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Olympic joy at last for Pyeongchang and Asia

Casey Anthony cleared of murdering young daughter


9 150 FILS

SHAABAN 6, 1432 AH


NO: 15142

Iraq calls on Kuwait to stop work on mega port Iran, Iraq sign accord, vow to put past behind

Bahrain jails 3 Iran ‘spies’ HRW slams Manama DUBAI: Bahrain has sentenced one of its citizens and two foreigners to 10 years in prison for spying for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Akhbar Al-Khaleej newspaper reported yesterday. Bahrain’s high criminal court sentenced “three defendants to 10 years in prison for spying for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, one of them a Bahraini and two others” who worked as diplomats in Iran’s embassy in Kuwait and were sentenced in absentia, the daily reported. The prosecution said the three “spied from 2002 until April 2010 in the Kingdom of Bahrain and abroad,” and gave the Guards economic and military information, including the locations of military, industrial and economic installations, Akhbar AlKhaleej said. The Bahraini was recruited while visiting relatives in Kuwait, it said, adding the Iranians had also spied on the Kuwaiti military, US forces in Kuwait, and oil installations in the emirate. In Tehran, a foreign ministry official rejected the reports as “incorrect”. “There is no information regarding arrest or sentencing of Iranian nationals in Bahrain,” a ministry Continued on Page 13

AL-AIN: Prime Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah meets UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahayan at Al-Rowdha Palace yesterday. Both officials discussed the brotherly strong relations between Kuwait and UAE that have been supported and developed by both leaders HH the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Sheikh Khalifa in all fields. Issues of mutual interests and ways of boosting cooperation in different aspects that would result in the benefit to both peoples were also discussed during the meeting. — KUNA

Max 47º Min 28º Low Tide 10:05 & 22:25 High Tide 04:10: 15:37

BAGHDAD: Iraqi Transportation Minister Hadi Al-Amari said yesterday that neighbouring Kuwait must stop work on its Mubarak port project because it will block Iraqi access to shipping lanes. “The construction of this port ... demonstrates the clear intention of Kuwait to block shipping lanes from Iraqi ports and contradicts UN resolutions,” he told reporters, adding that it would “strangle” Iraq’s main export terminal in the southern city of Basra. “We say we will not accept that Basra and Iraq be strangled in any way,” the minister said angrily. Kuwait began work on the $1.1 billion port in May. The facility, on Kuwait’s Bubiyan Island, is scheduled for completion in 2016. “We feel it is necessary to stop work, especially BAGHDAD: Iraqis look at a since only 14 percent map showing the Mubarak of the work has been port yesterday. — AFP completed; its location can be changed,” Amari said. The Gulf is the main export outlet for Iraqi oil, and Baghdad has started serious work to modernise its outdated ports. “We have the right to free traffic movement in the sea,” government spokesman Ali Al-Dabbagh said on state-run Iraqiya television. Separately, Baghdad and Tehran pledged yesterday to strengthen ties and put the past behind them, even as Washington accuses Iran of supplying new and more Continued on Page 13

Rebels pushing Forces round up towards Tripoli dozens in Hama AL-QAWALISH, Libya: Rebel fighters seized a village south of the Libyan capital and another group advanced towards Tripoli from the east yesterday in the biggest push in weeks towards Muammar Gaddafi’s main stronghold. Rebels firing their rifles into the air in celebration poured into the village of Al-Qawalish, just over 100 km southwest of Tripoli, after a six-hour battle with pro-Gaddafi forces who had been holding the town. Rushing through an abandoned checkpoint where government troops had left tents and half-eaten bread in their rush to get away, the rebels ripped down green pro-Gaddafi flags, said a Reuters reporter in the village. Farther north, on Libya’s Mediterranean coast, rebels pushed westwards from the city of Misrata, taking them to within about 13 km of the centre of the neighbouring town of Zlitan, where large numbers of pro-Gaddafi forces are based. But they came under heavy artillery fire. Continued on Page 13

BEIRUT: Syrian forces rounded up dozens of people around Hama yesterday, a day after shooting dead 22 people, activists said, and Amnesty International said Syria may have committed crimes against humanity in an earlier crackdown. Tanks were still stationed outside Hama, which has seen some of the biggest protests against President Bashar Al-Assad and was the site of a bloody crackdown against Islamist insurgents nearly 30 years ago. But some of the tanks were redeployed away from the city and a resident said security forces were concentrated around the headquarters of the ruling Baath Party, the police headquarters and a state security compound. Most arrests took place on the outskirts of the city. Ammar Qurabi, Cairo-based head of the Syrian National Human Rights Organisation, said the death toll from Tuesday, when gunmen loyal to Assad swept through the city, had risen to 22. Continued on Page 13

Abu Dhabi cutting expat jobs ABU DHABI: Wealthy Gulf Arab emirate Abu Dhabi has laid off large numbers of foreign workers as it looks to lower costs and promote jobs for citizens, several people familiar with the matter said. Hundreds more expatriate jobs could be on the line in the near future at Abu Dhabi government departments, two sources at the offices said, adding exact numbers are not available. The capital of the United Arab Emirates, the emirate is home to most of its oil wealth. The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, said Abu Dhabi’s Emiratisation drive was being directed from the highest levels: the Executive Council, which is chaired by Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahayan.

Sheikh Mohammed’s brother and vice chair of the Executive Council, Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al-Nahayan - appointed in December in his first council role - is said to be overseeing the accelerated push. A spokesman at the Executive Council General Secretariat was not immediately available for comment. Workplaces affected so far include the Department of Transport, Abu Dhabi municipality, Abu Dhabi Culture and Heritage (ADCH) and at least two government owned hospitals, among others. One expatriate employee at the ADCH said 118 staff had been asked to leave within one to three months, including himself. “The reason they’ve given is Emiratisation,” he said, referring to the incentives and quota program aimed at boosting national employment.

Abu Dhabi is in the midst of a strategic review across all government departments, to centralise fundraising and improve accountability in the public sector. “There is clearly some anxiety about the risk of rebelliousness among the new generation of Emiratis,” said David Butter, MENA regional director at the Economist Intelligence Unit in London. “Many ... have reason to question the decisions that have been taken to create a society and work environment so skewed in favour of expatriates.” The UAE, shielded from anti-government protests that have rocked Arab states, is conscious of the potential for discontent especially among Emirati youth, more so since state jobs Continued on Page 13

LONDON: Public relations representatives Alix Leonard-Morgan (left) and Andea Smuts use the interactive menu projected onto the table in Inamo restaurant July 4, 2011. — AP

Restaurant puts virtual food onto diners’ plates LONDON: Want a virtual bite of what you’ll eat before ordering from the menu? An Asian-themed restaurant in London’s theater district is giving its customers just that, projecting images of dragon rolls, black cod, and other dishes directly onto diners’ plates. Ready to place your order? Just tap the touchpad your sashimi will be with you shortly. Entrepreneur Noel Hunwick says he came up with the idea for the restaurant, named Inamo, several years ago while eating at a busy pizza parlor with his friend and future business partner, Daniel Potter.

“We were desperately trying to attract a waiter’s attention,” Hunwick said. “We thought: Wouldn’t it be great if we could press a button and get our food?” The idea had legs. Hunwick, who spoke at a table across from Inamo’s onyx-topped bar, explained how the system worked: A projector above each table beams down a virtual, interactive tablecloth, with icons for browsing the menu, ordering food, and checking up on the bill. The plate stays blank until customers use a touchpad to open the menu and click on items, when the projector beams down Continued on Page 13

in the


Fort Hood gunman faces death penalty

UN report slams Israel over Nakba

Lightning, raging storm on Saturn

WASHINGTON: A US Army psychiatrist charged with the Fort Hood shooting rampage will face a military trial and a potential death sentence if he is found guilty, a top general said yesterday. The case of Major Nidal Hasan, accused of opening fire at the Texas army base on November 5, 2009, has been approved for a court-martial that Maj Nidal Hasan will “consider death as an authorized punishment,” said Lieutenant General Donald Campbell, the commander at Fort Hood in Texas. The Fort Hood attack killed 12 soldiers and a civilian, and left another 32 people wounded. Hasan, a US Army psychiatrist at the time, was shot by police who tried to halt the carnage, and he was paralyzed from the neck down.

JERUSALEM: A UN report into the bloodshed along the Israeli-Lebanon border on Nakba Day, has slammed the Israeli army for using unnecessary force when firing on protesters, a newspaper said yesterday. The report was released by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon this week and passed on to the 15 members of the Security Council, with a copy also passed on to Israel’s left-leaning Haaretz newspaper. The study focuses on the events of May 15 when thousands of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon marched on the Israeli border in a show of mass mourning over the creation of the Jewish state, known in Arabic as the Nakba, or “catastrophe”. The report found that Israeli troops “used direct live fire against unarmed demonstrators”. “Other than firing initial warning shots, the Israel Defence Forces did not use conventional crowd control methods or any other method than lethal weapons against the demonstrators,” it says, describing the use of live ammunition as disproportionate.

LOS ANGELES: It began as a bright white dot in Saturn’s northern hemisphere. Within days, the dot grew larger and stormier. Soon the tempest enveloped the ringed planet, triggering lightning flashes thousands of times more intense than on Earth. The international Cassini spacecraft and ground telescopes have been tracking the turbulence since last December, visible from Earth as a type of storm known as a “Great White Spot”. Such planet-wide weather disturbances are rare on Saturn, where the atmosphere is typically hazy and calm. Since 1876, astronomers have observed only five other megastorms on Saturn. An instrument aboard Cassini, which was orbiting Saturn, picked up radio outbursts on Dec 5, 2010, from a lightning storm. Around the same time, amateur astronomers peering through telescopes saw a bright point in Saturn’s northern half. Further observations confirmed it was a brewing storm.

A storm covers an area similar to that from London to Cape Town on Saturn. — AP




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LOCAL in my view

The upcoming cultural revolution By Fouad Al-Obaid

MUSCAT: His Highness the Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser AlMohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah leaving Oman yesterday.

Kuwaiti Premier in the UAE, part of GCC tour ABU DHABI: His Highness the Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah landed in the United Arab Emirates yesterday and is to start an official visit, which is part of an on-going tour of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. His Highness was greeted upon arrival to Al-Ain Airport by Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Lt Gen Sheikh Saif bin Zayid Al-Nuhayyan and the Minister of Energy Muhammad bin Dhain Al-Hamili. In press remarks, Sheikh Nasser expressed joy at visiting the fellow GCC country and stressed he considers himself in his second home and feels among his brothers. He also noted he is pleased with the constant progress in relations between the two nations,

made possible by the care and directives of His Highness the Kuwaiti Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and the UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayid Al Nuhayyan. On his visit, His Highness remarked that it is part of efforts to share views, consider issues of joint interest, and coordinate stances on all developments, whether in the Gulf region or beyond. The goal is serving the interests and meeting the aspirations of the Gulf peoples. His Highness added he is eager to meet the UAE president and convey the greetings and best wishes of His Highness the Amir, as well as His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Earlier, Sheikh Nasser concluded his trip to Oman before head-

ing to the UAE. The UAE visit is the third leg of the Kuwaiti premier ’s current tour of Gulf nations, which already took him to Saudi Arabia and Oman and will also bring him to Qatar and Bahrain. He was seen off at Muscat Airport by Omani Deputy Prime Minister for Cabinet Affairs Fahad Bin Mahmoud Al-Saeed, Minister of Diwan of the Royal Court Khalid Bin Helal Al-Bousaidi, several senior Omani dignitaries, and the Kuwaiti Ambassador to Oman Salem Al-Zamanan. Meanwhile, a host of senior Bahraini officials stressed the significance of the upcoming visit of Sheikh Nasser to the Kingdom. Bahraini officials also stressed on the importance of sharing views and approximating stances on all issues at a time of much

uncertainty and change in the Arab and Middle East region. The King of Bahrain’s Advisor for Media Affairs Nabil Al-Hamar pointed out this visit is expected in view of the strong ties between the two nations and is sure to bolster relations even further. It is a visit of great importance, as it would allow the leaders of the two countries to coordinate over and discuss the state of affairs in the region and means to help maintain stability and progress. The senior official expressed the Bahraini government and people’s appreciation for Kuwait’s support of the kingdom’s stability during recent challenge, and noted “the relations between the two nations are strong and shall withstand challenge.” Al-Hamar said Sheikh Nasser’s visit, part of his GCC tour, is of

added significance amid calls for strengthening of joint GCC action and cooperation to defend the bloc against all difficulties. The First Deputy Speaker of the Bahraini Parliament Jamal Fakhro meanwhile said, “this is a greatly anticipated visit, most specifically in view of Kuwait’s contributions to and role in GCC action and its non-wavering support of the kingdom, even at challenging times.” “As it strives to bolster development and meet the desires and hopes of its people, Bahrain is in great need of the counsel of men of wisdom, and as such, Sheikh Nasser is most likely to make valuable remarks.” He added that “Kuwait has a long histor y of precedence and initiatives aiming to uphold the GCC people’s best interests.” —KUNA

Improvements in Kuwait UN Women launches flagship report By Lisa Conrad KUWAIT: UN Women, the United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, yesterday launched its first global report. Entitled ‘Progress of the World’s Women: In Pursuit of Justice,’ the new report examines women’s rights worldwide and highlights the injustices women suffer at home, at work, in politics and under different justice systems. Compiled using case studies, statistics and graphics, the report’s authors worked to highlight progress made, as well as areas still requiring improvement, in women’s rights. UN Secretary General Ban Kimoon states in the report: “Achieving women’s equality is a fundamental human right and a social and economic imperative.” The report noted improvements in Kuwait, where the percentage of female parliamentary representatives has risen from zero percent in 1997 to eight percent in 2011. Kuwait was found to lack balance in various other areas, however, with both job opportunities and working hours being limited for women, and female participation in the workforce in 2009 being recorded as only half that of males. Furthermore, it stated, whilst abortion is permitted, by law, if the fetus is found to be impaired, it is not allowed if the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest. There are currently no laws in Kuwait protecting women from domestic violence, marital rape, or sexual harassment, the report continued, although it should be noted that the terms by which UN Women defines whether or not laws are in place are based on whether actions are specifically criminalized. In the wider Middle East figures, there is also much room for improvement, the report states. Only four countries in the region Algeria, Iraq, Morocco and Tunisia - have outlawed sexual harassment. Domestic violence

figures remain high across the region and, more worryingly, surveys revealed that 33 percent of respondents in Jordan agreed that it is ‘justifiable’ sometimes for a man to beat his wife. Furthermore, no Middle East countries have introduced any laws against marital rape. One Jordanian interviewee quoted in the report commented: “Girls are always treated with injustice. They have marriage imposed on them by the age of 16. But men are allowed to get their education and can work any place they want. There are families here who will not even allow their daughters to go to the community centre.” Although some regional countries have improved their family-related legislation, actually utilizing it properly is a different matter. According to the report, 68 percent of Moroccan women were found to prefer resolving problems within the family unit as opposed to via the justice system. Trust, however, is being built slowly and is supported by the presence of female social workers in the district courts there. It was also found that divorcees there were unlikely to actually receive the financial Twitter: @Fouadalobaid

AL-AIN: UAE officials receive His Highness Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad AlAhmad Al-Sabah at Al-Ain Airport.

payments they had been awarded, with 20,000 judgments issued every year, but only one bailiff appointed to help enforce them. Women in the region are advancing professionally, however, with Egypt, Jordan and Morocco all seeing a six-fold increase in female parliamentarians. As a whole, women make up a quarter of judges and prosecution

KUWAIT: A female Marina FM studio employee. This file photo is used for illustrative purposes only. —Photo by Joseph Shagra

department staff in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, which is a significant increase on previous years. Despite these positive signs, however, and clear evidence from other studies that an increase in the number of female police officers helps to increase the number of female victims willing to report sexual assaults, only two percent of the police officers across the MENA region are female. Key findings in the report on the situation faced by women globally included the disclosure that women are still paid, on average, between 10 and 30 percent less than men for performing the same jobs. It also revealed that while 117 countries have outlawed sexual harassment in the workplace, 311 million women of working age still lack any legal protection from this form of harassment. Similarly, while 125 countries have outlawed domestic violence, 603 million women and girls still have no legal protection from it. The issue of marital rape sees even higher figures, with 2.6 billion women and girls living in countries where it’s not explicitly criminalized. Email:

We have evidence of orphanage, children’s homes abuse: Newspaper KUWAIT: The Kuwaiti newspaper which recently published a feature article alleging widespread abuse at local children’s homes and orphanages asserted yesterday that it has evidence to substantiate its claims. The controversy following the allegations, which raised angry reactions from political activists and MPs, has also resulted in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL), which has administrative responsibility for the homes, promising to launch an internal investigation. In the controversial article, local daily Al-Rai cited official documents from local children’s homes which mentioned several incidents of attempted suicide and various forms of abuse at these facilities.

One document, a letter sent by a member of the management staff at a care home for girls dated January 17, 2008, discussed the case of one young girl there who had attempted suicide on numerous occasions by slashing her wrists with razors. Another incident mentioned in the feature article dealt with a staff meeting at a local orphanage in 2005 concerning a child there who was reportedly subjected to sexual abuse. The article revealed that after suggestive drawings were discovered in one boy’s schoolbag by a staff member, he admitted that he had been drawing what he had seen in a movie which he was invited to watch by residents at a nearby home for girls.

he Middle East is still grappling with the ongoing developments that have rocked Arab societies, and forever ushered a new era of change in our region. When looking into the reverberations of this revolution along with its outcome, we can see that some positive things have emerged from this grassroots uprising yet much still remains to be done. We as a collective Arab society need to realize that we were placed collectively in a profound coma for decades, or rather centuries. As much as we would like to find comfort and solace in a long-gone history, the reality is that we are far from this distant dream. The acquisition of knowledge is the greatest gift one can give oneself or others. Certainly, knowledge is a precious gift that a scholar can offer to society via his/her teaching or writings. It is only through knowledge, in the end, that societies gain the tools needed to build flourishing civilizations. Without knowledge conversely, ignorance becomes rampant, and this is what we are left with today in our contemporary Arab societies. We need to realize that ignorance at best gives us a dull society, one that is cosmetically sustained via a limited oil bloodline that is bound to end in the ever-nearing future. Once our bloodline - oil - comes to end we will be like a sick man on his deathbed, left to rot since we will no longer be able to sustain ourselves, let alone to help others. Such is the fear for our collective Arab destiny should we fail to realize the cost of inaction. All is not bleak, of course, but time is of the essence; we still have some time before the future oil-doomsday to alter our current path. The achievement of such a transformation depends on the desire of our Kuwaiti and wider Arab society to emerge from our current era of darkness with a clear vision, as well as a practical road map. Not only are we in need of a serious national blueprint. We need a new regional vision that encompasses and brings together the various countries in the region to enable us to forge greater economic integration, paving the way for a new era of cooperation. The Arab League is bound to fail, and the GCC is at best a cosmetic union that lacks the major regional economic and military players. In an age of globalization, language is not a physical barrier, and hence what I propose is an enlarged GCC that would one day include all the countries surrounding this bloc. For the GCC nucleus to flourish it should gradually integrate Egypt and Iran in a first phase, and Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq in a second expansion phase, with Turkey, Sudan, Pakistan and Somalia to be incorporated in a third phase so as to create a Middle East Union that would link the people of the region together and foster prosperity and understanding, which it is hoped would result in a lasting regional peace. The way I foresee it, the development of regional unity lays in a greater understanding of one another, along with the spread of the ideals of unity via culture. Soft power is what countries in the 21st Century should focus on. Weapons and munitions only bring about destruction with nothing achieved, for even the winners of military outcomes are left with chaos as the US is now realizing in the theaters of Iraq and Afghanistan. We owe it to ourselves to develop the means of a new cultural revolution in the region that should spread tolerance and encompass greater freedom and justice for the people of the region. Tyranny is the losing camp, and should its last strongholds not realize that the time is ripe for change, the end of tyrants in the 21st century will be tragic. Saddam Hussein’s hanging should come as a reminder to all that even the most diabolical of men cannot beat the odds of history, and from mighty palaces will each find their way to desolate prisons that they themselves once sent their enemies to languish in.


KD700,000 for new industrial estate KUWAIT: An initial budget of KD700,000 has been allocated to build a new industrial estate in the west of the country, which would be isolated from residential areas, said a senior Environment Public Authority (EPA) official on Tuesday. The proposed industrial zone will be built over a 100 square kilometers area in Salmi, with the option of expansion for an additional 40 square kilometers. When work on constructing the new zone is completed, it will be used for the relocation of factories which have been blamed for the heavy air pollution which has affected some residential areas. “The project is one of the recommendations proposed by the EPA to solve the problems suffered by Um Al-Hayman,” said Mohammad Al-Ahmad, the manager of

the authority’s monitoring and emergency department, referring to the longstanding pollution crisis in the Um AlHayman area created by emissions from nearby factories. The recommendations have already been approved by the Supreme Council of Environment as part of a major KD7 million project to improve the environmental situation in the south of the country. Al-Ahmad further explained that the plans call for four factories currently situated in West Shuaiba to be relocated to the Salmi industrial area prior to the inauguration of the project. He also noted that the area will be equipped with environmentally-friendly apparatus to dispose of industrial waste. —Al-Qabas

Ministry to inquire adult education success rates KUWAIT: The Ministry of Education is investigating an unprecedented high rates of success in the 12th grade result. This was announced by Assistant Undersecretary for Public Education Muna Al-Lughani who admitted that ministry officials were caught off guard by the results and want to make sure that no malpractices were committed. “A coordinated inquiry is launched with presidents of adult education centers to examine details about numbers of students and their grades”, Al-Lughani said, explaining that these information will be used to help the ministry verify the reasons behind the unexpected success rates. The top ministry official further revealed, as reported by Al-Qabas, that the ministry intends to amend regulations of adult education to better enhance the evaluation criteria.



Price up by 20%, demand shifts to baqalas, other supermarkets Supplier monopoly behind Co-op cigarette boycott By Hussain Al-Qatari

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah received the Tunisian Prime Minister Beji Caid El Sebsi at Bayan Palace yesterday. The reception was attended by HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, and Acting Prime Minister, and Minister of Defense Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah.

NA panel to investigate bribes allegations KUWAIT: The parliamentary public funds protection committee is set to investigate allegations that the government was involved in illegal deals with an international company that led to the unlawful suspension of major projects. The committee’s investigation was announced on Tuesday by its chairman MP Musallam AlBarrak at a press conference following its latest meeting. The committee has been assigned to investigate violations allegedly committed within Kuwait’s National Offset Company (NOC); a public sector firm that runs the government’s offset program that controls 35% of the state’s projects, which are valued at KD5 billion. Al-Barrak asserted during the press conference that the NOC lacks the necessary controls to monitor spending procedures. The primary topic of discussion during the meeting was recent reports that officials at Germany’s Siemens company have admitted to paying bribes to Kuwaiti officials in order to obtain tenders and contracts. The committee members reviewed statements made by MP Adel Al-Saraawi, who cited documents in his possession which he claims prove that ‘financial inducements’ were paid to senior officials in the NOC, which has contracts with Siemens. “Siemens admitted that they paid

bribes to the Kuwaiti governments to obtain projects, including offset projects,” said Al-Barrak, adding that the public funds committee will investigate the issue “in light of the government’s suspicious silence” on it. On a separate issue, several MPs acknowledged the government’s reported move to double the amount paid in expenses to citizens receiving medical treatment overseas. Earlier news reports revealed that His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad AlSabah had ordered a 100% increase in the daily expenses paid by the government to patients sent for medical treatment overseas to help them cope with increasing living costs. “The decision is undoubtedly a step in the right direction”, said MP Dr. Rola Dashti, who is also the chairperson of the parliamentary health committee. In the meantime, she said that the government’s overseas medical treatment program needs to take more action to tackle violations in the form of people abusing the overseas medical treatment program. Fellow lawmaker Nadji Al-Abdulhadi adopted a more cautious approach to the issue, commending the expenses increase whilst urging the government to pay more attention to projects to improve the domestic healthcare sector. —Agencies

KUWAIT: Cooperative Societies have stopped stocking certain brands of cigarettes after suppliers raised the prices without justification. The move came after suppliers increased the price per packet of cigarettes by 100 fils or approximately 20 percent. An official at the Union of Consumer Cooperative Societies (UCCS) said that the societies took the decision to stop stocking these cigarette brands after a cigarette supplying company in Kuwait decided to raise the prices without complying with the UCCS’ rules. “This particular company which supplies different brands was striking deals with each Coop, setting different prices for each area without prior studying,” he said. Upon discovering this, the union sent a memo to all Co-ops instructing them to stop selling these brands of cigarettes until further notice. “We invited the supplier to meet with a committee at the Union so we could discuss a reasonable price, but the supplier was not cooperative and did not show any signs of interest,” he said. The source added that Cooperative Societies in Kuwait already stock different brands of cigarettes, and are not obliged to carry brands whose suppliers refuse to comply with the set conditions. “There are a lot of goods and items that can’t be found in Cooperative Societies’ supermarkets because the merchants demand that they’re sold for a high price. It has happened before with different products like dairy products in recent months. It’s not at all uncommon,” he explained. Mohsen, the manager of a Cooperative Society supermarket in Mubarak Al-Kabeer, said that after receiving the memo some two weeks

LA consulate rejects harassment allegations KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Public Prosecution Service has launched an official investigation into allegations against five diplomatic staff employed at the Kuwaiti Consulate in Los Angeles. The investigation was ordered by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) following widespread public speculation over the case, in which the five officials are accused of involvement in embezzling millions of dinars. Meanwhile, the consulate itself has issued a statement on a separate fraud case there last year, in which a former cultural attache was found to have illegally transferred almost $191,000 to his personal bank account. The statement

Amendments to limit naturalized wives’ rights

KUWAIT: Water consumption levels in Kuwait have skyrocketed as the searing summer temperatures continue to rise. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

ago, they continued selling the cigarettes at the old price until they ran out of stock. “Many clients still complain and ask about the favorite brands they want and ask why we stopped selling them. What we’re initially doing is that we are protecting the consumer from the abuse and greed of monopolist merchants, and yet many of them give in and buy their cigarettes from baqalas and other supermarkets that are not part of the union,” he noted. Consumers still buy their favorite cigarette brands from different outlets. Salim Al-Daihani, a 27-year old smoker says he buys his brand of cigarettes from a baqala in his area which sells them for 600 fils per pack, almost 30 percent

KUWAIT: Nearly 3,000 of the applications for naturalization submitted to the Ministry of Interior (MoI) since 2007 by non-Kuwaiti women married to Kuwaiti men remain on hold pending proposed amendments to the relevant article of the legislation governing citizenship. Senior MoI officials are currently studying the proposed amendments to Article Eight of the citizenship legislation, which states that Kuwaiti citizenship can be granted to non-Kuwaiti women who marry Kuwaiti nationals, provided that the women have announced their wish to acquire Kuwaiti nationality and have been married to their husbands for at least 15 years since that announcement. The granting of citizenship according to this article was suspended four years ago, however, after the detection of a number of applications that were perceived to be fraudulent or manipulative. According to one security insider, a joint team of officials from the MSAL’s citizenship and legal affairs departments and the Fatwa and Legislation Department has been working to devise amendments which would eliminate the current flaws in this legislative article which it is felt provided a loophole for the unscrupulous to exploit. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the insider said that the Fatwa and Legislation Department is insistent that women naturalized according to this legislative article should not enjoy the same privileges as those women who hold citizenship according to other clauses in the citizenship legislation. Officials at the department apparently feel that the article should be amended so that women in this group can claim citizenship and some of the attendant rights such as free education and healthcare, employment support and social care, but are unable to obtain commercial business licenses, sponsor others coming to the country on visitor or business visas, or to sponsor non-Kuwaiti husbands should they be divorced or widowed and wish to remarry. — Al-Rai

stressed that following the discovery and his subsequent arrest, the disgraced official had repaid the stolen money in full. In its statement, the consulate also denied allegations made by a departing female employee at the consulate, who accused a senior official there of sexual harassment, which she said was the reason behind her resignation. The statement insisted that the female employee had resigned in protest after the attache there demanded that she provide a medical report when she requested that a prolonged period of sick leave be further extended. — Al-Rai

— Photo by Yasse Al-Zayyat more expensive than the previous price which was agreed upon with the UCCS. “As a consumer I could move to a cheaper brand if I felt that the new price was affecting me, but as long as it’s not, I don’t see the reason for the boycott,” he said. Another consumer, Ali Al-Qattan, said that the reason behind the Cooperative Society’s boycott is clear, and it actually benefits the consumer. “The Co-op in Jabriya where I live is very transparent, and they actually put up posters explaining why they don’t sell certain brands of products. I just moved to another brand. It’s not affected by this price hike, and I can find it conveniently in all Co-op supermarkets,” he said.

TEC organizing recreational amenities for beach-goers KUWAIT: Kuwait Municipality is reportedly planning to hand over control of a number of coastal beaches to the Touristic Enterprises Company (TEC) during summer to allow the state tourism body to use them for recreational programs. During a meeting last month, the Cabinet approved a proposal to permit the provision of recreational facilities at a number of popular beaches, with the Acting Director of Kuwait Municipality, Abdullah Amadi, already notifying the Municipal Council of the plan to allow the TEC to offer these amenities at three local beachfront areas. Amadi said on Tuesday that the TEC has already confirmed that it will be organizing various recreational amenities for those visiting the beach, including a bicycle rental service and vendors offering soft drinks and ice cream. — Al-Qabas



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local kuwait digest

Analysis of a youth seminar By Dr Abdulmuhsin Jamaal


oung Kuwaiti men representing political movements with religious and other approaches recently met for a seminar during which they condemned members of both the legislative and executive authorities, reflecting a general perspective of how they analyze the current situations. Osama Al-Shaheen, the head of the Islamic Constitutional Movement’s media office, weighed in on the subject, saying, “We suffer from the problem of ignoring violations...whenever a problem appears, it eventually becomes ignored when a new problem emerges. There are no investigations, only temporary solutions that fail to uproot the main cause of a certain issue”. Al-Shaheen gave a more comprehensive analysis than is usually given by the ICM, holding members of the cabinet and parliament alike accountable for the unfinished work of investigation committees, without allowing his judgment to be influenced by the fact that the ICM is represented by members of parliament. Another speaker at the seminar, Tariq Al-Mutairi of the Kafi (‘Enough’) movement, touched upon an important subject when he said during his speech: “The executive committee is curbing the activity of youth movements in Kuwait for personal benefits.” If I understand correctly, with this statement AlMutairi was addressing the stance of some lawmakers who are reportedly willing to stop investigations in return for receiving personal inducements. One negative aspect I could sense at the youth activists’ seminars is the fact that differing opinions aren’t given as much attention as they should be. Young members of movements with a religious inclination such as the ICM are showing positive signs of adopting a more open approach than that espoused by more senior members. But in order to maintain a better start to their political careers, however, they need to be open for all kinds of different opinions, and invite citizens with different, indeed wholly opposite, perspectives to address the issues under discussion at the seminars too. — Al-Qabas

Four hurt in crashes By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Two Syrians in their early twenties were rushed to Mubarak Hospital after suffering injuries to their heads and shoulders in a car crash in Hawally yesterday. In a separate incident, a 36-year-old Kuwaiti man sustained fractures to his left arm and right shoulder in a car accident in Sulaibiya. He was taken to Farwaniya Hospital. In a third road accident, a 24-year-old Saudi man was taken to Jahra Hospital after suffering fractures to his right hand in a crash on Salmi Road. Three injured A 28-year-old Egyptian man was taken to Jahra Hospital after sustaining deep cuts to both hands whilst working at Amghara Scrapyard. Meanwhile, a 29-year-old Kuwaiti man suffered burns to both shoulders and cuts to his right hand, whilst a 49-yearold Bangladeshi man also suffered burns to the shoulders, in an unspecified incident in Salmiya. Both were taken to Mubarak Hospital. Killer arrested Saudi Ministry of Interior officers have reportedly arrested the man suspected of stabbing a Kuwaiti citizen to death in Mubarak Al-Kabeer area on Monday. According to a security insider, Saudi authorities are expected to hand the accused man over to their Kuwaiti counterparts shortly.

KUWAIT: Captain Yousef Al-Khalid talking to some of the participants. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Festive ceremony marks ‘Shona’ application 23rd Pearl Diving Expedition By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Preparations are continuing for the upcoming 23rd Pearl Diving Expedition, which is set to take place from 13-23 July 2011. The 170 participants selected to take place in the upcoming expedition are continuing their training and exercises at Salmiya Sea Sports Complex, to prepare the young sailors, aged between eight and 22, for the scheduled ten-day voyage. Rigorous training has been underway for weeks now. On Tuesday, participants witnessed another traditional ceremony; the application of the chemical compounds known to young divers as ‘Shona,’ to the boat’s hull. The Shona ceremony was celebrated with dancing and singing in front of the youngsters’ families and friends, with Kuwait Sea Sports Club Secretary General Ali Al-Qabandi and the head of this year’s Pearl Diving Festival Captain Yousef Al-Khalid also attending the event. Traditional Shona was per formed to mark the waterproofing of the old dhows, although today’s sailors are using more contemporary engine-powered fiberglass boats, which were delivered to Kuwait from the United Arab Emirates a few years back. The new motorized dhows were gifted by HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-

Sabah to the Pearl Diving Committee for the successful revival of this vital part of Kuwait’s national heritage. Speaking during yesterday’s event, 13-year-old Hamoud, a first-time participant in the festival, said, “This is a special day for us. We’ve learn a lot, from preparing Shona to applying it with our bare hands on the old dhows. It’s a sort of tiring job but it’s really worth it because we come to know the hardship of our forefathers.” The Shona ceremony was held between 5:00 and 6:00 PM yesterday in front of an enthusiastic crowd of the young sailors’ family and friends. The participants learnt and practiced the songs which they performed in the ‘Shona cere-

mony’ during the last weeks of their training. The traditional folk songs are especially chosen by the festival’s ‘music maestro,’ Bu Hamad, who selected four traditional Kuwaiti sea shanties ‘Shibiba,’ ‘Harickh Shijuni,’ ‘Lewa’ and ‘Samri’ - to welcome the visitors to the ceremony and share the joy of the occasion with them. “ We are ready for the send-off ceremony on July 13,” announced Bu Hamad at the event. “We have been practicing for weeks now, and we’ve mastered, if not per fected, the movements and tunes to the songs so I think we are more than ready.” Talking about the expedition participants’ level of preparedness, Ali-Al-Qabandi stated that everything is set, including the

just following orders; now, I am giving orders and whatever happened in this year’s expedition it will fall under my responsibility that is why I am a little bit nervous and scared. On the other hand, though, I am happy because all of them are really supporting me and they all assure me that they are all behind me in this endeavor.” The annual diving festival is being held, as usual, under the patronage of His Highness the Amir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. The event aims to keep the national heritage of pearl diving alive and to help maintain awareness amongst younger generations of what was the livelihood of many Kuwaitis prior to the discovery of oil in the 1930s.

No new wholesale fruit, vegetable markets KUWAIT: Kuwait Municipality is not expected to give in to demands to open wholesale fruit and vegetable markets to sell local products in different locations across the country, believing that the Furdha market in Sulaibiya should be the sole national licensed wholesale market

for Kuwaiti products. The Municipal Council is reportedly studying recommendations to diversify the wholesale trade of local fruits and vegetables across Kuwait. According to one insider, the municipality is unlikely to accept the recommendations when

they are officially submitted, however, especially given the terms of the contract signed with the firm that operates the Furdha market, which give it exclusive national rights to sell Kuwaiti fruits and vegetables. The insider explained that the munici-

pality also wouldn’t accept that freight trucks be allowed to add to the congestion on Kuwait’s streets which he suggested would be the result of allowing new wholesale outlets to open. The official also pointed out that local produce can still be found in retail outlets across the country.— Al-Rai

Anti-govt MP not optimistic at new minister’s appointment

Prices of 100 items to be reduced in Ramadan KUWAIT: Undersecretary of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, Mohammed Al-Kandari, has urged all cooperatives to work on serving consumers and provide reasonably priced goods during the upcoming month of Ramadan. Speaking to the press following the opening of the Central Doha Market in Sulaibaikhat and Doha Co-Op Society, Al-Kandari, representing the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Dr Mohammad Al-Afasi, said that the ministry doesn’t get involved in the co-op’s board of directors. He stressed that no elected body would be replaced unless serious losses are taking place. “All co-op societies are working hard to serve the best interest of the consumers especially in the holy month of Ramadan. All co-op societies sell the products and goods very cheap as the prices are close to the actual cost of such products and goods, not to mention the discounts they offer to customers during the holy month,” he remarked. Al-Kandari said he was pleased to find that the new central market was completed six months ahead of the given deadline at a cost of KD 1.6 million. He expected that the market will help the local residents tremendously. As for the price hikes, which usually coincide with the holy month of Ramadan, Al-Kandari said that the ministry is keen on monitoring such superficial increase in prices and that those who are caught violating the rules and regulations will be severely punished and penalized. He praised the Co-op Society Union for deducting the prices of more than 100 items of goods, pointing out that the role of the co-op societies is building the economy and contributing towards its prosperity. “The past years have shown that the Co-op Societies, experiences have been extremely fruitful. It is true that there are some negative features here and there, but the fact of the matter is that the Co-op Societies have proven to be very beneficial and helpful to individuals and society alike and that is why we are keen to see it improving and progressing,” he added.

location where they ’ll pitch camp during the annual event. “We are heading to Qurain from June 13. The place is ready as well as our sailors and dhows,” he revealed. “We have 15 dhows participating this year and everything is ready, including the annual festival which we used to organized in Qurain. We are inviting public to witness the occasion, it is going to be a wonderful one.” This year’s festival is also a special event for Captain AlKhalid in more ways than one, as the first year that he’s headed the event. “I was just a captain before, but now I am leading the 170 participants and dozens of captains,” he said. “So, for me, it’s a great responsibility, quite different from the time when I was

Wataniya Telecom continues supporting education KUWAIT: Having sponsored number of graduation ceremonies since the beginning of June 2011, Wataniya Telecom, a leading supporter of the youth, sponsored the graduation ceremonies of three more schools; Duaij Al Sabah, Ahmed Al Rub’i and the Palestine High Schools, which took place on the 26th and 27th of June, respectively. Youth development is an integral part of Wataniya’s corporate social responsibility strategy. Therefore Wataniya Telecom decided to step forward and offer support and encouragement to all these young people at the most crucial time of their lives. Wataniya wanted to sponsor these ceremonies so that it could be present to cheer the students forward and encourage them as they step into a competitive and promising future. The Duaij Al Sabah ceremony took place at the Regency Hotel where 100 students received their graduation honors. The Ahmed Al Rub’i ceremony took place at AlZomurruda Hall, with 70 graduates. As for the Palestine High School, the ceremony

took place at the Marriott Courtyard, graduating 200 students. Assistant Manager of Public Relations Hamad Al-Matar attended these ceremonies on behalf of Wataniya Management. Proud of their accomplishments and appreciative of their continuous efforts and hard work, Wataniya Telecom perceives these students to be the backbone of Kuwait’s future and success.

KUWAIT: MP Abdulrahman Al-Anjari said on Tuesday that he is not optimistic at the appointment of Abdulwahab AlHaroun as the new Minister of Development. In an interview with local daily Al-Rai, the veteran anti-government MP asked rhetorically how one could be expected to feel optimistic about the implementation of the government’s major development plan whilst the government itself has put discussion of the state budget for 2011-12 ahead of any discussion of the details of the plan for the same period. The finance minister’s announcement of the budget being approved was different from the budget proposal, the MP went on, adding that nothing will change with one minister departing and another being appointed in his place until there is real change in the country itself from the very top. Al-Anjari suggested that the bills proposed by some MPs are put forward

simply to please individuals, adding that the increasing demands for higher salaries are a burden on the state budget. The lawmaker asked when the majority of MPs who suppor t His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah would be withdrawing their support for such proposals. He also asked drily why it is that the parliament never hears from pro-government MPs except during grillings when the Prime Minister or another member of government is criticized. Al-Anjari further accused the government of dealing in a very subjective and partial way with the issue of salary increases, insisting that it should not reject proposed wage rises for teachers. He also demanded that other MPs stop suggesting that such salary increases lead to higher consumer spending rates since the consumer spending rates in the budget have reached 85 percent, although it was not clear what he meant by this. — Al-Shahed

Paperwork, bureaucracy hinder projects KUWAIT: Bader Salem Al-Mutawwa, a member of the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industr y ’s Board of Directors and the Chairman of Board of Sadeer Contracting Co., stressed that the state’s development plan is following a set schedule and its results will be noticeable in two years time. In his evaluation of the development plan, Al-Mutawwa added that minister AlHaroun is fully aware of the urgent developmental needs and that he is highly dedicated to his duties and the public interests

of the country. However, Al-Mutawwa remarked that the major problem facing various developmental projects is paperwork and bureaucracy that have been long and complicated in Kuwait. “A municipality license needs so many recommendations or Wasta and using twisted channels to be issued in time”, he elaborated noting that while some people get fully documented transactions done in no time despite lacking some documents supposedly required, others fail to get them done at all, reported Al-Jarida.



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local kuwait digest

Understanding the pay rise demands By Walid Al-Rujaib


ontroversy continues to grow regarding pay rises and allowances demanded by public sector staff, as does the debate between people demanding procedures to tackle increasing living conditions, and others protesting against the added expenses for the state budget. To have a better understanding of whether financial privileges have become a necessity or a card used sometimes by MPs to garner voters’ support, there are some facts regarding the topic which need to be considered. Rising rates of inflation in Kuwait, recently estimated at 27% per annum, are provoking complaints about price increases and unchanging salary levels. There are professions of either a hazardous nature or suffering from lack of qualified personnel, which do require additional allowances to make them more attractive to jobseekers in light of public sector overstaffing and the private sector’s inability to secure sufficient numbers of job opportunities. Such demands for increases in wages and allowances are usually refused by those private sector firms which prefer to see the majority of government spending directed towards purchases and other contracts with the private sector. These firms usually overstate the negative factors which they claim are created by enforcing such increases, out of concern that such rises will drive employees away to work in the public sector instead. On the other hand, there are valid objections to these allowances made from a more national point of view. These are based on concern over the waste of public funds in unexamined payments, and offer an alternative solution in the form of conducting a comparative study between prices and salaries to achieve balance. In general, although we oppose the squandering of public money, we understand the financial difficulties that citizens are facing, and demand that a balance is achieved between wages and prices in the country. It’s up to the government and lawmakers to find a formula that meets these demands. — Al-Rai

Legislation needs revision: Expert Women’s housing loans approved, not applied By Hussain Al-Qatari KUWAIT: Approximately 14,000 women have applied for assistance from the Women’s Housing Fund, a state-established fund which will be revised and re-discussed when parliament resumes work in October. Loopholes in the legislation establishing the fund might prevent the female beneficiaries from receiving the keys to their new homes, according to Kuwaiti lawyer Mar yam AlBahar, a member of the Kuwait Lawyers’ Association’s (KLA) Women’s Committee and a legal advisor to the parliamentary Women’s Affairs Committee. According to Al-Bahar, the legislation has many loopholes that will leave many of the 14,000 applicants unable to benefit from the legislation. She cited one article as an example: “One of the articles suggests that the [applicant’s] divorce must be final according to Islamic Sharia. However there are women who have been divorced and their ex-husbands have passed away. On the legal record, her divorce is not recorded as a final divorce. They are not eligible to receive housing allowance, so this legislation is useless to them,” she said. In Sharia law, there are three types of divorce. The first is when a woman is divorced and hasn’t yet completed her idda, a

period of four months and ten days during which the divorcing couple can reconcile. The second is when she is divorced but has not reconciled with her exhusband after her idda, which

three times. That is, when she cannot go back to the same husband unless she has been married and divorced to another man in the intervening period. In some countries, a hus-

been divorced for more than ten years and who have no way of getting back with their husbands. This law doesn’t support them.” Speaking about the urgent

KUWAIT: Al-Hamra Tower in Kuwait City soars above the surrounding buildings in the downtown area. This image is used for illustrative purposes only. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat requires that the couple put new terms for a new marriage. The third and irreconcilable form of divorce is when a woman has been married and divorced to the same person

band can make the divorce final and irreconcilable if he pronounces his wife divorced three times in court. Al-Bahar explained: “There are many women who have

need for amending the housing fund law for women, the legal consultant explained that when a Kuwaiti woman is divorced, she is permitted to remain in the marital home until the chil-

dren reach puberty or, in female children’s case, until they get married. “If the children are boys, the mother can remain with them until they reach puberty. If the children are girls, the woman has the right to stay in the same home until the girls are married,” she said. Based on her experience as a lawyer who has represented many divorced women, Al-Bahar said that the majority of divorcees end up leaving their former husbands’ homes to move with their families or find places of their own. “When a divorced Kuwaiti woman tries to find an apartment for rent, the majority of owners refuse them because of society’s derogatory perception of a divorcee,” she revealed, adding, “Not all women come from well-off families who can provide them with villas or apartments to live in after divorce, though, and divorce rates are on the rise according to all the statistics and studies, so legislation is essential.” Aside from the legal loopholes, Al-Bahar explained that the approved legislative proposals have still not been implemented. “This is a problem we face in Kuwait, where there are many laws and regulations that aren’t activated. The culprit is partly the bureaucracy, but it is also the fact that many regulations aren’t well-researched and studied before their application,” she asserted.

MoC looks to end promotions dilemma KUWAIT: The Ministry of Communications continues to struggle in controlling disordered administrative department, which most recently saw minister Sami Al-Nisf personally interfering to stop staff promotions that ignored standards of reward as per performance as many employees believe. Several ministry officers protested a

‘supervisory jobs list’ prepared by senior ministry officials which contained names of staff to be promoted or reshuffled, claiming that many hard working employees were ignored in favor of others who have influence with higher officials, and who do not meet qualifications to be moved ahead of them in the ranking ladder.

Minister of Communications and Information Sami Al-Nisf stepped in by suspending procedures before the list was passed, in order to allow for grievances submitted by the protesting staff to be examined. In the meantime, most insiders believe that the best way to handle the dilemma of promotions - which staff members have

been waiting for more than two years - is for the grievances to be checked by a committee formed by the minister from unbiased senior officials from the ministry’s administrative and legal departments. “Such committee would be able to properly examine the qualifications of each candidate to determine their eligibility for promotion”, reported Al-Qabas.



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Drugs smuggling attempt foiled at border checkpoint KUWAIT: A truck driver was caught on Tuesday attempting to smuggle a large quantity of narcotic tablets into Kuwait. Customs officers at the Abdally border checkpoint grew suspicious of the Pakistani trucker’s demeanor, launching a search of the vehicle that resulted in the drugs being discovered. On being questioned, the driver admitted attempting to smuggle the drugs into the countr y. He has been referred to the relevant authorities. In a separate case, customs officers at Kuwait International Airport (KIA) arrested a male Canadian flight attendant in possession of marijuana shortly after the KAC flight he arrived on landed. The officers grew suspicious of the man’s nervous demeanor as he waited in the queue, taking him aside for a personal search during which they found a cigarette packet in his pocket containing five joints. During questioning, he claimed that he had become addicted to marijuana due to the pressure of his work. Meanwhile, a suspect wanted for involvement in several counts of drug-dealing was arrested after being found passed out in his car. Emergenc y ser vices personnel headed to a location in Mubarak Al-Abdullah where a man was reported lying motionless inside a parked car. The man was identified as a Kuwaiti citizen in his thirties who faces previous drug charges. Drug paraphernalia found at the scene led officials to speculate that the man passed out as a result of an overdose. He was given medical attention before being taken into custody. Thieves caught An expatriate from another Arab country faces multiple theft-related charges, following his arrest in a case that involved using a rented car to carry out a number of thefts of state property. Ironically, the man initially came to police attention when he approached officers to report that the rental vehicle had

been stolen from its parking place near his apartment in Khaitan. Police eventually traced the car using the tracking device installed by the car rental agency in all its vehicles. It was then revealed that the car had been abandoned in Salmiya by thieves who fled when police raided a location from which the thieves were stealing electrical cables. When the ‘theft victim’ was again summoned for questioning, he eventually admitted that he had rented that and other vehicles to steal the cables, as well as leading officers to his accomplice who also lives in Khaitan. Both men are in custody awaiting trial.

ately went to the marital home and gave him some of his own medicine, subjecting him to a sustained assault. Emergency services personnel arrived shortly afterwards, with police bringing the situation under control, while paramedics took the injured abusive husband to Farwaniya Hospital. The battered woman pressed charges against her husband at the local police station, as well as presenting a medical report detailing the injuries inflicted on her by him.

Dirty doc Police are hunting for a Kuwaiti doctor who faces a sexual harassment charge from the wife of one of the staff members working at his practice. The incident allegedly took place at a local private hospital when the woman, an expatriate, went to see the accused man to attempt to resolve tensions between him and her husband. The woman subsequently told officers at Khaitan police station that while she was leaving after visiting the doctor he touched her inappropriately before seizing her, only letting her go after she screamed. A warrant has been issued for the suspect’s arrest.

Illegal relationship A 33-year-old Asian woman is facing criminal charges after giving birth to an illegitimate baby at an Ahmadi hospital. The woman was rushed to hospital by a 36-year-old Kuwaiti man who disappeared shortly after checking her into the private hospital. After her baby was born, the woman was unable to provide staff with a copy of any marriage certificate, leading medical staff to call police. The rapid departure of the man who booked her into the facility has led police to believe that they may have been involved in an extramarital relationship, which is illegal in Kuwait. The hunt for him continues, whilst the woman could also face adultery charges if police discover that she is already married in her home country.

Domestic drama Police have arrested a Kuwaiti man charged with domestic abuse, as well as detaining his wife’s three brothers who attacked him to avenge their sister. The incident began after the alleged wife-beater battered his wife at their home in Jahra late on Monday night before kicking her out of their marital home. A kindly neighbor worried at her screaming and the noises of the fight helped her to get to her family’s house, where she told them what had happened. Enraged by her husband’s vicious abuse of their sister, her three brothers immedi-

Ungrateful debtor A search is underway for a man who stormed into an erstwhile friend’s apartment in Waha, stole a number of IOU’s he had previously given the man for loans, and assaulted the man’s wife before fleeing. According to the woman’s statement to the police, the suspect waited until his friend had left the apartment before storming into the apartment to steal the documents promising to repay his friend KD700 that he had borrowed. When she attempted to stop the ungrateful borrower, he beat her before fleeing. — Al-Anba, Al-Rai

KAC offers early luggageweighing service KUWAIT: Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) said yesterday it would allow its passengers to have their luggage weighed early before departure in an effor t to ensure a smooth flight movement. The Kuwaiti national airline offers this service at Counter One and Counter Two, Assistant Director of Kuwait International Airport for Ground Ser vices Mohamed Al-Meteri said in news remarks. Mohamed Al-Meteri The move aims to ease out work pressure caused by the travel of a large number of people during the summer season, he added. Furthermore, Kuwait Airways also provides special services, including easy procedures, to sick, handicapped and old passengers, he pointed out. However, the official urged travelers to confirm their booking 72 hours ahead of the travel day and to turn up at the airport three hours before the flight. — KUNA

NBK launches energy saving awareness campaign KUWAIT: The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) launched yesterday its energy conservation awareness campaign tagged “Put your energy into Saving Energy”. NBK staff will hand out 10,000 long life energy-saving light bulbs at the Avenues Mall July 7 -9. “The Energy Saving Awareness Campaign aims to raise people’s awareness and promote best practice efforts to reduce energy consumption,” said Yaqoub Al Baqer, NBK Public Relations Officer. This new initiative is part of the ‘ Think Twice’ environmental campaign NBK launched four years ago. Al Baqer added: “NBK staff and summer interns of NBK Academy will be present for two days at the Avenues Mall to distribute more than 10,000 long-life light energy saving bulbs to the public for free. We encourage people to take advantage of these bulbs as they have an incredibly positive impact on electricity conservation. They last 10 times longer and use one-third less than the energy needed to power regular incandescent bulbs.”

Entertainment City announces special Ramadan offers KUWAIT: Entertainment City is offering reduced ticket prices for a limited period during August, amongst a number of special offers prepared for the holy month of Ramadan. “Visitors can enjoy special prices on entrance tickets which will be sold for KD1 only instead of the usual KD3.5 from the first to the twenty-fifth of August,” revealed the Touristic Enterprise Company’s ( TEC) operations and activities manager, Anwar Al-Nisf. In a press release issued yesterday, Al-Nisf also revealed that the facility will host the annual ‘Gergean’ traditional festival on August 12 and 13, during which children in traditional Kuwaiti costume will be granted free admission. During the month of Ramadan, the Entertainment Center complex will be open from 8:30 pm until 2:00 am between Monday and Saturday, and closed on Sundays to allow staff to have a day off. On Mondays, the complex will be open exclusively to female visitors.

Kuwait sends relief aid to Libya KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti airplane carrying tons of dates took off yesterday from the Abdullah Al-Mubarak Airbase to Libya to help ill-fated civilians in this Afro-Arab country, the Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) stated. KCRS chief delegate Khaled Al-Zaid said this is the fourth such trip, stressing that Kuwaiti aid to Libya will continue. Al-Zaid said that this came as a donation from the Martyr Sheikh Fahad Al-Ahmad A-Sabah Charity Foundation, hailing the foundation’s support to Libyans. — KUNA

ASEELA: The 33th Aseela International Cultural Festival in progress.

