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ShAAbAn 15, 1432 Ah

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US recognizes Libyan rebels

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7KD500 salary for dependent visa?

Kuwaitis in private sector to get pay rise KUWAIT: The Ministry of Interior (MoI) is reportedly considering increasing the monthly minimum wage required for a non-Kuwaiti man to bring his wife and children to Kuwait, from KD250 to KD500 within the next month. The move comes as part of the country’s continuing efforts to introduce more stringent eligibility criteria for expatriate workers. A decision like this could mean that many expatriate workers in the country would be forced to leave their families back home, with some warning that this could have a potentially destabilizing effect on the local expatriate community generally. An MoI insider insisted, however, that the move would result in greater rather than less stability for families. “Increasing the minimum salary requirement aims to ensure that a resident is economically stable and able to support his family in Kuwait before bringing them here,” the official asserted. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official was also keen to suggest that the introduction of such a regulation would help Kuwait to regain control over the labor market, with the number of ‘excess workers’ greatly reduced. The insider also indicated that many young expatriates are entering the workforce in already heavily oversubscribed fields, with their removal giving young Kuwaitis a better chance. “We are working from the standpoint of seeking to achieve full stability in Kuwait,” he concluded. Meanwhile, the Management and Government Restructuring Program has announced that it is ready to begin paying the KD50 salary increase to Kuwaitis working in the private sector, which was enforced by the government retroactively. According to MGRP Assistant Secretary General for Labor Affairs Fawzi Al-Majdali, a budget of KD17.800 million in total has been allocated for distribution to the bank accounts of 13,133 Kuwaitis by the end of this month. In separate news, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL) saw its largest recent reshuffle of senior staff, in a step described by Minister Dr Mohammad Al-Afasi as “aiming to improve the ability of senior ministry employers in remaining productive from any post.” The reshuffle saw many Assistant Undersecretaries trading places in different departments. Meanwhile, a senior MSAL official has assured consumers that prices at local Co-ops would not see any abrupt increases during the Ramadan period. In a press release issued on Thursday, MSAL Undersecretary Mohammad Al-Kandari said that plans are in place to reduce the prices of the most popular items, as well as holding a number of product promotions at the stateowned outlets. On another issue, charity collections during the upcoming holy month, Al-Kandari reiterated the criteria introduced by the ministry this year in coordination with local charities, which will compel all donors wishing to make cash donations to do so only at the relevant charities’ head office, with donation at mosques and other places of worship being strictly prohibited. — Agencies

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CAIRO: Egyptian protesters photograph a banner showing (right to left) ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, his son Gamal, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and Syrian President Bashar Assad, at Tahrir Square in Cairo yesterday. — AP

20 Syrian protesters shot dead by troops AMMAN: Syrian security forces shot dead at least 20 protesters yesterday as hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets across the country in the biggest protests so far against President Bashar Al-Assad. Assad, facing the greatest challenge to 40 years of Baath Party rule, has sought to crush demonstrations that broke out in March. But although rights groups say some 1,400 civilians have been killed, the protests have swelled in size. “These are the biggest demonstrations so far. It is a clear challenge to the authorities, especially when we see all these numbers coming out from Damascus for the first time,” said Rami Abdelrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Police fired live ammunition and teargas in the capital Damascus and its suburbs, killing 11 people, and in southern Syria near the Jordanian border, where four people were killed, witnesses and activists said. Three protesters were also shot dead in

the northwestern province of Idlib, near the Turkish border, where troops and tanks have attacked villages, the witnesses and activists said. Two people were also killed in the city of Homs. A witness in the Rukn Al-Din district of Damascus said hundreds of young men wearing white masks fought security forces with sticks and stones. “Down, down Bashar Al-Assad”, they chanted. “We are in Midan and they are firing teargas at us, people are chanting,” a witness said by telephone from the centre of Damascus. In the city of Hama, scene of a 1982 massacre by the military, live video footage filmed by residents showed a huge crowd in the main Orontos Square shouting “the people want the overthrow of the regime”. At least 350,000 people demonstrated in the eastern province of Deir al Zor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Syrian forces shot dead two prodemocracy protesters there on Thursday, residents said.

Until now, the biggest demonstrations have taken place in impoverished towns and villages outside Damascus where one in 10 of Syria’s 20 million population lives. Protests in the capital have rarely mustered more than a few hundred people. Damascus has benefited from substantial foreign investment and its citizens are on average wealthier than those in the provinces. Security is also much tighter. Activists estimate the number of secret police on the streets of Damascus has more than doubled since protests started but the economy has stagnated. Faced with uncertainty, foreign investors are pulling out in droves and unemployment is rising. To counter that, Syria’s main ally, Iran, is considering offering $5.8 billion in financial help, including a three-month loan worth $1.5 billion to be made available immediately, French business newspaper Les Echos said, citing a report by a Tehran think-tank linked to Iran’s leadership. — Reuters


‘Dasha’ begins

23rd pearl-diving expedition Pearl haul could be smaller this year: Al-Qabandi By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: With the rigorous training over, the big day finally arrived yesterday for the young Kuwaiti divers participating in the 23rd Pearl Diving Expedition as their voyage formally began. The traditional dasha or farewell ceremony for the 180 young participants in this year’s event was held at the Kuwait Sea Sports Club (KSSC) headquarters in Salmiya, before the young sailors, aged between eight and 22, began their nine-day voyage in search of precious pearls in the waters off Khairan Resort, around 90 km south of Kuwait City. The ceremony was held in the presence of Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL) Undersecretary Mohammad Al-Kandari, KSSC Vice-Chairman Ahmed Al-Ghanim, and KSSC Secretary General Ali-Al-Qabandi. Speaking with the Kuwait Times just before the voyage began, Al-Qabandi revealed that he isn’t expecting a large harvest of pearls from this year’s expedition. “Many people are now exploiting the area for the same purpose, so I think, this year’s harvest will be even smaller than last year,” he explained. “We already reported the matter to the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources, but it seems that our information is falling on deaf ears with some of the people concerned who are supposed to protect the area. Because of that, we aren’t expecting many pearls.” In his short farewell speech to the young divers, Al-Kandari expressed gratitude to the KSSC for its untiring empowerment of the country’s young people through reviving Kuwait’s pearl-diving heritage. “We wish our young sailors a safe journey and

KUWAIT: Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor Undersecretary Mohammad Al-Kandari, KSSC Vice-Chairman Ahmed Al-Ghanim, KSSC Secretary General Ali-Al-Qabandi and other officials at the ceremony. — Photos by Joseph Shagra we want them home safely,” he continued. “It’s not about the amount of pearls [they gather], but the knowledge and experiences they can obtain from their participation.” During a press conference held last Monday, Al-Qabandi read out a personal message to the participants from His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, who wished them a safe and successful voyage. HH the Amir is the number one supporter of the revival of pearl-diving, the occupation of Kuwaitis’ forefathers, the senior official

added. This year’s voyage features the participation of 15 dhows, five of which are modern, engine-powered vessels donated by HH the Amir to the Pearl-diving Committee. The other ten vessels were donated by the late Amir, HH Sheikh Jaber. “All [the boats] are ready, including our captains, officials and sailors,” Al-Qabandi went on. “We prepared them for over three months at training camp, teaching them all about our old but important heritage; we shared and equipped them with the necessary knowledge they need to learn while at sea pearling.” Muhammad Ahmed Al-Gaith (17), Abdullah Razaq

Ibrahim Al-Husseinan (14), Dherar Talal AlTuwaibi (12) and Abdullah Al-Hadi (14) were all equally excited at participating in the pearl-diving activities for the first time. They attended yesterday’s dasha ceremony at the KSSC compound, with their proud family members present there to see them off. “We are looking forward to this ceremony. The final counts has ended today and are excited to be part of this year’s diving expedition,” said Al-Gaith as they bade an emotional farewell to their families. “We are all excited and we hope to learn more while at sea,” AlHadi added. This year’s expedition also welcomes the participation of every single sponsor who cooperated in making this year’s festival possible; Gulf Bank, Kuwait Cooperative Society, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, Kuwait Flour Mills, Al-Rawdatain, United Fisheries of Kuwait and Dar Al-Khaleej Consultant Engineers. Before setting off yesterday, Yousef AlKhalid, the head of this year’s Pearl Diving Festival, explained, “We are now heading to Khairan and we are going to face the challenge.” Al-Khalid, a longtime participant in the annual event who rose from diver to captain before attaining his current position, this year replaced the previous incumbent, Yousef AlNajjar, as the head of the Pearl Diving Heritage Committee. The annual festival, which is, as always, being held under the patronage of His Highness the Amir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al Sabah, is held to keep Kuwait’s national heritage of pearl-diving alive; the perilous and highly skilled occupation was once one of the country’s main industries prior to the discovery of oil in the 1930s.


: KUWAIT iti a w u K The ships on g in pearl-div voyage . y yesterda



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Initiative of true reform in Kuwait? Observers unsure ISTANBUL: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed AlSabah on the sidelines of the fourth meeting of the Libya contact group in Istanbul yesterday. Top officials from major Western and regional powers meet to discuss strategies to strengthen the Libyan opposition and force embattled strongman Muammar Gaddafi out. —AFP

Govt to provide bedoons with jobs from October: activist KUWAIT: The government has plans in place to begin providing public and private sector jobs for bedoon (stateless) people by October this year, according to a bedoon activist. Jaber Al-Fadhli, who chairs a popular committee campaigning for bedoon rights, said on Thursday that an agreement was reached on the subject during a meeting between senior officials of the government body established to resolve the problems facing the country’s bedoon population, the Central System for Remedying the Status of Illegal Residents (CSRSIR), and their counterparts from the Civil Service Commission, the Manpower and Government Restructuring Program and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor. Al-Fadhli also revealed that the CSRSIR has formed one subcommittee to examine the files of stateless residents accused of obtaining forged passports and another to study the security restrictions that could prevent some bedoon people from being naturalized. — Al-Rai

Stop loans to Syrian regime: MPs KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti MP has demanded that the administrators of a state fund which provides loans to other Arab countries for developmental purposes, take steps to prevent any of the monies from being given to the Syrian government amidst the current strife there. “[Kuwaiti MPs] will not allow Kuwait to provide financial contributions that could reinforce the stranglehold of the Syrian government against its people,” said parliamentarian Ali Al-Omair, commenting on unverifiable rumors which hinted that the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) is providing Damascus with a KD30 million loan. Al-Omair said that he had spoken with KFAED director Abdulwahab Al-Badr, who assured him that monies are only distributed following a comprehensive study of the current situation in the country for which they are intended, in order to avoid risks as well as to better serve Kuwait’s foreign policy. MP Dr. Walid Al-Tabtabaei also commented on the subject, demanding via posts on his Twitter account that the Kuwaiti government stop all developmental loans to Syria and Yemen “to ensure that Kuwaiti funds aren’t used to suppress innocent civilians.” Al-Tabtabaei also commented on recent statements by the French Ambassador to Kuwait concerning the government’s purchase for the Rafale warplanes, vowing that the longstanding controversial deal “won’t go unaddressed.” On another issue, MP Musallam Al-Barrak slammed the government for what he referred to as another form of “governmental malpractice,” referring to nine female students refused readmission to Kuwait University’s Faculty of Medicine for their second year of studies despite meeting all the relevant criteria. In a press release issued on Thursday, Al-Barrak explained that despite achieving outstanding results during their first year at the university, the nine students weren’t allowed to go on to their chosen specialist studies on the pretext of a lack of student capacity.—Al-Qabas

KUWAIT: Details of an initiative proposed by nonaligned MPs have yet to be revealed, but the announcement of a movement reflecting the voice of lawmakers who stand uneasily between their pro and anti-government colleagues have already spurred speculation on what the move could mean for Kuwait’s turbulent political scene. One complaint raised by many observers is that the parliamentary process is deeply flawed, with MPs focusing more on the monitoring part of their legislative duties than on their legislative functions. There is some speculation that this perceived failing led the nonpartisan MPs to feel that parliament shares some responsibility with the cabinet for the current political crisis, putting forward the initiative in order to attempt to reform the relationship between the two principal authorities. The main stated goal of the initiative, announced by MPs Aseel Al-Awadhi and Dr. Hassan Jowhar and supported by a number of fellow parliamentarians,

is to outline the persistent errors and flaws which the cabinet must address so that ultimately the parliament - particularly the initiative’s sponsors - will be absolved of responsibility if the cabinet fails to resolve any of these problems. Tensions between the cabinet and parliament have been fueled primarily by the hostile stance of anti-government MPs, who have made it clear that their principal goal is to oust the cabinet, particularly the Prime Minister, His Highness Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah. Meanwhile, the pro-government MPs use their opponents’ constant battle against the government to justify their own support. Many have questioned what exactly Al-Awadhi and Jowhar and their parliamentary supporters hope to achieve with the new initiative, whether to soften the inflexible stance of their fellow MPs or to exploit the ongoing feud in an attempt to boost their own political profile. Some seasoned political observers have gone so far as to speculate that

the initiative is an attempt to force the cabinet out by holding it responsible for failing to meet the points listed. Two leading anti-government MPs, Drs Walid Al-Tabtabaie and Jamaan AlHarbish, have already expressed their reservations at the initiative, although pro-government lawmakers have been largely supportive. Some have suggested that the initiative could provide a useful way for members of the pro-government faction to join their colleagues among the antis, suggesting that many MPs would have liked to have done so previously if they could have been sure that this would not create further political tension. One big question is what role the initiative could play during debate of the two grilling motions currently awaiting HH the Prime Minister when parliament reconvenes after the summer recess, as well as other prospective future grilling motions against him. Only time will tell what the true effect of the initiative will be on Kuwait’s turbulent political scene. —Al-Qabas

Wataniya Telecom welcomes students to Summer Internship Program KUWAIT: Participating in the development of youth in Kuwait and seizing opportunities to stay close to the young and vibrant students is what Wataniya Telecom has always been interested in. Similar to previous years, Wataniya welcomed onboard 12 students from various universities as recruits for the summer internship program, giving them a chance to explore a career in the telecom industry. Taking place at the Wataniya Telecom head office, the internship program started on June 12 and will extend till the end of July. The students will get to experience the work culture in all the different departments of the company. This will help them understand what is really happening on the inside of one of the fastest growing and developing telecom companies in Kuwait. Commenting on Wataniya Telecom’s annual summer internship program, Majdi Yahya Ghannam, Chief Human Resources & Administration Services Officer said, “It is our corporate social responsibility to focus on developing the skills and talent of the future generation. We have to help them in preparing for the next stage of their lives. Our past record demonstrates our commitment towards the education sector. Based on feedback we have received from the students, this year’s internship program has proved to be very successful, insightful and educational.” The recruits participating in the summer program are from various local and international academic insti-

tutions and are currently learning the latest trends and knowhow of telecom technology in various areas such as customer care, human resources, technology and sales departments. Wataniya Telecom was commercially launched in 1999 as the first privately owned operator in Kuwait. National Mobile Telecommunications Company (NMTC) trading under the brand name Wataniya Telecom is listed in the Kuwait Stock Exchange and has operations in 6 countries including Maldives, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Algeria and Palestine. Qatar Telecom (Qtel) owns 52.5% of Wataniya Telecom. Wataniya is a customer-driven com-

pany that aims to provide product and service excellence. Over the past 10 years Wataniya has risen to be the second largest operator in one of the most competitive markets, and continues offering a wide range of prepaid and postpaid mobile voice and internet services to both individual and corporate customers. Wataniya has built its reputation on offering innovative services, maintaining excellent network quality and delivering outstanding customer experience. These three pillars remain the basis of Wataniya’s strategy as it continues to solidify its strong market position.



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Maid tries to kill employer’s children KUWAIT: An Indonesian maid is facing charges of attempted murder after allegedly attacking her employer’s two young children with a carving knife. The woman reportedly stormed into the bedroom where the two girls, aged nine and 11, were playing, grabbing the older girl and slashing her throat with the knife before going after the younger child who ran out of the room. This allowed the older daughter, who was thankfully not seriously injured since the knife had not penetrated deeply, to call her father, who lives apart from her mother, for assistance. He rushed to the house, calling police on his way there to report the incident, which took place on Thursday. Police officers were at the house a few minutes later, managing to free the children and restrain the maid. The younger daughter was traumatized but unharmed whilst the older girl was taken to hospital where her condition was described as stable the same evening. The accused is being held at the local police station pending legal action. Mobsters case The Russian Embassy in Kuwait on Thursday sent an official letter to the local press, informing them that none of the recently captured members of a gang of international jewelry thieves is a Russian citizen. The case has grabbed local media attention in the past week, with the thieves getting away with millions of dinars worth of jewelry and other valuables in a series of audacious and sometimes violent raids on homes and jewelry stores across the Gulf, with initial reports suggesting that they were part of a Russian mafia operation. This idea was wholly erroneous, said the embassy, with two of those apprehended being Armenian, whilst a third has Ukrainian citizenship. Meanwhile, an insider on the team investigating the case revealed that the CCTV camera used by the homeowner in one of the homes robbed by the gang had been instrumental in their identification and capture. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the insider revealed that the homeowner, a Kuwaiti man, had returned from an overseas trip to discover that jewelry worth thousands of dinars had been stolen from his home. He provided police with the footage from the CCTV cameras installed in the house, enabling them to identify four of the gang members, two men and two women, who were later apprehended at Kuwait International Airport, the insider concluded. Death threats Police are currently hunting for a man accused of making death threats against his ex-wife and her boss. Officers at Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh police station were approached by the director of a media agency who informed them that the exhusband of one of his female employees had threatened to physically assault during a phone call. At around the same time, the woman in question was lodging similar charges at Salhiya police station. The accused man is facing charges of making death threats and two more of misusing communications equipment. Cruel conman An Arab expatriate’s dreams of wealth turned into a nightmare when his supposed business partner disappeared with the money that he entrusted to him to start a joint business project. The victim, who works at a local shop, met the Kuwaiti conman at his workplace, where the fraudster was able to gain his victim’s trust before convincing him to enter into a joint business project. Shortly after the victim handed over KD4,000 to launch the business, however, the ‘business partner’ disappeared with the cash, refusing to answer any phone calls from his victim. Realizing that he had been conned, the victim immediately went to Sabahiya police station, lodging a complaint. A hunt is underway for the conman. Crooked customs officers At least ten customs officials and supervisors have been referred to the Public Prosecution Service for questioning after the discovery of a large-scale smuggling operation that took place at both Shuwaikh Port and Kuwait International Airport (KIA). The decision to refer the officers for prosecution was taken by Customs Department director Ibrahim AlGhanim after it was discovered that custom clearance documents had been tampered with.

Suicide thwarted A 21-year-old Asian man was saved in the nick of time after attempting suicide by drinking pesticide at his employer’s Surra home in a bid to end his life. The man, who was working as a servant, was discovered in an unconscious state by his employer, who immediately called for an ambulance. Paramedics were quickly at the scene, rushing the suicidal man to Amiri Hospital.

Drowsy druggie A dozy drug addict was arrested at a Salmiya shopping mall after falling into a deep sleep whilst in an intoxicated state. The man’s appearance and behavior led security officers at the mall to call police, who were quickly at the scene. The police officers found on checking the man’s criminal record that he was already wanted in connection with previous drug-related cases. He has been remanded in custody.



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Kuwait brushes aside Iraqis’ hostile remarks Keen on good neighborly ties

Kuwaiti artists stress importance of supporting modern art scene BEIRUT: Kuwaiti artists exhibiting their work at an exhibition in Beirut on Thursday stressed the importance of strengthening the contemporary art movement in Kuwait, as well as encouraging upcoming generations to participate in local and international exhibitions to demonstrate the richness of Kuwaiti culture. Hamad Al-Sultan, one of the Kuwaiti artists who took part in the MENASAART contemporary art fair which concludes later today said that his participation “aims at putting Kuwait back on the artistic map again, whether at the regional or international level, as well as attracting the world’s attention to the distinctive level of contemporary art in the country.” Al-Sultan continued, “There is tremendous potential for the rising Kuwaiti artists, but they need support from state institutions and the private sector in order to highlight their works, and consequently enrich the cultural and artistic aspects of Kuwaiti society.” The artist explained that he was taking part in the exhibition exhibiting a painting entitled ‘Contact,’ which depicts Kuwait’s national celebrations which was inspired by a February 1963 edition of ‘Arab Observer’ magazine, highlighting Kuwait’s rebirth at the time. Al-Sultan further

revealed that he and fellow artist Ali Saab will be representing Kuwait at the first Arab culture festival due to take place in the British capital, London, next week under the patronage of London mayor Boris Johnson. The artist added that the event will offer a good chance to introduce Arab artistic culture in general, and Kuwaiti art culture in particular to Britain, and to transform the stereotypical and erroneous Western image of the Arabs. Another of the artists exhibiting work at the MENASART event, plastic artist Shorouq Amin, told KUNA, “The artistic movement in Kuwait has seen major improvements compared to the 1980s and 1990s,” expressing her pride and happiness at representing Kuwait at the major event. Amin also urged young people to, “be courageous, and daring because art is part of the state’s culture, and works of art should reflect the societal conditions, create a dialogue and interaction, and not just be colors and images.” The French ambassador to Lebanon Denis Pietton, who visited the exhibition, hailed the artworks displayed by Kuwait’s House of Arts, and Fa Gallery, commending, “the role of Kuwait in enriching art and culture in the Arab and Muslim worlds.” — KUNA

Minister in hot water over DGCA allegations KUWAIT: Following threats by MP Ahmad Al-Saadoun to submit an interpellation motion against the communications minister Sami Al-Nisf if the current problems over high charges for internet services are not resolved, it seems that he could be in further hot water, with another MP taking him to task over problems at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Lawmaker Nadji Al-Abdulhadi has slammed the aviation authority over the discrepancies found by State Audit Bureau (SAB) inspectors in a number of DGCA tenders and project plans, urging Al-Nisf and DGCA officials to act to resolve the problems exposed in the SAB’s report or face suspicions of involve-

ment in squandering public funds. According to the latest SAB reports, the DGCA has requested KD373,017,000 for the projects it plans to carry out during the 2011-12 fiscal year. This includes the construction of a KD20 million hangar to house the Amiri fleet and state guests’ private jets, the construction of an ‘Aviation Club’ headquarters at a cost of KD500,000, a new traffic control tower costing KD12.8 million, a new KD4.3 million radar control building and a traffic control project whose initial projected cost of KD50,000 was drastically revised to KD5.9 million. The SAB is set to launch a detailed investigation into these projects, along with the others planned by the DGCA. — Al-Annahar

KUWAIT: Kuwait is keen on having goodneighborly relations with Iraq and coordinating stances on issues of common concern, Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah underscored yesterday. Upon his departure to Turkey to participate in the fourth meeting of the International Contact Group on Libya, scheduled to be held yesterday, Sheikh Dr Mohammad told reporters that Kuwait does not pay due attention to the hostile remarks made by unofficial and irresponsible Iraqi figures. “But to our surprise, an Iraqi official had recently made similar hostile remarks against Kuwait,” he noted. A number of Iraqi MPs have recently attacked Kuwait over a number of marine projects on the Kuwaiti side of the Arabian Gulf. He explained that the Iraqi government was briefed on the projects, which Kuwait intends to set up on the Arabian Gulf and expressed “no reservations.” “Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki has visited Kuwait a few months ago accompanied by a large delegation and the projects of Abdullah creek and Mubarak Al-Kabir port on the Arabian Gulf were thoroughly mulled,” Sheikh Mohammad said, adding “Iraqi Prime Minister did not voice any concern or reservations about them, especially as we told him that these projects will be useful for Iraq’s rebuilding.” “Furthermore, the Joint Kuwaiti-Iraqi Committee met and studied the port project in details and the Iraqi side, which included six ministers, also had no reservations.” The Kuwaiti top diplomat described the recent Iraqi statements in this regard as “surprising”, wondering about the real reasons behind the sudden attack on Kuwait. “What happened during the last three months? All of a sudden Kuwait was accused of violating Iraq’s sovereignty and stealing Iraqi oil! We understand that there are differences between countries but they can’t shed doubts on international resolutions and principles that govern relations between the countries,” he said. Sheikh Mohammad regretted the emergence of this hostile language, which confiscates countries’ right to take their national decisions independently, in postSaddam Iraq. “We thought this discourse would vanish with the toppling of the treacherous Saddam Hussein regime. We were hoping this language, which confiscated the rights of peoples and nations to live safely and to exercise their sovereignty on their land would not emerge again,” he said. The Kuwait senior official said his country is keen on having good neighborly relations with Iraq despite of these recent undesired remarks. “Kuwait and Iraq are neighbors and Iraq will benefit from the port project on the long run,” Sheikh Mohammad stressed. He also expressed surprise from the sudden attack on Kuwait after six months from revealing the project. Asked about Kuwait’s Ambassador who left Baghdad recently, Sheikh Mohammad said Ambassador Ali Al-Moamen and other embassy staff are now on vacation in

Kuwait and will return to their jobs after that. With regard to the next meeting of the Joint Kuwaiti-Iraqi Committee, Sheikh Mohammad hoped to hold meeting with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari soon to determine the time and agenda of the committee’s next meeting. “We are awaiting Iraq’s ratification of the minutes of the committee meeting to move to the next stage soon,” he said. On his participation in the fourth meeting of the International Contact Group on Libya, Sheikh Mohammad reiterated that this participation comes within the framework of Kuwait’s support for the Libyan Transitional National Council. He revealed that Kuwait is offering humanitarian aid to the Libyan people through the interim financial mechanism set by the Group. Sheikh Mohammad also unveiled that he will meet on the sidelines of the meeting, to be held in Istanbul with the participation of foreign ministers from 15 countries, with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss a number of important

Sheikh Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem AlSabah Kuwaiti-related issues. “Most importantly, the post-US withdrawal from Iraq, the developments in the Middle East and Arab Gulf security on the background of the disturbing Iranian remarks on Bahrain, which were totally renounced by Gulf Cooperation Council member states,” he said. Following Istanbul meeting, Sheikh Mohammad will head to London to attend the meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Centre for Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford, in which the Kuwaiti minister is a member. “Kuwait has been supporting this center since the era of the late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah,” he said. Commenting on some Kuwaiti MPs’ threats to file an interpellation against him for alleged financial irregularities in some Kuwaiti consulates, Sheikh Mohammad said he has no problem with this move. “The foreign minister is no different from any other member of the government and when anybody accepts a public post, he— she accepts the entailed responsibility. We welcome any action that helps enforce accountability and transparency principles.” He admitted that the ministry has discovered financial irregularities in the Kuwaiti Consulate in Los Angeles. “But from the first moment of discovering that, the ministry referred the whole issue to public prosecution for investigation,” the top diplomat underscored. — KUNA




United States recognizes Libya rebels Gaddafi vows to keep fighting

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (left) smiles as US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (right), her counterparts Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayad AlNahyan of United Arab Emirates, and Trinidad Jimenez of Spain chat during a meeting of Libya Contact Group yesterday. —AP ISTANBUL: Rebel leaders won recognition as the legitimate government of Libya from the United States and other world powers yesterday in a major boost to the rebels’ faltering campaign to oust Muammar Gaddafi. Western nations said they also planned to increase the military pressure on Gaddafi’s forces to press him to give up power after 41 years at the head of the North African state. Recognition of the rebels, announced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a meeting in Turkey of the international contact group on Libya, is an important diplomatic step which could unlock billions of dollars in frozen Libyan funds. The decision comes as reports are circulating that Gaddafi has sent out emissaries seeking a negotiated end to the conflict, although he himself has remained defiant in his public utterances. The Istanbul conference attended by more than 30 countries and international bodies also agreed road map whereby Gaddafi should relinquish power and plans for Libya’s transition to

democracy under the rebel National Transitional Council (TNC). “Until an interim authority is in place, the United States will recognize the TNC as the legitimate governing authority for Libya, and we will deal with it on that basis,” Clinton said. The decision to recognize the rebels, who have been waging a five-month military campaign against Gaddafi, meant the Libyan leader had no option but to stand down, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said. The contact group statement added: “... the formation of an interim government should be quickly followed by the convening of a National Congress with representatives from all parts of Libya.” Special envoy The UN Secretary-General’s special envoy to Libya, Abdul Elah Al-Khatib, will be authorized to present terms for Gaddafi to leave power, but the British foreign minister said military action against Gaddafi would be stepped up at the same time. The political package

to be offered Gaddafi will include a ceasefire to halt fighting in the fivemonth-old war. A rebel spokesman said he did not expect a ceasefire until Gaddafi had been defeated and rejected suggestions of a pause in the fighting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins at the start of August. Mahmud Shammam, press secretary for TNC said: “Prophet Muhammad had great battles during Ramadan in Mecca, so there is nothing religious that will keep us from fighting for our freedom.” British Foreign Secretary William Hague told Reuters that at the same time as AlKhatib pursues a political settlement, “the military pressure on the regime will continue to intensify.” The Libya contact group, established in London in March, is trying, at its fourth meeting, to find a political solution that would persuade Gaddafi to quit. China and Russia, which have taken a softer line towards Gaddafi, were invited to the contact group meeting for the first time, but decided

not to become involved. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said he hoped a political solution could emerge by the start of Ramadan. The rebels urgently need cash and contact group members should consider opening credit lines to the rebel Transitional National Council (TNC) in Benghazi, he said. He also backed a rebel proposal for the release of $3 billion of frozen Libyan assets to alleviate a “grave” humanitarian situation during Ramadan in areas of Libya controlled by the rebels and by Gaddafi. US officials said the decision to extend formal diplomatic recognition marked an important step toward unblocking more than $34 billion in Libyan assets in the United States but cautioned it could still take time to get cash flowing. Speaking in The Hague on Thursday, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen called on alliance members to provide more warplanes to bomb increasingly elusive Libyan military targets. Britain said it was sending four more Tornado reconnaissance planes to beef

up the NATO mission. Such aircraft have become vital as Gaddafi’s forces have hidden their armor and artillery from NATO warplanes. Britain said its warplanes had on Thursday destroyed a Libyan army armored personnel carrier near Zlitan, west of the rebel stronghold of Misrata. British aircraft had so far damaged or destroyed more than 500 Libyan military targets including command and control sites. “But as the campaign has progressed, the regime is increasingly attempting to conceal troops, equipment and headquarters, often in populated areas,” a British military spokesman, General Nick Pope, said. On the ground, rebel fighters have been unable to make much progress against pro-Gaddafi forces of late. On the front line near the rebel stronghold of Misrata in the west, rebel fighters were digging in against mortar fire from pro-Gaddafi forces, sheltering in large concrete water pipes brought up by bulldozer to serve as makeshift protection. —Reuters


Saddam’s half-brothers to be executed within a month BAGHDAD: Iraq will execute two of Saddam Hussein’s half-brothers within a month along with three other former regime officials, an official said yesterday, after the five were handed over by the US military. The group, transferred to Iraqi custody on Thursday morning, were among 206 highvalue detainees still being held by American forces ahead of a US military pullout due by the end of the year. “We received the final 206 Iraqi prisoners being held by US forces, including five senior officials from the former regime,” said justice ministry spokesman Haidar Al-Saadi. “They (the five officials) will be executed within one month. “They include Watban Ibrahim Hassan and Sabawi Ibrahim Al-Tikriti,” two halfbrothers of former dictator Saddam Hussein. Also among the group handed over and

slated to be executed were former defence minister Sultan Hashem Ahmed and ex-generals Hussein Rashid Al-Tikriti and Aziz Saleh Numan. The five had been sentenced to death in different trials from 2007 to 2011. “Justice Minister Hassan al-Shammari visited with the presidency council earlier this week and they agreed not to delay the ratification of their condemnation to death,” he said. “We believe that the council will sign the documents within days and they will be executed within one month.” Under Iraqi law, all death sentences must be formally approved by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, or by either of his two vice presidents. The 206 prisoners transferred were being held by US forces at a detention facility on Baghdad’s outskirts, formerly known as Camp Cropper. Although the site was hand-

ed over to Iraq on July 15, 2010, American soldiers were charged with holding the group of high-value detainees. Saadi said that of the larger group, the paperwork for 10 had not yet been completed. Saddam, who was deposed in a 2003 USled invasion, himself spent three years in Camp Cropper until his execution on December 2006. Watban Ibrahim Hassan, a former interior minister, was sentenced to death in March 2009 for his involvement in the 1992 execution of 42 merchants accused of food price speculation. He is the only senior Saddam-era official to have publicly apologised for wrongs committed by the dictator’s Baath party. Sabawi Ibrahim Al-Tikriti, a former chief of Saddam’s intelligence service, was condemned to death in the same trial. Former

defense minister Ahmed and ex-general Tikriti were sentenced to death in June 2007 in connection with the repression of Iraq’s Kurds in the 1987-88 Anfal campaign in which 180,000 died. Numan received his death sentence last month over the violent suppression of an uprising of Shiite Muslims in south Iraq following the 1991 Gulf War. “As the Iraqi government gains the ability to hold prisoners requiring higher security standards, they are taking physical custody,” said Colonel Barry Johnson, a US military spokesman. “All detainees are and have been under their (Iraq’s) legal custody. We only retained physical custody.” Around 47,000 US soldiers remain stationed in Iraq, with all set to withdraw by the end of the year under a bilateral security pact. — AFP

Egyptians extend protest, say army not doing enough New generation activists seek to keep up pressure

AMMAN: Jordanian police beat a protester during a demonstration demanding reforms and the resignation of the prime minister yesterday as nine people, mostly journalists, were injured when police tried to stop clashes between pro-reform demonstrators and government supporters. — AFP

Jordan police thrash nine journalists covering demo AMMAN: At least 10 people, mostly journalists, were injured yeterday when police tried to stop clashes between pro-reform demonstrators and government supporters in central Amman. Police used batons to disperse the clashes outside city hall, beating and injuring nine journalists who were wearing orange vests marked “press,” an AFP reporter at the scene witnessed. The wounded included an AFP photographer and a female Islamist activist. “We were beaten by police, although we were wearing special press vests,” said the photographer. “We thought we would be safe when we stood next to the police and away from the clashes.” A photographer who works for another international news agency said he was ordered by police not to take pictures, while New York Times reporter Kareem Fahim was beaten by 10 policemen. Around 2,000 people, including Islamists and youth groups, marched from the nearby AlHusseini mosque to the city hall before the clashes occurred with hundreds of government supporters. “Rulers, we want to reform the regime. We want the palace to hear the voices of Jordanians,” the demonstrators chanted. They carried banners reading “We need political, economic and social reforms for future generations,” and “It’s our right to fight corruption.” It was still unclear if the young demonstrators will defy government warnings and hold an open-ended sit-in. Meanwhile, rallies for reform and against “rampant corruption” drew hundreds of demonstrators in the southern cities of Tafileh, Man and Karak, as well as Irbid and Jerash in the north. Since January, Jordan has faced a protest movement demanding political and economic reforms and an end to corruption. — AFP

CAIRO: Thousands of Egyptians packed Cairo’s Tahrir Square yesterday, keeping up pressure on the ruling generals to implement reforms more swiftly and to try ousted President Hosni Mubarak and his aides. But the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s most organized group, said it was not participating and said the authorities must have time to respond to demands first made at a mass rally last week. The split partly reflects caution in the Brotherhood, banned under ousted President Hosni Mubarak, about riling the army under which it now has unprecedented freedom. It also indicates the gap between the Brotherhood’s cautious approach and a new generation of activists, who are less well established but determined to keep pressure, analysts said. “The youth reject the language of threats used by the Supreme Council (for the Armed Forces), and reject that this is the way for dialogue,” said Mohamed Adel of the April 6 movement, which had called for a big turnout yesterday. Activists, some of whom have camped in the square for a week, were angered by the tone of an army statement this week that suggested protests were threatening public order. At a news conference, generals defended the use of military courts saying they had not been used to stifle opinion but only against serious crimes. The army also said it would use all legal means to end the protest without resorting to violence. But there has been no sign of any action to stop the protest in Cairo or in other cities where demonstrators have rallied. Thousands defied the scorching sun as they lined up in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, Alexandria and Suez for noon prayers. Numbers tend to climb after prayers, when the summer heat cools in the afternoon and evening. “Down, down with the rule of the military,” one group chanted in Tahrir.

