ON IP TI SC R SU B
TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2011
RAMADAN 2, 1432 AH
Israeli, Lebanese troops exchange fire on the border
Kuwait marks anniversary of Iraqi invasion
Obama unfurls 11th-hour deal
Serena Williams captures first title in comeback
national carrier stake
18 5Kuwait9 seeks13bids for Etihad, Qatar Airways deny media reports Ramadan Kareem
Purpose of fasting By Sayyed Abul A’la Al-Maududi
here are essentially two component factors in any work which a man has to perform. The ﬁrst thing is the purpose for which a work is done and the second thing is the particular shape of that work which is chosen to achieve that purpose. For instance, take the case of food, your object in taking food is to remain alive and maintain your strength. The method of achieving this object is that you take a morsel, put it in your mouth, masticate it and push it below the throat. This method is adopted by you since it is the most eﬀective and proper one to achieve this object. But everyone of you knows that the main thing is the purpose for which food is taken and not the form and procedure of this action. What will you say if anybody were to make a morsel of saw-dust or cinder or mud, put it in his mouth, chew and gulp it? You will say only this that his brain is out of order. Why? Because this idiot did not understand the real purpose of eating and is suﬀering from the misunderstanding that only the aforesaid four component acts constitute eating. Continued on Page 13
WEST BANK: A Palestinian Muslim woman reads from the Quran, during the first day of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan, in a mosque in the West Bank city of Jenin. — AP
KUWAIT: Kuwait yesterday invited bids from local and international investors to buy a stake in Kuwait Airways as part of a privatization process to turn the loss-making airline into proﬁt. The privatization committee of Kuwait Airways said in a statement that interested parties should submit their “expression of interest” to participate in the bidding for 35 percent of the airline. The process, open to companies listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange and specialized international companies, closes on August 25. Local airline operators are banned from taking part. The privatization committee has been formed to transform the state-owned Kuwait Airways Corp into a private company and to transfer assets, liabilities, rights and beneﬁts from KAC in accordance with a law passed in January 2008. International ﬁrms have valued the assets of Kuwait Airways at KD220 million dinars ($800 million). The airline’s privatization law stipulates the sale of 35 percent of the private company to a strategic investor and 40 percent to be sold to Kuwaiti citizens in an initial public oﬀering. Five percent will be granted to Kuwaiti employees while the remaining 20 percent will be held by Kuwait Investment Authority, the OPEC member sovereign wealth fund. Kuwait
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Airways has posted a loss in all but one of the past 21 years, accumulating losses of more than $2.7 billion. The airline has an ageing ﬂeet of 15 Airbus and two Boeing aircraft. Meanwhile, UAE’s Etihad airways said yesterday that media reports that it would be interested in Kuwait Airways are “speculative”. Qatar Airways also stayed clear of claims that they may be potential suitors. “I don’t see how buying into a part ownership of a very speciﬁc national airline with issues will be of any interest to investors,” said Peter Morris, chief economist at Ascend Aviation, a UK-based consultancy. Continued on Page 13
Emsak: Fajer: Shoruk: Dohr: Asr: Maghreb: Eshaa:
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Reconsidering the shopping experiences A special month of worship, fasting and devotion By Nawara Fattahova
KUWAIT: The holy month of Ramadan is a special month of worship and fasting. However, people focus more on preparing delicious food and stocking up on food stuff even before the holy month begins. Single people and bachelors do not pay much attention to cooking food. They usually are invited to eat outside with friends in restaurants or at gatherings. Many companies also distribute Iftar meal to employees who remain in office at the time of Iftar. In addition, the mosques usually provide meals for the faithful. Many families are preparing for Ramadan by observing differ-
ent customs, â€œMy mother will prepare light items such as kibbeh and samboosa, which has been frozen for two days. The important food items consumed during the month are rice, veg-
their past grocery shopping mistakes, â€œThis year will be different. Ever y year, I would buy food items that are offered on promotion. I do not even use it and it will remain in the shelves until
â€˜This year will be different. I decided to save money and buy stuff that will be needed every day. I see people queuing up to buy a lot of food, which I think is unreasonable. I realized that it is better to buy small quantities for a few days onlyâ€™ etables, meat, chicken, jelly, custard, Vimto, qamardeen, and laban. My father and brothers also bought other items,â€? a 22year- old Homoud told the Kuwait Times. Some people have learnt from
the next year. It has already expired and I have to throw it away. So this year, I decided to save money and buy stuff that will be needed every day. I see people queuing up to buy so much food, which I think is not
reasonable. It is better to buy small quantities for a few days only. I only bought meat, chicken, fish, and prawns, which have been placed in the refrigerator,â€? noted Manal, a 42-year- old mother. For those who do not live with families here, the holy month is a time to affirm their faith, â€œRamadan is a different month, itâ€™s a month of devotion that requires more time to be spent saying prayers, reciting the Quran, and making frequent trips to the mosque. Also, one must pay special attention to those in need and give alms. There is nothing special during Ramadan except that meal times need to be adjusted,â€? stated Abulatif, a 51-year- old bachelor.
Freekeh (wheat grain) with slow roasted lamb shanks Freekeh 2 cups 1 Lamb shanks Olive oil 2-3 tbsp Black pepper 1tsp Salt 2tsp Paprika 2tsp Chilli powder 1tsp Allspice 2tsp lamb stock 2 cups (stock cube are a good alternative) Green peas 200g Carrots 200g Pine nuts 30g Ghee butter 2-3 Salt 1 tsp Pepper 1 tsp
Jumana releases Ramadan book New children activity book focuses on manners, health By Hussain Al-Qatari KUWAIT: Childrenâ€™s book author Jumana AlAwadhi released her latest activity book â€˜Ramadan is Backâ€™ on the auspicious month of Ramadan. The book centers around the subject of manners, morals and healthy habits. In the book, Al-Awadhi introduces and reinscribes to children, facts about the month of Ramadan with a focus on the values Islam holds about the holy month. â€œThis book not only teaches children what fasting is and why we fast, but it also emphasizes the importance of practicing all our good manners all year long,â€? said Al-Awadhi. She added that throughout the activities in the book, children are encouraged to commit themselves to healthy eating habits. There are many children who canâ€™t fast, noted Al-Awadhi. If children cannot fast due to their young age, then what is Ramadan to them? The book answers this question. So many misconceptions are held by people about the month of Ramadan, even adults, says Al-Awadhi. â€œTo many people, Ramadan is only about abstaining from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset. It goes way beyond that,â€? she noted. A vital message that is expressed in the book is to use this blessed time of year to send love to the entire world and pray for global peace.â€? Al-Awadhi has worked on a variety of books for the theme of Ramadan, but her previous works were sponsored by clients and tailored around what they demand. Working with clients did not give Al-Awadhi the liberty to discuss all the topics she wanted to tackle.
How to prepare
KUWAIT: Author Jumana Al-Awadhi at her bookstore with children activity book series. Working on this book was the authorâ€™s creative outlet. She was unable to criticize eating habits during Ramadan in a book sponsored by a company. However, in a project where she is working solo, Al-Awadhi found the liberty to criticize and re-inscribe. One such topic of criticism is â€˜Girgianâ€™, a traditional Ramadan event that takes place in the middle of the month. Children go around houses in the neighborhood singing folklore
songs and receive handfuls of candy and sweets from adults that they place in the bags worn around necks or across their shoulders. â€œIf you talk to the older generation youâ€™ll find out that Girgian candy was basically nuts and dates and dried fruits. There were no sugary candies and chocolates like there are in Girgian today,â€? said Al-Awadhi. â€˜Ramadan is Backâ€™ book is available in Baroue and will soon be available at bookstores across Kuwait.
Heat the oven to 200C. 1. Mix the oil, lemon juice and all the spices to make a spicy rub with Arabic flavors. Rub the mixture into the shanks to cover completely and get some of the mix into the muscle fibres. Arrange the shanks in a deep roasting tin bone side up. 2. Cut the potato and carrots into chunky cubes and add with the mushrooms to the tin around the shanks. If you have any spice mix left drizzle over the vegetable, or else season with salt and pepper. Add a little water to the tin to prevent the spice mix from burning. 3. Cover with foil and roast on the high heat for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 170C and continue cooking for another 120 - 150 minutes. Take the foil off for the last 45 minutes. After you take the foil off paste the meat with juices from the tin every 15 minutes or so to stop it drying. 4. Wash the freekeh in a large bowl. The burnt grains and any residual chaff will float on top. Pour away with the water.. Soak the freekeh in cold water for 30 minutes. 5. In a heavy bottom pan add the freekeh, water and stock. Bring to hard boil then turn the heat to medium and cook for around 30 - 45 minutes. Taste the freekeh to make sure it is fully cooked. If the freekeh is getting too dry add a little bit of boiling water. Add the peas 5 - 10 minutes from the end 6. Once you are ready to serve heat the butter until smoking hot. Pour very carefully over the freekeh put and mix through. 7. Serve the shank on a bed of freekeh Sprinkle the pine nuts on top.
Fish nagroor Fresh dill Fresh coriander Red onion Fresh garlic Salt/pepper Oriental mix fish spiced Tamarind paste Dates paste Red capsicum Green capsicum Yellow capsicum White rice Lemon juice Fresh lemon Turmeric powder
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400 50 50 150 50 10 20 50 50 30 30 30 120 20 20 10
! Marinated fish stuffing by red onion, dill, parsley, mix spice, lemon juice upter that preheat the non stick pan start to pan fried Cooked until golden brown. Drizzle tamarind sauce and mix capsicum serving white rice on the side garnish coriander fresh chives ,cherry tomato
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TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2011
Fasting and feasting sensibly By Lisa Conrad
amadan is not meant to be about food and excess, it’s about modesty and restraint,” said Asma Bastaki, Head of the Dietary Department at New Mowasat Hospital. The contrast between practicing restraint during the day, followed by overindulging at Iftar is not only bad for health, but it goes against the principles of fasting during Ramadan, she added. As many battle through the long, hot days, it can be all too tempting to use the prospect of a large, over-indulgent meal as encouragement to get you through. However, attempting to satisfy feelings of deprivation is a distraction from the real point at hand: Are you still in need of more food? It is tempting to continue eating after you are full, but you will reap some negative consequences if you do. There are some simple ways to maintain, even lose, weight during Ramadan without missing out on traditions and social aspects. “Don’t eat with your eyes, eat with your appetite and never leave the table full,” says Farah Al-Rifai, Assistant Dietetics Manager at Diet Care. “Start with water to rehydrate, so you don’t get confused between hunger and thirst. Have some dates with the water, and some laban, and then leave to pray. After you pray, your body will not be as hungry. The food will have had a chance to settle,” she adds. Iftar After leaving a gap after breaking your fast, it should be a bit easier to resist gorging on food as the edge will have been taken off your hunger. From there, try and follow some simple steps to satiety, “Eat slowly because your brain needs a chance to tell your body it’s full. Leave the table once you’re satisfied, not stuffed,” says Farah. Ramadan can also cut the habits you’ve become accustomed to over the years, and can allow you to make changes to your diet and lifestyle, Asma adds. “Start your meal with salad, but watch the dressings and ingredients; pasta salad isn’t salad. Avoid fried appetizers because they’re just extra calories and aren’t filling. Focus on protein after your salad, especially white meat. Grilled is the best. Eat vegetables with protein, and enjoy small portions of carbohydrates such as bread and rice,” says Farah. Thinking of food as restoration is key, says Asma, “During Iftar, you are restoring your body and energy, not stuffing yourself. When we fast, our bodies burn fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. It’s great to start Iftar with dates as they’re easily absorbed and will raise your depleted blood sugar. Try and have grilled appetizers instead of fried, and concentrate on fluids to rehydrate.” Suhoor While many skip Suhoor, opting instead for extra sleep, it’s an important part of healthy fasting and will provide you with more energy during the day, “Suhoor will support you during the day to focus on consuming complex carbohydrates and fiber, because they take longer to break down and will cut your hunger. Leafy vegetables are a great source of them, and of course have some protein also. Top up on lots of water, laban, and even juice to make sure you’re rehydrated,” advised Asma. She added that potassium-rich foods can help reduce thirst, “Bananas, oranges, broccoli, pumpkin, spinach and apricots are high in potassium so they’ll help stave off thirst. Avoid fast food and salty food, which will only make your thirst worse later in the day.” Farah added that eating at Suhoor helps keep your day more balanced as well as improving your resolve to fast, “You won’t eat as much at Iftar if you know it won’t be your last meal. Suhoor should be a mix of carbohydrates and some protein, such as a cheese sandwich with vegetables and a cup of milk or laban. Don’t forget the vegetables; they’re needed for fiber, vitamins and minerals.” Modify or avoid While moderation is key, some foods are better avoided if possible. Both Farah and Asma agreed that traditional Arabic sweets are laden with fats and sugars, a lethal combination for dieters and the fitness conscious. “Apart from the obvious drawbacks, traditional sweets are also loaded with cholesterol and triglycerides. Have fruit and nuts for dessert instead of such heavy sweets,” says Asma. Farah added, “If you’re really craving certain sweets, then limit them to small quantities two to three hours after Iftar. Fruits are ideal though.” It’s also easy to lighten traditional dishes but maintain the flavor, “If Ramadan dishes are made carefully they don’t have to be overly fatty or calorific. Try and avoid animal fats, it’s better for you and your family to steer clear of them. If you watch your cooking methods (grilling over frying) and your portions, then you can enjoy relatively normal meals without feeling that you’re on a diet or deprived,” she pointed out.
Asma’s top tips: 1. Resist the temptation to drink tea, coffee, and soda instead opt for water to maximize hydration. 2. You need to raise blood sugar when breaking your fast, so dates and milk is a great combo. 3. Engage in light exercise throughout Ramadan, but either close to or after Iftar. 4. Make sure to include whole wheat bread or rice in your Iftar meal as they’re great complex carbohydrates. 5. Avoid fried, spicy and oily food to prevent weight gain, indigestion and heart burn. 6. Cut down on caffeine and tobacco a week before Ramadan to reduce cravings. 7. Pregnant women should be sure to include essential nutrients in their meals to provide enough calories and prevent acidity in the blood. 8. Do not overeat during Suhoor, and drink plenty of water. 9 Have lemon on your salad instead of salt, it will help avoid thirst while fasting during the day. 10. Maintain oral health during Ramadan by brushing your teeth regularly.
Farah’s top tips: 1. Hydrate as soon as Iftar comes, and keep a bottle of water with you from then on. 2. Keep your portions in check, and eat small regular meals between Iftar and Suhoor. 3. Skip the high sugar Ramadan drinks. 4. Watch your fruit intake; they’re healthy but high in sugar. Dates should be limited to three. 5. Try to boost your metabolism by working out for 30 minutes a day. 6. Do not skip Suhoor: it’s as important as breakfast would be on a regular day. 7. Don’t overdo buffets: take one plate and stop there. Allow 15 to 20 minutes for satiety to set in. 8. Try to work out after Iftar so that you can drink water and avoid dehydration. 9. Cardio before Iftar should be timed carefully so that when you finish, it will be time to eat. 10. Weight-training before Iftar will break down your muscle, so avoid it completely.
As many battle through the long, hot days, it can be all too tempting to use the prospect of a large, over-indulgent meal as encouragement to get you through. However, attempting to satisfy feelings of deprivation is a distraction from the real point at hand: Are you still in need of more food?
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TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2011
No word on whereabouts of abducted Indian expat Meetings, discussions continue By Sunil Cherian KUWAIT: The whereabouts of an Indian expat, Biju Kolara Veettil (36) who was abducted in the Philippines on June 23, remain unknown even after a month. Biju worked as Operations Manager at Brons Al-Taus Co and has been in Kuwait for the past 10 years, residing in Mangaf. He was kidnapped while visiting his wife Eleena’s hometown in the Philippines. No individual or group has claimed responsibility for the act, his wife’s family said, and they have not received any ransom calls.
KUWAIT: The Commercial Bank of Kuwait organized a second summer training program aimed at children of staff members, as well as customers of the @Tijari account. It began on June 26 and will conclude on Aug 25. Training sessions will be held to improve skills and introduce the principles of banking to youngsters aged between 16 and 22.
Kuwait marks anniversary of brutal Iraqi invasion KUWAIT: With the first few threads of light at dawn 21 years ago, Aug 2, hordes of Iraqi troops broke into Kuwaiti territory and savagely ravaged its sovereignty as well as its physical structures in an attempt to obliterate the “State of Kuwait” from the world map and expand the map of Iraq with annexation of what was later claimed to be Iraq’s “19th governorate”. The memory still holds pangs of pain and the Kuwaiti people still suffer emotional and psychological scars of a bloodthirsty betrayal from a neighbor with which they shared blood and family ties and much more. The united international community response to the brutal killing, incarceration, torture, devastation and theft restored Kuwaiti right and sovereignty after seven months. The condemnations came within the first few hours of the invasion and the UN Security Council issued resolution 660 demanding an immediate and unconditional Iraqi pullout, and other resolutions under the seventh chapter of the UN Charter which allow for use of force to enforce these and related resolutions. His Highness the Amir, back then the foreign minister, had for years fostered friendly and strong relations with world leaders ever since assuming the post in 1963. The great majority of fellow UN member states were accordingly supportive of Kuwait’s right throughout the ordeal. The formation of an international coalition of forces from over 30 countries,
a feat first of its kind, was a direct result of the state’s foreign policy and strong relations with the rest of the world. To date, Kuwaitis recall with much fondness the late Amir Sheikh Jaber AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and the late father Amir Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah AlSalem Al-Sabah, who were both epitomes of generosity of spirit, principled stances, honorable dignity and charity to all mankind. Their actions during the occupation further endeared them to their countrymen and guaranteed eventual liberation. The efforts of the two great leaders were channeled to international gatherings, conferences, and bilateral meetings to shed light on the gruesome state of affairs at home and stress the need to end the occupation to curb the bloodshed. The entire Kuwaiti nation stood firmly behind them. One glimpse of that was at the national conference held in Jeddah in Oct 1990 - the State of Kuwait shined as a democratic, civilized, constitutional nation where the people are fully represented and would want none but their legitimate leadership. Many years later, the Kuwaiti policy is much the same. Building bridges, lending a hand to those in need, sharing in all moral and productive initiatives across the world and stressing human development and the honor of a strong and cherished national identity is still opted as the all-inclusive path towards prosperity, security, and stability, under Sheikh Sabah’s leadership. —KUNA
MoI tackles public eating, begging KUWAIT: The Ministry of Interior will firmly tackle public consumption during the fasting hours as well as begging throughout the holy month of Ramadan, announced the acting director of the public relations, moral guidance and security information departments in a recent statement. Col Adel Al-Hashash quoted in his statement law number 44/1968 which sets a maximum KD 100 fine and/or maximum 3-month jail term penalty for cases of consumption in public before sunset, or assisting others to violate the law during Ramadan. The law also obligates restaurants and other shops that serve food or beverages to close during the fasting hours, while violators are punished with a maximum two-month suspension. “Public consumption during the days of Ramadan is unacceptable and intolerable since it defies our Islamic values and social traditions,” Col Al-Hashash said. Moreover, Col Al-Hashash stated that efforts will be intensified to tackle begging which he described as “practice usually committed by expatriates during the holy month and other religious events”. These efforts are part of a comprehen-
One of the cats in the cage.
KUWAIT: Biju Kolara Veettil, (36) an Indian expat who was abducted in the Philippines over a month ago, with his wife Eleena, and sons, Arjun (6) and Ajay (3). updates on Biju’s situation. According to PNP, a Crisis Management Committee chaired by Patikul Mayor Kabir Harudin
A dog in the hot weather.
By Nawara Fattahova
sive security program featuring participation of several departments including the General Security Department, the Criminal Investigations General Department, the Migration General Department, the Deportation Department as well as the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor. Col Al-Hashash urged citizens and residents to cooperate by reporting any cases of begging they come across.
against violations to the mosques’ charter in order to avoid “putting Kuwait into unnecessary conflicts or dilemmas”. “Suspending an imam is a very hard task for us to do... We understand that the subjects that the suspended imams address came from their compassion towards their fellow Muslims. We are not against them, but we can’t leave the door open for Kuwait to be dragged into unnecessary conflicts,” Al-Qarawi said during a press conference in which he stated that imams can express their opinions at the Irada Square or diwaniyas “but places of worship must not become a venue for political speeches”. He further noted that many imams were successful in using hints in addressing the situation in Syria to avoid violating the mosques’ charter.
A goose in the cage under the sun. —Photos by Nawara Fattahova
KUWAIT: The animal market in Al-Rai area is still working daily during the holy month of Ramadan, but is not much visited. The market is open the whole day, from 10 am to 10 pm. But people only come in the evening. “I still have to come in the morning, although there are no customers coming in this hot weather, as I have to feed the animals. The most sought animals during this period are fish. I also sell birds and other animals, so I have to feed them. The prices haven’t increased and are still the same,” Shafeeq, a salesman in one of the shops told Kuwait Times yesterday. Different kinds of animals can be found. The majority are birds and fish, and a few shops have cats, dogs, rabbits and other animals. The birds for instance differ in
put some water for them, he price from KD 1 to KD 250. said he will do it soon. But “The bird worth KD 250 is a passing by the shop af ter myna h a nd c a n t a l k . I t about 15 minutes, the cages comes from Malaysia. I have were still without water, and the same kind from Saudi had to be pestered until he Arabia, but this doesn’t talk, gave the suffering cats some so it costs only KD 15,” said water. It seems the salesmen Mohammed, another salesdon’t really care about the animan. mals. The bad condition of Some cages with geese and some animals was obvious chicken were placed under the and sad. Four of five shops hot sun, and the birds were with pets had cages disbreathing hard and looked played outside the shop in A Mynah worth KD 250 close to death. It’s really hard the hot weather. The temfor these animals to stay outperature was about 50 C and the cats and dogs were breathing with side with their warm fur and feathers. These difficulties in their cages. Some were even animals are waiting for a family to adopt without water and their tongues were out. them and take them away from these harsh When this reporter asked the salesman to conditions and hot weather.
By A Saleh
Col Adel Al-Hashash
has been set in motion to address the early resolution of the case. The Indian ambassador met with officials of the National
Security Council (NSC) to discuss measures on how the case may be successfully resolved at the earliest. NSC advised the Indian Embassy not to be involved in negotiations with the kidnappers, and to allow the police authorities to devise the best way to ensure the victim’s safe rescue. According to PNP, abductors are believed to include Asman Salawadjan of the Abu Sayyaf group. A search is being conducted in Barangay Tempook and Barangay Tanum in the Palikul, Sulu area of the Philippines. An official from the Philippines embassy added that it will schedule a meeting with the victim’s family once it receives more relevant information from police authorities on the developments of rescue efforts undertaken by the Philippine government.
Animals suffer in hot Al-Rai market
Foreign intervention in Mubarak port issue
Mosques’ charter protects Kuwait from conflicts KUWAIT: The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs has reportedly suspended an imam who was among six that the religious affairs committee was investigating over suspicions of violating the mosques’ charter. According to an official source, imam Abdurrahman Al-Mutairi from the Al-Merjah mosque is suspended for three months after the committee found evidence through recorded tapes that he addressed political subjects during a religious sermon (khutbah). But the committee didn’t take similar disciplinary measures against five other imams who were facing similar charges, but instructed them to refrain from using certain terms in future sermons. On Sunday, acting undersecretary Dr Mutlaq Al-Qarawi said that the ministry is compelled to stay firm
Biju’s relatives who are in Kuwait have filed complaint with the Embassy of the Philippines. The embassy had responded by reporting the matter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Philippines, which initiated a meeting between the Indian ambassador in the Philippines and the police general there. But so far, no trace has been found of the young man. His wife and children - Arjun (6) and Ajay (3) - who went from Kuwait on a vacation are still in the Philippines. An official from the Philippines Embassy in Kuwait said the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila has set up a meeting between the Indian Ambassador in Manila and the Philippine National Police (PNP) Deputy Chief of Operations Raul Castaneda. The PNP has provided
KUWAIT: The Iraqi government has said that some countries have offered to mediate between the country and Iraq to resolve an impasse on the Mubarak AlKabeer port project. Ali Al-Allaq, Secretary General of Iraqi Council of Ministers told reporters that suspending the Charter Seven that has been imposed on Iraq will help resolve many issues. Iraq is in contact with all the concerned parties. He added that the Iraqi prime minister is currently visiting China in attempt to elicit Chinese support. He added that some friendly countries have tried to resolve problems with the Kuwaiti side. Al-Allaq went on to say that the Kuwaiti side adamant stance is unreasonable and expressed hope that Kuwaitis would display better cooperation.
Labor ministry to introduce online service KUWAIT: Expatriates will now be able to complete employment-related paperwork online starting next month. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL) announced on Sunday that the official website will be launched immediately following the Eid Al-Fitr holidays. “The website will enable residents to complete documentation concerning residence permit transfer, work permit renewal and other transactions,” said Jamaal Al-Dousary Assistant Undersecretary at the Labor Department. The website will not assist in the issuance of new work permits as the individual’s presence is required at the concerned office. Furthermore, Al-Dousary announced that employers will be provided with passwords with which they can access accounts to finalize all transactions that relates to companies, reported Al-Qabas. The announcement was made at a press conference in which top ranking officials Ahmad Al-Abdul-Jaleel, Assistant Undersecretary for Information System at the Civil Service Commission, Colonel Mushary Al-Mutairi Director of Information System Department with the Ministry of Interior Abdul-Hakeem Al-Shaaban Labor Department Supervisor at the Capital governorate were present.
New moves to solve KU students dilemma KUWAIT: Amid the ongoing dilemma to find solutions for nearly 3,000 high school graduates who have no place among new students at Kuwait University, the administration of the state’s lone public university is trying to come up with a way to resolve the problem without affecting the level of its academic status. According to a recent news report, the administration came up with four solutions they believe are best to protect the future of students and KU alike: Enrolling 1,000 students from the second semester, opening additional classes while assigning professors from outside the KU’s teaching staff, extending the daily working hours until 8 pm and increasing the allowance that teachers receive for extra classes. The Cabinet had announced a solution reached during their weekly meeting on Sunday, which would see 1,000 students enrolled in the second semester, sending 300 on scholarships abroad as well as 299 on scholarships to private universities in Kuwait. As for the remaining number of hopefuls, the Cabinet wants to enroll them in the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training. Meanwhile, sources revealed information which indicates that the Minister of Education Ahmad Al-Mulaifi is ignoring opinions of specialists and academics in the KU’s council ever since he insisted on increasing the cap for new students despite the KU administration’s objection. Last month, the KU council announced that the university’s capacity allows for only 6,850 new students to be enrolled for the next academic year, but the
minister insisted that the cap be raised to 8,000. Even that wasn’t enough as more than eleven thousand applications were submitted before the deadline last week. Meanwhile, MP Faisal Al-Mislem announced that a request to hold an extraordinary parliamentary session to discuss the subject is ready, and called for it to be held either Tuesday or Wednesday next week. Meanwhile, MP Hassan Jowhar quoted Mualifi as saying that he (the minister) is willing to discuss the matter in meetings with the parliament’s educational committee. Jowhar added that the committee will meet ahead of the potential extraordinary session in an attempt to find solutions through discussions between lawmakers and government officials. But some sources criticized the calls for holding an extraordinary session “when the educational committee can discuss the subject more effectively and provide better and faster solutions”. Separately, MP Mohammad Hayef announced plans to submit a proposal to amend article 2 of the constitution in order to make the sharia the sole source of legislation instead of being the main source. Sources within the parliament believe that these statements are tactics aiming to put pressure on the government to stop considering the option of lifting the coeducation ban from the KU, as it is regarded by many - especially among liberals - as a main reason for the overcapacity problem. MPs Khalid Al-Sultan and Falah Al-Sawwagh support Hayef’s initiative. —Al-Qabas, Annahar & Al-Watan
Phone subscribers to face cut-off late August if failed to pay bills KUWAIT: Kuwaiti Ministr y of Communications yesterday urged landbased phone subscribers to pay their due bills or face automatic suspension of service late this month. In a press statement, the Ministry’s Public Relations Depar tment Chief Ahmad Ramadan said two warning messages would be sent to the concerned subscribers before cutting
the service. “The first warning message will be sent on August 14 and the second warning message will be on August 21,” he said. Ramadan made it clear that the ministry will cut the service on August 28. “The ceiling of dues above which the cut will be applied is KD 50 for home phones and KD 100 for commercial phones,” he revealed.
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TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2011
LOCAL Local Spotlight
Lessons to learn...
Stop thinking about food!
By Muna Al-Fuzai
By Sawsan Kazak
eing a self-proclaimed food addict and diehard foodie, food and eating is always on my mind. Breakfast is the reason I get out of bed in the morning, I have two lunches a day, I snack every twenty minutes and my dinner is always an epic event. Needless to say then that Ramadan is a hard month for me. Within the first few hours of my day, I am already in starvation mode. It doesn’t matter how much I ate or drank the night before, the minute I wake up, the only thing I want to do is drink water and eat anything within reach. To a foodie, trying to go through a day without eating or drinking is equivalent of being subjected to unbearable torture. The advice that I am given is to simply not think about food and keep my mind busy with other things. But we all know that when we are told not to think about something, that is the only thing we can think of. For instance, if I were to tell you not to think about a pink elephant, you probably just imagined a pink elephant in your head. Even when I try to keep busy, the thought of food haunts me everywhere I go. I have formed associations with certain activities and the snack or meal that accompanies it. Shopping is always associated with a stop at a coffee shop and a visit to a sushi restaurant, the drive to work is linked to a bottle of water and green apples and my workday only flows when I have a proper snack every few minutes. Going through the actions of my day always conjures up thoughts of food. All day I am reminded of the great food I have eaten and the many items I plan to eat when it is iftar. I go through the day planning what I will feast on and counting down the minutes until I can. If I am left alone with my thought long enough, I can almost taste the food I am thinking about; I can feel and smell every glorious aspect. Being consumed with thoughts of food makes it hard to do anything else all day. The only time I am released from the incessant contemplation of food to come is the moment I can sink my teeth into that first date. Unfortunately, for a few hours after that, I am dragged into a severe yet delightful food coma. By the time I finally snap out of it, it’s time to do it all over again. It is going to be a very interesting month. Ramadan Kareem!
his article is not meant to remind people about the date on which Kuwait was invaded by Iraqi troops led by the former Iraqi president Saddam Husain and his gang - Aug 2, 1990. This situation has a lesson that we need to understand and form our concept on life and towards others. I also believe that if we all took the trouble to read history as we should with an open eye and ear, we can surely save ourselves many troubles in repeating the same old mistakes. But obviously we don’t and only believe in what our eyes see and not what we are told by others like historians, some of whom we’ve never met or know . It’s been more than twenty years since Kuwait was invaded by Iraq - I was a big girl then, and like many Kuwaitis, was shocked. It took us a while to absorb the situation, at least for many simple and ordinary people who don’t know much about politics or what is really happening. I know now that after all these years, the facts about the invasion of Kuwait still seem vague, and I don’t think there’s a concrete answer even today. The bottom line here is that many lives were lost, and while we are celebrating the end of this ugly invasion, some bereaved families are left with memories. To lose someone is hard, but to lose someone in a war or an invasion or an attack is something that I don’t think can vanish easily from memories. You will need to tell your kids and grandkids how their parents were gone forever and live the tale again and gain . Kuwaitis and many expatriates who were living in Kuwait at that time were forced to confront the crisis very bravely and for the record, there were some major sacrifices by expats and bedoons as much as Kuwaitis that we should not hide. We have to recite history as it happened and not deny facts. We were also librated by troops lead by US forces and this is also a fact, and I know some are trying to undermine this, but I don’t agree with them. I can never ignore the role of the US in liberating my country, and sacrifices were made and lives were lost on their side too. Now what is left for us after all these years and after all major criminals have gone, is to recall major lessons - not to trust dictatorships, give a real effort to secure our country against possible inner conflicts and call for national unity to avoid conveying any wrong messages to crazy powers. Muna Al-Fuzai is currently on holiday. This column was published last year.
‘Kuwait w lana’ By Abdullatif Al-Duaij
group of citizens launched a website called ‘Kuwait w lana’ (for Kuwait and for us), which carries a noble and logical idea and at the same time per tains with demands they deem necessary to achieve for Kuwait’s welfare. After a look into the demands discussed on the website, we can come up with the general idea that they are all realistic, achievable, and are the best given the current conditions regardless of how they are perceived. They are different from unrealistic demands that emerged in past decades which focused on fighting imperialism and foreign colonization as well as panArabism.
Instead, they focus on simple yet practical demands deemed necessar y for Kuwait, such as combating corruption, questioning the prime minister and other ministers regarding accusations mentioned in grilling motions filed against them and law enforcement and implementing stalled projects. Such demands should’ve been realized before citizens actually came out and called for them to be achieved, because they are necessary elements of a modern state. In addition, participants on the website made sure to avoid addressing political struggles or getting into people’s allegiances. This allowed them to focus on
demands to achieve goals rather than focusing on political figures. That being said, there are two demands which I believe are very significant that the website has so far failed to mention. The first one being freedoms, which unfor tunately isn’t addressed by participants on the website - maybe intentionally to avoid conflict between different opinions. The other subject is the responsibility that Kuwaiti citizens share over spreading corruption. In this regard, the website is holding the Cabinet and parliament solely accountable, but completely ignored those among citizens who are primarily benefiting from corruption. —Al-Qabas
Ramadan in Cairo and Somalia By Meshal Al-Thufairi
he fact that the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt weren’t politicized helped avoid them being regarded as schemes to coup against the regime. These revolutions and others in the Arab World are sparked by the will of the people frustrated from years of injustice and tyranny. These days however, there are political parties that try to make use of people’s efforts in Cairo for personal gain. For example, the Muslim Brotherhood said at the beginning of the revolution that they won’t nominate a member to take part in presidential elections. But when former
President Hosni Mubarak was ousted, they announced their desire to run for presidency “on public demand”. The current escalations in Cairo will not help achieve the goals of the Jan 25 revolution, but instead drive it to a dead end which would give a pretext to tyrant Arab regimes that are currently struggling to survive to claim that public revolutions are acts of insurgency. To avoid that, Egyptians are required today to outline a roadmap to establish a democratic state ruled by a constitution that ensures justice for all. The point of Ramadan isn’t about not eating or drinking through the day as much as it is about spirituality, achieving inner peace and committing good deeds and charity. The essence of fasting is to make Muslims more aware of the suffering of the poor who might spend days without food or water. With the severe famine that is striking Somalia these days, this year’s Ramadan offers a great opportunity to spend in order to save Somalis from their worst humanitarian crisis in sixty years. — Al-Rai
Investing in Boubyan island By Fuhaid Al-Busairi
ver since Kuwait began constructing the Mubarak Al-Kabeer port, politicians and activists have reacted differently. While some people insist that the country should develop mega projects, others argue that the current location, located to the east of Boubyan island creates legitimate concerns for Iraqis. Let us assess the subject from a scientific standpoint, using facts and figures instead of speculations. Kuwait’s area covers 18,000 square meters. Its coastline along the Arabian Gulf is approximately 200 kilometers long. If we exclude the Boubyan Island, the Kuwait Bay, the oil rigs and inhabited areas, only a few meters of land remains. Boubyan Island equals to one third of Kuwait’s total surface area. The country has not been able to effectively utilize the islands owing to ‘wars’ going on. This is until the government decided to proceed with projects like Mubarak Al-Kabeer port. In Iraq, many Iraqis believe that the port, which overlooks the water passageway separating Boubyan from the Iraqi land, could hinder naval activity near Iraq’s Um Qasr port. However, the distance between the Mubarak Al-Kabeer port and the closest point in the opposite Iraqi land stands at six kilometers, its breadth being more than enough to host two ‘opposing’ ports working together. For example, the Shat Al-Arab is 500 meters wide, divided in half between Iraq and Iran. Each country used its 250 meters share of the location to build several ports without problems. Unlike the case with the Mubarak Al-Kabeer port, no concerns or criticisms came from Iraq regarding the Iranian ports that lie adjacent to their own over a limited area of 500 meters. Since numbers do not lie, let us take a look at figures for dimensions of the two most prominent canals in the world: the Suez Canal which connects the East with the West. The Panama Canal which connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans is 400 meters wide. The government should definitely go ahead with the Mubarak Al-Kabeer port, as part of its plans to invest in the Boubyan Island. This is because geographic and maritime information gives it complete support. With regard to Iraqi complaints, I believe that history has shown us that continuous demands are always part of our northern neighbor’s ideology. — Al-Rai
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Drug peddlers arrested By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Police arrested three Egyptians in connection with possession of drugs. The men confessed to purchasing the contraband from Egypt. Acting Assistant Undersecretary for Criminal Security Maj Gen Sheikh Ahmad Al-Khalifa asked officers to arrest an Egyptian based on a tip received earlier. He divulged more information about partners. At least 10,000 pills were found.
NICOSIA: A handout picture released by the Cypriot Press and Information Office shows the new Kuwaiti ambassador to Cyprus Ahmad Salem Ahmad Al-Wehaib inspecting the honor guard as he arrives at the Presidential palace to present his credentials to Cypriot President Demetris Christofias in Nicosia yesterday. —AFP
Three held for passport forgery KUWAIT: A bedoon (stateless) resident was arrested with possession of a forged passport, along with three accomplices. They tried to help him exit the country illegally. The first suspect raised suspicions when he failed to respond in French to a flight attendant who spoke to him in the language while boarding a flight to France, despite being a French passport holder. She informed the pilot who then ordered that the suspect be interrogated. The cross-examination revealed that his French passport was forged, and that he received it via mail by an individual residing outside the country. Furthermore, the suspect divulged information about two suspects employed with the airport; one who assisted him in securing a forged visa to Kuwait and the other that forged a stamp on the passport, reported Al-Watan. Each were paid KD 700 for their services. The duo were arrested, along with a third man who introduced the first suspect to two corrupt airport officers. Rave party brawl Police arrested two citizens who engaged in a vicious brawl during an rave party organized in Abu Al-Hasaniya. They are on the hunt for a woman that triggered the fight. Security officers responded to emergency calls that reported that the two drunk men stabbed each other during a fight, while a woman looked on. After reaching the scene, police learnt that the suspects had already escaped, leaving trails of blood behind as well as ripped clothing. Investigations later revealed that the fight broke out at a party where alcohol was served. Investigators identified some of the attendees and questioned them, during which they confirmed the incident’s occurrence. The guests revealed more information on the identity of two male suspects, who were apprehended, reported Al-Rai. It was revealed that the two avoided hospitalization to escape police interrogation. They further confessed to fighting with each other in a drunken stupor in an apparent attempt to win the female suspect’s attention.
Car crash An Arab man sustained multiple injuries in a car crash that took place while being chased down by a woman he had harassed. The incident took place in Al-Fintas where the man harassed an American female resident outside a building. The woman called out for help, and stepped into her own car and pursued in an attempt to prevent the suspect who already left the scene, reported Al-Rai. In a hot chase that followed, the man lost control over his vehicle and crashed into a light post. He has been hospitalized. Charges will be pressed against him following recovery. ATVs stolen Police arrested an Arab national in Shuwaikh who planned on selling two all terrain vehicles (ATV) that were stolen from a citizen. The citizen had lodged a complaint with Al-Nugra police station, explaining that the suspect disappeared with the ATVs after requesting a test drive for a few days, reported Al-Watan. Investigators located the man in the industrial zone of Shuwaikh, and was placed under arrest. Suicide attempt A domestic worker attempted suicide in Andalus by swallowing a quantity of prescription pills. In response to an emergency call, an ambulance reached the scene where the Indonesian woman lay unconscious, reported Al-Watan. She was admitted to the Sabah Hospital in a critical condition. An investigation was opened into the case.
Car accidents A 44-year-old Indian man suffered lacerations to his scalp in a car crash in Nuwaiseeb yesterday, as well as complaining of pain in the knee following the accident. He was taken to Adan Hospital. In a separate incident, a 50year-old Indian man was taken to Mubarak Hospital after sustaining a deep gash to his right hand when he was hit by a car on a street in Maidan Hawally. Fight club A 31-year-old Filipino man was rushed to Adan Hospital after suffering a head injury and a broken ankle in a fight in the Mahboula
area, while a second amateur pugilist, a 24-year-old Kuwaiti man, was taken to Amiri Hospital after sustaining a head injury in a fight in Souq Sharq. Firefighter hospitalized A 25-year-old firefighter was taken to Adan Hospital after being overcome by heat exhaustion whilst tackling a blaze in the Fahaheel area. Café catfight Police had to intervene to break up a violent fight on Sunday between fifteen customers at a café in Salmiya frequented by transvestites, with some of those present saying they had smelt tear gas in the vicinity. Attempted rape Police are investigating allegations by an Ethiopian maid who her male sponsor attempted to sexually assault her whilst his wife was out of the house. Café fire Firefighters were quickly at the scene after a blaze broke out at a café in Salhiya, speedily putting out the fire. No injuries were reported.
