settlement in Afghanistan to help end instability at home, is also projecting itself as willing to play a constructive role despite accusations from Washington that it backs the Taleban -allegations it denies. “I do get a sense they are willing to engage more ... that they do want to be brought into the fold,” the western diplomat in Kabul said. The United States says much of the Taleban leadership is based in Pakistan, putting it in a strong position to influence their attitude towards peace talks. The aims of Washington and the Taleban, however, remain far apart. Washington is currently negotiating with the Afghan government security arrangements after 2014, which one diplomat from the region said could involve the United States retaining semi-permanent military bases there for 15 to 20 years. While the Taleban say publicly they want all foreign troops out, some diplomats suggest they might settle for a clear timeline for withdrawal by 2014 - but not for long-term bases. One diplomat also said the Taleban’s ambitions for their future in Afghanistan were still considerably bigger than the role sketched out for them by Western countries in which they would be included as part of a broader political process. And while bin Laden’s death would make it easier in theory for them to break with Al-Qaeda, the diplomat said there were no signs yet of them shifting their position since the May 2 raid. Direct talks are no panacea - Britain held its first direct talks with the Irish Republican Army in 1972 but took nearly 20 years to settle the Northern Ireland conflict. Analysts and Western diplomats argue moreover that the Taleban cannot be compared to a national liberation movement with whom a peace deal can be struck and the war ended. Rather, the insurgency is fragmented. Even within the so-called Quetta shura Taleban led by Mullah Omar, no one is sure how far he can deliver younger fighters into a settlement. Then there are other major insurgent groups including the Haqqani network and the Hizb-e-IslamiGulbuddin (HiG) led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar which have not been included in the talks. Yet the Haqqani network is one of the most active insurgent groups, blamed among other things for involvement in a suicide attack which killed CIA agents in eastern Afghanistan in 2009. The United States has been pushing Pakistan to target the Haqqanis in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, and some have blamed its reluctance to do so on perceived support by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency. Pakistan says its overstretched military needs to give priority to tackling militant groups like the Tehrik-eTaleban Pakistan (TTP), who have been bombing its own people. It is as yet unclear whether the Haqqanis would ever be brought into talks on a political settlement. “At the moment the Americans are not yet ready,” said the diplomat who is involved discussions about the talks. “They think the Haqqanis are quite thick with Al-Qaeda.” Any political settlement would have to pull together not only that fragmented and Pashtun-dominated insurgency, but also other groups in Afghanistan like the Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras, who regard the Taleban with deep suspicion. And it would have to be clear that regional powers, including Pakistan, India, Iran and Russia, were ready to support a political settlement rather than backing rival Afghan groups in a way which fuelled a growing civil war. British officials frequently cite the analogy of a double-decker bus in which all the various Afghan parties ride on one deck with the regional powers on the other, steering towards a settlement. As yet, everyone is still at the bus stop. — Reuters


MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011

sp orts Dan not feeling so super SINGAPORE: China’s Olympic badminton champion Lin Dan was subjected to boos and jeers on Sunday after the sport’s golden boy was forced to withdraw from the Singapore Open final due to illness. The 27-year-old, who also skipped a news conference earlier in the week, had been due to play countryman Chen Jin in the final but pulled out after being diagnosed with gastroenteritis by the tournament’s doctor. Some 7,000 fans who had turned up at Singapore’s Indoor Stadium to see “Super Dan” vented their frustration at his withdrawl. “I felt very unwell after I went to bed. This morning I still didn’t feel very well so I went to the tournament office and consulted the team doctor,” Lin told a news conference. “I can understand how the spectators feel, as the week went on I have had more and more people cheering for me. I can empathise with them as I have a lot of supporters in Singapore.” Tournament referee Ernest Robinson confirmed that Lin had pulled out due to gastroenteritis and that Chen Jin had been awarded the title on a walkover. In the women’s final, China’s Wang Xin defeated Denmark’s Tine Baun 21-19 21-17.—Reuters

Leonardo prepares to quit

Man beaten over O’Neal LOS ANGELES: A Los Angeles music producer testified that gang members kidnapped him in 2008 and told him the reason was an “issue” with basketball star Shaquille O’Neal and his business partner, according to transcripts from a preliminary criminal hearing. In the transcripts, producer Robert Ross — who has claimed the attack came because he said he had a sex tape featuring O’Neal — testified that his kidnappers beat him and demanded a “videotape.” Excerpts from the Monday preliminary hearing for seven gang members accusing of kidnapping, robbery, assault and conspiracy in the attack on Ross appeared early yester-

day on the Los Angeles Times’ website. Ross testified that at one point he had a tape from his home security system of then-NBA star O’Neal having sex with a woman, but it had been recorded over. Asked by a prosecutor if he really had such a video at the time of the attack, Ross replied, “It was over. It was gone.” O’Neal and business partner Mark Stevens have denied involvement in statements to investigators, and neither has been charged or named in the criminal complaint. Attorney Nicholas Tonsich, who represented O’Neal and Stevens, did not immediately responded to a phone message left early yesterday morning by The Associated Press. —AP

MILAN: Inter Milan are expecting coach Leonardo to leave and media reports are saying Porto’s Andre Villas Boas is top of their list of potential successors. Brazilian Leonardo is thinking about taking a less hands-on sporting director role at former club Paris St Germain, recently bought by Qatari investors, and Inter are working on the presumption he will quit after less than six months in the job. “Our silence in recent days comes from the knowledge of wanting to make a fundamental choice with extreme calmness,” chief executive Ernesto Paolillo told the club’s website ( on Saturday. “In the coming days there will certainly be an important announcement. Asking if it will be a foreign or Italian manager is like asking if he will be tall or blonde.” Former Argentina coach Marcelo Bielsa has turned down an offer of talks with Inter for personal reasons while England’s Fabio Capello and Fiorentina’s Sinisa Mihajlovic have been linked in the media.—Reuters

Brewers sink Red Sox

PRETORIA: Lwazi Mvovo of the Sharks (left) tackles Wynand Olivier of the Bulls during their Super 15 rugby match.—AP

Bulls miss out on Super 15 playoffs WELLINGTON: The Bulls’ reign as Super rugby champions was ended by South African compatriots the Sharks after the playoffs race was finally decided in the last match of an 18-week, 120-match regular season. The Queensland Reds, Canterbury Crusaders and Cape Town-based Stormers finished at the top of the Australian, New Zealand and South African conferences while the Auckland Blues, Sharks and New South Wales Waratahs snatched playoffs spots with last-round wins. Seven teams began the final round vying for the six places in the playoffs and in a brutal game of musical chairs, the defending champion Bulls were left without a seat when the music stopped on Saturday. A six-match winning streak which carried the Bulls to the threshold of the playoffs ended at home where they were beaten 26-23 by the Sharks, leaving them in seventh place. The Reds beat the Waikato Chiefs 19-11 in Hamilton and the Stormers — beaten by the Bulls in last year’s final — beat the Cheetahs 4434 in Bloemfontein to clinch first and second places on the championship table. In doing so, they earned automatic home semifinals and the right to sit out the first round of the playoffs in which the Blues will play the Waratahs at Auckland on Friday and the Crusaders will play the Sharks in Nelson on Saturday. The Crusaders beat the Wellington Hurricanes 16-9 in a rugged match billed as an All Blacks World Cup trial to finish the season in third place while the Blues snapped a four-match losing streak with a 33-16 win over the Otago Highlanders. The Waratahs scored 31 points in the second half to beat the ACT Brumbies 41-7 and to move from seventh place to fifth, edging the sixth-placed Sharks on points differential. After the longest regular season in Super rugby only nine points separated the top six teams and the playoffs lineups were finally decided on a countback of points scored. Many matches were played against emotional backdrops as the tournament’s last round saw the end of many lengthy Super rugby careers. Bulls captain Victor Matfield is likely to retire after this year’s World Cup, making his team’s defeat and the end of its two-year championship reign more poignant. Matfield’s Springboks locking partner Bakkies Botha, who played his 100th Super rugby match on Saturday, is also ending his association with the Bulls as is Springboks scrumhalf Fourie du Preez. “It’s very tough,” said Matfield. “The Sharks came out firing. I thought we fought for 80 minutes but it just wasn’t enough. For the three of us, it’s a very special day. Maybe the last time.” Winger Lwazi Mvovo scored the game-clinching try for the Sharks in the 74th minute of a match played in front of a sellout crowd of 50,000 at Pretoria’s Loftus Versfeld. The Sharks clung on in a dramatic South African derby, despite a late score by Bulls scrumhalf Francois Hougaard, for their first win in Pretoria since 2008. Three-time winners the Bulls fought back from 16-6 down to 16-16 with 30 minutes to go before Mvovo’s

defining score. The loss means the Bulls miss the semifinals for only the second time since 2004. The Sharks matched the famed physicality and forward power of the Bulls to extend their own season into next week’s sudden death clash with seven-time champions the Crusaders in the small New Zealand provincial city of Nelson. “Although we love our wives, our girlfriends and our kids, we don’t want to be at home next weekend, we want to be playing,” captain Stefan Terblanche said. “It’s a bit unfair that after 1,200 minutes of rugby it had to come down to the final 80 minutes of the season.” The Crusaders demonstrated all of their famous grit and determination to beat the Hurricanes 16-9 in a match of physical attrition in Wellington. Center Robbie Fruean — formerly a Hurricane — scored the only try in the 43rd minute while All Blacks scrumhalf Andy Ellis sealed the win with a 45-meter drop goal. The victory sealed a remarkable season for the Crusaders, who had to overcome the effects of a devastating earthquake to clinch their 13th Super rugby semifinal place since the tournament’s inception in 1996. Even in the week of this match, the Crusaders had to deal with a 6.0 magnitude aftershock in Christchurch which furthered damaged the homes of captain Kieran Read and star flyhalf Dan Carter. The Crusaders’ home stadium in Christchurch was severely damaged by the Feb. 22 quake that killed 181 people and they became itinerants, playing their home matches at five venues. Saturday’s match, though played on the Hurricanes home ground, was technically a home match for Canterbury. Their final week’s program was also disrupted by the ash cloud from an erupting Chilean volcano and they flew to Wellington from Christchurch on Friday aboard an historic DC3 aircraft able to fly at lower levels than commercial flights. “We just focused week to week and with all the adversity the boys have been through it really brought this team together,” coach Todd Blackadder said. “Every obstacle that seems to get thrown in our ways, the guys overcome it and put good performances together, especially this week.” The Stormers capped an outstanding season in which they led the South African conference from the first week until the last. Tries from Gio Aplon, Juan de Jongh, Nick Koster and Bryan Habana and 24 points from returning flyhalf Peter Grant sealed the South African conference. The Cheetahs threatened an upset with tries by Davon Raubenheimer and a hat trick from winger Ryno Benjamin. But Grant, who returned after a lengthy injury layoff, kicked two late penalties to clinch the Stormers’ 12th win from 16 games. “We can consider it job done to finish top of our conference, get a bye and a home semi at Newlands,” Stormers captain Schalk Burger said. “We can get the feet up, rest up and look forward to the semi.”—AP

BOSTON: The Milwaukee Brewers hit three solo home runs, including back-to-back blasts to lead off the game, en route to a 4-2 win over the Boston Red Sox in interleague play at Fenway Park on Saturday. Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez dropped a fly ball in foul territory and lead-off hitter Rickie Weeks capitalised on his good fortune to drive the next pitch from starter Jon Lester over the high “Green Monster” wall in left field. “When you get the second life, you have to stay positive,” said Weeks, who homered off a fastball. “I knew he was going to just stay hard with me, so I figured I’d just sit hard and see if I could get something up on the plate.” Corey Hart made it 2-0 on the next pitch with a solo home run to center field. Boston levelled the score with two runs in the second inning but George Kottaras led off the third inning with Milwaukee’s third solo home run off Lester to regain the lead before Ryan Braun scored on an RBI single by Casey McGehee. Randy Wolf picked up the win for Milwaukee, pitching seven innings for two runs and nine hits, while John Axford earned the save with a perfect ninth inning. “Every inning was a battle and they had an opportunity to score,” Wolf said. “You have to keep them off balance. There’s not one pitch that works for me, I have to mix all four in there.” Lester took the loss and dropped to 9-3 on

BOSTON: Red Sox’s Dustin Pedroia (left) catches Milwaukee Brewers’ Corey Hart trying to steal second base in the fifth inning of an interleague baseball game.—AP the season after allowing four runs on seven hits and striking out eight in eight innings. “Sometimes it’s tough throwing against teams you don’t really know, especially early on,” said Lester. “You’re trying to feel them out, figure out what their game plan is against you,

and, obviously, they were very aggressive.” Prior to the game, the Red Sox placed left fielder Carl Crawford on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring which he injured in Friday ’s 10-4 win over the Brewers.—Reuters

Yankees hold off Cubs CHICAGO: The New York Yankees held off the Chicago Cubs for a narrow 4-3 win in interleague play at a soldout Wrigley Field on Saturday. Eduardo Nunez’s double in the ninth inning scored Robinson Cano to push the Yankees lead to 4-2 but when Nick Swisher tried to extend the lead further from first base on the hit, he was thrown out at home plate for New York’s final out. “I think Nunie (Nunez) deserves enough credit for what he did in the ninth,” Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner said. “The double that he hit to left-center ended up being the game-winning hit.” The insurance run proved to be just enough as Mariano R ivera gave up a solo home run to Reed Johnson in the bottom of the ninth but the Panamanian preserved the victory for Yankees starter A.J. Burnett with his 17th save of the season. Gardner’s defense also played a pivotal role in New York’s victory. With the Yankees leading 3-2, Gardner caught a fly ball by Geovany Soto and threw a strike to home plate to get Carlos Pena out for an inning-ending double play. Pena collided heavily with Yankees catcher Russell Martin in an attempt to knock the ball loose, but to no avail. “We had to try it,” Pena said. “I thought it was the right thing to do. He (Martin) was blocking the plate. “There was only one way to get to home plate, and that was through him. He took a hit like a champ and held onto the ball, and it was a great play by him, so hats off.” The Yankees built a 2-0 lead in the third inning but Pena’s two-run homer pulled the Cubs even in the fourth. Nunez scored in the top of the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly by Curtis Granderson to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead. Starter Ryan Dempster took the loss for the Cubs, allowing three runs on eight hits and six walks while striking out six in 5.1innings.—Reuters

US duo seeking fourth beach volleyball title ROME: Two-time Olympic champions Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh are within one victory of their fourth beach volleyball world title. The Americans beat the Chinese pair of Xue Chen and Zhang Xi 21-17, 15-21, 1510 in Saturday’s semifinals and will face the top-seeded Brazilians Larissa Franca and Juliana Felisberta Da Silva in yesterday’s final. Franca and Felisberta Da Silva dispatched the Czech duo of Hana Klapalova and Lenka Hajeckova 21-14, 21-13. May-Treanor and Walsh won world titles in 2003, 2005 and 2007 and are 32-1 for their career at the worlds. The pair, which also won gold at the last two Olympics, did not play together in 2009 and 2010 due to injuries and the birth of Walsh’s two sons. May-Treanor and Walsh hold an 11-5 career edge over Franca and Felisberta Da Silva but the Brazilians have won the last two meetings and are guaranteed their fourth consecutive worlds medal, having claimed silver in 2005 and 2009 and bronze in 2007. The men’s final will be an all-Brazilian match between second-seeded Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego and third-seeded Marcio Araujo and Ricardo Santos. Cerutti and Rego beat defending champions Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann of Germany 21-15, 21-15; and Araujo and Santos defeated 15th-seeded Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins of Latvia 22-20, 21-16.—AP

CHICAGO: New York Yankees’ Curtis Granderson (right), Chris Dickerson (center) and Brett Gardner celebrate after the Yankees defeated the Chicago Cubs 4-3 during an interleague baseball game.—AP

MLB results/standings Major League Baseball results and standings on Saturday. Washington 4, Baltimore 2; Milwaukee 4, Boston 2; NY Yankees 4, Chicago Cubs 3; Texas 5, Atlanta 4 (10 innings); Cleveland 5, Pittsburgh 1; NY Mets 6, LA Angels 1; Toronto 4, Cincinnati 0; Tampa Bay 7, Florida 4; Minnesota 1, San Diego 0; St. Louis 5, Kansas City 4; Colorado 5, Detroit 4; Chicago White Sox 6, Arizona 2; Oakland 4, San Francisco 2; Philadelphia 5, Seattle 1; Houston 7, LA Dodgers 0. American League Eastern Division W L PCT Boston 42 28 .600 NY Yankees 40 29 .580 Tampa Bay 38 33 .535 Toronto 36 35 .507 Baltimore 31 37 .456 Central Division Cleveland 38 31 .551 Detroit 38 33 .535 Chicago 34 38 .472 Kansas City 31 40 .437 Minnesota 30 39 .435 Western Division Texas 38 34 .528 Seattle 36 35 .507 LA Angels 34 38 .472 Oakland 32 40 .444

GB 1.5 4.5 6.5 10

1 5.5 8 8

1.5 4 6

National League Eastern Division Philadelphia 45 27 .625 Atlanta 39 33 .542 6 Washington 35 36 .493 9.5 NY Mets 35 36 .493 9.5 Florida 32 39 .451 12.5 Central Division Milwaukee 40 32 .556 St. Louis 39 33 .542 Cincinnati 37 35 .514 Pittsburgh 35 35 .500 Chicago Cubs 29 41 .414 Houston 27 45 .375

1 3 4 10 13

Western Division San Francisco 39 32 .549 Arizona 39 33 .542 Colorado 35 35 .500 LA Dodgers 31 41 .431 San Diego 30 42 .417

.5 3.5 8.5 9.5



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MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011


McIlroy on the verge of history at US Open

SANTA CLARA: Michael Phelps smiles during practice before the Santa Clara International Grand Prix swim meet. —AP

Phelps clinches 200-m backstroke SANTA CLARA: Michael Phelps has found a new event to dominate, easily winning the 200-meter backstroke Saturday night at the Santa Clara International Grand Prix. Without world record holder Ryan Lochte in the field, the 14-time Olympic gold medalist led the entire way and touched the wall more than 3 seconds ahead of the competition at 1 minute, 57.05 seconds. Mitchell Larkin was second and Matthew Swanston third. “It’s fun. Just being able to get in the water and do something different every now and then is good,” Phelps said. The event wasn’t part of Phelps’ record haul of eight gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. I t ’s one of the changes Phelps is considering to his schedule ahead of next year’s London Games. Phelps was an unusual spectator for his signature event, watching the 400 individual medley from the stands as R yan Lochte and others exhausted themselves in the grueling race. Lochte, slowed by a strained left knee, finished second behind Brazil’s Thiago Pereira. “I will say, watching the 400 IM, I do

not want to be back in the pool for that race,” Phelps said, chuckling. “I don’t miss that race.” Phelps, turning 26 at the end of June, isn’t planning to enter eight events in London and try to repeat his record performance. He has reiterated he will drop the 400 individual medley and could trim his schedule more. Among the other notable winners: Park Tae-hwan of South Korea won the 200 freestyle for his third victory of the grand prix. He also won the 400 free and beat Phelps by a finger in the 100 free Friday. Stephanie Rice won the women’s 400 individual medley; Allison Scmitt finished first in the women’s 200 freestyle; Meagen Nay won the women’s 200 backstroke; William Copeland took the men’s 50 free; and Madison Kennedy was first in the women’s 50 freestyle. In the relays, the Australian teams swept. Brittany Elmslie, Bronte Barratt, Nay and Rice won the women’s 800 freestyle, and Ryan Napoleon, Ridge Grimsey, Nicholas D’Arcy and Kenrick Monk took the men’s 800 free. —AP

BOSTON: Bruins captain Zdeno Chara (right) hoists up the Stanley Cup as goalie Tim Thomas (left) holds onto the Conn Smythe trophy during a rally in celebration of their NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff victory. —AP

Bruins delight fans at ‘rolling rally’ celebration BOSTON: Screaming fans dressed in the black and gold of the Boston Bruins smiled, waved and stood on trees and bus shelters as they watched the NHL champions — and the Stanley Cup, of course — roll through city streets on a balmy, breezy Saturday. And the players they adore gave it right back. Tim Thomas beamed. Zdeno Chara pumped his fists. Patrice Bergeron signaled to the massive crowd to shout even louder. Then, as the nearly two-hour “rolling rally” celebration of the Bruins’ first title in 39 years neared its end, Andrew Ference raised one finger, then two, then three, orchestrating a familiar chant. “Let’s Go Bruins!” the fans responded. “Let’s Go Bruins!” But there’s no need for the Bruins to go any further. They’ve already arrived. The long journey began in Vermont in late September with two days of training camp and ended in Vancouver with a 4-0 victory in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals on Wednesday. In between, the Bruins started the season with two games in Prague against the Phoenix Coyotes — losing then winning on a shutout by Thomas — and grew into a team determined enough to win three of its four postseason series in seven games and good enough to knock off the Canucks, the NHL’s best team in the regular season. The Bruins’ trip to their sixth championship got a big boost from their fans, who stuck by them all the way to Saturday’s celebration on a sunny day with temperatures reaching the low 80s (high 20s C). Crowds were so deep on the sidewalks that many fans might not have been able to see the players. Police announced nine arrests of people “charged with, among other things, public drinking and disorderly conduct.” Police commissioner Edward Davis said, “exemplary fan behavior was on full display throughout the day and all along the parade route.” In a 15-minute program outside the TD Garden before the rally, Boston mayor Thomas Menino thanked the Bruins for “a fabulous season.” Team president Cam Neely, one of the greatest forwards in club history but never a champion, said, “It’s finally our time.

How amazing is this?” Chara, the captain, then told the fans, “We couldn’t have done it without you,” and shared a conversation he had with Neely. “I promised him when we win a Cup I will hand it to him. So here we go. Come on, Cam,” he said as Neely stepped forward, smiled broadly and took the trophy. At one point, Bergeron and rookie Brad Marchand, who each scored two goals in Game 7, did a poor imitation of the rap song, “Black And Yellow.” Playoff MVP Thomas spoke briefly to the crowd, holding the Cup aloft the whole time. “You guys wanted it. We got it and we want to share it with you today,” said the goalie, one of the few Bruins still sporting a playoff beard. “Let’s have some fun.” Then players — wearing white hats and black Tshirts proclaiming them Stanley Cup champions — and team officials boarded 18 colorful duck boats, tourist vehicles designed to travel on land and water. This day, they carried passengers who excelled on ice. “We all love each other,” said first-line forward Nathan Horton, sidelined for the series with a severe concussion early in Game 3. “We all care about each other. We all play for each other. That’s the way it’s been all year and that’s why we won the Cup.” Playmaking center Marc Savard, limited to 25 games this season by the effects of a careerthreatening concussion, rode in the same duck boat as Horton. The possibility of playing again after missing the playoffs “is really the furthest thing from my mind right now,” Savard said. “I just want to enjoy it here and let the boys take the spotlight here because they earned it.” About 20 minutes into the trip to Copley Square, a route of about three miles (nearly five kilometers) from the arena where the Bruins were 3-0 against the Canucks in the finals, Thomas said, “It’s awesome to be sharing it with everybody. This is the day you really look forward to.” While Boston police no longer provide estimates, the size of the crowd appeared to be larger than all but the one that turned out to celebrate the Red Sox first World Series victory in 86 years in 2004. —AP

BETHESDA: Rory McIlroy looked every bit like a US Open champion, even on a course that didn’t play like a US Open. As flawless as he’s been, not even the toughest test in golf would have been a match for him. In the face of record scoring at Congressional, McIlroy stretched his lead for the third straight day with a 3-under 68 to set the 54hole record at the US Open and build an eight-shot lead going into the final round. This time, history is on his side. No one has ever blown more than a five-shot lead at the US Open. No has ever lost any major when leading by more than six shots going into the final round. And over three days that produced a mind-boggling score of 14-under 199, no one looks close to the 22-year-old from Northern Ireland. “You run out of superlatives to describe what he’s doing this week,” defending champion Graeme McDowell said. For those curious whether he would crumble, as McIlroy did in the final round at the Masters when he lost a four-stroke lead and shot 80, he answered with a combination of smart play early and aggressive shots when he found his rhythm. His only bogey came from a shot that was about 5 feet too long and tumbled into a back bunker on the par-3 10th. On the next hole, facing one of the most daunting shots on the course from deep rough, he hit a shot that covered the flag and settled 18 feet away. McIlroy pumped his fist when he made the birdie putt. It was a knockout punch to everyone else. When he walked off the 18th green with a par, he was eight shots clear of YE Yang and one round away from his first major. “I wanted to catch up a little bit,” Yang said. “But at the same time, the player with the better shot, with the better putt, with the better composure is leading right now. So I have no regrets. Right now, the better player is leading. “I think it’s actually a race for second place right now.” His performance has been so inspiring that comparisons to Tiger Woods’ record-setting romp at Pebble Beach in 2000 gave way to questions whether McIlroy ultimately would be the one to challenge

BETHESDA: Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, reacts after making his birdie putt on the 11th hole during the third round of the US Open Championship golf tournament. —AP Jack Nicklaus and his 18 majors. “What is he, 22 years old? If you are going to talk about someone challenging Jack’s record, there’s your man,” fellow Irishman Padraig Harrington said. “Winning majors at 22 with his talent, he would have 20 more years ... where he could be competitive. It would give him a great chance.” McIlroy, perhaps still wary of what happened at Augusta, is not ready to celebrate. “Paddy, Paddy, Paddy,” he said quietly as he shook his head and smiled. “I’m still looking for my first one. I’ve put myself in a great position to do that tomorrow, and then we’ll see what happens from there. It’s nice to have all these complimentary things said about you, but until you actually do these things, they don’t mean anything.” With more rain overnight and cloud cover through the third round, scores resembled a regular PGA Tour event instead of a major

championship designed to be the toughest exam golf has to offer. There were 26 rounds under par, the most ever for the third round of a US Open. Lee Westwood and Jason Day provided the early challenge-if it could even be called that-with rounds of 65. Webb Simpson, who narrowly made the cut, was among the first out and shot 66. “It’s not a true US Open test out there, to be honest,” McDowell said. “There were some tough pins out there, no doubt. I’d like to see it tougher than it was. That’s the weather-you can’t control that. Take nothing away from him. Rory is doing a phenomenal job out there.” Woods was the only player under par when he built his 10shot lead at Pebble Beach. There were 20 players under par through three rounds at Congressional. But soft conditions tend to make it easier on everyone, and McIlroy has been

the best all week in any condition. About the only drama Saturday, even after McIlroy reached 14-under par, was whether he also would break Woods’ record 10-shot lead through 54 holes at a U.S. Open. McIlroy had a nine-shot lead, but failed to birdie the par-5 16th and Yang added two late birdies. Yang wound up with 70 and will be in the last group with McIlroy again. Westwood, Day and Robert Garrigus (68) were at 5-under 208. “It definitely wasn’t as easy as it was the first couple of days,” McIlroy said. “I knew that I was going to feel a little bit of pressure and a little bit of nerves, and it took me a few holes to get into the round.” If there was a turning point, it might have come on the third hole. McIlroy pushed his tee shot into the rough, and a tree blocked a clear shot at the green. Studying his options with caddie JP Fitzgerald, McIlroy pointed to a gap, then backed off and reached for a wedge to pitch back into the fairway. His third shot stopped 3 feet from the cup for a par, and he was on his way. “That gave me a little bit of momentum,” McIlroy said. “I sort of found my rhythm quite quickly after that.” Day played the opening three rounds with McIlroy at the Masters, and knew what he was capable of doing. The Australian still gave it his best shot, shooting a 32 on the tougher back nine, finishing with a rare birdie on the 18th. All that, and he was still nine shots behind. “The way he’s playing out there, it’s almost Tigeresque,” Day said. “It’s unbelievable how good he’s playing. Obviously, to have the lead that he has in the US Open is pretty ridiculous, and at such a young age. The next generation is starting to kick up now, and he’s the guy that’s leading it.” Westwood, considered the best player without a major, wasn’t ready to concede even as McIlroy was passing his first big test. “He had a big lead in a major and didn’t deal with it before,” Westwood said. “There’s pressure on him with regards to that. So we’ll see. All I can do is control my game and try and shoot as low a score as possible for me.”—AP

Franchitti grabs IndyCar pole WEST ALLIS: Dario Franchitti won the pole position for the IndyCar race at the Milwaukee Mile with an average speed of 170.841 mph (274.93 kph). Helio Castroneves qualified second, followed by Scott Dixon. Championship leader Will Power qualified all the way back in 17th. “Will obviously didn’t have a good qualifying there,” Franchitti said. “But trust me, he’ll be there tomorrow.” Franchitti was fuming last weekend after the starting order for the second of twin 275mile races at Texas Motor Speedway was determined not by speed, but according to a lottery. Power drew the No. 3 starting spot while Franchitti drew 28th, and Power won the race while Franchitti — who won the first 275-mile race — finished seventh in the second race. Franchitti was unhappy that the luck of the draw could end up affecting the championship. “The first race last weekend was based on speed, he was starting behind us, too,” Franchitti said. Power has a 21-point lead over Franchitti in the series points standings going into Sunday. It was a rough afternoon for Simona De Silvestro, who was taken to a hospital for further evaluation after she crashed during her qualifying run. A series spokesperson said she was awake and alert. “Hopefully she’s OK,” Franchitti said. “You tend not to have small accidents around here, so I’m hoping she’s all right.” She spun and slammed the outside wall hard, then went skidding into the inside wall. Last month, De Silvestro burned her hands in a crash during Indianapolis 500 practice and has been driving with bandages. Castroneves said his second-place qualifying effort was another sign that his racing fortunes were turning around after a miserable start to the season. But that doesn’t mean his qualifying run was easy, as Castroneves had a hard time keeping his car under control. “It wasn’t easy,” Castroneves said. “Let’s put it this way: After the first lap, I said, ‘Can we come in now?’ They said no, you’ve got to keep going one more lap.” Franchitti wasn’t exactly comfortable during his run, either. “In the middle of three and four, the car snapped sideways on the first lap, which caught me by surprise,” Franchitti said. “I was able to still keep it flat. The second lap, I knew it was coming, but it wasn’t any easier or any more pleasant.” Drivers said the wind was a factor, making cars unstable in Turn 4. —AP

HAMPTON: Brett Moffitt, driver of the No. 00 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota, goes three wide with Corey LaJoie, driver of the No. 07 Virginia Motor Speedway/Simms Metal Ford, and Darrell Wallace, Jr, driver of the No. 6 US Army Toyota during the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Visit Hampton VA 175 at Langley Speedway. —AP

