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Gaddafi men flee to Niger; Generals in Burkina Faso

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7Kuwait ‘may host’ US backup troops Troops could rotate into Iraq for 6-month stints

WASHINGTON: The Obama administration is considering staging American troops in Kuwait next year as a backup or rotational training force for Iraq, after the Pentagon completes the scheduled withdrawal of its current 45,000-strong force from Iraq in December, US officials said. The proposal, not yet announced, is among a number of options the administration is considering for extending its military training role in still-violent Iraq, whose divided government has been reluctant to ask Washington directly to keep troops on its soil beyond this year. All troops are to leave Iraq by Dec 31 under a 2008 security agreement, but senior US officials worry that without more training, the Iraqi forces may squander hard-won security gains. The Iraqi army, for example, is only now taking delivery of US battle tanks, on which they have yet to be trained. Iraq’s security forces are improving but still lack the capability to defend fully Iraqi air space, borders and territorial waters, US military officers say. “There are some gaps in their military capabilities, their security capabilities, that we believe we could offer some assistance with,” Navy Capt John Kirby, a spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said. Discussions with the Iraqis on this are in an early stage, Kirby added. The Obama administration favors a proposal that would leave 3,000 to 5,000 US troops in Iraq next year to train Iraqi forces, US officials said this week. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because Iraq has not yet asked for any extension of forces. It has not previously been reported that staging US forces in Kuwait as a part of that training mission, or possibly along with that mission, is being considered. One of the US officials said the administration would foresee the Kuwait arrangement lasting for three years, starting in 2012, with troops rotating into Iraq for six-month stints. No decisions have been made, and it was not clear whether direct talks with the Kuwaiti government have begun. Kuwait has played a pivotal role in the Iraq war from its beginning. The bulk of US ground forces launched the invasion from Kuwaiti territory in March 2003, and the tiny Gulf state has served as a transit point for coalition supply convoys and air transport throughout the conflict. Continued on Page 6

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IRAQ: U.S Army Soldiers are seen during the hand-over ceremony of a military base in Basra, 340 miles (550 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. The American ambassador to Iraq on Wednesday dismissed a proposal to keep as few as 3,000 troops as not credible, signaling a debate between President Obama's advisers in Baghdad and Washington of the U.S. military's future in Iraq with time running out to decide. —AP

New York on red alert US officials warn ‘credible’ 9/11 threat NEW YORK: Heavily armed police were on alert in and around New York City yesterday after US officials warned of a “credible” but unconfirmed bomb threat around the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. US media reported that the sus-

pected plot was hatched overseas by AlQaeda, perhaps to avenge the killing of Osama bin Laden earlier this year, and officials said it could involve car bombs against a major city. “There is specific, credible but uncon-

firmed threat information,” the Department of Homeland Security said Thursday, as President Barack Obama ordered boosted counterterrorism efforts. Continued on Page 6


Turkey warships to Gaza threat ‘grave’

Egypt: No visas on arrival

JERUSALEM: Israeli Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor yesterday described as “grave and serious” a threat by the Turkish prime minister to send warships to escort any aid vessels trying to reach the Gaza Strip. “These remarks are grave and serious, but we have no wish to add to the polemic,” Meridor said on army radio. “It is better to stay quiet and wait-we have no interest in aggravating the situation by replying to such (verbal) attacks,” he said. Late on Thursday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkish warships would escort any aid ships trying to reach Gaza in defiance of an Israeli naval blockade, in a bid to protect them from Israeli forces.

CAIRO: Egypt is to stop issuing visas to tourists on arrival, a government official said yesterday, although allowances will be made for those travelling in groups. The new regulations have not yet come into effect, and the cabinet is still fine-tuning them, spokesman Mahmud Higazi said. Tourists “will have to apply at embassies and consulates for visas,” he said. Tourists from many states, especially Western countries whose nationals contribute the bulk of Egypt’s vital tourism revenues, are still allowed to obtain visas on arrival until the new regulations are in place. “We want to regulate entry,” said Higazi, adding that he could not say when the new instructions will be passed on to airport officials.

CAIRO: Thousands of Egyptian protesters wave national flags at Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square during a mass rally yesterday. — AFP (See Page 8)



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Proposed oil sector wage rises may be revised by SPC KUWAIT: Kuwait’s oil minister Mohammed AlBusairi is racing against the clock to avert a strike called by the country’s oil sector workers’ union for September 18. Al-Busairi, who is also the Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs, reportedly intends to shelve the hotly debated recent Civil Service Commission (CSC) decision on pay rises for oil sector personnel in order to consult the Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC) on the issue, according to an insider with the country’s oil workers’ union. On the same issue, government spokesman Ali Al-Rashid, the State Minister for Cabinet Affairs, said that the increases proposed by the CSC were made in response to demands from oil sector workers and covered all technical staff, who make up around two-thirds of the oil sector workforce. Technical staff “should not be treated equally to administrative or senior staff members [since] the nature of their job is harder,” Al-Rashid asserted. The minister added that the CSC was fully aware of the different characteristics of technical and other positions and took these into account in its recommendations, proposing the salary increases it recommended in appreciation of the technical personnel’s tremendous efforts, as well as in an effort to encourage more Kuwaitis to take up careers in this area. In a statement issued on Wednesday, however, the Oil, Petrochemical Industries and Petroleum Workers’ Union rejected the salary increase proposals put forward by the CSC, calling them “absurd” and stating that they were a disappointment to all its members. The union’s statement also claimed that the proposals did not touch on the issue of workers’ pensions, telling its members, “September 18th is the day to voice your demands so let everybody hear you!”

Protests in Iraq over border demarcation, port issues Call for nullification of UN resolution By A Saleh KUWAIT: Three demonstrations took place in Baghdad yesterday, with one group of protesters demanding the nullification of the UN resolution related to the demarcation of the Kuwait-Iraq border. At a second protest, the demonstrators demanded the speeding up of construction work on Al-Fao Port. The latter call was made in response to concerns over Kuwait’s construction of Mubarak AlKabeer Port on Boubyan Island. Those attending another demonstration in the Iraqi capital protested against a visit to Saudi Arabia by Iraqi parliamentary speaker Osama Al-Nujaifi and Vice President Tariq Al-Hashemi, with the Iraqi army eventually intervening in this case to disperse the protesters. On a separate issue, Kuwaiti MP Musallam Al-Barrak again hit out at the country’s government yesterday, saying,

“The government of no development and disappointment is still paying the political bills at the expense of social justice and equal opportunity in order to keep the premier in his post.” The veteran MP made the statement in reaction to reports that Ministry of Health (MoH) Assistant Undersecretary Dr. Yousef Al-Nisf’s employment contract has been extended, despite a personal request to the Civil Service Commission (CSC) from health minister Dr. Helal AlSayer asking that Dr. Al-Nisf’s contract not be renewed. Al-Barrak said that whilst he respects Dr. Al-Nisf personally, “what took place is part of a political game and [is concerned with] personal relations.” The MP said that while the health minister should be able to expect that his request for Dr. Al-Nisf’s contract not to be renewed would be complied with, the cabinet had bowed to external pressure

and gone against the minister’s advice, restoring the assistant undersecretary to his post and transferring him to the Ministry of Defense to serve as Assistant Undersecretary for Medical Services. Meanwhile in other news, the municipal committee established to supervise the dismantling of structures illegally erected on state land will resume its activities shortly, beginning by removing a number of illegal structures in Kabad and around a number of farm buildings in Ahmadi and Farwaniya. A committee insider said that the committee is working closely with the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) in these operations, with legislation stipulating that these buildings must be used solely for livestock, rather than for storage or entertainment purposes. The committee insider added that a total of 30 livestock pens are to be dismantled in the first of the operations.

Bosnian politicians grateful for Kuwait’s diplomatic role SARAJEVO: The Vice President of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mirsad Kebo, on Thursday expressed confidence that political parties in his country could reach conciliation on a unity government to guide the nation in the upcoming stage. After meeting with the Kuwaiti Ambassador to his country, Mohammad

Fadhil Khalaf, the Bosnian politician said that the European Union is taking great diplomatic efforts to reach a solution to the crisis that could offer both sides common ground. Bosnia Herzegovina is facing at an important threshold in its aspirations for EU membership, he said. Separately, he commended Kuwaiti

efforts in supporting peace in his country through the introduction of cultural and social activities at the embassy in Sarajevo. In an earlier meeting with Ambassador Khalaf, former Bosnian President Haris Saladzic also commended Kuwait’s efforts in supporting the national peace process there. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Ahmed Al-Bezai’ Al-Yaseen and other officials at the opening of the first KFH branch in 1978.

KFH founder passes away KUWAIT: The founder of Kuwait Finance House (KFH), Islamic economic and banking pioneer, Ahmed Al-Bezai’ Al-Yaseen recently passed away at the age of 83. Born in Kuwait in March 1928, Al-Yaseen showed an early talent in mathematical and numeracyrelated subjects, beginning his career as a trainee accountant in

1942 after leaving high school aged 14. He also worked as an accountant for his uncle in Lebanon and KSA. Al-Yaseen always dreamt of founding Islamic banking and refused a request to establish a regular bank during his work in KSA since such banking practices did not follow Islamic Sharia rules.

“Thanks be to Allah that I lived to see one of my dreams come true”, he said in 2009 on founding the Kuwaiti-Saudi Finance House. Al-Yassen founded KFH in August, 1978 starting with only one branch with a capital of KD 10 million, with the business rapidly expanding and currently having over 250 branches worldwide.

Ahmed Al-Bezai’ Al-Yaseen



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KUWAIT: The Afghani Ambassador to Kuwait Asadollah Hanif hosted a reception recently at the embassy to celebrate Afghanistan’s Independence Day. The prestigious event was attended by a number of diplomats, as well as many members of the Afghani expatriate community in Kuwait. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

30% of ‘disabled’ Kuwaitis found to be healthy: PAH head KUWAIT: The director of the Public Authority for the Handicapped (PAH), Dr. Jassem AlTammar, revealed on Thursday that 30 percent of Kuwaitis registered as disabled have been found to be able bodied, adding that all such cases were referred to the PAH’s legal committee to take legal actions against these individuals. Speaking after a meeting of the parliamentary committee on disability issues, which Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, the chairman of the Supreme Council for the Handicapped, was unable to attend as scheduled, Al-Tammar stressed that although the meeting ended earlier than scheduled, the discussions during the meeting had been cordial and pleasant. The PAH director explained that although he had been asked to attend the meeting on behalf of Sheikh Jaber AlMubarak, who is also Kuwait’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense, the committee members were disappointed at the

minister’s inability to attend the meeting in person since they wished to discuss the construction of the Sabah Al-Ahmad Paralympics stadium with him, with the meeting ending earlier than planned as a result of his absence. Asked by reporters about the reason for the meeting ending earlier than planned, Al-Tammar replied, “You should ask the committee members themselves whether their decision was personally directed at me,” adding, “As for me, I’m more than willing to do as ordered by my superiors, and will not miss any of [the committee’s] meetings.” Committee member MP Ali Al-Deqbasi said that various issues had been discussed during the meeting, expressing regret that Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak had been unable to attend, which the MP said meant that the committee had been unable to talk with him about a number of extremely important issues.

Keralite expats celebrate Onam By Sajeev K Peter KUWAIT: Cutting across religious and caste affinities, Keralite expatriates in Kuwait celebrated Onam, Kerala’s harvest festival, in traditional fervor and enthusiasm yesterday. This year, the celebration got a new fillip as ‘Thiruvonam’, the most important day of the festival, fell on a Friday, giving an opportunity for people to celebrate it in a better way. Despite being away from Kerala, Malayalis in Kuwait vied to create the mood of a festival at their homes. In traditional Onam dhotis, saris and skirts, men, women and children got together to celebrate Onam that commemorates the golden era of mythical king Mahabali. Several Malayali families laid out ‘pookkalam’-floral decoration in their apartments-a tradition during the festival and prepared sumptuous lunches - Onasadya. But some utilized the ‘Onam takeaway services’ being offered by many south Indian restaurants in Abbassiya, Fahaheel and Salmiya areas. The restaurants came up with attractive packaged ‘Onasadya’ for people who wanted to celebrate the festival in a cozy ambiance of their apartments. The price for a ‘sadya’ varied from KD 2 to KD3.

“No, we haven’t prepared the Onasadya this year. We had ordered it with a restaurant here. Twenty four items come in a packet. So why should we take the trouble to cook at home,” exclaimed Ashwathy, a housewife in Abbassiya. According to her this spares them a lot of time which could be better utilized for festivities and family visits. “Today, packaged sadya has made things easy for us. But, no doubt it has taken the charm out of the whole celebration. We used to enjoy the warmth of a family atmosphere where all the members get together to cut vegetables, cook rice and prepare special dishes including ‘payasam’ to make the Onasadya. As children, we used to play many Onam games also. Onam used to be a good occasion for family reunions,” said Aravinda Menon recalling his Onam memories in Kerala. Though Thiruvonam, the tenth day of Onam, was celebrated yesterday for many Malayali social groups and associations in Kuwait, the Onam celebrations will go on until November end, because the get-togethers can take place only during weekends which will turn out to be occasions for cultural shows and traditional folk presentations.

Kuwaiti lawyers defend victims of Egyptian revolution KUWAIT: A second group of Kuwaiti lawyers is preparing to head to Egypt, this time in order to join the defense team representing victims of the recent revolution who accuse former president Hosni Mubarak of ordering the shooting of protesters during the demonstrations which ultimately ended his three decades of authoritarian rule. The lawyers are taking the action in order to counter an earlier move by a number of other Kuwaiti lawyers who joined the ousted president’s defense team in gratitude for Mubarak’s supportive stance towards Kuwait during the 1990-91 Iraqi Invasion. “We have received numerous applications from Kuwaiti lawyers asking to

volunteer in representing families of the martyrs of the Egyptian revolution”, said Kuwait Lawyers Association (KLA) chairman Nasser Al-Haifi, who indicated on Tuesday that the association is already coordinating with prosecutors in Egypt to help obtain the licenses necessary for the Kuwaiti attorneys to join their team. “Our goal is to defend the people of the Egyptian revolution and return the favor to the Egyptian people who always stood by Kuwait in times of need,” said lawyer Adel Al-Yahya, who plans to head to Egypt within a couple of days along with fellow attorneys Anoud Al-Thufairi, Jaber Al-Failakawi, Hussein Al-Kandari and Suleiman Al-Oraini. — Al-Rai

KUWAIT: Malayali customers buy fruits and vegetables from a shop in Salmiya on the eve of Thiruvonam on Thursday. — Photo by Sajeev K Peter



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Kuwaiti female engineers steal limelight at global event GENEVA: The participation of Kuwaiti female engineers at the World Engineers’ Convention 2011 (WEC 2011) currently held here, along with their highly commended research, has stolen the limelight at the predominantly male event. “Our participation in this important international conference is part of our efforts to reach out to female engineers from all over the world to exchange views and experiences in order to help us shoulder our responsibility in building the future of our nation,” explained one of the Kuwaiti participants, Bashair Al-Awad, yesterday. Al-Awad, the chairwoman of the Kuwaiti Society of Female Engineers, pointed out that the Kuwaiti female engineers’ contributions to the conference has drawn tremendous and positive attention from all participants. “Some of the participants were surprised to see Kuwaiti female engineers at the conference,” she said, adding that the Kuwaiti women had capitalized on this interest to help dispel the widespread negative stereotypes about Kuwaiti and all Gulf women. “Our contribution to this conference dispels negative stereotypes about Arab, Gulf and particularly Kuwaiti women,” Al-Awad told KUNA, further revealing that she and the other Kuwaiti engineers had documented their educational and professional qualifications and contributions in the digital book that was distributed among the participants. “Kuwaiti engineers’ participation in the conference was a chance to highlight the role of Kuwaiti women in their society in general,” she added. Al-Awad said the Kuwaiti engineers were thoroughly discussing and studying the ideas put forward during the conference’s sessions, as well as considering how best these could be used to serve and benefit Kuwaiti society. Al-Awad also criticized the Kuwaiti media’s failure to highlight the successes of the country’s highly-qualified and creative female engineers. Kuwait is taking part in the conference with a large delegation comprising 300 male and female engineers, who are meeting with their professional counterparts from around the world at the prestigious annual event, which this year lasted from September 4-9. The yearly conference is intended to encourage innovative engineering aimed at solving the problems connected to devising globally sustainable energy resources. The title of this year’s event, ‘Engineers Power the World Facing the Global Energy Challenge,’ reflects its focus on energy as one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. According to the conference organizers, the event was held to promote sustainable energy use and identify futureproof solutions in the areas of mobility and transport, urban development and construction, energy conversion, logistics, renewable energy and storage, and rational end-use, as well as large-scale consumers. — KUNA

Bashair Al-Awad

KHARTOUM: Kuwaiti Minister of Finance Mustafa Al-Shamali and Sudanese Minister of Finance and National Economy Ali Mahmoud Abdel-Raroul pictured with other officials during the meeting.

Kuwait, Sudan eye closer economic ties KHARTOUM: Kuwaiti Minister of Finance Mustafa Al-Shamali and Sudanese Minister of Finance and National Economy Ali Mahmoud AbdelRaroul on Thursday evening co-chaired a meeting in the Sudanese capital to explore ways of enhancing bilateral economic ties between the two countries. During the meeting, Al-Shamali voiced satisfaction at “the steady growth of bilateral ties under the joint sponsorship of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah, His Highness the Crown Prince and His Highness the Prime Minister.” He continued, “Kuwait shows great interest in the economic development

of Sudan as shown by the fact that Sudan was the first recipient of a loan from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development [KFAED].” The minister went on, “The State of Kuwait is one of the first and biggest investors in Sudan,” recalling Kuwait’s initiative to host the international conference of donors for the resolution of the post-conflict situation in East Sudan in December 2010. Abdel-Raroul welcomed Al-Shamali’s visit to Sudan, which he said “comes at a critical time when Sudan is undergoing exceptional circumstances.” The secession of South Sudan early this year has had a tremendous impact

on the political, economic and social situations in Sudan, he pointed out. Earlier the same day, Al-Shamali held talks with Sudanese Vice President Ali Othman Taha. Speaking after the talks, the minister said: “The fruitful talks focused on the promising investment opportunities in Sudan and ways to further strengthen bilateral ties,” adding, “The Vice President pledged that his government will offer all possible facilitation to Kuwaiti investors willing to do business in Sudan.” The KFAED’s Director-General, Abdulwahab Al-Bader, also attended the talks. — KUNA

GCC telecom stocks rebound backed by market gains KUWAIT: Telecommunications sector at Arab Gulf states posted gains in the week, ending Thursday, supported by stock markets good performance, a specialized economic report said. The report, issued yesterday by Global Investment House (Global), pointed out that Kuwait mobile operator (Zain)’s performance at the end of the week was its best since the beginning of August. The report added that Gulf telecom sector has posted $1.2 billion-gains by the end of trading, taking the market value of the sector up to $89.99 billion. The telecommunications sector’s trading activity has hit a record high last week as the total traded volume rose to 145.57 million shares at a total value of $220.34 million. The telecom stocks traded volume accounted for 6.54 percent of the total traded volume in the GCC markets, while value traded accounted for the sector accounted for 4.34 percent of the total value traded in GCC markets. The report showed that Saudi Telecom has topped the list of GCC telecom stocks with 77.09 million shares and a total value of USD 245.53 million. Saudi Telecom topped the list of the sector gainers in last week GCC markets trading while the Emirate Telecom was the worst performer, down 1.62 percent. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Firefighters and Kuwait Coast Guard personnel were recently put on high alert after smoke was spotted billowing from the Kuwait Towers’ car park. On rushing to the scene, however, firemen discovered that the blaze was limited to a rubbish bin, with the fire quickly being put out. No injuries were reported. — Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh



Minister proposes bonus upgrades for teachers School directors asked to submit opinions KUWAIT: Kuwait’s education minister on Thursday announced a proposal for upgraded bonuses for Kuwaiti kindergarten and elementary school teachers. The minister, Ahmad Al-Mulaifi, said that following discussions with the directors of local kindergartens and elementary schools, it is proposed that Kuwaiti teachers at these schools should be paid performance-related bonuses according to their salary grade and the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) bonus calculation strategy. Under the revised strategy, specialist Kuwaiti ‘A’ grade teachers would receive an annual bonus of up to KD6,600, whilst those at ‘B’ grade would get an annual bonus of up to KD5,400. Outstanding teachers at ‘A’ grade would also be eligible for an additional payment of KD4,200 on top of this bonus, whilst those at ‘B’ grade would be enti-

tled to an additional KD3,360. Kuwaiti ‘C’ grade teachers, meanwhile, would receive bonuses of up to KD2,400, the minister revealed, whilst those at ‘H’ grade could get an annual bonus of up to KD600. Al-Mulaifi further explained that under the proposed bonus upgrade Kuwaiti heads of department would be eligible for a KD1,800 annual bonus, whilst technical directors and education zone directors could potentially receive annual bonuses of up to KD3,600. Meanwhile, school heads would be eligible for bonuses of up to KD2,580. Outstanding technical directors could receive an additional annual bonus of up to KD4,380, he added, whilst outstanding deputy technical directors could receive up to KD4,380 and outstanding directors of education zones’ coordination departments stand to receive addi-

tional bonuses of up to KD3,600. The minister asked school directors to submit their opinions and proposals on the new bonus proposals in order to submit them to the Civil Service Commission before it is referred to the Council of Ministers for approval following consultation with education specialists. Meanwhile, a senior Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL) official said on Thursday that all local firms will henceforth be compelled to present records of their monthly salary payment transactions in a bid to ensure that workers are receiving their salaries as agreed. MSAL Assistant Undersecretary for Labor Sector Affairs Jamal Al-Doussari explained that the new regulation, being put into effect at all MSAL offices, will be a condition for all firms wishing to conduct business in Kuwait. He stressed that the MSAL will make no exceptions in

implementing the law, asking that the owners of private sector companies comply with the new stipulation so as to avoid having their transactions held up. Meanwhile, another MSAL insider revealed that a team of specialists from the ministry, including a number of departmental heads and legal advisors, is currently working on a report laying out proposals for new rules and mechanisms for residents to transfer commercial visit visas to work permit visas by the start of next year. The insider said that the report will emphasize the need to limit eligibility for these transfers by stipulating that only those with expert skills or high-level specialist qualifications meet the criteria. It’s also proposed that the visa transfer be limited solely to the company which invites the individual concerned, the insider added. — Al-Qabas

One dead, nine hurt in road accidents By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: An unidentified man died in a motorbike crash in Sabhan yesterday, whilst two Kuwaitis aged 18 and 30, who were also involved in the accident, were taken to hospital after complaining of pain in one foot and emotional distress respectively. The body of the unidentified man was removed for autopsy. In a separate incident, five men - three Bangladeshis, one Indian and another whose nationality was undisclosed - were rushed to Farwaniya Hospital with multiple injuries sustained in a crash on the Sixth Ring Road. Meanwhile, a four-year-old Kuwaiti boy and a 36-year-old Bangladeshi man suffered a nosebleed and lacerations to both arms respectively in a car accident in Shuwaikh. Both were taken to Sabah Hospital.

Fight club Two Indian men were rushed to Farwaniya Hospital after sustaining head and chest injuries in a fight that broke out near Kheitan Zoo. In another incident, a 34-year-old Pakistani man suffered lacerations to his forehead and bruising to one leg in a fight in Hasawi. He was also taken to Farwaniya Hospital. Meanwhile, a 17-year-old Kuwaiti was taken to Sabah Hospital after suffering cuts and bruises to his face and arms in a fight that broke out near the Avenues Mall. Dozy drunk Police took a severely intoxicated 33year-old Indian man into custody to sober up after finding him passed out in his car beside the Tukhaim complex in Salmiya.

Penalties against ministry fraudsters cancelled KUWAIT: A senior Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL) official announced on Thursday that the previously issued penalties against four staff involved in forgery are to be cancelled. The penalties were announced after the four ministry personnel were questioned over their involvement in forging and processing fraudulent transactions in return for cash in May 2010. The employees’ activities were discovered after it was discov-

ered that the head of the ministry labor department’s data registration division, who worked in a second, private sector, job as well as his civil service position, was using his ministry post to alter official data related to his other employer. The official was initially downgraded to a lower position in accordance with Kuwaiti civil service regulations, but is now expected to be reassigned to a post at a higher level. — AlQabas

BUENOS AIRES: Lebanese Ambassador Hisham Hamdan and the visiting Kuwaiti parliamentarians pictured during the ceremony.

Senior diplomat praises Kuwaiti democracy BUENOS AIRES: The dean of the Arab diplomatic corps in Argentina, Lebanese Ambassador Hisham Hamdan, yesterday praised Kuwait’s democracy as an example to be followed in the Arab world. Ambassador Hamdan held a ceremony in honor of a visiting delegation of Kuwaiti members of the Kuwaiti-Argentinean Parliamentary Friendship Group, headed by MP Dr Maasouma Al-Mubarak, which also includes fellow legislators Dr. Aseel AlAwadi, Sayed Hussein Al-Gallaf and Dr. Rola Dashti. Kuwait’s democracy has become an example to the Arab nation, due to women’s role and occupation of seats in

the Kuwaiti parliament, the ambassador asserted. The ceremony was also attended by Arab and Islamic nations’ ambassadors to Argentina, distinguished Arab residents of Argentina, and a number of prominent businessmen and other dignitaries. Following the ambassador’s address, Dr. Al-Mubarak thanked him for holding the welcoming ceremony and praised the constructive and distinguished role played by Arabs in the Latin-American world. The leading MP also affirmed the importance of showing the true and positive image of Arab women in Argentina and of enhancing relations between the two countries. — KUNA

Funeral workers laid off for work-related illness KUWAIT: Twenty-three employees at the municipality’s funeral affairs department have been laid off after contracting potentially dangerous infectious diseases in the course of their duties preparing bodies for interment and carrying out the burials.

The dismissed employees have complained at the unfairness of the municipality’s decision, insisting that they deserved to be helped rather than dismissed and that the greatest penalty they should have been subjected to was a warning, adding that they will be taking their case to court.

Following the announcement of the dismissals, Mohammad Al-Otaibi, the Assistant Director General for Municipal Services, demanded that a ‘danger allowance’ be paid to staff working with the municipality’s funeral affairs department due to the hazardous nature of their jobs. — Al-Qabas



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Kuwait ‘may host’ US backup troops Continued from Page 1

Kuwaiti Gitmo inmates force-fed: campaigner KUWAIT: Khalid Al-Adwa, the head of the Kuwaiti Families Committee, which campaigns for the release of the remaining Kuwaiti inmates in the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, on Tuesday expressed concern at the health condition of the two Kuwaiti detainees incarcerated at the US prison camp, who have now been on hunger strike for more than 50 days. The two detainees, Fayez Al-Kandari and Al-Adwa’s son Fawzi, are being pressured to submit to force feeding and have lost a large amount of weight, said Al-

Adwa. He explained that during forcefeeding, prisoners are strapped to a special chair, with their heads, arms and feet immobilized by straps whilst food is pumped into their stomach via a forcibly introduced nasal tube, which often induces vomiting as well as stomach problems. Al-Adwa urged the Kuwaiti government to begin to take serious steps to end the agony of the two men who have now been held at the detention facility without being charged for over nine years. — Al-Anba

Job opportunities for Kuwaitis KUWAIT: Officials from the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, as well as the Ministry of Housing Affairs have received orders asking that citizens be employed in attempt to reduce unemployment. According to officials, Minister Mohammad Al-Numas who is at the helm of the Awqaf and Housing portfolios has issued a directive stating that all the vacant positions be occupied by Kuwaiti employees. “The MAIA

has already contacted the Civil Service Commission to hire citizens to posts that are usually occupied by expatriates,” said the officials, who further added that the Public Authority for Housing Welfare(PAHW) will announce as per the minister’s instructions, a new mechanism for employment according to which new Kuwaiti employees are hired ever year, reported Al-Rai.

Kuwaiti authorities cancelled 4th port phase in secret letter KUWAIT: An Iraqi government legal official claimed on Tuesday that Kuwaiti authorities promised in a confidential letter sent to the Iraqi government to cancel the fourth phase of the Mubarak Al-Kabeer Port project in order to calm Iraqi concerns over the issue. Fadhil Mohammed Jawad, the Iraqi government's consultant for legal affairs, said that the country's cabinet has already received detailed briefings on the report submitted by the committee of technical experts who recently visited Kuwait to discuss the matter, adding that they are still discussing details of the report. He added, however, that the Council of Ministers has not yet decided on a final date by which to announce its conclusions on the subject. Meanwhile, Iraq's Al-Ahrar parliamentary

bloc rejected the recent conciliatory statement by Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari on the subject of the port, demanding details of the agreement signed with the Kuwaiti authorities by the technical committee during the latter's visit to Kuwait. Bloc member Rafe Abdul Jaber condemned the foreign ministry's statement that Kuwait had agreed to cancel the fourth phase of construction at the port in accordance with the technical committee's report, pointing out that the foreign ministry had not even revealed what this fourth phase had involved. The Iraqi MP said that Iraq's parliament does not yet have sufficient information on the possible effects of the Kuwaiti port on Iraq's maritime affairs to reach any final conclusion on the matter. — Al-Anba

The US uses Kuwaiti air and land bases and maintains a small force in the country now. The Iraq backup forces would be besides that contingent. The final stage of the US troop withdrawal from Iraq began this week, and discussions with the Iraqi government on extending a US military presence beyond 2011 began in August. Those talks are being led by the State Department. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said this week that no decisions have been made about any potential troop extension, although he said an extended US training mission is at the core of the talks. Iraqi leaders are fearful that issuing a formal invitation for US forces to stay would trigger a political backlash from their own followers, including some who have threatened widespread violence and attacks on the troops if they do not leave. For that reason, one option under US consideration is to have a portion of the US training force based in Kuwait; they would rotate into Iraq for limited periods, and return to Kuwait, one official said. Several US officials said the Kuwait option is under consideration. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the diplomatically sensitive matter publicly. Kuwait’s defense attache in Washington did not respond to a request for comment. Another option under Pentagon consideration is positioning a small US combat force in Kuwait that could rush

into Iraq if there is a security problem or to target an insurgent threat, two officials said. Another possibility is to retain in Kuwait some of the US ground combat equipment that is being pulled out of Iraq, instead of shipping it back to the US It could be kept in Kuwait as so-called “pre-positioned” war materiel, one official said. Kirby and the Pentagon’s press secretary, George Little, said they would not discuss any aspect of a possible US troop extension. Gen Ray Odierno, the Army’s new chief of staff and a former top commander in Iraq, told reporters Thursday that he could not comment on the appropriate number of US troops that should be kept in Iraq for training purposes next year. But he emphasized the need to keep the number small. “When I was leaving Iraq a year ago, I felt we had to be careful about leaving too many people in Iraq,” Odierno said. He added later, “The larger the force that we leave behind,” the more the negative Iraqi views of the Americans as occupiers would remain, “and we get away from why we are really there: to help them to continue to develop.” Odierno also said he has seen indications lately that the Iraqis may need less US military help in tamping down Arab-Kurd tensions in northern Iraq than previously assumed. He said some had believed 5,000 US troops were needed for that purpose. But if the Iraqis in fact are capable of handling that on their own, “then we won’t need those 5,000,” he said. Santana reported from Baghdad. — AP

US on red alert Continued from Page 1 “We have taken, and will continue to take all steps necessary to mitigate any threats that arise,” the department added in a statement. A White House official confirmed that Obama had “directed the counterterrorism community to redouble its efforts in response to this credible but unconfirmed information.” Federal officials in Washington, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there was a potential terrorism threat involving bomb-laden vehicles against either the capital or New York. Few details were given, but one US official said a car bomb was “at the top of what we would be looking for.” “There’s enough information that’s specific and credible that you have to run it to ground,” the official said, adding: “I would stress that this is unconfirmed.” ABC News cited intelligence officials as saying the potential plot involved three individuals who entered the country by air last month with the intention of carrying out a vehicleborne attack on or around the 9/11 anniversary. It said the plot was ordered by Al-Qaeda’s new leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, who has vowed to avenge the killing of bin Laden in a US commando raid in Pakistan earlier this year. Although there was no immediate change to the official US national threat level, New York authorities immediately announced sweeping extra measures, including vehicle checkpoints. The police department “is deploying additional resources... some of which you will notice and some of which you will not,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg told reporters. City police commissioner Raymond Kelly told the press conference that measures included police “trained in heavy weapons positioned outside of Manhattan to respond citywide.” Extra shift hours would effectively increase by a third the size of patrols around New York, with checks on ferries, tunnels, bridges and landmarks, as well as bomb sweeps in car parks and bag checks on the subway, Kelly said. US Senator Susan Collins, a ranking member

of the homeland security committee, confirmed that she had received a classified briefing on a “specific and credible” terrorist threat Thursday morning. “I am confident that the administration is taking the threat seriously and sharing intelligence with state and local enforcement officials in the targeted locations,” she said in a statement. US Representative Peter King, also briefed on the intelligence, declined to discuss specifics but told CNN the threat included “very, very specific facts.” “There’s no need to panic. We don’t know if this threat is real yet. It’s being tracked down,” he added. Earlier, US military bases had raised their alert levels, but officials would not say whether this was related to the new threat report. The scare came days ahead of Sunday’s anniversary ceremonies for the September 11, 2001, attacks, when Obama and his predecessor George W Bush are due in the city, along with large crowds. Despite frequent threats and a string of failed plots, Al-Qaeda has not succeeded in mounting a major attack on US soil since 2001, when it hijacked passenger planes and crashed them into New York’s World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field, killing nearly 3,000 people. However, US officials have warned of a possible backlash following the killing of bin Laden in a secret compound in Pakistan in May. US officials have said documents and computer files were seized at the compound showing bin Laden was considering strikes to coincide with the 9/11 anniversary. The United States claims to have greatly weakened the global terror network in the decade since the September 11 attacks, and earlier this week hailed Pakistan’s detention of a senior Al-Qaeda figure. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Younis Al-Mauritani was seen as a powerful figure who was plotting attacks on the United States. It was not immediately clear if his arrest was linked to Thursday’s threat. — AFP


