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HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al - Kuwait Times

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ON
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
KOC: 80 yrs of
work changed
lifestyle
in Kuwait
Jazeera shuts
Egypt channel
as Doha-Cairo
tensions thaw
NO: 16381
150 FILS
5
40 PAGES
RABI ALAWWAL 1, 1436 AH
8
Airbus delivers
first next-gen
plane to
Qatar Airways
23
www.kuwaittimes.net
Tough Pathans
find solace
in Afridi’s
Pakistan
17
Fadhl calls for granting
non-Muslims citizenship
MP labels move an Xmas gift for �Christian brothers’
Min 07Вє
Max 20Вє
High Tide
13:38
Low Tide
00:07 & 19:37
By B Izzak
News
i n
KUWAIT: Independent MP Nabil Al-Fadhl said yesterday
he has submitted a petition to the constitutional court
challenging an article in the constitution that bars nonMuslims from being naturalized. The lawmaker said that
he considers this move as a Christmas gift for “our
Christian brothers”. The petition challenges an article
that was added to the constitution by Islamist and conservative MPs in 1981 to ban granting Kuwaiti citizenship to non-Muslims. That amendment to the 1959
nationality law stipulates a set of conditions for those
who can be granted Kuwaiti citizenship, and one of
them is to be a Muslim.
Continued on Page 13
b r i e f
KD 750 guarantee for Indians?
KUWAIT: A source at the Public Manpower Authority
said the foreign, interior and labor ministries are coordinating to impose a guarantee of KD 750 on every
Indian who wants to come and work in Kuwait, be it in
the public or private sector. The guarantee will be paid
at the Kuwait embassy in India. The source said the
move comes after the Indian Embassy placed two conditions to bring in domestic workers - a KD 750 guarantee, and to check the house where the worker will
work before arriving in Kuwait. The source stated that
the Indian community numbers more than 830,000,
and “there is a strong indication that hiring of Indian
manpower may be halted”.
US Navy chopper
crashes in Kuwait
KAC seals Boeing deal
KUWAIT: Kuwait Airways announced yesterday it has
signed a deal to purchase 10 777-300ER passenger aircraft from US manufacturer Boeing to upgrade its
fleet. Kuwait Airways Chairperson and CEO Rasha AlRoumi said in a press statement that the new contract
paves the way for revamping and upgrading the fleet
to help the company compete with other airlines.
Under this deal, delivery will start from Nov 2016,
Roumi said.
TUNIS: A supporter of Beji Caid Essebsi holds a campaign poster outside his party headquarters after
he was elected president yesterday. — AP (See Page 7)
KUWAIT: A US Navy helicopter has crashed during a training mission in Kuwait, slightly injuring three crewmembers,
the Bahrain-based Naval Forces Central Command said yesterday. The MH-60S helicopter went down on Sunday
morning during the overland training flight at Camp
Buehring in Kuwait, it said in a statement. “All six personnel
aboard the helicopter survived the crash and were transported to nearby medical facilities for evaluation. Three of
the six crew members sustained minor injuries and
received treatment. All have been released.’” — AFP
CONDOLENCES
Management and staff convey their
deepest condolences to
HH the Prime Minister Sheikh
Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah
on the sad demise of
his wife
Sheikha Sheikha Sabah Al-Nasser Al-Sabah
May Allah Almighty bestow His mercy on her
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23 2014
LOCAL
Crime
R e p o r t
Deer spotted at
Fourth Ring Road
KUWAIT: Following a recent incident where a lion fatally
injured a housemaid, motorists along the Fourth Ring Road
were shocked to see a deer wandering around, causing a
great deal of confusion as they all tried to avoid hitting it,
said security sources. Case papers indicate that traffic
police immediately rushed to the scene to direct traffic
until a citizen arrived and took it away.
Hit-and-run driver identified
Following the Jahra hit-and-run incident where a 4year-old Saudi child was killed by a truck, security
sources said that detectives indentified the driver and
arrest him at his residence within a few hours.
Child molester arrested
An Arab private school teacher was arrested for sexually
molesting a 5-year-old Moroccan girl, said security sources.
Case papers indicate that the girl’s father reported that on
noticing that the girl did not want to go to school, her
mother inquired about the reason and on medically examining her, the report showed that the girl had been beaten
and sexually molested. A case was filed and further investigations are in progress.
Cardiac arrest
A 25-year-old man collapsed in a cafe, said security
sources, noting that on rushing him to Farwaniya
Hospital, the man was already dead from a cardiac
arrest and lung and liver damage. Doctors said that the
man died of natural causes.
Work mishap
Two window cleaners were injured when they lost balance while cleaning the exterior of the PAAAET building
windows and fell from a height, said security sources, noting that the two workers were rushed to Sabah Hospital in
critical condition.
Drugs possession
A citizen and an Egyptian were arrested with 33
psychotropic pills, said security sources. Case papers
noted that a police patrol stopped the two suspects’
vehicle, and noticing how confused they were,
searched them to find the drugs. A cased was filed.
Physical assault
A Syrian who was recently rushed to Mubarak Hospital
with several injuries reported that four people he knew
had assaulted him in Tunis Street in Hawally, said security
sources, noting that the man provided the police with the
assailants’ description pending arresting them.
KUWAIT: First Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah chairs the Cabinet’s meeting yesterday. — KUNA
Cabinet commends Egypt-Qatar
reconciliation initiative
Ministers condole premier on spouse’s death
KUWAIT: The Cabinet yesterday commended the positive and constructive outcomes
of a recent initiative launched by Saudi
King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz targeting reconciliation between Egypt and Qatar.
During its weekly meeting presided over
by First Deputy Premier and Foreign
Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad AlSabah, the cabinet lauded the sincere willingness of Egypt and Qatar to mend fences
and to usher in a fresh stage of bilateral
relations that could lead to constructive
cooperation in order to serve the common
interest of both nations and to promote
pan-Arab cooperation, Minister of State for
Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammad
Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah said in a
news statement following the meeting.
It also appreciated the sincere role and
efforts of the Saudi King in the consolidation of Arab solidarity with a view to serv-
ing both Arab and Muslim nations, in addition to the compliance of Qatari Amir
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and
Egyptian President Abdelfatah Al-Sisi with
the Saudi King’s initiative, he said.
The eagerness of both Qatari and
Egyptian leaders to develop and cement
bilateral relations reflects the fact that they
live up to national responsibility and are
well aware of the size of challenges and
risks the Arab world is facing, the minister
added.
At the onset of the cabinet meeting, the
ministers reviewed a letter received by His
Highness the Amir from Ethiopian Prime
Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, expressing
satisfaction with the outcomes of his recent
visit to Kuwait.
Iraqi premier
The ministers then listened to a briefing
from First Deputy Prime Minister and
Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled AlHamad Al-Sabah on the findings of a recent
visit to Kuwait by Iraqi Prime Minister
Haider Al-Abadi, where he met His
Highness the Amir, His Highness the Crown
Prince and His Highness the Prime Minister.
Sheikh Sabah Khaled also briefed the
ministers on the outcomes of the recent
meeting of the Kuwaiti-UAE joint committee, which was held in Abu Dhabi and witnessed the signing of four memos of
understanding in various cooperative
domains.
He also elaborated on the outcomes of a
recent visit to Kuwait by Egyptian Foreign
Minister Sameh Shukry, as both sides inked
11 memos of understanding aiming to promote and consolidate bilateral cooperation
in various fields.
Moreover, the cabinet approved draft
KD 200 theft
Residency affairs
department warns expats
with renewed passports
A citizen reported that he went to withdraw KD 200
from an ATM and that the transaction was rejected,
but when he went home, he received a text message
from the bank notifying him that the money had been
debited from his account. Checking the bank CCTV
cameras, he found out that someone used the
machine after him, found the cash and took it. Further
investigations are in progress to identify the man.
By Hanan Al-Saadoun
Youngster injured
A young citizen was injured when he jumped from a
moving vehicle in Qurain, said security sources. Case
papers indicate that the young man was outside his family
house when someone he knew accompanied by another
person asked him to go for a ride with them, but he
refused, which made them pull him into the vehicle and
drive off for a while before he managed to open the door
and jump off. A case was filed and further investigations
are in progress.
Stolen goods
A female citizen who owns a supermarket in
Hawally reported that on receiving new goods and
having them unloaded in a warehouse, she found that
goods worth thousands of dinars had been stolen
from it. A case was filed and further investigations are
in progress.
Fugitive nabbed
A 34-year-old Arab woman was arrested for being wanted for various financial cases, said security sources. Case
papers indicate that a routine checkpoint near Khairan
resort noticed that a woman was trying to avoid it by heading into the desert. To her bad luck, the woman’s vehicle
got stuck in the sand and on checking up on her, policemen found she is wanted over financial claims and dud
cheques.
Jahra accident
A 64-year-old citizen narrowly escaped death when
he was hit by a vehicle while crossing a Jahra street,
said security sources, noting that his right thigh was
fractured. He was immediately rushed to hospital for
treatment.
Sailor hurt
A sailor was injured at Doha port when a load of gypsum accidentally fell on him, said security sources, noting
that the man was rushed to hospital for treatment.
— Al-Rai/ Al-Watan
Crime
R e p o r t
KUWAIT: The Commercial Bank of Kuwait sponsored a workshop for the Kuwait Institute of Banking Studies on the
effect of giftedness, leadership and culture on booming business. The workshop took place at the Sheikha Salwa
Al-Sabah hall featuring executives from banking institutes in Kuwait.
GCC wildlife protection
meeting kicks off
KUWAIT: The 14th meeting of the
Standing Committee tasked with preserving wildlife and natural habitats in
the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
kicked off yesterday at the senior officials level.
Mohammad Al-Enezi, Deputy
Director General for the Environment
Public Authority, said in his speech
that the Gulf Convention on wildlife
plays an important role in preserving
the natural heritage of the area,
adding that the proposals submitted
to the agenda of the meeting, such as
the new organizational structure of
the Convention and the Advisory
Committee will have a significant
impact on the development of the
mechanisms of action and give multiple scientific alternatives for decision
makers.
He added that the environmental
police proposal included on the agenda came at an appropriate timing,
where the State of Kuwait will work on
formulating a practical approach to
such proposal. He added that the
Authority is preparing to embark on
the development of the executive
bylaw of the Environmental
Protection Act No. 42 of 2014 which
obliges forming an environmental
police.
He explained that the environmental police will contribute to improving
the quality of the environment
through the effective application of
the laws and give more support for
environmental issues, noting that the
celebration of the first wildlife day on
September 30 every year gives further
attention for the conservation of
nature and biodiversity.
For his part, Assistant Secretary
Two suicide
cases reported
General for human affairs and the
environment at the Secretariat
General of the Gulf Cooperation
Council, Dr Abdullah bin Oqla AlHashem in his speech thanked the
State of Kuwait for hosting the meeting, which is a quantum leap in the
work of the GCC Convention, where
many proposals from Member States
have been gathered.
Hashem said that a proposal on
raising awareness of wildlife by the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was submitted in addition to another submitted
by Kuwait on illicit cheetah trafficking. He pointed to the proposal of
Bahrain to establish a workshop on
the preparation of the consolidated
regional regime on access to genetic
resources as well as follow-up to the
passage of falcons between the GCC
countries. —KUNA
KUWAIT: Acting Director of Hawally Residency affairs
department Lt Col Fawaz Al-Roumi said accurate information at the residency affairs department on expatriates
contributes to presenting visa services easily to them, and
their transactions will be processed without mistakes or
complications. He said the residency affairs department
has prepared an integrated work mechanism to upgrade
information and data transfer for all expatriates, adding
that those concerned should refer to the residency affairs
departments to update their information or transfer data
from old passports to new ones. The person will be given
two months after the expiry of the old passport before
fines are imposed.
He said if the same passport is renewed, the person
should go to the residency department before the passport actually expires, and will be given two months grace
after the passport expires to avoid fines. He said this procedure must be followed to update information in the computer at the residency affairs department, as it was noticed
that many expatriates have valid visas but their passports
have expired, and this will result in fines against them.
Roumi said the fine of not updating data is KD 2 per day,
with a maximum of KD 600. He said for those who renew
their passports outside Kuwait, they should refer to the
department within one month after entering the country,
otherwise they will have to pay a fine. He said an expat
who arrives with a new passport will be informed to go to
the residency affairs department within a month to update
his data.
Parliament panel
discusses domestic
workers file
KUWAIT: The National Assembly committee of health,
social and labor affairs discussed yesterday two draft laws
on domestic workers and the establishment of closed joint
stock companies concerned with bringing and hiring
domestic workers.
The meeting was attended by representatives from the
Ministry of Interior and the public authority for workforce.
MP Sadoun Hammad told the press following the session that the draft laws would lead to drastic reforms in the
domestic workers system and its side effects that cause
much trouble to Kuwaiti families.
During the parliamentary meeting, it was agreed to
thoroughly scrutinize the draft laws for the next two weeks
before referring them to the National Assembly for final
approval. — KUNA
Cross-dressers
to be expelled
from Police Academy
By Hanan Al-Saadoun
KUWAIT: A 20-year-old bedoon girl committed suicide in
Sulaibiya. The body was recovered and the case is with
concerned authorities. Separately, a Yemeni expat selfimmolated in Sulaibiya farms. Police received a call about a
murder in Sulaibiya, and the caller told them about a
charred dead person near his car. Police found a note saying: “This is the number of the vehicle owner. I am the H. A.
from Yemen. Forgive me if I made a mistake with anyone.
Thank you.”
decrees appointing new deputy directorsgeneral of the Kuwait Ports Foundation, a
new director-general of the Public
Environment Authority, setting up the
Higher Environment Council, and appointing board members of the Public Authority
for Manpower.
The cabinet, afterwards, discussed several issues and matters bearing on the
National Assembly and the latest regional
and international developments.
It mourned the demise of Sheikha
Sabah Al-Nasser Al-Sabah, spouse of His
Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber
Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, and the
death of Khaled Ahmad Al-Jassar, the former minister of justice.
Finally, the ministers congratulated
Qatar and its leadership on the Gulf country’s National Day, wishing it more development and welfare. — KUNA
KUWAIT: The GCC wildlife protection meeting in progress. — KUNA
KUWAIT: Interior ministry assistant undersecretary for
education and training affairs Maj Gen Sheikh Faisal AlNawaf disclosed that new measures would be taken concerning Saad Al-Abdullah Police Academy cadets including annual security assessments during their four-year
study period to make sure there were no security restrictions on any of them. Sheikh Faisal stressed that cadets
indicted with dishonoring or disgracing felonies like
�cross-dressing’ during their study would be immediately
expelled from the academy. —Al-Rai
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
LOCAL
In Brief
Job-seekers
Labor market
Solar panels
KUWAIT: Manpower and Government
Restructuring Program (MGRP) Secretary-General
Fauzi Al-Majdali announced yesterday that the cabinet approved signing up laid-off workers of the private sector on the Civil Service Commission (CSC)
system as “job seekers.” According to the approved
Cabinet decree no 1577/2014 the CSC is obligated
to register laid-off employees on its system in cooperation with MGPR. Majdali also said that discharged workers will receive their unemployment
benefits at the end of this month. — KUNA
KUWAIT: MPs Abdurrahman Al-Jeeran,
Mohammad Al-Enizy, Askar Al-Enizy,
Mohammad Al-Huwailah and Saud AlHuraiji filed a request to allocate a parliamentary session to discuss the labor
market’s imbalances, and Kuwaiti workers’ percentage in the private sector. The
session would address obstacles facing
the employment of Kuwaitis in the private sector, and ways to resolve the
issue.
KUWAIT: The Ministry of Electricity and
Water prepares to place the tender for
the second phase of a project to install
solar panels on rooftops of government
buildings. The first phase, executed at
the Ministry of Electricity and Water and
Ministry of Public Works’ buildings, was
deemed successful. The KD 22 million
project contains four phases and is slated to end by 2019.
Photo
o f
t h e
d a y
KUWAIT: Construction works are seen at the Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Center site at the old flag square site in Kuwait City. The project contains an opera house, and is slated for completion in 2015.
— Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat
NBK launches 3 new
multi-currency ATMs
Adailiya 2nd �healthy
town’ in Kuwait
KUWAIT: The United Nations has registered
Al-Adailiya district as a healthy town as part
of its international network of healthy
towns, following suit of another Kuwaiti
district that had been chosen for healthy
features, Al-Yarmouk.
The announcement was made yesterday
by Dr Amal Al-Yahya, the head of the
healthy towns department of the Ministry
of Health, in a statement, noting that such
an international designation is based on
several considerations such as the community quest for improving public health and
for being distinguished with other characteristics, such as good level of education,
family stability, minimum accidents, environmental protection and combating
poverty.
Residents of Al-Adailiya, one of the
Kuwaiti residential regions, along with voluntary teams, have been exerting noticeable efforts for enhancing their neighborhood’s conditions. Dr Yahya, part of the
“national committee for implementation of
the healthy towns initiative,” is involved
along with her fellow commission members, in diverse activities in this respect,
such as holding coordination meetings
with governors.
Meanwhile, Salah Al-Saif, the head of
the voluntary team, “nahtam (we care), “
said the Kuwaiti Voluntary Work Center,
chaired by Sheikha Amthal Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah, has been working with the
council of local notables in Al-Adailiya to
turn it into an exemplary residential district, health and public beauty wise.
The team has been involved in multiple
activities, such as distribution of plants to
the neighborhoods as part of public beautification efforts. They also work on a wider
scale in the country to combat desertification in the rural areas. — KUNA
Mohammed Al-Othman
The new ATMS at Kuwait International Airport.
KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) launched
its new multi-currency ATM machines in the
Transit Area at Kuwait International Airport.
The new ATM machines allow NBK customers
to withdraw cash amounts in six different currencies; Kuwaiti Dinar KWD, US Dollar USD, Euro,
Sterling Pound GBP, Emirati Dirham AED and
Saudi Riyal SAR. The machines are located near
Gates 3 and 24.
“NBK is dedicated to providing its customers
with the most updated services and innovative
products. We are keen to be closer to our customers and offer them the most convenient
banking experience,” said Mohammed AlOthman, NBK’s Assistant General Manager,
Consumer Banking Group. “The location of these
ATM machines has been carefully selected to better serve travelers and allow them to withdraw
cash in the currency of choice, depending on
their destination”.
NBK has maintained its leading position in the
market by constantly investing in its local network to ensure the reach of products and services
to a wider segment of customers.
NBK enjoys the largest banking network in
Kuwait with more than 65 branches, 8,200 Points
of Sale and 239 ATMs to provide its customers
with the most convenient services and products.
For more information please contact NBK Call
Center 1801801 or log onto www.nbk.com.
�Energy Conference vital
to bolster Arab oil cooperation’
ABU DHABI: The 10th Arab Energy
Conference currently held in Abu
Dhabi offers an ideal chance to
exchange oil expertise among the Arab
countries, Secretary General of the
Organization of Arab Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OAPEC) Abbas Ali
Al-Naqi said yesterday.
It is also a good occasion to discuss
issues of common interest, Al-Naqi told
KUNA on the sidelines of the conference organized by OAPEC, December
21-23, under the theme: “Energy and
Arab Cooperation.” The event is held
under patronage of UAE President
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al
Nahyan. The three-day discussions
tackle current developments in the oil
and natural gas markets and the implications on the Arab countries and
investment requirements to develop
the energy sector in Arab World, in
addition to issues on energy, environment, and sustainable development,
he said. Participants will also address
energy resources, consumption and
conservation in the Arab countries, as
well as Arab electricity interconnection
and technological developments, he
noted. The conference is seeking to
establish an Arab institutional framework to review oil and energy issues in
order to develop a Pan-Arab perspective, besides coordinating relations
among Arab institutions concerned
with energy and development.
The gathering also seeks to harmonize energy policies with development
issues, investigate present and future
Arab energy requirements and the
means of meeting them.
Kuwait’s delegation to the conference includes Minister of Oil and
Minister of State for National Assembly
Affairs Ali Al-Omair, Minister of Public
OAPEC Secretary General
Abbas Ali Al-Naqi
Works and Minister of Electricity and
Water Abdulaziz Al-Ibrahim. — KUNA
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
LOCAL
His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah greets the audience as he
arrives to the venue.
A child present flowers to His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
KUWAIT: His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in a group photo with the honored athletes. —KUNA photos
Crown Prince honors outstanding players
Athletes portray �shining image’ of Kuwait
KUWAIT: His Highness the Crown
Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah patronized and attended a ceremony to honor excellent
players of national teams and sports
clubs.
Addressing the ceremony organized yesterday by the Public Authority
for Youth and Sport (PAYS), HH the
Crown Prince highlighted directives by
HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad
Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to provide utmost
care to youth activities in all fields. This
is prompted by HH the Amir’s belief
that youth is “the pillars of national
renaissance. They are the flourishing
present and the promising future,” HH
the Crown Prince said.
Arriving at the venue of the ceremony earlier, HH the Crown Prince was
received by Minister of Information
and Minister of State for Youth Affairs
Sheikh Salman Sabah Salem AlHumoud Al-Sabah, PAYS Chairman
and Director General Sheikh Ahmad
Al-Mansour Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah,
Deputy PAYS Director and head of the
higher organizing committee Ahmad
Abdulrazzaq Al-Khazel and a host of
senior officials from both bodies.
The ceremony started with the
national anthem and then recitation of
verses from the Holy Quran. HH the
Crown Prince, on behalf of the Kuwaiti
people, congratulated HH the Amir on
the global honoring by the UN as a
Humanitarian Leader and Kuwait as a
Humanitarian Center.
The unprecedented honoring recognized HH the Amir’s contributions
to preserve people’s lives and alleviate
their sufferings around the globe, HH
the Crown Prince said. Such great
benevolence has left everlasting
impression on the Arab, Islamic and
world levels.
Superb results
Then HH the Crown Prince congratulated the distinguished players for
the superb results they achieved on
the regional, Arab and international
sports scenes, winning advanced
ranks in various competitions. He
added that they have shown “honorable faces” portraying a shining image
of “beloved Kuwait.”
HH the Crown Prince then lauded
the “fruitful efforts” by Minister of
Information and Minister of State for
Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Sabah
Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah, Chairman
of the Kuwait Olympic Committee
Sheikh Talal Fahad Al-Ahmad AlSabah, also Chairman of the Kuwait
Football Association, and PAYS
Chairman and Director General Sheikh
Ahmad Mansour Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah
as well as heads of the Kuwaiti sports
federations and associations. Then he
addressed the honored players urging
them to exert their utmost and persistent efforts to maintain the elevated
ranks they have achieved, for their
dear country.
For his part, Sheikh Salman AlHumoud voiced his deep pleasure for
the annual occasion to honor the
Kuwaiti excellent players, saying the
presence of HH the Crown Prince
reveals high interest by the state’s
leaderships, represented by HH the
Amir, in promoting sports.
The State has always been keen on
supporting Kuwaitis in all fields, the
Minister said, boasting the persevering
efforts by the country’s players in general, and superlative ones in particular,
to raise the name of Kuwait high on
the regional and international scenes.
He congratulated the high-caliber
youth initiatives, Sheikh Salman AlHumoud said. He also highlighted
state support to young people to help
them make the best of their free time.
Sheikh Salman Al-Humoud underscored the collaboration among the
state institutions to realize success,
paying tribute to the National
Assembly for issuing a host of legislations topped with the law on investment and marketing for sports clubs
and federations.
He also expressed gratitude to the
Cabinet chaired by HH the Prime
Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak AlHamad Al-Sabah, that was keen on
producing balanced sports legislations
His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah honors Sheikha Fraiha Al-Sabah, President of the Fatat (girls)
Sports Club.
players for their achievements that the
“dear country will always recall.”
Sheikh Salman Al-Humoud
expressed deep appreciation for
establishing the Ministry of State for
Youth Affairs, almost two years before,
which functions as a comprehensive
incubator for sports and youth issues
and requirements.
Scientific, objective method
Since inception, the Ministry has
been adopting a scientific and objective method, taking the executive
steps to offer the best possible educational, social, cultural, sports and
refreshing care for young people. He
stressed in this respect elevated directives by the State leadership and the
Cabinet.
The Ministry of State for Youth
Affairs has embraced certain programs
and strategic plans that were translated into tangible youth and development projects. These included adopting the recommendations of the First
National Youth Convention “Kuwait
Listens,” the Minister said.
Up to 50 percent of these recommendations have been implemented
thanks to youth efforts and up to 150
in line with the relevant international
charters.
Promoting sports
The Minister of State for Youth
Affairs also pointed to several projects
adopted by PAYS as part of applying
the national plan for promoting sports
endorsed by the government. He also
thanked Kuwaitis holding key post, at
home and on the Asian and the international levels, for supporting the
country’s sports clubs and federations.
Addressing the ceremony on behalf
of the honored players, leading international Squash player Abdullah AlMezin, thanked HH the Crown Prince
for sponsoring the event. He also
emphasized HH the Amir’s support,
but for which it would have been a
hard job to realize such achievements.
Furthermore, he thanked Minister
Sheikh Salman Al-Humoud and officials and the state sports bodies their
backing.
By the end of the ceremony, HH the
Crown Prince honored players with
special needs, leading sports and
media figures and Kuwaitis who won
outstanding ranks in competitions, in
addition to sports officials. —KUNA
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
LOCAL
KOC: 80 years of work
changed lifestyle in Kuwait
2.9 million bpd produced in 2013/2014
KUWAIT: Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) celebrates today the
80th anniversary of being granted oil drilling concession
right in the country under the agreement signed by the late
Amir Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah on
December 23, 1934.
The agreement was the most prominent event in the history of the Kuwait Oil Company, which was then called
(Kuwait Oil Company Limited). Some believe that the date of
signing of the agreement is the same date of the company’s
The beginning
Kuwait Oil Company was established in February 1934 in
London, with an initial capital of 50,000 pounds with joint
ownership and equal shares among all of the Anglo-Persian
oil company, now known as British Petroleum (BP) and Gulf oil
company currently known as (Chevron).
In December 1, 1975, an agreement was signed between
the Kuwaiti Government, British Petroleum Ltd. (BP Kuwait)
and Gulf oil company stipulating that as of March 5, 1975, all
remaining shares of the two companies including concession
rights be transferred to the government Kuwait.
The signing ceremony, which was seen as an official reference to shifting KOC to become entirely owned by the government, took place on December 6, 1975 in Kuwait, and then
over the past long years, there were many events that constituted milestones in the history of the KOC.
Among the most prominent of these events was the discovery of oil in commercial quantities in the Burgan well in
February 1938, however, Kuwait had not benefited from this
wealth until on June 30, 1946 when the first shipment of oil
was exported.
Ahmadi City
The year 1946 also saw the establishment of the southern
pier at Mina Al-Ahmadi, while work began to build the city of
Al-Ahmadi in an integrated manner to include the main
offices, workshops, residential neighborhoods and facilities to
become an integrated city in 1949.
In the era of the late Amir Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem AlSabah, increasing in oil production was seen, and in 1955, production began in Raudhatain in north Kuwait, while in 1959,
discovery of oil in Managish was discovered in September,
while north pier went into force in September of the same
year.
In the era of the late Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah
in 1969, the artificial island was launched in addition to its
facilities. In 1970, four new collection centers started operation, raising to 25 the total number of gathering centers.
After that, late Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem in November
1976 laid the foundation stone for the gas project in Mina AlAhmadi, as well as the docking of the largest oil tanker in
February 1977 in the artificial island port of Al-Ahmadi.
And one of the important dates to remember in the history
of Kuwait Oil Company was the launching of gas project at
Ahmadi port in February 1979 during the reign of the late
Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
Iraqi Invasion
In march 1991, the operation to put out fires at the oil
installations and wells got underway. On July 27, Kuwait
exported the first cargo of crude since liberation. On
September 14, 1991, drilling resumed in Al-Muqawaa field and
late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah extinguished the
last burning well on November 6, 1991.
Later on, Kuwait restored its status as one of the key oil
exporting countries. Its experience in the carbohydrates had a
record with the discovery of natural gas, of commercial quantities, in Um Naqa in the north in 2006.
During era of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, a large number of achievements
have been made in the oil sector. The KOC inaugurated the
two water injection installations in Al-Muqawa and Burgan in
2007 and 2008. Moreover, the disassociated gas and condensates unit was opened in the north.
Among the KOC major achievements was the project for
renovating the installations, covering 16 gathering units and
three gas boosting stations. The company tested maximum
production on October 14-18, 2010, reaching up 3.052 million
barrels of oil per day-the highest level in the KOC history. In
the last fiscal year (2013-2014) that ended on March 31, the
KOC dug 318 new wells, as compared to the projected number, 259.
Crude productivity
Productivity of the crude oil amounted to 2.9 million bpd
in the 2013-2014 fiscal year. Moreover, the company is tendering establishment of three gathering centers in the north, at a
projected cost of KD 818 million, in addition to several other
affiliate ventures.
It has already finalized designing one of its mega projects,
worth KD 1.37 million, including operation, maintenance of
heavy crude installations, drilling and testing the first horizontal well in Al-Manaqeesh field, thus developing the well and
upgrading its output to 13,000 barrels per day.
Daily output of associated and disassociated gas during
the current fiscal year has reached 1.5 billion cubic feet per
day, as compared to the projected target of 1.4 billion. The
establishment, however, the company was established in
February 1934.
It was expected then that the agreement would have contributed to increase the wealth of Kuwait and its international importance through oil exploration concession, but the
outbreak of World War II was one of the reasons for the delay
in oil exploitation, and with the end of the war, Kuwait had
turned from resource-poor desert country into a modern rich
state.
An oil tanker used by KOC.
An oil well at Burgan Field.
KOC accomplishments in the latest fiscal year were multiple
covering not only construction works but also staff training
and environmental protection activity. — KUNA
Copy of the agreement signed by the late Amir Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Ahmad AlSabah in 1934 to concede oil drilling rights in the country.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
LOCAL
In my view
Protecting
journalists
worldwide
By Labeed Abdal
[email protected]
A
department under the United Nations recently honored organizers of an international
campaign that calls for protecting journalists
and elevated their status as a nongovernmental
organization recognized by the UN. This is a historical step in my opinion in light of the dangers that
journalists face around the world, and the need to
protect them from injury or even death while reporting the truth from places of conflict.
There is no doubt that the step boosts the activity
of the campaign and its over 50,000 members, in
light of the increase of risks that journalists face
There is no doubt that the
step boosts the activity of
the campaign and its over
50,000 members, in light of
the increase of risks that
journalists face these days.
these days, as 64 journalists have died this year.
Organizers of the campaign, which officially started
in June 2004, said in a statement that journalists are
being killed because of their profession, since they
are the eyewitnesses of the world to record the most
heinous human right violations and expose criminals. This is very true, especially when it comes to
those who commit sabotage in the dark.
Efforts are needed to protect journalists who are
targeted in attempts to cover up the truth.
Therefore, supporting the campaign is required to
improve global efforts and regulations to protect
journalists in places of conflict.
kuwait digest
Urdu and Tagalog
By Saleh Al-Shayji
A
few days ago, the world celebrated the
International Day of the Arabic language, and on
such occasions, many speakers usually raise many
concerns about Arabic. As usual, Arabs are always dominated by fear and being victimized in view of so many
�conspiracies plotted against their nation and culture’.
Such a list of defeatism and wailing is endless.
Arabs are afraid that their language, culture and lands
might be influenced by what they describe as �the foreign
invasion’, while foreigners and Westerners have never
shown any such fears of an �Arabic invasion’. The proof to
this is that Western countries are full of millions of Arabs
and Muslims who are free to build their own mosques
and worship places, spread their culture, have their own
newspapers, TV channels and forums. They managed to
spread their own culture there to the extent that some of
them started chasing away or killing the original inhabitants of the cities they lived in. Many of us may still
remember the video where an English girl went to visit
her town and found it changed and dominated by
Muslims, who even dared insulting and threatening to kill
her because she was an �infidel’!
In those Western countries, some Arab and Muslim
In those Western countries,
some Arab and Muslim immigrants have even become
members of parliament, ministers in their governments, merchants and businesspersons,
and even thieves.
immigrants have even become members of parliament,
ministers in their governments, merchants and businesspersons, and even thieves, murderers and criminals.
Nobody was ever afraid about his culture or language
there, which is the exact opposite of what is happening in
our Arab world where fears and obsessions dominate our
lives! Some of those fears about Arabic includes the fear of
the spread of English-speaking Arabs and the influence of
non-Arabic communities, especially in the Gulf region.
Well, I do not see a single justification for such fears
because Arabic is well-protected and persevered by religious powers represented in the Holy Quran that is being
used and recited far much more than the Arab populations. It is being used by all Muslims worldwide. Quran
was revealed to last and be recited until doomsday.
In addition, our literary and cultural heritage is so
huge and influential that many people speaking various
foreign languages, Orientalists and others learnt Arabic
to study and add to it! The fear of foreign communities in
the Gulf is also baseless because it was actually those
people who started learning and speaking Arabic, while
we did not start using their languages. We so often see
Indians, Filipinos and many others speaking Arabic, but
we have not yet started speaking Urdu or Tagalog!
— Translated by Kuwait Times from Al-Anbaa
Al-Jarida
in my view
The blessed lady and her modern son
By Adnan Farzat
M
yths and superstitions can affect both scientists and uneducated people. The reason for
this may be because most people are formed
of a mixture of certainty and the unknown. Even CNN
news network fell in that trap recently by showing a
video where a man displays a loaf of bread that was
burnt in the center and the brunt part looked like the
face of a bearded man. The man holding the bread
claimed that it had the Christ’s (PBUH) face on it. Well,
let that person believe what he wishes but, what makes
a prestigious news agency of this magnitude promote
such beliefs?
A few weeks ago, poet Dr Khaled Al-Shayji delivered
a lecture at the Writers Association under the title
“Prophets’ Arabism”, which was a unique topic that
raised many arguments and discussions that sometimes diverted to many other issues including “how
wrong beliefs have spread among people though they
are not genuine parts of religions”. However, when it
was Dr Khalifa Al-Waqian’s turn to speak, he said something of real essence. He stressed that some beliefs had
been originally made for touristic reasons and that
some of such stories were historically groundless.
Well, one might find some religion-related beliefs
justifiable because people usually revere ancestors.
However, it would be a disaster that such worldly superstitions spread among sane people! A few years ago, an
Well, one might find some
religion-related beliefs justifiable because people usually
revere ancestors. However, it
would be a disaster that such
worldly superstitions spread
among sane people!
ignorant old lady arrived to a small town after she was
displaced from her own by war. The woman was charismatic and had the looks of old witches flying around by
kuwait digest
Books, opera and culture
brooms. She claimed to be blessed and capable of
operating on people without surgery. The funny thing
is that one of those who believed her was a doctor
working in the town, and another university graduate
kept asking for her blessings seven times a day. The latter even waited for her nails to grow so that she clips
them in order to collect the cut nails as precious omens.
The woman had a son she claimed was also blessed.
So, those who missed the mother’s blessings could seek
it with the son, who was completely clean-shaven and
had soft features with which one could never tell
whether he was a man or a woman. The son, however
started witchcraft and the people believed him until
they found out that he was infatuated with the beautiful singer Nancy Ajram and had her posters all over his
room walls.
Exclaiming about this, they dared not speak about it to
him and reported back to his mother, who looked at
them with very cruel eyes, saying: “I represent the blessings of the old generation and he represents the blessings of newer ones!” Notably, that particular town was
recently occupied by extremists and became a safe haven
for them! — Translated by Kuwait Times from Al-Qabas
kuwait digest
What if liberals did it?
By Mudaffar Abdullah
T
o start with, corruption cannot be
eradicated in any country unless clear,
strong methods are used to expose it.
Commenting on the IS issue and the spread
of its ideologies in Kuwait, I would like to
highlight that there is too much commotion
by preachers that deliberately delude people not to understand the matter.
The recent court order sentencing a citizen and some expats to various periods
behind bars for supporting and funding this
particular organization inspired me to write
about this issue. In previous years, the government has tried to initiate dialogues with
extremists through the ministry of awqaf’s
�International
Moderation Center’
that was established in 2004 and
headed by a
Sudanese, but
proved to be a total
failure despite the
millions allocated to
it that got wasted
for nothing.
Kuwait is originally a religiously
and socially tolerant
country and the rise of extremism here was
because of many reasons, including the
appointment of some extremist figures in
leading positions where they utilized media
platforms to spread their one-sided ideas
and impose their own visions. Meanwhile,
all real scientific and moderate competent
people were excluded from tolerant thinking-spreading positions, which is actually
happening at the ministries of awqaf and
education, namely in terms of setting religious curriculums.
The news about imprisoning those supporting terrorism pleases but does not satisfy me. Extremism has to be fought by
books, debates and ideas, which is an effort
that requires a great deal of fully aware
planning by everybody, not only by religious people.
For example, we have recently noticed
the emergence of groups of young story
and novel writers, which is something that
ought to be invested in by the youth ministry by literally and financially supporting
them. Writing literature and human relations is but an indirect attempt to form a
competitive public awareness to counter
extremism and develop a passion for reading about others as a base for co-existence.
I repeat, the Kuwaiti society is innately
tolerant and history
proves that all the
extreme incidents
that took place in it
were imported from
other Arab countries
and used by local
elements sympathizing with them,
and those elements
became ministers,
senior officials and
parliamentarians,
who thanks to their
positions, had full access to the media.
In view of the unstable situations in the
Arab region, what we need today is a serious
activity through which state establishments
would line up to defend Kuwait’s image that
has been known for everybody for years as an
open-minded tolerant country. Those particular two traits have been concealed on purpose for the benefit of some extremist blocs.
The long awaited opera house project,
NCCAL activities, Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiya and
young writers’ activities is the best indirect
eloquent answer to fight those wishing to
alter Kuwait’s nature and image!
—Translated by Kuwait Times from Al-Jarida
The recent court order sentencing a citizen and some
expats to various periods
behind bars for supporting and
funding this particular organization inspired me to write
about this issue.
By Sami Abdullatif Al-Nisf
T
he vast majority of religiously committed Muslim youth is very
virtuous and peaceful. They have no problems with others and
nobody has any problem with them. The real problem that is devastating Muslim nations these days and contributes to shedding
Muslims’ blood lies in the extremist clerics and scholars, be them
known or disguised, who immediately brand others as infidels pending
having them beheaded. This is becoming very dominant, to the extent
that they cut down the total number of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH)
followers from 1.5 billion Muslims to a few thousands of evil bloodshedders.
The real reason behind the Muslim nation’s plight and tumults,
crises, bloodshed and human remains seen all over Muslim countries
nowadays are these extreme clerics who jump to label others as �infidels’. The funny thing is that these provokers lead very peaceful and
well-off lives, and never do what they urge others to do. They are never
in a hurry for martyrdom and meeting houris in paradise. Their houses
are full of occasional joys and celebrations on getting their children,
who had been safely kept at home, married, while grief, lamenting and
condolences fill the houses of naive young people who believed them.
We never hear these extremism clerics who immediately describe
others as infidels, those who have their own agendas to destroy Muslim
countries and who immediately issue �fatwas’ for these reasons say a
single word denouncing or incriminating the massacres committed by
IS, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and Taleban, the latest of which killed150
innocent Muslim schoolchildren for no reason. Just imagine what they
would say if those massacres and destruction against Muslims in countries like Somalia, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Mali, Egypt and Algeria had
been committed by liberals!
The silence of those clerics about those terrible crimes means only
one thing. THEIR satisfaction and wish to spread more chaos and killing
from Indonesia all the way to Morocco! Finally, let us all know that for
one, the massacres and destruction taking place in regional countries
by those their people had thought were angels and turned out to be
demons shedding Muslims’ blood ought to be a moral lesson for other
regional peoples who are still relatively safe.
The terrible incidents committed under a fake flag of Islam are but a
�historic recollection’ of the time of the Khawarij (a general term describing former Muslims, who while initially supporting the authority of Ali
bin Abi Talib, the son-in-law and cousin of Prophet Muhammad PBUH,
later rejected his leadership) who destroyed Islam pretending to be protecting it. The only difference between them is the magnitude of destruction that is thousands of times greater than that previously witnessed in
all of Muslims’ history. —Translated by Kuwait Times from Al-Anbaa
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
Erdogan slams birth
control as �treason’
Jazeera shuts Egypt channel
Page 8
Page 8
TUNIS: Head of the Tunisian ISIE elections body, Chafik Sarsar (center) and ISIE fellow members applaud in front of a giant screen during a press conference yesterday to announce that anti-Islamist politician Beji Caid Essebsi (right
on the screen) won Tunisia’s presidential election with 55.68 percent of the vote beating incumbent Moncef Marzouki. — AFP
Essebsi elected Tunisia president
Veteran anti-Islamist wins first free elections
TUNIS: Veteran anti-Islamist politician Beji Caid Essebsi
was declared the winner of Tunisia’s first free presidential
election yesterday, capping off the transition to democracy in the birthplace of the Arab Spring. But in a sign of the
challenges ahead for Tunisia, police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of youths who burned tyres in protest at
the result. Essebsi, an 88-year-old former official in previous Tunisian regimes, took 55.68 percent of the vote to
defeat incumbent Moncef Marzouki in Sunday’s run-off,
the electoral commission said.
Essebsi had claimed victory shortly after polls closed
but Marzouki, a long-exiled 69-year-old rights activist,
refused to concede defeat. A first round of voting on Nov
23 had seen Essebsi in the lead with 39 percent of the
vote, six points ahead of Marzouki. Participation in the
second round was 60.1 percent, electoral commission
chief Chafik Sarsar said, after authorities had urged a high
turnout. The vote was seen as a landmark for democracy
in Tunisia, which sparked the Arab Spring mass revolutions
with the 2011 ouster of longtime strongman Zine El
Abidine Ben Ali. The campaign was bitter and divisive,
with Marzouki insisting a win for Essebsi would mark the
return of Tunisia’s old guard of ruling elites. Essebsi in turn
accused his rival of representing the moderately Islamist
party Ennahda that ruled Tunisia after the revolution and
which installed him as president.
Continued divisions were clear as some 300-400 protesters clashed with police in the town of El Hamma in
Tunisia’s south, where Marzouki had widespread support.
The protesters “set fire to tyres and tried to attack a police
Rubbish lorry
ploughs into
Glasgow shoppers
LONDON: A rubbish lorry careered along a pavement crowded with Christmas shoppers in a busy shopping street in
Glasgow yesterday, killing several people, police said. A
spokesman for Scotland’s police service said he could not give
an exact number. At least seven people were seriously injured
and the number might rise, he said. Sky News said six people
had been killed. One witness told Reuters the truck appeared
to have driven out of control along a pavement for about 70
m in the city centre shopping area, close to fairground attractions and an ice rink set up for the Christmas holiday.
“A bin lorry did a run of about 70 to 80 metres on a pavement, mostly on a pavement and knocked down people
because it was on a very busy crossing,” George Ieronymidis,
58, owner of the nearby Elia Greek restaurant on George
Square, said. The police spokesman, referring to the possibility
that the incident was an attack, said: “It’s a terrible incident
but we don’t believe that there is anything at this juncture
that is sinister about the accident.”
Television images showed a large green truck at a standstill by buildings outside Queen Street train station. Two
witnesses on a tour bus said the driver of the truck had
been slumped over the steering wheel as it moved down
the street, Ieronymidis said. The police spokesman said the
driver was receiving treatment in hospital. Just over a year
ago, eight people were killed and 14 others seriously
injured when a police helicopter crashed into the roof of a
packed Glasgow pub. —Reuters
station by throwing stones. Security forces responded
with tear gas,” interior ministry spokesman Mohamed Ali
Aroui said. Several police were wounded in the clashes,
which began late on Sunday, Aroui said without providing
further details. After declaring victory on Sunday, Essebsi
had urged his rival to “work together for the future of
Tunisia”.
�Milestone’ Vote
The vote was the first time Tunisians have freely elected
their president since independence from France in 1956.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Monday congratulated the country on its “milestone” vote. “The successful staging of this presidential election confirms
Tunisia’s historic role,” he said in a statement.The weekly
Tunis Hebdo said the vote would “enhance Tunisia’s reputa-
• Clashes break out
tion as the only Arab Spring country that has managed to
survive”. The revolution that began in Tunisia spread to
many parts of the Arab world, with mass protests in Egypt,
Libya, Syria and Yemen. In every country except Tunisia the
revolution was followed by violent turmoil or, as in Syria’s
case, a devastating civil war. Sunday’s vote was largely
peaceful, though troops guarding ballot papers in the central region of Kairouan came under attack, shooting dead
one assailant and capturing three, the defence ministry
said. The authorities had deployed tens of thousands of
soldiers and police to provide security for polling day.
Ahead of the vote, jihadists had issued a videotaped
threat against Tunisia’s political establishment. Essebsi’s
Nidaa Tounes party won parliamentary polls in October
and he promised to begin the process of forming a government after the presidential vote. Under a new post-rev-
olution constitution, the powers of Tunisia’s president
have been curbed to guard against a return to dictatorship. Ennahda came second in the vote and has not ruled
out joining in a governing coalition.
The next government will face major challenges. The
small North African nation’s economy is struggling to
recover from the upheaval of the revolution and there are
fears that widespread joblessness will cause social unrest.
A nascent jihadist threat has also emerged, with militant
groups long suppressed under Ben Ali carrying out several
attacks including the killings of two anti-Islamist politicians. Yesterday’s edition of the French-language La Presse
newspaper said Tunisia was still experiencing “investment
failures, an alarming unemployment rate, purchasing
power at its lowest and a totally disordered social situation”. —AFP
p8_Layout 1 12/22/14 9:43 PM Page 1
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
I N T E R N AT I O N A L
Jazeera shuts Egypt channel
DUBAI: Qatar’s Al-Jazeera network said
yesterday it was “temporarily” closing its
Egypt-dedicated channel, accused of bias
towards the banned Muslim Brotherhood,
a day after the Gulf state pledged support
for Cairo. The decision appeared to be a
direct result of a thaw between Doha and
Cairo two days after Egyptian President
Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi received a Qatari
envoy following Saudi mediation. AlJazeera Mubasher Misr has “temporarily
ceased broadcasting until such time as
necessary permits are issued for its return
to Cairo in coordination with the Egyptian
authorities”, the Doha-based network said
on its website.
However, the live channel will not
return in its Egypt-specific identity as it will
be merged with another live station to
form Al-Jazeera Mubasher Al-Amma
(General), the network said. The pan-Arab
news broadcaster has been strongly criti-
cised in Egypt over coverage seen as
favourable to the Muslim Brotherhood, the
movement of ousted Islamist president
Mohamed Morsi. Qatar repeatedly
denounced Morsi’s removal by the army in
July 2013, and still shelters many
Brotherhood leaders, including those who
have fled a crackdown by authorities in
Egypt.
Three Al-Jazeera journalists, including
the award-winning Australian Peter Greste,
were sentenced to seven years in jail by a
Cairo court, accused of supporting the
blacklisted Brotherhood, in a verdict condemned worldwide. A statement yesterday
from the office of Qatari Emir Sheikh
Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani said “the security of Egypt is important for the security of
Qatar”. According to the Saudi daily Asharq
Al-Awsat, Sisi and Thani are expected in
Riyadh soon for a summit hosted by Saudi
King Abdullah. — AFP
Erdogan slams birth
control as �treason’
ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan described efforts to promote birth
control as “treason”, saying contraception
risked causing a whole generation to “dry
up”, reports said yesterday. Erdogan made
the comments on Sunday, directly addressing the bride and groom at the Istanbul
wedding ceremony of the son of businessman Mustafa Kefeli, who is one of his close
allies. He told the newly-weds that using
birth control was a betrayal of Turkey’s
ambition to make itself a flourishing nation
with an expanding young population.
“One or two (children) is not enough. To
make our nation stronger, we need a more
dynamic and younger population. We need
this to take Turkey above the level of modern civilisations,” Erdogan said. “In this
countr y, they (opponents) have been
engaged in the treason of birth control for
years and sought to dry up our generation,”
Erdogan said. “Lineage is very important
both economically and spiritually. I have
faith in you,” he said in comments reported
by the Dogan news agency, which also
posted a video of his speech.
Erdogan went on to praise marriage in
front of the couple, who were declared
man and wife by Istanbul’s mayor Kadir
Topbas. “Marriage is a long journey. There
are good days and bad days. Good days
become more frequent as we share them
and bad days finally bring happiness if we
are patient,” said Erdogan. He added: “One
(child) means loneliness, two means rivalry,
three means balance and four means abundance. And God takes care of the rest,” he
added.
�Women are not Incubators’
Erdogan’s government has long been
accused by critics of seeking to impose
strict Islamic values on Turks and curtailing
the civil liberties of women. The president who has two sons and two daughters - has
angered feminist groups for declaring that
every woman should have three children
and saying that women are not equal to
men. He has also made proposals to limit
abortion rights, the morning-after pill and
Caesarian sections. But this appears to be
his strongest attack yet on the principle of
birth control. Erdogan has repeatedly
warned that Turks must have more children
to prevent the rapid ageing of the population.
Turkey’s population has risen exponentially in recent decades to over 76 million
but the birth rate has begun to slow.
