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TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011

Libya accuses NATO of deadly clinic raid

UN urges ‘massive’ action on Horn of Africa drought

SHAABAN 25, 1432 AH

Last fugitive of Yugoslav wars declines to plead

Bin Hammam says Blatter acted like a ‘dictator’

allow political parties


NO: 15161

150 FILS

8 7Syria endorses 9 law19 to No letup in crackdown on dissent conspiracy theories

The ostrich and segregation

By Badrya Darwish


he future of education in Kuwait seems not to be any better than the future of anything else in Kuwait. I am sorry to sound so pessimistic. This is the reality and I don’t want to run away from it. The recent dilemma about insufficient seats for over 1,000 fresh graduates from high school is not the only thing which is wrong in the country and in the system per se. Why Kuwait University was not ready to provide seats for all these students? This would not have been the case if the government had a proper planning board whose responsibility would be to plan for the future of the country - be it in the educational or other sectors. They could have secured seats for everyone if they had it on their agenda. If the planning was there some 18 years ago and these certain number of students were known to join the universities in various faculties, this would not have happened. While writing this, I got the news that Kuwait University is ready to accept girls who applied to study medicine to the pharmaceutical faculty. Hooray! The university is forcing those who want to be doctors to become pharmacists. How nice! Is this fair? Do we live at random and fail to plan? As usual, it looks like we wait for crises to happen and then we wake up. Such is the case with Kuwait Airways - what was once the pride of the nation and the leading regional carrier. Such a case is the electricity grid. The water crisis, the sewage crisis, the healthcare crisis. What is left? To put the cherry on the cake for the education system and to add to the inefficiency, we have the segregation system which was imposed by conservatives in the country. This put an additional burden on Kuwait University. The same professor needs to do double work and double the hours of teaching the same material. There are minuses for the university - libraries, facilities and labs need to be separated too. Now, in the opinion of those who applied this system, the solution is to send students abroad. Why, are there special campuses for our girls and boys in London, for example? Are there segregated systems in Canada, France, Australia and the US and elsewhere that the government is sending students on scholarships? Name me one place which is segregated - Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan? Shall I continue my tour on the atlas? Please wake up guys! You remind me of an old saying about the ostrich - in order to avoid the problem, the ostrich buries its head in the sand and the rest of the body is in the fresh air. You know what I mean. Sorry for the visual sarcasm here. Stop segregating society, the young minds and the future of the coming generations.

OSLO: Bomb and terror suspect Anders Behring Breivik (red top) leaves the courthouse in a police car yesterday after the hearing to decide his further detention. — AFP

Norway killer calm, expects life in prison

Max 49º Min 35º Low Tide 00:46 & 15:01 High Tide 06:38 & 21:53

DAMASCUS: Syria’s government, under massive pressure to reform or quit, has adopted a draft law allowing for new political parties to operate alongside the ruling Baath party. However, the crackdown on dissent forges on, with security forces deploying in their hundreds in the Damascus neighbourhood of Rukneddin yesterday to carry out searches and arrests while more tanks moved into Homs, activists said. The cabinet late on Sunday “adopted a draft law regarding political parties in Syria as part of a program of reform aimed at enriching the political life,” the official SANA news agency reported. The aim is to create a “new dynamic and allowing for a change in political power” in Syria, one of the Middle East’s most autocratic countries which has been under Baath rule for nearly five decades. Protesters defying the regime of President Bashar AlAssad in almost daily demonstrations since March 15 have been demanding democratic changes, including an end to Baath hegemony. The current constitution stipulates that the Baath party, in power since 1963, is “the leader of state and society”. According to SANA, the draft law adopted by the government bans the creation of parties based on “religion, tribal affiliation, regional interests” as well as those that discriminate along racial lines or gender. The draft law also stipulates that “party organs should not comprise any military or paramilitary elements, whether public or secret” and that objectives and funding must be clearly established. Prime Minister Adel Safar, who formed his government in April less than a month after the former premier quit in the face of anti-regime protests, in June named a committee tasked with drafting a law on political parties. Also in April, Assad signed a decree to lift almost five decades of draconian emergency rule and abolish feared state security courts. But the efforts of Assad, in power since replacing his father Hafez as president in 2000, failed to garner popular support and protests have rocked Syria for more than four months, calling on him to quit. Continued on Page 13

Breivik tells judge two more cells exist OSLO: The self-described perpetrator of the mass killing in Norway told authorities that that he expects to spend the rest of his life in prison but two other cells of his terror network remain free, officials said yesterday. Anders Behring Breivik has admitted bombing Norway’s capital and opening fire on a political youth group retreat, but he entered a plea of not guilty, saying he wanted to save Europe from Muslim immigration. Prosecutor Christian Hatlo told reporters that Breivik was very calm and “seemed unaffected by what has happened”. He said Breivik told investigators dur-

ing his interrogation that he never expected to be released. As thousands of flower-carrying Norwegians filed through the city centre in an overwhelming show of both grief and solidarity, even Behring Breivik’s father said he wished his son had taken his own life. Police announced, meanwhile, that they had dramatically overcounted the number of people slain in a shooting spree at a political youth group’s island retreat and were lowering the confirmed death toll from 86 to 68. Continued on Page 13

Nightmare across the barrier

BETHLEHEM: A picture dated Sept 5, 2010 shows a Palestinian woman waiting behind the iron bars of an Israeli-controlled checkpoint between this West Bank town and Jerusalem. — AFP

JERUSALEM: When Sana, who comes from the West Bank city of Hebron, married her Jerusalem-born husband Mohammed 13 years ago, she never imagined their union would lead to a life of fear and hiding. At first, their different residency permits - hers for the West Bank, his for Jerusalem - weren’t much of an issue. She could live with her husband in Arab east Jerusalem with a temporary permit, and movement between the city and the West Bank was still fairly easy. But, with the outbreak of the second Palestinian uprising in 2000, travel restrictions gradually tightened until in 2003, Israel effectively stopped issuing Jerusalem residency permits to Palestinians in what caught Sana and Mohammed in an impossible bind. Without an Israeli permit, Sana can’t live in Jerusalem with her husband and children. But if Mohammed moves to the West Bank, he risks losing his Jerusalem residency and all access to the city of his birth. Continued on Page 13

DSK maid speaks out NEW YORK: The New York maid whose sex assault accusation brought down powerful French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn has burst from the shadows - and the illiterate immigrant won’t go back without a fight. After 10 weeks in hiding, Nafissatou Diallo’s decision to speak to Newsweek magazine, then hit the airwaves on ABC, yet again upturned the scandal that erupted May 14 after she went to clean Strauss-Kahn’s luxury room in the Manhattan Sofitel. Continued on Page 13

NEW YORK: ABC News’ Robin Roberts speaks to Nafissatou Diallo (left), the alleged victim in the Dominique Strauss-Kahn assault case during an interview. — AFP

news Ramadan on Aug 1, no dust expected

Fitch affirms Kuwait at ‘AA’

Jordanian kills wife’s lover, cuts off penis

Man wakes after 21 hrs in morgue

KUWAIT: Calculations indicate that the holy month of Ramadan would most probably start next Monday, August 1, and there is no forecast of dusty weather for the month of fast, meteorologist Dr. Saleh Al-Ujairi told KUNA yesterday. Al-Ujairi pointed out that the new crescent will actually born on Saturday, but would only be visible on Sunday evening. While the crescent would be visible for 19 minutes in Kuwait, and between 21 and 26 minutes in other Gulf countries, it would be visible for over an hour in some non-Islamic countries in other parts of the world. Al-Ujairi said this Ramadan would be for 29 days only, and would be very hot in the beginning, but would gradually cool down and would see some humidity towards the end. The holy month of Ramadan is a month of fasting for Muslims across the world. The beginning of the fast is announced upon the actual sighting of the crescent, and not based on lunar calculations only. It is a month of great boon in the Islamic faith, and fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam.

KUWAIT: Fitch Ratings has affirmed Kuwait’s long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) at ‘AA’. The outlook on the long-term ratings is stable. Fitch has simultaneously affirmed Kuwait’s country ceiling at ‘AA+’ and Short-term foreign currency rating at ‘F1+’. “Kuwait’s ‘AA’ rating reflects its strong sovereign and external balance sheets that will continue to strengthen, even if oil prices fall from their current high,” said Arnaud Louis, Associate Director in Fitch’s sovereign team. “However, the high reliance of the Kuwait economy on oil increases volatility and risk, despite the mitigation afforded by large financial assets. Success in diversifying the economy and developing the private sector would be positive for the ratings.” Kuwait’s public finances are very strong. Thanks to oil revenues, the country has recorded double-digit fiscal surpluses in every year since 1999. Fitch estimates a budget surplus of 21 percent of GDP in FY2010-2011 and forecasts a similar figure up to 2013, despite the expansionary budget for FY2011-2012.

AMMAN: A Jordanian who confessed to killing his wife’s alleged lover cut off the man’s penis before putting it in a bag and handing it over to police, a judicial official said yesterday. The 35-year-old man “lured the victim to a hotel room in downtown Amman, claiming that he wanted to resolve the issue about his wife quietly” on Saturday, the official told AFP. The suspect then tied up the alleged lover, sodomised him and slit his throat before cutting off his penis. “He handed himself in to police on the same day of the murder, which took place on Saturday, and confessed, giving them a bag that had the other man’s penis,” said the official. The 27-year-old woman and her alleged lover had been in detention after the suspect, who has a criminal record, sued them for adultery several months ago, he said, adding the two were released recently after a general amnesty. “The husband was enraged because they were freed and decided to commit the crime. He has been charged with premeditated murder.”

JOHANNESBURG: A South African man awoke to find himself in a morgue fridge - nearly a day after his family thought he had died, a health official yesterday. Health department spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said the man awoke Sunday afternoon, 21 hours after his family called in an undertaker who sent him to the morgue after an asthma attack. Morgue owner Ayanda Maqolo said he sent his driver to collect the body shortly after the family reported the death. Maqolo said he thought the man was around 80 years old. But a day after staff put the body into a locked refrigerated compartment, morgue workers heard someone shouting for help. They thought it was a ghost, the morgue owner said. “I couldn’t believe it!” Maqolo said. “I was also scared. But they are my employees and I had to show them I wasn’t scared, so I called the police.” After police arrived, the group entered the morgue together. He said the man was pale when they pulled him out. “He asked, ‘How did I get here?’” Maqolo said.



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TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011


Kuwait education crisis continues to escalate Med school students weren’t rejected, insists KU By Hussain Al-Qatari

KUWAIT: His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah receiving yesterday at Seif Palace Romanian Ambassador to Kuwait Constantin Nistor on the occasion of ending his tenure.

Plans for separate medical university KUWAIT: The Cabinet has given preliminary approval to recommendations passed by Kuwait University ’s Health Science Center (HSC), which would see the HSC separated from the KU and reestablished as an independent medical university in Kuwait. The move was revealed in a news report citing insiders who attended the talks that took place during the Cabinet’s weekly session last Sunday. These recommendations are based on studies conducted by the HSC, which took into account the agreement signed between the KU and the Ministry of Health by which the Mubarak Hospital became a subordinate facility to the HSC. The Kuwaiti government has been trying to find solutions to the persistent overcapacity problem troubling KU, the country’s sole state university. On Sunday, the Cabinet agreed during its weekly meeting to increase the maximum cap of new students for the next academic year from 8000 to 9000, in order to absorb 1,000 out of 2,000 new high school graduates who are still awaiting admission. The Cabinet also agreed to almost double the current number of scholarships provided from 1,100 to 2,000 to ensure that the remaining high school graduates wishing to attend university would be able to do so. Both of these proposals were presented during the meeting by education minister Ahmad AlMulaifi. Meanwhile, Al-Mulaifi was reportedly instructed to swiftly resolve the prob-

lems facing nine female high school graduates who were denied admission to the KU’s Faculty of Medicine due to overcapacity despite achieving outstanding results in their preliminary year. The university has been instructed to enroll the students for the upcoming two semesters without any restrictions. At the same time as the issue was being discussed during the Cabinet meeting, MP Musallam Al-Barrak held a press conference at the parliamentary building which was attended by the nine students. During the event, he appealed to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah to intervene. The students spoke during the conference, demanding equality with their male counterparts, who can be admitted to degree programs with lower GPAs to those required for female students. Another anti-government lawmaker, Dr. Faisal Al-Mislem, used his Twitter account to announce that his Development and Reform Bloc (DRB) is “seriously considering” submitting a request to hold an extraordinary parliamentary session during the summer recess in order to hold sessions to discuss the problem of difference between the reported 10,000 number of applications and the earlier 8,000 cap on new student numbers put in place by the KU administration. Al-Mislem was speaking before the government announced that they have resolved the 2,000 students’ problem. — Al-Rai

Maid dies in failed runaway attempt By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: An Asian domestic worker died yesterday after unsuccessfully attempting to run away from her sponsor’s home in Ardiya. The bedsheet she used as a rope to climb down the building’s second floor, snapped, causing her to slide down. She fell onto the ground sustaining fatal injuries to the head. A case was opened into the incident and police are interrogating the sponsor. Theft cases A citizen residing in Sulaibikhat filed a report with police stating that KD 500 was stolen from his car. In another incident, a citizen lodged a complaint with Al-Adan police stating that his motor cycle was stolen. It was parked outside his family home. Complaint withdrawn An expat accompanied by his wife approached the Capital police. He had reported her missing a few days earlier. He asked police to withdraw his complaint because she agreed to sign an undertaking. The husband refused to divulge details about his wife’s disappearance. Road accidents One man died and another was injured in a crash on the Fifth Ring Road. Although emergency services personnel were quickly at the crash site, they were unable to save the life of a 28-year-old Indian motorist, who died at the scene of the massive head injuries he sustained in the crash. His body was removed for autopsy, whilst a 21-year-old Kuwaiti man who suffered head injuries was rushed to Mubarak Hospital. In a separate incident, a 16-year-old

Kuwaiti boy was hospitalized after suffering multiple injuries in a motorbike accident on Bnaider Road. Meanwhile, a 26-year-old Kuwaiti man and a 40-year-old Syrian man suffered injuries to the stomach and right hand respectively in a crash on Fahaheel Expressway. Both were taken to Mubarak Hospital. In a fourth incident, two Kuwaiti men aged 76 and 26 were taken to Mubarak Hospital after sustaining minor injuries in a collision at the junction of Tunis Street and Beirut Street in Hawally. In a separate occurrence, a 31-yearold Bangladeshi expatriate suffered a possible fracture to bones in his left foot when he was hit by a car in Jleeb AlShuyoukh whilst crossing the road. He was taken to Farwaniya Hospital. Similarly, a 61-year-old Indian man was taken to Amiri Hospital when he complained of severe pain in his left thigh and right hand after being hit by a car on Fahad Al-Salem Street.

tion should not be a political or ideological issue as it has become. Minister of Education Ahmad Al-Mulaifi has been under pressure by parliament members for what is fast becoming an educational crisis. More than 9,000 students applied to Kuwait University for places for the upcoming academic year, although the university only has vacancies for 8,000. The crisis sparked debate between Kuwait’s conservative and liberal political blocs, with the liberal National Democratic Alliance stating that the current situation is partly caused by the university’s gender segregation law, which it said doubles the occupancy of time and space in order to segregate students, so exhausting all the university’s faculties. Islamist parliamentarians retaliated by insisting that gender segregation is irrelevant to the current problems, which they attributed to government negligence. Islamists accused the Ministry of Education of being corrupt, claiming that it is ‘managed by liberals who help the corrupt members of the cabinet with their agendas.’

‘Al-Othaina to be appointed communications minister by default’ KUWAIT: The Cabinet is set to appoint the current Minister of Electricity and Water Salem AlOthaina as Minister of Communications by default at the beginning of August, according to a news report which quoted a government insider. Al-Othaina has been serving as acting minister for both the Ministry of Communication and Ministry of Information since the Cabinet approved the resignation of former minister of both, Sami Al-Nisf, earlier this month. According to the government insider who spoke on condi-

tion of anonymity, the Cabinet is looking for a new minister to assume the information minister’s duties. Al-Othaina is enthusiastic about assuming the ministerial post at the MoC, where he spent 20 years as director of the internet department. On their part, the Cabinet members are keen to see Al-Othaina’s experience put to work in helping him manage the current crisis affecting internet prices and services in Kuwait. In separate news, the MEW is reportedly carrying out a large-scale operation in Jahra, target-

ing constructions owned by defaulters who have failed to pay their debts for years. According to a source familiar with the issue, the ministry has already disconnected power from 20 buildings in the Jahra industrial zone after their owners failed to heed earlier warning notices. On another note, Al-Othaina has reportedly issued a decision to form a committee within the Ministry of Information to distribute eleven industrial units in Ardiya to publishing companies. The units were previously owned by the Kuwait Municipality. — Agencies

Ministry tackles police corruption KUWAIT: The Ministry of Interior (MoI) is currently studying a number of allegations of police corruption and plans to take disciplinary action against any officers found to be guilty of any misconduct, whether against Kuwaitis or expatriate residents. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a ministry insider stressed that any police officers convicted of abusing their authority would be relieved of their duties. The insider revealed that the majority of complaints concern individuals being restrained and put inside police patrol vehicles but never referred to the relevant authorities. The insider also stated that many police officers will exaggerate motorists’ offences when issuing traffic tickets because of the financial rewards and bonuses they receive from their superiors for issuing large numbers of citations. “ This led to many complaints about unlawful traffic tickets being lodged,” the insider explained. — Al-Qabas

MANAMA: Kuwaiti Ambassador Sheikh Azzam Mubarak Al-Sabah with Bahraini King’s media advisor Nabil Yagoub Al-Hamar yesterday.

Departure of Fifth Fleet report baseless MANAMA: Reports that the US Fifth Fleet has left Bahrain territorial waters are “false”, said Bahraini King Media Advisor Nabil Yagoub Al-Hamar yesterday. The advisor made the remark during a meeting with Kuwaiti Ambassador to Bahrain

Sheik h Azzam Mubarak AlSabah here yesterday, adding that US officials had themselves rejected these reports. The official also stressed that the Kingdom of Bahrain had overcome the critical circumstances which surfaced recently.

Ambassador Azzam Al-Sabah for his part wished the kingdom and the Bahraini people prosperity and stability, and also noted there is constant development in the already strong relations between the two nations. — KUNA

Fight club A 40-year-old Pakistani expatriate was rushed to Mubarak Hospital after sustaining head injuries in a fight that broke out in Block Six of Khaitan.

Nine dead in road accidents last week KUWAIT: Nine people died on Kuwait’s roads last week, with five of the casualties being Kuwaiti and the other four expatriates. Announcing the latest grim statistics for the period from July 17-23, the Ministry of Interior’s traffic department urged all road-users to comply with traffic regulations for their own and others’ safety.

SAB finds violations in state bodies KUWAIT: The State Audit Bureau’s latest biannual report catalogues several administrative violations at state bodies, including appointing employees to specialist posts for which they have no aptitude or training, as well as giving promotions and conducting reshuffles without Civil Service Commission (CSC) permission. According to one SAB insider, the ministries where the violations took place have been instructed to resolve these

KUWAIT: Kuwait University spokesperson Faisal Maqseed issued a statement yesterday clarifying the details of the recent case involving nine female students which has caused a stir among parliamentarians. The high school graduates were allegedly rejected from enrolling in the program they applied for, despite meeting the requirements. Maqseed stated that they were in fact not rejected, but were accepted at the Faculty of Pharmaceuticals Medicine, in accordance with their GPAs for the first year of introductory courses. “Kuwait University accepts students, as per the regulations, who score more than a 2.5 GPA in the first year after their admission to the College of Medicine. According to their GPA and according to the number of seats available, they are distributed between the faculties of medicine, dentistry, or pharmaceutical studies,” said Maqseed. He added that the students are informed upon being accept-

ed in the College of Medicine that they will only be accepted in the program after one year of introductory courses. Two weeks ago, parliament members stated that the girls who were allegedly denied seats in the faculty they chose despite being qualified, must be admitted. MP Musallam Al-Barrak sent a letter to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah pleading that he intervene to resolve the girls’ dilemma. Meanwhile, MP Aseel Al-Awadhi told the press yesterday that the stance on segregation should not be political, urging politicians to keep the future of the students and youth its main priority. “The Islamist bloc is pushing to keep the segregation law intact because it assumes that this will guarantee it more voters,” she asserted. “It is not taking into consideration the fact that the victim of all this delay in negotiations is the future of students.” AlAwadhi urged Islamists MPs to invest the passion they currently expend on fighting coeducation in producing a practical solution to the current dilemma, noting that co-educa-

regulatory infringements before October when the audit bureau’s annual report is issued. “Those violations [the reallocation of staff ] were committed to help staff members to obtain privileges provided by other occupations than their original ones,” the insider explained. SAB chairman Abdulaziz Al-Adsani has reportedly issued instructions to establish a disciplinary body to deal with cases involving the misuse of state funds. — Al-Rai

KUWAIT: Ahmadi Municipality officials inspecting a number of foodstuff stores yesterday.

Foodstuff stores raided By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: The Ahmadi Municipality in cooperation with the Public Relations Department at the Kuwait Municipality raided a number of foodstuff stores situated in the governorate. Several quantities of expired food items were seized. One restaurant and a food processing factory were shut down. They operated with-

out obtaining a license from the Municipality. The four-hour raid was headed by Mishaal Aba Al-Safi. Aba Al-Safi said that the 24 citations were issued, most of them operating without obtaining health certificates from the ministry. Two citations were issued for selling food items whose validity period had expired tea, vegetable oil, rice, sweets, cream. The total amount of confiscated items total to 500 kilo-

grams, which will be destroyed after necessary legal action is taken. Aba Al-Safi said that the Municipality’s team carries out raids on all foodstuff stores that falls under its jurisdiction. The team noticed that some stores remained closed so as to evade inspection. However, the owners are being closely monitored and legal action will be taken against them.



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TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011



Kuwait ‘shrimping ban’ could be lifted by Aug 15 Demand to soar during Ramadan By Ben Garcia

KUWAIT: The Governor of Vietnman’s An Giang province Vong Tanh felicitated Najeeb Al-Badr, Consul General of Kuwait in Ho Chi Minh on the completion of his tenure in Vietnam. Al-Badr appreciated the ‘fruitful cooperation’ with the host country that resulted in many achievements, including the construction of an orphanage as well as a one-year anti-human trafficking program funded by the Kuwaiti government.

‘Kuwait stealing Iraqi oil’ By A Saleh KUWAIT: An Iraqi MP has stoked rising political tensions between the two countries by remarking that ‘Kuwait has been stealing Iraqi oil’ through slant-drilling. He emphasized that the parliamentary committee, of which he is a member, will investigate the issue. MP Oday Awwad, a member of Iraq’s parliamentary energy committee, said that a sub-committee has been formed to study the subject and verify controversial reports. The accusations are reminis-

cent of charges leveled by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein before the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Awwad’s accusation follows recent controversy over Kuwaiti authorities’ apparent failure to inform Iraqi counterparts of its plan to build Mubarak AlKabeer port project, which Kuwaiti officials have flatly denied. The MP said that the committee members will pay a visit to the Kuwait-Iraq border to confirm if slant-drilling is practiced, before reporting its findings to the Iraqi Parliament.

GCC military medic commanders meet in Kuwait KUWAIT: Commanders and leaders of Gulf military medical units and services held here yesterday their 13th meeting which will last until tomorrow, amid annual meetings between commanders of the GCC military. The meeting aims at boosting cooperation and coordination between GCC commanders, including ways to find the best suitable way to provide med-

ical assistance to military and armed forces in the Gulf, the head of the meeting, Col Ahmad Al-Khayat said in a press release. Al-Khayat added that such understanding among leaders and through similar gatherings and medical training will help response to relevant instructions issued by GCC ministers of defense and military chiefs of staff. — KUNA

Court orders MoC to reevaluate cell services’ prices KUWAIT: The Ministry of Communications (MoC) has been ordered to limit the prices of cell phone services in Kuwait, bringing them into line with the rates cited in 1996 licensing legislation. The Supreme Court’s ruling means that local cell phone service providers will be forced to reassess the current call charges. Lawyer Mohammad Al-Sabti who brought the case against the MoC,

arguing that it had failed to implement legislation which gives it the authority to annually reassess cell phone service charges in Kuwait, expressed satisfaction at the ruling. “The law obliges the MoC to reevaluate prices for cell phone services every year,” he said, adding that the ministry’s “failure to do so was an indication of the fact that the MoC has not been properly committed to its monitoring duties.” — Al-Qabas

KUWAIT: The Kuwait Fisherman’s Union (KFU) believes that the ban on shrimping could be lifted by Aug 15, earlier than the previously announced date of September 1 by the Public Authority for Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR). According to a source who requested anonymity, demands for fresh shrimps from Kuwaiti waters soar during the holy month of Ramadan. Besides, the decision to lift the ban on trawling was scheduled for midAugust. “People here want local catch to be ser ved on their table. They are fresh when compared to frozen shrimps we receive from neighboring countries. For the sake of Ramadan, I think, trawling will be allowed by mid-August not September as announced earlier, it will be too late for Ramadan,” the maleKFU official mentioned. Yesterday, PAAAFR planned to lif t the ban on shrimping in Kuwaiti waters on September 1, two weeks later than the traditional period. “We usually lift the ban on August 15, if you delay it for additional two weeks especially on R amadan month, I think it will not be ok ay for many; we have to be considerate enough. Extending the ban beyond August means shrimp prices could rise during Ramadan, and people want it more than the usual Hamour or Zubaidi,” he added. Shrimp is considered a Ramadan delicacy. It is a favorite seafood dish, similar to Zubaidi

and Hamour. The ban is placed in January every year till midAugust to allow reproduction. This is because Kuwait has limited zones were shrimp can be trawled for. During the ban period, shrimps from Iran and Saudi Arabia, even India and Pakistan enter the market on a limited scale, making it more expensive and unaffordable to many. Prices of impor ted shrimps from Pak istan and Saudi Arabia ranged between KD 1.5 and KD 5 per kilogram, depending on size. “The prices are higher now when compared to the previous two weeks. This is probably owing to limited stocks,” Jalal Majid, an I ranian fish vendor told the Kuwait Times yesterday. Shrimp prices experience a marked slump when the ban is lifted. Rates could even drop to 500 fils per kilogram. At least 20 percent of supplies are obtained from Kuwaiti waters, the remaining imported from neighboring countries. Last month, PAAAFR announced to ban on trawling for two years, drawing support from small time fishermen. They, however, demanded compensation from Kuwaiti government, “We do not oppose the plan to ban trawling in Kuwaiti waters since it just accounts for 20 percent of market supply; it will not affec t in any way. But as we already told PAAAFR, we need a better compensation if it is enforced because fishing is our main source of livelihood,” a KFU member said.

KUWAIT: File photos showing the end of last year’s ‘shrimping ban’ season in Kuwait. —Photos by Ben Garcia

Iraqi delegation to discuss port issue KUWAIT: A delegation comprising Iraqi technical specialists is expected to visit Kuwait to discuss the Mubarak Al-Kabeer port issue. Several members from the Iraqi parliament have objected to the location chosen to construct the mega port which Kuwait plans to build, east of Boubyan island, a few kilometers off the Iraqi shore. The Iraqi politicians are concerned that the port may disrupt maritime activity along the Arabian Gulf. However, Kuwaiti authorities have assured that the Mubarak AlKabeer port will help boost trade in the entire region.

An official from the Kuwaiti government said that the Kuwaiti authorities will explain to the visiting Iraqi team how the port can facilitate naval mobility at the joint maritime borders between the two countries, thereby attracting containers on Kuwaiti and Iraqi shores. The team will also be assured of Kuwait’s keenness to solve all issues that crop up, related to the project. Kuwait argues that the Iraqi government has been familiarized with the projects details before work went underway, reported Al-Qabas. Many Iraqi lawmakers insist that Baghdad

was unaware of Kuwait’s decision to execute the project, “These allegations are untrue since the subject was discussed during the last visit paid by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki to Kuwait, as well as during the recent meeting convened by the joint committee,” said a senior official from Kuwait’s Foreign Ministry, reported Annahar. The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, also says that the controversy surrounding Mubarak Al-Kabeer project is unrealistic “given the fact that it is built on Kuwaiti soil, and can serve as a gateway towards Iraq’s rebuilding process.”

Sheikh Talal asks local sports chiefs for views, recommendations KUWAIT: The Deputy General Director for Public Authority for Youths and Sports (PAYS) Sheikh Talal Al-Fahad AlSabah held a meeting yesterday with the heads and representatives of local sports club and sports unions. During the meeting, Sheikh Talal emphasized that those clubs and unions should submit their views and recommendations concerning their allocated budgets before the month of September to give PAYS sufficient time to coordinate with the Ministry of Finance on the matter in light of the participation of those clubs and unions in upcoming overseas events, which require financing and a continuous budget to avoid any obstacles. Sheikh Talal pointed out that those clubs and unions which fail to do so in a timely manner and to cooperate with the PAYS will lose out on funding, with the authority having a major role in supporting all sports bodies and meeting their needs. The senior PAYS official also said that an internal memorandum currently being circulated amongst these bodies concerns their need to make administrative and financial amendments as soon as possible, expressing his con-

KUWAIT: Sheikh Talal Al-Fahad Al-Sabah meeting the heads and representatives of local sports club and sports unions. cerns over financial shortages. He also emphasized the importance of the clubs’ participation concerning amendments to the internal memorandum. Sheikh Talal asserted that the current

part-time status of many Kuwaiti athletes and other sportspeople and the limited financial support available are inadequate in bolstering the country’s sporting status, with many clubs forced

to struggle to find funding between one sporting event and the next. He called upon the clubs’ managing officials to deal with this issue comprehensively so that the players’ and clubs’ interests are not harmed, adding that the decision to allow many players to play at semi-professional level has helped the clubs financially. Sheikh Talal asked every club and sports union to provide PAYS with their views and suggestions and not to delay in doing so. He also announced that the Council of Ministers’ service committee has approved the new location for the Kuwaiti Sports Club for the Disabled, which will share the headquarters of the Kuwaiti Olympic committee. The senior sporting official revealed that the new headquarters building also contains various investment outlets which will be able to provide support for disabled sportspeople in the future. Some of the officials present responded immediately to Sheikh Talal’s request for proposals and recommendations, with the senior PAYS official asking those who did not do so to submit their views and suggestions to PAYS as soon as possible.

‘Demographic imbalance to be corrected’ KUWAIT: Officials from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL) will convene this week to discuss two measures proposed by the Ministry of Interior. It has been specifically devised to help the government in its quest to eliminate demographic imbalance. According to a senior official who requested anonymity, the ministry’s Supreme Committee of Labor will discuss the procedure of putting an end to the process of transferring visit visas to work permits. In addition to this, the committee will discuss a proposal to allow expatriates to sponsor family members only if they earn a minimum salary of KD 500, reported Al-Rai. The official further revealed that the meeting will also address increasing number of absconding cases, fraudulent companies issue, and the level of benefit derived from Amiri amnesty.

KUWAIT: The holy month of Ramadan is a time for fasting, reflecting and strengthening one’s belief. This image is used for illustrative purposes only. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

PAAET studies increasing dropout rate

KUWAIT: The Iranian Ambassador to Kuwait Ruhullah Qahramani paid a visit yesterday to the Kuwait Journalists Association’s headquarters. During the visit, the ambassador and KJA officials discussed means of boosting bilateral cooperation in the field of journalism. Dr Sameer Arshadi, Cultural Attache at the Iranian Embassy, accompanied the ambassador.

KUWAIT: The Public Authority for Applied Education and Training(PAAET ) has delegated the Dean of Admission and Registration with the task of determining the reasons behind increasing dropout rates. At least 5,000 students were registered in 2010-2011 according to official statistics. The large number of dropouts alarmed PAAET officials because at least 5,000 students who eventually dropped out and replaced others who failed to secure an admission - albeit temporarily - due to overcapacity, reported Al-Rai. They went on to explain that most dropouts found better educational opportunities with more prestigious educational firms situated in Kuwait and outside the country.




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TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011

LOCAL in my view

Local Spotlight

The desperate need for logic

Is the food industry recognized?

By Hussain Al-Qatari have given up on finding logic in the statements of our politicians in Kuwait. Perhaps it is a worldwide phenomenon to find no logic at all in politicians’ statements, but I find it especially acute on the local scene. Take for example, the recent uproar about the education crisis. In a nutshell, the government’s lack of planning failed to foresee that Kuwaiti students will exceed the limit of admissions Kuwait’s only state university can accept. The government had almost two decades to figure out the dire need for a bigger university and a better solution. Since the birth of fresh high school graduates approximately 18 years ago until today, the government has failed to make decisions that secure these students’ seats in the university. Leaving the lack of planning aside, the government has decided to take an extreme measure in 1996 and pass a legislation that segregates students based on their gender in Kuwait University. This is beyond a disaster, and time proved it right: instead of holding one lecture for students from both sexes, instructors have to hold two different lectures, occupying two different classrooms and time slots on the schedule, just because some politicians decided that the ethics and morals of Kuwaiti students will be at risk in the case of co-education. This indirect accusation that male and female students will engage in indecent behavior upon being in one classroom together is not the most absurd you would hear from politicians here. The proposals for solving the current dilemma are the most bizarre. Exhibit One is the Minister of Education’s stance on the situation. Minister Ahmad Al-Mulaifi found that accepting an additional 2,000 plus students in Kuwait University, an establishment already exhausted because of lack of planning, will solve the problem,


‘By attending co-ed universities abroad, I wonder how the MP thinks our students will guard their morals and ethics. What is more absurd is the fact that several of these MPs who hold PhD degrees have studied abroad themselves, in non-segregated universities.’

By Muna Al-Fuzai

D kuwait digest

Drowning in debt By Thaar Al-Rashidi debt of KD6,000 saw one Kuwaiti man imprisoned after he lost his private sector job following the global economic crisis. Another was imprisoned after his backdated rental debt reached KD7,500, with his wife and children currently living with her parents whilst he serves his sentence. A third, an engineer, was jailed due to the accumulated debt he owed in alimony to his former wife. These are just some of the stories I’ve heard, but all three men share one common feature, with each believing that they would rather be jailed than face the humiliation of asking for money from others. When I asked them why they hadn’t gone to charity organizations or the Zakat House, one answered - without


exaggerating - that you must first collect 25 signatures and a stack of paperwork in order to obtain, at the end, between KD200 and KD500. The engineer, meanwhile, asked in a broken voice, “I have debt of KD16,000 - how can I repay it whilst I’m practically indebted to the bank which refused to give me a loan because I already have one?” It seems like I’ve listened to the stories of those drowning in debt on a 24/7 basis. These aren’t drug-dealers or thieves, they didn’t steal money from projects or obtain government tenders by deception. The amount of money owed by the three debtors above isn’t even as much as a quarter of that paid by our government for failed tenders. The amount we’re talking about here

doesn’t exceed KD30,000. And yet, owing only a few thousand dinars has broken these people’s hearts and left them behind bars. There’s no doubt that the creditors are owed this money and that these people should pay it, but that’s life - in one second things change from black to white. The stories of the three aforementioned prisoners are merely the surface of a tragedy known as indebtedness, and there are hundreds of them. It seems that those who have defrauded the country of millions of dinars cannot be touched, whilst those who are wanted for a few hundred or a few thousand are caught and imprisoned. I ask only for even-handedness in the application of the law. —Al-Anba

kuwait digest without bearing in mind the fact that there is no room for these students to exist in Kuwait University’s building. Realizing this, the minister decided that a makeshift campus is vital, and assigned his assistants and undersecretaries to take the job. Now he promises a new university will be ready within six months. Six months only, and it took the Kuwait University years to even start the Kuwait University City project, which will probably need a few more decades judging by the current pace. Exhibit Two is parliament member Faisal AlMislem. The MP condemned the suggestion that coeducation will ultimately raise the quality of education in Kuwait, and help a great deal in solving this dilemma. Instead, he insisted that co-education will cause corruption and the demise of morals and ethics in the country. However, he also insisted that Kuwait should solve the current problem by sending more students abroad on scholarships. By going to co-ed universities abroad, I wonder how the MP thinks our students will guard their morals and ethics. What is more absurd is the fact that several of these MPs who hold PhDs have studied abroad themselves, in nonsegregated universities! Even during the time they studied in Kuwait University, segregation was not practiced. If it is not lack of logic, then it most certainly is hypocrisy.

oes the food industry receive much-needed recognition in Kuwait? It should be. A recent media report claimed that 93 percent of our food supplies are imported from other countries. I think this matter needs to be discussed. However, like the way most situations are dealt with here, it will be taken care of when a crisis erupts. I think of the dairy and poultry farms here which I think really reflect the hard work and efforts put in by Kuwaitis. Every now and then, we hear about fire incidents or damages incurred. I know that these businesses provide for nearly one-third of local poultry and egg needs. This is enough to cover local needs here. These are not the only products we need to create and develop the food industry. Do they support the country and its policies? Other food supply companies are state-owned like the Kuwait Flour Mills and Bakeries Company. It occupies a primary position among food distributors in Kuwait. The idea of establishing this company was largely considered a success right from the beginning. This is because the obstacle of import-

Time to make a wise decision By Khalifa Al-Khurafi f I were the state’s prime minister, especially at a time when the Parliament was in recession, I would do the following: 1- Stop all ‘wasta’ (influence) and exemptions made to all state departments, and ensure that law and order are enforced equally. 2- Hire an efficient team of ministers who will not oblige to the whims of irresponsible lawmakers. 3- Track down the development process and seek solutions to obstacles and its implementations. 4- Work toward passing 100 draft laws that have not been by the Parliament. 5- Look for alternative methods to protect Kuwait’s future by saving up today - similar to the biblical and Quranic story of Joseph. He advised the


Pharaoh to store surplus grains during seven years of abundance ahead of the seven years of famine to follow. 6- Protect the rights of citizens with limited income. Help them contribute towards the sectors of health, education, power, oil. 7- Halt excessive spending and gift-giving. Enact a law that obliges all members of the Cabinet, Parliament, Municipal Council, boards of cooperative societies, non-governmental organizations to disclose their assets. 8- Issue a 90-day ultimatum to senior officials in government bodies, asking them to remedy troubled aspects in their respective departments. They will implement the egovernment program, or else face an elimination. Furthermore, every offi-

cial with at least thirty years in office will be sent into retirement and be replaced by younger, more rejuvenated officials. 9- Make a state address announcing that we are on the brink of an economic disaster that occur within ten years if oil prices drop. This is based on estimates of experts which state that spending rates would reach $100 billion, while our income at the time will not exceed $10 billion. The Quranic figure Joseph’s wisdom helped people in ancient Egypt overcome one of the most difficult times in the region’s history. Do members of our Cabinet and Parliament have enough wisdom to help Kuwait overcome a catastrophe? I doubt that because they are used to taking without giving as much in return. —Al-Qabas

kuwait digest

Every now and then we hear about fire incidents or damages incurred. I know that these businesses provide for nearly onethird of local poultry and egg needs. This is enough to cover local needs here. These are not the only products we need to create and develop the food industry. Do they support the country and its policies? ing flour is considered a threat and is risky in case a delay sets in owing to climate change and bad weather. Proper storage conditions should be maintained while shipping. So, if we are so heavily dependent on foreign countries to meet our food needs. Does this imply that at least six percentage of our land is cultivable? I understand that the weather condition is not suitable for agricultural activities? The green house method covers a limited area. Production is not encouraged much. I think that the efforts put in by local farmers should be supported. Farmer’s needs and pleas should be heard and their demands should be heeded. I believe that small farms can really be expanded into a full-fledged industry, especially if the farmers are taken seriously and this sector is perceived as a future investment. We are still the world’s granary. Muna Al-Fuzai is currently on holiday. This column was published last year.

in my view

Enforce the existing laws

Where did the KD37 billion go? By Najat Al-Hashash By Thaar Al-Rashidi few years ago I participated in a tract people’s attention from the state’s British documentary programme political future and the necessity to on the theme of ‘the art of politi- find a roadmap to lead us away from the current dead-end street, the govcal distraction.’ The programme’s host asked me: ernment pulls a trick out of its bag, what means of political distraction are with an old issue miraculously revived used in Kuwait? I remember replying or a new one arising in time to divert that these were electricity, co-educa- attention once more, keeping everytion and the Kuwait Stock Exchange. one busy until the dark deed is done At that time sectarianism was still not and the distraction is no longer a phenomenon and the tribal or anti- required; every distraction has objectives behind it tribal tensions, which change let alone the war between Whenever the government according to the Sheik hs and wants to distract peopleís atten- g o v e r n m e n t ’s equirements. merchants, had tion from the stateís political rToday’s distracnot yet arisen. The ratcheting future and the necessity to find a tion aims to take public ’s up of tensions roadmap to lead us away from the attention away in the parliament which is the current dead-end street, the from the slicing the hallmark government pulls a trick out of up of the state’s billion par ticularly of its bag, with an old issue miracu- KD37 cake and its disfour th constituency repre- lously revived or a new one aris- tribution, as well sentatives had ing in time to divert attention as from the vast and massively not yet begun, costly planned but this is, of once more. projects that course, another of the many means used to distract continue to exist only on paper. Today we aren’t seeking a roundthe Kuwaiti public. Political distraction, by the way, is a table on national dialogue as some pure Arab art and our current govern- wish, but want to see some real, ment is skilled in every aspect of it, hard political questions free of politiwith all the tricks involved hidden in cal agendas. The primary question the government’s capacious bag until and possibly the only truly important such time as they are needed. one is, ‘Where did the KD37 billion Whenever the government want to dis- go?’ —Al-Anba


efore the Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah made a decision to ensure that Kuwaiti citizen Shaqha Al-Mutairi’s five children were able to immediately access the state’s overseas medical treatment program, I was planning to dedicate my column to appeal to authorities to save the remaining children of the grieving mother who already lost five children to leukemia. Article Two of the disability rights legislation states that children of a Kuwaiti woman married to a non-Kuwaiti should be able to access medical and educational care, while Article Three gives these children the right to be treated as Kuwaiti citizens throughout their lives. Although this law is already in place, it has, unfor tunately, yet to be fully enforced. Shaqha Al-Mutairi exercised her right to use the law in order to provide treatment abroad for her children as per doctors’ recommendations, but it took personal intervention from the defense minister himself before she could obtain her legal rights. I would like to ask a question to state officials and lawmakers, to all decision makers who establish and enforce regulations: what can a citizen like Shaqha Al-Mutairi do when they can’t find anyone to enforce the very regulations that were put in place to help their cases? Law enforcement is intended to protect people’s dignity by ensuring that they receive help rather than having to plead for others to help them. I don’t think that enforcing approved regulations as they are supposed to be enforced would be a source of inconvenience to senior state officials. Enforcement of the existing laws is the only thing that we actually need in Kuwait. —Al-Rai


TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011


Imams’ code of conduct needs stringent implementation MAIA reiterates charter and mission By Hussain Al-Qatari

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah receiving the chairperson of Learning Differences Association of Kuwait Amal Ahmad Al-Sayer and the managing director Nouriya Al-Ameeri in the Seif Palace yesterday. Al-Sayer and Al-Ameeri briefed His Highness the Amir on the association’s goal to develop educational services. HH the Amir wished them success.

Amir’s donation a great start to IICO campaign KUWAIT: Dr. Abdullah Al-Maatouq, the President of the International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO), said yesterday that a personal donation of $1 million by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Sabah marks the opening of a charity appeal to assist the victims of the terrible drought and famine currently devastating Somalia. Dr Al-Maatouq expressed his appreciation of the noble directive issued to the IICO by HH the Amir to organize the appeal to collect donations to help some of the millions of Somalis affected by the horrendous drought and the associated famine. The senior official said that HH the Amir’s generous donation was a great start to the IICO’s campaign to provide desperately needed aid, adding that such generosity is not uncommon for HH the Amir, reflecting the Kuwaiti ruler’s sensitive humanitarian nature and strong conscience. Dr. Al-Maatouq revealed that HH the Amir had stressed his personal commitment to helping alleviate the horrific suffering of the people of Somalia, adding that his donation confirmed the strength of his belief in the need to help provide them with the necessary support through creative initiatives, including providing them with emergency relief in order to prevent more victims. The IICO head also revealed that HH the Amir had directed the organization to manage a public charity appeal to collect donations to assist the people of Somalia in coordination with Kuwait’s other charitable organizations. Dr. Al-Maatouq con-

cluded by stressing that the IICO is fully committed to carrying out HH the Amir’s directives and to ensuring the success of the appeal. Meanwhile, the people and government of Somalia are confident that HH the Amir and the Kuwaiti people will provide all forms of aid to help the east African nation overcome the current horrenduos famine there. Abdulqader Amin Shaikh, Ambassador of Somalia to Kuwait stated that during a meeting with Chairman of the Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) Barjas Al-Barjas yesterday. He acknowledged the initiative taken by HH the Amir to send immediate aid relief to Somalia. “[HH the Amir’s] initiative has inspired other Arab countries to follow suit and provide immediate humanitarian aid to Somalia,” Amin Shaikh said, while appreciating the KRCS’ efforts “to support humanitarian issues of African people.” Amin Sheikh and Al-Barjas discussed the manner in which Kuwaiti humanitarian aid will reach Somalia in a few days. The Somali ambassador praised the KRCS’ exemplar y humanitarian work on the regional and international level. Somalia is currently suffering from cataclysmic famine. Amin Shaikh described the situation at the Horn of Africa as “the worst catastrophe in 20 years,” quoting reports of humanitarian organizations operating there indicating that nearly 10 million people suffer from malnutrition and starvation. The ambassador further noted that malnutrition among children in Somalia has doubled since last March, forcing many Somalis to flee to other countries.

KUWAIT: The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs (MAIA) issued a statement yesterday stressing the importance of adhering to its charter and vision, or what is known as the code of conduct for imams. The ministry’s statement comes after a number of politicians strongly condemned ministry officials for suspending the imam at a local mosque over a prayer sermon that he delivered during a recent Friday service. The decision to suspend the imam for four months came after the cleric touched upon the current situation in Syria and spoke negatively about the Syrian leadership. “The Ministry of Awqaf would like to stress on the fact that mosques have a very constructive role in society. Throughout Islamic history, the mosque has been the place that gives Muslims guidance,” said the statement, continuing, “As a

KUWAIT: The National Council for Culture, Arts, and Letters (NCCAL) held a seminar in cooperation with Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) on environmentally friendly or ‘green’ homes on Sunday evening as part of NCCAL’s sixth cultural summer season. The seminar was hosted by the director of NCCAL’s Engineering Department Samir Al-Qallaf and engineer Dina AlNaqib. In her presentation, Al-Naqib reviewed the impor tance of complying with construction regulations and codes and energy conservation criteria in making more environmentally friendly homes, which she explained requires conducting different tests on insulation material, cooling and heating

KUWAIT: Somali Ambassador Abdul Qadir Amin holding talks with Chairman of Kuwait Red Crescent Society, Barges Hmoud Al-Barges. drought that hit it recently, pointing to the leading position occupied by the KRCS regionally and internationally in the humanitarian work arena which is worthy of appreciation and respect. The ambassador said that this is

Kuwait-Jordan ties witness quantum leap AMMAN: Kuwaiti Ambassador to Jordan Dr Hamad Al-Duaij yesterday said KuwaitiJordanian relations have remarkably developed in the past years. “Kuwaiti-Jordanian ties have witnessed a quantum leap recently turning it into a model of distinguished relations at all political, economic and cultural levels,” Duaij said a day before the start of a Kuwait Journalists Association visit to Amman. “These distinct relations are a natural product of brotherhood bonds between the leaderships and peoples of the two countries,” he added. Al-Duaij described the mutual visits between officials and experts in the two countries and exchange of expertise in all areas are a show of the special nature of relations between Kuwait and Jordan. During their stay here, the Kuwaiti press delegation will meet several senior Jordanian figures including King Abdullah II and Parliament Speaker Faisal Fayez, Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit and Senate President Taher Masri. The delegation includes President of the Kuwait Journalists Association Ahmed Yousef Behbehani, and Chief Editor of Kuwait News Agency Rashid Al-Ruwaished and chief editors of several Kuwaiti newspapers. —KUNA

not a strange matter to the KRCS, which is always rushing to the rescue of victims ever ywhere and had a prominent role in relief works in Somalia, stressing that the humanitarian work of the KRCS has become a landmark in this respect. —KUNA

Kuwait-Oman joint committee to meet MUSCAT: The joint KuwaitiOmani Committee is to convene its fifth session in Salalah today, with discussions focusing on several important aspects of bolstering cooperation between the two countries. The Kuwaiti delegation at the meeting will be headed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Sabah AlSabah, with the Omani team headed by the Minister

Responsible for Foreign Affairs Yusuf Bin Alawi Bin Abdullah. Kuwaiti Ambassador to Oman Salem Al-Zamanan said that the meeting is intended to update the participants on all facets of cooperation between the two countries. It also demonstrates the eagerness of both nations’ leadership to advance bilateral relations even further in the fields of politics, the economy, and cultural interaction. — KUNA

MPW signs road development agreements KU WAIT: The M inist r y o f Pu bl ic Wo r ks ( M PW ) has recently signed several agreements on the development of a number of the cross-border roads linking Kuwait to neighb o ri ng co unt r i es, wi t h t he affec ted roads coming to a total length of more than 500

support tyranny in any form. “Is the Ministry of Awqaf applauding the crimes that are happening in Syria? The crimes of the Ba’ath party are heinous, and it is the duty of a true Muslim to speak up against crimes,” Al-Harbish asserted. The lawmaker demanded that the MAIA’s Charter and Vision, which operates as a code of conducts for imams, be cancelled or modified. Al-Harbish stressed that imams can self-censor their sermons and don’t need a charter. Al-Mislem, meanwhile, said that the number of complaints against the ministry’s stringency with imams has been rising lately. “I personally listened to what one of the imams said in the mosque, and I found that it was not offensive by any means,” the MP stated. “It was speaking the truth against tyranny, and it stemmed from the good feelings of brotherhood that all Kuwaitis have towards their Syrian brothers. Compared to the atrocities the Syrian regime

is committing against its people, what the imam said is not offensive.” According to the MAIA’s Charter of Mosque Imams, an imam at a mosque shall maintain the sanctity of the mosque and not speak about subjects that don’t belong there. It also states that the imam shall not speak about matters that are not of his specialty, and shall discuss issues in general, not specific ones. It also states that politics should be discussed only in political forums. “An imam shall avoid at all costs speaking about subjects that divide the people and cause disturbance in the general atmosphere of devotion and sanctity,” says the charter. Nabil Al-Awadhi, an imam at a mosque in Jahra and a presenter of a television program, was banned from delivering his sermon last Friday, and was informed that he is now on a four-month probationary period.

NCCAL, KISR hold green homes seminar

Somali Ambassador hails Amir’s initiative KUWAIT: Somali Ambassador to Kuwait Sheikh Abdul Qadir Amin said here yesterday the Somali people and their leadership are convinced that His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah and the Kuwaiti people will spare no effort in providing aid and all forms of help and support to Somalia in the face of its ordeal. The ambassador said in a statement after his meeting with Chairman of Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS), Barges Hmoud Al-Barges that the initiative of His Highness the Amir to provide humanitarian aid to the Somali people has made many Arab countries rush to send aid to Somalia. He added that he discussed with Al-Barges a mechanism to deliver the aid in the coming days and requirements of food and relief, noting that Al-Barges expressed KRCS’ readiness to provide all essential needs to the Somali people and rescue them from their distress because of the drought. He expressed his country’s appreciation for the KRCS’ efforts in support of the humanitarian issues of the African peoples, especially Somalia, which is suffering the brunt of the

sacred place to all Muslims, a mosque should preserve its sanctity by steering away from sparking controversy. A mosque gives guidance by offering wisdom that awakens Muslims to the issues they face and interact with daily.” The Ministry added that it is currently looking into 20 cases of other imamas who violated the Charter, and will consider suspending them. Local media reported yesterday that the decisions of the MAIA is closely connected with the stance of the government towards revolutions. “ The MAIA did not object to imams speaking against the Libyan regime, but brought the issue of the charter when other imams spoke against the Syrian regime,” claims the report. After the imam’s suspension last week, MPs Faisal Al-Mislem and Jamaan Al-Harbish slammed the MAIA for taking such a stance, noting that as a government body the ministry should not

k m . Assi st ant M i nister o f Public Wo rks fo r Ro ad Engi neer i ng Hussain A lMansour said yesterday that the road net work develop ment project has been divided into a number of smaller projects with separate implementation agreements.

systems, and overall energy conservation. This is of even greater importance given the increasing concern over global warming and climate change, she stressed. The engineer said that use of proper insulation material helps improve energy conservation levels in homes as it helps maintain the desired temperatures for longer periods of time and means that the heat which is conducted through walls and ceilings has a great impact on the cooling systems’ power intake. In addition to good insulation of walls and ceilings, there need be proper insulation of windows, water and gas pipes, and electricity outlets and any sort of vents in the structure. Among the main concerns when choosing insulation is the

need to avoid materials that can be damaged by humidity or those now seen as a source of health concerns. She pointed out the cooling system in a Kuwaiti home typically accounts for 60 percent of the overall energy consumption. Collectively, the use of air conditioning systems is responsible for around 70 percent of the local power consumption, AlNaqib said. In addition to heat factors, Kuwait ’s harsh environment requires that great care be taken in maintaining water boilers and cooling systems, which need regular care and maintenance. Factors like lighting and the use of weatherproof material in home exteriors also play an important role in green home design, she noted.

