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US passenger handcuffed, searched over ‘appearance’

Dinamo undone by Di Maria strike

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SHAWWAL 17, 1432 AH

Developers get early taste of Windows 8



More support for rally, deep political reforms Adwah blasts ‘cheap allegations’ over deposits

Max 42º Min 25º Low Tide 07:10 & 19:29 High Tide 00:52 & 13:10

By B Izzak conspiracy theories

Why Hamas? Why?

By Badrya Darwish


met Mahmoud Abbas before the start of Ramadan during my visit to Ramallah with a group of journalists from Kuwait. The man was determined and hopeful about going to the UN Security Council in September to claim the Palestinian state. I can’t deny that he sounded pessimistic about the Arab countries’ encouragement. He was optimistic about the rest of the world, except for the US. Abbas knew very well that if he reaches the UN Security Council, he would get the veto from the US, provided the US allows him to reach there in the first place. The US has already threatened him that if he makes that move, they would boycott him and stop the aid that they give to the Palestinian Authority. Earlier in July, reports said that USAID is halting humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip. The war has started already. For the Arab world, this is no longer news. We all know that the US backs Israel wrong or right. The shocking news is that now Hamas is opposing Abbas from going to the UN Security Council to announce the Palestinian state. The less surprising part is the position of the Arab countries who are also not in favor of the Palestinians announcing their state. We do not blame these countries because, naturally they are under the influence of the US. Of course, we know very well that the Arab countries fall under the influence from the US, but Hamas?! I have no idea what is on their mind. It is shocking that they are opposing the announcement of a sovereign Palestinian state. Who is influencing Hamas? Hamas’ justification announced by their spokesmen yesterday sounded fragile. They claim that if a Palestinian state is claimed in September, it would harm the Palestinians and deprive them from the full right to obtain the complete territory of Palestine. Excuse me, Hamas. If Abbas can get a Palestinian state recognized with the borders of 1967, I think this is a historical move. If it is not a historical move, then why Israel has gone amok sending its diplomats and lobbyists around the world to stop the Palestinian Authority from reaching the UN Security Council. Who is influencing Hamas? I have no clue. If any of you have a clue, please enlighten me.

HEBRON: Israeli soldiers face Palestinian activists from the Youth Against Settlements group during a demonstration against the closure of Al-Shuhada street in this West Bank city yesterday. The activists protested after they symbolically renamed the street to ‘Apartheid Street’. — AP

KEHRSATZ, Switzerland: Swiss Federal President Micheline Calmy-Rey welcomes Kuwait’s Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah for an official visit to Switzerland near Bern yesterday. — AP

Syria launches huge sweep on protesters DAMASCUS: Syria launched a massive military operation yesterday against anti-regime protesters in the northwest, activists said, as Russia warned “terrorists” could rise to power should the government collapse. Undaunted by a deadly crackdown on demonstrations against President Bashar Al-Assad, protesters have vowed to hit the streets en masse today to mark six months since the revolt broke out with pro-reform rallies. “Six months. More than ever determined to (continue) the March 15 uprising,” activists wrote on Facebook page The Syrian Revolution 2011, one of the main

engines of the popular uprising. Global and regional pressure has intensified on Syria in recent days, with the European Union planning to strengthen sanctions against Damascus, a move that could prohibit investments in its oil sector. Russia meanwhile warned yesterday that “terrorist organisations” could rise to power in Syria should Assad’s regime fall under pressure from the ongoing street protests. “If the Syrian government is unable to hold on to power, there is a high probability that radicals and representatives of terrorist organisations will become

Gulf developers lower gaze to cheaper homes DUBAI: Burned by grand and audacious real estate projects, which became financial burdens when market bubbles burst three years ago, property developers in the Gulf are putting more emphasis on mundane but affordable housing. Their motives are mainly economic, but they are being encouraged by governments, which are trying to improve mass living standards after this year’s political unrest in the region. A chronic lack of affordable, quality housing for growing populations was one factor behind the unrest. “Post-Arab Spring, countries like Saudi and Bahrain have realised that affordable housing is an issue,” said Deepak Jain, head of strategic consulting for the Middle East and North Africa at real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle. “The focus now is on building as per occupier demand, a concept that is relatively new in the region.”

Saudi Arabia has promised to spend about $130 billion, or around 30 percent of its annual economic output, on social projects such as building new houses and creating jobs over an unspecified period. Earlier this year, King Abdullah pledged 250 billion Saudi riyals ($67 billion) to be spent on 500,000 new homes. Bahrain is pushing to fill a longstanding shortage of about 50,000 affordable homes, hoping this will also mitigate some of the discontent behind the unrest that hit the tiny island state in February and March. By launching big housing projects and awarding the contracts to developers, governments in the Gulf can influence the types of homes being built and the pricing. In April, for example, Abu Dhabi awarded a 21 billion dirham ($5.7 billion) contract to state-linked firms to build Continued on Page 13

Israel warns Palestinians on UN bid JERUSALEM: Hardline Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned yesterday there would be “harsh and grave consequences” if the Palestinians persist with their plan to seek UN membership as a state. Speaking shortly before a meeting with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, he did not elaborate on the possible consequences. “The moment has not yet come to give details of what will happen,” he said. In the past he has called for Israel to sever all relations with the administration of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas should it press on with its UN bid. Continued on Page 13

KUWAIT: Two youth groups and the Ummah Party yesterday expressed strong support for a planned rally on Friday and for calls to undertake deep political reforms including turning Kuwait into a constitutional monarchy. The calls for reform were made earlier in the week by the September 16 Youths, a new group, which called for a massive gathering on Friday at Safat Square to press for key changes in the Kuwaiti democratic system. The Ummah Party said in a statement that it totally backs the calls for reform which include a constitutional monarchy, a fully elected government, legalizing political parties and reforming the election law. The party stressed that these are the measures needed to resolve “Kuwait’s chronic political crises”. Youth groups Fifth Fence and Kafi issued separate statements declaring their support for the rally on Friday and for the proposed reforms. Kafi said the reforms will provide the solution to Kuwait’s lingering political crises and will enable the people to hold corrupt elements to account. The Fifth Fence and Kafi both participated in rallies and gatherings held before the summer to press for replacing Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. It appears that Friday’s rally will focus more on the scandal regarding the alleged illegal bank deposits in which a number of MPs are involved. Opposition MP Musallam Al-Barrak said late Tuesday that accounts of eight MPs have been referred to the public prosecution for an investigation over the alleged huge cash deposits. Continued on Page 13

ABU DHABI: An Emirati boy looks at a handgun yesterday on the first day of the 17th Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian exhibition (ADIHEX), which offers visitors the chance to enjoy camel auctions and traditional hunting and equestrian activities. — AFP

entrenched,” Interfax news agency quoted a top foreign ministry official as saying. The warning came as Syrian security forces stormed villages and large swathes of the northwestern countryside, where anti-regime activists were suspected to be hiding, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Armed with heavy machine guns, the forces cut off roads leading to Jabal Al-Zawiya, Baliun, Marayan, Ihsem, Al-Rami and Ablin, setting up checkpoints and arresting several people, said the Britain-based Observatory. Continued on Page 13



BERNE, Switzerland: His Highness the Prime Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah held talks here yesterday with President of the Swiss Confederation and Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey at Lohn Palace in Kehrsatz. During the encounter, attended by the official delegation accompanying HH the Premier, distinguished bilateral relations at all levels were discussed, as well as means to support them. Global issues of mutual concern were also discussed during the meeting.

More ‘multimillion-dinar’ cases Stage set for public demonstration KUWAIT: Authorities are planning to scrutinize suspicious transactions, according to a report submitted yesterday. It suggests that one of the banks has already investigated a few cases, and will soon lodge complaints. This information was given by a Public Prosecution Department(PPD) insider, a day after newspapers reported that the Kuwait Finance House lodged complaints regarding suspicious transactions that were detected. It is the second move following the National Bank of Kuwait’s decision to take a similar step on Sunday. Officials noted that a third bank has already filed a case against a suspicious transaction, but did not disclose the

said bank’s name. They added that a possibility that some of the cases filed is related to bank accounts of people. Meanwhile, the Kuwait International Bank has released a statement, insisting that it has not approached the Public Prosecution Department regarding any suspicious transaction; rejecting rumors that the KIB is the third bank that the sources have spoken about. Six political movements have warned that they will stage a public demonstration if the names of individuals involved in the multi-million dollar deposits are not disclosed following the end of investigations. The six movements are: National

Democratic Alliance, the National Democratic Forum, Popular Action Movement, Islamic Constitutional Movement. The Salafist Movement and the Kuwaiti Progressive Movement made the announcement during a press conference indicating that the rallies would be preceded by a series of seminars to garner support. In other news, the Kuwait Transparency Society held a demonstration to mark the International Day of Democracy, during which they warned that Kuwait’s democracy is suffering from a setback due to flawed practices. In a related development, the Popular Action Bloc(PAB) and

Development and Reform Bloc(DRB) reportedly agreed during a meeting on Tuesday to focus attention on filing a grilling motion against Prime Minister His Highness Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah, especially regarding multimillion deposits’ case, reported Al-Qabas. This is in case they believe that the government will foil MPs’ efforts to wipe out corruption. During the meeting, PAB leader MP Ahmad Al-Saadoun reportedly proposed an idea to place a request through a parliamentary legislation to allow the Public Prosecution Department to investigate the bank accounts of all members. Officials said that lawmakers present at the

meeting have agreed. On another note, MP Saleh AlMulla released a statement commenting on calls to turn Kuwait into a constitutional monarchy; which have been adopted by several youth groups that plan to participate in a mass rally this Friday. In his statements, Al-Mulla indicated that this option “is not desirable because it requires radical constitutional amendments,” reported Al-Rai. Separately, a news report published by Al-Shahed yesterday claims that a lawmaker offered a hefty reward to an official at a local bank that did not refer suspicious cases to the Public Prosecution Department and helped overlook

KD 12 million deposits. According to sources who claim knowledge of the situation, the MP in question offered ‘half of his deposits’ to the banker in exchange for remaining silent, reported Al-Shahed. The official who spoke on condition of anonymity further claimed that two other MPs have tried to transfer large sums of money from bank accounts to those of their relatives. However, their requests were rejected by banks. “Local banks have been placed on high alert. Departments have placed direct orders to ensure that no one is favored. Attempts to get rid of this have been thwarted,” officials added.

Speeding driver hits child KUWAIT: A speeding driver was arrested on Tuesday after he lost control of his car which mounted the pavement and hit a young child playing there, critically injuring the little boy. The driver, a Saudi national, had driven at high speed since crossing the border, when he came to Sulaibya where the accident took place. There, he lost control of the steering, with the car veering onto the roadside where the child was playing. The young boy, who suffered multiple fractures in the incident, was rushed to Jahra Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, while the driver was taken into custody. Two work deaths A staff member at a factory in Abdullah Port died in an accident there on Tuesday. Although emergency services personnel rushed to the location, paramedics pronounced the man dead from the head injuries sustained when he fell from a high platform in the factory. The body was removed for autopsy and an investigation has been launched to determine the cause of the fatal fall. In a separate incident on the same day, an Egyptian construction worker died after falling from the fifth floor of a building under construction. Although the man was rushed to Adan Hospital, he was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival. An investigation has been opened into the accident. Jabriya rape Police are hunting for a young Kuwaiti man accused by his ex-girlfriend of assault and rape, amongst other charges. The 23-year-old victim, also Kuwaiti, told police that she and the young man had been romantically involved for some time and had been making plans to marry, so when he picked her up as arranged from her family’s home in Qairawan she assumed that they were going on a date as normal. Instead, he drove her to a location in Jabriya, forcing her into an apartment where he beat and raped her before throwing her out. Incest accusation An investigation is underway after a Kuwaiti man was accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting his young stepson at the family’s home in Mubarak Al-Kabeer. After suffering in silence for some time, the traumatized child plucked up the courage to tell his mother about her husband’s abuse. The horrified woman immediately reported the abuser to police, who summoned the accused man for

questioning. His denial of the accusations was not believed by his wife who attacked and punched him during one questioning session which she and the child attended. Paramedic lifesavers Paramedics saved the life of an elderly Kuwaiti woman who collapsed unconscious during a family day out at the beach in Bneid Al-Gar. After making an unsuccessful attempt to resuscitate her, the woman’s adult son immediately called the emergency services hotline and paramedics rushed to the scene, arriving within minutes, performing CPR on the woman whose pulse had stopped before taking her to the nearest hospital. Tormented by tweets A senior Ministry of Education official has pressed charges against a well-known Kuwaiti TV presenter, accusing the media figure of maligning her on his Twitter account for what she said are ‘sectarian reasons.’ During questioning the accused man admitted to posting the offending comments against the woman, who is the director of one of the state’s six educational directorates. He justified his abuse by claiming that the official has adopted an unfair and authoritarian attitude towards his mother, who works as a headmistress at a school in the area under the official’s management. The investigation into the case is continuing. Marriage problems A Palestinian man has pressed charges in absentia against his Jordanian wife who he accuses of stealing KD1,000 from him and fleeing to her home country. The man told officers at Fintas police station that he had returned home as normal one day to discover that his wife had taken all her possessions, as well as the money, and fled the house, subsequently learning that she had gone to the airport and returned to Jordan shortly afterwards. An investigation is underway. Provocative graffiti Police are hunting for the individuals responsible for painting provocative graffiti on the walls of several buildings on Failaka Island. Officers were quickly at the scene after receiving complaints from several people about the graffiti, which is offensive towards Kuwait whilst praising Iraq. Detectives are examining CCTV footage from the location in an attempt to identify the vandals responsible. — Al-Rai, Al-Anba, Al-Qabas, Al-Watan

Temperatures to cool slightly in next few days KUWAIT: Low pressure and moderate winds are expected to arrive in Kuwait in the next few days, according to Mohammad Karam, the director of the Directorate General for Civil Aviation’s (DGCA) Meteorology Department. Speaking to KUNA yesterday, Karam said that winds would strengthen in the country’s more arid areas in the next couple of days, and are forecast to reach 40 kilometers per hour in some areas, being stronger in coastal areas and the Gulf and more moderate

in inland areas. Daytime temperatures are expected to peak at 42 degrees and ebb at 24 degrees at midnight. Nor thern winds will become stronger over the weekend, rising steadily from around 20 to 45 kph, with the winds bringing light daytime sandstorms which are likely to disperse at night. The coming slightly cooler temperatures herald the arrival of autumn in Kuwait, which is distinguished by gradually falling temperatures. — KUNA



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Gender equality facilitates development, productivity By Lisa Conrad KUWAIT: The relationship between gender equality and economic advancement is continuing to strengthen, and can greatly affect the productivity of companies and countries alike. The issue was raised yesterday at the World Bank’s press conference in anticipation of the release of its World Development Report on Gender and Equality and Development. The report, which will be formally released on Monday, was discussed via video conference and linked Washington with Kuwait, Beirut, Cairo, Gaza and the West Bank. “It’s an important issue because gender equality is smart economically with regard to raising productivity,” said Sudhir Shetty, CoDirector of the team preparing the report. Evidence from the report showed that removing barriers restricting women from certain sectors increased output in them by 28 percent. While economic development can be encouraged by greater equality, equality cannot be brought about by economic development alone, Shetty added. The report covers issues affecting equality and development globally, including excess mortality of girls and women, unequal access to economic opportunities, differences in voice between the genders and disparities in girls’ educational opportunities. It found that despite increased wealth in many countries, some gender gaps still persist both within the MENA region and globally. Key issues in the MENA region include unequal access to economic opportunities between women and men, and disparities concerning ‘differences in voice’ between the genders, said Shetty. He added that female labor force participation rates are only 26 percent, half of the global average, in the MENA region. The

unemployment among young women in the region is also very high. Furthermore, disparities concerning ‘differences in voice’ between the genders were found, with regard to both home life and within greater society. This affected their influence both within their households but also in terms of social and political influ-

tages that girls and women have been facing have diminished in the developed world.” The most apparent changes have been an increase in enrolment in education and a reduction in the number of children women are having. With regard to the MENA region, the rate of female enrolment in education has sped past

From left to right: Lamia Bahy Sulaiman, Shahram Paksima and Dr Radwan Chaaban at the press conference yesterday. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat ence and participation. Allowing women more voice will encourage more representative political institutions, he added. The proportion of women on the boards of large firms in the MENA region reflects this further, with rates at just 10 percent. The issue of excess deaths of girls and women was less applicable to the MENA region except in Yemen and Djibouti. “The main message is that these patterns matter,” said Shetty, adding that equality is, in itself, a goal of development. That’s not to say that all findings were negative, as Shetty, added, “One of our main findings is that many disadvan-

the rate of male enrolment, with more women currently enrolled in universities in the region, Shetty added. This is a vital part of improving opportunity and equality for women which has, fortunately, received considerable attention and action in recent years. According to Shetty, the increase in female school enrolment in Morocco took 11 years to reach its current level, whereas the same changes took 40 years in the US. With regard to fertility, findings indicate that rates have greatly reduced, “The average number of children in a family in Iran was 7 in 1979, now it’s less than 2,” said

Public sector wage demand woes worsen for government KUWAIT: The Civil Service Commission postponed a meeting scheduled for Tuesday morning to discuss the demands of a number of unions representing public sector workers, with the government still weighing up its options to handle multiple threats of strike action. According to CSC insiders, the delay was decided on in order to allow interior minister and CSC director Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Sabah to review the unions’ demands with his cabinet colleagues in order to study the potential financial implications and consider the best ways to avoid industrial action before issuing its final decision on the issue during a meeting next week. Meanwhile, a senior CSC official said that the commission itself should be held accountable for any future strikes after the government hurriedly approved wage increases for oil sector workers apparently in order to ensure that threatened strike action called by the oil workers’ union for September 18 would be averted. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the CSC official said that the commission is currently studying a total of 32 salary

increase demands from unions representing various public sector workers, which would cost an additional KD300 million to implement. The insider added that there is growing concern that, in the wake of the government’s decision on the oil workers’ pay rise, other public sector workers’ unions may decide that strike action is the easiest way for them to guarantee that their demands are quickly met. The government’s problems over the issues certainly appear to be snowballing, with unions representing staff in at least four public sector bodies warning that they are ‘leaving all options open’ unless the government meets their demands. Speaking to local daily Al-Rai, Ibrahim Al-Ghanim, the Director of the Customs General Department, announced that the department has already referred a report on wage increase proposals to the CSC. Another senior official, Major General Jassem Al-Mansouri, the Director of the Kuwait Fire Services Directorate (KFSD), told the paper that proposed salary increases for firefighters are still under consideration by the commission,

adding pointedly that strike action is the “right of employees.” Reports suggest that at least 200 Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL) personnel plan to participate in a sit-in planned for October 5 in protest at the ministry’s failure to implement an earlier directive granting all staff with 30 years experience or more the automatic right to take retirement. On Tuesday, meanwhile, a number of Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) workers staged a short strike to demand the payment of backdated overtime allowances for shifts worked during the summers of 2009 and 2010, as well as the reevaluation of their current salary and bonus rates. In other wage-related news, MP Musallam Al-Barrak announced that 26 lawmakers have so far signed a petition endorsing the introduction of legislation that would force the government to pay non-performance-based bonuses to all Kuwaiti teachers at state schools, with a vote set to place on the issue at the start of the upcoming parliamentary term which begins in late October. — Al-Jarida, Al-Rai & Al-Qabas

Shetty. However, the report raised questions of the consequences of crossing the cultural boundaries that see women more disempowered. Shetty pointed out that the welfare of children is often increased when mothers have more control over resources within the home. He added, “We don’t want to be misunderstood; of course culture is important, which is why we paid so much attention to social norms.” The solution lies in governmental initiative, he said. The key question he put forward, however, was, “How do we design collective measures?” This is an especially complex process because the problems are entrenched and facilitate the disadvantages women have through both formal legal issues and family codes which can, Shetty adds, see women having to acquire permission from male relatives before commencing work. In Morocco and Tunisia, family codes have already been reformed and allowed women more freedom to access work opportunities. Jordan’s New Opportunities for Women (NOW) organization, which offers skills training and subsidies for young women, has also been a great success and resulted in an increase in female employment. Shetty stressed that, in terms of the MENA region, the issue of inequality in access to work between the genders is an issue that policy needs to focus on. The report focuses on areas in which international communities can work with national policy makers to make things happen, he added. There will also be a companion report focusing specifically on the MENA region, said Tara Vishwanath, a lead economist in the MENA region who is currently heading the poverty and gender teams in the region. She will be travelling to the region to continue the report.

Chain-link fence to protect embassies

Emergency message for US citizens KUWAIT: The United States embassy in Kuwait circulated the following message to its citizens residing in the country yesterday: “Youth activist groups have called for a demonstration on Friday, Sept 16, 2011 in Kuwait City during the early evening hours at Safat Square and possibly Determination Square located opposite the National Assembly. An increased police and security presence is expected throughout the day in and around the capital. “Spontaneous and planned demonstrations take place in Kuwait from time to time in response to world events or local developments. At times, even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. Do not let curiosity get the best of you; avoid the areas of demonstrations and exercise caution if within the vicinity of any large gatherings. Please stay current with media coverage of local events, be aware of your surroundings, and practice personal security awareness at all times. “US citizens living and traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, as well as the Country Specific Information for Kuwait can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-4074747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except US federal holidays). You can also download our free Smart Traveler App for travel information at your fingertips and follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well. The US Embassy is located at Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa Street, Block 6, Plot 14, Bayan, Kuwait. If you are a US citizen in need of emergency assistance in Kuwait, you may reach the U.S. Embassy by calling 2259-1001 and requesting the duty officer. “US citizens living or traveling in Kuwait are encouraged to enroll in the Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) so that they can obtain updated information on travel and security. US citizens without internet access may enroll directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By enrolling, US citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. For additional information, please refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad”. This message may be accessed on the Embassy website, Please note that the Consular Section is closed for US and most local holidays. The current holiday schedule for 2011 is posted on

KUWAIT: Kuwait is considering erecting a high security fence around the embassies zone in Mishref, where more than five leading diplomatic headquarters’ buildings are located, according to a new report. According to the report, Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad A l -H um oud A l -S a b a h s e nt a l e t te r to Minister of Public Works Dr Fadhil Safar, requesting permission to erect a chain-link fence around the area in Mishref ’s Block Seven which contains the embassies of the United Nations, China, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Japan, as well as providing similar protection in locations where future embassies are to be built. The letter cites “the importance of protecting [embassy] buildings from potential hazards” as the reason for the request for the 2.5-meter fence topped with barbed wire, which would be built on a sunken concrete base to thwart attempts to tunnel under it. — Al-Qabas

KUWAIT: A talk entitled ‘Fire Hazards, How to Avoid Them and Ways to Escape’ was presented to a group of workers at Al-Shaab Palace yesterday. It was delivered by Lt Mohammad Al-Munai, Lt Yousuf Al-Buloushi and Corporal Khalid Al-Misbah. — Photos by Hanan Al-Saadoun

Eight hurt in crashes By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: A 24-year-old Kuwaiti man was rushed to hospital with serious head injuries yesterday following a car crash on King Fahad Road near the Sabhan Bridge. In a separate incident, a 30-year-old Chinese woman suffered a fractured pelvis and right thighbone, as well as broken bones in her left hand, in a car accident near the Zakat House in Salmiya. In another incident, a 48-year-old Indian man was hospitalized after suffering pelvic and facial injuries when he was hit by a car whilst crossing a road in Salwa. Meanwhile, a 33-year-old Egyptian man was taken to Mubarak Hospital after sustaining facial injuries in a motorcycle accident in Salwa. In a fifth crash, this time in Abdullah Al-Mubarak, a 20year-old bedoon (stateless) man and a 17-year-old Kuwaiti boy suffered several lacerations. Both were taken to Farwaniya Hospital. In a separate incident, two Pakistani men were taken to Farwaniya Hospital after suffering a number of injuries in a crash near Khaitan Sports Club. Mangaf fire Two men - a 51-year-old Bangladeshi and a 21-year-old Kuwaiti - were taken to hospital suffering from breathing difficulties and back pain respectively following a blaze that broke out at a home in Mangaf, whilst a 44-year-old Indian man was treated at the scene for minor injuries sustained in the same fire. Snake bite A 24-year-old Egyptian man was rushed to Jahra Hospital after being bitten by a poisonous snake whilst he was in the desert area of Sulaibiya.

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kuwait digest

Banks and politics!

The new Seven Wonders of the World

By Dr Haila Hamad Al-Mukaimi


By Sawsan Kazak


t used to be that people would travel to a faraway land to explore its natural beauty and the environmental splendors unique to that area. Rocks, trees, mountains, rivers and volcanoes were but a few of the natural beauties people made efforts to see. Even manmade wonders such as the pyramids in Egypt, the Great Wall of China or the Colosseum in Rome, were what made these countries favorite tourism destinations. These architectural marvels are out of the ordinary and unique to those countries. Recently, however, countries have been boasting of something other than natural beauty and ancient structures; instead they are bragging of their large shopping malls. A few days back, Europe’s largest mall, Westfield Stratford city opened in London. Home to Britain’s largest casino, 300 shops, a cinema, and three hotels, this mall cost 1.7 Euros to build and is located in one of the poorest areas in Britain. Other countries are also guilty of promoting these artificial and completely unnatural structures as must-see destinations. Having visited a few of the world’s largest malls, I can confidently say, there is nothing special about it. Visiting the entire mall is exhausting and after a while, they run out of stores and coffee shops and start repeating them. With globalization and the great franchise frenzy, all of the world’s malls have started to resemble each other. Air-conditioned and sterile, these non-organic structures offer nothing in the terms of cultural experiences or authentic scenery. What’s next? Guided tours of the mall, where people can snap pictures near the sponsored water fountain or have great family memories in the newest fast food outlet? Don’t get me wrong, I love shopping just as much as the next girl, but I don’t know how truly memorable a vacation will be if it’s spent indoors purchasing items I don’t really need. Places like the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls or the Dead Sea are all naturally occurring miracles that are worthy of the long trek to get to them. Ancient manmade structures allow us to marvel at earlier generations and the amount of creativity used at the time. I guess great big malls allow us to marvel at capitalism and the never-ending consumerism that grips these countries. I know that true traveling has died and the tourist experience has taken over, but this is taking it to a whole new level. Tourists expect every convenience they have back home to be provided to them at the travel destination and while there, planned groups, and organized outings are already prepared. The new seven wonders of the world are the world’s biggest malls.

kuwait digest

The dark future By Mubarak Al-Duwailah


don’t remember being concerned about my country in light of the events that have been developing at a rapid pace. (I am not talking about predictions that the US ambassador will make in 2020). Today, we can safely say that no one in Kuwait understands exactly what has been going on, or even knows how to handle the current situation. Sometimes, I pity the people who complain against the situation. At the same time, I find myself unable to understand why they complain without anything being done! Ruling family members are not happy about the current conditions. Ministers are sorrowfully watching the happennings. State employees continue to be frustrated thanks to their lack of judgment. Citizens are confused about what has been happening. I believe that the problem lies in the way in which the state is run. First of all, His Highness the Prime Minister can make decisions the way he likes. The decisions are usually individualistic that cannot be grasped overnight. Meanwhile, the Cabinet sometimes makes decisions that can be the main cause of problems. For example, the Cabinet continues to reject the payment of allowances that have been proposed for teachers in public schools. However, they recently passed regulations to pay allowances to employees of the oil sector. The difference being that unlike teachers, oil sector employees have threatened to go on a strike. The Cabinet’s decision will lead teachers to demand allowances. While the Cabinet has the right to reject proposals to protect public funds from overspending, it is their imbalanced decisions that usually create problems. Another reason why I feel concerned about what the future might hold for our country, are sectarian approaches that threaten national unity. For example, a top Shiite activist group called upon residents in Kuwait to send them complaints. We wouldn’t have reached this situation if such approaches are not endorsed by the government. Don’t you agree that I have the right to feel concerned about my country’s future? —Al-Qabas

kuwait digest

Salaries and strikes! By Dr Sajed Al-Abdeli


t’s obvious that the government has yielded to the demands of oil sector workers who threatened to stage an allout strike unless their new pay rise demands were met, a thing I had very much expected from the government which has always acted similarly. Oh, they will make heroic speeches and indulge in political tomfoolery, but they’ll always quickly give in and concede to the workers’ demands after their stern and illogical stubbornness and rejection which is unlike that shown by all institutional rules and states that actually respect their peoples. This applies just as much to the story of the recent oil sector pay rises, which should be more widely known about, by non-oil sector staff as well as those working in this field. The salary increases for oil sector workers were originally suggested at the recommendation of KPC after it conducted a consultative study comparing oil sector salaries in regional countries. After doing so, it then referred the issue to the Civil Ser vice Commission (CSC) which, according to some legal opinions, has nothing to do with this particular issue, which is exclusively the prerogative of the Supreme Petroleum Council, and thus it refused the recommendations and substituted them with its own randomly chosen wage rise proposals. In short, the whole issue is down to the usual political incompetence, which led to oil sector

labor unions insisting on continuing with their strike plan until the previous scientific study was taken into consideration. So, the government had no choice but to

The whole issue is down to the usual political incompetence, which led to oil sector labor unions insisting on continuing with their strike plan until the previous scientific study was taken into consideration. So, the government had no choice but to agree with and approve the study and the pay rises it suggested.

agree with and approve the study and the pay rises it suggested. Personally I congratulate the oil sector employees and workers, but still the incident calls for deeper consideration. The government did not pass the salary

increase proposals because it was convinced of their merit but because it feared the threat of strike action. The whole issue is completely chaotic and self-contradictory. This government’s behavior shows personnel in other sectors who have not received any wage rises in a long time that they need to follow the same action; I wouldn’t even blame them if they do because people will simply realize that strikes are the easiest ways to have their demands met. The right way, if the government really cares at all, is to use the same rules with all when dealing with various salary increases. It’s unfair to consider pay rises for workers in one sector whilst ignoring others for years who have always paid the price of such political foolishness. Gentlemen of the government, employees worldwide are entitled to adequate salaries in return for their work which match what their peers get on the labor market and help them to deal with soaring inflation rates. Therefore, governments should monitor employees’ job performance and productivity and link these things to rewards and penalties to control them and, at the same time, periodically review payrolls in accordance to the nature of the work undertaken in each sector. This is simple logic, and the government needs to introduce this strategy in order to avoid hearing more strike threats from further sector employees wanting pay rises. — Al-Jarida

kuwait digest

Giving Kuwait a heartburn By Dr Ebtihal Abdul Aziz Al-Khateeb


he prime danger we are currently facing is sectarianism. So many of the recent events , including the case of KAC chairman, Hamad AlFalah, emphasizes this. Last week, I wrote about our need to secularize our state in view of a mild difference in Eid timings between Sunnis and Shiites and how the state should stand neutral to all religions and sects - and then emerges a case like that of Al-Falah to prove how deeprooted this problem is and how it requires an immediate radical solution. In my opinion, the danger does not lie in what Al-Falah said in the recording that spread like an epidemic on our electronic devices; after all it’s still being investigated be it official or otherwise. The state cannot always ensure that its employees are neutral and clear-hearted. In the end, such dialogues may occur among people. The problem involves many elements such as public opinions, responses and reactions, MPs and government’s reactions. The results, however, show that our society is being plagued by sectarianism. The danger is eminent. So, our public fate might

not be so different from those of our neighbors unless something is done to change it. Nothing can be said to describe our current problem except that it is very saddening; sectarian talks are everywhere

Nothing can be said to describe our current problem except that it is very saddening; sectarian talks are everywhere and very rude terms have been exchanged in a way that calls for optimum alert. People are exchanging accusations of treason and questioning each other’s loyalty.

and very rude terms have been exchanged in a way that calls for optimum aler t. People are exchanging accusations of treason and questioning each other’s loyalty. New issues are being raised in response to regional changes such as those taking place in Bahrain, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria that are often echoed here. The flare of such street-generated talks is being enhanced by MPs’ power. This was clear in MP Mohammed Hayef’s warning to the government to set a finger on Al-Falah; a warning that only reflects how deep the problem is. The problem even goes beyond the parliament to include the government. So, we can only pray to Allah the Almighty to keep us from the possible consequences of such a problem, namely over the coming 10 years unless the government starts radically reforming school curricula and finds a social reform power through media awareness campaigns, turning Kuwait into one electoral constituency to melt down all sectarian differences, favoritism and wasta before secularizing the state’s laws and policies. We are in real danger! — Al-Jarida

n the past, we consulted politicians, political science professors and observers to probe the nature of the conflict in Kuwait. These days , this can be done by consulting bankers and bank owners. It was recently elaborated that when local banks raised the subject and began joining the game of politics, they turned us into caricatures. No one can no longer trust anything. This is because the banking sector has been politicized to eradicate the state-of-law and Constitution. The multi-million dollar worth bank accounts issue has been accurately politicized. It also appears as if local banks have been hesitant about joining the game, and, therefore, the issue was first raised in newspapers by expected political, media and parliamentary pressure. The Central Bank governor clearly stressed that no reports have been created. The banks have been forced to file reports under political pressure. We completely support the crusade against corruption, funds embezzlement and money laundering. At the same time, we are against forcing banks to become part of the political game. The result is actually a serious problem that cannot be ignored. The situation would have been different had banks prosecuted suspicious cases. If the accusations we face are serious, an urgent parliamentary session should be held to discuss the ‘Wealth Disclosure’ draft law. On the other hand, demanding that such a session be held to discuss a news report, exchanging accusations would be a deviation from real parliamentary work. Forcing banks to become part of political games would be a real problem for the Kuwaiti economy. It would make investors reconsider Kuwaiti banks’ credibility if they are run in the interest of conflicting sides. The real solution for this dilemma can be reached by setting real legislations and anti-corruption laws. These are real proofs of the credibility of all parties without excluding the government, rather than resorting to conflicts. — Annahar

kuwait digest

Ministers’ wealth disclosure By Dr Mohammad Al-Muqatea


s there any hope for a political reform in Kuwait? It’s a question that must be asked at this point of time, especially given the irresponsible statements that ministers and other government officials make regarding wealth disclosure regulations for Cabinet members. These statements include false pretences such as trying to make it seem that ministers shouldn’t have their integrities questioned, or that there are constitutional suspicions regarding the concept of revealing the wealth status of ministers. The current case of suspicious multimilliondinar deposits in MPs’ bank accounts has undoubtedly made it necessary for immediate actions to be taken in order to address the problem of corrup-

Being a minister means that you must be subjected to monitoring and accountability ahead of everyone else due to the volume of responsibility they have. The greater their positions are, the stricter the monitoring procedures on ministers should be. tion that spreads through the parliament. As we know, a corrupt action cannot be solely committed by a single perpetrator; there must be a second party that either feeds or covers up corruption. If there are suspicious deposits in lawmakers’ bank accounts, these deposits must have been forwarded by another party, whose identity must be investigated for them to be held accountable as accomplices in the crime. This sheds light on the gravity of demands to exclude ministers from wealth disclosure provisions. Of course, such demands are unrealistic because corruption can spread to any place where there are people. Anybody assuming official positions must be subjected to auditory measures pertaining to their financial status to insure that they keep away from corruption. That is simply because there is no proof by which we can tell for sure that ministers are safe from being lured into financial corruption. Being a minister means that you must be subjected to monitoring and accountability ahead of everyone else due to the volume of responsibility they have. The greater their positions are, the stricter the monitoring procedures on ministers should be. This is a rule that is further supported by the Kuwaiti constitution. Therefore, it’s unrealistic to say that ministers should not be subjected to wealth disclosure regulations, because if anything, such demands draw even more suspicion towards them. — Al-Qabas



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Kuwait maintains status of respect for religious freedom US State Dept issues International Religious Freedom Report KUWAIT: There was no change in the status of respect for religious freedom by the (Kuwaiti) government during the July-December 2010 reporting period, says a report issued by the US State department in its section on Kuwait. According to the report which was issued Tuesday, “The constitution protects freedom of belief, although other laws and policies restrict the free practice of religion; in practice, the government enforced these restrictions intermittently. The constitution calls for “absolute freedom” of belief and for freedom of religious practice in accordance with established customs, provided that it does not conflict with public order or morals. The constitution states that Islam is the state religion and that Sharia (Islamic law) is a main source of legislation. The constitution requires the state to safeguard “the heritage of Islam.”

number of Bahai citizens. An estimated 150,000 noncitizen residents are Shia. While some areas have relatively high concentrations of either Sunnis or Shia, most areas are fairly well integrated religiously,” the report said. The Christian population is estimated to be more than 450,000 and consists mostly of foreign residents. The government-recognized Christian community includes the Roman Catholic Church with 300,000 members, the Coptic Orthodox Church with 70,000 members, the National Evangelical (Protestant) Church with 40,000 members, the Armenian Orthodox Church with 4,500 members, the Greek Orthodox Church (referred to in Arabic as the Roman Orthodox Church) with 3,500 members, the Greek Catholic (Melkite) Church with 1,500 members, and the Anglican (Episcopalian) Church with 200 members.

KUWAIT: In this file photo worshippers in Kuwait are seen in the mosque. The image is used for illustrative purposes only. — Photo by Yasser AlZayyat According to the report, the government placed some limits on the rights of free religious practice and religious minorities experienced some discrimination as a result of government policies. There was no change in the status of respect for religious freedom by the government during the reporting (JulyDecember 2010) period. Laws prohibit blasphemy, apostasy, and proselytizing. In practice, groups other than statesanctioned Sunni Muslims find it extremely difficult to obtain property for places of worship. The report says that there were few reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice, the report said. According to the report, Kuwait has an area of 6,880 square miles and a population of 3.53 million, of whom 1.13 million are citizens; the rest are foreign workers and their families. Estimates derived from voting records and personal status documents indicated that 70 percent of citizens, including the ruling family, belong to the Sunni branch of Islam, the report said. “The national census does not distinguish between Shia and Sunni Muslims. Most of the remaining 30 percent of citizens are Shia Muslims. There are approximately 150-200 Christian citizens and a small

“There were also many unrecognized Christian religious groups including Latin, Maronite, Coptic Catholic, Armenian Catholic, Malabar, Malankara, the Indian Orthodox Syrian Church, Mar Thoma, Seventh-day Adventists and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons),” the report said. The report states that the constitution protects freedom of belief, although other laws and policies restrict the free practice of religion; in practice, the government has enforced these restrictions intermittently. The constitution provides for “absolute freedom” of belief and for freedom of religious practice in accordance with established customs, provided that it does not conflict with public order or morals. The government does not designate religion on passports or national identity documents, with the exception of birth certificates. “There is no official government list of recognized churches; however, seven Christian churches-National Evangelical, Catholic, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Greek Catholic, and Anglican-had some form of official recognition enabling them to operate. These seven churches were recognized in that they had open files at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor,

which allowed them to bring religious workers and staff to operate their churches into the country, as well as guest lecturers and other visitors, the report said. The report said that the government exercised direct control of Sunni religious institutions. The government appointed Sunni imams, monitored their Friday sermons, and also financed the building of Sunni mosques. The government did not exert control over Shia mosques, which were funded by the Shia community, and did not receive any government funding. “There are laws against blasphemy, apostasy, and proselytizing. While the number of situations to which these laws applied was extremely limited, the government actively enforced them, particularly the prohibition on non-Muslim proselytizing of Muslims,” the report said. The 2006 Press and Publication Law requires jail terms for journalists who defame any religion and prohibits denigration of Islam or Islamic and JudeoChristian religious figures, including Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Jesus (PBUH). According to the report, prohibited are publications that the government deems could create hatred, spread dissension among the public, or incite persons to commit crimes. The law also provides that any Muslim citizen may file criminal charges against an author if the citizen believes that the author has defamed Islam, the ruling family, or public morals. The government enforced legal and policy restrictions on religious freedom intermittently. There was no change in the status of respect for religious freedom by the government during the reporting period. There is no specific law banning the establishment of non-Muslim places of worship. However, the small number of groups that applied for licenses to build new places of worship were denied permission and have been waiting for approval for years. During the reporting period, Kuwait City’s municipal council repeatedly rejected requests from a local Christian group seeking land for a church. On Oct 27 and Dec 3, the municipal council (which consists of ten elected and six appointed members) rejected a request from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs seeking approval for the Greek Melkite Catholic church to build a new house of worship in the suburbs of Kuwait City. Members of the Shia community expressed concern over the relative scarcity of Shia mosques due to the government’s slow approval of the construction of new mosques and of repair to existing ones. Since 2001, the government granted licenses and approved the construction of six new Shia mosques. Including these six, there are a total of 35 Shia mosques nationally. In general, citizens were open and tolerant of other religious groups; however, there is a tiny minority that opposes the presence of non-Muslim groups in the country and rejects the legitimacy of Shia Muslims. While some discrimination based on religion reportedly occurred on an individual level, discrimination appeared to be neither systematic nor widespread.

CBK to sponsor Third Kuwait Financial Forum KUWAIT: The Commercial Bank of Kuwait(CBK) will participate as the platinum sponsor of the Third Kuwait Financial Forum, to be held at the Sheraton Hotel between Oct 31 and Nov 1 under the patronage of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah. The event is organized by Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal Group, in cooperation with the Central Bank of Kuwait and the Kuwait Banking Association. “This sponsorship is part of the CBK’s commitment to participate in the most important economic event that helps showcase Kuwait’s position in the local, regional and international economic scenario,” said Amani Al-Waraa Assistant General Manager for Public Relations and Media Department.

The forum is set to focus on the challenges facing Arab economies in light of the current regional developments, which require new financial and monitoring policies to support economies. Al-Waraa further indicated that the forum will discuss the challenges facing Kuwait’s economy with regard to projects of the state’s development plan, as well as the effect of the current global debt crisis on the local and regional economy. The event is expected to attract high profile attendance headed by Ministers and ‘GCC Central Bank governors,’ including senior officials, banking leaders, heads of financial institutions, corporate representatives and experts from the region and the world.

Activist demands probe into multimillion bribe allegations KUWAIT: Prominent Kuwaiti political activist Nabila Al-Anjari has lodged a complaint with the Public Prosecution Service demanding an investigation into the as-yet unsubstantiated allegations of multimillion dinar bribes being made into a number of MPs’ bank accounts. In a statement released yesterday, Al-Anjari revealed that she had lodged the complaint at the end of last month, further insisting that such an investigation would expose the facts and details of the case, as well as identifying any individuals involved. “ We urge the authorities to shoulder their responsibilities and rush to announce clarification on the issue, which is directly related to the legislative authority, which is supposed to be above all suspi-

Nabila Al-Anjari

cion,” said the statement. Al-Anjari fur ther claimed that she had lodged the complaint with the PPS on August 28 primarily in order “to avert suspicion from the whole parliament by either identifying those involved so that they can be removed or proving that the allega-

tions are untrue, which would help restore the integrity of the legislative authority.” The political activist indicated that another reason for bringing the case was to determine the accuracy of information provided in the local media on this issue “as people are questioning the credibility of what has been published.” Al-Anjari urged the government to “reveal the truth behind the case,” which she said is damaging the reputation of ministers, “who have become the subject of speculation of their involvement in money-laundering offences.” Her statement concluded with an appeal to the parliament and cabinet to “work on regaining people’s trust in both authorities through revealing the whole truth.”

Bogus ‘employment agents’ busted KUWAIT: Two Asian men have been arrested by officials from the Ministry of Interior’s immigration department on charges of inducing domestic workers, principally maids and drivers, to leave their jobs in order to make money out of reengaging them elsewhere.

The two detainees were illegally offering the domestic workers employment contracts with other employers, despite themselves being in the country on Article 20 employment visas. Both are being held in custody pending further action.



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Kuwait Times Editor-in-Chief Abd Al-Rahman Al-Alyan poses with Geant-Kuwait officials at the supermarket entrance — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat & Ben Garcia

‘Géant Easy’ opens Jleeb branch

A scene at one of the entrances to the newest Géant Easy branch

The guest of honor pictured with Fu-Com officials

Al-Alyan cutting the ceremonial ribbon. By Ben Garcia

Al-Alyan touring the supermarket accompanied by Yousef Bhatti

The supermarket’s mobile section pictured yesterday

KUWAIT: The Géant Easy Supermarket, one of the hypermarket chain’s smaller branches located on Road 602 in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, was inaugurated yesterday. The new, 24-hour Géant Easy branch is the second of its kind in Kuwait after the first opened in Salmiya, although there is also a larger Géant Hypermarket in the 360 Mall. The Kuwait Times’ Editor-in-Chief, Abd Al-Rahman Al-Alyan, was the guest of honor at the opening event, jointly cutting the ceremonial ribbon along with Mohd Ashfaq Shaikh, the country head of FuCom Kuwait, the master franchise for Géant in Bahrain, Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar and Oman. The inaugural ceremony took place in the presence of a large gathering of dignitaries including Ambassadors Shahed Reza of Bangladesh, Dasho Sherub Tenzin of Bhutan, Madhuban Poudel of Nepal and Shulan O. Primavera of the Philippines. Amongst the other prominent figures attending the event were Michel Boivin, the Chief of Economic Services at the French Embassy, Ahmed Al-Sarawi, the chairman of Fu-Com Kuwait’s board and Mohamed Al-Marzook, its director. Even before the opening ceremony yesterday, hundreds of customers were already queuing the supermarket for the chance to be the first to shop there and take advantage of the expected surprise offers, discounts and several privileges given to the first few customers. Speaking to the Kuwait Times during yesterday’s opening, Fu-Com Kuwait’s senior official Shaikh explained, “We plan to grow our market share in Kuwait and get into niche areas with our supermarket brand Géant Easy. The Souk Al Jleeb location, with its ideal catchment area and tremendous potential for retail growth, offers us a great opportunity to showcase our supermarkets in Kuwait.” Géant Easy is planned as a 24- hour grocery supermarket, although this round-the-clock opening status will be reviewed after six months. “We have to test the market,” explained Operations Manager Yousef Bhatti. “Maybe in the next five-six months, Géant Jleeb will open 24 hours,” Bhatti further revealed that an expansion program is underway for Géant in Kuwait with the popular French chain expecting to open further branches in Farwaniya, Fahaheel, Sulaibikhat, Jahra and Fintas in the next five or six months. Spread across 2,050 square meters of floor space over two storeys, the Jleeb Géant Easy, located in the Souq Al-Jleeb Fruit, Vegetables and Meat Market, will serve customers in Jleeb and neighboring areas. “We have about 40,000 product items here, mostly from various local sources,” Bhatti told the Kuwait Times, adding, “All items are compressed [into a smaller space] in a smaller venue, but we have the same products as you see in our hypermarket; everything’s available here from frozen to can goods/groceries, fresh produce, beverages, poultry products, houseware, stationery, cleaning

items, an electronics section.” Although Jleeb AlShuyoukh itself is an area predominantly populated by expatriates, with most residents being from the Indian subcontinent, Egypt, the Philippines and Arabic-speaking countries, Bhatti explained that Géant is targeting the domestic market too. “There’s a very large Kuwaiti area called Abdullah AlMubarak here with about 6,000 villas; they are our target to bring our services closer to their homes,” he said. On the growing market competition, Bhatti noted: “We don’t compete, we complement each other. Maybe in terms of prices, yes, and that is good for our customers; for example, for us here every week we offer discounted products, not just in the grocery sections, but even from the garments and electronics sections.” Despite the rapidly growing competition between different retailers in Kuwait, supermarkets like Géant are doing well, Mohammed Ashfaq, Géant’s country manager, told the Kuwait Times. “We have a very good market share of customers. You know who is losing customers - the Cooperative Societies; they are losing customers because people nowadays are looking for better value for money, quality, convenience and atmosphere.” He added, “We provide the best value for money and quality, but we are proud to offer better facilities and a friendly atmosphere as well.” Ashfaq continued: “The overwhelming response of customers to the second Géant Easy store in Kuwait right from day one is a clear indication that our strategy of bringing international retail brand experience to local neighborhoods is exactly the way to go. Customers will benefit from our great bargain prices and wide range of fruits and vegetables that will ensure we become the first choice for shopping in the area.” Another of the distinguished guests at yesterday’s opening, T.A. Ramesh, the country director of Gulfmart in Kuwait, congratulated Géant on its success. “I am happy to be here at the Géant opening; as you know, we are all under one umbrella and we support Géant all the way,” he told the Kuwait Times. According to Géant’s marketing strategy, the Géant Easy concept is tailored to catering to precisely defined consumer needs and reflecting consumer trends and spending patterns in and around its outlets’ catchment areas. The strategy of offering differentiation in retail layouts based on location is at the core of Géant’s new assertive expansion drive that is aimed at outpacing competition and gaining greater brand prominence and market dominance. Géant, which operates 114 stores worldwide, entered into association with Retail Arabia in 2001 to launch its Middle East operations. Since opening the first Géant Hypermarket in Bahrain, Retail Arabia has adapted the hypermarket’s international retailing experiences and successfully pitched itself in different retail formats, to meet the needs, tastes and aspirations of local customers.