Erdogan’s latest remarks gave fresh ammunition to critics who argue the devout
Muslim is trying to raise the profile of Islam
in secular Turkey. Opposition lawmaker
Aylin Nazliaka said in a written statement
that Erdogan portrayed women as “incubators” rather than “individuals”, leaving them
exposed to violence. “Erdogan has become
the president but he continues to act like a
guardian. Would he talk so blatantly about
the female body if he was capable of giving
birth to a child?” she said.
Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu, a
doctor with two children, had at the weekend also caused controversy by declaring
pregnant women did not have the right
to decide how they would deliver their
child. “It is the duty of the midwives and
the doctors to prepare them for the birth.
The patients cannot say �I want a
Caesarean’. They don’t have such a right,”
he said. “The doctors’ job is to fulfil their
medical responsibilities not to follow the
patients’ demands. Doctors must give the
medical treatment that the patients have
a right to. The C-section is not one of
those rights.” — AFP
MT SINJAR, Iraq: Iraqi Kurdish forces head to battle Islamic State militants on the summit of Mount Sinjar on Sunday. —AP
In IS-held town, Kurds
face heavy resistance
Fighters slowly advancing in Kobane too
MOUNT SINJAR, Iraq: Iraqi Kurdish forces
forged ahead with their assault yesterday on a
militant-held town in nor thern Iraq, but
encountered heavy resistance from Islamic
State fighters whose snipers fired at the attackers and who used burning tires to create a
smoke screen against coalition airstrikes. The
battle for the town of Sinjar has emerged as the
latest fighting front in the campaign to chip
away at the territory that IS captured in its summer blitz across northern and western Iraq.
Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters launched
their offensive on the town, located some 400
km northwest of Baghdad, last week. In the
opening days of the operation, the Kurds managed to reach thousands of Yazidis who were
trapped on Mount Sinjar, which overlooks the
town and sweeping deser t plain below.
Peshmerga forces opened up a corridor to the
mountain and are regularly bringing truckloads
of aid and food to the area. The clashes have
moved to the edges of Sinjar itself, which the
militants have held since August.
One Kurdish fighter, Bakhil Elias, said the
fighting has been fierce. “ They were using
snipers and the peshmerga were responding
with machine gun fire, missiles, and anti-aircraft guns,” he said before heading back to the
front lines with his group of five other fighters.
At least two Kurds have been killed by snipers
and 25 wounded in the latest fighting. Kurdish
forces also said the militants are burning tires
and oil to create a smoke screen of thick dark
clouds to obstruct airstrikes against their positions by the U.S-led coalition.
From a lookout atop Mount Sinjar yesterday,
several pillars of thick smoke could be seen billowing over the town. The heavy thud of
artillery and crackle of small arms fire echoed
up the mountain. Since its surprise push across
Iraq this summer, the Islamic State group has
struggled to further expand territory under its
control as the Kurds as well as the Iraqi government and allied Shiite militias have found their
footing. In neighboring Syria, where IS also
controls a large chunk of land, the militants
have become bogged down in the fight for the
predominantly Kurdish town of Kobane on the
Turkish border.
Kurdish fighters have been slowly advancing
in Kobane in recent weeks with the support of
Iraqi peshmerga fighters who came to help. The
US-led coalition has also played a key role, carrying out waves of airstrikes against IS positions. Early yesterday, the Kurds captured a cultural center that they had laid siege to over the
weekend. A Kobani-based activist, Mustafa Bali,
said the center “is very important morally and
militarily” because it is located on a hill that
overlooks several neighborhoods east and
southeast of the town. “This will change the
military rhythm in the coming days,” he said,
adding that the aim of Kurdish fighters in Syria
is to evict IS militants from Kobane and nearby
villages.
The IS began its Kobane offensive in midSeptember, and quickly overran much of the
town as well as almost all of the surrounding
villages. Hundreds of fighters on both sides
have been killed since. Idriss Nassan, a local
official in Kobani, said that over the past days
the Syrian Kurdish force known as the People’s
Protection Units, or YPG, “has taken the initiative” and advanced in IS-held neighborhoods.
Nassan said peshmerga fighters usually bombard IS positions in the town while YPG fighters
carry out the ground attack with the help of
airstrikes that target militant positions. — AP
Obama takes foreign policy
risk, but on his own terms
WASHINGTON: US President Barack
Obama has been criticized as cautious
on foreign policy, but the secret negotiations on Cuba suggest a willingness
for bold and risky action, if he can
keep tight control and rely on a few
close aides. It’s a pattern Obama followed during clandestine talks with
Iran that led to an interim nuclear deal
and in under-the-radar discussions
with China on a climate change
agreement announced last month.
out of Washington.
The Iran talks were handled by
State Department officials William
Burns and Jake Sullivan, who have
since left the administration. The
point person on China was White
House counselor John Podesta.
Leading the Cuba mission from the
White House were deputy national
security adviser Ben Rhodes and senior Latin America adviser Ricardo
Zuniga, who met with Cuban officials
WASHINGTON: In this Dec 20, 2013 file photo, US President Barack Obama
listens to a question during his end-of-the-year news conference in the
Brady Press Room at the White House.—AP
Such diplomatic breakthroughs have
buoyed Obama and may help counter
charges that his responses to other
international matters, including the
rise of Islamic State militants and
Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, are
weak and ineffective.
“Around the world, America is leading,” Obama said Friday in a year-end
news conference. The president cited
the announcement that he was normalizing diplomatic relations with
Cuba after more than five decades of
Cold War acrimony with the communist island nation and “turning a new
page in our relationship with the
Cuban people.” The secret talks with
Cuba, like the negotiations with Iran
and China, were carried out by a small
number of officials who slipped in and
nine times in Canada and at the
Vatican.
In each instance, the advisers’ close
proximity to the president was intended to send a message to their counterparts that they were negotiating
with Obama’s full authority. The overtures to Iran and Cuba were gambles
for Obama. The US was negotiating
with two countries with whom it had
not had diplomatic relations in
decades. Leaks about the talks could
have undermined what little trust
there was on either side.
In opening a direct channel with
Iran, Obama also risked angering
Israel, which sees the Islamic Republic
and its pursuit of a nuclear weapon as
an existential threat. In shifting course
on Cuba, the president risked antago-
nizing congressional Republicans and
a few Democrats, though his new
position largely puts the US in line
with how the rest of the world deals
with the small island just 90 miles off
US shores.
There are few guarantees that
Obama will achieve his goals. The
president has given the negotiations
over a final nuclear deal with Iran a 50
percent chance of succeeding, and he
acknowledged on Friday that substantial political and social change may be
slow to come to Cuba. On other foreign matters, Obama has proved less
willing to gamble, especially when
potential military options are up for
discussion. For example, his policy on
Syria’s civil war has been seen by critics and allies as slow and indecisive.
The president has faced questions,
too, about whether he has acted
aggressively enough in helping
Ukraine counter Russia; his response
so far has relied chiefly on economic
penalties. They have contributed to a
precipitous fall in Russia’s currency,
but there is little indication that economic pain is causing Russian
President Vladimir Putin to pull back
from Ukraine. “It’s great when you can
do something with two guys in the
White House,” said Jon Alterman, senior vice president at the Center for
Strategic and International Studies.
“When you get a higher level of complexity, people are baffled at what the
administration is trying to do.”
Beyond diplomacy, Obama also
has taken risks by approving rescue
attempts of hostages in Syria and
Yemen, and aggressively used drones
and special operations forces against
terrorists, including the 2011 raid in
Pakistan that led to the death of
Osama bin Laden. Yet Obama sometimes has helped perpetuate the
image of a president paralyzed at the
prospect of risk. When Obama was
asked this year to outline his foreign
policy doctrine, he described it a strategy that “avoids errors”. “You hit singles, you hit doubles,” Obama said,
turning to a baseball analogy. “Every
once in a while we may be able to hit
a home run.” Some supporters
cringed, believing that description
misconstrued an appropriately cautious approach in a complicated
world. —AP
GAZA: Palestinians await permission to enter Egypt as they gather at the Rafah border crossing between Egypt
and southern Gaza Strip yesterday. Around 630 Palestinians left Gaza and entered the Egyptian Sinai through the
Rafah crossing the previous day after Cairo authorised a temporary reopening of the border, a Palestinian official
said. —AFP
Syria allows medicine
deliveries to Aleppo
BEIRUT: The Syrian government has
approved the delivery of medicine
and surgical supplies to three areas of
the country aid workers were previously unable to reach regularly,
including opposition-held Aleppo, the
World Health Organization said yesterday. All sides in Syria’s three-year
civil war have prevented medicine
from crossing front lines fearing it
could be used to help wounded enemy fighters. This has deprived trapped
civilians from life-saving medical assistance.
Elizabeth Hoff, the WHO’s Syria representative, told Reuters the government has now promised access to
Aleppo, the besieged Damascus district of Mouadamiya, and Eastern
Ghouta, outside the capital. “It is
something that we have been negotiating, after the constraints we’ve had,
we have had top level meetings. There
has been a willingness from the
Ministry of Health and the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs. We see a positive outlook,” Hoff said. “We have had some
constraints in the past with delivering
surgical supplies, syringes, but the situation is much better at the moment,”
she said.
The United Nations says 4.7 million
Syrians live in areas that are hard to
reach, including at least 241,000 people who remain besieged by either
government or opposition forces. “We
have actually got promises to deliver
to Aleppo and the hard to reach areas
around Aleppo. This will happen this
week. And next week we have deliveries for Mouadamiya, which has been
besieged for a long time,” she aid.
United Nations peace envoy
Staffan de Mistura has proposed a
freeze in fighting in Aleppo to help
get humanitarian assistance into the
city that has been divided for more
than two years between opposition
fighters and government troops. “We
also promised to deliver vaccines for
regular vaccination programs to
Eastern Ghouta which has been
closed for a long time,” Hoff said.
“These are the prospects for the next
two weeks and approved by the government.”
Syrian activists in these areas say
disease is spreading due to poor sanitar y conditions and government
siege. A plunge in vaccination rates
from 90 percent before the war to 52
percent this year and contaminated
water have allowed disease to take
hold. Insecurity from the war remains
the biggest impediment to aid deliveries, Hoff said. More than 200,000
people have been killed in Syria’s conflict, which began in March 2011 with
popular protests against President
Bashar Al-Assad and spiralled into civil
war after a crackdown by security
forces. —Reuters
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
I N T E R N AT I O N A L
Police slaying raises pressure on NY mayor
NEW YORK: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio faced the
biggest crisis of his political career on Sunday after a
gunman killed two police officers in an attack intended
to avenge recent police killings of unarmed black men
in the United States. New York police officers turned
their backs on de Blasio in protest during a news conference and their union said the mayor had blood on
his hands after Saturday’s shooting. Police investigators
have said the killings were the work of a 28-year-old
black man with a long arrest record who may have had
past mental troubles and who warned of his intentions
on social media.
The gunman’s posts on Instagram indicated he had
been motivated by the deaths of 18-year-old Michael
Brown and Eric Garner at the hands of police officers.
De Blasio was elected last year on a promise to advance
civil rights after two decades of tough policing helped
New York shed its reputation for violent crime. He has
been sympathetic to the protesters who poured into
New York’s streets after a grand jury declined earlier this
month to indict the officer who killed Garner in a
chokehold in July as he resisted arrest.
The mayor’s stance has led to sometimes tense relations with the city’s largest police union. Critics within
the force view the mayor as not supportive enough at a
time of public anger. “Mayors tend not to do well when
the police department and its officers are not happy,”
said New York political strategist Hank Sheinkopf,
whose clients have included de Blasio’s predecessor,
Ex-officer not
charged in fatal
Milwaukee shooting
MILWAUKEE: A white Milwaukee police officer who was
fired after he fatally shot a mentally ill black man in April
won’t face criminal charges, the county’s top prosecutor
said yesterday. Milwaukee County District Attorney John
Chisholm said Christopher Manney won’t be charged
because he shot Dontre Hamilton in self-defense. Manney
is at least the third white police officer to not be charged
in the past month after a confrontation that led to a black
man’s death.
“This was a tragic incident for the Hamilton family and
for the community,” Chisholm said in a statement. “But,
based on all the evidence and analysis presented in this
report, I come to the conclusion that Officer Manney’s use
of force in this incident was justified self-defense and that
defense cannot be reasonably overcome to establish a
basis to charge Officer Manney with a crime.”
The Hamilton family released a statement through
their attorney saying they were “extremely disappointed”
with the decision and that the case “cries out for justice,
criminal charges against Christopher Manney, and
accountability to Dontre Hamilton’s family.” The family
said it has asked the US attorney in Milwaukee to seek a
federal investigation. Manney’s attorney did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
The executive director of the American Civil Liberties
Union of Wisconsin, Chris Ahmuty, issued a statement
saying the decision not to charge Manney left “a cloud of
uncertainty over the circumstances of and the responsibility for Mr Hamilton’s death”. Manney shot 31-year-old
Hamilton on April 30 after responding to a call for a welfare check on a man sleeping in a downtown park.
Manney said Hamilton resisted when he tried to frisk him.
The two exchanged punches before Hamilton got a hold
of Manney’s baton and hit him on the neck with it, the
former officer has said. Manney then opened fire, hitting
Hamilton 14 times.
Several witnesses told police they saw Hamilton holding Manney’s baton “in an aggressive posture” before
Manney shot him, according to Chisholm’s news release.
Chisholm consulted with two experts on the use of force
by police officers, and both concluded Manney’s conduct
was justified. Emanuel Kapelsohn of the Peregrine
Corporation concluded that all the shots were discharged
in 3 or 4 seconds and there was no evidence that Manney
continued firing after Hamilton hit the ground. Police
have no video of the event.
Manney also suffered minor injuries, including a bite
to his right thumb, a neck strain and neck contusion, the
report said. He treated for post-concussion syndromes, a
mild traumatic brain injury and had physical therapy for
bicep and rotator cuff injuries, the report said. Hamilton’s
family said he suffered from schizophrenia and had
recently stopped taking his medication. Police Chief
Edward Flynn fired Manney in October. He said at the
time that Manney correctly identified Hamilton as mentally ill, but ignored department policy and treated him as
a criminal by frisking him.—AP
Immigrants line
up for Arizona
driving licenses
PHOENIX: Dozens of young immigrants protected from
deportation under an Obama administration policy lined up
outside government offices Monday in Arizona to apply for
driver’s licenses, a privilege first denied by the state but now
given to them by the courts. Yesterday marked the first day
they could get licenses after a judge barred enforcement of
Gov Jan Brewer’s policy of denying licenses to about 20,000
immigrants living in the country illegally. Young immigrants
waited outside a Motor Vehicle Division office in west Phoenix
an hour before it opened. A cheer erupted when the office’s
doors opened.
They said they were excited to finally get the chance to
drive legally. Many said they had been driving to their jobs for
years without licenses and feared being pulled over. Young
immigrants have said the governor’s policy made it difficult or
impossible for them to get essential things done in their
everyday lives, such as going to school, work or the store.
State officials are expecting a rush of immigrant applicants in
the weeks ahead.
The move in Arizona to deny the licenses was a reaction to
steps taken by the Obama administration in 2012 to shield
thousands of immigrants from deportation. The president’s
policy applied to people younger than 30 who came to the US
before turning 16; have been in the country for at least five
continuous years; are enrolled in or have graduated from a
high school or equivalent program; or have served in the military. In the nation’s most visible challenge to Obama’s
deferred-action program, Brewer issued an executive order in
Aug 2012 directing state agencies to deny driver’s licenses
and other public benefits to immigrants who get work authorization under the policy. Her attorneys have argued that the
decision grew out of liability concerns and the desire to
reduce the risk of the licenses being used to improperly access
public benefits. Despite her belief that issuing licenses is a
state matter, Brewer’s office confirmed she would comply with
the court’s orders.—AP
Michael Bloomberg. The deaths of Garner in New York
and Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, led to sometimes violent protests across the United States. A grand jury also
declined to charge the officer involved in Brown’s
death. The cases provoked a bitter public debate about
race and law enforcement that has drawn in President
Barack Obama and his black attorney general, Eric
Holder. Leaders of recent anti-police protests, including
longtime New York civil rights activist Reverend Al
Sharpton, have condemned the officers’ murder. About
100 protesters, part of a group who recently met with
de Blasio to call for police reforms, held a demonstration on Sunday night in Harlem. In contrast to usually
boisterous protests critical of police, participants
marched in silence bearing candles. A candlelight vigil
for the slain officers was also held in Brooklyn near the
scene of the shooting. Obama, briefed on Saturday
about the police deaths while on vacation in Hawaii,
called New York Police Commissioner William Bratton
on Sunday to express condolences for the killing.
Bratton heads the largest police department in the
country.
�Tension and Division’
New York’s Roman Catholic cardinal, Timothy Dolan,
warned of rising tensions during a Sunday service
attended by de Blasio and Bratton. “We worry about a
city tempted to tension and division,” Dolan said at St
Patrick’s Cathedral. Flags across the state flew at half
staff and the 13-year-old son of one of the deceased
officers bid his father good-bye in a Facebook post. “It’s
horrible that someone gets shot dead just for being a
police officer,” wrote the son of Rafael Ramos, 40, who
was killed alongside his police partner, 32-year-old
Wenjian Liu.
Funeral plans had not yet been announced for
Ramos and Liu, who were the first on-duty police officers to die in gunfire in the city since 2011. But the ceremonies could end up underscoring the divisions
between the police and the mayor. The police union
had previously started a campaign in which officers
could fill out a form asking de Blasio and other city officials not to attend their funerals if they were to die in
the line of duty. It was not clear on Sunday how many
officers had filled out the forms.
Police on Edge
Across the country, police departments were on
edge on Sunday following the attack in New York and
another in Florida. A police officer on duty outside
Tampa was shot to death early Sunday and a suspect
has been arrested, local authorities reported. There was
no indication yet of a motive. The St Louis Police
Officers Association on Sunday asked the department
to step up security, while Baltimore’s police union said
the current political environment was the most dangerous for officers since the 1960s.
Police said the gunman, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, shot and
wounded his former girlfriend in a Baltimore suburb
before traveling to New York City and attacking the officers while they were sitting in their patrol car. Just
before the shooting, Brinsley said to two bystanders,
“Watch what I’m going to do,” NYPD Chief of Detectives
Robert Boyce told a news conference. Brinsley killed
himself soon after the shooting. Georgia court documents portray Brinsley as having had numerous run-ins
with the law and possible mental trouble. He was
booked into jail in Fulton County, Georgia, nine times
between 2004 and 2010 on charges including simple
battery, obstructing a law enforcement officer and terroristic threats.
A sentencing document in Cobb County, Georgia,
where he pleaded guilty to weapons charges in 2011
showed that when asked if he had ever been a patient
in a mental hospital or been under the care of a psychologist or psychiatrist, Brinsley said, “Yes,” but there
were no details of his mental problems. He said he had
gone as far as 10th grade in school. He was arrested a
total of 19 times, Boyce said. Members of Brinsley’s family told NYPD investigators that he had attempted suicide in the past and that his mother believed he had
undiagnosed mental health issues, Boyce said. “His
mother expressed fear of him and hadn’t seen him in a
month,” Boyce told reporters. Police identified Brinsley’s
former girlfriend as Shaneka Nicole Thompson, 29. She
was in critical but stable condition at an area hospital,
police said. — Reuters
Police departments on
alert after cop killings
Fears rise about safety of law enforcement officials
NEW YORK: Big-city police departments and union leaders
around the US are warning the rank and file to wear bulletproof vests and avoid making inflammatory posts on social
media in the days after a man ambushed two officers and shot
them to death inside their patrol car. The killings of Officers
Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu on Saturday afternoon in the
New York borough of Brooklyn heightened fears about the
safety of law enforcement officials nationwide. The gunman,
28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, had vowed in an Instagram post
to put “wings on pigs” as retaliation for the deaths of black
men at the hands of white police. Brinsley was black; the slain
New York Police Department officers were Hispanic and Asian.
Officials in New York investigated at least a dozen threats
against police since the shootings, and one man was arrested
at a Manhattan precinct after he walked in and said: “If I punch
you in the face, how long would I go to jail?” and refused to
leave. Investigators are trying to determine if Brinsley had taken part in any protests over the deaths of Michael Brown and
Eric Garner, whose names he invoked in his online threat, or
simply latched onto the cause for the final act in a violent rampage.
The killings come at a tense time as police nationwide are
being criticized following Garner’s death in a New York officer’s chokehold and Brown’s fatal shooting in Ferguson,
Missouri. Protests erupted in recent weeks after grand juries
declined to charge the officers involved. After the officers’
killings, a union-generated message at the 35,000-officer
NYPD warned officers that they should respond to every radio
call with two cars - “no matter what the opinion of the patrol
supervisor” - and not make arrests “unless absolutely necessary.” The president of the detectives’ union told members in a
letter to work in threes when out on the street, wear bulletproof vests and keep aware of their surroundings.
Another directive warned officers in Newark, New Jersey,
not to patrol alone and to avoid people looking for confrontations. At the same time, a memo from an NYPD chief asked
officers to limit their comments “via all venues, including
social media, to expressions of sorrow and condolence.” In
Philadelphia, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey urged the
leaders of protests over the deaths of Garner and Brown to
“call for calm and not let this escalate any further.” In Boston,
Police Commissioner William Evans said police issued an alert
warning officers about the New York City killings and added
that the department had issued several alerts following the
Ferguson grand jury’s decision.
At a news conference in New York on Sunday, Chief of
Detectives Robert Boyce detailed Brinsley’s long criminal
NEW YORK: New York City police officers gather near a makeshift memorial yesterday near the site where fellow officers
Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were murdered in the Brooklyn borough. — AP
record, hatred for police and the government and apparent
history of mental instability that included an attempt to hang
himself a year ago. Brinsley had at least 19 arrests in other
states, spent two years in prison for gun possession and had a
troubled childhood so violent that his mother was afraid of
him, police said. He ranted online about authority figures and
expressed “self-despair and anger at himself and where his life
was,” Boyce said.
Hours before shooting the officers, Brinsley had shot and
wounded his ex-girlfriend, Shaneka Thompson, at her home in
Baltimore. After leaving Baltimore, authorities said, Brinsley
took a bus north to New York City and used Thompson’s
phone to write on Instagram: “They take 1 of ours, let’s take 2
of theirs.” He ended the post with references to the Brown and
Garner cases. Once in New York and shortly before he opened
fire on the officers, Brinsley walked up to people on the street
and asked them to follow him on Instagram, then told them,
“Watch what I’m going to do,” Boyce said. Then Brinsley
approached the squad car and fired four shots, killing the
policemen. He ran into the subway station and committed suicide.
The shootings also deepened acrimony between rankand-file police and Mayor Bill de Blasio. Their union president
recently suggested officers sign a petition telling the mayor
not to attend their funerals if they died on duty, and some
officers turned their backs on de Blasio Saturday as he
walked through the hospital where Liu and Ramos had been
taken. Police Commissioner William Bratton said Monday on
NBC’s “Today” show that he didn’t consider that gesture
appropriate, “but it’s reflective of the anger of some” police
officers. The mayor has lost some officers’ confidence,
Bratton said, but he suggested that recent pension changes
and ongoing contract negotiations also had contributed to
the uneasy atmosphere. — AP
p10 2_Layout 1 12/22/14 8:32 PM Page 1
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
I N T E R N AT I O N A L
Brutal French driver attack �not a terrorist act’
DIJON, France: A Frenchman who
ploughed into pedestrians shouting
“God is great” had been to psychiatric
hospital 157 times and had no known
links to jihadist groups, a prosecutor said
yesterday, easing concerns the attack
was inspired by Islamic extremism.
The incident in the eastern town of
Dijon left 13 people hurt in a scene one
witness described as “apocalyptic” and
came a day after a man assaulted police
in the central town of Joue-les-Tours
with a knife, slashing one officer in the
face. That man, who was shot dead, had
also reportedly shouted the Islamic
phrase that has previously been used by
extremists when waging violent attacksprompting speculation both assaults
were motivated by radical Islamism.
But French leaders were quick to play
down any links between the two incidents, with President Francois Hollande
urging the French not to panic and government spokesman Stephane Le Foll
warning against “lumping them together.” In Saturday ’s attack, Bertrand
Nzohabonayo, a French convert to Islam
who was born in Burundi, was shot dead
after entering a police station in Joueles-Tours armed with a knife, seriously
wounding two officers and hurting
another. The assault prompted the government to step up security at police
and fire stations nationwide.
Nzohabonayo had previously committed petty offences but was not on a
domestic intelligence watch-list
although his brother Brice is known for
his radical views and once pondered
going to Syria. Brice was arrested in
Burundi soon after the Saturday incident, intelligence services there said
yesterday.
“He has been detained in our premises and he is being questioned,” intelligence
spokesman
Telesphore
Bigirimana said. The anti-terror branch
of the Paris prosecutor’s office quickly
took over a probe into the attack amid
heightened vigilance over potential
“lone wolf” attacks by individuals heeding calls for violence by the Islamic State
jihadist group. The radical group has
repeatedly singled out France for such
attacks, most recently in a video posted
on jihadist sites.
Bertrand Nzohabonayo, who had taken the name Bilal when he converted to
Islam, had posted a flag of the Islamic
State group on his Facebook page
Thursday, although people who knew
him said at the weekend they refused to
believe the attack was spurred by radical
Islamism.
Acted for Chechnya children
The second attack on Sunday also
saw the assailant shout “God is great”,
witnesses told police. The driver targeted groups of passers-by at five different
locations in Dijon in a rampage that lasted around half an hour, before being
arrested. Interior Minister Bernard
Cazeneuve, who visited the town on
Monday, said 13 people were injured in
the rampage though none of the victims
are critical.
Local prosecutor Marie-Christine
Tarrare told reporters that the man, born
in 1974, had a “long-lasting and severe
psychological disorder” and had visited
psychiatric hospital 157 times.
She said he told police that he
ploughed into people due to a sudden
“outburst of empathy for the children of
Chechnya.” “He was not guided by religion but because he felt that politically
he had to react,” she said, adding that
nothing had been found at his parents’
home that would suggest he had any
interest in the Islamic State group or
other extremist gatherings. A witness to
his rampage, meanwhile, described an
“apocalyptic scene.” “We were going
home, we saw four people on the
ground... who weren’t moving at all,” said
the witness, who refused to be named.
“Cars stopped to give them first aid. Very
quickly, firefighters and emergency
medical workers arrived.” — AFP
Pope’s scathing attack on
Vatican plagued by ills
VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis lambasted the
Vatican’s bureaucracy yesterday, saying
some within the Church lusted for power
and suffered from “spiritual Alzheimer’s” in
comments likely to outrage his adversaries.
The Argentine used a Christmas speech to
cardinals, bishops and priests to list a catalogue of ailments plaguing the the very top
of the Church.
He said the Vatican was riven with “existential schizophrenia”, “social exhibitionism”, “spiritual Alzheimer’s” and a lust for
power, all of which made for an “orchestra
that plays out of tune”.
The outspoken pope also warned
against greed, egoism and people who
think they are “immortal”.
It is not the first time the 78-year-old has
taken on the scandal-hit, intrigue-filled
Curia, and called for them to renounce gossip and act responsibly. But rarely has he
used such vivid terms to describe the sins
he says afflict the heart of the Italian-dominated body, and the speech was very stonily received.
He slammed those who are slave to
their “passions, caprices and manias” as well
as those who “possess a heart of stone and
a stiff neck”. He bemoaned the “scandal”
caused by infighting and those who live a
“double life”-their public one and a “hidden
and often immoral” one.
He pitied those who, ridden with jealousy, “feel joy in seeing others fall down”
and urged top official to help him find a
“cure”. The pope advised red-hatted cardinals full of their own self-importance to
“pay a visit to the cemeteries” to look at
those “who thought they were immortal,
immune and indispensable!”
�Cold-blooded murder’
And with relish, he also returned to one
of his favorite themes: the evils of gossip.
Backstabbing by “cowards who don’t have
the courage to say things openly” is tantamount to “murder in cold blood”, he said.
The diatribe will doubtless fuel the opposition to the reform-minded Francis which
has been growing within the Church,
according to Vatican watchers.
But religious expert Gianni Valente told
La Stampa’s Vatican Insider that he would
also be applauded for “calling the diseases
which plague his surroundings by their
names.” His performance “foiled once more
the stereotype of the �Latin American martian’ who is unaccustomed to the Roman
and European �complexities’ with which his
detractors and aspiring courtiers try to
neutralize him,” he said.
Francis was elected in March last year on
a mandate to overhaul the Vatican and put
an end to decades of infighting within the
powerful but troubled body. Since then he
has establish a series of specialist bodies to
tackle corruption and poor management,
including the naming of eight cardinals
from around the world to advise him on
the Curia’s overhaul.
Despite winning the hearts of many religious and non-religious people alike
around the world, the pope has also made
enemies, particularly within the conservative arm of the Church. Francis’s attempts
to kick-start dialogue within the Church
earlier this year over a possible new
approach to remarried, divorced people
and homosexuals sparked an outcry in
some quarters.
His most vocal critic, the American cardinal Raymond Burke, was later demoted.
But Vatican watcher Andrea Tornielli said
yesterday’s speech did not herald “the start
of witch-hunting season”, with other red
hats ready to roll. —AFP
KIEV: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (right) listens as his Kazakh counterpart
Nursultan Nazarbayev speaks during their statements for the results of the talks in Kiev
yesterday. Nazarbayev is in Ukraine for a one-day working visit. — AFP
Crisis-hit Russia’s top allies
build ties with Ukraine
KIEV: Kazakh President Nursultan
Nazarbayev followed his Belarussian counterpart to Ukraine yesterday as Moscow’s
old allies built bridges to Europe while
Russia’s financial crisis and diplomatic isolation grew. Both visits were ostensibly made
to kickstart stalled peace negotiations
between Kiev and the two Russian-speaking regions of eastern Ukraine that rebelled
against Kiev in April.
Belarussian President Alexander
Lukashenko hosted such talks in
September and is hoping to do so again in
Minsk in the coming days. But Nazarbayev
has no evident link to the eight-month conflict and remains a prominent member of a
Russian-dominated economic union that
includes Belarus and once had aspirations
to enlist Ukraine.
A senior Ukrainian official told AFP that
both leaders-criticized in the West for their
intolerance of political dissent-were now
trying to shake off the Kremlin and forge
partnerships in Europe because Russian
President Vladimir Putin “is weak”. Some
political analysts in Russia agreed.
“This is an unambiguous signal to Putin,”
said Konstantin Kalachyov of Moscow’s
Political Expert Group think tank. “Both
Kazakhstan and Belarus fear that their
union with Russia will be engulfed by (an
economic) crisis.”
�Honest broker’
Putin angrily rejects backing Ukraine’s
separatist fighters and calls the waves of
Western sanctions a remnant of Cold Warera thinking designed to contain Russia
and possibly even topple his team.
The veteran Kremlin leader is due today
to receive both Nazarbayev and
Lukashenko for a summit of leaders from
neighboring nations that have formed a
loose military bloc.
But his relations with Lukashenko have
been strained by the Belarussian strongman’s refusal to let Russian industrial giants
take over his state companies in return for
discounted energy deliveries.
And Nazarbayev has balanced his
Central Asian country’s interests evenly
between those of Russia and China-its
southeastern neighbor and increasingly
important trading partner. “Kazakhstan has
equal regard for both Russia and Ukraine,”
Nazarbayev said on the eve of his visit to
Kiev.
“We have no conflicts of interest. I am
what they call an honest broker.”
Lukashenko also appeared keen to cast
himself as someone ready to stand up to
Russia if their views did not coincide, during talks with Ukrainian President Petro
Poroshenko on Sunday. He appeared to be
referring to Putin when he told the
Ukrainian leader: “They keep saying that
Lukashenko is afraid of someone. But I am
not afraid.”
Belarussian state media then quoted
Lukashenko as saying that he supported
holding “secret” negotiations about building stronger cross-border ties with Ukraine.
“Let’s not say anything to anyone at all
but do it in secret-just as long as there is
progress in this direction,” Lukashenko was
quoted as saying.—AFP
BARCELONA: This combination of two images shows (right) Spain’s Princess Cristina arriving to attend a funeral mass for former International
Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch at Barcelona’s cathedral on April 22, 2010 and Spanish King’s son-in-law and husband
of Princess Cristina, Inaki Urdangarin (left) arriving to the courthouse in Barcelona on July 16, 2013. — AFP
Spain’s Princess Cristina to
stand trial in tax fraud case
Another blow to monarchy trying to revive its image
MADRID: Cristina de Borbon, sister of Spain’s
King Felipe VI, is to stand trial on tax fraud
charges as soon as next year, becoming the first
Spanish royal to face prosecution. Princess
Cristina’s father Juan Carlos abdicated in June
after a series of scandals, and his son Felipe is
riding high in opinion polls. He has tried to modernize the monarchy and has taken away rights
and duties from his two sisters, neither of whom
is now formally part of the royal family.
Prosecutors have been conducting an investigation into the affairs of Cristina’s husband, former Olympic handball player Inaki Urdangarin,
for four years.
They have ordered Cristina, 49, Urdangarin
and 15 others to stand trial in the case involving
his Noos Foundation charity, the High Court of
the Balearic Islands said yesterday. Graft investigations in Spain have exposed high-level corruption among politicians, trade unions and
bankers among others, and have eroded
Spaniards’ faith in their institutions after a major
economic crisis and a government austerity
drive. As Spain heads into a general election
year, corruption will be high on the political
agenda. Polls show the issue as Spaniards’ second biggest concern after sky-high unemployment. New anti-establishment party Podemos “we can” in Spanish - has already benefited from
the disaffection, and threatens to eat away at
support for mainstream political leaders, including those from the ruling centre-right People’s
Party (PP) and the opposition Socialists. Cristina
and her husband have both denied any wrongdoing in the case, triggered by a complaint from
anti-graft campaigners Manos Limpias - “clean
hands” in Spanish.
Urdangarin has been charged with breach of
legal duty, embezzling public funds, fraud, influence-peddling and money-laundering. The
princess is accused of two tax crimes. Her lawyer
Miquel Roca said yesterday said she had been
surprised by the court order. Spanish law can
allow the accused to escape trial if the victim of
a crime - in this instance, the Spanish state does not back the charges, as was the case here.
He said Cristina would be launching an
appeal based on that. “It’s a serious, surprising
and exceptional situation,” Roca told journalists.
The couple have been ordered to deposit
funds with the court to cover possible liabilities - 2.6 million euros ($3.2 million) in the case
of Cristina, and nearly 15 million for
Urdanganrin. They now have 20 days to
deposit the money, according to a written
court ruling, or face having assets seized.
Cristina remains sixth in line to the throne. A
spokesman for the royal household declined to
comment on whether the princess would give
up her succession rights. —Reuters
Greek parliament vote
in balance after
Samaras election offer
ATHENS: Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ surprise
offer to lawmakers to go to the polls late next year in
exchange for a vote for his presidential nominee has injected fresh momentum into his flight against the anti-austerity left. However, as parliament prepares for a second round
of voting today to elect a successor to 85 year-old
President Karolos Papoulias, the outcome still appears
open with only a handful of independents pledging firm
support to the government.
If a new president is not elected by a third round on Dec
29, elections will have to be held by early February, potentially handing power to Syriza, the main leftwing opposition party, which wants to renegotiate the international
bailout agreement that Greece still needs to keep its battered finances afloat. Such an outcome could rock the
euro-zone, which is only just emerging from its debt crisis.
Greek media reported yesterday that Samaras’ candidate, Stavros Dimas, could get 169 votes in the second
round, still 11 short of the 180 vote threshold required in
the decisive third vote, leaving the race still too close to
call. The second vote needs 200. “There are already a few
additional positive votes but I think that the chances of
electing a president are extremely slim,” said Costas
Panagopoulos, the head of Athens-based polling institute
ALCO.
With financial markets and Greece’s European partners
all watching closely, voting on Tuesday will begin at midday (1000 GMT), with the result likely around an hour later.
Dimas is not expected to be elected on Tuesday, but the
result will offer a pointer to the final result. Only five independents backed Dimas in the first round, giving the government 160 votes. Samaras, whose normal term ends in
mid-2016, called on parliament for support on Sunday,
promising to bring pro-European independents into the
government and hold new elections by the end of 2015 in
exchange for voting in Dimas.
Syriza and the small Democratic Left and Independent
Greeks parties have all rejected the offer.
The main Athens index rose 2 percent at first on hopes
of a deal that could avert snap elections. However it fell
back later to trade flat. The already uncertain outlook was
complicated on Friday by claims of an attempt to bribe an
Independent Greeks lawmaker to vote with the government.—Reuters
SKOPJE: Protesters hold a banner “No to state racketeering” during a protest yesterday in Skopje against the new law for freelance workers yesterday. From January 1,
the government will take 37 percent of the fees for social and health security. — AFP
Court opens case against
Catalan leader for vote
BARCELONA: Catalonia’s president Artur
Mas was placed under investigation yesterday for holding a banned vote on whether
his region should be independent from
Spain. The Catalonia High Court said that
Mas was under judicial investigation for
flouting a injunction against holding the
symbolic vote on November 9.
Prosecutors have accused him of civil
disobedience, abuse of power and embezzlement of public funds for pressing ahead
with the vote. If charges were brought
against him, Mas could risk a jail sentence
of several years and a ban from public
office.
“Personally I do not understand these
accusations, that someone should take you
to court for organizing a vote,” Mas said
yesterday ahead of the court’s announcement. “But I fully respect the courts’ decisions.” An injunction by Spain’s
Constitutional Court had forced Mas to
water down
his plan for an official vote. Instead the
November 9 ballot was merely symbolic
and organized by volunteers. But prosecutors allege Mas and other Catalan officials
used their influence as well as public money to hold the ballot. The Catalan government says 2.3 million people took part in
the vote on November 9. Roughly 80 percent of those who voted-some 1.86 million
people-favored independence.
Mas is in favor of independence and
wants a full referendum on it, but Spain’s
conservative government has vowed to
prevent any breakup of the country. Proindependence feeling has surged in the
rich region over recent years, fanned by disagreements with the central government
over Catalan sovereignty and the economic
crisis.
However a poll by Mas’s regional government published last week indicated for
the first time that those opposed to independence narrowly outnumbered those in
favor. Of the Catalans questioned, 45.3 percent said they would vote against breaking
away from Spain while 44.5 said they
would vote in favor of such a move. —AFP
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
I N T E R N AT I O N A L
Protests in India over
conversions set
back reform agenda
NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s
reform agenda suffered a setback yesterday as protests
erupted in parliament and in the streets over a campaign by Hindu hardliners linked to his party to convert
Muslims and Christians to Hinduism. Opposition members threw papers and swarmed to the centre of the
upper house of parliament, forcing the suspension of
the session and effectively preventing the government
from tabling a bill to increase foreign participation in
the insurance sector.
The long-pending insurance legislation to raise the
cap on foreign investment to 49 percent from 26 percent, and another bill to replace a decree to overhaul
the coal sector, were considered low-hanging fruits that
Modi hoped to push through parliament’s winter session, which ends on Tuesday.
But comments by the head of the right-wing Hindu
group, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, that India
was a “Hindu nation” provoked a storm of criticism,
snuffing out any chance of opposition support for government business in the upper house of parliament,
where Modi lacks a majority.
“This is an attempt to divide the society,” Nitish
Kumar, an opposition leader from the state of Bihar told
hundreds of people at a protest in New Delhi, referring
to religious conversions. “The government is not capable of resolving the core issues of our country, so they
want to divide the society and distract people.”
Modi is facing a backlash for not doing enough to
rein in hardline affiliate groups that have become
emboldened in their pursuit of a Hindu-dominant agenda, threatening India’s secular foundations, critics say.
Trouble erupted this month after a group of Muslims
complained they had been tricked into attending a conversion ceremony by Hindu groups. A Hindu priestturned-lawmaker of Modi’s party had planned a mass
conversion ceremony on Christmas Day, but that has
been put off.
About a fifth of India’s 1.2 billion people identify
themselves as belonging to faiths other than Hinduism.
Conversion is a sensitive issue with Hindu groups saying
many poor Hindus were forced over the ages to give up
their faith, or lured into Christianity and Islam.
Yesterday, opposition Congress party leader Anand
Sharma urged Modi to make clear where he stood on
conversions. Modi actively communicates via social
media and addresses the nation every month on radio,
but has not commented on conversions, letting colleagues tackle the criticism. — Reuters
NEW DELHI: Rashtriya Janata Dal and Samajwadi Party
supporters participate in an anti government protest in
New Delhi yesterday. The protesters voiced their disapproval for right wing Hindu groups allied to the ruling
Bharatiya Janata Party conducting a series of ceremonies across India over the past week to convert
Christians and Muslims to Hinduism. —AP
Afghan forces
launch operations
near Pakistan
ASADABAD, Afghanistan: Afghan security
forces have launched an operation against militants in an eastern province seen as a rear base
for the Pakistani Taleban which carried out a
school massacre last week, officials said yesterday.
Pakistan’s army chief met Afghan President
Ashraf Ghani in Kabul in the aftermath of the
school attack in the Pakistani city of Peshawar
which killed 149 people, mainly children. The
army chief sought Ghani’s support in defeating
the Tehreek-e-Taleban Pakistan (TTP).
TTP leader Mullah Fazlullah is believed to be
hiding in Afghanistan’s Kunar province, which
borders Pakistan’s restive tribal areas. Kunar has
been the scene of fierce fighting between local
forces and the Afghan Taleban for the past 10
days.
“Afghan security forces have launched a joint
anti-militant operations in several parts of
Dangam district of Kunar province,” Dawlat
Waziri, deputy defence ministry spokesman,
said. “So far in the operation, 21 armed insurgents have been killed and 33 others wounded,”
Waziri said, adding that seven security personnel
were wounded. Kunar governor Shujaul Mulk
Jalala said more than 1,500 Afghan Taliban fighters attacked remote villages in Dangam.
Jalala said Pakistani Taliban and Lashkar-eTaiba militants were also battling Afghan security forces in Dangam. Pakistan has repeatedly
asked Afghanistan to capture and hand over
Fazlullah. Each nation has long accused the other of allowing militants to shelter in the border
region and launch bloody attacks that threaten
regional stability. The Afghan Taleban have
stepped up their attacks as NATO wraps up its
combat operations, which end on December 31.
A follow-up mission of about 12,500 US-led
NATO troops will stay on to train and support
Afghan security forces. — AFP
PESHAWAR: A grieving Pakistani family departs an army-run school in Peshawar yesterday where their family member Ali was killed during the December 16 massacre by Taleban militants. — AFP
Pakistan to execute 500
terror convicts in weeks
Troops intensify operations against Taleban
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan plans to execute around 500 militants in
coming weeks, officials said yesterday, after the government lifted
a moratorium on the death penalty in terror cases following a
Taleban school massacre.
Six militants have been hanged since Friday amid rising public
anger over Tuesday’s slaughter in the northwestern city of
Peshawar, which left 149 people dead including 133 children.
After the deadliest terror attack in Pakistani history, Prime Minister
Nawaz Sharif ended the six-year moratorium on the death penalty, reinstating it for terrorism-related cases.
“Interior ministry has finalized the cases of 500 convicts who
have exhausted all the appeals, their mercy petitions have been
turned down by the president and their executions will take place
in coming weeks,” a senior government official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
A second official confirmed the information. Of the six hanged
so far, five were involved in a failed attempt to assassinate then
military ruler Pervez Musharraf in 2003, while one was involved in
a 2009 attack on army headquarters.
Police, troops and paramilitary rangers have been deployed
across the country and airports and prisons put on red alert during the executions and as troops intensify operations against
Taleban militants. Sharif has ordered the attorney general’s office
to “actively pursue” capital cases currently in the courts, a government spokesman said. The “prime minister has also issued directions for appropriate measures for early disposal of pending cases
related to terrorism,” the spokesman said, without specifically confirming the plan to execute 500 people.
Pakistan has described Tuesday’s bloody school rampage,
claimed by the Tehreek-e-Taleban Pakistan (TTP), as its own “mini
9/11,” calling it a game-changer in the fight against extremism.
Political and military leaders vowed to redouble efforts to
stamp out the scourge of terror in the wake of the attack, which
the TTP said was revenge for the killing of their families in an army
offensive in the tribal northwest. The offensive against longstanding Taleban and other militant strongholds in North Waziristan
and Khyber tribal agencies has been going on since June. But a
series of fresh strikes since the Peshawar attack, in which dozens
of alleged militants were killed, suggest the campaign is being
stepped up. The decision to reinstate executions was condemned
by human rights groups, with the United Nations also calling for
Pakistan to reconsider. Human Rights Watch on Saturday said the
executions were “a craven politicized reaction to the Peshawar
killings” and demanded no further hangings be carried out.
Pakistan began its de facto moratorium on civilian executions in
2008, but hanging remains on the statute books and judges continue to pass death sentences. Before Friday’s resumption, only
one person had been executed since 2008 — a soldier convicted
by a court martial and hanged in November 2012. Rights campaigners say Pakistan overuses its anti-terror laws and courts to
prosecute ordinary crimes. — AFP
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
I N T E R N AT I O N A L
Australian PM under fire for women comments
SYDNEY: Australian Prime Minister Tony
Abbott was accused yesterday of craving “a
world where men do the big jobs and women
do the ironing” after saying his biggest
achievement for females was reducing household bills by axing a carbon tax. The backlash
came after he unveiled sweeping changes
Sunday to his ministry, dumping Defense
Minister David Johnston, promoting
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison and
appointing only his second woman to cabinet.
It followed recent opinion polls showing
his personal approval rating and that of his
conservative government had plunged over
tough spending cuts and perceived broken
promises since coming to power late last year.
Abbott hit the airwaves yesterday to sell the
reshuffle as a “reset and refocus” for the new
year, but found himself the brunt of criticism
after saying his biggest achievement for
women this year was repealing the carbon
tax.
“As many of us know, women are particularly focused on the household budget and
the repeal of the carbon tax means a Aus$550
(US$447) a year benefit for the average family,” Abbott, who doubles up as minister for
women, told the Nine Network.
In opposition Abbott, who was accused of
sexism by former leader Julia Gillard in an
infamous speech about misogyny, claimed
repealing the tax would help women by lowing electricity costs associated with ironing.
Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese told
Fairfax Media Abbott was stuck in a time
warp. “The problem isn’t that Tony Abbott’s
stuck in the past, it’s that he wants the rest of
Australia to go back there and keep him company in a world where men do the big jobs
and women do the ironing,” he said.
Labor Senate leader Penny Wong added: “I
think we can safely say that time and time
again, over and over again, Tony Abbott just
reminds us how out of touch he is with the
lives of women in modern Australia.” His comments spawned numerous digs on social
media as women pondered what they would
do with the extra money, with the hashtags
#thankstony, #PutYourIronOut and #ministerforwomen trending, with people posting pictures of irons.
“Was planning to write paper for
Astrophysical Journal today but too distracted
by household budget,” tweeted scientist Lisa
Harvey-Smith. Another said: “#thankstony,
with the Carbon tax repeal I can buy a new
apron,” while tweeter Willa McDonald added: “I
know where I’d like to put my ironing board.”
Damage control?
Since assuming power in September 2013,
the government has announced savings
across the board to rein in a growing budget
deficit. But critics have slammed some of the
measures, which include slashing health and
education spending while tightening welfare
benefits, as broken pre-election promises and
too harsh.
There has also been criticism of the government’s ability to adequately explain why
the cuts were needed, but Abbott denied the
reshuffle was damage control. “No,” he told
the Seven Network when asked if this was the
case. “This is a good way to end the year after
a year of considerable achievement. “The vital
challenge of government next year is more
jobs, more prosperity for families, but the way
to achieve that is to build a stronger economy
and that means continuing our work to get
the budget back under control,” he added.
Among the cabinet changes, Morrison was
moved to the social services ministry with
Abbott making welfare reform one of his key
priorities. Johnson was replaced by Health
Minister Peter Dutton while Assistant Education
Minister Sussan Ley assumed the health and
sport portfolios, doubling the number of
women in the ministry. Julie Bishop is Foreign
Minister. —AFP
US Marine asks Philippines
to dismiss murder case
Trial opens in killing of Filipina transgender
MANILA: A US Marine facing trial for
the murder of a Filipina transgender
woman urged the Philippine
Department of Justice yesterday to
dismiss the case against him.
In a petition filed with the
department, the lawyer for Private
First Class Joseph Pemberton
argued that prosecutors did not
present enough evidence to charge
him with the killing of Jennifer
Laude.
The body of Laude 26, also
known as Jeffrey, was found at a
cheap hotel in the red light district
of the northern port of Olongapo in
October after she checked in with
Pemberton, police in that city said.
But the petition argued that the
evidence linking Pemberton to the
killing was “based on nothing but
conjectures and speculations”.
“There was no evidence presented
as to the details of the purported
Marilou Laude (center), sister of Jennifer Laude, 26, also known as Jeffrey, speaks during a protest
after attending a court hearing in the city of Olongapo, north of Manila yesterday. —AFP
assault during the preliminary
investigation other than the surmises and conjectures of the supposed
witnesses and the baseless conclusions of the (Olongapo) police,” the
petition argued.