Kuwait’s contributions in Arab cultural field hailed Morocco hosts seminar ASEELA, Morocco: Kuwait has been and still is playing a key role in bolstering Arab cultural awareness and identity and striving to give Arabs access to both culture and knowledge as it seeks to help protect their unique societies’ arts and traditions. This view was expressed by a host of men of letters and intellectuals here Tuesday night taking part in a seminar of the 33th Aseela International Cultural Festival. The seminar was themed “Kuwait: Half a century of Arab cultural contributions”. The par ticipants were Kuwaiti, Moroccan, Arab, and foreign guests of the festival. The seminar was in two sessions, one in the morning and another in the evening, both headed by Mohammad Al-Rumaihi along with Aseela Forum Foundation Chairman Mohamed ben Isa. Editor in Chief of Al-Arabi magazine, a Kuwaiti publication most coveted across the Arab world, Dr Sulaiman Al-Askari said that “While we should recognize the anthropological, cultural and historical differences among us Arabs, we must embrace and stress what we share and what binds us together against geographic division.” He stressed the magazine’s endeavors to encourage dialogue between Arabs of the East and those in the Arab Maghreb through holding an annual seminar. He also pointed out the compilation of a 400-page book of the magazine’s surveys and articles dealing with and shedding light on Moroccan cities and culture. He then pointed out the Kuwaiti Ministr y of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs’ endeavor to compile and publish the Islamic Fiqh Encyclopedia which gathers and draws comparisons among the views of different scholars on specific religious issues, a most valuable reference and resource Arabs as well as Muslims. The National Council for Culture, Arts, and Letters also prides itself

on the array of its publications in all fields of knowledge and culture that meet the needs of the Arab readers and whets their appetite for more, he said. Then there came the gem of the Arab Institute in Paris. A mere suggestion was presented by the French president 30 years ago to establish a center to help with cultural interaction between the two

parency was a precedent for Arab media. Mohammad Al-Khamis University’s former dean of the faculty of humanities Dr Ekdal Said AlAlawi for his part noted the excellence of Kuwaiti publications, focusing on “Alam Al-Marifa” in particular which educated and enthralled many generations of Arabs. Kuwait University former professor Mohammad Hassan Abdullah

countries. This prompted late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah to establish this landmark institute, which Kuwait still supports with millions of euro. Kuwaiti media figure and former information minister Mohammad Al-Sanousi for his part stressed the state’s realization of the strong impact media has to bring our views closer together. This was the driving force behind open and, on many occasions courageous, media bodies and endeavors in Kuwait. He stressed those in the field must do a lot more to help Arabs embrace their shared identity and overcome what divides them. He recalled instances from his own experience of great media work and approach, giving the example of a daring face-off between supporters and opposers of the nationalization of the Kuwaiti oil sector back in 1972. This kind of trans-

for his part noted that Kuwait had hosted and helped form the opinions and ideas of such Arab figures as the students of Mohammad Abdo, Jamaluddeen Al-Afghani, Rifaah Al-Tahtawi, and many more, and served as the starting point for the enlightenment movement in the Gulf region. The seminar coincides with several exhibitions and activities shedding light on Kuwaiti cultural and other contributions held under the auspices of the Moroccan King. Kuwait is the country guest of honor of this year’s Aseela Festival. The sideline activities include crafts and folklore exhibitions, a photos exhibition on relations and exchanged visits, as well as an exhibition of contemporar y Kuwaiti artistic creations. There is also an evening of Kuwaiti popular music with leading artists taking part. — KUNA

Al-Deqbasi meets League chief CAIRO: Arab Parliament President Ali AlDeqbasi held talks here yesterday with Arab League Secretary General Nabil AlAraby on bilateral relations between the two institutions amidst developments in the Arab countries. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Al-Deqbasi said discussions were constructive. He said he requested overhauling the Arab common action either in the Arab parliament or Arab League bodies, in a drive to meet aspirations of the Arab peoples. Al-Deqbasi, of Kuwait, hoped the Arab Parliament would have a different role in future to boost freedom, dignity and human rights. “We will push for that direction with all force, and through amending some articles of the Arab parliament and to win necessary approval ... at the ministerial level,” he said. On another issue, Al-Deqbasi said a meeting of the Executive Office of the Arab Parliament, which ended earlier today, touched upon financial, administrative and media matters. He said participants congratulated Morocco for the constitutional reforms and Bahrain for the launch of national dialogue. The Arab top MP, meanwhile, met with head of the Iranian interest section in Cairo Mojtabi Amani over Arab-Iranian dialogue. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Hamad Al-Terkait with senior management staff and new employees.

EQUATE appoints over 100 Kuwaitis in a year KUWAIT: EQUATE Petrochemical Company said that in a year it has hired over 100 highly qualified Kuwaitis among 173 employees at different sectors throughout the company. Addressing new employees during a gathering with senior management, EQUATE President & CEO Hamad Al-Terkait said, “As human resources are the company’s most valuable assets, Kuwaitis are viewed as our main cornerstone for success through their distinguished achievements and exemplary professionalism as major elements of overall sustainability in Kuwait and beyond.” Al-Terkait added, “Being an employee at EQUATE requires continuous development which is

facilitated through various tactics, such as international assignments and training courses.” Al-Terkait noted, “Kuwaitization has grown from 34% to 55% over our short age which proves our unwavering commitment to national resources. At EQUATE we attract and foster highly competent employees who are continuously developed to contribute to the company’s overall objectives and success, without any regard to race, nationality and other factors.” Al-Terkait said, “We do have an intensive training and development strategy supported by a sizable budget to foster our human resources for better and greater quality skills to meet overall corporate objectives.”

The event was attended by senior EQUATE management members as part of ongoing interaction between all company employees. Established in 1995, EQUATE is an international joint venture between Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC), The Dow Chemical Company (Dow), Boubyan Petrochemical Company (BPC) and Qurain Petrochemical Industries Company (QPIC). Commencing production in 1997, EQUATE is the single operator of a fully integrated world-scale manufacturing facility producing over 5 million tons annually of high-quality petrochemical products which are marketed throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe.


Pakistani Taleban attack kills up to 38 Afghans

Phone hacking targets more slain schoolgirls

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Riots erupt in Egyptian city over police trials Protesters angered by decision to release 7 policemen CAIRO: Hundreds of protesters pelted the security headquarters in the city of Suez with rocks yesterday, angered by a court’s decision to uphold the release of seven policemen facing trials for allegedly killing protesters during Egypt’s uprising. Riots and protests have been escalating recently over what many see as the reluctance of the military rulers to prosecute police and former regime officials for the killing of nearly 900 protesters during the uprising earlier this year. Ahmed El-Ganadi, the father of a protester killed in Suez during the revolt, said hundreds of residents marched toward the government building housing the courts and security headquarters to protest the court decision. “The courts are corrupt. They are complicit in denying us justice,” el-Ganadi said. “We will no longer wait for a court decision to get our retribution.” Suez, at the southern tip of the strategic Suez Canal, was the scene of some of the most dramatic confrontations between police and protesters during the 18-day uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in February. The military council that took over power from Mubarak has promised democratic elections in the coming months and a transition to a civil government. Justice for those who killed demonstrators has become a rallying point for the protest movement, which has splintered in political debates over how to manage the transition period. “This is the spark. ... God help us with what is to come,” el-Ganadi said. The court in Suez rejected an appeal of the decision in a Cairo court on Monday to release on bail seven policemen facing trial for the killings of 17 protesters in Suez. The angry relatives stormed the Cairo courtroom after the initial ruling on Monday, while others blocked a major highway linking Cairo to Suez for hours. Hundreds in Suez have been holding a sit-in since Monday at one of the city’s main squares. Lawyers said the courts have consistently denied a request to add more policemen to the case. “A sit-in until we get retribution,” read one of the signs raised by the protesters at the sit-in. There are already calls for large protests in Egypt this week demanding fair trials and retribution, as well as measures to purge former regime officials from political and economic life. Only one policeman has been convicted in more than a dozen court cases over the deaths of at least 846 people killed in the government crackdown on protesters. He was tried in absentia. Mubarak and his two sons also face charges of killing protesters and amassing illegal wealth. Their trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 3. Protesters complain that court officials have generally been lax with police officers accused of shootings during the uprising, allowing many to stay on the job while facing murder charges or setting them free on bail. They say this leaves victims’ families subject to intimidation. By contrast, human rights activists complain that minor offenders and protesters are referred to military tribunals, known for quick and harsh sentences. Also yesterday, a bridge under construction over the Nile collapsed and four of the workers building it drowned in the river. Their deaths set off protests by angry relatives who blocked traffic for hours along the Nile-side road in Cairo linking the upscale southern suburb of Maadi with the city center. A security official said the relatives were angered because rescue services took too long to get to the scene.

197 migrants feared drowned off Sudan KHARTOUM: Nearly 200 African migrants were feared drowned Tuesday after a boat carrying them to Saudi Arabia caught fire off Sudan’s northeastern coast, a semiofficial news agency reported. The Sudan Media Center said three migrants were rescued. The boat had launched from Red Sea State, one of Sudan’s 26 states, and sailed for four hours in Sudanese territorial waters before the blaze broke out, according to the news agency. Local authorities were still searching for possible survivors, it said. The report could not be independently confirmed. The report said that the planning and execution of the illegal migrant smuggling effort took place in Port Sudan, a main port in the impoverished country. Port Sudan is the capital of the Red Sea State. The agency also said that the boat sank south of Sawaken, which is at the south tip of the Red Sea state. The report said the owners of the boat, all Yemenis, have been arrested, although it gave no more details about them. A second attempt to smuggle 247 migrants, mostly from Chad, Nigeria, Somalia and Eritrea, also was uncovered in the same state, the report said, without elaborating. Human trafficking is rife in Sudan as smugglers use locally manufactured boats and take advantage of lawless areas in the conflict-ridden country. There have been several other incidents of illegal migrants drowning off the coast of Sudan on their way to nearby countries in past years, but the numbers have generally been smaller. Thousands of African migrants, especially Eritreans and Ethiopians, risk the dangerous routes to escape conflicts in their countries and to seek better lives in oil-rich states. In early June, a ship carrying some 850 migrants fleeing the conflict with Libya capsized off Tunisia, and 150 of the passengers drowned. — AP

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. In another sign of jitters in Egypt, a sonic boom that rattled buildings in Cairo caused many residents to phone emergency

services because they mistook it for a large explosion. Sonic booms are rare in Egypt. And speculation about the cause of the loud boom went on for more than an hour, reflecting a heightened sense of nervousness in the

ongoing turmoil. A military official said the boom was caused by a warplane in training breaking the sound barrier in the Cairo skies, according to the official state news agency MENA. — AP



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Libya to charge 21 rebel leaders in special court TRIPOLI: Libyan prosecutors plan to charge rebel leaders with national security crimes, seeking to convict as traitors those leading the armed uprising against Muammar Gaddafi that has plunged the country into civil war, officials said yesterday. A judge compiling the charges laid out his case against 21 rebel officials who are based in the eastern city of Benghazi, including the National Transitional Council’s head, Mustafa Abdul-Jalil. Defendants will be tried in absentia. Rebel leaders in Benghazi could not immediately be reached for comment. The charges include facilitating foreign inter-

vention in Libya, providing aid and military secrets to the enemy, and seeking to topple Gaddafi’s regime by force. Judge Khalifa Isa Khalifa told reporters in the Libyan capital of Tripoli that he plans to present the case before a special court presided over by a three-judge panel next week. He said the evidence includes testimony from several witnesses. The allegations “amount to treason of the homeland of Libya,” government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said. Khalifa did not specify what punishment the defendants could face, but Ibrahim said those found guilty of treason could face the death

penalty under Libyan law. If convicted, Libya will seek international help, such as issuing Interpol warrants, to “demand that they are brought to justice,” Khalifa said. There is little likelihood of that happening as long as fighting rages, however. The rebels enjoy significant support from allies in the West and among several oil-rich Gulf Arab states, and Gadhafi himself is wanted under an international arrest warrant. The International Criminal Court last week issued arrest warrants for Gaddafi, his son Seif al-Islam and Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Sanoussi for crimes against humanity. International prosecutors

at the Netherlands-based court allege government troops fired on civilian protesters during anti-Gaddafi street demonstrations earlier this year. Opponents of Gaddafi’s regime, inspired by uprisings in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt, began protesting against the longtime leader in February. The unrest quickly turned into a bloody civil war, with anti-government rebels now controlling much of eastern Libya from and pockets in the west. NATO has been bombing governmentlinked targets since March under a United Nations mandate to protect civilians. Libyan officials have rejected the ICC’s

authority. They say they established the special court set to try the rebel leaders in order to bring to justice anyone who committed crimes as part of the nearly fivemonth uprising. Khalifa sidestepped a question of whether the court would examine allegations raised by the ICC against Gadhafi and his inner circle, saying it is the responsibility of the attorney general to assign cases. “We are ready and prepared to investigate any person in this country if there are people who are willing to come to the (attorney general) with accusations or complaints,” he said. — AP

Yemen clashes kill 7 Islamists, 1 soldier Two militants arrested

BUCHAREST: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, gestures during the meeting with Romanian President Traian Basescu, right, at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace, in Bucharest, Romania yesterday. —AP

Israel’s prime minister gets backing from Romania BUCHAREST: Israel’s hardline foreign minister warned yesterday of a tough response if Palestinians declare independence at the UN this fall, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to cement Romanian opposition to the plan. With peace talks deadlocked for more than two years, the Palestinians plan to ask the UN to recognize their independence in September and both sides have been lobbying hard around the world for support. The move would be largely symbolic but the Palestinians hope it will pressure Israel to withdraw from captured territories they claim for a future state. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told reporters in Israel yesterday that “unilateral steps will force us to take unilateral steps.” “It’s important for us to convey the message that any unilateral step can only harm the process, can only harm the chances of reaching a reasonable accord in the Middle East,” Lieberman said after briefing Israeli lawmakers at a closed parliamentary hearing. According to a participant who spoke on condition of anonymity because the parliamentar y hearing was closed, Lieberman said that Israel could freeze the transfer of tax revenues, cancel the free passage of Palestinian leaders into Israel and apply pressure through the United States. The same source said that Lieberman expressed concern that Palestinians would use a UN platform to initiate moves against Israelis at the International Criminal Court in the Hague. Netanyahu was in Romania as part of ongoing efforts to drum up opposition to the Palestinian plan, and

appeared to confirm the support of Prime Minister Emil Boc. “We reaffirmed our country’s position that a negotiated solution between the parties, with no unilateral solution, is the only way to ensure real and solid grounds for a lasting peace,” Boc said. Netanyahu did not touch on the issue during a press conference after his meeting with Boc. Netanyahu has already visited Britain and France, among other countries, and continues on to Bulgaria today. Lieberman said that Israel had already garnered the support of the US, Canada, Italy and Germany and was working on convincing other like-minded nations to side with it in September. Most of the developing world, including Arab and Muslim countries, can be counted on to back the Palestinians , leaving very few countries that might still go either way at the UN “Israel is currently busy trying to get the moral majority in the United Nations,” Lieberman said, but considering the bloc of Muslim and unaligned nations was between 125-130 countries, “we don’t have any illusions.” The Palestinians aim to win two-thirds support in the 192-member General Assembly at the United Nations , or 129 countries , and are now about 13 countries short of their target. The assembly’s decisions aren’t legally binding. That would require approval by the powerful Security Council, where the United States has indicated it will veto any Palestinian move in the absence of a negotiated peace deal. The European Union is working to forge a common position on the issue even as EU countries are split over Palestinian statehood. —AP

Iranians rich and poor caught in sanctions net TEHRAN: Sanctions on Iran are aimed at hampering its nuclear program, but ordinary people both rich and poor are getting caught in their tightening net. “Each time my son wants to wire money for me from abroad, I have to check with my Iranian bank about international banks that interact with Iran,” said retired police officer Asghar Hesami. “The list is getting shorter each month.”The West and United Nations have been steadily increasingsanctions to deter Tehran from pursuing a nuclear program, despite Iran’s denial that it is seeking to develop weapons. The energy and banking sectors have been targeted but in late June the United States also blacklisted Iran’s main port operator, which it suspects is run by the Revolutionary Guards — a move potentially disrupting key food imports. In response to sanctions, several foreign oil companies have cut business with the Islamic Republic, some of them stopping sales of jet fuel. Most European countries now refuse to refuel Iranian passenger planes. “Three times a week, I pray to God to help me fly (my) passengers,” said Davoud, 45, whose Tehran travel agency runs trips to Europe and other tourist destinations. “Each time I go to the edge of losing my business as I don’t know whether refueling authorisation will be granted.” The United States also blacklisted Iran Air and a subsidiary in June, saying the national airline had carried missiles, rockets and other military equipment for the government. But Iranian authorities dismiss sanctions as ineffective and use-

less and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president since 2005, has remained defiant. Some Iranians back his tough stance but many worry about international isolation, economic stagnation and the unrest that a possible spread of the “Arab Spring” uprisings into the country might bring. “We do not want another revolution... I am tired of our leaders’ fights over gaining more power... I am tired of the growing economic pressure,” said retired teacher Reza Akbari, 68. Richer Iranians have found ways round some of the restrictions, merely importing their favorite luxury Western goods indirectly, from the Gulf states and other countries. “Such limitations cannot stop other countries from trading with Iran. Money talks,” said a government official, who asked not to be named. But away from the flashier stores, people say they are struggling to cope, squeezed by soaring rents and grocery bills on the one hand and stagnant salaries on the other. In December the government cut costly fuel and food subsidies, sending prices rising. Ahmadinejad said this was done to make Iran less vulnerable to sanctions. Critics say that move worsened inflation, which officially stands at 14 percent but analysts estimate at nearer 50 percent. “The establishment might find ways to get around sanctions. But the cost of housing and basic food has doubled or even quadrupled. People are worried about their day-to-day life,” said political commentator Hamed Sehati. — Reuters

SANAA: Yemeni security forces clashed with Islamist fighters near a southern town overrun by militants, leaving seven Islamists and a soldier dead, officials said. Two militants were arrested, said Yemen’s Defense Ministry. Security across the impoverished nation in the southern corner of the Arabian Peninsula, home to an active Al-Qaeda branch, has largely collapsed since the uprising seeking to oust President Ali Abdullah Saleh broke out in February. Islamist fighters seized Zinjibar and another southern town earlier this year, and Yemeni troops have sought to push them out. Yesterday’s clashes broke out when Islamist fighters attacked an army base west of Zinjibar, but were repelled. Yemen’s Defense Ministr y said in a statement that seven Islamists were killed and two arrested during the attack. Medics said one soldier was killed and three injured in the clashes. To the west, medical officials said two soldiers were killed in clashes with armed tribesmen near the southern city of Taiz, a hotbed of opposition protests. The fighting raged in different areas outside the city throughout the day yesterday, with government forces firing heavy artillery at positions held by tribal fighters. Military officials said the soldiers were killed when tribesmen attacked a checkpoint. Eyewitnesses elsewhere said tribal fighters set fire to three military vehicles. Also yesterday,

SANAA: A defected Yemeni soldier shouts slogans during a demonstration by anti-government protesters demanding the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Sanaa, Yemen yesterday. —AP port officials in the port city of Aden said pirates seized an oil tanker off Yemen’s coast before Yemeni and international forces intervened and freed the ship. The ship had left the Saudi port of Jiddah

10,000 US troops on offer for Iraq: Sources BAGHDAD: The White House is offering to keep up to 10,000 troops in Iraq next year, US officials say, despite opposition from many Iraqis and key Democratic Party allies who demand that President Barack Obama bring home the American military as promised. Any extension of the military’s presence, however, depends on a formal request from Baghdad , which must weigh questions about the readiness of Iraqi security forces against fears of renewed militant attacks and unrest if US soldiers stay beyond the December pullout deadline. Iraq is not expected to decide until September at the earliest when the 46,000 US forces left in the country had hoped to start heading home. Already, though, the White House has worked out options to keep between 8,500 and 10,000 active-duty troops to continue training Iraqi security forces during 2012, according to senior Obama administration and US military officials in interviews with The Associated Press. The figures also were noted by foreign diplomats in Baghdad briefed on the issue. All spoke on condition of anonymity to frankly discuss the sensitive matter during interviews over the past two weeks. White House spokesman Jay Carney on Tuesday said the Pentagon is still planning for all US troops to withdraw by year’s end, noting that time is running out for Iraq’s government to ask them to stay. “We have said for a long time now if

the Iraqi government asks us to maintain some level of troops beyond that end of the year deadline, we would consider it,” Carney told reporters in Washington. He appeared to back off that possibility, however, adding: “That doesn’t necessarily mean we would do it. We would just consider it. And I really don’t have any more information on that possible outcome because, again, we haven’t even gotten a request.” Any change in the US military withdrawal timetable in Iraq, after more than eight years and more than 4,450 US military deaths, could open up difficult political confrontations for Obama as pressure builds to close out the Iraq mission and stick to pledges to draw down troops in Afghanistan. The Senate’s top Democrat, Sen. Harry Reid, told the AP that the high cost of keeping US troops in Iraq , given a mounting US debt crisis and Iraq’s fledgling security gains, is no longer necessary. Reid, the Senate majority leader, estimated nearly $1 trillion has been spent in Iraq since the US invaded in 2003, including $50 billion this year alone. “As Iraq becomes increasingly capable, it is time for our own troops to return home by the end of the year and for these precious resources to be directed elsewhere,” Reid, Democrat of Nevada, said in the statement. “There is no question that the United States must continue to provide support for the Iraqis as they progress, but now is the time for our military mission to come to a close.” — AP

GAZA STRIP: Palestinian relatives and friends grieve over the body of Kamal Hamdan Muammar, 28-years-old, prior to his funeral along with Mohammed Said Abu Jazar in the Rafah refugee camp, in the southern Gaza Strip yesterday after being killed overnight in an Israeli drone strike near the border with Israel. —AFP

and was heading for Sri Lanka, flying a Panamanian flag, the officials said. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media. —AP

Arab unrest puts focus on UAE’s northern emirates RAS AL-KHAIMAH: Driving north from Dubai, the gleaming glass-and-chrome skyscrapers fade away and in their place are low-rise, dusty concrete buildings that few visitors to the United Arab Emirates would expect to see. Long reliant on richer Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the five northern emirates of Ras Al-Khaimah, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujeirah and Umm Al-Quwain are the lesserknown parts of the federation. But recent fuel shortages, along with unreliable utilities services, have contributed to increased grumbling among residents there. “The water sometimes is cut for five, six or seven days,” Khadiga Gomaa, a 60-year-old Bedouin woman, said of her neighborhood in RAK, as Ras al-Khaimah is sometimes called. She was shopping at an outdoor fruit and vegetable market, which itself would be an unusual sight in Dubai or Abu Dhabi where air-conditioned malls and supermarkets dominate. Oil-rich UAE boasts the world’s eighth highest annual per capita income at $47,000, and has avoided the political upheaval sweeping across the Arab world. Official statistics nonetheless point to stark economic gaps between the northern and southern emirates. For example, Fujairah had an unemployment rate of 20.6 percent in 2009, well above the national average of 14 percent. Recent fuel shortages in the northern emirates have added to frustrations, especially since authorities have struggled to provide an explanation. They first blamed maintenance work but analysts point to reluctance to adhere to government subsidies for petrol. The subsidies are aimed at providing cheap fuel to customers but soaring oil prices eat into fuel-providers’ bottom lines. Concerns remain that the gap between the rich and poor, one of the main triggers of protests that toppled the presidents of Tunisia and Egypt, could fuel greater tensions in the world’s third largest oil exporter if left unaddressed. “No country in the region is immune from the regional unrest,” Ghanem Nuseibeh, founder of Londonbased Cornerstone Global Associates, said. “The wealth disparity between the northern emirates and Dubai and Abu Dhabi remains the most challenging issue for the stability of the country as a whole.” “This is not only because of increased threat of localized unrest, but it also creates an opportunity for regional powers to attempt to meddle in the local affairs of those emirates.” Realizing this, the UAE government, led by Abu Dhabi, pledged $1.6 billion in March for infrastructure in the northern emirates. The decision came after UAE President and Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahayan ordered a tour of the emirates in February. During a visit to the Ministry of Public Works this month, UAE Prime Minister and Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum called on federal and local governments to take part in developing the UAE’s remote regions and rural areas. “Dubai’s success is an extension of Abu Dhabi’s success and vice versa. The same dynamic applies to the other emirates,” Sheikh Mohamed was quoted as saying on his website. “The union of these seven emirates represents an unshakeable force.” But Emiratis living in the capital, Abu Dhabi, and the business hub, Dubai, said speedier developments in the northern emirates were needed to encourage people to seek work there. They said developing utilities, health care and education were the most pressing needs. — Reuters



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Somali held 2 months faces charges in US NEW YORK/WASHINGTON: A Somali man suspected of assisting al Qaeda was held abroad on a US Navy ship for questioning for over two months without being advised of any legal rights, an administration official said. The man, identified as Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame, was brought to New York City on July 4 to face charges in a UScriminal court. He appeared in a New York court on Tuesday morning and pleaded not guilty to providing material suppor t to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the Somali group Al Shabaab, USprosecutors in Manhattan said on Tuesday. Warsame was arrested in April by the US military in the Gulf, he was questioned about anti-terrorism “for intelligence purposes for more than two

months” before being read his Miranda rights, the prosecutors said in a statement. Miranda rights entitle suspects to a lawyer and the right to remain silent. He was questioned by interrogators from the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group and the US military, according to an administration official. President Barack Obama’s administration has come under fire by Republicans and even some fellow Democrats over his decision to prosecute some terrorism suspects in criminal courts and not in military courts, where rules for evidence are looser. In Washington, another senior administration official said Obama’s national security team had unanimously recommended the prosecution of Warsame in a criminal court.

The senior Republican on the Homeland Security Committee, Senator Susan Collins, said she did not agree with this decision. “A foreign national who fought on behalf of Al-Shabaab in Somalia - and who was captured by our military overseas -should be tried in a military commission, not a federal civilian court in New York or anywhere else in our country,” she said in a statement. After his interrogation, a fresh FBI team came in and was permitted to talk with him, at which time he waived his legal rights and continued to talk for several days, said the first official, who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to talk on the record about matters of terrorism. Warsame arrived in New York City late on July 4 after being formally arrested the previous day,

according to a letter from prosecutors to the US court. Warsame, said to be in his mid-20s, was indicted on nine charges, including providing material support from at least 2007 to April 2011 to Somali militants Al-Shabaab and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), two groups designated by Washington as terrorist organizations. According to the charges, Warsame also worked to broker a weapons deal with AQAP on behalf of Al-Shabaab. A joint statement by the Manhattan US Attorney, the FBI and the New York Police Department said he was also charged with “conspiring to teach and demonstrate the making of explosives, possessing firearms and explosives in furtherance of crimes of violence and other violations.”— Reuters

Casey Anthony cleared of murder charges by US jury Anthony could get time served for misdemeanors

CARACAS: Hugo Chavez, Jose Mujica, Evo Morales, Fernando Lugo Left to right: Uruguay’s President Jose Mujica, Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, Bolivia’s President Evo Morales and Paraguay’s President Fernando Lugo stand together during a meeting as a part of Venezuela’s Bicentennial celebrations at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday. —AP

Ailing Chavez sits out Venezuela celebrations CARACAS: After returning suddenly from Cuba, cancer-stricken President Hugo Chavez was the notable absentee Tuesday from Venezuela’s bicentennial parade, lying low as he recovered from surgery. Chavez, 56, didn’t completely miss out on celebrations marking 200 years of independence from Spain, telling Venezuelans in a video message on a giant screen erected in the capital Caracas: “I am with you in body and soul.” The day after his return from Cuba, the anti-American firebrand claimed Venezuela had gained independence anew under his stewardship-this time from multinational companies, foreign powers and the Venezuelan bourgeoisie. “There is no better way to celebrate this long-awaited day than in being independent as we are again. We are no longer a colony, like we were, and we will never be one again,” the leftist leader said. Chavez, who has been president of Venezuela since 1999 and has already declared his intention to seek another sixyear term in 2012, has nationalized key sectors of the Venezuelan economy, such as oil and gas. His anti-capitalist, antiimperialist rhetoric, regional powerbrokering skills and health and education programs for the poor have garnered him strong public support hovering at around 50 percent in most surveys. Thousands of supporters chanted “he’s back, he’s back,” while a parade displaying the latest military equipment-much of it purchased from key allies China and Russia-passed by in a triumphant show of strength. No opposition leaders took part in the parade. Venezuela is sharply polarized along political lines, and the differences between the pro- and anti-Chavez sides are wider than ever. “ This celebration belongs neither to a government, nor a single person. I t belongs to all Venezuelans,” the opposition Coalition for Democratic Unity said in a statement. Opposition members also urged Chavez to honor the bicentennial by releasing people whom they consider political prisoners including Chavez rival Alejandro Pena Esclusa, who was detained last year and has cancer. The government denies having any political prisoners.

Chavez also met with a triumvirate of visiting leftist allies, presidents Evo Morales of Bolivia, Jose Mujica of Uruguay, and Fernando Lugo of Paraguay all of whom, unlike him, took part in the parade. On display was a veritable arsenal acquired from key ally Russia, including T-72 tanks, BMP-3 amphibious combat vehicles, Dragunov sniper rifles, as well as troop carriers and anti-missile systems. Sequestered for nearly four weeks in Cuba where he underwent surgery to have a cancerous tumor removed, Chavez returned unexpectedly Monday to Caracas, rallying a crowd with his trademark gusto. In a speech from the palace on Monday, the former paratrooper admitted he had been through some “very difficult hours” during treatment, and cautioned that he had only experienced the “first stage” of the battle. He urged patience and strength on the march toward a “final victor y.” It was almost four weeks ago, on June 8, that Chavez left for Cuba, an isolated ally where the ruling Castro regime is heavily dependent on oil exports from Venezuela, the region’s main oil exporter. Two days later, Chavez was rushed to hospital for emergency treatment on what Cuban and Venezuelan officials said was a pelvic abscess. Conflicting reports and mounting speculation about his condition followed. As days ran into weeks, the absence of the omnipresent leader, who is seen daily on television, heard on the radio and read on Twitter, led to speculation about political life without Chavez in Venezuela. Last week, eyebrows were raised further when Venezuela postponed the inaugural summit of a new Americas bloc, a regional gathering that excluded the United States and Canada, that Chavez had been due to host. On Thursday, the Venezuelan leader made a dramatic announcement on state television via video from Havana that doctors had found and removed a cancerous growth. Officials have since said that the tumor, removed on June 20, was in his pelvic area, but that all the president’s organs are fine. They have not said what type of cancer it was or what the longer-term prognosis might be. — AFP

ORLANDO: A US case that involved years of forensic investigation, weeks of often highly technical testimony and untold hours of media analysis turned out to be pretty straightforward for the jurors weighing whether Casey Anthony killed her toddler daughter. Early in their second day of deliberations, the 12 men and women concluded the 25-year-old lied to investigators but wasn’t guilty in her child’s death in a case that has gripped America. The case played out on American national television almost from the moment Caylee Anthony was reported missing three years ago. CNN’s hard-nosed Nancy Grace dissected the case at every turn with the zeal of the prosecutor she once was, arguing that Anthony was responsible for her daughter’s death. The TV host turned the term “tot mom” into shorthand for Anthony. Now Anthony waits to learn if she could spend her first night out of jail in almost three years since she was first accused in the case. She was only convicted of four misdemeanor counts of lying to investigators Tuesday, and it’s possible that Judge Belvin Perry could sentence her to time already served for those crimes. The four counts of lying to sheriff’s deputies each carry a maximum sentence of one year. Anthony has been in jail since her October 2008 arrest on first-degree murder charges. She avoided a possible death sentence thanks to her acquittal on the murder count. The case began in July 2008 when Caylee was reported missing. “I’m very happy for Casey, ecstatic for her and I want her to be able to grieve and grow and somehow get her life back together,” defense attorney Jose Baez said Tuesday. “I think this case is a perfect example of why the death penalty does not work ... Murder is not right, no matter who does it.” The trial became a national sensation on cable TV, with its CSI-style testimony about duct-tape marks on the child’s face and the smell of death inside a car trunk. After a trial of a month and a half, the jury took less than 11 hours to find Anthony not guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter and aggravated child abuse. Tears welled in Anthony’s eyes, her face reddened, her lips trembled, and she began breathing heavily as she listened to the verdict. Many in the crowd of about 500 people outside the courthouse reacted with anger after

Republicans hammer Obama on debt talks eve WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama’s Republican foes denounced his handling of cash-strapped Washington’s debt woes yesterday, on the eve of White House talks seeking a deal to avert an early August default. Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the negotiations on a package deal to cut the deficit and raise the US debt limit would test Obama’s willingness to do “something big” to get the country’s fiscal house in order. “Until now, the president’s proposals have been inadequate and, frankly, indefensible,” McConnell said in a speech on the Senate floor, taking aim at Obama’s call to raise taxes on the very richest US earners. McConnell, who has vowed to block any tax hike, said it was “ludicrous” for Democrats to insist on such an increase or new spending as part of a deal to avert what the US Treasury has warned could be an economic apocalypse. “We’re eager to meet with the president to see if he’s really willing to do something big here for the country,” said McConnell. “So we’re ready to meet with the president on Thursday.” The talks were due to be part of a final major push to reach a deal to raise the congressionally set limit on US borrowing, now set at $14.29 trillion, in the face of a US budget deficit expected to hit $1.6 trillion this year. —AFP

FLORIDA: Casey Anthony reacts to being found not guilty on murder charges at the Orange County Courthouse on Tuesday in Orlando, Florida. At left is her attorney Jose Baez. —AFP the verdict was read, chanting, “Justice for Caylee!” One man yelled, “Baby killer!” Given the relative speed with which the jury came back with a verdict, many cour t-watchers were expecting Anthony to be convicted in the killing, and they were stunned by the outcome. Sentencing was set for Thursday. Anthony could get up to a year behind bars on each count of lying to investigators. But since she has been in jail for nearly three years already, she could walk free. Prosecutors contended that Anthony , a single mother living with her parents , suffocated Caylee with duct tape because she wanted to be free to hit the nightclubs and spend time with her boyfriend. Defense attorneys argued that the little girl accidentally drowned in the family swimming pool and that Anthony panicked and hid the body because of the traumatic effects of being sexually abused by her father. Anthony’s attorney Cheney Mason blasted the media after the verdict. “Well, I hope that this is a lesson to those of you having indulged in media assassination for three years, bias, prejudice and incompetent

talking heads saying what would be and how to be,” Mason said. “I’m disgusted by some of the lawyers that have done this, and I can tell you that my colleagues from coast to coast and border to border have condemned this whole process of lawyers getting on television and talking about cases that they don’t know a damn thing about.” The jurors , seven women and five men , would not talk to the media, and their identities were kept secret by the court. State’s Attorney Lawson Lamar said: “We’re disappointed in the verdict today because we know the facts and we’ve put in absolutely every piece of evidence that existed.” The prosecutor lamented the lack of hard evidence, saying, “This is a dry-bones case. Very, very difficult to prove. The delay in recovering little Caylee’s remains worked to our considerable disadvantage.” Caylee’s disappearance went unreported by her own mother for a month. The child’s decomposed body was eventually found in the woods near her grandparents’ home six months after she was last seen. A medical examiner was never able to establish how she died. —AP



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Phone hacking targets more slain schoolgirls Lawmakers hold emergency debate

ANKARA: In this photo released by the Turkish Presidency Press Office, Turkish President Abdullah Gul, left, welcomes Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Cankaya presidential palace in Ankara, Turkey yesterday. —AP

Turkish president approves new govt ANKARA: President Abdullah Gul approved a new Cabinet yesterday, including a minister to oversee Turkey’s European Union bid, and the prime minister promised to dramatically reduce the deficit and pursue reforms to expand rights as the EU has asked. Gul swiftly signed off on the Cabinet proposed by his old ally, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The government will face a confidence vote yesterday that it has the numbers to win. Two opposition parties plan to boycott the vote, however, to protest court rulings keeping some of their newly elected lawmakers in jail. The 26-member Cabinet, which includes six new members, will focus on drafting a new constitution , the current one is a legacy of the 1980 military coup , to improve rights and freedoms. Delays in such reforms have hampered Turkey’s bid to join the European Union, which has also wavered because of European skepticism and a dispute over the divided island of Cyprus. Membership seems even more distant now because of Europe’s recent financial upheaval. Erdogan also assured reporters that his new government would take measures to curb the current account deficit, which doubled to $63.4 billion in April compared to a year ago. “The current account deficit is not worrying,” Erdogan said. “You will see, it will be very different in the fourth quarter, we are taking measures accordingly.” Egemen Bagis, the country’s chief EU negotiator, took over the newly established European Union Ministry, and Ali Babacan, the former economy minister, was appointed a deputy prime minister. Former Foreign Trade Minister Zafer

Caglayan is taking over the economy ministry and longtime Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul was left out of the Cabinet and replaced. Erdogan, whose party won a third consecutive term in office in June, said his government would especially take steps to improve social welfare. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu retained his position as Turkey seeks new alliances across the world, while urging Israel, an old ally, to apologize and offer compensation to nine Turkish citizens who were killed in a botched raid on an aid ship that attempted to break Israel’s blockade on Gaza last year. The ruling Justice and Development Party has 327 seats in the 550-seat parliament, more than the simple majority required to win the vote of confidence. The main opposition party, which has refused to take the parliamentary oath, is not expected to participate in the voting. A Kurdish party is also boycotting parliament in protest of court rulings keeping eight newly elected lawmakers in jail. The opposition parties argue that the jailed lawmakers are entitled to parliamentary immunity that should allow them to postpone their trials until after their term in parliament. They have called on Erdogan’s party to rapidly enact changes allowing them to take up their parliamentary seats. Erdogan yesterday criticized the opposition parties for “failing to meet their responsibilities.” The prime minister has reached out to another opposition party, Nationalist Action Party, seeking consensus over a new constitution to replace one drafted during military rule. The two parties together have enough seats to replace the constitution, which requires an absolute majority. — AP

LONDON: Britain’s tabloid phone hacking scandal dominated the airways yesterday as it swelled to allegedly involve more missing schoolgirls and the families of London terror victims. Lawmakers held an emergency debate, companies hastily pulled their ads and the prime minister demanded two new inquiries. News International, the British linchpin of Rupert Murdoch’s global News Corp. media empire, was under intense pressure due to its News of the World tabloid, which has admitted hacking into the phones of celebrities but now stands accused of possibly interfering with police investigations into missing girls who were found murdered. The News of the World had reportedly hacked into the cell phone of missing 13-year-old Milly Dowler in 2002, deleting messages and giving her parents and police false hope that the girl was still alive. Milly had been abducted and murdered, and the search for her transfixed Britain at the time. Prime Minister David Cameron called for inquiries into the News of the World’s behavior as well as into the failure of the original police inquiry to uncover the latest allegations now emerging. London’s Metropolitan Police, meanwhile, confirmed they were investigating evidence from News International that some officers illegally accepted payments from its tabloid in return for information. “It is absolutely disgusting what has taken place,” Cameron said, speaking in the House of Commons shortly before an emergency debate opened yesterday. He said the scandal had entered a new phase now that it included murder and possibly terror victims, but added any inquiry into the News of the World would have to wait until the police investigation was concluded. The hacking case broadened with revelations that the tabloid’s operatives are also suspected of hacking into the phones of victims of the July 7, 2005 terrorist attacks on London’s transit system that killed 52 people. Graham Foulkes, father of one of the 2005 victims, said police told him he was on a list of names of potential hacking victims. “I just felt stunned and horrified,” Foulkes told The Associated Press. “I

LONDON: In this image made from television, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron speaks in the House of Commons in London yesterday. Cameron called for a further inquiry into the phone hacking scandal engulfing the tabloid News of the World. —AP find it hard to believe someone could be so wicked and so evil, and that someone could work for an organization that even today is trying to defend what they see as normal practices.” Foulkes, who plans to mourn his son on Thursday’s anniversary of the attack, said a completely independent investigation is needed because new information that surfaced yesterday shows the police were compromised by accepting “bribes” from the tabloid. “The police are now implicated,” he said. “The prime minister must have an independent inquiry and all concerned should be prosecuted.” Foulkes said Rebekah Brooks, the one -time News of the World editor who is now chief executive of News International, must resign immediately. Brooks has said she didn’t know about the hacking and will

UN: Congo rape victims suffer reprisal attacks

KIEV: Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is seen at the Pecherskiy District Court in Kiev yesterday. The Ukrainian security service says it has opened a criminal investigation into the activities of an energy company once headed by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. —AP

Ukraine’s Tymoshenko expelled from courtroom KIEV: The chaotic trial of Yulia Tymoshenko was plunged further into disorder yesterday when the former Ukrainian prime minister was expelled from the courtroom for calling the judge a monster. Tymoshenko, the country’s charismatic top opposition leader, known for the blond braid around her head, has dismissed her abuse-of-office trial that started last month as a ploy by her enemy, President Viktor Yanukovych, to bar her from politics. Her supporters have been routinely disrupting proceedings and Tymoshenko has refused to respect the court or rise when addressing the judge. “You are not a judge, you are a monster,” Tymoshenko told judge Rodion Kireyev yesterday after police forced out some of her supporters for disrespecting the court. Tymoshenko also joined her activists in the courtroom in shouting “Shame! Shame!” when the judge entered the room. A visibly agitated Kireyev, sighing deeply and struggling to contain his anger, barred Tymoshenko from proceedings for one day for contempt of contempt. Tymoshenko was escorted out of the session hall by blackclad riot police. Tymoshenko stands accused of abusing her office powers by signing a natural gas import contract with Russia amid a bitter pricing dispute in 2009. Prosecutors say Tymoshenko did not have a formal authorization from her Cabinet to sign the deal because the price was too high. Tymoshenko says

she is a victim of political repression. She says the contract ended weeks of natural gas disruptions to Ukrainian and European consumers and that she did not need any special permission as the country’s premier. The US and EU have criticized the trial and other corruption probes into Tymoshenko and her top allies as political persecution. The US State Department has said that Tymoshenko’s trial “does create the appearance of a political motive.” Tymoshenko was the central figure in the 2004 mass protests dubbed the Orange Revolution that threw out Yanukovych’s fraud-tainted presidential election victory and brought a proWestern government to power. She became prime minister but Ukrainians grew frustrated over economic hardships, slow reforms and endless bickering in the Orange camp, and she lost to Kremlin-friendly Yanukovych in the 2010 presidential election. Many Tymoshenko allies also have faced official charges recently, which she describes as part of the government’s efforts to weaken the opposition. Her former economics minister, who faced corruption allegations over the reconstruction of Kiev’s airport, was granted political asylum in the Czech Republic in January. The former interior minister has been in jail for six months on charges that he defrauded the government when he paid his driver illegal bonuses. —AP

JOHANNESBURG: Survivors of a horrific mass rape attack in eastern Congo last year have suffered reprisals and a judicial inquiry into the violence has been suspended, the United Nations said yesterday. At least 387 people were raped in the Walikale territory in late July and early August last year, including men, children and a month-old baby boy. While investigators said that the rapes could constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity, yesterday’s report also noted that only one person has been indicted on any criminal charges in connection with the violence. More than 150 victims and witnesses have been interviewed, but the report by the UN Joint Human Rights Office in Congo yesterday said a judicial inquiry had to be suspended because of the reprisal attacks. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay urged the Congolese government to do more to stop the violence and called on the international community to better equip the UN mission in Congo. “The government should pursue its efforts to bring perpetrators to justice and ensure that victims and witnesses are protected, given the high risk of reprisals,” she said. Luzolo Bambi, Congo’s minister of justice and human rights, said the government was determined to fight impunity. He said he has given orders for criminal proceedings into the rapes, that investigations have opened and that there will be a trial. “There are people in custody including an officer general of the army for rapes and other crimes, proof we are fighting against humanity,” Bambi said. The UN mission in Congo came under scathing criticism following the Walikale attacks because the rapes occurred within 12 miles (20 kilometers) of a UN peacekeeping base. The $1 billion-a-year mission’s primary mandate is to protect civilians. It took days for help to arrive, even though a peacekeeping patrol escorted commercial trucks through one of the villages, Luvungi, while it was held by the fighters. A UN report said the patrol noticed signs of looting but took no action because no one told them what was going on. The soldiers were not accompanied by an interpreter, and few peacekeepers speak the local languages Last year, Congolese President Joseph Kabila called for the UN force to leave before September 2011 so the country could “fly with its own wings.” But the council only authorized a withdrawal of 2,000 troops, leaving a 19,000-strong force that will now remain in Congo until June 30, 2012. Congo’s army and UN peacekeepers have been unable to defeat the rebels responsible for the long drawn-out conflict in eastern Congo, which is fueled by the area’s massive mineral reserves. Victims of the Walikale rapes told doctors they had been attacked by a mixed group of fighters. Various groups of fighters have used rape as a weapon of war in eastern Congo to intimidate, punish and control the population in the mining areas. —AP

remain in charge. “She’s gotta go,” Foulkes said. “She cannot say, oops, sorry, we’ve been caught out. Of course she’s responsible for the ethos and practices of her department. Her position is untenable.” Foulkes said he wants to meet Murdoch in person about the scandal. Simon Greenberg, News International’s director of corporate affairs, told the BBC that a meeting was “something we would consider.” “I doubt he’s brave enough to face me,” said Foulkes. Several companies hastily pulled ads from the News of the World amid the public disgust. Virgin Holidays canceled several ads due to run in the Sunday newspaper this week. Car makers Ford UK and Vauxhall and Halifax bank also said they have suspended advertising in the tabloid. Bloggers have urged advertisers

to boycott the News of the World and all other media outlets of its owners. Mumsnet , a popular online community for mothers , on Tuesday removed ads from broadcaster Sky after its members complained. UK tabloids have a history of harassing royals, sports stars and celebrities, eavesdropping and paying even the most tangential sources for information about stars’ sex lives and drug problems. But the Dowler allegations amounted to interfering in a police investigation to seek tabloid headlines. British media also reported that the parents of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, schoolgirls murdered in a sensational 2002 case, had been informed by police that they were investigating whether the News of the World also hacked their telephones. Glenn Mulcaire, a private detective employed by News of the World, and former News of the World reporter Clive Goodman have already ser ved prison sentences for hacking into the phones of royal officials. Mulcaire issued an apology Tuesday to anyone who had been hurt by his actions, but said there was no intention of interfering with a police investigation. “Working for the News of the World was never easy. There was relentless pressure. There was a constant demand for results,” Mulcaire said. The intense attention on the News of the World comes at a sensitive moment for Murdoch, who is seeking British government clearance to launch a full, multibillionpound takeover of British Sky Broadcasting. Britain’s Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has insisted he will decide the issue purely on competition grounds, without regard to the behavior of the News of the World. But some members of Parliament are linking the two issues and demanding that Hunt block a takeover. Cameron on Wednesday again rejected calls to refer , and thus delay , any BSkyB takeover by referring the issue to the Competition Commission. Cameron and his wife are friends with Brooks, the News International chief. The rapidly expanding phone hacking case is also an embarrassment for London’s Metropolitan Police, who essentially accepted the paper’s claim that Mulcaire and Goodman were simply rogue employees whose actions did not reflect company policy. — AP

Bomb hits Nigerian military checkpoint KANO: Three soldiers were injured yesterday when a bomb hit a military checkpoint in the troubled northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri where attacks by suspected Islamist radicals have killed dozens, the army said. The blast occurred early morning near a food market in a densely populated low-to-middle class neighborhood in the heart of the city. “Two men on motorcycle tossed the bomb at our men which exploded causing panic and fear in the neighbourhood,” Brigadier-General Jack Okechukwu Nwaogbo, the commander of a recently deployed unit, told AFP by phone. A resident, Mahmud Kumalaia said the bomb appeared to have been hidden in a food flask left close to the checkpoint. “The bomb was concealed in a food container and kept at an open air eatery close to the checkpoint, disguised as food left by a food vendor,” he said adding it went off with “a very loud blast and smoke enveloped the area.” “It is not clear if the bomb was timed or remote-controlled. I can’t say if any soldiers died but it is evident many of them were injured,” added Kumalaia. After the attack, the explosion site and nearby suburbs were cordoned off and the city’s main markets elsewhere were closed by security officials. Nwaogbo said 25 people have so far been arrested. “We have cordoned off the ...areas and conducting house-to-house search to fish out the attackers who melted into the crowd. We

have made 25 arrest and we are still making more arrests.” A market trader Aliyu Labaran said the market was shut down. “I was turned back and told the market would not open today. Soldiers at checkpoints are firing sporadically into the air. It’s quite scary.” Attacks have become an almost daily occurrence in the city, and they are claimed by or blamed on Boko Haram, an extremist sect that sprung up in 2004, drawing inspiration from the Afghan Taliban. Two years ago, Boko Haram launched a short-lived armed uprising in a doomed bid to establish an Islamic state. Although the rebellion was crushed in a military assault that killed hundreds, mostly sect members, it failed to deter further attacks. In recent months the attacks have escalated. Close to 50 people have been killed in the city since June 26 when more than two dozen people died in a single attack. President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered the deployment of a special force comprising hundreds of military, navy, air force, police, immigration and customs personnel to end the unrest. The state security police this week said it had arrested more than 100 suspected militants in the north of the country, but that they were unlikely to be prosecuted. Political leaders from three northern states have in recent days tendered apologies to the sect over their role in the brutal military crackdown on the Islamist sect in 2009. — AFP

S Sudan: We can export oil through East Africa JUBA: An official from oil-rich Southern Sudan said yesterday the government is considering connecting its oil supply to an East African pipeline and bypassing Khartoum-run pipelines, a move that could further deteriorate relations between the north and south as Southern Sudan prepares for independence. Southern Sudan will declare its independence on Saturday, but some vital provisions of its split from the north , such as oil rights and wealthsharing , have not been settled. Last month, northern President Omar al-Bashir said he would block the south’s access to the pipelines unless a favorable wealthsharing agreement was reached. The south accounts for more than three-quarters of Sudan’s total oil output but is reliant on northern refineries and pipelines.