In his address, meanwhile, AlQallaf, underlined the importance of the relevant Kuwait authorities spreading spread awareness and responsibility regarding power consumption, adding that great care is needed to conserve the country’s natural environment. This seminar, he explained, was part of the NCCAL’s summer season of events held to help shed light on the many environmental concerns and the many viable solutions which could help the country immensely in this regard. The State of Kuwait is extremely attentive to issues of the environment and responsible consumption, as well as to cultural items such as poetry, the arts, exhibitions, and other indications of a civilized society, he added. —KUNA




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TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011


Kuwaiti man dies in multiple pile-up on Fahaheel Road Drug smuggling attempt foiled

By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: One man was killed and four other people injured in a multiple pile-up on Fahaheel Road yesterday. According to the police report, a Kuwaiti motorist in his thirties lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a roadside barrier, leading to eight other cars behind him smashing into one another, with four people, all Asian, being injured in the accident. The Kuwaiti man was pronounced dead at the scene and his body was removed for autopsy, whilst the four injured people were rushed to hospital. Baby abandoned Police are hunting for a woman who abandoned a baby boy of almost a year old at a beauty salon in Abu Hlaifa. The salon owner later went to the police station with the baby, explaining that a customer had arrived with the baby before leaving him, telling staff that she had to go to her car to fetch her cell phone which she claimed she had left in her car. She failed to return, however, and the salon owner reported the incident to police, who are searching for the infant’s mother. KIA drug bust An Egyptian resident was

arrested at the Kuwait International Airport after customs officers caught him in possession of drugs. The behavior of the man, who had just arrived on a flight from Alexandria aroused officers’ suspicions and he was subjected to an intensive search, which revealed that he was carrying two pieces of hashish. He was referred to the General Department of Drug Control (GDDC) for further action. Weapons haul A Kuwaiti man was taken into custody after patrol officers performing a routine stop-andsearch operation discovered an unlicensed handgun and two

rifles in his car, along with ammunition for the three weapons. The man was referred to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to face further action. Two thefts Shuwaikh police are investigating two separate theft allegations filed by local residents. In the first case, the Kuwaiti owner of an electrical appliances store in the area reported that a number of appliances had been stolen by unidentified thieves. In the second case, the complainant, also Kuwaiti, accused a housemaid employed by him of stealing KD2,000 worth of gold before fleeing his family’s home.

Dumb drunk A Kuwaiti woman is facing multiple charges after allegedly verbally abusing police officers who caught her driving under the influence of alcohol. According to the testimony of the two police officers who pulled the suspect over in Hawally, the woman and her male companion were found to be inebriated. The woman verbally insulted the officers during the arrest, while her companion remained quiet. The two were taken to the proper authorities to face charges, with the woman facing counts of intoxication, driving while intoxicated, and insulting police officers on duty.

Suspicious death in Rumaithiya KUWAIT: Police have launched an investigation after a 25-year-old maid was found dead and surrounded by blood in the bathroom of her employers’ home in Rumaithiya. Although emergency services personnel rushed to the location, the Ethiopian woman was pronounced dead at the scene. Her body was removed for autopsy to determine the cause and time of death and the investigation is continuing. Child molester Hawally police managed to arrest an Arab teacher of English a few hours after he allegedly sexually molested a child at a house in Al-Shuhada during a private English lesson. The charges were pressed at Zahra police station by the pupil’s father, who told officers that he had paid the teacher to tutor his eight-year- old daughter in English. During the lesson, however, the girl screamed when the teacher allegedly touched her inappropriately and roughly, hurting her, with the accused man immediately fleeing the scene. He was caught a few hours later in the family home of another young pupil and is currently being held pending investigation. Under-floor missiles A Kuwaiti man carrying out renovation work in the living room of his home in

Qurain was shocked to find a number of missiles buried under the floor. He immediately called police to report the find and bomb squad officers were quickly at the scene, identifying the munitions as anti-aircraft missiles left behind by Iraqi soldiers from the 1990-91 invasion and occupation. The munitions were safely removed, much to the householder’s relief. Residency violator Police have arrested an illegal resident who reportedly spent 24 years in Kuwait without a valid residency visa. The 44-yearold Egyptian man was apprehended during a security campaign in Farwaniya after he was found to have no valid residency visa. He admitted during questioning that he had never had a residency visa since he first came to Kuwait in 1987. He was referred to the Migration General Department where he is being prepared for deportation. Counterfeit cash An Iranian man is being held by police for questioning after he provided fake KD10 bills to pay for a transaction at a local immigration department branch. Police were called after staff at the office spotted that the banknotes handed over by the customer to pay for his family members’ new residency visas were counterfeit. After this was confirmed by

experts, the man was taken into custody and is being held at Shuwaikh police station for questioning. Thieves busted Maidan Hawally police have caught two young men who carried out multiple thefts targeting parked vehicles and stealing their contents. According to the police report, the duo were caught in Shaab in possession of a bag containing eight Kuwaiti passports, as well as wallets, ID cards, credit cards and cell phones. One of the youths admitted during questioning that they used a special substance to weaken the cars’ window glass, helping them to break the windows without making noise and attracting attention. It was also discovered that the suspects used a stolen vehicle in their operations. Fugitive caught A fugitive who fled after being charged with with multiple felonies has been arrested in Farwaniya by patrol officers. The young man was caught after he attempted to flee when he spotted a police patrol vehicle. On checking his ID, officers discovered that he had been given a prison sentence for committing various crimes, including thefts and others involving violence. He was transferred directly to Central Prison to serve his sentence. —Al-Anba, Al-Rai, Al-Watan

Gulf Bank welcomes home pearl divers KUWAIT: Gulf Bank has hailed the successful conclusion of the 23rd Memorial Journey for Pearl Diving. The expedition, proudly sponsored by Gulf Bank, consisted of 15 fully crewed dhows, with over 180 divers on board, sailed from Kuwait on July 14, and returned safely on July 23 to a traditional reception and an enthusiastic welcome by families, friends and well-wishers. The closing day ceremony, also called ‘Youm Al-Quffal’ in Arabic, was attended by Dr Mohamad Al-Afasy, Deputy Prime Minister for Legal Affairs and Minister of Justice and Minister of Social Affairs and Labor on behalf of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of Kuwait. The ceremony was also attended by the Under Secretary of the Ministry of Social Affairs Mohamed Al Kandari, Governor of Hawally, Retired Lt Gen Abdullah Al-Faris, and Retired Lt Gen, Fahad Al-Fahad, the President of the Sea Sport Club, who took the opportunity of welcoming back and honoring the young Kuwaiti divers, as well as the captains of the dhows for upholding and preserving the traditional legacy of Kuwait. With the traditional tunes of a Kuwaiti band playing in the background, the divers showcased their spoils to the audience, including shells and, of course, many pearls. Commenting on the return of the

divers, Fawzy Al-Thunayan, General Manager of Board Affairs at Gulf Bank said: “We are extremely proud of the young Kuwaitis who have completed this year ’s journey. The annual journey relives an iconic cultural aspect of our honorable heritage, and is an important symbol of Kuwaitis’ loyalty to their homeland. The journey also serves as an encouragement for youth to understand and feel a part of our country’s unique history and culture.” Gulf Bank believes that heritage and tradition must be preserved, and takes it upon itself to communicate these core values across its daily operations and extensive network of 54 branches. This is reflected in the Bank’s corporate logo, a simple reminder of Kuwait’s proud heritage and the historic journeys made by Kuwaitis in the past. The Bank has also utilized ‘Al Danah’, meaning large pearl, as the Al Danah account campaign logo. The journey, which is organized each year by the Committee of the Marine Heritage of the Kuwait Sea Sport Club, has Kuwaiti sailors using dhows to sail great distances away from their families and to dive for pearls in the traditional way. The memorial journey serves to remind new Kuwaiti generations of the difficulties and challenges faced by their forefathers in earning their living, along with a message urging these generations to uphold the traditions and values their ancestors developed during that time.

Swimming Pools Complex hosts entertainment program KUWAIT: The Swimming Pools Complex recently hosted a special entertainment program for children and adults. Many activities like competitions and sketches were held as part of the summer event that was organized by the Touristic Enterprises Company. Abdullah AlShaheen, the Complex’s Supervisor personally awarded winners of the competitions. The Swimming Pools Complex is open at 9:00 am every day except for Sunday, and closes at 9:00 pm on Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The work team at the Swimming Pools Complex.

A competition for children in full swing.

Abdullah Al-Shaheen A competition being held.

Al-Shaheen awards a winner.

Children react during a competition.

A cartoon character’s skit.

A family poses with its prize.

TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011

Yemen opposition rejects government plan for talks

Last major Serb war crimes suspect arrives at UN court Page 9

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Somalia desperately needs aid MOGADISHU: A malnourished child from southern Somalia is measured during medical assessment at Banadir hospital Sunday. — AP

66,000 people displaced, pleading for aid DOOLOW: Their children cry in the dust as women beg for food in this southern Somalia village where tens of thousands have flocked after trekking for days to seek relief from an extreme drought. Hassan Abdi clutches his grandson in one hand, while in the other he holds the only food his family of seven have: a bag of grain, some sugar and a bottle of cooking oil donated by an aid agency. “His stomach burns like fire because he is so hungry, but there is nothing I can do,” Abdi said, staring sadly at his five-yearold grandson. Already weakened by long years of brutal war, the people of southern Somalia are struggling for survival in the wake of the worst drought to hit the Horn of Africa in 60 years. Tens of thousands of people have died, according to the UN, which has warned that the famine currently affecting up to 350,000 people in two regions of southern Somalia will spread if urgent action is not taken. “This food will help, but it will not last long,” Abdi added. “Things are hard now but we fear for the times ahead, when everything is gone.” Families sit patiently in the shade of trees waiting for help, while thin camels with skin pulled tight across their ribs search for grazing in the hot scrubland. Many have trekked for days to reach Doloow, a village in the Gedo region, where some 66,000 people are displaced, pleading for aid, and adding pressure on food and water for a community also at risk of famine itself. Families continue to walk across the border to Ethiopia, seeking food and medicine in the crowded refugee camps there. But despite international pledges of money and support, getting the aid to the people on the ground inside this region of war-torn Somalia is a huge challenge. Much of southern Somalia-including the two famine-struck areas of southern Bakool and Lower Shabelle-is controlled by Islamist Shebab rebels, who are designated a terrorist group by the United States, and who continue to ban several key aid agencies from operating. Aid workers have been killed in the past, while a government minister was abducted last week by Shebab gunmen. But Doolow is still controlled by the embattled Western-backed government. The shifting battleline with Shebab gunmen lies about a 100 kilometers into the arid

land. In this small area at least, aid workers can operate with caution. “We are quite sure the aid workers will be safe, here at least “ said Abdulrashid Hassan Abdi, the local commissioner, speaking from a compound surrounded by soldiers armed with automatic rifles. “Elsewhere, well, the fighting is still going on,” he added.Many of those arriving in Doloow from famine-hit areas recount tales of brutal harassment as they travelled through rebel-run regions. Several say they have spent all their money and have bartered all their goods and surviving livestock to pay for a safe passage through regions controlled by Shebab or militia factions. “We sold all we had to get here. We used all the money,” said father-of-four Sayed Hassan. He walked with his family for three days from the famine-hit Bakool region, before selling the last of his animals and cooking containers for a truck ride. “The Shebab took all that we had in payment to allow us to cross here,” Hassan added. “I once had many goats, but we have nothing now for the future.”In Doloow, local aid workers employed by the Italian aid agency Cooperazione Internazionale (COOPI) organised the food distribution. Its workers expressed hope that increased aid could be distributed inside Shebab-held regions.”Somalia can be dangerous, but we are here to support the people who are dying,” said Maurice Kiboye, COOPI’s program manager for central and southern Somalia. Despite severe restrictions on several aid agencies, COOPI manages to work within Shebab areas.” The local communities are our security without a gun,” said Kiboye, a Kenyan, who has worked in Somalia for seven years. “The people tell the Shebab, ‘they are only giving us food, let them work.’” For the international community watching worriedly from the sidelines, such organizations seem to show that pledged aid can be delivered on the ground. “If there is any more that these people (COOPI) can do, we will find the funds,” EU humanitarian commissioner Kristalina Georgieva said, during a visit to Doolow Sunday to assess the impact of the drought and famine.”Time is not on our side. We have to act now, to help local communities as well as reaching out to those who have been displaced,” she added. — AFP

Amnesty’s website cut off in Saudi CAIRO: Amnesty International’s website became inaccessible in Saudi Arabia yesterday, just three days after the rights group published a leaked copy of the kingdom’s controversial new anti-terrorism draft law. The London-based rights group could not confirm that Saudi authorities had blocked its website, but repeated attempts by residents to access the site from inside the kingdom were not successful yesterday afternoon. Saudi Arabia has not seen the kind of unrest that has gripped the Middle East but has taken steps to prevent pro-democracy protests from spilling over into the oil-rich kingdom. Amnesty said the draft law, which was reviewed by a government committee in June but has yet to be passed, allows authorities to prosecute peaceful dissent as a terrorist crime. On Friday, Amnesty

posted on its website the full Arabic text of the anti-terrorism draft law along with an internal review of the law by a Saudi government security committee. The group did not say how it obtained the draft bill, which labels offenses such as harming the reputation of the state and endangering national unity as terrorist crimes. Such language is typically used to prosecute political opponents of the Saudi monarchy, which has minimal tolerance for dissent and bans political activity. The law, if passed, would carry harsh punishments, including a minimum prison sentence of 10 years for challenging the integrity of the king, Amnesty said in a statement. Saudi Arabia on Saturday released a statement dismissing Amnesty’s criticism of the draft law and saying the bill is meant to assist security

forces in tackling terrorist activity. The government statement called Amnesty’s concerns “baseless,” “mere supposition” and “completely without foundation.” “Regional unrest provides a breeding ground for new threats,” said the statement, adding that policies that prevent al-Qaida from taking root in the kingdom are necessary.Saudi authorities are particularly wary of attempts by the country’s minority Shiite residents to emulate Bahrain’s protests. Revolts in Tunisia and Egypt inspired a handful of Shiite -led protests in eastern Saudi Arabia earlier this year. Meanwhile, Riyadh sent troops to help the Sunni rulers in Bahrain quell the revolt by the nation’s Shiite majority, demanding a greater say in politics and more rights. Associated Press writers Barbara Surk in Dubai and Abdullah Shihri in Riyadh contributed to this report. — AP



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TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011

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

Yemen opposition rejects government plan for talks Saleh clings to power despite bomb attack

SOFIA: A man crushes the portrait of Muammar Gaddafi inside the Libyan Embassy in Sofia yesterday. Libyan citizens attacked the Embassy building, gained control of the Embassy, taking down the green flag and the portraits of the Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, local media reported. — AFP

Libya accuses NATO of deadly clinic raid ZLITEN, Libya: Libya’s regime accused NATO of killing at least seven people yesterday in an air raid on a medical clinic in Zliten east of Tripoli, after rebels repulsed a counter-attack by loyalist troops south of the capital. Meanwhile, Ibrahim AlFuris, a Libyan diplomat declared persona non grata in Bulgaria, refused yesterday to leave the country and with other staff organised a minor rebellion at the embassy in Sofia, denouncing Gaddafi’s regime. The insurgents, meanwhile, accused Gaddafi forces of shelling the rebel-held city of Misrata, targeting gas and oil deposits and setting them on fire, in a statement received by AFP. The strike on the small clinic for communicable diseases occurred between 8:00 and 8:30 am (0600-0630 GMT), a local official told an AFP correspondent on a guided media tour of the western town. The foreign journalists saw a completely destroyed building with a crescent sign at its entrance and the ground littered with surgical gloves, oxygen bottles, pharmaceuticals and stretchers, but no victims. Five ambulances stood by as rescue teams sifted through the rubble for other possible victims. In other parts of Zliten the reporters were shown three damaged food storage buildings and another still on fire, which the government minders also blamed on NATO. Strewn around the site were hundreds of smouldering bags of rice, tomatoes and vegetable oil, as firefighters tried to extinguish the flames. Residents said the strike occurred at around 3:00 am (0100 GMT). In the same compound, journalists saw a completely destroyed building bearing the name “Agricultural Security”. The minders spoke of other air strikes that caused “civilian casualties” early yesterday, but did not elaborate. East of Zliten, the reporters toured a deserted neighbourhood and saw damage to a school and a mosque. Heavy artillery and explosions could be heard in the distance, and a local official said this came from a NATO warship. A rebel statement, meanwhile, appealed for help to put out fires in the coastal enclave of Misrata, Libya’s third city, caused by shelling from loyalist forces. “The loyalist forces shelled strategic regions inside Misrata, hitting

gas and oil warehouses,” the statement said, adding that speedy assistance was needed to extinguish the fires “threatening civilians.” Zliten lies about 150 km east of Tripoli, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s stronghold, and 60 km from rebel-held Misrata. The tour of Zliten came after rebel forces repulsed a counter-offensive by Gaddafi loyalists southwest of the capital. Regime troops had attacked the western desert hamlet of Gualish on Sunday and shelled the region before pulling back under rebel rocket fire as NATO warplanes flew overhead, an AFP correspondent reported. The insurgents, who have been fighting to oust Kadhafi since mid-February, recaptured Gualish this month and are planning to use it as a springboard for a western assault on Tripoli. They said their campaign to attack the capital from the east has been slowed by efforts to remove an estimated 45,000 land mines from around the oil town of Brega. “We have no choice. We have to clear the sand of mines,” Mohammed Zawawy, a spokesman for the Union of Revolutionary Forces in Ajdabiya, told AFP. “The front line is calm with no fighting yet because the focus is on demining,” said Zawawy, estimating the number of Kadhafi troops inside Brega at no more than 1,000. In Tripoli, Kadhafi’s compound came under NATO air attack on Sunday. “British forces... helped to maintain the pressure on Colonel Gaddafi’s regime by bombing a key intelligence building in Tripoli and inflicting further losses on forces massed against the Libyan people at Zliten and Gharyan,” British military spokesman Nick Pope said. Tornado and Typhoon warplanes on Sunday struck an engineering academy that has “long been a cover for the regime’s nefarious activities,” he said in the statement issued in London yesterday. “Also on Sunday morning, other RAF jets successfully attacked two staging posts near Zliten being used to muster tanks, rocket artillery and ammunition.” NATO said it hit a tank in Zintan, one in nearby Gharyan and another one in Tripoli, where it also took out a surfaceto-air missile launcher. A military storage facility was also hit in Brega. — AFP

Hundreds displaced by Iran-Iraq Kurd clashes: ICRC BAGHDAD: Fighting between Iranian military forces and Kurdish separatists has displaced hundreds of villagers in the border regions of northern Iraq, the Red Cross said yesterday. In addition, Iranian shelling killed two villagers and wounded two others before dawn in Sidakan district, some 100 kilometers northeast of Arbil, said Ismail Maqsud, head of the city’s Souran hospital. Iran launched a major offensive Saturday against rebel Kurdish bases in Iraq in which eight of its own elite Revolutionary Guards were killed. The separatist Party of Free Life of Kurdistan, or PJAK, said it had lost two fighters. “The International Committee of the Red Cross has provided humanitarian assistance to over 800 internally displaced people in northern Iraq, all of whom have been driven from their homes by the recent shelling in the mountains of Qandil,” along the border, the ICRC said in a statement.”Having left behind all their belongings, the majority of these people are now living under makeshift shelters, tents, or sharing crowded houses with relatives and friends, while a few families could afford renting very basic accommodation,” it said. Meanwhile, the Geneva-based International Organization for Migration

said Sunday it was involved in relief efforts in the area, providing basic needs such as beds, plastic furniture and water purification kits. “Ongoing fighting between Iranian military forces and Iraqi Kurdish separatists has led to the displacement of hundreds of families,” the IOM’s Iraq mission said. “The families had been forced to abandon their homes and move to a camp several miles away after numerous artillery strikes on the village. One villager was reported wounded by the strikes, which damaged several homes and the local school,” it said in a statement. PJAK rebels operate out of bases in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, and have been involved in deadly clashes with Iranian troops for many years. The regional government in Iraqi Kurdistan has demanded Iran respect the border after a Revolutionary Guards commander said Iranian forces had taken “full control” of three PJAK camps inside Iraq. In Tehran, the commander of the Guards’ ground forces, Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour, demanded Baghdad and the Kurdish regional authorities prevent the rebels from attacking Iran from Iraqi territory. Iranian forces have repeatedly shelled border districts of Iraq’s Kurdish region, targeting PJAK bases. — AFP

SANAA: Yemen’s opposition dismissed yesterday a government plan for talks aimed at easing unrest after months of mass protests demanding President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s overthrow, saying it had not even heard of any such “roadmap” for peace. Vice President Abd-Rabbu Hadi Mansour, who is acting president while Saleh remains in a Saudi Arabian hospital after an assassination attempt, said on Sunday that a road map would be launched within a week. Government spokesman Tareq al-Shami told Reuters the plan would centre on talks with the opposition. “The roadmap is based on all sides gathering at the dialogue table and discussing all the issues,” he said. But the opposition repeated its refusal to talk to the government until Saleh signs a transition plan brokered by Gulf Arab states which the 69-year-old president has backed out of signing three times. “We knew nothing about the idea of a road map. There is no such thing, and we have decided not to enter any dialogue until the Gulf initiative is signed or power is transferred to the vice president,” said Mohammed Basindwa, a leader in Yemen’s political opposition coalition. Saleh is trying to cling to power after 33 years in office despite a bomb attack in June that severely wounded him and forced him to seek treatment in Riyadh. He has frustrated opposition hopes that he would concede defeat, instead vowing to return to Yemen and lead a national dialogue. The United States and Saudi Arabia, both targets of foiled attacks by al Qaeda’s Yemen-based wing, have warily watched unrest rise as Yemen remains mired in political deadlock. They worry the turmoil gives more room to al Qaeda to operate. But Yemen’s wealthy Gulf Arab neighbors and Washington have so far been unwilling or unable to force Saleh into a transition plan. Some have welcomed proposals for dialogue, but the political opposition and protesters in the street have vowed to resist, insisting on Saleh’s overthrow despite the growing chaos and deteriorating economic conditions. — Reuters

SANAA: A Yemeni girl takes part in prayers along with other women during a rally a calling for the ouster of Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh yesterday. — AFP

Estonian ex-Lebanon hostage enjoys taste of freedom TALLINN: Over a week after the end of a four-month kidnap ordeal in Lebanon, Estonian Jaan Jagomagi is getting used to the sweet taste of freedom. “My daughter, who’s three and a half, has greeted me every morning, saying ‘It’s going to be a wonder ful day Daddy, because you’re home’,” said Jagomagi, looking relaxed in his Baltic homeland’s capital Tallinn.”I’m a different person in many ways. You appreciate life, and little things in that life, much more after an experience like that,” the 35-year-old IT manager told AFP. Jagomagi and six fellow Estonians flew home on July 15 less than 24 hours after being set free. The men were kidnapped at gunpoint on March 23 in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. They star ted their cycling holiday in Lebanon’s capital Beirut on March 15. After three days they went to Syria, returning to Lebanon five days later. They were abducted shortly after crossing the border. Kidnappings have been rare

in Lebanon since the 1975-1990 civil war, when some 100 foreigners, mostly Americans and West Europeans, were snatched. The case is shrouded in mystery, but nine Lebanese and foreigners were detained by Lebanese security in the months before the release. The previously-unknown Movement for Renewal and Reform is thought to have been responsible. Jagomagi said they spoke English with their eight Kalashnikov-wielding guards who said they were Sunni Muslims. “This hasn’t changed my attitude towards Islam. I think there are no bad religions but just bad people who misuse religion to push their agenda,” he said. Two were university graduates while some seemed uneducated. Jagomagi said they were treated relatively well. They were not chained, could move around the room where they were held, and kept together. “We were first taken to some house in Lebanon, but within a few hours

we were in Syria, where we were kept for 40 days,” Jagomagi said. They were blindfolded during all transfers. In Syria, their cell was a 30metre-square toolshed, and they could peek out. “There were cherry trees, we saw farmers with sheep,” he said. They had no idea they were in Syria until a captor said they were off back to Lebanon. “We were in Lebanon again for 42 days, and then a different location in Syria until July 14, when we were driven to an empty place in Lebanon with the order to call a particular number after sunrise,” he said. Using a mobile phone from the kidnappers, they rang what turned out to be the Estonian police. They were whisked to France’s Beirut embassy, showered, ate and bowed to reporters from the balcony, before taking an Estonian governmentcharted plane home. Estonia turned to France and other European Union and NATO allies for help freeing the men because the ex-Soviet nation of

1.3 million has a thin Middle East diplomatic presence. The kidnappers told the men they had not realized their nationality and had aimed to snare French, US or British tourists, Jagomagi said. In Internet videos on April 20 and May 20, the Estonians pleaded for help without relaying any demands. Rumours abound that their freedom was bought. “The kidnappers told us on the first evening they needed money for their political actions,” he said. “The food was good the first week but later it seemed their finances were running out and we mostly got bread, two slices of cheese and a tomato twice a day.” At one point, the kidnappers said Saudi Arabia was arranging a ransom, but then that that was wrong, and the “big boss” was in Iraq making a deal.” They told us the sum discussed at the end was ten times smaller than the first request. Whether it was paid and how much, we don’t know,” he said. — AFP

Israel captures boat on Dead Sea JERUSALEM: The Israeli military and police yesterday stopped a boat on the Dead Sea which was supposedly trying to smuggle weapons from Jordan, and detained two Palestinians on board, officials said. The Israeli military said the boat was smuggling weapons from Jordan and that 10 Kalashnikov assault rifles and 10 magazines were found on board the dinghy. “This was effectively a smuggling attempt from Jordan to the (Palestinian) territories. They were stopped at dawn. There were 10 Kalashnikovs, and 10 full magazines in the boat,” an Israeli military spokeswoman told AFP. She said the men detained, who were being questioned by police, were Palestinians from the West Bank. The

Dead Sea is the lowest place in the world and it stretches some 70 kilometers along the border with Jordan, while its northern and western shores touch Israel and the West Bank. Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed that the boat had come from Jordan. “There is an ongoing police investigation involving a number of arms that were attempted to be smuggled from Jordan,” he told AFP. “Two suspects have been arrested and are being questioned. The arrests were made this morning and a number of weapons were confiscated.” Israel’s army radio said the vessel was a dinghy that had come from Jordan and was trying to traffic arms into the West Bank. Very few vessels are able to sail

on the inland lake. Due to the density of the water-the Dead Sea has a salt and mineral content which is seven times more concentrated than sea water-boats float very high and run a considerable risk of capsizing. It was not the first time the army has stopped a boat containing weapons on the Dead Sea, although such attempts are rare. In October 2006, Israeli troops thwarted an attempt to smuggle weapons and drugs from Jordan into Israel via the Dead Sea. A military patrol spotted an inflatable craft approaching from Jordan and gave chase, arresting the two men on board-an Israeli Bedouin from Khirbet Khasif in the southern Negev desert, and a Palestinian resident of Jordan.—AFP

Bahrain talks proposes stronger parliament

SANAA: A Yemeni anti-government protestor flashes the V-sign for victory during daily rallies calling for the ouster of Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh in the capital Sanaa yesterday. — AFP

DUBAI: Participants in a Bahraini national dialogue, set up to address grievances after protests earlier this year, have proposed expanding the powers of the Gulf kingdom’s elected parliament, the state news agency said. The talks, which ended on Sunday, were designed to propose reforms after a fourmonth crackdown by Sunni rulers that began in March and crushed weeks of protests led by the Shi’ite majority demanding a greater role in government. But critics say the results of the dialogue may carry little weight since the country’s largest Shi’ite opposition group, Wefaq, walked out of the dialogue last week. Delegates at the dialogue’s final session agreed to give Bahrain’s elected lower council greater legislative and monitoring powers, the state news agency BNA said. The opposition has complained that the upper Shura council, which is appointed by the king, limits the influence of the elected parliament. “Overall, these decisions reinforce the parliament’s powers of scrutiny over the activities of the government, strengthening the accountability of ministers to the elected representatives of the people,” BNA said. No information was given on exactly how the parliament would extend monitoring authorities or wield greater legislative powers, but dialogue officials said the proposals would be submitted to the king this week.

Wefaq pulled out of the talks last Sunday, complaining that its views were not being taken seriously and that it was not fairly represented. It has criticised dialogue officials for only giving political opposition groups 35 out of 300 seats at the talks. The government said it distributed seats in a way that fairly represented all of Bahraini society, including delegates from the government, opposition groups, unions, women’s societies and other professionals. Bahrain has tried to address international criticism, including from its long-time US ally, for its handling of the crackdown. But Wefaq has argued the talks were just for show. “The dialogue is clearly theatre, the goal of which was to market a particular dish... What came out of the official media on the dialogue exposes lies and deceit,” Wefaq official Sayed Hadi al-Mousawi said at a news conference on Sunday, according to the group’s Twitter feed. Bahraini officials accuse Wefaq and other Shi’ite opposition leaders of a sectarian agenda backed by non-Arab Shi’ite power Iran, just across Gulf waters. The opposition denies this. Bahrain, home port to the US Fifth Fleet, is seen as a fault line for tensions between Shi’ite power Iran and Sunni Gulf Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, both of which sent troops to shore up the Bahraini government’s crackdown on protests. —Reuters




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TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011


Vatican recalls Irish envoy following child abuse report VATICAN CITY: The Vatican said yesterday that it was recalling its envoy to Ireland for consultations after a damning report on the Catholic Church’s handling of child abuse by priests that sparked government outrage. “Apostolic Nuncio Giuseppe Leanza has been recalled for consultations” after the publication of the judicial report into abuses in an Irish diocese “and in particular due to the reactions to it,” the Vatican said in a statement. A Vatican official said the recall was a first step towards coming up with an official response but added that the Vatican was “slightly surprised and disappointed at some of the excessive reactions” to the report. Irish Foreign Minister Eamon

Gilmore, who summoned Leanza to urgent talks earlier this month, said the recall was “a matter for the Holy See,” but said Dublin was still awaiting the Vatican’s response to the report. The minister said in a statement that it was to be “expected that the Vatican would wish to consult in depth with the nuncio on its response.” The publication of the report into more than a decade of sex abuse by priests in the diocese of Cloyne in southern Ireland triggered a blistering attack on the Vatican by Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny that was widely hailed. The Cloyne case is only the latest in a series of abuse scandals for the Catholic Church in Ireland that were first exposed in a 2009 report detail-

ing hundreds of cases of sexual abuse of children by priests going back decades. The Vatican has strengthened rules against abuse after a wave of scandals across Europe and the United States but campaigners say it has not gone nearly far enough and has failed to punish bishops responsible for the cover-up. In language never before used by an Irish leader, an outraged Kenny told parliament this month that the Church’s inability to deal with the cases showed a culture of “dysfunction, disconnection, elitism and narcissism” at the Vatican. Kenny, who became Taoiseach, or prime minister, after elections in February, slammed the Catholic Church’s behaviour as

“absolutely disgraceful.” The report condemned the Church’s handling of abuse claims against 19 clerics in Cloyne between 1996 and 2009, saying it was “inadequate and inappropriate”. The Vatican said last week that it would respond to the report at “an appropriate moment” and appealed for “objectivity”. Yesterday, a Vatican official who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the recall of the papal envoy to Ireland underlined the “gravity” of the situation. “The recall of the nuncio-a measure rarely used by the Holy See-denotes the gravity of the situation and the willingness of the Holy See to confront it with objectivity and determination,” he said. He added however that the

Vatican was “slightly surprised and disappointed at some of the excessive reactions” to the report. “The recall of the nuncio should be interpreted as a wish of the Holy See to establish serious and effective cooperation,” he added. Kenny returned to the theme of his parliament speech on Sunday when giving a lecture at a political summer school, receiving a standing ovation. “The fact that I have had thousands of messages from around the world speaks for itself about the impact and the way people feel,” he said. The prime minister also said he had been surprised at the number of priests who supported his speaking out against the Vatican. “The numbers of members of the clergy who

have been in touch in the last few days, to say it is about time somebody spoke out about these matters in a situation like you are, has astounded me. “I haven’t made any other comment except to say that we await the response from the Vatican.” Father Michael Collins, a Dublin priest and author of a book on pope John Paul II, said the meaning of the nuncio’s recall was unclear. “We don’t know if he actually been recalled just for consultations or recalled, which means his appointment here is finished,” he told RTE public radio. Collins said he expected the Vatican to be taking Kenny’s criticisms “very, very seriously”. —AFP

Last major Serb war crimes suspect arrives at UN court Hadzic refuses to enter plea

SOCHI: A man dives into the water at sunset at the Black Sea’s coast in the Russian southern resort city of Sochi. —AFP

Sudan jails journalist for reporting rape

KHARTOUM: Sudan jailed a journalist yesterday for reporting the alleged rape of a female opposition activist by security forces, her lawyer said, in a trial that has already seen one reporter imprisoned. “The court in Khartoum sentenced Amal Habani to pay 2,000 Sudanese pounds ($600) or go to jail for one month, and she chose to go to jail. She is on her way there now,” Hassan Abdullah alHussein told AFP. Habani and the editor of AlJarida newspaper, Saad al-Din Ibrahim, for whom she worked before being sacked, were both found guilty of publishing lies and violating Sudan’s ethical code, said Hussein. Ibrahim was ordered to pay a fine of 5,000 Sudanese pounds.

Earlier this month, Fatima Ghazali became the first of several journalists and editors to be tried for articles written about Safiya Ishaq, an activist who claimed in videos posted online that she was raped repeatedly by three security officers after her arrest in Khartoum in February. Ghazali was also imprisoned for one month after refusing to pay a fine. Another five journalists and editors who have been charged with the same offences are waiting for their cases to be heard. Reporters Without Borders last month accused the authorities in north Sudan of harassing and prosecuting journalists in an attempt to stop them making embarrassing revelations about human rights violations by the security forces. —AFP

THE HAGUE: Serbia’s last major war crimes suspect refused to enter a plea on charges over the 1991-1995 Croatian war when he made a brief first appearance at the UN’s Yugoslavia tribunal yesterday. The arrest of Goran Hadzic, 52, and his transfer to The Hague last week were a symbolic moment for both Serbia and the Balkans region, ending an 18-year manhunt to detain all 161 suspects indicted by the Yugoslavia war crimes court. The European Union has insisted that Serbia arrests all wanted war criminals before it grants candidate status for membership. It is due to issue a progress report in October. “Mr Hadzic is not going to enter a plea today. He is going to avail himself of the rights granted to him,” Hadzic’s duty counsel Vladimir Petrovic told the court. Speaking outside the court, Petrovic said Hadzic wanted to appoint his defence team first and to study the indictment before entering a plea. “I t is practically a new indictment, so Mr Hadzic didn’t have more than 48 hours to go through it,” Petrovic said, adding that Hadzic wants to have prominent Serbian lawyer Toma Fila, who has past experience at the tribunal, to be his permanent attorney. Hadzic is charged with 14 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. These include

Armenian journalist’s killer gets almost 23 years in jail ISTANBUL: A Turkish juvenile court sentenced the self-confessed murderer of prominent ethnic Armenian journalist Hrant Dink to almost 23 years in prison yesterday. The court initially condemned Ogun Samast to life, but reduced the sentence to 21-and-a-half years on grounds he was underage at the time of the murder, and gave him an additional 16-month-jail term for possession of an unlicensed weapon. Samast was 17 when he gunned down Dink on January 19, 2007, on a busy street outside the offices of the journalist’s bilingual Agos newspaper in downtown Istanbul. The assassination sent shockwaves through Turkey and grew into a security scandal after it emerged that both police and paramilitary forces knew of a plot to kill Dink but failed to act. A leading member of Turkey’s tiny Armenian community, the 52-year-old Dink campaigned for reconciliation between Turks and Armenians over their bloody history. Nationalists however hated him for calling the massacres of Armenians under Ottoman rule genocide, a label that Turkey fiercely rejects. Samast had admitted to shooting Dink because he was an “enemy of the Turks.” In his final words yesterday, he put the blame on his poor education and the influence of media criticism of Dink. “How did I hear about Agos, about Hrant Dink, about him being a traitor? It was all in the columns of Hurriyet and Vatan,” he said, referring to two of Turkey’s popular newspapers. Six months before the murder, Dink was given a suspended sixmonth sentence for “insulting Turkishness” over an article he wrote about the collective memory of the

ISTANBUL: This 2007 file photo shows policemen escorting suspected assailant of journalist Hrant Dink, Ogun Samast (center) at a court in Istanbul. A Turkish court sentenced the self-confessed murderer of ethnic Armenian journalist Hrant Dink to almost 23 years in prison yesterday. —AFP Armenian massacres during World War I. Samast remains on trial in a separate case on charges of belonging to a terrorist organization, along with 18 suspected accomplices. Prosecutors say police received intelligence as early as 2006 of a plot to kill Dink which had been organized in the Black Sea port of Trabzon, home to the jobless Samast and several other defendants. The European Court of Human Rights ruled last year that the Turkish authorities had failed to take adequate measures to protect Dink. Last month, a colonel and five subordinates who held key posts in Trabzon when a group of local youths hatched the assassination plot were given jail terms of four to six months

for negligence. The case is seen as a test for Ankara’s resolve to eliminate the “deep state”-a term used to describe security forces acting outside the law to preserve what they consider Turkey’s best interests. Lawyers for Dink’s family suspect the gunman was encouraged and protected by elements of the “deep state” but their efforts to put more officials on trial have failed. They have accused police of withholding and destroying evidence to cover up the murder, including footage from a bank security camera in the street where the journalist was gunned down. Dink had won many hearts in Turkey with his message of peace and more than 100,000 people marched at his funeral. —AFP

Investigators to reveal ‘exact circumstances’ of Rio-Paris crash PARIS: Investigators said they will unveil new findings on Friday revealing the “exact circumstances” of the deadly crash of an Air France jet in the Atlantic in 2009. The French aviation authority BEA said yesterday that it will make its third formal report from its investigation into how the plane crashed en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris on June 1, 2009, killing all 228 people on board. “This report will present the exact circumstances of the accident with an initial analysis and some new findings

based on the data recovered from the flight recorders,” it said in a statement. It added that it would brief the media in Paris at 2:30 pm (1230 GMT) on Friday. According to information from the recorders already released by the BEA, the pilots saw conflicting speeds on their instruments as the plane stalled and fell into the sea. An interim inquiry had pointed to an icing problem with the probes measuring air speed but there has still been no definitive conclusion as to the cause of the crash. The new ele-

ments in Friday’s report will “present the different chains of events that led to the accident” but will not formally establish the cause, a BEA spokeswoman told AFP. “These first points of analysis will allow us to indicate the failures that led to the accident, but not their cause,” she said. A further final report is due later. According to several exper ts, the deactivation of the autopilot could have been caused by the icing up of the air speed probes, known as Pitots. —AFP

the extermination, torture, murder and willful killing of hundreds of Croat and other nonSerb civilians-in particular, 264 hospital patients who were killed in Vukovar in 1991. In the hearing that lasted just under 15 minutes, Judge O-Gon Kwon said that a second arraignment hearing would be scheduled within 30 days as Hadzic had not entered a plea. Suspects at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia have the right to delay entering a plea for up to 30 days. But if they then still refuse to enter one, the court may enter a plea of not guilty on their behalf. Flanked by four guards, Hadzic looked tired

when he appeared in cour t, shorn of the long black beard that he spor ted during the Balk an wars but with a grey moustache. Hadzic was on the run for seven years, outlasting the better known indicted war criminal from the 1990s breakup of Yugoslavia, Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic. At least 130,000 people were killed as the Yugoslav federation was torn apart in various wars between Serbs, Croats, Muslims and Albanians during the 1990s. Wearing a dark suit, Hadzic declined to hear the indictment read aloud to him, but was otherwise co-operative, and there were no signs of the defiance shown by Mladic, who in June

dismissed the charges against him as obnoxious and monstrous. The court went into private session for a couple of minutes for Hadzic’s lawyer to ask a question. When the public session resumed soon after, judge Kwon adjourned the hearing. Serbian security officials arrested Hadzic about 65 km (40 miles) nor th of Belgrade last week. He was allowed a visit from his family before his t r a n s fe r to Th e H a g u e o n Fr i d ay. Fe w S e r b s l a m e n te d Hadzic’s departure, in contrast to the public reaction to the arrest of Mladic in May and of Bosnian Serb wartime political chief Radovan Karadzic three years ago. —Reuters



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Wu talks with Pelosi about sex allegation Wu had admitted to attempted rape in separate incident

KENT: Police officers talk with people in front of a shopping center on Pacific Highway. — AP

No fatalities in Seattle shootings, 20 injured SEATTLE: Two unrelated mass shootings in a span of just a few hours in neighboring communities south of Seattle wounded at least 20 people and left officials surprised over the proximity of the violence and that no one was killed. Thirteen people were wounded after a fight erupted into gunfire at a car show late Saturday afternoon in Kent, about 20 miles south of Seattle, sending spectators ducking for cover and merchants hiding in stores. About 10 hours later in nearby Auburn, police said a jealous husband walked into a casino nightclub with a handgun and opened fire on his estranged wife, her male companion and her two sisters as they danced on the floor. Three others were wounded before the suspect was tackled by a casino security guard as he fled the nightclub, authorities said. “It’s highly unusual that we have multiple shootings, especially this many shootings so close together,” said Commander Mike Hirman with the Auburn, Wash, police department. “They’re not related, that’s for sure, and I don’t have any explanation.” No deaths have been reported in either shooting. “What’s unusual is that so many got shot and nobody got killed,” said Ralph Fascitelli, board president of Washington CeaseFire, a statewide group that seeks to reduce gun violence. “To have two things back to back, it’s a quirk, but I’m not surprised. It’s a wakeup call to officials to do more about gun violence in this state. It’s very lucky that nobody got killed.” In the casino club shooting, Hirman said a Covington man was expected to be booked into King County Jail Sunday on investigation of attempted homicide. His first court appearance was yesterday. The shooting happened at about 1:30 a.m. at the crowded Club Galaxy inside the Muckleshoot Casino in Auburn, about 30 miles south of Seattle, police said. Hirman said the suspect spent several minutes watching his wife, her two sisters and her male dancing partner before deciding to walk onto the dance floor. He then pulled out a gun, shot the man, his wife and his wife’s two sisters. He then fired multiple rounds. “The information I have is that it was just jealousy,” Hirman said of the man’s motive,

adding the couple had not been living together for several months. He started to flee the club, but a security officer tackled him. The man was taken into custody by a uniformed police officer who was hired to work security at the casino, Hirman said. “It was pretty loud in there, and everybody was so close together that when the shootings started people ran, and there were two injuries from the crowd trying to get away. It sounds like it was very chaotic in there,” Hirman said. Casino security did a great job of getting the scene under control, he said. Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman Susan Gregg said three women in their 30s and a 29-year-old man were brought to her Seattle facility from the casino. Two were in serious condition and two were satisfactory late Sunday morning, she said. Three other victims taken to Valley Medical Center in Renton suffered minor injuries. None of the victims’ names were released. A man who answered the phone at the casino Sunday declined to comment. The facility is owned and operated by the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe. None of the injuries in the car show shooting was life threatening, officials said. Nine people ranging from age 14 to 32 were taken to Harborview Medical Center with injuries to arms, legs, feet and torso from that shooting. Four were treated and released Saturday night, and five people were in satisfactory condition, Gregg said Sunday. Four others were shot, at least two of whom went to other hospitals, the Seattle Times reported. By late Sunday, no arrests had been made in the car show shootings, said Kent police Sgt. Jarod Kasner. “We’re chasing down every lead we have,” he said, adding that he is not sure the shooting was gang-related or what started the altercation that lead to the gunfire. The car show, listed as La Raza low-rider car show on a Latino events website, allowed participants to display vehicles modified to ride low to the ground. Adriana Velazco, a manager at a Los Cabos Mexican Restaurant in the shopping center, said she saw two people on the ground after the shooting. “We saw people running all over the place,” she said. — AP

A Cuban housing market? Government lifts taboo HAVANA: Each morning before the sun rises too high, Cubans gather at a shaded corner in central Havana, mingling as though at a cocktail party. The icebreaker is always the same: “What are you offering?” This is Cuba’s informal real-estate bazaar, where a chronic housing shortage brings everyone from newlyweds to retirees together to strike deals that often involve thousands of dollars in under-the-table payments. They are breaking not just the law but communist doctrine by trading and profiting in property, and now their government is about to get in on the action. President Raul Castro has pledged to legalize the purchase and sale of homes by the end of the year, which would bring this informal market out of the shadows as part of an economic reform package under which Cuba already is letting islanders go into business for themselves in 178 designated activities, as restaurateurs, wedding planners, plumbers, carpenters. An aboveboard housing market promises multiple benefits for the cashstrapped island: It would help ease a housing crunch, stimulate construction employment and generate badly needed tax revenue. It would attack corruption by officials who accept bribes to sign off on illicit deals, and give people options to seek peaceful resolutions to black-market disputes that occasionally erupt into violence. It also is likely to suck up more hard currency from Cubans abroad who can be counted on to send their families cash to buy, expand and remodel homes, especially since US President Barack Obama relaxed the 50-yearold economic embargo to allow unlimited remittances by Cuban-Americans. “All these things are tied in,” said Sergio Diaz-Briquets, a US-based demography expert. “They want expatriate Cubans to contribute money to the Cuban state, and this is one big incentive for people who want to help their families.” Few changes are likely to be as complex and hard to implement as real estate reform. From the earliest days of the revolution, Fidel Castro railed against exploitative, absentee landlords, and enacted a reform that gave property ownership to whomever lived in a home, regardless of who held title. Most who have left the island forfeited their properties to the state. The government, Castro preached, would provide everything a citizen could need: employment, food, education and housing, all for little or no money at all. The housing stock,

however, already run down before the revolution, continued to deteriorate, the US embargo choked off the supply of building materials, and new construction failed to keep pace with demand. Meanwhile cyclones and salty air can start eating through metal bars in a year and have decimated rural shanties and older quarters of Havana. Empty lots dot the capital’s seaside Malecon boulevard as oncestately mansions regularly collapse following heavy rains. Many of those still standing are merely facades or are propped up by scaffolding and wooden beams. While they wait for the new law to be enacted and the specifics to be announced, Cubans’ legal options are few. They can enroll in cooperative construction projects, build on existing properties or join the long waiting list for government housing. Or they can head to the open-air real-estate market in hopes of negotiating a “permuta,” which officially is a swap of equal-value properties but in reality usually involves illegal cash on the side. Many enlist the services of “runners” like Manuel Valdez, an 83-year-old ex-military man who has been brokering the transactions for four decades. At the downtown bazaar, Valdez holds court on a concrete bench, keeping track of real estate offers in a tattered notebook and on poster board that he tapes to a tree. Gesturing at the people milling around hoping to strike a deal, Valdez said housing is such a problem that legalization was inevitable: “This is a situation that the state had to get off its back one way or another.” There’s also, a kind of Cuban Craigslist that has real estate ads asking tens of thousands of dollars. Site operators claim the real estate section alone gets 30,000 unique visits a month even though islanders must find a way around the web censors. Some Cubans enter into sham marriages to make deed transfers easier. Others move into homes ostensibly to care for an elderly person living there; they register at the address and, after enough time passes, can legally claim the “inherited” title. Nowhere is there an official record of the money changing hands. A Havana professional with a job that pays far more than most salaries on the island told of swapping his tiny apartment about 10 years ago for a bigger, historic home whose bathroom and roof were falling apart, and whose occupants, a 60-something couple, could no longer manage. —AP

PORTLAND: Congressman David Wu is facing calls for his resignation over a young woman’s reported accusation that she had an “unwanted sexual encounter” with the Democrat three weeks after his election victory in November. The seven-term Democrat had a telephone conversation on Saturday with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi about the allegation, said Wu spokesman Erik Dorey. He would not comment on the substance of their talk, and said he couldn’t comment on what Wu did on Sunday. An aide to Pelosi declined Saturday to comment on Wu, who earlier this year apologized for bizarre behavior during his most recent re-election campaign, The allegation - which was first reported by The Oregonian newspaper seemed to be boiling into yet another sex scandal confronting a member of Congress. It comes a month after Democratic Rep Anthony Weiner stepped down after getting caught sending suggestive pictures of himself on his Twitter account. Late Friday, the 56-year-old Wu, who was born in Taiwan, issued a one-sentence statement about The Oregonian’s report: “This is very seri-

ous, and I have absolutely no desire to bring unwanted publicity, attention or stress to a young woman and her family.” Wu was first elected to Congress in 1998 as the first Chinese-American to serve in the US House of Representatives. He’s maintained a centrist voting record but has been a leading voice on human rights abuses in China. He angered the high-tech firms in his district when he voted against normalizing trade relations with China. Pressure was building on Wu to publicly address the allegation. There were also calls for his resignation. “I’m saddened to hear this news. David owes the citizens he represents a detailed explanation,” said State Rep. Brad Witt, who is running against Wu in the Democratic primary next spring. “If this accusation proves to be true, it’s time for David Wu to resign and get the help he needs.” Another challenger of Wu in the Democratic primary, state Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, said Saturday that Wu should resign immediately. “I think any 56-year-old man, especially a 56-year-old Congressman, that asserts himself like this on an 18-yearold girl, has got no business serving in Congress,” Avakian said at a news

conference. “There is nothing that can be explained that makes this situation right. He’s got to resign.”Citing anonymous sources, The Oregonian reported that Wu told senior aides that the sexual encounter last November with the young woman in California was consensual. The paper reported Facebook notes indicate she graduated from high school in 2010 and that she registered to vote in California last August. The paper said the woman decided not to press changes because there were no witnesses and it would have been her word against Wu’s. The newspaper said its information came from multiple sources familiar with the allegation. The Oregonian’s report adds new troubles for a congressman who fought accusations of strange and erratic behavior during his re-election campaign last year. Seven members of his reelection campaign quit in January because of behavior that included sending a photo of himself in a tiger costume to a staff member and an angry public speech. Earlier this year, Wu told the AP that his erratic behavior last year was the culmination of a period of mental health challenges that began in 2008 as marital issues

led toward separation from his wife. The couple’s divorce proceedings are ongoing. In a 2004 re-election bid, Wu acknowledged a decades-old college incident in which he tried to force an ex-girlfriend to have sex. Wu and his wife separated in December 2009 for reasons that have not been disclosed. They have two children. Oregon’s Democratic leaders were reluctant to discuss the latest allegation on Saturday. “We’re waiting to see what happens,” Trent Lutz, executive director of the Democratic Party of Oregon, told the AP. The Oregonian quoted sources as saying that a distraught young woman called Wu’s Portland office earlier this year and left a voicemail accusing him of an unwanted sexual encounter in Southern California three weeks after last year’s election. The paper said the woman is the daughter of a high school friend of Wu’s who has donated to the congressman’s campaign. Wu represents Oregon’s 1st Congressional District, which includes part of Portland and stretches northwest to the Pacific Coast. Associated Press writers Kevin Freking in Washington, DC, and Nigel Duara in Portland, Oregon, contributed to this report. — AP