The murder case against
Pemberton was filed with an
Olongapo court which issued a formal arrest warrant for him last
week. However a petition to the justice department is also an option
for the accused in such criminal cases.
Pemberton also wanted court
hearings suspended pending a
decision on his petition. But
Philippine prosecutors argued that
this would delay proceedings,
which under a US-Philippine agreement must be completed in a year.
In Olongapo a lawyer for the Laude
family, Harry Roque, said
Pemberton’s petition was “not a
basis for suspension, especially for
cases like this”.
The high-profile case has
inflamed anti-US sentiment in the
Philippines and strains in relations
between the longtime allies, which
both sought custody of the suspect.
The US government has refused to
hand over custody to Philippine
authorities even after prosecutors
charged Pemberton with murder.
He is currently under US military
guard at a Philippine military base
in Manila. —AFP
Sydney siege gunman’s partner
has bail revoked after review
SYDNEY: The partner of Sydney siege gunman
Man Haron Monis had her bail revoked yesterday
after Australian authorities requested a review amid
public anger that the pair were on the streets.
Amirah Droudis, 35, had been on bail for a year
since being charged with the brutal killing of
Monis’s ex-wife. Monis was also free despite facing
charges of abetting the murder and a string of sexual offences. Noleen Hayson Pal suffered a gruesome death in April 2013 when she was stabbed 18
times and set alight in western Sydney.
Outrage over their bail grew after the deadly
SYDNEY: Photos showing Katrina Dawson (left) and Tori Johnson (right) sit amongst
the floral tributes left outside the Lindt cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place, one week after
a siege at the cafe which saw two hostages Dawson and Johnson along with the gunman killed yesterday. —AFP
siege last week-in which Monis and two hostages
died after a 16-hour standoff-forcing New South
Wales Attorney-General Brad Hazzard to demand
that the state’s director of public prosecutions
review the case. Chief Magistrate Graeme Henson
told the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney that
Droudis posed an “unacceptable risk” to the community given her previous convictions and the
nature of the allegations.
“The case against the accused is stronger than it
was 12 months ago,” Henson told the court, without
elaborating, adding that the risk could not be mitigated by adding conditions.
He revoked her bail and she was ordered into
custody immediately. NSW Premier Mike Baird welcomed the decision. In a statement, he added that
the “government expects community safety to be
front and centre of all bail decisions and that is why
the attorney-general expressed concern and
requested a review of the case”.
Droudis, together with Monis, had previously
been found guilty in 2013 of sending offensive letters to the families of dead Australian soldiers seven
years ago. The magistrate who bailed Monis last
December over the murder and the lawyers who
defended him on a string of charges have been the
subject of death threats.
Concern about Monis’s freedom given his history of violence also led Prime Minister Tony Abbott
to order an urgent inquiry into the circumstances
surrounding the siege, and into why the gunman
was free and not under surveillance. Memorial services for the two victims of the siege, 34-year-old Tori
Johnson and 38-year-old Katrina Dawson, will be
held at separate venues in Sydney on Tuesday.
The body of the Iranian-born gunman was to be
released to his family yesterday after investigators
completed an autopsy, the NSW Justice
Department told AFP. —AFP
Thai maid sentenced to
death for drugs in Malaysia
KUALA LUMPUR: A Thai woman was sentenced to
death yesterday after a Malaysian high court found
her guilty of trafficking drugs, Bernama news
agency reported. Duangchit Khonthokhonbari, 33,
who had been working in Malaysia as a maid, was
caught with 2.81 kilogrammes (6.2 pounds) of
methamphetamine at Kuala Lumpur International
Airport in March last year.
Anyone with at least 50 grams of methamphetamine is considered a trafficker in Malaysia
and subject to the death penalty. Defence lawyers
could not be reached for immediate comment,
but Duangchit is expected to appeal against the
death sentence, which is carried out by hanging
in Malaysia.
The verdict comes just days after an Australian
mother-of-four, Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto, was
also charged with drug trafficking in Malaysia. A
customs check at the airport on December 7 discovered 1.5 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, or “ice,” in a hidden compartment in her
bag.
Her lawyers insist she was innocently duped
into carrying a bag that appeared to contain only
clothing by a stranger in Shanghai. Exposto is due
to appear in court again on January 23, when a
chemist’s report on the suspected drugs will be
submitted.
Hundreds of Malaysians and foreigners are on
death row in the Muslim-majority country, many
for drug-related offences, though few have been
executed in recent years. Two Australians were
hanged in 1986 for heroin trafficking-the first
Westerners executed in Malaysia-in a case that
strained bilateral relations. Last year Dominic
Bird, a truck driver from Perth, was acquitted on
drug trafficking charges after he was allegedly
caught with 167 grams of crystal methamphetamine. —AFP
Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha (second right) and Chinese Premier
Li Keqiang (right) prepare to inspect Chinese honor guards during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing yesterday. Prayut
Chan-o-cha is on a visit to China from Dec 22 to 23. —AFP
Indonesia jails cleaners
over school sex abuse
JAKARTA: Five cleaners were jailed yesterday over the sexual abuse of a young boy at
one of Indonesia’s most prestigious international schools, in a scandal that has rocked
Jakarta’s expatriate community. In separate
hearings, judges told the South Jakarta district court that four male cleaners-Agun
Iskandar, Virgiawan Amin, Zainal Abidin, and
Syahrial, who goes by one name - were
“proven legally and convincingly guilty of
committing sexual abuse and violence on
minors”.
They were each sentenced to eight years
in jail and a fine of 100 million rupiah
($8,000). Afrischa Setyani, the only female
cleaner among the five defendants, was earlier yesterday “found guilty of assisting in
violence and sexual abuse of children”, presiding judge Mohamad Yunus said.
“We sentenced her to seven years in
prison and a fine of 100 million rupiah
($8,000),” he added. Their sentences were
lower than the prosecutors’ recommended
10 years. Their trials began in August, following the first allegation in April that cleaners
had raped the six-year-old nursery school
boy at the Jakarta International School,
which has long been favored by expatriates
and wealthy Indonesians but is now facing
the worst crisis in its 60-year history.
Several of the cleaners who originally
confessed have since recanted, claiming
they were beaten by police. The family of
the abused boy is suing the school and
seeking $125 million in damages.
Their lawyers said their clients were innocent and would appeal. The school’s workers
union in a statement said medical reports
from four hospitals “stated that there was no
evidence of sexual abuse” and called for the
cleaners and their families to appeal to the
High Court.
“We believe the truth is there and there
will always be a way to uncover it,” union
representative Rully Iskandar was quoted as
saying. A sixth cleaner was implicated in the
case but died in custody, with police saying
he committed suicide by drinking floorcleaning fluid.
Canadian Neil Bantleman, an administrator at the school, and Indonesian teaching
assistant Ferdinand Tjiong, are also on trial
separately, accused of sexually assaulting
children. They deny the charge. —AFP
Alleged Australia child
killer coping as best she can
SYDNEY: An Australian mother charged
with killing eight children will have her
case heard in January, a court said yesterday as she struggles to come to
terms with what happened.
Raina Mersane Ina Thaiday, 37, also
known as Mersane Warria, is accused of
eight counts of murder after the bodies
of the children were found in a house in
the northern city of Cairns on Friday
morning.
Seven of them were hers and she
was an aunt to the eighth. The childrenfour girls and four boys-were aged
between two and 14. The Cairns
Magistrates Court refused an application by the women’s lawyer Steven
MacFarlane for the next hearing on
January 30 to be in a mental health
court.
This is procedural as MacFarlane said
she was currently on an involuntary
treatment order and would be
assessed, “so once she gets assessed,
then it may go to a mental health court
at that stage”.
MacFarlane said Thaiday, who did
not attend the hearing as she remained
in a Cairns hospital under police guard
with non life-threatening injuries, was
still coming to terms with what happened.
“I’ve spoken to her, she’s coping as
best she can at the moment,” he told
reporters outside the court.
“I’m not a doctor, I think she probably knows what’s happened but
doesn’t realise it, it hasn’t sunk in, is my
personal opinion only.”
Permanent memorial
The hearing came as the local mem-
ber of the Queensland state parliament,
Gavin King, said the public housing
home in the suburb of Manoora where
the bodies were found would be
demolished and a permanent memorial instead built on the site.
“It’s the right thing to do going forward to help with the healing process,
of course for the family but also the
local residents around us, but also the
broader community who... have been
very deeply shocked by this tragedy,”
King told reporters.
“I’ve been here since Saturday morning and I haven’t had anyone say that
they would like the house to stay.
“Everyone across the board... they are
very unanimous in terms of saying they
would like to see an appropriate
memorial in this location.”
King said he had been talking to
family representatives, local residents
and agencies to get a sense of what
form of permanent memorial they
wanted. “My conversations and directions from those range of people has
been that they just want an appropriate memorial that... they can pay their
respects, certainly local children and
the local community can use on a longterm basis,” he said.
Police said Sunday that crime scene
investigators were still working in the
house, describing it as a “long process”.
“We still have experts there. It will be a
long, hard road from here on in,” detective inspector Bruno Asnicar said.
Officers have not revealed the cause
of death of the children but said they
were looking into various scenarios,
including suffocation. They also said
knives were found at the house. —AFP
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
NEWS
A couple of Russian Army helicopters fly over the Monument to Scuttled Ships, during a promotional campaign for contract service for the Russian Army in Sevastopol, Crimea, on Dec 20, 2014. — AP
N Korean cinema: Kidnappings and evil Americans
SEOUL: North Korea hates the currently scrapped Hollywood film that
revolves around the assassination of
its beloved leader, but the country
has had a long love affair with cinema - of its own particular styling. In
the six decades since North Korea
began to cultivate its own film
industry, a South Korean director
and his movie star wife have been
kidnapped, a Godzilla-inspired monster movie has bombed at the box
office in the South, American defectors have hammed it up in anti-US
propaganda films - and there has
even been a foray into “girl power”
cinema with the more recent
“Comrade Kim Goes Flying”.
The US blames North Korea for
the recent cyberattack on Sony
Pictures, which produced “ The
Interview,” and also for threats of terror attacks against US movie theaters. Sony canceled the movie’s
release. North Korea has denied a
role in the hacking, but also praised
it as a “righteous deed”.
Pyongyang began building its
cinema industry in the 1950s as a
wing of a propaganda machine
meant to glorify the country’s late
founder, Kim Il Sung, the grandfa-
ther of current leader Kim Jong Un.
The elder Kim once declared movies
to be the most important tool to
educate the masses, according to
archive material maintained by the
South Korean government.
North Korean moviemakers have
since dabbled with science fiction,
action and romantic comedy, but
they’re mostly expected to stoke
public animosity against rivals
Washington and Seoul, and to portray the Kim family as a fearless bastion against evil foreign imperialists.
North Korea’s progress in filmmaking technology has been slow, espe-
Fadhl calls for granting non-Muslims...
Continued from Page 1
Fadhl said he chose to appeal against that constitutional amendment in the constitutional court, the highest
court in the country and whose rulings are final, and not
through the National Assembly because “he did not want
to embarrass my colleagues and enter into a dispute of
personal views”. If the challenge is accepted, it will allow
non-Muslims to become Kuwaiti citizens. But if rejected,
the status quo will be maintained.
Fadhl is not a member of any political party but he is an
independent, sometimes pro-government, liberal-secular
lawmaker who became a member of parliament in July
last year. He however was elected twice before but both
assemblies were scrapped by the constitutional court. The
lawmaker said the article that bans non-Muslims from
becoming Kuwaitis is a “stigma on the Kuwaiti constitution
and laws”, adding that those who added it to the constitution in 1981 do not deserve to become members of parliament who took the oath to respect the constitution and
laws. He also stressed that the presence of the article in the
Kuwaiti constitution defies the morals of the Kuwaiti people and their principles.
The Kuwaiti population of 1.27 million is predominantly
Muslim, with a Sunni majority and Shiite minority. But
there are around 200-250 Kuwaiti Christians who were naturalized before the introduction of that article. Most of
them hail from Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon. The constitutional court is not expected to rule on the case before several months. It has to be seen first whether the court will
accept the challenge or not, and whether it will agree to
rule on an issue related to citizenship.
cially when compared to a South
Korean film industry that’s the envy
of Asia.
Isolation
The country’s relative isolation
means North Korean filmmakers
rarely get the opportunity to work
with foreign artists. A notable exception was “Comrade Kim Goes Flying,”
a romantic comedy from 2012 about
a young female coal miner who
dreams of becoming a trapeze artist.
The movie was co-produced with
Western partners. The 1980s were a
heyday for North Korean movies.
The current leader’s father, Kim Jong
Il, was an ardent movie buff and
ensured generous funding for filmmakers.
When Kim soured on the quality
of films produced by his countrymen, he ordered the abduction of
South Korean film director Shin
Sang-ok and his then-wife, actress
Choi Eun-hee, in 1978, Shin said
after he escaped the North in 1986.
Shin shook the North Korean movie
scene with his entertainmentfocused works. They included 1984’s
“Love, Love, My Love,” responsible
for the first on-screen kiss in North
Korean films, and “Runaway,” an
action film released the same year
that included an exploding train,
according to a South Korean govern-
In this file image made out of film “Comrade Kim Goes Flying” released
on Oct 3, 2012 by the Busan International Film Festival, Comrade Kim
Yong Mi played by Han Jong Sim smiles as she wears a coal miner’s helmet. — AP
ment website.
North Korea has long shown
Shin and Choi managed to American characters in its movies as
escape during a business trip to villains, sometimes played by North
Vienna in 1986, a year after Shin Koreans in makeup, but also by actucompleted “Pulgasari,” a science-fic- al Americans who defected to the
tion film inspired by Japan’s iconic North in the 1960s. Four such
“Godzilla” series. Pulgasari, which Americans appeared together as evil
features an actor waddling around capitalists and military officials in
in a padded monster suit, flopped “Nameless Heroes,” a 20-part propawhen it was released in South Korea ganda film series filmed from 1979
in 2000 during a period of warmer to 1981, according to the South
relations between the rivals.
Korean government website. — AP
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
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Focus
Gaza ripe for
new explosion
By Adel Zaanoun
B
arely four months after a bloody conflict battered Gaza,
experts warn that a new war could be in the offing if
reconstruction is not accelerated and Palestinian divisions
remain. Since the end of the deadly 50-day war between Israel
and Hamas, which killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians and 73 in Israel,
little has changed on the ground in Gaza. Swathes of the territory
lie in ruins and tens of thousands of people remain homeless.
With reconstruction still conspicuous by its absence and talks to
bolster the August truce repeatedly postponed, frustration is
growing in Gaza - and with it the danger of a new outbreak of
violence.
This weekend, for the first time since the war ended on Aug
26, Israeli warplanes struck southern Gaza after militants fired a
rocket over the border, the third time this has happened in four
months. Although nobody was hurt on either side, the exchange
of fire raised concerns that the fragile truce could deteriorate rapidly. Last week, as Hamas militants paraded through Gaza with
rocket launchers and missiles in a show of force to mark the 27th
anniversary of the Islamist group’s founding, they were quick to
warn that the situation was unsustainable.
“If there is no reconstruction of what Israel destroyed, we
warn you that there will be an explosion,” warned the Ezzedine
Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military wing. “If our demands are
ignored, there will be consequences for the enemy, its people
and its leaders.”
Slipping Towards War
The glacial pace of reconstruction is the most immediate concern for Gaza, where UN figures show more than 96,000 homes
were damaged or destroyed in the war, leaving 100,000 people
homeless. Over the past eight years, Gaza has been subjected to
an Israeli blockade which has effectively barred the entry of most
construction materials on grounds that militants could use them
for other purposes. After the war, the UN brokered a mechanism
which would allow such goods in while ensuring they do not fall
into the wrong hands.
Palestinian officials say Israel has effectively blocked reconstruction by limiting supplies entering Gaza, but diplomatic
sources say the UN-brokered mechanism has taken longer than
expected to get up and running. The process has also been
slowed by infighting between Hamas and Fatah, its West Bankbased rival which dominates the Palestinian Authority and has
been tasked with managing reconstruction. “The circumstances
are as they were before the war,” Israeli commentator Avi
Issacharoff said. “If the blockade continues, the borders remain
closed and building is slow in the next six months, Hamas will
move towards escalation, and depending on Israel’s response, it
could turn into a new war.”
Gaza-based analyst Walid Al-Mudallal agreed that Hamas was
under increasing pressure. “If it remains frozen in terms of reconstruction, war will be the only option. Hamas will have no choice,”
he said. Figures cited by international aid charity Oxfam indicate
287 truckloads - each carrying around 40 tonnes of essential
building materials - entered Gaza in November. But officials say
that if Gaza is to be rebuilt within three years, it would need to be
receiving at least 7,000 tonnes - or 175 truckloads - every day.
“The options are few and very difficult, ranging from bad to
worse. As Israel slows the entry of building materials, Egypt closes
the (Rafah) border and reconciliation fails to be implemented,”
Mudallal said.
�At Boiling Point’
Reconstruction aside, analysts say the conditions which led to
the deadly summer conflict are largely still in place. “Gaza, almost
four months after the war, remains a pressure cooker at boiling
point,” wrote Amos Harel in Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, saying the
situation was similar to before the fighting that began on July 8.
Before the war, Hamas - already struggling under the Israeli
blockade - found itself under increasing pressure from Egypt
which dealt Gaza a harsh blow by destroying a network of crossborder smuggling tunnels and closing the Rafah crossing, triggering a major financial crisis.
In a bid to ease the pressure, Hamas signed a unity agreement with Fatah in the hope that the Palestinian Authority would
facilitate payment of its Gaza employees. But the deal has never
been properly implemented, and tensions between the two has
only festered. “The likelihood of war is there,” said Naji Sharab, a
politics professor at Al-Azhar University. “Hamas’s popularity will
wane if the building freeze continues and if the financial issues
aren’t solved, and this will happen the longer reconciliation stagnates,” he said.
With the Palestinian Authority slated to play a key role in
reconstruction and monitoring the crossings with Israel and
Egypt, overcoming internal divisions is crucial. “If the political and
internal situation continues like this and Hamas does not find a
way out, then it might decide it has no other option” than war,
Sharab said. —AFP
All articles appearing on these
pages are the personal opinion of
the writers. Kuwait Times takes no
responsibility for views expressed
therein. Kuwait Times invites readers to voice their opinions. Please
send submissions via email to: [email protected] or via snail
mail to PO Box 1301 Safat, Kuwait.
The editor reserves the right to edit
any submission as necessary.
Young Cuban-Americans emerge as Obama allies
By David Adams
F
or a handful of Cuban-Americans, President Barack Obama’s
new Cuba policy wasn’t much of a shocker. For months, they
quietly advised the White House in hopes of shaping a new
policy towards the communist-run nation. “A lot of what the president announced is what we, and others in Miami, have been
doing for a long time,” said Felice Gorordo, co-founder of Roots of
Hope, a non-partisan group of Cuban-American university students and young professionals.
Their mission: Closer contact with the island to build mutual
understanding - a point of view that’s often at odds with their parents and grandparents. But they offer much more than policy
advice. Obama is counting on this organization, and others like
them, to help pave the way for his new policy that includes measures from promoting private sector entrepreneurship, to modernizing the island’s telecommunications infrastructure and restoring
access to US banking services.
“There is a clear understanding in the White House that politically they are going to have to focus on and cultivate the younger
generation of Cuban-Americans who are mobilized and out there
supporting the president’s decision,” said Frank Mora, a Cuba
scholar at Miami’s Florida International University, and a former
top Pentagon official for Latin America in the Obama administration. Obama is going to need that support as he faces opposition
from his Republican rivals and the Cuban-American political
establishment that opposes closer ties with Cuba.
Establishing Roots
Gorordo co-founded Roots of Hope in 2002 while studying
government affairs at Georgetown University after a visit to Cuba
where he was inspired by the number of educated youths hungry
for change. The group first gained notice in Miami in 2009 when it
got behind a controversial peace concert in Havana by Colombian
rocker Juanes who lives in Miami. Now, it says, there are some
9,000 members, a Miami office and three staffers.
As far as politics is concerned, the organization said it is bipartisan. Indeed, its leaders added, not all its members support normalization of relations with Cuba. Members include second-generation Cuban-Americans born in Miami, as well as recent arrivals
from Cuba. “We are not here to push political agendas. We are
seeking to be a platform for anyone who cares about a better
future in Cuba,” said Raul Moas, the group’s director.
Still, while respectful of their parent’s bitter memories, they say
it’s time to move on. “The pain is real,” said Gorordo. “We inherit
this baggage and carry it like a backpack. It gives us the ability to
empathize with our parents’ struggle, and we also know when to
take off that backpack in order to see the change we all desire.”
Roots of Hope’s main focus is what they call “people-to-people
connectivity” with the island. It sends smart phones to Cuba. It
encourages Cuban-Americans to visit the country and reconnect
with lost relatives and discover their heritage.
They have also worked with Silicon Valley executives at
Google, Twitter, Facebook and Apple to improve digital services in
Cuba, where the Internet is strictly limited by the Cuban government. It was, for example, instrumental in helping Google win US
permission in August to make its Chrome browser available to
users in Cuba.
“In order to be able to advance you have to be able to engage,”
said Gorordo, 31, a former White House fellow in 2011-12 who is
also chief executive of Clearpath, a tech company for online immigration filings. The Obama administration confirmed its involvement with Roots of Hope. It has consulted with the organization
on “the kinds of action they thought might contribute to greater
openings in Cuba,” said Bernadette Meehan, spokesperson for the
National Security Council, the president’s advisory body on foreign policy.
CubaNow
Roots of Hope, as far as young Cuban-Americans are concerned, aren’t the only game in Miami. In an email Meehan also
credited another Miami-based group, CubaNow, with urging the
White House “to focus on helping improve conditions for Cuban
citizens,” while continuing to promote human rights and democracy. CubaNow, launched in April, is backed by a handful of deeppocketed benefactors, including Ralph Patino, a Miami lawyer and
Democratic party fundraiser who contributed $78,800 to the
Obama campaign in 2012.
“We have to do everything possible to ensure these gains survive the next election and work with Congress to see how we can
continue updating our policy to Cuba,” said Ric Herrero, 36,
CubaNow’s director. The group describes itself as a political advocacy organization led by young Cuban-Americans. It has urged
Obama to use his executive authority to refocus Cuba policy away
from punishing the Cuban government to empowering the
Cuban people.
The White House outreach began shortly after Obama visited
Miami in November last year for a fundraiser at which he said US
Cuba policy might need an “update”. But Wednesday’s announcement was met with scorn from many older Cuban exile leaders
who strongly oppose relaxing pressure on the Cuban government
which they believe is on its last legs. In addition, the new groups
are largely dismissed as bit-players by the well-heeled, conservative Cuban-American political establishment.
US Representative Mario Diaz-Balart said media reports have
talked for decades about “a change in perception,” but he noted
that no Cuban-American has been elected who supports normalization. “So where are all these people? You might want to interview them.” Other older Cubans are even less flattering. “It’s sad
that young people can be so ignorant. They must be communists,”
said Laura Vianello, 68, a Cuban exile with the hardline Miami
group Vigilia Mambisa. That point of view, though, seems to be
softening. Street protest in Miami were small this week, a sharp
contrast to the large demonstrations in 2000 when the Justice
Department ordered a 6-year-old rafter boy, Elian Gonzalez,
returned to his father in Cuba. —Reuters
Party’s over in Kabul as expat era fades
By Ben Sheppard
T
he tennis club is deserted, the pool-side
French restaurant is closed and picnic trips
are cancelled. The US-led war in
Afghanistan brought a flood of international aid
workers, diplomats and security contractors to
Kabul, creating a frenetic social scene that is now
a distant memory. A series of Taleban attacks on
expat hang-outs shattered any illusions that foreign civilians were safe in the city, and those
places still open have bored waiters and empty
tables.
As the United States and its allies officially end
their 13-year war on Dec 31, Afghanistan appears
in the grip of worsening violence and the remaining foreign workers have retreated further inside
fortified compounds. “I used to employ 28 people
a year ago. Now I employ only eight,” an expat
restaurant manager told AFP on condition of
anonymity over espresso coffee and almond
cake. “I am married to an Afghan and I will stay,
but we are very worried. We used to be so busy.
All the aid groups and embassies had a list of
places that their staff could go. Now everywhere
is off-limits,” she said, gesturing to her deserted
restaurant one lunchtime.
All-night parties with plenty of alcohol and a
lot of young, single people were always incongruous in the capital of conservative Muslim
Afghanistan, but now Kabul’s “Kabubble” - as it
was known - has truly burst.
Old Haunts Shut
“The days of big parties ended long ago,” said
Francesca Recchia, the Italian author of the Little
Book of Kabul, a new collection of essays about
the city. “Any social life is inside people’s houses
or compounds. Of course, many internationals
are restricted where they can visit, but some of us
try to lead normal lives with Afghan friends.
“There are simply a lot less expats than the crazy
days of 2008 or 2010, and those who are here you
don’t see out and about. There is a lot of fear.”
The final tipping point for many came last
January when a Taleban attack on the popular
Taverna du Liban restaurant killed 21 people,
including 13 foreigners enjoying mezze and a discreet beer. Among the dead were senior United
Nations staff, European Union police officers,
In this photograph taken on Dec 7, 2014, Afghan carpet trader Haji Abdul Hakim displays a carpet as he waits for
customers in his shop on Chicken Street in Kabul. —AFP
American teachers and British aid contractors.
Today, the site is boarded up and abandoned.
Five minutes’ drive away, the steel doors of
the Gandamack Lodge have been locked since
April. It was perhaps the best known restaurant
and hotel in Kabul, serving British favourites such
shepherd’s pie and bread pudding with custard.
After dinner, its basement pub boasted a warm
log fire, a well-stocked bar and antique rifles
hanging on the walls - until the whole premises
was closed down by the government for being a
“nest for intelligence agencies”.
Old expat haunts like French restaurant
L’Atmosphere - once famed for its pool parties have closed, and picnic trips to Qargha lake outside Kabul or to the Panjshir valley are now often
deemed too risky. “Every Thursday and Friday
there would be parties for hundreds of people,
with guest lists that really meant any Westerner
could just walk in,” said Kabul-based American
journalist Courtney Body. “With the troop surge
(2010-2012), there was also a civilian surge. It was
hedonistic and we never worried about anything.
There were no rules compared with back home,
so foreigners liked it. There was a sense of freedom. I remember all-day parties. You could enjoy
a beer and a swim, and someone would always
get thrown into the pool with their iPhone in
their pocket.”
Secret Bar
The tennis club was one centre of the social
whirl, where ambassadors teamed up with NGO
workers for mixed doubles in the afternoon. Now
the umpire chairs have rotted to bits, and the disintegrating net is repaired with patches of ribbon.
“No one comes any more,” said the forlorn coach,
who asked for his name to not be used for fear of
attracting attention from the Taleban. Small signs
of the old era do remain - a chic and heavily-protected cafe selling $14 burgers, and a secret bar
offering small cans of Heineken for $12.
Ganjina, a collection of upmarket shops,
offers iPad cases sewn by Afghan refugee women
and elegant clutch bags made out of the same
material used for the all-encompassing burqa.
But sales have plunged this year as deadly attacks
targeted a luxury hotel, residential compounds,
vehicle convoys and foreign guesthouses, journalists and doctors. “Business is down 40 percent
since January and the shop is hanging on by the
skin of its teeth,” said Kerry Jane Wilson, director
of Zardozi, which runs an outlet in Ganjina.
Wahid Abdullah, owner of Herat Carpets on
Chicken Street, the souvenir market since the
hippy days of the 1970s, recalled how the US war
brought a sudden glut of customers after 2001.
“We used to be so busy we didn’t have time for
lunch,” said Abdullah. “The first years were super,
and I hired extra weavers in Kabul and Kunduz
province. “I know many expats are leaving. But
we will keep working. Selling carpets is what my
family does.” —AFP
p15_Layout 1 12/22/14 8:29 PM Page 1
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
S P ORTS
Malinga returns from injury
Kramer extends contract
No retirement for Cahill
COLOMBO: Sri Lanka pace spearhead Lasith Malinga is recovering well
from his ankle surgery and should be back in action during the later stages
of the one-day international series in New Zealand next month, according
to coach Marvan Atapattu.
The mercurial Malinga underwent surgery on his left ankle in September
and missed the team’s one-day series against India and England.
The 31-year-old, whose yorkers delivered with a sling-shot action at
times makes him almost unplayable, will be crucial for Sri Lanka’s chances in
the 50-over World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. “Malinga
is still recovering from surgery and everything is going well
according to plan,” former Sri Lanka batsman Atapattu
said. “He will return for the last two ODI games in New
Zealand.”
Malinga, who has taken 271 wickets in 177 ODIs,
has been named in Sri Lanka’s provisional 30-man
squad for the World Cup. Sri Lanka, who finished runnerup to India at the 2011 World Cup, will play seven onedayers in New Zealand to warm up for the Feb. 14March 29 tournament.—Reuters
BERLIN: German World Cup winner Christoph Kramer has ended months
of media speculation about his future by signing a two-year contract
extension that will keep him at Bayer Leverkusen until 2019.
The defensive midfielder, who has yet to play for Leverkusen since joining them in 2011 and is on loan at Borussia Moenchengladbach this season, won the World Cup with his country in Brazil in July.
“With the return of Christoph Kramer (next summer) we have succeeded in our concept of developing young and talented players at other clubs,”
said Leverkusen CEO Michael Schade.
Kramer, seen as a natural replacement to Leverkusen captain Simon
Rolfes who is retiring at the end of the season, said a few months ago that
the way players were treated by clubs sometimes reminded him of the
“slave trade”.
That triggered an angry reaction from Leverkusen officials but the 23year-old, who has also had a loan spell at VfL Bochum, said he was now
ready to play for his parent club.
“I have known Bayer since my youth and always dreamt of making it
among the pros,” added Kramer. “I have now succeeded in that via Bochum
and Gladbach and I am very happy.” Leverkusen meet Atletico Madrid in
the last 16 of the Champions League in February.—Reuters
SYDNEY: Australia’s all time leading goal-scorer Tim Cahill is feeling as fit as
ever and thinks he could continue playing for another four seasons into his
40th year.
With his weight and body fat ratio unchanged since he was 17, Cahill
said he would be looking for a two or three year contract when his deal
with Major League Soccer (MLS) club New York Red Bulls expires next year.
The 35-year-old forward, in Australia to prepare for next month’s Asian Cup,
said he could yet return to the English Premier League, where he
spent nine years with Everton before making the switch stateside. “ The future’s bright,” Cahill told the Australian
Associated Press.
“I’ve got another year left on my New York Red Bulls contract. The main feeling for me is every time I’m at a club, I
like to be there for a long time. “To be totally honest, I could have gone back to the Premier
League on loan after the World Cup and I
decided to stay with Red Bulls for the remainder of the season and still (have) options to
go back to the Premier League if it’s the
right one for me.—Reuters
Flyers soar over Jets
WINNIPEG: Rob Zepp made 25 saves in his
NHL debut and Jakub Voracek scored 10 seconds into overtime, sending the Philadelphia
Flyers to a 4-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets
on Sunday night.
Voracek and linemate Claude Giroux
forced a Dustin Byfuglien turnover behind the
Winnipeg net, and Voracek slid the puck
through Ondrej Pavelec’s pads for his second
goal of the game.
Vincent Lecavalier had two third-period
goals for the Flyers, who rallied from a 3-1
deficit. Matt Halischuk, Mathieu Perreault and
Byfuglien scored for Winnipeg. Pavelec made
19 saves.
The 33-year-old Zepp was promoted from
Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League
due to an injury to starter Steve Mason. The
Flyers say he is the oldest goaltender to win
his NHL debut since 1926. Zepp, who spent
the previous seven seasons in Germany, had a
sprawling toe save on Mark Scheifele late in
the second period.
BLACKHAWKS 4, MAPLE LEAFS 0
Patrick Kane had a power-play goal and
two assists, leading Antti Raanta and the
Blackhawks to the win. The Blackhawks
played with a “CR” decal on their helmets
after assistant equipment manager Clint
Reif died earlier in the day. The team said it
was “deeply saddened” by the loss and
declined further comment while asking for
respect for the privacy for Reif’s family and
friends. Raanta made 31 saves for his second shutout of the season, helping
Chicago rebound from a 3-2 shootout loss
Saturday night in Columbus. James Reimer
made 30 saves in Toronto’s third straight
loss following a six-game winning streak.
AVALANCHE 2, RED WINGS 1
Jarome Iginla scored in the ninth shootout
round to lift the Avalanche to the victory.
Iginla got a wrist shot past Petr Mrazek, who
had turned away six straight Avalanche
shooters. Nathan MacKinnon and Matt
Duchene also scored in the tiebreaker as
Colorado ended a three-game road trip with
five points. Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar
had shootout goals for Detroit, which fell to
1-7 this season in the tiebreaker. Detroit had a
22-12 shots advantage five minutes into the
third period and finally cashed in when Pavel
Datsyuk wristed a power-play shot past
Avalanche goalie Calvin Pickard for his 13th
goal. The Avalanche tied it with 4:15 left in
regulation when Erik Johnson scored on the
power play for his eighth of the season.
RANGERS 1, HURRICANES 0
Ryan McDonagh scored in the first and
Cam Talbot made 18 saves, leading New York
to its sixth consecutive win. The Rangers completed a sweep of the home-and-home weekend series against the Eastern Conferenceworst Hurricanes, who lost for the eighth time
in nine games. Talbot is 3-3-1 this season
backing up Henrik Lundqvist, with all three of
his victories being shutouts. McDonagh
scored his second goal of the season 4:10 into
the game. He slapped the puck past goaltender Anton Khudobin, who has yet to win
this season (0-8-2).
BRUINS 4, SABRES 3
Loui Eriksson scored 2:14 into overtime,
and the Bruins rallied for the victory. Dougie
PHILADELPHIA: Nick Schultz No. 55 of the Philadelphia Flyers passes the puck in this
file photo. —AFP
Hamilton scored twice for Boston, including a
STARS 6, OILERS 5
tying goal with 1:31 left in the third after the
Tyler Seguin had two goals and an assist,
Bruins pulled goalie Tuukka Rask. Chris Kelly
also scored for Boston, and defenseman and then scored in the shootout to help
Dallas to its fourth consecutive win. Shawn
Zdeno Chara had two assists.
Buffalo couldn’t quite hang on after hold- Horcoff had the winning score in the eighth
ing a 3-2 lead for most of the third period on round of the tiebreaker, and also collected his
Tim Schaller’s first NHL goal. Schaller was fifth goal in the first period. Erik Cole and
recalled from Rochester earlier in the day and Jamie Benn also scored in regulation for the
played his third career game 50 miles south Stars (14-13-5), who have won five of six.
Taylor Hall and Mark Arcobello each had
of his hometown of Merrimack, New
Hampshire. Andrej Meszaros and Rasmus two goals for the Oilers (7-20 -7), who blew a
Ristolainen also scored for the Sabres, who 5-2 lead. Edmonton has lost seven straight
and 18 of 19.—AP
were outshot 37-28.
NHL results/standings
Colorado 2, Detroit 1 (SO); Dallas 6, Edmonton 5 (SO); Boston 4,
Buffalo 3 (OT); NY Rangers 1, Carolina 0; Chicago 4, Toronto 0;
Philadelphia 4, Winnipeg 3 (OT).
Western Conference
Pacific Division
W
L
OTL
GF
GA PTS
Anaheim
22
8
5
101
96
49
San Jose
19
11
4
97
87
42
Vancouver
19
11
2
92
90
40
Los Angeles
17
11
6
94
84
40
Calgary
17
15
3
100
95
37
Arizona
11
17
4
74
104
26
Edmonton
7
20
7
74
116
21
Central Division
Chicago
23
9
2
106
67
48
St. Louis
21
9
3
100
81
45
Nashville
21
8
2
87
64
44
Winnipeg
17
10
7
83
80
41
Minnesota
16
12
3
91
84
35
Dallas
14
13
5
95
109
33
Colorado
12
13
8
85
101
32
Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
Montreal
21
11
2
92
83
44
Tampa Bay
20
11
4
113
93
44
Detroit
17
8
9
94
84
43
Toronto
19
12
3
114
102
41
Boston
17
14
3
86
88
37
Florida
14
9
8
69
79
36
Ottawa
14
13
6
89
92
34
Buffalo
13
18
3
66
109
29
Metropolitan Division
Pittsburgh
22
6
4
102
72
48
NY Islanders 23
10
0
104
91
46
NY Rangers
17
10
4
93
81
38
Washington 16
10
6
95
85
38
Philadelphia 13
14
6
92
99
32
Columbus
14
15
3
79
102
31
New Jersey
12
17
6
77
102
30
Carolina
9
20
4
68
92
22
Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L).
p16_Layout 1 12/22/14 9:12 PM Page 1
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
S P ORTS
Grizzlies fall, Kings march
Ferrari braced for
hard year in 2015
MARANELLO: Ferrari chairman Sergio
Marchionne drew a line under a dismal
year for Formula One’s most glamorous
and successful team on Monday but
made clear that 2015 would also be a
season of struggle.
Speaking at a news conference
before Christmas lunch at the team’s
Fiorano test track, Marchionne left no
doubt there was a hard road ahead
before Ferrari could catch up with
dominant Mercedes. “We must forget
2014,” said the Fiat Chrysler (FCA) chief
executive who replaced Luca Di
Montezemolo as Ferrari chairman in
October. “I don’t want to talk about
2014.”
The Italian outfit failed to win a race
this year, their first blank season since
1993, and have said farewell to two
team principals in a general clearout
and restructuring.
Double world champion Fernando
Alonso has left for McLaren, with Red
Bull’s quadruple champion Sebastian
Vettel arriving to try to galvanise the
restructured team after they finished
fourth overall. Newly-appointed principal Maurizio Arrivabene warned, in his
first official news conference, that he
could not work miracles and
Marchionne agreed the team now
needed time.
Marchionne said Ferrari, whose
engine has been outperformed by
champions Mercedes, were paying a
price for decisions made under the previous management.
“We started late with the 2015 car,
certain choices and strategies that
were made by others and that, in retrospect, I don’t necessarily share,” he
added.
“So 2015 will be a difficult year that
will put the team to a real test.” Asked
how long it would take Ferrari to recover, Marchionne said: “I think 2015 is
going to be a reconstitution year. It will
be Maurizio’s first full year with the
team.
“I think hopefully within the next 12
months we will remove all the baggage of uncertainty that is going to
plague at least the initial phase of
2015.
“Not to underestimate the significance or the magnitude of the task, I
think Ferrari can probably get to the
same place (as Mercedes) by the end
of 2015. Some of the work has already
started. We need to be able to emulate their success.” Arrivabene, who
has years of experience working on
the governing body’s F1 commission
as a sponsor representative, said the
2015 car was on schedule and had
passed crash tests. He said two wins
next year would be a success, even if
the legions of fans might not see it the
same way, and three a triumph. “If we
win four, we go to heaven,” added
Marchionne. —Reuters
Wayne Smith
rejoins All Blacks
WELLINGTON: Former All Blacks coach
Wayne Smith is to rejoin the World
champion side to bolster their bid to
become the first team to win back-toback World Cups.
The re-appointment of 57-year-old
Smith as a specialist coach was confirmed Monday with head coach Steve
Hansen saying they needed his “vast
knowledge” of the game.
“He is one of the most astute rugby
coaches in world rugby and having
worked with him in the past, we know
just how valuable he is to any team he
is involved in,” Hansen said.
“Smithy’s role will be purely around
defence, but as we do with all our
coaches we will tap into his vast knowledge of other areas of the game.”
It will be Smith’s fourth time with
the All Blacks, which began in 1980
when the fly-half played the first of his
17 Tests. He returned as head coach in
2000 and 2001, and rejoined as an
assistant to Graham Henry in 2004
where he remained until the All Blacks
won the World Cup in 2011.
He has since worked with the
Waikato Chiefs, helping them secure
Super rugby titles in 2012 and 2013. He
has previously coached the Canterbury
Crusaders to consecutive Super titles in
1998 and 1999, alongside Hansen.
Between 2001 and 2004, Smith
spent three seasons with English club
Northampton. In 2012, when England
made a strong bid to secure Smith’s
ser vices as an assistant to Stuar t
Lancaster, New Zealand rugby boss
Steve Tew said he was too important
an asset to lose. Smith was considered
“an incredibly important asset to New
Zealand rugby, not just the All Blacks”,
Tew said then.—AFP
Kuwait thrash
Bahrain
By Abdellatif Sharaa
KUW AIT: Kuwait National Handicapped Basketball
team dominated Bahrain from the start of their match,
the second in the 7th Gulf Handicapped Basketball
Tournament, as the match ended 56-25.
Kuwait national team players were technically sharp,
and maintained a comfortable lead throughout the
match to top the group, in this tournament while
Bahrain remains at the bottom.
Meanwhile Saudi Arabia’s team dealt Oman a big
blow when they beat them 79-35. It was obvious that
the Omani team lacked the experience and most of its
members are participating for the first time.
There will be two matches today in the third round
of the tournament, as Kuwait face Saudi Arabia, and
this match will decide to a large extent the winner of
the tournament. Bahrain and UAE will play earlier
today.
Kuwait’s team member Yousuf Khalaf told Kuna
that he is happy for the second win, and appreciated
the efforts of the board of directors in their support
to the team. Khalaf who scored 19 points in the
match said players are treating each match as the
final, adding that they are looking forward for the
Saudi match today.
CLEVELAND: LeBron James had 25 points and
11 assists, Dion Waiters scored 13 of his 21
points in the fourth quarter and the Cleveland
Cavaliers handled one of the Western
Conference’s best teams, beating the Memphis
Grizzlies 105-91 on Sunday.
James scored 16 points in the second half
and the Cavs shot a season-best 61 percent
from the field to improve to 3-6 against West
teams. Anderson Varejao added 18 points and
Kyrie Irving had 17 points and 12 assists for the
Cavs, who are 11-3 since their sluggish 5-7 start.
Cleveland, which has won eight of nine at
home, is 9-2 when James has at least nine
assists.
Marc Gasol had 23 points and 11 rebounds
for the Grizzlies, who played without forward
Zach Randolph. He’s nursing a sore and swollen
right knee he injured Friday night in a loss at
Chicago. Jon Leuer added 16 points for
Memphis, which dropped to 21-6.
KINGS 108, LAKERS 101
DeMarcus Cousins had 29 points and 14
rebounds in his second start since returning
from a serious illness, and Sacramento beat Los
Angeles to snap a five-game losing streak. Rudy
Gay scored 24 points, and Ben McLemore added
23 points and eight rebounds to help the Kings
pull away late. Sacramento had lost 10 of 12
games - going 2-8 while Cousins recovered from
viral meningitis - and fired coach Michael
Malone last week.
Tyrone Corbin won for the first time in three
games as Sacramento’s interim coach. Nick
Young scored 26 points, and Kobe Bryant had
25 for the Lakers, who have lost six of eight.
Bryant shot just 8 of 30 and had five rebounds
and three assists.
PELICANS 101, THUNDER 99
Anthony Davis scored 38 points to lead New
Orleans past Oklahoma City. It was the thirdhighest point total of Davis’ career. He made 16
of 22 shots and had 12 rebounds.
Jrue Holiday had 11 points and matched a
career high with 15 assists for the Pelicans.
Russell Westbrook scored 29 points for the
Thunder, but he missed a 3-pointer that could
have given Oklahoma City the lead in the closing seconds. Reggie Jackson added 19 points.
Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant missed his
second straight game because of a sprained
right ankle.
SUNS 104, WIZARDS 92
Eric Bledsoe and Markieff Morris each scored
17 points, Goran Dragic added 16 and Phoenix
beat Washington to end the Wizards’ winning
streak at six.
The Suns finished 3-0 on their trip after losing six in a row. They opened the road swing in
Charlotte on Wednesday night and beat New
York on Saturday.
Rasual Butler led the Wizards with 17 points,
and Kevin Seraphin had a season-high 16.
Washington cut it to 95-89 on Paul Pierce’s
layup with 2:40 to play, but the Suns scored
nine straight - seven by Bledsoe - to take a 10489 lead with 1:01 to play.
RAPTORS 118, KNICKS 108
Lou Williams and Kyle Lowry each scored 22
points, and Toronto Raptors beat New York for
its sixth consecutive win. Greivis Vasquez had 21
points and Terrence Ross added 18 for the
Raptors, who never trailed in matching their
longest winning streak of the season. Toronto
also won six straight from Nov. 15-26.
Carmelo Anthony scored 28 points for New
York. The Knicks lost their fifth straight and have
CLEVELAND: Cavaliers’ LeBron James (left) shoots over Memphis Grizzlies’ Quincy Pondexter in
the third quarter of a NBA basketball game. —AP
dropped 15 of 16 overall. New York fell to 2-13
on the road and 1-6 in the second game of
back-to-backs.
HEAT 100, CELTICS 84
Luol Deng had 23 points, James Ennis scored
10 of his 16 in the fourth quarter and Miami
beat Boston end five-game home losing streak.
It was the first time in 154 games that Miami
didn’t have any of its former Big Three - Dwyane
Wade, Chris Bosh or LeBron James. Wade sat
with a bruised right knee, Bosh missed his fifth
straight game with a left calf strain and James
now plays for Cleveland. Tyler Zeller scored 22
points for Boston, which had won three straight.
PACERS 100, TIMBERWOLVES 96
CJ Miles scored 28 points and David West
bulled his way to the basket for two big points
with 34 seconds to play to help Indiana hold off
Minnesota. Miles hit 10 of 18 shots and Roy
Hibbert had 15 points, eight rebounds and four
blocks for the Pacers, who got 48 points from
their bench. They shot a season-high 50 percent
from the field on the second night of a back-toback and forced 16 turnovers to win for just the
second time this month. Mo Williams had 24
points and 10 assists for the Timberwolves.
76ERS 96, MAGIC 88
Michael Carter-Williams scored 21 points and
Philadelphia rallied in the second half to beat
Orlando for its third victory of the season. The
76ers ended a five-game losing streak. All three
of their victories have come on the road. Victor
Oladipo had 23 points for the Magic.
NETS 110, PISTONS 105
Mason Plumlee scored 10 of his 21 points in
the fourth quarter and had 12 rebounds in
Brooklyn’s victory over Detroit. Joe Johnson
added 16 points, including four free throws in
the final 12 seconds. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
had 20 points for Detroit, and Andre
Drummond finished with 18 points and 20
rebounds.—AP
NBA results/standings
Toronto 118, NY Knicks 108; Cleveland 105, Memphis 91; Sacramento 108, LA Lakers 101; Brooklyn 110,
Detroit 105; Miami 100, Boston 84; Philadelphia 96, Orlando 88; Phoenix 104, Washington 92; Indiana 100,
Minnesota 96; New Orleans 101, Oklahoma City 99.
Toronto
Brooklyn
Boston
NY Knicks
Philadelphia
Chicago
Cleveland
Milwaukee
Indiana
Detroit
Atlanta
Washington
Miami
Orlando
Charlotte
Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
W
L
22
6
11
15
10
15
5
25
3
23
Central Division
17
9
16
10
14
14
9
19
5
23
Southeast Division
19
7
19
7
13
15
10
20
8
19
PCT GB
.786
.423
10
.400 10.5
.167
18
.115
18
.654
.615
.500
.321
.179
1
4
9
13
.731
.731
.464
7
.333
11
.296 11.5
Western Conference
Northwest Division
Portland
22
6
Oklahoma City
13
15
Denver
12
15
Utah
8
20
Minnesota
5
21
Pacific Division
Golden State
22
3
LA Clippers
19
8
Phoenix
15
14
Sacramento
12
15
LA Lakers
8
19
Southwest Division
Memphis
21
6
Houston
19
7
Dallas
20
8
San Antonio
17
11
New Orleans
14
13
.786
.464
.444
.286
.192
9
9.5
14
16
.880
.704
.517
.444
.296
4
9
11
15
.778
.731
.714
.607
.519
1.5
1.5
4.5
7
p17 2_Layout 1 12/22/14 9:58 PM Page 1
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
S P ORTS
Hughes’ death unites cricket in grief
ABU DHABI: This photograph taken on December 19, 2014, shows Pathan spectators
in traditional headgear during the fifth and final day-night international match
between Pakistan and New Zealand. —AFP
Pathans find solace
in Afridi’s Pakistan
DUBAI: For 59-year-old taxi driver Kamal
Khan, cricket is war without the shooting.
Like most Pathans, known for their tough,
battle-hardened nature, defeat is unacceptable.
They may not know all the rules of the
game, like the Barmy Army fans of England
or India’s Swami Army but Pathans watch
cricket out of passion for the sport and for
the love of Pakistan.
Kamal, like most of his fellow Pathans,
often skips his taxi-driving duties to watch
cricket in the United Arab Emirates, the
neutral venue where Pakistan have been
forced to play since 2009’s terror attacks on
the visiting Sri Lanka team back home.