Lawmakers quiz ministers By A Saleh KUWAIT: Official spokesman of the Popular Action Bloc(PAB) MP Musallam Al-Barrak expressed disappointment at the KU’s overcapacity problem, “The only thing that the country’s representatives can do after the Kuwait University’s admissions imbroglio, is to convene an extraordinary parliamentary term to arrive at a decision to salvage students’ future.” Al-Barrak said, “Whatever situations that students faced is unfortunate, be it for those whose applications were rejected although they had the required GPA, or those who applied for scholarships. He said this is a clear evidence of lack of planning and coordination, which will destroy the future of those students in a rich country that has only one public university.” He went on to say, “the contradictory
statements made by Education and Higher Education Minister Ahmad Al-Mulaifi, and Kuwait University Rector, will result in students’ future being sabotaged. Despite having an exemplary academic record, they cannot be absorbed into state-sponsored educational establishments. Separately, Al-Barrak posed several questions to Commerce and Industry Minister Dr Amani Burisli about fair promotion opportunities for employees. Such initiatives motivate employees to improve performance and raise competence. Questions were exchanged about appointments and promotions made with the Commerce and Industr y M inistr y. Reports have surfaced about employees who reportedly benefited at the expense of others. Al-Barrak requested a detailed list featuring the names of directors with the Commerce and Industry Ministry.
MP Adel Al-Saraawi quizzed the minister of justice, minister of social affairs and labor, minister of state for cabinet affairs, oil minister and state minister for national assembly affairs, electricity and water, information and communications ministers about the corruptive prac tices at Siemens company in Kuwait, and questioned Kuwait’s silence on the matter. He said that newspapers had reported that the multi-national company had unearthed evidence relating to corrupt practices in Kuwait. So, he asked whether Siemens had informed the government about the incident, and if any supporting evidence was handed over. He also asked if the ministry had investigated the matter, and he wanted a list of all the contracts that were signed with Siemens during the past five years starting April 1, 2006.
about the ministry’s ability to contain high demand. “Emergency teams are 100 percent ready to rectify any malfunctions,” AlOthaina said, adding that 190 dieselfueled generators are available to supply electricity until repairs are completed. The minister assured that the ministry is working on a schedule to build 18 new projects listed for the current financial year (2011/2012). This is part of the state’s development plan, adding that studies are currently in place to improve water supplies. Separately, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation(DGCA) announced that 58 additional flights have been allocated to the daily schedule, to carry worshippers on Umrah trips to Saudi Arabia, reported Al-Qabas. Essam Al-Zamel DGCA Operations Manager further stated that personnel at the Kuwait International Airport are “exerting efforts” to ensure smooth flow of passengers.
Governor of Hawally Abdulla Al-Faris and General Manager, Governor of Hawally, Abdulla Al-Faris and General Manager, Board Affairs at Gulf Bank, Fawzy Al-Thunayan cutting the rib- Board Affairs at Gulf Bank, Fawzy Al-Thunayan after the branch bon at the inauguration of the branch. opening.
Gulf Bank opens new branch in Sabah Al-Salem KUWAIT: Gulf Bank has celebrated the official opening of its Sabah Al-Salem branch extending the Bank’s offer of premium financial services to a new area of Kuwait as part of its continued focus on client ser vice. The Sabah Al-Salem Branch will provide local residents with the chance to experience the ease and convenience of bank ing with Gulf Bank in their area of residence. The branch opening was inaugurated on July 27, and attended by the Governor of Hawally, retired Lt Gen Abdulla Al-Faris, as well as Gulf Bank’s management team. Gulf Bank now has 55 branches located across Kuwait. Today’s
Group picture of Gulf Bank’s team with Abdulla Al-Faris opening is further evidence of the success of Gulf Bank’s strategic approach to offering the best possible customer experience to customers throughout Kuwait, and marks a further strengthen-
Hajj and Umrah exhibition at Mishref Fairgrounds KUWAIT: The Hajj and Umrah Exhibition 2011 will be sponsored by Al-Marwah company and will be organized by Kuwait International Fair between Aug 7 and 13 at Mishref Fairgrounds. Several organizations will participate in the event. Abdul R ahman Al-Shaye Deputy Director Hajj Sector in Al-Mar wah company pointed
KUWAIT: Members of the drug gang pictured after their arrest.
Baby dies A Kuwaiti infant died shortly after arriving to the country after its family spent vacation abroad. The child reportedly was unable to cope with the country’s scorching temperatures, reported Al-Anbaa. The two-month-old baby was admitted to the Jahra Hospital, but was pronounced dead shortly. The body was removed for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
MEW, airport technical depts on high alert KUWAIT: The Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) has charted out a comprehensive plan to ensure constant supply of electricity and water throughout Kuwait during the holy month of Ramadan. Technical departments have been placed on high alert to respond to any malfunction as quickly as possible. These statements were made by Minister of Electricity and Water, Acting Minister of Communication and Information Salem Al-Othaina, assuring citizens and residents that the ministry is capable of meeting an increasing demand during the hottest days of Ramadan. Overload has been cited as the main reason for the majority of power outage cases that have taken place in recent summers, as it peaks between the second half of July and early August when temperatures soar to 50 C degrees. Also, electricity and water consumption rates generally rise during summer. The fact that Ramadan falls during the hottest part of this year’s summer, has raised concerns
New crackdown In a recent Municipality-led crackdown on dairy and food stores, 75 liters of milk was destroyed. Fahad Al-Otaibi Ahmadi, the Municipality Director said that these stores were ordered to shut down based on test results received from random samples. These proved unfit for human consumption. He added that 37 random samples of Ramadan foodstuff were taken from stores to ensure food safety and to safeguard consumer health.
out that this exhibition will play a great role in outlining the role played by Hajj and Umrah campaigns. The prospective worshipper will be briefed about Hajj and Umrah services. Al-Shaye said that main reason behind sponsoring the exhibition and participation, is to meet the largest possible num-
ber of those concerned, considering the exhibition offers an unrivalled chance to those interested in performing Hajj and Umrah. He said that all other Islamic countries view Kuwait Hajj campaigns as being pioneers in this field, providing the greatest level of services to worshippers. “ We should continue to be
unique and provide the best level of services,” he said. Al-Shaye is of the opinion that Hajj exhibition can be employed to achieve better ser vices that Hajj campaigns can provide. He pointed out that problems like airport traffic can cause unease to passengers. However, these can be overcome easily, he assured.
ing of the Gulf Bank offer. For further information on any of Gulf Bank’s products and services and its regular promotions and offers, visit one of Gulf Bank ’s conveniently located
branches or call the Customer Contact Center on 1805805. Customers can also log on to www.e -gulfbank.com, Gulf Bank ’s bilingual website, for more information.
Short circuit caused deadly house blaze KUWAIT: The blaze at a home in Firdous that led to the deaths of two young children appears to have been started by sparks from an electrical short circuit that took place when the two siblings, aged three and five, were playing unsupervised with electrical appliances, according to a Kuwait Fire Services Directorate (KFSD) official. Although firefighters were quickly at the scene, rescuing the two young children who were immediately rushed to hospital, medical personnel were unable
to resuscitate them and they were pronounced dead shortly after their arrival. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the KFSD official said that from the testimony and evidence received to date, it seems that the children had been left in the care of domestic staff while their parents were out. While the domestic staff were working elsewhere in the house at one point, it seems the children began playing in the living room where a number of electrical appliances were functioning.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2011
Turkish PM, army meet to appoint new high command
Muslim militants blamed for attack in Xinjiang
Libya rebels round up Gaddafi militiamen Rebels lose village of key mountain range
NAFUSA: Rebel fighters gather close to their jeep in the village of Josh, at the foot of the Nafusa mountain range, in western Libya, as fighting continues between rebel forces and those loyal to the Libyan leader, on Sunday.—AFP BENGHAZI: Rebels said they arrested dozens of militiamen loyal to Muammar Gaddafi in their eastern bastion but suffered a blow yesterday in Libya’s west, losing a village at the foot of a key mountain range. At least 63 people were rounded up by the insurgents in an ongoing bid to tighten security in the eastern city of Benghazi, following an hours-long battle with Gaddafi loyalists in the opposition stronghold. But in the west, pro-Gaddafi forces were again in control yesterday of the village of Josh at the foot of the strategic Nafusa mountains, AFP journalists at the scene said. Josh had been emptied of its residents, the rebels said. The rebels had on Sunday taken the village, but said they were forced to retreat to the east, half way along the road to the town of
Shakshuka, after several hours of fighting. The Nafusa region has seen heavy fighting between rebels and forces loyal to Gaddafi since the insurgents launched a major offensive this month in a drive on the capital Tripoli. In Benghazi, opposition forces patrolled the streets in a bid to track down more members of the proGaddafi group, a rebel spokesman said, as shoppers stocked up ahead of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting. “We caught about 38 and later today more than 25,” the spokesman, Mustafa al-Sagazly, told AFP late on Sunday. “Some of them ran away and we are trying to catch them all over the city,” he said. “We are arresting them.” The arrests came hot on the heels of a five-hour raid by the rebel-backed February 17 brigade on a Benghazi
factory, leaving four rebels and five Gaddafi loyalists dead. The fierce shootout erupted at around dawn on Sunday during a raid on the cell holed up inside a licence plate-making factory. Rebel spokesman Mahmud Shammam said the group had been rounded up for its role in organising a prison break in Benghazi earlier in the week. The pro-Gaddafi cell “had plans to plant car bombs in Benghazi,” according to Mustafa Al-Sagazly, deputy chief of the Februar y 17 brigade. He added the “very same group”the Katiba Yussef Shakir-was suspected in the assassination of General Abdel Fatah Yunis, a right-hand man to Gaddafi before his defection to the rebel ranks. Ismail al-Salabi, who heads military operations for February
17, called the operation “100 percent successful” and added the rebels seized TNT explosives and several pickup trucks equipped with machine guns. Meanwhile British Defence Secretary Liam Fox said the murder of Yunis, attributed by the British press to Al-Qaeda elements within the rebel movement, remained a mystery and that militant influence within Libya was inevitable. “It’s not yet clear who actually carried out the killing,” Fox said told BBC radio. “Of course there are going to be militants in Libya-there are militants right across the whole of the Middle East-it would be a great surprise if there weren’t some in Libya itself,” he added. Britain last week recognised the Benghazi-based opposition National Transitional Council (NTC) as Libya’s legitimate government, and
Egyptians await Mubarak trial with mixed feelings CAIRO: Hosni Mubarak’s murder and corruption trial, which opens tomorrow, is generating a mixture of excitement and regret among the Egyptians who overthrew the veteran president. Mubarak, 83, is charged with murder in connection to the deaths of more than 800 anti-regime protesters and corruption during his widely reviled three decades in rule. “He’s like all men, he must be judged for his crimes,” said Hussein Sabra, a shoeshiner in Cairo’s middleclass neighborhood of Dokki. The trial of Mubarak and his two sons Alaa and Gamal is a source of friction between activists who demanded justice for his abuses and the military which took over after his resignation on February 11. Hundreds of protesters held a sitin starting on July 8 in Cairo’s Tahrir square to press the chief demand of a speedy trial for Mubarak which they believed the military council-whose generals Mubarak handpicked-would delay. “He abused the power that people entrusted him with,” said Duaa Helmy, one of the protesters in the square. Mubarak’s assets may have
CAIRO: (Files) A combo of pictures shows on the left Alaa (R) and Gamal Mubarak, the sons of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, in a picture dated September 29, 2007 in Cairo and their father, ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak (R), in a picture dated on September 2, 2009 in Cairo. Mubarak, goes on trial for murder and corruption with his two sons tomorrow in Cairo.—AFP been frozen but his fortune remains believe the elderly and ailing former weak after refusing food for days, unknown, despite mounting calls for president has already suffered because he was too depressed to eat. enough indignity, and that perhaps It is unlikely he will be present in the disclosure. “Where are the millions? We want the country was better off under him. defendant’s cage tomorrow in a Cairo Mubarak is under arrest in a hospi- suburb. His lawyer Farid Al-Deeb has our stolen money back,” she said. Many believe the money the tal in the Red Sea resort town of said that Mubarak was diagnosed Mubaraks allegedly spirited out of Sharm El-Sheikh, where he is receiv- with cancer, and that he went into a the country will come back only ing treatment for a heart condition. coma last month, which the hospital when he is found guilty. But others One of his doctors told AFP that he is treating him denies. —AFP
Fox vowed Britain would continue to back the group despite the assassination. While the rebels have been trying to quash rumors about the mysterious death of their army chief, the Gaddafi regime said it was in contact with members of the NTC. South of Benghazi, rebels reported an attack by pro-Gaddafi forces on the southern oasis town of Jalo, but said it had been repulsed. Rebels also promised a “surprise” in the strategic oil hub Brega. “We are in the suburbs of Brega and I can see its lights sparkling in the short distance. Expect a surprise,” said Salabi. On the western front in the five-month-old armed revolt, rebels on Sunday took the village of Josh at the foot of the Nafusa mountain range, but loyalists seized it back yesterday, AFP journalists at the scene said. The Nafusa region has seen
heavy fighting between rebels and forces loyal to Gaddafi since the insurgents launched a major offensive this month in a drive on Tripoli. NATO said its warplanes carried out 49 strike sorties on Sunday, with hits concentrated in and around Zliten and Bir alGhanam. Strikes were also conducted in Tripoli, Brega and Waddan. France said on Sunday it was committed to striking Kadhafi’s military assets for as long as needed for him to quit power, and called on Libyans in Tripoli to rise up against him. “We say to Gaddafi that we will not ease our pressure and to his opponents that we will not abandon them,” French Defence Minister Gerard Longuet was quoted as saying by the newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche. “Things have to move more in Tripoli... the population must rise up,” he added.—AFP
Thousands of Moroccans protest on king’s allegiance day RABAT: Thousands of Moroccans marched on Sunday to press the Arab world’s longest-ruling dynasty to relinquish more of its sweeping powers and stamp out corruption. The protests coincided with the holding of a centuries-old Be’ya, or allegiance ceremony, where hundreds of regional representatives renewed vows of obedience to King Mohammed the day after the anniversar y of his enthronement. Morocco’s monarch acted promptly to contain any spillover from pro-democracy uprisings across the region, promising constitutional changes to reduce his powers on March 9, two weeks after protests spread to his country. A referendum on July 1 endorsed a new constitution. But the changes have failed to end peaceful protests by the youth-led February 20 movement, which is pushing for a constitutional monarchy with the king as a figurehead. State -run television showed the monarch clad in a traditional cream djellaba robe and riding a horse. He was seen greeting lines of dignitaries who bowed and chanted “May God bless the life of my master”. “ This ceremony reflects the authenticity of the Moroccan people and its unswerving attachment to the glorious Alawite throne,” the official MAP news
agency said. The Alawite dynasty claims descent from Prophet Mohammad and the king holds the Islamic title Commander of the Faithful. In the capital Rabat, hundreds of protesters chanted the slogan “May God bless the life of my people” and carried placards demanding a “change that marks a break with the past”, according to a Reuters witness. “This protest is not meant to be a response to the allegiance ceremony. It is our response to the overall political climate in the country,” said Mohamed alAouni, an activist from the February 20 Movement, which has held almost weekly protests demanding reform. “We will continue to press for a parliamentary monarchy, freedom, social justice and dignity,” Aouni said. About 4,000 people protested in the country’s biggest city Casablanca and about 5,000 in the northern city of Tangier, said local government officials. “We held the march today to express our rejection of corruption and rituals where people have to kneel,” Hamza Mahfoud, a Februar y 20 Movement activist, said by telephone from Casablanca. The king chairs cabinet meetings and controls the judiciary, religious affairs and the army. He can dissolve parliament if it proposes laws that do not please him.—Reuters
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US sees dramatic drop in Iran-backed attacks in Iraq MOSUL: Attacks on US forces in Iraq by Iran-backed militia have fallen sharply thanks to US and Iraqi military operations and political engagement by Baghdad, the top US military officer said yesterday. Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, did not elaborate on the specific steps taken in response to a wave of attacks that made June the deadliest month for US forces in Iraq since 2008. But he told repor ters shor tly before landing in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul that US and Iraqi operations as well as actions by Iraqi political leaders appear to have been suc-
cessful at stemming the attacks for now. “We’ve done this. The Iraqi security forces have done it. The political leadership has addressed it. And so you’ve seen in the last two to three weeks a dramatic reduction in that (violence),” Mullen said. “I’m still in the wait-and-see mode to see whether or not this can be sustained.” Fourteen US service members were killed in hostile incidents in June, with most of the deaths attributed by US officials to rocket attacks by Shi’ite militias armed by Iran. New US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, on a trip to Baghdad on July 11, said the United States would take unilat-
eral action if necessary to deal with the threat to American troops in Iraq from Shi’ite militias armed by Iran. Mullen declined to say whether the United States had taken any such action. Prime M inister Nuri al-Malik i’s shaky coalition government has yet to decide whether it will ask the United States to keep some of the 46,000 remaining US troops in the country beyond a 2011 drawdown deadline, despite US and Iraqi military concerns about security gaps once American forces leave. US officials are warning Iraq’s government that, without a request from Baghdad
soon, it will become increasingly difficult and costly to alter the US drawdown plan, a matter Mullen said he would raise with Iraqi leaders during his visit. “The point is, you know, we’re at a d e a d l i ne. We ne e d a n a ns we r,” Mullen said. Any decision to extend the US troop presence is risky in Iraq. The political bloc of anti-US Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr openly opposes a US presence and Sadr has threatened to escalate protests and military resistance if troops stay. One option being floated in Iraq is to have private contractors train Iraqi forces, instead of active - duty US
military personnel. But a US defense official speaking to Reuters earlier this month on condition of anonymity did not expect any future US training mission being relegated solely to contractors, were Iraq to request some residual US military presence. US officials say Iraq will experience security gaps in areas including air defenses, intelligence and logistics should all US forces leave. “ We understand and they understand where their gaps might be,” Mullen said. “ What steps any leader of any country wants to take to mitigate that risk is going to be up to them.”— Reuters
Israeli, Lebanese troops exchange fire on border Both sides challenge accuracy of Blue Line
BAGHDAD: Iraqi soldiers check a car in Baghdad yesterday as part of increased security measures in the capital. —AFP
Iraq death toll for July second highest in 2011 BAGHDAD: Deadly violence in Iraq declined slightly last month from the previous month but still marked the secondhighest death toll for the year, data published yesterday showed. The latest ﬁgures come days after a US watchdog warned that Iraq was a more dangerous country than a year ago ahead of a “summer of uncertainty ” in which politicians in Baghdad have to decide whether to retain an American military presence beyond a year-end withdrawal deadline for US forces. Figures compiled by the ministries of health, interior and defense showed that a total of 259 Iraqis — 159 civilians, 56 policemen and 44 soldiers-died as a result of attacks last month. The overall toll represented a slight drop from June’s ﬁgure of 271 killed, but remained the second-highest monthly death toll. A total of 259 people were also killed in January. The ﬁgures were, however, dramatically lower than for the same month last year, when 535 people were reported killed. July marks the sixth consecutive such month with a lower death toll than a year ago. US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) Stuart Bowen warned in a report published on Saturday, however, that the country was less safe than one year ago and that security was deteriorating. “Iraq remains an extraordinarily dangerous place to work,” Bowen said. “It is less safe, in my judgment, than 12 months ago.” Bowen noted that June was the deadliest month for US military personnel since April 2009, and that April-July saw the highest number of assassinations of senior Iraqi oﬃcials since SIGIR began tracking such ﬁgures.
He warned that while joint eﬀorts by the US and Iraq had lowered the threat posed by insurgent groups, “foreign (-backed) militias have become cause for concern,” and added that the past quarter “also saw an increase in the number of rockets hitting the International Zone and the US embassy compound as well.” Bowen characterized Iraq as being in a “summer of uncertainty.” Last month’s death toll was marked by major attacks in the cities of Taji and Tikrit, both north of Baghdad. The July 5 attack in Taji involved twin suicide bombs which killed 35 people and wounded 28. On July 28, two blasts involving a car bomb and a suicide attack in Tikrit killed 12 people and injured 31. A total of 453 people were wounded last month — 199 civilians, 135 policemen and 119 soldiers. The ﬁgures also showed that 22 insurgents were killed and 115 arrested. Five American soldiers also died in July, four of them in “hostile” incidents, bringing the overall number of US troops to have died in Iraq since the 2003 invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein to 4,474, according to data compiled by independent website www.icasualties.org. There are approximately 47,000 US troops still in Iraq, but they must all withdraw from the country at the end of the year, under the terms of a bilateral security pact. US oﬃcials have pressed their Iraqi counterparts to decide quickly whether they want any American military presence beyond that date, and proposals for a training mission are gaining traction among Iraqi leaders, although nothing has yet been agreed.— AFP
JERUSALEM: Israeli and Lebanese troops exchanged ﬁre on their often tense border yesterday morning, oﬃcials on both sides said, with the two armies trading accusations on why the shooting happened. The Israeli military said its troops had been ﬁred on as they worked on the Israeli side of the Blue Line, the UN-drawn border with Lebanon. But a Lebanese army oﬃcial said troops opened ﬁre only when Israeli soldiers crossed the border line, which was established in 2000. Both sides have challenged the accuracy of the Blue Line in several locations. “Earlier this morning an IDF (Israeli military) force carrying out a routine patrol within Israeli territory near the Israel-Lebanon border was ﬁred upon from the direction of Lebanon,” an Israeli military spokeswoman told AFP. “The force responded by ﬁring towards the source of ﬁre and UNIFIL was informed of the incident,” she added, referring to the UN peacekeeping force stationed on the Israeli-Lebanese border. One Israeli military source said the incident occurred near the Dan kibbutz in the far north of Israel as troops carried out work on a border fence. Another stressed that “Israel’s interest at this time is to contain the situation and maintain the calm on the border.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking before the parliament’s defence and foreign aﬀairs committee, repeated that message, saying Israel “does not want an escalation on the Lebanese border,” an oﬃcial told AFP. Speaking before the closed session, which the oﬃcial
LEBANON-ISRAEL BORDER: Lebanese soldiers are stationed along the southern Lebanon-Israel border yestrday, after Israeli and Lebanese troops exchanged fire officials on both sides said, with the two armies trading accusations on why the shooting incident occurred. —AFP
described on condition of anonymity, Netanyahu defended the decision of Israeli troops to ﬁre back. “When ﬁre is directed at our soldiers, it is normal that they respond,” the oﬃcial quoted the premier as saying. A Lebanese army oﬃcial, who declined to be identiﬁed, told AFP that the incident occurred early yesterday when “an Israeli patrol in the Wazzani area crossed the Blue Line and went beyond it about 30 metres (yards).” “Lebanese troops stationed in the area ﬁred warning shots,” he said. “The Israeli patrol retreated and then ﬁred at Lebanese army posts.” He said there were no
injuries on the Lebanese side and that UNIFIL was informed of the incident and quickly moved to the area. UNIFIL spokesman Neeraj Singh conﬁrmed that the incident had occurred, but gave no details on whether Israeli troops had crossed the Blue Line. “We can conﬁrm that at around 7:00 am this morning there was a brief exchange of ﬁre between the Lebanese army and the Israeli army along the Blue Line in the general area of Wazzani,” Singh said. “UNIFIL peacekeepers immediately responded to the location in order to contain the situation and
Yemen army raid kills 15 Qaeda-linked militants ADEN: At least 15 suspected Al-Qaeda militants were killed in army air raids in and around the restive city of Zinjibar in southern Yemen, security and local oﬃcials told AFP yesterday. Fifteen people were killed in Sunday’s raids, including a local leader of the network, Nader Shadadi, said a security oﬃcial, while another 17 were wounded. A local oﬃcial said one of the air strikes hit “a roadblock set up by Al-Qaeda” near AlWahda stadium east of Zinjibar, which has mostly fallen into the grip of Qaeda-linked extremists. An armored troop carrier, captured by the militants in ﬁghting with the army, was destroyed in another raid, the oﬃcial added. Two other raids targeted the militants’ positions in the agricultural area of Khamila, eight kilometers (ﬁve miles) south of Zinjibar, and in the town of Al-Amudiya to the north, local oﬃcials said. At least 42 people were killed in violence which
rocked several towns across the southern province of Abyan on Friday. Militants of the “Partisans of Sharia” (Islamic law), which is suspected of links to Al-Qaeda, seized control of much of Zinjibar in May. Thousands of residents have since been displaced by ﬁghting. According to Deputy Information Minister Abdo Al-Janadi, the United States has provided logistical support to Yemen’s 25th Mechanised Brigade, which had been besieged by the militants in Zinjibar. US commanders have repeatedly expressed concern that the jihadists have been taking advantage of a protracted power vacuum in Sanaa to expand their operations. Since January, protesters have been demanding the ouster of veteran President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been in hospital in Saudi Arabia since early June being treated for wounds sustained in a bomb blast at his palace.—AFP
Israeli soldiers kill two in West Bank: Palestinians RAMALLAH: Two Palestinians were shot dead overnight by Israeli soldiers in the Qalandiya refugee camp in the West Bank, Palestinian medics and security oﬃcials said yesterday. The dead men, Moatassem Adwan, 22, and 23-year-old Ali Khalifa, were killed by soldiers as they carried out arrests in the camp on the road from Ramallah to Jerusalem. An oﬃcial from the Fatah movement told AFP that Israeli troops entered the camp at around 3:30 am (0030 GMT) and arrested one youth before clashes broke out, with young men throwing stones at soldiers. The soldiers then opened ﬁre on
the stone-throwers, killing two, the oﬃcial said on condition of anonymity. Palestinian intelligence sources said the two “were taken to the Ramallah hospital at dawn. One of them was shot in the head and was martyred immediately. The second was martyred shortly afterwards.” An Israeli military spokeswoman conﬁrmed clashes between Palestinians and Israeli troops carrying out an arrest operation in Qalandiya refugee camp. She said ﬁve soldiers were injured in the confrontations but could not conﬁrm that any Palestinians had been killed in the incident.— AFP
prevent any escalation. The ﬁring has since ceased and the situation in the area is quiet. No casualties have been reported.” Singh said UNIFIL had opened an investigation into the shooting. Yesterday’s incident, which came as Lebanon marks Army Day, came almost exactly a year after Lebanese and Israeli troops traded ﬁre along the tense border, leaving two Lebanese soldiers and a journalist killed along with a senior Israeli oﬃcer. That ﬂareup was the worst clash between the two sides since Israel’s devastating 2006 war in Lebanon against the Shiite Hezbollah militia.—AFP
JERUSALEM: Aleksandar Cvetkovic (C), an Israeli-Serb wanted on suspicion of taking part in one of the worst massacres of the Bosnian war, is brought into the Jerusalem district court yesterday to a hearing regarding Israel’s state prosecutor request to extradite the Bosnian Serb who obtained Israeli citizenship through his Jewish wife. —AFP
Israel to extradite Bosnian over Srebrenica massacre JERUSALEM: An Israeli court ruled yesterday that an immigrant from the former Yugoslavia could be extradited to Bosnia to face genocide charges for involvement in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, though he can appeal the move. Aleksandar Cvetkovic, a Bosnian Serb living in the Jewish state since 2006, was arrested in January on an international warrant issued over testimony he helped shoot some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Europe’s worst atrocity since World War Two. Cvetkovic says that while he served as an army driver when Srebrenica, formerly a UN protected zone, fell to the Serbs during the 1992-95 civil war, he is innocent of the slaughter. He has 30 days in which to try to appeal against the Jerusalem District Court’s decision at the Israeli Supreme Court, whose ﬁnal ruling could take months. “One of our major arguments was that the genocidal intent was not made out in his case,” said Nick Kaufman, one of Cvetkovic’s lawyers. “We have to learn the judge’s decision and see whether or not an appeal is justiﬁed here.” Cvetkovic would be extradited to a court in Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital, set up in 2005 to relieve the burden on the Haguebased UN war crimes tribunal for the former
Yugoslavia. The two courts have prosecuted dozens of Bosnian Serbs over Srebrenica. Among these is former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic, who was arrested by Serbia in May and extradited to The Hague. Bosnian Serb wartime political leader Radovan Karadzic, arrested in 2008, is also on trial for Srebrenica and the Serb siege of Sarajevo. Both men deny wrongdoing. Cvetkovic’s unprecedented case has piqued interest in Israel, with its founding memories of the Holocaust and more recent pro-Palestinian eﬀorts to prosecute its military commanders for alleged war crimes in the West Bank and Gaza. Cvetkovic’s marriage to a Jewish woman, with whom he has children, helped him secure Israeli citizenship. The Bosnian state prosecutor’s oﬃce, citing testimony from other Serb soldiers, said he was believed to have taken part in shooting more than 800 Bosnian Muslims from Srebrenica. According to evidence cited in the Jerusalem District Court’s 56-page ruling, Cvetkovic had “said that this execution is proceeding slowly and that they should also start to use the M-84 machinegun,” a suggestion taken up by his comrades. — Reuters
Iran hangs rapist TEHRAN: A 19-year-old man convicted of raping a teenage boy has been hanged in the northeastern city of Mashhad, the Khorasan newspaper reported yesterday. The unidentiﬁed man, who was convicted of raping a 16year-old boy, was executed in the city’s central prison on Saturday, the report added. The latest hanging brings to 174 the number of executions reported in Iran so far this year, according to an AFP tally based on media and oﬃcial reports. Iranian media reported 179 hangings last year, but international human rights groups say the actual number was much higher, ranking the Islamic republic second only to China in the number of people it executed. Tehran says the death penalty is essential to maintain law and order, and is applied only after exhaustive judicial proceedings. Murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafﬁcking and adultery are among the crimes punishable by death in Iran. Filipinos urged to return to Libya MANILA: A visiting Libyan oﬃcial urged Filipino workers yesterday to return to Libya, saying its capital was peaceful and violence was conﬁned to rebel-controlled areas. Philippine Foreign Aﬀairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said the Philippines is maintaining its policy not to deploy workers there. NATO airstrikes have hit Tripoli and other targets in the ﬁve-month operation to enforce a no-ﬂy zone and protect civilians, but there is a semblance of normalcy in the capital as shops remain open and residents go about normal daily routines. Abdulhadi Lahweej, Libya’s undersecretary for expatriates, immigrants and refugee aﬀairs, met with Philippine Foreign Aﬀairs Secretary Albert del Rosario during which he assured him of the safety of Filipinos in Libya. About 14,000 Filipinos were evacuated from the country in March, shortly after the rebellion began in mid-February. Those who remain are mostly medical workers. Israeli PM called off secret meeting RAMALLAH: A senior Palestinian oﬃcial says Israel’s prime minister scuttled a secret meeting last week meant to head oﬀ a looming diplomatic showdown at the United Nations. Yasser Abed Rabbo says Israeli President Shimon Peres asked his Palestinian counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas, to meet to discuss the Palestinians’ plan to seek UN recognition of their independence in September. He says Peres promised to bring creative ideas for defusing the crisis. Abed Rabbo says Abbas traveled to neighboring Jordan for the secret meeting last Thursday, but at the last minute Peres called to cancel, saying Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opposed the meeting. Israel opposes the Palestinians’ UN initiative. Both Peres’ and Netanyahu’s oﬃces declined comment.