A display of personal hygiene products at the new supermarket

The guest of honor pictured alongside the invited ambassadors

Other dignitaries awaiting the arrival of the guest of honor


UK turban-wearing MP vows to fight prejudice

I was targeted because of my ‘Mideast appearance’ Page 9

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Pay Qaeda tax or pay the price Iraqis’ ‘cruel dilemma’ BAGHDAD: Iraq does not tax its citizens, but Abu Jassem Al-Juburi, who runs a gas station in Mosul, still hands over a chunk of his income every month to the group that holds sway there: Al- Qaeda. Dramatically weakened nationwide since it wrought vicious attacks at the height of Iraq’s sectarian war from 2006 to 2008, the terror network’s front group here still retains influence in the northern city. The Islamic State of Iraq is widely described by businesspeople, officials and security leaders as a mafia-like organization that extorts cash from Mosul residents in a bid to fund attacks. “If I keep the gas station open, Al-Qaeda gunmen demand I give them free fuel and make financial contributions, claiming to fight the occupation,” Juburi said, referring to US forces in Iraq as many locals here still do, eight years after the invasion that ousted now-executed dictator Saddam Hussein. “If I close it, the security forces accuse me of cowering to terrorists, of creating supply problems, and they threaten to throw me in prison for a week or two. So, I pay.” “It is a cruel dilemma,” concluded the 50-something, whose gas station lies in the west of the city, 350 kilometers north of Baghdad. Mosul, home to 1.6 million Iraqis, is capital of Nineveh province. The south and west of the city is largely made up of Sunni Muslims, while the rest of Mosul is home to Sunnis, Kurds and Christians. The city, for centuries a trading hub in the Middle East, translates loosely as “the junction” in Arabic. During Saddam’s rule, it was home to a large pool of officers in his army and security services. Now, many of the city’s traders and businessmen profess to paying around $150 a month in “tax” to the ISI. “Strangers come to me and extort money,” said the 40-year-old operator of a private neighborhood electricity generator who asked to be named only as Abu Mohammed, or “father of Mohammed”, for fear of retribution. “They tell me, ‘If you do not want to see your family, or if you want your generator to catch fire,

then don’t pay’. Of course, I give in,” he says, blaming authorities for failing to improve security. Mosul officials openly acknowledge how much power the ISI has in the city. “Al-Qaeda forces entrepreneurs, industrialists, traders, pharmacists, all of them to put their hands in their pockets to finance their activities,” noted Abdul Rahman al-Shammari, head of the security committee on the Nineveh provincial council. “The activities of Al-Qaeda in the province, and particularly in Mosul, is due to the long border with Syria and the fear of the city’s residents in denouncing the terrorists.” Much of that is due to distrust of the security forces, Shammari said, and their perceived infiltration by ISI fighters. In addition, while the province’s policemen are largely made up of locals, many of the soldiers posted to the area are from Iraq’s Shiite Muslim south. Mosul is one of the most violent cities in the country. In 2009, 557 attacks resulted in 757 deaths, according to the independent NGO Iraq Body Count, with a per-capita level of violence much higher than the capital, which has four times as many residents. The IBC did not immediately respond to an AFP request for up-to-date figures. Despite its reduced profile nationwide, ISI is still able to recruit in Mosul’s mosques, arguing that it is the only group “resisting the occupiers,” said a police commander who declined to be identified. “But threats remain their strongest means of persuasion,” the officer said. “If a businessman refuses to pay, they kill his son in front of his home. If he still stands firm, they will blow up his house to make an example of him for others.” He added that ISI leaders in Nineveh were able to organize attacks from jail and had sufficient power to have non-compliant prison guards killed. “The family of each detainee receives payment from AlQaeda, and the group promises to build him a house for when he is released,” the officer added.

MEDHATIYAH: The burned shell of a vehicle lies at the scene of a bomb attack in Medhatiyah, south of Hamza, 100 kilometers south of Baghdad yesterday. — AFP

But while they raise funds in Mosul, the focus of their attacks remain Baghdad, according to defense ministry spokesman Major General Mohammed AlAskari. “Al-Qaeda’s leadership is in Mosul, the bombs

are made in Diyala (a province in central Iraq), the funds are provided by Sunnis in the north and west of the capital, and operations today are concentrated on Baghdad,” he said.—AFP



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Libyan Jews shed no tears for Gaddafi OR YEHUDA: Members of Libya’s Jewish community, who emigrated en masse to Israel, are happy to reminisce and cling to their cultural heritage but they have no nostalgia for fallen leader Muammar Gaddafi. In Ramat Gan near Tel Aviv, a group of around 20 elderly punters, who all emigrated from Libya, are sitting around tables in the local Sports Cafe for their weekly get-together. “It’s the parliament of the Libya Jews,” chuckles cafe owner Sergio Duyeb. This community, which now numbers around 180,000 people, immigrated to the Jewish state in three stages: after the 1945 pogrom in Tripoli, in the wake of the unrest which accompanied Israel’s creation in 1948, and following the Arab defeat during the 1967 Six-Day War. While well integrated into Israeli society, many of them chat in Italian, a throwback to Libya’s colonial past

when the North African country was ruled by I taly between 1911 and 1943. Sitting around the tables, the group suddenly breaks into song, then bursts out laughing as they belt out mar tial choruses from the Mussolini era. “We will never forgive the Italian fascists for collaborating with the Third Reich,” says Meir Sayegh, a 69-year-old survivor of the Giado concentration camp, some 150 miles south of Tripoli, where more than 500 Libyan Jews died from abuse and a typhoid epidemic in 1942. “Nor will we forget the massacres of Jews carried out by the Muslims in Libya, let alone Gaddafi’s abuses. He committed the worst of crimes by razing the graveyards where our grandparents were buried in order to build there,” says Nashte Gilboa, the bitterness evident in his voice. Gilboa, who owns a commercial

vineyard in southern Israel, has fond memories of the era of King Idris I in the period after Libya gained its independence in 1951 and before Gaddafi’s coup in 1969. “Libya was a model of coexistence and tolerance,” he says. He doesn’t feel “even the slightest bit of nostalgia” watching the momentous events unfold in his former homeland over the past six months. ‘Fully support the rebels’-”I fully support the rebels, and I hope that one day we will see a free and democratic Libya,” he said, saying he would love to return to visit one day. “I would like to be able to go back and find the place where my ancestors lived.” The Jewish community in Libya dates back to the third century BC and at its peak numbered around 38,000 people, although it was always the smallest of the Jewish populations in North Africa. Most of the Jewish population left in the 20 years

following World War II, although several hundred were still living there during Gaddafi’s coup of 1969. “When Gaddafi took power, one of his first acts was to chase the last 600 Jews out of the country and confiscate their property,” explains Meir Kahalon, the 73-year- old president of the World Organization of Libyan Jews, which is based in Or Yehuda near Tel Aviv. A passionate defender of the group’s cultural identity, Kahalon publishes a glossy quar terly in Hebrew and Italian for the Libyan Jewish community, called “LivLuv”. He also runs an impressive museum which houses an archive and a research centre dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of Libya’s Jewish community. The museum tells the story of Libya of yesteryear, its rooms filled with dozens of pictures of rabbis, a Torah scroll dating back seven centuries, a replica of a typical

Jewish home, a traditional horsedrawn carriage and even wall hangings woven with gold and scented with orange blossom. But there is one more recent addition to the collection: inside a goldembossed book is a page written in Arabic on May 20 of this year by Ahmed El-Sherif, a London-based Libyan opposition leader, in which he expresses his desire to see the Jews return to Libya. Israel’s own contribution to the Libyan revolution came from DJ Noy Alooshe, himself of Tunisian extraction. He remixed a rambling Gaddafi speech into a dance music hit entitled “Zenga Zenga”, which quickly went viral when it was posted on YouTube. “This clip which now has some 30 Arabic versions, has already been seen by seven million people,” Alooshe said. “It has somehow become the rallying cry for the Libyan revolution.”—AFP

Gazans have mixed feelings over UN bid Hamas thinks UN move ‘a waste of time’

BEIRUT: An anti-Syrian regime protester, holds up a placard which shows a Syrian tank with words of Baath party (left) and the other Arabic words in the right read: ”Damascus, Deir El-Zor, Homs, Daraa, Hama, Syria free,” as he protests during a demonstration to show his support to the Syrian protesters, in Beirut, Lebanon. —AP

Maronite Christian head sparks debate over Syria BEIRUT: A heated debate has erupted in Lebanon over controversial remarks by the head of the nation’s Maronite Christians, who has warned an end to Syria’s regime threatens Christians across the Middle East. During his first visit to France last week, Patriarch Beshara Butros Rai urged that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad-once the arch-enemy of Lebanon’s Maronites-be given a chance to implement reforms, saying the “poor man cannot work miracles”. Assad’s regime has cracked down on a string of unprecedented protests across his country, killing more than 2,600 civilian protesters since the uprising began in March, according to the United Nations. Many of Syria’s minority Christians, which include Maronites, are concerned that Islamic extremists could rise to power should Assad’s regime collapse. Rai last week echoed that fear, voicing concern of a takeover by the radical Muslim Brotherhood, a movement the Syrian authorities have blacklisted for decades. “We endured the rule of the Syrian regime. I have not forgotten that,” Rai said. “We do not stand by the regime, but we fear the transition that could follow. “We must defend the Christian community. We too must resist.” He later clarified his statement by telling local press he feared the fall of “regimes described as dictatorial... could lead to civil war, in which Christians would be the biggest victims”. Lebanon’s Christians, a community that once enjoyed unparalleled political leverage, are now split on the protests rocking Syria. Maronites allied with Shiite militant group

Hezbollah, which is supported by Syria and Iran, are backing Assad and accusing the radical Sunnis of stirring the unrest. Other Lebanese Christians, allied with proWestern former premier Saad Hariri, have voiced support for the anti-Assad protests. Observers are divided on the patriarch’s stance, with some lauding it as a shield for Christians and others warning it marks a grave political faux pas. “It was a big mistake for the patriarch to go to France, which has a history of hundreds of years of support for Maronites, and say the Assad regime must be protected at a time when the Assad regime is breaking down,” said political commentator and author Elias Al-Zoghbi. But others argue Rai is doing what is necessary to ensure the survival of his dwindling community. “The patriarch is not enamored with the regime of Bashar al-Assad, nor is he blind to the atrocities Lebanon suffered as a result of that regime’s military presence in Lebanon for 30 years,” said analyst and columnist Jean Aziz. “He is not defending the regime but he fears that unrest in Syria will lead to civil war, which would see the Christians of Syria and Lebanon suffer the same as those of Iraq.” Lebanon was gripped by a deadly civil war from 1975 to 1990, which saw Syria send troops in to its smaller neighbor, where they remained for 29 years. Ahed Al-Hindi, a Washington-based Syrian activist and himself a Christian, openly rejected Rai’s explanations as serving to strike fear into the hearts of Christians. — AFP

GAZA: President Mahmoud Abbas’s bid to seek UN recognition of a Palestinian state is not generating much enthusiasm in the isolated Gaza Strip, where internal political divisions run deep. The Islamist Hamas movement, which seized the territory from forces loyal to Abbas’s Fatah group in 2007, sees the move as an exercise in futility in a quest for statehood. Many Palestinians in the Gaza Strip seem to agree with that assessment and are asking why the mainstream Palestinian leadership, based in the West Bank, did not first tackle problems holding up implementation of a unity deal with Hamas. “ Why should we go to the United Nations while division exists?” asked Deeb Sukkar, 54, whose family had to flee the nearby port city of Jaffa in 1948, when Israel was created. Since the brief civil war with Hamas four years ago, Abbas has not set foot in Gaza and holds sway only in the West Bank, an area under Israeli occupation and where his Palestinian Authority (PA) exercises a measure of self-rule. “I advise the Palestinian leadership in Gaza and the West Bank to stand before the Palestinian people directly and resign because they failed to reconcile,” said Sukkar, who lives in the Beach refugee camp in Gaza. Fatah leaders signed a reconciliation deal with Hamas counterparts in April, but the agreement has stalled in a dispute over who will lead a unity government they agreed to form ahead of a new parliamentary election. Ahmed Kullab, a 21-year-old university student, said he backed Abbas’s UN initiative, but feared he “will only exhaust himself because America will use the veto”. He was referring to the possibility that Abbas would apply for full UN membership for Palestine, a status only the Security Council

WEST BANK: Palestinian activists from the “Youth Against Settlements” group hold up signs as they protest against the closure of Al-Shuhada street in the West Bank city of Hebron yesterday. — AP can approve. The United States has already said it would veto such a move and has urged the Palestinians to return to negotiations with Israel frozen, soon after they began last September, in a dispute over Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank. But Wasim Abeid, an Abbas loyalist, said that “after a lengthy struggle” for statehood, it was “high time we harvested its fruits”. “It is an obligation that must be given and it is not a gift, neither by America nor by the United Nations,” the 34-year-old civil servant said. HAMAS OPPOSITION Hamas’s founding charter calls for the destruction of the Jewish state and it has always rejected PA overtures with Israel, which imposes a firm blockade on the enclave. Hamas spokesman Sami

A Reuters reporter at the site said the entire front of the restaurant was destroyed, with shattered glass on the floor and blood stains covering food, chairs and tables inside the place. Deputy Health Minister Khamis alSaad put the toll at eight killed and 36 wounded. An army source reporting the bombing in Habaniya said: “The soldiers finished their academic training and a bus took them to have breakfast at the restaurant in the base. When the bus reached the restaurant it exploded.” Army sources had initially said 15 soldiers had been killed and 20 others wounded, but said later that the toll was less. “The first report we received said it was a bomb attached to a bus transporting soldiers. There were around 40 soldiers on board the coach. They said 15 killed, 20 wounded,” an army source at the operations centre in Anbar province said. “We received other reports after this with a higher toll. But when we checked with the Habaniya military hospital, they said we only received two dead and 10 wounded,” the source said. — Reuters

may fabricate many incidents so that the news of the incidents overshadows events at the United Nations,” Habib said. Palestinian leaders say the rallies will be peaceful and held away from Israeli military checkpoints. Israeli leaders have played down the prospects for clashes and said Israeli security forces have been trained in non-lethal crowd control, while also preparing for any Palestinian violence. His back to the wall in a Beach refugee camp alleyway, Mahmoud Amer, a 52-year-old restaurant worker, said there could be only one diplomatic solution for Palestinians, a state of their own that is recognized internationally. “The conflict is not over and it will never be over unless the Palestinian state is established with Jerusalem as its capital,” he said.— Reuters

US flies flag in Tripoli

Car bomb kills 15 in southern Iraq HAMZA: At least 15 people were killed and 36 others wounded when a car bomb exploded by a restaurant in the southern Iraqi town of Al-Hamza yesterday, police sources said. Elsewhere, two Iraqi soldiers were killed and 10 others wounded when a bomb attached to a military bus exploded at an army base in Habaniya, around 85 km west of Baghdad, Saad and army sources said. Bombings and killings occur on a daily basis in Iraq more than eight years after the US-led invasion although violence has dropped from the peak of sectarian fighting in 2006-07. The first incident occurred outside the Ehsan tourist restaurant, a popular rest-stop by a main highway for people travelling through Al-Hamza, located just south of Hilla, 100 km south of Baghdad. “I was in the kitchen when suddenly I heard a blast. I heard loud screams, and the sound of people running. I left the kitchen and went outside to see people covered in blood, lying on the ground,” said Tahsin Mahmoud, a worker in the restaurant’s kitchen. “It took a long time for Iraqi security forces to reach the scene.”

Abu Zuhri equally dismissed Abbas’s unilateral initiative at the United Nations. “It is a cosmetic step that will not bring any useful result to the Palestinian people,” he said. But Gaza political analyst Hani Habib said it was high time for action in the United Nations, noting the world body had been responsible “in the legal sense” for Israel’s creation under a 1947 plan partitioning British-mandated Palestine into independent Arab and Jewish states. Habib said “disappointment over the negotiating process” had spurred Abbas into action. The analyst cautioned, however, that rallies Palestinians plan in the West Bank in support of the statehood bid could lead to violent confrontations with Israeli forces. Hamas is unlikely to let any big rallies take place in Gaza. “Israel

TRIPOLI: US Assistant Secretary of State Jeffery Feltman talks during a press conference in Tripoli, Libya yesterday. — AP

TRIPOLI: The United States gave Libya’s new rulers a very visible show of support yesterday when a senior envoy visited the capital and praised their efforts to assert control of armed groups three weeks after Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown. Washington has taken a back seat to France and Britain in NATO-led air strikes that helped the ragtag rebel coalition take Tripoli last month. And, wary of a backlash after their military takeovers in Iraq and Afghanistan, US officials are at pains to avoid seeming to take control of oil-rich Libya. But the visit of Jeffrey Feltman put an American accent firmly in the centre of a Tripoli recovering from six months of civil war. The State Department’s top Middle East diplomat assured interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil of continued NATO support and played down fears of a hostile Islamist takeover. Putting a spotlight on the US role in what is seen so far in the West as a successful intervention comes at a welcome time for the Obama administration as it grapples with complex problems elsewhere in the Middle East. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, glad for a fillip to his re-election campaign from helping topple Gaddafi, is expected to visit Tripoli in person soon. Western powers, which had reconciled with Gaddafi in recent years, are now competing with each other and with the likes of China and Russia for the favor of his successors, looking for

trade deals on oil and gas and a share of building contracts. Feltman said Washington remained committed to NATO and Gulf Arab air operations to thwart any threats to civilians, as Gaddafi’s fugitive spokesman renewed claims that the ousted strongman was still in the country and rallying his forces for a fightback in several stubborn loyalist bastions. Feltman also praised Abdel Jalil’s National Transitional Council (NTC) for progress toward bringing the army, police and a host of local and partisan militias under its control. Foreign powers are worried about the risk of anarchy after 42 years of Gaddafi’s eccentric personal rule at odds with much of the world. The European Union yesterday demanded an end to arbitrary killings and detentions by both sides and especially to attacks on sub-Saharan Africans and black Libyans, who are widely accused of having fought for Gaddafi. Feltman, an assistant secretary of state, said: “We remain encouraged by growing command and control over security and police forces. We understand that this is a difficult task. “Libya’s interim leadership is solidifying the steps and integrating militias under one civilian authority.” Asked about the strength of Islamist groups in the rebel coalition which overthrew Muammar Gaddafi last month, he said: “We are not concerned that one group will be able to dominate the aftermath of what has been a shared struggle.” — Reuters

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Republican wins race in Democrat bastion A major blow to President Obama

DETROIT: Passengers are escorted off a Frontier Airlines plane at Detroit’s Metropolitan Airport. (Inset) Hebshi said she was strip-searched after being led in handcuffs from a Frontier Airlines flight from Denver to Detroit on Sept. 11. — AP

I was targeted because of my ‘Mideast appearance’ DETROIT: An Ohio woman who was one of three people taken off an airplane at Detroit’s airport and questioned on the 10th anniversary of the Sept 11 terrorist attacks says she was shocked when armed officers stopped at her row and ordered her off. Shoshana Hebshi, 35 said in a telephone interview Tuesday that she believes she was targeted because of her Middle Eastern appearance. Hebshi, who describes herself as half-Arabic, half-Jewish with a dark complexion, said she endured nearly four hours in police custody that included being forced off an airplane in handcuffs, strip-searched and interrogated. Authorities say fighter jets escorted the Denver-to-Detroit Frontier Airlines flight after its crew reported that two people were spending a long time in a bathroom - the two men sitting next to Hebshi in the 12th row. The FBI has said the three didn’t know each other. One man felt ill and got up to use the restroom and another man in the same row also left his seat to go to the bathroom. The FBI said they never were inside together. Hebshi has written extensively on her blog about the incident, saying she felt “violated, humiliated and sure that I was being taken from the plane simply because of my appearance.” Hebshi told the AP she didn’t notice how many times the men went to the bathroom. “I wasn’t keeping track,” she said. “I

really wasn’t paying attention,” said Hebshi, a freelance writer, editor and stay-at-home mother of twin six-year-old boys who lives in a suburb of Toledo, Ohio. “I was minding my own business sleeping, reading, playing on my phone.” After the plane landed, she wrote several posts on Twitter about what was going on as those aboard waited while police descended. “A little concerned about this situation. Plane moved away from terminal surrounded by cops. Crew is mum. Passengers can’t get up,” she wrote at one point. Later she wrote, “I see stairs coming our way...yay!” Her last post said, “Majorly armed cops coming aboard.” It’s then than she says the officers ordered her and the men, whom she described as Indian, to get up. She said she was patted down and taken by car to a holding cell. A uniformed female officer eventually came in and told Hebshi to take off her clothes. After the strip search, another officer who identified herself as a Homeland Security agent led Hebshi to another room, Hebshi said. There, a man who identified himself as an FBI agent asked her a series of questions while a female agent took notes, Hebshi said. Hebshi said that when she asked what was going on, the male agent told her someone on the plane reported that she and the men on her row were “conducting suspicious activity.” — AP

NEW YORK: A Republican businessman has won a special election for a US Congress seat in a Democrat stronghold here, dealing a major blow to President Barack Obama as he gears up for the 2012 White House race. Republicans had portrayed the US congressional race as a referendum on Obama, whose popularity has sunk as Americans have grown increasingly frustrated with the stalled economic recovery and nine percent unemployment. NY1 television reported yesterday that Bob Turner had defeated Democratic state and city legislator Dave Weprin in the election to fill the seat vacated by Anthony Weiner, who resigned over an online sex scandal. NY1 said Turner has won 54 percent of votes compared to Weprin’s 46 percent, with 87 percent of the ballots counted, guaranteeing the Republicans their first victory in the Queens and Brooklyn district since 1923. “This is an historical race. We have been asked by the people of this district to send a message to Washington, and I hope they hear it loud and clear,” Turner said in a televised victory speech. “We are ready to say: ‘Mister President, we are on the wrong track.’” The seat opened in June when Weiner, a popular Democratic incumbent, resigned from the US House of Representatives after revelations that he was sending X-rated photos of himself to women he met online. As if the clean-cut, married congressman’s sex scandal was not embarrassing enough, Obama’s party has now suffered a humiliating defeat in a district where registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans 3:1. Republicans had predicted ahead of the race that it would reveal widespread discontent with Obama. “The attitude and approval rating of the president is having a lot to do with this electorate and the election outcome,” Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Monday. Obama has a lowly 45 percent national approval rating and risks being dragged down by the floundering economy as he gears up for a tough November 2012 election to stay in the White House. Weprin had hoped that voters would instead sent a message to conservative Tea Party Republicans, whom he said had “basically held the nation hostage” last summer

Punchy Obama irks Republicans WASHINGTON: Throwing populist punches, President Barack Obama is out to dispel the woes of August and outmaneuver Republicans over the $447 billion jobs bill on which his political fate may depend. Posing as a warrior for the Middle Class, Obama has pruned his stump speech, of the lofty rhetoric which made his name. In its place is a simple argumentRepublicans are on the side of the rich not the jobless, and his plan puts people back to work and more money in the pockets of working Americans.” “If you want to create jobs right now-pass this bill,” a Obama roared at a raucous event at a school in crucial swing state Ohio on Tuesday. “If you want construction workers renovating schools like this one-pass this bill. If you want to put teachers back in the classroom-pass this bill. “My message to Congress is, what on Earth are we waiting for?” Obama said, holding up his bill in a pugnacious pitch that has irked his politi-

cal enemies. Seeking to boost the worst approval ratings of his presidency and to rebuild trust with voters on the economy, Obama has set out on a countrywide campaign blitz that senior aides say will last for months. In a 17-minute speech in Ohio, Obama shouted “Pass this bill” 15 times, as supporters took up his refrain-offering flattering television pictures of the president in the heartland. The pared-down speech seems to be an answer to those Democrats who feared Obama had lost the stomach for the fight after a string of reversals to Republicans who gave his Democrats a “shellacking” in 2010 mid-term elections. That whispering became particularly acute during August, when the US economy created zero jobs, raising new doubts over his 2012 reelection projects. However, Obama’s new approach has yet to change the painful political dynamics casting a cloud of his reelection bid. With unemploy-

ment at 9.1 percent and not expected to tumble significantly before Election Day, and with economic growth stagnant, Republican presidential candidates can smell blood. Many observers also think that Obama’s bill has questionable prospects in Congress, and is sure to be picked apart by House Republicans in Congress who believe prior stimulus spending has failed. Obama unveiled the new plan, a mix of payroll tax cuts and infrastructure investments, in a joint address to Congress last week. Monday, the White House angered Republicans by saying he planned to pay for the bill with curtailed itemized deductions for the wealthiest Americans and closed tax breaks for energy corporations and corporate jet owners. Republicans have taken a dim view of Obama’s campaign, which will take in another key swing state, North Carolina yesterday, and will include a flurry of presidential travel in the months to come. — AFP

9 killed in Yemen SANAA: Nine people were killed in two days of clashes between tribal fighters who are opposed to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and an elite military unit loyal to him, a tribal official said yesterday. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said violent clashes were ongoing in the town of Arhab, 40 kilometers north of the capital Sanaa, between Republican Guard troops commanded by Saleh’s son Ahmed, and fighters from the Bakil tribe, the most influential tribe in the country. “Five tribesmen were killed Tuesday and another four Monday in extremely violent clashes,” he said. The fighting comes as Yemen teeters towards a state of near collapse following months of anti-government protests and growing influence of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), as its embattled president remains absent from the scene. — AFP

during tense negotiations over raising the national debt ceiling. He did not immediately concede defeat yesterday, even after NY1 called the race for Turner. “This is not over yet; this is going to be a long night,” he told his supporters, according to local media. “Hopefully we can still pull this out.” Samuel Abrams, professor of political science at Sarah Lawrence College outside New York City, said special elections often take on wider meaning as frustrated voters try to

vative and also fervently pro-Israel. The wider US Jewish community tends to vote Democratic, but this time the Jewish vote may have gone the other way. Weprin, as a state assemblyman, voted for gay marriage in New York and also has backed the constitutional right of Muslims to build an Islamic center near the site of the 9/11 attacks in downtown Manhattan. Turner, in contrast, had portrayed himself as a social conservative and his campaign ads have res-

NEW YORK: Republican Bob Turner (left) smiles as he leans in to kiss his wife Peggy while addressing the supporters during an election night party in New York. — AP show off their power. “A lot of times when you have an open seat like this it ends up as a referendum,” Abrams said. “Voters get very hot and bothered and use these opportunities to be very expressive... They know the eyes of the United States are looking at them.” But there are also significant local factors, including the district’s large population of Orthodox Jews, who are socially very conser-

urrected last year’s bitter public debate over the so-called “Ground Zero mosque.” Turner also won the support of a former New York mayor and lifelong Jewish Democrat, Ed Koch. But Weprin also fielded some big guns, with automated phone messages urging votes for him from former president Bill Clinton and current New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, USA Today reported. — AFP




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Do teen driving restrictions save lives? NEW YORK: Programs that keep young drivers from taking the wheel at night, or with a car full of teens, may reduce the risk of fatal crashes in some driversbut increase that risk in others, according to a US study. Car crashes account for more than one-third of deaths in US teens, according to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, and are the leading cause of death for that group. Researchers led by Scott Masten from the California Department of Motor Vehicles combined data on fatal crashes in adolescents aged 16 to 19 between 1986 and 2007, looking at graduated driver licensing (GDL) systems. “In the United States, stronger GDL programs with restrictions on nighttime driving as well as allowed

passengers, relative to programs with some of the key GDL elements, were associated with substantially lower fatal crash incidence for 16-year-old drivers but somewhat higher fatal crash incidence for 18-year-old drivers,” Masten wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “Future studies should seek to determine what accounts for the increase among 18-year-old drivers and whether refinements in GDL programs can reduce this.” Starting in 1996, US states began putting restrictions on drivers under 18, including on what hours they could take the wheelnot after midnight, for example-and who they could have as a passenger, including no more than one other teenager. Now, every state has some

degree of these programs. Masten and his team found that on the whole, fewer teens died in car crashes when stricter diving policies were in place. With no driving restrictions, about 47 of every 100,000 teens died in a car crash each year, on average. With strict programs, including both nighttime driving and passenger restrictions, that decreased to 30 in every 100,000 per year. When the researchers accounted for other factors, including how often people drove in each state and in what season car crashes occurred, they found that 16-year-olds were 26 percent less likely to die in a crash when states had strict driving restrictions than when they had none. However, 18-year-olds-who no longer faced the restrictions-were 12

percent more likely to have a fatal crash. There was no difference in fatal crash rates for 17- or 19-year-olds. Statistical tests couldn’t confirm any difference in crashes among all 16-to19-year-olds combined, with or without the driving policies. Based on those findings, they calculated that since 1996, graduated driving licensing programs have been linked to 1,348 fewer fatal crashes in 16-year-old drivers and 1,086 more of those deaths in 18-yearolds. Teens “learn well and react well,” said Jean Shope, from the University of Michigan Transport Research Institute, who was not involved in the study. “If we want teens to get driving experience while they’re teens, we have to face the fact that they are teenagers

and still have development issues going on. She added that some experts have wondered whether more young drivers will wait to get their licenses at age 18 to avoid restrictions that only apply to younger teens. Another possibility is that even teens who get a license earlier will have less experience driving along and under challenging conditions when they hit 18, other experts said. Anne McCartt, from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in Arlington, Virginia, said that national trends have generally shown a drop in teen crashes since restrictions went into effect. “I think these studies may help us identify ways to make teens even safer, but we’ve been doing a much better job than we used to,” she added. —Reuters

Boko Haram could attack universities Speculation rife over future potential targets ONITSHA: An Islamist sect responsible for a series of deadly bombings in Nigeria in recent months could target universities in the south of Africa’s most populous

on the United Nations building there last month, which killed 23 people. The sect, which wants sharia law more widely applied in

strike might occur. Security has been boosted around all major government buildings, large hotels and many Western embassies. “We got intelligence

ABUJA: President of Senegal Abdoulaye Wade (left) looks on as President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan (center) shakes hands with Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) mini summit in Abuja on September 10, 2011. —AFP nation, police said yesterday. Boko Haram, whose name translates from the northern Hausa language as “Western education is sinful”, has claimed responsibility for bombings at police headquarters in Abuja in June and an attack

Nigeria, has also been blamed for almost daily shootings and attacks with homemade bombs in the far northeast, where the group was formed. Boko Haram’s ambitions have grown rapidly and there is speculation about where another

reports that Boko Haram could target not only the University of Benin but other universities across the country so we are not taking anything for granted,” Peter Ogboi, police spokesman for southern Edo state said. “The police are

doing everything possible to secure not only universities but other public places and we have assured people not to be afraid.” It is difficult to verify threats by Boko Haram because the group has an undefined command structure and a number of people who claim to speak on its behalf. Nigeria’s population of more than 140 million is roughly split between a mostly Muslim north and a largely Christian south. The sect is not supported by the majority of Nigeria’s Muslim population, the largest in sub-Saharan Africa. Students at universities in the south said warnings were posted on notice boards about being vigilant over security and police checks had increased in recent days. “Security has been tight around the University of Ibadan since Monday following rumors that Boko Haram is planning to bomb an institution. The police have been stopping and searching everyone who goes in and out of the university,” said student Henri Okonkwo. President Goodluck Jonathan has said the heightened security risks are deterring foreign investors from putting funds into Nigeria, subSaharan Africa’s second-largest economy. Eight suspected members of the sect appeared in court on Tuesday charged with carrying out a series of other bombings and shootings between March and July this year that killed a total of 25 people. The defendants could face death by hanging if they are found guilty. —Reuters


in brief

Ambulance crashes into crowd; 11 dead MONROVIA: An official in Liberia says 11 people were killed after an ambulance crashed into a crowd who had been waiting all day to see a visiting presidential candidate. Regional official Momo Kiadii said yesterday the ambulance crashed into the crowd late Tuesday in the western town of Vonzula. He says many others were wounded. Presidential candidate Kennedy Sandy was visiting the region on a campaign tour. Police spokesman George Bardue confirmed the accident yesterday, but gave no details. Fifteen candidates are challenging incumbent President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in next month’s poll. Liberia was ravaged by civil wars for years until 2003. The country is still struggling to maintain a fragile peace with the help of UN peacekeepers. Serbia ‘plotting violence’ PRISTINA: Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci says Serbia is plotting to violently thwart a plan by authorities to take control of two disputed border crossings with Serbia. Thaci said yesterday Serbia is preparing “to cause violence” just days before Kosovo customs and police officers are to deploy in the Serb-run north as part of a plan backed by NATO and the EU. A similar attempt in July by Kosovo authorities seeking to enforce a trade ban on Serbian goods was met by a violent reaction from the Serb minority. Serbia rejects Kosovo’s 2008 secession. NATO peacekeepers intervened to quell the violence and took control of the border crossings as part of a temporary deal. Vietnam floods kill 6 HANOI: Heavy rains and flooding since the weekend killed six people, destroyed thousands of hectares of crops and damaged homes in Vietnam’s north and central regions, the government said yesterday. Among the dead was a child buried in a landslide in Lao Cai province bordering China, it said. More than 72,000 hectares of crops have been flooded in seven northern and central provinces while at least 2,000 houses were damaged, the national flood and storm control committee said. Rains have now eased and the water levels of local rivers have started to slowly recede, weather forecasters said. Vietnam regularly suffers from tropical storms and flooding at this time of year. At least 22 people died during heavy rain and storms in the north in June, including 12 struck by lightning while working in rice fields.

PARIS: France’s former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin addresses to journalists at Paris courthouse yesterday after the appeal hearing of the socalled ‘Clearstream case’. —AFP

Court clears Sarkozy’s foe of smear charges PARIS: Former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin was cleared by an appeals court yesterday of being part of a smear campaign against President Nicolas Sarkozy, his bitter political foe, in the run up to the 2007 election. The dropping of charges in what is known as the Clearstream affair, for its links to the Luxembourg-based securities clearing house, ends a six-year legal battle for Villepin and leaves him free to challenge Sarkozy in the next year election. Villepin, who has quit Sarkozy’s conservative UMP party and published his own centre-right political manifesto, was acquitted of charges last year by a lower court, but prosecutors appealed against that verdict. “I’ve come out of this test even stronger than before, and even more determined to serve my fellow Frenchmen,” Villepin told reporters outside the court following the verdict. The case centered on a forged list of names, made public ahead of the 2007 presidential election, which falsely linked Sarkozy to a corruption probe relating to secret Luxembourg bank accounts. Villepin, prime minister from 2005 to 2007 under President Jacques Chirac, was accused of doing nothing to stop rumors about the list even though he knew it was fake. Prosecutors said he was an “accomplice by abstention” in the scam, which tried to falsely accuse Sarkozy and others of stashing covert kickbacks in accounts with Clearstream. “I’d like to think that this decision will help make our country less susceptible

to rumors and insults, which should be treated with the contempt they deserve,” Villepin said. AFRICA ACCUSATIONS HIT VILLEPIN Villepin would not be a major player in the next year election but he could eat into support for Sarkozy, who is widely expected to seek a second term but risks a defeat by the left. A rise in support for the far-right is also hurting Sarkozy. While he is now free of the Clearstream charges, Villepin was hit over the weekend with accusations that he and Chirac were handed millions of dollars in cash, some of it stuffed into suitcases or hidden in African drums, from the leaders of several former French colonies in Africa. The Paris prosecutor on Tuesday opened an inquiry into the allegations, made by former Chirac aide and lawyer Robert Bourgi. Chirac and Villepin plan to sue over the allegations, which have also raised questions about Sarkozy’s links with African leaders seven months before the 2012 presidential election. Never elected to public office, Villepin was chief of staff in the mid-1990s to Chirac, who named him prime minister in 2005 after stints as foreign and interior minister. The Paris appeals cour t upheld short prison sentences and fines for defamation imposed on two other defendants in the Clearstream affairformer EADS vice president Jean-Louis Gergorin and computer programmer Imad Lahoud. —Reuters

Crowd hails Danish populist chief but election loss likely

LONDON: Dr Indarjit Singh, Britain’s first turbaned Sikh to sit in the House of Lords, poses for pictures outside the Houses of Parliament in central London. —AFP

British first turban-wearing MP vows to fight prejudice LONDON: Britain’s first turban-wearing Sikh lawmaker has vowed to dispel prejudices about his religion that have increased in the wake of terrorist attacks on the West in the past decade. Indarjit Singh, whose official title on entering the House of Lords will be Baron Singh of Wimbledon, will cut an unusual figure when he takes his seat next month in the chamber amid a sea of snowy-haired white men. The 78-year-old, well known in Britain because of his regular radio broadcasts and articles in newspapers and whose appointment to parliament’s upper house was announced last week, said on Tuesday he hoped to use his position to promote understanding of his faith and fight against prejudice. In the years since the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States and bombings on London’s transport system, both masterminded by Islamist extremists, it was not only Muslims who had seen prejudice against them increase, he said.

Sikhs in Britain, a minority of less than half a million, had received a lot of hate mail after the attacks, said Singh, who was born in Rawalpindi, then in British-ruled India but now in Pakistan, but came to Britain at a young age. “The reaction has been almost as bad as the initial shock,” he said, referring to the aftermath of the 2001 attacks on the US and the London bombings in 2005. “The mindset it has created is that we are fighting a ‘war on terror’. I think that is wrong. What needs to be fought is ignorance,” he said. The married father-of-two added: “There is talk about islamophobia and anti-Semitism, the reality is that people react negatively to people seeming different. No-one can seem much more different than Sikhs.” Singh, one of Britain’s best known Sikhs, said he hoped his appointment would “increase understanding because prejudice flourishes on ignorance.” He added he wanted to encourage dialogue between faiths. —AFP

SLAGELSE: A buzz of excitement goes through the crowd as the head of Denmark’s populist, anti-immigration party sweeps into the square, shaking hands and assuring supporters Thursday’s vote will not spell the end to her decade of influence. Pia Kjaersgaard, the 64-year-old head of the Danish People’s Party (DPP), takes her time making the rounds, stopping to chat with many of the around 100 supporters who have gathered in the windswept small town of Slagelse, 80 kilometers west of Copenhagen. “I understand completely... This is what I’ve been saying all along,” she says after listening wrinkle-browed to one voter’s concerns about of dissipating pensions, and again on hearing about unemployment worries. Near a large poster of her own smiling face, with glasses and cropped blond hair, Kjaersgaard kneels down to speak to a severely handicapped man in a wheelchair, spending long minutes deciphering his slurred message: “You’re the best for Denmark!” Others crane their necks, eager to catch a glimpse of the youthful and charismatic grandmother who co-founded the DPP in 1995 and who has largely dictated Denmark’s immigration policies for the past decade. “I love Pia!” enthuses Erkki Trige, 76, echoing the pins worn by many supporters, most of whom, like him, are pensioners. Putting down the cup of free

coffee passed out by campaign workers, he insists Kjaersgaard is “Denmark’s very best politician,” adding he supports DPP because after living in “Arab countries” for three years he realized “we can’t live sideby-side with such people.” With around 12 percent of voter support, the party has since 2001 been a key parliamentary ally of the minority centreright government and has wielded enormous influence especially in pushing Denmark to adopt among the most draconian immigration policies in Europe. But polls have consistently suggested that the centre-left opposition alliance, which is much less inclined to cooperate with the DPP, will win Thursday’s elections. That is a fear Kjaersgaard brushes aside, telling AFP: “I am convinced the DPP will do well.” “We will still have influence,” she says, insisting that even if the opposition wins, her party will have leverage to push through several issues. In addition to maintaining strict immigration laws and pushing ahead with controversial permanent customs controls at Danish borders, her party has presented an EU-skeptic platform and courted the elderly with promises of subsidy hikes and even free handouts of pepper spray for selfdefense. Jenette Fagerberg, 30, who has skipped her adult vocational school to see Kjaersgaard, says she thinks Denmark needs a change of government. —AFP




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27 die as 20-hour Kabul siege ends Longest-lasting, most audacious militant attack

ARAKKONAM: Rescue workers gather at the site of a train accident near Arakkonam, southwest of Chennai, India yesterday. —AP

Driver blamed for India train crash; Ten killed ARAKKONAM: Indian railway officials yesterday blamed driver error for a latenight collision between two packed passenger trains that killed ten people and injured more than 80. Tuesday’s crash saw a speeding train ram into a stationar y one at a station near Arak konam, about 55 miles from Chennai, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Emergency teams worked yesterday to clear the crash site, where five coaches were derailed in the impact. “Initial reports suggest that the driver may have jumped the signal,” Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi, who visited the scene, told reporters. Southern Railway general manager Deepak Krishnan said the driver, who survived the crash, had ignored speed restrictions close to the station. “He passed a few signals and then jumped out of the train and injured himself,” Krishnan said. “It is very difficult (to know what happened), we will find out the details.” All the fatalities and injured passengers had been freed from the mangled wreckage by the morning, and engineers were working in heavy monsoon rains to repair the damaged track. “I heard a loud noise but did not k now what happened. There was no light and there was smoke all around. First we though it was a bomb blast,” Ramamurthy, 49, who only uses one name, told the Press

Trust of India news agency. “I heard the sound and in a flash I found myself lying on the track. Then co-passengers helped me,” he said after being taken to the local public hospital. The line between the port city of Chennai and the town of Vellore was due to be re - opened today. India’s creaking state-run railway system-still the main form of long-distance travel despite fierce competition from private airlines-carries 18.5 million people ever y day. While new shiny airpor t infrastructure is springing up across the countr y, the I ndian railways-a much romanticized legacy of British colonial rule-often appear stuck in a time-warp. After decades of under-investment, the rolling stock is old, speeds are low, signaling is done manually in some areas, and a lack of fencing makes the network a soft target for militants. Experts say the system is desperately in need of new investment to improve safety and help end transport bottlenecks. The last major accident occurred in July when a packed express train travelling from Kolkata to New Delhi derailed at high speed in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, killing 63 people. India’s worst rail accident was in 1981 when a train plunged into a river in the eastern state of Bihar, killing an estimated 800 people. —Agencies

KABUL: The 20-hour insurgent assault on the heavily guarded Afghan capital left 27 dead including police, civilians and attackers - when fighting finally ended yesterday, officials said. The marathon siege in Kabul’s diplomatic enclave ended with the death of the last two of a group of gunmen who had held off Western and Afghan security forces for nearly 20 hours, showering rockets on Western embassies in a dramatic show of insurgent strength. It was the longest and most audacious militant attack on the Afghan capital in the decade since the Taleban were ousted from power and a stark reminder of insurgents’ resources and reach as Western forces start to return home. At least 11 civilians were killed, three of them children, NATO-led foreign forces said. The Ministry of the Interior said four policemen died, and that toll was likely to rise. US Ambassador Ryan Crocker said around six or seven rockets had hit inside the embassy perimeter during the early hours of the attack, launched early on Tuesday afternoon, but said the range meant they had not posed a serious threat. “They were firing from at least 800 meters away and with an RPG (rocketpropelled grenade) that’s harassment. That’s not an attack,” he said in an interview transcript handed out to journalists in Kabul. The insurgents had holed up in a multi-storey building still under construction and launched their attack early on Tuesday afternoon, firing rockets towards the US and other embassies and the headquarters of NATO-led foreign forces. Three suicide bombers also targeted police buildings in other parts of the city, but the embassy district assault was the most spectacular. FLOOR-BY-FLOOR FIGHTING Afghan security forces backed by NATO and Afghan attack helicopters fought floor-by-floor in the 13-storey building, which the six insurgents appeared to have booby trapped. They had arrived under burqas, the traditional face-veiling robe worn by Afghan women, in a car packed with explosives, and entered the high-rise after shooting a security guard. “As our country is traditional and Islamic, there is a special respect for women and the enemies exploited this to get to the building,” Kabul Police Chief Ayoub Salangi said. The gunmen then hid from helicopters and government and foreign troops in lift shafts and a maze of small rooms. The group were armed with rocket-propelled grenade launchers, AK-47 assault rifles and suicide bomb vests, a Taleban spokesman said, but the time they held out

Haqqani: From White House guest to staunch US enemy The US ambassador to Afghanistan said yesterday he believed the Taleban-affiliated Haqqani network was behind an audacious assault by militants on Kabul’s diplomatic and military enclave that lasted 20 hours. Here are some questions and answers on the Haqqani network: WHAT IS HAQQANI NETWORK? Named after its leader, Jalaluddin Haqqani, it is one of three, and perhaps the most feared, of the Talebanallied insurgent factions fighting USled NATO and Afghan troops in Afghanistan. Jalaluddin gained notoriety as an anti-Soviet mujahideen commander in Afghanistan in the 1980s. His braver y and ability to organise mujahideen fighters won him funding and weapons from US and Pakistani intelligence services and Saudi Arabia. Former US Congressman Charlie Wilson, who fund-raised for the Afghan resistance, once called Jalaluddin “goodness personified”. The warrior was held in such high esteem he visited the White House when Ronald Reagan was president. After the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, Haqqani turned his ferocity and battle skills on Western forces. He earned a top spot on the CIA hit list, along with his old friend Osama bin Laden, whom he met during the anti-Soviet resistance. Despite ill health, Jalaluddin, who is in his 70s, still inspires Haqqani foot soldiers believed to number up to

4,000, as well as other militant groups who revere him. His son, Siraj, seen as more ruthless, runs the daily affairs of the network. WHERE DO HAQQANIS OPERATE? The Haqqanis are ethnic Pashtuns from the Zadran tribe in southeastern Afghanistan’s Paktia province. The group is active across much of southeastern Afghanistan and seeks to regain full control over its traditional bases in Khost, Paktia and Paktika provinces. The Haqqanis are thought to have introduced suicide bombing to Afghanistan. They are believed to have been behind several high-profile attacks in Afghanistan, including a raid on Kabul’s top hotel, an assassination attempt on President Hamid Karzai and a suicide attack on the Indian embassy. The Haqqanis, who are based in Pakistan’s Nor th Waziristan, have been heavily targeted by missiles fired from US drone aircraft. WHY DOES PAKISTAN ALLOW THEM? The Haqqanis have become one of the biggest sources of tension between allies Washington and Islamabad. Pakistan has denied supporting the Haqqanis but has long resisted US pressure to launch a fullscale offensive in Waziristan to crush the network for both domestic and foreign policy reasons. As one of the most powerful insurgent groups in Afghanistan, the Haqqanis could

act as a spoiler if Pakistan feels its interests are threatened in any settlement to the 10-year war. Islamabad also sees the Haqqanis as an insurance polic y against the growing influence of rival India in Afghanistan. Caving in to Washington and attack ing the Haqqanis could further destabilize Pakistan. Pakistan’s armed forces are already stretched fighting a nexus of dangerous homegrown militantsboth Taleban and other groups-who have found shelter in Haqqani-controlled territory and use the group as an unofficial protective shield. WOULD HAQQANIS FIT INTO PEACE SETTLEMENT? Pakistan hopes the United States will eventually welcome the participation of the Haqqanis in any Afghan peace talks. K abul also understands the group can’t be excluded. Although the Haqqanis fall under the command of Taleban leader, Mullah Omar, US officials believe they do not always accept Taleban authority and can act independently. Jalaluddin has historically shown a penchant for changing sides, as the Americans know all too well, and he may be more flexible than the hardline Siraj. Washington is scrambling to bring stability to Afghanistan at it gradually withdraws from the country. Striking a deal with the Haqqanis may be wise while the ailing Jalaluddin might still have a say. —Reuters

Three ISI officials killed in Pakistan DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Suspected Taleban militants killed three Pakistani military intelligence officials in a tribal region in the northwest yesterday, intelligence officials and police said. The Pakistani Taleban, seen as the biggest security threat to the government, have become more brazen since their ally Osama bin Laden was killed in a US raid in Pakistan in May. The militants have carried out highprofile suicide bombings and attacked a major naval base and Western targets. In yesterday’s attack, militants ambushed a vehicle carrying officials from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), opening fire from several directions on a road in the tribal region of Bannu. One intelligence official was wounded. “The vehicle belonged to the ISI and was attacked with Kalashnikovs. Three people were killed and one was

critically wounded,” Sajjad Khan, a senior police official said. They were low-ranking ISI officials. The ISI is Pakistan’s most powerful intelligence agency, often described as a state within a state. It sets security and foreign policy and oversees efforts to tackle militants fighting to topple the US-backed government. About 5,000 security forces and police have been killed since Pakistan joined the US-led war on militancy after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, Pakistani officials say. The Taleban, who are close to Al-Qaeda, have recently focused on attacking pro-government tribes. On Tuesday, the group claimed responsibility for a shooting attack on a school bus which killed five people, saying the children on the vehicle were from a pro-government tribe. —Reuters

prompted speculation they had hidden weapons in the building. “There was almost certainly either a breakdown in security among the Afghans with responsibility for Kabul or an intelligence failure,” said Andrew Exum, fellow at the Center for a New American Security. Explosions were interspersed with gunfire all afternoon on Tuesday and continued past dawn yesterday. Residents of nearby

the most feared, of the Taleban-allied insurgent factions fighting US-led NATO and Afghan troops in Afghanistan. They are thought to have introduced suicide bombing to Afghanistan, and are believed to have been behind many high-profile attacks in Kabul, including an assassination attempt on President Karzai and assaults on two top hotels. Ministry of the Interior spokesman

KABUL: Afghan police forces carry the dead body of one of the six Taleban militants who were killed during a gun battle with Afghan and NATO forces in Kabul yesterday. —AP apartments stayed indoors and tried to comfort panicked children, as helicopters flew low overhead. “It would go silent for 30 to 35 minutes and then there were explosions and the sound of heavy machine guns,” one Reuters witness said of a sleepless night. There may be unexploded artillery in parts of the city, NATO warned. Embassies and restaurants frequented by foreigners were on lock-down all evening. The U.S. and British embassies and the NATO-led coalition said all their employees were safe. HAQQANI ROLE? Ambassador Crocker said he believed the Haqqani network was behind the attack, and also blamed them for a truck bomb that injured 77 US troops on Sept 10. Named after its leader, Jalaluddin Haqqani, it is one of three, and perhaps

Sediq Sediqqi said that although it was too early to say the attack was the work of the Haqqani network, “it is similar to attacks carried by Haqqani” Violence is at its worst since US-backed Afghan forces toppled the Taleban government in late 2001, with high levels of foreign troop deaths and record civilian casualties. The assault was the second big attack in the city in less than a month after suicide bombers targeted the British Council headquarters in midAugust, killing nine people. In late June, insurgents launched an assault on a hotel in the capital frequented by Westerners, killing at least 10. A US Senate panel has approved a $1.6 billion cut in projected US funding for Afghan security forces, part of a significant reduction in outlays for training and equipping Afghan army and police expected in the coming years. —Agencies