DNA experts highlight problems with Amanda Knox case PERUGIA: The investigators who collected the genetic evidence used to convict American student Amanda Knox of murder in Italy made a series of glaring errors, including using a dirty glove and not wearing caps, two independent forensic experts said yesterday. The experts had been appointed by an Italian appeals court to review the DNA evidence used in Knox’s trial, including some found on a kitchen knife believed to be the murder weapon and some found on the clasp of the victim’s bra. That evidence played a crucial role in securing the convictions of Knox and her co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito in the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher, a Briton who shared an apartment with Knox while they were both exchange students in the city of Perugia. Knox, 24, and Sollecito, 27, have denied wrongdoing and have appealed. The evidence review was granted at the request of their defense teams. In the first trial, prosecutors maintained that Knox’s DNA was found on the handle of the kitchen knife and Kercher’s DNA was found on the blade. They say Sollecito’s DNA was found on the clasp of Kercher’s bra. But the independent experts told the appeals court that the collection of evidence fell below international standards and may have resulted in contamination. They used slides to refer to international protocols for the collection and sampling of evidence, including one from the US Department of Justice and others from various US states. One of the two experts, Stefano Conti, cited several cases of forensic police entering the crime scene or coming into contacts with objects there not wearing protective equipment such as masks or hair caps. He said that while evidence should be wrapped in paper or kept in a paper bags, police often used plastic bags, heightening the risk of contamination. “There are various circumstances do not adhere to protocols and procedures,” the forensic expert told the court. In footage and frame grabs shown to the court, two police officers collected the bra clasp, and the glove worn by one of the two appeared to be dirty on two fingers. Conti noted the bra clasp was collected 46 days after the November 1, 2007 fatal stabbing of the 21-year-old Kercher. “Over those 46 days several objects were moved, and in at the same time several people will have come in and out,” he noted, again stressing the risk of contamination. The other expert, Carla Vecchiotti, explained to the court that the genetic profile on the knife’s blade that was attributed to Kercher is dubious and cannot be attributed with certainty. She said the original testing did not follow recommendations of the international scientific community for dealing with DNA testing. Vecchiotti said the review concurred with the original testing in saying that the genetic profile on the knife’s black plastic handle could be attributed to Knox. The knife was found at Sollecito’s apartment. The independent experts, both from La Sapienza University in Rome, will be questioned and cross-examined in the next hearing, scheduled for Saturday. That will be the last hearing before the summer break. The full review, a 145-document obtained by The Associated Press, was filed to the Perugia court last month. —AP

PERUGIA: American student Amanda Knox arrives for a hearing of the trial where she is accused of murdering her flatmate, British student Meredith Kercher, yesterday. — AP

KABUL: New US Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker gives a speech during his swearing ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan yesterday. — AP

Ambassador to Afghanistan: US in no rush for exits KABUL: The new US ambassador to Afghanistan said yesterday that the United States is not rushing to leave the country and cautioned that what happens in the months ahead will have far-reaching effects across the globe. Ryan Crocker takes over as America’s top diplomat in Afghanistan as President Barack Obama begins withdrawing some of the 33,000 American reinforcements he sent in December 2009 as part of an effort to reverse the Taleban’s momentum. Some Republican lawmakers called the withdrawal plan too risky, saying it did not leave enough coalition troops in the country to deal a decisive blow to the insurgency. Speaking after being sworn in at the US Embassy in Kabul, Crocker tried to allay Afghan fears about Obama’s plan to bring 10,000 US troops home by year’s end, as many as 23,000 more by September 2012 and a formal end to the combat mission by the end of 2014. “We must proceed carefully,” he said. “There will be no rush for the exits. The way we do this in the months ahead will have consequences far beyond Afghanistan and far in the future.” He said the US was wrong to withdraw support from Afghanistan in the early 1990s, but stressed the US had no interest in having permanent bases in the nation. Many Afghans felt abandoned by the US after 1989, when the Soviet Union withdrew its army from Afghanistan and US support to mujahedeen fighters battling the Soviets dried up. Afghanistan then sank into years of brutal civil war, which was followed by the rise of the Taleban, al-Qaida’s use of Afghanistan as a sanctuary and the Sept. 11 attacks. “The coming year will be critical in setting the right glide path,” Crocker told hundreds of embassy employees, diplomats and military leaders gathered outdoors in a red tent where a light breeze tempered the morning heat. Crocker, who has held top diplomatic postings in Iraq, Pakistan, Kuwait, Syria and Lebanon, submitted his credentials to Afghan

President Hamid Karzai in a ceremony at the presidential palace yesterday. He came out of retirement to replace Karl Eikenberry, who left Afghanistan earlier this month. Crocker has served in Afghanistan before, reopening the US Embassy in Kabul in 2002, after the fall of the Taleban. He also helped bury a piece of the World Trade Center, which was toppled during the Sept. 11 attacks, at the base of a flagpole on the embassy grounds.”We will never forget and 10 years on, I’m here to join all of you in doing our utmost to ensure that such an attack never happens again,” said Crocker, who recalled being in New York on Sept. 11 and watching the twin towers collapse. He acknowledged that many citizens of troop-contributing nations, including the United States, were weary of the war. “My answer to that is to remind those who say ‘We should be done’ of the incalculable, longterm effects and costs of getting it wrong” in Afghanistan, he said. “We owe nothing less to the next generation of Afghans, Americans and others not to repeat the mistakes of 20 years ago.”He said it also was imperative to allay the fears of Afghans who believe that the gradual transfer of security responsibility to Afghan forces means the international community is ready to make a hasty retreat. In recent days, Afghan security forces have taken the lead for securing seven areas of the nation. By 2014, they are to be in charge across the country, allowing foreign combat troops to either leave or take on supportive roles. “Beyond 2014 - even when Afghans have transitioned to a full security lead - I’m confident that we and the international community will be in a position to work with Afghanistan to prevent any forcible return of the Taleban to power,” he said. “ Those days are gone.” The Taleban yesterday claimed they shot down a US-led coalition helicopter that crashed in eastern Afghanistan. The coalition said it was investigating the cause of the crash. —AP



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Suu Kyi holds first talks with new Myanmar govt YANGON: Democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi held her first talks with a minister in Myanmar’s new government yesterday, in contacts that have raised hopes for an ongoing dialogue between the two sides. Just days after the US called for “concrete” progress towards democracy, Suu Kyiwho was released from house arrest after controversial November elections-spent more than an hour with labour minister Aung Kyi. “We agreed to discuss and meet again at a suitable stage,” Aung Kyi told journalists outside the state guesthouse in Yangon where he met the Nobel Peace Prize winner. “The meeting included matters of law and order and also the easing of tensions for the benefit of the people,” he said, without giving concrete details of their discussion. Suu Kyi herself added little, saying she was “expecting results that can benefit the country”. Yesterday’s meeting came shortly after she tested the limits of her

freedom with her first visit outside Yangon since her release, refraining from overt political activities that might have antagonised the government. The regime had earlier told her party to stay out of politics, warning that “chaos and riots” could ensue if she went ahead if she went ahead with a planned political tour. The 66-year-old democracy champion was freed shortly after elections that were won overwhelmingly by the military’s political proxies, amid claims of cheating and the exclusion of Suu Kyi from the process. She has since frequently urged dialogue with the government, but the authorities’ decision to hold talks met with a mixed reaction from observers, with some seeing it as aimed at gaining concessions from the international community. Aung Kyi was in charge of relations between the military junta and Suu Kyi under Myanmar’s previous regime, but this was the first meeting

between them since the new government was formed. Plans for the meeting emerged on Saturday, the same day that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Myanmar’s rulers to have “meaningful and inclusive dialogue” with the opposition. A US official travelling with Clinton also said the Myanmar government’s bid for the chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2014 would be in doubt unless it reformed its ways. The timing of the meeting was significant, said political analyst Pavin Chachavalpongpun of Singapore’s Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. “They could have done it any week, so why this week?” he said ahead of the talks, adding that they had “symbolism” and showed “both sides are trying to do some kind of constructive engagement”. Suu Kyi has spent much of the last 20 years as

a prisoner in her Yangon home, and some observers believe the government would be quick to limit her freedom again if she is perceived as a threat to their rule. Renaud Egreteau, a Myanmar expert at Hong Kong university, said it was likely the talks were happening because “the regime wants to get something from the international community”. The US House of Representatives last Wednesday approved a renewal of sanctions that ban the import of goods from Myanmar, including lucrative gems, and restrict visas issued to government officials. Suu Kyi has said international sanctions should be maintained, at least until Myanmar’s more than 2,000 political prisoners are released. Her party, which won a landslide election victory two decades ago that was never recognized by the junta, was disbanded by the military regime last year because it boycotted the latest vote, saying the rules were unfair. — AFP

Aquino to China: We will defend territory 6,500 protesters rally outside Congress during speech

WENZHOU: Emergency workers and civilians carry an injured passenger from the wreckage of the train crash. — AP

Crash raises doubts about China’s high-speed rail plans BEIJING: Doubts about China’s breakneck plans to expand high-speed rail across the country have been underscored by a bullet train wreck that killed at least 38 people. One train rammed into the back of another that had stalled after being hit by lightning Saturday in China’s deadliest rail accident since 2008. Six carriages derailed and four fell about 65 to 100 feet from a viaduct. More than 190 people were injured. Railways Minister Sheng Guangzu has apologized to the victims of the crash and their families. The US Embassy in Beijing said two US citizens were among the dead. The Railways Ministry and government officials haven’t explained why the second train was apparently not warned there was a stalled train in its path. One expert said he thought human error may have been involved. “I think the problem may have come from the mistakes of dispatching management, instead of technological failure,” said Qi Qixin, a professor at the Transportation Research Institute of Beijing University of Technology. “The system should have an ability to automatically issue a warning or even stop a train under such circumstances,” he said. The accident is the latest blow to China’s bullet train ambitions. Designed to show off the country’s rising wealth and technological prowess, the prestige attached to the high-speed rail project is on a par with China’s space program. Beijing plans to expand the high-speed rail network - already the world’s biggest to link far-flung regions and is also trying to sell its trains to Latin America and the

Middle East. But critics say ticket costs are too high and the services do not really meet the needs of average travelers in many areas. Last month, China launched to great fanfare the Beijing to Shanghai high-speed line, whose trains can travel at a top speed of 186 miles per hour. The speed was cut from the originally planned 217 mph after questions were raised about safety. In less than four weeks of operation, power outages and other malfunctions have plagued the showcase 820-mile (1,318-kilometer) line. The Railways Ministry previously apologized for the problems and said that summer thunderstorms and winds were the cause in some cases. Official plans call for China’s bullet train network to expand to 8,000 miles of track this year and 10,000 miles by 2020. China’s trains are based on Japanese, French and German technology, but the manufacturers are trying to sell to Latin America and the Middle East. That has prompted complaints that Beijing is violating the spirit of licenses with foreign providers by reselling technology that was meant to be used only in China. Saturday’s accident involved the first-generation bullet trains, which were launched in 2007 and have a top speed of 155 miles per hour - slower than the new Beijing to Shanghai trains. The tragedy pummeled railway shares with China Railway Group sliding 7.7 percent. The high-speed rail woes added to negative sentiment from the US debt deadlock, sending the Shanghai Composite Index down 3 percent to 2,688.75. — AP

India, Pakistan eye US backing WASHINGTON: Rep Dan Burton criticized the White House last September for ignoring the persistent violence and unrest in the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir. Barack Obama, he noted, pledged during the 2008 presidential campaign to defuse what long has been a flashpoint between Pakistan and India, nuclear-armed neighbors that each claim Kashmir as their own. “So far, this is a promise unfulfilled,” Burton, R-Ind, said. Pakistan’s spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, directed a clandestine, multimillion dollar effort through a Washington nonprofit group to influence the US position on Kashmir, the Justice Department said last week. Documents filed in federal court describe donations to political campaigns and meetings with White House and State Department officials. Burton, co-chairman of the House Pakistan Caucus, may have received more than $11,000 in illicit contributions. But there’s little to show for Pakistan’s hefty investment of money and time. The US considers Kashmir an issue to be resolved by Pakistan and India and not by policymakers in Washington, a handsoff approach India firmly backs. The result sheds light on the high-stakes proxy battle Pakistan and India are waging behind the scenes for US attention and assistance. The US sends billions of dollars in counterterrorism aid and

development money to Pakistan each year. Yet India’s influence, not Pakistan’s, is on the upswing. The issue of Kashmir’s future did not come up publicly during Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s visit to India last week. Clinton was in the Indian capital when the Justice Department announced charges against Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai for allegedly trying to influence US officials about Kashmir. He allegedly took his marching orders from an ISI handler. India and Pakistan maintain forces in Kashmir along a cease-fire line created in 1947 when the British Indian empire was partitioned. Two of the three wars India and Pakistan have fought since colonial rule ended have been over control of the region. But there is a deep anti-India sentiment in Kashmir, where some politicians and armed rebels envision a separate homeland or merging with neighboring Pakistan. And while India has favored quiet diplomac y, Pak istan has sought to draw international attention to the situation.During the Cold War, Pakistan, not India, was America’s ally in South Asia. But it is India that has emerged as the country most aligned with US interests: democratic, market-oriented and capable of being a counterweight in Asia against an increasingly assertive China. — AP

MANILA: President Benigno Aquino III warned China in a major speech yesterday that the Philippines was ready to defend its Spratly Islands claims by acquiring more weapons and plans to elevate the territorial feuds at a UN tribunal. Aquino also announced a new chief anti-graft prosecutor in his State of the Nation Address before Congress and said his year-old government plans to file its first major corruption case this year against corrupt officials and their accomplices. He did not name the officials but vowed punishment for the guilty. “We do not wish to increase tensions with anyone, but we must let the world know that we are ready to protect what is ours,” Aquino said, drawing loud applause at the packed House of Representatives. Aquino did not mention China but clearly referred to Asia’s rising military power when he mentioned Recto Bank - internationally known as the Reed Bank - as clearly belonging to the Philippines as a popular downtown Manila street with the same name. “There was a time when we couldn’t appropriately respond to threats in our own backyard,” Aquino said. “Now, our message to the world is clear: What is ours is ours; setting foot on Recto Bank is no different from setting foot on Recto Avenue.” The Philippines has alleged that Chinese forces have repeatedly intruded into Manila-claimed areas in and near the Spratlys in the South China Sea since February, including at the Reed Bank. Filipino officials said two Chinese patrol boats threatened a Filipino oil exploration ship into leaving the Reed Bank, which they said was within its regular territorial waters and not part of the nearby Spratlys. Two military planes were deployed during the March 2 incident, but the Chinese boats have left by the time the aircraft reached the Reed Bank, about 90 miles (150 kilometers) from the Philippine coast. Chinese officials have said there were no intrusions because those waters belonged to China. The chain of barren, largely uninhabited islands, reefs and banks in the South China Sea are claimed entirety or partly by China, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Brunei. They are

QUEZON: A protester, wearing a mask which is shaped as a rotten egg, stands next to the line of riot police during a rally along a street leading to the Philippine Congress to protest State of the Nation Address by Philippine President Benigno Aquino III. — AP believed to be rich in oil and natural gas and straddle a busy international sea lane. The Spratlys have long been regarded as Asia’s next potential flashpoint for armed conflict. Washington has said the peaceful resolution of the territorial disputes and ensuring the freedom of navigation there were in the US national interest, a position that irked China. The Philippines has said it intends to bring the Spratlys disputes before the UN’s International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea. China opposed the plan and wants to negotiate bilaterally instead. Aquino said bringing the case before an international arbiter would ensure that “all involved nations approach the dispute with

Vietnam announces new president amid China rift HANOI: Vietnam’s lawmaking National Assembly appointed Truong Tan Sang as the communist country’s new president yesterday amid challenges at home with the economy and abroad with China over disputed territory in the South China Sea. Sang, 62, a southerner who was a former mayor and party chief in Ho Chi Minh City, had most recently served as the de facto No 2 in charge of the Communist Party, running the day-to-day affairs. His appointment, receiving more than 97 percent of the vote as the sole candidate, was widely anticipated. Yesterday’s announcement was largely ceremonial since the position was already decided by the party’s elite in January during the secretive Party Congress held every five years. Sang, from the southern province of Long An, replaces retiring President Nguyen Minh Triet. The presidential role is mostly ceremonial, while the prime minister runs the country’s dayto-day operations. After giving his acceptance speech, Sang nominated current Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, 61, for a second term, expected to be announced Tuesday. Sang was said to have challenged Dung for the premiership, but he lost out when the leaders were picked in Januar y. Vietnam is a one-party system that does not tolerate any challenge to its rule, and publicly calling for a multiparty system can result in long prison sentences. The appointment comes a day after Vietnamese protesters demonstrated against China for the eighth straight week as tensions between the communist neighbors continue to simmer

over disputed territory claimed by both countries in the South China Sea. Sang vowed to “firmly defend the country’s independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity” while also trying to settle territorial border disputes through peaceful means. Last week, China and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations agreed to a preliminary plan to work together to resolve disputes in the potentially resource-rich South China Sea that’s home to vital shipping lanes. Vietnam, one of Asia’s fastest-growing countries, also faces domestic pressure as it struggles with wide-ranging economic woes. — AP

HANOI: Truong Tan Sang, 62, the Communist Party’s number two in command speaks at the opening session of the legislature. — AP

calm and forbearance.” On government corruption, Aquino did not identify the officials his government would charge this year but he has been under intense pressure to have his predecessor, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, prosecuted for alleged plunder. Arroyo has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing and criticized Aquino for a lackluster performance. Arroyo and her two children, who are now legislators, were absent when Aquino delivered his speech in Congress. More than 6,500 mostly left-wing protesters rallied outside Congress as Aquino spoke, demanding higher wages, farmland and Arroyo’s prosecution. They were blocked by riot police from getting near Congress. — AP

Malaysia, Australia sign asylum deal KUALA LUMPUR: Australia and Malaysia on Monday signed a controversial deal to swap thousands of boatpeople and refugees in a bid to deter future asylum seekers from trying to slip into Australia by sea. Under the agreement opposed by rights groups in both countries, Malaysia will take 800 boatpeople already in Australia in return for Canberra resettling some 4,000 “genuine refugees” processed by Kuala Lumpur in the next four years. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard quickly defended the deal, calling it a blow to people smugglers who she said prey on people desperate to flee from countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and Myanmar. “My message today to anyone considering paying money to people smugglers and risking their lives: do not do that in the false hope you’ll be able to have your claim processed in Australia,” she told a news conference in Canberra. Addressing fears that refugees may be maltreated in Malaysia, she vowed that they “will be treated with dignity and respect”-a phrase contained in the agreement itself. It was signed by Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen and Malaysia’s Home Affairs Minister Hishammuddin Hussein at a luxury hotel in Kuala Lumpur as a small group of activists held a protest outside. “I hope I never get another call telling me that people have drowned trying to make it to Australia and that children as young as two months old have drowned trying to come to Australia,” Bowen said. The Australian minister said the boatpeople’s transfer to Malaysia would begin immediately while asylum seekers heading to Australia would be held for at least 45 days at transit centers around Kuala Lumpur.They will subsequently be allowed to “move into the community, with work rights, access to education and health care,” he said in a statement. The plan has sparked concern because Malaysia is not a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention, nor has it ratified the UN Convention against Torture. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has not approved the proposed swap and said in a statement that it would prefer asylum seekers arriving by boat to be processed in Australian territory. Amnesty International has warned that asylum seekers sent to Malaysia could face lengthy waits to determine their status, as well as inhumane detention conditions and even caning.” Australia has signed a deal with a country which has a brutal record of treating refugees,” said Irene Fernandez, director of Malaysian campaign group Tenaganita. — AFP



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TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011


ne ws LAHORE: A Pakistani shoemaker, Hameed, works on a giant shoe as he sits inside it at his shop yesterday. Hameed has made a six feet (1.83 m) shoe with gold thread to attract his customers for Eid. The selling price of the shoe is approximately $350. —AFP

Norway killer calm, expects life in prison Continued from Page 1 The overall toll in the attack now stands at 76 instead of 93. Police spokesman Oystein Maeland said that higher, erroneous figure emerged as police and rescuers were focusing on helping survivors and securing the area, but he did not immediately explain more about how the overcounting occurred. Police also raised the toll from a bombing outside the government’s headquarters in Oslo before the shooting spree, from seven to eight. The dramatic reduction in the death toll adds to a list of police missteps. They took 90 minutes to arrive at the island from the first shot, and people who called emergency services have reported being told by operators to stay off the lines unless they were calling about the Oslo bombings. Peaceful, liberal Norway has been stunned by the bombing in downtown Oslo and the shooting massacre at a youth camp outside the capital, which the suspect said were intended to start a revolution to inspire Norwegians to retake their country from Muslims and other immigrants. He blames liberals for championing multiculturalism over Norway’s “indigenous” culture. Police have said Breivik used two weapons during the rampage - both of which were bought legally, according to the manifesto. A doctor treating victims told AP that the gunman used illegal “dum-dum”-style bullets designed to disintegrate inside the body and cause maximum internal damage. The court ordered him Breivik held for eight weeks while prosecutors investigate, four of which will be in isolation, saying Breivik could tamper with evidence if released. Typically, the accused is brought to court every four weeks while prosecutors prepare their case, so a judge can approve his continued detention. Longer periods are not unusual in serious cases. Breivik made clear in an Internet manifesto that he planned to turn his court appearance into theater, preparing a speech for his appearance in court even before launching the attacks, then requesting an open hearing in which he would wear a uniform. Both of those requests were denied. The suspect has said staged the bombing and youth camp rampage as “marketing” for his manifesto calling for a revolution that would rid Europe of Muslims.

“The operation was not to kill as many people as possible but to give a strong signal that could not be misunderstood that as long as the Labor Party keeps driving its ideological lie and keeps deconstructing Norwegian culture and mass importing Muslims then they must assume responsibility for this treason,” according to the English translation of Heger’s ruling that was read out after the hearing. Breivik alluded to two other “cells” of his network - which he imagines as a new Knights Templar, the medieval cabal of crusaders who protected Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land. At one point, his manifesto briefly referred to an intention to contact two other cells, but no details were given. European security officials said they were aware of increased Internet chatter from individuals claiming they belonged to the Knights Templar group and were investigating claims that Breivik, and other far-right individuals, attended a London meeting of the group in 2002. Reporters and locals thronged the courthouse yesterday ahead of the hearing for their first glimpse of Breivik since the assault. When one car drove through the crowd, people hit its windows and one person shouted an expletive, believing Breivik was inside. “Get out, get out!” shouted Alexander Roeine, 24, banging on a police car he wrongly believed contained the mass killer. In fact police brought Breivik through a side entrance. “Everyone here wants him dead,” Roeine said, adding that he knew one of the dead and three survivors of the attacks. “We want to see him really hurt for what he did,” said Zezo Hasab, 32, among a crowd who gave Breivik a furious reception. After the hearing, a police jeep drove away carrying an unshaven Breivik, with close-cropped blond hair and wearing a red jumper with a lighter red shirt underneath. In his 1,500-page manifesto, Breivik describes how he bought armor, guns, tons of fertilizer and other bomb components, stashed caches of weapons and wiping his computer hard drive - all while evading police suspicion and being nice to his neighbors. One of those purchases appears to have been flagged by Norway’s police security service. The PST says it was alerted in March it to a suspicious purchase of an undisclosed product from a Polish chemical firm by Breivik. — Agencies

DSK maid speaks out Continued from Page 1 The two interviews on Sunday and yesterday pierced the mystery surrounding the complainant in one of the most sensational criminal cases to rock the world of globe-trotting VIPs in years. Faceless and nameless until now, Diallo revealed herself as an animated 32-year-old from Guinea in West Africa with dark, straightened hair, large eyes and a harrowing story of being forced into oral sex and fearing for her life. And at a moment when prosecutors are suggesting they might drop charges because they are worried about the maid’s credibility, Diallo was adamant that she won’t retreat. “I want justice. I want him to go to jail. I want him to know you cannot use your power when you want to do something like this,” she told ABC. Until now whatever details that were known about Diallo came from lawyers, prosecutors, or leaks from investigators. But while Strauss-Kahn - who was head of the International Monetary Fund and a strong contender to be next French president at the time of the alleged crime - was already a public figure, no one had heard a word from Diallo herself. One of Diallo’s attorneys, Douglas Wigdor, told Reuters she has come forward to let the world know she is not a “shakedown artist or a prostitute”. “She’s being attacked ... and she thought it was important to put a name and face to her account,” Wigdor said. In the ABC interview, Diallo talks forcefully in heavily accented, but mostly fluent English about the sequence of events she says took place in the 28th floor suite at Sofitel. She recounted the incident, saying Strauss-Kahn emerged naked from a shower to “grab my breasts” and despite her pleas, forced her head down to his penis. “You’re beautiful,” she reported Strauss-Kahn as saying, and said he attacked her despite her protestations. When she found out the identity of her alleged attacker, she referred to her troubled past in Guinea to explain why she feared for the worst. “They’re going to kill me,” she said. “I know if that was in my country, he’s a

powerful man like that, they’re going to kill me before someone knows.” Strauss-Kahn’s experienced legal team is characterizing the media blitz as an attempt to pressure prosecutors into going ahead with the criminal case, without which a potentially lucrative civil lawsuit might have trouble gaining traction. But Diallo appears also to want to reclaim her public image after having been painted in tabloid newspapers as a gold-digger, and even a prostitute. In the lengthy Newsweek interview, she talked with pride about cleaning the 28th floor at Sofitel and the fear she had about losing her job. The $25 an hour post was described as a dream job that lifted her from the insecurity and poverty of a single mother immigrant who had previously worked in a hair salon and a Bronx food store after escaping a hard life in Guinea in 2003. Inconsistencies about her life in Guinea - as well as about the precise chronology of events in the hotel - have fed both into prosecutors’ doubts and defense allegations that she is making up the sex assault. The two interviews seemed aimed at straightening out some of those inconsistencies, but are unlikely to settle the issue. She told Newsweek that in Conakry, the capital of Guinea, she was raped by two soldiers and made to clean up the scene. However she was fuzzy about the date, eventually saying it happened in 2001. Asked about her former husband, she said simply that he’d died of “an illness,” as did an infant daughter, though whether at three or four months she wasn’t sure. Whether such inaccuracies point to a poorly educated immigrant with a turbulent life or evidence of a woman fabricating a sex assault accusation is under debate. Prosecutors have already said she admitted lying in her application for asylum to the United States and also cheated on tax returns in order to qualify for housing benefits. “God is my witness. I’m telling the truth. From my heart. God knows that. And he knows that,” she said. But the maid, who told Newsweek she was the daughter of an imam in rural Guinea, said she had no hidden agenda. “We are poor, but we are good,” she said. — Agencies

Nightmare across the barrier Continued from Page 1 Palestinians say it has never been easy to get a residency permit to move from the West Bank to east Jerusalem. But in 2003, as the intifada raged on, Israel passed an emergency measure which effectively ended the process of “family reunification”, citing security concerns. Around the same time, Israel was also building a vast barrier through the West Bank which has since cut off most of Arab east Jerusalem from the rest of the occupied territories, making access to the Holy City without a permit even harder. In 2005, when Sana’s permit ran out, she received an order expelling her from Jerusalem. “Since then, I’ve been living illegally with my husband and children in Jerusalem,” the 31-year-old told AFP. “I left Jerusalem for a short period, but then I snuck back in and began living in hiding with my husband and children, who have permits,” she said. Her life, she says, has become a nightmare of constant fear. Turning the corner in a certain neighbourhood could bring her face-to-face with a security official who could send her back to Hebron, separating her from her children. “I barely leave the house,” she told AFP. “I only go out to go to the doctor or to meet my children’s teachers. When I’m near an area with police or soldiers, I feel terrified. “I’m constantly worried - afraid that the police will raid our neighbourhood and find me in the house and arrest me, expel me and keep me from my children,” she said. Hassan Jabareen, the founder of Arab-Israeli rights group Adalah, says the situation for people in Sana’s position has worsened dramatically since 2003. “A law was passed that prevents Israeli citizens from living as a family if they marry Palestinians from the occupied territories or citizens of Iran, Iraq, Syria or Lebanon,” he explained. “The situation now is much worse than in the past. We petitioned the Supreme Court years ago but have yet to receive a ruling.” The emergency legislation has never been repealed and this past week, Israel’s cabinet extended it for a further six months at the request of Interior Minister Eli Yishai. The legislation affects two groups: Arab-Israelis married to Palestinians from the West Bank or Gaza, and Jerusalem residents who marry spouses without per-

mission to live in the city. In a 2006 report, Israeli rights group B’Tselem found that Israel had refused to process more than 120,000 requests for family reunification. The group accused Israel of using the policy “to prevent the further increase of the Arab population in Israel in order to preserve the Jewish character of the state”. For Sana, the policy has meant missing both happy and sad family moments, including when her mother became sick with the cancer that would eventually kill her. “I didn’t go to visit her when she was ill with liver cancer because I feared losing my children if I couldn’t come back from Hebron. I only went when she died,” she said. “My brothers got married and I couldn’t go to their weddings. And when my father was admitted to hospital a month ago, I also didn’t go to visit. He died a week ago and I only went on the day of his death. It was devastating.” She snuck back into Jerusalem by taxi, using back roads that are regularly patrolled by Israeli troops. “On the way back I was feeling two things - sorrow over my father’s death and fear at the thought the soldiers might shoot at us,” she admitted. For Bethlehem-born Huda, 33, the life described by Sana is a familiar one. She married her husband in Jerusalem 16 years ago, and was initially issued a yearly residency permit that allowed her to stay in the city. But 10 years later, her husband was convicted by an Israeli court for his activities with the Palestinian political group Fatah and sentenced to five years in jail prison. “They stopped issuing my permit and instead issued an order expelling me,” she said. Since then, Huda has been living illegally in Jerusalem, and speaks of having to “smuggle” herself back home after rare trips to Bethlehem to see her family. “One time I was with a group of women in the mountains and we ran into an army patrol. They forced us to go back to Bethlehem... and they mocked us as we walked back, making herding noises like we were sheep.” Like Sana, she has been forced to keep her distance from her West Bank hometown. “I don’t visit my family except in cases of serious illness or a death because I know what I will face on the road. It’s tragic, my family lives 20 minutes away by car and I can’t visit them,” she said. “We live isolated. Neither my brothers nor my sisters visit us, whether the occasion is happy or sad.” — AFP

Syria endorses law to allow political parties Continued from Page 1 Security forces have pursued campaigns of arrests despite the lifting of the state of emergency. The authorities have used deadly force to quell dissent, with at least 1,486 civilians reported killed since midMarch, human rights groups say. The violence has also claimed the lives of 365 members of the security forces and driven thousands to flee to safety outside Syria, and at least 12,000 have been detained. Yesterday, hundreds of armed members of the security forces deployed in the Damascus neighbourhood of Rukneddin, searching homes and making arrests, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. Tanks also deployed in force yesterday in several districts of the central city of Homs, where more than 50 people were killed last week. On Sunday, troops “arrested nine people in the district of Hajar al-Aswad and many others in Sahnaya,” a suburb south of Damascus, the head of the London-based Observatory, Rami Abdel Rahman, told AFP in Nicosia by phone. “Protesters demanding the fall of the regime marched on Sunday night in Hajar al-Aswad... in response to a campaign of arrests carried out earlier by the army in the capital,” he said. “More than 300 lawyers gathered at the courthouse in Damascus call-

ing for the release of arrested lawyers and prisoners of conscience,” he added. Meanwhile the head of the National Organisation for Human Rights, Ammar Qorabi, told AFP yesterday that the authorities arrested a seven-year-old boy three days ago in Daraa -southern hub of four months of anti-regime protests. Qorabi said there has been no news about Naeem Fadl since his arrest. He also voiced concern over the fate of Ahmed Abazid, 13, who was seized at the onset of the protests along with other boys for writing graffiti on walls calling for the fall of the regime. Meanwhile, Germany said diplomats have met Syrian opposition figures in Damascus and Berlin in recent weeks as the European Union demands an end to the crackdown on protesters. Berlin’s coordinator for Middle East policy, Boris Ruge, met both opposition members and Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem on two occasions, foreign ministr y spokesman Martin Schaefer said. Germany is one of the first Western countries to announce direct contacts with the Syrian opposition, which has held several meetings in Turkey. At their July 18 meeting in Brussels, EU foreign ministers pressed Assad to implement reforms or stand aside as they threatened more sanctions. — AFP


TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011

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US, S Korea firm against North’s nukes By Jeremy Laurence rare visit by one of North Korea’s top diplomats to the United States this week has renewed hopes for stalled nuclear talks, but Seoul and Washington’s terms have not changed: Pyongyang has to show it is sincere about scrapping its atomic bomb. North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kae-gwan travels to New York at the end of the week in what will be the first such contact between the sides since a visit by Stephen Bosworth, the top US envoy on peninsula affairs, to Pyongyang in 2009. His visit comes on the heels of the first meetings in more than two years between the two Koreas’ nuclear envoys and foreign ministers last week, defusing tensions and raising hopes for a restart of the long-delayed six-party talks. The secretive North stormed out of aid-for-denuclearisation talks in 2009 after the United Nations imposed a new round of sanctions for conducting nuclear and missile tests, but has since said it wants to rejoin the forum. Relations on the peninsula crashed to their lowest level in nearly two decades last year after two deadly attacks killed 50 South Koreans, and only a few weeks ago the North swore it would never again negotiate with Seoul’s conservative government. “North Korea’s reversal is dramatic but the US and South Korea remain properly suspicious that Pyongyang has no intention of actually fulfilling its denuclearisation commitments,” Bruce Klingner, of the Washington-based Heritage Foundation think tank, told Reuters. “Vague promises simply to ‘make efforts to resume six-party talks’ are not grounds for exuberant optimism.” Seoul and Washington are adamant their terms have not changed for the resumption of six-party talks, which also involve China, Russia and Japan. US Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell said yesterday this week’s talks were “preliminary” and should not necessarily be seen as a move toward restarting six-party talks. “We have very clear pre-steps related to nuclear issues, related to proliferation concerns, that we will need to see clearly articulated by the North Koreans if we are to go forward,” he said. A South Korean presidential aide, who asked not to be named, said: “We are ready to talk with them anytime and anywhere only if the North shows its willingness to abandon its nuclear weapons development program.” Washington and Seoul say North Korea has repeatedly rowed back on promises made in a series of denuclearisation deals over the past two decades. This time, they say, Pyongyang must take concrete steps to demonstrate it is serious. Analysts say such a step would be to allow the return of international nuclear inspectors who were expelled in 2009. In return for disabling its nuclear program, which has already produced up to 10 atomic bombs, the North would receive economic aid, diplomatic recognition from the United States and a formal treaty to end the Korean War. But analysts say there is next to no chance the recalcitrant state will ever give up its nuclear bombs because they are the ultimate deterrent against attack by the United States and the South, and also its biggest bargaining chip in negotiations. Analysts say pressure from China and the United States has driven the destitute North back to the negotiating table, and that Pyongyang will probably use dialogue as a platform to seek aid as it battles a food crisis. “Pyongyang leaders needs concessions, largely of monetary nature,” says Andrei Lankov of Kookmin University in Seoul. “If they are not getting what they want, they will switch to confrontational mood again.” Experts agree the talks themselves serve a purpose even if the end-goal of complete denuclearisation is unattainable while Kim Jong-il maintains his iron rule. They say the North’s willingness to talk with the United States lowers tensions in northeast Asia, responsible for about one-sixth of the global economy. Victor Cha, a North Korea expert from Georgetown University in the United States, tracked 60 years of US-North Korea dialogue, and found that when they were talking Pyongyang did not resort to acts of aggression, or socalled provocations. “This report has apparently resonated in the administration and animated the discussions about re-engaging the North,” said Michael Green, a colleague at Georgetown.— Reuters


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Doubts over US move to global accounting By Dena Aubin nce thought inevitable, a decisive move by the United States to one -world accounting is now in serious doubt. Blame delays, shifting timelines, or huge debt and high unemployment problems in the United States’ own back yard, but the idea of a massive change in companies’ accounting framework is not the crowd-pleaser it once was. “If there was a compelling value proposition that said, ‘as a policy, this is the right thing to do,’ it would be going faster than it’s going,” said Steven Nielsen, chief executive officer of Dycom Industries. At issue are US generally accepted accounting principles in use since the 1930s, known as GAAP, and whether to phase them out in favor of international financial reporting standards, known as IFRS and set by the London-based International Accounting Standards Board. In theory, switching to international standards would make it easier for investors to compare US businesses to others around the globe, reducing companies’ cost of capital. Big multinational firms like Ford and IBM, which use IFRS for their businesses overseas, would no longer have to keep separate books to report in the United States. The stakes go beyond individual standards. A bigger debate is whether the United States, or any country, should cede control over standardsetting and join a regime with no workable plan yet for uniform global enforcement. “It’s a move away from innovation and progress,” said Paul Miller, an accounting professor at the University of Colorado. Though he often disagrees with the US standard-setting board, “it’s the best of them all, so why would anyone want to pull all of its teeth?” US rule-makers have been working since 2002 to bring the country’s standards more into


line with international rules. Now that the two regimes are closer, the US Securities and Exchange Commission has said it will decide by the end of the year whether to switch to IFRS. A wholesale switch looks increasingly unlikely. In a staff paper in May, the SEC noted that very few countries adopted IFRS automatically without the right to approve the standards first, sometimes tailoring them to their own needs. In the European Union, for example, any new or amended IASB standards go through several steps before taking effect there, the SEC noted. The SEC also has voiced concerns about costs to small companies that have no overseas operations and would benefit little from global rules. Andy Bishop, chief financial officer at Hallador Energy Co, said he had not heard investors clamoring for IFRS. “US GAAP is the gold standard of the world,” he said. “If it’s not broken, why fix it?” One idea outlined in the SEC’s staff paper would be to let the US Financial Accounting Standards Board review IFRS standards before deciding whether to endorse them. US GAAP would remain in effect, and IFRS would be incorporated into that framework, a process the SEC said could take five to seven years. “This is a journey and everything doesn’t change at once,” said Sandra Peters, head of the financial reporting policy group at CFA Institute. “If we can continue to improve accounting standards in incremental steps, then over time we’re going to get a better answer.” Some are questioning whether the payoff is worth the effort if all the United States did was to adopt its own version of IFRS. “The objective was to have one set of global standards all around the world,” said Jack Ciesielski, publisher of The Analyst’s Accounting Observer. That now seems unrealistic, he said, with less than 16 percent of the world’s markets using a pure version of IFRS as published by IASB. A number of GAAP standards serve US purposes

better than IFRS, Ciesielski said. GAAP, for example, has specialized revenue recognition accounting for casinos, airlines and other industries, while IFRS does not, he said. Rule-makers are revising that standard to align IFRS and GAAP. Unlike IFRS, GAAP allows “last-in-first-out” inventory reporting, which produces more accurate income statements, he said. With last-infirst-out, or LIFO, companies can assume for cost accounting that their most recently acquired inventory, usually the most expensive, was sold first. “The real agitators for IFRS are outside the United States,” including the IASB itself, Ciesielski said. Some larger firms with non-US operations are in favor of the move, “but you don’t hear too many Midwestern agricultural concerns arguing for it,” he said. Others argue that the compromise outlined by the SEC in May may be a good option. “It’s a middle ground, and they’re probably looking for the best of both worlds,” said Olu Sonola, director of credit policy at Fitch. “The United States can be at the table as an active participant in global standard-setting, and also have the ability to control what becomes part of US GAAP.” Most observers agree the United States should continue eliminating needless differences between its accounting and the rest of the world’s. “Every single country will never interpret things exactly the same, but you hope that at the time you’re working together, you’re getting closer,” said Lisa Filomia-Aktas, a partner at Ernst & Young. What’s becoming apparent, though, is that diversity is not going to disappear. “At least respect the differences in different markets, different countries, and needs of users in those countries and pay attention to that,” Ciesielski said. “I think that actually makes for more effective standard-setting than saying everybody’s the same when they’re not.” — Reuters

Mubarak still a thorn in Egypt’s side By Christophe de Roquefeuil ix months after the uprising that toppled Egypt’s president Hosni Mubarak, the former strongman who is in custody in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh remains a thorn in the country’s side. The trial of Mubarak and his two sons, which is scheduled for August 3, remains a huge source of tension and the state of his health is shrouded by confusion and contradictory statements. Mubarak’s assets may have been frozen but his fortune remains unknown, despite mounting calls for disclosure. Despite his spectacular ouster in February by a popular uprising, Mubarak is still very much a sore topic in Egypt, where the ruling military is overseeing a fragile transition. The former president is currently in custody in a hospital in Sharm el-Sheikh, where he is undergoing treatment for a heart condition. Mubarak moved to Sharm el-Sheikh, where he has a private residence, during the uprising but has not made any public appearances there. In a brief audio message on April 10, he said he was the victim of a smear campaign. Later that night, he was summoned for questioning during which he suffered a heart attack. Mubarak is accused of corruption and of ordering the killing of protesters during the JanuaryFebruary uprising. If found guilty on murder charges, he could face the death penalty, the justice minister has said. Like all Egyptian presidents before him, Mubarak is a military man, which puts the ruling Supreme Council Armed Forces (SCAF) in an awkward position because he is one of their own. The SCAF head and the country’s de facto ruler, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, was Mubarak’s defence minister for two decades. “His case embarrasses the military establishment in general and Field Marshal Tantawi in


particular,” said Mustafa Kamel al-Sayyed, a professor of political science at Cairo University. Putting the man who ran the country for more than 30 years on trial could prove difficult, simply because he knows too much. “Many fear he could make embarrassing revelations,” said Sayyed. Many also fear a cosmetic trial, with a public opening session followed by a series of postponements on the pretext of the need for further investigations, judicial recess, Mubarak’s deteriorating health or the holy month of Ramadan. “It’s possible that the trial will be delayed, with the opening date carefully chosen,” said Sayyed. “The army does not want to see a military man sentenced,” said Emad Gad, an analyst with the AlAhram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies. “They are trying to buy time in the hope that he dies beforehand,” he said bluntly. Mubarak will probably be tried in Sharm el-Sheikh, perhaps even in his hospital room, for health and security reasons, judicial sources have said. “I want to see Mubarak on trial. I want open proceedings to be held in the capital,” said Bola Abdu, 23, a pro-democracy activist camped out in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the epicentre of protests that toppled the strongman. The former president’s health is the subject of conflicting reports. Farid Al-Deeb, Mubarak’s lawyer, said in June that Mubarak had stomach cancer and a month later that he had entered a “complete coma” following a deterioration of his health. But health officials denied the reports and said there was no “scientific proof” the former president had cancer. Since Mubarak’s downfall, protesters have continued to take to the street to demand his public and speedy trial. The independent daily Al-Shorouk has reported that the former president could be given a military funeral if he dies before being sentenced. — AFP

An Egyptian walks under a slogan “I want to see another president before I die” in Cairo yesterday. – AP


TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011

a na ly s i s

Norway massacre exposes immigration issue


By Mohammed Abbas orwegian Anders Behring Breivik said he killed 93 people to spark a “revolution” against the multiculturalism he believed was sapping Europe’s heritage, and experts say a frank debate about immigration may be the best way to prevent similar explosions of violence. In some Nordic countries, and elsewhere in Europe, political parties have fed on rising public concern over immigration as economic conditions worsen and a drip-feed of Islamist attacks stokes fear and suspicion of new arrivals. But experts argue overly aggressive political rhetoric and scare tactics have inflamed passions rather than address the many complex, underlying problems. Conflicting messages and political squeamishness in tackling immigration and multiculturalism have frustrated the public and given space for hardline ideologues, they say. “If the twin attacks in Norway fail to trigger an honest discussion of the issue, exposing often scare-mongering arguments used by the extreme right, this may marginalise the radical groups and worsen the situation, which in turn could bring more similar attacks in the future,” said Lilit Gevorgyan, Europe analyst at the IHS Global Insight think-tank. “This is not just an issue in Norway. Across Scandinavia and also in Western and Eastern Europe, you have a lot of people who are very frustrated by the lack of open debate,” she added. British Prime Minister David Cameron, Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Nicolas Sarkozy have all declared in recent months that multiculturalism has failed, in speeches that were otherwise careful to highlight the contribution of immigrants. But critics say such statements at best do little to offer solutions to tackle the economic and societal pressures that stem from increasing immigration and globalisation, and do even less to harness the benefits of a multi-ethnic society. At worst, they say such comments risk victimising often vulnerable immigrant communities and souring race relations. “What has clearly emerged from recent speeches and ensuing public national debates on multiculturalism is a sense of confusion, malaise and often contradictory messages,” said Sara Silvestri, lecturer in religion and international politics at London’s City University, in an article dated June 8. “So we look for easy answers presented as simple choices e.g., moderate vs. radical Islam, multiculturalism vs. assimilation ... Yet such simplistic naming and categorising further divides people and provokes animosities,” she added. A number of Scandinavian political parties have tackled immigration head on, but the inflammatory tone used by some politicians may have fuelled Breivik’s antiimmigrant and anti-Islamic hatred. Many far-right European groups have shifted away from overtly racist rhetoric and have instead focused their argument on stressing what they see as the incompatibility of Islam and European values. In a 1,500page violent manifesto published by Breivik, the 32-year-old expressed his admiration for Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders, and the tome included reported anti-Islamic comments Wilders made to the Dutch parliament. However, Wilders at the weekend denounced Breivik’s actions. Anti-immigrant and anti-Islamic parties have gained traction in Nordic and Scandinavian countries in recent years, tapping public anxiety over the relatively recent phenomenon of mass migration, particularly of Muslims, to their region. The anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats were

Media wounded by rush to judge Norway carnage


By Alastair Macdonald

A combination of images grabbed from Facebook (right) and YouTube (the four others) shows gunman and alleged bomber Anders Behring Breivik. – AFP last year elected to the Swedish parliament for the first time, despite the party having roots in neo-Nazi movements of the 1980s and 1990s. The party has criticised Muslims and Islam as being un-Swedish. Swedish anti-fascism magazine Expo, where the late best-selling novelist Steig Larsson was highly active, says while there may be no direct link between violence and comments by politicians, the rhetoric creates a fertile environment for ethnically motivated attacks. “It is very aggressive ideology that the Swedish Democrats are pushing towards Muslims ... it has become a more and more accepted way to speak about Muslims this way,” said Expo reporter Johannes Jakobsson. “Of course if you are in the Swedish parliament and point fingers at Muslims and say these

people are dangerous, of course this is going to influence people to become more hostile towards them,” he added. Harald Stanghelle, political editor of Norway’s Aftenposten conservative newspaper, said it was unfair to accuse Norway’s anti-immigrant Progress Party of inflaming the passions of individuals such as Breivik, who was once a member. Stanghelle says Breivik left the party because it did not go far enough in representing his views, highlighting a dilemma for those who say parties that drive away those with fringe views on immigration risk creating militant underground groups. “It’s totally wrong to hold the Progress Party responsible for extremists like this. A few smaller, anti-immigration groups, antimulticultural groups, have broken from

the party because they believe it is too polite, too mainstream,” Stanghelle said. Stanghelle was careful to paint Breivik as a lone extremist with little link to the wider discourse on immigration in Norway. After years on the fringes, Breivik’s views are now likely to echo loudest at his first court hearing yesterday. Breivik has described his bombing of an Oslo government building and his shooting spree at a youth camp run by Norway’s Labour Party as “atrocious” but “necessary” in his crusade against liberal immigration policies and the spread of Islam. “He now wants to meet in court for the first time, and wants an open court meeting, and why? Most criminals fight for a closed court meeting, but he sees himself as a crusader,” Stanghelle said. — Reuters

Attack tests ‘openness’ of Norway society By Wojciech Moskwa efore Friday’s deadly attacks by a Norwegian on a self-styled mission to save European “Christendom” from Islam, it was not uncommon to see Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg taking public transport to work and senior ministers walking in Oslo without bodyguards. Such openness could now be at an end after Anders Behring Breivik’s devastating car bomb attack on the prime minister’s offices and the slaying of young activists from the ruling Labour party trapped on an island. The attacks, in which at least 93 people were killed, will also affect Norway’s debate on immigration but are unlikely to close the shutters of one of Europe’s most open societies. “We will have a society based on less trust ... we will be a bit more anxious than before,” said Thomas Hylland Eriksen, a social anthropologist from the University of Oslo. Stoltenberg said on Sunday that Norway would “keep going” but that there would be a definite break between the country before and after the attacks. “But I am quite sure that you will also recognise Norway afterwards - it will be an open Norway, a democratic Norway and a Norway where we take care of each other,” Stoltenberg said. Breivik, who admitted to the shooting spree and bomb blast, has said through his lawyer that his actions aimed to “change Norwegian society” which he saw as being undermined by multiculturalism. Analysts say the scale and brutality of the attacks shattered Norway’s self-image as a peaceful nation focused on mediation efforts across the globe and the Nobel Peace Prize. “The lesson here is that fanatics do and will continue to exist - and that Norway is not immune,” said political science professor Janne Haaland Matlary. “In terms of cruelty and evil, this compares to Beslan - and that is the most chilling fac t for Norwegians,” she said, referring to the 2004 school massacre in southern Russia by Chechen militants in which nearly 200 children were killed. In a low-crime country where a single murder is frontpage news, the shock from the scale of the violence would drown out any message on immigration Breivik was seeking to make, said Matlary. Even politicians who usually espouse anti-immigrant views, will above all seek to distance themselves from Breivik. “This will surely tone down the debate on immigration ahead of local administration elections in September,” said Frank


Aarebrot, political scientist at Bergen University. “In the traditional way, politicians will self-censor themselves.” The biggest massacre on Norwegian soil since World War Two also prompted soul-searching among Norwegians, who initially feared the attacks may have been the work of Islamist militants. “It’s a double shock,” Marit Saxeide, 68, who runs a small shop in an immigrant district of Oslo. “Ninety-nine percent of Norwegians immediately believed this was a Muslim terror attack. When it turned out not to be, that was the second shock.” The number of immigrants in Norway nearly tripled between 1995 and 2010 to almost half a million out of an overall population of 4.8 million. The number of asylum-seekers hit record highs at the end of the previous decade, fuelling concern among a section of the electorate unhappy about an influx of immigrants they felt were drawn by Norway’s generous welfare handouts and high living standards. As a result, the Labour government moved to toughen some of Europe’s most liberal immigration policies, under pressure from the populist Progress Party whose anti-immigration platform struck a chord and won it the support of one in five Norwegians. Breivik was once a Progress Party member but later left, complaining it was not radical enough. A US diplomatic cable from 2009, posted on Wikileaks, criticised Norway’s limited ability to track potential Islamist militants on its turf and Friday’s attacks suggest that its security apparatus had also failed to detect home-grown threats. “Surely government monitoring will be improved, although it is likely to be done indirectly, via closed circuit television, Internet and social media rather than more officers on the streets,” said one security analyst, who asked not to be named. Ervin Kohn, a leader of Norway’s small Jewish community, said the shocking attacks may change “Norwegian naivety, especially about the need for security”. He hoped the incident would help change what he saw as a chronic lack of will by Norwegian courts to hand down tough sentences on radicals for fear of infringing their rights. The incident could also fuel debate about access to high-power weapons in a country where hunting is widely regarded as part of Norwegians’ heritage. In documents published shortly before his rampage, Breivik said he bought his automatic rifle after telling authorities he needed it for “hunting deer”. He also bought a telescopic scope and a silencer by mail order. — Reuters

Mutharika propelling Malawi to uncertain future By Ed Cropley f the billboards adorning its capital are anything to go by, Malawi is on the up and up, with President and self-proclaimed Economist-in-Chief Bingu wa Mutharika “propelling Malawi into the future”. The petrol queues snaking hundreds of yards through its dusty boulevards give a very different - and far more realistic - view of the impoverished southern African nation’s prospects. They also help explain this week’s unprecedented wave of political unrest in which police and protesters fought running street battles in four cities, leaving 18 people dead in a country that bills itself the “Warm Heart of Africa”. Malawi’s official economic growth statistics have been stellar for the last six years, but there is little to show for it on the ground, and the country’s 13 million people are fed up with being told how lucky they are. “It’s very difficult to say to your children that things are going well when they are going to sleep at night hungry, and going to school in the morning without any shoes,” said William Sanudi, a 37year-old curio-seller near Lilongwe’s dilapidated central Post Office. “The economy right now is very bad.” The debris left by Wednesday and Thursday’s rioting has quickly been cleared up, but the seething anger at Mutharika, a former World Bank economist, and his cabinet of degree-laden technocrats, shows no signs of disappearing. For some, 2014 elections cannot come soon enough. “2014 is too far for him, or he’ll destroy the country,” said Colby Mkupa, a civil servant sweating it out for three hours in a petrol queue. “This bunch of ‘doctors’ - they’ve completely failed.”


Such sentiment is hard to square with the official statistics about Malawi’s $5 billion economy - even those endorsed by institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. For most of the years since Mutharika came to power in 2004, it has been one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, with annual expansion near 10 percent, due mainly to a donor-funded fertiliser subsidy scheme

That has intensified this year as Mutharika has picked a fight with donors that have traditionally bankrolled 40 percent of the government’s budget. First in the firing line has been Britain, Malawi’s former colonial master and its biggest benefactor, whose ambassador was kicked out over a leaked diplomatic cable that referred to Mutharika as “autocratic and intolerant of criticism”. Britain responded by expelling

A protester burns vegetation in a street in Lilongwe July 20, 2011. – AP that boosted maize harvests. But even during the boom years, when sales of tobacco, its main export, were holding up, Malawi faced a perennial shortage of foreign exchange, putting strain on its currency, the kwacha , which is formally pegged at 150 to the dollar.