A 30-dirham ticket ($8) gives fans a comfortable seat in the stands or a place on the
mound and the rest is enjoyment. “Cricket
is the only entertainment for us in this
country,” Kamal, who has been driving a
cab in Abu Dhabi for 13 years, told AFP.
The 9/11 attacks on the United States,
and the ensuing war in Afghanistan and
around Pakistan’s north-west Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa province, forced hundreds of
Pathans to move to the Gulf in search of a
more lucrative and peaceful way of life.
A taxi driver like Kamal earns 4,000
dirhams to 7,000 dirhams (around $1,100
to $1,900) a month but the 24/7 job takes
its toll. “Most of the taxi drivers have kidney
stones because they don’t drink much
water to avoid going to the toilet,” said
Kamal. “Life is tough and there was no
enjoyment but since cricket arrived here
we are very happy that we can watch our
players.”
Needless to say, the Pathans demand
aggression and passion on the field. They
come in large numbers to watch sixes and
boundaries in a Twenty20 or a one-day
international.
And that is the reason that star allrounder Shahid Afridi, who hails from the
Khyber Agency, is the star attraction even
after 18 years in the game.
“We just come to watch Afridi,” said Taif
Khan, who drives a taxi in Sharjah. “I got my
money’s worth when I watched the third
one -dayer (against New Zealand) last
Friday because Afridi got a fifty.”
Afridi hit a 25-ball 55 to help Pakistan
reach 364-7 and went on to win the match
by 147 runs. New Zealand, however, took
the five-match series 3-2.
“Our cricket begins and ends with Afridi,”
said Wahid Khan, a trader from Miranshah
in North Waziristan Agency in the Federally
Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan.
“I lost millions in the recent operation in
Miranshah,” said Wahid, referring to the military operations by the Pakistan army
aimed at clearing the area of militants.
Those military sweeps resulted in his
shops being razed. Wahid now lives in Abu
Dhabi and finds solace in cricket.”Cricket is
a way of forgetting our pains,” he said. “By
default we are watching our players here
and it’s great entertainment.”
Afridi acknowledges the support he
receives. “They love me very much,” admitted the 34-year-old Afridi. “Most of them
drive taxis and whenever I get time I meet
them. It’s their love and affection that
drives me. “It is good that we provide them
with some amazement in an otherwise
labored life.” —AFP
Boxing Day test of India
MELBOURNE: With all hope of a first series
triumph in Australia gone after defeats in
the first two tests, India need to draw on
their reserves of pride and motivation to
avoid a seventh straight test loss on
Australian soil this week.
If the tourists can retain the fighting
spirit that has made the Adelaide and
Brisbane tests anything but one-sided contests, however, they could record a victory
of some significance at the Melbourne
Cricket Ground (MCG).
Since they triumphed in Perth in
January 2008, neither side has won a test
match in the other’s country with Australia
suffering 2-0, 2-0 and 4-0 defeats on the
sub-continent and India losing all four tests
on their 2011-12 tour.
There have been signs too that
Australia, for all the confidence that backto-back test victories will bring to any side,
have a fragility to their batting order that
India’s pace attack can exploit.
Prolific opener David Warner has a
bruised thumb that could hamper him if he
is passed fit to play, veterans Shane Watson
and Brad Haddin are in poor form, while
injured all-rounder Mitch Marsh has been
replaced by the uncapped Joe Burns.
Quite how Australia will line up when
the test starts in front of the traditional
bumper crowd on Friday is matter of some
conjecture with coach Darren Lehmann
suggesting Burns could slot in anywhere in
the top six.
Against that instability, there is the
sparkling form of stand-in skipper Steve
Smith and the mercurial menace of paceman Mitchell Johnson, whose performances with bat and ball turned the Gabba test.
Fast bowler Ryan Harris has recovered from
a thigh strain and should return in place of
left-arm quick Mitch Starc alongside
Johnson and Josh Hazlewood, who took 568 in his first innings in test cricket. India
look the more settled of the two sides,
though, with the fast bowlers working as
unit and taking wickets, while the top six
batsmen have all got into the runs at some
stage of the series.
Just how long the unrest caused by
opener Shikhar Dhawan’s decision not to
bat on day four in Brisbane after injuring
his arm in the nets continues to unsettle
Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s dressing room
remains to be seen.
But if Dhoni, who has been criticised for
appearing less than convinced of the
importance of the longest form of the
game, can lead his team to victory, he
could make a considerable addition to his
legacy as skipper.
His predecessor Anil Kumble rated the
72-run victory at the WACA in 2008, when
India were also 2-0 down in the series, the
best of his 132-test career. —Reuters
LONDON: Cricket confronted tragedy in 2014
with the death of Phillip Hughes after the
Australia batsman was hit by a bouncer in a
domestic first-class match.
Several batsmen had previously been
killed in similar incidents, albeit at lower levels
of the game, and two days after Hughes’
death Israeli umpire Hillel Oscar died after a
ball ricocheted off the stumps.
But the fact Hughes, 25, had scored three
Test hundreds and was wearing a helmet,
although the ball hit him on an unprotected
area of the skull, contributed to a huge sense
of shock throughout the cricket world.
Australia captain Michael Clarke, in a moving
eulogy at Hughes’ funeral, recalled walking
out to the pitch at the Sydney Cricket Groundwhere his friend died-for the first time following his former team-mate’s passing.
“I swear he was with me... Telling me we
just needed to dig in,” Clarke said, before
adding: “We must play on.” Following a short
delay to Australia’s ongoing Test series at
home to India, that is what happened with no
great reduction in bouncer use.
Indeed New South Wales quick Sean
Abbott, who received much sympathy after
delivering the ball that killed Hughes, bowled
a bouncer in his first over following the fatal
accident on his way to a remarkable haul of
six for 14 against Queensland at the SCG.
Clarke made a hundred in the first Test win
over India but was sidelined soon afterwards
with a career-threatening hamstring injury.
That fast bowling is central to much cricket
success was emphasised when Australia’s
Mitchell Johnson won the International
Cricket Council player of the year award.
Left-arm quick Johnson led Australia’s
attack during a 5-0 Ashes sweep of England in
2013/14 and then starred in a 2-1 series win
over South Africa while collecting 59 Test
wickets from August 2013 to September 2014.
The end of the South Africa-Australia series
saw the retirement of Proteas captain Graeme
Smith. Thrust into the leadership aged just 22,
Smith captained in a world record 109 Tests,
while overseeing notable series wins in both
Australia and England as well as scoring more
than 9,000 Test runs, including 27 hundreds.
That the non-white Hashim Amla, a practising
Muslim, became Smith’s successor as South
Africa captain was significant in a country still
grappling with post-apartheid �transformation’. The ongoing problem of cricket corruption was highlighted when former New
Zealand batsman Lou Vincent was banned for
life in July after being found guilty of matchfixing in English one-day county matches.
Meanwhile Narayanaswami Srinivasan
headed up the ICC, controversially revamped
in favour of the �Big Three’ of India, Australia
and England, despite India’s Supreme Court
suspending him as president of the Indian
board following corruption allegations stem-
COLOMBO: In this file picture taken on September 19, 2011, Australian batsman Phillip
Hughes raises his bat and helmet in celebration after scoring a century (100 runs) during the
fourth day of the third and final Test match against Sri Lanka. —AFP
ming from last year’s Indian Premier League.
However, Srinivasan was exonerated of
match-fixing by the court in November.
West Indies, long plagued by poor results,
suffered a new low when a players’ revolt over
pay saw October’s tour of India cut short, a
move that risked financial ruin for Caribbean
cricket.
On the field, captain Brendon McCullum
became the first New Zealand batsman to
score a Test triple hundred with 302 against
India in Wellington in February.
Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq defied a
reputation for slow scoring and his 40 years of
age with a 56-ball century against Australia in
Abu Dhabi in November that equalled West
Indies great Vivian Richards’ record for the
fastest Test hundred. Misbah’s innings helped
seal a 2-0 series win, Pakistan’s first over
Australia in 20 years. This victory was all the
more creditable as Pakistan, who have not
played a
major match on their own soil since an
armed attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus in
Lahore in 2009, were without star spinner
Saeed Ajmal, one of several bowlers suspended in 2014 as the ICC cracked down on illegal
actions.
Rohit Sharma’s 264 against Sri Lanka in
Kolkata last month obliterated compatriot
Virender Sehwag’s 219 as thd highest individual one-day international score.
Sharma’s 173-ball innings featured 33 fours
and nine sixes. However, this could not disguise the one-day world champions ongoing
poor Test record away from home, with India
losing series in both New Zealand and
England.
Victory over India was a rare highlight for
England, who spent much of 2014 dealing
with the fall-out from batsman Kevin
Pietersen’s sacking and the bitter recriminations in his autobiography.
Amid the controversy, England captain
Alastair Cook ended the year having failed to
score an international century in his last 59
attempts spanning both Tests and one-dayers. Sri Lanka, however, enjoyed a successful
2014 that included winning both the World
Twenty20 and their first Test series in England
as they began a long farewell to batting stars
Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene
set to culminate at next year’s World Cup in
Australia and New Zealand.
Zimbabwe upset the odds in Harare in
August when they beat Australia in a one-day
international, just their second victory in
meetings between the countries since the
Africans’ equally stunning success in the inaugural clash at the 1983 World Cup in England.
But come the year’s end, Zimbabwe had been
whitewashed in both Test and one-day series
away to fellow minnows Bangladesh, with
home left-arm spinner Taijul Islam becoming
the first cricketer to claim a hat-trick on his
ODI debut. —AFP
India call up Patel to
replace injured Jadeja
NEW DELHI: Rookie all-rounder Akshar Patel
will replace the injured Ravindra Jadeja in
India’s squad for the remaining two Test
matches in Australia, the Indian cricket board
announced yesterday. Patel, who turns 21 in
January, is a left-arm spinner and useful lefthand batsman like Jadeja. He has taken 14
wickets in nine one-day internationals, but
has yet to play a Test.
Jadeja has a shoulder injury and will return
home to undergo a rehabilitation programme, the board said in a statement.
It remained unclear if Jadeja, who did not
play in the first two Tests, will be available for
the World Cup that opens in Australia and
New Zealand on February 14. Australia lead
the four-Test series 2-0. The third Test starts in
Melbourne on December 26 and the fourth
will be played in Sydney from January 6. India
are also due to take part in a triangular oneday series with Australia and England ahead
of the World Cup.
Meanwhile, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni
said India have the pace threat and aggression to win Tests away from home and it’s just
a matter of time before results go their way.
The Indians lost by four wickets to Australia
in Saturday’s second Test in Brisbane after
going down all guns blazing by 48 runs chas-
ing 364 in the opening Adelaide Test.
While India have been in contention in
both Tests, the Australians have won the key
moments to turn around the contests. The
Brisbane loss was India’s fifth straight away
defeat and their 15th in the last 18, with only
one win.
India were thumped 3-1 in England this
year and trail Australia 2-0 in the four-match
Border-Gavaskar series, but Dhoni is undeterred. “There’s plenty of areas we’re showing
improvement, but we’re still not crossing the
line,” Dhoni said.
“We need to give it a bit more time. Once
they start crossing that line, once they harness that aggression in the right channel
you’ll see plenty of good results from this
side.”
Dhoni, lining up for his 90th Test match as
a player and 60th as captain in the third Test
in Melbourne on Boxing Day, said it is important for India to compete against the
Australians in what is the toughest tour for
overseas teams.
“The exciting thing is we have competed.
What’s really important is it can turn at any
point of time,” he said. “The competition has
been good, though the results have not been
in our favor.
“It’s exciting to see the youngsters putting
in a fight. It’s just a matter of time. It will turn
out to be a very consistent side.”
Dhoni said it was important for his team to
fight it out to the end of their Test matches,
irrespective of their situation in the contest.
“It’s important that you fight it out with the
opposition and then whatever the result is,
you accept it,” he said.
“At the same time, you don’t throw in the
towel. It was quite good to see our fast
bowlers still running in, giving 100 percent.
“We have seen the execution power of our
fast bowlers has increased.
“Ishant Sharma is the leader of the pack. He
is someone who can consistently now bowl in
one area. “Varun Aaron is still raw. He does go
for runs, but it’s exciting to see somebody
from India bowling at a good pace and using
the bouncer to get the opposition out.
“We were able to get a few wickets in
Australia’s second innings and that helps the
youngsters learn that to get another 50, 60, 70
runs it can really matter. Especially, when it
comes to Australia and a fifth-day wicket.”
India have not beaten Australia at the
Melbourne Cricket Ground in 33 years and
have lost their last five Tests there by big margins. —AFP
South Africa call up
new boy Rossouw
JOHANNESBURG: Left-handed batsman
Rilee Rossouw was named on Sunday to
replace injured wicketkeeper-batsman
Quinton de Kock in South Africa’s squad for
the remaining two Test matches against
the West Indies.
De Kock was ruled out of the Tests and
limited overs matches of the West Indian
tour after tearing ankle ligaments during
the first Test at Centurion, which South
Africa won by an innings and 220 runs on
Saturday. Rossouw, 25, made his one-day
international debut earlier this year and has
been a prolific scorer for the Knights franchise and South Africa A.
He hit 231 for South Africa A against
Australia A in Townsville in August, sharing
a partnership of 343 with Temba Bavuma
(162), who is also in the Test squad.
Bavuma was on the field throughout both
West Indian innings in Centurion following
De Kock’s injury. The selection of Rossouw
means that AB de Villiers, who took over as
wicketkeeper in Centurion, will keep the
gloves for the remaining Tests, starting in
Port Elizabeth on December 26 and Cape
Town on January 2.
Meanwhile, Windward Islands left-arm
seamer Kenroy Peters will replace fast bowler
Kemar Roach in the West Indies squad.
Roach suffered an ankle injury while bowling
in the first Test. Peters, 32, was the leading
wicket-taker in the West Indian domestic
four-day competition in 2013/14. Peters will
be the second replacement in the touring
squad. It was announced on Saturday that
Narsingh Deonarine will replace injured batsman Assad Fudadin. —AFP
LAHORE: This combination photograph shows Pakistani spinner Saeed Ajmal delivering a ball during the One Day match with the visiting
Kenyan team at the Gaddafi Cricket stadium. Ace Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal on December 19 said he is confident of a comeback at international level after bowling for the first time with a remodelled action, three months after his suspension.—AFP
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
S P ORTS
Cowboys defeat Colts, Seahawks win
ARLINGTON: Dallas ended a four-year
playoff drought Sunday in a dominating
42-7 victory over the Indianapolis Colts,
with Tony Romo throwing four touchdown
passes and breaking Troy Aikman’s franchise record for yards passing.
The Cowboys (11-4) emphatically ended
a three-game home losing streak, scoring
touchdowns on their first four possessions.
Dallas had an opening for its first NFC
East title and postseason berth since 2009,
and first under coach Jason Garrett,
because of Philadelphia’s 27-24 loss at
Washington on Saturday. The Eagles were
eliminated with the Cowboys’ win.
The Colts (10-5) didn’t have much to
play for with the AFC South title secured,
and looked like it while barely avoiding
their first shutout loss in 21 years.
The Cowboys had already ended their
three-year rut of 8-8 finishes that included
losses in finales that kept them out of the
playoffs. But they had to keep winning to
make sure they got in.
NFL rushing leader DeMarco Murray
played with a broken left hand, but the
Cowboys didn’t need much from him. He
finished with 58 yards, with a 1-yard score.
35, CARDINALS 6
Russell Wilson threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, Seattle set a
franchise record with 596 yards of offense
and the streaking Seahawks closed in on
another NFC West title.
Seattle (11-4) moved into a tie with
Arizona (11-4) for first in the NFC West and
the Seahawks hold the tiebreaker by virtue
of two wins over the Cardinals. Both
already have clinched playoff berths.
Wilson had the longest run of his career
(55 yards) and matched the longest pass of
his career (80) in the Seahawks’ fifth
straight victory.
Marshawn Lynch sat out the first quarter
with what the team called an “upset stomach,” then came in to score on a 6-yard run
in the second quarter and a spectacular,
multiple tackle -breaking 79-yarder in
Seattle’s 21-point fourth quarter.
STEELERS 20, CHIEFS 12
Ben Roethlisberger passed for 220 yards
and a touchdown, Le’Veon Bell added a
score and the Steelers locked up a postseason berth.
Pittsburgh (10-5) faces Cincinnati next
week for the AFC North title. Either way,
the Steelers will be playing January football for the first time since Tim Tebow and
Denver stunned the defending AFC champions in the wild-card round three years
ago.
Antonio Brown caught seven passes and
a touchdown for Pittsburgh, which has
won seven of nine. Kansas City’s Alex Smith
passed for a season-high 311 yards but was
sacked six times. The Chiefs (8-7) have lost
four of five and need to beat San Diego
next Sunday and receive plenty of help to
make it back to the playoffs for a second
straight year under coach Andy Reid.
FALCONS 30, SAINTS 14
Julio Jones returned from a hip injury to
catch seven passes for 107 yards, and the
Falcons remained in playoff contention.
Matt Ryan completed 30 of 40 passed for
322 yards and a touchdown, and Devonta
Freeman ran for a 31-yard score for Atlanta
(6-9), which can win the NFC South by
beating Carolina next week. The Saints (69), who committed three turnovers in the
fourth quarter, lost their fifth straight at
home and were eliminated.
Jimmy Graham fumbled inside the
Atlanta 1-yard line early in the fourth quarter. The Saints had a chance to drive for a
winning score inside the final three minutes, but Robert McClain’s interception of
Drew Brees in Saints territory set up a field
goal, and Osi Umenyiora returned Brees’
fumble for an 86-yard TD as time expired.
PANTHERS 17, BROWNS 13
Cam Newton threw for one touchdown
and ran for another as Carolina (6-81) took
over sole possession of first place in the
NFC South. The victory sets up the winnertake-all showdown next Sunday at Atlanta.
The winner will join the 2010 Seattle
Seahawks as the only teams in NFL history
to reach the postseason in a non-strikeshortened season with a losing record.
Newton threw for 201 yards and ran for
63 yards just 12 days after the quarterback
suffered two fractures in his lower back following an automobile accident. Jonathan
Stewart ran for 122 yards and caught a 9yard touchdown pass from Newton.
Johnny Manziel made his second NFL
start for Cleveland (7-8) but left with 1:49
remaining in the first half with a hamstring
injury and did not return.
PACKERS 20, BUCCANEERS 3
Aaron Rodgers threw for 318 yards and
one touchdown to help the Packers clinch
a wild- card playoff ber th. Eddie Lac y
scored on a 44-yard run, Jordy Nelson
caught a 1-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter and had nine receptions for 113 yards,
while Randall Cobb finished with 11 catches for 131 yards.
A 21-13 loss to Buffalo a week ago cost
Green Bay (11-4) sole possession of first
place in the division. I t also hur t its
chances for earning home-field advantage
throughout the NFC playoffs.
Green Bay closes the regular season at
home against Detroit, and a victory will
give the Packers another NFC North crown.
The Bucs (2-13) have lost five straight and
remain in contention for the first overall
pick in the 2015 draft.
ST. LOUIS: Rams wide receiver Kenny Britt (left) catches an 8-yard pass as New York Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
defends during the second half of an NFL football game. —AP
PATRIOTS 17, JETS 16
Jonas Gray scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 1-yard run early in the fourth
quarter after the Patriots intercepted Geno
Smith, and New England clinched a firstround playoff bye.
Tom Brady threw a 3-yard TD pass to
Rob Gronkowski for the Patriots (12-3),
who could earn home-field advantage
throughout the AFC playoffs if Denver loses at Cincinnati on Monday night.
With the Jets (3-12) leading 13-10 late in
the third quarter, Smith’s pass for Jace
Amaro hung in the air for an easy interception by Jamie Collins - and led to Gray’s
score minutes later.
Nick Folk’s 52-yard field goal attempt
could have given New York a lead with just
over five minutes left, but it appeared to
be partially blocked and fell short. Brady
and the Patriots then ran out the clock.
to make it 16-0 in the second quarter.
RAIDERS 26, BILLS 24
Derek Carr threw two touchdown passes and Sebastian Janikowski kicked four
field goals to help the Raiders knock the
Bills from playoff contention.
The Bills (8-7) needed to win their final
two games and get some help to end the
NFL’s longest active playoff drought at 14
seasons. But they failed at the easiest part,
beating the lowly Raiders (3-12), and will
miss the playoffs for a 15th straight season.
Oakland has the second-longest active
postseason drought at 12 years but has
done a good job of playing spoiler in
recent weeks, beating Kansas City, San
Francisco and Buffalo the past five weeks.
DOLPHINS 37, VIKINGS 35
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, buoyed
take the lead, but trailed again after giving
up 15 points in an 11-second span in the
fourth quarter. Philbin’s job had been considered in jeopardy because the Dolphins
will miss the playoffs for the sixth year in a
row. But they’re 8-7 and have a shot at a
winning
season
if
not
the
playoffs.Minnesota fell to 6-9.
GIANTS 37, RAMS 27
Odell Beckham Jr. caught two touchdown passes and rolled up 148 yards
receiving against a defense that hadn’t
allowed a TD in three straight games.
Beckham set a franchise rookie record
with his 10th and 11th TD catches, shattered another rookie mark for receptions
and topped 1,000 yards while shrugging
off a pair of late hits in the second quarter.
The second led to a brawl and three ejections, none of them to starters.
LIONS 20, BEARS 14
Joique Bell scored the go-ahead touchdown on a sweet run in the fourth quarter,
and Ndamukong Suh had two sacks. Calvin
Johnson added six catches for 103 yards
for Detroit (11-4), which came away with a
narrow victory over a struggling team after
locking up its second trip to the postseason in 15 years. The Bears (5-10) benched
quarterback Jay Cutler this week in favor of
the undistinguished Clausen. The Lions
secured a playoff spot with Philadelphia’s
loss to Washington on Saturday. They were
hoping to lock up their first division championship since 1993. But because the
Packers beat Tampa Bay, the NFC North
race will come down to next week’s game
at Green Bay.
Matthew Stafford overcame two interceptions and completed 22 of 39 passes for
243 yards. He hit the 4,000-yard mark for
the fourth straight year.
TEXANS 25, RAVENS 13
Running back Arian Foster threw a
touchdown pass, Randy Bullock made a
franchise -record six field goals and
Houston’s defense dominated to keep slim
playoff hopes alive.
The Ravens (9-6) now need some help
next week to get into the postseason after
Joe Flacco threw a season-high three interceptions and the offense struggled all day.
Houston (8-7) remains in the hunt with
the victory, but needs several teams to lose
next week. With three quarterbacks hurt,
the Texans started Case Keenum, who got
his first win in nine NFL starts.
Foster ran for 96 yards. But his highlight
came when he took a pitch from Keenum
and, with a defender in his face, threw a 5yard touchdown pass to C.J. Fiedorowicz
OAKLAND: Buffalo Bills running back Marcus Thigpen (11) is tackled by Oakland Raiders’
Chance Casey (top) over linebacker Spencer Hadley during the second quarter of an NFL
football game. —AP
by a thrilling comeback win, said Joe
Philbin will return as coach next season.
Ross made his announcement in the locker
room shortly after the Dolphins won on a
safety. Rookie Terrence Fede blocked a
punt for a safety with 41 seconds left, and
Ryan Tannehill threw four touchdown passes. The Dolphins overcame a 14-0 deficit to
The Giants (6-9) had a season-best 514
yards in total offense and have won three
in a row heading into their finale at home
against the Eagles. They had lost seven
straight before the current streak started.
Kenny Britt made nine catches for 103
yards and Tre Mason had 13 carries for 76
yards and a score for the Rams (6-9). —AP
NFL results/standings
Carolina 17, Cleveland 13; Detroit 20, Chicago 14; Houston 25, Baltimore 13; Miami 37, Minnesota 35; Atlanta 30, New Orleans 14; New England 17, NY Jets 16;
Pittsburgh 20, Kansas City 12; Green Bay 20, Tampa Bay 3; NY Giants 37, St. Louis 27; Dallas 42, Indianapolis 7; Oakland 26, Buffalo 24; Seattle 35, Arizona 6.
New England
Miami
Buffalo
NY Jets
Cincinnati
Pittsburgh
Baltimore
Cleveland
Indianapolis
Houston
Jacksonville
Tennessee
OAKLAND: Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson (24) tackles Buffalo Bills wide receiver
Sammy Watkins (14) during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game. —AP
Denver
San Diego
Kansas City
Oakland
American Football Conference
AFC East
W
L
T OTL
PF
12
3
0
0
459
8
7
0
0
364
8
7
0
0
326
3
12
0
1
246
AFC North
9
4
1
0
311
10
5
0
0
409
9
6
0
0
389
7
8
0
0
289
AFC South
10
5
0
0
431
8
7
0
1
349
3
12
0
0
232
2
13
0
0
244
AFC West
11
3
0
1
407
9
6
0
0
341
8
7
0
0
334
3
12
0
0
239
PA
296
336
280
377
PCT
.800
.533
.533
.200
289
351
292
317
.679
.667
.600
.467
359
290
389
411
.667
.533
.200
.133
Carolina
Atlanta
New Orleans
Tampa Bay
303
329
274
405
.786
.600
.533
.200
Seattle
Arizona
San Francisco
St. Louis
Dallas
Philadelphia
NY Giants
Washington
Detroit
Green Bay
Minnesota
Chicago
National Football Conference
NFC East
11
4
0
1
423
9
6
0
0
440
6
9
0
0
354
4
11
0
0
284
NFC North
11
4
0
0
301
11
4
0
0
456
6
9
0
0
312
5
10
0
1
310
NFC South
6
8
1
0
305
6
9
0
0
378
6
9
0
2
378
2
13
0
2
257
NFC West
11
4
0
0
374
11
4
0
0
293
7
8
0
1
286
6
9
0
0
318
335
374
366
394
.733
.600
.400
.267
252
328
334
429
.733
.733
.400
.333
371
383
404
387
.433
.400
.400
.133
248
279
323
334
.733
.733
.467
.400
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
S P ORTS
Club World Cup still
a hit outside Europe
MARRAKECH: Greeted with overwhelming indifference in Europe, the Club
World Cup is still seen as the pinnacle of
club football elsewhere as thousands of
San Lorenzo fans demonstrated this
week.
An estimated 9,000 fans made the tortuous and costly trip from Buenos Aires
to Marrakech to witness what they
believed was the most important week
in their club’s history.
Goalkeeper Sebastian Torrico said
before Saturday ’s final against Real
Madrid, won 2-0 by the European champions, that it would be “the most important game of my life” and coach Edgardo
Bauza expressed similar sentiments.
“It’s the match all the players want to
play. This is the most important game at
club level,” he said. “At my age this is like
touching heaven,” added 34-year-old
team captain Juan Mercier.
“I’ve played a lot of second division
football and reached the top flight at a
late age, so I never thought I’d ever be in
a situation like this, about to take on Real
Madrid.”
San Lorenzo had become almost
obsessed by the tournament since winning the South American Libertadores
Cup five months ago.
Until the 1990s, the South American
champions used to compete on equal
terms with their European counterparts
and led by 13 titles to 12 when the old
Intercontinental Cup was scrapped in
2004. But Europe leads by seven wins to
three under the new format, reflecting
the huge gulf which has been caused by
the continued exodus of top players
worldwide towards Europe. The
December timing of the tournament also
does not help.
HUGE PULL
While the European sides reinforce
their teams in the six months between
winning the Champions League and taking part in the club cup, the opposite
happens with teams from the rest of the
world where winning a title means the
best players get sold.
Asian champions Western Sydney
Wanderers have yet to win a league
game this season and Moghreb Tetouan,
who qualified as champions of the host
nation, are 10th in the Moroccan league
and had not won in five games going
into the tournament.
San Lorenzo, meanwhile ambled
through the 19-match campaign in the
Argentine Inicial tournament, winning
eight times to finish eighth.
Nevertheless, the chance to pit themselves against teams such as Real Madrid
remains a huge pull for the likes of San
Lorenzo and their mainly journeyman
players.
Predictably, Real Madrid sailed
through their two matches without conceding a goal, beating Cruz Azul 4-0 and
San Lorenzo 2-0, reinforcing the concept
that the tournament is uncompetitive.
In fact, Real probably encountered
more resistance in those two games than
they would in a typical La Liga game or
Champions League group stage tie.
San Lorenzo coach Edgardo Bauza
pointed out that it is not just teams from
other continents that succumb to Real’s
array of cherry-picked, world class players as the Spaniards had won their previous 20 games going into the tournament.
Bauza said there is also a huge gap
between the elite group of European
teams, such as Real, Barcelona and
Bayern Munich, and the rest of their own
continent.
“The big difference is between us and
the four or five best teams in the world,
not all the European teams,” he said. “If
you take out the top four or five, we
could play a match on equal terms
against almost any European opposition.”
The semi-professionals of Auckland
City were another team who had no
complaints about the tournament after
the New Zealanders surpassed all
expectations and finished third after
wins over Moghreb Tetouan, ES Setif
and Cruz Azul. “It’s a luxury to come to a
tournament like this and play against
high level team,” said coach Ramon
Tribulietx. —Reuters
FRANCE: Elisabeth Goergl, of Austria, celebrates at the finish area after winning an
alpine ski women’s World Cup Super-G in Val díIsere. —AP
Goergl wins Val
d’Isere super-G
FRANCE: Elisabeth Goergl beat fellow
Austrian Anna Fenninger in the women’s
World Cup super-G at Val d’Isere on Sunday
as Lindsey Vonn crashed out.
Vonn was seeking to follow up
Saturday’s downhill win in the French Alps
which put her to within one of Annemarie
Moser-Proell’s all-time World Cup record of
62. But as the American snow queen’s
record-equalling bid failed to take off
Goergl was celebrating a tight five hundredths of a second win over Olympic
champion Fenninger.
The 33-year-old slalom and super-G
world champion in 2011, who had come in
second to Vonn in the downhill 24 hours
earlier, clocked a time of 1min 25.42 seconds.
This was her seventh World Cup win and
she nailed it with a lightning final section at
more than 106kph. “My coaches inspected
the slope and gave me all the information
on the complicated bits of the circuit,” said
Goergl.
“I felt I was skiing fast but before I
arrived at the bottom of the run I didn’t
think it was going to be enough to win.”
Slovenia’s Tina Maze finished in third, and
following Saturday’s fourth place, she
retained control of the overall World Cup
standings.
For defending World Cup champion
Fenninger this was a bolder performance
than her 11th place in the downhill. She
said: “I’m thrilled to be back in business
after some tricky races.
“It was far from easy today, there were
lots of changes in rhythm to handle, very
fast sections and others that were slower.
“Without one little mistake I could have
posted the best time.”
Fenninger started well before her speed
dropped off a little on a demanding Oreiller
Killy slope which proved the measure of a
number of competitors, including Vonn.
Any fears that this latest fall may have
had damaging repercussions following the
serious in knee injury she suffered in a high
speed crash in 2013 were unfounded.
“I was a little tired,” reported Vonn.”I hurt
my elbow when I fell, but my knee is fine.”
Another favorite, Switzerland’s defending
World Cup super-G titleholder. Lara Gut,
posted a time of 1min 25.65 with her run
marred by a mistake as she approached the
finish. —AFP
RUSSIA: In this Feb. 8, 2014, file photo, United States’ Sage Kotsenburg takes a jump during the men’s snowboard slopestyle final at the Winter
Olympics in Krasnaya Polyana. —AP
2014 provides plenty of
eye candy for sports fans
NEW YORK: Some of them won the game, some
of them saved the game and others made for
some very impressive eye candy. Odell Beckham
Jr., James Rodriguez, Richard Sherman and
Aaron Harrison were among those who put their
distinctive stamp on sports in 2014 with shots,
catches and plays that nearly broke the Internet
and led off all the highlight shows.
A quick review of some of the best plays of
the year:
ODELL’S OPUS: This one blew up almost
within minutes of it happening. Giants receiver
Odell Beckham Jr., who regularly practices the
one-handed grab, made the catch of the year
against the Cowboys. Quarterback Eli Manning
threw a high pass down the right sideline and
Beckham freed himself after tangling feet and
arms with defensive back Brandon Carr.
Beckham reached his right hand behind his
head, grabbed the ball and cradled it into his
stomach while falling to his back in the front corner of the end zone, as the yellow flag flew for
the pass-interference call against Carr. Through
it all, Beckham’s left hand never touched the ball.
TIP AND TALK: Before The Rant, there was
The Tip. Richard Sherman’s game-saving swataway from Michael Crabtree in the NFC championship game wrapped up Seattle’s trip to the
Super Bowl and came only moments before his
rant in a postgame interview with Erin Andrews
that drew more attention that his play on the
field. With the Seahawks protecting a six-point
lead with 32 seconds left and the Niners on their
18, Sherman got his bearings, left his feet,
arched his left hand up and not only swatted
Colin Kaepernick’s pass away from Crabtree, but
directed it to teammate Malcolm Smith, who is
officially credited with the interception that
sealed the game.
THREES, PLEASE: It only looked like a replay.
In back-to-back games, Kentucky freshman
Aaron Harrison spotted up from the behind the
upper-left part of the 3-point arc and drained a
shot to win the game. The first one sent
Harrison, his twin brother Andrew and the rest
of Kentucky’s fabulous freshmen to the Final
Four. The second one provided the winning
points against Wisconsin in the national semifinals. In the Sweet 16 game against Louisville,
Harrison also made a key 3 from the left corner the shot that gave Kentucky the lead for good
with 39 seconds left in a 74-69 win. “He’s not
afraid to miss,” said his coach, John Calipari, in
explaining why he called the play for Harrison.
And when the chips were down, Harrison didn’t.
THE BEAUTIFUL SHOT: The prettiest goal at
the World Cup? No question, it was scored by
Colombia’s James Rodriguez. About midway
through the first half of the round-of-16 game
against Uruguay, Rodriguez stood with his back
to the goal a few steps outside the penalty area.
He received the ball, chested it to himself, then,
took three baby steps to turn 90 degrees before
kicking the ball out of midair, left-footed, for a
goal that grazed the underside of the crossbar.
And then, as Jeremy Wilson of The Telegraph put
it, “An initial moment of stunned silence soon
gave way to audible gasps from both sets of
supporters inside the Maracana.”
NOW, THAT’S A BACKHAND: Pro tennis players are so athletic, the between-the-legs shots
barely register anymore. But how about a back-
hand while sitting down? Eugenie Bouchard
pulled it off at a clay court tournament in Estoril,
losing her footing and falling flat on her back,
but still getting the next shot back after her
opponent hit it right back to her. She scrambled
to her feet and ended up winning the point.
BEST CATCH: The AL MVP overran a screaming line drive to center field by Kendrys Morales.
No problem. He stopped. Jumped as high as he
could, then reached behind his head for a onehanded, no-look grab.
“BACK 1620 JAPAN AIR:” American snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg got points for degree
of difficulty and originality, winning the first
Olympic gold medal in slopestyle with a trick he
had never tried before. On a sparkling day in the
Russian Caucasus, he closed his run by helicoptering off the final jump of the course, grabbing his board and flexing it behind his back
while spinning for 41/2 revolutions. Stuck the
landing. Then, in true snowboarder fashion,
admitted he had never really, well, practiced the
trick before. “Never ever tried it in my life,” he
said.
A LATE ENTRY: This, from Dec. 21: Seahawks
running back Marshawn Lynch started left, took
a straight, diagonal line to his right, busted
through two tacklers on the sideline, then outran the rest of the Cardinals defense to the end
zone for a 79-yard touchdown. “One of the
greatest plays I’ve ever seen, right there,” said
NBC’s Cris Collinsworth. Lynch, no fan of the
media, was asked a couple of times about the
run. His stock answer: “Thank you for asking.”
Yes, sometimes the pictures speak louder than
words. —AP
Hirscher overtakes Klammer
ITALY: Austria’s triple overall World Cup champion Marcel Hirscher claimed Sunday’s giant
slalom in Alta Badia to overtake his legendary
compatriot Franz Klammer in number of
World Cup wins.
This fourth success of the season took
Hirscher’s tally to 27, one clear of Klammer,
the former Olympic champion who dominated the downhill discipline in the 1970s.
“I may have beaten Klammer’s total but he
only had downhills to compete in, and so, for
the time being, that doesn’t interest me, in a
few years perhaps,” he said. Hirscher still has
some way to go to threaten Swedish alpine
ski great Ingemar Stenmark’s record of 86
World Cup titles in a 16-season career from
1974 to 1989. Hirscher posted a time of 2min
30.17sec to beat American Ted Ligety, who
came in 1.45s adrift, with France’s Thomas
Fanara (1:48) completing the podium. The inform 25-year-old was adding this to his wins
in the giant slaloms in Solden and Are, the
Swedish resort where he also took this
month’s slalom.
Norway’s speed specialist Kjetil Jansrud
remains in control of the overall World Cup
standings but Hirscher will have the chance to
overtake him in late yesterday’s slalom under
the floodlit Madonna di Campillo slope. “This
is my best ever start to a World Cup season,”
commented Hirscher.
“But I still have Kjetil in front of me. He
skies incredibly well in speed races, he never
makes a mistake.” Olympic champion Ligety
complained of a poor first leg. “I was very
unhappy with it, the second was more convincing, with more spaces between gates
and more speed,” the 30-year-old said. He
added that his left hand continued to give
him problems - last month he underwent
surgery after breaking a bone in his wrist in
a training fall.—AFP
Benfica scrape through
LISBON: Coach Jorge Jesus said impatient Benfica fans were making his players nervous after the leaders struggled to
a 1-0 win over bottom club Gil Vicente on
Sunday.
Nicolas Gaitan scored the only goal on
the half hour, firing into an empty net
after Maxi Pereira’s shot hit the post, to
keep Benfica six points clear of Porto at
the top of the Primeira Liga after 14
matches. Pereira appeared to be offside
as he ran on to Ola John’s pass before
chipping the ball over goalkeeper
Adriano Facchini.
The supporters clearly expected more
from Benfica as they toiled against the
only team yet to win a league game this
season.
“The fans made the team nervous,”
Jesus told Benfica TV. “They usually help
the team when we are playing badly but,
on the contrary, that did not happen
today.
“We need their support to continue in
first place and reach our big target which
is to win the title for a second season in a
row.” Gil Vicente finished with 10 men
after Diogo Viana was sent off in stoppage time. Porto beat Vitoria de Setubal
4-0 on Friday, making them the only
team to score more than one goal in the
top flight this weekend. —Reuters
ITALY: Austria’s Marcel Hirscher (center) the winner, is flanked by Ted Ligety (left) of the United States (second placed) and third placed Thomas
Fanara, of France, after an alpine ski, men’s World Cup giant slalom race. —AP
Grizzlies fall,
Kings march
16
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
Pathans find
solace in Afridi’s
Pakistan
17
Cowboys defeat Colts, Seahawks win
Page 18
Lazio go third as Inter
save Mancini blushes
SPAIN: Athletic Bilbao’s Oscar de Marcos (right) duels for the ball with Atletico
de Madrid’s Arda Turan during their La Liga soccer match. — AP
Atletico hammer Bilbao
MADRID: France international Antoine
Griezmann scored a hat-trick as Atletico
Madrid produced a stunning second-half
display to hammer Athletic Bilbao 4-1
away on Sunday and move to within four
points of La Liga leaders Real Madrid.
The Spanish champions looked on
course for back-to-back league defeats
for the first time since April 2012 when
Mikel Rico gave Athletic a deserved halftime lead.
But Griezmann levelled straight from
the kick-off at the start of the second
period and completed his hat-trick after
Raul Garcia had put the visitors ahead
from the penalty spot.
Victory moves Atletico back to within
three points of Barcelona, who were 5-0
winners over Cordoba on Saturday, in
second. However, Real have a game in
hand on their two main title rivals as they
won their fourth trophy of the year in the
Club World Cup final against Argentine
side San Lorenzo in Morocco on
Saturday. “This was my best match since
I’ve been here. I need to keep on this
path and keep working,” Griezmann said.
At the new San Mames both sides
were missing a number of key players
with Aymeric Laporte and Ander
Iturraspe banned for the hosts, while
Atletico were without the suspended
duo of Koke and Mario Mandzukic, as
well as Miranda through injury.
It was the Basque outfit who settled
much quicker, and went ahead after 17
minutes when Markel Susaeta’s free-kick
was expertly nodded into the far corner
by the unmarked Rico.
Atletico failed to create anything of
note in the opening 45 minutes, and
could have been even further behind at
the break had Aritz Aduriz decided to
shoot when he was released clear on
goal by Susaeta rather than trying to
turn inside before being crowded out.
However, the champions emerged a
different side after an inspired half-time
pep talk from Diego Simeone and
equalised straight from the kick-off as
former Real Sociedad winger Griezmann
came back to haunt his old Basque rivals
once more with a precise header from
Juanfran’s cross. — AFP
MILAN: A first-half brace from Felipe Anderson
was enough to secure third place for Lazio in
Serie A prior to the festive break on Sunday in a
hard-fought 2-2 draw away to Inter.
Inter only claimed their maiden win under
Roberto Mancini, their first in six games, last
week but had the worst possible start at the San
Siro where Anderson hit the first of his goals
after just two minutes.
Anderson, who broke his Serie A duck last
week, beat Samir Handanovic with a fine angled
strike after collecting Stefan Radu’s assist in the
box.
The Brazilian almost had his brace moments
later when he sprung the offside trap to fire over
but made amends minutes before half-time after
collecting on the halfway line and carrying the
ball all the way before beating Handanovic at
the keeper’s near post.
Inter emerged doubly determined after the
break and after Mateo Kovacic and Mauro Icardi
tested Federico Marchetti in the Lazio goal it was
the former who reduced arrears in spectacular
fashion.
Kovacic was just outside the box when a
headed clearance fell kindly for the Croatian,
who struck on the volley to see his shot sting the
palms of a flailing Marchetti before hitting the
back of the net.
Mancini replaced Colombian Fredy Guarin
with Federico Bonazzoli and two minutes later
the highly-rated Inter youth player had a hand in
Inter’s 80th minute leveller.
Bonazzoli’s free kick found the head of Danilo
D’Ambrosio in the box and after the ball rolled
into the path of Rodrigo Palacio the Argentinian
blasted past Marchetti from close range.
The draw left Inter in 11th place at 18 points
adrift of leaders and champions Juventus, four
behind city rivals Milan and six behind Lazio in
the third and final Champions League qualifying
spot. But Mancini warned he will expect
improvements when Inter resume after the festive break.
“We can’t become a team like Barcelona or
Bayern in the space of a month. We’re having a
few difficulties but we need to get over them,”
ITALY: Inter Milan’s Mateo Kovacic (left) is tackled by Lazio’s Miroslav Klose during a Serie
A soccer match at the San Siro stadium. — AP
said Mancini.
“Let’s hope we can improve over our coming
games.” Lazio coach Stefano Pioli admitted
Kovacic’s goal had changed the prospects for his
side.
“Teams like Inter have a certain kind of quality and Kovacic’s goal set them up well for the
rest of the game,” said Pioli, who admitted third
place was a firm objective.
“It’s early yet but we’re doing very well. Now
we have a chance to recharge our batteries for
January which will be crucial for us. But the lads
have shown they are up to the job.”
Earlier, Italy striker Manolo Gabbiadini confirmed he could quit Sampdoria in the January
transfer window after heading a late equaliser to
secure a share of the spoils in a 2-2 home draw
with Udinese.
Gabbiadini has been linked with a move to
Napoli and the highly-rated 23-year-old told Sky
Sport after the game: “I don’t know if this will be
my last goal in a Sampdoria shirt, I always honour the shirt that I’m wearing.”
Sampdoria are 12 points behind Juventus,
who will face Napoli in the Italian Super Cup
final in Doha on Monday with a chance for a
double Christmas celebration after Roma were
held to a scoreless draw at home to Milan on
Saturday. Alberto Paloschi struck late to secure
the points as Chievo beat Verona 1-0 in the city
derby to give them some breathing space in the
battle for relegation.
Torino had defender Kamil Glik to thank for a
brace of goals in a precious 2-1 home win over
Genoa which secured just their fourth win of the
campaign. — AFP
Business
Oil prices likely to
rebound in 2015 H1: Poll
Page 22
US existing home sales hit
6-month low, inventories low
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
Page 25
The new AMG 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine
Kalyan Jewellers invests
KD7 million in Kuwait
Page 26
Page 23
MOSCOW: Russia’s Communist Party supporters dressed as white bears, symbol of pro-President party United Russia, saw a model of a one Russian ruble coin during a rally against ruble fall in exchange in front of the headquarters
of the government in central Moscow yesterday. — AFP
Oil markets face uncertain future
OPEC targets competitors after game-changing move
ABU DHABI: The determination of powerful Gulf OPEC
members to stifle competition from new oil producers
has left the global energy market reeling and sparked
unprecedented uncertainty, officials and experts say.
Gathered in Abu Dhabi for a key conference, senior
energy officials from Arab Gulf nations insisted they
will not cut production despite the freefall in oil prices.
A supply glut, lower demand and the stronger US
dollar have all contributed to pushing down oil prices,
which have dropped nearly 50 percent since June to
around $60 a barrel. Experts say there is little doubt
that OPEC is looking to drive new producers with higher costs-in particular North American shale venturesout of the market. And how long the effort will continue is anyone’s guess.
“We have to wait and see if tight (shale) oil can continue” after the sharp fall in oil prices, Saudi Oil
Minister Ali Al-Naimi, whose country pumps a third of
OPEC’s 30 million barrels per day output, told a conference session.
“Things could need one year, two years or three. We
don’t know what will happen in the future. What is certain however is that high-efficiency producers will rule
the market in the future,” the Saudi minister said.
OPEC’s conventional producers, for decades part of an
oil alliance that has dominated the global energy
trade, have been feeling the pressure from the emergence of shale oil.
Technological innovations have unlocked shale
resources in North America and raised daily US oil output by more than 40 percent since 2006, but at a production cost which can be three or four times that of
extracting Middle Eastern oil.
For years OPEC has helped control oil prices by
increasing or cutting production, but experts say it is
now signalling that it won’t bear the burden for its
competitors.
�Big game changer’
Qatar Energy Minister Mohammed Al-Sada told the
conference that OPEC’s decision last month to stay
firm on output was a “big game changer” for the global energy market.
“Cycles in our business are the norm,” Sada said.
“The decline in oil prices will have a different behavior
this time... The role of swing producer (like Saudi
Arabia) could be changing from government control
to market dynamics.”
OPEC seems determined not to interfere this time,
even if the move to maintain output is hitting the
pockets of some of its own members, like Nigeria and
Venezuela, who have not built up the fiscal reserves of
Gulf Arab nations. Some reports have suggested the
Gulf Arab nations are also trying to put pressure on
the economies of energy-dependent Russia or even
fellow OPEC member Iran, but officials have denied
any political motives.
Experts told the conference the next 12-18 months
will be crucial for the global energy market and that
there are few signs the price will rise. Weak demand in
Markets rise on oil, Saudi budget hopes
MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS
DUBAI: Most Gulf equity markets continued rising
yesterday but their uptrend slowed, suggesting
the benefits of stabilizing oil prices and expectations for a large Saudi Arabian state budget had
now largely been factored into stocks.
The main Saudi index closed 0.3 percent higher, after jumping 16 percent over the previous
three days. Turnover remained active but dropped
by about a fifth from Sunday’s level. Brent crude
climbed over 1 percent to above $62 per barrel
yesterday. Analysts said Brent had received broad
support after testing $60 a barrel earlier this
month, and that a consensus was growing that
prices would likely remain above that level for the
rest of the year. This has improved sentiment
among Gulf stock market investors, even though
the long-term outlook for oil prices remains murky
and fresh falls cannot be ruled out next year.
Also, contrary to the stock markets’ earlier fears,
Saudi Arabia’s 2015 budget is not expected to cut
spending much if at all in response to the recent
slide of oil prices. Saudi Finance Minister Ibrahim
Alassaf went out of his way to reassure the markets last Wednesday when he said his government
would continue spending strongly on development projects and social benefits in the budget.
The budget was originally expected to be
announced yesterday afternoon, but Saudi media
reported the release would occur later this week,
after a special cabinet meeting. Yesterday saw
profit-taking in some stocks which led the recent
rally such as property developer Dar Al Arkan,
which fell 0.8 percent and was again the most
heavily traded Saudi stock. On Sunday, Dar Al
Arkan had soared 9.3 percent. But petrochemical
producer Saudi Kayan, up 9.8 percent on Sunday,
added a further 6.2 percent yesterday. Other
major gainers included second- or third-tier stocks
that had been neglected in the rally, such as
Islamic insurer Solidarity , up 5.6 percent.
DUBAI
The Dubai index climbed 2.3 percent after
jumping 9.9 percent on Sunday and 13.0 percent
on Thursday. Bourse operator Dubai Financial
Market soared 10.1 percent, a fresh sign that
investors believe the bruising downtrend in Gulf
equities of recent weeks has ended and that
investor activity will revive. Qatar rose 3.3 percent;
property developer Ezdan Holding was the most
heavily traded stock, rising 3.4 percent.