Southern roads and transport minister Anthony Lino Makana said his government has been meeting with petroleum companies interested in building a pipeline connecting the south’s oil to ports in East Africa. He did not specify which companies had approached his government. Makana said oil infrastructure in neighboring Kenya will quickly allow the south to pump its oil through existing Kenyan pipelines. “To put a pipeline is very easy for us,” he told reporters in Juba. Makana said that at a cost of “only a few million dollars,” new pipelines will allow the south to “refine and pump petrol in the reverse,” meaning not from south to north, as is currently done. “We won’t need to export very far,” he added. Oil is virtually the only moneymaker for the government of Southern Sudan. —AP



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Pakistani Taleban attack kills up to 38 Afghans Cross-border attacks fan diplomatic tensions

DHAKA: Policemen detain an opposition party activist during a strike in Dhaka, Bangladesh yesterday. —AP

Opposition-sponsored strike cripples Bangladesh DHAKA: Schools and businesses were shuttered and transportation was disrupted in major cities across Bangladesh yesterday as opposition parties led a general strike against a constitutional amendment they say will allow the government to rig elections. The Ministry of Home Affairs said thousands of security personnel were deployed in the capital, Dhaka, to prevent violence, which often occurs during such protests. Clashes between protesters and police were reported in various parts of the country. Police scuffled with some opposition lawmakers in a melee near Parliament. Zainal Abdin Farooque, chief whip of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, was hospitalized with a head injury. Police cordoned off the headquarters of the party, led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia. The party’s key partner, Jamaat-eIslami, and a number of smaller Islamic parties are backing the strike. The constitutional change removed a 15-yearold requirement that general elections be overseen by a nonpartisan caretaker government after the end of an administration’s five-year term. The government pushed the change, which was approved by Parliament last week. The opposition says the amendment will allow Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government to rig the next elections, due in 2014. The caretaker system came under fire in 2007 after a militar y-backed caretaker government stayed beyond its mandated three months and delayed the voting by about two years. Yesterday’s strike disrupted operations at the country’s main seaport in Chittagong, which handles nearly 80 percent of all cargo. Business groups criticized the strike and urged the sides to settle their differences through talks. “Why this strike? Why this unrest? The

country cannot be run like this,” said AK Azad, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry. On Tuesday, at least six vehicles were set on fire in Dhaka on the eve of the strike. No one was injured, fire official Mohammad Morshed said. It was not immediately clear who set the fires. Home Minister Sahara Khatun said the government would do whatever it needs to maintain order, while the opposition said it would take tougher anti-government actions if the government uses force to suppress its protests. A clash was repor ted Tuesday between Zia’s supporters and police in a southern city, and protests were reported in other parts of the country. At least 20 people, including four police, were injured in Chittagong on Tuesday when security officials fired tear gas and charged with batons to disperse a rally, the Daily Star newspaper said. The country’s political situation was further complicated Sunday when a court ordered the arrest of Zia’s son, Tarique Rahman, after police charged him with organizing a grenade attack on an opposition rally in 2004. The attack killed 24 supporters of then-opposition leader Sheikh Hasina. Hasina was unhurt when more than two dozen grenades ripped through the rally as she was speaking. Investigators say Rahman planned the attack to eliminate political opponents. Zia’s party denies the allegation. Rahman, a leader of the opposition party, has been living in London since 2008. He also faces several corruption charges. A general strike is a common opposition tactic to embarrass the government in Bangladesh, a fragile parliamentary democracy that has a history of two successful and 19 failed military coups since 1971, when the country won independence from Pakistan. — AP

Political violence kills 24 in Karachi KARACHI: Pakistan’s leading human rights organization yesterday accused the government of failing to stop political killings after officials said another night of violence left 24 people dead in Karachi. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) says 1,300 killings have been reported in the country’s biggest city this year, 490 of whom were victims of targeted killings blamed on political and ethnic tensions. It blamed the government, led by the Pakistan People’s Par ty (PPP) of President Asif Ali Zardari, over the killings, which underscore deep insecurity in the country’s economic hub used by NATO to ship supplies to Afghanistan. The political violence has been blamed on loyalists of ex-coalition partners the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Awami National Party (ANP), which represent different ethnic communities and straddle volatile fault lines. “We have got reports that at least 24 people have fallen victim to targeted killings since Tuesday evening,” Sharfuddin Memon, an official of the home ministry in the southern province of Sindh, told AFP. He said the police had arrested 12 men with guns and ammunition for alleged involvement in the killings. A police surgeon, Hamid Parhiar,

said city hospitals had received the bodies of 15 victims. A security official said tensions in the city’s western Orangi and Qasba neighborhoods, where gunmen were still opening fire intermittently, had left streets deserted and markets closed. “Police and paramilitary troops are on patrol in the troubled neighbourhoods to avert further violence,” Memon said. The police said five of the bodies were found on a bus in the eastern neighbourhood of Gulshan-e-Iqbal. “We saw a bus parked suspiciously along a street and found bodies of five people-all shot dead-inside. Their identities are still unknown,” police official Mohammad Hashim said. Both MQM and ANP say the dead include their supporters. “We want the government to tackle this issue on objective grounds, strengthen and depoliticise the police and de-weaponise the city. Ever y par ty in Karachi has weapons,” Zohra Yusuf, HRCP chairman, told AFP. “Many police officials have complained that they receive calls from the ruling quarters for the release of suspects of targeted killings soon after their arrests,” she said. “This shows how deep these killings are rooted inside the political parties.” — AFP

KARACHI: The bodies of those killed by fresh political violence are seen in a morgue at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre in Karachi yesterday. —AFP

ASAD ABAD: Up to 33 police and five civilians were killed in fighting after Taleban crossed over from Pakistan and attacked a remote region in eastern Afghanistan, an official said yesterday. Nuristan provincial governor Jamaluddin Badr said about 40 rebels also died in the two days of clashes that followed weeks of tit-for-tat allegations of cross-border attacks that have fanned diplomatic tensions. But the interior ministry contradicted the toll and said 12 policemen had died and another five were wounded. Dozens of rebels who began crossing the border from Pakistan on Tuesday triggered the fight, Badr told AFP, attacking police posts in the Kamdesh district of Nuristan. “The report we have now from the area is that 33 border police and five civilians, two of them women, have been killed,” he said. He said most of the dead rebels were Pakistan Taleban. The interior ministry said that “dozens” of rebels were killed in a clearance operation that lasted several hours, 12 of them Pakistanis. “The situation in the border areas of Kamdesh district has returned to normal and police are strengthening their positions,” it said. The escalating conflict in the rugged border zone between Afghanistan and Pakistan has forced more than 200 Afghan families to flee so far, according to local officials, and is escalating tensions between the uneasy neighbors. For weeks, security forces on both sides of the unmarked border have issued claim and counter-claim over cross-border rocket and guerrilla attacks that have reportedly killed dozens of villagers and terrified hundreds of others. The rise in violence in an area swamped with Taleban and Al Qaeda-linked fighters underscores the problems faced in attempts to forge contacts between militants and regional power brokers and peacefully resolve a decade of war. US troops earlier this year abandoned their easternmost outposts in the furthest reaches

KHOST: An Afghan national army personnel in a bomb suit simulates a detonation of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at Afghan National Army camp near Camp Clark in Mandozai district, Khost province, east of Afghanistan yesterday. —AFP of Kunar and Nuristan provinces and since then insurgents have flooded back into Afghan valleys by the border, analysts say. Afghan officials say about 800 rockets, mortars and artillery shells have been fired from Pakistan into Afghan villages since late May, leaving dozens of civilians dead, injured or displaced. The Pakistan army denies it has targeted Afghan territory, saying that a few stray rounds may have crossed the border and complaining that villages on its side of the border have themselves been the victim of Afghan-based Taleban violence. Yesterday, Pakistani officials accused several hundred militants of infiltrating the border and attack-

ing a village in the Pakistani district of Upper Dir, killing an anti-Taleban elder and setting fire to three boys schools. “The village militia and Pakistan troops are retaliating,” district police chief Mir Qasim Khan told AFP. In Afghanistan, the top border police commander for the eastern region, General Aminullah Amerkhail, has resigned in protest at Kabul’s reluctance to respond with counter-attacks, and ministers have reacted with fury. President Hamid Karzai has appealed for calm over the issues, but has expressed “deep concerns” with Pakistan’s top commander General Ashfaq Kayani and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari in a recent meeting. —AFP

9 dead as cargo plane crashes in Afghanistan KABUL: An Azerbaijani cargo plane carrying supplies for the NATO mission in Afghanistan crashed into treacherous mountains killing all nine crew on board outside the Afghan capital Kabul, officials said yesterday. The plane took off from Baku at 9:26 pm Tuesday with 18 tons of supplies for the US-led mission and crashed as it tried to land at Bagram air base to the north of Kabul, officials said. “Our teams have recovered the wreckage of the plane. Unfortunately all nine crew members have been killed, there are no survivors,” said Afghan transport ministr y spokesman Nangyalai Qalatwal. He said authorities were alerted to the crash by locals who saw a huge ball of fire erupt as the plane hit the mountains at an altitude of 12,500 feet. “The bodies have been burnt and are unidentifiable,” he said.

“The plane has been completely destroyed and the debris is spread over a large area.” The Azerbaijani embassy in Pakistan said the nine crew were from Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan, and that the plane was operated by private Azerbaijani airline Silk Way. There were no reports of bad weather or fighting in the area and it was not yet clear why the plane crashed into the mountainside, Qalatwal said. He said Afghan authorities had requested NATO’s help in recovering the black box from the plane to help determine the cause of the crash. He said the plane was carrying logistics for the US-led NATO mission when it went down in the Shakar Dara mountains, around 70 kilometers (40 miles) north of Kabul. A spokesman for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force confirmed it was a militarycontracted flight. The Azerbaijani

Civil Aviation Administration said contact with the IL-76 was lost at 1:40 am local time, but that the crew had not reported any emergency. “A flight controller at Kabul airport said that they observed a flash of light approximately 25 kilometers (15 miles) from the airport, at a four-kilometer altitude,” it said. “Before the loss of contact, the crew did not report any emergency in the plane. It is assumed that the plane collided with an unknown object in the air,” the statement added, in a possible reference to the mountains. ISAF spokesman Major Tim James said there were no reports of combat in the area at the time of the crash. The US-led NATO force backs Afghan government forces in fighting a 10-year Taleban insurgency that has been concentrated in the east and south. Azerbaijani civil aviation authorities said there were no

UK to withdraw 500 troops from Afghanistan in 2012 LONDON: British Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed yesterday that the UK will withdraw 500 troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2012, modestly reducing the size of the second largest foreign force in the country to 9,000. Following a two-day visit to Afghanistan to holds talks with troops, officials and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Cameron told the House of Commons the withdrawal would take place over the next 17 months. His announcement follows President Barack Obama’s decision last month that 33,000 American troops will leave the country by the end of next summer. About 68,000 US troops will remain. All international forces will end their combat role by the end of 2014, and the majority will leave, though a small number of troops are expected to stay behind to continue working on training projects. “Having taken such a huge share of the burden and having performed so magnificently for a decade now, the country needs to know that there is an end point,” Cameron said. He said that what he insisted was the “growing strength and capability” of Afghanistan’s military and police meant Britain’s troops were able to begin their exit. “This reduction reflects the progress that is being made in building up the Afghan national security forces,” Cameron told legislators, hours after arriving back from Afghanistan. Cameron had previously announced that the withdrawal of 420 troops deployed on temporary missions to Afghanistan is under way and will be completed by February. Those personnel are not considered part of Britain’s 9,500-strong permanent force, almost all of whom are based in the

restive southern Helmand province. The leader has also scaled back British ambitions for improving Afghanistan’s society, though he insists that aid month will increase as troop numbers decline. The UK is providing 178 million pounds ($285 million) in aid money this year. “From the outset this government has sought to take a more hardheaded, security-based approach to our mission. As I have said, we are not there to build a perfect democracy, still less a model society,” Cameron said. Cameron’s visit to the region was marred Monday by the killing of 20year-old rifleman Scott McLaren, who went missing from a checkpoint in central Helmand and was later found with fatal gunshot wounds. An investigation is still ongoing to establish exactly how McLaren died. Cameron said that in a meeting in Kabul late Monday, US Gen David Petreaus had heaped praise on Afghan security forces’ handling of a deadly suicide attack on a luxury hotel in the country’s capital. “Petreaus went out of his way to praise the ability of the Afghan forces in a number of complex operations,” Cameron said. Some analysts say the assault raised doubts about the capability of Afghan forces to handle security. Local troops needed NATO’s assistance to end the incident at Kabul’s Inter-Continental hotel, in which 20 people including the attackers died. In a news conference with Cameron on Tuesday in Kabul, Karzai said he hoped that Britain “could continue to help Afghanistan, to build up our infrastructure, build our civil society” at the same time it wound down its military mission. — AP

technical problems with the plane before it took off for Afghanistan, adding that it was manufactured in 2005 and last had a full inspection in February. Aviation disasters are relatively rare in Afghanistan, where travel by road through vast and remote terrain is made more hazardous by the Taleban insurgency. Last October, a cargo plane carrying goods on behalf of ISAF, crashed into mountains just outside the Afghan capital, killing all eight crew on board. In May 2010, an Afghan commercial Pamir Airways passenger plane carrying 43 people also crashed in mountains outside Kabul, killing all on board. In February 2005, a Boeing 737 operated by private company Kam Air crashed in the mountains on the outskirts of Kabul during heavy snow. There were no survivors among the 104 people on board, including two dozen foreigners.— AFP

Pakistan panel wants bin Laden family held for now ISLAMABAD: An independent Pakistani commission investigating the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden has ordered the government to prevent the Al-Qaeda chief’s wives and children from leaving Pakistan without its permission. Three of bin Laden’s wives and several children have been detained since the May 2 American raid on the terror leader’s compound in the northwest Pakistani garrison city of Abbottabad. In recent days, Pakistani authorities indicated they were about to send the youngest wife to her native country, Yemen. The commission’s order, which was issued late Tuesday and is supposed to be binding, was directed in part at Pakistan’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence spy agency, which tends to operate beyond civilian control and is believed to be holding the family. It wasn’t clear if the powerful security agencies would heed the order. Past Pakistani commissions and inquiries into other issues have accomplished little or seen their findings never published. But the so-called Abbottabad commission appeared to be seeking to take advantage of unusual public pressure on the security establishment since the controversial raid. The ability of the US to carry out the operation unilaterally infuriated Pakistanis who saw it as a violation of their country’s sovereignty. At the same time, US lawmakers were outraged to learn that bin Laden had managed to hide, apparently for years, in a city that is home to a top Pakistani military academy. The Al-Qaeda leader’s discovery has raised suspicions that elements of Pakistan’s armed forces or intelligence services aided bin Laden, but US officials have said they’ve seen no evidence that Pakistan’s top civilian or military leaders knew of his whereabouts. Since the raid, Pakistani commentators and lawmakers have been unusually vocal in their criticism of the military, always a risk in a country where the security establishment has a history of staging coups and is routinely accused of making its foes disappear. Even pro-military commentators have demanded to know why the army was unaware of the US intrusion until after it ended. At first, it appeared the government was willing to let the army handle the inquiry into the bin Laden raid on its own. But opposition leaders and others demanded an independent commission that included nonmilitary representatives, and the government eventually agreed. — AP




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Thailand’s PM-to-be denies job for Thaksin BANGKOK: Thailand’s next leader Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday dismissed mounting speculation that her brother Thaksin, who was ousted in a 2006 coup, will be given an official role under her tenure. Yingluck, who fronted the opposition Puea Thai par ty ’s election campaign as the political stand-in for her fugitive sibling, stormed to victory in Sunday’s

polls and has assembled a five-party coalition. But she dismissed media reports that said Thaksin, who lives in selfimposed exile in Dubai to avoid a jail term for corruption, was likely to become a government trade envoy promoting the kingdom’s exports abroad. “It’s not true, there is no such position appointed,” Yingluck told

reporters as she arrived at her party’s headquarters in Bangkok for a meeting with economic advisers. “There is no role for Thaksin. He is only giving moral support and advice,” she said. “He is fine overseas and he is not anticipating getting any political position. He merely wants to see national reconciliation.” The return of Thaksin, a deeply divisive figure in Thailand, would risk

angering his foes in the Bangkok-based elites in the military, palace and bureaucracy and could spark further turmoil after years of violent protests. After his sister’s win, Thaksin said he had no plan to return to office himself and that setting foot back in Thailand was not a priority, but he has previously expressed hopes to be at his daughter’s wedding in December.

Yingluck, who is yet to be officially appointed by a new parliament, has formed a five-party coalition that will control about three fifths of the lower house seats, but the new cabinet lineup is yet to be announced. “No single cabinet post has been named. Today I want to focus firstly on policy, and how to implement our campaign platform,” she said. —AFP

Japan considers stress tests on nuclear reactors Public anxiety over nuclear restarts remains high TOKYO: Japan’s government is considering conducting stress tests on nuclear reactors to ease safety concerns which have blocked the restart of idled reactors since the March quake and tsunami, including several that have completed maintenance and complied with new, stiffer safety standards. Japan is struggling with a drawn-out crisis after meltdowns at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi atomic plant, site of the world’s worst nuclear incident in 25 years. Tokyo worries that without the restart of reactors outside the quake-hit region that have been shut for regular maintenance, the country could suffer power shortages when demand peaks in the summer. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said yesterday he had asked Japan’s trade and

how well each nuclear reactor could withstand severe events, like the magnitude 9 earthquake and 15-metre (49-foot) tsunami that battered Tokyo Electric Power Co’s Fukushima Daiichi facility in the northeast in March. Such tests would not require extra safety checks but would rely on existing

Tokyo, which Chubu Electric Power Co closed in early May at the prime minister’s request due to that area’s risk of a major earthquake. Countries in the European Union have agreed to proceed with stress tests on the region’s 143 reactors and have urged that they be conducted worldwide.

FUKUSHIMA: Residents of Tomioka in white protection suits evacuated to the city of Koriyama and Buddhist monks in ceremonial costume offer prayers for the victims of March 11 earthquake and tsunami disaster at Tomioka in Fukushima prefecture. —AFP nuclear safety ministers to plan new tests. “I have given instructions to consider ways to further boost assurances about nuclear power plants generally, by making evaluations through something similar to stress tests being conducted in Europe,” Edano told parliament. The tests would determine

data, a trade ministry official in charge of reactor inspections said. Further details would be decided later, he added. Local authorities have been calling for new guidelines to ensure that reactors in their communities are safer than Fukushima and another nuclear complex in Hamaoka, 200 kilometres (120 miles) southwest of

Delays in restarting reactors and the shutdown of tsunami-hit plants have left Japan with only 19 of its 54 commercial reactors still operating. To avoid unexpected blackouts, the government has told big power users in Tokyo and northeastern Japan that starting July 1 they must cut their peak power use by 15 percent com-

pared with last year, resorting to such measures for the first time since the oil crisis of 1974. Before March, nuclear accounted for about 30 percent of the electricity supply in Japan, the world’s thirdbiggest nuclear power generator after the United States and France. Among the first to restart could be two reactors that have completed regular maintenance at Kyushu Electric Power Co’s 36year old plant in the town of Genkai in southern Japan, pending approval from Sage Prefecture Governor Yasushi Furukawa. Prime Minister Naoto Kan told parliament yesterday that his government should come up with a new, comprehensive rule to help local authorities reach decisions on restart approvals, in response to a question about the Genkai reactors. Saga Governor Furukawa later said in a statement that any decision on Genkai should wait until after the stress tests are complete. No time frame has yet been given for the tests, although Furukawa said it was his understanding that they would first be conducted on reactors that had been shut for regular maintenance. The current parliamentary session has been extended until August to discuss compensation for people harmed or forced from their homes by the nuclear disaster. It will also focus on rebuilding the quake-hit regions and a framework to boost the use of renewable energy. But political deadlock could undermine progress as opposition parties are likely to keep up pressure on Kan to keep his promise to quit soon. — Reuters

South Korean sex workers fight to protect brothels SEOUL: The pimps and prostitutes of Yeongdeungpo start the day as if preparing for a siege, stocking their brothels with flammable liquid and gas containers. Large, red-lettered signs warn police that they’re willing to die to protect their livelihoods. “We can turn on the gas and light the flames,” said a 47-year-old pimp who would only give her surname Sohn. “We know that we don’t have much chance of winning ... but we’re ready to die fighting.” Nearly seven years after tough laws began driving thousands of South Korean prostitutes out of business, the sex workers of the Yeongdeungpo red-light district in Seoul are fighting back, spurred by what they say is an unprecedented campaign of police harassment. Since April they’ve staged large, sometimes violent, protests that provide a glimpse of the tensions in this fast-changing country as ambitious urban redevelopment projects encroach on old neighborhoods once known for their nightlife. Rallies by sex workers against police crackdowns crop up occasionally in South Korea, but the protests in Yeongdeungpo , which have drawn hundreds of other prostitutes, pimps and supporters , have been unusual in their size, organization and fury. The district’s 40 to 50 prostitutes describe their fight in life-and-death terms. At a recent protest, about 20 topless women covered in body and face paint doused themselves in flammable liquid and had to be restrained from setting themselves on fire. The demonstrations come as new building projects around the country threaten gritty neighborhoods that are home to aging bars, street food stalls and brothels. If the prostitutes in Yeongdeungpo lose their jobs, they could struggle to find work elsewhere. “We are the people who eat, sleep and live here. Where can we move?” prostitute Jang Se-hee said in an interview inside a large tent where sex workers were discussing how to resist police. The 36-year-old Jang, who wore big sunglasses with plum-colored lenses, her hair tied up in a bun, said her earnings have plunged from as much as $9,200 a month to about $3,700 since police began harrying the brothels in April. On a recent night, about 20 prostitutes stood in skimpy clothing behind pink neon-lit brothel windows, shouting out invitations to a few men walking along the street. Many brothels have suspended business because of the crackdown. Signs in those still

KATHMANDU: A Tibetan exile tussles with Nepalese police officers as she is prevented from proceeding to the venue where a birthday celebration for spiritual leader the Dalai Lama is being held, in Kathmandu, Nepal yesterday.—AP

Nepal bans Tibetan rallies on Dalai Lama birthday KATHMANDU: Nepalese authorities prevented exiled Tibetans from celebrating their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama’s birthday yesterday over concerns that gatherings would turn anti-Chinese. Hundreds of riot police blocked the Tibetans from entering a school on the northern edge of Kathmandu where the celebrations were planned. Only students wearing school uniforms were allowed inside the compound, while other Tibetans including many monks and nuns were stopped. Police detained three Tibetans who tried to hold a prayer meeting on the street. A brief scuffle broke out but no one was hurt. Tibetan gatherings in Nepal generally turn into protests against China, with participants shouting slogans demanding an end to Chinese rule in their homeland. Laxmi Prasad Dhakal, chief government administrator of Kathmandu district, issued a warning that all public celebrations were banned and police would not tolerate anti-

Chinese protests. The Dalai Lama has lived in Dharmsala, India, since he fled Tibet after a failed 1959 uprising against Chinese rule. He is currently in Washington for an 11-day Buddhist ritual, known as a kalachakra, that organizers expect will draw upward of 10,000 followers a day from America, Asia and Europe. His visit begins with celebrations yesterday marking his 76th birthday. Thousands of Tibetan exiles have been living in Nepal for the past few decades after fleeing Tibet and many more pass through Nepal on their way to India. Nepal says it cannot allow protests on its soil against any friendly nations, including China. Police guarded the Chinese Embassy and its visa office in Kathmandu against any protests, and areas populated by Tibetans were put under heavy security. Authorities earlier said they would allow celebrations inside monasteries provided there are no banners or slogans against China. —AP

North Korea rallies slam Seoul ‘traitors’ SEOUL: North Koreans staged rallies yesterday to denounce South Korea’s government as “traitors”, the official news agency reported, two days after a reported 100,000-strong protest in Pyongyang. Soldiers and civilians gathered in South Hwanghae and Kangwon provinces and in the border city of Kaesong “to condemn the crimes of the Lee Myung-Bak group of worst traitors”, it said, referring to the South’s president. Speakers condemned what they called insults to the North’s leaders and its army and system, and threatened a “merciless retaliatory sacred war” if the Seoul government tries to ignite a new conflict. The agency gave no numbers for those taking part in the protests. On Monday it said more than 100,000 people packed a major

square in Pyongyang to denounce “crimes” by the South’s conservative government. Tensions between the two countries have been high for well over a year, since the South accused the North of torpedoing a warship in March 2010 and killing 46 sailors. Pyongyang denied the charge but went on to shell a border island last November, killing four South Koreans including two civilians. The North has been hardening its rhetoric in recent weeks, announcing it will have no more dealings with Lee’s administration. Its military has threatened retaliation for anti-Pyongyang signs displayed by the South’s troops, and for the use by some Seoul military units of portraits of the North’s ruling family as rifle-range targets. The South has ordered a halt to the use of the photos as targets. —AFP

Philippine Senate probes govt donations to bishops

CHUNCHEON: In this photo taken Tuesday, May 31, 2011, South Korean prostitutes wearing caps and masks to cover their identities march during a rally against the enacted anti-prostitution law in front of the Chuncheon city hall in Chuncheon, South Korea. The letters read “Job security.” —AP open show their occupants’ defiance: “We will die here,” they read, or “I will pour fuel on my body and die gloriously.” Prostitution was banned in South Korea in 1961, but police rarely enforced the law. Tougher legislation was created, however, after a 2002 fire killed 14 women confined at a drinking salon and forced to entertain and sometimes have sex with customers. About 259,000 people, 70 percent of them male customers, have been arrested since the new laws took effect in 2004. Nearly 4,000 prostitutes have left their brothels, while 1,800 remain, and seven of the country’s 35 major red-light districts have disappeared, according to police records. Prostitutes and pimps say police have taken a new and aggressive approach in Yeongdeungpo that has driven away most customers: stepped-up patrols, police cars parked visibly in the area and plainclothes officers watching with binoculars. Jang said police stormed

the area three times in June alone, arresting three prostitutes and three customers. “There hasn’t been this kind of crackdown before,” said Kang Hyun-joon, a former pimp who runs an association of prostitutes and pimps in South Korea. Sex workers suspect the nearby Times Square department store pushed police to act against the brothels. Police and store officials deny the claim. The National Police Agency says officers are also clamping down on other districts as part of a routine nationwide crackdown. One Yeongdeungpo police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity because of department rules, said police decided to shut down the brothels because residents increasingly voiced worry about young students passing through the area since the upscale department store opened in 2009. It is not the first time South Korea’s development boom has sparked friction in older neighborhoods. —AP

MANILA: Philippine lawmakers began investigating allegations yesterday that some Roman Catholic bishops may have illegally received donations from the government’s lotto operator in exchange for political favors. The chairman of the staterun Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Margie Juico, told senators in a hearing that an audit showed that at least 6.9 million pesos ($158,600) in charity funds were used to buy five vehicles upon the request of several bishops. Juico said one bishop asked former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for a brand new car on his 66th birthday in 2009 and received a 1.7 million pesos ($39,000) sports utility vehicle. Such donations would violate a law prohibiting the use of state funds for religious purposes. Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos of southern Butuan city wrote Arroyo saying he won’t organize a birthday party in consideration of the “existing (economic) crisis.” Instead, he asked her for “a brand new car, possibly a 4 x 4,” to help him reach remote areas to promote peace on the main southern island of Mindanao, which is wracked by insurgency.

“I hope you will never fail to give a brand new car, which would serve as your birthday gift to me,” he said. In a followup letter, he said the vehicle was for “spiritual and social services programs.” His letters were addressed to both Arroyo and the charity agency, which indicated that he expected the money for the car will come from the government’s lotto operator. The lotto operator raises funds for health care and other social services. The agency routinely donates ambulances to poor municipalities around the country. Repeated calls to Pueblos’ office went unanswered yesterday. Pueblos was among the staunchest supporters of Arroyo, who faced down several coup attempts by disgruntled young military officers and survived impeachment charges of elec tion cheating, corruption and human rights violations during her nine-year rule, which ended last year. She has denied any wrongdoing. Pueblos has earlier called for the resignation of President Benigno Aquino III, who succeeded Arroyo on a promise to investigate corruption. —AP



e niv rsar n



ne ws Rebels pushing towards Tripoli Continued from Page 1

JEDDAH: A Saudi woman walks along the seafront in this Red Sea coastal city yesterday. — AFP

Abu Dhabi cutting expat jobs Continued from Page 1 are no longer guaranteed. One Abu Dhabi-based analyst said in some cases, expatriate contracts were not being renewed to cut bulging salary budgets. The UAE, like much of the Gulf region, depends on foreign workers to fill jobs at all levels of the economy, hampered by a small local population and lack of qualified candidates. Foreign workers hold key positions running national airlines, real estate, financial services and the media industry, as well as strategic roles within national government. There are 35,000 unemployed Emiratis in the UAE, and only seven percent of nationals work in the private sector, according to the Ministry of Economy. Government training schemes have readied more than 6,000 Emiratis for the public sector, Sheikh Mohammed said in June, who urged government and state firms to find roles for them. There are already quotas for Emirati employees, but, increasingly, a renewed urgency to implement more direct measures after popular protests hit the broader region earlier this year. “Regional events may have prompted the government to hasten the Emiratisation of the job market in order to pre-empt any potential socio-economic unrest,” said Ghanem Nuseibeh, founder of London-based Cornerstone Global Associates. “The government’s challenge is to balance the needs of the local population in terms of adequate employment and employability, as well as ensuring

the country does not lose its competitive advantage.” Labour Minister Saqr Gobash said in May that up to 20,000 Emirati private sector jobs a year need to be created in the next decade to allow school-leavers to enter the labour market. “That was always the objective, to have a lean, efficient government and allowing the private sector to flourish,” said an Abu Dhabi government official familiar with the matter. “There are also better qualified nationals coming out of universities who can be catalysts for further evolution. It is not a new thing, just continued polishing of the apple.” The private sector has so far largely escaped significant expat job cuts but the pressure is on. First Gulf Bank, a leading Abu Dhabi lender, is said to have laid off scores of expatriates in the last few months. One senior First Gulf employee said she was replaced by an Emirati despite being told she was the right person for the job. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank said it would take on double the number of Emirati summer interns this year than last. But years of attracting qualified expatriates to fill key roles in government and business will not be overturned anytime soon - nor is that the objective. “The size of the UAE economy is such that the majority of the workforce will be expatriate,” Cornerstone’s Nuseibeh said. “The key thing for the government is to ensure that Emirati unemployment rate remains low, and that it (Emirati employment) is substantially increased in the private sector, and not only in the public sector.” — Reuters

Restaurant puts virtual food onto diners’... Continued from Page 1 images of, say, crispy belly or Thai beef salad. Once a dish is chosen, the order’s sent to the kitchen. A waiter will greet a customer before a meal, but the next time he or she makes an appearance, it’s to bring the food. The concept is a high-tech, highend take on picture menus long common to Asian restaurants. But Hunwick, a 29-year-old Oxford graduate, said the addition of a click-toorder menu has had several big benefits since this branch of Inamo opened six months ago. Having customers compose their own orders meant the restaurant could cut back on staff, while not having to rely on waiters running to and from the kitchen saved about 15 minutes off the length of an average meal. And Hunwick said the system encouraged customers to make spur-of-the-moment orders. “They can impulse buy,” he said. “They don’t have to attract a waiter’s

attention. They can order that drink NOW.” The whole restaurant experience is streamlined. Customers waiting for their food can even play games - like battleship - while those wrapping up their meals can order a taxi or browse the interactive subway map. Head chef Sebastian Francis said there were benefits for those working in the kitchen too. For one, having the customer communicate directly with the cooks meant there’d be less in the way of bungled orders. “It cuts out the middleman - and human error,” he said. So what happens to “Can I take your order?” If virtual menus and push-button ordering spreads (Hunwick says he’s hoping to license the concept to restaurants in Europe, the Middle East and North America) will waiters become obsolete? Charmaine Mok, a freelance food critic who dined at a branch of Inamo, in London’s Soho neighborhood, said she found the experience “rather depressing after the initial novelty wore off”. “Sometimes I feel

like you do want some human interaction - a bit of banter, a few questions about what’s on the menu, what recommendations your server might have,” she said in an email. Jakub Kiss, Inamo’s 27-year-old head waiter, argued that the system actually lets staff be more social. He took a break from his job navigating the restaurant’s wood-and-onyx partitions to point out that ditching the pen and notepad gave waiters “free hands to actually give more true ser vice to the guests”. Customers sharing lunch at Inamo on Monday seemed to agree. “Really quick,” was 48-year-old Mark Smith’s verdict. “It’s great to be able to see what you’re ordering.” Smith recommended the restaurant for first dates, saying that the whole interactive experience made for a great conversation piece. That failing, the couple can play battleship while waiting for their food. And if the evening really goes awry, he joked, “you can order a cab from the table”. — AP

Iraq calls on Kuwait to stop work ... Continued from Page 1 lethal weapons to anti-US militias. Iran and Iraq, which fought a 1980-1988 war that was one of the bloodiest conflicts of the past century, killing an estimated one million people, have drawn closer since the US-led invasion of 2003. But US officials have expressed concern at the Islamic republic’s growing influence in Iraq, which is strategically important to both Tehran and Washington. “I would like to announce to all Iraqi people that we have forgotten all the pain of the past,” Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi told Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki at a ceremony to sign several agreements to boost cooperation in culture, technology, science, communication, health and tariffs. “All of what Iranians love exists in Iraq,” Rahimi said, referring to the most revered shrines of Shiite Islam in the Iraqi cities of Najaf and Karbala, where Iranian pilgrims throng, braving the bombings which rock Iraq each day. “We are ready to stand beside Iraq and build this country, to provide security,” Rahimi said. Maliki owes his premiership in large part to Tehran. It was Shiite Iran that pressured its powerful Shiite proxies to throw their weight behind Maliki, after an inconclusive March 2010 election which he lost by a single vote. Staying on for a second term, Maliki formed a unity government in December, after a powerful Shiite alliance

announced its backing. “We would like to thank the Iranian side for this initiative and this visit, which confirms the desire of both Iraq and Iran to improve relations,” the premier told his guest. Maliki said that relations between the two Muslim neighbours should be improved even more, inviting all Iranian companies and businessmen to Iraq with open arms. “We invite all Iranian companies who want to invest to come,” said the prime minister. “The invitation is open for all businessmen in the private sector.” Last week, Iraq signed a $365-million contract for Iran to build a pipeline to supply natural gas to power stations in Baghdad. Meanwhile, Iraq’s parliament speaker Osama AlNujaifi stressed the need for good relations with Iran, but “on the basis of mutual respect and non-interference in internal affairs”. He also called for a halt to Iranian “shelling of villages and land” in the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq. Iran’s forces regularly shell the border regions of Iraqi Kurdistan, home to members of the separatist Iranian-Kurdish rebel group PJAK, or the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan. In his comments in Baghdad, Rahimi noted that the room where they were standing -inside the Republican Palace of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein and his Sunni-dominated regime - was where the battles against Iran were planned during the war. — AFP

Doctors at the Al-Hekma hospital in the centre of Misrata, where bodies are brought from the front line, said 14 fighters had been killed yesterday and about 50 were injured. The advances came as reports proliferated that Gaddafi - under pressure from a five-month uprising against his rule, sanctions and a NATO bombing campaign - was seeking a deal under which he would step down. His government has denied any such negotiations are underway, and NATO’s chief said he had no confirmation that Gaddafi was looking for a deal to relinquish power. A senior Libyan official told Reuters yesterday there were signs a solution to the conflict could be found by the start of August, though he did not say what that solution might involve. The rebel advances followed weeks of largely static fighting. Heavily armed Gaddafi forces still lie between the rebels and Tripoli, and previous rebel advances have either bogged down or quickly turned into retreats. But with Al-Qawalish now in rebel hands, they can advance northeast to the larger town of Garyan, which controls the main highway leading into the capital. Libyan state television reported that NATO hit targets in Garyan yesterday. A commander of a rebel unit which led the attack yesterday, Maktar Lakder, told Reuters rebel forces would advance on Garyan within a week. The rebel attack on AlQawalish began at dawn. Fighters fired rockets and mortars, sending cries of “Allahu Akbar!” or “God is greatest!” echoing through groves of olive, almond and fig trees with each outgoing blast. Gaddafi’s forces responded with intermittent volleys of Grad tactical surface-to-surface rockets. Clouds of black smoke came from the hillsides where the incoming rounds exploded. Six hours later, the rebels were in the village. About 400 fighters fanned out through the streets, which were otherwise deserted. A group of them broke into a shop and took bottles of soda to quench their thirst. The handful of government troops who were taken prisoner were loaded into the backs of pickup trucks. In the back of one truck were three dark-skinned prisoners. Two of them told Reuters they were from Ghana and one said he was from Mali. Libya’s rebels have a particularly strong dislike for subSaharan Africans fighting with Gaddafi’s forces because they say they are mercenaries. However, many of them say they were forced to take up arms. When their truck slowed down, rebel fighters walking alongside hit the prisoners with their fists but the unit commander, Lakder, intervened to stop them. The previous big advance in the region was last month, when rebels pushed 20 km north

from their base in the Western Mountains to the town of Bir Al-Ghanam. Rebel commanders in Misrata said earlier yesterday they had advanced 20 km to the west overnight, but a Reuters reporter who later reached the new front line said the rebel positions had moved forward by 7 km. That leaves the rebels on the outskirts of Zlitan, one of a chain of small, government-held towns that stand between the rebels and Tripoli. Misrata is about 200 km east of the Libyan capital. The new rebel positions came under intense bombardment from Gaddafi’s forces using mortars, artillery and Grad rockets. At the frontline yesterday afternoon, a unit of fighters had built a sand-bank behind which they could shelter while firing at government troops. The fighting had subsided, but gunshots could still be heard. Unit commander Tarek Mardi, a 36-year-old former banker, said proGaddafi forces had tried to push his fighters back but they had held their ground. “Why isn’t NATO doing its job, where are the Apaches?” he asked, referring to the attack helicopters the alliance had deployed to Libya. “We are protecting our people, our country. We want to save our land from Gaddafi. He is a criminal,” said the commander. Gaddafi, who has ruled oil producer Libya for 41 years, says the rebels are armed criminals and al Qaeda militants. He has described the NATO campaign as an act of colonial aggression aimed at stealing Libya’s oil. A Russian newspaper this week quoted what it described as a highlevel source as saying Gaddafi is sounding out the possibility of stepping down on condition there was a political role for one of his sons. A Libyan government spokesman denied that report, saying Muammar Gaddafi’s future was not up for negotiation. Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim said in an interview with Reuters in Tripoli yesterday that a solution to the conflict could be found before the holy month of Ramadan begins early in August. He did not give details about what that solution might involve. “There are signals that the crisis will find a solution in the coming weeks. We will do whatever possible so that our people will spend Ramadan in peace. So we hope that a solution will be possible before the month of Ramadan,” he said. “Currently the key hurdle to a solution is the NATO military campaign, and we hope that our friends in the African Union organisation will do whatever possible to convince it to stop its aggression against our people.” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he had no confirmed information that Gaddafi had sounded out the possibility of stepping down. “But it is quite clear that the end state must be that he leaves power,” Rasmussen told a news conference in Brussels. — Reuters

Forces round up dozens in Hama Continued from Page 1 He said hundreds of people had been arrested. Rami Adbelrahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 23 people had died in Hama in the last 24 hours, and that an opposition figure in the city had reported water and electricity supplies were cut to the city yesterday morning. State news agency SANA said one policeman had been killed in a clash with armed groups who opened fire on security forces and threw petrol and nail bombs at them. It made no mention of civilian deaths but said some “armed men” were injured. Syria has prevented most independent media from operating inside the country, making it difficult to verify accounts from activists and authorities. Hama was emptied of security forces for nearly a month after at least 60 protesters were shot dead on June 3, but the security vacuum emboldened demonstrators and on Friday activists said at least 150,000 people rallied to demand Assad’s downfall. The next day Assad sacked the provincial governor and sent tanks and troops to surround the city, signalling a military assault similar to those carried out in other protest centres. In a report released yesterday, Amnesty International said the crackdown two months ago against one of those protest centres - the town of Tel Kelakh near the border

with Lebanon - may have constituted a crime against humanity. Urging the United Nations to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court, it said nine people died in custody after being captured during the operation in the town, close to the Lebanese border. Describing a “devastating security operation”, it said scores of men were rounded up, and most of them were tortured. Some detainees told Amnesty they were beaten and tied by the wrists to a bar high enough off the ground to force them to stand on the tip of their toes for long periods - known as the shabah, meaning ghost, position. A 22-year-old man told Amnesty he was tied up in the shabah position had electric shocks applied to his body and testicles during five days of detention in the provincial capital Homs. “Amnesty International considers that crimes committed in Tel Kelakh amount to crimes against humanity as they appear to be part of a widespread, as well as systematic, attack against the civilian population,” it said. Syrian activists say security forces have killed more than 1,300 civilians since the unrest erupted 14 weeks ago. Authorities say 500 soldiers and police have been killed by armed gangs who they also blame for most of the civilian deaths. Assad has responded to the protests with a mixture of repression and concessions, promising a political dialogue with the opposition.

Preliminary talks on the dialogue are due to be held on Sunday. But opposition figures refuse to sit down and talk while the killings and arrests continue, and diplomats say events in Hama will be a litmus test for whether Assad chooses to focus on a political or a military solution to the unrest. Some residents sought to halt any military advance earlier this week by blocking roads between neighbourhoods with rubbish containers, burning tyres, wood and metal. The New York-based group Human Rights Watch (HRW) said it had been told by an official at Hama’s Hourani hospital that security forces surrounded the hospital on Tuesday, although they did not enter it, as it received the bodies of four people and treated 60 others with gunshot wounds. “Security forces have responded to protest with the brutality that’s become familiar over the past several months.” said Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW’s Middle East director. Assad’s father, Hafez Al-Assad, who ruled Syria for 30 years until his death in 2000, sent troops into Hama in 1982 to crush an Islamistled uprising in the city where the armed wing of the Muslim Brotherhood made its last stand. That attack killed many thousands, possibly up to 30,000, and one slogan shouted by Hama protesters in recent weeks was “Damn your soul, Hafez”.— Reuters

Bahrain jails 3 Iran ‘spies’ Continued from Page 1 official in charge of Middle East affairs, Hossein Amir Abodolahian, told Mehr news agency. “There had been past reports that an Iranian national had been arrested and tried by a Bahraini court... Our consul then met with him and it turned out he did not have Iranian nationality,” he added. In early April, Kuwait expelled three Iranian diplomats it accused of working for an Iranian spy ring, reportedly since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. Iran in response expelled “several” Kuwaiti diplomats. The row also prompted the Gulf state to recall its ambassador from Tehran. Iran and Kuwait have, however, reportedly exchanged ambassadors again. Manama has along with other Gulf states repeatedly accused Iran of interference in Bahrain in connection with Shiiteled pro-reform protests in the tiny Gulf kingdom that were crushed in a bloody March crackdown by security forces. Separately, Human Rights Watch yesterday accused Bahrain of carrying out a “campaign of violent oppression” against its citizens and called for an end to abuses. Proreform protesters took to the streets of Bahrain on February 14, but secu-

rity forces crushed the demonstrations a month later in a bloody crackdown followed by sweeping arrests. The authorities said 24 were killed in the unrest. “The Bahrain government, since March 2011, has been carrying out a punitive and vindictive campaign of violent repression against its own citizens,” HRW said in a statement. “Bahrain has brutally punished those protesting peacefully for greater freedom and accountability while the US and other allies looked the other way,” HRW’s deputy Middle East director, Joe Stork, was quoted as saying. HRW called on “the Bahrain government to end unlawful and incommunicado detention, to free protesters unless legitimate criminal charges can be brought against them, and to allow monitoring by independent human rights organisations”. The New York-based rights watchdog said it has been prevented from working in Bahrain since April. Its latest report on Bahrain, which was released on Tuesday, offers sharp criticism of the kingdom’s conduct, placing it in the same class as Syria, Libya and long-time strongman Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt - all of which have carried out violent campaigns to suppress pro-reform protesters. “Bahrain’s ruling Al-Khalifa family has

been carrying out a systematic and comprehensive crackdown to punish and intimidate government critics and to end dissent,” it said. The report also raised doubts about the potential of a national dialogue, the first session of which was held on Tuesday evening. “The ruling family has stacked the deck in a way that unfortunately makes a resolution (through the dialogue) highly unlikely,” it said. “In place of Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, the original proponent of the dialogue, King Hamad has appointed the speaker of the parliament, a proponent of the government crackdown, to convene and direct it. Leading opposition figures essential to any successful dialogue have been sentenced to prison or are facing special military court trials simply for participating in peaceful demonstrations and criticising the government, and even legally recognised opposition parties have been completely marginalised.” Al-Wefaq, the main Shiite opposition group in Shiite-majority Bahrain, has been allowed five representatives out of some 300 people invited to the dialogue, despite having won 18 out of 40 seats in recent parliamentary elections. The bloc withdrew its MPs to protest violence against demonstrators. — AFP





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Argentine prez pins hopes on young loyalists By Helen Popper rgentine President Cristina Fernandez is betting her future on a pro-government youth movement founded by her son, challenging old allegiances inside the ruling Peronist party as she seeks re-election. Fernandez, a center-leftist who polls suggest could easily win a second term on Oct 23 on the back of sizzling economic growth, has peppered ruling party electoral slates with members of the ultra-loyal La Campora group. La Campora’s rapid ascent has unsettled some of her traditional Peronist party allies such as trade union leaders and the mayors who control the vote-winning machinery in the densely populated outskirts of the capital, Buenos Aires. It is often said in Argentina that it is hard to win power and even harder to keep it without the backing of the Peronist party bigwigs. Fernandez’s late husband and predecessor, Nestor Kirchner, who died nine months ago, made that his political mantra during his 2003-2007 presidency. But, emboldened by approval ratings above 50 percent, Fernandez seems determined to put her own stamp on the power base she inherited from her husband, even if it risks union unrest at a time when high inflation is stoking wage demands. “They’re building their own political party,” said Ricardo Sidicaro, a sociologist at Argentina’s CONICET research center. “There’s no doubt there’s been an irreparable split with the unions ... (and) a distancing from traditional Peronism that was a ‘no go’ for Kirchner.” After some mutterings of discontent over the electoral lists, trade unionists - who wanted more political influence - and other allies have played down tensions. “When you’ve got 100 suitors chasing 10 women, 90 will end up getting annoyed,” Hector Recalde, legal adviser to the country’s CGT labor confederation, told local radio this week. “We still support Cristina’s re-election,” said Recalde, whose son is a leader of La Campora. The government has accused the mainstream media of stirring up the controversy over the ruling party slates. “They’re always talking about (the need for) political renovation ... and now there are young people on the lists, it’s a disaster,” said Economy Minister Amado Boudou, who is Fernandez’s vice presidential candidate. Boudou, a 48-year-old bachelor with a penchant for rock music, does not hail from the ranks of La Campora. But he shares the qualities Fernandez seems keen to promote - a youthful image, a professional profile and absolute loyalty to the interventionist economic policies that infuriate many farmers and business leaders. On walls and bus shelters in Buenos Aires, La Campora posters advertising neighborhood meetings and rallies mix retro images of Kirchner with the famous phrase attributed to former Chinese leader Mao Zedong: “Let a thousand flowers bloom.” Named after Hector Campora, a left-leaning Peronist who led the country briefly in 1973, the movement was founded by the Kirchners’ son Maximo, 34, during his father’s presidency, and several members have already clinched senior state roles. Recalde’s lawyer son, Mariano, heads nationalized airline Aerolineas Argentinas, and the government named La Campora economists to serve on the boards of leading companies. The youth movement has gained attention since Kirchner died of a heart attack last October, when thousands of youngsters queued to catch a glimpse of his coffin. Financial markets cheered Kirchner’s death, hoping it would pave the way for a government more amenable to investor interests. In the end, it boosted Fernandez’s popularity and gave new life to the combative and unpredictable policy mix that strikes a chord with youngsters marked by the 2001-02 economic crisis that plunged millions of Argentines into poverty. “(Kirchner’s death) made us step things up a notch,” said Juan Cabandie, 33, the ruling party’s top legislative candidate for the capital’s legislature and a key figure in La Campora. “She’s betting on this generation because it’s the guarantee that this political project lasts for many decades,” said Cabandie, whose face is spread across campaign posters in the capital ahead of Sunday’s mayoral election. When Fernandez finally ended months of speculation by announcing her candidacy last month, she said she wanted to be a “bridge between the new and old generations”. As well as ensuring backing in Congress in a likely second term, the plethora of committed young allies on electoral lists may be part of Fernandez’s post-2015 succession strategy. —Reuters


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Chavez foes see cure in 2012 vote By Pascal Fletcher enezuela’s opposition says the ballot box, not the clutch of cancer, offers the best chance to unseat the president who has mocked its leaders for years. The rollercoaster drama of President Hugo Chavez’s health woes has kept Venezuelans riveted for a month. Instead of jumping on the president’s illness like jackals on a wounded lion, most leading opponents of the 56year-old Venezuelan leader are coolly keeping their sights and energies fixed on a presidential election due next year. “We have a route and we’re going to follow it,” Caracas metropolitan mayor Antonio Ledezma, a strident Chavez critic, told Reuters hours after the president returned unexpectedly from Cuba after having a cancerous tumor removed. Showing notable restraint in a nation where partisan invective has often gone to vicious lengths, opposition leaders have shied away from comments on Chavez’s illness that could be construed as capitalizing on his misfortune. Instead, representatives of all political colors in the notoriously fractious opposition coalition, who have often snarled at each other as well as Chavez, have been conspicuously united in wishing him a speedy recovery. They seem to scent that even before his health emergency and secretive convalescence in Cuba, the 2012 vote held out their best opportunity in years to end the 12-yearold rein of a leader who daily belittled them as “squalid” coup-mongers. With speculation still rife about how much post-operative treatment Chavez needs and how actively he can govern, analysts saw his surprise homecoming on Monday as a conscious move to prevent any undermining of his leadership or electoral base. “Going back is a way to settle things down and buy some time,” said Michael Shifter, president of the InterAmerican Dialogue think tank in Washington. Before Chavez’s return, analysts saw a political opportunity for the opposition creat-


ed by the unexpected health problems of a hyperactive president who had always projected an aura of physical and political invincibility. “Have you ever seen Superman sick?”, opposition youth leader Yon Goicochea quipped in comments to a local newspaper. But even if such an opportunity exists, opposition leaders are adamant that votes, not cancer cells, are the best antidote to Chavez’s

Venezuela’s second most populous state of Miranda who is the frontrunner to become the opposition contender to Chavez in the presidential race. “Venezuela’s problems don’t stem from the situation of the president’s health; Venezuela’s problems are due to the inefficiency of the government,” Capriles added. He and other foes say their prospects of winning next year have increased while

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez (center) smiles accompanied by Bolivia’s President Evo Morales (right) and Uruguay’s President Jose Mujica during a meeting as a part of Venezuela’s bicentennial celebrations at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Tuesday. — AP self-styled leftist Bolivarian Revolution, which has changed the politics and economy of the OPEC oil producer. “The government is the same with Chavez in Cuba or Chavez in Venezuela. The change of government will come when we have presidential elections (in 2012),” said Henrique Capriles Radonski, the youthful governor of

problems like crime, power outages and poverty persist despite billions of oil dollars spent on social projects. They point to 2010 parliamentary elections that gave them 40 percent of the national assembly seats, a useful beachhead against a tide of the Chavez poll victories since 1999. “Today, the majority of Venezuelans want a change ... before the

announcement of the president’s sickness, the conditions were already there for a change to occur in 2012,” said Leopoldo Lopez, another veteran opponent of Chavez. Lopez, blocked by the government for running for Caracas mayor in 2008 because he faced corruption charges he says were trumped up, says it is the pro-Chavez bloc which needs to worry about their leader’s health, not the opposition. Rumors have surfaced of tensions and rivalries in the Chavista camp. Showing a unity of purpose not seen in recent years, Chavez opponents have agreed to hold a key primary in February to select a candidate to run against him and Lopez said some 4 million people were expected to take part. The opposition decision not to campaign on the health issue makes political sense, analysts believe. “We don’t think the “health issue” in itself will decide the election. It’s Chavez’s gross policy mismanagement of high inflation/low growth and failed promises after 12 years in office that will decide the election,” Siobhan Morden, head of Latin America Strategy at global banker RBS, told Reuters. “The opposition doesn’t even have to mention his health (in fact they’ll probably avoid it). All they have to discuss is his failed policies,” Morden said in emailed comments. Ironically, the opposition may need Chavez as much as the president’s own followers. He is the big electoral foe that can cement their unity and focus, whereas a diminished Chavez or weaker replacement might unleash the kind of leadership struggle that has rent opposition ranks in the past. “There could well be renewed risks of infighting and fractiousness in a opposition that is, after all, notably heterogeneous,” Shifter said. Few doubt that even an ailing Chavez remains a formidable foe. The president’s appearance before a delirious crowd outside his palace on Monday after his return from Cuba - wearing the red paratrooper’s beret that is the symbol of his leftist and militaristic leadership - showed he may be shortening his speeches, but not hanging up his revolutionary boots yet. — Reuters

Assad faces dilemma in Hama By Dominic Evans yrian President Bashar Al-Assad faces a dilemma over the city of Hama, crushed by his father a generation ago and now slipping beyond his control. If he lets protesters stay on the streets, he will see his authority ebb away, but if he sends tanks into the city still scarred by the 1982 massacre, he risks igniting far wider unrest at home and deeper isolation abroad. Between 10,000 and 30,000 people were killed when Hafez Al-Assad ordered his troops in to defeat insurgents in Hama, and parts of its old city were razed to the ground. Twenty-nine years later Hama demonstrators chanting for the overthrow of Bashar still curse the memory of his father, who died in 2000 after ruling Syria for three decades. “If tanks go into Hama and crush the protests, Syria will ignite from south to north and from east to west,” said Rami Abdelrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. “The regime will be isolated internationally, because Hama has historical symbolism.” Assad’s forces largely disappeared from Hama one month ago after activists said at least 60 protesters were killed when security men fired on crowds of demonstrators. The security vacuum - some reports said even traffic police disappeared - emboldened residents and the weekly protests after Friday prayers grew into huge gatherings. Last Friday, video footage showed tens of thousands of people in the city’s main square and activists said at


least 150,000 people attended the rally demanding Assad’s departure. The next day Assad sacked the provincial governor and tanks appeared on the outskirts of the city. The tanks stayed outside Hama on Tuesday, but Syrian forces and gunmen loyal to Assad went in and killed 10 people, activists said. Diplomats say how Assad deals with Hama could determine the direction of Syria’s unrest, at least for the immediate future. Since the outbreak of protests in March, the 45-year-old president has combined ruthless repression with a series of concessions to demonstrators, including a promise of national dialogue on political reform. The mix of stick and carrot has often appeared counter-productive, and activists say they cannot hold talks with authorities while killings continue across the country. “ There’s a political track and a security track and they don’t seem to be in synch... Hama is a litmus test,” a diplomat in Damascus said. “If the tanks stay on the outskirts and move away eventually, it would seem that the

political track has won the day. “If they continue to stay where they are, making sorties into the centre of town, then maybe they are drifting back to the security solution... So what happens there in the next few days will really be key.” Abdelrahman said the mixed messages from authorities reflected genuine divisions at the top. “There is one wing of the authorities which wants a military solution in Hama and one wing which wants a democratic solution,” he said. Others said pledges of reform talks were a smokescreen. “They are calling for dialogue... and at the same time the Syrian army is at the gates of Hama,” said Rime Allaf, associate fellow at Chatham House. “It’s the most blatant illustration of just how insincere the regime is about dialogue.” Assad might hesitate to send the army into Hama for fear of alienating Russia and China, veto-holding members of the United Nations Security Council which have so far resisted Western efforts to secure UN condemnation of Syria. “Even (Syria’s) supporters at the Security Council, Russia and China, even they might baulk at military action in Hama,” the Damascus-based

diplomat said. But analysts say a leadership increasingly focused on “regime survival” is unlikely to be swayed by international criticism. Reaction to the unrest in Syria, where activists say security forces have shot dead more than 1,300 civilians, has been muted compared to the response to protests in Libya. While the United States, European Union and other Western nations have imposed sanctions on Assad and senior officials, their repeated warnings over several months that Assad is running out of time are beginning to ring hollow. “Bashar interprets the international position as one of support for him, because there are no clear messages from the international community yet,” said Lebanese academic Nadim Shehadi. “The international community is divided over Syria.” “I think Bashar alAssad thinks he has a licence to kill from the international community.” French parliamentarian Gerard Bapt, head of the French-Syrian friendship committee, said there was also little regional appetite to confront Assad. “With the Arab League not moving and with a nation like Saudi Arabia saying nothing publicly to condemn the killings by the Syrian regime it is difficult to see international pressure rising beyond the economic,” he told Reuters in Amman. “Another grand Hama massacre could result in a United Nations resolution, but is unlikely to contain protection for the civilian population, with the West already engaged in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.” — Reuters