Malawi’s representative to London and suspending aid worth $550 million over the next four years, a move that pushed the black-market kwacha rate out to 190 in anticipation of a more severe foreign exchange crunch. As the dust settles from this week’s

crackdown it is hard not to see further declines in the currency - and a concomitant rise in the cost of imported goods such as clothes, food and fuel - as condemnation of the police action from Europe and Washington translates into smaller aid flows. There may even be a question mark over a $350 million US government project to overhaul the decrepit power grid. Unfortunately for most Malawians, Mutharika appears fixated on official growth statistics as proof of his prowess, and dismisses cries of autocracy by pointing out that his jails contain no political prisoners. Meanwhile, he is grooming his younger brother and education minister, Peter, as a successor, even though the latter is renowned for an even more patronising style than his sibling. “If his older brother is professorial, arrogant and patrician, Peter is professorial, arrogant and patrician times two,” one foreign resident of Lilongwe said. The civil society and union leaders who coordinated this week’s protests have set August 16 as a deadline for Mutharika to sit down and discuss the problems in a country that is also blighted with one of the region’s worst HIV/AIDS rates. But Mutharika appears in no mood to give ground. “I’m going to smoke you out if you go back to the streets,” he said at a televised police officer graduation on Friday. The mood on the street is equally unforgiving, suggesting further confrontation is almost inevitable in a country that prides itself on its peace-loving populace. “This week just gave them a lesson,” said Sanudi, the curio-seller. “August 17 - people are waiting for that day. They will go back on the streets and things will get worse. People want to fight for truth and democracy.” — Reuters

s Norway mourns the carnage wrought by a selfstyled crusader against Islam, news media around the world face hard questions about their haste to point fingers of suspicion at Muslims. Bloggers are taking the “mainstream media” to task on the Internet, professional journalists are trading barbs over who rushed to judgment quickest - or failed to question familiar, soundbite-friendly analysts - and Muslims, especially living in the West, are left wondering if popular mistrust will ever ease. “Tragic day for Norway, shameful day for journalism,” was how Brown University historian Shiva Balaghi characterised the coverage at, an Arab studies website: “In this 24/7 news cycle, driven even more mad by terror experts who conduct research using Google and tweet a mile a minute, journalists should exercise caution,” she wrote. While online media and broadcasters gradually shifted their focus on possible attackers from Islamists to local far-right militants, newspapers, especially in Europe, were embarrassed by the story changing as they went to press on Friday evening. Some held more firmly to the Islamist scenario than others. “‘Al Qaeda’ Massacre: Norway’s 9/11” splashed the banner headline on Saturday in Britain’s best-selling tabloid The Sun. Though it noted that the gunman had by then already been described as a blond man in police uniform, the paper’s brief front-page story said officials suspected “Islamist fanatics” and that the killer might be a “home-grown al Qaeda convert”. “‘Innocent until proven guilty’ has been replaced when it comes to Muslims by ‘guilty until proven innocent’,” concluded Iraqi-born British commentator Adnan Al-Daini at “Responsible media outlets must endeavour to do better. Innocent lives may depend on it.” Ivor Gaber, professor of political journalism at London’s City University, sees a mixture of “laziness” and “malevolence” on the part of the media - to be influenced by a “news agenda” set by past events, and also, for some, to propagate fear of an ever-changing roster of perceived threats to their readers. “We create moral panic because the popular media thrive on fear ... of the outsider,” he said. “The popular one today is the Islamic terrorist, so that gets immediately picked up.” If news headline writers were taken to task for lacking due caution in reporting on a situation that was far from clear - and in which Norwegian officials showed great circumspection in apportioning blame - then expert commentators and op-ed writers were also targets for heavy criticism over the weekend. Peter Knoope, the director of the Netherlands-based International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, said journalists had reflected what specialist analysts had been saying: “Although some of the reactions in the press yesterday were cautious many reflected the Western fixation on Jihadi terrorism,” he said. “One expert yesterday claimed that ‘the tall blond shooter was possibly a convert to Islam’. This reflects a mindset where all bad things have one possible source: Islamists.” Among specialists taking particular heat is Will McCants, a former US State Department counter-terrorism adviser now at Johns Hopkins University. He drew attention via Twitter to a posting on an Islamist web site shortly after the bombing, though he was sceptical it was a claim of responsibility. The prominence some media gave to McCants’ comments, notably the New York Times on its website, turned him into a target for other bloggers: the Palestinian site ran a piece on him and the newspaper headlined “How a clueless ‘terrorism expert’ set media suspicion on Muslims”. That prompted a round of commentary elsewhere from other security specialists explaining why they had been justified in initially saying that Islamists were the most likely attackers. Critics of journalism have argued the media may have amplified that focus on the part of experts in Islamist violence by failing to seek out so actively analysts with other expertise, such as the antiimmigration far-right in Europe. “We don’t recognise that most experts see things from a particular point of view,” said City University’s Gaber. “In such sensitive areas, journalists have to be careful. “They can provoke adverse reactions. One could easily imagine people of Arab origin being attacked in the streets.” In one of the more bizarre twists, blogger Sanum Ghafoor - @Strange_Sanum -launched a satirical series of tweets about knee-jerk reactions in the media. Her #blamethemuslims tag was for a time the most active topic on Twitter - partly it seemed because many users failed to see the joke, and were outraged. Passions have been particularly heated in the United States, where journalists on the left and right have traded acid remarks about not just the reporting of the news but commentaries on lessons that might be drawn from the bloodshed in Norway. “The Washington Post Owes the World an Apology,” wrote James Fallows at the website of the Atlantic monthly, complaining about the blogger Jennifer Rubin, whose post was still on the newspaper’s site arguing a need to combat an Islamist threat. “This is a sobering reminder for those who think it’s too expensive to wage a war against jihadists,” Rubin wrote. “No,” Fallows responded. “This is a sobering reminder for those who think it’s too tedious to reserve judgment about horrifying events rather than instantly turning them into talking points for pre-conceived views.” A fellow Atlantic writer, Jeffrey Goldberg, defended the instant analysis, however: “There are lessons here for everyone. “Readers do want to real-time thinking about breaking news stories ... It is not perverse or absurd for normal people to think of Al-Qaeda when they hear of acts of mass terrorism.” Even many Muslims acknowledged that their first thought on hearing of the events in Norway had been of an Islamist attack. “When any news like this comes up, our hearts really sink. It’s not just others, it is us too, that think it may be Islam-related,” said Basharat Nazir, as spokesman for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Britain, which was holding its annual gathering devoted to promoting peace this weekend. He said that when they got word that the killer in Norway was a local who professed to be a Christian, it had come as an “overwhelming relief” to his community, which had commissioned a ComRes poll last week that showed nearly a third of Britons think the media are most to blame for promoting fear of Islam. “The majority of the blame is that the media is highlighting all the negative aspects,” Nazir said. —Reuters


TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011

sp orts

Chandhok eyes more races LONDON: Indian Formula One driver Karun Chandhok is hoping for another race opportunity with Team Lotus, maybe even this year, despite finishing last in the German Grand Prix. Chandhok replaced Italian Jarno Trulli in a one-off appearance at the Nuerburgring on Sunday and completed the distance in his first race since being dropped by Hispania exactly one year ago. He ended up 20th and two laps behind team mate Heikki Kovalainen but Chandhok explained his lack of track time this year and inexperience with the new Pirelli tyres made that inevitable. “I believe I’ll get some more chances because (team boss) Tony (Fernandes) seems quite happy with the job I did, the engineers seem happy with the job I did,” the Indian told Reuters in an interview on Monday. “Bernie (Ecclestone) is very happy as well, he came to see Tony and me on the grid yesterday,” added the 27-year-old who has sought guidance in the past from the Formula One supremo. “I think I have done enough to warrant another go but whether it’s this year or next year or the year after, we have to wait and see. That’s a complicated situation. It’s just a question of when it happens.”—Reuters

Sanchez ready to learn BARCELONA: Chile forward Alexis Sanchez said he had come to Barcelona “to learn from the best” after signing a five-year contract with the Spanish champions yesterday. “I want to help Barca do what it has been doing: win titles,” Sanchez said after posing with his new blue-and-red jersey. The 22-yearold recognized it would be difficult to crack Barcelona’s starting 11 and in particular a strike featuring Lionel Messi and Spanish internationals David Villa and Pedro Rodriguez. “The easy part was making it here, the tough part is staying,” he

said. “I haven’t done anything yet. I hope to give it my all. We all have to learn from Leo (Messi) and Xavi (Hernandez).” Last week, Barcelona acquired Sanchez from Udinese for ?26 million ($37 million). The deal includes bonuses based on player performance and titles that could bring an extra ?11.5 million ($16.5 million) to the Italian club. Sanchez was a priority for Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, who wanted to bolster his attack with a long season looming and a restocked Real Madrid geared to challenge Barcelona’s recent dominance. —AP

Isinbayeva on track for worlds MOSCOW: Olympic champion and pole vault record holder Yelena Isinbayeva will compete at next month’s world championships despite suffering a hand injury last week, Russian athletics chief Valentin Balakhnichyov said yesterday. Isinbayeva, who had returned to competition this year after an 11-month break, was forced to pull out of a meeting in Lucerne last Thursday after the Russian injured her wrist. “I spoke to Yelena shortly after her injury and she told me not too worry too much,” Balakhnichyov told Reuters. “She said it’s a minor one and she should be fine in the next few days.” The 29-year-old would next compete at the Diamond League meeting in Stockholm on Friday, Balakhnichyov added. “I’ve talked to her coach Yevgeny Trofimov and he confirmed the injury would not disrupt her training too much,” he said. “Yelena is our biggest star athlete and we’ll make sure she is well prepared for the world championships.” Balkakhnichyov said Isinbayeva had something to prove in Daegu, South Korea after failing to record a height in the 2009 world outdoor championships final in Berlin and finishing out of the medals at last year’s world indoor championships in Doha.—Reuters

Pirates snap 3-game skid

JRM secures double for Nissan with brilliant GT1 Championship Race win The German duo of Michael Krumm and Lucas Luhr followed up Saturday’s GT1 Qualifying Race victory in the no.23 JRM Racing Nissan GT-R with more of the same in the Championship Race at Paul Ricard, leading from beginning to end and putting themselves back on top of the GT1 Drivers’ Championship standings in the process. The no.21 Sumo Power GT of David Brabham and Jamie Campbell-Walter clinched an excellent fourth place after making up seven grid positions during the course of the race, whilst there were also good drives from Enrique Bernoldi and Nick Catsburg in the no.20 car. The only sour note of the afternoon for Nissan came with the retirement of the luckless no.22 JRM, which encountered suspension problems late on in the race when challenging for third place. A large number of penalties applied by the race stewards in relation to the Qualifying Race meant a starting grid that bore little resemblance to Saturday’s final race positions, with the first placed no.23 JRM the only Nissan to start where it finished. The no.22 and no.21 were both penalised three positions for cutting track corners, although due to similar penalties being incurred by several other cars around them they actually ended up only dropping two places (no.22) and one place (no.21) respectively. This meant that the four GT-Rs started the race in first (no.23 JRM), sixth (no.22 JRM), seventh (no.20 Sumo Power GT) and 11th (no.21 Sumo Power GT) positions. A clean race start saw Krumm comfortably retain his first position going into the allimportant and often incident-packed first corner in the no.23 JRM, with the no.22 and 20 Nissans doing likewise in sixth and seventh. The No.21 Sumo Power GT was the only GT-R to lose a position on the opening lap, falling back one to 12th place, but this would only prove to be a catalyst for some highlyskilled and pulsating driving from CampbellWalter, who made four excellent passing manoeuvres to leave his car in a comfortable eighth place come the opening of the pit window on 25 minutes. At the front, having worn the fresh tyres in, the no.23 JRM started to pull away from the chasing no.7 Aston Martin, establishing a four second lead ahead of the mandatory tyre and driver changes, whilst Westbrook’s stint behind the wheel saw the no.22 JRM make a good overtaking manoeuvre to come into the pits in fifth. The main Nissan pit stop beneficiary this time round was the no.21 Sumo Power GT, with some brilliant work by the car’s pit crew allowing the fresh behind the wheel Brabham to come out two places up the order in sixth. There were satisfactory stops for the two JRMs, with the no.23 and no.22 JRM retaining first and fifth respectively, whilst the no.20 Sumo Power GT found itself losing a couple of places to come back out in ninth. The opening stages of the second half of the race saw the no.23’s lead to second place slashed to nearly nothing as the no.8 Young

Driver Aston Martin, having overtaken it’s no.7 team-mate in the pits, managed to close right up to Luhr’s tail: there followed several tense laps before the GT-R managed to pull away and build a near two second gap again. Slightly further back, Dumbreck was having a strong drive behind the wheel of the no.22 JRM, easily overtaking the no.41 Ford GT for fourth place, whilst Bernoldi, having closed a substantial gap to the cars in front of him, made two great overtakes in the final quarter of the race, lifting the no.20 Sumo Power GT up into seventh. Just when everything was looking rosy for Nissan there was to be unfortunate late drama as the no.22 JRM, which has endured a terrible run of bad luck throughout the length of this season’s Championship, suffered a suspension problem whilst pushing hard for third place, ending its race challenge instantly. Dumbreck’s loss promoted Brabham’s into fifth, and the Australian was to go one better and over take the Ford for fourth on the penultimate lap - an astonishing achievement given the no.21’s start on the sixth row of the grid. Up ahead meanwhile, Luhr was able to withstand a renewed push from the no.8 Aston Martin in second to claim the no.23 JRM’s second GT1 race victory in as many days. Speaking afterwards, Michael Krumm said: “It’s a brilliant feeling to get a double victory here at Paul Ricard and jump back into the lead in the Drivers’ Championship - the GT-R felt really great out there, and it handled very comfortably throughout my stint behind the wheel. “The most important thing for me today was to have a good getaway and get through the first corner without an accident, which I did. As expected, Tomas (Enge) in the following no.7 Aston gave me a very hard time during the first few laps, and it took a while to get the tyre pressures up. However, after about three or four laps I found the grip and I was able to start building a little bit of a gap: I wanted to make as big a gap as I could for the driver change in case anything went wrong. Overall it really has been a perfect weekend — now it’s on to the great unknown of China, which we’ll obviously be approaching with a lot of confidence.” Michael’s team-mate in the no.23 JRM, Lucas Luhr, added: “When I left the pits I had quite a good gap but evidentally the no.8 Aston pushed quite hard on his out lap, because I soon saw him coming up behind me in my mirrors and I thought ‘this is going to be close!’. After a few laps the tyre pressure came up and then I could control the pace more, but I still didn’t want to risk pushing too much, as we saw what can happen with tyre degradation on this track yesterday: I didn’t overstretch. “Once again, Michael and I need to thank the whole team for their hard work, and for giving us the wonderful tools with which we can win races. Two wins is a great feeling!” Round eight of the GT1 World Championship, in Ordos, China will take place on the weekend of Sept 3- 4.

NFL, players agree to deal

WASHINGTON: NFL owners and players agreed early yesterday to the terms of a deal to end the lockout, and players were expected to begin the voting process later in the day, two people familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the process was supposed to remain secret and no formal announcement had been made. The NFL Players Association’s executive committee was to meet Monday to be presented with the finalized agreement. Owners overwhelmingly approved a proposal last week, but some unresolved issues still needed to be figured out to satisfy players. The sides worked through the weekend and wrapped up talks Monday morning, one of the people told the AP. The

league’s old labor deal expired in March, and the owners locked out the players, the NFL’s first work stoppage since 1987. “We have every reason to believe it’s going to be a good day,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in an email to the AP. If players sign off on the agreement later yesterday NFL clubs would be able to start signing 2011 draft picks and rookie free agents on Tuesday. Conversations with veteran free agents also could start Tuesday, and signings could begin Friday. Under that tentative schedule, training camps would open for 10 of the 32 teams on Wednesday, 10 teams on Thursday, another 10 teams on Friday, and the last two teams on Sunday. The major economic framework for the deal was worked out more than a week ago. —AP

PITTSBURGH: Xavier Paul scored on Chase d’Arnaud’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10th as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals 43 on Sunday. Paul legged out an infield hit with one out against St. Louis reliever Jason Motte (3-2), then stole second and advanced to third when catcher Gerald Laird’s throw rolled into center field. D’Arnaud lined to center and the speedy Paul easily beat the throw from center fielder Colby Rasmus as the Pirates snapped a three-game losing streak. Joe Beimel (1-1) retired the Cardinals in order to pick up his first victory as a Pirate in more than eight years. Ronny Cedeno and Eric Fryer had two hits apiece for Pittsburgh. Dodgers 3, Nationals 1 At Los Angeles, Chad Billingsley overcame a shaky first inning to pitch seven innings of two-hit ball and Aaron Miles drove in two runs as Los Angeles beat Washington. Both of Washington’s hits came in the first inning on singles by Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse, who drove in Washington’s run. Billingsley (9-8) allowed only one baserunner after that, issuing a leadoff walk to Jayson Werth in the fourth. Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect eighth, and rookie Javy Guerra did likewise in the ninth for his seventh save in as many attempts. The Dodgers have won seven of their last 12 games, and Guerra has preserved five of the wins. D’backs 7, Rockies 0 At Phoenix, Justin Upton went 4 for 4 with two doubles, a triple and three RBIs as Arizona took two of three from Colorado with a victory in what might have been Ubaldo Jimenez’s last start for the Rockies. Upton, who reached base five times, has nine RBIs in his last two games. The Diamondbacks, finishing a 6-4 home stand, scored five times on eight hits in five innings against Jimenez (6-9), reportedly available for the right offer before the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline. Micah Owings (4-0), in a spot start as the Diamondbacks search for a reliable fifth starter, blanked the Rockies on two hits through five innings, striking out two and walking three. He also had an RBI single. Cubs 5, Astros 4 At Chicago, pinch-hitter Jeff

PITTSBURGH: Pirates’ Xavier Paul (38) scores from third with the game-winning run as St. Louis Cardinals catcher Gerld Laird (left) waits for the late throw from center fielder Colby Rasmus during the tenth inning.—AP Mike Fontenot and Jeff Keppinger Baker’s game-winning single in the four-plus innings. It was 94 degrees 10th inning helped Chicago com- for the first pitch Sunday, and each drove in runs for the Giants, plete its first three-game sweep at Halladay allowed three runs and who have won seven of 10 games Wrigley Field in nearly two years as eight hits and didn’t get the side in since the All-Star break. Aubrey Huff had three hits and Brandon Belt the Cubs beat Houston. It’s Chicago’s order until the sixth. added two. Ryan Braun homered for Marlins 5, Mets 4 first three-game winning streak this At Miami, John Buck doubled for the Brewers, who lost for the third season. Marlon Byrd led off the 10th inning with a deep fly ball to right- his first career pinch-hit RBI to drive time in four games. Prince Fielder and center. Astros right fielder Hunter in the go-ahead run with two out in Corey Hart each had two hits. Yovani Pence was in the area to catch it but the eighth inning as Florida rallied Gallardo (11-7) lasted seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits. apparently lost it in the sun. Byrd past New York. Reds 4, Braves 3 The Marlins trailed 4-3 going into ended up on third with a triple. At Cincinnati, Drew Stubbs led off Astros reliever David Carpenter (0- the eighth against Bobby Parnell (31) then struck out Geovany Soto, 2). Logan Morrison led off with a the ninth inning with a first-pitch after intentional walks to Tony game-tying homer, and Mike Stanton homer, sending Cincinnati to a victoCampana and Darwin Barney, Baker singled. A sacrifice advanced the run- ry over Atlanta and their first set of ended the game with a liner down ner, and Buck put Florida ahead. back-to-back victories in more than the left-field line. Cubs reliever John Buck, the Marlins’ regular catcher, was five weeks. The defending NL Central Grabow (2-0) pitched a scoreless 10th pinch-hitting for only the third time champions hadn’t won consecutive this season. Florida’s Emilio Bonifacio games since June 14-15. Stubbs went inning to earn the win. singled leading off the first inning to the opposite way on the first offering Phillies 5, Padres 3 At Philadelphia, Roy Halladay extend his career-best hitting streak from Scott Linebrink (3-2), completbounced back from his shortest stint to 23 games, the longest active streak ing the Reds’ all-power night. of the season to strike out eight in in the majors. Stanton hit his 22nd Brandon Phillips hit a two-run homer, and Miguel Cairo added a solo shot eight innings and lead Philadelphia home run. off rookie Brandon Beachy, giving Giants 2, Brewers 1 to a win over San Diego. Raul Ibanez At San Francisco, Madison Cincinnati a 3-0 lead. and Carlos Ruiz each had two RBIs to Francisco Cordero (4-3) struck out lead the Phillies to their fifth straight Bumgarner pitched into the eighth win. Halladay (12-4) had trouble inning as the San Francisco Giants pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad with a pitching in the heat and humidity in survived another one-run game, runner on third base to end the Braves’ ninth.—AP his last start at Chicago and left after beating Milwaukee.

Red Sox defeat Mariners BOSTON: Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove in four runs and Kevin Youkilis hit a two-run homer as the Boston Red Sox extended the Seattle Mariners’ franchise-worst losing streak to 15 games with a 12-8 win Sunday. Tim Wakefield (6-3) joined Roger Clemens as the only pitchers to strike out 2,000 batters with Boston and moved one win away from his 200th victory. But the 44-year-old knuckleballer left after giving up Brendan Ryan’s grand slam that cut the lead to 11-7 with one out in the seventh. Boston’s powerhouse lineup had 17 hits with Saltalamacchia, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford getting three each. Blue Jays 3, Rangers 0 At Arlington, Texas, Brett Cecil allowed just four hits for his second complete game in his last four starts. It was the first career shutout for Cecil (3-4), whose only other complete game in his 55 games was in a loss July 5 at Boston. The left-hander allowed only four singles to the AL West-leading Rangers, who had only one runner reach second base. Jose Bautista had an RBI double and a diving catch in an unusual spot to back up Cecil, who struck out seven and walked two. Bautista’s hit sent home Yunel Escobar, who led off the sixth with his third hit. Edwin Encarnacion and Travis Snider had consecutive RBI doubles later in the inning off All-Star right-hander Alexi Ogando (10-4). Yankees 7, Athletics 5 At New York, Bartolo Colon pitched seven effective innings to end a three-start losing streak and Curtis Granderson connected for a two-run homer to lead New York over Oakland. Eduardo Nunez hit a two-run double and catcher Russell Martin was in the middle of everything for the Yankees. They beat All-Star lefty Gio Gonzalez and returned to their winning ways against the A’s when Mariano Rivera staved off a rally in the ninth with a bit of good fortune. Hideki Matsui’s fifth hit, which matched a career high, loaded the bases with one out in the ninth. Josh Willingham cut it to 7-5 with an RBI single, the only run Rivera has allowed in 22 outings at home this season. Angels 9, Orioles 3 At Baltimore, Tyler Chatwood allowed two runs in seven innings, and Mike Trout and Torii Hunter homered in a five-run eighth as Los Angeles beat Baltimore. The Angels were protecting a 3-2 lead in the eighth before turning the game into a rout

BOSTON: Seattle Mariners’ Michael Pineda pitches in the first inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox.—AP

against reliever Mark Worrell. After Trout hit his first major league homer, a three-run drive, Hunter followed a walk to Maicer Izturis with a shot into the left-field seats. The 19-year-old Trout was batting .162 with two RBIs before connecting on a 3-1 pitch. Trout, who made his debut on July 8, is the youngest player in the majors. White Sox 4, Indians 2 At Cleveland, Edwin Jackson beat Cleveland for the ninth straight time after Cleveland rookie Ezequiel Carrera dropped an easy fly ball in center field to give Chicago two runs in a victory over Cleveland. Jackson (7-7) allowed one run and four hits over six innings to go to 9-1 in his career against Cleveland. He is 9-0 with a 2.61 ERA against the Indians since losing to them on Aug. 17, 2007, when he was with Tampa Bay. Adam Dunn lofted a pitch from Justin Masterson (8-7) to straightaway center with two outs in the sixth and runners on first and second. Carrera camped under the towering fly near the warning track. He looked up, stumbled to his right, then ducked as the ball glanced off his glove and fell to the ground. Rays 5, Royals 0 At Kansas City, Missouri, Alex Cobb curbed the

Royals on six singles in seven scoreless innings and Ben Zobrist had three hits and drove in two runs to help Tampa Bay beat Kansas City. Cobb (3-0) struck out two and walked none to pick up the victory and lowered his earned run average to 2.57. He has allowed one earned run in 13 innings in two starts since being recalled July 18. Cobb, a rookie right-hander who was a 2006 fourthround pick, is unbeaten in his first seven major league starts, the first Rays pitcher to accomplish that. Tigers 5, Twins 2 At Minneapolis, Rick Porcello cruised through six innings as Detroit took advantage of Francisco Liriano’s control problems in a win over Minnesota. Jhonny Peralta, Wilson Betemit and Ramon Santiago each had an RBI, and the Tigers extended their lead in the AL Central to two games for the first time this season. Victor Martinez added three hits for Detroit and Jose Valverde converted his 26th consecutive save opportunity. Porcello (10-6) allowed two runs on five hits in six innings and improved to 4-0 this month. Delmon Young had two hits for the Twins, who finished a 12-game homestand 6-6 and are now seven games back in the AL Central.—AP



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Hamilton triumph breathes new life int NUERBURGRING: As the Formula One season moves into its second half Sebastian Vettel’s armour suddenly appears to have some chinks after Lewis Hamilton’s superb victory left the German in the shade for the second consecutive race in his previously imperious Red Bull. The world champion shrugged off being out-raced by Spain’s Fernando Alonso in the British Grand Prix a fortnight ago but on Sunday he failed to finish on the podium for the first time this season when he under-performed at his home race. While he still has a huge 77-point lead over team mate Mark Webber, the remaining nine rounds now promise to be anything but a dull procession to a second consecutive title for Vettel with Hamilton clearly eyeing a late charge. Whether it is engine regulations, desper-

Australia bows down before ‘King Cadel’ SYDNEY: Australia celebrated its first Tour de France champion in 108 years yesterday with the achievement of Cadel Evans being ranked alongside the greatest moments in the country’s rich sporting history. With plenty of time to sharpen their pencils after Evans destroyed Andy Schleck in Saturday’s time trial in Grenoble to assure himself of victory, the country’s media was dominated by the story of the slender 34year-old’s triumph. “King Cadel” trumpeted the frontpage of Melbourne’s the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald led with a banner headline “Joy and agony of a champion” above a large picture of Evans all contained in a yellow box. “ Tour de Champ” raved Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, while the Australian was the only of the major newspapers to lead on the Nor way massacre with Evans-the “Tour champion 13 years in the making”-further down the front page. Many compared Evans’s breakthrough triumph to Australia winning sailing’s America’s Cup in 1983 to end the 132-year monopoly of the trophy by the United States. “ This is a historic day for Evans and a monumental day in the history of Australian cycling and sport in general,” said Mike Turtur, an Olympic champion track cyclist and race director of the Tour Down Under. “Cadel Evans also showed that he is a pretty special athlete, blessed with a very big motor ... this achievement by Evans puts him ... right up there with what we as a nation have achieved across any number of other sports at the Olympics, world championships and winning the America’s Cup.” Turtur, who said he would be delighted if Evans were to race in the Tour Down Under next year, said the fact that he had achieved what he had without drugs was significant. “It was done with true grit, a great deal of guts and a panache to prove to the world you can win the biggest race in the world while riding clean,” Tutur told the Australian paper. “What Evans has done is to send a massive clear message to the idiots who still want to dope and not just in cycling.” Although Evans was the oldest winner of cycling’s most prestigious race since World War II, a leading Australian cycling coach thinks he could repeat his triumph. “There is longevity if you’re looking after yourself, which Cadel does, he does everything right,” Dave Sanders of the Victorian Institute of Sport, where Evans made the switch from mountain bikes to road racing in 2001, told AAP. “He could have another couple in him, for sure-whether he wants to. This was the great landmark in his mind ... this is what he’s lived for.” Australia’s government granted a national holiday after the 1983 America’s Cup triumph but Prime Minister Julia Gillard said she would not be marking Evan’s achievement in the same way. “I do want to say a very big congratulations to Cadel Evans,” she said in Hobart on Sunday. “I had the opportunity this morning to speak and to personally offer my congratulations. I believe I disturbed him while he was trying to get a nice, hot bath.” —Reuters

ation to catch up or Red Bull team taking their foot of the metaphorical gas, the other two current powers of the sport are catching up fast. It may still be too late to prevent Vettel winning the title but Hamilton, who clinched a brilliant victory in his McLaren on Sunday, was talking up the battles ahead. “I think it is always a plus, no matter what point of the season is, to be at the front,” he said after jumping into third place in the points standings. “We are back in the fight.” The circus quickly moves on from chilly Germany to a warmer Hungary this weekend where Hamilton has won twice. The season then takes a break. Alonso was second despite not being entirely happy with his weekend at the

Nuerburgring, which just shows how far Ferrari have come from their disappointing early races. The great imponderable is why the Red Bulls are suddenly being snared with Webber third and Vettel only fourth in front of his home crowd. “We weren’t quick enough. I did everything I could,” Australian Webber said. “These guys just had that little extra margin. We know what we have to improve on.” Vettel, who was second at Silverstone after team bosses ordered a peeved Webber not to overtake in the closing stages, can not rely on any support from the Australian who is still his biggest rival. Asked if he expected a close fight now between the big four, Webber, the only one of the quartet not to have won the title, said: “Yeah hope so.” Ominous words for a wounded Vettel.

Meanwhile, Formula One leade Sebastian Vettel demanded to know wh his Red Bull lacked the pace of team mat Mark Webber ’s car on Sunday as th German endured a forgettable home grand prix but for a slice of luck at the end. The world champion, who had won si of the previous nine races this season, end ed a run of 11 straight podiums when h came home fourth with fifth spot looking on the cards before a late pitstop blunde for Ferrari’s Felipe Massa. “I didn’t feel too good all weekend, I nev er got to the pace Mark had in his car Vettel told reporters as disappointed fan filed away from a dreary Nuerburgring. At the British Grand Prix two weeks ago an angry Webber was ordered not to over take Vettel, reinforcing the neutral’s view that the German is Red Bull’s number on

O’Hair wins playo claim Canadian O VANCOUVER: Sean O’Hair beat fellow American Kris Blanks in a sudden death playoff to capture the Canadian Open on Sunday while Adam Hadwin’s stirring bid to become the first home-grown winner in 57 years fell short. O’Hair bogeyed the first playoff hole then watched as Blanks missed his bogey putt from five feet for a chance to extend the playoff as he recorded his fourth career PGA Tour win and first since 2009. O’Hair, who started the day three shots behind overnight leader Bo Van Pelt, clawed his way into contention with a two-under-par 68 while Blanks, the first-round leader, shot 69 to force a playoff after rolling in a 10-foot par putt on 18. Blanks and O’Hair, who had been without a top 10 finish this season, both finished the regulation 72 holes at fourunder-par 276. Argentine Andres Romero, who rallied on the back nine with five birdies, had looked poised to make it a three-way playoff until a bogey at the last left him one shot out after an even-par 70.

VANCOUVER: Adam Hadwin, of Abbotsford holds up the trophy for the top Canadian after finishing tied for fourth place at the Canadian Open golf tournament. —AP

“Obviously it has been a tough year,” O’Hair told reporters. “When I played the Pro Am, this is a very intimidating golf course, I played horrific. “Wednesday night was probably the lowest point of my year. “I just didn’t know how I was going to play this week and to be sitting here now is amazing.” The playoff capped a dramatic afternoon at Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club, much of it centred around Hadwin, a 23-year-old unknown who started the day just one shot off the lead and in position to become the first Canadian since Pat Fletcher in 1954 to win the national championship. Playing in the final group alongside overnight leader Van Pelt and Romero, there was no mistaking who the large gallery was backing, Hadwin greeted by a thundering roar and calls of “You can do it Adam” as he appeared on the first tee. Teeing it up in just his third PGA Tour event, Hadwin had been a cool customer all week but finally seemed overwhelmed by the enormity of the moment carding a bogey on the opening hole, another at the fourth and a double-bogey at the eighth. Just when all seemed lost, Hadwin launched a back nine challenge that electrified the galleries with three straight birdies from the 12th to rocket back into contention just one off the lead with four holes to play. But Hadwin’s rally stalled and he finished with a 72 and a tie for fourth with Australian Geoff Ogilvy (70) on 278. “Being in the final group and playing for an entire country was pretty exciting,” said Hadwin, who earns his living on the Canadian Tour. “I wish I had been able to start off a little better but I brought it back and I had a chance. “I played some great golf and in the end I only fell two shots short. I belong out there.” The final round saw some familiar names make big moves. South African Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, four-over after his opening six holes, hit back with six birdies for a 69 to join 19-year-old American amateur sensation Patrick Cantlay (69), Spencer Levin (69) and fan favourite John Daly (72) in a tie for ninth on even-par 280. “It’s been a struggle,” said Daly, after his first top 10 in six years. “I know I was kind of out of it there with four or five

VANCOUVER winning th Shaughnessy

holes to go bu World num first three rou final day gett stumbled at t holes to settle

Said Al Mouri crowned King

Kuwaiti Drifter: ‘Luck was not on m

BEIRUT: In front of thousands of motorsports fans gathered at the Forum of Beirut yards, Saudi Said Al Mouri was crowned “Middle East King of Drift”, winning the finals of Red Bull Car Park Drift hosted by the Lebanese capital under the patronage of the Minister of Youth and Sports Faysal Karameh, and in collaboration with the Automobile and Touring Club of Lebanon (ATCL). Beirut finals beat all expectations on Friday night as pilots offered unprecedented performances of a very high level for an outstanding, one-of-a-kind audience, while a very professional organization translated in excellent techniques and extremely high safety standards. Said Al Mouri won on his Chevrolet Lumina collecting the highest score after highly challenging per formances that proved pilots were very well prepared both technically and mentally, to compete for the regional title of Red Bull Car Park Drift. Performance was at its utmost in the final competition where engine roaring and tire friction on the track ground especially designed by speed race champion Abdo Feghali. Kuwaiti Drifter Salah Bin Eidan said: “I participated in the event although my car was hit with major mechanical problems. I tried my best to represent Kuwait in the best possible way; hopefully next year if I qualify I will try competing for the title.” Participants made incredibly precise turns

using their hand brakes and techniques as well as the power and equipment of their cars. Each pilot showed his own drifting style and designed his car appearance to attract the crowd’s attention and appeal to the judges. Therefore, excited crowds cheered

the candidates during all phases of the competition. Karameh launched the show while in the passenger seat next to Feghali and experienced the speed and thrill. Next, the 14 participants representing 14 countries: KSA, UAE, Kuwait, the Sultanate of Oman,



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Coach says B’desh need ‘right tempo’ DHAKA: Bangladesh’s cricketers, who play their first Test in more than a year in Zimbabwe next week, need to find the “right tempo” if they are to succeed, coach Stuart Law said yesterday. Bangladesh open the tour with a three-day practice game on Saturday before playing a one-off Test and five one-day internationals. The Test starts in Harare on August 4. “Once again it’s not a skill problem from what I have seen of our boys. It’s a mental problem and it has to change to play Test cricket. Find the tempo that suits Test cricket with your batting,” Law said before the team’s departure. “You don’t have to go four-and-a-half or five-runs an over during a Test match. If we can find the right tempo I am sure we can post scores on the board. “I have set challenge for us to bat 120 overs in the first innings. If we can do that and the way our boys play and the skill they have, a total of 350-plus should

be pretty achievable.” Bangladesh, currently ninth in the Test rankings, played their last Test in June 2010 but the coach said he was hopeful the team would rise to the occasion. “The boys have played a lot of oneday and Twenty20 cricket. It’s not ideal, but on the other hand it should be very exciting getting back into Test arena,” said Law. “For me Test cricket is number one. Hopefully, the boys will react to it that way and it’s a great opportunity as well to take the step up that ladder.” Law said Zimbabwe would be tough to beat. “Zimbabwe had their problems off the field, but they will be a very tough unit. It’s going to be a tough Test obviously. Any Test away from home can be tough,” the coach said. Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan said it would be a challenge playing Zimbabwe on their home soil. “It is challenging, more so because we are playing a Test after such a long gap,” he said.—AFP

Four All Blacks to miss Tri-Nations test WELLINGTON: New Zealand will rest at least four key players for Saturday’s Tri-Nations rugby test against South Africa in a decision which is unlikely to win favor with all of its supporters. Assistant coach Wayne Smith confirmed Monday that Canterbury Crusaders forwards Brad Thorn, Owen Franks and Kieran Read and Auckland Blues hooker Keven Mealamu will be released from the All Blacks squad this week to recuperate from tiring Super 15 campaigns. Smith said the All Blacks coaches were sticking to a plan to manage the workload of players to ensure none burned out before the World Cup. But New Zealand fans have been wary of such policies since 2007 when a similar move to rest players backfired at that year’s World Cup. Lock Thorn, prop Franks, backrower Read and Mealamu all missed New Zealand’s opening test of the season against Fiji on Friday, but Smith said all four were still in need of rest after an arduous Super 15, especially the runner up Crusaders. “We’re just sticking to the plans that we’ve got,” Smith said. “So every player is on an individual plan and some are champing at the bit to get out and play, some are a wee bit overcooked ... so we’re just sticking to that, making sure that we look after people. “Our experience is that you’re better to put the ones that are champing at the bit out there. We’re about winning test matches and the hungry players, the ones that are fresh and ready to go, they’ll be playing.” That may see center Sonny Bill Williams and scrumhalf Andy Ellis,

both from the Crusaders, return to the All Blacks lineup for Saturday’s test in Wellington after missing the match against Fiji. Smith insisted it was necessary to manage the workload of players individually in a World Cup season. “It’s not so much what they’re saying, it’s more what we’ve observed and experienced in the past, and also understanding what we’ve got coming up, so it’s a joint decision,” he said. Smith said all players would likely be available for New Zealand’s second Tri-Nations test against Australia in Auckland on Aug. 6. “ We feel that by the time this game’s over they would have had a couple of weeks at home with family, recovered, refreshed, recharged, ready to go,” he said. The Springboks, who lost 39-20 to Australia in Sydney on Saturday, have rested 21 frontline players for the away legs of their Tri-Nations fixtures, but Smith said their rest policy differed from New Zealand’s. “You can’t really compare our situation to what the Springboks have done,” he said. “The Springboks have made a choice to rest a big group of players. We’re making individual choices on who’s ready to play this week to win the test match and we’re sticking to that.” The All Blacks also sought to manage players’ workloads prior to the 2007 World Cup, withdrawing squad members from almost half of that year’s Super 14. They went on to lose to hosts France in the quarterfinals their worst-ever World Cup campaign - and later conceded players may have been lacking match play.—AP

LONDON: England’s close fielders, Ian Bell (left) Andrew Strauss, Eoin Morgan and wicketkeeper Matt Prior appeal for lbw for India’s Suresh Raina during the fifth day of the first Test at Lord’s Cricket ground.—AP

England rout India LONDON: James Anderson took five wickets as England thrashed India by 196 runs to win the first Test at Lord’s here yesterday. Victory gave England a 1-0 lead in a four-match series which if they win it by two Tests will see them replace India at the top of the ICC’s Test Championship table. India, needing what would have been a Test record fourth innings victory total of 458, were bowled out for 261. Anderson took five for 65 in 28 overs during an innings where Suresh Raina top-scored with 78. Kevin Pietersen was named man-of-thematch for his 202 not out in England’s first innings 474 for eight declared. Before tea India had seen Sachin Tendulkar’s latest bid to score his 100th international hundred, and first in a Lord’s Test, end in failure when he was lbw to Anderson for 12. They started the final session on 218 for five, with Raina 54 not out and India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni 16 not out. Importantly England had a new ball that was only an over old and fast bowler Chris Tremlett used it well to dismiss Dhoni for his interval score as he edged a rising delivery to wicketkeeper Matt Prior. New batsman Harbhajan Singh went for his shots, taking boundaries off Tremlett and Stuart Broad. Raina, on 63, with India 243 for six, survived a huge lbw appeal from Broad which replays indicated was right in front. It did not prove decisive, however, with left-hander Raina ninth man out when he was caught behind off Anderson to end more than two hours’ resistance featuring 10 fours. Broad finished the match with more than 28 overs to spare when he had last man Ishant Sharma lbw for one. Tendulkar, in front of a capacity crowd in what was the 2,000th Test of all-time and the 100th between the two countries, rarely looked comfortable from then on and he might have been lbw for 11 to Broad. Tendulkar spent 38 balls on 11 in all but it still seemed as if it might be his day when, on 12, he was dropped by England

captain Andrew Strauss at first slip off Anderson. But two balls later Anderson nipped one back to strike Tendulkar in front of his stumps and this time New Zealand’s Bowden raised his finger to end a becalmed 85-minute innings that featured just one boundary. India were 165 for five with the 38-yearold Tendulkar, who has now made 195 runs in nine Test innings at Lord’s at an average of 21.66 with a best of 37 four years ago, contemplating the possibility his glittering career will not include a Test century at the ‘home of cricket’. India had started the day on 80 for one, with Rahul Dravid 34 not out and Venkatsai Laxman 32 not out after Prior’s unbeaten 103 on Sunday had rescued England from the depths of 62 for five. Dravid, who made an unbeaten century in the first innings, was out for 36, caught behind playing away from his body off Anderson. Laxman, in trademark style, flicked Broad of his legs for a boundary to complete a 104-ball fifty featuring eight fours. But he gave his wicket away on 56 when he pulled Anderson to Ian Bell at mid-wicket before Gautam Gambhir was lbw to Swann for 22. England captain Andrew Strauss described his side’s performance as “outstanding”. “It’s always tough to bowl sides out on the fifth day, if you’re going to do it you need a disciplined bowling attack, I can’t praise them enough, they stuck to their task well,” he told Sky Sports. “We had to work hard, India didn’t give anything away. India are a very, very good side and showed glimpses of it in this test, I’m sure they’ll improve.” His Indian counterpart, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, said the absence of injured spearhead fast bowler Zaheer Khan had been “a big blow”. But he added: “It’s a long series, we have three more tests to go and more exciting cricket left. Fingers crossed for Trent Bridge.” The series continues with the second Test at Trent Bridge starting Friday.—AFP

SCOREBOARD LONDON: Final scoreboard on the fifth day of the first Test between England and India at Lord’s yesterday:

England 1st Innings 474-8 dec (K Pietersen 202 no, M Prior 71, J Trott 70; P Kumar 5-106) India 1st Innings 286 (R Dravid 103 no; S Broad 4-37, C Tremlett 3-80) England 2nd Innings 269-6 dec (M Prior 103 no, S Broad 74 no; I Sharma 4-59) India 2nd Innings (overnight: 80-1) A. Mukund b Broad 12 R. Dravid c Prior b Anderson 36 V. Laxman c Bell b Anderson 56 G. Gambhir lbw b Swann 22 S. Tendulkar lbw b Anderson 12 S. Raina c Prior b Anderson 78 MS Dhoni c Prior b Tremlett 16 Harbhajan Singh c Tremlett b Anderson 12 P. Kumar b Broad 2 Zaheer Khan not out 0 I. Sharma lbw b Broad 1 Extras (b2, lb6, nb6) 14 Total (all out, 96.3 overs, 444 mins) 261 Fall of wickets: 1-19 (Mukund), 2-94 (Dravid), 3131 (Laxman), 4-135 (Gambhir), 5-165 (Tendulkar), 6-225 (Dhoni), 7-243 (Harbhajan), 8-256 (Kumar), 9-260 (Raina), 10-261 (Sharma) Bowling: Anderson 28-7-65-5; Tremlett 21-4-44-1 (6nb); Broad 20.3-4-57-3; Swann 22-3-64-1; Trott 20-11-0; Pietersen 3-0-12-0. England: Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior (wkt), Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Chris Tremlett, James Anderson Result: England won by 196 runs Man of the match: Kevin Pietersen (ENG) Series: England lead four-match series 1-0

Wataniya Telecom sponsors Kuwait Wakeboard team

NORCROSS: Mardy Fish poses with the trophy after defeating John Isner to win the Atlanta Tennis championships.—AP

Fish comes back to defend Atlanta title ATLANTA: World number nine Mardy Fish saved two match points in recording a 3-6 7-6 6-2 victory over fellow American John Isner to defend his Atlanta Tennis Championship title on Sunday. In a repeat of last year ’s final, American No.1 Fish was deep in trouble in the second set tiebreak when he trailed 5-1 and 6-4 but reeled off four straight points to take the match into a decider at the racquet Club of the South. The momentum carried over to the third set as Fish broke Isner in the first game and then held to love. “When you’re in that position, it’s almost over,” Fish told the ATP Tour website. “I was lucky to get out of it. I stuck

some returns and put some balls in play. I played some good points from then on.” Isner was unable to capitalise on two break points in the sixth game of the decider, then gifted another break to Fish when he double-faulted twice to fall behind 5-2. “I ran out of gas in the third set,” Isner told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “I didn’t feel my best. Maybe it was the heat. I don’t know what it was but it was the difference in the third set.”Fish closed out the match to win his sixth title and deny Isner a consecutive trophy after he won on the Newport, Rhode Island grasscourts two weeks ago. The Atlanta tournament is the first in the US Open series which culminates in the Flushing Meadows grand slam.—Reuters

KUWAIT: Encouraging active sports and taking part in socially responsible initiatives, Wataniya Telecom has recently sponsored the one year regional tour for the internationally renowned Kuwait Wakeboard Team. The local water sports team is officially recognized by the Wakeboard Federation and is led by five professional riders that have marked Kuwait as the first Arab country to be represented on an international front in the water sports field. Established since 2006 and known for their international success and inventive nature in water spor ts, the Kuwait Wakeboard Team have mastered skiing on water making. They are also responsible for popularizing this new sport in Kuwait. Abdolaziz Al Balool, Public Relations Director of Wataniya Telecom said, “The Kuwait Wakeboard Team is an inspiration, they have brought international fame to Kuwait and we are very proud of their accomplishments. We would like to wish them all the very best and we hope they continue to win many championships and international recognition with their hard work.” Winner of several awards, the Kuwait Wakeboard Team is going to participate in various championships such as the Annual Wakeboard Competition, International Water Ski Federation, and the UAE Wakeboard Tour. Al Balool fur ther emphasized on Wataniya’s commitment towards encouraging youth par ticipation in spor ts

events and it will continue to invest in activities that will have a positive impact on the health and lifestyle of the local people. Showing their gratitude and speaking on behalf of the team, Bader Al-Jihayem, Captain of the KWBT team said, “It is honestly refreshing to find companies such as Wataniya Telecom that have great

enthusiasm and take part in such sponsorships. At this stage, we are focused on developing the interest of Kuwaiti youth in water sports and popularize this exciting sport in Kuwait. It has been a great pleasure for us to receive Wataniya’s support at this stage and we heartily thank them for it. We look forward to completing a successful year with them”.




e niv rsar n


TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011


I give gifts, not bribes, says Bin Hammam PARIS: Banned Asian football chief Mohamed bin Hammam likened FIFA president Sepp Blatter to a “dictator” yesterday, and said bribery claims against him were the result of cultural misunderstandings. The 62-year-old former Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president was banned from the game for life on Saturday following a two-day FIFA ethics committee hearing at the organisation’s Zurich headquarters. Bin Hammam had been accused of seeking to buy votes in the FIFA presidential election by offering cash gifts of $40,000 each to delegates at a Caribbean Football Union (CFU) get-together in May. He has pledged to appeal the decision.

The Qatari reacted to his ban on Saturday by publishing a scanned copy of a personal letter sent to him by Blatter in 2008 on his personal blog, demonstrating the extent to which he felt betrayed by the 75-year-old Swiss. He returned to the theme in an interview carried out in Doha with Britain’s Sky News, broadcast on Monday, in which he compared Blatter to a tyrant. “When you are in a position to lead, the leader usually doesn’t revenge,” he said. “This is actually the act of the dictators, and you have witnessed through history the dictators, when they think this or that person is a prominent one to replace him, the first thing they do is exe-

cute him. “And they try to fabricate any allegation against him, to jail him or something like that. “So I mean usually-I don’t know whether Mr Blatter considers himself a leader or not-but the leader doesn’t revenge.” Bin Hammam also said that gift-giving was a routine practice in FIFA and that exchanging presents with other members of the organisation should not be regarded as attempted bribery. “This is a normal, normal, normal practice,” he said. “I’m telling you again, I did not give any cash gifts to anybody but these are normal.” Pointing to his wrist watch, he added: “This watch is a gift.” Despite his claims, Bin

Hammam insisted “he had nothing to do with” the cash-filled envelopes allegedly distributed to the CFU officials. Bin Hammam’s suspension by FIFA on May 29 led to his withdrawal from the presidential election, thereby handing Blatter a fourth consecutive term in office. In a letter to AFC members published on his blog on Monday afternoon, Bin Hammam said that he was not ready to relinquish his role at the head of the organisation. “I have all the right to fight against this shameful accusation until I clear my name,” he wrote. “That means I will not render my resignation as AFC President and FIFA member representing Asia as far as the legal proceed-

ings are continuing.” In a statement to the media published on his blog late on Sunday evening, Bin Hammam had reiterated his earlier claim that FIFA had no concrete evidence that he was guilty of bribery. “I believe FIFA alleged that I used cash to obtain votes,” he wrote. “That is for them to prove and I can tell you categorically that I did not. “I believe that there was not a single piece of evidence FIFA had offered to show that I gave money to any delegates for votes.” Bin Hammam also refuted allegations that he had not co-operated with the ethics committee’s investigation and said he had “made my bank account state-

ments available” to them. Bin Hammam has confirmed that he will appeal in the first instance to FIFA’s appeal commitee, but he holds little faith that the organisation that banned him will find in his favour. In the event that an appeal to FIFA fails, he has vowed to take his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) — the highest sporting judicial authority in the world-in Lausanne. “The civil court in Switzerland, CAS, that is where we believe we will get the necessary justice,” he told the BBC on Sunday. As a last resort, Bin Hammam could pursue legal redress through the Federal Court of Switzerland, but a verdict could take months-if not years-to be handed down. —AFP

Fallen giants look ahead

MONTEVIDEO: Uruguay soccer fans celebrate the Copa America final victory between Uruguay and Paraguay. —AP

Jubilant Uruguayans celebrate MONTEVIDEO: Thousands of Uruguayan soccer fans, many with faces painted sky blue, flooded into the streets of the capital on Sunday to celebrate their team’s record-breaking Copa America triumph. Striker Diego Forlan scored twice after Luis Suarez’s opening goal as “La Celeste” beat Paraguay 3-0 to be crowned South American champions for a record 15th time. Some 3,000 fans watched the final on a giant television screen set up in Montevideo’s central avenue despite the chilly winter weather and the final whistle unleashed a cacophony of car horns and singing. “I’m so excited because we won by playing great football ... with skillful play, with teamwork,” fan Neumar Noble said. “It’s not just about celebrating the win, it’s also about celebrating the unity of this team.”