Syria protesters call for international protection


Huge blackout hits Southern California, Mexican border


India govt hits back at critics after bombing


WISH TATA: Rebels go through a checkpoint as a man holds a pre-Gaddafi flag, in Wish Tata towards Bani Walid’s front, Libya, yesterday. — AP

Interpol issues arrest warrant for Gaddafi Gaddafi generals in Burkina Faso TRIPOLI: Some senior Muammar Gaddafi loyalists are among a new group that has fled to Niger, security sources there said yesterday, a day before a deadline expires for the surrender of some of the deposed leader’s remaining strongholds in Libya. Gaddafi himself declared in an audio broadcast on Thursday that he was still in Libya, cursing as rats and stray dogs his NATO-backed opponents who are now trying to run the large, oil-producing North African country. Interpol said it had issued arrest warrants for Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi, who are all wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for suspected crimes against humanity. “Gaddafi is a fugitive whose country of nationality and the ICC want arrested and held accountable for the serious criminal charges that have been brought against him,” said

Ronald Noble, secretary general of the Lyons-based police organisation. Interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, in Tripoli for the first time since Gaddafi was driven from the capital on Aug. 23, reminded Libyans that “the tyrant” was not yet finished. The security sources in Niger said a party of 14 Libyans, including General Ali Kana, a Tuareg who commanded Gaddafi’s southern troops, a second general and two other top officials had arrived in Agadez in northern Niger in a convoy of fourwheel drive vehicles on Thursday afternoon. A Reuters reporter in Agadez said the four senior officials were staying at a Gaddafi-owned hotel in the town. Niger’s government, under pressure from Western powers and Libya’s new rulers to hand over former Gaddafi officials suspected of human rights abuses, has not yet commented. A number of Libyan generals loyal

to Moamer Kadhafi are now in Burkina Faso having passed through Niger, a source from Niger’s ethnic Tuareg community said yesterday. “Three or four weeks ago a group of generals and senior officials close to Kadhafi entered Niger via Agadez,” the source said, giving no numbers. They continued on to Niamey, where they made large transactions at the Libyan Bisic bank before going on to Burkina Faso, the source added. Niger’s Prime Minister Brigi Rafini was in Burkina Faso on Thursday, for talks with President Blaise Compaore. He denied persistent rumours that fugitive former Libyan leader Kadhafi was already in Niger but did not rule out giving him asylum, even though he is wanted by the International Criminal Court. At least two convoys of Libyan vehicles crossed into Niger in recent days, sparking intense speculation that Kadhafi might have slipped out of Libya and was on his way to either Niamey or Ouagadougou. — Agencies



Thousands of Bahrainis march, demand rights MANAMA: Some 20,000 protesters marched near the Bahraini capital of Manama yesterday, shouting anti-government slogans and vowing to stick to their calls for democratic reforms in the Gulf island ruled by King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa. “Down, down Hamad,” they chanted, waving Bahraini flags and raising their fists in the air as police helicopters buzzed overhead. Small-scale protests and clashes with security forces have erupted almost daily outside Manama, in the villages where Bahrain’s majority Shi’ite population mostly resides. Tensions have been simmering since the Sunni-ruled kingdom, which hosts the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, quashed mass pro-democracy protests this March. Anxieties are also now rising ahead of a by-election scheduled for

later this September. The election aims to fill seats of parliamentarians from the largest Shi’ite party, Wefaq, who resigned en masse when Bahrain used force against the protests. The government said the demonstrations had a sectarian agenda instigated by its regional Shi’ite rival Iran. The Friday March, organised by Wefaq, was entitled, “No backing down, we are insistent on our demands.” The mostly Shi’ite-led protesters have demanded a greater share in government as well more powers for the legislature, whose authority is neutered by an upper council appointed by the king. The government tried to respond by launching a National Dialogue to initiate reforms, but many Shi’ites and opposition figures criticised the talks as cosmetic. Wefaq eventually pulled out

of the dialogue. Yesterday’s march comes a week after thousands took to the streets to protest the death of a 14year-old boy who activists said was killed after being hit by a tear gas canister at a protest outside Manama. The government denied police were responsible for the boy’s death. Some residents worried the death could be a trigger for more clashes in Bahrain, a tiny country that sits on the fault lines of tension between Sunni Gulf Arab states and Shi’ite Iran. Saudi Arabian and UAE forces entered Bahrain earlier this year to help the government crush mass protests, citing fears of outside interference that indirectly pointed at Iran. Protesters on Friday wrote out the Arabic word “Salmiya” along the sidewalk where protesters were marching. The word, which means, “Peaceful”,

was spelled out using empty tear gas canisters and sound grenades which litter the streets after riot police break up village protests. Pumping their fists, protesters also shouted out “Thank you, thank you” as a speaker recited the names of some 47 medics who had treated demonstrators in February and were arrested during the March crackdown on charges ranging from incitement to storing weapons, which they denied. The 14 medics who still had not been released from prison started a hunger strike earlier this month, prompting many other jailed activists and Shi’ite leaders to join them. The government released the medics on Wednesday even as investigators said more than 80 other detainees were also refusing food. — Reuters

Syria protesters call for international protection ‘We want Russia and China to change their position’

CAIRO: Egyptian activists demolish a concrete wall built around a building housing the Israeli embassy in Cairo, Egypt, to protect it against demonstrators yesterday. The Arabic writing on the wall reads, “Egypt above all.” — AP

Egyptians rally in Tahrir Square for reforms CAIRO: Thousands of protesters flocked to Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square yesterday for a rally to demand reforms as the ruling military warned it would respond harshly to any violence by activists. Organisers called the gathering to press Egypt’s military rulers to keep their promises of reform after a revolt ousted president Hosni Mubarak in February. Protesters, gathered under a scorching sun, filled a section of the square to listen to the weekly Muslim prayer sermon. “It would be shame on the Egyptian people if they forget their revolution,” the preacher said. He criticised some of the prosecution witnesses in the ongoing murder trial of Mubarak and his security chiefs for testifying this week that they had not been ordered to use deadly force against protesters during the revolt. “They must be charged with false testimony. How can a prosecution witness turn into a defence witness?” the cleric asked. The preacher also denounced military trials for civilians. The military, which took charge after Mubarak’s ouster, has sentenced thousands of people to prison since February. Protesters chanted slogans against the military ruler and current de facto head of state Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi after the sermon ended. Tantawi is set to take the witness stand tomorrow when the trial of Mubarak resumes. Ibrahim Ali, an agricultural engineer, said he had come to the capital from northern Egypt to attend the rally. “None of the revolution’s demands have been met,” he said. “There is still injustice in the country.” The military, in a statement posted on its Facebook page, said it respected the right to protest peacefully, but warned it would respond to any violence by protesters with “the utmost severity and decisiveness.” The interior ministry said it had withdrawn riot police stationed in Tahrir Square to allow the activists to protest unhindered, the official MENA news agency reported. Hundreds of football fans also demonstrated in front of the interior ministry near Tahrir Square to protest against Tuesday night’s clashes with police in which nearly 80 people were injured and dozens of cars torched. —AFP

DAMASCUS: Syrian forces killed again yesterday as they opened fire to disperse protesters calling for international protection, as activists urged Russia to support both them and global condemnation of a crackdown on dissent. At least four people, including a teenager, were killed by army gunfire as protests erupted across the country and in Damascus after the weekly midday Muslim prayers, activists said. On the political front, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched a blistering attack on Syria, saying President Bashar al-Assad could lose power over the bloody crackdown. And Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad offered to host a meeting of Muslim nations to help neighbouring ally Syria solve the crisis. The Britainbased Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a 15-year-old boy was shot dead by troops manning a checkpoint in the northwestern village of Al-Rama and security forces fired on protesters in another village in the area. The rebellious central city of Homs was swept by protests, including one rally of an estimated 20,000 people demanding the regime’s fall, the Observatory said. It also reported “huge protests” in the eastern oil hub of Deir Ezzor and in various Damascus neighbourhoods including in flashpoint Barza where 150 people marched chanting slogans “for the protection of Syria.” Videos posted on the Internet showed crowds of protesters in Barza with some carrying signs saying: “We want Russia and China to change their position towards this regime.” In Homs, demonstrators on YouTube videos were heard chanting, “Long live Free Syria,” and in the central city of Hama they held up signs that read, “Bashar, Game Over” and “The people want to execute the president.” The Local Coordination Committees (LCC) group, which has activists on the ground, also reported protests in the southern city of Sweida and said more than 10,000 rallied in Ibleen. Three mili-

MAARET HARMA: In this citizen journalism image made on a mobile phone and provided by Shaam News Network, anti-Syrian President Bashar Assad protesters hold portraits for their dead relatives killed in recent violence as they march during a demonstration against the Syrian regime, at Maaret Harma village, in Edlib province, yesterday. — AP tary defectors were killed Thursday in the northwestern village of Ibleen when forces raided the home of Mohammed Harmouche, 74, whose brother Hussein was the first officer to defect. Mohammed Harmouche was abducted during the raid and “his body was returned to his family overnight,” the Observatory’s Rami Abdel Rahman said. In a June video widely distributed on the Internet and broadcast on Arab satellite channels, Lieutenant Colonel Harmouche said he was deserting because he refused to fire on unarmed civilians. Activists also reported that forces opened fire, used tear gas and pumpaction shotguns to disperse about 1,000 protesters in Damascus suburbs, the LCC said. None of the reports could be independently verified as Syria bans correspondents from reporting on the unrest. The United Nations says 2,200 people have been killed, mostly civilians, since democracy protests flared in Syria in

mid-March. Democracy activists called for international observers and urged support from Syria’s key ally Russia a day after President Dmitry Medvedev said some protesters were “terrorists”-echoing Assad’s own words. “The Syrian people call on the United Nations to adopt a resolution to set up a permanent observer mission in Syria,” the activists said on the “Syrian Revolution 2011” Facebook page. The crackdown has infuriated world powers, some of which imposed sanctions on the regime, with fresh pressure piled on Assad from neighbouring Turkey. “He who bases his power on bloodshed will end up leaving in a trail of blood,” Erdogan told Al-Jazeera television on Thursday, adding “shadows loom over the legitimacy” of Assad. Even Russia, a historic partner of Syria which provides it with most of its weapons, and key regional ally Iran have urged Syria and the opposition to launch a dialogue and refrain from violence. —AFP



Danes set to end far-right influence on politics COPENHAGEN: Danes look set to bring a new centre-left coalition to power in a September 15 general election, a move that would spell the end of the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party’s influential role in Danish politics. The party has however left such an indelible stamp on Danish politics that the country’s immigration policy is not expected to change radically under a centre-left government, observers say. The DPP, headed by charismatic leader Pia Kjaersgaard, has kept two minority centre-right govern-

ments in power for the past decade through informal accords. And he has used the threat of bringing down the government to push through some of Europe’s most draconian immigration and integration regulations. “The party has understood how to use its influence to the maximum and has been the basis for all of the government’s policy,” Copenhagen University political science professor Casper Moeller Hansen told AFP. Immigrants and people of foreign origin currently make up 9.8 percent of the popu-

lation, a share that has increased five-fold since 1980 amid arguments that the number would be much higher if not for the current restrictions. While opinion polls have consistently forecast a change to a centreleft cabinet, the Danish People’s Party has maintained its following at around 13 percent, more or less the same result as the last election in 2007. “Although immigration has not been a major issue in the election-that has been the economy-the party has understood how to re-saddle and still get a lot of exposure,” Moeller Hansen said.

But mainstream parties have made it clear that they want to limit the party’s sway on national policies, and particularly on immigration policy. “We want to limit the influence of the wings of Danish politics and seek cooperation across the centre,” said junior coalition Conservative Party leader Lars Barfoed recently in announcing a pact with the key centre-left Social Liberal Party. “The Danish People’s Party has had too much influence, particularly on immigration issues,” said Social Liberal leader Margrethe Vestager.— AFP

Blair tried to persuade Gaddafi to step down did not think Afghan war would still be on

LONDON: Friends and relatives of Mark Duggan, walk next to a hearse carrying his coffin as it arrives at a church for his funeral in north London, yesterday. Duggan’s death, sparked riots last month after he was shot by police in north London. — AP

Nine people hacked to death in Nigeria TSOHON FORON: Black-clad attackers hacked nine people to death in central Nigeria yesterday, witnesses said of the latest in a string of revenge killings in Plateau state. A Reuters reporter who visited the scene saw nine bodies of the victims in the village of Tsohon Foron. Witnesses said gunmen wearing black raided the village overnight, shooting in the air before descending on their victims with machetes. “They came around 1:20 a.m. and they were all dressed in black attire and they started shooting at the house. They came in two batches and while one group was killing, the other group rustled away 29 cows,” witness Ezekiel Mwanta said in Tsohon Foron. Plateau has been caught up in a spiral violence between gangs of Christian and Muslim youths since the end of last month, when a group of youths attacked and killed several Muslims as they gathered for prayers at the end of Ramadan. Another three people were killed in a village called Kunsen Gashish, witnesses said. Both are in the local government district of Barkin Ladi. The UN human rights office called on Nigeria on Friday to halt the violence in Plateau, in which it said 70 people had been killed since early August . While the violence has come in fits and spurts, rather than escalating into full scale conflict, it is an added security woe for President Goodluck Jonathan, who already faces a growing threat from Islamist militants in the northeast and the capital Abuja. Plateau state straddles the “Middle Belt” between Nigeria’s mostly Muslim north and largely Christian south. Nigeria has a roughly equal Christian-Muslim population and more than 200 ethnic groups live sideby-side in the West African country largely peacefully, but periodic clashes flare up in the Middle Belt. The tensions in Plateau are rooted in competition for local political power and control of fertile farmlands, tensions which local government policies have done little to calm. — Reuters

LONDON: Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair says he has no regrets about helping bring former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in from the cold in 2004 and that Gaddafi’s mistake was his failure to carry out reforms at home. Blair, now a Middle East envoy, reflected on his relationship with Gaddafi during an interview with Reuters Insider marking the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 al Qaeda attacks on US cities. He said he could not be sure that Arab countries swept by popular revolts would move to democracy, citing a risk that hardline elements hostile to Western interests could triumph. Gaddafi’s whereabouts are unknown after he was ousted two weeks ago by an armed revolt coupled with NATO bombing raids in which British warplanes played a leading part. Asked if he regretted putting aside years of British hostility and holding out an olive branch to Gaddafi in 2004, Blair said: “No. I always say to people it is absolutely simple-the external policy of Libya changed.” Libya had long been an international pariah before Blair flew to Tripoli in March 2004 to seal the country’s return to the world community with a historic handshake with Gaddafi. He did so after Tripoli announced it would abandon efforts to acquire chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, a step Blair said was “a great thing for the world”, and cooperate in the fight against terrorism. Libya had earlier agreed to pay damages for a 1988 airliner bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland which killed 270 people. “The trouble was in the end they weren’t prepared to reform internally ... They were less of a threat to the outside world, but inside they were a threat to their people and then when the uprising happened, again, there was a big choice,” Blair said. “I remember actually speaking to Colonel Gaddafi at the time (the uprising) happened and saying this is the moment to realise you are going to have to go and be the person that gives it up,” said Blair, who was prime minister for 10 years from 1997. Blair confidant Peter Mandelson said in February Blair had called Gaddafi urging him to step down. The plea fell on deaf ears. Blair returned to Libya in 2007

when he was pictured smiling and shaking hands with Gaddafi and holding talks with him in a tent in the desert near the Gaddafi’s home town, Sirte. Those images have come back to haunt Blair as reports of the brutality of Gaddafi’s government have emerged. During Blair’s 2007 visit, British oil firm BP signed a big natural gas exploration deal with Libya, raising questions about whether commercial interests influenced British policy. Britain and Libya had fraught rela-

LONDON: Britain’s former Prime Minister Tony Blair is seen during an Associated Press interview at a hotel in London, yesterday. — AP tions for much of Gaddafi’s 42-year rule. A British policewoman was killed by a shot fired from the Libyan embassy in London during an anti-Gaddafi protest in 1984. In 2009, two years after Blair left office, the Scottish government released cancer-stricken convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds, angering the US government and relatives of the 189 Americans killed. Blair was concerned that the Arab Spring could open the door to hardliners. “Those people who are out there

protesting may well be the majority but are usually not really very well organised. The (Islamist) Muslim Brotherhood and others are very well organised,” he said. When the first airliner hijacked by al Qaeda militants smashed into the World Trade Center in New York 10 years ago, Blair was in a hotel in Brighton, England, preparing to address a trade union conference. “I was then interrupted by one of my aides who said ‘Come through, you’ve got to see what’s happening on the television’. The first plane had already flown in and hit the tower,” Blair said. “I was actually very, very clear right from the very outset that this was not just a terrorist attack of an extraordinary magnitude but one that had to change global policy,” he said. “What was clear was that were those terrorists able to get hold of technology to kill even more people, they would. That was where everything to do with nuclear and chemical weapons and anxieties about those stemmed from,” he said. Blair, now 58, stood shoulder to shoulder with US President George W. Bush as he launched a “war on terror”, sending British troops to support US-led invasions in Afghanistan in 2001 and, more controversially, Iraq in 2003. Blair and Bush accused then-Iraqi President Saddam Hussein of having weapons of mass destruction, but none were found. Ten years later, Blair said, al Qaeda still posed a risk even though the West had “degraded a lot of their capacity.” The killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a US commando raid on his hideout in Pakistan in May this year had dealt a “huge psychological blow” to the group but many people around the world still share the movement’s ideology, if not its methods. “That’s what’s got to be defeated,” he said. Blair said he did not anticipate that, almost 10 years since the invasion of Afghanistan, Western troops would still be locked in fierce fighting with the Taleban. “I thought, as most people did, that if we knocked out the Taleban, gave people a democratic process, gave them large sums of money to reconstruct the country, we could reconstruct it. But this is what shows you these forces are very deep,” he said. — Reuters



Who’s winning war on terror? Americans still divided WASHINGTON: Ten years after 9/11, many Americans doubt they are winning the war on terrorism, according to a poll released yestrday which shows the country split on whether the United States or extremists have the upper hand. The Gallup poll said 46 percent of respondents believe neither side is trumping the other, compared to 42 percent who argue the United States and its allies are winning, while just nine percent of respondents say the terrorists are ahead.

The results, Gallup says, are nearly identical to those from polling conducted in October 2001 shortly after the US invasion of Afghanistan to root out the Taliban, when 44 percent thought the allies were winning and 42 percent thought neither side was. And while the perception has fluctuated significantly over the years, the latest results are a far cry from 2002 and 2003, when two-thirds of Americans believed the US and its allies were winning the war on terrorism launched by then-president George W.

Bush. Those spikes in US confidence were short-lived, however, and with the exception of the month of January 2004, the number of Americans who feel the United States has been besting terrorists has remained under the majority level since mid-2003. The Gallup poll also found that, despite no major successful attacks against the United States in the decade since September 11, Americans remain generally cynical about their government’s ability to thwart terrorism in the country.

Six in 10 poll respondents said they believe terrorists will find a way to launch major attacks on the United States no matter what preventive measures the government takes, compared to 37 percent who say US authorities can prevent all major attacks. Those figures are virtually unchanged since September 2002. The poll was conducted by telephone August 11-14 and surveyed 1,008 adults, with a margin of error of four percent. — AFP

China paper tells US ‘madmen’ not to play with fire over Taiwan BEIJING: China’s top official newspaper warned yesterday that “madmen” on Capitol Hill who want the United States to sell advanced weapons to Taiwan were playing with fire and could pay a “disastrous price”, as the Obama administration nears a decision on a sale. The People’s Daily, the main paper of China’s ruling Communist Party, said the United States should excise the “cancer” of the law which authorises Washington’s sale of weapons to the self-ruled island of Taiwan that China considers its own territory. Taiwan’s biggest ally and arms supplier, the United States is committed under a 1979 law to supply it with the weapons it needs to maintain a “sufficient self-defence capability”. Taiwan hopes to buy 66 late-model F-16 aircraft from the United States, a sale potentially valued at more than $8 billion and intended to phase out its remaining F-5 fighters. The arms sale debate has been building steam in the United States, with US Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, where Lockheed Martin Corp manufactures the F-16, saying killing the sale would cost valuable US. jobs. “At present, some mamen on Capitol Hill are making an uproar about consolidating and expanding this cancer,” the People’s Daily said in a commentary, adding these politicians were “wildly arrogant”. “If these crazy ideas come to fruition, what kind of predicament will Sino-US relations find themselves in?” the paper wrote. The commentary appeared under a pen name “Zhong Sheng”, a name suggesting the meaning the “voice of China”, which is sometimes used to reflect higher-level opinion. While China and the United States have sparred over everything from trade, Tibet and the internet over the past few years, ties have improved drastically following President Hu Jintao’s visit to the United States in January. Relations between the world’s two largest economies have “not easily reached the point where they are today, and need to be cherished and protected to the greatest extent”, the commentary wrote. “Some people want to turn back the tide of history, but they must be clear about the disastrous price they will have to pay,” it added. “A word of advice for those muddleheaded congressmen: don’t go too far, don’t play with fire.”—Reuters

WASHINGTON: Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., delivers the Republican response to the speech by President Barack Obama to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday. — AFP

WEST PITTSTON: Floodwaters of the Susquehanna River partially submerge homes and an SUV, yesterday, in West Pittston, Pa. —AP

Deadly floods hit US Obama declares emergency in New York PHILADELPHIA: Heavy rain on Thursday swamped areas of the US northeast already sodden from Hurricane Irene, with up to five people killed as flash floods forced over 100,000 to leave their homes. The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a flash flood warning for counties in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland and Virginia, as towns became inundated, busy highways closed down and commuter lines backed up. US President Barack Obama declared an emergency in New York state, ordering federal agencies to coordinate disaster relief efforts to “save lives and to protect property and public health and safety,” the White House said. Some 100,000 people in Pennsylvania’s Luzerne county are under “mandatory evacuation” orders, including 20,000 in the city of WilkesBarre, according to local officials. Stephen Bekenich, the county’s emergency management director, warned that those who remained in flood-prone areas could not count on being rescued. “If folks choose not to leave, they are taking (their) lives into their own hands,” he said. “Help may not be able to reach them.” The city of Binghamton, New Yorkwhere 8.5 inches (21.6 centimeters) of

rain fell in 24 hours-ordered a mandatory city-wide evacuation, affecting 10,000 people. Flooding was also reported in and around the US capital Washington. “We expect historic or near-historic flooding in many parts of the state,” Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Ruth Miller told AFP. Three unconfirmed fatalities during the stormy weather have been reported to authorities in Pennsylvania, she said, as the state grappled with some of its worst flooding since 1972’s benchmark Hurricane Agnes, which ravaged much of the mid-Atlantic region as a deadly tropical storm. “It’s bad now, and there are some places where it will get worse,” Miller said. “There is more rain that continues to come down (and) we don’t expect this to end for quite some time.” Two people, one of them a young boy who was swept away in a river, died in northern Virginia, a spokesman for the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department said. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who had earlier mobilized emergency response resources, also warned of further severe flooding, calling the situation “frightening.” More potentially dangerous weather is expected in the north-

east after Irene, which was blamed for more than 40 deaths. Three cyclones are brewing in the Atlantic: Tropical Storm Nate, hovering in the Gulf of Mexico and threatening Mexico and Texas; fast-moving Tropical Storm Maria, which could hit Puerto Rico early Sunday and the Bahamas next week; and Hurricane Katia, off the US east coast and expected to remain out at sea. The latest foul weather is the remains of Tropical Storm Lee, which slammed into the Gulf Coast on Sunday, dumping torrential rains on a huge swath of the American south, mid-Atlantic region and northeast already drenched by Irene. “It is a double-whammy,” said spokesman Bill Peat of the New York state Office of Emergency Management. Irene dumped more than 12 inches (30 centimeters) of rain in parts of New York and Pennsylvania over the past four days, triggering huge floods. National Guard troops have been deployed in New York and Pennsylvania, and rescue personnel are on standby. The flash flood warnings include much of New Jersey, which suffered devastating flooding from Irene after it made landfall hundreds of miles (kilometers) south and trailed heavy rains all the way up the coast. — AFP



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Huge blackout hits California, Mexican border ‘Human failure’ leaves nearly 5 million without power SAN DIEGO: A massive blackout caused by “human failure” left nearly 5 million people without power in parts of California, Arizona and Mexico on Thursday, and officials said many residents may be out of service for a day or more. The outage, apparently triggered by an employee who carried out a procedure at a substation in Arizona, snarled traffic on Southern California freeways, knocked out water supplies in parts of San Diego County and Tijuana and sent some elderly residents to emergency rooms. San Diego International Airport canceled all outbound flights, traffic came to a standstill as the city’s street lights quit and about 70 people had to be rescued by the city’s fire department from stalled elevators. San Diego schools were ordered closed until Monday as utilities could not guarantee they would be able to turn on the lights in classrooms. “There was a very major outage, a region-wide outage,” San Diego Gas and Electric President Mike Niggli said. “There’s no doubt this has never happened before to our system.” But police in California’s second-largest city, located between Los Angeles and the Mexican border, reported no major problems, and hospitals successfully switched to backup power, the Scripps Health chain said. ‘HUMAN FAILURE’ The ill-fated procedure in Arizona first caused the failure of a high-power line supplying electricity to Southern California before unleashing a domino effect across the Southwest, officials said. That in turn led to a blockage at California’s San Onofre nuclear energy plant, a second major source of power to the San Diego area, San Diego Gas and Electric said. San Diego Gas and Electric said in a tweet that all 1.4 million of its customers in the San Diego area were without power. Blackouts also affected 3.5 million people in Baja California, according to local emergency services and state authorities. The city of Yuma, Arizona, reported that more than 50,000 people had lost power. “There appears to be two failures here-one is human failure and the other is a system failure. Both of those will be addressed,” said Damon Gross, a spokesman for Arizona utility APS. By early evening, crews had restored service in the section of the line that triggered the massive event and had begun to restore power to parts of San Diego County. Electricity returned late on Thursday to the central San Diego neighborhood of Normal Heights, where many families earlier in the evening had embraced the darkness by throwing outdoor barbecue parties on their front lawns. By 11 p.m., San Diego Gas and Electric reported that power was restored to 165,000 customers in San Diego and Orange counties. But the utility warned that all power would not be restored overnight and urged customers to conserve energy. Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission said 180,000 customers had been brought back online in Baja California. The commission said it was making progress in getting power back on in state capital Mexicali, Ensenada and Rosarito. Stuck without refrigeration, employees at the Cardiff Seaside Market, a grocery and specialty food store in Cardiffby-the-Sea, north of San Diego, started grilling their inventory of fresh steaks and tuna in the parking lot and selling it cooked to passersby for cash. Meanwhile, a line of about 50 customers waited at the

CALIFORNIA: Shoppers buy supplies at the Cardiff Seaside Market in Encinitas, Calif. after a blackout Thursday in San Diego County. — AP

front door for their turn to be led inside by a clerk to do their shopping in groups of two or three at a time. “It’s real hectic, there’s lines everywhere now. But the customers are happy, everyone’s patient, everyone’s in a good mood, and we’re serving them as quickly as we can,” manager John Shamam, 33, said as he served up a plate of tuna.

Many of the Tweets from San Diego residents revolved around air conditioning. “I’m going to die of heat in this house with no AC!” wrote Ashleigh Marie. “What am I supposed to dooo.” But San Diego resident Kiersten White tweeted that the power outage “makes me glad I don’t have air conditioning to begin with ... nothing to miss!” —Reuters



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China seeks to ease US worries over Pacific AUCKLAND: The United States should view China’s growing role in the Pacific as grounds for cooperation rather than concern, a top Chinese official said yesterday, amid anxiety over Beijing’s new assertiveness. Washington and China’s neighbours have expressed increasing fears about Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea, military spending and new high-tech equipment, including an aircraft carrier that trialled last month. But Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai, speaking on the sidelines of the Pacific Islands Forum in Auckland, sought to ease the concerns. “We are just part of the Pacific region, that’s a geographical fact, nobody can change it-China’s also part of Asia, that’s also quite true,” Cui said. He said Washington and Beijing shared a common interest in helping Pacific island

nations cope with issues such as climate change and economic development, so they should work together. China has become increasingly active in impoverished Pacific island nations in recent years, offering “soft loans” on easy credit terms and providing aid for projects such as hospitals and roads. However, Washington has viewed China’s involvement with suspicion and responded by increasing its own diplomatic presence in the region. Asked if China wanted to cooperate more with the United States in the Pacific, Cui replied: “I would certainly hope so. “Of course, the United States is on the other side of the Pacific, so I don’t think the Pacific Ocean is something that should separate us, China and the US,” he said. “Rather, I would hope that the Pacific Ocean would be kind of a link to

bring us together... I don’t know why anyone should have any reservations about China’s role in the Pacific, we’re just part of it.” In a report two weeks ago, the Pentagon said China was increasingly focused on naval power and had invested in high-tech weaponry that would extend its reach in the Pacific and beyond-claims Beijing dismissed as “groundless”. China’s testing of its first aircraft carrier last month has sparked global concern, as has its growing emphasis on securing strategic shipping lanes and mineral-rich areas in the South China Sea. Beijing claims sovereign rights to almost all of that maritime area, although several Southeast Asian countries have competing claims. China announced earlier this year that military spending would rise to 601.1 billion yuan ($91.7 billion) in 2011 and also said

it was developing its first stealth fighter jet. China stresses the “defensive” nature of its spending. But a government white paper this week also highlighted its socalled “core interests” of territorial integrity and national reunification with self-governing Taiwan. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last month warned against budget cuts in Washington that would lessen US influence in the Pacific at a time when China’s power was rising. “We are a Pacific power... we can’t be abruptly pulling back or pulling out when we know we face some long-term challenges about how we are going to cope with what the rise of China means,” she said. Washington demonstrated its intent by sending a top-level delegation of around 50 officials to the annual PIF summit in Auckland. — AFP

Chinese activist gets 9 months for protesting ‘One day is heavy enough, and each day gets heavier’

JAKARTA: A plain clothes policeman holds up confiscated protesters masks representing Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono with a long nose, to symbolize Pinocchio, during an anti-corruption rally in Jakarta yesterday. — AFP

North Korea marks anniversary with big military parade SEOUL: North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il and his son and heir apparent appeared yesterday at a military parade staged to mark the 63rd anniversary of the country’s founding, official media reported. Kim and his youngest son Jong-Un clapped from the reviewing stand as motorised units including howitzers, anti-aircraft guns and multiple launch rocket systems rumbled past, according to North Korean TV footage. The parade in Pyongyang’s vast Kim Il-Sung Square was staged by the Worker-Peasant Red Guards, the communist state’s second-tier reserve force, the official news agency said. The reservists warmly saluted the leader “who has built up the Worker-Peasant Red Guards into invincible combat ranks, turning the whole country into an invulnerable fortress”, it said. A cheering crowd which packed the square displayed characters spelling out “Kim Il-Sung”, “Kim Jong-Il” and “Glory” and waved flags, the agency reported. At the end of the parade, Kim Jong-Il-who succeeded his late father and founding president Kim Il-Sung-came out on the balcony and warmly acknowledged the cheers, it said. In South Korea about 100 activists, mostly refugees from North Korea, marked the day by floating 300,000 antiPyongyang leaflets slung under gas-filled balloons across the heavily fortified border. Early yestrday in North Korea, father and son visited the Kumsusan Memorial Palace where Kim IlSung’s embalmed body has been preserved in a glass coffin since his death in 1994. He remains “eternal president”. The junior Kim’s name came ahead of all others as the news agency released the line-up of party or military officials who accompanied the leader in paying tribute. The young protege, believed to be in his late 20s, was made a general and given senior posts in the ruling communist party in September last year, confirming his status as leader-in-waiting.—AFP

BEIJING: A retired businesswoman and popular online activist was sentenced to nine months in jail yesterday for staging a protest on behalf of other activists in a case that shows the government’s unease about vocal, Internet-empowered social campaigners. A Beijing court took 10 minutes to sentence Wang Lihong, after convicting the 56-year-old of the vaguely worded charge of creating a disturbance in another province. The sentence seemed relatively light, given the government’s often harsh treatment of dissent and compared with a maximum allowable punishment of five years for the crime. It came after a pressure campaign by her supporters, Western governments and human rights groups. Still, Wang’s family and the two dozen or so supporters who came to the courthouse on Beijing’s rural fringe did not see the prison term as lenient. “One day is heavy enough, and each day gets heavier,” her son, Qi Jianxiang, told reporters. He said his mother, who has already served five months in jail, planned to appeal the verdict because “we think it is not fair. She’s not guilty.” Authorities prosecuted Wang for taking part in a noisy protest last year outside a southern China courthouse where three bloggers were on trial. But her detention in March amid arrest sweeps to prevent Chinese from copying the democratic uprisings in Arab countries lent the impression that she was being punished for her broader activism. Her case came to symbolize Chinese leaders’ rising wariness about a public that is wired to the Internet and upset at social injustice. In recent months, signs of discord have abounded, with riots by rural migrants, caustic reactions to the government’s handling of a train collision on the showcase high-speed rail system and a 10,000-person strong protest over a chemical plant. The Internet and mobile phones amplified the discontent. Upon being sentenced, Wang told her son, “Give my regards to the Internet,” he recounted to reporters. “‘Tell everyone that.’” The online activist community in

BEIJING: Qi Jianxiang talks on his mobile phone while holding a copy of a verdict to his mother Wang Lihong after attending her trial at the Wenyuhe People’s Court in Beijing, China, yesterday. — AP which Wang had become a well-liked, sisterly figure rallied to her defense. Ai Weiwei, the internationally known avant-garde artist who was also detained in the spring clampdown, broke the gagorder police imposed when they released him and appealed for help for Wang. “If you have a mother, if you are a woman, if you are an ordinary person, if you hope not to be disappeared or to be falsely accused, please pay attention to Wang Lihong,” Ai said on his Twitter feed last month. Supporters, some of whom had taken part in previous demonstrations with Wang, came to the court, vowing to continue campaigning, as did US and European Union diplomats. Several high-profile activists were ordered to stay home by police, who by the dozens were stationed outside the courthouse, watching and videotaping the crowd. John Kamm, a veteran human right lobbyist whose advice is often sought by Western governments, said that Wang’s name appeared on lists of prisoners that the US and EU issued to Chinese officials

during talks on human rights. All the attention, he said, may have nudged the government to be lenient. “There are signs that the criticisms leveled against them in recent months may have had an effect,” said Kamm. Known as energetic and feisty, Wang made a living renovating and renting basement apartment buildings. She had grown outraged in recent years at officials’ abuse of power and, after retiring in 2008, took to blogging and using the Internet, joining and organizing campaigns. After three bloggers were accused of slander for trying to help a woman persuade authorities to reinvestigate her daughter’s death, Wang went with 30 others to the southern city of Fuzhou to attend the trial in April 2010. Wang held a megaphone and led the crowd in chants as they protested outside the courthouse. When imprisoned democracy campaigner Liu Xiaobo won the Nobel Peace Prize in October, Wang was among the few to join a celebratory public demonstration in a Beijing park. She was detained for eight days. — AP



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Pakistan warns of plot to free bin Laden’s wives KARACHI: Pakistan is warning that the Taleban are plotting to secure the freedom of Osama bin Laden’s wives and children by kidnapping a high-ranking government official and then offering to exchange him or her for the slain terror chief’s family. US Navy seals killed bin Laden in a May helicopter-borne raid on his house in northwestern Pakistan. They took the corpse with them, but left at least two of his wives and several children in the house. They were detained by Pakistani authorities. Pakistan’s interior ministry warned of the kidnap purported plot in a letter that was sent to top security officials on Aug 23 - just three days before gunmen seized Shahbaz Taseer, the son of a wealthy provincial governor who was killed by an

Islamist militant earlier this year. Interior Minister Rehman Malik said there was no evidence that the group that had seized Taseer from the streets of the Punjab provincial capital, Lahore, was hoping to exchange him for bin Laden’s family members. An Associated Press reported obtained a copy of the letter, stamped “secret” yesterday. It said the information that led to the warning was reliable. It doesn’t say which Pakistani official the Taleban plan to kidnap, but said the most likely location was one of the country’s four provincial capitals. Pakistan has reportedly released Taleban prisoners before in exchange for kidnapped government officials and army officers. Taseer’s kidnapping was the second high-profile abduction in

Lahore in August. On Aug. 15, gunmen seized a 70-year-old American aid expert from his house. The man, Warren Weinstein, is still missing, and police have declined to speculate on who may be holding him. Meanwhile, Pakistani police said they were preventing foreign journalists and other visitors from getting close to the house of bin Laden ahead of the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The Danish Ambassador to Pakistan and his wife, and two French journalists, were among several people detained this week in Abbottabad - the Pakistani garrison town that was bin Laden’s last hideout. They were held briefly before being allowed to return to the capital, Islamabad, police in the northern town said.