Gulf International Services, an oil and gas
drilling services firm which was hit hard during
recent weeks because of the slump in oil prices,
surged its 10 percent daily limit. “The recent selloff in the Gulf has opened up opportunities in the
Qatar market, given the undemanding valuations
sparked by the current volatility,” Nick Wilson,
chairman of London-listed Qatar Investment Fund,
said in a note.
He estimated the Qatar index’s prospective
price/earnings ratio at 13.7 times with a dividend
yield of 4.4 percent, which he said was attractive
given the fact that Qatar needs a relatively low oil
price to balance its budget. But Gulf Warehousing
sank 0.6 percent to 53.00 riyals in active trade after
its board proposed boosting the company’s capital by 25 percent via a rights issue to shareholders
at 40.00 riyals per share. Oman’s market climbed
3.7 percent. It has outperformed most of the Gulf
since the executive president of the State General
Reserve Fund, the country’s largest sovereign
wealth fund, told Reuters at the end of last week
that the SGRF had boosted its buying of shares in
the local market because prices had slid to attractive levels.
The Tunisian market rose 0.6 percent, bringing
its gains in the last four trading days to 3.7 percent, though it closed well off its intra-day high.
Veteran politician Beji Caid Essebsi declared victory in Sunday’s presidential run-off vote, seen as
the last step in Tunisia’s shift to full democracy
four years after an uprising ousted autocrat Zine
El-Abidine Ben Ali. — Reuters
China-where the economy is slowing after decades of
spectacular growth-is likely to continue, said Bassam
Fattouh, director of the independent Oxford Institute
for Energy Studies.
Competition for Asian markets has meanwhile
grown, he said, after the production increase in the
United States allowed it to reduce or stop crude
imports from the Middle East, west Africa and Latin
America. “That has created a shift in oil trade flows,” he
said.
Other factors will help to keep prices low, he said,
including the continued weakness of the global economy and potential output increases of around three
million barrels per day if Libya, Iran and Iraq manage
to restore or boost production. In the long run, he said,
the next few years could consolidate shale oil producers-pushing the less competitive out of the market
and strengthening those that remain. “Some bankruptcies are expected but the developments may still
create a much more resilient sector.” — AFP
Russia bails out bank
following ruble slide
MOSCOW: Russia has bailed out a mid-sized bank for about $500 million to
save it from bankruptcy- a clear sign that the slide in the value of the ruble in
the wake of sliding oil prices is straining the banking system. The Central Bank
said yesterday it will give Trust Bank 30 billion rubles that will allow it to continue operating as normal.
It will also place Trust Bank under its own supervision until it finds an
investor. Major Russian banks said they had no interest in acquiring Trust, a
top 30 Russian bank with about $5 billion in assets.
The problems afflicting Trust Bank follow a tumultuous period for the
ruble, which is one of the worst-performing currencies this year, along with
the Ukrainian hryvnia. A respected former Russian finance minister warned
that the country is headed for “a full-blown economic crisis.”
It has fallen by a half this year as oil prices have fallen. Last week, its
descent gathered pace, sparking a consumer boom as worried Russians
flocked to shops to buy cars and durable goods before prices rose further.
Still, deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said yesterday he expects the ruble
to rally following some signs of stability over the past few trading sessions.
Following moderate gains at the end of last week, the ruble surged 8 percent
in early evening trading yesterday, at 54 against the US dollar.
He also said the government is not planning to introduce currency controls on Russian companies. The ruble’s collapse has stirred rumors that Russia
could introduce capital and currency controls to keep the rate high.
The Russian currency has been battered by low oil prices, now around $60
a barrel, down from a June high of $107, as well as the sanctions that the West
imposed on Russia for its involvement in Ukraine and the annexation of
Crimea. The fall in oil prices is one of the major reasons why Russia is expected to fall into recession next year.
Alexei Kudrin, a well-respected former Russian finance minister, said oil
prices weren’t the main reason why the ruble has suffered this year. In comments to reporters, he said low oil prices account for as little as a quarter of
the ruble decline whereas the sanctions imposed on the country could be
contributing up to 40 percent of the collapse. — AP
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
BUSINESS
Oil prices likely to rebound
in second half of 2015: Poll
Analysts slash Brent 2015 price forecasts by $8.50
Crude oil prices are likely to bottom out in
the first half of 2015, until a possible slowdown in US shale production counters a
supply glut exacerbated by OPEC’s decision
not to cut output, a Reuters monthly survey
showed. The Organization of the Petroleum
Exporting Countries’ agreement last month
to stand pat on output meant the onus for
any supply cutbacks was now on non-OPEC
producers, primarily led by US shale oil, analysts said. “Oil prices will be lower, making
shale oil production less attractive for
investments, which are necessary to keep
shale
oil
production
growing,”
Commerzbank’s Carsten Fritsch said.
Oil is seen recovering in the second half
as non-OPEC production responds to lower
prices, while demand picks up in the course
of the year, the poll showed. The survey of
30 economists and analysts projected Brent
to average $74.00 a barrel next year and
$80.30 in 2016.
The forecast for 2015 is $8.50 below the
average projection in the previous Reuters
poll. The November poll number was down
$11.20 from October, marking the biggest
downgrade in average forecasts since the
2008 economic downturn. Brent this month
hit five-year lows below $60 a barrel, down
almost half from peaks reached in June.
Brent has averaged $100.57 so far this year.
Brent was up 74 cents at $62.12 yesterday. US crude was up 66 cents at $57.79 a
barrel.
“In terms of the floor price, we think $60
per barrel will be the level at which fast-rising US shale oil producers will feel the
pinch,” ANZ analyst Natalie Rampono said.
“Supply cuts above this level will be limited
to other smaller, high-cost US and Canadian
Raiffeisen Bank said.
Raiffeisen is among the most bullish
forecasters, projecting Brent to average $80
a barrel in 2015, and is one of 11 institutions
that had participated in the previous poll
and retained their outlook since then.
Of the 14 banks polled that have cut
their forecasts since the previous month’s
survey, Morgan Stanley slashed its projection by $28 to an average 2015 Brent price
of $70. ANZ, Bank of America Merrill Lynch,
JBC, LBBW and Deutsche Bank also lowered
their North Sea crude forecast for next year
by more than $15 per barrel. ABN AMRO
had the highest Brent forecast at $85 for
2015, while Nomisma Energia had the lowest at $59 a barrel. Brent’s premium to US
crude will narrow to $5.30 a barrel in 2015
from $6.68 so far this year and $10.58 in
2013, the poll said. —Reuters
unconventional oil producers. Although we
think it will take six to 12 months for these
supply cuts to become apparent,” she
added.
Some analysts, however, were sceptical
whether OPEC’s stand would serve as a
deterrent to US shale oil producers. “The lag
in oil production response from existing
wells from the US suggests that only the
marginal oil projects will be discouraged at
this stage,” Vyanne Lai of National Australia
Bank said. The poll forecast US light crude
would average $68.70 a barrel next year,
and $74.90 in 2016. US crude has averaged
$93.99 so far in 2014. “Some of the highly
leveraged US shale oil producers will face
serious trouble. In the long term, OPEC
strategy should pay off for OPEC as this
strategy should lead to higher oil prices
from 2016/17 on,” Hannes Loacker of
Production
The minister said Iraq now produced around 3.2 million bpd in
the south of the country and expected this to rise about 100,000 or
200,000 bpd next year. That would bring total crude oil production
by Iraq, after its export agreement with the Kurdish region, to 4 million bpd in 2015. But Abdel Mehdi said he didn’t think that would
trigger any pressure from OPEC next year to cap Iraq’s production,
which has been exempted from quotas because of wars and sanctions. “Last year, almost a million barrels (per day) have been cut
from the market because of Kirkuk and the KRG (Kurdish regional
government), so we have already done a lot of cutting in favor of
OPEC and I think OPEC understands that.” Abdel Mehdi also said he
expected oil prices to stabilize over $70 a barrel by the middle of
next year. Brent crude is now trading around $62, down from about
$115 in June. —Reuters
Egyptian pound steady
on official market
CAIRO: The Egyptian pound held steady at a central bank
dollar sale yesterday and weakened slightly on the black
market. The bank offered $40 million and said it had sold
$38.2 million at a cut-off price of 7.1401 pounds to the dollar, unchanged from its last sale on Sunday. The rates at
which banks are allowed to trade dollars are determined
by the results of central bank sales, giving the bank effective control over official exchange rates. In the unofficial
market, the pound was trading at 7.81 to the dollar, a trader said, down slightly from Sunday’s rate of 7.80 pounds.
i n
b r i e f
OPEC crude price
down to $55.52pb
VIENNA: OPEC daily basket price stood at $55.52 a barrel Friday, compared with $56.30 the previous day, the
cartel said here yesterday. The monthly rate of the OPEC
hit $75.57pb in November against $85.06pb in October,
it said. The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB)
is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria),
Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Islamic
Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export
(Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar
Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE)
and Merey (Venez). During their recent meeting, OPEC
oil ministers decided to maintain the cartel’s production
level at 30 million barrels per day.
US dollar stable against
Kuwaiti dinar at KD 0.292
KUWAIT: The US dollar exchange was stable against the
Kuwaiti dinar in yesterday’s trading at KD 0.292 while the
euro rose to KD 0.358, compared with Sunday’s rates, said
the daily bulletin of the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK). The
pound sterling exchange rate stabilized at KD 0.457, likewise the Swiss franc, KD 0.297. The Japanese yen also
remained unchanged at KD 0.002.
Vietnam will license $22bn
refinery in early 2015
HANOI: Vietnam will grant a license for a $22 billion
refinery and petrochemical complex by Thai top energy
company PTT Pcl and Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest
oil producer no later than February 2015, a Vietnamese
government official said yesterday. PTT and Aramco will
each fund 50 percent of the project, should the firms
fail to find any Vietnamese counterpart, said Man Ngoc
Ly, head of the Nhon Hoi economic zone in the central
province of Vietnam, where the project will be developed. Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has
approved the project, which is designed to refine 20
million tons of crude oil annually, or 400,000 barrels per
day, the government said in a report on its website late
last week.
Iraq to start work
on final oil deal
with Kurdish region
ABU DHABI: Iraq’s Kurdish region will continue to export its own
crude oil under an initial deal with Baghdad until a comprehensive
deal is reached, with work on a final agreement expected to start
within weeks, Iraqi oil minister Adel Abdel Mehdi said yesterday.
Early this month, the Iraqi central government reached a temporary agreement with Kurdish regional authorities ending a bitter
dispute over oil exports by and budget payments to the semiautonomous Kurdish region. Under the deal, Kurdish fields would
export 250,000 barrels per day through Iraq’s state oil marketing
organization (SOMO), while an additional 300,000 bpd from the
Iraqi area of Kirkuk would be exported via a pipeline running
through Kurdish territory.
In an interview yesterday, Abdel Mehdi said the initial deal was
put together mainly so Baghdad could form a budget for 2015, and
that a final settlement “should be worked out in the coming weeks”.
In the meantime, the Kurdish region can continue exporting above
the 250,000 bpd limit on its own, but legal action taken by
Baghdad against Kurdish authorities in Arbil over oil exports will
remain in place, he said. “We agreed for the time being things
would stay as they are. It means, they were producing, they were
exporting and we are putting some claims on that. This is not legal,
so things will continue as they are now.” There is now “confidence
and goodwill” between the two sides, Abdel Mehdi said. “We think
we can sit together and settle all those pending issues like the payments and claims from either side.”
News
HERAT: Afghan workers make wood burning stoves, used for heating and cooking, at a workshop in
Herat yesterday. Afghans are busy preparing for winter, as high unemployment and the high cost of
living have increased the vulnerability to the weather for large sections of the population. —AFP
Moroccan consumer price
inflation rises to 1.2%
RABAT: Morocco’s consumer price inflation rose to an
annual 1.2 percent in November from 0.6 pct in October in
part because of rising food prices, the High Planning
Authority said yesterday. Non-food inflation was up 2.1
percent in the 12 months through November. The food
price index pushed up slightly to 0.1 percent from the previous month. Health expenses fell 1.1 percent while housing, water and electricity costs rose 4.4 percent as the
North African government started to cut subsidies. On a
month-on-month basis, the consumer price index was
steady in November after rising 0.6 percent in October. The
food price index rose 0.2 percent on the month and nonfood prices were down 0.1 percent.
Budget pressure unlikely to deflect Iran from nuke goals
DUBAI: A big oil price slide will hurt Iran’s attempts to rescue
battered living standards, but economic pain is unlikely to soften its stance in nuclear talks or end aid to allies such as Syria,
matters seen by its ruling clerics as strategic priorities.
Economic misery due to sanctions and mismanagement
has been a reality for years, and while social strains in the 76
million population are deep, the clerics will seek to contain
them, say experts examining Iran’s budget plans for 2015. The
largest drop in oil prices since the 2008 financial crisis means
more budget pressure for the OPEC member, already bereft of
tens of billions of dollars in oil revenue due to Western sanctions and years of economic mismanagement.
And tougher economic times may spur Tehran’s determination to end a nuclear dispute and lift sanctions that isolate it
from the global banking system and deter most foreign
investors. But significant changes in Iran’s regional strategy
including its approach to any nuclear deal are unlikely. That is
partly because funds for security affairs come from Supreme
Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, not the government. He also
decides nuclear policy.
“Our support to our brother Assad will never change,” said a
senior Iranian official, referring to Syrian President Bashar alAssad. “Because of (declining) oil prices we face economic
hardship ... but we will manage to continue our support to
Syria, militarily and financially.”
Ali Vaez, of the International Crisis Group think-tank, said
the oil price fall would hurt, but was unlikely to make Iran
accept a nuclear deal “that it views as lopsided”. “Iran’s support
for its allies in Iraq and Syria is not a questions of means, it’s a
strategic necessity. This is why neither the fall of the rial in 2012
or economic malaise in 2013 affected Iran’s support for its
Syrian and Iraqi allies.” Iran and world powers are negotiating
to end a standoff over Tehran’s nuclear goals. Tehran denies
Western charges it is seeking nuclear weapons. President
Hassan Rouhani presented a “cautious, tight” budget on Dec 7
in response to falling oil prices, now almost $10 a barrel below
the $70 his budget was based on. Spending was six percent
above this year, a real terms cut due to inflation of 20 percent.
But with revenues pressured, plans to hike defence spending 33 percent prompted speculation that Rouhani wants to
placate security hardliners, hoping they will indulge his bid to
win a nuclear deal and end sanctions.
Powerful hawks
Powerful anti-Western hawks in the Islamic Revolutionary
Guards Corps (IRGC), who report to Khamenei, have been wary
of the negotiations. They have tolerated the talks, diplomats
speculate, largely because his big 2013 election win revealed
the depth of anger over economic mismanagement and support for his aim of ending Iran’s international isolation.
Mehrdad Emadi of Betamatrix International Consultancy suggested Rouhani had to consider the IRGC in setting economic
policy because it could spoil any nuclear deal.
Greater defence spending was aimed at “giving them a big
piece of the public pie so they can stop kicking up a fuss when
it comes to negotiations, especially those with the Americans.”
“The IRGC are extremely sensitive to any reduction of �military
aid’ to what they see as strategic allies.” The IRGC could ruin any
rapprochement with the West it felt might hurt its interests.
Last year, Iran granted Syria a $3.6 billion credit facility to buy
oil products, with another $1 billion for non-oil products.
Domestically the government has ways of mitigating the pain.
One is gradual depreciation of the official exchange rate at
which it converts oil revenues from dollars into rials. This allows
a progressively smaller amount of dollars to supply the same
rial revenues.
The central bank’s official exchange has dropped to
27,043 from 25,651 at the end of June and 24,774 at the end
of last year. Next year’s budget is based on a rate of 28,500,
showing the government plans to continue this strategy.
Meanwhile, the free-market price of the rial has stabilized at
about 35,000, far from lows near 40,000 two years ago. That
suggests most Iranians think that while cheaper oil will pressure the rial, they do not yet expect an economic collapse or
a run on the currency.—Reuters
EXCHANGE RATES
Al-Muzaini Exchange Co.
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
Saudi Riyal
Qatari Riyal
Omani Riyal
Bahraini Dinar
UAE Dirham
ASIAN COUNTRIES
2.455
4.645
2.917
2.220
2.878
223.630
37.783
3.746
6.549
8.939
61.555
121.740
GCC COUNTRIES
78.151
80.514
761.500
778.400
79.812
ARAB COUNTRIES
Egyptian Pound - Cash
42.450
Egyptian Pound - Transfer
40.887
Yemen Riyal/for 1000
1.367
Tunisian Dinar
157.920
Jordanian Dinar
413.600
Lebanese Lira/for 1000
1.966
Syrian Lira
2.089
Morocco Dirham
33.102
EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES
US Dollar Transfer
292.950
Euro
360.330
Sterling Pound
459.930
Canadian dollar
255.180
Turkish lira
126.270
Swiss Franc
301.700
Australian Dollar
242.270
US Dollar Buying
291.750
20 gram
10 gram
5 gram
GOLD
238.100
121.740
61.560
UAE Exchange Centre WLL
COUNTRY
Australian Dollar
Canadian Dollar
Swiss Franc
Euro
US Dollar
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
SELL DRAFT
231.71
256.71
302.93
362.08
293.55
461.65
2.49
3.761
4.636
2.220
2.893
2.918
79.77
779.11
40.93
417.10
761.26
80.83
78.19
SELL CASH
228.71
257.71
300.93
363.08
296.55
464.65
2.51
4.031
4.936
2.655
3.428
2.790
80.23
781.18
41.53
422.75
768.56
81.38
78.59
2.710
3.945
87.645
48.035
9.885
131.225
Sierra Leone
Singapore Dollar
South African Rand
Sri Lankan Rupee
Taiwan
Thai Baht
0.000065
0.219794
0.019360
0.001877
0.009211
0.008575
0.000071
0.225794
0.027860
0.002457
0.009391
0.009125
Bahrain Exchange Company
Bahraini Dinar
Egyptian Pound
Iranian Riyal
Iraqi Dinar
Jordanian Dinar
Kuwaiti Dinar
Lebanese Pound
Moroccan Dirhams
Nigerian Naira
Omani Riyal
Qatar Riyal
Saudi Riyal
Syrian Pound
Tunisian Dinar
Turkish Lira
UAE Dirhams
Yemeni Riyal
Arab
0.770861
0.038725
0.000081
0.000199
0.409260
1.000000
0.000145
0.024004
0.001189
0.755147
0.079783
0.077510
0.001737
0.153886
0.124609
0.078805
0.001323
0.778861
0.041825
0.000082
0.000259
0.416750
1.000000
0.000245
0.048004
0.001824
0.760827
0.080996
0.078210
0.001957
0.161886
0.131609
0.079954
0.001403
Syrian Pound
Nepalese Rupees
Malaysian Ringgit
Chinese Yuan Renminbi
Thai Bhat
Turkish Lira
COUNTRY
Belgian Franc
British Pound
Czech Korune
Danish Krone
Euro
Norwegian Krone
Romanian Leu
Slovakia
Swedish Krona
Swiss Franc
Turkish Lira
Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd
Rate for Transfer
US Dollar
Canadian Dollar
Sterling Pound
Euro
Swiss Frank
Bahrain Dinar
UAE Dirhams
Qatari Riyals
Saudi Riyals
Jordanian Dinar
Egyptian Pound
Sri Lankan Rupees
Indian Rupees
Pakistani Rupees
Bangladesh Taka
Philippines Pesso
Cyprus pound
Japanese Yen
Selling Rate
291.750
260.085
456.630
366.500
303.035
775.760
79.330
80.935
77.975
411.660
40.707
2.225
4.716
2.867
3.759
6.481
715.865
3.480
Australian Dollar
New Zealand Dollar
America
Canadian Dollar
US Dollars
US Dollars Mint
Bangladesh Taka
Chinese Yuan
Hong Kong Dollar
Indian Rupee
Indonesian Rupiah
Japanese Yen
Kenyan Shilling
Korean Won
Malaysian Ringgit
Nepalese Rupee
Pakistan Rupee
Philippine Peso
SELL CASH
Europe
0.007632
0.452259
0.005047
0.044361
0.354006
0.035743
0.084057
0.008572
0.034131
0.291709
0.124609
SELLDRAFT
0.008632
0.461259
0.017047
0.049361
0.362006
0.041143
0.084057
0.018572
0.039131
0.301909
0.131609
Australasia
0.230411
0.219694
0.241911
0.229194
0.247352
0.288950
0.289450
0.255852
0.293650
0.293650
Asia
0.003432
0.046192
0.035698
0.004436
0.000019
0.002381
0.003275
0.000255
0.080985
0.002995
0.002745
0.006509
0.004032
0.049692
0.038448
0.004837
0.000025
0.002561
0.003275
0.000270
0.086985
0.003165
0.003025
0.006789
Al Mulla Exchange
Currency
US Dollar
Euro
Pound Sterlng
Canadian Dollar
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)
291.800
366.550
461.000
252.550
4.597
40.785
2.212
3.738
6.522
2.905
776.900
79.500
78.000
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
BUSINESS
Kalyan Jewellers invests
KD7 million in Kuwait
Three signature showrooms to open on Friday l Mega Prize of KD75,000 for single winner
Amitabh Bachchan, the Brand Ambassador of
Kalyan Jewellers
KUWAIT: Kalyan Jewellers, one of India’s most-trusted jewellery brands, has announced its foray into Kuwait with an
investment of more than KD7 million. Kalyan Jewellers has
offered a special consumer scheme to mark the launch.
Consumers will be given a free gold coin on purchase of jewellery worth KD150 and will be eligible to participate in a lucky
draw and win the mega prize of KD75,000.
Amitabh Bachchan, the stalwart of Indian cinema and the
Brand Ambassador of Kalyan Jewellers, who is on his first visit
to Kuwait, will inaugurate the outlets on Friday (December 26,
2014) along with the other ambassadors Manju Warrier
(Malayalam film actor), Nagarjuna Akkineni (Telegu film actor)
and Prabhu Ganesan (Tamil film actor). The Chairman of the
Group T S Kalyanaraman, the Executive Directors Rajesh
Kalyanaraman and Ramesh Kalyanaraman will also be present
for the inauguration. During the inauguration of the showrooms, the celebrities will jointly address the public from a specially erected stage. The timings for inauguration are as follows:
December 26 :
Al-Rai 11.15 am - 11.45am, Malia, Kuwait City) 2.45 pm 3.05 pm and Fahaheel 3.45 pm - 4.15 pm.
T S Kalyanaraman, Chairman and Managing Director,
Telugu film actor Nagarjuna Akkineni
Tamil film actor Prabhu Ganesan
Malayalam film actress Manju Warrier
Kalyan Jewellers said, “The expansion in Kuwait is part of
our growth strategy to consolidate our presence in GCC
countries. The launch of three Kalyan stores in one day in
Kuwait is a reiteration of our commitment to provide the
best jewellery buying experience for connoisseurs of jewellery in Kuwait. The investment of KD7 million has been
made to ensure that we can reach out to more customers
through these three outlets. Our stores will offer an exquisite collection of contemporary and traditional designs
that will fulfill distinct needs of the evolved Kuwait consumer.”
Jewellers will have 77 outlets spread across West Asia and
India including nine in the UAE. It will also add Qatar to its
presence shortly. By the end of fiscal 2015, Kalyan Jewellers is
targeting 100 showrooms.
Kalyan Jewellers recently attracted a significant investment of $200 million from leading private equity investor
Warburg Pincus. The investment is set to accelerate the
growth plans of Kalyan Jewellers as it consolidates its leading
position in the existing markets and enters global markets
including Singapore and Malaysia. Since the investment from
Warburg Pincus, Kalyan Jewellers has added over 15 showrooms to its network.
Kalyan Jewellers is one of the most trusted brands in India
and has developed a deep connect among its stakeholders
with its brand promise of �Trust is Everything’. Kalyan
Jewellers has developed a distinct image among consumers
by smartly leveraging its brand ambassadors. Kalyan was the
first jewellery brand in the country to have a male as a brand
ambassador, successfully defying the convention in jewellery
marketing.
Kalyan Jewellers has also invested in educational campaigns for consumers to share their insights on buying jewellery. Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan are
the brand ambassadors of Kalyan Jewellers. The brand also
has regional icons like Prabhu Ganesan, Nagarjuna, Shivaraj
Kumar and Manju Warrier associated with the brand. Kalyan
Jewellers has been ranked among Top 10 Trend Setting
Brands in India (Pitch, 2013).
Target
With the three showrooms opening in Kuwait, Kalyan
Oil price fall puts squeeze on
North Sea energy minnows
LONDON: Plunging oil prices have
increased the strain on the many small
energy firms operating in the North Sea
who were already facing diminishing
returns from an area that once helped power the British economy. With fields more
mature and oil harder to find, heavyweights such as BP and Shell turned their
attention elsewhere long ago, leaving
smaller independent firms to explore the
more remote areas.
As many as 133 companies are now active
in the British part of the North Sea. However,
a third of those companies are deemed by
experts to be too small to finance big ticket
projects and a fall of around 45 percent in oil
prices since June has lessened the sector’s
appeal to big investors.
Efforts to find new oil and gas fields
have slumped to the lowest level since
exploration started in the 1970s because of
reduced investment. That has sharply cut
the amount of revenue the government
can expect to take from the sector in taxation. “Nothing less than radical change will
prevent the premature demise of the basin,
let alone maximize economic recovery,”
said Dave Blackwood, former head of BP’s
North Sea business, adding his voice to
industry calls for tax cuts.
Britain’s finance ministry has said it is
working on a reform of its oil and gas tax
policy but its drive to reduce the budget
deficit will limit its ability to cut rates. An
election next May only adds to the political
uncertainty. British oil companies pay a
supplementary levy on top of production
income tax, which will drop by 2 percentage points to 30 percent on Jan. 1. The oil
industry is crying out for steeper cuts to
help dampen the impact of surging costs.
“You’ve got to get the tax change right.
If you put it up too much, and arguably
that has happened, then it strangles activity,” Mark Routh, chief executive at small
North Sea player Independent Oil and Gas,
told Reuters.
Receipts fall
During the early 1980s, annual tax
receipts to Margaret Thatcher’s govern-
ment peaked at 12 billion pounds ($18.8
billion) when booming North Sea oil output coincided with high oil prices, four
times the 3 billion pounds predicted for
2014. Promised oil revenues were in part
used to justify Scotland’s independence
movement which banked on oil to underwrite a historic break for the rest of Britain,
thwarted in a referendum in September.
Instead, Brent crude prices fell as low as
$58.5 a barrel last week and the major oil
firms are shifting their focus to more promising new areas in south-east Asia, Africa
and shale oil plays in North America. While
Britain’s growing pool of small-scale firms,
such as Parkmead, Hurricane Energy and
Infrastrata , can be more nimble when it
comes to adopting new technologies,
many of the areas remaining to be
explored are remote and therefore costly.
“If they don’t have the money they can’t
fund activity,” said Brian Nottage, general
manager at oil and gas advisory Hannon
Westwood. An example is Atlantic
Petroleum, which produces oil in the UK
North Sea and has cut its exploration
spending for 2015 by 75 percent, arguing it
needed to save cash to fund its operating
fields in the current oil price environment.
An increasing number of firms looking
to enter new fields are now offering “farmouts”, allowing investors including rival
companies, to take a stake in the new project.
“(But) not that many are successful,
hence the problem that we see in exploration activity,” Nottage said. Of the 133
companies in the UK North Sea, more than
a third have not developed reserves in the
basin, meaning they cannot bank on any
revenue from production in the short term.
In the longer term, the large number of
small-scale players accessing the North Sea
exploration market could lead to merger
activity to create more robust businesses.
“The UK North Sea is definitely at an inflection point. That inflection point will either
send it down or have the potential to make
sure it remains as a basin for another 10-15
years,” said Alison Baker, head of PwC’s UK
oil and gas practice. —Reuters
Russia’s new grain export
duty sows confusion
MOSCOW: Russia stiffened its bid to curb grain
exports yesterday with plans for a duty on shipments, to defend domestic bread supply
against a crumbling ruble.
Russia, one of the world’s top wheat
exporters to North Africa and the Middle East,
has been exporting record volumes of grain this
year as the ruble fall attracted buyers. It brought
in a large grain crop of 104 million tons but after
the surge in exports Moscow needed to hang
on to its remaining stocks, Prime Minister
Dmitry Medvedev told a meeting with officials.
“(We will) prepare a proposal for a decision
on export duty. It will be done within 24 hours,”
Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich told
the meeting. Medvedev told Dvorkovich to submit the proposal for his signature. Turkey and
Egypt are the largest buyers of Russian wheat.
Neither man said when, at what level or for
which type of grains the duty was to be
imposed. Russia used a protective duty on
wheat exports in 2008. Officials are discussing a
prohibitive duty and may impose it earlier than
exporters are able to fulfil already-signed contracts, an industry source familiar with the discussions told Reuters.
Dmitry Rylko, the head of IKAR consultancy,
said he expected the duty to be at a prohibitive
level. Traders have forward contracts for Russian
grain until April. Last week, Russia cut railway
loadings of grain for export, industry sources
said. State-controlled Russian Railways, which
has a monopoly on rail shipment, declined to
comment. —Reuters
Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier (left) and Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker pose with a replica of an Airbus A350 during a ceremony
in Toulouse, southwestern France, yesterday. —AP
Airbus delivers a350-900
plane to Qatar Airways
TOULOUSE, France: Airbus delivered its first next-generation A350900 plane to Qatar Airways yesterday in a formal ceremony that
kickstarts its bid to erode rival
Boeing’s dominance in the lucrative long-haul market. The Dohabased company, owned by the
energy-rich Gulf state, has ordered
80 of the planes, making it not
only the launch customer but also
the largest single customer of the
fuel-efficient A350 so far.
Qatar Airways’s first A350 had
been due to be delivered on
December 13 in the southwestern
French city of Toulouse where
Airbus is based, but the airline
postponed the handover at the
last moment, citing equipment in
the cabin that did not correspond
to its requirements. “My dear
Akbar, you are a demanding customer, particularly demanding and
sometimes even a little too
demanding, but you are also one
of the architects of the A350,”
Airbus chief Fabrice Bregier told
Qatar Airways head Akbar Al-Baker
at the ceremony.
“We owe you a lot for this program.”
Fuel savings crucial
Airlines are in a major push to
modernize their fleets to reap the
energy savings that the latest generation of planes offer, especially as
competition in the sector is fierce
But Airbus hopes to catch up with
its A350, whose wings and fuselage
are made of carbon fibre and which
will save up to 25 percent in fuel consumption. Airbus invested 10-12 billion euros ($12-$15 billion) in its strat-
TOULOUSE: A Qatar Airways A350 takes off from the Airbus
headquarters in Toulouse yesterday. —AFP
and fuel is one of biggest costs. For
the moment, Boeing dominates the
lucrative market for long-haul, midsized planes with its B777 and nextgeneration 787 Dreamliner outweighing the European firm’s A330.
egy to position the A350 between
the popular B777 and the
Dreamliner, hoping to eat away at
both planes’ markets.
So far, the plane has been a success with 778 orders already regis-
tered by the end of November.
Boeing, meanwhile, has accumulated
1,055 orders for the Dreamliner,
which was launched several years
ago. The first commercial flight of
Qatar Airways’s brand new plane will
take place on January 15 on the
Doha to Frankfurt route, and the second A350-900 should come into
operation in February.
The airline is one of a trio of fastgrowing Gulf carriers seeking to further muscle into European markets,
as energy-rich states in the region
seek to develop new sources of
income to reduce their dependence
on oil.
Baker has described the delivery
of the A350 as the “second significant
fleet milestone” for the carrier after
recently receiving three of 14 A380
superjumbo planes bought from
Airbus.
The airline has also purchased
Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner. The A350
program was launched in 2007, and
the first test flight for the plane took
place in June last year. Bregier told
reporters in Toulouse that Airbus
planned to ramp up production of its
newest plane from two to 10 aircraft
a month within four years. —AFP
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
BUSINESS
Euro stocks enjoy �Santa Claus rally’
LONDON: Europe’s main stock markets rose
strongly yesterday in a renewed “Santa Claus
rally” powered by a modest recovery in oil
prices, dealers said. In late morning deals in
the British capital, London’s FTSE 100 index of
leading shares jumped 1.02 percent to
6,611.96 points compared with Friday’s close.
Frankfurt’s DAX 30 won 0.67 percent to
9,852.58 points and in Paris the CAC 40 leapt
1.04 percent to 4,285.94.
The euro edged up to $1.2260 after sliding
as low as $1.2220 in earlier Asian deals,
matching Friday’s two-year trough that was
struck as the Federal Reserve signalled it may
rise US interest rates in the middle of 2015.
“As the markets begin to wind down for
Christmas, the Santa rally was still being felt ...
with a quiet economic day ahead,” said
Spreadex trader Connor Campbell.
“After spending the last six weeks as the
Scrooge of the economic world, oil has undergone a slight rejuvenation; in this current climate, any price above $60 per barrel for Brent
crude oil is a signifier of hope for the markets.”
Global oil prices rebounded slightly, with
analysts predicting the sector has bottomed
out after plunging by around 50 percent since
June.
• Oil market forges ahead London’s Brent crude for February delivery
advanced 76 cents to $62.14 per barrel in late
morning deals, and US benchmark West Texas
Intermediate (WTI) for February climbed 53
cents to $57.66 a barrel.
The gains extended a rebound on Friday,
wiping out losses earlier last week that saw
prices hit fresh five-year lows on the back of
ample supplies and mounting demand worries.
Oil has however shed about half its
value since June, and a decision in
November by the Organization of
Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to
maintain output levels despite falling
prices has weighed heavily on the market.
“Brent crude is up ... boosting energy
shares across the FTSE,” added ETX
Capital analyst Daniel Sugarman.
“Tullow Oil, always sensitive to oil fluctuations, is currently up, as are both BP
and Royal Dutch Shell.”
In London, Tullow Oil stock added
1.46 percent to 430.40 pence, while BP
gained 1.39 percent to 418.72 pence and
Shell’s �B’ share price added 2.17 percent
to 2,270.79 pence.
French oil and gas giant Total was the
biggest winner on the CAC index in Paris.
Shares were 2.57 percent higher at 43.96
euros.
Rising oil prices lift the energy sector
because they boost company profits.
Trading volumes meanwhile remained
low with many investors away from their
desks for the traditional Christmas
and New Year holiday shutdown.
The Frankfurt stock market closes for
Christmas after the close on Tuesday,
while London and Paris will shut down at
lunchtime on Wednesday.
• Focus �remains on oil’ “As we head towards the Christmas
break and a short week, the main focus
going forward is likely to remain on the
recent volatility in the oil price, particularly if we get a fresh bout of selling pressure,” said CMC Markets analyst Michael
Hewson.
He added there were widespread concerns that further oil-market declines
“could prompt instability in oil producing
countries like Venezuela, Angola, Nigeria
and Ecuador, and of course not forgetting Russia, as these countries struggle to
balance their books, against a weakening
currency, and a much weaker oil price”.
Elsewhere, Asian equities also rose in
thin trade Monday amid the festive
season, tracking cues from Wall Street
where stocks had also surged in a Fedfuelled “Santa Claus rally” last week.
Sydney soared 1.94 percent, Seoul
gained 0.68 percent, Hong Kong climbed
1.26 percent and Shanghai was up 0.61
percent, while Tokyo closed flat.
I n Monday deals on the London
Bullion Market, gold firmed to
$1,196.32 per ounce from $1,195.50 on
Friday. — AFP
TOKYO: A man looks at an electronic stock indicator of a securities firm in Tokyo yesterday. Global markets were mostly higher yesterday after the Federal Reserve’s
pledge not to rush to raise interest rates prompted investors to add risky assets
ahead of the year-end holiday. A rise in the price of oil boosted energy stocks. — AP
Oil falls towards $61
on supply outlook
LONDON: Oil fell towards $61 a barrel
yesterday, reversing gains after Saudi
Arabia indicated it could increase its
output. Saudi Arabia is prepared to
increase output and gain market share
by meeting the demands of any new
customers, yesterday’s edition of the
Saudi-owned al-Hayat newspaper
quoted the kingdom’s oil minister Ali
Al-Naimi as saying.
On Sunday Naimi said lower crude
prices would help demand by stimulating the economy. Brent fell 23 cents
to $61.15 by 1215 GMT. It is down
more than 46 percent from the year’s
peak in June above $115 per barrel.
US crude was down 28 cents at $56.85
a barrel.
“We are going down because you
have some OPEC ministers who come
every day making statements trying
to drive the market down, said Olivier
Jakob, an oil analyst at Petromatrix Oil
in Zug, Switzerland. “They come every
day to convey the message that they
are not doing anything to restrict supplies and that they basically want oil
prices to move lower to reduce pro-
duction in the US.”
OPEC’s decision not to reduce production at a meeting in November
sped up the decline in already falling
oil prices. Prospects for a cut in the
near future look remote. While analysts said Brent would likely remain
above $60 a barrel this year, they said
fur ther large jumps in price were
unlikely.
Analysts said that the price drop
would have only a gradual impact on
the outlook for production. “Given the
lead time in permit approval and rig
construction ahead of oil production, a
sizeable negative US supply response
given the price drop is unlikely to take
place until late 2015, which places further downward pressure on oil prices
in the first six months of next year,”
National Australia Bank said in a note.
It said it expected Brent and US
crude to average $68 and $64 per barrel respectively in 2015. Analysts also
said they expected relatively low price
volatility for the rest of the year as
traders begin to wind down their 2014
positions. — Reuters
Gold inches higher
as dollar weakens,
shares limit gains
LONDON: Gold edged up yesterday as
the dollar retreated against the euro,
though stronger equities and appetite
for risk continued to dull the metal’s
appeal as an alternative investment.
Strength in oil prices also supported bullion, which is usually seen as an hedge
against oil-led inflation.
Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at
$1,196.30 an ounce by 1025 GMT. It lost
about 2 percent last week on a strong
dollar and expectations of rising US
interest rates. Prices were forecast to
remain in tight ranges during the holiday-shortened week. “I don’t think
investors will enter the market at this
time of the year, but liquidity is so thin
that if there are orders to be filled the
impact could be very large,” ABN Amro
analyst Georgette Boele said.
“I remain very bearish for 2015 ... If
you have a sentiment of positive risk
appetite and the same time for a higher
dollar and higher interest rates, gold will
not be able to move higher.”
The dollar fell 0.1 percent against a
basket of major currencies, mostly
because of euro strength, but was still
holding within striking distance of a
nine-year peak set on Friday. A weaker
dollar makes gold cheaper for holders of
other currencies. European equities rose,
underpinned by stronger energy shares
that were lifted by expectations that
Brent crude futures are likely to remain
above $60 for the rest of the year.
Gold received some early support
from buying in top gold consumer China,
where local prices were at a premium of
about $3 an ounce to the global benchmark, though they slipped later in the
session to about $1. But the metal’s gains
could be difficult to hold because of
expectations of higher US interest rates
and a strong outlook for the dollar. The
market will monitor a series of US economic data, including GDP numbers, for
the third quarter today.
Higher interest rates would boost the
dollar and hurt non-interest-bearing bullion, which was lifted by central bank liquidity and a low interest rate environment in the years following the 2008
financial crisis. Among other precious
metals, silver was down 0.1 percent at
$16.05 an ounce. Platinum was
unchanged at $1,194.90 an ounce, falling
again into parity with gold, and palladium gained 0.3 percent to $802.40 an
ounce. — Reuters
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
BUSINESS
Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive among first car
dealerships in Kuwait to offer valet parking service
KUWAIT: With a constant focus on providing
enhanced customer experience, Ali Alghanim &
Sons Automotive (AAS), the exclusive importer for
BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce, Land Rover and McLaren,
becomes one of the first automotive dealerships in
Kuwait to offer valet parking services and make it
even more enjoyable for car enthusiasts to shop
for the car of their dreams.
Through its latest partnership with Parking Pal,
the valet parking service provider for some of
Kuwait’s luxurious shopping destinations as well
as hotels, all customers who come and visit the Ali
Alghanim & Sons showroom will now relish the
comfort and convenience of not having to worry
about having to park their cars.
“We at Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive always
put the customer first in our list of priorities,” said
Yousuf Al-Qatami, General Manager of Ali
Alghanim & Sons Automotive. “By doing so, we
ensure an unrivalled customer experience right
from the moment they arrive at our showroom”.
“To enable them to enjoy the widest range of
choices from some of the world’s foremost car
brand manufacturers, we make sure that their cars
are properly parked only by the finest valet parking service available in the market today,” he
added.
For his part, Walid Asaloa, GM and founder of
Parking Pal company commented: “We are happy
to be working together with Ali Alghanim & Sons
Automotive in providing the best valet parking
ser vice. Using the latest technology, which
includes the auto request via text messages or IVR
system or the scanning of the Q-R code, we are
truly proud of this collaboration as we always
strive to improve our services and exceed the
expectations of our valued customers.”
ABK launches the latest
mobile banking application
KUWAIT: Al-Ahli Bank of Kuwait
launched a new Mobile Banking
application that customers can
download for a secure and unique
banking experience.
Sawsan Ali, Senior Manager,
Alternative Delivery Channels stated, “ABK wanted to provide a distinctive mobile banking experience to meet a growing demand
to make banking easy, convenient
and accessible at all times. At the
same time the mobile banking
had to be a smooth and secure
experience. We are happy that this
newly launched app meets all criteria, riding on the wave of new
technology to deliver a safe and
fast means of banking to the customer.”
She elaborated that the updated application allows customers
to keep track of their account balance, transfer money locally and
internationally, settle credit card
payments and calculate their
loans.
She added, “Customers can
instantly access the latest promotions offered by ABK on this
application, in addition to locating ABK’s ATM machines, and
currency exchange rates, along
with several other services and
banking possibilities round the
clock”.
Sawsan Ali
LOS ANGELES: A house for sale in Los Angeles. The National Association of Realtors reports on sales of existing homes in
November yesterday. — AP
US existing home sales hit
6-month low, inventories low
Median house price rises 5.0% from a year ago
WASHINGTON: US home resales tumbled to a six-month low
in November after two straight months of strong increases,
underscoring the uneven nature of the housing market recovery. The National Association of Realtors said yesterday existing home sales dropped 6.1 percent to an annual rate of 4.93
million units, the lowest level since May. November’s steep
decline probably does not signal the start of a weakening
trend and in part reflected stubbornly low inventories, which
touched an eight-month low, giving buyers limited options.
Sales were up 2.1 percent from a year ago.
“The report suggests that the housing market remains on a
somewhat rocky footing as data remains quite choppy,” said
Gennadiy Goldberg, an economist at TD Securities in New
York.
Housing has struggled to shift into higher gear after stagnating in the second half of 2013 in the wake of a jump in
mortgage rates, which have since pulled back from their
peaks. It has lagged an acceleration in economic activity as
tepid wage growth, a shortage of properties available for sale
and higher home prices sidelined first-time buyers.
But there optimism that a broadening of job gains will
translate into stronger wage growth in 2015 and stimulate
demand for housing. Household formation, a key ingredient
for a healthy housing market, is running at about 500,000 a
year, well below the more than one million that is considered
ideal. Economists polled by Reuters had expected sales to fall
only to a 5.20-million unit pace.
The dollar slipped against a basket of currencies after the
report. US stocks held their gains, though the housing index
was trading down 0.3 percent. Prices for US Treasury debt
were little moved. First-time buyers are wading back into the
market, accounting for 31 percent of transactions last month.
That was the biggest share since October 2012 and was up
from 29 percent in October. Economists and real estate agents
say a share of 40 percent to 45 percent is required for a strong
housing recovery. Investors, who had supported the market,
continued to withdraw in November. They accounted for 15
percent of transactions last month, down from 19 percent in
November 2013.
The inventory of unsold homes on the market fell 6.7 percent from a year ago to 2.09 million. At November’s sales pace,
it would take 5.1 months to clear houses from the market,
unchanged from October. A six months’ supply is viewed as a
healthy balance between supply and demand.
With supply declining, house price gains remained elevated, though the pace of increases is slowing. The median
home price increased 5.0 percent in November from a year
ago. — Reuters
S Korea lowers outlook
on weak private sector
SEOUL: South Korea lowered its growth forecast for next year, citing persistently weak sentiment among consumers and businesses. But the government predicted that overall economic conditions will improve from this
year thanks to government measures, recovery in the US economy and the
fall in oil prices. The finance ministry said yesterday that Asia’s fourthlargest economy will expand 3.8 percent in 2015. Six months ago, it forecast growth of 4.0 percent. It also lowered its forecast for this year to 3.4
percent growth from the previous forecast of 3.7 percent. In 2013, South
Korea’s economy expanded 3.0 percent. The downward revision, which still
represents an improvement from the growth estimated for this year, shows
the government’s challenge in encouraging consumers to spend more and
businesses to boost investment despite its expansionary policies and the
central bank’s two rate cuts this year.
Director-General Lee Chanwoo said the recovery in consumer spending
and capital expenditure remained weaker than expected in the last two
months as consumers and businesses still have great uncertainties about
next year. The economic improvement in the last quarter stemmed mostly
from the government policies. The government will introduce measures
next year to boost wages and to push businesses to use their cash reserves
to create jobs and increase investment, he said. As one of those measures,
the country’s national pension fund will play a more active role as a shareholder to pressure companies to increase dividends. The government will
also seek to increase minimum wages and spend nearly 60 percent of its
annual budget during the first half of next year. Lee said these measures
will boost domestic demand and also reduce the economy’s reliance on
exports. South Korea’s growth was mostly driven by exports of goods, such
as cars and televisions, but the government has been trying to boost
domestic demand. Next year, the contribution of domestic demand to
growth will outpace that of exports according to Lee.—AP
Tesco masterplan? New boss keeps investors guessing
LONDON: When Phil Clarke was sacked as Tesco’s
CEO, senior executives hoped his 0700 strategy
meetings would go with him. They did - new
boss Dave Lewis starts his at 0630.
Parachuted in from Unilever in September,
Lewis soon faced the task of making the shock
announcement that a 250 million pound ($391
million) hole had been found in Tesco’s profits, in
an accounting scandal that led to the departure
of several senior executives.
Now the CEO - despite having no direct retail
experience - is keeping management on a tight
rein and personally taking charge of key areas of
the business, sources say. And as he conducts a
vast review of Tesco’s operations to come up with
a strategy to revive its fortunes, he is giving little
away - even to insiders. The 49-year-old has
promised to give some details on Jan. 8 about
the measures he plans to take, but all the contents of his blueprint have not yet even been
seen by senior management at the firm, according to a source close to the situation.
In fact the only member of the leadership
team to be consulted on the new strategy is
another newcomer to the firm, Chief Financial
Officer Alan Stewart, the source said.
Key internal talks around financials, customer
issues and products have been kept to separate
teams, with all big decisions taken by Lewis and
Stewart, the former finance chief at Marks &
Spencer.
“He tends to operate keeping everything
compartmentalised, so he keeps his own counsel
on the masterplan,” said the source, who did not
wish to be named. “He doesn’t have a core five or
six people that he discusses everything with.”
Tesco declined to comment for this story.
Lewis arrived in the worst crisis in the grocer’s 95year history. Nicknamed “Drastic Dave” after fixing units of Unilever with cost cuts and innovative marketing, he will have to show similar
resolve to improve Tesco’s competitiveness and
strengthen the balance sheet of the firm which
issued its fourth profit warning in five months
two weeks ago.
After two decades of growth, Tesco has lost its
way - distracted by an expensive overseas expansion strategy when it needed to respond to the
rise of discount grocers; and wrong-footed by a
boom in convenience stores and online shopping.
�In the gang’
Lewis has said there is no quick fix, and favors
steady customer-focused improvements. Price
cuts, major asset disposals and a cash call to fix
creaking finances are all options. His decision to
take over temporarily the day-to-day leadership
of the UK operation - whose boss left after the
accounting scandal - is illustrative of his hands-on
approach, punctuated by emails fired off to staff
around the clock.
Earlier this month, according to an industry
source, he personally took charge of meetings
with Tesco’s top 25 suppliers, instead of newly
promoted commercial director Jason Tarry, to the
surprise of some attendees. Incorrectly booking
payments from suppliers was at the centre of the
accounting debacle, which is being investigated
by Britain’s accounting watchdog and Serious
Fraud Office.
With Tesco’s share price having halved in a
year, the spotlight is on what it must do to revitalize a business still the UK market leader but now
steadily losing share. However, company insiders
say challenges also lie much closer to Lewis at his
head office in Cheshunt, north of London. During
Clarke’s disastrous three-year-and-a-half year
tenure, Tesco’s management talent pool was irresponsibly reduced, according to former company
directors.
Lewis now heads a team depleted further still
by suspensions and exits, and retaining talent
could be a difficult task. “Him keeping ... everyone
sort of slightly in the dark feeds uncertainty.
Nobody is quite sure whether they are in the
gang or not,” the source close to the situation
said.
Investors will hope that in his Jan. 8 update
Lewis will ditch the corporate jargon which despite an army of PR advisors - has proved a hindrance both internally and externally.