Busch leaves pack behind in Michigan BROOKLYN: Kurt Busch won his third consecutive pole in NASCAR, finishing first in qualifying at M ichigan I nternational Speedway with a lap of 188.699 mph (303.67 kph) on Saturday. “To be on the pole three weeks, what it does — there are so many benefits behind the scenes,” Busch said. “Picking your pit selection first, having track position right away in the race. ... You could have a slow pit crew, and you have that first pit box, that’s going to help you get out in front of guys throughout the day.” He’s the first driver to win three straight poles since Brian Vickers in 2009, and two qualifying sessions were canceled during that streak. The last person to win three poles in three races was Ryan Newman in 2007. Busch is sixth in the points standings and has finished in the top 10 for three straight races, including a second-place showing last weekend at Pocono Raceway. He has not won in 2011, but he’s enjoyed better results after taking his Penske Racing team to task earlier this season. “I’m thankful that everybody was able to pull together and understand that we should just try something different,” he said. “It’s great to be able to see the results pop up so soon. I had no idea that we were right around the corner.” Busch was forced to a

backup car last weekend after damaging his No. 22 Dodge in practice. There’s been less drama this time around as he prepares for Sunday’s 400-mile (640-kilometer) race. “This was a conventional weekend, so to speak,” he said. Busch was the pole-sitter in Michigan last June as well, and he finished third. David Reutimann was second in qualifying, and Matt Kenseth was third. Vickers, who was four th, was the leader at one point but Kenseth, Busch and Reutimann all posted faster laps toward the end. “Right there at the end a big cloud came over and it cooled down quite a bit,” Vickers said. “I’m sure it helped those guys and they ran pretty good, too.” Vickers is 26th in the standings. He missed the last 25 races of last season after he was diagnosed in May with a hole in his heart and blood clots down his left leg. Hear t surger y in July repaired the hole but also showed he was suffering from May-Thurners syndrome, which caused the clots. He had surgery for the clots the next day. “I’ve felt great (since the procedure),” Vickers said. “Everything’s been great.” Points leader Carl Edwards was 23rd. Jeff Gordon, coming off a win at Pocono, was 31st. Newman, who set the track’s qualifying record in 2005 at 194.232 mph (312.57 kph), was 13th this time around. —AP




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MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011

sp orts

Serena relishes Wimbledon return after year to forget

SWITZERLAND: Dutch Steven Kruijswijk from Team Rabobank (second place) US Levi Leipheimer of Team RadioShack (first place) and Italy’s Damiano Cunego of team Lampre-ISD (third place from left) celebrate on the podium. —AP

Leipheimer snatches Tour lead SWITZERLAND: American Levi Leipheimer snatched overall victory from Damiano Cunego in the Tour of Switzerland yesterday to leave the Italian in second place by only four seconds. Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara closed his home race the way he opened it, winning the ninth stage’s 32.1 km time trial around Schaffhausen to claim his second stage win after his opening time trial victory in Lugano. However the biggest shock of the day was Lampre all-rounder Cunego losing the yellow jersey by the second smallest margin in the race’s history. Former Giro d’Italia champion Cunego went into the final stage with a 1min 59sec lead over RadioShack all-rounder Leipheimer and knowing full well he was under pressure. And his worst fears were confirmed when Leipheimer put in a powerful display around Switzerland’s northern-most town to finish third only four seconds behind teammate Andreas Kloden and 13secs behind world champion Cancellara. In total, RadioShack had three riders in the stage’s top ten with Portuguese Nelson Oliveria finishing fourth at 25secs behind Cancellara. Cunego, who took the race lead after finishing second in stage three to Grindelwald, said in recent days that Leipheimer was his biggest concern. And despite giving it his all on the hilly

course, which at times was buffeted by short gusts of wind, the Italian’s bid was always hanging in the balance. Cunego passed the second time check, at 22.9km, still with a 33sec lead on Leipheimer in the provisional overall standings. However he went on to finish 2:16 off Cancellara’s pace, handing Leipheimer the win by just four seconds. In 2004, Germany’s Jan Ullrich beat Swiss Fabian Jeker by just a second to secure the title. Leipheimer, who kept himself hidden for most of the week, said his sporting director’s advice in the finale may have been decisive. “I didn’t know how close it was at the end,” said the American, who had started fourth from last in the 140-stong field. “All I heard was my director shouting at me to sprint for the finish at the end. I think that might have made the difference.“I had good days and bad days this week. It was a very hard Tour of Switzerland.” In third place overall was Dutch tyro Steven Kruijswijk of Rabobank, who finished 1:02 behind Leipheimer in the overall standings. Defending champion Frank Schleck of Leopard finished seventh overall at 2:35. Cancellara was virtually untouchable, with only specialists like Kloden and Leipheimer getting close to upstaging the record four-time world and Olympic champion. — AFP

Sharapova eyes Wimbledon WIMBLEDON: For all that Maria Sharapova already has accomplished in tennis, a Grand Slam title now would be more gratifying than those from the past. “If I do achieve that — if it’s here, if it’s somewhere else — I think it would be my biggest achievement in my career,” she said Saturday at Wimbledon, where play begins today. Sharapova’s most recent major title came at the Australian Open in January 2008. In October of that year, she needed surgery on her right, racket-swinging shoulder — a rather important part of a tennis player’s body, it seems safe to say — and she was sidelined for the better part of 10 months. “I’ve said it since I came back from my injury. I said that if I could win another Grand Slam, it would mean more than the previous ones that I have. ... All of a sudden, one day, it was kind of taken away from you,” Sharapova said.

“You kind of have to step back and look at things from a different angle,” she said of her time away from the game. “And then when you get back there, you basically start from zero. You try to get yourself to a level where you can compete with the top players, beating them day in, day out. Yeah, it’s a long process.” She won her first Grand Slam championship at the All England Club in 2004, when she was all of 17. Her second came two years later at the US Open, followed by her victory in Australia. Sharapova then went more than three years without making it back to the semifinals at any major tournament until getting that far at the French Open this month. That proved to her — and to everyone else — that Sharapova, who briefly was No. 1 in the WTA rankings, is still capable of contending for tennis’ top prizes. She’s seeded fifth at Wimbledon, and will play 2007 US. — AP

LONDON: Serena Williams insists she doesn’t care if she completes a hat-trick of Wimbledon titles because she is just happy to be playing again after a nightmare year marred by lifethreatening health problems. Serena will make an emotional return to Grand Slam action for the first time in a year tomorrow when the four-time Wimbledon champion begins the defence of her women’s singles’ crown against France’s Aravane Rezai. The American has been through a traumatic time since defeating Vera Zvonareva in straight sets at the All England Club to clinch the 13th Grand Slam title of her magnificent career. That victory proved to be her last for 12 months as she battled to overcome lifethreatening blood clots that needed emergency surgery and a serious foot injury when she stepped on broken glass at a party. Serena is finally back in action after playing at Eastbourne last week and, despite her long lay-off, is regarded as favourite to win a third successive Wimbledon title. But the 29-year-old refuses to contemplate lifting the Venus Rosewater Dish awarded to the women’s champion because she is simply relishing the chance to have a normal life again. “It would be awesome and amazing to win, but that’s not my thought process. My thought process is just to play the best I can and to be positive,” Serena said on Sunday. “I’m happy to have been here. Like we were saying, six or seven weeks of just trying to get myself together isn’t a tremendous amount of time, but the fact that I can even compete and be in a position I wasn’t sure I’d have a chance to be at again is more than enough.” At times, Serena felt lower than she had ever been in her life as she struggled to recover from the hematoma. Yet she never considered the possibility that she might have to quit tennis to protect her health and the moment she was finally given the all-clear to return to the practice courts was one of the

WIMBLEDON: Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki collects a ball during a practice session at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships. —AP great joys of her life. “I’d say the lowest moment was probably just the disaster, the hematoma that I suffered,” Serena said. “After I had the lung problem, it was like, ‘Okay, I got through that’. Then having to have a surgery, removing the hematoma, was just my low point. I felt it was never gonna end. “Physically I was obviously not excellent. But mentally I was just down. I think that’s normal. “At that point, I was just pretty upset and just wondering when this string of things would stop happening. “I always thought I would want to continue to play. I thought I would play a lot sooner but things didn’t work out. “I’m never the type to stop. I’ll stop when I’m ready and I’m just not ready.

“I really thoroughly enjoy being out here. It was great when I got on the practice court and hit that first serve.” Serena’s fierce competitive instincts suggest her return to action is likely to prove successful and, while there were some understandable signs of rust at Eastbourne where she lost her second match, it would be little surprise if the seventh seed carved her way through the draw at Wimbledon in typically forceful fashion. “My mom was so worried about me at Eastbourne. I keep telling her I’m okay. I felt fine. I ran a lot and I felt good,” Serena said. “I just had to get my lungs into better shape. I’m probably actually in better shape running wise than I was before. “It’s fun. I feel like I’m young again. I have goals that I set for myself and goals that I want to achieve.” —AFP

Matching Federer slam haul a ‘dream,’ says Nadal LONDON: Rafael Nadal played down his chances of matching Roger Federer’s Grand Slam haul here yesterday, saying the likelihood of reaching his rival’s record of 16 titles remained “a dream.” After adding four more Grand Slam titles in the past year the 25-year-old Spanish world number one now has 10 to his name and will be targeting an 11th at Wimbledon over the next fortnight. Victory at the All England Club would see Nadal move alongside Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver in the all-time standings, one behind Roy Emerson on 12, three behind Pete Sampras (14) and five behind Federer. But Nadal dismissed suggestions that Federer’s record was in his sights here Sunday, saying he was “very far” from the Swiss master’s benchmark.

“I am not close to the 16 of Roger,” Nadal said. “Sixteen is a lot. “We can dream about a lot of things. For me it’s a dream. Maybe not for you.” Reigning champion Nadalwho opens the defence of his title with a first round match against American Michael Russell on Centre Court here today-enjoyed a stellar 2010, scooping the French, Wimbledon and US Open crowns. But although Nadal defended his French crown at Roland Garros earlier this month, he doubted whether he would be able to emulate his feats of last season. “Last year was in my opinion very impossible to repeat-three Grand Slams in a row,” Nadal said. “I am very happy about what’s going on this season. But I don’t think I will repeat what I

did last year for sure.” Virtually invincible on the red clay of Roland Garros, Nadal has slowly but surely parked his tanks on the lawns of Wimbledon in recent years, reaching four of the last five finals. The only year he missed was 2009, when a recurrence of a knee injury ruled him out of the tournament. “I said 1,000 times that my dream was always to play well here in Wimbledon,” Nadal said. “In the beginning of my career everybody talked a lot that with my style of game it’s gonna be very difficult to play very well here. “I did my best since the start of my career to play well hereplaying the week after Roland Garros, coming here one week before, having the right preparation as much as I can to be ready for this tournament.

“The only problem of grass sometimes, is if you play against a big, big server, because the game is too fast and it’s not nice to play because you feel that for a lot of games you don’t touch the ball.” “I don’t have the volley of Roger, for sure. But I think I’m fast and my movements are enough good to go to the net. I have a good enough volley to do it,” he said. Nadal meanwhile is already eyeing the defence of his Olympic gold medal next year, when Wimbledon will host the tennis tournament of the 2012 London Games. “The Olympics are a very special event. The experience that you can live on the village, and, you know, live these moments with the rest of the sports people, that then is something special,” Nadal said. —AFP

GOA Maroons crowned champions KUWAIT: Goan Overseas Association (GOA) popularly known as Goa Maroons won the prestigious JP D’Mello Memorial KIFF League Trophy defeating Kuwait Goan Association (KGA) 4-3 in the final played at the ‘Peace & Friendship’ Stadium on June 10, 2011. The season ending match of the Kuwait Indian Football Federation (KIFF), was balanced in terms of performance in the first half. However it was Maroons who surprised KGA sponsored by Churchill Brothers with an early lead. Prolific scorer Kennedy Ferrao broke the KGA off-side trap by a mile and took his time to round off the goalkeeper before tapping into the empty net. On the other hand Maroons goalkeeper Guilerme Gomes was able to defend on a number of occasions. KGA who steadily organized themselves in the second half showed class, character and a superb fighting spirit, attacking from all ends with medio Bernard Pires dazzling in the centre. Ismayil, Luis Dias, Vitorin Menezes, Valente, Jacob Dias, Edward Dias, Cristo Colaco, Tiago Fernandes, Anil Thakuri and Vico D’Souza also excelled for KGA. With minutes left for the final whistle KGA drew level through Josse Fernandes who headed home from a corner kick taken by Bernard (1-1). The extra-time produced no result which sent the teams into a penalty shootout. Maroons, already declared season’s champions for a super performance throughout, were determined to finish on a high. Goalkeeper Guilerme saved the last penalty in the tie-breaker to clinch victory for the champions. Ian D’Souza, Gabriel Fernandes and Bonny Niasso scored for Maroons, while only Valente and John Costa were on target for KGA. Later, Goa Maroons President Raymond D’Sa expressed great joy in the victory and on winning the Trophy,

V.K. Vohra presenting the Top Scorer Award to Kennedy.

Joseph D’Souza presenting the Fair Play Award to Skynet Raiders a record equaling fourth time for Maroons in the league history. Navelim Youth Centre is the other team with maximum titles. Maroons coach Julio Cardoso told that such achievement comes with great efforts by the players, noting that the title was a remarkable end to a memorable league by KIFF which is played on league cum knockout basis. Goa Maroons comprised of Guilerme Gomes, Carlos D’Sa, Ian D’ Souza, Gabriel Fernandes, Regi Rodrigues, Sandy Fernandes, Terence Carvalho, Patrick Pinho, Bonny Niasso, John Ferrao, Elvis D’Souza, Joe Rebello,

Joseph Correia, Albert Pereira, Jose Savio Pereira, Everest Rodrigues, Valentine Gonsalves, Jerry Mello, Julio Cardoso, Steven Rodrigues and James Figueira. The final was officiated by John Furtado supported by Victor Andrade and Roland Fernandes on the lines. Shri Vidhu P. Nair, Charge D’Affaires Indian Embassy was the chief guest at the event while A. C. Roy, Chief Operating Officer Gulf Cable and Electrical Industries Co. was the guest of honor. Special invitees present on the occasion were Huzefa (Asst. Marketing Manager of Al Mulla Exchange) and

Kevin Simoes, Joseph and Elvira D’Souza, ex-President of KIFF VK Vohra, UFC President Cajetan Pereira, CRC Chinchinim President Bosco Leitao, Navelim Vice-President Luis D’Silva, Rising Stars President Lawry Pinto, Cajie of Skynet, etc. The teams were introduced to the guest of honor AC Roy and other dignitaries. National Anthems of Kuwait and India were played with great respect and honor while a set of white doves were set free to mark the event. A minute’s silence was observed in remembrance of JP D’Mello. A special attraction of the evening was a dance program performed by about 20 children from Ballerine’s School of Dance under the direction of choreographer Sudhi Frantero. DJ Mario entertained the spectators with some catchy numbers. The function was compered by Gasper Crasto. KIFF President Fidelis Fernandes addressed the teams and emphasized on the need for unity and support to the federation to carry out KIFF activities smoothly. While applauding the support he received from his committee, he expressed wholehearted gratitude towards Gulf Cable and Electrical Industries for backing the Federation, and also thanked Al Mulla Exchange for their tremendous support all season. AC Roy also voiced his appreciation. KIFF Vice-President Clifford Pinto proposed a vote of thanks at the prize distribution ceremony thanking the sponsors, affiliates, referees. Earlier, Rising Stars beat United Friends Club (UFC) 3-0 to win the hardline finals for a 3rd position in the league. Prakash, Shafeeq and Lusiano scored for Rising while UFC were strangely found wanting, conspicuous by the absence of some star players. An exhibition match of young kids from the Salmiya Community Services was also held during one of the breaks. The high profile Fair Play Trophy was

KIFF President Fidelis Fernandes handing over the J.P. D’Mello Trophy

KIFF Vice-President handing over the Runners up Trophy to KGA won by Skynet Raiders for their overall discipline and respect to the game. Apart from the new-look J.P. D’Mello Memorial Trophy, following prizes were awarded: Season Champions - Goa Maroons; Fair Play Trophy - Skynet Raiders; Player of the League - Vitorino Menezes; Top Scorer of the Season - Kennedy Ferrao; Man of the Match (Finals) - Ian D’Souza Mementos were presented to Jerry Mello, PA Tony and Gasper Crasto for their assistance to KIFF Referees Body since its inception. Glittering individual

trophies were presented to the winners and runners-up, while the KIFF referees were presented with medallions. KIFF President Fidelis Fernandes handed over the coveted J.P. D’Mello Trophy to great jubilations of Goa Maroons fans. KIFF Committee for the season consisted of Fidelis Fernandes (President), Clifford Pinto (Vice-President), Michael Fernandes (Secretary), Bernard Fernandes (Sports Secretary), Nicholas Rodrigues (Registrar), Pascoal Afonso (PRO), Seby Dias ( Treasurer ) and William Stronach (Releiver).



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MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011


China and North Korea face Olympic disaster

COLOMBIA: Atletico Nacional’s players celebrate at the end of the Colombian league soccer final game against La Equidad in Medellin. After the match ended 3-3 on aggregate, Atletico Nacional won 3-2 in the penalty shootout.—AP

River Plate faces relegation playoff BUENOS AIRES: River Plate, one of Argentina’s most famous clubs, faces a two-game playoff to stay in the first division following a 2-1 loss against Lanus on Saturday. River Plate is confronted with the real possibility of being relegated to the second division for the first time in its illustrious history. The Buenos Aires club has won the first-division 33 times, 10 more than No. 2 Boca Juniors, and plays in Monumental Stadium, probably the best venue in the country. Five matches were played simultaneously on Saturday in the final round of the Clausura, all involving clubs in the relegation fight. River Plate goes against seconddivision team Belgrano with the winner over two legs staying up. Facing a playoff of this kind is

humiliating for River, a club known as the “Millionaires.” Recently it has become better known for debts reported at $19 million, which has forced it to sell top talent to European clubs to stay afloat. In other results, Olimpo defeated Quilmes 1-0, Argentinos Juniors and Tigre drew 1-1, Independiente defeated Huracan 5-1 and Boca Juniors rallied to draw Gimnasia 2-2. It was the final match for Boca Juniors 37-year-old striker Martin Palermo, who retires as the club’s all-time scoring leader with 236. He did not score on Saturday. In addition to his goals at Boca, Palermo scored 36 for Argentine club Estudiantes, 25 for Spanish clubs Villarreal, Betis and Alaves — and 9 for Argentina. The results mean Olimpo and Tigre will stay up

next season and do not face a playoff. Quilmes is demoted automatically. Huracan and Gimnasia face each other in a one-off match with the loser dropping automatically to the second division. The winner will join River Plate in a two-game playoff against second-division opposition. That opponent will be Union or San Martin of San Juan. Relegation in Argentina is determined on results over three years, not a single season. Godoy Cruz defeated All Boys 1-0 in a late match on Saturday. The Clausura ends later yesterday with four matches. Velez Sarsfield, which won the title last weekend, faces Racing, Arsenal is against Estudiantes, Newell’s faces Colon and Banfield plays San Lorenzo.—AP

SINGAPORE: China and North Korea’s Olympic qualifying hopes were hanging by a thread after home defeats yesterday as big guns Australia, Japan and South Korea marched towards the London Games. While the Asian zone’s top trio all enjoyed comfortable wins, China and North Korea were staring elimination in the face after 10 losses to lowly Oman and UAE on home turf. Hussain Al Hadhri silenced Shanghai’s Hongkou Stadium crowd with a strike after just three minutes, which was enough to seal a vital victory for the desert sultanate with a population of just three million. And North Korea were embarrassed at Pyongyang’s Kim Il-Sung Stadium by UAE, dealing a blow to their hopes of reaching the 2012 tournament. Both China and North Korea will now have to reverse the deficits in Thursday’s return legs. “It is not over. The players all tried their best and we believe we still have a chance in Oman,” said China coach Miroslav Blazevic. “Oman were lucky that they got a gift from us at the start of the match. This advantage gave them more confidence and a mental advantage, but if we could have equalised quickly then it would have been a different game.” Asia’s leading teams are all in action for the two-legged second qualifying round, with the winners split into three groups of four for the final phase, which winds up in March. The top three all enjoyed a more comfortable evening as Australia sparkled to a 3-0 victory over trouble-hit Yemen, South Korea overcame dogged Jordan 3-1 and Japan beat Kuwait by the same margin. In seaside Gosford, striker Jason Hoffman scored twice and midfielder Mitch Nichols got the other to put Australia within touching distance of the next

JAPAN: Kuwait’s forward Yousef Nasser (17) and Japan’s Hiroshi Kiyotake vie for the ball during their London Olympics Under-22 qualifier soccer match.—AP round. “It could have been more to be honest. We missed some really easy chances and their goalkeeper made some outstanding saves as well,” said Australia coach Aurelio Vidmar. “We’re pleased with that and now we’ll hopefully go to Newcastle and finish it off.” Thursday’s return match has been moved from Yemen to Australia’s Newcastle due to security concerns in the Middle Eastern country following mass protests and unrest against the ruling regime. South Korea were made to work harder for their win and had to come from a goal down after Jordan’s Mahmoud Saleem Mahmoud Za’tara opened the scoring in first-half injury time. But Kim Tae-Hwan equalised 11 minutes into the second half before midfielder Yoon Bit-Garam calmly converted a penalty with 13 minutes to go. Substitute Kim Dong-Sub increased their margin with an 86th-minute header. In Toyota, Japan dominated Kuwait but were left kicking themselves after conceding an away goal which gave the visitors a lifeline in Thursday’s return leg. As Japan peppered the Kuwait

goal, Cerezo Osaka midfielder Hiroshi Kiyotake nodded the opener on 18 minutes before Mizuki Hamada grabbed a second headed goal eight minutes before half-time. And Japan were cruising when Kashima Antlers forward Yuya Osako poached the third just after the hour-mark. But Jaber Jazea pounced on a defensive mistake on 68 minutes to give Kuwait hope of pulling off a huge upset later this week. “It was a disappointing game, because we let in a goal. We could have scored more goals. But we can go to Kuwait in very good form,” said Kiyotake. This week’s 12 winning teams will be split into three groups of four for final qualifying, with the three top sides all gaining automatic entry to the Olympics. The second-placed teams go into a three-way round robin, with the winner playing off against a side from the African confederation for another ticket to the Games. Men’s football is played as an under-23 tournament at the Olympics, although the rules allow for three over-age players.—AFP

Benin goalkeeper gifts South Africa victory

DENMARK: Iceland’s goalkeeper Haraldur Bjoernsson (left) and Denmark’s Andreas Bjelland in action during their Under 21 Euro 2011 Group A soccer match.—AP

Iceland knock out Denmark DENMARK: Iceland scored three second-half goals to beat Denmark 3-1 and dump the hosts out of the UEFA under-21 championships on Saturday. In the other game in Group A, Admir Mehmedi netted twice as Switzerland beat Belarus 3-0 although both teams still went

through to the semi-finals. The Danes had plenty of chances in the first half, with Ajax Amsterdam’s talented teenager Christian Eriksen and Nicki Bille Nielsen going close. Iceland, though, went ahead through Kolbeinn Sigthorsson in the 58th minute before Birkir Bjarnason

made it 2-0 with a towering header. Denmark pulled one back with a header from Bashkim Kadrii only for Hjortur Valgardsson to clinch victory for Iceland in stoppage time. Group B was dne to be decided late yesterday when England meet Czech Republic and Ukraine play leaders Spain.—Reuters

Stars of women’s game set for FIFA World Cup kick-off BERLIN: World Cup fever has gripped Germany as the stars of the women’s game prepare to chase the ultimate prize in football in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup which kicks off here next Saturday. Brazil’s five-time Player of the Year Marta and all-time World Cup top scorer Birgit Prinz of Germany are among the big names who will headline the 51-million-euro extravaganza which takes place over three weeks in nine cities. Sixteen teams are battling for the top prize with over 670,000 tickets of the one million on offer sold. Five years after the successful hosting of the men’s event, expectations are high that the German women can

bring glory to the host nation and capture an unprecedented third successive title. The tournament kicks off with Germany taking on CONCACAF champions Canada in Berlin’s 75,000seater Olympic Stadium on June 26 with the final set for Frankfurt on July 17. Germany will be joined by the United States, Australia, North Korea, Japan, France, Norway, England, Sweden, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Brazil, and Colombia. Interest in women’s football is higher in Germany than in many other countries, and coverage for this year’s edition looks set to exceed all previous tournaments being broadcast to more than 200 countries worldwide.

“The World Cup in Germany is going to be spectacular,” said Brazil striker Cristiane. “I played there and I know just how much passion they have for the sport and the structure they have at their disposal. “The tickets for our opening game are already almost sold out. It’s going to be the best World Cup ever,” added the former Turbine Potsdam and Wolfsburg player. Ridiculed in the past particularly for the poor quality of goalkeeping the women’s game has developed since the first World Cup in 1991 largely thanks to the technically sophisticated styles of players such as Marta, Prinz and former US star Mia Hamm.—AFP

JOHANNESBURG: A nightmare match for Benin goalkeeper Wassiou Salami helped South Africa to a 5-1 victory yesterday and a place among the last eight African contenders for 2012 London Olympic Games places. Coach Moise Ekoue replaced Salami with Bilao Tra during halftime at Rand Stadium in the South African economic hub, but the damage had been done with the home team scoring four unanswered goals. Fadel Suanon pulled one back 11 minutes from full-time and a second would have taken the Beninese through on the awaygoal rule, but South Africa awoke again and Bongani Ndulula scored his second to seal success. A severely depleted South African side advanced 6-4 on aggregate having suffered a 3-1 loss in the tiny West African country two weeks ago that they blamed on two home-town decisions from the referee. Algeria, Egypt, Ivory Coast,

Morocco and Senegal are also through to the eight-nation minileague final phase set to be staged during December by one of the qualifiers. The remaining two slots was due to be filled later yesterday with Nigeria seeking to overcome a one-goal deficit when they host Tanzania in Benin City and Mali are even better placed in Bamako having held Gabon goalless away. Late inclusion Phumelele Bhengu saw his early header come back off the crossbar and the striker had a shot spectacularly tipped by Salami before he broke the deadlock on 16 minutes. His far-post header off a corner lacked power but the goalkeeper allowed the ball to slip from his grasp into the corner of the net and the floodgates opened. Midfielder Thami Sangweni-a younger brother of senior national team centre-back Siyabonga-unleashed a 35-metre

drive midway through the half that flew over Salami into the net. The third goal was another gift from the nerve-stricken goalkeeper as he failed to clutch a tame Mandla Masango header off a deep cross and the ball trickled into the net. A perfectly timed Ndulula run sprang an offside trap and when Salami failed to gather the long through ball, it fell into the path of the leading scorer and he tapped it into the net just before the break. South Africa took their foot off the accelerator as the second half progressed and increasing Benin pressure paid off when Suanon gave impressive Belgium-bound goalkeeper Darren Keet no chance with a drive. An anxious eight minutes followed for coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba before Ndulula pounced on a long pass, turned a defender and gave Tra no chance from close range.—AFP

Mamadou wins word war KUWAIT: Wone Mamadou was once again crowned Kuwait Scrabble champion at the weekend after a 3-month playoff with 17 wins. Rohaina Tanveer came in a close second with 16-1/2 wins, while Shakir Reshamwala stood third. Tanveer also won the ‘Most Bingoes’ medal with 44 bingoes, trailed by Reshamwala who chalked up 42 bonuses. The three will represent Kuwait at the annual 21st Gulf Scrabble Championships (GSC) in Dubai on June 24 and 25. They will be joined by Alifiya Murtuza, Uzma Saeed and Batul Kaizer in the 6-member team. The GSC is the premier Scrabble tournament in the Gulf. After being held for 19 years in Bahrain, Oman hosted it in 2010, with the UAE winning this year’s rights to play host. The best performers from each of the six Gulf states at the GSC will go on to play at the biennial World Scrabble Championship to be held in Warsaw in October.

KUWAIT: Wone Mamadou (center) poses with the champion’s trophy along with runner-up Rohaina Tanveer and second runner-up Shakir Reshamwala.