Ambassador Uffe Wolffhechel said he asked security officers at a checkpoint on the road to the house whether he and his wife could get in viewing range of it and “they said ‘we are sorry, no,’ and we shook hands and said ‘have a nice day’.” He said they were then held for around two hours while officers checked their papers. The US operation that killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad in early May triggered embarrassing questions over how the CIA was able to track him down without the knowledge of Pakistan’s powerful army and spy agencies. A backlash ensued, with authorities placing foreigners in Pakistan under greater scrutiny. However, there have been no formal instructions to media organizations prohibiting their travel to Abbottabad.— AP

New Japan PM a bureaucrats’ puppet or puppet master? Japan needs more than stability and consensus

HYDERABAD: Indian rural women collect drinking water from a deflorination plant in florideaffected Madhava Yedavally village of Nalgonda District, which is some 85 kilometres from Hyderabad yesterday. The rural women of Nalgonda district formed Self Help Groups (SHG), supported by Mother Teresa Rural Development Society (MTRDS). — AFP

Ex-Taleban fighter jailed in Britain LONDON: A British ex-Taleban fighter who sought to recruit Muslims to travel to Afghanistan and target international forces was jailed for life yesterday by a court in England. Pakistani-born, British citizen Munir Farooqi, 54, radicalised young men in Manchester, northwest England, using an Islamic bookstall as cover, and tried to persuade them to go and fight in war-torn Afghanistan. But anti-terrorism police caught Farooqi and two others after infiltrating their group in an undercover operation, prosecutors told Manchester Crown Court. Farooqi told the undercover officers that he had fought with the Taleban and said they could become martyrs fighting in the Afghan jihad, or holy war, the court heard. After a four-month trial, he was convicted of preparing for acts of terrorism, three counts of soliciting to murder and one count of dissemination of terrorist publications. Judge Richard Henriques on Friday handed him four life sentences and said he must serve a minimum nine years before he can be considered for parole. “You are in my judgement a very dangerous man, an extremist, a fundamentalist with a determination to fight abroad,” the judge told him. He used his experiences fighting with the Taleban in 2001 as a “tool of recruitment” with the purpose of enlisting fighters for Afghanistan who were willing to “fight, kill and die” abroad, the judge said. “Their victims would be allied forces, including British soldiers,” Henriques added. —AFP

TOKYO: New Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is moving to repair the government’s battered relations with bureaucrats in hopes of mobilising their expertise, but some worry his government will end up as puppet rather than puppet master. Noda took office last week as Japan’s sixth premier in five years and the third since his Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) took power in 2009 pledging to change how the country is run. A promise to prise control of policymaking away from elite bureaucrats and put politicians in charge was a key element of the party’s platform, and one popular with many voters for whom bureaucrats had become symbols of a discredited past regime. Behind the pledge was the belief that the decades-old system of cozy ties between officials and the long-dominant Liberal Democratic Party had bred policy collusion that fostered waste and corruption and hampered vital economic and social reforms. “It’s a very different way of approach from where the DPJ started, with more politicians going into government and the government making decisions,” said Koichi Nakano, a political science professor at Sophia University. “That may not be so bad when stability is more important than anything else. “But Japan needs more than stability and consensus. It needs innovation, and trials of new things,” he said. “Just going back to the old ways comes with a heavy price in the long-term.” The result of policy collusion has been on full display in the radiation crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co’s (Tepco) tsunami-hit Fukushima plant, which drew back the curtain on the utilities, regulators and lawmakers who had promoted atomic power under lax supervision while downplaying risks. Many agree that the Democrats went too far in bashing bureaucrats under their first two short-term premiers, Yukio Hatoyama and Naoto Kan, shutting out and alienating ministry officials without thought for their expertise. Repairing relations will likely smooth policy formation short-term.

But pessimists fear that the Democrats are now reviving practices that stand in the way of changes needed to address the mountain of problems from rebuilding northeast Japan and ending the radiation crisis to designing a new energy policy and funding the costs of social security in a fast-ageing society. Adopting a less confrontational tone was clearly on Noda’s mind when he spoke to assembled senior officials this week. “Politicians alone cannot move the world. We need the support and efforts of

by the 54-year-old Noda does not mean he will capitulate to bureaucratic masters. “The way to control bureaucrats is not to mess with them, but to set policy and keep it intact for more than two years,” said Steven Reed, a political science professor at Chuo University. “What the Democrats have done with the selection of Noda is a first-they haven’t changed policies,” he said. “I don’t think there is a chance in the world that they will end up under the thumb of the bureaucrats.” Noda has

KIHO: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda (2nd L) inspects a flooded area at Kiho town in Mie prefecture, western Japan yesterday. — AFP all of you from each ministry,” said the 54year-old Noda, who served as finance minister under Kan. The new tone of civility will not go amiss in officialdom. “I don’t think he is rejecting the idea of political leadership but he recognises that without fully mobilising administrative expertise, he can’t accomplish anything, whether it’s reconstruction or finding funds,” said one exbureaucrat. “One can hope that if this goes smoothly, it could lead to a new sort of leadership by the premier and politicians.” Optimists say the mid-course correction

made clear that a top priority is curbing Japan’s public debt, already twice the size of its $5 trillion economy, a concern shared by Kan during his short 15-month term. On the energy front, Noda has distanced himself from Kan’s anti-nuclear rhetoric, but acknowledges that reducing reliance on nuclear power and promoting a bigger role for renewable sources is inevitable given voters’ new-found atomic allergy. “The broad-based course has been charted and the next level is details, implementing and drafting of specific laws,” said Jesper Koll, director of equities research at JPMorgan. — Reuters



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Bangladesh grapples with illegal kidney trade DHAKA: Two years ago, Ainul Haque, a poor van driver in a remote Bangladeshi village, was frantically looking for some money to pay off loans he took out from ordinary people as well as microlenders. No one came to his assistance. But all of a sudden, a man contacted Ainul and approached him with a proposal that sounded like a way out of his immediate financial woes and also out of the long-term, grinding poverty that is the situation of many others across Bangladesh. The man asked him to sell a kidney for a price so high that it would give him the chance of paying off all his debts and even set up a small business to support his fivemember family. After hesitating at first, Ainul, 36, took the bait and travelled to Dhaka, the capital - where he had never

been - with the broker, who took him in turn to another man who claimed to be a physician. “I chose to sell my kidney as I needed money to pay back the accumulated loan instalments, for which the lenders were pressing me hard. I had no other alternative,” Ainul told Reuters. Arrangements were made quickly and Ainul returned home a few days later with one of his kidneys gone. He received 170,000 taka ($2,300) and was pleased, since he was assured he would have no problem working even harder than before. But Ainul soon found himself increasingly weak and unable to drive his van, leaving him with no ability to work. Ainul is just one of many poor Bangladeshi villagers to fall victim to an organized “kidney racket” that sells organs both inside

the country and overseas-a racket whose discovery, as reported in local media recently, set off a furore. Police and reporters fanned out, trying to locate victims and brokers. Only close family members and relatives can donate kidneys for transplant in Bangladesh, according to law. The sale of kidneys or other organs is prohibited and violators are liable to sentences up to seven years in jail. Police in the Kalai region, where Ainul lives, 300 km (180 miles) northwest of Dhaka, confirmed taking five suspected gang members into custody. Two confessed to having sold their own kidneys and then brokering similar sales for fellow villagers. The broker often poses as a friend of relatives to lure the victims into hospitals

across the country. They also arrange for the sale of the kidneys, including to buyers outside Bangladesh in places such as Singapore, Malaysia and India, Kalai police officer Fazlul Karim said. “This is a booby trap and not only the very poor but some relatively well off villagers looking for substantial cash also stepped into it,” he said. Many of the sellers eventually become too sick to work, like Ainul, and turn into beggars as they do not get the promised money. The promoters or middlemen take away a big slice of it. “We know from some victims and sources that each kidney is priced up to 400,000 taka ($5,400) in Bangladesh but the sellers hardly get half of the price,” said newspaper journalist Hasibur Rahman.— Reuters

India govt hits back at critics after bombing Indian security agencies suffer from underfunding

KABUL: Afghans are seen on the back of a truck decorated with portraits of late Commander Ahmad Shah Massoud marking the 10th anniversary of his death, in Kabul, Afghanistan yesterday. — AP

Ten years on, Afghans mourn Massoud amid tight security KABUL: Afghanistan yesterday marked a decade since the death of an iconic antiTaleban commander two days before 9/11 amid heightened security, with President Hamid Karzai absent from a memorial event. Ahmad Shah Massoud led the last bastion of resistance to the Taleban in the 1990s and helped repel the 1980s Soviet invasion before being killed by an AlQaeda bomb on September 9, 2001. The anniversary of his death is an Afghan national holiday. Hundreds laid flowers at a landmark roundabout bearing his name in Kabul while in his home area of Panjshir, many shops flew black flags and displayed his photograph. In Kabul, Saifurahman, a student visiting the monument who like many Afghans uses only one name, said: “Today is more important to us than 9/11 because Massoud fought to secure our country. “We have come here to commemorate this day and to keep his memory alive.” Although police deployed 2,000 officers to Kabul’s streets, some in armoured vehicles, and cancelled all leave in case of a Taleban attack, Karzai did not attend a memorial event at which other leading figures paid tribute to Massoud. He has made public appearances to mark the anniversary in previous years. A weeping First Vice President Mohammad

Qasim Fahim, a Massoud ally, called him “Afghanistan’s national hero and a defender of his country” at the event at a Kabul school. Some experts say Massoud was deliberately assassinated by Al-Qaeda just before 9/11 to ensure that the Taleban leader Mullah Omar would continue to support them after the Twin Towers attacks, despite near-certain US retribution. Others argue the killing came at Omar’s behest as the Taleban sought to wipe out Massoud’s Northern Alliance, without him knowing in advance about Al-Qaeda’s plan to stage the 9/11 attacks. Northern Alliance fighters joined the United States in the October 2001 invasion of Afghanistan to topple the Taleban, who have revived to lead a bloody insurgency in the years since. Although Massoud inspires passionate devotion among supporters, he leaves a divided legacy. Some opponents, notably from the Hazara ethnic group, accuse his troops of brutal attacks in Kabul during the civil war in the early 1990s. The anniversary fell as the US ambassador to Kabul warned the Taleban must feel “more pain” on the battlefield for peace talks to progress, highlighting shaky progress in finding a political solution to the ten-year war. —AFP

NEW DELHI: India’s under-fire home minister hit back yesterday at heavy criticism of the government’s counter-terrorism policies after a string of attacks against high-profile targets. “I do not think anyone can accuse this government of not doing enough,” P. Chidambaram told reporters two days after a bomb ripped through a crowd outside New Delhi’s High Court, killing 13 people. The government-and Chidambaram in particular-has borne the brunt of public anger over India’s apparent inability to prevent bombings in its cities, despite an overhaul of domestic security following the 2008 Mumbai attacks. A day after the Delhi court blast, the front page of one national newspaper carried a large photo of the home minister under the one-word headline: “Clueless”. Chidambaram argued that India’s sheer size, coupled with decades of “accumulated neglect” of internal security, meant that building sufficient counterterror capacity would inevitably take time. “What we can do and will do... is to build capacity brick by brick so that we are in a position to prevent... and neutralise a terror attack. “There is not a day that passes that we are not adding a brick to our security system and to our security architecture,” he said. Experts say Indian security agencies, and in particular the police, suffer from underfunding, a lack of training and poor intelligence gathering. Briefing reporters on the investigation into Wednesday’s attack, Chidambaram said that police in

Indian Kashmir had detained a man suspected of sending an email claiming responsibility for the court bombing. The unverified email, which said the Pakistan-based militant group Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (HuJI) was behind the blast, had been

called Indian Mujahideen, was sent to media on Thursday. The United States describes HuJI as a terrorist group with links to Al-Qaeda, and it has been accused of carrying out attacks in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. But the group has not been active

MUMBAI: Indian Muslims shout slogans against terrorism during the protest against Wednesday’s blast outside a courthouse in New Delhi, in Mumbai, India, yesterday. — AP traced to a cybercafe in Kishtwar, near the Kashmiri city of Jammu. “The person we were looking for-the suspect who sent the email-has been located and taken into custody for questioning,” Home Minister P. Chidambaram told reporters in New Delhi. Federal investigators have yet to confirm whether the email was indeed from HuJI. Another claim of responsibility, apparently from a home-grown militant outfit

in Muslim-majority Kashmir for years. Wednesday’s bombing was the first major attack on Indian soil since triple blasts in Mumbai on July 13 killed 26 people. It has still not been established who carried out those bombings. The Delhi High Court had been targeted four months ago, when a low-intensity bomb exploded in the parking lot, causing no casualties and only minimal damage. — AFP

China inflation eases but still a challenge


Oil plunges over $2 on economic gloom




Stocks, banks, euro fall on new alarm


Economic gloom piles pressure on G7 talks


WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama addresses a Joint Session of Congress about the US economy and job creation at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on Thursday.—AFP

Obama begins tough slog to sell jobs plan Republicans signal openness to working with Obama WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama, seeking to rescue a faltering US economy and his own re-election prospects, began an uphill battle yesterday to win Republican support for a $447 billion jobs plan. The proposals, weighted toward tax cuts for workers and businesses, was carefully crafted to appeal to middle-class voters who gravitate toward the political center. A day after unveiling his ideas on Capitol Hill, Obama will pitch them directly to Americans during a visit to a Virginia university, kicking off a months-long campaign to promote the package across the country. The White House sees the plan, a mix of payroll tax cuts and spending to upgrade roads, bridges and school buildings, as the best hope for reducing the 9.1 percent unemployment rate that threatens Obama’s presidency and addressing what he called a national crisis. Early estimates suggested it could lift US growth by 1 to 3 percentage points in 2012, lower the unemployment rate by at least half a percentage point and add well over 1 million jobs. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics and a former adviser to 2008 Republican presidential contender John McCain, said it could add 1.9 million jobs. Obama hopes he can rally enough popular support to pressure Republicans to get behind the plan so that it can start to lower unemployment before the November 2012 presidential

vote. “The next election is fourteen months away,” Obama told a rare joint session of Congress on Thursday. “And the people who sent us here-the people who hired us to work for them- they don’t have the luxury of waiting fourteen months.” Financial markets showed little reaction to the speech, due to doubts over whether it could clear a divided Congress. US stock index futures fell slightly early yesterday. There were initial signs that Republican congressional leaders may be ready to find at least some common ground on the plan, despite their opposition to much of Obama’s agenda over the past year. The Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, said Obama’s ideas “merit consideration.” Rep. Eric Cantor, the second ranking Republican in the House whose state Obama will visit on Friday, said the payroll tax cuts were “something that will be a part of the discussions” and described “a lot of room for us to work together.” “I heard plenty in the president’s speech last night where there is a lot of room for commonality and we can get something done quickly,” Cantor told CNN on Friday morning. He said Republicans were unconvinced about the need for an infrastructure bank, another component of Obama’s jobs plan, but could accept other aspects, including tax cuts. Top Democrats said they hoped Republicans,

whose top issue is debt and deficit reduction, would be willing to accept the public works programs and funds to hire teachers that round out Obama’s program, along with mortgage refinancing help. “If we piecemeal it, if we just take little pieces, frankly I’m not sure that will do the job,” Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland said on CNBC. Bleak jobs figures and other recent data have raised fears the US economy could slide into another recession. While the economy’s woes have sent Obama’s popularity tumbling to new lows, Republicans are well aware they could suffer political fallout too if Obama succeeds in painting them as obstructionists in the effort to fix the jobs problem. US Vice President Joe Biden said yesterday morning that funds from the jobs plan would filter out into the economy in three to six months after it passes and could help assuage companies that have been reluctant to spend their money. “This is all designed to change the confidence level and attitude of people out there,” he told NBC. Republicans have hammered Obama for months over what they viewed as weak leadership on the economy. And in a grim sign for the president’s re-election prospects, Democrats have increasingly begun to sour on his economic stewardship too. — Reuters

Qatar can afford more $8 billion handouts DUBAI: Qatar can afford many more $8 billion handouts. Nationals employed in the public sector have been awarded pay raises of 50 to 120 percent. The risk of inflation is limited. And unlike many of its Middle-Eastern neighbors, Qatar is rich enough to maintain its so-called “socialcontract”. The emirate is under no pressure to spend its riyals. Qatar has been spared the unrest brought elsewhere by the Arab Spring and demands for political reform are timid. The closest Qatar has come to a protest movement in recent months has been a modest, one-hour boycott of Qatar Telecom organized on social-media website Twitter. Qatar didn’t give an official reason for the decision to bump wages. It may be a reward for the role played by the military in operations in Libya, or simply as a way of cheering the population as it celebrates the Muslim holiday of Eid. It may even be just a show of bravado.—Reuters



Economic gloom piles pressure on G7 talks US, OECD urge G7 action to spur growth, fix debt crisis

Burgan Bank to participate in 15th Housing Exhibition KUWAIT: Burgan Bank announced the participation in the 15th housing exhibition. The housing showcase is set to take place between the 12th and 15th of December. This is the fourth consecutive year that Burgan Bank has participated as a result of the joint success from previous participating outlets. This enables Burgan Bank to present their latest products and services to the visiting customers. The signing ceremony was attended by Haneen Al Rumaihi, Head of Marketing at Burgan Bank accompanied by Medhat Bahgat, a marketing official from the United Company for Marketing and Exhibitions. Haneen Al Rumaihi, Head of Marketing at Burgan Bank said: “The housing exhibition is a great platform to showcase the modern ways of building and construction along with awareness of the best practice methods used in housing welfare. Through our participation, we were able to reach and cater to the diverse banking needs of our customers.” Burgan Bank continues to become an active participant across social as well as business events. The bank has been visiting different government and private institutions where it has been presenting and introducing its products and services. Its customer centricity approach is a reflection of its success across diverse business lines.

Top ECB official Stark resigns unexpectedly FRANKFURT: The European Central Bank says that top official Juergen Stark is resigning well before the end of his term, removing a key voice for tougher rate policy and raising questions about the bank’s course during Europe’s debt crisis. The ECB said Friday that, Stark, 63, is leaving “for personal reasons” almost three years before the end of his eight-year term. European stock markets and the euro fell sharply amid uncertainty over leadership at the eurozone’s top monetary authority. Stark is a former official with Germany’s Bundesbank and is regarded in central bank jargon as a “hawk” - an advocate of higher interest rates to fight inflation and less expansionary monetary policy. His departure is the second unexpected personnel change at the ECB this year, after governing council member and Bundesbank head Axel Weber, regarded as front runner to succeed bank President Jean-Claude Trichet, dropped out of the running and did not seek another term. Instead, Bank of Italy head Mario Draghi was chosen by euro-zone leaders to replace Trichet Nov 1. It’s not clear what Stark’s departure would mean for the bank’s course until his replacement is clear. As the biggest country in the euro-zone, Germany would be in a strong position to demand a German replace him so as to keep at least one seat on the influential body. Stark sits on the six-member executive board of the ECB, the euro-zone’s top monetary authority. Responsible for economics and statistics, he is often described as the bank’s chief economist. The ECB said Stark would remain in his job until a successor is appointed by the end of the year.— AP

MARSEILLE: G7 finance chiefs meet yesterday under heavy pressure to take action to revive flagging economic growth in rich nations and calm the biggest confidence crisis in financial markets since the global credit crunch. Host country France has called for a coordinated response from the Group of Seven industrialized nations after mounting anxiety over Europe’s debt crisis and the fragility of its banks caused a big fall in world stock markets in recent weeks. Differences between the economic problems facing the United States, Britain and euro-zone states are complicating the task though, meaning onesize-fits-all solutions will not work. IMF chief Christine Lagarde said in London before boarding a flight for Marseille that policymakers in advanced economies should use all available tools to boost growth and called for bold action to weather a “dangerous new phase” of recovery. She also cautioned against too much fiscal consolidation in a climate of sputtering growth. But a G7 source told Reuters a unanimous agreement in Marseille on coordinated monetary easing was unlikely. A source in Brussels has said the G7 would likely agree to keep monetary policy accommodative, slow fiscal consolidation in states where that is possible, and implement structural reforms. No communique will be issued after the talks, something French Finance Minister Francois Baroin said would make for freer discussions. “In terms of the direction to take between stimulus and budgetary consolidation, some are in favor of a uniform action,” Baroin told daily Le Figaro. “My tendency is to look for what is most adapted to each country’s situation.” G7 finance ministers and central bankers sit down from mid-afternoon in the Mediterranean port city of Marseille. A working dinner will be followed by

MARSEILLE: International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde (right) talks to European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn at the G7 Finance meeting in Marseille, southern France, yesterday. Finance Ministers from the Group of Seven leading economies gather in Marseille amid jitters about Europe’s debt crisis and the health of the global economy. —AP briefings from around 9:15 p.m. local time (1915 GMT) by the French, German, Canadian and Japanese delegations and European Central Bank President JeanClaude Trichet. The United States plans no briefing. US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Thursday that it was “imperative” to bolster growth. The OECD called for “strong signals” from the G7 and urged central banks to keep interest rates low and consider other forms of monetary easing. With Asian economies deeply concerned about the West’s debt crisis and slow growth, Japan said it will voice its concern on the euro zone debt crisis and seek support for its right to unilateral action over safehaven buying pushing up the yen. Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa told reporters in Marseille he hoped the talks would share frank views on the crisis and said it was vital that G7

finance chiefs came up with a “firm stance” to stabilise the world economy. “There are various factors behind the world economy’s uncertainty but Europe’s debt problem is one major factor. It is important for Europe to tackle its debt problems for its own sake but it would also indirectly bring positive effects on Japan’s economy,” he said. Finance Minister Jun Azumi said Japan would ask the G7 for its understanding on its intentions to counter yen rises. Lagarde said countries must act now, “and boldly”, giving her blessing to more quantitative easing by central banks and saying the challenge was to find a pace of adjustment that was neither too fast nor too slow. She said countries facing market pressures must push ahead with urgent fiscal consolidation, while there was scope for slower action in countries not at the mercy of market forces. — Reuters

Lagarde urges bold action to boost global recovery LONDON: Countries must “act now and act boldly” to kick start faltering economic recovery, IMF chief Christine Lagarde said yesterday ahead of a G7 meeting of top industrialized economies in France. “The key message I wish to convey today is that countries must act nowand act boldly-to steer their economies through this dangerous new phase of the recovery,” Lagarde said in a speech in London. The world was suffering from “a crisis of confidence” amid heightened fears over the health of banks and sovereign debt, she said. “All this is happening at a time when the scope for policy action is considerably narrower than when the crisis first erupted,” she said. “But while the policy

options may be fewer, there is a path to recovery.” Lagarde also reiterated previous controversial comments that some European banks needed more capital, saying such a move would allow the institutions to return to financing the real economy. “In view of the heightened risks and uncertainties-and the need to convince markets-some banks need additional capital,” she said. “We must not underestimate the risks of a further spread of economic weakness, or even a debilitating liquidity crisis. That is why action is needed so urgently so that banks can return to the business of financing economic activity.” Speaking alongside British finance minister George Osborne,

who has introduced deep cuts to public spending to reduce a huge deficit, she warned against making reductions too quickly. While stressing that “credible consolidation plans” were necessary, she added: “We also know that consolidating too quickly will hurt the recovery and worsen job prospects.” She also welcomed US President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan, announced on Thursday, which is aimed at giving a kick-start to the stalled American economy. “We welcome the proposals announced by President Obama last night, which focus on supporting growth and job creation in the short term,” Lagarde said in the speech at the Royal Institute for International Affairs think-tank. —AFP



Investec plans to buy Evolution for $374m LONDON: South African finance group Investec is to buy British investment bank Evolution in an agreed 233 million pounds ($374 million) takeover deal designed to boost Investec’s wealth management and broking arms. Investec said yesterday its offer was worth 100.24 pence per Evolution share, a 6.6 percent premium to Evolution’s closing share price on Sept. 8. Investec, which runs investment banking and fund management businesses, had been vying with Canaccord Financial for Evolution, until Canaccord pulled out on Thursday. Evolution’s main interest for bidders has been its Williams de Broe wealth management division, while its Evolution Securities investment banking and broking arm has a solid range of corporate clients in Britain. “The transaction strengthens our position in the UK, giving us greater scale in both private client wealth management and investment banking,” Investec Chief Executive Stephen Koseff said. Investec CEO Koseff told reporters on a conference call that the Evolution takeover would result in some job cuts but said any cuts would more likely occur in the investment bank part of the business rather than private client wealth management. “There will be some adjustment in staff within the investment bank,” said Koseff. Koseff added that Investec would also consider further opportunities for deals. Investec’s London-listed shares edged lower by 0.4 percent in early morning trade, while Evolution rose by 2 percent to 96 pence. Numis Securities reiterated its “buy” rating on Investec following the company’s agreed acquisition of Evolution. “This is not a game changing deal but it is one which builds up incremental funds under management in what we believe is the most valuable part of Investec, namely its asset and wealth management divisions,” said Numis analyst David McCann.

German makers BMW, VW post strong sales in August FRANKFURT: German carmakers BMW and Volkswagen both reported sharply higher unit sales in August yesterday, citing strong demand across all regions. Auto giant VW said it sold a total 389,500 of its own-brand cars in August, an increase of 9.5 percent over the year-earlier figure, driven by rising demand in its biggest market, China. BMW, which specializes in high-end brands, said sales of its BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce cars were up 7.4 percent at 110,891 units, the best number the group has ever achieved in the month of August. Taking the eight months to August as a whole, VW said it sold more than three million cars for the first time in that period, with overall sales up 12.1 percent at 3.34 million units. At BMW, eightmonth sales were up 16.8 percent at 1.073 million units, also achieving the million-mark for the first time in August. BMW marketing and distribution chief Ian Robertson said his group was “predicting double-digit growth in September. We’re fully on target to achieve our best-ever sales figure of more than 1.6 million units for the whole year.” His counterpart at VW, Christian Klingler, said: “Deliveries of our VW brand cars are continuing to develop favorably.” Both carmakers reported growth across all regions, with VW’s sales in North America rising 12.6 percent in the eight months since January, followed by Asia/Pacific with an increase of 14.3 percent and European sales up 9.1 percent. BMW performed best in its home market of Europe, where unit sales were 11.4 percent at 47,009 units in August alone, Asian sales rose by 9.2 percent to 29,311 units and sales in North, Central and South America edged up 1.5 percent to 29,916. In China, VW’s biggest market, unit sales jumped 11.3 percent to 1.02 million cars in the entire JanuaryAugust period, while BMW’s sales powered ahead by 49.3 percent to 106,447. In the home market of Germany, VW posted a 9.0-percent increase in sales to 394,700 vehicles over the eight months to August, while BMW reported an increase of 13.3 percent to 196,264 units. — AFP

Stocks, banks, euro fall on new alarm Skepticism over US jobs deepens LONDON: Stocks in Europe and the euro plunged after a weak opening on Wall Street yesterday, driven down by skepticism over a US jobs stimulus and doubts about European banks. European shares plunged by about 3.0 percent led by banks, with French Societe Generale down 10.0 percent, as alarm about growth and debt again burnt into confidence, and then a new shock struck with a resignation at the European Central Bank. Chief economist Juergen Stark would resign for personal reasons, the ECB said just as Group of Seven leaders were meeting in France on the debt crises and new warnings of slowdown and even recession. Banks were weak after a renewed warning from the IMF that they should recapitalize in view of their holdings of Greek debt. Wall Street opened with a fall of 1.44 percent to 11,132.72 points on the Dow Jones Industrial Average. “The key factor that has helped the dollar versus the euro was the monetary policy press conference from ECB President Trichet yesterday that confirmed a notable back-track from the ECB in regard to the outlook for economic growth,” said Derek Halpenny, currency economist at The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ. “Another reason for the euro decline is the worsening situation in regard to Greece. The market is now pricing for substantial default and the scale of economic contraction remains alarming.” The euro fell below $1.37 for the first time since February. The outlook darkened suddenly on Thursday with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and European Central Bank downgrading their growth forecasts sharply, the OECD warning of possible

pockets of recession, and Greece coming under acute pressure over its lagging budget reforms, In New York, traders said that despite generally good reviews from economists for a jobs stimulus worth $447 billion (324 billion euros) announced by

percent and in Madrid the IBEX-35 by 3.63 percent. IMF chief Christine Lagarde yesterday urged countries to “act now and act boldly” to kick start faltering economic recovery, as the Group of Seven prepared to meet in Marseille, southern France.

SEOUL: A currency trader works in front of a screen showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index at the Korea Exchange Bank headquarters in Seoul yesterday. — AP US President Barack Obama late on Thursday, there was skepticism that it could get past deep divisions in Congress. In London, the FTSE index was showing a fall of 2.12 percent to 5,227.42 points in mid-afternoon trading, the German DAX index was down more than 3.0 percent as rumors of the impending ECB resignation spread, and the French CAC index was down 3.08 percent. In Milan, the main Italian index fell 3.40

The world was suffering from “a crisis of confidence” amid heightened fears over the health of banks and sovereign debt, she said in an address to the Royal Institute for International Affairs thinktank. “All this is happening at a time when the scope for policy action is considerably narrower than when the crisis first erupted,” Lagarde said. “But while the policy options may be fewer, there is a path to recovery.”— AFP

10% discount exclusively for AUB cardholders at Asnan Clinic Ahli United Bank (AUB) in cooperation with Asnan Clinic announced an innovative promotion exclusively designed for AUB’s credit card holders. As part of AUB’s strive to provide its credit card holders with a world of benefits that compliment their financial needs, Asnan Clinic offering them a discount of 10% on any service. The participation of Asnan Clinic in AUB’s Instant Pearls Program is an added value to the program in terms of variety of the services provided to AUB credit card holders. AUB continues to enhance its strategic alliances with successful retailers such as Asnan Clinic which reinforces AUB commitment to constantly deliver added value services and privileges to its customers. Asnan Clinic is the leading cosmetic dental center in Kuwait. At our clinic, artisan meets science to provide a unique blend of caring, comfort, and the most advanced dental procedures available today. As part of its mission is to be an American Dental Clinic in Kuwait, they have exclusively hired a US trained specialist in every single field of dentistry. Asnan clinic use state of the art dental equipment, dental chairs, and x-ray machines from the USA, Germany and Japan. Asnan clinic Sterilization process is based on the American System. The radiographs are all digital and reduces the unnecessary exposure by 85 to 90%. . AUB additionally extends its cardholders the “Pearl Rewards” Program which offers 3 pearl points for every KD 1

spent with AUB credit cards anywhere in the world. These Points can be converted to equivalent air miles and redeemed at any of the three leading airline Partners; Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways & Gulf for free flights, upgrades, hotel accommodation....etc. So the more you use your credit card, the more air miles you earn to enjoy free flights, upgrades, hotel accommodation and lots more additional benefits offered by each Airline’s Membership Program”. AUB credit holders also get free worldwide travel and emergency medical insurance family coverage when tickets are purchased using AUB credit cards.