CAIRO: Egyptian protesters wave their national flag and shout slogans as thousands crowd Cairo’s landmark Tahrir Square yesterday to demand political change as anger grows with the military rulers over the slow pace of reform. — AFP Others demanded swift trials for policemen who killed demonstrators. A preacher, Muzhar Shaheen, said the demonstrators would not leave until all demands were met. Osama El Ghazali Harb, a founder of the Democratic Front Party, said Egyptians wanted to see change on the ground. “The Egyptian people feel that the demands that drove them to the streets have not been achieved,” he said, sitting under a white canopy in the centre of the square. Firing officials The army has also said it backs the prime minister, Essam Sharaf, who is working on a cabinet reshuffle. Other concessions include a shakeup of hundreds of senior officers in the police, a force scorned for violent tactics used under Mubarak. “Purging all state institutions and particularly the judiciary,” is one of the demands listed by April 6. The movement has named officials still in place that it wants fired. It has also demanded that military courts, long used by Mubarak, should

not be used for civilians. Among the demonstrators is Muhammed Fawzy, who said he began a hunger strike in Tahrir on July 10 and only drinks water. He wants a dialogue with the army about his demands, such as setting up an independent committee to draw up a constitution. The Brotherhood said it would stay away. The group is widely seen to have benefited most from the army’s policies, such as the military’s drive for a swift election, although voting has been pushed back to November from September. “We will not participate today. That does not mean that we are against demonstrating or against continuing the revolution strongly. But we ... participated last Friday in big numbers and with specific demands and we say we must give a chance in each period for our demands to be met,” Mohamed Morsy, head of the Brotherhood’s political Freedom and Justice party, told Reuters. “If they are not met enough we will return again to the square, and not just there, but to all squares,” he said. —Reuters


Blast in Nigeria wounds police KANO: A bomb planted by suspected Islamists wounded eight policemen yesterday in the violencehit Nigerian city of Maiduguri, the military said, while soldiers were again accused of shooting civilians. The incidents were the latest violence in Maiduguri, where thousands of residents have fled out of fear of more Islamist attacks and troops’ response, with soldiers earlier accused of shooting civilians and burning homes. “The bomb was planted and the van drove over it, exploding and injuring eight policemen,” said Colonel Victor Ebhaleme, operations commander for a military-police task force in the northeastern city. “The bomb was from all indications planted by members of Boko Haram that have been engaged in such attacks.” An emergency source said there had been reports of shootings by the military, with a number of innocent civilians killed, though he could not yet provide details. “The situation is very scary,” he said on condition of anonymity. “It’s terrible. Everybody is thinking about their lives.” Ebhaleme denied soldiers targeted civilians, saying the area had been cordoned off in case of multiple explosions, to collect evidence and for the speedy evacuation of any possible casualties. “It’s not true that soldiers are attacking residents after the explosion,” he said. The city has been hit by almost daily bomb blasts and shootings in recent weeks blamed on the Islamist sect known as Boko Haram, which launched an uprising in 2009 put down by a brutal military assault. Hundreds of troops were recently deployed to Maiduguri to combat the Islamists. Soldiers were last weekend accused of shooting civilians and burning their houses over accusations that residents cooperated with the Islamists, which the military denies. The military said explosives set off by the Islamists caused the buildings to burn. The sect claims to be fighting for the establishment of an Islamic state in Nigeria, a country of some 150 million people roughly divided in half between Christians and Muslims. — AP

Five Yemenis dead in Taez violence Witnesses report widespread panic in the city SANAA: Five Yemenis have been killed and at least 22 others wounded in violence in Taez, south of Sanaa, security and tribal sources and witnesses said yesterday. Security official Colonel Ahmed Rezaz and two companions were killed in an ambush by armed opposition tribesmen, a security source said. Witnesses said four tribesmen and three civilians were wounded in the ambush in the Sharab Al-Rona area of Taez. Meanwhile, tribal sources and witnesses said two civilians were killed and at least 22 wounded by shelling in northern Taez by Yemen’s Republican Guards during clashes with opposition tribesmen. The fighting broke out on Thursday night between the Guards, loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and tribesmen, allied with demonstrators who have since January been calling for him to quit, the tribal sources said. The shelling was especially focused on Al-Rawda and Osaifra neighborhoods. Witnesses said there was widespread panic in the city. Anti-regime activists had meanwhile appealed for protests under the slogan “Friday of a Civil State,” after a call from influential cleric Sheikh Abdel Majid AlZindani for the establishment of an Islamic state. Tens of thousands of anti-regime

SANAA: Supporters of Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh attend a rally yesterday to show support for Saleh, who has been hospitalized in Saudi Arabia for more than a month after being wounded in a bomb attack on his palace. — AFP protesters prayed at University Square, the epicenter of protests against Saleh, but did not linger long afterwards, an AFP correspondent reported. Saleh supporters had called for demonstrations of “Thanks and gratitude to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques,” in

reference to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, where Saleh has been hospitalized for more than a month after being wounded in a bomb attack on his palace. Tens of thousands of regime supporters turned out on Friday, the AFP correspondent said.— AFP

Emaciated Kenyan children trapped between two worlds WAJIR: One-year-old Siad Abdikadir was so weak that he could not support his own head, resting it on his mother’s heavily pregnant stomach. He squirmed occasionally, trying to remove the feeding tube from his nose. But mostly he was quiet, motionless and exhausted. The malnourished children filling northern Kenya’s Wajir District Hospital represent a fraction of the millions of nomads across the region struggling to maintain their traditional lifestyles in the face of recurring, severe droughts. “I saw he was deteriorating. He had diarrhea, vomiting, fever, mouth ulcers and a cough,” said his mother, 28-year-old Habiba Ibrahim. “But I had six other children at home and no one to take care of them.” Siad’s family are what are known locally as ‘dropouts’ from the pastoralist ethnic Somali community that lives in Wajir, 600 km (373 miles) from the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. His father is a casual laborer, earning 400 Kenya shillings ($4.50) a day when he can find work. “Life became very hard,” said Ibrahim, swatting a fly away from her baby’s eye. “Work was reliable before but casual workers became too many.” Destitutes beg for food Ten million people across the Horn of Africa are going hungry as the livestock upon which they depend die off because of severe drought, according to the United Nations. In northern Kenya, towns have mushroomed as destitute families camp on the outskirts, hoping that well-wishers will give them food and water. They are mostly women, children and the elderly. The young men have migrated to Somalia and neighboring districts with their

few surviving animals, although the situation is little better there. “This is the only meal the family is eating today,” said Fatuma Ahmed, cooking pancakes for her seven children as the sun rose. “If I get a meal from well-wishers, I cook for the children. If I don’t, we sleep hungry,” the 38-year-old widow said, crouched inside her dome-shaped stick shelter. Somalis’ culture and Islamic faith oblige them to share the little that they have. “When you go home, you

meet people waiting to share your lunch,” said Mohamed Dahiye, a nurse in Wajir hospital. “You don’t even know them, but you have to respond.” MPs “blind to the dying” With recurrent droughts and growing populations, pastoralism is becoming untenable without massive investment to support it. Columns of dust spin over the barren landscape, littered with carcasses and abandoned

DADAAB: Marwo Maalin feeds her daughter, one-year-old Habibo Bashir, as part of her treatment for severe malnutrition, at a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Dagahaley Camp in Kenya yesterday. — AP

villages. Roads are just sandy tracks snaking between grey thorn bushes. There is no mobile phone network outside the major towns. The region has been neglected since the colonial era. “MPs are blind to people dying,” said Osman Salat, a Nairobi businessman who came to give some money to his relatives, referring to the region’s lawmakers. The soil is fertile and irrigation could make farming viable. But development is expensive. Simply installing a borehole costs 5 million shillings ($56,000). Budgets are consumed by the current crisis. The charity World Vision has been trucking life-saving water to 24 communities in Habaswein District since December, at a cost of 250,000 shillings a day, according to project manager Jacob Alemu. Dahiye, the nurse, said people needed to consider the future. “Instead of looking for the root cause, we are mostly being fed with relief food,” she said. “This will not take us forward. We should sit and look for long term solutions.” Learning the modern world Some pastoralists are starting to send their children to school, hoping that education will offer them choices that their parents never had. “The time of moving around with animals is fading,” said 49-year-old Dekow Farah, who settled in Fini village nine months ago. Farah had spent his entire life traversing Kenya with his livestock, looking for pasture and water, with the family’s possessions strapped to their camels’ backs. Now, two of his nine children, Zakaria, nine, and Abdi, six, are attending the local government school, a simple hut made of sticks in the middle of the village. — Reuters


South Sudan admitted to UN as 193rd member Inquiry sought on violence in volatile South Kordofan

JOHANNESBURG: In this photo, former South African President Nelson Mandela reads an advance copy of his latest book titled “Nelson Mandela By Himself” , at his home. — AP

Call for donations on Mandela’s 93rd birthday JOHANNESBURG: Nelson Mandela turns 93 on Monday, a day once marked by international concerts and celebrations, but now a day when the South African antiapartheid icon urges the world to perform acts of charity. For the third year, at the request of his charitable foundation, July 18 will be observed as Mandela Day, recognized by the United Nations as a global call to volunteer for good causes for 67 minutes-representing each year of Mandela’s life in active politics. “It is hard to sum up Mandela’s achievements and contribution to the country’s struggle for freedom,” said Shadrack Gutto, of the Centre for African Renaissance Studies at the University of South Africa. “A leader of Mandela’s calibre serves as a symbol of humility and selflessness,” said Gutto. Mandela himself will spend the day at his Johannesburg home with family, the way he spends most of his days since a health scare in January when he was hospitalized for an acute respiratory infection. He was last seen in public just before his last birthday, when he and his third wife Graca Machel made an appearance at the football World Cup final. It’s a far cry from the fanfare that once greeted his birthday. For his 90th, Mandela jetted off to London for a charity concert with the likes of Will Smith and Annie Lennox to raise money for his AIDS charity; hosted a speech in Johannesburg by Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf; and threw a party for hundreds of children at his home. This year, 93 children from around the country are invited to his foundation on Monday, but they aren’t expected to meet the man most South Africans know as Madiba, his clan name used with affection. All the nation’s 12.4 million school children will erupt in song in a special “Happy Birthday” rendition with an African twist, penned by a local composer. “It hopes to mobilize the entire society to promote education, unity and social cohesion in honor of Madiba,” said basic education minister Angie Motshekga. Companies, charities and celebrities have all announced plans for the day. A group of bikers left Johannesburg at the beginning of the week to traverse the country doing voluntary work in poor communities. — AFP

UNITED NATIONS: The General Assembly admitted South Sudan on Thursday as the 193rd member of the United Nations, sealing the new African country’s independence after decades of conflict. The assembly vote, by acclamation, followed South Sudan’s independence proclamation in the capital Juba on Saturday, after its people voted in a January referendum to break away from Sudan-a decision accepted by Khartoum. Applause broke out in the assembly as South Sudan became the first country to join the world body since Montenegro in 2006. The Security Council, which rules on all U.N. membership applications, had recommended the admission on Wednesday. “Welcome, South Sudan. Welcome to the community of nations,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. Assembly President Joseph Deiss said it was a “historic and joyous moment.” The South Sudan flagblack, red and green stripes, overlaid with a blue triangle and gold star-was later hoisted outside UN headquarters in New York. The new country will be one of the world’s poorest and inherit a string of disputes with Sudan. But representatives of the two countries pledged on Thursday to put the past behind them and resolve outstanding issues peacefully. South Sudan’s vote for independence was held under the terms of a 2005 peace deal ending a 20-year war between north and south Sudan in which more than 2 million people died. Sudan-until now Africa’s largest country-became independent in 1956 but was long plagued by conflict between its mainly Muslim Arabicspeaking north and its black African south, where many are Christian or follow traditional beliefs. A draft UN report obtained by Reuters on Thursday called on the UN Security Council to mandate an inquiry into violence into the volatile border territory of South Kordofan. The report said the conduct of the north’s Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF)

UNITED NATIONS: Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon (left) Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, shakes hands with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at United Nations headquarters, Thursday, July 14, 2011. — AP in Southern Kordofan, the north’s main oil state which borders South Sudan, has been “especially egregious.” Reported acts include aerial bombardment, abductions, arbitrary arrests and attacks on churches, it said. Acts were allegedly perpetrated by forces including the SAF, the report said. If proven, they may constitute “war crimes,” according to the report. “This UN report gives us reasons to fear the worst,” said Philippe Bolopion of the group Human Rights Watch. “It demands a full, prompt and independent investigation, and an unequivocal reaction from the Security Council.” Sudanese ‘brothers’ Presenting the UN admission resolution to the General Assembly, South African Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said South Sudan was an exception to Africa’s practice of adhering to colonial borders and “in no way creates a precedent for separatist tendencies.” Continuing a show of graciousness by Khartoum over South Sudan’s secession, Sudan’s Ambassador Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman said the people of both countries would continue to be all Sudanese and members of one

family. “This is a new page and we hold out our hand to all,” he told the assembly. “We and our brothers in South Sudan have left bitterness and the wounds of war behind us and we’re looking to the future.” South Sudanese Vice President Riek Machar paid tribute to Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir for signing the 2005 peace deal and for “courageously accepting the outcome” of the January referendum. “It is our deepest and most sincere wish to resolve all outstanding matters between north and south safely and peacefully,” he said. “We do not harbor bitterness towards our former compatriots.” Unresolved disputes between Juba and Khartoum include citizenship and the sharing of oil resources. There is fighting in Southern Kordofan, and it is still undecided which country will own the border region of Abyei, where a 4,200strong Ethiopian UN peacekeeping force is shortly to deploy. In Washington, the tone was less upbeat than at the United Nations with a congressional committee discussing the violence in Southern Kordofan. — Reuters

Estonians home after Lebanon kidnap ordeal

BEIRUT: The seven Estonian tourists abducted nearly four months ago while cycling through Lebanon’s eastern Bekaa Valley, gesture to photographers as they stand at the balcony of the French embassy. — AP

TALLINN: Seven Estonian tourists returned from Lebanon to their Baltic homeland yesterday, less than 24 hours after being freed following a four-month kidnap ordeal. A special Estonian Air plane carrying the men landed in rainy Tallinn shortly before 4:00 am (0100 GMT) after having flown to the Lebanese capital Beirut late Thursday to collect them. The men were to meet with relatives in private at the airport, before speaking to reporters. “Our father, sons, husbands and brothers are free! These four months were long and exhausting,” the men’s relatives said in a joint statement after their release was announced Thursday. Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet made the round trip to Beirut with the plane. “They have been free now for nearly 24 hours. I met the Lebanese prime minister and foreign minister during my short stay in Beirut. The investiga-

tion is not over, and we will cooperate with Lebanese authorities to find all the criminals involved with the kidnapping,” Paet said at Tallinn airport. The men, in their 30s and early 40s, were kidnapped at gunpoint on March 23 while on a cycling holiday in Lebanon’s eastern Bekaa Valley and held by a previously unknown group. A police official in Lebanon told AFP the group had been released Thursday morning in the town of Sahel AlTaybi in the lawless Bekaa Valley. The case had been shrouded in mystery, but nine people, Lebanese and foreigners, were detained in Lebanon in connection with the kidnapping. Lebanese and Estonian officials said the men were in good health despite almost four months in captivity. Asked if they had been well-treated, Paet responded: “There is nothing human about being taken hostage”. — AFP



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As US wars wind down, drones gain new fame Obama has made no ‘strategic shift’ WASHINGTON: In many ways, it’s the perfect weapon for a war-weary nation that suddenly finds itself on a tight budget. Missile-armed drones are playing a greater role than ever in US counterterrorism operations, as President Barack Obama winds down land wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Washington’s focus expands to militant havens such as Somalia and Yemen where there are no US troops permanently on the ground. CHIEFLAND: While the temperature hovers in the 90’s, boys enjoy using a swing rope to cool off in the Suwannee River near Florida. —AP

US reviews requests for News Corp probe SYDNEY: US attorney-general Eric Holder said yesterday his office was reviewing requests from US lawmakers for a probe into News Corp following the British phone-hacking scandal. “There have been serious allegations raised in that regard in Great Britain and there is an ongoing investigation there,” Holder told reporters in Sydney, where he is attending a meeting of justice officials. “There have been members of Congress in the United States who have asked us to investigate the same allegations, and we are progressing in that regard using the appropriate federal law enforcement agencies in the United States.” His remarks follow the launch of an FBI probe Thursday into allegations that British tabloid the News of the World-closed amid the hacking furor-contacte d a US private eye in a bid to access phone records of 9/11 victims. The FBI inquiries are preliminary in nature and do not constitute a formal investigation, but the development means the scandal engulfing Rupert Murdoch’s under-fire media empire has now firmly crossed the Atlantic. Holder confirmed there was an FBI investigation underway but would not comment on the details. His British counterpart Dominic Grieve said the matter was being taken “very seriously” and “the Crown Prosecution Service are actively involved in providing advice as the investigation proceeds”. But both Grieve and Australian attorney-general Robert McClelland ruled out regulating their national media, despite the spreading scandal. “It’s perfectly possible there could be a review of the way that the press is regulated, ” Grieve said. “That said, I rather concur with the view that a free press is extremely important. “We don’t wish to end up, whatever may have happened ... with a press which is incompatible with freedom of expression,” he added. Murdoch’s global News Corp empire was born in Australia and he is still a dominant media player in his homeland, where there are similar calls for a government inquiry into media ownership and regulation in the scandal’s wake. —AFP

US planes collide on Boston taxiway BOSTON: The wing of a Delta jet clipped the tail of an aircraft that provides regional air service for the carrier while both planes were on the taxiway and preparing to fly out of Boston on Thursday evening, forcing officials to remove them from service for inspections. Local TV footage show the crash sheared off the tip of the Delta Boeing 767 and crumpled part of the smaller plane’s tail. Boston Logan International Airport spokesman Phil Orlandella said one person is complaining of neck pain after the crash. There were no other injuries. The incident involved Delta Flight 266 from Boston to Amsterdam which hit the vertical stabilizer of Atlantic Southeast Airlines Flight 4904, also on departure from Boston to Raleigh-Durham, Delta spokesman Trebor Banstetter said. Investigators were talking to crew and passengers of both aircraft, trying to figure out the circumstances surrounding the crash, Orlandella said. The Delta jet returned to the gate and ASA passengers were transported by bus to the terminal. Atlanta-based Delta says both aircraft have been removed from service for inspections. Passengers are being put on other planes. —AP

The CIA now operates Predator and Reaper unmanned aircraft, armed with Hellfire missiles, over at least five countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and Libya. The agency does not publicly acknowledge the program. The US military uses drones, primarily for surveillance, in Iraq and elsewhere. And there’s every likelihood the use of drones to attack suspected anti-US militants will spread further, current and former US officials told Reuters. “The CIA’s role could very well expand over the coming years as the government deals with emerging terrorist threats,” said a US official, speaking on condition of anonymity. In the latest strikes, at least 48 militants were reported killed in drone attacks Monday and Tuesday in Pakistan’s tribal regions. That brought to about 260 the number of drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004, including nearly 50 this year, according to a tally kept by the New America Foundation think tank. By far most of those drone strikes, more than 225, came after July 2008, when the United States decided on a more aggressive and unilateral pursuit of militants in Pakistan, a US official said. Analysts and former US intelligence officials generally approve of the increasing reliance on drones, but warn they are not without drawbacks. Those include civilian casualties, resentment of America’s warfarefrom-a-distance in Pakistan and elsewhere-and the likelihood the technology will be turned against the United States some day, they said. “We currently have a monopoly, or effective monopoly, on armed drones,” said John Nagl, a retired US Army officer and president of the Center for a New American Security think tank. “This technology will spread, and it will be used against us in years to come.” Counter-insurgency on the wane? The use of drones-remotely piloted aircraft-against militants began in the years after the September 11, 2001 attacks, was ramped up in President George W Bush’s final year in office and has been embraced enthusiastically by Obama. “When threatened, we must respond with force-but when that force can be targeted, we need not deploy large land armies overseas,” Obama declared in a June 22 speech announcing a faster-than-expected withdrawal of the troops he surged into Afghanistan last year. Obama’s speech appeared to signal the end of the era of large-scale counterinsurgency campaigns, championed by a cadre of officers that included Nagl, involving tens of thousands of U.S. and allied troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The troops did more than fight. They protected civilian populations, built schools and roads, trained armies and police forces. The White House’s new counterterrorism strategy emphasizes a lighter footprint, as advocated by Vice President Joe Biden.

WASHINGTON: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (left) sits with President Barack Obama (right), House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio (second from right) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, as he meets with Republican and Democratic leaders regarding the debt ceiling, Thursday, July 14, 2011, in the Cabinet Room of the White House. —AP Combat brigades are being replaced by Special Forces strike teams, capture-andinterrogate operations-and drones. A senior US official said Obama has made no “strategic shift” to favor using drone strikes. “There are probably some times when they are the most appropriate tool given the nature of the target you may be going after, and there are other times when they won’t be,” said the official, who was not authorized to be quoted by name. Indeed, Obama rejected an option for a drone strike to kill Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in early May, sending in a Navy SEAL team instead. In April, he authorized yet another approach, capturing a leader of the Somali militant group Al-Shabaab, Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame, at sea and interrogating him for two months before transferring him to a US prison. Still, the official acknowledged that drones are an attractive option outside declared theaters of war, where “you want to be even more discriminating and more careful in your application” of deadly force. That, analysts say, is precisely where the militant threat is moving, as Al-Qaeda’s core group declines relative to affiliates like Al-Shabaab and Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. As the Iraq war winds down, more drones equipped for intelligence gathering and other purposes have been freed up, the senior official said. The overall US drone arsenal has also increased. “It’s something that in some ways is a natural evolution: as you have more assets to draw on, you tend to use them more,” he said. Kill or capture Paul Pillar, a Georgetown University professor and former top CIA analyst, said drones are a “more effective and better focused way” of using military force

against militants. “But ... we must bear in mind as we make each individual decision about a drone strike that the immediate positive results always have to be weighed against the potentially longer-term consequences, given how it’s perceived and possible resentment,” he said. Former US intelligence officials said one downside to drone strikes is the loss of potential intelligence from interrogating a suspect or finding telltale “pocket litter.” The senior US official called that a false choice- capture often isn’t an option-and also rejected criticism of civilian casualties. Drones, he said, are often more precise than other counterterrorism weapons. Innocent bystanders have frequently been killed in drone strikes, but such deaths appear to have dropped dramatically in recent years. A source familiar with the program said about 30 noncombatants and 1,400 militants have been killed in Pakistan since Bush expanded drone use in July 2008. The New America Foundation analysis found the “non-militant fatality rate” dropped from about 20 percent in 2004 to 5 percent last year. Nagl credited former defense secretary Robert Gates and Gen. Stanley McChrystal, former US commander in Afghanistan, with pushing hard for better links between intelligence gathering and drone operators, resulting in more accurate strikes-and fewer civilian casualties. While counterinsurgency may be out of favor now, Nagl- who emphasized that he did not back the 2003 Iraq invasion- said the United States should not jettison those skills. “We may be done with counterinsurgency, but insurgency may not be done with us.” Both the Predator and Reaper drones are produced by the privately held General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc, based in San Diego, California. —Reuters



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Chile student riots get out of control Thousands of demonstrators injure 32 officers SANTIAGO: At least 32 officers were wounded and 54 demonstrators were arrested here Thursday in a mass protest demanding more funds for public education, police said. Riot police used water cannons and fired tear gas to disperse the tens of thousands of demonstrators, who fought back by hurling rocks, sticks, and plastic bottles filled with paint. Santiago Police Chief Sergio Gajardo told reporters that 32 officers were wounded “as a result of the extremely violent actions that took place at the end of the march.” A police spokesperson separately told AFP that 54 protesters had been arrested. One of the officers, who was guarding the nearby Brazilian embassy, was seriously burned when an “incendi-

number that marched in similar demonstrations on June 14 and June 30. The protesters-students, teachers, parents and children-swarmed several blocks of the avenue in a noisy, festive

SANTIAGO: Riot police use water cannons to disperse protesters on Thursday, July 14, 2011. —AP ary artifact” burst on his shield and burning liquid spilled onto his legs, Gajardo said. Officials said that some 30,000 people joined the march down La Alameda, a main downtown thoroughfare, though organizers said the number was closer to 80,000, the same

and colorful protest. The clash began when police moved in to stop the crowd from turning towards the Palacio de la Moneda, the presidential palace, where unlike the previous times organizers did not have a permit to demonstrate. “They are playing with fire. That march was not

NYC man held in boy’s slaying ‘hears voices’ NEW YORK: A man accused of kidnapping, killing and dismembering an 8-year-old boy who asked him for directions was ordered Thursday to undergo a psychological evaluation after his lawyer told a judge that his client might be mentally ill. “He has indicated to me that he hears voices and has had some hallucinations,” said the attorney, Pierre Bazile. Levi Aron, 35, pleaded not guilty to charges of murde r and kidnapping as prosecutors said he lured Leiby Kletzky to his home Monday after the little boy got lost while walking home from an Orthodox Jewish day camp. Video cameras captured the fateful encounter between the two on a Brooklyn street, while Leiby’s mother waited anxiously just a few blocks away. Detectives later found the boy’s severed feet, wrapped in plastic, in the man’s freezer, as well as a cutting board and three bloody carving knives. At his arraignment

Thursday afternoon, Aron appeared disheveled, confused and pale. He was held without bail, placed on suicide watch and protective custody after his lawyers said they feared he could do harm to himself. Police and prosecutors said Aron, a clerk at a hardware supply store, has confessed to suffocating the boy with a bath towel, but they continued to work on verifying his horrific and bizarre explanation for the boy’s death. At the Kletzky household, his family also looked for answers, too. “Why?” asked Shmuel Eckstein, a close family friend, as the boy’s parents and five sisters sat and prayed. “We don’t have that ... What we know is that through Leiby’s death, God is sending us a huge signal - that we’re doing something terribly wrong. And we’re looking for what it is.” He added that the family was not looking for retribution. “We’re not into revenge,” he said. —AP

authorized,” Deputy Interior Minister Rodrigo Ubilla told reporters. “The students must understand that the street is not theirs,” added Ena von Baer, a spokeswoman for President Sebastian Pinera. Students want the national government to take over the public school system, where 90 percent of the country’s 3.5 million students are educated. The nationwide school system was broken up during the 19731990 military regime and handed over to municipal authorities. Protesters say the current system results in deep inequalities and is underfunded. Protests have been mounting since Pinera, the first center-right president to govern Chile since the country returned to democracy in 1990, earlier in the year announced wide-ranging education spending cuts. Pinera has said the cuts are needed to trim the government’s bloated bureaucracy, even as the country’s economy is experiencing a six percent annual growth rate. The government currently dedicates 4.4 percent of the country’s gross national product to education, far below the seven percent recommended by UNESCO. The demonstration comes 10 days after Pinera proposed a “grand accord” that includes a $4 billion fund, but no systemic reform. In the June 30 protest, 13 people were detained and one police officer wounded. —AFP

John Edwards trial slated for October WASHINGTON: The trial of former US presidential hopeful John Edwards-accused of using campaign funds to cover up an extramarital affair-is tentatively set for October, a judge ruled Thursday. Edwards, 58, sat quietly in a North Carolina courtroom as Judge N Carlton Tilley denied his lawyers’ requests for a delay and set an October court date for the case brought against the former US Democratic senator last month. Defense lawyers wanted a later trial date so they could analyze the tens of thousands of pages of documents that they say the prosecution has collected in its effort to convict Edwards on violations of campaign finance laws. Edwards pleaded not guilty in June to charges of using $900,000 in campaign funds to cover up an extramarital affair, saying: “I did not break the law.” The former trial lawyer was charged in a six-count indictment “for allegedly participating in a scheme to violate federal campaign finance laws,” the Justice Department said. The charges concern hundreds of thousands of dollars provided by two wealthy donors, which Edwards allegedly used to shelter his mistress, Rielle Hunter, with whom he fathered a child. —AFP

CARACAS: In this photo, Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez raises Venezuela’s flag during a ceremony commemorating Venezuela’s bicentennial in Bolivar square. —AP

Venezuela’s Chavez to undergo cancer treatment in Brazil BRASILIA: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will travel to Brazil for cancer treatment, a Brazilian government source told Reuters on Thursday, the latest sign that the socialist leader is still battling the illness after undergoing surgery in Cuba. Chavez will travel to Brazil’s Sirio-Libanes hospital in Sao Paulo, renowned for its cancer treatment facilities, the source said, adding that no timeline has been set for his arrival. There was no official confirmation from Caracas. A highranking Venezuelan government official, when asked if Chavez would go to Brazil for treatment, said “I don’t know.” A prolonged illness requiring Chavez to step aside or preventing him from governing could destabilize the oilproducing nation because he has no evident successor. Going to Brazil for treatment may suggest his cancer is still serious. He has appeared animated in recent television appearances though at times looks pale and appears to walk with discomfort. Chavez has revealed he may have to receive chemotherapy and said the operation in Cuba removed a “baseballsize” tumor. He has not said exactly where the cancer is, only that he was operated on in the pelvic region. A source linked to Venezuela’s diplomatic community said, based on information from the Brazilian government, that Chavez’s family was pressuring him to go to Brazil to ensure he gets the best treatment and returns to Venezuela quickly. Many in Venezuela had expected Chavez to return to Cuba, which would fuel criticism from opponents about his close links to the Communist-led island. His nearly monthlong stay there in June caused a wave of rumors and concerns about tensions among allies. The Sirio-Libanes hospital is renowned for its cancer center that treated Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff when she was recovering from lymphoma before she ran for office. Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo has undergone cancer treatment there as well. Brazil’s government has offered to host Chavez if he seeks medical treatment there. —Reuters



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Indonesian volcano spews rock and lava Ash, sand, rocks thrown 4,800 feet high