Alliance shifts behind Greece Gaza stand By Elena Becatoros

reece’s decision last week to block activists from trying to sail to Gaza with an aid shipment in defiance of Israel’s sea blockade took many by surprise. After all, Athens has been a traditional ally of the Palestinians and Arab states, and only established full diplomatic relations with Israel in 1990. But Greece has quietly been building economic and political bridges to Israel for years. And now that Turkey Greece’s traditional rival - has cooled to its role as the Jewish state’s best friend in the Muslim world, the debt-wracked Greeks have an even greater incentive to cozy up to its rich Mediterranean neighbor. The activists’ boats have been officially confined to Greek ports since Friday. Vessels trying to leave have been stopped by armed coast guard officers after Greece issued its blanket ban on any vessel sailing to the Palestinian territory. Four people have been arrested so far in short-lived attempts to set sail: an American captain, two Canadians and an Australian. Athens said it issued the ban for security reasons, pointing to a similar blockade-busting effort last year that ended in the deaths of nine activists on a Turkish boat when Israeli forces stormed the vessels near Gaza. But many see regional politics as the real reason behind Athens’ stance. The dynamics in Greek relations with the Palestinians have grown more complex. The European Union labels the Hamas militant group that seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 a terrorist organization; as an EU member Greece must stand by that view. Israel says its sea blockade stops weapons from reaching Hamas, and had warned it would stop any attempt to break through its barrier. Greece, on the edge of debt default and propped up by an international bailout, sees warming ties with Israel as a way to attract crucial investment. Ties have also blossomed as Israel’s relations with Turkey a traditionally strong security partner for the Israelis - have cooled. Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu singled out Athens for praise for its help blocking the flotilla, thanking “my friend, the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou” in a speech. It’s the friendship vacuum left by Turkey’s troubled Israeli diplomacy that some observers see as the critical factor in Greece’s new rapport with Israel. “The main cause for the change in Greek strategy lies in the worsening of relations between Turkey and Israel,” said Giorgos Tzogopoulos, research fellow at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy. “Greece benefited from the circumstances, it didn’t create the conditions itself for an opening with Israel.” The same is true for Israel, he said. Tensions between Turkey and Israel grew several years ago as Turkey’s Islamic-oriented government sought a rapprochement with traditional foes of Israel in the Middle East. Ties deteriorated sharply after Israel’s three-week military offensive in Gaza in 2009. The raid on the Turkish flotilla boat sent relations to a new low. “I think what pushed Israel to Greece was the crisis with Turkey and in Greece it was met very positively because Greece is having troubles and Israel can help, especially militarily and also


because they wanted to show Turkey that there is an alternative to Turkey in the region,” said Alon Liel, former director general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry. “What we are seeing now with the flotilla is probably an outcome of very intensive Israeli-Greek cooperation and warming of ties over the past two years,” he said. Greece still main-

tains close ties with Arab countries, and Papandreou spoke with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas about Athens’ offer to transport the aid of the Gaza flotilla an offer which was greeted positively, the prime minister’s office said. The Foreign Ministry insists its relations with the Arab states will not be adversely affected. It con-

Palestinian activists wave Italian, Belgian and Palestinian flags during a protest in support of the Gaza-bound flotilla at the seaport in Gaza City yesterday. — AP

tinues to push for an improvement in the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, and supports the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. “All these are the steady positions of Greece,” ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras said, noting the situation in the Middle East was delicate. “Greece is taking a responsible stance and dealing with a particular situation. And this situation says that there is an immediate danger to human life by participating in this attempt,” he said of the flotilla attempt. “This is something that arises from experience. I think we all remember the tragic events we had last year. The region doesn’t need this at the moment.” But the move has been met with anger from the activists. Some have speculated that Greek authorities imposed restrictions on them partly in response to Western pressure at a time when Greece is seeking to meet European requirements in exchange for desperately needed financial aid. Theodore Dritsas, a Greek leftist parliamentarian, alleged that Foreign Ministry officials previously agreed in discussions with lawmakers that the flotilla could set sail. He said the government was now going back on its word, jeopardizing Greece’s relations with Arab countries. “They were accepting that this campaign is legal and has to be done,” Dritsas said during a news conference by flotilla activists. — AP

xpanding uranium enrichment, a new atomic energy chief said to have military expertise, missile tests - Western analysts see fresh signs that Iran may be seeking to develop the means to build nuclear warheads. Iran’s determination to press ahead with a nuclear program it says is for purely peaceful purposes suggests that tougher Western sanctions are so far failing to force the Islamic state to back down in the long-running dispute over its atomic aims. “Although developments elsewhere in the Middle East have dominated media attention, Iran has been working hard in several ways to advance a nuclear weapons capability,” London-based proliferation expert Mark Fitzpatrick said. “It needs fissile material, weaponisation expertise and a delivery vehicle. On each of these, it has been making progress,” Fitzpatrick, a director at the International Institute for Strategic Studies think-tank, said. But even if Tehran decided to make such weapons it could still be years away from having nuclear-armed missiles, possibly giving diplomacy more opportunities to resolve a row which has the potential to spark a Middle East conflict. World powers failed to make any progress in two rounds of talks with Iran half a year ago and no new meetings have been announced, leaving the diplomatic track apparently deadlocked. “While difficult, Western capitals need to redouble their diplomatic effort to dissuade Iran from taking the nuclear weapons path,” Daryl Kimball, director of the Washington-based research and advocacy group Arms Control Association, said. Kimball said Iran was closer to a capability to make atomic weapons but it “apparently has not yet made a strategic decision to do so and is still years, not months, away from building a deliverable nuclear arsenal”. Britain last week said Iran had carried out covert tests of a missile that could carry a nuclear warhead, an allegation which Tehran swiftly denied. During a military exercise last week, Iran test-fired 14 mis-


Berlusconi more weakened by Fininvest fiasco By Philip Pullella

Flotilla foretaste of future diplomatic furore By Crispian Balmer ro-Palestinian activists hoping to sail to Gaza this week fully expected their flotilla to be blocked by Israeli marines. Instead, to their shock, the mission was holed even before they put to sea - by Greece. The diplomatic manoeuvring that snarled the Gaza initiative pales in comparison with the behindthe-scenes tussles surrounding a unilateral drive by the Palestinians to secure United Nations’ recognition of statehood this September. While Israel has won this first round, the stakes will be much higher in the months ahead, with the possibility of chaos in the Palestinian Territories if politicians mess it up. “Gaza is just a prologue to a series of events that we will see heading into September,” said Yoram Meital, a Middle East expert and professor at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. “If we cannot find a way for a resumption of serious peace negotiations then we will face a completely different environment and a very risky context.” Israel received widespread criticism last year when its commandos boarded the first flotilla heading to Gaza, which is run by Islamist group Hamas, killing nine Turkish activists in clashes on the deck. In a effort to shore up waning support, Israel subsequently went on a charm offensive, reaching out to Turkey’s historic foe Greece and proposing a series of military and business tie-ups. Not previously seen as pro-Israeli, Athens welcomed the overture and the friendship has paid dividends for Israel, with Greek authorities pouncing on flotilla ships preparing to leave its ports this past week and keeping them in harbour. “I would never have believed that to pursue my convictions and freedom I would have had to clash with a European democracy like Greece,” said Alain Connan, the captain of a French ship which is stuck in Greek waters and still looking for a way out. On the face of it, the flotilla debacle does not bode well for the Palestinians, demonstrating Israel’s ability to galvanise foreign governments despite misgivings about its tough attitude towards peace talks. However, Israel might find it easier to build consensus for its sea blockade of Gaza, meant to stop weapons reaching Hamas, than it will to prevent the Palestinians driving ahead with their UN initiative. “As far as the flotilla was concerned, almost everyone was very uneasy because it was not clear if it complied with international law,” said Oded Eran, head


of Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies. “If the Palestinians do decide to go to the United Nations, then they will probably get around 150 votes (out of 192 UN members) so the resolution will pass. The real issue is who abstains or votes against.” Much as he reached out to Greece, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has embarked on a tour of other European countries, to convince them to put pressure on the Palestinians to shun the UN and return to the negotiating table. Yesterday he travelled to Romania, with Bulgaria on the schedule for today. “Our aim is to build a moral minority and get the countries that count, the Western democracies, to vote against the Palestinians and draw the teeth out of this thing,” said one senior Israeli official, who declined to be named. The failure of the aid flotilla has barely caused a ripple among Palestinians - including Gazans, most of whom would agree that there is no humanitarian crisis in progress. But the UN project is being followed much more closely. The United States and European Union are trying to head off a showdown in New York by reviving the direct peace talks that collapsed last year amid a row over Jewish settlement-building in the West Bank, where Palestinians hope to create their state. This looks a forlorn hope, with the two sides as far apart as ever and the Palestinian leadership apparently hopeful that a convincing vote in the UN General Assembly might finally give some external momentum to their long-stalled independence drive. Washington looks certain to veto any statehood resolution put before the UN Security Council, which means Palestinians will not be able to secure United Nations membership, for now. But Israelis fear that strong support in the general assembly, which includes all UN members, might encourage the Palestinians to rebel and demand sovereignty. Uprisings across the Arab world have failed to inspire the Palestinians to take to the streets once more and fight for change, but judging by countless campaigns for a third intifada on social media, it may only be a question of time. “Palestine is a fuse that could still explode in the region,” said George Giacaman, co-founder and general director of the Palestinian Institute for the Study of Democracy. “Remember, this is a conflict that has lasted for 120 years and it is not going to be ended in just one round,” he added, referring to the disabled Gaza flotilla. — Reuters

Iran nuke steps deepen Western suspicions By Fredrik Dahl


siles on one day alone, including some it says are capable of hitting its arch foe Israel and US bases in the Middle East. Defence analyst Paul Beaver said he thought Iran aimed to have a “nuclear-capable weapons delivery system and then to be able to use that in its diplomatic and political posturing”. He added: “How close are they? They are within years, rather than within months, I believe.” Tehran says its missiles cannot carry nuclear payloads and insists it is enriching uranium for electricity production and medical purposes. Making atomic bombs would be a “strategic mistake” and would also not be allowed under Islam, it adds. But in a defiant move that further fuelled Western unease about its intentions, Iran announced last month it would shift its production of higher-grade uranium to an underground bunker and triple output capacity. It says it needs 20 percent refined uranium to make fuel for a medical research reactor after talks on a swap under which other countries would have

supplied the material - broke down. Nuclear experts argue the step would bring it significantly closer to the 90 percent purity needed for nuclear weapons, compared with a level of around 3-5 percent usually required to power atomic energy plants. Olli Heinonen, a former chief UN nuclear inspector, said he saw Iran “moving in the direction” of becoming a state that has the ability to make atomic weapons. “In spite of economical, technological and political difficulties faced, it appears that Iran is determined to, at the very least, achieve a ‘virtual nuclear weapon state’ capability,” he told a US Congress foreign affairs committee. But former U.N. nuclear watchdog head Mohamed ElBaradei, Heinonen’s old boss who stepped down in 2009, criticised what he called the “hype” about the threat posed by Iran. “During my time at the agency we haven’t seen a shred of evidence that Iran has been weaponising, in terms of building nuclear-weapons facilities and using enriched materials,” he was quoted as say-

Two Iranian clerics wait for launch of a Shahab-2 missile during Revolutionary Guards maneuvers outside the city of Qom June 28, 2011. — AP

ing in The New Yorker magazine last month. The decision to boost 20 percent uranium output was announced by Iran’s new atomic energy chief, who has been subjected to UN sanctions because of what Western officials said was his involvement in suspected atomic weapons research. A nuclear scientist, Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani was named head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation in February, after he was wounded in a 2010 bomb attack which Tehran blamed on Israel. The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a US-based think tank, said Abbasi-Davani’s extensive scientific background was “more suited to researching nuclear weapons” than building nuclear power reactors. “Abbasi-Davani has regularly been linked to Iran’s efforts to make the nuclear weapon itself,” ISIS said. Iran’s mission to the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was not available for comment, but Abbasi-Davani pledged last month to work with the agency and invited its head to tour Iran’s nuclear facilities. The IAEA, the Viennabased UN nuclear watchdog, is also voicing growing concern about possible military links to Iran’s nuclear activities and Western diplomats expect it to firm up its suspicions in reports due later this year. For several years, the IAEA has been investigating Western intelligence reports indicating Iran has coordinated efforts to process uranium, test explosives at high altitude and revamp a ballistic missile cone so it could take a nuclear warhead. Iran says the allegations are forged and baseless. But its refusal to halt enrichment has led to four rounds of UN sanctions on the major oil producer, as well as tighter US and European Union restrictions. “Iran has developed an ambitious nuclear program that is diffused in the nature of its distribution of sites and coordinated in its approach to achieve the capacity to field a nuclear arsenal,” Heinonen said. “Its actions bear witness to a regime that intends to stay on this path,” said Heinonen, who is now a senior fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.— Reuters

rare climb down by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi over a law that critics say was tailor-made to protect his business interests has debilitated him and points to growing isolation within his own centre-right. After a string of humiliating defeats in local polls and a referendum, the episode further strained Berlusconi’s relations with his key coalition partner the Northern League, the party guaranteeing his political survival. “The men who always stood by him in difficult predicaments like this have abandoned him, one after another,” said Marcello Sorgi, a leading political commentator for La Stampa newspaper. Commentators spoke of a “poisonous atmosphere of suspicion” inside the prime minister’s office and said Berlusconi had been forced to do an embarrassing about-face, realising he no longer had the automatic support of some of his closest ministers. In a surprise move on Tuesday night, Berlusconi withdrew the law, which would have directly benefited his Fininvest financial holding company. It would have suspended the €750 million ($1.09 billion) penalty that Fininvest was ordered to pay to rival conglomerate CIR in a dispute over the takeover of the publisher Arnoldo Mondadori Editore in the 1990s. La Repubblica newspaper accused Berlusconi of “trying to transform the economic interests of one person into a law, while showing contempt for the common good”. The measure, which Berlusconi said made good sense for any business caught up in an economic downturn, was mysteriously slipped into a package of budget measures being evaluated by President Giorgio Napolitano. According to some media accounts, the measure did not exist in the version drafted by the Treasury and sent to the prime minister’s office, but appeared in the one that was delivered to the president. Northern League leaders said they did not know anything about the provision, which appeared to have been slipped in at the last minute. Umberto Bossi, the League’s mercurial leader, was furious when he learnt of the provision and threatened to pull out of the government if Berlusconi did not withdraw it, newspapers reported. “This is embarrassing to us,” said Interior Minister Roberto Maroni, a prominent member of the League. In recent months as Berlusconi’s approval ratings have gone down, League leaders have openly expressed concern that the party would lose support in its constituencies. La Repubblica said Berlusconi had suffered a “double dishonour” because he had tried to do something he should not have and then failed to get away with it. His critics have often attacked the prime minister for “ad personam” laws that they say are designed to help him in his various legal battles by creating special exemptions or conditions. In the past, the League went along and Berlusconi seemed invincible, even though he is now facing a sex scandal and three fraud trials. But in May, the centre-right coalition suffered crushing losses in local elections, including in its northern power base, Milan. In June, it suffered a humiliating defeat as Italians turned out in large numbers in referendums to repeal some Berlusconi-era laws, including one that granted him the right not to attend trials if he was busy on government business. Berlusconi, a billionaire media tycoon, burst onto the political scene in 1994, when he was first elected prime minister and has led four governments since then. His current government has been in office since May 2008. Speculation has been growing that - as Berlusconi loses layer after layer of the political Teflon that has protected him all these years divisions within the centre-right will almost certainly lead to early national elections before they are next due in 2013. Even Libero, a newspaper that strongly supports Berlusconi and the centreright, had to swallow its pride and admit that that the Fininvest episode was a fiasco for the government. “Poor us! What fools we look,” its headline read. — Reuters




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City sign defender Savic LONDON: Montenegro defender Stefan Savic became Manchester City’s second signing of the week when he completed his move from Serbian champions Partizan Belgrade to the Premier League club yesterday. Savic, 20, joined on a fouryear contract two days after Gael Clichy moved to Eastlands from Arsenal, City said on their website ( The highly promising centre back impressed in his oneyear spell at Partizan, helping them to a domestic league and cup double after joining from neighbours BSK

Borca in 2009. Savic was particularly impressive in Partizan’s Champions League group stage matches against Arsenal and even more so in Montenegro’s 0-0 draw against England at Wembley in a Euro 2012 qualifier. Noted for impeccable timing and positioning, tough tackling and composure on the ball, Savic won widespread praise during his two-year spell in the Serbian first division, having turned professional at the age of 18. British newspapers reported that City paid 6 million pounds ($9,642,000.000) for Savic. — Reuters

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Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 2 In Boston, Darnell McDonald threw out Edwin Encarnacion at the plate for the final out, giving Boston victory over Toronto. Trailing 3-0, Toronto’s Jose Bautista hit a two-run homer with nobody out in the ninth to make it a one-run game. It was his 28th homer of the season. A single by Encarnacion and a walk to JP Arencibia put runners at first and second with two outs. John McDonald then looped a single to short left field, Darnell McDonald charged in and, on the run, fired the ball to catcher Jason Varitek, who blocked the plate with his left leg and tagged Encarnacion to end it. Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon got his 18th save in 19 chances, while Matt Albers (3-3) worked two scoreless innings for the win. Blue Jays starter Brett Cecil (1-4) went all the way, giving up two runs in the second on an RBI double by Varitek and a run-scoring single by J.D. Drew. Dustin Pedroia homered in the third for the Red Sox. Angels 1, Tigers 0 In Anaheim, Dan Haren pitched a shutout and notched his 100th career win by prevailing in a classic pitchers’ duel as Los Angeles edged Detroit. Haren (9-2) was nearly flawless and finished by retiring 15 straight batters. Detroit starter Justin Verlander (11-4) saw his streak of nine straight wins ended and was ejected while leaving the mound in the eighth. Detroit manager Jim Leyland also was ejected before the seventh inning. Leyland and Verlander apparently were angry after the umpires ordered Verlander to change balls earlier.

ISTANBUL: A Turkish court jailed seven people pending trial yesterday as part of a major match-fixing investigation which has cast a shadow over the country’s multi-billion-dollar soccer league. The seven suspects, including the former chairmen of Diyarbakirspor and Giresunspor, were sent to Metris jail in Istanbul overnight, state-run Anatolian news agency reported. They are among 61 people, including the chairman of champions Fenerbahce, detained since Sunday in a probe which has hit soccer company shares and thrown preparations for next season into disarray a month before kick off. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, himself a Fenerbahce fan, called for a

rapid and just outcome to the investigation, saying the affair was staining the country’s image internationally. “Let’s not be stained in the international community. In fact the current discussions (of the investigation) are already a stain. This must be cleaned up rapidly,” he told reporters at a news conference to announce his new cabinet. The Istanbul court released another 11 people, whom prosecutors had asked to be remanded in custody, bringing the total of those released to 15. Prosecutors yesterday were questioning another 25 suspects, including two Fenerbahce directors, two Fenerbahce players and the chairman of Sivasspor, Anatolian said.—Reuters

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s sports minister has demanded a report on a speech by World Cup captain Kumar Sangakkara at the Marylebone Cricket Club this week criticizing his country’s cricket authorities. Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage has asked the head of Sri Lanka Cricket’s interim committee to submit his “observation” on Sangakkara’s speech, the ministry said in a statement issued by spokesman Harsha Abeykoon late Tuesday. “A report is called for by the minister as Sangakkara has criticized the sports administration

MLB results/standings Major League Baseball results and standings on Tuesday. NY Yankees 9, Cleveland 2; Washington 3, Chicago Cubs 2; Pittsburgh 5, Houston 1; St. Louis 8, Cincinnati 1; Boston 3, Toronto 2; Atlanta 5, Colorado 3; Philadelphia 14, Florida 2; Texas 4, Baltimore 2; Arizona 7, Milwaukee 3; Kansas City 5, Chicago White Sox 3; Minnesota 3, Tampa Bay 2; LA Angels 1, Detroit 0; Seattle 4, Oakland 2 (10 innings); NY Mets 6, LA Dodgers 0; San Diego 5, San Francisco 3.

CLEVELAND: New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez throws out Cleveland Indians’ Carlos Santana at first base in the sixth inning. — AP The Tigers also lost slugger Brennan Boesch in the third inning after he fouled a pitch off the inside of his right thigh. Angels designated hitter Bobby Abreu was also ejected in the first inning for arguing a called third strike. The only run came when Howie Kendrick scored from first base on Erick Aybar’s second-inning double. Twins 3, Rays 2 In Minneapolis, Scott Baker had another impressive start cut short by injury as Minnesota edged Tampa Bay. before Glen Perkins bailed out struggling closer Matt Capps in the ninth inning again to help Minnesota Twins hang on against Tampa Bay. Baker (7-5) gave up one unearned run with three strikeouts before leaving after five innings with a right elbow strain. In the ninth inning, Twins closer Matt Capps gave up a homer, then a base hit, then walked a batter with two outs and he was swiftly removed. Glen Perkins came in and got the ground out to end the game, and take his second save in three nights, both after Capps couldn’t finish. Ben Revere scored twice and Michael Cuddyer added two RBIs for the Twins. Rays starter James Shields (8-6) gave up three runs in six innings. Rangers 4, Orioles 2 In Arlington, Texas, Elvis Andrus hustled home with the go-ahead run in the seventh, the same inning that he made two spectacular defensive plays that helped Texas down Baltimore. When Josh Hamilton singled to score Yorvit Torrealba in the seventh, Andrus ran from first to third ahead of the throw which ricocheted off him toward the Baltimore dugout. Andrus scram-

Fielder selects Weeks, Kemp and Holliday for HR Derby MILWAUKEE: Milwaukee Brewers slugger Prince Fielder selected teammate Rickie Weeks, Los Angeles’ Matt Kemp and St. Louis’ Matt Holliday to represent the National League in Monday night’s Home Run Derby. “It was very tough, I wanted everybody to be in it. I definitely wanted someone from the Diamondbacks to be in it, but these guys, I know these guys really well, and these are my picks, no hard feelings,” Fielder said Tuesday. Arizona hosts the All-Star game on Tuesday and Diamondbacks right fielder Justin Upton had said he was interested in representing the NL. “I wish I could invite everyone I knew. That was the only part that was a little tough, trying to narrow it down,” Fielder said. Kemp went into play on Tuesday with an NL-best 22 home runs. Fielder has 21, Weeks has 15 and Holliday has the fewest with 10, but has hit in the contest two previous times. Weeks said he’s not concerned about messing up his swing by trying to hit home runs because they try to outhit each other in batting practice. “We mess around with it all the time in BP,” Weeks said. “It’s one of those things where if you’re confident in yourself and your swing; some people have different swings, of course, and they might have to create more lift or something like that. Maybe that might mess them up,

Sri Lanka orders inquiry on Sangakkara’s speech

Turkey jails seven in match-fixing probe

Yankees pound Indians CLEVELAND: New York’s CC Sabathia struck out 11 in seven scoreless innings, guiding the Yankees to a 9-2 win over the Cleveland Indians in Tuesday’s clash of American League divisional leaders. Sabathia (12-4) overpowered his old team. Despite leading the league in wins and going 9-1 in his past 10 starts, Sabathia was curiosly left off the AL roster for the All-Star game. Curtis Granderson hit a two-run homer in the second inning and a solo shot in the fourth off Carlos Carrasco (85), who lasted just four innings. Granderson has 25 homers this season. Derek Jeter went 2 for 6 with a tworun double and has 2,996 hits; four shy of becoming the 28th major leaguer and first Yankee to reach 3,000. Indians All-Star shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera left in the fourth with a sprained right ankle. The team said he is day to day.


possibly. Some people have long homers and some people have hard homers — you just want to stay with what got you here and go hard and have fun, really.” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said he’s already talked to Weeks about not altering his swing and said he’s comfortable with two of his best hitters being part of the festivities. “Rickie said he’s going to be fine,” Roenicke said. “I think he can turn it on and off when he wants to.” Fielder says he’ll use Triple-A hitting coach Sandy Guerrero as his pitcher in the derby, the same person who threw to him when he won the contest in 2009. Weeks said he wasn’t sure who he’d pick, either Guerrero or Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum. Fielder did have a little advice for his teammate on preparing for the contest. “It’s kind of intense, it’s not as easygoing as you might think it is,” Fielder said. “You get serious because of course you want to win.” The new format this year pits the NL against the AL for charity, and the American League hitters include 2010 derby champ David Ortiz of the Red Sox along with his teammate Adrian Gonzalez, Robinson Cano of New York and Jose Bautista of Toronto. Bautista leads the majors with 27 homers. With that potent lineup, Fielder decided not to make any guarantees on who would win the competition. “I’m not going to do that,” Fielder said. “I guarantee I’ll swing hard, though.”—AP

bled to his feet and ran home to put Texas up 3-2. Rangers reliever Tommy Hunter (1-0) worked an inning to take the win. Neftali Feliz pitched a perfect ninth for his 17th save in 21 chances. Orioles stater Jim Johnson (5-2) gave up three runs in the seventh. Mariners 4, Athletics 2 In Oakland, Franklin Gutierrez scored the go-ahead run on a throwing error by Athletics shortstop Cliff Pennington in the 10th inning, giving Seattle a tight win over Oakland. Gutierrez singled off A’s closer Andrew Bailey (0-1) leading off the inning and stole second with one out. Brendan Ryan then hit a soft grounder to second baseman Jemile Weeks, who flipped the ball to Pennington for the force at second before Pennington’s relay sailed wide of first base. Adam Kennedy followed with an RBI double to make a winner of Brandon League (1-4), who had blown a save in the ninth. Seattle starter Felix Hernandez struck out 10 over eight innings. Royals 5, White Sox 3 In Chicago, Felipe Paulino struck out nine in six innings for his first victory in more than a year as Kansas City defeated Chicago. Paulino (1-2) was acquired from Colorado on May 26 after starting the season 0-5. He allowed three runs while throwing 120 pitches. Alcides Escobar hit a two-run triple and Matt Treanor had a tiebreaking single for the Royals, who beat White Sox starter Jake Peavy (4-2). The White Sox had runners on first and second in the ninth, but Alexei Ramirez hit into a fielder’s choice to end the game. — AP

American League Eastern Division W L PCT NY Yankees 51 33 .607 Boston 50 35 .588 Tampa Bay 47 39 .547 Toronto 42 45 .483 Baltimore 36 47 .434 Central Division Cleveland 45 39 .536 Detroit 45 42 .517 Chicago White Sox 43 44 .494 Minnesota 38 46 .452 Kansas City 35 51 .407 Western Division Texas 46 41 .529 LA Angels 46 41 .529 Seattle 43 43 .500 Oakland 38 49 .437 National League Eastern Division Philadelphia 55 32 .632 Atlanta 51 36 .586 NY Mets 44 42 .512 Washington 44 43 .506 Florida 38 48 .442 Central Division St. Louis 47 40 .540 Pittsburgh 45 41 .523 Milwaukee 45 42 .517 Cincinnati 43 44 .494 Chicago Cubs 35 52 .402 Houston 29 58 .333 Western Division San Francisco 48 39 .552 Arizona 47 40 .540 Colorado 41 45 .477 San Diego 40 47 .460 LA Dodgers 37 50 .425

GB 1.5 5 10.5 14.5 1.5 3.5 7 11 2.5 8

4 10.5 11 16.5 1.5 2 4 12 18 1 6.5 8 11

Finnish ski champion dies HELSINKI: Former Olympic cross-country champion Mika Myllyla, one of Finland’s most successful skiers before receiving a two-year ban for doping in 2001, died Tuesday. He was 41. Police said Myllyla was found dead, but declined to give any details except to say no crime was involved. National broadcaster YLE said he was found dead in his apartment in the northwestern town of Kokkola and the cause of death wasn’t immediately known. Myllyla won six Olympic medals, including gold in the classical 30-kilometer race at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics. He won silver in the 50-kilometer race at the 1994 Lillehammer Games, and claimed four bronzes over both Olympics. He was a four-time winner at the world championships, including his starring performance in capturing three gold and a silver at the 1999 tournament at Ramsau, Austria. However, Myllyla’s career was interrupted for two years after his positive test at the 2001 worlds, with five other Finnish skiers also receiving the same ban. He made a comeback but failed to qualify again for the Finland team, and retired in 2005. Though many Finns still remember his tearful apology in 2001 for doping, observers and competitors alike still consider him one of Finland’s finest cross-country skiers. “In my eyes, he was a great athlete,” former Norwegian skier Erling Jevne told national broadcaster NRK.

“I think he would have been a top athlete without that kind of help (from doping).” After the doping conviction , Myllyla briefly attempted a career as a real estate agent but he also had a turbulent private life tarnished by alcoholism. He was convicted of aggravated drunk driving in 2008 and received a three-month suspended sentence. He was also convicted of three assaults, and was again caught drunk driving in 2010. “It was turbulent when he struggled to find a mission in life after the cross country career,” former Norwegian cross country skier Torgeir Bjoern told NRK. “He struggled privately with both alcohol problems and several other things. I thought maybe he had found a way out of the problems and was on his way back to find a meaningful life, but unfortunately it didn’t work out.” Myllyla was born in 1969 in the northern town of Oulu. He rose into the top ranks of Finnish skiing in the late 1980s and early 1990s, participating in his first World Cup race in 1991.In his home country, he was known for his unwavering stamina and unconventional training methods such as summer training on swamps. “Sad to hear about the death of Mika Myllyla, one of our greatest cross-country skiers of all time,” Finland’s Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade, Alexander Stubb, wrote on Twitter. Myllyla is survived by three children and ex-wife Suvi, whom he divorced in 2007. — AP

in Sri Lanka, which comes under the sports law of the country,” the statement said. In the hour-long speech at Lord’s on Monday, in the midst of Sri Lanka’s tour of England, Sangakkara slammed “partisan cronies” in the SLC, and called on the body to stamp out corruption and infighting within. Sangakkara, representing Sri Lanka since 2000, said the team’s shock 1996 World Cup win led to a change in direction at the top of the sport in the country, bringing a loss of direction, transparency and accountability. —AP

Phillies crush Marlins MIAMI: Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard had four hits and four RBIs as the Phillies crushed the Florida Marlins 14-2 in the National League on Tuesday. The Marlins opted to walk Howard with a runner on first and the game tied 0-0 in the third inning. The Phillies scored five times in the inning and when the Marlins pitched to Howard an inning later, he hit his 18th homer of the season. Raul Ibanez also homered and drove in four runs for Philadelphia, which achieved season highs in runs and hits (18). Phillies starter Cole Hamels (10-4) allowed two runs in eight innings to join teammate Roy Halladay as a 10-game winner. Philadelphia, which has the best record in the majors, is assured of winning its fifth consecutive series. It has won 21 of its past 25 games in Miami. Florida starter Chris Volstad (4-8) gave up seven runs in four innings. Braves 5, Rockies 3 In Atlanta, Freddie Freeman’s third homer in two games gave Atlanta an early lead and the Braves hung on to beat Colorado. Freeman hit his 12th homer off Jhoulys Chacin (8-6) in the second inning. Chacin matched his career worst by issuing six walks — the second time he’s done that in his past three starts. He gave up four runs in five innings. Braves starter Derek Lowe (5-6) gave up five hits in 5 1-3 innings and also pushed Atlanta’s lead to 4-0 with his a three-run double in the fourth. Dan Uggla added his 13th homer in the sixth for the Braves, who have won seven of eight. The Rockies outhit the Braves 9-7 but had no extrabase hits as Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki were out with injuries. D’backs 7, Brewers 3 In Milwaukee, Arizona’s Justin Upton and Gerardo Parra homered for Arizona, which built an early sixrun lead to set up the win over Milwaukee. Diamondbacks starter Zach Duke (2-3) tossed seven effective innings to win for the first time in 12 starts in Milwaukee. The Brewers have lost seven of eight since taking a three-game lead in the NL Central and have fallen behind St. Louis and Pittsburgh in the last two days. Milwaukee starter Randy Wolf (6-6) gave up seven runs in six innings. Cardinals 8, Reds 1 In St. Louis, Matt Holliday homered twice as St. Louis overpowered Cincinnati. Just hours after being picked to represent the National League in the Home Run Derby at the All-Star game, Holliday found some belated length against Edinson Volquez (5-4) with a solo shot in the first and three-run homer in the fifth. It was his 16th career multi-homer game but first in almost exactly a year. Holliday and Lance Berkman homered on consecutive at-bats in the first inning. Berkman’s leagueleading 23rd homer was measured at 452 feet; the longest at 6-year-old Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals activated Albert Pujols from the disabled list before the game but did not use him after putting the three-time NL MVP through an extensive pre-game workout to test his broken arm. St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia (8-3) allowed one run in six innings and is 5-1 with a major league-best 0.94 ERA at home. Padres 5, Giants 3 In San Francisco, Cameron Maybin had three hits and three RBIs in San Diego’s win over San Francisco. Maybin’s triple highlighted a threerun sixth inning for the Padres, while Anthony Rizzo also drove in two runs. San Diego starter Tim Stauffer (5-5) allowed three hits and walked only one in six innings for his third straight victory. Giants starter Matt Cain (7-5) suffered his first loss in more than a month. Mets 6, Dodgers 0 In Los Angeles, Jason Bay homered twice and drove in four runs to power New York past Los Angeles. Carlos Beltran also went deep for the Mets, while starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey (5-7) left seven Dodgers runners stranded in scoring position through six gritty innings. He escaped bases-loaded jams in the fourth and fifth. Los Angeles starter Ted Lilly (5-9) gave up three runs in six innings after getting an extra day’s rest because of a tender elbow. Nationals 3, Cubs 2 In Washington, Chicago second baseman Jeff Baker’s incredibly wayward throw gave Washington two runs in the first inning and proved the difference in the game. Baker was only 30 feet or so from second when he fielded a routine grounder with the bases loaded and no outs, but his throw sailed more than 10 feet wide of the bag and into left field. Instead of allowing one run on a double play, the Cubs were in a 2-0 hole that became 3-0 on Wilson Ramos’ infield single. That was just enough of a cushion for a Nationals’ pitchers, including Ross Detwiler (1-0), who was recalled from the minors before the game because Washington needed an extra starter due to a recent doubleheader. In his first start of the season, Detwiler took a shutout into the sixth. Drew Storen earned his 21st save. Each of Washington’s past nine wins has come by one run or in extra innings. Pirates 5, Astros 1 In Pittsburgh, Jeff Karstens (7-4) allowed just one run in seven-plus innings, pitching Pittsburgh past Houston and to its third straight win. Brandon Wood homered for the Pirates, who improved to four games over .500 this late in a season for the first time since 1992. Matt Diaz had three hits and Neil Walker and Lyle Overbay two hits and two runs each for Pittsburgh. Clint Barmes went 2 for 4 with a homer for Houston, which has lost five straight and 10 of 11. Houston starter Wandy Rodriguez (6-5) was charged with five runs in six innings. The Astros have lost five straight. — AP

MIAMI: Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard steps off the bag as Florida Marlins’ Emilio Bonifacio (1) is safe at first and then advances to second base on a throwing error by third baseman Wilson Valdez . — AP



Tseng eyes US Open

Bubba Watson in action in this file photo

Bubba shows what not to do in another country JACKSONVILLE: Bubba Watson’s big adventure to Paris wasn’t a complete disaster. He was there long enough to take photos of that big tower (Eiffel). He rode around in a circle at some archway (Arc de Triomphe). He stayed in a beautiful hotel next to a castle (Versailles). And he gave the tabloids plenty to write about. Too bad it wasn’t about his golf. Watson lasted only two days at the French Open, missing the cut with rounds of 74-74. He said there were too many cameras, too many phones, too much of everything except ropes and security. “It’s not a normal tournament,” he said. Watson, who after one day at the French Open said this would be his last time playing in Europe, clarified his remarks upon missing the cut by saying he would be at the British Open next week, but only because it’s a major. Then he said he would spend another day of sightseeing (maybe he meant that museum that starts with an “L”) and get home “as fast as possible.” He might have done the Americans a favor. This next generation of US golfers is showing signs of being more willing to travel the world. Watson at least served up an example of what not to do. It sure got the attention of his peers on the PGA Tour. Saturday morning on the practice range at Aronimink, the chatter was endless about Bubba’s behavior in France. The words “ugly American” came up on more than one occasion, accompanied by a lot of head shaking. Stuart Appleby famously said a decade ago, back when the World Golf Championships were actually played around the world, that “Americans are like a bag of prawns on a hot Sunday. They don’t travel well.” The Australian couldn’t resist weighing in on Twitter. “Rumor has it that Bubba Watson has had surgery to mouth to make it smaller so foot won’t fit with as much ease, hope it’s successful ???” came the first tweet from Appleby. That was followed by, “I’m not perfect all the time, but is not acceptable to come to another tour and more than once show a lack of respect.” Watson gets the message. He lost an opportunity to experience a great city, a different culture, and to bring his game to a growing fan base. He let it turn into a working vacation that felt like too much work. These things happen. If this is all Watson is known for at the end of his career, he will not have had much of a career. The hunch is this will be forgotten before long (unless he makes the 2018 Ryder Cup in France). Not long after he returned home, Watson was busy apologizing on Twitter to more than 150,000 followers. In a series of tweets about his “rough week,” he said he was sorry if

he offended anyone and that it wasn’t his intention; conceded that he played poorly and it was not the fault of the fans or the tournament; said he had a great time seeing Paris and Versailles (previously known as the castle); and that he would play the Scandinavian Masters and an exhibition in Germany. Watson remains somewhat of an enigma. When he first made it to the PGA Tour, he had a pink shaft inserted into his driver. On the driving range at Doral, he would look around to make sure people were watching when he bashed drives over a teaching center on the far end of the range. He started a Twitter campaign, complete with video of his uncanny skills, in a successful bid to get on the Ellen DeGeneres show. And then he would try to explain that he only plays golf for the love of the game, not to get any attention. He wept when he won his first PGA Tour event last summer in Hartford, Connecticut, and it was endearing to listen to him make fun of himself for not being able to get through a sentence without crying when speaking about his family, especially his father, who died last year of cancer. Without prompting, Watson wrote a check for $50,000 this spring to help with relief efforts in Japan. He has worked hard to grow the brand that is Bubba. He is blossoming into a star. Rare is the golfer these days who can curve the ball any direction to get where he’s going, who has no formal teacher and tries to keep golf simple. Bubba is fun to watch. But all it takes is one week of bad behavior for people to question whether he’s for real. The tower? The building that starts with an L? It sounded as though Watson tried to copy Boo Weekley, his old high school teammate from the backwoods in Florida, who charmed the kilts off the Scots in 2007. Playing with Paul Lawrie the week before the British Open at Carnoustie, Weekley asked the 1999 champion how he qualified for the Open. Boo was delightful. Bubba was distasteful. Maybe there’s a reason for that. Watson clearly loves the attention, and there’s nothing wrong with that. What he has to recognize is that he can’t flip a switch and make the attention go away when it doesn’t suit him. Perhaps he should have followed his script from two weeks earlier at the U.S. Open. Watson was atop the leaderboard in the first round of the US Open, lost three shots coming in for an even-par 71 and refused to talk to anyone. When a reporter caught up to him in the locker room and asked for a comment, Watson replied, “If you can’t say anything good, don’t say it.” That would have been better than what he had to say in France. —AP

Scottish Open prepares for world’s best INVERNESS: A host of the world’s leading players will flock to the Scottish Open this week to test their links game on the recently opened Castle Stuart course in preparation for the British Open. Hoping to experience conditions similar to those that will greet them at Royal St. George’s next week for the third major of the year, top-ranked Luke Donald will be joined in the north of Scotland by four other players in the top 10: Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell and American pair Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar. They’ll be among a field bidding to wrest the title from Italy’s Edoardo Molinari, who is defending the trophy he won at Loch Lomond. “We hardly ever play links golf and it’s very different to what I play week in, week out,” Donald said. “It takes some time to adjust to where to land the ball, those chip-and-run shots you get a lot. “To get in an

extra week of practice on links in tournament conditions under pressure is very helpful. I’m sure it will be good preparation.” As popular as the Loch Lomond course is — and it has held the Scottish Open for the past 15 years — it is a parkland venue and was never regarded as a genuine taster for the British Open the following week. Mickelson was the only top10 player in last year’s event but there is more star quality 12 months on, although US Open champion Rory McIlroy and the injured Tiger Woods won’t be present at the 3 million pounds ($4.8 million) event. Organizers say they have made fairways wide open with birdie and eagle opportunities aplenty, but tough weather conditions for the Scottish coast — which have been forecast — could play havoc, especially on the many unsheltered parts of the par72 course that was only fully opened last year. —AP

COLORADO SPRINGS: There was a time when Yani Tseng shied away from socializing on the golf course. Usually outgoing, the top-ranked Taiwanese golfer was so insecure about her broken English that she would stay away from others in her group at LPGA events, rather than even attempt a conversation. These days, Tseng’s English has become almost as polished as her golf game. And with it, even more confidence. The charismatic and well-spoken Tseng has become the face of women’s golf — a title even bestowed on her by idol and friend Annika Sorenstam. The 22-year-old is dominating like her childhood hero, too, capturing the LPGA Championship by 10 strokes two weeks ago to become the youngest player to claim four LPGA majors. This weekend, Tseng can finish off her career grand slam by winning the US Women’s Open at The Broadmoor, a very long and challenging course. Even with so much at stake, Tseng hardly feels any added pressure. For that, she can thank Sorenstam, who’s easing her mind by giving her some pointers and tips about the course. Sorenstam won the 1995 US Open at The Broadmoor, the first of her 10 major titles. “We have good wine and we chat a little bit,” said Tseng, who bought Sorenstam’s house in Florida two years ago and has been quickly filling it up with trophies. “She tells me she enjoys watching me play.” Especially at majors, where Tseng has typically thrived. Of her eight career LPGA Tour wins, half have been on the biggest of stages. “I know at a major, you’re not going to be shooting a lot of low scores,” Tseng said. “You just need to be patient. If I make bogeys, no worries. “If it’s a normal tournament, I worry too much.” Part of Tseng’s transformation on the course has had to do with her confidence off it. No longer does she feel self-conscious on tour. Just two years ago, she wasn’t her carefree self, hardly interacting with fans or engaging in banter with her fellow competitors. She wanted to, but the language barrier made it too difficult. To address

COLORADO SPRINGS: Yani Tseng, of Taiwan, hits her drive on the 11th hole during a practice round for 2011 US Womenís Open golf tournament. — AP that, Tseng has been taking English lessons in Orlando, Florida. “I like people to talk to me,” Tseng said. “Hopefully now I don’t talk too much.” Tseng has certainly become the talk of the tour, ruling the sport like Sorenstam once did — maybe even at a greater level. Sorenstam was 24 when she won her first major. “In the future, I want to be like her,” Tseng said. “She’s done so many great things for golf.” This week, Tseng is trying to figure out this difficult course, one that’s more than 7,000 yards long, making it the longest ever for a women’s U.S. Open. The tricky greens that break away from the mountains don’t fluster Tseng. The thick rough and playing at higher elevation hardly intimidate her, either. Tseng believes this course favors her game. These days, what course doesn’t? But it doesn’t figure to be routine. The field features reigning champion Paula Creamer, along with ‘07 Open winner Cristie Kerr, Michelle Wie

and Stacy Lewis. Betsy King will compete in her first tour event in nearly six years after qualifying through sectionals. At 55, King said her main goal isn’t so much finishing in the top 10 as making the cut, especially given the way Tseng and other up-and-comers are striking the ball. Tseng “hits it a long way and she keeps it in play,” said King, who won the US Open in 1989 and ‘90. “From everything that I’ve heard her say and read about her, she obviously wants to be No. 1. She has achieved that.” Wie is definitely familiar with Tseng’s game. The two met up in the finals of the 2004 Women’s Amateur Public Links Championships, with Tseng winning 1-up. “She’s gotten ... obviously a lot better,” said Wie, who is still searching for her first win at a major. She insisted the pressure isn’t mounting. “I’ve had a lot of ups and downs. But that’s really how everyone’s career is going,” the 21-year-

old Wie said. “I’ve been proud of myself that I kept with it and kept trying to get better. “Every year, I feel like I’m getting more and more motivated to win and do better, to become a better player.” The same can be said of Tseng, who’s attempting to boost the profile of women’s golf in Taiwan the same way Se Ri Pak led the way for young golfers in South Korea. “I’m trying to,” Tseng said. “Because I know Taiwan is not as popular with golf like Korea or Japan or here. I think it’s getting better.” Her performance and personality are paving the way. “You never think there is going to be another Mickey Wright or another Annika Sorenstam or Lorena (Ochoa),” Juli Inkster said. “And all of a sudden Yani comes around. “She’s got a lot of passion for the game. She wants to be the best. She wants to get better. If she stays healthy, she could probably break a lot of Annika’s records.”—AP

Webber can push Vettel to the limit at Silverstone

DURBAN: International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge (left) presents French free style skier Kevin Rolland with a plaque, during the presentation of the Annecy bid for the 2018 Olympics Winter Games. — AP

IOC seeking help to fight doping, betting DURBAN: The sports world needs help from governments to crack down on doping, cheating and illegal betting, International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge said on Tuesday. Rogge said the Olympic movement is in strong shape but there is no room for “complacency” against performance-enhancing drugs, fixing and judging and refereeing scandals. He also warned of “increased risks caused by illegal and irregular betting.” “Protecting the integrity of sport is a priority for the IOC,” Rogge said. “The IOC is convinced that, in all these areas, cooperation with governments is essential to ensure that our athletes can compete in fair and upright sports events.” Rogge spoke at the ceremonial opening of the IOC’s 123rd session in Durban. Among the high-profile attendees were the newly married royals from Monaco, IOC member Prince Albert II and former South African Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock. On Wednesday, the IOC will vote on the host city for the 2018 Winter Games. The three candidates are Annecy, France; Munich; and Pyeongchang, South Korea. “I cannot predict the outcome of the vote, but I can say with confidence that the city selected to host the 2018 Olympic Winter Games will have the capacity to deliver outstanding results,” Rogge said. Rogge praised South Africa for its place in the sports world. A year ago, the country hosted the first World Cup in Africa. “South Africa has demonstrated the power of sport in many ways, so it is altogether fitting that the new South Africa has earned an influential role in the Olympic Movement in a very short period of time,” he said. South Africa was banned for nearly 30 years from the Olympic movement because of the former government’s apartheid policies. South Africa returned to the Olympics at the 1992 Barcelona Games. “Your Olympians have competed with honor and distinction, and you have contributed to our movement in other important ways,” Rogge said. “The 2010 FIFA World Cup was a global showcase for the new South Africa and a significant milestone for the entire continent.” Rogge steered away from mentioning the possibility of a South African bid for the Olympics. Durban had looked like a potential leading candidate for the 2020 Olympics, but the government said in May that it was not the right time for a bid, citing pressing social and economic needs in the country of 50 million people. —AP

LONDON: Mark Webber made plenty of headlines when he won last year’s British Grand Prix after accusing Red Bull of favoring team mate Sebastian Vettel and a repeat victory would be no less sweet on Sunday. Just beating the 24-year-old champion for the first time this season would be a turn-up for the Australian. Vettel’s second title in a row looks inevitable after he chalked up six victories in eight races, starting seven of them from pole position. Webber, who said last year that his win was ‘not bad for a number two’, is in a very different situation this time around but team boss Christian Horner is certainly not counting him out. “Mark ’s got a great track record at Silverstone, he’s always been very, very quick there,” he told Reuters. “He was quick in British F3, he won the Formula 3000 support race there back in 2000, and he obviously won the British grand prix last year. “He was on the front row in 2008 in the wet. It’s a circuit he enjoys and goes very well at. For sure he will be pushing very hard.” The Australian’s problem, and one that is shared by all his rivals including McLaren’s home hopes Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, is that Vettel’s record at the former World War Two airfield circuit is no less impressive.The German has been on pole there for two years running and won in 2009. British bookmakers William Hill have him as 4/5 favourite and said this week that he had attracted almost 60 percent of the early money. Last year he staged a remarkable fight through the field after going from first to last following a clash with Hamilton that led to a puncture.“It’s impossible to look at races in isolation but without those points that he gained at Silverstone on his drive back through the field, he wouldn’t have lifted the crown in Abu Dhabi,” said Horner. “I think it’s going to be fascinating between the two of them but it will also be fascinating to

see the impacts of the latest technical directives.” Not only has Silverstone changed as a layout, with a new pit and paddock complex in a different location, but this weekend’s race also marks the start of a clampdown on the use of exhaust gases being used for aerodynamic gain via engine electronics. That could hurt Red Bull more than main rivals McLaren and Ferrari, although a ban on teams changing engine maps between qualifying and the race made no discernible difference in Valencia. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso has also expressed concern about Pirelli selecting the same tyre compounds for the race as used at the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, where he was lapped by Vettel. Button, second overall, has never been on his home podium as a Formula One driver and hopes to change that while Hamilton won in 2008. The McLaren drivers had their heads down after Valencia, where the Red Bull’s superiority was a body blow, but return with renewed determination and a belief that they can fight Vettel for victory. “The dream for us would be to have a onetwo at Silverstone. That would be the best weekend I could ever imagine in Formula One. I think it would be incredible,” said Hamilton. “The dream would be to see what kind of effect that would have on everyone. I think the atmosphere would be unreal. “When I got pole position in 2007, even that was insane. And when I won in 2008, that was insane. But just imagine having a British onetwo in a British team. That would be a weekend that would go down in history.” S i l ve r s tone have a l re a d y s ol d out of Sunday tickets with more than 120,000 people expected on race day. “We expect this year’s British Grand Prix to attract one of the biggest three-day crowds in the event’s histor y,” s a i d S i l ve r s tone m a na gi ng d i re c tor Richard Phillips. — Reuters

Mark Webber of Australia in action in this file photo



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Lockyer retires with Queensland’s win

Liu Xiang of China

Liu seeks another Asian athletics title KOBE: Former Olympic gold medalist Liu Xiang of China will be aiming for his fourth continental title at the Asian athletics championships starting today, as the region’s top athletes build up toward August’s world championships. With August’s worlds in South Korea looming, along with next year’s Olympic Games, there should be plenty to motivate the 500 athletes from 45 countries taking part in the July 7-10 meet at Kobe Universiade Stadium. Liu, the 2004 Athens 110-meter hurdles gold medalist, shortened his spring season to avoid stress on a tender heel but will be among 21 champions from last November’s Asian Games taking part in the event. Liu has looked strong this year. He was second to American David Oliver at the Prefontaine Classic last month with a time of 13.00; his best time since winning the world championships in Osaka in 2007. China won 13 gold medals as host of last year’s Asian Games in Guangzhou and is sending a contingent of 41 athletes, including Li Yanxi, who holds the Asian record in men’s triple jump. But the championships will open under a cloud of controversy after eight Indian athletes tested positive for banned substances in the space of five days. Asian Games double-gold medalist Ashwini Akkunji and sprinter Priyanka Panwar were among those who tested positive during a camp in the northern

Indian city of Patiala on June 27. Akkunji and Panwar were to be part of the 37member Indian squad for the games. Nigerian-born Femi Ogunode of Qatar will highlight the men’s sprint events. Ogunode won gold in both the 200 and 400 meters at the Asian Games but will be competing in just the 200 here. Kenyan-born Ali Hasan Mahoob, the Asian Games 5,000 meters gold medalist, has moved up to the 10,000 where he will face Ethiopian-born Bahrain teammate Bilisuma Gelasa, who is the Asian Games gold medalist in the event. Kazakhstan’s Dmitriy Komkov, who won decathlon gold in Guangzhou, is entered in the 400 hurdles where he will face Joseph Ganapathiplackal of India, who won the 400 hurdles gold at the Asian Games. The absence of Japan’s Koji Murofushi means Tajikistan’s Dilshod Nazarov and Kuwaiti Ali Mohammed AlZankwai should fight out the hammerthrow title. Nazarov is the defending champion and the Asian Games champion. Japanese sprinter Chisato Fukushima won both the 100 and 200 at the Asian Games but she will only be entered in the 200 in Kobe. Olga Bludova of Kazakhstan will be the one to watch in the women’s 100. The 19year-old, who is second in the season charts with 11.37, has been strong this season and should push Japan’s top entry Kana Ichikawa and Uzbekistan’s Guzel Khubbieva, who swept the Asian Grand Prix titles in May. —AP

Bolt could break my record, says long jumper Powell MUMBAI: Usain Bolt has all the tools to be a top-class long jumper but the Jamaican should wait until after the 2012 Olympics to give the event a go, world record holder Mike Powell has told Reuters. Sprinter Bolt won gold medals in the 100, 200 and 4x100 metres relay at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and has said he was considering the long jump and 400 metres. Powell, who broke Bob Beamon’s 23-year world record at the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo, said he recognised Bolt’s long jump potential in 2009. “I first talked to his coach and his parents in Berlin after the 2009 world championships when we were staying in the same hotel,” Powell told Reuters in a recent interview. “I approached them and I said, ‘he should long jump’. They said, ‘you know we are talking about that’. I said I would like to be involved with that.” Powell said his own world record of 8.95 metres could be in jeopardy if Bolt started jumping. “He could jump so far that it will be

crazy. The main elements in long jump are speed and height, which equals distance. He’s got them both,” said Powell. “He will need the coaching and then the will and desire and bravery to try it. If he does it, everyone will expect him to break the record.” The 47-year-old American said the event would take its toll on Bolt’s body if he started before the London Olympics. “I know for him if he starts to long jump it’s gonna take away from his sprinting. “He is still very young. It takes a lot of wear and tear on your body. It hurts your back, your knees, your ankles, everything. It’s very difficult. “Even under the best circumstances, it will take some away from his sprinting.” Powell was in India as an ambassador for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which signed a 10-year licensing deal with real estate company Nirmal Lifestyle to develop infrastructure for athletics in the country.—Reuters

FINA appeals Cielo doping case to CAS LAUSANNE: Swimming governing body FINA appealed Cesar Cielo’s doping case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport yesterday, although it remains unclear if a verdict will come before the world championships later this month. Cielo, an Olympic champion and the top sprinter in the sport, and three Brazilian teammates tested positive for the banned substance furosemide in May at a meeting in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil’s swimming federation accepted the four swimmers’ explanation that they consumed the drug in a contaminated batch of a supplement they regularly used, giving them a warning instead of a ban. Furosemide is a diuretic often used to help lose weight, but it is also a masking agent which hides the presence of other drugs. FINA said in a statement that it “will use its best efforts to obtain a decision within the shortest possible time,” although it acknowledged that a fast-

track trial would need to be approved by the athletes. World sport’s highest court of appeal has previously given decisions within hours or days of a hearing, allowing its panel to deliver a detailed verdict several weeks later. Cielo is hoping to defend his 50- and 100-meter freestyle titles at the worlds in Shanghai when the swimming portion of the competition opens July 24 with one of his events, the 400 free relay. Cielo is also the reigning Olympic champion in the 50 free — his victory was one of only three gold won by Brazil at the 2008 Beijing Games. The other athletes who tested positive are Nicholas Santos, Henrique Barbosa and Vinicius Waked, who previously served a two-month ban for testing positive for the stimulant isometheptene. The four athletes are currently allowed to compete. Recent doping cases involving furosemide have seen athletes banned for up to 14 months.—AP