Sunday’s performance is likely to reaffirm Uruguayan pride in the so-called Garra Charrua, which literally means the Charruan claw, a term used to refer to fighting to the bitter end. The team are commonly nicknamed “Los Charruas” after a long-lost indigenous people. It has been a good stretch for Uruguayan soccer. Just over a year ago, they finished fourth at the World Cup in South Africa. Fans in the small nation of 3.4 million people are enjoying their renaissance on the international stage. It is their first Copa American triumph since 1995. “I dreamed of this. After so many years, the fact that Uruguay is the best in the Americas, makes me happy and optimistic for the World Cup and all the other tournaments ahead,” said Juan Santestevan as he joined the festivities. —Reuters

Chelsea team manager Andre Villas-Boas ( right). —AP

Chelsea ready for Hong Kong test HONG KONG: New Chelsea boss Andre VillasBoas this week returns to Hong Kong set on using the Barclays Asia Trophy to vet a growing Chelsea squad he is still getting to know. Chelsea returned to form with a convincing 4-0 victory in Thailand on Sunday, after a disappointing showing in Malaysia. They will end their Asian trip with two games in the four-team tournament in Hong Kong. The London side were due to arrive in Hong Kong yesterday, while Blackburn and Aston Villa touched down over the weekend. Hong Kong champions Kitchee add local flavour to the field. Four years ago, Villas-Boas attended the Barclays Asia Trophy as a Chelsea scout, using the exhibition tournament to cast an eye over Portsmouth and Liverpool, ahead of English Premier League fixtures against them. This time, the ex-Porto manager will be preparing for season in charge as he calculates how to bridge the gap that saw Manchester United win the league last season by ninepoints. Villas-Boas announced the signing of 19year-old midfielder Oriol Romeu from Barcelona in Bangkok, the second stop on the club’s Asian pre-season tour, but the club has said it is close to two more signings. The 33-year-old manager is sure to be a major attraction in his own right, having completed a £13.3 million move to Chelsea in the summer, which made him the most-expensive managerial transfer. “Going back to Asia is important to us,” Villas-Boas said ahead of the club’s Asia trip. “It shortens the distance with the Asian public who are following us from a big distance. It is important for them to feel we have respect for them and we are able to feel their heat.” The 26-man touring squad are all likely to

get playing minutes after Villas-Boas fielded separate teams in each half against Malaysia, a game Chelsea laboured to win 1-0, thanks to an own goal that replays showed had not crossed the line. The match was marred by ethnic abuse of Yossi Benayoun, the first Israeli professional to play a match in the majority Muslim nation. The teams involved in the Barclays Asia Trophy see the exhibition matches as a vital opportunity both to vet strategy for the season ahead and to promote their brand in Asia. All three clubs coming to Hong Kong are under foreign ownership, and keen to raise their profile in a part of the world where Manchester United and Liverpool still command the deepest fan base. To avoid Hong Kong’s blistering summer sun, back-to-back matches will kick off in the early evening on Wednesday. New Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish will also be casting his eye over the team he joined after his cross-town move from Birmingham City. McLeish sees the trip as an opportunity for the squad to gel. “Pre-season is becoming more and more about these tournaments, and you’re going to come across top-class opposition like we do at the Barclays Asia Trophy,” he said. The Hong Kong tournament will see a debut for new Villa No. 1 Shay Given, after the keeper completed his £3.5 million move from Manchester City. Aston Villa open the tournament against Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday, with Chelsea then taking on Kitchee. The matches in the mini-tournament will be settled by penalties after 90 minutes if the score is drawn. The losers play off at 6 p.m. on Saturday, followed by the winners squaring up for the trophy at 8.30 p.m. that night. —AFP

BUENOS AIRES: The kindest thing fans could say about Argentina and Brazil after this year’s Copa America ended in a 3-0 romp for Uruguay in the final against Paraguay would be that both South American giants remain a work in progress. A little fine-tuning and smoothing a few rough edges and a sleek new model will be revealed at the 2014 World Cup, the true ‘holy’ grail for both countries, so the theory goes, while the Uruguayans bask in the glory of a record 15th title. In practice, life is not so simple, as Mano Menezes, coach of 2014 hosts Brazil, knows only too well after a tournament where the giants were cut down to size and where Venezuela, the continent’s only team never to reach a World Cup, reached the semis for the first time. “I think we’re on the right track. I have said throughout the goal is to be competitive for 2014,” insisted Menezes, who can expect to be in the dugout in three years time which is more than can be said for Argentinian counterpart Sergio Batista. Batista yesterday faced a vote of confidence from his Federation amid speculation he will be fired after his team’s Copa exit in the quarter-finals to the Uruguayans on penalties. A major chief criticism levelled at Batista is that he is not sure of his best line-up. He rejects that. “I am sure of my footballing ideas. I always said the Copa was all about getting ready for the World Cup in 2014.”I am absolutely resolved to keep going.” Most media agree he won’t get the chance after he insisted on starting with Carlos Tevez in attack with Lionel Messi in a ‘false number nine’ role. That backfired in labored draws with Bolivia and Colombia and Messi only sparked when dropping back to feed Tevez replacement Sergio Aguero in a much

BUENOS AIRES: Suri, the mascot of the Copa America 2011 (left) stands near FIFA’s President Sepp Blatter (second right) and CONMEBOL’s President Nicolas Leoz, before the Copa America final soccer match between Uruguay and Paraguay. —AP better showing against little Costa Rica. Tevez sneaked back as a substitute against Uruguay and promptly missed the crucial spotkick that sent the hosts out, wrecking their bid to land a 15th Copa of their own and prolonging a trophyless run stretching back to 1993. In vain did Batista protest that penalties are a lottery anyway. Brazil amply proved as much, managing to convert zero kicks in their quarter-final loss to a Paraguay side which found it impossible to win or lose, drawing all their group games - after first letting the Brazilians off the hook, then allowing Venezuela to recover from 3-1 down. After denying Menezes’s side a hattrick of wins in the competition following 2004 and 2007 wins over Argentina, the Paraguayans were at it again as they walked a tightrope against Cesar Farias’ impressive Venezuelans. The former minnows hit the

woodwork three times and had a goal ruled out but again the Paraguayans were too good from the spot. So to the Uruguayans, who can be proud of their achievement in landing their record success and a first major trophy since 1995. That win aside, the remainder of the Charruas’ glory days are sepia-tinted, going all the way back to their 1916 triumph in the inaugural Copa, before they lifted the first World Cup in 1930 and then shocked Brazil in 1950. Not a bad haul for a country whose 3.8 million population would comfortably fit into London, never mind Sao Paolo or Buenos Aires. Draws with Peru and Chile constituted a slow start but the celeste then edged Mexico before Buenos Aires-born goalkeeper Fernando Muslera thwarted Tevez to book a semis berth. “This means nothing when it comes to World Cup qualifiers,”

Davis: Hearts exam will be crucial against Malmo GLASGOW: Rangers midfielder Steven Davis believes the Scottish champions’ tough opening day examination against Hearts will prove invaluable in their crucial Champions League qualifier against Malmo today. Ally McCoist’s side made a stuttering start to their title defence on Saturday as they were held to a lacklustre 1-1 draw by Hearts at Ibrox. David Obua headed Hearts into a firsthalf lead before Steven Naismith rescued a point for Rangers in what was McCoist’s first competitive match in charge. Northern Ireland international Davis, who captained the side due to David Weir’s suspension, admitted the players were disappointed to drop points in their opening fixture. But the midfielder, who recently signed a five-year contract to stay at Ibrox, hopes that being pushed so hard by Jim Jefferies’ side will have given them a wake-up call ahead of the first leg of their third round qualifying tie against the Swedish champions. “We’re not going to make any excuses. We haven’t started the way we would have liked but hopefully with each game the sharpness will come back,” Davis said. “We’ll get fitter, better and stronger. Hopefully we can bounce back and get a good result against Malmo.” Rangers are allowed to add one more player to their squad before Tuesday’s match against Malmo and McCoist hopes to finalise a deal with Palermo defender Dorin Goian. The Romanian has fallen out of favor at the Italian club and, if signed in time, the 30-

year-old could find himself thrown straight into the squad against Malmo. Kyle Lafferty remains sidelined after a hernia operation but veteran defender David Weir will return from suspension and new signing Lee Wallace is available as McCoist faces his first European test. Malmo currently sit in a mid-table position in the Swedish league, 13 points behind leaders Helsingborgs. But their manager Rikard Norling insists the pressure is all on Rangers ahead of their trip to Ibrox. Malmo grabbed a point in a 2-2 derby draw at Helsingborgs on Saturday and Norling believes this was ideal preparation for the Champions League tie. “We all know they have big pressure on them for this game. They’re a massive club and they should go through against us,” Norling said. “But we will see. Does it suit us being underdogs? The Swedish mentality is normally better under those circumstances. “This derby was good preparation for us before the Rangers game. I won’t know if it was perfect preparation until we leave Ibrox on Tuesday. “Now I’ll begin to dig in deep, looking at Rangers’ strengths. I’ll do all the detailed work on them in the next couple of days. From there, we’ll choose the game-plan for the first-leg at Ibrox. “If we could beat Rangers and go through to the next round, it would be a huge achievement for this club.” Malmo, who are 17 games into their season, have suffered several injury worries this term but Brazilian Figueiredo and striker Daniel Larsson should be available for

warned coach Oscar Tabarez. Brazil, as hosts, are pre-qualified. Venezuela thrilled neutrals in knocking out four-times finalists Chile - to the delight of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who sent countless Twitter posts eulogising his team. In the semis, Luis Suarez netted a double as Uruguay saw off Peru while Paraguay made the unfortunate Venezuelans pay the penalty. A Paolo Guerrero treble saw Peru see off the Venezuelans for their first podium finish since 1983 as the Hamburg striker ended top scorer with five goals. In the last World Cup qualifiers, Argentina and Uruguay both struggled to earn a place in the finals in South Africa. Now the big boys must look over their shoulders at a renascent Peru and Venezuelans who are no longer only interested in baseball. “They are a new force in the game in Latin America,” warned Peru coach Serio Markarian. —AFP

Balotelli in row with City manager Mancini LOS ANGELES: Mario Balotelli’s failed trick shot sparked a heated row with manager Roberto Mancini that took the lustre off Manchester City’s penalty shootout win over the Los Angeles Galaxy Sunday. The Italian striker with a hot-headed reputation scored the lone goal in regulation for City but was relegated to the showers by the time the teams went to a penalty shootout to decide the exhibition match. Mancini was incensed after Balotelli broke in on the Galaxy goal in the 28th minute and then turned backwards and tried to hit a ball into the net with the back of his foot. The ball went wide and Balotelli was pulled from the game as soon as his replacement could warm up. “I think for the player, this can be a lesson,” Mancini said. “This can’t happen on a strong team. “I hope he understands that he needs to have good behavior.” Goalkeeper Joe Hart made the gamewinning penalty kick as City beat the Galaxy 7-6 in a penalty shootout in the friendly football. Balotelli, who has been criticized before for his unprofessional antics, was replaced by James Milner. Once on the sidelines, Mancini and Balotelli got into it. Mancini appeared to motion for Balotelli to head to the locker room but Balotelli extended his arms, said something and then sat down on the bench where he slammed a cup to the turf and took off his jersey as he watched the rest of the half. He stayed in the locker room for the second half. Mancini told reporters after the match that the situation is under control and there is no need to take it any further. The temperamental Balotelli has a checkered past. Three months ago he got into a row with Manchester United players at the end of a FA Cup semi-final match. Balotelli had to be dragged away from the scrum that ensued after the Italian’s spirited victory celebration angered the United players. In March, Balotelli was investigated by the club after a claim he threw a dart at some youth-team

England rout India in first Test

O’Hair wins playoff to claim Canadian Open



TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011

Hamilton triumph breathes new life into season Page 17

SHANGHAI: In a picture taken with an underwater camera France’s Yannick Agnel competes in the semifinals of the men’s 100-metre freestyle swimming event in the FINA World Championships. (Inset) Gold medalist Brazil’s Cesar Cielo Filho cries on the podium during the award ceremony. —AP

Emotional wins for Cielo, Oen SHANGHAI: Drug-row sprinter Cesar Cielo defied a storm of criticism to win world gold yesterday as Norway’s Alexander Dale Oen claimed an emotional victory for his home country just days after deadly attacks. Fifteen-year-old prodigy Ye Shiwen also lit up Shanghai’s Sea Crown stadium with a breathtaking first swimming win for China on an evening of tears and drama at the world championships. Cesar, controversially cleared to swim despite failing a dope test, sobbed uncontrollably on the podium after his 50m butterfly win, and was comforted by fellow medallists Matthew Targett and Geoff Huegill of Australia. The Brazilian Olympic freestyle champion said he felt “blessed by God” after the victory, which he described as the toughest of his career. “This gold medal has a different feel from the other ones,” he said. “This one was the hardest of my life.” Cielo clocked 23.10sec to take gold,

just 0.18 ahead of second-placed Targett, unleashing a flood of emotions after his rollercoaster few months since testing positive for a banned diuretic in May. The 24-year-old was let off with a warning last week by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, prompting rumblings of discontent among fellow swimmers including US veteran Jason Lezak. Cielo denies wrongdoing and blames a contaminated caffeine supplement for the result at Brazil’s national championships in May. Three team-mates also tested positive for furosemide, which can mask performance-enhancing drugs. “It was a tough time,” Cielo said. “Time to test not only my talent in swimming but how much I could take.” Meanwhile, Norway’s Dale Oen used his sadness and anger at deadly attacks in his home country as “fuel” as he won the men’s 100m breaststroke ahead of Italian Fabio Scozzoli and South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh. “I just tried to use what happened

back home as fuel and tried to think we just need to push forward,” he said, referring to the bombing and shooting atrocities which left 86 people dead. “It’s been really tough but I’m happy I could put it in the back of my head for a minute or two and just focus on the race.” Japan’s four-time Olympic breaststroke champion Kosuke Kitajima finished fourth as he failed to add to his three world titles. Elsewhere, Asian Games champion Ye Shiwen, 15, brought the crowd to its feet in a pulsating 200m individual medley which secured China’s first swimming gold. Ye put in a lightning final lap to pip Australia’s Alicia Coutts, who won her second silver of the night, by one-tenth of a second in 2:08.90. Defending champion Ariana Kukors of the United States was third but there was no medal for Australia’s Olympic titleholder Stephanie Rice, who finished fourth. And American Dana Vollmer, 23, won her first individual title at a world

championships in the 100m butterfly ahead of Coutts and China’s Lu Ying. World record holder Sarah Sjoestroem, the Swedish defending champion, finished fourth while Australia’s “Madame Butterfly” Jessicah Schipper was seventh. Vollmer’s victory was attained by virtue of an unusual training regime in the ocean off Australia’s Tasmania, and follows a career beset by injury as well as a serious heart problem which required surgery in 2003. “I’m so excited, I’ve never won a world championship. My fly’s been feeling absolutely amazing,” Vollmer said. “I feel all the different things I’ve been doing with training... are really paying off for me.” America’s 14-time Olympic champion Phelps qualified for Tuesday’s 200m freestyle final alongside team-mate Ryan Lochte. “It’s a deadly field. You know it’s going to be down to the last 50,” said Phelps. “I think whoever gets their feet over first in that 150 (turn) is going to have that shot.”

Meanwhile, Australia’s Matthew Targett leapt to Cesar Cielo’s defence yesterday after a fellow swimmer gave the “thumbs down” over the Brazilian’s controversial 50m butterfly world title win. Second-placed Targett comforted a sobbing Cielo, who last week escaped being banned for a failed drugs test, as they stood on the podium and cut short a journalist who fired a series of pointed questions at the Olympic champion. “Come on,” said Targett, as the reporter took Cielo to task. Targett also hit out at Kenyan competitor Jason Dunford, who gave a big thumbs-down to the packed crowd after the butterfly final. “Tools like Dunford, that doesn’t make things any better,” he said, according to Australia’s AAP news agency. Whistles were also heard from the crowd after Cielo’s win and during the victory ceremony, when the Brazilian was in floods of tears after a rollercoaster few months. The 24-year-old was let off with a warning last week despite testing posi-

before the start of the race and had a lot of confidence. All week, it’s been tough but in the warm-up we found something and thought we could run with these guys.” Stoner was quickest in the morning’s final practice session with a best lap of 1:21.747 in cool, overcast conditions. “After that, I just had something inside knowing that I wasn’t worried about him (Lorenzo) getting away,” said Stoner, who dropped back into third early on before overtaking Pedrosa on the infamous Corkscrew turn on lap 17 and finally Lorenzo. “I knew I had full pace and we were just waiting for later in the race. As soon as Dani started to drop back, that dropped us both off the back of Jorge and I thought: ‘Right, now is the time to go and get up to Jorge.’ “I was behind Jorge and realised I could go a lot faster. I waited a few laps to see if he would make a mistake or do something and then decided to go and put the hammer down as much as I could. We managed to pull a nice gap.” Lorenzo, who began the race on pole for a third successive year at Laguna Seca, failed to capitalise on a fast start and said he was still feeling bruised after crashing in practice on Saturday morning. “ The pain in my back and my arms was not good at the end of the

race,” the 24-year-old Spaniard added. “Casey deserved the victory and, when he went past me, I threw in the towel.” Pedrosa, who broke his collarbone in a collision with Italian Marco Simoncelli at the French Grand Prix in May and only came back at this month’s Italian round, was delighted with his fifth podium of the season. “I’m very happy,” the Spaniard said. “I knew it would be physically very tough for me and it has been great to keep up with the pace of Casey and Jorge in these past two races. “Today, by the middle of the race, I was very tired and almost finished. I couldn’t get my left arm strong enough and at this track you don’t rest for a moment so I had to drop (back). “Now we have some holidays and it will be good for me to have some days off to rest and relax my muscles and be back training to arrive fully fit in Brno,” Pedrosa added, referring to the next race on the circuit on Aug. 14 in Czech Republic. Spaniard Alvaro Bautista, American Ben Bostrom, Britain’s Cal Crutchlow and Italy’s Marco Simoncelli all crashed out during Sunday’s US Grand Prix. With eight rounds of the championship to go, Stoner leads the standings with 193 points. Lorenzo has 173 and Italy’s Andrea Dovizioso is third with 143 points.—Reuters

Medals Table SHANGHAI: Medals table for swimming events at the world championships after the second night of pool action yesterday: Gold Silver Bronze Total Australia 1 3 1 5 US 1 1 2 4 China 1 1 1 3 Italy 1 1 0 2 Brazil 1 0 0 1 Netherlands 1 0 0 1 Norway 1 0 0 1 South Korea 1 0 0 1 France 0 1 1 2 Britain 0 1 0 1 Germany 0 0 2 2

King Kenny mulls return

Stoner wins US Grand Prix LAGUNA SECA: Australia’s Casey Stoner roared past MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo on the 27th lap of 32 to win the US Grand Prix on Sunday and stretch his lead in the overall standings. Honda rider Stoner, who started the race just behind Yamaha’s Lorenzo on the front grid, powered home to finish 5.634 seconds ahead of the Spaniard, who triumphed at Laguna Seca last year. Stoner waved to the fans after crossing the finish line in dazzling sunshine, having extended his run of successive podiums this season to eight. It was his fifth win of the year and increased his championship lead over Lorenzo to 20 points with eight races left. Honda’s Spaniard Dani Pedrosa, champion here in 2009 and winner of last week’s German Grand Prix, took third place with American Ben Spies giving the home fans something to celebrate by finishing fourth. Stoner, who won here in 2007, was delighted to taste victory again at the twisting, technically challenging Laguna Seca circuit after struggling with his bike set-up earlier in the week. “It was amazing,” the beaming 25year-old told reporters. “I am very happy. I love this track, love this atmosphere in America and I’m very happy to win here again. “I just had an extreme pace

tive for a banned diuretic, prompting rumblings of discontent among fellow swimmers including US veteran Jason Lezak.—AFP

LAGUNA SECA: Jorge Lorenzo, of Spain, leads countryman Dani Pedrosa (26) and Australia’s Casey Stoner during the Red Bull US Grand Prix MotoGP world championship motorcycle race.—AP

LAGUNA SECA: Three-times 500cc world champion Kenny Roberts, widely known as ‘King Kenny’, says he would consider a return to MotoGP team ownership if sufficient financial backing could be secured. American Roberts, whose Team KR took two podium finishes before ending 2006 sixth overall in the championship, pulled out of MotoGP competition after the 2007 season due to the lack of sponsorship. “I would return only if the money is right to do it because we struggled for about four years without a sufficient amount of budget to do the job properly,” Roberts, 59, told Reuters during the U.S. Grand Prix at Laguna Seca. “You survive and I kept people working but you only survive, and I am not interested in surviving any more. So until something comes along that is feasible to do it right, then I am happy to do nothing.” World champion 1978-80, Roberts retired from competitive racing in 1983 but came back as a Yamaha team boss before, in 1996, building his own grand prix bike with initial backing from Malaysia’s Proton. Initially they struggled to match the dominant Japanese teams but, backed by Honda and with a Michelin tyre deal, the team’s fortunes revived in 2006 before sliding back the following season. “Being an American as a racer when I started was tough because there were no good Americans,” the silver-haired Roberts recalled. “And being a team owner is the same because in America the sport hasn’t really caught on. “It’s not like Europe. In Italy, it’s easier to go and get your small sponsors to make up a shortfall but in America it’s impossible. It’s just not done in America. Nobody wants to know. “The sport is growing and the four-strokes made it a lot more expensive and the sponsorships here didn’t go with the growing of the four-strokes and the cost. So we kind of hit a brick wall.” For the time being, California-based Roberts senior is relishing playing lots of golf while his son and namesake, the 2000 MotoGP world champion, raises a young family nearby.—Reuters



Iran signs $10bn gas deal with Syria, Iraq

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Clinton seeks to reassure Asia on US debt impasse Page 25 TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011

Kuwait equities drop on pessimism Page 24

The Dodge Nitro ignites mid-size SUV segment Page 22

The White House is seen through the fence as debt talks continue in Washington yesterday.—AP

US lawmakers split as debt deadline looms Congress begins week of confrontation with rival plans WASHINGTON: A sharply divided US Congress pursued rival budget plans yesterday that appeared unlikely to win broad support, pushing the United States closer to a ratings downgrade and debt default that would send shock waves through global markets. With an Aug 2 deadline little more than a week away, lawmakers have steadfastly refused to compromise, and talks once again collapsed in acrimony at the weekend. Democrats and Republicans split into two camps to work on their own proposals. After weeks of rancorous talks, finger-pointing and political point-scor-

ing, both sides appeared far apart on a deal to reduce the budget deficit, which would clear the way for Congress to raise its $14.3 trillion borrowing limit. Asian and European financial markets fell, gold was pushed up to a record high and Wall Street stocks opened lower on the prospect of a first-ever US debt default, which Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has said would be a “calamitous outcome” for the US and the global economy. But there was no panic selling that some politicians in Washington had feared after the weekend talks broke down, though market players would not rule out the possibility if

the debt stalemate goes down to the wire. “ There’s an old saying that things don’t matter until the day they matter; we’re getting close to the day when it will matter,” said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey. The Dow Jones industrial average, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and the Nasdaq Composite Index were all down less than 1 percent in early trading. President Barack Obama and congressional leaders have tried to reassure global markets that the country will be able to service its debt and meet other obligations after Aug 2, when the Treasury

Department says the United States will run out of money to pay its bills. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sought to reassure Asia, which holds close to $3 trillion in US government debt, that the United States would reach a deal and avoid default. “I’m confident that Congress will do the right thing and secure a deal on the debt ceiling and work with President Obama to take the steps necessary to improve our longterm fiscal outlook,” she said in a speech in Hong Kong. Faced with the prospect of defaulting on debt and the country losing its AAA credit rating, the highest possible, lawmakers set a yester-

Debt fears hit stocks, dollar; gold at record NEW YORK: Major global stock markets and the US dollar fell yesterday as a political impasse in Washington over raising the US debt ceiling stoked fears of a US rating downgrade and even debt default. Investors poured into perceived safe-haven assets, driving gold to a record high and the Swiss franc to an all-time peak against the US currency. US government bonds, however, failed to benefit from their usual safe-haven status after the weekend breakdown in talks fueled investor anxiety over Treasury holdings. Selling was particularly intense in longer-dated maturities. The United States moved one step closer to losing its coveted triple-A credit rating as a sharply divided US Congress pursued rival budget plans yesterday, neither of which appeared likely to win broad support. If the impasse were to continue, the government will run out of money to pay its bills in nine days unless lawmakers increase the $14.3 trillion borrowing limit. “If politicians don’t find a solution right now, we are facing a disaster of major proportions,” said Fidelio Tata, head of US rates strategy at SG Corporate & Investment Banking in New York. Wall Street stocks opened sharply lower. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 86.73 points, or 0.68 percent, at 12,594.43. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 8.30 points, or 0.62 percent, at 1,336.72. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down

16.52 points, or 0.58 percent, at 2,842.31. A US debt default would have massive repercussions for financial instruments, in part because US. Treasuries are the benchmark against which the performances of many other assets are judged. “The markets were hopeful that

Poor’s has said it might still cut the United States to AA if lawmakers embrace a short-term fix that lifts the debt ceiling but doesn’t address long-term fiscal issues. World stocks as measured MSCI’s all-country world stock index was last down 0.6 percent. Emerging markets also lost 0.6 percent.

SEOUL: Currency traders monitor exchange rates in a dealing room at the Korea Exchange Bank in Seoul yesterday. South Korean share prices closed 0.96 percent lower as investors took a cautious approach over US discussions on debt ceiling. The benchmark KOSPI lost 20.75 points to close at 2,150.48.—AFP by now something would have been agreed. I don’t think a US. debt default has been completely ruled out by the markets,” said Keith Bowman, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown. Even if politicians raise the borrowing limit in time, the threat of a downgrade remains. Standard &

The FTSEurofirst 300 was down 0.2 percent. Japan’s Nikkei earlier closed 0.8 percent lower. The Swiss franc was the biggest beneficiary of the demand for safe havens. The dollar fell as low as 0.8021 Swiss franc on trading platform EBS and was last down 1.9 percent at 0.8030. The euro lost about 2 per-

cent to 1.1535 francs. Against a basket of currencies, the dollar slipped 0.1 percent. The dollar also dropped to to 78.055 yen on EBS, its weakest since midMarch. “The US will have to come up with a credible long-term plan in order to avert a downgrade,” said Manuel Oliveri, currency strategist at UBS in Zurich. “The increasing risk of a downgrade means declining confidence in US assets and the risk of capital outflows, which is a negative for the dollar against the Swiss franc and the yen,” he added. Gold surged to a record high above $1,620 an ounce the fifth record high for bullion in less than two weeks. Spot gold, which has risen nearly 14 percent so far this year, climbed more than 1 percent to a record $1,622.49 an ounce before easing to around $1,617. Oil prices fell as worries about a US downgrade or even default dampened hope for stronger global economic growth and drove investors away from risky assets. Brent crude was $1.12 lower at $117.58 a barrel. US oil was 71 cents lower at $99.15. In the US Treasur y market, the 30-year Treasury bond was last down 15/32 in price for a yield of 4.32 percent versus Friday’s close of 4.26 percent. Benchmark 10-year notes were down 14/32 with a yield of 3.02 percent, up 4 basis points from late Friday. — Reuters

day deadline to show markets a plan. Republicans, driven by the fiscally conservative Tea Party movement that helped them win control of the House of Representatives last November, strongly oppose tax increases. Democrats who control the Senate dislike proposed cuts to popular social programs and want some tax increases in addition to spending cuts. The House and Senate appear to be heading for a showdown as their leaders develop competing plans to resolve the crisis. Democratic Senator Harry Reid aims to raise the debt ceiling by $2.7 trillion, enough to cover the country’s borrowing needs through the

November 2012 elections. That would be paired with an equal amount in spending cuts over 10 years — short of the $4 trillion in deficit savings that experts say would be necessary to keep debt at a sustainable level. Republican House Speaker John Boehner’s plan would raise the debt limit in stages, forcing Congress to confront the politically painful issue again before the election. His plan could potentially deliver bigger budget savings through an overhaul of the tax code and a reform of expensive health benefits that are expected to balloon over the coming decade. — Reuters

Gulf stocks track global fall, unrest hits Egypt MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS DUBAI/CAIRO: A drop in global shares weighed on Gulf markets yesterday, dragging Abu Dhabi’s bourse to an eight-week low, and concerns over political instability weighed on Egyptian stocks. Abu Dhabi’s index fell 0.9 percent to its lowest close since May 31. National Bank of Abu Dhabi lost 1.3 percent, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank dropped 5.2 percent and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank declined 2.6 percent. Political brinkmanship in Washington over the US debt ceiling hit world stocks yesterday and pushed money into safe-haven gold and Swiss francs, ending a brief relief rally over Greece’s second bailout package. “Global markets will set the tone for the whole region,” said Haissam Arabi, chief executive and fund manager at Gulfmena Investments. “There shouldn’t be too much pressure because there’s no reason for it to go down too much.” Investors in Saudi Arabia locked in gains ahead of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, as global woes weighed. The index fell 0.8 percent, halting four sessions of gains. “We think this (pre-Ramadan decline) is caused by a combination of investors selling shares to raise money to cover high spending during the month and other investors realising gains in anticipation of a fall in share prices during Ramadan,” said Paul Gamble of Jadwa Investment in a note. Nine of the 10 largest stocks fell, with SABB bank losing 3.4 percent and Al-

Rajih Bank losing 1 percent. In Egypt, worries over continued political instability weighed on the bourse after demonstrators trying to march to the Defence Ministry on Saturday clashed with opponents. The main index slipped 0.6 percent. All but six stocks fell on the 30-constituent index. “The market is affected by the political scene and what happened over the weekend,” said Chamel Fahmy of Pharos Securities. “Foreign institutions along with regional institutions are shying away from the market.” In Dubai, the index fell 0.7 percent with bellwether Emaar Properties accounting for almost a third of total shares traded. The developer lost 2 percent. Emirates NBD gained 1.2 percent, after reporting an 87 percent surge in second-quarter earnings. In Kuwait, the index fell 0.3 percent, ending a four-session gain, and volumes slumped to a two-week low. The benchmark had recovered some gains from a fall last week triggered by economic and regulatory concerns but is down 12.8 percent in 2011. Bucking the downtrend, Oman’s Bank Dhofar lifted the index following a favourable court ruling. The lender, rising 7 percent, said the court overruled an order for the bank to pay 26.1 million rials ($67.8 million) in a suit by Oman International Bank . The latter ended flat. Muscat’s index gained 0.2 percent, rising from Sunday’s fourweek low. — Reuters



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The Dodge Nitro ignites mid-size SUV segment Distinctive style, sporty performance and cargo flexibility

Burgan Bank daily lucky winners of Yawmi Account KUWAIT: Burgan Bank held its Yawmi account draw announcing a total of 5 lucky daily prize winners, each taking home KD 5000. The lucky winners for the five daily draws took home a cash-prize of KD 5000 each. The lucky winners are: 1. Balbinder Ranbir Singh 2. Mohammed Abbas Ahmed Salem 3. Mohammed Ahmed Stareian Asfahani 4. Sameera Abd Ali Hameed 5. Abdul Khaleq Mohammed Alhaj Saleh Abdul Khaleq Congratulating the winners, Burgan Bank Chief Retail Banking Officer- GM Muneera Al-Mukhaizeem said: “I extend my warm wishes to the winners of last week’s Yawmi draw. Yawmi today is a well understood product, the popularity of which can be seen from the number of increasing account holders. We invite customers to opt for this incentive to make the most from their savings and deposits.” Burgan Bank’s Yawmi account was the first in the country to have a daily draw, thereby entitling account holders who deposit KD 500 to win every day. For every KD 50 deposited in the account, the account holder receives an additional entry into the draw. Burgan Bank encourages everyone to open a Yawmi account and/or increase their deposit to maximize their chances to becoming a daily winner. The more you deposit, the higher the chances of winning the draw. Opening a Yawmi account is simple, just visit your nearest Burgan Bank branch and get all the details. Or simply call our Call Center 1804080 and our customer service representative will be more than happy to assist you. For further information visit

ith its bold styling and aggressive stance, Dodge Nitro is unlike any other mid-size SUV in the marketplace - its signature Dodge crosshair grille, high beltline and strong wheel forms establish the vehicle’s confidence, making the vehicle really stand out from the crowd. As the first mid-size SUV for the brand, the five-passenger Dodge Nitro personifies the bold, powerful and streetsmart attitude of Dodge and continues the brand’s history of creating game-changing products and features - it’s the ideal choice for drivers seeking distinctive style, sporty performance and cargo flexibility. The interior of the Nitro is spacious, functional and flexible, both for people and cargo, with innovative cargo seating flexibility and fold-flat front-passenger and second-row seats that recline for added passenger comfort. Other standard features include front-row Active Head Restraints, air filtration system, six speaker audio system, power-operated mirrors and premium cloth seat trim with stain-repel seat fabric. Leather seat trim and body-colored grille with bright billets, body-colored sills and front air dam are available on the Nitro SXT. Available options include power sun roof, leather seats, remote start, ParkSense rear-park assist, Uconnect Phone, eight premium speakers, subwoofer and 368-watt amplifier plus Uconnect Navigation. The Nitro features a coil-spring independent front suspension and a five-link, coil-spring rear suspension. The independent front suspension gives the driver an optimum combination of ride, handling and steering, which provides a greater sense of control and precision. The solid five-link rear suspension, including upper and lower trailing links and track bar, provides higher lateral stiffness for vehicle responsiveness and outstanding handling - the Nitro’s improved cornering and increased traction completely redefine the mid-size SUV driving experience. Dodge Nitro is available with the 3.7-litre V6 engine, which delivers 210 hp (157 kW) @ 5,200 rpm and 235 lb.-ft. (360 Nïm) of torque @ 4,000 rpm. The Nitro’s interactive Decel Fuel Shut Off (iDFSO) turns off fuel during vehicle deceleration, which improves fuel economy. This feature, standard on both engine options, improves fuel economy without any noticeable changes in engine performance. In addition, the new Fuel-saver indicator displays when the vehicle is driven in a fuel-efficient manner, providing drivers with continuous fuel-consumption feedback. An exhaust-gas recirculation valve further enhances the Nitro’s fuel economy. Standard safety and security features include Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Brake assist, all-speed traction control, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Electronic-roll Mitigation (ERM), front-row active head restraints and front and sidecurtain air bags.


Dubai airport passenger traffic up 8.9% in H1 DUBAI: Passenger traffic at Dubai International Airport rose 8.9 percent in the first half of the year despite high fuel costs and increased economic uncertainty in the Europe and the US, Dubai Airports said yesterday. The world’s fourth busiest airport handled 24.6 million passengers up from 22.6 million passengers in the first six months of last year, it said in a statement. Average monthly passenger traffic in the first half of 2011 stands at 4.1 million compared with 3.8 million in the same period last year. “As the numbers clearly suggest, robust passenger traffic growth continues despite high fuel prices and growing economic uncertainty in Europe and the US,” said Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airports. “Our planned $7.8 billion expansion of Dubai International is well-timed to accommodate the expected average annual growth of 7.2 percent over the next ten years,” he added. Year-to-date aircraft movements rose 6.2 percent to 159,372 while air cargo volumes edged 0.3 percent higher to 1.1 million tons of freight. — Reuters

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

.2700000 .4380000 .3860000 .3300000 .2850000 .2910000 .0040000 .0020000 .0742800 .7236840 .3810000 .0700000 .7094400 .0040000 .0430000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2736000 GB Pound/KD .4400990 Euro .3885120 Swiss francs .3328470 Canadian dollars .2884710 Danish Kroner .0521100 Swedish Kroner .0423110 Australian dlr .2939150 Hong Kong dlr .0351100 Singapore dlr .2252960 Japanese yen .0034690 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 Pakistan rupee .0000000 Bangladesh taka .0000000 UAE dirhams .0745060 Bahraini dinars .7258860 Jordanian dinar .0000000 Saudi Riyal/KD .0729660 Omani riyals .7107960 Philippine Peso .0000000

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. Japanese Yen Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar

ASIAN COUNTRIES 3.532 6.171 3.176 2.499 3.873 227.280 35.193

.2765000 .4490000 .3950000 .3420000 .2950000 .3010000 .0072500 .0035000 .0750260 .7309580 .4010000 .0770000 .7165700 .0072000 .0530000 .2757000 .4434770 .3914940 .3354010 .2906850 .0525100 .0426360 .2961710 .0353800 .2270260 .0034960 .0062380 .0025250 .0032060 .0037130 .0750780 .7314580 .3898870 .0735260 .7162530 .0064710

Bangladesh Taka Philippine Peso Thai Baht Irani Riyal - Transfer Irani Riyal - Cash Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

3.660 6.458 9.194 0.271 0.273 GCC COUNTRIES 73.123 75.344 712.230 728.310 74.666

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 48.600 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 45.943 Yemen Riyal 1.255 Tunisian Dinar 201.400 Jordanian Dinar 387.230 Lebanese Lira 182.700 Syrian Lier 5.920 Morocco Dirham 35.597 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 274.100 Euro 397.990 Sterling Pound 451.030 Canadian dollar 293.160 Turkish lire 161.620 Swiss Franc 339.230 Australian dollar 297.400 US Dollar Buying 272.900

Sterling Pound US Dollar

Bahrain Exchange Company COUNTRY


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

301.000 728.600 3.910 292.700 538.100 36.400 53.900 167.800 48.050 397.400 35.850 6.510


299.500 728.600 3.664 291.200

227.800 46.008 395.900 35.700 6.170

0.033 0.241 0.238 3.590 389.220 0.185 94.050 47.300 4.300 240.500 1.858 52.000 711.590 3.290 6.620 75.790 73.150 227.820 43.120 2.635 450.300 44.500 338.800 5.600 9.540 198.263 74.700 274.300 1.200


387.200 0.184 94.050 3.880 239.000

337.300 5.600 9.370 74.600 273.900

US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro Swiss Frank Bahrain Dinar UAE Dirhams Qatari Riyals Saudi Riyals Jordanian Dinar Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupees Indian Rupees


Selling Rate

273.850 292.300 448.430 396.900 334.925 726.070 74.535 75.165 72.990 385.475 46.000 2.497 6.181

3.183 3.664 6.448 671.724 3.580 9.276 5.758 3.945 90.962

Rate per 1000 (Tran)

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

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 448.300 273.900

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd Rate for Transfer

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

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. 711.410 3.190 6.465 75.360 73.150 227.820 43.120 2.499 448.300

GOLD 1,646.320

10 Tola

GOLD 293.000 148.000 77.000

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

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

274.300 3.190 6.185 2.520 3.675 6.475 74.785 73.350 729.300 45.995 449.900 0.00003280 3.910 1.550 389.700 5.750 396.900 297.300

Al Mulla Exchange Currency

US Dollar Euro Pound Sterling Canadian Dollar Japanese Yen Indian Rupee Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupee Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso Pakistan Rupee Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal *Rates are subject to change

Transfer Rate (Per 1000)

273.550 395.700 448.100 291.000 3.500 6.173 45.965 2.498 3.655 6.465 3.190 728.000 74.600 73.100



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TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011



Iran signs $10bn gas deal with Syria, Iraq Natural gas export could boost energy sector

Qatar Airways begins newest route to Saudi Carrier adds holy city of Madinah with four flights a week KUWAIT: Qatar Airways, newly crowned Airline of the Year 2011, has reaffirmed its commitment to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with the launch of a fourth destination in the country - four-flights-aweek to the holy city of Madinah. The new route, non-stop from Doha, takes Qatar Airways’ capacity to Saudi Arabia up to 60 services a week, representing a significant increase in frequency to the country from 35 flights just a few weeks ago. The carrier recently boosted capacity to Saudi Arabia with 14 weekly flights to the capital Riyadh; 14 services-a-week to the Red Sea port city of Jeddah; and 28 weekly flights to the key commercial hub of Dammam. Madinah is known as the second holiest city after Makkah, a place visited by Muslims from around the world. Madinah is now developing into a thriving centre for education and commerce, in addition to its religious importance for thousands of years of history. Among the many projects under development is the Knowledge Economic City, one of Saudi Arabia’s major projects, designed to foster education and development in the country. Passengers flying to Madinah can travel in comfort from more than 100 destinations served by Qatar Airways across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific, North America and South America, via the airline’s Doha hub with the shortest possible connecting time. Madinah also becomes the ninth new route launched by Qatar Airways so far this year. Others being the introduction of services from Doha to Bucharest, Budapest, Brussels, Stuttgart, Aleppo, Shiraz, Venice and Montreal. Over the next few months, the airline introduces services to Kolkata, Sofia, Oslo, Entebbe, Baku and Tbilisi. Of the new Madinah services, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “We are delighted to add Madinah to our global route network, further strengthening our presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and clearly proving how important this dynamic market is for Qatar Airways. “We will now be able to fulfill the long-felt need of our customers, especially as we welcome the holy month of Ramadan in a few days from now. “As the route to Madinah develops, we will also look to add frequency and

Qatar Airways flies to Madinah four times a week capacity to improve connectivity even further,” added Al Baker. The Doha Madinah route is operated with an Airbus A320 in a two-class configuration of 12 seats in First Class and 132 in Economy. Qatar Airways’ expansion continues relentlessly later this month, extending its reach in South Asia with the launch of flights to Kolkata - formerly known as Calcutta - the commercial capital of eastern India from July 27. Kolkata becomes the 12th destination served by Qatar Airways across India. By 2013, Qatar Airways plans to serve over 120 key business and leisure destinations worldwide with a modern fleet of more than 120 aircraft. Today, the airline’s fleet stands at 98 aircraft, flying to over 100 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North and South America. Route expansion for the rest of 2011:● KOLKATA, India: July 27 Daily flights take airline’s Indian network up to 12 destinations ● SOFIA, Bulgaria: September 14: 4flights-a-week strengthen Eastern European presence ● OSLO, Norway: October 5: 5flights-a-week - airline’s third Scandinavian route ● ENTEBBE, Uganda: November 2: Daily non-stop flights ● BAKU, Azerbaijan: November 30: Daily non-stop flights ● TBILISI, Georgia, November 30: Daily via Baku

Dubai’s ENBD bank upbeat as loan provisions fall DUBAI: Emirates NBD, UAE’s largest bank by assets, looked forward to a further recovery from its troubles with bad debts yesterday as it delivered a 87 percent surge in second-quarter net profit. The result undershot analysts’ forecasts, but loan loss provisions dropped and income from investments surged. The bank’s shares stood 2.44 percent higher at 4.2 dirhams at 0755 GMT. “ The Bank is well-placed to take advantage of future improvements in local and regional economic activity and to capitalize on value-adding opportunities for our shareholders,” CEO Rick Pudner said in a statement. Dubai’s top lender, which reshuffled its board last month, made a net profit of 744 million dirhams ($202.6 million)for the three month period ending June 30, compared with 398 million dirhams in the prioryear period. Four analysts polled by Reuters had estimated an average profit of 746.3 million dirhams for the second quarter, while the average net profit estimate of analysts posted on the lender’s website was 982 million dirhams. Analysts said the quarterly results showed that the lender was on its way back to recovery after exposure to the emirate’s debt-laden conglomerates led to a sharp surge in non-performing loans and provisions in the last two years. “ The numbers are slightly below expectations but all-in-all they’re not bad,” said Haissam Arabi, chief executive and fund manager at Gulfmena Investments in Dubai said. “That shows you the bank is well on its way to recovery. While we didn’t see loan growth, we should see that start to pick up in the next two quarters. Overall, the numbers are satisfactory.” Profit for the first six months climbed 46.7 percent over the same period last

year to 2.2 billion dirhams, ENBD said in a bourse statement. Impairment provisions-the amount set aside to meet losses from bad loans and investments-fell 18 percent to 981 million dirhams during the quarter, helping aid profit growth. Total provisions stood at 3.8 billion dirhams for the six-months ended on June 30. Non-interest income climbed by 43 percent in the second-quarter due to improved income from investment securities, the company said, adding that trading business was impacted during the period due to political unrest in the region and debt concerns in the euro zone. Loans fell 2 percent in the first half, signalling lending activity remains muted in the region, while deposits were stable from December at 200.5 billion dirhams, the statement said. The company said economic and market conditions have improved considerably in the second quarter. Raj Madha, MENA banking analyst at Rasmala Investment Bank said that factor will bode well for the lender’s outlook. “There weren’t any real great areas of weakness in this report,” he said. “The company is making progress.” In June, Emirates NBD reshuffled its board of directors, resulting in the appointment of Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, one of Dubai’s most influential names, as chairman. The move could signal potential changes to come in Dubai’s banking sector, analysts said. ENBD shares have risen more than 50 percent this year outperforming the benchmark which is down 6.7 percent year-to-date. National Bank of Abu Dhabi , the UAE’s largest lender by market value, last week posted a 2.5 percent increase in quarterly profit due to higher interest income and income from Islamic financing, beating forecasts. — Reuters

TEHRAN: Iran yesterday signed a preliminary $10 billion deal with Syria and Iraq to export its natural gas, its latest effort to boost its energy sector that has been targeted by international sanctions. Under the memorandum of understanding signed by the three countries’ oil ministers, a 5,000 kilometer (3,100 mile) pipeline will be built to carry gas from the giant South Pars field that Iran shares with Qatar. The gas would move through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, to the Mediterranean, with Europe targeted as the final export destination, according to

state television and the Oil Ministry’s website, Shana. The deal would also supply gas to Syria, which lacks the kind of oil and gas resources of Iran and Iraq - two key OPEC members. Deputy Oil Minister Javad Owji was quoted by state television as saying that the pipeline would take three to five years to build. A search for a contractor and financier would begin after the signing of the MOU, Owji, who also serves as the managing director of the National Iranian Gas Company, was quoted as saying by Shana.

Qatar to supply LNG to Malaysia for 20 years DUBAI: Qatargas is to sell 1.5 million tons a year (mtpa) of liquefied natural gas to Malaysian LNG producer Petronas from 2013-2033, Qatargas said late on Sunday. Malaysia was the world’s second biggest exporter of LNG behind Qatar in 2009 but slipped into third place behind Indonesia in 2010 as dwindling output from ageing fields and rising demand from its power plants eroded exports. Qatar has meanwhile raced to the top of the LNG exporter league in the last decade and can now produce up to 77 million tons of super-cooled gas a year, around three times the capacity of Malaysia. “It is the first time Qatargas has signed a HOA (heads of agreement) for supplying LNG to the South East Asian market,” Qatargas CEO Khalid Bin Khalifa Al-Thani said in a statement. “ We are ver y pleased with this achievement as it represents the first

long-term agreement for supplying LNG to one of the world’s fastest growing LNG markets.” Petronas operates a 24 mtpa LNG export complex on the sparsely populated island of Borneo, but is building a 3.8 mtpa import terminal, expected to be completed by mid 2012, to meet rapidly rising demand on the more densely populated Malaysian mainland. Qatargas said the LNG supply deal with Petronas, which will run for at least 20 years from 2013, was equivalent to about 5 percent of Malaysia’s current annual domestic gas demand. In another sign of new consumer markets are competing for supplies with longstanding LNG buyers users in northeast Asia and Europe, Qatargas announced a deal to supply Argentina with 5 million tonnes mtpa from 2014-2034. Indonesia was the world’s largest exporter from 1984-2005 before being overtaken by Qatar. — Reuters

Owji said South Pars has sufficient gas reserves for 250 million cubic meters per day of exports for the next 80 years. Iran is under international sanctions over its controversial nuclear program, and those measures have kept many of the major international oil giants at arm’s length, leery of investments despite Iran’s abundant oil and gas reserves. The country is OPEC’s second largest oil exporter, and sits atop 137 billion barrels of conventional crude oil. It also holds the world’s second largest natural gas reserves roughly 28 trillion cubic meters. — AP

Iraq sees wheat output at 2.2m tons this year BAGHDAD: Iraq expects its wheat production to reach 2.2 million tons this year and rise to around 3 million in 2012 thanks to improved irrigation, an agriculture ministry official said yesterday. Deputy Agriculture Minister Ghazi al-Abboudi’s comments contradicted grain board chief Hassan Ibrahim’s forecast for 2011 wheat production. Ibrahim said last Monday that drought was expected to cut the national wheat harvest to 1.75 million tons. “No, no. It is expected to reach 2.2 million tons or more (for 2011),” Abboudi said. Iraq is one of the world’s largest grain importers, supplying a large public food ration program. It consumes 4.5 million tons of wheat and 1.2 million tons of rice a year, most of it imported. Abboudi said he expected 2012 wheat production to reach 3 million tons due to improved irrigation methods. Abboudi told Reuters in March that Iraq planned to start an eight-year, $700 million irrigation program this year, part of a plan to increase wheat production by more than 60 percent to 3 million tons. “The available wheat production covers no more than 70-75 percent of the demand,” Abboudi said. — Reuters

Dubai’s DIFC registrations up in H1; US

Samsung’s Galaxy s II hits 3m global sales KUWAIT: Samsung Electronics Co, Ltd, a global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies, yesterday announced that the Samsung GALAXY S II (Model: GT-I9100), has reached global channel sales of 3 million units. “Announced at Mobile World Congress 2011, the GALAXY S II represents our most advanced smartphone to date and demonstrates Samsung’s commitment to deliver premium, market-defining devices,” said JK Shin, President and Head of Samsung’s Mobile Communications Business. ”This milestone reflects the continued strong support from our carrier partners around the world who have chosen the GALAXY S II as their flagship Android device.” The GALAXY S II is Samsung’s flagship smartphone device; a beautifully thin (8.49mm) and lightweight, dualcore smartphone that combines an unmatched Super AMOLED Plus viewing experience with incredible performance, all on Android, the world’s fastest-growing mobile operating system. The next generation smartphone also includes exclusive access to Samsung’s four new content and entertainment hubs, seamlessly integrated to provide instant access to music, games, e-reading and social networking services. “The Samsung GALAXY S II is truly a revolutionary Smartphone that offers an unrivalled mobile performance,” said Ashraf Fawakherji, General Manager of Samsung Gulf Electronics Telecommunication Group.” This is evident from the tremendous response and feedback from consumers in the UAE with units sold out within just a few hours. Our retail partners have already placed high volume orders to

accommodate the high demand and we remain focused on ensuring that the device is made available to all consumers. The launch of this new super phone is proof of Samsung’s commitment to innovation and our growing leadership position within the smartphone category.”

DUBAI: The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the United Arab Emirates’ finance and business hub, said 64 companies joined in the first half of 2011, boosted by registrations from European and North American firms, the authority said yesterday. The number of registered companies operating in the centre reached 813 by the end of June, including 312 regulated and 409 non-regulated companies, and 92 retailers, the DIFC said in a statement. The firm running Dubai’s financial free zone said it continued to grow despite regional unrest and a continued global economic downturn. “The outlook for economic growth in the region continues to be strong due to the long-term fundamentals, particularly its abundance of natural resources and youthful populations, as well as the benefits of economic integration through the GCC Common Market and larger Free Trade Area,” said Abdulla Mohammed AlAwar, CEO of DIFC Authority. Dubai has so far escaped the regional unrest that began in December. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Dubai’s economy to expand by 2.8 percent this year up from 0.5 percent in 2010. The DIFC, launched in 2004, is a financial free zone home to 800 active registered firms, including 18 of the top 25 global banks, global asset managers, insurers and law firms. The authority said it continued to see interest from the Americas, Europe and Middle East and increased interest from Asia. Around 44 percent of new regulated companies joining in the first half of 2011 came from the Middle East and Asia and 50 percent from Europe and North America, it said. One of the seven United Arab Emirates, the OPEC producer’s trade and business hub Dubai is recovering from last year’s $25 billion debt restructuring in its flagship company, Dubai World , after its 2009 standstill sent global markets reeling. — Reuters

Aramco, Dow to build $20bn chemical complex DUBAI: Saudi Aramco and US Dow Chemical Company is to immediately start building a $20-billion integrated chemicals complex in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, Aramco said yesterday. The joint venture called “Sadara Chemical Company” will build one of the world’s largest chemical facilities, the state-run Saudi energy giant said, producing over 3 million metric tons of chemical products and plastics a year. “ This enterprise will play a key role in the Kingdom’s industrial and economic diversification while contributing to the creation of thousands of high quality jobs,” Khalid Al-Falih, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco, said in a statement. Construction is to start immediately, with the first production units expected on line in the second half of 2015 and all units expected to be up and running in 2016. Sadara is expected to generate sales of around $10 billion within a few years of operation and generate thousands of jobs, Aramco said. Sources told Reuters last week the project, first announced in 2007, would be finalized by the end of July or early August. The joint venture will give Dow access to cheap Saudi gas feedstock and a production facility close to the customers in the booming Asian market, Africa and Europe. For its part, Saudi Aramco gets a dedicated revenue source for the foreseeable future, part of its plan to expand its petrochemical industry and diversify away from oil alone. — Reuters




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TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011


KSE stocks edge lower

BAGHDAD: Iraq needs to boost its 2012 investment budget to as much as 60 trillion dinars ($51 billion) from a planned 40 trillion dinars, to allow funds for new projects, the planning minister said yesterday. Iraq has been starved of investment during the years of conflict triggered by the 2003 U.S.-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein and the process of rebuilding has been slow. “What is being put forth is 40 trillion Iraqi dinars (as the investment budget). We are now trying to increase it to a minimum of 55 or 60 trillion dinars,” Planning M inister Ali al-Shuk ri told Reuters in an interview yesterday. Finance Minister Rafie Al-Esawi said in May the 2012 budget would allocate 40 trillion ($34 billion) for investment projects, with the rest of the proposed 115 trillion dinars budget allocated for government spending. The proposed change would need to be approved by cabinet and parliament.

GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) saw a complete negative performance yesterday with all its indicators showing a declining trend. With no exceptions, all market sectoral indices closed the day at lower values. Trading activity was also down as investors chose to stay away as hopes for a political deal to avert a US default began to fade and fears that this would further weaken the local market. This reflected negatively on the Banking sector index that recorded a notable decline during the day. Market weighted Global General Index (GGI) ended the day down by 0.61 percent, at 185.31 point. Market capitalization was also down at KD30.32bn. KSE Price Index closed at 6,065.3 point, shedding 15.1 points (0.25 percent) of its previous close. Market breadth Market breadth tilted towards losers side with only 87 companies being traded during the day. 42 stocks closed with a decline against 16 stocks that advanced. Trading activity was down during the session with the services sector accounting for most of the trading. Total volume traded was down by 39.12 percent with 56.79mn shares changing hands at a total value of KD2.87mn (19.35 percent lower compared to the day before). The services sector was the volume leader, accounting for 37.6 percent of total shares changing hands. The same sector was the value leader, with 46.19 percent of total traded value. Aviation Leasing & Financing Company (Alafco) was the most active in terms of volume and values traded during yesterday’s ses-

KUWAIT: Traders watch the price monitors at the Kuwait Stock Exchange. The KSE benchmark index closed at 6,065.3 point, shedding 15.1 points (0.25 percent) yesterday. sion, with 12.81mn shares exchanged at an aggregate value of KD4.5mn. However, the scrip ended the day down by 1.41 percent. The drop of Alafco’s share price followed a 7.6 percent jump during the previous day after the company said it made a profit of KD17mn by waiving the purchase of six Airbus aircraft for an unnamed third party. In terms of top gainers, First Takaful Insurance Company took the top spot for the day, adding 7.69 percent to its share value and closed at KD0.070. On the other hand, Burgan for Well Drilling Company shed 8.93 percent and closed at KD0.255, making it the biggest decliner in the market.

Sector-wise Global Banking Index declined by 0.92 percent and heavily affected the overall market performance. The index had three heavyweights decliners and one single advanced bank which was Ahli United Bank that went up by 2.22 percent. National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) closed at KD1.080, that is 1.82 percent decline while Kuwait Finance House (KFH) declined by 1.10 percent to close at KD0.900. Commercial Bank of Kuwait was down the most, shedding 3.45 percent and closed at KD0.840. The ser vices sector went down by 0.30 percent. Burgan for Well Drilling Company and Kuwait Commercial Market

Iraq seeking bigger investment budget

Complexes were both in the top losers’ list for the day, shedding 8.93 percent and 6.41 percent, respectively. Heavyweights, National Mobile Telecommunication (Wataniya) and Agility negatively impacted the sector index’s performance as they lost 0.98 percent and 1.67 percent from their share values and closed at KD2.020 and KD0.295, respectively. Zain ended the day flat at KD1.000. Global Food Index was the biggest declining index, down by 1.80 percent. The index was dragged down by a 2.67 percent drop in the share price of the biggest food company, Kuwait Foodstuff Company (Americana). The scrip closed at KD1.500.

Shukri said the Finance Ministry had sent the investment budget to the cabinet for discussion. He said the suggested investment budget for 2012 was not enough to finance existing projects or launch new ones. The 2011 budget, which was approved in February, allocated $25.7 billion for investment. “ We want to increase it in order to pay for the ongoing (projects) and to create new ones,” Shukri said. “Our goal is to increase the investment budget by 4-5 percent each year.” Budget shor tfalls are challenging Iraq’s ability to rebuild. The country has announced massive projects to build hundreds of thousands of new homes and to boost electricity generation. Its economy is still largely disconnected from the global financial system and is dominated by oil, with exports from some of the world’s largest reserves in the world accounting for more than 95 percent of state revenues. —Reuters

Oil below $99 as US debt talks stall LONDON: Oil prices fell below $99 a barrel yesterday amid investor concern that the lack of an agreement among US lawmakers to raise the country’s debt limit could trigger a default and damage the global economy. Benchmark oil for September delivery was down $1.03 to $98.84 a barrel by midafternoon European time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude rose 74 cents to settle at $99.87 on Friday. In London, Brent crude slid $1.29 cents to $117.38 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange. Talks stalled during the weekend as an Aug. 2 deadline looms for Congress to raise the government’s $14.3 trillion debt limit. Without action by that date, the Treasury will be unable to pay all its bills, which could

lead to a debt default and undermine the global economy. Republican and Democratic leaders plan to present government spending and debt proposals later. “We believe that a last-minute stopgap deal will be reached, averting worst-case outcomes,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a report. “But it will fail to provide a credible long-term fiscal solution or lift rating agency concerns.” Bank of America said rating agencies will likely cut the US credit rating to AA from AAA by the end of the year. In other Nymex trading in September contracts, heating oil fell 3 cents to $3.11 a gallon while gasoline slid 3 cents to $3.06 a gallon. Natural gas futures for August delivery was flat at $4.37 per 1,000 cubic feet. —AP

TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011


US gets closer to losing its AAA rating

NEW YORK: The United States took a step closer to losing its coveted triple-A credit rating over the weekend as a political impasse in Washington reduced hopes of an agreement to meaningfully cut the nation’s budget deficit. Although analysts still expect a lastminute deal to raise the US debt ceiling and avoid a default next week, it seems unlikely that Democrats and Republicans will agree before the next election in November 2012 how to find $4 trillion through government spending cuts and revenue increases. Prospects of a budget breakthrough faded as lawmakers missed a selfimposed deadline to produce a deal by the time Asian markets opened for the new week. They still plan to outline pro-

posals last yestarday, but both sides appear further apart than ever. Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch have said they will downgrade the US credit rating if failure to raise the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling leaves the Treasury without cash to service its debt obligations last month. But, at this point, raising the ceiling is not enough to safeguard the triple-A rating. The ratings agencies have said the top-notch US rating will only be safe if they see a credible plan from Congress and President Barack Obama to address the country’s growing debt burden. S&P would likely be the first to remove the triple-A status a move that could raise borrowing costs for Americans for generations to come,

with Moody’s and Fitch expected to follow, though perhaps not immediately. The ratings agencies have suggested that deficit-reduction measures of some $4 trillion over 10 years could allow the US to retain its current rating, though that also depends on a healthy pace of economic growth. In another day of tense negotiations in Washington on Sunday, plans to cut hundreds of billions of dollars from the national debt have been proposed and then quickly discarded as the debate degenerated into an ideological battle. Republicans, driven by the fiscally conser vative Tea Par ty movement that helped them win the House of Representatives last November, strongly oppose tax increases, while Democrats dislike proposed cuts to popular social

programs. In mid-July S&P threatened to cut US ratings in the following three months if a meaningful deficit cutting plan wasn’t agreed. After issuing that downgrade warning, John Chambers, chairman of S&P’s sovereign ratings committee, told Reuters “this is the time” for such a deficit-reduction agreement. “If you get a small agreement, that will lead to a downgrade,” he said in the July 14 interview. Initially, the agencies seemed willing to wait longer for a deficit reduction plan. But eventually they came to the conclusion that, if a deal is not reached now, it will become even more difficult next year, when presidential elections will further increase political divisions. “When this started, the focus was the debt ceiling. Now the issue is that the

ratings agencies have said they need to have a credible deficit-reduction program in place for them to take away the threat of a downgrade,” said Steven Englander, head of G10 FX Strategy at Citigroup in New York. Moody’s has also said it may revise the outlook on the US rating to negative if lawmakers raise the debt ceiling but fail to substantially cut the deficit. A negative outlook is a sign the rating may be downgraded in 12 to 18 months. Fitch said it will decide on the outlook for the US rating as soon as lawmakers reach a budget deal in Washington. David Riley, Fitch’s main analyst for the United States, said the decision will take into account the headline figure for deficit reduction but also the credibility of the plan. — Reuters

Clinton seeks to reassure Asia on US debt impasse Asian nations urged to ensure ‘level playing’ on trade

ATHENS: A dog sleeps by a shop window advertising sales in Athens yesterday. Moody’s credit rating agency downgraded Greek debt by three notches and warned that the euro-zone rescue was almost certain to trigger another one-notch cut to default status.—AFP

RBS Aviation bars former boss from $8bn auction LONDON: Royal Bank of Scotland has excluded the former boss of its aircraft leasing business from the $8 billion auction of the unit, raising concerns the partnationalized bank is barring a credible bidder and could short-change the UK taxpayer. Four sources familiar with the matter said Dublin-based aircraft leasing firm Avolon, which is run by Domhnal Slattery, the founder and former CEO of RBS Aviation, has been barred from the process. Slattery hired away key executives from the RBS business early last year, when a previous sale process was underway, though it was subsequently abandoned after failing to find a buyer. Slattery left RBS Aviation in 2004 and remained a non-executive director there until January 2008. RBS Aviation is one of the world’s top five commercial airline leasing firms-it owns, manages or has orders for 466 aircraft-and could fetch between $6 billion and $8 billion, industry sources and analysts have said. Avolon could have been a credible bidder for the business, industry sources said. It has raised $3 billion in capital since launch and is backed by private equity firms CVC, Cinven and Oak Hill Capital. Excluding a potential bidder is an unusual step in an auction when the seller’s main objective is to get the best price possible. RBS is 83 percent owned by the UK taxpayer, and is attempting to return to profit and allow the government to sell its stake at a profit. Slattery founded International Aviation Management Group, which was bought by RBS in 2001 as the platform for RBS Aviation Capital. RBS said: “ The sale process for RBS Aviation Capital is underway following significant expressions of interest from potential bidders in the business in recent months,” adding it had one of the youngest

fleets of narrow bodied aircraft globally. “We will not be commenting further during the sales process,” the spokesman added. Avolon declined to comment. Interested suitors have been sent detailed sales information, and first round bids are due around mid- to late-August, sources said. At least seven firms are expected to receive the sales documents. Bank of China, private equity firm Terra Firma and GE Capital Aviation Services are expected to be among the possible suitors. Bank of China owns aviation leasing and financing unit BOC Aviation, which it bought for $3.2 billion in 2006 and currently owns about 40 aircraft. BOC Aviation did not answer calls to comment. RBS was one of the Bank of China’s cornerstone investors during the Chinese lender’s IPO in 2005 , but was forced to sell its holding in BoC in 2009 t o re build its capital. Other interested Asian firms could include Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp, Marubeni Trading Co or Australia’s Macquarie, sources said, although possibly for part of the business rather than all of it. RBS Aviation serves 100 airline customers in 38 countries and has total lending and owned assets of $12 billion, according to the company’s website. The business, which has a book value of $6.8 billion, sits in the bank’s non-core division, which RBS is selling or running down to shrink its balance sheet. RBS previously started a sale process for RBS Aviation around September 2009, but put the disposal on hold around April 2010 as the financial crisis made bids unattractive. About seven key staff departed for Avolon in January 2010. Almost all of Avolon’s top team used to work at RBS, including Chief Commercial Officer John Higgins, Finance Director Andy Cronin and Chief Operating Officer Tom Ashe and head of Risk and Strategy Dick Forsberg. — Reuters

First Gulf Bank sets sukuk sale guidance DUBAI: Abu Dhabi’s First Gulf Bank has set initial price guidance for a five-year, dollardenominated benchmark Islamic bond at 210 basis points above midswaps, a document from the lead banks showed yesterday. Joint bookrunners for the Islamic bond, or sukuk, issue are Citibank, HSBC and Standard Chartered. A benchmark bond is

typically at least $500 million. The company kicked off investor meetings for a potential sukuk issuance in Kuala Lampur on July 21 and will conclude its roadshow on Tuesday in Switzerland. FGB, 67 percent owned by Abu Dhabi’s ruling family, set up a new $3.5 billion Islamic bond program earlier this month paving the way for its first sukuk sale. —Reuters

LONDON: British Finance Minister George Osborne (left) talks with Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee (right) during the UK-India Economic and Financial Dialogue in central London yesterday. The two politicians took part in ‘UK-India Economic and Financial Dialogue meetings’ yesterday.—AFP

HONG KONG: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sought to reassure Asian investors over US debt worries yesterday, saying she was confident President Obama would ultimately reach a deal with congressional leaders to prevent a catastrophic default. “I’m confident that Congress will do the right thing and secure a deal on the debt ceiling, and work with President Obama to take the steps necessary to improve our longterm fiscal outlook,” Clinton said in a speech in Hong Kong. Clinton’s speech to business leaders was overshadowed by Washington’s failure to craft a deal to extend the US government’s borrowing authority, but she said the political wrangling was both natural and healthy. “Let me assure you we understand the stakes. We know how important this is for us and how important it is for you.” A sharply divided US Congress pursued rival budget plans on Monday that appeared unlikely to win broad support, pushing the United States closer to a ratings downgrade and debt default that could trigger global economic calamity. Fred Neumann, co-head of Asian

economics research at HSBC in Hong Kong, said US policymakers knew Asian investors, who have large exposures to US Treasuries, were desperate for reassurance that the United States would not default on its debt. “The US in particular as well as Western Europe will need to rely on much more forceful Asian demand in the next few years, to be able to pay off their debt and make sure that the default doesn’t occur,” he said. Clinton laid out the US vision for the future of world trade, one she said must be based on “open, free, transparent and fair” principles that apply to all. “We in the United States are in the middle of a necessary transition. We must save more and spend less ... we must borrow less as well,” Clinton said. “Our partners must meet this change with changes of their own.” The United States is committed to expanding its economic outreach-and to push for a “level playing field” to counter what Washington believes are unfair advantages that have helped China and some other emerging economies grow so fast, she added.

Clinton urged Asian governments to do more to boost consumer demand, and to take a new look at policies ranging from intellectual property rights to support for state enterprises at the expense of private entrepreneurs. Clinton was relatively soft on traditional bashing points, usually directed at China, highlighting that both Washington and Beijing are trying to resolve differences ahead of a series of major international meetings including an East Asia Summit in November. US Vice President Joe Biden is due to visit China. While she did not directly target China, Clinton’s message yesterday was clearly intended for Beijing, which US officials have accused of using regulatory measures and an artificially low exchange rate to rack up some $3.2 trillion in foreign exchange reserves. US officials said China was clearly concerned about the US debt impasse and had repeatedly urged Washington to get its economic house in order. “ They ’ve basically said that they’ve made a substantial investment in the United States and that they expect-not hope, expect-the

United States will abide by its various financial and international commitments. Full stop,” one US official said. Clinton’s visit, the first by a US Secretary of State to Hong Kong since Beijing resumed control over the city from Britain in 1997, comes at the end of a round-the-world trip during which China was often at the top of the agenda. “We are a resident power in Asia-not only a diplomatic or military power, but a resident economic power. And we are here to stay,” she said. Clinton later met Chinese State Councillor Dai Bingguo in the southern Chinese economic boomtown of Shenzhen. A US official said they spoke for four hours, discussing a range of issues including arms sales to Taiwan and North Korea. He said both parties were committed to trying to stabilize their relationship. “Clinton emphasized the importance of strong steady predictable relationship,” he told Reuters. D a i e x p re s s e d d i s p l e a s u re over Obama’s recent meeting with the Dalai Lamma. But the o f f i c i a l s a i d : “i t w a s a c a re f u l presentation, and I think appropriately metered. —Reuters

Bank of Ireland set to escape state control

SAN FRANCISCO: Packages of Huggies and Pull-Ups, both Kimberly Clark brands, are displayed at a store in San Francisco. Consumer products maker Kimberly-Clark said yesterday, its second-quarter profit fell 18 percent, dragged down by higher commodity costs and an increased tax rate. —AP

Kimberly-Clark profit falls on higher costs DALLAS: Consumer products maker Kimberly-Clark Corp said yesterday that its second quarter profit fell 18 percent, dragged down by higher commodity costs and an increased tax rate. The Dallas company also said it expects 2011 adjusted earnings will likely be in the lower half of its previous range, but raised its full-year revenue guidance. Its shares fell 65 cents to $67.25 in premarket trading. Like many companies, Kimberly-Clark has seen costs for the materials it uses continue to climb and has raised prices in an attempt to alleviate some of the pressure. Chairman and CEO Thomas Falk said in a statement that the commodity cost environment has gotten worse over the past three months, but that the company was keeping its full-year outlook because it planned to lower overhead costs and should benefit from favorable currency exchange rates. But Falk said if input costs don’t moderate, it’s likely Kimberly-Clark’s 2011 adjusted earnings will be in the lower half of its range. The maker of Kleenex tissues, Huggies diapers and other goods reported net income of $408 million, or $1.03 per share, for the period ended June 30. That’s down from $498 million, or $1.20 per share, a year ago. Adjusted earnings were $1.18 per share. This surpassed the $1.14 per share that analysts surveyed by FactSet predicted. Revenue rose 8 percent to $5.26 billion from $4.86 billion on higher sales volumes and increased prices. Wall Street expected $5.11 billion. The company’s personal care unit reported a 7 percent increase in sales,

but sales in North America declined 2 percent as demand for infant care and child care products remained weak and fewer infant care shipments were made to Canada. Sales increased 9 percent in Europe as better sales of baby wipes, child care products and other items offset lower diaper volumes. KimberlyClark’s international operations - which includes Asia, Latin American, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa - posted a 19 percent rise in sales. At the consumer tissue division, revenue rose 9 percent to $1.7 billion. North American revenue rose 5 percent, while European revenue increased 11 percent. K-C international’s revenue rose 14 percent. The health care segment’s revenue rose 14 percent in the quarter, with medical supply volumes increasing by double-digits thanks in part to better sales of gloves and clothing. The company’s tax rate climbed to 31 percent from 27.5 percent. KimberlyClark maintained full-year guidance for adjusted earnings between $4.80 to $5.05 per share. Revenue is now expected to climb about 5 percent to 7 percent. The company’s prior forecast called for revenue to rise 4 percent to 6 percent. Analysts expect 2011 earnings $4.85 per share on revenue of $20.73 billion. Kimberly-Clark’s outlook accounts for anticipated higher costs for polymer resin, superabsorbent, adhesives and other packaging materials. The company said that costs for many of those materials have continued to climb even though oil prices have moderated somewhat over the past three months. — AP

DUBLIN: The Bank of Ireland has won a 1.12-billion-euro ($1.6-billion) injection from private investors in a deal to keep the nation’s largest lender out of majority state ownership, the government said yesterday. “The Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, today welcomed the successful conclusion of negotiations by the government with a group of investors,” said a statement from the Department of Finance. “Subject to appropriate regulatory clearances being obtained, they have committed to buy up to 1.123 billion euros of the state’s shares in Bank of Ireland (BOI), reducing accordingly the state’s obligation to capitalize for this amount as part of the March stress tests.” The investors will initially buy 241 million euros of the state’s shareholding and were also committing to purchase the remainder of up to 882 million euros after regulatory approvals have been given. Dublin currently owns 36 percent of the bank but has been talking to investors in recent months to reduce its stake to a range between 15-32 percent. “This investment is tangible proof of growing international confidence in the future prospects of both Bank of Ireland and the Irish economy,” said Noonan in the statement. The BOI welcomed yesterday’s news of the investment from a group of significant institutional investors and fund managers. Noonan added that the deal would result in a minimum private-sector ownership of 68 percent in the bank. In March, Ireland’s central bank ordered a drastic overhaul of the nation’s stricken banking sector after carrying out stress tests on their capital and liquidity, in a Prudential Capital Assessment Review (PCAR). Under the shake-up, the central bank decided that BOI needed to raise new capital of about 5.2 billion euros by the end of July. “ Today ’s announcement represents the accomplishment of another major step in our plan,” added Noonan yesterday. “The commitment by a number of significant private sector investors to invest side by side with the state’s retained holding without any form of additional risk sharing by the state reaffirms the credibility of our stress tests and the health of our banks after the PCAR exercise. “It further underlines how we are successfully breaking the link between bank risk and the sovereign.” Ireland’s government was forced to bailout the euro-zone country’s banking sector after years of reckless lending. In recent times it has been hammered by the international financial crisis and collapse of a domestic property bubble that has seen house prices slump since 2007. — AFP



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Japan automakers output on the mend after disaster TOKYO: Japan’s automakers reported mixed vehicle production figures yesterday as the industry works toward recovery from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Some, such as Nissan, are doing considerably better than others. Nissan Motor Co made 419,831 vehicles worldwide in June, up 18.5 percent from the same time last year and an all-time record for a single month. Its production in Japan rose 1.9 percent to 102,390 units thanks to strong demand for the Juke and Rogue crossovers. Global vehicle sales rose more than 13 percent in volume terms, and exports jumped 25 percent. Separately, the Yokohama-based automaker unveiled plans to expand aggressively in Southeast Asia over the next six years. It aims to more than triple sales to 500,000 vehicles in the region, which includes Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam. It also targets a 15 percent market share by the end of 2016, up from 6 percent last fiscal year. “As car demand in emerging markets has been rising rapidly, we foresee it will soon capture more than half of global sales volumes,” said Toru Hasegawa, president of Nissan Motor Asia Pacific Co and Nissan Motor Thailand, in a statement. Southeast Asian countries “are among those we have marked as our strategic growth drivers.” Bigger rival Toyota Motor Corp. also posted encouraging numbers. Although global production fell 9.2 percent to 593,839 vehicles, the result is a vast improvement from the 49 percent plunge it recorded in May. Toyota’s domestic sales fell almost 36 percent in June, and exports retreated 21 percent. Its domestic and overseas production levels should return to near

TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan (right) and his cabinet members, Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Kaoru Yosano (second right), Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano (third right), Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda (fourth right), and Postal Reform Minister Shozaburo Jimi (left), attend the Upper House plenary session to pass a second extra quake-relief budget for fiscal 2011 at the parliament in Tokyo yesterday. — AFP

pre-earthquake levels in July and reach full production later this year, Toyota said. It also plans to make an extra 350,000 vehicles from October through March 2012 to make up for production lost to the disaster and its aftereffects. The magnitude-9.0 earthquake and tsunami wiped out much of Japan’s northeast coast, damaging factories and disrupting supplies of crucial components, forcing Japanese automakers to pull back on production and exports. Honda Motor Co is facing a tougher comeback. Its output worldwide in June fell 44.5 percent from last year to 168,373 vehicles, just a slight improvement from a 50.4 percent decline recorded in May. Domestic sales slumped almost 36 percent, and exports plunged more than 60 percent. Both figures were nearly flat from the previous month’s result. Honda’s production levels even fell under those of usually smaller rival Suzuki Motor Corp, both in June and for the first six months of the year. Suzuki made 197,178 vehicles worldwide in June, down 15 percent from a year earlier. Its output from January to June totaled 1.36 million units, outpacing Honda’s 1.30 million units. Suzuki’s Japan sales retreated about 12 percent, and exports fell 23 percent. Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said global production rose 15.1 percent to 106,267 vehicles in June. Exports climbed more than 25 percent, while Japan sales fell 10 percent. Worldwide output at Mazda Motor Corp. slipped 1.3 percent in June to 113,786 vehicles. Its domestic sales tumbled almost 32 percent from a year earlier. Solid demand from Europe and Oceania sent exports up 3 percent in the month, Mazda said. — AP

Moody’s downgrades Greek debt in mixed view of rescue Euro-zone rescue to trigger another one-notch cut PARIS: Moody’s credit rating agency downgraded Greek debt by three notches yesterday and warned that the euro-zone rescue was almost certain to trigger another onenotch cut to default status. Moody’s, taking a similar line to the Fitch agency on Friday, said that once old debt had been replaced with new bonds on easier terms under the rescue scheme, it would assess the new instruments and issue a new notation. A default rating could have unforeseeable domino effects on financial markets, but the ISDA organization which oversees CDS default insurance contracts said the rescue terms would probably not trigger payout clauses. Averting a default, and triggering CDS turmoil, was a key obstacle in the rescue talks, but eventually euro-zone governments resigned themselves to this possibility. Moody’s Investors Service said that the second rescue announced on Thursday meant that private sector holders of Greek bonds “are now virtually certain to incur credit losses.” This rescue for Greece involves initially up to 2014 about 110 billion euros from euro-zone governments in various forms and 50 billion euros from banks. But Moody’s said the effect would be “limited.” The agency, which issued two statements on the rescue, said that it had “downgraded Greece’s local- and foreign-currency bond ratings to Ca from Caa1 and has assigned a developing outlook to the ratings”. This reflected “the current uncertainty about the exact market value of the securities creditors will receive in the exchange.” It explained that “if and when the debt exchanges occur, Moody’s would define

UK’s Yorkshire to buy Egg units from Citi LONDON: British mortgage lender Yorkshire Building Society is to buy the mortgage and savings business of Egg Banking from American bank Citigroup , as Citi continues to sell non-core assets after its bailout during the credit crisis. Yorkshire, owned by its customers, said the Egg businesses it was acquiring comprised of a 2.5 billion pound ($4.1 billion) savings book and a 430 million pound mortgage book. It added it would also acquire the Egg brand. The sale of the Egg divisions to Yorkshire Building Society comes just a few months after Citi had sold off Egg’s credit card assets to British bank Barclays . Yorkshire Building Society, which has more than 30 billion pounds worth of assets, said buying the Egg businesses would widen its products and range of services, and improve the company’s funding position. Yo rk s h i re d i d n ot discl o se how much it paid for the Egg businesses. Yorkshire Building Society is also looking at Northern Rock, the fully nationalized British bank which the UK government aims to sell off in due course. Citi acquired Egg from British insurer Prudential Plc in 2007 for 575 million pounds and the American bank had been look ing to sell Egg for some time. — Reuters

ATHENS: A man stands on a concrete height marker on Athens’ Philopappou Hill. Moody’s credit rating agency downgraded Greek debt by three notches yesterday. — AP this as a default by the Greek government on its public debt.” The rescue offered short-term relief both to Greece, and to the euro-zone, and so reduced the risk of contagion from the debt crisis, the agency said in an overall muted assessment of the long-term effects. On Friday, the French-US rating agency Fitch said that it would issue a restricted default rating, and would then issue a new and probably higher rating of low investment grade for the new instruments. Fitch also said that the rescue was an important step forward but warned that unless there was general economic recovery in the euro-zone and progress on cut-

ting budget deficits, further turmoil could not be ruled out and “downward pressure on sovereign ratings will persist.” Moody’s explained that the European Union program, together with support from big financial institutions in the Institute of International Finance IIF, “implies that the probability of a distressed exchange, and hence a default, on Greek government bonds is virtually 100 percent.” It said: “The magnitude of investor losses will be determined by the difference between the face value of the debt exchanged and the market value of the debt received. The IIF has indicated that

investor losses are likely to be in excess of 20 percent.” The IIF said on Thursday that private sector investors “will contribute 54 billion euros from mid-2011 through mid-2004 and a total of 135 billion euros ($194 billion) to the financing of Greece from mid2011 to end 2020.” But Moody’s said that although the rescue package offered a number of benefits for Greece, “the impact on Greece’s debt burden is limited.” The rescue raised the chances that Greece could stabilize and reduce its debt burden, and it helped the euro-zone by “containing the severe near-term contagion risk that would have followed a disorderly payment default.” But “Greece will still face medium-term solvency challenges: its stock of debt will still be well in excess of 100 percent of gross domestic product for many years.” The agency also noted that Ireland and Portugal, which are also being rescued by the European Union and International Monetary Fund, would benefit from reduced loan rates. But, “despite statements to the contrary, the support package sets a precedent for future restructurings.” The effect of the rescue strategy was therefore likely to have a neutral effect on perceptions of risk for people holding Irish and Portuguese debt, it said. Moody’s also said the positive effects of new powers for the EU EFSF financial stability fund on market sentiment had to be balanced against the negative effect of a precedent being set. For euro-zone countries which did not have the best credit ratings and had debt problems, on balance “the negatives will outweigh the positives and weigh on ratings in future,” Moody’s said. — AFP

Asian shares fall on US default fears

HONG KONG: Asian stocks fell yesterday as US talks aimed at raising the country’s debt limit fell apart, raising the specter of a default, although losses were muted on expectations a deal would be reached. The crisis weighed on the dollar, sending it to its lowest level against the yen since just after the March 11 earthquake in Japan, which prompted an intervention by Tokyo and its G7 partners. Hong Kong fell 0.79 percent by the break, Tokyo was also 0.79 percent lower in the afternoon, Sydney shed 1.30 percent, Shanghai lost two percent and Seoul was 0.80 percent lower. With just over a week to go before the US runs out of money to repay its debt, President Barack Obama and his Republican opponents remain deadlocked on talks over a deficit-cutting budget that will allow for more borrowing. As the August 2 deadline looms to raise the country’s $14.3 trillion debt limit, there are fears that a default by the world’s biggest economy will send shudders through world markets that could lead to another global recession. Obama has described such a scenario as “Armageddon”. However, the two sides are unable to agree on a budget, with the Republicans adamant that savings must come solely from cost-cutting with no tax rises, while the Democrats want some tax rises for the rich and corporations. There had been hopes last week that a deal was close when Obama threw his weight behind a tentative plan. But the crisis deepened over the weekend when the man leading Republican negotiations, John Boehner, refused to return calls to Obama, saying that the White House had shifted the goalposts and had made fresh tax-raising demands. “With just days to go now before the August 2 deadline, investors who had previously written the impasse off as political games are now going to seriously consider the possibility of a

default,” GFT Global Markets director of global dealing operations Martin Slaney said. However, despite rising concerns, traders agree that the Republicans, Democrats and the White House will reach an agreement to avoid a default. Dariusz Kowalczyk, a senior economist and strategist at Credit Agricole CIB, told AFP: “With a week still to go, I think the general sentiment is that there could be many solutions. I expect a deal could be reached before August 2.” And IG Markets chief market strategist Ben Potter told Dow Jones Newswires: “We’re still of the view that the ‘too big to fail’ attitude will mean the debt ceiling is raised.” However he added that it was “becoming more evident that it’s going to take longer than expected and that one side is

probably going to have to give up more ground than they had wanted”. On currency markets, the dollar fell as low as 78.12 yen in early trade, the lowest level since March 17 when the greenback slid to the 76-yen range, leading to the intervention. It recovered to 78.37 yen by 0330 GMT in Tokyo against 78.52 yen in New York late Friday. The euro was at 112.67 yen, against 112.69, while it was also up at $1.4370 from $1.4357. Oil fell on concerns that demand would fall off in the event of another financial crisis. New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate light sweet crude for September delivery, sank $1.08 to $98.79 a barrel, and Brent North Sea crude-also for September deliverydropped 60 cents to $118.07.—AFP

TOKYO: People walk past an electronic share prices board in Tokyo yesterday. Tokyo shares lost 0.81 percent on concerns over stalled talks on raising the US debt ceiling that also spurred the safe-haven yen. The benchmark Nikkei average fell 82.10 points to 10,050.01. — AFP

China should not worry about US debt crisis: CB adviser BEIJING: China should not worry about stalled US talks over the debt limit, an academic adviser to the People’s Bank of China said yesterday, predicting that politicians will ultimately reach a deal to avert a crisis. Xia Bin, a member of the central bank’s monetary policy committee, played down near-term risks to China’s economy since Washington has little choice but to continue pursuing loose monetary policy in a bid to spur the world’s biggest economy. “Don’t worry too much about it. The United States will have to issue more debt and issue more currency,” Xia told Reuters in an interview. Xia said the debt talks have gained too much media attention as US politicians try to maneuver on the debt issue to score strategic points before the next presidential election in November 2012. “They won’t betray the national interest. They are now playing with politics,” Xia said. “They will definitely reach a compromise,” he said. As a central bank adviser, Xia is an influential economist but is not directly involved in policymaking. Prospects of a budget breakthrough faded as lawmakers missed a self-imposed deadline to produce a deal by the time Asian markets opened for the new week. They still plan to outline proposals on Monday, but both sides appear further apart than ever. For details, see . Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch have said they will downgrade the US credit rating if failure to raise the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling leaves the Treasury without cash to service its debt obligations in August. Investors in Asia took a defensive stance, although there was no evidence of the sort of panic selling that some politicians in Washington had feared. Stocks slipped while the Swiss franc rose and gold hit a record high. Xia reiterated his earlier views that China should speed up diversification of its rapidly accumulating foreign exchange reserves away from dollar assets to hedge against risks from what he predicted would be a long-term decline for the US currency. China’s reserves, the world’s largest, swelled by $152.8 billion in the second quarter to a record $3.2 trillion, driven by sustained capital inflows and its large trade surplus.Chinese officials have pledged to diversify the huge reserves as much as 70 percent of which are now in US dollar assets, according to analyst estimates-but the process has been gradual. China faces “pressures and challenges” in managing its huge foreign reserves, but the holdings may also present the country with an “unprecedented” opportunity to help its long-term growth, Xia told Reuters on July 14. Separately, Zhu Baoliang, chief economist at the State Information Centre, a top government thinktank, said he also expected the U.S. debt impasse to be temporary. “I think they will reach a compromise. The possibility of a debt default in the United States is not big,” he told Reuters. Zhu said the US debt market-the deepest and most liquid in the world, remains the main investment destination for China’s foreign currency reserves, despite steady diversification towards European and other non-dollar assets. “The direction of our reserve investment will not change too quickly, we can diversify our reserves slowly but it’s hard to make any big adjustment in the short-term,” he said. Zhu said China’s economy is on a sound footing despite risks from the United States and Europe, keeping the door open for further policy tightening to tackle stubbornly high inflation, which hit a three-year high of 6.4 percent in June. “Chinese leaders have made clear that fighting inflation remains their top priority, so we cannot rule out rises in interest rates and banks’ reserve requirement ratios,” he said. The central bank raised interest rates five times and lifted banks’ reserve requirement ratio nine times since October to try to wrestle inflation under control. — Reuters




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Building the digital advantage for MENA countries DUBAI: Countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have a substantial opportunity to drive economic growth by developing a vibrant and innovative technology sector. However, these countries have not yet fully capitalised on this opportunity. They enjoy the gains in efficiency that come from using products and services within the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, yet to date they remain consumers and net importers of technology. Over time, economies with a robust ICT sector enjoy a substantial competitive advantage - they become more innovative across all sectors of their economies, and thus better prepared to face the challenges of the 21st century. To strengthen their ICT sectors and foster innovation, governments in the MENA region must act on five core elements: identifying key focus areas, establishing innovation-friendly policies and regulations, making funding more widely available, improving ICT infrastructure, and developing the local talent pool. These elements are interconnected and will require a holistic approach, implemented in conjunction with private-sector ICT players. The end result will be a stronger innovation environment, not only for the ICT sector but for the national economy. Around the world, the information and communications technology (ICT) sector has transformed societies and economies over the past decade, via a steady stream of innovative new products and technologies. Product cycles in the sector are now so short that ICT companies must innovate simply to compete, and the intense pace of this innovation has fuelled tremendous growth not only for the companies within the ICT sector but for many other industries as well. However, according to Booz & Company, new information technologies have changed the way we interact, added intelligence to core infrastructures such as transportation and utilities, and spurred widespread innovation across national economies. As a result, governments now recognise that innovation in ICT products and services can have a multiplier effect, driving productivity growth and economic performance across the country as a whole. This is why governments of both developed and emerging markets have made ICT innovation a priority on their national agendas. Recent initiatives include the European Union’s Digital Agenda, Malaysia’s Strategic ICT Roadmap, Germany’s ICT 2020 Research for Innovation, and the U.S.’s Strategy for American Innovation. These programmes aim to establish national ecosystems capable of promoting ICT innovation

at all levels, through a holistic and well-coordinated agenda of government policies. To understand how best to foster ICT innovation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, it is important to understand the roots of such innovation. One primary source of innovation is the research and development function of scientific institutions and large corporations. The second source of ICT innovation is entrepreneurs who develop new business models or products from the ground up, relying on the Internet, application stores, the telecom sector, or IT devices to reach markets. “Innovation within the ICT sector can lead to innovation in other sectors of a national economy and thus make it more competitive. Countries of the MENA region have an opportunity to develop a strong innovation culture for their ICT sectors by fostering technology start-ups, creating businessfriendly policies and regulations in such areas as patent filings, and devoting a larger percentage of their GDP to R&D,” said Bahjat El-Darwiche, Partner, Booz & Company. The lack of overall innovation can have a significant negative impact on the region’s long-term economic competitiveness. Currently, the MENA region is a net importer of information and communications technology - companies in the region purchase ICT products and services that enhance efficiency, but the national economies do not enjoy the greater gains that come from a vibrant local ICT sector. To that end, national governments in the MENA region must take a holistic approach to addressing five key issues, with the long-term goal of establishing an ICT innovation ecosystem. These five components are interconnected, and government is the enabler and supporter of all five. If implemented holistically, these elements can lead not only to a stronger and more innovative local ICT sector, but also to a more innovative regional economy across all sectors. ICT Key Focus Areas ICT is a broad and growing sector, and no country can excel in all the sector’s many clusters. Focus and selection are thus critical. To identify the most relevant focus areas, regional governments must understand both where demand exists and how they can use their strengths to fulfill it. First, factors such as demographics and the socioeconomic agenda can identify specific market demands within each country. “For the MENA region, key focus areas with strong local potential include Arabic and Islamic services and applications, IT services and smart devices for the energy and utilities sectors, e-education and e-

More companies are being targeted by cyber-attacks LONDON: Another finding has emerged from the Global IT Security Risks survey conducted by Kaspersky Lab in partnership with global research agency B2B International. More than 1,300 IT professionals in 11 countries participated in the survey. The most common threat for businesses is malware infection, which has been experienced by 61% of the businesses surveyed during a period of recent 12 months. The top-five types of cyber-attacks aimed at corporations also include spam, phishing, network intrusion, and Denial of Service. 9% of companies admit to at least one IT security issue involving a targeted attack. But perhaps the most alarming

result of the survey is the fact that almost a third of businesses feel that they are being targeted by cyber-criminals. “9% of companies falling victim to targeted attacks may seem to be a low proportion, but actually - relatively - it’s alarmingly high,” said Eugene Kaspersky, CEO and co-founder of Kaspersky Lab. “It takes time to organize targeted attacks: cyber-criminals have to tailor them specifically for particular targets. The only reason the percentage is not higher is that most of these attacks are designed to stay discrete so companies never even notice them.” Below you can find the detailed results of Kaspersky Lab’s research, and our recommendations.

Rebooting your computer.

Details leak out about iPhone 5 NEW YORK: It’s only a few months until the newest generation of iPhone hits stores and details about its features are slowly leaking out. According to the usually wellinformed Wall Street Journal, the fifth iteration of the best-selling smartphone will be thinner than its predecessor and have an eight-pixel - not five - camera. The paper quoted Apple’s suppliers, since the company does not manufacture the iPhone itself. Two weeks ago, the Bloomberg news agency had reported about the

improved camera, as well as about a faster processor. Apple has remained, as usual, mum about its new product, refusing to comment. But the Wall Street Journal says the new phone will be released in this quarter. Bloomberg, citing informed sources, reported September. Speculation has been ongoing for months about when the successor to the hugely successful iPhone 4 might hit stores. Until now, new models have been released around midyear, meaning the iPhone 5 is behind schedule. — dpa

health systems that support the massive buildup of related sectors in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and devices and systems for urban and infrastructure management to complement the development of several multibillion-dollar economic cities,” added El-Darwiche, Simultaneously, regional governments must understand where their capabilities lie - assessing current economic strengths within their national economy to determine whether they have a sufficient manufacturing base or other industrial entities needed to support the ICT key focus areas. Policies and Regulations Even though governments in the region have taken dramatic steps recently to establish business-friendly policies and reduce startup costs for companies, there is still more work to be done in developing efficient policies and regulations pertaining to intellectual property and copyright protection. “These regulations are a factor in virtually all industries throughout the region, but they are especially critical in ICT, in which ideas drive success. Companies will reap little reward for developing an innovative new software suite if they can’t protect that software in the market. Although some countries have intellectual property and copyright laws in place, they are not consistently enforced. As a result, the MENA region experienced losses of more than $1.4 billion in 2009 due to IT software piracy, according to the Business Software Alliance,” stated Ramez Shehadi, Partner, Booz & Company. Furthermore, governments must enhance dispute resolution laws and enforce contracts. The current lack of advanced bankruptcy laws in most MENA countries leads to significant uncertainty regarding early-stage financing - investors are understandably hesitant to back young companies if they aren’t protected in some way should the company fail. Finally, foreign business ownership laws must be relaxed (not only within business parks, which often have more flexible ownership laws, but nationwide), and labour laws should become more flexible. “In devising these policies, governments should solicit the input of all stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem - public, private, and educational - to ensure collaboration after the relevant laws is put in place. Finally, governments need to determine the best way to interact with key members of the ICT innovation community. They should work to develop ICT business associations and trade groups, which must emphasise exports as a key target of the local ICT innovation ecosystem,” Shehadi added.

Funding Without funding, neither innovators nor entrepreneurs would be able to develop new products or commercialise their ideas. This is why the E.U.’s Digital Agenda calls for doubling Europe’s R&D investment in ICT by 2020, from US$8 billion to $16 billion for public spending, while promoting an equivalent increase in private spending, from $51 billion to $102 billion. MENA governments must significantly increase their R&D spending and provide financing for entrepreneurs in key focus areas by setting up national funds for innovators and entrepreneurs. However, such government funds are not enough - they should be complemented by broader and more efficient funding on the part of the private sector. “The region’s network of venture capital (VC) firms and angel investors is less mature than networks elsewhere. This network could be further developed by clarifying the terms for how venture and angel investments are structured, including cross-border investment laws and bankruptcy laws,” Louay Abou Chanab, Principal, Booz & Company commented. Besides improving the funding climate for small companies and entrepreneurs, MENA governments should look to enhance innovation financing through large ICT companies. Corporations such as Orange, Deutsche Telekom, and TelefÛnica all have internal innovation programmes, along with funds to invest in external startups and thus boost their own services. In markets such as Europe and the U.S., governments provide such companies with incentives and subsidies to run these programmes. “However, in the MENA region, no similar innovation programmes exist for large ICT players, a gap that limits entrepreneurs’ access to markets and networks. In parts of the MENA region, particularly in the GCC, taxes are negligible and tax cuts are therefore not available as an incentive. In that context, governments must be more creative in devising ways to drive innovation in these companies, or launch public-private partnerships that can accomplish the same thing,” said Abou Chanab. Infrastructure Governments should make sure that modern infrastructure is available to support innovation in the key focus areas. At a minimum, this includes the basic elements required to ensure competitiveness in any business sector: reliable and affordable energy and utilities; an extensive, highquality transportation network; and afford-

able office space. “Beyond that, policymakers must ensure that infrastructure is in place for more specialised ICT needs, including a robust telecom and broadband network. If next-generation ICT applications are to thrive and support economies, they must run on nextgeneration broadband networks that enable ultrafast connections at affordable prices. Governments worldwide have invested billions of dollars in order to deploy the broadband networks that will act as the backbone of data-hungr y economies,” explained El-Darwiche. Talent Pool Building the right talent pool is the most crucial step for any national ICT innovation programme, and the one that requires the longest time frame. In the short term, MENA countries - specifically those in the GCC - have little choice but to rely on imported talent. However, they can derive the greatest benefit from this temporary workforce by ensuring that some knowledge transfer takes place. Shehadi remarked, “In the long term, nations must guarantee a consistent supply of local talent if they are to build a sustainable, long-term comparative advantage. In the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2010-2011, MENA countries scored poorly when it came to the availability of scientists and engineers. Although there are some exceptions, such as Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt, many nations in the region need to educate and train more engineers.” A holistic approach in which governments address all five innovation ecosystem components - identifying key focus areas in ICT, establishing innovation-friendly policies and regulations, improving funding, upgrading infrastructure, and developing local talent - will help countries develop a dynamic innovation environment. As a result, MENA countries will be better equipped to generate a steady stream of innovative ICT products and services. More important, over time this innovation environment will lead to a greater goal - a sustainable long-term economic advantage over other countries. “Policymakers have a range of tools at their disposal with which they can achieve these goals, including social networking, which can draw together the disparate elements of the ICT innovation community. For some MENA nations, the path to ICT innovation will be faster and smoother than for others. However, the end result will justify the journey,” concluded Abou Chanab.

Apple juggernaut to see more China gains Apple aims for sharp rise in China sales HONG KONG: Apple is set to exponentially grow its China business as the country’s No.1 and No.3 telecom operators jostle to stitch up deals to sell iPhones in the world’s largest mobile phone market, home to more than 900 million subscribers. China Unicom is the sole operator offering Apple’s sleek feature-filled smartphones but it is only a matter of time before No.1 operator China Mobile and No.3 China Telecom — follow suit, analysts said. “The biggest winner will be Apple. While the operators may be forced to subsidise the iPhone to users, Apple will still get the price it wanted from all the operators no matter what,” said Alex Chau, a senior research manager at research firm IDC Asia Pacific. Apple’s Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said last week that the maker of the iPhone and iPad was merely “scratching the surface” in China. Smartphones still account for a fraction of the total market. China’s voracious appetite for all things Apple was on display last week when an American blogger living in Kunming, in the country’s isolated southwest, unearthed an elaborate fake Apple store. Asia Pacific-which now accounts for about one-fifth of its total revenue-and Greater China in particular, helped Apple’s revenue surge 82 percent to $28.6 billion in AprilJune. “We believe the success in China, and other emerging economies, has been fueled by iPhone growth,” PiperJaffray analysts said in a note. “Apple is succeeding with the iPhone in markets where they have not found great success with the Mac; moreover, we expect the company to extend this success with the iPad as the product line matures.” Though China has a massive growing mobile market, only 80 million are 3G users, with the rest low-end 2G subscribers who mainly own cellphones to make calls only. As of endJune, China had 907 million mobile phone users, bigger than the entire population of Europe. Apple only has four stores in China, from where it sells iPhones and other products, besides selling through more than a hundred resellers, and China Unicom. Chinese industrial and commercial authorities in Kunming have started to inspect all of the southwestern city’s electronics shops after last week’s media frenzy on the fake Apple stores, the official Xinhua news agenc y said on Saturday. “China is a potentially huge market for Apple products like iPhones as more people

KUNMING: In this photo taken Thursday, July 21, 2011, a motorcyclist passes by a shop masquerading as a bona fide Apple store in downtown Kunming in southwest China’s Yunnan province. China, long known for producing counterfeit consumer gadgets, software and brand name clothing, has reached a new piracy milestone, fake Apple stores. — AP are able to afford such high-end smartphones,” Jane Wang, a Beijing-based analyst from UK research firm Ovum. Morgan Stanley said in a repor t that Apple’s China sales could exceed $9 billion in the year ending September 2012, up from just $2.9 billion in the previous fiscal year, as more Chinese snap up iPhones and iPads to play games, write weibo -Chinese for microblogs, and make friends online. Apple has about 9 percent of China’s smartphone market, ranking behind Nokia, China’s Yulong and Samsung Electronics, Gartner said. Apple’s iPhones sell at the higher end of the smartphones market compared to some models from Nokia and Samsung. Some lower-end smartphones are selling at less than half the price of an iPhone 4, which costs 4,999 yuan ($769). China’s telecom operators are stepping up efforts to sell iPhones, which will in turn help lift their margins and ARPU (average rate per user). China Unicom signed a three-year contract with Apple in 2009. China Telecom is likely to be next, sources told Reuters this month. China Mobile is expected take

longer, only after it unveils its more advanced 4G LTE (long-term evolution) technology in late 2012 or early 2013. Analysts said Apple was unlikely to make an iPhone that supported China Mobile’s current technology. “Even though China Telecom is the smallest player in China, it still represents a significant number of subscribers,” IDC’s Chau said. Even as 3G users grow with the launch of iPhones, that may not boost profits of telecoms operators significantly. China Unicom is positioned as distributor and its contract with Apple is not based on a revenue-sharing deal, something which China Telecom and China Mobile hope to change. “Apple will be pretty tough in negotiations and it will not give in that easily,” said Gong Juntao, a telecoms analyst with CITIC Securities. But even as Apple ramps up sales of iPhones in China, the market is still expected to be dominated by smartphones running on Google’s Android operating system. IDC expects Android phones to take half the market in 2015 as there are simply too more vendors pushing out Android phones covering all price categories. — Reuters



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TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011



Drug offers hope on child muscle disease LONDON: A drug that works like a “molecular patch” to bypass faulty genes has brought new hope to children with a devastating muscle wasting disease, it was revealed here, yesterday. For the first time, research has shown it is possible to counteract the effects of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) throughout the body. Seven out of 19 young patients aged five to 15 responded to the injected drug in an early-

stage clinical trial, doctors said. DMD is a hereditary disease that affects one in 3,500 newborn boys, with around 100 new cases diagnosed in the UK each year. I t is marked by the lack of dystrophin, a vital muscle protein, leading to the progressive breakdown of muscle cells. By the age of 12, boys with the disease become unable to walk and by the late teens or early 20s the condition may become life threaten-

ing as breathing is compromised. While not providing a cure, the treatment has the potential to reduce the symptoms of DMD enough to prevent severe disability and allow a reasonable quality of life. Dr Marita Pohlschmidt, director of the Muscular D ystrophy Campaign, said in a statement, “We have fought to find a treatment for this devastating condition for the past 50 years. “ Today we can say

with real confidence that we’re going to win that battle. Parents of these boys can have real hope for the future.” The drug ac ts as a “molecular patch” covering over a section of garbled instructions in the genetic code and allowing two working sections to be joined together. The study leader was Professor Francesco Muntoni, from the Institute of Child Health in London.

“This is the first time that a drug or genetic therapy has had a systemic effect in DMD so that every muscle is targeted... Every other study has involved injection treatments that target a single muscle,” he said. “These are very exciting results that prove the case for an even more detailed look at this genetic therapy.” He said the drug was well-tolerated, with no major side effec ts detected. — KUNA

Drug prices to plummet in wave of expiring patents Lipitor alone is taken by 4.3m Americans

WASHINGTON: The Memorial Bridge in Washington is veiled by haze and humidity as steamy weather continues to blanket the Mid Atlantic, yesterday. The Lincoln Memorial is seen in the background. —AP

If the athletic shoe fits NEW YORK: Call them sneakers, trainers, athletic shoes or runners, sizing up the embarrassment of rubber-soled riches on offer these days can be a daunting task. Experts say the right footwear can make or break your workout, but money will not necessarily buy insole happiness, nor will following the foot traffic to the latest, trendiest model. “Your shoes are, from safety and comfort standpoint, the most important thing about your fitness,” said Kevin Burns of the American Council on Exercise. “They are the most important success tool one can invest in.” But not all shoes fit all feet, or feats, according to Burns a Minnesotabased group fitness instructor for over 20 years. “Newer shoes get most of marketing but may not be appropriate for you,” he said. “If you’ve got a high arch you’ll tend to require more shock absorption. I have weak ankles, so when I teach my shoes are high tops.” To find a shoe that suits your activities, fitness level and buying options, Burns said, try asking your personal trainer or exercise instructor for advice. “Personal trainers and exercise instructors have tried and tested a number of shoes over their careers,” he explained. “A sales person might be more interested in up selling you.” Cross trainers, the jack-ofall-trades of fitness footwear, are good general purpose shoes for those who vary their workouts, Burns said. But if you regularly engage in a specific activity, such as running, tennis, aerobics or basketball, choose a shoe designed specifically for that sport. Athletic shoes have come a long way since the late 18th century, when early rubber soled shoes, called plimsolls, were so crude they had no right or left foot.