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Catholic priest denies raping Anglican archbishop SYDNEY: A Catholic priest accused in parliament of raping an Anglican archbishop decades ago denied the claims yesterday as the Church condemned his naming by a lawmaker as “inappropriate and unfair ”. Independent senator Nick Xenophon used parliamentary privilege to identify Monsignor Ian Dempsey on Tuesday after the Church declined to stand him down in connection with the alleged abuse of Archbishop John Hepworth. Hepworth, who was trained and ordained as a Catholic but shifted to the Anglican Church in the 1970s, says he was violently raped and sexually abused over 12 years from the age of 15 by two priests and a seminary stu-

dent. Two of the men are now dead but the third, allegedly Dempsey, runs a parish in South Australia state, where Xenophon said he was being allowed to practice despite Hepwor th’s claims, which he first raised with the Church in 2007. “I categorically deny the allegations which I note are said to relate to events that occurred some 45 years ago, and they have nothing at all to do with underage people,” Dempsey said in a brief statement. “Firstly I wish to state I am aware of John Hepworth’s unsubstantiated allegations against me through an inquiry instigated by the Archbishop of Adelaide. “As the inquiry is ongoing I have nothing further to say apart from

denying the allegations.” The Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide said it was “surprised and disappointed” by Xenophon’s action, saying he was “aware of the extremely sensitive and highly complex” background to the matter. “The fact that the Senator has taken this action is a matter of grave concern to us because it has the potential to interfere with the orderly process of what is already a very difficult and complex matter,” it said. “ We now fear for the conse quences on all parties concerned, but in particular Archbishop Hepworth himself and also the priest concerned. “In our view it is inappropriate and unfair for these matters to be aired in public whilst our investigation is not

yet complete and when the priest concerned has categorically denied the allegation.” The diocese on Tuesday defended its decision not to suspend the priest as consistent with both religious and civil law. Xenophon, the independent senator for South Australia, said that since he outed the priest his office had received calls from people making allegations of abuse. “My office has received many calls this morning from people making allegations about abuse generally,” he told reporters without elaborating. He added that the Church should act to “restore public confidence”. “Rape is rape as a matter of criminal law, therefore any allegation of sexual acts with-

out consent is something that needs to be taken very seriously by anyone who has those allegations brought to them,” he said. Hepworth, head of a breakaway Anglican group seeking reconciliation with the Vatican, raised the matter in public for the first time after decades of silence with a media interview on Saturday. It followed an apology and offer of Aus$75,000 compensation from the Archdiocese of Melbourne in relation to the two men he accused of abuse who are now dead. Hepworth, 67, has not yet sought to bring criminal charges over the case, although police yesterday said they have spoken with him about the allegations.— AFP

China military build-up worries giant neighbor Japan concerned on Beijing’s reinforcement

GUANGDONG: A woman grieves as she and other family members of victims gather after a 30-year-old attacker killed six people with an axe in Henan province’s Gongyi city, in central China yesterday. — AFP

Axe-wielding man slays six in China BEIJING: A farmer with mental health problems killed six people, two of them children, with an axe as they made their way to a kindergarten in China yesterday, the local government and media reports said. The incident is the latest in a series of violent assaults on children involving people with suspected psychiatric problems in China, which experts have blamed on rapid social change as the country’s economy booms. The 30-year-old farmer carried out the deadly assault in Henan province’s Gongyi city, in central China, yesterday morning, the city government said in a statement. One child and three adults were killed on the spot, while the other child and one more adult died of their injuries in hospital, Gongyi local authorities said in a statement. The children-both girls-were aged one and four. “According to locals, the suspect Wang Hongbin has a history of mental health illness,” the Gongyi city government said, adding that he had been detained by police. One witness told the official Xinhua news agency he rushed out onto the street when he heard people crying for help. “We used mops to fend off the axe-wielding man and waited for the police to come,” Cao Jianli, a local civil servant, was quoted as saying. The report said the suspect’s medical records indicated he suffered from schizophrenia. Another report on local news website said the adult victims were all parents taking their children to a kindergarten not far away. An employee at the Tongxing Kindergarten in Gongyi, who would not give her name, confirmed to AFP

that the two children were pupils at the establishment, adding the attack had not happened at the preschool itself but on the street. She refused to comment further and hung up the phone. An employee at a dog centre in Gongyi, surnamed Wang, told AFP the incident happened near a crossroads, close to a supermarket, and the area had been cordoned off by police. Chinese authorities have been forced to increase security around schools after a series of violent assaults involving children. In many cases, the attackers were suspected of having mental health issues. At the end of August, eight pupils were hurt when a staff member at a day care centre for migrant workers’ children in Shanghai went on a stabbing spree. The female worker used a box cutter to slash at children aged between three and four years old at the “Little Happiness Star” nursery in an eastern suburb of the metropolis, according to local news reports. The suspect in that case was also believed to have suffered from mental health problems. Last year, 17 people - 15 of them children-were killed and more than 80 wounded in at least five major attacks at schools in China. Two of the attackers were executed and two others committed suicide. The suspect in the fifth attack was sentenced to death in June 2010. Experts say that the assaults show that China is paying the price for focusing on more than 30 years of economic growth while ignoring problems linked to rapid social change. Studies have described a rise in the prevalence of mental disorders in China, some of them linked to stress as the pace of life becomes faster and socialist support systems wither.— AFP

China secret detention plans alarm activists BEIJING: Plans by China to legalize the secret detention of suspects have alarmed activists, who say the move would give authorities free rein and lead to a surge in cases. The proposed change to China’s criminal law would make it legal to detain suspects for up to six months at a time without charge in secret locations away from police stations and official prisons. The practice-known as “disappearance”-became a popular method of silencing dissidents after February, when calls for Arab-style protests began appearing on Chinese websites. Activists fear it could become even more widespread if the changes are passed and say the new legislation is a tacit acknowledgement that Chinese police are engaging in illegal practices. “The Chinese government’s proposed legislation would give the security apparatus free rein to carry out ‘disappearances’ lawfully,” Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement. “Legalizing secret detention puts detainees at even greater risk of torture and mistreatment.” In April, a UN human rights panel expressed rare public concern about the arrests of Chinese activists and lawyers, warning that “enforced disappearance is a crime under international law.” Among them was the internationally known artist and outspoken government critic Ai Weiwei, who was held without charge in a secret location for nearly three months this year before being released and charged with tax evasion. Ai’s sister has said the artist was kept in a tiny cell and watched constantly by two guards who

worked three-hour shifts and even watched him when he showered. Other high profile cases include 2010 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, who disappeared into police custody for over a year before he was finally tried and sentenced to 11 years in prison for subversion in December 2009. And three prominent human rights lawyers, Teng Biao, Liu Shihui and Li Tiantian have this year given separate accounts of their detentions. Teng told how police turned up at the home of a friend he was visiting, dragged him into a van and took him away. He was released that night, but later taken away again and held incommunicado for more than two months. Liu has said that police broke down his door in the middle of the night and ransacked his home, confiscating computers, before taking him to an undisclosed location where he was held for 108 days. Activists detained in this way say that in many cases, there are no arrest warrants, few legal explanations, and their families are not told where they are. Some interrogation sessions last for months, and there have been allegations of torture. Gao Zhisheng, a well-known human rights lawyer, disappeared into police custody in February 2009, emerging once to reveal that he had been kidnapped by police and severely tortured. He has not been seen since. If passed by the National People’s Congress (NPC) - or parliament-the new rules will apply only to people “suspected of harming state security, terrorist activities or major corruption,” according to the NPC website. —AFP

TOKYO: Japan’s new Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said yesterday he was concerned about China’s military build-up, urging his giant neighbor to act as a “responsible member of the international community ”. Japan wants to deepen relations with China in the run-up to the 40th anniversar y next year of the restoration of diplomatic ties, Noda told parliament. “On the other hand, I am concerned about their reinforcement of national defense power, which lacks transparency, and their acceleration of maritime activities,” Noda said. “I expect China to play an appropriate role as a responsible member of the international community,” he said, adding he wanted to visit the country at a convenient time for both sides. Noda, known to have slightly hawkish views on China, has irked Beijing in the past with his assertion that prominent Japanese war criminals from World War II, should no longer be considered “criminals”. However, since coming to power he has pledged that neither he nor any of his cabinet will visit the Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo that honors the country’s war dead, a move welcomed by Japan’s Asian neighbors. In an annual defense paper published last month Japan voiced concern over China’s widening naval reach in nearby waters and the Pacific and over what it called the “opaqueness” of Beijing’s rapidly-growing military budget. China reacted angrily, with its

TOKYO: Japan’s new Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda bows deeply before answering questions from Sadakazu Tanigaki, head of the opposition Liberal Democratic Party, during a session of the lower house of the Diet yesterday. —AP foreign ministry branding the paper “irresponsible” and insisting Beijing’s drive to modernize its forces was entirely defensive. Earlier this year, China announced military spending would rise 12.7 percent to 601.1 billion yuan ($91.7 billion) in 2011 after funding slowed last year. Beijing has repeatedly sought to alleviate fears over its pursuit of sophisticated missiles, satellites, cyberweapons and fighter jets, stressing that its policy is “defensive in

nature”. However, China has become increasingly assertive in its claims over the East China Sea and South China Sea, most of which it views as its maritime territory, but where several other Asian nations have competing claims. It has invested heavily in developing its first stealth fighter jet, revealed in January, as well as an aircraft carrier and anti-ballistic missile capable of piercing the defenses of even the most sturdy US naval ships. Despite close eco-

nomic ties between the two countries, relations between Japan and China are often fraught, marred by what some in China see as Tokyo’s failure to make sufficient amends for its record of wartime atrocities. In September 2010, ties plunged to their lowest in years after Tokyo detained a Chinese fishing boat captain whose vessel had collided with Japanese coastguard ships in waters disputed islands. He was later released.—AFP

Banned Chinese writer fights ‘brainwashing’

PANMUNJOM: North Korean soldiers look and take pictures of the South side of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) while Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos visits the truce village of Panmunjom in the DMZ separating the two Koreas yesterday. Juan Manuel Santos is in South Korea for a three-day state visit and will meet with South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak on economic cooperation and other issues. — AFP

9 North Koreans to get refuge in Japan TOKYO: Nine North Koreans who spent five days in a small wooden boat before being picked up by the Japanese coastguard were given temporary shelter in Japan yesterday, officials and reports said. The nine-three of them children-were flown to Nagasaki in southern Japan where they were to be transferred to a refugee centre, after telling rescuers they wanted to defect to South Korea. Chief cabinet secretary Osamu Fujimura told reporters Tokyo was in the process of granting the North Koreans permits to stay in Japan for up to six months. The boat people also included three men and three women and were led by a man who said he was a member of the People’s Army, according to a spokesman for the Japan Coast Guard. In Seoul, the South Korean government said it would respect the free will of the defectors who, according to the Japanese foreign ministry, were “hoping to go to South Korea”. “We are making efforts to amicably solve the issue based on humanitarian perspectives and by respecting the free

will of each individual,” a South Korean foreign ministry spokesman said. The defectors told the coastguard they had spent five days at sea after leaving North Korea’s east coast last Thursday in the eight-meter boat, and had been hoping to reach South Korea. Instead, the engine-powered craft was spotted Tuesday off Japan’s Noto peninsula, some 750 kilometers from the North Korean port of Chongjin where they were reported to have departed. The boat was found to have rice, pickles and an empty 30-litre water tank on board. “They took a bath last night aboard a coastguard patrol boat while it was moored off the port of Kanazawa,” another coastguard spokesman said. “They ate rice balls and kimchi (hot Korean pickles) this morning. They have a good appetite and looked healthy.” According to public broadcaster NHK, the leader of the defectors told the coastguard that he was a fisherman assigned to earn cash for the North Korean People’s Army. Japan places tight restrictions on immigrants and asylum-seekers. — AFP

NEW YORK: Banned Chinese writer Liao Yiwu, speaking in the United States for the first time since fleeing his country, said Tuesday that his only crime was to resist “brainwashing.” Liao, who spent four years behind bars for writing the poem “Massacre” about the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, said personal freedom in China is only granted to those who surrender their spiritual freedom. “In China, the biggest problem is brainwashing. If you don’t have your memory, or your conscience, everything is possible-but you have to forget about your personal stories,” Liao told an event of PEN, a group of authors active on human rights, at New York’s New School. Liao said he would have “lived a very good life in China” if he had stopped trying to think independently. The author of the newly released “God is Red: The Secret Story of How Christianity Survived and Flourished in Communist China,” said he is not a political activist, but was persecuted simply for telling the stories of ordinary people. In his earlier book, “The Corpse Walker: Real Life Stories, China From the Bottom Up,” he recounted tales of people on the margins of the economic superpower’s deeply repressed society. “I first started wanting to tell stories when I was in prisons. I was locked up with unique people,” he said, including people traffickers, murderers and thieves. “Gradually my brain was turning into a tape recorder.” “When I was first locked up I was a political prisoner. I didn’t think I had anything in common,” he said, speaking through a translator. “I felt like my brain was exploding. I couldn’t even take their stories any more. But it was like the only path for them: they wanted to tell their stories to me and they wanted to tell me before they were executed.” “All the people I have interviewed, they have no interest in politics, but they want the freedom to express themselves.” In his new book, “God is Red,” Liao explores the way that rural Chinese defy official restrictions to follow Christianity. Liao said that while he is not a Christian, he admires their determination and faith. Like other forms of self expression, all religions are permitted on one condition: “First you have to believe in the Communist Party.” “If you are willing to pursue your freedom, seek out your freedom, then you could be in trouble,” he said. Liao, who also played traditional Chinese instruments at the PEN gathering and gave an intense recitation of “Massacre,” is renowned for his straightforward approach to his subjects, his quiet humor and courage. Novelist Salman Rushdie introduced the Chinese writer on stage as one of “the few people who are the real writers” around the world. Liao did not discuss details of his departure from China earlier this year, when he walked into Vietnam before making his way to Germany. However, his more personal stories are becoming known through a prison memoir, which has sold briskly in Germany, but has yet to be translated into English.— AFP



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BERLIN: Argentinian artist Tomas Saraceno’s installation ‘Cloud Cities’ is on show at Hamburger Bahnhof museum yesterday. The exhibition is on show until Jan 15, 2012. — AFP

Israel warns Palestinians on UN bid

Gulf developers lower gaze to cheaper homes Continued from Page 1

Continued from Page 1 “What I can say with the greatest confidence is that from the moment they pass a unilateral decision there will be harsh and grave consequences,” Lieberman told an agricultural conference in southern Israel. “I hope that we shall not come to those harsh and grave consequences, and that common sense will prevail in all decisions taken, in order to allow co-existence and progress with negotiations,” he added. Some hardline Israeli ministers are calling for Israel to annex chunks of the West Bank if the Palestinians go ahead, though Israeli officials say they have not finalised their response to the UN move as the Palestinians have yet to reveal its details. “We’re not saying what we’ll do, a lot of our reaction is subject to what the final resolution will say,” a foreign ministry official told AFP earlier this week on condition of anonymity. Lieberman has accused the Palestinians of planning an “unprecedented bloodbath” after the UN move, although they say they will hold purely peaceful rallies. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak earlier yesterday met Ashton in Jerusalem. An EU statement said that Ashton was to hold a second meeting with Netanyahu yesterday evening. It quoted Ashton as saying her mission was to ensure that the Palestinians’ UN bid would ultimately lead to renewed negotiations with Israel. “I met this morning with the prime minister and will stay longer than I planned, at their request, so that we can talk again this evening in order to try and further that objective,” she said. “I hope that in the coming days what we’ll be able to achieve together will be something that enables the negotiations to start,” the statement quoted her as saying. Netanyahu’s office did not immediately comment on the talks, while a short statement from the defence ministry said only that Ashton and Barak had discussed “relations with the Palestinians and the situation in the region”. The EU foreign policy chief arrived from Cairo, where she met Abbas and Arab League ministers who have been discussing Palestinian preparations to

request UN membership for a state of Palestine. Abbas is expected next week to present a membership request to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who will pass it on to the 15-member Security Council for examination. So far, 127 countries have already recognised a Palestinian state based on the lines that existed before the 1967 Six Day War, including Gaza, the West Bank and east Jerusalem. The Israeli diplomatic strategy has been to seek support from states it sees as wielding political and moral authority. “What we were trying to look at is how we could at least get a moral majority which would involve a large number of democratic Western countries, without which (endorsement of the Palestinian request) would lose a lot of its legitimacy,” the foreign ministry official said. “It’s not to say that we ignored the other countries, but we spent more time with countries that aren’t part of an automatic Palestinian majority.” He said the 27-member European Union was key. “You have countries... that still haven’t made a decision. It is no coincidence that both sides have done a lot of work in Europe.” Israeli daily Haaretz reported this week that the foreign ministry had instructed its envoys to use last weekend’s attacks against the Israeli embassy in Cairo as an argument against supporting the Palestinian campaign. “What we saw in Cairo demonstrates that despite (Abbas) and other senior Palestinians’ declarations that they are not planning a violent confrontation, the violence could also come from the street,” the paper quoted from what it said was an internal foreign ministry document. The ministry would not confirm or deny the story. US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Tuesday that Washington would “leave no stone unturned” in efforts to deflect the Palestinians from the UN path and get them and the Israelis back into negotiations. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she was sending US envoys David Hale and Dennis Ross to hold talks with Netanyahu and Abbas. Hale was expected to meet Abbas in Ramallah yesterday evening. Netanyahu’s office declined to comment on his schedule. — AFP

More support for rally, deep political reforms Continued from Page 1 Two banks have already referred nine accounts to the public prosecution for a probe and Barrak said that one MP held accounts in the two banks and all of them were referred. Bloggers and Twitter users have published the names of all the MPs allegedly involved in the scandal. Some MPs have already issued denials. MP Khaled Al-Adwah, whose name was revealed as one of the beneficiaries, strongly lashed out at those involving him in the scandal and described their accusations as “cheap allegations”. Adwah said that he will file lawsuits against those who accused him under the false campaign, promising that all parties who fabricated lies against him will be sued. On Tuesday, MP

Hussein Al-Huraiti, a former justice minister, called on all parties not to make allegations against any lawmaker before a final court verdict. Opposition MPs have started to campaign against the government and those involved in corruption. A number of opposition MPs spoke at a gathering in Jahra late Tuesday night and strongly criticized the government for failure to take adequate actions. MP Waleed AlTabtabaei warned that “the wind of Arab Spring was blowing on Kuwait, but not to overthrow the regime, only to reform it and make it stick to the constitution”. Opposition MPs plan to hold a large gathering on Sept 21 opposite the National Assembly and are expected to speak at several diwaniyas in the coming weeks ahead of opening the next Assembly term on Oct 25.

In another development, MP Mohammad Hayef strongly criticized the interior ministry yesterday for denying a story he broke about a foreign domestic helper. Hayef had said that interior ministry officials had ordered the deportation of a maid after she had an abortion following an illicit relationship with the son of her employer. Hayef added that the decision was taken after an MP interfered in favour of the son and the officials decided to deport the maid to cover up the case and protect the son. On Tuesday, the interior ministr y denied Hayef story. But yesterday, Hayef stressed that his story was true and produced photocopies of the deportation order and the air ticket. He called on the interior minister to take action against “corrupt” officials in the ministry.

housing for the local population. It has said it wants to provide “adequate and modern housing” for citizens “to help achieve social stability”. Many property developers in the region are partly owned by the government or, in the case of the United Arab Emirates, were bailed out by the state after the market soured and they ran into debt two or three years ago. Aldar Properties, the biggest developer in Abu Dhabi, was given a $5.2 billion bailout by the stateowned Mubadala fund. Even without the encouragement of governments, developers in the Gulf see good reasons to build more modest homes. In Dubai, home to the world’s tallest tower and luxurious waterfront villas on a man-made, palm-shaped island created by developer Nakheel, companies are grappling with leftover inventory from a building boom that ran until 2008 and left many grand properties on the market that owners are desperate to sell or rent. That has encouraged developers to shift focus from villas and tall towers to mid-income housing. “In the UAE, most interest has been driven by speculator demand. The speculator market represented more than half the real estate market. They all have left now,” said Jain. An average two-bedroom apart-

ment now costs over 1 million dirhams ($272,0000) in a middle-class neighbourhood of Dubai, after prices plunged over 50 percent. An apartment of similar size would cost well over $400,000 in London. Aldar Properties, builder of Abu Dhabi’s Formula One race track and related development on Yas Island which includes a marina and yacht club, has said its focus is now mid-income housing. Bahrain may be the most dramatic example of the shift in the Gulf’s real estate market. Many commercial buildings in Manama - completed before the 2008 property bust in order to house foreign companies in the city, a Gulf financial hub - are unoccupied. A July report by property firm Cluttons estimated only about 60-70 percent of office space in Bahrain was used. The residential property market never recovered after the 2008 bust, and any hope of a revival of interest in prime property among regional and foreign investors was wiped out by months of political unrest that swept the country this year. “Lots of companies in financial services who were thinking of setting up base in Bahrain have either halted their plans or moved to Dubai,“ said Shakeel Sarwar, head of asset management at Bahrain-based Securities and Investment Co. Home rents have

plunged by about 50 percent in some areas of Bahrain, and selling prices have dropped by similar margins. “Investor sentiment in the kingdom has waned, with those who are active only seeking distressed assets which are backed by strong market fundamentals,” said Kristian Syson, Bahrain-based head of valuations at Cluttons. Like Dubai, Bahrain has a massive housing project under construction on a string of artificial islands along its coast: a $6 billion development called Durrat Al Bahrain. But the islands, some shaped like fish, mainly feature mid-income housing, in stark contrast to Nakheel’s Dubai Palm project, which offered multi-million dollar properties to European football stars and celebrities. “Nakheel did not realise its market...we know whom we are building for,” Durrat Al Bahrain Chief Executive Jassim Al Jowder told Reuters. “Developers in Bahrain now know that the shortage is in affordable, medium-size housing. We are all targeting this market now.” Suleiman, a driver in Bahrain who dreams of a owning a house someday, said: “Who needs tall towers? We need a good home.” He added that governments in the region were now more keen to keep citizens happy: “I think maybe the government will listen to us now.” — Reuters

Syria launches huge sweep on protesters Continued from Page 1 Ablin is the hometown of Lieutenant Colonel Hussein Harmush, the first military officer to publicly declare his desertion in early June in protest against the repression of the protest movement. He managed to leave Syria and is currently leading the “Brigade of Free Officers”, a group of dozens of officers who have deserted the regime. Several other Syrian cities witnessed arrests yesterday, with 15 people taken into custody in Zabadani, a day after at least 34 others were detained, activists told AFP. They said Syrian forces were also dispatched early Wednesday to the town of Zabadani, about 50 km west of Damascus, a scene of massive anti-regime demonstrations on Tuesday. In the central region of Homs, the body of a young man arrested on Saturday was handed over to his parents yesterday, the Observatory said. The latest activist to die in prison was 25-year-old Ghayath Mater, whom Washington said was killed by the authorities for his “brave commitment to confronting the regime’s despicable violence with peaceful protest”. Robert Ford, the US ambassador in Syria, paid condolences at Matar’s wake in the Damascus suburb of Daraya this week, together with the ambassadors of Britain and France. And in the Bab Al-Sebaa neighbourhood of Homs, security forces shot dead one resident in a raid on a house, it added. State news agency SANA reported a bus driver was ambushed in the central city of Hama by an “armed terrorist group,” while five soldiers and a guard who were shot dead by “armed terrorist groups” were buried in Aleppo and Homs. Armed forces also entered Houla where a pro-regime militiaman was murdered at

dawn by three unidentified men. Damascus has consistently maintained the protests are the work of “armed gangs,” rejecting reports by Western embassies and human rights groups that the great majority of those killed were unarmed civilians. The United Nations estimates the Syrian government crackdown on protests killed 2,600, mostly civilians, since March. State television has announced national dialogue sessions will be held as of Sunday in all provinces “to develop a program aimed at preserving national sovereignty and respect for the freedom of citizens and the rule of law”. Turkey has kept the border open with Syria and has not stopped thousands of refugees who have crossed into its territory to escape the intensifying military assaults on numerous villages and towns in the northwest. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that neither he nor the Syrian people believe Assad any longer because he has failed to carry out democratic reforms. “As civilian deaths increase in Syria we see that reforms have not materialised and they did not speak honestly. It is not possible to believe this. And the Syrian people do not believe in Assad, nor do I. We also do not believe him,” Erdogan said in a speech in Cairo to set out Turkey’s vision of the Middle East. Erdogan, whose country has urged Assad repeatedly to end his crackdown on dissent, stopped short of echoing the United States and European Union in calling for Assad’s resignation. The EU has imposed an embargo on Syria’s oil sector, possibly cutting off a major source of cash for Assad. “Nobody can be a friend with or trust an administration that fires bullets at its people and attacks its cities with tanks,” Erdogan said. “A leader who kills his own people has lost his legitimacy.” — Agencies





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Libya’s war upsets the neighbours By Mark John ong bedevilled by coups, rebellions and other home-grown troubles, Libya’s African neighbours have been landed with a new set of woes imported fresh from someone else’s war. The arrival in Niger of 32 fleeing Muammar Gaddafi loyalists - including one of the ousted Libyan leader’s sons - in recent days is already a diplomatic headache for the government. Yet that may just be a precursor to developments that would scare off foreign investment and further unsettle a region that is already a base for al Qaeda-linked militants. Lacking the military might and technology to secure its northern borders, Niger this week warned that the Libyan conflict could turn into the next security and humanitarian crisis to afflict the drought-prone former French colony. “We need your help and support on both scores,” Prime Minister Brigi Rafini appealed to local ambassadors during talks in the capital Niamey this week. More than 150,000 people have already fled Libya into the northern part of Niger, which is mostly desert. Nigeriens and other subSaharan Africans have for years sought work in oil-rich Libya, where average income per head is 20 times Niger’s. Among them are gangs of local Tuareg nomads who were hired to fight on Gaddafi’s side and which in the past weeks have been spotted returning to their encampments in northern Niger. While the numbers so far are small, Niamey’s main worry is that a final capitulation of Gaddafi forces will drive thousands more of his Tuareg fighters back over the border to a country where they have for years led a string of rebellions. “The Sahelo-Saharan strip is already insecure, with the activities of terrorists and drug traffickers. Now we seeing the return of young men with no source of employment but who know how to handle weapons,” said Ahmet Haidara, a parliamentarian in Niger’s north, told Reuters. “We didn’t want this war but now we have to deal as best we can with the negative consequences,” said Haidara, who heads a Tuareg committee in contact with Libya’s new National Transitional Council rulers. Aside from arms coming back with the Tuaregs, governments in the region believe trafficked weapons from Libya have fallen into the hands of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) allies behind a series of kidnappings of Westerners and other crime. “Businesses operating in the region will face increased criminality and insecurity in the coming months as a result of the influx of arms and armed individuals or groups,” forecast Roddy Barclay, Africa analyst at London-based Control Risks. That would not only make humanitarian work tougher, but be bad news for companies such as Areva, whose uranium mines in the northern town of Arlit supply France’s nuclear sector. The target of an AQIM hostage-taking a year ago, Areva began returning its expatriate workers to northern Niger in July under tightened security. Citing the increased measures, an Areva spokesman said the company was ready for all eventualities. Neighbouring Mali, where AQIM is thought still to be holding a group of four French hostages from the Arlit kidnappings, faces the same set of concerns as Niger. It too is seeing a recent respite from a rebellion launched on its soil by Tuaregs, whom one senior military source linked to new signs of a trade in weapons trafficked from Libya. Others fear an opportunity for AQIM. “The influx of arms into the region cannot but strengthen AQIM,” Burkinabe parliamentarian Melegue Traore said at talks on regional security and other issues in Niamey this week. “It’s a golden opportunity for them - I’m sure the West didn’t think it would be like this,” he added. Security sources in Chad to Libya’s southeast cite arrivals of arms in the northern Tibesti mountains inhabited by Toubou rebels, and say the population of the Faya-Largeau, the main town of the region, has been swollen by Chadians fleeing Libya. But their main concern is the return of Darfur rebel leader Khalil Ibrahim to neighbouring Sudan from his Libyan refuge, upsetting the delicate peace on the ChadSudan border. “Chad, which has a non-aggression pact with Sudan, has put its troops on alert in case Sudanese rebels try to enter Chad,” said one of the security sources.—Reuters


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Turkey’s Erdogan struts Arab stage By Alistair Lyon rime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has captivated many Arabs with his tough talk against Israel, but voices at home and abroad question his drive to carve out a leadership role for Turkey in an Arab world once under the Ottoman imperial thumb. “A Palestinian child crying in Gaza wrenches a mother’s heart in Ankara,” Erdogan told the Arab League in Cairo on Tuesday, using language calculated to delight Arab masses. His message of how Turks and Arabs twang to the same emotions would have seemed alien to a previous Turkey, friendly with its US military ally, keen to join the European Union and disdainful of a “backward” Middle East on its doorstep. The so-called Turkish model has fascinated Arabs for several years, although no Arab country has emulated its mix of secular democracy, Islamist leadership and economic success. Yet Turkey’s role is uncertain in a fluid region in which popular revolts are jolting many Arab nations, including some of Ankara’s favoured political and business partners such as Libya and Syria, as well as traditional Arab leader Egypt. “All (Turkey’s) moves against Israel are only meant to promote itself as a political power in the Arab region and spread its influence on the new generation of the Arab youth who are longing for change and power,” said Nabil Abdel Fattah, at Cairo’s Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies: Adel Soliman, another Egyptian analyst, said Turkey, for all its verbal barbs at Israel, would not break with its former ally and, as a NATO member, remained aligned with the West. Nevertheless, Turkey feels jilted by the EU and less crucial to NATO defences since the Cold War ended, spurring Erdogan to seek new friends and markets in the Middle East. Erdogan’s rhetoric - he also said UN recognition of a Palestinian state was an obligation - certainly resonates with Arabs, as it does with his Islamist political base at home. Thousands of Egyptians cheered him after he landed at Cairo airport on Monday. Many Arabs admire him for his repeated tangles with Israel since he angrily left a platform he had shared in Davos with Israeli President Shimon Peres in 2009. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, prominent in the crowd, also applauds Erdogan’s reforms as head of an Islamist-based party that has neutered the political clout of Turkey’s secularist generals, even as the Turkish economy powers ahead. Turkish newspapers highlighted Erdogan’s “hero’s welcome” but secularist commentators derided his trip to Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, all of whose veteran leaders were toppled this year. “Poor Arabs! How should they know the guy who’s advising them on democracy actually only sees it as a vehicle, a means of achieving his own goals, and getting off the vehicle once this has been done?” wrote Cuneyt Arcayurek in Cumhuriyet, calling Erdogan the “Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Republic”. Erdogan’s personal popularity with Arabs has soared. A Pew Research Center survey conducted in March-April showed that 78 percent of Egyptians had confidence in him, along with 72 percent of Jordanians and 64 percent of Lebanese. Nearly 95 percent of Israelis took the opposite view. And that was before the Turkish leader expelled the Israeli ambassador last week after Israel refused to apologise for last year’s killing of nine Turks by Israeli commandos who halted an aid ship trying to break an Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip. Rattling his naval sabres, Erdogan then


said Turkish warships would escort any such future flotillas to Gaza - alarming the United States as well as Israel. Such combativeness has long been absent from the Arab League, which never confronted Israel during President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule, when the ousted Egyptian leader was bent on preserving Cairo’s peace treaty with the Jewish state. Egyptian investment specialist Mohammed Yassin, 27, said Erdogan’s Arab League appearance was “the visit of the master to a corrupt spoiled student who is not willing to learn”. For an outsider to champion the Palestinian cause, as non-Arab Iran has also done, can raise the hackles of Arab leaders, but given their own lack of weight, they can hardly complain. “Some people talk about Turkey having the ambition of going back to the old Ottoman role, but in Saudi Arabia the majority do not think this way,” said Saudi analyst Khalid Al-Dakhil. “At this point, Arab states are weak, so you can’t avoid Turkey having this leading role in the region,” he said, adding that Arab states wanted Turkey to counterbalance Shiite Iran. “Iran is playing a sectarian role, making its alliances in the region on the basis of sectarian affiliation. But Turkey is a secular state with a Sunni majority,” Dakhil said. Erdogan’s old policy of “zero problems” with Turkey’s neighbours has crumbled in the rancour with Israel and the Arab upheavals that have forced some awkward adjustments for Ankara. Turkey opposed Western intervention in Libya, where it had contracts worth $15 billion, and was slow to recognise those who ended Muammar

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses Arab foreign ministers at the Arab League in Cairo on Tuesday. – AFP Gaddafi’s 42 years in power. Now Erdogan must woo Libya’s new rulers to protect Turkish economic interests. In Syria, Erdogan had befriended President Bashar al-Assad and built new political and economic ties with a once-hostile neighbour. After urging Assad repeatedly to stop killing protesters and enact reforms, he has now lost patience. For some of his secularist Turkish critics, Erdogan’s foreign policy is a shambles of ambiguity and instability. “Yesterday Libya’s Gaddafi was an ally, now he’s an enemy. Syrians are our brothers, but then

again we may plan something against them with the US,” wrote Oktay Akbal in Cumhuriyet. The bloodshed in Syria goes on, but some Syrians prefer Erdogan’s stance to the Arab League’s muted approach. “Erdogan has turned into an Arab hero,” said Samer Zaher, a Syrian from Homs, a hotbed of anti-Assad sentiment, who was cheering the Turkish leader outside the League’s headquarters. “ We have not found a leader as powerful as him asking Assad to leave and calling him an illegitimate president.” — Reuters

Israel circles wagons ahead of Palestinian vote By Crispian Balmer he Palestinians’ decision to take their bid for statehood to the United Nations has left Israel in a quandary, with no easy moves to counter a diplomatic offensive that could redefine the decades-old Middle East conflict. Some of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ministers want tough retaliation, saying the Palestinian initiative will prevent any meaningful peace talks in future and could provoke fresh unrest in the West Bank after months of relative calm. Other political leaders recommend caution, arguing that Israel faces enough uncertainty given its worsening ties with Egypt and Turkey, and should ignore the UN move as a meaningless public relations exercise. Netanyahu has not yet decided whether to travel to next week’s UN General Assembly to defend Israel’s corner, underlining the uncertainty at the heart of his government. “I understand that the Israeli side thinks that this is a bad thing for us. Diagnosis is one thing, but where is the prescription?” said Oded Eran, the head of the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University. “One thing is sure, Israel’s image is going to take another beating.” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he has to take the case to the United Nations because 20 years of US-led talks have hit a dead end, with a deal as elusive as ever. Israel says it is ready for negotiations, but is refusing to bow to Abbas’s precondition that it renew its freeze of Jewish settlement building in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem - land that the Palestinians say is theirs. With Washington set to veto any statehood resolution in the Security Council, the most the Palestinians can expect is a vote in the General Assembly to upgrade their status from an “entity” to a “non-member state” - a position held by the Vatican. The United States says the IsraeliPalestinian conflict can be resolved only through direct negotiations. Netanyahu has toured Europe this year seeking backing for the Israeli stance, and ensure that most major democracies shun the unilateral move that is likely to seek ratification of a Palestinian state on lines held before the 1967 Middle East war. Some will heed his call, but at least 120 of the 193 UN member


states look ready to support the Palestinians - maybe opening the way for them to join other international bodies, including the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague. Israel fears it could use the ICC to take action against some 500,000 Israelis who live in territory seized in 1967 and whose settlements most world powers regard as illegal. The prospect of never-ending “lawfare” in the ICC is one of the elements that has most concerned Israeli officials as they calculate the impact of any UN upgrade for the Palestinians. “This dangerous move may deteriorate the situation on the ground, weaken the relatively moderate Palestinians and encourage terror activities,” said Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Yaalon, a Netanyahu deputy and close ally. Like most Israelis, he says the Palestinian project is a clear violation of the 1993 Oslo Accords which led to the formation of the Palestinian Authority (PA), giving it limited self-rule, and set out the guidelines for future peace talks. “I’m afraid that eventually ... we and maybe the US and other parties too, shall have to take measures that may have a negative impact on the sustainability of the Palestinian entity,” Yaalon told a conference in Herzilya this week. Some officials suggest the government should withhold tax transfers to the Palestinians as a punishment - levies Israel collects which make up 70 percent of PA revenues - or withdraw travel privileges for PA leaders looking to leave the West Bank. Others propose even more dramatic measures, with Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau of the nationalist Yisrael Betenu Party demanding that Israel annex its major West Bank settlement blocs in response to any UN resolution. The Israeli military is concerned that settlements could become a focal point of possible Palestinian protests tied to the statehood bid and have offered training to settler security units on how to handle crowd disturbances. The Palestinians have called for rallies in support of their U.N. action, but have said these will be peaceful, rejecting suggestions another intifada is in the offing. The Israeli defence minister has also downplayed the prospect of violence. Around 1,100 Israelis died in Palestinian attacks during the last intifada from 2000 to 2007. More than 4,500 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the same period.— Reuters


sp orts

Even Bolt would not have caught Pato BARCELONA: Not even 100 metres world record holder Usain Bolt could have caught AC Milan’s Alexandre Pato when he streaked through to score against Barcelona after 24 seconds on Tuesday, Barca coach Pep Guardiola said. The 22-year-old Brazil striker left the home defence for dead and stunned a packed Nou Camp to score the fifth-fastest goal in the Champions League since Europe’s elite club competition was created in 1992. “Not even Usain Bolt would have been able to stop him,” Guardiola told a news conference. “I’d like my team to have legs with so much running in them.” Holders Barca fought back through strikes from Pedro and David Villa in the Group H opener before Thiago Silva snatched a stoppage-time equaliser. “Certain things were against us, but all we can do is congratulate Milan and Pato.” —Reuters

Berlin marathon showdown BERLIN: Last year’s winner Patrick Makau of Kenya will run this month’s Berlin marathon, setting up a mouthwatering showdown with world record holder Haile Gebrselassie, organisers said yesterday. Makau, who ran the fastest marathon in 2010, said he expected Ethiopian Gebrselassie, who has twice broken the world record in Berlin, to be extremely fast in the Sept. 25 race as both athletes seek to qualify for next year’s London Olympics. “I trust he will again be very quick here but I will try to focus on my own race,” said the 26-year-old, who last year clocked a time of two hours five minutes and eight seconds to win in the German capital. “If towards the end we are still together then the strongest

one will win,” he said. Both athletes have picked what is considered the fastest marathon in the world to improve their chance of qualifying for London. The 38-year-old Gebrselassie won the Berlin race, a flat inner-city course, four times in a row from 2006 to 2009, setting two world records in 2007 and again in 2008 with a time of two hours three minutes 59 seconds. The women’s field is equally competitive with world record holder Paula Radcliffe battling it out with local favorite Irina Mikitenko, who twice won the London marathon and was also a winner in Berlin in 2008. The hugely popular race will be broadcast to more than 150 countries this year. —Reuters

Ishikawa fined for no-shows TOKYO: Japan’s top golfer Ryo Ishikawa has been fined $26,000 for pulling out of two tournaments in August and September, the JGTO Tour said yesterday. The 19-year-old withdrew from the Kansai Open and last week’s Toshin tournament, which he missed for the second year running, citing a sore shoulder. But Japan’s JGTO Tour took a dim view of Ishikawa’s decision to pull out again and slapped him with the first such fines for three years on the men’s tour as punishment. “Rules are rules,” the tour’s executive director Andy Yamanaka told Reuters. “They are put in place to protect the tournaments. They are not rules only for Ryo.” Yamanaka insisted the Japanese tour would not make any special concessions to Ishikawa’s enormous celebrity in Japan, where his grinning face looks down from giant billboards and appears frequently on TV commercials. “Yes he’s a superstar but he is also one of 200 (JGTO) members and everyone plays under one set of rules. You should not change rules for one person.” —Reuters

Astros roll over Phillies

SEATTLE: New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera throws against the Seattle Mariners in the ninth inning of a baseball game. — AP

Yankees, Red Sox advance SEATTLE: Mariano Rivera earned his 600th save, moving within one of Trevor Hoffman’s major league record, by closing out the New York Yankees’ 3-2 win over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday. Rivera entered with a one-run lead in the ninth inning and allowed just a oneout single to Ichiro Suzuki. He was retired when catcher Russell Martin caught Suzuki trying to steal second for the final out. Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter put the tag on Suzuki and smiled as he brought the souvenir ball to Rivera. One by one, New York players lined up to hug Rivera and give him high-fives near the mound. Robinson Cano provided the Yankees offense with a homer and two RBIs, while A.J. Burnett (10-11) won for the first time since Aug. 15 thanks to a season-high 11 strikeouts. New York stayed four games in front of second-place Boston in the American League East after the Red Sox thumped Toronto. Seattle starter Charlie Furbush (3-9) allowed three runs and struck out six in 5 1-3 innings. Red Sox 18, Blue Jays 6 At Boston, Tim Wakefield earned his 200th win on his eighth attempt and Dustin Pedroia hit two homers in Boston’s highest-scoring game of the season as the Red Sox ended a five-game losing streak with a rout of Toronto. The Red Sox needed the victory badly after their AL wild-card lead over Tampa Bay had dropped from nine games to three over the previous nine days. And the 45-year-old knuckleballer was eager to end the long wait - 0-3 in seven outings since his last win July 24 - to become the 108th pitcher with 200 wins. Pedroia, who was 4 for 5 with two doubles, hit his 20th homer and tied a career high with five RBIs. He was on the tail end of consecutive homers with Jacoby Ellsbury in the fourth. Ellsbury also had four hits and Carl Crawford had three as Boston finished with 18. Jose Bautista hit his major leaguehigh 42nd homer and J.P. Arencibia had a three-run shot for Toronto. Brandon Morrow (9-11) fell to 0-4 in his last four starts and 1-6 in his last eight. Orioles 4, Rays 2 At Baltimore, Matt Wieters hit a tworun homer in the eighth inning as Baltimore blunted Tampa Bay’s playoff push with a comeback victory. Evan Longoria homered for the Rays, who had won five straight and eight of nine. Tampa Bay fell four games behind Boston in the wild-card race. The Rays led 2-1 in the sixth before the Orioles rallied to snap a three game skid. With the score 2-all, Tampa Bay reliever J.P. Howell (2-3) retired the first two batters in the eighth before Vladimir Guerrero singled. Adam Jones entered as a pinch runner and Howell served up a 1-1 pitch that Wieters drove

into the left-field seats. Tigers 5, White Sox 0 At Chicago, Justin Verlander pitched seven strong innings to earn his major league-best 23rd win as Detroit blanked Chicago for its 11th consecutive victory. Verlander (23-5) allowed six hits, struck out six and walked two while becoming the first Tigers pitcher since Hal Newhouser in 1946 to win 11 consecutive starts. He is the AL’s first 23-game winner since Barry Zito in 2002. Victor Martinez hit a three-run homer for the AL Central leaders, buoyed by their longest winning streak since September 1968. Rangers 10, Athletics 4 At Arlington, Texas, David Murphy had a pair of solo home runs among his four hits and Josh Hamilton put AL West-leading Texas ahead to stay with his 20th homer in a victory over Cleveland. Hamilton hit a scorching liner off Justin Masterson (11-10) into the rightcenter seats for a 4-2 lead in the fifth. Adrian Beltre extended his hitting streak to 17 games, matching a career high, when he led off the seventh with a home run. Carlos Santana homered twice, becoming the first Indians batter since Victor Martinez on June 1, 2007, to go deep from both sides of the plate. Angels 6, Oakland 3 At Oakland, California, Howie Kendrick homered twice and Erick Aybar scored off a wild throw home in the seventh inning as Los Angeles picked up a needed and rare win at the Oakland Coliseum. Maicer Izturis added two hits and an RBI for the Angels, who snapped a twogame skid. Los Angeles remained three games behind AL West-leading Texas. The Angels and Rangers finish the regular season with a three-game series in Anaheim. Hisanori Takahashi (4-3), the first of four Los Angeles relievers, pitched 1 2-3 innings for the win. Jordan Walden worked the ninth for his 30th save. Royals 4, Twins 0 At Kansas City, Missouri, Bruce Chen pitched eight crisp innings and Alex Gordon homered to lead Kansas City over Minnesota. Chen (11-7) allowed two singles, struck out eight and walked one. He was 0-2 with a 7.94 ERA in his previous two starts. Louis Coleman yielded a single to Joe Mauer while finishing the Royals’ sixth shutout of the season. Mike Moustakas also went deep for Kansas City, which had with 12 hits. Gordon went 3 for 5 and drove in two runs. Carl Pavano (8-12) allowed four runs, three earned, and 11 hits in seven innings. He reached 200 innings for the second straight year. The last-place Twins have lost 18 of 22. —AP

HOUSTON: Clint Barmes hit a three-run homer and JA Happ pitched six solid innings against his former team as the Houston Astros beat Philadelphia Phillies 5-2 on Tuesday night, preventing the Phillies from wrapping up a playoff spot. The Phillies needed a win over Houston or a loss by St. Louis to clinch at least a wild-card berth. But the NL East leaders will have to wait to secure their place in the postseason after the Cardinals beat the Pirates 6-4 on Tuesday night. Philadelphia starter Cole Hamels (14-8) fell to 03 in his last five starts against the Astros after going 3-0 in his first four career starts against them. Happ (6-15), acquired from the Phillies last year as part of the Roy Oswalt trade, allowed four hits and one run with four strikeouts. Fernando Rodriguez threw two scoreless innings before David Carpenter took over for the ninth. The Astros won their second straight game to avoid setting a franchise record for losses in a season. Their 97 defeats are tied for the club mark, which has been reached three other times, most recently in 1991. Giants 3, Padres 2 In San Francisco, Mark DeRosa hit a game-ending RBI single off second baseman Orlando Hudson’s glove in the 12th inning. DeRosa’s twoout drive against Brad Bauch (0-2) just evaded Hudson, allowing Cody Ross to score from the third. Pablo Sandoval and Justin Christian also drove in a run for the Giants, who have won three straight. Ramon Ramirez (3-3) pitched a scoreless inning to get the win. Jason Bartlett had a two-run double for the Padres, who have lost five of six. Giants starter Matt Cain gave up one run and four hits, struck out six and walked three in 6 1-3 innings. He is 2-3 with a 2.01 ERA in his last eight outings. Cory Luebke struck out eight in six innings for the Padres, yielding two runs and 10 hits. The lefthander is 0-3 with a 4.28 ERA in his last five starts. Dodgers 5, D’backs 4 In Los Angeles, Chris Young scored the goahead run on a bases loaded walk in the 10th inning. Gerardo Parra sparked the Diamondbacks with a tying homer off Hong Chih Kuo with two out in the seventh, then a leadoff single in the 10th. After Aaron Hill sacrificed and Justin Upton struck out, Javy Guerra (2-1) issued consecutive walks to Miguel Montero, Paul Goldschmidt and Young, helping Arizona win its second in a row and sixth in seven games. Micah Owings (7-0) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win and J.J. Putz finished for his 40th save in 44 chances. Brewers 2, Rockies 1 Milwaukee, Ryan Braun homered leading off the 11th inning and the Milwaukee Brewers won their sixth straight at home over Colorado. Prince Fielder also went deep for Milwaukee, which remained 6 1/2 games ahead of secondplace St. Louis in the NL Central with 13 to play. Zack Greinke labored through five innings before the Brewers’ bullpen picked him up. LaTroy Hawkins, Takashi Saito, Francisco Rodriguez, John Axford and Kameron Loe (4-7) combined for six scoreless innings. Fielder homered in the sixth to tie it and it stayed that way until the 11th, when Braun homered off Matt Lindstrom (2-2) and pumped his right fist in excitement before joining the scrum at home plate.

HOUSTON: Astros left fielder Jason Bourgeois (11) steals second base as Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Michael Martinez (19) handles the throw from catcher Carlos Ruiz during the second inning. —AP After the Rockies scored early, Fielder hit his 32nd homer after coming in with just two extrabase hits over his previous 35 at-bats. It was his first homer since Sept. 2 in Houston. Braves 7, Marlins 1 Atlanta, Brian McCann and Dan Uggla each hit a three-run homer and the Atlanta Braves ended their longest losing streak of the season at four games. The Braves, whose lead over St. Louis in the NL wild-card standings is down to 4 1/2 games, held a private meeting before the game in hopes of shaking things up. It finally worked in the sixth. Uggla drew a oneout walk from Brad Hand (1-7), Matt Diaz singled to right and McCann came through with a towering shot over the center-field wall for his 24th homer. Uggla put it out of reach in the seventh with his career-best 34th homer, also a three-run shot. Peter Moylan (2-1) claimed the win by getting the final out in the sixth. Cardinals 6, Pirates 4 Pittsburgh, Nick Punto hit a go-ahead double in the ninth inning and the surging St. Louis Cardinals overcame three errors by first baseman Albert Pujols. Trying to stay in the wild card and NL Central races, the Cardinals won for the sixth time in seven games. The loss dropped the Pirates to 67-81. In a season that once had so much hope, they are stuck with a non-winning season for the 19th straight year. Working on the day he signed a $21 million, two-year contract, Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter hit an early two-run single. He took a 4-2 lead into the seventh, but Andrew McCutchen tied it with a twoout homer.