BRISBANE: Queensland beat New South Wales 34-24 yesterday to clinch a sixth consecutive rugby league interstate series and send skipper Darren Lockyer into State-of-Origin retirement with a classic Maroons victory. The Queenslanders twice jumped out to big leads, scoring four first-half tries and leading 240 until the Blues crossed twice in the four minutes before the break to close the margin to 14 points. After 25 scoreless minutes in the second half, the Queenslanders again went out to a 20-point lead with two quick tries before New South Wales cut the deficit with some desperate attack in the last nine minutes. Greg Inglis scored a try in each half in a match where Queensland dominated possession and field position and New South Wales was always playing catch up. With the series locked at 1-1 going into the decider, and with long-serving five-eighth Lockyer having already announced it would be his last series, the stadium was at capacity with 52,500 fans — almost entirely cheering for the hometown Maroons. Inglis scored the opening try in the 16th minute after brilliant lead up work by fullback Billy Slater, who spun out of one tackle and unloaded amid two otherst. Johnathan Thurston grubbered ahead from the quarterline for Inglis, who picked up a perfectly weighted kick and dived into the

left corner in a desperate cover tackle. Slater gave a short ball to Sam Thaiday steaming into a gap on the quarterline and he charged over beside the posts in the 25th minute to make it 10-0. Hooker Cameron Smith burrowed over from dummyhalf in the 31st after a quick play of the ball from Inglis, capping an 80-meter

attacking raid from the Queenslanders started by Lockyer. Lockyer was involved again in the next, putting in a wobbly kick which hit New South Wales fullback Anthony Minichiello in the knee and allowing Jharal Yow Yeah to swoop on the rebound, toeing the ball forward and div-

Darren Lockyer of Queensland in action

Federer says Djokovic deserves No. 1 ranking BERN: Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic’s rise to become the top-ranked player in the world is good for tennis, according to the only player who has beaten him this year. Roger Federer said Tuesday that Djokovic — whose record is 48-1 in 2011 — has earned his success. “He deserves to become No. 1 after an immense start to the year,” said third-ranked Federer, who defeated the 24-year-old Serb in the French Open semifinals. “When you lose so rarely, your confidence carries you a long way.” The 29-yearold Federer said it wasn’t a big surprise that Djokovic dethroned Rafael Nadal after having beaten the former top-ranked Spaniard in four previous finals in 2011. “And he’s proved before at Wimbledon that he can play on grass,” Federer said ahead of Friday’s start to Switzerland’s Davis Cup tie against Portugal. “It’s good for tennis that it happened.” Despite Sunday’s final promising to write a significant chapter in modern tennis history, the six-time Wimbledon champion did not watch it at home in Switzerland. “Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to watch the final, but for sure it was being played at a very high level,” he said. Federer lost in the quarterfinals to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of

France. The five-set defeat was the first time he wasted a two-set lead in a Grand Slam singles match, and just the third such reverse in his career. The first came against former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt in the 2003 Davis Cup semifinals against Australia _ the closest Federer has come to lifting the trophy. Since then, Federer has won all 12 singles matches on national duty, the most recent against Italy in September 2009 to help keep Switzerland in the elite 16-nation world group. The Swiss were relegated after losing last year to Spain and then Kazakhstan, when national hero Federer received rare criticism for skipping the tie. “If I’m playing, it’s a priority,” Federer said. “Our priority is to get back into the world group.” Switzerland must beat Portugal over five matches on indoor hard courts at PostFinance Arena to earn a playoff tie in September. Federer and 15th-ranked Stanislas Wawrinka are heavily favored to beat claycourt specialists Frederico Gil and Rui Machado, ranked 90th and 93rd respectively, in Friday’s opening singles. “One thing they have is that they have nothing to lose,” Portugal captain Pedro Cordeiro said of his team. “Everyone expects Switzerland to win the match.”—AP

Isner advances at Newport NEWPORT: John Isner and Nicolas Mahut, forever linked with the longest match in tennis history, wasted little time in winning opening-round matches at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships on Tuesday. Isner, who entered the tournament on a wild card after No. 1 seed and defending champion Mardy Fish withdrew when he was selected for the United States Davis Cup team, beat Karol Beck of Slovakia 6-3, 6-2, in a first-round match on center court. Mahut was even faster, beating Sebastian Decoud of Argentina 6-1, 6-0. Mahut played his match on a side court while top-seeded Isner was also in action. “It’s something we’re not used to,” Isner said, breaking into a smile. “The points actually aren’t grinding like hard court or clay. It’s good to go out there and get a real good sweat. Any match that’s this quick is good, especially the first round. “I’m just glad when I picked my opponent at the draw party, I didn’t pick him,” Isner said. “I would love to play him again — not in a first round.” Isner outlasted Mahut in 11 hours, 5 minutes last year at Wimbledon. Last month, the pair met again, with Isner winning in three sets in a match that lasted about two hours. “If we play each (here) it’s in the final, then we’d both be happy,” Mahut said. When asked if he’s glad the questions about their lengthy meeting have started to fade, he smiled and said, “Yes. I think John and I are both happy.” After Fish withdrew, Isner took over the tournament’s No. 1 seed by virtue of his No. 46 overall ranking in the world, which is the highest of any competitor in Newport this week. A No. 1 has never won the title in the 35 years of the tournament. In other first-round play, American wild card Denis Kudla survived 24 aces against him to beat hard-serving Croatian Ivo Karlovic, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-4; Taiwanese qualifier Jimmy Wang upset third-seeded Igor

Kunitsyn, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2; No. 8 seed Tobias Kamke beat Alex Bogdanovic of Britain 7-6 (3), 6-3; France’s Edouard Roger-Vasselin beat British qualifier Richard Bloomfield, 64, 6-0. Matthew Ebden of Australia upset No. 4 seed Ryan Sweeting 6-4, 6-2; Tommy Haas got past fellow German Michael Berrer, 7-6 (9), 6-4; Amaud Clement beat Ryan Harrison, 6-4, 6-1; and Michael Yani of the US downed Dudi Sela of Israel 7-6 (5), 63.—AP

SAN DIEGO: This photo released by Smith & Nephew shows tennis great Billie Jean King in San Diego. King is back playing tennis with gusto after double-knee replacement surgery. And at 67, she’s encouraging all ages — especially baby boomers — to exercise and stay fit.—AP

ing onto it in goal. Thurston landed his fourth conversion from four attempts to make it 24-0. The first Blues points came against the run of play in the 37th, started with inside-outside passing between Jamie Soward and Paul Gallen. Soward’s kick forward was smothered but four Queenslanders dropped the ball as it slid down field and Minichiello crashed over. Winger Akuila Uate stepped inside the cover defense and crossed in the right corner after line-ball pass from Mark Gasnier in the last play before half time, closing the gap to 14 points at the break. New South Wales were in control for a rare period just after the break and seemed to gain the upper hand when Maroons playmaker Thurston was carried from the field after hyper-extending his left knee attempting a tackle in the 59th. But it was the Queenslanders who rallied, with Slater splitting the defense with an angled run from a perfect inside pass from Thaiday in the 65th and Ingish crashing over amid three tacklers four minutes later. New South Wales was awarded a rare eight-point try when Hayne scored in the 71st and Smith slid into him, knees first. Soward landed both conversions. Greg Bird scored a late consolation try and Soward converted to make the final scoreline appear closer than the it was. —AP

A ‘Rocket’ that should never have been launched NEW YORK: You can go to jail for lying to Congress, so the perjury trial of baseball great Roger Clemens, if nothing else, should serve as a cautionary tale. While lawmakers might not mind deceiving each other — let alone the rest of us — about a wide range of issues, they’re in no hurry to extend that privilege to anyone else. In April, Senator Jon Kyl got caught telling a whopper about Planned Parenthood, which he tried to backtrack in a subsequent statement by explaining it was “not intended to be a factual statement.” That won’t work for Clemens. With jury selection set to begin late yesterday in Washington, DC, Clemens is charged with six felony counts for telling a congressional committee under oath in 2008 that he never used steroids or human growth hormone during a Hall of Fame-worthy career. What’s sad is how easily the whole mess could have been avoided. After being implicated in the Mitchell Report on doping in MLB, Clemens could have denied using performance-enhancers in a forum of his own choosing and quietly slipped into retirement while the debate raged on; or else, admitted using PEDs and then asked for forgiveness, the way close friend, former teammate and potential witness Andy Pettitte did. Instead, Clemens begged Congress to make a federal case out of it. Even after former congressman Tom Davis, on the committee at the time, assured Clemens that his testimony behind closed doors would have been sufficient. But that was not enough for the pitcher known as Rocket. “Somebody is trying to break my spirit in this room,” Clemens said during testimony that February day three years ago, refusing to so much as glance at Brian McNamee, his former trainer and principal accuser. “And they’re not going to break my spirit.” Maybe not. But McNamee’s version of their decade together has already made a sizable dent in his former employer’s wallet, mostly to cover lawyer Rusty Hardin’s legal fees, which could charitably be described as throwing good money after bad. Under Hardin’s counsel, Clemens played a secretly recorded phone conversation for reporters in which he came off sounding like a budding Mafioso, then stormed out of his own hastily arranged news conference because he didn’t like the line of questioning. Then there was Hardin’s veiled threat against federal agent and investigator Jeff Novitzky — “If he ever messes with Roger, Roger will eat his lunch.” And just for good measure, a defamation lawsuit against McNamee that was effectively laughed out of court. Hardin, though, wasn’t kidding when he laid out the centerpiece of his legal strategy in a pretrial hearing on Tuesday, arguing that McNamee began planning to blackmail his client in 2001. The trainer was questioned by local police that year — but never charged — after allegations that he drugged and raped a woman in a Florida hotel pool while on a trip with the New York Yankees. McNamee’s contract with the club was not renewed after the investigation, which according to Hardin, prompted the trainer to begin fabricating evidence against Clemens so that the pitcher would keep him on as a personal trainer. The lawyer said Clemens did so, anyway, but that McNamee kept swabs, gauze pads and syringes with Clemens’ DNA on them, then added the PEDs himself just in case. Throughout the long-running drama, McNamee has come off as neither a sympathetic figure nor a trustworthy one, despite working for the New York City police force before becoming a trainer. During his appearance before the congressional committee, he was derided by a few members as a liar, cheat, drug dealer and even mocked for using the title “doctor” in business dealings after getting his Ph.D. from a diploma mill. But McNamee’s story from that day forward has never changed.—AP




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European clubs hunt for Asian bargains HONG KONG: Europe’s wealthy football clubs are sniffing around the hottest young talent in Asia as they scour the worldwide transfer market for prospects that will not break the bank. With many top sides baulking at hugely inflated prices for European players, clubs are realising there are still plenty of bargains to be had in Asia, which remains largely untapped despite some high-profile exports. The success of Park Ji-Sung at Manchester United and Shinji Kagawa at Borussia Dortmund, and Japanese star Keisuke Honda’s exploits at CSKA Moscow have convinced European clubs that Asians can deliver. Players from Asian champions Japan and South Korea, which boast the region’s strongest domestic leagues, have inevitably been attracting the most interest from European suitors. Last week, Bayern Munich snapped up Japanese starlet Takashi Usami, 19, on a

one-year loan deal from J-League side Gamba Osaka with a view to a permanent deal. The attacking midfielder-cum-striker won the J-League Young Player of the Year award last season, when he scored seven goals in 26 league matches. “We have been watching him. He is very talented and has great attacking skills. We will give him the time to get used to life at Bayern,” said Christian Nerlinger, director of sport for the Bavarian giants. Bayern will be hoping Usami has the same kind of impact his compatriot Kagawa has had at rivals and German champions Dortmund. They signed the highly talented 22year-old last year, taking advantage of a clause in his contract with Japanese club Cerezo Osaka that allowed him to move overseas for free. Other players have inser ted similar clauses into their contracts or simply moved abroad for free after their deals in

At the same time Usami was finalising his switch to Germany, gangly striker Ji Dong-Won, who netted four times for South Korea at the Asian Cup in Doha, sealed his widely anticipated move to Sunderland. The English Premier League side are repor ted to have paid the K-League’s Chunnam Dragons about two million pounds ($3.2 million) for the 20-year-old, who had a brief spell with English secondtier team Reading in 2007-2008. “The Barclays Premier League is very different to the K-League so there is hard work ahead,” cautioned Sunderland manager Steve Bruce, the former Manchester United defender. “But you just have to look at players like Park Ji-Sung and Lee Chung-Yong (Bolton) to see how well Korean players are adapting to its pace and physicality.” The paltry amounts for Asian players compare starkly with the extor tionate prices Premier League clubs have invested in English play-

Japan ended. The attacking midfielder scored eight goals in 18 league games last season before breaking his foot and is just the latest in a long line of Japanese to successfully make the transition to German football. “The German clubs have learned that Japan has many talented players they do not need to pay transfer fees for,” Japanese sports magazine Number said. A token sum of 350,000 euros ($500,000) was paid in compensation by Dortmund to reflect the club’s development of his talent. Another young Japanese striker tipped for big things is pacy 18-year-old Ryo Miyaichi, who joined Arsenal under the radar in January after turning out in a highschool tournament. Miyaichi was immediately farmed out to Feyenoord in the Netherlands, where a successful spell — 12 starts and three goals-convinced Gunners boss Arsene Wenger that he could be ready for Premier League action.

ers this summer, including Liverpool’s reported 20 million pounds on Sunderland midfielder Jordan Henderson. Rivals Manchester United forked out in the region of 16.5 million pounds for Blackburn defender Phil Jones, 19, who is yet to earn a senior cap for England. Japan Times columnist Andrew McKirdy said Europe’s bargain-hunting could reap dividends for Asia’s national teams, comparing it to South America’s long history of exporting players. “Such transfers are evidence of an everincreasing standard of quality among young Japanese players, but also of a growing awareness in Europe that the J-League offers fertile ground for cheap talent,” McKirdy wrote last month. “South American countries have worked within these parameters for many years, and if a constant stream of exports brings Japan’s national team up to a level approaching Brazil or Argentina then the benefits will be obvious.” —AFP

Brazil crush E Guinea

GERMANY: Australia’s Kyah Simon scores her side’s second goal during the Group D match between Australia and Norway at the Women’s Soccer World Cup. —AP

Australia roll into q-finals LEVERKUSEN: Kyah Simon scored twice yesterday to give Australia a 2-1 win over Norway and put her team through to the quarterfinals of the women’s World Cup. Elise Thorsnes gave Norway the lead in the 56th, but Simon equalized a minute later. Her powerful header from Kim Carroll’s corner then sealed the win in the 87th. Before 18,474 fans at the Bay Arena, neither side created any clear-cut chances before the game came to life when Thorsnes capitalized on a defensive mix-up to open the scoring. Norway defender Trine Ronning hit the crossbar with a free kick in the 84th. Norway needed to beat Australia to advance from Group D. It’s the first time the team had failed to advance from the group stage at the World Cup. Both coaches opted for muchchanged lineups in a bid to provoke a response, but it was Australia that made the better start. With Norway panicky in defense and unable to hold onto the ball for any length of time, it seemed only a matter of time before the lively Simon, Lisa De Vanna or Samantha Kerr put their side ahead. Neither Kerr nor Simon could connect with Elise Kellond-Knight’s cross from the left in the 12th, however, Norway almost took the lead from a well-worked free k ick when Ser vet Uzunlar managed to block a shot from Gry Tofte Ims in the 15th. A mistake from Uzunlar — when the ball bounced over her head in her penalty area — allowed Cecilie Pedersen the

chance to score minutes later, but the Norwegian’s shot was deflected narrowly over for a corner. De Vanna then showed great technique to control the ball on the edge of the area, but attempted to lob Ingrid Hjelmseth first time when she had more time to chose her shot. The game was held up while Hjelmseth was treated after being injured when landing awkwardly in a tussle with Kerr. The Norway goalkeeper was replaced at halftime by Erika Skarbo. The game sparked to life when a mixup between Uzunlar and Barbieri allowed Thorsnes score. Neither claimed the ball from the onrushing striker, and Thorsnes took it past the stranded Barbieri before finishing emphatically into the empty net. Celebrations were cut short when Simon replied straight away. De Vanna’s determination took her past two Norway defenders, and she crossed for Simon to sidefoot past Skarbo. Soon after, Skarbo won a race to the ball against Kerr to prevent the Australian from scoring again. The resurgent Australians had a number of chances to take the lead. Simon should have scored again in the 70th, when she dragged her shot to the right with only Skarbo to beat. Aware that only a win would do, Norway went close through Trine Ronning before Pedersen fired over after working herself into a good position. It was Simon, however, who had the final word. —AP

FRANKFURT: Erika produced some samba skills to unleash a frustrated Brazil and lead it to a 3-0 win over Equatorial Guinea to secure top spot in Group D at the women’s World Cup. After the African outsiders neutralized the heavy favorites with dogged defending for 49 minutes, Erika controlled a loose ball on her chest, then tapped it from her right foot to the left to send a volley flying past goalie Miriam from 13 meters. Five minutes later, top star Marta sent a low pinpoint cross into the center to set up Christiane for the second goal. Christiane celebrated with a jubilant body flip and back summersault, and then added the third goal from the penalty spot in injury time after Marta was brought down in the area. Brazil won Group D with 9 points and will play the second-place team in Group C in Dresden on Sunday. That will be the loser of the United States-Sweden game played late Wednesday. “It was a really tough game for us. We didn’t play the way we wanted,” said Brazil coach Kleiton Lima. Equatorial Guinea was already eliminated from the competition after two games. But for the third game in a row powerful forward Anonman proved she was one of the tournament’s best players, constantly a threat with probing runs. Unfortunately, the team produced no support for the colorfully braided, 22-year-old captain. Those in the big crowd of 35,859 who had come to see another show from Marta — after her two goals and an assist in a 3-0 win over Norway — went away disappointed. Marta got her touches but her marker Bruna continually tracked her closer than a basket-

FRANKFURT: Equatorial Guinea’s Vania (right) and Brazil’s Cristiane (left) challenge for the ball during the Group D match. —AP ball player defends an opponent under the hoop. But assisting on the second goal and then drawing a foul from Bruna to set up the penalty in injury time was plenty for coach Lima. “She was brilliant and she delivered,” he said. The 5-time FIFA player of the year is just two goals shy of matching Birgit Prinz’s alltime record of 14 World Cup goals, but never had a clear chance on goal. Despite having already secured advancement after two victo-

Hot shots hunt All-Africa Games goals

Liverpool agree Adam deal LONDON: Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has struck his second major blow in the transfer market this summer after agreeing a deal to sign fellow Scotsman Charlie Adam from relegated Blackpool. The Reds confirmed the news on their official website yesterday, saying that the 25-year-old would now travel to Merseyside to undergo a medical and discuss personal terms. Liverpool had previously had two bids rejected in the January transfer window for Adam, with the highest offer reported to be in the region of £6.5 million ($10.4m). This time, however, it is understood that Blackpool have accepted £7.5 million rising to £8 million depending on appearances. The Seasiders had wanted to keep Adam in January to aid their battle against the drop. However, that battle proved unsuccessful, and Blackpool turned their focus to achieving maximum value for

a player who had just one year remaining on his contract. Adam is a Scottish international who was shortlisted for the Premier League Player of the Year award last season after scoring twelve goals in 35 league appearances. The former Rangers player becomes Liverpool’s second summer signing, following the capture of young England midfielder Jordan Henderson from Sunderland last month for a fee reported to be in the region of £20 million. The Anfield club failed with a £15 million bid for Aston Villa winger Stewart Downing on Tuesday, but the agent of Roma’s Brazilian goalkeeper Alexander Doni has claimed that his client is close to sealing a move to Merseyside. In addition, England full-back Glen Johnson has signed a contract extension, although the length of the new deal was not disclosed. —AFP

ries, Brazil largely stuck to its strongest lineup when faced with the biggest outsider of the tournament. But the only Latin American flair the fans at the Commerzbank Arena could enjoy in the first half was the wave going around the stands. “We had a good talk at halftime and said we had to do better,” Lima said. Brazil came out with a winning spirit in the second half, and the goals soon started flowing. —AP

SANTA FE: Ecuador’s Walter Ayovi controls the ball during a training session. Ecuador will face Venezuela Saturday in a Group B Copa America soccer match. —AP

Matches on TV (Local Timings)

COPA AMERICA (FRIDAY) Bolivia v Costa Rica Al Jazeera Sport +2 Al Jazeera Sport +3 Al Jazeera Sport 1 HD


JOHANNESBURG: Emerging stars Bongani Ndulula of South Africa and Nosa Igiehor of Nigeria will hunt more goals this weekend in the final 2011 All-Africa Games football qualifiers. N d u l u l a f ro m f a m o u s Soweto club Orlando Pirates bagged the brace that gave h i s te a m a 2 - 0 h o m e w i n ove r Z i m b a bwe i n a t h i rd round, first leg eliminator two weeks ago. Norway-based Igiehor also struck twice as his side overcame the shock of falling behind on the stroke of halftime against bitter rivals Ghana to triumph 3-1 in Benin City. Tall, dreadlocked Ndulula is the leading qualifying competition scorer with six goals-one more than Zimbabwean Simba Sithole-while Igiehor has been on target four times. A couple of other fixtures are more delicately balanced with defending champions Cameroon needing to overcome a 1-0 deficit when they host the Democratic Republic of Congo in Yaounde. Senegal are in an identical position to the title holders as they enjoy home advantage in Dak ar over neighbours Guinea but must overcome a 1-0 away loss last weekend in a delayed first leg. Uganda appear bankers for a place at the eight-nation September tournament in Mozambique having unleashed second-half havoc on Kenya to triumph 5-1 in Nairobi and rendered the Kampala leg virtually meaningless. South Africa coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba expects a dog fight in Harare even though his team dominated the first meeting and would not have been flattered by a four-goal winning margin.

“Zimbabwe will go all out to avenge that loss and I anticipate them being a lot more aggressive this time,” warned the man who 11 years ago guided his country at their sole Olympic Games football appearance. Sithole has moved from Harare outfit CAPS United for Pretoria club Mamelodi Sundowns and needs to prove himself after a disappointing first leg showing in which he never threatened goalkeeper Boalefa Pule. Nigeria have been the form team on the continent at under-23 level-the age limit for the All-Africa Games and Olympic Games-scoring 22 goals in seven outings. Coach Augustine Eguavoen knows the importance of an away goal in Kumasi as the one Rabiu Mohammed poached in Nigeria means a 20 win for Ghana will squeeze them through. Ukraine-based Ghana captain Samuel Inkoom does not doubt the outcome: “This tie is far from over. We just need to wake up, correct mistakes, and take our scoring chances.” Cameroon have ruled the quadrennial All-Africa Games football tournament for more than a decade, collecting gold at Johannesburg (1999), Abuja (2003) and Algiers (2007) medal ceremonies. But the Indomitable Cubs of 2011 have failed to impress as they suffered a shock Olympic Games exit against modest Tanzania before losing to a Mutombo Kazadi goal in Kinshasa. Mozambique qualified automatically as hosts and Egypt and Madagascar secured places without needing to play because opponents Libya and Seychelles withdrew from the region-based eliminators. —AFP



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DURBAN: (From left) Olympic skier Toby Dawson, President of South Korea Lee Myung-Bak and Pyeongchang bid chairman Yang Ho Cho celebrate the announcement that Pyeongchang will host the 2018 Winter Olympics. —AP

SOUTH KOREA: South Korean supporters celebrate after the IOC announced that Pyeongchang had won the vote to be the host city for the 2018 Winter Olympics. —AP

Olympic joy at last for South Korea DURBAN: Pyeongchang finally achieved their dream of hosting the Winter Olympics when they were awarded the 2018 edition at their third attempt here yesterday. The South Korean candidate did it in style as they needed just one round of voting by the 95 International Olympic Committee (IOC) members eligible to vote to secure only the third Winter Games for Asia. They garnered 63 votes to overwhelm their opponents - Munich got 25 and Annecy a derisory 7 - to win by a majority of 48 with all 95 members having cast their vote. On the announcement from IOC president Jacques Rogge there was an eruption of joy from the South Korean delegation in the room while South Korean president Lee Myung-Bak walked along the stage where the IOC members sat and thanked them. “I will make a good Olympics,” beamed 69-year-old Lee, who put his thumbs up in celebration. “ This is a victor y for the Koreans, thank you to them!” For Kim Jin-Seun the former Governor of Gangwon Province - who had led the previous two bids and now an ambassador of the 2018 bid - it was a hugely emotional

moment. “For 17 years I have had a really rough road, really hard,” he said. “I don’t know what to say. I’m overwhelmed. I’m just very very happy.” For Rogge it was a reward for a candidate that had never given up dreaming of landing the Games. “I think that there is maybe a lesson in the achievement of Pyeongchang. It’s that patience and perseverance have prevailed,” he said. Pyeongchang are the first candidate since the now tarnished Salt Lake City in 1995 (for the 2002 Winter Games) to win in the first round for any Olympic bid. For the South Korean candidate it was joy at last after the bitter disappointment of losing out to Vancouver for 2010 and the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi for the 2014 Games. In doing so they delivered Asia their first ever Games outside of Japan and first since Nagano in 1998. It was a personal success too for South Korean president Lee as he achieved his goal he revealed earlier this week of it being “his duty and his mission to deliver the Games to Asia”. Lee it was who had led from the front at the final presentation earlier on Wednesday when, speaking impeccable English, he made a passionate and heart-

felt plea to the members. “We have worked hard and we will make you proud,” said Lee. “I ask you for your support today so that we can finally make the Winter Olympics and Paralympics dream come true. “I was a member of the board of FINA (swimming’s governing body) and fellow sportsman so this is why I can appreciate more than anyone what the IOC and Olympic Movement have given Korea. “Now we want to give back.” Lee, who stopped in South Africa first on his whistlestop three African country trip, said that their bid was all about the Olympic Spirit. “It is about friendship, hard work and fairplay.” Munich in particular had fought hard all the way believing that their professional and smooth campaign could deliver them a Sochi style victory - the Russians had gathered unstoppable momentum to overhaul a stunned Pyeongchang. However, despite the best efforts of German President Christian Wulff, German figure skating legend Katarina Witt and impressive paralympian Verena Bentele the dream as the president called it was to be left unfulfilled. “It’s hard for us, really hard,” said six-time

Paralympic skier Gerd Schoenfelder. “I think we had a really really good presentation, a good team and the best conditions for winter spor t. So the decision against Munich it’s hard. “Congratulations to Pyeongchang but.....” he swallowed hard and then added on seeing the result: “It’s a clear decision.” Annecy were never able to gather anything like enough momentum and while they showed a solid outward resilience their final presentation reflected well the downbeat mood of the camp. French sports minister Chantal Jouanno said France must now draw its conclusions after Annecy’s defeat, the fourth time a French bidder has lost out to host an Olympic Games since 2004. She reflected: “It’s hard to take in for French sport because French sport doesn’t deserve this, but we will learn from this defeat. “Without doubt we didn’t learn sufficiently from the previous losses.” As Witt had remarked earlier in the campaign competing in an Olympics you hope at least for a podium finish but there is no such consolation for finishing second and third in this Olympic race. Pyeongchang can tell them what both feelings are like. —AFP

DURBAN: President of the Olympic Council of Asia Sheikh Ahmed Al-Fahd AlSabah (right) shakes hands with Russian Olympic Committee and Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Alexander Zhukov after signing “a historic memorandum of understanding to formalise the partnership and future collaboration between their organisations” on the sidelines of the 123rd Olympic Committee session in Durban. —AFP

Cavendish wins crash-filled stage

FRANCE: Mark Cavendish of Britain (second left) strains in the last meters to win ahead of Philippe Gilbert of Belgium. —AP

CAP FREHEL: Briton Mark Cavendish became one of the top 10 stage winners in the Tour de France when he raced to victory in an incident-packed fifth stage in Cap Frehel yesterday. Spurred by his defeat in the first mass sprint of this edition in Redon in the third stage, the Briton silenced his critics by surging in the last stretch of the 164.5-km ride to pip Belgian champion Philippe Gilbert and Spain’s Jose Jaquin Rojas on the line. Norway’s Thor Hushovd, who finished 10th, retained his slim one-second lead over Australian Cadel Evans in the overall standings. “I’m very happy. There were not so many flat finishes in this Tour and I had to use all my resilience to win this,” said Cavendish. The Manxman’s 16th stage victory on the Tour, which put him on par with cycling greats such as five-times Tour winner Jacques Anquetil, was all the more spectacular as the finale was not to his liking. “I didn’t expect it to be so hard at the finish. The guys there were not really bunch sprinters, but strong guys like Philippe, Thor or Geraint Thomas,” said Cavendish. “I gathered I would go to take points for the green jersey. I was kind of surprised to win. Most

times I win with a margin, this time I had to give it everything I had. It will take a few days to recover.” After Tyler Farrar’s win two days earlier, when Cavendish finished fifth, the HTC team leader had warned his critics not to write him off just because he had won fewer races than usual this season. “I put every other race on the back-foot to be ready for the Tour de France,” he said. As usual with mass sprints on the Tour, there were plenty of crashes. Green jersey holder Rojas complained that he had momentarily been blocked Italy’s Alessandro Petacchi in the closing stages but the Spaniard ended up being disqualified from the day’s intermediate sprint. He surrendered the jersey to Gilbert. Before Cavendish dashed to his first stage win in this edition, almost all the big names in the peloton hit the tarmac in a windswept ride along the Breton seaside, starting with three-times champion Alberto Contador. The Spaniard, who was brilliant a day earlier when he thought he had won the fourth stage but finished second behind Evans, fell with 88 km to go when his chain snapped. He managed to get back on his bike and finish in the main pack.

“It was difficult today, very tense. A lot of people crashed. I was halted by a fall in a village and five kilometres later, my chain snapped,” said Contador. “What matters is that I managed to get up and continue. It will be a hard night.” The unluckiest team were RadioShack, who lost their leader Janez Brajkovic. The Slovenian crashed four kilometres before Contador and was forced out of the race. His team-mates Chris Horner and Yaroslav Popovych also ended up on the road but made it to the finish. “It’s a hard day. But there’s nothing you can do. It’s the Tour de France, it’s a lottery. Almost everybody crashed,” said RadioShack team director Alain Gallopin. Brajkovic was diagnosed with concussion but a brain scan carried out in a Guingamp hospital revealed nothing serious. The Slovenian was also treated for a shoulder injury. Among the other team leaders involved in pile-ups were Dutchman Robert Gesink, who bruised his knee and elbow, and Briton Bradley Wiggins, who lost a minute after a massive crash but was brought back into the pack by his Team Sky team mates. “Horrible, horrible, horrible,” the Olympic pursuit champion said. —Reuters



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Iranians go for gold amid inflation, currency fears


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Moody’s cuts Portugal to ‘junk’ Downgrade darkens eurozone rescue hopes

LISBON: A man sells ice cream from a motorcycle-cart across the street from the Portuguese finance ministry, in the background yesterday. — AP LONDON: The downgrading of freshly bailedout Portugal’s credit rating to “junk” shocked financial markets yesterday and cast new doubt on European efforts to rescue distressed eurozone states without debt restructuring. The cost of insuring all weaker eurozone countries’ debt against default rose and Portuguese two-term bond yields spiked by a whole percentage point on Moody’s decision, announced late on Tuesday, to cut Portugal by four notches. The euro and European shares fell on the news, ending a seven-day stocks rally, and Portugal had to pay more to sell 3-month T-bills yesterday. The thumbs-down, coming so soon after a new centre -right Lisbon government announced austerity plans going beyond those demanded by international lenders, again called into question the EU strategy for dealing with the eurozone sovereign debt crisis. Moody’s said Portugal may need a second round of rescue funds before it can return to capital markets, just as European governments and banks are haggling over a second 120 billion euro bailout for Greece, which has a much higher debt ratio. “The key worry of the market is that the events that we’ve been

seeing with Greece are being repeated with Portugal,” said WestLB rate strategist Michael Leister. IRELAND TOO? Ireland, the other eurozone country to have received a bailout, said on Tuesday it may have to make additional spending cuts next year to meet deficit reduction targets in its 85 billion euro bailout plan due to an economic slowdown. A Reuters analysis last week found that Dublin may also need a second bailout because it is unlikely to grow fast enough to make the envisaged full return to market funding in 2013. Moody’s cited the European Union’s management of the crisis, and specifically the attempt to make private creditors share the burden of all future rescues as one reason for its steep downgrade. The demand that banks and insurers share the risk is driven by growing public hostility in north European creditor nations to any further bailouts for south European states seen as having lived beyond their means. But Moody’s said insisting on private sector involvement not only increased the economic risk facing current investors, but also “may discourage new private sector

lending going forward and reduce the likelihood that Portugal will soon be able to regain market access on sustainable terms”. BANKERS FACE OBSTACLE COURSE Representatives of Greece’s major creditor banks were meeting in Paris under the aegis of the International Institute of Finance (IIF), a banking lobby, to discuss the terms of a proposed rollover of privately held Greek debt. Banking sources said numerous issues involving credit ratings, interest rates, maturities and accounting consequences remained to be ironed out among multiple stakeholders and an agreement was only likely in September. Credit ratings agencies have warned they would be likely to treat any “voluntary” rollover of Greek bonds as a distressed debt exchange and declare it, at least temporarily, to be a selective default. European leaders’ response has been to criticize the ratings agencies rather than reconsider their policy of seeking at all costs to avoid a debt restructuring. German Chancellor Angela Merkel brushed aside on Tuesday a warning by the world’s biggest ratings agency, Standard & Poor’s, that it would view the current French plan for

a partial rollover by banks of maturing Greek debt as a default. “It is important that the troika (EU, IMF and European Central Bank) do not allow their ability to make judgments to be taken away,” she said. “I trust above all the judgment of these three institutions.” Germany ’s deputy finance minister told Reuters it was “absolutely premature” to discuss a second rescue package for Portugal and Berlin was confident the country could implement its reforms and get back on track. “There is a new government in place so I would really suggest giving the government the time to do what the new government has promised,” Joerg Asmussen told Reuters Insider TV. “We are confident they are willing and able to implement the first package and get back on track,” he said. New French Finance Minister Francois Baroin was just as dismissive of Moody’s action on Portugal. “A ratings agency’s view is not going to solve the matter of tension on sovereign debt markets and the budgetary crisis,” he said, adding he trusted Portugal’s new government to meet its deficit reduction target by 2013. SELF-FULFILLING? EU officials complain that the ratings agen-

Dubai inflation skyrockets DUBAI: Consumer prices in Dubai rose by 0.5 percent on a monthly basis in June, the fastest pace in 10 months, fuelled by the fastest food price rises in three years, data showed yesterday. Price pressures in the United Arab Emirates state have been anemic for more than a year since its property bubble burst in 2008, triggering eventual debt restructuring at its flagship company, Dubai World. Living costs in the trade and business hub grew 0.8 percent

on an annual basis in June, the biggest rise in two months, after a 0.4 percent rise in May, data from Dubai Statistics Center showed. Inflation in Dubai, which accounts for 28 percent of the UAE economy and has one of the world’s highest per capita incomes of nearly $42,000, reached a record high of 10.8 percent in the oil-boom year of 2008. “Food prices typically are quite volatile,” said Khatija Haque, senior econ-

CAIRO: An Egyptian street vendor offers fresh Cactus for sale from his cart in Tahrir Square in Cairo yesterday. — AP

omist at Emirates NBD in Dubai. “Overall, I am not concerned about inflation in the UAE because we see from the other components in the index that there is very little inflation elsewhere. We have rental prices and housing costs still coming down, and this is going to offset increases in food to some extent,” she said. Food costs, the second largest consumer expense with an 11 percent weighting, shot up by 3.8 percent month-on-month in June, the sharpest rise since June 2008, the data showed. The rise was mainly due to a 23.3 percent jump in fish prices and a 7.2 percent increase in prices of vegetables, the statistics office said. The UAE, which has not seen social unrest unlike nearby Bahrain and Oman, called on retailers to slash costs of basic commodities by up to 50 percent during the holy month of Ramadan and plans to fix prices of around 400 foodstuffs and household products. It has also introduced bread and rice subsidies. “Policy makers will be careful to ensure that the Ramadan inflation does not feed into the inflation basket as it did in the past,” said Shady Shaher, senior economist at Standard Chartered in Dubai. Food usually drives inflation up during Ramadan, which

begins in August, as families enjoy more elaborate evening meals after the daylight fast. Housing prices, the biggest Dubai basket component, dipped 0.2 percent in June, the fifth monthly fall in a row, as the market remains under pressure with thousands of new units coming up over the next few months. The UAE, the world’s No.3 oil exporter, is yet to release inflation data for June. Analysts polled by Reuters in June expected UAE inflation to accelerate to 2.5 percent this year from 0.9 percent in 2010, which was the lowest annual level since the Gulf war started in 1990. Dubai World names new CFO, MD Indebted conglomerate Dubai World shifted ownership of its troubled property units Nakheel and Limitless to the government, concluding a complex restructuring process, it said yesterday. The state-owned flagship firm also named Andy Watson as managing director and Junaid Rahimullah as chief financial officer. The two property divisions have operationally and financially been separated from Dubai World, according to a statement. Nakheel, builder of manmade palm-shaped islands, and Limitless were at the center of Dubai’s propertycollapse inspired debt crisis in 2009. —

cies’ downgrades are a self-fulfilling prophecy, making it harder for countries under assistance programs to return to capital markets. Underlying the debate is an increasingly prevalent view in financial markets-disputed publicly by EU governments-that Greece, and possibly also Portugal and Ireland, will have to restructure debt sooner or later and force significant losses on bondholders. The more widespread that assumption becomes, the harder it will be to negotiate further official funding for Greece. The International Monetary Fund board is expected to approve the release of a vitally needed fresh tranche of loans for Greece after eurozone finance ministers agreed on Saturday to pay their share. But IMF sources say disquiet is growing among nonEuropeans at the global lender over the risks of pouring more money into Europe’s debt crisis with no resolution in sight. “It goes to show that this whole crisis isn’t over just yet. Even if they cough up some more money for Greece, and that looks like it’s a done deal, it’s not over,” said Jay Bryson, global economist at Wells Fargo Securities. “I would think it’s bad news for Spain and Italy as well.” —Reuters

Nokia abandons Japanese market TOKYO: Nokia Corp, battered by the popularity of smartphones, is abandoning the Japanese market, after a brief foray with luxury cell phones costing as much as 20 million yen ($250,000). The Finnish handset maker is closing by the end of July its last store selling high-end Vertu cell phones in Ginza. Previously, it had four such stores in Japan, according to Tomoko Morinari of Sunny Side Up, a Tokyo public relations company that has Nokia as its client. She declined to say when the decision to leave Japan was made or how many Vertu phones Nokia had sold in Japan. Vertu said in a statement yesterday that it was “withdrawing from the Japanese market” to better focus on priority businesses. It thanked business partners, said its Tokyo office will fold by the end of this year, but promised to continue to do work with Japanese craftsmen in its business elsewhere. Nokia phones have never been that popular in Japan, where the iPhone from Apple Inc. is hugely popular in addition to offerings from Japanese electronics makers such as Sharp Corp. Vertu handsets were billed as luxury items including one of lacquer by a Japanese craftsman decorated as a National Treasure that went for 20 million yen ($250,000), Morinari said. Last month, Nokia warned its second-quarter sales and margins are expected to be much lower than anticipated because of global competition in both the high- and low-end markets. Since 1998, Nokia has been the world’s biggest seller of cell phones, but in the first quarter of this year Apple overtook it as the world’s top handset vendor in revenue. Nokia’s market share continues to fall, and at 29 percent in the first quarter, is at its lowest level since the late 1990s. Even more damaging has been Nokia’s inability to meet modern challenges of the smartphone market, the lucrative sector in the handset industry. — AP



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Qatar QFIB eyes regional deals Noor IPO seen in 2012

Countdown to Burgan Bank Al Thuraya Account draw Lucky winner to grab KD60,000 KUWAIT: Burgan Bank announced yesterday that there are only a few days left for the Al Thuraya Account biannual draw, and as the draw counts down to a close; Burgan Bank shall promptly announce the lucky winner of the grand KD 60,000 prize on 10 July, 2011 at the bank’s head office. Burgan Bank’s Al Thuraya Account is a default salary account that provides multiple features and benefits as well as a chance to win the grand prize. Al Thuraya Account is a non-interest bearing account with a bi-annual draw of KD 60,000/-. Al Thuraya Account’s features range from opening an account with

a minimum KD50, the option to hold money in Kuwaiti dinar and any other major currency, access to accountrelated services such as standing orders, loans and credit cards and much more, bringing Burgan Banks clientele considerably the best features available. Opening an Al Thuraya account is simple, just visit your nearest Burgan Bank branch and get all the details. Or simply call our Call Center 1804080 and our customer service representative will be more than happy to assist you. For further information visit

DOHA: Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) is eyeing at least five regional equity deals each valued at between $15 million to $60 million and expects to close two to three of those acquisitions this year, its chief executive said. The investment bank, which announced purchase of a $16 million stake in Kuwait Energy last week, will continue its acquisition spree despite caution in the marketplace that stalled its original plans for $250 million in deals in 2011. “We have a healthy pipeline of investment deals. We are eyeing deals in Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and UAE in areas such as healthcare and food processing,” Emad Mansour, QFIB’s chief executive, told Reuters. On the asset management side, QFIB is moving forward with its plans for the sharia-compliant asset management firm it is setting up with Dubai-based GulfMena Alternative Investments. “We have a target date of filing for regulatory

approval with (Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority) in mid-August,” he said. “In our experience with the QFC, I don’t think it will take more than two or three months to obtain approval.” The two firms said last year that they would create a joint asset management firm to tap into rising demand for Islamic investment products. Mansour said once the joint venture gets a regulatory nod, the company would look to launch its first Islamic mutual fund, aimed at providing exposure to the Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern markets. Seed money will be provided by QFIB although the initial value of that contribution has yet to be determined. Mansour projected QFIB revenue growth of 20 percent in 2011 from $280 million in revenue in 2010. Net income is seen around $30 million this year from $22.8 million last year, he said. NOOR IPO IN 2012 QFIB now plans to exit its invest-

ment in Abu Dhabi-based Al Noor Medical through an initial public offering in 2012 as current IPO market remains lackluster, he said. Mansour said in February that the company planned to list Al Noor Medical on the Abu Dhabi bourse in May. QFIB has a 14-percent stake in Al Noor through a consortium which holds 50 percent. The consortium had named HSBC and JP Morgan to assist in the process. “The IPO is something that we are actively working on,” Mansour said. “We have a target of listing at some point in 2012. Obviously, the earlier we do it in 2012, the better.” Several Gulf-based firms have delayed or cancelled IPO plans in the last two years amid muted investor interest. QFIB was launched in 2009 and is the first, non-affiliated sharia-compliant investment bank to be regulated by the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority. —Reuters

ABK launches Site Security Key Service KUWAIT: ABK launched the Site Security Key Service, to provide an added level of security to online banking users, as per the directions of the Central Bank of Kuwait. Choosing a site security key ensures a higher level of confidentiality and security of banking transactions for clients through its website Othman Tawfiqi, Head of Alternative Delivery Channels within the Bank gave details on this service, “The site security key service provides safety to the client in all electronic banking transactions. The service can be activated by registering or logging in to the personal bank account through the website , selecting an image from the list of images, and providing a descriptive phrase for it, thereby personalizing the access to the account completely. The site security key service is provided free to ABK clients to ensure utmost flexibility and ease of use. “ Tawfiqi added that, “We advise our clients to be careful during the registration process, and even while accessing their accounts, that the process is done through personal computers and not through a joint computer or another network of users.” He also stressed on the importance of not disclosing any information or data belonging to the bank account, and the need to use IBAN numbers for transactions between accounts to ensure the highest safety standards. For more information you can chat live with an ABK representative on Ahli Chat via our website or you can call Ahlan Ahli at 1 899 899.

Othman Tawfiqi

GMC ranks among top 10 JD Power Initial Quality Study KUWAIT: GMC was ranked within the top 10 automotive brands in the 2011 JD Power Initial Quality StudySM, placed 10th overall. GMC moved up 15 ranking positions compared to last year’s study. GMC attributes its performance to new quality improvements across the portfolio and a strong performance by Sierra in the full-size pickup segment. The GMC Yukon/XL was placed second in the large crossover/SUV segment, exceeding the segment average score by 7 percent. “We believe GMC’s initial quality performance and Yukon’s placement in its segment demonstrate GMC’s commitment to deliver high-quality vehicles that command respect,” said Luay Al Shurafa, Regional Brand

Manager. “We’re celebrating these accomplishments on the run as we continue to improve quality across our portfolio and exceed the expectations of our GMC customers.” The 2011 IQS is based on responses from more than 73,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2011 model-year vehicles surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The study includes a 228-question survey designed to provide manufacturers with information they can use to quickly identify problems and drive improvement. In June, GMC delivered its 2nd best sales month in 32 months on strong demand for crossovers, SUVs and full size pickups. GMC’s sales in the Middle East witnessed an increase of 39% in June 2011 compared to June 2010.

GMC year-to-date sales in the Middle East witnessed an increase of 15% compared to the same period last year.

EXCHANGE RATES Commercial Bank of Kuwait US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian Dollar Australian DLR Indian rupees Sri Lanka Rupee UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi riyals Omani riyals Philippine peso Egyptian pounds

.2700000 .4350000 .3910000 .3220000 .2810000 .2900000 .0040000 .0020000 .0741850 .7227610 .3810000 .0700000 .7085350 .0040000 .0430000 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2732500 .4372000 .3932890 .3249110 .2835570 .0527290 .0434490 .2923910 .0351120 .2226250 .0033700 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0744250 .7250900 .0000000 .0728860 .7100170 .0000000

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

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co.

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

ASIAN COUNTRIES 3.414 6.181 3.194 2.504 3.881 224.080 35.302 3.678

.2765000 .4460000 .4030000 .3360000 .2910000 .3030000 .0072500 .0035000 .0749300 .7300250 .4010000 .0770000 .7156550 .0072000 .0530000 .2753500 .4405600 .3963110 .3274080 .2857370 .0531340 .0437830 .2946380 .0353820 .2243360 .0034030 .0062440 .0025230 .0032200 .0037210 .0749970 .7306620 .3894630 .0734460 .7154740 .0064640

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

6.405 9.013 0.271 0.273 GCC COUNTRIES 73.269 75.495 713.650 729.770 74.816

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 48.350 46.074 1.258 201.950 388.010 183.100 5.932 35.669

EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 274.650 Euro 395.910 Sterling Pound 441.090 Canadian dollar 286.390 Turkish lire 168.290 Swiss Franc 328.060 Australian dollar 293.880 US Dollar Buying 272.450 GOLD 278.000 140.000 72.500

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

SELL CASH 298.000 730.060 3.920 289.000 539.200 36.500 54.600 167.800 48.140 401.200 35.960 6.340

Sterling Pound US Dollar

SELL DRAFT 296.500 730.060 3.680 287.500

225.700 46.140 399.700 35.810 6.180

0.033 0.239 0.240 3.490 389.730 0.186 93.930 47.300 4.310 231.700 1.861 52.600 713.020 3.300 6.540 75.940 73.290 225.680 43.390 2.640 446.000 45.000 330.400 5.600 9.400 198.263 74.840 274.900 1.200


387.980 0.185 93.930 3.890 230.200

328.900 5.600 9.210 74.740 274.500

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 444.000 274.500

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

Selling Rate 275.050 287.490 444.215 401.375 331.306 728.544 74.862 75.499 73.310 387.165 46.124 2.508 6.157

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

3.208 3.693 6.339 674.672 3.519 9.058 5.783 3.924 91.361

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. 712.840 3.200 6.410 75.510 73.290 225.680 43.390 2.504 444.000

GOLD 1,554.190

10 Tola

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

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

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

Rate per 1000 (Tran) 274.400 3.205 6.200 2.515 3.690 6.410 74.810 73.375 729.500 46.090 446.800 0.00003280 3.910 1.550 389.900 5.750 402.300 291.100

Al Mulla Exchange Currency Transfer Rate (Per 1000) US Dollar 274.050 Euro 399.500 Pound Sterling 443.800 Canadian Dollar 287.300 Japanese Yen 3.420 Indian Rupee 6.175 Egyptian Pound 46.070 Sri Lankan Rupee 2.502 Bangladesh Taka 3.663 Philippines Peso 6.390 Pakistan Rupee 3.195 Bahraini Dinar 730.000 UAE Dirham 74.650 Saudi Riyal 73.200 *Rates are subject to change




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Oman Air wins ‘Best Business Class Seat’ award MUSCAT: Oman Air was named winner of The World’s Best Business Class Airline Seat award at the 2011 World Airline Awards, in a ceremony held in the French Air and Space Museum at the Paris Air Show. The runners-up in this Best Business Class Airline Seat category are Singapore Airlines taking 2nd place in the category, ahead of Qatar Airways in 3rd position. The national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman was presented with the Best Business Class Seat award at a ceremony attended by more than 50 airlines. The awards are based on the views of nearly 20 million air passengers, who were surveyed by Skytrax over the last year. Oman Air’s Chief Executive Officer, Peter Hill, commented: “We are delighted that Oman Air has been named as winner in the Best Business Class Seat category of the World Airline Awards,

which are the most prestigious accolades available within the global airline industry. Our Business Class seat is regularly mistaken for First Class. It offers unparalleled levels of space, comfort and amenity and has proved extremely popular with our customers”. Competition at the World Airline Awards for the title of ‘Best Business Class Seat’ is fierce and it is enormously satisfying to know that air travelers regard our seat as the best in the world. Oman Air’s award-winning Business Class seat offers comfort and luxury within an 82-inch pitch, direct aisle access for every passenger and converts to a 77.5inch long fully lie-flat bed. A 17-inch inflight entertainment screen gives access to a huge range of movies, music and games, whilst a universal power point, USB port and iPod sockets enable passengers to personalize

their entertainment options by plugging in their laptops, smart phones, tablet PCs or games consoles. Retractable privacy screens, buddy seats and ample storage add to the experience, putting the passenger fully in control of their personal space. The World Airline Awards, also known as the Passenger Choice Awards, are recognized as the benchmark for excellence in the airline industry. They are informed by a survey carried out over a period of 10 months by renowned independent airline experts Skytrax. The views of 18.8 million air travelers, from more than 100 different countries, are surveyed and responses cover over 200 airlines of all sizes. Standards across nearly 40 different items of airline front-line product and service are measured and analyzed, from check-in to boarding, onboard seat comfort and cabin

cleanliness to food and beverages, and from IFE to staff service. Oman Air’s success in the World Airline Awards follows a period of rapid change for the airline, during which it

has emerged as a niche luxury carrier. Having introduced a fleet of new Airbus A330 aircraft with outstanding interiors, as well as state-of-the-art Embraer 175 short haul jets, Oman

Air has expanded its network to include more than 40 exciting destinations. In addition to offering audio and video on demand and live satellite TV onboard its A330s, Oman Air pioneered inflight mobile phone and WiFi connectivity and has received acclaim for its inflight dining, refreshments and amenity kits. Having recently unveiled ultra-luxurious First Class and Business Class lounges at Muscat International Airport, the airline has just launched a new First Class lounge-to-aircraft limousine service, with a chauffeur-driven fleet of Audi A8s. Peter Hill added: “Oman Air offers unbeatable luxury, hospitality and value for all our customers. We are continuously seeking new ways to surprise and delight passengers and we look forward to announcing fantastic new products and services”.

Iranians go for gold amid inflation, currency fears Many Iranians see risk in keeping wealth in rials TEHRAN: Leafing through an old family photo album, 74-year-old Molook Amini wished she could afford to buy a gold coin as a wedding gift for her youngest grandchild as did for others. “It was always a tradition to give gold coins to close family members on special occasions. This year for the first time I cannot afford to do it anymore.” Whether for wedding gifts or as a way to squirrel away savings, Iranians have a long history of buying gold coins, widely available from dealers in high street shops and bazaars.

Kayed wins Gulf Bank’s Al Danah KD 250,000 8 weekly winners announced KUWAIT: Gulf Bank today announced Saad Nassar Kayed as the lucky winner of its KD250,000 Al Danah prize draw. The announcement was made at a special draw event held in the Bank’s Al Zahra branch, hosted by Khalid Al-Ansari, the renowned Kuwaiti radio presenter on the Marina FM’s Diwaniya Show. In addition to announcing the main prize winner, Gulf Bank also announced the names of the eight Al Danah weekly winners on the show, who each received a prize of KD 1000. Sadiqa Abdullah Mohd Al-awadi; Awatef Yousef Meshari Alroudan; Abdullah Attallah Alali Al-jaaloot; Ziad Jassem Mohamed Alaskar; Rawan Jaman Erwaidan Al-jamah; Sreenivasa Rao Chillala; Mohammed Saad Said Aljamaan and Ameerah Jayid Ibreesam. All visitors that attended the draw were given gifts from Amal Al Kuwait and enjoyed light snacks with management and staff. Aly Shalaby, Gulf Bank’s General Manager, Consumer Banking Group, said: “On behalf of Gulf Bank, I’d like to congratulate Saad Nassar Kayed. Al Danah is extremely popular amongst our customers and we take great pleasure announcing each winner. “Rewarding our customers, and providing innovative products and excellent service is a major part of the Bank’s customer commitment. Our weekly and quarterly draws are a part of this commitment, as they give everyone a chance to be a winner by simply being a Gulf Bank customer. If you weren’t a winner today, there are more chances coming up in our next draw.” “The Al Danah

account is the ideal and most practical account for people that want to save money and at the same time have the opportunity to win a prize which is truly life changing,” Shalaby concluded. The Bank encourages all its customers to maintain or increase the money in their Al Danah accounts so that they can also be part of this renowned draw. Gulf Bank is the only bank across the Middle East that is offering its customers the opportunity to win 1,000,000 Kuwaiti Dinars in one single draw prize. Gulf Bank has 54 branches strategically located throughout Kuwait. Customers can visit the nearest Gulf Bank branch, deposit money directly into their Al Danah account at any of Gulf Bank’s deposit ATM machines, or call the Customer Contact Center on 1805 805 and representatives will be delighted to assist with any further information or questions on Al Danah or on any of the Bank’s products and services. Customers can also log on to Gulf Bank’s bilingual website for further information.