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Norway gunman not crazy enough to stay out of jail OSLO: The man who has confessed to the deadly attacks in Norway on July 22 is expected to claim insanity, but experts say his long and detailed planning of the massacre shows he is not crazy and can go to prison. Anders Behring Breivik, a 32-year-old rightwing extremist, is set to start undergoing psychological evaluation this week. Two psychiatrists, Synne Serheim and Torgeir Husby, were tasked by an Oslo court to present their opinions by November 1, but the final decision on whether he can be tried for the slaughter of 77 people will be up to the court. To be found unaccountable for the attacks-a bombing of government offices in Oslo and a shooting rampage at a youth summer camp-Behring Breivik must under
Norwegian law be diagnosed as suffering from a psychosis, like schizophrenia or severe paranoia. While his lawyer Geir Lippestad has already suggested he is “insane,” psychiatry professor Tor Ketil Larsen stressed that proving a clinical psychosis is not enough to avoid prosecution. “In addition to having a psychosis you must ‘lack the ability to realistically understand your own relationship to reality’,” according to article 44 of the Norwegian constitution, the University of Stavanger professor explained in an email to AFP. This may not apply to the suspect, who wrote a 1,500-page manifesto in perfect English ahead of the attack and appears intelligent and conscious of his actions, some experts say. But Larsen added there
may be a small chance of Behring Breivik avoiding prison as “one might wonder whether he suffers from schizophrenia with systematic delusions and so-called megalomania.” “Approximately four percent of people with schizophrenia actually have a high IQ so it is not impossible for someone with severe schizophrenia to carry out complicated actions such as making a bomb or getting hold of money,” he said. He pointed out “it is however unusual and one could argue that such a systematic planning is not expected for people who are not legally responsible according to article 44.” Randi Rosenqvist, another psychiatry expert, agreed. Regardless of how crazy the attacks might seem to the general public, “he kept
his head too cool to have acted under a psychotic impulse,” she told the Dagbladet daily, while stressing that an in-depth evaluation was needed before reaching any clear conclusions. Several psychiatrists said Behring Breivik had narcissistic and megalomaniac tendencies, apparent from the photographs the suspect posted of himself on the Internet wearing different uniforms and in his manifesto claims that he was on a “mission.” “I think we agree he has a narcissistic personality disorder and he has also very grand views and thoughts about himself,” said retired hospital psychiatrist Per Boerre Huseboe, who continues to work as a court expert. Huseboe said he thought it was “possi-
ble” the 32-year-old was psychotic, given his lack of emotion as he for an hour and a half hunted down and shot and killed 69 people-most of them teenagers-on Utoeya island near Oslo. If Behring Breivik is indeed so mentally ill that he cannot be held accountable for his actions, how did his illness go undetected for so long? According to Larsen, it is possible in theory at least “to live in a society for years with psychosis without being detected for treatment.” And in Behring Breivik’s case, “he has been socially isolated for a long time and seems to have little contact with family and few close friends,” he said. Lawyer Lippestad insisted last week that his client lived in “his bubble,” with “his own understanding of reality.”— AFP
Turkish PM, army meet to appoint new high command Military left in disarray as four top commanders quit
LAMPEDUSA: Volunteers and doctors work on the refugee boat found by Italian coast guards with 25 dead persons presumed to be from sub-Saharan Africa in the engine room, that arrived on the southern Italian island yesterday at Lampedusa harbour. —AFP
Italian coast guards find 25 dead on Libya refugee boat ROME: Italian coast guards found 25 dead bodies in the engine room of a refugee boat fleeing Libya with 271 people crammed on board that arrived on the holiday island of Lampedusa yesterday, port officials said. “It’s 25 bodies of men, presumed to be from sub-Saharan Africa,” Antonio Morana, the commander of Lampedusa port, said on news channel SkyTG24. “ The cause of death is still being investigated,” he said. Morana said refugees on board had said they left Libya three days ago. Prosecutors, who have opened an inquiry, said the men appear to have choked to death in the heavily overcrowded boat, which was intercepted by coast guards in Italian waters late Sunday. “We will carry out an autopsy to find the precise cause of death even though initial checks show that it was apparently due to asphyxiation,” said a local prosecutor, Renato Di Natale. The refugees did not mention the dead bodies and the macabre discovery happened only when officers made a final inspection of the boat after transferring the refugees onto a coast guard vessel one mile from the coast. Coast guards had been about to abandon the brokendown refugee boat. The refugees who
died were in an engine room accessible only through a 50-centimetre (20-inch) wide trap door, and were removed by firemen. The 271 refugees found alive included 36 women and 21 children. Thousands of refugees fleeing Libya, mostly migrant workers from other parts of Africa, have arrived on tiny Lampedusa in recent weeks. Hundreds drowned in a series of accidents in stormy seas. The vessels used for crossings from Libya are often rickety fishing boats. The journey from North Africa to Italian shores usually takes around two days. Lampedusa, which has a surface area of just 20 square kilometres, is Italy’s southernmost point and is closer to North Africa than to the Italian mainland. It is now the biggest gateway for illegal immigration into the European Union following the arrival of tens of thousands of Tunisian migrants this year. The almost daily arrivals of refugees from Libya and migrants from Tunisia seen in spring have slowed in recent weeks, with only occasional landings. Scenes of desperation and chaos seen earlier this year have hit the pristine island’s tourism industry but there are already many holidaymakers on the beaches for the high season and there is a summer film festival underway. — AFP
Emergency aid flights brave war-torn Somalia MOGADISHU: Aid groups ramped up operations yesterday to help millions of drought-stricken people in the Horn of Africa, with the UN World Food Program expanding its airlifts of emergency food supplies. The WFP last week began flying in peanut-based paste for malnourished children in Mogadishu and widened the distribution to Doolow in the south of Somalia. “Another aircraft arrived today, the sixth flight since the airlift began last Wednesday-the airlift is an ongoing operation and will continue,” said WFP spokesman David Orr in the war-torn Somali capital. “That brings the total amount delivered into Mogadishu to over 80 tons of specialized highly nutritious food for malnourished children.” About 12 million people are affected by the devastating drought across the Horn of Africa, the worst to hit the region in decades. The United Nations has declared a famine in two regions of southern Somalia but the effects have been felt more widely across the country, as well as in parts of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. Supplies have been delivered through local partners in Mogadishu, Orr said, with enough for 80,000 children for a month distributed so far. However heavy fighting last week between African Union forces and the Islamist Shebab insurgents in the Somali capital has raised fears that aid distribution could be hampered. Malnutrition rates in Somalia are the highest in the world, and the relentless conflict and the drought have left millions in need of emergency humanitarian aid. Tens of thousands of Somalis have fled to Mogadishu from elsewhere in the country, while thousands more leave daily to seek refuge in neighbor-
ing Ethiopia and Kenya, and emergency relief efforts are under way in other regions. “WFP have also opened an airbridge into Doolow in southern Somalia, delivering high energy biscuits and other emergency supplies,” Orr said. “We are also continuing with the larger shipments of food by sea to Mogadishu, but this takes longer,” said Orr. The UN children’s agency UNICEF has meanwhile launched a mass vaccination campaign for polio and measles in the world’s biggest refugee camp, the Dadaab complex in eastern Kenya, home to some 380,000 largely Somali refugees. “Teams are going from tent to tent, to make sure all children aged between six months and five years are given life-saving vaccines,” said Melissa Corkum, a UNICEF spokeswoman. “There are cases of measles in the camp as children are coming from Somalia, where immunization is very low.” Aid workers say they fear outbreaks of diseases in the overcrowded camps, with some 1,300 new arrivals into Kenya every day, according to UN estimates. “We are very worried about an outbreak-we have people up to 29 years old with measles,” said Antonia Kamore from the International Rescue Committee. “They are very weak on arrival, while mothers have had to leave some children along the way, so there is psychological trauma as well.” Conditions are grim in the camps. “Life is so hard here,” said Hawo Hassan Ali, who arrived in Dadaab three weeks ago after fleeing Somalia with her seven-month-old daughter, Suabo Osman. “We are getting some medical help, but the food is not enough,” Ali added, as her daughter was vaccinated against polio and measles. — AFP
ANKARA: Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan met Turkey ’s militar y top brass yesterday to choose a new high command after the most senior generals in NATO’s second-biggest armed forces quit in protest over arrests of officers linked to alleged coup plots. Longrunning strains between the secularist military and Islamist-rooted government boiled over on Friday when Chief of General Staff Isik Kosaner stepped down, along with the army, navy and air force commanders. The resignations will enable Erdogan to consolidate control over a once-omnipotent military, which has staged a series of coups since 1960 but whose power has been curbed by EU-backed reforms since pushing an Islamist-led government from power in 1997. At the heart of the matter is the alleged “Sledgehammer” plot, based on events at a 2003 military seminar. Officers say evidence against them has been fabricated and that allegations concern what was merely a war games exercise. Erdogan launched the four-day Supreme Military Council (YAS) meeting yesterday and then joined the generals in paying respects to modern Turkey’s soldier-statesman founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, visiting his imposing mausoleum high on a hill above the capital. Erdogan strode into the mausoleum in front of the generals and placed a wreath in front of Ataturk’s tomb, before standing briefly in silence, a regular traditional ceremony which marks state occasions. Only nine of the 14 generals who would normally attend the YAS meeting were there. Aside from the four who resigned on Friday, another commander was missing because he is in jail. Erdogan sat alone at the head of the table where normally he would sit beside the chief of staff. Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz also attended the meeting. Erdogan has moved quickly to designate former gendarmerie chief General Necdet Ozel as acting chief after Kosaner quit, but he is not expected to be confirmed as the overall commander until the key promotions are announced on Thursday. The prime minister was due to meet General Ozel at 2 pm. Financial markets shrugged off the resignations in early yesterday trade, focusing instead on the last-minute deal reached in the United States to avoid a debt default. Timothy Ash, an analyst at Royal Bank of Scotland, who was visiting Turkey over the past week, noted that initial fears that the resignations might lead to a broader clash between the military and the government had faded. “The consensus over the weekend is that the resignations mark the final end of the military’s dominant position in Turkish society and finally show civilian control over the military has been established,” Ash wrote
ANKARA: Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan (C) is flanked by Ground Forces Commander and acting Chief of Staff General Necdet Ozel (L) during a wreath-laying ceremony at the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, in Ankara yesterday. —AFP in a note yesterday. President Abdullah Gul has denied any crisis and Erdogan’s regular address to the nation on Saturday focused on plans for a new constitution in the EU-candidate country, touted as a democratic model for a region in turmoil. But the walkout has clouded the start of Erdogan’s third term in office after his AK Party won 50 percent of the vote in a parliamentary election in June. It also risks deepening a polarization between government supporters and opponents at a time when Erdogan should be seeking consensus for proposed constitutional changes. The election result, however, showed that voters cared more about the economy than criticism that Erdogan was amassing too much power. The YAS, which meets twice yearly to decide key promotions, faces a challenge in filling top military posts as the government opposes some leading candidates while others are on trial accused of trying to overthrow the government. Among those at the YAS was Aegean Army commander General Nusret Tasdeler, whose attendance had been uncertain after prosecutors ordered his arrest last week among 21 others over claims the military set up anti-government websites, a case seen as a factor in the walkout by Kosaner and the other generals. “The most keenly awaited issue is who will be appointed to head the land forces command,” said Milliyet columnist Fikret Bila, who
has close links to the military. Potential candidate General Saldiray Berk is likely to be ruled out as he is a defendant in a trial related to “Ergenekon”, an alleged secret network intent on undermining the ruling AK party. President Gul, a former AK government minister, is illdisposed to appointing two other generals, one who refused to shake the hand of his headscarved wife, and another who when serving northern Cyprus had refused to meet Gul, media said. “If seniority is not respected, there could be further retirement requests,” Bila said. The commander of Turkey’s military academies, General Bilgin Balanli, previously in line to take over the air force, is in jail. He is among 200 officers charged with involvement over the alleged “Sledgehammer” coup plot. The turmoil within the military has led to low morale and an atmosphere of suspicion over who is helping prosecutors gather evidence, which must concern Turkey’s NATO partners. Speaking in Kabul late on Sunday, however, Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said it was an internal issue for Turkey and there appeared to be an orderly transition, with Kosaner’s successor already designated. “I’ve seen no indication in any of this that the mil-to-mil relationship (with the United States) has been affected at all. And it is a very strong relationship,” Mullen said.— Reuters
In Norway, Ramadan begins in the shadow of a massacre OSLO: Norway’s Muslims, reviled by the far-right extremist behind the twin attacks of July 22, began an emotional Ramadan yesterday amid more funerals and ceremonies commemorating the 77 people killed. The Muslim fasting month “will be filled with emotions and in honor of the victims and their families,” said Methab Asfar, who heads the Islamic Council, an umbrella organization for Muslim groups across Norway. As in most other countries,
Norway’s Muslims began fasting yesterday, just 10 days after 32year-old Anders Behring Breivik carried out his deadly attacks in what he described as a battle against a “Muslim invasion” of Europe. “Ramadan is always a special time, and we pray everyday. Of course we will be praying for the victims of the attacks and their families,” Samaia Elamin, 23, told AFP as she bought fruit and vegetables for the Iftar feast when the fast is broken after sunset. But
OSLO: People gather around thousands of flowers and tributes laid outside the Oslo Cathedral in Oslo, in memory of the victims of July 22 bomb attack and shooting rampage yesterday. —AP
while they were the actual focus of the killer’s hatred, some Muslims felt the brunt of suspicion in the chaotic hours before Behring Breivik was arrested, when many commentators were speculating that Islamist terrorists were responsible. “Muslims were attacked verbally and physically in the hours after the attacks,” Asfar said, adding that “this kind of thing should not happen in a democratic society. We need to be able to solve our differences without resorting to violence.” According to official statistics, Norway is home to some 100,000 Muslims out of a total population of nearly five million people. The Islamic Council chief had only praise however for Norwegian authorities, who he said “handled the situation very well.” “They never pointed a finger at any group or individual based on ethnicity or religion,” he said. Several Muslims died in the attacks, including a 17-year-old girl of Turkish origin named Gizem Dogan, whose funeral, with both Muslim and Protestant ceremonies, was set to be held yesterday afternoon in the central-western town of Trondheim with thousands of people expected to
attend, including Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Behring Breivik’s main target was meanwhile the ruling Labor Party, which he blamed for its multicultural policies. He first set off a car bomb in Oslo’s government quarter, killing eight people and damaging the offices of among others Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, before going on a shooting rampage on Utoeya island near Oslo, where the party was holding a youth camp. Sixty-nine people, most of them teenagers, were killed in the shooting. “Of course the attacks will leave a mark on Ramadan. Everyone has this in mind and we are especially mindful of the victims’ loved ones,” Asfar told AFP in a telephone interview. “In one way, it is an entire nation that will be fasting,” Asfar said. “The aim of the fast is to keep in mind those who are in difficulty. It’s a time for forgiveness, for reflections, for love and warmth. Muslim or not, our thoughts will be with the victims and their families,” he said. Throughout the month of Ramadan, devout Muslims must abstain from food, drink and sex from dawn until sunset when they break the fast with the Iftar meal. — AFP
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Busted California city pins hopes on revamped air base VICTORVILLE: The billboard outside the Arbor Lane subdivision offers a hollow promise of elegant homes at rock-bottom prices. A drive down the flag-lined entrance reveals the truth: Empty lots filled with weeds swallow up the several dozen completed houses. Winding cul-de-sacs lined with extinguished street lamps dead-end in piles of dirt and dried grass. Nothing resembles an arbor. Four years after the housing bubble burst, this once-booming desert city far northeast of Los Angeles is nursing an economic hangover that won’t quit: one of 67 homes is in some stage of foreclosure, unemployment is nearly 17 percent and the busiest place in the threadbare historic downtown is a thrift store attached to a food bank. Yet beyond the foreclosure signs and graffiti-stained windows, a longdecommissioned air force base offers a glimmer of hope. Two decades after George Air Force Base shut down, taking hundreds of jobs with it and leaving runways and hangars empty, the redeveloped base is taking off as a hub for commercial aviation, freight shipping and logistics. United Airlines recently contracted with Leading Edge Aviation Services Inc. to repaint 650 commercial airliners in massive hangars after a merger with Continental. Dr Pepper/Snapple opened a sprawling distribution hub that serves the Western US and parts of Asia. Airplane maintenance company ComAv wants to build a hangar complex
on the base for heavy airplane maintenance, a move that would create up to 3,000 new jobs, said Mayor Ryan McEachron. Victor Valley College recently began an on-site classroom to train locals for aviationrelated jobs and can’t graduate enough students to meet the demand, said Peter Allan, a professor of business and economics. Many of the students work in the morning and attend classes in the afternoon. The new business complements a roster of aviation, logistics and shipping businesses that moved into the space early on and has given the 8,500-acre redevelopment project more of the buzz it needs to lure other big companies, said Keith Metzler, the city’s director of economic development and director of the Southern California Logistics Airport, part of the base redevelopment. Ultimately, Victorville wants to use its position near a web of freeways and rail tracks to develop an “inland port” at the base that disperses goods arriving by ship in Los Angeles to points all across the US by train, truck and plane. “The gratification you get is when you start hearing the stories (of the unemployed being hired) in the community,” said Metzler, who has worked for years to revitalize the facility. The city’s push to revitalize the old air base, which is now divided into a commercial airport and an industrial complex, won’t reverse Victorville’s economy by itself, but it tackles head-on the biggest problem in a
region that epitomized the excesses of the housing bonanza: a booming population with no jobs to support it. Victorville, a high desert city separated from its coastal neighbors by the San Bernardino Mountains, began to stir in 2004, when housing prices spiraled out of reach of middle-class families in neighboring Los Angeles and Orange counties. Homebuyers began flocking to the rural Victor Valley, snapping up homes in shiny new developments for a fraction of what a similar home would cost “down the hill.” The city’s new residents were happy to commute from the dusty expanses of the high desert hours in exchange for home ownership and Victorville soon found itself the second-fastest growing city in the nation. Residents say shady lenders contributed to the boom, skirting the rules to offer cheap loans to families who couldn’t afford them - and when the bubble burst, Victorville, population swollen to 115,000, fell hard and fast. In some parts of the city, the foreclosure rate in June reached one in 38 homes, according to data from RealtyTrac, a company that maintains a nationwide database of foreclosures. Statewide, one in every 248 homes was at some stage of foreclosure last month; nationally, that number jumped to one in 583 homes. State records show Victorville’s jobless rate in June was 16.8 percent - roughly twice the national rate and hundreds of desperate families flock to
the city’s main food pantry seeking out food, bus passes and help with utility bills. At the height of the housing boom, Raul Ramirez Jr. oversaw plumbing work at 120 homes in four new housing developments. He’s been unemployed four years now and has applied for more than 100 jobs with no luck. He recently began applying to US military contractors working in Iraq. “It’s really a sad thing, being where I was four years ago and being where I’m at now and I’m not the only one who’s like that,” said Ramirez, as he waited in line for free groceries and a bus pass at Samaritan’s Helping Hand food pantry. “If something doesn’t pick up soon, I don’t know if it will ever recover.” Leading Edge Aviation Services Inc., a specialty aviation company expanding rapidly at the old base, wants to be a part of the hoped-for recovery. When the company announced it had a $100 million contract to paint hundreds of commercial airliners as part of the merger between United and Continental, more than 1,200 people applied in five days, said Pete Robertson, the company’s general manager. The company’s Victorville location has more than doubled its workforce since last year and now runs two 10-hour shifts every day. The company can work on three widebodied jetliners at once in sprawling hangars that glow a blinding white in the hot desert sun. On a recent summer day, more than a dozen employees in protective suits and respirators swarmed around a 767-
300 airliner. Men in giant cherry pickers navigated along the sides of the giant plane to gently sand and buff the surface. Wings that span nearly half a football field were shrouded in plastic to protect them from paint and massive engine turbines were cloaked in brown paper with tape. Leading Edge’s expansion is welcome news, but those who work with the jobless daily don’t think the activity at the former base can pull Victorville out of its slump. Robin Schlosser, who runs the food bank, said her staff has provided assistance to 18,000 people this year and more keep coming - a reality check amid talk of a few hundred new jobs here and there. “We need to have a huge expansion in order to have that glimmer of hope,” she said. “The reality of it is, we need thousands of jobs. There’s still not enough to meet the demand for the number of people living here and we still have families moving in because of affordable housing.” For Jon Mauro, a plane-painting job at the former base has been the answer that so many of Schlosser’s customers seek. Mauro was laid off from a job laying cable after the housing market crashed and spent more than a year on the unemployment rolls. The 24-year-old now supervises letter stenciling on emergency exits, tails and other parts for Leading Edge. “I was going out every day, looking on the Internet, putting out applications anywhere I could,” Mauro said. “I hope to keep this job for a long time.” —AP
Government candidate beaten in Buenos Aires mayoral race Incumbent Macri wins run-off election in landslide
SEATTLE: A 1971 artist’s sketch released by the FBI shows the skyjacker known as ‘Dan Cooper’ and ‘D.B. Cooper’, was made from the recollections of passengers and crew of a Northwest Orient Airlines jet he hijacked between Portland and Seattle, Nov 24, 1971, Thanksgiving eve. —AP
‘Credible lead’ surfaces in D B Cooper case: FBI SEATTLE: The FBI says it has a “credible” lead in the D B Cooper case involving the 1971 hijacking of a passenger jet over Washington state and the suspect’s legendary parachute escape. The fate and identity of the hijacker dubbed “D B Cooper” has remained a mystery in the 40 years since a man jumped from a Northwest Orient Airlines 727 flight with $200,000 in ransom. The recent tip provided to the FBI came from a law enforcement member who directed investigators to a person who might have helpful information on the suspect, FBI spokeswoman Ayn Sandalo Dietrich told The Seattle Times on Sunday. She called the new information the “most promising lead we have right now,” but cautioned that investigators were not on the verge of breaking the case. “With any lead our first step is to assess how credible it is,” Sandalo Dietrich told the Seattle Post Intelligencer on Saturday. “Having this
come through another law enforcement (agency), having looked it over when we got it - it seems pretty interesting.” Dietrich says an item belonging to the man was sent to a lab in Virginia for forensic testing. She did not provide specifics about the item or the man’s identity. Federal investigators have checked more than 1,000 leads since the suspect bailed out on Nov. 24, 1971, over the Pacific Northwest. The man who jumped gave his name as Dan Cooper and claimed shortly after takeoff in Portland, Oregon, that he had a bomb, leading the flight crew to land the plane in Seattle, where passengers were exchanged for parachutes and ransom money. The flight then took off for Mexico with the suspect and flight crew on board before the man parachuted from the plane. The FBI’s recent tip in the case was first reported by The Telegraph newspaper in London. Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. — AP
BUENOS AIRES: Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri won re-election on Sunday, beating Argentine President Cristina Fernandez’s candidate by nearly 30 percentage points and raising doubts about her invincibility in an October vote. Macri won 64.3 percent of votes compared with Peronist senator Daniel Filmus’s 35.7 percent, official results showed. This meant support for the center-right leader rose more than 3 percentage points from 2007, when the two men first faced off. Filmus’s defeat was largely expected in a capital city where anti-Peronist feeling runs deep. But this result combined with a stinging setback in a key provincial election last weekend could hurt Fernandez’s chances of re-election on Oct. 23, which had been viewed as a foregone conclusion due to her wide lead in polls. “This doesn’t change the scenario substantially ... in 2007 (the ruling party suffered) a series of electoral defeats and Cristina Fernandez went on to win with 46 percent of votes,” political analyst Graciela Romer told local television. “There is an idea taking hold, however, that it’s not so clear a Fernandez victory is inevitable,” Romer said. Filmus’s performance gives a sense of how Fernandez may fare in the capital during an upcoming nationwide primary and again in October, when she must garner at least 40 percent of the vote to win in the first round. Filmus told supporters he took “personal responsibility” for the defeat and vowed to analyze what went wrong. Interior Minister Florencio Randazzo chalked up the center-left government’s defeat in Buenos Aires to the traditionally anti-Peronist electorate. Macri-a millionaire who used to run the nation’s best-known soccer club, Boca Juniorsplanned to run for president but dropped out
BUENOS AIRES: Buenos Aires’ Mayor Mauricio Macri, left, and his running mate Maria Eugenia Vidal sing with supporters at their headquarters in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sunday. —AP
of the race in May to ensure his party kept control over city government. He told supporters he hoped to meet with all the presidential contenders-including Fernandez-but said his party would not necessarily back any of them. Opposition to Fernandez has been fragmented, helping her re-election prospects. Under Argentina’s electoral system, candidates can win the presidency in the first round with 40 percent of votes as long as their nearest rival trails by at least 10 percentage points. Support above 45 percent guarantees a first-round victory. Last weekend in Santa Fe province, a farming bastion, the government’s candidate came in an unexpectedly distant third in the
Children of terrorist victims bond at summer camp MIDDLEBURG: Jason Vadhan didn’t know anyone when he arrived at a summer camp for young people who, like him, have lost a loved one in a terrorist attack. But it didn’t take long for him to form profound relationships. Vadhan, whose grandmother was on United Flight 93, is one of the 77 participants in Project Common Bond, a summer camp that brings together relatives of 9/11 victims as well as youths from around the world who have been scarred by terrorism. When the 18-year-old Vadhan, of Atlantic Beach, NY, finished a roundtable and interviews with reporters last week, other campers gathered in an adjoining room and burst into applause when he walked in. “I came here not knowing one person,” Vadhan said, “and when that door opened and there were people cheering for us, I walked right up to a kid I met three days ago, and I gave him a hug and I cried.” Project Common Bond is organized by Tuesday’s Children, a nonprofit dedicated to serving the families of 9/11 victims. But the camp has, over the years, taken on a more international focus. This year’s eight-day camp - held on the campus of a girls’ private school about 40 miles west of Washington - included participants from eight countries, including, for the first time, Russia and Sri Lanka. Many of the campers, who range in age from 15 to 20, return each year for the friendships, the sense of community and the shared experiences. Their lives are shaped by extraordinary events, but at Project Common Bond, they feel normal. “It’s so simple here,” said Julie Griffin, 19, whose father was killed on
Sept. 11. “Everybody just gets it.” Losing a relative to terrorism is different because the tragedy plays out in public, said Fran Furman, director of counseling at Tuesday’s Children. “You’re unique in a way that you didn’t choose to be unique,” Furman said. “It’s very, very difficult to feel like you can connect and bond with other teens.” Yet at the camps, close relationships form instantaneously. “There’s that deep connection,” said Caitin Leavey, 20, whose father, a firefighter, died while responding to the World Trade Center attack. “One of my friends doesn’t speak English, and I’m still able to communicate with her and make a lasting friend-
ship. I think that’s amazing.” In the mornings, campers attend classes and group discussions on peacemaking and conflict resolution. This year’s theme was dignity: how terrorists took it away; how they can reclaim it; and how they can encourage it in others. Some have even chosen conflict resolution as a college major or career path based on their camp experiences. “I wanted to turn my tragedy into something positive,” said Leavey, who’s majoring in peace and conflict studies at New York University and wears a necklace with the name of her father’s fire company, Ladder 15. Afternoons at the camp are all about fun, with sports, dra-
MIDDLEBURG: From left, Caitlin Leavey of New York, Farrah Sarrawi of Palestine, Francesca Picerno of the US, and Allison Stahlman, are applauded during Project Common Bond on the Foxcroft School campus in Middleburg, Va., Wednesday. —AP
ma, music, art and dance. Mijal Tenenbaum wasn’t sure fun would be part of the experience when she attended last year’s camp in Belfast, Northern Ireland. “I thought it would be weird, that we would be here and be awkward all the time because there would be this big elephant in the room that we would not talk about,” said Tenenbaum, a 17year-old from Argentina whose father was killed in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. But when she arrived, she said, “it felt amazing.” Another gathering for children of 9/11 victims, called America’s Camp, will be held in two weeks in Hinsdale, Mass. But Project Common Bond is the only one with international participants. The 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 has not been a major focus of this year’s camp, although a few campers are painting a mailbox that will be installed at the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero, serving as a symbolic receptacle for messages of peace from around the world. The killing of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, on the other hand, has come up frequently. The responses have been wide-ranging, said Monica Meehan McNamara, a family therapist and scholar who designs the curriculum for the camp. Some said they were happy and wanted to celebrate, while others argued another killing wouldn’t solve anything. Marie Clyne, 21, a camp counselor from Lindenhurst, NY , whose mother was killed on Sept. 11, said she felt more relief than joy. “It was kind of like, ‘Finally, the bad guy is gone,’” she said. But, she added, “I see both sides.” Sometimes the campers are forced to abandon their preconceptions. — AP
gubernatorial race and the candidate representing Macri’s PRO party made a strong second-place showing. Voters will cast their ballots in Cordoba province next weekend, the last election before the Aug. 14 primaries, which are viewed as a dress rehearsal for October since no party is fielding more than one presidential candidate. Santa Fe, Cordoba and the city of Buenos Aires are home to almost a quarter of Argentina’s 40 million people. “These results have changed the political climate. But we have to wait until August 14th to analyze the vote in a nationwide context,” said Fabian Perechodnik of Poliarquia political consultancy.— Reuters
United DC-Cancun flight diverted to Cuba by odor HAVANA : A United Airlines jetliner carrying 135 passengers from Washington to a Mexican beach resort made an unplanned landing in Cuba on Sunday after a strange odor was detected on board. United Airlines Flight 831 left Dulles airport in the morning and was bound for Cancun but instead diverted to Havana around noon after “the crew noticed an unfamiliar smell in the cabin,” airline spokesman Charles Hobart said in a statement. “In an abundance of caution, the pilots decided to land the aircraft at the nearest available airport,” he said. “The plane landed routinely and safely in Havana and we are working to re-accommodate our customers.” Gloria Berbena, a spokeswoman for the US Interests Section, which Washington maintains in Havana instead of an embassy since the two nations do not have full diplomatic relations, said a second plane arrived from the United States later Sunday and flew out with the passengers. Berbena did not know whether they continued to Cancun or returned to the United States, or whether the original aircraft was still in Cuba. US diplomats on the island were in close contact with their Cuban counterparts on the matter, she said. Cuban airport and government officials contacted by The Associated Press had no immediate comment. “We have nothing to inform,” said an operator who answered the phone at the airport. No United aircraft could be seen Sunday evening from roads around the airport. Although the United States and Cuba are bitter Cold War foes, Cuba has a tradition of hospitality and is a signatory to international aviation accords. On the day of the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington, Havana offered to let the United States use its landing fields because US airports were in a state of chaos. Washington did not take Cuba up on the offer. There are frequent charter flights back and forth between the two countries and a terminal in Havana is dedicated to receiving planes from the United States. —AP
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Sri Lanka says civilian war deaths unavoidable COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s government yesterday acknowledged for the first time civilian casualties occurred in the final phase of its 26-year civil war against Tamil Tiger rebels but calls those deaths unavoidable. A Defense Ministry report said “it was impossible” to avoid civilian deaths despite the military’s best efforts, given the magnitude of the fighting and ruthlessness of the opponent. The government had so far maintained that non-combatants were not among the war dead
because it adhered to a “zero civilian casualty policy.” The report analyzes the events of the war and denies allegations of human rights violations and prisoner executions by Sri Lankan troops during the hostilities. The war ended in May 2009 after a final offensive in which tens of thousands of people were killed in just a few months, according to estimates by a United Nations experts panel. “The government of Sri Lanka made every effort to protect
civilians in the conflict zone through the creation of safe corridors and no-fire zones by adhering to a zero civilian casualty policy that had been conveyed to all troops through repeated training and operational orders,” the report said. “Despite the clear intent of the government of Sri Lanka and the numerous precautions taken, it was impossible in the battle of this magnitude, against a ruthless opponent actively endangering civilians, for civilian casualties to be avoided.”
The report did not say how many civilians may have been killed. It comes against the backdrop of a UN panel reporting earlier this year that it has found credible allegations of serious human rights violations involving both the government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels, some of which could amount to war crimes. It called for an independent international investigation. Also, Britain’s Channel 4 television has aired video clips allegedly taken by soldiers on the front that purports to show
blindfolded prisoners, some stripped naked, being shot at close range and bodies of naked women being loaded into a tractor trailer. Allegations listed by the UN panel against Sri Lankan forces included deliberate shelling of civilians and hospitals, blocking food and medicine to those trapped in the war zone and deliberately undercounting the number of civilians who were under rebel control. Tamil Tigers were accused of holding civilians as human
shields, killing those trying to escape their grip and conscripting child soldiers. Sri Lanka’s powerful Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa accused the defeated Tamil Tigers and members of a strong Tamil expatriate community of spreading the allegations to discredit the country. “They make various allegation on the conduct of the humanitarian operation, which have unfortunately been given far too much attention. These allegations are quite absurd,” said Rajapaksa. —AP
Muslim militants blamed for attack in Xinjiang Suspects confess ringleaders received training in Pakistan BEIJING: China said yesterday that Islamic militants had mounted an attack that left 11 people dead in the restive western region of Xinjiang, which announced a crackdown on “illegal” religious activities at the start of the Muslim fasting month. The attack in Kashgar city on Sunday afternoon was the latest violence to rattle the region where Muslim Uighurs have long resented the presence of Han Chinese and religious and political controls imposed by Beijing. It came less than 24 hours after two small blasts hit the city, which is dominated by Uighurs. “The malign intention behind this violent terror was to sabotage interethnic unity and harm social stability, provoking ethnic hatred and creating ethnic conflict,” the Kashgar government said on its website (www.xjks.gov.cn). Captured suspects confessed that
owner and a waiter, and then ran onto the street and hacked to death four people, Xinhua news agency reported. The Chinese-language Global Times newspaper said all the suspected attackers were Uighur. For the ruling Communist Party, the bloodshed presents a tricky test of its control in Xinjiang, where Uighur and Han Chinese residents
programme to raze homes in traditional Uighur neighborhoods and relocate them to housing under firmer official control. The top Communist Party official in Xinjiang, Zhang Chunxian, announced a crackdown on religious extremism and vowed harsh punishment for those found guilty of attacks, according to the region’s official news website
XINJIANG: Chinese police officers stand guard near the site of Sunday’s attack in Kashgar in China’s far-western Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region yesterday.—AP their ringleaders had earlier fled to Pakistan and joined the separatist “East Turkestan Islamic Movement”, and received training in making firearms and explosives before infiltrating back into China, the Kashgar government said. “The members of this group all adhere to extremist religious ideas and adamantly support Jihad,” said the statement, referring to the Arabic term for struggle used by advocates of militant Islam to describe their cause. Police shot dead five people and arrested four others after they stormed a restaurant, set in on fire after killing the
view each other with suspicion. (For more on the issues see .) Beijing has been wary of contagion from uprisings across the Arab world inspiring challenges to Party power in China. “I think it’s a testament to how tense the region remains, and the fact that you have increased polarization between ethnic groups,” said Nicholas Bequelin, a researcher on China for Human Rights Watch, a New York-based advocacy group. “There’s a lot of pent-up anger and resentment of Chinese policies in Kashgar,” added Bequelin, noting a controversial
(www.tianshannet.com). “(We will) resolutely attack religious extremist forces and effectively curb illegal religious activities,” Zhang said. Kashgar city lies in Xinjiang’s south and has a population of some 600,000 people, about four fifths of them Uighur, according to the government. The city is divided between Uighur and Han Chinese areas, and many residents depend on tourism for their livelihoods. China sees Xinjiang as strategically vital, and Beijing has shown no sign of loosening its grip on the territory, which accounts for a sixth of the coun-
try’s land mass and holds deposits of oil and gas. In July 2009, the regional capital, Urumqi, was rocked by violence between majority Han Chinese and minority Uighurs that killed nearly 200 people, many of them Han Chinese. Uighurs are a Turkic-speaking people who have usually not embraced stricter forms of Islam, but in recent years religious traditionalism has made inroads. Critics of Chinese policy in Xinjiang and advocates of Uighur self-rule say that Beijing has exaggerated the influence of terror groups, and its tough policies have deepened Uighur anger by smothering avenues for peaceful protest. Bequelin, the human rights researcher, said he was skeptical about Chinese suggestions that the “East Turkestan Islamic Movement” (ETIM) was behind the attack. “It’s now an umbrella term used by China for any kind of Uighur separatist or anti-state activity,” Bequelin said of ETIM, which was designated as a terrorist organisation by the United States in 2002. Earlier on Sunday, Chinese media reported that two men wielding knives attacked a truck driver and then a crowd of people following two explosions in Kashgar on Saturday night, leaving eight people dead including one of the attackers. Eighteen people including 14 “rioters” were killed in an attack on a police station in Xinjiang on July 18, according to the government. In July 2009, Xinjiang was hit by a public backlash from Han Chinese residents of the regional capital Urumqi, who said officials acted too slowly to quell bloody rioting by Uighurs after police broke up a protest by Uighur students. The latest attack also brought calls on the Chinese Internet for a harsh response. “Our hope rests in policymakers completely cutting through entangling shackles, our hope rests with the military,” said one comment about the assault on Sina’s popular Weibo microblogging site (http://weibo.com).— Reuters
SEOUL: A South Korean woman (C) holds up papers showing portraits of four lawmakers from Japan’s conservative Liberal Democratic Party as policemen stand guard in front of the arrival gate at Gimpo airport in Seoul yesterday ahead of the arrival of three lawmakers. —AFP
Japan lawmakers refuse to quit S Korea in islands row SEOUL: Three Japanese lawmakers pushing their country’s claim to disputed islands were denied entry to South Korea yesterday but are refusing to fly home from a Seoul airport, the justice ministry said. Immigration officials stopped the three members of Japan’s conservative opposition Liberal Democratic Party when they arrived at Gimpo airport yesterday morning. “They have been refusing for hours to leave,” a ministry spokesman told AFP. “We should try to persuade them voluntarily to go back. I’m not sure if we could forcibly take them to an airplane.” The foreign ministry said it would not intervene in the stand-off. “We have no plan to reach out...they’ll go back when they think they can no longer stick around,” a spokesman said. The three had planned to visit Ulleung island, the closest South Korean territory to the uninhabited Dokdo islands in the Sea of Japan (East Sea), which are known in Japan as Takeshima. A fourth lawmaker who had intended to join them cancelled his trip but Yoshitaka Shindo and two others went ahead. Hundreds of activists protest at Gimpo, waving banners asserting South Korea’s ownership of the islands and burning photos of the lawmakers. Some banners read “Stop Japan!” or “You die!” Other protesters carried a coffin plastered with photos of the lawmakers, amid tight security. Shindo, the grandson of a general in the imperial Japanese army, has said in a video message on his website that “South Korea has illegally and militarily occupied part of what is undoubtedly our territory”. “We don’t intend to fight
Philippine troops repel rebel attack, 12 dead
4 dead in separatist unrest in Indonesia ABEPURA: Suspected separatist rebels killed four people including an army officer in Indonesia’s restive Papua province yesterday, the first such attack in almost four months, police said. The unidentified attackers blocked a road near the provincial capital Jayapura, opened fire on passing vehicles and then attacked the shocked passengers with machetes, police said. An army officer and three others were killed, while seven were injured, Papua provincial police spokesman Wachyono told reporters. “According to intelligence information, the Morning Star flag was found thrust into the ground by the roadside,” he added, referring to the outlawed flag of Papuan independence. Jayapura police chief Imam Setiawan said authorities suspected the pre-dawn attack was the work of the rebel Free Papua Movement (OPM), which has been fighting for independence for decades. But Papuan Customary Council chairman Forkorus Yaboisembut, a community leader, said he believed the police or military were responsible. “This is the work of some other group that seeks to discredit the OPM. I suspect the police or military could be behind this,” he told AFP. The attack came a day after election-related
mayhem left 17 people dead in Puncak district, hundreds of kilometers (miles) southwest of Jayapura. Police said the two incidents were not related. Armed with machetes, rocks and arrows, mobs of people affiliated to rival candidates for the job of district chief clashed in the remote town of Illaga, local police chief Alex Korwa said. “We’ve deployed dozens of police and military to secure the area. The situation is tense but under control,” he said, adding that investigations were ongoing. The recently created district, which is only accessible by plane, is scheduled to hold its first local elections on November 9. The ambush near Jayapura was the first of its kind since April, when two people were killed and two were injured in separate incidents involving vehicles belonging to US mining giant Freeport McMoRan. An Australian employee of Freeport and a local security guard were shot dead in July 2009 on a road near the company’s operations in Mimika district. The Freeport mine sits on some of the world’s richest gold reserves and is the largest single taxpayer to the Indonesian government. It has also paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to military and police officers in Papua. —AFP
there. We want to express our feeling of anger to the South Korean people,” he said. The two other lawmakers are Tomomi Inada, a former lawyer who denies the 1937 Nanjing massacre by Japanese troops in China, and Masahisa Sato, a former member of the military who headed a Japanese reconstruction mission to Iraq in 2004. Speaking to reporters at the airport, Shindo reiterated his country’s claim that Dokdo belongs to Japan. “However, we must discuss this issue as there is a difference in opinion between Japan and South Korea,” Yonhap news agency quoted him as saying. “If our entry is denied, we will visit once again,” he added, saying that the entry ban might evolve into a diplomatic row between the nations. The latest row began when flag carrier Korean Air mounted a test flight of its new A380 aircraft over Dokdo in June. Tokyo in response ordered public servants not to use Korean Air for a month. South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak last week ordered officials to advise Tokyo that Seoul “cannot guarantee the lawmakers’ safety” and to urge them to cancel the visit. Older South Koreans still have bitter memories of Japan’s harsh colonial rule over Korea from 1910-45. Seoul says it regained control over all of its territory, including Dokdo, at the end of the colonial period. It posts a small coastguard force on Dokdo and has sought to strengthen its control over the islets after Tokyo in March authorised new school textbooks reasserting its claims to them. North Korea, in rare agreement with Seoul, has denounced the lawmakers’ planned trip. —AFP
JAKARTA: Indonesian Muslim men nap during the first day of the holy fasting month of Ramadan at Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia yesterday. —AP
N Korea storm, rains kill dozens SEOUL: A storm and heavy rains in North Korea over the last two months have left dozens of people dead, injured or missing, while thousands more are homeless, state media said yesterday. The impoverished communist state was hit by a tropical storm in June and heavy rains last month which together destroyed 2,900 homes, leaving about 8,000 people with nowhere to live, the official Korean Central News Agency said. The rains flooded farmland, raising concerns about this year’s grain production. Strong winds and floods also toppled 300
electricity poles and 8,400 roadside trees while 170 public buildings and factories collapsed, the agency said. North Korea has relied heavily on international aid to feed its 24 million people since natural disasters and mismanagement devastated its economy in the mid 1990s. Pyongyang has stepped up appeals for food aid this year. After decades of deforestation to create land for arable farming and provide firewood, the impoverished North is particularly vulnerable to flooding. In 2007 it reported at least 600 dead or missing after it was hit by devastating floods. —AFP
MANILA: Philippine soldiers repulsed a Maoist rebel attack in a remote village on a restive southern island, killing a dozen guerrillas, in the latest incident in an upsurge of rebel activities in the last month, an army spokesman said yesterday. The guerrillas stepped up activities as government and rebel peace negotiators prepare to resume negotiations in Oslo late this month in search of a political deal to end 40 years of rebellion that has killed 40,000 people and scare off investors. A member of a local militia unit was also killed when about 100 New People’s Army (NPA) rebels descended on Sunday in Agusan del Sur province on the southern island of Mindanao, Major Eugenio Osias said. “They were foraging for food and were forcing residents to join the rebel movement. But a handful of militiamen put up a fight, engaging the guerrillas in an hour-long battle,” Osias told reporters. Troops, backed by helicopters, reinforced the militiamen, forcing the Maoist rebels to withdraw. Soldiers found at least a dozen bodies in the village. The rebel attack came two days after police officers foiled an attempt by about 200 guerrillas to stormed a police station in another part of Agusan province. Soldiers had also rushed to reinforce the police officers. Active in nearly all of the country’s 80 provinces, NPA rebels have stepped up guerrilla activities in rural communities in the Philippines, targeting mines, farms, timber and other businesses to raise funds. Poor security is cited as one of the reasons why the potentially lucrative mining sector-the Philippines has an estimated $1 trillion of mineral wealth-has failed to develop. The NPA has been fighting for the overthrow of the central government for more than four decades. Peace talks resumed earlier this year after a break of more than six years, but ending the conflict remained elusive.— Reuters
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TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2011
TUNIS: Tunisian shoppers browse through vegetables displayed on the first day of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan at a central market in Tunis yesterday. Throughout the month of Ramadan devout Muslims must abstain from food, drink and sex from dawn until sunset when they break the fast with the Iftar meal. — AFP
Purpose of fasting Continued from Page 1 Likewise, you will call that person also mad who soon after taking the food vomits it by thrusting his ﬁngers into his throat then complains that the beneﬁts said to accrue from taking food have not been availed of by him and that, contrarily, he is daily getting lean and is on the verge of death. This fool blames the food for his growing weakness little realizing that it is due to his own stupidity. He imagined, due to his intellectual deﬁciency, that life vitality could be got by fulﬁlling those requirements which constitute the act of eating. As such, he thought why should he sustain the load of food in his stomach? “Why not throw it out so that the stomach may become light? I have already fulﬁlled the requirements of eating”, he surmises, Naturally he has himself to suﬀer the penalty of harboring such a foolish idea and then implementing it also. He ought to have known that until the bread gets digested after entering the stomach and having transformed into blood, is diffused into the whole body the vitality of life cannot be obtained. Although outward actions are also necessary, because without them the bread cannot reach the stomach, yet the object cannot be achieved by merely fulﬁlling the outward actions. There is no magic in these actions that by merely fulﬁlling them, blood starts running in a wizardly manner in the veins of a man. Blood will be obviously produced according to the law prescribed by Allah. If you break it, you will kill yourself by your own hands. If you ponder over the example I have just placed before you in detail, you can understand why your “Ibadat” have become ineﬃcacious today. As I have already pointed out repeatedly, the greatest mistake of all is to regard the acts of Salah and fasting and their outward shape as real ‘’Ibadat’ and you suﬀer from the delusion that whoever fulﬁlled these requirements performed the “Ibadat” of Allah. You are just like that person who thinks that performance of four acts, i.e. making the morsel, putting it in the mouth, masticating it and pushing it below the throat makes up the process of eating, and that whoever did these four things has eaten the food and so should receive the beneﬁts of eating irrespective of whether he pushed down in his stomach mud and stone, or vomited the bread soon after eating it. If you have a little sense then tell me how a man who is fasting and is thus engaged in the ‘’Ibadat’ of Allah from morning till evening, can in the midst of that ‘’Ibadat’ utter a lie and indulge in backbiting? Why does he quarrel at the slightest pretext and utter abuses from his mouth? How dare he encroach on other people’s rights? How does he indulge in acquiring illicit money and giving money to others illicitly? And having done all these thing, he still thinks that he has performed ‘’Ibadat’ of Allah? Does this not resemble the work of that person who eats cinder and mud and thinks that by merely completing the four requirements of eating he has actually done the job of eating. Freedom from restrictions Then tell me how is it that when you are relieved after doing Allah’s ‘’Ibadat’ for about 360 hours throughout Ramadan all the eﬀect of this whole exercise in piety disappears on the 1st of Shawwal? You do during the ‘’Eid’ days all that Hindus do in their festivals, so much so that in the cities even adultery, wine-drinking and gambling are resorted to on ‘’Eid’ day. And I have seen some wretched people who keep fast during the day and drink wine and commit adultery in the night. The general Muslims, by the grace of Allah, are not degenerated to that extent but after the end of Ramadan how many of you are there who retain some eﬀects of piety and virtuousness on the second day of ‘’Eid’ also? Which law of Allah is left un-violated? What part of your time is devoted to good deeds, and how much is selﬁshness reduced? Result wrong conception of ‘’Ibadat’ Think and ponder as to what after all can be the rea-
son for this? I assure you that its only reason is that the very meaning and purport of ‘’Ibadat’ has become twisted in your mind. You think that mere abstention from eating and drinking throughout the day is called fasting and that this alone is ‘’Ibadat’. Therefore you observe it meticulously. You feel the fear of Allah to that extent that you avoid every transgression which even slightly endangers the break-up of the fast so much so that even if the life is at stake, you are not prepared to break the fast. But you do not know that being merely hungry and thirsty is not real ‘’Ibadat’ but only a form of it. And the purpose of prescribing this form is to create in you the fear of Allah and love of Allah, and thereby develop in you so much strength that by repressing yourself, you are enabled to avoid the seemingly proﬁtable things but which actually displease Allah, while, on the other hand, by controlling yourself you make yourself agreeable to those things which possibly entail risks and losses but deﬁnitely please Allah. This strength can be developed only when you understand the purpose of fasting and make use of the practice you have gone through for curbing the corporeal urges, under fear of Allah and love for Allah, and them making these urges work according to the pleasure of Allah. But soon after Ramadan you throw to the winds this practice as well as the virtues acquired from if just as a man after taking food vomits it by thrusting his ﬁngers into his throat. In fact, some of you spew the virtuousness of the whole day soon after breaking the fast. Now you yourself decide, is there in Ramadan and fasting a magic that by mere completing their outward shape you can acquire that strength which in reality should emanate from genuine fasting? Just as physical strength cannot be obtained from the bread until it is digested after entering the stomach and until it is transformed into blood and penetrates every vein in the same way spiritual power cannot be obtained from fasting until the person who keeps fast does not fully comprehend the purpose of fasting and allows it to permeate his heart and mind and dominate his thought, motive intention and deed. Source of becoming pious This is why Allah said after ordaining fasting: “La’allakum tattaqoon” i.e. fasting is made obligatory on you, may be you become pious and virtuous. It is not said that you will certainly become pious and virtuous because this outcome of fasting depends on the perception and intention of the man concerned. Whoever will understand its purpose and will try through it to achieve its objective, will become pious to the desired extent, but one who will not comprehend its purpose and will not even try to get at if, cannot hope to gain anything out of it. Abstention from Lying Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, has drawn attention in various ways towards the real aim of fasting and has explained that to be hungry and thirsty without keeping in view the objective is in no way useful. He said: “Whoever did not give up lying and practicing falsehood, Allah is in no need of his giving up food and water”. In another Hadith he said: “Many are the fasters whose fasting does not bring them anything except hunger and thirst and many are those who keep standing in the night but their standing does not bring anything except being awake in the night”. The purpose of both these Hadiths is quite plain. It means that being merely hungry and thirsty is not by itself ‘’Ibadat’ but an instrument of performing real ‘’Ibadat’. And real ‘’Ibadat’ consists in not violating the law of Allah for fear of Allah, and for the love of Allah an eager pursuit of every such work as would please Him, and lastly avoidance of satisfying corporeal urges as far as possible. Whoever remained heedless of this real ‘’Ibadat’, unnecessarily caused inconvenience to his stomach with hunger and thirst. Why should Allah need to make him merely give up food and water for twelve to fourteen hours? — www.zawaj.com
Syrians mark bleak Ramadan; 136 dead AMMAN: Syrians began the Muslim Ramadan fast in somber mood yesterday after troops stormed Hama, scene of a 1982 massacre, in one of the bloodiest days of a ﬁve-monthold uprising against President Bashar Al-Assad. Rights activists said 136 civilians were killed in Sunday’s tank-backed assault on the central Syrian city where Assad’s father crushed an armed Muslim Brotherhood revolt 29 years ago by razing neighborhoods and killing many thousands of people. Tanks shelled a northeastern district of Hama yesterday, killing at least four civilians, two residents said. German Chancellor Angela Merkel joined an international outcry over the violence. “Chancellor Merkel condemns in the strongest of terms
the Syrian government’s action against its own civilian population,” government spokesman Christoph Steegmans said. “(She) explicitly urges President Assad to halt the violence against his own people immediately,” he added. Security forces, dominated by Assad’s minority Alawite sect, had besieged the Sunni Muslim city of 700,000 for nearly a month before Sunday’s crackdown on the eve of Ramadan, a holy month when Muslims fast in daylight hours. Many people ﬂock to mosque prayers at night, occasions which protesters may use to launch more frequent protests. In a letter to the military, Assad reiterated that Syria was facing a foreign conspiracy to sow sectarian
strife designed to “tear Syria into small statelets that compete to satisfy those who worked to slice them up”. “All of Syria’s honorable people are sure that we will emerge stronger from the crisis,” Assad said. “They wanted to wreak sectarian strife that destroys everything. We managed to prevent sectarian strife and examine ourselves to ﬁnd out the errors and treat them.” The 1982 Hama massacre instilled such fear that few Syrians were ready to challenge Assad family rule openly until this year, when many were inspired by the largely peaceful popular uprisings that toppled Arab autocrats in Egypt and Tunisia. The Muslim Brotherhood accused the Alawite elite of waging sectarian warfare on Sunnis by attacking Hama. — Agencies
Obama unfurls 11th-hour deal WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama announced an 11th-hour deal with Congress to avert an unprecedented default on US debt payments, triggering a widespread rally on stock markets yesterday and sighs of relief around the world. With just two days left before the United States would run short of cash, Obama and his Republican foes said late Sunday after round-the-clock negotiations that they had reached a framework for more than $2.4 trillion in spending cuts. “I want to announce that the leaders of both parties in both chambers have reached an agreement that will reduce the deﬁcit and avoid default, a default that would have had a devastating eﬀect on our economy,” Obama said. “This process has been messy; it’s taken far too long,” Obama told a hastily convened evening press conference. “Nevertheless, ultimately, the leaders of both parties have found their way toward compromise.” But the package still needs approval from Congress, which could vote as early as yesterday. Leaders of the Democratic-held Senate and Republican-led House of Representatives were working to rally polarized lawmakers. “To pass this settlement, we’ll need the support of Democrats
and Republicans in both the House and Senate. There is no way either party-in either chamber-can do this alone,” said Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. House Speaker John Boehner called the plan a remedy to avert “a job-killing national default that none of us wanted.” But the plan faces opposition both from the conservative “Tea Party” movement, which favors sweeping spending cuts, and liberal Democrats who want taxes on the wealthy before any thought of cutting social welfare programs. As described by Obama and congressional leaders, the deal would raise the country’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling by at least $2.1 trillion. It would also make more than $2.4 trillion in spending cuts in two steps, including through a special new committee required to submit proposals by November 23. Asian and European stock markets cheered the deal. Tokyo closed 1.34 percent higher, Sydney gained 1.65 percent and Seoul rose 1.83 percent while Hong Kong was up 1.53 percent by the break. The dollar also strengthened against the yen. In early morning trading, London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index climbed 1.08 percent to 5,877.97 points, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 grew 0.61 percent to 7,203.64 points and in Paris the CAC 40 gained 0.80 percent to 3,701.13. — AFP
‘Qaeda Lady’ faces trial RIYADH: A Saudi court opened the trial of the “AlQaeda Lady,” the first woman in the k ingdom accused of involvement in terrorist activities, local media reported yesterday. The specialized criminal court has began the trial of “a woman accused of joining Al-Qaeda, sheltering wanted elements and recruiting members of the terrorist Al-Qaeda network,” reported Al-Madina newspaper. The woman, who was not identified, is also accused of “financing terror and possessing weapons to use them in terrorist crimes,” the daily said.