BEIJING: Chinese paramilitary policemen and spectators watch Shaolin Kungfu demonstrations at a festival yesterday. — AP

3 US ships in Vietnam to train with former enemy DANANG: Three US Navy ships were welcomed yesterday by former foe Vietnam for joint training, despite China’s irritation following weeks of fiery exchanges between the communist neighbors over disputed areas of the South China Sea. US and Vietnamese officials have stressed that the seven-day ship visit and naval training are part of routine exchanges planned long before tensions began flaring between China and Vietnam in late May. China has criticized the port call as inappropriate, saying it should have been rescheduled due to the ongoing squabble. The US visit, however, did send a message that the Navy remains a formidable maritime force in the region and is determined to build stronger military ties with smaller Southeast Asian countries. “We’ve had a presence in the Western Pacific and the South China Sea for 50 to 60 years, even going back before World War II,” Rear Adm. Tom Carney, who’s leading the naval exchange, told reporters. “We will maintain a presence in the Western Pacific and the South China Sea as we have for decades, and we have no intention of departing from that kind of activity.” He spoke on the pier in central Danang, once home to a bustling US military base during the Vietnam War, in front of the diving and salvage ship USNS Safeguard. American and Vietnamese flags flapped in the steamy air from the ship, and two guided missile destroyers - USS Chung-Hoon and USS Preble - were visible off the coast. The two navies will hold exchanges involving navigation and damage control along with dive and salvage training. No live-fire drills will be conducted. Vietnam and China last month both announced their navies held such maneuvers individually in the South China Sea after relations hit a low point when Hanoi twice accused Beijing of hindering oil exploration within Vietnam’s economic exclusive zone. China responded that Vietnamese boats had endangered Chinese fishermen in a different area near the contested resource-rich Spratly islands, claimed all or in part by both nations and several others. Tempers appeared to be cooling after Chinese and Vietnamese officials met last month and announced they would work to negotiate a peaceful resolution. But Vietnamese state-run media and a border official on Wednesday accused armed Chinese soldiers of attacking and chasing a Vietnamese fishing boat near the disputed Paracel islands claimed by both countries. The Philippines has also recently sparred with China, alleging similar interference with its energy exploration efforts in the South China Sea. The US last month conducted similar joint naval exercises that included live-fire drills with the Philippines, a treaty ally. On Monday in Beijing, top Chinese Gen. Chen Bingde criticized his US counterpart for going forward with the exercises in Vietnam and the Philippines, calling it bad timing in light of the ongoing spats. Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, defended the decision saying the exchanges were pre-planned. “I don’t know when an appropriate time would be for these kind of activities, which are designed to promote friendship and cooperation,” Carney said from the Vietnam pier. “But I don’t think there’s ever a bad time to do those kind of activities.” Washington has said that the South China Sea, home to major shipping lanes, is in its national interest. China, which has an expanding maritime influence, has designated the area as a core interest - essentially something it could go to war over. —AP

KINILOW: A series of eruptions at an Indonesian volcano have thrown rocks, lava and ash hundreds of meters into the air and forced thousands of people to flee, officials said yesterday. Mount Lokon on Sulawesi island burst into life overnight Thursday and continued to spew ash and searing gas into the air well into the morning, prompting more than 4,500 residents to head to safety. ”There was a big eruption around 10:31pm local time (1531 GMT Thursday), which saw ash, sand and rocks thrown 1,500 meters (4,800 feet) into the air,” government volcanologist Kristianto told AFP. Grass and shrubs within 500 meters (yards) of the crater caught fire but by mid-morning yesterday the flames were out and the volcano had calmed down, he said. Hundreds of people fled their homes in the middle of the night when they were woken by a thunderous explosion and flashes of lightning. “I was sitting in a security post with other villagers when I suddenly heard an extremely loud explosion, it was like big thunder. I also saw lightning in the sky,” one resident of Kinilow village, about three kilometers (1.8 miles) from the volcano, told AFP. “People who were sleeping were woken up and rushed to safety.” Villagers jumped on motorcycles and piled into trucks and buses as police with loudspeakers urged them to run for their lives. Around 28,000 people live within the evacuation zone. “There is no mass panic because the community has already been warned of the situation and we are continuing to evacuate people,” said Kristianto, who goes by one name. Search and rescue official

TOMOHON: In this Thursday, July 14, 2011 photo, the glow of lava from Mount Lokon’s eruption is seen against the night sky as seen in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. — AP Yohanes Sondang said evacuees were staying in six schools and would be barred from returning to their homes as long as the alert level remain high. “We’ve deployed about 200 personnel including policemen and soldiers to stop people who try to return to their houses,” he said. Patrols have also been sent into the evacuation zone to protect property and ward off looters, he added. Aviation officials said pilots had been warned to avoid routes over the volcano but all airports including the international strip at Manado were operating normally. The volcano’s status was raised to its highest red alert level on the weekend and a 3.5kilometre evacuation zone was estab-

lished. North Sulawesi disaster management head Hoykee Makarawung said more than 4,400 people had been evacuated so far. “Thank God, the condition has eased off since last night. The fire around the area has also vanished,” he said. The 1,580-metre Mount Lokon is one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia. It erupted in 1991, killing a Swiss tourist. The Indonesian archipelago has dozens of active volcanoes and straddles major tectonic fault lines known as the “Ring of Fire” between the Pacific and Indian oceans. The country’s most active volcano, Mount Merapi in central Java, killed more than 350 people in a series of violent eruptions last year. — AFP

No timetable for reactor stress tests, says Japan TOKYO: Japan’s nuclear safety agency said yesterday it could not estimate how long will it need to review safety tests of nuclear plants, keeping industry and the public guessing about the potential impact of the tests on power supplies. Last week, the government announced plans to order “stress tests” for the nation’s nuclear reactors hoping to bolster public confidence shaken by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, which triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant and set off a radiation crisis. But the initial confusion over how and when the tests would be carried out and how binding their results would be for utilities willing to restart reactors fanned fears of power outages if idled reactors stayed off line. The announcement also outraged some local governments that had been prepared to approve restarting reactors on the basis of earlier government safety assurances. Tomoho

Yamada, a director at the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), told reporters that the agency did not want its review of stress tests to drag on, but would not give any specific estimates. “We cannot assume how comprehensive the reports from the utilities will be,” Yamada told a news briefing yesterday after the agency submitted plans to the Nuclear Safety Commission on how to conduct the stress tests. “If they are compiled well, it will take a short time ... It is difficult to say at this point how long it will take for us to make the assessments .” Right now, 35 out of Japan’s 54 reactors remain shut, some due to the March disaster but about half due to regular maintenance and inspections. Power utilities have been offering assurances that they should be able to supply enough electricity that, combined with voluntary and government-ordered savings by power users, they should be able to

avoid blackouts during the peak summer season. But there is concern about the electricity supply over the longer run amid fears that lengthy stress tests-simulations to check nuclear plants’ ability to withstand extreme events- could lead to a total nuclear shutdown by next spring. The government has said the tests would be split into two stages: the first would focus on reactors that remain off line for routine maintenance, in order to bring those that meet safety requirements back on line. Utilities would use existing simulations and data to gauge how much tolerance these reactors have beyond what is required by current safety rules. In the second stage, which will apply to all of Japan’s reactors except for the crisishit Fukushima facility, utilities will go beyond existing figures and calculate the limits at which reactors would start to see serious damage to their fuel cores. —Reuters



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US troops leave Afghanistan as first drawdown kickstarts 33,000 soldiers set to go by end of next summer KABUL: The first American soldiers of about 10,000 due to leave Afghanistan this year have flown home, military officials said yesterday, kicking off a gradual drawdown due to be completed in 2014. US President Barack Obama in June announced that 33,000 American troops would leave Afghanistan by the end of next summer, leaving behind 65,000 and effectively ending a military surge ordered into the country late 2009. Around 650 US army troops deployed northwest of the capital in the province of Parwan flew out on Wednesday and will not be replaced by an incoming unit, the US military confirmed yesterday. “It’s correct that these soldiers are the first to redeploy from Afghanistan without being replaced by a new rotation of soldiers since the president’s announcement,” said US army press officer Major Michael Wunn. US officers have said that a total of about 800 soldiers in two Army units will depart this month. The speed

of the drawdown has been heavily criticized in Washington-liberals wanted more, Republican hawks complained it was too fast and top Pentagon officials felt snubbed for having much of their advice overruled. The troops who left Wednesday were from the Iowa National Guard’s 1st Squadron, 113rd Cavalry Regiment and their duties will be taken on by others already in the country. Another contingent of military trainers from 1st Squadron, 134th Cavalry Regiment who had been working in Kabul will leave later this month and their job given to Afghan security forces, the military said. “These units were always scheduled to return home at this time. However, it wasn’t until late last month that they found out they wouldn’t be replaced by incoming units,” said Wunn. US officers have said that with no major troop withdrawals until later in the year, US commanders will have virtually

the entire surge force on the ground through the summer fighting season. There are currently around 150,000 USled foreign troops on the ground in Afghanistan, including about 99,000 Americans. A Marine unit fighting in southern Helmand province, the 3rd battalion of the 4th Marine Regiment, will pull out between November and December. Underscoring the high level of violence still affecting the southern provinces, Helmand provincial government announced that five civilians had been killed on Thursday in a Taleban mine blast. And the number of civilian casualties from the war that began with a US-led invasion in late 2001 has risen by 15 percent in the first six months of 2011, the UN has said, putting the year on track to be the deadliest in a decade. Both the top US commander in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, and Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint

Chiefs of Staff, have said Obama’s withdrawal plan was more “aggressive” than they had recommended. Yet voters at home are tiring of the nearly decadelong war in Afghanistan and the ballooning costs of the conflict have become an increasingly controversial in Western capitals battling with the fallout of recession. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said last week that his focus was on handing over security responsibility to Afghan forces by the end of 2014, visiting Afghanistan for the first time since taking up his new job. Nevertheless, there is huge skepticism over the ability of Afghan army and police to take responsibility for warding off the Taleban-led insurgency amid widespread illiteracy and attrition among the ranks. Panetta acknowledged that there remained “a lot more work to do in terms of being able to transition the responsibility to them”. — AFP

India seeks breakthrough in Mumbai bomb attacks

DHAKA: Bangladeshi supporters of Islamic political parties shout slogans during a protest yesterday. — AFP

Mullah Omar, headscarves and bizarre Afghan peace dialogue KABUL: Afghanistan’s complex and often confusing business of talks with the Taleban took a surprisingly dramatic turn this week when a female lawmaker told a news conference she had recently met the militant group’s leader, Mullah Omar, who agreed to make peace. Despite questions of credibility, the large turnout to Thursday’s unusual event, which included representatives from Western embassies, highlights the somewhat desperate nature of peace talks as foreign powers look for an exit from the war. Homa Sultani, a former rights activist and now an MP from Ghazni, a volatile province southwest of Kabul, said she had met the reclusive Omar some 150 km (90 miles) from the capital and that they had wept together after deliberating the country’s plight. Omar then sat down on Sultani’s headscarf which she had placed on the floor in front of him, she said, before the oneeyed fugitive leader accepted her proposal to act as his lone mediator for peace. ‘It wasn’t that Mullah Omar had fallen in love with my eyes or my eyebrows, we seriously engaged in peace talks,’ Sultani told the news conference in Kabul on Thursday. Another male MP, Haji Abdul Basir, who was also at the news conference, had witnessed the meeting, Sultani said. That Sultani’s story would draw a packed audience from Kabul’s local and international press corps along with low-profile Afghan delegates from Western embassies, shows just how little is really known about peace ‘talks’ with the Taleban. ‘Several embassies (inc Brits) sent people to today’s bizarre presser with Mullah Omar’s improbable mediators. Clutching at straws?’ one Western journalist said on Twitter after the news conference. —Reuters

MUMBAI: Indian detectives scrambled for a breakthrough yesterday into the Mumbai bombings that killed 17 people and left baffled police hunting for clues and suspects in the monsoon rains. There were fears that the torrential downpours that have hit the country’s financial and entertainment capital since the rush-hour blasts on Wednesday evening may hamper the probe, washing away vital forensic clues. Teams of detectives have begun the painstaking process of scouring grainy security camera footage taken from the three bomb sites in south and south central Mumbai to try to put together a complete picture of what happened. Home Secretary R K Singh told reporters in New Delhi yesterday that investigators were sifting through 11 CDs’ worth of footage to identify people. “It is a voluminous work,” he said, adding that police now know the identity of the owner of a scooter in which one of the bombs was hidden. Forensic examination of debris has already indicated that the bombs, hidden in the crowded streets, used ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer ingredient commonly used in improvised explosive devices. On Thursday evening, the head of the Maharashtra state Anti-Terrorism Squad, Rakesh Maria, admitted that seasonal rainstorms had hindered the scientists. “Because of (the) rain, it will take a little longer for them to provide us details about the other aspects of the explosive device,” he said. Devices using ammonium nitrate have been used in the past by a home-grown militant outfit, the Indian Mujahideen, which has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks across India in recent years. Two suspected members of the

MUMBAI: An Indian delivery boy walks past wall graffiti made after the 2008 terror attacks near the blast site at Opera house yesterday. — AFP group were arrested in Mumbai last week in connection with attacks in the western city of Ahmedabad in 2008 and are now being questioned about the latest bombings, India’s interior ministry said in a statement. Singh was asked about possible “cross-border” involvement in the attacks - meaning Pakistani militants. He said investigators were following up on an email “which originated elsewhere” but did not elaborate. Maria declined to speculate on who was responsible and struck a note of caution about reports that a severed head found at one of the scenes and a body embedded with wires suggested a suicide attack. “We are not confining ourselves to any one group. At the moment all possibilities are being examined,” he told reporters. “As the investigation progresses, the angles, the possibilities narrow down and we will be able to pin-

point the individuals responsible for this... All angles are being covered. It’s too early to say human bomb.” The chief minister of Maharashtra, Prithviraj Chavan, was also cautious but said indications that remote-control timers were discovered “logically” ruled out the possibility of a suicide attack. India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has vowed that those responsible will face swift justice. But Indian newspapers yesterday focused on the lack of an immediate breakthrough, amid widespread anger at the return of terror to the city after the 2008 attacks on Mumbai that left 166 people dead and more than 300 wounded. “Intel: 0 Leads: 0” said a frontpage headline on the local Daily News and Analysis, questioning Interior Minister P Chidambaram’s assertion on Thursday that there had been no intelligence failure. —AFP

Bajaj, Renault abandon India low-cost car plan


Europe’s banks brace for clutch of test failures




G20 task force expected to endorse bank surcharges


US consumer prices record largest drop


MANILA: Members of women’s group Gabriela throw rotten tomatoes on a caricature of Philippine President Benigno Aquino as they storm the office of energy giant Shell in the financial district of Manila, protesting the recent local hike in oil prices. The group brought the portrait of Aquino to symbolize the government’s protection of oil companies in the face of incessant oil price hikes. — AFP

Europe grapples with debt Italy warns on fallout ROME: Italy rushed to adopt 48 billion euros ($68 billion) in austerity measures yesterday and warned of the fallout from high borrowing rates as Europe grapples with a deepening sovereign debt crisis. Final approval for the wide-ranging budget cuts in parliament was expected imminently, as the European Union braced for results from stress tests on 91 banks that are being closely watched by a wary investment community. Financial markets have been highly volatile in recent days as a credibility crisis over heavily-indebted European countries’ ability to repay loans has threatened to spread to Italy-the eurozone’s third-

biggest economy. “Very high public debt remains the most vulnerable point of the Italian economy particularly in this climate of high uncertainty,” the EU’s Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn told La Repubblica daily in an interview. “Intense negotiations are underway on what measures to take on Greece and how to avoid contagion,” Rehn said, as officials prepared for a crisis summit in Brussels in the coming days to discuss a possible second bailout for Greece. Talks between the Greek government and private creditors ran into a second day in Rome yesterday after the International Monetary Fund urged banks and insurers to

shoulder up to 33 billion euros of the costs of a new rescue. The Italian parliament has raced to adopt its austerity measures in record time after a draft was put forward by the government just two weeks ago. In a report out yesterday, the central bank warned that if bond rates remain at their current elevated level this could have “considerable costs for public accounts and a risk of repercussions on the financing costs of the economy.” “The macroeconomic scenario is subject to heightened uncertainty,” it said. The report added that recent tensions in the eurozone had “increased the urgency of proceeding with a consolidation of puublic

finances” in order to “lower risk premiums and diminish long-term borrowing rates.” It added however: “In the immediate future, the costs of increased yields on bonds for our country are limited.” The central bank also raised its forecast for gross domestic product growth this year to 1.0 percent from 0.9 percent but kept its prediction for 2012 at 1.1 p e r cent. The Italian economy grew by 1.3 percent last year. Italy is the world’s eighthbiggest economy but is laden down by a public debt of about 120 percent of annual output, even though its budget deficit has remained relatively moderate compared to

deficits elsewhere in Europe. The austerity budget-which will cut family tax benefits, reduce top-tier pensions, slash regional subsidies and launch privatisations-aims to reduce the deficit to 0.2 percent of output by 2014 from 4.6 percent last year. Analysts have warned that Italy’s virtually stagnant economy and tensions within Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s ruling coalition are potential risks but have dismissed the prospect of Italy having to resort to a bailout. The uncertainty has hurt Italian stocks in recent days and long-term borrowing rates-a measure of risk-flew to record highs on Thursday. —AFP

business SATURDAY, jULY 16, 2011

Bajaj, Renault abandon India low-cost car plan ‘Partnership between the two companies remains intact’ NEW DELHI: Indian motorbike maker Bajaj has abandoned plans to develop an ultra-low-cost car with France’s Renault and its Japanese partner Nissan, according to a senior executive. The companies announced in 2009 that they hoped to bring a $2,500 minicar to market in 2012, but there have been suggestions for months that the project was stalling amid differences among the partners. Bajaj, India’s second-largest motorcycle maker by sales, was to have designed and made the car, while Renault and Nissan would have provided the marketing and sales support. The idea was to produce a vehicle to challenge the Indian-made Tata Nano, the world’s cheapest car, but Bajaj concluded that the project was not viable and says that Renault has agreed. “We don’t intend to get into the lowmargin (passenger car) business,” Rajiv Bajaj, managing director of Bajaj Auto, told reporters in the western city of Pune late on Thursday, according to Dow Jones News Wires. “We don’t want to lose all our money,” said Bajaj, whose company reported a 21-percent jump in quarterly net profit to 7.11 billion rupees ($159.4 million) from a year earlier, slightly undershooting market forecasts. Yesterday, a Renault spokesman said the company had no immediate comment on Bajaj’s announcement. But in

June, Renault India managing director Marc Nassif told AFP the French group and Nissan would only move ahead with the small car project if the quality of the product “matches our DNA.” If not, the group would “do something different,” he added, underlining Renault had made no investment in the project. The partnership between the two companies remains intact, Bajaj insisted. Bajaj will instead unveil a lowcost light commercial vehicle that could be used for carrying goods or people at the New Delhi auto show in January. “It will be a four-wheeler and we will be in the commercial space where we are strong,” Bajaj said. “Hopefully, they (Renault) will like what they see. They are at liberty to say we like it or turn up their nose,” Bajaj said, according to the Business Line newspaper. Bajaj will make the investments in the development and manufacture of the four-wheeler which would debut in

Bangladesh and in Sri Lanka before being sold in other global markets, while Renault-Nissan would undertake the branding, marketing and sales of the four-wheeler, media reports said. Bajaj said it will cost a maximum of two billion rupees ($44.5 million) to make the commercial vehicle-a tenth of the development cost for a car. The French manufacturer, seeking to counter sliding European sales, has designated India, Brazil and Russia as its top three strategic markets for international expansion. The company last month launched a luxury sedan in the country called the Fluence and aims to sell four more models by the end of 2012. Last year, Renault abandoned its previous attempt to crack the Indian market — an unhappy tie-up with India’s top sports utility vehicle maker Mahindra and Mahindra that resulted in the Logan, a dated-looking car that never took off. —AFP

China’s H1 foreign direct investment up 18.4% BEIJING: Foreign direct investment in China soared 18.4 percent from a year earlier in the first half, the government said yesterday, suggesting confidence in the world’s second largest economy was still strong. However, the flood of money into the economy comes as Beijing tries to staunch inflation, which is running at a three-year high. Foreign companies invested $60.89

billion in factories and other projects in China from January to June-higher than the $51.4 billion spent in the same period last year-commerce ministry spokesman Yao Jian told reporters. In June alone, China attracted $12.86 billion in foreign direct investment up 2.83 percent year on year and more than the $9.23 billion invested in May, the data showed. Analysts say

MELBOURNE: Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard (2/R) talks to operators during a tour of OneSteel’s mill in the Melbourne suburb of Laverton. —AFP

robust growth in China and expectations for a stronger currency have attracted a growing number of overseas investors hoping for a better return on their money as the United States and Europe remain in the doldrums. “In the medium to long term, China will remain the most important host country of foreign direct investment,” Yao said. Yao said Asia has become the main source of foreign direct investment in China-first-half investment from 10 Asian economies including Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore soared 23.9 percent on year to $52.5 billion. US investment fell 22.3 percent in the same period to $1.7 billion while investment from the European Union increased 1.2 percent to $3.5 billion, Yao said. He added that this was “normal” because total overseas investment by US and EU companies had fallen. “China’s foreign investment environment did not change much. We are still confident in China’s appeal to foreign investment,” he said. But growing concerns that the credit is helping to fuel inflation have triggered a round of monetary tightening as Beijing tries to rein in soaring consumer costs. Inflation hit a three-year high of 6.4 percent in June despite the government hiking interest rates five times since October and curbing the amount of money banks can lend. —AFP

NEW DELHI: Flight technicians work inside a Boeing 787 Dreamliner that made its debut landing from Tokyo, at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, in New Delhi. Boeing projected India would require about 1,300 commercial planes worth $150 billion in the next two decades to meet the demands of a growing population of keen-to-fly citizens.

Gold in favour amid debt risks, dollar steady HONG KONG: Gold slipped yesterday after rising for the past nine sessions, though growing risks surrounding US and euro zone debt crises have left investors few safe alternatives except perhaps precious metals, the Swiss franc and yen. The US dollar initially slipped against the euro and Treasury prices dipped after Standard & Poor’s warned there was at least a 50 percent chance it will downgrade the US credit rating in the next 90 days, but with stress-test results of European banks due later, traders were reluctant to make big bets. With the heightened risk that the world’s most liquid sovereign bond market may lose its top rating, together with contagion in Spain’s and Italy’s bond markets, asset allocation has become very difficult for investors with global remits. Even emerging markets with their relatively higher growth rates and big piles of foreign exchange reserves have struggled recently, making it difficult for investors to preserve capital other than putting them in perceived safehaven assets. “Since the prospect of a downgrade would directly hit the perceived safety value of US Treasuries, it probably does mean that global investors would be looking for a different kind of safe asset if you will,” said Michael Kurtz, head of strategy, Asia with Macquarie Securities. “It’s hard not to see Asia benefiting, not simply because there are sovereigns in Asia that are beginning to look stronger in relative terms but also because the US dollar would be likely to decline in that scenario,” Kurtz told Reuters Television. The euro hit an intraday high around $1.4200 versus the dollar after the S&P announcement before trimming some of its gains to settle back at $1.4173. Against the low-yielding yen , the greenback was trading at 79.13 yen, though some short-covering demand after this week’s sharp drop and before the weekend is expected to lend support to the pair. Though the recent flurry of warnings by ratings agencies is widely seen as a move to jolt US authorities to end a looming debt deadlock, Todd Elmer, FX strategist at Citigroup, said S&P’s emphasis on the need for a more sustainable mediumterm fiscal path posed a more formidable challenge. “This presents a much higher hurdle for policymakers and, as such, represents a more serious threat to the US dollar,” Elmer said in a note. Ten-year Treasury note futures edged slightly higher to 124-14 after spending most of the session in the red. Yields on 10-year notes were unchanged on the day at 2.95 percent, though risked climbing higher. After Moody’s warned it may cut the US rating, Treasuries sold off in the New York trading session. The past three months have favoured the Swiss franc, gold and US Treasuries. The Swiss franc ETF is up 9.19 percent over the past three months while the SPDR Gold ETF has gained 6.5 percent. The Bank of America Merrill Treasury Master index is up 3.5 percent while the S&P 500 and the MSCI emerging markets stocks index is down 0.82 percent 3.79 percent respectively. A recent spike in Italian and Spanish bond yields has demanded a greater urgency in tackling Europe’s debt crisis, and further downgrades of the credit ratings of Portugal and Ireland have made clear that the lack of a comprehensive solution threatened to drag bigger countries into the debt crisis. —Reuters

business SATURDAY, jULY 16, 2011

Fuel shortages bite as S Africa strike drags on JOHANNESBURG: Motorists in Johannesburg formed long queues for petrol yesterday as some stations ran dry amid a five-day strike by oil industry workers that is set to last at least through the weekend. Some 70,000 workers at oil refineries and related industries went on strike Monday demanding a minimum salary of 6,000 rand ($870, 615 euros) a month. The Fuel Retailers’ Association said the stayaway had caused at least 200 service stations to run dry nationwide — 150 in Gauteng

province, where Johannesburg and Pretoria are located, and 50 in the east coast province of KwaZulu-Natal. The Department of Energy and the South African Petroleum Industry Association accused striking workers of intimidating fuel depot employees who tried to keep deliveries running. “SAPIA and the Department of Energy would like to reassure the public that SAPIA members are doing everything possible to ensure continuity of supply, but it is under pressure as intimidation remains an issue,” they said in

a statement. “This impacts on the ability of the member companies to move trucks in and out of depots, which in turn makes it difficult to get product to the service stations.” Police were called in to escort tanker trucks at some depots, but at least three depots around Johannesburg had been blocked by strikers, local media reported. Motorists resorted to social networking site Twitter to find out where they could still buy fuel. The prospect

of a weekend of petrol shortages was making some drivers anxious. “Where can I get petrol in Joburg??? Please help,” Bongolethu Bacela said on Twitter. The Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers Union said its leaders planned to meet Monday with employers. The union’s wage demand amounts to a raise of 11 to 13 percent, while employers are offering four to seven percent. Inflation stood at 4.6 percent in May. —AFP

Oil slips $1 after S&P warning on US rating Obama gives weekend deadline for deal LONDON: Oil prices fell $1 yesterday after ratings agency Standard & Poor’s warned it may cut the credit rating of top energy consumer the United States, capping a volatile week marked by concern about the country’s deficit and the euro zone’s debt. HAVANA: A Cuban man walks in the corner of a cafeteria in Havana. Farmers and urban private workers were the ones who earned the most in 2010 in Cuba, as their corresponding sectors grew due to Cuban President Raul Castro’s reforms, informed an official source. —AFP

Sony Ericsson posts $71m loss in Q2 STOCKHOLM: Mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson yesterday reported a euro 50 million ($71 million) loss in the second quarter, saying the impact of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami hurt profitability. The Swedish-Japanese joint venture posted a profit of euro12 million in the same quarter last year. Net sales were euro1.19 billion, down from euro1.76 billion a year ago Sony Ericsson said the earthquake on March 11 disrupted its supply chain, with mobile phone shipments falling 31 percent to 7.6 million units. “We estimate that the impact of earthquake-related supply chain constraints on our portfolio was close to 1.5 million units, with most of the effect in the early part of the quarter,” CEO Bert Nordberg said. London-based Sony Ericsson is moving away from cheaper phone models and seeking to take on Apple Inc.’s iPhone, Research in Motion’s Blackberry and Nokia Corp.’s N9 in the higher-priced smartphone market. Sony Ericsson last month unveiled two new Android phones, the Xperia ray and Xperia active, that it plans to launch in the third quarter. Sony Ericsson estimates that it has 11 percent of the Android market. “Our shift to Android-based smart phones continues with smartphone sales accounting for more than 70 percent of our total sales during the quarter,” Nordberg said. “We have shipped more than 16 million Xperia smart phones to date. We have introduced eight new Xperia smart phones this year and we continue to see strong consumer and operator demand across the Xperia smartphone portfolio.” The average selling price of a Sony Ericsson phone dipped 3 percent a year earlier, but was up 11 percent from the first quarter. The company maintained its projection for modest industry growth in the global handset market for 2011. —AP

Brent crude for September was down $1 to $115.26 a barrel by 0814 GMT, after the expiry of the August contract on Thursday at $118.32. US crude was down 37 cents at $95.32, after falling more than $2 on Thursday. S&P joined Moody’s Investors Service in putting the US on negative watch, warning that there was a one-in-two chance it could cut the prized triple-A rating within the next 90 days if a deal to raise the government’s debt ceiling is not struck by the White House and Republicans. In addition, mid-week comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke had raised hopes the U.S. central bank would embark on a third round of economic stimulus, but on Thursday he said the Fed was not yet ready to take action because inflation was higher than in late 2010. “It is overall economic concerns that are driving the oil price this morning,” said Eugen Weinberg, a senior commodity analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt. “The prospects of quantita-

tive easing III were put on ice for some time and we also had a warning from S&P that if the debt ceiling isn’t agreed over the next few days a downgrade of US debt is likely.” Victor Say, an analyst at Informa Global Markets in Singapore, said the impasse over the debt ceiling would not last long: “Politicians play hard ball until the last minute, but there will be a resolution.” President Barack Obama has given congressional leaders a weekend deadline to find a way to raise the US debt ceiling, but a divide over spending and taxes remains a huge hurdle to a deficit-cutting deal. With another busy day ahead for US economic data, Weinberg said the market would be looking for signs of weakness that might increase the likelihood of further quantitative easing. In Europe investors awaited the results of the stress test for 90 banks due at 1600 GMT, which could force some to seek state aid. . Policymakers and bankers are also examining radical proposals to rescue

Greece such as a sharp cut in its debt burden, ways to prop up banks and a new emphasis on boosting Greek growth, official and banking sources say. “If Greece really comes down, you will have a massive slowdown in the global economy,” said Say. “China is also slowing down and they will raise interest rates again. Over the course of the next three to six months, oil prices will be lower.” Weinberg said Commerzbank was also of the view that oil prices would slide over the coming weeks, as the market is well-supplied. Iran’s caretaker oil minister said there is plenty of oil to satisfy global demand and no need to increase production, reiterating the Islamic Republic’s hawkish stance on price and disapproval of Saudi Arabia’s output increase. Britain’s largest oilfield, Buzzard, should return to full output in August, its operator Nexen said on Thursday, boosting supply of the North Sea crude that helps to set the global Brent oil benchmark. —Reuters

Grounded Tiger offers refunds SYDNEY: Grounded Tiger Airways Australia yesterday agreed to refund all tickets for August, but aviation regulators said the move did not mean the airline was facing further delays in returning to the air. The carrier has been grounded until at least August 1 by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) over “serious and imminent” risks linked to pilot proficiency and training, fatigue management and other issues. It had agreed to refund all July tickets while it awaited permission to fly again, and consumer watchdog chief Graeme Samuel said Tiger Airways Australia had now extended the refund offer for all of August. “We have managed to secure from them an

undertaking that for August flights, where there’s still some uncertainty as to whether they will be able to fly, they’ve agreed to provide some flexibility,” said Samuel, head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. “So they’re saying to customers now ‘if you’ve booked an August flight you can elect to cancel that flight,” he told AFP. Samuel said customers could cancel their flights up to seven days after Tiger resumed flying. “Undoubtedly a part of that is to try and restore and retain goodwill with customers,” he said. CASA said it was a commercial decision and not driven by any developments in the ongoing safety investigation. “From our point

of view we’re still working our way through all the issues that we’ve identified previously and we will continue to do that,” said CASA spokesman Peter Gibson. “We’ve told Tiger we want them grounded until August 1 to complete the investigations and that’s the timetable we’re working to.” Tiger was grounded for a month after two flights came into airports too low in June. It had already been on notice to improve its safety performance. An Australian offshoot of Singapore’s Tiger Airways, the lowcost carrier has vowed to do everything necessary to resume flying and said it had the absolute backing of its Asian parent firm. —AFP


BHP unveils $12.1b merger with Petrohawk Energy SYDNEY: Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP Billiton yesterday unveiled a $12.1-billion takeover of US firm Petrohawk Energy Corp. that will allow it to tap into the lucrative US shale gas market. BHP will pay $38.75 a share, but the total value of the acquisition will be $15.1 billion including Petrohawk’s debt, in a deal that will give BHP access to huge shale assets in Texas and Louisiana, the two companies said. “The proposed acquisition of Petrohawk is consistent with our... strategy and provides us with even greater exposure to the world’s largest energy market, while also broadening our geographic and customer spread,” BHP chief executive Marius Kloppers said. The agreed sale price represents a 65 percent premium on Petrohawk’s closing share price on Thursday, offering an indication of BHP’s keenness to be a major player in the

fast-growing US natural gas market. But the Sydney- and London-listed resources giant’s share price fell sharply on news of the acquisition, closing 1.63 percent lower at Aus$42.89 after hitting a two-week low in early trading. BHP said it would now be on track to deliver compound annual production growth of more than 10 percent for the rest of the decade as it develops its shale gas and deepwater resources. The move marks a major new step in the bid by BHP, one of the world’s biggest miners, to diversify from minerals and mining into oil and gas.It follows BHP’s purchase earlier this year of US-based Chesapeake Energy Corp’s shale gas holdings in the state of Arkansas, along with some pipeline assets, for about $4.75 billion in cash. Petrohawk’s Eagle Ford and Haynesville shales and its Permian Basin resources cover