Mamadou wins word war

McIlroy on the verge of history at US Open

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MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011

China and North Korea face Olympic disaster Page 19

Bell tolls for England

Scoreboard LONDON: England’s Andrew Strauss (left) and Alastair Cook (right) watch as Graeme Swann takes the catch to dismiss Sri Lanka’s Tharanga Paranavitana during the fourth day of the third Test match. —AP

SOUTHAMPTON: Scoreboard at stumps on the fourth day of the third Test between England and Sri Lanka at the Rose Bowl here on yesterday: Sri Lanka 1st Innings 184 (C Tremlett 6-48) England 1st Innings (overnight: 195-4) A. Strauss c Paranavitana b Welegedara 3 A. Cook c Samaraweera b Fernando 55 J. Trott c P Jayawardene b Lakmal 4 K. Pietersen c P Jayawardene b Perera 85 I. Bell not out 119 J. Anderson c P Jayawardene b Welegedera 27 E. Morgan c P Jayawardene b Lakmal 71 M. Prior c M Jayawardene b Perera 0 S. Broad c sub (Randiv) b Lakmal 0 Extras (lb2, w3, nb8) 13 Total (8 wkts dec, 92.4 overs, 430 mins) 377 Did not bat: G Swann, C Tremlett Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Strauss), 2-14 (Trott), 3-120 (Cook), 4-191 (Pietersen), 5236 (Anderson), 6-373 (Morgan), 7-374 (Prior), 8-377 (Broad) Bowling: Welegedara 24-3-90-2 (2nb, 1w); Lakmal 24.2-2-99-3 (2nb, 1w); Fernando 10.2-0-47-1 (4nb, 1w); Perera 24-3-101-2; Herath 9-0-33-0; M Jayawardene 1-0-5-0. Note: Fernando went off after two balls of his seventh over, completed by Lakmal. Sri Lanka 2nd Innings T. Paranavitana c Swann b Anderson 10 L. Thirimanne c Strauss b Tremlett 38 K. Sangakkara not out 44 M. Jayawardene c Prior b Broad 6 R. Herath not out 2 Extras (b8, lb2, w1, nb1) 12 Total (3 wkts, 49 overs, 202 mins) 112 Fall of wickets: 1-25 (Paranavitana), 2-86 ( Thirimanne), 3-110 (M Jayawardene) To bat: T Samaraweera, P Jayawardene, T Perera, D Fernando, S Lakmal, C Welegedara Bowling: Anderson 12-5-22-1 (1w); Tremlett 13-4-34-1 (1nb); Broad 11-4-221 (1nb); Swann 10-3-16-0; Pietersen 3-1-8-0. Match position: Sri Lanka are 81 runs behind England with seven second innings wickets standing

SOUTHAMPTON: Ian Bell’s second hundred in three matches helped England stay on top in the third and final Test against Sri Lanka at the Rose Bowl here yesterday. Sri Lanka were 112 for three in their second innings at stumps on the fourth day-still 81 runs behind England’s first innings 377 for eight declared. England, pressing for a win that would give them the series 2-0, saw their pacemen back up Bell’s 119 not out with a disciplined display. Shortly before the close Stuart Broad, bowling a much fuller length after wastefully dropping short for much of this match, had the experienced Mahela Jayawardene caught behind for just six off an excellent leg-cutter. Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara-the other proven class batsman in the tourists’ rankswas 44 not out at the close. Nightwatchman R angana Herath was unbeaten on two after a day where the rain, which has taken 155 overs out of this match, stayed away. Sri Lanka interim coach Stuart Law said the fate of the match could rest with Sangakkara. “He’s a world-class act and one of the best players on the planet so he’s always very important,” the former Australia batsman told Sky Sports. “He looked very determined this evening, even more so than he has done in this tour, and

that’s a good thing for Sri Lanka.” Law, who played against Bell in county cricket, said: “He’s in some form. “He’s just keeping it nice and simple and really showing the class he has promised so much over the last couple of years.” Bell added: “It was nice to get out there and score some runs. I feel in pretty good nick at the minute. I’ll keep working hard with Graham Gooch (the ex Test captain turned England’s batting coach) and hopefully the performances will keep coming like that. “I’ve had times when it got very tough, when I got left out of the team, when I really was scratching about for runs. You try to remember those times when you’re in good form.” Bell’s innings enabled England captain Andrew Strauss to make an enterprising declaration with his side 193 in front-nine more runs than the tourists managed in their first innings 184. Sangakkara, leading Sri Lanka in place of the injured Tillakaratne Dilshan, came to the crease having scored a mere 65 runs in five innings this series at an average of 13, as compared to a career Test mark of more than 56. But Sangakkara, Dilshan’s immediate predecessor as captain, showed his class with a magnificent cover-driven four off Broad. Test debutant Lahiru Thirimanne who, like fellow left-hander Sangakkara, made a hundred

in last week’s tour match against Essex was defending gamely. But fast bowler Chris Tremlett, who took a Test-best six for 48 in the first innings, dismissed Thirimanne for 38 when the opener edged a fine delivery that seamed away to Strauss at first slip. Bell’s century-the first Test hundred at the Rose Bowl-followed his unbeaten 103 in England’s innings and 14-run first Test victory in Cardiff. England resumed Sunday on 195 for four after Kevin Pietersen’s fluent 85 on Saturday had revived the innings from the depths of 14 for two. Bell was 39 not out overnight and nightwatchman Anderson unbeaten on nought. Late cut and square cut boundaries off successive deliveries from lef t-arm seamer Chanak a Welegedara took Bell to 95. And he went to his 14th Test hundred, in 159 balls with 12 fours, when he hooked a bouncer from Suranga Lakmal. England lost a flurry of wickets chasing quick runs, including Eoin Morgan for a breezy 71 while Matt Prior, who made a century in the drawn second Test at Lord’s, fell for nought. Victory in this match for England would see them go joint second alongside South Africa in the ICC Test rankings with only India, their next opponents, above them.—AFP

Mexico defeat Guatemala in Gold Cup

EAST RUTHERFORD: Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas gets tangled with teammate Dennis Marshall as he makes a save during the second half of a Concacaf Gold Cup quarterfinal soccer match. —AP

Honduras in semis EAST RUTHERFORD: Honduras advanced to the Gold Cup semi finals after beating Costa Rica 4-2 in a penalty shootout on Saturday night. Carlo Costly, Victor Bernardez, Wilson Palacios and Jerry Bengston converted their penalties for Honduras after 120 minutes of play at the New Meadowlands Stadium left the Central American rivals locked at 1-1. Costa Rica, which has never beaten Honduras in the Gold Cup, saw Celso Borges and Alvaro Saborio’s penalties rebound off the crossbar. In Houston on Wednesday, Honduras will face defending champion Mexico, which rallied to defeat Guatemala 2-1. Valladares, the Honduras captain, made the biggest play of the game after referee Roberto Moreno of Panama awarded Costa Rica a penalty in the 75th minute for a very questionable foul on Bernardez against Marco Urena. After getting a yellow card for arguing about the placement of the ball, Valladares made a diving save to thwart

Saborio to keep the score locked at 1-1. “I’ve felt the emotions of scoring a goal for my country, but you can’t compare it to stopping a PK,” Valladares said after Honduras advanced to the Gold Cup semifinals for the second straight time and fourth overall. Reflecting on the missed penalties Costa Rican coach Ricardo La Volpe said his team never works on penalty kick in training. “I just don’t believe in it,” he said. “I was a player, I’ve been a coach for a long time. And I know I don’t have to teach anybody how to kick a PK. They already know how. You just have to have the mentality and discipline to put the ball in the net. Look, if we qualified (for the semifinal), we wouldn’t be talking about this.” La Volpe was more upset with Honduras’ play, which he called “dirty.” “You guys saw the game,” he said. “From every point of view, I saw a lot of dirty plays. It happens the fourth, fifth time, you start to think.” Honduran coach Luis Fernando Suarez wouldn’t respond to La Volpe’ accusations. —AP

EAST RUTHERFORD: Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez’s second half goal helped defending champion Mexico come from behind to beat Guatemala 2-1 in the quarterfinals of the Gold Cup on Saturday night. Trailing 1-0 in the second half, substitute Aldo De Nigris equalized in the 48th minute before Manchester United star Chicharito’s 66th minute goal gave undermanned Mexico a semifinal berth against Honduras on Wednesday night in Houston. “Our team is very strong at the core,” coach Jose Manuel de la Torre said after the match. “They know they should win versus any adversity. We knew it was a difficult match and a difficult opponent. The early goal was because the field was a little complicated and heavy but we knew that we would come back, and we did.” Guatemala, ranked 124th, didn’t make things easy for No. 28 Mexico although El Tri had most of the scoring chances in the second half. “This time it was different than the other games when we scored first,” said Hernandez, who has six goals in the tournament. “We went in and worked hard in the second half to get chances. Mexico currently only has 17 squad players because goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa and defender Francisco Rodriguez, both starters on last year’s World Cup team, and three others were removed from the team Thursday after testing positive for clenbuterol, a banned anabolic agent. Ricardo Osorio already had been sent home with an illness. Guatemala started strongly and took a deserved lead in the fifth minute when Mexican defender Hector Moreno miscued his

EAST RUTHERFORD: Guatemala’s Marco Pappa (left) goes over the back of Mexico’s Gerardo Torrado during the second half of a Concacaf Gold Cup quarterfinal soccer match. —AP clearance from Elias Enoc Vasquez’s long pass, allowing Ruiz to steal in and chip the ball over Talavera. Mexico, which had outscored its opponents 14-1 in winning its three opening-round games, brought on De Nigris at half time and it paid instant dividends with the substitute directing home Moreno’s shot from short range. Pablo Barrera set up the game winner with a run down the right side, ending with a shot which Hernandez deflected past Jerez for his sixth goal of the tournament. “The goal was instinct,” Hernandez said. “I saw the ball at my feet and put

the ball in the net.” Guatemala coach Ever Hugo Almeida was proud of his team, saying they had a couple of chances to take a 2-0 lead in the first half and could not convert. “I think we have to be sincere, we’re not at the same level as the national team of Mexico,” Almeida said, adding his team is leaving with its heads high. Honduras advanced in the first game of the doubleheader at the New Meadowlands Stadium that drew a sellout crowd of 78,807 with a 4-2 penalty shootout win over Costa Rica. —AP



Crisis management: Crucial aspect of communication

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Bahrain’s Arcapita seeks more exits Page 22 MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011

Bicycles are new status symbol in Mozambique

Crunch week kicks off for Greece Page 25

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elongated Boeing 747-8 debuts in Paris Hypersonic: Paris to Tokyo in two and a half hours? LE BOURGET: The new Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental is moved on the tarmac after landing at Le Bourget airport yesterday. — AFP

LE BOURGET: Boeing Co’s 747-8 Intercontinental, the new elongated passenger version of its legendary jumbo jet, made its international debut yesterday, showing its distinctive silhouette abroad for the first time. The high-profile landing of Boeing’s new 747 at the Paris Air Show-three months after its first flight-marks a show of engineering strength by the world’s second-largest plane maker in a competition for control of the wide-body market. “We’ve seen a great deal of interest in the last six to eight months as the market has gotten better,” Randy Tinseth, Boeing’s vice president of marketing at Boeing’s commercial division, told Reuters. In Boeing’s standard layout, the new 747-8 will have 467 seats, 51 more than than its predecessor, but fewer than the 525 of its main competitor, the A380 made by EADS unit Airbus. The actual seat number, however, will be determined by the airlines. Boeing has taken 33 orders for the 747-8 Intercontinental,

which will be joined in Paris today by the better-selling freighter version of the plane, which has received 76 orders. The new 747-8 — in red and orange livery to symbolize the importance of the fast-growing Asian aircraft market-flew to Paris without passengers but was stuffed with computers, test equipment and barrels of water to simulate passenger weight and to test balance. The Paris Air Show is the venue of choice for aerospace and defense companies to strut their stuff, to the delight of aviation enthusiasts around the world. The new 747-8 is more than 18 feet (5.6 metres) longer than its predecessor, with the added length mainly noticeable by the extended hump. The upper deck in the hump traditionally houses the business class section. Plane spotters looking for other differences with the 747 will notice the jagged, clam-shell look of the 747-8’s engine casing, which reduces noise. The 747-8 also lacks the upwards-

curving winglets at the wingtip, but has raked wings that sweep slightly upwards. Boeing says the raked wings reduce wind resistance and enhance fuel efficiency. The plane also features bigger windows and some design elements of the new 787 Dreamliner, such as interior lighting that changes colors to help passengers adjust more easily to time changes as the plane crosses time zones. The first 747 made its maiden flight 42 years ago. Since then, the jumbo jet, with its distinctive hump, has become the world’s most recognizable plane. The 747 was the world’s largest airplane until 2005, when Airbus unveiled its A380. The 747-8 Intercontinental, however, is more than 10 percent lighter per seat than the Airbus A380 and consumes 11 percent less fuel, Boeing says. The Intercontinental lists at $317.5 million. Germany’s Lufthansa has ordered 20 of the planes, and is set to be the first airline to bring the new jumbo into

service early next year. Boeing says a VIP customer will take first delivery of an Intercontinental in the fourth quarter of this year. Production of the 747-8 has been delayed, as has the mid-sized 787 Dreamliner, a carbon-composite plane, which represents a bigger leap in technology than the revamped 747-8. Although the 747-8 and A380 will compete directly for years to come, analysts say airlines are mostly interested in lighter, wide-bodied planes in the 200- to 350-seat range, like the 787 and the future Airbus A350, which are designed to bypass crowded hubs and take passengers closer to their final destination. Meanwhile, fancy travelling from Paris to Tokyo in two and a half hours? Do you yearn for the Concorde days? Aerospace group EADS , owner of planemaker Airbus, thinks it has the answer-a hypersonic jet that flies above the atmosphere, yet takes off from a regular runway. “It is not a Concorde but it looks like a Concorde,

United limps back to recovery from canceled, delayed flights CHICAGO: A five-hour computer outage that virtually shut down United Airlines is a stark reminder of how dependent airlines have become on technology. Passengers saw their flight information vanish from airport screens on Friday night and early Saturday, and thousands were stranded as United canceled 36 flights and delayed 100 worldwide. The airline still had no explanation Saturday afternoon for the outage. But things could have been much worse. A blizzard in the Northeast wiped out more than 10,000 flights over three days in December, a mid-January storm led airlines to cancel nearly 9,000 flights. Friday’s shutdown occurred late enough in the day that many of the canceled flights were the last planes out for the day, said Henry Harteveldt, an airline analyst with Forrester Research. On a Monday morning, the results could have been catastrophic. “It happened as a lot of the airline was going to sleep for the night,” Harteveldt said. That doesn’t mean affected travelers were happy. “I’m just amazed at how catastrophic the failure was,” said Jason Huggins, 35, who was trying to fly home to Chicago after a week working at his software company’s San Francisco headquarters. “All the computer screens were blank, just showing the United logo.” Huggins paid $1,200 to book one of the last three seats left on an American Airlines flight home. Social workers Penny Nordstrom, 57, and Emily Schaefer, 42,

who were trying to get home from Cancun, Mexico, to Spirit Lake, Iowa, said their delays started with a computer problem at midday Friday in Mexico. “We’re way past 24 hours now,” Nordstrom said about noon Saturday before she boarded a rebooked flight from Chicago O’Hare International Airport to Detroit for a connection to

Business travelers are usually hurt less by such disruptions than people flying for vacation or personal reasons because airlines first help passengers with elite status in frequent flier programs and those who bought moreexpensive, unrestricted tickets. Jon Ryan, who had planned to fly nonstop from San Francisco to London on busi-

DENVER: This photo shows a stranded United Airlines passenger Therell Churchill waiting at the United Airlines ticket counter at Denver International Airport. — AP Sioux Falls. She expected to get home ness Friday evening, was rebooked on about midnight but hoped her travel partner airline Air Canada after two insurance would offer some compen- hours on the phone. His new itinerary: sation. United spokesman Charles San Francisco to Toronto to Halifax to Hobart said late Saturday afternoon London. “The poor, poor ticket agents were that the airline didn’t expect to cancel any more flights this weekend due to just bewildered and sitting behind the the computer problems, though delays counter. Everybody was just staring and didn’t know what to do,” Ryan said. might continue.

“The line grew and grew and then people went from sitting down to lying down.” On a typical day, United, a subsidiary of United Continental Holdings Inc cancels 15 to 30 flights for reasons ranging from fog to maintenance problems or staffing shortages. Those are understandable. Passengers and others said a computer glitch should not have grounded the airline. “They’re infrequent, but the fact that they happen at all is puzzling. These are mission-critical,” said airline analyst Robert Mann. “The idea that they would fail is troubling.” College student Jamela Wilson, on her way from Los Angeles home to Roanoke, Va., was curled inside of her hoodie sweatshirt at a gate in Chicago Saturday after an overnight wait. “I don’t know what happened, but it shouldn’t have impacted me to the point I’m not home right now. It’s a good 12 hours later,” Wilson said. Mary Clark, a United spokeswoman, said she couldn’t say how many passengers were delayed or how many still needed to reach their destination by midday Saturday. About the outage itself, she and other airline personnel said only that it was caused by “a network connectivity issue.” Airlines rely on computers today more than ever. Reservations and customer service are largely automated, even flight paths are increasingly computer-generated. Most passengers are asked to check-in online, at airport kiosks or via mobile phone - not with an agent - and paper tickets are a thing of the past. —AP

showing that aerodynamics of the 1960s were very smart,” Jean Bottin, EADS’ chief technical officer, said. By flying above the atmosphere and using biofuel to get the plane off the ground initially, the group hopes to avoid the supersonic boom and pollution Concorde was notorious for. “When you are above the atmosphere nobody hears anything,” Bottin said. The plane, being developed in collaboration with Japan, is being primarily designed with the business market in mind and could carry 50-100 passengers. The concept project, known as ZEHST (zero emission high speed transport), comes as companies such as Virgin Galactic push forward with plans to take paying customers up on commercial space flights. Indeed, ZEHST is being developed using research from EADS’ space arm Astrium. Unlike Virgin Galactic customers, EADS says ZEHST would have a maximum acceleration of 1.2G, meaning passengers will not need

any training in order to fly. “The acceleration on people is very low, so no specific equipment or training is needed,” Bottin said. The plane will take off using a regular turbofan engine, before rocket boosters kick in to start a sharp ascent, sending the plane soaring above the atmosphere. Ramjet engines, currently used in missiles, will then take the plane up to altitudes of 32km as the plane cruises at speeds beyond Mach 4, or four times the speed of sound. After a gliding descent, the turbofans will reignite to enable landing. “ZEHST has no novelty, it is all things that have been created before,” Bottin said, adding the company could have an unmanned demonstrator by 2020. EADS boss Louis Gallois warned it could be another 30-40 years before commercial flights are a reality. “We’re not talking about a product that we launch in the next few years. We have to see security, integration of different technologies, how man reacts to it.” —Agencies

Money counterfeiting in Kuwait limited: CBK KUWAIT: Proportion of counterfeit banknotes in the 2010-2011 period amounted to some 0,00013 percent of the total volume of the money on the market, said Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) Sheikh Salem Abdel Aziz Al-Sabah. Falsification of Kuwaiti banknotes has been quite limited and restricted to a countable number of individuals, said Sheikh Salem in remarks published by the daily newspaper, Al-Watan, yesterday. The counterfeiting cases, discovered since the

first issue of the national currency in 1961, resulted in no effect, whatsoever, on the national economy, said the CBK governor. Fifth edition of the dinar, currently in circulation, carried very sophisticated security features, he affirmed, noting that high-value banknotes are the main target for forgers. The CBK uses special technology for detecting counterfeiting, he said, also indicating at regular scanning of the money deposits. — KUNA

Qatar eyes stake in Santander LONDON: Qatar is in talks about buying a stake in the British arm of Spanish bank Santander prior to or at the time of a planned flotation of the unit, reported the Sunday Times newspaper. Santander is in detailed discussions with Qatar Holding, part of the Gulf state’s sovereign wealth fund, among others, about the possibility of such funds becoming cornerstone investors in Santander UK, said the report. Santander declined to comment when contacted by Reuters, while Qatar Holdings and Santander UK were unavailable for comment.

The Spanish lender said last year it planned to list its UK unit, which according to the report is the fifthlargest bank in Britain. Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al-Thani, who is also head of the sovereign wealth fund, said in February Qatar was open to buying stakes in UK lenders, having in the past reaped a significant profit from an investment in Barclays . In 2010, Qatar bought a 5 percent stake in Santander ’s Brazilian arm, Banco Santander Brasil , in a deal worth $2.7 billion. — Reuters




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Bahrain’s Arcapita seeks more exits Firm eyes repayingportionof$1.1bnloan DUBAI: Bahrain-based investment firm Arcapita plans to exit two more of its investments in the next six months and will use funds for part repayment of a $1.1 billion loan maturing in April, its chief executive said yesterday. The Islamic firm will exit one investment each in the Europe and the United States, CEO Atif Abdulmalik said in an interview without specifying what assets it wants to dispose. Arcapita, with about $7.7 billion in funds under management, raised $435 million from its investment in property firm Mapletree Industrial Trust last year and sold a portfolio of senior living communities in the US for $630 million in early 2011. sion on the loan refinancing with maturity,” said Abdulmalik. Arcapita “We have done over $1 billion Arab region collapsed. It needs to refinance a $1.1 bil- banks by September or October,” he also set plans to raise funds through worth of exits in the last year and a rights issue to institutional expect to complete two more large lion murabaha loan due in April said. Early this year banks were selling investors in the Gulf region. The ones in the next six months. One is 2012, on which German lender in Europe and the other exit will be WestLB, Barclays and Standard Arcapita’s syndicated loans at dis- company expects to raise about in the US,” Abdulmalik said. Like Chartered were bookrunners. tressed levels in the secondary mar- $250 million from the rights sale, most investment firms in the Abdulmalik said the firm is in ket signalling they were not expect- according to the chief executive. region, Arcapita was hit by the advanced negotiations with the ing a full repayment of the loan. The After posting a loss of about $560 financial crisis as it struggled to exit lenders to refinance a portion of the loans last traded at 89 cents to the million for 2010, Arcapita expects to its investments due to global deal and repay the rest from funds dollar, one Dubai-based debt trader swing to a net income of $50 million investor woes and its fee income raised partly from sale of investment said. “The markets have confidence when it posts results for the yearfrom raising fresh funds in the Gulf assets. “We aim to reach a conclu- in our ability to address the loan ended June 30, 2011. —Reuters

Investment Dar appoints new CEO KUWAIT: The Investment Dar Co KSC announces the appointment of Abdullah Meshari Al-Humaidhi as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to the company following the consent of the company’s board of directors in their meeting held on June 13, 2011. The appointment of AlHomaidhi comes following the judgment relating to the Financial Stability Law handed down on the June 2, 2011 by the Special Circuit Court of Appeal Abdullah Meshari which included the sepaAl-Humaidhi ration of the role of Chairman of TID’s Board of Directors and that of the Chief Executive Officer in the Investment Dar Company. As part of his previous position as an Executive Vice President, Abdullah Meshari AlHumaidhi has contributed effectively to the efforts towards the financial restructuring of the Investment Dar Co Al-Homaidhi played an essential role in finalizing the company’s restructuring plan, which has been successfully concluded with the court’s agreement. The result of this is that the Investment Dar has been approved under the umbrella of the Financial Stability Law of Kuwait. Furthermore, Al-Humaidhi has improved the position of the company by successfully reducing the company’s expenses by a significant margin over the two past years. Adnan Al-Musallam, Chairman of the Investment Dar Company, stated that Abdullah Meshari AlHomaidhi will participate actively in the company’s leadership and perform his duties as CEO in the coming phase which will be a time which will require more efforts by all of the Company’s Board and management in order to achieve TID’s strategic purpose and to implement the provisions of the financial restructuring plan successfully. Al-Musallam added that the “The board of directors wishes the newlyappointed CEO all success and has expressed its confidence in Al-Humaidhi’s capabilities, competence and efficiency in shouldering the burdens of executive responsibility in the next phase of the company”.

GMC Yukon earns AutoPacific’s award DUBAI: GMC Yukon took top honors in the full-size SUV categor y of AutoPacific ’s 15th annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards. The awards are based on a survey of more than 68,000 vehicle owners and organized annually by the Southern California-based automotive marketing and consulting firm. “Vehicles like the GMC Yukon that score highest in the Vehicle Satisfac tion Awards are delivering value and satisfaction across a wide range of attributes,” said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific. “The winners perform well in 48 separate categories that objectively measure the ownership experience.” Earlier this year, Yukon topped the full-size SUV category of IntelliChoice’s 2011 Best Overall Values of the Year (BOVY ) awards, based on analysis of ownership costs, including depreciation, maintenance, repairs, fuel, fees, financing and insurance. Automotive

critics also laud the Yukon. Truck Trend magazine recently named GMC Yukon the “Best in Class 2011 Full-Size SUV,” citing the active fuel management, upto-nine-passenger seating and 8,200pound towing capacity as strengths. “Yukon represents great value in the market place with outstanding cost of ownership here in the Middle East. The Yukon and Yukon XL are still our best selling models after their 2006 debut,” said Luay Al Shurafa, Regional Brand Manager for GMC. GMC revealed that its year-to-date sales in the Middle East witnessed an increase of 9 percent compared to the same period last year. The GMC Yukon, the brand’s best selling model in the region, recorded a 6.6 percent sales increase. The Yukon XL results have been equally strong, with a 14.7 percent growth. May 2011 proved to be a record sales month for GMC; by registering the highest monthly retail sales result in the Middle East.

KUWAIT: (From left to right) Jamel Attal, Dow’s Managing Director in Kuwait, US Ambassador Deborah Jones and Markus Wildi, Vice President of Corporate Development in Kuwait and President of Dow Middle East.

Dow Chemical celebrates new Kuwait office launch KUWAIT: The Dow Chemical Company in Kuwait held an Open House ‘meet and greet’ at its offices on June 6, 2011 in celebration of its office launch. The event witnessed an impressive turnout as Dow welcomed over 150 guests to its first open house with high profile attendance including ambassadors, business leaders, community partners and government representatives. Markus Wildi, Vice -President of Corporate Development in Kuwait and President of Dow M iddle East, and Jamel Attal, Dow’s Managing Director in Kuwait, hosted the distinguished guests who all extended their congratulations and good wishes to Dow. Kuwait’s various government bodies and state owned industry representatives were well represented, including important members from the private sector. Key stakeholders, such as US Ambassador Deborah Jones and Austrian Ambassador Marian Wrba were also present to usher in the new era of Dow’s presence in Kuwait. “We were very pleased and honored

to welcome our guests to the new Dow Kuwait office, their presence helped to bring the new office to life! We are looking forward to this exciting next chapter of Dow ’s relationship with Kuwait, and continuing to drive Dow’s business in this fascinating and progressive region,” said Jamel Attal, Managing Director, Dow Kuwait. “ This new milestone for Dow in Kuwait demonstrates our unwavering commitment towards our existing partnerships and investments in the country. The presence of our new office will bring us closer to our partners and help build long lasting relationships of mutual benefit for Kuwait and Dow.” For 15 years, Dow and Petrochemical Industries Company KSC (PIC) of Kuwait have shared one successful milestone after another, partnering on six industr y-leading joint ventures. As the largest foreign investor, and the largest private employer of Kuwaiti nationals through its joint ventures in the petrochemicals industry in Kuwait, Dow has consistently promoted the country’s economic development and prosperity.

Al-Tijari announces daily draw winners KUWAIT: Commercial Bank of Kuwait held the Al-Najma Account draw yesterday. The draw was held under the supervision of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry represented by Abdulaziz Ashkanani. The winner of Al-Najma Mega Draw on the occasion of the golden jubilee of the bank is Ayub Sabir Mohammed Rafeeq who won KD100,000. The winners of KD7,000 are Al-Najma Daily Draw are Loudi Baheej Saad, Hassan Khalid Bdah Mohammed Al-Bdah, Jahan Zeb Israf Gul, Atul Khanna Kamty Lal Khanna, and Atef Hussain Mohammed Sadeq. The Commercial Bank of Kuwait announces the biggest daily draw in Kuwait with the launch of the new Najma account. Customers of the bank can now enjoy a KD7,000 daily prize which is the highest in the country and another four mega prizes during the year worth KD100,000 each on different occasions:

The National Day, Eid Al Fitr, Eid Al Adha and on the 19th of June which is the date of the bank’s establishment. With a minimum balance of KD500, customers will be eligible for the daily draw provided that the money is in the account one week prior to the daily draw or 2 months prior to the mega draw. In addition, for each KD25 a customer can get one chance for winning instead of KD50. All existing customers will be given a grace period till June 27 to increase their balances and until that date they will be eligible to enter the weekly draw even with amounts less than KD500. Commercial Bank of Kuwait takes this opportunity to congratulate all lucky winners and also extends appreciation to the Ministr y of Commerce and Industry for their effective supervision of the draws which were conducted in an orderly and organized manner.

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

.2700000 .4410000 .3890000 .3200000 .2770000 .2890000 .0040000 .0020000 .0743340 .7242120 .3810000 .0700000 .7099580 .0040000 .0430000

.2760000 .4520000 .3980000 .3310000 .2870000 .2970000 .0072500 .0035000 .0750810 .7314910 .4010000 .0770000 .7170930 .0072000 .0530000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2738000 .2759000 .4434600 .4468610 .3918350 .3948400 .3224970 .3249710 .2795450 .2816890 .0525110 .0529140 .0427890 .0431170 .2911040 .2933370 .0351470 .0354170 .2218800 .2235820 .0034200 .0034460 .0000000 .0061860 .0000000 .0025250 .0000000 .0032270 .0000000 .0037540 .0745740 .0751460 .7264530 .7320240 .0000000 .3902400 .0730330 .0735930 .7113540 .7168100 .0000000 .0063720

Al-MuzainiExchange Co.