Nationals 3, Mets 2 New York, Craig Stammen got his first win and hit in more than a year, scoring the go-ahead run on Ryan Zimmerman’s seventh-inning single. Stammen (1-1) entered in the sixth with two on, then got three straight outs to escape the trouble. Stammen then singled off Dale Thayer (0-2) leading off seventh - a .217 hitter coming in, Stammen had not gotten a hit since July 30 last year. Ian Desmond singled him to second with one out, Rick Ankiel advanced Stammen by grounding into a forceout against Tim Bydak, and Zimmerman lined a single to left off Bobby Parnell. Stammen pitched 1 1-3 hitless innings to win for the first time since Aug. 4 last year. Drew Storen, Washington’s seventh pitcher, finished for his 36th save in 41 chances. The Mets put runners at the corners on two-out singles by Jose Reyes and Ruben Tejada before Lucas Duda struck out on three pitches. Reds 2, Cubs 1 Cincinnati, Brandon Phillips homered again, hitting a leadoff shot that helped Mike Leake and Cincinnati end a three-game losing streak. Phillips homered for the third time in two games. He has 15 home runs this year. Leake (12-9) allowed six hits and two walks over eight innings in what is expected to be his final start of the season. The Reds plan to shut him down in an effort to prevent arm problems. Leake pitched a career-high nine innings in his previous start, giving up three hits against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. He took a one-hit shutout into the ninth in that game before giving up Starlin Castro’s two-out infield single and pinch-hitter Bryan LaHair’s tying home run. Francisco Cordero pitched the ninth for his 33rd save. —AP

Shootout at Cog Hill as players eye Tour finale

Webb Simpson in action in this file photo

LEMONT: American Webb Simpson leads an elite field of 70 players preparing for a shootout at Cog Hill this week as they aim for a spot in the lucrative season-ending Tour Championship. With his last three starts producing his first two career wins, Simpson enters the BMW Championship as the surprise leader of the FedEx standings but with every player in the field still mathematically alive to capture the FedExCup. The tight standings sets up tense weekend at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club with only the top 30 moving onto Atlanta for the Championship and a shot at the $10 million first prize. Just earning a ticket to East Lake Golf Club will bring plenty of perks, among them entry into next year’s first three majors and invitations to the Players championship, the WGC Championship and three Invitational events (Arnold Palmer Invitational, the Memorial Tournament and Colonial). “You know, $10 million is a ridiculously large amount of money and an unbelievable prize,” Simpson told reporters. “At the end of the day, we want to win golf tournaments but when $10 million is at stake, you can’t not think about that. “Part of me is kind of happy this week isn’t determining who’s going to win because you get one more week to focus on the golf. “I know in Atlanta it’ll be a lot more focus I’m sure on the $10 million.”

American Dustin Johnson, currently second in the FedEx standings behind Simpson, will also like his chances of a big payday as he defends his title on the Dubsdread course that last year came under attack for its bumpy greens and generally poor condition. Despite the criticism, Matt Kuchar, who holds down third place in the standings, also has good memories of Cog Hill winning the US Amateur title here in 1997 and finishing runner-up to Johnson last year. Britain’s world number one Luke Donald, who attended nearby Northwestern University and will be a galler y favorite when play begins on Thursday, enters the BMW in fourth and will try to close out a great season on a high. Simpson has only played the BMW once before in 2009 finishing tied for 61st but had nothing but praise for the traditional tree-lined par 71 layout. “It’s right in front of you, it’s a beautiful golf course,” said Simpson. “You play proper shots you’re going to get rewarded. “If you don’t play it ’ll eat you up because it is long, it is tough, and we’ll get cooler weather and maybe some wind so you’ve got different conditions to deal with. “Seems like great players win here over the years. Dustin won last year, Tiger has won here a number of times. So I’m looking forward to it.” —Reuters




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Parks boots Scotland past Georgia in WCup NVERCARGILL: For the second time in a week, Scotland were forced to dig deep by one of the World Cup outsiders and able to produce enough spirit and quality to find a way home as they beat Georgia 15-6 in teeming rain yesterday. Having seen their pack taken to the cleaners by Romania in their opening Pool B win on Saturday, Scotland made 10 changes to the

points having secured a four-try bonus point from their 34-24 win over Romania. England, who face Georgia in Dunedin on Sunday, have four points after their 13-9 win over Argentina, who play their second game against Romania in Invercargill on Saturday. “The conditions dictated a lot,” stand-in Scotland captain Rory Lawson said in a pitch-side interview.

side but now, under the guidance of former Scotland coach Richie Dixon, they have added a new level of organisation and discipline. That, combined with conditions make awkward by relentless rain, ensured that Scotland had to fight for every inch of ground. Kvirikashvili put the Georgians on the board first with an impressive penalty from his own half but Scotland looked the more danger-

INVERCARGILL: Scotland’s captain Rory Lawson is tackled to the ground during their Rugby World Cup Pool B match against Georgia at the Rugby Park stadium. —AP side and responded strongly to the frontal assault of Georgia in messy contest. Though rarely coming close to scoring a try, the Scots kept their noses in front thanks to the goalkicking of flyhalf Dan Parks, who landed four of his seven penalty attempts and a drop goal, with Merab Kvirikashvili replying with two penalties. Scotland top the pool with nine

“We came up against a big old Georgian side who were really determined and physical. Ultimately it was a workmanlike performance to put them away. “I felt we just kept plugging away and played in the right areas, put them under pressure and took the points when they were on offer.” Georgia have always been able to field an immensely powerful

ous when their backs got the ball, with wing Sean Lamont proving particularly slippery. Parks, who peppered the Georgian defence with a series of up-and-unders and some astute tactical kicks, landed two of four first-half penalty attempts as well as a sweetly-struck drop goal to give Scotland a 9-3 lead at the break. Desperate to force his way

back into the first-choice flyhalf berth currently occupied by Ruaridh Jackson, Parks slid in some more telling kicks in the second half but Scotland struggled to impose themselves on a team with only one win over Namibia from their previous eight World Cup matches. Seeking to maintain their proud record of reaching at least the quarter-finals of every World Cup, Scotland certainly matched the burly east Europeans for aggression, though, and eventually came to dominate. Parks missed another attempt after an hour but eventually split the posts again with two more kicks in the last 10 minutes, as Georgians ran out of steam. Lawson was keen to praise his forwards following the criticism last weekend. “That was a massive hats off to our front five today,” he said. “They were outstanding. They took the Georgian scrum on and I think they went out and showed what we’re about. “It’s tough with a four-day turnaround but we’ve got what we wanted. We are going to leave Invercargill with nine points, which we are very happy with and we will put ourselves back together for the next challenge.” After a well-earned break, Scotland’s next challenge is against Argentina on Sept. 25, in what is likely to be a shoot-out for second-place in the pool and a potential quarter-final meeting with hosts New Zealand. Georgia skipper Irakli Abuseridze lamented his team’s overall performance, which he felt was sloppy. “We made too many mistakes. We didn’t play good and they played well,” he said. “We lost a lot at the breakdown and lost the ball. It’s rugby. If you don’t have the ball you lose the game.” —Reuters

Iran challenge China’s dominance BEIJING: Without superstar Yao Ming, China will face strong competition in the Asian Basketball Championships starting in Wuhan today, with holders Iran eager to prove they are the continent’s new giants. With a coveted ticket to the 2012 London Olympics at stake the action promises to be fierce with teams from Jordan, the Philippines, South Korea, Japan and Lebanon all aiming to challenge the front runners. While China have won 14 Asian basketball championships and represented the region at every Olympiad since 1976, Iran have appeared in only two Olympics, in 1948 and in 2008, when China qualified automatically as hosts. But power in Asia shifted west with the July retirement of former NBA superstar Yao, a move that has made Iran’s towering giant Hamed Haddadi the continent’s most dominant centre. In the 2009 championships, a snarling Haddadi dominated a Yao-less Team China in the gold medal game played in Tianjin, blasting the hosts with 19 points and 17 rebounds in a 70-52 victory. Now fresh from his third season with the NBA Memphis Grizzlies, Haddadi is set to anchor a veteran Iranian team led by speedy point guard Mahdi Kamrani, US collegiate forward Arsalan Kazemi and sharp shooter Hamed Afagh. “Hamed Haddadi is in great shape,” Iran’s Serbian coach Veselin Matic said. “Compared to before (2009), he is much stronger and of course he is much more effective. I am happy to have this player. He can make all rivals surrender with his great abilities.” To counter Iran’s size, China’s American coach Bob Donewald will use two youthful seven-footers (2.12 metre) in Zhang Zhaoxu and Su Wei, while Washington Wizard power forward Yi Jianlian and former Dallas Maverick Wang Zhizhi will be tasked with scoring for the team. “Our size will be our strength and we will attack the paint,” Donewald told journalists in remarks translated into Chinese. “Wang Zhizhi is effective in stretching the defence with his outside shooting and will be a headache for the defences we face.” Beside lacking the former Houston Rocket Yao, China will also be without play-making small forward Wang Shipeng, who is injured. “The Asian championships are going not going to be easy,” Wang Zhizhi told the Sports Weekly newspaper. “Some of the western Asian teams are really bringing in a lot of players, they are getting stronger and stronger.” Several teams, including Lebanon, Jordan, the Philippines and South Korea, have bolstered their rosters by giving foreign players-mostly Americanpassports, which allow them to play for their adopted countries. The Philippines are likely to benefit the most from new additions, bringing in former Los Angeles Laker draft pick Marcus Douthit at centre and former US collegiate standout Kelly Williams at forward. Both Douthit and Kelly are Filipino-Americans. The 16-team tournament is divided into three rounds, with the final round quarter-final knock out stage beginning on September 23. —AFP

NEW ZEALAND: Tonga’s Aloisio Ma’asi (right) runs past Canada’s Adam Kleeberger (center) during their Rugby World Cup Pool A game at the Northland Events Centre. —AP

Canada stun Tonga WHANGAREI: Phil Mackenzie scored a try seven minutes from time to give Canada a thrilling 25-20 World Cup victory over Tonga at the Northland Events Centre yesterday. The bleach-blond winger picked up the ball at the foot of a ruck and wriggled between two tacklers to touch down and give Canada only their fifth ever World Cup win, keeping alive their modest hopes of progressing from Pool A. Tonga, who had gambled on a radical overhaul of the team that impressed but lost the tournament opener 41-10 to the All Blacks last weekend, were left stunned after looking set for victory with the stiff breeze behind them in the second half. Lock Jebb Sinclair and number eight Aaron Carpenter also scored tries for Canada, who led 10-0 just before halftime but had seen the Tongans overhaul them in front of a passionate full house mainly composed of Pacific islanders. “That was awesome,” Canada captain Pat Riordan told reporters. “I’m so proud of the boys and the way they played and guts they showed. We knew it was a pretty strong wind there in the second half. “At halftime, we knew we had achieved a couple of things and knew we had to change a couple of things but also knew that it was in our control and up to us to change it and we did. “I hope it just shows what the Canadian boys can do.” Tongan centre Siale Piutau will count himself unlucky not to end up on the winning side after scoring two tries, but the Pacific islanders were let down by sloppy errors and poor decision-making in the last quarter. “Very, very disappointing,” said Tonga coach Isitolo Maka, whose hopes of qualifying from a pool which also includes France and Japan are all but gone. “The message went out to play the game in their half but we were still trying to run out of our own half. We just made some bad decisions.” Tonga, playing against the wind in the first half, dominated the early exchanges with some powerful running and went through plenty of phases without get much penetration.

However, it was Canada who opened the scoring in the 14th minute when livewire centre DTH Van Der Merwe cut through the defensive line and Sinclair went trundling over the line. Canada’s fullback James Pritchard added the extra points and, after Kurt Morath had missed two reasonably easy penalty chances, made the score 10-0 with his second kick at goal. The mistakes from the Tongans continued with Taniela Moa, who was so impressive at scrum half against the All Blacks but moved to flyhalf for this match, at one stage punching the ball away in frustration. With the seconds ticking away before halftime, the Tongans did finally get some cohesion in attack and moved through 19 phases on the Canadian line before a Moa miss-pass found centre Piutau and he cut inside his tackler to touch down. Morath added the conversion to make it 10-7 at the half, and the Tongan fullback added his first penalty two minutes after the break to level the match. Pritchard replied immediately with his second penalty to put the Canadians back in front but Tonga were now hitting their stride and 10 minutes later Piutau grabbed his second try, taking an inside ball from Moa and crossing the line untouched. Morath again added the conversion to give his side a 17-13 lead and, with the Canadians very much on the back foot, added his second penalty after 64 minutes to extend the advantage to 20-13. But the Canadians were not done yet, and three minutes later they capitalised on a Tongan turnover to grab their second try, Carpenter crashing between tacklers and reaching over the line. Pritchard was unable to convert but Mackenzie made his miss academic six minutes later when his late score ignited jubilant celebrations among the Canadians in the crowd. The restar t was delayed while a streaker was chased around the pitch but the Tongans proved less elusive and Canada held on for a famous victory. —Reuters

Haye taunts Klitschko in bid for title bout ROTORUA: Samoa’s Alesana Tuilagi (left) evades the tackle of Namibia’s Jacques Burger during their Rugby World Cup game. —AP

Tuilagi leads Samoa to big win over Namibia ROTORUA: Hulking winger Alesana Tuilagi scored three tries as Samoa kicked off their World Cup campaign with a 49-12 bonus point win over Namibia in a Pool D encounter at Rotorua International Stadium yesterday. The man affectionately known by his team mates as “The Bulldozer” was in unstoppable form close to the line, crossing twice in the first half before topping off an impressive performance with a third try in the 53rd minute. Scrumhalf Kahn Fotuali’i and fullback Paul Williams also scored a try apiece, while referee Romain Poite awarded the Pacific islanders a penalty try late in the game for repeated scrum infringements by the Namibians close to their line. Samoa signalled their intentions right from the whistle as they attempted to run the ball out of the own 22 in the first minute, and just 60 seconds later, the Ospreys-bound Fotuali’i touched down for the first of his side’s six tries. “We have been waiting the whole week and been watching a lot of rugby. The boys were itching to get out there and I’m pretty happy with the way they played,” Samoa skipper Mahonri Schwalger said in a pitch-side interview after the game. It was thrilling, point-a-minute stuff from the Samoans in the opening quarter and the almost 13,000-strong crowd, many waving Samoan flags, were clearly enjoying the Pacific islanders’ expansive playing style. Namibia tried hard to contribute to the

occasion with some bustling forward work but were too often guilty of making mistakes that cost them possession. Samoa flyhalf Tusi Pisi slotted two conversions and a penalty before he went off in the 28th minute with a hamstring injury while Williams, sinbinned in the first half for a shoulder charge on Namibia flyhalf Theuns Kotze, kicked a penalty and added three conversions. Centre Danie van Wyk and Kotze scored consolation tries for the African side, while the flyhalf converted his effort under the posts. Samoa will now turn their attention to a highly anticipated showdown with Wales in Hamilton on Sunday that could well decide which team will emerge from the tournament’s toughest group with Pool D favourites South Africa. “We’ve got room to improve, so we’re looking forward to Wales,” Schwalger added. Namibia captain Jacques Burger accepted his side were always likely to come off second best to a dangerouslooking Samoa team as they followed up Saturday’s 49-25 loss to Fiji with another bruising defeat. “They’re a class team and if you make mistakes they will punish you... and they did,” Burger said. “Our first phase was shocking. They really sucked all the life out of our first phase. “We looked all right when we got the ball but we didn’t get it much, and we made a lot of defensive errors and they punished us.” —Reuters

BERLIN: Britain’s David Haye has launched his bid for another heavyweight title fight against WBC world champion Vitali Klitschko by again insulting the Ukrainian and his younger brother Wladimir. Haye walked away from a fight with Vitali in 2009 due to problems with the fight contract. But having lost his WBA title to Klitschko’s sibling Wladimir-the IBF, WBO, IBO and now WBA champion-in a unification bout in Hamburg last July the brash Brit has said he wants a re-match or the chance to fight Vitali. Despite turning 40 in July, Vitali defended his WBC belt against Tomasz Adamek in Poland on Saturday and followed up by saying he would avenge Haye’s loudmouth taunts by knocking the Englishman out. The Londoner has wasted no time in throwing insults back. “I’ll knock him out, I’ll smash his jaw,” Haye told German daily Die Welt.”Vitali, I’ll fight you, if you are man enough. “It doesn’t matter to me where I fight you, I’ll fight you on the moon.” The Brit is running out of time to set up a bout before October 13, when he turns 31, having said he will retire before his next birthday. Another fight against one of the Klitschko brothers would give Haye another bumper payday and the chance to win another world title. Having bombarded Wladimir with insults before their July bout-’Bitchko’, ‘a fraud’ and ‘a Ukrainian robot’ were some of the more memorable-Haye looks set to use the same tasteless tactics against the elder Klitschko. Predictably, Haye was unimpressed with Klitschko’s tenth-round technical knock-out against Adamek, having already taunted Vitali about his age. “I almost fell asleep because the fight was so boring,” said Haye. “The only exciting

moment was when Vitali suddenly slipped in the eighth round.” Having lost to Wladimir on a unanimous decision in Hamburg, Haye sees the fight differently. “Wladimir ran away when I tried to hit him,” said Haye. “Or he held onto me and pulled me to the ground. “Unfortunately, the referee had to go through all that cheekiness. “Vitali has indeed got more balls (than his brother), but he is also

David Haye of Britain a scared rabbit.” Haye blamed a broken toe on his defeat in Hamburg and, like Adamek before him, is substantially lighter and shorter than Vitali. “Certainly, I have physical limitations, but unlike all the others, I can punch,” boasted Haye. “I can hit harder than the two brothers put together. “I am also faster, more agile and can hit much, much harder.” Vitali has said he is tired of hearing Haye’s insults: “If Haye is lying unconscious on the floor, then he can no longer use his broken toe as an excuse.” Haye said he is just waiting to hear from Klitschko’s management. “(If he wants to fight), then he should get in touch with my management and get the contract in the bag,” said Haye. —AFP



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Serena gets off easy — just this once NEW YORK: A day after losing the US Open final, Serena Williams was hit with a $2,000 fine for berating the chair umpire during her match against Samantha Stosur. It seemed like an open-and-shut case. Yet anytime Williams is involved things are never that simple. Former tennis great Chris Evert, one of only three women in the open era to win more majors than Williams (18 to 13), said she “was so surprised how disrespectful and rude” Williams was to umpire Eva Asderaki and called the $2,000 fine “like dinner for Serena.” Evert wasn’t far off, considering the runnerup’s share in the final was $900,000, and that Williams came into the tournament already well above $20 million in career earnings. But more interesting than whether the fine was too light for Williams is whether it’s enough to be effective for any player in an era when prize money has climbed into the stratosphere. More interesting still might be whether any other player — man or woman — would have been fined for saying so little. For background purposes, this is the short version of how tournament refereee Brian Earley settled on $2,000 after talking the matter over with several Grand Slam and US Tennis Association officials. The standard fine for run-of-

the-mill verbal abuse is $1,500; the maximum is $10,000. A few of those officials described Williams’ outburst Sunday as something worthy of a “fourth-grader” but not a fine. But because this is hardly the first time Williams has acted out, and because her memorable 2009 US Open tirade was anything but run-of-the-mill — “If I could, I would take this ... ball and shove it down your ... throat,” she menacingly shouted at a line judge at one point — a consensus eventually emerged to treat her like a repeat offender. Thus, the extra $500. Nothing Williams said this time around was remotely obscene or threatening. It began soon after Williams, already down a set and facing a break of serve in the second, yelled “Come on!” to pump herself up after rocketing an apparent winner against Stosur. Because her opponent somehow managed to get a racket on the ball - though she wasn’t close to returning it - the umpire invoked the hindrance rule and awarded the point to Stosur, putting the Australian ahead 1-0 in that set. Williams then launched volley after verbal volley at Asderaki. “If you ever see me walking down the hall, look the other way, because you’re out of control. ... You’re a hater, and you’re just unattractive

inside. Who would do such a thing? ... Give me a code violation because I expressed my emotion? We’re in America last time I checked. Really, don’t even look at me, don’t look my way.” Williams didn’t shake hands with Asderaki after the match, though she was gracious in defeat and toward Stosur before and while the hardware was being handed out. Afterward, she said only,”I guess I’ll see it on YouTube.” It’s worth a look, since lost in the ensuing controversy was perhaps the most interesting moment of all. By all rights, Stosur should not have even reached the shot, and if she hadn’t, the umpire almost certainly doesn’t call hindrance. It’s a tribute not just to how well she was playing, but how unruffled. When the point ends, she simply heads for the deuce court and prepares to play the next point. “Everything was happening so fast,” Stosur said in an interview on the “Early Show” a day later. “I was just trying to get the ball and before I knew it, then there was all of that commotion up at the net. I just tried to think about what I was doing for the next point and get on with it, really.” Williams took plenty of heat for deflecting the spotlight, but Stosur didn’t seem bothered by that, either. In her postmatch news conference,

she lauded Williams: “Serena, you are a fantastic player, great champion and have done wonders for our sport.” That message wasn’t wasted on tournament officials. Because of her 2009 tirade, Williams was initially fined the maximum - $10,000 - then bumped all the way up to $82,500 after a review and placed on probation for the 2010 and 2011 Grand Slam seasons. Another major violation would have cost her the 2012 Grand Slam season. TV ratings for this final were up 121 percent from last year, when Kim Clijsters beat Vera Zvonareva. No one else moves the needle the way Williams does. Not top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki, who has yet to win a grand slam, nor the women who won majors — Clijsters at the Australian, Li Na at the French and Petra Kvitova at Wimbledon — while Williams was recuperating from a career-threatening foot injury and lifethreatening blood clots. All that attention, needless to say, comes with a price. During Sunday’s outburst, Williams yelled at Asderaki, “Aren’t you the one who screwed me over the last time I was here? You have it out for me?” The answer to both questions was no. But it’s not hard to see where sometimes, Williams might feel that way. —AP

Tune-up time for Federer

Seve Ballesteros seen in this file photo

Continental Europe out to end Vivendi losing run PARIS: Continental Europe will seek to end the domination of Britain & Ireland in the Vivendi Seve Trophy when both teams square off this week on the golf course of Saint-Nom-la-Breteche. “It’s time to win for Europe,” Raphael Jacquelin of France said yesterday. “There’s no reason why we can’t gain this trophy this year.” Spanish golf legend Seve Ballesteros created the Vivendi Seve Trophy, a biennial competition, to help Europeans get more match-play experience outside the Ryder Cup. Continental Europe won the inaugural contest in 2000 at Sunningdale in England before Britain & Ireland won it five straight times. “We are 5-1 down in the series and I hope we can reverse the trend,” said Jean van de Velde, who will captain Continental Europe for the first time. Van de Velde was a member of the team that won in 2000 and hopes the passionate home crowd will spur Continental Europe to victory. “I am honored to be nominated for the role at a venue I know so well and one where I am certain we will receive great support from the French public,” Van de Velde told the European Tour website. Continental Europe will compete without its highest-ranked player, Martin Kaymer of Germany, while Britain & Ireland will miss the top-ranked Luke Donald and the last two U.S. Open champions, Ror y McIlroy and Graeme McDowell. Despite those high-profile absentees, both teams remain strong as all their players are in the top 40 of the European Tour. “I think on paper the European side have got players higher in the world rankings,” Englishman Lee Westwood told a news conference. “But I think a lot of the British players have played a lot of

match-play golf over the years and might have a few tricks up their sleeves.” All the players on the Continental Europe team are in the world top 100, while Britain & Ireland have three players ranked outside the top 100 - Mark Foster, Robert Rock, and Scott Jamieson. Britain & Ireland will rely on the second-ranked Westwood, British Open winner Darren Clarke and World Match Play champion Ian Poulter to defend their title. “It is a huge boost for our team that players of the caliber of Lee, Darren and Ian have opted to play,” said Paul McGinley, who will captain Britain & Ireland. “ These are players with big worldwide reputations and impressive Ryder Cup pedigrees.” McGinley won the event as a player in 2002 and 2005 and captained Britain & Ireland to victor y in 2009. Anders Hansen, Thomas Bjorn and Miguel Angel Jimenez will lead the challenge for Continental Europe. Jimenez has participated in every edition of this event, Bjorn clinched three titles this year and Hansen finished third at the PGA Championship in August. Play starts with five fourball matches on Thursday, followed by five more fourballs on Friday, four greensomes and four foursomes on Saturday and 10 singles matches on Sunday. Jimenez will hit the first tee shot on Thursday in honor of fellow Spaniard Ballesteros, who died in May from complications related to a brain tumor. Rock, Simon Dyson and Ross Fisher are the only returnees from the 10-man side which won two years ago. Continental Europe has just four holdovers - Hansen, Jimenez, Francesco Molinari and Peter Hanson. Westwood, Poulter, Fisher, Jimenez, Molinari and Hanson were on the European team that beat the United States in the Ryder Cup last year. —AP

SYDNEY: Roger Federer has only two days to tune up for Switzerland’s bid to break into the Davis Cup elite when they clash with Australia in their World Group playoff starting tomorrow. The 16-times grand slam champion, whose last match was a taxing five-set loss to US Open champion Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows, arrived in Sydney yesterday, days after his team mates. Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka will be expected to carry Switzerland’s hopes in the singles at Royal Sydney Golf Club against Australia’s former world number one Lleyton Hewitt and rising talent Bernard Tomic. Federer looked relaxed in a practise session yesteday on the grasscourts at the tie’s venue, the 30-year-old training in both singles and doubles against practice partners in a possible preview of his par ticipation over the weekend. Wawrinka, who suffered a leg injur y during the US Open, appeared in no discomfort during his training session and is likely to be named along with Federer in the singles when the draw is released today. Australia have their own injury concerns, with Lleyton Hewitt forced to withdraw from the U.S. Open after failing to recover from an injured toe that has bothered him for months. “I wouldn’t be putting a lot of money that I will be playing anything after this event,” Hewitt told repor ters on Tuesday. “Right at the moment, I’m just focusing on getting through this tie.” Australia, a former Davis Cup power with 28 titles, second only to the United States’ 32,

have lost all three of their World Group playoffs in the past three years and face a mammoth task to beat the Federer-led Swiss. “Roger is the main guy in the

number two is not properly prepared. Nadal lost a gruelling US Open final to number one Novak Djokovic on Monday

BELGRADE: Members of the Serbian national tennis team (from left to right) Ilija Bozoljac, Viktor Troicki, Bogdan Obradovic, Janko Tipsarevic and Nenad Zimonjic, pose for a group photo. Serbia will face Argentina in the World Group Davis Cup Semifinals later this week. —AP tie and he’s the guy with the most form and the best form coming in,” said Hewitt, whose ranking has plummeted to 199th amid his injury struggles. “He’s not only a great singles player, he’s a great doubles player as well, so I think he gives their team a lot more confidence. “I think Stan (Wawrinka) sort of lifts a bit when Roger ’s around as well, so it’s not going to be easy for all our guys.” Meanwhile, Rafa Nadal is ready to make way for a team mate for this week’s Davis Cup semi-final against France if captain Albert Costa feels the world

before flying straight back to Spain to join team mates David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez for the Sept. 1618 world group clash on clay in Cordoba. “Here we are a team and, what’s more, I would not play if the captain feels another team mate is better prepared than me,” Nadal told reporters, insisting that he did not feel drained after losing his US Open crown to the in-form Serb. “If I am not in shape, luckily Spain is still a force and there are top-level players,” he said. “I have been competing at the highest level for three weeks,

before her fellow Russian finally clinched the victory. Earlier, French qualifier Victoria Larriere earned her first victory over a top-100 player when she beat fifth-seeded Magdalena Rybarikova 6-4, 6-4. The 262nd-ranked Larriere, who qualified for her first WTA event, broke the Slovak in the seventh game of the first set and in the ninth game of the second. Serving for the match, Lerriere saved a break point and wrapped up the victory on her first match point. Eva Birnerova rallied to beat seventhseeded Evgeniya Rodina 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-1, and Valeria Savinykh eliminated fourthseeded Anastasija Sevastova 7-5, 3-6, 6-3. Urszula Radwanska rallied to beat local favorite and two-time runner-up Akgul Amanmuradova 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-3, while Eleni Daniilidou advanced to her first quarterfinal this season with a 7-6 (5), 6-3 victory over Misaki Doi. —AP

Davis Cup ties through injury in recent years and the 25-year-old was absent for last year’s 5-0 quarter-final loss to the French. As hosts, Spain have chosen to play the tie on their favoured red dust and with Nadal playing and on form Costa’s team would be firm favourites to advance to December’s final, where they would meet champions Serbia or Argentina. S p a i n a n d Fr a n c e h a ve p l a ye d e a c h o t h e r s e ve n times in the Davis Cup, with the Spaniards winning five. They are bidding for a third title in four years and a fifth overall. —Reuters

Bolt still has something to prove BRUSSELS: Usain Bolt still has plenty to run for when he settles into the blocks for the 100 meters Friday at the Van Damme Memorial. The Jamaican sprinter, who was disqualified from the 100 at the world championships for a false start, has only the sixth-best time of the year at 9.85 seconds. But in his last race of the season, Bolt will be looking to beat the season’s top time of 9.78 seconds run by teammate Asafa Powell. Despite a horrid start in Zagreb on

Tuesday in his first race since the worlds, Bolt clocked 9.85, only .07 seconds shy of Powell’s mark. And the world-record holder will find one of his favorite tracks in the world at the King Baudouin Stadium, where he a ran blistering 9.77 seconds into a headwind three years ago. “It should be good,” Bolt said hours after arriving from Zagreb. “Definitely. I think I can do it. I’ve run very fast on this track.” Weather predictions call for ideal conditions tomorrow. No one doubts Bolt’s speed once he

Pervak, Kudryavtseva advance TASHKENT: Top-seeded Ksenia Pervak and defending champion Alla Kudryavtseva were the only seeded players to survive the second round at the Taskent Open yesterday. In the quest for a first career title, Pervak beat local wild card Sabina Sharipova 6-3, 6-3, while Kudryavtseva defeated Vitalia Diatchenko 6-1, 2-6, 6-3. After trading breaks, the 52nd-ranked Pervak, who reached her first WTA Tour final in Baku in July, broke Sharipova twice in the first set and won four consecutive games in the second. The sixth-seeded Kudryavtseva dropped her serve in the opening game but won the next six games to win the set. Yet, she struggled on her serve for the rest of match. Diatchenko won four consecutive games in the second set to level at 1-1 and, 5-3 and 40-0 down on her serve in the third set, saved three match points

now there is a change of surface and that’s something to assess. But luckily I am not physically drained.” Nadal has missed several

BRUSSELS: Jamaica’s Usain Bolt gestures before he addresses the media, ahead of tomorrow’s Diamond League track and field event. —AP

hits full stride - it is his release from the blocks that has been the problem this season. In a stunning few seconds at the world championships late last month, Bolt jumped the gun in the 100-meter final before Jamaican teammate Yohan Blake won gold instead. It was a huge surprise that Bolt blamed on a bout of anxiety at the worst moment. He has not false star ted since but looked hesitant and slow out of the block in all his races since. “It is hard to put it out because it is really fresh, but I have to deal with it,” Bolt said. Tough enough, as he found out in Zagreb. He reacted slow to the gun again and trailed veteran Kim Collins until past halfway before his giant stride made the difference. “I looked really bad. I was at the back of the pack,” he said. “I lost focus for a few seconds.” Brussels gives him one more chance to correct that before he heads into a monthlong holiday with the London Olympics already firmly on his mind. “I am going to get better next season,” Bolt said of his start. “It is going to be fine.” Pushing him in Brussels will be Jamaican teammate Nesta Carter and American rival Justin Gatlin. Because of his size of 1.93 meters, Bolt will never be the fastest starter, but he realizes there is room for improvement. “Definitely over the 100 meters: the first 30, 40 is always ... get stronger, run straight, not look around,” he said. And get going as fast as possible once the starting gun sounds. Not before. —AP




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Pakistan whitewash Zimbabwe

COLOMBO: Australian cricket coach Tim Nielsen (center) speaks to team members during a practice session ahead of their third and final Test cricket match against Sri Lanka.—AP

Sangakkara seeks win in 100th Test COLOMBO: A hugely proud Kumar Sangakkara hopes Sri Lanka will celebrate his 100th Test appearance with a series-levelling victory over Australia in the final match in Colombo from tomorrow. “It’s a great honour to have represented my country for a period of time, and also a great honour to play 100 Test matches,” Sangakkara told reporters ahead of his landmark match at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC). “It’s not often that a player gets that opportunity and I’m very, very proud and also very privileged to be given the opportunity to represent my country and my people for so long. “But the most important thing is to contribute as much as I can to the side winning games. It’s nice to participate, but you want to say to your team-mates and others that we are winners. “That is what everyone wants, go out there and win matches. It’s what the whole team is chasing at the moment, to try to win and be the best.” Sangakkara, who turns 34 next month, will be the fifth Sri Lankan to play a century of Tests after Muttiah Muralitharan (132 matches), Mahela Jayawardene (121), Chaminda Vaas (111) and Sanath Jayasuriya (110). The elegant left-hander has provided substance and stature to Sri Lanka’s batting along with good friend Jayawardene since his debut against South Africa in Galle in 2000. His 8,572 runs in 99 Tests at an average of 55.66 with 25 hundreds are second in his country’s all-time list, behind Jayawardene’s 9,801 runs from 121 matches. Sangakkara said his goal was to compile 10,000 Test runs and score 30 centuries before he hung up his boots, but retirement is still far from his mind. He could not have asked for a better venue than his favourite hunting ground

at the SSC to mark his 100th Test and lead the team’s bid to draw the threematch series 1-1. In the 18 Tests he had played at the SSC, Sangakkara has scored 1,864 runs at an awe-inspiring average of 74.56 with seven three-figure knocks, including three double centuries. It was at the same venue that Sangakkara and Jayawardene recorded the highest partnership ever in Test cricket: 624 for the third wicket in 2006 against a South African attack that included Dale Steyn and Makhaya Ntini. Sangakkara made 287, while Jayawardene smashed 374 before being bowled by Andre Nel agonisingly close to West Indian Brian Lara’s world record of 400 not out. Sangakkara has scored centuries in each of his last three Tests at the SSC, including knocks of 219 and 42 not out against India last year. But Sri Lanka have not won a Test since the retirement of world bowling record holder Muralitharan last year, losing three of the 10 played since then, but Sangakkara asked fans to be patient. He also said the younger players in the team should be given an extended run to prove their worth at the highest level. “They’ve got to be comfortable in the fact they are here because they are good enough and also they are going to be given a nice, long-lasting run to prove what they can do,” he said. Sangakkara, who gave up the captaincy after the World Cup in April to concentrate on his batting, said his successor Tillakaratne Dilshan was working hard to improve the team’s fortunes. But he felt a lot still depended on how the senior players performed. “The results will come but the senior guys have to keep putting their hands up and keep performing, which will allow the newcomers to perform even better”, he said.—AFP

Swann to captain England in T-20 against West Indies LONDON: Graeme Swann will captain England for the first time in two Twenty20 internationals against the West Indies next week. The 32-year-old offspinner was given the role yesterday as both Stuart Broad and Eoin Morgan - captain and vice captain - are out injured. England test and one-day international captain Alastair Cook remains outside the Twenty20 squad, having not played in the shortest format for almost two years. “Graeme Swann is a highly respected member of the England side,” national selector Geoff Miller said. “His experience and leadership qualities will be invaluable when he leads a young England team next week - a role he is very much looking forward to.” England hosts the West Indies at the Oval on Sept. 23 and 25. There is no place in the 14-man squad for Kevin Pietersen, while batsman Jonathan Bairstow and spinner Danny Briggs have been selected for the first time. Fast bowler James Anderson returns to the Twenty20 squad and legspinner Scott Borthwick is the other addition from the squad which beat India by six wickets last month. “We have once again selected a blend of experienced international performers, along with exciting young players with a great deal of talent,” Miller said. “We have had a successful summer to date and will be looking to continue our form during the Twenty20 series against West Indies and finish the summer with two strong performances. “We have selected 10 of the players who were involved in last month’s Twenty20 victory over India, while the injuries to Stuart Broad and Eoin Morgan and the continued period of rest for Kevin Pietersen means we bring four players into the squad.” England Squad: Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Ravi Bopara, Scott Borthwick, Tim Bresnan, Danny Briggs, Jos Buttler, Jade

Dernbach, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Craig Kieswetter, Samit Patel, Ben Stokes.—AP

England’s Graeme Swann

HARARE: Pakistan won the one day international series against Zimbabwe with a 3-0 whitewash by taking the closing match with 28 runs to spare at Harare Sports Club here yesterday. Pakistan, having been put into bat by the hosts captain Brendan Taylor, set a target of 270-5 with Zimbabwe making 242-9 in reply. Pakistan captain Ul Haq said afterwards that Pakistan’s policy of sending out a young and relatively inexperienced team had paid off and he was delighted with their overall performances. He said: “This is all a good sign for the future of Pakistan cricket and from that viewpoint alone it was worth coming.” Pakistan, who had scrambled to a five run win in the opening match and took the second by 10 wickets, were always the dominant side. Zimbabwe put up a strong showing, their failing being continually behind the required run rate. Pakistan got off to a spirited start through Mohammad Hafeez and Imran Farhat, who sped to 32 runs in the first three overs. The innings settled after that, especially when Harfeez fell for 23 and Farhat for 37. The run rate settled on about five an over, even though Asad Shafiq, one of three young players introduced scored 51 and the old campaigner Younis Khan made 81. It was Shafiq’s fifth half century and Khan’s 44th. Khan was out to a wonderful caught and bowled by Kyle Jarvis just when he had his sights on a seventh ODI century. Shoaib Malik once again disappointed with 14 and the finishing touches were aggressively applied to the Pakistan innings by Misbah ul Haq, 29, and Adnan Akmal with 24. Their target, stated before the match by Ul Haq to be 270 to 280 was therefore satisfactory, and seemed on the recent form of Zimbabwe to be well beyond the home team’s reach. However Zimbabwe

HARARE: Pakistan players celebrate with a trophy after winning the series on the last day of the One Day International between Pakistan and Zimbabwe.—AP made a serious effort to get there. But even though Justice Chibhabha with 62 and Vusi Sibanda on 59 made a strong early showing, it didn’t have the pace of run gathering necessary for a launch towards the end. With Taylor failing by scoring only six, those who followed made an effort to catch up with a rising run rate necessary but were never really in the chase, and at the end Zimbabwe needed eight, ten and eventually 14 an over for the win. Aziz Cheema was the best of the Pakistan bowlers with 4-43 and he was named man of the match. He has been the newcomer with the most success even though he is somewhat of a latecomer at 32 years of age. Man of the series was Younis Khan, who went about his business with polished calm and took the catch of the match on the boundary in dismissing Tatenda Taibu, who had just previously hit six, one of six scored on the day. The Pakistan tour continues here with two Twenty-20 entertainments at Harare on Friday and Sunday.—AFP

India has last chance to secure win over England CARDIFF: India has a last chance to secure a win over the hosts on its ill-fated tour of England when the teams meet in the fifth and final match of the one-day series tomorrow. England has won the series 2-0, but India was closer than ever to that elusive victory in the rain-affected fourth one-dayer at Lord’s. The match was tied, with James Anderson and Steven Finn at the wicket with neither having faced a ball. Only the injured Stuart Broad was left in the pavilion and unable to bat to avoid risking further damage to his torn shoulder muscle. Broad will be out for six weeks, while England was already missing Eoin Morgan with a shoulder injury. Although the series has been decided, the fifth game promises to be closely matched now that India has found form by introducing some new batsmen, attacking spin bowlers and fresh legs in the field. For one of the few times on this tour all India’s players are fit and present. Highlyrated Varun Aaron, the 21-year-old pace bowler, could win a place in the side. If World Cup winner India can claim victory in Cardiff, it will prevent England from taking its No. 4 ranking. The game will also provide India coach Duncan Fletcher a chance to end a humiliating tour on a high note. The former England coach, who succeeded Gary Kirsten in April following India’s World Cup win, has a two-year deal and may be wondering how the India cricket board will regard his part in the defeats in both the test and one-day series. By contrast, Andy Flower’s England team have looked like champions all summer. England has won 12 out of the 14 bilateral series since Flower took charge in January 2009, including one-off matches against Ireland and Scotland. The two losses were both 6-1 one-day series defeats to Australia after Ashes triumphs in 2009 and 2010-11. It will be an action-packed week for England batsman-wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter. After trying to secure a 3-0 victory for England, he plans to drive 241 kilometers (150 miles) from Cardiff to London after the game to play for his county side Somerset in Saturday’s domestic one-day final against Surrey at Lord’s. Kieswetter is then due to fly 4,800 miles to India on Sunday for Somerset’s Champions League Twenty20 match against Auckland Aces which starts in Hyderabad on Tuesday.—AP

SCOREBOARD HARARE: Scoreboard at close of the third one-day international between Zimbabwe and Pakistan at Harare Sports Club on yesterday: Pakistan M. Hafeez c Waller b Vitori 23 I. Farhat c Chibhabha b Chigumbura 37 A. Shafiq st Taibu b Price 51 Y. Khan c and b Jarvis 81 S. Malik c and b Chigumbura 14 M. Ul Haq not out 29 A. Akmal not out 24 Extras (2lb, 3nb, 6w) 11 Total (for 5 wkts) 270 Fall of wickets: 1-45 (Hafeez), 2-76 (Farhat), 3-173 (Shafiq), 4-211 (Malik) 5-215 (Y. Khan) Did not bat: Sohail Tanveer, Yasif Shah, Sohail Khan, Aizaz CheemaBowling: Vitori 9-1-62-1 (2nb, 4w); Jarvis 10-0-55-1 (1nb, 1w); Chigumbura 9-1-36-2 (1w); Price 10-1-48-1; Masakadza 2-0-10-0; Utseya 10-0-57-0. Zimbabwe J. Chibhabha c Y. Khan b Malik 62 V. Sibanda c sub U. Akmal b Y. Shah 59 B. Taylor c A. Akmal b Cheema 6 H. Masakadza c Ul Haq b S. Khan 21 T. Taibu c Y. Khan b Y. Shah 27 M. Waller b Cheema 19 E. Chigumbura c Asad b Cheema 9 P. Utseya not out 15 R. Price b Cheema 10 K. Jarvis b Hafeez 6 B. Vitori not out 3 Extras (5w) 5 Total (for 9 wkts) 242 Fall of wickets: 1-110 (Sibanda), 2-120 (Taylor), 3-133 Chibhabha), 4-176 (Taibu), 5-179 (Masakadza), 6-196 (Chigumbura), 7-208 (Waller), 8-225 (Price), 9-238 (Jarvis) Bowling: Tanveer 9-0-54-0; S. Khan 9-0-36-1; M. Hafeez 9-0-37-1; A. Cheema 10-1-43-4; Y. Shah 10-0-51-2; S, Malik 3-0-21-1. Result: Pakistan won by 28 runs Pakistan won the 3-match series 3-0 Player of the match: Aizaz Cheema (PAK) Player of the series: Younis Khan (PAK)


ZURICH: Players of Sporting Clube de Portugal warm up during a training session. Sporting will face Zurich in a Group D Europa League soccer match today. —AP

Rovers look to carry on Europa fairytale PARIS: Shamrock Rovers are the Republic of Ireland’s most successful club but today they enter uncharted waters for Irish clubs when they host Russian side Rubin Kazan in the opening matches of the Europa League group stages. Rovers — winners of a record 16 national titles and 24 FAI Cups — have really been thrown into the deep end as aside from Rubin they also have English side Tottenham and Greek outfit PAOK Salonika in Group A. However, Rubin should hold no fears for the Irish side after they gained an unexpected but deserved win over Serbian giants Partizan Belgrade in the qualifying round last month. Rovers, the first ever Irish side to make it into the group stages of a European competition, warmed up for Thursday’s sellout clash with a 1-1 draw in a league match against St Patricks Athletic on Monday. Manager Michael O’Neill acknowledges that the level will be substantially higher than the fare served up against St Pats. “Thursday is a totally different challenge against a top team but we’ve got ourselves into this position and we’ll try to deal with it and do our best,” O’Neill, who was capped 33 times by Northern Ireland, told “The players have had no information on Kazan so far, they’ll get their first taste of it today. We’ll watch some videos of them and then look at how we will shape up against them. “It’s a case of trying to get as much information across to the players without overloading them. It’s going into the

unknown slightly.” O’Neill, whose only previous managerial experience was with Scottish side Brechin City, added that taking on a side packed with internationals was a daunting one given that his team have just the one - Jamaican goalkeeper Ryan Thompson who won his sole cap in 2004. “It’s a massive challenge, we’re going in against top-class opposition riddled with international players, a big spending club,” said the former midfielder, who numbers Dundee United, Hibernian and Newcastle United among his clubs “It’s a big challenge but it’s great for us to get the chance. “People talk about the financial aspect to it but we want to continue to do ourselves justice in that competition.” Spurs travel to Greece but given the noises coming from manager Harry Redknapp there is none of the enthusiasm that surrounded their impressive debut in the Champions League last term. Redknapp’s priority is Sunday’s Premier League match with Liverpool which he says rules him out of taking the players who played in the 2-0 victory over Wolves last Saturday. “The problem I’ve got today is I can’t really take this lot who’ve played at Wolves,” he said. “It is a nuisance. There won’t be too many of these going to Greece.” Aside from that selection problem Redknapp will also have to smooth the ruffled feathers of Dutch star Rafael van der Vaart, who expressed his annoyance at not being included in the Europa League squad - which ruled him out of the group stages.—AFP



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sp orts

Trabzonspor stun Inter

SPAIN: Bayern Munich’s Toni Kroos (left) duels for the ball with Villarreal’s Marcos Senna, from Brazil, during the Group A Champions League soccer match.—AP

Bayern too strong for Villarreal VILLARREAL: An early Toni Kroos strike set Bayern Munich up for a convincing 2-0 win over Villarreal yesterday as they look to assert themselves in the Champions League group of death. With Manchester City and Napoli also in Group A they are all set to be tough matches and no side can afford to drop points. Bayern got off to the perfect start with Kroos firing home after six minutes and they never looked back in a commanding performance from the Germans. They had a series of chances in the second half to finish off Villarreal before substitute Rafinha secured the win with 15 minutes left. Bayern arrived at El Madrigal after an excellent start to the season that included a 7-0 defeat of Freiburg at the weekend. Mario Gomez had scored seven goals in his last two matches and Franck Ribery was back to his best on the wing as the team more than coped with the loss of the injured Arjen Robben. However, the main difference with this Bayern side is in defence where they are far more solid after important summer reinforcements including keeper Manuel Neuer and Jerome Boateng. Despite the task ahead, Villarreal knew how important it was to start the group stage well with difficult games ahead but they went behind early on. Missing his main creative player Borja Valero through suspension, coach Juan Carlos Garrido fielded a solid midfield including the veteran Marcos Senna, and aimed to attack using the pace of Nilmar Honorato and Giuseppe Rossi. However his plan to be defensively strong did not last more than a few min-

utes as Bayern’s potent attack put them ahead. Ribery found Kroos, who was given far too much space in the heart of the Villarreal penalty area, and he finished clinically. The home side tried to respond and their forwards certainly looked like they had the beating of Bayern defenders Holger Badstuber and Daniel Van Buyton, but they saw little of the ball as the Germans enjoyed the majority of the possession in midfield. Bastian Schweinsteiger had a powerful shot from distance which was blocked by keeper David Lopez, while Ribery was the main threat and making it a tough evening for full back Mario Gaspar. Rossi had Villarreal’s best chance of the first half when he got goal side of Van Buyten but with the ball at a difficult height, he shot straight at Neuer. Shortly after Van Buyten limped off and was replaced by Rafinha, who at least offered them greater speed at the back. After the break Bayern substitute Nils Petersen made an immediate impact but was twice denied by Lopez in the Villarreal goal, the second time he just had the keeper to beat. The game lost its earlier rhythm but while the game was scrappy, Bayern were enjoying better openings and Lopez continued to come to Villarreal’s rescue. Schweinsteiger and Peterson had further shots saved after being given plenty of time on the edge of the box. With Bayern peppering the Villarreal goal it appeared only a question of time before they scored again and it came eventually from Rafinha, with Lopez for once, at fault as he was beaten at his near post.—AFP

Champions League results/standings Group A At Manchester, England Manchester City (ENG) 1 (Kolarov 74) Napoli (ITA) 1 (Cavani 68)

Group E At London Chelsea (ENG) 2 (Luiz 66, Mata 90+2) Bayer Leverkusen (GER) 0

At Villarreal, Spain Villarreal (ESP) 0 Bayern Munich (GER) 2 (Kroos 6, Rafinha 75)

At Genk, Belgium Genk (BEL) 0, Valencia (ESP) 0

Group B At Lille, France Lille (FRA) 2 (Sow 44, Pedretti 56) CSKA Moscow (RUS) 2 (Doumbia 72, 90) At Milan, Italy Inter Milan (ITA) 0 Trabzonspor (TUR) 1 (Celustka 75) Group C At Basel, Switzerland Basel (SUI) 2 (Frei 39, 84-pen) Otelul Galati (ROM) 1 (Pena 58) At Lisbon Benfica (POR) 1 (Cardozo 23) Manchester United (ENG) 1 (Giggs 41) Group D At Zagreb Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) 0 Real Madrid (ESP) 1 (Di Maria 52) At Amsterdam Ajax (NED) 0, Lyon (FRA) 0

Group F At Athens Olympiakos (GRE) 0, Marseille (FRA) 1 (Lucho 50) At Dortmund, Germany Borussia Dortmund (GER) 1 (Perisic 88) Arsenal (ENG) 1 (Van Persie 42) Group G At Oporto, Portugal Porto (POR) 2 (Hulk 28, Kleber 51) Shakthar Donetsk (UKR) 1 (Luiz Adriano 12) At Nicosia Apoel Nicosia (CYP) 2 (Manduca 73, Ailton 75) Zenit St-Petersburg (RUS) 1 (Zyryanov 63) Group H At Barcelona, Spain Barcelona (ESP) 2 (Pedro 35, Villa 49) AC Milan (ITA) 2 (Pato 1, Silva 90+2) At Pilsen, Czech Republic Plzen (CZE) 1 (Bakos 45+1) Bate Borisov (BLR) 1 (Bressan 69)

Played Tuesday

Champions League tables after yesterday’s matches (Played, won, drawn, lost, for, against, points): Group A Bayern Man City Napoli Villarreal Group B Trabzonspor CSKA Moscow Lille Inter Milan Group C Basel Benfica Man United Otelul Galati Group D Real Madrid Ajax Lyon Dinamo

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Group E Chelsea RC Genk Valencia Leverkusen Group F Marseille Arsenal Dortmund Olympiakos Group G APOEL FC Porto Shakhtar Zenit Group H AC Milan Barcelona BATE Borisov Viktoria Plzen

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MILAN: Outsiders Trabzonspor stunned 2010 winners Inter Milan 1-0 in the Champions League at the San Siro here yesterday to heap more misery on the Italian side’s coach Gian Piero Gasperini. Czech right-back Ondrej Celustka was the unlikely hero for the Turks, who are only playing in the Champions League on a wild card after Turkish champions Fenerbahce were kicked out over a match-fixing scandal. Trabzonspor had actually already been knocked out in the third qualifying round by Benfica. Although Inter enjoyed the greater number of chances, the visitors remained disciplined and organised and struck from their only real chance to gain a famous victor y over their illustrious opponents. After being vilified in the Italian press following Sunday’s 43 defeat at Palermo, Gasperini bowed to the pressure and abandoned his back three. But while the conventional back four may have offered him more solidity in defence, it didn’t help the spectacle at an embarrassingly empty San Siro. The first chance came on 19 minutes as an Arkadiusz Glowacki mistake gave Mauro Zarate a chance but Didier Zokora got back to block his progress and then as Inter continued to press Giray Kacar tackled Zarate as he was about to pull the trigger. Giampaolo Pazzini was then perhaps a touch lucky to stay on the pitch after catching Marek Cech with his elbow, although none of the officials seemed to notice. Trabzonspor’s only shot of note came when Cech let fly from 30 yards, the ball sailing well over. Suddenly on the half hour mark came a flurry of chances for

the hosts. Zarate forced goalkeeper Tolga Zengin into a save at his near post and from the resulting corner, a Turkish mistake presented Pazzini with a chance from seven yards but on the turn he missed the ball completely. Moments later Zengin rushed from his line to smother another

and Nigerian Joel Obi. But even that didn’t do much to spark the game into life, although Zarate did cut in from the left and force Zengin to save down at his feet. Inter finally opened up the Turks defence when a lucky ricochet helped Esteban Cambiasso

off target from Javier Zanetti’s cross. The sucker punch came 14 minutes from time as Halil Altintop collected the ball at the back post and smacked a volley against the bar, with Celustka picking up the loose ball and firing across Julio Cesar from a tight angle.