400,000 hectares (one million acres).The fields boasted proved reserves of 3.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent in 2010 and were expected to produce about 950 million cubic feet (27 million cubic metres) of natural gas equivalent in 2011. The Houston-based firm expects to produce the equivalent of 158,000 barrels of oil a day in 2011, has around $8.2 billion in gross assets and posted a $390 million pre-tax profit for the year to December 2010. Oil and gas companies have been homing in on shale gas acquisitions as they bank on increasing demand spurred by the long-term prospects for the United States to cut its dependence on overseas natural resource imports. Analysts said that BHP’s merger with Petrohawk would likely be a good one for it in the longer term, despite the premium it has agreed to pay. “The biggest story is that natu-

ral gas is going to be a huge part of America’s total energy demand and Petrohawk is well positioned to take advantage of that,” said IG Markets institutional dealer Chris Weston. The Petrohawk board has unanimously recommended that the firm’s shareholders accept the offer, the firms said.”We believe these premium oil and natural gas assets would benefit significantly by residing within a larger entity that can employ more capital intensity to accelerate their realised value,” said Petrohawk chief Floyd Wilson. “We are excited to see this transaction completed and to be part of the BHP Billiton organisation,” he said of the deal under which BHP will retain Petrohawk’s staff. The acquisition is expected to close within the next three months and BHP’s Kloppers said he did not see any major regulatory hurdles to the deal. — AFP

Europe’s banks brace for clutch of test failures Austrian, Greek banks move to bolster capital

MUNICH: In this July 28, 2010 file picture planes of German Lufthansa are parked at Munich’s airport. Germany’s biggest airline, Deutsche Lufthansa AG, says it has begun trial flights using biofuels in a bid to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. —AP

SKF reports profit jump as sales rise STOCKHOLM: Sweden’s SKF, the world’s biggest maker of industrial bearings, said yesterday its second-quarter net profit rose from the figure for the same period in 2010, largely helped by an improving automobile market. The company posted a profit of 1.71 billion Swedish kroner (185 million euros, $262 million) for the April-June quarter. For the same period in 2010, it made a net profit of 1.41 billion kroner. The results were slightly below analyst expectations, which SKF blamed on unfavourable foreign exchange and rising costs. “We will continue to invest in our business and take the necessary steps to offset the high raw material costs and currency headwinds,” chief executive Tom Johnstone said. The announcement sent shares in the Gothenburg-based company down by 4.9 percent to 174.10 kroner on a Stockholm Stock Exchange which was showing a fall of 1.0 percent. SKF said it expected demand to increase in the third quarter, especially in Asia and South America. SKF, which also makes sealants, is an important supplier to many parts of the industrial processing chain and is therefore regarded as a leading indicator of activity in manufacturing and machine tooling. — AFP

LONDON: A health check of European banks is expected to show that as many as 15 lenders need more capital to withstand a prolonged recession, with criticism growing that the tests do not encompass the impact of a Greek default. Europe’s bank “stress test”, to be published at 1600 GMT, will make 90 lenders reveal for the first time their profit forecasts, a breakdown of their sovereign bond holdings and funding costs, and will force the weakest to recapitalise. The International Monetary Fund has warned Europe it is taking too long to rebuild its banking system and has lagged repair work done in the United States since the financial crisis, while the threat of the Greek debt crisis spreading to bigger countries such as Spain and Italy has rattled investors and dragged European bank shares to a two-year low. “Markets are likely to be dominated by views on the sustainability of sovereign debt. As long as there is no definitive answer to this, there is not much space for a stable recovery in the bank space,” said Carlo Mareels at RBC Capital Markets, who expects a total capital shortfall of 3035 billion euros, a fraction of the 110 billion expected to be needed for a second bailout of Greece. Euro zone sources told Reuters two weeks ago that 10 to 15 banks are likely to fail the test, with casualties expected in Spain, Greece, Germany and Portugal although no large bank is expected to fail. Critics say the health check fails to reflect market expectations that Greece will default on its debt in some form, which would pile up losses for German and French banks that hold large amounts of the country’s debt. The EBA is not forcing banks to explicitly haircut sovereign bonds

held in their long-term banking book, but has told banks to include the estimated hit of potential losses from holdings based on a theoretical four notch credit rating downgrade, which would mean a low rate country like Greece had defaulted. Under the test, banks would take a 15 percent “haircut” on Greek bond holdings, while most market experts expect to see up to half the value of those bonds wiped out at some point. Fears the Greek crisis will spread to Spain and Italy have caused a jump in borrowing costs for those countries and their banks, prompting concern lenders are not resilient enough to cope with potential losses if the crisis deepens. “The regulators and the banks already know who the weaker players are. The stress tests can confirm that, but they will have no teeth unless followed up by restructuring and consolidation of the financial landscape,” said Nils Melngailis, managing director of Alvarez & Marsal, a restructuring advisory firm. Some banks moved to bolster capital ahead of the results, though it is too late to affect them. Austria’s Volksbanken, which has failed according to two sources with knowledge of the test, late on Thursday sold its eastern European arm VBI to Russia’s Sberbank. Greece’s EFG Eurobank said it was in talks to sell a majority stake in its Turkish unit Eurobank Tekfen, and Greek peer Piraeus said it was in talks to sell its Egyptian business to Standard Chartered. Volksbanken did not say how much it would raise from the sale, but banking sources have said it could be around 590 million euros ($835 million). It helps Volksbanken show it can shore up its balance sheet, while Greek banks are under pressure to strengthen their capital to cope with the economic crisis at

home. Spain’s overhaul of its banking system has made it able to withstand the most stressful of economic situations, government spokesman Jose Blanco said. A poll last month by Goldman Sachs of 113 investors, including long-only investors and hedge funds, expected nine banks to fail the 5 percent core capital pass mark in the face of a theoretical slide in stock, bond and property prices during a two-year recession. Banks that fail must produce firm plans by September on how they will plug capital shortfalls by the year-end, with their home government ready to step in with taxpayers’ money if needed. Lenders that scrape through the test will also be expected to shore up their capital buffers. This is the third, toughest and most comprehensive test of lenders in the European Union since the global financial crisis, which began four years ago-last year’s gave Irish banks a clean bill of health shortly before they collapsed into state control. Investors and analysts will be given 3,000 data points on each bank, ranging from profit forecasts to quality of capital buffers, compared with just 100 pieces of information last year. Banks have already warned that investors could be unnerved by so much data but the EBA says more transparency is better, allowing analysts to run their own tests so they feel they have a complete picture, removing much of the uncertainty. But there have been problems as the release date neared. Germany’s Helaba ruled itself out of the stress test, saying the regulator’s capital rules were too strict, and two Spanish banks that will fail blamed the regulator for being too strict on the use of capital that can be included. — Reuters



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business SATURDAY, jUlY 16, 2011

Blacks Leisure eyes capital raise amid weak sales LONDON: British outdoor goods firm Blacks Leisure became the latest retailer to bemoan weak consumer spending yesterday, saying recent sales had missed forecasts, driving up debts and forcing it to look at raising capital. The group, which struck a rescue deal with creditors in 2009 that saw it close over 100 stores, said it had agreed a temporary extension of its existing bank loan arrangements and,

given their maturity in November 2012, would start to look at refinancing them. “The board is also considering the group’s overall capital requirements with a view to strengthening its capital structure,” it added, without elaborating. Many British retailers are struggling, and some including Focus DIY, Oddbins and Habitat UK have recently fallen into administration, as shoppers

cut back amid rising prices, subdued wages growth and austerity measures. Blacks Leisure, which runs the Blacks Outdoor and Millets chains, said sales at stores open over a year dropped 9.7 percent net of VAT sales tax in the 19 weeks to July 9, though they were up 3.2 percent in the last six weeks of the period. “Since the year end the group’s indebtedness has increased significant-

ly due to both normal seasonal factors and the challenging market conditions,” it said, without giving a figure. Despite weaker-than-expected sales, gross profit margins were flat, the group said. Blacks Leisure shares have underperformed the UK general retail sector by 60 percent this year. They closed on Thursday at 16.25 pence, valuing the business at about 13 million pounds ($21 million). — Reuters

G20 task force expected to endorse bank surcharges Bondholders eye bank resolution proposals LONDON: Global regulators are expected to give the green light on Monday to two measures they hope will shield taxpayers from having to rescue failed banks again. The Financial Stability Board (FSB) meets in Paris to endorse the capital surcharge and bank resolution proposals that will be put out to public consultation ahead of final approval by leaders of the world’s top 20 economies (G20) in November.

WASHINGTON: Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President Valerie Jarrett makes opening remarks at a Women in Finance Symposium focusing on institutional investment at the Treasury Department in Washington. —AFP

Citigroup posts sixth quarterly profit in Q2 NEW YORK: Citigroup Inc. turned a profit for the sixth straight quarter as losses from failed loans declined. The New York bank says losses from bad loans fell 35 percent during the quarter to $5.4 billion. That allowed the bank to release $2 billion from its loan loss reserves and count it as income. Net income rose 24 percent to $3.3 billion, or $1.09 cents per share, on revenue of $20.6 billion. That compares to net income of $2.7 billion, or 90 cents per share, during the same quarter last year. The earnings per share was adjusted to account for a reverse split, where 10 Citi shares were exchanged for one this May. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had predicted Citigroup would earn 96 cents per share. More of the bank’s credit card and mortgage loan customers also paid on time -consumer loans that were delinquent by 90 days or more totaled $9.9 billion, down 46 percent compared with the same period last year. The bank also experienced growth in its lending business. Consumer loans increased 11 percent to $244 billion. Corporate loans grew 22 percent to $197 billion compared to last year. Much of the growth came from emerging markets, the bank said. “We produced growth in both loans and deposits in Citicorp,” said CEO Vikram Pandit. Its investment banking income fell 29 percent to $1.2 billion as did revenue by 8 percent to $5.5 billion. Much of the decline came from an 18 percent drop from fixed income trading. Citigroup was one of the hardest-hit banks during the financial crisis of 2008. The bank received $45 billion in government aid, $25 billion of which was converted to stock. Pandit has been trying to grow profits ever since the company emerged from government ownership last December. However, to do that Citigroup has relied more heavily than other banks on money being released from reserves. Shares of Citi are up over 2 percent at $39.90 in premarket trading. —AP

The measures are part of a wider effort by the FSB, the G20’s regulation task force, to tackle “too big to fail” banks and learn lessons from a financial crisis that forced governments to shore up lenders on both sides of the Atlantic. Regulators want to stop big banks benefiting from cheaper borrowing costs because markets assume governments won’t allow them to fail and wreak the havoc as seen after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008. The proposal for a capital surcharge on the world’s biggest banks by 2019 — referred to as systemically important banks or SIBs-was drafted and announced by the global Basel Committee on Banking Supervision in June. “I don’t expect any major tweaks at this stage - and I expect many of the authorites involved will have other things on their minds right now,” said Simon Hills, a director at the British Bankers’ Association, alluding to the deepening euro zone debt crisis. Around 30 big banks like Goldman Sachs , Morgan Stanley , HSBC and Deutsche Bank will have to hold an extra 12.5 percent of capital on top of a new, tougher minimum level of 7 percent for all banks, known as Basel III being phased in

between 2013 and end 2018. The surcharge proposal was due last November but was caught up in haggling among G20 countries. What has emerged is a careful balancing act between a narrower surcharge than expected to please countries like Germany and France, but in the form of pure equity to satisfy hardliners like Britain and the United States. FSB Chairman Mario Draghi will hold a news conference at 1600 GMT on Monday in Paris. The FSB is expected to indicate the number of banks falling under the scope of the new surcharge but give no names, sources familiar with the discussion said. The level of surcharge is based on how banks rate according to five criteria-size, interconnectedness, global activity, complexity and how difficult it is to substitute operations. “It will be interesting to see if they give the percentage weight to the five criteria and whether they also incl ude the penalties for going below the surcharge buffer,” a banking analyst said. The Basel draft surprised the industry by ruling out the use of hybrid debt known as contingent convertible capital or CoCos which convert to equity in times of stress. There are still hopes among banks that the FSB or G20 leaders will row back

on this to allow some use of CoCos. The second proposal sets out requirements for G20 countries for resolving big banks which typically have operations across many countries. It is expected to be similar to a draft European Union bank crisis resolution draft law due in September which sets out a “toolkit” national regulators must have to deal with a failing banks. One controversial idea that will be discussed is to force bondholders to take a “haircut” and contribute to a bank rescue. There is some consensus that junior bondholders should take a hit but some hardline countries say hitherto ringfenced senior debt holders should also be ultimately in the firing line. The other parts of the “too big to fail” initiative include tougher supervision on big banks, improved financial markets infrastructure-in particular central clearing and trade reporting of derivatives which is already underway-and a more serious approach to “peer reviews” of how FSB measures are being implemented. Once the new system starts being implemented for banks, regulators want to turn their attention to including other big financial institutions such as insurers.—Reuters

US justice opens probe against Credit Suisse ZURICH: Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse said yesterday that it is being investigated by the US Department of Justice over private banking services provided to US taxpayers. “On July 14, 2011, Credit Suisse received a letter notifying it that it is a target of the Department of Justice investigation,” said the bank in a statement. “It has been reported that the US authorities are conducting a broader industry inquiry,” it said, adding that the probe “concerns historical private banking services provided on a cross-border basis to US persons.”

“Subject to our Swiss legal obligations, we will continue to cooperate with the US authorities in an effort to resolve these matters,” said the bank. The United States indicted four Credit Suisse bankers in February on charges of helping US taxpayers hide money in secr et Swiss accounts to avoid US taxes. At the time of that indictment, the bank said it was itself not part of the investigation. The four bankers and unnamed coconspirators were accused of offering US customers the chance to open accounts in Switzerland with

the understanding that the money would be hidden from US tax authorities. As of 2008, the bank hosted thousands of such accounts holding up to $3 billion in assets, the United States claimed. The US probe against Credit Suisse comes after another damaging case against rival Swiss bank UBS. Not only was UBS made to pay a $780 million fine, but the Swiss government was also forced to ease the country’s banking secrecy rules to allow the bank to hand over 4,000 case files on US clients suspected of tax evasion. —AFP



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business SATURDAY, jULY 16, 2011

Why Wall Street not worried about default NEW YORK: The CEO of a big bank says a US default could be catastrophic for the economy. The head of the Federal Reserve warns of chaos. And a credit rating agency threatens to take away the country’s coveted triple-A status. The response on Wall Street: So what? In Washington, the fight over whether to raise the federal debt limit has grown uglier by the day. The White House says the limit must be raised by Aug. 2 or the government won’t be able to pay its bills, possibly including US bonds held around the world. But as the deadline nears, stocks and bonds have barely flinched. The Dow Jones industrial average fell just 54 points Thursday and stands about where it did at the start of the month. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond, which usually rises when investors see it as a riskier bet, is considerably lower than earlier this year.

It may seem an odd, even reckless, reaction by investors. But it isn’t completely crazy. Take the ho-hum reaction from the bond market. In theory, investors in US Treasury bonds should demand higher interest payments when there’s a greater risk they won’t get their money back - in this case, in the event of a default next month. Instead, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note ro se only slightly Thursday, to 2.95 percent. In February, when the US economic recovery seemed stronger and the debt limit was a distant threat, it was 3.74 percent. But in this market, as in the schoolyard, size wins. The US has $14 trillion in outstanding Treasury bonds. That dwarfs government bonds of any other nation. US debt is held more widely and traded more often than any other government’s IOU. Th at matters because pensions, private investment

funds and central banks the world over want to know that they can buy and sell these holdings fast - what investors call liquidity. During the credit crisis of 2008, investors bought U.S. Treasurys because they were perceived as not only safe but liquid. “It’s very nice that Switzerland is a safe place,” says Avi Tiomkin, a hedge fund consultant who holds Treasurys. “But if you’re the Russian or Chinese central bank, it’s just too small.” Steve Ricchiuto, chief economist at Mizuho Securities, points to another reason the markets are calm: The US may seem a more dangerous place to park your money given its rising debt, but much of the rest of the world isn’t faring well, either. He notes that Europe is trying to contain a debt crisis. Yields on bonds of various countries there have gone up recently. “The U.S. is the best in a bad world,” he says, so people have no choice but to invest here. As for

US consumer prices record largest drop Core CPI rises 0.3%, apparel prices surge WASHINGTON: US consumer prices fell slightly more than expected in June to post their biggest drop in a year on weak gasoline costs, but underlying inflation pressures remain elevated. The Consumer Price Index fell 0.2 percent, the Labor Department said on Friday, the largest drop since June 2010, after rising 0.2 percent in May. Economists had expected prices to fall 0.1 percent. But stripping out food and energy, core CPI rose 0.3 percent after a similar gain in May and above economists’ expectations for a 0.2 percent increase. “We are getting a very, very sharp rebound in core inflation and much more than the Fed had bargained

“Empire State” general business conditions index was at minus 3.76 from minus 7.79 in June. High inflation, driven by strong energy and food prices, undermined economic activity in first quarter, with growth slowing sharply to a 1.9 percent annual rate after a

SAN FRANCISCO: A job seeker meets with a recruiter during the San Francisco Hirevent job fair at the Hotel Whitmore in San Francisco, California. —AFP for. We will be at price stability and possibly through it before the end of this year,” said Eric Green, chief economist at TD Securities in New York. A sep arate report showed a gauge of manufacturing in New York State fell again in July. The New York Federal Reserve said its

brisk 3.1 percent expansion in the final three months of 2010. The economy is believed to have grown by between 1.5 percent and 2 percent in the second quarter. Hopes of a stronger pick-up in growth during the July-September period have been dented somewhat by a weak

labor market and retail sales in June. But abating commodity inflation pressures as energy prices decline, should put more money in the pockets of consumers who have been stretching to cover rising costs for gasoline and food. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said this week the US central bank was prepared to act if growth falters further, but made it clear that Fed is not at that point yet. Bernanke noted that inflation was higher than in late 2010, when the Fed got ready for its $600 billion government bond-buying program, which ended in June. Gasoline prices dropped 6.8 percent, the largest decline since December 2008, after falling 2.0 percent in May. Food prices rose a moderate 0.2 percent after increasing 0.4 percent in May. But rising costs for housing, new vehicles, used trucks and apparel pushed up core inflation last month. Shelter costs rose 0.2 percent for a second straight month, while apparel prices jumped 1.4 percent, the largest increase since March 1990. Prices for new vehicles increased 0.6 percent last month, slowing from May’s 1.1 percent surge, likely reflecting an easing of auto shortages related to supply chain disruptions from Japan. Used cars and trucks jumped 1.6 percent, the largest increase since December 2009. In the 12 months to April, core CPI rose 1.6 percent after increasing 1.5 percent in May. Fed officials, however, would like to see that closer to 2 percent. Overall consumer prices were up 3.6 percent from a year earlier, after rising 3.6 percent in May. —Reuters

stocks, there’s plenty of news - some very good - to distract investors from Washington’s problems. US companies are issuing their financial results for the latest quarter, and they’re expected to post big profits - up 15 percent, according to a survey by data provider FactSet. JPMorgan Chase reported profits up 13 percent Thursday, higher than analysts had expected. The stock rose sharply on the news. Earlier in the day, it was that bank’s CEO, James Dimon, who warned that a failure by Congress to agree to raise the debt ceiling could mean “catastrophe.” On Wednesday, Moody’s Investors Services warned it might take away the United States’ top-notch credit rating if it missed even one interest payment on its bonds. In testimony before Congress on Thursday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said a US default could throw the financial system into “chaos.” —Reuters

Obama pauses US debt talks WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama suspended US budget negotiations for the day yesterday to give congressional leaders a chance to come up with a “plan of action” on how to unblock talks meant to cut deficits and avert a debt default. Obama, who had vowed to meet top lawmakers every day until a deal is reached to raise the US debt limit, gave top Democrats and Republicans until today morning to reconsider their positions in the high-stakes negotiations. He will hold a news conference yesterday at 11:00 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT) while awaiting feedback from meetings on Capitol Hill due to take place in the morning. The debt negotiations may resume over the weekend. “It’s decision time. We need concrete plans to move this forward,” Obama said on the fifth straight day of debt negotiations Thursday, according to a Democratic official. Financial markets are starting to worry that Republicans and Democrats are too far apart to reach a major budget agreement by Aug. 2, when the United States would run out of money unless the cap on government borrowing is raised. Obama, who is running for re-election in November 2012, has rejected the idea of a stopgap or short-term agreement that would require the debt ceiling to be raised again next year. “A short-term solution is not something I will sign,” he said Thursday. Republicans are pressing for at least $1 in spending cuts for every $1 that the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling is lifted, and say the White House needs to get serious about reducing spending to properly address the debt problem. Democrats are open to certain cuts but want some tax increases and other revenue-builders to be included in any deal so that the burdens of the austerity are shared. Obama thinks a deal worth $2 trillion could be feasible if both sides bend a bit, officials familiar with the talks said. Compromises required for such a deal could be awkward for both Democrats and Republicans as the 2012 campaign heats up. But a failure to raise the debt ceiling stands to hurt the fragile US economy and reverberate worldwide, driving up interest rates and shaking currency, equity and bond markets. China, the United States’ biggest foreign creditor with more than $1 trillion in Treasury debt as of March, fears even a small US default. The Chinese foreign ministry said on Thursday it hopes Washington adopts responsible policies to protect investor interests. South Korea, which has more than $300 billion in foreign exchange reserves, was more upbeat. Finance Minister Bahk Jae-wan said he was optimistic that the United States will resolve the debt crisis and avoid default. “We are not at a stage at which we need to consider steps such as (reviving) a currency swap,” Bahk told Reuters in an interview, referring to currency arrangements set up with the U.S. Federal Reserve during the global financial crisis. “I am optimistic the US Congress and government will find a good solution before the Aug. 2 deadline.” —Reuters



SaturDaY, JuLY 16, 2011

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Potter mania as last installment released Pages 28 & 29

For Emmys, networks have the right sense of humor Page 27

This undated photo courtesy of Sergio Kurhajec shows Rachel Roosevelt in an image which appears in the August 2011 issue of The Oprah Magazine. Roosevelt is wearing a Michael Kors skirt, an LK Bennett jacket, Noir Jewelry earrings, Kenneth Cole belt and Aldo shoes. Roosevelt, a former member of the US Ski Team, now wears mostly skirtsuits to her job as a macroeconomic researcher but nothing too short considering her conservative career environment. — AP



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wants to raise daughter in America

Victoria Beckham


he fashion designer - who gave birth to Harper Seven at Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai hospital wants to stay in the US with husband David and sons Brooklyn, 12, Romeo, eight, and six-year-old Cruz rather than return to their native England so her “perfect family” can have a “great lifestyle” growing up in the sun. The source said: “Victoria has told David she has never felt happier and that they now have the perfect family. “She wants Harper to grow up in a place where she can have the amazing childhood the boys have had. “Where they live now, they can play on the beach at the weekend, swim outdoors every day and have a great lifestyle growing up in the sunshine.” The couple moved to Los Angles in 2007 when David signed for US soccer team LA Galaxy, but his contract at the club is set to run out at the end of next year and the 36-year-old hunk “hasn’t ruled out” playing abroad. The source added to The Sun newspaper: “David hasn’t ruled out playing for a European or English team. “He sees where Victoria is coming from though, with the boys so happy and doing well at school he knows it will be hard for them to move.” Meanwhile, the 37year-old mother-of-four has reportedly splashed out £30,000 on a classic car for her husband to say thank you for being a perfect husband throughout her pregnancy. A source told the Daily Star newspaper: “Victoria bought it from elite car dealer Chequered Flag in Los Angeles. She was very particular about exactly what car she wanted and what year. She asked for it specifically to be from 1966 as that was the year England won the World Cup. “She even ordered a number plate with David’s lucky number seven.”

Lily Aldridge is ‘proud’ to be Caleb Followill’s wife


he Victoria’s Secret model tied the knot with the Kings of Leon rocker at San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, California in May and says she is loving every minute of married life. She said: “Married life is the best. I’m so proud to be a wife.” The 25-year-old beauty who walked down the aisle in a custom-made Vera Wang gown - also admitted her wedding was perfect and says she wouldn’t have changed anything about the sunset ceremony. She added to “It was really an amazing day. It was more beautiful than I could’ve imagined.” This is not the first time Lily has spoken of her love for Caleb. Speaking after her wedding ceremony, Lily gushed about her new husband: “Caleb is the man of my dreams. And you can quote me on that.” Guests at their small wedding ceremony included Caleb’s bandmates, his cousin Matthew Followill - who recently became a father for the first time - and brothers Nathan and Jared Followill. While Caleb and Lily had a small wedding, Nathan and Jared recently promised to throw their brother a big party afterwards. Jared said: “It’s going to be a very small wedding and then a big party. I think there are only like maybe 25 people or so going to the wedding, but a lot of people will be at the party.” Nathan added: “I’m the best man and they’re having lemon custard for their wedding cake.”

Hugh Hefner thinks Crystal Harris took him for a ride


he 85-year-old Playboy boss - who was jilted by the 25-year-old model less than a week before their planned wedding in June doesn’t think the blonde beauty was “faking” her feelings for him, as he never saw the couple’s split coming. He said: “I didn’t see it coming. I truly didn’t see it coming. “I think an argument could be made that she took me for a ride.” However, the magazine mogul admits their marriage may not have even worked out, as he wasn’t able to commit to former girlfriend Holly Madison. Speaking on CNN’s ‘Piers Morgan Tonight’, he added: “Where was my head? I made the commitment, quite frankly, because in a previous relationship with Holly, I had not been there in the way she wanted me to be and I just wanted to do whatever would make the relationship work with Crystal.” However, High - who has been married twice - concedes he “screwed up” during his romance with Holly. In an episode of ‘Runaway Bride’, a reality show intended to cover the wedding of Hugh and Crystal, he tells Holly: “If you’re looking for an explanation about Crystal, I don’t have a clue. I don’t really feel bitterness. I never thought I’d get married again. I wasn’t planning it. “I think I screwed up with us.”



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Brad Pitt

Hudson and Bellamy

could be a baseball player

explain son’s name


Kris Jenner has facelift for daughter’s wedding

use singer Matt - who welcomed baby Bingham Hawn into the world on Saturday (09.07.11) revealed both Bing and Bingham had a personal connection to him and his fiancee, with her stepfather Kurt Russell’s father being named Bing. He wrote on twitter: “For those wondering, Bingham is my mum’s maiden name and Bing Russell was Kurt’s dad. Family connections all round!” Tweeting, Matt confirmed the ‘Bride Wars’ actress was doing well, and added the labour was a relatively short four and a half hours. He said: “Mum and baby are strong and healthy. Mum was a warrior, Bing popped out after 4.5 hours of intense pushing!” The couple have asked for celebration trees to be planted for their son, the same thing they asked for at Kate’s baby shower. Matt and Kate - who has a seven-year-old son, Ryder, with ex-husband Chris Robinson - plan to spend the next few weeks at the rocker’s London home while Muse record a new album.



he reality TV star is expected to wed fiance Kris Humphries on August 20 in a televised spectacle and 55-year-old Kris went under the knife to ensure she looks picture perfect for the big day. Kris’ daughter Khloe explained: “She looks amazing. They say you are supposed to have a lot of swelling for a week or so after, but I didn’t notice.” Khloe added her mother has been “out and about” since going under the knife “about a month ago.” The facelift will be featured on an upcoming episode of ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’, with a recent sneak peek revealing Kris had to be reassured by Kim before her surgery. Kris complained: “I’ve never had such a stressful morning, honestly, in my life.” Kim said: “Don’t cry. If you’re scared, you don’t have to do it. I’m sure people are scared all the time.” However, Kim and Kris have reportedly clashed over the cost of the wedding with Kim wanting a lavish event and her mother hoping to make a profit from the nuptials. A source said: “Kris is very business-minded. The wedding is becoming such a lavish extravaganza that she is worried that all the money that’s going to be made from the wedding [via the sale of photo rights and sponsorships] will have to go right back into it. “Kim really does want it to be America’s version of the royal wedding.”