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

ASIAN COUNTRIES 3.512 6.131 3.207 2.511 3.849 223.840 35.401 3.704

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

6.330 9.009 0.271 0.273 GCC COUNTRIES 73.549 75.783 716.380 732.370 75.087

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Egyptian Pound - Cash Egyptian Pound - Transfer Yemen Riyal Tunisian Dinar Jordanian Dinar Lebanese Lira Syrian Lier Morocco Dirham

ARAB COUNTRIES 48.750 46.332 1.262 200.390 389.490 182.900 5.954 35.574

EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 275.700 Euro 398.800 Sterling Pound 450.770 Canadian dollar 285.910 Turkish lire 172.740 Swiss Franc 330.650 Australian dollar 292.960 US Dollar Buying 274.500

Indonesia Iranian tuman Iraqi dinar Japanese yen Jordanian dinar Lebanese pound Malaysian ringgit Morocco dirham Nepalese Rupees New Zealand dollar Nigeria Norwegian krone Omani Riyal Pakistani rupees Philippine peso Qatari riyal Saudi riyal Singapore dollar South Africa Sri Lankan rupees Sterling pound Swedish krona Swiss franc Syrian pound Thai bhat Tunisian dollar UAE dirham U.S. dollars Yemeni Riyal

GOLD 283.500 143.000 74.000

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

SELL CASH SELL DRAFT 295.800 294.300 731.520 731.520 3.960 3.697 284.500 283.000 540.300 36.600 53.700 167.800 224.500 48.380 46.349 397.500 396.000 35.990 35.840 6.320 6.135


388.760 0.185 93.200 3.850 225.700

326.900 5.700 9.210 74.890 275.000

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 447.200 275.000

Sterling Pound US Dollar

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

Selling Rate 275.000 284.490 447.975 396.910 326.395 728.413 74.848 75.485 73.293 387.092 46.291 2.506 6.155

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

3.216 3.714 6.340 674.549 3.522 9.112 5.782 3.931 91.345

KuwaitBahrainIntlExchange Co. 714.260 3.210 6.320 75.660 73.440 224.490 43.590 2.507 447.200

GOLD 1,588.150

10 Tola 20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

0.034 0.232 0.241 3.530 390.090 0.186 93.200 47.000 4.320 227.200 1.865 51.000 714.440 3.300 6.550 76.090 73.440 224.490 43.590 2.645 449.200 43.900 328.400 5.700 9.400 198.263 74.990 275.400 1.230

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

Rate per 1000 (Tran) 3.225 6.145 2.525 3.705 6.340 74.975 73.530 731.100 46.245 451.800 0.00003280 3.910 1.550 390.700 5.750 399.200 287.600

AlMulla Exchange Currency Transfer Rate (Per 1000) US Dollar 274.750 Euro 395.800 Pound Sterling 447.000 Canadian Dollar 282.900 Japanese Yen 3.455 Indian Rupee 6.127 Egyptian Pound 46.260 Sri Lankan Rupee 2.505 Bangladesh Taka 3.685 Philippines Peso 6.305 Pakistan Rupee 3.205 Bahraini Dinar 731.500 UAE Dirham 74.800 Saudi Riyal 73.350 *Rates are subject to change



e niv rsar n


MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011


Crisis management: Crucial aspect of communication ‘Get it right, get it quick, get it out, and get it over’

Greek turmoil drives markets NBK WEEKLY MONEY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: In the absence of a clear sense of direction, FX markets were very volatile last week. We witnessed a drop in risk appetite the first three days as traders were focused on the crisis in Greece. However, the situation reversed with the announcement of a European bailout plan by Germany and France. The euro started the week on a strong tone on profit taking after the drop that had happened the week before. However, after reaching a high of 1.4497 on Tuesday, the euro tumbled against the dollar to a low of 1.4075, on worries about the Greek debt situation and the political turmoil in the capital Athens. However, the euro recouped a big part of its losses on Friday on optimism that Greece will receive its next tranche of aid and avoid defaulting on its massive debt, and ended session at 1.4306. The pound had a somewhat similar performance, strengthening at the beginning of the week to a high of 1.6442, but erasing its gains later and touching a low of 1.6080 on Thursday. The pound ended the week at 1.6194. The yen traded in a narrow range last week, between a low of 80.03 and a high of 81.06, before ending at 80.05. The Swiss franc followed suit with the euro, and had an overall negative weekly performance: the currency traded between a low of 0.8350 and a high of 0.8550, and closed the week at 0.8482. Retail sales better than expected Sales in the US retail market fell less than expected last month. The retail sales dropped by 0.2 percent last month, while markets were expecting a 0.5 percent drop. This advance in retail sales indicates that Americans are spending more on retail products and cars, due to lower gas and energy prices, and the auto industry could be rebounding from the disaster in Japan that happened earlier this year. Higher inflation The US Consumer Price Index, which is an indicator for the cost of living, increased in May to 0.3 percent against a projected 0.2 percent. Prices of products such as autos, clothing, and furniture, rose last month signaling a rise in raw material prices. The Consumer Price Index increased to 3.6 percent from May 2010, the biggest year-on-year rise since August 2008. Housing sector shows signs of hope New construction of US houses recovered moderately in May. Housing starts rose 3.5 percent this month as construction of 560,000 new units began in May, exceeding the forecasted figure of 545,000 units. The number may have improved from last month’s figure, but remained below levels that would provide any enhancement to the US economy, after the very sharp drop of 10.6 percent last April. Furthermore, building permits rose by 8.7 percent, the highest since the beginning of the year. Building permits increased to 612,000, higher than the projected 557,000. Jobless claims crisis abates Fewer Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, suggesting that the labor market could be improving after performing badly in May. More companies have employed more workers, to meet the higher demand driven by lower energy prices. The Initial Jobless Claims came out at 414,000 for the week ending June 10, lower by 16,000 than the previous week. It is the ninth month that the claims are above 400,000, but the decrease shows that the economy might be heading in the right direction. Consumer sentiment Confidence among US consumers dropped more than forecast in June as households contended with higher prices that are eating into incomes amid slowing job growth. The University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment decreased from 74.3 to 71.8 in June, lower than the forecasted 74 level.

While gasoline costs have retreated from the highest levels since July 2008, consumer budgets are being strained by rising prices for other goods and services. Moreover, unemployment climbed in May to its highest level this year, further stressing the weakness of the labor market. Europe Austerity protests erupt in Greece Violent protests have erupted in the Greek capital Athens, due to the new austerity measures proposed by the Greek government in order to support its worsening debt crisis. As talks of a second rescue plan for Greece emerge, there have been some divisions and disagreements between European Officials. Greece’s bailout has provoked popular anger in Germany, while France, the second biggest economy in Europe, has shown its support to the plan. Escalated worries in Greece continued as Standard & Poor’s credit rating agency, downgraded the debt-burdened country to CCC, the lowest rating in the world, which caused a sharp drop in the Euro. The Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, appointed Evangelos Venizelos as the new finance minister in an attempt to tackle the country’s crippling debt crisis. Inflationary pressures subside European inflation has slowed in May to 2.7 percent after April’s 2.8 percent, the fastest climb since October 2008. The slowdown in inflation has given the ECB some room to keep the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 1.25 percent at their next policy meeting, even though ECB President Trichet hinted at a possible 25 basis points increase at the upcoming meeting. United Kingdom Inflation remains at 4.5% The Consumer Price Index in the UK remained unchanged in May at 4.5 percent, its fastest pace since October 2008. Inflation is currently twice the target of the Bank of England (BoE). The Central Bank kept its key benchmark interest rate at the record low of 0.50 percent last week. UK inflation is expected to hit 5.0 percent, putting pressure on the BoE to raise the benchmark rate later this year. Claims for unemployment surge UK jobless claims surged more than expected in May and wage growth slowed, pointing to a continued squeeze on households as inflation accelerates. Jobless claims jumped to 19,600 from April, against the expected 6,500 figure. The unemployment rate held steady at 7.7 percent, indicating that the labor market is still suffering in the UK. UK retail sales drop Retail sales dropped much more than the forecasted -0.5 percent, to -1.4 percent. The drop in sales came as a result of increasing concerns about jobs and unemployment. As UK consumers are being squeezed by the high inflation that is outpacing wage growth, consumer sentiment is down. BoE Governor, Mervyn King, stated that “the economy is undergoing a rebalancing that will take several years” and defended the Bank’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged at the record low in order to support the recovery. Japan scales back spending Japanese stocks fell to a 3-month low amid concerns that the government will cut back on its spending on the reconstruction of its country following the devastating March 2011 earthquake. Prime Minister Naoto Kan proposed scaling back the second disaster reconstruction package to JPY2 trillion ($25 Billion), half the size of the first package. The Nikkei 225 plummeted 1.7 percent, its biggest one week drop since March 13. Kuwait Dinar at 0.27435 The USDKD opened at 0.27435 yesterday morning.

KUWAIT: A crisis is any unplanned event that presents a serious threat to a company’s reputation and/or the confidence of its stakeholders. The event could result in a breach of trust, a change in the competitive environment, allegations by employees or others, a sudden government decree, flaw in product, or any amount of other negative impacts. Crisis management is a systematic, integrated approach to containing, controlling and minimizing the potentially negative effects of a crisis situation which might adversely affect the company financially and could result in damaging publicity. During a crisis, there are two main goals that must be achieved simultaneously: issue resolution and effective communication. The issue resolution path leads to uncovering the source of the cause of the crisis. This area is often handled by technical staff. Communication involves the timely release of crisis-related information to all stakeholders, including the media, concerned or affected external parties, and internal audiences. This part requires the assistance of public relations and legal professionals to prepare statements, press releases, advertisements, videos and reports. This is an area of expertise for PR agencies. Ogilvy Public Relations has a proprietary product to deal with crisis called “BrandShield”. This offers an integrated solution, tools, methodologies and captured experience to manage a crisis and protect the brand. While crises have always had a universal set of characteristics, there are huge changes in media and communications that have accelerated and amplified crises today. Just a few years ago the channels of communication were limited to major media, now there is an entirely new universe of channels with no particular medium in control. From blogs to social networks, individuals are connecting with complete strangers to create new communities. Rumors and gossip get passed along and amplified as truth in minutes from a handful of people and scale up quickly into millions. While a company tries to craft and manage external messages, their own employees should not be forgotten as these have their own channels to the world, sometimes undermining the “official” messages. And, crises happen whether for internal or external causes. There are also crises that cannot be avoided such as natural disasters or unfounded rumours. So, it pays off to be prepared! There is a cost for not planning. Research shows that share prices of companies that mishandle a crisis can drop by up to 15 percent one year later, while companies that handle a crisis well may see their share price climb by 7 percent one year later. According to the US Institute of Crisis Management, on average, 69-percent of all crises are the type that start out small and may take days, weeks or even months before they get out of control and draw public attention. Sometimes the charac-

Emeel Bishay ter of a crisis is misjudged - what is it like? Is it sudden and sharp where you get blindsided out of the blue? Most would probably guess so, but the data and facts show us that it is not the case at all. Most crises start right under our noses as small issues that take a while to catch fire. Crisis handling refers to the effort to limit the duration of the crisis or stop it from reaching other areas of the organization. Effective crisis management includes crisis communications that not only can alleviate the crisis, but can sometimes bring the organization a more positive reputation than before the crisis developed. In a crisis when most people are in a state of panic, a tailor-made Crisis Management Manual is an important tool for effective crisis management as it guides the crisis team on its actions and communications. The capability to communicate and to monitor is equally important. The standard tools include: Press releases, advertising, video releases, website and hotline as communication tools. It is also important to put in place a system to monitor print and electronic media, internet and customer feedback. What to do? Warren Buffet says: “Get it right, get it quick, get it out, and get it over.” Recovery refers to putting the business back on track. How people see the crisis handled is very important in this phase and therefore opinion tracking is useful. The ability to develop and analyze a database during the crisis period is also useful as they are the ones who expressed concern and so they should be addressed separately in the recovery phase. The sphere of influence should be kept in mind at all times, and this includes employees, media, grassroots, investors, potential partner companies, government and regulators.

Although most leading companies have a welldefined crisis plan to guide them in communicating with the news media, financial markets and even customers, few have a clear plan for communicating with their employees. Strategic communications with employees during a crisis is not only the right thing to do, it is often the best investment any company can make in responding to the situation and beginning to build its way back to a position of strength. A crisis by definition distracts senior management, injects elements of uncertainty and confusion, and raises the level of emotion within an organization. Strategic employee communications during this time can help calm staff anxieties and allow employees to focus on the job of meeting customer needs and tending to the priorities of the business. Employees can also be a company’s chief spokespeople - for better or worse - through their interactions with customers, suppliers, competitors, friends and neighbors. What they feel about their employer’s handling of a crisis can directly impact the media and others. With technology now permitting instantaneous employee commentary through online chat rooms and Web sites, they can become even more significant. A sound crisis communication strategy should incorporate the following: Don’t act as it it’s not important, if it is. Designate no more than two company spokespeople. Inform the public frequently and accurately in layman language through the media from the outset. If not done, the information vacuum will be filled by rumors far worse than the real situation. Keep government officials and the media fully informed. Don’t wait for them to call. Provide information from the viewpoint of the public interest, rather than from the company’s interest. Be concerned about your other publics: employees, sales force, shareholders. Make journalists part of the team. You need their help in getting your message out to consumers. Don’t speculate as to what happened. Don’t play the blame game. Don’t make offthe-record or “no comment” statements. Don’t knock or criticize the competition. Don’t release proprietary or sensitive information. Don’t trickle the story out to the media. This just prolongs the attention the crisis receives. But can we help prevent a communications crisis? Yes, by following a three-step approach: Assessment, planning and training. First there is the assessment of existing crisis communications apparatus, communications channels and resources. Then planning, writing a crisis communications handbook with clear communications guidelines and procedures, templates and checklists to use in a crisis situation. Training and holding crisis communications workshop using mock situational role play, communications theory and message development training is a must.

Al-Mazaya inks deal with Basma KUWAIT: Al-Mazaya Holding has signed a contract with the Saudi-based Basma Real Estate Management Company to market AlMaather Towers, the real estate investment company’s fully owned office towers situated in Riyadh. The three nine-storey towers -

ment and housing plan launched recently by the KSA Government. The signing ceremony, which took place recently, was attended by Jasim Mohammed Al-Ghanim, AVP Marketing of Al-Mazaya Holding and Khalid Shakir Al-Mubaidh,

KUWAIT: Al-Mazaya Holding and Saudi-based Basma Real Estate Management Company officials pose for a picture. boasting a leasing area of 3,000m and parking for 47 cars each - represent added value to the office sector in Al Maather Street in the heart of the Saudi capital, particularly as commercial buildings are expected to see an increase in demand in line with the develop-

General Manager and Partner of Basma Real Estate, who signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organizations in the presence of the Director of Property Department at Basma Real Estate Mohammed Al-Ayaf, and Director of Commercial Sector Hussam Al-

Zahrani. Shallash Al-Hojrof, Legal Consultant of Al-Mazaya Holding, was also present. In a statement on the occasion, Al-Ghanim said that the contract with Basma Real Estate provides for the marketing of towers No 1 and No 3, and includes property management services as well as follow-up on procedures related to security, maintenance and leasing. Al-Ghanim said that Basma’s selection was based on several criteria, including good market reputation, excellent local knowledge, and relations with various government and private entities across the Kingdom, all of which was confirmed by Basma’s receipt of the Best Proper ty Marketing Company 2010 award. He added that Basma Real Estate Management Company has a network of offices spanning across the Eastern, Middle and Western Provinces, covering all cities and villages of the Kingdom, and that the company has been able to develop a broad base of clients, with over 50,000 corporate and individual clients, including banks, local and international companies. Basma provides dedicated real estate studies of the Saudi markets and conducts marketing studies, feasibility and cost studies for companies willing to enter this market, particularly real estate companies which need reliable performance indices and financial data to help them select appropriate real estate investments.

Qtel Group’s symposium focuses on new strategy

DOHA: Attendees are seen at the the Qtel Group Symposium.

DOHA: The Qtel Group recently held a special symposium in Qatar that included thought-leaders from Research In Motion (RIM) and representatives from companies across the Qtel Group including Nawras from Oman, Asiacell from Iraq, Wataniya from Kuwait and Indosat from Indonesia, as well as other Qtel Group partners. The meeting, the first best-practice symposium of its kind held in the region, addressed a range of new initiatives and examined the potential for further growth in the dynamic Middle Eastern, North African and Asian markets in which the Qtel Group operates. Deemed a success by all who attended, the Qtel group will build on this by hosting a second event in Indonesia

later in 2011. One of the key strategies discussed was the development of the Qtel Group’s lead in delivering smartphone solutions across its diverse range of emerging markets, as the Group continues to invest in strategic alliances and new technology to deliver a higher level of innovation for its customers. Companies within the Qtel Group have demonstrated robust capabilities in delivering smartphone solutions to customers around the world. In Indonesia, which has approximately 1 million BlackBerry customers and is the world’s biggest user of BBM (BlackBerry Messaging), Indosat has emerged as one of the most innovative and popular providers, delivering a wide range of packages and services to suit all BlackBerry customers.

Wataniya has also delivered strong growth in Kuwait; while Asiacell is primed to launch the BlackBerry service in Iraq in the coming months. In Qatar, Qtel was the first company to introduce the BlackBerry service and continues to expand the range of options available to its customers, including prepaid services and enterprise solutions. To suppor t the Q tel Group’s ongoing growth in this area, the company has launched its own ‘BlackBerr y Excellence Awards’, which aim to recognise achieve ments across the Group in supporting BlackBerry customers, and champion those teams who have been successful in encouraging development and new thinking.



e niv rsar n

MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011



KSE witnesses low activity level GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: Trading activity was thin yesterday, at its lowest level since January 4, 2009 due to absence of any major moves from portfolios. Investors prefer to pause their moves until they get some positive signals. Maybe 2Q2011 announcements will be a good start to cheer up the moods.

Market breadth During the session, 87 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards decliners as 49 equities retreated versus 11 that advanced. Daily trading activity Trading activity was down this session. The trades conducted in the services sector. Total volume traded was up by 21.04 percent with 55.08 million shares changing hands at a total value of KD8.11 million (37.28 percent higher compared to the day before). The services sector was the volume leader yesterday, accounting for 31.40 percent of total shares. The same sector was the value leader, with 34.70 percent of total traded value. Zain Company was the most active in terms of values traded during yesterday’s session, with 1.21 million shares exchanged at an aggregate value of KD1.26 million.

Sectors wise Most of Global’s sector indices ended the day on a negative note, except for Global Food Index, which remained unchanged during the trading session. While Global Banking Index was the only gainer, adding 0.33 percent to its value. Kuwait Finance House (KFH) and Ahli United Bank closed up by 2 percent and 1.30 percent, respectively. Global Services Index

Developers lift Egypt; Gulf markets mixed Saudi shares track losses in oil

Market indices Global General Index (GGI), market weighted, ended the day down by 0.37 percent, at 195.23 point. Market capitalization was down for the day at KD31.89 billion. On the other hand, KSE Price Index closed at 6,313.3 point, shedding 23.60 points (0.37 percent) to its previous close.

Top gainers and biggest decliners In terms of top gainers, Gulf Petroleum Investment took the top spot for the day, adding 5.88 percent and closed at KD0.036. On the other hand, Housing Finance Company (ISKAN) shed 8.47 percent and closed at KD0.054, making it the biggest decliner in the market.


was the top decliner. The scrip closed down by 1.89 percent at KD1.040. Further damping the sector was Agility which posted a 1.52 percent drop in its share price to end the day at KD0.325. Global Investment Index was the second biggest decliner for the day, shedding 0.92 percent. Pulling down the sector was Kuwait Projects Company (Holding), which posted a 1.27 drop to end the day at KD0.390. In the dayís trading, Global Large Cap Index lost 0.19 percent and closed at 206.27 while Global Small Cap Index closed flat. Separately, the board of Gulf Finance House, in its meeting held on May 29, 2011, approved financial statements for 1Q2011 that ended on March 31, 2011. Accordingly, the stock resumed trading yesterday and closed down by 5.56 percent at KD0.085 compared with the reference

price. It is worth mentioning that, Gulf Finance House has concluded a partnership agreement with Wadhwa Group; one of India’s biggest real estate developer. Global Non-Kuwaiti Index closed down by 0.34 percent. Corporate news Proportion of counterfeit banknotes in the 2010-2011 period amounted to some 0,00013 percent of the total volume of the money on the market, said Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) Sheikh Salem Abdel Aziz AlSabah. Gulf Cable and Electrical Industries has received a purchase order worth KD1.63 million from the Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW). Accordingly, the company will supply MEW with cables for 8 months.

CAIRO/DUBAI: Property stocks led Egypt’s bourse to its largest gain this month on optimism land sale disputes would be resolved without penalties, while the Saudi index fell to a fresh 12week low yesterday. “Nothing is moving the market but real estate stocks,” said Ashraf Akhnoukh, senior equity sales trader at CIBC brokerage. “They were under the market’s microscope, with the government saying it will not penalise investors, only ministers.” “It’s only a proposal but it might happen,” said Akhnoukh. Egypt’s main index rose 1.6 percent, with all but eight stocks rising. Palm Hills gained 4.7 percent while Egyptian Resorts climbed 9.2 percent. The two real estate developers have risen 13 percent and 9 percent respectively in the past five sessions. Egypt’s interim government has indicated it is searching for a solution to a string of legal challenges to sales of state land by officials under former President Hosni Mubarak, which have helped deal a heavy blow to the property industry. In Saudi Arabia, banking and petrochemical stocks, representing the two largest sectors on the exchange, booked losses. The Tadawul benchmark slipped 0.9 percent to its lowest close since March 23, extending losses after US crude dipped to a four-month low on Friday. A dimmer US economic outlook drove crude to its biggest weekly loss since early May. Bellwether Saudi Basic Industries Corp dropped 1 percent, Saudi Kayan Petrochemicals shed 1.1 percent and Saudi Arabian Fertilizers Co declined 0.8 percent. Al-Rajhi Bank, the largest listed lender, fell 2.1 percent. Other banks also slid. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank helped lift the UAE capital’s index after saying it will record a net profit of $272 million from the sale of its 25 percent stake in Malaysian lender RHB Capital. ADCB gained 1.9 percent, hitting a

24-month high. It is up 11.9 percent in June. Abu Dhabi’s index climbed 0.5 percent to its highest close since November 2010. Trading volumes in Kuwait fell to their lowest in more than two years, with investors concerned about the launch of a new trading platform. The bourse signed up to implement the Nasdaq OMX trading platform in the first half of 2011, according to media reports. “Investors are not happy with how the whole process is going and people think the market will tank so you have a day like today with low volumes,” said a Kuwait-based trader on condition of anonymity. Hurdles to implement the new system include annual fees, the need for additional capital and lack of preparation on part of the brokerages, he added. Kuwait’s index <.KWSE> slipped 0.4 percent. International Bank was down 1.5 percent and contractor Mabanee Co slipped 1.1 percent. Yesterday’s highlights Egypt The measure gained 1.6 percent to 5,628 points. Saudi Arabia The benchmark fell 0.9 percent to 6,443 points. Abu Dhabi The index rose 0.5 percent to 2,775 points. Kuwait The measure eased 0.4 percent to 6,313 points. Qatar The benchmark gained 0.2 percent to 8,335 points. Dubai The index fell 0.1 percent to 1,599 points. Oman The index eased 0.01 percent to 6,021 points. Bahrain The measure retreated 0.2 percent to



e niv rsar n


MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011


GCC equity markets lose momentum during May KAMCO MARKET RESEARCH KUWAIT: Despite the positive economic outlook for the GCC region driven by strong oil prices and significant increase in government capital expenditures on infrastructure and major economic development projects, GCC equity markets lost momentum during May amid lack of market catalysts, light liquidity and up-rising political tensions in some Arab countries. Equity markets in the GCC region retreated following international markets which slumped amid concerns that the US economic recovery is faltering and rising fears that Europe’s sovereign debt crisis will intensify and slow the global economic recovery. In addition, markets were adversely impacted by the escalation in regional political tensions that suppressed investors’ sentiment which was reflected in lower level of trading activities across the board; political tensions in Yemen, Syria and Libya continue to play a key role in keeping local and international investors cautious and wait until the regional picture becomes clearer. The combined market cap of GCC bourses lost $12.2 billion during the month to reach $757.9 billion. In its latest assessment of the MENA region, the IMF indicates that the whole region is going through a period of unprecedented change driven by the desire for greater political and economic freedom. For the GCC states, real GDP growth is projected to reach 7.8 percent in 2011 as oil prices remain strong and oil production expands to stabilize global oil supply in the face of supply disruption in Libya. The growth in the non-oil sector in the GCC region is expected to accelerate by more than 1 percentage point to 5.3 percent in 2011. The strongest performer for 2011 is Qatar where real GDP is projected to expand by 20 percent in 2011 underpinned by continued expansion in natural gas production and large investment expenditures by the government. In Saudi Arabia, real GDP is expected to grow at 7.5 percent in 2011, supported by massive government spending on infrastructure projects and development of real economic sectors. In Kuwait, real GDP is projected to grow by 5.3 percent in 2011, then 5.1 percent in 2012 fuelled by strong oil prices and capital spending on infrastructure projects. As for the banking sector, the backbone of GCC economies, most banks in the GCC region are set for slow recovery in 2011 amid sluggish credit growth and challenging funding conditions. The financial standings of most Gulf banks are expected to remain relatively stable or keep improving at a slower rate, despite the massive spend-

ing by the governments to support sustainable economic growth in the region. Furthermore, GCC banks’ balance-sheet growth remained largely subdued in 2010, except in Qatar where most banks grew at double-digit rates, but maintained healthy margins by stepping up efforts in cost cutting, benefiting from the low interest rates. Pressure from Banks and Petrochemical stocks dragged down the whole market: Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) recorded a marginal gain of 0.38 percent and closed the month at 6,735.98. Instability in the MENA region coupled with renewed concerns over the health of the global economy led investors to remain on the sidelines

during the month. The Petrochemical sector witnessed its market cap shed 2.6 percent mainly on the back of declining oil prices and speculations that any crisis that originates from the Euro zone will curb energy demand growth. The banking sector continued to put pressure on the market performance as a wave of profit-booking activities and speculative trading put the sector under pressure. As a result, the heavyweight banking sector witnessed its market cap shed 2.7 percent during the month and hence dragging the total market cap down by 0.2 percent to SAR 1.34 trillion. On year-to-date basis the TASI remains in the positive territory with a 1.7 percent gain. Kuwait Stock Exchange: Weak Q111 earnings by the investment and real estate companies coupled with the absence of new growth drivers led investors to remain on the sidelines: Sell-off in global and regional equity markets coupled with weak Q1-11 corporate earnings announced by the Investment and eal Estate firms weighed on investor sentiments as the KSE Weighted and KAMCO TRW Indices bucked their previous month positive trend to shed 5.07 percent and 3.57

percent respectively during May. Also, the absence of new growth drivers and renewed local political tensions added to the negativity and shaped the performance of the market. Dubai Financial Market: Lower than expected earnings, thin trading and fears that UAE bourses would not be added to the MSCI EM Index dragged down the bourse: The negative investment sentiment stemming from lower than expected earnings, thin trading and the lack of any new market catalysts suppressed investors’ sentiment and dominated the DFM General Index performance which lost 4.54 percent of its value during the month. The geopolitical tension in the Arab world continue to weigh down on investors’ senti-

ment as trading activity is still significantly low with the value of shares traded during May slumping to AED3.45 billion down from AED4.9 billion in April. The benchmark dropped to its lowest levels in more than two months on speculations that the local stock market won’t be upgraded by index provider MSCI Inc (MSCI) to Emerging Market status that is expected in June with blue chip companies leading the decline. Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange: Weak Q1-11 corporate earnings weighed on market performance: Weak corporate earnings along with ongoing regional political tensions have negatively affected the performance of the market. As a result, the ADX reversed its three months positive trend to post a loss of 2.09 percent led by the Energy and Real Estate Sectors, which witnessed their market cap drop 14.83 percent and 6.3 percent to reach AED11.88 billion and AED7.94 billion respectively. The heavy weight Telecom and Banking Sectors market cap was relatively flat during the month at AED 109 billion and AED 117 billion, representing 39 percent and 42 percent of aggregate market cap, respectively. In

line with the lackluster market performance, trading indicators ended the month on the downside. Losses incurred in May have extended the benchmark losses since the beginning of the year to 2.97 percent. Qatar Exchange: Strong economic outlook and expectations for MSCI EM Index inclusion failed to boost investors’ sentiment: The QE 20 Index bucked the positive trend to register a decline for the second time only over the past twelve months. Strong economic indicators, healthy quarterly earnings and expectations that Qatar Exchange would be classified as an Emerging Market in the MSCI index during June failed to boost investors’ sentiment during May where the benchmark los 2.03 percent during May. The geopolitical concerns in the Middle East continued to weigh down on investors’ sentiment throughout the month leading trading activity to remain relatively weak and causing a drop in volume and value traded from 222.4 mn shares and QAR8.25 billion in April-11 to 144.7 mn shares and QAR5.67 billion in May-11, respectively. Bahrain Bourse: Instability continues to hurt the market driving the Index to record low levels: The Bahrain All Share Index failed to find any background support during the month after poor corporate earnings weighed down on the index dragging it to 2011 lows. The benchmark suffered a 4.15 percent loss during the month and extended its year-to-date losses to 5.98 percent. Losses incurred on market heavyweight companies, namely Batelco, AUB and Al-Baraka Banking Group dragged down the performance of the market during the month, as their share prices fell by 9.92 percent, 4.03 percent and 7.26 percent, respectively. Muscat Securities Market: Distorted investor sentiment and weak corporate performance dragged Muscat to the bottom of the GCC list: Poor corporate earnings, company rumors and ongoing political instability shaped market performance in May as the Omani bourse failed to maintain the uptrend witnessed since March-11 and ended as the worst performing market in the GCC region, resulting in a sharp decrease to breach the 6,000 mark for the first time since July-09 before rebounding back to the upside on the last trading day of the month. During May, MSM 30 Index fell down by 5.17 percent as investors’ sentiment turned bearish in the market after the majority of companies, except banks, reported below than expected Q1-11 earnings.

ATHENS: Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou addresses the Greek Parliament at the opening of debate on a parliamentary vote of confidence in the new cabinet yesterday. — AFP

Crunch week kicks off to save Greece Greek PM urges consensus to overcome crisis LUXEMBOURG: A crunch week for Greece kicked off yesterday with European Union backers set to release summer cashflow to save Athens from early default, before shaping second major bailout to appease nervous markets. Eurozone finance ministers gather in Luxembourg from 7:00 pm (1700 GMT), including Greece’s Evangelos Venizelos, the former defence minister parachuted in on Friday to manage the crisis for a reshuffled government facing a vote of confidence over its tough austerity plans. Greece’s 16 euro currency partners are expected to grant their 8.7-billion-euro share of a 12-billion-euro tranche of bailout funding for the stricken economy. A further 3.3-billion-euro portion from the IMF should follow once an outline deal on financing through to the end of 2014 is agreed. These will be the fifth tranche of payouts from a 110-billion-euro ($156 billion) EU-IMF loan package agreed last year. Over talks running through today with the other 10 EU states, the real work for the European finance ministers revolves around sharing the burden of a new, lasting rescue package between taxpayers and the private sector. “In my view there are two red lines that should be entirely respected: it should not trigger credit events nor credit default,” said European Union president Herman Van Rompuy, with an eye on a full summit of leaders in Brussels on Thursday and Friday. Some such as Britain have vowed to resist being sucked into contributing as with previous bailouts for Ireland and Portugal. The idea is to come up with a second loan package of around 100 billion euros. This time, it will be a combination of more loans from European partners and the IMF, plus a crucial contribution from the banks, as well as proceeds from Greek privatisations and other reforms ranging from deeper austerity cuts to tax rises. The demands for more Greek action on its deficit lie behind a wave of protests verging on civil unrest in Athens.