At her family’s request, the trial would take place in private and without media presence, it added. Another local daily, Okaz, said the woman, identified only as the “Al-Qaeda Lady,” is 45 years old and was arrested last year in Buraidah, Qassim’s provincial capital. In June 2010, Saeed Al-Shihri, a prominent Saudi leader of Al-Qaeda’s franchise in Yemen, urged supporters in Saudi Arabia to kidnap Christians and Saudi princes to press for the release of a female militant nabbed north of Riyadh whom he identified as Heila Al-Qsayer. — AFP
Kuwait seeks bids for national carrier stake Continued from Page 1 Kuwait Airways, which currently has 17 planes, last year, appointed Citigroup Inc, auditors Ernst & Young and aviation consulting ﬁrm Seabury to handle the privatization. Kuwait’s parliament approved a plan in 2008 under which the government will sell 40 percent of the airline to the public and 35 percent to a long-term investor. “I don’t see this as a good ﬁt for any of the regional airlines Like Emirates,
Etihad or Qatar Airways as they are international players,” said a Dubai-based banker. “There will be a process of due diligence and I think the airline will still be seen as more of a problem. Costs will be looked at and I don’t see it being much value to investment ﬁrms.” Kuwait, the world’s fourth largest oil exporter, is on a drive to boost its private sector and become a regional ﬁnancial centre. Its economy is largely dependent on oil revenues and driven by government spending. — Agencies
TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2011
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Deal helps dodge US default, but not downgrade deal to raise the US debt ceiling will ensure the world’s largest economy doesn’t default, but analysts were skeptical yesterday whether it will be enough to avoid a damaging ratings downgrade. While attention has been mostly focused on the tortuous political negotiations to reach a deal before the US government faced a cash crunch on Wednesday, the country’s top AAA debt rating may also be in jeopardy. A debt default would have severe consequences for the US and global economy, but a downgrade of its sovereign rating may also lead to a painful spike in borrowing costs for both Washington and Americans overall. US President Barack Obama announced late Sunday an 11th-hour deal to avert a default by raising the country’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling by about $2.4 trillion. The deal, which was expected to be approved by lawmakers as early as Monday, also calls for roughly the same amount in spending cuts over 10 years. “While such a deal will avert a government shutdown and debt default (at least for this year), it will almost certainly not prevent the US from losing its AAA credit rating,” Capital Economic’s Paul Dales wrote in a market comment. Standard & Poor’s warned last month that it would downgrade Washington unless it adopted a credible plan to reduce the debt and long-term deficit levels. The ratings agency had indicated $4 trillion in spending cuts would likely be sufficient to avoid a downgrade. The current deal leaves most of the cuts to be identified by lawmakers later, and most would not kick in for several years in order to avoid dragging down the weak US economy. “The deal should avert a government shut-down and the resulting significant but short-term ratings downgrade,” wrote Berenberg Bank economist Holger Schmieding. He noted however that the deal may fall short of Standard & Poor’s demands. “The US thus still faces some risk of a downgrade from S&P and may possibly be put on negative outlook by Moody’s,” he added. Ratings agency Moody’s said last week that it believed the United States would likely continue servicing its debt and keep its coveted AAA rating, but could get hit with a “negative outlook” under which it would review Washington’s rating for a possible downgrade. “While the above agreement represents progress, in our view it is certainly not a game changing breakthrough, and will keep the possibility of a near-term rating downgrade alive,” wrote Barclays Capital analysts. “It represents, in our view, just a band-aid approach on the way to more sustainable public finances.” Barclays Capital said its analysis showed the US needs $4 trillion in savings to stabilize its debt level at 75-80% of GDP over a decade. It noted that a decision on a ratings downgrade may be pushed back to the final quarter of the year when it becomes clear whether unspecified cuts will really be implemented. Analysts noted that the cuts, while huge in nominal terms, are modest when spread out over 10 years and are compared to the size of the US economy. Schmieding estimated they account for no more than 0.2 percent of GDP in the first year. Barclays Capital warned that much of the savings in the deal would be wiped out if the US economy fails to muster strong growth. The US economy recorded 1.3 percent growth in the second quarter, after 0.4 percent in the first. They said a one-notch downgrade would probably result in manageable near-term risks, but could result in substantial long-term effects including increased borrowing costs. However Capital Economics’ Paul Dales wrote that despite a ratings downgrade the yield on 10-year US Treasury bonds would likely fall to 2.5 percent by the end of this year. “As we have pointed out many times over the last few weeks, while we believe that a rating downgrade is justified, we don’t think it will be a disaster for the Treasury market or the dollar,” wrote Dales.— AFP
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Politics twists oil’s route from well to gas tank By Alejandro Barbajosa olitics has long skewed oil supply lines, but this year’s confluence of events has bent the route from the well to the gas tank so far out of shape that West African oil is going to a refiner in Taiwan to make diesel for Brazilian truckers. It is politics that has sent Siberian oil on its way to Peru in a hitherto unchartered trade route, and made it profitable for Belgian chocolatiers to run vans with Indian-processed Colombian oil. Markets are stretching to re-allocate supplies in the wake of four major events this year: Libya’s civil war, rising Saudi output, the release of emergency oil stockpiles coordinated by the International Energy Agency and a payments dispute between India and Iran. “Geopolitical events have triggered crazy distortions of oil flows at a global level,” said Tony Nunan, a risk manager with Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Corp., who joined the company in 1987. “The IEA release caused a secondary tsunami of unintended crude flows. In my career, I haven’t seen anything like this.” Oil markets are withstanding the most enduring supply shock since the 2003 Iraq War, the loss of 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) of Libyan oil exports, while absorbing the release of IEA oil. Most of the crude in the release was sold in the United States, displacing its more usual imports. US crude imports from West Africa that would have amounted to
about 19 million barrels in August have been re-routed, Reuters calculations show, virtually halting shipments of Nigerian and Angolan crude to North America. Europe will receive as much as 40 million barrels of crude from West Africa in August, up from about 28 million in July. West African crude flows to Asia are also increasing after a the IEA release improved arbitrage economics. “The increasingly active involvement by consumer governments has deepened the politicization of the oil market,” said London-based Barclays Capital oil analyst Amrita Sen. “With the unrest in the Middle East and North Africa region this year proving to be a watershed of sorts, geopolitics is likely to play an even more important role in shaping the future of oil markets in the coming years.” This means long-standing arbitrage strategies may be at risk and new ones are being formed, while producers, refiners and consumers must cope with growing market swings. Oil price volatility in the second quarter surged to its highest level in more than two years. Five large cargoes of Iraqi Basra Light crude, an unaccustomed guest in Europe, are heading to the continent in a rare development triggered by the a IEA oil stocks release and a strengthening of Russian crude values. FOUR CONTINENTS The increase in U.S. shale oil production feeding into the landlocked Cushing
hub in Oklahoma, the inauguration of a pipeline pumping 300,000 bpd of Siberian high-quality crude into northern China and Japan’s earthquake have also been key factors in changing arbitrage flows this year. But the most intense reshuffling involves disruption-stricken Africa and Europe, top crude stockpile holder the United States, the world’s topproducers in the Middle East and the fastest-growing market in China. Asia is key as an intermediary in the new pattern because of the surplus it holds in top grade refining capacity. Saudi Arabia has increased production of lower quality crude, which require more sophisticated processing to turn into fuels, partly compensating for the top-quality oil that Libya sent to European refiners. “There is a push-out process where refineries that can take Saudi crude have to ramp up, so the arbitrage isn’t just crude, it has to go through the whole refining system,” Nunan said. The rise in Mediterranean supplies following the IEA release is re-opening export opportunities to Asia, with high-quality Algerian crude sailing to Indonesia again. This marks a turnaround from the deficit of light and sweet crude that prevailed in Europe for most of the first half of the year. As West and North African crude returns to Asia, it is freeing up Russian oil for export to the Americas. But with a saturated North American market after the IEA release, its usual destination, ESPO Blend crude pumped from East Siberia to
the Pacific Ocean is looking for homes elsewhere. ESPO is travelling through the Malacca Straits and Suez Canal to the Mediterranean, traders said, and diagonally across the Pacific Ocean to South America, both unprecedented flows. And from the Americas to Asia, flows of lowerquality Colombian crude are increasing to India, which has the sophisticated refining capacity necessary to transform cheaper crude into high-value light oil products that are then shipped around the globe. INDIA VS IRAN India is also coping with the imminent suspension of shipments of Iranian crude. New Delhi has caved in to US pressure to ditch a long-standing mechanism for payment of oil imports from Iran, which stopped allocating crude to Indian refiners for August. At stake is a crude flow of 400,000 bpd between OPEC’s secondlargest producer and Asia’s third-largest consumer. But the US-led strategy to isolate Iran may be clashing against efforts to cap the oil price and safeguard a fragile global economic recovery, said John Vautrain, director at Purvin & Gertz energy consultants in Singapore. “Now we’ve got this weird thing where at the same time we are trying to lower the price by releasing crude from emergency stockpiles, while we are doing things that could push it up by cutting flows,” Vautrain said. “It seems like they (the US) have shot themselves in the foot again.— Reuters
China debt woes point to need for another fiscal ‘big bang’ By Kevin Yao mountain of debt held by local governments in China has exposed the fundamental flaws of its fiscal structure, which will need to be fixed to help break a vicious circle of local authorities living beyond their means. With its deep pockets, Beijing will be able to head off a nearterm credit crisis as a portion of the hundreds of billions of dollars in debt taken on by these provincial, city and regional governments turns sour over the next few years. However, China will need to reform its two-decade-old tax regime, under which the central government commands the lion’s share of revenues but saddles local authorities with most expenditures, if it hopes to avoid creating another similar debt mess down the road. Most analysts believe that very system-together with a relentless pursuit of economic growth by provincial and city officials that was exacerbated by the government’s stimulus program launched in 2008 - is the root cause of the pile of bad loans now hanging over the economy and banking system. “Fiscal reforms are very pressing because there is little doubt that the local government debt problem is linked to the tax system,” said Wang Jun, an economist at CCIEE, a top government think-tank in Beijing. “For local governments, there has been a mismatch between their revenues and administrative burdens. They have to rely more and more on central government payment transfers,” he said.
RIGHTS VS RESPONSIBILITIES Local governments’ debt dates in part to Beijing’s 1994 “big bang” tax reform, launched by then-economic czar Zhu Rongji. While it strengthened Beijing’s hand to steer the economy through rapid changes, that tax regime put severe strains on local government finances by stipulating that the central government would keep all traderelated and consumption taxes. Beijing also
got to keep the lion’s share of value-added taxes and half of those from securities transactions. Local governments, which in mainland China include 31 provinces, municipalities and regions as well as hundreds of city, county and district-level governments, were left with property and land-related taxes and
trillion yuan ($620 billion) economic stimulus launched in late 2008 to combat the effects of the global financial crisis. Local governments were forced to pick up much of the balance, prompting them to sell land for cash and to set up thousands of special financing platforms to get around rules barring them from borrowing directly.
WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama turns to leave the podium after speaking from White House briefing room in Washington, about a deal being reached to raise the debt limit. — AP some business taxes. While the central government does transfer part of its revenues back to local governments, they are far from enough to cover their regular expenditures on things such as education and health care, plus the big-ticket projects many of them have relied on to fuel local growth. They are also expected to put up a significant portion of the funds for centrally-directed projects, as highlighted by the fact that Beijing paid for just over a fourth of the 4
By the end of 2010, local governments’ share of state revenue was just 49 percent, down from 78 percent in 1993. But they accounted for 82 percent of total expenditures last year, driving the debt burden of local governments up to 10.7 trillion yuan, according to official figures. “Local governments have plenty of fiscal resources, but they also have plenty of objectives,” Tao Wang, economist at UBS, said in a recent note to clients. “The current situation of rely-
ing on central government refunds and transfers and land sales for two-thirds of funding is obviously not sustainable.” BROADER REFORMS The risks of doing nothing are grave. First, as Beijing cracks down on property speculation that it fears could push the economy to overheat, local governments could see their revenue base dry up. Local government revenues from land sales leapt 70 percent in 2010 to 2.9 trillion yuan, but such income is already falling this year due to the property cooling measures. With land revenues accounting for nearly three-fourths of their budgetary revenues, local governments will have a strong incentive to defy Beijing’s edicts on property sales, or face a severe pinch in their finances-either by having to cut back sharply on spending, or continuing to rack up more debt. “If local governments cannot carry out land and fiscal reforms, the local debt problem will persist, posing a big threat to China’s economic development,” Zhou Qiren, an academic adviser to the People’s Bank of China, told a recent forum. To fix the problem, China will need to shift more spending to the central government, publish government budgets and increase local government autonomy in revenue raising and debt issuance, said Stephen Green, economist at Standard Chartered. “Without these, this bailout, like the one in 1998-2005, will not be the last,” he said in a note to clients. However, there is little sign that Beijing is ready to forge ahead with any meaningful changes to the current tax regime, which could weaken its grip on the economy and lead to calls for political reforms, analysts say. “As the reform concerns the relationship between the central government and local governments, it’s not simply an economic issue-it involves some concessions of power by the central government,” said Wang at CCIEE. “It’s a reform that could touch on the fundamental interests of the government. So the resistance could be huge.” - Reuters
TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2011
Egyptians await Mubarak trial with mixed feelings osni Mubarak’s murder and corruption trial, which opens tomorrow, is generating a mixture of excitement and regret among the Egyptians who overthrew the veteran president. Mubarak, 83, is charged with murder in connection to the deaths of more than 800 anti-regime protesters and corruption during his widely reviled three decades in rule. “He’s like all men, he must be judged for his crimes,” said Hussein Sabra, a shoeshiner in Cairo’s middle-class neigbourhood of Dokki. The trial of Mubarak and his two sons Alaa and Gamal is a source of friction between activists who demanded justice for his abuses and the military which took over after his resignation on February 11. Hundreds of protesters held a sit-in starting on July 8 in Cairo’s Tahrir square to press the chief demand of a speedy trial for Mubarak which they believed the military council-whose generals Mubarak handpicked-would delay. “He abused the power that people entrusted him with,” said Duaa Helmy, one of the protesters in the square. Mubarak’s assets may have been frozen but his fortune remains unknown, despite mounting calls for disclosure. “Where are the millions? We want our stolen money back,” she said.
Many believe the money the Mubaraks allegedly spirited out of the country will come back only when he is found guilty. But others believe the elderly and ailing former president has already suffered enough indignity, and that perhaps the country was better off under him.
Mubarak is under arrest in a hospital in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm ElSheikh, where he is receiving treatment for a heart condition. One of his doctors said that he is weak after refusing food for days, because he was too depressed to eat. It is unlikely he will be present in
CAIRO: Egyptian workers prepare a hall that will serve as a courtroom for the upcoming trial of the ousted Egyptian president at the police academy on the outskirts of Cairo. — AFP
the defendant’s cage tomorrow in a Cairo suburb. His lawyer Farid Al-Deeb has said that Mubarak was diagnosed with cancer, and that he went into a coma last month, which the hospital treating him denies. But critics suspect Deeb’s intention in leaking such news is to garner sympathy for the former strongman. And it seems to be working at a time when ongoing economic troubles have made a sector of Egypt’s society already nostalgic about his era. “Everything was better organized and there was no violence” then, said Mona Ahmed, a shopkeeper. “And with Mubarak, Egypt had known peace for three decades.” For the ruling generals, putting on trial the man they were sworn to protect presents a dilemma. They are keen to prove that they harbor no loyalties to the former regime, as their increasingly vocal critics allege. Trying Mubarak would remove a source of tension with activists, who have pursued nationwide sit-ins and protests, that has clearly worried the generals. On the other hand, they also have to deal with the fact that Mubarak still has loyalists in the country, and powerful Arab allies in the Gulf who do not want to see a ruler who once had such influence in a defendant’s cage.— AFP
Pakistani schools training Afghan suicide bombers By Arash Kabuli fghan parents who have sent their sons to schools in Pakistan say they’re becoming increasing alarmed about the type of education their children are receiving. Rather than serve as centers of learning, many fear that these schools and madrassas are designed primarily to turn out a never-ending supply of suicide bombers. One father in Kapisa province, who asked that his name not be used because he was concerned about security, described the dramatic change his 18-year-old son had undergone after one year at a school in Pakistan. “My son is vehemently opposed to the government. He says suicide attacks are considered a superior form of martyrdom and courage in Islam, and that Muslims must wage a jihad against the Jews and their friends,” he said. Students, his son told him, were shown footage of Americans and Britons being beheaded. “I’m not going to allow my son to go back to study in Pakistan again, because I know I will lose him,” the father said. Many other families in the province are making the same decision. Public awareness of the issue has grown since Afghan television stations began broadcasting programs of students describing how their teachers in Pakistan groomed them to put on vests packed with explosives and detonate them once they approached vehicles belonging to international or Afghan troops. The children said they were assured that they could escape unscathed from such attacks. Afghans have long sent their children to Pakistan for religious education. When Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan in 1979, many of these schools help galvanize opposition to the occupation. In subsequent years, however, they also became a breeding ground for the Taleban, and of late have encouraged their students to wage jihad against the Afghan government and its western allies. Many Afghan families now fear their children will be caught up in an insurgent strategy of recruiting young people for suicide attacks. One 17-year-old in Laghman province, home on vacation from a madrassa in Peshawar, described the school’s curriculum. “We were always being told that the Jews and Christians had attacked Muslim countries. They destroy the dignity and faith of Muslims. We were shown footage of the Americans searching people’s homes and killing them... or killing civilians in bombardments,” he said.
“ They showed us Israeli massacres in Palestine. Young people, even children, were therefore prepared to wage jihad against the United States.” The 17-year-old’s parents said he would not be returning to Peshawar. A representative of the Taleban in Kapisa province, who spoke on condition that his name not be used, justified the course of instruction at madrassas in Pakistan. “Those who say these people are being deceived are puppets of the United States. During their studies in Pakistani madrassas, people learn the path of virtue and jihad,” he said. “They come to understand the reality that human beings are guests in this world for just a few
days, and that they must do something for their religion and the next life. They learn the Islamic precepts in which jihad has high status, and thus they arrive at practical action - they fight for the interests of Islam, they satisfy their God, and they bring illumination to the next life.” Afghan officials say they are responding to the threat posed by these schools by building more madarassas in the country. A spokesman for Afghanistan’s education ministry, Abdul Sabur Ghofrani, said, “We have 650 madrassas and other religious schools across the country, and this number will rise to 1,000 in the next three years.” But
such developments come too late for Taj Mohammad, who described what happened when he attempted to withdraw his 14-yearold son from a school in Pakistan. “When I got to Pakistan, I stayed in the madrassa for two or three nights. My son’s classmates told me that he’d gone off to another madrassa for some kind of competition and that he’d be back,” the father said, tears rolling down his face. “On the third day, the head of the madrassa told me that my son had been martyred in the jihad, and that I had God’s blessing.” Since that day, the father concluded, “I have been lost to the world.”—MCT
Seeds of terror in Norway By Andrew Gumbel merica’s violent far right would have no difficulty recognizing the tell-tale signatures of killing spree in Norway and not just because they would see the confessed perpetrator, Anders Behring Breivik, as an ideological soul mate who, like their own heroes, thought he could trigger a white-supremacist revolution with bombs and bullets. Breivik appears to have been more than simply inspired by American predecessors such as Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber: The materials he used, the way he planned and carried out his attacks, and his own writings all suggest he was deeply familiar with the actions of some notorious political killers on this side of the Atlantic. Breivik possessed a Glock semiautomatic, the same weapon McVeigh was carrying when he was arrested by a hawk-eyed Highway Patrol officer 90 minutes after the April 1995 bombing in Oklahoma. Breivik also possessed a .223-caliber Ruger assault rifle, just like McVeigh. The Ruger, in fact, has a long history of use by violent extremists because it is dependable, easy to load and fire, and cheaper than an AR-15 or M-16. It is also convertible, without much difficulty, to a fully automatic weapon. Gordon Kahl, an iconic white-supremacist tax protester, was armed with a Ruger Mini-14 - the same model as Breivik’s - when he led the FBI on a multi-state shooting spree from North Dakota to Arkansas in 1983. Richard Wayne Snell, a protege of Kahl’s, was carrying a Mini-14 when he killed the only black trooper in southwestern Arkansas in 1984 and then battled it out with police across the state line in Oklahoma. Snell, who was part of a violent revolutionary group known as the Covenant, the Sword and the Arm of the Lord, was a hero of McVeigh’s who was executed in Arkansas on the very day of the Oklahoma City bombing: April 19, 1995. Breivik acquired about 12,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate and, according to the Norwegian police, appears to have used some of it to make the bomb that detonated in Oslo. That’s the
same farm fertilizer compound McVeigh and his co-conspirator Terry Nichols acquired to build their bomb. They mixed about 4,000 pounds of the fertilizer with nitromethane and diesel fuel to construct a device powerful enough to rip the guts out of the Oklahoma City federal building and kill 168 people. Such similarities of weaponry and methods are common among hard-right revolutionaries who tend to read the same pamphlets and books and frequent the same websites. The literature they share tends to fetishize military hardware and to speak reverently of the history of each piece of weaponry. Perpetrators are often fairly explicit about their inspirations, which they draw both from real life and from pop culture. McVeigh, for example, likened the attack on the Alfred P Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City to the destruction of the Death Star in “Star Wars.” The far-right extremist world is replete with paranoia and fear of government informants, leading to a philosophy of action that Breivik and McVeigh appear to have shared. In America in the 1990s, the approach was known as “leaderless resistance” - the notion that everyone shares a common ideological goal but that individual warriors make their own plans in secret to minimize the broader movement’s risk of exposure. People might work in cells or alone, but the idea - not always observed in practice - is to keep action plans strictly under wraps. Breivik’s lawyer says his client has told him about other cells in Norway and elsewhere in Europe that are devoted to fighting back against what he sees as a Muslim invasion of the continent. But he also claims to have carried out Friday’s attacks alone, suggesting that he too embraced a leaderless resistance model, real or imagined. Norway in 2011 might bear some superficial similarities to Oklahoma in 1995. Both were regarded as peaceful, safe places that were unlikely targets for terrorist attacks. But there were also differences. Breivik discusses in his 1,500-page Unabomber-style manifesto how much more difficult it was for him to assemble bomb materials than it was in the America of the mid-1990s. — MCT
Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s fallen long-time pharaoh By Christophe de Roquefueil gypt’s Hosni Mubarak, who goes on trial for murder and corruption in Cairo tomorrow with his two sons, enjoyed near absolute power for three decades as president before being toppled in February. Mubarak faces trial with his two sons Alaa and Gamal, former interior minister Habib Al-Adly and six of his deputies, and businessman Hussein Salem. The Mubaraks are accused of graft and ordering the killing of anti-regime protesters during the huge popular uprising that forced the president to stand down and transfer power to the military. His fall from grace was one Mubarak found difficult to accept. On April 10, in his first public statement since his resignation, Mubarak told pan-Arab news network AlArabiya that he and his family were the victims of “false claims that seek to ruin my reputation and challenge my integrity.” In a move that angered many Egyptians, he even threatened libel suits against any media reporting the allegations against him. Until the anti-government protests erupted on January 25, Mubarak seemed untouchable as president of the most populous nation in the Arab world, backed by the United States and the military from whose ranks he had emerged. Now 83, Mubarak had survived 10 attempts on his life and his health was also a subject of speculation. But in the end, it was the people who brought down Egypt’s latterday pharaoh. His rise to power came unexpectedly, when his predecessor Anwar Sadat-who made history by signing a peace deal with Israel-was gunned down by Islamist militants on October 6, 1981 at a military parade in Cairo. Mubarak took office a week later, and then ruled without interruption until February this year. Islamic fundamentalist groups-including Al-Jihad, Gamaa Islamiyya and Talaeh Al-Fatah-were responsible for most of the attempts on Mubarak’s life. The first direct attempt to kill him came in 1993, a year after Islamists launched a campaign of violence aimed at toppling the secular Egyptian government, when a bid to
fire rockets at his plush Cairo residence was foiled. Later murder attempts included a plot to car-bomb the presidential motorcade in Cairo. In 1995, militants opened fire on the presidential motorcade in Addis Ababa. The previous year saw an attempt to kill him with explosives as he was due to meet Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi at a military airport. In September 1999, Mubarak was slightly wounded
Egyptian former President Hosni Mubarak
when a man with no apparent links to any Islamic group stabbed him in Port Said. Mubarak’s reputation for vigorhe was once known to play squash almost daily-was dented in 2003 when he fainted while addressing parliament. Officials blamed his collapse on a cold and the fact that he had been fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. In 2004, he underwent surgery in Germany for a slipped disc, and he returned to Germany in March 2010 for the removal of his gall bladder and a growth on the small intestine. Rumors that he had died under the knife were dispelled when state television showed him recovering. Mubarak’s health was usually a taboo subject in Egypt and the father of two, whose wife Suzanne is half Welsh, kept his private life a carefully guarded secret. In 2007, speculation about his health snowballed to the extent that Mubarak made an unscheduled public appearance to lay rumors to rest. The octogenarian, with jet black hair-possibly dyed-and aquiline nose, was born on May 4, 1928 in the Nile Delta village of Menufiyah. He rose through the ranks of the air force and fought in repeated wars with Israel, to claim hero status, before supporting Sadat in pursuing peace with the Jewish state in 1979. Throughout his years in power, Mubarak maintained the unpopular policy of peace with Israel and accommodation with the West that cost Sadat his life. His government, overseeing a developing nation of 80 million people, was the frequent target of domestic opposition-ranging from the Muslim Brotherhood to secular and liberal dissidents. But the regime quashed militant groups which carried out attacks in the 1980s, 1990s and, more recently, 2004 and 2006 when the tourism industry was targeted. His government’s ties with the United States and Israel made him a target of criticism across the region, especially during the 2006 Israeli war in Lebanon and Israel’s Gaza offensive in 2008-2009. Domestic opponents accused Washington of turning a blind eye to human rights abuses, corruption and the Mubarak regime’s failure to push ahead with badly needed reforms.— AFP
For Sudan’s Bashir, ending war hasn’t ended the troubles By Alan Boswell early a month after its breakup with South Sudan, the government of Sudan has seen none of the benefits that it thought would flow from its agreement to end decades of civil war. Instead, the breakup has thrown President Omar AlBashir’s regime into disarray. Far from reaping peace and development for overseeing the partition of his country, Al-Bashir now controls a smaller, weaker version of Sudan besieged by a uniting rebel front and a collapsing economy. The US government hasn’t lifted sanctions imposed on Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism, one of the promises that allowed both the Bush and Obama administrations to broker and then shepherd the peace agreement that led to South Sudan’s independence. Making matters worse, Sudan’s finance minister estimates that the country faces a 36 percent future drop in revenues because of the loss of South Sudan’s oilfields. With the walls seemingly crumbling around them, the Sudanese military is taking an increasingly prominent role in decision-making, shunting aside civilian politicians that it blames for the country’s slide. AlBashir, who took power in a military coup in 1989, is still in power, and there has been no official change in his regime makeup. But his diverse governing coalition - composed of Islamists, the military, politicians and businessmen - is severely strained. Increasingly, whether by force or volition, al-Bashir seems to be marching to the military’s tune. Western and African diplomats - one of whom described recent developments as a “military coup” fear such a power bid will only lead to more chaos and instability in the troubled nation. One African official, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, said that military leaders now sit in on his meetings with al-Bashir and even brief the participants beforehand on what the president will say - as if dictating al-Bashir’s talking points. A Western diplomat, who wasn’t authorized to be quoted on the subject, said that military leaders now are supervising discussions that used to be held only with civilian political officials. The military also is accompanying ruling party officials in ongoing negotiations with South Sudan over disputed borders and other issues. “I don’t see that there is an internal coup per se at the moment, but there is absolutely no doubt that the army is disenfranchised and they are not happy,” said Fouad Hikmat, a Sudan analyst for the International Crisis Group, a research agency. “The situation is very tense. Very tense,” Hikmat said. The internal troubles intensified about a month before South Sudan formally seceded on July 9. AlBashir miscalculated in attempting to forcibly disarm a rebel group in Sudan’s South Kordofan state that was aligned with South Sudan’s guerrilla movementturned-ruling party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, or SPLM. Al-Bashir underestimated the rebels’ strength and the campaign in the Nuba Mountains quickly disintegrated into a bloodbath. As the SPLM-aligned rebels resisted and eventually gained ground, Sudanese forces and pro-government Arab militias expanded their campaign and began attacking and bombing Nuba civilians, who are ethnically African. Reeling from the unexpected losses, and facing Western denunciations for atrocities against the Nuba, Al-Bashir’s National Congress Party signed a deal in late June to recognize the northern chapter of the SPLM, which is now structurally separate from its sister party that governs South Sudan - as a legitimate political party. The deal angered the military and Islamist hardliners in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, who criticized it as capitulation. Al-Bashir soon denounced the agreement himself, a turn of events that many observers found especially confounding since the accord was negotiated by the regime’s resident hardliner, Nafie Ali Nafie, al-Bashir’s party deputy. Ever since, it has been unclear who is really in charge. Andrew Natsios, a Georgetown University professor, says a soft military coup wouldn’t surprise him _ since the same thing almost happened when he served as special envoy to Sudan under President George W. Bush in the late 2000s. In early 2007, Natsios said, Al-Bashir’s party was facing growing international pressure over the humanitarian crisis in the western Darfur region. A group of senior generals urged Al-Bashir to stage an internal coup of sorts, purging the party’s leadership and putting the generals in charge of the government. “While Bashir rejected the advice then, he may have taken it now,” Natsios said. A military takeover in Sudan would likely take a different route than the revolutions this year in nearby Egypt and Tunisia, which were prompted by popular uprisings rather than ruling party disintegration. Analysts say that the Sudanese military and civilian leadership has two options: agree to political reforms and share political power, or hunker down in siege mode and try to contain the armed threats. So far, the latter approach seems ascendant. As the regime falters, the nation’s many far-flung rebel groups are moving to consolidate. The strongest rebel group in Dar fur, the Justice and Equality Movement, has begun fighting alongside the SPLM rebels in the Nuba Mountains in what opposition forces hope could be the beginning of a wider rebel alliance. That could bind anti-government forces stretching from Sudan’s western border with Chad, through the southern states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, all the way to the eastern border with Eritrea. Talks are already under way over a “grand coalition” that would encompass the armed rebels and Khartoum’s weak political opposition. One source involved in the talks, who didn’t want to be named because of the confidential nature of the discussions, said that the various groups are already dividing up leadership positions in a potential new alliance. It’s unclear how durable such an alliance would prove, given the vast geographical distance and the diverse set of ideologies and egos involved. But it’s clear that anti-Bashir forces all are smelling blood. Malik Agar, chair of the SPLM’s northern wing and governor of Blue Nile state, said that it was “quite natural” for the various movements to coordinate their efforts. But he said that al-Bashir could still avert more war. “We are still at the (negotiating) table,” Agar said. “When they come back to the table, they will find us there.”— MCT
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TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2011
sp orts Woods returns to competition SYDNEY: Tiger Woods has signed up to play at the Australian Open in Sydney in November, organisers said yesterday, making the former world number one a likely starter at the following week’s Presidents Cup. The 14-times major winner will return to competition for the first time since May at this week’s WGCBridgestone Invitational in the United States after missing the last two majors because of leg injuries. Golf Australia Chief Executive Stephen Pitt told a news conference at the Lakes Golf Club that Woods had signed up for the Nov. 10-13 tournament in Sydney. Woods joins Presidents Cup captains Greg Norman and Fred Couples in the field, which also features defend-
Taiwan elated over Tseng’s victory AIBA aims to boost boxing
ing champion and 2006 U.S. Open winner Geoff Ogilvy as well as American top 20 players Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson. “There is no doubt whatsoever, it will be one of the best fields ever assembled for an Australian Open Championship and there are still major player announcements to be made over the coming weeks,” Pitt said. Couples will lead the United States against the rest of the world barring Europe in the Nov. 1720 Presidents Cup and has previously said that, if fit, Woods would be part of his 12-man team for the contest at the Royal Melbourne club. — Reuters
ASTANA: Amateur boxing organisation AIBA is to set up a professional programme to enhance its standing within the sport, AIBA President Wu Ching-Kuo said yesterday. Encouraged by the first season’s success of the franchise-based World Series of Boxing (WSB), the executive committee had approved AIBA’s own professional boxing programme, he said. “I am determined to launch professional boxing under the umbrella of AIBA so that we will be the true and respected leader of our sport, and not any other organisation,” Wu said in a statement. The AIBA will finalise the busi-
ness plans this year and register the programme, called AIBA Professional Boxing (APB), and sign top boxers next year before rolling out the competitions in 2013. “We will allow these APB boxers to compete in the Olympic Games with limited terms and conditions and we plan to make this dream come true from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games,” Wu said. Once APB was lunched, AIBA plans to abolish head guards in all elite men competitions. “However, we decided to maintain head guards for Women, Youth and Junior categories,” the statement added.—Reuters
Phillies edge Pirates PHILADELPHIA: Raul Ibanez homered twice and hit a game-winning double in the 10th inning to lift the Philadelphia Phillies to a 6-5 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday. The Phillies trailed 5-3 in the eighth when Ibanez hit a two-run shot for his second homer of the game. He doubled to right off Tony Watson (0-2) in the 10th to score Hunter Pence and help the Phillies complete a three-game sweep. Antonio Bastardo (4-0) struck out one in a scoreless inning to earn the win. Ibanez hit a solo homer in the second off Pirates starter Jeff Karstens and his tying drive was off Jose Veras. Reds 9, Giants 0 At Cincinnati, Johnny Cueto allowed just three his three-hitter, Joey Votto had a three-run homer and tied his career high with five RBIs, and Cincinnati completed a three-game sweep of San Francisco. Todd Frazier hit his first career home run and Drew Stubbs had a career-best four hits as the Reds rebounded from being swept by the New York Mets in four games to post three consecutive wins for the first time since sweeping the Los Angeles Dodgers from June 13-15. Cueto (7-4) missed the first month of the season with irritation in his right upper arm and needed 7 1-3 innings to qualify for the NL ERA lead. He went into the game with a 1.88 ERA and lowered it to 1.72 with his first shutout since beating Pittsburgh 9-0 with a one-hitter on May 11, 2010. The complete game was his third of the season, but he lost the other two. Marlins 3, Braves 1 At Atlanta, Ricky Nolasco scattered 12 hits and Emilio Bonifacio homered as Florida handed the Atlanta Braves the 10,000th loss in franchise history. The Braves began the day savoring a deadline trade for speedy outfielder Michael Bourn, acquired from Houston in a five-player deal. They could’ve used him right away, especially when fill-in center fielder Jose Constanza got thrown out twice on the basepaths. The Braves squandered numerous scoring chances to become only the second team in big league history with 10,000 losses. The Phillies reached that mark in 2007. The Braves picked up their 10,000th win a couple of weeks ago, including their time in Boston and Milwaukee. Nolasco (8-7) lasted 6 23 innings. Leo Nunez came on in the ninth for his 30th save. Atlanta starter Tommy Hanson (11-6) gave up all three Florida runs in six innings. D’backs 6, Dodgers 3 AT Los Angeles, Joe Saunders came within four outs of his second straight complete game and Gerardo Parra homered twice as Arizona beat Los Angeles. Ryan Roberts also homered for the Diamondbacks, who won for
With runners on second and third and the infield in, Desmond bounced the ball over pitcher Bobby Parnell (3-3), who deflected it with his glove. Second baseman Willie Harris’ throw was too late to get Ankiel. Scott Hairston hit two home runs, including a tying shot with two outs in the ninth, for the Mets as they finished 6-4 on their road trip.