Oil plunges over $2 on economic gloom Dollar gains on Europe worries pressure oil

An aerial view showing the seaside around the French Guiana city of Cayenne. Anglo Dutch energy giant Shell announced yesterday that it had discovered oil in deep waters around 150 kilometers (90 miles) off the coast of French Guiana following a joint venture drilling project. — AFP

Shell reports oil find off French Guiana LONDON: Anglo Dutch energy giant Shell announced yesterday that it had discovered oil in deep waters around 150 kilometers (90 miles) off the coast of French Guiana following a joint venture drilling project. Shell said in a statement that it was too early to put a figure on the reserves discovered along with venture energy partners Total, Tullow and Northpet but said that the first results were “encouraging”. “As part of the Tullow-operated joint venture, Shell today confirms an oil discovery in the Guyane Maritime permit approximately 150-kilometres offshore French Guiana.” “The GM-ES-1 well... to date has drilled to a depth of 5,711 metres.” Shell’s executive vice president Exploration and Commercial, Dave Lawrence, said the company was “pleased with the preliminary results of this first ever deepwater well offshore French Guiana. “We are early in the evaluation, but the initial results are encouraging for this new play. The joint venture will continue to drill ahead, evaluate the well results, and determine next steps,” he added in the statement. — AFP

OMV sets Libya diesel delivery, talks to NTC VIENNA: Austria’s OMV has organized an initial delivery of 30,000 tons of diesel fuel to Libya to support restoration of water and power supplies as it starts to rebuild ties with the country that used to provide a tenth of its oil. “It will arrive in Libya over the weekend,” a company spokesman said. OMV has a long-term stake in the crisis-hit country, with 12 exploration and production licenses and Libyan petroleum contracts running up to 2032. It got around a tenth of its oil from the North African country last year but production has now been cut to zero. Libyan production was normal until Feb. 20 and then fell sharply as a revolt against Muammar Gaddafi’s rule broke out, forcing OMV to turn to oil from other countries. OMV has said it will takes months to resume output from Libya once the civil war is over. OMV officials met Mahmoud Jibril, a leader of the antiGaddafi forces in the National Transitional Council, when he visited Vienna in June, but had not immediately started direct negotiations on resuming ties. “Now we are in contact with the National Transitional Council,” the spokesman said, along with partners Repsol and Occidental who operate fields in Libya. “We are really confident that the contracts will remain unchanged and the signals we get from the National Transitional Council go in the same direction,” he said. —Reuters

LONDON: Oil fell sharply yesterday, hit by gloom surrounding prospects for the global economy and by dollar gains, as worries about the euro-zone debt crisis came to the fore once again. Brent for October delivery was down $2.14 cents at $112.41 by 1326 GMT. US crude oil fell $2.14 cents to $86.91 a barrel. Sources said ECB Executive Board Member Juergen Stark will step down from his post because of a conflict over the central bank’s controversial bond-buying program. Meanwhile the head of Ireland’s debt management agency said there are still big problems facing European banks. This contributed to a fall in the euro to its lowest since mid-March. Oil, priced in dollars, falls as the US currency appreci-

ates as it becomes less affordable for holders of other currencies. Other commodities like copper and risk sensitive equities also fell sharply as investors once again focused on global economic worries. US President Barack Obama’s proposed $447 billion package of tax cuts and spending plans aimed at boosting growth and job creation failed to restore confidence to jittery markets. “There’s been no good news on the fiscal and economic outlook, with the OECD lowering forecasts for growth and the IMF warning of global stagnation and this does not augur well for oil demand,” said Michael Hewson, analyst at CMC markets. Economic policymakers had to act with “conviction and urgency” in supporting a faltering global

economy, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde said, giving her blessing to further quantitative easing. The outlook for economic growth in developed countries has got much worse in the last three months, the OECD said on Thursday. Tropical Storm Nate, the 14th named storm this season, was gaining strength and could become a hurricane yesterday or today, the US National Hurricane Center said. The storm has prompted producers in the Gulf of Mexico to begin another round of evacuations of nonessential workers. G7 finance chiefs meet later, with the faltering global recovery and Europe’s problems likely to be the issues of the day. — Reuters

From taiga to tank: Hard scrabble for new oil VERKHNECHONSK, Russia: Oil was discovered in 1978 deep under the forest floor in this corner of Eastern Siberia, but the challenges of drilling here were created hundreds of millions of years ago in a churn of silt and sea water . “There was an ocean here, and it covered all this land,” Igor Rustamov, head of Verkhnechonskneftegaz, the TNK-BP led operator of the field, said. “There was a migration of liquids into the reservoirs.” The modern-day result is one of the more difficult drilling propositions in the Russian oil industry-layers of hard rock and pockets of salt deep under the Siberian taiga, 1,200 km from the nearest major city. The oil which emerges is shipped eastward through a newly built $25 billion pipeline and loaded onto tankers at the Pacific port of Kozmino, where it competes with Middle Eastern crude in the lucrative Asian market. It also crosses the Pacific to refineries in the United States, where it has acquired a following as a replacement for crude from Alaska’s declining North Slope. For all the field’s complexity, such challenges may be the new normal in Russia, the world’s largest oil producer, which is struggling to keep output steady at 10.2 million barrels per day as Soviet-era fields decline. Fields like Eastern Siberia’s

MOUNTAIN VIEW: A shopper reading a product label at Costco Wholesale in Mountain View, California. Wholesale businesses boosted their stockpiles for a 19th consecutive month in July, but their sales were flat. Faltering demand could force businesses to cut back on orders when the economy is at risk of another recession. —AP

Verkhnechonsk, set to pump nearly 100,000 bpd this year and reach its plateau of over 150,000 bpd in 2014, are ever more complex and remote, but essential to maintaining Russia’s oil exports as the Soviet oil heartland of Western Siberia declines. While the bulk of Russia’s output will come from those old fields-Western Siberia still holds nearly 3/4 of Russia’s reserves-East Siberia is keeping the oil flowing to growing markets of Asia via the ESPO pipeline, which is due to expand to 1 million bpd in 2012, or a tenth of Russia’s total output. Western Siberia, too, requires heavy investment in technology to maximize output from crudely tapped wells, but the wells are already drilled and the pipelines, power lines and roads built. In the east, oil companies face up-front costs to get oil flowing from fields surrounded by nothing but forest for hundreds of kilometres. Even drilling contractors willing and able to work here are harder to come by. Up to $6 billion in investment have been committed to Verkhnechonsk with a view to healthy returns at oil prices from $75-$120 per barrel. “I am positive that Verkhnechonsk will eventually be more profitable than Western Siberia,” Nikolai Ivanov, TNK-BP’s director for upstream planning, said in a telephone interview. High up on a rig, an operator tracks progress as length after length of pipe bears down through layers of rock, then gradually veers off to the side, using a state of the art tracking system to adjust the path as it goes, tapping the richest beds. Seen from above on a map, the wells wend their way outward from the pad-more horizontal than vertical, said one rig worker at Pad 19, where one of a dozen contractors at the field, KCA Deutag, was drilling its newest well. “If you take an ordinary pencil and bend it, it will break,” he said, drawing a parallel to the steel pipe used to drill the curving wells, some of them 2,800 meters long or more. “But what if the pencil is a meter long?” Similar technology is in use at only one other Russian field: Rosneft’s Vankor, a 300,000 bpd Arctic field, which this year has kept the country’s oil output at post-Soviet peaks with a stepped-up drilling campaign. That oil companies are willing to spend billions of dollars to drill here is in part due to the government’s willingness to hand out exemptions on mineral extraction tax and export duty on crude. The operators, encouraged by the duty break, had already decided to add a new drilling rig to speed up development at the field when the government, noting the rise in oil prices in the two years since it began to produce, cancelled the exemption half a year earlier than planned. The government defends the move, saying it is targeting internal rate of return of around 15 percent on behalf of the companies. — Reuters



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Japan economy shrank more than estimated Damage from March earthquake severe

CHRISTCHURCH: Earthquake damaged homes at the edge of a cliff in the beachside Christchurch suburb of Sumner. Earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand, storms in the United States and floods in Brazil have disrupted the lives of millions but also risk making 2011 the second most expensive for insurers in history, global reinsurer SwissRe said yesterday.—AFP

Earthquakes, storms, floods slam insurers: SwissRe ZURICH: Earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand, storms in the United States and floods in Brazil have caused widespread death and disrupted the lives of millions, but they are also set to turn 2011 into the second worst on record for insurers, reinsurer SwissRe said yesterday. The costs incurred by global insurers from natural and manmade disasters reached $70 billion during the first half of 2011, more than twice the figure of $29 billion in the first half of 2010, SwissRe said. “In terms of catastrophe claims, 2011 is already the second costliest year in history for the insurance industry,” SwissRe chief economist Thomas Hess said. The company gave the details in a statement on the firm’s preliminary loss estimate for the first six months of 2011 which happens to coincide with the sixth-month anniversary of the Japanese disaster and comes on the eve of the rugby world cup competition in New Zealand. Several matches have had to be switched away from quake-hit Christchurch. The worst year so far for insurance firms was 2005, when Hurricane Katrina, Wilma and Rita caused more than $90 billion in combined loss, SwissRe said. Total insured loss in that year was $120 billion, including claims for hurricanes and other disasters, it said. SwissRe also said that the tsunami and earthquake in Japan, which killed more than 26,000 people and caused nuclear contamination, coupled with the February earthquake in Christchurch would cost insurers upwards of $40 billion, making 2011 already the second most expensive year for earthquakes. This was despite the magnitude of the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, which flattened the capital Port-au-Prince and killed more than 280,000 people during the same period a year ago, the company said. The casualty figures were provided in the SwissRe statement. “Given the many people who died in Japan and the sad experiences in New Zealand, 2011 will certainly go down as another year of very tragic earthquakes,” Hess said. He also warned that as the US hurricane season was still not over, and the winter storms in Europe had not yet begun, the rest of the year had “the potential to bring figures for the full year even closer to the record claims of $12 billion experience in 2005.” SwissRe said that total losses for both the insured and uninsured during the first six months of 2011 totalled $278 billion, with 26,000 victims, mostly in Japan following the March tsunami and earthquake. During the same period in 2010, however, total losses reached $166 billion. The March 11 Tohoku earthquake ranks as the most expensive natural catastrophe for insurers this year, generating $30 billion in claims, while total losses are evaluated at 210 billion, it said. The February 22 earthquake in Christchurch ranked second, with $9.0-12.0 billion in claims, followed by the April storms and tornadoes in Alabama and surrounding states, with insured loss estimated at $6.6 billion, it said. Floods in Brazil in January took more than 900 lives. The floods in Australia in December 2010 to January 2011 caused insured losses of more than $2.8 billion, it said. Man-made disasters caused more than $3.0 billion in insured losses, it added, without giving any details.—AFP

TOKYO: Japan’s economy contracted in the April-June quarter at an annual rate of 2.1 percent, worse than the initial estimate, the government said yesterday, underlining the damage from the March earthquake disaster. The Cabinet Office numbers give a more dismal view than the earlier report that had said Japan’s gross domestic product, or the measure of a nation’s goods and services, contracted at an annual rate of 1.3 percent. The world’s third-largest economy has struggled ever since the March 11 tsunami and earthquake, which left 20,000 people missing or dead, disrupted supply chains among the small-business suppliers in the northeast and forced companies to cut back on power usage because of a nuclear power plant that went into meltdown. The government said capital expenditure during the three months through June contracted 0.9 percent annual rate. The preliminary report had said it had risen 0.2 percent. Satoshi Osanai, economist at Daiwa Institute of Research in Tokyo, said the revisions were within expectations, and the consensus view among analysts is that the economy will bounce back in months ahead. “These negative results reflect the one-time disaster, and so we still think conditions are turning better in a recovery,” he said. “This is not going to be like Lehman shock when things kept getting worse.” Government stimulus spending, designed to help along recovery efforts in northeastern Japan, is likely to com-

TOKYO: People walk through a train station concourse in Tokyo yesterday. Japan’s economy contracted the April-June quarter at an annual rate of 2.1 percent, worse than the initial estimate, the government said yesterday.—AP bine with growth in the private sector, including consumer spending, to show expansion in the next quarter economic data, Osanai said. The disaster hit at a time when Japan’s economy had been stagnating for more than a decade, its public debt ballooning, and the nation had been struggling to find a turnaround. Exports, corporate investment and consumer spending have all been falling in recent months. Even as companies

restore production, a surging yen, which has recently tested record highs against the dollar, is a major problem for Japan’s exporters. It reduces the value of their foreign earnings and makes Japanese goods more expensive in overseas markets. Japan lost its place as the world’s No. 2 economy to China last year. It has faced a slew of problems including years of deflation and a rapidly aging and shrinking population. —AP

Carmakers fight European gloom LONDON/FRANKFURT: The global car industry descends on Frankfurt next week to show off the latest models it hopes will fend off an economic slowdown in some of its biggest markets, as government spending cuts chip away at consumer confidence in Europe. Car makers are also facing slowing growth in China, now the world’s number one auto market, and a major driver of surging demand for luxury cars over the last two years. Even if the United States avoids recession, competition will intensify there as Japanese auto makers battle to claw back ground lost when the March earthquake disrupted production. Car registrations in some major European markets actually rose last month, but analysts are warning the numbers, which reflect cars bought up to two months ago, before the summer’s stock market slump, do not tell the whole story. “Certainly from a stock market point of view, a lot has changed during that time,” said Barclays Capital analyst Michael Tyndall. “I take little comfort from good August numbers.” “It’s been very aptly put that we have to be careful we don’t talk ourselves into a recession,” he said. “It’s quite easy from a consumer perspective to get yourself to a point where you don’t

want to spend on anything-it’s all too uncertain,” he added. Tyndall’s assessment of the vicious circle that could choke off demand is shared by luxury car maker BMW’s chief financial officer Friedrich Eichiner, who told reporters on Friday: “We don’t want to bring about a crisis by talking about it, because we don’t see one at the moment.” Eichiner said: “We believe we will have to cope with dampened growth in the future, but not necessarily with a new recession.” However, with the macroeconomic situation changing quickly, gloomy forecasts could weigh on demand. Tyndall said: “We’re looking at slower growth and in Europe we’re looking at some retracement in 2012 but not anything like the collapse we saw in 2008.” But even if the car industry is expecting something far short of a crash, it will face up to the slowdown without the support from the government loans and generous scrappage schemes that saved the market last time round. PricewaterhouseCoopers analysts see a “difficult” final quarter of 2011 in Europe that will drag the year as a whole into a 2.5 percent dip in the European car market to 13.4 million vehicles. Josselin Chabert, an analyst at PwC’s Autofact’s unit said:—Reuters

Total announces major gas find in Caspian PARIS: French oil giant Total said yesterday it had found a major gas field in the Caspian sea off the coast of Azerbaijan. The field could produce billions of cubic feet of natural gas, said Total, which holds 40 percent of the joint venture along with Azerbaijan’s national oil company SOCART with 40 percent) and GDF Suez with 20 percent. The Absheron X-2 block is thought to have large pockets of gas spread over a 270 square kilometre (104 square mile) field, and the firm hopes to find several trillion cubic feet of gas and associated condensates. “This discovery could be very significant in terms of resources,” said Total’s senior vice president for exploration, Marc Blaizot. “It is the result of Total’s bolder exploration strategy aimed at probing high risk-high reward prospects both in prolific and frontier basins particularly in high pressure, deeply buried reservoirs.” Blaizot said the techniques it has developed in its Caspian work would help it find more gas in similar basins off Britain, Brunei, Malaysia and Egypt, where new permits have been recently awarded to Total. —AFP



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China inflation eases but still a challenge Outputs at factories, workshops rise

TROLHATTAN: Swedish Auto Chief Executive Victor Muller during a news conference in Trolhattan. Saab will submit on Monday an appeal against a Swedish court’s rejection of its request for protection against bankruptcy.—AFP

Saab union eyes bankruptcy push TROLLHATTAN: Saab faced a fresh threat to its survival yesterday after a union said it would next week push for the ailing car maker to be made bankrupt. The company said it would make a fresh application for court protection from creditors on Monday as it tries to fend off what many commentators see as the inevitable collapse of the 60-yearold group. However Saab’s workers are still waiting to get their pay for August and unions have the right to seek bankruptcy if they want to activate a state scheme to pay the salaries instead. Saab, rescued from closure just last year, has had its production line halted for months as bills to suppliers remain unpaid. White collar union Unionen said it would make a legal move next week. “We have to act quickly,” said legal officer Martin Wastfelt. “We must act within a couple of working days.” The blue collar union, IF Metall, and a smaller engineers union said they would wait, but wanted a quick wage solution. “A large majority of our members think that IF Metall should wait over the weekend with a bankruptcy application,” said IF Metall head Stefan Lofven and IF Metall Saab chapter head Hakan Skott in a statement. “After discussions with management we think that there is still a chance that salaries can be paid out in the next few days,” they added. Saab’s Dutch-based owner Swedish Automobile NV was not throwing in the towel. “We anticipate filing (an appeal) by Monday,” Swedish Auto Chief Executive Victor Muller said, referring to an appeal against a lower court decision on Thursday to reject the company’s application for protection of creditors. His company, then called Spyker, rescued Saab from closure in early 2010 by buying it from General Motors, but ran into a cash crisis this year. “We are now talking with our Chinese partners and our Chinese advisors to put together a more convincing and compelling information package to submit to the court,” he said in an interview on public radio. Muller said the appeal would answer the first court’s questions about the process by which Chinese car companies Pangda Automobile Trade Co Ltd and Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile are seeking approval from China’s authorities to invest 245 million euros ($343 million) in Saab. Saab will also supply to the appeal court more detail on when that money can be expected and whether it is sufficient to get the company up and running again. The first court said the company had already had protection from creditors in 2009-2010 and it had not made a convincing argument for a new scheme. Swedish Automobile’s shares were down 33 percent at 0.48 euro at 1040 GMT, after a two-day suspension. They are down 79 percent this year. In Sweden skepticism is high about the chances of survival for Saab, a small niche maker of premium cars in a highly competitive market dominated by the likes of BMW . “End the misery now,” was the headline in daily Dagens Nyheter, which went on to say bankruptcy was unavoidable. “Someone not blinded by all the beautiful phrases about a premium brand with iconic status and a world-class car factory cannot avoid seeing that Saab as a business stands naked,” said business daily Dagens Industri. In a statement, Saab also said it was still talking to several parties about additional short-term funding. “Clearly, if the unions would push forward ... Saab would be in a very precarious position indeed,” Muller said.—Reuters

BEIJING: China said yesterday its politically sensitive inflation rate softened in August, but analysts warned that price pressures would continue to trouble the government just as world demand slackens. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) also said output from China’s factories and workshops rose 13.5 percent year-on-year in August-slower than in July-amid concerns the economy is slowing while prices rise. Authorities in the world’s secondlargest economy have been struggling to tame inflation, which they fear could cause more unrest after recent public protests as living costs spike for many millions. Slightly easing concerns, the NBS said the consumer price index (CPI) — the main gauge of inflation-rose 6.2 percent in August, down from a more than threeyear high of 6.5 percent in July. The government has implemented a number of measures over the past year to try to slow inflation, including restricting the amount of money banks can lend and hiking interest rates five times since October. Analysts said these policies appeared to have had an impact, but warned that inflation-while expected to drop-was still likely to remain elevated. “We are assured it is a peak for this year but any falling back would be very slow,” said Yao Wei, a Hong Kong-based economist with Societe Generale. “CPI is likely to stay above five percent for a long period of time, which is not good news for the central bank.” The government had originally set a target of four percent for inflation in 2011, but China’s Premier Wen Jiabao has reportedly admitted it will be difficult to keep CPI within that target. He said in June that fighting rising prices remained a priority and hoped to bring the level under five percent with “hard work”. Mounting public anger over rising food and fuel prices has already caused a series of protests in China this year, fuelling concerns about inflation. Foodstuffs account for more than onethird of the monthly spending of the average Chinese consumer. According to the NBS, year-on-year food price rises in August slowed to 13.4 percent from 14.8

percent the previous month. “Overall, we expect price pressures to ease over the next three to six months,” Brian Jackson, senior emerging markets strategist at the Royal Bank of Canada, told AFP. “But today’s is only one month’s data. Inflation could bounce back. There’s a chance they might tighten policy further if inflation doesn’t slow as fast as they’d like.” Analysts said hopes that the government might relax its monetary policy due to the August CPI reading were premature. “The information we got from toplevel officials recently is that this chance is very small,” said Liu Hongke, a Beijingbased economist with CCB International,

ting the overall level of reserve requirements or interest rates is unlikely in the short term,” she said. Other data released yesterday showed retail sales, the main gauge of consumer spending, jumped 17 percent in August, slower than July’s 17.2 percent rise. Fixed asset investment, a measure of government spending on infrastructure, rose 25 percent in the first eight months of 2011, compared to a 25.4 percent increase for January to July this year. Zhang Zhiwei, chief China economist at Nomura, said the slowdown of these readings, including industrial output, was “in line with the overall trend of a soft landing

ANHUI: Chinese residents select vegetables at a food market in Huaibei, east China’s Anhui province yesterday. China said its politically sensitive inflation rate softened in August.—AFP part of China Construction Bank. “They will not relax monetary policy before there is an obvious slowdown in inflation.” Yao at Societe Generale said she expected the government to adjust some of the measures it has implemented to tame inflation, such as lowering the amount of money some individual banks must keep in reserve. “But we believe cut-

in the economy”. “The slowdown results from the government’s macro-economic policies and it is controllable,” he said. Nonetheless Hong Kong and Shanghai shares fell Friday after the data. In Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng Index shed 0.23 percent, or 46.19 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index was down 1.19 points at 2,497.75.— AFP

US mortgage giants near deal: Report NEW YORK: US mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are close to reaching a settlement with regulators over disclosing their role in the 2008 financial crisis, the New York Times reported yesterday. The accord with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will include no monetary penalty or admission of fraud, the Times reported on its website, citing people briefed on the case. The US government took over the two firms in 2008, pumping more than $100 billion into them in order to keep them solvent. Any penalty would effectively accrue to taxpayers, the Times said.

The three-year SEC probe-which has looked into whether the firms misled the public about their portfolios-was initially expected to lead to criminal and civil penalties, but would end with the mostly symbolic settlement. A week ago, US authorities hit 17 major banks with lawsuits over losses on mortgage-backed securities that lost value in the 2008 financial crisis, costing taxpayers tens of billions of dollars. The Federal Housing Finance Agency said it was suing financial institutions including Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Barclays and Nomura.

The FHFA alleged in its lawsuits that the banks’ peddling of mortgagebacked securities during the bubble years eventually led to steep losses at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Bank of America sold $32.6 billion of residential mortgage-backed securities to Fannie and Freddie, according to the FHFA’s court filings. The two mortgage giants bought $14.1 billion of the securities from Credit Suisse, $14.2 billion from Deutsche Bank and $11.1 billion from Goldman Sachs, according to the filings. FHFA regulates Fannie and Freddie, which, along with two other smaller agencies, insure or guarantee 90 percent of all new US home loans. —AFP




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Nike goes ‘Back to the Future’ Page 27

Death and fear in Venice as film festival winds up Page 26

Miss Mexico Karin Ontiveros shows off her evening gown during the Miss Universe preliminary competition event in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday Sept 8, 2011. Sao Paulo is hosting the Miss Universe 2011 pageant and will broadcast the contest on Sept 12. — AP



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Lily Allen thought she would die like Winehouse


he 26-year-old star used to be pals with the ‘Rehab’ singer - who was tragically found dead at her home in July - and after her passing, concerned friends text Lily afterwards to say they were “glad” she hadn’t suffered the same fate. She told ES Magazine: “I felt that she’d become such a cartoon character of her herself. Her death almost didn’t feel real because her life had virtually been lived in the newspapers near the end. “Amy struggled she wanted a real life. She wanted to go down the pub and she couldn’t. “Actually when Amy died, I got several texts from friends saying they were really glad I was still here. That I hadn’t died too. It’s so easy to get caught up in the madness and I count my lucky stars I’ve been strong enough to walk away.” Pregnant Lily now spends most of her time in the Cotswolds, central England, with her husband Sam Cooper and is enjoying spending time doing nothing. The singer - who tragically lost her baby boy six months into her pregnancy earlier this year and suffered a miscarriage in 2008 - said: “Instinctively, I always want to be involved in everything. But with this pregnancy, especially with what happened last time, it’s the one time in my life I’m allowed to do nothing.”

Madonna loves

everything right now


ter from a b p o c s ud hire




Pit Brad

K sto et U

he Hollywood actor chartered the mode of transport belonging to supermarket chain Iceland - who use it to fly food around - because he was “sick” of the London rush hour traffic while travelling to various parts of the UK to shoot his latest movie ‘World War Z’. A source told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “Brad was sick of wasting time in the London rush hour traffic, so he chartered a helicopter to take him to Billericay for filming. It just so happens the one he’s using belongs to Iceland. “It’s caused a lot of laughter on set - everyone assumed he’d fly in on Richard Branson’s.” Brad and partner Angelina recently chartered one of the entrepreneur’s Virgin trains to take them and their children - Maddox, 10, Pax, seven, Zahara, six, Shiloh, five, and three-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox - from London to Scottish city Glasgow, which is being transformed into a makeshift Philadelphia for the zombie apocalypse movie. The couple are currently based in Richmond, south west London, where they took their children to see ‘The Smurfs 3D’ movie in the town’s Odeon cinema earlier this month, following on from recent trips to the venue to see ‘Mr. Popper’s Penguins’ and ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2’.


he 53-year-old singer - who has been divorced twice - recently directed her first movie W.E. and is planning a new album but admits making sure her children, Lourdes, 14, Rocco, 11, Mercy, six, and fiveyear-old David, and 24-year-old lover Brahim Zaibat don’t feel neglected is difficult. She told the Daily Mail newspaper: “You can [have it all] but what you can’t then expect is a good night’s sleep. I have all three; love, children and work. Lucky me. I can’t imagine not having children. I can’t imagine not being in love and I can’t imagine not being creative and doing the work I do. “Either the kids aren’t going to be getting all your attention, or the man isn’t or the job isn’t and I can’t contemplate living without all three. You can’t always get what you want, but compromise pays off in the end, right?” Madonna admits as she has gotten older she has learnt the secret to having a successful relationship - compromise. She added: “The older I get, the more I understand about the nature of relationships and how to have a successful one. The more I realize that it has to do with compromise and sacrifice and that’s just the way it goes. And unless you want to be alone for the rest of your life you have to realize that.” Madonna’s new movie is based on real-life tale of Britain’s King Edward VIII who gave up the throne for his relationship with American divorcee Wallis Simpson and Madonna admitted she could understand what they went through. She explained: “Every girl loves the idea a man would sweep her off her feet, give up everything for her, only to find out that she is self-imprisoned by that love because if a man is willing to give up a kingdom, then you’re going to have to spend the rest of your time together making that man feel like a king, aren’t you?”



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Katie Price

Canalis is a love ‘doormat’


he 32-year-old model - who split from actor George Clooney in June after two years of dating admitted she has always been attracted to “cold and controlled men”, but has now accepted that a Prince Charming isn’t going to come along and “save” her. She said: “I’m a bit of a tomboy, but when it comes to love I am a doormat,” she said. “I’m looking for men who can give me security. “I have always seen cold and controlled men as the right ones for me. You have to accept that Prince Charming who is coming to save you is not going to happen - it works against you.” The Italian beauty - who is set to appear on the upcoming series of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ - is now hopeful about future romances, but explained she still sees the end of a relationship as a “personal failure”. Elisabetta added in an interview with Italian magazine Chi: “At the end of the day I have always seen the end of my relationships as a personal failure. There is nothing ever pretty in saying goodbye. “In the past I would self destruct when it came to love - I was immature, throwing myself into things but now times have changed, I want a relationship where you understand the other person.”

has a new pet


he sexy star has welcomed the furless feline, a Sphinx breed famous for being bald, into her home and although the unusual pussy can “smell a bit” she thinks he is “really cute”. She told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “He’s probably the ugliest animal in the world but he’s my ugly animal and I love him. “His name’s Nigel and I got him from my friend who lives in Spain. Nigel’s totally bald, which means you can see and feel him sweating when he’s hot, and he can smell a bit. But he’s quite cute, really, and very cuddly.” The 33-year-old beauty - who this week released her own magazine, entitled Katie - has also posted a photograph of her cuddling the odd moggy on her twitter page. She wrote: “My new baby is called Nigel.” It has been a busy week for Katie as her youngest child, daughter Princess Tiaamii, started school. The former glamour model who is dating Argentinean model Leandro Penna - tweeted: “Wow all my babies at school now! princess first day miss not having her in the day already boo hooo (sic)” As well as Princess, Katie also has two sons, six-year-old Junior with her ex-husband Peter Andre, and nine-year-old Harvey from her relationship with retired soccer player Dwight Yorke.

Keira Knightley


doesn’t mind loving two men at once



he ‘Dangerous Method’ actress - who is currently dating Klaxons singer Jamie Righton, and was previously in a five-year relationship with actor Rupert Friend - believes a woman can have strong romantic feelings for more than one guy at one time, but it depends on the kind of person she is. She said: “Is it possible to love two men at the same time? Sometimes it is possible. It has to do with the person you are, the place you are at in your life, and the person you’re with and where he is in his life. I don’t think there’s one answer.” Keira also believes there is no place for jealousy in a relationship, and insists it is the one human emotion which is completely negative. In an interview with Marie Claire magazine, she said: “I think jealousy is the only emotion that has no positive side to it. I’m not saying I’ve never been jealous - of course I have - but I think if one’s intuition is based on jealousy, I’d say you shouldn’t trust it.” — Bangshowbiz

Neil Diamond is ‘lovestruck’ T Colin Farrell offers £16,000 reward for lost belt


he ‘Fright Night’ actor was given the leather accessory by his former soccer player father, Eamonn Farrell, but it is thought to have been stolen a few weeks ago and Colin is desperate to get it back. A source close to the superstitious star - who is thought to have spent almost £3,000 repairing it over the years told The Sun newspaper: “Colin has had this lucky leather belt for so long he just can’t bear to get rid of it. The thing is literally coming apart at the seams. “The belt has undergone numerous alterations, like having extra holes punched into it and extra leather added since he has gone through so many weight changes.” Colin is very proud of his father and his successful sporting career. He has previously said: “Geez, I wish I’d have a damn penny for every time I said to someone in a bar, ‘My dad is Eamonn Farrell and he used to play for Shamrock Rovers.’ “I have a big scrapbook of newspaper clippings and his jersey with three shamrocks on the back in mothballs.”

he 70-year-old singer has announced his happy news on twitter and admitted he is completely “love-struck”. Writing in a rhyming couplet to resemble a song lyric, he tweeted: “Good news coming from sunny LA/ and you’re the first I want to tell/ Katie & I just got engaged/ and I hope you wish us well. Neil.” He later posted a photo of his future wife - who was executive producer on the 2009 documentary about him, entitled ‘Neil Diamond: Hot August Night NYC’ and wrote on twitter: “I’d like you to meet Katie. I’m love-struck. I took this photo in London last month. Neil.” The ‘Sweet Caroline’ hitmaker has another reason to celebrate after it was announced he will be recognized for his contribution to US culture at the Kennedy Center honors in December. Neil - who has two daughters, Marjorie and Elyn, from his first marriage to Jayne Posner and two sons, Jesse and Micah, with ex-wife Marcia Murphy - explained he was “flying way above sea level” after hearing the news, revealing he has “dreamed” about achieving such an honor. He said: “I’ve watched, and I’ve seen, and I’ve even dreamed that someday that would happen to me, but I never really believed that it would.” He will be honoured alongside Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Broadway star Barbara Cook and saxophonist Sonny Rollins at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.



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Lady Gaga

Students read a comic book with an anti-extremist theme at a primary school yesterday in Jakarta, Indonesia. — AP

Captain Jihad

Ex-terrorist is now comic book hero


to rock Times Square L

ady Gaga will rock New York’s Times Square on New Year’s Eve. ABC said Thursday that the singer is the featured guest on Dick Clark’s annual “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” special. Clark will appear along with Ryan Seacrest to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his New Year’s show, the annual program already teen-aged before Lady Gaga was even born. Fergie will host the Los Angeles portion of the show. No other musical guests were announced. It figures to be a long party. Clark’s show takes up three hours of prime-time, breaks for local news, then comes back for more than two and a half hours. — AP

he real life adventures of former Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist Nasir Abas have become a new comic book in Indonesia, chronicling his transformation from militant to invaluable ally in the fight against terrorism. The story of the soft-spoken, seemingly mild-mannered 42-year-old - recognized by strangers on the streets and even asked for the occasional autograph - is well-known in the world’s most populous Muslim country. He went from helping train Muslim militants who carried out some of Southeast Asia’s deadliest attacks, including the 2002 Bali bombings, to informing police about the inner-workings of the Jemaah Islamiyah terror network. He’s also joined a government program to convince convicted terrorists that killing unarmed civilians in the name of their faith is wrong. “I want children to learn from my experience,” Abas said of the colorful 137-page comic “I Found the Meaning of Jihad,” which appeared in bookstores yesterday and will be handed out at some schools and libraries. “I don’t want them to make the same mistakes.”