Lady Gaga would give away ‘every dollar’

he ‘Fight Club’ star was so impressive in his training for upcoming film ‘Moneyball’ - in which he plays a baseball manager - he could forge a career in the sport if his acting career goes downhill, says his co-star, former San Francisco Giants professional Casey Bond. Casey said: “He’s got some skill. He might have missed his calling in baseball I guess. If acting didn’t work out he’s pretty good... I think that he’s got that in his back pocket if anything.”He was out there a couple days and he took batting practice with us and stuff, threw the baseball around. He was very much involved with all aspects of the baseball side of the movie as well.”While Brad could be a baseball star, Casey also praised the 47year-old actor - who raises six children with partner Angelina Jolie - as a “master” of his craft who gave great advice to his less-experienced sporting co-stars. He told E! Online: “He had a lot of great advice ... When we were shooting scenes, in between takes he’d walk me through different techniques he used so everything comes across right on film...obviously he’s a master at that.” The film which also stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright, Jonah Hill, Chris Pratt - is based on the true story of Oakland A manager Billy Beane , who attempts to lead a competitive team to success despite the club’s poor financial situation.


he ‘Edge of Glory’ hitmaker who is estimated to be worth $112.8 million - explained being wealthy and gaining worldwide recognition was never something she aspired to, and she would be happy to give it all up. Speaking in Sydney as part of her ‘Monster’s Ball’ tour, she said: “Money and recognition were never a driving factor for me. I was driven by recognition by showbiz. “What does come along with showbiz is recognition, but the money goes right back into the show. If I had to give it all away, every dollar that I’ve earned, I would.” However, the 25-year-old singer might not have so much cash to splash in the future, as she recently claimed her tour had “bankrupted” her. She said: “I put everything in the show, and I actually went bankrupt after the first extension of the ‘Monster Ball’. And it was funny because I didn’t know! “And I remember I called everybody and said, ‘Why is everyone saying I have no money? This is ridiculous, I have five number one singles’ - and they said, ‘Well, you’re $3 million in debt.’ “ — BangShowbiz


Kyle Chandler as football coach Eric Taylor in “Friday Night Lights.”—AP

‘Friday Night Lights’ cast exits with full hearts Y

esterday, the small-town Texas drama “Friday Night Lights” ended its five-season run as one of the finest, most humanistic shows on television. Though never a ratings success, the show gradually found a fervent following. Shot on location around Austin, Texas, and in a collaborative and improvisational style, “FNL” will be particularly remembered for its naturalism. Instead of elaborate sets and rigid blocking, scenes were typically captured by three cameras following the action of the many characters of Dillon, a football-obsessed town anchored by the moral centers of coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler) and guidance counselor Tami Taylor (Connie Britton). On a show largely about community, the making of “FNL,” too, was a kind of community. Though much of the cast came and went

In this file photo, Jason Katims, executive producer of “ Friday Night Lights” speaks at the NBC Press Tour in Beverly Hills, Calif. —AP

throughout the show’s run as characters graduated from high school and moved on, “FNL” was its own family. The final season already aired on directv, so the NBC finale yesterday comes nearly a year after “FNL” wrapped. To mark the end, the cast and creators of “Friday Night Lights” talk about their experience with the show: Britton; Taylor Kitsch (Tim Riggins); Michael B. Jordan (Vince Howard); Zach Gilford (Matt Saracen); Jason Katims, executive producer; and Peter Berg, creator and executive producer. With clear eyes and full hearts, they reflect on “Friday Night Lights.” Katims: One of the early episodes, we were shooting in a Baptist church. ... Everybody in the place was effectively part of the community: the congregation, an organ player, singers, a minister. I was up there in the church talking to the minister when we were getting set up to shoot. ... And then suddenly, without anyone ever calling action, the musicians started playing and the congregation started getting into it. It very naturally was happening. The (assistant director) screamed out, “Hey Jason, you’re in the shot!” They just started shooting. And that’s very typical of the way “Friday Night Lights” worked. Nobody called “action,” nobody told the background what they should be doing. Kitsch: I based a lot of Riggins’ look off of Gary Oldman in “State of Grace.” His long hair, his grease. On the pilot and once we got picked up, I’m sitting in the make-up and hair (department) and I’m like, “Nope, more. Nope, more.” They were like, “Really? Are you serious?” And I was like, “Yes. This cat, this is who he is.” It became this whole over-exposed deal about his hair. Jordan: One of the first people I met down there was Brad Leland (Buddy Garrity). I walked into a Mexican restaurant and I went over and introduced myself to him. I said, “You might not know who I am, but I’m playing x, y, z on the show.” He said, “Michael. Michael, listen to me, Michael. This is something that you’ll never, ever, ever forget. You’re part of something spe-

cial. And you just wait until you go to set on Monday and you’ll find out for yourself, because I can’t tell it with any justice.” That as the first welcoming I got and he didn’t speak one false word. Everything he said was true. Britton: I have this one memory, it was in season one and we were shooting the last episodes where Tami finds out she’s pregnant and we’re in the championship game. There’s a whole story about how we’re going to go about dealing with the pregnancy. We were shooting in a hotel room and Jeff Reiner was directing. I just remember us all lolling around on the beds in the hotel room, talking about how these scenes should play out and what would make the most sense for these characters in the moment. ... I always think back on that because there was such a sense of comfort about it. ... We could sit around and talk about what was happening in these people’s lives for hours. Berg: My memories of “FNL” will forever be joyful: West Texas sunsets; (football drills) Bull in the Ring, Two-A-Days in 115 degrees; (real life inspirations for the show) David Edwards and the Austin Westlake Chaparrals; Mack Brown (University of Texas head coach), Vince Young (former Texas quarterback), Boobie Miles (primary subject of Buzz Bissinger’s book “Friday Night Lights: A Town, A Team, and a Dream”) are forever a part of my heart - which is full, as my eyes are clear. Kitsch: I don’t think i’ll ever forget playing (Riggins). For me, I loved reconnecting, coming back. It was just this really safe zone where we could come in and take silly risks and just get after it. I had so much fun doing that. ... I miss the process. ... And just the freedom. Literally, I’d go to set and they’d be like, “Let’s see what the actors brought to it and then position it.” That’s the beauty we had. It makes you better when you give someone freedom or an opportunity. Katims: There was one day where we were shooting some practice scenes on the football

Actress Connie Britton was nominated for an Emmy award for best actress in a drama series for her role in “Friday Night Lights” on Thursday, July 14, 2011. —AP field. But we weren’t shooting yet, we were just setting up and waiting for people to come. And Taylor Kitsch was walking up in his uniform just starting his day. Jeff (Reiner) the director got one of the camera operators to start filming him and told one of the assistant coaches to run up to Kitsch and just start screaming at him for being late. Taylor Kitsch wasn’t working yet, he was literally just walking to the set and suddenly he’s being bombarded by this coach. Gilford: I will never forget a scene in episode eight of season one when Herc (Kevin Rankin) and Street (Scott Porter) race through the halls of the rehab facility in their wheel chairs and eventually knock each other onto the floor. —AP



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Esposito breaks new ground as a ‘Breaking Bad’ foe W Sunday and, further upping the ante, future episodes pit Walt, mano a mano, against his most formidable opponent yet: big-time drug boss Gustavo “Gus” Fring. Gus has been a presence since Season 2, when, played by Giancarlo Esposito, he emerged as an instantly fascinating character a man of professional mien, soft-spoken, eventempered, precise.”I decided that I wanted to play him really graceful, calm, even modest,” says Esposito. “I decided to trust that I could do very, very little, and get my point across.” He gets his point across all right, chillingly, while keeping Gus unexceptional to the naked eye. “I wanted him to be someone who hides in plain sight,” says Esposito. Gus keeps his criminal activities under wraps beneath his identity as a legitimate businessman. He owns several outlets of a fast-food chain, Los Pollos Hermanos (“the Chicken Brothers”), as well as an industrial laundry processing center. Walt and Gus have had their past differences. Can Walt now forge an agreement with Gus to get back to running the lab with Jesse? Well, not before the unforgiving Gus teaches them a lesson on the order of: Even if it doesn’t make good business sense to kill you, I’ll make you wish you were dead. The mysterious Gus is apparently from South America. The 53-year-old Esposito was born in Copenhagen to a black opera singer from the U.S. and a white Italian stage technician at a Naples opera house. His mother returned to New York with Esposito and his brother when he was still a child. There, understandably stage-struck, he landed an agent, auditioned for a musical From left, Aaron Paul, Jonathan Banks, Bryan Cranston about an Irish woman protectand Giancarlo Esposito are shown in a scene from the pre- ing orphaned children of runaway slaves, and made his miere episode of Season 4 of “Breaking Bad,”. — AP

alter White has lived a hectic life since learning he has terminal lung cancer, then deciding to apply his skills as a high school chemistry teacher to cook and sell methamphetamine so that, after he’s gone, his family will be provided for. During the first three seasons of the AMC drama “Breaking Bad,” Walt (played by series star Bryan Cranston) has grappled not only with cancer, but also with a Mexican drug cartel, his tormented wife, a brother-in-law who is a DEA agent, and his unstable partner in crime, Jesse Pinkman (co-star Aaron Paul), a past washout from Walter’s chemistry class who had become a drug-abusing dealer. Bleak, suspenseful, shocking and, at times, bitterly funny, “Breaking Bad” has charted the transformation of Walt from a middle-class Albuquerque, New Mexico, milquetoast to a dark virtuoso of the crystal-meth game. His cancer seems less of a threat these days, but he regularly faces other perils. Meanwhile, thanks to the genius of this series, viewers root for Walt to escape each close call, despite his growing villainy. “Breaking Bad” begins its fourth season

Giancarlo Esposito, right, and Bryan Cranston are shown in a scene from “Breaking Bad.” — AP Broadway debut as one of those orphans in “Maggie Flynn,” starring Shirley Jones in the title role. “I went into show business to help my mother pay the bills, and to have some fun,” he explains. “And I absolutely fell in love with it.” He worked as what he calls a song-and-dance man throughout his youth in numerous musical shows. But then, in adulthood, he decided to develop what he saw as a different craft: acting. “I wanted to be able to create characters complicated people who you couldn’t just take at face value, where there was always something else going on,” he says. His long list of credits includes dozens of TV guest star roles, as well as several series, notably “Homicide: Life on the Street” and a groundbreaking 1990s comedy, “Bakersfield P.D.” His numerous films include “Do the Right Thing,” “Bob Roberts,” “The Usual Suspects,” “Ali” and “Malcolm X.” In 2008, he directed his first film, “Gospel Hill,” in which he starred with Angela Bassett and Danny Glover. Esposito says he was originally signed for a single episode of “Breaking Bad.” The story called for Walt to be dispatched by a go-between to a fast-food restaurant to meet a buyer for the methamphetamine he and Jesse had cooked in their motor-home lab. On arriving, Walt almost missed Gus, hidden in plain sight in his restaurant manager’s uniform. “In

that first scene in Los Pollos Hermanos when he didn’t know who I was, for me to play that little game got us both very interested in each other,” Esposito recalls, speaking as much about himself and Bryan Cranston as about Gus and Walt. “We listened to each other,” he says, explaining the secret to their acting chemistry, “and real listening is listening with every part of your being. From the beginning, that’s the way I felt working with Bryan. I love working with the guy. “And what always surprises me about Bryan is, he’s really funny,” Esposito adds. “Masterfully funny.” In a separate interview, Cranston draws an equally admiring contrast between Esposito and the role he plays. “Giancarlo is a warm, spiritually embracing kind of man,” Cranston says. “And then, when he turns on Gus Fring, he goes dead. Like there’s a screen that comes across his eyes, where you cannot go any further. He won’t let you in there! It makes it easier for someone working with him, because he’s so real and honest.” By which, Cranston means, Esposito in performance is honestly intimidating. “The whole season is like a chess match with him and me,” says Cranston. And not just between Walt and Gus, but between two fine actors connecting on screen. “This,” says Esposito, “is the acting I’ve always wanted to do.” — AP

‘Treme’ suffers Emmy neglect


Melissa Leo is shown in a scene from ‘Treme’. — AP

t would’ve been embarrassing to overlook Melissa Leo when handing out the Emmy nominations this year. After all, just five months ago, she won herself an Oscar. So on Thursday, she got a well-deserved nod for the HBO miniseries “Mildred Pierce.” That got Emmy voters off the hook. In the process, it spared them the burden of examining Leo’s work in “Treme,” the HBO drama series of which she is one of many Emmyworthy cast members. Leo was probably the best shot “Treme” had at recognition. But, instead of landing even one nomination - for acting, writing or anything else - the series got the back of Emmy’s hand. What a shame. “Treme” is easily among the best drama series on the air, and takes a backseat to no show for the breadth and excellence of its cast. One more thing that makes “Treme” praiseworthy: its uniqueness. For viewers (and, apparently,

a crop of Emmy voters) who don’t know, “Treme” is set in post-Katrina New Orleans and follows a broad sample of its residents coping with the disaster’s aftermath and otherwise living their lives. If “Seinfeld” was famously a show about nothing, “Treme” is a show about everything. Everything human. Which it manages to pull off without feeling overstuffed, overwrought or artificial. “Treme” is not dense or dark or difficult, which were words that seemed to attach themselves to a previous extraordinary series created by David Simon. Instead, “Treme” is hopeful and, befitting its setting, filled with music and stout-heartedness. Moments big and little comingle in its narrative, the way they do in real life. In the exotic, challenged world that is New Orleans after the storm, “Treme” identities the common themes that unite its characters with its audience. The actors make the whole thing look easy. They are a diverse

Wendell Pierce is shown in a scene from the HBO series, “Treme.”. — AP crowd, diverse without a sense of of nominees. But “Treme” has no satisfying any quota. However exaggerated violence, villainy or beautiful or ordinary-looking, each glamour. It just feels natural. And natuof them seems part of a relatable ral can be a tough sell in TV drama. So community - not members of a on Thursday, just as last year at this time, “Treme” lost out. heightened actors’ class. Of course, “Treme” wasn’t alone Consider, just for starters: Wendell Pierce and Clarke Peters among the sadly snubbed. But it (both memorable from “The Wire”); stands tall as the saddest. And as Kim Dickens (“Deadwood”); Khandi this year’s towering example of the Alexander (“CSI: Miami,” HBO’s “The Mariska Hargitay Syndrome. Corner”); Steve Zahn (“Riding in Nothing against Mariska Hargitay, Cars With Boys”); and Melissa Leo. who, for the record, won an Emmy All of them belong on Emmy’s lists in 2006. — AP



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Harry Chapin recalled as a


efore there was Band Aid or Live Aid, a We Are the World or Hands Across America, there was singer-songwriter Harry Chapin - lobbying for change in Congress, pestering an already convinced President Jimmy Carter to establish a commission on world hunger, and passing the hat for donations at concerts large and small. Chapin has been gone now nearly as long as he lived. He achieved artistic and commercial success with a string of hits in the 1970s, songs like “Cats in the Cradle,” “Taxi” and “Circle” that aging Baby Boomers - and their babies’ babies - still cherish. His work as an advocate for the hungry is a legacy that resonates 30 years after his death at age 38 when a tractor-trailer demolished his car on the Long Island Expressway. Chapin died only hours before he was to perform a free concert before an expected crowd of 25,000 at the island’s Eisenhower Park. Now another benefit concert is planned by members of the Chapin family, including daughter Jen and his brothers Tom and Steve - also

efit that raised millions to fight starvation in Africa. “It’s hard to overestimate the amount of good he did,” added Sen. Patrick Leahy, a close friend of Chapin’s who confessed he broke down in tears after he was summoned from the Senate floor on July 16, 1981, and told of the fatal crash. Speaking at Chapin’s memorial service, Leahy said, was one of the most difficult things he’s ever done. “There are a huge number of people

(Above) In this Nov. 1976, photo provided by WhyHunger, Harry Chapin urges radio listeners to get involved in the fight against hunger at a New York radio station during WhyHunger’s second annual Hungerthon. (Left) In this file photo of Aug. 13, 1980 at a political fundraiser, from left, Ralph Nader, Mark Green, Gilda Radner and Harry Chapin, pose for a photo in the Empire State Building New York. — AP photos

recording artists - at a town park in Chapin’s hometown of Huntington, on Long Island. Admission to the Saturday event is free, but fans are asked to bring donations of food and money to benefit the Long Island Cares food bank, another charity founded by Chapin.”Just to call him an inspiration would minimize his real impact. Harry Chapin, his life and his efforts, did an awful lot not only to stimulate the success of We Are the World, but its longevity,” said entertainer Harry Belafonte, a driving force behind the 1985 ben-

who probably have no idea who he is,” Leahy told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “All they know is they got fed because of him and they wouldn’t have otherwise, both in this country and abroad.” The Vermont Democrat recalls a meeting with Carter in the White House, when Carter agreed to form a commission focusing on world hunger. Chapin’s tenacious spirit almost kyboshed the deal,Leahy said.”We sat around the Cabinet room and he starts telling the president we

should do this. And the president’s trying to say ‘I agree with you, Harry.’ And he’s just getting all wound up and excited. I finally said, ‘Harry, Harry, don’t talk him out of it.’ Everybody laughed, but he pushed for it and pushed so hard.” Continuing his work three decades on is clearly a labor of love for the Chapin family, says Jen Chapin, a singer-songwriter who often performs with her father’s guitar. She and other relatives have served on the board of directors of WhyHunger, a charity her father cofounded as “World Hunger Year” in the 1970s. “It’s part of the fabric of our everyday lives,” said Chapin,

who was 10 when her father died. Whenever she appears in concert, fans tell her of their affection for her father. “A lot of people remember him and make connections, share stories,” she said. She doesn’ t doubt that her father may have drifted toward a career in politics had he not been killed, recalling talk that he was considering a bid for a US Senate seat in New York before he died. If he were alive today? “He would have been all over the social media. He was a very fastpaced person living in a much slower world.” Since her father’s passing, entertainers including Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Rogers and others have become forceful advocates on the hunger issue. Springsteen has for many years allowed local food banks to collect donations at his concerts. “The fact of the matter is Harry was the greatest advocate for the homeless and malnourished in the entertainment business,” says Ken Kragen, Chapin’s manager for the last three years of his life. Kragen is credited with helping organize the We Are The World recording, and later was a founder of Hands Across America, another endeavor to fight hunger and homelessness. “I think that he really inspired the events of the mid- and later 80s,” Kragen said. “I would hope he would be very pleased at how much he has inspired.” Belafonte told The AP that he and Chapin were not intimate friends, but had met several times. “We shared the platform on a number of o ccasions and I always responded favorably whenever he asked me to do anything, whether it was to write a letter or make a call,” the 84-year-old singer said in a telephone interview. “In that context, I grew to really admire him, not only for his commitment to the cause of hunger, but also the fact that he did it with such passion, such real commitment.—AP



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Emmys, networks have

the right sense of humor

Michael C. Hall arrives for the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. Hall was nominated for an Emmy award for best actor in a drama series for his role in “Dexter”.


ith “Mad Men,” “Boardwalk Empire” and other prestige series, cable ruled the Emmy nominations for drama. But broadcast networks got the last laugh with their sitcoms. Of the six nominees for best drama series only one, CBS’ “The Good Wife,” is a network program. Of the halfdozen comedy series contenders, all air on networks. Members of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences clearly favored sitcom tradition in Thursday’s nominations. “Modern Family,” ‘’The Office” and other broadcast shows have a more purely comic bent and err on the good-natured side of satire. Cable comedies are increasingly, in a word, mordant: Think Showtime’s “The Big C,” about a cancer-stricken woman. “There was a heyday of comedies on cable like ‘Sex and the City,’ but now it’s broadcast” that dominates the genre for Emmy voters, said Tom O’Neil, editor of the award websites and The lack of cable comedy bids may represent “a bit of a backlash” against the hybrid comedy-drama, O’Neil said. It also underscores the sitcom’s resurgence on broadcast TV, which seemed to lose its comic touch as hits such as “Friends” and “Seinfeld” faded into memory and weren’t replaced. A winning new crop is now emerging, including ABC’s “Modern Family” and its clever take on what family has come to mean. Crowned best comedy series after its freshman season, it received 17 nominations this time around. Nods also went to NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” ‘’The Office” and “30 Rock,” CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” and Fox’s “Glee.” They’ve yet to break into lofty ratings territory - only one comedy, CBS’ former Charlie Sheen vehicle “Two and a Half Men,” cracks the Nielsen top 20 - but they’re generating buzz and gaining momentum. “OK, keep it together,” a surprised nominations co-announcer Melissa McCarthy said Thursday when she realized she was a nominee herself for “Mike & Molly.” While cable comedies were overlooked, their stars weren’t. Edie Falco, who was named best actress in a come-

Actors Melissa McCarthy, left, and Joshua Jackson announce nominees for Lead Actor in a Drama Series during nominations for the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in Los Angeles. — AP photos ers have a chance to flaunt their risk-taking side with “Game of Thrones,” given the usual resistance to rewarding genre shows such as fantasy or science fiction. The series based on the George R.R. Martin novels scored a best drama nod but only a single acting bid, for Peter Dinklage in a supporting role. —AP

Actor Hugh Laurie arrives at the FOX 2011 Winter Press Tour party in Pasadena, Calif. Laurie was nominated for an Emmy award for best actor in a drama series for his role in “House”. dy last year for Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie,” was nominated again. Laura Linney scored a bid for “The Big C” and Louis C.K. earned a best comedy actor bid for his FX Networks show “Louie.” Given broadcasters fixation on franchise crime dramas such as “CSI” and “NCIS,” it’s unsurprising that cable’s daring, unique (and often awash in nudity and violence) series dominate the Emmys. Besides handing AMC’s “Mad Men” 19 nominations and a shot at a fourth consecutive best drama series trophy, the academy gave fistfuls of bids to HBO’s wild Prohibition-era series “Boardwalk Empire” (18) and fantasy saga “Game of Thrones” (13). Other best drama cable nominees are DirecTV’s “Friday Night Lights” and Showtime’s “Dexter.” “The Good Wife” had to be really good to wrestle a spot. It received eight other nominations, including one for star Julianna Margulies. The period melodrama “Mildred Pierce,” starring Kate Winslet and based on the 1941 James M. Cain novel, grabbed a top 21 bids, including best miniseries or movie There was room for fresh faces, including best drama actress nominee Mireille Enos of AMC’s “The Killing” and best drama actor Timothy Olyphant of

Actress and producer Tina Fey attends the NBC Network Upfront in New York. Fey was nominated for an Emmy award for best actress in a comedy series for her role in “30 Rock”. FX Networks’ “Justified.” And there were longtime favorites as well, most notably Betty White. The 89-year-old wonder nabbed a best supporting actress bid for the sitcom “Hot in Cleveland.” If she wins, it would be her eighth Emmy. “I am so thrilled. How lucky can an old broad be?” White said by phone a few minutes after her agent woke her. “I wasn’t even thinking about the nominations because I didn’t even think there was a chance.” Jon Hamm of “Mad Men” received his fourth nomination and another chance to convert one to a win. Although threetime winner Bryan Cranston is out of the running because “Breaking Bad” took a breather, Steve Buscemi, a Golden Globe winner for “Boardwalk Empire” is among the formidable competitors. Emmy vot-

Jon Hamm portrays Don Draper in the AMC series, “Mad Men.” The series was nominated for an Emmy for best drama series, and Jon Hamm was nominated for best actor in a drama series.



ORLANDO: In this image provided by Universal Orlando Resort surprised guests who attended the midnight film screening of ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2’ at AMC Universal Cineplex yesterday enter the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park. — AP photos

In this film publicity image released by Warner Bros Pictures, Daniel Radcliffe portrays Harry Potter in a scene from “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.” — AP

Final ‘Potter’ film is

sad and satisfying I

f last year’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” marked the beginning of the end with a gripping feeling of doom and gloom, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” wraps things up once and for all on a note of melancholy. Oh, it’s dramatic, to be sure: gorgeous, somber and startling as the young wizard faces his destiny and fights the evil Lord Voldemort. But the end of this staggeringly successful movie franchise, an epic fantasy saga spanning eight films over the past decade, provides a necessary emotional catharsis for Harry and for us. Even those who aren’t ardent Potterphiles - who aren’t waiting in a line around the theater with their homemade wands and hand-drawn lightning scars - might find themselves getting unexpectedly choked up a couple of times.

That’s always been the real magic of the series, based on J K Rowling’s novels: that mixture of the exotic and the everyday, the otherworldly and the utterly relatable. No longer the innocent children they were when they entered Hogwarts, Harry, Ron and Hermione are growing up and moving on, and so must we. That the future of the wizard world hangs in the balance in this final installment is only part of the tale. Still, director David Yates has accomplished the difficult task of bringing it all to a close in satisfying fashion. Having directed the last four of the eight films, Yates has provided a momentum and cohesion to the “Harry Potter” canon, which has gotten progressively darker and more mature. And Steve Kloves, who’s written all but one of the screenplays in the series, has once again risen to the challenge of tryin g to please

Ralph Fiennes portrays Lord Voldemort. — AP

purists and casual viewers alike in adapting Rowling’s revered writing. It’s hard to imagine how complicated this must have been, given the density of the mythology, even though the final book was divided into two films. (Although the epilogue, which features some of the main characters decked out in grown-up makeup, does seem a bit cheesy and hasty and it might inspire a few giggles.) At the same time, because it took two films to depict the action in the last installment, this second half doesn’t feel overstuffed or overlong. It moves with great urgency toward the final showdown between Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes, deeply disturbing as usual); danger infuses every moment, and it never overstays its welcome. Much of that has to do with the look of the film, both in its attention to inventive detail and to the sweeping, elaborate set pieces. The cinematography from Eduardo Serra, who also shot “Deathly Hallows: Part 1,” is once again richly ominous and beautifully bleak. Here, Hogwarts isn’t a warm, bustling place full of possibilities but rather a fearsome fortress swarming with Death Eaters, where Professor Severus Snape (the deliciously icy Alan Rickman) rules as if leading his own fascist regime. Yes, “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” is in 3-D - it’s the only installment in the series to be presented that way - and as usual, that was unnecessary. The technical elements all looked flawless and immersive in the previous film. (Warner Bros. wisely chose not to rush the conversion from 2D on “Deathly Hallows: Part 1,” and instead took more time for the process here.) But the addition of a third dimension does allow some details to pop, and

it’s never a distraction. Although the “Potter” films have always been about the escape of the spectacle, the kids and their struggle to navigate both good and evil provides some much-needed rooting in reality. Radcliffe has never been better, and brief flashbacks to the earliest images of him in the role only serve as a reminder of how far he’s come. The character has long since been cemented into his identity, but more is required of him physically and emotionally than ever before, and he’s more than up for it all. “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” drops us into a menacing version of this world we’ve come to know, immediately and without explanation; it’s a bit disorienting at first, even if you’ve seen all that’s come before it. Then again, if you’re bothering to check out the finale, in theory you should know what’s going on. Harry, Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) are still hunting Horcruxes - scattered containers that hold pieces of Voldemort’s soul, which are crucial to Harry’s survival - in order to destroy them. One of them is being stored in Bellatrix Lestrange’s bank vault, which allows Helena Bonham Carter to have a bit of fun with her wicked character. Hogwarts is no longer a place of refuge as Voldemort draws ever closer; his attack on the stately school is thrilling, but it also provides moments of heroism for some characters you might not expect. Still, this is the place where all the narrative and emotional threads must converge and tie up at last. While “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” offers long-promised answers, it also dares to pose some eternal questions, and it’ll stay with you after the final chapter has closed. —AP



In this film publicity image released by Warner Bros. Pictures, from left, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint are shown in a scene from “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. — AP

Stars mull options if ‘Potter’ hadn’t come calling Rupert Grint portrays Ron Weasley, left, and Helena Bonham Carter portrays Bellatrix Lestrange in a scene from “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.” — AP

5 favorite ‘Harry Potter’ grown-ups


he world of “Harry Potter” has always centered on the boy wizard and his pals as they navigate danger, outsmart villains and hurtle toward their inevitable destiny. But the eight-film series has also featured a who’s-who of outstanding British actors playing the adults in this magical world. Since it all ends this week with the release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” here’s a look at five favorite grown-ups from the franchise: Alan Rickman as Severus Snape: Probably the most fascinating figure in the Potter world because of his shifting alliances and an emotional depth that’s unexpected given his icy demeanor. Rickman is captivating in the role, with his droll, deadpan delivery that oozes condescending menace. A half-blood wizard, Snape has been a minion of the evil Lord Voldemort as well as an ally of Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore. He’s served as the intimidating Defense Against the Dark Arts professor and eventually headmaster himself but he’s also been a protector of Harry. Snape bullies his students but he also reveals his bravery, and in this final film, a flashback that explains his history with the young wizard provides one of its most poignant scenes. Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort: Fiennes is just chilling as the dark lord, the lifelong nemesis Harry is destined to fight, and that’s only partly because of his freakish, noseless appearance. His soft, hissing delivery is more disarming in a way than if he’d issued his threats and orders with a bellowing boom. The artist formerly known as Tom Riddle was once the most brilliant student Hogwarts had ever seen. But he used those strengths to transform himself into the most powerful dark wizard ever, and boy, does he have it in for Harry Potter. He seriously

LONDON: Helena Bonham Carter arrives in Trafalgar Square. needs to find a hobby. Michael Gambon as Dumbledore: Gambon took over the role after the death of Richard Harris, who played the headmaster at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the first two films in the franchise, “Sorcerer’s Stone” and “Chamber of Secrets.” And he took a different approach to the part: While he remained a bastion of all that is good and true in the world, a steady and authoritative voice of reason, Gambon played him with a bit more fire and range than Harris. Perhaps that’s also because more of the character is revealed to us over time. With his long, silver hair and beard, Dumbledore is revered, but he’s also got some secrets. Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange: A great opportunity for this versatile actress to show off her wild side. With her dark, untamed locks and severe, black wardrobe, Bellatrix is fiercely loyal to Voldemort as a member of his army of Death Eaters. Bonham Carter plays the role with wicked glee, reveling in the over-the-top nature of being an evil flunky, even though the character herself comes from an elite wizarding family. —AP


n some fantasy world, Daniel Radcliffe might be a low-level gofer on movie sets. Emma Watson might be a nobody auditioning for stage plays. Tom Felton might be noodling around as a musician. And Rupert Grint might be selling ice cream on the street.With the finale “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” arriving this week, the young stars of one of Hollywood’s biggest film franchises pondered what they might be doing if the acting thing hadn’t worked out. Radcliffe: An 11-year-old when picked for the title role of the “Harry Potter” franchise, Radcliffe figures that since his parents worked in the arts - his mother as a casting director, his father as a literary agent - he would have ended up in show business. But not as an actor, probably as an assistant director. “What probably would have happened, when I got to about 17, 18, and it became apparent, as it would have done, to my parents that I wasn’t going to be going to university, I’m sure they probably would have tried to get me, like, an internship on a film as a runner. And then I’d just try to work my way up the A.D. ladder from there,” said Radcliffe, whose pre-”Harry Potter” acting work included the title role in a British television production of “David Copperfield.” “To this day, I still fancy myself as a bit of an A.D. Anyone who works with me will tell you if they give me a radio, I constantly kind of try to run messages between people, that I always like to know exactly what’s going on around the set. So if somebody’s saying, ‘Where’s so and so? We need them now,’ I can go, ‘They’re there. That person’s coming back. They’ve just gone to the toilet.’ I really like to know exactly what’s going on at all times on set, because I like to feel that’s another way in which I can make myself useful.”

Watson: Just 10 when she was cast as bookish Hermione Granger, Watson had no previous professional acting experience. Yet she’s convinced that no matter how she would have gone on to make a living, acting still would have been part of her life. “I would have found some way to end up acting, performing. I mean, obviously, not on this scale, but I would have been doing it, I’m sure,” Watson said. “I would have been doing plays. I’m almost a hundred percent sure I would be doing plays, I would be acting. I mean, that would be a sideline thing for me. I would be focusing toward some kind of career that I’m not really sure of now, but I definitely would have been performing, some way or another.” Grint: Also a screen newcomer when chosen at 11 to play jittery but stalwart sidekick Ron Weasley, Grint finds it daunting to imagine a life in which he never landed among the “Harry Potter” clan. “I don’t know. It’s quite a scary thought. I saw recently, they put on one of the DVDs, footage from our screen tests when we were first kind of auditioning. In one of them, there was a test with Emma and Dan with a different Ron, another kid who was auditioning at the same time. That was very weird to see that, because he was good. I probably would have picked him. “It was weird to think what I’d be doing now. ... I’d have probably gone down the art route. I wanted to design hats for a while when I was really young. And being an ice cream man was another dream, but I’ve kind of let go of that now. I bought an ice cream van and brought it up, actually, on the last day and served ice cream to the crew. I don’t really drive it too much now, because you get people queuing up on the street.” —AP

Daniel Radcliffe is shown in a scene from “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.” — AP



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US ambassador connects with Thai ‘Tweethearts’ Diplomacy is about relationships: Kenney BANGKOK: She tells us when she has a sore throat, craves a milkshake or is stuck in a traffic jam. The US ambassador to Thailand is everywhere on Twitterand far from traditional diplomatic practice. “Probably other people have a sore throat too,” Kristie Kenney told AFP, as she explained her unconventional approach to the job. For Kenney, the days of starchy emissaries living in ivory towers are over. Diplomacy, said the 56year-old, is about relationships. Between two governments, of course, but also between two peoples. Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites have created connections that never used to exist, and Kenney-who arrived in Thailand in January-has opened up to them in a disarmingly friendly way. Nearly 20,000 people “follow” her daily Thai travels via Twitter. “For me it’s a connection and it’s a way to connect people,” she explained. “And it allows people to feel that they can reach out to the ambassador, who is not just a figure hidden in a big building.” The “connection” woven by her predecessor was of a somewhat different order. In late 2010, the Wikileaks website published cables by the former ambassador Eric John which quoted unflattering comments about the future of the monarchy-a major taboo in Thailand. The cables caused a stir, especially since the US has been an ally of Bangkok since the beginning of the Cold War. Is Kenney, then, on a mission to improve the image of the United States in Thailand? “I’ve never sort of thought of it as a grand strategic plan,” she said, adding that her Twitter feed is personal and has nothing to do with the State Department. But she admits some in Washington might have found her relaxed style suitable for the job. “It does make sense,” said the diplomat, who likes to be “someone transparent” in her methods. “People have a sense of what I am doing, where I am now.” Kenney has gone beyond the Internet in her high-profile efforts to embrace Thai culture. Earlier this month, she was one of two foreigners honoured by the Ministry of Culture for outstanding proficiency in the Thai language. ‘Good morning tweethearts!’- And in one of her most memorable stunts, she was pictured in several Thai newspapers

BANGKOK: US ambassador to Thailand Kristie Kenney (left) with Yingluck Shinawatra (right). —AFP parachuting above rice fields, wearing a crisp white tracksuit, helmet, goggles and a huge smile. “People mention it to me all the time,” she said. “Regularly people say, ‘Oh my gosh I saw you, how was that?’ And I say it was a terrifying... not-to-be-repeated adventure.” Her attitude has raised eyebrows and even exasperated some of the more traditional embassy staff in the Thai capital. “It’s Alice in Wonderland,” said one foreign diplomat. “Frankly, after the parachute, one had to wonder what she would find next.” But Kenney is not alone in embracing the “soft power” of cultural diplomacy and social networking. In one recent tweet, she said the coffee was brewing ahead of breakfast with her friend Asif Ahmad, the British ambassador to Thailand. “I can almost sense the aroma down the road!” he tweeted in response. US President Barack Obama, who pioneered the use of social media during his 2008 election campaign, fired off his first tweet from the White House in early July. The American embassies are “leading the pack in Southeast Asia” in terms of social media, said Jon Russell, a blogger from the Asian Correspondent website, and Kenney’s popularity is down to her personal and responsive manner. “This personal approach feeds into many

Thais’ interest in reading snippets from famous people’s lives, as well as the chance to reach out and contact them,” Russell added. Kenney denied her informal style-”Good morning tweethearts!” is a typical daily message-detracts from more serious diplomatic matters, such as keeping secrets, delivering speeches and providing feedback from Washington. “I am completely comfortable with my ability to be clear and direct. And I don’t think the people I meet with don’t understand what I mean,” she said. While it’s impossible to gauge what the Thai authorities think, Kenney has become a huge hit with the general public and the media since she began work in Bangkok in January-more so than any of her diplomatic peers in the city. “Not that other diplomats aren’t friendly, though. It’s just that the new US ambassador to Thailand is un-diplomatically pleasant and gracious,” wrote Tulsathit Taptim in the English-language Nation newspaper. Three days after the election, the ubiquitous ambassador was pictured on the front of The Nation with Thailand’s incoming premier Yingluck Shinawatra, while on the back she was snapped with outgoing leader, Abhisit Vejjajiva. “Talked to Khun Yingluck yesterday to congratulate on Thai elections. —AFP