PHILADELPHIA: Shane Victorino No. 8 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a triple in front of Michael McKenry No. 55 of the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citizens Bank Park. — AFP
the 10th time in 15 games. Coupled with San Francisco’s loss at Cincinnati, the victory helped them climb within two games of the NL West-leading Giants heading into their three-game showdown starting Monday night in the Bay Area. Saunders (8-8) won his fifth straight road decision, allowing two runs and eight hits - including four singles by Andre Ethier. The lefthander walked none and struck out three. Cubs 6, Cardinals 3 At St. Louis, Starlin Castro and Marlon Byrd had key hits as Chicago broke up Jake Westbrook’s perfect game with a four-run sixth inning and held off St. Louis to avoid a three-game sweep. Lance Berkman’s three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth made it interesting for the Cardinals, who completed a disappointing 4-3 homestand against the two worst teams in the NL Central.
They trail the first-place Brewers by 21/2 games heading into a threegame series in Milwaukee yesterday. Alfonso Soriano homered for the second straight game and Ryan Dempster (8-8) pitched six-plus innings for the Cubs, who snapped a five-game losing streak. Newly acquired Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal got a standing ovation before grounding into a forceout as a pinch-hitter in the seventh. Ryan Theriot, who lost his starting job because of the trade, had been 6 for 7 in the series before Sean Marshall induced an inningending double play with runners on first and third. Nationals 3, Mets 2 At Washington, Rick Ankiel scored off Ian Desmond’s shot up the middle in the bottom of the ninth inning, giving Washington a win over New York on a hot summer afternoon.
Brewers 5, Astros 4 At Milwaukee, Prince Fielder drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning as Milwaukee beat Houston to complete a three-game sweep. Jonathan Lucroy and Yuniesky Betancourt drove in two runs apiece for the NL Central leaders. Milwaukee (60-49) tied its season-best six-game winning streak and moved 11 games over .500 for the first time in more than two years to maintain its division lead over St. Louis. The rebuilding Astros traded two-thirds of their starting outfield in a 48-hour span, shipping Michael Bourn for Atlanta and Hunter Pence to Philadelphia for young prospects. Padres 8, Rockies 3 At San Diego, Jesus Guzman drove in three, including the goahead run in a six-run eighth inning, as San Diego avoided a three-game sweep with a victory over Colorado. Guzman’s single off Matt Belisle came on a day when San Diego traded setup man Mike Adams and outfielder Ryan Ludwick just before the non-waiver deadline. The late Padres rally ruined a solid outing by Colorado rookie Juan Nicasio, who struck out a career-high 10 in seven strong innings. Nicasio limited the Padres to two runs, one earned, and five hits. — AP
MLB results/standings Major League Baseball results and standings on Sunday: NY Yankees 4, Baltimore 2; Kansas City 5, Cleveland 3; Detroit 3, LA Angels 2; Toronto 7, Texas 3; Cincinnati 9, San Francisco 0; Florida 3, Atlanta 1; Washington 3, NY Mets 2; Philadelphia 6, Pittsburgh 5 (10 innings); Milwaukee 5, Houston 4; Boston 5, Chicago White Sox 3; Chicago Cubs 6, St. Louis 3; Oakland 7, Minnesota 3; San Diego 8, Colorado 3; Tampa Bay 8, Seattle 1; Arizona 6, LA Dodgers 2. American League Eastern Division W L Boston 66 40 NY Yankees 64 42 Tampa Bay 56 51 Toronto 55 53 Baltimore 42 63 Central Division Detroit 57 51 Cleveland 53 52 Chicago White Sox 52 54 Minnesota 50 58 Kansas City 46 62 Western Division Texas 61 48 LA Angels 59 50 Oakland 49 59 Seattle 45 62
PCT .623 .604 .523 .509 .400
GB 2 10.5 12 23.5
.528 .505 .491 .463 .426
2.5 4 7 11
.560 .541 .454 .421
2 11.5 15
Philadelphia Atlanta NY Mets Florida Washington Milwaukee St. Louis Pittsburgh Cincinnati Chicago Cubs Houston San Francisco Arizona Colorado LA Dodgers San Diego
National League Eastern Division 68 39 63 46 55 53 53 55 51 56 Central Division 60 49 57 51 54 52 53 55 43 65 35 73 Western Division 61 47 59 49 51 57 48 59 47 62
.636 .578 .509 .491 .477
6 13.5 15.5 17
.550 .528 .509 .491 .398 .324
2.5 4.5 6.5 16.5 24.5
.565 .546 .472 .449 .431
2 10 12.5 14.5
TAIPEI: Yani Tseng, the 22-year-old Taiwanese golfer who won the Women’s British Open for the second straight year on Sunday, is fast becoming the toast of Taipei - and the rest of her home island. Tseng defeated American Brittany Lang by four strokes at Carnoustie, Scotland to become the youngest player - male or female - to capture a fifth major title. Tseng is also only the third player to win consecutive women’s British titles, joining Sherri Steinhaurer (1998, 1999) and Debbie Massey (1980, 1981). On Monday, her victory dominated the front pages of Taiwanese newspapers, with all four Chinese-language dailies featuring front
page photographs of her lifting her newly awarded trophy. Cable news stations also repeatedly replayed her big moment in Scotland, dressed in matching white jumper, short pants and shoes, and lifting the trophy triumphantly. The mass circulation Apple Daily wrote on the front page, “Ni is great,” while United Daily News chimed in that she had rewritten history. Tseng told Apple Daily after the tournament that she is hoping to get some rest after returning to Taiwan later this week. “I want to get some good sleep, and then eat properly,” She said. “I miss Taiwanese food very much.”—AP
Tigers top Angels DETROIT: Justin Verlander came within four outs of another no hitter, outpitching an angry Jered Weaver as the Detroit Tigers beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-2 on Sunday in a testy game that grew particularly heated in the late innings. Maicer Izturis lined an RBI single to left field with two outs in the eighth for the Angels’ only hit. Verlander (15-5) was trying for his third career no-hitter and second this season. Weaver (14-5) was ejected for throwing a pitch over Alex Avila’s head in the seventh, right after Carlos Guillen showboated on a solo home run - infuriating the righthander. Guillen flipped his bat, posed at the plate and skipped a few steps sideways, prompting Weaver to yell at him before Guillen rounded the bases. Sensing trouble was coming, plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt warned both benches. But Weaver threw the next pitch near Avila’s head and was quickly ejected along with Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia.
injured Kyle Davies and Jeff Francoeur and Alex Gordon homered as Kansas City beat Cleveland. The Indians lost for the eighth time in 10 games, but learned their trade with Colorado for pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez became official after he passed a physical. The last-place Royals took two of three from the Indians and have won eight of 12. Duffy (3-4) allowed two runs and eight hits in five-plus innings. Soria got three outs for his 20th save. Davies was scratched about an hour before the game because of a sore right shoulder. Rays 8, Mariners 1 At Seattle, Tampa Bay’s Jeremy Hellickson held Seattle to a run and five hits over sevenplus innings to become the first AL rookie with 10 wins. Hellickson (10-7) carried a nohitter into the sixth but Chone Figgins, batting .184, opened with a single to center and Franklin Gutierrez followed with another single. Hellickson retired the next three batters on a flyout and two foulouts.
Red Sox 5, White Sox 3 At Chicago, Dustin Pedroia hit a goahead, two-run single in the seventh and Jason Varitek homered as Boston beat Chicago to win its weekend series at U.S. Cellular Field. Alfredo Aceves (7-1), who relieved starter Andrew Miller in the sixth, pitched a scoreless inning to get the victory. White Sox star Paul Konerko left with a bruised left calf after being hit with a pitch from Miller in the bottom of the fourth inning. X-rays were negative. Jesse Crain (5-3) surrendered Pedroia’s hit, and Adrian Gonzalez doubled in a run in the ninth to give Boston a 5-3 lead. Jonathan Papelbon struck out the side in the bottom half for his 24th save. Blue Jays 7, Rangers 3 At Toronto, Brandon Morrow struck out a season-high 11 batters to win for the third time in four starts, leading Toronto past Texas for the victory. During the game, the AL West-leading Rangers obtained more help for their bullpen when they acquired right-hander Mike Adams from San Diego for minor league pitchers Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland. Koji Uehara, acquired from Baltimore on Saturday, made his Rangers debut in the seventh and pitched a scoreless inning, striking out two. Toronto held a pregame ceremony to retire the jersey of second baseman Roberto Alomar, the first Blue Jays player inducted into the Hall of Fame. Yankees 4, Orioles 2 At New York, Brett Gardner hit a basesloaded triple to power New York past Baltimore for its third consecutive win. Freddy Garcia (10-7) struck out six in six innings to send the Yankees to 22 games over .500, their highest point of the season. New York shortstop Derek Jeter left after getting hit by a pitch, but X-rays only showed a bruised right middle finger. The Yankees improved their major league-best record in day games to 31-7 and won for the 20th time in their last 26 home games. Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth for his 27th save. Royals 5, Indians 3 At Cleveland, Danny Duffy pitched into the sixth inning while subbing for the
DETROIT: Los Angeles Angels starter Tyler Chatwood pitches against the Detroit Tigers in the third inning of a baseball game.—AP Hellickson is the quickest Tampa Bay rookie to 10 wins since Rolando Arrojo reached the mark on June 27, 1998. Jason Vargas (6-10) went 5 1-3 innings for the Mariners. He allowed nine hits and six runs, four earned. Sean Rodriguez had three hits for Tampa Bay, including his fifth home run. Athletics 7, Twins 3 At Oakland, California, Coco Crisp keyed Oakland’s offense with two hits and three stolen bases in a win over Minnesota. Ryan Sweeney drove in two runs and Brandon McCarthy threw six effective innings for the A’s, who have won five of seven. Jim Thome had three hits, including his 597th home run, for the Twins, who have lost three of four. Joe Mauer added three hits and drove in a run while Danny Valencia added two hits and an RBI. McCarthy (4-5) allowed three runs and eight hits. He also struck out a career-high nine. Twins starter Carl Pavano (6-8) lasted four innings, giving up seven runs and nine hits. He is winless in four starts since the AllStar break. — AP
Vettel focused on winning F1 races despite big lead
HUNGARY: Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany drives his car in this file photo. — AP
BUDAPEST: Championship leader Sebastian Vettel wants to get back to winning races so he can wrap up his second straight world title in style instead of cautiously picking up points when Formula One returns from a break in late August. The German extended his lead to 85 points over Red Bull team mate Mark Webber thanks to his second place finish at Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix behind McLaren’s Jenson Button. After a run of six victories in the first eight races, Vettel has not won for three grands prix but it is not for the want of trying. “I don’t think about the championship when I’m racing. I think about trying to win,” he told reporters. “There are still so many races to go so our target has to be to win races and I can tell you that we still feel very hungry, I feel very hungry-hungry in Hungary-to win races, full stop.” Vettel has never been so far ahead this season
and the chances of anyone denying him the title are as remote as any car other than a Red Bull, McLaren or Ferrari winning the next race in Belgium on Aug. 28. The big three are utterly dominant with McLaren and Ferrari having caught up with Red Bull after Vettel’s team stormed away in the first half of the year. The final eight races should offer excitement on their own but the title run-in could be a damp squib like the weather in usually hot Hungary, in total contrast to the nail-biting ending last season when Vettel only triumphed in the last race. Despite wanting to seal back-to-back glory with a bang, the German still realises the importance of taking points when not in the best of form-as he was on Sunday when twice overtaken by the McLarens while struggling in the wet. “Looking at the championship it was a good
race with a lot of people finishing behind us, except Jenson, so we will see. There’s still a very long way to go and we see with the races like this especially, how quickly things can change,” Vettel said. “Still, I know it’s good points today.” Race winner Button had a similar experience when he won the 2009 world championship with Brawn GP. He had streaked away at the start of the year only for the wins to dry up in the second half. Unlike Vettel, the Briton really did have to scrap around for every point in the run-in and only just clinched the championship with a cash-strapped team as opposed to the financial power of Red Bull. His hopes of coming anywhere near Vettel at the end of this season are over with Button fifth in the standings despite winning on his 200th Grand Prix start at the track where he first triumphed in F1 in 2006. — Reuters
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TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2011
S P ORT S
China searches for next Yao Ming SHANGHAI: The search is on to ﬁll Yao Ming’s size-18 sneakers after China’s biggest sports luminary announced his retirement, and Chinese scouts are combing city courts and pre-schools for a future star. But there are growing doubts that another Yao can be produced by China’s Soviet-style sports development programme, which drafts toddlers as young as four, sometimes just because their parents are tall. One of the leading sceptics is Li Qiuping, who as coach of the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association-a team that Yao now owns-helped prepare Yao to become the ﬁrst overall pick in the 2002 NBA draft. Li echoes the concerns of many over a state basketball player factory seen as rushing promising youths into rigorous training while ignoring the importance of being a
well-rounded player-and student. “Our children are trained professionally too early. Everyone wants them to play basketball from a very young age, but no one cares about studying,” Li said. The retirement of Yao, who is 2.29m (7ft 6in) tall, has kicked oﬀ a debate among Chinese fans over whether the country’s player-development strategy needs to be amended. In particular, many say China should not focus so much on height but on athletic ability and that it needs a well-rounded crop of ball-handlers and shooters to go along with the big men. Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey jokingly asked Yao at his retirement news conference last week if he could recommend any Chinese prospects he could sign. Yao quipped that they would have to
negotiate his ﬁnder’s fee ﬁrst. He oﬀered no player recommendation. Li said China’s current system is incapable of producing another Yao unless it reforms in a way to put more joy into the game. “They are very relaxed in the USA. There is no pressure on winning there. They play happy basketball and they learn a lot of different sports-not just basketball. The system is very diﬀerent,” Li said. Li-often mentioned as a candidate to coach China’s national team-has set up a summer basketball camp as an alternative to a state sports system that requires 15year-olds to train two to three hours on school nights. The camp oﬀers ordinary kids who love the game a rare opportunity to develop their basketball skills with professional coaches. “Our (state) sports schools choose
youngsters from primary-school age. They want to ﬁnd young kids and their criteria are much higher than at my summer camp,” he said. “They choose these kids on the basis of their height and if their parents are tall, and what their parents do.” China’s national team coach, American Bob Donewald Jr., told the New York Times that no one can identify future MVPs in primary school and Chinese basketball’s structural problems were aﬀecting the quality of players. “What’s amazing is that in a country of 1.3 billion I can’t ﬁnd a point guard,” he told the newspaper this month. Yao’s legacy is clear at Li’s camp, which is based in a Shanghai high school. The young players do not hold back when asked who inspired them to play basketball. “Yao Ming! Yao Ming! Yao Ming!” nine-
year-olds Shen Zhoujun, Guo Mingze and Liu Zhihe all shouted in unison. The former Houston Rockets centre helped make China the NBA’s biggest market outside the US, with an estimated 300 million fans. So from a market perspective, both the NBA and Chinese league would love to ﬁnd another star in China as big as Yao. However, Li Zhangming, who coached the Shanghai-reared Yao when he was at sports school, dismisses the doubts about the state system and says the “next Yao” has already been found. “He is now in primary school. He was born in 1999 and is already 1.86 metres (6ft 1in) tall,” said Li, of Shanghai’s Nanyang Model High School. “He has very good potential and if he grows to 2.10 metres (6ft 10in), he will be the next Yao Ming.” —AFP
Whalen lifts Lynx over Silver Stars SHANGHAI: US Michael Phelps swims on the way to winning the men’s 4x200m Freestyle final at the FINA Swimming World Championships in this file photo. —AP
Phelps eyes showdown with Thorpe in london SHANGHAI: Michael Phelps is eagerly anticipating a showdown with Ian Thorpe at next year’s London Olympics, should the Australian choose to race the men’s 200 metres freestyle and set up another ‘Race of the Century’. Thorpe has returned to the pool after quitting competition in 2006 and is targeting next year’s London Olympicswhere he is expected to concentrate on three events, the 200 freestyle and the 4x100 and 4x200 freestyle relays. Phelps and Thorpe, along with Pieter van den Hoogenband provided a memorable showdown in the 200 freestyle at the Athens Olympics in 2004, which was dubbed the ‘Race of the Century’ and Phelps insists another showdown in London could be just as exciting. “The 200 free has turned into a fun event,” Phelps told a small gathering of reporters in Shanghai, a day after the world swimming championships ended. “Just being able to have the chance to swim in a race with Thorpe again is something I will be looking forward to. “I’ve only had two races with him in my career and being able to have him back in the pool will be exciting for the sport.” Phelps, the most successful Olympian ever who won an unrpecedented eight gold medals in Beijing, ﬁnished seond behind compatriot Ryan Lochte in the 200 freestyle at Shanghai but it was the closeness of the ﬁnish that had him excited. “Having ﬁve guys go under 1:45 was pretty impressive,” he added referring to Lochte, himself, Park Tae-hwan, Paul Biedermann and Yannick Agnel all touching within 0.55 seconds of each other,
with Agnel ﬁfth in 1:44.99. “The rest of the world is swimming faster and I think we will be pretty excited for next year.” Phelps had said before the championships began that he was using the meeting in Shanghai to ascertain “where he was at” before he begins his preparations for his ﬁnal Olympics in London. He ﬁnished with four gold medals, two silvers and a bronze but also with a feeling of frustration. “I always set high goals,” he said at an event where he was named as a new global ambassador for the Special Olympics. “It’s frustrating. I’m fairly satisﬁed but at the end of the day it’s hard for me to be totally satisﬁed. “I know I can go faster, I can go a lot faster I think.” Phelps said he would probably stick to the same programme he swum in Shanghai, the 100 and 200 butterﬂy, 200 individual medley, 200 freestyle and three relays next year in London. “I’m fairly comfortable with the event schedule. I’ll see how it pans out over the next eight to 10 months before the selection trials. “Having what happened here is going to make this year even better. Training wise, preparation wise and I think the biggest thing here is building on the cofnidence I have. “I think with everything, with warm ups, warm downs, races it was 40,000 metres and it was a fairly intense week. “I think I was able to see how my body can handle it now but I just have to make the next step to deal with it and swim as fast as I want to swim.” —Reuters
Stallings wins first PGA Tour title at Greenbrier NEW YORK: Rookie Scott Stallings held his nerve in dramatic fashion to win his maiden PGA Tour title in a playoﬀ with fellow Americans Bob Estes and Bill Haas at the Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia on Sunday. The 26-year-old, who sank a ﬁvefoot birdie putt at the ﬁnal hole in regulation to join the playoﬀ, birdied the same hole moments later to triumph for the ﬁrst time on the U.S. circuit. Stallings threw both arms skywards in joyful celebration and then embraced his caddie after his curling seven-foot putt dropped into the cup at the par-three 18th. The trio had ﬁnished the 72 regulation holes on 10-under-par 270 at The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, Estes closing with a six-under 64, Haas with a 67 and Stallings with a 69. Stallings, who had recorded only one top-10 in his previous 20 starts on the 2011 PGA Tour, was delighted to seal victory with successive birdies after he had bogeyed the penultimate hole in regulation. Tied for the lead at 10 under after making birdies at the 10th, 11th, 12th, 14th and 16th, the inexperienced American slipped back with a bogey at the par-ﬁve 17th where his tee shot ended up in water. “I felt really good going into 17,” Stalling said greenside after sinking his playoﬀ putt. “I made a great birdie on 16 and then we had to wait about 30 minutes. “I hit a bad shot (at 17) and got a bad break. I hit the tree and went in the water. But we
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS: Scott Stallings holds the trophy after winning the Greenbrier Classic PGA golf tournament at the Greenbrier. —AP stayed with it and we tried to make a par there and to birdie 18 like we did was incredible. “I stayed in it all day. To come out as a champion on the PGA Tour as a rookie is a dream come true.” Three-times PGA Tour champion Anthony K im began the day one stroke clear of the field and his lead was briefly doubled when playing partner Stallings bogeyed the parfour first. However, Kim was unable to convert several birdie chances early on the front nine before he bogeyed the eighth and ninth to trail the pacesetting Webb Simpson by two shots. — Reuters
SAN ANTONIO: Lindsay Whalen hit a fadeaway jump shot from the right corner over Jayne Appel with 1.5 seconds left to give the Minnesota Lynx a 70-69 victory over the San Antonio Silver Stars on Sunday in a battle of the WNBA’s best teams. Becky Hammon had a chance to give the Silver Stars the win but missed a runner at the buzzer. Whalen scored 23 points, while Seimone Augustus had 16 and Taj McWilliams-Franklin had 15 for the Lynx, who have the WNBA’s best record at 13-4. Minnesota now has won as many games as it did during the entire 2010 season and moved two games ahead of the Silver Stars (11-6) in the Western Conference. Jia Perkins scored 18 points, Hammon had 15, and Sophia Young and Danielle Robinson had 10 apiece for the Silver Stars. Sun 99, Dream 92 At Uncasville, Connecticut, Renee Montgomery scored 19 points and Asjha Jones had 17, including eight in the ﬁnal 3:50, to lead Connecticut to its ﬁfth win in six games. Danielle McCray scored 16 points and Tina Charles had 10 points and 11 rebounds to help the Sun (11-6) overcome a 10-point deﬁcit in the second half. Angel McCoughtry scored 19 of her 36 points in the fourth quarter for Atlanta (8-10). Erika DeSouza and Coco Miller had 18 points each and Iziane Castro Marques scored 10. DeSouza also had nine rebounds. Fever 98, Sparks 63 At Indianapolis, Jessica Davenport scored
Lindsay Whalen in action in this file photo 16 points as the Indiana reserves combined for a franchise-record 57 to help the Fever win their fourth straight. Tangela Smith scored 15 points to lead the starters for Eastern Conference -leading Indiana (14-6). The 98 points were a season high. Shavonte Zellous scored 13 points, Jeanette Pohlen added 10 for the Fever. Former Fever
player Ebony Hoﬀman scored 13 points to lead the Sparks (7-11). Rookie reserve Jantel Lavender added 12. The Fever used a 17-5 run over the last 4:32 of the ﬁrst quarter to take a 27-15 lead. Fever coach Lynn Dunn ﬂooded the ﬂoor with reserves in the second quarter, and they followed the starters’ example, to extend Indiana’s lead to 53-30 at halftime. —AP
Browne wins US Senior Open TOLEDO: Olin Browne showed little emotion until rolling in a 30foot birdie putt on the ﬁnal hole to clinch a three-shot victory over Mark O’Meara in the US Senior Open on Sunday. After Browne’s last putt dropped and a large gallery around the ﬁnal green at Inverness Club roared its approval, he raised his arms in triumph. It was the biggest victory of the journeyman’s 27 years as a professional. “This goes back a long way for us,” Browne said of the aspirations he and wife Pam had ﬁrst considered some 30 years ago. Browne’s closing even-par 71 followed rounds of 64, 69 and 65 and left him at 15-under 269. Making few mistakes, he parred the ﬁrst seven holes. After a bogey dropped him into a tie with O’Meara (72), he played the last 10 holes in 1 under, while O’Meara made two costly bogeys. “I guess from the middle of the back nine on it became a matchplay situation, and I’ve got zero experience in match play,” Browne said, chuckling about his 0-1 record in head-to-head competition. “But it’s about putting your ball in play, keeping it out of the junk. The bottom line is minimize your mistakes, maximize your eﬀort, and that’s all you can do.” Mark Calcavecchia shot a 69 and was alone in third at 273. Ageless Hale Irwin had a 68 was another shot back along with Joey Sindelar (70). Browne changed his approach in the ﬁnal round. He had made 15 birdies and two eagles to blitz the ﬁeld and take a two-stroke lead into the ﬁnal round. But in the last 18 holes, he played within himself and was content to settle for pars while everyone else tried to catch him. O’Meara, winner of the 1998 Masters and British Open, caught up but couldn’t hang on. “This is a huge victory for him,” O’Meara said. “I know it’s his ﬁrst win out here on the Champions Tour. It’s a major championship. You look at the leaderboard, there’s a lot of quality players up there at the top of the leaderboard. I think Olin
should be very proud of himself.” With Browne typically ﬁnding the fairway, hitting the green in regulation and then making two putts for par, it was O’Meara who blinked in their ﬁnal-round, headto-head matchup in the last pairing. With Browne and O’Meara tied for the lead, O’Meara lost his share for good when his drive on the par-4, 461-yard 13th ended up behind a tree left of the fairway. He was forced to hit a low draw around the tree that hit another tree and ended up in the deep rough right of the green. He muscled the chip shot out of the high grass, but it rolled 45 feet past the pin, leading to a twoputt bogey. Browne, only the ﬁfth player to win on the Nationwide, PGA and Champions tours, said when O’Meara’s drive found trouble he tried to not get ahead of himself. “No, because there are still six holes to play,” he said. “It could have just as easily gone the other way. And I just knew if I stayed
patient and hit the best shot that I could that when it came down to the last couple holes, I’d have a chance. That’s all I was asking for.” Browne maintained his one stroke lead until Inverness’ most diﬃcult hole, the long and uphill par-4, 488-yard 16th. While Browne was splitting the fairway and hitting a hybrid pin high on the green, O’Meara’s long-iron approach came up 30 yards short of the green. He chipped to 20 feet below the hole and failed to make the par putt as the lead doubled. Playing keep-away with the lead, Browne made a 12-foot par putt on the 17th green. At the 18th hole made famous by Bob Tway’s sand shot that broke Greg Norman’s heart to win the 1986 PGA Championship, Browne drove into the ﬁrst cut of rough and calmly put a wedge on the green. Safely below the hole, he stroked the putt into the middle of the cup. Browne, who did not begin playing golf until he was
19, became just the second player in tournament history to go wire-to-wire by matching the accomplishment of Dale Douglass (1986). His best showing in his two previous US Senior Opens was a tie for third last year at Sahalee. He was 10th the previous year at Crooked Stick. O’Meara was thwarted in his bid for a second senior major to go with his Senior Players Championship he won last year in Maryland. Instead, he ﬁnished second for the 10th time in his ﬁve seasons since joining the over-50 circuit. “I’m disappointed. I certainly had a chance to win, and I didn’t get it done,” he said. “But I’m happy for Olin.” Peter Senior (71) was at 275. Corey Pavin (69) and Michael Allen (70) were another shot back. The group at 277 included Steve Pate (68), John Huston (69), Nick Price (70) and defending champion Bernhard Langer (70). —AP
OHIO: Olin Browne stands next to James Hyler, Jr., USGA president, and the Francis D. Ouimet Memorial Senior Open Championship Trophy after winning the US Senior Open. —AP
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TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2011
Serena bags Stanford title
LOS ANGELES: Mardy Fish is unable to return a shot after running down a short ball against Ernests Gulbis of Latvia during the Farmers Classic tennis tournament final.—AP
Gulbis reels in Fish LOS ANGELES: Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis survived a few anxious moments in the final set but held his nerve to upset topseed Mardy Fish 5-7 6-4 6-4 and win the Los Angeles International on Sunday. Serving for the match at 5-2, Gulbis was broken by American Fish and then trailed 30-40 on serve at 5-4 before sealing victory. The Latvian set up match point with a delicate forehand drop shot before clinching his second ATP title with a rasping forehand winner down the line. “It means a lot to me. It’s my second title,” Gulbis told reporters. “It gives me a huge boost in confidence.” Gulbis, who had knocked out second seed Juan
Martin del Potro of Argentina in the quarter-finals, pumped his right fist in celebration after becoming the first unseeded champion in Los Angeles since Radek Stepanek in 2007. The triumph was Gulbis’ first victory over a top 10 opponent this season. Fish fell to 6-13 in ATP World Tour Finals. “I’ve played a lot of matches the past month and half, so he came in a little bit fresher than me. I think that played a part,” Fish said. “But credit to him. He played well when he needed to. He got those two breaks early [in the third set], clearly which was big. I almost got him in the end... it wasn’t meant to be.”—Reuters
STANFORD: Serena Williams sounded an ominous warning to her rivals that she will be a genuine contender at the US Open after winning the Stanford Classic on Sunday in her third tournament back from injury. Williams overpowered third seed Marion Bartoli of France 7-5 6-1 in Sunday’s final and her opponent, who triumphed when they last met in the fourth round at Wimbledon this year, applauded the American’s performance. “She has really improved her level from Wimbledon,” the ninth-ranked Bartoli told reporters. “She beat (Maria) Sharapova and (Sabine) Lisicki easily, and everything is just better-her serve, her movement. “I would pick Serena (as the US Open favorite) considering how many times she won there. Six weeks from now, she’ll be more than 10 percent better.” In winning five matches on her way to the Stanford title, Williams experienced only one hiccup when she dropped a set to Russian Maria Kirilenko in the second round. The American crushed Australian Anastasia Rodionova 6-0 6-0 in the first round, eased past fifth-ranked Sharapova 6-1 6-3 in the last eight and destroyed Wimbledon semi-finalist Lisicki 6-1 6-2 in the semifinals. US Fed Cup captain Mary Joe Fernandez was hugely impressed by how Williams “managed” her matches. “Even when she was at the top of her game, she would go off once in a while and in her last three matches I didn’t see that,” Fernandez told Reuters. “She wasn’t blasting players off the court and she worked the points. She wasn’t hitting winners left and right and she still has a lot of room to improve. At Wimbledon, she was not as sure with her reactions, plus she looked fitter.”
STANFORD: Serena Williams, of the United States, poses with the winner’s trophy after beating Marion Bartoli, of France, 7-5, 6-1 in the final of the Bank of the West Classic tennis tournament. —AP Former world number one Williams, who returned to the tour in June after taking almost a year off due to injury and illness, is projected to break into the top 80 when the new rankings are issued on Monday. While she has completed impressive comebacks from knee injuries in the past, she felt her own reaction to this most recent return from a severe foot injury
and pulmonary embolism was unique. “The hunger is a lot but it’s different,” Williams said. “It is more happiness and I feel relief and grateful.” Williams, who was ranked a lowly 169th coming into the Stanford Classic, plans to take a week’s break before returning to competition in Toronto and Cincinnati. She believes she is still well
short of her best while acknowledging she has seen plenty of positive improvement. “I just put myself at the bottom (rung) because I want to keep it going, but my confidence is better and that is what I was praying for,” she said. The US Open, where Serena Williams has won the singles title three times, takes place from Aug. 29-Sept. 11. —Reuters
Zvonareva heads field at injury-hit San Diego
SAN ANTONIO: Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan (right) and linebacker Alex Albright go through drills during an NFL training camp. —AP
SAN DIEGO: Two-time grand slam finalist Vera Zvonareva heads the field as women continue the buildup to the start of the US Open at the WTA San Diego Open beginning late yesterday. The Russian who finished runner-up in 2010 at Wimbledon and New York will pick up the slack after injury pullouts from holder Svetlana Kuznetsova and world number two Kim Clijsters. The Californian event is also missing Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova, who picked up an abdominal strain on her way to the title at the All England club. Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova,
the sixth seed, says she’ll try to compete even after pulling out of her scheduled semi-final at Stanford with an abdominal strain. Zvonareva is well accustomed to hardcourts, having won her last seven titles on the surface, including the new WTA tournament in Baku, Azerbajian this month. “Women’s tennis is at a very high level right now,” the Russian number one said in victory. “If I don’t have my full concentration and give my best then there is no chance to win a match.” The world number three, who enjoys a bye into the second round along with the other seven
leading seeds at the La Costa resort, has a modest record coming into her fifth appearance here. She played a semi-final five years ago while going out last year in the second round. The top seed will await an opening opponent from two qualifiers. Germany’s new wave of women dominate the seedings, with Andrea Petkovic taking the second placing, Julia Goerges seventh and Wimbledon semi-finalist Sabine Lisicki 12th. All three are making debuts at the country club venue. Petkovic will be playing for the first time since she fell in the third round at
Wimbledon, Goerges started on the hardcourts this week in Stanford along with Lisicki, who was in the final four. Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska is seeded third ahead of China’s Peng Shuai with former Roland Garros winner Ana Ivanovic fifth. Ivanovic will open with a potential clash against Jelena Dokic should the Australian get past Japan’s Ayumi Morita in the first round. Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova rounds out the top eight seeds. Also playing are Japan’s 40-yearold Kimiko Date-Krumm, India’s Sania Mirza, and Chinese players Zheng Jie and Zhang Sahai. —AFP
Shooting tournament concludes
Joint picture of officials with winning shooters By Abdellatif Sharaa KUWAIT: The second and final tournament for Sheikh Saad Academy for this year came to a conclusion on Saturday July 30th, 2011. The tournament was named after the late Sheikh Faisal AlDuaiji Al-Sabah, who was a member of the first shooting national team, and was the first shooter to have an international win recorded in the name of Kuwait’s shooting. The late Sheikh exerted personal efforts, following Kuwait’s liberation to construct the first Olympic shooting range allowing Kuwaiti youth practice the sport. President of Kuwait and Asian Shooting Sports Federations, Vice President of ISSF Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem AlHumoud Al-Sabah, President of Arab Shooting Sport Federation, member of
MP Mikhlid Al-Azmi, Sheikh Sabah Al-Duaij, Sheikh Salman AlSabah and Duaij Al-Otaibi
ISSF Administrative Council Eng. Duaij AlOtaibi, Member of Parliament Mikhlid AlAzmi and board members attended the closing ceremony. Kuwait Shooting Sport Club Assistant Secretary Eng. Mohammad Al-Ghurba conveyed the congratulations of the shooting community to HH The Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber, HH The Crown Prince, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad and HH The Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad on the occasion of the holy month. He also thanked Sheikh Sabah Faisal AlDuaij for sponsoring the tournament and attending the closing ceremony that was held at Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Olympic Shooting Complex. Al-Ghurba said the Sheikh Saad Olympic shooting academy comes as the culmination of efforts exerted by KSSC
chairman and board members who have the long term vision to develop the sport, and allow Kuwaiti youth learn the sport of shooting according to the Olympic doctrines. He said “we urge Kuwaiti academy as applications are still being accepted.” Results of the tournament are as follows: Skeet - men : Marzouq Al-Azmi Fahad Sahood Abdallah Al-Rashidi Trap - Men : Nawaf Al-Saber Farraj Al-Rashidi Omar Al-Mutairi Skeet - Juniors : Mishal Al-Azmi Mansour Al-Azmi
Sheikh Sabah Al-Duaij hands Marzouq Al-Azmi his first place skeet trophy.
Trap - Juniors :
SaudAl-Azmi Fawaz Al-Qufaidi Mislim Al-Rashidi Athby Al-Mutairi
10 M Air Pistol - Men : Khalifa Al-Zafiri Ahmad Al-Misri Thamer Al-Shimmari 10 M Air Rifle - Men : Saud Bilal Mohammad Al-Zafiri Hamad Al-Ajmi 10 M Air Pistol - Women : Maryam Al-Mutoutah Sarah Al-Khalidi Hanan Haidar 10 M Air Rifle - Women : Bedour Al-Mukaimi Nour Al-Saddi
Director General of the National Security College Major General Mohammad Al-Daihani said efforts of Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah in remembering and recognizing those who contributed to the sport such as Sheikh Faisal Al-Duaij Al-Sabah, are highly appreciated. Major General Al-Daihani spoke following the closing ceremony, saying special emphasis must be given to the development of the sport of our fathers and grandfathers, and to lay the foundation for upcoming and young shooters to ensure the continuity of success being enjoyed at present. Al-Daihani thanked the shooting sport officials for their care and interest in ensuring the high standards of the sport, especially by paying special attention to the youth from an early age.
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TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2011
Nigeria rout Guatemala
COLOMBIA: Saudi Arabia’s players celebrate at the end of a U-20 World Cup group D soccer match against Croatia. Saudi Arabia won 2-0.—AP
Rangers, Kiev battle for Euro survival PARIS: Under-pressure Glasgow Rangers and Dynamo Kiev both need to clinch away victories to avoid exiting the Champions League at the qualifying round stage this week. Scottish champions Rangers lost 1-0 at Ibrox last week to Malmo and head to Sweden knowing that in 55 years the club has never come back from losing a home leg to win a European tie. But manager Ally McCoist, who took over from Walter Smith in the summer, believes Saturday’s 2-0 league win over St Johnstone could prove the key to overturning the deficit on Wednesday. “I firmly believe that on chances created in the second-half against Malmo that we can turn it around,” said McCoist. “Even against St Johnstone we created a fantastic number of goal-scoring opportunities and I believe we will do that over in Malmo. I really believe that if we take them we will win the game.” Dynamo’s hopes of making the play-off
round-the next step in the tournament before the lucrative group stage kicks independ on overturning a 2-0 home loss to Russia’s Rubin Kazan. Christian Noboa and Bebras Natcho scored for the Russian side in the first leg, avenging a 3-1 defeat when they last visited Kiev in the 2008/09 group stages. “We’re not going to give up. We’ll prepare for the second leg, and time will tell,” said Dynamo coach Yuri Semin. Danish champions Copenhagen, who reached the round of 16 last season, are 1-0 up on Shamrock Rovers ahead of their trip to Dublin while fellow group stage regulars Panathinaikos are in the box seat after a 1-1 draw at Odense. Portuguese giants Benfica take a 2-0 lead to Trabzonspor in Turkey. The midweek winners will go into Friday’s play-off draw which will see four-time champions Bayern Munich, 2006 runners-up Arsenal, recent semi-finalists Lyon and Villarreal as well as Udinese enter the fray.—AFP
MEDELLIN: Two of the early favorites in the Under-20 World Cup came through as expected with Spain and Nigeria picking up victories on Sunday as the first round of group play wrapped up. Spain defeated Costa Rica 4-1 in Group C, and Australia drew 1-1 with Ecuador. In Group D, Nigeria trounced Guatemala 5-0 and Saudi Arabia defeated Croatia 2-0. Spain is the favorite for many - along with Argentina and Brazil - with its U-20 team playing the same kind of touch-touch-touch football that brought the senior team the World Cup last year in South Africa. The first round of matches also unearthed a few surprises. Egypt looked very strong in a 1-1 draw with Brazil, Colombia seems to be in the mix after thrashing France 4-1, and South Korea looked like a contender after a 2-0 victory over Mali. Spain got two goals from Rodrigo Moreno with others from Koke and Isco. Like the Brazilians, Spanish players seem to be going more and more by a single name. John Ruiz pulled a goal back for Costa Rica in the 66th and the Central Americans had chances to equalize in the next few minutes before Koke scored in the 81st and Isco netted a penalty in stoppage time. “Costa Rica played a great game,” Spain coach Julen Lopetegui said. “They put us under lots of pressure and they could have tied the match. I hope the result gives us confidence. We are aware it was not a 4-1 game, but a much closer one. And we will have to improve.” Midfielder Sergio Canales, who has moved on loan to Valencia from Real Madrid, missed the match with a leg injury. “There is not too much to say after a 4-1 loss,” Costa Rica coach Ronald Gonzalez said. “We thought we were close to making it 2-2 and we probably did not score goals we deserved. ... It’s a shame that the score looks
so one-sided when it was really much closer.” Spain faces Ecuador in its next match on Wednesday, while group rival Australia plays Costa Rica on the same day. Australia got lucky, drawing its match in the 89th minute on Tommy Oar’s soaring, 30meter (yard) free kick after Juan Govea gave Ecuador the lead in the 24th. Australia was outplayed for much of the match and seldom looked threatening against the quicker, better organized South Americans. Nigeria showed it will contend in its lopsided victory over Guatemala in Group D. Edafe Egbedi scored twice with other goals
from Abdul Ajagun, Olarenwaju Kayode and Ahmed Musa. This is Nigeria’s eighth appearance in the tournament and the west Africans are still searching for their first title. Tomorrow, Nigeria faces Croatia and Guatemala is up against Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia got off to a strong start when Yasir Alfahmi scored in the 54th minute and Fhad Almuwallad adding another in the 69th. On Monday, six-time champion Argentina leads Group F and faces England, with Mexico going against North Korea. In Group E where all teams have one point, Egypt plays Panama and Brazil faces Austria.—AP
COLOMBIA: Guatemala’s Marvin Ceballos (right) fights for the ball with Nigeria’s Ganiu Ogungbe during a U-20 World Cup Group D soccer match.—AP
Thais to target ‘slow’ Aussies BANGKOK: Thailand believe they might be able to upset Australia in Asian qualifying for the 2014 World Cup by relying on quick passing to get past the “slow” Socceroos. The Thais were pitted against Australia, Saudi Arabia and Oman in the draw for the third round of qualifying for the next version of soccer’s international showpiece
at the weekend. The Socceroos, runners up at the Asian Cup earlier this year, will be strong favourites to progress out of what one Australian newspaper described as the “group of life” and remain on course for appearing at a third successive finals. Thailand, who have never reached the finals, are Australia’s
first opponents on Sept. 2 and team manager Anucha Nakasai thinks they might cause their hosts some problems. “They are admittedly all strong teams but at least we didn’t get Japan or South Korea,” he told the Bangkok Post. “Australia play a high standard of football, but I think we can give them a good game.