Indonesia, hit by a string of suicide bombings that has killed more than 260 people since Sept 11, 2001, has been widely praised for its anti-terror fight. The government, partly through the use of paid informants and former militants working to persuade hard-liners to change sides, has rounded 680 Islamic militants, trying and convicting many of them in open courts. Abas, a Malaysian national who now lives in Jakarta with his family, has been one of its biggest success stories. Kids at an elementary school squealed when shown a copy of the book by nonprofit publisher Lasuardi Birru and called out to their friends, who eagerly huddled around and flipped through the lively, glossy pages. More than 10,000 copies have been printed so far. “Ohhhh. That’s gotta be Osama bin Laden,” said 10-year-old Anif Ahmad Aulia, pointing at a picture of a white-bearded cleric. “Ya, he’s evil,” chimed in Qinthara Taqiyyah, a fifth grade girl. “But I like this comic ... very colorful and fun!” “Is that the hero?” another says, pointing at Abas. The comic traces his early days at an Islamic boarding school to his

recruitment as a fighter against Western oppression in Afghanistan in the late 1980s. With a knack for weaponry, he rose quickly through the ranks of Jemaah Islamiyah, which was trying to carve out an Islamic state. The dark shift came in 1998, when bin Laden issued a fatwa urging revenge against the Americans “on both military and nonmilitary” targets. Some JI members agreed, saying that included all Christians and Jews. But others - Abas included - believed Islam only condoned the killing of “enemies” when there was a clearly defined battleground and a direct threat. A series of deadly attacks followed in late 2000. “I knew JI members were involved,” Abas said in an interview. “But I was against it. It was very clear to me that there was no benefit for Islam or our struggle.” On Oct 12, 2002 things went from bad to worse. That’s when some of the men Abas helped train blew up two Bali nightclubs, killing 202 people, many of them foreign tourists. Eighty-eight Australians and seven Americans were among the dead. Abas felt guilty and considered this a “disaster” for JI. —AP

Artists set to win European music copyright battle


usicians are likely to win longer copyright protection of their work in Europe next week, helping artists and record labels as music revenues decline, and bringing Europe closer into line with the United States. Artists including Paul McCartney and Cliff Richard have led a years-long campaign to extend music copyright in Europe, as they faced the expiry of the 50-year copyright protection term in their own lifetime. A European Union official who asked not to be named said yesterday: “Although some countries are opposed, it seems likely an extension of copyright protection to 70 from 50 years will be agreed.” Ministers from EU countries are due to vote on the issue in Brussels on Monday. The move would provide some extra royalties for record labels including

Universal , Sony Music Entertainment , Warner Music Group and EMI-which may soon be sold or listed by owner Citigroup. Global recorded music sales fell 9 percent last year to $15.9 billion as rampant piracy cut into major markets, with 19 of every 20 music tracks downloaded from the Internet illegal, according to industry trade body the IFPI. The IFPI’s Chief Executive Frances Moore said yesterday: “Extending the term of protection to 70 years would narrow the gap between Europe and its international partners and improve the conditions for investment in new talent.” US music copyright lasts for 95 years after recording, while authors of written works and their estates keep the rights to their works for 70 years after their death. —Reuters

Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum perform during the 2011 NFL Kickoff concert at Lambeau Field on September 8, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. — AFP



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(Left) In this picture, traditional Bhutanese weaver Kelzang Choden (right) and her mother designer Kuenzang Wangmo make traditional “kiras” at their home in the capital city of Thimphu. (Right) In this picture, a Bhutanese shoe-maker makes traditional boots at a shop in the capital city of Thimphu. — AFP

Bhutan gets royal wedding fever


he royal dress weavers are at work and excitement is building in Bhutan ahead of next month’s royal wedding that will see the young king of the Himalayan nation wed in a fairy-tale ceremony. The Oxfordeducated mountain-biking fanatic Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, 31, who was crowned in 2008 at the start of democracy in the Buddhist-majority country, is set to marry student Jetsun Pema, a commoner, on October 13. Organizers have promised a lowkey affair from a royal family that is famed for its common touch, but the Bhutanese are gearing up to mark a momentous occasion in the life of the reclusive kingdom between China and India. In their apartment in the capital Thimphu, weavers Kelzang Choden and her mother are hurriedly working on an outfit for the future queen, an intricately patterned dress of geometric shapes dominated by gold thread and yellow. “She will wear according to her element. There are five elements in our culture. For example, red is fire and earth is yellow,” Choden explained to AFP. “Her element is earth so it will probably be mostly yellow.” Pema, 21, has ordered numerous “kiras,” the elegant national dress

for women made from raw silk that takes months to finish and can cost up to 3,000 dollars. Several famed weavers are competing for the honour of clothing her on the big day. “It would be the biggest privilege,” said Choden, whose mother Kuenzang Wangmo has designed outfits for the previous king and his four wives, as well as the younger sister of the present king. Bhutan, famed for its invention of “Gross National Happiness” to measure progress and its citizens’ well-being, is one of the most remote and insular places on Earth. It had no roads or currency until the 1960s, allowed television only in 1999 and continues to resist the temptation of allowing mass tourism-preferring instead to allow access to only small organised groups of well-heeled visitors.The main wedding ceremony will take place in a stunning fortress and monastery in the town of Punakha, set in a steep valley at the confluence of two fast-running mountain rivers. The giant building, accessible by footbridge and intricately decorated with wall paintings and carvings, is being spruced up for the occasion, with work underway in the gardens and fresh paint in evidence.

“His Majesty has been consistent all along that the events should be simple and traditional. It’s how he operates in his own life,” royal spokesman Dorji Wangchuck told AFP. “He has never been in favor of extravaganzas,” he said, adding that no foreign royals or heads of state had been invited. “It will be in no way comparable to the British royal wedding,” he stressed, referring to the ceremony for Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton in April in London.King Wangchuck, a keen basketball player and Elvis fan, and four of his forebears have ruled Bhutan since 1907 when the royal family took over and brought stability to the previously war-ravaged nation. The monarch lives in a cottage in Thimphu rather than a palace, and is famed for inviting his subjects to tea. Among his most recent guests were members of the Thimphu weight-lifting club. The main celebration will be held in the capital on October 16 where members of the public will get the opportunity to glimpse the newlyweds in a ceremony at the city’s sports stadium. It promises to be a spectacle of traditional dance and music, but the Bhutanese themselves will be part of the

show as they wear their finest traditional clothing, which is compulsory in government offices. Many choose to wear the dress-kiras for women and “ghos” for men-in everyday life as a statement of national pride, but a royal wedding calls for even more elaborate dressing-up. At The Traditional Boot House in central Thimphu, manager Tshering Tobgay says average daily orders have doubled since the king announced his intention to marry in May. Tobgay and his half-dozen team are working frantically in a bid to clear the backlog for their colourful knee-length boots which are worn on special occasions. “Everyone is working overtime until 09:00-10:00pm at night,” he said. The king was crowned in 2008 after his father, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, abdicated to introduce democracy, arguing that the country could not depend on the benign dictatorship of the royal family forever. Though feted for this magnanimous gesture, the former king was in charge during the major blackspot in the country’s recent history: the expulsion of more than 100,000 ethnic Nepalese in the early 1990s. —AFP

Oprah Winfrey chats on Facebook Live talk show O

prah Winfrey got plenty of ‘likes’ on Facebook Thursday from fans who tuned in to watch a live online chat with the social networking site. The TV personality gave a one-hour interview to Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg at the company’s Palo Alto, California, headquarters. The chat took place in front of an audience of Facebook employees who cheered and took photos on camera phones when she walked out. Winfrey covered a variety of topics including how Rosie O’Donnell has done some remodeling to Harpo Studios in Chicago. (O’Donnell will host The Rosie Show for Winfrey’s OWN network beginning in October.) “One of the first things she wanted

was...the walls taken down...everybody’s out in the open and her offices are dogs and kids and music is playing and there’s a candy bar and a cookie bar... .” Life has not slowed down since wrapping up “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in May. “I think everybody thought I was gonna sit at home and relax...every time I run into people they say “How is it? How’s retirement?” First of all I was never intentionally retiring. It’s a little more frantic. The days were a little more organized. I feel a little out of body some days.” Winfrey is now focused on developing her OWN television network. She serves as its chairman, CEO and chief creative officer. “It’s a lot harder than I ever imagined. If anybody asks you if you want a network think about that,” she joked.

She also said she never felt fear until she decided to launch OWN. “The fear is getting this right and the fear is whether or not I’m ahead of my time. I fundamentally believe people are yearning for something more but if I look at, if you look at what’s on television right now it doesn’t look that way. The fear is I hope I’m right.” Viewers tuning in posted comments like, “Oprah, I love listening to you” and “I totally get it.” One posted her phone number and asked for a call. Winfrey responded to a special lightning round of random questions where she shared she likes thin crust pizza over deep dish, Chai tea to coffee and the iPad to actual books or the Kindle. Winfrey toured the Facebook offices prior to her live chat and brought along

Oprah Winfrey employees from O magazine, OWN and Harpo because she believes they can learn from the social media site. “Facebook’s goal is to connect everybody in the world, my goal is to connect with people so they see for themselves the greater possibilities of their lives.” Facebook Live has hosted a number of big names for online chats including President Obama, Bill Gates and singer Katy Perry. — AP

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US Director and musician Tony Kaye poses during a photocall for his film “Detachment” at the 37th American Film Festival in Deauville, Normandy, France, yesterday. — AP

(From left) Hong Kong actors Lau Ching Wan, actress Myolie Wu, film director Johnnie To and actress Denise Ho pose during the photocall of “Duo Mingjin (Life without principle)” at the 68th Venice Film Festival yesterday. “Duo Mingjin (Life without principle)” is competing for the Golden Lion in the Venezia 68 category. — AFP

U2 descends onto the Toronto film festival R

ock icons U2 descended onto the Toronto International Film Festival’s red carpet on Thursday for the premiere of new documentary “From the Sky Down,” admitting to nervousness over letting fans into their private world of making music. The movie, which is the first documentary to open the Toronto film festival in its 36-year history, looks at the creative process of making their 1991 album “Achtung Baby,” tensions back then in the band. Singer Bono and guitarist The Edge took to the festival’s opening night stage and confessed that even superstars get nervous when entering a new arena-from music to film. “We are very protective of our privacy, particularly the creative process, not just because we are precious, which we are,” Bono told a laughing audience, before confiding that the fear was in letting audiences see them struggle to make music. “If you knew what went into the sausage, you wouldn’t eat it,” Bono said. The Edge added that it was “shocking” to see a lot of the old film footage from 20 years ago and “to realize how close our band came to disintegrating at that particular moment.” The appearance of Bono and The Edge made the opening night screening one of the hottest tickets in town at the 11-day festival

Musician Bono greets fans at the opening night gala screening of the U2 documentary “From The Sky Down” at Roy Thompson Hall during the Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday, Sept 8, 2011, in Toronto. — AP where other rock documentaries about Pearl Jam and Neil Young are getting top billing. The festival, a widely-watched event often seen as a starting point in the movie industry’s annual Oscar race, features a long list of Hollywood

royalty, from Brad Pitt and George Clooney to Keira Knightley and Glenn Close. U2 makes tiff history But the opening belonged to a nonfiction film for the first time in festival’s history, and organiz-

ers noted both the event and U2 originated in 1976. The band soared to rock stardom in the 1980s, and “Achtung Baby” was seen as a daring reinvention following the huge success of 1987’s “Joshua Tree” and 1988’s somewhat less-well received “Rattle and Hum.” “This film isn’t just about the biggest band in the world,” director Davis Guggenheim told the audience. “It’s really just about four musicians trying to make music.” “From the Sky Down” opens as U2 is about to play the Glastonbury Festival for the first time this year and is looking to rework older songs. As Bono says: “there comes a time when it is dysfunctional not to look into the past.” It then looks back at the rise of U2 through early film footage and leads up to the making of “Achtung Baby,” which was influenced by industrial and electronic music and featured the hits “One” and “Mysterious Ways.” “I had goose pimples witnessing how they did it,” said Guggenheim, whose 2006 global warming film ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ won the Academy Award for best feature documentary. “I don’t think really it’s a film about our band in as much as it’s a film about the creative process. If you’re interested in that, you’re going to be interested in this film I think, but I find it excruciating,” Bono said on the red carpet. —Reuters

Death and fear in Venice as film festival winds up


arkness descends on Venice as the film festival draws to a close, with tales of brutality, callousness, chilling indifference and failed relationships all vying for the Golden Lion award. With only one red carpet to go, festivities in the floating city are winding up, the stream of wild parties with star guests over, as the festival’s jury, led by acclaimed American director Darren Aronofsky, draws up the winners. Death and fear pervade in Ami Canaan Mann’s “Texas Killing Fields,” premiering yesterday, in which a small-town cop and a New York City detective race against time

to crack the pathological mindset of a sadistic serial killer. With an abundance of night scenes, the film draws an ever-tightening noose around the men as the murderer, who abandons his victims’ mutilated bodies in a nearby marsh, turns the tables on the detectives and begins to hunt them. Still in Texas, William Friedkin’s dark comedy “Killer Joe” tells a tale of unrelentless violence in which a small-time drug peddler hunted by loan sharks hires a hit man to murder his mother for her $50,000 life insurance policy. From the director of “The Exorcist”, this blood-splattered noir with Freudian undercurrents was a hit with

critics as it explored humanity’s sinister drives through a dysfunctional, trailer trash family that underestimates the smooth-talking Joe. Noir lovers also highly praised Russian filmmaker Alexander Sokurov’s “Faust”, a visceral adaptation of Goethe’s tragic play with stomach-turning moments including hearts gauged from corpses and defecation in a church. “Evil is reproducible and Goethe formulated its essence: ‘unhappy people are dangerous’,” Sokurov told journalists in Venice, confessing that he had been forced to cut many scenes from the film because the horror was “too extreme.” Unhappiness is a central theme in Gian

Alfonso Pacinotti’s debut “The Last Man on Earth,” where Italians weary of the financial crisis and trapped in emotionless relationships await the arrival of an alien race with indifference. Fifteen minutes of applause at the premiere of the film, in which characters go from spiritual exploitation to murdering transvestites, and it is up to the aliens to distinguish right from wrong and forge a future for humanity. Gloom continues with the aftermath of the financial crisis in Hong Kong filmmaker Johnnie To’s “Life Without Principle,” a heist movie in which people struggling to make ends meet are persuaded to invest, only to lose everything. —AFP

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Nike releases famed ‘Back to the Future’ shoe


ike is going back to the future. The sneaker maker on Thursday said it has created a limited-edition shoe based on a glowing pair that appeared in the popular 1989 movie “Back to the Future II.” The 2011 Nike Mag is designed to be an exact replica of the fictional sneaker, including a glowing Nike name on the strap. But unlike the movie version, these shoes won’t lace themselves. Nike will release 1,500 pairs of the 2011 Nike Mag sneaker for auction on eBay and donate all proceeds to the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s disease research. Fox famously played Marty McFly in the “Back to the Future” time-travel trilogy, where he wore the shoes during a visit to the year 2015. “It hasn’t gone unnoted by us that there is something special about that shoe and, of course, the movie,” said famed Nike shoe designer Tinker Hatfield, who helped design the original shoe and worked on the latest version. Limited-edition shoes can draw as much, if not more mania, as a new movie or comic book release. Fans obsessively track the latest news and are willing to camp out all night or spending hundreds or more for a single pair online. Nike’s collector sneaker has been long awaited by shoe collectors and movie fans, who have been urging the company to make them ever since the movie was released. There

This undated image shows Nike Mag. The 2011 Nike Mag is designed to be an exact replica of the fictional sneaker, including a glowing Nike name on the strap. But unlike the movie version, these shoes won’t lace themselves. — AP were roughly eight or ten pairs used in the movie, some of which are in Nike’s possession and a few that collectors somehow got their hands on. Owning them, or even seeing a pair of them, has become a singular pursuit for some fans. There was even an online campaign a few years ago called “McFly 2015, Make it Happen” that gathered thousands of signatures to convince Nike to bring the McFly shoe back. “This is the biggest thing that has happened to sneakers since Michael Jordan, hands down,”

said Matt Halfhill, an avid shoe collector who runs the website and flew from Austin, Texas, to Los Angeles for the unveiling of the shoe on Thursday hours after Nike contacted him. “Other than the birth of one of my children, I wouldn’t have missed this for anything.” Nike Inc., based in Oregon, decided more than four years ago to create the shoe, but was unsure when a pair would be ready. Unlike the shoes in the movie, the real-life versions had

to be designed for day-to-day use. For instance, the design used in the movie required Fox to wear a battery pack with wires running down his pants to light the shoe, which was the best technology available at the time. Hatfield said the Nike Mag has been difficult to develop and the electrical systems, which illuminate the shoe for up to five hours, have been one of the most challenging things the company has ever done in footwear. But the timing seemed perfect to bring the shoe back to support a bigger idea. That Nike is releasing the shoe in 2011 enables it to take advantage of a matching grant for the foundation. Google founder Sergey Brin and his wife Anne Wojcicki have offered to match all donations to the Michael J Fox Foundation up to $50 million through the end of 2012. “The project is exciting to me because it brings together three very passionate audiences: the Parkinson’s community, sneakerheads and ‘Back to the Future’ fans,” Fox said in a statement. “With their support we can accelerate our objective of finding a cure for Parkinson’s.” Nike also has created a faux “lost scene” from the film to promote the shoe that includes original cast members Christopher Lloyd and Donald Fullilove, who will be joined by basketball star Kevin Durant and Nike’s Hatfield. The auction begins Thursday and will end Sept 18. — AP

‘Glee’ Emmy nominee reflects on ‘New York’ episode C

ostume designer Lou A Eyrich was just this side of gobsmacked upon discovering she and supervisor Marisa Aboitiz had been nominated for a Creative Arts Emmy Award for their work on the “Glee” episode, “New York.” “I just didn’t expect it,” Eyrich explained. “But I’m thrilled, obviously. But there is so much good TV on this season, so many great shows. And all the great period shows.” In fact, this year, all “Glee” competes against is period pieces: “Boardwalk Empire,” “The Borgias,” “Game of Thrones” and “Mad Men.” “So, it was, I felt like the little engine that could,” Eyrich said, “even though ‘Glee’ is not a little engine, obviously anymore.” Eyrich continued discussing her work on “New York” during a recent interview at an Academy-hosted reception celebrating costume nominees, held at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in downtown Los Angeles. “We threw it together,” she confessed. “We landed in New York on a Saturday night, shopped all day Sunday, threw them in the clothes. Some of it was done in LA, but, literally, we just had to throw them out there in Central Park and on the steps in Times Square. And it just was so fun. And we just thought that, ‘Let’s just submit this one.’”

In this image released by FOX, DotMarie Jones is shown in a scene from the “Never Been Kissed,” episode of “Glee.” Jones is nominated for a Creative Arts Emmy Award for her portrayal of “Glee’s” Coach Shannon Beiste in the episode “Never Been Kissed.” — AP

In this undated image released by FOX, costume designer Lou Eyrich (left) fits actress Jane Lynch for her role in the FOX series, “Glee,” in Los Angeles. — AP From the episode’s first frame, a 360degree pan of Times Square to actress Lea Michele in an eye-popping multi-colored mini coat, it was clear this wouldn’t be just any old “Glee” episode, at least in terms of design starting with That Cat. It’s something Marlo Thomas easily could have worn on the ‘60s

sitcom favorite “That Girl.” “We were told that they wanted it to be kind of a little nod to ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s,’ and all the iconic New York places where we were going to shoot,” Eyrich said. “And they wanted it a little romantic and so with a little bit of ‘50s, ‘60s flair. So we just

fanned out and shopped and that just magically worked. But then we didn’t want it to look too vintage. So we added it with fun tights and platforms and a little beret.” In fact, two of the characters, Kurt (played by Emmy nominee Chris Colfer) and Rachel (Michele) actually do have breakfast at Tiffany’s in the episode. “And then they go perform on the stage of ‘Wicked.’ And just trying to come up with something cute and youthful, but that they would dress up for and again, threw it together in a day,” Eyrich noted, with a laugh. This marks Eyrich’s second nomination for “Glee” (“The Tudors” took the prize last year), but she’s certainly no newcomer, with credits dating back to Prince’s 1990 feature “Graffiti Bridge.” —AP


Fashion’s Night Out, Year 3

Global shopping party J

A model walks the runway at the Kevork Kiledjian Spring 2012 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Milk Studios in New York City.

A model walks the runway at the Kevork Kiledjian Spring 2012 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Milk Studios in New York City.

ustin Bieber met fans in a purple leather jacket at Dolce & Gabbana in New York, Michael Kors launched his new Rockefeller Center store with a Rockettes kick line, a Ferris wheel went up over Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and crowds of fashionistas spilled into the streets of Paris Thursday as Fashion’s Night Out entered its third year. “I’m wearing Dolce & Gabbana head to toe,” said Bieber, who was signing D&G Tshirts ($195 apiece) for fans in Manhattan, one of hundreds of Fashion’s Night Out events worldwide. Fashion’s Night Out was started in 2009 in New York by Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour as a celebrity-studded way to lure shoppers into stores during the recession, but it’s turned into a global shopping party. Retailers ranging from upscale boutiques to suburban malls to websites have embraced the nocturnal shopping extravaganza, which coincides with the start of New York Fashion Week

Lauren. “With the Champagne and the music, it’s like a party in here,” said Paris reveler Sandra Pauwels, 35, while sipping a cocktail at Ungaro. In Beverly Hills, a Ferris wheel lifted shoppers high above Rodeo Drive, where three blocks were closed to traffic for Fashion’s Night Out festivities. Gucci offered shoppers a limited-edition tote with a $500 purchase, Coach celebrated the relaunch of its classic duffle and Chanel offered three nail polishes in shades of blue. A DJ spun tunes at Juicy Couture, where shoppers sipped Champagne and tried the chocolatetasting bar provided by LA eatery Bottega Louie. Anyone who made a purchase along the shopping street could ride the Ferris wheel for free. Stilt-walkers juggled bowling pins outside the Guess store, where shoppers took advantage of free popcorn, cocktails, mini manicures and makeovers and a photo booth. An onsite artist personalized reusable totes that were sold for $5 to benefit the New York AIDS Foundation. Shopper Liana Lozada, 25, posed with friends at the Guess store’s photo booth. “We just came out for the scene,” said Lozada, visiting from Miami. “We want to get a couple deals and do some people-watching.”

Miss Coco Puff watches shoppers walk by during Fashion’s Night Out on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California.

Gucci Westman (left) applies make-up to Veronica Wong during Revlon’s Fashion’s Night Out pre-party at the Mondrian Soho Penthouse.

and the important fall fashion season. Wintour signed September issues of Vogue for fans at an event sponsored by the home shopping channel QVC in Manhattan Thursday night, while Bieber signed shirts at the D&G boutique on Madison Avenue. Nearly every adult shopper at the jam-packed Bieber site had a pint-sized companion, the boys with Bieber hair, the girls with lip gloss courtesy of free touchups to promote D&G lipstick. Stephanie Steinberg brought her 11-year-old daughter Caroline, who clutched her just-signed shirt after meeting the pop star. “I’ve never seen her speechless until now,” the mom said. D&G donated a portion of proceeds from the event to Bieber’s favorite charity, Pencils of Promise. In Paris, teenage girls mingled with grand dames in Chanel jackets and pearls inside luxury boutiques in the so-called “Golden Triangle” shopping district. Crowds were so thick they spilled off sidewalks and into the streets, much to the annoyance of taxis snared in the surge. Participating boutiques included Chanel, Dior, Prada, Armani and Ralph

Actress and singer Leighton Meester appears at Tiffany & Co as part of Fashion’s Night Out in New York. — AP photos


Models pose outside the Elizabeth Arden store on Fifth Avenue during Fashion’s Night Out in New York, Thursday, Sept 8, 2011. — AP Milan, Dallas and even Adelaide, Australia, were among other cities participating worldwide. Celebrities at Fashion’s Night Out in London included actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who attended a Vogue party. In New York, Fifth Avenue was packed with throngs of shoppers streaming in and out of stores like Bergdorf Goodman, where crowds came to see Oscar de la Renta and get their tarot cards read by jewelry designer Amy Zerner. One of New York’s longest lines was outside an Yves Saint Laurent boutique, where fans waited to meet rapper-turned-R&B star Nicki Minaj. Florida welcomed Fashion’s Night Out with runway shows, after-hours shopping and cocktail receptions. More than 65 retailers in the Miami area took part, along with venues in Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville. Stylist Danny Santiago, who collaborated on looks from the “Sex and the City” movies as well as “Confessions of a Shopaholic,” styled a runway show at the Aventura Mall in Florida for FNO using pieces sold at the mall today that echo influential styles from the past. They included sheaths and beaded dresses inspired by the 1920s; hourglass silhouettes reflecting tailored 1940s looks; psychedelic prints and mismatched black-andwhite patterns echoing the 1960s; and graphic patterns and the famous wrap dress look from the 1970s. “I was inspired by vintage pieces that I actually own,” said Santiago. Designer Tommy Hilfiger hailed Fashion’s Night Out as “a big celebration.” “Anna Wintour came up with such a genius idea, and it actually worked,” Hilfiger told The Associated Press in a phone interview. “I think it’s not just about the shopping that night, I think it’s the idea of getting out there - exposing the fact that fashion can be fun. ... It doesn’t have to be this serious thing that’s too expensive. Fashion and shopping doesn’t have to be anything but fun.” Getting face-time with his customers is another of the event’s positive side, said Hilfiger, who held court Thursday night at Macy’s Manhattan flagship with singer Joss Stone: “To see them and hear directly from them is pretty cool.” Last year’s extended hours and blitz of promotions and entertainment provided a measurable sales lift for merchants, said Michael

In this photograph, Designer Tracy Reese and Barbie both wear a dress from the designer’s fall collection during Fashion’s Night Out, Thursday Sept 8, 2011, at theTracy Reese store in New York. — AP McNamara, vice president of research and analysis for MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse, which tracks cash as well as credit transactions. He estimated that sales nationwide at department stores and clothing chains were up 2 percent on Fashion’s Night Out last year, compared with the 2009 period that was limited to events in New York. Shoes and teen clothing fared the best, he added. Hilfiger agreed that FNO’s economic impact has grown wildly in the last three years. “People ARE shopping,” he said at Macy’s. “It’s 100-fold compared to any other Thursday. We sell a lot of clothes.” Just as important, “it’s such a good time. People love to come out. ... It brings out people from all walks of life.” QVC marked its 25th anniversary at a popup location in Soho with a live broadcast. Fashion fans sipped wine and Pellegrino as they waited for Heidi Klum, Isaac Mizrahi, Melania and Donald Trump and others to walk the red carpet and sell their lines. “Fashion’s Night Out is not for the faint of heart. You have to know how to party!” said Mizrahi. QVC CEO Mike George said the event

Madeline Follin of Cults attends 3.1 Phillip Lim Fashion’s Night Out celebration in Los Angeles, California. — AFP

Singer/songwriter Matt Goss appears at PJ Clarke’s during Fashion’s Night Out at The Forum Shops at Caesars September 8, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. — AFP

was “really about our customers. We don’t get to meet them very often.” Kris Jenner, among the designers taking part in the QVC event, said she created her line with older women in mind who aren’t served well by mainstream fashion: “I wasn’t ready to give up on myself. We want to feel good, too.” In Mexico City, which joined the global celebration for the first time, events included the opening of a four-day exhibit called “A tribute to Mexico,” in which 13 international designers, including Christian Cota of Mexico, Nicole Miller, Tommy Hilfiger and Tory Burch, created outfits for the hand-made Maria doll, a ragdoll with long braids adorned with colored ribbons, sold in tourist areas. “Those designers have to develop collections, their time is limited, but they accepted to do this, and that is a great triumph for us,” Eva Hugues, editorial director of Vogue Mexico & Latin America, said. —AP



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Apple wins German court ruling on Samsung tablets Decision does not apply to retailers DUESSELDORF: Apple Inc scored a symbolic legal victory in efforts to keep its lead spot in the tablet computer market when a German court upheld a ban barring Samsung’s local unit from selling its Galaxy 10.1 tablets in Europe’s biggest economy. Samsung, which said it will appeal the decision, and Apple have been locked in a global battle over smartphone and tablet patents since April. Samsung’s Galaxy devices are seen as among the biggest challengers to Apple’s mobile products, which have achieved runaway success. Samsung said it was disappointed by the ruling and that it believed the ruling restricts design innovation and progress in the industry. It said it would explore all legal options, including continuing to aggressively pursue Apple for what Samsung said are a violation of its wireless technology patents around the world. Craig Cartier, analyst at consultancy firm Frost & Sullivan, said that while Friday’s ruling would not greatly affect Samsung it could set a precedent for other courts and have repercussions for patent battles worldwide. “There has been an arms race in the patent world which has led to a high valuation of patent portfolios, including Nortel’s $4.5 billion patent auction,” Cartier said. “Companies may start to question if patent values are simply another bubble waiting to burst.” The temporary injunction upheld by the court on Friday bars Samsung Germany

from selling the Galaxy 10.1 tablet in Germany. But retailers such as consumer electronics chain Media Markt will still be able to sell the device by selling off existing stock or getting new supplies from the South Korean group’s parent Samsung

International. Media Markt said it was too early to say what the verdict would mean for its business. Patent expert Florian Mueller said in his blog that the sales ban in Europe for Samsung Germany has no practical consequences. The

BERLIN: Photo taken on September 2, 2010 in Berlin showing an Apple iPad displayed next to a Samsung’s tablet device, the “Galaxy tab” during the 50th International consumer electronics fair IFA. A German court banned yesterday in Duesseldorf the Korean firm from selling a tablet computer in Germany, ruling it had copied the iPad. — AFP

German subsidiary is also barred from selling the tablets in Europe, excluding the Netherlands where Apple requested a separate injunction. Giving the ruling, Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hofmann said in court in Duesseldorf that the overall impression of the tablet was too similar to the design of Apple’s iPad. “It (the tablet) is distinguished by its smooth, simple areas,” Brueckner-Hofmann said. By contrast, a Dutch court ruled last month that it found no infringement for Samsung’s tablets. Apple repeated its usual statement saying that: “This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.” In a global intellectual property battle, Apple has claimed the Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablets “slavishly” copied the iPhone and iPad and has sued the Korean company in the United States, Australia, Japan and Korea as well as in Europe. Samsung, whose tablets are based on Google Inc’s Android software, has countersued Apple. On Thursday, Apple also filed a suit against Samsung in Japan, seeking to ban sales of some of its gadgets there. That same day, smartphone maker HTC said that it extended its lawsuit against Apple to include more patents the Taiwanese company acquired from Google as legal battles become increasingly common in the hitech industry. — Reuters

How to fix Yahoo: The innovator’s dilemma LOS ANGELES: Yahoo-a great media company, a pioneer in its day and one of the largest aggregators of traffic in the US and abroad-is a valuable company that is undervalued in the market and ripe with opportunity. The primary question now is whether it makes sense to keep it as a consolidated media company or if it is time to break up the assets and create numerous mid-sized businesses to operate independently. But the challenge ishow do you transform a legacy property with large scale valuable assets into a dynamic, innovative idea factory? I can attest, this an incredibly hard problem to solve. It can be an expensive and stressful venture for those of us who have attempted to lead the transformation of a legacy brand. In a world where startups can be created on shoestring budgets and new brands are launched every 10 minutes, we have to question whether our industry can sustain reinvention. Are new online brands and technologies simply easier to make successful than reinventing old ones? Our industry loves invention-we reward it, worship it and all strive to be

that next inventor. The challenge is when we confuse invention from reinvention. Invention is to create something new, reinvention is to make something old, new again. Internet entrepreneurs believe that ideas and products need to have constant iteration, constant innovation. We build upon, and upon and upon-never stopping. We stack our organizations with project managers, product managers, developers and designers-constantly trying to improve, improve and improve our product lines. The flaw is we sometimes don’t recognize when we’ve hit the point of diminishing returns. Given that early stage innovation is cheap and fast and later stage innovation is expensive, slow and often unrewarded, it’s time for us to fundamentally change the way we think of legacy assets. We must accept that peaked properties need to be put on maintenance mode and put our energy into investing in new products. During my time at both AOL and Myspace, we frequently used boating as a metaphor. My colleague, Dave Morgan, and I took a few weeks aside during our time at AOL and mapped out

a completely new operational strategy from the current one. He liked to say, “Separate the fast moving boats from the slow moving boats.” I think this is true. AOL’s AIM, for instance, has had no meaningful, game-changing innovation in recent years. Yet during my time at AOL over three years ago, we had large teams dedicated to developing the next version of AIM and new features. This is similar to many legacy products in various digital media company portfolios. High cost, low return. On the other hand, AOL’s Patch and Editions product linesnew projects for AOL-feel new, exciting and like they could be meaningful to the business. At Myspace, we often debated whether to “upgrade the ship or move the passengers into new ships.” Although we made massive technical improvements to the Myspace platform and launched a renewed brand and product line for Myspace, we failed to capture the attention of the world-as did Yahoo’s $100M rebrand campaign. In retrospect, I now realize that for digital companies, once your brand is set, it is near impossible to truly reinvent.

So, going back to my original questionhow do you transform Yahoo, a legacy property with valuable assets of scale, into a dynamic innovative idea factory? They should “separate the fast moving boats from the slow moving boats.” Put the new and growing products and maintenance products in totally different organizations with different comp structures. Allow the fast moving boats to go forth unrestricted. Stop upgrading your old ships when they slow down too much-move those passengers onto a different boat. I believe there is a still huge opportunity at Yahoo-if they start with a complete change to how the organization is structure, how they build product and if they focus their best resources on completely new projects. They should cease expending energy and time on legacy assets. The next phase from Yahoo may not maintain the Yahoo brand or even leverage the existing Yahoo asset base. It is possible, as Google has shown with Android, that a departure from the core brand and product base to enter a new market may be the best growth strategy for these consolidated digital media businesses. — Reuters



Amazon Kindle sparks excitement as iPad rival SAN FRANCISCO: Since the launch of Apple’s genre-defining iPad in April 2010, the tech world has been consumed with the search for that rarest of all beasts, the legendary iPad-killer. Claimed sightings have been frequent. But as in the search for other mythical creatures, such as the Yeti and the Loch Ness Monster, the public has remained wholly unconvinced. From HP’s now discontinued TouchPad through Blackberry’s Playbook and Motorola’s Xoom, the would-be iPad slayers have failed to even tickle the iPad’s toes, leaving Apple’s device with a market share of over 80 per cent and a global sales forecast of almost 60 million units next year. Analysts however have long predicted that sooner or later a tablet computer would emerge that would prove to be a rival to the iPad, both in terms of price, services and ease of use. This is no easy feat, as Apple’s sheer volume, long-

standing contracts with suppliers and tightly controlled ecosystem means that it has important advantages in these key areas over almost all its challengers. But now it appears that a credible candidate has at last been spotted. For weeks rumours have been circulating that web retail giant Amazon is to launch its own tablet computer that will seamlessly integrate with the company’s online offerings, from merchandise of every description, to its amazing library of electronic books, its video-ondemand features and its cloud-based music service. Amazon already has a hugely successful track record with its Kindle ereader, and its new tablet will officially be just another version in the Kindle line. But since the company can use its online marketing heft to reach out to millions of customers and thereby count on unprecedented pre-order numbers, it will be able to offer the Kindle tablet at a

sharp discount to the 500 dollars that Apple charges for its cheapest iPad. According to the influential website TechCrunch, the Kindle tablet will be offered at a price of just 250 dollars and features a 7-inch (17.8-centimetre) multi touch screen running a highly modified version of the Google Android operating system. It sports a proprietary user interface that holds all the user’s content in an on-screen carousel, and does away with all physical buttons in favour of a control menu that pops up with one tap on the screen. “I’ve seen it and used it. And I’m happy to report that it’s going to be a big deal. Huge, potentially,” said Tech Crunch’s MG Seigler, who is known as a strong Apple fan. Amazon already has an amazing Kindle fan-base who are likely to jump at the chance to own a more fully featured device, especially if Amazon bundles it with goodies like free shipping on pur-

chases. That’s just one of the reasons why analysts at Forrester Research think that the company will sell up to 5 million of the devices within three months of launch. “Thus far, Apple has faced many would-be competitors, but none have gained significant market share,” wrote analyst Sarah Rotman Epps. “Not only does Amazon have the potential to gain share quickly but its willingness to sell hardware at a loss, as it did with the Kindle, makes Amazon a nasty competitor.” If Amazon’s combination of hardware and software is successful, said Rotman Epps, “in a year from now we could see a range of ‘Amazon tablets’ made by different hardware manufacturers.” Even the perennially practical Economist magazine opined that Amazon’s writing was on the wall for Apple, as Amazon “would be well placed to chase after Apple’s cart and, one day, perhaps even upset it.” — dpa


briefs Readmill networks e-book readers BERLIN: With Readmill, readers of e-books have a new social network consisting of a web application and an iPad app. The web application shows which books are currently being read or recommended. It only displays uncopyrighted books stored digitally. All of them can be downloaded thanks to Project Gutenberg, where thousands of books on which the copyright has expired, can be accessed. The app is a comprehensive e-book reader. Pages are turned by the flick of a finger. But, unlike other reader programmes, this one notes the time one began reading, how much time was taken and when the book was finished - or when it was put aside. Soon it should be possible to mark bits of text so they can be stored online.