Spotify is now available in the US STOCKHOLM: Swedish music streaming service Spotify launched Thursday in the United States, its first foray outside Europe, after reaching agreements with the music industry there, the company announced. “Spotify, the largest and fastest growing music service of its kind, is available from today in the US,” the company said in a statement. Spotify said it now has some 10 million usersincluding more than 1.6 million paying ones-across Sweden, Norway, France, Finland, Britain, Spain and the Netherlands. “Stay tuned, the US wont be the last country,” Spotify’s head in North America Ken Parks told AFP Thursday, without any further details. Spotify, a webbased legal streaming service, lets users access a library of some 15 million tracks and listen to them on a computer or mobile phone. The free version is financed by advertising and comes with some restrictions, which users can avoid by purchasing a five or ten euro (or five or ten dollar) plan. Listeners can also buy individual songs. Founded in 2006 by Swedes Daniel Ek, then in his twenties, and Martin Lorentzon, the service first launched in 2008 in Sweden and says it has since become the world’s largest streaming service. It has some 300 employees and is seen as a chance for the music industry to regain the market share lost through illegal downloading. “Spotify was founded as a better, simpler alternative to piracy. So making sure that the people who create the music prosper is hugely important to us,” Parks said. The US launch was the subject of rumors for many months but Parks said the company took its time to make sure to have the same success in “the largest music market in the world” as it did in Europe. “Our objective is to get this product between the hands of the maximal number of users and let them follow what’s been done in Europe,” he said. “We’re very keen to replicate the same European model, so everyone wanted to be deliberative. But rather than looking back ... we want to look forward for a launch of all of the major labels and a huge number of indies,” he said. He added Facebook, the world’s largest social network, would be used to promote Spotify in the US market but did not comment on a May report on a closer tie-up between the two services. —AFP

BERLIN: This file photo shows headphones displayed at an electronics fair in Berlin. Swedish music streaming service Spotify launched in the US on Thursday. — AFP

No shortage of addictive new iPad games


veryone is looking for the next “Angry Birds.” Since the avian menaces invaded Apple’s iPhone in December 2009, the game and its spinoffs have been downloaded more than 250 million times. Since the iPad debuted last April, “Angry Birds HD” has been at or near the top of its Top Paid Apps chart. The characters have moved on to T-shirts, plush toys and board games, and there’s even been talk of a movie or TV show. There’s no way to duplicate such success, although there are enough critter-fling-

ing rip-offs in the App Store to populate a good-sized zoo. But if any company has a shot, it would be Chillingo, the UK-based publisher that picked up “Angry Birds” from Finnish developer Rovio Mobile. “Feed Me Oil” ($1.99 for iPad, 99 cents for iPhone) is Chillingo’s latest brain-bender. Like “Angry Birds,” it’s a “physics puzzler” - to solve each level, you have to work around the somewhat unrealistic physics of the game’s universe. In this case, you have a monster that is thirsty for the oil spewing

from an inconveniently placed spout. You’re given a limited assortment of simple tools, like rotating platforms, fans and magnets, to direct the oil flow into the monster’s mouth. Your score depends on how many tools you have to use, and since there’s never just one correct solution, you’ll be tempted to retry levels to find more elegant solutions. Easy to grasp yet increasingly devious, “Feed Me Oil” is slick stuff. Three stars out of four. “Tiny Tower” (NimbleBit, free for iPad and iPhone) is closer in spirit to another

phenomenon, the Facebook-based time-killer “FarmVille.” Instead of growing crops and breeding livestock, though, you’re building an urban skyscraper. As the clock ticks, you earn coins to invest in your tower, adding residential and business floors; you need some of each, since the “bitizens” who work in your stores need apartments to live in. You can also earn “Towerbux” by completing simple tasks, like finding a particular bitizen, and you can use Towerbux to speed up construction or inventory restocking. —AP

technology SATURDAY, JULY 16, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO: The Sony Playstation 3. Sony has said that it’s investing $20 million into new games for the PlayStation Network. — AFP

Sony backs unique games for PlayStation Network SAN FRANCISCO: Sony Computer Entertainment America on Wednesday revealed a plan to invest $20 million in unique games tailored exclusively for PlayStation Network (PSN). The money will be distributed during the coming three years to Sony affiliated studios as well as to independent game makers chosen for backing by a “Pub Fund” the Japanese entertainment colossus established in 2009. The move is part of a strategy by Sony to win more fans to its online PSN for PlayStation 3 videogame console users by providing enticing games unavailable at rivals such as Xbox Live. “We think it is important for everyone with a PS3 to be engaged in the network,” PSN marketing director Brandon Stander told AFP. “It needs to stand out from the crowd to make sure it is top of mind,” he said. “Consumers have lots of entertainment options and we want to be the place in the gaming category for stuff that can’t be found anywhere else.” Upcoming titles for the PSN portfolio include “Eufloria” in which players explore space and nurture semi-organic creatures. A “PAYDAY” game for PSN will let people play as career criminals pulling off major heists. A vibrant “Papo & Yo” game that challenges players to solve puzzles with the help of a monster sidekick with a dangerous addiction to poison frogs is due out on PSN next year. An early version of the game proved a hit at the major Electronic Entertainment Expo videogame extravaganza last month in Los Angeles. “Certainly tried-and-true things have a place in our hearts, but this investment seeks to push the boundaries of what is out there,” Stander said. “We hope to bring artistry and originality to interactive entertainment.” — AFP

The Smurfs’ Village game, shown on an iPad. — AP

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama responds to a ‘slightly skewed question’ from House Speaker John Boehner during what was billed as the first Twitter town hall at the White House. — AFP

Press barons, editors lose their information ‘gatekeeper’ role Social media, Internet change political, media dynamics LONDON: Britain’s celebrities might no longer have to worry about the News of the World hacking phones or rifling their bins, but the manner of the paper’s demise shows controlling information is getting much more difficult. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp may have hoped that cosy relationships with Britain’s police and political parties would be enough to avoid too close an investigation of persistent allegations that the paper’s journalists had broken the law. In the past, that might have worked. But once the old-school investigative reporters of Britain’s Guardian newspaper revealed hacking victims included teenage murder victim Milly Dowler, bombing victims and the families of Britain’s war dead, social media and the Internet took over. The initial story might have come from mainstream print media, but the online wave of outrage-which swiftly turned to mass lobbying of advertisers, who deserted the paper in droves to save public face-was something newer, the latest example of social media acting as an accelerant in a political crisis. The rise of the Internet and particularly social media are revolutionizing the structures of who controls information- and therefore to a certain extent the resulting structures of power. Keeping secrets is getting harder, stealing them in vast quantities and disseminating the information to the world easier — as seen last year with WikiLeaks. It may all be bad news for media moguls such as Murdoch. “What you’re seeing in all these cases is what you might term a democratization, a decline in the power of the traditional ‘gatekeepers’ such as governments and newspaper editors,” said Jonathan Wood,

Control Risks global issues analyst. “Information can be taken in huge quantities and sent immediately around the world-and it’s much harder to stop it.” That would make the kind of “gentleman’s agreement” between media chiefs and others-for example, to ensure privacy for politicians’ families or the secret deployment of Prince Harry in Afghanistan-much harder in years to come, he said. Ten years ago, a well-connected politician or company trying to kill a story would have picked up the phone to national newspaper editors and perhaps the heads of key TV channels. Now, they are more likely to be worried about what is on Twitter, Facebook and Googlewhich can be much more difficult to influence. Secrecy gets harder “For me, the key lesson of this story is the same one we’ve seen elsewhere, that secrecy is getting much harder,” said Kevin Craig, managing director of British consultancy Political Lobbying and Media Relations (PLMR). “The bottom line is that everyone has to get more used to greater transparency.” Already, companies keen to protect their public image often spend as much on online reputation management as they spend on conventional media relations. Meanwhile, governments are finding that controlling or influencing the mainstream press is no longer enough to shape the news agenda. Both the “Arab Spring” and Wikileaks saga both showed them struggling to control information through censorship or Internet blocks whilst individuals found it easier to disseminate opinion and coordinate protest or political

action. Twitter in particular allows thousands of popular dissenting voices to coalesce and lobby those in authority, organise flash mobs and even cyber attacks and spread otherwise controlled stories-such as those covered by UK privacy “superinjunctions” banning mainstream media from covering them. The viral way in which campaigns can spread means a firm’s reputation can come under sustained attack in hours-in this case producing the advertising boycott that killed Britain’s largest circulation weekly newspaper. Product boycotts have been organised before, but on the Internet they spread much faster. The online anger also helped force Britain’s political leaders-who had wooed Murdoch for decades-to turn on the press baron, forcing him to abandon immediate hopes for a takeover of satellite broadcaster BSkyB. “It’s ironic, because the News of the World was always particularly good at creating the kind of mob frenzy we’ve seen here,” said Tim Hardy, founder of UK-based blog Beyond Clicktivism. “But in the social media era, things have changed. In some ways, the way in which consumers can band together to- for example-boycott a brand is akin to what you might see with a trade union coordinating to withhold labour. As we’ve seen, it can be very effective.” The sheer level of potential privacy invasion by tabloid journalists has shocked many. All the resources of the British government, it appears, may have been unable to protect Gordon Brown, a former chancellor and prime minister, from having his personal bank and family medical data stolen. — Reuters

TV listings


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

Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 Untamed & Uncut Last Chance Highway Whale Wars After the Attack Animal Cops Houston Must Love Cats Lemur Street Michaela’s Animal Road Trip The Really Wild Show Jeff Corwin Unleashed New Breed Vets with Steve Dogs 101 Cats 101 Crocodile Hunter Trophy Cats Animal Cops Houston Mutant Planet Cats 101 Ultimate Air Jaws Shark Bait Beach I’m Alive

00:00 Lead Balloon 00:30 The Weakest Link 01:15 Survivors 02:05 How The Beatles Rocked The Kremlin 02:55 The Cup 03:25 Doctors 03:55 Dinnerladies 04:30 Fimbles 04:50 Balamory 05:10 Tikkabilla 05:40 Charlie And Lola 05:50 Fimbles 06:10 Balamory 06:30 Tikkabilla 07:00 Fimbles 07:20 Balamory 07:40 Tikkabilla 08:10 Charlie And Lola 08:20 Fimbles 08:40 Balamory 09:00 Tikkabilla 09:30 Charlie And Lola 09:40 Dinnerladies 10:50 Elbow With The BBC Concert Orchestra 11:50 The Weakest Link 12:35 Eastenders 14:35 Strictly Come Dancing 16:20 One Foot In The Grave 16:50 Elbow With The BBC Concert Orchestra 17:50 The Weakest Link 18:35 Holby City 20:15 Robin Hood 21:00 BBC Electric Proms 2007 21:50 How The Beatles Rocked The Kremlin 22:40 One Foot In The Grave 23:10 Red Cap

00:30 Masterchef: The Professionals 02:00 Come Dine With Me 02:50 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad 03:15 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad 03:40 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 04:30 Daily Cooks Challenge 07:30 Saturday Kitchen 11:15 Masterchef: The Professionals 14:15 Cash In The Attic USA 15:20 Antiques Roadshow 20:30 Cash In The Attic USA 21:30 Antiques Roadshow

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

2008 07:00 FIA European Drag Racing 2008 08:00 Cape Epic 09:40 Tread BMX 11:20 Lucas Oil Ama Motocross Championships... 13:00 BMX Megatour 13:50 Glutton For Punishment 14:40 Sports Jobs 16:20 Lucas Oil Ama Motocross Championships... 17:10 Carpocalypse 18:00 Glutton For Punishment 18:50 Lucas Oil Ama Motocross Championships... 20:30 BMX Megatour 21:20 Carpocalypse 22:10 Glutton For Punishment 23:00 FIM World Motocross MX3 Championships... 23:50 Kick Ass Miracles

Dirty Jobs Miami Ink Ultimate Survival Heartland Thunder Mythbusters How It’s Made How Stuff Works Dirty Jobs Street Customs 2008 Heartland Thunder Ultimate Car Build-Off Science Of The Movies The Future Of... Mythbusters

HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE ON OSN ACTION HD 12:20 Auction Hunters 13:40 Auction Kings 14:35 Extreme Engineering 15:30 Huge Moves 16:25 Mighty Ships 17:20 Mythbusters 18:15 River Monsters 19:10 Man, Woman, Wild 20:05 Ultimate Survival: Bear’s Essentials 21:00 Taking On Tyson 21:55 Flying Wild Alaska 22:50 Man vs Fish With Matt Watson 23:45 Human Prey

00:05 00:55 01:45 02:35 03:25 04:15 04:45 05:40 06:10 07:00 07:55 07:58 08:25 08:55 09:45 10:35 13:05 14:45 14:48 15:15 15:45 16:10 17:00 17:50 18:40

Science Of The Movies Mega Builders The Tech Show Bad Universe Catch It Keep It How Stuff’s Made Mega Builders One Step Beyond Weird Connections Sci-Fi Saved My Life Head Rush Sci-Fi Science Weird Connections Brainiac Prototype This Cosmic Collisions Powering The Future Head Rush Sci-Fi Science Weird Connections Bang Goes The Theory The Gadget Show Prototype This The Future Of... Nasa’s Greatest Missions

19:30 20:20 21:10 21:35 22:00 22:50 23:40

Space Pioneer The Gadget Show Sci-Fi Science The Tech Show Da Vinci’s Machines Catch It Keep It Bang Goes The Theory

00:00 Kim Possible 00:25 Fairly Odd Parents 01:15 Stitch 02:00 Replacements 02:50 Emperors New School 03:35 Stitch 04:25 Replacements 05:15 Fairly Odd Parents 06:00 Jungle Junction 06:25 Handy Manny 06:45 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 07:10 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 07:30 Fish Hooks 08:00 Suite Life On Deck 08:25 Good Luck Charlie 10:30 Lemonade Mouth (Extended) (Cema) 12:25 Shake It Up 12:50 Suite Life On Deck 13:40 Wizards Of Waverly Place 14:25 Hannah Montana 15:15 Fish Hooks 15:25 Good Luck Charlie 16:10 Wizards Of Waverly Place 17:00 Hannah Montana 17:25 Shake It Up 17:50 Fish Hooks 18:20 Shake It Up 19:10 Princess Protection Programme 20:55 Wizards Of Waverly Place 21:25 Fish Hooks

00:25 Kendra 00:55 Behind The Scenes 01:25 15 Unforgettable Hollywood Tragedies 03:15 25 Most Stylish 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Extreme Hollywood 06:00 THS 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 E! News 09:15 Kourtney And Kim Take New York 10:15 Khloe And Lamar 11:10 The Dance Scene 12:05 E! News 13:05 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 14:05 E!es 15:00 Holly’s World 15:55 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 16:55 Extreme Close-Up 17:55 E! News 18:55 Khloe And Lamar 19:55 E!es 21:25 The Dance Scene 22:25 E! News 23:25 Khloe And Lamar

00:40 X Games 15 2009 01:30 World Combat League 02:20 Carpocalypse 03:10 M1 Selection 2010 04:00 FIM World Motocross MX1/MX2... 05:40 World Combat League 06:30 FIA European Drag Racing

00:05 Unwrapped 00:30 Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives 00:55 Lidia’s Italy 01:45 Chopped 02:35 Good Eats - Special 03:25 Food Network Challenge 04:15 Good Eats - Special 04:40 Unwrapped 05:05 Ten Dollar Dinners 05:30 Paula’s Best Dishes 05:50 Paula’s Party 06:35 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 07:00 Chopped 07:50 Guy’s Big Bite 08:15 Everyday Italian 08:40 Good Deal With Dave Lieberman 09:05 Ten Dollar Dinners 09:30 Paula’s Best Dishes 09:55 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 10:20 Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives 10:45 Lidia’s Italy 11:10 Unwrapped 11:35 Paula’s Party 12:25 Everyday Italian 12:50 Paula’s Best Dishes 13:15 Good Deal With Dave Lieberman 13:40 Ultimate Recipe Showdown 14:30 Lidia’s Italy 14:55 Unwrapped 15:20 Boy Meets Grill 15:45 Chopped 16:35 Guy’s Big Bite 17:00 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 17:25 Lidia’s Italy 17:50 Everyday Italian 18:15 Paula’s Party 19:05 Good Eats - Special 19:30 Food Network Challenge 20:20 Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives 20:45 Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives 21:10 Food Network Challenge 22:00 Chopped 22:50 Ultimate Recipe Showdown 23:40 Good Eats - Special

00:00 Hooked 01:00 World’s Weirdest 01:55 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 02:50 Bonecrusher Queens 03:45 Predator CSI 04:40 Warzone Gone Wild 05:35 Wild Russia 06:30 Megafish 07:25 Fish Warrior 08:20 Snakezilla 09:15 The Pack 10:10 Animal Autopsy 11:05 I, Predator 12:00 Project Manta 13:00 Fish Warrior 14:00 Snakezilla 15:00 Shark Men 16:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 17:00 Deadly Summer 18:00 Predator CSI 19:00 Snakezilla 20:00 Shark Men 21:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 22:00 Deadly Summer 23:00 Predator CSI

00:00 Hooked 01:00 World’s Weirdest 01:55 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 02:50 Bonecrusher Queens 03:45 Predator CSI 04:40 Warzone Gone Wild 05:35 Wild Russia 06:30 Megafish 07:25 Fish Warrior 08:20 Snakezilla 09:15 The Pack 10:10 Animal Autopsy 11:05 I, Predator 12:00 Project Manta 13:00 Fish Warrior 14:00 Snakezilla 15:00 Shark Men 16:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 17:00 Deadly Summer 18:00 Predator CSI 19:00 Snakezilla 20:00 Shark Men 21:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 22:00 Deadly Summer 23:00 Predator CSI

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

Backstory World Sport The Situation Room World Report World Business Today CNN Marketplace Africa Piers Morgan Tonight Anderson Cooper 360 World Sport Inside Africa World Report Backstory World Report CNN Marketplace Africa Edit Room Future Cities World Report CNN Marketplace Middle East Open Court World Sport Cnngo Talk Asia African Voices Inside Africa Edit Room Future Cities World Report World Sport Piers Morgan Tonight World Report Cnngo Going Green International Desk African Voices Open Court World Sport Talk Asia Inside Africa International Desk Edit Room Future Cities World Report Cnngo Piers Morgan Tonight

00:00 02:00 04:00 06:00 08:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:30

Child’s Play 3-18 Blood And Bone-18 Child’s Play 3-18 Lara Croft: Tomb Raider-PG15 Speed-PG15 Arlington Road-18 Hollywood Homicide-PG15 Speed-PG15 The Italian Job (2003)-PG15 Hollywood Homicide-PG15 Bad Boys II-PG15 What Lies Beneath-PG15

01:45 03:30 05:15 07:15 09:00 11:00 12:45

The Front-PG15 Charlie And Boots-PG15 Delgo-FAM Rugrats Go Wild-FAM Delgo-FAM MacHEADS-PG15 A Christmas Carol-PG

TV listings SATURDAY, JULY 16, 2011 15:00 17:00 18:45 21:00 23:00

Cairo Time-PG15 The Sunset Limited-PG15 It’s Complicated-PG15 Paranormal Activity-PG15 The Losers-PG15

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 Funny Or Die Presents 02:00 Family Guy 02:30 Eastbound And Down 03:00 10 Things I Hate About You 03:30 The Office 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 10 Things I Hate About You 09:00 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 09:30 Modern Family 10:00 Outsourced 10:30 According To Jim 11:00 Coach 11:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:30 Yes Dear 13:00 The Office 13:30 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 14:00 According To Jim 14:30 Modern Family 15:00 Outsourced 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 Coach 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 10 Things I Hate About You 18:30 Hot In Cleveland 19:00 Hot In Cleveland 19:30 How I Met Your Mother 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Saturday Night Live 23:00 The Ricky Gervais Show 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

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

Off The Map Big Love The Good Guys Drop Dead Diva Strong Medicine Good Morning America Psych One Tree Hill The Good Guys Century City The View Off The Map Drop Dead Diva Century City Live Good Morning America Strong Medicine The Ellen DeGeneres Show Emmerdale Coronation Street C.S.I. C.S.I. New York Justified Private Practice Psych

00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 07:30 08:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 12:30 14:00 15:00 16:00 18:00 19:00

Alias The Good Guys Drop Dead Diva Big Love Off The Map Surface Alias Sons Of Tucson Look-A-Like Covert Affairs The Good Guys Off The Map Drop Dead Diva Sons Of Tucson Look-A-Like Covert Affairs Alias 8 Simple Rules ... Covert Affairs C.S.I.

20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00

C.S.I. New York Justified Breaking Bad The Glades

11:00 Drumline-PG15 13:00 The Invention Of Lying-PG15 15:00 A Lot Like Love-PG15 17:00 Ice Age 3: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs-FAM 19:00 Lower Learning-PG15 21:00 Frankie And Alice-PG15 23:00 Two Lovers-18

01:00 The Haunting Of Molly HartleyPG15 03:00 Orphan-18 05:00 Child’s Play 3-18 07:00 The One-PG15 09:00 Shinjuku Incident-PG15 11:00 Harry Potter And The HalfBlood Prince-PG15 13:30 12 Rounds-PG15 15:30 Shinjuku Incident-PG15 17:45 Pearl Harbor-PG15 21:00 What Lies Beneath-PG15 23:00 Clive Barker’s Book Of Blood-18

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

School Of Rock-PG15 Under The Tuscan Sun-PG15 The Lizzie McGuire Movie-PG For Love Or Money-PG Mad About Mambo-PG15 500 Days Of Summer-PG15 The Hudsucker Proxy-PG15 Saved!-PG15 School Of Rock-PG15 Fools Rush In-PG15 The Shape Of Things-PG15 Palo Alto-18

01:00 Forrest Gump-PG15 03:30 9-PG 05:00 The Last Song-PG15 07:00 Last Chance Harvey-PG15 09:00 Ice Age 3: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs-FAM

00:00 My Fair Madeline-FAM 02:00 Ulysses-PG 04:00 The Trumpet Of The SwanFAM 06:00 Nanny Mcphee And The Big Bang-PG 08:00 Sabrina The Teenage Witch: Friends Forever-PG 10:00 Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel-FAM 12:00 Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs-PG 14:00 The Three Musketeers-FAM 16:00 Monsters vs. Aliens-PG 18:00 Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs-PG 20:00 Daddy Day Care-PG 22:00 The Three Musketeers-FAM

00:30 AFL Premiership 03:00 Super League 05:00 The Open Championship Highlights 05:30 Golfing World 06:30 Total Rugby 07:00 Live Rugby Union International 09:00 The Open Championship Highlights 09:30 Rugby Union International 11:30 The Open Championship Highlights

12:00 Live The Open Championship 21:30 Live Super League

00:00 Golfing World 01:00 The Open Championship 07:00 Euro Tour Weekly 07:30 The Open Championship Highlights 08:00 Trans World Sport 12:30 Live NRL Premiership 14:30 Futbol Mundial 15:00 Mobil 1 The Grid 15:30 Total Rugby 16:00 Live Rugby Union Currie Cup 20:00 Trans World Sport 21:00 Live Darts World Matchplay

00:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 10:00 10:30 14:30 15:00 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00

WWE SmackDown WWE Bottom Line WWE NXT WWE Vintage Collection UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC Unleashed Live AFL Premiership NRL Full Time Live NRL Premiership V8 Supercars Extra WWE SmackDown Speedway Intercontinental Le Mans Cup WWE NXT WWE Bottom Line Live Masters Football

00:00 Sky News At Ten 01:00 Sky News At 11 With Anna Botting


01:30 Press Preview 02:00 Sky Midnight News 02:30 CBS News 03:00 News On The Hour 03:30 News, Sport, Weather 04:00 News On The Hour 04:30 News, Sport, Weather 05:00 News On The Hour 05:30 News, Sport, Weather 06:00 News On The Hour 06:30 News, Sport, Weather 07:00 News On The Hour 07:30 CBS News 08:00 Sunrise 12:00 Sky News With Colin Brazier 12:30 SN 13:00 Sky News With Colin Brazier 13:30 Saturday Sport 14:00 Sky News With Lorna Dunkley 14:30 SN 15:00 Sky News With Lorna Dunkley 15:30 SN 16:00 News, Sport, Weather 19:00 Sky News At 5 With Andrew Wilson 19:30 SN 20:00 Sky News At 6 With Andrew Wilson 20:30 SN 21:00 Sky News At Seven With Steve Dixon 21:30 Sportsline 22:00 News, Sport, Weather 22:30 News, Sport, Weather

00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 23:00

Deep Sea Detectives Dinosaur Secrets How The Earth Was Made Deep Sea Detectives Dinosaur Secrets How The Earth Was Made Deep Sea Detectives Dinosaur Secrets How The Earth Was Made Deep Sea Detectives Dinosaur Secrets How The Earth Was Made Holy Grail In America Ancient Discoveries

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 Chowder 08:15 Hero 108 09:05 Angelo Rules 10:00 Samurai Jack 10:55 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes 11:45 Robotboy 12:35 The Secret Saturdays 13:25 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 14:15 Bakugan: New Vestroia 15:05 Star Wars: The Clone Wars 15:50 The Powerpuff Girls 16:35 Adventure Time 17:15 Ed, Edd n Eddy 17:40 Chowder 18:05 Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends 18:30 Eliot Kid 18:55 Chop Socky Chooks 19:20 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 19:45 Camp Lazlo 20:10 Squirrel Boy 20:35 Cow And Chicken 21:00 Courage The Cowardly Dog 21:25 The Grim Adventures Of Billy And Mandy 21:50 Robotboy 22:00 Adventure Time 22:25 Hero 108 22:50 Ben 10 23:15 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 23:40 Chowder

00:20 01:55 03:45 05:25 Garcia 07:20 08:55 10:30 12:15 13:55 16:05 18:25 20:15 20:30

Until September-PG Cop Love At Large Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo

02:00 05:00 07:00 08:00 08:30 09:00 09:30 10:00 13:00

2011 American Le Mans Series The Big Ten’s Greatest Games Big Break Indian Wells Top 10 Golf Now Golf Central International Pipe Dream PGA Tour Golf Central International

The Boost Mosquito Squadron-PG Flight From Ashiya-PG Chance Of A Lifetime-PG Taras Bulba-PG Avanti-PG Dominick And Eugene-PG Mgm’s Big Screen-FAM Killing Mr. Griffin-PG

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

00:00 Trabant Trek 00:30 Word Travels 01:00 Globe Trekker Special 02:00 Temples In The Clouds 03:00 Indian Times 04:00 Globe Trekker 05:00 Trabant Trek 05:30 Word Travels 06:00 Inside Luxury Travel-Varun Sharma 07:00 Globe Trekker 08:00 Planet Food 09:00 Journey Into Wine-South Africa 09:30 Hollywood And Vines 10:00 Planet Food 11:00 Indian Times 12:00 Globe Trekker 13:00 Think Green 14:00 World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides 15:00 Rivers Of The World 16:00 Globe Trekker 17:00 First Class South Africa 17:30 Journey Into Wine-South Africa 18:00 Hollywood And Vines 18:30 Travel Today 19:00 Globe Trekker 20:00 Indian Times 21:00 Cruising To The Northern Lights 22:00 Julian And Camilla’s World Odyssey 23:00 Globe Trekker

what’s on SATURDAY, jULY 16, 2011

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. ■■■■■■■

Al-Jinan Club hosts annual exhibition


araem Al-Elman’ magazine participated in the annual exhibition for Al-Jinan Club, in Bait Al-Quran at Kaifan. Management of the magazine which is published by Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic affairs was keen to be with the children and young readers. A number of recent issues of the magazine were distributed to the young girls.

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. ■■■■■■■

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: ■■■■■■■

AWARE diwaniya


he AWARE Center cordially invites you to its diwaniya presentation on Tuesday (July 19, 2011) entitled “Developing Global and Ethical Leaders through Quality Learning” by Khalid AlDowsary at 7:00 pm. This presentation looks at cross-cultural communication skills with a focus on devel-

opment of dialogue with respect to the culture of others. It touches on improvement of presentation skills, leadership skills, and problem solving skills, creativity, critical thinking and teamwork spirit. Khalid is employed with Saudi Aramco employee as Superintendent of the Professional Learning Division with-

in the Professional Development Department. Currently, he is also a student working towards a PhD in Business Administration with a concentration on Human Resource Development, Malaysia University. He holds his M Ed in Human Resource Development from University of Minnesota, USA - 2007.

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.



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what’s on SATURDAY, jULY 16, 2011

Ahmad Al-Bisher Al-Roomi High School holds graduation ceremony In the presence of MP Hassan Johar and the principal and teachers of Ahmad Al-Bisher Al-Roomi High School, a graduation ceremony was held for the honor students for the academic year 2010-11. Diplomas and shields were distributed in the presence of students, parents and other guests.



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health & science SATURDAY, JULY 16, 2011

Hendra virus fears hit Australian racing SYDNEY: Australian racing officials ordered an inspection of more than 100 racetracks yesterday after a Hendra virus health scare at Sydney’s Randwick Racecourse. Racing New South Wales chief Peter V’Landys said parts of the prestigious course had already been sealed off due to their proximity to large fruit bat colonies and similar measures could be taken at the state’s other tracks. “What we’re doing is a risk assessment to see if there are bats at race courses and

training facilities,” said V’Landys. “If there are, we’ll put in place biosecurity measures to make sure there’s no exposure ... we’re doing a complete audit to make sure.” No weekend races would be cancelled, he stressed. The audit follows a Hendra scare at the Randwick stables, where an ill thoroughbred was thought to have contracted the deadly virus. Tests cleared it of Hendra infection, but V’Landys said the incident underscored the need for vigilance. Highly fatal to humans, Hendra is car-

Millions at risk of cholera in Ethiopia GENEVA: Five million people are at risk of cholera in drought-hit Ethiopia, where acute watery diarrhoea has broken out in crowded, unsanitary conditions, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said yesterday. Cholera, an acute intestinal infection, causes watery diarrhoea that can quickly lead to severe dehydration and death if treatment is not promptly given, according to the United Nations agency. “Overall, 8.8 million people are at risk of malaria and 5 million of cholera (in Ethiopia),” WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said in a note sent to journalists. Ethiopian health officials have confirmed cases of acute watery diarrhoea in the Somali, Afar and Oromiya regions of Ethiopia, he told Reuters. “It is not confined to the refugees.” WHO is delivering emergency health kits to Ethiopia and helping train health workers in treating malnutrition and in detecting disease outbreaks, he said. Drought across the Horn of Africa, now affecting more than 11 million people in Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and Somalia, has increased the risk of the spread of infectious diseases, especially polio, cholera and measles, the WHO says. “So far WHO has not received any report of polio cases, it really important to help countries to keep their polio-free status,” Jasarevic said. Somalis fleeing severe drought and intensified fighting have been arriving at the rate of more than 1,700 a day in Ethiopia, where 4.5 million people now need assistance, nearly a 50 percent rise since April, he said. Two million children in Ethiopia are at risk of catching measles, a disease that can be deadly in children, he said. Ethiopian officials reported 17,584 measles cases and 114 deaths during the first half of the year, UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado said. The majority of cases were in children. Measles has also broken out in the sprawling Kenyan Dadaab camps, with 462 cases confirmed including 11 deaths, Jasarevic said. Dadaab, an overcrowded complex of three camps, now holds some 440,000 refugees, the UN refugee agency said yesterday. UNHCR plans to begin a massive airlift this weekend to bring tents and other aid supplies to the remote border region, spokesman Adrian Edwards told a news briefing. A Boeing 747 flight carrying 100 tonnes of tents is expected to land in Nairobi tomorrow, he said. Six further flights were planned over the next two weeks. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres welcomed an announcement by Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Thursday that Kenya is to open an extension to the camps to ease congestion at Dadaab, where 1,300 Somali refugees arrive daily. “It will prevent congestion increasing further in the short term. Obviously larger needs relate to the need to undertake humanitarian efforts inside Somalia itself,” Edwards said. The United Nations carried out its first airlift of emergency supplies in two years to southern Somalia-an area controlled by al Shabaab rebels-on Wednesday, UNICEF said. “Ten health kits, each sufficient to treat 10,000 people over 3 months are also en route via road,” Mercado said. — Reuters

ried by fruit bats (flying foxes) and spread to horses through half-chewed fruit or water and food contaminated by their urine and droppings. Nine horses have died since early June in the biggest ever outbreak of Hendra since it was discovered in 1994, including one case just 500 kilometres (300 miles) from Sydney, the furthest south the virus has been seen. At least 48 people have been exposed but no human cases have been recorded in this outbreak. Four of the seven

people to ever contract Hendra have died. “Considerable” numbers of fruit bats visited Randwick Racecourse daily to feed on its fig trees and V’Landys said horses trained and stabled there could be at risk. Any other racecourse in populous New South Wales state found to be vulnerable to Hendra would be ordered to take similar precautions to those in place at Randwick, including covering food and water and roping off fruit trees so horses can’t feed beneath them. — AFP

Medical breakthroughs set to buoy AIDS council of war Biggest medical forum on AIDS PARIS: The biggest medical forum on AIDS kicks off tomorrow to a buzz of excitement about potential strategies for curbing a pandemic that has now claimed 30 million lives in its three-decade history. A four-day conference in Rome will mull dramatic evidence that drugs designed to treat patients with HIV can be used to shield uninfected people from the AIDS virus. This could be the best news in 15 years, when antiretroviral drugs started to transform the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from a death sentence to a manageable disease. It opens up dazzling options for rolling back a pandemic for which there is still no cure or vaccine, say some experts. “Over the past 18 months, there has a been a string of good results from trials, and this has generated a fair bit of optimism,” Jean-Francois Delfraissy, director of the French Agency for AIDS Research (ANRS), told AFP. “Until recently, no one had found a medical way to prevent HIV-all there was, essentially, was the condom and the message of safe sex.” The conference will gather thousands of specialists, ranging from virologists to pharmacologists and disease trackers. It is staged once every two years by the International AIDS Society (IAS), which also organises the International AIDS Conference, a bigger event that touches on the pandemic’s many social dimensions. Here are the main causes for all the excitement: A trial conducted among “sero-discordant” heterosexual couples in Africa, meaning couples in which one partner had been tested positive HIV while the other was uninfected. The risk of HIV infection fell by a whopping 96 percent when the infected partner started early use of daily antiretrovirals. A trial conducted among serodiscordant heterosexual couples in Kenya and Uganda which took a quite different tack. It asked the uninfected partner to take the daily anti-HIV pill. The risk of infection fell

62 to 73 percent compared with couples where the uninfected partner took a placebo. “This is a major scientific breakthrough which reconfirms the essential role that antiretroviral medicine has to play in the AIDS response,” Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, said on Wednesday. “These studies could help us to reach the tipping point in the HIV epidemic.” Some campaigners say “treatment as prevention”-treating infected people swiftly so that they do not infect others-should now spearhead the war on AIDS. In 2009, more than 33 million people were living with HIV and 2.6 million people became newly infected, according to UNAIDS. “If you start early treatment for people infected with HIV, you get a 96.3-percent decrease in transmission,” Julio Montaner, director of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS in British Columbia, Canada, said in a phone interview. “Nothing else has been shown that is as efficacious. And the cost benefit is triple, because it decreases morbidity, it decreases mortality and it decreases transmissions. I call it a hat-trick, you can’t have it any

better.” Now, though, comes the devil of detail, which will fully occupy the Rome conference. Will the results from a trial-where volunteers are enthusiastic and encouraged by their partner to follow their pill regimen-be equally valid when extended to the messiness of real life? And what about the risk that people become over-confident and forgo use of a condom? Giving HIV pills to uninfected, as opposed to infected, people raises even more issues. Antiretrovirals can cause toxic side effects and carry a potentially hefty cost if they have to be taken daily for prevention. The price has fallen to as little as 25 US cents per tablet, but this is still a big discouragement for people who are living on a couple of dollars a day or less. IAS chief Bertrand Audoin said the prevention trials, combined with proof that male circumcision helps protect men from HIV, showed “we are in the middle of huge scientific breakthroughs that could change the course of the epidemic in coming years.” He cautioned, though: “One of the challenges we have to meet is to align the scientific evidence with policies implemented on the ground.” — AFP

VALENCIA: Dr Pedro Cavadas, the Spanish surgeon who successfully carried out a double-leg transplant on a man who had lost his limbs in an accident, leaves after a press conference at La Fe Hospital in Valencia. The first in the world of its kind. Cavadas is a specialist in limb transplants and conducted a double-arm transplant in 2008 and Spain’s first face transplant in 2009. — AFP

A Word of Solutions

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Why don’t elephants go skinny dipping? Because they can’t get their trunks off!