The protesters have created renewed political urgency for Prime Minister George Papandreou, who will arrive in Brussels for presummit lobbying today. With 350 billion euros of debts, meaning massive interest payments and redemption bottlenecks to service or renegotiate, the threat is that Greece may have no option but to default if it cannot finance its government commitments. And even if banks agree to wait years to get their investments back by ‘rolling over’ existing bonds, the worry is still that the credit rating agencies who drive up the cost of borrowing will view the arrangements as a de facto partial default. German and French savers hold the biggest amounts of Greek debt, but leaders worry that further markdowns would spread to other vulnerable or bigger eurozone economies such as Belgium or Italy and lead to capital flight undermining the entire currency area. After Moody’s Investors Service warned of risks to the sovereign rating of Italy, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who chairs the Eurogroup of finance ministers from the shared currency area, said: “We are playing with fire.” The European Commission has been negotiating with the big international rating agenciespreviously announced as the target for new restrictive regulation across the single EU market given their influence in hastening the three existing eurozone bailouts. The European Central Bank, backed by France, sees dangers in twisting banks’ arms into anything more coercive than a “voluntary” rollover, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel conceded on Friday that the euro guardian must be satisfied with the contours of the deal. In line with demands from other blue-chip economies such as Finland and the Netherlands, similarly keen to reassure taxpayers unwilling to pay for excesses elsewhere, Merkel still needs to win political support from her governing coalition. —AFP

Economic transparency crucial for development KUWAIT: Leaking press information from one of the National Assembly sessions held two weeks ago disclosed an outline of the state’s financial status (FY 2010/2011 ending March 31, 2011). The Council of Ministers is quoted as expressing its comfort by the results. The figures indicate that the net financial assets scored KD81.2 billion after deducting KD21.6 billion as state’s obligations. KD69 billion goes to the Future Generations Reserves Fund (about $250 billion) which represents the core of concern because the general reserve in its most part is made of the capital of corporations or local investments like the KAC, the Credit and Savings Bank, and investments in the local stock market, etc. The figures are presented in a closed session and in general terms. Thus, we do not know how investments are distributed: direct and indirect. Neither do we know the sectors nor the geographic regions while we know them in detail and day by day for the Norwegian Sovereign Fund. We know but do not confirm that they increased by KD5.4 billion over last year, or 7.1 percent growth. However, we do not know whether that is a return on investment only or the result of transferring the budget surplus to the reserve while again we know it for the Norwegian Fund. In fact, we do not see a reason why details are not published. Access of information is a right for all and the general investment policy needs positive and negative criticism so as to develop and reform it. We do not share the cabinet its comfortable feeling about the state’s financial position, if it felt so, and it did not explain why though we guess it came from the positive growth rate by 7.1 percent in the future generation reserves. However, measurement by the absolute increase in a booming oil market should not be employed to issue a positive and comfortable impression from an institution like the Cabinet. It is supposed first to base its comfort on reviewing development in investment policies, governance level and redistribution of investments which resulted in their growth in the post-global financial crisis era. Second, reserves volume should be measured by its capability to cover public expenditures. For example, the reserve of the Future Generations Fund scored $213 billion and public expenditures scored KD10.3 billion ($37 billion). This means the reserve was covering 5.76 years expenses of public spending. That reserve in 2011 scored about $250 billion with public expenditures of KD17 billion ($61 billion); this means the reserve covers 4.1 spending years only. In other words, the state’s financial status development is not comfortable. Because we do not know even components of the increase in the absolute figure we cannot support the cabinet’s position. If the major portion came from mere transfer of oil reserves surplus, in fact the financial status is uncomfortable. In comparative measurement, Norway began its pension fund-generations reserve 40 years after the Kuwaiti Fund. In updating its figures upwards on 31/12/2010, its reserves scored $ 525 billion. Comparison does not provide that feeling of comfort. Resignation of Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs We shall not announce our position regarding the resignation, and during a time of political congestion, we try not to comment so as to maintain our reports’ neutrality. We however shall view the resignation from the perspective of public administration’s stability and success prospects of implementing the development plan. Commenting on the public administration, the resignation was the essence of what we mentioned in our

AL-SHALL WEEKLY ECONOMIC REPORT previous reports, that the administration which is formed on the basis of awarding persons with positions, and not by awarding the country with their capabilities, will inevitably end in failure together, with all internal and external conflicts. We of course are talking about the government formation. The resignation proved that what was built on wrong, inevitably be wrong. Since 1981 when constituencies were fragmented, all taboos fell down. Controlling elections outcome does not spare fragmenting the state into its small sects, and will not be embarrassed from buying some members of parliament by breaking laws, and directly by funds. Loyalty goes to the more powerful and more generous. Whoever is for sale should seek the highest price. “The dispute is not on principle but on the price” as the British philosopher Bernard Shaw put it. This means that a major crisis has affected the two wings of the senior management, i.e. the executive and the legislative authorities, and the plan will not be able to fly without wings. When public administration, with its two wings, shifts to buying political loyalty through deepening structural imbalances of the economy, it will not leave us an enough and influential margin that makes us feel a noticeable change resulting from the resignation of the person who is directly in charge of the Plan or even appointing someone else in his place. Truly, concern with the plan and its execution is bigger through a dedicated person; but even appointing an acting official in his place does not mean he will continue forever, because sooner or later a genuine official will be appointed. We repeatedly wrote in our report that the plan’s objectives are in one direction, and in reality policies move in the opposite direction. The only hope that remains is in slowing down moving in the wrong direction. It seems that is within the limits of influence, perhaps due to the resignation. The source is the multi opposition sources to the government. It is certain the resignation of the Deputy PM due to intergovernment conflict will open another opposition front which will push the government further into buying out loyalties. The first sign perhaps is that rapid approval of the fifty dinars increase in retroactive respect since 2008 despite a previous government decision to control expenditures we commended in a different paragraph of this report. Kuwait has avoided violence of the Arab Spring mainly due to a strategic prudent decision it adopted in the early sixties of the past century by changing from a ruling project to a statebuilding project. In the last ten years, Kuwait adopted an extremely dangerous approach in the opposite direction which will deprive it from securing jobs to its young generation. Its public expenditures increased 5 times in 11 years thus draining any ability to continue its spending, and killing the competitiveness of its economy. By doing so, violence in the future becomes unavoidable. In a report submitted to the G-8 in a meeting held in France on 26•27/05/2011, the IMF stated the title of the Arab Spring is political, but its cause is unemployment. MENA region must create 50-75 million jobs in 10 years, or 20,000 real job opportunities every morning. Kuwait’s share out of this is 350,000, or 100 real job opportunities every day. A real development project is the only solution to avoid a disaster. Glimpses of executive authority Though we are not used to feeling optimistic about the

executive authority’s performance, it is our duty to be neutral, and as we state its cons, we must cite its pros. The week before last, the government issued an intentions’ declaration, intentions we repeat, to control the fiscal policy. After a cabinet’s meeting, it issued a statement reaffirming its concern with bulging public expenditures, a matter which needs more than concern. It declared its determination to reduce them without mentioning the mechanism to do so. It also announced its intention to collect its dues from citizens like bills of costly services. In fact, the subsidies to water and electricity are unendurable. In addition to being attrition to spending, in time, it consumes fuel and thus reduces the country’s ability to export oil and its derivatives. The executive authority’s appreciation will double if a mechanism for implementation has been set out and to publish occasionally the extent of implementation, i.e. percentage of reduction of expenses and percentage of collecting its dues. The legislative authority In an unsuccessful opinion, the Parliamentary Legislative Committee approved increasing parliament members’ salaries for the next term by 150 percent. In the absence of any comparison measure whether this is fair or not, we said in a previous report that we disagree with the principle under the prevailing conditions. What is happening in the country is extremely dangerous for its stability and the future of its young, as the attrition of its resources peaked and it has become very difficult to compete in any commodity or service production. Increasing the member of parliament’s salaries will open the door for the public finance wide open. Thanks are due to the Parliamentary Financial and Economic Affairs Committee which declined unanimously the increase in principle, as we are in need of some hope that a role model is existent. The judicial authority The judicial authority is the last haven and the fortress that safeguards the state’s foundations. What is currently happening in Egypt is a source of pride because all the large-scale corruption of the former regime failed to corrupt the third power which is contributing to laying down the foundations of the modern state. Recently in Kuwait, the news of the likely resignation of a decent pillar of the judicial authority has circulated, but the week before last, the good news came out that the disagreement was one of reform. The late senior appointments were associated with real talk about completing the judicial infrastructure by filling unoccupied positions. Once completed, the authority begins from within to review and monitor its performance, which is warranted. We hope that the judiciary authority will obtain its complete independence and to be harsh in reviewing its own performance. There is nothing more beautiful than its soundness, and there is nothing more dangerous than doubt of confidence in it. Boubyan Bank financial results Boubyan Bank announced its financial results for the first three months of the current year ending March 31, 2011which indicate it achieved KD2.1 million, a rise by KD507,000 (31.4 percent rise), vis-à-vis net profit of about KD1.6 million for the same period in 2010. Net profit margin dropped to about 11.3 per-

cent, down from 11.9 percent for the same period in 2010 due to a higher growth in revenues than in the net profit, as a result of a higher growth in expenditures than the growth in revenues. The main reason for the rise in the bank’s profits is due to the increase in operational revenues by about KD5.3 million to reach KD18.8 million in 3/2011 (KD13.5 million for the same period in 2010), growing by about 39.4 percent. In details, profits of murabahat and Islamic financing increased by about KD3.4 million to reach KD12.3 million (KD8.8 million for the same period in 2010). Item of net investments revenues increased by KD 2.2 million to reach about KD3.5 million (KD1.2 million for the same period in 2010), with a growth rate of about 182.6 percent, while fees and commissions revenues dropped by about KD2.3 million, or 67.3 percent, to reach KD1.1 million, compared to about KD3.4 million for the same period in 2010. Expenses and provisions increased by about KD4 million, amounting to about KD13.7 million (KD9.7 million for the same period in 2010). The most prominent factor for this increase is the rise in impairment provisions by about KD3 million to reach KD6.9 million (KD3.9 million for the same period in 2010). The bank’s financial statements indicate that the bank’s total assets increased by about KD107.4 million, or 8.2 percent, to reach KD1423.7 million (KD1316.3 million in the end of 2010). Compared with the first quarter of 2010, total assets increased by about KD291.4 million, or 25.7 percent, from its balance of about KD1132.3 million. Item of clients’ Islamic financing rose by about KD64.2 million (7.8 percent) to reach KD888.8 million (62.4 percent of total assets), compared to about KD824.6 (62.6 percent of total assets in the end of 2010). The same item increased by about 46.6 percent (KD282.6 million) compared with the same period in 2010 which amounted to about KD606.2 million (53.5 percent of total assets). In other words this bank, and contrary to most banks, is expanding in lending. Cash and cash equivalents increased in March 31, 2011 by about KD19.8 million (48.6 percent) to reach KD60.4 million (4.2 percent of total assets) vis-a-vis KD40.7 million (3.1 percent of total assets) in the end of 2010, and increased by about 12.9 percent or KD6.9 million compared a balance of about KD53.5 million (4.7 percent of total assets) in the same period of 2010. Results of analyzing the bank’s financial statements indicate that the bank’s profit indexes showed varied. Return on equity (ROE) for the parent company dropped from 0.95 percent in the end of March 2010 to about 0.93 percent in the end of March 2011. Return on bank’s average assets (ROA) scored 0.17 percent (0.16 percent for the same period in 2010). Return on capital (ROC) also went up to about 1.2 percent, from about 1 percent for the same period last year. Earnings has crossed the recovery phase and per share (EPS) amounted to about 1.21 began its sustained growth, which is fils, compared to about 1.04 fils for the good. Weekly performance of KSE The performance of Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) for the last week was mixed compared to the previous one, where the indices of trading value, number of the transactions and the general index showed an increase, while the trading volume showed a decrease. Al-Shall Index (value weighted) closed at 497.5 points at the closing of last Thursday, showing an increase of 3 points or about 0.6 percent compared to previous week’s closing, and decreased by 80.3 points or about 13.9 percent compared to the year end 2010.



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MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011


Portugal’s election outcome puts high-speed rail at risk austerity measures springfrom strictreforms

QUELIMANE: People ride bicycles in the provincial capital of Quelimane, an old Portuguese sea port. Bicycles have become the transport of choice in central Mozambique, especially among the sugar cane plantations. — AFP

Bicycles are new status symbol in Mozambique QUELIMANE: A bundle of sugar cane juts from the back of a bicycle that artfully weaves through hundreds of other cyclists, whose numbers have grown along with the economy of Mozambique. Bicycles have become the transport of choice in central Mozambique, especially among the sugar cane plantations. In the provincial capital of Quelimane, an old Portuguese sea port, they are supplanting the mini-bus taxis so ubiquitous in southern Africa. Bike cabby Pedro Antonio, 25, has been taking fares who ride over his rear wheel for around five years. “I get 20 clients a day, 25 if I’m lucky,” he tells AFP, as a customer gets off the green rear seat. Passengers pay five meticals (0.17 dollars, 0.12 euro) roughly the same fee as the minibus taxis but for a more pleasant trip without 20 others crammed into tight seats. The bicyles are popularly seen as a sign of Mozambique’s economic recovery during the nearly two decades since the end of a devastating civil war. With 6.5 percent growth last year, the country was one of Africa’s top performers. Mozambican President Armando Guebuza even referred to “more bicycles” as proof of his government’s performance in his State of the Nation address last year. “At the end of the war, lots of refugees brought bikes back from Malawi,” said Paulo Maleia, 19, who cycles every day for his 18-kilometre commute to the Sena sugar mill in central Mozambique, about 200 kilometres (125 miles) from Quelimane. The trend accelerated when the sugar mill opened in 2001. With 7,000 workers, it is the country’s largest private employer. “People use their bikes to get to the fields,” Maleia says of the hundreds of

cyclists traveling to plant and cut sugar cane on the banks of the Zambezi River. His two-hour commute is far faster than making the trip by foot in the tropical heat. He carries a box of washing powder behind his seat and often transports his shopping home as well. The cycle cost him 2,200 meticals ($75, 52 euros) at a shop three years ago. Like many bicycle owners, it is his most valuable possession and something of a status symbol in a country where 80 percent of the population survives on subsistence farming. Despite the popularity of the simple black-framed bicycles in the north and central regions, they are far less common in the more developed south, around the economic and political capital Maputo. That could be simply because of Maputo’s higher population density, making minibus taxis more convenient, said academic Joseph Hanlon from Britain’s Open University, who has researched the trend. But while Mozambique does seem to have more bicycles now, he says that does not mirror a general decrease in poverty, noting that poverty levels have remained stubbornly stable despite the economy’s consistent overall growth. “Thirty dollars buys you a bicycle,” he said. “You don’t have to sell many sacks of maize to get that. “Is that a fair measure of development? The answer is no,” Hanlon said Some 54 percent of Mozambicans live below the poverty line, according to UN data, a figure that has stayed relatively constant for the last decade. “There are bicycles but that doesn’t mean there’s less poverty,” Hanlon said. “There are more bicycles but in Maputo there are more cars.” — AFP

Chinese stocks lose luster in US markets NEW YORK: High-flying shares in Chinese companies have come crashing to the ground recently, amid a flurry of accounting scandals and a crackdown by US regulators. Less than two months ago, US investors were eagerly buying shares in Renren, a social-networking company dubbed the “Facebook of China,” and other firms that seemed poised to benefit from China’s rapid economic growth. Renren’s shares jumped 29 percent on the day of its initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange in May. Then they sank, closing at just $7.03 on Friday, down to about half of their IPO price of $14. Of the 12 Chinese companies that have debuted on US exchanges this year, only two are trading above their IPO prices, according to data from Morningstar, an investment research company. “The drumbeat out of China right now is that certainly there’s an air of fraud and of different sets of numbers for Chinese reporting versus US reporting,” said Bill Buhr, an analyst with Morningstar. “It basically is spooking investors. I think they assume that where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” he added. The fallout threatens even firms which have not been tainted by accusations of wrongdoing, such as search engine Baidu, which closed at $117.68 on Friday, a drop of nearly 25 percent from its intraday high of $156 in April. “Is This the China Bubble Bursting?” asked a recent headline in The Wall Street Journal. The most recent Chinese company to fall under a cloud is Harbin Electric, whose stock has plunged more than 40 percent since Thursday, when a research firm accused it of falsifying documents. Harbin Electric, a machinery maker listed on the NASDAQ, has denied the accusations. The Securities and Exchange Commission has halted trading of several Chinese firms this

year, accusing them of violations like keeping two sets of books or failing to disclose that their auditors had quit. Last week, the SEC said it was probing two more firms-China Intelligent Lighting and Electronics and China Century Dragon Media-for submitting “materially misleading and deficient offering documents.” “It will be difficult for Chinese IPOs to go forward in the US until the managements of companies decide to improve their operational and financial disclosure,” said Linda Killian, a principal at Renaissance Capital, which researches the IPO market. Many of the Chinese companies being probed by the SEC listed on US exchanges through “reverse mergers,” a controversial technique in which a firm seeking to go public acquires a publicly traded shell company. Financial reporting requirements are not as stringent for reverse mergers as they are for traditional IPOs, and the SEC issued a warning about the practice earlier this month, which singled out several Chinese firms. “Given the potential risks, investors should be especially careful when considering investing in the stock of reverse merger companies,” Lori Schock, an SEC official, said in a statement. Other factors have also harmed Chinese IPOs, such as rising inflation in China, tighter capital requirements for Chinese banks and civil unrest in smaller Chinese cities, said Killian of Renaissance Capital. As the craze for Chinese IPOs has waned, commentators such as stock-market guru Jim Cramer have turned their attention away from China’s strong growth prospects and towards its weak record on corporate governance. “There’s very little corporate governance, informal auditing, and of course, the prospect of government intervention since, remember, it’s still officially a communist country,” Cramer said on CNBC television. — AFP

MADRID: An ambitious plan to link the capitals of Spain and Portugal by rail in less than three hours, which has already been postponed to 2013 from 2010, seems again to be under threat after the centre-right’s victory in Portuguese elections. Pedro Passos Coelho, leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), which won the June 5 elections, focused his election campaign on austerity measures and has cast doubt on the rail project. “The election result is bad news for the defenders of the project,” said Luis Cabral of Madrid’s IESE Business School. “Whatever the result ... it was more or less envisaged that the project would be cancelled or at least suspended for some time,” he said. Portugal’s austerity measures spring from the strict reform programme Lisbon concluded with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in exchange for a 78-billion-euro loan. In April, when Portugal sought the emergency aid to stabilise its strained public finances, the rail plan was already frozen. But while the outgoing socialist prime minister Jose Socrates planned to relaunch it later, the PSD did not. Although the loan granted to Portugal did not include a promise to suspend the Lisbon-Madrid rail link, Passos Coelho said last month he supported such a move, adding that the high-speed line “was not a priority.” On the Portuguese side, the project has a budget of 3.3 billion euros ($4.7 billion). The Lisbon-Poceirao section of the line has been suspended, while work on the link between Poceirao and the border town of Caia, scheduled to start early 2011, has never gotten underway. Spain has a budget of 3.8 billion euros. Work in Spain began in 2007 and is scheduled to finish in 2013. The country has slashed its public works programmes in austerity measures but is nevertheless pressing on with its high-speed rail projects

LISBON: A woman speaks on a cellphone surrounded by sunflowers during an event in support of Portuguese national products in Liberdade avenue. — AP and now has the longest such network in Europe. Protests over the threat to the LisbonMadrid line have erupted in the rural impoverished western region of Extremadura, which has the most to gain from the link. “To decide to suspend the project would be a strategic mistake which would definitely punish us but for Portugal it would be an historic error to leave the country isolated from the connection not only with Spain but with all of the rest of Europe,” said Dolores Pallero, vice president of the regional government. “It is necessary to strengthen the commitment to launch and conclude the infrastructure projects decided by the two governments” for this line, which is of “vital impor-

tance” for the region, a regional business association, Creex, said in a statement. Spain’s ministry of public works would make no comment on the affair as long as there is “nothing official” from Lisbon. “In the short term, diplomatic pressure will not be very strong because the Spaniards will certainly understand the problem,” as they themselves have a debt crisis, said Cabral. Besides, “they are among the biggest creditors of Portugal” and therefore have an interest in seeing that Lisbon repays its debts before launching major works projects. “But in a few years, when the debt problem is over, there will be a political problem” between the two neighbours if Portugal abandons the project, he said. — AFP

Manufacturing 2.0? Dell’s lesson for India SRIPERUMBUDUR: The 500 workers at India’s Dell factory, clad in blue uniforms and the occasional bright pink salwar kameez, are all Indian. Computers leaving the assembly line go to millions of newly affluent Indians feeding an explosion in consumer demand. But the boxes of component parts on the floor say “Made in China”. That fact alone says a lot about how far the country’s manufacturing sector has to go to match its world famous information technology- and services prowess and sustain searing economic growth. India needs to crank up its industrial base to wean itself from service sector-led growth and tame a trade deficit which could more than double in three years, mainly because of billions of dollars worth of Chinese imports. Shabby infrastructure,

cumbersome bureaucracy, a meandering tax regime and a nascent local supplier base are holding back industrial growth and more foreign investment. “We are really taking baby steps in the IT manufacturing space,” M R Sundaresan, Executive Director at Dell , told Reuters from offices at the factory. “We have a huge opportunity to be able to build on this.” “Electronics are still largely imported into the country,” he added. “We don’t have a component or parts manufacturing supply chain available in the country.” While Dell is bullish about India’s prospects as a global growth driver, it is held back by issues ranging from a pesky permit system and the country’s fragmented taxation methods. One of the biggest challenges is an underdeveloped sup-

plier base to make components, such as microprocessors, locally. The result is a “chicken and egg” dilemma for the country. Dell needs component makers to set up shop in India, but big players will only come when there are enough Dells to drive demand. This matters, because India can no longer rely on a mix of its IT and service sector clout, remittances from its citizens working overseas and capital flows to finance a huge import bill of one of the world’s fastest growing economies. Dell’s challenges are by no means unique, but reflect what firms grapple with as they seek to expand in one of the world’s hottest economies, from stifling labour laws to sudden government changes that catch companies off guard. Dell prides itself on making desktops and laptops to

order, delivering from the factory straight to a customer. But sending a finished item to certain Indian states requires the customer to obtain a permit from a local tax officer, which the delivery truck driver then has to produce at state checkpoints. “It’s an impediment to the ease of doing business,” Sundaresan said. “The transport industry is highly immature, fragmented,” he added. “The guy who comes and delivers it to your home, is not a company. He’s still a person who owns one truck.” Dell’s annual revenue in India is closing on $2 billion. Its factory in the southern Tamil Nadu state, one of India’s most business friendly, caters to 90 percent of local demand. But most of the components needed to assemble computers are sourced overseas. — Reuters

Governance is key to growth, Malaysia tells African leaders PUTRAJAYA: Malaysian premier Najib Razak yesterday told a gathering of African leaders including Zimbabwe’s controversial President Robert Mugabe that good governance was vital to economic growth. At a forum on promoting economic ties between Malaysia and Africa, Najib said the growth of social media was setting higher standards of accountability for governments around the world and leaders had to be ready to embrace change. He made the call in front of 16 African leaders including the 87-year-old Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980 and is banned from travelling to the European Union over his regime’s human rights record. “Good governance and best practices are

essential prerequisites for economic growth and a precursor for transformation,” Najib said at opening of the three-day event in Putrajaya, south of Kuala Lumpur. “Some people are fearful of the uncer tainty that change brings; others are threatened by having to do things differently. A true leader must be able to address these concerns and obstacles and to overcome this resistance to change,” he added. Several African countries fill some of the lowest slots in the World Bank’s global good governance indicators. Najib said social media were raising people’s awareness and setting a “higher standard of accountability about actions and inactions on the part of global governments.” Malaysia’s invita-

tions to controversial African leaders with dubious rights records such as Mugabe-who attended the meeting surrounded by bodyguards-have caused concern among activists. Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on genocide and war crimes charges, was also invited but pulled out after opposition to his presence from rights groups. Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Karti, who was supposed to attend in his place of his president, did not turn up yesterday.Former president of the Malaysian Bar Council Ragunath Kesavan said the invitations could be seen as condoning the leaders’ abuses. “ We should not engage with Mugabe. We should not add legitimacy to

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak speaks during the opening ceremony of the Langkawi International Dialogue yesterday. — AFP

this international pariah,” he said. “It will be seen as condoning and sympathetic to what Mugabe is doing in his country.” Activists also say Malaysia has a poor rights record of its own, with authorities at present holding 29 individuals under tough security laws that allow for unlimited detention without trial. Officials said in March that nearly 30,000 foreign workers have been caned in Malaysia since 2005 over various immigration offences, a punishment which rights groups have condemned as a “barbaric” practice. Najib defended the two leaders’ invitations, saying that the forum was “an opportunity for us to try and play a kind of informal role to help influence certain policies and actions that may result in a positive development in that part of the world”. “We have very positive relations with President Bashir himself... We are not yet a member of the statute of Rome (the treaty setting up the ICC) and therefore we are not obliged to comply by its decision. “It is not illegal for us to invite president Bashir to attend,” he said. Malaysia’s national oil company Petronas has major exploration investments in Sudan producing billions of dollars worth of oil for the firm every year. Najib said that Mugabe had been “the most active participant” in past dialogues and it was “still useful” to invite him, “although we are acutely aware of his position vis a vis the Commonwealth and many other countries”. Malaysian companies have invested heavily in Zimbabwe, owning several agricultural projects in the central provinces which are home to some of the country’s best agricultural land. — AFP



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MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011


Google’s Android sets sights high

Diagram shows features and dimensions of massive “Claw” stage setup used by rock band U2 during its current wolrd tour. — MCT

United Airlines computer meltdown CHICAGO : A five-hour computer outage that virtually shut down United Airlines on Friday night and early Saturday is a stark reminder of how dependent airlines have become on technology. Passengers saw their flight information vanish from airport screens, and thousands were stranded as United canceled 36 flights and delayed 100 worldwide. The airline still had no explanation Saturday afternoon for the outage. But things could have been much worse. A blizzard in the Northeast wiped out more than 10,000 flights over three days in December, a mid-January storm led airlines to cancel nearly 9,000 flights. Friday’s shutdown occurred late enough in the day that many of the canceled flights were the last planes out for the day, said Henry Harteveldt, an airline analyst with Forrester Research. On a Monday morning, the results could have been catastrophic. “It happened as a lot of the airline was going to sleep for the night,” Harteveldt said. That doesn’t mean affected travelers were happy.”I’m just amazed at how catastrophic the failure was,” said Jason Huggins, 35, who was trying to fly home to Chicago after a week working at his software company’s San Francisco headquarters.” All the computer screens were blank, just showing the United logo.” Huggins paid $1,200 to book one of the last three seats left on an American Airlines flight home. Social workers Penny Nordstrom, 57, and Emily Schaefer, 42, who were trying to get home from Cancun, Mexico, to Spirit Lake, Iowa, said their delays started with a computer problem at midday Friday in Mexico. “We’re way past 24 hours now,” Nordstrom said about noon Saturday before she boarded a rebooked flight from Chicago O’Hare International Airport to Detroit for a connection to Sioux Falls. She expected to get home about midnight but hoped her travel insurance would offer some compensation. United spokesman Charles Hobart said late Saturday afternoon that the airline didn’t expect to cancel any more flights this weekend due to the computer problems, though delays might continue. Business travelers are usually hurt less by such disruptions than people flying for vacation or personal reasons because airlines first help passengers with elite status in frequent flier programs and those who bought more-expensive, unrestricted tickets. Jon Ryan, who had planned to fly nonstop from San Francisco to London on business Friday evening, was rebooked on partner airline Air Canada after two hours on the phone. His new itinerary: San Francisco to Toronto to Halifax to London. “The poor, poor ticket agents were just bewildered and sitting behind the counter. Everybody was just staring and didn’t know what to do,” Ryan said. “The line grew and grew and then people went from sitting down to lying down.” On a typical day, United, a subsidiary of United Continental Holdings Inc., cancels 15 to 30 flights for reasons ranging from fog to maintenance problems or staffing shortages. Those are understandable. Passengers and others said a computer glitch should not have grounded the airline. “They’re infrequent, but the fact that

they happen at all is puzzling. These are mission-critical,” said airline analyst Robert Mann. “The idea that they would fail is troubling.” College student Jamela Wilson, on her way from Los Angeles home to Roanoke, Va., was curled inside of her hoodie sweatshirt at a gate in Chicago Saturday after an overnight wait.”I don’t know what happened, but it shouldn’t have impacted me to the point I’m not home right now. It’s a good 12 hours later,” Wilson said. Mary Clark, a United spokeswoman, said she couldn’t say how many passengers were delayed or how many still needed to reach their destination by midday Saturday. About the outage itself, she and other airline personnel said only that it was caused by “a network connectivity issue.” Airlines rely on computers today more than ever. Reservations and customer service are largely automated, even flight paths are increasingly computer-generated. Most passengers are asked to checkin online, at airport kiosks or via mobile phone, not with an agent; and paper tickets are a thing of the past. Airplanes also are flying fuller this summer than ever before. United’s were 86.8 percent booked on average in May, which in reality meant many flew without a single empty seat. So rebooking passengers from canceled flights is much trickier and more time-consuming than in the past. United and Continental merged in May 2010. They are slowly integrating their systems but still operate independently. So Continental was able to dispatch flights normally, though some of its airport kiosks were affected. Naveena and Vidya Maddali’s Continental flight from Seattle into O’Hare arrived on time at 5:30 am Saturday. But their connecting United flight to Saginaw, Michigan, was delayed repeatedly and then canceled. With the earliest flight at 1 p.m., the software engineers were fairly sure they would miss the noon high school graduation party they were traveling to attend. “The whole purpose of the trip got ruined because of the delays,” said Naveena Maddali, 27. The couple was particularly frustrated United didn’t provide more information sooner because they initially had enough time to rent a car to finish their trip. Dave Sertich, 29, a financial analyst who lives in San Francisco, slept in a chair at an O’Hare gate Friday night but said many people had it worse. He was just puzzled by the lack of information from the airline. “There were no agents around, no communication to passengers about what was going on, no announcements,” Sertich said. United passengers flying the rest of the weekend have been advised to print out their boarding pass at home instead of at airport kiosks in case of continuing backlogs. By 3 am Eastern time, United had announced on Twitter that things were returning to normal: “Flight status and flight rebooking are fully refreshed on Thanks again for your patience.” Officials did not elaborate. The airline’s customer service line at O’Hare was only four passengers long by noon, and United was letting people with tickets for travel Saturday change them for free to alleviate the crunch. — AP

SAN JOSE: Andy Rubin, Google’s top mobile -phone executive, likes to talk about everything being “Android-ized.” Android has become the top smartphone operating system in the United States, but Google’s ambitions for it go well beyond tablet computers and smartphones, even beyond the mobile Web. With its forthcoming Google Wallet payment ser vice, an Android smar tphone will become a credit card. Now Google says Android can also become the first mass-market bridge between the virtual world and the physical world, allowing smartphone apps to control light bulbs, home appliances, and even medical devices. At its annual developer conference last month, Google announced a program called Android@Home, a system that will allow Android phones and tablets to turn on household lights, activate speakers in a wireless stereo system, or analyze the calories burned on a gym exercise bike. The first Android@Home products are LED light bulbs embedded with technology that can be controlled by an Android device. Built by a Florida company called Lighting Science Group, they will go on sale by December. But Android’s executives say their ambition goes beyond turning a smartphone into a universal remote that could switch on the kitchen coffeemaker from your upstairs bedroom. “These are fantastic windows into the virtual world,” said Joe Britt, the director of Android@Home, holding out a Nexus S smartphone during a recent inter view at the Googleplex. “But that’s the limitation, right? I t ’s the vir tual world. “Why not enable any physical device that exists to be influenced by or monitored by or controlled by a user, in a way that’s as convenient as possible? And in doing that, because (Android is) a platform for applications, we enable a whole new universe of application types that developers can create.” Hoping to spark a wave of creativity similar to what Apple star ted when it opened the iPhone apps store, Google distributed hundreds of circuitry kits to developers at last month’s

conference. The Android Open Accessor y Development Kit allows Android’s software to operate and communicate with motors, sensors, controllers and relays, allowing developers to create an interface in which a smartphone app could control or collect data from a thermostat, a lawn irrigation system or a group of lighting fixtures. “ The oppor tunity exists to dramatically change how you control your home,” said Tom Benton of Lighting Science. Over time, “we’re talking about the elimination of the wall switch.” With more than 400,000

a universal remote to control household appliances. IBM, Microsoft and other companies have promoted the idea, and a Southern California company called Smar thome has been designing, building and selling home control and automation products since 1992. While the technology is not a major problem, Scott Burnett, director of IBM Global Consumer Electronics Industry, said “one of the looming issues for the industry is the business model — how do I make money? — whether from the perspective of the device maker, the ser vice

Android devices being activated worldwide every day and a global community of 450,000 independent Android software developers, Google hopes appliance manufacturers will be willing to embed the company ’s “Tungsten” control technology in their products, and that consumers will be willing to spend the money to buy Google’s wireless control “bridge” that will connect individual appliances to an Android device through a home Wi-Fi network. “For many of these concepts, the stars need to align a bit in terms of critical mass,” acknowledged John Langerling, director of global par tnerships for Android. Google is hardly the first company to come up with the idea of

provider or others in the value chain.” Adding to the uncertainty about Android@Home is that Google has not yet revealed the device the wireless bridge network will use, nor its price. The initial LED lighting products, although far more efficient and longer-lasting than an incandescent bulb, aren’t cheap — LSG’s household bulbs retail for about $22 to $35 each before energy rebates; the company has not set prices for those with the Android@Home technology added. But by starting with the low-hanging fruit “Everybody can change a light bulb,” Britt said _ Google hopes the payoff in energy savings, convenience and novelty will encourage manufacturers and consumers to jump onboard.