Google+ allows updates Users of the new Google+ online network are often looking for a way to share information with just one specific person. On Facebook, that’s done with the Messages tool. Google+ only has one tool for messages to both an entire network and only certain recipients. To limit the distribution, type in the names of the addressees. After only a few keystrokes, the software offers up a menu of possible entries, from which one can choose.

Get your tablet PC online It’s not necessary to have a UMTS module or access to a wi-fi hotspot to get your tablet PC online. That’s because a lot of today’s smartphones can create their own wi-fi network, which can be accessed by a tablet, reports the German telecommunications portal That could save owners of tablets without UMTS modules between 50 and 80 euros (72 to 116 dollars). Tablets usually sell for about 160 euros. But buyers usually have to pay additional money for extras. Pay special attention to display size and resolution, operating system, processor, memory and internet connections. To get a feel for the device’s size, weight and feel, it’s a good idea to look at multiple devices before buying.

PHNOM PENH: Cambodian people line up in front of an Apple store to buy the iPad 2 and accessories during a store opening in Phnom Penh yesterday. Apple sold 9.25 million iPads last quarter and dominates the market for the multi-media devices, which are also being produced by South Korea’s Samsung, Blackberry maker Research In Motion and scores of other companies. — AFP

Google provides HTC ammo in Apple patent fight HTC ask court for damages SAN FRANCISCO: Smartphone titan HTC Corp. on Thursday ramped up its patent war with Apple with the help of ammunition provided by Google, the force behind Android mobile software. Google last week transferred to HTC a set of patents that the Taiwan-based company used to amend intellectual property infringement complaints against iPhone maker Apple in the United States. The global Internet giant confirmed selling the patents to HTC but referred additional questions to the smartphone maker. HTC in August accused Apple of patent infringement as part of an ongoing legal battle. In a lawsuit filed in US District Court in the state of Delaware, the Taiwanese smartphone maker charged that Apple violated three HTC-held patents in its Macintosh computers, iPods,

iPhones, iPads and other products. HTC asked the court for damages and to bar Apple from importing into the United States any devices found to be infringing the patents. It also filed a complaint with the Washington-based US International Trade Commission (ITC). “We are taking this action against Apple to protect our intellectual property, our industry partners, and most importantly our customers that use HTC phones,” HTC general counsel Grace Lei said. “This is the third case before the ITC in which Apple is infringing our intellectual property,” Lei said. “Apple needs to stop its infringement of our patented inventions in its products.” Technology giants have taken to routinely pounding one another with patent lawsuits. Apple has accused HTC and other smartphone makers using Google’s Android mobile operating system of infringing on

Apple-held patents. Some of the nine patents that HTC reportedly bought from Google had belonged to Motorola Mobility, which Google last month said that it is buying for $12.5 billion in cash. Motorola Mobility’s trove of patents was a key motivation for Google, which is keen to defend Android against its rivals.“Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies,” Google chief executive Larry Page said when the Motorola Mobility buy was announced. Motorola Mobility chief executive Sanjay Jha told financial analysts the US maker of smartphones and touchscreen tablet computers has over 17,000 issued patents and another 7,500 pending. — AFP

TV listings


00:45 Untamed & Uncut 01:40 Into The Shark Bite 02:35 Whale Wars 03:30 Monster Bug Wars 04:25 Dogs 101 05:20 Animal Cops Houston 06:10 Must Love Cats 07:00 Lemur Street 07:25 Crocodile Hunter 08:15 The Really Wild Show 08:40 Animal Crackers 09:10 New Breed Vets With Steve Irwin 10:05 America’s Cutest... 11:00 Dogs 101 11:55 Crocodile Hunter 12:50 Animal Cops Houston 13:45 Monster Bug Wars 14:40 Chris Humfrey’s Wildlife 15:35 Venom Hunter With Donald Schultz 16:30 New Breed Vets With Steve Irwin 17:25 Cheetah Kingdom 18:20 Big Five Challenge 19:15 Britain’s Worst Pet 20:10 Dogs 101 21:05 Best Bites: 25 Greatest Shark Moments 22:00 Jaws Comes Home: Return Of The... 22:55 Monster Bug Wars 23:50 The Animals’ Guide To Survival

00:00 2 Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps 00:30 The Weakest Link 01:20 True Dare Kiss 02:10 Robin Hood 03:00 Gavin & Stacey 03:30 Doctors 04:00 Last Of The Summer Wine 04:30 Tweenies 04:50 The Roly Mo Show 05:05 Me Too 05:25 Jackanory Junior 05:40 Poetry Pie 05:50 Tweenies 06:10 The Roly Mo Show 06:25 Me Too 06:45 Jackanory Junior 07:00 Balamory 07:20 The Roly Mo Show 07:35 Me Too 07:55 Jackanory Junior 08:10 Poetry Pie 08:20 Balamory 08:40 The Roly Mo Show 08:55 Me Too 09:15 Jackanory Junior 09:30 Poetry Pie 09:35 Poetry Pie 09:45 Last Of The Summer Wine 10:45 Ray Mears’ Northern Wilderness 11:35 Robin Hood 12:20 Eastenders 14:20 After You’ve Gone 14:50 The Weakest Link 15:40 Ray Mears’ Northern Wilderness 16:30 Robin Hood 17:15 The Weakest Link 18:00 After You’ve Gone 18:30 Holby City 19:20 Holby City 20:10 Robin Hood 20:55 As Time Goes By 21:25 Allo Allo 22:00 Gavin & Stacey 22:30 Rob Brydon’s Annually Retentive 23:00 Mutual Friends 23:55 Robin Hood

00:15 01:10 02:05 03:00 03:55 04:20 05:15 05:40 06:05 07:00 08:15 08:45 Junior 09:40

Gold Rush: Alaska River Monsters Dirty Jobs Ultimate Survival Wheeler Dealers Mythbusters How Do They Do It? How Stuff’s Made Dirty Jobs Wheeler Dealers Fifth Gear American Chopper: Senior vs Nextworld

00:40 X Games Heroes 01:05 X Games Heroes 01:30 World Combat League 02:20 Eddie Jordan’s Bad Boy Racers 03:10 M1 Selection 2010 04:00 Summer Dew Tour 2010 05:40 World Combat League 06:30 Ride Guide Mountainbike 2009 08:00 FIM World Motocross MX3 Championships... 08:25 FIM World Motocross MX3 Championships... 09:40 Tread BMX 11:20 Lucas Oil Ama Motocross Championships... 13:00 BMX Megatour 13:50 Mantracker 14:40 Ride Guide Mountainbike 2009 15:55 Untracked 16:20 Lucas Oil Ama Motocross Championships... 17:10 Born To Run 18:00 Mantracker 18:50 Lucas Oil Ama Motocross Championships... 19:40 Lucas Oil Ama Motocross Championships... 20:30 BMX Megatour 21:20 Born To Run

SHERLOCK HOLMES ON OSN MOVIES ACTION 10:30 11:25 12:20 12:45 14:35 15:05 17:20 18:15 19:10 20:05 21:00 21:55 22:50 23:45

Weird Or What? Mythbusters How Stuff’s Made Auction Kings Auction Kings Border Security Mythbusters River Monsters Man, Woman, Wild Ultimate Survival Dual Survival Deadliest Catch River Monsters Shark Attack Files

00:05 00:55 01:45 02:35 03:25 04:15 04:45 05:40 06:10 07:00 07:55 07:58 08:25 08:55 09:45 10:35 14:45 14:48 15:15 15:45 16:10 17:00 17:50 18:40 19:30

Smash Lab Superships The Tech Show The Gadget Show Thunder Races How Does That Work? Superships One Step Beyond The Future of... NASA’s Greatest Missions Head Rush Sci-Fi Science Weird Connections Brainiac Prototype This Things That Move Head Rush Sci-Fi Science Weird Connections Bang Goes the Theory The Gadget Show Prototype This Brainiac Smash Lab Da Vinci’s Machines

20:20 20:45 21:10 21:35 22:00 22:50 23:40

The Gadget Show The Gadget Show Sci-Fi Science The Tech Show Smash Lab Catch It Keep It Bang Goes the Theory

00:00 00:25 00:50 01:15 01:35 02:00 02:25 02:50 03:15 03:35 04:00 04:25 04:50 05:15 05:35 06:00 06:25 06:45 07:10 07:30 08:00 08:25 08:50 09:15 09:40 10:05 10:30 12:00 12:25 12:50 13:15 13:40 14:00

Kim Possible Fairly Odd Parents Fairly Odd Parents Stitch Stitch Replacements Replacements Emperor’s New School Emperor’s New School Stitch Stitch Replacements Replacements Fairly Odd Parents Fairly Odd Parents Jungle Junction Handy Manny Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates Fish Hooks Suite Life On Deck Phineas And Ferb Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place Shake It Up Shake It Up Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure Good Luck Charlie Good Luck Charlie Phineas And Ferb Suite Life On Deck Fish Hooks Wizards Of Waverly Place

14:25 14:50 15:15 15:35 16:00 17:30 18:00 18:20

Phineas And Ferb Shake It Up Fish Hooks Good Luck Charlie Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure Good Luck Charlie Fish Hooks Suite Life On Deck

00:25 Kendra 00:55 Behind The Scenes 01:25 20 Most Shocking Unsolved Crimes 03:15 25 Most Stylish 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Extreme Hollywood 06:00 THS 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 E! News 09:15 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 10:15 Khloe And Lamar 11:10 The Dance Scene 12:05 E! News 13:05 Giuliana & Bill 14:05 E!es 15:00 Holly’s World 15:55 Khloe And Lamar 16:55 Extreme Close-Up 17:25 Fashion Police 17:55 E! News 18:55 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 19:25 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 19:55 THS 20:55 The Soup 21:25 The Dance Scene 22:25 E! News 23:25 Chelsea Lately 23:55 The Soup

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

00:00 Departures 01:00 Graham’s World 02:00 The Ride: Alaska To Patagonia 02:30 Amazing Adventures of A Nobody UK 03:00 Amazing Adventures of A Nobody USA 03:30 Amazing Adventures Of A Nobody: Europe 04:00 Extreme Tourist Afghanistan 05:00 Somewhere In China 06:00 Departures 07:00 Graham’s World 08:00 The Ride: Alaska To Patagonia 08:30 Amazing Adventures of A Nobody UK 09:00 Amazing Adventures of A Nobody USA 09:30 Amazing Adventures Of A

Nobody: Europe 10:00 Extreme Tourist Afghanistan 11:00 Somewhere In China 12:00 Departures 13:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 13:30 Pressure Cook 14:00 A World Apart 15:00 Ultimate Traveller 16:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 17:00 Long Way Down 18:00 By Any Means 19:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 19:30 Pressure Cook 20:00 A World Apart 21:00 Ultimate Traveller 22:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 23:00 Long Way Down

00:00 Shark Men 01:00 Crocodile King 01:55 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 02:50 Python Hunters 03:45 Predator CSI 04:40 Japan’s Hidden Secret 05:35 Cameramen Who Dare 06:30 Monster Fish 07:25 Monster Fish 08:20 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 09:15 Restless Planet 10:10 Desert Seas 11:05 World’s Deadliest Animals 12:00 Moray Eels: Alien Empire 13:00 Hooked 14:00 Striker! 15:00 Redwoods: Anatomy of A Giant 16:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 17:00 Python Hunters 18:00 Predator CSI 19:00 Striker! 20:00 Redwoods: Anatomy of A Giant 21:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 22:00 Python Hunters 23:00 Predator CSI

00:17 01:00 01:30 02:00 02:45 11:00 13:00 13:17 13:45 15:00 15:17 16:00 16:45 17:17 18:00 18:45 20:00 20:45 22:00 23:00 23:40

Playlist New Playlist Urban Hit Playlist Urban Hit 30 Playlist Playlist Focus - Back To School Guest Star - Pitbull Playlist French Hit 10 Playlist Playlist Urban Hit Playlist Africa 10 Playlist Trace Video Mix Club 10 Playlist

00:00 02:00 04:00 06:00 07:45 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:15 18:00 20:00 22:00

The Wizard Of Gore-R Gothika-18 Outpost-18 Dick Tracy-PG15 Star Trek-PG15 Hollywood Homicide-PG15 G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra Star Trek-PG15 Jesse Stone: No Remorse-PG15 G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra Ong Bak 2-PG15 Patriot Games-PG15

00:45 Tortured-PG15 03:00 The Brothers Bloom-PG15 05:00 On Broadway-PG15 07:00 Stone Of Destiny-PG15 09:00 The Great Debaters-PG15 11:15 Mee Shee-PG 13:15 Winx: Secret Of The Lost Kingdom-PG 15:00 Furry Vengeance-PG15

TV listings

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2011 16:45 19:00 21:00 23:00

Attack On Leningrad-PG15 Leap Year-PG15 Green Zone-PG15 Mr. Nice-18

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 The Ricky Gervais Show 02:00 Family Guy 02:30 The Big C 03:00 Mad Love 03:30 The Office 04:00 Dharma And Greg 04:30The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Will And Grace 06:00 Coach 06:30 The Drew Carey Show 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Dharma And Greg 08:30 Mad Love 09:00 Will And Grace 09:30 Modern Family 10:00 Outsourced 10:30 Coach 11:00 The Drew Carey Show 11:30The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:30 Dharma And Greg 13:00 The Office 13:30 Will And Grace 14:00 Coach 14:30 Modern Family 15:00 Outsourced 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 The Drew Carey Show 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 Melissa And Joey 18:30 Mr. Sunshine 19:00 Outsourced 19:30 How I Met Your Mother 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno

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

American Idol Friday Night Lights American Idol Boston Public Good Morning America Lie To Me One Tree Hill The Ellen DeGeneres Show Kojak The View American Idol Kojak Live Good Morning America Boston Public The Ellen DeGeneres Show Emmerdale Coronation Street C.S.I. C.S.I. New York Justified Desperate Housewives Lie To Me

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

The Event Friday Night Lights No Ordinary Family American Idol American Idol The Event Happy Endings Happy Endings Hawthorne Friday Night Lights American Idol American Idol The Ellen DeGeneres Show Hawthorne The Event Two And A Half Men Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Hawthorne C.S.I. C.S.I. New York Justified Criminal Minds

01:15 Sherlock Holmes-PG15 03:30 Jennifer’s Body-18 05:30 The Nun-PG15 07:30 Lost In Space-PG15 09:45 Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant-PG15 11:45 Raising Cain-PG15 13:15 Deceit-PG15

15:00 Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant-PG15 17:00 Ballistica-PG15 19:00 El Orfenato-18 21:00 Patriot Games-PG15 23:00 Battlestar Galactica: The Plan18

00:00 How To Go Out On A Date In Queens-PG15 02:00 Just Married-PG15 04:00 Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement-FAM 05:45 The Parent Trap-U 08:00 Hope Springs-PG15 10:00 16 To Life-PG15 12:00 Nativity!-PG 14:00 My Father The Hero-PG15 16:00 How To Go Out On A Date In Queens-PG15 18:00 Four Last Songs-PG15 20:00 Aim Low: The Very Best Of Dylan Moran-18

01:15 03:00 05:00 06:30 09:00 11:30 13:00 14:30 16:30 19:00 21:00 23:00

The Greatest-PG15 Maneater: Part I-PG15 Maneater: Part II-PG15 The Parent Trap-U Glorious 39-PG15 Post Grad-PG15 Enid-PG15 District 9-PG15 Glorious 39-PG15 Grown Ups-PG15 Howl-PG15 Sleuth-18

00:00 Turtle Hero (1)-FAM 02:00 Shrek Forever After-FAM

04:00 Teen Knight-PG15 06:00 Turtle Hero (1)-FAM 08:00 Turtle Hero (2)-FAM 10:00 Tangled-FAM 12:00 Cats & Dogs-PG 14:00 Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs Wakko’s Wakko-PG 16:00 Daddy Day Care-PG 18:00 Tangled-FAM 20:00 The Spy Next Door-PG15 22:00 Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs Wakko’s Wakko-PG

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

RWC Highlights NRL Premiership Futbol Mundial Total Rugby Live RWC Matchday Live Rugby World Cup Live RWC Matchday Live Rugby World Cup Live RWC Matchday Live Rugby World Cup Live RWC Matchday Live Rugby World Cup Live RWC Matchday Trans World Sport Rugby World Cup RWC Matchday Rugby World Cup RWC Matchday Rugby World Cup RWC Matchday

00:00 00:15 04:45 06:30 07:00 07:30 10:30

RWC Highlights PGA European Tour Super League Futbol Mundial ICC Criket World LIVE AFL Premiership Futbol Mundial

11:00 11:30 13:30 15:30 18:30 18:45 21:15 21:30

NRL Full Time Live NRL Premiership Live NRL Premiership Live PGA European Tour RWC Highlights AFL Premiership RWC Highlights Live Super League

00:00 01:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 07:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 12:30 15:30 16:00 18:00 20:00 21:00 23:00

WWE Tough Enough WWE SmackDown WWE Bottom Line UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC Unleashed WWE SmackDown WWE Tough Enough WWE Bottomline WWE Vintage Collection V8 Supercars Extra Live AFL Premiership Total Rugby Live Currie Cup Live Currie Cup WWE Tough Enough WWE SmackDown WWE Bottomline

00:00 01:00 01:30 01:55 02:25 03:20 04:15 05:10 05:35 06:05 07:00 07:30 08:00

Jerseylicious Videofashion News Videofashion News Big Boutique How Do I Look? Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? Homes With Style Area Clean House Big Boutique Big Boutique Clean House


09:00 09:55 10:50 11:50 12:50 13:45 14:15 14:45 15:40 16:35 17:30 18:25 19:25 20:20 20:45 21:15 21:40 22:10 23:05 23:30

Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby Clean House Videofashion News Videofashion News Big Rich Texas Big Rich Texas Jerseylicious How Do I Look? How Do I Look? Clean House Open House Open House Fashion Police Clean House Comes Clean Jerseylicious Top 10 Top 10

01:50 05:30 07:00 08:50 10:00 11:40 13:25 15:00 16:40 18:10 20:30 22:00 23:50

Gone With The Wind-PG Lassie Come Home-FAM Bhowani Junction-PG Pick A Star-FAM Light In The Piazza-PG Interrupted Melody-FAM Flipper’s New Adventure-FAM Kismet-FAM Boys’ Town-PG Anchors Aweigh-FAM Son Of A Gunfighter-FAM Mrs. Soffel-PG Reckless-18

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

Conspiracy? Ice Road Truckers Battle Against Rome Ancient Discoveries Ancient Wonders Vinnie ‘the Chin’ Gigante Conspiracy? Ice Road Truckers Battle Against Rome Ancient Discoveries Ancient Wonders Vinnie ‘the Chin’ Gigante Conspiracy? Ice Road Truckers Battle Against Rome Ancient Discoveries Ancient Wonders Vinnie ‘the Chin’ Gigante Conspiracy? True Caribbean Pirates

00:00 BBC World News 00:30 Sport Today 00:40 Weekend World 01:00 BBC World News America 01:30 Our World 02:00 BBC World News 02:30 Peschardt’s Business People 03:00 BBC World News 03:10 Weekend World 03:30 BBC World News 05:10 The Secret War On Terror 06:00 BBC World News 06:30 Fast Track 07:00 BBC World News 07:30 Third Eye 08:00 BBC World News 08:30 Middle East Business Report 09:00 BBC World News 09:30 Click 10:00 BBC World News 10:10 Weekend World 10:30 BBC World News 11:10 World Features 11:30 BBC World News 12:00 BBC World News 12:10 The Intelligence Squared Debate 13:00 BBC World News 13:10 The Health Show 13:30 Newsnight 14:00 BBC World News 14:30 Our World 15:00 BBC World News 15:10 Weekend World 15:30 Spirit Of Yachting 16:00 BBC World News 16:15 Sport Today 16:30 Fast Track 17:00 BBC World News 17:30 Dateline London 18:00 BBC World News 18:10 The Secret War On Terror 19:00 BBC World News

00:05 Robotboy - Elements 00:30 Squirrel Boy 00:55 George Of The Jungle 01:20 Cramp Twins 01:45 Chop Socky Chooks 02:10 Best Ed 02:35 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 03:00 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 03:25 Generator Rex 03:50 Adventure Time 04:15 Flapjack 04:40 Chowder 05:05 The Powerpuff Girls 05:30 Ed, Edd n Eddy 05:55 Cow & Chicken 06:20 Squirrel Boy 06:45 I Am Weasel 07:00 The Life & Times Of Juniper Lee 07:25 The Powerpuff Girls 07:50 Cartoon Network Dance Club 08:05 Angelo Rules 08:30 Chowder 08:55 Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy 09:20 Adventure Time 09:21 Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy 09:30 Adventure Time 09:45 Courage The Cowardly Dog 10:05 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 10:27 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 10:55 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 11:20 Generator Rex 11:45 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 12:10 Bakugan: Gundalian Invaders 12:35 Hero 108

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

The Haunted A Haunting Nightmare Next Door Disappeared Dr G: Medical Examiner Crime Scene Psychics The Haunted Mystery Diagnosis Forensic Detectives Murder Shift Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Street Patrol Disappeared FBI Files True Crime With Aphrodite CSU Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Street Patrol Disappeared Forensic Detectives Murder Shift FBI Files Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol Real Emergency Calls True Crime With Aphrodite CSU Ghost Lab

00:00 Trabant Trek 00:30 Word Travels 01:00 Globe Trekker 02:00 Planet Food 03:00 Raging Bulls 03:30 Flavours Of Spain 04:00 Globe Trekker 05:00 Trabant Trek 05:30 Word Travels 06:00 Dream Destinations 07:00 Globe Trekker 08:00 Culinary Asia 11:00 Secrets of Bangkok 12:00 Globe Trekker 14:00 World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides 15:00Inside Walt Disney Studios - Paris 16:00 Globe Trekker Special 17:00 Travel Today 17:30 Journey Into Wine... 18:00 Inside Luxury Travel-Varun Sharma 19:00 Globe Trekker 20:00 How To Holiday Greener 20:30 Cruise Today 21:00 Tall Ship Explorers 22:00 Essential Specials

what’s on


Kids have a great time M

arking the end of the summer holidays and during the weekend, Kid’s Garden at The Avenues drew a smile on the children’s faces through entertainment shows, performances, games and prizes. Marking the end of summer vacation and before going back to school The Avenues mall organized number of entertaining kids activities and shows held in its event. The garden

included many activities where kids took part and enjoyed a large number of entertaining performances, arts and crafts, henna, face painting, hair braiding booths, and hours devoted to reading children’s books, as well as contests and prizes that are sponsored by number of specialized children stores in world, including Fantasy World, Baroue, Burger King, Magic Planet, in addition to Boubyan Bank.

The children got the chance to meet some of their favorite cartoon characters who performed some amusing shows. The Kids’ garden event is among a number of entertainment activities hosted from time to time by The Avenues Mall to entertain its esteemed visitors. The Avenues was happy to draw smiles on the children’s faces and assured their visitors to draw many more smiles.

Announcements Art salon Bouhshari Art Gallery Exhibition runs through 15 September. Daily working hours: 10am - 1pm and 5 - 9pm, except on Friday and on Thursday evening. Arpan Onam on Sept 23 Arpan Kuwait will celebrate Onam, Kerala’s harvest festival, on September 23 at the Indian Community School, Salmiya (Senior Girls) from 10 am onwards. Various cultural programs have been scheduled to make the celebration a success. Traditional attractions like athappookkalam, mohiniyattom, kaikottikali, folk songs, dance and songs and skits will be presented by Arpan members. A program committee headed by K Mahadevan is overseeing the preparations.

The celebration will come to an end with a sumptuous ‘Onasadya.’ NAFO Onam celebration NAFO Kuwait to celebrate Onam on September 30, 2011 at the Indian Community School (Senior for Girls) auditorium Salmiya. Cultural activities such as dance,skit, nadan pattukal, vallapattukal etc will be held which will be followed by the traditional onasadhya. All NAFO members are requested to make this program a grand success by participating in various activities. Please register your name at the convener of the program Rajasekaran Nair. For details please contact Nandakumar 99559416, Udayakumar 66464577 or Rajasekharan Nair 97824780.

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

Swarna Shetty- 99006934, Kripa Gatty66044194 Kuwait City, Jahra, Sharq : Rekha Sachu- 65044521,97862115 Farwaniya, Abbassiya, Shuwaikh & Khaitan: Sathyanarayana- 66585077 Sanath Shetty67712409. Pathanamthitta Onam The executive committee of Pathanamthitta District Association has decided to hold 2011 Onam Festival celebrations on Friday October 28, 2011 with a grand public function attended by Member of Parliament from Pathanamthitta Loksabha Constituency, Anto Antony and other prominent dignitaries from Kerala and Kuwait. All residents of Pathanamthitta District and persons of Pathanamthitta District origin are hereby invited to attend this function and friends and families.



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what’s on


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

Movenpick Hotel celebrates with Children’s Home Centre


ovenpick Hotel Kuwait organized a charity event for the kids of the Children’s Home Centre. The centre is an orphanage supervised by the Ministry of Social Affairs where needed care and attention are provided to orphan children. Movenpick Kuwait’s Kids Club invited 34 boys and girls from the orphanage to celebrate Eid Al-Fitr. The invited children enjoyed and participated in various fun and entertaining activities prepared by Movenpick Hotel Kuwait. The children were given Eid gifts and those par-

ticipating in the singing competition won valuable prizes. On this occasion, Movenpick’s Executive Chef prepared a lavish buffet rich in delicious children’s food and mouth-watering sweets that made all of the kids happy. The event comes in line with Movenpick strategic objective and firm commitment to be morally and socially responsible towards society’s issues. The management of the Children’s Home Centre acknowledged Movenpick’s initiative with great appreciation wishing the hotel further success and progress.

NECK to host preschoolers’ motivation program


t John’s Mar Thomas Church, Kuwait, is set to hold a brief preschool Motivation Program (Ezhuthiniruthu Sisrusha) for children about to begin school or nursery for the first time. All children in these categories and their parents and guardians are invited and cordially welcomed to participate in the special service, which will be held on September 23 at 10:00 am in the National Evangelical Church of Kuwait’s (NECK) church and parish hall. Certificates will be given to all the children attending the program. Those who are interested in taking part in the event are kindly requested to contact the Vicar on 65563486, the convener on 66742985 or the secretary on 66546705.

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

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

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



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US healthcare battle for Supreme Court Appeals court upholds Obama’s overhaul

MADRID: Panda cubs Po and De De discover their birthday cake during celebrations for their first birthday at Madrid’s Zoo yesterday in Madrid. The two panda cubs, born on September 7, 2010 in Madrid, are the first giant panda twins to be born by artificial insemination outside China. —AFP

GSK stops Tykerb only arm of late-stage trial LONDON: Patients in a late stage clinical trial will stop getting GlaxoSmithKline’s Tykerb breast cancer drug alone after an independent committee decided the drug was likely to produce worse results that Roche’s Herceptin. Shares in GSK dropped around 0.5 percent after the news and were trading at 1,309 pence by 1133 GMT. The British drugmaker said the other three arms of the trial which is designed to examine the performance of Tykerb, known generically as lapatinib, in combination with Herceptin or trastuzumab-would continue as planned. “The (independent data monitoring) committee has indicated that the lapatinib alone arm is unlikely to meet the prespecified criteria to demonstrate non-inferiority to trastuzumab alone with respect to disease-free survival,” GSK said in a statement yesterday. Tykerb is marketed as Tyverb in Europe. Both it and Herceptin are designed for women with HER2-positive breast cancer, a particularly aggressive form of the disease, and are given alongside standard chemotherapy. Patients in this trial, known as ALTTO, were originally randomised to receive either Tykerb alone, Herceptin alone, Herceptin followed by Tykerb, or a combination of the two drugs together. GSK said patients assigned to the lapatinib alone arm of the trial would discontinue the drug and discuss treatment options with their doctors. — Reuters

African program to prevent blindness wins $1.4m prize LISBON: An African health program that fights the debilitating disease called river blindness has won a 1 million euro ($1.4 million) prize from a Portuguese foundation. The African Program for Onchocerciasis Control yesterday won the Lisbon-based Champalimaud Foundation’s annual Vision Award. The foundation said the public-private partnership has for the past 15 years coordinated more than 100 projects aimed at preventing onchocerciasis, or river blindness. The program last year treated more than 73 million people. The disease, spread by flies, has infected more than 18 million people, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. The award, established in 2007, claims to be the largest monetary prize for work on eyesight and one of the world’s largest scientific prizes. —AP

WASHINGTON: A second US appeals court upheld President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul on Thursday, but an earlier ruling against the plan means his signature reform is destined for the Supreme Court. The three-judge panel of the 4th US Circuit Court in Virginia ruled that suits filed by Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli and Liberty University did not have sufficient merit and were dismissed. “A state possesses no legitimate interest in protecting its citizens from the government of the United States,” Judge Diana Gribbon Motz wrote for the court, regarding a first ruling in the Virginia case, which was unanimous. A second 2-1 ruling dismissed the Liberty University suit, arguing that penalties for Americans who do not buy health insurance constitute a tax that can only be challenged after the money has been collected. The decisions marked a second judicial success for the Obama administration, but a ruling by the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit Court on August 12 went the other way, setting up the prospect of a definitive election year decision by the Supreme Court. Senior White House advisor Stephanie Cutter praised on Thursday’s ruling as “another victory for the Affordable Care

Act and the tens of millions of Americans already benefiting from this landmark law.” Obama’s landmark domestic policy achievement, which extends coverage to an extra 32 million people and will require all Americans to buy health insurance by 2014, reflects a long-held dream of Democrats. But Republicans strongly oppose the law, which they have dubbed “Obamacare,” as an infringement on individual liberty, and have sworn to repeal it. Commenting on the decision, Mathew Staver, the president of Liberty University, which bills itself as the largest Christian evangelical school in the world, vowed to take the fight all the way. “Our next step is to ask the Supreme Court to review this case. We are going to challenge the court ruling in the Supreme Court,” Staver said, adding that the case could be filed as early as October. Legal experts say the reform’s fate will ultimately be decided by the US Supreme Court, likely around June 2012, but the complaints against the law’s constitutionality have yet to reach the highest court in the land. Last month the Eleventh Circuit appeals court, based in Atlanta, Georgia, ruled that the law’s individual mandate exceeded Congress’s powers.

The Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati, Ohio, however, upheld the law on June 29, the first ruling at the appeals court level in the hotly contested legal battle. The White House argues that those who choose not to buy insurance in the US private medical system hurt everyone else, because taxpayers end up subsidizing their care when they are taken to emergency rooms. It also justifies the individual mandate by saying that without it, people would wait until they get sick to apply for coverage, which would cause insurance premiums for everyone to rise. But Republicans see the health care law as an unacceptable intrusion by government into individual freedoms. Rick Perry, the conservative Texas governor who is the current frontrunner in the Republican race for the 2012 presidential nomination, has described the law as an “egregious violation of our constitutional rights.” Though the health care law is one of Obama’s most significant achievements, its controversial nature means he has reaped little gain from a victory that required a huge investment of political capital. A CBS News poll taken in June found that 37 percent of those asked approved of the health care law, while 48 percent opposed it. —AFP

Pfizer starts animal health JV in China TRENTON, New Jersey: Drugmaker Pfizer Inc is aiming to boost sales of veterinary medicines in China - and its global dominance in the animal health business - in a joint venture with a Chinese startup company. Pfizer said on Thursday that it has reached a deal to jointly develop, manufacture and sell vaccines for animals with Jilin Guoyan Animal Health Company Ltd. The joint venture, called Jilin Pfizer Guoyuan Animal Health Co, plans to start marketing its first product - a vaccine for pigs - next year. Executives from Pfizer and the Chinese company are reviewing options and planning future strategy. That could include developing additional vaccines for pigs, poultry, cattle and perhaps pets, as well as new animal medicines. All will target diseases common in China. Pfizer’s animal health business also will try to increase sales of its existing products by expanding its sales force in China, where 90 percent of veterinary medicines currently sold are produced by domestic companies. “China is the second-largest animal health market in the world,” Juan Ramon Alaix, president of Pfizer Animal Health, told The Associated Press in an interview. “We saw the opportunity to partner with a local company to produce top-quality vaccines,” priced

affordably. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Pfizer said it expects that within three months Chinese authorities will approve the joint venture and the opening of the high-tech factory Jilin Guoyan just built in the city of Jilin, in northeastern China. Global sales of veterinary medicines and vaccines total about $20 billion, including about $3.4 billion in annual sales in China. Veterinary medicine sales are slightly more than $6 billion in the US, the largest market in the world. New York-based Pfizer began looking for an animal health partner in China about a year ago, under pressure because two other major global players - Merck & Co. of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, and Paris-based Sanofi SA - were trying to combine their animal health divisions into a joint venture. That combination would have leapfrogged far ahead of Pfizer’s lead position, at about $3.6 billion in animal health sales last year. Merck had nearly $3 billion in 2010 animal health sales, followed closely by Sanofi with about $2.65 billion. Antitrust concerns from regulators eventually scotched that partnership. Now Pfizer, under new CEO Ian Read since January, is in the midst of a top-to-bottom strategic review, and the company said in July that it could end up selling the animal

Juan Ramon Alaix health business. Pfizer spokesman Rick Chambers said on Thursday that the Chinese joint venture has no effect on whether the animal health business will eventually be sold. Like other pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer has been devoting considerable resources to expanding its human drug business in emerging markets such as China, where sales are expected to grow much faster than in the US and other developed countries. Pfizer already has three factories making medicines in China plus a staff of about 350 people in sales, marketing and support. Pfizer reported that its prescription drug sales jumped 7 percent in emerging markets in the second quarter, but declined significantly everywhere else. —AP

Farewell to Pain…

Al-Seef Al AlSeef Hospital


24 S ep to 8 Oc International Inter rnational Visiting Doctors Docto ors Program t 201 1 Omar Omar Omar-Pasha -Pasha M.D. – International Expert in T Treatment reatment of Chronic P Pain Pa ain i Graduaate of College of Medicine at University of Graduate o Cologne/ Germany (1976) Generall Surgery Genera Surgery Specialist Hanover/ Germany (1984) ( Special ization in hand and chronic pain surgery surgery (1984 – 1989) Specialization Establishment Establis shment of a specialized surgical and chronic chrronic pain clinic in Hamburg (1989 – 2005) 200 05) Chronicc pain surgery, surgery, hand- and foot surgery surgery at a Maria Stern Hospital/ Bonn (2005 – 20 011) 2011) Services: Ser vice es: ˜˜A]b]aU`]bjUg]jYUbX]bjUg]jYhfYUhaYbhcZW\fcb]WdU]b.6UW_dU]b!7\YghdU]b!BYW_dU]b!UVXca]bU`UbX A]b]a aU` ]bjUg]jY UbX ]bjUg]jY hfYUhaYbh cZ W\ \fcb]W dU]b.6UW_ dU]b ! 7\Ygh dU]b! BYWW_ dU]b! UVXca]bU` UbX pelvicc pain. Spinal stenosis, Discogenic pain ˜˜7\fcb]WdU]b.\YUX 7\fcb b]W dU]b. \YUX ZUWYUbXbYW_"Hf][Ya]bU`bYifU`[]U ZUWY UbX bYW_" Hf][Ya]bU`bYifU`[]U WfUb]U`bYfjY]bZ`UaaUh]cbUbXibgiWWYggZi``mhfYUhYX WfUb]U` bYfjY ]bZ`UaaUh]cb UbX ibgiWWYggZi``m hfYUhYX migraaine migraine ˜˜DU]b]bbYfjYgcZh\Ygd]bYUbXgd]bU`bYfjYfcchg DU]b ]b bYfjYgcZh\Ygd]bYUbXgd]bU`bYfjY ffcchg ˜DU]bc cZU``dYf]d\YfU`bYfjg ˜DU]bcZU``dYf]d\YfU`bYfjg ˜7\fcb b]WdU]b]b`]aVg<UbXUbXZcchgif[Yfm ˜7\fcb]WdU]b]b`]aVg<UbXUbXZcchgif[Yfm For Reser Reservation vation n and Further inquires: ˜DU]bX XiYhcWUbWYf ˜DU]bXiYhcWUbWYf

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CLASSIFIEDS G International Day of Peace, Sept. 21, is a day where individuals around the world unite in a worldwide movement to create a Global Ceasefire and a day of peace and nonviolence. G Sept. 23 is the first day of fall. G Sept. 26 is Johnny Appleseed Day.

“Your cable television is experiencing difficulties. Please do not panic. Resist the temptation to read or talk to loved ones.” — Matt Groening, “The Simpsons.”

— World Almanac for Kids

Turn off your TV!


BLENDING IN, STICKING OUT Most of the kids in my class associated Islam with evil. They didn’t know any better; most of what they were being fed by their friends and family polarized them, and so it was natural to share those feelings. In Toronto, my little section of town was littered with Jamaicans, Indians, Croatians, Nigerians and others. The multitude of diversity made it easy to blend in because everyone was equally an outsider. My new town was the polar opposite. Nine out of every 10 people were white. During my first few months living there, I felt an anti-Islam sentiment, but I didn’t initially recognize it. For instance, the kids in class ignored a Muslim classmate, but I attributed their rejection of him to his reclusive nature. Even I avoided him at times. Other classmates sometimes mocked Islam, but I believed their motives weren’t entirely malicious; these were the same kids who rattled off names like “fatty” or “loser,” and so I figured it was typical kid behavior.

New study reveals watching less television may lead to longer life

Sitting in front of the television may be relaxing, but spending too much time in front of the tube may take years off your life. That’s what Australian researchers found when they collected TV viewing information from more than 11,000 people older than 25. The study found that people who watched an average of six hours of TV a day lived an average 4.8 years less than those who didn’t watch any television. Also, every hour of TV that participants watched after age 25 was associated with a 22-minute reduction in their life expectancy.


L E E H U LT E N G / M C T

Tiny beads ran down my face and formed a pool of sweat on my chin. I was soaked; my shirt clung to me. This was a reasonable price to pay for my kickball triumph. As the bell rang, I, along with the other fourth-graders, filed back into class, but our elation was soon to be shattered. As we walked in, our teacher, Mr. Stansu, asked if we knew anything about the World Trade Center in New York. In a roomful of 9-year-old Canadians, our understanding of an iconic American structure would barely form a couple of sentences, but then Mr. Stansu told us that hijacked airplanes had crashed into the towers. To be honest, a lot of what I heard that morning didn’t quite register. I had emigrated from Saudi Arabia just two years before, and I was still struggling with English. Two weeks after 9/11, my dad got a new job and our family moved to a small suburb in upstate New York, where the terror attacks had a profound impact on the students in my tiny elementary school. Unlike me, they Syed knew what the World Trade Center was and understood the enormity of the devastation. Muslim radicals had instigated the attacks.


To avoid their animosity, I’d tell them I was Christian, not Muslim, but I couldn’t hide the truth for long; my mom is Muslim and is rarely seen in public without a hijab (head covering) on. My classmates made the connection and the mockery resumed. MISCONCEPTIONS By the middle of fourth grade, I pieced together the tragedy, my peers’ reactions to my faith, and understood why those around me criticized Islam. More than four years later, the razzing continued. Freshman football practice started in mid-August, as did Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting during daylight hours. Because I couldn’t eat or drink when the sun was up, I’d be lacking that “edge,” that hunger to crush the other player. After one bad play, my coach pulled me aside and barked at me: “need you to get (angry); if you want to start, you need to be (angry).” I couldn’t be angry; I had to maintain my cool; Ramadan is a month of modesty and self-control, I explained. “I don’t care — you know what the problem with you is? You’re just happy, like every other immigrant. You blew (stuff) up and now you’re sitting in this country all content because you ruined it for the rest of us. Do that to the other team. That’s what I need you to do.” That sent me into uncontrollable laughter. Other players started laughing too, and this only amplified my frenzy, like a feedback loop gone terribly wrong. The coach had me run laps as punishment.

While I was running, I realized how absurd his speech was. He thought that Muslims, as a group of people, condoned the terrorist attacks. It didn’t anger me that he felt that way because I realized a lot of his misconceptions were due to ignorance. Even my close friends subconsciously associated Islam with terrorism when in fact Islam condemns violence. COMFORT ZONE People always talk about change and making progress, but no one ever steps up to the plate. You’d have to go out of your way and comfort zone, two things people aren’t willing to do, which is why I’m so skeptical of all those interracial or interfaith dialogues. It’s been a decade since 9/11. No one is telling me to blow up anyone else anymore, and I haven’t felt excluded. But this isn’t P H I L V E L A S QU E Z / C H I C AG O TRIBUNE/MCT all about my A man gets a experience; full body scan at plenty of O’Hare airport in other MusChicago. lims still face issues. Whether it’s always “qualifying” for random security checks at airports or just plain-old hateful speech, it’s still there. Salman Syed, 19, is a staff writer at Millennial Youth, a magazine that is produced in print and online for and by youth. Visit their website at

It’s no mystery that sitting in front of the tube isn’t exactly healthy. The more TV you watch, the less physically active you are. And the less exercise you get, the more likely you are to develop diseases such as diabetes or heart problems. Lennert Veerman is the lead author of the study, which was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Veerman works at the University of Queensland. He acknowledges that it may not just be the sedentary nature of watching TV that lowers life expectancy, but also the poor diet that onscreen junk-food advertising can promote. But Veerman says the association between watching too much TV and lower life expectancy persisted, even after adjusting for diet. Veerman says it might make sense for doctors to start asking their patients about how much time they spend in front of the TV, and to treat TV time as they would other risk factors for poor health, such as lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet. Veerman points out that people who are concerned can simply turn off the TV and get off the couch. “Exercise is good,” he says, “but even light physical activity also improves health.” © 2011 Time Inc. All Rights Reserved. TIME FOR KIDS and are registered trademarks of Time Inc.

— Alice Parke

C H R I S WA R E / M C T

What do you call teachers who fall asleep in the classroom? Nothing — you might wake them up! Why do teachers Why wear sunglasses? did the apple Because their go out with a fig? students are so Because it bright! couldn’t find a — W W W. W E K N O W C L E A N J O K E S . C O M

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Mitsubishi Bus L300 9 seater for sale. Contact: 66052331. (C 3612) 10-9-2011

The apple of our eye These apple cupcakes with a faux bite are clever to the core. Make a crateful to celebrate the start of a new school year. Mix your favorite cupcake batter and divide it evenly among cupcake wells lined with red paper or *silicone cups, filling each one about three-quarters full. Bake the cupcakes according to the recipe directions and let them cool. Carve a shallow, dime-sized well in the top of each cupcake, then cover the tops with red

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frosting and coat them with red sugar sprinkles. Mold a small piece of a Tootsie Roll Midgee into a stem shape. Form a leaf from a small piece of green Tootsie Fruit Roll, pinch it against the stem, then insert the stem into the cupcake. To make a bitten apple, spoon a small well from the side of the cupcake and line it with white frosting. Press tiny bits of Tootsie Roll Midgee in place for seeds.

— Disney FamilyFun magazine

* KITCHEN GEAR: These silicone baking cups were part of a multicolor set from Michaels. You can get an all-red set from Le Creuset at P H OTO B Y E D J U D I C E / D I S N E Y FA M I LY F U N M A G A Z I N E

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TRANSPORT Needed transport for a lady from West Mishref to Mangaf at 2:30pm. Five days a week. Contact: 65088143. (C 3605) 6-9-2011

information SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2011



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To Yester

Word Sleuth Solution

Yesterday始s Solution


4 3 4



1. A pointed tool for marking surfaces or for punching small holes. 4. A member of an agricultural people of southern India. 10. A tax levied on the difference between a commodity's price before taxes and its cost of production. 13. A state of southwestern India. 14. The Indic language spoken in Bihar (and by some people in Pakistan and Bangladesh). 15. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 16. Projectiles to be fired from a gun. 18. God of death. 19. A nucleic acid that transmits genetic information from DNA to the cytoplasm. 20. An effortful attempt to attain a goal. 22. (Akkadian) God ruling with his consort Ereshkigal the world of the dead. 24. The cardinal number that is the sum of eight and one. 27. (Akkadian) God of wisdom. 28. A city in northern India. 29. Tall feather palm of northern Brazil with hard-shelled nuts yielding valuable oil and a kind of vegetable ivory. 33. English theoretical physicist who applied relativity theory to quantum mechanics and predicted the existence of antimatter and the positron (1902-1984). 35. Mild yellow Dutch cheese made in balls. 36. A heavy silvery toxic univalent and bivalent metallic element. 37. A state in midwestern United States. 38. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 41. A silvery ductile metallic element found primarily in bauxite. 42. God of wisdom or prophesy. 45. A genus of Indriidae. 48. United States designer noted for an innovative series of chairs (19071978). 50. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 51. The state of owing money. 57. A radioactive element of the actinide series. 58. A Japanese shrub that resembles members of the genus Spiraea. 61. A light touch or stroke. 62. Fiddler crabs. 64. A republic in the Asian subcontinent in southern Asia. 65. A dark-skinned member of a race of people living in Australia when Europeans arrived. 66. The rate at which heat is produced by an individual in a resting state. 67. The 15th letter of the Hebrew alphabet. 68. (British) Your grandmother. DOWN 1. With the mouth wide open as in wonder or awe. 2. An adult female person (as opposed to a man). 3. Arranged in or consisting of laminae. 4. A small pellet fired from an air rifle or BB gun. 5. An anticipated outcome that is intended or that guides your planned actions. 6. East Indian tree bearing a profusion of intense vermilion velvet-textured blooms and yielding a yellow dye. 7. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 8. The father of your father or mother. 9. The branch of computer science that deal with writing computer programs that can solve problems creatively. 10. Brazilian statesman who ruled Brazil as a virtual dictator (1883-1954).

11. A former copper coin of Pakistan. 12. An official language of the Republic of South Africa. 17. Lake in northwestern Russia near the border with Finland. 21. Witty language used to convey insults or scorn. 23. A large quantity of written matter. 25. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 26. In bed. 30. A small cake leavened with yeast. 31. Title for the former hereditary monarch of Iran. 32. Large sweet juicy hybrid between tangerine and grapefruit having a thick wrinkled skin. 34. A plant hormone promoting elongation of stems and roots. 39. Any member of a Siouan people speaking one of the Dhegiha languages. 40. An associate degree in applied science. 43. A long projecting or anterior elongation of an animal's head. 44. Informal terms for a meal. 46. British informal term. 47. A port city in southwestern Iran. 49. A squeaking sound. 52. Electronic warfare undertaken to insure effective friendly use of the electromagnetic spectrum in spite of the enemy's use of electronic warfare. 53. Denuded of leaves. 54. Profane or obscene expression usually of surprise or anger. 55. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 56. Very dark black. 59. A solution containing a phosphate buffer. 60. The most common computer memory which can be used by programs to perform necessary tasks while the computer is on. 63. A colorless and odorless inert gas.

Yesterday始s Solution



Jones and Braves sweep Mets in doubleheader NEW YORK: Julio Teheran earned his first big league win as the Atlanta Braves used a lineup with Chipper Jones as the No 2 hitter for the first time in 15 years to beat the New York Mets 5-1 Thursday and complete a sweep of a doubleheader made necessary by the threat of Hurricane Irene. Jones had a sacrifice fly and RBI double in the nightcap and a solo homer and a double in the opener, a 6-5 victory for Atlanta. The Braves were making a quick stop in New York to play two games postponed Aug. 27-28 after being handed their first three-game sweep of the season, by the Phillies. The Braves next head to St. Louis for a crucial series with the team they lead in the wild-card race by 7 1/2 games. Only several hundred fans were on hand to see the start of the twinbill at 4:10 pm. A few thousand more sat through a misty rain in the nightcap, though the announced attendance was 25,953. Dodgers 7, Nationals 4 At Washington, Tony Gwynn hit a tiebreaking double in the ninth inning as Los Angeles beat Washington in the first game of a doubleheader on Thursday. Gwynn drove in Jerry Sands and Rod Barajas with a long double to center off Drew Storen (63). Dee Gordon added a run-scoring single - setting a career high with his fourth hit of the game. Mike MacDougal (3-1), the Dodgers’ sixth pitcher, worked a scoreless eighth for the win. Javy Guerra pitched the ninth for his 16th save. Six Los Angeles relievers held Washington hitless over the last 6 1-3 innings. The second game of the doubleheader was later rained out. Phillies 7, Brewers 2 At Milwaukee, Cole Hamels pitched a four-hitter and Hunter Pence’s triple keyed a six-run sixth inning as Philadelphia beat Milwaukee. Hamels (14-7) gave up solo home runs to Yuniesky Betancourt and Corey Hart, but kept Milwaukee from mounting any big innings in a game between two best teams in the National League. The Phillies managed only one hit off Chris Narveson (107) the first 5 2-3 innings, but then broke through for six runs by getting seven consecutive batters on base to chase the Milwaukee starter in the sixth. Philadelphia had 11 of its 12 hits in the final 3 13 innings to win its fourth straight. Pence also had a run-scoring double in the ninth and finished with three RBIs. Diamondbacks 4, Padres 1 At Phoenix, Ian Kennedy struck out a season-high 11 batters over seven-plus innings for his National League-leading 19th win as Arizona beat San Diego. Kennedy (19-4) scattered seven hits and did not walk a batter over 7 2-3 innings. The right-hander joined Detroit’s Justin Verlander and New York Yankees ace CC Sabathia as the majors’ only 19-game winners. JJ Putz pitched the ninth for his 38th save. Justin Upton hit his career-best 29th home run for the Diamondbacks, who won for the 14th time in 16 games to open a 7 1/2-game lead over San Francisco in the NL West. Corey Luebke (5-9) allowed two runs and three hits over 5 2-3 innings. He walked four and struck out nine.— AP

Wigan brace for City onslaught MANCHESTER: Manchester City will seek to lay down another marker in their quest to unseat Manchester United as champions today as they face Wigan at home. After the arrivals of Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri in the summer, City have made a perfect start to their Premier League campaign, with nine points from their three matches. The odd questions about their defense continue but they have already managed 12 goals, in defeating Swansea 4-0, Bolton 3-2 and, most impressively of all, Tottenham 5-1. With their first ever Champions League game-they face Napoli at the Etihad Stadium-to come next week, City manager Roberto Mancini faces his first serious dilemma about his team selection for the visit of Wigan. A victory against Roberto Martinez’s team would move them to the top of the Premier League, with United facing Bolton at the Reebok Stadium in the late kick-off. Nasri could play despite suffering a broken bone in his hand while on France duty but Micah Richards and Nigel de Jong are doubts with respective hamstring and ankle problems. Kolo Toure, who is now available again after a sixmonth ban over a failed drugs test, and Owen Hargreaves are both short of match fitness and are unlikely to feature. Mancini has revealed that he would have preferred to move for Fernando Gago or Daniele De Rossi before signing Hargreaves on a free transfer just before the transfer deadline.— AFP

SEATTLE: Seattle Mariners’ catcher Chris Gimenez (left) tags out Kansas City Royals’ Jeff Francouer at home on a fielders choice during a baseball game in Seattle on Thursday. — AP

Orioles beat Yankees 5-4 BALTIMORE: Robert Andino singled home the winning run in the 10th inning after leveling it in the eighth as the Baltimore Orioles rallied to beat the New York Yankees 5-4 Thursday. Vladimir Guerrero homered, doubled twice and scored two runs for the Orioles, who celebrated their second straight extra-inning win over the Yankees by mobbing Andino at second base. In the 10th, Nolan Reimold got an infield hit off Scott Proctor (0-1) with one out and advanced on a walk. Andino then hit a grounder inside third base that got Reimold home without a throw. Clay Rapada (1-0) retired the only batter he faced in the 10th. Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 4 At Toronto, Ricky Romero won for the seventh time in nine starts and J P Arencibia hit a three-run homer as Torfonto beat Boston. Edwin Encarnacion and Eric Thames added solo shots as the Blue Jays won back-toback games for the first time since Aug 31 and Sept 1 at Baltimore. Rookie David Cooper went 3 for 4 and had two RBIs as

Toronto evened its record at 72-72. Boston lost for the fourth time in five games and failed to gain ground on the first place New York Yankees, who lost 5-4 in 10 innings to Baltimore earlier in the day. The Red Sox are 2 1/2 games behind New York with 19 left to play. Romero (14-10) came in 2-6 with an 8.08 ERA in 11 career starts against the Red Sox, including an 0-3 record and 10.62 ERA in five home starts. But the left-hander turned his luck around in this one, allowing three runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings. White Sox 8, Indians 1 At Chicago, Brent Morel hit two homers and Paul Konerko had a grand slam to lift Chicago to a victory over Cleveland. Morel hit a solo shot off Indians starter David Huff (2-4) in the third and a three-run homer off Frank Herrmann in the seventh - both on the first pitch. It was Morel’s first career multi-homer game and his four RBIs were a career-high. Konerko’s 10th career grand slam tied Robin Ventura’s White Sox record and capped Chicago’s seven-

run seventh. Gavin Floyd struck out four and held Cleveland to one run and five hits in 5 2-3 innings. Matt Thornton (1-4) retired all four batters he faced, striking out three. Mariners 4, Royals 1 At Seattle, Justin Smoak hit his first home run in nearly three months, a tworun shot in the sixth inning, to help Seattle beat Kansas City. Smoak hit a 1-1 fastball from Luke Hochevar (10-11) into the right-field seats for his 13th, but first since June 12. He had gone 48 games between home runs. Jason Vargas (8-13) picked up the victory, his first since Aug. 10. He worked six innings, allowing four hits and one run. Jamey Wright, Tom Wilhelmsen each worked a hitless inning. Brandon League had a little trouble getting out of the ninth. He took a two-out line drive from Mike Moustakas off his left leg, with Moustakas reaching. Shortstop Brendan Ryan bobbled a Johnny Giavotella ground ball.League got Salvador Perez to ground out to end the game and earn his 34th save in 39 opportunities.—AP




PALLEKELE: Australian cricketer Shaun Marsh plays a shot as Sri Lankan wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene looks on during the second day of the second test cricket match yesterday. — AP

Marsh, Hussey put Aussies on the top PALLEKELE: Shaun Marsh was 13 runs away from a century on his debut and Mike Hussey hit an unbeaten 76 as Australia piled on Sri Lanka’s misery in the second Test in Pallekele yesterday. The West Australian pair put on 148 for the unbroken fourth wicket as the tourists moved to a commanding 264-3 in their first innings when bad light halted play soon after tea. Marsh was on 87 and Hussey followed his match-winning 95 in the first Test in Galle with another half-century as Australia built a 90-run lead with seven wickets still in hand. The pair joined forces after Sri Lanka had grabbed three quick wickets in the morning session to restrict Australia to 116-3 in reply to their own 174. Former Australian opener

Geoff Marsh looked on from the stands as his 28-year-old son mastered the Sri Lankan attack with 11 boundaries after a dour start. Marsh had come into the Test side in place of former captain Ricky Ponting, who had to return home after Galle for the birth of his second child. The knock will help the left-hander cement his place in the team even when Ponting returns for the third and final Test in Colombo from September 16. Marsh drove Suranga Lakmal through the covers and then chipped debutant leg-spinner Seekkuge Prasanna over mid-on to take Australia past Sri Lanka’s total. Two successive boundaries off Prasanna, a lofted shot and a straight drive, gave Marsh his half-century from 133 deliveries. Hussey reached his sec-

SCOREBOARD PALLEKELE: Scoreboard at the close of the second day of the second test between Sri Lanka and Australia on yesterday: Sri Lanka first innings: 174 (A. Mathews 58, K. Sangakkara 48; R.Harris 3-38) Australia first innings: (overnight 60-0) S. Watson b Lakmal 36 P. Hughes c Paranavitana b Randiv 36 S. Marsh not out 87 M. Clarke c M. Jayawardene b Welegedara 13 M. Hussey not out 76 Extras (lb 9, nb 6) 16 Total (for three wickets; 91.3 overs) 264 Fall of wickets: 1-60 2-95 3-116 Still to bat : Brad Haddin, Usman Khawaja, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson, Trent Copeland, Nathan Lyon, Bowling (to date): C. Welegedara 13-2-45-1, S. Lakmal 14.3-2-60-1, (7nb), S. Prasanna 18-2-62-0, T. Dilshan 14-432-0, S. Randiv 29-6-49-1, K. Sangakkara 2-0-4-0, T. Samaraweera 1-0-3-0.

ond half-century of the series by smashing off-spinner Suraj Randiv to the square-leg fence for his sixth boundary. The hosts missed their two first-choice spinners, Ajantha Mendis and Rangana Herath, who were forced to skip the match with injuries. Sri Lankan captain Tillakaratne Dilshan tried seven bowlers, including part-timers Kumar Sangakkara and Thilan Samaraweera, to try to contain the tourists. Sangakkara, who had gone wicketless in 98 previous Tests and has just one first-class wicket to his credit, also bowled the first over with the second new ball. Australia lost Shane Watson before they had added to their overnight score of 60 for no loss, and the other opener Phil Hughes fell shortly after the drinks break. Watson had

made 36 when he left alone a delivery from seamer Lakmal that dipped in to uproot his off-stump. Left-hander Hughes carried his overnight score of 23 to 36 before he was snapped up at forward short-leg by Tharanga Paranavitana off Randiv. It soon became 116-3 as skipper Michael Clarke (13) attempted to drive seamer Chanaka Welegedara outside the off-stump and edged a low catch to Mahela Jayawardene at second slip. Clarke has now gone 22 Test innings without a century since making 168 against New Zealand at Wellington in March last year. Australia lead 10 in the three-match series, Clarke’s first as captain, having won the first Test by 125 runs last week.— AFP

Westwood and McIlroy five adrift at soaked Dutch Open HILVERSUM: World number two and four, Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy, ended a trying Dutch Open first round five shots off the lead yesterday. The pair had had to wait until Thursday evening just to play eight holes after bad weather and an overnight vandal attack on the greens caused severe disruption. Both birdied the last to finish off rounds of 70, leaving them five strokes adrift of leaders Simon Dyson of Britain and Germany’s Marcel Siem. Westwood and McIlroy then had just 40 minutes break before starting

their second rounds. After battling with a saturated course, Westwood reckoned conditions had only just been playable. “When you’re dropping a ball because it has plugged and it then plugs again, it’s borderline,” the Englishman told Reuters. “I feel sorry for the organizers.” McIlroy said the testing conditions were not all he had to think about. “It was a struggle to get yourself mentally prepared but considering the way I played I have to be happy with levelpar,” McIlroy said. “I’m going to hit a few balls before

going out again to see if I can do better.” Dyson, looking for a third win in the event in six years, maintained his one-shot overnight lead with Siem after 65s on Thursday. Britons Ross Fisher, Simon Khan and Robert Dinwiddie, Swede Johan Edfors, India’s Shiv Kapur and South African James Kingston hold third place and are a shot back. Germany’s world number three Martin Kaymer trails the lead by nine strokes but will have to wait until well into the afternoon to try to repair his position after carding a 74 on Thursday. — Reuters



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Federer wants sweeping changes to the US Open NEW YORK: Roger Federer demanded sweeping changes to the US Open schedule after the rain-plagued Grand Slam tournament headed for a fourth successive Monday finish. After two days were washed out this week, and with no roof on any of the show courts at Flushing Meadows, organizers were forced to go into a third week after a raft of complaints from the likes of defending champion Rafael Nadal that players were facing having to play four days on the trot to finish in time. Federer, who reached the semi-finals by demolishing Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, said a Monday final was the best option, but there were deeper problems with the organization of the four Grand Slam events. “Playing a Monday final would not matter much to me as I have played my quarter-final, but out of fairness to the other half of the draw, it was the right thing to do,” said Federer. “The problems lie elsewhere. Three early days for the first round and Super Saturday and Sunday are not feasible.” To satisfy television demands at the US Open, the men’s first round is played over the first Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday while the second Saturday traditionally sees the men’s semi-finals and women’s final. “TV should not dictate. But the players at the Grand Slams have less leverage and sometimes the system is abused,” added Federer. “We were not happy about the Sunday start to the French Open but we started on a Sunday. We don’t want to play Saturday and Sunday here, but we still do it. There are a whole lot of issues to be sorted out with the Grand Slams and the ITF.” Top seed and world number one Novak Djokovic said he was not happy to have a Monday final as it would eat into travel plans to reach Belgrade next week for the Davis Cup semi-final with Argentina. But Federer said that should not be an issue out of fairness to the other players in New York. “I have to fly to Australia to get there by Friday for the Davis Cup. Is that good? No.” But Djokovic, who is already in the semi-finals after defeating Serb compatriot Janko Tipsarevic, is against a Monday final. “I’m not really happy about that, to be honest. I’m not, because there is always Davis Cup the weekend after,” said Djokovic. “Last year I played finals and finished very late on Monday. Took off Tuesday, arrived Wednesday, and had to play on Friday already, Saturday. How is that possible? It’s just too much.” Djokovic, who will have Friday off and also Sunday should he make the final, admitted that he did have a slight advantage over rivals like Nadal and Murray who will play their last-eight matches on Friday. “For the top half it has to be an advantage because we finished our fourth round a couple days ago, and then today I finished my quarter-final and I have a day off until my semi, where the other guys have to play day after day,” he said. “That’s the way it is. You can’t fight it. You can’t complain. It’s Mother Nature that doesn’t allow us.” Earlier Thursday, the US Tennis Association released a revised schedule for the remainder of the tournament. The men’s final is now scheduled to start at 4pm (2000 GMT) on Monday, with the women’s final pushed back from Saturday to Sunday. Players in the bottom half of the men’s draw, led by defending champion and second seed Nadal, had complained bitterly after their fourthround matches were postponed from Tuesday to Thursday. They claimed they had faced a huge disadvantage in having to potentially play four best-of-five-set matches in four days to lift the trophy. Before the Monday finish was announced both Nadal and Murray had attacked the scheduling of the tournament. “Having the semi-finals on Saturday is something crazy for the players,” said Nadal, who reached the last eight with a 7-6 (7/1), 6-1, 6-3 win over Gilles Muller of Luxembourg. Murray, who made the last eight with a 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 win over America’s Donald Young, also believes the players need more power at the Grand Slams where the ATP’s influence is under-powered. When asked if commercial interests-with broadcasters ESPN holding the TV rights on weekdays and CBS leading the way at weekends-held more sway than the players, Murray said simply: ‘Yes’.” — AFP

Williams, Wozniacki set up semifinal showdown Stosur overpowers Zvonareva to reach semis

NEW YORK: Serena Williams reacts after winning her quarterfinals match against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia during the US Open tennis tournament in New York. — AP

Avenger Fed sets up Djokovic semi NEW YORK: Roger Federer avenged his surprise loss to JoWilfried Tsonga at this year’s Wimbledon by beating the Frenchman 6-4 6-3 6-3 to reach the semi-finals of the US Open. Playing his first grand slam tournament as a 30-year-old, the fivetimes US Open champion was lethal with his serve, whipped angled winners with swashbuckling aplomb and was razor-sharp at the net. The third-seeded Federer advanced to a scintillating showdown in the last four against top seed Novak Djokovic for his eighth straight US Open semi-finals appearance. World number one Djokovic, the Australian and Wimbledon champion, reached the semis when his Serbian Davis Cup team mate Janko Tipsarevic retired with a leg injury while trailing 7-6 67 6-0 3-0. Five-time winner Federer has lost just one set at Flushing Meadows on his way to the semis. “I played great,” said Federer, who boomed in 72 percent of his first serves in Thursday’s closing match at Arthur Ashe Stadium. “For me it continues, and that is awesome. “I’m very happy with the way I’m playing, the way I’m moving and I’m enjoying myself on the court.” Tsonga was coming off a five-set victory in which he came back after trailing two sets to one against American Mardy Fish and was not at his sharpest. “I didn’t play really well. I didn’t move well,” said Tsonga, 26. —Reuters

NEW YORK: Serena Williams has yet to find anyone who can push her for two sets or beat her in one at this year’s US Open. Next to try will be the top-ranked player in the world, Caroline Wozniacki. Williams and Wozniacki each won in straight sets Thursday to set up a semifinal at Flushing Meadows in the headliners’ half of the draw. Williams defeated No. 17 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 7-5, 6-1 and Wozniacki beat No 10 Andrea Petkovic 6-1, 7-6 (5). No 9 Samantha Stosur and unseeded Angelique Kerber also won Thursday and will play in the other semifinal. But the Williams-Wozniacki match will be the feature attraction on Saturday evening - a day later than originally scheduled because of rain that washed out two days of play. There is Williams, the power player and the only woman left who knows what it’s like to win a Grand Slam title; she has 13. And there is Wozniacki, the quintessential counterpuncher, who has risen to No. 1 with her consistency but has yet to break through at the highest level. This will be Wozniacki’s first match against Williams since she became No 1 - as good a chance as any to show the world she belongs there. But she doesn’t feel she has anything to prove. “I don’t care what people think and say or do,” Wozniacki said. “I care about what I know best. I go out there, and what I care about is that I give 100 percent every time.” As does Williams, who looks as close to fully healthy as she’s been in more than a year, after a series of setbacks that stemmed from stepping on broken glass at a restaurant last summer. Williams is seeded 28th but playing at a much higher level, which made it all the more surprising that Pavlyuchenkova broke Williams’ serve three straight times to start the match. But Williams broke back each time and the players held serve until the final game of the set, when Williams chased down two balls that were barely within reach to keep the ball in play and finally force an error on set point. “For me, it was a slow start, and once I lost serve, I was determined to break serve so I wouldn’t be down a break,” Williams said. “Then I just kept losing serve in the beginning. Very weird.” The second set was much easier and reversed a pattern that had developed. Williams’ last two opponents gave her a much tougher test in the second set than the first. Pavlyuchenkova wilted in the second set and Williams made it through her fifth match without dropping a set. She has lost one or no games in six of those. “She’s playing great,” Wozniacki said. “I think she’s in great shape. She’s been proving that she’s back on fire.” Wozniacki’s match was originally scheduled for Louis Armstrong Stadium, but got moved to a more intimate setting - Court 13, capacity 584, after the stadium was deemed unplayable because of damage caused by the rain. Wozniacki’s match started after Andy Roddick defeated David Ferrer on the same outside court. “It actually reminded me of juniors, to be honest,” Wozniacki said, echoing the same thought Roddick had shared earlier. The court, however, is the same size everywhere and nobody covers it better than Wozniacki. It was a typical match for the 21-year-old from Denmark - lots of long rallies, not a lot of winners (9) and not many mistakes (25). Wozniacki missed a chance to close it out while serving at 5-3 in the second set. Petkovic pushed it to a tiebreaker, but committed five of her 44 unforced errors during the breaker to lose 7-5. “If Serena plays well, it’s tough to beat her,” Petkovic said when asked to handicap the semifinal. “Anybody will lose against her if she’s on fire. But if Serena struggles a little bit and Caroline plays consistent, she definitely has her chances.” The winner will play either Stosur or Kerber. Stosur defeated second-seeded Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 6-3 to improve to 8-2 lifetime against last year’s runner-up. Stosur had been involved in two matches that lasted more than 2 1/2 hours, and said she welcomed the two-day break she got because of the rain. “To do it against a player like Vera who is obviously a quality opponent is, yeah, definitely a good feeling,” Stosur said. Kerber is ranked 92nd and finds herself a match away from playing in the final. In her first career quarterfinal, the German defeated 26th-seeded Flavia Pennetta 6-4, 4-6, 63. Pennetta knocked third-seeded Maria Sharapova out of the tournament last week in an upset that turned her side of the bracket into a wide-open affair. Williams and Wozniacki, however, have not veered from their collision course - the multi-time champion against the player looking for a Grand Slam breakthrough. “I know I’m going out there and playing a great champion,” Wozniacki said. “She hasn’t won 13 Grand Slams for nothing. She’s been out there on the big stage many times.” — AP



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Colts’ Manning out after neck surgery INDIANAPOLIS: Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning underwent neck surgery for the third time in 19 months on Thursday and will miss not only their opening game but possibly the entire NFL season. Losing Manning for any time is a huge blow to the Colts and throws the race for the AFC South division wide open. The four-time NFL MVP hasn’t missed a game in 14 seasons, with 227 consecutive starts, including postseason. “Rehabilitation from such surgery is typically an involved process,” the team said in a statement, calling the procedure “uneventful.” The Colts said there would be “no estimation of a return date at this time. We will keep Peyton on the active roster until we have a clear picture of his recovery process.” Team owner Jim Irsay tweeted that the 35year-old Manning would be out “awhile.” The Colts could have put Manning on injured reserve to open a roster spot, but it would have meant not playing at all during a season that ends with a Super Bowl at Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis. Manning underwent an anterior

fusion procedure to treat a nerve problem that still bothered him after his previous surgery, on May 23. Such a procedure usually involves making an incision in the front of the neck, removing soft disk tissue between the vertebrae and fusing the bones together with a graft. The goal is to ease pain or address a disk problem. Recovery typically takes at least eight to 10 weeks, said Dr Victor Khabie, co-chief of the Orthopedics and Spine Institute at Northern Westchester Hospital in New York. He did not treat Manning, but is familiar with the procedure and how athletes recover from it. “It could be seasonending, seeing the piggybacking off of another surgery,” Khabie said. “But the athletes I’ve known over the years, I never count out because they are such great competitors and such great healers.” If Manning recovered in 10 weeks, he could be back for a Nov 13 game against Jacksonville, the week before the Colts have a bye. Dr Andrew Hecht, director of spine surgery at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, doesn’t believe the injury will prematurely end Manning’s career.—AP

Mercury stun Shock PHOENIX: Diana Taurasi scored 21 points, including three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, to lead the Phoenix Mercury to a 91-76 victory over the Tulsa Shock on Thursday. Marie FerdinandHarris added 14 points as Phoenix (1913) won for the fourth time in five games and clinched at least the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. The victory also set up a first-round matchup against defending champion Seattle, with home-court for the series still to be decided. The Mercury and Storm are tied for second place with two games remaining and meet in Seattle on Friday. The regular season ends Sunday and the playoffs start Sept 15. Liz Cambage had 22 points and five rebounds to lead Tulsa (3-29), which has lost four in a row.