ITALY: Inter Milan Argentine midfielder Esteban Cambiasso (left) heads the ball while Trabzonspor Brazilian midfielder Alanzinho looks on, during a Champions League, Group B, soccer match.—AP Zarate effort. Gasperini waited only 10 minutes into the second half to make a pair of changes, Argentines Diego Milito and Ricardo Alvarez replacing Pazzini

slip in Milito on the penalty spot with only Zengin to beat but the big goalkeeper spread himself well to prevent a goal. Moments later Milito headed

The excellent Zengin came to his side’s rescue two minutes from time as he plunged to his right to beat away substitute Coutinho’s rasping drive.—AFP

French let it slip, Russians pinch point LILLE: French champions Lille threw away two points in their Champions League Group B opener at the Stadium Nord yesterday, gifting two late goals to Russian visitors CSKA in a 2-2 draw which threatens to cost the French dear. Lille had been racing to an impressive victory, two goals to the good thanks to some fine opportunism from last year’s Ligue 1 top scorer Moussa Sow for their opener and then a second goal from Benoit Pedretti either side of the break. But the hosts, playing in their new stadium after European nights spent in “exile” at either Paris or Lens, then pressed the self destruct button as they allowed the Russians to take a point they barely deserved with Ivory Coast striker Seydou Doumbia bagging goals on 72 and 90 minutes. Lille are competing in the tournament for the fourth time but have to date failed to make a real impression - but this time, with stylish Eden Hazard in effervescent form and onloan Joe Cole also in their ranks, the northerners expect to show they can cope at the highest level in Europe’s premier club competition. Pedretti said the players had been punished for becoming too cautious in the closing stages and for an inability to close out a result. “We stayed back too much. They have good attackers, we made some silly mistakes and were punished - we have to learn from that,” said a disappointed Pedretti. Sow had been ubiquitous in the first 45 minutes, clipping just wide with only the keeper to beat as Lille dominated the opening quarter while Franck Beria’s shot from distance cleared the bar in the 34th minute before Hazard ended an ebullient run with a low shot which keeper Vladimir Gabulov smothered well. But the goal they so richly deserved came seconds before the break, Pedretti feeding Sow following a left-wing corner. The striker saw a half-hit effort bobble back off the post but David Rozenhal turned the loose ball back in and Sow backheeled into the net from barely two metres out. It looked as if coach Rudy Garcia’s decision to leave the still not match fit Cole on the bench in favour of Ludovic Obraniak would prove a wise one. Zoran Tosic, fed by Brazilian Vagner Love, saw a curling effort cannon back off the post, and Pedretti promptly delivered what looked as it it would prove the coup de grace within seconds at the other end, sweeping home Lille’s second. Even so, despite all their domination Lille were vulnerable on the counter attack and they were unable to hold the line as Moscow came roaring back. First, on 72 minutes, Doumbia, eluded his marker and deftly poked home a low shot. Cole came on at that point but was unable to turn a changing tide as Doumbia played a stylish one-two with Alan Dzagoev before firing a sumptuous effort beyond Mickael Landreau in the Lille goal.—AFP

SWITZERLAND: Galati’s Marius Pena (right) scores against Basel’s goalkeeper Yann Sommer (left) during the Group C Champions League soccer match. —AP

Basel beat debutant Galati BASEL: Alex Frei’s 84th-minute penalty lifted FC Basel to a 2-1 victory over Champions League newcomer Otelul Galati yesterday. Frei fired his spot-kick low into the left corner of the net after Otelul defender Adrian Salageanu was shown a red card for bringing down forward Marco Streller. Basel, playing in the group stage for the third time in four seasons, took the lead in the 39th on Fabien Frei’s header near the penalty spot from Streller’s cross. Marius Pena leveled for the Romanians in the 58th minute, pouncing on an error by Basel goalkeeper Yann Sommer. Basel also finished with 10 men when Benjamin Huggel got a second yellow card in the 87th. Otelul seized the early initiative despite having only midfielder Sorin Frunza, a substitute, with previous Champions League experience. However, the Romanian champions could not seri-

ously trouble Sommer. Basel went ahead when Frei timed his run perfectly to meet a left-footed cross from Streller who showed neat footwork at the byline. Otelul started the second half brightly and Nigerian forward John Ibeh’s shot from 20 yards (meters) brought a save from Sommer diving to his left. Sommer’s preference to parry rather than grab the ball cost him four minutes later. Pena reacted quickly to chip the ball past the Switzerland Under-21 international, who had pushed Liviu Antal’s 20yard (20-meter) shot back into play. Streller seemed poised to restore Basel’s lead when he ran on to a through ball before being blocked by Salageanu’s challenge. Otelul had a chance to level in a stoppage-time goalmouth scramble but Gabriel Paraschiv’s close-range effort was deflected wide. Basel next travels to face Manchester United, which drew 1-1 away to Benfica yesterday.—AP

Ajax and Lyon in opening stalemate

AMSTERDAM: Jan Vertonghen of Ajax (right) battles for the ball with Michel Bastos of Olympique Lyon during their Champions League Group D soccer match.—AP

AMSTERDAM: Ajax and Lyon opened their Champions League campaigns with a goalless draw at the Dutch giants’ Amsterdam ArenaA here yesterday. The two sides last crossed swords in the 2002/03 season’s opening fixtures, with Ajax winning 2-1 at home and then 2-0 in France. Lyon, the seven-time former French titleholders, went into this Group D tie missing influential forward Lisandro with a sprained ankle. The French visitors’ captain and right back Anthony Reveillere was featuring in his 66th Champions League appearance, in contrast Ajax ’s 19-year-old Danish defender Nicolai Boilsen was having his first taste of Europe’s premier club competition. Ajax, four time European champions and topping the table in their domestic league, fielded three new recruits in

Kolbeinn Sigthorsson and Derk Boerrigter up front, and Theo Janssen behind. Once Lyon found their stride they were the more likely side to break the deadlock in the first half, with Bafetimbi Gomis and Michel Bastos causing most difficulties for the home defence. The game lost some of its intensity after the break, with Lyon playing largely on the counter attack. A late flurry of activity in the Ajax box came to nothing, with a share of the spoils a logical outcome as both sides had their respective keepers Hugo Lloris and Kenneth Vermeer to thank for maintaining the status quo. Lyon, perennial features of the knockout stages, having made it past the group stage in each of the past eight seasons, going out to Real Madrid in the round of 16, are placed second in the table, after Real’s 1-0 win at Dinamo Zagreb.—AFP

Trabzonspor stun Inter

Pakistan whitewash Zimbabwe




Tune-up time for Federer for Davis CUP

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LISBON: Benfica’s goalkeeper Artur Moraes (right) from Brazil, clears a high ball against Manchester United’s Chris Smalling (top left) during their Champions League Group C soccer match. —AP

Giggs’ bolt from blue saves United LISBON: Manchester United were indebted to a superb Ryan Giggs goal as they drew 1-1 with Benfica yesterday despite a below-par performance in their Champions League Group C opener. Giggs, 37, sent a rocket into the top corner three minutes before half-time to cancel out Oscar Cardozo’s 24th-minute opener for a Benfica side who seemed intent on puncturing their opponents’ early-season momentum. At Lisbon’s iconic Estadio da Luz, United looked a shadow of the side that has soared to the top of the Premier League with 18 goals in their first four games. It was only thanks to Giggs and some fine goalkeeping from competition debutant Anders Lindegaard that Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to rest a string of players did not backfire.

“Once we scored, we played well,” said the United manager. “Our possession was too cautious in the first half. It was the kind of possession that gives you a certain control but doesn’t win you the game. “Benfica had some terrific chances in the last 15 minutes. There was one very good chance, and Anders made a great save.” In all Ferguson made eight changes to the side that beat Bolton 5-0 on Saturday, in a nod to Sunday’s visit of Chelsea. Patrice Evra, Jonny Evans and Wayne Rooney were the only men to keep their places. Mindful, perhaps, of United’s pedigree, Benfica were initially content to concede the initiative but uncertainty in the visitors’ play allowed Jorge Jesus’ men to assert themselves. “We had more chances than them,” said the

Benfica coach. “I think the result was fair, but we played very well. It would have been great to beat such a great team as Manchester, but the point is important.” Cardozo registered Benfica’s first shot on target with a low effort that Lindegaard claimed comfortably but the Paraguayan was less merciful in the 24th minute. Collecting a high pass from the enterprising Nicolas Gaitan on his chest, he turned Evans adroitly before clipping an accomplished finish inside Lindegaard’s right-hand post. It was the first away goal United had conceded in the competition since their quarter-final loss to Bayern Munich in the 2009-10 tournament. United’s only effort of note had been a shot from a tight angle that Antonio Valencia blazed

over the bar, but from nowhere Giggs rolled back the years to produce a stunning equaliser that silenced the home fans. After picking up possession on the right-hand side, the Welshman spied a pocket of space on the edge of the box that he surged into before arrowing a fine drive into the top-right corner. Giggs’ goal, from United’s first shot on target, broke his own record for the tournament’s oldest goalscorer and means he has now scored in more Champions League campaigns — 16 — than any player in history. His intervention could not disguise United’s problems, however, and Benfica continued to look dangerous in the second half. Pablo Aimar fizzed a low effort narrowly wide and although Giggs drew a save from Artur after

City held by Napoli MANCHESTER: Napoli gave Manchester City a reality check by holding the big-spending English club to a 1-1 draw in a match between two Champions League debutantes yesterday. City’s expensively assembled team has powered to four successive wins in the Premier League but needed a superb 74th-minute free kick by Serbia left back Aleksandar Kolarov to rescue a point in an entertaining Group A game. Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani had put Napoli ahead five minutes earlier, finishing off a flowing counterattack with a low finish, and the Italian side was worthy of a point in its first match back among Europe’s elite since 1990 when Argentina great Diego Maradona was in its squad. “We struggled in the first half (but) in the second half we started to played like we know how to and we even had chances to score a second goal,” said Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri, whose side was playing just its second match this season. “We could have closed the match, that’s the only regret.” Even though City had to go back to 1968 for its last match at this level, Roberto Mancini’s star-studded side was still being considered among the favorites to win Europe’s premier club competition. City did strike the woodwork twice, through Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure and Argentina striker Sergio Aguero, but never stamped its authority on the match as it has done domestically this season. “We left Napoli too much space and they’re dangerous on the counterattack,” Mancini said. “We were less precise than in our other matches, but I’m content with the team’s performance. “We know the Champions League is difficult but we started well and now we must win in (Bayern) Munich in our next game.” City has already scored 15 goals in the Premier League but Napoli was never going to be a pushover.

wriggling into the area, Lindegaard then had to produce a brilliant stop to palm away a side-footed effort from substitute Nolito. When Emerson advanced from left-back and toed a shot across goal, Ferguson decided he had seen enough and sent on Nani and Javier Hernandez in place of Darren Fletcher and Valencia. There was no stemming the red Benfica tide though and after Lindegaard had pushed away a curler from Gaitan, Phil Jones was sent on to add muscle to the creaking away defence. A late let-off for United saw Nolito find the side netting from close range with three minutes left and Ferguson will ultimately have been thankful that his side’s most challenging fixture of the group phase did not prove more costly.—AFP

Dinamo undone by Di Maria strike

LONDON: Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero (center) is tackled by Napoli’s Paolo Cannavaro during their Champions League Group A soccer match at the Etihad Stadium.—AP The visitors’ defending was last-ditch at times in the first half but they looked dangerous going forward, with Argentina striker Ezequiel Lavezzi striking the bar with a curling shot from 18 yards (meters) in the 17th minute. However, most of the action took place at the other end, with Edin Dzeko crashing a shot just wide in the 13th and Toure running onto Aguero’s lay-off to smash a fierce shot against the bar in the 34th. City became increasingly ragged in defense

in the second half and was given an early scare in the 49th when Slovakia midfielder Marek Hamsik met a looping cross with a volley that was cleared off the line by the retreating Vincent Kompany. Another Hamsik shot deflected off City defender Pablo Zabaleta and span just over but the visitors weren’t to be denied. After Gareth Barry lost possession inside Napoli’s half, Christian Maggio set off on a long run that carved open the defense before slip-

ping in Cavani, who slotted his finish between goalkeeper Joe Hart’s legs from 12 yards (meters). City’s response was immediate, Aguero sidefooting against the bar moments before Kolarov whipped in a precise 25-yard free kick at the near post, with De Sanctis motionless. Dzeko spurned an excellent chance in the 78th when he span inside the penalty area and screwed a left-foot shot wide, as City had to settle for a point at Eastlands.—AP

ZAGREB: Spanish giants Real Madrid got off to a winning start in their Champions League group here yesterday in a hard fought 1-0 win over Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb. A second-half goal from Argentinian Angel di Maria was the difference between the sides, though, the hosts had goalkeeper Ivan Kelava to thank for restricting the damage. The result may have satisfied Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo, but the refereeing of Norwegian Svein Moen for him left a lot to be desired. “We are happy with the result as it is always good to get off to a winning start,” said Ronaldo, who failed to add to his tally of 28 Champions League goals in 70 appearances. “However, I hope we will not have a repeat of this refereeing performance, it was shameful,” added Ronaldo, who received a lot of close attention and ended with a bloodied ankle after a tackle by Jerko Leko. Real had started brightly creating several early chances, Cristiano Ronaldo firing in a third minute leftfooted volley that flew wide while in-form French striker Karim Benzema went close on two occasions but both efforts went over the bar. Fabio Coentrao also had a narrow miss, breaking into the hosts’ area but his curled shot shaved the bar. Dinamo, though, gradually came more into the game and whilst they found chances hard to come by they more than held their own and were deservedly all square at 0-0 at half-time. Real, though, resumed their early dominance at the start of the first-half keeping home ‘keeper Kelava busy. He had only just saved from Xabi Alonso when di Maria struck, superbly set up by Marcelo, in the 53rd minute. Kelava kept the host in the match with several fine stops from Ronaldo and two from fullback Sergio Ramos as the Spanish side tried to ram home their advantage.—AFP



GfK boosts Mideast presence

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Shuaa eyes brokerage major buys in Egypt Page 23


Kuwait equities edge up Page 24

Wen: China will expand investment in Europe Page 26

FRANKFURT: An Audi A2 concept car is presented at the 64th Frankfurt Auto Show in Frankfurt yesterday. (Inset) The back of Alfa Romeo C4 concept car. — AP (See Page 25)

Moody’s downgrades two French banks Domino effect could wreck European Union PARIS: Moody’s ratings agency downgraded two top French banks yesterday, highlighting the risk of a euro-zone domino effect amid warnings the crisis could destroy the European Union. Moody’s cut the rating for Credit Agricole bank, one of the biggest in Europe, from Aa1 to Aa2 and Societe Generale’s from Aa2 to Aa3 because of fears over their exposure to Greek sovereign debt. The rating agency left French banking major BNP Paribas on negative watch. Shares in Societe Generale plummeted by more than 9.0 percent on the Paris bourse after trading opened on Wall Street as US orders arrived on the market following the French bank’s downgrade. Shares in Credit Agricole were down 1.9 percent and BNP Paribas stock fell by 5.7 percent. Stocks in all three banks have plummeted

in recent weeks amid turmoil over the euro-zone debt crisis on a mix of concerns over their exposure to Greek debt, but also to debt in other euro-zone countries, notably Italy. The banks themselves, the French central bank and the government have assured that French banks are strong enough to withstand any pressures which could arise from the debt crisis. Analysts at CM-CIC Securities said in a note: “The European situation is getting more complicated every day. There are more and more signs that Greek default could happen much more quickly than expected, perhaps in October”. But Aurel BGC trader Dov Adjedj said that investors had anticipated yesterday’s downgrades. “The Moody’s downgrade is not so severe and it was in any case largely expected since a few days,” he said.

Government spokeswoman and Budget Minister Valerie Pecresse insisted that French banks remained “solid” despite the downgrade. “They still have ratings that are very good, among the best for financial establishments in the euro-zone,” she said. “There are no problems with capitalization, nor with solvency, nor liquidity... There are no problems with trust in French banks.” US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who is to attend Friday’s meeting of EU finance ministers and central bankers, said Europe’s major economies will not let the region’s biggest financial institutions “be at risk”. But he said that “they recognize they are going to have to do more, they recognize they have been behind the curve” in dealing with the debt crisis. Polish Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski, whose country holds

the rotating EU presidency, told the European Parliament in Strasbourg that “Europe is in danger”. “If the euro-zone breaks up, the European Union will not be able to survive, with all the consequences that one can imagine,” he said of the currency bloc that comprises 17 of the 27 EU countries. European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso described the crisis as “the most serious challenge of a generation. This is a fight... for the economic and political future of Europe”. Moody’s warned in June that it was looking at French banks with a view to possible downgrade because of their exposure to the Greek financial crisis and the risks of contagion, and the markets had largely anticipated the downgrade. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou are to discuss

the Greek emergency at a teleconference scheduled for 1600 GMT yesterday. The teleconference was decided in view of informal talks between EU finance ministers and central bankers in Wroclaw on Friday and Saturday. Merkel fought on Tuesday to soothe alarm on markets over Greece, saying everything would be done to avoid an “uncontrolled insolvency” and stressing that the euro-zone would remain intact. The emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which constitute the BRICS group, are to discuss possible aid to Europe to ease the crisis, Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega said. He and his counterparts are to discuss the issue in Washington on September 22. They will be in the US capital next week for the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. —AFP

Economics, politics spur Islamic banking in Oman

A worker at an exchange office changes numbers on a board listing foreign currency rates against the Belarus ruble in the capital Minsk. The Belarus ruble lost nearly 40 percent of its value today as the crisis-hit republic floated its currency for the second time in a year in the face of rapidly dwindling reserves. —AFP

MUSCAT/DUBAI: For religious reasons, Omani clerk Ali Al-Sulaimi does not believe in paying interest on borrowed money, but he badly wants to build a house for his family. Islamic banks “should open today already”, said Sulaimi, dressed in a white dishdasha robe and traditional Omani woven hat called the kuma, as he went to prayers at the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in the capital Muscat. Now an edict issued by the central bank in May this year is set to meet demand from Sulaimi and other Omani Muslims who have long called for the sultanate to embrace the Islamic finance industry, which operates according to the religion’s sharia law. Oman, home to roughly 3 million Muslims, is seen as an untapped opportunity for Islamic finance, which prohibits the lending of money for interest and other activities that violate religious principles. The Islamic finance market has grown to nearly $1 trillion globally, analysts estimate. But unlike neighboring states such as the United Arab Emirates and Iran, which have embraced the industry, Oman until this year remained stubbornly secular in its approach to

finance. Its central bank head said in 2007 that “banks should be universal.” Oman reversed its stance after seeing a steady trickle of investment money flow to nearby countries with well-established Islamic banking sectors. The decision was also seen as one way of appeasing its population, after the sultanate faced several public protests demanding more jobs and an end to corruption- demonstrations which prompted the government to promise to boost spending by $2.6 billion. Setting up Islamic banking is not an overnight proposition. Legal and banking experts said it could take between three to five years for the industry to gain momentum in Oman as financial institutions acquired expertise and brought in experienced professionals. Many banks appear to consider the effort worthwhile, however. “There is a lot of opportunity for Islamic finance in Oman, with almost every bank considering launching an Islamic window and one or two full-fledged Islamic banks being launched,” said Ashar Nazim, leader for Islamic financial services in the Middle East and North Africa at consultancy Ernst & Young.

“Islamic banking could be 8 to 10 percent of (banking) market share over the next three to five years. I’m comfortable with saying it could be at least a $6 billion industry in Oman.” The commercial banking sector has seen steady gains in both deposits and assets over the past two years, according to central bank data. Total deposits at commercial banks reached 11.2 billion rials ($29 billion) at the end of June, up 14.3 percent from a year earlier, while total assets climbed 4.5 percent to 16.3 billion rials. In an Islamic mortgage transaction, of the kind which may allow Sulaimi to build a house in the next year or two, a bank does not lend money. Instead, it might typically buy the asset from the customer and then resell it at an implicit profit, allowing the customer to pay the bank in installments-a practice called Murabahah. Ernst & Young estimates that Oman’s banking industry will need 500 bankers to cater to demand for Islamic finance. Designing and launching a full-fledged Islamic bank could typically take six to twelve months, Nazim said; obtaining capital and expertise could mean further delays.—Reuters

Saudi Aug inflation eases to 4.8 pct y/y JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s annual inflation eased to 4.8 percent in last month and monthly price growth halved to 0.5 percent as a rise in housing and transport cost subsided, data showed yesterday. Inflation in the world’s No. 1 oil exporter has been floating below 5 percent for most of 2011. It stood at 4.9 percent on an annual basis and 1.2 percent month-on-month in July. “The overall headline number is not as high as we expected it to be because of Ramadan,” said Khan Zahid, chief economist at Riyad Capital. “A number of factors may explain this. Slowing global inflation, fall in oil prices which leads to a drop in transport prices and voluntary restraint by retailers and wholesalers on food prices,” he said. Food costs, which account for a quarter of Saudi consumer expenses, soared 1.5 percent on a monthly basis in August, keeping their growth pace from the previous month, the data from the Central Department of Statistics showed. Food prices usually surge during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting which began on Aug. 1, as families enjoy more elaborate evening meals after they break their fast at sunset. Housing price growth slowed to 0.7 percent monthon-month from 1.6 percent in July, while transport costs were flat in last month after a 0.7 percent increase in the previous month, the data showed. The Saudi central bank expects inflationary pressures in the biggest Arab economy to continue at a moderate pace in the thirdquarter of this year, it said last month. — Reuters




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Gulf Bank announces winners of 35th Al-Danah weekly draw KUWAIT: Gulf Bank held its thirty-fifth Al-Danah weekly draw on September 11, 2011, announcing a total number of ten Al-Danah weekly prize draw winners, each awarded with prizes of KD 1,000. The 35th Al Danah weekly winners Ali Badriya Ali Hussain Ali, Jamal Mohammad Abu Younes, Ahmed Mutlaq Saleh Nassar Al-Bathal, Najat Bahrouz Ali Faraj, Aliya Ali Hussain Al-Qattan, Fatema Kamel Abul Al-Awadhi, Tamara Khaldoun Al-Khammach, Zuhair Khazal Al-Dujaili, Flora Joyce Fernandes and Liflin Tirona Lazarti. Gulf Bank encourages everyone in Kuwait to open an Al-Danah account and/or increase their deposits to maximize their chances of becoming a winner in the upcoming weekly (KD1,000 each for 10 winners), and the annual draw (1 million dinars). Gulf Bank’s AlDanah allows customers to win cash prizes and encourages them to save money. Chances increase the more money is deposited and the longer it is kept in the account. Al-Danah also offers a number of unique services including the Al-Danah Deposit Only ATM card which helps account holders deposit their money at their convenience; as well as the Al-Danah calculator to help customers calculate their chances of becoming an AlDanah winner. To be part of the Al-Danah draws, customers can visit one of Gulf Bank’s 55 branches, transfer on line, or call the Customer Contact Center on 1805805 for assistance and guidance. Customers can also log on to, Gulf Bank’s bilingual website, to find all the information regarding Al Danah or any of the Bank’s products and services or log on, to find out more about Al-Danah and who the winners are.

KUWAIT: Dr Tanja Hackenbruch accompanied by other officials address a launch conference held at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Kuwait.

GfK boosts Mideast presence GfK Media Research Middle East set up KUWAIT: GfK, the fourth largest market research company in Europe and in the world, has announced yesterday during a launch conference held at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Kuwait, its partnership with ARA Research & Consultancy to set up GfK Market Research Middle East (GfK MRME) and to launch a series of studies targeting Arab countries. The newly set up company will enable GfK to broaden its activities in the Middle East and to focus in particular on the media sector. GfK MRME will offer information services on media consumer behavior and attitudes to all emerging and established media. The services will include quantitative research on the usage of print, TV and radio media. Dr Tanja Hackenbruch, Managing Director, GfK Telecontrol AG, commented: “We are thrilled to launch our operations in the Middle East and to put GfK’s state of the art media research approaches and 30 years of experience in the media research field at the benefit of this market. As an independent global company with deep knowledge of the local market, GfK is able to provide cus-

tomized solutions to every country and customer needs. “ During the launch conference, Dr Tanja Hackenbruch illustrated the highly sophisticated measurement technologies developed by GfK Telecontrol, GfK’s center of expertise for electronic media research based in Switzerland: the UMX devise, a highly modular fixmeter for an unlimited number of TV sets per household, the TV Logger Devices and the Mediawatch, a portable electronic measurement device in the shape of a wristwatch, which can be used to measure radio, TV, print, billboards and cinema consumption. Dr Hackenbruck also presented the brand new media studies that GfK MRME will launch in the Middle East. GfK MRME’s offering includes: * Print Research in Lebanon and in Kuwait, delivering an accurate picture of the readers of newspapers, magazines and special interests groups, the regularity and frequency of reading. * Radio Media Tracker Research in Kuwait, UAE and Lebanon. The methodology used for the study is based on the Day-After-Recall (DAR) and collects listenership by 15-minute time segment,

while the interviews are made through CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews). * TV Research: quantitative and qualitative TV research, innovative measurement hardware and flexible evaluation software tools to offer a complete solution. “GfK MRME’s audience measurement data serve as currency for TV, radio as well as for newspapers and magazines. Our state-of-the-art instruments are reflecting the developments of the international markets, including the Arab one. They are designed to deliver reliable results and neutral information as a basis for a well-founded decision-making and thus to improve our clients’ market positions, said Dr. Hackenbruch.” The event, which was attended by representatives of the advertising, media and private sectors, was also the occasion to present the current media researches conducted by GfK MRME in the Middle East. Tarek Ammar, Regional Director of GfK MRME spoke about the TV Ramadan Viewership Study that was launched by GfK MRME last month, and covered

Inflation risks high as global economies reel

Air Arabia to launch service to two new destinations in Ukraine SHARJAH: Air Arabia, the first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC) in the Middle East and North Africa, announced yesterday that it will shortly introduce direct service to two new destinations in Ukraine, expanding its presence to three major cities in that country, including Kiev, Kharkiv and Donestsk; reaching 67 across its global network. Beginning October 7 and 12, Air Arabia will offer regular service to Kharkiv, the country’s secondlargest city, and Donestsk, a major urban centre in eastern Ukraine with a population of 1.5 million. The launch of service to these two Ukranian cities will complement Air Arabia’s existing flights to Kiev, which the carrier serves five times a week. Service to Donestsk will be twice weekly, including flights on Tuesdays and Fridays. Air Arabia flights will depart from Sharjah International Airport at 12:20PM and arrive at Donestsk International Airport at 15:40PM. Return flights will depart from Donestsk on the same days at 16:40PM

and arrive in Sharjah at 21:50PM. Air Arabia will offer service to Kharkiv every Wednesday, departing from Sharjah International Airport at 10:00AM and arriving at Kharkiv International Airport at 14:10PM. Return flights will depart from Kharkiv on the same day at 15:10PM and arrive in Sharjah at 21:00PM. “We are especially pleased to introduce two

Lebanon, Kuwait, KSA and Egypt. “It was a big success because it was developed for the region taking into account the advertisers needs, and the viewer’s behavior during Ramadan” Further Tarek Ammar said: “The Readership Study is now available in Kuwait and Lebanon as a start”. He explained that:”The percentage of daily readers is very high in Kuwait reaching 89%. Radio is also a very important media now with 43% of the people listen to their favorite station regularly. They spend 51 minutes on average per day, and it goes up to 70 minutes among foreign expats.” GfK MRME will soon make available the Press studies for Kuwait that will provide readership patterns for all print media, and a Radio Audience Measurement, that is a daily tracking of radio audience in Kuwait. “GfK MRME’s experience in audience research enables us to provide the targeted markets with the most comprehensive and accurate data and competitive intelligence - added Tarek Ammar We are highly committed to the media sector and confident to provide our clients with added value.

new destinations in Ukraine, a nation with strong economic and cultural ties with the UAE and wider Gulf region,” said Adel Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer, Air Arabia. “All of us at Air Arabia look forward eagerly to the imminent launch of service to both Donestsk and Kharkiv” “Eight years and over 20 million passengers since Air Arabia pioneered the low-cost airline model in the Middle East and North Africa, we continue to set our sights on entering new markets and further expanding the reach of our award-winning service,” Ali added. “Today’s announcement underscores our commitment and ability to offer even more destinations, at the most competitive fares, and meet the evolving needs of our passengers.”By offering 8 flights per week between Air Arabia’s primary hub in Sharjah, UAE, and three destinations Ukraine, Air Arabia has underlined its commitment to offering unmatched service to this nation of more than 46 million people.

KUWAIT: Most countries in the world face economic problems which would negatively impact on their economies and domestic markets if not handled properly and treated according to a scientific method to ensure resolution and prevention of recurrence in the future. Some observers note that the problem of high prices is among the most important problems faced by many countries of the world, particularly rising prices of food commodities and basic materials, threatening economies of those countries and warning of grave economic and developmental damage. Many of the countries that suffer from the problem of high commodity and food prices especially the primary ones have adopted a number of means to combat this problem in order to achieve the required stability to local markets and protection from artificial increases. These countries found in

the price indices of goods and foodstuffs an important means to combat artificial increases and raise consumer awareness of fair price levels to be aware of an average price of each commodity at a set price. Therefore, some of the international economic and developmental institutions have issued indicators of goods and food at the world level on a regular basis of which some countries would benefit in the development of local indicators that reflect effects on their local markets by the global level of prices and this what makes the consumer aware of the artificial rate increases, if any. A number of states which launch local indicators of commodity prices and foodstuffs rely basically on the index of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on food prices, which follows up sources of each commodity and the most prominent changes in the monthly cost up or down. — KUNA

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

.2720000 .4310000 .3720000 .3090000 .2750000 .2790000 .0040000 .0020000 .0746180 .7269830 .3810000 .0700000 .7126750 .0040000 .0430000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2748500 GB Pound/KD .4331500 Euro .3747990 Swiss francs .3114450 Canadian dollars .2774580 Danish Kroner .0503240 Swedish Kroner .0409780 Australian dlr .2811030 Hong Kong dlr .0352100 Singapore dlr .2205150 Japanese yen .0035750 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 Pakistan rupee .0000000 Bangladesh taka .0000000 UAE dirhams .0748600 Bahraini dinars .7293350 Jordanian dinar .0000000 Saudi Riyal/KD .0733130 Omani riyals .7141740 Philippine Peso .0000000

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. ASIAN COUNTRIES

Japanese Yen Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar Bangladesh Taka Philippine Peso Thai Baht Irani Riyal - Transfer Irani Riyal - Cash GCC COUNTRIES

3.613 5.771 3.151 2.505 3.612 221.620 35.394 3.699 6.384 9.119 0.271 0.273

.2790000 .4430000 .3820000 .3230000 .2840000 .2880000 .0072500 .0035000 .0753680 .7342900 .4010000 .0760000 .7198380 .0072000 .0530000 .2769500 .4364590 .3776630 .3138240 .2795780 .0507090 .0412910 .2832510 .0354790 .2222000 .0036020 .0058310 .0025250 .0031800 .0037430 .0754320 .7349080 .3917260 .0738730 .7196310 .0064410

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

73.696 75.935 717.810 734.020 75.252

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 48.250 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 46.444 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.264 Tunisian Dinar 195.020 Jordanian Dinar 390.270 Lebanese Lira 185.400 Syrian Lier 5.966 Morocco Dirham 34.105 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 276.250 Euro 377.220 Sterling Pound 436.060 Canadian dollar 282.460 Turkish lire 155.900 Swiss Franc 313.920 Australian dollar 281.910 US Dollar Buying 275.250 GOLD 338.000 170.000 89.500

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

Australian dollar Bahraini dinar Bangladeshi taka Canadian dollar Cyprus pound Czek koruna Danish krone Deutsche Mark Egyptian pound Euro Cash Hongkong dollar Indian rupees Indonesia Iranian tuman Iraqi dinar Japanese yen Jordanian dinar Lebanese pound Malaysian ringgit Morocco dirham Nepalese Rupees New Zealand dollar Nigeria Norwegian krone Omani Riyal


287.300 734.300 3.870 282.400 542.300 36.700 54.200 167.800 47.320 381.500 36.090 6.330 0.034 0.242 0.240 3.680 391.710 0.187 95.720 47.700 4.250 230.300 1.872 52.600 717.170


285.800 734.300 3.703 280.900

222.700 46.448 380.000 35.940 5.795 0.033

10 Tola

315.800 5.700 9.350 75.180 276.100

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 437.100 276.100

Sterling Pound US Dollar

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd Selling Rate

US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro Swiss Frank Bahrain Dinar UAE Dirhams Qatari Riyals Saudi Riyals Jordanian Dinar Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupees Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Pesso Cyprus pound Japanese Yen Thai Bhat Syrian Pound Nepalese Rupees Malaysian Ringgit

276.000 279.785 435.690 378.510 312.620 731.770 75.120 75.760 73.560 388.505 46.440 2.603 5.785 3.160 3.703 6.374 677.005 3.685 9.195 5.810 3.705 91.678

UAE Exchange Center WLL Currency


3.165 6.405 75.950 73.720 222.740 39.340 2.503 437.100

Sterling Pound Japanese Yen Bangladesh Taka Indian Rupee Sri Lankan Rupee Nepali Rupee Pakistani Rupee UAE Dirhams Bahraini Dinar Egyptian Pound Jordanian Dinar Omani Riyal Qatari Riyal Saudi Riyal

Australian Dollar Canadian Dollar Swiss Franc Euro

Transfer Rate (Per 1000)

285.89 282.67 317.79 379.80

437.93 3.64 3.705 5.768 2.507 3.612 3.183 75.14 734.28 46.45 392.74 717.43 76.12 73.71

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. Currency

390.250 0.186 95.720 3.670 228.800

3.260 6.670 76.380 73.720 222.740 39.340 2.643 439.100 43.700 317.300 5.700 9.640 198.263 75.280 276.500 1.230 GOLD 1,893.540

Rate for Transfer

Bahrain Exchange Company COUNTRY

Pakistani rupees Philippine peso Qatari riyal Saudi riyal Singapore dollar South Africa Sri Lankan rupees Sterling pound Swedish krona Swiss franc Syrian pound Thai bhat Tunisian dollar UAE dirham U.S. dollars Yemeni Riyal

Rate per 1000 (Tran)

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

276.000 3.165 5.790 2.520 3.710 6.425 75.245 73.755 733.800 46.440 440.300 0.00003280 3.710 1.550 393.100 5.750 381.800 284.200

Al Mulla Exchange Currency

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

Transfer Rate (Per 1000)

275.650 379.800 436.800 280.700 3.610 5.780 46.390 2.504 3.698 6.378 3.153 734.275 75.125 73.675



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BNP Paribas plans $96bn of asset sales PARIS: Top French bank BNP Paribas plans to sell 70 billion euros ($96 billion) of risk-weighted assets to ease investor fears about French bank leverage and funding as its main rivals were hit by ratings downgrades. BNP escaped Moody’s Investors Service’s review of French banks without a cut, but the credit rating agency said it would extend its review for a possible downgrade of BNP’s long-term debt and deposit ratings. “Surely it can only be a matter of time before BNP Paribas follows in their wake as the bank announces a restructuring plan to increase capital, probably in order to head off a downgrade at the pass,” said Michael Hewson, market analyst at CMC Markets, referring to the Moody’s downgrades of Societe Generale and Credit Agricole . BNP shares were down 4.6 percent by 0828 GMT after earlier losing nearly 10 percent, as the European sector lost 0.5 percent. Credit Agricole was 1 percent lower, and SocGen was down 4.9 percent, having also been down 10 percent earlier. French banks are fighting to restore confidence after suffering a sharp summer sell-off on the stock market, driven by

concerns they are too dependent on wholesale market funding and would be ill equipped to cope with the fallout from a Greek debt default. The industry’s main regulator, Bank of France Governor Christian Noyer, called the Moody ’s downgrade of Credit Agricole and Societe Generale “ver y small”, noting the ratings agency said the banks had enough capital to cover any losses. BNP announced the move to cut its borrowing needs and reduce costs two days after smaller rival Societe Generale unveiled a similar plan as talk about a possible Moody’s downgrade grew louder. “ These plans that have been announced in the last couple of days ... are things that we will certainly take into account with our review ... They effectively signal the impact of more fragile market conditions on banks’ strategies,” Moody’s analyst Nick Hill said in an interview. The main French banks have insisted, with Noyer’s support, that they are financially strong and well funded, but some analysts insist they will ultimately need to raise capital, possibly with government backing. —Reuters

LG Optimus 3D P920 is eagerly awaited 3D Mobiles are rapidly going up in recognition. Here we talk about LG Optimus 3D P920. So, take a quick glance! The LG Optimus 3D P920, has been scheduled to be released at the end of the month in Kuwait. It will be the first device that brings the technology of 3D to a phone. The Android phone’s features include a pair of dual 5 megapixel cameras capable of capturing HD 720 3D video or 1080p in 2D, a 1GHz TI OMAP4 processor using dual-core technology which allows it to display 3D, along with a 512MB Memory Dual channel. It comes with a button which takes it into the 3D mode; clicking on it will change the phone to a dedicated interface for 3D, and from there you can move the three-dimensional display. You can access photo galleries, go to YouTube 3D, and shoot a video in

3D. The video you’ve shot can be seen on the device screen without the need for special glasses. Here’s what LG said about it’s the launch of the Optimus:

“The LG Optimus 3D addresses the lack of 3D content issue - one of the biggest problems facing the 3D market - with a complete platform for a one-of-a-kind experi-

ence on a mobile device.” The phone will be loaded with features to keep the 3D buffs busy. It is expected that there will be plenty of games available for 3d phones, which will provide users with a more interactive gaming experience, with the Optimus 3D emerging as the pioneer leader. Watching 3D films will also be possible on 3D phones; allowing the user to enjoy the cutting edge technology at any point of time. Marzooq Adel Alghanim, the President of Alghanim Sons Group, the official distributor for LG Mobiles in Kuwait, announced the group’s plan to launch the device at the end of this month. The group expects high sales figures considering the device’s first ever 3D features, sleek design, and attractive price offering, which positions it at the forefront of its competitors.

Shuaa eyes brokerage major buys in Egypt Dubai firm hard hit by low volumes, IPO slump

Wataniya Telecom delivers BMW to grand winner KUWAIT: Wataniya Telecom is always making sure it gives its customers a distinguished experience in the world of communication, hence offering them the latest and most diversified services which give them an opportunity to always be awarded with gifts and lots of surprises. In the same context, Wataniya is glad to announce the name of the winner who won the grand prize as part of its Ramadan SMS competition. The lucky customer Hanadi Ibrahim Hussain won a 2011 BMW 320i while 40 other customers won the daily prize of $1,000 cash and six customers won the weekly draw of $2,000 cash. Wataniya’s Ramadan SMS competition was launched on July 27th and ended on Eid Al Fitir. Customers were able to participate in the competition by sending “WIN” to the short code “1111” and they would start receiving daily general information questions. The more questions were answered correctly the bigger the chance they got to enter the daily, weekly and grand prize draw.

Commenting on the Ramadan SMS competition, Abdolaziz Al Balool Public Relations Director of Wataniya confirmed: “During Ramadan, Wataniya wanted to give more chances for its customers to win prizes in addition to the chance it has given them on Wataniya TV through its Forza Game Show. The SMS Competition granted 46 cash prizes of a total value of $52,000 in addition to the grand prize which was the 2011 BMW 320i.” Al-Balool congratulated the winners by saying: “On behalf of Wataniya, I would like to congratulate all the winners and promise all our customers to abide by our strategy to offer ongoing surprises and entertaining initiatives in order to encompass as many customers as possible.” For more information on Wataniya Telecom’s TV Channel and its wide range of products and services, please visit , or follow us on Twitter , or check latest updates on or check latest news blog .

VIVA launches one of a kind campaign in Kuwait KUWAIT: Kuwait Telecommunications first announcement scheduled to be held Company VIVA is thrilled to announce the Saturday, September 24, 2011. Prepaid cuslaunching of its newest campaign, the first of tomers can enter into the draw through two its kind in Kuwait, for its prepaid customers options, the first option is to subscribe with offering them the opportunity to win a luxuri- 500 Fils per day containing infinite local minous car every week including infinite local utes and local messages on the VIVA network. For every 500 Fils spent, the customers is enticalls and messages on the VIVA network only. tled one chance to enter The campaign the draw. The second kicked off yesterday and option prepaid cuswill continue for several tomers can subscribe to weeks to enable cusis through the KD 7 tomers as many opporBlackBerry Services subtunities as possible to scription, where cusenter a draw for the tomers will gain fifteen chance to win a new car chances upon subscripevery week, with the tion. first draw scheduled to Customers are able to be held Thursday, subscribe to both options September 22, 2011. in order to enter the draw VIVA CEO, Salman to win a luxurious car, Bin AbdulAziz Al-Badran where their points will be stated, “this unique accumulated and carried campaign has been on to the next draw. designed and launched Customers interested to provide all of our VIVA CEO, Salman Bin in subscribing to this prepaid customers with AbdulAziz Al-Badran offer can send the code infinite opportunities to “GO” via SMS Text win luxurious cars through weekly held draws. Subscribers and Message to the number ‘535’. To find out customers will instantly keep track of the win- more about VIVA’s numerous competitive ners by tuning into one of the television promotions, products and packages visit any channels where the winners of the draws will of the twelve VIVA branches or visit our webbe announced and broadcasted live, with the site at

Saudi Telecom launches LTE as data race heats up DUBAI: Saudi Telecom Co has launched next generation long-term evolution (LTE) network services in the kingdom, the former monopoly said in a statement yesterday, as the battle intensifies for data customers. The move follows a similar announcement from rival Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) a day earlier, with both carriers claiming to be the first in the Middle East to roll out LTE, or 4G. LTE promises download speeds more than double that of 3G and is designed for data, rather than voice. Saudi’s mobile penetration is 188 percent-the third-highest in the

world-so mobile data and Internet are likely to be operators’ main revenue drivers as subscriber growth stagnates, spurring the race to roll out LTE. Between them, STC and Mobily account for more than 80 percent of Saudi’s mobile subscribers, with indebted Zain Saudi a distant third. Mobily claims three-quarters of the kingdom’s mobile broadband subscribers-data accounts for about 20 percent of its revenue-and STC’s LTE push is seen as trying to win more of this market share. — Reuters

DUBAI: Shuaa Capital has looked at at least two brokerage companies in Egypt as potential acquisition candidates as the investment bank seeks to boost revenues amid a slump in its local UAE market, three sources said yesterday. Shuaa, which took companies like port operator DP World to the market, has looked at HC Securities and Beltone Financial as potential targets, said two of the sources, speaking on condition of anonymity. “They (Shuaa) do have some cash on their balance sheet from previous asset disposals and revenue generating capabilities in the UAE are limited,” said one of the sources.