By throwing the door open to the creativity of independent developers, Google hopes to see software apps for the physical world just as ingenious as some of the hundreds of thousands of mobile apps for the virtual world that have been concocted in recent years. Imagine, Android engineers say, a home alarm system that turns off automatically as you arrive home because your smartphone knows where you are. Or, Android developers could write apps to harness the computing power of the Internet cloud to reduce a home’s power and water consumption. “When the rainy season starts, the Internet knows when that is,” Britt said. “We can automatically adjust how much water you’re using. If you understand when the most efficient time to use energy is, you can schedule times when your dishwasher runs or your washing machine runs. Those are the examples of control applications that, if wrapped in the appropriate user interface so they are very simple and transparent, this technology enables.” Far more ambitious apps are possible. Scientists at UC Berkeley are using the Android ADK to discover ways to help control mechanical “exoskeletons” that would support the legs of paraplegics, allowing them to stand and walk. Medical sensors connected to an Android smartphone could allow diabetics to monitor their blood sugar, or anyone to monitor their sleep patterns, Langerling said. Britt, who met Rubin when both worked for Apple two decades ago, has a pedigree in mobile -software technology. Rubin and Britt, along with Matt Hershenson, in 1999 founded Danger, a startup that created the T-Mobile Sidekick before Microsoft bought the company in 2008. Rubin left Danger to found Android in 2003, which Google bought two years later. “I would come over here (to Android) to see Andy and Matt and have lunch, and the stuff they were working on was always extremely interesting to me, so last November I joined,” Britt said. “I’ve been having a blast. It’s a fantastic place. It’s a crazy place in a really good way.” — MCT

Sega braces after cyber attack TOKYO: Hackers have stolen the personal data of some 1.29 million customers of the Japanese game maker Sega, the company said yesterday, in a theft via a website of its European unit. The Sega Pass website, operated by London-based Sega Europe, did not contain credit card information, the Japanese firm said. But names, dates of birth, email addresses and encrypted passwords were stolen by intruders to the site, Sega said in a Japaneselanguage statement, adding the theft had been confirmed on Friday. “We sincerely apologize for troubles this incident has caused to our customers,” it said. The service, which has been suspended, was mainly to announce new product information to registered customers, Sega said. “An investigation has been launched to find the cause and channels used for the leakage,” it said. No other websites managed by Sega have

come under attack, it said. Sega pledged to strengthen its network security and to release information about the case as it becomes available. The incident follows a series of hacker attacks on Japanese electronics and entertainment giant Sony in April which forced it suspend online services for weeks. Sony suffered one of the biggest data breaches since the advent of the Internet, with personal data from 100 million accounts compromised. The attacks forced the company to halt its Qriocity online music and video distribution services and PlayStation Network online gaming for more than a month. Sony also suffered attacks on websites including in Greece, Thailand and Indonesia, and on the Canadian site of mobile phone company Sony Ericsson. This month, a group of hackers known as Lulz Security claimed to have attacked the Sony Computer Entertainment Developer Network and stolen technical information,

after stealing customer data from Websites of major media, game makers, banks and the US government have been constant targets of international hackers. Nintendo, Citigroup, the CIA and the Malaysian government have recently come under hacker attacks. Sega, known for “Sonic the Hedgehog”, produces games for a range of consoles, including the PlayStation 3, Nintendo DS, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Nintendo’s motioncontrol Wii. It became a household name with popular arcade games such as “UFO Catchers” and in 1998 won a fan base with its Dreamcast machine. But it stopped producing the Dreamcast in 2001 under fierce competition from Sony and Nintendo. The company has since focused on arcade machines and software. It saw a new lease on life after merging in 2004 with Sammy Corp, Japan’s top maker of pinball machines.— AFP

FTC okays ms skype bid

Neil Nakahodo color illustration of miners digging for rare earth minerals, used in high-tech devices. — MCT

WASHINGTON: The Federal Trade Commission is letting software giant Microsoft Corp. proceed with its largest deal ever, a $8.5 billion bid for web chat and call service Skype. The FTC announced Friday that it had finished its review of the buyout so it can proceed if the Department of Justice also approves. Both agencies must review any deal worth more than $65.2 million, according to the FTC. Microsoft already has a Skype-like service called Windows Live. But Skype lets users of different kinds of computers and phones chat directly. The deal could enable Microsoft to sell more digital advertising and offer more popular business conferencing tools. Microsoft’s bid is more than three times Skype’s value 18 months ago when eBay Inc. sold a two-thirds stake to private equity firm Silver Lake. — AP



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MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011

health& science

Weighing cancer risks WASHINGTON: You are sitting in a freshly drywalled house, drinking coffee from a Styrofoam cup and talking on a cellphone. Which of these is most likely to be a cancer risk? It might be the sitting, especially if you do that a lot. Despite all the recent news about possible cancer risks from cellphones, coffee, styrene and formaldehyde in building materials, most of us probably face little if any danger from these things with ordinary use, health experts say. Inactivity and obesity may pose a greater cancer risk than chemicals for some people. “We are being bombarded with messages about the dangers posed by common things in our lives, yet most exposures are not at a level that are going to cause cancer,” said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, the American Cancer Society’s deputy chief medical officer. Linda Birnbaum agrees. She is a toxicologist who heads the government agency that just declared styrene, an ingredient in fiberglass boats and Styrofoam, a likely cancer risk. “Let me put your mind at ease right away about Styrofoam,” she said. Levels of styrene that leach from food containers “are hundreds if not thousands of times lower than have occurred in the occupational setting,” where the chemical in vapor form poses a possible risk to workers. “In finished products, certainly styrene is not an issue,” and exposure to it from riding in a boat “is infinitesimal,” she said. Carcinogens are things that can cause cancer, but that label does not mean that they will or that they pose a risk to anyone exposed to them in any amount at any time. They have been in the news because two groups that periodically convene scientists to decide whether something is a carcinogen issued new reports. Last month, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, said there is a possibility cellphones raise the risk of brain tumors. “The operative word is possibility,” said Lichtenfeld, who among others has pointed out the thin evidence for this and the fact that cancer rates have not risen since cellphones came out. Last week, the National Toxicology Program, part of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, both of which Birnbaum heads, issued its report. It adds to the list of known carcinogens formaldehyde, which is in building materials and some hairstraightening products, though Birnbaum said on-the-job exposure is the main worry. The list also adds a plant substance in some “natural” arthritis remedies, aristolochic acid. Six other things were called ‘reasonably anticipated’ to be carcinogens, including styrene and another herbal medicine ingredient, riddelliine. Since 1971, the international cancer agency has evaluated more than 900 substances. Just over 100 have been deemed carcinogens, 59 are called probable carcinogens, and 266 are possible ones. In this last category of possibles, besides the electromagnetic energy from cellphones, are coffee, engine exhaust and talc-based body powder. Talc in its natural form may contain asbestos, although products sold for home use since the 1970s

have been asbestos-free. Again, most risk is thought to involve occupational or unusual exposure to natural talc. The evidence on coffee has gone back and forth for years, with no clear sign of danger and some suggestions of benefit. However, known carcinogens include alcoholic beverages, estrogen treatments for menopause symptoms, birth control pills, certain viruses and parasites, and even some drugs used to treat cancer, such as cyclophosphamide and tamoxifen. “Most people would probably be shocked to see the number of things they interact with every day” on these lists, Lichtenfeld said. Here is the problem: The agencies that pass judgment on a carcinogen do not regulate it or determine what levels or routes of exposure are a concern and for whom. “People immediately assume it’s going to cause cancer at any exposure level, and that’s simply not true, “ said A Wallace Hayes, editor of the scientific journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, and an industry consultant. The rule is ‘RITE,’ Risk Is equal to Toxicity times Exposure, and “they’ve left out half of the equation” by not saying how much exposure is a concern, Hayes said.”The organizations that list these substances as possibly carcinogenic have to be conservative. That means if there is any reasonable evidence, way before it’s a sure thing, they have to say, `Let’s be cautious.’ That’s their job: to raise the flag,” said David Ropeik, a consultant and author of “How Risky Is It Really? Why Our Fears Don’t Always Match the Facts.” It is human nature to fear risks we did not choose, such as hazardous chemicals, more than those we did, such as lack of exercise, poor diets or smoking, he said. “A risk that is imposed on us scares us more than a risk we take voluntarily, especially if it comes from companies we don’t trust”, Ropeik said. Styrene is an example: The government says it is a component of tobacco smoke and that is the biggest way most people are exposed to it. Smoking, of course, is the most easily preventable cancer risk. To minimize risk, people can take reasonable measures to avoid exposure to possibly harmful things, experts say. “If you walk into a room and you can smell formaldehyde, you probably want to vent the room before you spend a lot of time in it. That ’s just common sense,” Birnbaum said. If you are concerned about pesticides, you can peel fruit and vegetables or choose organics, although there is some evidence that organic products may be less safe in terms of germs like E. coli and salmonella. People worried about cellphones can hold them far ther from the head, text-message instead of talk, or use a headset or earpiece as Lichtenfeld does. He was returning from a major cancer conference in Chicago last week when a fellow traveler pointed at Lichtenfeld’s Bluetooth earpiece and said, “Do you know that thing can cause cancer?” “I said, `Yes, ma’am, I’m very familiar with the data and I choose to use Bluetooth,”‘ said Lichtenstein, who did not tell her he was one of the biggest cancer exper ts she would ever meet. “You can’t live life in fear,” he said. “You have to live life.” — AP

Giving life to limbs CHICAGO: In an underground laboratory at the University of Chicago, neuroscientist Sliman Bensmaia peered at a blue computer monitor attached by wires to a Rhesus monkeys brain. A lab technician grazed the animal’s finger using a metal probe, and the computer screen erupted in red. “ That’s pretty cool,” said Bensmaia grinning. “You can see the brain becoming active just by tapping the hand.” Next, instead of physically tapping the animal’s hand, the technician planned to run a small current of electricity through electrodes in the animal’s brain to simulate the probe. If the animal looked in a certain direction, the scientists would know the “virtual touch” worked. This research is part of a groundbreaking quest to accomplish what was once the stuff of science fiction build a machine that helps humans to feel. Funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and spurred by the return of injured Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, these researchers aim to design prostheses that will not only be able to move, but will also provide amputees and quadriplegics with a sense of touch. Scientists have known for more than a century that applying electricity to neurons can elicit certain reactions - a muscle twitch, a sudden feeling of euphoria, a long forgotten memory recalled. But stimulating those cells to help people overcome certain disabilities has only been done more recently, spearheaded in the 1960s by the development of the Cochlear implant for hearing. Unlike hearing or vision, however, touch research languished for decades, hobbled by the expensive machinery needed to perform experiments and a certain “not as sexy quality,” Bensmaia said. “People take their sense of touch for granted more than vision or hearing,” he said. But then hundreds of wounded veterans began returning to the United States without arms or legs or the use of their limbs due to spinal cord injuries, and interest in developing better prostheses spiked. Through the DARPA project, scientists at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory last year completed a new prosthetic arm, which can rotate, twist and bend in 26 different ways. Scientists

Nicho Hatsopoulos, associate professor, Computational Neuroscience, is seen in a lab, at the University of Chicago for neural motor prostheses research. also recently outfitted patients with brain electrodes that allowed them to move simpler robotic arms with their thoughts. Without any tactile feedback, however, the usefulness of the prostheses is limited. Lacking the sense of touch, patients could not, for example, differentiate between corduroy and silk, a pen and a pencil or a poke and a punch. More importantly, “they have to constantly be visually monitoring what they are doing or they wouldn’t know whether they were holding or crushing something,” Bensmaia said. So last year, Johns Hopkins gave Bensmaia’s lab about $1.5 million of their federal money to develop even more advanced prostheses that will eventually give the users a simulated sense of touch through the machine’s metal and motors. But how do you replicate the feeling of a coffee cup in your hand or the difference between a 5- and 50-pound weight? The U of C scientists set out to identify and replicate the qualities of touch, including texture,

shape and force, through complex mathematical equations known as algorithms. Scientists implanted platinum alloy electrode arrays, each the size of a pencil eraser, into the Rhesus monkeys’ brains. The scientists then created neural impulses by emitting small, but focused, electrical currents, and recorded the animal’s behavior in response. After simulating thousands of different touch sensations, Bensmaia and his team hope to build algorithms, essentially mapping out the way the brain reads those touches. They will then use those sensory algorithms to build software for the robotic arm’s computerized sensors that will transmit impulses to electrodes in the human brain, mimicking touch. Josh Berg, Bensmaia’s study director, took a step back from the U of C testing room and grasped at an apt summary. “Up here, we are not vision, touch or smell,” said Berg, grabbing his head between his hands. “We are all electricity. What we are trying to do is translate information into a language the brain can understand.” — MCT

Medical malls a success NEW JERSEY: Across the country, in suburbs and in cities, about 50 medical malls have sprouted up in closed hospitals, bankrupt shopping centers and other sites to deliver health care to communities. The advantages of medical malls are one-stop shopping for patients as they provide everything from pediatric checkups to same -day surger y. They also allow physicians to expand their services and hospitals to improve market share by enhancing their outpatient services, experts say. While Hackensack University Medical Center forges ahead with an application to reopen Pascack Valley Hospital, its opponents say a medical mall with outpatient care would better serve a region they believe already has too many hospital beds. In Paterson, N.J., physician offices, same-day surgery and adult day care are among many outpatient services offered in a medical mall at the former Barnert Hospital. In Newark, N.J., when two hospitals closed in 2008, a prenatal center, primary

therapy, dialysis, long-term care and other services would better serve the community, said Valley President Audrey Meyers and Englewood President Douglas A. Duchak. Hackensack University Medical Center President Robert C. Garrett said the hospital is considering developing such services at the site but only after it opens a new 128-bed hospital there. “We’re not against it,” Garrett said. “What the community needs is full-service inpatient care as well as comprehensive ambulatory and outpatient services. It’s our intention to do both and serve the community fully.” Hackensack has owned the 20acre site since winning it at a bankruptcy auction with a partner in 2008 for $45 million, outbidding Valley and Englewood. The two rivals have filed suit trying to stop Hackensack from reopening Pascack. Hackensack has a satellite ER at the Pascack site in Westwood and its plan to reopen the hospital enjoys overwhelming public support in the region more than

providing 30 residency slots to train physicians in family practice, obstetrics and gynecology, emergency medicine and general surgery. But Valley and Englewood officials, who say the county already has too many hospital beds, believe an outpatient facility “could add programs and services that the region actually needs, not add inpatient beds that are already available,” Meyers said. Englewood and Valley said they would partner with Hackensack to provide the outpatient services in Westwood a potentially challenging effort given the full-throated opposition the hospitals have waged against their competitor. “Creating a 21st century outpatient medical complex will take a commitment of resources on the part of all Bergen County hospitals, but that is an investment we are willing to make,” Meyers said. A medical mall could also help rein in health care costs, some say. New Jersey is notorious for “overutilization” of health care services: more specialists, more

care and other needed services opened in the buildings. Investors are lining up physicians, labs and other tenants to turn a shuttered hospital in southern New Jersey into an outpatient center. Executives at The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood and Englewood Hospital and Medical Center say the same formula would work at Pascack Valley Hospital in Westwood, N.J., which closed in bankruptcy in 2007. A health care complex anchored by a satellite emergency department with radiology, hospice, physical

26,000 people have signed petitions, spoken or written letters in support of the reopening. Two weeks ago, Hackensack and its partner formally applied to the state Health Department for a certificate of need to open the hospital. A new CEO has been hired to run the hospital. Garrett said the new hospital would draw from 14 “core towns” in the Northern and Pascack valleys as well as parts of Rockland County, “restoring much-needed health services.” Additionally, the plan aims to address the state’s looming physician shortage by

hospital care and the most expensive end-of-life care in the nation, according to the Dartmouth Atlas Project. The Commonwealth Fund’s State Scorecard on Health System Performance ranked New Jersey 48th on avoidable hospital use and costs in 2009. “The more we build hospitals, the more health care we deliver,” said Laura Landy, president and CEO of the Fannie E. Rippel Foundation, which released a report last month, titled “ The Future of Healthcare in New Jersey.” When Barnert Hospital in

Walk with a doctor CLEVELAND: Doctors around the world are taking note of an Ohio physician’s idea to walk with groups of his patients to encourage exercise and make himself more accessible. Dr. David Sabgir came up with the Walk With a Doc program in 2005, two years after going into private practice in Columbus, and the idea has been adopted in 35 communities and is expected to spread to many more, The Plain Dealer in Cleveland reported Saturday. It caught the attention of physicians in Jamaica and a heart specialist in Italy, and doctors are hoping to get the program up and running in more than 250 other places as far away as China, Portugal and South Africa. The program started with a 2.2-mile (3.5-kilometer) hike on a spring day in suburban Columbus. Sabgir, a graduate of Miami University in Oxford and the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo, had grown tired of spending so much time urging patients to exercise and seeing so few of them follow his recommendation. He decided if he invited them to walk with him, maybe more would get involved. It would be a winwin with no major expense: The walking could help people lose weight or fight the effects of disease and age, and it would give him time to provide quick answers to their health questions.

“Our goal is simple is to transform medicine,” the Worthington native told the newspaper. “We want everyone in the world to have access to this.” His nurse made fliers to build interest in that first walk, and 101 people showed up. “We were seeing a lot of these people who were intimidated to go to health clubs or really do anything without the supervision of a doctor,” Sabgir said. “They didn’t want to be seen on a treadmill next to someone running an 8-minute mile when all they were doing was walking. And I think they liked that immediate, unconditional accessibility to a physician.” He briefly stopped the program in 2006 because he was concerned that its expansion was taking too much time from his practice but resumed walks the following year. He also met with a Cleveland Clinic official who became a supporter of the program, and the Clinic eventually developed Walk With A Doc chapters in seven northeast Ohio communities. Participants praise the benefits of the hikes, including the chance to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and the access to a physician in an informal setting. “How often do you get to meet a doctor one-on-one and just talk for 45 minutes?” said one regular, Helen Gillispie, 60. “You can ask them anything on the walk.” — AP

Paterson closed in 2008, a group of investors that included former hospital executives purchased the hospital in bankruptcy and converted the 300,000-squarefoot building into the Barnert Medical Arts Complex. The facility is 90 percent occupied, said Steve Kirby, a partner in Community Healthcare Associates. There are 10 physician offices, an urgent care center, two outpatient surgery centers, Planned Parenthood, a mammography center, an adult day care, a lab, physical therapy and Turning Point, a substance abuse treatment program. A 10-bed hospice is opening soon. “I think it’s been a great asset to the community,” Kirby said. The facility employs more than 500 people, he said. The offices hummed recently with activity. Julia Sun, an employee of Golden Years Adult Day Care, wheeled a client to Dr. Alden Leifer’s offices for an eye exam on the first floor. “It really helps families to have this taken care of while they’re here,” Sun said. Kirby and his partners have the same vision of a health care complex for the William B. Kessler Memorial Hospital in Hammonton, which closed in 2009. “We intend to do much the same as we did at Barnert doctors’ offices, an urgent care center, and possibly adult day care,” he said. In Newark the former site of the St. James Hospital is used for many services: an urgent care center, a prenatal and women’s health care center, a 40-bed inpatient behavioral health center, eye clinic, two internal medicine practices and a pharmacy. An all-inclusive care program for the elderly, a cheaper alternative to nursing home care, is on track to open soon, said Raj Mukherji, spokesman for St. James MedRealty and Columbus MedRealty. And Newark’s former Columbus Hospital has a center for long-term acute care, an urgent care center, a medical lab, an adult medical day center, home health care agency and many other services. Mukherji said it has brought 350 jobs to Newark. “In maintaining the St. James and Columbus Hospital campuses as health care destinations for the benefit of local residents, Newark has provided a model for other cities to follow,” Mukherji said. The collaboration between city officials, investors and owners “demonstrates how continuity of health care and urgent care can be ensured even when traditional acute care services must be closed,” Mukherji said. — MCT



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MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011

health& science

Climate agreement far ahead BONN: “Ask for a camel when you expect to get a goat,” runs a Somali saying that sums up the fading of ambitions for United Nations talks on slowing climate change — aim high, but settle for far less. Developing nations publicly insist the rich must agree far deeper cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, but increasingly believe that only a weaker deal can actually be achieved to keep the existing Kyoto Protocol, or par ts of it, alive beyond 2012. “They have to ask for a camel ... but will settle for a goat,” Mohamed Adow, of Christian Aid, said of poor nations’ strategy at a just-ended session of 180 nations in Bonn. Hopes for a treaty have dimmed since US President Barack Obama and other world leaders failed to agree a binding pact at a summit in Copenhagen in 2009. Rich economies are reluctant to make substantial cuts in their emissions beyond 2012 without commitments from big developing economies like China and India to also curb their fast-rising emissions.

At issue now is what can be salvaged from the talks. “This process is dead in the water,” said Yvo de Boer, the former head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat who stepped down last year to work at KPMG, a consultancy and auditing firm. “It’s not going anywhere,” he said during the June 6-17 talks in Bonn among negotiators trying to avert more heatwaves, floods, droughts and rising sea levels. Disputes between rich and poor on sharing curbs in greenhouse gases mean gridlock over the Kyoto Protocol, the existing U.N. plan which obliges about 40 industrialized nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions until 2012. Kyoto risks collapse due to lack of support beyond 2012 from rich nations, which are meant to take the lead in fighting climate change since they have burnt carbon-emitting fossil fuels since the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century. Christiana Figueres, de Boer’s successor in 2010 as head of the U.N. Secretariat, says the process of agreeing new terms to tackle climate change will

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be a long haul, despite worries that disasters such as floods in China’s Yangtze basin this month are getting more frequent. “Governments, businesses and civil society cannot solve climate with one meeting, with one agreement,” she said at the end of the talks of ministers’ scaleddown ambitions. Bonn made progress on technical issues such as designing a scheme for sharing clean energy technologies, and to help poor nations adapt to impact to impacts of climate change. But the buzz in the corridors was about details. “ There has been no advance in the substantive issue of pledges for reductions in emissions” by developed nations, said Pablo Solon, head of Bolivia’s delegation in Bonn. Environment ministers will meet in Durban, South Africa, in November and December to try to agree Kyoto’s fate. Developing nations’ current demand is an extension of Kyoto, which obliges almost 40 industrialized nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2 percent

below 1990 levels from 2008-12. But Japan, Canada and Russia insist they will not extend their Kyoto cuts, arguing a new pact is needed for big emitters including China and India which have no 2012 curbs under Kyoto and Washington never ratified Kyoto, arguing it wrongly omitted 2012 goals for emerging economies and would cost US jobs. Emerging economies in turn argue that their first priority is to end pover ty, requiring higher energy use. Delegates say that the minimum “goat” deal envisioned by developing nations is for a core group, led by the European Union, to extend Kyoto. The EU says it will not go it alone since it accounts for just 11 percent of world greenhouse gases. “I wonder how wise it is to criticise the party that without comparison delivers the most, instead of trying to help us put pressure on all the big players who do not commit,” European Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said. De Boer said the main hope was now to recast the battle against global warm-

ing as part of a broader fight to spur economic growth that does not damage the environment, backed by much greater involvement by the private sector. Even environmental activists are pulling back from trying to influence government negotiators at UN talks, in a strategic shift to focus lobbying on national policies at home. In past years, activists have staged colorful protests outside the Bonn meetings, for instance dressed as polar bears at risk of melting Arctic ice. Most have now disappeared. Figueres said talks had made progress as ministers last year agreed a package of measures in Cancun, Mexico, that included a goal of limiting any temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times. But a group of scientists estimated that existing plans for cutting greenhouse gases so far put the world on a path to a rise of 3.2 degrees Celsius. Emissions rose last year to a record high, the International Energy Agency said. — Reuters

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MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011

W H AT ’ S O N

Notice to Filipino citizens


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

FGP Convention 2011


he prayer partner of United Prayer Warriors and Tamil Pentecostal Church cordially invite you and your family and friends to participate in our 2011 convention. We are also pleased to inform you that Pastor I. Vinil Sathish, President of Full Gospel Pentecostal Churches, Tamil Nadu will be our Guest Speaker during the four th Anniversary, 2011 Convention. Date: 23, 24 & 25 June 2011 (Thursday, Friday & Saturday) Place: Ruchi Auditoruium, Pastor Vinil Abbasiya Time: 06.00 Pm to 9.00 Pm 5th YEAR - FIRST FASTING PRAYER Date: 24 June 2011(Friday) Place: Ruchi Auditoruium, Abbasiya Time: 09:30 Am to 01.00 Pm Prayer Request and more Details Contact # Bro. S.Suresh Kumar - 97927436, 60931099

Jurors and Lessedra Gallery owner at the opening of World Art Print Annual at Lessedra Gallery in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Margaret E. Graham accepted an invitation to talk about printmaking to students at the National School of Fine Arts, Ilia Patrov, in Sofia, Bulgaria.

GUST represents 10th Lessedra World Art Print 2011


ulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) Instructor in the Social Sciences & Humanities Department was invited to be one of the eight international jurors at the 10th Lessedra World Art Print Annual in Bulgaria at the Lessedra Gallery and Contemporary Art Projects, founded in 1991. The event, an international print annual, maintains the premise that no art form has broader implications in contemporary society than that of the print. The aim of the event is to gather and exhibit contemporary art print works from all over the world and to contribute to the contacts and the exchange between artists, art lovers and collectors and to stimulate the research into paper, inks and other materials used in printmaking. The jury included, Margaret E. Graham, Print Art Northwest, USA, teaching in Kuwait at GUST, Mark Graver from New Zealand and First Prize Winner 2010, Briar Craig, Visual Arts Coordinator at the University of British Columbia Okanagan in Canada, Lijtje and Rob

Margaret E. Graham, USA, explaining her favorites for the prizes. van Straaten from The Netherlands, Tania Booth, Director At-Wharepuke Gallery in New Zealand, Laura Widmer from Canada, Snezhina Bisserova, artist and Art

Teacher at the School of Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria and finally, Atanas Vassilev, Professor of Art at Sofia University. The jury accepted 481 artists works from 57 countries including: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea and many others. Graham not only participated as a part of the jury, but was also invited to the National School of Fine Arts, Ilia Patrov in Sofia, Bulgaria to speak to its art students about the intricacies of printmaking. “Their enthusiasm and attentiveness to the art form was fascinating, it was an experience I was honored to be a part of,” said Margaret Graham of her trip. GUST was the only university represented from the Middle East which is in itself a great honor.

K’S PATH organizes fundraiser Quiz Night


S PATH (Kuwait Society for Protection of Animals and Their Habitat) - a non-profit animal welfare organization - will hold a Quiz Night on June 23, 2011 at the Movenpick Hotel & Resort Al Bida’a ballroom starting 7 pm. The funfilled evening will have participants compete in teams of 8 to win great prizes including a special prize for the best team name. “Our Quiz Nights are a great way for families and friends to get together to have fun and support a worthy cause,” says K’S PATH Chairman Ayeshah Al Humaidhi. “Our past fundraiser quiz nights were very well received and we’re back by popular demand this year with exciting quiz rounds. All proceeds from the fundraiser go towards the upkeep of K’S PATH shelter and animals.” Entry to the Quiz Night is KD 12 per head, inclusive of great prizes and dinner. As seats are limited, please RSVP by June 19th and email your team details to

Save on Summer at Movenpick


ovenpick Hotels & Resorts has announced its 2011 summer offers under the umbrella “100% summer fun and 25% extra savings”. Guest staying at over 40 Movenpick Hotels & Resorts across the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa will enjoy an additional discount up to 25% on the enticing seasonal rates. Travellers can selec t among 24 Middle Eastern hotels located across Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates or explore fascinating destinations within some of the company’s European, Asian

and African locations. This attractive offer will started on May 15 and be valid throughout the summer and Ramadan. Toufic Tamim, Vice President for Sales & Marketing in the Middle East, said as travellers start organising their summer getaways, they will find our discounted rates a more attractive way to spend your holiday. “Our summer offers are especially appealing this year as they not only encourage intra-regional travel but provide the opportunity to experience long-haul international locations.” he said. In addition, they are designed

to reward our loyal repeat guests and to attract the weekend-stay local market to come and experience our properties.” Travellers looking for leisure, shopping and world-class entertainment can select one of the four Movenpick Hotels & Resorts located in Dubai. For relaxation with a cultural twist, guests can select from five properties in Jordan, located in the key historical and leisure locations of Dead Sea, Aqaba, Tala Bay and Petra while those looking for a vibrant lifestyle getaway will find the Movenpick Hotel & Resort Beirut the place to be.