The Financial Times this month ran a “Dave
Lewis jargon-buster” to help readers decipher
phrases such as “rebasing relationships with suppliers”.
Analysts, drawing parallels with Tesco’s current
plight, say when Lewis returned to Unilever UK in
2005 it was suffering from declining market
share, had an uncompetitive cost base and a
weak image with customers. Nine years on, it’s
revitalized. One unnamed former UK Tesco director, who knows Lewis, said he was a “formidable”
fighter. “I think he’s getting a good grip of things
and I think he’ll do a decent job,” he told Reuters.
“The big issue is how he sets his stall out for the
next two to three years, not the current focus on
profits.” — Reuters
Moscow set to
subsidize
ailing ruble-hit
airlines
MOSCOW: Moscow is to set to step in to
support troubled Russian airlines badly
hit by the collapse of the ruble and falling
passenger numbers. Deputy Prime
Minister Arkadi Dvorkovitch said Monday
he was considering credit guarantees and
subsidies worth up to 28 million euros
($34 million) to support struggling airlines.
He told the business daily Vedomosti
that two of the top three domestic airlines, Transaero and UTair, were already in
difficulty. “Firstly (we are looking at giving) companies credit guarantees which
are very powerful because they give
banks an interest in resolving the problem,” he said.
“Second comes subsidies for domestic
flights. We are ready to widen the number
of subsidized routes to make connections
viable,” he added. The newspaper said
Transaero will begin to benefit from credit
guarantees this week.
Airlines have been among the first hit
by the currency crisis because of the
international nature of their business and
the landing charges they must pay in foreign currency. The price of air tickets has
jumped twice by 12 percent and then 14
percent as the ruble has tumbled against
the euro and the dollar.
With rising prices, passenger numbers
have dropped back sharply in recent
months. On Sunday the TASS official
news agency said Transaero, the country’s
second airline, had asked for state help
claiming there was “a risk of flights being
suspended before the end of the year
because the company did not have the
money to pay its sub-contractors.”
The company denied it was about to
cut flights, claiming there was a campaign
to “discredit” it, but admitted that as during the crisis of 2008-2009, public help
was needed.
The leading regional carrier UTair is
having trouble repaying its debts to
Russia’s Alfa Bank, which took it to court
in early December and threatened to
seize part of its fleet. The company claims
it is working normally despite the legal
action. The airline made world headlines
in November when passengers on one of
its flights from Siberia had to get out and
push their plane in temperatures of minus
52 degrees Celsius after the parking brake
froze shut. — AFP
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
BUSINESS
Al-Sayer Group Holding signs partnership agreement with UNEP
Strategic cooperation for sustainable development
KUWAIT: Al-Sayer Group Holding on December 9,
2014 signed a partnership agreement with one of the
United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP). This
agreement will support key International Awards
assigned by UNEP to enhance kid’s participation in the
environmental activities. The agreement was signed
by Dr Iyad Abumoghli, Director & Regional
Representative for the UNEP and Mubarak Naser AlSayer, CEO Al-Sayer Group Holding. Heads of business
divisions as well as CSR representatives of the Group
also attended the official event.
Mubarak Al-Sayer said, “The new partnership of AlSayer Group as a private sector enterprise and UNEP,
lays the foundation stone for the strategic cooperation
towards the sustainable development on the regional,
national and international levels”. Meanwhile Dr Iyad
Abu Moghly mentioned, “The UNEP association with Al
Sayer Group’s reflects their efforts to become an international partner for different type of activities intended to enhance socio-economic well-being and to
reduce the ecological footprint to assure the sustainability of this planet”.
Finally announcing the “Toyota Dream Car Art
Contest” being held in Kuwait between November and
March 2015, Eng Nehad Al-Haj Ali - Manager,
Corporate Sustainability & Responsibility stated
“RENEWBLE ENERGY” is the theme of this year’s contest. To help children develop and express their creativity and to share their dreams with them, Toyota has
been holding this contest since 2004. More than
662000 children from over 75 countries/regions has
participated and expressed their dream cars in the
2014 contest. All kids between the age group 6-14 are
invited for participation.
Al-Sayer Group will also open a “Green Camp” in
Sulaibiya - Kabad, which is a solar powered facility to
host several environmental seminars and activities,
organized in partnership with Ministry of Electricity,
Ministry of Education and Society of Engineering. The
Green Camp, which will also be organized between
November and March 2014 - 2015, will benefit
employees as well as the local community through
educational seminars and workshops to gain better
understanding about saving energy and protecting
environment.
Students from different schools who participat-
ed in the recently conducted KIDS ISO workshop
will visit the camp for an educational trip in addition to taking part in the Toyota Dream Car Art
Contest and delegates from M ouvement
I nternational pour le Loisir S cientifique et
Technique (MILSET), Environmental Committee at
Engineering Society in Kuwait will be invited for a
facility tour of the camp.
Service Hero Customer Satisfaction Index
2014 attracts record number of customers
KUWAIT: Service Hero, Kuwait’s first and only annual customer
satisfaction index, begins the countdown towards the conclusion
of the 2014 assessment’s sampling phase which ends on midnight
of December 31. Positive participation gives customers the opportunity to evaluate the level and quality of the services they acquire
on a regular basis, and express requirements, needs and expectations. Assessment is available via Service Hero website, various
social media platforms and a smart phone application.
Faten Abu-Ghazaleh
The assessment index is divided into 17 industry categories.
These are: cafes, casual dining, fine dining, fast food, retail clothes,
home furniture, regional airlines, retail and Islamic banks, hospitals, electronics stores, internet services providers, mobile operators, car agents, car service centers, supermarkets and health
clubs.
Faten Abu-Ghazaleh, Service Hero President, said: “This year
we celebrate Service Hero’s fifth anniversary in Kuwait, and we
believe, and results do show, that we have started to make a real
difference and will continue to achieve the goals this company
was established for. On the one hand, we have given regular consumers an empowering platform that allows them to rate the
service they receive whether positive or negative. On the other
hand, we have available for companies detailed industry category
reports that are rigorous, credible and neutral so that they can
learn about their market position. While counting down to the
conclusion of the sampling phase, where we receive customers’
detailed feedback on the quality of products and services they
have bought or used, I would urge consumers in Kuwait to go
ahead and fill up the assessment if they haven’t done so, their
comments whether negative or positive, are valuable and will
help improve services to meet their expectations now and in the
near future”.
Data collection so far has surpassed 22,000 consumer assessments which is a record sample size on a national level and which
ensures small error margins. Data is 100 percent based on consumer feedback and the second phase of the assessment process
will be the �findings and analysis phase’ where quality checks are
conducted, followed by validation of the results and then tabulate
all the votes. Top ranking companies in each category will be honored during Service Hero’s annual awards ceremony taking place
in February 2015.
Each industry category is measured across up to eight service
dimensions, which are reliability, speed, product quality, staff
quality, value for money, location, call center and website quality.
These dimensions are assessed on a �before and after experience’
basis to evaluate the difference between customer expectations
of service and actual satisfaction with the service. This method will
allow participating companies to learn about any shortcomings
and where they fall below expectations. The index also measures
loyalty of customers towards their service providers.
The company has facilitated accessibility of the survey by making it available not only through the website,
www.servicehero.com, but also through the company’s social
media channels and by downloading it as an application for smart
phones, making it as easy as possible for customers to voice their
opinions.
The new AMG 4.0-litre
V8 biturbo engine
KUWAIT: Mercedes-AMG presents a new technological masterpiece: the AMG 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine is a new development at the sporting heart of the new Mercedes-AMG GT car.
This innovative eight-cylinder unit stands out for its sublime
power delivery, the purposeful lightweight construction, as well
as its high efficiency and environmental compatibility. With
peak power of up to 375 kW (510 hp) and maximum torque of
up to 650 Nm the new AMG V8 delivers motorsport-inspired
performance. The new sports car engine follows in an impressive V8 tradition that started in 1967 with the M100 in the legendary 300 SEL 6.8 AMG racing car and continues with trendsetting features of the future.
Huawei listed as key smart city vendor
in Navigant Research leadership report
KUWAIT: Huawei-a global ICT solutions
provider- has recently been listed as one
the world’s leading smart city technology vendors as part of a global study by
Navigant Research. The report cites that
Huawei’s smart city strategy and execution were key areas of strength that
makes Huawei a strong Contender in
the smart city market.
In a bid to highlight the key players
in the market, Navigant Research developed an assessment that offers an evaluation of vendors that have the capacity
to support cities across a range of operational and infrastructural issues. The
report also assessed vendors who were
able to deliver on large-scale projects
spanning multiple city requirements.
The Navigant Research report, published as of Q4 2014, outlined the position of 16 of the world’s most prominent
smart city vendors and where they
place in the market. The report maintains the growing importance of benchmarking vendors as city service
providers go in search of technology
providers who can help them deliver on
their smart city vision.
Dr. Eric Woods, Research Director,
Navigant Research said: “Huawei’s
appearance on the Smart City Suppliers
Leaderboard reflects both its core role
delivering communications and IT infrastructures for smart city initiatives and
the growing ambitions of suppliers in
this market.”
“The research is a reflection of the
competition in the market as vendors
are becoming much more serious about
developing Smarty City initiatives.
Governments and city leaders are looking to deepen their vendor relationships
to plan for larger scale programs and
deployments. We look forward to seeing
the maturity of Smart Cities develop,
where they can leverage the integration
of technology into a strategic approach
to sustainability, citizen well-being, and
economic development.”
The vendor eco-system for smart city
developments continues to expand at
an increasing rate, which has created a
complex and dynamic market, especially in the Middle East. The smart city
technology market is characterized by a
diverse range of vendors spanning
across a variety of sectors, which makes
a comparison of their strengths and
capabilities a challenging exercise.
Huawei was identified as a strong
Contender on the Navigant Research
Smart City Leaderboard by meeting a
series of criteria that showed its ability
to: deliver smart infrastructure IT and
communications solutions, support
cities across multiple operational and
vertical sector infrastructure issues and
use its global network in order to work
with cities in multiple regions.
According to Navigant Research estimates, the global smart city technology
market is expected to be worth more
than $27.5 billion annually by 2023,
compared to $8.8 billion in 2014. This
represents a compound annual growth
rate (CAGR) during that period of 13.5
percent. Cumulative global investment
in smart city technologies over the
decade is expected to reach $174.4 billion.
The concept of the smart city covers
a wide range of communities and governance models spanning from megacity regions to small towns and from historic urban centers to greenfield developments. Similarly, an incredible diversity of customers, suppliers, technologies,
and requirements fall under the smart
city banner.
Commenting on the announcement,
Safder Nazir, Regional Vice President of
Smart Cities & IoT at Huawei, Middle
East said: “It is encouraging to see that
the industry is recognizing our Smart
City capabilities a strong contender in
this market. Following the announcement of Huawei’s Smart City �Center of
Excellence’ in 2014, Huawei is in a position to provide the right expertise to
transform regional smart city initiatives
from concept to reality.”
A key player in supporting the development of the region’s smart city initiatives, Huawei believes that the future of
smart cities lies in Mobile Broadbandbased services. The global ICT solutions
provider recently launched a white
paper in collaboration with IDC highlighting the enablement of smart cities
with Mobile Broadband. The white
paper follows another recent IDC report
unveiling figures that government
spending in the Middle East and Africa
is set to top $8.27 billion, an 11.4 percent increase as more regional governments expand their mobile government, online services and mobile broadband networks1.
Powerful V8 engines have long been a core competence at
AMG, the performance brand from Mercedes-Benz. Innovative
and exciting high-performance engines come out of the location in Affalterbach. On this occasion, Mercedes-AMG GmbH is
entirely responsible for both development and production.
Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of
Mercedes-AMG GmbH: “V8 engines are an integral part of the
AMG philosophy and the brand’s commitment to �Driving
Performance’. The V8 biturbo engine for our new GT is going
to delight our customers!”
Christian Enderle, Head of Engine and Powertrain
Development at Mercedes-AMG: “The new AMG 4.0-litre V8
biturbo sees us presenting an exciting and powerful sports car
engine which, thanks to a number of measures, also represents the next step in efficiency.”
First sports car engine with �hot
inside V’ and dry sump lubrication
The new AMG V8 engine has two turbochargers which are
not mounted on the outside of the cylinder banks but rather
inside the V configuration - experts call it a �hot inside V’. The
benefits are a compact engine design, an optimum response
and low exhaust gas emissions. Dry sump lubrication allows
the engine to be installed lower, which moves the centre of
gravity closer to the road and forms the basis for high lateral
acceleration. The M178 (in-house designation) from AMG is
thus the world’s first sports car engine with hot inside V and
dry sump lubrication. With a dry weight of 209 kg the new
AMG V8 is also the lightest engine in its competitive segment.
The new AMG M178 V8 engine at a glance:
Superior power delivery and
motorsport-inspired performance
As the latest member of the Mercedes-Benz BlueDIRECT
engine family, the AMG M178 stands out for its superior power delivery and motorsport-inspired performance. It boasts an
emotive and unmistakable AMG V8 engine sound, along with
an immediate response and high pulling power. The torque
curve is synonymous with good driveability: the peak of 650
Nm is available in the broad range from 1750 to 4750 rpm.
With a displacement of 3982 cc, in terms of technology the
V8 is closely related to the AMG 2.0-litre turbo engine in the A
45 AMG, CLA 45 AMG and GLA 45 AMG, which is currently the
most powerful, series-production four-cylinder engine in the
world. Both AMG engines have the same bore/stroke ratio,
guaranteeing high revving ability. Mixture formation comes
courtesy of third-generation direct petrol injection with piezo
injectors. The highly efficient and economical AMG 4.0-litre, V8
biturbo engine meets the Euro 6 emissions standard.
Cylinder bore liners
The aluminium crankcase is produced using sand casting
technology and features a closed deck design. This ensures
extreme strength whilst keeping the weight as low as possible, and enables high injection pressures of up to 130 bar. The
cylinder bore surfaces feature NANOSLIDE(r) technology
which makes them twice as hard as conventional cast-iron linings.
Dry sump lubrication
Thanks to the use of dry sump lubrication, a conventional
oil pan is redundant. Already installed low down, the engine
could thus be dropped by a further 55 millimetres. This lowers
the vehicle’s centre of gravity, which is ideal for a sports car
with extremely high lateral dynamics. In addition to improved
agility, dry sump lubrication ensures direct oil extraction from
the crankcases for optimal engine lubrication, even at high
speeds on bends.
Cylinder heads with zirconium alloy
The cylinder heads in the new AMG 4.0-litre, V8 biturbo
engine are made of a zirconium alloy for maximum temperature resistance and thermal conductivity. Four overhead
camshafts control a total of 32 valves. Camshaft adjustment
on the inlet and outlet side enables an excellent response and
optimises the gas cycle for each operating point. Optimised
valve springs and the low-friction valve gear with cam followers deliver further fuel savings.
Cyber security landscape and threats
KUWAIT: Hasibat Information Technologies Co, the premier ICT
systems integrator in Kuwait organized Cyber Security Landscape
and Threats seminar showcasing the solutions from its strategic
partner, FORTINET.
FORTINET is a worldwide provider of network security appliances and the market leader in unified threat management
(UTM). FORTINET products and subscription services provide
broad, integrated and high-performance protection against
dynamic security threats while simplifying the IT security infrastructure.
Hasibat is Fortinet Gold partner in Kuwait. Since 2008, Hasibat
has increased the market share of FORTINET in Kuwait with over
20 percent of market share.
Hasibat has implemented a large number of projects across
various customer segments and is proud of one of its largest
FORTINET project ($4 million) in Kuwait for a premier government
organization that takes care of government IT policies.
Maya Zakhour -Channel Director, Osama Abduo - System
Engineer and Kalle Bjorn-Director System Engineering were the
speakers from the FORTINET team. They presented an overview of
FORTINET vision in tackling the ever increasing and threatening
menace of Cyber attack and how FORTINET is developing solutions for the businesses to protect themselves against these
attacks.
Hasibat would extend its thanks to the customers and
FORTINET team for this event. During the event the CEO of
Hasibat, Mazen Ishbib, reiterated the importance of the strategic
partnership with Fortinet. He also stressed upon the fact, with the
growing concerns about IT security and threats on daily basis,
businesses have to be proactive in protecting their company
information and infrastructure to avoid any damage to their operations and reputation.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
technology
US finds malware
targeting visitors
to Afghan websites
WASHINGTON: Malicious software likely
linked to China was used to infect visitors
to a wide range of official Afghan government websites, US cybersecurity
researchers say.
ThreatConnect, a Virginia-based cybersecurity firm, said its researchers last week
found a corrupted JavaScript file that was
used to host content on “gov.af” websites,
and there are no known antivirus protections available for the malware.
Rich Barger, chief intelligence officer of
ThreatConnect, told Reuters his company
was confident the new campaign,
“Operation Poisoned Helmand,” was
linked to the “Poisoned Hurricane” campaign detected this summer by another
security firm, FireEye, that linked it to
Chinese intelligence.
He said the latest attack was very
recent and one timestamp associated
with the Java file was from Dec. 16, the
same day Chinese Prime Minister Li
Keqiang met with Afghanistan’s chief
executive officer, Abdullah Abdullah in
Kazakhstan.
China is seeking to take a more active
role in Afghanistan as the United States
and NATO reduce their military presence.
“We found continued activity from
Chinese specific actors that have used the
Afghan government infrastructure as an
attack platform,” Barger said, adding that
Chinese intelligence could use the malware to gain access to computer users
who had checked the Afghan government sites for information.
Barger said the attack was a variant of
what he called a typical “watering-hole”
attack in which the attackers infect a large
number of victims, and then follow up
with the most “promising” hits to extract
data. He said researchers this summer saw
a malicious Java file on the website of the
Greek embassy in Beijing while a high-level delegation led by Keqiang was visiting
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in
Athens. The two events were not directly
related, Barger said, and additional
research was needed into the status of
ministerial and official government websites on or around the dates of notable
Chinese delegations and or bilateral
meetings.
In this case, the malware was created
on Dec. 13, just days before the high-level
meeting, Barger said. The malware was
found on numerous Afghan government
websites, including the ministries of justice, foreign affairs, education, commerce
and industry, finance and women’s affairs,
and the Afghan embassy in Canberra,
Australia, according to ThreatConnect,
which was formerly known as Cyber
Squared.
By late Sunday, Barger said it
appeared that the malicious Java file had
either been inactivated by the attackers
or “cleaned up” by the Afghan government. — Reuters
Puzzle over safety
of driverless cars
LOS ANGELES: California’s Department of
Motor Vehicles will miss a year-end deadline to adopt new rules for cars of the
future because regulators first have to figure out how they’ll know whether “driverless” vehicles are safe.
It’s a rare case of the law getting ahead
of an emerging technology and reflects
regulators’ struggle to balance consumer
protection with innovation.
Safety is a chief selling point, since selfdriving cars - thanks to an array of sensors
- promise to have much greater road
awareness and quicker reaction time than
people. Plus, they won’t text, drink or doze
off. Though the cars are at least a few years
away from showrooms, seven companies
are testing prototypes on California’s
roads, and regulators have questions: Do
they obey all traffic laws? What if their
computers freeze? Can they smoothly
hand control back to human drivers?
DMV officials say they won’t let the
public get self-driving cars until someone
can certify that they don’t pose an undue
risk. The problem is that the technology
remains so new there are no accepted
standards to verify its safety. Absent standards, certifying safety would be like
grading a test without an answer key.
Broadly, the department has three
options: It could follow the current U.S.
system, in which manufacturers self-certify their vehicles; it could opt for a
European system, in which independent
companies verify safety; or the state could
(implausibly) get into the testing business.
“It’s a huge undertaking,” said Bernard
Soriano, who oversees the DMV’s regulatory process. “There are all of these issues
that need to be adequately answered.”
Manufacturers generally would prefer
self-certification. That may be where
California ends up, but for now the DMV is
exploring independent certification something that doesn’t exist for driverless
cars.
In July, the DMV asked third-party
testers whether they’d be interested in
getting into the game. The department
doesn’t have the expertise to create a safety standard and testing framework, so “the
department wanted to get a very good
sense of what is out there in the market,”
according to Russia Chavis, a deputy secretary at the California State
Transportation Agency, which oversees
the DMV and requested a deeper exploration of third-party alternatives to selfcertification.
Two large European testers and two
businesses in Ohio responded to the
DMV’s request. None was ready to implement a program immediately.
So the department is asking industry,
consumer groups and other interested
parties to gather in January for a public
workshop on safety standards.
Whatever course California officials
take could influence how other states and perhaps even the federal government
- approach the issue. California is such a
large consumer market that in many cases
its rules become de facto national standards.
Federal transportation officials have
said they don’t plan to write driverless car
safety standards any time soon, and they
don’t want states writing their own. SAE
International, an association of engineers,
has been developing a set of safety guidelines - but those are for vehicle testing and
don’t get into specific performance levels
that would be needed for commercially
available cars.
California’s Jan. 1 deadline was set by a
2012 state law that regulated testing on
public roads and required the DMV to
publish rules guiding what carmakers
need to do before they can bring the vehicles to market. The law also says the DMV
should encourage the development of driverless cars.
Regulations often lag cutting-edge
technology, but California’s driverless car
policy has developed sooner because of
lobbying from one of the state’s signature
companies: Google.
Self-driving vehicles are a departure
from the Silicon Valley giant’s Internet
search and advertising core, but a priority
for co-founder Sergey Brin.
Even before Google pushed the 2012
law that officially legalized driverless technology, the Silicon Valley giant had dispatched its cars hundreds of thousands of
miles. Google says its Toyota Priuses and
Lexus SUVs, souped up with radar, cameras and laser sensors, have an excellent
safety record. They have been involved in
just a “few” accidents, though not at fault
in any of them, spokeswoman Courtney
Hohne said.
Google has its own idea for how to
determine whether vehicles are safe. At a
March hearing on DMV regulations, Ron
Medford, the company’s driverless car
safety director and a former federal
transportation official, suggested the
department do road testing. “I would be
cautious,” he said, “not to make some of
these things more complicated than they
are.” — AP
MOUNTAIN VIEW: In this May 13 2014, file photo, a Google self-driving car goes on a
test drive near the Computer History Museum. — AP
Activity trackers get smarter
NEW YORK: Fitness activity trackers have come a
long way since Leonardo da Vinci sketched a rudimentary gear-and-pendulum pedometer to track
the treks of 15th century Roman soldiers.
Today’s devices count calories, measure sleep
patterns and monitor heart rates as well as steps.
Fitness experts predict their popularity and usefulness will grow as they become more sophisticated.
“Two big changes to fitness trackers since last
year is that more of them now support heart rate
monitoring and several of them have smartwatch
functionality,” said Jill Duffy, a senior analyst at the
computer magazine PCMag.com.
She said smartphone functionality means, for
example, showing incoming text messages from
one’s smartphone on the tracker itself.
“The upcoming Apple Watch, which is due out
in January, will be both a complete smartwatch
and fitness tracker, and will include heart rate data,”
Duffy said.
Consumers bought an estimated 84 million fitness tracking devices in 2013, ranging in price from
$49 to $200, according to the analyst group IHS
technology. It predicts that number will grow
beyond 120 million by 2019.
“Even with all the options for fitness trackers,
we’re still early in the game,” said Neal Pire, an exercise physiologist with the American College of
Sports Medicine.
He said tracking information and storing it in
the cloud for easy access helps some, but not all
exercisers stay on track.
“There are people who work really well with
keeping a food or exercise log,” he explained.
“Others are not only disinterested: they hate it.”
Los Angeles-based trainer Shirley Archer agreed
but added their use is not always long lasting.
“Surveys show that as of September 2013, one in
10 American adults wore a fitness tracker,” said
Archer, author of “Fitness 9 to 5.”
But 30 percent of people who buy a device, no
longer use it within six months. To select a tracker,
Archer suggests considering three factors - how it
is intended to be used, where it will be worn and
how much data will be tracked. She also said
novices should begin with a simple model, establish a baseline, and try to gradually increase those
levels. bDuffy envisions a time when trackers will
focus more on overall health than exercise.
“Imagine if your doctor had access to your heart
rate information over the last 60 days and could
see when a change occurred?” she said. “That’s
why all these trackers are meaningful in the long
run.” — Reuters
NYC subways slowly upgrading
from 1930s-era technology
NEW YORK: New York City’s subways - the
biggest U.S. mass transit network - serve more
than 6 million daily riders who depend largely
on a signal system that dates back to the
Great Depression of the 1930s. Antiquated
electro-mechanics with thousands of moving
parts are still critical to operations.
Dispatchers still monitor most trains from 24hour underground “towers,” and they still put
pencil to paper to track their progress.
That eight-decade-old system is slowly
being replaced by 21st-century digital technology that allows up to twice as many trains
to safely travel closer together. But there’s a
big caveat: It could take at least 20 years for
the city’s 700 miles (1,127 kilometers) of tracks
to be fully computerized.
Of the subway system’s almost two dozen
major lines, just one, the L linking Manhattan
and Brooklyn, currently operates on new,
computerized, automated signals. And the
modernization of the No. 7 line from
Manhattan to Queens has begun, to be completed by 2017.
So, for at least the foreseeable future, New
York subway riders can expect the snags,
weekend shutdowns and overcrowding they
have become accustomed to.
“We’re at the physical limits of what the
original technology can carry,” acknowledges
Adam Lisberg, spokesman for the
Metropolitan Transportation Authority that
New York City Transit’s subways.
But he says safety is not being sacrificed.
“This stuff is old, but it works - it works really
well,” he says, his voice rising above the roar of
a 400-ton train passing through a Greenwich
Village station.
Much of New York’s subways continue to
operate with the equipment from the 1930s,
kept running by a maintenance team that’s
forced to fabricate replacement parts long out
of production.
Wynton Habersham, the MTA’s chief of signals and track operations, recently led an
Associated Press reporter and photographer
on a walking tour through some of the 22
control “towers” - as the dispatcher spaces are
called, though they’re buried deep beneath
the streets.
In the cramped, worn-out Greenwich
Village tower, MTA workers monitor light
boards that show train locations and movement. The dispatchers answer phone calls and
listen to two-way radio reports while keeping
an eye on each train’s progress. A massive cabinet is arrayed with levers to move switches
through a warren of electrical connections to
relays that were cutting-edge technology at
the same time as the Hindenburg airship.
NEW YORK: This Dec. 16, 2014 photo shows manual levers on a section of the MTA subway
interlocking switch and signal control board, in New York. Transit officials are now replacing
the 1930s manual signal system with 21st century digital technology that will allow more
trains to travel closer together and a growing ridership to move around the city faster. — AP
Hidden from straphangers, these are the
guts of the urban transit network that guide
subway traffic through nearly 500 stations.
Behind a door off a platform on
Manhattan’s West Side at 14th Street is the system’s single gleaming, high-tech operation. It
allows about two dozen L trains to move each
hour in both directions - compared to about
15 with the old mechanics - on a route that
takes an average of 37 minutes.
Amid peeling paint, rusty stairs and oldfashioned metal cabinets is a labyrinth of digitalized panels and switches that automatically
relay signals in the tunnels, tracing both direction and speed without human help. In case of
an emergency, however, the computerized
controls can be manually overridden by operators in the cab of each train.
The updating has allowed more cars to be
added to the L line, which has become one of
the city’s most crowded thanks to growth in
Brooklyn’s hip Williamsburg neighborhood.
It will cost up to $250 million to convert
each control tower and link it to tracks and
switches. The work is included in the MTA’s
five-year capital program, which uses city,
state and federal money but has a $15 billion
funding gap.
Europe has long been ahead of the United
States, with several cities including London
and Paris operating mass transit rails equipped
with updated signals. “The New York system is
big and a finite amount of money was available, for decades,” concludes engineer Nabil
Ghaly, the MTA’s chief signal engineer until he
retired in 2007. “We have to catch up. — AP
Wall Street eyes Uber, Airbnb
NEW YORK: Wall Street in 2014 enjoyed its best
year for initial public offerings since 2000, thanks
to the record-setting flotation of Chinese
Internet giant Alibaba and a barrage of biotech
deals.
Activity was “uninterrupted” and proved
largely immune to forces that at times rattled
equity markets, Renaissance Capital said in a
report this week.
“While various global events, such as Russia’s
incursion into the Ukraine and conflicts in the
Middle East, caused nervousness in global markets, they largely failed to disrupt the US IPO
applecart,” Renaissance said. Renaissance said
there were 273 stock debuts in 2014, up 23 percent from 2013. Dealogic released similar numbers, counting 291 offerings, up 27 percent from
2013.
Analysts are gearing up for another heady year
in 2015, citing a deep pipeline of securities filings
from leading prospects and investor zeal for such
hot names such as apartment rental website
Airbnb and app-based taxi service Uber.
New entrants to US equity markets raised $85
billion in 2014, according to Renaissance, about
55 percent more than in 2013.
“What is behind the growth is that companies
are really growing and need more capital to continue to accelerate their growth,” Bob Greifeld,
Nasdaq chief executive, said on CNBC. “That is
great for the overall economy.”
The year 2000 remains the best on record for
IPOs, with 406 offerings raising $96 billion,
Renaissance noted. Paradoxically, while the US
and China spar for the distinction of the world’s
biggest economy, the Chinese Internet marketplace Alibaba emerged as a key player behind
New York’s banner year. Alibaba in September
became the biggest IPO in history, raising $22 billion.
Besides Alibaba, nine other companies raised
more than $1 billion in 2014. They included
Citizens Financial, a unit of British bank Royal
CHINA: The Baidu logo is seen outside the Baidu headquarters in Beijing. Baidu, China’s
leading search engine, and ride sharing company Uber announced a strategic investment
and cooperation agreement. —AFP
Bank of Scotland, with $3.0 billion gained, and
Synchrony Financial, which was spun out of
General Electric, with $2.9 billion.
A big chunk of this year’s IPOs came out of the
health sector, with biotechs comprising 25 percent of total deal volume at 69 offerings,
Renaissance said.
Biotech offerings also accounted for eight of
the top 10 IPOs in terms of return to shareholders.
However, the health sector also was responsible
for five of the 10 worst-performing new stocks.
In all, the average new stock finished 16 percent higher at the end of the year compared with
its IPO price. That was well below the 40.8 percent
gain in 2013.
Renaissance cited the sell-off in energy IPOs in
the latter part of the year as oil prices tanked, as
well as a correction in high-multiple tech stocks in
March and April, for the year-over-year decline.
Twice as many deals were postponed in 2014
compared with the prior year and 40 percent
came to market below the proposed pricing
range, the report said.
Experts expect another strong year in 2015,
owing to a heavy number of securities filings
from companies disclosing plans to do offerings.
Renaissance has a private company “watchlist” of
255 companies that could go public.
More than 80 percent are in the tech sector.
The list includes web registration company
GoDaddy and subscription-based music streaming service Spotify.
“Overall positive returns and a large pipeline
suggest that consistent deal flow should continue
into 2015, tempered by disciplined pricing,”
Renaissance said.
“While IPOs in 2015 will have to grapple with a
Fed ready to raise interest rates, a depressed energy sector and concerns over economic growth
abroad, the US IPO market proved its resiliency
this year, and has the potential to create another
post-2000 record.” — AFP
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
H E A LT H & S C I E N C E
Unlicensed Cambodian
doctor charged over
mass HIV infection
PHNOM PENH: An unlicensed
Cambodian doctor was charged yesterday over an apparent mass HIV infection
in a remote village after admitting he
reused needles when treating patients,
officials said. Hundreds of panicked residents of Roka village in the western
province of Battambang have flocked
for testing since news of the infections
emerged two weeks ago, with more
than 100 people believed to have been
infected. Yem Chroeum, a 55-year-old
self-styled doctor detained since last
week, has admitted reusing needles and
syringes on different patients,
Battambang provincial police chief Sar
Thet told AFP.
“He has confessed to sometimes
reusing needles and syringes over the
past years,” said Thet, adding that the
man, who is not thought to have undertaken formal medical training, “had the
intention to infect villagers with the HIV
virus”. Last week health officials said a
total of 106 people may have been
infected in Roka. They could not immediately be reached for a new toll but the
Pasteur Institute told The Phnom Penh
Post newspaper Saturday that it had
confirmed at least 119 cases in a third
round of testing.
Formal charges were pressed against
Chroeum at Battambang provincial
court yesterday. “He was charged with
three counts which include the inten-
tion to infect others with HIV/AIDS, murder with cruel act, and operating an
unlicensed clinic,” prosecutor Nuon San
told AFP. He faces a maximum sentence
of life imprisonment if convicted just of
murder with “cruel act”. The motive for
the alleged deliberate infections was
unclear. Despite the murder charge, no
deaths have yet been reported in connection with the case.
The outbreak in the village of around
800 residents emerged in late
November when a 74-year-old Roka
man tested positive at a local health
centre for the virus. He was swiftly followed by his grand-daughter and sonin-law, according to the health ministry.
The infected villagers have accused
Chroeum of spreading the virus by
reusing contaminated needles on
patients including children and the elderly. An investigation into the outbreak
by the kingdom’s Ministry of Health, the
World Health Organization and UNAIDS
is under way.
Cambodia has been widely hailed for
its efforts in tackling HIV/AIDS. The
National AIDS Authority says the rate of
HIV infection among people aged 15 to
49 has declined from 0.6 percent in
2013 to 0.4 percent in 2014. Currently,
Cambodia estimates more than 73,000
people live with the disease. The country is aiming for a zero-percent HIV/AIDS
infection rate by 2020 — AFP
CHINA: This picture taken on December 18, 2014 shows an eight-year-old boy
- who suffers from HIV and was given the pseudonym Kunkun by Chinese
media - lying on the ground in a village in Xichong county. — AFP photos
CHINA: An eight-year-old boy - who suffers from HIV sitting on a
doorsill in a village.
China promises medical
care for HIV-positive boy
�Stigma and discrimination are our biggest enemies to end HIV’
BEIJING: Beijing has pledged to provide medical
treatment and a living allowance for an HIV-positive 8-year-old boy who was last week threatened with expulsion from his village, state media
reported yesterday. In a case that sparked
intense soul-searching in China, some 200 residents including the child’s own grandfathersigned a petition to expel him from their village
in southwestern Sichuan province to “protect villagers’ health”.
Beijing has now pledged to ensure the boy,
dubbed Kunkun in the media, gets an education
after reports he was having trouble finding a
school that would take him, the China Daily said.
China’s health ministry has also pledged to conduct spot checks around China to uncover any
other violations of anti-discrimination policies,
the state-run paper reported. It was unclear yesterday whether Kunkun still faces expulsion from
the village, where he had been living under his
grandfather’s care.
The United Nations said that it was “deeply
concerned” about that case, which has prompted huge debate in China and highlighted the
stigma attached to the virus in a country where
sufferers face widespread discrimination. “Stigma
and discrimination are our biggest enemies in
the fight to end HIV,” the UN said in a statement
published Friday.
“But sadly, this week’s reports demonstrate
that breaching confidentiality, ignorance and
fear continue to have devastating consequences
for those living with HIV.” The child’s grandfather
and guardian, Luo Wenhui, told the Beijing News
on Saturday that he had signed the petition to
remove Kunkun because he “hoped that it would
make things better,” as he would receive better
care elsewhere. The boy was reportedly referred
to as a “time bomb” by villagers worried about
being infected and local children shunned him.
Reports said Kunkun was born HIV-positive
through transmission from his mother. — AFP
Can the blood of Ebola
survivors create a cure?
CHICAGO: For months, Vanderbilt
University researcher Dr James Crowe
has been desperately seeking access to
the blood of US Ebola survivors, hoping
to extract the proteins that helped them
overcome the deadly virus for use in
new, potent drugs. His efforts finally
paid off in mid-November with a donation from Dr Rick Sacra, a University of
Massachusetts physician who contracted Ebola while working in Liberia. The
donation puts Crowe at the forefront of
a new model for fighting the virus, now
responsible for the worst known outbreak in West Africa that has killed nearly 7,000 people.
“They can take antibodies they find in
my blood and map them out,” Sacra said
in an interview. “They are looking for the
ones that are most important in neutralizing the virus.” Sacra, a medical missionary for Christian group SIM USA, said he
made the blood donation with “no
strings attached,” and does not stand to
gain financially if a product based on his
antibodies reaches the market.
Crowe is working with privately-held
drugmaker Mapp Biopharmaceutical
Inc, which he said will manufacture the
antibodies for further testing under a
National Institutes of Health grant.
Mapp is currently testing its own drug
ZMapp, a cocktail of three antibodies
that has shown promise in treating a
handful of Ebola patients. Crowe’s hope
is to improve on ZMapp by isolating the
human antibodies of actual survivors
and create a drug effective against all
strains of Ebola.
Several leading scientists have
embraced the idea of using survivors’
antibodies as the most promising
approach in the fight against Ebola.
Crowe is also part of a large consortium
of academic and corporate partners
working to develop and test human
antibodies from Ebola survivors treated
at Emory University that is being assembled by Department of Defense. The
push is part of the race to develop drugs
to address the ongoing outbreak in
Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
Canada’s Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp
is also testing a treatment, while drugmakers including GlaxoSmithKline Plc
and Merck & Co, in partnership with
NewLink Genetics Corp, are working on
vaccines. Last month, a group of prominent scientists including three Nobel
laureates, urged the US government to
accelerate the antibodies push, Reuters
reported. “We’ve moving night and day
around this,” Crowe said.
Foreign invaders
Antibodies are immune-system proteins that seek and destroy foreign
invaders, such as viruses or bacteria.
Crowe, who directs the Vaccine Center at
Vanderbilt, is working with Sacra’s B cells
- white blood cells that form antibodies.
They will synthesize genes from the
most potent of these antibodies, which
can be made into treatments. Drugs created this way are called monoclonal
antibodies, a manufactured protein that
attacks a specific target, in this case a
receptor on the Ebola virus.
The current version of ZMapp was
developed in mouse blood cells that
were exposed to samples containing
Ebola virus fragments from the 1995
Kikwik outbreak in the Democratic
Republic of Congo. These cells were
genetically modified to make them
more human. “They may or may not
work. We don’t know that yet,” Crowe
said of ZMapp. The next-generation
product Crowe is working on will be fully human, using antibodies generated
by Ebola survivors, making it less likely
to cause side effects. Mapp would not
comment about its drug development
plans.
All of the antibodies generated in
this work will be tested against live
Ebola virus samples in a high-security
laboratory run by Dr Thomas Geisbert at
the University of Texas Medical Branch
in Galveston. Promising candidates will
be tested in mice and guinea pigs
before going to primates than then
humans, a process that could take several months.
“We hope to have antibodies that are
like ZMapp or better,” said Geisbert, who
has a $26 million grant from the
National Institutes of Health to study
experimental Ebola treatments. A key
production issue for ZMapp has been its
slow method of growing antibodies in
the cells of tobacco plants. In October,
Mapp started working with biotechnology company Amgen to mass produce
ZMapp antibodies in mammalian cells,
a well established manufacturing
process.
Crowe said the antibodies he is
working on would be produced in both
cell lines and tobacco plants. Vanderbilt
will license the most promising drug
candidates, and at least four commercial partners, including Mapp, are considering whether to license them.
Crowe said he has also been in discussions with US health regulators about
how to design clinical trials for drugs
developed from survivors’ antibodies.
He estimates trials could begin in late
spring or early summer of 2015.
Sample shortage
Crowe’s lab has been working on
Ebola for the past two years. In that
time, he said he has spent “a tremendous amount of effort” trying to get
samples from Ebola survivors out of
Africa. Obtaining the samples during
the current outbreak has proved nearly
impossible, as governments in West
Africa struggle to curb the virus and US
authorities tighten restrictions around
the transfer of highly infectious materials.
As a result, Crowe and his peers in
the field have been seeking out the
small number of US survivors who were
treated in this country. Scarcity has
made the Sacra donation all the sweeter for Crowe and Geisbert. Crowe
believes his luck turned when he mentioned the problem to Dr Larry Zeitlin,
Mapp’s president. Zeitlin used his connections with missionary organizations,
some of which have used ZMapp to
treat their infected staff, Crowe said.
Soon after, Sacra volunteered.
While none of the experimental
Ebola treatments have been proven
effective in rigorous clinical trials, Sacra
believes they played a significant role in
his own recovery in September. He
received Tekmira’s TKM-Ebola and a
plasma infusion from fellow survivor,
and medical missionary, Dr Kent Brantly,
and said his condition improved immediately. With a new lease on life, Sacra
announced last week that he would
return to Liberia to continue his medical
work. — Reuters
INDIA: Part of farmland destroyed by asbestos is seen in Roro.
Forgotten asbestos mine
sickens Indian villagers
RORO VILLAGE: Asbestos waste spills in a gray
gash down the flank of a lush green hill above tribal
villages that are home to thousands in eastern
India. Three decades after the mines were abandoned, nothing has been done to remove the enormous, hazardous piles of broken rocks and powdery
dust left behind. In Roro Village and nearby settlements, people who never worked in the mines are
dying of lung disease. Yet in a country that treats
asbestos as a savior that provides cheap building
materials for the poor, no one knows the true number and few care to ask.
“I feel weak, drained all the time,” Baleman Sundi
gasped, pushing the words out before she lost her
breath. “But I must work.” The 65-year-old paused,
inhaled. “I don’t have a choice.” Another gasp. “I have
to eat.” Sundi and 17 others from a clutch of impoverished villages near the abandoned hilltop mines
were diagnosed in 2012 with asbestosis, a fatal lung
disease. One has since died. Tens of thousands
more, some of them former mine workers, remain
untested and at risk. Asbestos makes up as much as
14.3 percent of the soil around Roro Village, analysis
of samples gathered by The Associated Press
showed. Few have done anything to help people
such as Sundi. The villagers have no money for doctors or medical treatment, and cannot afford to
move.
Neither the government nor the Indian company
that ran the mines from 1963 to 1983 has made any
move to clean up the estimated 700,000 tons of
asbestos tailings left scattered across several kilometers (miles) of hilly mining area. The mine’s operator,
Hyderabad Asbestos Cement Products Ltd, nowadays known as HIL Ltd., says it has done nothing illegal. “The company had followed all rules and procedures for closure of a mine and had complied with
the provisions of the law, as in force in 1983,” it said
in a statement released to the AP.
Sundi and the others are suing in the country’s
environmental court for cleanup, compensation and
a fund for future victims of asbestos-related disease.
If they win, the case would set precedents for workplace safety and corporate liability, subjects often
ignored or dismissed in developing India. “There will
be justice only if we win,” Sundi rasped. “Whoever
did this must pay.” India placed a moratorium on
asbestos mining in 1986, acknowledging that the
fibrous mineral was hazardous to the miners.
Hazardous substance
But that was the government’s last decision curtailing the spread of asbestos. It has since embraced
the mineral as a cheap building material. Today India
is the world’s fastest-growing market for asbestos. In
INDIA: Kalyan Bansingh, left, main plaintiff in a case suing the country’s environmental courts
for cleanup, compensation and a fund for future victims of an abandoned asbestos mine sits
outside his home in Roro. — AP photos
the last five years, India’s asbestos imports shot up
300 percent. The government helps the $2 billion
asbestos manufacturing industry with low tariffs on
imports. It has also blocked asbestos from being listed as a hazardous substance under the international
Rotterdam Convention governing how dangerous
chemicals are handled. The country keeps no statistics on how many people have been sickened or
died from exposure to the mineral, which industry
and many government officials insist is safe when
mixed with cement.
Western scientists strongly disagree. The World
Health Organization and more than 50 countries,
including the United States and all of Europe, say it
should be banned in all forms. Asbestos fibers lodge
in the lungs and cause many diseases. The
International Labor Organization estimates 100,000
people die every year from workplace exposure, and
experts believe thousands more die from exposure
elsewhere. “My greatest concern is what will happen
in India. It’s a slow-moving disaster, and this is only
the beginning,” said Philip Landrigan, a New York epidemiologist who heads the Rome-based Collegium
Ramazzini, which pioneered the field of occupational
health worldwide.
“The epidemic will go largely unrecognized,” he
said. Eventually, “it’s going to end up costing India
billions of dollars.” From the top of Roro Hill, a small
boy leaped out to slide down the cascade of fluffy
grey dust. A few villagers followed, nudging a herd of
cows and goats. Huge clouds billowed in their wake.
The villagers often ignore the warnings from visiting
doctors and activists to stay away from the waste.
Many don’t believe the asbestos, which looks like
regular rocks and dirt, could be dangerous. Others
are more fatalistic, noting they hardly have a choice.
Private companies
“What can we do? This is our land,” said 56-yearold Jema Sundi, diagnosed with asbestosis though
she never went into the mines. “We tell the children,
don’t go there. But they are children, you cannot control them.” She then noticed her 4-year-old nephew
Vijay, his tiny body covered with chalky white streaks,
shrinking into himself as if trying to disappear. “You
went up there today again?” she exclaimed. Vijay,
lowering his head, attempted a half-smile. When
Hyderabad Asbestos first began mining in Jharkhand
in 1963, India was in its second decade of independence and attempting to industrialize. Most services
and industries were nationalized, but some heavy
industries and mining were opened to private companies, many of which operated opaquely.
Hydrabad Asbestos employed about 1,500 people in the asbestos mines. Most were tribal villagers
eager to participate in the country’s development.
But for them that development never arrived. Kalyan
Bansingh, lead plaintiff in the court case, worked
more than a decade building scaffolding inside newly blasted mining caverns. Like many laborers across
India, he took to chewing an unrefined sugar product called jaggery in the misguided belief that airborne fibers would adhere to the sticky bolus and
stay out of his lungs. — AP
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
H E A LT H & S C I E N C E
KUALA LUMPUR: In this picture taken December 9, 2014, Bangladeshi
woman Nusrat Hussein Kiwan poses in front of the International Patients
Centre reception area at a private hospital. — AFP photos
KUALA LUMPUR: Alexandria Garvie from Australia looks at herself in a mirror following a tummy-tuck operation at a private hospital.
KUALA LUMPUR: Alexandria Garvie from Australia poses following a tummy-tuck operation.
Seeing the doctor, overseas: Medical tourism booms in Asia
KUALA LUMPUR: The lines snaking into Bangladesh’s
overwhelmed hospitals are often so long, says Nusrat
Hussein Kiwan, that they extend into the street outside-too many patients seeking too few quality doctors. So, through a Google search, the wife of a
Bangladeshi construction executive chose a Malaysian
hospital for her heart bypass surgery. “It’s peaceful
here, and my doctors are good,” Kiwan, 65, said during
a post-op check-up at a Kuala Lumpur private hospital,
looking full of life in an orange headscarf and sparkling
gold bracelets.
“I didn’t expect to be as good as before. But I’m better.” Kiwan spent $20,000 on the procedure earlier this
year, joining a booming global medical tourism market
that is seeing particularly rapid growth in Southeast
Asia. US-based industry resource Patients Beyond
Borders estimates the world market is expanding by 25
percent per year-it reached $55 billion with 11 million
medical tourists in 2013. International medical tourism
began to gain ground in the 1980s as Latin
American countries such as Costa Rica and Brazil
offered relatively cheap dental, cosmetic and other
procedures to US and European patients driven south
by high costs. But the onetime niche market has developed into a multi-billion-dollar industry as developingworld health systems improve, global aviation links
spread, and the Internet broadens patients’ horizons.
Procedures vary widely from fertility treatments in
Barbados, to cosmetic surgery in Brazil, heart and eye
operations in Malaysia, and gender-reassignment in
Thailand.
�Perfect storm’
The sector benefits from a “perfect storm of an ageing global population, rising affluence and greater
choice in quality hospitals,” said Josef Woodman, CEO
of Patients Beyond Borders.”This is particularly true in
Asia, where disparities in quality of care are driving millions of patients to countries such as Thailand,
Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan-and even the US and UKin search of medical treatment not yet available in their
homelands.” “The near-term growth potential is significant,” he said. Increasingly, major Asian players like
India, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand are aggressively promoting treatments at up to 80 percent savings
compared to developed nations, with some companies
arranging package trips that combine a nose job with a
little beach time.
Southeast Asia, in particular, is considered a medical-tourism “sweet spot,” with decades of solid economic growth creating high-quality medical systems
that remain competitively priced. Patients come from
both rich and poor nations, the former driven by high
costs at home, and the latter seeking better-quality
care. Malaysia’s market has nearly doubled since 2010,
reaching 770,000 patients and $200 million in revenue
last year, according to government figures.
“We are behind Thailand for sure, but we are giving
Singapore a good fight,” said T Mahadevan, head of the
Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia. Thailand
says it attracted 2.53 million medical tourists in 2012.
Though its figures include spa tourists, that’s a onethird increase in just two years, a period in which revenues nearly doubled to around $4.2 billion. In
Singapore, medical tourists spent $630 million last year,
a figure likely inflated by the modern city-state’s relatively higher costs. Patients
Beyond Borders estimates Singapore draws more
than a half-million treatment-seekers annually, mostly
from neighboring Indonesia, where health systems
lag.Malaysia set up a special body in 2009 to streamline
and organize industry players.Patients Without Borders
calls Malaysia “medical travel’s best-kept secret”, noting
the widely spoken fluent English and far cheaper medical costs compared to Japan, the United States, Europe
and other key clientele sources. “I would come back
here again. I would definitely recommend it,”
Alexandria Garvie, 61, said from her hospital bed in
Kuala Lumpur after a tummy tuck.