“The Australian players are tall but they are a bit slow. I think we have the speed with our shortpassing game to upset them, but of course it will be difficult.” The top two from each of Asia’s five third-round groups progress to a second group stage, which offers four places at the finals in Brazil as well as a possible fifth place via playoffs.—Reuters
Corinthians’ lead cut to one point
NEW YORK: Juergen Klinsmann, of Germany (right) smiles after being introduced as the head coach of the US men’s soccer team by US Soccer President Sunil Gulati (left) at a news conference. —AP
Capello plans to bow out in style LONDON: England coach Fabio Capello has vowed to provide a memorable finale to his troubled reign by winning Euro 2012. Capello’s underwhelming four years in England will come to a conclusion at the end of the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine next year and the Italian is determined to leave the perfect farewell gift. Although England are still engaged in a tense battle with Montenegro for automatic qualification for the finals, Capello is convinced England are capable of winning a major international tournament for the first time since the 1966 World Cup. “I think my last year will be very good, I hope so. I try to make everything better,” Capello said. “I study, I prepare, I focus. I hope that at the end of my career we will win a trophy. “I hope so because when you are a winner, you want to win something, not to lose.” Many top clubs would like to hire Capello after he quits England, but he confirmed he plans to retire after Euro 2012 and will instead work as a commentator and analyst for Italian television. “It is my job and the job is my life and I love it. But, yes, I will definitely retire after the Euros,” he said. Capello was speaking in Brazil after the draw for the 2014 World Cup qualifying groups, an experience that could have triggered bitter memories after England’s disappointing performance at the 2010 tournament in South Africa. The 65-year-old won’t be around for England’s next crack at the World Cup, but he believes his successor will inherit a bright young team. Capello highlights the emergence of Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, Liverpool duo Jordan Henderson and Andy Carroll, Manchester United defenders Phil Jones and Chris Smalling and
Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge as promising signs that the next generation could be a rich one for England. “It’s my job for one more year and it’s really important,” he said. “I hope that, over the next year, some young players will be ready to play in the next qualification campaign for the World Cup. In my head, they will be the players for the future. “There are some good players for the future. As well as Wilshere, Walcott and Andy Carroll there is Gibbs, Henderson, the two at United, Jones and Smalling, Walker, Welbeck, Sturridge, Martin Kelly. I think these players are the future for England. These are the names.” It is unlikely many of those names will feature in the squad for England’s next match-a friendly against Holland on August 10 which Capello concedes is badly timed coming just three days before the start of the Premier League season. While he appreciates clubs won’t be keen to release players on the eve of the new campaign, the former AC Milan and Real Madrid boss knows the fixture will provide valuable planning time ahead of two crucial Euro 2012 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Wales in September. “The timing is difficult. You need to ask FIFA, they decided this,” he said. “Usually it would be the first Wednesday after the first league game. I can’t watch any of the players I need to choose. I don’t know what level any of the players will be. “Now I need to prepare for the qualifying games. I make experiments if it’s possible when the games are not so important, but this game is very important because we then have a really short time to prepare for the next qualification games.”—AFP
RIO DE JANEIRO: Corinthians had their Brazilian championship lead cut to a single point with a 3-2 defeat at Avai on Sunday, losing for the second time in a row after they opened the season with a 10match unbeaten run. Second-placed Flamengo remain the only unbeaten team in the championship and eased to a 2-0 victor y over Gremio on Saturday with an inspired Ronaldinho scoring one of the goals in his first ever match against the club where he started his career. Avai, in 18th place and previously without a home win in Florianopolis, appeared an ideal opponent for Corinthians to recover from their first defeat last weekend and the visitors went ahead through striker Emerson after half an hour. However, within 14 minutes of the restart, Avai had turned the match around with strikes from for wards William and Rafael Coelho, whose second goal eight minutes from time secured the win despite Jorge Henrique pulling one back in added time. “We must put our heads in the right place, show maturity. This is a difficult championship. We must see where we went wrong, regroup and get our focus back,” said Emerson, who won the title with Fluminense last year and Flamengo in 2009. Flamengo, who in midweek beat South American champions Santos 5-4 in a spectacular match thanks to a Ronaldinho hat-trick, had the former Barcelona ace in fine form again at home to Gremio. Ronaldinho, the championship’s top scorer with nine goals, laid on the opener for midfielder Thiago Neves at Rio’s Olympic stadium in the first half and sealed the win in the second after goalkeeper Victor tried to dribble past him and lost the ball. Santos lost again in another thriller when they went down 3-2 to Atletico Paranaense at a soggy Curitiba in southern Brazil on Sunday. Diminutive midfielder Marcinho headed the home side’s winner in added time after Santos recovered from a 2-0 deficit.—Reuters
LONDON: In this March 19, 2011 file photo, Bolton Wanderers’ Stuart Holden lies on the ground after a tackle from Manchester United’s Jonathan Evans earning a red card in their English Premier League soccer match. —AP
Barton given free transfer by Newcastle LONDON: Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton has been told he can leave the Premier League team on a free transfer after his stormy relationship with the club finally reached breaking point. Barton was already unhappy with Newcastle’s decision to allow captain Kevin Nolan to join West Ham during the close-season and his mood wasn’t improved by the recent breakdown of talks over a new contract. The 28-year-old showed his frustrations with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley and the club’s directors with a series of angry posts on the micro-blogging website Twitter. Writing after Sunday’s 3-2 friendly defeat at Leeds, Barton claimed another Twitter post from Newcastle team-mate Jose Enrique, which led to the Spaniard being fined after he accused the club of lacking ambition, was typical of the unhappy atmosphere among the players. “If only we as players could tell the fans exactly how it is, without them above fining us lots of money. There will be a time and a place,” he said. “If it wouldn’t effect team morale and cause unrest within the dressing room, am certain Jose’s comments would be the tip of the iceberg. “And again it would be left to those magnificent fans to pick up the remnants of their once great football club.” He then claimed he would make an announcement about his future on Twitter at late yesterday, but Newcastle pre-empted that move by announcing Barton will be placed on the transfer list and allowed to leave for free a year before the end of his contract. “Newcastle United can confirm that Joey Barton
has been placed on the transfer list,” a statement on the club’s website read. “The player has been advised he can leave the club on a free transfer.” Barton responded to the news by claiming he had been forced out by the club’s hierarchy. “Somewhere in those high echelons of NUFC, they have decided, I am persona non grata,” he wrote. “I am on a free but the honor of wearing (Newcastle’s) black and white stripes surpasses that. “One day the board might realise, what the shirt signifies. Honour and pride. Thanks for your continued support.” Manchester United and Arsenal have both been linked with moves for Barton during the close-season and there is likely to be a scramble for the 28year-old’s services involving a host of top-flight teams despite his often-controversial actions. Barton has never been far from the spotlight at Newcastle following his £5.8 million ($9.4 million) move from Manchester City in June 2007. Shortly after his transfer, he served a 77-day prison sentence after being found guilty of assault following an incident in Liverpool. Barton was also given a suspended four-month sentence for a training ground assault on then City team-mate Ousmane Dabo, which earned him a six-match ban upon his release from jail. He was briefly suspended by the club after a clash with interim manager Alan Shearer as Newcastle were relegated in 2009, but resolved his differences and helped the Magpies win promotion from the Championship under new boss Chris Hughton.—AFP
Stallings wins first PGA Tour title at Greenbrier
TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2011
Nigeria rout Guatemala
China searches for next Yao Ming
LONDON: England’s James Anderson (centre right) celebrates after taking the wicket of India’s Sachin Tendulkar (centre) lbw for 56 on the fourth day of their cricket Test match at Trent Bridge cricket ground. —AP
SCOREBOARD NOTTINGHAM: Final scoreboard on the fourth day of the second Test between England and India at Trent Bridge yesterday: England 1st Innings 221 (S Broad 64; P Kumar 3-45, I Sharma 3-66, S Sreesanth 3-77) India 1st Innings 288 (R Dravid 117, Yuvraj Singh 62, V Laxman 54; S Broad 6-46) England 2nd Innings (overnight: 441-6) R. Dravid c Prior b Broad 6 A. Strauss c Dhoni b Sreesanth 16 V. Laxman b Anderson 4 A. Cook c Yuvraj b Sharma 5 S. Tendulkar lbw b Anderson 56 I. Bell c Laxman b Yuvraj 159 S. Raina c sub (Elstone) b Bresnan 1 K. Pietersen c Dhoni b Sreesanth 63 Yuvraj Singh c Cook b Bresnan 8 E. Morgan c Dhoni b Kumar 70 MS Dhoni lbw b Bresnan 0 M. Prior c Dhoni b Kumar 73 Harbhajanb Bresnan 46 J. Trott c Dravid b Kumar 2 P. Kumar b Anderson 25 T. Bresnan c Dravid b Kumar 90 I. Sharma not out 8 S. Broad run out sub (Saha) 44 S. Sreesanth b Broad 0 G. Swann c sub (Saha) b Sharma 3 Extras (b1) 1 J. Anderson not out 1 Total (all out, 47.4 overs, 231 mins) 158 Extras (b9, lb5, w2, nb2) 18 Fall of wickets: 1-6 (Dravid), 2-13 (Laxman), Total (all out, 120.2 overs, 540 mins) 544 3-31 (Mukund), 4-37 (Raina), 5-55 (Yuvraj), Fall of wickets: 1-6 (Cook), 2-57 (Strauss), 36-55 (Dhoni), 7-107 (Tendulkar), 8-129 219 (Pietersen), 4-323 (Bell), 5-329 (Harbhajan), 9-153 (Kumar), 10-158 (Morgan), 6-339 (Trott), 7-458 (Prior), 8-540 (Sreesanth) (Broad), 9-540 (Broad, 10-544 (Swann) Bowling: Kumar 36-5-124-4 (2w); Sharma Bowling: Anderson 17-3-51-3; Broad 14.429.2-4-131-2; Sreesanth 27-5-135-2 (2nb); 5-30-2; Bresnan 12-2-48-5; Swann 3-0-21Yuvraj 11-0-51-1; Harbhajan 9-1-47-0; 0; Pietersen 1-0-7-0. Raina 8-0-42-0. Result: England won by 319 runs India 2nd Innings Man-of-the-match: Stuart Broad (ENG) A. Mukund c Strauss b Bresnan 3 Series: England lead four-match series 2-0
Bresnan stars as England thrash India NOTTINGHAM: Tim Bresnan shone with both bat and ball as England crushed India by 319 runs at Trent Bridge here yesterday to win the second Test with more than a day to spare. England’s margin of victory was a record in terms of runs in tests between the two sides. England’s victory, achieved despite Sachin Tendulkar’s ﬁfty, gave them a 2-0 lead in this four-match series as they looked to knock India oﬀ top spot in the ICC’s Test Championship table. Andrew Strauss’s side will replace India at the summit if they maintain or better their lead in the remaining two Tests. “We are just going to focus on winning the next Test, the rest of that stuﬀ will look after itself,” said Strauss. “This was an outstanding performance
where we had to dig deep a couple of times, get ourselves on top and make it count.” Strauss was also full of praise for India captain Mohendra Singh Dhoni for reprieving England batsman Ian Bell after he was run out on Sunday, carelessly leaving his crease to head to the pavilion for tea. “It was a very commendable decision,” he said. “It was the right thing for cricket. As captain it is a very diﬃcult decision to take and I think Mohendra has set a great example for me and other Test captains.” Set a record victory target of 478, India were bowled out for 158 with Tendulkar top-scoring with 56 but still left searching for an unprecedented and elusive 100th international hundred. Bresnan, who only came into the side
when Chris Tremlett was ruled out with injury, made 90 batting at number eight in England’s second innings 544 and then did the bulk of the damage with the ball. He took a maiden Test ﬁve wicket haul of ﬁve wickets for 48 runs in 12 oversincluding two in two balls before tea. “Tim Bresnan has never let anyone down,” said Strauss. “He was outstanding with bat and ball. It makes the selection decisions harder and harder.” Before lunch England, who won the ﬁrst Test at Lord’s by 196 runs, saw oﬀ Rahul Dravid, who made 117 in India’s ﬁrst innings, for just six when he was caught behind oﬀ a lifting delivery from man of the match Stuart Broad. Venkatsai Laxman, another of India’s star batsmen, was then clean bowled by a
Worsley’s dream of World Cup shattered LONDON: England’s Joe Worsley will miss the World Cup after being named as one of ﬁve players dropped from Martin Johnson’s training squad for the tournament in New Zealand. Johnson released Worsley, Leicester pair George Chuter and Thomas Waldrom, Saracens wing David Strettle and Gloucester back James Simpson-Daniel yesterday as he ramped up his preparations for the two World Cup warm-up ﬁxtures against Wales. “Joe has come back from some injuries last year and worked incredibly hard to get back in but has come up a little bit short right now,” Johnson said. “Thomas had an injury to his calf and he hasn’t been able to train that much. He has gone back to Leicester to participate in their pre-season. “The other decisions have all been tough because everyone has participated and contributed. It is particularly tough on Stretts (Strettle) because he has trained very, very well. “Simpson-Daniel has had a couple of niggling injuries and a bit of illness.” Wasps back-row forward Worsley-who made his Test debut in the 1999 World Cup and was part of the victorious squad in 2003 — had hoped to play in his fourth World Cup, but the 78-cap veteran failed to make the cut for the 40-man squad. The decision to cut Worsley and Waldrom, who has been struggling with a calf injury, means the Harlequins captain Chris Robshaw is still pushing for World Cup selection. Chuter’s departure leaves England with three hookers in Dylan Hartley, Steve Thompson and Lee Mears - all of whom are now likely to travel to New Zealand. Strettle and Simpson-Daniel have been overtaken in the pecking order by Gloucester’s Charlie Sharples and Harlequins wing Ugo Monye. Johnson is yet to cut any of his seven props or his ﬁve second row players as he looks ahead to England’s World Cup opener against Argentina in Dunedin on September 10. Meanwhile, Johnson hinted that England rookies Manu Tuilagi and Sharples are one step closer to making his World Cup squad after impressing at the training camp. Leicester centre Tuilagi, 20, and Sharples, 21, are yet to make their Test debuts but the duo were singled out for praise from Johnson after surviving the ﬁrst cut of the England training squad. “We were conﬁdent they were worth their place or we wouldn’t have picked them. They’ve got this far, which shows we’ve been pleased with what they’ve done,” Johnson said. “The next step will be selection and getting on the ﬁeld in the next two weeks. “I’ve been impressed (by Tuilagi). He’s a strong, powerful young man. He is an incredibly impressive physical specimen. “Sharples is a very impressive young man who has worked very hard. He’s got his head down and taken it all in.” —AFP
superb James Anderson delivery for four. Opener Abhinav Mukund, dropped on nought, struggled to three oﬀ 41 balls before gloving Bresnan’s ﬁfth ball, a bouncer, to ﬁrst slip Strauss. Bresnan succeeded with the short ball again when Suresh Raina hooked straight to substitute Scott Elstone at long leg. Tendulkar had struck some typically sublime straight drives oﬀ Anderson but he could do nothing as Bresnan took two wickets in two balls. First Yuvraj Singh gloved a rising delivery to Alastair Cook at backward silly point and was out for eight. Next ball Dhoni, inexplicably playing no shot, was lbw for a golden duck to leave the tourists 55 for six and Bresnan on a hat-trick at the start of his next over,
which Harbhajan Singh survived. Tendulkar completed his ﬁrst ﬁfty of the series with his eighth four before Harbhajan slogged oﬀ-spinner Graeme Swann for six. But Tendulkar was undone by a good length inswinger from Anderson, taking his wicket for the seventh time in eight Tests. Harbhajan exited for 46 when a hook oﬀ Bresnan was caught by Elstone, giving the 26-year-old Yorkshire seamer, in his eighth match at this level, a new Test-best, surpassing his four for 50 against Australia in Melbourne in December. Broad ended the match by bowling last man Shanthakumaran Sreesanth for nought. England resumed Monday on 441 for six with Matt Prior 64 not out and
Bresnan 47 not out. Wicketkeeper Prior was out for 73 to end a seventh-wicket stand of 119 at nearly a run-a-ball when he was caught behind oﬀ Praveen Kumar, who led India’s attack with four for 124. Broad, who had top-scored with 64 in England’s ﬁrst innings 221 and had then taken a hat-trick on his way to Test-best ﬁgures of six for 46 in India’s 288, followed up with 44. But a ball after Broad was run out, Bresnan’s quest for a maiden Test hundred ended when he fended Kumar to Dravid in the gully. Bresnan, whose Test-best score remains the 91 he made against Bangladesh in Dhaka last year, faced 118 balls with 17 fours.The third Test starts at Edgbaston on August 10.—AFP
Dhoni’s act of sportsmanship finds praise, critics back home
NEW DELHI: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s decision to recall Ian Bell after a bizarre runout at Trent Bridge on Sunday will have gone down well with English cricket fans but his act of sportsmanship appears lost on some of his compatriots. Bell was on 137 when he walked oﬀ the crease believing the tea break was being taken. The Indians felt the game was still live and took oﬀ the bails. After some deliberation between the umpires, who strictly followed the laws of the game, Bell was given out much to the displeasure of the 15,000 crowd and the England team. Approached by the English team management in the break, Dhoni decided to recall Bell, who went on to add 22 more runs before being dismissed. For some, the incident brought back memories of the 1980 Mumbai test in which India captain Gundappa Viswanath recalled Bob Taylor after the England stumper-batsman was ruled caught behind. But former test cricket Sanjay Manjrekar said the Bell incident was completely diﬀerent. “Sorry ... but don’t agree with Dhoni’s decision to call Bell back ... it was not a case of batsman wrongly given out,” the cricketer-turned-commentator wrote on his Twitter page. “Many years back G.R Viswanath called back Bob Taylor when he was wrongly given out ... that was an appropriate gesture of spirit, I thought. “Ian Bell was being very casual, almost careless, walking oﬀ before a deﬁnitive call from umpire for boundary or tea and deserved to be out.” While Dhoni’s gesture was lauded by the International Cricket Council
and the England and Wales Cricket Board some raised questions about it. “...Dhoni reverses his decision at tea break - politics in sport or the right thing?” spin great Shane Warne, hugely popular in India, wrote on his Twitter page. Some fans also wondered whether Dhoni would have arrived at the same decision in a World Cup ﬁnal. The majority, however, congratulated the Indian captain for looking beyond the laws and upholding the spirit of the game. “Proud of you Dhoni! Spirit of game is more important than the result. Win the hearts and you will win the game too! India is proud of you,” sports minister Ajay Maken said. Dhoni’s former captain Anil Kumble, known for impeccable integrity, also hailed him for making the right call. “I think it was the right decision. I’m proud of the way they played the game in the right spirit,” the retired leg-spinner told CNN-IBN channel. Another former India spinner Maninder Singh reckoned the senior players helped Dhoni take the right decision. “He has some sensible people in the dressing room-Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and (coach) Duncan Fletcher. Those heads have also helped Dhoni take the right decision and I’m proud of him,” said the former left-arm spinner. Lalit Modi, who was axed as commissioner of the Indian Premier League for giving “a bad name to the administration of cricket, also lauded Dhoni. “The stand the Indian team took ... in the Ian Bell case was the right thing to do, even though they did not need too. Kudos to the Indian team,” Modi said.—Reuters
Oman’s first Islamic bank ready to open
e niv rsar n
International economic issues affect key market performance Page 23 TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2011
Greek taxi drivers step up strike, block traffic
Most Gulf stocks rise; US deal lifts sentiment Page 24
DUBAI: Visitors pass by under the Ramadan decorations at an almost empty shopping mall during the first day of the month of Ramadan yesterday. Public activities are slow during the day in the month of Ramadan.— AP
OPEC, IEA clash over oil reserves weapon Saudi looking East rather than West LONDON: Consumer watchdog the International Energy Agency’s emergency oil release is a desperate measure that threatens to undo two decades of cooperation with OPEC and could fail to calm prices. The announcement of a 60 million-barrel release from emergency stocks-only the third in the IEA’s 37-year historycame after consumer nations unsuccessfully applied pressure on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to increase its output. The talks collapsed in disarray, but top exporter Saudi Arabia said it would still produce as much oil as the market needed. As far as OPEC delegates were concerned, there was no justification for any action from the IEA. OPEC delegates from the Gulf, which has traditionally sided with the US and favored moderate prices, as well as from anti-US Iran said it was unnecessary, unjustified interference. “The oil price hasn’t shot up to $150. There is no reason to do this. The market is not short of supply. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have been
raising production, but there have not been many buyers. The IEA is just playing politics with the US,” one Gulf delegate told Reuters. Analysts said it was too early to say whether OPEC would retaliate directly by reducing supply, but dipping into finite emergency stocks ahead of the expected increase in demand later this year could be a miscalculation. OPEC has yet to issue an official statement, but speaking at Reuters Global Climate and Energy Summit last week, OPEC Secretary General Abdullah Al-Badri accused the IEA of being unprofessional. “Strategic reserves should be kept for their purpose and not used as a weapon against OPEC,” Badri told Reuters. Fair weather friends Badri’s words recall OPEC’s use of its “oil weapon” during the Arab Oil Embargo, which led to the creation of the IEA in 1974 to protect consumers’ interests. A more harmonious chapter began with the formal beginning of producer-consumer dialogue through the International Energy Forum in 1991. Since then, OPEC-IEA
dialogue has been happiest when oil prices were high enough to reward oil producers, but not so high as to alarm consumers, although U.S. pressure also got in the way of an OPEC agreement in 2000. Taking exception to US interference at a meeting in March of that year, Iran refused to sign up to a deal to increase supply, although it subsequently did so. In 2000 as now, a Democratic president (at the time Bill Clinton) was seeking re-election and facing uncomfortably high gasoline prices, then around $1.50 a gallon, compared with around $4 a gallon now. US crude was trading around $26 a barrel compared with well above $100 now for Brent crude, which has taken over as the leading benchmark. In June this year, OPEC failed to get as far as a new production agreement. Iran, holder of the rotating OPEC presidency, was joined by six other nations in refusing to add more oil to the market. They refused even though data from the OPEC headquarters in Vienna agreed there could
be an oil shortage later in the year. Saudi Arabia, which holds almost all available spare production capacity, is expected nevertheless to raise its output towards 10 million barrels per day (bpd) in June and July. It says its spare capacity that it keeps for times of market tightness can be brought onstream very quickly. IEA argues there is supply disruption The IEA voiced doubt the extra Saudi crude would arrive in time and said it might not be of sufficient quality to compensate for light sweet crude lost to civil war in OPEC nation Libya. That was justification for releasing 2 million bpd over 30 days, although some analysts said it constituted a shift in the rationale of strategic stocks that are kept for emergency supply disruption. One analyst said the IEA was taking on Saudi Arabia’s role as the supplier of last resort, which has long underpinned its influence in the world and its links with the world’s biggest oil consumer the United States. “I think the IEA is trying to act like
a central bank,” said Dominick Chirichella at New York ’s Energy Management Institute. Although the IEA said it was only filling a supply gap, other analysts also said concern about the frailty of the world economy had to be a factor. “It’s an economic measure, but there is a supply gap,” said Lawrence Eagles of JP Morgan. In a note issued after the June 8 OPEC meeting, JP Morgan warned releasing emergency reserves could make markets more anxious rather than less. “A release now would send the message that consumer governments have little faith that there is any spare capacity within the producer group, and/or there are concerns over OPEC’s short and long term price aspirations,” it wrote. Saudi Arabia previously said oil at between $70 and $80 was the right range for producers seeking to invest in new supplies and consumers, but in June Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said that range was a thing of the past. He did not specify his new pre-
Third straight Saudi fuel oil lot sold to East Asia
HSBC cuts 30,000 jobs, posts profit increase LONDON: HSBC will shed 30,000 jobs as it retreats from countries where it is struggling to compete, Europe’s biggest bank said yesterday after reporting a surprise rise in firsthalf profit. Shares in HSBC rose as much as 5 percent as it unveiled first-half pretax profits of $11.5 billion, up from $11.1 billion a year ago and better than the $10.9 billion average in a Reuters poll of analysts. The bank also said it had cut 5,000 jobs following restructuring of operations in Latin America, the United States, Britain, France and the Middle East and that it would cut another 25,000 between now and 2013. “There will be further job cuts,” Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver told reporters on a conference call. “There will be something like 25,000 roles eliminated between now and the end of 2013.” The cuts equate to roughly 10 percent of HSBC’s total workforce. They come on top of any reductions in overall headcount that will result from a program of disposals that also forms part of a plan to focus on HSBC’s Asian operations. “It’s a big number, but it makes sense because HSBC’s costs are fairly high,” Daniel Tabbush, analyst at CLSA in Bangkok, said of the staff cuts. “Hopefully these cuts help make an impact in helping lower the bank’s cost-to-income ratio.” HSBC said many of the losses would come through natural wastage rather than enforced redundancies and some of the impact would be offset by creating jobs elsewhere, with new ones already created in Asia, Brazil and Mexico in the first half. But Britain’s Unite trade union said the
worst fears of HSBC staff had been confirmed. “Today while the bank reports strong profits of £7 billion, its staff face an uncertain future as the management press forward with this brutal restructuring,” Unite national officer David Fleming said in a statement. HSBC is reversing a strategy that had been criticized for “planting flags” around the world. Gulliver’s overhaul, first unveiled three months ago, aims to slash costs and scale back the bank’s global spread. HSBC said on Sunday it would sell 195 U.S. branches to First Niagara Financial for about $1 billion in cash, and close another 13 of the 470 sites it had. HSBC also intends to sell its US credit card portfolio, which has more than $30 billion in assets, a move which would free up capital. Capital One Financial Corp and Wells Fargo are among the bidders, sources have said. Another suitor could be Barclays . “We still have a number of people interested in that business. If we can’t get the price we’re looking for we have a number of options-we can run it off, sell it in pieces, we could decide to keep the retail private label cards,” Gulliver told reporters. Regulatory risks Gulliver indicated, however, that the geographical spread of its cut backs would be less radical than first envisaged. The bank now aims to shut or sell retail operations in a further 20 countries. In May, he had earmarked leaving 39 countries but has so far only closed in Russia and Poland and shrunk its business in the United States.— Reuters
ferred price, but many analysts have said Saudi and other members of OPEC might be keen to establish $100 as the market’s floor. “OPEC will wait and see, but I doubt it will take oil out of the market as long as Brent is north of $105,” one Saudi analyst said. “Just a guess,” he added. At the same time, Saudi Arabia’s desire to please its long-term ally the United States has been eroded by what Riyadh regarded as the US decision to abandon Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, a crucial ally for both Saudi Arabia and the United States until his overthrow earlier this year. US President Barack Obama’s often-stated desire to reduce U.S. dependency on foreign oil has played badly to Saudi Arabia’s domestic audience as the kingdom spends billions on maintaining spare oil capacity. Ties with the world’s second biggest oil consumer China, already the biggest energy consumeralthough yet to become a member of the IEA-are warmer and it is has already become state oil firm Saudi Aramco’s biggest client. —Reuters
LONDON: A photo shows a man walking past a branch of HSBC bank. HSBC will slash up to 30,000 jobs worldwide over the next two years as part of a major cost-cutting drive.— AFP
SINGAPORE: Saudi Arabia sold its third August-loading fuel oil cargo to East Asia at lower prices on the back of two unexpected deals that were concluded at high price levels in a tightly-supplied market, traders said yesterday. Saudi Aramco sold the high 700-cst viscosity parcel of up to 90,000 tons for Aug 22-24 loading from the joint-venture Samref refinery in Yanbu to US-based trader Cargill at a discount of about $22.00-$23.00 a ton to Singapore spot quotes on a free-on-board (FOB) basis, down from around minus $20.00 previously, traders said. “That the consecutive parcel is also heading east at lower price levels would suggest that the Middle East may not be quite as tight as initially expected,” a Singapore-based Western trader said. “The transaction price is still quite high, and the landed cost in Singapore isn’t that low, unless, of course, they have cheap cutters. Let’s wait and see if more comes here, but we’re done for August and are looking at September arrivals now.” Two previous deals for Saudi cargoes were done at high pricelevels. Glencore bought a similar cargo, for Aug. 15-17 loading, from ExxonMobil at a discount of about $20.00 a ton to Singapore spot quotes, FOB, up from minus
$24.00-$25.00 previously. Aramco sold another parcel, 95,000 tons of A961 180-cst for Aug. 5-7 lifting from Ras Tanura, to France’s Totsa at a premium of $3.00-$4.00 a ton to spot quotes, FOB, up from $2.00$3.00 previously. Prior to the two deals, the last four offerings from Saudi Arabia, including three parcels of low-viscosity, low-density fuel oil offered for the first time due to an outage at Aramco’s Rabigh facility, were sold to players with Middle East options. Both the East Asian and Middle East markets have been tight due to lower export volumes from Iran following disruptions to its domestic natural gas supplies. August Iranian arrivals are expected to be less than 200,000 tons for the month, down from this year’s monthly average of 550,000600,000 tons and June’s all-time high volumes of about 1.2 million tons. This has also resulted in tighter August-arrival volumes of Middle East fuel oil into East Asia, totaling 500,000-550,000 tons so far, its lowest in nine months and down from above 1 million tons for each of the last six months. Adding to the market’s tightness, Western arbitrage inflows for next month are at below-average levels, totaling 2.93.0 million tons, for a third straight month.—Reuters
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TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2011
Oman’s first Islamic bank ready to open ‘Banks should be universal’ stance reworked DUBAI: Oman’s first standalone Islamic bank, Bank Nizwa, may open its doors by the end of the year or early 2012, the sultanate’s central bank governor said in an interview with a local newspaper yesterday. The bank, which received initial approval from the central bank in May, is expected to have a capital base of 150 million rials ($389.6 million), Hamoud Sangour Al-Zadjali told
refusing to participate in the industry, with its central bank head saying in 2007 “banks should be universal”. The central bank reversed that stance in May. Analysts said the creation of the country’s first standalone bank is an effort to keep investment funds within its borders as local investors sought shariacompliant investments elsewhere.
the Times of Oman. Al-Zadjali added that the bank would float a 40 percent offering to the public through an initial public offering (IPO), although he did not provide a time frame for the IPO. He was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Reuters. While neighboring Gulf states have ramped up Islamic finance services in recent years, Oman stood out by
Gulf Bank announces Al-Danah winners KUWAIT: Gulf Bank held its 29th Al-Danah weekly draw on July 31, 2011, announcing a total number of 10 AlDanah weekly prize draw winners, each awarded with prizes of KD1,000. The 29th Al-Danah weekly winners are: Khaled Ahmed Sallal Al-Houlan, Moosa Haji Moosa Al-Ghees, Noura Essa Al-Saedy Al-Noufal, Ali Ghloum Malek Hussain, Hamed Abdulaziz Albrahim, Badriya Amir Ahmad Ali, Mohamed Jameel Yaseen Burhanaldin AlJokhadar, Hassan Mohammed Taher Al-Sayafi, Osama Hamed Jasem Al-Motawa, and Mohammed Taleb Fathel Al-Ajmi. Gulf Bank encourages everyone in Kuwait to open an Al-Danah account and/or increase their deposits to maximize their chances of becoming a winner in the upcoming weekly (KD1,000 for 10 winners), and the annual draw (1 million Dinars). Gulf Bank’s Al-Danah allows customers to win cash prizes and encourages them to save money. Chances increase the more money is deposited and the longer it is kept in the account. Al-Danah also offers a number of unique services including the AlDanah Deposit Only ATM card which helps account holders deposit their money at their convenience; as well as the Al-Danah calculator to help customers calculate their chances of becoming an Al-Danah winner. To be part of the Al-Danah draws, customers can visit one of Gulf Bank’s 54 branches, transfer on line, or call the Customer Contact Center on 1805805 for assistance and guidance. Customers can also log on to www.egulfbank.com, Gulf Bank’s bilingual website, to find all the information regarding Al-Danah or any of the Bank’s products and services or log on www.e-gulfbank.com/aldanahwinners, to find out more about Al-Danah and who the winners are.
Under the new stance, new Islamic banks would be allowed to open and conventional lenders could establish Islamic branches. Some lenders, such as Bank Muscat have already offered Islamic products to clients. AlZadjali told Times of Oman that none of the existing Omani banks have yet applied for a license to offer Islamic banking products under the new policy. —Reuters
HSBC appoints regional head of retail banking KUWAIT: HSBC has appointed Francesca McDonagh to the role of Regional Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management for the Middle East and North Africa. “This is a tremendously exciting time to be arriving in the MENA region,” said McDonagh. “HSBC has the largest presence of any international bank, with over 250 branches in 14 countries: this is a region of great potential. “HSBC enjoys significant competitive advantages in this region: no other bank has such a comprehensive regional presence; no other bank offers the seamless connectivity to global best-in-class banking and wealth services; and this in a region where international connectivity is absolutely crucial to giving customers the depth and breadth of financial services that they require.” Francesca will be based in Dubai, and comes to the region from Hong Kong, where she had been Head of Personal Financial Services since 2009, leading the bank’s retail business in the HSBC Group’s most profitable market. Simon Cooper, HSBC’s CEO for MENA, added: “The experience of managing Hong Kong, where HSBC operates one of the world’s most sophisticated and high quality retail banks, will be invaluable in taking the MENA business forward. Francesca will be leading the delivery of a world-class suite of services to our MENA customers, and continuing to place the MENA region at the heart of HSBC’s Emerging Market strategic focus.”
LISBON: People queue to board a tram yesterday. Public transport fares in Portugal went up an average 15 percent yesterday. —AP
Burgan Bank announces Yawmi Account winners thereby entitling account holders who deposit KD500 to win every day. For every KD50 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.
KUWAIT: Burgan Bank held its Yawmi account draw announcing a total of five lucky daily prize winners, each taking home KD5,000. The lucky winners for the five daily draws took home a cash-prize of KD5,000 each. The lucky winners are: Jumana Ali Ali Asgar Abbas, Aaron Sinclair D’souza, Akoub Beikzad Mousessian, Taleb Naser Ghaleb Hashi, and Mohamed Jasem Haydar Ebrahim AlTemimi. Burgan Bank’s Yawmi account was the first in the country to have a daily draw,
Etisalat says India partner withdraws legal petition Francesca McDonagh Prior to Hong Kong, Francesca was Head of Personal Financial Services in Panama, a position she held from January 2007. She was responsible for the overall retail banking strategy in Panama following HSBC’s acquisition of Grupo Banistmo SA in 2006. Francesca joined HSBC in 1997 and has held a number of posts including Director of Premier at HSBC Mexico and Senior Vice President of Personal Banking in Indonesia. She has also worked in Egypt and the UK in corporate finance and personal banking. She holds a Bachelor of Administration (Honors) from the University of Oxford in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.
embroiled in a massive telecommunications scandal. DB Group officials Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka, who control Majestic Infracon Private, are among those charged by India’s federal police over their alleged involvement in the scandal. Etisalat said last month that court proceedings had been initiated against Etisalat DB by “parties charged with major corruption offenses to shift attention away from their own situation.” The company also reiterated that it was not involved in any wrongdoing. Its shares closed flat at 10.25 dirhams on the Abu Dhabi exchange yesterday. —Reuters
DUBAI: Abu Dhabi-based telecommunications firm Etisalat yeterday said its Indian mobile phone joint venture partner has withdrawn a petition filed against the company before India’s Company Law Board. Majestic Infracon Private Ltd, which owns about 45.73 percent of the joint venture, made an “unconditional withdrawal” of its petitions, Etisalat said in a bourse statement without specifying any additional details. The Company Law Board is an independent quasi-judiciary body that rules on corporate matters. India’s DB Group is Etisalat’s partner in the Indian mobile joint venture, Etisalat DB, which has been
Bayt.com poll reveals optimism for Kuwait’s personal economics KUWAIT: Results from the recently concluded Consumer Confidence Index survey conducted jointly by Bayt.com, the Middle East’s number one job site, and research and consulting organisation YouGov, shows that residents in Kuwait hold an optimistic view of their personal financial future, as well as of the country’s economy. However, a majority of surveyed employees feel that the current remuneration is not in line with the cost of living, with only 22 percent believing that now is a good time to buy consumer durables. According to the quar terly Bayt.com MENA Consumer Confidence Index survey, expectations for the future are primarily posi-
tive amongst respondents from Kuwait, with 49 percent believing that their financial position will improve in a year’s time, which is a reflection of sentiment from across the Middle East region. In correlation with this, 54 percent of respondents expect that Kuwait’s economy will take a turn for the better within the same time period, with a majority (56 percent) also believing that this will bring around better business conditions. This, according to 29 percent respondents, will result in more jobs becoming available in the region. Despite this, there is a neutral sentiment expressed by a majority of the respondents (36 percent) towards the likelihood of increase in their
organisation’s employee-count for the coming quar ter, although an almost equal 32 percent of respondents think there will be a positive growth, with 23 percent sharing a pessimistic outlook on the same. The percentages are similarly weighted in terms of their company meeting staffing requirements in the coming three months - the majority are neutral (a trend that is echoed across the region), with 24 percent optimistic and 18 percent pessimistic. “The overall feeling is that while the coming year will be favourable for business and corporations, this may not necessarily reflect on employees’ benefits,” explained Amer Zureikat, VP Sales at Bayt.com. “At
Bayt.com, we work towards creating a solid platform of statistics and a valuable insight to share with employees and employers alike. As the number one job site in the Middle East, we provide reliable date from a significant cross-section of the region’s population.” With regards to the respondents’ present situation, the general feeling across the region is that the financial situation for them and their family is no different than it was within the previous year; among respondents in Kuwait also a similar sentiment is observed, albeit with a slightly higher percentage (38 percent). A close 33 percent believing there has been a positive improvement in their
financial position vis-a-vis last year, with 22 percent claiming a change for the worst. The over whelming majority state that in comparison to last year, their salary has not kept pace with the cost of living in Kuwait. This reflects on the current attitude towards the purchasing of consumer durable goods, with only 22 percent of Kuwait’s respondents feeling that this is a positive time to buy. An equally split 70 percent believe that this is a neutral to bad time to purchase, with most opting to shy away from investments in property and purchase of new cars during the next 12 months. Among the 40 percent who are looking to purchase vehicles, 47 percent say they will
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
invest in a new car, this percentage is marginally upped by 48 percent who indicated their preference for a used car. As far is property is concerned, 64 percent of would-be investors will look to invest in new properties. In terms of employment, neutral sentiments are held by a majority (42 percent) towards their current employment situation. Almost a quarter (22 percent) of respondents appear to be satisfied with their current job and career prospects, with 33 percent indicating low satisfaction. With reference to the possibility for career growth in their current organization, a collective 66 percent indicated neutral (36 percent) or low (30 percent) satisfaction.
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 .4440000 .3890000 .34250000 .2820000 .2960000 .0040000 .0020000 .0737510 .7185380 .3810000 .0700000 .7043940 .0040000 .0430000
.2760000 .4580000 .4020000 .3490000 .2940000 .3050000 .0072500 .0035000 .0744930 .7257590 .4010000 .0770000 .7114730 .0072000 .0530000
CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2716500 .2737500 .4460630 .4495110 .3910670 .3940910 .3458090 .3484820 .2843760 .2865740 .0525330 .0529390 .0432830 .0436170 .2986790 .3009880 .0348540 .0351230 .2256420 .2273860 .0035400 .0035670 .0000000 .0062360 .0000000 .0025090 .0000000 .0031740 .0000000 .0036840 .0739890 .0745610 .7208440 .7264160 .0000000 .3871990 .0724590 .0730190 .7058590 .7113160 .0000000 .0065490
US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian dollars Danish Kroner Swedish Kroner Australian dlr Hong Kong dlr Singapore dlr Japanese yen Indian Rs/KD Sri Lanka rupee Pakistan rupee Bangladesh taka UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi Riyal/KD Omani riyals Philippine Peso
Al-Muzaini Exchange Co.