“Not that they are great in Egypt now, but if they can get a deal done at a low price, it could be beneficial in the long-term. “You would expect some sort of stability to return in Egypt. The question is if it is this year or next or after.” Shuaa, which has said it was looking for strategic assets, has been relying on its own investment banking team and has not hired external banks for the process, one of the sources said. Talks are at initial stages, one source familiar with the matter said. The sources did not want to be identified as the matter has not been made public. A Shuaa spokesperson in Dubai declined

Global stocks, euro waver as Europe debt fears rule NEW YORK: The euro and world equities struggled to eke out gains yesterday as efforts by European leaders to cap the region’s escalating debt crisis failed to quell investor fears. Early optimism over steps to create euro zone bonds faded, causing equity markets and the euro to see-saw. A delay in starting a scheduled conference call among German, French and Greek leaders added to investors’ angst and a topsy-turvy market. “There’s a fair degree of uncertainty ahead of those debt talks,” said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Travelex Global Business Payments in Washington. US government debt prices rose on the market uncertainty, even as stocks on Wall Street and the euro recovered after retreating earlier in the session. The euro bounced off of session lows after Austria’s finance ministry said a vote over upgrading the European Financial Stability Facility-the euro zone’s bailout fundwhich an Austrian parliamentary committee failed to approve, would win legislative backing. The euro last traded at $1.3705, up 0.2 percent on the day. Wall Street also rebounded. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 12.33 points, or 0.11 percent, at 11,118.18. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 3.35 points, or 0.29 percent, at 1,176.22. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 16.02 points, or 0.63 percent, at 2,548.17. MSCI’s all-country world equity index rose 0.1 percent, and Europe managed to close higher. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares finished up 1.5 percent at 913.62 points. US Treasuries edged higher. Benchmark 10-year notes rose 3/32 in price to yield 2.0 percent. Moody’s Investors Service downgraded two of France’s largest banks, but the ratings cut was smaller than expected and did not include a third bank, as many had feared. Investors backed away from their initial enthusiasm over comments by the president of the European Union’s executive body, who said it was presenting options for euro area bonds. Investors surmised it may not be enough to snuff the crisis. — Reuters

to comment. O fficials at HC Securities and Beltone were not available for comment. Shuaa, one of the Gulf Arab region’s largest investment banks, was hit hard by the global financial downturn as impairments related to troubled assets erased profits. It has been shedding risky assets from its investment por tfolio af ter Dubai’s property crash and asset bubble. Its core brokerage and investment banking business has suffered amid a slump in initial public offerings and muted trade volumes in the United Arab Emirates. The investment bank is trying to take advantage of low valua-

Kuwait hits fresh 6-week high; Egypt extends fall MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS DUBAI/CAIRO: Kuwait’s index hit a fresh sixweek high on optimism about third-quarter results yesterday, while Egyptian stocks, hit this week by concerns over political stability and global markets, fell for a fourth session in lackluster trading. “Investors are repositioning for stocks - it’s not about sectors right now, but about earnings,” said Safaa Zbib, head of research at Kuwait and Middle East Financial Investment Co. As the quarter nears its end, stocks with stable dividends and earnings would perform well in the short term, he said. The index rose 0.5 percent to its highest close since Aug. 4, as Kuwait Finance House rose 3.3 percent, Gulf Bank climbed 2 percent and Zain gained 3 percent. Zain has agreed to sell its stake in its indebted Saudi affiliate to joint bidders Kingdom Holding and Bahrain Telecom (Batelco). Kingdom said on Saturday it would complete due diligence this month. In Egypt, the main index slumped to a five-week low with thin volumes plaguing trade. It fell 1.2 percent. “The volumes are still low and there’s not much news moving the market,” said Mohamed Shalaby of Cairo Capital Securities. Heavyweight Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) dropped 1.3 percent. OCI said on Tuesday it planned to invest up to $130 million in Rwanda within four years to build a methane power plant. Citadel Capital lost 3.8 percent while Arab Cotton Ginning shed 8 percent after a newspaper said on Tuesday custom duties may be imposed on textile imports after complaints that cheap imports were hurting local pro-

Porsche signs partnership with local sports club KUWAIT: Porsche Centre Kuwait, Behbehani Motors Company, announces the sponsoring of Al Corniche Club’s Life Personal Training Studio wherein the Porsche brand will have an exclusive presence at the club for a period of one year. The Life Personal Training Studio specializes in providing 1-to-1 training to members and offers guidance on methods of exercise, all the while motivating members throughout their workouts. Darren Abel, Brand Manager at Porsche Centre Kuwait, sees this cooperation as a perfect match: “ The association between the sporty lifestyle of a Porsche owner and the Al Corniche Club is both obvious and relevant. An important aspect of our marketing strategy is customer interaction and this sponsorship is yet another way for customers to connect with the Porsche brand through multiple touch points and in a personalized manner.” The partnership includes the brand’s exclusive visual presence at the Life Personal Training Studio as well as the opportunity of car displays at the club

tions in the brokerage sector in Egypt, the sources said. The north African country saw violent political protests earlier in the year which led to suspension of its stock market and a sharp slump stock market valuations. Shuaa posted a a small second-quarter net profit in July, helped by aggressive cost cuts and strength in asset management business. It held around 412 million dirhams ($112 million) cash and deposits as at June 30, mainly from the sale of non-core assets. Shuaa shares closed 1.9 percent lower yesterday. They have fallen 32 percent year-to-date. — Reuters

premises during special themed events organized for members besides other activities. Porsche vehicles are widely renowned for its sporty character which manifests in the car’s exquisite performance as well as its exterior. Being an explicit display of a young and sporty spirit, the local Porsche representative will certainly relish an enthusiastic interaction with Al Corniche Club members. Ed Shuttleworth, Fitness Manager, Al Corniche Club, adds: “Al Corniche Club is delighted to welcome Porsche Centre Kuwait, Behbehani Motors Company and their sponsorship of the Life Personal Training Studio. Our dedicated focus on customer service is one of our core values which we see equally present in the Porsche brand. We look forward to working together.” Porsche Centre Kuwait has sponsored other sports and intellectual events such as the Cannes Lions Showcase and the Premier Goal Academy (in association with Everton Football Club) as part of Porsche’s support of the local culture.

ducers. United Arab Emirates markets ended mixed with volumes in Dubai at a three-week high. Real estate-linked stocks led gains in Dubai, with Emaar Properties up 1.1 percent and Drake & Scull rising 0.6 percent. Logistics firm Aramex climbed 1.7 percent and Air Arabia advanced 0.8 percent. These stocks are regular targets of retail investors looking to turn a profit on shortterm volatility. Dubai’s index closed 0.4 percent higher, cutting its 2011 losses to 10 percent, as trading volumes climbed to their highest level since Aug. 22. “There is a lack of news and motivation for (UAE) markets to take direction,” said Samer al-Jaouni, general manager of Middle East Financial Brokerage. “But on the other hand, it’s positive that our markets didn’t react in the same way to the global tension as the international markets.” “Local investors are waiting for news to rethink and invest in the markets.” Abu Dhabi’s index shed 0.2 percent in muted trade. In Qatar, the bourse gave back some of Tuesday’s gains, but analysts predicted it would rally before year-end, supported by strong earnings from the gas exporter’s bluechip stocks. Masraf Al Rayan and Qatar Gas Transport accounted for more than third of all shares traded, slipping 0.3 and 0.1 percent respectively. “If we put Qatar chemical companies aside because of oil prices’ effect on earnings, I think it will be a good year again for corporate earnings,” Jaouni said. “At the end of the year we could see the index close over 9,000 points.” — Reuters



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Kuwait equities edge up GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) witnessed another green session yesterday. The stocks enjoyed upward momentum as investors looked to the third quarter earnings results. Six out of the 8 sectors managed to eke out gains. Al-Kharafi linked companies were in the spot during the past sessions due to the latest Zain deal development. Zain, Coast Investment & Development Company and National Investment Company all closed up by end of the session. Global General Index (GGI) ended the day down by 0.96 percent at 186.84 point. Market capitalization was also up for the day reaching KD30.57bn. On the other hand, KSE Price Index closed at 6,035.7 point, adding 27.40 points (0.46 percent) to its previous close. Market breadth During the session, 111 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards advancers as 52 equities advanced versus 26 that declined. Trading activity was down during the session. Total volume traded was down by 27.32 percent with 245.55mn shares changing hands at a total value of KD40.27mn (14.99 percent lower compared to Tuesday’s session). Investment sector was the volume leader, accounting for 30.23 percent of total shares exchanges. International Financial Advisors Company (IFA) was the session’s most traded stock with 21.76mn shares exchanged. The banking sector was the value leader, having 32.99 percent of total traded value. Kuwait Finance House (KFH) was the most active in terms of value traded, with KD5.29mn worth of shares traded. In terms of top gainers, Al-Dar

National Real Estate Company was the top gainer for the day, adding 20 percent to its share value and closing at KD0.015. On the other hand, Kuwait National Cinema Company shed 19.74 percent and closed at KD1.22, making it the biggest decliner in the market. Sectors Sector wise, all sectors witnessed gains during the day, except for Global Non Kuwaiti Sector Index which was the only decliner with 0.15 percent drop on the back of the losses registered in Ahli United Bank (-0.99 percent). Although most of the UAE cement companies ended the day up, Umm Al-Qaiuain Cement Industries Company, Sharjah Cement & Industrial Development Company and Fujairah Cement Industries



Company closed up by 5.68 percent, 5.38 percent and 1.69 percent, respectively. Insurance sector closed flat. Global Services Index led the gainers, as it registered an increase of 1.44 percent. Zain witnessed an increase of 3.03 percent, and close at KD1.020. Agility closed flat after 3 gaining sessions at KD0.340. Privatization Holding Company was the biggest gainer in the sector, adding 9.09 percent and closing at KD0.060. Global Industrial Index registered an increase of 1.07 percent on the back of the positive performance registered by National Industries Group (Holding). The scrip closed up by 4.55 percent at KD0.230. Global Real Estate Index registered a increase of 1.03 percent. Mabanee Company closed up by 1.20 percent. While Al Dar

National Real Estate Company backed to trading after submitting its 1H2011 financial results. The company reversed its net loss of KD2.76mn occurred in 1H2010 to a net profit of KD0.13mn in 1H2011. Banking and Investment indices were also a great support with 0.89 percent and 0.79 percent gain at the end of the day. Oil Price of the Kuwaiti crude oil went up $1.08 on Tuesday to settle at $105.93pb compared to $104.85pb on Monday, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) said in a statement yesterday. The price rise is attributed to forecast that the US crude oil reserve is declining for the second consecutive week. Another major factor is wide-spread fears, resulting from the European sovereign debts crisis.

Oil gains ground as risk appetite returns LONDON: Brent crude rose yesterday as proposals from the European Commission to issue joint bonds reassured investors hoping for a resolution to the euro zone debt crisis. The move was muted, however, as uncertainty remained on the outlook for the euro-zone and as data was due on US stock piles and demand from the US Energy Information Administration at 1430 GMT. Brent crude futures were up 38 cents at $112.27 per barrel by 1234 GMT. US crude was down 81 cents at $89.40. US crude stockpiles are likely to have fallen for a second consecutive week as preparations for Tropical Storm Lee disrupted production in the oil-rich Gulf of Mexico, an extended Reuters poll showed on Tuesday. US trade group the American Petroleum Institute repor ted on Tuesday that crude stockpiles fell a larger-than-expected 5.1 million barrels last week. Analysts polled by Reuters estimated a 3.1 million barrel drop. “ We’re in a holding pattern, there’s lots of expectation,” said Harry Tchilinguirian, head of commodity market strategy at BNP Paribas. “The market is trading on risk appetite, so people will be watching the conference call between Sarkozy and Merkel.” Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou will hold a conference call on Wednesday with French President Nicolas Sarkoz y and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The call is scheduled for 1600 GMT, Papandreou’s office said. Investors remained nervous about the outlook for oil demand. The

International Energy Agency said on Tuesday that world oil consumption would increase more slowly this year and next than previously expected as the pace of global economic growth eases. Also contributing to the gloom, Moody ’s Investors Service cut its ratings for French banks Credit Agricole and Societe Generale on Wednesday, citing their exposure to Greece. And highlighting the weakness in the global economy, the number of Britons out of work showed its biggest rise in two years, official data showed yesterday. High pump prices slashed US gasoline consumption and forced cost-conscious motorists off the road this summer, making this driving season the worst for gasoline demand since 2009, MasterCard said on Tuesday. Christophe Barret, an analyst at Credit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank, said an imminent end to outages in the North Sea this month, combined with the return of supply from Libya sooner than expected were also pressuring prices. However a number of factors suggest that oil prices are unlikely to fall much from current levels, BNP Paribas said in a note in which it trimmed its Brent crude price forecast for this year to $112 per barrel. “Admittedly, global oil demand may end up lower than expected in light of further deterioration of the economic outlook,” the note said. “Yet, supplyside factors, monetary accommodation and ongoing geopolitical risk caution against a collapse in oil prices.” — Reuters

Dinar stable against greenback KUWAIT: The exchange rate of the Kuwaiti dinar was unchanged against the US greenback, KD 0.275 per dollar yesterday yet went down against the euro at KD 0.374, said the daily bulleting of the

Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK). The rate was KD 0.433 against the sterling pound, KD 0.003 against the Japanese yen and KD 0.311 against the Swiss franc, CBK added. — KUNA




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A Lamborghini Aventator is seen at the booth of Bugatti dur- A Bugatti Veyron is seen at the booth of Bugatti. ing the international motor show IAA in Frankfurt. —AFP

A new Ferrari 458 Italia car is on display.

Super luxury carmakers dispel debt crisis gloom FRANKFURT: What sovereign debt crisis? Lamborghini’s racy Gallardo, Maserati’s concept SUV and the new hardtop Ferrari 458 Spider on display at the Frankfurt Auto Show immediately dispel any gloom emanating from the European Central Bank tower across town where bankers are trying to salvage Europe’s single currency. The super luxury automakers are coming out in force - pledging higher sales and offering ever sexier models despite growing economic uncertainty. Maserati showed off its new sport luxury SUV Kubang, which it plans to start building in 2013, completing a range that currently includes the GranTurismo four-door sedan and the QuattroPorte twodoor coupe. Maserati has also announced plans to add a small sedan to the lineup. Maserati CEO Harald Wester’s goal is to produce 20,000 of the SUVs a year in an ambitious bid to boost Maserati’s worldwide sales to 40,000 by 2014, from 6,400 in 2010. The SUV will be built at the Jefferson North assembly Plant in Michigan, where Chrysler makes the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango, and will use components from Jeep and engines made by Ferrari. An earlier concept of the Kubang in 2003 was never built. “This is something without the Chrysler cooperation would have been extremely difficult to be realized, not technically, but in terms of a sustainable, viable business case,” Wester told The Associated Press yesterday. Although the Kubang is a departure from Maserati’s traditional product line, Wester insisted it will be “a real Maserati,” with all the major components specific to the brand and a design consistent with the rest of the model range. “I hope the SUV will be the kind of product that will surprise our internal projections,” Wester said. “My personal dream is to go to Geneva in 2015, and review 2014 with total Maserati sales worldwide of 40,000.” The fact remains: the luxury sector was

even harder hit than the mass production models in the 2008 crisis, meaning their prospects for success are even harder to predict in the current volatile climate. “They seem to be kind of quietly ignoring it,” IHS Automotive analyst Ian Fletcher said of austerity measures blooming across Europe. Ferrari unveiled a new 458 Spider with a fully retractable aluminum hardtop, which it boasts is a world first for a similar sports car. The hardtop is not only lighter than a traditional folding soft-top, it also takes up less space, creating more room for luggage behind the two seats. Ferrari is seeking to boost sales with new products in a bid to remain the world’s most profitable automaker by operating margin. Bugatti presented a piece of automotive art, a version of

Veyran Grand Sport clad in porcelain produced by the Koenigliche Porcelain Company in Berlin. And Porsche launched a new 911, made slightly longer to leave room for a hybrid powertrain in future versions. Super sports car maker Lamborghini announced at Frankfurt that it will build two limited edition models - a street racing version of the Gallardo and a super lightweight demo model Sesto Elemento. The Gallardo LP570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale has three times the downward force of the standard Gallardo and a higher power-to-weight ratio for superior handling. Just 150 will be made. The Sesto Elemento, which was shown in Paris last year, will weigh less than 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) with a power output of 570 horsepower.

A fair hostess poses next to a Fiat Freemont car.

“We had so many requests, we decided to build 20 units,” CEO Stephan Winkelmann said yesterday. The price: a cool euro1.6 million ($2 million). Alas, the Sesto Elemento was not on display in Frankfurt. Teams have spent the last year running consecutive and rigorous tests on the demo model, until there was nothing to show. Winkelmann said the super sports carmaker expects to reach sales equaling its 2008 heydey by early 2013. Sales have dropped from a high of 2,430 in 2008 to 1,013 in 2010. The new Aventador, launched in Geneva to replace the Murcielago, gives Winkelmann some reason for optimism. “We are very lucky to have a very long and stable order bank on the Aventador, which is almost 18 months long” or about 1,300 cars, he said. Asia has leapt up in the last four years to become Lamborghini’s second largest market after the United States, and Winkelmann, like other luxury producers, see enormous growth potential. Lamborghini has opened 14 dealers in China, where its sales have multiplied from 30 in 2007 to 200 last year - representing around 20 percent of the super sports car sales in China last year. Looking ahead, Lamborghini is seeking to broaden its appeal with an everyday car, moving ahead with plans to expand its model line from two to three. One candidate is the Estoque, a four-door sedan previewed in Paris in 2008 that Winkelmann said appealed to drivers who might never have previously imagined themselves owning a Lamborghini. A decision on a direction could come early next year. “The third car is important ... because you will be less dependent on the super sports car segment, which is very sensitive to ups and downs and to emotions,” Winkelmann said. “Even a small manufacturer has to see that if you want to continue to create dreams, you have to create a chain of values.” — AP

US retail sales flat, auto demand drops in August American households more cautious

ROME: A pensioner shouts slogans during a demonstration of trade union Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro (CGIL) at Rome’s Piazza del Pantheon yesterday. Italy’s lower house of parliament is expected to approve the government’s much revised austerity plan later in the day. — AFP

Italy votes in austerity plan under market pressure ROME: Italy’s Chamber of Deputies yesterday voted in favor of a 54.2 billion euro ($74 billion) austerity package, the second in three months aimed at calming skittish markets amid a European debt crisis. The ballot was cast as a vote of confidence on the measures, designed to speed up implementation after the Senate backed the package last week and as investors’ reluctance to buy Italy’s debt drove interest rates to new highs. The Chamber is to vote a second time yesterday evening to formalize passage of the package and the government hopes that the measures, coupled with a 48-billion-euro plan approved in July, will help bring the country’s budget back into balance by 2013. Highly unpopular among ordinary Italians, the package was announced in a hurry in August by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government in exchange for support from the European Central Bank, which took action in the bond market to ease Italy’s borrowing prices. The package was delayed by weeks of opposition as Berlusconi’s ruling People of Freedom party struggled to appease its Northern League coalition partner and the country’s powerful trade unions, creating no little unease on the markets. The new measures include a rise in the VAT sales tax to 21 percent, which will raise around four billion euros ($5.4 billion) in a move aimed at reassuring markets concerned about Italy’s notoriously poor record on fighting tax evasion. A controversial tax on the rich which had been abandoned by the government has

been reintroduced, but will be much smaller than previously envisaged, affecting only annual incomes of over 300,000 euros. The retirement age for women in the private sector will be raised to 65 years old from 60, bringing it into line with the retirement age for men by 2014 and not 2016 as previously planned. Severe cuts to lavish parliamentary privileges were scaled back to the chagrin of the public, amid accusations of politicians abusing favors and expenses while the country struggles to stave off financial ruin. In spite of both austerity packages and the ECB’s support, Italy is still hampered with a vast debt of over 1,900 billion euros ($2,606 billion) — around 120 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The government’s placement of bonds on Monday and Tuesday was dampened by record yields which revealed a marked lack of investor confidence and sparked fears the country’s debt may be reaching unsustainable levels. Despite reports that Italy was in talks to persuade China to purchase bonds and stave off a crisis, Rome Tuesday denied it had called on Beijing for help. Business leader Emma Marcegaglia joined the unions on Wednesday in criticising the austerity package, saying it did not resolve Italy’s problems and adding: “If growth does not return, it will not be sufficient.” Berlusconi rounded on the left-wing opposition during a meeting with EU official in Brussels yesterday, describing criticism of the budget measures as a personal attack on the premier aimed at ruining his image. — AFP

WASHINGTON: Consumers spent less on autos, clothing and furniture to leave retail sales unchanged in August. The lack of growth suggests households became more cautious during wild stock market fluctuations and increased fears about the economy. The Commerce Department also said yesterday that retail sales were slightly weaker in July than first thought. They rose just 0.3 percent, down from the initial reading of 0.5 percent. Auto sales fell 0.3 percent last month. Sales at clothing stores declined 0.7 percent. Gasoline sales rose. Analysts said Hurricane Irene likely disrupted sales in late August along most of the East Coast. Stocks were trading higher when the market opened but fell later on in morning trading. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped more than 60 points. Consumer spending is important because it accounts for 70 percent of US economic activity. The overall economy expanded at an annual rate of just 0.7 percent in the first six months of this year, the slowest growth since the recession ended two years ago. Employers added no net jobs in August, and the unemployment rate stayed at 9.1 percent. Paul Dales, a senior US economist for Capital Economics, said he expects a small pickup in growth in the July-September quarter, despite the softening in retail sales. “That said, with jobs growth flat the prospect of any further acceleration in the fourth quarter is slim,” Dales said. A separate report showed inflation at the wholesale level was not a problem last month. The Labor Department said its Producer Price Index, which measures price changes before they reach the consumer, was unchanged last month after a 0.2 percent rise in July. A drop in energy prices in August offset higher food costs. The flat reading for retail sales was a surprise given private reports from

SAN JOSE: Ford Explorers are displayed at a car dealership in San Jose, California. Consumers spent less on autos, clothing and furniture, leaving retail sales unchanged last month. — AP retailers and auto dealers that suggested a brighter picture in August. Major automakers reported healthy sales increases last month, largely because dealers introduced new models and offered cheaper financing. The nation’s major retailers reported solid results from the all-important back-toschool shopping. Unlike the industry figures which compare the current month to a year ago, the government’s figures compare the current month to the previous month. The government report showed sales at department stores fell 0.3 percent and a broader category of general merchandise stores, which includes big retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target, showed a slight 0.1 percent gain. The 0.7 percent fall in sales at

specialty clothing stores followed a 0.3 percent decline in July. High unemployment and a spike in gasoline prices earlier this year had forced many consumers to be more cautious. Consumers are feeling less confident after a rocky summer. Lawmakers fought over raising the federal borrowing limit, Standard & Poor’s downgraded long-term US debt, and stocks have fluctuated wildly after plunging in lateJuly and early last month. The Federal Reserve said last month that it expects the economy will stay weak for the next two years. As a result, the Fed said it planned to keep interest rates very low until at least mid-2013, assuming the economy remained weak. Fed officials will meet next week to consider other steps to support to the economy. — AP

BRICS offer to aid EU development: IMF MILAN: Emerging economies possibly coming to the aid of heavily indebted European Union countries was “an interesting development”, the head of the International Monetary Fund said yesterday. “The BRICS’ (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) interest is an interesting development,” Christine Lagarde, the IMF’s managing director told the Italian daily La Stampa. “But if they limit themselves to buying bonds deemed safe by everyone, like the German and British (bonds), they wouldn’t be taking much risk. My hope is that if interventions like

this take place that they’ll be large and not limited to certain states,” she said. Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega said on Tuesday that the leaders from BRICS nations would discuss possible aid to the European Union, in what would be a reversal of roles, at the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank next week. If the BRICS decided to invest in Europe this “would not be in disagreement with the Fund. For us, it is an acceptable hypothesis,” Lagarde said. Questioned on the latest version of the Italian austerity program set to be approved

by parliament later yesterday, Lagarde said the plan went in the right direction. “But as always in these cases, the key now is determination and the implementation of the measures. It is the only way to convince markets and partner countries of the seriousness of the actions taken,” she said. Despite the announced austerity measures, Italy saw its borrowing prices rise earlier this week in two separate bond emissions. Lagarde asked European leaders to stay united to resolve the debt question and stimulate growth. — AFP




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ADB sees Asia growing well in 2012 MANILA/HONG KONG: Asia’s emerging economies will grow robustly into 2012, led once again by China, although troubles in the United States, Europe and Japan will clip their momentum, the Asian Development Bank said in an updated economic outlook released yesterday. The resilience of the region, which has led the world since the 2008/09 global financial crisis, means policymakers cannot relax in the fight against inflation even as global growth concerns overtake price pressures as the dominant economic risk. That will keep investors edgy and capital flows in Asia volatile-both inflows on the region’s outper formance and the chance of a sudden withdrawal if risk appetite is pared, the ADB said in its Asian Development Outlook 2011 Update. Despite global woes, growth will remain healthy across the region, the ADB said. Developing Asia-made up of 45 countries in Central Asia, East Asia,

South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific-is expected to grow 7.5 percent in 2011 and 2012. That is down from April forecasts of 7.8 and 7.7 percent respectively, and growth of 9.0 percent in 2010. Changyong Rhee, the ADB’s chief economist, said while the forecasts did not assume a “doomsday” scenario of a Greek default, such a development could trigger something akin to the 2008/09 financial crisis, with the world’s ability to rebound much diminished from before. “If it does happen this time, I don’t think there’s room for the US and Europe to bail out their banks again and (to engage) in fiscal expansion, so only the one side expansion of Asia . I believe is not enough to save the world,” Rhee said in at a media conference in Hong Kong. For now, though, Asia’s robust fundamentals including sound budgets and high reserves would offer a buffer, but there was no room for complacen-

cy, the Manila-based ADB warned. Rhee said Asia and China’s purchases of distressed European sovereign debt could play an important symbolic role in calming roiled markets, given the region’s dependence on Western demand for exports and capital inflows. “We are now proud how Asian economies can now play some roles in stabilizing the global financial market. Actually it’s not just good for the European countries, but also it’s good for the Asian economies,” he said. The tentative recovery in major industrial economies had been undermined by the ratings downgrade of the United States, Europe’s debt problems and Japan’s triple disaster in March, ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda said, but noted the region’s economies were still growing led by India and China. The ADB said China is expected to grow 9.3 percent in 2011 and 9.1 percent next year, compared with its April forecasts of 9.6 and 9.2 respectively. India is now likely to grow 7.9

percent and 8.3 percent - lower than forecasts made in April of 8.2 percent for this year and 8.8 percent for 2012. In parts of Asia, inflation concerns have eased as commodity prices have come off their 2011 peaks while worries about the global economy have grown. But the ADB said the prices could spurt higher again and further policy tightening may be needed. Inflation across the region was forecast at 5.8 percent this year, compared with the April projection of 5.3 percent, while the outlook for 2012 was unchanged at 4.6 percent. “If commodity prices resume their climb and the current weakness in the global recovery turns out to be temporary, regional central banks will have to speed up the process of monetary tightening, especially where inflation is already high,” the ADB said. Many of Asia’s central banks have paused their rate-hiking cycles as global uncertainties grow. China may put further tightening on hold after

inflation abated somewhat in August while some analysts say India is expected to hike rates only once more by year-end as output growth falters. The ADB’s Rhee didn’t see a hard landing for China, but added the People’s Bank of China might become less aggressive on monetary policy in coming months given the global uncertainty. The ADB said allowing some exchange rate appreciation could help contain inflation by lowering import prices, and that could be combined with temporary capital controls designed to curb unwanted hot money flows which have been preventing some policymakers from raising rates in the inflation fight. “With real interest rates having turned negative in several countries, more monetary tightening is necessary to control inflation both over the next 2 years and the medium term, when the global economy will regain momentum,” the ADB said. — Reuters

Wen: China will expand investment in Europe Euro-zone told to put house in order

MUMBAI: An Indian daily wage porter carries a delivery load on his head outside a wholesale market in Mumbai yesterday. Indian inflation rose closer to doubledigits in August, official figures showed, piling pressure on the central bank to hike interest rates again despite a slowing economy. — AFP

India inflation mounts, augers another rate rise NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: Indian inflation climbed to its highest in more than a year as prices of food and manufactured goods surged, reinforcing the case for another rate hike tomorrow despite weakening growth and a worsening global outlook. The Reserve Bank of India has raised interest rates 11 times in 18 months but inflation remains at more than twice its comfort level, putting it in the awkward position of fighting high prices amid mounting worries about the health of the global economy. The wholesale price index, India’s main inflation gauge, rose 9.78 percent in August, higher than the median forecast for a 9.6 percent rise in a Reuters poll and above the 9.22 percent recorded for July. “Clearly, inflation is not easing as expected by the RBI despite its aggressive monetary stance, and some more time may be needed for the past policy actions to show effect,” said Arun Singh, senior economist at Dun & Bradstreet, who expects a 25 basis point rate hike on Friday and another thereafter. While July industrial output data on Monday was the worst in nearly two years, adding to the argument against a rate increase, the central bank is still expected to raise rates by another 25 basis points at its mid-quarter review on Friday to combat inflation. “This does clearly boost scope for the RBI to tighten policy rates by 25 basis points tomorrow, though the trajectory thereon could hinge on intermittent inflation outlook, non-manufacturing WPI in particular,” said Radhika Rao, economist at Forecast PTE in Singapore. India’s June quarter growth of 7.7 percent was the weakest in six quarters, and

RBI Governor Duvvuri Subbarao has been under increasing pressure from officials in New Delhi to bring the current tightening cycle to a close. Manufacturing inflation quickened to 7.79 percent in August from 7.49 percent in the previous month and its highest in three years, indicating that manufacturers still retain pricing power, although stalling car sales in India show demand is slipping as rates rise. Global and domestic economic conditions and sentiment have deteriorated markedly since Subbarao stunned investors in July with a 50 basis point rate increase, twice what was forecast. While most analysts expect the central bank to raise the repo rate, expectations are not unanimous. Goldman Sachs, for instance, said on Tuesday it expects a pause. India’s benchmark 10-year bond yield briefly eased 2 basis points to 8.31 percent while swap rates were little changed, as the data reaffirmed expectations for another rate increase. Stocks shrugged off early losses and were up more than 1 percent. Rate hike or not, Subbarao is widely seen to be nearing the end of a tightening cycle that has made the RBI among the most aggressive central banks anywhere during the uneven global recovery from the financial crisis. The RBI’s inflation comfort zone is 4 to 4.5 percent. Other Asian central banks have turned dovish as growth in the region weakens and global slowdown becomes more pronounced weighed down by debt problems in the United States and the euro zone. China’s central bank said on Monday that inflation, which fell in August from a three-year peak, was still high and it would maintain its policy settings. — Reuters

SEOUL: A currency trader watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the Korea Exchange Bank headquarters in Seoul yesterday. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 3.52 percent, or 63.77, to close at 1,749.16. —AP

DALIAN, China: Premier Wen Jiabao said yesterday China will continue to expand its investment in the euro-zone and called on Western countries facing a crippling debt crisis to “put their houses in order”. As Europe’s struggling economies look to cash-rich China as a possible rescuer, Wen also urged EU leaders to reciprocate by according the country full market economy status ahead of schedule. Beijing has long demanded that the European Union and United States accord China full market economy status, a technical designation that would remove certain restrictions to Chinese exports and investments in Europe. China has invested an increasing portion of its world-leading foreign exchange reserves in euro-denominated assets, and its leaders have repeatedly expressed confidence in the region’s economies during the debt upheaval. “China will continue to expand investment in Europe,” Wen said as he delivered the opening speech at the summer session of the World Economic Forum. However, he added that “European Union leaders and the leaders of its (Europe’s) main countries must also courageously look at China’s relationship from a strategic viewpoint.” “Based on the W TO ( World Trade Organisation) rules, China’s full market economy status will be recognized by 2016. If EU nations can demonstrate their sincerity several years earlier, it would reflect our friendship,” he said. EU leaders have said in the past that the Asian giant has not yet met the necessary conditions, pointing out that most of China’s largest companies are state-owned and their leaders appointed by the government. Wen also urged action to halt the spread of the sovereign debt crisis that has sent global markets plummeting, and said governments should work harder to maintain investor confidence. China is sitting on more than $3 trillion in foreign currency reserves and has already committed to investing in Greece, Spain and Portugal. “Governments should fulfill their responsibilities and put their own house in order,” he said. “ The major developed economies should develop responsible and effective monetary policies, properly handle debt issues, ensure the safety the stable operation of investment in the market and main-

tain confidence of investors around the world.” Wen also pledged that China would “continue to follow the strategy of following expansion of domestic demand,” but warned that the global economic recovery would be a

to warnings that the crisis could spread to other major economies. Next week, China will discuss possible aid to the euro-zone with leaders of the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and South

DALIAN: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao readies to shake hands with Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, during the opening of a meeting of the World Economic Forum at the Dalian World Expo Center in Dalian, in northeast China’s Liaoning province yesterday. —AP “long” and “difficult” process. “Sovereign debt risks are growing in some countries, causing turbulence on the international financial market,” he said. “Unemployment in major economies remains high, while emerging economies are facing upward inflationary pressure. All this shows that the world economic recovery will be a long-term, difficult and complicated process.” Wen’s speech in the Chinese port city of Dalian comes as global markets have been rocked this week by renewed fears that Greece, which was recently given the green light for a second bailout, will default on its debt obligations. Portugal and Ireland have also received rescue packages while analysts have warned that Italy and Spain could follow suit, leading

Indian rupee slides to near 2-year low MUMBAI: India’s rupee slid to a near two-year low against the US dollar yesterday on worries about the deepening European debt crisis and as global markets tumble. The partially convertible Indian unit weakened to 48.02 rupees to the dollar on growing demand for the US currency from banks and importers. The rupee has fallen for eight straight days and shed six percent in the past four weeks. It last touched the 48 rupee level in late September 2009, according to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) central bank’s website. “People are buying dollars as if there is no tomorrow,” a foreign exchange dealer at a bank in India’s financial hub, Mumbai, who asked not to be identified, told AFP. Weak local equity markets—which have slid more than 20 percent so far in 2011 — have also put pressure on the rupee as overseas funds sell Indian stocks. Unlike fellow emerging market giant China, India allows its currency to float freely. The RBI does not target any particular currency rate or direction and intervenes in the foreign exchange market only to curb excessive volatility. “I have a feeling that (the) RBI is following a good policy of non-interference,” India’s economic affairs secretary R Gopalan told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in the capital New Delhi. “I don’t think we need to give up our policy for short-term disruption,” he added. Sarvendra Srivastava, technical strategist at Emkay Global Financial Services in Mumbai, said the rupee could slide to the 49 rupee levels over the medium term. There are “no signs of a reversal,” Srivastava said in a note to clients. The rupee’s record low is 52 rupees to the dollar in March 2009. — AFP

Africa, known as the BRICS, at a summit in Washington. The Chinese premier also warned that his country’s growth would slow in the long term as it reached a “new stage of development”, and pledged to increase domestic consumer demand. “China’s development is not yet balanced, coordinated and sustainable, there are many institutional constraints hindering scientific development,” he said. “As the size of the Chinese economy grows, it will become difficult to keep highspeed growth over a long period of time. “We have the right conditions and we have both the ability and confidence to maintain steady and fast growth of the economy and bring China’s economy to a new stage of development.” — AFP

Nigerian inflation steady ahead of rate decision ABUJA: Nigeria’s inflation remained steady below the central bank ’s notional single-digit target in August, data showed, a week before the monetary policy committee’s interest rate decision. Nigeria’s headline inflation was 9.3 percent year-on-year in August from 9.4 percent in July, the National Bureau of Statistics said, while growth in food prices, the largest contributor to the consumer inflation figure, rose to 8.7 percent in August from 7.9 percent in July. Nigeria’s economy grew 7.72 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of this year , the statistics bureau said. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said sub-Saharan Africa’s secondlargest economy grew 6.64 percent in the first quarter of this year, and forecast full-year growth of 7.8 percent. The CBN has been tightening policy for months in an effort to curb inflation, raising its benchmark interest rate to 8.75 percent in July in the fourth straight hike this year. The bank ’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meets next week and is expected to announce its decisions, including any changes to interest rates, on Tuesday. Core inflation, which excludes some volatile components such as food and energy, remained in double digits in

August and this, combined with a need to support the local currency, may prompt the MPC to raise rates again despite steadying inflation. “The key question now is what this might mean for the MPC decision next week ... While (holding rates unchanged) certainly can’t be dismissed, even a pause is unlikely to be the end of Nigeria’s tightening cycle-economic growth remains robust,” said Razia Khan, head of Africa research at Standard Chartered Bank. Inflationary pressure from high government spending has been largely offset by tight monetary policy and a slowdown in global economic growth this year. The biggest upside risk to inflation in the medium term is likely to be the potential removal of subsidies on petroleum products.The new finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said that fuel deregulation is a goal for the government, though she has given no time frame for such action. The former World Bank managing director has also pledged to cut back government spending, but this is not expected to impact price pressures in the short-term. She said this week that the 2012 budget would be ready for lawmakers by November. — Reuters



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Authors Guild sues universities over online books NEW YORK: Authors and authors’ groups in the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom sued the University of Michigan and four other universities Monday, seeking to stop the creation of online libraries made up of as many as 7 million copyright-protected books they say were scanned without authorization. The Authors Guild, the Australian Society of Authors and the Union Des Ecrivaines et des Ecrivains Quebecois, or UNEQ, joined eight individual authors to file the copyright infringement lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan against Michigan, the University of California, the University of Wisconsin, Indiana University and Cornell University. The lawsuit accuses the University of Michigan of creating a repository known as HathiTrust where unlimited downloads could be accessed by students and facul-

ty members of so-called orphan works, which are out-of-print books whose writers could not be located. The authors said they obtained from Google Inc. the unauthorized scans of an estimated 7 million copyright-protected books. They said the schools had pooled the unauthorized files at Michigan. The university planned to make about 40 books available online to its students and faculty in October, said Paul Courant, the dean of libraries at the university. He said university officials had been in discussions with the Authors Guild in recent weeks about its plans and were surprised by the lawsuit. “I’m confident that everything we’re doing and everything we’re contemplating doing is lawful use of these works,” Courant said. The lawsuit seeks to impound the digital copies of the works along with other unspecified damages.

Courant said Google had digitized about 5 million books out of its library so far and had several million books left to scan. He said it was of “great value” to students and faculty to get the books online. In a statement, the authors said they sought to stop the Oct. 13 release of 27 works by French, Russian and American authors to an estimated 250,000 students and faculty members, along with the scheduled release in November of an additional 140 books. Those works, they said, included some in Spanish, Yiddish, French and Russian. The authors said Michigan announced plans in June to permit unlimited downloads by its students and faculty members of the scanned works it considered orphans and other universities joined the project in August. “This is an upsetting and outrageous attempt to dismiss authors’ rights,” said Angelo Loukakis, executive director

of the Australian Society of Authors. “Maybe it doesn’t seem like it to some, but writing books is an author’s real-life work and livelihood. This group of American universities has no authority to decide whether, when or how authors forfeit their copyright protection. These aren’t orphaned books, they’re abducted books.” “I was stunned when I learned of this,” said Daniele Simpson, president of UNEQ. “How are authors from Quebec, Italy or Japan to know that their works have been determined to be ‘orphans’ by a group in Ann Arbor, Michigan? If these colleges can make up their own rules, then won’t every college and university, in every country, want to do the same?” The authors said books from nearly every nation have been digitized, including thousands of works published in 2001 in China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain and

the United Kingdom, and hundreds from Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Mexico, The Netherlands, The Philippines, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam. The lawsuit was filed just days before lawyers for authors and publishers are scheduled to tell a judge whether they have reached a new deal with the Mountain View, California-based Google to create a massive online library. US Circuit Judge Denny Chin had rejected a $125 million settlement of a 6-year-old lawsuit after objections were filed by Google rivals, consumer watchdogs, academic experts, literary agents and even foreign governments. Chin wrote that many objectors would drop their complaints if Google allowed book owners to choose to join the library rather than being required to quit it. — AP

Microsoft previews new Windows 8, stresses tablets Windows 8 brings a new range of capabilities

PAWTUCKET: In this Sept. 8, 2011 photo, Michelle Paolino, vice president of global girls marketing for Hasbro explains the differences in the company’s newest version of their “Easy Bake Oven” in Pawtucket, RI. Wayne Blatchley vice president of Fuzion Design, a company which worked in conjunction with Hasbro on the Easy Bake Oven’s new design looks on. — AP

Feeling pain? The computer can tell CALIFORNIA: Can a computer tell when it hurts? It can if you train it, US researchers said on Tuesday. A team at Stanford University in California used computer learning software to sort through data generated by brain scans and detect when people were in pain. “ The question we were trying to answer was can we use neuroimaging to objectively detect whether a person is in a state of pain or not. The answer was yes,” Dr. Sean Mackey of the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, whose study appears in the journal PLoS One. Currently, doctors rely on patients to tell them whether or not they are in pain. And that is still the gold standard for assessing pain, Mackey said. But some patients-the very young, the very old, dementia patients or those who are not conscious-cannot say if they are hurting, and that has led to a long search for some way to objectively measure pain. “People have been looking for a pain detector for a very long time,” Mackey said. “We’re hopeful we can eventually use this technology for better detection and better treatment of chronic pain.”

For the study, Mackey’s team used a linear support vector machine-a computer algorithm invented in 1995 — to classify patterns of brain activity and determine whether or not someone is experiencing pain. To train the computer, eight volunteers underwent brain scans while they were touched first by an object that was hot, and then by one that was so hot it was painful. The computer used data from these scans to recognize different brain activity patterns that occur when a person is detecting heat, and which ones detect pain. In tests the computer was more than 80 percent accurate in detecting which brain scans were of people in pain, and it was just as accurate at ruling out those who were not in pain. Mackey cautioned that the study was done in a very controlled lab environment, and it did not look at the differences between chronic and acute pain. More than 100 million Americans suffer chronic pain, and treating them costs around $600 billion each year in medical expenses and lost productivity, the Institute of Medicine, one of the National Academy of Sciences, reported in June. — Reuters

Hitachi unveils headset to study brain activity TOKYO: A Japanese research team yesterday unveiled a headset they say can measure activity in the brain and could be used to improve performance in the classroom or on the sports field. Engineers from Hitachi working with university scientists say the lightweight headset will accurately measure minute changes in the amount of blood in the brain-a key indicator of how hard the organ is working. They said numerous wireless devices could be run simultaneously,

TOKYO: Hitachi engineer Takeshi Ogino dispays a portable ‘brain-machine’ interface’ equipped with an optical sensor in a headset to measure prefrontal bloodstream, at the company’s headquarters in Tokyo yesterday. — AFP

with the data displayed on a screen in real time, allowing researchers to monitor the performance of up to 20 people, or a whole sporting team, at once. The Japanese electronics giant said it currently has no plans for a commercial launch of the equipment, which uses near-infrared light to detect the amount of blood in the brain. Scientists studying cognitive performance have previously had to use highly artificial environments, such as laying people in a dark tube and keeping their heads still, said R yuta K awashima, head of the research team. But the newly developed gear will allow them to take measurements in real-life situations where human brains are interacting in complicated social situations, said Kawashima, of Tohoku University. “One of my dreams is to help individuals better perform in society,” said Kawashima, the scientist behind the smash-hit “Brain Training” games on Nintendo consoles. Exploring the brain activity of, for example, football players to determine under which conditions they perform well could also help improve whole team performance, Kawashima said. Kawashima is also looking at how the kit could be used in classrooms. “Studying brain activity when humans are concentrating or getting an idea is expected to help trainee teachers to get feedback from pupils and improve their teaching abilities,” Kawashima said. — AFP

SAN FRANCISCO: Microsoft pulled back the curtain on new Windows computer operating software designed to power not only personal computers but also rivals to Apple’s iPad. Windows division president Steven Sinofsky stressed touchscreen tablets on Tuesday as he boasted of the diverse types of hardware that Windows 8 will run after its official release. Sinofsky was part of a Microsoft team that provided an in-depth look at Windows 8 to software developers at a BUILD conference the US technology giant is holding this week in southern California. “We re-imagined Windows,” Sinofsky said. “From the chipset to the user experience, Windows 8 brings a new range of capabilities without compromise.” Windows 8 was crafted to allow all kinds of computers to be controlled with taps or swipes of screens, gestures familiar to owners of smartphones or tablet computers. The operating system was also designed to let separate applications work together and to synchronize files across various Windows 8 devices. Sinofsky

demonstrated the point by having a picture taken on a cameraenabled desktop computer pop up on a tablet. “Windows 8 works beautifully across a spectrum of devices, from 10-inch tablets and laptops to all-in-ones with 27-inch highdefinition screens,” Microsoft said. Windows 8 was shaping up to be Microsoft’s answer to criticism that it had ceded the tablet computer space to Google’s Android platform and Apple, which has dominated a market it ignited with the release of the iPad. “It is a blend, a hybrid, that attempts to give a person the advantages of an iPad and the advantages of a Macbook Air (Apple laptop) in a single device,” said analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group in Silicon Valley. “This is going to be interesting,” he continued. “ The hardware optimizing it will likely be some touch-enabled ultrabook.” Microsoft was so eager to get independent developers working on applications for Windows 8 that it gave tablet computer prototypes to each of the 5,000 BUILD attendees so they could begin tinkering with the software. The week-long gathering

will be crammed with sessions at which developers will be tutored in nuances of building applications for Windows 8. “It’s a lot about how developers can build applications that create this new touch-centric environment,” said Wes Miller, research director at independent analyst firm Directions On Microsoft. “Windows 8 is a redesign from the ground up,” he continued while at the conference. “We are really hearing tablet size and up, all the way into supersized desktop computers.” Software savants unable to attend BUILD will be able to download developer copies of Windows 8 at beginning at 0300 GMT on Wednesday. Windows 8 has to hit several more mile stones before a polished version will be released to hardware makers for installation in devices heading for market. “This is a pre-release product,” Sinofsky said. “You saw some little snafus today; there are going to be more of them.” Windows 8 will be refined with the help of feedback from developers. Microsoft declined to predict when a final version would be ready for release. “We are going to be driv-

en by the quality not the date and just be focused on building applications right now,” Sinofsky said. Windows 8 was also crafted to complement Live computer programs that Microsoft offers as online services as part of a strengthening trend toward using applications in the Internet “cloud.” About 542 million people each month sign into Windows Live services, the array of which includes Hotmail email, SkyDrive file storage, and Xbox gaming, according to Microsoft. Windows 8 will give rise to unusual new hardware designs fusing features of tablets and laptops, Enderle predicted. “Think of this as Microsoft taking all the cards that we know, love and trust and throwing them in the air,” Enderle said. “After next year the line will get massively blurry between laptops and tablets.” The analyst expected Apple to react by combining its winning software and coveted devices in creative new designs. “I think Apple is going to have to respond to this and will probably be more out-of-the-box than the makers of Windows hardware,” Enderle said. — AFP

Sony to release PlayStation Vita in Japan TOKYO: Sony will release its next-generation portable games console, the PlayStation Vita, in Japan on December 17, the company said yesterday. Sony had previously said the highly anticipated console will hit Japanese stores by the end of the year but will miss the key Christmas holiday shopping season in North America and Europe. In Japan, the PlayStation Vita will sell for 24,980 yen ($325) for the Wi-Fi version and 29,980 for the 3G model, which will be available in partnership with Japan’s biggest mobile operator NTTDoCoMo. In the US, A PS Vita model that connects to the Internet only using Wi-Fi will be priced at $249, while a version of the gadget featuring 3G connectivity to telecom data services will be priced at $299. Both Sony ’s PlayStation and Nintendo are under increasing pressure from smartphones and tablets such as Apple’s iPhone and iPad, onto which cheap or even free games can be quickly downloaded and played. Nintendo cut the price of its 3DS game console, which displays three dimensional graphics without the need for special glasses, by up to 40 percent after only six months due to weak sales. The PS Vita features a five-inch (12.7 cm) multi-touch OLED (organic light emitting diode) screen with a pad on the back for “touch, grab, trace, push and pull” finger motions. The handset also has front and rear facing cameras. —AFP

TOKYO: Japan’s mobile carrier NTT Docomo Inc. Senior Executive Vice President Kiyoyuki Tsujimura, right, and Sony Computer Entertainment Japan President Hiroshi Kawano show off PlayStation Vita, called “PSVITA” for short, as they announce a Japan tie-up for the new product during a press conference in Tokyo yesterday. — AP

More bling for your ring with solid gold phone

PARIS: The iPhone application “A Jew or a not Jew” is displayed yesterday in Paris. A French anti-racism organization has threatened to sue Apple France over an iPhone application that identifies public figures who are Jewish. — AP

MOSCOW: It doesn’t do email, the Internet, have a camera, games or GPS navigation, but a new mobile phone from Denmark is literally solid gold. Danish retailer Aesir said it hopes to sell its $57,400, limited-edition 18-carat gold phones to Moscow’s fashion-forward elite. The phone, which took three years to develop, is “not a play thing”, company founder Thomas Jensen said, sipping a gin and tonic on the roof top of one of Moscow’s premier hotels. It features no extra applications: No email, games, camera or GPS navigation, but its target clients are the ultra-wealthy, who have staff to manage their calendars and chauffeur them around town. “It’s a collector’s item. People are used to collecting, say, watches, while designer phones is a practically empty niche,” Jensen told Reuters. The firm says it will design a new phone every 18 months and produce no more than 5,000 of its classic model, sold for 42,000 euros in gold and 7,250 euros ($9,867) in stainless steel. “Moscow is becoming a booming contemporary art city. At first people here had only money but now they have style. Their spending is more intellectual and sophisticated,” said Mathias Rajani, Aesir’s chief commercial officer. Several of Denmark’s

richest families, including the owners of toymaker Lego, invested in the developing the blocky, streamline phones, designed by Yeves Behar. Luxur y market analysts see Aesir ’s designs as an alternative to high-end, gem-encrusted mobiles by Nokia’s British mobile subsidiary Vertu , costing from $6,500 to $72,500. Russia’s ultra-rich may well plunk down thousands to flaunt Aesir’s gold mobiles, art-market investment expert Natalia Legotina said. But she doubted the phones would become collector’s items. “It could find a place in the Russian market but definitely not in the cultural elite circles, which favour new smart-phone models,” said Legotina, the Moscow representative of British consultancy Art Market Research. “It will interest Russian Oligarchs and their girlfriends as well as businessmen whose social circles demand accessories that act as class indicators,” she said. Aesir, which is rolling out models in Cyrillic and Chinese, generated buzz with its glitzy promotion in Moscow last week. “This phone is amazing - the innovations behind it are also great,” said Russian tycoon Vadim Dymov, who owns a meatpacking plants in Moscow and has several conceptual art projects.— Reuters



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Progress hailed in fight to prevent malaria deaths UNITED NATIONS: The global campaign to fight malaria repor ted achievements in reducing death and suffering from the mosquito-borne disease Tuesday and restated its goal of eliminating nearly all malaria deaths by 2015. The Roll Back Malaria Partnership estimated that the total number of malaria deaths fell 38 percent worldwide as a result of stepped up use of anti-malaria bed nets, spraying and drugs over the last decade. As a result, it estimates the lives of 1.1 million children under the age of five were saved in sub-Saharan Africa, mostly in the last five years.