The $5,000 procedure-around one-quarter of what
she would have paid at home in Australia-was per-
Germany to step up bird flu
testing after new cases discovered
GERMANY: Picture taken on December 16, 2014 shows laboratory assistant Sabrina Dewald holding samples from
animals of a poultry farm in front of an analytical apparatus at Lower Saxony’s state office for consumer protection
and food safety.
HAMBURG: Germany announced Yesterday compulsory
testing of ducks and geese for bird flu before slaughtering
after two more cases of the H5N8 strain of the disease were
discovered, the country’s agriculture ministry said. A new
regulation forcing all ducks and geese to be tested for bird flu
before slaughter under urgent approval procedures, a ministry spokesperson said. It is set to take force today, she said.
This is because ducks and geese show late or even no clinical symptoms of the disease and intensified monitoring is
needed, she said. The move follows the confirmation on
Saturday of another case of H5N8 bird flu on a farm in the
German state of Lower Saxony, a leading poultry production
region.
Another H5N8 case was confirmed in a wild duck in the
eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt, bringing to five the number
of reported cases in the country since November. Germany,
the Netherlands, Britain and Italy have been since November
been hit by the H5N8 bird flu strain which has devastated
poultry flocks in Asia, mainly South Korea, earlier this year but
has never been detected in humans.
More humane free range poultry farming methods introduced in recent years have increased the risk that farm poultry can contract diseases from wild birds. The first H5N8 case
in Germany was confirmed on Nov 4 on a poultry farm in
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in east Germany. Britain on
Sunday lifted restrictions around a duck farm in northern
England where the disease had been discovered. —Reuters
formed at the Beverly Wilshire Medical Centre. The
company also recently opened a new branch near the
border with Singapore to entice patients from the
more affluent city-state. Most medical tourists to
Malaysia, however, are well-heeled visitors from lessdeveloped Indonesia, followed by Indians, Japanese
and Chinese. Future growth is expected from the
wealthy Middle East.
Sun and silicone
Ancillary businesses have sprouted. Beautiful
Holidays, based on the northern Malaysian island of
Penang, connects overseas clients with local cosmetic
surgeons, arranges their accommodations, and shepherds them to pre- and post-op check-ups. But it also
arranges drinks, dining and sightseeing in Penang,
know for its historical sites, beaches and cultural
melange. “The idea is to have people come here for
holidays-sun and silicone, that kind of thing,” said Tony
Leong, the company ’s program director. Ashley
Higgins, a 30-year-old American, has used the company twice, first for a breast augmentation, then a nose
job.She was initially wary of going under the knife on
the other side of the globe, but price concerns won
out.”The hard part is trusting people when you are
1,000 miles from home. I felt comfortable coming here,”
she said. — AFP
China punishes hospital for
operating room photos
BEIJING: Chinese health authorities put a hospital president on probation and fired three other supervisors following public outrage over photos posted online of smiling medical staff posing with patients in the middle of
surgery. The photos were taken in August at privately
owned Fengcheng Hospital in the north-central city of
Xi’an and leaked on social media over the weekend.
Online commentators criticized medical staff for being
unprofessional and disrespectful of patients, while others defended the photos, saying they were intended to
be private and were taken at the end of surgical procedures.
Tensions have run high between health workers and
patients in China. Patients often complain about poor
medical services and high costs, especially the need to
bribe doctors and nurses in exchange for competent
services. Chinese health workers say they are overworked, underpaid and underappreciated.
The Xi’an Bureau of Public Health, which handed
out the punishment, said in a statement Sunday that the
staff at Fengcheng took the photos to memorialize the
operating room, which was to be relocated.
Nevertheless, the bureau said the picture-snapping violated proper medical procedures and had a negative
social impact. It requested everyone involved in the photo scandal to offer “deep” self criticisms. The bureau also
put the hospital president on probation for one year and
fired a deputy president, the head nurse and the person
in charge of anesthetics. The bureau also demanded that
the hospital issue an open apology and rectify its management to avoid similar incidents in the future.—AP
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
W H AT ’ S O N
Dow Marine Conservation Program
organizes beach clean-ups
T
he Dow Chemical Company, in partnership with the en.v Initiative (en.v) and
implementing partner the Kuwait Society
for Protection of Animals and Their Habitat (K’S
PATH), launched the annual Dow Marine
Conservation Program (DMCP) with the first
series of beach clean-ups of the season, on
November 14 and December5 at Sulaibikhat
Beach. Representatives from Dow Chemical
Kuwait, en.v representative, K’S PATH staff,
along with a number of volunteers from across
different groups and organizations, took part
in these latest clean-up efforts.
Over a period of two hours, volunteers
cleared up terrestrial marine waste from across
an 8000 square meter stretch of shoreline at
Sulaibikhat Beach. The inaugural clean-up of
the season engaged the efforts of 42 volunteers, including students from Al-Bayan
Bilingual School (BBS) and members of
AUKause (an American University of Kuwait
club), who collected approximately 448 kilograms of terrestrial marine waste, filling up 56
large trash bags. The second clean-up included
a total of 26 volunteers, including students
from the Universal American School and members of the Kuwait Red Crescent, who managed
to clear up approximately 472 kilograms of
waste, filling up 59 large trash bags.
“The Dow Marine Conversation Program is
an excellent example of how cooperation,
between businesses and responsible citizens,
can help make a difference to our environment,” said Jamel Attal, managing director,
Dow Kuwait. “As a company with a global commitment to preserving our planet and promoting sustainable practices, it was only fitting for
us to support this initiative to help conserve
Kuwait’s valuable coastal habitats and marine
ecosystems. Its success so far, in clearing tons
of waste from Kuwait’s beaches over the past 3
years, helps validate the need for such a program and we are pleased to have been able to
play a role.”
Introduced in 2011, the DMCP initiative
promotes the protection of fragile marine
habitats in Kuwait such as Sulaibikhat beach,
lovingly dubbed the Mangrove Beach by volunteers. The program carries out its work
through sustained beach clean-ups, educational outreach activities and volunteer
engagements. Since April 2011, the DMCP has
conducted a total of 55 clean-ups at the
Mangrove Beach, which has resulted in the
clearing up of more than 14 tonnes of terrestrial marine waste from the beach. In 2013
alone, the DMCP held eight clean-ups at
Sulaibikhat, engaging a total of 325 volunteers
from 12 different volunteer groups, embassies
and educational institutions, and cleaning up
close to4912 kilograms (almost five tonnes) of
waste.
Zahed Sultan, Managing Director at the en.v
Initiative, said: “Now more than ever, the DMCP
is committed to carry out its mission of spearheading the marine environmental conserva-
tion movement in Kuwait. Our goal has always
been to encourage long-term, sustainable
environmental change in the country, helping
to foster a national sense of environmental
consciousness. Over the past few years, we
have seen tremendous results, and we are optimistic that our efforts this year will prove just
as fruitful.”
Fresh volunteers who were taking part in
the program for the first time, underwent a
training session ahead of the clean-ups with an
educational presentation on leadership and
volunteering. The clean-ups were also preced-
ed by a site survey and trial clean up, conducted on October 31.
The DMCP’s outreach efforts have educatedal most 650 students and adults through
various interactive presentations, and engaged
a total of 1,500 members of the public during
its 2013 Summer Awareness Campaign, which
was held in key commercial centers around
Kuwait. The DMCP was also bestowed with the
“Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative of
the Year Award” at the Middle East Oil and Gas
Awards 2013, in recognition of the program’s
efforts and accomplishments.
SABECO hosted La Masiya Football Academy members recently at its restaurants, which include Abou Jassem, Sandawicha, JJ’s and Meywa.
IEI Family Day
at Green Farm
House, Wafra
T
he Institution of Engineers (India), Kuwait Chapter is
pleased to inform you all that IEI Family Day will be
celebrated on 26th December 2014 Green Farm
House, Wafra. This long day event shall be started at
8.30am with Yoga Class. This Family Get together event will
be filled with the Group Games, Bingo, Talent Shows,
Songs, Music and Creative Works, Group Dance, Bonfire etc.
Attractive prizes will be distributed to the winners of the
each games and events. It is the day with full of fun and
enjoyment for entire family members and Guests.
TIES CENTER
The Effects of Food Additives on the Body and Mind
by Dr Kamel Al-Farraj
What are the effects of addictive chemicals in food? Why
do food companies add so many chemicals? Why is fast
food bad for you? What do neuroexyto toxins do to your
food and to your brain? Dr Kamel will answer all these
questions and many more. Today, December 23 @ 7pm
What’s On - Submission Guidelines
All photos submitted for What’s On
should be minimum 200dpi.
Articles must be in plain text and
should include name and phone
numbers. Articles and photos that
fail to meet these requirements will
not be published.
Please send them to
[email protected]
FOSTALGIA 2014 family get-together
conducted by FOSA Kuwait
K
uwait Chapter of FOSA (Farook College Old Students’
Association) held a family get-together “FOSTALGIA
2014” on December 12,2014,at Kuwait Medical
Association Hall, Jabriya. The function started with recitation of holy Qur’an by Basit Ashraf, and was presided over
by Mohammed Rafi, President of FOSA Kuwait. Riyas
Ahmed, General Secretary welcomed the gathering.
The chief guest of the function Laila Yousuf AlSaqar, a
well-known business person in Kuwait and who extended
financial support for the various projects for the development of Farook College, made the felicitation speech. Fosa
Kuwait chapter honored her by presenting a memento as
token of appreciation of her contributions in the field of
education.
During the function, FOSA honored its member P.P
Junoob with an Excellency Award for his performance in
the field of Journalism, a memento was presented to him
by K.V. Ahmed koya, Ex-president of Fosa Kuwait chapter.
Anoop an old student of Farook College from Dubai also
attended the function as a guest.
It was a wonderful gathering of different generations of
Farook College alumni who are working in different fields
in Kuwait, which started with a buffet lunch. This unique
family get-together gave the people a variety of experi-
ences. The program was filled with games, quizzes, cultural
performances by kids, music etc.
A team of FOSA, consisting Mohammed Rafi, Riyas
Ahamed, Ahmed Koya KV, Basheer Batha, Imtiaz CEV,
Rameez, Mohamed TV, Ashraf Mohammed, Ashraf Moosa,
Subair MM, Haneef Mohammed, Kabeer and Kamal
Koshani controlled the entire program.
Ashraf Mohamed, Treasurer of FOSA thanked each and
every member of FOSA for organizing such a wonderful
program. He also extended his gratitude to the program
sponsors, QualityNet, Gulf Bank, Al-Sayar Group and
Geepas electronics.
W H AT ’ S O N
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
Relax, Renew and Ring in 2015 at Marina Hotel Kuwait
F
rom a New Year’s Eve reception and dinner to a rejuvenating
accommodation package, Marina Hotel Kuwait is offering
unique experiences for guests to welcome 2015.When
guests choose to ring in the New Year at Marina Hotel, they will
have more to celebrate than the passing of another year. The
Hotel offers the perfect venue for New Year’s Eve and New Year
celebrations with your family, friends and loved ones under the
twinkling lights and the cool breeze of the Arabian coast.
The hotel has fabulous feasts lined up with mouth-watering
menus and special entertainment to make your yearend unforgettable. Guests can celebrate the end of 2014 in style at the Six
Palms Restaurant or the Atlantis Restaurant with a magnificent
international buffet dinner at both restaurants. Stimulate your
appetite with a mouth-watering assortment of appetizers, soups,
signature dishes as well as desserts prepared by a team of culinary
experts.
After a night of celebration, indulge in a deserving year-end
getaway with a host of privileges that include a New Year room
package of one night stay starting from KD 170 inclusive of buffet
breakfast and buffet dinner at the Six Palms restaurant or Atlantis
restaurant for two persons.
What better way than to start the first day of the year with
your loved ones through a delectable selection of special treats
and surprises for the entire family at a delightful international
lunch buffet at the Atlantis restaurant. Delight yourself in a lavish
experience and visit Marina Hotel Kuwait for the fun and festivities. For more information, please visit our website: www.marinahotel.com
Viswakarma organization celebrates Viswakala-2014
V
iswakarma Organization for Ideal Career and
Education (VOICE KUWAIT) celebrated its 10th
Anniversary “VISWAKALA-2014” at Carmel
school Auditorium Khaitan.The function was inaugurated by lighting the lamp by Baluchandran. This was
followed by welcome address by Baiju Vijayan
(General convener). Voice Kuwait president PG Binu
made presidential speech, General secretary Chandra
Mohanan read the annual report for 2014. Vargheese
Puthukulangara, Siddeeque Valiyakath, Sasi Kattoor
(VSV Baharain, General Secretary), Surendran
Mathoor (patron, Voice Kuwait) and VK Bhargavi
(Rtd.RDO & sub divisional Magistrate) made felicita-
ACK team placed in top 3
during regional competition
nder the patronage of HH the
Amir, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al
Jaber Al Sabah, and in the presence of honorary guest, His Excellency,
Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Mubarak
U
ning teams were awarded for their outstanding achievements. INJAZ Young
Arab Entrepreneurs Competition was
launched in 2007 and is attended yearly
by national competition winners from
Al-Sabah Minister of State for Cabinet
Affairs, INJAZ Al Arab announced the successful conclusion of the 8th annual
Young Entrepreneurs 2014 Regional
Competition. The event was concluded
with a prestigious awards ceremony held
at the Kuwait Regency Hotel, where win-
countries across the region. This year’s
competition was the culmination of 18
teams from 13 different countries; namely
Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Kuwait,
Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi
Arabia, Tunisia, UAE and Yemen.
Representing Kuwait, ACK students
placed in the top 3 for Best Product of the
Year and the Best Company of the Year
categories. The competition was judged
by two prestigious judging panels.
Student companies were assessed on
their ability to demonstrate sound business insight, financial knowledge, marketing support and feasibility studies. In addition, competing students were required
to spend one day showcasing their products, presenting to the public, and holding a private question and answer session
with the judging panel in order to present
their business in its entirety.
Professor Jehad Yasin, Head of School
of Business at ACK, commented: “For the
second consecutive time our “Skraab”
team participated and succeeded by representing Kuwait in this prestigious competition. We are very proud of our students. This demonstrates excellence and
dedication, as well as their desire to
always aim high. I personally would like to
thank Ms. Johanne Flynn, their instructor,
for all the efforts and support provided, as
well as her leadership and persistence
which led to this success and we look forward to participate in next year’s version.”
The ACK Family would like to congratulate
the “Skraab” team for once again successfully representing Kuwait and the College.
tion speeches on the occasion. Senior organization
members Haridasan Mookambika and Keloth Vijayan
were felicitated in the event. Gold Medals were distributed to the students who made outstanding performance in SSLC & Higher Secondary exams. Folk
dance competition were conducted among the
Indian schools in Kuwait and Integrated Indian
School won the First Prize. Musical nite was conducted by the popular idea star singers Jins Gopinath and
Deepthi Valsan. Danseur Anu Ashok also gave her
performance. The program was beautifully compered
by Manoj Mavelikkara. Treasurer voice Kuwait,
Raghunathan Achari proposed the vote of thanks.
Celebrate the festive season with
Sheraton & Four Points Kuwait
A
s we countdown the 2014 year, Sheraton Kuwait, A
Luxury Collection Hotel and Four Points by
Sheraton Kuwait families wish the beautiful Kuwait
and its people happy holidays and a prosperous New
Year. Throughout this time the hotels have been extensively preparing for a stunning Season and New Years Eve
dining experience, inviting all our distinguished guests to
join us in making the occasion most memorable and start
the new year with the most delicious cuisine.
Indulge in any of the specialty restaurants located within the elegant and enchanting hotel walls in Kuwait city or
one of the largest malls in the region, the Avenues.
Experience a trip around the world with the international
cuisine of Al Hambra; explore the piquant and exotic
Indian palate at Bukhara, savor the delicious haven of
authentic Lebanese at Le Tarbouche, treasure the most
exquisite Iranian cuisine at Shahrayar, captivate your taste
buds whilst in the most tranquil atmosphere with marvelous English Tea and snacks at the English Tea Lounge.
Treat yourselves, family, and friends to the first fine dining
Italian restaurant in Kuwait, where you are able to enjoy
the most bona fide delicacies of Italy hidden behind the
most lavish and elegant marble filled walls of the first five
star hotel in Kuwait, Sheraton Kuwait.
For those looking to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the
most comfortable, casual, down to earth holiday season
and start to the New Year, the Four Points by Sheraton
Kuwait has the perfect choices for you. Indulge in the
most laid back trip across the globe with Asseef offering
the most delicious international cuisine or treat yourselves to the most feel good treat of all; pizza, prepared
by our specialty pizza chef in the most modern pizza oven
only found at La Mamma Pizzeria.
The Jordanian community in Kuwait hosted a dinner banquet in Julai’ah in honor of Speaker of the Jordanian Senate Dr Abdur-Rauf Rawabdeh, who visited Kuwait recently. —Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
TV PROGRAMS
22:20 Coronation Street
22:50 Emmerdale
23:45 Four Weddings UK
00:20 Gold Rush
01:10 Alaskan Bush People
02:00 Fast N’ Loud
02:50 Storage Hunters
03:15 Container Wars
03:40 Garage Gold
04:05 How It’s Made
04:30 How It’s Made
05:00 Treehouse Masters
06:00 Wheeler Dealers
06:50 Robson Green’s Extreme
Fishing Challenge
07:40 Fast N’ Loud
08:30 Storage Hunters
08:55 Container Wars
09:20 Garage Gold
09:45 How It’s Made
10:10 How It’s Made
10:35 Gold Rush
11:25 Gold Rush
12:15 Alaskan Bush People
13:05 Storage Hunters
13:30 Container Wars
13:55 Garage Gold
14:20 Robson Green’s Extreme
Fishing Challenge
15:10 Wheeler Dealers
16:00 Fast N’ Loud
16:50 How It’s Made
17:15 How It’s Made
17:40 Treehouse Masters
18:30 Deadly Islands
19:20 Manhunt
20:10 Container Wars
20:35 Garage Gold
21:00 Get Out Alive With Bear
Grylls
21:50 Deadly Islands
22:40 Manhunt
23:30 Get Out Alive With Bear
Grylls
00:00 Giuliana & Bill
00:55 The Soup
01:25 Keeping Up With The
Kardashians
02:20 E! News
03:15 Escape Club
04:10 E!ES
05:05 THS
06:00 Keeping Up With The
Kardashians
06:55 Keeping Up With The
Kardashians
07:50 Style Star
08:20 E! News
09:15 Giuliana & Bill
10:15 Giuliana & Bill
11:10 #RichKids Of Beverly Hills
11:35 #RichKids Of Beverly Hills
12:05 E! News
13:05 Extreme Close-Up
13:35 The E! True Hollywood Story
14:30 Style Star
15:00 Keeping Up With The
Kardashians
16:00 Eric And Jessie: Game On
16:30 Eric And Jessie: Game On
17:00 Eric And Jessie: Game On
17:30 Eric And Jessie: Game On
18:00 Eric And Jessie: Game On
18:30 Eric And Jessie: Game On
19:00 Eric And Jessie: Game On
19:30 Eric And Jessie: Game On
20:00 Eric And Jessie: Game On
20:30 Eric And Jessie: Game On
21:00 Eric And Jessie: Game On
21:30 Eric And Jessie: Game On
22:00 E! News
23:00 Kourtney And Khloe Take The
Hamptons
00:05 Chopped
00:55 Amazing Wedding Cakes
01:45 Guy’s Big Bite
02:10 Guy’s Big Bite
02:35 Jenny Morris Cooks The
Riviera
03:00 Jenny Morris Cooks The
Riviera
03:25 Charly’s Cake Angels
03:50 Amazing Wedding Cakes
04:40 All You Can Meat
05:05 Roadtrip With G. Garvin
05:30 Reza, Spice Prince Of India
05:50 Siba’s Table
06:10 Sweet Genius
07:00 Roadtrip With G. Garvin
07:25 Roadtrip With G. Garvin
07:50 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives
08:15 Chopped
09:05 Barefoot Contessa - Back To
Basics
09:30 Chopped Canada
10:20 Recipes That Rock
10:45 All You Can Meat
11:10 Roadtrip With G. Garvin
11:35 Grandma’s Secret Cookbook
12:00 Chopped
12:50 Siba’s Table
13:15 Jenny Morris Cooks Morocco
13:40 Mystery Diners
14:05 Guy’s Grocery Games
14:55 Roadtrip With G. Garvin
15:20 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives
15:45 Amazing Wedding Cakes
16:35 Chopped
17:25 Jenny Morris Cooks Morocco
17:50 Guy’s Big Bite
18:15 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives
18:40 Siba’s Table
19:05 Grandma’s Secret Cookbook
19:30 Mystery Diners
19:55 Burger Land
20:20 Guy’s Grocery Games
21:10 Amazing Wedding Cakes
22:00 Reza’s African Kitchen
22:25 Reza’s African Kitchen
22:50 Ching’s
Restaurant
Redemption
23:15 Ching’s
Restaurant
Redemption
23:40 Burger Land
00:40
01:30
02:00
02:55
03:25
04:20
Dogs
05:15
06:10
07:05
07:30
08:25
Dogs
09:20
10:15
11:10
12:00
12:30
13:25
14:20
14:45
15:35
16:30
17:25
18:20
19:10
19:35
20:30
21:25
The Hungry Sailors
Holiday: Heaven On Earth
Emmerdale
Coronation Street
Cilla
Paul O’grady For The Love Of
Four Weddings UK
The Chase
Holiday: Heaven On Earth
Cilla
Paul O’grady For The Love Of
Tricked
Four Weddings UK
Emmerdale
Coronation Street
The Hungry Sailors
The Chase
Holiday: Heaven On Earth
Four Weddings UK
Big Star’s Little Star
Murdoch Mysteries
Murdoch Mysteries
The Jonathan Ross Show
Coronation Street
Big Star’s Little Star
Murdoch Mysteries
Murdoch Mysteries
00:00
01:00
02:00
03:00
04:00
05:00
06:00
07:00
08:00
09:00
10:00
11:00
12:00
13:00
14:00
15:00
16:00
17:00
18:00
19:00
20:00
21:00
22:00
23:00
Predator CSI
Engineering Connections
Situation Critical
Battleground Brothers
Ancient Megastructures
Britain’s Greatest Machines
Britain’s Underworld
Tigers Of The Snow
Predator CSI
Engineering Connections
Situation Critical
Megacities
Knights Of Mayhem
Family Guns
Wild Untamed Brazil
The Known Universe
Chasing UFOs
Salvage Code Red
Master Of Disaster
The Known Universe
Access 360 World Heritage
Salvage Code Red
Master Of Disaster
Megacities
00:00 Mystery Girls
00:30 The Daily Show With Jon
Stewart
01:00 The Colbert Report
01:30 Saturday Night Live
02:30 Mixology
03:00 Raising Hope
03:30 The Goldbergs
04:00 Growing Up Fisher
04:30 The Tonight Show Starring
Jimmy Fallon
05:30 Better Off Ted
06:00 Til Death
06:30 My Name Is Earl
07:00 Late Night With Seth Meyers
08:00 Growing Up Fisher
08:30 Better Off Ted
09:00 Raising Hope
09:30 Dads
10:00 Baby Daddy
10:30 My Name Is Earl
11:00 The Tonight Show Starring
Jimmy Fallon
12:00 Til Death
12:30 Growing Up Fisher
13:00 Better Off Ted
13:30 My Name Is Earl
14:00 The Goldbergs
14:30 Dads
15:00 Baby Daddy
15:30 The Daily Show With Jon
Stewart
16:00 The Colbert Report
16:30 Til Death
17:00 Late Night With Seth Meyers
18:00 Raising Hope
18:30 About A Boy
19:00 The Simpsons
19:30 Baby Daddy
20:00 The Tonight Show Starring
Jimmy Fallon
21:00 The Daily Show With Jon
Stewart
21:30 The Colbert Report
22:00 Eastbound & Down
22:30 Ja’mie: Private School Girl
23:00 Mixology
23:30 Late Night With Seth Meyers
00:00 Rake
01:00 Outlander
RED DAWN ON OSN MOVIES HD ACTION
03:00
04:00
05:00
06:00
08:00
09:00
11:00
12:00
12:30
13:00
14:00
15:00
16:00
16:30
17:00
18:00
19:00
20:00
23:00
Supernatural
Revenge
Once Upon A Time
Rake
Bones
Once Upon A Time
Revenge
Emmerdale
Coronation Street
The Ellen DeGeneres Show
Bones
Rake
Emmerdale
Coronation Street
The Ellen DeGeneres Show
Bones
Switched At Birth
State Of Affairs
Supernatural
00:00
01:00
03:00
04:00
05:00
07:00
07:30
08:00
09:00
10:00
10:30
11:00
12:00
13:00
14:00
15:00
17:00
18:00
19:00
20:00
21:00
22:00
23:00
Witches Of East End
Good Morning America
Grimm
The Knick
Good Morning America
Emmerdale
Coronation Street
The Ellen DeGeneres Show
24
Emmerdale
Coronation Street
The Ellen DeGeneres Show
Castle
Witches Of East End
24
Live Good Morning America
Castle
Witches Of East End
24
Burn Notice
Franklin & Bash
Grimm
The Knick
00:00 Daylight
02:00 Deja Vu
04:15 Maximum Conviction
06:00 Marvel’s Hulk vs. Thor &
Wolverine
08:00 Stolen
10:00 Red Dawn
12:00 Maximum Conviction
14:00 Daylight
16:00 Stolen
18:00 Red Dawn
19:45 Jack Reacher
22:00 Walking Tall
00:00 Deja Vu-PG15
02:15 Maximum Conviction-PG15
04:00 Marvel’s Hulk vs. Thor &
Wolverine-PG
06:00 Stolen-PG15
08:00 Red Dawn-PG15
10:00 Maximum Conviction-PG15
12:00 Daylight-PG15
14:00 Stolen-PG15
16:00 Red Dawn-PG15
17:45 Jack Reacher-PG15
20:00 Walking Tall-PG15
22:00 Legendary Amazons-PG15
STOLEN ON OSN MOVIES ACTION
00:00
02:00
04:00
06:00
08:00
10:00
12:00
Ass Backwards-18
The Guilt Trip-PG15
Girl In Progress-PG15
Wild Hogs-PG15
Parental Guidance-PG
Wild Hogs-PG15
Girl In Progress-PG15
14:00
16:00
18:00
20:00
22:00
Bean-PG15
Parental Guidance-PG
Timer-PG15
Hope Springs-PG15
The Details-18
01:00 Red Lights-PG15
03:00 The English Teacher-PG15
05:00 The Last Harbor-PG15
07:00 Trespass-PG15
09:00 Inescapable-PG15
10:45 The Last Harbor-PG15
12:30 Amour-PG15
14:45 The Next Three Days-PG15
17:00 Inescapable-PG15
18:45 Jobs-PG15
21:00 Seeking A Friend For The End
Of The World-PG15
22:45 The Frozen Ground-18
01:15 The Doors: When You’re
Strange-18
03:00 Texas Killing Fields-PG15
05:00 Bully-PG15
07:00 Robot & Frank-PG15
09:00 Not Without My DaughterPG15
11:00 Reviving Ophelia-PG15
12:45 Mud-PG15
15:00 Blancanieves-PG15
17:00 Not Without My DaughterPG15
19:00 Dangerous Minds-PG15
21:00 The Perks Of Being A
Wallflower-PG15
23:00 Being Flynn-18
01:00
03:00
05:00
07:00
09:00
10:45
13:00
14:45
16:45
18:45
21:00
23:00
10:00 The Music Never StoppedPG15
11:45 Life Of Pi-PG
14:00 Marvel’s Ultimate Avengers
II-PG
16:00 Run For Your Wife-PG15
18:00 Skyline-PG15
20:00 The Worricker: Turks &
Caicos-PG15
22:00 Immortals-PG15
03:00 Top 14 Highlights
03:30 Challenge Series Golf
Highlights
04:00 Afrasia Golf Masters
05:00 Top 14
07:00 Afrasia Golf Masters
08:00 PDC
World
Darts
Championship
13:00 Top 14 Highlights
13:30 F1 H20 World Cup Highlights
14:00 Afrasia Golf Masters
15:00 Top 14 Highlights
15:30 Ryder Cup Official Film
17:00 Challenge Series Golf
Highlights
18:30 Afrasia Golf Masters
19:00 NFL
21:30 Futbol Mundial
22:00 Live PDC World Darts
Championship
01:30 Top 14 Highlights
02:00 Ryder Cup Official Film
03:30 WWE This Week
04:00 Live WWE Raw
07:30 Pool Mosconi Cup
11:30 F1 H20 Powerboat World
Champs Highlights
12:00 World
Aquabike
Championship Highlights
13:00 V8 Supercars Highlights
14:00 V8 Supercars Highlights
15:00 WWE Raw
18:00 NHL
20:00 WWE Raw
23:00 F1 H20 Powerboat World
Champs Highlights
23:30 World
Aquabike
Championship Highlights
11:30
12:30
13:30
14:00
14:30
15:00
16:00
17:00
18:00
19:00
20:00
21:00
21:25
22:00
23:00
00:30 Big Bash League T20
Highlights
01:30 ICC Cricket 360
02:00 Bangladesh v Zimbabwe ODI
Highlights
03:00 Bangladesh v Zimbabwe ODI
Highlights
04:00 Bangladesh v Zimbabwe ODI
Highlights
05:00 Bangladesh v Zimbabwe ODI
Highlights
06:00 Bangladesh v Zimbabwe ODI
Highlights
07:00 ICC Cricket 360
07:30 LG ICC Awards 2014
08:30 ICC Cricket World Cup Tales
09:00 ICC Cricket World Cup Tales
09:30 ICC Cricket World Cup Tales
10:00 Big Bash League T20
Highlights
11:00 Live Big Bash League T20
14:30 ICC Cricket 360
15:00 ICC Cricket World Cup Tales
15:30 ICC Cricket World Cup Tales
16:00 Big Bash League T20
Highlights
17:00 Big Bash League T20
20:30 ICC Cricket 360
21:00 ICC Cricket World Cup Tales
21:30 ICC Cricket World Cup Tales
22:00 Big Bash League T20
Highlights
23:00 ICC Cricket 360
23:30 LG ICC Awards 2014
01:25 The Wrath Of God-18
03:15 Northern Pursuit-PG
04:50 Tribute To A Bad Man-PG
07:00 Spinout-FAM
08:35 Seven Brides For Seven
Brothers-FAM
10:15 The Merry Widow-FAM
12:00 Challenge To Lassie-FAM
13:15 Texas Carnival-FAM
14:35 Seven Women-PG
16:00 Casablanca-FAM
17:45 The Unsinkable Molly BrownFAM
19:55 Mr. Skeffington-FAM
22:00 The Last Run
23:35 The Big Sleep-PG
00:45 Miracle
03:00 Owning Mahowny-U
04:45 Death At A Funeral
06:30 Fun With Dick And Jane
08:00 Barricade-U
09:30 Con Air
11:30 Crimson Tide
13:30 The Haunted Mansion
15:00 The Nightmare Before
Christmas-PG
16:15 The Odd Life Of Timothy
Green-U
18:00 Shanghai Knights
20:00 The Insider
22:30 Pearl Harbor
00:00
00:30
01:30
02:30
03:00
04:00
05:00
05:30
05:55
06:30
07:30
08:30
09:30
10:00
11:00
According To Jim
Castle
Grey’s Anatomy
According To Jim
The Listener
The Listener
According To Jim
Melissa & Joey
Melissa & Joey
Dirt
The Walking Dead
Castle
According To Jim
Grey’s Anatomy
According To Jim
00:00
02:00
03:00
07:00
08:00
23:30
The Listener
The Listener
According To Jim
Melissa & Joey
Melissa & Joey
Dirt
The Walking Dead
Grey’s Anatomy
Army Wives
MasterChef Australia
Switched At Birth
According To Jim
According To Jim
Detroit 1-8-7
The Walking Dead
Pawn Stars
Christmas Specials
Pawn Stars
Christmas Specials
American Restoration
Christmas Specials
00:45 The Face UK
01:35 Return To Amish
02:25 I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant
02:50 Body Bizarre
03:40 Long Island Medium
04:05 Say Yes To The Dress
04:30 Say Yes To The Dress
05:00 Toddlers & Tiaras
06:00 Something
Borrowed,
Something New
06:25 Your Style In His Hands
07:15 Driving Me Crazy
08:05 Cake Boss
08:30 Cake Boss
08:55 Ultimate Shopper
09:45 Cake Boss
10:10 17 Kids And Counting
10:35 Little People, Big World
11:00 Toddlers & Tiaras
11:50 Say Yes To The Dress
12:15 Say Yes To The Dress
12:40 Your Style In His Hands
13:30 Oprah: Where Are They Now?
14:20 Oprah Presents: Master Class
15:10 Something
Borrowed,
Something New
15:35 Cake Boss
16:00 Driving Me Crazy
16:50 17 Kids And Counting
17:15 Little People, Big World
17:40 Toddlers & Tiaras
18:30 Something
Borrowed,
Something New
18:55 Say Yes To The Dress
19:20 Say Yes To The Dress
19:45 Ultimate Shopper
20:35 Cake Boss
21:00 Medical Anomalies
21:50 Too Ugly For Love
22:40 Long Island Medium
23:05 Body Bizarre
23:55 Hoarding: Buried Alive
World War Z-PG15
Standing Ovation-PG15
In A World...-PG15
There Be Dragons-PG15
R.I.P.D.-PG15
Captain Phillips-PG15
No Clue-PG15
Almost Christmas-PG15
R.I.P.D.-PG15
The Butler-PG15
A Family Reunion-PG15
The East-18
01:00 Tony Hawk: Boom Boom
Sabotage
02:45 A Cat In Paris
04:15 Planet 51
06:00 Patoruzito
08:00 Twigson
10:00 Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A
Who
11:30 Barbie As Rapunzel
13:00 A Cat In Paris
14:15 Back To The Sea
16:00 Scooby-Doo! Adventures:
The Mystery Map!
18:00 Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A
Who
20:00 Imaginum
21:45 Back To The Sea
23:30 Wallace & Gromit: The Curse
Of The Were-Rabbit
00:15
02:00
04:00
06:00
08:00
Stranded In Paradise-PG15
Death Clique-PG15
The Sapphires-PG15
Absolute Fear-PG15
Run For Your Wife-PG15
WILD HOGS ON OSN MOVIES COMEDY HD
Classifieds
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
ACCOMMODATION
Kuwait
KNCC PROGRAMME FROM THURSDAY TO WEDNESDAY (18/12/2014 TO 24/12/2014)
SHARQIA-1
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
12:00 PM
3:00 PM
6:00 PM
9:00 PM
12:05 AM
SHARQIA-2
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
12:15 PM
2:15 PM
4:30 PM
6:30 PM
8:30 PM
10:30 PM
12:30 AM
SHARQIA-3
HOME
HOME
DECOR (Arabic)
P.K -HINDI
DECOR (Arabic)
DECOR (Arabic)
HOME
12:30 PM
2:30 PM
4:15 PM
6:45 PM
6:45 PM
9:45 PM
12:15 AM
MUHALAB-1
HOME
HOME
HOME
P.K -HINDI
DECOR (Arabic)
DECOR (Arabic)
DECOR (Arabic)
HOME
11:45 AM
1:30 PM
3:30 PM
5:15 PM
5:15 PM
8:15 PM
10:45 PM
1:15 AM
MUHALAB-2
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
MONTANA
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
MONTANA
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
MUHALAB-3
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
FANAR-1
FOXCATCHER
THE GOOD LIE
FOXCATCHER
THE GOOD LIE
FOXCATCHER
FOXCATCHER
11:30 AM
2:15 PM
5:00 PM
7:15 PM
10:00 PM
12:15 AM
11:45 AM
1:45 PM
3:45 PM
5:45 PM
7:45 PM
9:45 PM
11:45 PM
11:45 AM
2:30 PM
4:45 PM
7:30 PM
9:45 PM
12:30 AM
FANAR-2
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
12:15 PM
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
2:15 PM
4:15 PM
6:15 PM
8:15 PM
10:30 PM
12:45 AM
FANAR-3
DECOR (Arabic)
DECOR (Arabic)
DECOR (Arabic)
DECOR (Arabic)
DECOR (Arabic)
DECOR (Arabic)
11:30 AM
2:00 PM
4:30 PM
7:00 PM
9:30 PM
12:05 AM
MARINA-1
HOME
HOME
HOME
DECOR (Arabic)
DECOR (Arabic)
DECOR (Arabic)
HOME
11:45 AM
1:45 PM
3:30 PM
5:15 PM
7:45 PM
10:15 PM
12:45 AM
MARINA-2
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
12:00 PM
2:00 PM
4:00 PM
4:00 PM
6:00 PM
8:00 PM
10:00 PM
12:05 AM
MARINA-3
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
MONTANA
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES -3D
MONTANA
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
MONTANA
11:30 AM
2:15 PM
4:30 PM
7:15 PM
9:30 PM
12:15 AM
AVENUES-1
HOME
HOME
HOME
HOME
HOME
HOME
HOME
1:15 PM
3:15 PM
5:15 PM
7:15 PM
9:15 PM
11:15 PM
1:15 AM
AVENUES-2
THE GOOD LIE
THE GOOD LIE
THE GOOD LIE
THE GOOD LIE
THE GOOD LIE
THE GOOD LIE
12:00 PM
2:30 PM
5:00 PM
7:30 PM
10:00 PM
12:45 AM
AVENUES-3
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES -3D 11:30 AM
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
2:30 PM
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES -3D
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
P.K -HINDI
P.K -HINDI
P.K -HINDI
P.K -HINDI
P.K -HINDI
5:30 PM
8:30 PM
11:30 PM
12:30 PM
3:30 PM
6:30 PM
9:30 PM
12:30 AM
360Вє- 1
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES -3D
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES -3D
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
P.K -HINDI
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
11:30 AM
2:30 PM
5:30 PM
8:30 PM
8:30 PM
11:30 PM
360Вє- 2
THE GOOD LIE
THE GOOD LIE
THE GOOD LIE
THE GOOD LIE
THE GOOD LIE
1:30 PM
4:00 PM
6:30 PM
9:00 PM
11:45 PM
360Вє- 3
MONTANA
MONTANA
MONTANA
MONTANA
MONTANA
MONTANA
1:15 PM
3:30 PM
5:45 PM
8:00 PM
10:15 PM
12:30 AM
AL-KOUT.1
THE GOOD LIE
THE GOOD LIE
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES -3D
THE GOOD LIE
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
THE GOOD LIE
11:30 AM
1:45 PM
4:00 PM
6:45 PM
9:00 PM
12:05 AM
AL-KOUT.2
MONTANA
FOXCATCHER
FOXCATCHER
MONTANA
FOXCATCHER
MONTANA
11:30 AM
1:45 PM
4:30 PM
7:15 PM
9:30 PM
12:15 AM
AL-KOUT.3
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
12:15 PM
2:15 PM
4:15 PM
6:15 PM
8:30 PM
10:30 PM
12:30 AM
BAIRAQ-1
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM:SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM:SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM:SECRET OF THE TOMB
11:45 AM
1:45 PM
3:45 PM
5:45 PM
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM:SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM:SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM:SECRET OF THE TOMB
7:45 PM
9:45 PM
11:45 PM
BAIRAQ-2
P.K -HINDI
DECOR (Arabic)
DECOR (Arabic)
P.K -HINDI
DECOR (Arabic)
DECOR (Arabic)
DECOR (Arabic)
1:00 PM
1:00 PM
4:00 PM
6:30 PM
6:30 PM
9:30 PM
12:00 AM
BAIRAQ-3
MONTANA
HOME
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
MONTANA
HOME
12:00 PM
2:15 PM
4:00 PM
7:00 PM
10:00 PM
12:15 AM
PLAZA
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
P.K -HINDI
DECOR (Arabic)
DECOR (Arabic)
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
3:30 PM
5:30 PM
5:30 PM
8:30 PM
11:00 PM
LAILA
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
DECOR (Arabic)
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
4:00 PM
6:00 PM
8:30 PM
10:30 PM
AJIAL.1
LINGAA - TAMIL
LINGAA - TAMIL
LINGAA - TAMIL
3:15 PM
6:30 PM
9:45 PM
AJIAL.2
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
DECOR (Arabic)
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
3:30 PM
5:45 PM
8:00 PM
10:30 PM
AJIAL.3
ACTION JACKSON-HINDI
ACTION JACKSON-HINDI
ACTION JACKSON-HINDI
P.K -HINDI
P.K -HINDI
P.K -HINDI
3:00 PM
6:00 PM
9:00 PM
3:00 PM
6:00 PM
9:00 PM
AJIAL.4
LINGAA - TAMIL
IYOBINTE PUSTAKAM- Malayalam
LINGAA - TAMIL
P.K -HINDI
P.K -HINDI
P.K -HINDI
3:45 PM
7:00 PM
10:00 PM
4:00 PM
7:00 PM
10:00 PM
C/A room available from
Jan 25, 2015 for a decent
couple or single ladyes in in
Farwaniya beside Kabayan
supermarket for Filipinos
only. Call 66152130.
22-12-2104
Room for rent in C-A/C flat
from 25 Dec 2014 for couple, airport road Khaitan.
Contact: 66253647.
(C 4889)
17-12-2014
CHANGE OF NAME
I, Utukuru Rama Gubbaiah,
holder of Indian Passport
No. J2020031 hereby
changed changed my
name to Utukuru Rama
Subba Reddy. Upparapalli
Konduru Penagalur,
Kadapa, A.P. (C 4891)
22-12-2014
I, A. Sahaya Newton, son
of Thiru Augustine, born on
24th February 1980 (native
district: Tirunelveli), residing at old No.40, New No.640, Thilagar Street,
Perunkudi, Kavalkinaru,
Tirunelveli-627105, shall
henceforth be know as A.
MARIA SAHAYA NEWTON.
18-12-2014
Prayer timings
Fajr:
05:14
Shorook
06:39
Duhr:
11:47
Asr:
14:37
Maghrib:
16:55
Isha:
18:17
112
Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (www.kuwait-airport.com.kw)
Airlines
BBC
JAI
JZR
JZR
KLM
JZR
THY
FDB
QTR
PGT
ETH
GFA
UAE
JAI
FDB
RJA
ETD
MSR
KKK
OMA
QTR
ICV
MSC
THY
JZR
THY
TZS
BAW
KAC
KAC
FDB
QTR
SVA
KAC
KAC
KAC
KAC
UAE
ABY
ETD
FDB
QTR
IRA
GFA
UAE
MSC
JZR
MEA
UAE
MSR
KAC
KAC
JZR
KAC
QTR
KNE
Flt
043
574
239
267
411
539
772
069
1048
858
620
211
853
526
067
648
305
612
6507
643
1076
673
401
6776
503
770
170
157
416
412
053
1086
512
352
302
206
332
855
125
301
055
1070
675
213
873
405
165
404
871
610
514
382
561
672
1078
472
Arrival Flights on Tuesday 23/12/2014
Route
Dhaka
Mumbai
Amman
Beirut
Amsterdam/Dammam
Cairo
Istanbul
Dubai
Doha
Istanbul
Addis Ababa
Bahrain
Dubai
Chennai/Abu Dhabi
Dubai
Amman
Abu Dhabi
Cairo
Istanbul
Muscat
Doha
MXP
Alexandria
Istanbul
Luxor
Istanbul
Bahrain
London
Kuala Lumpur/Jakarta
Manila/Bangkok
Dubai
Doha
Riyadh
Kochi
Mumbai
Islamabad
Trivandrum
Dubai
Sharjah
Abu Dhabi
Dubai
Doha
Lar
Bahrain
Dubai
Sohag
Dubai
Beirut
Dubai
Cairo
Tehran
Delhi
Sohag
Dubai
Doha
Jeddah
Time
00:05
00:10
00:25
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00:40
00:40
00:45
00:55
01:00
01:35
01:45
02:30
02:35
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02:55
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03:10
03:20
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03:45
04:00
04:05
05:05
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05:40
06:40
06:45
07:10
07:45
07:50
07:55
08:10
08:20
08:25
08:30
08:40
09:00
09:20
09:40
10:00
10:40
10:40
11:00
11:25
11:30
11:55
12:50
13:00
13:10
13:45
13:45
13:55
14:05
14:25
SVA
FDB
GFA
KAC
KAC
ABY
UAE
FDB
NIA
KAC
QTR
RJA
ETD
SVA
GFA
UAL
JZR
UAE
TAR
JZR
FDB
ABY
KAC
QTR
SYR
KAC
KAC
AXB
KAC
KAC
KAC
GFA
KAC
KAC
KAC
JAI
MSR
FDB
OMA
ETH
DLH
ALK
MEA
ETD
FDB
UAE
GFA
QTR
JZR
KLM
ETD
FDB
AIC
PIA
UAL
JZR
JZR
THY
FDB
500
057
221
788
284
127
857
051
251
562
1072
640
303
510
215
982
777
875
328
177
063
121
786
1080
341
774
618
393
674
542
678
217
166
104
742
572
618
061
647
3718
636
229
402
307
073
859
219
1074
135
415
309
059
981
239
981
185
553
764
071
Jeddah
Dubai
Bahrain
Jeddah
Dhaka
Sharjah
Dubai
Dubai
Alexandria
Amman
Doha
Amman
Abu Dhabi
Riyadh
Bahrain
IAD
Jeddah
Dubai
Tunis/Dubai
Dubai
Dubai
Sharjah
Jeddah
Doha
Damascus
Riyadh
Doha
Kozhikode
Dubai
Cairo
Muscat/Abu Dhabi
Bahrain
Paris/Rome
London
Dammam
Mumbai
Alexandria
Dubai
Muscat
LGG
Frankfurt
Colombo
Beirut
Abu Dhabi
Dubai
Dubai
Bahrain
Doha
Bahrain
Amsterdam
Abu Dhabi
Dubai
Chennai/Hyderabad/Ahmedabad
Sialkot
Bahrain
Dubai
Alexandria
Istanbul
Dubai
14:30
14:30
15:00
15:10
15:15
15:45
15:45
16:00
16:15
16:20
16:40
16:55
16:55
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17:55
17:55
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19:15
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20:05
20:20
20:20
20:45
20:50
21:10
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21:35
21:40
21:45
21:55
22:05
22:15
22:15
22:30
22:30
22:35
23:10
23:15
23:25
23:35
23:45
Airlines
AIC
PIA
FDB
JAI
BBC
KLM
DLH
KAC
ETH
THY
PGT
KAC
UAE
FDB
ETD
MSR
KKK
OMA
QTR
MSC
QTR
THY
ICV
FDB
JAI
THY
JZR
RJA
JZR
GFA
THY
FDB
BAW
QTR
KAC
SVA
KAC
KAC
ABY
KAC
UAE
ETD
KAC
FDB
QTR
KAC
GFA
IRA
KAC
JZR
KAC
MSC
UAE
MEA
KAC
JZR
Departure Flights on Tuesday 23/12/2014
Flt
Route
976
Goa/Chennai
206
Lahore
072
Dubai
573
Mumbai
044
Dhaka
411
Amsterdam
635
Frankfurt
283
Dhaka
621
Addis Ababa
773
Istanbul
859
Istanbul
381
Delhi
854
Dubai
068
Dubai
306
Abu Dhabi
613
Cairo
6508
Istanbul
644
Muscat
1085
Doha
406
Sohag
1077
Doha
765
Istanbul
673
MXP
070
Dubai
525
Abu Dhabi/Chennai
6776
Dubai
164
Dubai
649
Amman
560
Sohag
212
Bahrain
771
Istanbul
054
Dubai
156
London
1087
Doha
513
Tehran
513
Riyadh
787
Jeddah
671
Dubai
126
Sharjah
101
London/New York
856
Dubai
302
Abu Dhabi
561
Amman
056
Dubai
1071
Doha
165
Rome/Paris
214
Bahrain
674
Lar
541
Cairo
776
Jeddah
677
Abu Dhabi/Muscat
402
Alexandria
874
Dubai
405
Beirut
785
Jeddah
176
Dubai
DIAL161 FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION
Time
00:05
00:40
00:45
01:10
01:35
01:55
02:15
02:25
02:45
02:55
03:25
03:40
03:50
03:55
04:05
04:10
04:10
04:15
04:30
05:05
05:15
05:40
05:45
06:30
06:35
06:35
06:55
07:05
07:10
07:15
07:30
08:25
08:45
08:50
08:55
08:55
09:25
09:25
09:40
09:50
09:55
10:20
10:25
10:35
11:00
11:15
11:25
11:40
12:05
12:20
12:20
12:25
12:30
12:55
13:00
13:45
MSR
UAE
KAC
QTR
FDB
KAC
KNE
SVA
GFA
KAC
JZR
ABY
KAC
FDB
JZR
NIA
QTR
JZR
UAE
ETD
RJA
SVA
GFA
JZR
JZR
TAR
JZR
UAL
ABY
UAE
QTR
SYR
FDB
AXB
GFA
KAC
KAC
JAI
MSR
KAC
OMA
FDB
DLH
TZS
ALK
ETD
KAC
MEA
FDB
GFA
UAE
KAC
ETD
QTR
KLM
KAC
PIA
FDB
611
872
673
1079
058
617
473
501
222
773
552
128
741
052
266
252
1073
538
858
304
641
511
216
184
238
328
134
982
122
876
1081
342
064
393
218
361
343
571
607
351
648
062
636
171
230
308
301
403
074
220
860
205
310
1075
415
411
240
060
Cairo
Dubai
Dubai
Doha
Dubai
Doha
Jeddah
Jeddah
Bahrain
Riyadh
Alexandria
Sharjah
Dammam
Dubai
Beirut
Alexandria
Doha
Cairo
Dubai
Abu Dhabi
Amman
Riyadh
Bahrain
Dubai
Amman
Tunis
Bahrain
Bahrain
Sharjah
Dubai
Doha
Damascus
Dubai
Kozhikode
Bahrain
Colombo
Chennai
Mumbai
Luxor
Kochi
Muscat
Dubai
Dammam
Bahrain
Colombo
Abu Dhabi
Mumbai
Beirut
Dubai
Bahrain
Dubai
Islamabad
Abu Dhabi
Doha
Dammam/Amsterdam
Bangkok/Manila
Sialkot
Dubai
14:00
14:15
15:00
15:05
15:10
15:15
15:20
15:45
15:45
15:50
16:10
16:25
17:00
17:00
17:05
17:15
17:40
17:45
17:45
17:50
17:55
18:15
18:20
18:40
18:50
18:55
19:10
19:15
19:20
19:40
19:50
19:55
19:55
20:15
20:15
20:50
20:55
21:00
21:05
21:15
21:20
21:20
21:35
21:50
22:10
22:15
22:15
22:20
22:30
22:30
22:50
22:55
23:00
23:05
23:15
23:30
23:35
23:55
34
stars
CROSSWORD 763
STAR TRACK
Aries (March 21-April 19)
You may find a physical move or some other type of major change is
being discussed today. This may mean that higher-ups in your workplace are looking for a place to relocate the company. You will ponder many questions
by analysis and deep, penetrating thoughts. This could all be temporary if the company building is in need of being refurbished. You could be asked to do some location
research at this time. Putting yourself in a position to gather and share more information seems most important to you at this time. Many obstacles and responsibilities are
about to dissolve. Someone close to you may come to you for your psychological perceptiveness and comprehension. Expressing your insights through poetry or song
becomes impressive.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Watch out-an independent streak seems to be surfacing at this time.