Japanese Yen Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar Bangladesh Taka
ASIAN COUNTRIES 3.536 6.198 3.147 2.491 3.886 227.970 35.077 3.649
Philippine Peso Thai Baht Irani Riyal - Transfer Irani Riyal - Cash
6.513 9.187 0.271 0.273 GCC COUNTRIES 72.896 75.110 710.020 726.050 74.435
Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Egyptian Pound - Cash Egyptian Pound - Transfer Yemen Riyal Tunisian Dinar Jordanian Dinar Lebanese Lira Syrian Lier Morocco Dirham
ARAB COUNTRIES 48.300 45.858 1.251 201.360 386.030 1.822 5.901 35.258
EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 273.250 Euro 395.260 Sterling Pound 450.180 Canadian dollar 288.540 Turkish lire 163.160 Swiss Franc 346.500 Australian dollar 301.800 US Dollar Buying 272.050 20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram
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
SELL CASH 305.100 726.350 3.860 290.100 536.500 36.300 53.700 167.800 47.900 397.500 35.740 6.490
SELL DRAFT 303.600 726.350 3.653 288.600
228.200 45.865 395.000 35.590 6.200
386.000 0.184 95.020 3.900 243.100
346.600 5.600 9.380 74.360 273.100
TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 451.500 273.100
Selling Rate 272.950 287.750 448.881 398.614 336.036 723.683 74.287 74.920 72.747 384.203 45.810 2.490 6.230
3.163 3.652 6.476 669.512 3.571 9.218 5.739 3.937 90.730
Currency US Dollar Pak Rupees Indian Rupees Sri Lankan Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso UAE Dirhams Saudi Riyals Bahraini Dinars Egyptian Pounds Pound Sterling Indonesian Rupiah Nepali rupee Yemeni Riyal Jordanian Dinars Syrian Pounds Euro Canadian Dollars
Rate per 1000 (Tran) 273.000 3.165 6.205 2.505 3.660 6.550 74.430 72.995 725.800 45.855 455.200 0.00003280 3.910 1.550 387.900 5.750 398.300 294.000
Al Mulla Exchange
Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd Rate for Transfer US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro Swiss Frank Bahrain Dinar UAE Dirhams Qatari Riyals Saudi Riyals Jordanian Dinar Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupees Indian Rupees
Pakistani Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Pesso Cyprus pound Japanese Yen Thai Bhat Syrian Pound Nepalese Rupees Malaysian Ringgit
Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. 709.200 3.170 6.520 75.130 72.920 228.250 43.610 2.490 451.500
GOLD 297.000 150.000 77.000
0.033 0.240 0.238 3.620 388.020 0.185 95.020 47.200 4.200 244.600 1.852 52.000 709.380 3.290 6.610 75.560 72.920 228.250 43.610 2.627 453.500 44.500 348.100 5.600 9.530 198.263 74.460 273.500 1.200
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) 272.450 394.800 450.200 287.600 3.575 6.182 45.795 2.488 3.652 6.482 3.160 725.650 74.250 72.750
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TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2011
Bank of Cyprus warns EU of bailout threat Bank says reputation as financial centre could ‘erode’
NBK issues 10,000th Thahabi MasterCard KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) recently issued the 10,000th Thahabi World MasterCard card that the bank launched exclusively for its Thahabi clients two years ago. “NBK was the first bank in Kuwait to launch this prestigious card in 2009, and we are proud to announce that we have recently issued the 10,000th Thahabi World MasterCard Card.” said Abdulla AlNajran Al-Tuwaijri, NBK Deputy General Manager, Consumer Banking Group. Al-Tuwaijri added: “NBK’s Thahabi World MasterCard card is designed to meet the lifestyle needs of our distinguished Thahabi customers. The card offers unmatched convenience and a variety of benefits which include free valet parking at select malls and outlets, concierge service and complimentary airport lounge access. The card also provides travel accident and health insurance coverage up to $2 million and an extended warranty and purchase protection coverage up to $20,000. Additionally, the NBK Rewards program rewards cardholders for their every day spending on hundreds of the best local and international brands at more than 500 partner outlets in Kuwait.” Other benefits of the card include global premium lifestyle offers from MasterCard International at an assortment of hotels, golf courses, restaurants and retailers. Cardholders also enjoy
turmoil which last week saw the resignation of Christiofias’s entire cabinet. He has yet to appoint a new government, meaning that essential austerity measures are delayed until he does so. S&P said that between 2008 and 2010, the budgetary position shifted from a surplus of just under 1 percent of GDP to a deficit of 5.3 percent. The government had hoped to lower the deficit to below 4 percent this year and under the EU’s 3 percent ceiling in 2012. Official projections that the economy would grow by 1.5 percent this year and by 2.5 percent in 2012 have been scrapped after the explosion and destruction of the power plant. Preliminary estimates put GDP growth at zero for this year and around one percent next year. Estimates to rebuild the post-blast economy are put at a total of between two and three billion euros (2.88 and 4.3 billion dollars), with rebuilding the devastated Vassiliko power plant alone put at a minimum of 700 million euros. — AFP
KUWAIT STOCK EXCHANGE REPORT Abdulla Al-Tuwaijri exclusive offers at premium outlets in Kuwait covering retail, travel, dining, leisure and much more. NBK’s Thahabi customers are provided with superior banking services including the Thahabi World MasterCard credit card. They can conduct their banking transactions confidentially in a comfort atmosphere. The dedicated services include Personal Banking Officers, more than 25 Thahabi premium banking lounges in select NBK branches, in addition to the 24/7 “Hala Thahabi” call centre at 1801801, and the www.nbk.com/thahabi website.
the month. Abdullah Boftain, Manager Marketing Communications and PR, Qualitynet, said that in addition to the main outlet, customers can avail services through the company’s branches at the Government Mall in Kuwait City, Electrozan at Rai and Ajial Mall in Fahaheel, in the morning hours between 10am & 2pm, and in the evening between 9 pm and 11:30 pm.
HP offers new prospects to drive business growth KUWAIT: HP yesterday extended its support with a new partnering model that expands sales and service delivery opportunities for partners to drive business growth and increase profitability. To address customer requirements, partners need access to a broad spectrum of technology services ranging from desktop deployment to hybrid cloud, from basic maintenance to strategic consulting. HP ServiceONE is a new specialization within the industry-leading HP Preferred Partner program that enables partners to significantly expand their technology services portfolio or offer co-branded services with HP. In addition, partners can take advantage of HP’s redesigned rewards scheme as well as life-cycle support metrics to further increase revenue opportunities and reduce risk. “Partners want to boost their bottom line by delivering innovative services that address every customer need, whether it’s data center design or everyday support,” said Ryan D’Souza, Technology Services Director, HP Middle East. “With ServiceONE, HP is expanding partners’ business opportunities by enabling them to deliver high-value services while capitalizing on HP sales, technical and marketing resources.” The HP ServiceONE program enables partners to: Address customers’ dynamic needs and extend their market reach by selling and delivering a wide range of technology services including professional, contractual services as well as HP Care Pack Services across the HP hardware portfolio. Improve margins and reduce risk with HP’s automated support technologies, such as Insight Remote Support. Increase sales by working closely with HP on joint sales opportunities including closing sales, marketing services and solving technical challenges. HP aims to serve as an extension of the partner’s team, providing technology expertise and capacity as needed. Boost profitability by selling and delivering higher-margin HP-branded services. Enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty by attaching support services to infrastructure solutions and delivering a
run out. We are at that turning point at which history will judge us. It’s time for immediate and effective action.” It said political dithering and inaction was sending wrong signals to credit agencies and international markets that Cyprus does not have the necessary leadership to turn things around.”Each day of inaction accelerates the problem and the risks, so we must act today and not tomorrow,” the bank said. “Markets move rapidly; indecision, disagreements or simply talking without taking action are punished, while courageous decisions are rewarded,” it said. The bank said bold decisions need to be taken to prevent a downward spiral and ensure long-term economic growth, otherwise the island’s reputation as a regional financial centre would “erode.” Its plea comes after ratings agencies Moody’s along with Standard and Poors last week downgraded Cyprus based on concerns over its economy and budget. Since last month’s deadly blast at the naval base, Cyprus has been in political and economic
International economic issues affect key market performance
Qualitynet announces Ramadan working hours KUWAIT: Qualitynet, Kuwait’s No 1 Internet and Data Services Provider announced the working hours for the holy month of Ramadan. The main branch at Al-Khaleejia Complex in Sharq will be open in the morning hours from 10 am till 3:30 pm, and in the evening from 8 pm till 11 pm, everyday from Sunday till Thursday. These working hours came into effect yesterday and will last till the end of
NICOSIA: The Bank of Cyprus, the island’s largest financial institution, yesterday urged government action to prevent the eurozone country from having to seeking a bailout from the European Union. “With our inaction we are risking the ability of refinancing the state and the consequences will be instant and serious,” a statement from the commercial bank said. “There is an immediate threat of the country entering the European Union’s support mechanism with everything bad that entails.” State Central Bank governor Athanasios Orphanides warned last month that Cyprus could be headed for a bailout following a massive munitions blast that claimed 13 lives and knocked out a key power plant on July 11. “To avoid the worst, including admission into a support mechanism, further and more drastic measures must be taken immediately,” Orphanides, a member of the European Central Bank’s governing council, said in a letter to President Demetris Christofias. Yesterday, the Bank of Cyprus said: “Time has
KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ended July in the red zone, as both its main indices recorded losses. The price index ended the month with a decrease amounted to 2.92 percent, while the weighted index retreated by 4.24 percent compared to the closings of June. Furthermore, July turnover decreased by 12.15 percent, compared to the preceding month, reaching KD316.05 million, whereas trading volume was 1.79 billion shares, recording decrease of 17.02 percent. The international economic issues negatively affected the market performance, especially near to the end of the month; as the American public debt issue had negative impact on many of the main stock markets around the world, including the GCC markets. On the other hand, July witnessed many governmental announcements about the national economic problems, and how to resolve it, as both of the Minister of Development and the Central Bank Governor, said that the domination of the public sector is one of the main reasons of the economic problems, and the private sector must undertake much significant role in the development of the country. In addition, KSE recorded retreat in most trading sessions, due to strong selling trend concentrated on leading stocks. As a result, the weighted index showed worse performance than the price index. The market was also affected by the speculations on the small stocks. Fur thermore, cautious state was notably present on the market, due to the delaying of the listed company ’s results’ announcement, as only 14 percent of them announced their financial data, and as a result, the market price index recorded the lowest level since since years, in addition, the daily turnover was dramatically decreased. Six months’ results By mid of last trading day of the Month, 35 companies announced their results for the 6 Months 2011 with a total net profits amounting to KD403.80 million, 24.10 percent higher than the same companies’ results for the six months of 2010, which amounted to KD325.39 million. The banks sector came first in terms of total net profits for the year, with a total of KD287.70 million, followed by the Non-Kuwaiti sector with a total of KD52.30 million, then the services sector in the third place with KD37.43 million. Furthermore, all KSE sectors have
recorded growth, except for one sector. In their companies’ total net profits for the compared to six months results 2010. On the other hand, and as per the announced results, KSE average P/E ratio is currently at 18.98. Market indices The price index closed the month at 6,030.6 points, losing 181.1 points, a percentage of 2.92 percent compared to June’s closing. On the other hand, KSE’s weighted index ended July’s activity at 415.60 points, after decreasing by 18.41 points, at a percentage of 4.24 percent. Sectors’ indices All of KSE’s sectors ended July in the red zone. The Non Kuwaiti Companies sector was the biggest loser, with its index ending the month at 5,806.3 points, 6.12 percent lower than its June close. In the second place came the Investment sector with 4.55 percent decrease, followed by the Real Estate sector that lost by 3.64 percent. The least declining was the Insurance sector, as its index decreased by 0.04 percent and ended Jul’s trade at 2,595.8 points. Trading activity The total number of deals executed during the month decreased by 12.90 percent to 34,855 deals. In addition, total trading value decreased by 12.15 percent to approximately KD316.05 million, while trade volume decreased by 17.02 percent to 1.79 billion shares. Market sectors The real estate sector dominated total trade volume during the month with 523.59 million shares changing hands, representing 29.30 percent of the total market trading volume. The services sector was second in terms of trading volume as the sector’s traded shares were 20.22 percent of July’s total trading volume, with a total of 361.29 million shares. On the other hand, the banks sector’s stocks where the highest traded in terms of value, with a turnover of KD112.70 million or 35.66 percent of last month’s total market trading value. The services sector took the second place as the sector’s July turnover of KD75.96 million represented 24.03 percent of the total market trading value. Listed stocks The share of Abyaar Real Estate Development
Company dominated the first place in terms of shares volume with a total of 183.20 million shares; followed in the second place by Gulf Finance House with 159.52 million shares changing hands. The third position in the list was for Aayan Real Estate Company with a volume of 92.96 million shares. National Bank Of Kuwait was the heaviest traded company in terms of value, with a total turnover of KD39.81 million dominating the top place in this list, followed by Kuwait Finance House, which turnover totaled to around KD27.76 million. Finally the third position was for Mobile Telecommunications Company with a turnover of KD26.41 million. Gainers and losers During July, 27 advances and 116 declines were recorded compared to end of previous month’s prices. Furthermore, prices of 12 stocks closed unchanged, among 155 stocks participating to the month’s trades out of the 215 listed securities in the regular market. Top gainers Real Estate Trade Centers Company share was the month’s top gainer with an increase of 41.67 percent in its share price ending July at 102 fils up from 72 fils in Jun. The second place in the list was for Gulf Class Manufacturing Company closing at 800 fils up from 680 fils, an increase of 17.65 percent. Finally, Jazeera Airways Company ranked third with a 16.16 percent increase in its share price which ended the month at 230 fils. Top losers The share of Burgan Company For Well Drilling, Trading & Maintenance was the top loser during Jul with a drop of 42.17 percent, closing at 240 fils down from its listing date price closing, which was 415 fils. Munshaat Real Estate Projects Company ranked second in this list with its share closing at 26.5 fils, a 41.11 percent drop compared to the previous month’s closing at 45 fils. The third place was for National Real Estate Company as its share price declined by 23.81 percent to close at 64 fils. Market capitalization The total market capitalization of Kuwait Stock Exchange recorded 4.54 percent decrease to reach KD29.24 billion by the end of July, some KD1.39 billion growth compared to last June.
Ryan D’Souza consistent, reliable customer experience. HP has also streamlined the services program to simplify contracts and reward metrics for partners. Now offering two categories-ServiceONE Specialist and ServiceONE Expert, the premier partnership level-partners are able to grow their services business through exclusive rebates, discounts and management tools. “We are always looking to grow our services business and HP ServiceONE is making that a reality,” said Roland Heidersdorf, chief operating officer of druckerfachmann.de AG, an HP partner based in Germany. “Enhancements to delivery options allow us to bring more solutions to our customers, which in turn helps us increase overall sales and improve margins.” HP services help businesses and governments in their pursuit of an Instant-On Enterprise. In a world of continuous connectivity, the Instant-On Enterprise embeds technology in everything it does to serve customers, employees, partners and citizens with whatever they need, instantly. The HP ServiceONE program is expected to commence worldwide in November. More information is available at www.hp.com/partners/emea/ServiceON E HP’s premier client event, HP DISCOVER, takes place November 29 December 1 in Vienna, Austria. The event showcases how organizations can get started on their Instant-On Enterprise journeys.
Gulf Express Co holds training for engineers KUWAIT: Gulf Express Co, an Al-Babtain company, as per their commitment towards supporting their esteemed customers, has conducted Total lubricants technical training programs course for the engineers and technical staff of Automak at their training room in Kuwait on Sunday, July 24, 2011. Hasan Ali, Sales Manager Lubricants has welcomed the guests for their participation and explained the importance and the need of training in every field of life. He took this opportunity to recognize that through the years the relations between Automak and Gulf Express Co have been strengthened and now Total Lubricants are exclusively being used by Automak for their both the locations at Shuwaikh and Ahmadi garage. Automak is using Total Synthetic Lubricants for all their American, Japanese and European cars. Hasan Ali thanked them and has assured for continuous support. Lubricant training was given by highly experienced Export Manager of Total Lubricants Dubai Abdullah Siddiqi, who tailored and developed the training program to match the specific requirements of Automak. The module has been prepared to improve technical knowledge for Automak staff regarding lubrication of their various American, Japanese and European cars. Automak has been introduced with the Profit Booster Lubricants that will help to reduce their fuel consumption, extend their drain intervals, optimize their lubricants stocks, and reduce their equipment’s wear, at the same time would be environment-friendly. Participants have very enthusiastically taken part in question and answers session during the presentation. Officials from Automak have thanked the Gulf Express Co and Total team for conducting a world class training program which helped their staff to be more confident while dealing with Total Lubricants and have requested to have such updates frequently in future.
Citi is ‘World’s Best Internet Bank 2011’ DUBAI: Citi yesterday announced that it has won several awards in the first round of Global Finance magazine’s awards for the 2011 Best Internet Banks in the Middle East and Africa. Citi’s branches in Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Pakistan won Best Corporate/Institutional Internet Bank Awards in their respective markets, while Citibank Bahrain and Citibank Egypt won best Consumer Internet Bank Awards. Winners were chosen among entries evaluated by a worldclass panel of judges at Infosys. Global Finance editors were responsible for the final selection of winners in the First Round. “Winning banks were selected based on the following criteria: strength of strategy for attracting and servicing online customers, success in getting clients to use web offerings, growth of online customers, breadth of product offerings, evidence of tangible benefits gained from Internet initiatives, and web site design and functionality,” according to Global Finance. Atiq ur Rehman, Chief Executive Officer for the Middle East Division, said: “We are delighted to receive these awards from Global Finance. This is a strong recognition of Citi’s capabilities and the service we provide to our clients in the Region.” Global Finance is an international finance magazine with a circulation in over 163 countries. The magazine covers a wide spectrum of subjects including corporate financing, capital markets, monetary policies, banking operations and risk management. Citi has been at the forefront of developing Internet-based delivery capabilities for both retail customers (Citibank Online) and corporate clients (CitiDirect) in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan region, in addition to other B2B e-commerce initiatives that provide clients with full procurement solutions.
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TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2011
KSE main index in green at closing GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ended the first session of Ramadan on a positive note, on the back of a smart rally in the equity prices of real estate and investment stocks. Local bourse followed the strength in international markets. Investors sentiments were up after receiving good signals regarding US debt ceiling. Market indices Global General Index (GGI) ended the day down by 0.66 percent, at 183.56 point. Market capitalization was down for the day reaching KD30.04 billion. Showing a negative note, KSE Price Index closed at 6,030.6 point, shedding 5.40 points (0.09 percent) from its previous close. Market breadth During the session, 90 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards decliners as 45 equities retreated versus 21 advanced. Daily trading activity Trading activity was up this session. Total volume traded was up by 4.77 percent with 70.61 million shares changing hands at a total value of KD14.71 million (46.16 percent higher compared to the day before). The banking sector was the volume leader today, accounting for 35.34 percent of total shares. The same sector was the value leader, with 65.04 percent of total traded value. Kuwait International Bank was the most active in terms of values traded during Sunday session, with 20.88 million shares exchanged at an aggregate value of KD6.05 million. The scrip closed down by 1.69 percent at KD0.290. Top gainers and biggest decliners In terms of top gainers, Munshaat Real Estate Projects Company was the top gainer for the day, adding 8.16 percent and closed at KD0.027. On the other hand, Global Investment House shed 6.06 percent and closed at KD0.031, making it the biggest decliner in the market. Sectors wise Market indices had mixed notes during yesterday’s session with four sectors recording gains, three sectors losing, and only the insurance sector remaining unchanged. The real estate sector had the biggest positive note in the market. On the other hand, Global Food Index was the biggest loser, ending the day down by 1.03 percent. Global Real Estate Index ended the session with an incline of 0.88 percent and closed at 48.54 point. The sector had many advancing stocks. National Real Estate Company and
Abyaar Real Estate Development Company went up the most, adding 6.25 and 6.38 percent respectively. Mabanee Company stock price closed at KD0.830 that is 1.22 percent advance. The sector had one single decliner, Investors Holding Group Company, which was the biggest loser in the market for the day lost 6.9 percent from its share price. The positive closings have dominated Global Investment Sector Index during the session. The index closed at 82.96 point (0.58 percent higher). Ekttitab Holding Company and International Finance Company were the top gainers yesterday. Ekttitab Holding Company closed at KD0.027, up by 10.2 percent. The second top gainer in the market, International Finance Company closed at KD0.108, adding 8 percent to its previous close. Global Food Index was the biggest decliner and closed down by 1.03 percent . There were
only two traded companies within the sector, with one advancing against another declining. Danah Al-Safat Foodstuff Company advanced by 1.45 percent to close at KWD0.070. On the other hand, the sector was pulled down by the decline of heavyweight Kuwait Foodstuff Company (Americana). The scrip ended the session losing 1.3 percent at KD1.520. Oil news The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at $112.18pb on Friday, compared with $113.36pb the previous day (Revised), according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. Corporate news The Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) has given the go-ahead to International Financial Advisors (IFA) for repurchasing 10 percent maximum of its issued shares for further 6 months, as of the current approval expiry on August 13, 2011.
Most Gulf stocks rise; US deal lifts sentiment MIDEAST STOCK MARKET DUBAI: Most Gulf markets rose yesterday, breaking an expected trading lull on the first day of the Muslim month of fasting after a last-minute US debt deal spurred a rally in world stocks and lifted regional sentiment. Investors are betting the deal to raise a debt ceiling means the US economy will avoid default. Saudi petrochemical stocks lifted the index after debt concerns eased. The kingdom’s bourse is highly correlated to the United States, the main market for its oil production. Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), the world’s largest chemicals producer, gained 2.4 percent and sector’s index climbed 2.2 percent, accounting for a quarter of all shares traded on the largest Arab bourse. The broader index gained 1.3 percent. “A lot of the activity in the Saudi market is being driven by international news but fundamentals are strong and valuations are still attractive,” said Asim Bukhtiar, head of research at Riyadh Capital. “How the investors in the US absorb the news when the market opens could drive the regional sentiment in (the) coming day.” Valuations are attractive in some bank stocks such as Banque Saudi Fransi , Al-Rajhi and Arab National Bank , he added. Heavyweight AlRajhi Bank climbed 0.7 percent, while Fransi and Arab National Bank slipped 0.2 and 0.3 percent respectively. Property stocks lifted the UAE bourses on the back of positive sentiment regionally but muted trade limited gains. Abu Dhabi’s index scaled 0.7 percent, rising from Sunday’s two-month low. Volumes slumped to a 12-day low. Aldar Properties rose 2.4 percent and Sorouh Real Estate climbed 1.6 percent. “We’ve been seeing subdued trading activity for almost two weeks now, a combination of summer lull and the start of the holy month of Ramadan today,” said
Sleiman Aboulhosn, assistant fund manager at Al-Masah Capital. Dana Gas ended flat for a second day since it hit a two-week high on Thursday after reports of a possible takeover bid by investment vehicle Vallares “Sentiment around the name remains strong leading us to be more optimistic about the Dana Gas’ shortterm prospects,” Aboulhosn added. Dubai’s Emaar Properties advanced 2.8 percent, accounting for a quarter of all shares traded. The emirate’s index extended gains for a second day, rising 0.6 percent. In Oman, the measure gained 0.4 percent, rising from Sunday’s two-year low. Gainers outnumbered losers 12 to eight. “The USA deal backed the GCC markets-considering Ramadan, the market is doing good,” said Osama Ibrahim al-Qinna, head of brokerage at Oman Arab Bank. In Qatar, mid-caps helped lift the index by 0.1 percent. Qatar Islamic Bank and Masraf Al-Rayan climbed 0.6 percent each. Yesterday’s highlights Saudi Arabia The index rose 1.3 percent to 6,472 points. Egypt The measure gained 0.7 percent to 5,073 points. Abu Dhabi The index climbed 0.7 percent to 2,638 points. Dubai The index advanced 0.6 percent to 1,526 points. Oman The index gained 0.4 percent to 5,832 points. Qatar The benchmark rose 0.1 percent to 8,412 points. Kuwait The measure climbed 0.1 percent to 6,037 points. Bahrain The measure slipped 0.1 percent to 1,290 points. — Reuters
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TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2011
S Africa gold, coal strikes set to end with wage talks Strikes look to push up bullion, platinum prices
MUMBAI: This file photo taken shows Air India aircraft parked on the tarmac of the international airport. —AFP
Air India snubbed by Star Alliance MUMBAI: Air India’s bid to join the Star Alliance has been grounded after the global airline network said it had not met the minimum standards for membership. The decision to suspend the application, which was approved by the Alliance’s board, is a fresh blow to the ailing state carrier, already battling mounting debts and loss of passenger share to private airlines. One analyst suggested the airline’s bid to join the likes of Lufthansa, United, Air Canada and and Singapore Airlines was now doomed to fail. “From a broader people, business and financial perspective, it (Air India) doesn’t fit in,” said Kapil Kaul, from global consultancy the Centre for Asia-Pacific Aviation (CAPA) in New Delhi. “It (the application) is delayed beyond the point of return,” he told AFP. Star Alliance said on its website that the group’s 27 members had “jointly concluded that the integration of Air India into the global alliance will be suspended”. “This is due to the fact that Air India has not met the minimum joining conditions that were contractually agreed in December 2007,” it added in a statement from Frankfurt. Star Alliance chief executive Jaan Albrecht and Air India boss Ar vind Jadhav recently reviewed the company’s application with India’s civil aviation ministr y. Albrecht added: “With the collective decision to put the integration efforts on hold today we aim to contribute to Air India’s flexibility to concentrate on its ongoing strategic orientation. “In this process our member carriers will continue to provide assistance to Air India wherever required.” Air India, which had been given a July 31 deadline to meet joining criteria in a range of areas from branding to ticketing, is currently waiting for approval of a five-year turnaround plan.
That includes a government cash injection and a new business plan that would increase its fleet size, cut routes and set up network hubs. The Indian government pumped about eight billion rupees ($178 million) into the airline in the financial year 2009-10 and expects to put in another 12 billion this year on condition the company cuts costs. The restructuring plan is currently under review. Private airlines like Jet Airways, Kingfisher and low-cost rivals like Indigo and SpiceJet have replaced Air India as a preferred airline in recent years. Air India spokesman in New Delhi Kamaljeet Rattan confirmed that they had been informed of the suspension but said they were not given any indication of the reason. “We have in our possession a letter from the project manager at Star Alliance confirming that we have met all the minimum joining requirements, so we don’t know why this decision has been taken,” he said. The airline had met the stipulated criteria, barring “a few components” that would be implemented before it joined the alliance, he added. Star Alliance members operate more than 21,200 flights a day to 1,185 airports in 185 countries and membership for Air India would have given it a much-needed boost and raised its profile across the world. CAPA’s Kaul said the decision was a blow to both parties as it came after two years’ discussions and at a time when India is seen as a growing target market for international airlines. “It has a significant downside to it because by the time they decide to induct another partner, possibly Jet Airways, I’m not very sure whether they will get the regulatory clearance from the government,” he said. “For Air India, there can’t be any downside, as they can’t go any further down.” —AFP
JOHANNESBURG: Striking South African coal and gold miners’ unions were set to meet employers for talks at the Chamber of Mines yesterday in a bid to end stoppages that have cost Africa’s largest economy tens of millions of dollars in lost output. The mounting impact of the country’s yearly strike “season”, which has also hit the fuel, diamond and steel industries, was seen crimping growth in the quarter and possibly pushing an already stagnant economy into contraction. Some 100,000 gold miners downed tools on Thursday, halting work at AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields and Harmony Gold at a time when bullion is at record highs. Tens of thousands of coal workers have been off for a week. Analysts say gold mining groups are losing about $25 million a day in production. Gold’s run has been driven by its safehaven status in the debt crises in Europe and America and analysts have said a prolonged strike in South Africa, the No. 4 producer of the precious metal, would help push bullion prices higher. Spot gold was $1,615.80 an ounce by 1042 GMT yesterday, compared with a record high of $1,632.30 on Friday. Markets were also watching wage talks between unions and managers at Impala Platinum , the world’s No. 2 producer of the precious metal, which were due to start around midday. Impala and its larger rival Anglo American Platinum , which is also engaged in negotiations, together account for around two-thirds of global platinum output, so if strikes started there platinum prices are likely to rise. Economic impact Data yesterday highlighted the impact of strikes in South Africa as unions seeks increases of 10 to 15 percent, far above five percent inflation rate. South Africa’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell for the fourth straight month in July, sponsor Kagiso Securities said yesterday. Kagiso said strike activity hit the business activity sub-index, which dropped nearly 20 points, and led to some of the PMI decline. “It’s very possible we’ll see negative growth in the third quarter because of these unbelievable strikes. Something in the order of -0.5 percent. Already the
SEOUL: A man walks past a screen showing the exchange rate between the US dollar and the South Korean won yesterday. South Korean stocks rose 39.1 points, or 1.83 percent , to close at 2,172.31 yesterday as foreign investors scooped up blue-chip auto and tech exporters on hopes that the US Congress would approve the US debt limit increase. —AP economy is in a stagnant position,” said Chris Hart, an economist at Johannesburg-based Investment Solutions. The economy grew by 4.8 percent in the first quarter but the central bank has already said that momentum will not be maintained in the second quarter. The current wave of strikes could slow things further in the third. A fuel strike that interrupted business and sparked panic buying at the pumps ended last week, but when workers go back to their jobs in one industr y,
labour strife flares in another. The series of strikes highlight the difficult position of the ruling African National Congress, which is keen to attract foreign investment but is in a governing alliance with unions. Yesterday’s gold talks were set to start in the morning but were delayed to the afternoon. Negotiators have narrowed the gap on gold wage negotiations, raising hopes of more progress, though neither side is predicting a breakthrough. The NUM w a nt s a 14 p e rce nt pay r i s e while the gold mine companies
have offered rises of 7-9 percent. A new round of talks to try to end the coal miners’ strike may avert supply problems to utility Eskom , which provides almost all of South Africa’s power and almost exclusively runs on coal. Eskom has said it has around five weeks of stocks. Analysts have said if the coal strike persists for at least another week, e xp or t s to As i a a nd Europ e could be disrupted. Coal firms affected include Anglo Thermal Coal SA , Exxaro , Optimum Coal and Xstrata Coal. —Reuters
What to expect in 2011 in ME MARKAZ FINANCIAL REPORT KUWAIT: Kuwait Financial Center “Markaz” recently released a semiannual review of its “What to expect in 2011” report in which the authors discussed the myriad triggers which negatively impacted the GCC markets in 1H11 and how they altered Markaz outlook on the markets for the remainder of 2011. In Markaz’s previous note, the authors had upgraded their outlook to a mostly positive view on the region. This was due to many factors including; healthy economic growth, expected recovery in key sectors like Banking and Real Estate in addition to healthy valuations. The report had a Neutral stance on Dubai (due to persisting debt overhang and a struggling real estate sector), Bahrain (due to lesser corporate recovery), and Saudi Arabia (due to muted banking performance and investor sentiment). Since then, the political turmoil which swept the region at the beginning of the year brought down all markets and proved a drag on earnings. Additionally, various corporate issues (in terms of M&A, debt restructuring etc) in addition to some regulatory and market developments (Kuwait CMA, MSCI not upgrading of UAE and Qatari markets etc) has dampened investor sentiment across the board. For the rest of this year, the report has adopted a rather Neutral view of the markets due mainly to muted earnings growth and lackluster market liquidity and activity. The authors remain Positive on Abu Dhabi and Qatar due to positive economic growth and earnings potential. Saudi Arabia - Neutral The report maintains a Neutral outlook on Saudi Arabia for 2H11 due to moderate economic activity (especially inflation and the fiscal balance) in addition to moderate earnings growth. Positive factors arise in valuation and market liquidity which has been picking up. The 2011 Saudi fiscal budget is expected to run a deficit of $10 billion, with spending forecasted at $154.7 bil-
lion (7 percent lower than actual 2010 expenditures of $167 billion). The budget is expected to show increased infrastructure spending. The Kingdom’s $385 billion, 5 year development plan is expected to spur economic activity by encouraging construction/real estate projects, which in turn should spur lending by banks. The program includes housing, ports, and upgrading the educational system. Additionally, the government has ramped up spending on welfare programs and Saudization plans in order to quell civil unrest and address its unemployment issues. Consequently, the fiscal balance is expected to drop from 13 percent of GDP in 2011 to 9 percent in 2012. As for corporate earnings, these are expected to be flat in 2011 versus a 30 percent growth in 2010 (which was largely driven by commodities). Support is expected to come from the Banking sector, which are estimated to grow at 10 percent in 2011 while slower growth in telecoms may be a drag on overall earnings. Investor sentiment (as measured by Bayt.com) was up 13 percent as of March 2011 while the geopolitical outlook (as measured by EIU) remains stable despite some signs of unrest at the beginning of the year. As previously mentioned, market liquidity is up in the Kingdom. Value Traded came in at $155 billion for 1H11, a 28 percent YoY growth, which would translate to over $300 billion if the pace keeps up to the end of the year. Kuwait - Neutral The authors have downgraded the outlook on Kuwait from Positive to Neutral for the remainder of 2011 due to poor market conditions, more muted earnings growth and continued weakness in market liquidity. The economy is expected to grow by 5.3 percent in 2011 following a growth of 2.3 percent in the previous year, aided by high oil prices and increased government spending. This growth is expected to be maintained through 2012.
Inflation, which is expected to have jumped to 6.1 percent in 2011, due to subsidies and grants, is forecasted to come back down to 2.7 percent in 2012. This is below the long-term average of about 4 percent. Fiscal and Current Balances are expected to remain the highest in the Gulf, at 23 percent and 37 percent of GDP, respectively, in 2011 and holding steady through 2012. Corporate earnings in Q1 were fairly positive; aggregate net profit was at $2.14 billion, boosted by extraordinary telecom earnings and a return to positive results for the financial sector. However, full year 2011 results are expected to come in at $5.6 billion, a 3 percent decline from last year.
another year of double-digit growth, boosted to a forecasted 20 percent in 2011 (due to high commodity prices) before falling back to a more sustainable 7 percent in 2012. 1Q11 net profits came out to $2.4 billion, a 23 percent YoY growth. Corporate earnings are expected to continue growing at a healthy pace to $8.5 billion by the end of the year, which would translate to an annual growth of 12 percent. Bucking the GCC trend; Qatar value traded grew in 1H11 to $12.95 billion, a 33 percent YoY growth. Should the government be successful in raising Foreign Ownership Limits (a prerequisite for MSCI Emerging Market inclusion), liquidity could increase significantly in the coming year.
UAE - Abu Dhabi - Positive, Dubai - Neutral The authors remain Positive on Abu Dhabi while being Neutral on Dubai. The economy grew at an estimated 2.4 percent in 2010 and is expected to show a growth of 3.3 percent in 2011 followed by 3.8 percent in 2012. Inflation is expected to jump to 4.5 percent in 2011 versus 2 percent in 2010. The geopolitical and regulatory arenas are considered to be stable. However, lack of liquidity remains a problem as value traded in the UAE continues to dry up. Corporate earnings are expected to rebound in 2011 after the Real Estate sector suffered a significant loss in 2010 (due to Aldar Properties). 1Q11 was a little weak, aggregate net profit was at $2.8 billion, a 1 percent decline. However, a return to profitability in the Real Estate segment should push aggregate net earnings in 2011 to $10.2 billion. Banks are expected to show a net profit of $5.36 billion, a 17 percent annual growth.
Oman - Neutral The outlook on Oman has been downgraded from Positive to Neutral due to the political situation which impacted corporate earnings, sentiment and geopolitical perception. Real GDP is expected to have grown at 4.7 percent in 2010 to decline to 4.4 percent in 2011 and down to about 4 percent in 2012 as economic growth slows. Consequently, inflation is also expected to decline through the years; it is forecasted at 3.5 percent in 2011 before declining to 3 percent in 2012. Corporate earnings in Oman were impacted by the political turmoil at the beginning of the year, coming in at $338 million, a 26 percent YoY decline. Some weakness is expected to remain throughout the year, specifically in the financial services and Telecom sectors, with full year net earnings at $1.5 billion, a 5 percent annual decline.
Qatar - Positive The authors remain Positive on Qatar owing to its high economic growth prospects, healthy banking sector and heavy government support in addition to increasing liquidity. The economy is expected to show
Bahrain - Neutral The report gives a Neutral outlook on Bahrain, but verging on Negative due to weakened corporate earnings outlook in addition to a less than favorable geopolitical environment which is negatively impacting investor sentiment and market liquidity. The report pro-
vides an outlook for 2011 by using the six forces framework which includes 1. Economic Factors, 2. Valuation Attraction, 3. Earnings Growth Potential, 4. Investor Sentiment, 5. Geopolitical Developments, 6. Market Liquidity. Economic Factors: GDP Growth: Real GDP across the GCC is likely to show a growth of about 5 percent in 2011 followed by a growth of between 5 percent-7 percent in 2012. Growth in 2011 has been driven by spiking crude oil prices at the beginning of the year coupled with some return in private credit and broad money growth in addition to increased government spending. Growth in Saudi Arabia is expected to show a surge of 7.5 percent in 2011 due to high oil revenues, however, this is expected to fall to about 3 percent in 2012. Kuwait GDP growth is expected to remain stable at about 5 percent for 2011/2012. Qatar, which has had the world’s highest growth rates over the last few years is expected to show another year of double digit growth at 20 percent for 2011 before dropping to the more sustainable 7 percent in 2012. Inflation: Both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait saw jumps in inflation during 2011 due to government grants and subsidies; according to the IMF, CPI is expected to show an increase of 6 percent for each country in 2011. This should moderate in 2012 as economic growth slows; coming in at 5.6 percent for Saudi Arabia and 3 percent for Kuwait. Fiscal Deficits: Fiscal balances are expected to show a jump in 2011 due to high oil prices at the beginning of the year (crude oil was up about 25 percent in the first quarter) which boosted coffers before declining in 2012 as governments engage in increased public spending as per development plans. Current Account Balance: According to the IIF, the consolidated current account balance of the GCC is estimated to reach over $150 billion in 2011 (from $124 billion in 2010) on account of a positive com-
modities environment. Broad Money Growth: Money supply growth remained sorely below average in 2010, except in the case of Qatar which saw M2 grow at 23 percent for the year while other GCC countries saw growth as low as 3 percent (Kuwait) to 11 percent (Oman and Bahrain). Valuation Attraction: Normalizing earnings growth coupled with poor market performance is stretching valuations in some cases. GCC corporate earnings came in at $13.78 billion in 1Q11, a 19 percent YoY growth. The highest growth is expected from the UAE, recovering from losses sustained in the Real Estate sector in 2010. Full year net profit is expected at around $48 billion, a 15 percent annual growth. Consequently, the GCC-wide PE should stay in the 14x-15x range, on par with 14x for MSCI EM and 15x for the S&P 500. Earnings growth potential: At the beginning of the year, the authors were quite positive on all countries in terms of earnings growth due to several rebound stories. However, despite a more or less positive Q1; the report gives a Neutral view on Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain earnings going forward. The authors maintain positive views on UAE and Qatar due to a turnaround story in the former (Real Estate) and healthy growth in the latter Market Liquidity: Value traded has picked up somewhat in 2011; 1H11 value traded came in at $194 billion, a 10 percent YoY growth. This was led by Saudi Arabia, where value traded in the first half of the year grew 28 percent YoY to $155 billion. Qatar was the only other GCC country to show a YoY growth in liquidity, at 33 percent. Kuwait registered a 47 percent YoY decline in 1H11 value traded to $13.5 billion. Given the positive YoY growth in liquidity so far this year, the report has a Positive view on the same for Saudi Arabia and Qatar while maintaining a Negative view on other markets.