“I meant what I said and I said what I meant — An elephant’s faithful, one hundred percent!” — From “Horton Hatches the Egg” by Dr. Suess

— W W W. W E K N O W C L E A N J O K E S . C O M

What do you get when you cross an elephant with a kangaroo? Great big holes all over Australia

Peculiar pachyderms I Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo acquired Judy from Brookfield Zoo in 1943. But the 35-year-old elephant refused to ride in a flatbed truck, so she walked the 18 miles to her new home. EsMCT corted by zoo staff and motorcycle cops. I Walt Disney bought the rights to “Dumbo, the Flying Elephant” for $1,000 from Helen Aberson and Harold Pearl. Their original was published as a rare roll-a-book, a picture book on a scroll. The movie was released in 1941. I African and Asian elephants are different species. The African elephant is taller and heavier, has bigger ears, a concave back and its trunk ends with two lips versus the Asian elephant’s one. The Asian has one fewer pair of ribs but more toenails and are hairier — they’re more closely related to the extinct woolly mammoth than to their contemporaries in Africa.


President Obama hugs his sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, at her 2003 wedding. Their maternal grandmother Madelyne Dunham is seated in front.

Maya as a baby with dad, (Lolo Soetoro), mom (Ann Dunham) and brother, Barack. Maya was born in Jakarta, Indonesia.

— Mark Jacob and Stephan Benzkofer, Chicago Tribune B O O K I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y Y U Y I M O R A L E S

Don’t forget to water the plants! BY VERONICA LOUISE MENDOZA TimeForKids

rowing up in Hawaii and Indonesia, Maya Soetoro-Ng and her big brother, Barack Obama, were taught by their mother to be kind, to explore and to dream big. While their mom, Ann Dunham, is no longer with them, Soetoro-Ng is sharing what she learned as a little girl with her own daughters. Soetoro-Ng’s new children’s book, “Ladder to the Moon,” gives her kids the chance to “meet” their grandmother. The picture book follows a young girl and her grandmother as they go on a magical journey to the moon and across the globe. Along the way, they meet and give help to lost souls who have suffered through distasters. The book is a tribute to her mother’s compassion. TimeForKids reporter Veronica Louise Mendoza, left, had the honor of chatting with Soetoro-Ng, recently. TFK: What inspired you to write a book about connecting a grandchild to her grandmother? MAYA: I was inspired by the idea that the people that came before us had a lot to impart, and they might be able to teach us things to help us face our future with greater courage and skill. My mom was a very lovely communicator. She was compassionate and she empathized with people far and wide. I wanted her energy and her spirit to be conveyed to my daughters, nieces and other children. So I thought that perhaps I could bring her back to life through this children’s book.

The author chats about her mom, grandmother and half-brother, Barack Obama


Maya Soetoro-Ng TFK: Were you close to your grandmother? MAYA: I was. ... (Madelyne Dunham) was a very different person than my mother. She was very sensible, practical and grounded. ... Whereas my mom was more of an adventurer. ... They were both very strong women who did a good job of supporting us and making us feel strong. TFK: How did you come to make the moon your mother’s home in the book? MAYA: My mom used to wake me up when I was about 13 to go look at the moon at 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning. As you might imagine, I wasn’t always interested in checking it out. ... Ultimately, after she passed, I realized how precious those moments were. TFK: What message do you want kids to get from the book? MAYA: That children are really strong for a couple of reasons. One, because they are going to be building

our future; young people’s brains, abilities and skill-sets are advancing, ... different from previous generations. (Children) are in command of what is necessary to make the world more peaceful. ... Young people have a voice that should be heard. The other message is that our world really is interconnected. Let’s work on connection and not division. ... TFK: What was President Obama like as a kid? MAYA: ... he was a regular kid. He was really interested in basketball and all kinds of sports. He was interested in friendships and loved to learn. He was a good reader and a good thinker. He was very smart, but he wasn’t always studious. He didn’t always apply himself. He definitely made mistakes, but ... (not) big mistakes. ... He made enough mistakes to learn from them. TFK: In the book you write about natural disasters. What would you say to comfort the victims of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan? MAYA: I send enormous amounts of love. ... we are thinking of them, that we will not forget ... We admire the strength the victims have, and we are reminded of our vulnerability and humanity and heroism in these times. I think what they need most is for young people to reach out and send words of support and love. May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. During this time, communities across the nation celebrate the culture, traditions and history of Asians Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. To learn more, visit

Help your garden grow with this elephant watering can. YOU WILL NEED I 2 gallon-size plastic jugs with cap I Pushpin, bamboo skewer (for poking holes) I Hot-glue gun I Craft foam I Googly eyes 1. Cut the handle from the first jug, leaving a collar around each end (A). With a pushpin and a bamboo skewer, punch eight holes 1/4-inch apart in the bend of the handle.Trim the opposite end into a 11/2-inch circle, then cut it into tabs. cap

Cool treat green apple, mango, raspberry lemonade, Swedish Fish, and their new flavor, juicy pear. That beats the


2. Cut a 3/4-inch hole in the middle of a jug cap. With an adult, use hot glue to attach the cap to the tabbed handle, pressing firmly until the glue sets. Place the cap on the second jug. 3. Cut a filling hole under the jug’s handle, then add craft-foam ears and eye spots, and googly eyes, with hot glue (B). — Disney FamilyFun magazine



Magic kit will freak your friends four over-sugary flavors of frozen slush from a machine at the corner convenience store! At Rita’s, you also can get sugar-free options, and a combination of the Italian ice with vanilla custard — yummy concoctions they call the Misto and Gelati. Check the website at for a store near you. — Merrie Leininger, MCT

Criss Angel is a “mindfreak,” which means he can do crazy tricks nobody can figure out. His tricks are insane. He walks on water and even levitates. I saw his magic kit — Criss Angel Mindfreak Platinum Magic Kit — on a TV commercial and decided to get it. This kit even contains instructions on how to do levitation. Other tricks are putting spikes through a coin, making a vision box, being able to penetrate glass and many more.

Sharing accommodation available for families/working ladies from August 1st onwards, in a new building flat with two rooms and two toilets, behind United Indian School, Abbassiya. Contact: 66772421/66552412/65857668. (C 3523) Room available for decent couple or small Muslim family to share in two bedroom flat in Abbassiya behind Tel Exchange building. Contact: 66895049. (C 3525) 16-7-2011 Sharing accommodation available for family or decent Indian Hindu or Catholic bachelors with Mangalorean Catholic family in a window A/C, two bedroom off Rashid Hospital, Shara Amman, Salmiya. Contact: 55995437/ 99200186. (C 3520)



© 2011 Time Inc. All Rights Reserved. TIME FOR KIDS and are registered trademarks of Time Inc.

Ever since it’s started to warm up, we’ve been regularly stopping at Rita’s for some delicious Italian ice, and we foresee many more visits as the weather heats up. The stores make their Italian ice on-site, which combines ice with real fresh fruit, and they are willing to let you sample all of them until you find one you like. Some of the best are banana, chocolate,



At first, the kit looked plastic and cheap, but after I read the book of secrets and tips, I found it was very cool. The tricks fooled my friends and everybody in my family. This kit is fun to play with. I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to give away the secrets. But I will tell you it’s worth buying. This kit is for ages 8 to 108. It’s available at and some toy stores. You can get it at www.crissangel. com for $29.95. — Kyle Bianco, Newsday

Sharing accommodation, CA/C, available in Jabriya area 10, near Jabriya Indian School for decent couple or working ladies. Please contact: 99300513. (C 3521) 13-7-2011

MATRIMONIAL Marthomite parents invite marriage proposals, for their daughter, fair 28/164 B.Com, MBA, working in MNC, from parents of professionally qualified boys (Engineers, CA, Doctor etc) preferably from Marthoma, CSI, Evangelical, with good family background. Contact: Email: (C 3516) Proposal invited for Orthodox boy 29/188cm, BSc (N) working in M.O.H. Prefer nurses working in Kuwait. Contact: 6670 4615. (C 3517) South Indian Muslim parents seeking suitable match for their divorced daughter 26yrs. Groom must be educated. Contact: Email:

(C 3519) 13-7-2011

SITUATION WANTED Instrumentation and control Engineer with 1 year experience, Indian on commercial visiting visa, transferable, can join immediately. Contact: 96679478, Email: (C 3522) Iranian educated man, 7 years experience as Import and Export Manager, residency transferable. Contact: 66346118. (C 3524) 16-7-2011 Accountant - B.Com Graduate passed in First Class knowing Peachtree and Tally accounting having 2 year experience in India and currently working in Kuwait. Seeking suitable job as ACCOUNTANT. Contact: 65179245. (C 3509) 12-7-2011 FOR SALE ‘Pilate Power Gym’ for all over body strength and aerobic training + ‘ABS KING’ for abdomen. Please do Google search for detail info. Both are KD 60. Owner’s manual and CD are available. Contact: 99430379. (C 3526) 16-7-2011 I need Japanese car less than KD 700/-. Contact: 67607334. (C 3518) 13-7-2011 Corolla XLi 2002, silver color, KD 1,350/-. Contact: 55323839. (C 3514) 12-7-2011

information SATURDAY, JULY 16, 2011



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Word Sleuth Solution

Yesterdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Solution

ACROSS 1. An audiotape recording of sound. 4. A Hindu goddess who releases from sin or disease. 9. The Tibeto-Burman language spoken in the Dali region of Yunnan. 13. An inflated feeling of pride in your superiority to others. 14. English theoretical physicist who applied relativity theory to quantum mechanics and predicted the existence of antimatter and the positron (1902-1984). 15. (prefix) Within. 16. Any of several tropical American palms bearing corozo nuts. 18. United States biochemist who discovered cortisone (1886-1972). 20. A person who is expert in the use of a bow and arrow. 21. Brought together into a group or crowd. 22. A member of an extinct North American Indian people who lived in the Pit river valley in northern California. 23. Loss of the ability to swallow. 25. An unnaturally frenzied or distraught woman. 28. A word for chaos or fiasco borrowed from modern Hebrew (where it is a loan word from Russian). 32. Very dark black. 34. A city in southern Turkey on the Seyhan River. 35. The highest level or degree attainable. 39. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 40. Hormone secreted by the posterior pituitary gland (trade name Pitressin) and also by nerve endings in the hypothalamus. 41. The lower house of the parliament of the Republic of Ireland. 42. An associate degree in applied science. 44. Of heavy boots. 45. (Old Testament) In Judeo-Christian mythology. 48. A cut of meat taken from the side and back of an animal between the ribs and the rump. 51. The capital and largest city of Equatorial Guinea on the island of Bioko in the Gulf of Guinea. 53. One million periods per second. 54. Open-heart surgery in which the rib cage is opened and a section of a blood vessel is grafted from the aorta to the coronary artery to bypass the blocked section of the coronary artery and improve the blood supply to the heart. 56. The sixth month of the civil year. 57. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 60. Not in good physical or mental health. 61. Any physical damage to the body caused by violence or accident or fracture etc.. 62. Jordan's port. 63. The basic unit of money in Romania. 64. A silvery ductile metallic element found primarily in bauxite. DOWN 1. The process of gradually becoming inferior. 2. 100 agorot equal 1 shekel. 3. A light carried in the hand. 4. An edge tool used to cut and shape wood. 5. A picture (or series of pictures) representing a continuous scene. 6. A heavy brittle metallic element of the platinum group. 7. Flightless New Zealand birds similar to gallinules. 8. Someone who cuts and delivers ice. 9. Space by the side of a bed (especially the bed of a sick or dying person). 10. Squash bugs.

11. Not in action or at work. 12. Used of physical coldness. 17. A resident of Ohio. 19. Kamarupan languages spoken in northeastern India and western Burma. 24. An analgesic for mild pain. 26. A one-piece cloak worn by men in ancient Rome. 27. Type genus of the Anatidae. 29. A condition (mostly in boys) characterized by behavioral and learning disorders. 30. The syllable naming the sixth (submediant) note of a major or minor scale in solmization. 31. A rare silvery (usually trivalent) metallic element. 33. Any of numerous local fertility and nature deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples. 36. Alternatively, a member of the family Nymphaeaceae. 37. (British) A minicar used as a taxicab. 38. A feeling of strong eagerness (usually in favor of a person or cause). 43. Excessive but superficial compliments given with affected charm. 46. An informal term for a father. 47. (botany) Of or relating to the axil. 49. (usually followed by `to') Having the necessary means or skill or knowhow or authority to do something. 50. An Eskimo hut. 52. A Turkish unit of weight equal to about 2.75 pounds. 55. Aromatic bulb used as seasoning. 58. The atomic weight of an element that has the same combining capacity as a given weight of another element. 59. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 60. A Mid-Atlantic state.

Yesterdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Solution


Tighten eligibility rules, England ex-captain says SINGAPORE: Rules that allowed England rugby manager Martin Johnson to fill almost a third of his World Cup training squad with foreign players are wrong, former captain Martin Corry said yesterday. Johnson has been criticized in the media for selecting 13 overseas-born players in his 45-man preWorld Cup training squad, while one English player has vented his frustration at being overlooked. “Look they’re the rules and you’ve got to abide by the rules,” Corry told Reuters in Singapore where he is promoting the Singapore Cricket Club’s rugby sevens tournament later in the year. “I think the rules are wrong but in terms of where do you apportion blame, that’s not Jonno (Johnson) and his coaches, they’ve got to pick the best possible side.” The inclusion of New Zealand-born Thomas Waldrom prompted back-rower Luke Narraway to issue a message on his Twitter page (@lukenarraway) that appeared to take issue with Waldrom’s eligibility through his English grandmother. “Good luck to Thomas the Tank and his English nan #notbittermuch” wrote Narraway. A non-English born player can qualify for the national side if a parent or grandparent was born in England, or if they complete 36 consecutive months of residency. Corry called for the eligibility rules to be toughened. “If it is someone through residency or grandparents, unfortunately that’s the situation because all the other sides are doing it,” he added. “What I would like to see is a stricter rule on it, but it is a minefield.” Corry, a member of England’s 2003 World Cup-winning squad, said Johnson’s outfit are better prepared than their 2007 counterparts, who lost 15-6 to South Africa in the final. “They’ll be looking at the semi-finals and when it comes to the semi-finals then you’re two games away from winning. “Against Australia last year in the autumn they showed they can beat the best teams in the world, also against South Africa they showed they can come very much second best,” he added. “The mental toughness which England have developed will stand them in good stead,” said Corry, who won 64 caps. England’s World Cup preparations have been overshadowed by the departure of chief executive John Steele from the Rugby Football Union amid a reshuffle, and 37-year-old Corry said the players could be distracted. “Of course it will be a distraction because if you’re asking me these questions then all the media will be asking the players these questions, so instead of just focusing on the World Cup there will be some questions around it (the subject),” he said. “There’s always been politics in the game but it’s disappointing now that it’s front page news, the way the game is run in my view should always be in the background. “But there’s a lot of voices now that want to be heard behind the scenes which is disappointing because it’s only damaging the great game,” he added.— Reuters

CHAMBON SUR LIGNON: France’s rugby union national team captain Thierry Dusautoir (right) vies with No.8 Louis Picamoles during a training session yesterday in Chambon sur Lignon, as part of the preparation for the upcoming World Cup 2011. — AFP

Lomu tips Ireland as WCup surprise package RAROTONGA: All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu has named Ireland as the dark horse at this year’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand and warned any title contenders will underestimate Pacific teams at their peril. While making it clear that he believes New Zealand are the favorites for the September 9-October 23 tournament, Lomu said Ireland’s ageing squad was not being given the respect it deserved. “If there’s a team that you have to be wary about, and not many people are talking about them, it’s Ireland,” Lomu told reporters in the Cook Islands during a trip to promote the World Cup. “Purely because I’ve watched a lot of their teams. I’ve watched Leinster play in the Heineken Cup and they were very impressive, especially up front. “A lot of those players are coming to the end of their career and they’ll put everything on the line.” Ireland are fourth in the International Rugby Board

(IRB) world rankings, the highest-placed northern hemisphere team, and showed their capability with a comprehensive 24-8 win over England in the Six Nations tournament. Lomu, who has scored a record 15 tries at World Cups, said conditions in New Zealand would also suit the Irish, while veterans such as Brian O’Driscoll and Ronan O’Gara would be desperate to finish their last World Cup on a high. The 36-year-old said Ireland’s low profile could work to their advantage with the spotlight on “the usual suspects” such as South Africa, New Zealand and more recently Australia, after the Queensland Reds won the Super 15 title. “They’re going to slide in under the radar because I think everybody’s talking about how the (Queensland) Reds have beaten the Crusaders for Australia and France coming without (Sebastien) Chabal,” he said. “They’re just going to do their job and do what they need to do.” Lomu, a devastating winger who made his interna-

tional debut aged 19 but was forced into early retirement after a long battle with a rare kidney disease, said Pacific nations could play a crucial role in the tournament. He said the hard-tackling islanders could destroy the chances of any side that did not take them seriously. “The wild cards will be the Polynesians. If you take any of those Polynesian teams too lightly-Fiji, Tonga, Samoa-you could get punished physically, and that could take a toll on you later in the tournament,” he said. “To win the tournament, you’ve got to get through fresh but also without any injuries, cross your fingers that you don’t have injuries to key players and be ready for the final.” Lomu, who was born in New Zealand but spend much of his childhood in Tonga, said he believed the All Blacks could win on home soil. “I’m a through and through All Blacks supporter and they’ll be my team but I know there’s so many teams to watch out for,” he said.—AFP

De Villiers upbeat despite Tri-Nations reservations JOHANNESBURG: South Africa coach Peter de Villiers does not believe the Tri-Nations should be held in a World Cup year but he still has high expectations of his second-string squad for the opening two matches of the tournament. “If we have an extended Super 15 competition, then it would be sensible to not also have the Tri-Nations in a World Cup year. But it’s there on our schedule and we will use the opportunity,” De Villiers told

reporters yesterday. “The excitement for the tour has really taken off this week and our expectations are very high because we are still representing our country. We want to win all our games and we are really confident. (captain) John Smit fired up the boys like only he can and we now have one week to fine-tune.” The Springboks fly out yesterday for games against Australia in Sydney on July 23 and New Zealand in Wellington on July 30,

with 21 leading players out of action due to minor injuries after an expanded Super Rugby competition. Smit, one of only a handful of players going on tour who will be confident of playing in the September and October World Cup, said he would still be leading a fine squad into battle. “If this is a ‘B’ team, then the ‘B’ stands for Boks. We’re going there to play rugby, not to make up the numbers and that’s what we did the last time we took a so-called ‘second-

string’ team over there,” Smit said. The Springboks were criticized in 2007 for touring Australia and New Zealand without most of their frontline players, including Smit, and although they lost two tight games the move paid dividends as they won the World Cup three months later. De Villiers confirmed that flanker Heinrich Brussow, prop CJ Van der Linde and lock Johann Muller had been passed fit and would be flying out with the squad. — Reuters

sports SATURDAY, jULY 16, 2011

Absolved Spanish track star set for Olympics MADRID: Spanish track star Marta Dominguez, cleared of doping allegations, said yesterday she plans to put the “suffering” of the case behind her and get in shape for the 2012 London Olympics. “I cannot say I have not suffered,” she told a news conference. “It was a very complicated, difficult situation. I am a strong person, but when you have nothing to hide, the sport gives you some values and strength that made me go on... I have not done

anything, I’ve never done anything.” A Spanish judge on Monday threw out a case against Dominguez for allegedly administering medication to a friend without a license. The decision follows a previous verdict delivered in April to clear the 35-yearold of trafficking in performanceenhancing drugs. Dominguez, who won the 3,000m steeplechase gold in Berlin in 2009 after taking silver in the 5,000m in 2003 and 2001, was one of

14 people detained for questioning in December as part of a probe into doping in Spanish athletics. Six of the 14 suspects were charged with public health offenses and trafficking in illegal substances, including Dominguez’ coach Cezar Perez. Dominguez, who is expecting her first child, said yesterday she is now focusing on getting back into shape and “preparing for the Olympics.” “That’s my idea. I

wouldn’t wish anyone to live through what I lived through...”I’m stronger, not physically but mentally... and I will fight to keep working, enjoying my family, my son, my people, recovering my form to return to top competition and prepare for the Games.” She had already announced that she would not defend her world title in the 2011 event in the South Korean city of Daegu because of her pregnancy. —AFP

F1: Alonso confident as Ferrari begin fightback LONDON: Fernando Alonso may be relying on the old cliche of taking one race at a time, but if Red Bull’s rising consternation is to be believed, Ferrari could yet mount a decent bid to win this year’s title. Defending champion Sebastian Vettel’s call for more dedicated work from the Red Bull team, along with team chief Christian Horner’s claim that Alonso was not only the winner but also the fastest man on the track in last Sunday’s British Grand Prix, suggests they see the Italians as their major threat. McLaren, apparently confused in recent weeks, seem to be slipping away in the title race just as Ferrari are preparing to mount their almost traditional mid-year revival on the great high-speed circuits of the European season. Alonso, however, like the wily and seasoned campaigner that he is, knows that nothing but speed, performance and consistent results will count as he begins the enormous task of cutting into runaway leader Vettel’s 92-point lead. Taking his cue from Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo this week, Alonso said it was too early to talk of anything other than remaining grounded and thinking only of the next race. Ferrari’s crushing of Red Bull at Silverstone is, to him, already in the past. “That win won’t change our approach and we just have to remain entirely realistic now,” said the two-time world champion. “We are 92 points behind in the classification and that is a very big gap! “We will tackle the races one at a time, trying to win as many as possible and I know now that this will also involve taking a few more risks and maybe it will happen that we pay a high price for that, but there is no alternative. “We are definitely not giving up, but we must not think about the championship-as our president has said already at Maranello, we are keeping our feet on the ground.” The 29-year-old Spaniard believes also that recent changes to the off-throttle blown diffuser regulations have had nothing to do

with Ferrari’s improved performances or the win at Silverstone. For him, as for Red Bull, the story is that the scarlet scuderia have made real progress in recent weeks and can now produce front-running pace. “I haven’t spent too much time thinking about the technical reasons behind the win in the British Grand Prix,” he added, in comments made on the Ferrari website. “Each race has its own story and we know only too well how much things can change when you go from one track to another. “There were definitely some major improvements on the car, which means it feels much easier to drive now and you can feel it much more stuck to the ground than before, especially in the fast corners.” Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali, acknowledging the importance of the team’s first win of the year, said: “I am like Fernando... I want to be cautious, but, also, ‘You must never say never!’ The Ferrari revival has followed a revamping of the team’s technical staff earlier this year, when technical director Aldo Costa stepped down. That move followed a terrible afternoon at the Spanish Grand Prix, where Alonso led but was eventually lapped by both the Red Bulls and McLarens. Steady progress since has seen Alonso reap two podium finishes in three races before Silverstone, where he won convincingly. “We took quite a big aerodynamic update there and everything worked-Felipe (Massa) and I are feeling happier with the car now, understandably” said Alonso. “It is no secret that we lost a bit of ground in the first couple of races because we put new parts on the car that weren’t quick. “But it seems that in the last three or four races every new part we put on the car is working fine. I am very proud of the recovery we have made.” For Ferrari and Alonso, the next test comes in next weekend’s German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, a circuit where Red Bull will be desperate to bounce back and do well.—AFP

CHEMNITZ: Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo from Spain waits as his technicians work on his motorcycle during the MotoGP second free practice at the Sachsenring circuit in the village of Hohenstein-Ernstthal, Germany yesterday. The Grand Prix of Germany is tomorrow. —AP

High-flying Yamaha eye third consecutive win SACHSENRING: In-form Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies, who have won the last two rounds of the world championship, hope to make it three in a row for Yamaha in tomorrow’s German Grand Prix. Spies won in the Netherlands before world champion Lorenzo won at Mugello two weeks ago to take the Italian Grand Prix and close the gap on series leader Casey Stoner to just 19 points. Sachsenring remains one of the few tracks where Spanish rider Lorenzo has yet to win, taking second place in 2009 and again in 2010. Lorenzo looked set to prevail in last year’s race until a red flag caused a 30-minute stoppage following a three-bike pile-up, which allowed Dani Pedrosa to sneak victory in the forests of eastern Germany. “I feel very good after our victory in Mugello; an amazing victory that we needed for our confidence,” said Lorenzo. “We’ll take more power from it for future races, especially for the next two in a row. Now it’s time for Germany. Sachsenring is a unique track,

which I’ve ridden since 2002 and still not won. “I would like to do it, it’s an interesting challenge. The team and I are ready to again try to reduce the gap to Casey. “Our aim is the podium, but we will try to push for the win.” Australian star Stoner, who won at the Sachsenring in 2008, was third last year. The Honda rider won three in a row earlier this season at Le Mans, Catalunya and Silverstone, but with Sachsenring marking the halfway stage of the season, Stoner knows that Lorenzo is running into form. “I’m looking forward to Sachsenring, it’s a circuit where we’ve enjoyed good results in the past few years,” said Stoner. “The track is very tight and technical so it demands a different style of riding and we also need to set the bike up in a different way. “It’s pretty tough on tyres as the majority of corners are long left-handers so the wear on the left-hand side of the tyre is quite significant.” —AFP



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sports SATURDAY, jULY 16, 2011

Rogge pledges to step up IOC fight against doping TOKYO: International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge has promised to strengthen the fight against doping cheats, calling it the IOC’s top priority. “Doping is most certainly the biggest threat to sport because it undermines the health of the athletes and it undermines the credibility of the athletes,” Rogge told a meeting to mark the 100th anniver-

Cheruiyot wins women’s 10,000m at Kenyan trials NAIROBI: Vivian Cheruiyot held off newcomer Sally Kipyego to win the women’s 10,000 metres on the second day of the Kenyan trials for the world athletics championships yesterday. Cheruiyot, the world defending 5,000m champion, who opted for the longer race instead of her speciality at the three-day trials, said she would seek to attempt a 5,000m/10,000m double in Daegu, South Korea. She becomes the second Kenyan athlete to announce her double ambition after fellow world 10,000m champion Linet Masai, who said on Thursday she would bid for the 5,000m title if she is selected for the race today. “This is my second 10,000m race after my winning debut in Spain in April. Since I have already qualified for both the 5,000m and the 10,000m at the world championships, I want to enter both races in Daegu,” said Cheruiyot, who won in 31:55.8 seconds. Kipyego, the nine-time American National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) champion finished second in 31:57.8, to make the Kenya team for the first time in six attempts. “I feel very privileged to get the chance to represent my country at the world championships,” said Kipyego, who was advised by her coach to run the 10,000m instead of the 5,000m because she had a better chance of being selected for the world championships. “I have been training for the 10,000m from September last year. My strength lasts more in the 10k, and even though I can run quicker in the 5k, I think I am better in the 10k,” she added. “I know this is a tough, tough team to make and just to be able to be part of that group that includes Vivian Cheruiyot and Linet Masai is absolutely a blessing,” Kipyego said. The Kenya team for the August 27 to September 4 world championships will be named today at the end of the three-day national championship. —AFP

sary of the Japanese Olympic Committee yesterday. “We’ve made the fight against doping our priority on the International Olympic Committee. We have doubled the number of tests between the Sydney Olympics (in 2000) and London (2012).” Rogge admitted that keeping sport totally free of the scourge of doping was a near impossible task but

the IOC would continue to adopt a zero-tolerance policy. “While we will never be able to have zero doping, I can say with great pleasure that we are making bigger progress. “Today it is far more difficult to (get away with) doping than it used to be a couple of years ago.” Rogge also called for countries to clamp down on crowd violence before the

Olympics in Britain, which has seen its share of soccer hooliganism in the past. “The second major danger for sport is violence, in and out of the venues,” he said. “This is a major problem, mostly in team sports, where we need a good association between the public and the sports authorities. “Sport alone cannot solve it, but we have to lead by example.” —Reuters

Strauss salutes India maestro Tendulkar LONDON: England Test captain Andrew Strauss has saluted India icon Sachin Tendulkar as the legendary batsman prepares to chase his 100th international hundred in the forthcoming series between the sides. Tendulkar has notched 51 Test and 48 one-day centuries and Strauss believes there are few signs of the 38-year-old Indian’s powers diminishing. Strauss will get a look at Tendulkar’s current form over the next few days as the Middlesex batsman is on a loan spell with Somerset-in a bid to end his run of low scores-and will play in their match against the tourists at Taunton. “It goes without saying that it is a phenomenal achievement, not just the fact he scored those runs, but his desire and motivation to play that long and keep chasing down those records,” Strauss said. “He seems to be playing as well as ever at the moment. It is a great example for us all that if you are still hungry, there is no reason why your powers should decline as you get older. “He has been one of the great players over the last 20 years and I’m sure he will want to have a big series. “Technically he is fantastic, his mental strength to bat under that amount of pressure for all that time is fantastic. “He is a very dignified and humble man as well. If there are good examples out there, he is probably the best of them.” However, Strauss is hoping England paceman Chris Tremlett can make life uncomfortable for Tendulkar and his team-mates in the first Test at Lord’s next week. “Are India susceptible to short deliveries? I think all the sub-continent sides have got better at that in recent years,” Strauss said. “It comes as a result of touring here quite often. Certainly their senior players are no strangers to these shores. “We are not expecting any dramatic weaknesses there but we know someone like Chris Tremlett performed very well against them last time around here. “He was a lot younger and probably less developed as a bowler then. “I think we saw against Australia and Sri Lanka, that type of bowling, if done consistently and accurately, will trouble most people.” —AFP

Sachin Tendulkar

Tokyo tiptoes into 2020 Olympics race TOKYO: Once-bitten Tokyo shyly tiptoed into the bidding race for the 2020 Olympics, with Japanese officials yesterday saying they had an obligation to apply. “We have a responsibility and an obligation to meet the expectations placed upon us,” Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) chief Tsunekazu Takeda told a symposium to mark the 100th anniversary of the JOC. “We must bring the