Others will admire your unique and rather unusual way of perceiving things. Your
sense of humor simply shines and added to your rather eccentric behavior, should set
you apart from the crowd. You find the benefits from new insights into your living situation or life conditions. Your friends or associates may come to you for help today as
you have advanced teaching qualities and can patiently instruct those that have a
hard time understanding some code or technique. This should all go rather smoothly.
Your more reserved qualities may make others wonder what you have been up to
lately-as you are not always so quiet. Keeping people guessing is a fun pastime for
now.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
ACROSS
1. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle
where driver sits.
4. French painter (born in Russia) noted for his
imagery and brilliant colors (1887-1985).
11. In bed.
15. A constellation in the southern hemisphere
near Telescopium and Norma.
16. Genus of tropical shrubs and trees having
usually odd-pinnate leaves with large leaflets
and pink to reddish wood.
17. A quantity of no importance.
18. A young woman indulged by rich and powerful older men.
20. The state or fact of existing.
21. Winning all or all but one of the tricks in
bridge.
22. A republic on the west coast of Africa.
23. A member of the Siouan people inhabiting
the valleys of the Platte and Missouri rivers in
Nebraska.
25. The basic unit of electric current adopted
under the System International d'Unites.
26. A tiny or scarcely detectable amount.
28. Collect or gather.
31. The positive fractional part of the representation of a logarithm.
34. A salt deposit that animals regularly lick.
37. Eaten as mush or as a thin gruel.
38. American prizefighter who won the world
heavyweight championship three times
(born in 1942).
40. A city in central southwestern Iran.
42. A toxic nonmetallic element related to sulfur
and tellurium.
45. A federal agency established to regulate the
release of new foods and health-related
products.
46. Resembling or characteristic of or appropriate to an elegy.
49. American Revolutionary patriot.
52. A silvery ductile metallic element found primarily in bauxite.
53. Informal abbreviation of `representative'.
54. Mature female of mammals of which the
male is called `buck'.
55. Any customary and rightful perquisite
appropriate to your station in life.
57. Employed in accomplishing something.
59. Optical instrument consisting of a pair of
lenses for correcting defective vision.
61. The capital and largest city of Yemen.
62. (Akkadian) God of wisdom.
63. A public promotion of some product or service.
65. A bachelor's degree in religion.
67. Excessively agitated.
71. A state-chartered savings bank owned by its
depositors and managed by a board of
trustees.
74. The sister of your father or mother.
76. Shattered or torn up or torn apart violently
as by e.g. wind or lightning or explosive.
77. Large burrowing rodent of South and
Central America.
78. Any of numerous local fertility and nature
deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples.
79. Relating to or occurring or living in or frequenting the open ocean.
82. A workplace for the conduct of scientific
research.
83. Founder of Christian Science in 1866 (18211910).
84. Exaggerate one's acting.
85. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from
aba cloth.
DOWN
1. Open-heart surgery in which the rib cage is
opened and a section of a blood vessel is
grafted from the aorta to the coronary artery
to bypass the blocked section of the coronary artery and improve the blood supply to
the heart.
2. An elaborate song for solo voice.
3. A young child.
4. Small tough woody zamia of Florida and West
Indies and Cuba.
5. A period of time equal to 1/24th of a day.
6. A platform raised above the surrounding level
to give prominence to the person on it.
7. United States army officer and engineer who
supervised the construction of the Panama
Canal (1858-1928).
8. A genus of European owls.
9. In a straight unbroken line of descent from
parent to child.
10. The act of slowing down or falling behind.
11. The part of the nervous system of vertebrates that controls involuntary actions of
the smooth muscles and heart and glands.
12. A pale rose-colored variety of the ruby
spinel.
13. Mild yellow Dutch cheese made in balls.
14. Slightly wet.
19. Distributed or sold illicitly.
24. German organist and contrapuntist (16851750).
27. A very poisonous metallic element that has
three allotropic forms.
29. An unpredictable outcome that is unfortunate.
30. Narrow wood or metal or plastic runners
used for gliding over snow.
32. Spider monkeys.
33. A deep pan with a handle.
35. A member of an agricultural people of
southern India.
36. Any of numerous ornamental shrubs grown
for their showy flowers of various colors.
39. (Old Testament) The second patriarch.
41. A substance produced by the hypothalamus
that is capable of accelerating the secretion
of a given hormone by the anterior pituitary
gland.
43. A member of the Pueblo people living in
northern New Mexico.
44. A system of one or more computers and
associated software with common storage.
47. A fencing sword similar to a foil but with a
heavier blade.
48. A state in the Rocky Mountains.
50. An independent group of closely related
Chadic languages spoken in the area
between the Biu-Mandara and East Chadic
languages.
51. An unforeseen obstacle.
56. Genus of beetles whose grubs feed mainly
on roots of plants.
58. In a mildly insane manner.
60. United States swimmer who in 1926 became
the first woman to swim the English Channel
(1903- ).
64. Of or relating to a seizure or convulsion.
66. Two items of the same kind.
68. A collection of things (goods or works of art
etc.) for public display.
69. A drop of the clear salty saline solution
secreted by the lacrimal glands.
70. Any tree or shrub of the genus Inga having
pinnate leaves and showy usually white
flowers.
72. Someone who works (or provides workers)
during a strike.
73. A small cake leavened with yeast.
75. A coenzyme derived from the B vitamin
nicotinic acid.
80. A unit of energy equal to the work done by
an electron accelerated through a potential
difference of 1 volt.
81. A New England state.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
You may be feeling very good about yourself just now and appreciating
your own better qualities. Creative writing projects can be used in the
workplace to introduce better advertising jingles. You may see value in or feel love for
an older person or someone in authority. You seem to appreciate feelings and movement in general, and could possibly find yourself looking for a little romance. You may
just want to get out and about and walk or exercise. It’s just a wonderful time to be in
the company of others in play or work. A particular job may be just right for someone
with your credentials. You certainly know how to manage and direct others. Your particular ideas and thoughts are exceptionally good today; they have not gone unnoticed.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Now is a good time for that one-on-one with a higher-up, or supervisor.
This is the time that you can express your desire for a new position within
the company. Perhaps you could be in management. It’s a period when you can put
your practical insights into words and convey them to others. Taking care of business is
a major theme where your emotional orientation is concerned. You crave organization
and you want to get things accomplished. You aim to have a place for everything and
everything in its place. Health and work goals take on greater importance now. You can
demonstrate much understanding of and sensitivity to other’s needs at this time. A
romance in your life becomes more stable. There is a deeper sense of intimacy.
Leo (July 23-August 22)
Expect some challenges in the workplace from time to time. You find you
are appreciated for your talent in getting things done. It would be appropriate to ask for help. You are disciplined, work hard and are good at getting others to
work with and for you. You have a fantastic appetite for detail work and can take it all in
and still look for more. Willing and able to respond to almost any emergency-you are
responsible and always ready. Being successful in life is easy; you have a built-in sense
of how to approach and unravel even the most difficult problems. Helpful advice
comes from a trusted confidante. You and another family member decide to visit an ill
or elderly person this evening. You will meet with deep and loving acceptance.
Virgo (August 23-September 22)
Taking the novel approach, trying out new ideas and breakthroughs in
thinking could be what life is all about. You just simply feel like being different, trying
out something new and unusual. Perhaps you feel that you are too complacent, or are
you getting bored with the status quoadding a little variety to your life will give it a little extra spice and adds interest. You may want to go where no one has gone before, or
may just want to travel a less traveled path. Growth comes from allowing yourself to
make changes, allowing yourself to see things through different eyes, so to speak, and
being unafraid of taking a completely unfamiliar path or journey into the unknown. If
you are reasonable, fear not what awaits you on the other side of any adventure.
Word Search
Libra (September 23-October 22)
You may have to use a great deal of diplomacy around others. There
may be some problems with a negotiation, but the event will end
positively. You would just love to be out and about and enjoying the company of
your friends. Unfortunately, however, you may find yourself working inside four
walls. This time will pass-patience. It may be a good time to think about the vocational or career decisions you will want to change. This afternoon you look for a
belated gift or two that expresses your gratefulness. Home is likely to be a very
nice place this evening! This is a great time to spend with loved ones and family.
Nostalgia and domesticity could begin emphasizing a need for security and a
sense of roots.
Scorpio (October 23-November 21)
Your humor may be overshadowed, but only by your rather eccentric
behavior for now. Your independence and unique qualities are appreciated by those around you. This should all give you some new ways of looking at
things. Feel free to allow yourself to dream occasionally. Since you will not find these
days coming too often, you should not ignore the opportunity to let your imagination loose. Maybe a good book or movie will take on that more than real dimension.
Even if your friends do not see eye to eye on your unrealistic, dreamy mood, do not
allow that to stop you from exploring the many possibilities that this could bring you.
A plot for a play is available. Tonight you work on a new look with regard to hair or
clothes style.
Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)
You may find yourself working extra hard to get things and people
organized. Wanting and needing to feel respected is an emotionally
charged issue in your life. Achieving things, working especially hard and having a
strong ambition are all things that are especially important to you now. A good
understanding of those around you can almost assure you of a special time with
someone you love. Great feelings and knowing how much you are loved should
make this a very happy time. Some very important matters may be on the mind of
someone younger than you, and you may be asked for your guidance and advice. If
you have time, consider making a fun gift, just for the fun of it. Your social life is
bright and active.
Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
Professionally speaking, you are in the right frame of mind. A new person
you meet today will be most important to you in the future. You enjoy
meeting new people and see each person in your life as a special individual. A dream
or two may have helped you to remember a promise or a project you would like to
achieve before the end of the year. This may be something as simple as creating a decorative object for a friend’s gift: a homemade flower arrangement, candle, vase, drawing, etc. The noon break affords you a little time to shop and before the evening
approaches you will have the art supplies you need to finish the project. Speaking of a
gift, you may receive a few yourself; patience, there will be time to play soon. Smile!
Aquarius (January 20- February 18)
Extra support comes your way now. You may have the feeling that you
are very much in touch and have a good connection with those around
you; conversations have never been so interesting. All of the support that you need
will be there for you. There is very little time to complete unfinished business before
the year ends, but you manage to do it. Legal matters are concluded successfully
today. Your taste in art and your creative thinking is heightened. Maybe this is the perfect time to pick out furnishings, colors and so forth-the more elegant things in life-or
at least to communicate your ideas with loved ones. Also-this is a wonderful time to
be around friends and associates and to work together. Healing is accelerated by your
peaceful ways.
Pisces (February 19-March 20)
Work ethics are very important to you and should you choose to take
time away from work today, you might allow yourself the time and call it
a vacation day. Keep a good attitude about competition and prepare for some extra
projects. This is a very busy time in your professional life. At home this afternoon, you
also enjoy staying busy. Just whiling the time away is not your bag! It should be a
good time to really look at yourself and understand what is really important. Writing
efforts can be a spectacular success. Don’t hesitate if a travel opportunity arises-a journey begun this afternoon can be joyful and romantic. Do something fun with a good
friend. You have a good attitude and this evening you are expressive.
Yesterday’s Solution
Yesterday’s Solution
Daily SuDoku
Yesterday’s Solution
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
i n f o r m at i o n
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36
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
LIFESTYLE
O’Connell reveals Pitt helped
him prepare for Unbroken role
A
nsel Elgort is releasing an album. The 20-year-old actor - who is
known for appearing as Augustus Waters in �The Fault in Our Stars’ is hoping to release his debut electronic music album in February
2015 under the moniker Anslo. He said: “I have a record coming out hopefully next month or in February that has crossover potential. It has radio
appeal,” The �Divurgent’ star has shown his musical side before by releasing
remixes of Lana Del Rey and Felix Cartal, and has now teased details of his
upcoming LP, which he has yet to settle on a name for. He continued: “It’s
called �Shadow’, or �I Will Be A Shadow’. I’m not sure yet. It has a vocal on it.
No, it’s not my vocal-it’s my production. I wanted to make sure that people
knew that I was the producer and not the vocalist.” However, the Hollywood
heartthrob assured fans his hope of becoming a successful musician
doesn’t mean he will be giving up acting, because he has so much spare
time to spend making tracks. He explained to MTV News: “I’m probably
doing 4 or 5 movies, but I can do it both at the same time,” he said. “The
thing is you have so much downtime and like what do you do with that
downtime? Do you make an ass out of yourself and party and do stupid
things? Or do you stay artistic and do something you love? So that’s what
music is for me.”
Olly Murs’
nan bans song
Ansel Elgort
releasing album
G o s s i p
J
ack O’Connell lent a Dictaphone off Brad Pitt so
he could prepare for �Unbroken’. The 24-yearold actor stars in the Angelina Jolie-directed
war drama based on the life of Louis Zamperini - an
American World War II prisoner of war survivor and
an Olympic distance runner - and he’s revealed that
Brad, 51, helped him to prepare for the role. Jack
explained: “Brad Pitt lent me a little Dictaphone
thing, like a cassette recorder, and I really liked the
authentic dated nature of that process, of putting
this cassette player on during our conversations,
mine and Louis’s.” Jack took the Dictaphone with
him to Australia, where the film was being shot and
said it helped him a great deal. The actor - who
starred in �This Is England’ - told Collider: “So I had
this borrowed cassette thing that I took to Australia
with me and that was constantly there to listen to.
So if I was bored or if I was killing time usually I’d
just be listening to that. “Not to hear him speak. It
wasn’t particularly useful at all for the voice,
because obviously I’m dealing with a 96 year old at
that stage, but the essence of him, the kind of
thing that might have made him.”
Christian Bale: Moses
is �most extreme’ role ever
C
O
lly Murs’ nan banned him from performing
his track �I Don’t Love You Too’. The
�Wrapped Up’ hitmaker revealed his grandma, Eileen, was not impressed with a track which
the star wrote about her and her husband’s arguments, requesting for her grandson stopped
singing the song at his shows. He said: “I wrote a
song on my second album and it’s called �I Don’t
Love You Too’. It’s about two people having an
argument - it was about my nan and grandad.
“She’d be the first to admit that they do argue. She
says: �I hate you Stan,’ and then she says �I don’t
mean it.’” Despite confessing she does row with
Olly’s grandad, the 30-year-old singer confessed
“she didn’t like it”. He explained: “I didn’t sing it on
tour because I didn’t want her to be upset watching it. I decided to cut that from the set.” The star -
hristian Bale says the character of Moses in �Exodus: Gods
and Kings’ was the “most extreme” role he has ever undertaken. The �American Hustle’ star plays the Egyptian prince in
the new blockbuster and felt compelled to act differently around
the set when filming the movie because he wanted to do the character justice. He revealed: “Moses is the most extreme character
I’ve ever played. Because of that I actually changed the way I
behaved on set. I kind of kept to myself, because I find it very difficult to get to know people too well and then play a character.” The
film - directed by Ridley Scott - features Christian’s character as the
defiant protagonist who fights against Pharaoh Ramses (Joel
Edgerton) by sending 600,000 slaves on a journey to escape Egypt,
and the star admitted the character was even more difficult to perfect than gruesome murderer Patrick Bateman in the 2000 movie,
�American Psycho’. He continued: “I thought: �I’ve got to turn him on
and off because he’s too much.’ You know, I played Patrick Bateman
in �American Psycho’ where I stayed in character, but Moses is way
more extreme than Patrick Bateman.” Christian - who is married to
Hollywood stunt double Sibi Blazic - added he found it tough getting back into shape for the movie, having previously played overweight con man Irving Rosenfeld in the Golden Globe winning
picture, �American Hustle’. He told Notebook magazine: “I was
thankful to wear loose-fitting tent-like clothes throughout the film,
as I was desperately trying to lose weight. I didn’t feel playing
Moses as a fat guy would be fitting.”
who released his fourth studio album �Never Been
Better’ last month - said his grandmother would
probably still be getting angry if she comes to see
him in concert though, because she gets jealous
of other women showing affection towards him.
He told the Sunday Mirror newspaper: “I get a lot
of nans who like me. “My nan gets very jealous if
she sees anyone come up and kiss me. She says,
�He’s my grandson, not yours’.”
Wonder Woman
waiting on green light
from Warner Bros
�W
onder Woman’ is still to be given the official green light
by Warner Bros. The hotly-anticipated project has been
spoken about at length over the last few months, but
�Game of Thrones’ and �Walking Dead’ director Michelle MacLaren
has revealed the film remains some way off, with �Wonder Woman’
still lacking a script and an official release date. Quizzed on the proposed �Wonder Woman’ movie, Michelle was very coy, telling
Vulture: “I really, really, really can’t talk about this.”I just picture a
drone coming in over the hills and crashing through the glass and
flying over here and putting duct tape over my mouth, you know?”
Despite Michelle’s reluctance to reveal any details about the film,
Gal Gadot is still expected to star in it after her debut in �Batman v
Superman: Dawn of Justice’, which will also feature Ben Affleck and
Henry Cavill. �Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ will be released
on April 29, 2016 in the UK and May 6, 2016 in the US. Meanwhile,
the much-anticipated �Wonder Woman’ movie is expected to open
in June 2017, although Warner Bros is still to confirm the date.
Brian May praises
Adam Lambert
Chloe Grace Moretz
wore heels with sprained knee
C
hloe Grace Moretz wore high heels to the People Magazine Awards despite
having a sprained knee. The 17-year-old actress ditched the crutches she’d
been using earlier in the day to take to the stage to accept her award for
Next Generation Star in a stunning pair of bejewelled heels. She said: “Usually in
show business, they say, �Break a leg’. For me, it’d be more fitting to say, �Sprain a
knee’, because I can barely walk right now. So, sorry for my graceful entrance.”
Chloe’s hair stylist Gregory Russell has also shared the secrets behind his client’s
stunning hair do at the ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in California. He
revealed: “We wanted to create a beautiful, effortless look to complement Chloe’s
Dior dress.” In order to do so he worked Jasmine Oil Serum through Chloe’s damp
hair, spritzed it with volumising spray and blew it out with a ceramic round brush
before pinning up the top sections to create volume. He then deep-parted her
locks, added waves with a flat iron and smoothed loose strands with glossing
serum before tucking “one side behind her ear to show off her rad ear cuff”. The
�Carrie’ star also thanked people for voting for her, admitting she felt lucky to be in
the position she’s in at such a young age. She added: “I’m only 17-years-old and I
feel like one of the luckiest 17-year-olds in the world right now.”
A
dam Lambert “can sing higher than even Freddie” according
to Brian May. The 67-year-old Queen guitarist has praised the
former �American Idol’ contestant - who has collaborated
with Brian and drummer Roger Taylor since 2011 - by saying his
vocal ability is enough to challenge the band’s late frontman,
Freddie Mercury. He said: “They’re difficult songs to sing, Queen
songs. There’s too much range. So many people can’t sing them in
the original key-even if they are good singers, Adam comes along,
[and] he can do it easy. He can do it in his sleep! He can sing higher
than even Freddie could in a live situation.” The �Don’t Stop Me Now’
hitmaker admitted Freddie - who died of bronchopneumonia
brought on by AIDS in 1991 - may even feel peeved the star’s
singing ability lives up to his legacy. He continued: “So I think
Freddie would look at this guy and think, �Hmm... Yeah. Okay.’ There
would be a kind of, �Hmm ... You are good. You can do this.’” The
musician also complimented Adam, 32, for his expert showmanship
when on stage, which is exciting while not being a copy of the former lead singer’s behavior. Speaking to Japan’s Universal Music, he
added: “He doesn’t have to try. He is a natural, in the same way that
Freddie was. “We didn’t look for this guy, [but] suddenly he’s there,
and he can sing all of those lines. ... He doesn’t imitate; he just does
his own thing.”
Minaj is the new face of Cavalli
N
icki Minaj is the new face of Roberto Cavalli. The �Anaconda’
rapper was chosen by the Italian label’s founder, Roberto
Cavalli, to star in his eponymous brand’s spring/summer 2015
campaign as she “embodies the exuberant and modern femininity of
the Cavalli woman”. The 74-year-old fashion designer also revealed he
chose the voluptuous star to encourage women to embrace their
curves. He said: “I chose Nicki Minaj because she embodies the exuberant and modern femininity of the Cavalli woman. In recent years
we have become accustomed to women castigated in clothes that
hide their body shapes. With this campaign, I wanted to send a strong
countertrend message. I wanted a sensual woman who is aware of
her body, who is not afraid to show her curves, rather she make them
as a strength.” The campaign - which features Nicki sporting flamboyant, tribal-inspired designs - was shot by Francesco Carrozzini. Nicki
has taken over as the face of the label from fellow singer Rita Ora who fronted their winter campaign for 2014. Meanwhile, Roberto who is spending the holidays with his wife and family in his hometown Florence - recently confessed he will soon be swapping his luxury apparel for an iconic Father Christmas outfit. The designer - who
has children Robin, Christiana, Rachele, Daniele and Tommaso with
his wife Eva, and seven grandchildren - said: “Of course I’m going to
be Santa Claus, what do you expect? I have seven grandchildren.”
37
LIFESTYLE
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
G o s s i p
China indicts Chan’s
son on drug charge
C
hinese prosecutors on Monday indicted the son
of Hong Kong action film star Jackie Chan on the
charge of sheltering others to use drugs, more
than four months after he was detained. If convicted,
singer-actor Jaycee Chan could be jailed for up to three
years. Chan, 32, was among a string of celebrities
detained over the summer for vices such as drug use
and hiring prostitutes, as Beijing vowed to clean up
social morals. The detention of Jaycee Chan has been
particularly embarrassing for his father, who was
named by Beijing as an anti-drug ambassador in 2009.
Beijing police detained the younger Chan at his Beijing
apartment in August along with Taiwanese movie star
Ko Kai. Police said Chan and Ko both tested positive for
marijuana and admitted using the drug, and that 100
grams (3.5 ounces) of it were taken from Chan’s home.
Ko, whose real name is Ko Chen-tung, was released
after a 14-day administrative detention for the drug
use, but Chan - who has remained in detention since
August - is faced with the more serious criminal
charge. State broadcaster CCTV in August aired video
of the police raid on Chan’s apartment, in which Chan
was shown identifying marijuana. Ko testified on camera that he had used drugs at Chan’s home. Chan has
never publicly contested the charge, and his father has
openly apologized over his detention. “Regarding this
issue with my son Jaycee, I feel very angry and very
shocked,” Jackie Chan wrote on his microblog in
August. “As a public figure, I’m very ashamed. As a
father, I’m heartbroken.” Prosecutors from Beijing’s
Dongcheng District announced the indictment in a
one-line statement that did not mention when a trial
would be held. In June, Chinese President Xi Jinping
declared that illegal drugs should be wiped out and
that offenders should be severely punished. The crackdown snared more than 7,800 people in Beijing alone,
according to police, and celebrities were targeted
because of their influence over the public. Jaycee
Chan has appeared in several films and has released
three albums.
Isabella Rossellini: Actresses
are replacing models
I
sabella Rossellini claims actresses are replacing models. The 62year-old star - who made a name for herself in the fashion industry aged 28 after making her debut appearance in British Vogue
- believes movie stars are being chosen over models in beauty campaigns because consumers have developed a
“celebrity fixation”. She said “Models are not doing so
many of the campaigns - it’s actresses. Now, there is a
celebrity fixation.” Isabella - who worked as a
spokesmodel for cosmetics brand LancГ™me for 14
years until she was fired for being too old in her 40s believes labels are happy to use actresses to front
their campaigns as their careers last much longer.
She explained: “And if they are in a successful film
when they are 38 or 40, they still get the
campaigns.”It’s the celebrity that gives them the
longevity. Most models start working less at 30, and
then by the time they are 35 it’s over completely.” The
brunette beauty added she had been shocked to discover that ageism was “rampant in fashion” when she first
started out as a model. She told The Daily Telegraph newspaper: “In two or three photo-shoots I had the cover of Vogue
and my career exploded.”But I didn’t know that ageism was rampant in fashion. “No one asked me how old I was at the beginning,
and when they found out, they were horrified.”
Actor Booth Colman Dies at 91
B
ooth Colman, who had a long career as an actor
including the role of ape scientist Dr. Zaius in the
1970s “Planet of the Apes” TV series, died in his sleep
on Dec 15 in Los Angeles. He was 91. Colman was a
Shakespearean authority who essayed mostly dramatic
roles. He had a gravitas that was well-used in his many performances as authority figures, such as doctors, clergymen,
scientists and attorneys. Though he was never a comedian,
he appeared in comedies and treasured his friendship with
classic performer Stan Laurel of Laurel & Hardy.
(Colman is pictured above with Lois Laurel, the daughter of
Stan Laurel.) Though he worked in film-with more than 50
bigscreen appearances-and onstage, Colman was best
known for his work on television. He racked up many credits, from the early days of TV in the 1950s through 2008. He
guested, often multiple times, on series including
“Gunsmoke,” “Perry Mason,” “Star Trek,” “The Waltons,” “77
Sunset Strip,” “Route 66,” “The Rifleman,” “Have Gun Will
Travel,” “Bonanza,” “Mannix,” “Marcus Welby,” “Mission:
Impossible” and “The Untouchables,” “Star Trek: Voyager”
and “Chicago Hope.” He also appeared in TV comedies
including “My Three Sons,” “Hogan’s Heroes,” “I Dream of
Jeannie,” “The Monkees,” “The Flying Nun” and, later,
“Frasier” and “My Name is Earl.” The actor also occasionally
had recurring roles in such soap operas as “The Young and
the Restless” and “General Hospital.” Colman made his film
debut in 1952’s “The Big Sky” and last appeared on the
bigscreen in the Coen brothers’ 2003 “Intolerable Cruelty.”
He worked on Broadway, appearing with the likes of Basil
Rathbone and Fredric March, and appeared as Scrooge
onstage in “A Christmas Carol” almost every year for
decades. As a young actor, Colman studied with the
Maurice Evans company, with which he appeared in
“Hamlet.” Eventually the association led to Booth assuming
the role of Dr. Zaius, which Evans originated in two
bigscreen “Planet of the Apes” films. Colman’s work on the
series led to acclaim from fans as well as invitations to
appear at film conventions. Colman was born in Portland,
Oregon, and he attended the University of Washington,
and the U. of Michigan, where he began his career in radio.
He mastered multiple languages. In lieu of flowers, the
family requests a donation to the Actors Fund of America,
National Federation for the Blind, or United Jewish Appeal.
Friends, family and fans are invited to share memories of
Colman at [email protected]
Bromfield to match
outfit to Christmas tree
D
ionne Bromfield wants to match her Christmas outfit to her
tree. The �Mama Said’ hitmaker - who is the goddaughter of
late singer Amy Winehouse - has adorned her house with silver-themed decorations for the festive period and is planning on
sporting a metallic dress to coordinate with the color scheme. She
exclusively told BANG Showbiz: “I always tend to wear a red dress. I
might switch it up this year. “I’m thinking silver because my whole
house is silver themed this year. I don’t know if that would be a bit
tacky. I’ve got a silver tree with silver baubles... a bit of a silver theme.”
The 18-year-old singer also mixes up her beauty regime for the party
season. She said: “I like a lot of glitter. So I usually put a bit of glitter
on my eye lids.” Dionne also confessed to being a huge fan of popstar
Rihanna’s “different” style and credits the Barbados-born beauty for
being a “trendsetter”. She said: “I really love Rihanna’s style. I love how
Rihanna... she could wear a dress with trainers and look amazing.
“Her style... I like how it’s very different. She’s a massive trendsetter
but I like the way she always changes it up its never samey.”
CARPISA autumn
winter 2014 collection
T
he autumn/winter 2014-15 Carpisa collection reconsiders the virtues and the beauty
of our Country, and what the world know
how the Italian Feeling. The details decorate the
bags as well as the monuments and the beauties
of our country decorate Italy.
The metallic is protagonist in various forms,
from the metal decorated connections, to the
metal brackets that give light to the bag and the
accessory. The rock-chic is one of the main subject of the collection where the black colour is
protagonist. There are gold studs opposing to the
more romantic matelassГ€ combine to bows
details.
The textile of the collection is the “Pied de
Poule”, both in micro and maxi variation; a classic
textile that become minimized and made young
to the match with micro studs and chain details;
present itself in collection with the “optical” black
&white version.
A funded must is the animalier subject, present in collection in the coconut print, in the spotted, in the shiny and opaque python leather.
Characterized by materials that have an important and luxurious relevance, it refers to the
world-known conception of the artisan Italy.
The final subject of the collection is the country-chic, bags with soft structures, grainy materials match with the suede and the fur; lines that
have a romantic taste and recall to the conception of hill landscape and farmland that characterize the beautiful country. Welcome to Italy,
welcome to Carpisa. Treat yourself to the latest
collection at The Avenues- The Mall.
Upton most searched model of 2014
K
ate Upton was the most searched model of 2014. The Sports Illustrated star - who recently won the
Sexiest Woman Alive gong at the People Magazine Awards - topped the Google list, obtained by
Style.com, which also featured supermodels Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell. Kendall Jenner’s emerging fashion career earned her a place in second whilst Miranda Kerr - who has a 3-year-old son with Orlando
Bloom - came third. Despite being named Model of the Year at last month’s British Fashion Awards, Cara
Delevingne only made it to sixteenth on the list, being topped in the rankings by Heidi Klum, 41, Behati
Prinsloo - the wife of singer Adam Levine - and Kate Upton’s fellow Sports Illustrated Swimwear Issue model,
Lily Aldridge, 29. Lily - who is also one of the Victoria’s Secret angels - wasn’t the only Angel to make the list;
Karlie Kloss, 22, Alessandra Ambrosio, 33 and Doutzen Kroes, 29, also made the grade. Karlie - who came
ninth - has made quite a presence for herself on social media, with over 1.7 million followers on Instagram.
Similarly, her fellow Angel, Alessandra is a big hit on social media too, with well over three million followers
on the photo sharing site. The youngest model to feature on the list was Hailey Baldwin at just 18-years-old.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
lifestyle
F a s h i o n
A model presents a creation by Kuwaiti fashion designer
Nora Alhdhiran during the Gulf’s Forum of Elegance event
on December 21, 2014 in the Omani capital, Muscat.
Models present creations by fashion†designers Mohammed al-Sobhi and Amal al-Balushi.
Fashion designers Mohammed Al-Sobhi and Amal Al-Balushi — AFP photos
GULF’S FORUM OF ELEGANCE EVENT
Bahraini fashion designer Kobrai Al-Qoseer
Emirati fashion designer Mona Al-Mansouri
Omani fashion designer Reem Al-Alawi
Emirati fashion designer Mona Al-Mansouri
Omani fashion designer Amal Al-Balushi
Saudi Arabia fashion designer Umaymah Azouz
Emirati fashion designer Mona Al-Mansouri
Saudi Arabia fashion designer Rana Riri
Kuwaiti fashion designer Nora Alhdhiran
Bahraini fashion designer Kobrai Al-Qoseer
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
lifestyle
M u s i c
A picture taken in Saint-Pierre-des-Corps shows a Pleyel piano. — AFP photos
&
M o v i e s
The original rosewood Pleyel piano that will be exposed at the Grand Palais in
Paris as part of the event “Osons la France”.
Jean Jude, musicologist and music teacher poses in Saint-Pierre-des-Corps, to
show the original mechanic of the rosewood Pleyel piano.
Eccentric French collector turns home into piano �orphanage’
J
ean Jude, glasses perched on the end of his nose, is practicing scales when his visitor arrives. “Sorry there isn’t
much room in here,” Jude says, getting up from one piano
before wending his way among countless others filling his living room, part of a unique collection totaling around 150. Jude
and his cat live among the pianos in a four-bedroom house at
the end of a cul-de-sac in Saint Pierre des Corps, a suburb of
the central French city of Tours.
A wooden gate opens into a yard cluttered with pianos
stored in crates and protected from the elements with blue tarpaulins. These are overflow instruments that the 63-year-old
music teacher cannot manage to squeeze inside or in the
garage. His passion for the stately instruments has driven Jude
to rescue scores of them from oblivion, sniffing out hidden
treasures at charity shops and auctions, then restoring them
when necessary. “You’re in a sort of orphanage here,” Jude
smiles. “In the �70s and �80s it was fashionable to turn pianos
into furniture. Many of those that I bought for a pittance would
no doubt have ended up as bars, bookcases or writing desks.”
People often are unaware of the value of the pianos they
give away or sell for a song. Five of Jude’s pianos have been
recognized as national heritage: an upright Clementi from
1820, a 1836 Pape grand and three Pleyels, including the first
grand built by the iconic French piano maker in 1820, a concert
grand from 1843 and an 1825 square piano. The oldest piece in
the collection dates to 1782. But it was an 1855 Pleyel model,
built specially for that year’s Universal Exhibition in Paris, that
Jude loaned to the capital’s Grand Palais museum for a recent
forum on French innovation.
“The press spoke of it in glowing terms (in 1855). It still has
a very good sound,” Jude remarks, playing a few notes on the
elegant instrument made of rosewood with bronze trim. At the
Phil Rudd
Grand Palais event, it was juxtaposed with Pleyel’s latest model, a futuristic creation with lid and legs made of carbon fibreunderscoring the venerable company’s evolution from its
beginnings as piano maker to Frederic Chopin.
Breaking a �taboo’
For Jude, the journey has been in the collecting. “My family
couldn’t afford to buy a piano. I grew up with the idea that
obtaining such an instrument was taboo,” he said. His first
piano lesson from an elderly teacher in 1968 blew the taboo to
pieces. Determined to equal her mastery of Mozart’s “Turkish
March”, the aspiring musician saved up his own money to buy
a piano-unbeknownst to his parents. “I was seriously chewed
out when the delivery men arrived, but that consuming passion has stuck with me to this day,” he says. Jude is generous
with his collection, willingly lending instruments to record
companies or musicians who want to record pieces on period
pianos. Among his gems is a piano that once belonged to
French president Sadi Carnot, who governed from 1887 to
1894.
Another is a rosewood Pleyel upright that once belonged
to the writer Honore de Balzac’s sister Laure Surville. Rare
pieces like this could fetch small fortunes, but while admitting to having received some tempting offers, Jude confesses
to more than a shade of separation anxiety. “I’m not psychologically prepared to let go of my pianos,” he says. He does
however dream of founding a museum to house his collection. The learned piano protector would, of course, serve as
guide. — AFP
Madonna speaks of �crazy
times’ after songs leaked
M
adonna and Sony Pictures both were separately torpedoed by
major hacks this month, in what the pop icon called “crazy times.”
It’s crazy,” she told Billboard magazine, when asked about the
investigation into how at least 10 of her unfinished, unreleased songs were
leaked onto the Internet. “I mean, look at what’s going on with Sony
Pictures. It’s just the age that we’re living in. It’s crazy times.” Washington
accuses Pyongyang of being behind the hack at Sony that led to the
release of embarrassing emails and caused executives to halt the debut of
the madcap comedy action film “The Interview.”
The film about a fictional CIA plot to kill the country’s leader infuriated
North Korea, although Pyongyang has repeatedly denied it was behind the
cyber-assault on Sony. “The Internet is as constructive and helpful in bringing people together as it is in doing dangerous things and hurting people.
It’s a double-edged sword,” Madonna said. —AFP
�The Omen,’ The Krays’ actress
Billie Whitelaw dies at 82
AC/DC drummer says
he wants to keep his job
A
C/DC drummer Phil Rudd described allegations
he tried to hire a hitman as “ludicrous” yesterday and said he wanted to keep his job with
the top-selling rock band. Rudd faces charges of
threatening to kill and drug possession in New
Zealand and fellow band members, including guitarist Angus Young, have hinted he will be dropped
for AC/DC’s upcoming world tour. The 60-year-old
drummer said he wanted to remain part of the band
he first joined in 1975 after his arrest last month.
“I want my job back and I want my reputation back
and I’m going to get them,” he told TVNZ. Rudd was
also accused of “attempting to procure murder” by
hiring a hitman, but the charge was dropped after
less than 24 hours due to insufficient evidence. “It’s all
wrong and I’m very upset about the whole thing. It’s
ludicrous, ludicrous-as if I’d need anybody to do that,”
he said. Rudd, who has lived in the New Zealand
North Island seaside town of Tauranga since 1983, has
pleaded not guilty to the drugs and threatening to kill
charges, the latter of which carries a jail term of up to
seven years.
He also rejected media reports that his legal woes
stemmed from a dispute over dealings with prostitutes, describing himself as “a good guy”. “This has just
been a big ball of cheese and all the rats are gathering
and having a piece,” he said. “That’s not who I am.”
Rudd, who played on hits including “Dirty Deeds
Done Dirty Cheap” and “Highway to Hell,” is free on
bail and will be back in court to have his case
reviewed on February 10. Rudd’s lawyer has said his
client’s reputation has suffered “incalculable damage”
due to sensational worldwide publicity surrounding
the case, adding that they are considering “any possible remedies he may have”.
AC/DC plan a world tour next year to promote
their latest album “Rock or Bust” and any conviction
for Rudd could prevent him from taking part. Angus
Young, whose brother Malcolm left the band this year
suffering from dementia, has said Rudd’s potentially
lengthy court case would definitely not stop them
from hitting the road next year. — AFP
�Inside the Mind of Leonardo in 3D’
D
oes Leonardo da Vinci need 3D?
Maybe if he were the nimble-footed
centerpiece of a videogame like
“Assassin’s Creed,” but certainly not as conceived in Julian Jones’ unnecessary “Inside
the Mind of Leonardo in 3D.” Restricting all
dialogue to Leonardo’s own words, jotted
down in his famously sprawling notebooks,
the documentary envisions the groundbreaking visionary as a voracious polymath
(true) while giving shockingly short shrift to
the man as artist. Animating his drawings
makes him more child’s cartoonist than
incomparable draughtsman, and Peter
Capaldi’s modern-dress impersonation has
a gratuitously histrionic intensity.
Stereoscopic treatment aside, a theatrical
release seems beside the point, since this
sort of thing is best consumed on presenter
History Films’ broadcasts.
Biographical information is reduced
here to the briefest of lines written out
onscreen, establishing Leonardo’s illegitimacy, his Tuscan roots, and his first known
artwork, assisting his teacher Verrocchio in
a painting of “The Baptism of Christ.” Jones
and co-scribe Nick Dear regurgitate the
usual embellished mythology, courtesy of
Giorgio Vasari, of Verrocchio being so humbled by his pupil’s gifts that he abandoned
painting altogether-but in any event, viewers wanting even the merest of insights into
the artistic world of 15th-century Florence
should look elsewhere.
Instead, the superficial documentary’s
focus is on Leonardo as engineer and
observer of nature. Attractive shots of a falcon, accompanied by Capaldi’s theatrical
recitation of Leonardo’s words about birds
and flight, logically lead to images of the
artist’s drawings of wings, made to “come
alive” via 3D animation. Practically none of
his creations are allowed to just “be”:
Instead their backgrounds are turned into
roiling smoke, their rapid, masterly lines
extended and contracted so the images
move. Leonardo, whose genius with pen
and ink reproduced the sensation of movement via drawings of water, projectiles,
even clouds, apparently is still too static for
the movies and needs the animator’s touch.
Unrealized project
Viewers will be forgiven for thinking that
Leonardo left Florence because of a
sodomy charge-a not uncommon accusation in the period, though not the cause for
the artist’s move to Milan. The documentary
spends a fair amount of time on his unrealized project for a monumental equestrian
statue of the local ruler, yet the reason for
expending so much footage on smelting
and practically zero on “The Last Supper” is
likely because a mural is just a mural,
whereas a discussion of molten bronze
allows Jones to shoot demonic-looking
images in a foundry.—Reuters
B
ritish actress Billie Whitelaw has died at
the age of 82, the BBC reported yesterday. She was best known for her role as
Mrs Baylock, the guardian of the demonic
Damien in “The Omen.” Whitelaw appeared in
more than 50 films, including crime drama
“The Krays” and comedy “Hot Fuzz,” but was
equally known for her TV and stage performances, and Samuel Beckett’s plays in particular. He described her as a perfect actress.
Whitelaw made her stage debut in 1950 in
“Pink String and Sealing Wax” in her home
town, Bradford, England, and made her TV
bow in a BBC adaptation of Frances Hodgson
Burnett’s story “The Secret Garden” in 1952.
She later appeared in several episodes of BBC
police series “Dixon of Dock Green.” Her early
stage career included spells with Joan
Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop and the
National Theatre. In 1964, she played
Desdemona opposite Laurence Olivier as
Othello at the Chichester Festival.
By then she had met Beckett, who wrote
parts for her in several experimental plays. “He
used me as a piece of plaster he was molding
until he got just the right shape,” she said. Her
first performance in one of his works was
“Play,” which debuted in 1964. Others roles in
Beckett plays included “Happy Days” and “Not
I.” Film parts included “Charlie Bubbles,” in
which she played opposite Albert Finney, and
psychological thriller “Twisted Nerve.” She won
a BAFTA for these roles in 1969. She also won a
BAFTA for TV drama “The Sextet” in 1972.
Later film roles include 1976’s “The Omen,”
“The Dressmaker” in 1988, and 1990’s “The
Krays,” in which she played the bullying mother of criminal twins, played by Spandau
Ballet’s Martin and Gary Kemp. Whitelaw was
married to actor Peter Vaughan between 1952
and 1966, and later married actor and writer
Robert Muller, who died in 1998. She died on
Sunday at a nursing home in London, her son
Matthew Muller told the BBC. — Reuters
Aamir Khan’s �PK’ scores at int’l box
office, enrages religious groups
“P
K,” a Bollywood drama film that represents a
re-teaming of key elements from global hit
“3 Idiots,” looks to have set records in a
number of markets - despite the controversies it has
raised. The UTV Disney-backed picture stars Aamir
Khan and is directed by Rajkumar Hirani and produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. Rentrak estimated its
global total for its opening weekend at US$25.6 million. That includes some $3.5 million from North
America, where it charted as the tenth biggest movie
of the session.
Globally it was the fourth biggest film of the weekend behind “The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies,”
Chinese director Jiang Wen’s “Gone with the Bullets”
(on $36 million) and “Might at the Museum: Secret of
the Tomb.”UTV, which financed the picture and is distributing it in India under the Disney label, says that
picture was released on Friday and expanded on
Saturday to be the second biggest Saturday gross in
Indian history. It grossed US$4.21 million on Friday, followed by US$4.79 million on Saturday for a first two
day total of $9.0 million. UTV forecast a record Sunday.
The film sees Khan arrive on earth as a naked and
innocent alien who has an ability to easily learn languages, but struggles more in negotiating human customs. En route the picture takes a big swipe at bigots
and fraudsters peddling various religions. In a country
where religious groups routinely protest film industry
targets, “PK” has sent some into a frenzy, with
#boycottPK trending on Twitter at one point.
In the UK “PK” grossed GBP172,000 on opening
Friday, followed by GBP244,000 on Saturday, for a two
day total of GBP417,000 ($667,000), according to UTV.
That was the best opening day for any Hindi-language
film this year and is the fifth biggest Hindi score in the
territory. In Australia, “PK” enjoyed the biggest ever
opening day for an Indian film with A$162,000 and
A$392,000 (US$323,000) after two days. — Reuters
Bollywood actress
Anushka Sharma,
former Indian
cricketer Sachin
Tendulkar and
Bollywood actor
Aamir Khan pose
for a photograph
during a promotional event for the
forthcoming Hindi
film �PK’ directed
by Rajkumar Hirani
in Mumbai. — AFP
Eccentric French
collector turns home into
piano �orphanage’
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
39
A Palestinian man dressed up as Santa Claus distributes Christmas trees along the wall of Jerusalem’s Old City, yesterday as Christians around the world prepare to celebrate the holy day. — AFP
US Christmas tree
controlled by tweets
School children hold lottery balls, during the Spain’s Christmas lottery known
as �El Gordo’ or �The Fat One’, in Madrid yesterday. — AP/AFP photos
T
witter users anywhere in the world can control the lights
on a holiday display in New Jersey. Tweets will turn on a 9foot (3-meter) Christmas tree, menorah and over 1,000
LED lights at Oxford Communications in Lambertville and also
turn them off.
School children sing out the numbers for the top prize of Spain’s Christmas
lottery known as �El Gordo’ or �The Fat One’, as they hold lottery balls.
The company says it designed the display with the intention
to help charities, towns and businesses to develop awareness
and fundraising campaigns. Tweet #brilliant#twinkle to
@Oxmas_Tree to light the display and tweet #figgyypudding to
turn them off. — AP
Gonzalo Presa, a worker at the Wax Museum shows his winning ticket after he
and several other workers won the main Christmas lottery prize.
Spain’s �Fat One’ lottery
pays out 2.2 billion euros
S
pain’s Christmas lottery El Gordo, considered the
world’s richest in prizes, shared out 2.2 billion euros
($2.7 billion) yesterday in a country fighting to recover from years of recession. Holders of tickets with this
year’s top winning number — the Gordo itself, or “Fat
One”-won 400,000 euros each, with thousands of other
smaller cash prizes.
“I can’t believe it. It was a really happy and emotional
moment,” the owner of one of the shops that sold the winning number in Madrid told radio station Cadena Ser.
Unlike other big lotteries that generate just a few big winners, Spain’s Christmas lottery aims to share the wealth,
with thousands of numbers getting a prize. Since last year
however the taxman has taken a fifth of all prizes over
2,500 euros, as part of the government’s austerity measures.
Tickets with the winning number were sold this year in
various regions around the country including Madrid,
Murcia and Valencia. As tradition dictates, children from a
Madrid school picked wooden balls bearing the winning
numbers out of two giant golden tumblers and then sang
them out in a live television draw lasting four hours. The
Christmas lottery has been held uninterrupted since 1812.
Even Spain’s 1936-39 civil war did not end it, as each side
held its own draw during the conflict. It has become a popular Christmas tradition in Spain, with friends, colleagues
and bar regulars banding together to buy tickets.
Although other draws around the world have bigger individual top prizes, Spain’s Christmas lottery ranks as the
world’s richest for the total sums paid out. — AFP
Winners of a Spain lottery celebrate the first Christmas lottery prize “El Gordo”
(“The Fat One”).
Lottery Administration shop owners on General Pastor Avenue in Eliana near Valencia celebrate having sold the first
prize.
Lottery Administration shop owners on General Pastor Avenue in Eliana near
Valencia celebrate having sold the first prize.
An owner of a lottery office puts a banner with the number prize after selling
the second Christmas lottery prize “El Gordo”.
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