Etihad expands its network in China ABU DHABI: Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has announced plans to expand its network in China with daily non-stop, return services between Abu Dhabi and Shanghai - subject to government approval. The new flights, scheduled to commence on 1 March 2012, will make Shanghai the airline’s 70th global destination. Etihad Airways’ Chief Executive Officer James Hogan announced the new services yesterday in an address to 300 representatives of the global aviation industry who are attending the Aviation Outlook China Summit in Shanghai this week. “Shanghai, the most populous city in mainland China, is a strategically important addition to Etihad’s China network. “Together with our daily flights to the capital Beijing, the Shanghai route will offer travelers competitive access to the two biggest centers for commerce, trade, government, culture, and tourism in China. “For travelers originating in China, this means a wider choice of convenient flight options to the

UAE, Middle East, Europe, and North America, and on the way, the award-winning combination of luxuriously appointed aircraft, best-in-class service, and some of the finest international cuisine in the sky. “Through Etihad’s efficient Crystal Cargo operation, we also intend to pursue growth of the valuable export trade for high tech and other commodities.” Yesterday’s announcement follows a press conference in Chengdu yesterday, where Hogan released details of the airline’s planned new services to the Sichuan province. “The commencement of services to Chengdu and Shanghai and this week’s increase in frequency to Beijing are major investments of aircraft and commercial resources into China. It reflects our confidence in the current strength and future potential of the inbound and outbound travel markets,” Hogan said. Etihad will operate an Airbus A330-200 aircraft on the Abu Dhabi-Shanghai route, configured in Pearl Business and Coral Economy class.

But recently, what was a steady demand has become a gold rush. Amid global economic uncertainty, the price of gold on world markets rose steadily in the first half of 2011 and Iranian coins appreciated in line with that. Rather than cashing in their coins for a profit, Iranians continued to buy them in ever larger numbers. “Usually, as the price of an item increases, demand will decrease. But in the case of gold, it seems that higher prices are creating more demand,” said a gold retailer in Tehran who asked not to be identified. The Iranian gold rush was mainly driven by fears about the domestic economy, particularly the risk of soaring inflation and a wobbly currency, he said. In addition to concerns about a global double-dip recession, the economy has been hit by sanctions as the United States leads global pressure on Tehran over a nuclear program many states say is aimed at building atomic weapons, a charge Iran denies. “The reasons that people are drawn to these safe assets- gold coins and hard currency-are firstly a limited choice of investment opportunities, and secondly a fear from the weakness of the national currency,” said an economist who asked not to be named. “These are results of more potential economic instability in the country.” KING AND CLERICS Treasured as a store of value, Iran’s gold coins, minted over centuries, are also culturally important. They were traditionally stamped with the faces of kings. After the 1979 revolution, the Islamic Republic started to issue Bahar-e Azadi (Spring of Liberty) coins, some of which were engraved with the image of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who led the uprising against the last shah. Produced by the Central Bank of Iran, a standard gold coin weighs 8.133 grams. It is also sold in smaller denominations of a half coin and a quarter coin. In June the price of a Bahar-e Azadi gold coin reached an all-time high at around 4,550,000 rials ($422), compared to a year ago when it sold for around 3,120,000 rials. Iranian authorities have repeatedly denied

that sanctions are hurting the country, saying the economy is strong. But many Iranians are worried that keeping their wealth in rials is a risk. “We can keep the coins at home and feel secure,” said Mohammad, a 39-year-old stock trader who said financial sanctions have made it harder for normal Iranians to transfer capital abroad, for example to buy property in Dubai or Europe. “In the current situation there are people who can move their capital and invest in other countries, but we as ordinary people have no choice but to invest in gold coins,” he said. INFLATION AND DEVALUATION Saving rials is also less attractive than a few months ago after the government reduced the level of interest banks could pay on savings. Returns were slashed in April from a range of 26-28 percent to 14-17 percent, below what many Iranians believe to be the actual inflation rate. Worries about the declining buying power of the rial and doubts over the currency’s stability are the main drivers behind the flight to gold. While the International Monetary Fund has praised Iran for reducing inflation to 12.4 percent for 2010-11 from 25.4 percent two years earlier, the rate has been creeping back up over the last year to 14.2 percent in May. Prices have risen much faster for key items such as fuel, water and food as heavy government subsidies are phased out. At the end of last year, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad started winding down some $100 billion of subsidies and giving direct cash payments to families to reduce the impact of price rises. The switch, praised by the IMF, was done despite the predictions that surges in the prices of fuel, food and water could stoke wider inflation. As well as hoarding gold, many Iranians sought to change their rials into hard currency, increasing demand for dollars so much that the Central Bank devalued the rial by almost 11 percent last month. That sudden decision did nothing to assuage Iranians’ fears about the safety of their savings. Many economists believe the rial, which is loosely pegged to

VIVA latest promotions to pre-paid customers KUWAIT: Kuwait Telecommunications Company VIVA introduces its two latest promotions to pre-paid customers, offering 30 International calling minutes for only KD3, and a 50 Fils per minute af ter the 3rd minute weekend International offer. Alongside the arrival of the summer season VIVA’s new International bundle services is here to provide its customers with the chance to enjoy calling loved ones abroad for much less. The first summer promotion is a weekly bundle that offers new, and existing pre-paid customers, 30 International calling minutes for the low fee of KD3. To activate this weekly subscription, prepaid customers can send an SMS “1” to number 242. The subscription is valid for 5 days after which it is renewed automatically. VIVA’s second summer promotion for pre-paid customers is a weekend International offer where customers can make International calls to any destination worldwide for 50 Fils per minute after the 3rd minute. This offer is open for all summer weekends from every Friday morning and until Saturday midnight. For further information on standard International call rates, please visit the website: For further information on the new International summer offers and other VIVA services, please visit us at any of our available branches, or please visit us on our website at:

major world currencies under a “managed floating exchange rate”, has not been allowed to devalue in line with inflation and is overvalued by between 30 and 50 percent. As international trade in rials is very limited, the change in its value has no real impact on global markets. It sank to 12,500 to the dollar last month, compared to 10,500 earlier in the year. Since the devaluation, Central Bank governor Mahmoud Bahmani has said he might use a raft of policies to prevent the rial falling further, including possibly restricting the activities of money traders he accuses of profiteering and speculation. He also said Iran would reverse the bank interest rate decision. “We will curb the fake demand for foreign currency by increasing interest rates,” the daily Arman quoted Bahmani as saying in June. Following central bank intervention, injecting hard currency and gold into the market, the price of both the dollar and of gold coins has eased. But analysts say fundamental problems will continue to pressure both and have criticized what they say are contradictory signals from the government. Bahmani said the rial will recover to a “market rate” of 10,000 rials and the price of gold will decline. But such comments, immediately after a devaluation which put the official dollar rate at 11,717 rials, have only added to the uncertainty, some economists say. “Signs of confusion over forex policymaking are very apparent. The sudden increase (in the dollar) followed by a drop and the announcement of various rates for currency by different finance officials is indicative of that,” the economic daily Abrar-e Eqtesadi, wrote on July 3. Ordinary Iranians are far from reassured. “During these times of instability in Iran, the safest form of investment is gold coins because no-one knows how much the rial will decline or interest rates will be,” said 30 year-old private sector employee Saba Aqabala. Back in her apartment in northern Tehran, Grandma Molook hopes she might still find the money to buy her granddaughter the gold coins. “I’m afraid I’ll have to buy her a household appliance,” she said. “Or just give her the cash.” —Reuters

‘Markaz’ and IFRI ink MoU KUWAIT: Kuwait Financial Centre SAK ‘Markaz’, one of the leading investment banking and asset management companies in the Middle East, announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with The French Institution for International Relations (IFRI) to launch the “National Program for Economic Sustainability Studies”. IFRI is a leading public policy research institute ranked among the top 50 globally and 3rd in Europe. The goal of this program is to extend the realm of economic researches and provide inputs for policy oriented research that will advocate sustainable economic growth through advising on different economic topics including topics on energy, and help engage the public and private decision making and the public opinion relevant to long-term development. Thierry de MONTBRIAL Founder and President represented (IFRI) in signing the memorandum, and Manaf AlHajeri - CEO represented Markaz. On this occasion Alhajeri - CEO at “Markaz” said, “We are glad to have signed an MOU with The French Institution for International Relations. (IFRI) is an independent non-profit organization founded in 1979. This agreement comes to highlight our belief in knowledge globalization and exchanging experiences.” Alhajeri added, “Proper research has proven its effectiveness in decision making at all levels, we adopted this methodology in Markaz to aid our investment activities. Our firm belief in research led us to develop our own research initiative which covers a wide range of investment topics in particular and general strategic issues.” “Within our attempt to develop our expertise and human resources, came this agreement with (IFRI). This partnership will

contribute to our investment in knowledge and research, and adds a new scope of research which will emphasize our role as pioneers in building investment decisions on a solid base of research and knowledge. It has been agreed that (IFRI) will publish a series of research papers in the energy field.” “We are witnessing a high spending phase in the Middle East region, especially the Gulf States, due to high growth, orchestrated by the government as the key stakeholder; the role of on-ground independent policy research becomes sine-quo-non. We are offering in depth research to aid decision makers and to raise the bar of economic research. The ultimate objective of establishing a research program of this type in Kuwait is to provide knowledge basis for policy making and therefore contribute to achieving sustainable development of the country. We believe that it is important for GCC states to receive quality policy advice that will serve the research community in the region and foreign institutions interested in investing in the region.” In 2010, for the fourth consecutive year, (IFRI) was the only French research institute ranked among the 50 most influential think tanks in the world outside of the United States, placing 3rd in Europe according to the University of Pennsylvania’s Global Go-To Think Tanks, a ranking that covers 6,480 institutes in 169 countries. (IFRI) is the first French think tank or “idea factory” aimed at a deeper analysis of international issues, and it is now recognized as one of the very first European think tanks and one of the most influential in the world. (IFRI) is independent of any governmental or political associations in terms of policies and funding.



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KSE Price Index sheds 5.20 points GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT

Rate hike fuels retreat in stock markets

KUWAIT: Kuwaiti equities reversed its north journey that lasted for the past two consecutive sessions, and ended yesterday on a lower note. Both Large Cap and Small Cap stocks performed poorly during the day. As measured by Global Large Cap Index, heavy weight stocks inched lower by 0.61 percent. While Small Cap index closed lower by 0.14 percent. Market Indices Global General Index (GGI), market weighted, ended the day down by 0.30 percent, at 191.73 point. Market Capitalization was down for the day at KD31.29bn. On the other hand, KSE Price Index closed at 6,208.5 point, shedding 5.20 points (0.08 percent) to its previous close. Market Breadth During the session, 96 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards advancers as 30 equities advanced versus 29 that retreated. Daily Trading Activity Trading activity was up this session. Total volume traded was up by 6.98 percent with 96.27mn shares changing hands at a total value of KD13.89mn (0.57 percent higher compared to the day before). The real estate sector was the volume leader yesterday, accounting for 29.79 percent of total shares. The services sector was the value leader, with 30.92 percent of total traded value. Zain Company was the most active in terms of values traded during yesterday’s session, with 1.79mn shares exchanged at an aggregate value of KD1.83mn. Top Gainers and Biggest Decliners In terms of top gainers, IFA Hotels & Resorts Co took the top

spot for the day, adding 7.25 percent and closed at KD0.370. On the other hand, Kuwait Bahrain International Exchange Co shed 8.47 percent and closed at KD0.270, making it the biggest decliner in the market. Sectors Wise The market saw three sector decline led by Global Services Index and three sector incline led by Global Industrial Index, while two sectors remained unchanged, Global Insurance Index and Global Food Index. Global Services Index was the biggest decliner in the session. It shed by 0.96 percent, that is 8.02 points lower than the previous close, to stay at 828.9 points. The decline in ZAIN share price had a major impact on the index. The scrip went down by 1.92 percent, that is KD0.020 lower than the previous close, reaching KD1.020. Another major cause for the downsize in the index was the big loss of Gulf Petroleum Investment

Company and Privatization Holding Company. The two stocks declined by 4.48 and 3.77 percent, respectively which made them the second and the fourth top losers in the market. The banking sector had almost a steady session with only 2 decliners and 7 other banks remaining unchanged. The two decliners were Boubyan Bank and Ahli United Bank. They went down by 1.64 and 1.19 percent to have a stock price of KD0.600 and KD0.830, respectively. Most of the unchanged banks witnessed trading activities but without a change in their stock price. One major gainer in the session was Global Industrial Index. The sector had the second highest trading value among all sectors and went up by 0.30 percent to settle on 185.29 points. Although the sector has a big decliner which is Kuwait Portland Cement that went down by 3.33 percent, the index was supported by several gaining stocks. National Industries

China raises rates

Group and Kuwait Metal Pipe Industries & Oil Services were the biggest gainers in the industrial sector. They went up by 2.59 and 2.17 percent respectively, which lifted the sector to higher level. Oil News The price of Kuwaiti crude oil decreased $0.78 to reach $104.06pb on Tuesday, compared to $104.84 per barrel the day before, said Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) yesterday. The stability of crude prices comes at a time when EU approves helping the Greek credit crisis. Corporate News Agility Company has won a contract to manage international freight and on-site handling services for the Gastech 2012 natural gas conference and exhibition. More than 400 international companies will participate at this event that will be held at the ExCeL exhibition centre in London from Oct 8 to Oct 11.

LONDON: Another rate hike in China and a warning from a leading credit rating agency that Portugal may need another financial bailout sent stocks sharply lower yesterday. Stocks were already lower when the People’s Bank of China announced it was raising its benchmark rate for one-year loans by 0.25 percentage points to 6.56 percent to keep a lid on rising inflation levels. In May, inflation hit a 34-month high of 5.5 percent and is believed to have risen further in June even as an overheated economy cools gradually under the pressure of investment curbs and other controls. The increase was the fifth since October and reinforced concerns that the world’s second biggest economy will slow down sharply. China has been one of the main pillars of the global recovery from recession. “China’s announcement isn’t helping investor spirits,” said Sal Guatieri, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets. Guatieri said investors were already “smarting” from Moody’s four-notch downgrade of Portugal’s credit rating to junk status on Tuesday. The agency said Portugal will find it difficult to meet its targets and that like Greece it may need a second bailout. Portugal needed a euro78 billion ($112 billion) bailout from its European partners and the International Monetary Fund earlier this year after markets began charging it unsustainably high interest on loans as investors deemed the country a risk. “This will weaken hopes that the recently agreed aid for Portugal will put a line under the nation’s woes and could trigger worries that Portugal could follow Greece down the path of possible default,” said Jane Foley, an analyst at Rabobank International. The combination of the China rate hike and the Portuguese rating downgrade sent already-depressed stocks in Europe even lower and added to the pessimism over Wall Street’s open. In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 0.7 percent at 5,981 while Germany’s DAX

fell 0.3 percent to 7,419. The CAC-40 in France was 0.5 percent lower at 3,959. Portuguese stocks were hit hardest by the Moody’s warning, with Lisbon’s stock market down 2.5 percent. Bank shares took the brunt of the sell-off, with Banco Comercial Portugues losing more than 5 percent. The euro was also hit hard, trading 0.7 percent lower on the day at $1.4326. In the US, Dow futures were down 0.3 percent at 12,493 while the Standard & Poor’s 500 futures fell 0.5 percent to 1,330. Over the past week or so, stocks have risen as concerns over an imminent debt default in Greece waned following Parliament’s approval of austerity measures demanded by international creditors. A positive US manufacturing survey last Friday also helped sentiment recover ahead of a raft of economic news this week. This week’s data culminates in Friday’s June nonfarm payrolls data, which often set the market tone for a week or two after their release. Not all the attention will center on the US this week, though. Today, the European Central Bank is expected to raise its main interest rate by a quarter percentage point to 1.5 percent, its second hike since April as it tries to rein in above-target inflation levels. Earlier, sentiment in Asia held up. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rose 1.1 percent to end at 10,082.48 - above the psychologically important 10,000 mark for the second time this week while South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.4 percent to end at 2,171.19. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 1 percent to close at 22,517.55. Mainland Chinese shares were mixed - they closed before the People’s Bank made its announcement. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2 percent to finish at 2,810.48, while the Shenzhen Composite Index gained 0.4 percent to 1,200.58. In the oil markets, the retreat in stock markets hit prices. Benchmark oil for August delivery fell 86 cents to $96.03 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. — AP




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Australia lifts ban on live cattle exports to Indonesia CANBERRA: Australia’s government removed a month-long ban on live cattle expor ts to neighboring Indonesia yesterday, saying it was satisfied the A$320 million trade could resume after a furor over mistreatment of livestock. The minority government has been under pressure from ranchers to overturn the ban, put in place after television footage showed cattle being beaten, whipped and maimed prior to slaughter in some Indonesian abattoirs. “I’ve lifted the suspension so

that we can support, and continue to support, an industry that is vital, that is good for the Australian economy, and mutually beneficial trade for both Australia and Indonesia,” Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig told reporters in Canberra. Australian cattle producers had warned the decision was costing jobs and domestic beef prices would fall as the surplus head of cattle were consumed by the local market. Some had also threatened to slaughter stock stranded by the ban.

Indonesia’s deputy agriculture minister, Bayu Krisnamurthi, said the scrapping of the ban was “great news”, coming a day before Australia’s Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd had been due in Jakarta to discuss how to restart the controversial trade. But Jakarta was also rethinking its reliance on live cattle imports in the wake of the ban, Krisnamurthi said. The experience with Australia clearly showed that depending on imports to satisfy food needs was risky, he said. President Susilo Bambang

Yudhoyono in June called a review of Indonesia’s import policies, while the fisheries minister opened a campaign to convince Indonesians to swap their consumption of meat for fish. Australia’s beef cattle herd is some 28 million head, of which live cattle expor ts represent around 800,000 head. About 500,000 go to Indonesia. Ludwig said he had revised export control orders that would require ranchers to apply for permits to demonstrate they can meet animal

welfare requirements. “They require exporters to trace cattle from properties, onto vessels, into feedlots and into abattoirs that meet agreed international standards,” he said. Each abattoir in Indonesia would also be independently audited and would have to meet animal welfare standards, Ludwig said. He did not say when the first cattle would be cleared for export, with Indonesia itself having suspended issue of live cattle import permits in the wake of the ban.—Reuters

Asian buyers to skip taking extra Saudi oil High prices, IEA supplies discourage buyers TOKYO: Asian refiners may skip taking extra crude from top exporter Saudi Arabia as the kingdom failed to cut prices deeply enough to lure buyers and as the release of reserves by the IEA is boosting supplies in the region. Top consumers such as China, Japan and South Korea haven’t come forward yet to ask for additional supplies even as Saudi Arabia offered more oil to some Asian buyers for August on top of contractual volumes, an industry source said yesterday.

SEOUL: South Korean Finance Minister Bahk Jae-wan speaks during a press conference at the Seoul Foreign Correspondent Club in Seoul yesterday. —AP

South Korea worries over inflation, debt SEOUL: Inflation, rising household debt and troubles in part of the banking sector are among factors weighing on South Korea’s rapid economic recovery from the global financial crisis, the country’s new finance minister said yesterday. “Consumer prices have remained high recently and low income groups are struggling to make ends meet,” Bahk Jae-wan told reporters from foreign news organizations in a speech. “At the same time, the issue of increasing household debt and the ailing local savings banks has placed additional burdens on the economy,” he said. Bahk spoke after the government announced last week that South Korea’s consumer price index rose 4.4 percent in June from the year before, while so-called core inflation, which strips out volatile agriculture and oil prices, also accelerated to rise 3.7 percent from the year before. Also late last month, financial regulators announced additional measures to deal with increasing household debt, such as setting up a system for ensuring that banks properly evaluate a borrower’s ability to repay before offering a loan and introducing leverage regulations for credit companies. Bahk took over as head of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance in early June after President Lee Myung-bak made changes to his Cabinet in the wake of the ruling party’s defeat in key parliamentary and other local by-elections in late April. Bahk

moved to the ministry from his previous post as head of the Ministr y of Employment and Labor. South Korea’s economy, Asia’s fourth largest, has grown for nine straight quarters through the first three months of this year after sharply contracting at the end of 2008. Bahk noted that the economy is “recovering rapidly” and highlighted bright spots in the form of strong exports and growth in new jobs this year. But he added that not all of its citizens are benefiting. “Many Koreans don’t feel that these improvements have been reflected in their daily lives,” he said. The Bank of Korea’s monthly survey of consumer sentiment for June found that South Koreans were overall less optimistic compared with the previous month, with sentiment regarding living standards, current domestic economic conditions and the future all falling. The government late last month revised its outlook for the second half of this year, lowering its 2011 economic growth forecast to 4.5 percent from the previous of about 5 percent and also said annual inflation would likely hit 4 percent, up from the previous forecast of about 3 percent. South Korea has also been battling troubles at regional savings banks, eight of which have been shut down this year. Despite expressing concern about the situation in his speech, Bahk said later in response to a question that he did not see the problem posing a major risk to the economy. —AP

Thai business fears wage inflation under new govt BANGKOK: Thailand’s central bank yesterday expressed concern over inflation, as business leaders fear a wage-price spiral if the newly elected government goes ahead with billions of dollars in spending. Prime Minister-elect Yingluck Shinawatra won a landslide election victory on Sunday on a platform of populist policies which include wage rises, a household debt moratorium and better welfare and healthcare. One proposal is for a nationwide minimum wage of 300 baht ($9.8) per day, as much as 90 percent higher than the current minimum set for each province around the country. That would be a huge amount for manufacturers to absorb, said Richard Han, CEO of integrated circuit packager Hana Microelectronics Pcl. “Two things will happen: either they will make less money or they’ll try to put their prices up and cause inflation ... This could put you on a (wage-price) spiral,” he said. Annual inflation in Southeast Asia’s secondlargest economy hit 4.19 percent in May, its highest since September 2008. It stood at 4.06 percent in June. “High inflation will hurt people’s purchasing power and as a result may affect consumption,” said Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul, adding the new government’s policies would be considered at a policy meeting on July 13. Economists expect the Bank of Thailand to raise its policy rate by a quarter of a point to 3.25 percent at that meeting and see it at 3.75 percent by the end of 2011 rather than the 3.50 percent they had expected before the election. FOREIGN INVESTORS The central bank chief said he expected foreign money to flow into Thailand in the second half of 2011 as worries about political instability eased and with concern growing over economic conditions in Europe and the United States. But business leaders said a rising wage bill may deter offshore investors. “Any wage adjustment should really go in line with market mechanisms. Foreign direct investment is still a key foundation that drives the economy in this country,” said Viboon Kromadit, chief operating officer of industrial land developer Amata Corp. Higher wages could also undermine exports, especially in agriculture, damaging a

sector that employs millions. The Thai economy expanded a robust 7.8 percent in 2010 and is projected to grow 4.0-5.0 percent in 2011, fuelled by strong export growth and increased consumption. Businesses urged the new government to proceed slowly. “Personally I think the pace of the wage rise should begradual rather than a sharp hike,” said Thammarat Chokwatana, executive vice-president of ICC International Pcl , part of Saha Group, Thailand’s leading consumer product group. “Otherwise it’s going to affect product prices in the market and could ultimately drive up living costs and cause even higher inflation,” Thammarat said. STEER THE BAHT Comments by Puea Thai’s Suchart Thadathamrongvej, a candidate to be finance minister, that Thailand should adopt a kind of managed exchange rate regime similar to that of Singapore or China could also concern investors, since they raise questions about central bank independence. Such a move would mark a turnaround for Thailand, which abandoned a fixed exchange rate system in 1997 when it floated the baht against the US dollar and other currencies. Yingluck called a strategy meeting yesterday to review urgent action to revitalize the economy, but she gave no indication of what her new government would do when it finally takes office, which may not be until August. Sunday’s election result was seen as a rejection of Thailand’s traditional establishment of generals, “old money” families and royal advisers who backed the outgoing government. Analysts say the election should usher in a period of stability after six years of often bloody political crisis. Thailand’s politically powerful military has said it will accept the result, adding to a sense of stability in a country plagued by unrest since the army staged a coup in 2006 to oust then Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Yingluck’s brother. The question of whether Yingluck will seek the return of Thaksin, now living in selfimposed exile in Dubai after being convicted of abuse of power, remains open. Analysts say his return could spark a new cycle of unrest in Thailand. —Reuters

Saudi Arabia trimmed just 10 cents off its flagship Arab Light crude price in August for customers in Asia, who buy more than half its exports. That’s hardly enough to attract buyers who can turn to rising supplies of oil from Russia and from the International Energy Agency’s plan to release stocks. ”The cuts in Saudi OSPs are far less than expected, especially when you compare the cuts in Qatar and UAE OSPs,” a trader at a major Saudi crude buyer said. “For August loading cargoes, we plan to nominate according to the long-term contact. We haven’t seen any additional demand from our refineries so far.” Aramco set the Arab Light price for August at Oman/Dubai plus $1.35 a barrel, down from

$1.45 for July, and sliced 50 cents off Extra Light crude for Asia to Oman/Dubai plus $2.95 a barrel, the state oil company said. “The new Saudi OSPs are unusually high. The August Arab Medium OSP is the most incredible among all the Saudi OSPs,” a trader at a Chinese trading house said. “We won’t buy any more Saudi barrels beyond our longterm contract.” Saudi Aramco hasn’t yet approached the Chinese buyer with offers for more for August, the trader said. Saudi oil minister Ali Al-Naimi last month pledged to meet an expected increase in demand in the third quar ter after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) failed to agree a collective output increase in Vienna on June 8.

SAUDI SUPPLIES “Yes, (Saudi Arabia) has been sounding out on it,” an industry source in Tokyo said, adding that it wasn’t clear which grades Saudi Arabia was ready to ship more of. The market had expected Saudi would make the offer of additional volumes when it announces monthly crude allocations for August, due around this weekend. So far, India is the only key Asian buyer that is asking Saudi Arabia for more oil for August. Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. HPCL will ask for extra crude, a source at the state-run refiner said on Tuesday. That’s on top of three refiners from the country asking for an extra 2.6 Million-2.7 million barrels for July. Saudi’s offer for more comes as the IEA, adviser to 28 industri-

alized countries, on June 23 said it would release 60 million barrels of oil from strategic inventories to fill the gap in supplies left by disruption to Libya’s output. Japan and South Korea are the two nations releasing stocks in Asia. South Korea is not likely to take extra oil from Saudi Arabia because it already has additional supplies for July and August with the IEA releasing stocks, a crude trader at a major refinery in the country said. The official said that refiners in the country are yet to get any offers for extra supplies from the kingdom for August. Russian supply to northeast Asia is almost five times more than in 2008 as crude flows through Russia’s East Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline. —Reuters

Bangladesh tries African rice to boost food yield DHAKA: A high-yield strain of rice developed for Africa’s drylands is being trialed in Bangladesh to help the country feed its teeming population in an age of climate change and extreme weather conditions. Rice has been grown in Bangladesh’s Ganges delta for thousands of years and the country was once home to 4,000 varieties of the grain, but it is unable to produce enough for its own needs, even without one of its frequent natural disasters. Bangladeshi officials say Nerica-the New Rice for Africa, developed around a decade ago by an institute in Ivory Coast-could boost Bangladesh’s food security as global weather patterns make that task more challenging. The country initially trialed Nerica, which is droughtresistant and fast-growing, in 2009 and after better-thanexpected field results last year a nationwide trial has been rolled out involving 1,500 farmers, officials said. The staterun Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corp (BADC) imported seeds from Uganda and has distributed them to farmers across the country to test their performance in different conditions, its director M Nuruzzaman said. “We have high hopes Nerica rice will boost our food security in difficult conditions,” he said. “It has amazing qualities that most Bangladeshi high-yielding varieties don’t have.” Nerica, originally intended to raise rice output in African countries, can be harvested in 90 to 100 days, requires limited water-it was designed for Africa’s drylands-and is very high-yielding, he said. In contrast, many rice strains now popular with Bangladesh’s tens of millions of farmers require a large amount of water, forcing farmers, particularly those in the drought-hit north, to invest in irrigation systems and leading to sharp falls in groundwater levels. Moreover, the highest-yielding rice varieties currently used in Bangladesh take between 140 and 160 days to harvest, according to the BADC, which provides some 70 percent of the rice and cereal seeds used by local farmers. Nerica’s shorter harvest period was what first prompted BADC to turn to the rice strain in hopes that it could solve a key dilemma in Bangladesh: how to make up for crop losses in the event of major natural disasters. The South Asian country is home to 150 million people, one-third of them living below the poverty level, and needs around 35 million tons of rice a year. But its maximum production capacity is only 32.25 million tons, according to 2009-2010 official figures. The shortfall is imported from its Asian neighbors, but when floods, cyclones and other extreme weather hit, domestic rice production falls sharply, leaving the country vulnerable to food shortages. “The idea is to use Nerica as a replacement crop in case the country is hit by mid-season or late-season floods or other disasters,” said Anwar Faruque, director general of seeds at the Agriculture Ministry. “Presently, we don’t have a variety to make up the loss. But Nerica can fill the void because of its short harvest period,” he said. “It also only needs a little water, so it can be grown in districts (in the north) where we see persistent dry conditions,” he said. Bangladesh is one of the world’s countries most vulnerable to climate change, experts say, and is regularly hit by cyclones, floods and other natural disasters. The BADC’s Nuruzzaman said that if the trial lived up to expectations the authorities would make the new strain available on the open market as early next year. Some local experts have questioned the Nerica trials, however, saying they are being rushed ahead without the involvement of the country’s main rice research agency, the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI). The staterun BRRI is credited with inventing high-yield varieties which have tripled Bangladesh’s rice production in four decades. BRRI chairman Abdul Mannan said that Nerica “looks promising” in Bangladeshi conditions and could help boost food security, but warned it was “too early” to give a verdict. “It is a good attempt by the government. But we need to conduct stability tests across the year and across all weather and environmental conditions to see how good it really is,” he said. —AFP

PARIS: Newly appointed French finance minister Francois Baroin delivers his speech as he attends a conference on European finance in Paris. —AP

Crude pressured by debt worries LONDON: Brent crude fell around $1 yesterday as Moody’s decision to cut Portugal’s credit rating to “junk” status revived investor concerns about Europe’s debt problems and saw investors retreating from riskier assets. ICE Brent crude fell 84 cents to $112.77 a barrel by 0840 GMT after touching a session low of $112.35. The benchmark rose more than $2 on Tuesday, its first gain in three sessions. US crude was down 24 cents at $96.65 a barrel. Moody ’s became the first ratings agency to cut Portugal’s credit standing to junk, warning the country may need a second round of rescue funds before it can return to capital markets. This ended a seven day winning streak for European equities and pushed both Brent and US light crude lower after they had been stronger in Asian trading. “It looks a bit sketchy in Europe, there are a few worries about debt,” said Rob Montefusco, oil trader at Sucden Financial. “(Gains in Asia time) did look a bit overdone, I think we were seeing some funds coming back in at the start of the quarter after they lightened the previous week.” Moody’s also warned its credit outlook on Chinese banks may turn negative as China’s local government debt may be understated by as much 3.5 trillion yuan ($540 billion). Caution on the outlook for China, a major energy consumer, was also heightened after Singapore’s Temasek, a sovereign wealth fund, sold part of its stake in two of the so-called “Big Four” Chinese banks. BARCLAYS BULLISH However, a bullish longer term view from banks on oil prices helped prevent sharper losses. Barclays Capital raised its

2012 forecast for Brent on Tuesday by $10 to $115 per barrel, and upgraded its 2012 forecast for US crude by $4 to $110. The bank left its Brent forecast for 2011 at $112 but cut its US crude 2011 forecast by $6 to $100. Market players said prices were also dented by a 60 million barrel release of emergency stocks by the International Energy Agency, though there was still uncertainty as to how the oil would be released and the extent of its overall impact. Top exporter Saudi Arabia earlier said it would pump enough oil to meet global supply after an OPEC meeting failed to reach agreement on increasing quotas. However, traders said Asian refiners may skip taking extra volumes of crude being offered by Saudi Arabia as it failed to cut prices deeply enough to lure buyers. The Saudis have effectively signaled that they believe the market is well supplied at current prices and they see no need to offer bigger discounts, said Clyde Russell, a Reuters market analyst. An oversubscribed sale of US crude reserves last week also had oil analysts and investors assessing whether it reflected tighter global oil supplies than recent assessments. Crude oil inventories in top consumer United States are expected to have dropped last week for a fifth straight time, according to a Reuters poll. Industry group American Petroleum Institute will release its weekly report later in the day, while the US Energy Information Administration will issue its own data today. In the Middle East, violence and unrest in Yemen and Iraq continues to provide a supportive geopolitical premium as a factor lifting oil prices, analysts said. —Reuters




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Gold jewelers of Santorini suffer in the sun High gold prices, taxes mean hard times SANTORINI: It is hard to feel too sorry for the gold jewelers of Santorini. Times may be hard, but they do live in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. The collapse of the Greek economy has done nothing to stop the sun glinting off the sparkling lagoon of this idyllic island in the Aegean Sea. Nor has harsh austerity to avoid debt default obscured the famously romantic sunset watched from a volcanic rim festooned with iconic white houses and tiny blue-domed churches. The cruise ships are still here-as many as 150 a month in summer-and the other tourists are coming back after several years of poor attendance. But along the ancient rim, or caldera, some of Santorini’s best-known contemporary residents-the gold jewelers-are getting hammered from all sides. Greek austerity means higher taxes for the sellers and greater scrutiny from the authorities. US economic weakness means careful American tourists are using dollars that make euro prices look alarmingly high. And seemingly insatiable world demand for gold means the prices of the jewelers’ main stock is now in the stratosphere. “People don’t want to spend money,” said Nikolaos Papadeas, owner of four shops on the island and a more than 40-year veteran of the Greek jewelry trade. A competitor in an upmarket shop further down Ipapantis Street-commonly known as “Gold Street”-sat amongst his Baccarat and Lalique with barely a buyer in sight. “If you were on this street five to 10 years ago you

would have seen about 30 percent more jewelry shops,” said owner Yiannis Mendrinos, who focused on selling upscale glassware and crystal to try and make ends meet. He pointed across the road to a clothes shop that was once a bustling venue selling gold chains, rings and earrings. GOLD BECOMES UNAFFORDABLE Many of the problems faced by these small businesses are only indirectly related to Greece’s troubles. The price of gold, for example, may have risen as investors purchased the metal as a haven because of fears of potential Greek default sweeping into the European banking sector. But its rise from $650 an ounce to more than $1,500 over four years has far more to do with global investment trends than Greek budgetary profligacy. Many tourists on Santorini no longer see the gold jewelry and ornamental pieces, some of which are based on Byzantine art and the mythology of ancient Greece, as easily affordable souvenirs of the Aegean islands. Similarly, the strength of the euro against the dollar and pound is certainly not of Greece’s making. Indeed, any weakness the euro has shown recently has tended to be the result of worries about Greece, a euro zone member, going bankrupt. What is unique for the jewelers at the moment is the additional costs of doing business now heaped upon them by the government in Athens, which is seeking to enforce stringent spending cuts and tax rises needed to gain international aid. “They put an extra 10 per-

ATHENS: Taxi drivers gather during a protest outside the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure in Athens yesterday. Taxis across Greece are holding a 24-hour strike to protest the opening of their profession to more competition. —AP cent luxury take on all my items besides the rise in VAT, which makes my merchandise not so attractive in comparison with other countries such as Italy and Turkey,” Papadeas said. Those countries are keen competitors given the roving nature of the cruise ship business. Value-added tax on jewelry has risen to 16 percent from 13 percent. Austerity legislation has also hit businesses with a 3 to 4 percent special charge, depending on where the

business is located. It all means that selling gold, even in a sun-drenched tourist haven famous for such a glittering trade, has become, like Greece’s economy itself, uncompetitive. NO HOME CROWD Santorini is different from the rest of Greece in that its clients are mainly foreign, from the United States, Europe and Asia. Were they not, life would be far harder.

Jewelers in the Plaka, the main bazaar of the capital Athens, have found their local trade has dried up with the debt crisis and the age of austerity. “The Greeks do not buy. The Greeks buy nothing, absolutely nothing,” said George Nikolopoulos, owner of a gold and silver shop amidst the narrow streets of Athens’ centre. Economic statistics back him up-and not just about luxury items such as jewelry. Consumer spending has fallen by nearly 9 percent in real terms since the third quarter of 2008. New car registrations, another guide, were down 16 percent in May on the previous year. Along Santorini’s caldera, the focus remains on tourists. Selling gold keepsakes to Americans is seen as a lost cause while the dollar remains weak and cruise shops are noted for having gone down market. There was a time when US visitors would scour the shops for new designs or Ancient Greece-style pendants, pins and hair clips or jewelry based on for example, Alexander the Great, the winged figure of Eros or on the Greek meander key. There is some hope for new business from an increasing number of visitors from China, but that phenomenon has not yet led to an uptick in high value gold artifacts. Silver is doing quite well, because although it is expensive in historic terms it is still cheaper compared to gold. But jewelers need to sell more to make the same amount of profit. So Mendrinos is hoping higher quality, alternative items in his store from luxury designers will come to the rescue by attracting the recession-proof wealthy. — Reuters

WTO: China’s curbs on raw material exports is ‘illegal’ EU, US industry groups welcome ruling

BRUSSELS: European Commissioner for Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes holds up a mobile phone while speaking during a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels yesterday. — AP

EU cracks down on roaming charges BRUSSELS: The European Union is introducing new rules that would make it cheaper to use mobile and smartphones abroad. The proposals from the EU’s executive Commission seek to spur competition among providers and put new caps on roaming charges. For the first time, the EU is slapping caps on the price individuals have to pay for going online from a smartphone or tablet computer when moving from one country to another. The EU is made up of 27 countries. The European Commission also said that from July 2014 operators will have to open their networks to providers from another EU state, which would give consumers more providers to choose from. At the same time, consumers will be able to sign a separate roaming contract, allowing them to take advantage of cheaper offers when moving about. The new rules will kick in when the bloc’s existing regulation on mobile roaming expires at the end of June next year. While the current rules have forced the price of making calls down to 35 euro cents (about 50 US cents) a minute when traveling in another EU country and kept a lid on the cost of receiving calls and sending text messages, the Commission believes that charges remain way too high. The Commission’s goal is to bring roaming prices in line with national ones by 2015, an important step in getting the 27-country bloc closer together and spurring business and freedom of movement in the EU’s internal market. The new rules would also apply in non-EU states Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. “This proposal tackles the root cause of the problem - the lack of competition on

roaming markets - by giving customers more choice and by giving alternative operators easier access to the roaming market,” Neelie Kroes, who is in charge of the EU’s digital agenda, said in a statement. For the first time, the rules would also cap the price of going online from a smartphone or tablet computer. Using mobile Internet in another EU country can quickly drive up phone bills, with prices for downloading one megabyte of data averaging $3.22 but sometimes going up to $17.35, according to the Commission. One megabyte is equivalent to about 100 emails without attachments or a few seconds of streaming video online. Under the new proposal, charges for data roaming would have to come down to 90 cents a megabyte by July next year and sink to 50 cents by 2014. By that date, the price of making calls would be capped at 24 cents a minute, while incoming calls and text messages would cost 10 cents. At the center of the Commission’s proposals are efforts to increase competition between providers. From July 2014, operators will have to open their networks to providers from another EU state, which would give consumers more services to choose from. At the same time, consumers will be able to sign a separate roaming contract, allowing them to take advantage of cheaper offers from a different provider while keeping their regular number and SIM card. The Commission believes that more competition is the best way of forcing operators to bring down prices and stop price ceilings from effectively becoming price floors. The new rules still have to be approved by EU states and the European Parliament. — AP

BRUSSELS: China broke international law when it curbed exports of coveted raw materials, the World Trade Organization ruled Tuesday, in a landmark case threatening Beijing’s defense for similar export brakes on rare earths. A WTO legal panel dismissed China’s claim that it’s system of export duties and quotas on raw materials-used in the production of steel, electronics and medicinesserved to protect its environment and scarce resources. China struck a defiant note in response to the ruling, which it is expected to appeal. The WTO said in a statement, “The panel found that China’s export duties were inconsistent with the commitments that China had agreed to in its protocol of accession.” “The panel also found that export quotas imposed by China on some of the raw materials were inconsistent with WTO rules,” it added. The ruling hands a victory to the United States, the EU and Mexico, which took China to the WTO in 2009 saying export restrictions on raw materials including coke, bauxite and magnesium discriminated against foreign manufacturers and give an unfair advantage to domestic producers. It coincides with growing anxiety among markets and policymakers about a trend among resource-rich countries to rein in exports of commodities-from wheat to iron ore-as supplies fall behind global demand. The WTO issued an unusually stark warning about such export policies last month, saying they risked creating serious shortages. The case is of particular importance to the EU, whose raw materials purchases from abroad make up 10 percent of its total imports, and which are used in production and manufacturing

processes it says employ 30 million Europeans. ‘SIGNIFICANT VICTORY’ More important than the potential for providing easier access to the eight raw materials in question, the ruling sets a potential precedent in favor of the free circulation of raw materials, particularly of rare earth minerals used to make high-tech goods. China produces 97 percent of the world’s supplies of the crucial industrial inputs, and has begun cutting exports to the dismay of importers. The United States and EU’s top trade negotiators as well as industry groups said the ruling should serve to pressure China and other states into dropping such restrictions. US Trade Representative Ron Kirk hailed the “significant victory” on Tuesday, but warned that “China’s extensive use of export restraints for protectionist economic gain is deeply troubling.” EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht called for a negotiated peace with Beijing to avoid a full-fledged trade war, and vowed to address the issue during a visit to Beijing next week. But he insisted the EU, United States and Mexico could still opt for legal action if China failed to cooperate. “What is important about this judgment is that it sets the rules for the future and that it will become an important element in discussions with every country” that restricts raw material exports, De Gucht told Reuters before addressing EU lawmakers in Strasbourg, France. “What I hope is that we can come to a solution through discussions so we don’t have to litigate anymore,” he said. Europe’s main industry lobby, BusinessEurope, said the ruling paved the way “for freer trade in raw materials globally,” while US Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus urged China to drop


in brief

CAIRO: An Egyptian street vendor prepares sandwiches of baked fava beans at his food cart at the streets of Cairo. The dish, a daily traditional affordable meal for average Egyptians and widely provided by street vendors, has risen in cost as Egypt struggles to rebuild its economy, which was battered by the Jan 25th uprising that led to handing over power to the military. — AP

Michigan State aims to find out Where’s the beef? DETROIT: A small herd of cattle from Michigan State University was slaughtered recently with two goals: boosting the amount of locally produced food on campus and creating a system of tracking beef from the farm to the plate. Animal scientists at the East Lansing, Michiganbased school are working on the statefunded projects starting with 10 steers and barcode tags on the beef that comes from them. The small-scale effort has large aims, according to one of the project leaders. Associate Professor Dan Buskirk said besides verifying whether the beef came

from a local source, shoppers eventually could use a smart phone or kiosk to find out whether it came from grass-fed, grain-fed or hormone-free cattle. “Even if it has a little bit of value to consumer, it also adds incentive to producers to get involved in these programs,” Buskirk said. “A lot of these things are things producers might be doing, but consumers have no way of knowing. ... Maybe it makes it more real if it’s grass-fed, grain-fed or organic.” The cattle were killed and processed late last month at off-campus commercial facilities. The frozen packages with bar-

the export curbs “immediately.” “These WTO findings are crystal clear-China is manipulating the raw materials market at the expense of American businesses,” Baucus said. CHINA REGRETS RULING China said it regretted the WTO’s decision, insisting its export policies are based on environmental and resource protection-a justification likely to resonate with nations such as Russia, Ukraine and India that are also reining in their resource sales. “China takes the view that although these measures have a certain impact on domestic and international users, they are in line with the objective of sustainable development promoted by the WTO and they help to induce the resource industry toward healthy development,” the Chinese government said in a statement from its embassy in Geneva, where the WTO is based. The statement reinforced the widely held expectation that Beijing will appeal the ruling, a move that could delay any amendments to duties and quotas by several years and create pressure for a negotiated peace. An appeal could also overturn part of Tuesday’s ruling, and trade observers said they expected Washington, Brussels and Mexico City to hold off any new legal claims until the strength of China’s appeal became clearer. “The verdict in this suggests it will be very difficult for China to win a rare earths case in the WTO,” said James Bacchus, a former chairman of the WTO appellate body who now works for the Greenberg Taurig law firm in Washington. But with an appeal likely, the United States and others may be waiting for that decision before filing a complaint in the rare earths dispute, Bacchus said. — Reuters

code labels soon will make their way back to Michigan State and onto residence hall menus. Buskirk said the projects grew out of Michigan’s first-in-the-nation, mandatory livestock tracing program, which was adopted in 2007 to track the state’s cattle herds to battle bovine tuberculosis. All cattle in Michigan herds have radio-frequency identification tags attached to their ears to provide animal health officials a tool to trace individual animals back to their birthplace. “There was a group of us here on campus asking, ‘How do we exploit those tags to add some additional value?”‘ he said. Helping

Buskirk and his colleagues take the next step are Bradenton, Florida-based, which is developing the database, and South Portland, Mainebased Advanced Traceability Solutions, which is responsible for labeling and barcoding. He said the database is creating two-dimensional barcodes similar to what are used on mail that would provide a “wealth of information” about the animal and how it was processed. Buskirk said his team also has applied for federal financing to help develop software that would offer a more user-friendly look and feel to the data. — AP

AirAsia plans to buy more 100 A320neo KUALA LUMPUR: Southeast Asia’s largest budget carrier AirAsia said yesterday that it plans to buy an additional 100 Airbus A320neo passenger jets on top of the 200 it ordered last month. The announcement comes two weeks after AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes broke aviation records by putting in a record order for 200 of the mediumhaul planes with a catalogue price of $18.2 billionat the Paris Air Show. The order was the largest single order for Airbus in terms of numbers of aircraft. “In addition to the 200 which is a firm order, AirAsia is putting an option to order another 100 A320neo aircraft. Our target is to have 500 planes,” a top official familiar with the deal said on condition of anonymity. “I don’t think we will have funding problems to acquire 300 aircraft (costing about $27 billion).” Fernandes has said AirAsia plans to expand its fleet of jets from 93 to around 500 by 2020 to meet surging demand for air travel across the booming continent. Egypt gas supply to Israel resumes TEL AVIV: Supply of Egyptian natural gas to East Mediterranean Gas Co (EMG) and to EMG’s Israeli customers has resumed, EMG shareholder AmpalAmerican Israel Corp said yesterday. Saboteurs blew up a pipeline carrying gas from Egypt to Israel and Jordan on Monday, forcing a shutdown in the flow of gas. It was the third attack since early February on the pipeline. Previous explosions on April 27 and Feb 5 closed the pipeline for weeks. State-owned Israel Electric Corp said the gas that was flowing from Egypt was equivalent to only 3040 percent of the contractual amount due to be supplied.



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Kaspersky anti-virus awarded ‘advanced+’ rating Kaspersky Lab, a leading developer of secure content and threat management solutions, reports that its Kaspersky AntiVirus 2011 product has deservedly received the “Advanced+” grade in a retrospective test conducted by AVComparatives. A similar result was received by the same Kaspersky Lab product in AV-Comparatives’ “OnDemand” test, held simultaneously with the retrospective test. In the retrospective test, 12 products of different manufacturers were tested

and compared against one another. Unlike the On-Demand testing, in the retrospective test the quality of heuristic detection of new malware was analyzed. Interestingly, all other means of threat protection were disabled, including the possibility to update the antivirus database. Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2011 successfully passed the testing and received the Advanced+ grade. The level of detection of malware using only heuristic algorithms came to 55%, which is one of the highest in the industry. In the simultane-

ous On-Demand test the detection rate for Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2011 came to 97%. The results of the false positive/alarm test (12 instances for Kaspersky Lab’s product) were similar to those in the On-Demand comparative. It should be pointed out that, according to data of the cloud-based Kaspersky Security Network, all 12 files are practically never encountered on users’ computers. Nikita Shvetsov, director of AntiMalware Research of Kaspersky Lab, said:

“What is interesting is that the leading antivirus companies refused to take part in the test, stating that without cloud protection and updates of antivirus databases their products won’t protect users in the proper manner. We think that even without an Internet connection or cloud services the user should be fully certain about the security of his/her system and personal data. As a result, even given such test conditions Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2011 showed one of the highest levels of threat detection,

which demonstrates how users of our products are protected even without an Internet connection. However, we agree that the retrospective testing reflects just a small part of the capabilities of Kaspersky Anti-Virus, even less than the On-Demand test, which also doesn’t fully reproduce a real situation with a user’s computer. Therefore, in judging antivirus products, we recommend using results from more realistic tests, such as those carried out by “Real-World” or “Dynamic”.

Cyberattacks on S Korea, US a test run: McAfee Attackers relied on encryption to buy more time

Mobile security for Androids! ESET, an industry leader in IT Security, has once again added an accolade to its already existing platform of security solutions Mobile Security (Beta Version) for Android devices. ESET’s Mobile Security is a full suite of security and privacy tools rolled into One App. From Full-phone Antivirus and Malware (Malicious Software) Scanning to Call/SMS/MMS Blacklisting and a host of Antitheft features, everything is made accessible from the main screen. The app has built-in system monitoring functions to show you every running process along with its resource usage. While full-system scans are available at any time, On-access scanning runs in the background to check files as they’re downloaded. The app’s built-in help documents are written simply and to the point, with a separate help button in every section of the app, thus, making the app’s well-defined interface, user-friendly. Commenting on the latest mobile security application, Aji Joseph, General Manager, ESET Middle East said, “The app is in beta at the moment, it runs as smooth as it looks and most importantly the beta version is available for Free testing on Android devices!!! People ask me, why get a Mobile Security Solution? This is what I have to say: As people increasingly bring their data on-the-go, accessing e-mail accounts remotely or syncing data with home computers, cyber criminals are finding new ways to exploit the vulnerabilities in mobile browsing

- ESET Mobile Security is Your Solution. All information, coming via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or Infrared, is scanned to protect you from emerging exploits, data loss, and SMS spam.” Features you should look forward to in the ESET Mobile Security for Androids: Antispam: ESET’s Antispam features apply to phone calls, text messages (SMS), and multimedia messages (MMS). They allow specific blacklisting of phone numbers-with options for both incoming and outgoing blocks. Remote Lock Block your phone remotely to prevent unauthorized access to your phone’s data. You can opt to simply block all unknown numbers-or more interestingly, all known numbers. Antivirus: ESET’s Antivirus scanning is one of the most trusted in the industry and the mobile scanner hasn’t been compromised on, as expected in a general mobile app. Although the Antivirus and Antispam are both extremely important features of the ESET Mobile Security, the section of the app that’s probably the Most Interesting to Android users is its Anti-Theft capabilities. Anti-Theft: The first time you load this app, it displays a large alert to let you know that it hasn’t been secured yet. After following easy and well-explained cues, you should have the app added as a device administrator. Then, register the currently loaded SIM card as “trusted” and register contact numbers to which alerts should be sent if the phone gets stolen. Finally, set a master password for the app and set the app to protect itself against uninstall attempts.

SAN FRANCISCO: Cyberattacks on US and South Korean military websites in March may have been a test by North Korea or sympathizers, according to a report released yesterday by computer security firm McAfee. “We believe this incident... has very clear anti-Korean and antiUS political motivations,” McAfee said in a report titled “Ten Days of Rain.” “The combination of technical sophistication juxtaposed with relatively limited execution and myopic outcome is analogous to bringing a Lamborghini to a go-cart race,” McAfee said in its findings. “As such, the motivations appear to outweigh the attack, making this truly seem like an exercise to test and observe response capabilities,” it said. McAfee security researchers said it was 95 percent likely that the culprits behind the online assault in March were also behind July 4, 2009 cyberattacks on US and South Korean websites. Banking, military and government websites in South Korea and sites for US forces in that

country were hit with distributed denial of service attacks on March 4. DDoS attacks overwhelm websites with requests, causing them slow down or be inaccessible. McAfee security researcher Georg Wicherski deemed the attacks “an armed cyber reconnaissance operation of sorts” aimed at assessing defenses and reaction times of South Korean government and civilian networks. “Knowing that would be invaluable in a possible future armed confrontation on the peninsula, since cyberspace has already become the fifth battlespace dimension, in addition to land, air, sea, and space,” Wicherski said. The DDoS attacks were made by usurping control of virus-infected computers in South Korea to overwhelm targeted websites with simultaneous requests for pages or information. Tactics used in the attacks were more destructive than typically seen when legions of infected computers are commanded in “botnets” by hackers, according to McAfee. The botnet in South

Korea was programmed to perform DDoS attacks for 10 days and then self-destruct, frustrating investigators by overwriting or deleting files and codes to the extent the computers could not be booted up. While the Match attacks were underway, encryption algorithms were used to mask parts of malicious code and stymie analysis by defenders. “This wasn’t a surgical strike; it was more like a sledgehammer, as most DDoS attacks are,” the McAfee report said. “The attackers relied on the encryption to buy them more time against reverse engineering until the DDoS attack window expired.” Steps were taken to ensure that the mission was executed without interruption, within the predefined attack window, and then all vehicles of attack would be destroyed, the report concluded. Updates were sent to the botnet by servers in various parts of the world including Taiwan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India and the United States to make it resistant to takedown, according to McAfee.