Olympics back to Japan.” Takeda stopped short of formally announcing Tokyo’s latest bid, after losing out to Rio de Janeiro in the race to host the 2016 Games. However, he is expected to inform International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge of Tokyo’s ambitions at a press conference today. Tokyo hosted Asia’s first Olympics in

1964. “Unfortunately we were unsuccessful in our 2016 bid but since then we have been doing everyt hing we can to prepare for 2020,” said Takeda. “I am not able to formally declare our bid at this moment, but we believe the Olympics will help boost the recovery and reconstruction of Japan.” Tokyo’s 2020 ambitions were dealt a severe blow by the deadly earthquake and tsunami

in March which also triggered a nuclear meltdown at a power plant 150 miles north of the city. Takeda is expected to make Tokyo’s plans official following a centennial event today attended by both the Japanese Emperor and Prime Minister Naoto Kan. Rome was the first to officially register its 2020 bid with several other cities now gradually showing interest. —Reuters



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Ahly launch group campaign behind closed doors JOHANNESBURG: The 2011 African Champions League group phase begins this weekend with Egyptian club Al-Ahly back in the familiar role of title favorites. Record six-time champions Ahly host 1992 winners Wydad Casablanca of Morocco in a Group B fixture to be staged behind closed doors at the Military Academy Stadium as punishment for unruly crowd behavior in the final qualifying round. Former title holders Mouloudia Alger of Algeria and Esperance of Tunisia-the other contenders for two semi-finals slots from an all-North Africa poolclash in Algiers. Morocco are the only country with two challengers for the $1.5 million first prize and three-time champions Raja Casablanca have home advantage over 2008 runners-up Cotonsport

Garoua of Cameroon in Group A. Enyimba, the only Nigerian club to lift the trophy that symbolizes African club supremacy and one of just three sides to successfully defend the title, host twice runners-up Al-Hilal of Sudan in the same mini-league. The latest edition of the premier PanAfrican club competition began last January with defending champions Tout Puissant Mazembe from the Democratic Republic of Congo favored to complete a title hat-trick. But the 2010 FIFA Club World Cup runners-up were disqualified after reaching the group phase for using an ineligible player and the status of team-to-beat switched to Ahly despite unimpressive progress through the qualifiers. An Egyptian team rusty from lack of competitive practice owing to

Peru out to halt the Colombians CORDOBA: Peru, dreaming of a first triumph in 36 years, will try to halt a resurgent Colombia today in their Copa America quarter-final meeting. “Now we have Colombia. A tall order but but we have to have faith we can get past them. Go Peru,” said Peruvian striker Paolo Guerrero, who plays his club football with Hamburg, on his Twitter account as Sergio Markarian’s Blanquirroja target a shock. Recent meetings between the two have been tight affairs - they parted 1-1 in a Bogota friendly last November and World Cup qualifiers ended 1-0 to the Colombians on their home patch and 1-1 in Peru. If the Peruvians, two-times champions, are to beat the 2001 champs, they will have to keep in check inform striker Radamel Falcao, who Thursday revealed he had signed a two-year extension through to 2015 with Porto. The forward, who broke the European goalscoring record for a single campaign when he netted 17 times en route to Europa League glory, also had his buyout clause raised to 45 million euros from 30 million - though the likes of Chelsea remain admirers. “It doesn’t matter who scores as long as we go through,” Falcao insisted on learning of the draw after his side won Group A to finish above hosts Argentina while Peru were one of the two best third-placed finishers. With the Colombians yet to concede a goal and with Falco on fire after two goals against Bolivia, Hernan Dario ‘Bolillo’ Gomez’s side would appear slight favorites. “The most important thing is that the team functions effectively - we came here with a goal and we have achieved it (in getting past the group stage),” said Wigan striker Hugo Rodallega. Peru were Thursday keeping Juan Vargas in cotton wool as the Fiorentina wideman is carrying a leg muscle injury he suffered going into the tournament, although he expects to start. “We are hugely up for this one,” Peru defender Antonio Rodriguez told journalists after Markarian put them through their paces. Markarian says he thinks his men can make it “through to the semis,” he told Cable Magico Deportes broadcaster. “But I’d like to come back on July 25,” he joked, that being the day after the final. Peru finished bottom of the last World Cup qualifying session and came to the Copa minus injured forwards Jefferson Farfan and Claudio Pizarro, but Markarian has managed to instill some self belief. “Peru are good players - we just have to believe in ourselves,” said Vargas. The winner of the encounter will take on either Argentina or Uruguay on July 19 at La Plata. Tomorrow, Brazil face Paraguay and Chile take on Venezuela in the other quarters.—AFP

the popular uprising that toppled authoritarian ruler Hosni Mubarak squeezed past SuperSport United of South Africa and ZESCO United of Zambia. Although boasting an attack including leading 2010 Africa Cup of Nations scorer Mohamed ‘Geddo’ Nagy, Ahly managed just three goals in four outings and had to rely on a stingy defense marshaled by veteran Wael Gomaa to survive. Several factors, including a return to form that brought a seventh national league title in a row and the influence of Portuguese coach Manuel Jose in his third spell at the ‘Red Devils’, have elevated them to potential champions. Wydad were eliminated by Mazembe only to get a reprieve when their conquerors were kicked out, and they

scored three late goals to sink Simba of Tanzania in a Cairo play-off to decide who replaced the Congolese in the group draw. Esperance travel west to Algiers buoyant after clinching the national title, while Mouloudia were lucky to dodge relegation, finishing one point above the drop zone thanks to a lastround draw at fellow strugglers JS Kabylie. While Ahly and Esperance look strongest in Group B, the other pool is harder to call with little seemingly separating the four teams in their quest for semi-finals places. Playing before their supporters should bring Raja and Enyimba maximum points although both the Moroccans and Nigerians need to up their game after some unconvincing qualifying performances in Casablanca and Aba.— AFP

Uruguay to focus on own game, not Messi CORDOBA: Trying to mark Argentina’s Lionel Messi is a waste of time so Uruguay will concentrate on their virtues of grit and self-belief to win their Copa America quarter-final, coach Oscar Tabarez said on Thursday. The great rivals, who hold a joint record of 14 titles in South America’s elite tournament, clash in another “Clasico del Rio de la Plata” in Santa Fe today (2215 GMT) with both looking to improve on their performances to date. Argentina came good in their last Group A match when they beat Costa Rica 3-0. Messi was close to his creative best but is still without a goal for his country in 15 competitive matches. “If you have a problem and you don’t have the solution, why worry? Messi can give us a lot of problems which won’t go away whatever we do to try to avoid them,” Tabarez told reporters in Buenos Aires. “But there are a lot of things we can do that neither Messi nor anyone else can prevent, those things that are part of the identity of this squad, of being stubborn, of believing we can (do it),” he said. Diego Forlan, voted player of the 2010 World Cup where Uruguay were surprise semi-finalists, has also yet to find the net and his partnership with Luis Suarez has suffered without the presence of injured Edinson Cavani, the third man in the side’s attacking triumvirate. FORLAN THREAT This does not make Messi, who will play a remarkable 66th match this season, any less wary of the potential Uruguay have to spoil Argentine ambitions of ending an 18-year wait for a major title on home soil. “Forlan is a great player and we all know we can’t give him any room (because) he kicks well with both feet (and) links well with Suarez,” Messi told reporters at Argentina’s base camp outside Buenos Aires. “Playing against South American national teams is very difficult, they play with two lines of four ... We have to find a way round that,” he added, having struggled with the marking in

BUENOS AIRES: Uruguayan Maximiliano Pereira tries a scissors kick among the Mexicans in this file photo during a 2011 Copa America Group C first round football match held at the Ciudad de La Plata stadium in La Plata, 59 Km south of Buenos Aires, on July 12, 2011.—AFP Argentina’s draws against Bolivia and Colombia. Dark horses Colombia and Peru play in the second quarter-final today. Neither team has enjoyed much success in recent years. Peru last reached the World Cup finals in 1982 and finished bottom of South America’s 2010 qualifiers. Colombia have fared a little better and were the last team to deny Brazil the Copa America trophy in their only title as hosts in 2001. They now appear to have the potential to rival their great 1990s generation, however.

“This (team’s) football is quicker than in those days, because of the players’ characteristics but they too have good technique and tactical discipline,” said coach Hernan Dario Gomez, the link with the sides that went to three World Cups between 1990 and 1998. A win for Colombia today would bring a re-match with Argentina following their stirring 00 draw in the group phase. Champions Brazil face Paraguay in La Plata on Sunday before Chile and Venezuela clash in the last of the quarter-finals in San Juan.— Reuters



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Beaten France, Sweden set to battle for bronze SINSHEIM: Having lost in the women’s World Cup semi-finals, Sweden take on France today in the thirdplace play-off with both sides insisting they are going for bronze. Sweden went down 3-1 to Japan in Frankfurt on Wednesday, the same night France were humbled at the hands of two-time winners the USA in Moenchengladbach by an identical margin. While Japan and the Stars and Stripes march on to Sunday’s final, the French and Swedes will clash having both already secured the two available places at the London 2012 Olympic Games by reaching the semifinals. After his side were dominated by Japan, Sweden coach Thomas Dennerby explained why he pulled his squad together on the pitch in Frankfurt to demand they focus on finishing their campaign with another victory. “This third-place play-off is very important for us, it is the reason why we got back together on the pitch,” said Dennerby. “I told the players we win and lose together, I said they have to enjoy the next match as we will be fighting for a medal in a few days. We need to recover and not be depressed.” Although Sweden striker Josefine Oqvist opened the scoring with the opening goal after 10 minutes, Japan hit back as striker Nahomi Kawasumi netted goals either side of half-time while captain Homare Sawa poached a header. France suffered a similar fate. After US star Lauren Cheney put the US ahead in Moenchengladbach, Sonia Bompastor equalised for the French before American forwards Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan put the result beyond doubt. But the French are also determined to finish their campaign on a high with forward Gaetane Thiney insisting: “I think it’s important to show that we are the third best team in the world.” France coach Bruno Bini said his side have done exceptionally well to reach the play-off. “I’m proud of my players. Life’s still beautiful because we have earned the right to fight for third place, which is amazing when you consider nobody was talking about us two months ago.” France had only previously played in one World Cup in 2003 where they failed to get out of the group stages.For Sweden, the prize is bronze and the chance to perform their dance routine-inspired by French rapper Moussier Tombola’s hit Logobitombo-one more time for their fans in Germany. “Thomas said that we could be disappointed, but wanted us to be proud of what we have achieved here and stressed that we have to come together for the game against France,” said Sweden defender Charlotte Rohlin. “We want to be dancing again at the final whistle, knowing that we are the third-best team in the world. “I want to win that game and every single member of the team wants to win. We are going to fight until the end.”—AFP

FRANKFURT: Japan’s players, striker Karina Maruyama (left), Kyoko Yano, midfielder Kozue Ando (2nd right) and Japan’s midfielder Homare Sawa (right) play during a training session in Frankfurt. — AFP

US, Japan face off Women’s World Cup title MIAMI: The United States face Japan tomorrow in search of their third women’s World Cup title and while technique and tactics have played a role in their march to the final, it is a sense of freedom and spirit that the team credits for their success in Germany. The US, winners in 1991 and 1999, have had their setbacks in the past year, including a defeat to Mexico that meant they were in danger of not making the tournament for the first time, and needed a playoff win over Italy to avoid that fate. In Germany, the US lost to Sweden during the group stage, were moments away from elimination in the quarterfinal against Brazil before equalizing in the final seconds of extra-time and going on to victory in a penalty shootout. Every time the dream of repeating the success of the hugely popular 1999 team looks set to be dashed, the Americans find a way to turn things around. That spirit, according to the American’s Swedish head coach Pia Sundhage, comes from the difficult days when participation in the tournament was on the line. “Because we had such a bumpy road, we had to play those play-

off games against Italy, we came out stronger and we have learnt the lesson that we cannot take anything for granted,” Sundhage said during a conference call on Thursday. “So we have tried to enjoy every day and be grateful for every day we have a game or training. “This team has great heart and spirit and we are humble enough to recognize when we need to change some things.” In the past two games, the US were able to beat two teams, France and Brazil, that many observers believed were more technically gifted then Sundhage’s team. “That tells you about the heart,” said Sundhage. “If you are in the locker room at halftime, players saying ‘come on, we can do this,’ you can feel the positive atmosphere. I think we gained some real positive energy from the last two games.” While the US locker room is a place where the players can rely on support, it is also a loud and proud place. “You put a bunch of women in a locker room and it is going to get crazy sometimes,” Solo told reporters. “You have people that sing, people that dance, people that have crazy music going. It’s fun, there are so

many different personalities.” ‘DIFFERENT PHILOSOPHY’ It is not just the freedom to stand up and shout in the locker room that makes the team special though, says Solo, but rather the freedom they are given by the 51-year-old Swede to express themselves on the field. That, says the goalkeeper, is something that is not always encouraged by American coaches. “From the moment Pia stepped in, she changed the entire dynamic of this team. A completely different philosophy, she is one of the more laid-back coaches I’ve ever had,” said Solo. “A lot of American coaches want to be involved in every pass, in every play. She likes to sit back, she says, ‘you guys are creative, you are soccer players’, she wants us to think and read the game for ourselves.” “Of course we need her expertise, her input and she shows that when she brings a change of tactics but every player likes to have a bit of freedom on the field. It brings the joy back to us, back to the time when we were little kids and just played for the hell of it.”—Reuters

Benfica face intriguing Champions League opener PARIS: Portuguese giants Benfica face an intriguing Champions League third qualifying round tie after being drawn yesterday against the Turkish side Trabzonspor. Tranzonspor, who finished runners-up in Turkey last season, have been implicated in a massive match-fixing scandal that has also taken in champions Besiktas and another of the country’s biggest clubs, Fenerbahce. Sadri Sener, the president of

Tr abzonspor, has been arrested in connection with the scandal, but was released on Tuesday on the condition that he remains in Turkey. UEFA released a statement earlier this week insisting that it was down to the Turkish federation to deal with the issue.But if the investigation provides evidence of collusion in the match-fixing scandal, then Trabzonspor (and Besiktas) could face exclusion from the competition. One of the more

intriguing encounters sees Ukrainian outfit Dynamo Kiev take on the Russian side Rubin Kazan. The two sides last met in the 200910 group stage of the tournament, when Kiev won 3-0 at home before a goalless draw in Russia. Danish champions FC Copenhagen, who reached the quarter-finals last year before losing to eventual champions Barcelona, will face either Ireland’s Shamrock Rovers or th e Estonian

team Flora. Scottish champions Rangers are likely to face Swedish champions Malmo, who lead Torshavn (Faroe Islands) 2-0 after the first leg of their second-round tie, while Greek side Panathinaikos face an awkward tie against Denmark’s Odense. The winners of the third-round ties will qualify for the play-off round, where they will be joined by teams including Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Lyon.—AFP



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Grieving Daley dives into the unknown LONDON: Tom Daley is used to pressure but the British teenager will defend his world championships diving title without his most ardent supporter following the recent death of his father. Robert Daley died aged 40 in May after suffering with brain cancer for several years. It was Daley senior who was his son’s ever-present companion on the international diving circuit, including at the world championships in Rome two years ago where Tom, then aged just 15, won the 10-metre platform title. His success confirmed the now 17-year-old Daley as one of Britain’s brightest prospects for a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics. Dreams of Olympic glory though appeared to be the last thing on Tom Daley’s mind when, shortly after his father’s passing, he wrote on his Twitter page: “I love you so much Dad. “If I could be half the dad that my dad was to me then that would be my best achievement! I love you! Xx.” Daley’s diving career started when he was aged a mere seven. “When he was young we all used to come to the pool together,” his mother Debbie told the London Evening Standard in an interview last month. “One day there was a diving lesson going on and Tom said he’d love to try it.” Not that it was always a smooth upward curve from then on. Andy Birks, Daley’s current coach, first saw his pupil as an eight-year and was far from impressed. “I’d been told this kid was special. But when I came to watch him he had a glitch. He stood at the back of the board and cried for 20 minutes. I thought, ‘this is never going to happen’.” But Banks was cajoled into watching Daley again, saw a much better display, and brought him under his wing. Daley made rapid progress and by the age of 10 was winning national under-18 events, and in 2008 he competed at the Beijing Olympics. The sight of the slight boy from Plymouth, south-west England, leaping off the 10 meter platform made him an instant television hit with watching mothers and schoolgirls of his own age back in Britain. However, the decision to pair him with the 26-year-old Blake Aldridge in the synchronized competition led to a very public breakdown in relations between the pair, with the older man seemingly unable to cope with the publicity coming Daley’s way. That led Daley to team-up with the 30-year-old Peter Waterfield for the synchronized events. Daley comes across as a composed young man completing his A-levels (English education’s pre-university public exam) in maths, Spanish and photography. Nevertheless, he had to switch schools because of bullying, a reminder that a gold medal is no defense against one of the enduring problems of childhood. But Daley has developed a method of dealing with all the conflicting demands on his time. “You’ve got to have different compartments in your brain,” he told the Standard. “I have the diving world, the social world, the media world and the school world. “As long as you don’t mix the worlds up, they don’t become stressful.” He added: “Obviously the dream is to win an Olympic gold. Who wouldn’t want that? But there are so many divers up for it. You never know what’ll happen until the day comes around.”—AFP

SHANGHAI: Members of France’s synchronized swimming team take part in a training session at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center, the venue of the forthcoming FINA World Championships, in Shanghai. Shanghai has poured billions of yuan into hosting this month’s world swimming championships, including its new two billion yuan ($309 million) Oriental Sports Centre, as part of efforts to promote the sport. — AFP

Celebrations as Kazan awarded 2015 worlds Guadalajara awarded 2017 event SHANGHAI: The Russian city of Kazan was awarded the 2015 world swimming championships yesterday, sparking a raucous celebration from their large bid delegation in Shanghai’s Oriental Sports Centre. It is the first time the city, which is known as Russia’s sports city, will host the event and caps a remarkable run for the country having also been awarded the 2014 Winter Olympics and 2018 soccer World Cup. Mexico’s Guadalajara was also awarded the 2017 championships by world governing body FINA yesterday. Hong Kong was the unsuccessful bid city. The Russian delegation, whose late entry to the main press venue at the centre on Shanghai’s Huangpu River had delayed the announcement by FINA president Julio Maglione, celebrated wildly, letting off party poppers and swigging from champagne bottles after Maglione opened the envelope.

The much smaller Mexican delegation was more reserved, accepting the applause from the gathered FINA dignitaries and the Russian delegation. “It is a great step forward for the Russian federation,” Maria Kisseleva, a triple Olympic champion in synchronized swimming who spoke at the final bid presentation yesterday said through an interpreter. “Kazan also has the 2013 Universiade and there is now the FINA and the World Cup and the (Winter) Olympic Games. “It was especially important for me because my whole life I dedicated to synchronized swimming,” she added. “(And) the championships is something that is close to me.” YOUTHFUL DEMOGRAPHIC Kisseleva said the city’s vibrancy had helped the bid team and that its youthful demographic would ensure a full house. “For the last few years I have been working in Kazan and it is fantastic and amaz-

ing the way the city is growing. “The (sports) venues are growing like mushrooms in the rain and people living in Kazan are sports mad.” The 14th world swimming championships open in Shanghai on Saturday with the 15th edition to be held in Barcelona in 2013. Kazan an ancient city near the Volga River some 800 km east of Moscow, has also been selected to stage September’s tennis Davis Cup World Group playoff against Brazil. Russia’s tennis chief Shamil Tarpishchev said the contest will be staged at a newly-built indoor tennis arena. “We’ll put up a fast court that should give us an advantage against the Brazilians who are more used to playing on clay,” Tarpishchev was quoted as saying by local media. “It is the first time Kazan will host an international tennis match so I have no doubt we’ll have a full arena every day and the fans would give us a great reception.” — Reuters

Phelps eyes new China gold rush LOS ANGELES: Michael Phelps returns to China, scene of his astonishing Beijing Olympic swimming triumphs, seeking to kick-start another Olympic campaign at the 2011 world championships in Shanghai. With the 2012 London Games looming, Phelps and his American teammates will get a chance to test themselves against the world’s best, aiming to stay top of the medals table in this pre-Olympic year. For all his achievements, Phelps heads to Shanghai with questions swirling. If not exactly floundering, the 14-time

Olympic gold medalist has appeared at least to be drifting after a series of rare defeats. Invincible in the 200m butterfly for nine years, he lost three times in the 200m butterfly in this year’s USA Swimming Grand Prix Series-twice to China’s Wu Peng and once to Aussie Nick D’Arcy. However, after falling to D’Arcy in Santa Clara in June, Phelps was talking less about the deficiencies in his training and more about his confidence following high altitude workouts in Colorado, saying he was “in a lot better place

mentally” than he had been earlier in the season. Phelps’s latest tune-up saw him notch two victories at the Canada Cup earlier this month, including a 100m butterfly victory that put him top of the world rankings in that event. Phelps could swim up to seven events in Shanghai, and his performance there will help him and coach Bob Bowman plot his London program. He could be lured to the 200m freestyle by the chance to regain the world title he lost to Germany’s Paul Biedermann in Rome two years ago, while in the 200m individual medley Phelps

is the top performer to date in 2011. Overall, America’s men do not figure prominently in this year’s world rankings, but that could be misleading because of the lack of a world championships selection meeting. The US team, including 25 Olympians, was selected based on performances at the 2010 national championships and Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, leaving swimmers free to pursue their training schedules with an eye to peaking in Shanghai without worrying about trials. — AFP



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Kloden and Boom among Tour de France abandons LOURDES: RadioShack’s Tour de France hopes suffered a huge blow on the second day in the high mountains when Andreas Kloden pulled out during yesterday’s 13th stage. RadioShack, the last professional team of Lance Armstrong, were left reeling after a dramatic first week when Janez Brajkovic and Chris Horner both left the

race due to injuries. Kloden, who finished runnerup to Armstrong in 2004, sustained a lower back injury in a crash on the ninth stage on Sunday. Having dropped further out of contention during the climb to Luz Ardiden on Thursday, he lasted barely an hour on the 13th stage before throwing in the tow-

el. He is the team’s fourth abandon. Ukrainian Yaroslav Popovych pulled out suffering from a fever on Tuesday. Half an hour after Kloden’s withdrawal, Dutchman Lars Boom stepped off his bike and into his Rabobank manager’s car. His retirement is a further blow to the orange and blue Dutch outfit, whose main yellow jersey

hope Robert Gesink has been underperforming since suffering a back injury last week. Russian Vladimir Isaichev, who rides for Katusha, also pulled out during the stage. Katusha were dealt a blow on Monday when it was revealed Alexandr Kolobnev had tested positive for a banned diuretic and he quit the race in disgrace. After

losing young sprinter Denis Galimzyanov on Thursday, after he finished outside the stage 12 time limit, and Russian champion Pavel Brutt on stage nine, Katusha have now lost four of their nine starters. Yesterday’s stage was a 152.5km ride from Pau to Lourdes and includes the climb of the Col d’Aubisque.— AFP

Hole-in-one for Watson at Open SANDWICH: Tom Watson stole the show as the second round of the British Open got under way yesterday, sinking a hole-inone at the 169-yard, par-three sixth. The 61-year-old American legend, who came within one putt of winning the year’s third Major at Turnberry two years ago, stood on the sixth tee at even for the round after five straight pars. His four-iron shot hit the centre of the green and with one hop disappeared into the cup to roars of approval from the gallery. That left him at even par for the tournament after his 72 on Thursday. It was the second hole-in-one of the tournament following that of American Dustin Johnson at the 16th in Thursday’s opening round and the seventh in the last decade. Watson, however, is not the oldest player to record a hole-in-one in the Open as Gene Sarazen was 71 when he aced the famous Postage Stamp at Troon in 1973. More was to come from the ever-popular Watson as he stood over a 20-foot putt for an eagle three at the next hole, but missed it left of the hole for a birdie to get to under par for the tournament. That put him in with a good chance of once again making the cut for the weekend. Watson is playing in his 34th Open having first competed at Carnoustie in 1975, and he has won the tournament five times. But this is the first time in 115 rounds of Open golf that he has fired a hole-in one. Watson’s Open wins came back in the 1970s and 1980s, but after a hip replacement operation he has found a new lease of life in recent years and provided one of the sports stories of the year at the Turnberry Open two years ago. On that occasion he had a putt to win the tournament for a sixth time at the 72nd hole, but came up short and then lost a four-hole playoff to fellow American Stewart Cink. He missed the cut last year at St Andrews.—AFP

SANDWICH: US golfer Tom Watson stretches on the 14th fairway, on the second day of the 140th British Open Golf championship at Royal St George’s in Sandwich yesterday. — AFP

LAVAUR: Spain’s three-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador (center) rides in the pack with Saxo Bank teammates and Liquigas riders during the 167,5 km and eleventh stage of the 2011 Tour de France cycling race run between Blaye-les-Mines and Lavaur, southern France. — AFP

Hushovd claims Tour 13th stage Contador slips again; Evans reinforces bid LOURDES: World champion Thor Hushovd claimed the 13th stage of the Tour de France after defeating two Frenchmen in a nail-biting finale yesterday. The Norwegian rider from the Garmin-Cervelo team powered away with 2.5 kilometers left to beat France’s David Moncoutie by 10 seconds, according to provisional results. Another Frenchman, Jeremy Roy, was on the attack all day but had to settle for third some 26 seconds off the pace, snatching the polka dot jersey for the best climber in the process. Thomas Voeckler of France retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey as the big guns enjoyed a quiet day in the 152.5-km stage from Pau. Roy, who had already spent almost 200 km in a breakaway in Thursday’s grueling mountain trek, attacked in the descent from the Col de Cuqueron around 105 km from the finish. He was joined by eight riders, including former race leader Hushovd, but he was on his own before the top of the out-of-category Col de l’Aubisque. Cheered on by his team manager Marc Madiot, a two-times Paris-Roubaix champion, Roy launched a solo time trial with his face a mask of pain and his mouth wide open as he gasped for air. Hushovd and Moncoutie joined forces in the descent before the Frenchman refused to take turns with eight km left. Hushovd then attacked three km from the line and caught Roy 500 meters further on

with the FDJ rider was unable to catch the Norwegian’s wheel, cracking in the finale. “It is a huge disappointment. It’s hard to swallow,” Roy told reporters. German veteran Andreas Kloeden, twice a Tour de France runner-up, pulled out after less than 40 kilometers after failing to recover from a crash on Thursday. Today’s 14th stage is a 168.5-km trek ending with an intimidating climb to the Plateau de Beille. Contador slips again For the past two weeks Cadel Evans’ yellow jersey rivals have been warning the Australian was back to his best and would be a real Tour de France threat this year. On Thursday BMC’s team leader confirmed those predictions when he answered every offensive from the Schleck brothers Andy and Frank as they tried to shake off Alberto Contador on the first day in the high mountains. Still, he admitted the 12th stage-which crossed La Houquette d’Ancizan and Tourmalet mountain passes before tackling the 13.3 km climb to Luz Ardiden wasn’t a walk in the park. “You’re never particularly comfortable in the Tour at any moment, right now included,” Evans said after finishing 20secs behind Frank Schleck but 13secs ahead of Contador. “We just have to stay calm for now and see how things go in the coming days.” As Evans later explained, the first mountaintop finish can be a strange affair. Often, as happened Thursday when

Samuel Sanchez took the win for his Euskaltel team in front of thousands of their home fans, late escapes go on to triumph as the yellow jersey men battle it out behind. But even Evans probably never imagined the extent of the damage to several other podium hopefuls on the first big rendez-vous of the race. Germany’s Andreas Kloden, a former podium finisher, and pre-race contender Robert Gesink of Holland are both racing with the pain of injury and were left fighting for survival. But despite the retirements of contender Bradley Wiggins and Jurgen van den Broeck due to injury, the yellow jersey field is still strong after the first of six major mountain stages. While Evans is third overall at 2:06 behind yellow jersey holder Thomas Voeckler, the Frenchman is expected to lose the lead before the third and last Pyreneean stage Saturday. Frank Schleck, who finished third just 10secs behind but 20 ahead of Evans’s group, is second overall at 1:49, while his younger brother Andy-the runner-up in 2009 and 2010 - is fourth at 2:17. Coming into the reckoning after an underwhelming first week is twotime Giro d’Italia champion Ivan Basso, whose Liquigas teammate Sylvester Szmyd did much of the pacing work for the Italian in the final kilometres of the climb. Basso is fifth overall at 3:16, with compatriot Damiano Cunego of Lampre in sixth at 3:22. — Agencies




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Hushovd thwarts Frenchmen to claim Tour 13th stage


SANDWICH: Germany’s Martin Kaymer hits a shot out of a bunker onto the 18th green during the second day of the British Open Golf Championship at Royal St George’s golf course in Sandwich yesterday. (Inset) England’s Lee Westwood plays a shot off the 3rd tee. — AP

Open Heartbreak for Westwood, McDowell Lewis stumbles in British Open SANDWICH: Ryder Cup stars Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell both saw their British hopes blown apart yesterday as they failed to profit from the ideal morning playing conditions at Royal St George’s. Westwood, the world No 2, who was left still seeking his first win in a Major despite a succession of near misses, started at one over and he got off to the best of possible starts by sinking a five-footer for birdie at the first. But it quickly started to go wrong for him with a bogey at the next, and a double bogey at the eighth saw him reach the turn in three over 38. He needed a strong back nine to have a chance of making the cut for the weekend, but instead he went on a run of five straight pars. He did bag a birdie at the 15th but a bogey at the par-three 16th effectively sealed his fate. He came in with a 73, which left him at four over for the tournament and facing a weekend at home. McDowell, whose Major breakthrough came at last year’s US Open when he won at Pebble Beach, was baffled as to why he did not perform better on a course he was convinced he could do well on. Following on from a handy 68 on Thursday, he struggled to find his game throughout a second round that handed him every opportunity of staking a claim to a second Major title. Instead he came home with a tournament-wrecking 77 that included five bogeys and one double bogey. The problem, he believes may be more psychological than technique related. “I’m just not in the right frame of mind right now,” he said. “My technique is all there, everything is all there. There’s just something going on. Maybe my expectation level is putting a little

too much pressure on myself. “I need an attitude readjustment. I need to care a bit less about the game. “I mean, I love this game and I’m working my ass off and I’m working hard and continue to work hard, but I’m just not putting it into play right now. It’s disappointing.” Another member of the European hierarchy, Martin Kaymer enjoyed better fortunes. He carded a 69 to go with his opening 68 and at three under for the tournament was well placed for the weekend. “I think the first two rounds, they were fairly good, and I’m happy with that,” the German world No 3 commented on his play. “But if the weather comes in, if the rain comes in and the wind, then it’s a battle. “Then you need to fight, and then it becomes very difficult to keep that position. “But I’m ready for it. I had a week off last week, so I’m prepared for some mental strength out there. I think I should be fine”. Meanwhile, overnight leader Tom Lewis dropped off the pace as the second round of the British Open got under way yesterday with benign weather conditions inviting a day of low scoring at Royal St George’s. English amateur Lewis electrified the field on Thursday when he carded a five-under-par 65 to grab a share of the lead alongside Danish veteran Thomas Bjorn, the lowest total by an amateur in Open history. But the 20-year-old was in trouble early in his second round, when two bogeys on the front nine saw him fall away to leave Bjorn, who was playing later yesterday, in sole possession of the lead. After an opening round when powerful winds exacerbated the challenges of St George’s rugged links layout, Yesterday saw the opportunity for movement with brilliant sunshine and only the gentlest of breezes blowing across the course. Lucas Glover, Ricky

Barnes and Miguel Angel Jimenez were all one stroke off the lead on four under. The most impressive mover was reigning US Masters champion Charl Schwartzel of South Africa. The 26-year-old from Johannesburg had started the day at one over par, but conjured up five birdies after 11 holes to reach three under. Schwartzel was tied for fifth with Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke, American Chad Campbell, Jeff Overton and overnight jointleader Lewis. Clarke had at one stage surged into a share of the lead, due in part to a monstrous 90-foot eagle putt on the par-five eighth. But bogeys on the 14th and 16th holes halted his charge. Overnight leader Bjorn, who only earned a late place in the field following the injury withdrawal of Vijay Singh, got his round under way at 12:26 (1126 GMT). Bjorn’s five-under-par 65 provided the opening day’s most heartwarming storyline as he made a successful return to the scene of his 2003 collapse, when he blew a three-shot lead with four to play to gift victory to Ben Curtis. Tournament favorite Rory McIlroy, the newly-crowned US Open champion, is six adrift of the leaders after an opening one-over-par 71 but knows better than anyone how quickly a Major championship leaderboard can change. McIlroy is joined on one-over by English world number one Luke Donald, while top American hope Phil Mickelson, at 41, was just ahead of them at level par. But English hope Lee Westwood was on course to miss the cut after a wayward second round. Westwood, who had started the day at one over, dropped five shots over the front nine to leave himself three over for the day, and four over for the tournament.—Agencies

16 Jul  

Kuwait Times