For a traditional M iddle Eastern experience, guests may opt to stay in any of the two Movenpick Hotels & Resor ts within Qatar and Kuwait respectively or at any of eight properties within the K ingdom of Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, the summer offer is valid in exciting international locations such as Zurich, Geneva, Prague, Amsterdam, Berlin, Istanbul, Phuket, Saigon and Tunis, among many more. For information or reservations contact your travel agent, visit

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 self-esteem. 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. (Right) Fahed Abushaar, Area Director/General Manager Sheraton Kuwait.

Happy anniversary Sheraton

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


ne more year has unfolded and the Sheraton Kuwait celebrates yet another year of success marking the hotel’s 45th anniversary. In 1966 Sheraton Kuwait was inaugurated to be the first managed Sheraton property to open outside North America and the first Starwood property worldwide to continue operating under the same management company for 45 years. Sheraton Kuwait has proven throughout the past 45

years to be the undisputed pioneer in the hospitality industry, locally as well as regionally. During this journey, Sheraton Kuwait has won tremendous admiration from global leaders and numerous awards from prestigious organizations. On this special occasion, Mr. Fahed Abushaar the Area Director/General Manager of Sheraton Kuwait, expressed his contentment and satisfaction in the past 45 years that have set a benchmark in the history of hos-

pitality in Kuwait where Sheraton Kuwait has become a landmark for excellence and refined luxury. Today the Sheraton Kuwait features 300 rooms immersing guests in an atmosphere of opulence ranging from luxurious guest rooms to breathtaking suites. The hotel also offers a broad range of dining choices at its world class restaurants and a comprehensive range of banqueting facilities to cater for any occasion, suitable for a wide variety of private and corporate functions.



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W H AT â&#x20AC;&#x2122; S O N

MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011

Alyan family celebrates wedding

On Saturday, Mr Adnan Ali Khaled Alyan hosted a wedding ceremony for his son Mohammad and the daughter of Marzouq Ahmad Al-Dousari. Many families and friends attended the ceremony at Ibrahim Al-Hajri Hall in Abdullah Al-Salem. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

The groom Mohammad Adnan Ali Khaled Alyan



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00:45 Dogs 101 01:40 Untamed And Uncut 02:35 Life Of Mammals 04:25 I Was Bitten 05:20 Animal Cops South Africa 06:10 My Cat From Hell 07:00 Meerkat Manor 07:25 The Really Wild Show 07:50 Farm Life 08:40 Breed All About It 09:10 Must Love Cats 10:05 Dogs 101 11:00 Animal Cops Miami 11:55 SSPCA: On The Wildside 12:20 Wildlife SOS 12:50 Animal Park: Wild On The West Coast 13:45 Animal Cops Phoenix 14:40 Rats With Nigel Marven 15:30 Echo And The Elephants Of Amboseli 16:00 The Really Wild Show 16:30 Jeff Corwin Unleashed 17:00 Natural Born Hunters 17:25 Dogs vs. Cats 18:20 Karina: Wild On Safari 19:15 Mouse: A Secret Life 20:10 Dogs 101 21:05 Into The Pride 22:00 Mutant Planet 22:55 I’m Alive

00:15 One Foot In The Grave 00:45 The Weakest Link 01:30 Ray Mears’ Northern Wilderness 02:20 The Weakest Link 03:10 New Tricks 04:00 Last Of The Summer Wine 04:35 Fimbles 04:55 Balamory 05:15 Teletubbies 05:40 Gigglebiz 05:55 Fimbles 06:15 Balamory 06:35 Teletubbies 07:00 Fimbles 07:20 Balamory 07:40 Teletubbies 08:05 Gigglebiz 08:20 Fimbles 08:40 Balamory 09:00 Teletubbies 09:25 Gigglebiz 09:40 Last Of The Summer Wine 10:40 The Weakest Link 11:25 Monarch Of The Glen 12:20 Doctors 12:50 One Foot In The Grave 13:20 Ray Mears’ Northern Wilderness 14:10 Last Of The Summer Wine 15:45 Monarch Of The Glen 16:35 The Weakest Link 17:20 Doctors 17:50 One Foot In The Grave 18:20 Ray Mears’ Northern Wilderness 19:10 Monarch Of The Glen 20:00 The Weakest Link 20:45 Doctors 21:15 Eastenders 21:45 Holby City 22:40 New Tricks 23:30 Live At The Apollo

00:10 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad 00:35 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad 01:00 The Naked Chef 01:55 Rhodes Across The Caribbean 02:40 Cash In The Attic USA 03:00 Come Dine With Me 04:40 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad 05:30 The Naked Chef 06:25 Rhodes Across The Caribbean 07:05 Daily Cooks Challenge 09:00 Antiques Roadshow 10:45 Masterchef: The Professionals 12:15 Antiques Roadshow

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

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

African Voices World Sport World Report World Report World Business Today CNN Marketplace Middle East Piers Morgan Tonight Talk Asia Ireport For CNN World Sport Revealed World Report The Best Of Backstory World Report World Report World Sport World View World Business Today World One World Sport African Voices Fareed Zakaria Gps News Stream World Business Today International Desk The Brief World Sport Prism International Desk African Voices Quest Means Business Piers Morgan Tonight Connect The World

MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011


00:00 Angry Planet 00:30 Glutton For Punishment 01:00 Essential Specials 02:00 Distant Shores 02:30 Glutton For Punishment 03:00 Planet Sports 04:00 Globe Trekker 05:00 Angry Planet 05:30 Glutton For Punishment 06:00 Globe Trekker 08:00 Megalopolis 09:00 Planet Food 10:00 Julian and Camilla’s World Odyssey 11:00 Croissants In The Jungle 11:30 First Class South Africa 12:00 Globe Trekker 13:00 Travel Today 13:30 Sophie Grigson In The Orient 14:00 Megalopolis 15:00 Cruise Today 15:30 Essential 16:00 Globe Trekker 17:00 Inside Luxury Travel-Varun Sharma 18:00 Planet Food

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 Codename: Kids Next Door 07:25 Cow And Chicken 07:50 Angelo Rules 08:05 Cartoon Network Dance Club 08:15 Adventure Time 08:40 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 09:05 The Secret Saturdays 09:30 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 09:55 The Powerpuff Girls 10:20 Robotboy 10:30 Hero 108 10:55 Ben 10 11:20 Chowder 11:45 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 12:10 Camp Lazlo 12:35 George Of The Jungle 13:00 Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends 13:25 Codename: Kids Next Door 13:50 Ben 10 14:15 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 14:40 Squirrel Boy 15:05 Eliot Kid 15:35 Ed, Edd N Eddy 16:00 Cow And Chicken 16:25 Chop Socky Chooks 16:50 Skunk Fu! 17:15 Chowder 17:40 Best Ed 18:05 Hero 108 18:30 Cartoon Network Dance Club 18:45 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 18:55 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 19:20 Ben 10: Alien Force 19:45 The Secret Saturdays 20:10 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 20:35 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes 21:00 The Powerpuff Girls 21:25 Ed, Edd N Eddy 21:50 Robotboy 22:00 Adventure Time 22:25 Hero 108 22:50 Ben 10 23:15 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 23:40 Chowder


00:40 Sons Of Guns 01:10 Sons Of Guns 01:35 Frontline Battle Machines... 02:30 American Chopper: Senior vs Junior 03:25 Ultimate Car Build-Off 04:20 Motor City Motors 05:15 Huge Moves 06:05 Mighty Ships 07:00 Ultimate Car Build-Off 07:50 American Chopper: Senior vs Junior 08:45 How It’s Made 09:10 Mythbusters 10:05 Cake Boss 10:30 Border Security 10:55 Time Warp 11:25 Huge Moves 12:20 Mighty Ships 13:15 Ultimate Survival 14:10 LA Ink 15:05 Dirty Jobs 16:00 Ultimate Car Build-Off 16:55 Mythbusters 17:50 Extreme Fishing 18:45 Cake Boss 19:10 Border Security 19:40 Time Warp 20:05 How It’s Made 20:35 How It’s Made 21:00 Flying Wild Alaska 21:55 Danger Coast 22:50 Swords: Life On The Line

00:30 Sci-Trek 01:20 The Gadget Show 02:10 What’s That About? 03:00 The Colony 04:45 Weird Or What? 05:40 Cool Stuff And How It Works 06:10 The Future Of... 07:00 Catch It Keep It 07:55 Head Rush 07:58 Sci-Fi Science 08:25 Weird Connections 08:55 Alien Storms 09:45 The Gadget Show 10:35 How Stuff Works 11:25 Mean Green Machines 11:50 Catch It Keep It 12:40 Patent Bending 13:05 Engineered 13:55 Nextworld 14:45 Mega World 15:35 The Gadget Show 16:00 Head Rush 16:03 Sci-Fi Science 16:30 Weird Connections 17:00 Brainiac 17:50 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 18:40 Mighty Ships 19:30 Ultimate Power Builders 20:20 Sci-Fi Science 20:45 How Does That Work?

00:05 Unwrapped 00:30 Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives 00:55 Unwrapped 01:45 30 Minute Meals Special 02:35 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 03:25 Guy’s Big Bite 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 18:15 Paula’s Party 19:05 Boy Meets Grill 19:30 Food Network Challenge 20:20 Paula’s Party 21:10 Good Eats - Special

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 09:10 09:20 09:30 09:55 10:05 10:15 10:25 10:50 11:15 11:35 12:00 12:10 12:35 13:00 13:25 13:40 14:05

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 Jungle Junction Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Timmy Time Handy Manny Jake & The Neverland Pirates The Hive Handy Manny Handy Manny Jake & The Neverland Pirates Handy Manny The Little Mermaid Handy Manny The Hive Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Handy Manny Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates Jungle Junction Timmy Time

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

The Hive Little Einsteins The Little Mermaid Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Handy Manny The Hive Jake & The Neverland Pirates Imagination Movers Handy Manny The Hive Handy Manny Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Handy Manny Jake & The Neverland Pirates Handy Manny The Little Mermaid Handy Manny Handy Manny Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates The Hive Handy Manny The Little Mermaid Little Einsteins

06:00 Kid vs Kat 06:20 Kick Buttowski 06:40 Pokemon Dp: Sinnoh League Victors 07:05 Phineas And Ferb 08:05 American Dragon 08:30 Kick Buttowski 08:50 Kid vs Kat 09:50 I’m In The Band 10:15 The Super Hero Squad Show 10:40 Suite Life On Deck 11:30 Pair Of Kings 11:55 Phineas And Ferb 12:45 Kid vs Kat 13:50 The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody 14:40 Zeke And Luther 15:05 Kick Buttowski 15:25 Kid vs Kat 15:35 Pokemon Dp: Sinnoh League Victors 16:00 I’m In The Band 16:25 Suite Life On Deck 16:50 Zeke And Luther 17:15 Zeke And Luther 17:40 Phineas And Ferb 18:05 Phineas And Ferb 18:30 Escape From Scorpion Island 18:55 Kick Buttowski 19:20 American Dragon 19:45 Aaron Stone 20:10 Phineas And Ferb 20:15 Kid vs Kat 20:40 Phineas And Ferb 21:05 I’m In The Band 21:30 Zeke And Luther 21:50 Phineas And Ferb 22:00 The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody 22:20 The Super Hero Squad Show 23:00 Programmes Start At 6:00am KSA

THE CORE ON OSN ACTION HD Revealed 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

00:30 01:30 02:30 03:30 04:00 04:30 05:30 06:30 07:30 00:25 Style Star 08:30 01:25 Cheating Death 09:30 03:15 E! Investigates 10:30 04:10 Sexiest 11:00 05:05 Reality Hell 11:30 05:30 Wildest TV Show Moments 12:30 06:00 THS 13:30 07:50 Behind The Scenes 14:30 08:20 E! News 15:30 09:15 Holly’s World 16:00 10:15 30 Most Outrageous Celebrity 16:30 Feuds 17:00 12:05 Extreme Close-Up 17:30 12:35 Fashion Police 18:30 13:05 Khloe And Lamar 14:05 Keeping Up With The 19:30 20:30 Kardashians 21:30 14:35 E!es 22:00 16:25 Behind The Scenes 16:55 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 17:55 Holly’s World 18:55 Kendra 19:55 THS 20:55 Chelsea Lately 21:25Kourtney And Kim Take New York 22:25 Style Star 22:55 Fashion Police 23:25 Keeping Up With The Kardashians

00:15 Aiya TV 01:05 Final Fu 01:30 Fantasy Factory 04:50 Lucas Oil Ama Motocross Championships... 06:30 FIA European Drag Racing 2008 08:00 Quattro Events 2009 08:25 Winter Dew Tour 09/10 10:05 FIM World Supermoto 2010 10:55 X-Traordinary 11:45 Fantasy Factory 12:35 Untracked 13:25 Mantracker 14:15 World Combat League 15:05 X-Traordinary 15:55 Fantasy Factory 16:45 Quattro Events 2009 17:10 Winter Dew Tour 09/10 18:50 FIM World Supermoto 2010 19:40 Mantracker 20:30 Untracked 21:20 Final Fu 22:10 World Combat League 23:00 Aiya TV 23:50 Untracked

00:30 The Will: Family Secrets Revealed 01:20 Nightmare Next Door 02:10 Deadly Women 03:00 Autopsy: Most Shocking Cases 03:50 The Will: Family Secrets Revealed 04:45 Crime Scene Psychics 05:15 On The Case With Paula Zahn 06:10 Mystery Diagnosis 07:00 Forensic Detectives 07:50 Murder Shift 08:40 Mystery Diagnosis 09:30 Real Emergency Calls 10:20 The Will: Family Secrets Revealed 11:10 FBI Files 12:00 On The Case With Paula Zahn 12:50 Disappeared 13:40 Mystery Diagnosis 14:30 Real Emergency Calls 14:55 Real Emergency Calls 15:20 The Will: Family Secrets

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

Don’t Tell My Mother The Frankincense Trail Banged Up Abroad Bondi Rescue Market Values Bondi Rescue Banged Up Abroad Don’t Tell My Mother The Frankincense Trail Banged Up Abroad Bondi Rescue David Rocco’s Dolce Vita Exploring The Vine Meet The Amish The Frankincense Trail Departures Banged Up Abroad The Best Job In The World Bondi Rescue David Rocco’s Dolce Vita Exploring The Vine Meet The Amish The Frankincense Trail Departures Banged Up Abroad The Best Job In The World Bondi Rescue

The Tripper-18 Deadly Impact-18 Sugarhouse-PG15 Hardwired-PG15 The Bodyguard 2-PG15 Virtuality-PG15 The Core-PG15 The Bodyguard 2-PG15 The Fan-PG15 The Core-PG15 Ballistica-PG15 8 Mile-18

00:00 Perfect Couples 00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 South Park 02:00 Neighbors From Hell 02:30 That Mitchell And Webb Look 03:00 Neighbors From Hell 03:00 Rita Rocks 03:30 That Mitchell And Webb Look 03:30 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 04:00 South Park 04:30 The 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 Seinfeld 08:30 The New Adventures Of Old Christine 09:00 Rita Rocks 09:30 Will And Grace 10:00 According To Jim 10:30 Seinfeld 11:00 Family Biz 11:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:30 The New Adventures Of Old Christine 13:00 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 13:30 Will And Grace 14:00 According To Jim 14:30 Perfect Couples 15:00 Two And A Half Men 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 Rita Rocks 18:30 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 19:00 Seinfeld 19:30 Sons Of Tucson 20:00 The League 20:30 It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia 21:00 The Daily Show Global Edition 21:30 The Colbert Report Global Edition

01:00 The Gene Generation-18 03:00 Sugarhouse-PG15 05:00 Children Of The Corn-18 07:00 Beyond A Reasonable Doubt 09:00 The Marine 2-PG15 11:00 Mortal Kombat-PG 13:00 Surrogates-PG15 15:00 The Marine 2-PG15 17:00 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon-PG15 19:00 Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels-18 21:00 Julia’s Eyes-18

00:00 Love Happens-PG15 02:00 Down And Out In Beverly HillsPG15 03:45 As Good As It Gets-PG15 06:00 One Fine Day-PG15 08:00 Flirting Wth Flamenco-PG15 10:00 Leaving Normal-PG15 12:00 Did You Hear About The Morgans?-PG15 14:00 The Lizzie McGuire Movie-PG 16:00 Love Happens-PG15 18:00 Say It Isn’t So-18 20:00 The Slammin’ Salmon-18 22:00 Mallrats-PG15

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

Quills-18 Hope Springs-PG15 Flicka 2-PG15 500 Days Of Summer-PG15 Stone Of Destiny-PG15 Coraline-PG One Hot Summer-PG15 Paper Man-PG15 Stone Of Destiny-PG15 An Education-PG15 The Girl In The Park-PG15 Piranha-18

02:00 Groove Squad-FAM 04:00 Catch That Kid-PG15 06:00 Babe: Pig In The City-FAM 08:00 Dark Crystal-PG 10:00 Homeward Bound II: Lost In San Francisco-FAM 12:15 Babe-FAM 14:00 Babe: Pig In The City-FAM 16:00 Monsters Inc-FAM 18:00 Shorts-PG 20:00 Gold Diggers: The Secret Of Bear Mountain-PG 22:00 Homeward Bound II: Lost In San Francisco-FAM

00:00 The Dry Land-18 02:00 Toy Story 3-FAM 04:00 End Of The Spear-PG15 06:00 Hey Hey Its Esther Blueburger-PG15 08:00 Maneater: Part I-PG15 10:00 Not The Messiah: He’s A Very Naughty Boy-PG15 12:00 Toy Story 3-FAM 14:00 Freestyle-PG15 16:00 Maneater: Part I-PG15 18:00 Percy Jackson And The Lightning Thief-PG15 20:00 The Bounty Hunter-PG15 22:00 The Girl In The Park-PG15

00:30 01:00 01:30 03:30 05:30 06:30 07:00 09:00 12:00 13:00 20:00 20:30 21:00 23:00

FEI Equestrian World World Hockey Rugby Union Rugby Union Trans World Sport Total Rugby Rugby Union Masters Football Golfing World Live Test Cricket ICC Cricket World Futbol Mundial NRL Premiership AFL Highlights

00:00 Trans World Sport 01:00 Masters Football 04:00 Weber Cup Bowling

05:00 05:30 06:00 06:30 07:00 08:00 09:00 11:00 11:30 12:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00

ICC Cricket World Mobil 1 The Grid Futbol Mundial FEI Equestrain World Golfing World Trans World Sport NRL Premiership ICC Cricket World NRL Full Time Live NRL Premiership Weber Cup Bowling IronMan China NRL Premiership Golfing World AFL Highlights Super Rugby Highlights Masters Football

03:00 06:00 07:00 08:00 10:00 11:00 11:30 12:00 13:00 15:00 15:30 16:00 16:30 17:00 18:00 21:00 23:00

UFC 131 UFC Unleashed WWE Bottom Line V8 Supercars Championship UAE National Race Day Series City Centre Races City Centre Races WWE Vintage Collection V8 Supercars Championship Aquabike World City Centre Races City Centre Races Le Mans Series UFC 131 Prelims UFC 131 V8 Supercars Championship UFC Unleashed

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

Top 10 Fashion Avenue Big Boutique How Do I Look? Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? Homes With Style Area Clean House Big Boutique Homes With Style Fashion Avenue How Do I Look? Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? Clean House Top 10 Mel B: It’s A Scary World Jerseylicious Ruby Giuliana & Bill Ruby Big Boutique Fashion Avenue Clean House Top 10 Clean House Comes Clean Bridalplasty

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Mummy Forensics Dead Men’s Secrets IRT: Deadliest Roads UFO Hunters Apocalypse Island Mummy Forensics Dead Men’s Secrets IRT: Deadliest Roads UFO Hunters Apocalypse Island Mummy Forensics Dead Men’s Secrets IRT: Deadliest Roads UFO Hunters Apocalypse Island Mummy Forensics Dead Men’s Secrets IRT: Deadliest Roads Warriors Beyond The Moon: Failure Is...

01:00 The Big Sleep 02:50 2001: A Space Odyssey 05:05 The Charge Of The Light Brigade 07:00 The Hucksters 08:55 Forbidden Planet 10:30 Northwest Passage 12:40 Cimarron 15:05 Gun Glory 16:35 The Happy Years 18:25 Les Girls

Classifieds MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011

ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available for decent Christian couple / executive bachelor or working lady, separate room and toilet in Mahboula. Contact: 66216713. (C 3457) One big independent master bedroom with attached bathroom available for 2 or 3 decent bachelors in 2 BR flat C-A/C, kitchen and SAT facility W&E free, near Shaara Amman Salmiya, opp. Appolo Hospital, Naser Al-Badher Street, new building. Contact: 99761807. (C 3458) Sharing available for family (bath attached) in a double bed room + hall fat Abbasiya near Asianet building opp. Garden and Variety Store. Contact: 97213877/ 50202206. (C 3459) Decent Muslim couples/ small family to share in two BRH flat in Abbasiya with family of 3 from July 1. Rent KD 70 including water/electricity. Contact: 66895049. (C 3460) Sharing accommodation available in Shaara Amman,

Salmiya, opposite Al-Rashid Hospital, for bachelor. Contact: 65515717. (C 3462) 20-6-2011 Spacious bedroom with separate bathroom (two bedroom two bathroom flat) available for only Keralite couples in Abbassiya near United Indian School from 18th June onwards. Contact: 66846299. (C 3455) 19-6-2011 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) 19-6-2011 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

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

Required live-in Filipina maid. Call: 99601906. (C 3443) Required live-in maid, any nationalit y. Call: 99601906. (C 3444) 15-6-2011



Required English speaking maid/nanny. Contact: 99824597. (C 3461) 20-6-2011

Expat family selling household items + electronics (washing machine, dishwasher, microwave oven, deep freezer, projection TV). Contact: 66042205 also check (C 3456)

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

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

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

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

Flt 642 205 772 620 853 370 305 614 67 211 138 544 503 201 555 412 531 157 1541 206 302 53 352 284 39 344 362 855 132 125 301 213 404 165 121 6521 623 3557 618 672 610 341 982 640 57


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


645 500 745 788 257 134 546 550 535 118 403 303 857 154 215 510 777 239 127 213 227 104 542 786 744 774 674 575 572 61 647 179 81 402 372 445 859 217 136 981 135 327 185 612 636 539 239


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

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (


3558 611 342 641 58 982 646 673 746 501 178 773 135 743 538 82 304 404 858 216 128 184 266 511 228 134 283 571 62 528 331 351 648 403 543 373 445 860 218 102 137 301 205 327 554 504 411 981 613


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


MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011

s ta rs CROSSWORD 354



Aries (March 21-April 19) A color change and a few shelves for your fine possessions and you are a happy camper. This is a good day to begin a new rule and create a fun little imitation clock that can be hung like a wreath on the outside of your little office or time-out room. Yes, you read this correctly. A timeout room is a room where you can relax or work in private, perhaps hum a song or two or talk on the phone for a while. This is only for you and should only have your things. When you are in this room, find a reasonable time period and set the imagination clock to show when you will accept interruptions or when you will be leaving the room. This is just a time for you and a reasonable period of transition or rest from your busy days.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) It is important that you follow your dreams. By following your dreams, there is a real sense of accomplishment and pride in your achievements. If you have no idea what your dreams might be, consider the last time you laughed or felt yourself wanting to cheer. Picture that feeling and what you were doing at the time. There is some hobby, business, volunteer group or club that you can become involved with now that will create those opportunities to be expressive. There is contentment in doing what you love to do. Consider a volunteer group within the realm of young people, for it is the young people that you can help to calm, guide, listen or teach. There will soon be a feeling of making a positive difference in another person’s life.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. (usually followed by `of') Released from something onerous (especially an obligation or duty). 4. Type and sole genus of the family Albulidae. 10. Not reflecting light. 13. Goddess of criminal rashness and its punishment. 14. (anatomy) Opposite to or away from the mouth. 15. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 16. An imaginary elephant that appears in a series of French books for children. 18. A French abbot. 19. The federal agency that insures residential mortgages. 20. Having winglike extensions. 21. A silvery ductile metallic element found primarily in bauxite. 23. Someone new to a field or activity. 26. Informal terms for a mother. 28. A light strong brittle gray toxic bivalent metallic element. 32. A federation of North American labor unions that merged with the Congress of Industrial Organizations in 1955. 35. A substance produced by the hypothalamus that is capable of accelerating the secretion of a given hormone by the anterior pituitary gland. 37. 100 ngwee equal 1 kwacha. 38. (Babylonian) A demigod or first man. 42. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 43. Avatar of Vishnu. 44. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 45. Noisy talk. 46. A soft cotton or worsted fabric with an open mesh. 48. A pale rose-colored variety of the ruby spinel. 52. of or relating to poetry. 56. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 57. A list of dishes available at a restaurant. 60. A small cake leavened with yeast. 61. Being one hundred more than two hundred. 62. On a ship, train, plane or other vehicle. 64. According to need (physicians use PRN in writing prescriptions). 65. Grass mowed and cured for use as fodder. 66. African tree having an exceedingly thick trunk and fruit that resembles a gourd and has an edible pulp called monkey bread. 67. A sweetened beverage of diluted fruit juice.

DOWN 1. The capital of Morocco. 2. A republic in southern Europe on the Italian Peninsula. 3. Bar temporarily. 4. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 5. 16 ounces. 6. A long thin fluffy scarf of feathers or fur. 7. Relating to or concerned with a city or densely populated area. 8. 1 species. 9. Fermented alcoholic beverage similar to but heavier than beer. 10. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 11. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 12. An official language of the Republic of South Africa. 17. (physics and chemistry) The smallest component of an element having the chemical properties of the element. 22. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 24. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 25. Enormous and diverse cosmopolitan genus of trees and shrubs and vines and herbs including many weeds. 27. A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Norma. 29. Distant in either space or time. 30. A Russian river. 31. Of a period of maximal use or demand or activity. 33. A federal agency established to regulate the release of new foods and health-related products. 34. A rapid escape (as by criminals). 36. Plant with an elongated head of broad stalked leaves resembling celery. 39. Large burrowing rodent of South and Central America. 40. Australian rat kangaroos. 41. Pigment mixed with water-soluble glutinous materials such as size and egg yolk. 42. Fermented alcoholic beverage similar to but heavier than beer. 47. A long projecting or anterior elongation of an animal's head. 49. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. 50. Made of or resembling lace. 51. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 53. Thin fibrous bark of the paper mulberry and Pipturus albidus. 54. A United Nations agency created to assist developing nations by loans guaranteed by member governments. 55. A stick that people can lean on to help them walk. 58. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 59. The bill in a restaurant. 60. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 63. A logarithmic unit of sound intensity.

Yesterday’s Solution

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You don’t want to be alone for a lifetime so you may decide that now is a good time to plan a future that can be shared with a beloved. Fine-tuning your thoughts on the type of person you would like having in your life may help you make some choices. Savings and investments are fun to experiment with but you know eventually, a family is where you will be placing the bulk of your earnings. Now is the time to get some good advice on your investments. Gather your information together so you can get on that project next week with an investment counselor from your bank. The powers that be are indicating a romantic time is in the works; however, only the powers that be know who, where and when that might become a reality; relax.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)


When it rains, it pours. Many opportunities come to you in the next few days and they are all positive and will be beneficial. Pick one quickly and keep moving forward because if you hesitate for too long, the opportunities will move on to someone else. Look around and you will find many people that present you with a lot of job ideas, choice in living accommodations, choice of travel, etc. There are distractions that seem to keep you separated from your own focus. Letter writing this afternoon is a must as someone is waiting to hear some special words from you. Perhaps someone you know has a birthday coming up soon. Whatever the case, if you think about this person’s needs and his or her personality, you will come up with just the right words.

Leo (July 23-August 22) Many people want to be something or somewhere they are not and you are no exception. You may be searching for that special place or that special feeling. Perhaps just living each day to the fullest is the step in the right direction. You may find that opportunities come to you and a little meditation will help you find the right direction. When you were a kid, you might remember the fun of just being in a quiet place, perhaps with a pet, a kite, a pair of binoculars or maybe a good book. Allow yourself to learn from someone younger than you. Enjoy this day and promise yourself more days like this; include the opportunity to visit a few tourist places you may have never seen that are right in your own city. Options begin to open up for you now.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) Parental relationships could have been better when you were growing up but now, somehow, these same people that were telling you what to do are listening to you tell them what to do. The difference is, you are very patient. The times and the money are different from the past; stress may have been to an extreme that you knew nothing about. At this time, you can afford to teach through patience and tough love. Honest interactions with others will eventually pay off through your own relationship with your own children. Any blocked emotions or actions will stop you or others from moving forward. This can be anything from clutter or cleaning habits to not being able to communicate and find the truth in any particular matter. Free yourself and clean house.