“Malaria is on the retreat across the globe,” UN Secretary-General Ban Kimoon told a news conference launching the report. The report said malaria cases have been reduced by 50 percent or more in 43 countries, including 11 in Africa. Malaria killed almost 800,000 people in 2009, over 90 percent of those in Africa and primarily young children and pregnant women, the report said. It estimated the cost to the continent in lost productivity at $12 billion annually. Professor Awa Maria Coll-Seck, the campaign’s executive director, said the “successful results of the past decade mean

we can now raise the bar. “We aim to reduce malaria deaths to near zero by 2015 in all endemic countries,” she said. The same goal was announced in 2008, when the partnership launched a $3 billion plan to reduce the malaria deaths within what was then seven years. In a kickoff event that included Microsoft founder Bill Gates, U2 frontman Bono and heads of state, the partnership pledged to provide better access to bed nets, indoor spraying, improved diagnosis and treatment, preventative measures for pregnant women and development of new vaccines. Coll-Seck said Tuesday that by

2015 “some countries will achieve what we are asking for” and others won’t but without the target “we will not accelerate the work ... their effort will not be stronger and stronger.” “We want to mobilize everybody to ensure that we will not be far from this target,” she said. According to the report, Europe is on track to eliminate malaria by 2015. The World Health Organization has certified three countries as malaria free - Morocco, Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates - and 26 countries are in various stages of eliminating malaria. “ What we need to fight malaria

every year is around $5-6 billion,” CollSeck said, as well as political leadership and national support. She said that in just two years Nigeria has been able to distribute 40 million bed nets as a result of financial support. “Now more than ever, we have good reason to continue investing in malaria control: A malaria-free world is possible for the new generation,” Coll-Seck said. The Roll Back Malaria Partnership was founded in 1998 by the UN children’s, health and development agencies and the World Bank and has more than 500 partner organizations from the public and private sector. — AP

Dangerous TB spreading at alarming rate in Europe Drug-resistant strains can take years to treat

NEW DELHI: In this photograph taken January 24, 2009, Indian physically challenged participants of the Tricycle Marathon Race steer their vehicles along a road in Ahmedabad. In New Delhi, Qureshi, a wheelchair user, said he was stranded at New Delhi’s new 2.7-billiondollar international airport terminal for two hours earlier this year after the lifts broke down. — AFP

Mental health, disability stigmas thrive in India MUMBAI: Psychiatrist Fabian Almeida was stunned when the co-operative society next to his clinic outside Mumbai wrote to him complaining about his patients, who suffer from mental health issues. He was told that those receiving treatment for conditions ranging from depression and obsessive compulsive disorder to hyperactivity and dyslexia were a nuisance to other residents and should be kept inside. “They were talking about them spreading germs,” he told AFP by telephone from the commuter town of Kalyan, in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Almeida’s experience is not an isolated case in India, with longstanding concern about attitudes towards the country’s estimated 40-90 million people with mental and physical disabilities. “The whole system is not ready to help people,” said Aqeel Qureshi, a disability rights activist who manages the Disability News India website and campaigns for better access for disabled people. Qureshi, a wheelchair user, said he was stranded at New Delhi’s new $2.7-billion international airport terminal for two hours earlier this year after the lifts broke down. On other occasions he said he missed flights because of a lack of lifts to the aircraft. Disabled people have been stopped from flying altogether by some airlines. In Indian towns and cities, high kerbs, poorly maintained or non-existent pavements, stairs and a lack of wheelchair ramps are common hazards, making daily life difficult or impossible for the physically disabled. Packed buses with high access steps, overcrowded suburban trains that halt only for 30 seconds in stations or a lack of public disabled toilets add to the problems. In Mumbai, new pedestrian crossings have recently been installed at busy junctions but the audible signals-designed to tell the visually impaired when to cross-have been silenced. Residents complained they were too noisy, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported last week. Lack of awareness and not consulting disabled people or the groups representing them is often to blame, Qureshi said. “The problem with authorities is that they think they’re very smart and very intelligent and that they know our needs. It’s an attitude problem,”

he said from his base in Tokyo. “The whole thing is not helping people with disabilities. That’s why most people with disabilities are not empowered. “The basic needs for people with disabilities is to provide better infrastructure so that you can go outside and live like any other citizen.” The World Bank has said that people with disabilities are among the most marginalised in Indian society and that some 50 percent of people it surveyed saw disability as a “curse of God”. “A lot more needs to be done in implementation and ‘getting basics right’,” the organisation said, calling for greater integration of disabled people into Indian society. Researchers have found that disability in India is often seen as a punishment for a person’s misdeeds in a past life, particularly in rural areas. It has also been seen as lowering the status of a family in India, where social standing-particularly through marriage-remains important. For some, India’s rapid economic growth, which has fuelled a construction boom in big cities, is a perfect opportunity to make new buildings and infrastructure more disabled-friendly. A landmark disabilities act introduced in 1995 was praised as one of the most progressive among developing countries, even if its implementation is patchy. The country’s popular Hindi-language film industry, Bollywood, has also helped raise awareness of conditions from dyslexia to Asperger’s Syndrome in recent years. Psychiatrist Almeida says progress has been made, highlighting the messages of support he has received for his clinic after he received the letter from next door. “Incidents like this become speed breakers in our path to progress. Some people have chosen to remain ignorant,” said Almeida, whose clinic uses yoga, art therapy and sport to help patients. But India needs to do more as it develops and so-called Western lifestyle diseases such as depression become more prevalent and physical infirmity increases as the population ages, he added. “I think we need to be providing mental health services more and tackling the stigma and taboo associated with it... There’s so much more to do,” he said. — AFP

Russia targets beer in fight against alcoholism MOSCOW: With a stroke of the presidential pen, beer was recently reclassified as an alcoholic drink in Russia, no longer a foodstuff, and its sales are to be restricted to cut alcohol abuse. “Up to now, beer has not been considered alcohol in Russia but as a simple soft drink, like lemonade” that could be sold “anywhere and at any time,” said parliamentary deputy Viktor Zvagelsky of the ruling United Russia party. But starting January 2013 a new licensing law signed by President Dmitry Medvedev will ban beer sales from 11 pm to 8 am except in bars and cafes. The law will also prohibit selling beer in street kiosks and drinking it in public places. “Now beer will largely be regulated in the same way as other spirits,” Zvagelsky said. Healthcare professionals have praised the crackdown. “Young people are introduced (to alcohol) through beer and ... switch to strong alcoholic drinks,” said Evgenia Koshkina of the National Centre for Addictions Research. Alcohol abuse kills half a million Russians a year and lowers life expectancy, which currently stands at 60 for men, lower than in countries such as Bangladesh and Honduras,

according to the World Health Organisation. But Koshkina doubts the effectiveness of the new law given the high rate of alcoholism in the country, saying that “people are not accustomed to respect laws.” Kirill Bolmatov, a manager at Russia’s fifthlargest brewery, SABMiller, critised the decision to focus on beer instead of spirits. “(Easy) access to strong spirits contributes to (high) alcoholism. One litre of vodka costs about four euros ($5.70) in Russia, a very low price” unimaginable in Europe. The new law has struck fear into local brewers and foreign importers in Russia, the world’s fourth largest beer market that has seen steady growth. According to a survey by the Public Opinion Group, beer is the favourite drink of 39 percent of Russians, while 32 percent said they preferred vodka. “In street kiosks, beer sales make up nearly half of the overall profits,” said Bolmatov. The law will be “a heavy blow to small businesses and jobs,” he predicted, while it will have little effect on big brewers. “They may not see more growth, but at least they will maintain a stable volume of sales.” — AFP

LONDON: Multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis ( TB) are spreading at an alarming rate in Europe and will kill thousands unless health authorities halt the pandemic, the World Health Organisation(WHO) said yesterday. Launching a new regional plan to find, diagnose and treat cases of the airborne infectious disease more effectively, the WHO’s European director warned that complacency had allowed a resurgence of TB and failure to tackle it now would mean huge human and economic costs in the future. “TB is an old disease that never went away, and now it is evolving with a vengeance,” said Zsuzsanna Jakab, the WHO’s Regional Director for Europe. “ The numbers are scar y,” Lucica Ditiu, executive secretary of the Stop TB Partnership told a news conference in London. “This is a very dramatic situation.” TB is currently a worldwide pandemic that kills around 1.7 million people a year. The infection is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis and destroys patients’ lung tissue, causing them to cough up the bacteria, which then spreads through the air and can be inhaled by others. Cases of multidrug-resistant (MDR-TB) and extensively drugresistant TB (XDR-TB) — where the infections are resistant to first-line and then second-line antibiotic treatments-are spreading fast, with about 440,000 new patients every year around the world. According to the WHO and Stop TB, 15 of the 27 countries with the highest burden of MDRTB are in the WHO’s European region, which includes 53 countries in Europe and Central Asia. More than 80,000 MDR-TB cases occur in the region each year almost a fifth of the world’s total. The WHO said precise figures for XDR-TB are not available because

most countries lack the facilities to diagnose it, but officially reported cases of XDR-TB increased six-fold between 2008 and 2009. Rates are highest in eastern Europe and Central Asia, but many countries in western Europe have increasing rates of TB and drug-resistant TB, Ditiu said. Britain’s capital, London, has the highest TB rate of any capital city in western Europe with around 3,500 cases a year, 2 percent of which are MDR-TB. Treating even normal TB is a long and unpleasant process, with patients needing to take a combination of powerful antibiotics for 6 months. Many patients fail to correctly complete the course of medicines, a factor which has fueled a rise in

drug-resistant forms of the disease. Treatment regimes for MDR-TB and XDR-TB can stretch into two or more years, costing up to $16,000 in drugs alone and up to $200,000 to $300,000 per patient if isolation hospital costs, medical care and other resources are taken into account. Experts say around 7 percent of patients with straightforward TB die, and that death rate rises to around 50 percent of patients with drug-resistant forms. The WHO’s action plan for tackling tuberculosis emphasises the need for doctors and patients to be more aware of the disease and its symptoms, to diagnose and treat cases promptly with the right drugs, and follow patients up over many months or years to ensure they take their

medications. If that doesn’t happen “not only are these people quietly and painfully dying, they are also spreading the disease,” Ditiu said. The WHO said that if the plan is fully implemented-at an estimated cost of $5 billion — 127,000 people will be successfully treated for drug-resistant TB and 120,000 deaths will be averted by 2015. The cost would also be recouped, since 250 000 MDR-TB and 13,000 XDR-TB cases will be prevented, saving $7 billion in averted treatment costs, the WHO said. It added that prevention of premature deaths among TB patients would add to economic productivity in the region and generate an extra $5 billion. — Reuters

SAN ANTONIO: In this May 22, 2008 file photo, used syringes and needles are piled on the ground under an underpass on the west side of San Antonio where drug addicts shoot up. A UN human rights investigator said yesterday, up to a quarter of the world’s trash from hospitals, clinics, labs, blood banks and mortuaries is hazardous and much more needs to be done to regulate it. — AP

NASA unveils giant new rocket design WASHINGTON: The design for NASA’s newest behemoth of a rocket harkens back to the giant workhorse liquid rockets that propelled men to the moon. But this time the destinations will be much farther and the rocket even more powerful. The Obama administration yesterday will unveil its much-delayed general plans for its rocket design, called the Space Launch System, which will cost about $35 billion, according to senior administration sources and information obtained by The Associated Press. It will carry astronauts in a capsule on top and start test launching in six years. The size, shape and heavier reliance on liquid fuel as opposed to solid rocket boosters is much closer to Apollo than the recently retired space shuttles, which were winged, reusable ships that sat on top of a giant liquid fuel tank, with twin solid rocket boosters providing most of the power. It’s also a shift in emphasis from the moon-based, solid-rocket-oriented plans proposed by the George W. Bush administration. “It’s back to the future with a reliable liquid technology,” said Stanford University professor Scott Hubbard, a former NASA senior manager who was on the board that investigated the 2003 space shuttle Columbia accident. NASA figures it will be building and launching about one rocket a year for about 15 years or more in the 2020s and 2030s, according to senior administration officials who spoke on the

condition of anonymity because the announcement was not yet made. The idea is to launch its first unmanned test flight in 2017 with the first crew flying in 2021 and astronauts heading to a nearby asteroid in 2025, the officials said. From there, NASA hopes to send the rocket and astronauts to Mars - at first just to circle, but then later landing on the Red Planet - in the 2030s. At first the rockets will be able to carry into space 77 tons to 110 tons of payload, which would include the six-person Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle capsule and more. Eventually it will be able to carry 143 tons into space, maybe even 165 tons, the officials said. By comparison, the long-dormant Saturn V booster that sent men to the moon was able to lift 130 tons. The plans dwarf the rumbling lift-off power of the space shuttle, which could haul just 27 tons. The biggest current unmanned rocket can carry about 25 tons. The size plans elicited an amazed “good grief ” from Hubbard, who said it would limit how often they could be built or launched. Unlike the reusable shuttle, these rockets are mostly one-and-done, with new ones built for every launch. Some of the design elements, the deadline and the requirement for such a rocket were dictated by Congress. While the recently retired space shuttle’s main engines were fueled by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, it was primarily powered into orbit by solid rockets. Solid rocket boosters were designed to be cheaper, but

a booster flaw caused the fatal space shuttle Challenger accident in 1986. The biggest drawback was that solid rockets can’t be stopped once they are lit; liquid ones can. The new plan is to use a giant rocket powered by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. Apollo, Gemini and Mercury flew into space on liquid rockets, and liquids fuel most of the world’s unmanned commercial rockets. Russia’s Soyuz rocket is liquid fueled too. During its initial test flights the rocket will use five solid rocket boosters designed for the shuttle strapped on its outside and will have shuttle main engines powering it on the inside. But soon after that the solid rocket boosters will be replaced with new boosters that should have new technology and may be either liquid or solid, the officials said NASA figures it will spend about $3 billion a year on the plan, officials said. The key financial part of this arrangement is that NASA hopes to save money by turning over the launching of astronauts to the International Space Station, which orbits the Earth, to private companies and just rent spaces for astronauts like a giant taxi service. NASA would then spend the money on leaving Earth’s orbit and the Earth-moon system. Hubbard worries that NASA has a history of spending way more than initially proposed - the space shuttle cost about twice what it was supposed to - and this new rocket system will drain money from other NASA missions.— AP



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Michigan to monitor body weight of young patients LANSING: Gov. Rick Snyder plans to direct doctors in Michigan to begin monitoring the body weight of their young patients and provide the data to a state registry in one of the most extensive government efforts to address the growing problem of pediatric obesity, the Associated Press has learned. The move would help track the state’s growing obesity problem while opening the way for doctors to be more proactive in offering advice, Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel told The Associated Press on Tuesday. The Republican governor will announce the initiative Wednesday as part of his proposal for improving Michigan residents’ health. The body mass index statistics for patients under 18 would be reported to the Michigan Care Improvement Registry but the children’s identity would remain anonymous. The state already requires doctors to report how many children are immunized. Arkansas came under fire when it passed a law in 2003 requiring that schools send parents annual measurements of students’ BMI, which takes a person’s height and weight into account when estimating body fat. The law was modified in 2007 to require fewer years of testing and to give parents more ability to keep their children out of the program. Michigan’s new monitoring system could raise similar concerns. University of Michigan pediatrician Julie Lumeng, who’s involved in a research project looking at how obese children as young as 3 can be helped, said Michigan may be the first state to require that children’s BMI ratings

be included in a state registry. The governor’s office didn’t know if other states have taken this step. Lumeng said the advantage to having physicians measure BMI and report the results to the state registry rather than have schools send the results to parents is that the physician, “who has some training in how to talk to families about these health issues in a sensitive way, can really talk to the family in that moment behind a closed door privately.” “A lot of families don’t even recognize their children are obese,” she said. The American Academy of Pediatrics, which is working with First Lady Michelle Obama’s efforts to reduce childhood obesity, is urging physicians to measure children’s BMI and to talk to their patients and parents about steps they can do to address weight problems. The National Institutes of Health is funding research programs to see if pediatricians, in the 20 minutes they generally have with a patient in their office, can make a difference in patients’ behavior by offering advice on better eating and exercise habits. “The jury is still out on that,” Lumeng said. As the state’s top health official, Olga Dazzo takes seriously the need to address Michigan’s growing number of obese and overweight residents and the effect that’s having on health care costs and quality of life. The 61-year-old community health director has lost 32 pounds in the past year and makes sure she gets in at least a 30minute walk every day. Always pressed for time, she’s been known to have “walk meetings” with as many as eight of her staff members at a time. Dazzo’s agency

handles the registry and will take on the added job of making sure children’s BMI results are entered. The agency also is convening a Sept. 21 obesity summit at the Lansing Center to gather health care professionals, policy experts and others to come up with ways to get Michigan residents to do more about their weight problems, which can lead to or worsen chronic diseases such as heart disease and cause medical costs to soar. “It’s moving in the wrong direction,” Dazzo said of the state’s obesity percentage. “If we don’t do something about this, it’s only going to get worse.” T he new reporting requirement Snyder’s proposing will make weight screening more likely to be a part of every child’s medical care. About 800,000 Michigan children are considered overweight or obese based on height and weight, 12 percent of the total. Rates for adults are much higher, with around 30 percent of Michigan adults considered obese and 35 percent considered overweight, one reason Michigan ranks as the eighth fattest state. By having discussions in a doctor ’s office when children are overweight or obese, “it would help improve quality of care . . . by potentially catching it earlier and having a conversation about it,” Wurfel said. “It would be an important step in managing pediatric obesity.” A spokeswoman for the Michigan State Medical Society was reluctant to comment without hearing more details from Snyder. “We’re anxious to hear what he has to say. We’re glad that he’s focusing on nutrition and fitness. It’s a good first step,” Sheri Greenhoe said. — AP

New New e Hope Hope … New Life

Extra weight doesn’t always mean heart woes NEW YORK: Carrying extra weight doesn’t necessarily mean your heart is ailing, according to a Greek study that adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that overweight people aren’t always unhealthy. The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that fewer than 10 percent of healthy obese people in their 50s and 60s without risk factors for heart disease went on to develop heart failure over six years. By contrast, 16 percent of their slimmer peers, also without the suite of risk factors known as metabolic syndrome, ended up with the debilitating condition. “Being normal weight does not necessarily mean we are healthy,” said Christina Voulgari, at Athens University Medical School, who led the study. Voulgari and her colleagues followed 550 men and women, a quarter of whom were obese. Participants averaged about 55 years old. More than two-thirds of the obese individuals harbored risk factors for heart and blood vessel disease, such as high fat levels in the blood, low “good” cholesterol, high blood pressure, insulin resistance and a large waistlinecommonly referred to as “metabolic syndrome.” By comparison, only a little more than one third of normal-weight individuals did. Whether or not a person was obese had little impact, though, on his or her risk of heart failure, in which the heart muscle weakens and

cannot supply enough oxygen-rich blood to the body. The most common cause of heart failure is clogged vessels supplying inadequate blood to the heart. But metabolic syndrome made a big difference in who experienced heart failure, even after accounting for smoking, physical activity and other factors tied to heart disease. For instance, 63 percent of normal-weight people with metabolic syndrome developed heart failure, compared with 16 percent of those without the syndrome. As it turned out, Voulgari said, heavy people actually had fewer cases of heart failure than their normal-weight and overweight peers. Among obese participants with metabolic syndrome, 54 percent developed the problem, whereas only nine percent of those without metabolic syndrome did. Voulgari said her study didn’t mean people without metabolic syndrome should eat fast food without worr ying about the conse quences-instead, everybody should aim for a healthier lifestyle. “We should try to focus more on exercise, follow the 10,000-steps-daily rule, follow a healthier lifestyle and not smoke to stay in shape,” she said. Eating a Mediterranean diet, which has been tied to heart benefits, is also a good idea. The diet includes olive oil and plenty of fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fish and moderate amounts of red wine. — Reuters

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W H AT ’ S O N NECK to host preschoolers’ motivation program


t. Johns Mar Thomas Church, Kuwait, is set to hold a brief pre-school 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.

Announcements DYINA seeks new members The new association, DREAMS OF YOUTH INDIAN NATIONAL ASSOCIATION has been formed for the general welfare of the “DYINA” members who we wish are in Kuwait, India and elsewhere in the world. On this occasion DYINA welcomes all Malayalees in Kuwait, especially whoever staying in company camp / hostels (ladies conveners available for the convenient for the ladies) . For more information contact. Poulose Thekkedeth -66790870; Paul Joseph97200915; Babu Thomas - 99240368; Shaji 55042540; Jose Payappilly - 99809603; Reason 97286904 Indian music album wants talents A Malayalam musical album that has song writers from Jnanpith award winner ONV to the popular Rafeeq Ahmad and singers from Hariharan to Sreya Ghoshal, produced by Ragasuthra Music Company and orchestrated by Viswajith plans its launch soon. The 8 songs in the album use lots of Indian languages in part and the music also is pan Indian. As part of the launch the songs are being visualized. A few songs will be shot in Kuwait since the songs represent the life of Indian expats in Kuwait. Ragasuthra is looking for real talents for their gulf based production of music videos. -Talents/Actors: M/F - Age: 14 - 26; Family combination: M/F - Age: 28 - 45; Supporting character: M/F - Age 10 - 60; Assistant Director: M/F; -Associate Director: M/F; -Assistants: M/F; Training will be given for selected candidates. Serious applicants may send their bio data with recent photographs to 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 Dsouza60035824, Shalini Alva- 23726164, Suma Bhatt97834578 Salmiya & Hawally: Swarna Shetty99006934, Kripa Gatty- 66044194 Kuwait City, Jahra, Sharq : Rekha Sachu65044521,97862115 Farwaniya, Abbassiya, Shuwaikh & Khaitan: Sathyanarayana66585077 Sanath Shetty- 67712409. 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. Art salon Bouhshari Art Gallery Exhibition runs till today 15 September. Daily working hours: 10am 1pm and 5 - 9pm, except on Friday and on Thursday evening.

Fasttelco organizes video gaming tournament First of its kind in the Middle East


asttelco, the leading and integrated telecommunication services and internet provider in Kuwait, announced the launch of a gaming tournament on Saturday, September 3, 2011 at the Regency hotel, Al Maha Ballroom. There were many video game professionals and lovers that have participated in this unique tournament, which was based on four top video games which are: Call of Duty, PES 2011, FIFA and Super Street Fighter. A lot of wonderful offers and promotions on the Game Pal were provided in the tournament, and the best prize that was given is a free three-month subscription given to oneyear subscribers in one of Game Pal bouquets and a free nine-month subscription given to contestants that sub-

scribed to two years in a row. The enthusiasm increased as a series of questions were asked, and several contests were launched to see the winners of the varying prizes. These various contests were done by FasTtelco to provide many of its special services and offers to its valuable customers. In addition, Al Rai Tv was there to cover the event live on air through the unique youth show “Raykom Shabab” where the program’s crew conducted interviews with the General Manager of Fasttelco and with some of the organizers of the tournament, who came all the way from Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to Kuwait in order to participate in the tournament. There were also a series of interviews that were conducted with the contestants and

participants during the most important events in the championship to show the enthusiasm and interest young people had towards this competition, which provided them with an atmosphere of fun and excitement. At the end of the tournament, names of the winners were announced as follows, in the Street Fighters game first place winner was Aidan Abdullah bu Aidan, second was Soud Abdulaziz Dowish, third was Abdulhadi Jaber, and fourth was Sadoun Mohamad Ayad. In FIFA 2011, the first winner was Fahed Turkey Al Enzi, second was Fawaz Khaled Abdul Samad, third was Abduallah Rashed Abduallah, and fourth was Khaled Ahmed Hamed. While for PES 2011 game, the first winner was Hisham Othman,

second was Abdulaziz Al Najdi, third was Saed Al Ajmi and the fourth was Hisham Adnan Al Bahrani. Moreover, D | E team led by Captain Hussein Kamel Saad Al-Fadli won the first place in Call of Duty game, S4K led by Captain Abdulrahman Bassam Mohammed Alfodry won second place, YwK team led by Captain Walid Badr Jzaa Al Enzi won third place and for V!pR team, led by Captain Ali Hussein Mohammed Awad won fourth place. First place winners received MacBook Pro’s, second place winners received Sony LED TV’s, third place winners received iPad’s, and fourth place winners received Sony Home Theater’s.

Kala Onam celebrations


nam celebrations along with the closing ceremony of the free Malayalam Education Program of Kerala Art Lovers Association (Kala, Kuwait) will be held on September 30th, 2011 Friday at Indian Community School, Khaithan. Dance, Art and Cultural programs including Athapookalam Competition, Thiruvathira dance, Nadanpattugal, Onapattugal, Vallom kali will capture the day till 4pm in the evening. By 5pm, closing ceremony meeting of Malayalam classes will begin which will include cultural meeting, honoring of the teachers and representatives who provided spaces to take Malayalam classes and finally presentation of trophy’s to winners of the quiz competitions held at different zones in Kuwait. Chief guests from India as well as prominent guests from Kuwait will also attend the function. For more details please contact: 24317875, 97817100 or 66656642.

Kanajar Welfare Association to celebrate Monthi Fest


anajar Welfare Association, Kuwait - is delighted to announce the celebration of Monthi Fest 2011 with Kanajar Parishioners on September 16th at residence of Lancy Mendonca and Rose Mary Mendonca at Farwaniya. Monthi Fest (Nativity) has always been of special significance to us, the people of South Canara, as we celebrate the Birthday of Mother Mary this day which coincides with the Harvest festival.

As per the tradition, first fruit of a farmers labour will be blessed and then distributed to all the family members. Kanajar Welfare Association, Kuwait is inviting all the members along with the Family and Friends to come together and celebrate this occasion as one family. This is an opportunity for all of us to show our love & gratitude to our heavenly mother. All are invited to come and share this joy by celebrat-

ing this feast in a traditional way. Showering the flowers to the honor of mother Mary will cherish the childhood memories for all of us. The day will be filled with activities, presenting lot of Games and fun. The program will start at 10 am. For more details please contact: Henry Britto 97947098, Edward Prakash D’souza 55488023.

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.

Ona Pookalam designed by Shreeshanth, Jabir & team, of Frontline Group. (Right) Prize distribution.




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W H AT ’ S O N

Getting down to business is easy at Movenpick Hotels & Resorts


n the road, organisation is everything. Corporate travellers don’t want to spend time arranging breakfast, laundry, late check-outs or internet access, they just want to get down to business quickly and easily. Based on corporate traveller feedback, Movenpick Hotels & Resorts has distilled four key components of a successful business trip down to one simple tailor-made package. The Business Bundle package offers corporate travellers free high-speed in-

room internet access, a daily buffet breakfast, express pressing service and late check-out until 6 pm. The package will be available to business travellers staying at selected Movenpick Hotels & Resorts throughout the Middle East and Asia from September 15. “Business travellers want to concentrate on making their trip a success,” says Toufic Tamim, Vice President Sales & Marketing, Movenpick Hotels & Resorts, Middle East. “They don’t want the detail of extras, they simply want to know every-

thing that they need is included as part of their stay.” High-speed internet, breakfast, late checkout and laundry pressing are the four most requested services by corporate travellers at Movenpick Hotels & Resorts, according to Tamim. “We listened to our guests and gave them what they needed. Movenpick Hotels & Resorts has always understood the key elements that enhance a successful business trip - convenient location, efficient meeting and conference facilities

and dedicated business services - but with the Business Bundle package we have gone one stage further to provide corporate travellers with a genuine executive boost.” The Business Bundle is available at selected Movenpick properties in the United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Yemen, India, Vietnam, Philippines and Thailand.


riends of CRY Club (FOCC), Kuwait announces the date of the hugely popular Chess Tournament for children. It doesn’t matter if you are an amateur or a professional, come play with other enthusiasts and support a good cause. “CRYchess 2011” will be held on Friday, 18th November 2011 at the Indian English Academy School (IEAS) - Don Bosco, Salmiya. The players will be divided into age based groups to play in the Swiss pairing format and the lucky winners will walk away with the Trophies and all participants will receive certificates and medals from Child Rights & You (CRY). The much awaited annual CHESS tournament will commence at 1:00 pm sharp. Players are to report at the venue by 12 noon for the tournament briefing and inaugural pres-

entation. Parents, accompanying the children, will also be kept informed of the CRY activities and FOCC’s involvement and are required to be present at the Quadrangle to view the presentation throughout

Chess Players. The last date for receiving the registration form is 10th November, 2011. Child Rights and You (CRY) is an Indian NGO that catalyses change in the lives of underprivileged children in India

T Happy 3rd birthday to Haseeb Atif. Greetings come from Amma, Papa, Mama, Waqar Mamu, Jabbar Mamu, Mamis, Khaluu, Iqaa Khala, Furqan, Raeed, Fatma, All friends & cousins.

Konkani drama


uwait Goan Association (KGA) after presenting popular Konkani tiatrs ‘Ghor Bandlem ghorabo Modlo’ and ‘Tujea Moga Passot’, now all set to present Tragedy Mario Menezes most popular Konkani drama “Hatachim Panch Bottam” in Kuwait on Friday, 18th November 2011 with full troupe. Await for more details or email:

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

the afternoon. For more details, registration forms, Rules of CRYChess 2011 and participation fees, please visit or contact FOCC members via email: Sponsors are also welcome to encourage the participating Young

by restoring their rights. FOCC in its thirteen year of presence appreciate the cooperation and support extended to carry on the activities for the cherished ideals of nourishing the talents of the children, predominantly among the Indian expatriate community and schools.

AWARE orientation for newcomers hese orientations are free of charge and provide an opportunity for newly arriving Western guests to learn more about the programs on offer at AWARE. Our staff will be available to answer further questions related to life in Kuwait. If you are new to Kuwait or new to AWARE, we welcome your participation in one of the following presentations: Monday, 26 September 2011 Thursday, 29 September 2011 Monday, 03 October 2011 Thursday, 06 October 2011 Time: 7:00pm-9:00pm Venue: AWARE Center Dinner Buffet is included RSVP to For a free ‘Orientation to Kuwait’ packet, or to ask a question, send an email to



FOCC chess tournament

Birthday Greetings


Weekly diwaniyas The AWARE Center hosts a weekly diwaniya every Tuesday during which different topics are discussed. “We discuss topics ranging from culture, legal tips, health, current affairs, religion and issues concerning development in the region”, says Hassan, AWARE Educational Dept. Manager. Hassan further states, “The aim of the diwaniya is to help Westerners and other expatriates in receiving firsthand information about Kuwait while providing an opportunity to interact with locals. It is through these diwaniyas that we have been able to clear misconceptions about Islam, Muslims and Arabs.” AWARE Diwaniyas are held weekly on Tuesday evenings at 7 pm. Here are what our guests are saying: “The diwaniya presentations at the AWARE Center are attended by

people from all over the world and are a pleasant venue where locals and expats can meet and exchange ideas. Because of the casual, friendly atmosphere, participating in the discussion is not at all intimidating! The diwaniyas cover a very wide range of subjects and I have really enjoyed them, both as a guest and as a presenter.” Claudia Farkas Al Rashoud “In our experience, the weekly AWARE Diwaniya can almost be guaranteed to provide a stimulating and entertaining evening. However, it is the people, coming as they do from most corners of the globe, who really make these events as fascinating as they are. Newcomers are always welcomed. Contrary opinions and different viewpoints are shared with mutual respect and dignity. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have become involved in these events.”

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: E.PDF. A guide explaining the process can be found here: nnnnnnn

Free Arabic courses provided by IPC


ake your opportunity to learn and improve your Arabic skills. The women section of Islam Presentation Committee will be conducting FREE Arabic Language Course in Basic & Advance Level for non-Arab LADIES commencing on September 30, 2011. Islamic subjects and Quran classes are also offered in different languages. Classes are offered only once a week. Register now! For more information: Rawdah-22512257-97290278; Salmiya25733263-97533263; Khaitan-2473013799285459; Mangaf-23723002; Jahra-2455883067720696.

Medical seminar


ahila Vedi of Kozhikode District Association organises Medical Seminar at United Indian School Abbasiya on 16 Sept 2011 at 6.00pm. Eminent Doctor Saritha.P (German Clinic, Abbasiya) will talk on the subject ‘ Gynaecological Problems’ and the audience will get a rare opportunity to get their doubts clarified during the seminar. Free tests for blood pressure and sugar will also be available at the venue. Mahila Vedi President Sreeja Santhakumar and

Secretary Asma Abdulla requested all Kozhikode natives to avail of this opportunity.

Onam, Eid gathering


ozhikode District NRI Association (KDNA) is organizing a gathering to celebrate auspicious Onam-Eid today 15th September at Kohinoor Hall in Souk Saba, Fahaheel at 7pm. The program will have a formal function followed by some entertainment programs.



Elsa the Desert mix

Study in Canada Fair 2011


lsa is a gentle and affectionate nine-month-old Desert mix female. Elsa is shy and takes her time to get to know you before jumping around you to play. This pretty girl loves to roll for a belly rub. Elsa will fit in great in a family with children aged 8 and above. To adopt Elsa, contact K’S PATH at (+965) 6700 1622 or visit the website


rganized by the Embassy of Canada, the sixth annual Middle East Education Initiative (MEEI) will be visiting Kuwait from Oct 1 to 4, 2011. Representatives of 20 leading Canadian universities and colleges will be available to meet students, parents, teachers and guidance counsellors to present the advantages of studying in Canada. On Sunday, Oct 2, 2011 a Study in Canada exhibition will be held at the Marina Hotel, Salmiya from 6-9:00 pm for potential students and their parents to attend. The Canadian institutions will also be visiting local schools to speak to interested students about opportunities to study in Canada.

Is an MBA from Wharton right for you?


ind out at the Wharton Business School’s admissions reception on Tuesday, September 20th in Kuwait. Admissions Director Ankur Kumar will be delivering a presentation at 7 pm. To register for the event in Kuwait visit: (Registrations close September 19)

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

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

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

Eddie the DSH


ddie is a friendly, playful and observant two-year-old Domestic Short Haired (DSH) male. Eddie loves to take a nap on laps and play with suspended toys. He likes attention and will greet you with a welcoming purr. Eddie will go well in a family with children aged over 8. To adopt Eddie, contact K’S PATH at (+965) 6700 1622 or visit the website

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

EMBASSY OF SLOVAK REPUBLIC The Embassy of the Slovak Republic to Kuwait would like to inform the public that on the occasion of the Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows Holiday, the Embassy will be closed today, September 15, 2011, and will resume its normal duties on Sunday, September 18, 2011.



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00:45 Untamed & Uncut 01:40 Sharks: Anatomy Of An Attack 02:35 Monster Bug Wars 03:30 I’m Alive 04:25 Dogs 101 05:20 Animal Cops Houston 06:10 Dogs 101 07:00 Meerkat Manor 07:25 The Really Wild Show 07:50 Chris Humfrey’s Wildlife 08:40 Breed All About It 09:10 My Cat From Hell 10:05 Dogs 101 11:00 Animal Cops Houston 11:55 E-Vets: The Interns 12:20 Wildlife SOS International 12:50New Breed Vets With Steve Irwin 13:45 Crocodile Hunter 14:40 Sharks: Anatomy Of An Attack 15:30 Escape To Chimp Eden 16:00 The Really Wild Show 16:30 Crocodile Hunter 17:25 Must Love Cats 18:20 Breed All About It 18:45 Crocodile Hunter 19:40 Cheetah Kingdom 20:10 Dogs 101 21:05 Best Bites: 25 Greatest Shark Moments 22:00 Big Five Challenge 22:55 I Shouldn’t Be Alive 23:50 Almost Human With Jane Goodall

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

Last Of The Summer Wine The Weakest Link Casualty Full Circle With Michael Palin Eastenders Doctors Last Of The Summer Wine Balamory The Roly Mo Show Me Too Jackanory Junior Poetry Pie Balamory The Roly Mo Show Me Too Jackanory Junior Balamory The Roly Mo Show Me Too Jackanory Junior Poetry Pie Balamory The Roly Mo Show Me Too Jackanory Junior Poetry Pie Last Of The Summer Wine The Weakest Link Lark Rise To Candleford Doctors Eastenders Casualty Last Of The Summer Wine Lark Rise To Candleford The Weakest Link Doctors Eastenders Casualty Lark Rise To Candleford The Weakest Link Doctors Eastenders Casualty Coast

00:20 The Naked Chef 00:50 Come Dine With Me 01:40 What Not To Wear 02:30 Come Dine With Me 03:20 James Martin’s Champagne 03:45 The Naked Chef 04:15 New Scandinavian Cooking 04:40 James Martin’s Favourite Feasts 05:05 Holmes On Homes 05:50 Antiques Roadshow

06:40 New Scandinavian Cooking 07:10 New Scandinavian Cooking 07:35 Come Dine With Me 08:25 James Martin’s Champagne 08:50 The Naked Chef 09:20 New Scandinavian Cooking 09:45James Martin’s Favourite Feasts 10:10 Holmes On Homes 10:55 Antiques Roadshow 11:45 Come Dine With Me 12:40 Daily Cooks Challenge 14:35 Bargain Hunt 15:20 Antiques Roadshow 17:10 Come Dine With Me 18:00 New Scandinavian Cooking 18:25 James Martin’s Champagne 18:50 The Naked Chef 19:20James Martin’s Favourite Feasts 19:45 Come Dine With Me 20:35 Holmes On Homes 21:25 Antiques Roadshow 22:15 Come Dine With Me 23:05 Masterchef Australia

00:00 00:30 00:45 01:00 01:30 01:45 02:00 02:30 02:45 03:00 03:30 03:45 04:00 04:30 04:45 05:00 05:30 05:45 06:00 06:30 07:00 07:30 07:45 08:30 08:45 09:30 09:45 10:00 10:30 10:45 11:00 11:30

BBC World News World Business Report Sport Today BBC World News America Asia Business Report Sport Today BBC World News Asia Business Report Sport Today Newsday Asia Business Report Sport Today Newsday Asia Business Report Sport Today Newsday Asia Business Report Sport Today Newsday Hardtalk BBC World News World Business Report BBC World News World Business Report BBC World News World Business Report Sport Today BBC World News World Business Report Sport Today BBC World News Hardtalk

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 Eliot Kid 07:25 Angelo Rules 07:50 Best Ed 08:15 Flapjack 08:40 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 09:05 Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy 09:30 Courage The Cowardly Dog 09:55 Cow & Chicken 10:20 I Am Weasel 10:35 Adventure Time 11:00 Ben 10 11:25 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 11:50 The Secret Saturdays 12:15 Samurai Jack 12:40 Ben 10: Alien Force 13:05 Codename: Kids Next Door 13:30 Skunk Fu! 13:50 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 14:15 Flapjack


TV PROGRAMS 14:40 Ed, Edd n Eddy 15:05 Camp Lazlo 15:30 Chowder 15:55 Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy 16:25 Cow & Chicken 16:50 Courage The Cowardly Dog 17:15 I Am Weasel 17:40 Adventure Time 18:05 Codename: Kids Next Door 18:30 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 18:55 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 19:20 Generator Rex 19:45 Star Wars: The Clone Wars 20:10 Hero 108 20:35 Bakugan: New Vestroia 21:00 Total Drama Island 21:25 Adventure Time 21:50 Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy 22:00 Ben 10 22:25 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 22:50 The Secret Saturdays

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

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

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

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 Gold Rush: Alaska How Do They Do It? Mythbusters

Phineas And Ferb Good Luck Charlie Phineas And Ferb Suite Life On Deck Wizards Of Waverly Place Sonny With A Chance Good Luck Charlie Hannah Montana Suite Life On Deck Wizards Of Waverly Place Suite Life On Deck Good Luck Charlie Phineas And Ferb Fish Hooks Shake It Up Jake & Blake Wizards Of Waverly Place Good Luck Charlie Fish Hooks Shake It Up Suite Life On Deck Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place Jake & Blake Hannah Montana Sonny With A Chance Good Luck Charlie Shake It Up Suite Life On Deck Sonny With A Chance Wizards Of Waverly Place Jonas Los Angeles


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

Cake Boss Border Security Auction Kings Dual Survival Ultimate Survival River Monsters Sons Of Guns Cash Cab Us Wheeler Dealers Fifth Gear Mythbusters Gold Rush: Alaska Cake Boss Border Security Auction Kings How Stuff’s Made How Do They Do It? Cash Cab Us Miami Swat Ultimate Survival Kidnap And Rescue

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

Smash Lab Superships The Science of Fear and Lust Killer Outbreaks Thunder Races How Does That Work? Superships One Step Beyond Engineered Thunder Races Investigation X The Gadget Show Smash Lab Brainiac Sci-Fi Science How Does That Work? Primal Connections Killer Outbreaks One Step Beyond Stunt Junkies Superships Weird Connections Thunder Races Investigation X Sci-Fi Science The Gadget Show Prototype This Bang Goes the Theory Smash Lab The Gadget Show Prototype This Bang Goes the Theory The Gadget Show

00:05 Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam 00:30 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 00:55 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 01:45 Aarti Party 02:10 Aarti Party 02:35 World Cafe Middle East 03:25 Chopped 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 Grill It! With Bobby Flay 20:45 Grill It! With Bobby Flay 21:10 Barefoot Contessa 21:35 Barefoot Contessa 22:00 Chef vs Britain 22:25 Chef vs Britain 22:50 Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam 23:15 Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam 23:40 World Cafe Asia

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

Jungle Junction Little Einsteins Higglytown Heroes Jo Jo’s Circus Special Agent Oso Jungle Junction Little Einsteins Higglytown Heroes Jo Jo’s Circus Special Agent Oso Jungle Junction Little Einsteins Higglytown Heroes Jo Jo’s Circus Jungle Junction Higglytown Heroes Handy Manny Special Agent Oso Jungle Junction Mickey Mouse Clubhouse The Hive Handy Manny Jake & The Neverland Pirates Handy Manny The Hive Mickey Mouse Clubhouse The Little Mermaid Art Attack Imagination Movers Jungle Junction Lazytown Handy Manny Jake & The Neverland Pirates Imagination Movers The Hive Special Agent Oso Little Einsteins

13:50 14:15 15:05 15:30 15:40 15:55 16:20 16:45 17:10 17:15 17:30 17:55 18:25 18:50 19:05 19:50 20:10 20:20 20:28 20:30 20:55 21:20 21:35 21:50 22:15 22:25 22:40 22:55 23:20 23:50

Lazytown Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Handy Manny The Hive Jake & The Neverland Pirates Imagination Movers Lazytown Art Attack The Hive Handy Manny Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates The Little Mermaid Special Agent Oso Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates The Hive Timmy Time Animated Stories Handy Manny Little Einsteins Jake & The Neverland Pirates Jungle Junction Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Timmy Time Handy Manny Jungle Junction Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Special Agent Oso Jungle Junction

00:25 Kendra 00:55 Then And Now 01:25 E!es 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 Khloe And Lamar 10:15 20 Acts Of Love Gone Wrong 12:05 E! News 13:05 Fashion Police 13:35 Extreme Close-Up 14:05 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 14:35 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 15:30 THS 16:25 Behind The Scenes 16:55 Holly’s World 17:55 E! News 18:55 THS 19:55 Giuliana & Bill 20:55 Chelsea Lately 21:25 Khloe And Lamar 22:25 E! News 23:25 Chelsea Lately 23:55 Kourtney & Khloe Take Miami

00:40 Carpocalypse 01:30 World Combat League 02:20 Fight Girls 03:10 Aiya TV 04:00 I’ll Do Anything 04:50 Carpocalypse 05:40 World Combat League 06:30 Ride Guide Snow 2009 08:00 X-Traordinary 08:25 Alli Best Trick Competition 09:15 Lucas Oil Motocross Championships 2009 10:55 Man’s Work 11:45 Eds Up 12:35 Fight Girls 13:25 Carpocalypse 14:15 World Combat League 15:05 Man’s Work 15:55 Eds Up 16:45 X-Traordinary 17:10 Alli Best Trick Competition 18:00 Lucas Oil Motocross Championships 2009 19:40 Carpocalypse 20:30 Fight Girls 21:20 FIM World Motocross MX3 2011 22:10 World Combat League 23:00 Aiya TV 23:50 Fight Girls

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

The Haunted A Haunting I Almost Got Away With It I Almost Got Away With It Dr G: Medical Examiner Crime Scene Psychics The Haunted Mystery Diagnosis Murder Shift Forensic Detectives Street Patrol Real Emergency Calls Mystery Diagnosis Ghost Lab FBI Files On The Case With Paula Zahn I Was Murdered I Was Murdered Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol Real Emergency Calls Ghost Lab FBI Files Forensic Detectives Murder Shift Real Emergency Calls Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol On The Case With Paula Zahn I Was Murdered I Was Murdered Cuff Me If You Can Fugitive Strike Force Dr G: Medical Examiner

00:00 01:00 01:30 02:00 02:30 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 07:30 08:00 08:30 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 13:30 14:00 14:30 15:00

Extreme Tourist Afghanistan Eccentric Uk Eccentric Uk First Ascent First Ascent Endurance Traveller Departures Departures Extreme Tourist Afghanistan Eccentric Uk Eccentric Uk First Ascent First Ascent Endurance Traveller Departures Departures Extreme Tourist Afghanistan David Rocco’s Dolce Vita Bondi Rescue Bondi Rescue: Bali Travel Madness City Chase Rome

NINJA ASSASSIN ON OSN ACTION HD 16:00 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00

Adventure Wanted Ultimate Traveller Meet The Natives: USA Eccentric Uk First Ascent Endurance Traveller Departures

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

Mindhunters-18 Ninja Assassin-18 Death Race 2-18 Phone Booth-PG15 The Truth About Charlie-PG15 S.W.A.T.-PG15 Changing Lanes-PG15 The Truth About Charlie-PG15 The One-PG15 Changing Lanes-PG15 Smokin’ Aces 2: Assassin’s Ball-

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

00:00 Rugrats In Paris: The MovieFAM 02:00 It’s A Wonderful Afterlife-PG15 04:00 Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel-FAM 06:00 The Making Of Plus One-PG15 08:00 The Longshots-PG15 10:00 Saved!-PG15 12:00 102 Dalmatians-PG 14:00 Everybody Wants To Be ItalianPG15 16:00 Rugrats In Paris: The MovieFAM 18:00 Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star-PG15 20:00 Friday-18

A Perfect Getaway-18

In Her Skin-PG15 Love N’ Dancing-PG15 Citizen Jane-PG The Nutty Professor-FAM Love N’ Dancing-PG15 Citizen Jane-PG Emotional Arithmetic-PG15 Flying By-PG15 Three Investigators-PG15 Shrek Forever After-FAM Blue Valentine-18 Brotherhood-PG15

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 The Ricky Gervais Show 02:00 Louie 02:30 The Big C 03:00 Friends 03:30 Friends 04:00 Dharma And Greg 04:30 The 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 Friends 09:00 Will And Grace 09:30 The Simpsons 10:00 Parks And Recreation 10:30 Coach 11:00 The Drew Carey Show 11:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:30 Dharma And Greg 13:00 Friends 13:30 Will And Grace 14:00 Coach 14:30 The Simpsons 15:00 Parks And Recreation 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 Friends 18:30 Friends 19:00 Outsourced 19:30 Community 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Funny Or Die Presents 22:30 The Big C 23:00 Sarah Silverman Program 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

00:45 03:00 05:00 07:00 09:00 PG15 11:00 12:30 14:30 PG15 16:30

18:30 Avatar-PG 21:15 Dead Snow-PG15 23:00 Knife Edge-18

Alive-PG15 Dead Presidents-18 Midnight Meat Train-18 Alive-PG15 The Fast And The FuriousBangkok Adrenaline-PG15 Star Trek: Generations-PG15 The Fast And The FuriousDick Tracy-PG15

01:00 Forrest Gump-PG15 03:30 Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel-PG15 05:00 Secretariat-PG15 07:00 Paper Man-PG15 09:00 Easy Virtue-PG15 11:00 50 First Dates-PG15 13:00 Sherlock Holmes-PG15 15:30 Malibu’s Most Wanted-PG15 17:00 Easy Virtue-PG15 19:00 The Spy Next Door-PG15 21:00 Blue Valentine-18 23:00 A Nightmare On Elm Street

00:00 A Christmas Carol-PG 02:00 Gladiators: The Conspiracy-PG 04:00 The Archies In Jugman-FAM 06:00 Sabrina The Teenage Witch: Friends Forever-PG 08:00 Tutenstein: Clash Of The Pharaohs-PG 10:00 Shorts-PG 12:00 A Christmas Carol-PG 14:00 Inspector Gadget’s Last Case: Claw’s...-FAM 16:00 Babe: Pig In The City-FAM 18:00 Shorts-PG 20:00 Furry Vengeance-PG15 22:00 Inspector Gadget’s Last Case: Claw’s...-FAM

02:00 RWC Highlights 02:15 Trans World Sport 03:15 Rugby World Cup 10:00 RWC Highlights 10:15 Live Rugby World Cup 12:30 Trans World Sport 13:30 Speedway FIM World Championship 14:30 Live European PGA Tour 18:30 Total Rugby 19:00 Rugby World Cup 21:30 Le Mans Series Magazine 22:00 Live Prizefighter

00:00 00:30 02:45 03:00 04:00 06:00 06:30 07:00 07:30 08:30 09:30 10:00 10:15 12:30 13:00 15:00 16:00 16:15 18:00 18:30 19:00 21:30 23:30

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Conspiracy? Ice Road Truckers The Christmas Truce Galloper Jack The Real War Horse UFO Hunters Conspiracy? Ice Road Truckers The Christmas Truce Galloper Jack The Real War Horse UFO Hunters Conspiracy? Ice Road Truckers The Christmas Truce Galloper Jack The Real War Horse UFO Hunters Conspiracy? Ice Road Truckers Ax Men Ax Men Sliced Sliced Battle Stations

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Classifieds THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2011

ACCOMMODATION Single room with separate bathroom available in 3 bedroom 3 bathroom deluxe C-AC flat with small Muslim family in Hawally Tunis street, near Sadique roundabout, behind Commercial Bank, for single executive or decent couple or 2 working ladies. Contact: 97794619. (C 3626) 15-9-2011 Accommodation available in Salmiya, Amman St, CA/C new building, for two Indian/ Sri Lanka bachelors with another Indian. Contact: 99467432. (C 3622) Accommodation available from 1-10-2011 or before for a small family or one or two decent non-smoking / non-drinking bachelors in a two bedroom flat near Paradise Restaurant, Abbassiya. Tel: 97669236/ 24315927. (C 3623) 14-9-2011 Spacious bedroom with separate bathroom available in Farwaniya near Gulf Mart for bachelors with Mangalorian family. Contact: 97589925. (C 3618) 12-9-2011

FOR SALE PC Compaq P4 with LCD monitor, Panasonic DVD recorder, Polaroid multimedia projector with screen. All in excellent condition at good price. Contact: 99322585. (C 3625) A/C General, gas oven, bed, cupboard, fully carpeted in two bedroom big hall flat in Abbassiya. For further details, contact: 66895049. (C 3627) 15-9-2011 Toyota Corolla model 2006, 1.8 engine, excellent condition, registration 2007-2012, price KD 2,400. Contact: 66396517. (C 3621) 14-9-2011 Toyota Corolla 2009 model, excellent condition, wellmaintained, low mileage, lady driven. Price KD 3400. Contact: 60951195. (C 3620) 13-9-2011 Toyota Corolla 2004 model, maintained and serviced by Al-Sayer in excellent condition with original paint col-

or golden metallic, run 99890km, KD 2,550/-. Contact: 66825635. (C 3617) 12-9-2011

I, John Thomas Valliya Mannil, Indian national, Passport No. A1976602, hereby change my name to Thomas Valliamannil John. (C 3619) 12-9-2011

SITUATION WANTED MATRIMONIAL Indian couple need a job 12 years experience in Kuwait, cleaning, cooking and driving, we are expecting good salary, Please call 65585930. (C 3624) 15-9-2011 Experienced Indian, in general hardware, oil field materials, equipments, welding and safety items, timber, construction materials, seeks suitable senior position, can do general management, import, export, procurement (local and international) can make business travel. Contact: 66889375. (C 3615) 11-9-2011

Christian Orthodox Kerala girl 33 yrs B.Sc Nurse working in MOH, Kuwait, divorced no liabilities inviting proposals from professionally qualified God fearing Malayalee boys, send photos and details to or (C 3610) Proposals invited for Pentecostal Keralite Girl, 24, B.Tech, MBA, financially sound, from parents of professionally qualified Keralite boys. Please contact: (C 3611) 10-9-2011

CHANGE OF NAME SITUATION VACANT I, Thamer Medhat Mohd Khattab, holder of Pilipino Passport No: T T0990386 hereby change my name to Tamer Medhat Moh. Khattab. 11-9-2011

Full-time live in Nurse maid/ caregiver for elderly woman. Must speak English, good salary offered. Please call 99633674 after 5 pm. (C 3616) 12-9-2011



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stars CROSSWORD 439



Aries (March 21-April 19) Your innate sense of responsibility, or the actual duties that come your way, may prevent you from fulfilling your own real desires for today. Someone may try to hold you back from accomplishing your work, but some patience will win out over any frustration you may be feeling. Your knack for public relations can place you in personnel management, retail sales, or advertising. You can be effective when others need counseling and may find your skills very important when it comes to an unhappy customer. Compliments from higher-ups or superiors are very important to you. Your confidence is likely to increase and you may feel much more optimistic. There is still time for some fun activity with loved ones this evening.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) You may find yourself frustrated today. Patience . . . remember, some of us just do not understand the universal rule: What goes around will come around. You could be standing in long lines today or driving on a crowded highway—patience is important. You could find yourself getting overemotional. Close relationships have a big impact on your life and old or discontented relationships will be transformed or perhaps even ended—new ones will come on like gangbusters. Those of you who are not involved with a love partner will have many opportunities opening up to you now. Your love life becomes fast-paced now. A partner has a mesmerizing impact on you . . . very compelling, perhaps life-changing. Real appreciation!