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TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2011
IMF starts Portugal bailout review LISBON: EU and IMF officials launch their first review of Portugal’s international bailout yesterday, with the focus on how the government plans to correct a budget slippage and meet its promised fiscal targets this year. The verdict on Lisbon’s efforts to meet the terms of the 78-billion euro rescue package agreed in May, will help determine whether the lenders release a second tranche of funds or set additional conditions for doing so. They will also serve as a litmus test to show markets whether Portugal can
avoid following Greece in requesting a second bailout. The quarterly review, set to last around two weeks, will assess the government’s progress on measures including tax hikes, spending cuts and structural reforms. Last week, Fitch Ratings postponed its decision on Portugal’s credit standing to the fourth quarter from the end of July, saying its review will take into account the results of the first EU/IMF review. Fellow agency Moody’s has cut Portugal’s rating to junk status, citing concerns that the country may
follow Greece in needing a second bailout from the international bodies. Portugal’s bond yields have fallen somewhat since European leaders agreed a new rescue package for Greece and eased the terms on existing bailout loans for all three of the euro zone countries bailed out in the debt crisis to date. A new government has also sought to get ahead of the curve on reforms and improvement of public finances since taking office in June, ending the state’s golden share in
companies and changed the labor law to cut severance costs. Prime Minister Passos Coelho’s Social Democrats, who rule in a coalition with the rightist CDS-PP, met another deadline on Sunday by selecting a buyer for failed bank BPN. Still, the government is under pressure to demonstrate how it plans to correct a budget slippage of around 2 billion euros it says it inherited from the previous Socialist government. Under the bailout terms, Portugal has to cut the budget deficit this year to 5.9 per-
cent of gross domestic product from 2010’s 9.2 percent. Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar has said the budget slippage relates to late payment of salaries and unpaid debts at ministries, an inventory of which is due to be provided to the troika. The government last month announced an extraordinary 50 percent levy on year-end bonuses, set to raise around 1.25 billion euros in tax revenues, but has yet to detail spending cuts to cover the remainder of the slippage. — Reuters
Greek taxi drivers step up strike, block traffic Liberalization comes as part of IMF-inspired reforms
CALIFORNIA: Scooter riders were out in force, riding to the premiere of the Larry Crowne movie premiere. — MCT
Car-weary drivers drawn to scooters LOS ANGELES: Lindsey Miller has been scootering for only a month, but when she puts on her sparkly silver helmet and wheels her orange Genuine Buddy through the streets she’s giddy with the rush of takeoff, the wind in her face, the freedom. “It’s just fun,” said Miller, a UCLA graduate student of urban planning who bought the motorized scooter in May because, like many others, she could get around more easily on it than on the bus and more cheaply than in a car. This year US scooter sales have surged after a two-year slump. Sales jumped 50 percent for the first quarter of 2011 compared with a year earlier, according to the Motorcycle Industr y Council, an industr y trade group in Irvine, Calif. And experts foresee more growth ahead. Top sellers include models such as the Vespa LX 150, Honda Ruckus, Yamaha Zuma, Suzuki Burgman, Genuine Buddy and Kymco People. Renewed interest in scooters this year is largely attributable to gas prices, which in California leapt above $4 a gallon before dropping in recent weeks. In 2008, when gas prices last spiked, scooter sales escalated to the highest level ever in the US with 228,000 sold. Sales plummeted in 2009 and again in 2010, when only 77,000 scooters were sold. “Every time gas prices fluctuate, there seems to be a big interest in alternative kinds of vehicles of all different types,” said Leslie Kendall, curator at LA’s Petersen Automotive Museum. It recently opened the exhibit “Scooters: Size Doesn’t Always Matter.” Among the 95 scooters on display are a 1917 Autoped and a 1961 Honda 50. “You can’t help but notice there’s an awful lot of scooters out there now,” he said. “They’ve evolved to a point where they’re truly viable transportation for a lot of people.” That evolution is on display this week with Friday’s opening of the Universal Pictures movie “Larr y Crowne,” starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. The story of a Navy veteran who loses his job and goes back to college will show 30 scooters from the past and present. Included are the 1983 Yamaha
Riva 180 that Hanks’ character rides in a suburban scooter posse, along with vintage Vespas, Italjets and Lambrettas. Popular for a step-through design that allows riders to plant their feet on a floorboard and transmissions that are, for the most part, automatic, scooters are abuzz in increasing numbers on Southern California streets, where riders are embracing them for their thrifty chic. Available in a variety of styles and sizes, new scooters from reliable brands start at about $3,000. Prices run up to about $9,000. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, scooters of 149 cubic centimeters or less are considered motor-driven cycles. Scooters of 150 cubic centimeters and above are motorcycles. Both need to be registered with the state and require an M1 driver’s license. Helmets are required. Matthew Norton has been riding his Yamaha Zuma since 2004. “I originally got it in high school when I didn’t have that much money and I needed some sort of vehicle to get around to my job,” said Norton, who is the customer representative at Comics Vs. Toys comic and toy store in Los Angeles. Norton, 25, spent $2,000 for his scooter, which remains his only form of transportation. He said he averages 70 miles per gallon and needs to fill up his tank every two or three weeks. “I’ve had lots of people come up to me on the street when I park and ask what kind of mileage does she get,” Norton said of the red scooter he’s nicknamed Jessica. “When I see them coming out of their giant SUVs, I have to hold in a laugh.” After scooter shops saw sales shoot up in 2008, “everybody overreacted” and ordered too many scooters for 2009, said Mike Frankovich, owner of NoHo Scooters in North Hollywood. “Just about every scooter manufacturer (expected) gas prices and demand to stay high.” This year, the market is thriving but not like it did in 2008 when customers were buying scooters with their credit cards. “Not as many people are getting approved for financing,” said Frankovich, who counts scooters from Chicago-based Genuine Scooter Co. and the Korean firm Kymco as his top-selling brands. — MCT
Peabody and ArcelorMittal make hostile Macarthur bid SYDNEY: US company Peabody Energy and Europe’s ArcelorMittal yesterday launched a hostile bid for Macarthur Coal after the Australian miner refused to back a $5.3 billion takeover offer. America’s largest coal company Peabody and the world’s biggest steel concern ArcelorMittal told Macarthur shareholders they were being offered a 41 percent premium to the miner’s recent average stock value. “Peabody and ArcelorMittal believe our bid is compelling,” Peabody Energy chairman and chief executive Gregory H Boyce said in a statement. “We have decided to take this offer directly to Macarthur shareholders to provide them with significant value.” Peabody and ArcelorMittal had initially offered A$15.50 per share but during due diligence offered to boost this to A$16, subject to Macarthur agreeing not to talk to other potential suitors. But Queensland-based Macarthur, the world’s largest miner of pulverized coking coal, used as a low-cost input in steel making, earlier yesterday rejected the bid because it wanted to keep talks with others open. In going direct to shareholders, Peabody and ArcelorMittal said they
would offer Aus$15.50 a share plus a dividend of 16 cents a share, which they said represented a significant premium to where the stock was before they bid. A bidder’s statement would be lodged shortly and sent to shareholders about two weeks later, Boyce added. In rejecting the earlier offer, Macarthur chairman Keith DeLacy called it “opportunistic”. “The offer appears to be an opportunistic attempt to acquire Macarthur at a time of global economic volatility and regulatory uncertainty in Australia, and fails to reflect Macarthur’s industry-leading position,” he said. The company added: “While there can be no assurance that a superior proposal will emerge, Macarthur’s directors consider it is clearly in shareholders’ interests to do all that they can to facilitate this.” Macarthur operates two sites with mines in production and intends to double capacity by 2014 with two other sites. ArcelorMittal is already the second-biggest shareholder in Macar thur with 16 percent of the shares, behind Citic, a Chinese investment fund, which owns 24.3 percent. South Korean steel-maker Posco owns seven percent. —AFP
ATHENS: Taxi drivers blocked major roads across Greece yesterday, stepping up protests against EU/IMF-inspired reforms to their trade and disrupting tourism at the height of the summer season. The protesters, who have been on strike for two weeks, oppose government plans to issue new taxi licenses, as part of the cash-strapped country’s efforts to revive its ailing economy by liberalizing restricted business sectors. Removing restrictions hampering access to so-called “closed professions”, including engineering and law, is a key condition for debt-laden Greece to continue receiving bailout funds from the EU and the International Monetary Fund. Taxi owners occupied the country’s longest suspension bridge at Rio in western Greece and blocked the Athens-Patras highway, also in the west. “I don’t know how long it will last,” taxi owner Panagiotis Skentzos said on television station Skai. Others blocked access roads to the Herakleion airport at the resort island of Crete, forcing tourists to walk 500 meters with their luggage to get on buses and other transport. On Sunday, taxi owners prevented 1,600 cruise passengers from visiting the famous archaeological site of Knossos in Crete, a move local media said they might repeat yesterday. The Greek hoteliers association said the strike was seriously hurting tourismGreece’s main industry-and efforts to revive the recession-hit economy, criticizing the government for failing to quell the protests. “We are shooting ourselves in the foot and we might die from the bleeding,” the hoteliers said in a statement, warning that they will file law suits against taxi drivers. Taxi drivers have in the past used their licenses as a kind of
CRETE: Foreign tourists carrying their luggage walk to the airport of Iraklion, as striking taxi owners block access to the terminal for all buses, on the island of Crete yesterday. —AP pension plan, selling the permits onto new drivers when they retire. They say the government’s plan to issue new licenses for small amounts of money has undermined the system. Licenses used to change hands for up to 200,000 euros ($143,900). But their price has plummeted in the last two years due to falling business, as austerity-pinched passengers switch to public transport. The government has threatened to take drastic action against the protesters. “This can’t go on,” government spokesman Ilias
EU to speed up major funds for weak states BRUSSELS: The European Union plans to make it easier for its six most troubled economies to access billions of euros in development funds by lowering the amount of money they have to contribute to projects. Yesterday’s proposals would see the EU’s part of the financing of infrastructure and education projects rise to up to 95 percent for Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Romania, Latvia and Hungary. Traditionally, states have to cover between 15 percent and 50 percent of the costs, a requirement that has kept weak economies from using the funds designated to them. “We cannot ask for cuts in the budget and at the some time for co-financing for EU projects,” said the EU’s Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn. The new proposals won’t increase the overall amount of money these countries will receive from the EU, but are supposed to make sure a smaller number of growth-enhancing projects actually gets off the ground. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso called the proposals “a kind of ‘Marshall Plan’ for economic recovery,” designed to “boost prosperity and competitiveness.” All six countries affected by the proposals have had to seek emergency loans in recent years as investors worried about their
economic stability, although Hungary has since been able to regain market access. The rescue programs for Greece, Ireland and Portugal in particular have come under fire for demanding huge spending cuts and painful economic reforms that have further depressed economic growth. Raising the co-financing rate to 95 percent would give the six countries an extra euro 2.9 billion ($4 billion) in EU funds in the short term. That money would be drawn from a total fund worth euro 91 billion through 2013, according to figures provided by the European Commission. But if easier co-financing rules succeed in getting projects going quickly, they could unlock a much larger sum. So far, only about euro 23 billion of the total fund have been paid out. However, co-financing has not been the only obstacle to accessing EU funds, with many countries having difficulties proving that projects are well-managed and would actually boost economic growth. EU member states and the European Parliament still have to sign off on the Commission’s proposals. The plans could face some resistance from poor countries, such as Bulgaria or the other Baltic states, who face similar challenges in accessing development funds but who managed to get through the financial crisis without outside assistance. — AP
This undated photo provided by Honda shows the 2012 CR-V. The design introduced by American Honda Motor Co Inc features deeper sculpting, fender flares, a horizontal threebar grille and five-spoke alloy wheels. Honda says the interior will be more accommodating and have a lower cargo floor. — AP
Mosialos said on state TV Net. “This is not just about taxi drivers. It’s a matter for the entire Greek society and its economy”. Police moved in over the weekend to remove tents used by protesters who had been camping outside parliament in Athens for more than two months. Protests against Prime Minister George Papandreou’s austerity plans have raged since the end of May. But the numbers of people attending them have declined over the past two weeks, as summer temperatures mount. — Reuters
Philippine budget carrier buys 37 new Airbus jets MANILA: Budget airline Cebu Air Inc said it is buying 37 new Airbus planes for $3.8 billion in the largest single aircraft order ever made by a Philippine airline, allowing it to more than double its fleet by 2021 and expand its international routes. Lance Gokongwei, president and chief executive of Cebu Pacific, the budget carrier’s official name, said new the order includes 30 A321neo (new engine option) and seven A320s. The airline currently operates a fleet of 25 Airbus and eight ATR 72-500 aircraft, the youngest fleet in the Philippines. Cebu Pacific flew more passengers than the country’s flag carrier Philippine Airlines and holds half of the domestic market. Gokongwei said he expects the airline to carry more than 12 million passengers this year. The A320 airplanes will be delivered between 2015 and 2021, while the A321neo fleet will arrive from 2017 to 2021, Gokongwei added. The airline also has 10 additional options for the Airbus 321neos. Previous orders for 18 A320 to be delivered through 2014 bring the total Airbus order to 55, the airline said. Gokongwei said Cebu Pacific’s order of the 220-seater A321neo, which Airbus will introduce in 2017, is the largest firm order for the new aircraft in the world. “These 220-seater A321neo will be the real game changer for Cebu Pacific because the A321neo will have a much longer range,” he added. “We will be able to serve cities in Australia, India and northern Japan, places the A320 cannot reach.” He said the new aircraft, which incorporates new engines and large wing-tip devices called sharklets, will reduce fuel burn by 15 percent and cut unit cost per seat. The carrier held a successful initial public offering on the Philippine stock market last year, which was the biggest ever for a low cost carrier after raising at least $539 million. It raised hopes of spurring growth in the country’s tourism and aviation industries, which still lag behind its Southeast Asian neighbors. The airline currently flies to 33 domestic destinations and 16 cities in Southeast Asia, China, Japan and South Korea and is the third largest lowcost carrier in Asia. It made headlines last year with a YouTube video of flight attendants dancing to music by Lady Gaga to keep passengers from snoozing through an in-flight safety demonstration. — AP
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TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2011
Internet archivist seeks one of every book written RICHMOND: Tucked away in a small warehouse on a dead-end street, an Internet pioneer is building a bunker to protect an endangered species: the printed word. Brewster Kahle, 50, founded the nonprofit Internet Archive in 1996 to save a copy of every Web page ever posted. Now the MIT-trained computer scientist and entrepreneur is expanding his effort to safeguard and share knowledge by trying to preserve a physical copy of every book ever published. “There is always going to be a role for books,” said Kahle as he perched on the edge of a shipping container soon to be tricked out as a climate-controlled storage unit. Each container can hold about 40,000 volumes, the size of a branch library. “We want to see books live forever.” So far, Kahle has gathered about 500,000 books. He thinks the warehouse itself is large enough to hold about 1 million titles, each one given a barcode that identifies the cardboard box, pallet and shipping container in which it resides. That’s far fewer than the nearly 130 million different books Google engineers involved in that company’s book scanning project estimate to exist worldwide. But Kahle says the ease with which they ’ve
acquired the first half-million donated texts makes him optimistic about reaching what he sees as a realistic goal of 10 million books, the equivalent of a major university library. “The idea is to be able to collect one copy of every book ever published. We’re not going to get there, but that’s our goal,” he said. Recently, workers in offices above the warehouse floor unpacked boxes of books and entered information on each title into a database. The books ranged from “Moby Dick” and “The Hunchback of NotreDame” to “The Complete Basic Book of Home Decorating” and “Costa Rica for Dummies.” At this early stage in the book collection process, specific titles aren’t being sought out so much as large collections. Duplicate copies of books already in the archive are re-donated elsewhere. If someone does need to see an actual physical copy of a book, Kahle said it should take no more than an hour to fetch it from its dark, dry home. “The dedicated idea is to have the physical safety for these physical materials for the long haul and then have the digital versions accessible to the world,” Kahle said. Along with keeping books cool and dr y, which Kahle plans to
accomplish using the modified shipping cointainers, book preservation experts say he’ll have to contend with vermin and about a century’s worth of books printed on wood pulp paper that decays over time because of its own acidity. Peter Hanff, acting director of the Bancroft Library, the special collections and rare books library at the University of California, Berkeley, says that just keeping the books on the West Coast will save them from the climate fluctuations that are the norm in other parts of the country. He praises digitization as a way to make books, manuscripts and other material more accessible. But he too believes that the digital does not render the physical object obsolete. People feel an “intimate connection” with artifacts, such as a letter written by Albert Einstein or a papyrus dating back millennia. “Some people respond to that with just a strong emotional feeling,” Hanff said. “You are suddenly connected to something that is really old and takes you back in time.” Since Kahle’s undergraduate years in the early 1980s, he has devoted his intellectual energy to figuring out how to create what he calls a digital version of ancient Egypt’s legendary Library of
Alexandria. He currently leads an initiative called Open Library, which has scanned an estimated 3 million books now available for free on the Web. Many of these books for scanning were borrowed from libraries. But Kahle said he began noticing that when the books were returned, the libraries were sometimes getting rid of them to make more room on their shelves. Once a book was digitized, the rationale went, the book itself was no longer needed. Despite his life’s devotion to the promise of digital technology, Kahle found his faith in bits and bytes wasn’t strong enough to cast paper and ink aside. Even as an ardent believer in the promise of the Internet to make knowledge more accessible to more people than ever, he feared the rise of an overconfident digital utopianism about electronic books. And he said he simply had a visceral reaction to the idea of books being thrown away. “Knowledge lives in lots of different forms over time,” Kahle said. “First it was in people’s memories, then it was in manuscripts, then printed books, then microfilm, CD-ROMS, now on the digital Internet. Each one of these generations is very important.” Each new format as it emerges tends
to be hailed as the end-all way to package information. But Kahle points out that even digital books have a physical home on a hard drive somewhere. He sees saving the physical artifacts of information storage as a way to hedge against the uncertainty of the future. (Alongside the books, Kahle plans to store the Internet Archive’s old servers, which were replaced late last year.) Kahle envisions the book archive less like another Library of Congress (33 million books, according to the library’s website) and more like the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, an underground Arctic cavern built to shelter back-up copies of the world’s food-crop seeds. The books are not meant to be loaned out on a regular basis but protected as authoritative reference copies if the digital version somehow disappears into the cloud or a question ever arises about an e-book’s faithfulness to the original printed edition. “The thing that I’m worried about is that people will think this is disrespectful to books. They think we’re just burying them all in the basement,” Kahle said. But he says it’s his commitment to the survival of books that drives this project. “These are the objects that are getting to live another day.”— AP
Blu-ray players are jacks of all trades Home movies plus extras
SEATTLE: Ron Sevart, CEO of Space Needle, left, Buzz Aldrin, former astronaut, center, and Richard Garriott, first second-generation space traveler, pose outside the Space Needle on Sunday, July 31, 2011, in Seattle. Aldrin and Garriott were at the Space Needle to help promote a contest sponsored by the Needle to celebrate its 50th anniversary by sending a member of the general public into space. — AP
Taiwan’s Foxconn to use one million robots by 2014 BEIJING: Taiwan IT giant Foxconn-hit by a spate of suicides at its Chinese plants-plans to replace 500,000 workers with robots in the next three years, state media reported yesterday. Foxconn-the world’s largest maker of computer components, which assembles products for Apple, Sony and Nokiaplans to use one million robots to do “simple” work, China Business News quoted chairman Terry Gou saying. Gou announced the plan to 10,000 staff at a company event in Shenzhen on Friday, various media reports said. Foxconn currently has 10,000 robots doing painting, welding and assembly tasks. It will increase that number to 300,000 next year and to one million in 2014, the report said.
A Foxconn spokesman could not be immediately reached by AFP for comment. The Taiwan-based company employs more than one million workers at its Chinese plants, about half of them based in its main facility in the southern city of Shenzhen. At least 14 workers have died in apparent suicides since last year, most of them in Shenzhen. Activists blamed the deaths on tough working conditions and have called for better treatment of staff. Foxconn has been expanding its workforce in other parts of China as it seeks to scale back the size of its Shenzhen plant. The firm opened a $2 billion Chengdu plant in October, according to China’s staterun Xinhua news agency. —AFP
New technology products Glasses-free 3D display BERLIN: Toshiba have unveiled a new laptop with glasses-free 3D technology. The Qosmio F750 will be able to display both 2D and 3D simultaneously on its 15.6-inch full HD lenticular screen. That is useful when users want to watch a 3D film on one half of the screen and surf on the other half. The manufacturers said the laptop can even convert 2D content into 3D. The F750 is equipped with a quadcore Intel processor (i7-2630QM), Geforce GT540 graphics with 2 GB VRAM, Bluray Burner and 500GB Hybrid 4GB drive. Including a T V tuner and a remote control, the Qosmio will be available starting next month for 1,649 euro (2,330 dollars) in white (F750-10L) or red (F750-10M). Small voice recorder in LS-3 HAMBURG: Olympus has overhauled its LS-11 voice recorder and released the LS-3. With its measurements of 11.2 cm by 4 cm and 90 grams, the LS3 is nearly half the size and weight of its predecessor and provides stereo recordings in PCM format or as MP3s. It has two angled condenser microphones as well as an omni-directional mic. The LS-3 also features a prerecord buffer to capture several seconds of audio before the record button is pressed. The 4GB internal memor y can by expanded with a microSD(HC) card. The recorder is enclosed in a compact aluminum
body with a 4.3cm LCD display and goes on sale in August for 190 euro. Archos unveils DECT phone radio MUNICH: Archos are presenting a wireless telephone and Internet web radio with the Android operating system. The 35 Smart Home Phone and 35 Home Connect have a number of features built in. Among them are radio and alarm clock applications for web radio or video call capabilities on the DECT telephone. Users can also install other applications. The DECT telephone can import addresses and telephone numbers from other Android devices and has a browser to surf the internet. Both devices are due to hit shops in September and will each cost 149 euro. Router manages 2 wireless networks DUESSELDORF: A new router from Buffalo can manage two wireless networks at the same time - even simultaneously on different bands. The WZR-HP-AG300H allows for individualized file sharing by ports in the network. One network can also be set up exclusively for stable streaming of films. The router supports N-wireless as well as USB hard drives with a USB port. An external hard drive can also be connected, making it serve as a media server in a home network. The router costs 110 euro.
MUNICH: Blu-ray players have become central to any home theatre, with the newest-generation devices not only playing movies, but also downloading extras from the internet or displaying vacation photos. But that variety does not help at all when it comes time to pick which one is right for you. All of them play movies - in high resolution and with excellent sound. It’s the extras that count - from playing 3D movies to online downloads meaning purchasers should look at quality of internet access, not just price, when deciding. Blu-ray discs took several years to differentiate themselves from DVDs. But the Blu-ray definitely made its breakthrough this year, with more Blu-ray devices than DVD players projected to be sold in 2011. Part of that is because consumers want high-definition content to display on their new flat-screen televisions. It also helps that prices have dropped massively. Blu-ray players averaged 520 euros (729 dollars) in 2007. Now, according to German industr y analyst Bitkom, the average price is 167 euros. Additionally, the average price of a Blu-ray film, according to the German Federal Association of Audiovisual Media, sunk to 15 euros in the first quarter. Entry-level prices have gotten even lower. “If you don’t need any extra functions, you can get a decent player for 100 euros,” says Andreas Frank of the German magazine Video Homevision. That’s enough for playing a Bluray disc. And, since most devices comes with a USB connection, that means photos or videos can be displayed from a hard drive or USB stick.
The difference is in the details. Many entry-level devices don’t perform well when scaling DVD images for HD formats because they have a cheaper image processing chip than used in higherend models. That means the lines of a football pitch can look fuzzy. But the sheer diversity of options to factor in mean it’s hard to tell if that’s an issue, simply based on price. An internet connection is standard for modern players. “With that, you can magically get extra information onto your screen,” says expert Michael Zink. Studios offer deleted scenes, trailers or games. A BD Live logo ensures that the player can go online, says Zink, who works as a manager with Technicolor and is on the board of the Blu-ray Disc Association, a group of manufacturers. Connecting to the net has a further advantage: it allows consumers to easily install updates. That’s key because, behind the easy-to-use interface, lies a minicomputer that needs updates, just like a PC. “People can dramatically improve the user experience this way,” says Zink. New
versions of the built-in software correct programming errors and install new features. Many players can play back photos, videos or music from a home network - either a PC or a NAS drive - onto a television. “You should look at the DLNA cer tification,” advises Frank. Devices with DLNA logos work together seamlessly. It gets more complicated with movies from the internet. Many multifunction devices connect to video portals, but don’t let the consumers pick which ones. “ Which por tal is bundled depends on the manufacturer,” says Frank. If this is an important feature, you should check if your favourites are included before you buy. YouTube is prepro grammed into most of today’s players. Not all players have wi-fi connections, but rely on network cables. Zink recommends the cable-free kind. “You rarely have the Blu-ray player right next to your router. It’s easiest to make the connection with wi-fi.” He says retrofitting a player with a wi-fi module is difficult and expensive. A Blu-ray player is the medium of
choice if your goal is to turn your living room into a 3D theatre. It’s hard to make a mistake with a Blu-ray player, says Frank: “A device that projects a good 2D image will also make a good 3D image.” For about 150 euros, one can get a contemporary 3D-capable device. But double check your TV quality before making a purchase. “It depends a lot on how much the image flickers,” says Frank. If you value good sound, then the player should be connected digitally with HDMI to your system. But that ’s not always possible. “If my amplifier can’t process digital formats, then I should make sure that my BD player supports Dolby 5.1,” says Frank. Most players cut costs when it comes to analog export connections. With high-end devices, the Blu-ray player is almost an afterthought. They have hard drive recording devices and Blu-ray burners. Some even have apps that allow users to turn their smartphones into remote controls. Of course, that has a price. An all-inclusive model can easily set you back 1,000 euros. — dpa
Take no chances with your Facebook security settings BERLIN: Those planning a party on Facebook need not only worry that no one will show up, they also have to be sure they don’t accidentally invite the entire network. When making an invitation, there’s a question box that determines whether or not everyone can see and RSVP to the event. Putting a tick in the box means everyone is invited. Leaving it out means the party is a strictly private affair, with options available for only inviting certain people. German police have been busy in recent weeks breaking up private affairs that accidentally became block parties. In early June, a teenager accidentally invited 1,600 people to her 16th birthday in Hamburg, with the evening ending in fistfights, demolished cars, injuries and arrests. A few weeks later, it took more than 100 police officers to remove 800 partygoers from a function in Wuppertal after some soccer hooligans got caught up in the excitement. To protect yourself from unwanted birthday attention, Facebook users can also decide who gets to see their birthday. In the privacy settings under account options, go to Custom Settings. Here you can decide which friends get to know your birthday. It’s even possible to pick different view options for individuals, meaning family members see all, but work colleagues don’t even get to know your birthday. Next, check to see your settings for all information, especially address and email address. Instead of creating settings for each individual friend, it makes more sense to organize people into groups (Family, College Friends, Work Colleagues), so you can quickly make sure casual contacts don’t get to see your personal data. — dpa
SYDNEY: Martina Bosanac sees her generic body scan on a monitor after passing through Australia’s first full body scanner at Sydney International Airport yest erday. A trial using the L3 ProVision Body Scanner — the most advanced passenger screening technology in the world — will take place at Sydney and Melbourne Airports on 2 - 19 August. — AFP
e niv rsar n
TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2011
HEALTH & SCIENCE
Spatial and Gulf Lead to hold healthcare conference KUWAIT: Spatial Conferences and Gulf Lead Consultants have announced the conference “Quality in Healthcare” to be held on the 30th of November and the 1st of December under the theme of “Achieving Quality in Healthcare Services and Medical Outcomes”. The chairman of the organizing committee, Dr. Tariq Abdulmohsen Aldowaisan has announced that the conference will focus on what is required of healthcare institutions, both public and private, to achieve excellent outcomes at three levels; the quality of service, safety and
patient satisfaction, and efficiency of the institution. Dr. Aldowaisan stressed that the organizing committee expects presentations at the conference to be practical and applied rather than theoretical. Improving the quality of healthcare services and outcomes, Dr. Aldowaisan noted, is a subject of major interest to regional governments, the public, and to the global community. Statistics on the quality of healthcare in the United States published by the “Remaking American Medicine” reveal that medical errors kill more people per
year than breast cancer, AIDS or road traffic injuries; doctors provide appropriate preventive care only 50% of the time, effective chronic care 60% of the time, and evidencebased acute care only 70% of the time and nearly $400 billion -almost one -third of the total spent on health care each year- is wasted on poor quality health care. As for Kuwait’s national midrange plan 2010-2014 and Tony Blair’s Kuwait Vision 2030s report, evidence abounds for the need to improve the quality of healthcare. The plan and report point out to the
increase in the number of Kuwaiti nationals seeking medical care abroad; the need for improving the quality of health care services; the need to focus on public health, preventive care, and the improvement of healthy lifestyle habits to avert serious illnesses and lastly, Kuwait’s lagging of international standards on the management of obesity and chronic diseases. Dr. Aldowaisan concluded with thanking the Minister of Health, Dr. Hilal Al-Sayer for the support and encouragement that the ministry has provided to the conference.
Dr Tariq A Aldowaisan
Anorexic at five in Britain Biology and genetics play large part in kids development LONDON: Nearly 100 children aged between five and seven in Britain have been treated for anorexia or bulimia in the past three years, according to figures released yesterday. The statistics show that 197 children aged between five and nine were treated in hospital in England for eating disorders, fuelling campaigners’ fears that young children are being influenced by photographs in celebrity magazines. The figures from 35 hospitals showed 98 children were aged between five and seven at the time of treatment and 99 aged eight or nine. Almost 400 were between the ages of 10 and 12, with more than
1,500 between 13 and 15 years old. The statistics, released under the Freedom of Information Act, are believed to underestimate the true figures because some state-run hospitals refuse to release any data. Other hospitals would only release figures for children admitted after they had become dangerously thin, excluding those undergoing psychiatric therapy as outpatients. The findings come af ter experts called earlier this year for urgent action to improve the detection of eating disorders in children. About three in every 100,000 children under 13 in Britain and Ireland have
some sort of eating disorder, according to a study conducted by experts from University College London’s Institute for Child Health. Susan Ringwood, chief executive of the eating disorders charity B-eat, said the latest figures reflected “alarming” trends in society, with young children “internalising” messages from magazines which idealise the thinnest figures. “A number of factors combine to trigger eating disorders. Biology and genetics play a large part in their development, but so do cultural pressures, and body image seems to be influencing younger children much more over the past
decade,” she said. Children were receiving “pernicious” messages, R ingwood told the Sunday Telegraph. “ The ideal figure promoted for women is that of a girl, not an adult woman. That can leave girls fearful of puberty, and almost trying to stave it off,” she said. The Department of Health said it was spending £400 million ($660 million, 455 million euros) over the next four years on psychological treatment for eating disorders, including a specific programme for children and young people. “Early inter vention is essential for those with eating disorders,” a spokeswoman said. — AFP
Who let the dogs in the yoga class? TOKYO: A diver swims with a moray eel during a press preview at the Sunshine Aquarium in Tokyo yesterday. The Sunshine Aquarium located on the top of a building, will be reopened on August 4 following a one year renovation. — AFP
S African soldiers battle rhino poachers in Kruger KRUGER NATIONAL PARK: The soldiers sleep in tents, hidden from roaming lions by a blind, and protected by high-powered rifles that also ward off the even more dangerous threat of poachers. In April, South African soldiers were deployed in Kruger National Park to safeguard the border with Mozambique, where heavily armed and highly organised poachers have driven the slaughter of rhinos to record levels to feed an Asian black market for traditional medicine. “It’s not just a poacher coming in and he’s hunting for meat, or he comes in with his snares or he comes in with his darts to hunt with a hunting rifle,” said Ken Maggs, a top environmental crimes investigator in the park. “He’s coming prepared to fight. Hence the tactics that we deploy on the ground are military, paramilitary.” The poachers slip across the Mozambican border with night-vision goggles, AK-47s, hunting rifles, and in one case, a grenade. Moving in the dark, they scrawl warnings to rangers in the sand. The army patrols are the first line of defence. Working with a park ranger, they walk through the bush in the early hours of morning, alert to the threat of both predators and poachers. One evening, a group of lions lounged just 100 metres (100 yards) from their camp. But the poachers pose a deadlier threat, and haven’t hesitated to open fire on the patrols. Fifteen poachers have been killed in shoot-outs so far this year in Kruger, nine wounded and 64 arrested. The deterrent seems to be working. March was the deadliest month for rhinos in Kruger’s recorded history, with 40 animals killed for their horns, according to the military. Since the army deployment, the number has steadily dropped, to 30 in April, 15 in May and just two in June. It’s the first, and still cautious, sign of improvement since 2007, when just 13 rhinos were poached in South Africa-compared to 333 last year. Treatment for cancer But success in the park will solve only one part of the problem, with surging demand in Asia, particularly China and Vietnam, to use rhino horns in traditional medicines to treat everything from nosebleeds to fevers. “ The recent poaching crisis has been attributed to an increase in demand in Vietnam, where a new pur-
ported use of rhino horn has appeared as a treatment for cancer,” said Alona Rivord, spokeswoman for environmental group WWF. Rhino horns are made of keratin, like human fingernails, and have no scientific medicinal value, but that’s done little to curb the black market demand. China has outlawed the use of rhinos in medicine, but enforcement is lax, conservation activists say. High prices in Asia have led to a more complicated problem: manipulation of South Africa’s legal trophy hunts to export rhino horns that end up on the black market. Black rhino are critically endangered, meaning they ’re at risk of extinction with only 4,838 left in the world, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. White rhinos are more numerous at 17,480. They are legally hunted in South Africa, with a permit that costs just 50 rand ($7.50, five euros), said Rynette Coetzee, project executive in the law and policy programme of the Endangered Wildlife Trust. “There’s hunting taking place, and it’s legal because permits are being issued,” she said. Each hunter is allowed to kill only one rhino each year, but police earlier this month arrested Thai national Chumlong Lemtongthai, accusing him of working with a syndicate to smuggle 40 horns obtained with hunting permits. He reportedly paid friends and even prostitutes to pose as hunters, and worked with a South African wildlife trader who bought rhinos at auctions, but then killed them soon after they arrived on his farm. Chumlong reportedly sold the horns for $55,000 per kilo, literally worth their weight in gold. “They are battling to enforce the legislation” on trophy hunting because wildlife authorities lack the staff and vehicles to do the job, Coetzee said. Maggs calls corruption within the wildlife business “khaki collar” crime, a problem highlighted when a Kruger ranger was arrested Monday in connection with poaching. “The involvement of some of the professional people in the industry is of great concern,” Maggs said, including professional hunters, veterinarians and game farm owners who “are taking advantage of the high prices being paid for rhino horn and the illegal smuggling of it.” — AFP
NEW YORK: When yoga goes to the dogs, they call it doga. And while doga may not measure up, fitness-wise, to a game of fetch or a run on the beach, experts say practicing yoga with your pet can soothe the not-so-savage breasts of both person and pooch. “I consider it partner yoga,” said Suzi Teitelman, a Floridabased instructor who has been teaching doga to man, woman and beast since 2002. “It’s my lifelong passion.” Teitelman stumbled upon doga because her dog liked to lie under her while she practiced. “When you feel good, they feel good,” she said. “They want to be around your goodness.” Classes, DVDs and a training manual followed. Teitelman said she’s trained more than 100 people around the world in doga, some from as far away as China and Japan. Disco yoga, kid yoga, beach yoga, spin yoga and yogalites are but a few of the trendy hybrids saluting the sun at fitness centers these days, all takeoffs on the 5,0000-year-old practice that coordinates movement and breath. But Teitelman insists she teaches a traditional yoga class, even if the downward facing dog is flesh and blood. “ We chant together to feel the vibrations, then we start moving into twists and turns,” she said. Traditional poses such as warriors, triangles and backbends follow, possibly enhanced by a little dog balanced at the belly or waist. “The person takes dog deeper into a stretch, and the dog takes the person deeper,” she said. “If
you have a dog on your arm in a standing posture it helps balance and strength.” Teitelman believes the rewards of yoga accrue to human and animal alike. “You’re moving their body. They’re getting touched, they ’re getting love,” she explained, “and everybody needs to be hanging upside down.” Dr Robin Brennen, a New York City veterinarian, was skeptical of the hugely popular doga classes at the Bideawee animal shelter and learning center where she works. Then she attended one. “I witnessed the demeanor of the animals changing during the class,” she said. “They’ll come in barking, seven, eight, nine dogs in room, but by the end of the session, they’re sleeping. They’re in savasana (the final resting pose).” Brennen said unlike running or jogging, doga is not physically strenuous for the dog. “It’s a level one yoga class and with this big dog in front of you it’s hard to do poses,” she said. “It’s basically stopping and starting.” But then doga isn’t about dogs doing yoga, but about owners interacting with their dogs. “It really highlights the human-animal bond,” she said. “For me, being in animal rescue, and seeing so many homeless pets, and people who very easily discard animals, I like these activities on the other side of the spectrum.” But she is doubtful about the spiritual side. “It’s hard to think of a centering practice like yoga being centering to an animal, because it’s hard to know what centers them,” she said. Teitelman believes doga
TOKYO: People practice the martial art of tai-chi in Tokyo’s ritzy Roppongi Hills area yesterday. The annual summer event, which gathers hundreds of tai-chi practitioners, continues until August 14. — AFP
can embrace other domesticated creatures. “It definitely works with cats,” she said, “and when I do downward dog my bird comes over.” But Brennen has her
doubts. “Cats? Obviously you’d have to change the format. They want their feet on the ground. Then there’s the scratching and clawing factor.” —Reuters
Australian sues over forgotten surgical sponge SYDNEY: An Australian woman who lived for more than 15 years with a grapefruit-sized surgical sponge sewn inside her after abdominal surgery was to sue her doctor for negligence, a report said yesterday. Helen O’Hagan claims the sponge was left in her abdominal cavity by surgeon Samuel Sakker during a 1992 colectomy, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. She suffered cramps, fevers and loss of bowel control but attributed it to the long-running health issues that landed her in hospital to begin with, and did not discover the sponge until an October 2007 x-ray. During that time the sponge “became encapsulated in dense fibrous adhesions within a sac of fluid”, the Herald said. It was removed by a different surgeon on the same day that it
was found. O’Hagan won the right to sue Sakker for negligence or breach of contract over the incident, despite the nowretired doctor calling for the case to be dismissed because she had taken so long to start legal action. Judge Leonard Levy accepted that O’Hagan was so preoccupied with her health woes, having been hospitalised 23 times since 1970, she did not initially seek answers about how the sponge had ended up inside her. The delay was compounded by the fact that the surgeon who removed the sponge was posted interstate for the next three years and did not tell O’Hagan it could only have been left there by Sakker until last May. The lawsuit begins this week. — AFP
In this image released by NASA/JPL shows an image of the dark side of Vesta asteroid captured by NASA’S Dawn spacecraft on July 23, 2011, and taken from a distance of about 3,200 milesaway from the giant asteroid. — AP
e niv rsar n
TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2011
H E A LT H
Over 9 million infected with Hepatitis C in MENA region DUBAI: Scientiﬁc medical experts from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region jointly announced a consensus statement on the identiﬁcation and challenges posed by chronic hepatitis C in this region, calling for national and local governments and health care providers to join forces to address this condition. Hepatitis C is highly prevalent in the MENA region with approximately 9.2 million individuals infected with this condition. The announcement was made at a press conference in Dubai on World Hepatitis Day, attended by international and MENA scientiﬁc medical experts. The study undertaken in 2010, by the international scientiﬁc agency PharmARC with ﬁnancial support of healthcare company MSD, comprised a search of the literature gauging the opinion of selected hepatitis C experts in MENA including Kuwait. Its aim was to identify the challenges posed by hepatitis C. Following the outcomes of this research the experts met as a ‘clinical network’ to generate regional patient management and infection prevention recommendations, as well as country-speciﬁc research and initiatives to guide eﬀorts toward addressing the Hepatitis C challenges. Key conclusions reached from the study and by the Hepatitis C experts in Kuwait include: • If the prevalence of hepatitis C antibody is 1- 4% in the general population, then, as per the current population estimate of 3 million, around 30000-120,000 people
may have been infected with hepatitis C. Assuming 25% have cleared their infection,22500-90000 people are chronically infected. • Experts believe that 23% of the diagnosed patients had cirrhosis without decompensation; 8% of patients had progressed to cirrhosis with decompensation and 3% had progressed to hepatocellular carcinoma. • It is estimated that amongst those who are infected, the majority (70%) belong to the age group, 15-50 years, 25% belong to the age group, older than 50 years, and 5% belong to the age group, less than 5 years. • The gender (male: female) distribution amongst infected patients is 68:32 in Kuwait. • The genotype distribution of Genotype 4, 2 & 1 is 75%, 3% &22% respectively amongst hepatitis C infected patients in Kuwait. • the majority (60%) of hepatitis C patients belong to the lower socioeconomic group and 40% of belong to the middle socioeconomic group. “Because our ﬁndings shed further light on the seriousness of the hepatitis C in MENA and because insuﬃcient attention has been given to addressing the problem in the region - which has one of the highest prevalence of infection anywhere in the world - we agreed that our conclusions and recommendations should underpin a consensus statement on hepatitis C in MENA,” said Professor David Goldberg, Professor of
Public Health and Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Scotland. “We believe that such a statement will raise awareness of the problem among the population at large and people who have a responsibility for providing services to prevent both hepatitis C infection among those currently uninfected and hepatitis C related disease among infected individuals,” he added. According to the White Paper on the SocioEconomic Burden of Hepatitis C, in some MENA countries, particularly those with a lower gross domestic product (GDP), a major route of infection is exposure to unsterile equipment in healthcare settings. The experts urge that strict infection control measures must be implemented according to best standard practices. In some MENA countries, an increasing number of people are becoming infected through injecting drug use and tattooing practices; for that reason, all countries should be aware of, and respond to, the emerging hepatitis C transmission threats posed by such behaviors. With the consensus statement, the scientiﬁc medical experts call for a systematic approach to the collection of information on hepatitis C to improve the understanding of the size of the populations at risk, infected, diagnosed and treated populations, and the proportion of the infected population who have advanced liver disease. In addition, raising patients’ awareness on risks and treatment options needs to be
improved. “A program of awareness raising initiatives, aimed at both preventing and diagnosing hepatitis C, should be developed and implemented; these should be designed for the general population, school children and people belonging to high risk groups,” added Salim Awadh Sabih Al Kathiry, MD, a Consultant Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist, Al Jazeira Hospital and Mafraq Hospital in Abu Dhabi, UAE. “Infection control measures should be reviewed and further developed to ensure that individuals are not placed at risk of acquiring infection, particularly in health care settings. Initiatives to promote public access to hepatitis C testing, and thus the early detection of infection among those at increased risk, should be implemented.” As many of the issues relating to hepatitis C are common to all countries throughout the region, the experts recommend that MENA countries should support each other by sharing best practices and technical advice and by generating guidelines to be used at a regional level. A government led action plan to implement the recommendations of the consensus statement should be developed with national and local multidisciplinary networks for prevention, care and treatment to promote a consistent and eﬀective approach to the management of hepatitis C.
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