Nevertheless, Robert Yang, a sports performance coach based in Encinitas, California, believes most people still wear shoes that force their toes together, and many wear shoes too big for them. He said shoes should conform to the exact size of your foot. “Look on the outside (of your shoes). If there’s uneven wear and tear, you have a misalignment issue.” Yang generally favors a flat, light shoe to highly constructed and cushioned ones with elevated heels. He said separating the toes, a feature of some barefoot running shoes, increases the platform for stability. “But you have to be careful. You can’t just go out and run with a barefoot shoe.” Burns said while many runners have found success with barefoot running shoes, if someone spends time on the treadmill, a cross trainer might be a better bet. Before you buy anything, he said, manipulate the shoe. Grab it at the heel and toe, bend it back and forth. “It should bend near the ball of the foot because that’s the natural hinge point,” he said, adding the shoe should then be twisted. “The less twist the more lateral support it will provide,” he explained. To test shock absorption, place one thumb inside the heel, the other outside, and push. “Impactbased exercises need more cushioning,” Burns explained. Non-impact exercises require less. No shoe should rub or pinch anywhere, he said. “The tops and toes are common areas for blisters.” Burns said some people go to the shoe store, try one shoe, test and buy. “Try on both shoes and walk around to make sure they’re comfortable,” he said, “and don’t just assume you’re a size nine.” —Reuters

NEW YORK: The cost of prescription medicines used by millions of people every day is about to plummet. The next 14 months will bring generic versions of seven of the world’s 20 best-selling drugs, including the top two: cholesterol fighter Lipitor and blood thinner Plavix. The magnitude of this wave of expiring drugs patents is unprecedented. Between now and 2016, blockbusters with about $255 billion in global annual sales are set to go off patent, notes EvaluatePharma Ltd., a London research firm. Generic competition will decimate sales of the brandname drugs and slash the cost to patients and American companies that provide health insurance benefits. Top drugs getting generic competition by September 2012 are taken by millions every day: Lipitor alone is taken by about 4.3 million Americans and Plavix by 1.4 million. Generic versions of big-selling drugs for blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, depression, high triglycerides, HIV and bipolar disorder also are coming by then. The flood of generics will continue for the next decade or so, as about 120 brand-name prescription drugs lose market exclusivity, according to prescription benefit manager Medco Health Solutions Inc. “My estimation is at least 15 percent of the population is currently using one of the drugs whose patents will expire in 2011 or 2012,” says Joel Owerbach, chief pharmacy officer for Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield, which serves most of upstate New York. Those patients, along with US businesses and taxpayers who help pay for prescription drugs through corporate and government prescription plans, collectively will save a small fortune. That’s because generic drugs typically cost 20 percent to 80 percent less than the brand names. Doctors hope the lower prices will significantly reduce the number of people jeopardizing their health because they can’t afford medicines they need. Dr Nieca Goldberg, director of The Women’s Heart Program at NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan, worries about patients who are skipping checkups and halving pills to pare costs. “You can pretty much tell by the numbers when I check the patient’s blood pressure or cholesterol levels,” that they’ve not taken their medications as often as prescribed, she says. Even people with private insurance or US-funded Medicare coverage for the elderly aren’t filling all their prescriptions, studies show, particularly for cancer drugs with copays of hundreds

of dollars or more. The new generics will slice copayments of those with insurance. For the uninsured, who have been paying full price, the savings will be much bigger. Daly Powers, 25, an uninsured student who works two part-time jobs at low wages, says he often can’t afford the $220 a month for his depression and attention deficit disorder pills. He couldn’t buy either drug in June and says he’s struggling with his Spanish class and his emotions. He looks forward to his antidepressant, Lexapro, going generic early next year. “It’d make all the difference in the world,” says Powers, of Bryan, Texas. Generic medicines are chemically equivalent to the original brand-name drugs and work just as well for nearly all patients. When a drug loses patent protection, often only one generic version is on sale for the first six months, so the price falls a little bit initially. Then, several other generic makers typically jump in, driving prices down dramatically. Last year, the average generic prescription cost $72, versus $198 for the average brand-name drug, according to consulting firm Wolters Kluwer Pharma Solutions. Those figures average all prescriptions, from short-term to 90-day ones. Average copayments last year were $6 for generics, compared with $24 for brand-name drugs given preferred status by an insurer and $35 for nonpreferred brands, according to IMS Health. Among the drugs that recently went off patent, Protonix, for severe heartburn, now costs just $16 a month for the generic, versus about $170 for the brand name. And of the top sellers that soon will have competition, Lipitor retails for about $150 a month, Plavix costs almost $200 a month and blood pressure drug Diovan costs about $125 a month. For those with drug coverage, their out-of-pocket costs for each of those drugs could drop below $10 a month. Generic Lipitor should hit pharmacies Nov. 30 and cost around $10 a month. For people with no prescription coverage, the coming savings on some drugs could be much bigger. Many discount retailers and grocery chains sell the most popular generics for $5 a month or less to draw in shoppers. The impact of the coming wave of generics will be widespread and swift. American insurers use systems that make sure patients are switched to a generic the first day it ’s available. Many health plans require newly diagnosed patients to start out on generic medicines. And unless the doctor

therapy was cautiously tested for safety on 19 ambulatory patients aged five to 15 at hospitals in London and Newcastle. Seven out the 19 showed a “significant” response, with levels of dystrophin rising to as much as 18 percent of normal levels. The volunteers, who were treated over 12 weeks, suffered no side effects. They did not show any major improvement in a standard six-minute walking test, although this was not the goal of the mini-trial. The drug, called AVI-4658, patches exon 51, which is deleted in about 15 percent of patients with DMD. “On the basis of our data and recent pre-clinical data, we expect that extended administration of AVI-4658 at doses of 10 mg/kilo or higher will result in sufficient dystrophin expression to have a positive effect on the prevention of muscle degenation,” says the study, which is published online by The Lancet. The next step is to test it for efficacy, say the researchers, led by Francesco Muntoni of the Dubowitz Neuromuscular Centre at UCL Institute of Child Health, London. — AFP

Pharmaceutical companies have cut about 10 percent of US jobs in four years, from a peak of about 297,000 to about 268,000, according to Labor Department data. Nearly two-thirds of the cuts came in the last 1 1/2 years, partly because of big mergers that were driven by the need to shore up pipelines and boost profit in the short term by slashing overlap. Drug companies also are trying to stabilize future sales by putting more sales reps in emerging markets such as China and India, and diversifying into businesses that get little or no generic competition. Those include vaccines, diagnostic tests, veterinary medicines and consumer health products. As the proportion of prescriptions filled with generic drugs jumped to 78 percent in 2010, from 57 percent in 2004, annual increases in prescription drug spending slowed, to just 4 percent in 2010. According to the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, generics saved the U.S. health care system more than $824 billion from 2000 through 2009, and now save about $1 billion every three days. The savings are only going to get greater as the population in many developed nations ages. People who take their medicines regularly often avoid costly complications and hospitalizations, says AARP ’s polic y chief, John Rother, bringing the system even bigger savings than the cheaper drugs. In addition, many patients taking a particular brand-name drug will defect when a slightly older rival in the same class goes generic. Global sales of Lipitor peaked at $12.9 billion in 2006, the year Zocor, an older drug in the statin class that reduces bad cholesterol, went generic. Lipitor sales then declined slowly but steadily to about $10.7 billion last year. That still makes Lipitor the biggest drug to go generic. For patients, it’s a godsend. Douglas Torok, 59, of Erie, Pennsylvania, now spends nearly $290 ever y three months for insulin for his Type 2 diabetes, plus four daily pills, including Lipitor, Plavix and two generics, for his blood pressure and cholesterol problems. The $40,000-a-year foundry supervisor fears not being able to cover the out-of-pocket costs when he retires and doesn’t have a generous prescription plan. In the meantime, once Lipitor and Plavix get generic competition his copayment will plunge from the current $1 per day for each. “I will pay $16 for 90 days” for both, says Torok, who hopes to travel more. “It’s a big deal for me on my income.”

Dealing with insect bites

‘Skipping’ drug marks step forward for muscular dystrophy PARIS: An experimental drug designed to fit a DNA patch in a flawed gene has cleared an important hurdle in tests on boys struck by a tragic muscle-wasting disease, a British study yesterday says. The condition, Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), occurs among roughly 1 one in 3,500 males. It occurs because of a deletion in a gene that makes a protein called dystrophin, which helps provide a protective membrane around muscle fibres. Without this skin, muscle fibres become damaged and eventually die. By the time they are aged eight to 12, boys with DMD become unable to walk and usually face a shortened life expectancy. In DMD, the problem lies specifically in sections of DNA called exons that, like stepping stones, provide the pathway by which the gene makes dystrophin. The new drug takes the approach of “exon sk ipping,” or applying a tiny molecular patch over the deletion, so that the gene can produce a shorter but still functional version of the protein. After successful tests on muscle cells cultured in a lab dish and on mice, the

writes “brand only” on a prescription, if there’s a generic available, that ’s almost always what the pharmacist dispenses. “A blockbuster drug that goes off patent will lose 90 percent of its revenue within 24 months. I’ve seen it happen in 12 months,” says Ben Weintraub, a research director at Wolters Kluwer Pharma Solutions. The looming revenue drop is changing the economics of the industry. In the 1990s, big pharmaceutical companies were wildly successful at creating pills that millions of people take every day for common conditions, from heart disease and diabetes to osteoporosis and chronic pain. Doubledigit quarterly profit increases became the norm. But the patents on those blockbusters, which were filed years before the drugs went on sale, last for 20 years at most, and many expire soon. In recent years, many drug companies have struggled to develop new blockbuster drugs, despite multibillion- dollar research budgets and more partnerships with scientists at universities and biotech companies. The dear th of successes, par tly because the “easy ” treatments have already been found, has turned the short-term prognosis for “big pharma” anemic. “The profit dollars that companies used to reinvest in innovation are no longer going to be coming,” warns Terry Hisey, life sciences leader at consultant Deloitte LLP’s pharmaceutical consulting business. He says that raises “long-term concerns about the industry’s ability to bring new medicines to market.” But pharmaceutical companies can save billions when they stop promoting drugs that have new generic rivals, and US drug and biotech companies are still spending more than $65 billion a year on research and development. The 20 new drug approvals in the US this year, and other important ones expected in the next few years, eventually will help fill the revenue hole. For now, brand-name drugmakers are scrambling to adjust for the billions in revenue that will soon be lost. Many raised prices 20 percent or more over the last couple years before generics hit to maximize revenue. Some contract with generic drugmakers for “authorized generics,” which give the brand-name company a portion of the generic sales. Brand-name companies also are trimming research budgets, partnering with other companies to share drug development costs and shifting more manufacturing and patient testing to low-cost countries.

DHAKA: President of India’s Congress party Sonia Gandhi delivers a speech during the first-ever international conference on autism in Dhaka yesterday. Relations have improved dramatically since 2009 when a new Bangladeshi government, led by the secular Awami League party, came to power and the neighbours have moved closer to solving key trade, security and border issues. — AFP

BERLIN: The itching sensation following an insect bite can be relieved by quickly cooling the affected area of skin-for example with cold water, an ice cube or cold pack. This is the advice of Ursula Sellerberg, spokeswoman for the Federal Union of German Associations of Pharmacists. Scratching the bitten area only makes the itching worse, she said. And if scratching causes bacteria to get into the skin, the site may even become inflamed. “If antipruritic (itch-relieving) gels or creams are repeatedly applied, the previous application should be washed off with cold water first,” Sellerberg said. If bite symptoms do not subside within a few days, or if the site becomes inflamed or is very painful, the person should see a doctor. Insect repellents help to keep mosquitoes and other bothersome bugs away. Along with synthetic repellents are those based on essential oils or coconut oil that work by masking the smell of the human body. “Plant-based doesn’t necessarily

mean well-tolerated, though,” Sellerberg said. “The essential oils can irritate sensitive skin, and all the more so in sunshine.” How long a repellent is effective for depends on the amount applied and the type of insect. Some repellents can damage plastics, so they should not come into contact with objects such as sunglasses or mobile phones. Insect repellents work best when they are applied early and without gaps-also under very thin articles of clothing. They should be applied to intact skin only and never, for example, on a sunburn. “A sunscreen lotion or body care product should never be applied on top of an insect repellent. Otherwise the repellent’s effectiveness will diminish,” Sellerberg said. As is the case with sunscreen, an insec t repellent should be reapplied periodically, particularly after swimming or profuse sweating. It can be washed off when no longer needed, for instance when the person goes indoors. Like medicines, insec t repellents should always be kept out of the reach of children. — dpa




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TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011

health& science

Laughter is a free medicine and relaxant MUNICH: It is medicine, it is free, and anyone can produce it anywhere at any time. What is it? Laughter. All you need for your brain to send a signal to the body to laugh is to hear a good joke, be tickled, have nice people around you or experience a funny situation. “ Then the reward system is switched on,” is how Michaela Schaeffner of the European Professional Association for Laughter Yoga and Humour Training describes the impulse to laugh that triggers a chain reaction. An entire cocktail of happiness hormones flows through the body. Serotonin, dopamine and the “cuddle chemical” oxytocin, which plays a role in breastfeeding and sex, are thought to be released. The body goes into relaxation mode, Schaeffner said. Deep abdominal breathing ensues, pain tolerance can increase and blood pressure can drop. Laughter ’s effects on the body are largely hypothetical because clinical studies of them have been few. The influence of feel-good endorphins, for example, is unproven. “They’re so ephemeral that

Laughter is akin to strenuous manual labour. More than 100 muscles are involved, “ranging from the face, neck and respiratory muscles to the intercostal muscles” that run between the ribs. Forty muscles control facial expressions alone. you’d have to amuse test persons with a cannula stuck in a vein and simultaneously measure the concentration of these neurotransmitters. That’s tricky,” remarked Carsten Niemitz, a human biologist at the Free University of Berlin. Not much is known about the processes that take place in the brain, either, since the body movements during laughter make magnetic resonance imaging impossible. Laughter is akin to strenuous manual labour. More than 100 muscles are involved, “ranging from the face, neck and respiratory muscles to the intercostal muscles” that run between the ribs, Niemitz noted. Forty muscles control facial expressions alone. The more intense the laughter is, the more muscles are moved from head to toe-the more the person is “convulsed with laughter,” as the saying goes.

breath deeply

Someone who says that his or her “stomach hurts from laughing so hard” is describing the sore diaphragm that follows a good belly laugh. “Stop making me laugh! I hurt all over already,” is a plea when laughing becomes a full body workout. “Doubling up with laughter,” like a forward bend in yoga, trains the muscles between the breastbone and pubic bone. A kind of “internal massage,” laughter can alleviate physical complaints. The deep breathing during laughter facilitates expectoration in cases of colds and bronchitis. Smokers can benefit, too, from the removal of excess residual air in the lungs, according to Barbara Wild, professor of psychiatry at Tuebingen University in Germany. The pain threshold also rises, said Wild, citing Swiss researchers who found that

test persons who genuinely smiled and laughed a lot while watching a Mr Bean film were able to hold their hands in ice water longer afterwards than test persons who had been less amused. “Cheerful people cope with illnesses better,” Niemitz said. Hospitals that employ clowns administer the psychological medicine of laughter, which touches people’s hearts and tells them, “Things aren’t so bad.” The goal, said Eckhart von Hirschhausen, a German comedian who studied medicine and has founded a club called Humour Helps Healing, is to “get people in an unpleasant situation involved in something positive.” Laughter, he said, “is foremost a social signal that lowers aggression, binds people into groups and alleviates stress.” It relieves both social and physical tension, he added, so “we physi-

cally loosen up when be laugh out loud.” Laughter is a protective mechanism against mental illnesses, von Hirschhausen pointed out, and laughter therapy is used for depression as well as aggression. “In laughter yoga, people learn exercises that, among other things, convert typical attitudes of anger into relaxed behaviour,” Schaeffner said. Someone who regularly slams doors, for example, learns to set the anti-stress mechanism into motion as soon as he or she grasps the door handle. This may inhibit the production of adrenalin, which normally puts the body in a state of alarm. People can clearly distinguish between hearty and derisive laughter. Laughing with the eyes closed for a fraction of a second and then looking past the other person comes across as likeable, Niemitz and his team found. “The other person doesn’t feel stared at and threatened,” he said. Giving vent to one’s amusement within a half-second is seen as sincere. Someone who takes longer produces “fake laughter” and forfeits sympathy. — dpa

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TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011

W H AT ’ S O N Announcements Your diet Come and join us tomorrow, (Tuesday July 26) at 7 pm for a free lecture “Your Diet During Ramadan.” We look forward to seeing you there! To find out more, call 9967-2918 or email The lecture will be in Arabic.

Open Day for My First Account and @Tijari customers at 360


he Commercial Bank of Kuwait held the biggest event of the year on Saturday July 23 for its My First Account and @Tijari customers at 360 Mall from 10am until 10pm, specifically in the area built just for kids and teenagers that consists of three different sections: Infunity, Bowl Room, and Freeze Club. The open day was exclusive for only MFA and @Tijari card holders and was a huge success, attracting over 2,000 customers. The Infunity section, which is basically a huge indoor theme park, was the most popular area since it has a rollercoaster, rock climbing, rope course, drop tower and many more games. Also, Infuntiy included the main stage area where popular singer/actor AbdulAziz Al Aswad entertained the customers and hosted numerous contests and educational trivia about the bank and saving money while giving out amazing prizes provided by Al Tijari. There were countless surprises throughout the day including appearances from famous and loved Kuwaiti stars that put huge smiles on the chil-

Attention kids! CEF VBS 11 starting from August 22nd 2011. Six exciting days of singing, games & bible stories for children of all ages. Hurry !!!. Limited Seats. Register Online:

dren’s faces and took pictures with them. The Bowl Room, which has 16 bowling lanes plus a special VIP section, attracted mostly @Tijari customers and held exciting tournaments to see who is the best bowling champion. The Freeze Club on the other hand which is a big arcade area with a wide variety of fun video games had customers from all ages enjoy their time and have fun. Sixteen lucky cus-

tomers who participated in one of the competitions got a chance to win special lessons in the one of a kind Flight Simulator, a unique experience where you can learn how to fly a plane with a real pilot by your side inside an exact replica of the Boeing 737 airplane. This open day comes within the bank’s policy to pay great attention to the children and youth segment. The bank is

keen in preparing leisure activities that contribute to giving joy and pleasure to its customers, especially children, in addition to educational activities that refine and develop their talents and creativity.

Holiday Inn conducts fire evacuation drill


n line with its Fire, Life and Safety procedures, the Security and Training departments of the Holiday Inn Kuwait conducted a surprise evacuation drill for the hotel. A false fire alarm was sounded throughout the hotel. Standard evacuation procedures were followed as the staff dialed emergency numbers and exited through the nearest fire exits, assembling at the pre-assigned common assembly point. The entire fire evacuation procedure took 6 minutes. Crisis Response Teams and Emergency Response Teams for each department took the attendance of their respective staff gathered at the assembly point, ensuring that all the staff had safely exited the building. Rolls calls were taken to confirm the same. The mock evacuation drill was a success, with all the staff participating, and spreading the awareness of what to do in case of a real fire. The procedure was done in close coordination with the Fire Services Directorate of Kuwait, where an official explained all necessary precautions to be taken to avoid any accidents. He also stressed on the importance of staying calm and focused in the event of an actual fire, where most deaths are caused by panic and distress. Speaking to the employees, Ramy Haykal, General Manager mentioned that the Holiday Inn Kuwait being a common frequenting spot for the people of Kuwait, it was important that the hotel maintained the standards of safety for both guests and employees together. He spoke on the importance of always knowing the emergency exits and procedures. He thanked all the hotel staff for their cooperation and prompt response during the drill, having achieved the desired goal of creating an awareness and knowledge of all safety procedures in the event of a real fire.

Pathanamthitta’s Onam The executive committee of Pathanamthitta District Association has decided to hold 2011 Onam Festival celebrations on Friday October 28, 2011 with a grand public function attended by Member of Parliament from Pathanamthitta Loksabha Constituency, Anto Antony and other prominent dignitaries from Kerala and Kuwait. All residents of Pathanamthitta District and persons of Pathanamthitta District origin are hereby invited to attend this function and friends and families.

Indian bowling league Indian Bowling League Season 2 would like to invite you and your families to participate in an Indian bowling event where all nationalities, the young and the old can have fun playing an enjoyable game while meeting new people in a healthy competition from July 12th - August 15th For more details contact: Uly 99503348, Amaldo 66052062, and Nasha 99516960. If anyone is looking to assist them in this event with sponsors, they will be really obliged to have your help to make this event a success. Registrations are open. Rink soccer Don Bosco Oratory is pleased to announce its Major 4-A-Side “Rink Soccer Fiesta” in Kuwait! This event is for the soccer lovers in Kuwait and will be played on a League (round robin) cum knock out basis from August 2nd at the IEAS Quadrangle in Salmiya. Last date to register for participation is on July 28th. Draws will be announced on the July 30th. For details contact Chris: 6651-9627, Alex: 66069282 from 6-9pm. Konkani musical show

‘Healthier worksite initiative’ he preventive health campaign took place on June 9th, 2011 at the hotel under the slogan “Healthier worksite initiative”. The campaign comprised of general health check- up, in addition to sessions focused on mimparting knowledge & prevention methods on fast emerging modern lifestyle diseases such as Hypertension, Diabetes, Obesity, Cardiac etc. Sultan Baddar, Director of Human Resources at Movenpick Hotel & Resort Al Bida’a said that “this initiative aimed at

Tulukoota talent hunt Tulukoota Kuwait will hold a “Talent Hunt 2011” a chance to prove an inborn trait in you that confirms your individuality, uniqueness. So step forward to grab this opportunity to show your caliber and entertain. Dance, music, art or any special talent- now is your chance to showcase it - and be part of this year’s Talent Hunt & Tulu Parba. Talent Hunt event is open to all Tuluvas. For more information and registration form kindly log on to our Website: or visit our facebook page - Tulukoota Kuwait Talent Hunt 2011. You could also email your form request to: or contact our area coordinators mentioned below. Mangaf, Fahaheel, Abuhalifa : Ronald Dsouza- 60035824, Shalini Alva- 23726164, Suma Bhatt- 97834578 Salmiya & Hawally: Swarna Shetty- 99006934, Kripa Gatty- 66044194 Kuwait City, Jahra, Sharq : Rekha Sachu- 65044521,97862115 Farwaniya, Abbassiya, Shuwaikh & Khaitan: Sathyanarayana66585077 Sanath Shetty- 67712409.

Art salon Bouhshari Art Gallery Exhibition runs through 15 September. Daily working hours: 10am - 1pm and 5 - 9pm, except on Friday and on Thursday evening.

Movenpick Hotel & Resort Al Bida’a organizes a Health Day campaign


Aware lecture A lecture at AWARE centre by Dr Theresa Lesher During the Holy month of Ramadan, many changes occur in Kuwait. Restaurants will change their working hours as will most workplaces and shopping malls. Traffic patterns also change and one may find their paperwork halted. There are laws and many tips that will help the western expatriate better understand the etiquette and rules associated with this month. Join us for a guideline of how to best experience the month of Ramadan with your Muslim neighbor and colleagues. Dr. Teresa holds her PhD in Information Science from the UK and is now assistant professor at Kuwait’s teachers college. She held the position as manager of the AWARE Center for three years and returns often to host presentations related to Arab and Islamic culture. Date: July 26 at 7 pm at Villa 84, Surra Street, Block 3, Surra Area.

Comedian Philip, the 1st NRI Goan comedian, is all set to entertain you with a Konkani music show titled “Ani, Anik Zaiem?” to be presented by the United Friends Club on September 9 at 4pm at the AIS (American International School) Auditorium, Maidan-Hawalli. This is Kuwaitbased comedian Philip’s third musical show after the overwhelming success of staging “Tum Vhoir Aum Sokol” and “Hem Kazar Koslem” in Kuwait and overseas.

educating the employees on the importance of conducting regular health check - ups in order to prevent diseases and enjoy a healthy life.” “This initiative reflects the special care given by Movenpick Hotels & Resorts to its employees and being a company that believes in preventive healthcare, we are positive that this campaign will be the catalyst for our employees to adopt a healthier lifestyle and make them more aware of their health status.” Sultan added.

Frontliners honour Sanjiv Agarwal


anjiv Agarwal , on completion of his assignment as Second Secretary (Consular), in Embassy of India, Kuwait, is in the process of transfer back to headquarters (Ministry of External Affairs), New Delhi. Agarwal as an excellent official with positive attitude to help others. While dealing with requests from NRIs, he has shown sympathy to deserving cases and resolved problems by using his discretion wherever possible. He has thoroughly enjoyed his tenure in kuwait and appreciates having had the opportunity to interact with lndian community.

His sole aim during his entire tenure, was to serve and help the Community in any possible manner. He can put on record that he was able to accomplish all this to a great extent, with constant support and guidance from his superiors and with assistance of his colleagues in Embassy. On behalf of Indian Community Frontliners honored him with a shawl through KS Lamba and Dhiraj Oberai. Vidhu P Nair, Dutta, Vinod Kumar, Ashok Kalra, Rambabu, Ajai Goel, TA Ramesh, Kupanna, AnilPrasar, Sidique and many other prominent Indians wished Agarwal in his farewell party.

Aware Arabic courses “The AWARE Management is glad to announce that Ramadan Arabic language courses will begin on August 7th till September 15th, 2011. AWARE Arabic language courses are designed with the expat in mind. The environment is relaxed & courses are designed for those wanting to learn Arabic for travel, cultural understanding, and conducting business or simply to become more involved in the community. We cater to teachers, travelers & those working in the private business sector. AWARE Arabic courses highlight ● Introductory to Level 4 Arabic language basics ● Better prepare you for speaking, reading and writing Arabic ● Combine language learning with cultural insights ● Taught in multi-nationality group settings ● Provide opportunities to interact with Western expatriates and native Kuwaitis/Arabs. For more information, call 25335260 or log onto:




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TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011

W H AT ’ S O N

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

The outstanding students in a group photo with NBK management during the honoring ceremony that was held at the NBK HO earlier.

NBK honors outstanding high school graduates


nder the auspices of the Minister of Education and Higher Education Mr. Ahmed Abdelmohsin Al Mulaifi, National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) will honor outstanding high school graduates today (Tuesday) at Regency Palace, as part of

NBK’s corporate social responsibility program. NBK will honor Kuwait’s top 50 high school graduates for the academic year 2010-2011 for the Arts and Science majors, as well as honoring the top school graduate of the

Religious studies and private schools. NBK believes in recognizing and rewarding merit and achievement. NBK regularly sponsors educational institutions and activities in Kuwait and feels that this strong commitment to the community and Kuwait’s youth

is vital for the future development of the country. NBK leads by example in the realm of Corporate Social Responsibility, regularly supporting students with training programs, educational opportunities and awareness campaigns.

Al Mulla Exchange opens newly renovated branch in Murgab


Kuwait Hyatt hotel offers daily Iftar & Shaour buffet at the coffee shop. The Executive chef is preparing special delicious and tasteful dishes during the holy month of Ramadan. Al-Morjan Banquet Hall is well equipped for special events for family or staff get-togethers. Our outdoor catering team will put all their efforts in making your event a great success with efficiency and style.

l Mulla Exchange, the premier exchange company in Kuwait, recently re-opened their fully renovated branch at Murgab Circle on the ground floor at Ahmed Saleh & Sons Building, adjacent to the KPTC bus terminal in Murgab. The newly refurbished branch allows easy access and better interaction with customers, and is part of Al Mulla Exchange’s commitment to continuously offer enhanced service to their customers. The branch has been upgraded in accordance with the highest standards and is adapted to the specific needs of customers for a comfortable and convenient environment to complete their remittances. The refurbishment has

focused on both operational and aesthetic aspects, delivering more personalized service while ensuring efficient operation of the branch. In addition to an increase in number of counters from 12 to 19, the new branch incorporates several other amenities aimed at making money remittance a quick and relaxed experience for customers. Since its inception in 2001, Al Mulla Exchange has revolutionized the exchange industry in Kuwait by continuously offering innovative, customercentric remittance solutions. Today, Al Mulla Exchange is the leading exchange of choice for customers looking for trust, reliability and speed in their money remittance operations.

Courtyard by Marriott’s Atrium restaurant celebrates the holy month of Ramadan


he Courtyard by Marriot Hotel Kuwait City announced yesterday it has launched series of festivities and special offers to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan this year. The Courtyard by Marriott’s Atrium Restaurant offers diners a lavish Iftar and Sohour Oriental buffet in an exquisite and traditional setting. The ambience of Ramadan is strongly reflected in the warmth and generosity that will be enjoyed by diners while visiting the restaurant. For KD 9 per person for the Iftar & Sohour buffet, diners can begin with delicious dates

and laban followed by tantalizing cuisine. The buffet features various live cooking stations serving Shawerma, Saj, the ever popular lentil soup, harrera soup and much more. While enjoying their Sohour buffet between 10 pm - 1:30 am, diners will have the opportunity to relax and listen to Authentic Arabic live music, while enjoying shisha of different flavors. Subject to 15% service charge. Everyone likes home cooked dishes for Sohour and the chefs at the Atrium restaurant have prepared them exactly to the liking of our guests. Diners can enjoy a

wide variety of Sohour main course such as oriental mixed grill, feta cheese stuffed kofta in tomato sauce, mini beef steak with mushroom sauce and much more Complete the meal with Arabic sweets and desserts such as muhalabiya, assorted oriental sweets, assorted mousse, om-ali, Kunafa bil jibna and mafrouka with cheese Additionally, corporate interested in hosting Ghabqa events can avail the option of using the Arraya Ballroom which will also have special Ramadan decorations, menu options catering to the holy month are also available.


EMBASSY OF BANGLADESH The Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in Kuwait will follow office hours during the Holy Month of Ramadan. Sunday to Thursday : 09:00 A.M 3:00 PM. Friday and Saturday : Weekly Holidays. This is for information of all concerned. ■■■■■■■

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

EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakel St., Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at Canada offers a registration service for all Canadians travelling or living abroad. This service is provided so that Consular Officials can contact and assist Canadians in an emergency in a foreign country, such as a natural disaster or civil unrest, or inform Canadians of a family emergency at home. The Embassy of Canada encourages all Canadian Citizens to register online through the Government of Canada Travel Website at The Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi provides visa and immigration services to residents of Kuwait. Individuals who are interested in visiting, working or immigrating to Canada are invited to visit the website of the Canadian Embassy to the UAE at Effective January 15, 2011, the only Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) application form that will be accepted by CIC is the Application for Temporary Resident Visa Made Outside of Canada [IMM 5257] form. All previous Temporary Resident Visa application forms will no longer be accepted by CIC and instead will be returned to applicants. Should old applications be submitted prior to January 15, 2011 they will continue to be processed. To ensure that the most recent version of the Temporary Resident Visa application form is being utilized, applicants should refer to the CIC website. As of January 15, 2011, forms are to be filled in electronically. The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. Consular Services for Canadian Citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00 on Sunday through Wednesday. The forms are available on the internet at: M5257E.PDF. A guide explaining the process can be found here: 56E.PDF. ■■■■■■■

NSS-Kuwait conducts summer camp ational Service Society (NSSKuwait) conducted a Summer Camp for Art and Craft for children at Sopanam Hall Abbasiya. Children enjoyed the month long camp with Stella Teacher, who has been grooming children with an aptitude for drawing, painting and art & craft. Kumari Balakrisnan gave the children a


few lessons on Basics of Malayalam language during the Camp. Children who have participated have made most of their holidays and had gone through a creative joyride. Well experienced Stella teacher has taught them an easy drawing and painting technique, exciting paper craft, taken them through an interactive and creative journey.

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

EMBASSY OF INDIA During the Holy month of Ramadan, the office timings of the Indian Passport and Visa Service Centres of BLS International Visa Services Co., Kuwait, situated at (a) Emad Commercial Centre, Basement Floor, Ahmed Al Jaber Street, Sharq, Kuwait, and (b) Mujamma Unood, 4th floor, Office No. 25-26 Makka Street, Fahaheel, Kuwait, will be from 8 am - 3 pm from Saturday to Thursday (i.e. six days a week). Embassy of India, Kuwait, will maintain its usual working hours.

PDA’s Onam raffle coupon release


athanamthitta District Association’s (PDA) Onam 2011 Raffle Coupon was released by the Senior Advisor Board Member and NATCO Director

Jayakumar by receiving a replica of the Coupon from the Association’s Raffle Convener and Acting Treasurer, P.T. Samuelkutty.


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



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TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011



00:45 Dogs 101 01:40 Untamed & Uncut 02:35 Into the Dragon’s Lair 03:30 Touching the Dragon 04:25 I’m Alive 05:20 Animal Cops Houston 06:10 Dogs vs. Cats 07:00 Meerkat Manor 07:25 The Really Wild Show 07:50 Jeff Corwin Unleashed 08:15 Natural Born Hunters 08:40 Breed All About It 09:10 Cats 101 10:05 Dogs 101 11:00 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 11:55 Meerkat Manor 12:20 Wildlife SOS 12:50 New Breed Vets with Steve Irwin 13:45 Animal Cops Houston 14:40 Animal Precinct 15:30 SSPCA: On the Wildside 16:00 The Really Wild Show 16:30 Jeff Corwin Unleashed 17:00 Natural Born Hunters 17:25 Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 18:20 Breed All About It 18:45 Orangutan Island 19:15 Crocodile Hunter 20:10 Dogs 101 21:05 Venom Hunter with Donald Schultz 22:00 Lions and Giants 22:55 Buggin’ with Ruud 23:50 Wildest Africa

00:10 00:55 01:45 02:30 03:00 03:30 04:00 04:30 04:50 05:10 05:40 05:50 06:10 06:30 07:00 07:20 07:40 08:10 08:20 08:40 09:00 09:30 09:40 10:40 11:25 12:15 12:45 13:15 14:10 15:40 16:30 17:15 17:45 18:15 19:10 20:00 20:45 21:15 21:45 22:40 23:30

The Weakest Link Holby City The Fixer Eastenders Doctors 2 Point 4 Children 2 Point 4 Children Tweenies Balamory Tikkabilla Charlie And Lola Tweenies Balamory Tikkabilla Tweenies Balamory Tikkabilla Charlie And Lola Tweenies Balamory Tikkabilla Charlie And Lola 2 Point 4 Children The Weakest Link Inspector Lynley Mysteries Doctors Eastenders Holby City 2 Point 4 Children Inspector Lynley Mysteries The Weakest Link Doctors Eastenders Holby City Inspector Lynley Mysteries The Weakest Link Doctors Eastenders Holby City Spooks 2 Point 4 Children

00:15 Come Dine With Me 01:05 Come Dine With Me 01:55 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad 02:20 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad 02:45 Come Dine With Me 04:20 Come Dine With Me 04:45 Fantasy Homes Down Under 05:30 Daily Cooks Challenge 06:30 Daily Cooks Challenge 07:20 Glamour Puds 07:45 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad

08:05 Antiques Roadshow 09:00 Come Dine With Me 10:35 Come Dine With Me 11:00 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad 11:25 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad 11:50 Antiques Roadshow 12:40 Cash In The Attic 13:30 Bargain Hunt 14:20 Come Dine With Me 16:45 Come Dine With Me 17:10 Rhodes Across China 18:00 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad 18:25 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad 18:50 Antiques Roadshow 19:40 Cash In The Attic 20:25 Bargain Hunt 21:10 Come Dine With Me 22:00 Britain’s Dream Homes 23:00 Cash In The Attic USA

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

00:05 Cow And Chicken 00:30 Cramp Twins 00:55 The Grim Adventures Of Billy And Mandy 01:20 Courage The Cowardly Dog 01:45 Eliot Kid 02:10 Ed, Edd n Eddy 02:35 Ben 10: Alien Force 03:00 The Powerpuff Girls 03:15 Chowder 03:40 The Secret Saturdays

04:05 Samurai Jack 04:30 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 04:55 Best Ed 05:20 Skunk Fu! 05:45 Cramp Twins 06:10 Eliot Kid 06:35 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 07:00 Codename: Kids Next Door 07:25 Cow And Chicken 07:50 Angelo Rules 08:05 Cartoon Network Dance Club 08:15 Adventure Time 08:40 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 09:05 Hero 108 10:00 Samurai Jack 10:55 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes 11:20 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 Hero 108 18:30 Cartoon Network Dance Club 18:45 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 18:55 Chowder 19:20 Adventure Time 19:45 The Grim Adventures Of Billy And Mandy 20:10 Courage The Cowardly Dog 20:35 Cow And Chicken 21:00 Best Ed 21:25 Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends 21:50 Robotboy 22:00 Adventure Time 22:25 Hero 108 22:50 Ben 10 23:15 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 23:40 Chowder

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

Backstory World Sport The Situation Room World Report World Business Today Piers Morgan Tonight Anderson Cooper 360 World Sport African Voices World Report Backstory World Report World Report World Sport Inside Africa World Business Today World One World Sport Going Green Piers Morgan Tonight News Stream World Business Today International Desk The Brief World Sport Prism International Desk Going Green Quest Means Business Piers Morgan Tonight Connect The World

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

Dirty Jobs Miami Ink Ultimate Survival Twist The Throttle Mythbusters How It’s Made How Does It Work? Dirty Jobs Twist The Throttle Street Customs Berlin How It’s Made Mythbusters Cake Boss Border Security Auction Kings Flying Wild Alaska Dirty Jobs

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

Ultimate Survival Miami Ink Dirty Jobs Twist The Throttle Mythbusters Survivorman Cake Boss Border Security Auction Kings How Does It Work? How It’s Made LA Ink Taking On Tyson Pit Bulls And Parolees Survivorman

00:05 Weird Or What? 00:55 Mighty Ships 01:45 Things That Move 02:10 Things That Move 02:35 Under New York 03:25 Catch It Keep It 04:15 How Does That Work? 04:45 Mighty Ships 05:40 One Step Beyond 06:10 Nextworld 07:00 Catch It Keep It 07:55 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 08:50 The Gadget Show 09:15 The Gadget Show 09:40 Punkin Chunkin 2010 12:25 Da Vinci’s Machines 13:15 Da Vinci’s Machines 15:45 Weird Connections 16:10 Brainiac 17:00 The World’s Strangest UFO Stories 17:50 Sci-Fi Science 18:15 The Gadget Show 18:40 Space Pioneer 19:30 Sci-Fi Saved My Life 20:20 Catch It Keep It 21:10 The Gadget Show 21:35 The Gadget Show 22:00 Space Pioneer 22:50 Sci-Fi Saved My Life 23:40 The Gadget Show

00:00 00:25 01:15 02:00 02:50 03:35 04:25 05:15 05:35 06:00 06:20 06:45 07:05 07:30 07:55 08:20 08:35 09:00 09:10 09:25 09:40 09:50 10:10 10:35 10:50 11:15 11:35 12:00 12:25 12:45 13:10 13:30 13:55 14:20 15:20 15:45 16:10 16:35 17:00 17:25 18:15 18:45 19:10 19:35 20:00 20:25 20:50 21:15 21:35 22:00 22:25 22:50 23:15 23:35

Kim Possible Fairly Odd Parents Stitch Replacements Emperors New School Stitch Replacements Fairly Odd Parents Fairly Odd Parents Emperors New School The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody Phineas & Ferb Wizards Of Waverly Place Suite Life On Deck S3 Good Luck Charlie Fish Hooks Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates Jungle Junction Handy Manny Jake & The Neverland Pirates Sonny With A Chance Yr 2 Hannah Montana Phineas And Ferb Shake It Up Good Luck Charlie Suite Life On Deck S3 Sonny With A Chance Yr 2 Wizards Of Waverly Place Hannah Montana Phineas & Ferb The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody Fish Hooks Good Luck Charlie Suite Life On Deck S3 Fish Hooks Shake It Up Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place Hannah Montana Suite Life On Deck S3 Shake It Up Good Luck Charlie Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place Jake & Blake Hannah Montana Sonny With A Chance Yr 2 Good Luck Charlie Shake It Up Hannah Montana Sonny With A Chance Yr 2 Wizards Of Waverly Place Jonas

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


00:25 00:55 01:25 03:15 04:10 05:05 06:00 07:50 08:20 09:15 09:45 10:15

Kendra Kendra 40 Smokin’ On Set Hookups 25 Most Stylish Sexiest Extreme Hollywood THS Behind The Scenes E! News Married To Rock Married To Rock 50 Most Insane Celebrity

Oops 12:05 E! News 13:05 The Dance Scene 13:35 The Dance Scene 14:05 Keeping Up With Kardashians 14:35 THS 15:30 THS 16:25 Behind The Scenes 16:55 Khloe And Lamar 17:25 Khloe And Lamar 17:55 E! News 18:55 THS 19:55 Keeping Up With Kardashians 20:25 Keeping Up With Kardashians 20:55 Chelsea Lately 21:25 Holly’s World 21:55 Holly’s World 22:25 E! News 23:25 Chelsea Lately 23:55 Kourtney And Khloe Miami


The The


00:15 00:40 01:30 02:20 03:10 04:00 04:50 05:40 06:30 2008 07:00 2008 07:30 2008 08:00 08:25 09:15 10:05 2008 10:30 2008 10:55 11:45 12:35 13:25 14:15 15:05 15:55 16:45 17:10 18:00 18:50 2008 19:40 20:30 21:20 22:10 23:00 23:50

Glutton For Punishment Mantracker World Combat League Glutton For Punishment Wrestling With Reality Untracked Mantracker World Combat League FIA European Drag Racing

00:30 01:20 02:10 02:35 03:00 03:50 04:45 05:15 06:10 07:00 07:50 08:40 09:05 09:30 10:20 11:10 12:00 12:50 13:40 14:30 14:55 15:20 16:10 17:00 17:50 18:40 19:05 19:55 20:20 21:10 22:00 22:50 23:40

Ghost Lab A Haunting I Was Murdered I Was Murdered Most Evil Dr G: Medical Examiner Amsterdam Vice Ghost Lab Mystery Diagnosis Murder Shift Forensic Detectives Street Patrol Real Emergency Calls Mystery Diagnosis Disappeared FBI Files On The Case With Paula Zahn Fugitive Strike Force Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol Real Emergency Calls Disappeared FBI Files Forensic Detectives Murder Shift Real Emergency Calls Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol On The Case With Paula Zahn Fugitive Strike Force Deadly Women Who On Earth Did I Marry? Dr G: Medical Examiner

01:25 03:20 05:15 06:50 08:35 09:50 11:50 13:40 15:20 16:55 18:30 20:10 22:00 23:50

Audrey Rose-PG Kalifornia The January Man-PG Love Is All There Is-PG Just Another Story-PG The Horse Soldiers-PG Hickey And Boggs-PG Salt And Pepper-PG The Defiant Ones-PG Breakheart Pass-PG Lawman-PG Brannigan-PG The Believers-PG Dead On

FIA European Drag Racing FIA European Drag Racing Cape Epic Winter X Games 15 2011 X Games Heroes Kiteboard Pro World Tour Kiteboard Pro World Tour Final Fu Fantasy Factory Glutton For Punishment Mantracker World Combat League Final Fu Fantasy Factory Cape Epic Winter X Games 15 2011 X Games Heroes Kiteboard Pro World Tour Mantracker Glutton For Punishment Untracked World Combat League Wrestling With Reality Glutton For Punishment

00:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 01:00 Africa’s Secret Seven 01:55 Ultimate Shark 02:50 World’s Deadliest Animals 03:45 Wild Amazon 04:40 Predator CSI 05:35 Hunter Hunted 06:30 Leopard Queen 07:25 Monster Fish of The Congo 08:20 Fish Warrior 09:15 Ultimate Shark 10:10 World’s Deadliest Animals 11:05 Wild Amazon 12:00 Among The Great Apes With Michelle Yeoh 13:00 Snakezilla 14:00 Hooked 15:00 Fish Warrior 16:00 Inside Nature’s Giants 17:00 World’s Deadliest Animals 18:00 Wild Amazon 19:00 Snakezilla 20:00 Hooked 21:00 Fish Warrior 22:00 Inside Nature’s Giants 23:00 World’s Deadliest Animals

00:00 02:00 04:00 06:00 07:45 10:45 12:15 13:45 16:45

It’s Alive-R Collateral-18 Paranormal Activity-PG15 Lara Croft: Tomb Raider-PG15 Pearl Harbor-PG15 The One-PG15 Star Runners-PG15 Pearl Harbor-PG15 Lost In Space-PG15

BLINDNESS ON OSN MOVIES ACTION 19:00 Star Runners-PG15 20:30 The Final-18 22:15 Speed-PG15

01:15 03:00 05:00 06:45 09:00 11:00 13:00 15:00 16:45 18:45 21:00 23:00

Jack Goes Boating-PG15 Home Run-PG15 The Nutty Professor-FAM The A-Team-PG15 Good Hair-PG15 All About Steve-PG15 Dean Spanley-PG At Risk-PG15 Attack On Leningrad-PG Invictus-PG15 Private-PG15 2:22-18

00:00 It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia 00:30 The Daily Show Global Edition 01:00 The Colbert Report Global Edition 01:30 The Ricky Gervais Show 02:00 Comedy Central Presents 02:30 Comedy Central Presents 03:00 Malcolm In The Middle 03:30 Hope And Faith 04:00 Yes Dear 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 Yes Dear 08:30 Malcolm In The Middle 09:00 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 09:30 Traffic Light 10:00 Cougar Town 10:30 According To Jim 11:00 Coach 11:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:30 Yes Dear 13:00 Hope And Faith 13:30 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 14:00 Seinfeld 14:30 Traffic Light 15:00 Cougar Town 15:30 The Daily Show Global Edition 16:00 The Colbert Report Global Edition 16:30 Coach 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 Malcolm In The Middle 18:30 Hope And Faith 19:00 Cougar Town 19:30 Raising Hope 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 The Cleveland Show 22:30 Party Down 23:00 The Ricky Gervais Show 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

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

The Closer In Treatment In Treatment Private Practice Cold Case Strong Medicine Good Morning America Glee Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show The Martha Stewart Show The View The Closer Cold Case Live Good Morning America Strong Medicine The Ellen DeGeneres Show Emmerdale Coronation Street Hawthorne Body Of Proof House Private Practice Glee

00:00 01:00 02:00 02:30 03:00 04:00 05:00

Alias Lie To Me In Treatment In Treatment The Closer Cold Case Detroit 1-8-7

06:00 07:00 07:30 08:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00

Alias 8 Simple Rules ... Coronation Street No Ordinary Family Detroit 1-8-7 The Closer Cold Case 8 Simple Rules ... No Ordinary Family Alias 8 Simple Rules ... No Ordinary Family Hawthorne Body Of Proof House Lie To Me Detroit 1-8-7

01:00 03:00 05:00 07:00 PG15 09:00 11:00 13:15 15:15 17:00 19:00 21:00 23:00

Wrong Turn At Tahoe-18 Blindness-18 The Collector-18 Stonehenge ApocalypseThe Italian Job (1969)-PG Star Trek-PG Shinjuku Incident-PG15 The Italian Job (1969)-PG Surrogates-PG15 Zombieland-18 Speed-PG15 Dead Snow-PG15

00:00 Aliens In The Attic-FAM 02:00 Le Donk And Scor-zay-zeePG15 04:00 Married To It-PG15 06:00 Swing Vote-PG15 08:00 Under The Tuscan Sun-PG15 10:00 Everybody Wants To Be Italian-PG15 12:00 Monsters vs. Aliens-PG 14:00 The Good Girl-PG15 16:00 Aliens In The Attic-FAM 18:00 The Making Of Plus One-PG15 20:00 50 First Dates-PG15 22:00 Mumford-18

01:00 02:45 05:00 07:15 PG 09:00 11:00 13:00 15:00 17:00 19:00 21:00 PG15 23:15

This Revolution-PG15 The Class-PG15 Riding In Cars With Boys-PG15 Where The Wild Things AreThe Dust Factory-PG15 Benny And Joon-PG Tuck Everlasting-PG Parlez-Moi De LA Pluie-PG15 Run-PG15 Five Minutes Of Heaven-PG15 The Mirror Has Two FacesSleuth-18

01:15 The Dry Land-18 03:00 From Justin To Kelly-PG 05:00 The Ramen Girl-PG15 07:00 Not The Messiah: He’s A Very Naughty Boy-PG15 09:00 Leap Year-PG15 11:00 Star Trek-PG 13:15 Astro Boy-FAM 15:00 The Lizzie McGuire Movie-PG 17:00 Leap Year-PG15 19:00 Nine-PG15 21:00 50 First Dates-PG15 23:00 Drag Me To Hell-18 00:00 The Adventures Of Rocky And Bullwinkle-FAM 02:00 Gold Diggers: The Secret Of Bear Mountain-PG 04:00 Yogi Bear And The Magical Flight Of The Spruce Goose-PG 06:00 The Archies In Jugman-FAM 08:00 Scooby-Doo Meets The Boo Brothers-FAM 10:00 The Adventures Of Rocky And Bullwinkle-FAM 12:00 Cats And Dogs-PG15 14:00 Barney’s Great AdventureFAM 16:00 Scooby-Doo! AbracadabraDoo-FAM 18:00 Cats And Dogs-PG15 20:00 Dinosaur Island-PG 22:00 Scooby-Doo Meets The Boo Brothers-FAM 00:00 Fragments-18 02:00 American Teen-PG15 04:00 Creation-PG15

06:00 Celine: Through The Eyes Of The World-PG15 08:00 Maneater: Part II-PG15 10:00 Carnera: The Walking Mountain-PG 12:00 Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel-FAM 14:00 Moon-PG15 16:00 Maneater: Part II-PG15 18:00 Paper Man-PG15 20:00 The Spirit-PG15 22:00 Marmaduke-PG

01:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 08:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 15:00 17:00 17:30 18:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00

Rugby Union International Le Mans Highlights Speedway UFC The Ultimate Fighter Trans World Sport WWE NXT WWE SmackDown Speedway Trans World Sport WWE Bottom Line NRL Premiership Darts World Matchplay Powerboats F1 H2O Le Mans Series Rugby Union International WWE Vintage Speedway Trans World Sport UFC The Ultimate Fighter

00:00 NRL Premiership 02:00 Golfing World 03:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 04:00 Trans World Sport 05:00 Rugby League Challenge Cup 07:00 Super Rugby Highlights 08:00 NRL Premiership 10:00 Spirit of Yachting 10:30 AFL Highlights 11:30 Masters Football 14:30 ICC Cricket World 15:00 World Hockey 15:30 AFL Highlights 16:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 17:00 Spirit of Yachting 17:30 NRL Full Time 18:00 NRL Premiership 20:00 Darts World Matchplay 22:00 FIVB Beach Volley Ball 22:30 Tri Nations

02:30 World Hockey 03:00 Rugby Union 05:00 Rugby Union 08:00 PGA European Highlights 11:00 Rugby Union 13:00 Golfing World 14:00 PGA European Highlights 15:00 Darts World Match 17:00 ICC Criket World 17:30 Trans World Sport 18:30 Golfing World 19:30 World Hockey 20:00 FIVB Beach Volleyball 20:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 21:00 Futbol Mundial 21:30 NRL Full Time 23:00 AFL Highlights

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



Speedway V8 Supercars Championship V8 Supercars Championship WWE SmackDown UFC Unleashed UFC Unleashed WWE NXT WWE SmackDown Speedway Le Mans Series Magazine V8 Supercars Extra WWE Bottom Line Super Formula Powerboats Speedway V8 Supercars Extra WWE SmackDown WWE Vintage Collection UFC Wired UFC Unleashed UFC The Ultimate Fighter

Classifieds TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011

Healthy Living

A peach of a fruit “Prunus persica,� those sweet, juicy, nutritious summer treats, got their scientific name because they were once thought to have originated in Persia. ACCOMMODATION

Beginnings, benefits

Furnished sharing accommodation available in a 2 bedroom, C-A/C apartment in Farwaniya good location, for decent working lady. Contact: 66235897. (C 3546) 26-7-2011


Sharing accommodation available opposite Khaitan Jamiya in a at from 1st August, for RC Goan or Mangalorean family. Contact: 99453500. (C 3543)


Sharing accommodation available at New Riggae. Please contact: 65026013/ 69901960. (C 3544) 25-7-2011


Š 201 2011 MCT CT Source: (N.Y.) rce: Rochester (N Museum and Science Center Graphic: Paul Trap Tr


Tie bbones Tie ones iinn knots? knots? Here’s how Here’s h ow to o make make a puzzle puzzlle that most peo people ople can’t figure ou out ut – a bone tied in na knot. kn kno


Š 2011 MCT What W hat hhappened? appened?