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. (Brit) A tough youth of 1950's and 1960's wearing Edwardian style clothes. 4. A medicinal drug used to evoke vomiting (especially in cases of drug overdose or poisoning). 10. Antibacterial drug (trade name Nydrazid) used to treat tuberculosis. 13. A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Norma. 14. A winged often one-seed indehiscent fruit as of the ash or elm or maple. 15. A field covered with grass or herbage and suitable for grazing by livestock. 16. Humorously vulgar. 18. A nonmetallic largely pentavalent heavy volatile corrosive dark brown liquid element belonging to the halogens. 20. The state prevailing during the absence of war. 22. A primeval personification of air and breath. 23. A metrical unit with unstressed-stressed syllables. 24. An island in Indonesia south of Borneo. 25. Having a face or facing especially of a specified kind or number. 29. A small cake leavened with yeast. 31. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 32. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 33. Lower in esteem. 37. A region whose eastern part is Bangladesh and western part is included in India. 40. A master's degree in business. 41. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 44. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 47. A long thin fluffy scarf of feathers or fur. 48. The basic unit of money in Bangladesh. 52. A family of Sino-Tibetan languages spoken in southeastern Asia. 54. (used in combination) Having cheeks as specified. 56. (usually followed by `of') Released from something onerous (especially an obligation or duty). 57. The capital and largest city of Yemen. 60. A metabolic acid found in yeast and liver cells. 61. A lyric poem with complex stanza forms. 62. In the same place (used when citing a reference). 64. A decree that prohibits something. 65. A coenzyme derived from the B vitamin nicotinic acid. 66. Dignified and somber in manner or character and committed to keeping promises. 67. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. DOWN 1. Waterproofed canvas. 2. A member of an Iroquoian people formerly living on the south shore of Lake Erie in northern Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania and western New York. 3. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 4. A small island. 5. A number of sheets of paper fastened together along one edge. 6. The square of a body of any size of type. 7. Alternatively, a member of the family Nymphaeaceae. 8. A unit of weight used in some Spanish speaking countries. 9. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 10. Tropical American tree grown in southern United States having a whitish pink-tinged fruit. 11. A desert in southern Israel. 12. Doglike nocturnal mammal of Africa and southern Asia that feeds chiefly on carrion. 17. A dull persistent (usually moderately intense) pain. 19. The seventh month of the Moslem calendar. 21. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 26. How long something has existed. 27. Airtight sealed metal container for food or drink or paint etc.. 28. Lacking in liveliness or charm or surprise. 30. Any of numerous local fertility and nature deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples. 34. Before noon. 35. A metallic element having four allotropic forms. 36. (Akkadian) God of wisdom. 38. An amino acid that is found in the central nervous system. 39. Of or relating to the stomach and intestines. 42. The face or front of a building. 43. Any maneuver made as part of progress toward a goal. 45. A member of a seafaring group of North American Indians who lived on the Pacific coast of British Columbia and southwestern Alaska. 46. Combined or joined to increase in size or quantity or scope. 49. Jordan's port. 50. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 51. A city in southern Turkey on the Seyhan River. 53. Goddess of fertility. 55. A complex red organic pigment containing iron and other atoms to which oxygen binds. 58. A dark-skinned member of a race of people living in Australia when Europeans arrived. 60. A master's degree in business. 63. A hard brittle gray polyvalent metallic element that resembles iron but is not magnetic.

Yesterday’s Solution

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You will use your creative abilities to the utmost today. Showing off your talents will add a special touch to your work, as well as bring you the respect that you so often seek. You express a knack for organizing things and people, as a sense of ambition and practicality takes hold. Work, achievement and ambition are the things that mean a lot to you now. You enjoy your work and may discover that a co-worker is willing to lend a helping hand when you are overloaded. This could mean that you are in most any type of profession. You may alternate between feeling energized and exhausted. This evening seems to be your time—enjoyment of friends, food and life in general is good. This is one of your better days! Share your positive insights with a friend.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)


You are coming into a period of change where your values are concerned. There is some indecision on your part. Losing sight of the practical and the mundane can move you toward a more artistic you; but might not be so good for the bankbook. There is a need for caution and practicality on the material and financial level. There are new accomplishments now as well as new insights and breakthroughs in organization and determination. There is a revolution within the established order, when new ideas and ways to do and use things become clear. You may find yourself being put to good use by your friends this afternoon. Some activities that start out rather tediously end up with lots of fun experiences and good memories.

Leo (July 23-August 22) Communicating your message to others is at a high just now. You are successful in your efforts to round people up and organize a group. Your timing should be perfect and those around you should find you most spontaneous. You find that you can really use your mind to make clear choices and think things through. You make your way through ideas, concepts and your ability to communicate and express them to others. A strong need for nurturing is a bigger than usual element in your life now. You may feel the need to care for others or to have them care for you—perhaps on a public rather than private level. This could involve some volunteer service. You have needs and you sense the needs of others: fitting the two together well makes it work.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) You could be most persuasive with others and eloquent in speech. People listen to what you have to say. The situation is a natural for self-expression. Listening to the other person, you may be able to add to your own ideas and thoughts. A good conversation with loved ones this afternoon is fun. An outgoing and very expressive cycle of experience has begun. Now more than ever, you want to be admired and create things like poetry or music that stirs their hearts. This is child’s play; this is romance; this is taking a chance. There is a yearning to broaden horizons and reach for the ultimate at this time in your life. This is your best day for love and money. This is also a high energy day. Be patient when you relate to a Capricorn today.

Libra (September 23-October 22)


Ideas and interaction with older people may be in the works this Thursday. Working with, rather than against, the energies today should be easy to do. You communicate with exquisite skill. There are plenty of people willing to help you in whatever you want to accomplish; put them to work. An eccentric relative attracts some notice this afternoon. The home and family scene are likely to be in a state of change just now. This may mean moving, preparing for a new addition to the family or a late summer cleanup project. High-tech equipment invades the domestic environment somehow. This could mean new cleaning equipment, new painting tools or some family creative project that works the mind as well as the body.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Ideals and a sense of belonging to something bigger than the merely personal become a greater focus in your life at this time. You attach more importance to friendships and taking part in group activities that center on idealistic goals. Quick answers, great wit and a surplus of insights and solutions are accessible. You can write and communicate with real originality. Inventions and breakthroughs are possible today. This afternoon you may find yourself working with music, color, fabric and the arts—whatever is beautiful and genial. You would make a superb decorator of homes and, in general, all kinds of environments. Your friends may want your advice on these subjects as well. You will enjoy deep conversations with friends today.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) There is an emphasis on improving communications today. There is not only the possibility of learning new software programs for your work computer but some type of robot or mechanical device appears to be productive. All of this can help your work flow as well as increase your financial wellbeing. If you are in sales, you will find a new communications program worth your time and technically, worth your evaluation. There is an expression of ideas and the connections between things, places and people. Amazing little creatures in nature may be what are mimicked in this new communication tool. What goes on in your mind is the all-important motivation in your life just now. You tend towards mental pursuits and admire intelligence.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)


You do not mind getting your hands dirty and you do not mind hard work, especially if it is in an area that can help you make a positive difference. Extra effort into any business project adds a touch of class to your work situation. The secret to your professional success is in the planning. Good jobs, contracts, sales, upgrades, etc., don’t just fall into our laps—without the personal responsibility for making things happen, you would never grow. Everything conspires to reveal you at your most elegant, particularly in social situations this afternoon. You will have a grasp for new ideas as well as the ability to present or communicate these to others. This day is a natural for self-expression and lends itself to your particular ideas. Check the mail today!

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Mental organization and discipline may fall apart or be challenged today. This is a busy day and the input from others may cause you to change your plans and just follow the feelings of the day. Phone calls to or from a loved one at this time will find you guiding or advising. Others sense an interest in their welfare when they are near you. You are eloquent in communication skills and it is possible for you to smooth out a difficult situation with just your sense of humor. Chances are your social skills mean that you are popular with almost everyone and the evening may be full of opportunities to be with neighbors, friends or loved ones in a social gathering of sorts. This could be an outdoor barbecue, watermelon or homemade ice cream party.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

You are up early this morning, cleaning and preparing for an evening of fun with friends. Some activity like a progressive dinner, or just snacks, sandwiches and some card games may be enjoyed. You may, in fact, have been preparing for this get-together for some time. The workday runs fairly well but you look forward to the closing of the day. You may learn a bit of wisdom in the workplace. You tend to see the people at work in a different light . . . practical, necessary and without judgment. A no-nonsense application to the day cuts right through to the most important and accomplishes quickly, what is necessary. When you apply your impartial and logical approach to any circumstance and rise above emotions, you increase your power. Smile.



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i n f o r m at i o n























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







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24575518 24566622


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Psychologists /Psychotherapists


Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari


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Family Doctor Dr Divya Damodar


Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari


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Gynaecologists & Obstetricians DrAdrian arbe


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2572-6666 ext 8321

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

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lifestyle F a s h i o n

It’s the season of

at S

eason after season, it’s Anna Wintour on the front row and Marc Jacobs as the most eagerly anticipated runway show at New York Fashion Week. Enter: The newbies. Tory Burch held her first model walk at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall on Tuesday, the sixth day of spring previews, followed by J Crew’s first appearance at the tents. Red carpet favorite Marchesa held the label’s debut runway show at the luxe Plaza Hotel. “It’s a lot more work, although I’m not sure why,” Burch said backstage, a few minutes before her first model stepped onto the catwalk. “But I love doing it. Until now, Burch has only done presentations, where models stand still wearing clothes in venues that don’t involve a seat-

NY Fashion Week red-and-pink striped tie-neck blouse paired with a dot-print skirt. There was a little bit of everything, from a striped swim skirt to a billowy blush-colored gown, and that’s surely the appeal of Burch’s label. It’s not breaking new ground, but her fans can count on it to hit the trends - with an uptown interpretation - and make them wearable. VERA WANG She covered all the bases - some things for the red carpet, some athletic-inspired silhouettes and some high-concept fashion. Wang’s show pretty much mimicked her front row: Beyonce and Kim Kardashian. Serena Williams. And, yes, Madeleine Albright. “Vera believed in empowering women,” said Albright, the first woman to become a US secretary of state. “When women are politically and economically powerful ... there is more stability.” Wang opened with featherweight layers of white, including a sleeveless peplum coat with an oversized hood worn over a slip dress. She then moved into more color than usual: hot pink, purple and mint green, all of which have emerged as top shades for spring. MARCHESA The mermaid was muse at the Palm Court of the Plaza with one Marchesa fantasy frock after another - all befitting a princess of the sea. Some of the gowns - and eveningwear is pretty much all Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig do - only borrowed the mermaid silhouette, with its tight bodice and flared hemline, but other looks recreated underwater sights and sounds. A hand-embroidered cocktail dress had “fish threadwork and oyster silk cording,” while another dress covered in silver beads also had a sculpted “fin” at the hip. Dresses with long feathers captured the movement of plants in the water, and sheer illusion fabrics allowed embellishment to float, seemingly unattached to anything. “It’s all got a watery, magical feel,” said Chapman in an interview earlier this week.

The Marchesa Spring 2012 collection.

JCREW The clothes aren’t necessarily for next season. They’re supposed to last longer than that. The brand’s mantra is timeless looks that still fit with the trends, head of women’s design Marissa Webb and her menswear counterpart, Frank Muytjens, said backstage before their first-ever appearance at the seasonal previews. “We don’t want to be disposable fashion,” Webb added. Mixing casual classics with unexpected dressier touches is another tradition for the label, leading a denim Western-style shirt to be paired with a sequin skirt. “I didn’t style anything differently than I normally would. I still want it to be J Crew,” Webb said. Still, she said she woke up before her alarm clock in anticipation of the show. And Muytjens acknowledged that he sweat this collection a little more, too. “I felt a little more pressure.”

The spring 2012 collection of designer Tory Burch.

ed audience and lack the drama of a runway. J. Crew has staged other shows, but nothing with the magnitude of moving to the tents that serve as the hub of seasonal previews. That fact didn’t hit Jenna Lyons, the J Crew president and executive director, until she arrived at the tents Tuesday morning. “I thought we were just moving our show, but then came the hype and excitement,” she said. “I felt excited when I got here - I felt like I was going to the prom.” Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman had some technical problems to solve with models who actually walked. The dresses in the Marchesa collection are usually very elaborate and grand - best complemented by skyscraper heels. “The situation with the shoes was that they never had to be OK to walk in them,” Chapman said by phone last week. “Now we have to make them work with the dresses, and now we have to think of the length of the dresses, too, so the models can move.” Much has remained the same at New York Fashion Week while the newbies settled in. The calendar doesn’t change all that much. Vera Wang and Narciso Rodriguez, for instance, always show on Tuesday and stuck to tradition this time around. Jacobs will close the eight-day run of previews Thursday night. Don’t forget to turn out the lights Marc! Fashion week moves to London on Friday, followed by Milan and Paris. TORY BURCH Burch did more than move to a bigger space and add bench seats. Judging by the turnout for her first runway show, she confirmed her status as a solid player instead of an up-and-comer. Burch’s collection was inspired by the seaside French resort of Deauville in the 1920s. Backstage, as she checked on models with hair pulled into ponytails, Burch said she was drawn to that locale and period because it was the right mix of polished and sporty. She opened with a silk dress that had cascading pleats in front, and a

REEM ACRA Acra is known for luxury - lavish, embellished gowns perfect for the red carpet. For her spring ready-to-wear collection, she wanted to bring the riches of her fancier clothes into her more casual ones, and she’s done it with prints: A vintage jewel print, for example, on a silk sheath dress. Or a mineral print. Or a kaleidoscope print. “It’s all about the prints this year,” she said backstage. The show began with an oxidized animal print on a one-shoulder dress - something Wilma Flintstone might have worn if she had a superb tailor. It went on to mineral prints, such as one on a silk charmeuse sheath with a jeweled side clasp. And a kaleidoscope design on a pencil skirt. This being Reem Acra, materials were sumptuous. BADGLEY MISCHKA Designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka wanted the collection to move with each step the models took. They wanted

them to convey lightness without being frothy. They wanted saturated color without being overly bright. Customers ask a lot of their clothes nowadays, so it’s just precautionary for designers to do that too, Mischka said. “We try to talk to our customers and take their

temperature all the time,” he said. What do they want? Perhaps a floral brocade dress with a peplum and crystal clips at the waist? This shopper likes her glitz. Or maybe the sleek yellow leather strapless or the light and airy lemon-chiffon organza and tulle dress? Some



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lifestyle F a s h i o n of the best looks, though, seemed slightly less conventional: a lingerie-style romper in blush crepe paired with sheer, full-leg lace pants. MARIA CORNEJO Cornejo knows her clients: Many are working women. They’re not at the beach all summer long. So for her spring/summer line at Zero + Maria Cornejo, the designer went for “fresh and summery but not beachy,” she said backstage. “These women work, they have jobs,” she said. “They may be lawyers, like Michelle Obama. Or actresses, like Tilda Swinton.” (Both have worn Cornejo designs.) “Or many other things. They may not have to wear a suit, but they need something that’s not for the beach. Something more structured, more urban.” Cornejo’s colors certainly had the feel of summer heat: lots of bright yellows and shades of orange to reflect the sun, and blues to reflect the sky. But some of the nicest designs were of a pure, bright white. Dresses or tops often billowed like sails. BETSEY JOHNSON The highlight of Johnson’s show always comes at the end - and it has nothing to do with the clothes. The 69year-old designer does a cartwheel on the runway and brings down the house. She added a split this time to huge applause from a crowd that included Nicki Minaj. The first model on her runway was daughter Lulu, if you don’t count her granddaughters who entertained the crowd before the lights went down with their pink-streaked hair and dance numbers on the runway. As for the collection, it was an eclectic mix of tongue-and-cheek (really, more cheek) prom-ready sequined dresses, lace babydolls and other assorted lingerie-inspired looks, and tough-girl tight outfits with skull and X-ray motifs. —AP

Courtesy of Dan and Corina Lecca for Reem Acra.

The Betsey Johnson Spring 2012 collection

Singer Nicki Minaj and designer Betsey Johnson pose backstage before the Betsey Johnson Spring 2012 collection show during Fashion Week.—AP

The Badgley Mischka Spring 2012 collection.

Designer’s line creates Black Friday-like buzz


here’s Black Friday, then there’s Target Tuesday. In a scene that was reminiscent of the shopping frenzy that typically comes on the day after Thanksgiving, Target’s website crashed several times throughout the day and more than a hundred shoppers lined up at many of its stores early in the morning on Tuesday for a sale of limited offerings of its Missoni for Target collection of bikes, luggage, clothes and house wares. The 400-piece line made by the Italian luxury knitwear designer Missoni exclusively for the cheap chic retailer features its trademark zigzag patterns for between $2.99 for stationary and $599.99 for patio furniture - a fraction of the price of the designer’s real duds that can go for $595 to $1,500. “This was Missoni mayhem,” said Joshua Thomas, a Target spokesman. “This is unprecedented.” So-called limited partnerships, in which high-end designers create cheaper versions of their fashions for lower-end stores, have become popular in recent years because they appeal to cost- conscious customers who want to be stylish but aren’t willing to pay designer prices. At a time when Americans are watching every dollar they spend, the limited-time offerings also are part of a growing strategy by retailers to spur impulse buys by creating a sense of urgency for shoppers to buy. Swedish retailer H&M, which caters to 20- and 30-somethings with trendy clothes, often attracts long lines at its stores that reach around the block when it offers limited-run affordable fashions from upscale designers like Jimmy Choo. It also will be launching a less expensive version of the Italian designer Versace’s collection in November. Target, in particular, has become known for creating buzz around its limited partnerships with designers and fashion brands, including its latest partnership with Liberty of London last year. Target offered 300 items with the designer, which is known for its floral prints, and sold out of most of the merchandise in a couple of days. Likewise, Target Corp., based in Minneapolis, worked hard to create buzz around the Missoni by Target collection. Target declined to comment on how much the company spent on marketing, but it targeted social media sites like Twitter and had ads on TV and in Vogue magazine. Ahead of the launch, Target also opened a temporary store in Manhattan at the start of New York Fashion Week last Thursday. But the colorful shop, which spanned six city blocks, was supposed to stay open for three days, but winded up closing after six hours because items sold out. —AP

GAP launches fall 2011 collection G

AP launches fall collection for this year and also introduces newer fits for women such as slim crop and crop kick flare. Categorized under city modern, leather, modern meets heritage and denim, the collection stays true to the season with softer colors and comfortable fabrics. Woman City modern GAP is known for its pants and the fit. The idea is softened this season with the introduction of softer colours, soft blouses, introducing menswear fabrics like navy pin stripes and grey checks. Belts are simplified and elegant. Leather Leather has become less rock n roll and more elegant. GAP uses it as a foundation for textured sweaters featuring leather inserts and trims and has reinterpreted the essential piece in leather - the leather legging. Modern meets heritage A different idea of Americana reinterpreted for today. Khakis are given moto details plus a skinny silhouette or a soft denim wash. Soft suede makes the look modern and right for the city. Plaids have a sheer lightness or are reinterpreted as an oversized duffle coat or floor length skirt that has the attitude of wearing pants.

Denim Skinny and skinny legging silhouette continues to be very strong. The collection also offers crop story, skinny bootcut, wide leg and knit with denim. Mens City modern A very clean look with flat minimal textures that brings together a man’s wardrobe essentials for the season. Key pieces include a classic single breasted blazer, knit shirt, and skinny pants. Leather Codes of classic masculine 50s American dressing are taken and shown them worn in a modern way. Its roots are in the idea of a leather jacket, dark overdyed khakis, inky colours, clean details. It’s a very cool, urban feeling that any man can wear - there’s a manliness and neutrality about it that makes it easy to wear. Modern meets heritage A different idea of Americana reinterpreted for today. Traditional khakis have a denim wash and a skinnier silhouette. The handknit feeling gives texture, as do crinkle plaid shirts. Denim Lighter weights, stretch, more saturation. Denim as more “Formal wear” - shirts, blazers, cleaner darker finishes.


lifestyle M U S I C



Jackson estate makes $30M payment to mother, kids


File photo shows British singer Amy Winehouse poses for photographs after being interviewed by The Associated Press at a studio in north London. (Inset) Mitch Winehouse, father of the late singer Amy Winehouse, is shown during an interview in New York. —AP photos

Winehouseʼs father says he fought to get her clean A

my Winehouse’s father says the fight to get her off drugs often turned physical, as he tussled with the drug dealers and gangsters who were supplying his daughter with them.”I spent my time fighting with drug dealers, and I mean proper fighting,” Mitch Winehouse said in an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press. “And I’m a middle-aged man, who is overweight, having fistfights with people.” Winehouse said his daughter finally budged once she saw how hurt her family was: “She witnessed all this stuff going on, of how her family and her friends were fighting gangsters and she decided she didn’t want to put her family in that position anymore.” Amy Winehouse, who had struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, was found dead at her London home on July 23. Her father was due to launch The Amy Winehouse Foundation yesterday, which would’ve been the singer’s 28th birthday. Mitch Winehouse said there were some negative influences in the group that surrounded Amy. He said he was naive about her drug use early on. “I didn’t know the extent of her problem until

maybe four months before she decided to quit,” he said. Winehouse - who has been doing interviews and has appeared on TV to talk about the US launch of the foundation - said talking about his daughter is “very hard,” but it “is helping us deal with our grief.” He made various appearances with Amy’s mother, Janis; his current wife, Jane; and Amy’s last boyfriend, Reg Traviss. “I don’t know what her ultimate plans were, but she was certainly talking to me about having children,” Winehouse said of his daughter’s last relationship. “Even when she was drinking, she was in a great place.” Winehouse believes his daughter died of a seizure related to alcohol detoxification. She had seizures in the past, he said. A full inquest into her death begins next month. Mitch Winehouse, who is also a singer, was in New York for a performance when his daughter died. He said he struggles to listen to her music, especially her critically acclaimed, multiplatinum album “Back to Black,” which won five Grammy Awards and is the UK’s best-selling album of the 21st century. It featured songs about Amy’s addiction and

relationship with ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil. “I can’t sit down and listen to her music,” he said. “I couldn’t ever listen to ‘Back to Black’ anyway because it reminded me of dark times.” But since her death, Mitch Winehouse said, he is beginning to realize his daughter’s musical talents. “I took everything for granted, I didn’t appreciate what a great singer she was, and now I do,” he said, getting teary-eyed. And he still wants to release his own music. Winehouse said initially after Amy’s death, he told his wife, “I never want to sing again, ever.” But he said recording music has been therapeutic for him, and he hopes to release more, with all the proceeds going to the foundation in his daughter’s name, which will assist disadvantaged children and young adults. He said he’s able to focus on that side of his life since his daughter left their family financial stable. “Amy left us in a very fortunate position as a family,” said Mitch Winehouse, who worked as a London taxi driver. “Being a London taxi driver is a great thing, but I don’t have to do that for a living anymore.” —AP

ichael Jackson’s estate has generated more than $310 million in the two years since the pop singer died deeply in debt, enabling executors to distribute a preliminary payment of $30 million to Jackson’s mother and children, and to unnamed charities, according to recently filed court documents. Executors also disclosed Tuesday that Jackson’s mother, Katherine, is putting the family’s fabled compound in the Encino area of Los Angeles up for sale and wants the executors to negotiate the purchase of a new residence for her and the children, Paris, Prince and Michael Joseph Jr, known as Blanket. The Encino property, where Jackson grew up and where several of his siblings lived in a cottage near their parents’ home was appraised at $4.15 million in 2010 but has since undergone extensive renovation. Katherine Jackson and the children moved out and have been living at a leased home that is for sale for about $10 million . The executors said Katherine Jackson has identified a number of homes in that price range that would suit her needs and that of the children. The executors said the trust and the California attorney general’s office, which is representing charities as beneficiaries of the estate, have been pressing for distribution Michael Jackson of funds. The executors, John Branca and John McClain, filed a detailed accounting of finances since Jackson’s death on June 25, 2009. By the end of last year, the estate had produced more than $310 millionin gross revenues. “Since that date, the estate assets have continued to generate additional income,” the executors said. Notably, they said they were able to refinance and secure the estate’s interest in the Michael Jackson music catalog, Mijac, and the Sony/ATV publishing catalog, which includes portions of the Beatles catalog. They said they reduced debt obligations by more than $90 million and refinanced loans at lower interest rates. They also benefited from the release of the posthumous concert film, “This Is It,” and said they were able to pay off dozens of approved creditors’ claims as well as Jackson’s income taxes. Some creditor claims remain open, according to the documents, but the deadline for filing claims against the estate has passed. “For a number of reasons, including without limitation, pending litigation and a pending estate tax audit, the estate is not yet in a condition to be closed,” the document said. They listed cash on hand of $90 million . They indicated that the $30 million was a preliminary distribution to the trust and more would be forthcoming in the future. A hearing for a judge’s approval of the plan is set for Sept. 28. Jackson’s death remains in the news as his doctor, Conrad Murray, is set to go on trial on involuntary manslaughter charges. —AP

Gucci Mane

sent to jail in Georgia


Clooney ex

Elisabetta Canalis gets naked for PETA (From Left) In this image taken from video and provided by CBS, the co-stars of “Two and a Half Men,” Jon Cryer, Angus T Jones and Ashton Kutcher, appear on satellite from California to present the “Top Ten Reasons to Watch the New Season of ‘Two and a Half Men’” on the “Late Show with David Letterman.” —AP

‘Two and a Half Men’ back with new cast, equation


eorge Clooney’s ex-girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis is the latest celebrity to strip down for animal rights group PETA, unveiling her campaign and her naked body in Beverly Hills on Tuesday. Shoppers on ritzy Rodeo Drive got an eyeful of Canalis as she posed next to her nude, blackand-white campaign portrait for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The Italian TV host, who split from A-list actor Clooney earlier this year, has long been against the use of fur. Her campaign will be shown prominently in Milan, where designers are still known to use fur in their collections. “This is a thing which I personally believe and trust in, so nobody told me to do it. Since I was a little kid, I was against fur, I never wore fur in my life,” she told Reuters. Canalis, 33, joins a long list of Hollywood celebrities who bared it all for PETA’s anti-fur campaign, including Charlize Theron and Pamela Anderson. The Italian beauty said she was moved to work on the campaign after hearing of the immense cruelty suffered by animals in the fur trade. “If you know what happens all around the world, everyday, like, 50,000 — more than that-animals are killed, bludgeoned, drowned, electrocuted, skinned alive, just for vanity. That’s enough I think,” said Canalis. The model is stepping away from her famous ex-boyfriend’s spotlight and into her own, with an upcoming stint on US reality TV show “Dancing With The Stars.” Canalis is training hard with dance partner Val Chmerkovskiy, in preparation for the live show, which premieres on ABC on September 19. —Reuters

he stars of “Two and a Half Men” are scrutinizing a publicity photo depicting them as a tuxedo-clad trio sharing a vintage microphone. Ashton Kutcher is in the center of the shot, flanked by Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones on the other. Charlie Sheen is out of the picture. “It’s nice,” offered Cryer, adding a query to Jones: “But that’s not your hand, is it? I believe they had too big a black spot there and they photoshopped in a hand.”“That’s not my head, is it?” said Kutcher. Oh, those kidders. But the silliness carries a message: The three actors are a comfortable fit with each other and for the revamped “Two and a Half Men,” which returns Sept 19 for its ninth season, minus the fired Sheen. Executive producer Chuck Lorre and the Warner Bros studio clashed bitterly with their erratic, hardpartying star before dumping him last March and cutting the season short. The task now is to salvage what has reigned as T V ’s top-rated comedy. Kutcher, who carries the weight of replacing Sheen as newly introduced character Walden Schmidt, diligently ticks off reasons the sitcom can remain a hit. “The series has momentum. It has fans that are built in,” he said. “I think the great thing the writers have done is they haven’t lost the sensibility of the show. ... It’s going to offend people just as much as every episode has offended people.” “Two and a Half Men” accomplished that by trafficking in sexual jokes and innuendo as it detailed the antics of fast-living womanizing cad Charlie Harper (Sheen). More fodder came from his roommates, Charlie’s neurotic, divorced brother Alan (Cryer) and young nephew Jake (Jones). The shakeup has given the show the chance to push the envelope in a new direction: laughing in the face of death, with Sheen’s character jettisoned in a fatal accident. Kutcher fills the vacuum playing an Internet genius who is wealthy but unlucky in love and who moves in with Alan and Jake, creating a new buddy triangle. Judy Greer plays the heartbroken Walter’s ex.

Producers have been trying, sometimes unsuccessfully, to keep details of the reconstituted show under wraps. Kutcher, who sports a beard in the role, plays it coy when asked about the facial hair. “You got to ask the writers. We’re not allowed to talk about the beard,” he says, then relents. “I was being really lazy when I met Chuck and he said, ‘I like the beard. Keep the beard.’” Cryer learned about Charlie Harper’s demise in an operation worthy of the CIA. “There was tremendous security during the whole thing and, in fact, no scripts were sent out. You were brought to Warner (Warner Bros. Television), taken into a room with the scripts, left there for half-an-hour by yourself and then you had to leave the script in the room and walk out,” he recounted. Cryer and his co-stars, who have taken a break from production for a joint interview at the studio, say that it’s all smooth sailing now. “We’ve definitely found our dynamic,” Kutcher said. Cryer agreed, lauding the show’s writers and his new co-star. “That came remarkably quick. I think we got a lot of great stuff in the first episode,” he said. “The writers got hold of a good dynamic, plus he (Kutcher) changed it in a way that works better than the writers had originally imagined.” Curiosity about how Harper’s death is approached and Kutcher’s introduction could turn the season debut into “event television,” the sort of program that produces buzz and healthy ratings, said analyst Bill Carroll of ad buyer Katz Media. Ultimately, he suggested, the changes could reinvigorate the long-running comedy and extend its life - something Sheen, who filed a $100 million lawsuit against the producers over his firing, might not have expected. “They have a formula. They stay with the formula,” Carroll said, which will keep longtime fans watching. The addition of Kutcher, who has cultivated a following with his work on TV (“That ‘70s Show,” “Punk’d”), movies (“No Strings Attached,” “Valentine’s Day”) and avid use of Twitter, will bring new viewers. —AP

apper Gucci Mane will spend the next six months in jail in Georgia after admitting on Tuesday to pushing a woman out of his car earlier this year. The rapper, whose real name is Radric Davis, pleaded guilty to two counts of battery, two counts of reckless conduct and one count of disorderly conduct, said Emily Gest, spokeswoman for the DeKalb County Solicitor-General’s Office. According to police, the 31-year-old Mane picked up a woman at a suburban Atlanta mall in January, invited her out for breakfast and then tried to offer her $150 to stop by a hotel with him. When she refused, he pushed her out of his car while it was in motion. She was taken to the hospital with “soreness and pain.” A judge ordered Mane to complete 12 weeks of anger management classes, plus pay the victim $5,090 for her medical bills and a $3,000 fine, Gest said. “I am pleased that justice was achieved for the victim because this defendant’s behavior showed a willful disregard for a woman’s personal safety,” DeKalb Solicitor-General Sherry Boston said in a statement. Mane first achieved a measure of fame in 2005 with his debut album “Trap House” and its hit single “Icy.” He has released numerous mixtapes and has worked on remixes with the Black Eyed Peas and Usher. But his modestly successful music career has been mixed with legal troubles. He served a six-month prison term in 2005 for assault. In 2009, he was behind bars for a year for violating probation for that assault. In 2001, the rapper was arrested for cocaine possession and spent 90 days behind bars. —Reuters

Gucci Mane


lifestyle M U S I C



Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan poses with the cast and director of forthcoming Hindi film “This Weekend” (L/R): Tinu Varma, Rajneesh Duggal, Arjun Sarja and actress Sayali Bhagat during a ceremony for the the film’s music launch in Mumbai yesterday. —AFP

Filmmaker Nadine Labaki is new face of Lebanon


ebanon may be known more for its civil strife than its fledgling movie industry, but Nadine Labakih hopes to change all that. The director-actress is out to transform the way the world sees her native country. So far, so good. Her debut feature film “Caramel” did more to overhaul Lebanon’s bullet- punctured image than a dozen million-dollar public relation campaigns. A sweet love story set in a Beirut beauty salon, “Caramel” was a surprise hit, seducing audiences from New York to Buenos Aires, a surprise for a country with almost no film industry to speak of. “I don’t know one (Lebanese) person who doesn’t travel with four or five DVDs of ‘Caramel’ and they give it to all the people they know abroad,” said Labaki, who wrote, directed and starred in the 2007 movie. “It’ has become a sort of ambassador for Lebanon.” So it was with some trepidation that Labaki undertook her follow-up project “Where Do We Go Now?,” a bittersweet comedy about women bent on keeping their hotheaded men out of harm’s way. As the movie’s Sept. 22 Lebanese debut approaches, the pressure is mounting. “I’m a little bit anxious,” the 37-year-old raven-haired beauty told The Associated Press in an interview in Paris. “Now everybody’s expecting this one, and they’re expecting it to

be even better” than “Caramel.” Labaki needn’t fret. “Where Do We Go Now?” garnered rave reviews at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it screened on the margins of the official competition, and won a lengthy standing ovation at the Toronto Film Festival. Earlier this week, the movie was selected as Lebanon’s 2011 entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It remains to be seen whether it will make the cut to be among the five movies shortlisted for the prize. Set in a remote village where the church and the mosque stand side by side, “Where Do We Go Now?” follows the antics of the town’s women folk to keep their blowhard men from starting a religious war. Women heartsick over sons, husbands and fathers lost to previous flare-ups unite to distract their men with clever ruses, from faking a miracle to hiring a troop of Ukrainian strippers. With its proudly feminist message, the film pays homage to the powerful women of the Middle East - a group often overlooked by the West. Labaki was writing the movie when she was pregnant with her first child, a boy now 2 1/2 years old. “(That) motherly instinct pushed me to write this story. It pushed me to want to talk about mothers facing this absurd situation,” she said. She says the movie - shot on location in three

Lebanese actress and director Nadine Labaki reacts during an interview with the Associated Press, in Paris. —AP remote Lebanese villages with cast made up thing would happen and then people can easily nearly entirely of nonprofessional actors - was take weapons and go down to the street and born out of Lebanon’s precarious reality. “In start killing each other again,” she said. “I want Lebanon, we are always on the verge of some- to propose an alternative way of thinking.” Labaki said her own career path was a direct thing happening. We are capable of living for a few years in an apparent peace and then some- result of the Lebanon’s bloody recent past.

Eastwood supports gay marriage....sort of H

Juggling work, home in sitcommy ‘Don’t Know How’


hen you’re a wife and working mother, there’s this inescapable, self-imposed pressure to do everything right all the time. The idea of having it all - a great job and a loving family, a toned body and a sane mind - is as appealing as it is elusive. You’re constantly letting someone down sometime, which leads to guilt, which leads to more stress - which leads to even more sleepless nights, which doesn’t help anybody. “I Don’t Know How She Does It,” based on the best-selling novel of the same name, gets that dynamic, that incessant juggling act, and the

In this film image released by The Weinstein Company, Sarah Jessica Parker is shown in a scene from “I Dont Know How She Does It.” —AP ways in which we self-flagellate in trying to perfect it. This is not exactly a new concept but it’s increasingly prevalent - the complications are greater these days than ever - and director Douglas McGrath finds just the right tone in depicting that. Sometimes. Too often, though, he smothers those nuggets of insight with a jaunty, sitcommy tone, with gags that are telegraphed from a mile away and music that works awfully hard to cue our emotional responses. You know the second that a character speaks wistfully of going bowling as a kid that we will eventually end up at a

bowling alley. And just as surely, our heroine’s seemingly insurmountable troubles will get wrapped up at a snappy pace and in a speedy running time. It doesn’t help that Sarah Jessica Parker, as the film’s star, chimes in early and often with voiceovers that sound exactly like the kinds of observations she used to make as Carrie on “Sex and the City,” the role with which she will be eternally, intrinsically tied. “I Don’t Know How She Does It” suggests what might have happened to Carrie if she had two kids with Mr. Big to worry about, and less time to obsess over her wardrobe. Here, as Kate Reddy, she’s usually a mess: shirt partially untucked, hair uncombed, a splotch of that morning’s breakfast lodged in a crusty clump on her blazer. Kate is an investment manager at the Boston office of a big New York financial firm, which already takes her away too often from her husband (Greg Kinnear), their 6-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son. But when she pitches an ambitious project to the firm’s head honcho (Pierce Brosnan), just as her husband gets a new gig, they both find themselves even more crazed. McGrath is working from a script by Aline Brosh McKenna, who has shown a knack for writing this particular type of Type-A, modern woman in “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Morning Glory.” Together they offer individual moments that ring true, like the one in which Kate takes a moment from an all-night, out-of-town work session to sing her son to sleep over the cell phone with his favorite song. Parker has always been game for physical comedy and she gets plenty of opportunities to show off those veteran skills here, but she’s also maintained a girlish vulnerability - that petite body, that tiny voice that endears her even further. Which is why it’s so frustrating when McGrath features supporting characters speaking directly into the camera about Kate as if they were taking part in a documentary about her. Rather than providing a sense of intimacy, as if we’re being let in on some juicy secrets, this device holds us at arm’s length and it doesn’t make much sense within the straightforward structure of the rest of the film. —AP

“Because of the war, we used to spend a lot of time at home as kids - no school, nothing to do, bored - so I started developing a special relationship with my TV,” she said. “Very soon, I understood that to be able to create these worlds that were very different from my reality was to become a filmmaker. Very early, everybody in my family knew this was the thing I wanted to do.” Because only a handful of movies are made in Lebanon each year, after film school, Labaki tried her hand at the one visual medium that does flourish locally - music videos. She made clips for stars including Lebanese supernova Nancy Ajram that manage to tell a story in three minutes of singing and dancing. “Where Do We Go Now?” honors that tradition with a handful of old-school songand-dance numbers that buoy the mood. Labaki didn’t have to look far for inspiration she is married to the movie’s composer, Khaled Mouzannar. The film was due to open in France yesterday and throughout much of the Middle East on Sept 22. The US release date has not been set yet. Labaki hopes her very Lebanese movie will have a universal appeal. “Maybe I’m talking about Christians and Muslims in the film, but I could have been talking about two neighbors, two families, she said. “It could happen anywhere.”—AP

Clint Eastwood

e won’t be riding the main float during Pride, but Clint Eastwood doesn’t care if same-sex couples get married. In the October issue of GQ Magazine, the steely gazed slab of machismo says he doesn’t think gay marriage should be such a controversial issue. “These people who are making a big deal about gay marriage?” Eastwood tells the magazine. “I don’t give a f**k about who wants to get married to anybody else! Why not?! We’re making a big deal out of things we shouldn’t be making a deal out of ... Just give everybody the chance to have the life they want.” The Oscar-winning director is promoting “J Edgar,” his biopic about J Edgar Hoover, the controversial longtime FBI chief, who many suspected to be closeted. Leonardo DiCaprio, who stars as the bureau chief, also thinks that the gay marriage debate has been overblown. “That’s the most infuriating thing-watching people focus on

these things,” DiCaprio told GQ. “Meanwhile, there’s the onset of global warming and these incredibly scary and menacing things with the future of our economy.” Though DiCaprio is a prominent supporter of liberal causes and candidates, Eastwood is known as one of Hollywood’s few Republicans. However, he maintains that his attitude is in keeping with his political beliefs. “I was an Eisenhower Republican when I started out at 21, because he promised to get us out of the Korean War,” Eastwood tells the magazine. “And over the years, I realized there was a Republican philosophy that I liked. And then they lost it. And libertarians had more of it. Because what I really believe is, let’s spend a little more time leaving everybody alone.” “J Edgar” hits theaters on Nov 9. It’s written by Dustin Lance Black (“Milk”), an openly gay screenwriter who has been active in the marriage equality movement. —Reuters

ʻExorcistʼ director slams trend for comic book stories


irector William Friedkin on Tuesday decried a trend in cinema of infantilizing audiences with stories ripped from comic books, at the North American premiere of his new film “Killer Joe.” “It’s harder and harder to do (original adult material) in this climate of American film... which is mostly concerned with movies that are comic books, and remakes,” he said. “Green Lantern,” “Thor,” “XMen: First Class,” and “Captain America: The First Avenger” are the latest Hollywood blockbusters based on Marvel or DC Comics heroes released this year. The icon of 1970s cinema said his own classic films “The French Connection” (1971), which won him an Oscar for best director, and “The Exorcist” (1973) would not be made today by movie studios.”The audiences have changed,” Friedkin lamented. “They are conditioned by television and television is aimed at the lowest common denominator... their expectations are lower.” Also, “the studios, when I started directing, were run by people who had made films,” he said. “Today they’re former agents or lawyers and (the studios) are

owned by gigantic corporations that have to appeal to the lowest common denominator.” “There’s less money in the adult market (now),” added Pulitzer prize-winning writer Tracy Letts who adapted his 1998 play for the movie. “The guys who run the show have figured out that they can make more money basically selling comic books to people.” For “Killer Joe,” Friedkin cast Emile Hirsch (“Into The Wild,” “Milk” and Oliver Stone’s upcoming “Savages”) as a drug dealer who hires a cop moonlighting as an assassin (Matthew McConaughey) to murder his mother to collect on an insurance policy that will pay off his debts, and sells his sister (Juno Temple, who will also star in the next film in the Batman franchise, “The Dark Knight Rises”) as a sexual retainer. Friedkin says he was drawn to the story because it is about “innocence, victimhood, vengeance and tenderness.”The violence in the film is purposeful. “There’s violence throughout society,” he noted, adding: “There’s a thin line between good and evil and there is the possibility of evil in all of us. —AFP

Filmmaker Nadine Labaki is new face of Lebanon



A woman arranges gingerbread hearts in a booth as preparations are under way for the Oktoberfest beer festival at the Theresienwiese fair ground in Munich, southern Germany, yesterday.—AFP

See you in

Cuba! It’s no ordinary island vacation


he juices were in our hands, and we could see the shimmering blue of the Caribbean. But this was no ordinary island vacation. Television cameras whirred as a group of Americans checked into Havana’s stately Hotel Nacional, as history was being made-by us. Except for a brief period from 2000-2003, this was the first time in 50 years that average Americans could legally visit Cuba. The trip, through Insight Cuba, would highlight Havana, Santiago de Cuba for arts and music, Trinidad on Cuba’s southern coast for colonial charm and Pinar del Rio for its rural natural beauty. The group of 30 Americans included a goat farmer, a psychologist, a wine expert, a social worker, an entrepreneur, a hospital administrator, a stock adviser, a lawyer and more. Their common denominator? They were all experienced travelers. They all were fine with the requirement that the trip focus on cultural activities, not beaches or leisure, although one man wistfully asked, “Any chance of playing golf?” So I sipped my drink and let the August heat seep into my bones. I was excited. And slightly worried about the dour rules of the trip. And also already in love with Havana. Havana, one of the great Spanish colonial cities of the New World, is like an exotic orchid with a few wilted petals. Fifty years of Communism hasn’t been kind to its upkeep, although Old Havana, its fortress, the neighborhood of Miramar and the Revolution Square area are splendid. The city of 2.2 million sprawls cheerfully in all directions, part pastel, part crumbling ruin, elegant in its promise of what was and could be again. In the next few days, we would get the complete tour of the city founded in 1515. But the first order of business was a lecture. At Friendship House-the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples-the group got a warm welcome, then a blunt description of Cuba’s suffering because of US policies and “terrorism.” Then came a far more nuanced talk by Carolos Alzugaray, a professor and expert on Cuba-US relations, about the complex issues that bind and divide the two countries and the 50-year-old US trade embargo. Journalists, academics and people with family in Cuba have long been able to travel there, but tourism has been offlimits to the rest of Americans, even though 2.5 million tourists from other nations routinely vacation in Cuba each

A brightly-colored building rises over a street in Havana.

Gallup builds

‘world’s largest

Navajo taco’


A Carnaval float heads down the Malacon in Havana, Cuba. —MCT photos

If you go Getting there: Any American can go on an escorted “people-to-people” cultural trip under new US government rules. The government has issued 50 licenses so far. Try: Insight Cuba: Offering several trips a month, including a Havana International Jazz Festival trip Dec 14. Cost of most trips is about $2,500-$3,000, plus airfare of about $550 round-trip from Miami (, 800-450-2822). University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse is taking names on a waiting list for its tour in April. The 10-day trip ( is about $4,000. Center for the Study of Cuban Culture and the Economy has 2 upcoming trips including a week-long trip Dec 28-Jan 4 in Havana and Trinidad, Cuba, for $3,440 per person including air (www.cubancul-

year. Yet times are changing, Alzugaray said: “Cuba is undergoing a major economic transformation. For foreign relations, Cuba is in its best moment.” His advice for the US? “If you want to influence a country, you have to be present.” We were. That afternoon, the group strolled Old Havana past a hotel where novelist Ernest Hemingway used to hang out, then visited the Leonor Perez maternity home. The home cares for high-risk pregnant mothers, four to a room. It’s hot (no air conditioning), but they are used to the heat. Two women, heavily pregnant and carrying twins, talked about their lives. We met a 12-year-old pregnant girl. We asked questions about C-section rates (about 25 percent), epidural drugs (they use few), and everyone kept smiling and saying “gracias.” After that, the group tried to go shopping, but in Cuba there are almost no stores, not much to buy except on the black market-and spoilsport US regulations allow Americans to bring back nothing except literature, artwork or music. That’s right-no cigars, no rum, no panama hats. In the evening, the group got a last-minute invitation to a concert in honor of Fidel Castro’s 85th birthday, held at the, 540-230-3143). Money: $1 equals 87 cents in Cuban Convertible Pesos. No US debit or credit cards work in Cuba. Connections: Hotels have Internet access, but it can cost as much as $4 for 15 minutes. Cell phones do not work. Regular phone calls can be $3 a minute. Tips: Drink bottled water; however, we ate all the salad and fruit and no one got sick. Bring personal items because stores don’t have much. Good ideas are a folding fan, wash cloth, hair dryer, small snacks that travel well (granola bars or such), small umbrella (it rains), earplugs, a clock, bug spray, sunscreen. —MCT

Karl Marx Theater. Four hours, no intermission! Fidel did not attend. We did. After that, it was dark, and Carnaval, which is held in August in Cuba, was rocking the Malecon promenade near the hotel. Thousands of people were mingling, dancing, swarming. The thumping beat lasted long into the night. A retired social worker in our group, Betsy Blades of Baltimore, met a British tourist. The woman was astonished to meet an actual American. “Do they know you’re here?” she asked, as if Blades might have dropped in by parachute. But it was not a totally strange question. Americans have come illegally to Cuba for years-but it is getting harder to do that. On this trip, many in the group asked that their passports be stamped as they went through Cuban customs. As the days went by, the group visited more museums than I can count, including the Literacy Museum, a hot, small spot devoted to Cuba’s accomplishment of teaching nearly its entire population to read in the years 1961-62. (I didn’t enjoy it, but many in the group said it was one of their favorite moments.)

esidents in Gallup have set what is being billed as the record for the world’s largest Navajo taco, using 150 pieces of fry bread and, of course, more than 30 pounds of green chile. Volunteers and state officials say the taco created Saturday was more than 10 feet in diameter and also needed 65 pounds of ground beef, 65 pounds of beans, 50 pounds of lettuce and 90 pounds of cheese. Bill Lee, executive director of the Gallup McKinley County Chamber of Commerce, said there was no record for the world’s largest Navajo taco in the Guinness Book of World Record, so residents created one. “We just decided we would establish the record,” said Lee. “There wasn’t anything on the books officially.” Lee said the objective was to highlight tourism in Gallup, a city located near the Navajo Nation, and to bring residents together for a cause. Among those who help build the massive taco were Gallup Mayor Jackie McKinney and employees from area businesses. McKinney finished the construction by using a cherrypicker truck to sprinkle diced tomatoes in the taco’s center. Afterward, residents and organizers were treated to a free lunch. The event was part of the New Mexico Tourism Department’s “Catch the Kid” summer travel promotion scavenger hunt. Events with prizes of as much as $10,000 have been held in different cities around the state this summer. State officials said the goal of the promotion was to bolster tourism.

File photo released by the New Mexico Tourism Department, residents help build what state officials are calling the “world’s largest Navajo taco,” in Gallup, NM. —AP

15 Sep  

Kuwait Times