The McAfee study revealed that pieces of the malicious code used in the attacks were built by a number of different people, each with limited knowledge of the overall program. Last week, South Korea’s defense ministry announced that it would expand its cyber warfare unit to help combat growing Internet attacks from North Korea. The ministry said its cyber command, launched in January last year, would increase the number of personnel from 400 to 500, following an earlier announcement that it would open a cyber warfare school next year. North Korea reportedly maintains elite hacker units. Seoul accused Pyongyang of staging the cyberattacks on websites of major South Korean government agencies and financial institutions in March this year and in July 2009. Pyongyang rejected those allegations, accusing Seoul of inventing the charges to raise tensions. In May, South Korea said a Nor th Korean c yberattack paralyzed operations at one of its largest banks. — AFP

Ferraris for smartphones as Korea handset makers battle SEOUL: Want a Ferrari, a notebook PC or tickets to a Mediterranean cruise? Buy a South Korean smartphone. These are just a few of the more flamboyant of many temptations dangled in front of prospective smartphone buyers as small South Korean handset makers fight to draw consumer attention from global giants such as Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and Apple. A lucky South Korean university student recently won a Ferrari in a draw sponsored by domestic handset maker Pantech. The company gave away the nearly 400 million won ($375,500)car as part of efforts to lure potential customers to its Vega Racer smartphone, which it claims is equipped with the world’s fastest application processor. Rival KT Tech, a handset unit of no. 2 mobile carrier KT Corp, last week offered two smartphones at one price-but only to twins, a promotion of its new Janus smartphone, Janus, which it claims to be the world’s first smartphone equipped with 1.5 GHz dual core processor. Smartphone penetration is expected to jump to 42 percent this year, from just 2 percent two years ago, heating up the already keen fight for customers still further. “We cannot

compete head to head with Samsung and Apple with normal marketing strategy and features... The Ferrari, which symbolises speed, goes well with our product,” a Pantech spokesman said. The Vega Racer features a 1.5 GHz dual core processor. For yet another promotion, Pantech on Friday launched an event to pick one buyer of its Vega Racer to send on a trip to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, a Ferrari theme park in the United Arab Emirates. The moves appear to be paying off. The Vega Racer, which was rolled out on June 10, is selling well, with daily sales reaching 5,000 units and pushing Pantech’s total smartphone sales to a record monthly high in June. The battle has become so fevered that even smartphone units of global firms are joining with promotions of their own. KT Corp has, according to media reports, offered a notebook PC, an LCD monitor or a gift certificate to people who bought some LG Electronics handset models in an effort to promote lagging sales, while the South Korean unit of Motorola will give three buyers of its Atrix smartphone cruise tickets to the Mediterranean or Alaska. — Reuters

NORMANDY: Seiji Uchida, 49, a Japanese man paralysed from the waist down, is carried by Tsukuba University student Hiromasa Hara using a Hybrid Assisted Limb (HAL) robo-suit on Tuesday as they climb the stairs of the Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy, north-western France. The HAL suit, allowing the wearer to carry a heavy load, works by detecting faint bioelectrical signals using pads placed on specific areas of the body. The pads move the HAL suit accordingly. —AFP

This screen shot shows a page from Google Plus. Google Plus offers many of the benefits of Twitter, but without its 140character limit. You can follow anyone without being accepted, whereas Facebook requires the consent of both sides. — AP

Netflix expands online service to Latin America NEW YORK: Netflix Inc is expanding its online video service to 43 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, sending its shares to an all-time high. This is Netflix’s second foray outside the United States. It began offering its services in Canada last year. Netflix, which offers TV shows and movies over the Internet and rents DVDs through the mail, is seeking new subscribers as competitors such as Apple, Google and Hulu are moving in on Netflix’s turf. The company was widely expected to announce plans of an international move and has signaled it could push into at least two international markets a year starting in 2012. “I think generally people were expecting a launch in one country and this was a whole region,” said Atul Bagga, an analyst at Think Equity. “I think that there is a lot of room for growth in these markets.” The Latin American market has an estimated 215 million user base, compared to the US with about 245 million, Bagga said. Netflix said on Tuesday that subscribers in Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean will be able to access shows and movies in Spanish, Portuguese or English later this

year. Netflix declined to comment on further expansion. In a letter to investors in April, Netflix said it expected to have $50 million to $70 million in operating losses during the second half of the year due to its second international expansion. Shares of Netflix have had an incredible run in recent years-up roughly 1,000 percent since 2008. In recent months some investors have bet the stock will fall after its rocket-like trajectory. That also could explain today’s share rise, said Bagga about investors piling into the stock to cover their short position. Once considered a friend to TV and movie studios, media conglomerates have fretted over Netflix’s popularity because it threatens traditional cable and satellite providers. The fear is that consumers will drop pricey cable packages known as cord cutting-in favor of cheaper services offered by companies such as Netflix. Netflix has more than 23 million subscribers. By contrast, Comcast, the No 1 US cable operator, had 22.8 million subscribers as of March 31. Netflix shares hit an all-time high of $291.23, and were up 8 percent at $289.48 in afternoon Nasdaq trading. — Reuters

Technology briefs

iPhone passes Blackberry NEW YORK: Apple’s iPhone has leapfrogged Research In Motion’s Blackberry to grab fourth-place among handset manufacturers in the United States, tracking firm comScore said Tuesday. The iPhone’s share of US mobile subscribers rose to 8.7 percent in the three months ending in May from 7.5 percent three months earlier, while RIM’s share fell to 8.1 percent from 8.6 percent, comScore said. Samsung was the top handset manufacturer overall with a 24.8 percent share of US mobile subscribers, unchanged from three months earlier, comScore said. LG was next with a 21.1 percent share of mobile subscribers, up from 20.9 percent, followed by Motorola, which fell to 15.1 percent from 16.1 percent. Google’s Android operating system was the top smartphone platform, comScore said, with a 38.1 percent share of US smartphone subscribers in the three months to May, up from 33.0 percent in February. Apple was next with a 26.6 percent share, up from 25.2 percent, followed by RIM with 24.7 percent, down from 28.9 percent, Microsoft with 5.8 percent, down from 7.7 percent, and Palm with 2.4 percent, down from 2.8 percent. Twitter raise $7bn funds NEW YORK: Twitter is raising hundreds of millions of dollars in new funding at a valuation as high as $7 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. Citing a person familiar with the matter, the newspaper said it was unclear which investors were participating in the new round of financing for the short-messaging service. In December, Twitter received an injection of $200 million in funding from investors to help fuel its growth, reportedly giving the San Francisco-based company a valuation of $3.7 billion.



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H E A LT H & S C I E N C E

Lifestyle may affect sudden cardiac death risks NEW YORK: There’s yet another reason for women to stay fit, eat healthy, abstain from smoking and maintain their weight at a healthy level: those who do so may be less likely to die from sudden cardiac death, a US study said. Each of the different factorsa Mediterranean-style diet, a healthy weight, not smoking and exercise-were linked to a smaller chance of sudden cardiac death, which is related to a malfunctioning of the electrical rhythm of the heart, the study in the Journal of the American Medical Association said. Added together, the factors were tied to a 92 percent reduced risk. “The more you adhere to this healthy lifestyle, the better you are in terms of your risk of sudden cardiac death,” said Stephanie Chiuve

from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, the lead author of the study. Sudden cardiac death is responsible for half of all cardiac deaths, with about 250,000 to 310,000 cases occurring annually in the United States, the authors write. Chiuve and her colleagues looked at results from the Nurses’ Health Study, in which more than 81,000 women periodically answered surveys about their health and lifestyle over 26 years. During the span of the study, 321 women suffered sudden cardiac death at an average age of 72. Women who ate a diet closest to the Mediterranean diet, which has a high proportion of vegetables, fruits, nuts, omega-3 fats, and fish, along with moderate amounts of alcohol and small amounts of red meat, had the lowest

risk of sudden cardiac death — 40 percent less than those whose diets least resembled the Mediterranean diet. Normal-weight women were 56 percent less likely to suffer sudden cardiac death compared to obese women, while at least 30 minutes a day of exercise reducing the risk by 28 percent. Women who had never smoked were 75 percent less likely to suffer sudden cardiac death than women who smoked at least 25 cigarettes per day. The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association, did not look at how long women stuck to each of the healthier lifestyle factors, nor was it able to prove that healthy living is actually responsible for the drop in sudden cardiac death risk.

But the researchers did conclude that 81 percent of cases of sudden cardiac death were due to unhealthy lifestyles. Chiuve said the results were important for understanding who is at risk from sudden cardiac death. Most people are flagged as being at high risk because of other health problems, such as a past heart attack. “But with sudden cardiac death, the majority (of cases) occur in the general population. Lifestyle is not something that’s generally focused on in sudden cardiac death research,” she told Reuters Health. And a side-benefit of lifestylebased efforts to prevent sudden cardiac death, a rare condition, are the positive impact it can have on more common health problems, such as diabetes, stroke and coronary disease, she added. — Reuters

Review raises questions over benefits of cutting salt Guidelines recommend to consume 2.3g of salt daily

LOMBARD: Chicago blogger Gina Crosley-Corcoran holds her two-month-old daughter Jolene, while sons Jonas 4, left, and Jules 3, look on in Lombard Ill., July 3. CrosleyCorcoran is a pre-law student who chronicled nightmarish pressure from nurses and doctors to abandon a vaginal birth with her second after a C-section with her first. She followed up with a third child born at home in April. — AP

Home birth on the rise by a dramatic 20% NEW YORK: One mother chose home birth because it was cheaper than going to a hospital. Another gave birth at home because she has multiple sclerosis and feared unnecessary medical intervention. And some choose home births after cesarean sections with their first babies. Whatever their motivation, all are among a striking trend: Home births increased 20 percent from 2004 to 2008, accounting for 28,357 of 4.2 million US births, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released in May. White women led the drive, with 1 in 98 having babies at home in 2008, compared to 1 in 357 black women and 1 in 500 Hispanic women. Sherry Hopkins, a Las Vegas midwife, said the women whose home births she’s attended include a pediatrician, an emergency room doctor and nurses. “We’re definitely seeing well-educated and well-informed people who want to give birth at home,” she said. Robbie Davis-Floyd, a medical anthropologist at the University of Texas at Austin and researcher on global trends in childbirth, obstetrics and midwifery, said “at first, in the 1970s, it was largely a hippie, countercultural thing to give birth outside of the hospital. Over the years, as the formerly ‘lay’ midwives have become far more sophisticated, so has their clientele.” The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which certifies OB-GYNs, warns that home births can be unsafe, especially if the mother has high-risk conditions, if a birth attendant is inadequately trained and if there’s no nearby hospital in case of emergency. Some doctors also question whether a “feminist machoism” is at play in wanting to give birth at home. But home birthers say they want to be free of drugs, fetal monitors, IVs and pressure to hurry their labor at the behest of doctors and hospitals. They prefer to labor in tubs of water or on hands and knees, walk around their living rooms or take comfort in their own beds, surrounded by loved ones as they listen to music or hypnosis recordings with the support of midwives and doulas. Some even go without midwives and rely on husbands or other non-professionals for support. Julie Jacobs, 38, of Baltimore, who has multiple sclerosis, said she “chose midwives and hypnosis because I wanted to surround myself with people who would support me as a birthing mother, rather than view me as an MS patient who would be a liability in need of interventions at every turn.” Her first two children were born in a freestanding birth center operated by midwives. After the center closed, her third child was born at home in 2007. “If I had been in a hospital I probably would have had C-sections for all three,” she said. “With the first, I would have been terrified to try a home birth. After the second one I was like, hey, I can’t necessarily walk in a straight line, but I can do this.” Some home birthers cite concerns over cesarean sections. The US rate of C-sections in hospitals hovers around 32 percent, soaring up to 60 percent in some areas. In some cases, there’s a “too posh to push” mentality of scheduled inductions for convenience sake (Victoria Beckham had three). Gina Crosley-Corcoran, a Chicago blogger and pre-law student, had a C-section with her first baby and chronicled nightmarish pressure from nurses and doctors to abandon a vaginal birth with her second. She followed up with a third child born at home in April. “I do think there’s a backlash against what’s happening in hospitals,” she said. “Women are finding that the hospital experience wasn’t a good one.” In Portland, Oregon, acupuncturist Becca Seitz gave birth to both her children at home, the first

time in 2007 because she and her husband were without insurance. “It was never on my radar, until we couldn’t afford otherwise,” she said. “I’m granola, but not that granola. It cost us $3,300, as opposed to over $10,000 in a hospital.” Her midwife was prepared with the drug Pitocin, oxygen and other medical equipment. “They were both born over the toilet,” she said. “It was a nice position. It’s a way that we’re used to pushing.” Dr. Joel Evans, the rare board-certified OB-GYN who supports home birth, said the medical establishment has become “resistant to change, resistant to dialogue, resistant to flexibility.” “Women are now looking for alternatives where they can be treated as individuals, as opposed to being forced to comply with protocols, which however well meaning, have the impact of both medicalizing childbirth and increasing stress and anxiety around delivery,” said Evans, founder and director of the Center for Women’s Health in Stamford, Connecticut, and an assistant clinical professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. By some accounts, in 1900, 95 percent of US births took place at home. That slipped to half by 1938 and less than 1 percent by 1955. Today, most midwife-attended births take place in hospitals in the US, and many midwives are licensed nurses. But there are also close to 1,700 midwives who practice outside of hospitals, said Davis-Floyd. In 27 states, so-called “lay” midwives who lack nurses’ training but are licensed and certified as professional midwives can attend births legally. Some women chose home births after learning about it from TV shows or documentaries. The show-all “House of Babies” on Discovery Health Channel from 2005 to 2009 was filmed at a Miami birth center run by a midwife. Actress Ricki Lake screened her movie, “The Business of Being Born,” around the United States in 2007 after giving birth at home to her second child. The film also showed Lake’s filmmaking partner, Abby Epstein, documenting her own frantic taxi ride to a New York hospital after abandoning her home birth because the baby presented feet first, with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. Michael Robertson, 27, of Poulsbo, Washington, knew nothing about home birth before watching the TLC series. “I just really had my mind set on a water birth, like on the show,” she said. “It looked so cool, so relaxing.” She had two babies at home, but opted for a planned hospital delivery for her third child due to complications. She’s glad she had the choice. “If you don’t know your options, you don’t know what’s out there to begin with,” she said. “I don’t think an OB will say to you, ‘Hey, did you know there was this thing called home birth.”‘ Most studies of home birth have been criticized as too small to accurately assess safety or distinguish between planned and unplanned deliveries, according to researchers Kenneth C. Johnson and Betty-Anne Daviss. In 2005, they published a study in the British Medical Journal based on nearly 5,500 home births involving certified professional midwives in the United States and Canada. The study, considered one of the largest for home births, showed 88 percent had positive outcomes, while 12 percent of the women were transferred to hospitals, including 9 percent for preventive reasons and 3 percent for emergencies. The study showed an infant mortality rate of 2 out of every 1,000 births, about the same as in hospitals at the time, Davis-Floyd said. “Women who are truly educated in evidence-based maternity care understand the safety and the multiple benefits of home birth,” she said. — AP

LONDON: In an analysis that set off a fierce debate over the health effects of salt, researchers said yesterday they had found no evidence that small cuts to salt intake reduce the risk of developing heart disease or dying prematurely. In a systematic review published by The Cochrane Library, British scientists found that while cutting salt consumption did appear to lead to slight reductions in blood pressure, that was not translated into lower death or heart disease risk. The researchers said they suspected the trials conducted so far were not big enough to show any benefits to heart health, and called for largescale studies to be carried out soon. “With governments setting ever lower targets for salt intake and food manufacturers working to remove it from their products, it’s really important that we do some large research trials to get a full understanding of the benefits and risks of reducing salt intake,” said Rod Taylor of Exeter University, who led the review. The Cochrane review attracted sharp criticism from nutrition experts. Francesco Cappuccio, head of the World Health Organisation’s collaborating centre for nutrition at Warwick University, said it was “a surprisingly poor piece of work”. “This study does not change the priorities outlined worldwide for a population reduction in

salt intake to prevent heart attacks and strokes, the greatest killers in the world,” he said in an emailed comment. Simon Capewell, a professor of Clinical Epidemiology at Liverpool University, said the review was “disappointing and inconclusive” and did not change public health consensus that dietary salt raises blood pressure. Most experts agreed that consuming too much salt is not good for you and that cutting salt intake can reduce hypertension in people with normal and high blood pressure. Many developed nations have governmentsanctioned guidelines calling on people to cut their salt or sodium intake for the sake of their longer-term health. The World Health Organisation (WHO) lists reducing salt intake among its top 10 “best buys” for reducing rates of chronic disease. In Britain, the National Institute of Health and Clinical Guidance (NICE) has called for an acceleration of the reduction in salt in the general population from a maximum intake of 6 grams(g) a day for adults by 2015 to 3g by 2025. US guidelines recommend Americans consume less than 2.3g of salt daily, or 1.5g for certain people who are more at risk for high blood pressure or heart disease. While previous trials have found there is a blood pressure benefit

from cutting salt, research has yet to show if that translates into better overall heart health in the wider population. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases-the leading causes of death worldwide. Taylor said he thought it did not find any evidence of big benefits because the numbers of people studied and the salt intake reductions were relatively small. “The people in the trials we analysed only reduced their salt intake by a moderate amount, so the effect on blood pressure and heart disease was not large,” he said. For this review, Taylor’s team found seven studies that together included 6,489 participants. This gave the researchers enough data to be able to start drawing conclusions, they said. But even so, the scientists think they would need to have data from at least 18,000 people before they could expect to identify any clear health benefits. Elaine Rush, a professor of nutrition at Auckland University of Technology in Australia, said that putting a spotlight on single trials and generalising dietary advice for a single nutrient such as salt was “not helpful”. “What is helpful is for the food industry to reformulate products to reduce sodium and increase the nutrient quality of foods by using real ingredients,” she said in an emailed comment. — Reuters

Massage may ease chronic back pain NEW YORK: Massage therapy may help people who suffer from chronic back pain, although the effects tend to disappear over the longer term, according to a US study. After 10 weeks, patients who got weekly massage sessions used fewer painkillers and spent less time in bed than those who didn’t get any special care, although the positive impact had disappeared after a year, the report in the Annals of Internal Medicine said. “If we look at patients who seemed to have some substantial improvement, that was about two-thirds in the massage group compared to about one-third among patients getting usual care,” said Richard Deyo of the Oregon Health and Science University, who led the study. For the study, 401 people were randomly assigned to usual care or one of two kinds of massage therapy, either structural massage or relaxation massage, also known as Swedish massage. After 10 weeks the massage group had improved considerably compared to the other patients. For instance, about 30 percent of those getting massages had used analgesics in the past week, compared to 40 percent of those getting usual care. Twice as many in the usual care group, or 7 percent, had stayed in bed at least one day in the previous month. However, some of the apparent benefits of massage had vanished after half a year, and all the gains were gone after a full year. Deyo said that the results of the latest study compare to what is seen with other kinds of treatment, although the cost-effectiveness is still unclear. He warned that patients in the study knew which kind of treatment they got, with some perhaps disappointed that they didn’t get massages-which may have affected the results. In any case, lifestyle changes are often the best treatment. “Many of us believe that for truly chronic pain problems, exercise programs are actually one of the mainstay treatments that will help people function better on a daily basis,” Deyo added. — Reuters

SDYNEY: British American Tobacco Australia chief executive David Crow displaying a new cigarette packet in Sydney. Australia introduced world-first plain packaging laws for cigarettes into parliament, yesterday vowing not to bow to big tobacco’s ‘intimidation tactics’ and legal threats. — AFP

Australia launches world-first plain cigarette pack laws SYDNEY: Australia introduced world-first plain packaging laws for cigarettes into parliament yesterday, vowing not to bow to big tobacco’s “intimidation tactics” and legal threats. Health Minister Nicola Roxon said the laws, which will have to be debated by MPs before being passed, would see Australia become the first country to go down this path. “Introducing this legislation today I think shows that the big tobacco’s intimidation tactics have not worked. Our government won’t be deterred from taking this action,” Roxon told reporters. “And we believe that we are on very strong ground-although this is a world first, taking this action-and are determined to proceed with it.” Canberra faces a bruising intellectual property row with global tobacco giants over the plan to remove all logos from cigarette packets and mandate they be drab colours with graphic health warnings in a bid to limit smoking. The Asian arm of Philip Morris launched legal action against the plan last month seeking “signifi-

cant” compensation, and British American Tobacco has warned it stands ready to follow suit. But Roxon said Australia would press ahead with a plan being closely watched by countries mulling similar moves, saying she was determined to almost halve the proportion of Australians who smoke to 10 percent by 2018. About 19 percent of citizens are thought to be smokers, killing around 15,000 people and costing the economy more than Aus$30 billion (US$32 billion) every year in health and other expenses. “We’re taking this action because tobacco is not like any other legal product. When used as intended it is lethal,” said Roxon. “We will reduce the number of people that take up smoking to start with (and) we will take away any of the remaining glamour that might be attached to smoking.” Although Australia would be the first country to mandate plain packaging, New Zealand, Canada and Britain have considered a similar approach and are watching developments. — AFP

Jaw design ‘locked in’ 400 million years ago

SYDNEY: Participants ride exercise bikes during a group outdoor fitness promotion in central Sydney yesterday. The event was given a Tour de France flavour with an instructor pretending to involve the cyclists in a stage of the race as they exercised. — AFP

PARIS: The basic design of the animal jaw has remained largely unchanged since it took shape in the depths of the seas some 400 million years ago, according to a study released yesterday. After a brief period when a dizzying variety of jaw-like structures proliferated among backboned animals, the hinged mouth became the enduring model among vertebrates, researchers reported. More than 99 percent of vertebrates today, including humans, have jaws which share some variation of that rudimentary architecture. But in the Devonian period, 420 million years ago, all of Earth’s seas, lakes and rivers were dominated by toothless, armour-plated fish without jaws, which fed by sucking in algae and other small nutrients. The study, published in Nature, challenges key assumptions about evolution during a time when our distant forebears were just emerging from the seas

onto land. It had long been assumed that the rise of sea creatures with hinged mouths led to the rapid decline of the jawless fish which had populated Earth’s early marine environment up to then. Jawed fishincluding the earliest sharks-would have been better hunters and scavengers, pushing the fixed-mouth species towards extinction, scientists reasoned. But the new findings question that line of thinking. “The variety of feeding mechanisms in early jawed animals appears to have had little to no effect on the diversity of jawless fishes,” said Philip Anderson, a professor at Britain’s University of Bristol and the study’s lead author. For one thing, the two groups coexisted comfortably for at least 30 million years. And when jawless fish finally did fade away there was no discernible evolutionary impact on their jawed cousins, suggesting that the two were not in direct competition.—AFP



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he a lt h & s c ie n c e

Researchers find accurate way to predict miscarriage LONDON: British fertility researchers have developed an accurate way to predict which pregnancies are most likely to miscarry and say it could help doctors target treatment at women who really need it. In a study presented at European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology conference in Stockholm, researchers found six factors with the greatest impact on miscarriage risk-a history of subfertility, levels of progesterone and of the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), foetus length, the extent of bleeding, and the baby’s gestational age. Individually, these factors were unable to predict accurately the risk of miscarriage, but when the researchers combined two of them-bleeding and hCG levels-to create a “Pregnancy Viability Index� (PVI), they found this was a consistently reliable predictor of miscarriage. “This research has, for the first time, offered us a robust tool to begin to attempt to rescue pregnancies threatening to miscarry when currently all we can do is fold our hands and hope for the best,� said Kaltum Adam of Britain’s St Mary’s Hospital in

Manchester, who led the study. Around 20 percent of all pregnancies threaten to miscarry and about up to 20 percent of those do. Until now, doctors had no way to predict which threatened miscarriages would result in the end of the pregnancy and so could not target rescue attempts at the right women or offer them counselling. In Britain, around 250,000 miscarriages occur every year, causing significant psychological distress to affected women and their families. “This has led to wasteful and potentially harmful interventions, including unnecessary blood tests, ultrasound scans, hospital admissions for bed rest, sexual abstinence, low dose aspirin and progesterone supplementation,� Adam said. Between 2009 and 2010, Adam’s team followed 112 women with threatened miscarriages who were between six and 10 weeks pregnant. During the five weeks of the study the women had ultrasound scans, weekly charting of pain and bleeding and weekly tests to check the levels of progesterone and hCG. After analysing data on the outcomes of these pregnancies, Adam found there

were six most important miscarriage factors, and from there the researchers developed their PVI scale. “The PVI was able to accurately predict the pregnancy outcome in 94 percent of women who had ongoing pregnancies, and also predicted the outcome in 77 percent of women whose pregnancy ended in miscarriage,� Adam said in a statement. She said the PVI could now enable doctors to avoid unnecessary treatment in around 80 percent of women with threatened miscarriage, who currently often have repeated blood tests and ultrasound scans to monitor the pregnancy. “The use of the PVI will negate these in the vast majority of these women, as we will be able to reassure them of a high likelihood of pregnancy continuation and that there is little additional value in doing further testing,� Adam said. She said the PVI would also allow doctors to focus on the remaining 20 percent of risky pregnancies that do go on to miscarry, hopefully giving them a better understanding of the what goes wrong and how they might be rescued. — Reuters

A Word of Solutions

Millions in the UK prescribed statins LONDON: More than one million prescriptions a week in the UK are dispensed for cholesterol-lowering drugs, figures showed on Tuesday. Data from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) revealed there are now more than 52 million prescriptions every year for such medicines in England, most of which are statins. The drugs lower levels of cholesterol in the blood, thereby cutting the risk of heart attacks. An estimated seven million people across the UK are now taking statins to control cholesterol. Overall, statins make up almost a fifth of all drugs dispensed for heart and circulatory disease, a huge increase on 30 years ago. In 1981, less than 1 percent (295,000) of prescriptions for heart and circulatory disease were for statins. Now the figure is over 52 million, around a fifth of the 266 million prescriptions written every year for heart and circulatory disease. Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said “When the BHF was founded in 1961, statins weren’t even available to doctors but now they help many millions of people across the UK. “They’ve undoubtedly changed the face of heart disease treatment for the better and prevented many

heart attacks and strokes. “As with any other medicine, some people do experience side effects from statins but these are rarely life threatening and the benefits of statins far outweigh any disadvantages. “They continue to make a major contribution to the nation’s heart health.� Side effects of statins can include muscle pain called myositis, headaches, nausea and diarrhoea. Rarely, patients suffer a condition where the muscle leaks proteins which can build up in the kidneys, causing serious damage. This is rare - about one in 100,000 people. Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the BHF said “Statins are among the safest and most studied drugs available to me for the benefit of patients. “Over the course of my 30 year career in medicine, I’ve seen lots of people debilitated by heart attacks and strokes and I try very hard to prevent them happening - statins help me to do that. “But these drugs aren’t the only development we’ve seen in the field of cardiovascular care. “The last 50 years have seen huge advances, including heart failure drugs and heart transplants, and most children born with a heart defect now survive thanks to life saving surgery.� — KUNA

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W H AT ’ S O N

AIS celebrates graduation day


he American International School held a ceremony at its premises to celebrate the graduation of its students for the recently concluded school year. The event was attended by US Ambassador to Kuwait Deborah Jones, the school’s management and staff, as well as families of the graduates. — Photos by Fouad Al-Sheikh

Announcements Venal Thanima begins today Venal Thanima 2011, three-day summer personality development camp for children will begin today at United Indian School, Abbassiya. The camp is conducted in the auspices of Thanima with the co-operation of Kerala Children’s Film Society. P. Vijayakrishnan, well known film critic, director and national award winner, will be the camp director. Fun, frolic, laughter, story-telling, facts and films will fill the slots of the camp. Baby Somatheeram, President, Kerala Children’s Film Society, P.J Antony, Executive Editor, Jeevan TV among others will lead various sessions. The three-day workshop will open windows into the fields of music, dance, drawing etc. 45 children are participating in the camp. For more details and registration, please contact in the following numbers: 66791096, 94418975, and 99703872.

Citi Kuwait employees group picture.

Citi Kuwait celebrates Diversity Week


iti Kuwait employees celebrated Diversity Week together in a fun, team oriented spirit. More than 40 Citi bankers got together at Kuwait City’s Cozmo (Discovery mall) for a team bowling tournament. Each team consisted of 5 players and the team with the highest total pin falls scores was declared as champion. Minor awards were also presented to the High game per team or per lane, First strike - bowler who got strike on the first frame, and Best strike - bowler who got more strikes throughout the whole game. Fatah Adour, acting General Manager of Citi Kuwait commented on the event saying: “Through the Diversity Week, we aim to raise awareness, work as a team, value our differences and promote a culture of respect, inclusion and opportunity. We decided to do something different this year, leave work stress behind and enjoy a day out with colleagues and team members”.

Champions of the Bowling game receive their trophies.

KFH sponsors prom at Al-Asma Bent school


Al-Ghanem and Al-Khamees honoring a student.

uwait Finance House (KFH) sponsored the prom of Al-Asma Bent Al-Hareth Secondary School that was under the patronage and attended by MP Marzouq Al-Ghanem and Banking Area Manager at KFH Tahani AlKhamees. This event comes as part of KFH’s efforts in improving education, which is a prioritized social responsibility. Al-Khamees congratulated the students and their parents for this achievement, and asked them to select the spe-

cialties they wish to study at the university, in order to meet their ambitions and serve their country in various fields of science. She thanked the school’s staff for their efforts in offering those students the best level of education possible, and stressed that KFH is keen to improve the level of education; thus meeting the aspirations and future requirements of Kuwait in various fields. She added that this goes hand in hand with the Amiri request to prioritize education as a

national project, since people are the pillars of development in any nation. It is worth noting that KFH has been honoring the high school distinguished students as part of its efforts in supporting the education sector and scientific research field. Meanwhile, MP Al-Ghanem praised KFH for its contributions in supporting all society institutions, and stated that this role is stipulated by its status as a prestigious Kuwaiti banking institution.

Family conference Home land family conference of KTMCC (Kuwait Town Malalyali Christian Congregation) will be conducted on July 23 at Kumbanadu, Kerala including its ex-members and the present members who are on vacation at that time. Meantime it decided to honor those who completed age of 70 and above. For the registration of conference to visit or to contact HFC (Home land family conference) Kerala Chapter Convener T. John Mathew Mob: - (+91) 94463-68878 or Secretary Roy. K.Yohannan 66570486. Winds of change The AWARE Center cordially invites you to its diwaniya presentation entitled, “The winds of change in the Arab World,” on Tuesday July 12, 2011 by Dr Mohammed Alforgi at 7 pm. Arabs who love them were about to lose hope in seeing any change in the Middle East and North Africa, they now see winds of change blowing. It all started with Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution. Soon Egypt followed suit. Other countries like Libya, Yemen, Syria, etc. are on the track. Countries where revolutions have occurred thus far, have something in common they are ruled by authoritative individual for decades, people are deprived from freedom of speech, subject to many other forms of oppression including imprisonment, torture, injustice, and rampant corruption - to mention but a few. What is most inspiring about the winds of change though is that it all started with the youth, particularly those who used technology and the internet to collaborate, campaign and mobilize to create change. They aimed at a one-time impossible objective: regime change. They finally did it? However, everyone is eager to see what will follow next. Why did it happen? What will happen after those revolutions? How long can the momentum be kept? Dr Alforgi will address these issues and more. Dr Alforgi graduated from the University of Tulsa, Tulsa Oklahoma with a B.Sc. in Petroleum Engineering and an M.S. in engineering management.



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W H AT ’ S O N

Embassy Information EMBASSY OF ARGENTINA In order to inform that 23rd of October 2011, will be Argentine national election where all Argentinean citizen residents permanently in Kuwait can vote only if they are registered at the Electoral Register of the Argentine Embassy. The procedure of inscription ended on 25 of April 2011. To register it is necessary that Argentinean citizens should come personally at the Argentinean Embassy (Block 6, street 42, villa 57, Mishref) and present the DNI and four personal photos (size 4x4, face should be front on white background). For further information, contact us on 25379211. ■■■■■■■

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

Al-Manqaf High School holds graduation ceremony


l-Manqaf High School for girls celebrated the graduation of its 12th grade students in a ceremony held at its premises and attended by the school’s staff as well as the graduates’ families. — Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

Indian Cultural Society hosts musical evening with Udit Narayan

EMBASSY OF BRITAIN The Visa Application Centre (VAC) will be closed on the same dates above. The opening hours of the Visa Application Centre are 0930 - 1630 Application forms remain available online from the UKBAs’ website: or from the Visa Application Centre’s website: And also, from the UK Visa Application Centre located at: 4B, First Floor, Al Banwan Building (Burgan Bank Branch Office Building), Al Qibla area, opposite Central Bank of Kuwait, Kuwait City. For any further inquiries, please contact the Visa Application Centre: Website: Telephone:22971170. The Consular Section will also be closed on the same dates. For information on the British Embassy services, visit the British Embassy website: ■■■■■■■


he Indian Cultural Society (ICS) presented ‘Mahakte Lamhe’ with renowned playback singer Udit Narayan, Deepa Narayan and Neha Chouhan on June 10, at the American International School. The chief guest of the event was Vidhu P Nair Charge d’ Affaires, Embassy of India, Kuwait. Prominent personalities including Sheikha Souad Jaber Atheb Al-Sabah, a talented Kuwaiti designer, Ahmad Khwaja, board member of Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiyah, and ambassadors of different countries graced the occasion. A formal welcome address was delivered by ICS president and anchor Ashfaque Ahmed Khan. Sheikha Souad Jaber Atheb Al-Sabah along with Fahad Al-Forrah, Osama Al-Hulaifi, N S Suresh, Sanjiv Kumar, Kamal Al-Deen, Fazil Abdul Razzaq and sponsors of the event, released a souvenir. A performing group ‘Dancing Divas’ danced to a few foot-tapping numbers, and a song was sung by Baby Safa Khan. Journalist Chaitali Roy was felicitated during the occasion. The 1,500-strong euphoric crowd set the AIS auditorium ‘ablaze.’ Bollywood’s top singer made his entry a little late but in style - as he walked on to the stage with the words, “Doston, Aaj College Ka Aakhri Din Hai.” The rendition of ‘Papa Kehtey Hai’ send the crowd to rapturous applause as he went on to sing ‘Tere naam’ and ‘Nazar Nazar’. The venue was packed with Narayan’s fans and the singer enthralled them with renditions of his hits like ‘ Palak Tak Saath Chal,’ ‘Kaike Paan Banaras,’ ‘Pehala Nasha,’ ‘Rukh Ja oh Dil

Diwane,’ ‘Janam Dekh Lo.’ “I consider myself lucky because in Kuwait also likes Udit Narayan’s songs and voice. It is a big achievement for me. The credit goes to ICS Ashfaque Khan and my well-wishers,” the smiling singer said. It was a colorful show all right with

guest singers Neha Chouhan, Trishna Mukherjee and Deepa Narayan enjoying themselves on stage. Udit did his bit too as he tried a step or two, part-Daler Mehandi part-Rajesh Khanna style. He fulfilled audience’s demand and sang in Bhojpuri, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Odiya, Kannada, Nepali .

Super summer Sundays at Crowne Plaza Kuwait


undays, this summer, are different! And it’s all at the Crowne Plaza Kuwait. For an all-inclusive summer experience, come and dine at the restaurants of the hotel. All that you pay at the restaurant, you get it back at the exclusive Spa Aquatonic. Everything starts with your bill! Savor a selection from the international variety at the Al Ahmadi International Buffet, food of the Persian royals at Shabestan Iranian restaurants, perfect steaks of the Wild West at Rib Eye Steakhouse, elite Florentine cuisine at the Viaggio Italian restaurant, authentic art of dining at Sakura Japanese restaurant, treasures of the deep blue seas at Al Noukhaza Seafood restaurant and let nostalgia wash over you at a traditional Lebanese meal at Ayam Zaman. From a hearty meal, move on to experience the best that comes at the hands of skilled therapists from the Spa Aquatonic - signature massages and treatments that are designed to relax and de-stress you. Enjoy the thalassotherapy treatments that focus on stimulating blood circulation, improving muscle tone and treating stiff muscles in the back and neck. Highly qualified therapists await you for a totally new Spa experience, unlike anything else that you have felt so far. Come to the Crowne Plaza Kuwait on Sundays - we make it super, just for you!

He also belted out evergreen duets like ‘Kaho Na Pyaar Hai,’ ‘Bole Chudiyaan’ and ‘Om Shanti Om’ with Deepa Narayan. The audience thoroughly enjoyed Bollywood music. In conclusion , the ICS Team thanked all the participants and sponsors of the successful show.

Stars arrive today for Jeevan program


cluster of South India’s talented popular entertainment icons are arriving today to participate Friday’s Jeevan TV mega show at American International School, Maidan Hawally. Famous playback singers MG Sreekumar and Renjini Jose will lead the show which will have comedy numbers led by Ayyappa Baiju. The two shows on July 8 will also stage numerous local talents. Jeevan TV, Kuwait one of the most popular Indian channels in Kuwait that has raised itself to the status of a family club and socio cultural organization will also give out the first annual awards in various fields. The 8 awards, co organized by Al-Mulla Exchange will be presented during the mega cultural event. The awardees are Dr Nasar Al Sani (Social service to expats by a citizen), M Mathews (overall contribution), Thomas Chandy (expat MLA), KG Abraham (industrialist), TA Ramesh (support to cultural activities), Dr Biji Basheer (helper to the downtrodden), Babuji Batheri (cultural activities) and Indian Doctors Forum (health care).

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

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

EMBASSY OF INDIA Embassy of India, Kuwait, would like to inform that application forms for passport/visa services and labour contracts that are on its website,, have been upgraded to include the facility for online data entry. Affidavit forms on the Embassy website have had this facility since May 6, 2009. ■■■■■■■

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

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



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Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 Untamed & Uncut Austin Stevens Adventures Planet Earth Human Prey Animal Cops Houston Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 Lemur Street The Really Wild Show Chris Humfrey’s Wildlife Chris Humfrey’s Wildlife Breed All About It America’s Cutest... Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip Lemur Street Wildlife SOS Animal ER Animal Cops Houston Animal Precinct RSPCA: On the Frontline The Really Wild Show Crocodile Hunter Must Love Cats Breed All About It Planet Wild Crocodile Hunter Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 Escape to Chimp Eden Escape to Chimp Eden Chris Humfrey’s Wildlife Chris Humfrey’s Wildlife I Was Bitten

Keeping Up Appearances The Weakest Link Casualty Bleak House Bleak House Eastenders Keeping Up Appearances Gigglebiz Fimbles Balamory Teletubbies Gigglebiz Fimbles Balamory Teletubbies Fimbles Balamory Teletubbies Gigglebiz Fimbles Balamory Teletubbies Gigglebiz Keeping Up Appearances Keeping Up Appearances The Weakest Link Doctor Who Doctors Eastenders Casualty Keeping Up Appearances Keeping Up Appearances Dinnerladies Doctor Who Doctor Who Confidential The Weakest Link Doctors Eastenders Casualty Doctor Who Doctor Who Confidential The Weakest Link Doctors Eastenders Casualty

Come Dine With Me New Scandinavian Cooking New Scandinavian Cooking Design Star Design Star The Home Show Daily Cooks Challenge Sweet Baby James New Scandinavian Cooking Antiques Roadshow

09:50 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad 10:45 Ching’s Kitchen 11:30 New Scandinavian Cooking 12:25 Antiques Roadshow 13:15 Cash In The Attic 14:00 Bargain Hunt 14:45 Come Dine With Me 15:35 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad 16:25 Ching’s Kitchen 17:15 Indian Food Made Easy 18:00 New Scandinavian Cooking 19:00 Antiques Roadshow 19:50 Cash In The Attic 20:35 Bargain Hunt 21:20 Come Dine With Me 22:10 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 23:00 Rick Stein’s French Odyssey

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Dirty Jobs LA Ink Ultimate Survival Battle Machine Bros Mythbusters How It’s Made How It’s Made Dirty Jobs Battle Machine Bros Street Customs 2008 How It’s Made Mythbusters Cake Boss Border Security Auction Hunters Science Of The Movies The Future Of... Ultimate Survival LA Ink Dirty Jobs Battle Machine Bros Mythbusters Extreme Fishing Cake Boss Border Security Auction Hunters How Stuff Works How It’s Made Surviving The Cut Sons Of Guns

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Science Of The Movies Mega Builders What’s That About? Weird Connections Da Vinci’s Machines How Stuff’s Made Mega Builders One Step Beyond Engineered Da Vinci’s Machines Sci-Fi Saved My Life The Gadget Show The Gadget Show Engineered Weird Connections Brainiac How The Universe Works Sci-Fi Science The Gadget Show Prototype This Bang Goes The Theory Da Vinci’s Machines The Gadget Show Prototype This Bang Goes The Theory

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Kim Possible Fairly Odd Parents Stitch Stitch Replacements Emperors New School Stitch Replacements Fairly Odd Parents Emperors New School Phineas & Ferb Suite Life On Deck Good Luck Charlie



TV PROGRAMS 08:20 08:35 09:00 09:10 09:25 09:40 09:50 10:10 10:35 10:50 11:15 12:00 12:45 13:30 15:20 15:45 16:10 16:35 17:25 17:50 18:15 18:45 19:10 20:00 20:25 20:50 21:15 21:35 22:00 22:25 22:50 23:15 23:35

Fish Hooks Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates Jungle Junction Handy Manny Jake & The Neverland Pirates Sonny With A Chance Fish Hooks Phineas And Ferb Shake It Up Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place Hannah Montana Halloweentown The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody Fish Hooks Shake It Up Wizards Of Waverly Place Hannah Montana Fish Hooks Suite Life On Deck S3 Shake It Up Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place Jake & Blake Hannah Montana Phineas & Ferb Good Luck Charlie Shake It Up Hannah Montana Sonny With A Chance Wizards Of Waverly Place Jonas

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Unwrapped Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives Paula’s Best Dishes Paula’s Best Dishes Unwrapped Unwrapped Ultimate Recipe Showdown Chopped Good Eats - Special Unwrapped Ten Dollar Dinners Paula’s Best Dishes Paula’s Party Barefoot Contessa - Back To

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Morning Drive Golf Central International Champions Tour Highlights MLB Speedway Grand Prix Golf Fitness Morning Drive The Golf Fix Golf Central International Golf’s Amazing Videos MLB Golf Central International

Chopped Guy’s Big Bite Everyday Italian Good Deal With Dave Lieberman Ten Dollar Dinners Paula’s Best Dishes Barefoot Contessa - Back To Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives Lidia’s Italy Unwrapped Paula’s Party Everyday Italian Paula’s Best Dishes Good Deal With Dave Lieberman Ultimate Recipe Showdown Lidia’s Italy Unwrapped Boy Meets Grill Chopped Guy’s Big Bite Barefoot Contessa - Back To Lidia’s Italy Everyday Italian Paula’s Party Good Eats - Special Food Network Challenge Grill It! With Bobby Flay Barefoot Contessa Unwrapped Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives

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Inside The PGA Tour Speedway Grand Prix American Drag Racing League Mobil 1 The Grid European Tour MLB PGA Tour

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The Haunted A Haunting I Almost Got Away With It Crimes That Shook The World Dr G: Medical Examiner Ghosthunters The Haunted Mystery Diagnosis Murder Shift Forensic Detectives Street Patrol Real Emergency Calls Mystery Diagnosis Royal Inquest FBI Files True Crime With Aphrodite Jones Undercover Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol Real Emergency Calls Royal Inquest FBI Files Forensic Detectives Murder Shift Real Emergency Calls Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol True Crime With Aphrodite Jones Undercover True Crime With Aphrodite Jones Deadly Women Dr G: Medical Examiner

01:05 Audrey Rose-PG 02:55 Cold Heaven 04:35 Galaxy Of Terror-PG 06:00 Joshua Tree-PG 07:45 The Perez Family-PG 09:40 They Call Me Mister Tibbs!-PG 11:30 Mgm’s Big Screen-FAM 11:45 Article 99-PG 13:25 Meteor Man-PG 15:05 Breakheart Pass-PG 16:40 Invasion Of The Body Snatchers 18:35 Hannah And Her Sisters-PG 20:20 The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai-PG

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World’s Deadliest Spine Chillers: Vampire Bats How Big Can It Get I, Predator Wild Russia The Living Edens Hidden Worlds Hidden Worlds I, Predator Predator CSI Hooked How Big Can It Get I, Predator Wild Russia Orca Killing School Hyena Queen Hidden Worlds World’s Deadliest Animals Snakezilla Crocodile King Wild Russia Hyena Queen Hidden Worlds World’s Deadliest Animals Snakezilla Crocodile King

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Camp Hope-PG15 Armored-18 The Grudge 3-18 The Stepfather-PG15 Against The Ropes-PG15 Pearl Harbor-PG15 Enemy Of The State-PG15 Against The Ropes-PG15 Beyond A Reasonable DoubtEnemy Of The State-PG15 Jennifer’s Body-18 Zombieland-18

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Valhalla Rising-18 The Nutty Professor-FAM The Great Debaters-PG15 A Christmas Carol-PG The Brothers Bloom-PG15 Citizen Jane-PG Fly Me To The Moon-PG Dean Spanley-PG Don’t Fade Away-PG15 Slipstream-PG15 Hot Tub Time Machine-PG15 The Killer Inside Me-18

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 Funny Or Die Presents 02:00 Louie 02:30 Party Down 03:00 Malcolm In The Middle 03:30 Hope And Faith 04:00 The New Adventures Of Old Christine 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 06:00 According To Jim 06:30 Coach 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 The New Adventures Of Old Christine 08:30 Malcolm In The Middle 09:00 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 09:30 The Simpsons 10:00 Parks And Recreation 10:30 According To Jim 11:00 Coach 11:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:30 The New Adventures Of Old Christine 13:00 Hope And Faith 13:30 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 14:00 According To Jim 14:30 The Simpsons 15:00 Parks And Recreation 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 Coach 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

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Malcolm In The Middle Hope And Faith Happy Endings Community The Tonight Show With Jay Leno The Daily Show With Jon Stewart The Colbert Report The Ricky Gervais Show Party Down Funny Or Die Presents Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

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Supernatural Mildred Pierce Grey’s Anatomy Terriers The View Good Morning America Glee Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show The Martha Stewart Show The View Supernatural Terriers Live Good Morning America Grey’s Anatomy The Ellen DeGeneres Show Emmerdale Look-A-Like Bones White Collar Burn Notice The Good Guys Glee

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Juice-18 Penny Dreadful-18 Dead Presidents-18 Alatriste-PG15 Panic Room-PG15 Angels And Demons-PG15 Annihilation Earth-PG15 Panic Room-PG15 Collateral-18 Smokin’ Aces 2: Assassin’s Ball-18 Julia’s Eyes-18 The Wizard Of Gore-R

00:00 Imagine That-PG 02:00 Someone Like You-PG15 04:00 Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid-PG 06:00 Sweet Home Alabama-PG15 08:00 Jack-PG15 10:00 Renaissance Man-PG15 12:00 My Father The Hero-PG15 14:00 Evolution-PG15 16:00 Imagine That-PG 18:00 Moon Over Parador-PG15 20:00 The Slammin’ Salmon-18 22:00 American Pie 7: The Book Of Love-18

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Headless Woman-PG15 Glitter-PG Simon Birch-PG Forrest Gump-PG15 End Of The Spear-PG15 The Knot-PG15 Mr. Holland’s Opus-PG Operating Instructions-PG15 The Dust Factory-PG15 Witness To Jonestown-PG15 The Reader-18 Run-PG15

01:00 Partir-18 03:00 G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra-PG15 05:00 102 Dalmatians-PG 07:00 Tooth Fairy-PG 09:00 Celine: Through The Eyes Of The World-PG15 11:00 Paper Man-PG15 13:00 Amelia-PG15 15:00 When In Rome-PG15 17:00 Celine: Through The Eyes Of The World-PG15 19:00 Adam-PG15 21:00 Hot Tub Time Machine-PG15 23:00 The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee

00:00 Scooby-Doo Meets The Boo Brothers-FAM 02:00 Ace Ventura : Pet Detective Jr.PG15 04:00 Gladiators: The Conspiracy-PG 06:00 The Big Green-PG 08:00 The Archies In Jugman-FAM 10:00 Scooby-Doo Meets The Boo Brothers-FAM 12:00 Leave It To Beaver-PG 14:00 Delgo-FAM 16:00 Catch That Kid-PG15 18:00 Leave It To Beaver-PG 20:00 Astro Boy-FAM 22:00 Delgo-FAM

00:00 All Good Things-18 02:00 Moon-PG15 04:00 Gasland-PG15 06:00 Arthur And The Revenge Of Maltazard-PG 08:00 Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel-FAM 10:00 I Spy-PG 12:00 Moon-PG15 14:00 Oceans - Into The Deep-PG 16:00 Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel-FAM 18:00 You Again-PG15 20:00 District 9-PG15 22:00 Calvin Marshall-PG15

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State of Origin Trans World Sport Speedway Super Rugby Highlights Powerboats F1 H2O WWE Vintage Collection State of Origin WWE Bottom Line Speedway Trans World Sport State of Origin WWE SmackDown Euro Tour Weekly Live PGA European Tour Aquabikes UFC 132


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State of Origin Super League AFL Highlights Mobil 1 The Grid European PGA Tour Highlights NRL Full Time Trans World Sport Live Snooker European Tour Weekly AFL Highlights Total Rugby Live Snooker Trans World Sport Total Rugby Super League NRL Full Time Live RFL Championship European PGA Tour

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Super Rugby Super Rugby Masters Football Golfing World Super League Super Rugby Futbol Mundial Total Rugby Trans World Sport Asian our Highlights Euro Tour Weekly Golfing World Live PGA European Tour Snooker

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Le Mans UFC Unleashed WWE SmackDown WWE Bottom Line Modern Pentatholn Modern Pentatholn WWE Vintage Collection WWE Bottom Line WWE SmackDown Speedway Modern Pentatholn Modern Pentatholn WWE NXT UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC 132

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Ultimate Match Fishing - College Familiar Waters Western Sport Fishing Speargun Hunter Familiar Waters Ultimate Match Fishing - College Cowboys Ultimate Match Fishing - College Cowboys The Wingshooter Fall Flight Ducks Unlimited The Wingshooter Fall Flight Ducks Unlimited The Wingshooter Fall Flight Ducks Unlimited Cowboys Ultimate Match Fishing - College

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Pawn Stars Pawn Stars Man Moment Machine Ax Men Britain At War America: The Story Of The Us America: The Story Of The Us Pawn Stars Pawn Stars Man Moment Machine Ax Men Britain At War America: The Story Of The Us America: The Story Of The Us Pawn Stars Pawn Stars Man Moment Machine

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Ax Men Britain At War America: The Story Of The Us America: The Story Of The Us Pawn Stars Pawn Stars Man Moment Machine Ax Men Sliced America: The Story Of The Us

00:00 Jerseylicious 01:00 Fashion Avenue 01:55 Big Boutique 02:25 How Do I Look? 03:20 Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? 05:10 Homes With Style 05:35 Area 06:05 Clean House 07:00 Big Boutique 08:00 Homes With Style 09:00 Fashion Avenue 09:55 How Do I Look? 10:50 Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? 11:50 Clean House: Search For The Messiest... 12:50 Clean House 13:45 Top 10 14:15 Mel B: It’s A Scary World 14:45 Jerseylicious 15:40 Ruby 16:35 Giuliana And Bill 17:30 Ruby 18:25 How Do I Look? 19:25 Big Boutique 19:50 Fashion Avenue 20:20 Clean House 21:15 Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? 22:10 Giuliana And Bill 23:05 Jerseylicious

00:00 Julian And Camilla’s World Odyssey 01:00 Hollywood And Vines 01:30 Distant Shores 02:00 Planet Sports 03:00 48 Hours In 03:30 Essential 04:00 Globe Trekker 05:00 Julian And Camilla’s World Odyssey 06:00 Inside Luxury Travel-Varun Sharma 07:00 Globe Trekker 08:00 Intrepid Journeys 09:00 Travel Notebook 10:00 Julian And Camilla’s World Odyssey 11:00 Inside Luxury Travel-Varun Sharma 12:00 Globe Trekker 13:00 Planet Food 14:00 Intrepid Journeys 15:00 Planet Sports 16:00 Globe Trekker 17:00 Inside Luxury Travel-Varun Sharma 18:00 Planet Food 19:00 Globe Trekker 20:00 Rivers Of The World 21:00 World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides 22:00 Glutton For Punishment 22:30 Chef Abroad 23:00 Globe Trekker

00:05 Cow And Chicken 00:30 Cramp Twins 00:55 The Grim Adventures Of Billy And Mandy 01:20 Courage The Cowardly Dog 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 Samurai Jack 04:30 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 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 Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 09:30 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 10:00 Ben 10: Alien Force 10:55 Bakugan: Gundalian Invaders 11:20 Bakugan: Gundalian Invaders 11:45 Skunk Fu! 12:35 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 13:00 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 13:25 Ben 10 13:50 Ben 10 14:15 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 15:05 Samurai Jack 15:50 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes 16:35 Robotboy 16:55 Robotboy 17:15 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 17:40 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 18:05 Hero 108 18:30 Cartoon Network Dance Club 18:45 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 18:55 Star Wars: The Clone Wars 19:20 Adventure Time 19:45 The Grim Adventures Of Billy And Mandy 20:10 Courage The Cowardly Dog 20:35 Cow And Chicken 21:00 Best Ed 21:50 Robotboy 22:00 Adventure Time 22:25 Hero 108 22:50 Ben 10

06:00 Kid Vs Kat 06:20 Kick Buttowski 06:40 Pokemon Dp: Sinnoh League Victors 07:05 Phineas & Ferb 07:40 Phineas & Ferb 08:05 Kick Buttowski 08:30 American Dragon 09:00 American Dragon 09:25 American Dragon 10:15 American Dragon 10:40 American Dragon 11:30 Pair Of Kings 11:55 Phineas & Ferb 12:20 Phineas & Ferb 12:45 Kid Vs Kat 13:10 Kid Vs Kat 13:30 Kid Vs Kat 13:50 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 14:15 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 14:40 Zeke & Luther 15:05 Kick Buttowski 15:35 Pokemon Dp: Sinnoh League Victors 16:00 I’m In The Band 16:25 Rekkit Rabbit 16:50 Rekkit Rabbit 17:15 Rekkit Rabbit 18:05 Rekkit Rabbit 18:30 Rekkit Rabbit 18:55 Kick Buttowski 19:20 Kick Buttowski 19:45 Kid Vs Kat 20:15 Kid Vs Kat 20:40 I’m In The Band 21:05 The Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes 21:30 Zeke & Luther 22:00 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 22:20 The Super Hero Squad Show

Classifieds THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2011

ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available for bachelor or couple in Abbassiya near Holy Sweets Restaurant. Contact: 65129145. (C 3499) 6-7-2011 Sharing accommodation available for a single person in a fully furnished CA/C building, in Farwaniya near Burger King with kitchen & parking facilities. If interested please contact: 99038601. (C 3490) 2-7-2011 Sharing accommodation available for decent Indian Hindu or Catholic bachelors or family with Mangalorean Catholic family in a window A/C building off Rashid Hospital, Shara Amman, Salmiya. Contact: 55995437 / 99200186. FOR SALE Toyota Corolla model 2009, white color, 1.8 engine, excellent condition, cash price KD 3,250/(Installment possible). Contact: 66396517. (C 3502) PC Compaq Pentium4, Ram 256, HD 40GB, DVD+CD Writer, Windows XP Professional with 15” LCD screen Lenovo, in excellent condition, price KD 45. Contact: 99322585/ 9337034. (C 3503) 7-7-2011

Full time and part time website developers, designers, administrators, sales and marketing specialists. Email: (C 3494) 3-7-2011

SITUATION WANTED Male nurse available, Kuwait experience 10 years. Contact: 66475410. (C 3500) 6-7-2011 Seeking job as accountant, M.Com, PGDBA, Indian, 10 years Kuwait experience possess car, residence valid till July 2012, join immediately. Contact: 99214246. (C 3498) 5-7-2011 Commerce graduate, Indian (Keralite) seeking employment as Accountant / Junior Accountant in good companies. Visa transferable, ready to join. Contact: 66509373. (C 3491) 3-7-2011

MATRIMONIAL We are inviting marriage proposals from Pakistani families for our MSc daughter from Mughal family.