After meat has been chicken eaten from chi cken leg, pi pick ck the bone ass clean as possi possible ble

You’ll Y ou’ll nneed eed ‡OLWHU R]  glass jar with lid ‡‡9LQHJDU 9LQHJDU ‡‡Paper Paper ttowels owels


Put P cleaned bone in jar, ja ar, ccover over with vinegar v and close jar


The n T next ext d day, ay, feel feel the th he bon bone, e, ttry ry to b bend it, then put it back b ba ck in vinegar


&KHck the bone &KHck & e each d day ay ffor or a week week

Now repeat steps 1 through 4

One larger bone Two middle bones

with the wing bones

Items for sale in a spacious 2 BR + 2 Bathrooms in Jabriya. Hall (12m), BR (5m), big kitchen, private area + shaded car park. Contact: 66197107. (C 3533)

SITUATION VACANT Nepalese, Sri Lanka, Philippine housemaid required for an Indian family in Salwa live-in, salary KD 100. Residence can be arranged. Contact: 97205370/ 25618766. (C 3537) 23-7-2011

SITUATION WANTED I am looking for a part time job morning or evening. Experienced in all oďŹƒce administrative work with computer knowledge. Contact: 60988705. (C 3545) 26-7-2011

No: 15161

Toyota Rav4 - Jeep 2007, 4 doors, full options, white color, 4 cylinder, KD 3,900/-. Contact: 55323839. (C 3539)

The bone gets soft and rubbery because acid in the vinegar dissolved some of the calcium mineral that makes bones strong

Try to bend the bone bon ne – can y ou o do it? Try you

“PILATE POWER GYM� for all over body strength and Aerobic training, almost brand new with owner’s manual nutritional guide and CD for details info pls do Google search, price less than half from market KD 55. Contact: 99430379. (C 3535) 23-7-2011


Wash W ash and d dry r y bone

‡&RRked chicken ‡&RRked chi cken leg and wing

Accommodation available in 2 bedroom and 2 bathroom C-A/C apartment for a decent couple, executive bachelor or working lady in Mahboula, close to Gulf Road. Contact: 66216713. (C 3534) 23-7-2011

Chevrolet Tahoe 1996, two doors, dark green, very good condition, price KD 850. Contact: 97792794. (C 3542) 24-7-2011

Discard tip 9LQHJDUZLOOPDke these thin bones soft enough to tie in a knot! Let them dry, and they will harden again but will be weak because of the lost calcium

Honda City 2009, white color, full automatic, 16000km, KD 2,300/-. Contact: 65085629. (C 3540) Volvo S60 2001, light green metallic, run 190,000km, very good condition, price KD 900 only. Contact: 99881982. (C 3541)

DIAL 161 FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION In case you are not travelling, your proper cancellation of bookings will help other passengers to use seats Airlines



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Time 0:00 0:20 0:40 0:50 1:10 2:15 2:30 2:55 3:45 3:50 3:55 4:05 4:05 5:00 5:10 6:55 7:00 7:10 7:15 7:40 8:20 8:25 8:40 8:50 9:00 9:05 9:10 9:15 9:15 9:40 9:50 9:55 9:55 10:00 10:15 10:20 10:40 10:40 11:45 11:55 12:00 12:00 12:05 12:10 12:20 13:00 13:30 13:40 14:20 14:30

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (


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


TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011

s ta rs CROSSWORD 390



Aries (March 21-April 19) Today you will be able to tackle tasks that require real discipline and organization. You will find yourself in a very practical mood— working with instead of against yourself. You may also have some serious or contemplative moments while solving problems. Learning and communicating with an open mind helps you to make a great deal of progress. Intellectual creativity is accented now and your social skills gain a certain flair of drama. Winning the admiration of others for the things you say or write and the way you do it takes on more importance in your life. The good life and all that is fine and luxurious may be what you value just now. Careful; remember that you could delay your personal goals if you overspend. Continue working on a creative idea.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) This is a good workday—much can be accomplished. There is much imagination and creativity when it comes to ideas and thinking. There may be a time before the noon hour when you may be orientating one or two new employees. You can easily gain the attention of the most difficult audience. This is a good time, when your efforts really pay off and things seem to run smoothly. Now you have the ability for sustained work that allows you to coordinate and organize like never before. Bring to fruition uncompleted tasks or character development. Conversations of an inspiring kind may be in order with young people or loved ones. You are learning that your capacity to be happy and useful cannot truly be hampered by external conditions.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. A rare chronic progressive encephalitis caused by the measles virus and occurring primarily in children and young adults. 5. Largest known toad species. 9. A master's degree in library science. 13. The imperial dynasty of China from 1122 to 221 BC. 14. An inclined surface or roadway that moves traffic from one level to another. 15. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 16. Being or occurring at an advanced period of time or after a usual or expected time. 17. Not only so, but. 18. A nucleic acid that transmits genetic information from DNA to the cytoplasm. 19. A festival featuring African-American culture. 21. A Kwa language spoken by the Yoruba people in southwestern Nigeria. 24. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 25. A natural protective covering of the body. 29. Lacking a bib. 33. Before noon. 34. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 36. Alligator-like reptile of Central and South America having a more heavily armored belly. 37. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 40. One of the most common of the five major classes of immunoglobulins. 41. Type genus of the Amiidae. 44. A slender double-reed instrument. 46. A Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Christ. 49. English botanist who accompanied Captain Cook on his first voyage to the Pacific Ocean (1743-1820). 52. Any of various deciduous or evergreen ornamental shrubs of the genus Abelia having opposite simple leaves and cymes of small white or pink or purplish flowers. 56. (Old Testament) The second patriarch. 57. The actions and activities assigned to or required or expected of a person or group. 59. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 60. The shorter of the two telegraphic signals used in Morse code. 61. A genus of orb-weaving spiders including common garden spiders and barn spiders. 63. A master's degree in education. 64. Used of a single unit or thing. 65. Small tree of dry open parts of southern Africa having erect angled branches suggesting candelabra. 66. An associate degree in applied science. DOWN 1. The clock time given by a clock carried on board a spacecraft. 2. United States humorist who wrote about rural life (18181885). 3. A potassium compound often used in agriculture and industry. 4. A member of the people inhabiting an area of northern Mongolia and eastern Siberia. 5. Of or relating to the former Indo-European people. 6. (Greek mythology) Goddess of the earth and mother of Cronus and the Titans in ancient mythology. 7. A benevolent aspect of Devi. 8. Of or relating to or afflicted with aphakia n. 9. A polyvalent metallic element that resembles chromium and tungsten in its properties. 10. The month following March and preceding May. 11. A Russian river. 12. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 20. A quantity of no importance. 22. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 23. Large sweet juicy hybrid between tangerine and grapefruit having a thick wrinkled skin. 26. A metallic element having four allotropic forms. 28. (Islam) The man who leads prayers in a mosque. 30. An independent ruler or chieftain (especially in Africa or Arabia). 31. An narrative telling the adventures of a hero or a family. 32. An unforeseen obstacle. 35. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 38. A coffee cake flavored with orange rind and raisins and almonds. 39. Wood duck and mandarin duck. 42. Add ions to. 43. A fatal disease of cattle that affects the central nervous system. 45. An Oscan-speaking member of an ancient people of Campania. 47. Celebes megapode that lays eggs in holes in sandy beaches. 48. At right angles to the length of a ship or airplane. 50. The seventh month of the Hindu calendar. 51. Decapod having eyes on short stalks and a broad flattened carapace with a small abdomen folded under the thorax and pincers. 53. A Tibetan or Mongolian priest of Lamaism. 54. The United Nations agency concerned with atomic energy. 55. Acute lung injury characterized by coughing and rales. 58. United States musician (born in Japan) who married John Lennon and collaborated with him on recordings (born in 1933). 62. An intensely radioactive metallic element that occurs in minute amounts in uranium ores.

Yesterday’s Solution

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You are independent and value freedom and nonconformity. You enjoy solving problems and working out new solutions, trying new things. Your career will be anything but ordinary and leave it to you to find unusual ways of supporting yourself. You bring a lot of mental skill and understanding to whatever you do and could teach or help others take a more independent approach to their life or career. Today you will enjoy your pursuit in learning subjects that are concerned with fiber optics, radio waves, electronics, computers, etc. Intellectual creativity is highlighted and your social connections have the flair of drama to them. Winning the admiration of others for the things you say or write takes on a great deal of importance now.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)


You work well with those in authority who are independent and original. You could find yourself engaged in nonconformist causes, always ready to promote what is independent and innovative. You like radical approaches and find yourself in support of whatever new-wave product or breakthrough advance is next in line. You have an ability to work with the imagination, reaching beyond the normal, everyday to far-reaching potentials. Today there is a hint of solitude—you will be moving into new work situations that could mean taking chances. Take advantage of the quiet times that are offered to you now. Your vision will continue to lead you into these unknown directions. Your enthusiasm is commendable and the end results will be successful.

Leo (July 23-August 22) Experiencing dissatisfaction with what you have or with what you find around you is an indication that a change is needed. This change could involve an attitude or a move. Now is a time to think about a change of scenery. It really would be a good idea to consider a vacation at this time. At the least, you should plan short trips for inspiration. Inner searching and a sense of being vulnerable and exposed could tempt you to drop your responsibilities and spend more time on personal growth issues. It may be difficult to concentrate on your duties during this time of psychological insights. Continual discovery, persistent search and continual change and transformation keep you active. Positive end results are within your reach!


Virgo (August 23-September 22) Although you may feel driven toward success, make sure you are moving in the direction you really want to go! Travel and communication play increasingly significant roles in your advancement just now. Today you will be able to tackle the tasks that require real discipline or organization. You find yourself in a very practical mood and working with, instead of against, the surge of energies. You may have some serious or contemplative moments. You could be most persuasive with others, in any sort of communication. You can really get your thoughts and ideas across to others. A visit with co-workers during the noon break will bring about good relations and good communication. Intellectual creativity is highlighted.

Libra (September 23-October 22)


You can expect a sense of support and good will from those around you today. You have great insight into what motivates the public, crowds and the mind in general. You can work with sensitive and vulnerable psychological areas without batting an eye and would be good at instructing others in these areas. There is more concentration in the areas of thinking, learning and communicating now. Intellectual creativity is highlighted and your social connections have a certain flair of drama. Winning the admiration of others for the your art and the way you express yourself takes on a high priority in your life now. You are able to teach or help others to be more original when it comes to the words or thoughts that are used.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) You have an inner drive to be thorough and responsible in minute details—self-disciplined. You possess an architect’s vision for what needs to be done and how to do it right, in order and to make it last—an expert or true builder. Knowing what tool to use and just how and when to use it usually saves a lot of frustration. You have a sense of the right path to follow. There is a time this afternoon for imagination and creativity when it comes to ideas and thinking. A book club or mystery club—solving mysteries by partaking in the development of the story outcome—may bring about some stimulating conversations. This process will certainly make for new friends, or will broaden your scope of friends. A writing club would be good as well. Be willing to grow.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) In some sense, just being yourself is both the goal and the means of traveling to that goal. Others sense that your life is important. You, as a being, are yourself the heart and center of all your inner activity. Your dreams, visions and ideals propel you—always from within yourself. You follow the inner guide and your ambitions are true and serve to show the way. Today, as usual, you will have an uncanny ability to get beyond the normal chatter, to find new ways of doing things. You can take the most mundane stuff and find a new angle. Ideas have greater meaning and form just now. You are very eloquent or forceful in speaking or communicating. People will understand just what you mean. You will enjoy a social affair this evening.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)


You have an almost fierce sense of pride and are very dramatic and expressive, sometimes forceful. You will not put up with something you do not believe is productive. If you can remove the emotions, you could be most persuasive with others about particular issues today. This situation is a natural for self-expression and lends itself to your particular ideas and thoughts. Again, you must work hard at controlling your emotions as this could be a difficult time to relax. The hallmark of the cycle you have just begun is of thinking, learning and communicating with style. Intellectual creativity is highlighted. Your social connections have a certain flair of drama. Step back and watch yourself for a while and you will be able to adjust and relax.

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You may feel blocked or frustrated emotionally by a coworker or friend this morning. Careful, as arguments of an emotional kind could be easy to find. This is only a misunderstanding and seems to be caused by trying to accomplish things faster than nature will comfortably allow. Problems can be solved quickly. Stop, look and listen. Some social event, perhaps entertaining a new business associate, will keep you busy this afternoon. You are your most elegant at this time. Intellectual creativity is highlighted today—there is a flair of drama. Winning the admiration of others for the things you say or write takes on more importance in your life. There is some time for sharing with your loved one(s) this evening—a busy but happy time.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

Your mind is quick and sharp and your words are the only weapon you will need. You have insight into your emotions and drive and you can talk about your feelings with great insight. The hallmark of the cycle you have just begun is thinking, learning and communicating with style. Intellectual creativity is highlighted and your social connections have a flair of drama to them. Winning the admiration of others for the things you say or write and the way you do it, takes on more importance in your life. Even the most hard-nosed of us have moments of real understanding, when things are seen as linked together and one piece. Sexuality and physical desires are encouraged and seen as spiritual. Money, power and things of this world are okay too.



e niv rsar n

TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011


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e niv rsar n

TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011

li fe s t y le


G o s s i p

he 25-year-old singer - who has experienced hair loss because of how often she has dyed her tresses - has started using Rogaine in order to reverse the years of damage she has subjected her locks to in the name of fashion. A source is quoted by The Sun newspaper as saying: “Over the years Lady Gaga has put her locks under a lot of stress. She’s poured so much chemicals over them that it’s damaged her follicles. “She’s hoping by using Rogaine, she can repair some of the harm.” The ‘Born This Way’ hitmaker reportedly first started worrying about her hair while on her epic ‘Monster Ball Tour’. A source claims Gaga went ballistic backstage because whenever she “dragged a comb through her


frazzled, bleached tresses, there was hair everywhere - in the comb, on the floor, in her hands”. The pop superstar - who is famous for her collection of wigs including a wool-like up do and a waist-length blonde wig has previously spoken about the effects of dying her naturally brunette locks blonde. She said: “[I had to] get a chemical haircut because my blonde hair is falling out.”

loria Holloway has claimed the ‘Right Round’ rapper is the father of her child, who was born earlier this year, but the hip-hop star denies he is the dad and insists he has taken a DNA test to prove he is not the biological father. Sandy Becher, a lawyer for Flo Rida, told the rapper had used a pseudonym when taking the test which proved he wasn’t the dad, but Gloria is not satisfied that this is the case, and may seek a court order against the star to make him take another test. A lawyer for her said: “There is absolutely nothing to indicate that Flo Rida was sampled. I really do feel that the only way we are going to get a reliable paternity test is going to be within the confines of some sort of court order.” The unmarried 31-yearold rap star’s legal troubles do not end with his paternity battle, as he was also recently arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). The ‘Low’ rapper - real name Tramar Dillard - was pulled over in June by officers on Miami Beach in Florida, driving a red and black Bugatti car, worth an estimated $1.7 million, after swerving between lanes as he was driving at around 3.30 am. Officers reported he failed a field sobriety test after they smelled alcohol on his breath, and he was transported to a nearby station and reportedly booked for DUI and driving with a suspended license. He was later released on bail and allowed to fly to Thailand where he was due to perform. His car was also released after a friend paid the $115 towing fee.


Kim Kardashian addicted? to

Lenny Kravitz’s daughter steals his boas

he 30-year-old socialite has a huge collection of protective frames and she thinks they are the perfect accessory for any outfit. She told Now magazine: “My guiltiest fashion pleasure is sunglasses. They’re the best accessory for any outfit. “I’m addicted to Dita, Tom Ford and Balenciaga frames.” The brunette beauty also admitted she places a big importance on looking hot and uses fashion as a way of communicating her personality. She added: “My style is great, for sure. I like to be well put together and on trend. “I’ve always defined myself through my style. It’s how I communicate who I am. “My favorite designers are Alexander McQueen and Marchesa. They design pieces that never go out of style.”


Kristen Stewart horrified by robotic baby he actress - who plays Bella Swan in the vampire film series - was looking forward to her alter-ego having a child with her on-screen blood-sucking lover Edward Cullen but admits the reality was somewhat different because they used an animatronic child, which was operated by a member of the crew. Speaking of the moment Bella meets her half-vampire, half-human child, Kristen said: “In the book that was one of my favorite parts. “But filming it, this guy’s sweating under your eye line, they get the hand up to touch your face and then it sticks to your hair and pulls a little bit. “You’re like, ‘Ugh! Get that thing off me. Get me a baby, this is ridiculous.’ It had hair and it’s a newborn baby.” Robert Pattinson - who plays the baby’s vampire father Edward - was also repulsed by the artificial baby as it looked like something from a horror movie. He is quoted by the Daily Record newspaper: “It’s Chucky from ‘Child’s Play’!” Bella and Edward’s daughter, who they name Renesmee Carlie Cullen, grows much faster than other children and Kristen admits filming with some of the child stars was tough because they were bigger than her. The 5ft 6in beauty said: “Occasionally I couldn’t pick up the kid.”


he 47-year-old singer is pleased he has a close relationship with 22-year-old Zoe - his child with ex-wife Lisa Bonet - and says he has always been open with her when she was growing up. He said: “I’m old-school about the father-daughter thing, but she’s also my best friend. “She grew up with me. I didn’t hide a lot. She learned by listening and observing what I was doing.” Lenny used to enjoy wearing flamboyant outfits on stage and admits some of his costumes are now owned by his daughter. He added: “I would try anything, furs, boas, platform boots. It’s funny how you never think you’re going to change. “Now my daughter has a lot of my stuff. She took all my feather boas. They were in storage and I yelled at her, ‘Don’t steal my boas!’. She laughed and said, ‘Those words would not come out of most fathers’ mouths.’ “


elebrity friends including Tori Spelling, former Spice Girl Mel B and Lisa Rinna attended the event at the Beverly Hills Montage Hotel, which was hosted by the 40year-old actress to celebrate Eloise Joni - who she adopted in June - joining her family, which already includes daughters Sam, seven and Lola, six. Denise was received an impressive haul of gifts including a pink Stokke stroller and Baby JaR bibs. A source told People: “She’s so excited. She’s so in love with her new daughter. This is a really special time for her. She can’t wait to introduce her to her friends. “Sam and Lola love having a little sister. They have welcomed Eloise with open arms.” Denise is now heading to New York with her children, and she plans to take them to see the ‘Lion King’ musical. She wrote on twitter): “packing up the fami-


ly ... heading to NY tomorrow. Week of press for my book. a little fun in there too with the kids!! Eloise’s first trip to NY (sic)” Later she added: “family packed and all ready for our trip ... so excited the girls are coming along too ... taking them to Lion king!(sic)”— Bangshowbiz




e niv rsar n


TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011

li f e s ty le

very day in the United States, 25 million children ride to and from school in bright yellow buses driven by mom and pop drivers. The chauffeurs for millions of kids are farmers, like Russ Altizer, who drives a yellow bus to and from the same school in Montgomery County, Virginia, that he went to, or moms like Kimberly Rodriguez, trying to make a little bit of extra cash while keeping their schedule open for their kids. But of the hundreds of thousands of drivers of the nearly half a million school buses that ply US and Canadian roads every day, a select few are road safety aces. Altizer and Rodriguez count themselves among those safety stars. They travel for miles across the United States and Canada to compete in “road-eos”, driving around obstacle courses on which they have to do exercises like avoid crushing tennis balls with their tires or overrunning a stop line with their bumpers. This year, 102 drivers from as far away as Alaska and Canada and as close as Virginia, descended on Linthicum, Maryland for the School Bus Driver International Safety Competition to spend a weekend in July, driving around a car park near Baltimore Washington International Airport. Many had paid their own way to the competition or been sponsored by their counties and school boards, all for the honor of winning a plaque in one of three categories. Altizer has been driving a school bus for 32 years and has competed nine times in what he calls “the international”. This year, he drove a small bus in the competition. “If I win, I get a plaque that says I’m the winner of small bus, and I get a plaque that goes to my county that they can put on their wall. No money, just recognition,” he told AFP before the results were announced at an evening


banquet. “Plus your name is put in the book that goes out every year that has the names of previous winners. That’s halfway engraved in stone so years from now someone can look in that book and say, ‘Russell won in that bus, that year.’ ‘You have to win’ “No one remembers who came second. You have to win.” Gary Catapano, chairman of the National School Transportation Association’s safety and security committee which organizes the road-eo, called the competition the “World Cup of school bus safety competitions” and brimmed with praise for the participants. “These people are not only the best of the best in terms of maneuvering or being one with the bus, but they also have fantastic safety records-some of them have driven 15, 20 years without an accident,” Catapano told AFP. “Our schoolbus safety record in North America is amazing in terms of the way we watch over children and operate safely, and these drivers really are the safest of the safe.” According to the School Bus Information Council (SBIC), the more than 800 schoolaged children who are killed each year in motor vehicles, as pedestrians or on bicycles during school hours could still be alive “if they rode in school buses.” Last year, only five children were killed as passengers in school buses, the SBIC says. To the competitors at the “international” that was five too many. Altizer did win his category, with Larry Hannon of Centennial school district in Pennsylvania winning the conventional bus category-the buses with a ‘nose’ on them-and Mark Miller of Bellingham public schools in Washington state winning in the flat-fronted transit category.

Campbell has more than scary stories imply scaring his readers is not enough for horror fiction writer Ramsey Campbell-he wants to make them think too. Described by the Oxford Companion to English Literature as “Britain’s most respected living horror writer”, Campbell has star billing at the Semana Negra book fair this week in Spain, which draws a million visitors each year. “I’m trying to make you look again at things you’ve taken for granted,” Campbell said. “I don’t think horror fiction requires an abandonment of rationality.” Campbell has won a string of British Fantasy Awards for Best Novel in half a century of writing which began by paying homage to renowned US horror writer HP Lovecraft, from whom he still draws inspiration. “What I think he was trying to convey was a sense of alienness of the universe ... and how, if there are forces which are inhuman out there, they will either be utterly uninterested in us or will do away with us by accident.”


But for Altizer, winning was secondary to taking part. For him, “the international” is an excuse to take a holiday, see how city folk live, and drive a buswhich he does at home anyway. “I don’t go on vacation. I live in the country. This competition is my sort of vacation... it takes me to cities I have no reason to go to, other than for this,” he told AFP. “Between the state competition and here, I’m putting up hay and working cattle on the farm. “Then I come here and do this, and then go back home and back to driving a summer school bus and farming-the normal life,” he said. — AFP

f your heart wants Cake Boss, but your wallet says grocery-store bakery, new products are coming out to help give cakes a high-end look for a low-end price. The market is responding to America’s obsession with all things cake. If you need proof, just turn on the television. Not an hour goes by, it seems, without a show about cake, cupcakes, cake competitions or cake decorating. We can’t get enough of it. But the more we stare at those fancyschmancy cakes, the less content we are with an ordinary bakery cake to celebrate our birthdays and other occasions. Baker LaVada Holman has seen firsthand how tastes in cakes have changed dramatically over the past 10 years. It’s not unusual for her to get requests for three-tiered cakes decorated with fondant icing for a baby’s first birthday party. The kind of cake that was once reserved for weddings is becoming common for birthdays and other lesser events. “People don’t want the same old grocery store cake. They want something special. They want something to impress everybody else,” Holman said. A simple layer cake with icing flowers, the birthday standard for years, is no longer acceptable for many people. But the price of a three-tier fondant creation can stop customers in their tracks. Cakes seen on television typically come with price tags in the thousands. That’s where companies and entrepreneurs are finding their niche - offering decorations to give plain cakes expensive look. Charynn Olsheski, a chiropractor who lives outside Butler, Pa., caught the bug from watching cake-decorating shows on television. She began practicing with fondant icing and later started baking cakes for family and friends. The cake decorating was a way to help her and her husband, who also is a chiropractor, make ends meet while establishing their practice and paying down their student loans. What Olsheski discovered, however, was that no one wanted to pay the kind of prices she had to charge to make the detail work, particularly during the recession. Customers wanted the designer look without the designer price. That’s when Olsheski started to make and sell fondant decorations that customers could use to dress up either a homemade cake or cupcakes, or less expensive cakes purchased at the grocery store. “I found that people wanted these Cake Boss-type cakes, but did not want to pay me even the kind of money that I wanted,” she said. “I came up with this way to send things to them so they could decorate their cakes and cupcakes into something real high-end. They keep the prices down and still make it something fabulous.” From her website,, Olsheski has been selling the decorations to customers all over the world and she’ll make them to customers’ specifications. Most of her designs sell for under $25, and will dress up either a dozen cupcakes or a standard eight-inch layer cake. Olsheski was one of the first to offer such a service, but now competition is cropping up everywhere. Similar decorations can be found at To keep ahead, Olsheski is now selling toppers for brownies and sugar cookies as well. For an even lower-budget


Horror writer


Kimberly Rodriguez, a schoolbus driver from Oklahoma, waits for her turn to compete in the conventional bus category at the 41st School Bus Driver International Safety Competition on Sunday, July 17, 2011 in Linthicum, Maryland. — AFP

option, Wilton Enterprises, which sells cake decorating supplies at mass retailers and craft stores like Michaels and Walmart, is offering its own take. The company recently introduced Sugar Sheets, colorful pre-made sheets of edible decorating paper, which can be cut into fanciful shapes using a punch similar to the die cutters used by scrapbookers.

Custom decorations transform plain cakes into festive works of art in Akron, Ohio. — MCT

Holman, who teaches the Wilton cake decorating method at Grandma’s Cupboard in Springfield Township, Ohio, said the sheets were designed to appeal to those who enjoy scrapbooking. “For convenience decorating, the customers absolutely love it,” she said. The sheets sell for $4, the punch base for $15, and inserts for the punch in a variety of shapes - hearts, flowers, leaves - are $6 each. The sheets are an easy way to dress up homemade cupcakes. Also offering quick and easy cupcake decorating is Cupcake Cuties (, a California company that sells kits for decorating two dozen cupcakes. The kits include wrappers for the bottom of the cupcake and toppers to match, to turn plain cupcakes into high-style party-themed treats. — MCT

Childhood Campbell began reading horror fiction at six and writing it when he was 11 to escape from life with a father who refused to speak to or see him, although they lived under the same roof, and an undiagnosed paranoid schizophrenic for a mother. “My childhood was a place of horror,” the Liverpudlian writer said. “The fiction I read was what saved me. My imagination was somewhere I could go.” In addition to penning dozens of novels and short story collections, Campbell has also worked as a film critic for decades and has seen two of his novels adapted to the screen. “Segundo Nombre” was filmed in Spain and won a Silver Medal at the Sitges cinema festival in 2002. Now 65, Campbell has no plans to retire. A 50th anniversary edition of his short story compilation will be published in September, as will a novel, “Ghosts Know”. He is already working on another novel to be called “The Black Pilgrimage”. Mainstream success has eluded Campbell, but he has no qualms about being dubbed a “genre” writer and admits his books are printed almost as soon as he finishes writing them. “I don’t think the way to fight that (labelling) is to pretend you don’t do it,” he said. “My definition for what I do is horror fiction, and frankly I’ll continue repeating that until the grave and possibly be heard from the coffin still saying it.” — Reuters

A cake topper sits beside a mostly eaten cake at a bachelorette party. — AP

ummer is in full swing, and it’s time for vacations and trips to visit friends and family. Hotels may leave chocolates on the pillow at night and fresh towels in the morning, but nothing beats the fun and relaxation (and economy!) of staying with those you know. No matter how closely you’re related or how well you know your friends, being a guest in someone’s home calls for a little extra sensitivity and awareness. Respect the agreedupon arrival and departure times. While your hosts are sure to want you to feel at home, remember that it’s their home: Don’t use or borrow without permission, keep your room and bath tidy, and don’t snoop. Follow the rhythms of the house for meals and bedtimes. Be an enthusiastic participant and offer to help out. And be a little self-sufficient-don’t expect your host to entertain you every minute. Here are some important points to consider: Bring your own toiletries. Don’t count on your host having stocked the guest bathroom cabinet with everything you need. Don’t make other plans without letting your host know. For example, don’t accept an invitation from someone else during your visit without first checking with your host. Lend a helping hand. Any time you see a chance to help the host, do offer-but be specific. “I’ll peel the carrots”; “It’s my turn to clear the table”; or “Let me take those groceries in.” At the same time, don’t overdo it. Prowling about the kitchen just waiting for an opportunity to pitch in can be distracting to the cook. Don’t ask to bring your pet. If you must travel with Fido, inquire about a good kennel in the area or offer to stay in a hotel. This gives your host an opening to invite your pet if she wishes. Tidy up after yourself. Straighten up your room and make the bed each morning. Keep your bathroom neat, especially if you’re sharing it with other people. Don’t use more than your share of hot water, and don’t leave the toilet seat up. Be ready for anything-or for nothing. Hosts need down time too, so come prepared to rest and relax on your own. Negotiate the schedule. “Saturday sounds perfect to go out on the boat. Would Sunday work for us to walk around town?” At the end of your visit, ask if you should strip the bed. If so, remove the sheets, fold them loosely, place them at the foot of the bed, and pull the blanket and bedspread up neatly so that the bed will look “made.” This will make life easier for your host. If you’re close friends, ask for fresh sheets to remake the bed. It’s a nice gesture and it saves your host from having to do it later. Regardless of how you do it, giving a gift to your host is a must for any houseguest. For an overnight stay, something simple like a bottle of good wine is fine. A longer stay merits something a little more elaborate. You can bring the gift with you and present it to your host when you arrive, buy it during your stay once you’ve gotten a better idea of what your host might like, or send it as soon as possible after you return home. In lieu of a gift, you could also treat your hosts to a dinner out if you think they’d prefer it. If you decide to do this, let your hosts know in advance so it becomes part of the game plan. To choose the perfect gift for your host, think about what they like. Look around the house: What’s their style? Are they in need of anything for the kitchen? What are their hobbies? If shopping during your visit, consider a gift that speaks to what you did: If your trip to their beach house was rained out, opt for board games or a movie night selection of DVDs, popcorn, and popcorn bowl. In general, hardcover books, monogrammed hand towels, fragrant soaps or candles, houseplants in a decorative pot, and personalized note cards are all tried and true safe bets. Some of the best gifts might reflect a piece of your home instead: Vermont maple syrup, Virginia peanut brittle, New Orleans chicory coffee or pralines, local artisanal cheeses or specialty chocolates. The other must for overnight guests is to send a handwritten thank-you note afterward. (Though one British mum-in-law caused quite a stir recently when she tersely emailed a houseguest this reminder, she was correct that it should be done.) An email or phone call once you’ve returned home is fine, as long as a handwritten note follows it. Finally, being a good houseguest means being good company. Switch off the mobile phone and log off of email. Skip complaints and get into the swing of things, be it vibrant dinner conversation or adventurous activities. A fun time for guest and host alike is why you’re there in the first place, and it’s what will get you invited back next time. — Reuters



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TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011



Parents thank fans at Winehouse shrine


Flowers, pictures and messages are left in tribute to late soul music and British pop star Amy Winehouse, near her home in London, yesterday. — AFP

post mortem examination on Amy Winehouse, who was found dead at the weekend, will be carried out, police said, as the singer’s parents thanked well-wishers at a makeshift shrine outside her London home. An inquest will also be opened and adjourned later yesterday. As record industry executives reported a surge in sales of the British singer’s music, and speculation rose about the release of a possible posthumous album, her father Mitch flew in from New York to visit the shrine. Surrounded by television crews and well-wishers, he read the dozens of condolence messages and walked along banks of teddy bears, flowersand the occasional bottle of vodka- left by fans of the 27-year-old singer. “Thank you for coming,” he told the fans. “It means so much to me and my family.” Police have described the singer’s death as “unexplained” but her battle with alcohol and drugs was well-documented, including in one of her best-known songs “Rehab,” in which she sang, “They tried to make me go to rehab but I said no, no, no.” Winehouse slid from being a chirpy teenage singer from a north London Jewish family to someone who could barely walk at her final concert performance in Serbia. She won critical acclaim after the release of her debut album “Frank” in 2003 before becoming a worldwide phenomenon with the success of “Back to Black.” The Sun newspaper said she was found dead in her bed at around 1500 GMT on Saturday, some six hours after she had last phoned her management team. Winehouse’s death has sparked a surge in demand for her music. British music retailer HMV predicted yesterday that she would be number one next week as sales of “Back to Black,” which won five Grammys, continue to grow. The company said many people had downloaded the album online but many would want to buy CDs to feel a “more

tangible and closer connection with Amy.” “It’s something that we tend to see when any great music legend or rock star passes,” said HMV spokesman Gennaro Castaldo. The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported yesterday that material recorded before Winehouse’s death could be released as a posthumous album, citing sources who said Winehouse had recorded “a lot of material” and that her parents would have the final say on whether a new album is to be released. Winehouse’s spokesman told Reuters there was currently no confirmation of the release of a third album. “I know there’s material about, but no one’s talked about it,” he said. Her recording company, Island Records, a subsidiary of Universal Music Group had no comment. Yesterday morning, Universal Music Group had substituted their homepage at with a black and white image of the star. Tributes to Winehouse from celebrities including Russell Brand, Lily Allen and Stephen Fry poured in from Twitter over the weekend. British singer M.I.A. and American rapper Big Boi both released songs dedicated to Winehouse. M.I.A. released a song entitled “27” online, which likely refers to the age at which Winehouse died and the “Forever 27” club of musicians who have passed away at the same age, including Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain and Janis Joplin. Big Boi, who forms part of the duo Outkast, uploaded a remix of Winehouse’s hit “Tears Dry On Their Own” to his website, with the message “R.I.P. Amy.” — Reuters

Amy Winehouse’s parents Mitch and Janis weep as they view floral tributes outside their daughter’s home in London’s Camden Square, yesterday. — AP

Florida man wins Hemingway look-alike contest

Adele tops UK charts



inger Adele and boyband The Wanted held their positions at the top of the British album and singles charts Sunday, a day after the music world began mourning the death of soul singer Amy Winehouse. Sales of the late 27-year-old singer’s recordings rocketed in the hours after news spread of her death at her home in north London Saturday. The Official Charts Company said sales of Winehouse’s albums had increased by 37 times in the few hours remaining in the period monitored for the weekly ranking. Track sales were up 23 times. That was enough to propel her Grammy-winning 2006 release “Back to Black” to No 59 in the album charts and to push the album’s title track to 81 in the singles chart. There was no change in the top five positions in the singles charts, with the Wanted’s “Glad You Came” at No 1 for a second week. It was much the same in the album charts, where Adele remained at No 1 and No 3 with her releases “21” and “19,” while Beyonce stayed in second place with her fourth studio album “4.” — Reuters



In this photo, Ernest Hemingway look-alike winner David Douglas (left) plants a playful smooch on Matt Gineo after Gineo was selected the 2011 “Papa” Hemingway Look-Alike Contest winner at Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Key West, Fla. — AP

white-bearded, 64-year-old Florida man has won the annual Ernest Hemingway look-alike competition at a Florida Keys bar once frequented by the author. Matt Gineo of Jensen Beach, dressed in a wool fisherman’s sweater to emulate photographer Yousuf Karsh’s famous portrait of Hemingway, bested 120 other entrants after an unprecedented tie-breaker vote. It was Gineo’s 12th try. “This was something that I had in my heart to do, but I didn’t know how many years it would take,” Gineo said. Gineo, a biomedical engineer, said he shares Hemingway’s fondness for sport fishing and writing. Saturday night’s “Papa” Hemingway Look-Alike Contest at Sloppy Joe’s Bar is a highlight of Key West’s annual Hemingway Days. Two dozen finalists garbed in sportsmen’s attire, culled from 121 contestants, were judged by past winners. Other finalists included Arne Inge-Mathisen of Gjettum, Norway, who wore a black armband to commemorate the victims of Friday’s attacks on Norway’s government headquarters and a youth retreat. The annual Hemingway Days festival, which ended Sunday, honors the legacy of the writer, who lived here in the 1930s. The six-day festival included a marlin tournament, a “running of the bulls” spoof and a short story contest won by Darci Bysouth of Edinburgh, Scotland. — AP

Lady Gaga’s meat dress made it to Rock Hall of Fame

ortunately, requests to preserve clothing made out of raw meat are rare, Sergio Vigilato admits. But when the Burbank taxidermist got the call to turn Lady Gaga’s infamous Argentinean beef gown into a museum display, he bit at the opportunity. Vigilato was contacted by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum two months after the pop singer wore the meat dress on stage Sept 12, 2010, to accept the trophy for the year’s best music video at the MTV Video Music Awards. “The first thing I asked was, ‘Where is the dress? This thing could have maggots by now,’” Vigilato said. “I understood them to say it was in a room with air conditioning. I said make sure it’s in a freezer.” Actually, the 35-pound

dress made of a dozen thin-cut flank steaks was being kept on ice. It was frozen stiff - and maggot-free - when it was delivered to Vigilato’s American Taxidermy shop 3 weeks later. As he defrosted it, Vigilato found that the dress had begun decomposing before it had been frozen. As it thawed out, it developed an odor. “But the Rock and Roll museum had already paid me upfront - $6,000 - so I went ahead with it,” he said. It took more than a month to clean and preserve the meat. Vigilato declined to reveal the process he used to cure the meat dress, although museum officials said it was treated with bleach, formaldehyde and detergent to remove bacteria.

Actress Jayma Mays attends the premiere of “The Smurfs”. — AP

Once the meat was preserved, Vigilato said, he had to recondition it to make it semi-pliable so it could be reassembled into the dress originally created by Los Angeles artist and designer Franc Fernandez and stylist Nicola Formichetti. He glued the meat slabs to a mannequin outfitted with a pattern cut to resemble Fernandez’s original dress and then dyed it a dark red to resemble its color when Lady Gaga wore it. He boxed it up and shipped it May 20 to the museum in Cleveland. Last month, the dress went on display as part of the Hall of Fame’s “Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power” exhibit, which runs through February. “After that, it will tour other museums if it holds together,” said Jim Henke,

chief curator for the Hall of Fame. Henke said Lady Gaga approved of the exhibition of the dress. “They had been talking about displaying it themselves, maybe in a glass case that had special ventilation,” he said. The pop singer, known for her over-the-top costumes, described the meat dress as being symbolic of standing up for one’s rights and showing that “I am not a piece of meat.” Fernandez, the designer, said he purchased about 40 pounds of beef for the dress from Palermo Deli in Granada Hills, where his Sylmar parents are longtime customers. He ended up using about 35 pounds of the meat for the dress and its accompanying hat, shoes and purse.

Singer Katy Perry poses with the Smurf characters at the premiere of “The Smurfs” at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Sunday, July 24, 2011 in New York. — AP

Daniel Vega, co-owner of Palermo Deli, said he selected cuts of beef that would hold together and would not be dripping blood, after Fernandez explained what he intended to do with it. The beef was priced at about $3.99 a pound, Vega said. Some of his customers know that Lady Gaga’s dress came from his meat case, but not all of them. “We didn’t make a big deal out of it,” he said. Vigilato’s own background is as colorful as the mounted deer heads, stuffed birds and other creatures that line his Isabel Street taxidermy shop.—MCT



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TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011



Steve Carell has a wingman in ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’


es, he sounds like a superhero. But “Wingman” is something else entirely - in fact, many things: enabler, decoy, diplomat, discussion coordinator, agent-provocateur, even master of disguise. He befriends the BFF, runs interference, breaks the ice, buys drinks. He’s not supposed to win the girl himself. He’s just supposed to help to win her. And now Steve Carell, whose characters have so often needed a wingman, is finally getting one in “Crazy, Stupid, Love.,” the comedy of questionable manners that opens Friday - and which presumes to sit squarely astride several genres at once. Directed by John Requa and Glenn Ficarra and written by Dan Fogelman, “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” places Carell - star of NBC’s “The Office,” and such comedies as “The 40Year-Old Virgin” - in his natural habitat, the realm of the Everyman victimized by circumstances and his own sense of embarrassment: When his character, Cal, is dumped by his wife (Julianne Moore), she naturally does it in a restaurant full of people. But “CSL” also makes use of any number of comedy conventions while tweaking them all: When Cal gets dumped, “CSL” embraces the Spurned Spouse Gambit, which has a few male ancestors but usually involves female protagonists. When Cal finds himself in a world that has sartorially passed him by, it becomes a Midlife Crisis Movie (i.e., “American Beauty,”“City Slickers,”“Wild Hogs”). It then moves into Odd Couple Comedy territory. When Cal’s hapless cause is taken up by the infinitely cooler Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling), “CSL” transitions into a buddy movie, albeit buddies played by actors who couldn’t be coming from more diverse directions. Carell’s last feature, after all, was the baggypants “Dinner for Schmucks.” Gosling’s was the marital drama “Blue Valentine.” But that’s what Ficarra said attracted them to the movie in the first place. “We like to set up a lot of cliches,” he said, “and then zig when you think we’d zag.” “They come from completely different worlds,” co-

director Requa said of his lead actors, “but we thought that sort of helped with this story.” “The whole thing really explores love from all different angles,” said screenwriter Fogelman, whose credits include the animated “Cars,” “Bolt,” “Tangled” and “Cars 2.” With “CSL,” he got to work with real people (“If you have to work with human beings,” he said, “these are the ones to work with”). After Emily (Moore) announces that she wants a divorce, Cal starts drinking and singing the blues - and confirmed bachelor Jacob makes it his mission to help Cal get over it. As Cal’s, yes, wingman, Jacob helps him navigate romantic territories that have grown unfamiliar during his years of marriage and children. But the story also concerns Jacob’s romance with Hannah (Emma Stone), Hannah’s wooing by David (Kevin Bacon) and Cal’s son Robbie’s infatuation with his baby-sitter (Analeigh Tipton). “It’s about how love attacks people,” Fogelman said, “and hopefully it’s a thing where all these characters surround this Everyman, and there are all these different kinds of love people can relate to: puppy love, unattainable adolescent love, confusion about who to love, relationships going off the rails. Different stories with something tying them together.” That something being Carell, who was the actor Fogelman said he had in mind when he wrote the script. It’s easy to see why: Carell usually occupies the space around which things happen. That things would happen TO a Steve Carell character is no surprise. The real surprise for audiences via “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” promises to be Gosling, who was nobody’s first pick for Jacob, and not because he couldn’t play the role. “A lot of guys were lobbying for the part,” said Ficarra, “and Jeff Robinov at Warners suggested Ryan Gosling. We said, ‘It doesn’t seem like the kind of thing he would do.’ He said, ‘You should meet him.’ So we did. He was hilarious.” Requa and Ficarra have a determined idea of hilarious. Their first co-directing effort was the mind-

blowing “I Love You Phillip Morris” (2009), in which Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor played felonious gay lovers. Their new movie “is quietly subversive,” Ficarra said. “‘Phillip Morris’ sort of screamed it from the rafters.” They also co-wrote that holiday favorite “Bad Santa” (2003). Early reaction to “CSL” seems to emphasize the unexpectedness of it all, which Fogelman doesn’t think should be so unexpected, although he admits that Gosling, and his interaction with Carell, surprised him, too. “It wasn’t just how funny he was,” Fogelman said, “but how he hung out with Steve and they improvised things, and made the dialogue their own.” They made everything better, he said. “In fact, when this movie comes out,” Fogelman added, “and people respond to it as I hope they will, I’m waiting for the day when someone says, ‘Oh and my favorite line was X’ - and X is going to be something they made up. And I’m just going to take full credit for it.” Dumped but not forgotten In “Crazy, Stupid, Love.,” Steve Carell’s character is unceremoniously dumped by his unfaithful wife (Julianne Moore), turning him into a puddle of mush. Are we supposed to feel sorry for him? Movie men have been dumping unsuspecting movie wives for years, and the gals (so to speak) have managed to bounce back, sometimes with aplomb. Here are a few of cinema’s more notably betrayed females, who’ve reacted in all kinds of ways. “The Women” (1939) - No, not the 2008 remake with Meg Ryan, Eva Mendes and Debra Messing (eeek!). This is the original, in which women behave so cattily, or nobly, you can hardly stand it: Mary, aka Mrs. Stephen Haines (yes, that’s how the characters are listed), is played by one of classic Hollywood’s greatest anomalies (Norma Shearer) and is being cuckolded by her unseen husband with the pure-evil Crystal Allen (Joan Crawford). Does Mary/Mrs Haines fight to keep her marriage intact? No, she pretty


aking a re-reboot of the iconic girlpower franchise “Charlie’s Angels” that initially caught fire on TV in the 1970s and morphed into two movies in the 2000s takes a certain degree of creative moxie. But having courage, utilizing skill and being aggressive- all characteristics of muscled-up moxie-seems appropriate for the upcoming “Charlie’s Angels” that is being pitched as an action-adventure show for a new generation of TV audiences. The first TV show starred Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith as three, sexy private investigators working for a man named Charlie, who would send them on dangerous missions to catch crooks. Trendsetting in its time, today it seems quaint. Next came Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz in the “Angel” roles, but the two movies featuring trio-”Charlie’s Angels” and “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle”-had a decidedly campy, comic edge to the action. This third time around in a TV show set to debut this fall on the ABC network, new ‘Angels’ Minka Kelly, Annie Ilonzeh and Rachael Taylor are seriousminded detectives with the muscles to match in a crime show filled with action. “I’ve never been able to play a girl with a set of balls,” Minka Kelly told Reuters of her new “Angel,” Eve French. Kelly, who is mostly known for her role as the ever yearning Lyla Garrity in TV series “Friday Night Lights,” was decidedly happy about taking on the new, powerful role. The Angels turned up at the giant Comic-Con International convention in San Diego late Saturday to show off footage from their TV pilot episode and take questions from fans curious for a glimpse of the newest incarnation. Barrymore, who spearheaded the movies, is a key producer on the new TV show, and she was able to wield what the program’s creators called “Jedi mind tricks” in order to bring the three new “Angels” onto the program. Shouldering much of the responsibility for getting the program in good shape are executive producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, known for their success with TV’s “Smallville.” “We were hesitant, but then our wives, who both loved the show when they were girls said ‘well you two shouldn’t do it,’ so that meant absolutely we’re going to do it” said Gough. Gough and Millar said they initially were troubled by the same question anyone might pose: how do you remain faithful to the tenets that made the “Angels” memorable while making the new show fresh and interesting enough to be engaging? “This is more like a cine-real version of the show, it’s much more grounded, credible” said Millar. The show’s makers said the campy humor in the movies, which subtly pokes some fun at, not just the sex appeal of the original, but also the idea of three beautiful women pulling of action sequences normally reserved for men, is mostly erased from this new version. “We’re not going there,” said Ilonzeh. But “Angel” Taylor added that just because the show will offer fans a tougher edge, doesn’t mean the women won’t be having some fun on-screen. Put it this way: “If Jack Bauer (action-packed “24”) and Carrie Bradshaw (comedy “Sex and the City”) had a love child, then it would be this series,” said Taylor. — AP

ollywood blockbusters will soon return to Indonesian screens, with the final “Harry Potter” film leading the way to end a five -month drought caused by a standoff over the country’s tax on imported movies, an official said yesterday. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2” is being imported by a newly established local company and will be released before Ramadan, the Islamic fasting month that begins Aug. 1, said Djonny Sjafruddin, head of the Indonesian Cinema Companies Union. He declined to give an exact release date. “All things such as censorship and subtitles have already been finished,” Sjafruddin said. “We need some 90 copies and they are now under process.” He added that “Transformers 3” and “Kung Fu Panda 2” would also be released during the next several weeks. The announcement signals relief for moviegoers forced for months to make do with local productions and second-

tier foreign releases because of the protracted dispute between studios, film importers and the government. In February, six major Hollywood studios withdrew films from Indonesia, a Muslim-majority nation of 237 million people, in opposition to a new levy on imported movies that was meant to protect local filmmakers. Last month the government announced a revised tax it said would bring back Hollywood movies, but their return had been blocked by another dispute. Indonesia’s largest film distributors remain banned from bringing in new films, pending their payment of more than $30 million in unpaid taxes and related penalties. The film importers are challenging that in court. The debut of “Harry Potter” and the other movies is made possible by the recent establishment of a new film importer, PT Omega Film, Sjarifuddin said. The new company has no tax problems and so can distribute the newest Hollywood movies, Many Indonesian film lovers

Crowds walk through the exhibit hall on the last day.

Rebecca Williams, dressed as Harley Quinn, sits on the floor while taking a break on the last day of the Comic-Con International 2011 convention held in San Diego Sunday, July 24, 2011. — AFP photos

much rolls over, while Crystal cuts a swath through the feckless rich men of Manhattan. Kind of unbearable, but fascinating in a time-capsule-ish fashion, in which everything ends happily, if you happen to be an idiot.—MCT

Josh Groban as Richard and Emma Stone as Hannah in Warner Bros Pictures’ comedy, “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. — MCT

turned to the black market for the latest movies during the five-month blackout. Pirated DVD vendors reported a 50 percent increase in sales, according to local media. Others flew to Singapore to see the latest Hollywood hits. Studios participating in the boycott include Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Walt Disney Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox Film, Warner Bros. Pictures and Universal Pictures, leaving Indonesian movie fans gasping. Normally, they spend an estimated $6.2 million a month, but local media report box-office takings have been down 60 to 70 percent since February. — AP

Benjamin Schwenk entertains a crowd of onlookers while wearing his custom made costume.

Thad Schrader poses with a Star Wars C-3PO model.

Fans get a look at an Amazing Spider-Man exhibit.

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Florida man wins Hemingway look-alike contest Years

TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011


Bridal dress is featured in Lavin store at Crystals in the City Center Las Vegas, Nevada. — MCT photos

hen it comes to shopping, Las Vegas is on its way to becoming the fashion capital of the West. Even through the recession, luxury brands have continued to pour money into the $28.2-billion retail market, adding to what is already a smorgasbord of high-end offerings. Though the state’s recovery will likely lag for months behind the rest of the country, Lanvin, Tom Ford, Donna Karan and Reed Krakoff all opened stores in Las Vegas in 2010, banking on exposure to the city’s nearly 40 million annual visitors. Other brands such as Louis Vuitton and Prada built new, supersized boutiques, adding to the number of outlets they already have here. These stores aren’t targeting locals; they’re targeting wealthy and foreign tourists. (Twelve percent of visitors to Las Vegas come from overseas.) The assortment of merchandise is sophisticated, even avant-garde at certain boutiques. And customer service can be over the top. “Retailers look upon Las Vegas as one of the markets to be in,” says Stephen PA Brown, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. And he adds that the Caesars Palace Forum Shops still has the highest sales per square foot - $1,400 - of any shopping mall in the US (In 2009, average sales per square foot at US malls were $420, according to data from investment research firm Green Street Advisors that was reported in US News and World Report.) Opening a store here has also become a way to create brand awareness, Brown says, and having multiple locations in Las Vegas isn’t so outrageous when you consider how difficult it is to move up and down the Strip. (Louis Vuitton has four stores in Las Vegas, Tiffany & Co, Dior and Chanel each have three, and Prada and Hermes have two.) “You can’t look at Las Vegas as one point in time. You have to look at it in terms of the long stretch,” says Krakoff, the creative director of Coach who started his own namesake luxury brand in 2009. He opened his third boutique in the world at the Forum Shops in November, offering such items as a $1,790 beaver fur cardigan. “Las Vegas is great for a brand in its early phase. You have captive customers who are inclined to want to see something new.” If the experience of shopping in Las Vegas feels different, that’s the point. You’re likely to get an enthusiastic “Hello!” before you’ve stepped 5 feet into a luxury store, even if you happen to be toting a strawberry daiquiri. “The training for salespeople is different,” says Terri Monsour, a retail consultant who has worked with the Wynn Resorts and the Cosmopolitan. “First thing they teach you is not to judge a book by its cover. And always follow up a sale with a letter. ... This is a city where you can meet someone once


and they will be your customer for life.” There seems to be nothing salespeople at luxury boutiques won’t do. One evening, the manager of a designer boutique at the Forum Shops took a selection of pants to a guest’s room so he could shop from his bubble bath, says Maureen Crampton, marketing director of the Caesars Palace mall. Efforts to personalize the shopping experience even extend to the window displays, which are often switched out depending on the headliner in town. There’s “more flash when there’s a headlining boxing match, for example,” Crampton says. “If there is a crazy special item, and only three were produced, most likely one of them is sitting in a Las Vegas boutique,” says Jenna Doughton, a personal shopper whose clients include locals and tourists. And a lot of business is done over the phone. “It’s not uncommon for salespeople to get phone calls at 10 or 11 pm at night. A woman in New York can’t sleep and she’s obsessed with a dress. She’s calling Las Vegas because it’s the only place left in the world she can shop,” Doughton says. Although Vegas has always had numerous places to shop, it has only recently earned its place on the world fashion map. Kicking off the luxury boom in 1992, the kitschy, Roman-themed Forum Shops now has a high-low mix of tenants, including two Coach boutiques, the largest H&M store in the world, Cartier, Versace and Ugg Australia, where you can buy $800 Vegas-themed, Swarovski crystal-encrusted sheepskin boots. But the bellwether luxury retail development was Esplanade at Wynn Las Vegas. Opened in 2005, the Esplanade shops brought a new level of taste (and price tag) to Las Vegas, thanks to billionaire casino mogul Steve Wynn’s then-wife, Elaine. At the time, she had to do a lot of arm-twisting to get brands such as Manolo Blahnik, Oscar de la Renta and Alexander McQueen to come here. The Shoppes at the Palazzo followed in 2008, bringing Barneys New York, Christian Louboutin, Diane von Furstenberg, Catherine Malandrino and other big names to the market. The newest entry is Crystals at CityCenter, which opened a little over a year ago and is as ostentatious-looking as the luxury stores and goods inside. With its dramatic, jutting ceiling planes and gleaming curved surfaces, Crystals aims to appeal to the shopper who is more interested in art and architecture than a Fall of Atlantis fountain show. And the directory of

Bollywood actor Sharmila Tagore displays a creation by Indian designers Ashima-Leena.

Models display the creations by Indian designer Anju Modi during Delhi Couture Week 2011 in New Delhi, India. — AP photos

A designer shoe from In Step shoe store sits on display in the Esplanade Encore. stores includes Balenciaga, Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Hermes. “I call it Rodeo Drive under a roof,” says Bob Chavez, chief executive of Hermes USA, who had “no reservations” about the project, and counts the boutique at Crystals among his top five performing stores in the US (Hermes also has a location at Encore, and is planning to open a third store in Las Vegas this year.) Crystals was certainly bustling on a recent Friday morning. At Hermes, a young woman was ordering an orange Birkin bag, and upstairs at Emilio Pucci, a mother tried on brightly printed tops while her husband and son sipped Champagne. A Dior saleswoman was getting ready to make her second run of the day to the Dior store at Wynn, to fetch a pair of $770 platform satin heels for a fur coat-clad customer who needed them in a size 6 {. And in the mall’s center court, which is full of design flourishes, tourists photographed themselves and their Louis Vuitton shopping bags in front of a carpet of red flowers. — MCT

Models display creations by Indian designer Manish Malhotra.

26 Jul  
26 Jul  

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