Libra (September 23-October 22)


This is one of the best times for romance. You and another could make beautiful music together. Really, this relationship may have had its beginning because you had a musical duet together or you enjoy the same music and continue to meet in a music store. This is the time to get to know each other better. A fun visit with friends will tell you an awful lot about the other person. This should be a place where both of you agree would be fun and relaxing—perhaps a new art exhibit. With other people present, there will be a comfort zone; try to remain patient. Just being together for a determined length of time will give you hints of temperament and personality. Future weekends will be cozier and cozier. There are promising energies.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) You are adamant about some government issue and may find that you will want to enter politics so that you can change policies. Health issues and treatment techniques are due for a change; at least within your scope of awareness, there are issues of which you feel the need to make others aware. Politics can be powerful as well as dangerous and you seem to realize that if you are in the fighting ring of politics for one subject matter, you will represent other important issues and policies as well. Romance can flourish this afternoon and you may be the first to speak. At one time people asked about birth signs and names but now it is hard to know how to take that first step. A good friend to introduce you is still a pretty good way to go about that first meeting.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) If you are in the middle of moving or performing some alteration to your home environment, you may find that there are no real complaints and progress is recognized. There will be an opportunity later to touch up a few places and laugh over some bizarre findings, but on the whole, work stays on schedule. The best part about this time is in being able to share stories with family or friends or listen to music together while you work. It always seems to make the work go faster with the addition of others. In some cases you may have to have strangers help you but this weekend, there have been several opportunities to communicate in new ways with people you care about. Stop early this evening for rest; perhaps dinner away from the area would be good.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Glancing through the paper this morning, you might have noticed a few garage sales in your living area. This may be a good time to enjoy a garage sale day. As a suggestion, if you have the wherewithal, consider shopping at one garage sale outside your area. There may be some surprises out there just for you and a great investment for a future collection. You could make a fun day of it and have a picnic and maybe a swim after the day is over. A few snacks on the way home and you have had a big day. Of course, all of this just wouldn’t be as much fun without a friend or family member or two. Much laughter and chatting over a fun garage sales or a flea market makes for fun memories. Tonight is good for counting blessings. To

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) A day at home is not the usual day at home today. Someone will be teaching you how to fix canned pickles or fruit for jam; in turn, you could be teaching someone else about a garden project or how to set up a water garden in their backyard. This is a busy but accomplished day that you will refer back to for many years in a sort of I-remember-when-scenario. A performance early or later this evening by a family member or friend may find you hustling quickly to be ready for giving your support. New clothes or new shoes put you in the mood for a fun evening. This time is the beginning of a romantic time, so if you are single, don’t close off your attention from recognizing those special signals from a potential mate or loved one.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

You may have been considering your own business. You are scrappy and inventive and can come up with a multitude of ideas. For now, put your ideas on paper. Look at all sorts of possibilities. Once you settle on something that you have and others want, you have a good business start. Now, the point of today is to think through to the long-term. You have a tendency to think short-term. This long-term thinking includes insurance, taxes, hiring people and having the ability to conduct an orchestra, so to speak. All kidding aside, when you take on a group of people, you must be able to conduct and command a great performance out of each one without having to carry the load all by yourself. Trust is a big issue. Now, you have a real beginning.



e niv rsar n


MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011

i n f o r m at i o n




Tel.: T el.: e 161



19/06/2011 19/06/201 1

Ministry of Interior

Ext.: 2627 262 27 - 2630

Fax: 24348714


Issue T ime Time

Expected Weather Weather for the Next 24 4 Hours Dusty with moderate to fresh north h westerly wind, with speed of 25 - 50 km/h


website: Dusty with moderate to fresh north h westerly wind, with speed of 25 - 45 km/h


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

Dust and fresh win wind nd





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46 °C C

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Maternity Hospital



46 °C

33 °C

Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital



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Chest Hospital



46 °C

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Farwaniya Hospital



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Adan Hospital



44 °C

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Ibn Sina Hospital



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Al-Razi Hospital



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Physiotherapy Hospital



45 °C

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Hospitals Sabah Hospital

Clinics Rabiya










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T emperratures Temperatures DATE DA AT TE



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Abdullah Salim






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30 - 60 km/h


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20 - 45 km/h


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MAX. MA AX. Temp. Temp.

45 °C


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MIN. Temp. MI IN T IN. emp.

33 °C

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11:49 11:49


13 %





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THE PUBLIC AUTHORITY FOR CIVIL INFORMATION Automated enquiry about the Civil ID card is 1889988




02 %



MAX. Wind MA AX. W ind

N 60 km/h




un nless otherwise stated. All times are local time unless

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

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e niv rsar n


MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011

LIFESTYLE G o s s i p

Chipmunk loyal to Brown hipmunk will stand by Chris Brown until the “day he dies”. The 20-year-old rapper - who collaborated with the US star on single ‘Champion’ and his second studio album ‘Transition explained working with the ‘Yeah’ hitmaker was the “biggest learning experience” he’s ever gone through. He told BANG Showbiz: “Working with Chris Brown was definitely the biggest learning experience I’ve had in my musical career so far and I would stand behind Chris as a talented artist until the day I die. “Personally, too. Yeah, he’s my friend and I will always support him.” Chipmunk recently praised Chris - who was convicted of assaulting his thengirlfriend Rihanna in 2009 - saying he is the only artist who could do ‘Champion’ justice. He said: “It’s from the heart, it’s a true story. I felt every single word and Chris meant every single word. I didn’t want it to feel like I was just moaning about life. I wanted to uplift the people so I knew it needed something. It needed belting out. “That’s when I thought of Chris Brown. Nobody else is going to sing this better than him.”



nn a i n e m Ar

so you’ll rmenian, own to A o to le d litt it looks a face tilted tographs I always keep my rgeon may have t t su a a t se th notice th adows.” While the found it odd tha cted a po e sh , she ey has perfe o Armenian”. The n th se n rt o p u n ia o o ’s st K sh a r, im ent alter K ing “to im Kard : her siste nose look enian desc refused to ave operated on edure. She added c stops her ar - who is of Arm n for cosmeth ro d ld p u ’d e id he o w st he wo ant th reality T V e - was turned do rned to alter ’t even w plastic surgeon sa she was n id d o h d ugh has lea he w nily enough, the ther’s si even tho on her fa n her hooter, but e facial feature. S “Fun y’s nose, It was very funny!” e n o rt th u ry e ld o e iz u K rg o ic su minim e if I c my sister to hold my hand. ssions to eon to se e said he there her expre t to a plastic surg h d n a d n o- only cte said: “I we enian nose corre it. “But in some ph rm d get my A o it as I didn’t nee d ’t n ld wou



hates h

Reynolds recalls parachute terror yan Reynolds felt he was “already dead” when his parachute failed during a sky dive. The ‘Green Lantern’ actor was horrified by the experience, which happened when he was just 17 years old, and despite the terror he felt after realizing the equipment was malfunctioning, he couldn’t bring himself to pull the reserve cord. He said: “I’m falling to the ground thinking that it was great and then I pulled my cord and... nothing. £But I’m still calm. I wait a few seconds, still falling and my head just kind of goes off on all these thoughts of what to do. Then I remember that I have to try to release the reserve shoot, and this may sound odd, but when you’re falling like that you just can’t bring yourself to do it. “I’m up there thinking, ‘When I pull this reserve and nothing happens, that’s it - I’m still alive but I’m already dead.’ Physically, I cannot release that reserve because I don’t want to find out if it’s going to work or not.“ Despite the disaster, Ryan went on to land safely - and admits he only began to panic when he hit the ground. He said: “The most alarming bit was actually when I hit the ground and realized I was still alive. That was the point where my whole world collapsed, and the panic attack kicked in. I turned my entire jump suit into a toilet.” The 34-year-old star was encouraged to take to the skies again to prevent developing a phobia - but refused when his instructor died soon afterwards. He said: “My instructor said I had to go back up as soon as possible to get over what happened and I would have gone the following week if he hadn’t then died jumping out of a helicopter.”



Ne-Yo gives time to loved ones e-Yo shows a woman he loves her by giving her his “time”. The 31-yearold singer - who has seven-month-old daughter Madilyn with on/off girlfriend Monyetta Shaw - does not think it takes a lot to impress him, but in return thinks the ladies in his life should not expect too much of him because his career is so schedule-consuming. He told BANG Showbiz: “You know what, you make the time for things that are important to you. How do I make a girl feel special? By giving her my time because I don’t have a lot of it. “I’m not very difficult to impress. Just be natural, not too much make-up, you know. Take care of yourself, make sure that you look presentable and I’ll notice you.” When Ne-Yo does have time off, he spends a lot of hours in the gym, and rarely gets to relax in front of the television. He said: “I go to the gym almost every day, like an hour and a half a day. “I don’t get to watch a lot of TV, but I might catch a show or two of ‘X Factor’. I didn’t know Nicole Scherzinger was replacing Cheryl Cole. I’m so out of the loop, I’m in a cave.”


Rascal wants big family

Watson overwhelmed mma Watson found it “overwhelming” being shown around Coco Chanel’s apartment. The ‘Harry Potter’ actress was flown out to Paris by the French fashion label ahead of a film premiere and was given the VIP treatment, which included seeing where label’s founder and fashion icon lived her glamorous life. She said: “My most glamorous moment was probably when Chanel flew me to Paris to try on premiere outfits. It was ridiculous - I went around Coco Chanel’s apartment! I found that really overwhelming.” Despite going to many premieres over the years, Emma hasn’t got bored of choosing outfits and knows when she’s found the right one. She said: “It’s really weird, you just know when you’ve got the dress on. I’m like, right that’s it, no need to look any more, this is the one.” Last year, the 21-year-old beauty cut her long hair into a pixie crop but admits her father wasn’t initially impressed. She said: “My dad was like, ‘Don’t get carried away, you’re not Audrey Hepburn yet.’ But he loves it now, so he’s eating his words.”


by Chanel tour

izzee Rascal wants to have “loads” of children. The 25-year-old rapper - whose real name is Dylan Mills - is currently single but would love to settle down and have a large family in the future. He said: “I’d love to settle down and have loads of kids. “I’d raise them properly and pass on all my knowledge. I would show them how to value life, as a lot of people don’t. “If you don’t value your own life, you’re never going to value anyone else’s.” The ‘Bonkers’ hitmaker grew up in a poor area of East London and, despite his vast wealth and success, he is still proud of his roots and returns to his old haunts whenever he can. He added to Reveal magazine: “People always ask me if I’ve ever returned to my old stomping ground but I’m always there. I still have loads of friends who live on the estate. “There was a lot that I loved about growing up. Now I look back and am glad I had those experiences. I learned the value of money and about community spirit. “I felt more of a sense of community on a council estate than anywhere I’ve lived since.”



gets e l o C stals

down-to-earth attitude mily Eavis says Jay-Z was one of the most down-to-earth acts to have performed at Glastonbury. The hip-hop superstar headlined the world-famous festival in 2008 and while the decision caused outrage is some parts, the organizer - daughter of Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis - insists the rapper and wife Beyonce Knowles behaved impeccably, despite their A-list status. She said: “Often bands come n with ridiculous requests for passes for their entourage, but Jay-Z only asked for 18. Sometimes you get artists asking for Fiji water or special champagne - but no, none of that. They got totally stuck in. He came with the right attitude. That weekend, Jay-Z and Beyonce needed nothing extra.” When she booked Jay-Z, Emily was widely criticized but luckily her decision paid off because his performance was deemed as a huge success. She said: “I took a massive risk and broke from the mould by booking Jay-Z in 2008. I’d been involved with helping to book bands for years but that year everyone said, ‘What the hell is she doing bringing hip-hop to this lovely guitar-based festival? Damn this young upstart woman.’ As soon as you do something a bit different like Jay-Z, that becomes your trademark all the criticism on me.” Jay-Z’s wife Beyonce is set to headline this year’s festival, along with U2 and Coldplay. Glastonbury 2011 takes place from June 24-26 at Worthy Farm in Somerset, South East England.


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Facto has b heryl Cole er her American ‘X Love’ singer was v o is t h e T g r ht fo help ow earlit. The ‘Fig of the sh pointmen m the US version confirmed as er being axed fro officially th, just weeks aft nds are now conn ie o fr m r e er this and h ontacted e judges, -being. So they c self as a th f o e n o im ell ls ho bills h ver her w cerned o Russell Grant ¨- w d her some crysta the t n d is e se g d lo n to e ro ” m st rt a m e er on ower exp l had reco “crystal p eard Paula Abdu brief time togeth h a ir y e after the Cheryl during th ld The Sun newsp . to d to e e y rn rc p e u so thera conc g panel. A en really ght the judgin l’s friends have be hatever he thou is at ry rw per: “Che ussell to send he d: “Cheryl needs th en R e e b d ld s ssell ad she ha They to need.” Ru er. I think auty she would nt. I feel sorry for h e 27-year-old be th e t m st n ethy , ell se the mo wn.” Russ urse, which are am r’s Eye, o d t le y ll ige rea lk p attack”; T nes in a si three sto tects from psychic y”; and fluorite, to en se rg which “pro gs “protective ene eryl has not been h n which bri ervous energy”. C d she had been n by e “dissipate nce it was confirm -up and replaced e si n , li c le li g d Nico in pub judgin e s Paula an from the drooped erzinger. As well a also judges on th h re iz c a b S w id Nicole g Sho LA Re w. —Ban well and Simon Co cipated talent sho ti highly-an


MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011

lifestyle Music & Movies

Springsteen saxophonist Clarence Clemons dies


larence Clemons, the burly saxophone player who played a crucial role in shaping Bruce Springsteen’s early sound, died Saturday, six days after suffering a stroke at his Florida home. He was 69. “It is with overwhelming sadness that we inform our friends and fans that at 7:00 tonight, Saturday, June 18, our beloved friend and bandmate, Clarence Clemons passed away,” Springsteen said on his website, adding the cause was complications from Clemons’ stroke last Sunday. “His loss is immeasurable and we are honored and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly forty years,” Springsteen added. Clemons, dubbed the “Big Man,” started working with Springsteen in 1971 and was a charter member of the backing group that came to be known as the E Street Band. His gritty, evocative saxophone solos powered such notable Springsteen songs as “Born to Run,” “Jungleland,” “Prove It All Night,” “Tenth Avenue File: Bruce Springsteen and the saxophonist Clarence Clemons, left, per- Freeze Out,” and “Badlands.” On stage, Clemons proved a worthy form during his first Germany concert at his “working on a dream” foil for Springsteen and his bandmates. European tour. In a 1975 concert review, Rolling Stone said Clemons betrayed an “ominous cool” in contrast to guitarist Steven Van Zandt’s “strange hipster frenzy.”

“Clarence was the big black saxophone player who completely represented the tradition of rock ‘n’ roll and R&B,” Van Zandt told Britain’s Mojo magazine in 2006. Alongside Van Zandt, Clemons personified the E Street Band, and he took it hard when Springsteen broke up the group for a decade in 1989. But by then, Clemons was being used less in the studio. On stage, he was often reduced to playing tambourine or engaging in crowd-pleasing theatrics, like kissing Springsteen during the live staple “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight).” He also dabbled in acting, enjoyed a solo hit single with Jackson Browne, 1985’s “”You’re a Friend of Mine,” toured with Ringo Starr and even played on two tracks on pop singer Lady Gaga’s new album. ‘Pure hell’ Clemons’ death came three years after organist Danny Federici, Springsteen’s longest-serving musical partner, lost a three-year battle with cancer. Clemons had been in ill health in recent years, suffering back and hip problems. He had double kneereplacement surgery in 2008, and walked for the first time in three months when Springsteen and the E Street Band played the Super Bowl early in 2009. The band’s eight-month

world tour that year was “pure hell,” he told Rolling Stone earlier this year. Clemons was born Jan. 11, 1942 in Norfolk, Virginia, and played saxophone in high school where he was also a promising football player. A car crash ended his professional sporting dreams, and he went on to become a social worker, family man and barroom rocker. His first meeting with Springsteen was auspicious. Clemons had heard about a hot young rocker on the Asbury Park, New Jersey, scene, and walked into one of his club shows on a bitterly windy night. A gust of wind ripped the door from his hand, and it flew down the street. All eyes turned to Clemons, and Springsteen readily agreed when he asked to sit in with him. “When I first walked on that stage and hit the first note, I saw things that are happening today, then,” he told Reuters in 2009. “I knew that he (Springsteen) was what I was looking for and I was what he was looking for to take that next step to the big time. It was just love, man, at first sight.” During sessions for Springsteen’s 1975 breakthrough “Born to Run,” Clemons spent 16 hours recording his solo on “Jungleland,” the nine-minute track that closes the album. “Creating is like religion,” Clemons said later of the marathon session. “I was willing to

File: Clarence Clemons plays the national anthem before a basketball game between the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers in Miami. —AP photos relinquish myself to him (Springsteen). I’ve had people say to me, ‘That sax solo saved my life.’ So I did my job.” Clemons was used more sparingly in later years as Springsteen opted to emphasize the guitars (1978’s “Darkness on the Edge of Town”) or recorded largely solo (1982’s “Nebraska” and 1987’s “Tunnel of Love”). In 2009, he published his memoir, “Big Man: Real Life and Tall Tales,” co-written with his friend Don Reo.

Costly Afghan weddings under government scrutiny S

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie meets a young Syrian refugee girl at the Altinozu camp in the Hatay province of Turkey, 20km from the Syria border, accompanied by UNHCR staff and Turkish government officials, on June 17, 2011.—AFP

Jolie, UNHCR head visit island swamped by migrants T

he tiny Italian island of Lampedusa, which has been overwhelmed in recent months by refugees fleeing Tunisia and Libya, is getting some VIP visitors: UN envoy Angelina Jolie and the UN refugee chief. Refugee chief Antonio Guterres arrived in Lampedusa yesterday a few

hours ahead of Jolie, who last week traveled to Turkey’s border with Syria to meet some of the thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing the conflict there. Guterres has thanked Lampedusa residents for welcoming the migrants and urged Europe to continue keep-

ing its doors open. He says the debate raging in Europe about immigration “doesn’t correspond to the reality” given that the number of migrants who have actually arrived is tiny compared to numbers who have gone elsewhere.—AP

Winehouse booed at start of tour


my Winehouse was booed and jeered during a concert in Serbia’s capital as she stumbled onto the stage, mumbled through her songs and wandered off. Serbian media described the concert late Saturday kicking off her European tour before some 20,000 fans as a “scandal” and a “disaster.” The Blic daily said the concert was “the worst in the history of Belgrade.” Winehouse, who has publicly struggled with drugs and alcohol, was almost an hour late, before stumbling to the stage and appeared unable to remember the lyrics to her songs. She dropped the microphone and occasionally disappeared, her band playing instead. The crowd at Belgrade’s fortress could hardly tell which song Winehouse was singing and responded angrily. Many walked out in disappointment. “It was horrible,” said Ivana Bilic, a fan. “She should have canceled the whole thing, rather than appear at all like this.” The Daily Blic posted a clip from the concert on its website, commenting, “Listen if you dare.” Tickets cost about €40 ($57) — very expensive in the country where average salaries are about €300 ($428) a month. Winehouse recently spent a week at a rehab program in London. Her 2006’s “Back to Black,” won her five Grammy Awards, but her music has been overshadowed by drug use and run-ins with the law.—AP

Amy Winehouse performs during the Rock in Rio music festival in Arganda del Rey, on the outskirts of Madrid.—AP

On wedding day, Hefner embraces single life


n the day he was supposed to get married for the third time, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner said Saturday he was probably better off staying single. Hefner, 85, was dumped by 25-year-old fiancee Crystal Harris last weekend after she got jitters about living a tightly regimented life among dozens of attractive young women at the Playboy mansion in Los Angeles. They were due to tie the knot on the grounds of the Gothic Tudorstyle residence Saturday afternoon, and to spend their honeymoon there. “This was going to be my wedding day, but life is full of surprises. After all is

said & done, staying single is probably for the best,” Hefner said on Twitter. Instead he will spend Saturday night watching “Runaway Bride,” the 1999 romantic comedy that starred another real-life runaway bride, Julia Roberts. For her part, Harris said she was leaving Los Angeles for a relaxing day trip with a Playboy public relations woman. After Harris left Hefner, taking his beloved cocker spaniel Charlie with her, old friends and lovers descended upon the mansion to offer condolences. They included his second wife, Kimberley Conrad, and her mother; and former girlfriends Holly Madison

and Bridget Marquardt. A heartbroken Hefner immersed himself in romantic comedies, hosting screenings of films such as “Sleepless in Seattle” and “50 First Dates” for his coterie of Playmates. He also rushed out “Runaway Bride” stickers to be affixed to the new issue of Playboy, which features Harris-a.k.a. “Mrs Crystal Hefner”-on the cover. Hefner said he was blind-sided by the split, and denied a tabloid report that there has been a nasty argument. Harris told “Entertainment Tonight” that Hefner’s mandatory agenda of activities, strict 9 p.m. —Reuters

ome brides in Afghanistan change their outfits up to 10 times. Throw in the sixhour trips to the beauty parlors and the meals for 1,000 guestsand one wedding alone could bankrupt many Afghans. Now the Justice Ministry is proposing limits on the lavish events to cut down on the pressure poor Afghans face to match the elite’s elaborate weddings. The government is specifically targeting party halls-and threatening to fine owners who flout the austerity rules. “It is breaking the back of the groom and of the family,” Justice Minister Habibullah Ghaleb said of the lavish nuptials. “It creedding m during his w ates an immoral corruption.” ound the groo ar e nc da es os tiv d rela Under the proposed wedding istan.—AP phot File: Friends an in Kabul, Afghan law, which still needs to be passed party in a wedding hall by parliament, locations would be barred from allowing more than 300 attendees for an engagement party and more than 500 people at a wedding, Ghaleb said. Those halls caught breaking the law would be subject to serious fines or other possible penalties. However, it remains unclear what enforcement powers authorities would have to go after the wedding halls, especially in a country where bribery remains common. Other rules are aimed at protecting grooms’ families from spending too much money on gifts for brides and their relatives. a wedding. Brides would get only two dressesception hall for re a e ar ep pr ll wedding ha one for an engagement party and Staff of City Star one for the wedding. The law would restrict other gifts too, Ghaleb said without elaborating. “We don’t want to put pressure on the people,” the minister said. “We want to put pressure on the wedding halls.” Afghan weddings traditionally took place in the home, with families and friends attending several events marking the groom and bride’s union. Under Taliban rule, lavish ceremonies were forbidden. But over the last decade, rich Afghans have begun renting out the country’s top halls and hotels to host thousands of people for weddings and engagement parwaits for ties, complete with gifts and tables his phone as he on ks ea sp op sh heaped with food. The frostedof a gold selling File: The owner glass wedding halls in Kabul customers. appear like a neon dream of what our Prophet Muhammad,” said six children. Most borrow money Afghanistan could be amid the Moula M Paiman, president of the from family members and friends ruined roads and bullet-marred City Star Hall. “When he got marto hold their weddings, as formal apartment buildings. And some ried, thousands upon thousands loans remain difficult to obtain. believe the weddings that cost of attended the wedding. We are foltens of thousands of dollars hint at Afghan families mostly shrug and lowing that.” On a recent summer accept the cost as a sign of tradithe graft strangling government night, Paiman juggled three tion mashing into a country where and private life in Afghanistan. mobile phones and a walkie-talkie, “It is happiness for them, but for ATMs now spit out US dollars. trying organize the crowds and Hamid Walizada, 31, an interothers, it is just fire,” Ghaleb said. 300 employees at his wedding hall, Families around the world take out preter for the US military, said it ablaze with lights like a Las Vegas took his family 10 months to put loans and run up credit card debt casino with the traffic to match. the money together for his wedto throw lavish wedding celebraHe declined to say how many peoding from friends and others. tions for their children. But in ple could be seated inside, but the Others travel abroad to earn monAfghanistan, the average governcrowds suggested thousands. Most ey, while some elope at the risk of ment employee earns just $50 to hall operators charge at least $10 a arrest. $100 a month, according to a person. Yet he took the time to “Everything is expensive here,” recent US Senate committee smile with pride when asked about Walizada said outside of one dress report. But even a modest governthe two, towering crescent moons shop. “Everybody is trying to find ment paycheck won’t even secure leading into the hall, luminescent money and get married.” Wedding a deposit on a $1,500 wedding hall operators-not surprisingly-dis- against the flashing neon. “See, on dress in Kabul or expensive gold the way you came, it was a dark agree with the proposed rules. jewelry. desert,” he said. “Here it is beautiThe financial pressure multiplies However, they point to the Quran ful.” —AP as guidance for large celebrations. across large families, as Afghan “We are following the history of women on average have at least



e niv rsar n

MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011


lifestyle Fashion

Milan’s menswear T

here’s no doubt that the digital world is on the minds’ of designers showing their menswear collections for next spring and summer. On opening day Saturday, Dolce and Gabbana showed off their penchant for social networking. Jil Sander turned a traveler’s money pouch into a colorful iPad holder. And Burberry pushed back against the rise of digitalization opting to explore the world of handcraftsmanship. Colors are muted, earthy tones, or black and white.

A model displays a creation as part of Dolce & Gabbana Spring-Summer 2012 Menswear collection during the Men’s fashion week in Milan. — AFP

DOLCE&GABBANA The forward-looking Dolce and Gabbana duo have caught on to social networking, on and off the runway. One of the first to have live coverage of their shows over the Internet, and to beam blogger comments onto a screen above the runway, the designers have taken the net one step further, making it the inspiration for their latest menswear collection. In black or white or a combination of both, the spring-summer 2012 collection presented Saturday included all kinds of connecting fabric from the mosquito net, to the fishing net to the wide netting of a soccer goal post. According to the designers, the idea was to update their sartorial roots, and involve the present generation in their fashion story. “We’re in the mood to experiment, to rework tailoring, making it modern and innovative,” Domenico Dolce said at a breakfast get-together with reporters before the show. The result is almost minimalist, a real transformation for the duo known for their flamboyant sexy clothes. A perfectly tailored jacket devoid of lapel paired with a pristine white shirt and a pair of boxer shorts worn with city shoes but no socks is the basic silhouette. The netting motif is used for all types of fabric from leather to silk, and comes in such diverse styles as a suit, a pair of pants or a sweater. For the grand finale, the designers sent 60 young models, all in white netted T-shirts and matching Bermudas, down the stoney white runway of their downtown Milan theater. BURBERRY PRORSUM There’s an inherent message in Burberry Prorsum’s menswear collection for next spring and summer. Slow down. Designer Christopher Bailey isn’t trying to hit anyone over the head with the thought. It’s more by example. Bailey has put craftsmanship at the heart of the collection _ and not the kind of crafts normally associated with men’s clothing. There’s crocheting, stitching, embroidery and handblock prints. “I wanted to celebrate the idea of craftsmanship. I love the whole digitalization of the world. But I don’t think one has to be at the expense of the other,” Bailey said backstage after Saturday’s preview. From the exercise of crafts, emerged an array of ethnic references, which Bailey said was a natural part of the process. “I think just the idea of making things by hand immediately becomes ethnic,” he said. Geometric shapes around the neckline were suggestive of traditional Native American dress. Block prints gave a textured look to tops and sweaters, with pebbling giving way to bold shapes. Circular patterns on T-shirts suggest ancient art. Burberry’s native Scotland, too, had its due. Most of the outfits were topped with a hand-crocheted raffia golfing hat, complete with a pompon. Shoes were cork soled-moccasins or easy

loafers at times contrasted with woven tapestry. Colors tended toward the earthy, with flashes of garnet, beets or bright indigo. The clothing was easy to wear, and pack, perhaps in a Burberry braided leather tote. Loose, oversized parkas with crocheted, detachable collars could be worn over light swim trunks. A sturdy fishermen’s knit sweater jacket with side pockets twins effortlessly with a pair of trousers. “I wanted it to feel easy and not contrived,” Bailey said. “I wanted it to feel designed as well.” JIL SANDER Raf Simons for Jil Sander likes to wow his fashion followers. Last season, he threw the label’s minimalist trademark to the wind, bursting out in colors brighter than a box of crayons. His latest menswear collection shown Saturday for next spring and summer is so simple and colorless that it makes minimal look complicated. Pale-faced boys with shiny gelled hair plastered to their foreheads walked down the runway in high-waisted trousers paired with black shirts or pleated blue Bermuda shorts twinned with a crotched sweater in melange wool. Shorts were worn with thick-soled black shoes and black socks. For the outdoorsy guy, Simons offered a series of transparent plastic raincoats, which, were it not for the exquisite workmanshipone was cut like a blazer-were reminiscent of those sold at football games. As per the show notes, the collection reads like a travelogue of the past 50 years of fashion, from the popularity of plastic to the high-waisted pants to the crocheted sweaters, army boots, utility jackets and shiny lacquered overcoats, all in streamlined styles. Most innovative were the yesteryear money bags worn around the neck, turned into iPad carriers. The contemporary accessory came in bright shades, the sole touch of color in the collection. According to Simons, the idea was to bring fashion up to date without relinquishing the styles of the past. By cutting with an edge and using tecno fabrics, it was easy for the designer to prove his point. ZEGNA From cool colors to tailored cuts, Zegna’s styles for the next warm weather season is classic. Khakis are paired with suede coats and gray Tshirts-with just a touch of Bohemian in a narrow scarf. Bermuda shorts are worn with a jacket and printed button-down shirt, with a pair of thick strapped sandals. Colors were muted Mediterranean shades of sand, beige and brown, with touches of light green and pink. Slicked back hair and cool sunglasses finish the look. — AP







Models display creations as part of Burberry Prorsum SpringSummer 2012 Menswear collection during the Menls fashion week in Milan. — AFP





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MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011


lifestyle Fashion

Model wears a creation of Jil Sander men’s SpringSummer 2012 collection.



A model wears a creation of Ermenegildo Zegna men’s Spring-Summer 2012 collection.


Models wear creations by Ronaldo Fraga during the Sao Paulo Fashion Week Summer 2012 collection in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, June 18, 2011. —AP

Models present outfits by Andre Lima during the 2011-2012 Spring-Summer collections of the Sao Paulo Fashion Week, in Sao Paulo, Brazil.



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Springsteen saxophonist Clarence Clemons dies


MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011

37 Models display creations as part of Emporio Armani SpringSummer 2012 Menswear collection yesterday during the Men’s fashion week in Milan.—AFP

features lightness in motion T

he Emporio Armani menswear collection for next spring and summer was entitled “Lightness.” It could just as aptly been called “Motion.” The collection previewed yesterday was a study in quiet motion. From the double-darted trousers, to the thin ties, the long loopy belts, the lightweight T-shirts and the long, open jackets, everything flowed in a gentle whisper. Suits were layered with

loose-knit cardigans, emphasizing the lightness of it all, on top of ultra-light T-shirts. Loose long jackets were nearly see-through, revealing the shape of the man. The color scheme was sober and neutral in grays, putty and blue. Digital prints were busy electrical currents or tiny synapses of light on sheer button-down blousons paired with matching T-shirts, or on the suits themselves. Black appeared only for

the evening, for trousers and jackets. In contrast to the lightness of the fabrics, shoes were either thickly soled or ankle-high boots, worn without socks. The finale featured a cascade of barefoot boys wearing ankle-baring pleated pants cinched at the waist by thin tied leather belts and air-catching jackets over pale blue T-shirts. Missing from the runway: shorts.—AP

20 Jun  

Kuwait Times

20 Jun  

Kuwait Times