Contact Email: (C 3495) 4-7-2011 Proposal invited for Marthoma male, 29 years, company foreman. Invite proposal from MOH staff in Kuwait. Email: vijige / (C 3489) 2-7-2011

CHANGE OF NAME I, Luis Anthony D’cunha, aged 36, holder of Indian Passport no. F 8706443 residing in Kuwait hereby change my name to Luis D’cunha. (C 3501) 6-7-2011

No: 15142

Sony LCD T V, 32 inches, excellent condition, KD 120/- final. Contact: 99598324. (C 3497) 5-7-2011

SITUATION VACANT Need baby sitter part time or stay-in at Al-Muthana, Kuwait City. Contact: 66809431. (C 3493) A well organized lady is needed to do light cleaning and cooking for a single Arab/ American man living in a house located in Salmiya. Working hours: 3:00pm to 8:30pm. Salary: KD 85/ month. Telephone: 66417504. (C 3492)


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Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (


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stars CROSSWORD 371



Aries (March 21-April 19) You are born to love and care for others and may tend to worry overmuch. Your fear of not making a difference in this lifetime can be alleviated by your hard work and by jumping in with both feet and putting your thoughts into action. You must have done some real thinking and planning over the last few days because today is one of emotional beginnings, a fresh start or perhaps the establishment of new habit patterns. A New Attitude! Everything conspires to value and bring out your unique and unusual qualities. This is a very lucky day for finding your way through just about any problem you may discover. You feel that you are able to solve problems easily. Teachers come in all sorts of shapes and forms—today a teacher will impart good advice.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) You tend to be creative and original in your work and career—managing to bring new ideas and spontaneity to bear. You have high ideals and an ability to enchant others with your words and images today. Your presence has a way of easing things, helping those around you let go of any differences and stand behind what unites us all. You may be drawn to spiritual authorities, teachers and older persons at this time. All that is mystical and transcendental is your appointed territory. You will probably relate this to others in the work field through your attitude more than through your words. Your attitude of acceptance from the past has changed to a more positive one and it is catching to all that are around you.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Norma. 4. A white or colorless mineral (BaSO4). 10. A condition (mostly in boys) characterized by behavioral and learning disorders. 13. The force of workers available. 14. Of or relating to abasia (inability to walk). 15. Time for Earth to make a complete rotation on its axis. 16. Water frozen in the solid state. 17. Genus of tropical plants with creeping rootstocks and small umbellate flowers. 19. Spicy sauce of tomatoes and onions and chili peppers to accompany Mexican foods. 21. A midwestern state in north central United States in the Great Lakes region. 23. A detailed description of design criteria for a piece of work. 24. Half the width of an em. 26. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 28. Material used to daub walls. 32. An anti-TNF compound (trade name Arava) that is given orally. 36. A legal document codifying the result of deliberations of a committee or society or legislative body. 37. A ductile malleable reddish-brown corrosion-resistant diamagnetic metallic element. 39. A Kwa language spoken in Ghana and the Ivory Coast. 40. A collection of objects laid on top of each other. 44. Fiddler crabs. 45. The content of cognition. 48. (Greek mythology) The winged goddess of the dawn in ancient mythology. 50. A deep bow. 53. Atlantic coast round clams with hard shells. 57. The main organ of photosynthesis and transpiration in higher plants. 58. Used as a Hindi courtesy title. 61. Plant with an elongated head of broad stalked leaves resembling celery. 62. A human limb. 64. On or toward the lee. 65. Type genus of the family Myacidae. 66. Conforming to an ultimate standard of perfection or excellence. 67. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. DOWN 1. Not functioning properly. 2. A summary that repeats the substance of a longer discussion. 3. Administer an oil or ointment to. 4. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 5. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 6. A device that, on receiving radar signals, transmits coded signals in response to help navigators determine their position. 7. A contagious skin infection caused by the itch mite. 8. Brief episode in which the brain gets insufficient blood supply. 9. An international organization of European countries formed after World War II to reduce trade barriers and increase cooperation among its members. 10. (Philippine) A dish of marinated vegetables and meat or fish. 11. The capital and largest city of Bangladesh. 12. United States songwriter noted for his protest songs (born in 1941). 18. A historical region of southwestern India on the west coast. 20. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 22. A small cake leavened with yeast. 25. A hard gray lustrous metallic element that is highly corrosion-resistant. 27. Large burrowing rodent of South and Central America. 29. (informal) Of the highest quality. 30. A reptile genus of Iguanidae. 31. A radioactive element of the actinide series. 33. A Kwa language spoken by the Yoruba people in southwestern Nigeria. 34. British informal term. 35. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 38. Not equal in amount. 39. An international organization of European countries formed after World War II to reduce trade barriers and increase cooperation among its members. 41. French cabaret singer (1915-1963). 42. (astronomy) The angular distance of a celestial point measured westward along the celestial equator from the zenith crossing. 43. An informal debt instrument. 46. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 47. To fix or set securely or deeply. 48. An argument opposed to a proposal. 49. The capital and largest city of Yemen. 51. Characterized by lightness and insubstantiality. 52. A Tibetan or Mongolian priest of Lamaism. 54. An interior passage or corridor onto which rooms open. 55. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 56. (Greek mythology) Goddess of the earth and mother of Cronus and the Titans in ancient mythology. 59. Used of a single unit or thing. 60. A long thin fluffy scarf of feathers or fur. 63. Of or relating to the stomach and intestines.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You find that you can really use your mind to make clear choices and think things through today. You eagerly work through problems that come to your attention. Career decisions are straightforward and easy to make. You make your way through ideas and concepts with the ability to communicate and express them to others. This is a time of sudden insights into some of the most sensitive and vulnerable areas of your inner self and psychology. There are possibilities of emotional beginnings, a fresh start, perhaps the establishment of new habit patterns. You might like to ignore responsibilities and do some socializing, but realities demand that you tend to business and forget your friends for the moment. Later there will be time for play.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)


You may appear to be very easy going today. Everything seems to be working together for you. Your organizational abilities and sense of responsibility will be what guides you and proves successful. Your career could assume a much more determined and solid form—a firm foundation. Everyone wants a piece of you and this can result in your needing more space, a chance to be alone. You can be the immovable object that others find irresistible and sometimes selfish. You radiate energy and information and have to just accept the fact that people like to feel your warmth. Your ability to bring people together could result in a community effort that brings about good communication as well as pleasant opportunities to have an open forum.

Leo (July 23-August 22) You are at your mental best and should find yourself making decisions and taking care of business with a great deal of ease. Your sense of responsibility is so well developed that you may end up managing whatever situation you become involved with today. This is not because you are controlling, but because you are good at your job. You are good at getting others to work with and for you. There could be a bit more serious air to this day. You may want to make a conscious effort to see the lighter side of the projects you are working on now in order to relieve any stressful situations. You can really psyche out a group in order to sway the attitude from negative to positive or to motivate. An older member of your family could use your help tonight.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) This is a time when you can expect a little boost, some sort of extra support or recognition from those around you. You may feel that you are in touch and in harmony with others—the support and cooperation you need is available. When it comes down to taking care of business, you can really shine. Others may think you are older than you are, for you tend to assume an authoritarian stance. You may even enjoy the thought of being older and probably treat authority, the elderly and your teachers with great respect; if not reverence. You may be asked to help a newcomer or take a young person under your guidance this afternoon. There is time this evening to look at cars—if you are in the market for one. Now may be the time to test run a hybrid car.

Libra (September 23-October 22)


Scorpio (October 23-November 21) You enjoy working with your mind and enjoy looking for solutions to the worst problems. You like to solve puzzles and dilemmas, yours or others’. Your skills in this regard make you an expert at counseling and guiding others. You could be guiding others in finding solutions to business problems today—the energies are available. Your fine verbal skills and a natural sense of justice make legal work a distinct possibility. Speaking and writing are naturals. You have a need for lots of variety, a change of pace. Perhaps this evening is a time to think and study—you have a real appreciation for ideas and thoughts. Be prepared for company—you could soon be spending time with a friend from long ago. Good memories, pictures and laughter fill the air.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You are a stimulating influence. Others learn from your insights. With regard to politics, some may even change their voting opinions after conversing with you. Your high degree of mental concentration makes you an excellent student, able to excel in speaking, writing and all types of communication skills. You may be involved with some form of continued education, teaching or studying economic reports today. Your ambitions go hand-in-hand with communication and using the mind. You seem to shine when it comes to practical matters or those involving career. Ideas, words, books, etc., are pursued with great gusto. You are very motivated, with a strong drive to do and accomplish. Tonight you can retire early to the sounds of music.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)


Yesterday’s Solution

Who controls what and how to make sure you get what you want are foremost concerns at this time. A need to prove your abilities can lead to all kinds of challenges. Learning, communicating and the exchange of ideas are the experiences you crave as a new life phase begins. You are a person with something to say and you realize that others have information essential to your goals. This is a time of much mental energy and initiative—perhaps with an element of conflict tossed in for good measure. Being more in touch with other people gives you a sense of belonging. You will pass along some of your good financial tips to a friend this evening. Inspiration comes through some great purpose, some extraordinary project at this time.

This is a great time to make any plans that will require decisive action to accomplish. Joint planning sessions move along at a good pace and any differences of opinion can be worked out. Business and recreational travel is favored at this time, as are outdoor sports. A yearning for the stimulation of new ideas and ideals is emphasized for you now. New friends and an involvement in idealistic groups take on greater importance; the old is suspect and the new seems to hold all the answers. Sexual needs are just one of the life issues emphasized for you at this time. There is an instinctive imperative to be powerful and in control. This could lead to a greater interest or experience in healing and investing and in the great mysteries of life and death.

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Your inner resources and emotions are accented now. Expect a sense of support and goodwill from those around you. Perhaps you feel this is really you. You are at your mental best with sharp ideas and clear thoughts. A conservative streak sets you against anything that is not realistic. This is a good time to practice any new techniques of problem solving rather than reverting to the past. Also, it is an excellent time to learn how to take better care of your own development. You tend to be radical when it comes to self-analysis and this is good. Serving and caring for yourself and others are primary sources of inner growth. Careful—you may be ultra sensitive to criticism today. Forget your worries and whistle this evening.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

Your enthusiasm for the mind, the intellect and the world of ideas makes it easy for you to communicate to others as you educate yourself. You have no trouble in expressing yourself with meaning and understanding. You would make a fine entertainer or speaker. You are driven to manage and control projects. You have an urge to be practical. Your career motivation is constant and relentless. This evening, group or community work seems to hold your attention. Anything that is altruistic or serves the common good—is where you can be found. You would be a perfect group leader, where your love for humanity could blossom. You strive to make your dreams real. A fun past-time activity is available this evening.



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06/07/2011 06/07/201 1

Ministry of Interior

Ext.: 26 2627 627 - 2630

Fax: 24348714


Issue Time Time

Expected Weather Weeather for the Next 24 2 Hours

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


Relatively Relat tively hot with light to moderate modeerate north westerly wind, with wiith speed of 12 - 35 km/h


Very V ery e hot with light to moderate north n westerly wind, with speed speeed of 15 - 38 km/h


No Current W Warnings aarnin ngs






















Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh









45 °C

3 °C 34





44 °C

30 °C 3



Amiri Hospital



43 °C

31 °C 3



Maternity Hospital



46 °C

30 °C 3

Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital



43 °C

28 °C 2

Chest Hospital



46 °C

31 °C 3

Farwaniya Hospital



44 °C

30 °C 3

Adan Hospital



43 °C

30 °C 3

Ibn Sina Hospital


Al-Razi Hospital



39 °C

33 °C 3

Physiotherapy Hospital



37 °C

33 °C 3


42 °C

31 °C 3

Hospitals Sabah Hospital

Clinics Rabiya














Abdullah Salim



06/07/2011 06/07/2011 1200 120 00 UTC


4 DAYS DA AYS Y FORECAST Temperatures Temperatures DAY DA AY







very hot

49 °C

30 °C


15 - 38 km/h



ng dust very hot + raisin raising

50 °C

31 °C


20 - 45 km/h



raising very hot + raisin ng dust

50 °C

33 °C


20 - 45 km/h



raising very hot + raisin ng dust

47 °C

32 °C


15 - 40 km/h





MAX. Temp. M Temp.

45 °C



Temp. MIN. T M emp.

26 °C


11:53 11:53


15 %



Industrial Shuwaikh











Wind MAX. W M ind

Bneid Al-Ghar









Ayoun Al-Kibla










Maidan Hawally












New Jahra


West Jahra


South Jahra


North Jahra


North Jleeb












Wind Wind Speed

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All times are local time unless otherwise stated.

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

22434064 22435865 22544200 22547133 22515277 22616662 25714406 22530801

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

04 % NW 57 km/h N 00 mm

06/07/11 15:08 UTC 06/07/11










Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

Fahaeel Makka St Abu Halaifa-Coastal Rd Mahboula Block 1, Coastal Rd

23915883 23715414 23726558


Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622


Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967


New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638


Tariq Hana Ikhlas Hawally & Rawdha Ghadeer Kindy Ibn Al-Nafis Mishrif Coop Salwa Coop

Salmiya-Hamad Mubarak St Salmiya-Amman St Hawally-Beirut St Hawally & Rawdha Coop Jabriya-Block 1A Jabriya-Block 3B Salmiya-Hamad Mubarak St Mishrif Coop Salwa Coop

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554 25721264 25380581 25628241

Kuwait Airways Jazeera Airways Jet Airways FlyDubai Qatar Airways KLM Air Slovakia Olympic Airways Royal Jordanian Reservation British Airways Air France Emirates Air India Sri Lanka Airlines Egypt Air Swiss Air Saudia Middle East Airlines Lufthansa PIA Alitalia Balkan Airlines Bangladesh Airlines Czech Airlines Indian Airlines Oman Air Turkish Airlines Aeroflot

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


Plastic Surgeons Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf


Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari


Dr. Zahra Qabazard

Dr. Abdel Quttainah


Family Doctor Dr Divya Damodar


Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari


Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan



Gynaecologists & Obstetricians DrAdrian arbe


Dr. Verginia s.Marin

2572-6666 ext 8321

Endocrinologist 25340300


Dr. Sohail Qamar


Dr. Snaa Maaroof


Dr. Pradip Gujare


Dr. Zacharias Mathew


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

Dr Anil Thomas

3729596/3729581 22641071/2


Dr. Majeda Khalefa Aliytami


Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed


Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly


Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer


Dr. Salem soso


Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan


Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash


Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer


Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan


Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher


Dr. Bader Al-Ansari



Dr. Adnan Ebil


Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri


Dr. Mousa Khadada


Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan




Dr. Nadem Al-Ghabra


Dr. Sami Aman


Dr. Mobarak Aldoub


Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly


Dr Nasser Behbehani


Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali


Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688

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

25722291 22666288


Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan

Dr. Latefa Al-Duweisan

Dr. Ahmad Al-Ansari 25658888

Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees


Internists, Chest & Heart



Dr. Shamah Al-Matar

General Surgeons

Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman

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

Dr. Adel Al-Awadi


Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah


Internist, Chest & Heart DR.Mohammes Akkad

24555050 Ext 210

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


William Schuilenberg, RPC 2290-1677 Zaina Al Zabin, M.Sc. 2290-1677

Afghanistan Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antiga Argentina Armenia Australia Austria Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia Botswana Brazil Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands

0093 00355 00213 00376 00244 001264 001268 0054 00374 0061 0043 001242 00973 00880 001246 00375 0032 00501 00229 001441 00975 00591 00387 00267 0055 00673 00359 00226 00257 00855 00237 001 00238 001345

Central African Chad Chile China Colombia Comoros Congo Cook Islands Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Cyprus Cyprus (Northern) Czech Republic Denmark Diego Garcia Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador England (UK) Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia

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lifest yle G o s s i p

he troubled Babyshambles rocker was sentenced to six months jail on May 20 for possession of cocaine, and though he was not expected to serve his full sentence, his release still comes a month earlier than had been predicted. A statement posted on his Albion Rooms website yesterday read: “On this bright sunny morning Peter was released from prison and thanks everyone for their valued support whilst inside.” The star’s manager Adrian Hunter later used the pseudonym ‘Babybear’ to post thank you messages on the French Dog Blues website. He wrote: “Peter has been released as was reported there hours ago. Long day folks but


Antebellum’s Hillary Scott is engaged ady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott is engaged. The 25-year-old singer’s boyfriend, Chris Tyrell, popped the question over the Fourth of July weekend at a family getaway in East Tennessee. Scott and the 24year-old drummer met while touring with Tim McGraw in early 2010. People first reported the engagement Tuesday. Scott is the second member of Lady A to end her single ways. Charles Kelley is married, leaving Dave Haywood as the lone available member of the Grammy-winning trio. Lady A turned in the topselling country album of 2010with “Need You Now” and is preparing to release its follow-up, “Own the Night,” due out Sept. 13.


iefer Sutherland has split from Siobhan Bonnouvrier . The ‘24’ star called time on his romance with the Allure magazine style director after three years together, ending speculation they were to marry. Kiefer has been linked to another woman, New York socialite Eleanor Propp, although she has denied any romance, telling the New York Post newspaper: “I am not dating Kiefer. We are just friends.” Last year, many observers thought Kiefer, 44, had proposed after Siobhan was seen with a large ring on her wedding finger while on holiday in Italy. The couple further fuelled rumors after they were to marry after they were spotted in a jewellery store, looking at wedding rings. The actor has said previously he doesn’t have much time for romance because he focuses most of his energy on his role as Jack Bauer in ‘24’. He said: “My relationship is with ‘24’. I owe her. It has taught me more about acting than any other job. In eight years I have made a group of friends who are like a family to me. “I have other relationships, but I don’t have as much time for that as I would like.” Kiefer last starred in play ‘That Championship Season’


Domestic violence charge dropped against

Lohan dad rosecutors have dropped a misdemeanor domestic violence charge against Lindsay Lohan’s father after his ex-girlfriend failed to show up at trial. District attorney’s spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said Tuesday the office will no longer pursue the case against Michael Lohan after his ex-girlfriend, Kate Major, could not be located. The elder Lohan was arrested in March and has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence battery. A trial was scheduled to begin Tuesday, but Gibbons said it could not proceed without Major’s cooperation. Michael Lohan’s attorney, Dana Cole, says he worked out an agreement with Major so she wouldn’t testify. Cole says Major wasn’t paid anything, and she declined to cooperate because she did not want a court spectacle.


a happy one. Many good things done. All’s good and peace and quiet shall now ensue. A bit of ‘bedding in’ and reflection is on the cards and so much the better.” When sentenced at London’s Snaresbrook Crown Court t, Judge David Radford criticized Pete’s “appalling record”, having previously appeared in court 13 times. Despite being released, Pete could face jail again soon on charges of burglary after being accused of breaking into a record shop in Germany and stealing a guitar.

on New York’s Broadway, until it ended in May, after which he is said to have returned to Los Angeles to prepare for a film version of ‘24’. The actor was previously been married twice, to Camelia Kath, the mother of his daughter Sarah, 23, from 1987 to 1990 and Elizabeth Winn from 1996 until their separation in 1999. Kiefer was also once engaged to actress Julia Roberts, but she broke it off three days before their planned wedding in 1991.

ate Moss has had her marriage blessed by monks. The supermodel tied the knot with The Kills rocker Jamie Hince at St Peter’s Church in Southrop, Cotswolds, South West England, on Friday and later in the day the couple were joined by a small group of their closest friends for another ceremony in a tipi conducted by a trio of Buddhist monks. A source told the Daily Star newspaper: “The three monks gave Kate and Jamie a spiritual blessing as a good luck charm for their days as man and wife.” Kate - who had 14 bridesmaids - and Jamie’s wedding was attended by many children, including the model’s own eight-year-old daughter Lila Grace, and the couple arranged for a special bar to serve non-alcoholic cocktails so the younger guests wouldn’t feel left out from the partying at the model’s home after the ceremony. An insider told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “Kate had special fruit juice concoctions made up for the kids - all non-alcoholic. “She wanted them to feel grown up on her special day. “She also had unisex toilets installed for a more bohemian vibe.”


l l a r Catt again

ying ing again. r r a m t m a r r y wo - ye a r abou t ful” of

, “hope ss - whose e in 1979 trall is im Cat year- old ac tr as annulled on and s w The 54 Larry Davis to Andre J Ly riences e to union lso been wed previous exp again a r s is e a a h h o ts he le and wh vinson - insis lking down t off at all. In a e e Mark L put her off w hasn’t put m l. “I think fu haven’t . She said: “It quite hope e I’ll meet m re p I’ u o t h is u I f e d d ho in lace an t o o. W y attitu face, m really good p g o o d p la c e its her m I’m in a e w h o’s in a en?” Kim ad ned to p n ar p o a le e h s m l a o il h s p hat w ely” so she w to kee s r w e k no e “lon well in ord e r love d b n a c career spare time lf m is s in g h . She n r use he d s to p h e r s e ay on locatio I h a v e “ n w : a a e y n s is i e bu az hen sh u t yo u t mag ones w e d t o S t y l i s your craf t b o rect n is e x p l a i that ac ting . “You need n in fe tio d li a e a c n r e lo a v n a le to h ths o your famid n e o e n m re e also om that th eed to e, far fr ognize dle of nowher d that you n lf with n e the mid y uprooting a round yours can r r it e u s v e s d is u an ca ly, you be obbies have h who support .” le people y lonely lifesty r e v a e b


Craig’s ex- fiancee doesn’t want to hear his name aniel Craig’s former fiancee has banned anyone from mentioning him in her presence. The James Bond star split from Satsuki Mitchell who he got engaged to in 2007 - last November, and she was stunned to learn he had married actress Rachel Weisz in a secret ceremony last month following a whirlwind romance. Satsuki’s father, Christopher Mitchell, said: “His sudden marriage came out of nowhere. We heard about it like everyone else, by reading the newspapers. She doesn’t mention his name now and tells me off if I do.” According to Christopher, Satsuki had realized their relationship would never have worked out but had only just begun


to get over her split from 43-year-old Daniel when the news broke about his marriage. He told the Daily Mail newspaper: “Satsuki has only just reached a happy place. She has since said, more than once, that the break up was the best thing for her. “She knew he was not the man she wanted him to be and there was something wrong in the relationship.” Christopher is worried about the impact Daniel’s marriage will have on his daughter because he became concerned she had developed an eating disorder when they split up last year. He said: “I have suggested to her on a number of occasions that she might have a disorder. Yet whenever we’re together she eats like a horse.” Daniel and Rachel - who first went public with their romance in

December when they spent Christmas together at a cottage in the English countryside - tied the knot in front of just four people, the actor’s daughter Ella, 18, the actress’ four-year-old son Henry and two friends at a pal’s house in New York state. Rachel, 40, split from Henry’s father, ‘Black Swan’ director Darren Aronofsky last year, announcing in November they had been separated for some time but remained “close”. The couple star together in upcoming horror movie ‘Dream House’ - to be released in September 2011 - which they shot throughout 2010. — Bang Showbiz



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lifestyle F E A T U R E S

Jolie, Parker highest paid actresses

Angelina Jolie and Sarah Jessica Parker


ngelina Jolie and Sarah Jessica Parker, with estimated annual earnings of $30 million each, are the highest paid actresses in Hollywood, according to the annual list. Jolie topped the list thanks to the worldwide success of her action film “Salt,” which brought in $300 million, and “The Tourist,” which also featured Johnny Depp and earned $280 million at the worldwide box office. Much of Parker ’s hefty earnings comes from reruns of the hit television show “Sex and the City ”, which she starred in and produced, and earnings from the second movie which generated $290 million at the global box office. “People may be surprised to see Sarah Jessica Parker up there but they may not realize that in addition to acting, she earns big from her per fumes and

endorsement deals,” said writer Dorothy Pomerantz of “Also she’s coming off of ‘Sex and the City 2’ which turned a healthy profit.” Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon were not far behind in the rankings with each actress bringing home $28 million. Aniston’s film “Just Go With It” is her fourth highest earning film in the US. The top 10 earning actress made a total of $218 million between May 2010 and May 2011, according to, which compiled the list by talking to producers, lawyers, agents and Hollywood insiders to estimate what each actress earned. Last year’s top earner, Sandra Bullock, took a 12month break from making movies and dropped to No.9 with earning of $15 million. —Reuters

(From left) Damian Marley, Dave Stewart, Mick Jagger, AR Rahman and singer Joss Stone of SuperHeavy, are shown during the filming of their video in Los Angeles. — AP

Mick Jagger discusses Super Heavy collaboration


ick Jagger isn’t sure where his latest musical creation will end up on iTunes. The Rolling Stones rocker has teamed up with Eur ythmics co-founder Dave Stewart, reggae maestro Damian Marley, soul songtress Joss Stone and “Slumdog Millionaire” composer AR Rahman for SuperHeavy, a new group fusing their different styles on an as-yet untitled album set for release Sept. 20 in the United States, and a day before in the rest of the world. “What bit of iTunes genres does it go on? The unknowable? Isn’t there an unknown section?” Jagger joked during a preview event last week at Jim Henson Studios, where the group recorded some of their eclectic music. Stewart called the collaboration wide-ranging. The recording process began in Hollywood with the entire group, but they also recorded separately. Other recordings took place in Florida, France, Greece, Turkey, India and the Caribbean. Stewart said the group recorded about 35 hours of music with some songs

‘Deathly Hallows’ not the end for true Potter fans


rom the Indian metropolis of Mumbai to the dusty plains of Texas, frenzied fans across the globe are barely a week away from the release of the eighth and final film in the Harry Potter series. For those who have spent nearly 15 years with the books and movies, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2,” which premieres in London July 7 and opens worldwide from July 13, is the end-a final curtain falling on a narrative that has held them rapt for the bulk of their lives. Since 1997, the fictional boy wizard has gathered a massive global following-there are 28 million followers of the movies alone on Facebook-often dubbed the “Harry Potter generation”. “Some of the most ardent fans feel that they grew up right alongside Harry; as he aged, so did they,” said Edmund Kern, a professor who teaches a Potter course at Lawrence University in Wisconsin and the author of “ The Wisdom of Harr y Potter ”. The seven books in the Potter series have sold nearly half a billion copies worldwide and the first seven movies have grossed $6.4 billion for Warner Bros. since the release of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher ’s (Sorcerer’s) Stone” in 2001. JK Rowling, the author of the books, has amassed more money than the queen of England and is heralded as a visionary for creating an alternative world to rival great works of fiction such as J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”. For many fans, the release of the final book in 2007 was the end of Harry Potter, but others have clung to the movies as a way to keep Pottermania alive, and this Thursday’s movie premiere will give loyalists a second chance to say goodbye. “I’m just really excited to see the end of the series play out on the big screen and go out with the bang it deserves,” said Paul Torres, 19, of Dallas, Texas, who said he had got chills seeing the trailer for Deathly Hallows. “It’s kind of cool to be able to look back and say that I remember each book being released, each movie coming out. It was without a doubt a large part of my childhood.” Universal appeal Martin Richardson, a professor at

Durham University and one of the first in Britain to teach a Harry Potter college course, said it was unlikely that the series’ sensational popularity would see an immediate drop-off after the final film. Promises of a Harry Potter encyclopaedia and interactive website, let alone Potterthemed events and a theme park in Florida, will sustain fans immersed in the wizard’s world. “‘Pottermania’ will not end in the foreseeable future: It is too deeply ingrained in the collective psyche of what has been dubbed ‘The Harry Potter Generation’,” Richardson said. As an example of the book’s influence, Richardson noted that about a quarter of the students on his course admitted that they were disappointed on their 11th birthdays when they didn’t receive letters of acceptance to Hogwarts, the magical school of witchcraft and wizardry, as characters in the books do. “What is understandably lost to adults is the most gloriously subversive concept at the heart of the Harry Potter series-the notion that there might just be a magical world out there that we Muggles cannot see,” he said. For academics, the story’s worldwide popularitythe books have been translated into more than 60 languages, from Tibetan to Khmer-stems from the universal themes woven into the plot. “When reading or watching the characters in the Potterverse, we are also reading about and watching ourselves-and in particular our relationships, our sense of duty and our identity,” said Richardson. “These timeless themes cross all cultural and national divides.” There is also a moral dimension, which gives the books the sense of offering guiding principles for young readers, simple messages anyone can identify with, said Kern, the professor at Lawrence University. These lessons aren’t wasted on fans, who can point to the ways the story has altered their lives. Andrea Lolita Cardenas, a 19-year-old from Los Angeles, chose her degree because of what she learnt from Potter. “I’m a criminal justice administration major in part because of Harr y Potter; the battle between ‘good’ and ‘evil’ plays out every day,” she said. — Reuters

Actors, from left, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint attend the premiere of ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1’ at Alice Tully Hall in New York. —AP

originally lasting “an hour and 10 minutes” before they were whittled down. One of seven tracks teased Thursday included “Miracle Worker,” the first single off the album, which features the vocalists crooning: “Ooh, you’re a miracle worker/Ooh, you’re the surgeon of love.” The group filmed a music video last Wednesday for the mid-tempo track, which like most of the music previewed, combined rock, soul, reggae and world music. “Working with four other vocalists was interesting to me,” said Jagger. “I’ve never actually done it before. Normally, I have to do everything, which I’m quite happy to do. Don’t worry. It was kind of fun because when we had to finish it off, I realized we all had a part to play.” Jagger said the group would wait for reaction to the album before deciding if the supergroup will go on tour. “We’ll probably end up playing in the unclassified gig section,” Stewart quipped. “Yeah, in a tent at Glastonbury with the unclassifiable acts,” Jagger added. —AP

Chinese epic faces box-office inflation charges

Noel Gallagher poses for a photograph following a press conference announcing a new album, “Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds” in London, yesterday. — AFP File photo shows a couple walking past an advertisement of the movie titled ‘Beginning of the Great Revival’ marking the 90th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party founding on July 1, in Shanghai, China. — AP


n top of all the preferential treatment for the propaganda epic that marks the 90th anniversar y of China’s Communist Party, at least one multiplex chain is being accused of trying to inflate the film’s box office numbers. “Beginning of the Great Revival” has a starstudded case, cinemas have been flooded with screenings, Hollywood blockbusters have been banned nd offices and schools have been encouraged to buy tickets in bulk. Its box office total so far is $49 million in 19 days. yesterday, Hong Kong’s Apple Daily newspaper published Internet photos of three doctored tickets for “Beginning of the Great Revival.” The title of the movie was printed, then crossed out and the name of another film was filled in by hand. Because Chinese box-office results are counted by the number of computer-generated tickets, such alterations, if true, would artificially boost the propaganda film and suppress results of the movie the ticket-holders watched. With the global film industry eager to cash in on China’s booming theatrical market, few wanted to discuss the subject with foreign media and risk offending the government by badmouthing a politically important film. When a reporter called the executive of a Beijing-based multiplex chain that was not implicated for comment, he refused even though he had spoken freely about other topics before. “I can talk about anything else,” said Gao Jun, deputy general manager for New Film Association. Calls to Jiang Defu, the spokesman for China Film Group, the influential state -owned studio that made “Beginning of the Great Revival,” went unanswered. Marketing department employees for Guangzhou-based Jinyi International Cinemas, the multiplex chain allegedly responsible for two of the three doctored tickets published by Apple Daily, deferred calls to other colleagues, who

never responded. Jinyi International Cinemas runs some 400 screens across the country, accounting for nearly $108 million in box office in 2010, according to its official website. The films written onto the three tickets published in Apple Daily were the Hollywood animated film “Kung Fu Panda 2” and Hong Kong director Peter Chan’s kung fu thriller “Wu Xia,” which was released Monday. Chen Zhe, a China spokesman for Paramount Pictures, which distributed “Kung Fu Panda 2,” declined comment, as did Derek Ha, a distribution official for Hong Kong-based We Pictures, which made “Wu Xia.” However, its director, Chan, told the newspaper he was worried. “I have already complained to the relevant authorities. They are still investigating. I hope it is not true.” The Hong Kong filmmaker has a lot at stake. “Wu Xia,” which features action star Donnie Yen and “Lust, Caution” star Tang Wei, is his first film since the 2007 epic “The Warlords” and took $20 million to make. By contrast, “Kung Fu Panda 2” had already been in Chinese cinemas for 37 days and raked in an impressive $94 million, according to figures up until Sunday from Chinese entertainment research firm EntGroup. “Beginning of the Great Revival” stars wellknown names such as Chow Yun-fat, Andy Lau and director John Woo. Its box-office total so far is likely to jump quickly given the sheer saturation of the film. The movie was screened 64,393 times last week, compared to 26,254 times for “Kung Fu Panda 2,” according to EntGroup. The blackout period for “Beginning of the Great Revival” has delayed the China release for Hollywood’s latest blockbuster. “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” will open July 21. The film has already made $418 million worldwide since its release last Wednesday, according to figures from box office tracking website Box Office Mojo. —AP

Noel Gallagher unveils solo albums F

ormer Oasis guitarist and songwriter Noel Gallagher returned to the music world yesterday with the announcement he had written two solo albums, the first of which will be released in October. Two years after feuding with his brother Liam, who was Oasis frontman, led to the band splitting up, he announced an eponymous album by his band “Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds” would be released on October 17. The album was recorded in London and Los Angeles over the last 18 months and features 10 new tracks. The band will tour shortly after the release of the album, with the first gig in Dublin, Gallagher told a press conference in central London. Gallagher, 44, said the record marked a departure from what he did when he was at Oasis. “It’s not very guitar hero,” he told reporters, adding: “There isn’t a guitar solo until the sixth track.” But he reassured fans that some of the songs would have a familiar sound. “People who are fans of what I do will hear echoes of what Oasis do in there,” he said. The second album, as yet untitled, is a collaboration with a psychedelic band called “Amorphous Androgynous” and will be released in 2012. He said it would not be mainstream and described it as “far out”. “It’s the furthest out I’ve ever been, let’s put it that way,” he said, to laughs from reporters. Oasis split up in August, 2009, after one row too many between Liam and Noel, whose explosive sibling rivalry was a central feature of one of Britain’s most successful bands of modern times. Noel walked out after the argument at a music festival near Paris, marking the end of a band that had been in the vanguard of the ‘Britpop’ music movement of the mid-1990s. Liam has since formed a new band, Beady Eye, which released an earlier album this year.—AFP



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alking, Paris’ elite cadre of haute couture designers seems to have determined, is out-at least for the handful of women wealthy enough to fork out the price of a car for a single dress. Judging from the hobbling looks on display Tuesday at Chanel and Giorgio Armani Prive’s fall-winter 2011-12 haute couture displays, women rich enough to afford four-to-five-figure ensembles should never need suffer the injustice of actually having to walk. Instead, let them mince, like the poor models who struggled to make it down the Chanel and Armani catwalks without incident. Walking was a trial by fire at emerging French designer Julien Fournie’s show, too, where bowling shoes had been fitted with weighted cork platforms that forced the models to walk on pointe, like ballet dancers. By the end, the models were turning back only halfway down the runway, in a bid to save their battered feet. Footwear wasn’t the issue at Stephane Rolland, but a few of the Frenchman’s elaborate, sculptural garments also posed some mobility issues. Though most of his dramatic gowns in flowing silk were easy enough to move in, Rolland’s bride was so weighed down in her embroidery-covered wedding gown that she got momentarily stuck at the end of the runway. Only rising French star Alexandre Vauthier’s sexy she-devils in head-to-toe red and Rabih Kayrouz’s barefoot models-who splashed through the watercovered runway in breathable, flattering knit dresses-had a full range of motion on Tuesday. Paris’ three-day-long couture extravaganza wraps up on Wednesday with shows by romantic Italian label Valentino, Lebanese red-carpet wonder Elie Saab and one-time French enfant terrible Jean Paul Gaultier.

GIORGIO ARMANI PRIVE Giorgio Armani Prive dedicated his collection of wildly expensive made-tomeasure skintight column dresses and painted-on pantsuits to the victims of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami. “Homage to Japan” incorporated Japanese silks and shapes culled from kimonos into the Italian designer ’s trademark lean, clean-lined shapes. Strips of printed silks peeked out from slits on the back of peak-shouldered cropped jackets in black velvet. A pencil skirt and bandeau tops fitted with stiff architectural panels bloomed with oversized cherry blossoms. The head wearalways inventive at Armani-was made from what appeared to be Japanese wrapping paper or an explosion of folding fans. As usual, the looks were so tight it was hard to imagine anyone besides a teenage model-or Cate Blanchett, who graced the front row, along with Katie Holmes-managing to wiggle into them.

CHANEL When it comes to putting on blockbuster shows, the sky is literally the limit for Chanel: The deep-pocketed French label recreated a life-sized model of Paris’ Place Vendome-complete with a starry night sky. The Chanel display usually takes place in the morning, but to add to the nighttime feeling of Tuesday’s show, it was held at the unprecedented hour of 10 p.m. But the added authenticity of it being dark both inside and outside the venue was largely lost on the fatigued fashion crowd, which had been working nonstop for the previous 11 hours. Models circled the set’s centerpiece-a life-sized version of the towering column that presides over Place Vendome, Paris’ jewelr y Mecca-in cropped jackets with shirt-dress hybrids with sculptural bell-shaped peplums, which were layered over the hobblingly slim pencil skirts. In dark tweed embroidered with Swarovski cr ystals, the ensembles twinkled like the faux night sky of the set.

Models wear creations by Giorgio Armani Prive.

Models wear creations for the Chanel Fall-Winter 2011-2012 Haute Couture fashion collection presented in Paris, Tuesday. — AP



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STEPHANE ROLLAND Rolland also looked to Japan for his fall-winter collection, but whereas Armani silhouettes were constricted, the French designer’s were all air and flowing movement. Satin catsuits with dramatic slits up the thighs had built-in capes that billowed as the models strode boldly down the catwalk, and waterfalls of silky chiffon cascaded down the back of the column gowns. The collection’s oversized accessories and sculptural accents blurred the fine line between couture and art. Mermaid dresses were cinched at the waist with oversized metal belts that glinted with chunks of fool’s gold. Gold tubes stacked in an hourglass shape embellished the front of longsleeved sheath dresses. “That belongs in a museum,” whispered one of the droves of chic couture-buying ladies from her front-row perch as a mermaid gown with an oversized metal and satin bow on the back swept by.But it was the wedding gown-a kimono knit out of thick white yarn into intricate mosaic patterns-that took the audience’s breath away and best showcased Rolland’s impressive technical know-how. The dress was so heavy, so monumental, that the model sporting it got stuck at the end of the runway, her stick-thin thighs not strong enough to make a U-turn. An usher and Rolland’s chic ivory-haired mother scurried over to help her maneuver the train. GIVENCHY Givenchy continued to probe the beating heart of couture with “Albino Angels,” a pared-down collection of exquisite, feather-light concoctions of ivory tulle, chiffon and shimmering pearls. Each of the 10 looks was a miracle of inventiveness and painstaking labor. Somehow, designer Riccardo Tisci and his atelier of seamstresses and embroiderers turned thousands of tiny little iridescent beads into sculptural birds of paradise, the tropical flowers blooming across the midriff of a tank dress. Hundreds of long strands made from the same luminous white beads formed the dress’ skirt and hung like a water fall from an assorted clutch. Clocking in at 2,000 hours of work, that

look was, astoundingly, among the least labor-intensive of the 10. More than 3,500 hours were poured into hand-cutting tiny circles out of tulle, which were then stacked sometimes 32-deep, on a turtleneck gown in Champagne colored tulle, creating scales that enveloped the delicate mermaid dress. Brilliantly inventive and exquisitely executed, the collection showcased the endless possibilities of couture-and Tisci’s enormous talent. ALEXANDRE VAUTHIER It’s official. The devil no longer wears Prada. Any she-devil worth her horns and forked tail will soon be sporting Vauthier, the emerging French talent who served up a red-soaked collection so sexy it could surely persuade just about any man to sign over his soul. A bustier fit around the midriff of a cherrycolored fur coat to give it a formfitting hourglass shape and more than a hint of naughtiness, while the saucy, secondskin pantsuits in fire-engine neoprene left precious little to the imagination. As if the weather were conspiring to lend Vauthier’s inferno added credibility, Paris temperatures soared Tuesday to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius), turning the cramped show venue-a historic high school library illuminated by red spotlights-into a hellish sauna. But while the elaborately costumed audience of fashion glitterati sat streaming with sweat, Vauthier’s she-devils dripped only diabolical sensuality. — AP

Models wear creations by French designer Alexandre Vauthier.

Models wear creations by French designer Stephane Rolland.

Jolie, Parker highest paid actresses



Vet says a hairball a week is normal for

Drop dead gorgeous

most cats

Fashion design for deceased


t was when fashion designer Pia Interlandi was preparing her beloved grandfather for his funeral, complete in his best suit and leather shoes, that she realized her calling was in death wear.”Doing up his leather shoes...I was just like ‘where is he going to be walking?’ Really. He doesn’t need shoes,” the quietly-spoken, black-clad 26-year-old said. The experience helped prompt Interlandi to create her “shroud” clothing, hemp and silk garments designed to wrap the body and head, which she hopes can provide personalized and sympathetic coverings for the dead. “People think that when I say I am a death wear designer I make fancy suits and people go ‘Oh, I want to be buried in a gold suit’. But that’s not actually the type of design that I do,” she told AFP. “It’s about what are the considerations and constraints in designing a garment that is for the ground.”The environmental considerations are huge-that we don’t want to be polluting the earth with plasticsbut there is a psychological protection that we, as the living burying the dead, need. “And that’s covering the body but also making sure the garment is beautiful and matches the person that is getting buried.” Interlandi, who is also a funeral celebrant, says she took a couple of years to find her feet in fashion, a career path she chose after brief work experience in occupational therapy introduced her to different kinds of molding fabrics, such as the plastics used to cover the skin of burns victims. She made her high-school formal dress out of this plastic, an unusual step similar to her decision several years later as a design student at Melbourne’s RMIT University to use animal organs in her work.”I actually went to a butcher and got

a whole lot of organs and cut them up and photographed them,” she explains. Death Down Under Her interest in death as a transformation saw her begin to work with dissolvable fibers which look sturdy but melt away as the body sweats. While the garments were not practical wear, they helped her develop ideas for creating a death garment that decomposes along with the body, she said in Sydney where she was a speaker at the ‘Death Down Under’ conference. The fact that most Australians are buried in their “Sunday best”, a suit for men and a twin-set suit for women sometimes accessorized with slippers, sat uneasily with her, she said. “The idea that you would be buried with a garment made of polyester that would outlast your own decomposition, so that you would end up as a skeleton in this weird polyester nightie or something seems a bit contradictory,” she said. Interlandi has gone to some lengths to research the materials for her shroud-like garments, burying 21 pigs wearing her designs to

test the durability of the fabrics. She unearthed the pigs gradually over a year and found that the coverings gradually decayed along with the animal, which was chosen for its anatomical similarities to the human body. “Within a year my garments were completely gone. By the time we dug up the last pig there was just embroidery, bones and roots,” she said. The designer, who is a vegetarian, said she did not use the pigs lightly. “If I could have used humans who had been donated I would have but in Australia donated cadavers only go to medical research,” she said. She now wants to exhibit the remains of the shrouds, though she’s finding it difficult to get approval for the display which would be shown in refrigerated containers so there would be no odor. “I’m having trouble because of the perceived disgust,” Interlandi admits. “But the garments in themselves are actually quite beautiful. The staining that has occurred on the body is interesting.” As funerals increasingly move away from set church procedures to personalized events, reflecting

Kate charms

the dead person’s life in anecdote, photographs and music, the habit of dressing the deceased in a suit may also change. Embroidering someone’s favorite poem, or a song lyric, or their name, or drawing a family tree on the death garment are some ideas favored by Interlandi who hopes to launch her collection late in 2012. Sheila Harper, the 35-yearold sociologist who organized ‘Death Down Under’, which covered everything from Facebook memorials to organ donation, said funerals were becoming increasingly individualized. Harper, who has researched how mourners interact with dead bodies by spending days sitting in funeral homes, said her work showed many people were eager to discuss death. —AFP

Fashion designer Pia Interlandi dresses (live) model Tarryn Handcock posing with one of her outfits designed for those going to their grave, in Melbourne on July 1, 2011. — AFP


Onlookers watch as Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Britain’s Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Catherine, (not seen) arrive on shore after rowing dragon Cambridge, participate in a traditional Mi’kmaq smudging boats across Dalvay Lake. — AFP photos ceremony at Dalvay-By-The-Sea, in Charlottetown.


ith her ready, warm smile and slender, elegant figure, Catherine has made a dazzling public debut as a royal seducing Canadian crowds on her first official visit with Prince William. But royal watchers sense a bit of tension too. From the Duchess of Cambridge’s arrival in the capital Ottawa to Charlottetown on the Atlantic Coast, chants of “We love you Kate” seem louder than for the prince as the newlyweds step onto the international stage. Full of pomp and ceremony, the trip comes just two months after a radiant Kate Middleton walked down the aisle in the wedding of the year, watched by two billion people worldwide. Part of her attraction may be the lure of the Cinderella story: William was born to ascend to the British throne, but Kate’s rise from commoner to future queen is perhaps proof that fairytales can come true. “We’ve come to see her,” said Marley MacCuaig, the five-year-old girl who was lucky enough to present the duchess with a bouquet of flowers during a walkabout in Quebec City, and told her idol, “I want to be a princess.” The same scenes have played out at every stop on the nine-day royal tour. According to experts,

or “royal watchers,” Catherine has remained cool, showing no outward signs of nerves despite the cauldron-like atmosphere of public walkabouts. Only once did the duchess briefly appear nervous as she watched her husband take the controls of a military helicopter to carry out emergency water landing drills on a Prince Edward Island lake. And after smiling broadly and exchanging polite banter as she shook hands with an enthusiastic crowd for longer than intended at Canada’s War Memorial in Ottawa, the duchess slipped into a car and rested her head on William’s shoulder. “It was a gesture that said: ‘well, we got through that one,’” said the British newspaper The Times. The lasting impression is a mixture of spontaneity and professionalism in the couple’s gestures, as well as tiny moments of tenderness such as William’s reassuring glances or when he stroked his wife’s back as she spoke with gravely ill children at a Montreal hospital cancer unit. “The underlying message is that none of this is easy. It is not easy coping with the constant intrusion of the media, not easy trying to come up with endless small talk for the hundreds of strangers she meets every day, not easy always being on show with a

happy smile and an easy manner,” opined Times correspondent Valentine Low. In accordance with Buckingham Palace’s protocol, the duchess will not make any public statements during this trip. In private moments, she also focuses on easy topics with the crowds of well-wishers. A Huron chief welcomed her to Quebec City as the couple disembarked from a navy frigate and Catherine pressed him about the type of feathers used to make his headdress-wild turkey feathers. Her warm interest left him convinced that she would like to visit his village sometime soon in the future. She has also taken care with her wardrobe, exhibiting the same easy fashion sense and grace with which she has already made a mark. Her outfits have been perfectly matched to the events: Canadian colors red and white for a celebration of Canada’s national holiday, a navy blue vest for a visit to a Coast Guard ship. The elegant Catherine, standing tall in her stylish high heels, and Prince William stand out from afar despite their entourage and crowds of well-wishers. And the visit has gone a long way toward boosting the image of Britain’s future king and queen.—AFP

Photo shows Dr Karen Halligan as she gives petroleum jelly to her cat Kinky at her home.


airballs are normal in cats, but they are a nuisance for cat owners to deal with. A few things can be done, however, to reduce hairballs and other feline dietary upsets. Cats ingest a lot of hair because their tongues have tiny tentacles (papillae) that act like brushes when they clean, explained Dr. Karen Halligan, author, TV consultant and director of veterinar y ser vices for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Los Angeles. When hair builds up in a cat’s stomach, it turns into balls or wads, causing the cat to vomit. Once a week is normal and nothing to worry about, “but more than once a week is too much,” Halligan said. A number of over-the-counter dietar y supplements such as Petromalt can be given to cats to help prevent hairballs, but Halligan uses a simple home remedy: she puts a dab of petroleum jelly on her fingertip and lets her cats, Kinky and Nathan, lick it off. Lynea Lattanzio has a lot of experience with hairballs as founder of a sanctuary where 1,000 cats live called Cat House on the Kings, located on the Kings River in Parlier, California. “I give people a lot of advice on hairballs,” she said. “You can put mineral oil on their food to help them slide it out, or Vaseline on their shoulder so they can lick it.” Just “don’t put it on their paws,” she added. “They shake and it gets all over the walls. Put it where they can’t shake it off.” Halligan and Lattanzio agree brushing is probably the best remedy. “I brush mine every day. It pulls out all the dead hair so they don’t ingest it when they groom,” Halligan said. If your cat does not like being brushed, you might be pressing too hard or using the wrong type of brush, she said. At Cat House on the Kings, the 20plus employees, including one who does nothing but change litter boxes all day long, do not have time to brush all the cats, and the feral cats would not allow it anyway. This is the time of year when cats are shedding their coats and getting ready for hot weather, so workers brush as many cats as they can each week, Lattanzio said. “Their hair goes poof, it seems to come off of them in clouds. If you don’t remove it by brushing, then they will remove it by grooming and then they will eat it and they will get hairballs,” Lattanzio said. Lattanzio says older cats get brushed first because “they are less likely to groom and more likely to suffer the adverse effects.” She also gives some of the long-haired cats what is called a Himalayan cut, leaving hair only on their heads, feet and tails. But Halligan advised

caution in close cuts for lightskinned cats as they can get cancer from exposure to the sun, even if they live indoors and lie in front of a window. If a cat is vomiting and there is no hair in it, hairballs probably are not the problem. “The most common is kidney disease, then pancreatitis and then food allergies,” Halligan said. Even flea sensitivity can cause a cat to vomit and to go bald. Some owners swear by grain-free food as a way to reduce tummy troubles, or by adding bran or fiber, pumpkin, prunes, psyllium hulls or slippery elm to the cat’s diet. But Halligan advises consulting with a veterinarian before making dietary changes. She has added pumpkin to cat food to remedy constipation, but she noted that cats are carnivores, programmed to eat animal protein, and may have trouble processing carbohydrates. On the other hand, she said, a diet of nothing but grain-free food is not necessarily good either. “Grain-free is low in carbohydrates and high in protein,” she explained. “Some of the cheaper foods use corn or other vegetables as the protein source, which is not good for cats. The grain-frees have done well because they have lower carbohydrates and essentially are a highprotein diet. But we are not sure how that is going to affect the kidneys long-term because it is a lot of protein. It might be too much. You can feed some grain-free but that shouldn’t be their main diet.” Halligan’s cats eat only canned food. She recommends pet owners feed their pets at least 50 percent canned food and believes 75 percent would be better. “The only benefit of dry is that it is cheaper,” she said, adding: “My cat Nathan, if I give him regular dry cat food, he vomits like crazy. Once I switched over to canned, no vomiting.” Excessive vomiting may require blood tests or X-rays to reveal the problem. Cats will eat catnip mice, needles and thread, buttons, earrings, erasers, tin foil balls, and almost any other small thing they can bat around, Halligan said. “They will play with it, then swallow it. My cat has a fetish for rubber bands. Those things keep vets in business.” Hairballs can also get stuck in a cat’s intestines. A cat that stops eating for 24 or 48 hours and repeatedly vomits is at risk for dehydration and liver failure. In as little as three days, jaundice can set in, with telltale symptoms of yellowing of the gums, ears and whites of the eyes. Fast treatment by a vet is essential “If you get them to us on time, wcan probably save them,” she said. — AP

Photo shows Lynea Lattanzio surrounded by cats at The Cat House on the Kings in Parlier, Calif. —AP photos

07 Jul  

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