Lynx 78, Sky 69 At Minneapolis, Seimone Augustus scored 22 points, and Lindsay Whalen had 20 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds as Minnesota won for the eighth time in nine games. Maya Moore added 16 points and seven rebounds for the league-best Lynx (26-7). Whalen became the first player in WNBA history to have at least 20 points and 10 assists without committing a turnover. Sylvia Fowles and Erin Thorn scored 17 points each for the Sky (14-18). Epiphanny Prince’s 3-pointer gave Chicago a 53-52 lead to start the fourth quarter. However, Whalen followed with a driving layup to put the Lynx back ahead, and Moore’s 3 stretched the lead to seven with about 5:40 to go. Carolyn Swords’ three-point play pulled the Sky to 67-66 about 2 minutes later, but the Lynx scored the next nine points to pull away for good.— AP

PHOENIX: Tulsa Shock guard Karima Christmas (right) dives to gain control of a loose ball ahead of Phoenix Mercury guard DeWanna Bonner in the third quarter of a WNBA game on Thursday. — AP

GREEN BAY: Green Bay Packers’ AJ Hawk (50) is called for pass interference as he knocks down a pass intended for New Orleans Saints’ Darren Sproles (43) during the second half of an NFL football game on Thursday. — AP

Packers outlast Saints Rodgers propels Packers in opener GREEN BAY: Aaron Rodgers tossed three touchdowns in the first quarter as the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers opened the new NFL season with a thrilling 42-34 win over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday. If a bitter labor dispute that had threatened to disrupt the season left fans with a sour taste, compensation came in the form of a mouth-watering opener pitting the last two Super Bowl winners at one of the sport’s iconic venues, Lambeau Field. Any lingering hard feelings faded right after the kickoff and were long forgotten by the time the Packers stopped the Saints on the one-yard line with no time remaining to clinch a heartstopping victory. The Packers and Saints delivered exactly the type wildly entertaining contest that has made the NFL America’s most popular sport as Rodgers and Saints quarterback Drew Brees, the most valuable players in the last two Super Bowls, each threw three touchdowns and combined for more than 700 passing yards. Green Bay rookie Randall Cobb electrified the capacity crowd with an NFL record-equaling 108yard kickoff return while Saints speedster Darren Sproles returned a punt 72 yards for another score on a perfect late summer night for football. “I thought Aaron was outstanding,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy told reporters. “Aaron commands the offense. “He had a big night and that’s way Aaron plays. He has set that standard and he’s off to a great start.” After a day of tailgating, the kickoff celebrations moved inside Lambeau Field and the Packers kept the party going, a red-hot Rodgers tossing three touchdowns in the opening quarter for a 21-7 lead. The Packers quarterback was in sizzling form completing 14-of-15 passes, including touchdown strikes to Greg Jennings (seven yards), Jordy Nelson (three yards) and Cobb (32 yards). “I’ve just got to ask myself, what would have happened if we had off-season workouts?”

said Rodgers, who joins Jack Kemp (1964) as the only quarterbacks to throw three touchdowns in the first quarter. “Could we have started any faster and scored more points tonight.” Brees, also flashed his Super Bowl MVP credentials finding newcomer Sproles with a 36-yard pass then zipping a 31-yard laser to a leaping Robert Meachem to cap a quick fire six play 80 yard scoring drive. The Saints were on the march again in the second quarter, John Kasay booting a 30-yard field goal before Sproles sent a jolt through the crowd with his electrify punt return that sliced the Green Bay advantage to 21-17. But Packers would answer with James Starks powering his way for 17-yard touchdown for 28-17 lead going into the half. New Orleans continued to chip away at the Packers lead with Kasay connecting on a 38-yard field goal to open the second half scoring but the Packers hit back in style as Cobb took the kickoff and weaved his way into the NFL record books. “I’m not suppose to bring that out,” said Cobb. “I was just doing anything I could to contribute and I was trying to make the most of opportunities.” The Saints refused to buckle, Brees hooking up with Devery Henderson for a 29-yard touchdown to close to within 35-27. Green Bay opened the fourth quarter with another touchdown drive John Kuhn bulling his way over from the one. Again, the Saints would not wave the white flag, Brees finding Jimmy Graham with a five-yard touchdown pass to the stage for an unexpected nail biting finish. With less than a minute to play, Brees, helped by a pass interference call, marched the Saints down to the Packers one. Despite all the offensive fireworks the biggest play of the night was provided by the Packers defense with a goal line stand stopping Mark Ingram to end the game. “You have to get a yard, it’s on the goal line to win the game,” said Ingram, who was making his NFL debut. “I have to get a yard.”— Reuters



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Wallabies wary of Azzurri’s ambush AUCKLAND: The Wallabies are wary of an Italian ambush in their World Cup opener at North Harbor tomorrow and they are flagging an almighty forwards struggle with the Azzurri as they chase a record third Webb Ellis Cup. On paper it looks relatively plain sailing with the second-ranked Australians unbeaten in all their 13 previous encounters against the world number 11. Yet coach Robbie Deans has great respect for the belligerent Azzurri forward pack and is mindful of Italy’s 22-21 upset of France in this year’s Six Nations. It will be the first World Cup encounter between the two nations but Deans is cautioning against taking liberties with Italy, who boast one of world rugby’s most technically accomplished forward packs. “We have a lot of respect for the Italian side. I’ve watched them play some great rugby and I’ve watched them develop,” Deans said. “I watched it live earlier in the year when they should have tipped over Ireland, they probably should have beaten Wales and they did beat France, and we have struggled ourselves against them in recent times.” Hooker Stephen Moore, one of four survivors from Australia’s shattering quarter-final exit to England at the last World Cup, said it was important for the Wallabies to make a statement at the outset of this tournament. “The first game, irrespective of who it’s against, it’s important to set the standards for how you want to perform throughout the tournament,” he said. “So particularly in the set piece you want make sure we send a message there and give ourselves a bit of momentum going forward.” The Wallaby scrum will be looking to test themselves against the Italy pack anchored by charismatic tight-head prop Martin Castrogiovanni. “They’ll be lying in wait. They’ll throw everything into this first one,” Deans said. “They’ll be expecting us to be vulnerable as well after winning at our last outings. They have a big pack and they enjoy scrummaging.” The Wallabies will also be anxious to further demonstrate their improvement under Deans, the team’s first foreign coach, after upsetting the All Blacks to claim their first Tri-Nations trophy in a decade last month. Deans retained the starting XV that beat New Zealand 25-20 last month and left out errant young utility James O’Connor, who served a one-match Tri-Nations ban for missing an official team function. O’Connor, who was one of Australian rugby’s most valuable players and the designated goal-kicker before his disciplinary breach, is one of three changes among the reserves for tomorrow’s opener. Italy’s outgoing coach Nick Mallett, who will be surprisingly let go after the World Cup despite securing a firstever Six Nations victory over France, has turned the Azzurri into a highly competitive side. “We have lots of problems with the Wallabies because they have very good players all around the field,” said the South African. “The most important thing for us is to get our forward pack playing well because if we can manage to put their pack under pressure then their number nine (Will Genia) is under pressure and his service to the team won’t be quite as good. “As Queensland Reds won the Super 15 and Australia won the TriNations this year one could argue that they are the form team going into this World Cup. “And that would make it the toughest start possible.”— AFP

NZ busts World Cup ticket scam AUCKLAND: New Zealand police seized Rugby World Cup tickets worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in raids in Auckland yesterday after fraudsters bought them using fake credit cards. Two people have been arrested and nearly 1,000 tickets worth NZ$500,000 (US$425,000) were recovered after the busts. Six people arriving or on their way to New Zealand were interviewed and turned away by border officials. “Initial analysis indicated police have recovered the majority of the tickets which were fraudulently purchased,” said Detective Superintendent Andy Lovelock. “This is a really significant result for police and the other agencies.” World Cup organizers had earlier warned the public against buying tickets from touts, or unlicensed sellers, saying any obtained using fake credit card details would be declared void. The World Cup, featuring 48 matches over seven weeks of action, is unlikely to be a sell-out but it is predicted to hit its financial target of NZ$268 million, or about 1.3 million tickets sold. The tournament gets under way later yesterday with New Zealand’s All Blacks playing Pacific rivals Tonga at Auckland’s Eden Park Stadium.— AFP

AUCKLAND: New Zealand’s Daniel Carter (bottom) and Sonny Bill Williams tackle Tonga’s Andre Ma’ilei during their Rugby World Cup game at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand yesterday. — AP

All Blacks off to a winning start World Cup party bursts into life AUCKLAND: The All Blacks got the seventh Rugby World Cup off to a winning start yesterday, defeating Tonga 41-10 in front of a capacity 60,000 crowd at Eden Park. It was not an entirely convincing opener from the New Zealanders despite the lopsided scoreline, but skipper Richie McCaw said it had been a good enough way to open their campaign to win the Webb Ellis Cup for the first time in 24 years. Garnering a bonus point for scoring more than four tries, the win brought roars and screams of delight from tens of thousands of fans who had converged during the day on Auckland’s picturesque harbor waterfront. The match was preceded by a glittering 30-minute opening ceremony which celebrating the country’s Maori heritage and unrivalled rugby pedigree. Then Bernard Lapasset, the French chairman of the International Rugby Board (IRB) officially declared the tournament open. “New Zealand will be an exceptional host of the tournament which New Zealanders and rugby fans alike will be proud of,” said Lapasset, who has been head of the IRB since the last World Cup in France four years ago. At stake for the 30-strong All Blacks squad was a glorious place in their country’s history books should they hold the golden trophy aloft at Eden Park on October 23 or, should they

fail, ignominy and opprobrium. The mass of fans downtown, some of whom were from Australia, Europe and South Africa were treated to a succession of impromptu hakas, the celebrated Pacific Islands warrior dance made famous by the All Blacks. Eden Park, refurbished and enlarged for the occasion, was packed as the opening ceremony started and the anticipation moved up another gear as it drew to a close and both teams marched out on to the field to perform their own hakas. The All Blacks v Tonga clash was the first of a 48-match festival spread over 13 cities ranging from Whangarai near the tip of the North Island to Invercargill 1,290 kilometers away on the bottom of the South Island. England, the champions in Australia in 2003, were among the eight teams in action today taking on Argentina in Dunedin, while reigning champions South Africa had a tough opener in store on Sunday against Wales. “It’s incredibly exciting,” New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said as he headed to Eden Park. “New Zealand’s done everything it can to be prepared, there’s a really friendly atmosphere out there and people are loving what’s going on.” “This is it now, this is the real thing. The whole world is here. It is where you want to be,” said England manager and victorious 2003 captain Martin Johnson. All

Blacks legend Jonah Lomu, who is of Tongan descent, played a starring role at the opening ceremony capping nationwide preparations that began in 2005 when New Zealand won the hosting rights. Behind the festivity there was no denying the focus was on the pressure facing the All Blacks playing on home soil and plagued by a history of World Cup flops. Their trophy cabinet is packed with silverware from successful Bledisloe Cup, Tri-Nations and other campaigns at home and abroad but it has not seen the prize that trumps them all-the Webb Ellis Cup-since 1987. “The World Cup is the biggest stage and you want to prove yourself on that,” said All Blacks skipper McCaw, reflecting on the heartache of repeated failures. “I’ve been involved in two where we didn’t achieve what we were after and the shock is in the back of your mind.” New Zealand has been looking forward to the celebrations after a year of tragedy when deadly earthquakes shattered the second largest city Christchurch and 29 people were killed in a mining disaster. Seven matches were moved from Christchurch after the February earthquakes in which nearly 200 people died and the IRB is backing an appeal, headed by McCaw, to raise funds to rebuild rugby infrastructure in the city.—AFP



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Italian League Preview

Milanese battle expected in Serie A race ROME: Reigning champions AC Milan head into the new Serie A season as unsurprising favorites following a summer of relative inactivity that has done little to spice up the coming campaign. With the player strike put off for another, the scudetto race can finally begin, albeit two weeks late. Milan beat off the challenges of Inter Milan and Napoli last season and it is hard to see anything having changed significantly in the summer to upset the apple-cart. They won the title on a foundation of the meanest defense and moments of brilliance from their star-studded forward line to turn tight games in their favor. There has been a slight regeneration in defense ahead of this season with the arrivals of Philippe Mexes and Taye Taiwo meaning the Rossoneri’s mean backline should only get meaner. They have also added Italy internationals Alberto Aquilani and Antonio Nocerino to bolster their aging midfield, meaning the likes of Gennnaro Gattuso, Massimo Ambrosini

and Clarence Seedorf could well be heading into their swansong seasons at the club. Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes their new signings has ensured they remain favorites. “We’re still favorites, we’ve strengthened in this transfer window,” he said. “We’re better than we were last season, I’m happy with all the signings we’ve made.” The objective then is for the rest to catch them and yet no-one seems to have taken any significant strides in doing so. Their main challenge will undoubtedly come from Inter who, without the distraction of the Club World Cup, should be more focused this season and as long as they don’t give themselves a mountain to climb with a poor start, as they did 12 months ago, then they should at least push Milan closer this time around. But it is hard to see how they will have improved, not least due to the departure of Samuel Eto’o, their best player last season, to Russians Anzhi Makhachkala. They weren’t helped by a long-term injury to

centre-back Walter Samuel but Andrea Ranocchia proved an able understudy who has even done enough to earn a regular starting berth in the Italy national team. New coach Gian Piero Gasperini is set to employ a three-man backline, which could take time to gel and is certainly a risk. Eto’o’s loss is probably the most significant change and despite the additions of Diego Forlan and Mauro Zarate, Eto’o’s advantage was his seering pace and the fact he could operate out wide as well as through the middle. Club captain Javier Zanetti believes the key is to avoid the injuries that blighted the first half of their last campaign. “We’ve won a lot these last years and we remain a group that can aim to win everything,” he said. “None of us think we’re not favorites. We know how much we want it and all we need is to stay injury free.” Napoli have strengthened but only modestly with Gokhan Inler coming into midfield from Udinese and

Spanish League Preview

Off-field disputes put aside; Action returns MADRID: After a week marred by more off-field disputes surrounding the financial state of football in Spain, the big two resume their battle for domestic supremacy today. With La Liga taking a break for the internationals last weekend, attention turned to a meeting in Seville of 12 top-flight clubs desperate for a new television deal to be agreed that will reduce the gaping financial chasm between Real Madrid and Barcelona and the rest. Meanwhile, radio stations have been at odds with the Spanish league after being told for the first time that they must pay for the rights to broadcast games, making it a difficult few days following hot on the heels of the players’ union strike that put paid to the opening weekend last month. Real Madrid and Barcelona underlined just how uneven the playing field is in Spain now with huge wins when the action did finally kick off a fortnight ago with the capital club trouncing hapless Zaragoza 6-0 away before Pep Guardiola’s side thumped Champions League hopefuls Villarreal 5-0. With the Champions League group stage getting underway next midweek, the giants of the Spanish game are both in action today, Barcelona visiting Real Sociedad before Real Madrid host neighbors Getafe. Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo picked up where he left off last season by scoring a hat-trick at La Romareda and the Portuguese winger admits that Jose Mourinho’s side have to aim Barcelona’s dominance both at home and abroad this time around. “We have to win one of the major titles this year, the Spanish league or the Champions League, this is how success is measured in football.” he said. Referring to last season Ronaldo said, “On a personal level I was very happy, the club helped me a lot and the team is the best there is, but collectively we lacked a little at the very end.”Coach Mourinho also insists that last season must go down as a success, even if the Copa del Rey was all Madrid had to show for it. “Those who say I didn’t win the league in my debut season with Madrid are right, but it was still my best-ever campaign,” he said. “It was the season I won most points, most games and scored the most goals... it was a very, very, very good season.” Barcelona have arguably the tougher task as they travel to San Sebastian to face a Real Sociedad side who enjoyed an impressive 2-1 victory away to Sporting Gijon on the opening day. Meetings between the Basque club and Barca are often thrilling affairs and it was at Anoeta that the Catalans’ saw a 31-match unbeaten league run end last season. Guardiola has an embarrassment of riches and everybody except Gerard Pique fit, but with a Champions League meeting with Milan to come on Tuesday, he may well choose to rotate his squad. There are two other potential crackers in store

BARCELONA: Soccer coach of FC Barcelona Josep Guardiola talks after receiving Catalan’s Parliament Gold Medal, recognizing his contribution to sport, in Barcelona, Spain, on Thursday. — AP today with Sevilla going to Villarreal before Valencia entertain Atletico Madrid. Atletico could give debuts to Brazilian playmaker Diego, signed on loan from Wolfsburg, and forward Radamel Falcao, who is finally eligible to play after completing his 40 million euro ($55.9m) move from Porto. Both players trained with their new team mates for the first time this week and former Atletico captain Diego Simeone believes Falcao will become a favorite at the Vicente Calderon.”Atletico fans will fall in love with him,” he said. “He is a player who needs service to fully reach his potential as he thrives in space but he will be fit in really well.” The clash at El Madrigal brings together the two most outspoken clubs in the current TV revenue dispute. —AFP

Goran Pandev signing on loan from Inter to add attacking options. Their problem last year was a lack of squad depth and an inability to replace any of their talented attacking triumvirate: Edinson Cavani, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Marek Hamsik, with a player of equal impact. Pandev will go some way to solving that issue but their squad still looks thin. Meanwhile the big unknown will be a Juventus who have spent heavily again. Mirko Vucinic and Arturo Vidal look like good signings, as does Andrea Pirlo, but these are hardly the star names the Turin giants promised. These players also don’t appear to be any better than the ones already at the club and strength in depth was never their problem given they brought in 13 players last season. What remains to be seen is if new coach Antonio Conte can mould them into a team as they undoubtedly have the individuals to be finishing much higher than the seventh-placed efforts of the last two seasons. — AFP

French League Preview

Trailblazer Cole set for Ligue 1 bow with Lille PARIS: Should Joe Cole make it onto the field in Lille’s game at Saint-Etienne today, he will become the first England international to play in the French top flight for almost 20 years. The 1991-92 campaign was the last time an England player graced Ligue 1, with Chris Waddle and Trevor Steven contributing to Marseille’s title success while Graham Rix turned out for Le Havre. The strength of the Premier League means English players opting to ply their trade overseas have become a rare sight, but Cole says he has long held an ambition to play abroad and will “throw everything into it”. “I’m looking forward to it. I’ve only played one 90 minutes in nine months. I’ve done a full pre-season but to get to your best, you need games,” he said in an interview with British radio station talkSPORT. “I’m ready to go. If the manager lets me off the leash, I’m ready. I just need a run of five or 10 games and I’ll be back to my best.” Cole has vowed to learn French and his new teammate Franck Beria says the 29-year-old, who has 56 England caps, has made a strong impression in training since completing his loan move from Liverpool on transfer deadline day. “He’s someone who works very hard, who’s very professional and who’s integrating very quickly,” said Beria at a press conference this week. “He’s a hungry player, who really wants to re-launch his career. He’ll bring us a huge amount.” Coach Rudi Garcia has praised Cole’s “Latin” qualities, but with Lille’s midfielders having impressed in the 3-2 defeat of Marseille in their last outing, the former Chelsea man may start on the bench. Garcia said Thursday that Cole could feature at some point against Saint-Etienne. “Joe did a full pre-season with Liverpool, which is pretty good but he is going to be lacking in match fitness,” Garcia noted, without saying if he might start. The Marseille victory elevated Lille to seventh in the earlyseason standings, two points shy of leaders Montpellier, but Marseille are just a point above the relegation zone and without a win in four matches. Didier Deschamps’ side host Rennes today, the first fixture in a testing month that features league games against Lyon, Evian and Valenciennes, as well as Champions League matches with Olympiakos and Borussia Dortmund. Marseille’s title defense last season was fatally undermined by a start to the campaign that saw them record just one win in their first five matches, but they find themselves in just as precarious a position 12 months on. —AFP



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Drogba-less Chelsea wary of Sunderland LONDON: Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has been ruled out of the trip to Sunderland and is facing a race against time to make the following Premier League trip to Manchester United. The 33-year-old suffered concussion when he was knocked unconscious during the victory over Norwich City and is yet to return to full training after resting over the international break. Andre Villas-Boas, the Chelsea manager, has also confirmed the former Marseille forward will miss the Champions League clash against Bayer Leverkusen next week. “He has to be authorized medically to make his full return to training,” said Villas-Boas. “He has been doing light sessions, of course, with our physios. Let’s push it to the limit to try for him to be available for Man United. I wouldn’t say he would be available for Leverkusen.” Drogba’s injury means Fernando Torres is likely to start his fourth Chelsea game in a row this season, which would give him the chance to get over the disappointment of being dropped from Spain’s matchday squad for the Euro 2012 qualifier against Liechtenstein. Daniel Sturridge, who was on loan at Bolton last season, also comes into contention after returning from suspension. “Sturridge never stopped training since we started,” Villas-Boas said. “He is very competitive in training. You saw the part he could play in pre-season and at Bolton. It’s a plus that he is on for selection and can add to the team as well.” Villas-Boas’ squad was bolstered on transfer-deadline day with Raul Meireles’ arrival from Liverpool, while Yossi Benayoun left for Arsenal. “We spoke about wanting to fill a space in midfield and bring one more in,” he said. Villas-Boas’ task now is to inspire his team to challenge Manchester United and Manchester City following

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba their blistering starts to the campaign. “They’ve scored a lot of goals and that’s good for British football,” he said. “We just hope to score one more than the opponents. “We’ve discussed this before, that there are five teams challenging. And I wouldn’t be stupid enough to leave Tottenham out, it’s not impossible they can join the group and challenge.” Chelsea are two points off the pace ahead of their trip to the Stadium of Light for a match they are expected to win. Sunderland have not beaten Chelsea on home soil in seven meetings spanning almost 11 years as they go in search of their first victory of the season. They have found the net just once in six-and-a-half hours so far to put Steve Bruce in danger of becoming the

first manager under the unwanted spotlight, especially given his significant summer spending in the transfer market, which has seen 11 new arrivals. The hosts are likely to be without John O’Shea, the defender who was injured on international duty with the Republic of Ireland. Nicklas Bendtner, the Denmark forward signed on a season’s loan from Arsenal, is expected to make his debut up front in an effort to improve a goal threat which has so far been sadly lacking. “We know how difficult a team like Chelsea will make it for us,” Wes Brown, Sunderland’s former England and Manchester United defender, said. The 31-year-old added: “But we’re at home and we want to show our fans just what we can do.” — AFP

Crouch ready for Liverpool reunion LIVERPOOL: Peter Crouch is preparing a warm welcome for Liverpool as he prepares to make his debut for Stoke against his old club following his transfer from Tottenham today. Liverpool have enjoyed a solid start to the Premier League season, registering impressive wins over Arsenal and Bolton in their last two games before last weekend’s international break. But Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish will be aware that Stoke have never lost to the Reds in the Premier League era, a remarkable run that Crouch is determined to help the Potters extend at the Britannia Stadium today. “I know from being an opposing player that nobody enjoys coming here and playing against Stoke,” said Crouch, who joined for £10 million from Spurs shortly before the closure of the transfer window. “It’s always an incredibly hard game to play in, so we have the belief that we can win the game. “Liverpool have had a lot of changes there, but they have settled in very well and they have started the season extremely well. “The players all seem to have fitted in to the system Kenny wants to play there and they look very dangerous going for-

ward. “But I look around our dressing room and we have some fantastic players in there as well. “Hopefully I can repay them out on the pitch now with performances, and goals. I will give absolutely everything I have got in every game I play in, that is for sure.” Crouch is expected to start against Liverpool but fellow new signing Wilson Palacios is doubtful with a knee injury. Cameron Jerome will be among the substitutes after playing only one game this season for former club Birmingham. Stoke manager Tony Pulis said: “Wilson has been injured so we are not sure whether he will be fit to start today or whether we need to give him a couple of weeks to get him up and running. “We are hoping Peter will hit the ground running and do smashing for us, and the same for Cameron.” Meanwhile, Liverpool boss Dalglish has rejected the public criticism of striker Andy Carroll by England manager Fabio Capello. Carroll did not make the bench for England’s Euro 2012 fixture with Bulgaria last week and Capello repeated his claim that Carroll is not fit enough and has to

rein in his lifestyle. However Dalglish refuted those ideas and insists Carroll is fit enough to become a Liverpool and England great. “As we’ve said before Andy was not properly fit last season because of a knee injury but we have been pleased with his level of fitness this season because he has lost that injury,” Dalglish said. “I think Andy is very appreciative of advice from anyone who has a good standing in football. “I think he appreciates Capello’s advice because he has great respect for Fabio and Fabio has great respect for Andy.” Dalglish will take his squad to the Britannia Stadium with very few injury problems with Steven Gerrard the only member of his squad likely to be missing. The talismanic Liverpool captain will not quite be ready for this fixture but he is recovering from his thigh complaint and Dalglish cannot wait to have him back and dictating the play once more in Liverpool’s midfield. “He’s not far away,” Dalglish added. “When Steven is ready to come back it will be a fantastic boost for everybody. The transfer window is shut, so for us it will be a real bonus because it will be like a new player coming back.” — AFP

Gunners aim to banish Man United nightmare LONDON: The international break will have dragged on for much longer than usual for Arsene Wenger as the Arsenal manager waits for the chance to erase the memory of the 8-2 humiliation at Manchester United. That opportunity will finally come at the Emirates Stadium when Wenger’s side face newly promoted Swansea, 13 days after they trudged from the Old Trafford pitch following a defeat that piled the pressure on the Arsenal manager. Criticism of the Frenchman’s inaction in the summer transfer market peaked after that game and Wenger responded positively, concluding deals for five new players-Per Mertesacker, Mikel Arteta, Yossi Benayoun, Andre Santos and Park Chu-young - before the August 31 deadline. The new faces have been welcomed with relief by frustrated Arsenal supporters, particularly as centre back Thomas Vermaelen and England midfielder Jack Wilshere will both now be sidelined for around two months with ankle problems. Vermaelen’s absence means the arrival of Germany international Mertesacker is particularly timely with the former Werder Bremen man set to go straight into the line-up. Brazil left-back Santos is also expected to start while Arteta-signed from Everton for £10 million in the closing minutes of the transfer window-should also be fast-tracked into the line-up. Benayoun, on loan from Chelsea, and South Korea striker Park are more likely to be on the bench but the overall impression will be one of a team that has undergone a rapid overhaul. And there was little doubt that, following the departure of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, urgent action was needed. The optimism generated by the new signings will disappear, however, if Arsenal fail to collect three points against a Swansea side who have shown few signs of being overawed following last season’s promotion from the Championship. The fixture is particularly poignant for Aaron Ramsey, the Wales captain who started his career at Swansea’s rivals Cardiff and the midfielder admits three points are vital. —AFP

Matches on TV (Local Timings) English Premier League Wolves V Spurs ...............................................17:00 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 7 Everton v Aston .............................................17:00 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 8 Sunderland v Chelsea ....................................17:00 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 5 Stoke v Liverpool ...........................................17:00 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 6 Man City v Wigan ...........................................17:00 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3 Arsenal v Swansea ........................................17:00 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 4 Bolton v Man United .....................................19:30 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 5 Spanish League Villarreal v Sevilla ..........................................19:00 Aljazeera Sport +4 Real Sociedad v Barcelona ............................19:00 Aljazeera Sport +2 Aljazeera Sport 1 HD Real Madrid v Getafe ....................................21:00 Aljazeera Sport +2 Aljazeera Sport 1 HD Valencia v Atletico de Madrid .......................23:00 Aljazeera Sport +5 Italian League AC Cesena v Napoli .........................................21:45 Aljazeera Sport +1 German League Bayern v SC Freiburg†.....................................16:30 Dubai Sports 2 Borussia Dortmund v Hertha ........................16:30 Dubai Sport DH Werder Bremen v Hamburger ........................19:30 Dubai Sports 2




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Sports Years

Rugby WCup party bursts into life in NZ


MILAN: AC Milan forward Antonio Cassano, left, scores on a header during the Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Lazio yesterday.(Inset) Milan's midfielder Marc Van Bommel (Bottom) vies for the ball with Lazio's forward Djibril Cisse (Top) during the Campionato football match — AFP

New-boys shine as Lazio hold Milan Italian champions held 2-2 at San Siro ROME: Champions AC Milan were held to a 2-2 draw by Lazio at the San Siro to kick off the new Serie A season yesterday following the player strike that postponed the original start two weeks ago. Miroslav Klose and Djibril Cisse both scored on their Lazio league debuts to give the visitors a dream start but Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Antonio Cassano struck back to snatch a point for the hosts. Lazio proved their summer spending has vastly improved their forward line and could be contenders while Milan showed through their fight-back that they’re not going to give up their title easily. Lazio coach Edy Reja had vowed to attack Milan and he stayed true to his word as his new

strike force tore them apart early on. Milan had an early chance when Ibrahimovic played in Alberto Aquilani, who skipped past an astonishingly feeble challenge from Andre Dias but Albano Bizzarri was out quickly to block his shot. Lazio went ahead on 12 minutes when Stefano Mauri crossed for Klose, whose first touch with his right was brilliant to beat Alessandro Nesta before he finished crisply with his left. Cisse then pounced on a mix-up between Gennaro Gattuso and Nesta but after Christian Abbiati parried his fierce shot, Klose on the stretch poked wide. Lazio didn’t have to wait long for their second, though, as on 21 minutes Mauri was given time to swing in a cross and

Cisse, running across the backline, got ahead of Nesta to flick a header beyond Abbiati. The visitors were full of verve, panache, energy and desire up front but they proved vulnerable at the back as Milan’s own forwards started coming into the game. On 29 minutes Aquilani played the ball down the inside right channel to Cassano, who teed up Ibrahimovic for a simple tap-in. Kevin-Prince Boateng almost surprised Bizzarri at his near post but from the resulting corner Cassano held off his marker to head home from close range on 33 minutes. Lazio should have gone in at half-time in front but Brazilian Hernanes showed his one-

footed limitations, missing an easy chance from Abdoulay Konko’s cross because he insisted on going for it with his favored left. By the start of the second period Lazio’s bright start had lost its steam. Cassano had a good early chance but shot just wide of the far post and he came even closer just past the hour mark as he hit the near upright. That sparked Lazio back into life and Cisse scampered through the middle to dink the ball past Abbiati but a dogged Nesta got back in time to hack the ball behind for a corner. Milan almost produced a granstand finish five minutes from time as Ibrahimovic got behind the Lazio backline but Bizzarri again did well to block his shot.— AFP

10 Sep  

Kuwait Times

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